Chapter 69: There are a lot of Guys that Like to Show Off How They can Get Pretty Girlfriends, but Strangely, Usually No One Cares But Themselves.
“We decided not to tell the ones back at the capital about this yet. If we think about it, it’s not like knowing stuff like this would change anything right now.”
Masaki explained the situation that the 4 gamers from Carnus had decided on.
“Is that going to be ok though? Won’t they be mad if they find out later?”
I know I’d be pissed.
“When these guys go back and the others come to this city, I’ll tell them then.”
Seimei-san calmly replies.
It’s true that I think they might receive it better if they hear it from Seimei-san in person.
“What kind of people are they? The other gamers?”
“Um… there’s Karin, a High Knight, Hide, an Assassin, and Emi-chan, a Storm Mage.”
Midori-chan counted off the other 3 Japanese gamers they had left behind in Jornia, the Carnus capital.
“Karin and Hide aside, Emi-chan won’t handle the news well.”
Tatsu-san muttered, rustling the back of his head.
“She cried almost nonstop the first few nights. Even now, she’s a complete, nervous wreck. She hates leaving her room, or the library, and is super timid.”
Un. It doesn’t surprise me that someone would be that freaked out about our situation. More like, it’s strange that more of us aren’t like that.
Well, I know I’m not one who can talk.
“Come to think of it, after thinking about things last night and going through my notes, I remembered Emi-chan telling me about altars to the Elements of Magic.”
“Oh? So, something like the globe in the Water Corridor?”
“Nn, maa, I didn’t think about it at the time, but I think it’s similar. There are 4 altars to Fire, Water, Earth, and Air scattered across the lands, and for the people who have reached the pinnacle of those magics, they can commune with the Elements to receive guidance.”
It definitely sounds like the same thing.
“Are the other ‘altars’ in Labyrinths too?”
“I don’t know that information. To be honest, I wasn’t listening very carefully…”
“Oh, that’s right, Sei-chan told Emi-chan to try to figure out how all our magic and stuff works, so she could focus on something and calm down.”
Tatsu-san said that kind of indifferently.
“Ne, Sei-chan, do you remember what she was talking about, about how magic used to be viewed differently?”
“Nn? No, she didn’t tell me anything about that.”
“Ah, she probably thought it wasn’t important, since it was kind of like the ancient history of how people used to view magic.”
“It was something I thought of last night, when Jun-chan was telling us about the Aether. Um… it’s something like Fire, Water, Earth, and Air used to be thought of as the elements that make up existence, while Light and Dark are primal elements. Light is something like pulse of creation, which is called also called Aether. It can’t be a coincidence, right?”
No, it can’t be just a coincidence. That’s what everybody quietly acknowledged.
Seimei-san paled a bit and asked,
“Then, Dark is …”
“Dark is the state of nothing, which is also called Void. Ah, well, Emi said that theory isn’t popular among anyone but the elves anymore, since no one really understands how Light and Dark work…”
“No, isn’t this matter supporting that theory?”
Masaki nervously chewed on a fingernail.
“… Even if that’s true, I don’t understand what Aether is at all. The pulse of creation? What’s that?”
I frown while I ask. Even when I check my Status, I don’t have anything like Light Magic, you know? Just what kind of thing is it?
“I guess we should ask Emi-chan to do some more research on that topic…”
Seimei-san said absentmindedly.
“Excuse us, we brought breakfast-!”
The rest of the conversation was abruptly cut short as the lithe half-elf Jarna and the pretty Featherkin Heiran brought in trays of food. Several other of the girls came soon after, bringing trays of drinks, and Nifta the Rabbitkin poured them, getting quite close to the guys as she did so.
An advanced technique.
“Ah… Jarna, you guys didn’t have to…”
“Nono, it’s not much trouble at all!”
“That’s right, it’s not often Jun-chan brings friends over!”
… Am I your loner, gloomy kid who can’t make friends at school or something?
“Damn, they’re all super babes! Hey, can I start living here too?”
As soon as the girls said quick hellos and Jarna laid out the breakfast, they left us alone and Tatsu-san immediately makes that kind of questionable request.
“No men are allowed in the living quarters though…”
He’s probably somewhere between age 18 to 21 … Ah, he must be at least 20, since he seems used to drinking.
I don’t know if it’s impressive or not that he’s remaining so excited about these high-class women that would scare most young men away since they feel so out of reach.
