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Volume 3 Chapter 3: I went to the cake shop (part 2)
“Erm… this might be a strange thing to ask, but had Ami-san’s brother done something?” [Cecilia]
“I guess you’d be curious about it after seeing how I reacted. Brother… his name is Andrei. He wasn’t like that in the past.” [Ami]
Ami had a sullen look on her face as she explained. She seemed immersed in her memories, but, as a result, the atmosphere had become solemn. It was as if she had turned into a completely different person. Such a demeanour might be fine at the moment since Cecilia and I were the only ones here, but it would be a problem if she were to behave the same way in front of other customers.
“Erm, it seems that I’ve asked something that I shouldn’t have.” [Cecilia]
Cecilia tried to put an end to the conversation as she seemed to have sensed the negative aura emanating from Ami-san as well. She appeared apologetic about it since she was the one who had brought up that topic.
“No, it’s fine. The reason brother was training his body was actually for my sake.” [Ami]
“Our parents were pastry chefs as well. They lost their lives in the war, but brother and I have been following in their footsteps since young.” [Ami]
It seemed that we had entered into a serious conversation. I decided to put the thoughts about today’s date on hold and joined in.
“Even after our parents died, my brother and I have not abandoned their dreams. But, probably because of the war against the Demon Lord, the relationship between the people in the neighbourhood and us became strained, and my brother and I wound up bearing the brunt of it. They condemned us, as we still aspired to be pastry chefs even though we were in the middle of a war.” [Ami]
“It must be a painful experience for you…” [Cecilia]
Cecilia’s expression darkened. This conversation had probably led to bouts of thinking since she had participated in the war. It sure did in my case. Ami-san was unlikely to be the only one affected by this. There may have been thousands of people who were in the same situation. It’s said that nothing good comes from war, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. Even when the war broke out outside, I didn’t do anything but hole up inside the Demon Lord’s castle.
“…It’s feels remorseful.” [Youki]
I muttered under my breath. At that time, if I had done something about it instead of hiding myself in the room – turning into a chuuni – just to escape reality, would their fate have been different?
I became emotional myself as my mind drifted back to the past. I looked at the two of them in silence, as though I were looking at unnusual things.
“Youki-san, are you all right? There’s a look of remorse on your face for some reason.” [Cecilia]
“I’m okay. I just recalled something from the past. Sorry if I made you worry.” [Youki]
“No, as long as you’re okay, it’s fine. I might have read too much into the look on your face…” [Cecilia]
“No, that’s not true. I was the one who spaced out. It seems like I’ve interrupted Ami-san’s story. Ami-san, could you go on with your story?” [Youki]
If this topic were to go on, I had a feeling it would raise doubt in Cecilia’s mind, so I urged Ami-san to go on with her story.
“Ah, yes. Then I’ll continue… so then my brother told me, ‘Ami, you should continue perfecting your confectionery skills. I’ll train myself so I can protect you and this shop.’ That’s when he started training his body.” [Ami]
“He’s a loving brother, isn’t he?” [Cecilia]
“For that muscle man to have such a moving past… I hadn’t expected it at all.” [Youki]
Both Cecilia and I were astounded. However, a wry smile crossed Ami-san’s face for some reason when she looked at our reactions. It was such a nice touching story, so why did she give us that kind of look? Was there something else aside from what she had told us?
“Hahaha… at that time, I also thought that brother was such a reliable person.” [Ami]
“At that time… is it not the same now? Ami-san’s brother is working hard for the sake of Ami-san and this shop that your parents left to the two of you, isn’t it?” [Cecilia]
“Yes. My brother’s physique has improved, and we received less condemnation when more and more heroes started emerging from each country. That’s why I thought that it was high time for my brother to stop training, and so I asked him to make confectionery with me, but he refused.” [Ami]
“I’m not sure how to respond to that. He seemed proud when he made new cakes for the customers to sample earlier, so it is odd that he would refuse to make confectionery.” [Youki]
Andrei-san, the macho pastry chef earlier, seemed to enjoy working at this cake shop. It didn’t look as though he was really apathetic about it at that time when he was giving out the cakes. Based on Ami-san’s story, he was originally training his body so he could protect his younger sister, who was aiming to be a pastry chef, and this shop, that their parents left to them, so something had probably happened. I waited for Ami-san to finish her story, feeling puzzled.
