“…What did you just say?”
Wondering if he misheard just now, Lloyd tilted his head to the side and asked Nainiae.
“What did you just say? We are not going?”
Nainiae’s answer was nothing in lines of ‘We apologize, but I’m afraid we are not able to attend,’ or anything similar.
Also, after giving her initial response, Nainiae repeated herself to Lloyd as if she thought maybe he didn’t hear her. All that made Lloyd’s facial muscles to twitch.
“Hey. Perhaps you don’t know because you are new, but if you shoot your yap off like that…”
Because of the difference in height, Nainiae was looking upward to Lloyd with her chin up. She pulled her chin slightly, glanced at Lloyd’s chest and said,
“You mean like this?”
With demonstration, Nainiae was tossing an advice to Lloyd.
By Nainiae’s act, which was out of the blue, Lloyd fiddled with his fingers as he thought about how he moved his eyes in front of Sera.
Lloyd was here under Ryan’s order. He came here, at the hallway in front of Riley’s room, to observe Nainiae, the new maid that Riley took in from Solia.
In the process, he also ran into a maid he lusted after with his eyes occasionally. So he invited her for a cup of tea to his room, and took a quick glance at her cleavage while at it. It appeared Nainiae noticed him in the act.
‘She may look the way she is, but she is quite street smart at least it seems?’
Nainiae tilted her chin up slightly again and looked at Lloyd.
As his eyes met with Nainiae’s, Lloyd’s face crumpled.
‘Tsk, just look at that face.’
He was cringing not because of her way of talking or her advice that hit the heart of the matter. It was a cringe that felt like it was out of disgust.
“Young master, my apologies, Nainiae is from Lower Solia, so her crude language habits were not corrected yet.”
Lloyd’s face changed as if he just chewed on something awful. Noticing this, Sera, while breaking in cold sweat, came in front of Nainiae and lowered her head.
“I’ll educate her separately to correct this, so please…”
She was saying Lloyd should generously forgive her.
Watching Sera properly bowing and asking for forgiveness for the mistake of her new recruit, Lloyd laughed as he wiggled his brows,
Just a maid glaring and talking in such a crude language toward a young master of a count’s House was a problem that could not be forgiven so easily.
“All right. Well… I’m a generous guy.”
His facial muscles were still twitching slightly, but he slowly managed to regain composure. Lloyd took a step closer to Sera and looked at her face.
“But in return, as her senior, you can take the responsibility, right?”
Sera was holding it in well until now, but finally, her face crumpled.
Just like Nainiae, she wanted to say ‘I’m not going. Get lost.’ However, she couldn’t do that.
‘Haaa. How did I end up…’
She thought she had a bad feeling about this from the start, and it came to this.
Sera sighed heavily enough to make the ground sink. Instead of resenting Nainiae, she was resenting herself for not warning Nainiae in advance.
‘When I became a maid, it’s not like I didn't know a situation like this could happen, but…’
When she became a maid, she had thought about the possibility.
Until now, while serving Iris, she managed to avoid a situation like this, but it looked like her luck finally ran out.
‘Still, this is… Huh?’
Sera was biting her lips as she thought it could not be helped, but she relaxed her narrowed eyes after hearing a quiet voice from the back.
The one quietly mumbling was Nainiae, the one Sera quickly hid away behind her back just now.
Following a certain someone’s advice, Nainiae was standing a step behind.
From a place where Lloyd’s field of view cannot reach, she was mumbling something.
After whispering for a few seconds, Nainiae finished reciting the spell. She put forth her hand over Sera’s shoulder and activated the magic she prepared.
“Well then, Sera. When you are finished with your work in the evening, come to my…room…”
Lloyd was in the middle of a sentence, but he faltered from his eyelids rapidly becoming heavy, and soon, he slowly collapsed down as he leaned against a wall.
‘What just happened?’
As if he was suffering from narcolepsy, Lloyd fell asleep while leaning against the wall with his legs spread out. He was drooling.
“He will be asleep for 30 minutes.”
Nainiae, who was hiding behind Sera’s back, walked to the front of Sera and shrugged.
Nainiae dusted off her hands. Now, she was beaming with a look in her eye that said, ‘I did a good thing, right? Please praise me!’
“N-Nainiae. Did you do this?”
Sera, with her eyes wide open, asked Nainiae.
Nainiae simply nodded as the replacement for a response.
“Yes. As expected, he is a young master from a high nobility’s House. He had strength to resist it.”
“But, because I’m at Six Circles…”
Hearing Nainiae mumbling on as if she had nothing to worry about, Sera looked at Lloyd. He was asleep with his mouth open.
“Just what were you thinking? How are you going to handle things afterwards…”
Out of concerns for what was going to happen later, Sera was breaking in cold sweat.
Nainiae shrugged her shoulders and answered,
“It doesn’t matter. If you just toss him on top of a bed, he will just think he had a strange dream.”
From the time when she used crude language at the young master she didn’t like…
From the time when she mimicked his act of glancing at Sera’s cleavage showing that she didn’t like it…
It appeared Nainiae had thought of everything, including how to handle what would happen afterwards.
“I actually wanted to give him a bucketful of foul language for being randy and daring to oggle, but…”
Nainiae lowered her head.
Although the scars on her face were very noticeable, her saddened face was like any other 18 year old girl’s.
