|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3592 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1699 words|
Knight Academy, cafeteria at night——
「「Thank you for the wait, Young Misses.」」
Inglis and Rafinha, dressed in the attire of maids working for the Royal, laid out the plates they had brought in front of Leone and Liselotte.
「This is your Double Extra-Large Super Spicy Pasta with All Toppings.」
「This is your Double Extra-Large Grilled Cheese Meat on the Bone」
「This is your Double Extra-Large Bechamel Sauce Pasta with All Toppings.」
「This is your second servings of Double Extra-Large Super Spicy Pasta with All Toppings.」
Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!
Huge plates landed on the table with an enormous sense of intimidation and pressure.
「I-, I didn’t order them!」
「A-, as if we could finish them…!」
Screamed Leone and Liselotte.
「「Yeah, we know.」」
Of course, that was all but a joke, as Inglis and Rafinha would eat those dishes themselves.
And thus they began wolfing them down ravenously.
「Hmm~ The cafeteria has the best flavor-to-amount balance of all, after all! They even have a menu only for us!」
「You’re right. And they’re free too.」
「 But, our all-you-can-eat in cafeteria deal we made with the Principal is almost over.」
「Yeah. But the Principal promised that if tomorrow’s mission goes well, she will extend the period.」
「Is that true?! Nice going, Glis! Now we absolutely can’t fail!」
「Yeah. And for that, too, we need to psych ourselves up and fortify ourselves with meal.」
「You’re right! Okaay, let’s relish them as much as possible to our heart’s content!」
Nom nom nom nom nom nom!
Even amid their conversation, the pile of food on their plates continued to disappear at an alarming rate.
While Leone and Liselotte had grown familiar with the amount and the speed at which they eat to not give a comment, the maid attire they wore was still a point of curiosity.
「So, what is with the garb?」
「Is it a rehearsal for tomorrow?」
It was the night before the official signing of the treaty between the Royal faction and the Church’s Union. This attire was necessary for Inglis and Rafinha’s plan of action tomorrow.
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「We think we should at least practice how to act like a maid. Besides, the attire is kind of cute. I wanted to try it on Glis, since we won’t have the time for that tomorrow.」
「It’s good that it’s cute, but hem is a bit too short.」
「You’re right. Is it perhaps the taste of some higher ups?」
「Well, it’s easier to move in compared to our evening gown, so I’m fine with it.」
It was easy to assume that combat was inevitable, so the short skirt was actually convenient.
「But still, it sure looks on you, Inglis. It’s really pretty.」
「Miss Inglis, you look superb no matter what you wear!」
「Fufu. Thank you.」
She also thought so when she looked at herself in the mirror, so she would happily accept the praise.
「Come on, Glis. Try spinning once for me. And say some maid-like line with a smile too, okay?」
「Okay, will do.」
Solemnly, Inglis stood to her feet. She spun once, causing the hem of her garb and the silvery long hair to flutter gently, and with a slight bow and a smile, she said, 「Welcome home, milady.」
However, Rafinha and the others instead looked like they were trying to stifle a laugh.
Inglis cocked her head before Rafinha reached to her cheeks.
「You’ve got rice on your cheek, you know? A cute and clumsy maid girl, huh?」
「Fufufu, geez… And here I was getting cold feet for tomorrow.」
「Ahaha. It’s kind of relieving to see that you two are always the usual.」
They laugh as if it’s so funny, but, well, as long it eases their nerves, so be it.
「What are you two playing around for……」
Silva who just happened to walk by looked at them as though he couldn’t believe his eyes.
「Ah, Senior Silva.」
「Good Evening. What do you think of Glis’ maid outfit? Isn’t it cute?」
「……I didn’t prepare them so you can play with them. Honestly, you don’t have any sense of tension in the slightest!」
It was through Silva’s personal connections that they were able to arrange a temporary job for maids so Inglis and Rafinha could sneak into the Royal Palace tomorrow.
The Imperial Guard Order and the Royal Palace had an inseparable relationship with one another. As such, Silva, who was the younger brother of the Order’s Commander as well as a bearer of a Special Grade Rune, was more or less well-known in the Royal Palace.
「Are you nervous yourself, senior?」
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His hands that carried his dinner seemed a bit tense.
