Not long ago, Nainiae was harshly scolded by Sera thanks to Riley. She shriveled her shoulders and guessed where Sera might be.
“I think she is in the kitchen. It is time to prepare dinner too. Also, Ms. Sera is not exactly the designated maid for Lady Iris today, so…”
Nainiae fiddled with her index finger. Riley was about to look at Nainiae and tell her to bring Sera here. However, Riley shut his mouth.
“It’s fine. I’ll go.”
Nainiae looked anxious about getting scolded by Sera again. On his face, Riley hid the fact that he was feeling sorry as he walked. However, Nainiae tumbled and followed him.
“Just wait in the library.”
“N… No. I still think I should go with you!”
It seemed she had bit her lips and worked up the courage. Nainiae had made up her mind, snorted, and even walked past Riley.
‘You don’t need to pretend to be brave…’
At first, Nainiae marched on without hesitation. However, as she approached the kitchen, her steps slowed down substantially.
“Do you think Ms. Sera is not angry now?”
Nainiae asked carefully. Nainiae was leading the way to the kitchen, but now, she was already walking right next to Riley.
“I’m not sure?”
They said a woman’s heart was like a reed. Riley thought that maybe Sera was not angry anymore. However, he also thought that perhaps she was still angry. While he was thinking this, he heard Sera’s voice.
It looked like Nainiae had also heard the voice. She flinched her shoulders.
“Sera, subdue your anger when using the knife. She is human. She can make a mistake. Why are you being so hard on her?”
The sound of a humungous kitchen knife striking the carving board could be heard.
“Do you think the situation does not deserve it?”
The angry voice could be heard from the kitchen, and Nainiae flinched her shoulder in response. She unconsciously bit her lips.
‘Ah, she is still mad.’
It was not certain if Sera knew that her voice was leaking outside the kitchen or not. Again,
The sound of the kitchen knife striking the carving board could be heard and Sera’s voice continued.
“Wanting to go to the bathroom… Well, I get it. Nainiae is a woman too. A few times in a month, I’m sure she can also be in a situation where it cannot be helped.”
While biting her lips, Nainiae was eavesdropping on Sera’s words. Having heard it, Nainiae’s face turned completely red.
“I am mad about her not recognizing Young Master’s condition, but what’s making me so angry is not her mistake!”
As for Riley, he was scratching his cheek for no reason regarding the mention of ‘situations where it cannot be helped.’ Having heard the rest, Riley tilted his head to the side.
“She keeps on trying to hide things from me.”
“I’m sure there are circumstances.”
“During the winter, she left me behind and…”
[TL: Wasn’t that Riley’s decision, not Nainiae?]
With an edgy voice, Sera coughed out the heated words. All of the sudden, her voice became low and gloomy.
“Sera, that’s enough. Do you think Nainiae did that on purpose? I’m sure she did it because she didn’t want you to worry. If you are that concerned, why don’t you just ask her directly?”
It seemed the head maid Willa was in the kitchen with Sera. When she asked Sera to go talk to Nainiae directly about this, Sera was silent for a while. In the end, she said,
Although Nainiae could not see it, she was certain that Sera shook her head with a gloomy face just now.
Nainiae had a gloomy look on her face. Having heard the knocks, she stared at Riley with a surprised look.
“Y…Young Master… Wait!”
Despite Nainiae’s response to his action, Riley didn’t mind it at all. He opened the kitchen door and entered. Nainiae didn’t know what to do. She tumbled around with her feet.
“Oh my… Young Master?”
Having noticed Riley who had just entered the kitchen, Willa put a question mark on her face, wondering what brought Riley to this place. As for Sera, she started to fiddle with her hair, wondering if Riley had heard the conversation earlier.
It seemed she was lost in thought about something else. Sera was not able to answer right away. Riley called out her name again.
Willa poked at Sera with her elbow.
“Pardon? Ah, yes! What is it, Young Master?”
“Are you really busy right now?”
“Ah, that is…”
Having heard the question, she glanced at the vegetables that were not fully handled yet. She was about to say that she was busy, but her mouth was blocked by a hand that ambushed her from the side.
“I am a litt…. Uppp!”
“No, it is fine. Do you need to see Sera?”
Willa blocked Sera’s mouth and asked Riley if he had business with Sera. Riley nodded and turned back.
Nainiae was hiding in the corridor. She peeked her head out and showed herself.
“Oh my, Nainiae came with Young Master too.”
Willa clapped her hands together and welcomed Nainiae. Riley shrugged and said it was only obvious.
“She is my maid, so of course she is with me. I have a business with Sera. That…”
Riley pointed at vegetables that needed more work. He said,
“Leave it to her for a moment. Let me borrow Sera for a bit.”
Riley pointed his thumb behind his shoulder toward Nainiae. Willa had a puzzled look, but soon, she slowly smiled.
“Yes, I got it.”
Now that Riley had the head maid’s permission, he figured he could take Sera from the kitchen to talk. He extended his hand out right away and gestured at Sera to tell her to come closer.
“So that’s how it is. Sera, see me for a second.”
“Nainiae, you make sure to finish the task.”
“Still, Young Master…”
Nainiae knew why Riley was calling Sera. With her eyes, Nainiae asked Riley if he could explain properly as she looked at her.