Seimei-san too, he’s calmly looking around the shop.
Is this something like crossing the threshold into adulthood?
“Hm… this seems like quite the high-class shop…”
Well, yeah. It looked high-class before too, but now, because of the renovations, the narrow hallways and small cafeteria-like drinking area had been torn down and made much more spaciously.
Now, going in through the front entrance, it’s like walking into the lobby of a high-class hotel. Right to the side is a much larger lounge for the bar and drinking, shaped in a large oval.
Going further into the back, from the lobby, going straight back, are several private party rooms. Lounge rooms, not, um, “sleeping” rooms. There’s also the back room to the far side, that’s still left as it used to be, with the stairs up to the living quarters.
By the way, we are currently in one of the private lounge rooms.
Behind the oval-lounge are the private rooms for … night work … across a narrow hall, as well as the kitchen, framing the small courtyard.
It got changed so much … I wonder how Maryiste got the Guild to pay for all this.
There’s no way Maryiste herself had enough money for such a huge renovation.
Even though I offered to help them pay for it … “You have your own expenses,” “Being an Adventurer will cost more money than you realize,” and the like; the girls said those types of things so many times I felt like my ears would explode.
Anyway, the rest of the money had to have come from the Guild, but this was such a huge change … I wonder if Dobin had met his match in Maryiste?
Well, it’s all just my idle imagination, but I full-heartedly hope that Maryiste had out-negotiated Dobin-san.
Ragnall responded to Seimei-san’s muttering.
“Yes, it’s probably the highest-class ‘service’ shop in Nyl City. An establishment that even some Noble-samas aren’t embarrassed to visit.”
“I see. And that’s why it’s so close to the edge of the district.”
Oh, I didn’t think about that before, but it’s true. You don’t have to go too far into the red-light district before you reach The Queen Mary’s, if you’re coming from the main street.
Well, if you went the way I initially did right when I first came to Nyl City, winding through the alleyways, it’s a different story…
“That reminds me, there is a high-class party tonight.”
Seimei-san said suddenly.
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
It felt like that came out of nowhere, so I asked Seimei-san.
“Just introducing all of us to the Nobles of various countries with the excuse that it’s a welcoming party; that kind of pain-in-the-ass formal gathering. Of course, as my guards, Ragnall-san and Jun-kun will be coming along.”
Ah, Ragnall and I both made a really unhappy sound.
No, well, this party sounds like a pain…
Seimei-san smiles wryly.
“Haa, we’re not really that happy about it either, you know? But … that’s right, this is a good opportunity. Would we be able to hire an escort for Masa-yan for the party?”
The first yelp was Masaki, the second was Tatsu-san.
Tatsu-san stood up and said, loudly,
“Why JUST Masaki!?”
“Nonono, shouldn’t the question be why do I have to have an escort?”
“Why you need an escort … did you forget what happened every time we had to attend this kind of party in Carnus?”
No, wait, please expand on the subject. Masaki’s gone kind of blank-faced, so clearly it’s something interesting.
“I think girls below 10 years old was definitely pushing it…”
“What about the women over 40?”
Masaki yelled and clasped his hands to his ears.
“What were you saying, about being a riajuu?”
“Shit. It doesn’t count, I was only getting proposals shoved on me through various Noble households, mostly by the dads. And I’m not a lolicon or an older lady lover, so it doesn’t count!”
I glance over at Tatsu-san.
“Surely it wasn’t just lolis and cougars?”
“No, there were some ladies of reasonable ages, but it’s marriage you know? It’s the end of your youth!”
… Tatsu-san, something tells me you probably didn’t have a girlfriend back in Japan.
“Haa, something like having a hired escort won’t stop very determined Nobles from trying to promote their daughters and sisters anyway.”
Seimei-san cuts into the discussion.
“Huh? Then why-“
“It’s for the OTHER people who approach you. Having a pretty lady on your arm might dissuade some of those men.”
I slightly back away from Masaki.
“No-! It’s not like that, dangit!”
“Hehehe, we’re talking about the types of guys that try to recruit Masaki for their personal armies, or the hot-blooded type who get drunk and want to duel him.”
“Ah, I see.”
Midori-chan is giggling at Masaki’s discomfort.
He’s probably the brunt of most of their jokes, huh?
