|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
Thanks to Celia, we managed to find a place to stay without any problems. With that, I can feel a bit relaxed now. We had a somewhat tiresome conversation before arriving here but I wonder if she noticed what I meant by that. If she didn’t, I have no choice but to give up on it but I really think that Ciel needs allies other than me, so I have my hopes on Celia.
I’ll forget about this for now since there’s nothing I can do about this until tomorrow but, what happened today was really exhausting. In the first place, it’s been a while since I had this long of a conversation with anyone other than Ciel and it’s absolutely different from how I usually talk with Ciel. It gave me a fatigue similar to suddenly using the muscles I don’t usually use at all.
The room we were guided to has a bed, a chair, a table with a lamp on it, and is even equipped with a toilet and a bath.
How should I say this, I thought that only the high-grade inns would have bathrooms, but I guess that’s not the case. I’m getting a bit scared to see how much the lodging is. If it’s just 1 gold coin per night, we should be able to manage but… It’ll be difficult to find a new place right now and most of all, I don’t want to move anymore.
We’ve been in the wild for several days so I know that our clothes aren’t clean but, I want to lie down in bed already. I could just take off the clothes… but it’s Ciel’s body, so I definitely shouldn’t. I’ll leave that and taking a bath to Ciel. While I did say that I wanted to have a bath, I feel awkward about doing it with her body.
『Ciel, should I return your body back now?』
『They’re going to bring dinner, right? In that case, how about we do it after that?』
『I see. But still, I don’t really have anything to do right now.』
『If that’s the case, I want to ask a few questions but can I?』
『If I can answer them, feel free.』
I nod to Ciel’s words without hesitation. Since I’ve been doing as I like for the whole day, there are probably a lot of things that she’s wondering about. Before long, Ciel’s questions reached my ears.
『First, was it really okay to talk about us that much? It might have not given any clue about Ain’s existence but isn’t it bad if this reaches Duke Rispelgia?』
『I can’t be sure about this, but it’s probably fine.』
『Why is that?』
『It’s because Celia isn’t someone from this country.』
『I see, I see. But I wonder why you know about that, Ain?』
『It’s simply because she wasn’t against us leaving the country when I asked her about this. It’s weird for me to say this but, since we’re somewhat strong, the people of this town should want us to stay here. That way, the town should become safer. And since we look like this, they might be thinking that it should be easy enough to talk us into taking unpopular requests.』
『But Ain knew about it even before that, right? If not, you wouldn’t have asked her about leaving the country in the first place.』
I’m really amazed to see that Ciel is perceptive enough to say so with confidence. If it was the 10-year-old me, I would’ve probably reacted like 「Hue~, really, that’s amazing!」 or something like that. Like she said, I asked Celia about it because I thought we had a chance but, my reasoning is a bit vague so it’s really difficult for me to say it. Still, I couldn’t keep it to myself, so I braced myself for potential embarrassment and explained my reasoning.
『The reason I thought so, was because of how she treated me, I guess.』
『So in other words, Ain noticed it from the very start!』
『I’m glad you found it impressive, but it’s not like I immediately noticed or was completely sure that Celia wasn’t from this country. It’s just that she was always polite when interacting with a child and didn’t immediately dismiss our letter of introduction as fake. This is just my assumption, but Sannois is probably not a very big town. In places like this, most people know each other and are familiar with each other. It might sound a bit rude, but people in these places are generally simple and somewhat stubborn. Because of that, even with a letter of introduction, there was a possibility that it could be seen as fake and not taken seriously.』
『And yet, since she was polite with us, you noticed that she isn’t from this town, right? 』
『That’s about right. Another reason is that when Alejo accused us, she didn’t show any inclination to take sides. I figured that if she were a local, she might have either tried to expel us as outsiders or sided with us to criticize Alejo, who is likely the town bully. However, she did neither. I believe it’s because she prioritized the Hunter Guild’s principles over her own emotions. That’s why I thought she must be from the headquarters, meaning she’s not from this country.』
I tried saying a lot of stuff but, in short, I just thought that the way she interacted with me somehow reminded me of someone dispatched by a shop’s main branch. I’m honestly not sure why I thought of her that way. It might be my intuition or maybe based on my experiences in the past. That’s why I’m sheepish about it.
