Chapter 19: The Prey Gets Lost and Becomes Enlightened
A day had passed since then, and it was morning.
I was lying in my bed as usual at the inn while thinking about the events that happened during my visit to the Medici Family.
“Haruto-sama will remain Haruto-sama.
No matter what you do to me… to us, it won’t change who you are.
You, who had a sad past and protected us, will always be Haruto-sama.”
My heart was moved when Agnes-san said this to me.
I felt something dark, something heavy had been pulled out from the depths of my heart.
When Agnes-san accepted all of me,
I was feeling warm.
When was the last time I had felt this? I was an only child, so I’ve always had my parents’ love all to myself.
My mom and dad accepted me for everything I was and held me tenderly wherever and whenever I was.
She felt the same as them.
There was no lie or pretense on her face, and with her delicate and beautiful body she showered me with her warmth in her embrace.
“I’ll be waiting for you.”
“I’ll be waiting for you too.”
And as I was leaving, Alice and Carol said to me that they’ll be waiting for me,
But it wasn’t just the warmth I felt from the three of them…
I felt something darker, heavier.
A mysterious emotion that was frightening to even think about, in the eyes of those three ladies.
But their actions never seemed like they were trying to have some personal gains, nor did they ever try to take advantage of me like a swindler.
Then what kind of feeling they had for me?
As for myself, I want Agnes-san, who gave me comfort and warmth, and Alice and Carol, who need me, to be happy.
Because they had a similar past to me.
So, if I could somehow help them find happiness, it would be a great honor for me.
Which Includes the servants, of course.
So when I was in bed with Agnes-san, I told her that I would like to treat her to my favorite dishes from my hometown (Japan) in a week’s time.
And to my surprise she even accepted by saying, “You can use this house as much as you like”.
Thus, I decided to cook not only for the three, the mother and her daughters, but also for the servants in the mansion.
Of course, I even got the Medici family’s endorsement to put their cook to work for me, so it’s going to be a pretty big outdoor party.
After the mysterious group had attacked their family and nearly had terrible things happen to them, they were treating me kindly.
And so I decided to make them smile with the delicious Japanese food I can make.
That matters aside… I got an unexpected request from Agnes-san.
She wanted me,
To date Alice.
As a Special Forces guy, I was set up on a few blind dates with the daughters of my superiors.
Of course, I turned them down so softly that I didn’t get married.
I wasn’t really interested in relationships to begin with, and even when I tried to go out with someone, I had flashbacks of my parents’ deaths and wasn’t keen on it.
But being with these three beautiful ladies… I felt different.
“… Stop thinking too much in the morning.”
Muttering so I stood up and headed to the guild hall in the royal capital after having breakfast.
Today, too, there were not many good quests.
Most of them were requests to kill small fry monsters and other stuff that adventurers of classes 1 to 4 seem to like.
“Oh, my! Haruto-san! Good morning!”
“Good morning, Lua-san.”
Lua, who serves as a receptionist here, greeted me.
”I’m sorry, I don’t have any difficult quests that Haruto-sama might accept today.”
No need to apologize.
This indicates that this country has become so peaceful.”
“That’s right, and it’s all thanks to Haruto-sama!”
I shyly smiled, then coughed a little before moving on to the next topic.
“By the way, Lua-san, I have a question.”
“Yes, what is it?”
“I want you to tell me about the Medici family.”
I don’t know much about the Medici family.
I’ve only been here a short time.
So I’d like to get a general idea.
I wasn’t in the mood to ask yesterday so I did now.
The information revealed by the mysterious group who attacked their house was still not enough.
“Hmm… Medici family you say.”
Lua-san pondered for a bit.
But eventually, she turned her awe-struck, longing gaze in a distance and said,
“In a single word, I can say it’s a great family.
The head of the family, Lady Agnes, holds the title of Duchess of Leinster, which is the most prominent dukedom in the Kingdom of Laodecia.
Above that is a royal family, so she is the highest reigning person in the kingdom, except for the royal family.”
“So, she is such a great person…”
“Yes! Her husband has passed away, so she’s single now, but with her intelligence and beauty alone, she’s involved in many businesses and is a very wealthy woman.”
“But that’s not all.
Lady Alice and Lady Carol, who are the daughters of Lady Agnes, are so beautiful that they are frequently being proposed to by influential people not only from this kingdom but also from other countries.”
“But they refuse every proposal they receive, which makes a lot of people heartbroken.
They are a family shrouded in mystery.”
“By the way, how did you know about the Medici family?”
The receptionist, Lua-san, tilted her head and asked me a question.
“I’ve only been here a short while, so I thought I’d learn a few things…”
”Haha, that’s right.
It’s true that Haruto-sama has a bit of an unusual name and appearance.
You have black hair, brown eyes, and such a foreign face.
And since you’re so strong, you must be very popular with the ladies, right? Hmm…”
“No, I’m not.
I’ll excuse myself then.”
“Okay! I look forward to seeing you again!”
I walked out, being escorted out by the other adventurers.