“‘To make confectionery, we need to have a strong body. I still have a long way to go.’ That’s what he said…” [Ami]
“I-I see. It is indeed tough to make confectionery, isn’t it? If you make them in one go, you’ll need to have the stamina.” [Cecilia]
It seemed that Cecilia had grasped what Andrei-san said, but I tilted my head in wonder. That statement might have made one think that you should just do muscle training while making confectionary.
“Making confectionery is certainly tough, but based on my memory, my brother’s physique is sturdier than both of our parents. That’s why I told him that he no longer needs to train himself like this anymore… but he refused to listen.” [Ami]
Ami-san’s shoulders sagged. Cecilia appeared at a loss for words, too. Was it because muscle training became fun to him? Or could it be that his obsession with confectionery making had changed him?
“In the end, he even declared ‘I must acquire all the good ingredients myself.’ So he went to the guild to register himself as an adventurer, allowing him to personally collect the ingredients only available in the remote regions.” [Ami]
“Isn’t what he’s doing drifted further and further away from what a pastry chef usually does?” [Youki]
He could similarly obtain those ingredients by submitting the request to the guild, and once the adventurers received this mission, they would get the items for him. So why did he have to go to those dangerous places personally to get the ingredients himself?
“By the way, what’s your brother’s guild rank?” [Youki]
“If I’m not mistaken… a month ago, he received some information about a lush area where good quality blackberries grow. Before he left, he was informed by the guild that it was a ‘habitat with C-rank monsters’, so he should be at least a C-rank adventurer…” [Ami]
“No… I doubt it.” [Youki]
I folded my arms across my chest as I recalled what was written on the guild’s mission form: Normally, if there are a lot of similarly ranked demons in an area, there will be a higher-ranking demon boss leading the herd. That was the reason why it was a standard practice for adventurers to go to those places in a group. So, if Andrei-san was capable of venturing to that place by himself, that would mean that he was…
“A B-rank adventurer… He might be the same as me.” [Youki]
A strange feeling welled up inside me somehow after I blurted those words out. That conclusion would mean the ability of that macho pastry chef and mine was the same. It didn’t seem probable that I would lose to him even if I were ‘attacked’, but… I supposed it wasn’t likely that he would even ‘attack’ me in the first place.
I decided to rid myself of this repulsive thought. Just thinking of it made me feel like puking. I’d like to leave only beautiful memories in my mind since it was my long-awaited date with Cecilia today.
“I can’t believe that brother’s really that strong. So that physique of his isn’t just a facade…” [Ami]
“No, that physique of his should be the real deal.” [Youki]
Judging from his solid muscles under the apron, I could tell that he had gone through a hell lot of training.
“So brother has truly acquired his close to ideal physique then. It made me feel relieved somehow.” [Ami]
She was probably worried about her brother until now. She patted her chest in relief. I guess that’s a given since he’s her only relative.
“That said, since he has that kind of physique, his job as the pastry chef should go considerably smooth, isn’t it? Seeing as he said one needs a strong body to make confectionery.” [Youki]
“No. Brother still has far to go. That’s because it hasn’t been long since he last started making cakes.” [Ami]
I had a feeling that I had just heard something startling. Cecilia appeared stupefied as well.
“It seems that he got too absorbed in training his body that he lost sight of his original objective… Actually, more than half of the confectionaries in this shop are made by me.” [Ami]
“Then what does your brother usually do in the kitchen?” [Cecilia]
“He’ll either create new samples for customers to try, just like today, or he prepares for the training for the next day.” [Ami]
I didn’t want to make any negative comments about it, but wasn’t he going way off course in many ways? After training his body to a certain degree, shouldn’t he have gone back to being a full-time pastry chef? Where the heck did all the seriousness he portrayed in the beginning go?
“What happened?” [Cecilia]
The thought about Duke, who was in the middle of his date, suddenly sprang back in my mind after our conversation concluded. At the rate we were going, our date would end up in the usual fashion; we would conclude the day after having just a leisurely conversation. That ending had to be avoided at all costs. For that reason, I decided to get Duke’s aid in this, indirectly and without his consent.