『Even after hearing Ain’s explanation, I still don’t completely understand. But it’s not that I’m doubting you alright, Ain?』
『Well even for me, it’s only a gut feeling. Besides, I’m sure you’ll understand it in the future, Ciel. After all, you knew that I noticed it from the beginning. It’s similar to that, you see?』
『I see, I see! It’s because I know everything about Ain… well not everything, but I do want to think that I know a lot about you. By the way Ain, can I ask why you told her about us?』
『If she isn’t a person from this country, I wanted her to be our ally.』
『But you only told a bit about us, you know? You didn’t ask her to help us, right?』
『I didn’t ask her directly but, considering that we didn’t eat anything until you became 5-years-old or that your hair became white within 10 years, it should have communicated to her that we have a lot of trouble following us. By doing that, it was like I was indirectly asking her ‘I have a lot of problems, but will you help me?’ or something along those lines. I’m not sure if she understood that, though.』
『Associating with people is difficult, isn’t it?』
『I’m never doing this again. After all, I have practically no experience at sending signals or being implicit. This time, we were the ones that initiated it so I somehow managed. Though, if the other party was the one that started it, I don’t know if I can properly read between the lines.』
After all, I was just a regular citizen in the past. There was absolutely no reason for me to have any opportunity to try outfoxing anyone.
But since our situation is really complicated this time, it was hard to ask Celia directly. If I just hid everything, asked for her help, and went “I’m actually targeted by the duke,” it sounds like a scam.
However, if she understood what I was trying to imply, even without talking about the duke, she might be able to at least figure out that a high-ranking noble is related to our problem. If she is willing to help us even after noticing my message, then Celia would probably somehow allude to it tomorrow.
Just as we’re done with this topic, I hear a light knocking on the door.
「Ye~s?」 After informing the one knocking that I’m inside, the door opens. I already knew it but the person on the other side of the room is the inn’s landlady, Nilda. In her hands is a tray and sitting on top of it is a piece of bread and a bowl of stew.
「Would you like to eat right now?」
「Yes, please. Thank you very much.」
「When you’re done eating, just leave the tray with the bowl in front of your door, okay? Also, this is the magic stone for your bath, alright?」
「Understood. Umm, can I ask how much this room is…?」
After asking her so, Nilda smiles as though she’d giggle any moment now and shakes her head.
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「It’s already paid for, so don’t worry about it.」
「Then I’ll thank her tomorrow.」
「She’ll be happy to hear that. Now then, I’ll be leaving now. You can feel at home here.」
After seeing Nilda off as she leaves the tray and the magic stone on the table, I once again look at the tray.
On the tray is a soft-looking white bread and a hearty bowl of stew. In the standards of my previous life, it looks like a modest meal someone living alone would cook for themselves, but this is my first proper meal ever since I arrived in this world. The rations we snatched from the carriage was better than what we had back in the mansion but in the end, it’s just preserved food. The taste is just secondary for that stuff.
『Do you want to eat it, Ciel?』
『You can eat it Ain. You’ve wanted to, right?』
『Yeah. Thanks for the meal.』
Since Ciel gave me the chance, today I’ll thankfully oblige. Well, I’ll still be able to taste it even if Ciel was the one eating and vice versa, so there’s not really any sort of problem but it’s really nice to be able to eat at my own pace. First, I take the spoon and scoop some of the stew.
After slightly cooling the hot stew, I bring it to my mouth. It tastes somewhat lighter than what I’m used to in my past life, but the flavor from the meat and vegetable stock makes a complexity that pleases the tongue. I can also notice the gentle taste of either milk or butter.
And as for the soft-looking bread, just holding it in my hand changed it’s form. Tearing it into smaller pieces took absolutely no effort and even though it doesn’t have any extra flavoring to it, when I took a bite, the taste of wheat flour spread throughout my mouth.
It’s hard to describe but, was wheat flour always this delicious?
Having this meal, tears started streaming down my cheeks unexpectedly. I never thought I would cry over a meal, but it just goes to show how much I had been craving proper food. Having memories of the food from my previous life while being deprived of proper meals for ten years, I suppose it was only natural.
『Ain, is it delicious?』
『Yes, very much. How about you Ciel?』
『It tastes so complicated, I don’t really know what to say about it. Ain, it might be hard to answer but, what is delicious?』
What delicious means, is rather hard to answer. However, I’ve already considered the possibility of Ciel asking these kinds of questions. After all, the only food that she has ever eaten before is that black bread and that watery soup. That’s likely why Ciel doesn’t have a concept of delicious or even the idea of enjoying a meal.
『What is delicious is different depending on the person. However, if you feel a strong desire to have that same meal again after finishing it, then I think that meal is something that’s delicious to you.』
『In that case, I want to eat this again.』
『I see, let’s have this again sometime.』
Promising so, I went back to eating.
After finishing what was a personally emotional meal, I returned the body to Ciel as agreed earlier. Just as I’ve been doing this the whole time, Ciel is leisurely sitting on the provided chair. And as I was thinking about that, 『Ain』 she called my name.
『What is it?』
『You’re thinking about your barrier being destroyed today, right? You’re acting a bit weird, after all.』
『Ugh…』 Hearing her say so with full confidence, I reflexively groaned.
It’s not as if I’ve gotten overconfident with my barrier but I was confident since the barrier endured a strike from the one-eyed giant. Though, I’ll be lying if I say that today’s formal match with Carol didn’t shock me.
