Claudia’s sewing rank finally became rank AA and was now at a level that could equal Sasha’s ability.
We were now able to make Rose’s dress and were in a good mood as we returned to Wells’ Clothing Shop —
“ — What do you mean Lythtis has been kidnapped!?”
Claudia’s yell was directed at Wells-san. As we returned to the shop, he told us that Lythtis had been kidnapped while we were away.
“I wasn’t able to find her two days ago and had been looking for her since when this message arrived this morning.”
Wells-san said this and handed her a piece of parchment. Claudia took it and brought it over to me.
This is what it said,
We have your daughter. If you wish her returned safely, abandon any ideas you have of making that dress.
“…do you think this is Rennis’ Clothing Shop trying to stop us?”
“ — This is unforgivable! I’m going to destroy Rennis’ Clothing Shop with my own hands!”
“Wait a moment.”
I jumped in front of Claudia as she went to rush out the door. I couldn’t forcibly stop her due to my Feminist skill and I didn’t want Wells-san to see that, so I gently stroked her back.
What kind of reaction is that in front of her father!? I continued stroking her back in order to calm her down. Due to several of Claudia’s skills increasing in the dungeon, her face immediately turned bright red and she became submissive.
“Just calm down a little.”
“Uuu~, it’s because of you that I can’t calm down.”
“It will be okay, but we can’t act so rashly.”
I took my hand off Claudia now that she had become docile.
Wells-san looked confused but it’s not like I can tell him that I just got Claudia excited by rubbing her in an area that he couldn’t see.
“I understand your feelings but there’s nothing that proves they’re the ones that took Lythtis. So please don’t act so recklessly.”
“There may be no proof, but who else would do something like this?”
“I agree that it’s most likely them, but do you really think they’d be keeping Lythtis in the back of their shop? If she’s not there, we’d be accused of breaking in and possibly arrested.”
“That’s true…but what if we can’t get Lythtis back…?”
Whoever has taken her hostage won’t be doing anything to her anytime soon.
However, if we can’t find who has taken her, I’ll either have to sacrifice Wells’ Clothing Shop and Alice or lose Lythtis forever.
I can’t imagine how Claudia must be feeling. She wants to support me and my dreams but Lythtis is her sister.
I gently put my hand on Claudia’s head.
“Don’t worry. I’ll save Lythtis somehow.”
“…Master, thank you! I’ll come with!”
She wanted to attack Rennis’ Clothing Shop earlier and now she wants to leave to find Lythtis immediately. She’s motivated but it won’t be that easy.
“You can’t, Claudia. You’re still needed here at the shop.”
“W-Why can’t I come with!?”
“Have you forgotten? You still need to finish sewing Rose’s dress. We’re already on a tight schedule and if you come with me to find Lythtis we definitely won’t get it done on time.”
If it means saving Lythtis, I have no problem delaying my dream a little longer.
And if we don’t finish the dress in time, I’ll lose my opportunity to work at a clothing store and, more importantly, I’ll lose Claudia. I can never let that happen.
“…but what about your Feminist skill, Master?”
“I know but don’t worry. I have a plan.”
I do actually have a plan but I have no intention of telling Claudia what it is. I know she’d be opposed to it.
“Claudia you should focus on getting Rose’s dress done. And Wells-san, I have a favour to ask of you.”
“You’re doing this to help our daughter. If there’s anything I can do to help, I’ll do it.”
“Thank you. I’ll need you to make pattern paper so Claudia can cut the more expensive cloth into proper shape for the dress.”
The cloth we are using to make the dress is expensive, so the model we have currently is made from cheap fabric. To complete the dress, we’ll need to use the pattern paper once more to cut the expensive cloth into shape.
I had originally planned on doing this myself, but I don’t have the time if I also want to help Lythtis. I’ll just have to count on Wells-san and Claudia.
Wells-san has already used these techniques to start making some clothing for Claudia so he should be able to do it.
“Pattern paper…. All right, I’ll get it made so Claudia can finish.”
