|Author: Himezaki Shiu
|Original Source: Syosetu
|English Source: Re:Library
Being in a contract with a spirit has that kind of perk?
Perhaps that’s why she wouldn’t wake up so easily.
She had the comfort and security of knowing she was protected.
Though it seems that the spirits aren’t quite as overprotective as I am.
Still, it’s not like I’m intentionally trying to be overprotective with Ciel.
On that topic, I wonder if Liessyl will help us when we’re in danger.
「Still, it’s just a guess, but the store might have gotten destroyed if that had happened. Since, you know, spirits can be pretty sloppy like that.」
「It might go overboard?」
Shusii had a blank, far-off gaze. Maybe something similar has already happened before?
How do I say it? It sounds like the moment the briar man took Shusii hostage, he was practically set for defeat.
Though perhaps his fate was already sealed when his family turned their blade towards Mother.
If he really treasured his son, he should have persuaded his son against opposing Mother.
「What do we do with this?」
「Bring him to the guild, I guess? Then we can give our demands and just leave the rest to the guild.」
Ciel asked Shusii while pointing at the briar man. After mumbling to herself, she managed to wring out an answer.
『Demands… do you have anything?』
『How about for him to never cross our path again?』
『That should do. After all, what I want isn’t something this man can give.』
『What would that be?』
『It’s a secret.』
Ciel’s giggle echoes.
Her voice was somewhat ticklish to the ear; hearing it nearly made me chuckle as well.
Shusii can’t hear it, however.
「Shusii, what do you want?」
「Money, I guess. For now, as much as I can get… but I’m just joking.」
Shusii quickly corrected herself, but it didn’t sound convincing to me at all.
Money is something most people would wish to have more of, so I don’t think she should be so concerned about demanding that.
All the more since she’s operating a business. The more money you have, the more you can invest in what you want, whether it be for a hobby or for work.
「I think money is fine.」
Perhaps due to hearing an affirmation of her wants—or maybe it was from the possibility of gaining a large sum of money—Shusii had a look of relief, with the corners of her mouth twitching as if to hold back a smile.
『Since this is a good chance, why don’t you try asking Shusii if there’s any clothes she’d recommend for us and buy those?』
『Sure, but what for?』
『It’s partially because of us that she was attacked, you see. So it can double as an apology, I suppose?』
『But that isn’t our fault, right? It should be all that man’s fault.』
Thinking about it, what she said was completely right. It’s a different story if it was the man apologizing, but it shouldn’t be necessary for us to apologize.
Rather, doing that might just complicate the situation.
Besides, we’re not exactly in a position to give our apologies so easily.
It’s exactly for this reason that, instead of making it verbal, I’m steering it into the act of purchasing new clothes.
But from Ciel’s perspective, she doesn’t see doing that as necessary either.
Now, how should I explain this?
『Ciel, what do you think of Shusii?』
『She’s better than other people, I suppose.』
『In that case, why don’t you do this for the sake of socializing?
We aren’t actually apologizing; just think of it as a way to offer our sympathies for the ordeal she had to go through.』
『Well, if you say so, Ain. Socializing with people is difficult.』
『That’s true. There’s no single correct way of going about it; it’s complicated.』
If such a thing as a correct way exists, I’d love to know it. Having already lived once before, I have more opportunities to interact with people, which is why I’m playing advisor to Ciel, but there’s no guarantee that my advice is going to be correct.
Thinking about it, this is a different world. And even in my old world, this is just the domestic way of doing things. Even in the same world, different countries have different practices for socializing.
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「Umm, Lady Cielmer?」
「I was talking to Ain.」
「Ah, yes. With Lady Ainsel, right. Sorry for the disturbance.」
「You didn’t disturb.」
Because Ciel was so engrossed in our conversation, Shusii worriedly called out to her.
From an outsider, it would look like Ciel suddenly went silent, so her reaction is understandable.
「Shusii. Do you have any good clothes?」
… Umm… Are you perhaps being considerate of me?」
「No need to worry about me. Really, please don’t worry about it.」
Shusii firmly turned aside Ciel’s offer.
She seems slightly panicked, and maybe even fearful.
Ciel only tilted her head in confusion, so, with a tone of resignation, Shusii continued speaking.
「Lady Cielmer, you even cleaned the store interior, right?」
「That’s already enough. Actually, it’s more than enough. If I receive any more from you, my sister is going to scold me.
That’s why it would really help out if you don’t worry too much about me.」
Shusii vigorously bowed her head.
I see, so what terrified her was the possibility of angering Yunmica.
The bothersome part of being in a position of authority is once again rearing its head.
『What should I do?』
『If this is what Shusii wants, then it might be best not to be overly considerate.』
「Then I won’t worry too much. So, what about Ain’s clothes?」
Ciel immediately stopped trying to be considerate and then asked a wildly inappropriate question.
It seems like even in this situation, she plans on getting my clothes.
However, Shusii earlier said that she’s going to close the shop for the day. Because of that, I was sure that she would refuse, but for some reason, Shusii simply had a big smile and answered 「Just a moment.」 before leaving.
Is it… Is it me who’s weird here?
Poor Ain, it’s hard being the only one with normal sensibilities. Also, go get your money, Shusii! You definitely need it! And that ends this chapter~!
What I find neat about this chapter is how it shows Ain’s sensibilities clashing with the this world in a social way (not very articulate today, help). Same with other isekai protags, Ain in this situation feels compelled to apologize, or rather feels guilty about having involved Shusii in their trouble. While I might be wrong, the Japanese are quick to apologize, and tend to be polite, as they have the culture of trying to keep social friction from happening as much as possible. Of course, being a jerk does no one around you good, but this situation, as Ciel pointed out, wasn’t their fault at all. And that made Ain realize/recall the difference in cultures. I like it because in many isekais, the protags apologize regardless of how much they’re told that they shouldn’t behave that way or else people will belittle them. And that’s not an issue if the protagonist continue to do so due to their own convictions at the risk of being treated as a doormat, but most of them just… forget about it the next part and do it out of instinct, which is then treated by others as them being some special brave contrarian while they quickly realize it and start sweating bullets only for them to forget about it the next time around. It makes their “goodwill” feel so cheap and vain. But that’s my opinion, which might (tends to) be wrong. Sorry for the isekai rant today, lol.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay healthy, stay safe, and have a nice day~!