“Cecilia, shouldn’t we make a move soon?” [Youki]
“That’s true. Ami-san has to look after the shop, too.” [Cecilia]
Cecilia seemed to agree with me as well, so we got up and paid our bill. However, just as we tried to leave the shop, Ami-san stopped us.
“Umm… Please come again.” [Ami]
It was the standard parting phrase used by shopkeepers when customers leave. Upon hearing Ami-san’s cheerful voice, Cecilia and I responded to her that we would be coming back, before we left the shop.
“Well then, where shall we go? Youki-san, if you’ve made any other plans for us today, I’ll come along.” [Cecilia]
I wonder if she was testing me. She was saying it in such a cute manner. It was as though I could literally see a music note popping out at the end of her words. The cakes earlier had probably put her in a good mood. I mustn’t mess up this date, no matter what. How I escorted her today would decide the outcome of today’s date; if it would be a happy memory.
“Yeah, leave it to me.” [Youki]
My real date began at this moment. That’s what I thought as I was walking alongside Cecilia. The moment we exited the cake shop, I strengthen my sense of smell to search for Duke and Irene-san, evading Cecilia’s question earlier. To be honest, dodging her question like this made me feel unpleasant, but nothing could be done since I really had not made any plans yet.
“I usually travel by carriage, so it doesn’t seem that bad to walk around the town like this once in a while.” [Cecilia]
Cecilia’s cheerful words made me feel a pang in my heart. She was talking with me with a smile on her face, giving me the time to make my decision… Despite that, I had no plans at all. It made me feel really bad about it.
“Hahaha, is that so? I might not understand it since I usually travel by foot. Though, it does feel refreshing when I fly around at times…” [Youki]
When I tried making a light joke to keep the conversation going, Cecilia knitted her eyebrows together, her face grew solemn as she grasped my arm.
“Youki-san, shall we have a little talk?” [Cecilia]
“I-I was just kidding…” [Youki]
My attempt to smoothen out the situation ended up bringing the opposite effect. Cecilia didn’t seem to like it when I changed to my demon form. I wouldn’t usually do something that rash as well… but it seemed that she would like me to live as a human as far as possible. She was probably worried about me precisely because she knew how conflicted I felt when I was still at the Demon Lord’s castle. Although, her kindness was what that had attracted me to her. That was the reason why I must absolutely make this date a success so I could raise Cecilia’s impression of me. I had to look for Duke and Irene-san so I could carry out my strategy.
Well, that said, my so-called strategy was actually pretty simple. I would steal Duke’s dating ideas – that’s all. It was the perfect strategy since there was no way someone like Duke, who could keep any situation in control, could go wrong. I had initially considered ‘bumping into them coincidentally’ so we could go for the double date route, but I dismissed that idea. There was no doubt that Duke would be able to come up with various great locations for a double date as well, but that would instead lower Cecilia’s impression of me, seeing as I couldn’t come up with any ideas. Besides, Duke and Irene-san might have wanted to be alone, so I didn’t want to barge in on their date. I’d just like to see what kind of places Duke would bring Irene-san so I could select similar places to go. I call it the ‘Shadowing Dating Strategy’… It might be low of me to come up with that, in my opinion, but there’s no stopping me.
As I cracked jokes and chatted with Cecilia, we drew closer to Duke as I tailed him using my strengthened sense of smell. Just as Duke’s appearance came to my sight, I noticed him entering some kind of store. Lucky – was what I thought inside my heart as soon as I spotted him, so I checked out the name of the store which he had just entered.
What was written on the signboard was, ‘Mohijii Drugstore’.
“What the heck…?” [Youki]
I was completely taken aback that I ended up blurting out what was on my mind.
“What’s wrong, Youki-san?” [Cecilia]
“No, it’s nothing.” [Youki]
I tried to gloss over it by feigning calmness, but my head was full of question marks. I hadn’t heard of anyone going to a drugstore for a date. It would probably be a good place if either of them was injured. However, I could see a smile on Irene-san’s face as she entered the store, so it didn’t look like she had suffered any injuries at all. Duke’s whole body was clad in armour so that possibility was out of the question. If so, then why? That very thought plagued me, but I couldn’t figure it out at all. Leaving that aside, this would also mean that my plan had failed. There was no way I could bring Cecilia to a drugstore…
“Ah! Youki-san, why don’t we take a look in this shop?” [Cecilia]
While I was feeling deeply troubled by this, Cecilia graced me the salvation.
