|Author: Shizuku||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3708 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1722 words|
I start taking out the monsters and animals I hunted on my way here to the Cruel Predator, who uses the claws on the end of its tentacles to skillfully cut them to smaller pieces which it then carries to the mouths of various sizes on other tentacles. All of its mouths are chewing happily, including the bigger one in the center of the flower that serves like its head. It also keeps pouring the digestive fluid from the sacks into its mouth to aid with dissolving its food.
“There’s even more.”
The Cruel Predator’s tentacles wriggle with excitement seeing the new chunks of meat I take out from my magic storage. Somehow that looks kinda cute to me, though it doesn’t change the fact that this is a monster that could potentially attack other people.
I started feeding it only so I could take its fruits with less effort, but I feel like it’s gotten somewhat attached to me with time. It’ll probably still attack other people though. It’s still a wild monster, so if adventurers come to hunt it while I’m not here then that’s just the way of life, the way nature works. I’d probably try to stop it if it happened while I’m here though.
Somehow it remembered me even after not seeing each other for a year, and it’s seemingly showing some emotions, so maybe it’s more intelligent than I thought.
I still remember how the Copper Spider at Aria’s would listen and understand what I said, so maybe I can also get the Cruel Predator to do more.
Now that it’s done eating, the Cruel Predator offers me multiple fruits the size of apples in exchange for the food. I bite into one of them, and notice that it’s more tender and sweeter than the Man Eater fruits I got before.
They don’t seem to be poisonous either. I might be immune to toxins, but I wouldn’t want to feed this to someone who could get sick from them.
As I taste the fruit, the Cruel Predator looks straight at me, or at least that’s what it looks like as the big flower turns to face me. Once I give my opinion on the fruit, its tentacles wriggle happily. I guess it liked hearing that.
Either way, I think I can safely serve these fruits at the dorm.
I stay there watching the Cruel Predator eat a bit longer, then I head back home. I enter Ingralowe and see that the streets are as busy as always.
The nobles and people sprang into action really quickly after the Rufu attack last month, so the overall damage to the city is quite minor in the grand scheme of things. The restoration efforts are also progressing nicely, and most stores are open for business again.
But not everything is back to normal. I can still see people walking on the street with gloomy faces, or trying to appear strong. I guess it makes sense considering people died.
It’s not like that affects my own livelihood though. I didn’t lose anyone close to me, and I don’t have time to worry about strangers.
Tomorrow will be another day with new spirits. Though I’ll still have to be careful around Olivia, since she’s started looking at me with those eyes again.
I arrive at the Academy and head to the dorm, but halfway there I notice something interesting in the magic training grounds. Olivia, Ruri, Ryuka, and Christina are there. They don’t have classes today, so it’s strange to see Christina there. Thinking about that, I decide to get closer to watch.
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“Twenty five…twenty six…”
“Just five times more!”
Olivia was doing pull-ups on what looked like a horizontal bar made from earth magic, and Ruri watched like a trainer. At first I thought Ryuka and Christina were just watching from the side, but I can tell they’re using magic. I guess they’re the ones keeping the bar in shape.
“Twenty seven…twenty eight… I…can’t…”
“Just a little more! You got this! Keep going! You can definitely do it! You’re beautiful when giving it your all!”
Wait, that last one seems off.
The instant she hits thirty Olivia lets go and falls on the ground, while the horizontal bar turns to dust.
It seems she’s done.
“I see you’re all working hard.”
“Hahh…hahh… Welcome back, Natalia.”
Olivia greets me from the ground, but I can tell she’s too tired to get on her feet. Meanwhile Ryuka and Christina are so tired that they can merely look at me.
“They all looked very strained there, was that workout really that hard?”
“Yeah, they did three reps of thirty pull-ups each. Olivia kept her gravity magic active the entire time, while Lady Ryuka and Christina tried to keep the bar from shattering.”
I ask Ruri, the only one who doesn’t look exhausted. Her reply is something far more extreme than I had anticipated. I guess that explains why they’re so tired though.
