|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1272 words|
Raum, being the forest kingdom it was, was full of all kinds of plants. In other words, that also meant that it had an abundant amount of fruit circulating in it.
Among them, there were many unusual kinds for Elliot, who had constantly shut himself in the royal palace of the United Three Nations. Even the random stalls on the streets had rare things that he couldn’t find even at the royal palace. It was no wonder that such sight made him stop to stare.
I turned into my adult form and walked up next to him, and put a star-shaped fruit into my basket. I’d have wanted to have our bare shoulders touch—as that tended to make my heart jump in the previous life—but my current form was just an illusion.
Carelessly coming into contact with him might have revealed the fact that it was just a disguise, so I stopped at a simple approach.
“Old man, give me a pack of these.”
“Coming right up. Oh, pretty young lady, I don’t think I’ve seen you before.”
“I arrived here just recently.”
Hey now, old man, don’t go falling for me now. With no other choice, I looked towards Elliot, as casually as I could, and gave him my best smile. That smile was enough to give even me goosebumps. Of course, this was just an illusion, but it was linked to my actual expression. In other words, you could even say it was my future face.
“Excuse me, did I cut into line?”
“O-Oh, no, please don’t pay it any mind. I was merely looking at the goods.”
Elliot managed to say after stuttering a bit, his face appearing a bit flushed. Oh my, that got a good reaction out of him, didn’t it?
In fact, he was currently staring fixedly at my face, even to the point you’d think of it as impolite.
“Umm, is anything the matter?”
“Oh, n-no! You looked quite a bit like someone I know.”
“Is that so? I don’t think my face is particularly uncommon…”
“No such thing! In fact, if there were many girls like you around, men wouldn’t know where to look.”
“Would that be a good thing?”
I asked a bit peevishly, but Elliot replied with his usual attitude. It was that same slightly showy manner of speech that he always used. Seeing as how his words had no thorns, I suppose you could say he was already caught.
It was time to make my first move. I first had to get closer to him until we could talk casually.
“There is quite a lot of rare fruit here. I ended up buying it without thinking.”
“Indeed. These star-shaped fruits are truly unusual. I have never seen them back where I live.”
“Oh my, so you aren’t a citizen of this place?”
“That’s right, I come from a rural place in the north. Please excuse me if I’ve come off as rude in any way.”
“I come from the countryside too, so please be at ease.”
“Oh, where is your hometown then?”
I wasn’t sure how to respond to that question for a moment. When I was alive, my birthplace was the southern city-state Alecmarl. But now it was the United Three Nations. I suppose replying with the latter would be a wiser choice in this case.
As I pondered on that, Elliot seemed to have misunderstood my silence. He thought I was wary of him, so he started waving his hands in panic.
“Ah, I wasn’t trying to probe into your hometown…”
“Oh, that’s not it… I also come from Tryad.”
“Ohh, so we are from the same place.”
“Indeed, mine is a deserted village at the foot of the Scion mountain range.”
Scion mountain range was at the northern border of the United Three Nations. It was the area that the Evil Dragon had destroyed at the very start. Not many would try to probe further into it when people said they came from those parts.
“Scion… Then the Evil Dragon…?”
“Yes, the village is already gone.”
“That’s… My apologies for making you remember something unpleasant.”
“Here you go, one basket of star apples.”
The shopkeeper suddenly called out to me, having finished putting the fruit into the bag. I accepted it and handed the money. My body and this illusion had differences, so some time lag was produced which made him a bit puzzled, but I dodged it with a smile.
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Following that, I intentionally acted curtly and tried to quickly leave the place.
I judged that it was better to leave before he started asking more questions. This was supposed to be our first meeting, so getting too intimate would come off as unnatural.
Just getting to know him was fine for today. As long as we were familiar enough to greet each other the next time we met, it was fine. At least, that’s what I thought. But Elliot started panicking and followed behind me.
“Please wait! Please let me apologize for my earlier rudeness.”
“Apologize… You say?”
I turned around and asked in reflex, but wasn’t he acting a bit too favorably? Even his expression was stiffer than ever before.
“Yes, how about we drink tea in that cafe over there? Of course, I’ll pay.”
“Eh, I’m sorry but I’d rather not with someone I have only just met.”
This was the skill of a lady that Maxwell drove into me. I twisted my body a little and put a hand to my mouth as if surprised.
The other hand was supposed to go below my chest as if to protect my body… but I was carrying fruit with it, so I dropped the idea.
Seeing me like that, Elliot thought I was suspicious of his intentions, and followed up on his words in a fluster.
“Oh, um! Of course, if you’re against it, I won’t ask again. I was simply trying to apologize.”
His face was flushed beyond any I’ve seen so far. No matter how you look at it, this was too much… Was he sick or something?
“Um, your face is red, are you sure you are alright?”
“Oh, this is because of nervousness from facing you. I’m alright. Rather, I’m beyond alright.”
“If you say so…”
I weighed my options.
I thought it would’ve been fine if we became close enough to greet each other next time. Because I’d need to consult Maxwell before I did anything beyond that. But Elliot’s reaction went beyond my expectations. It would be a waste to let go of this opportunity.
Because, in my past life, I… apparently completely overlooked a similar opportunity.
“I’ll have you know, I am quite a heavy eater, okay?”
I declared it while puffing my chest a bit. I even added a smug grin as a topping. This was, of course, a lie. My appetite wasn’t even half of that of an average child. It was nothing more than a joke to ease some of his tension.
However, the effect of it was clear. After Elliot laughed heartily at my response, he gave me a noble bow.
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“No problem. If it’s for your smile, I shall lay down all my funds.”
“I’m not going to eat that much, you know!”
Even as a joke, I’d probably need to eat more than I weigh to manage to damage his funds. My food needs have been growing since I was smaller, but they still didn’t amount to much.
I replied to his joke while putting on a sulky face.
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