|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library|
Ah, what despair. What hopelessness. All the tireless efforts, sweat, tears, and blood I’ve poured into this, not to mention the time and energy I’ve invested—all wasted.
“…I got fat.”
I theatrically fell from the scale that I had specifically requested to be set up in the bathroom, still draped in a towel around my upper body after my bath.
How very strange. I haven’t slacked off on my training ever since I came to live in this mansion… If anything, I trained 5 times as hard, strictly controlling my food intake and maintaining a diet focused on vegetables with minimal protein and carbohydrates. During the day, I roamed the mountains and the town under the guise of research, gathering medicinal herbs and wild plants, and occasionally hunting stray demon beasts. In the afternoons, I would engage in intense activities like martial arts and ballroom dancing.
How could all of that still lead to weight gain?! What is with this body, is it converting the air I inhale into body fat?! Is there a fairy shoving food into my mouth without my knowledge or something?! Or is this one of Zhuge Liang’s traps?!?! …I was so shocked my brain was a mess.
Okay, let’s just do what I can do first. Starting tomorrow, I’ll triple my exercise regimen and include a lot of aerobic activities at night, along with muscle-relaxing stretches.
“That’s it, I’ll start jogging at night as well!”
“You will not.” Monica abruptly intervened. “I’m already at my wit’s end keeping up with you in the morning. Now you want me to stay up all night running as well?”
“You don’t have to come along… Eren or Lana can take your place if you’re concerned about me.”
At that, a heavy sigh escaped her lips.
“Milady, let me be straightforward since you seem unaware: we are all worried that you’ll get yourself into more trouble if left unsupervised. The consensus among the madam, Royce, and Beatrice is that someone should always keep an eye on you. And if I may add, I wholeheartedly agree. So, as your attendant, it’s only natural that I should always be by your side.”
“On another note, those two are more likely to enable your escapades than prevent them. In my opinion, they’re the least suited for solo outings with you. Their lack of self-awareness and wisdom during the recent incident is forcing our head housekeeper to retrain them from the ground up in the art of being a lady’s attendant. I wouldn’t count on their assistance anytime soon.”
No wonder I often see them utterly worn out these days, it turns out they’re suffering from the fallout of the disaster that I caused. Closing my eyes, I offered a silent prayer for their endurance.
“Furthermore, milady, you’re not getting fat. You seem entirely oblivious to this fact.”
“Uugh…I don’t need platitudes. I’m well aware that my regular clothes have been feeling tighter, particularly around my waist.”
I couldn’t figure out why Monica looked so taken aback —actually, she was genuinely shocked— but she took my hand, helped me to my feet, and scrutinized me from head to toe.
“Have you not noticed? You’re growing taller, milady.”
She said that as if that was the most natural thing in the world, leaving me confused.
“I suppose my line of sight has felt higher, but…that has no bearing on my waistline, does it?”
“When you grow taller, your chest and waist expand accordingly.”
“…Is that how it works?”
“It is. You’re rather lean, milady. More to the point, please get dressed before the chill affects your health.”
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Being told so matter-of-factly, yet still not fully convinced, I begin to get dressed with Monica’s assistance. I hadn’t noticed my growth, perhaps because my favorite black dress seemed to stretch to accommodate me.
“…It appears my chest area is getting tighter compared to my waist. All my regular clothes will require significant alterations. This must be where the extra weight is coming from.”
I never thought breasts contributed much to weight, but I’m surprised to learn they take up quite a bit of space and can be cumbersome. After voicing my thoughts, Monica lightly chimes in: “The woes of the havers, I see.”
“Well, the have-nots often have fragile hearts, so I suggest you not voice your concerns so loudly, milady.” That struck me as a peculiar piece of wisdom. Having finished dressing, I exit the bathroom.
Next, I head to Ms. Christy to bid her goodnight and to seek approval for another outing I’d like to embark on tomorrow.
It takes Vier about an hour to reach the western pioneer village from the town of Consul, or 15 minutes if she were to spread her wings and fly there.
I did visit this area during the incident with Bruno, but I never actually stopped by the village, so it’s been quite some time since my last visit. Before reaching the gate, I dismount from Vier and take a moment to check my appearance—a wide-brimmed hat adorned with rose stitches, a black dress cut above the knees, knee-high black laced-up boots, and a light robe draped over my shoulders; my usual attire. I also make sure to put on the necklace that has the recognition-inhibition spell, as well as the ring Luke gifted me on my left hand and Brandmüller’s family ring on my right.
Speaking of family rings, it’s probably too late to even consider, but I wonder where the Aulanthia family crest ring has gone.
“Vier, I don’t look weird, do I?”
Sensing Vier’s reassuring “No~pe” through our link as master and servant, I walk toward the village’s nostalgic wooden main gate, which feels somewhat aged and smaller than I remember. Vier seems to share my nostalgia; her steps have a bounce to them.
“Hello, it’s been a while, Andy, Chad!”
As usual, I approach Andy and Chad, two members of the youth group who spend their time guarding the front gate and chatting. When they notice me—
“…Who are you again?”
They couldn’t be more suspicious of me.
“…It’s me, Jill.” I remove my hat and pull up my hood. For added clarity, I bring Vier to the front as well.
“…What the heck! You’re actually showing your face!”
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I get that you’re surprised, but that’s rude, thank you very much.
Well, due to the recognition-inhibition spell, they’re not seeing my true face—well, technically they are, but it’s distorted like a trompe l’oeil. Unless you already know what I look like, the spell gives you an illusion based on your perspective. To them, I should appear as a normal village girl.
I pull my hood back down, lightly comb my hair, and put my hat back on.
“Long time no see. You’ve hidden your face behind that hood, but you’ve grown so much I couldn’t recognize you.”
That was Andy.
“You’ve really matured… yes, matured.”
That came from Chad.
I feel their gaze drifting to my chest and waist and instinctively shake in discomfort.
“Oy, Chad, watch where you’re looking!”
“R-, right. My bad. I didn’t mean anything weird, I’m just saying that Jill has grown quite a bit in just a year. Time really does fly.”
You sound older than you are, Chad.
“I guess it’s been more than half a year since I last visited. By the way, didn’t Eren come here a few days ago?”
“Yeah, the Chief’s daughter, right? She caused such a huge incident that the whole village was in an uproar.”
“Exactly. It could have escalated to monsters invading, so we couldn’t just sit idle.”
Andy shuddered, and Chad nodded with a somber expression to match.
“I suppose that’s true. Fortunately, the warding barrier is still up, albeit considerably weakened. That’s why I’m here—to reinforce it.”
Upon hearing my purpose, their faces lit up immediately.
“Oh, that’s a huge help! The village chief has been fretting over how to replenish the ward stakes if the witch didn’t return.”
“Yeah. He even thought of buying some from the big cities, but the price was crazy high. It might even blow two years of the village’s savings, he said. Your arrival is a lifesaver.”
“I see. Then I should head to Chief Aroldo right away.”
“Take your time.”
“Share your journey’s story with us sometime, too.”
“My apologies. I’m currently under someone’s care in the town of Consul, so my time here is limited.”
“Ah, really? Well, maybe next time then.”
I waved back at them and proceeded into the village.