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『Don’t worry about it too much, alright? It’s true that your barrier was destroyed but even if the spear hit me, you would have done something about it, right Ain?』
『That’s a different story. Since Carol seems to be B-Rank, it means that’s the limit of my barrier as it couldn’t bear her attack.』
『Still, the one-eyed giant is a B-ranked monster too, right? Although I don’t know if it’s fine to compare hunter ranks to monster ranks.』
『While it’s true that the force of the ice spear might be on the stronger side of B-rank, my goal is to withstand the attack of even the strongest monster, you see?』
『It’s not a problem to have a high goal, but you don’t need to be in a hurry alright? After all, I’m going to get left behind. Besides, regarding today’s match, it wouldn’t have been a problem if only I had blocked all ten of them, no?』
『Still, you were able to intercept nine of them, so…』
『I was able to do it because of your help, Ain. Since we have each other, if we can overcome things together, isn’t it good enough?』
That’s right, if Ciel can handle it on her own, then it’s fine. And in times where she can’t do it, I only have to support her. On the other hand, if there’s something I can’t deal with on my own, then I could just overcome it with Ciel. I’ve been always striving to create an unbreakable, undetectable, and inexhaustible barrier but, it doesn’t mean that I need to work hard by myself.
『That’s right. Maybe I am being in too much of a hurry.』
『I’ll also do my best to keep up with you, Ain.』
『Right, let’s do our best together.』
Somehow, I felt my chest being a bit lighter but more than that, I’m glad to see Ciel being delighted. Most of all, the fact that there’s someone that understands me like this feels somewhat, ticklish. Just when I thought that we’ve settled this topic, Ciel suddenly clapped her hands as though she remembered something.
『Come to think of it, Ain prefers big breasts, right? My size is, unsatisfactory, right?』
『Ummmm, what do you mean? Did I say anything about this?』
Hearing those abrupt words, I reflexively asked her about it. Even after rummaging through my memories, I’ve never talked with Ciel about breasts before, though. Well, no, I simply think that I haven’t become enough of a woman to talk to Ciel about breasts and things.
No matter what, I’m absolutely going to be embarrassed about it and just the thought of talking to Ciel, a 10-year-old girl, about it makes me want to crawl into a corner and disappear. Then why? Just as I questioned myself, Ciel dropped another bomb.
『I mean, when you see a person with a big chest, it always caught your eyes, Ain. You’re envious about it, right?』
She dropped a bomb but thankfully it missed the target. If asked whether I like the big ones, I’d say that I like them moderately but I don’t have the courage to answer if Ciel asked me that. Also, if I’m allowed to make more excuses, I may have had impure feelings over them in the past but that doesn’t extend to my present life at all.
『I just thought that it seemed very heavy. It’s not that I’m interested about them, I just have a habit of looking at unusual things.』
『Now that I think of it, you were also looking at the tall people too.』
『Staring too much at people isn’t really a good thing but with Ciel’s height, it’s hard not to notice someone who’s big.』
『Well regardless of that, do you want bigger breasts, Ain?』
『Since you’re a girl, I think having more to some extent is good for your confidence. After all, in some ways, it’s a symbol of a mature woman.』
Though I didn’t give her a proper answer and only replied with something that sounds true, it seems like Ciel was convinced. And after groaning while being deep in her thoughts, she mutters 「I wonder how I can make it bigger?」
I shouldn’t have answered that question. However, after barely storming through the previous conversation, I reflexively blurted out a common saying in my previous life.
『They say that massaging makes them bigger.』
『Will something so simple really do it?』
The time I noticed my mistake was when Ciel was about to bring her hands to her chest.
「Stop.」 I managed to stop Ciel from moving any further.
『It’s only a rumor so it’s best not to believe in it.』
『Have you ever tried it before, Ain?』
『What about the people around you?』
『They haven’t tried it as well. And even if they have, I haven’t heard them saying they did so.』
Of course I haven’t. There’s no way I have. After all, the people around me were generally men. And although I had female classmates, there’s no way I could ask them if they rubbed their breasts to make them bigger.
After nodding to herself, Ciel asks me 『Come to think of it, how do I take a bath?』
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I’m a bit worried about how this conversation led her to thinking about taking a bath but since it changed the current topic, I’ll consider this a good thing. With that, I began explaining bathing to Ciel.
Hiya~! It’s really obvious but, I’m late~! Anyway, we’re back to more Ain and Ciel fluff!
This chapter had Ain telling Ciel the plan! And Ciel being the usual curious little princess!
And also Ain being emotional over a proper meal!
Still, I like how Ain can’t really hide much to Ciel, lol.
“Do you like big breasts?” “UHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”
And then on the next chapter, their first touch of hot water! Ain is a bit worried about the sequence of events that led to this but… is she just worrying too much?
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Feel free to comment and have a nice day~!