“I’ll handle it on my own and explain well, so don’t worry. I’m better at this than you think so, go on.”
Riley turned around and left the kitchen. He then pushed Nainiae’s back into the kitchen. As Nainiae stepped into the kitchen, Sera left the kitchen. They crossed like that.
For a brief moment, their eyes met. Leaving behind the awkwardness, they walked away.
* * *
“… W… What did you say?”
“That’s what happened, so get the stuff ready.”
At the mansion’s library, Sera listened to quite a long explanation from Riley. It seemed that she still couldn’t quite comprehend the situation. She shook her head hard and…
…Slammed the desk with her palm.
“N… No! No! No! Wait!”
“What is it? Is there a part that you didn’t understand?”
“M… Mountain loads of them!”
She looked like she was finding all of this to be complete nonsense. Riley sighed as if he figured that she would react this way. Riley sat down.
“Is that so? What’s the problem?”
“From the first thing to the tenth thing… All of them!”
Sera was saying that she didn’t understand anything. Riley rubbed the gap between his brows and explained again,
“Think of it in a simpler way. Think of it as going on a trip to a different country.”
“There is a limit to calling something a trip!”
Riley couldn’t explain things to her as they really were. So, he borrowed a term from Ian and called his past life as the ‘world below.’ He then said they needed to make a move to stop what was happening in that world.
“This is not a trip, but… How should I say this? This is far more dangerous than a trip…. Anyway! This is not a vacation trip!”
Whatever it was, Sera denied that whatever Riley had explained so far could be considered a trip in the least. Sera checked the paper that she was handed earlier. She shook her head left and right.
“Even Commander Nara and Priestess Priesia have to step in… I see a name I don’t recognize, but this…”
From Riley, Sera had heard what kind of place the ‘world below’ was. She asked with a concerned look on her face,
“Young Master, if the place is that dangerous, won’t it be better to bring someone other than me? If you want someone of high caliber, then there are veteran knights of Solia Castle, or…”
Nainiae name was on the paper, so Sera did want to join.
However, it seemed that Sera was concerned that she might end up only dragging and slowing down Nainiae or Riley. She was hesitant to say that she would come with them.
Sera shriveled her shoulders. Watching this, Riley said in a tone that said everything was fine.
“Why are you getting all scared for? You are one of the few in Iphalleta House who can wield dual swords.”
“Still, Young Master….”
“Even if you really were lacking in comparison to Solia Castle’s veteran knights, you have something that those guys don’t, right?”
Riley decided to point out the good things about Sera. Riley tapped at his own nose with his finger and mentioned them.
“… Your sense of smell.”
Dumbfounded, Sera avoided Riley’s gaze.
“Also, your intuition.”
Sera could detect danger from around her surroundings and warn them even if nothing was visibly wrong. It was a power that was unique to just Sera. It was something that one could possess only by being born with it. This was one of the reasons why Riley had chosen her as one of the Six Parts.
“Are you still not confident about this?”
It seemed that Sera didn’t want to answer. She had her mouth firmly closed. Riley sighed briefly and said,
“I think I get why Nainiae was worried.”
Sera thought about the junior maid. She suddenly opened her eyes big and held her breath.
‘Huh? Just now…something…?’
It could be that the ‘intuition’ that Riley mentioned earlier was being utilized. It was something like an instinct of a living person. Sera felt that it was sending her a warning.
In response to Riley’s voice, Sera used all of her might to turn her upper body around.
‘…I’ll be killed!’
She didn’t know why, but she judged that she would be killed if she stood still.
It seemed that Sera’s intuition was right. She leaned far back. Above her face, a sword passed by without any sound.
It really was very close.
If Sera hadn’t bent far enough, even by a few degrees, her nose might have been cut off. Sera had barely been able to see the sword. She directed her gaze to the one who had swung the sword.
‘Y… Young Master?’
It was Riley.
‘Why would Young Master…?’
Having confirmed that it was Riley who had swung the sword at her, Sera could not comprehend why he would do it. She stepped back with a puzzled look on her face.
She had no idea when Riley had drawn his sword. He was resting the sword on his shoulder as he watched Sera. Sera was breaking out in a cold sweat. Riley had a look on his face that said he knew this would happen.
“D… Did I do something rude to you, Young Master?”
Sera wondered if it was because she had scolded Nainiae earlier. Riley shook his head and that was not it.
“Just now… You didn’t see it, right?”
Having heard the question, Sera realized that she hadn’t noticed Riley drawing the sword at all. At the same time, she started to wonder about Riley’s abilities.
“Now that I think about it, just now…?”
She had realized that Riley had been hiding his true abilities, but Sera had never thought that it would be to the point where Sera could not even follow them with her eyes.
“How… did you do that just now?”
With her intuition, she was able to recognize the pressure. Without realizing, she had been holding her breath. She didn’t know when, but now, she also realized that the pressure that had felt like it was crushing her shoulder was gone.
“Actually, I want to ask you that question.”
“How did you dodge it?”
Sera floated a question mark on her face and said in a tone that said she didn’t really know.
“I… I’m not sure?”
Unlike earlier, where she even forgot to breathe, the mood had become much lighter. Sera stopped stepping back and said carefully,
Sera said that she had dodged it by sensing it with her intuition. Riley had a look that said she should have recognized this after all. Riley called her.
“Pack the stuff.”