“As expected, they were amazing people.”
I sighed, and smiled bitterly.
X X X
“Here you go! It’s a delicious takoyaki.”
“Uwaa! Thank you, big brother! Dakoaki! So this is the rumored Dakoaki!”
“It’s called Takoyaki…”
“Nm… hot!… Yum… Dakoaki… super tasty!”
At a food stall set up right in the middle of a residential area, a child was chewing on a takoyaki with a delightful look on his face.
“Um… what’s that thing that looks like a thin scrap of paper dancing on top of this?”
“… It’s called dried bonito flakes.”
“Pony? Flake? Nn… Pony-flakes?”
While I was servicing the customers, the sight of the mother and daughters usually came to my mind.
“Sold out again so fast today, huh?”
Despite having prepared quite a few materials, I finished an hour earlier than planned because of the tremendous influx of customers.
Now let’s have some takoyaki for me, and then I’ll clear out.
And the moment I was thinking to myself,
“Oh! Hey, Brother!”
“Over here, over here!”
Two kind-hearted (yakuza-like) adventurers who always buy my takoyaki called me with a large bottle of sake and a few squid pancakes in hand.
X X X
“Kya! Takoyaki with squids and beer is the best combination!”
“This is… fantastic! Like I said before, if you opened a shop in Royal Capital, I’m sure it would sell like hotcakes!”
I was sitting on a bench after cleaning up because two adventurers invited me to join them.
This wasn’t such a bother once in a while.
I was in the middle of them, for some reason.
“By the way, why did you ask me out?”
I said and took a bite of the squid pancake.
Then the adventurer with the thinner body said,
“Because you weren’t the same.”
“You were looking the other way the whole time we were ordering.”
“Have you been here today? I didn’t notice you at all.
“Huh? We’re here with you now so don’t worry about it.”
The thin adventurer chugged the beer from his cup and exhaled sharply.
Then, the burly adventurer lowered his tone and said,
“You were looking kind of lost the other day, something must have happened to you.”
“Well, you don’t have to say it if you don’t want to.”
That being said, I drank some of the beer in the cup in my hand.
“Right? It’s my favorite.”
“The drinks are good in this world.”
I try to be reasonable, and the big-boned adventurer looks at me with concern.
Then he bowed his head and began to speak.
“We don’t have any connection to you.
I don’t know your name, I don’t know your class.
I don’t even know how old you are.”
Well, if you ask me, that’s true.
And just as I thought that, the burly adventurer looked up and gave me a thumbs up.
“That’s why you can say some things to us that you can’t say to others, you know?”
If you were to ask me…
So, I hid my personal information and explained the source of my problem roughly.
“Humu… In short, you want to know what to do when a man without a title is asked by his benefactor to associate with his daughter who belongs to a noble family.”
The two adventurers listen to me and quickly get up from the bench.
“A big idiot!”
“Hey, there, brother! It’s gold! It’s a Golden Chance! You’ll regret it for the rest of your life if you miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!”
“You! I’ve been worried about you lately because you’ve been looking so dull, and… that’s what’s been bothering you!”
“No… I’m not… this world…”
“No, it’s nothing.”
I apologized to the two of them for their vigor, and they snickered and glared at me.
But eventually they thought of something and opened their mouths.
“Well, what the heck is wrong with you? You’re a man who can make a really tasty dish called takoyaki.
And, this is just my personal opinion, but aren’t you pretty strong?”
When I was at a loss for an answer, a big guy said something to me.
“You’re the best young man I’ve ever seen.
The way you acted when you were selling Takoyaki, your aura, I’m sure there must be a reason why the noble asked you to go out with his daughter.”
“Why don’t you find out what this nobleman’s daughter wants from you and fulfill it?”
“… Know exactly what they want, and I’ll fulfill it.”
“Yeah, I’m sure that’ll work.”
The big-built adventurer patted me lightly on the back.
Then the thin adventurer speaks in a good-natured way.
“You’re perfect in theory, but you don’t have any results yourself… ~hihihi.”
“What the f**k, Dude! I was just trying to look cool!”
“Owa! So scary!”
The thin adventurer ran away.
The big adventurer chased after him, saying things like, “Son of a b***h! I’ll kill you today!” Well surely his face was so scary when he’s mad.
When I see them running around…
I couldn’t hold myself back.
Seeing me struggling to hold in my laughter, they stopped and tilted their heads in confusion.
“My bad… I’m sorry.
I didn’t mean to laugh at you two.
It’s just… my mind has been cleared.
“Yeah? I’m glad to see you’re feeling better now.”
“Good for you.
You, if you make it with that nobleman’s daughter, you’ll have to buy me a drink.
My tuition is expensive, you know?”
Well, I’ll be off now.”
I bowed politely and headed for the inn with a set of stalls.
After all, in both Japan and other worlds, humans are humans.
From now on, let’s focus on this other world.
And I only have one body, so let’s concentrate on the Medici people first.
“I’m gonna make it a wonderful dinner party…”
Let’s get ready for the second round.
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