“Ah… eh, here?” [Youki]
The store Cecilia suggested was not a luxurious boutique where nobles would go, but a store that sells clothes that cater to common people, and second-hand clothing from the nobles.
“Yes. Since I received an accessory from you the last time, I thought of giving you something back as well. So, if you’re fine with it, I thought of selecting the clothes for you.” [Cecilia]
Aside from the adventuring clothes I wore when I went on guild missions, I didn’t have many everyday clothes, so it would be of great help. I hadn’t worn majority of the clothes that I had chosen and bought for myself as well recently. If Cecilia were to select the clothes for me, there was no doubt she would be able to put together a great outfit even though she was working with the second-hand clothing.
“May I request for your help then?” [Youki]
“Please leave it to me. I’ll definitely not disappoint you.” [Cecilia]
“T-Thank you…” [Youki]
Cecilia grasped both my hands… Wait, her face was too close! This situation was blissful, in a way, but was it just my imagination that there was an unusual enthusiasm bursting forth from her? I was thankful that she had decided to help select the clothing for me, but I wasn’t sure why her eyes looked so serious.
Cecilia, who had entered such a state, then slipped her hand around my arm, half dragging me into the store while my heart was experiencing the moment of half delight and half bewilderment.
“Youki-san seems to have a unique sense of style… so I’ll put together a standard outfit that suits you instead!” [Cecilia]
“You know, isn’t that a roundabout way of saying that I have a bad fashion sense?…” [Youki]
“No, I didn’t mean it that way. It’s just unique.” [Cecilia]
There wasn’t any opportunity for me to come up with any comebacks when she made that comment with a smile! It was likely that Cecilia was just concerned of me. I did realize it myself that I didn’t have any fashion sense, though. If I were to choose my own clothing again, there would be a possibility that I would re-enact my dark past the second or third time again.
“Ahaha… Well, I’ll leave it to you then.” [Youki]
Cecilia then began selecting the clothes, bringing over several outfits to me, and I tried on each of them. It seemed that she wasn’t just selecting those fashionable types of clothing, but she had also taken my preferences into consideration and had chosen outfits that were suited to my taste. While waiting for Cecilia, I also browsed through the store’s selections and picked up an outfit that looked ‘chuuni-ish’ which caught my attention.
“Hmm… I knew I shouldn’t be choosing something like this, but this still draws my attention. Is it because of my chuuni personality?” [Youki]
“Here, how about this one? I think this looks good on you.” [Cecilia]
While I was feeling dispirited about my incurable ‘illness’, Cecilia brought an outfit over to me.
“Thank you. I’ll try it on.” [Youki]
In the end, after going through an exchange like this several times, I decided upon three outfits. Although I initially tried to pay for them myself, Cecilia wished to get them as gifts for me, so I gave in. By the way, I put on one of the outfits that was purchased right away and left the store, as in my opinion, the clothes Cecilia had chosen for me were more stylish than the one I was wearing.
“I’m happy to receive these clothes from Cecilia, but will you not be getting anything for yourself?” [Youki]
Cecilia probably wouldn’t get her clothes from a second-hand clothing store, so I wouldn’t mind accompanying her to a boutique if she wished to get something for herself as well.
“It’s fine. The clothes I have now are adequate. My clothes are usually tailored by Sophia-san.” [Cecilia]
“Ah, is that so?” [Youki]
As expected of a young lady from a noble family. So Cecilia’s clothes were tailored by Sophia-san. That person sure is a jack-of-all-trades. I guess her title as the head of maid wasn’t just for show.
“So, where shall we go next?” [Cecilia]
“Next? Ah, the next place, right? Umm, I guess we’ll go there.” [Youki]
Come to think of it, I was in the middle of a no-plan date. This is bad. I managed to luck out this time due to the coincidence, but miracles do not happen twice. However, there must be another reason why Duke went to that store earlier, so I decided to bet on him again.
I strengthened my sense of smell to locate them. Just as I spotted the two of them, I caught them entering a building once again.
“This time, it’ll work out…” [Youki]
I murmured to myself as I looked up – my gaze landed on the building’s sign: ‘Albert’s Swordsmanship Dojo’.