「I am, of course. A lot of things will be decided tomorrow. And by us at that, like the future of this country for one, and Lady Ripple’s fate for another. However, if everything goes south, Lady Ripple will start blaming herself, saying that it’s all her fault. That’s the last thing I want to happen. And for that, too, your role is especially important. After all, I can’t do anything in there.」
Inglis and Rafinha would take action separate from the Academy’s main force tomorrow.
「I’m really placing my hope on you two, and it’s for Lady Ripple too.」
Apparently, Silva seemed to be really concerned with Ripple. Which reminded Inglis that Ripple didn’t seem to have any problems with Silva’s general attitude, and she even said that they would make a great combination.
Did Silva honor her enough that he acted really gentlemanly before her? Even when he was gravely injured, the first thing he cared for was Ripple.
Not to mention that Ripple’s weapon guise as a Hyrule Menace was a firearm, and the weapon Silva usually used was also a firearm. Was there a relation between the two?
「Senior, are you actually in love with Miss Ripple?」
It was convenient to have Rafinha at times like this. Even if that meant she’d meddle into others’ business, if she was curious about something, she’d throw a straight ball without hesitation.
「D-……! Don’t be stupid……! My sentiment for her is nothing as vulgar as that!」
He spoke flustered with his ears turned bright red, so he probably was. Rafinha was grinning at this. Leone and Liselotte also kept watching, their eyes smiling.
「Hmm—— It’s fine even if it is, right Glis?」
「Yeah, I agree.」
「It’s not! I would never think of being as uncouth as taking a Hyrule Menace for myself……! It is true, however, that I hold an admiration for Lady Ripple.」
「Did something happen between you and her?」
「A long time ago…when I was still a child, Lady Ripple saved me when I was attacked by a Magic Stone Beast. However, my best friend who was with me died before she could arrive. …My friend was a Runeless, but she followed what I said and… my own weakness killed her.」
Silva became downcast, uttering those words almost a whisper.
In retrospect, Silva opposed the idea of Inglis and Yua to become an escort to Ripple as they were Squires with no Rune.
At first Inglis thought he disliked Runeless in general, but he risked his life to protect Lahti, who was a Runeless Squire himself. He didn’t even complain, he was kind to him until the end of the matter.
In short, it was his belief to keep powerless, Runeless people away from danger, and protect them at all cost when push came to shove.
As Inglis and Yua were outliers to this general rule who didn’t need any of such consideration, they made an unnecessary discord in his belief. However, for many ordinary people who had no Rune, he was a most dependable person.
「Ah, I’m sorry for making you tell us about it……」
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Rafinha looked apologetic.
「Not, it’s fine. As long as it motivates you two. Lady Ripple hugged me when I was crying and comforted me. She told me that I should become stronger, for the sake of my friend too, so I could protect tens, even hundreds, times more people. Those words made me who I am now. I have been training so I can fight alongside Lady Ripple one day.」
「Could it be, senior, did you choose to use a rifle Artifact because to match with Miss Ripple?」
「Yes, that’s right. It will be easier to fight alongside Lady Ripple that way.」
When Inglis asked, Silva nodded, looking a bit pleased.
「Hyrule Menaces are the Guardian Deities for the country and the people, after all.」
「Indeed. How very noble of her.」
Both Leone and Liselotte also nodded along, admiring Ripple.
「However, do me a favor and don’t tell Lady Ripple about my ambition. I went and thanked her again for saving me in the past, she seemed to remember me, but for some reason, she had a pained expression whenever the topic came up. I don’t want to cause her any worry or distress.」
「Yes, I understand. But why did she look pained?」
「Hmm… I’m not sure.」
Both Rafinha and Inglis tilted their heads.
「I haven’t the intention to find it out either. As long as she doesn’t return to the Highland and continues to stay here in our Kingdom, she will tell us about it one day.」
「Yes. And for that, we need to do our best tomorrow! Right, Glis?」
「Yeah, Rani. Leave this mission to us, senior. As for your mission… if possible, please take your time and drag it out, okay? I want to join the fray and fight once we’re done with ours. 」
「…Just how much do you want to fight, really.」
「Well. As long as my stomach isn’t empty, always? 」
Inglis replied with a smile from one ear to another, while Silva was lost for words. The next day, the day of the official signing arrived.
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