|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1143 words|
Afterwards, having finally gotten to know Kena, Merc spent some time talking about Astard and making fun of Kena’s feelings for him.
Then, as night fell, Astard, who had left the house and gone somewhere, returned.
He exuded a sense of accomplishment.
“Welcome back, Great Sage.”
“Hey. What were you up to?”
Following Kena’s gesture, Merc also called out to Astard, though she was somewhat taken aback by Astard’s attempt to hide his grin.
With a suspicious glint in his eyes, Astard nodded in response.
“I did it! I talked with the Adventurers’ Guild and had them summon the Count. All that’s left is for you to leap in front of the Count’s carriage, and we’re good to go.”
“I see… But wait, why the Adventurers’ Guild? How can the Guild summon the Count?”
“Count Fonan’s primary source of income is the Adventurers’ Guild. The Count receives royalties for the use of his land because the Guild operates on his territory. They give the Count money in order for him to stay out of their way. Given that the Guildmaster pays the Count a large sum of money every year, the Count cannot refuse when summoned. He’ll definitely appear.”
“I see. I presume we’ll show up when the Count decides to return from his meeting. Will everything go according to plan, though?”
In response to Merc’s skepticism, Astard confidently nodded in agreement.
“Naturally. I’ve instructed the Guildmaster to speak with the Count for about half an hour beginning at 8 a.m., and then see him off around 9 a.m. We should be fine if we ambush him around that time.”
“That’s all well and good, but will the Count really fall for me? I’m afraid he’ll simply ignore me as suspicious…”
“Have some more confidence in yourself. You are unquestionably a beauty among beauties based solely on your looks.”
“How kind of you.”
Merc responded listlessly, stroking the goosebumps on her arms as a result of Astard’s praise, which she didn’t enjoy at all. Kena, who had been listening to them, addressed them with a perplexed expression.
“What are you talking about, Great Sage, Miss Merc?”
“Ah, Kena. Perfect timing. There’s something that I’d like to ask of you. Do you mind?”
“What? No, of course not! I’ll obey your every command.”
“I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a command, though. I’d like you to give this one a more feminine appearance.”
Kena froze as she followed Astard’s gaze to Merc. Astard realized his explanation was grossly inadequate after seeing her expression, so he spoke again.
“In a nutshell, I’d like you to dress her up. I believe the mannequin is of excellent quality, so make her turn heads wherever she goes.”
“Hey! Don’t raise the bar for her so high Astard! Kena don’t listen to him. A smidgeon of femininity will suffice. You don’t have to go that far. Naturally, I’ll do everything I can as well.”
Merc smacked Astard on the head for asking Kena to execute an impossible task as though it wasn’t his business any more.
Kena, on the other hand, nodded heartily as if she understood exactly what she needed to do, even if she didn’t fully grasp the circumstances.
“Leave it to me! To tell you the truth, I’ve always thought it a pity. Miss Merc is stunning, yet she is careless when it comes to her appearance. In any case, I’ll try to extract as much of Miss Merc’s charm as I can. Leave it to me.”
“H-Hey! You don’t have to get all worked up over it. Moderation is key…”
Merc remarked, a bit overwhelmed by Kena’s passion. Seeing her like that, Astard murmured into her ear.
“What are you saying? You must take the Count’s seduction seriously. After all, the professor’s life is on the line.”
“When you phrase it like that…”
With this whole process, Merc felt like she was losing sight of who she was, but it wasn’t like she was dressing up for pleasure. She was doing it for a greater purpose, to save Doctor Glodel.
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They couldn’t take the matter lightly just because Merc didn’t like it.
“Great Sage. Unfortunately, all of the tailors are closed today. I’m worried we won’t be able to find any suitable clothing… Isn’t this something we should do first thing tomorrow morning?”
“You’re right. On a separate note, her attire doesn’t have to be all that flashy. If her clothes appear to be overly expensive, the Count will be suspicious. Anything a typical girl might wear will do… I got it! Kena, how about lending her some of your clothes?”
“That’s a bit…”
When confronted with Astard’s casual offer, Kena found it difficult to respond.
“I don’t see what’s the problem. Your height is nearly identical, and while your outfits don’t appear like they would be very trendy, they look like they would be appropriate for females your age.”
“So that’s what it is.”
Merc, like Astard, had trouble understanding Kena’s reluctance at first. But then Merc noted Kena’s worried expression. Merc eventually realized what was happening when she observed Kena’s attention shift back and forth between her face and chest.
“Astard. Even though we’re the same height, the same can’t be said about our chest. If I wore Kena’s clothing, the fabric around the breasts would just dangle, making it appear weird.”
“Oh, I see now. Well, you can just use some padding, can’t you?”
“What? Look here you! That’s a line that even I’m not willing to cross…”
Because Merc was so obsessed with breasts, she felt padding to be extremely offensive. She didn’t mind if they were used by others as long as she wasn’t aware of it. If she did it herself, though, she believed it would be a disgrace to all large breasts throughout the world.
Her morals forbade her from using them.
Breasts only induce envy because they are genuine.
Merc thought as she glanced at Kena’s genuine pair.
“Why are you so preoccupied with something so insignificant? Fake breasts can even be used as a form of self-defense.”
“That’s right. You wouldn’t like it if the Count touched your chest, would you?”
“I guess I wouldn’t.”
“And what if he suddenly wants to strip you?”
“I wouldn’t let him… I see! What you’re saying is that if he realizes my breasts are fake, he’ll be less likely to continue, right?”
Merc felt frustrated because Astard truly did have a point. Furthermore, asking Kena to re-tailor her clothes to fit Merc from now on would be unreasonable.
After a brief pause, Merc nodded solemnly, having made up her mind.
“Fake breasts… I got it. Let’s go with that.”
As a result, Operation Retake Doctor Glodel, or more accurately, Operation Fake Breasts, was scheduled for the next day.