“Olivia is kinda amazing to actually pull it off though.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
I’m actually looking forward to seeing just how strong Olivia will become. Though I kinda miss the times when I thought she would become a pure sorceress like Ophelia.
“Since you’ve been working out so hard here, would you like to take a bath?”
“Yes, that sounds really good.”
“Ruri and I will get you a change of clothes, so you can head straight to the bath. Feel free to go as well, Christina.”
“A-Alright, I’ll take you up on that offer.”
Olivia quickly regains some energy and stands up, then Ryuka and Christina slowly get on their feet too, still a bit wobbly though. Ruri also follows them with an unconcerned face.
I grab the neck of her kimono and pull Ruri back, and she complains with an annoyed voice.
“What are you doing? I just said we’ll get their change of clothes ready. Why are you following after them like an idiot?”
“Are you stupid? What kind of servant doesn’t follow their master into a bath to wash their back? A proper servant accompanies their master at all times.”
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Ruri pushes my hand away and makes sure that the other three are out of sight before rebuking with an unusually serious look on her face.
“Natalia, I can tell you’re avoiding touching girls because you used to be a guy in your past life. But if you keep doing that you can’t really call yourself a servant. It doesn’t matter what you think about yourself, you’re a girl now, and that’s how everyone sees you. If you just keep coming up with excuses and avoiding certain things you’ll just make Olivia worry needlessly1.”
Ruri actually has a point. I keep saying that I’m an automaton and things like that while clinging onto who I was in my past life. I’ve always kept the times I see or touch Olivia’s skin to a minimum, and I keep saying I’m a maid but then avoid acting like one when it’s convenient.
Even though I say all sorts of things, I guess I’m still ‘me’.
“Anyway, that’s why I’ll be joining them in the bath. I really like Lady Ryuka’s white skin, but Olivia’s athletic and toned body isn’t that bad either, and I’ll get a good look at Christina’s slightly furry body mheheheheh.”
“Hey! I knew you were going there for a reason like that!”
She almost made me think she had a real reason to be there!
“Hah hah hah, you’ll have to stop me by force if you want to.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’ll make you pay!”
Ruri unsheathes her katana while I get my magic blade ready.
“I’m going to my bath paradise!”
“Stop you horndooooog!”
Strangely enough, both our blades are blue, and they clashed countless times until it was almost time for them to get out of the bath and change. What the hell are we doing a day before the new school term starts?
After washing away all the sweat I had built up, I wipe my body with a towel and then start putting on the clothes that are ready for me. Somehow wearing tidy clothes after a bath always feels really good.
“Thank you for today. I got some nice workout thanks to you two.”
There’s almost no workout equipment that can resist me when I’m multiplying my gravity by five times, and making it myself while I’m working out is impossible. That’s why I only got to do it with the help of those two.
“It actually helped with my own magic training, so you don’t really have to thank me.”
“Yes, it was a really good endurance test for my magic as well.”
Ryuka is combing her long black hair, and Chris is tightening the belt of her comfy one piece dress.
“Ah, I’ll make sure to wash this dress before I give it back.”
“Sure, also it’s actually not mine but Natalia’s.”
Chris’ face reddens with embarrassment. We’ve been friends for nearly two years now, but some things never change.
Still, Natalia’s dress, huh. My clothes are probably too big for Chris, and I don’t really like wearing clothes that are too loose around the waist like that, so I don’t have that type of dress.
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Natalia got quite a few from Bamel though, she always goes shopping with Mir who picks her clothes. Maybe I should pick some as well next time we’re back.
“Actually yeah, that’s Natalia’s dress.”
She’s wearing the same clothes as Natalia.
“So in a way it wouldn’t be too different from hugging Natalia.”
There are indirect kisses, so indirect hugs might also be a thing.
“Chris, could you hug me for a bit? If you don’t want to, I can hug you instead too though.”
“C-C-C-Calm down Olivia! This is wrong on so many levels!”
“It’ll be fine! And it won’t take too long, I’ll make sure to hold back!”
“The fact that you need to hold back worries me even more though?!”
“I really wish Amy was here. I never know what to do in situations like this.”
And so my third year at the Academy started with a bang.