“Are you kidding me?!!!” [Youki]
I collapsed to the ground. It was certainly true that they were knights, but did they have to train on their date, too? Were the two of them a pair of sword maniacs?
“What’s wrong? Why did you suddenly shout?… Is something wrong?” [Cecilia]
“Ah, sorry. Just a sudden backlash. Something came to my mind just now.” [Youki]
I made a pathetic excuse as I got to my feet. That was because I had come up against a brick wall once again. A swordsmanship dojo wouldn’t be of any help to me on my date.
How could I reverse this moment of crisis?
I looked around the place, trying to see if I could find any potential stores for our date.
“Have you perhaps lost your way?” [Cecilia]
“No, of course not.” [Youki]
She had misunderstood that I lost my way after looking at my reactions just now and a while ago. I guess the only way to salvage this situation was to select a random store to go in.
“Ah, Youki-san. Can we go in this shop for a while?” [Cecilia]
While I was contemplating my next step, Cecilia made another suggestion once again, with perfect timing. My gaze followed hers, landing on a building with myriad types of flowers displayed.
“A flower shop? Sure.” [Youki]
“Then let’s go in.” [Cecilia]
I went in after Cecilia, feeling extremely thankful that I had gotten out of the predicament again. There were even more flowers inside the shop compared to outside. Since I wasn’t someone who was well-informed about flowers, the sight of the interior made me look around the shop out of curiosity.
“Sheik-kun has been teaching me about flowers recently. About flowers that can be used for teas, or for cooking.” [Cecilia]
“Ah, that field is that’s guy’s forte.” [Youki]
Since Sheik was well-versed on the subject of plants, he should be knowledgeable about flowers, too.
“I found him talking to our gardener on equal terms, so when I joined in the conversation, I realized that he is really knowledgeable in this. He even shared knowledge that our gardener was not aware of when they were discussing the subject. Since then, it seems that they have become friends.” [Cecilia]
“I was afraid that it might have appeared impolite to that gardener, but I’m thankful that the gardener’s a broad-minded person.” [Youki]
That was because Sheik had made that gardener lost face in front of his employer’s daughter. Well, Cecilia wouldn’t be concerned about something like that, though.
“He seemed grateful actually, saying that he was able to pick up new significant knowledge as he works.” [Cecilia]
“Then that’s good. It’s a relief that Sheik was able to get along well with the people in the mansion, even if it’s just a little.” [Youki]
“He has completely become part of the household, so it’ll be fine. Of course, the same goes for Happiness, too.” [Cecilia]
In Happiness’s case, there were other aspects that made me worry… but I’ll just leave that aside for now.
“If that’s the case, I’m relieved. Would you show me what you’ve learnt from Sheik then?” [Youki]
“Fufu, please leave it to me.” [Cecilia]
When I pointed at a flower that I wasn’t familiar with, she would tell me the name of it and explained to me the usage of that plant. While we were having such a conversation, the florist seemed to be looking at us enviously. Could it be because we looked like a couple who was flirting in front her? I would be pretty happy about it if that were the case.
Since we couldn’t bring ourselves to just leave after taking a look around the shop, Cecilia and I bought a few flowers that we liked before leaving.
“I hadn’t expected that flowers are not just for display. I have learnt something valuable.” [Youki]
“Sheik-kun was the one who had taught me all these.” [Cecilia]
We chatted with each other as we walked out of the shop. It was hard to hold back laughter probably because the mood was good. Although, the no-plan date was going so well so far that I was inwardly nervous. Considering that it was still early to end our date, it would make today the best memory if I were to give our date one more push. I decided to place my trust in Duke for the third time, of my own accord, and brought Cecilia to where Duke was headed.
As we left the center of the town and drew closer to Duke, there were fewer and fewer shops around us.
Where on earth was Duke going? Cecilia was curious about where we were going as well, so she kept asking me. It was getting harder and harder to keep evading her questions anymore. Just as this thought crossed my mind, Duke came into view.
“That’s… Duke-san, isn’t it? There seems to be a girl with him.” [Cecilia]
Since there weren’t many people around, Cecilia noticed Duke as well. I decided to find out Duke’s destination first and save the explanation for later. I looked up at the huge horizontal sign on the building.
