|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1235 words|
If one were to define their waking with a single word, that word would be awkward.
A knocking on the door from the outside jolted Merc awake, who had been sleeping against the room’s wall. And Astard, who was sleeping in the same room, was also woken up by it.
Astard, who had been laying on the table facing Merc, glanced up nearly identically with Merc, and the two locked gazes for a few beats.
They both recalled the events of the previous night while they did so. The two, intellectually old, adults had talked about love and whatnot until they had fallen asleep.
I’m gonna die of embarrassment!
Merc was overcome with embarrassment, and Astard, who sat in front of her, was also overcome, turning away from Merc as if in a panic.
“G-Good morning… Merc.”
After reciprocating Astard’s greeting, Merc stood up and stretched lightly to shake off the uneasy mood. Astard, perhaps even more than Merc, was embarrassed by yesterday night’s events. He appeared to be adamant about bringing up the subject again.
It had been a long time since Merc had slept in such an unusual position, and her body felt stiff. Several of her joints cracked with only a light stretch, and she let out a soft moan.
“D-Don’t make weird sounds! It’s revolting!”
“Everyone does that when stretching. What’s gotten over you?”
“That’s true but…”
As Merc tilted her head and glanced at Astard, he replied in a bizarre manner and put the hood, that had slid off, back on. He had apparently finally realized it had fallen off.
“Now, as for our plans…”
Astard then began conversing to hide his prior reactions, but when he heard a loud pounding on the door, he panicked and spun around. They just now remembered that they had both been jolted awake by the same knocking.
Because of the soundproofing spell, Astard immediately recognized that saying so was meaningless, but he nevertheless uttered it as he opened the door. When he opened the door, he noticed Kena standing there with a grim expression on her face. However, Kena smiled sweetly as soon as she noticed Astard’s face.
“Good morning, Great Sage. Miss Merc. Breakfast is waiting for you in the living room.”
“Is that so? Merc, let’s go.”
“What? You’ve even prepared some for me?”
“Yes. Having said that, I had no idea what your tastes were, Miss Merc, so I’m not sure if you’ll be content…”
“No worries. I’m not picky. Thank you.”
As long as there isn’t poison in it, I’ll be fine I guess…
Merc thought to herself as Kena led them into the living room.
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However, given that Kena hadn’t poisoned the Goza yet, such a thing seemed unlikely. Kena could have easily harmed Merc when they were sleeping if she had wanted to. Kena’s plan, based on the fact that she hadn’t done so yet, didn’t appear to be harming Merc directly.
Nevertheless, Merc thought Kena was clearly suspicious.
The stare she gave Merc, her words and actions that seemed to have hidden purposes, and most importantly, the fact that Astard, who was skeptical of everyone save those he trusted, seemed to entirely trust her all added to this strange feeling that Merc felt towards her.
However, because Astard trusted her, Merc was hesitant to confirm her fears.
“Merc, why are you staring at Kena like that?”
Astard asked of Merc, who was completely oblivious that she was staring at Kena.
“Oh… I just thought that she had a huge rack…”
“You never change do you…”
Astard, perhaps persuaded by this remark, quickly lost interest. Merc was somewhat disappointed that Astard had been persuaded only by that, but she was also relieved.
If Astard learned Merc was skeptical of someone he trusted, he would most certainly be upset. Merc had no option but to leave Kena alone in the current situation, no matter how suspicious she was.
Merc tried not to think about it too much and instead opted to humbly accept the breakfast Kena had prepared for her.
“Now then, let’s discuss our plans.”
Astard gave Merc a shocked look as she rubbed her belly, which was now full of wonderful food in a satisfied manner. He seemed to have something to say to Merc.
Don’t judge me… Kena’s food was just too good…
Merc shivered at his stare and mumbled something to herself, then straightened herself up and settled in a listening position.
“So? What are our plans?”
“We’ll get ready and go meet Tetem.”
“Tetem? Oh, yea! Tetem!”
For a brief moment, Merc was perplexed as to who Astard was referring to, but then she remembered that Tetem was Doctor Glodel’s granddaughter. She quickly realized why Astard had used that name.
“What?! Great Sage, you’re going to meet Tetem?”
Kena, after all, was present with them. Astard had most likely chosen Tetem’s name to keep Kena from realizing he was talking about Doctor Glodel. Using Tetem’s name wasn’t an issue because Kena was already familiar with it from the letters.
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“That’s right. I apologize for going out again just after coming back. Could I ask you to look after the house?”
“Yes. Naturally. But it’s just way too fast… Should you rest a bit m…”
Astard shook his head, not allowing Kena to finish her sentence.
“I don’t need you to worry about me. We don’t have the time to relax.”
“I-I understand… I apologize for speaking out…”
Kena dropped her head, her face tensed, likely intimidated by Astard’s unexpected rejection. Merc gave Astard a reproachful look when he saw her.
“Aren’t you being too mean? She’s simply worried about you.”
“And I told her that such worry is unnecessary. With both of us together, what’s there to worry about? Nothing can possibly endanger us unless it’s a Falgaro.”
“You’re the same as always…”
Kena doesn’t know anything about me, she can’t know that…
Merc gave up on Astard after his unsatisfactory response and turned her focus to Kena, gently nodding.
“His words may come out as harsh, but he means no harm. Please forgive him.”
“No, it’s fine… You seem to know the Great Sage quite well, Miss Merc.”
“Huh? I guess you could say that.”
“Fufu. You remind me so much of him…”
“What was that?”
Kena shook her head slowly as Merc abruptly broke short of Kena’s speech.
“Please excuse me. I was going to say something impolite to such a lovely lady as yourself.”
“What was it? Were you about to say that I sound like a crude old man?”
“I… could not…”
Kena looked bewildered as Merc cocked her head toward her.
Based on Kena’s response, it appeared that Merc’s assumption was correct. After all, given that Merc’s prior life had been that of a man, no matter how much she didn’t look like one, it was natural for her to act like one. It was no surprise that Kena was uneasy.
As if to interrupt Merc and Kena’s chat, Astard abruptly stood up and looked at Merc, as if scowling at her.
“That’s enough talking. We don’t have time. Merc please go and get ready as soon as possible.”
Even though Merc was taken aback by Astard’s unusually urgent tone, she recognized that Astard had a valid point. Merc did as she was told and began preparing for their trip.