Chapter 14: There will be People You Get Along with and People You Don’t, But That Just Makes Life Interesting.
“E-Erina nee-sama! Wait!”
Torinelle is flustered. I am as well.
“Wait, Erina, stop stop! That girl isn’t Torinelle!”
Another girl in the backroom panics as well.
That’s right, the girl she has pressed against her voluptuous chest while stroking her hair isn’t Torinelle. It’s me.
… I have absolutely NO idea what to do in this situation.
“Eeeh~? But this girl is just as cute da mo~n…”
‘Da mon’? Are you a child? No, more importantly, her breasts are very soft – no, I mean, what is up with this situation? It’s not that I don’t want to push her away, but the problem is that I’m not sure where my hands would go if I tried to push her away.
“Erina. She can’t breathe.”
Solyana’s calm voice breaks through the chaos.
“Ara, I’m sorry cute girl. I’m Erina!”
“Um, no … uh … I’m Jun?”
Brain has shut down. Need to reboot.
“Erina nee-sama, she helped me earlier!”
“Ooh, thank you so much!”
At Torinelle’s statement, again Erina smooshed me up against her.
“Mm? The feeling of this fabric… Ara, are you a Noble-sama’s attendant?”
Erina held me at arms length and looked me up and down.
“N-no, I’m not…”
I thought I had made up an answer about how I’d gotten the top as a gift, but to be honest I’m having a hard time remembering the details.
It’s a little hard to not be thinking about the soft sensations I’d just been feeling.
“So, what did she help you with?”
As Erina asked that, she still held me at arms length. Now that I take a look at her, she has a very pretty face. Though if I had to say, I prefer more of the refined look. Still, the bubbly, cheerful type isn’t too bad either.
Erina had blonde, wavy hair that just overflowed the tops of her shoulder and, as for her body types, those dangerous weapons aside she has a medium height and small waist. Curvy hips and a round face with big eyes … “Did you just step out of a manga?!” is what I want to say.
But I don’t say it of course.
“You think to ask that now …”
Solyana sighed, but her voice sounds strangely full of good humor. I glance back at her.
… Was she laughing at me?
“There was a man who assaulted Torinelle, and this girl stopped him.”
“Ooh, thank you!”
… Of everything I’ve experienced so far, Erina-sama is the most formidable opponent I’ve faced.
To begin with, I’ve always been bad with excessive body contact. I’m also not very good with dealing with people with this type of personality; I’m always being dragged into their pace. And Erina-sama’s most defining traits aren’t really helping matters.
“Mou, Erina-chan, you have a customer. Torinelle too, hurry it up and change.”
Torinelle looked upset again. Did she forget she had to do things once she returned? Looks like it.
As several of the oneesans rush Erina-sama from the backroom, despite her pouty protests, from what I can see, the ladies at this particular shop are good people. They have a warm feeling about them, like they’re a family. It’s a much more comfortable feeling than the one I was getting from some of the other shops in this district.
Looking at Torinelle’s troubled face, I wonder what I should do.
“If you don’t mind waiting in a pleasure parlor, you can stay until Torinelle gets a break. She’ll be upset if you leave without her being able to properly give her thanks.”
Solyana steps in when both Torinelle and I continue to look troubled.
“I see… I’ll do that then.”
After I say that, Torinelle’s face brightens and she hurries after Erina-sama.
I have a soft spot for children and the elderly.
Though the other girls are rushing about, up and down a flight of stairs in the backroom, Solyana simply sits there, crossed legs and leaning her face on her hand. She’s removed her veil, but … crossing her legs like that causes the slits in her skirt to ride up.
“It looks like those clothes give you some trouble.”
“Eh? Ah, yeah, it’s a pain. I’d like to change it, but …”
I was surprised when she started to talk to me. From how she was acting earlier I thought she didn’t like me, but perhaps she was just put off with the Noble-sama look.
“It’s your only outfit?”
Solyana thought for a moment.
“Come with me.”
She led me up the stairs to a narrow hallway crowded with rooms. Other girls were rushing about, putting on make-up and skimpy … clothes … It looks like this is the living quarters. I try to avoid looking in the rooms, since there ARE girls changing… I didn’t peek. Definitely didn’t peek on purpose.
Solyana stopped at a door and motioned me inside.
Two narrow beds stacked on top of each other, shorter than a bunkbed, took up one side of the room. A wardrobe and copper plate took up the other side. I would never be able to sleep in the bottom bunk of that bed. There’s not enough room to even sit up.
Solyana was rummaging through the wardrobe, and pulled out a light shirt and skirt.
“This might be enough at least to get you through a day or two.”
“Oh, but … I can’t take this…?”
It was more like I was asking.
Solyana gave a wry smile, the first one I’d seen her with.