“Horseback Archery Field…?!” [Youki]
Though I was baffled at why this place was located far away from the center of the town, I hadn’t known that such facility actually existed as well. More importantly, this wasn’t a place one would come for a date! That said, Irene-san appeared to be in an exuberant mood as she entered the building. It made me doubt if the two of them were really on a date.
“Duke-san has went in with the girl. I thought of greeting him, but that girl seems to be having fun. It seems that we’ll end up barging in on them if I do so, so I’d better not.” [Cecilia]
“Ah, yeah. That’s true. It’s important to read the mood…” [Youki]
“Then shall we go as well? Our destination is ahead of us, right?” [Cecilia]
Upon hearing Cecilia’s question, I felt cold sweat trickling down my back. I managed to get out of the predicament earlier, but it didn’t seem like the miracle would happen again. There were no shops in the area at all. It would appear peculiar as well if I were to turn back. Should I come clean now? Or should I keep believing in miracle and forge ahead?
“Ahh, it’s Holy Mother–”
While I was torn between the two ultimate choices, an innocent voice of a boy cried out. A boy – probably the one who cried out – then came running towards us and hugged Cecilia. Then, other boys and girls started gathering around her. A bitter smile crossed Cecilia’s face while I looked on, feeling puzzled. At that moment, an old man in priest clothing ran toward us, breathing heavily.
“Y..You kids! Do..don’t just run off by yourselves!”
The rebuke of the priest, who was short of breath, seemed to fall on deaf ears, as the children remained gathered around Cecilia.
“Umm, are you an acquaintance of Cecilia? I’m Youki, her… friend.” [Youki]
The tone of my voice gradually soften when I said ‘friend’. The priest, who seemed to have noticed my presence, waited a while to catch his breath before introducing himself.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. I’m Davate, and I run an orphanage. Are you Cecilia-sama’s friend? Cecilia-sama has been frequenting the orphanage as a volunteer.” [Davate]
“I see. A volunteer.” [Youki]
It should be her cleric job. It seemed that Cecilia was involved in various kinds of jobs as well. Judging from the reaction of the children gathering around her, I could tell that she was well-loved.
“Cecilia often plays with the kids at the orphanage, teaches them how to study… she has helped us so much that even I feel deeply indebted to her.” [Davate]
“Haa, so that’s the how this scene came to be? Is the orphanage around here?” [Youki]
“Yes. We were out shopping today and are just on our way back… The orphanage is ahead.” [Davate]
Upon hearing this information, an idea flashed through my mind.
“Well, there must be a lot of bags to carry if you’re shopping for this many people, isn’t it? Those kids seem to be really fond of Cecilia, so it must be hard for them to part with her once this happens, right? So what do you say if Cecilia and I were to drop by the orphanage for a short while as well?” [Youki]
“Umm, the kids and I will definitely welcome your visit, but is it alright?” [Davate]
Judging from Cecilia’s current state, it should be fine for her. As for me, I was accustomed to kids as well due to Sheik, so there shouldn’t be any problem either. This was the best turn of events for someone like me, who was stumped for ideas at the moment.
“Yes, let’s go. Ah, let me carry those bags.” [Youki]
I helped the priest carry the large quantity of bags he was holding and made our way to the orphanage.
“Thank you, and I’m sorry for the trouble. …Oi, Cecilia-sama will be coming along with us today, so let us move on.” [Davate]
“Yay, Holy Mother will be coming with us!”
“Holy Mother, let’s go!”
“Umm, what is going on now… Youki-saaan!” [Cecilia]
I could hear Cecilia crying out in confusion behind me, but I didn’t want to explain it in front of these children. I clasped my hands together as a gesture of apology and continued walking. …By the way, why did the children call Cecilia ‘Holy Mother’? It was probably her pseudonym. I decided to ask Cecilia about it later.
Cecilia, who was surrounded by the children the entire time as we made our way to the orphanage, seemed to be highly sought-after while I, on the other hand, was struck by the reality that no one had approached me at all as I carried the bags.
“Cecilia, she’s really popular, isn’t she?” [Youki]
“Yes, I’m sorry. Even though you’re helping them carry all those bags, these children…” [Davate]
“Hahaha… no worries about it. That’s the solid proof that these kids are energetic.” [Youki]
Davate was my only ally. So I had to put a refreshing smile on my face as I replied him, like an adult.