“I’m counting on you. You can leave some of the finer details alone. I should have time to work on those when I get back.”
I said this and turned to Claudia.
“Please, continue working on the dress…. I’m going to the Guild to see if they can offer us any help. You also should only work on it in the house.”
The people that kidnapped Lythtis are probably still watching the shop. If they think we haven’t given up, they may target Claudia as well.
If I manage to save Lythtis only to come back and find Claudia kidnapped — no matter what, I can’t allow that to happen.
“I understand. I’ll stay at home and work on it…. Master, please save my sister.”
“Leave it to me. I’ll definitely rescue her!”
I had no time to waste, so I took a carriage to the Bandol guild.
“Oh, Yuzuki-kun, are you alone today?”
“Yes. Claudia and Rose have other things they’re taking care of.”
“Yeah, actually –”
I brought my voice down to a low whisper as I explained my plan to help rebuild Wells’ Clothing shop and that Lythtis had been kidnapped.
“Kidnapped? Do you think…?”
“Yes. There’s little chance the people behind this aren’t involved in the other plots plaguing this island.”
“…I understand. Thank you for this information. I’ll send a guard to their store and put up a request to find information about her whereabouts immediately.”
“Thank you, but I’m worried about what may happen if it’s discovered that someone is investigating.”
Lythtis is being held captive and we can’t risk accidentally alerting them to our investigation.
“I understand. I’ll recruit a few guild members to investigate in secret. Once she’s been found, they’ll gather few more adventurers and save her.”
“Thank you so much. About the request fee….”
“You don’t need to worry about that. This request is just another part of the grander case the Brad family is already paying for.”
I already need to help pay off Wells-san’s debt, so I wasn’t even sure if I would have enough money to pay the fee.
“Then, I actually have another request.”
“What could it be? I can offer you the blood of a virgin right now or the blood of an impure woman if you’re willing to put in a little effort yourself.”
“I don’t need either. I’d also like to investigate Lythtis’ location on my own, but I’d like a companion to travel with me for a short time.”
“…oh, because of your Feminist skill.”
I don’t remember telling her about it, but she somehow knew about my skill.
…well, that’s to be expected of Sylphy-san. She never surprises me anymore.
“That’s why I need someone I can trust that can fight against women.”
“I understand that, but who could we find that could travel with you–”
“Do you understand?”
Grave told me that I should try to avoid partnering up with anyone. That’s why I bought Claudia in the first place.
“If they’re already a yandere, you think they’ll be able to travel with you?”
“…she’s not insane is she?”
…I’d usually assume every yandere had lost their sanity.
“Of course she’s sane. She still has her yandere trait but she’s working hard and following the rules. Since you left, Yuno has already started working in our intelligence department.”
Sylphy-san told me that Yuno was placed under a slave contract that would prevent her from harming me. In other words, Yuno should be able to act as my companion.
Well…I do feel a little guilty for somewhat forcing her to do this for me. It’s for Claudia and Lythtis though, so I’m willing to accept this guilt.
“Do you have a problem with that?”
“I won’t know whether or not it’s possible without actually doing it.”
“…when will you be returning?”
“I can’t say for sure, but it won’t be any time soon.”
I’m not sure how well this will work out. Maybe I’d be better off going to the Brad mansion and asking one of Rose’s guards to help me.
“Hey…what about me?”
“Eh? You want to come with?”
I expected her to be joking, but when I looked up at her, her eyes were serious.
“…Yuzuki-kun, have you forgotten who I am?”
“Eh? Umm, the Guild’s yandere receptionist?”
“That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m an elf.”
“I know that, but…?”
I haven’t really paid much attention to them but Sylphy-san’s ears are really pointy.
“…what are you trying to say?”
I curiously tilted my head as I didn’t understand her meaning. She went on to explain,
“Do you not know what an elf is, Yuzuki-kun?”
“Umm…they have pointed ears…they live long, and….”
“So you know a little about elves. Did you just think I was a young elf? Despite my looks, I’m over 120 years old.”