“…if I did, I figured I’ll get scolded, so…”
As if she was afraid of checking the expression on Sera, who was staring at her, Nainaie was hesitating to lift her head.
“Excuse me, Miss Sera.”
After gathering some courage by fiddling with her hands, Nainiae struggled and lifted her head to look at Sera. Having confirmed the look on Sera’s face, Nainiae smiled lightly and asked,
“…It’s all right to use this much, right?”
Iphelleta House had an extreme hatred toward assassins.
However, when it came to mages, the house was pretty generous in their opinion.
Ian, the old butler who served Riley, was the only one who had a strong disgust toward mages for some reason. With exception to anything underhanded, Sera also had no objection to Nainiae using magic.
Because Nainiae started work today without any separate introduction to everyone, no one in the mansion, other than Riley’s group that went to Solia Castle, had an idea that Nainiae was the one in the newspaper that was mentioned as ‘a girl, who had been abandoned by the Magic Tower and also accomplished quite a commendable deed in efforts of apprehending Astroa.’
“It is…all right.”
Looking at Lloyd who was asleep, Sera answered with a vacant look on her face.
Although the girl was wearing a maid uniform, her true nature of existence was certainly fierce and overbearing.
She was a mage of Six Circles magic.
Sera turned her head and looked at Nainiae who was standing there with an awkward look.
Sera was thinking that perhaps she could change the prejudice of other people who clicked their tongues after looking at Nainiae’s face.
Breaking the brief silence, another boy’s voice could be heard behind them. Sera and Nainiae quickly turned their heads around.
“Y-Young Master Riley?”
Sera sighed in relief as she saw her young master leisurely walking down the hallway.
She thought about how it would have went if it was the eldest young master that showed up. Just thinking about it made her feel frightened.
“Why are you so surprised?”
Riley tilted his head to the side as he asked. He asked another question before he even got a reply.
“The time is up now, right? Can I take her now?”
With his finger, Riley pointed at Nainiae.
It was four in the evening.
Riley was talking about the time when Nainiae’s maid training was suppose to end for the day.
As if he couldn’t even see his older brother Lloyd sleeping while leaning against the wall of the hallway, Riley was not even glancing in that direction. Instead, he only gestured toward Nainiae to come to him.
“Miss Sera, about handling the rest about Young Master Lloyd… I’m counting on you.”
Of all replies Nainiae had given today, she gave the most high-spirited one to Riley’s gesture.
Nainiae lightly bowed to Sera and started to walk.
All Riley did was to arrogantly call out her name and ask her to come, yet Nainiae went straight to Riley like a puppy with light steps and sparkle in her eye. Sera looked at her with a vacant face for a moment.
Soon, as if she was trying to say she is finally giving in to Nainiae’s attitude, Sera broke into laughter.
It was at Iphelleta mansion’s library.
As if he missed his sanctuary that he was away from for so long, he dived into the soft sofa and stretched out as if he was on top of the world.
“Ugh. It’s been ages since I lay down here.”
Because reading was one of a few hobbies she had, instead of watching Riley stretching out, Nainiae’s eye was chasing after books in the library.
Soon, she shook her head hard to calm down and asked,
“That is… Should I bring you something like a tea?”
“No. It’s fine. You know you would stink at it, so why bother.”
Riley said it casually as he cracked a smile, but the expression on Nainiae’s face quickly turned to disappointment.
“No. It’s only been a day. A day… I’m sure you will do better later.”
Riley figured it would be also not a good idea to kill her spirit, so he corrected himself.
In order to get to the main point, Riley tossed the three pouches on the table.
“You were the one that had been keeping them safe while we were on our way back to the mansion, so you know what these are, right? They are what you think.”
They were Astroa’s belongings, a cape, a ring, and a bracelet.
“I laid down and spent the whole day examining them here and there, but no matter how long I stared at them, I couldn’t get a feel on how these are suppose to be used.”
As if she understood what Riley was trying to say, Nainiae nodded. However, when she was fiddling with the three objects on the table, the look on her face was not looking all right.
“Excuse me, young master. I understand what you are trying to ask. However, I can only tell things such as mana or a trap contained in objects. As for their usage methods… I cannot tell.”
Looking apologetic for not being able to do what Riley hoped for, Nainiae responded with a disappointed face.
She wished she could tell him that she knew, but it was not right to tell such a lie to the young master she served.
“Hm. You haven’t seen that bastard using them either?”
“From how I remember, he did wear the cape when I was in the laboratory, but…he never used it.”
Nainiae was fiddling with the cape. She continued as she moved her hand toward the ring and the bracelet,
“As for the ring and the bracelet, he didn’t have these back then.”
“Is that so?”
Riley had his fingers locked and his hands placed behind his head as a pillow. He looked away with a face that looked like he was thinking it could not be helped.
“In that case. For now, you hold on to these. I know someone that knows a lot about these kinds of things, so I’ll ask him then.”
“Someone that knows a lot about these kinds of things?”
“Don’t try to get to know him. That rascal is not a very pleasant guy to hang out with.”
After Nainiae replied and gathered the items that were on the table, Riley, who was lying on the sofa, looked in Nainiae’s direction and said,
“In that case, why don’t we get the lesson started? We have been postponing it for a while.”
Riley brought Nainiae to the library because he wanted to learn how to pick apples from the apple trees without using his hand.
This was the technique which that rascal absolutely refused to teach him…