“Holy Mother, when I grow up, I want to marry you–”
“Fufufu, where did you learn such words from?” [Cecilia]
I could hear the conversation between Cecilia and the children behind. It seemed that there was a precocious brat among the kids from the orphanage, too. Well, I do understand how a child would develop a crush on an elder sister who had been looking after him, though.
“Youki-sama, is there something wrong?” [Davate]
“Eh? No, not at all.” [Youki]
“Is that so? I have experience listening to many kinds of work-related problems of various people, so I can see that there seems to be a troubled look on your face right now…” [Davate]
“Hahaha. It’s just your imagination.” [Youki]
There was no way I could have developed a sense of rivalry against a child. That was not possible… Yeah, that should not be possible. In the end, he told me that I could consult him anytime if I had any problem. Well, at any rate, we eventually arrived at the orphanage after that.
“Holy Mother, here—”
“Ehh, come here, Holy Mother–”
Davate had gone inside the orphanage to put away the things purchased while all the children went over to Cecilia’s side…
“Big bro, you’re strong, innit?”
I hadn’t noticed that a little girl had approached me, so I ended up giving her a foolish grunt as response.
“You could carry Father’s reeaally heavy-looking bags by yourself.”
An innocent smile crossed her face as she talked to me in a really excited manner. That wasn’t actually a really big deal, but seeing as she had approached me of her own accord, I decided to do this as a service for her. I did a small somersault and landed on the spot. Normally, if someone were to see me doing something like this, they would give me the, ‘What the heck is this guy doing?’ kind of look, but…
“Big bro, amazing, that’s amazing!”
The little girl was so pleased that she clapped her hands.
Hmm, this didn’t feel that bad.
“Youki-san, what are you doing?” [Cecilia]
“Ah, Cecilia. I was just doing this little something as a service.” [Youki]
“Is that so? Then could you show it to the children here as well?” [Cecilia]
“All right! I’ll do it!” [Youki]
As I received an overwhelming applause from just performing backward flips, I got carried away and fired magic to the sky. Although I got scolded by Cecilia for that, the kids were very pleased by my performance. Nevertheless, I supposed it was embarrassing that we had played so much that we wound up losing track of time. The kids got tired after having so much fun that they fell asleep, and Cecilia and I were treated to dinner.
“I’m sorry for staying this late…” [Youki]
“It’s fine. The children seemed to enjoy it as well, so you’ve helped me. Please drop by again anytime.” [Davate]
Cecilia and I then left the orphanage after Davate saw us off. While I was walking Cecilia home, I was convinced that today had certainly made a great memory.
“It was really fun today.” [Cecilia]
“Ah, yeah.” [Youki]
“But the plans Youki-san made today is ruined now. Is it alright?” [Cecilia]
“It’s fine. You’ve helped me select some nice clothes, and I acquired some interesting knowledge at the flower shop. The orphanage was quite a nice experience, too.” [Youki]
“Father Davate has also asked us to come again.” [Cecilia]
Come to think of it, the orphanage kids called Cecilia ‘Holy Mother’. I got too absorbed in playing with the kids that I had forgotten to ask her about it. I supposed I could shoot her the question seeing as we were about to reach her mansion.
“Say, why did the kids call you Holy Mother…” [Youki]
“Youki-san, there are things that are better off left not known in this world, you know? Also things that one prefers not to be known…” [Cecilia]
It was the best smile I had ever seen… though she didn’t have the cheerful look in her eyes. It seemed that the ‘Holy Mother’ subject was a taboo for Cecilia. I wasn’t sure what happened, but it might be better for me to stop probing too deeply into it.
“Then I’ll take my leave. Thank you for walking me home. Please take care on your way back.” [Cecilia]
“Ah, yeah. See you, then…” [Youki]
We eventually parted on an awkward note. I had the feeling that I had messed up at the very end. Overall, the date today went well, but I felt that there were just too many overlapping ‘coincidences’.
“For the time being, I’ll let Duke know the results of the date today. Also, I’d like to ask him about his dating spots.” [Youki]
It had been a fulfilling and interesting, yet mysterious day. One way or another, today remained to be a memorable day for me, so the result was overall all right. I made my way home after that, feeling extremely satisfied.