This really didn’t change my opinion of her. I knew she appeared young but, to me, her mental age was much younger. I assumed she was old but I also wouldn’t have been surprised if she was much younger.
“I’m not sure you actually understand. Elves mature rapidly. We’ll usually be fully mature by the time we hit our mid-teens. We’ll maintain that appearance for hundreds of years.”
“Well…that does make sense I guess.”
There’d be no benefit to staying in a child’s body for dozens of years, nor would it be beneficial for them to live for hundreds of years in the broken down body of an elderly person.
“I still don’t think you understand what I’m saying. What do you think I’ve been doing for the past hundred years?”
“Umm…are you actually a seasoned adventurer?”
“That’s not exactly right. I’ve been a receptionist at the Guild for nearly one hundred years, but I’ve also spent over a dozen years as an adventurer.”
Maybe the elves of this world are different than the elves I know.
I thought fully matured elves would be about the equivalent of an adult human.
But if elves learn and grow at an accelerated rate compared to humans….
I decided I’d use my Appraisal skill to check Sylphy-san’s status —
— Your appraisal attempt has been blocked.
This sentence popped up in my log window.
My appraisal attempt was blocked…. Does that mean Sylphy-san possesses a skill that counters it? I didn’t know something like that existed.
As I was thinking about this, Sylphy-san leaned across the counter and flicked my forehead.
“He~y, what do you think you’re doing, reading a girl’s status window without permission?”
“You just used your Appraisal skill to try to read my status.”
“Wha-!? You can tell that!?”
I didn’t expect her to be able to block my Appraisal skill, but I never imagined she’d be able to tell I tried to do it.
“There are some skills that can be nullified by others unless they outrank them. So, you should never try to look at a girl’s status window without getting permission first.”
Every time she said, “…a girl’s,’ I felt increasingly more guilty.
But, this ‘girl’ is over 120 years old. However, that would be rude to point out. Besides, Sylphy-san is beautiful…a beautiful onee-san.
It is a little difficult for me to call her a girl though.
In fact, the status window represents the essence of a person. When you touch this, that person experiences incredible pleasure.
Something so important must be protected. In other words, Sylphy-san is saying I should get permission before I try to view the important place of a girl. When I think about it like that, the guilt washes over me once more.
I…I guess I’ve got used to Claudia happily showing me her important place.
“Don’t worry, Yuzuki-kun. If it’s you, you can see my private place at any time.”
While I nodded to her, I regretted ever trying to check her status.
I need to be careful about what I say and do around her. I don’t want her to take me to the back room like she did last time.
…no, I can’t say I hate that idea, but I’m not sure it would be worth it considering what Claudia and Rose would do to me.
“So, are you going to be my companion for the time being?”
“Of course. I’m Yuzuki-kun’s exclusive receptionist. I will continue to support you with all my power until I breathe my last breath.”
“R-Right…. I’m sure I can count on you.”
…I’m not sure if that makes sense. She’s the closest thing to an immortal I can imagine.
She’s telling me she’ll support me until she dies, but her lifespan is more than ten times longer than mine.
Unless one of my titles extends my lifespan.
W-Well, it should be fine.
Sylphy-san hasn’t given me any reason to doubt her. I genuinely feel like I can trust her as my companion.
“So, now that you have a companion, what are you going to do?”
“Umm…well, unfortunately, I have no clue as to where Lythtis is, so I was planning on gathering information here at the guild before deciding anything further.”
“If so, I have some good news.”
“You have information? What is it?”
“Yep, I have something that I’m sure you’ll want to know.”
“Please, tell me.”
“Oh, of course, but only on one condition.”
“Whatever it is, I’ll do it….”
I regretted saying this as soon as the words left my mouth. Sylphy-san’s eyes narrowed as she stared at me.
“I don’t want money or anything like that. I’m your exclusive receptionist and now I’m your companion. So why are we still using honorifics?”
“Are you saying you want us to speak casually?”
“Yes. I don’t mind, do you?”
“Well…sure. Then, Sylphy, I’ll be in your care.”