I understand, I completely understand.
“But then, how come it’s not important for me to have an escort?”
Tatsu-san pouted a little.
“No … well, I thought it would be better for you to escort Mi-chan, since you can be considered a close friend of Prince Regin’s.”
And, I bet it’s likely that Seimei-san calculated that Tatsu-san might not be able to behave discretely with a beautiful woman hanging off his arm. I know I wouldn’t trust him.
“And Seimei-san will…”
Strictly speaking, Seimei-san is the only one who’s actually a Noble (kind of). So wouldn’t he…
Seimei-san smiled a seemingly frivolous smile that felt like it was loaded with all kinds of meanings.
“I’m used to dealing with people like this, you know? Fufufu, all joking aside, I wonder if it would even be a good idea…”
“While it’s true that there were some men of upper classes who would hire high-class prostitutes to show them off at such functions, the motives are more to show off how much money they had with hiring a beautiful woman and covering her in expensive jewels and clothing. For the young master over there, I think it would have to be a lover he escorts or else it may not have the effect you’re looking for.”
Ah, it’s Maryiste. She didn’t enter with the other girls, but she comes in now.
Seimei-san rises quickly as she enters.
“Good morning, you are the proprietress?”
“Yes, I am the Maitresse of this shop. Good morning Noble-sama, my name is Maryiste.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Seimei. There is no need for formalities in this room. Ah, for lending us this room outside of business hours, this isn’t much, but…”
Seimei-san takes a large bottle of liquor out of his Inventory, disguised as being from his bag.
Eh? I thought he had prepared several good quality accessories after he heard that I lived with some other women?
I found out later that he judged that high-grade alcohol would be better received than thoughtlessly giving accessories to women who had to be careful about their appearances. Anyway, the price of the liquor was … eh? How much? Just for liquor?!
Anyway, it seems like his judgment was correct, as Maryiste took it, realizing its worth in a moment.
“This is – Oh my, Muscortu Wine-! For such a thing…”
Un, even though I don’t know it’s exact worth at this moment, but looking at Maryiste’s face I can tell she’s torn between refusing it and keeping it.
“For such a thing, it would be better to accept it?”
Seimei-san says it lightly, although he asks it as a question in the end, trying to gently pressure Maryiste-san to take the bottle without forcing her.
She hesitates just for a moment longer, before she closes her eyes and accepts it.
“I understand. For such a wonderful gift, I thank you. Although it won’t compare, if there is any other advice that I could give regarding your evening party…”
I’ve always wondered, but just what is Maryiste? For the Maitresse of a brothel to confidently declare she can give advice on how things work with in a Noble’s party… it’s weird, right?
Seimei-san extended a hand and deftly poured her a cup of tea.
Maryiste made a strange face, but accepted it.
“Ah … in his hometown, it’s customary to pour each other drinks as a sign of courtesy, Maryiste-san.”
I can somewhat guess what she’s thinking, so I quickly say so to persuade her that it was ok for Seimei-san, a Noble, to pour her a drink. Although, the custom is more often for sake than tea, but it’s a little early for alcohol. Or like, only Seimei-san and Tatsu-san can drink it legally. Well, in Japan anyway.
We’re probably all legal in this world.
“My apologies. It appears I’m still learning the ways of this region. Your advice earlier was very helpful, and I’m glad that I could avoid embarrassing ourselves. I suppose Masa-ya – er, Masaki-san will just have to endure for now.”
“Um… Seimei-san… what do we do about … clothes…?”
Midori-chan timidly asked.
Huh. They came from the capital of Carnus, but do they have anything like formal wear? Oh, but they’ve had to attend functions like this … eh?
Other than Midori-chan, the other 3 gamers look shocked.
“Oh, I didn’t think about that…”
“We always just attended in armor because the King preferred to show us off like that…”
“Come to think of it, that’s not normal, right?”
“Mou-! You guys! Do you know how much I’ve had to suffer in that tiny miniskirt this entire time?!”
… Let’s go shopping later, Midori-chan. We’ll get you some nice, sturdy pants.
Haa, you guys… even if your game armor doesn’t get dirty, there’s a limit to things.
“Fufufu. In that case… leave such things to us.”
Although it’s very helpful for Maryiste to offer to assist us for the night’s party, why is it that a chill just ran down my spine?
A/n: Thank you kirindas and MK for your donations!