“If a prostitute’s clothes don’t suit you…”
“N-no, it’s not that…”
She shrugged, as if she wasn’t really concerned about that. No, but you looked at least half seriously offended…
“It will be difficult to buy normal clothing while wearing that. The shopkeepers will definitely only show you the most expensive things, or try to rip you off.”
Oh. I didn’t think about that. Or rather, I had no idea.
“… I see. Then, if you’ll allow me to borrow it …”
“Yes, hurry up and change.”
Solyana didn’t move or turn around or anything. I guess… she’s used to seeing guys and girls in all states of undress? Well, I can put the shirt on at least.
“Then… if you’ll… excuse me?”
I began to change.
Solyana chuckled so low I almost thought I’d imagined it, then tilted her head and looked at me.
“You’re very polite. Together with your clothes I would have said you definitely come from high society, or at least a rich family.”
“No, I’m really not. It’s just how all the kids are raised in my hometown.”
Well, they say the Japanese are a very polite people in our world too, so that may be true.
“I see. Well, I’m convinced, since you don’t seem to be too concerned with hanging out with prostitutes.”
… ? I guess if I were still a guy I’d be more concerned since my reputation would plummet for being in this kind of place, but I’m a girl… right, I’m a girl now. Come to think of it, I hadn’t seen myself as a girl yet.
Wait, I’m a girl and I totally just stripped off my shirt to change.
Solyana didn’t even seem to care. … Well, I’M self conscious now.
I quickly put on the shirt Solyana had given me and move to the skirt. But …
… I don’t think I can bring myself to wear it. No, I get that I’m a girl now and it wouldn’t be weird. I get it but …
“I-I think I’ll just keep my shorts on.”
“Ah, okay. Pants are easier for adventurers to move around in, after all.”
Whew. Dodged that one.
I think girls in hot pants look good, but it’s an uncomfortable feeling for me to have that stretch of bare thigh. I’d been wanting something longer, but I guess I still won’t be able to wear skirts. Is it because of the principal of the matter?
“Um… do you have a mirror?”
Hm? Crap, isn’t a mirror one of those infamously rare things in this type of setting? I had completely overlooked that before I asked.
Solyana pointed to the copper plate.
Oh, I see. It has been polished to a shine. Come to think of it, what are mirrors made of in my world? Glass? Aluminum? I’m much more interested in this dilemma than the fabric one. I want to reproduce a mirror from our world. I file that into the “important” section of my brain. But first I want to make a katana.
It’s hard to tell the colors, but I now look at myself in this body for the first time.
Certainly, my waist and hips have taken a more curved, though slender, appearance. There is also definitely more of a slight swelling under the rough fabric of the shirt on my chest. But … for being a girl it doesn’t look like much has changed. I’d even say everything is roughly the same. If I hadn’t looked for it, I wouldn’t have noticed the difference.
I’m a little depressed. Hasn’t everyone been properly seeing me as a girl? At least be a little hesitant when trying to determine my gender dammit!
The template of looking at your changed body and being turned on … didn’t happen. Quite the opposite, actually. I totally look like myself as a guy, just with girl parts, so who wouldn’t be more disturbed than aroused?
… Well, if I had changed according to the template with a dynamite body, even if it didn’t rival Erina-sama’s, maybe things might have been a little different. Right now, other than the times when I had to use the toilet, I often forget that I’m a girl.
Solyana chuckles softly again.
Ah, was I looking at myself for a long time?
“Thanks, Solyana, it makes me feel much less self-conscious.”
I can’t REALLY tell, but I think she smiles. I think this would be the true cool-dere that Seimei had wanted to see.
Well, now that I’m paying attention, aren’t I alone with her in her room? Well I guess I’m a girl so it’s ok? Anyway, the door’s open.
… the door was open while I was changing. Uh…
Now that I think about it, the girls didn’t close their doors at all while changing so they could rush out as soon as possible. Is this … normal? I guess guys don’t care either if it’s all guys. Probably these girls are even less sensitive to it because of their line of work.
“Um … so… the oneesans here are all very pretty and cheerful.”
I try to make small talk. It’s always awkward when you’re forcing small talk.
Solyana doesn’t seem to be too opposed to the question, so I guess I can say it’s a success?
“It’s true that at The Queen Mary’s, the working conditions are much better than other places. The maitresse, Maryiste, is a good person with good business sense. She’s strict when she chooses which girls she’ll let work here, but she’s kind and supports the girls she hires.”
So this place is called The Queen Mary’s. The way Solyana talks about the owner, Maryiste, makes me think she must be quite the dignified woman who deserves respect. To be called someone with good business sense instead of saying she has good sense in THE business, especially with the type of business they are in … I’m a bit curious to see her.
While I’m thinking about what to say next … a loud ruckus starts from below.
Solyana is startled and runs to the door, poking her head out and listening carefully. Her face has grown thorny again.
The living quarters have gone quiet in contrast to the noise below, and the few girls still up here are huddled together looking worried.
… It seems there’s a lot of trouble in this world.