Volume 1 Chapter 14 – Visit


 Lynett


 

Umh… How did this happen?

Currently, I am in one of the waiting room of the Whiteheart mansion. The room was spacious, but not too empty. Pictures sprawled on each walls, depicting beautiful landscapes and, underneath, a cream carpet covered almost the whole room. In the center, there was a large and elegant table, made of a high polished wood, free of either dust or clutter. Two couches, inlaid with a fine red silk and flowers embroidered delicately, were arranged to each side of the center table.

I was sitting in the middle of one of the couch, as I could feel tension and anxiety building up in me. At my right, there was Yoko. She was comfortably seated as she cross her arms in front of her, leaning on the backrest of the sofa with her feet on the table. At my left, Harri. His legs crossed, he was resting his head on his hand, his elbow placed on the arm of the couch.

They totally made themselves at home.

In front of us, on the opposite sofa, there were Uncle Jack and Aunt Nora. My uncle has always been a serious person. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile. But right now, his expression couldn’t appear any more serious than this. His fingers crossed in front of him, he is looking at me as if I just brought the downfall of the family. Please stop looking at me… On the other hand, Aunt Nora won’t stop clenching her teeth. Her face turned completely red. I’m not sure if she is angry or frustrated right now, but she is clearly not pleased by my guests.

Standing on the side of each couch, there were Ivy and Yao.  Ivy was as stiff as a stick as she kept shivering, unable to withstand the tense atmosphere, while Yao won’t stop hissing at us.

I am not sure how long it has been since it began, but currently, we are pretty much having a staring contest. No one is saying anything; we just stare at each other in silence. While Harri and Yoko stand their ground without flinching, a huge smile on their face, I, on the other hand, can’t maintain the eye-contact.

What’s with this situation? As I thought, it was a bad idea to bring Harri and Yoko here. This is bad. Forget about my cheat stats, if this tension doesn’t subside quickly, I might die of nervousness. I can’t stand long silences. I just want to go back to my room… Why do I have to bear this situation? If you guys want to fight, do it without me.

Anyway, to explain this situation, I guess a little flashback is necessary. Returning to one hour ago, I left the Adventurers’ Guild with Harri and Yoko, looking for Ivy.

◊◊◊◊◊

“YOUNG MISTRESS!!” Ivy cried out.

I was approaching the plaza where I first met Axis and where I ditched Ivy. As she noticed me, Ivy ran to my side, grabbing both of my hands.

“Young mistress! Where were you?! Do you know how much time has passed since you disappeared? You can’t leave me behind like this! I almost died of concern! What if something had happened to you?! What would I have done?! And how would I have explained this to the Lord?!” She exclaimed in panic, with tearful eyes.

Hearing her complains, I could feel guilt slowly building up in me. I did say I would be right back after all, and yet… Such a reckless behavior from me could cost her her job, or maybe even worse. “Sorry…” I muttered with a small voice.

Seeing my regretful expression probably calmed her down a little as she let out a relieved sigh, but she wasn’t over. However, as she was about to resume her lecture, she noticed the two figures standing beside me: Yoko and Harri. Her eyes widened, she just froze in place, staring at them. Her mouth opened slightly, probably trying to say something, but she just couldn’t successfully utter anything. She slowly turned her gaze on me, clearly expecting me to explain the situation.

“Uhm, Ivy, this is Yoko, and this is Harri.” I introduced them. “Yoko, Harri, this is Ivy, my attendant.”

“Attendant? Is she your servant?” Yoko asked.

“Something like that, yeah. But to be precise, it’s my family she serves.” I explained.

Harri suddenly stepped forward, grabbing Ivy’s hand, forcefully drawing her out of her confused state. Putting one knee on the ground, he gently kissed her hand before standing again. Is he going to do that to every female he meets…?

“My deepest apologizes, My Lady!” He exclaimed. “It seems that we caused you trouble by borrowing your young mistress at our convenience, without warning. Hopefully, this small gift will be enough to appease your anger.”

As he said this, a rose suddenly appeared in his hand. He gently put it in Ivy’s hair.

“There. As I thought, this flower shines even more on you. If roses could speak, I am sure this one would be crying in jealousy. The depth of your eyes easily outshine its beauty.” He added, with a charming smile.

… Of course. I had almost forgotten that Harri was… Harri. I sincerely hope that he won’t do anything similar at home.

Startled by his actions, Ivy turned to me in distress, clearly asking for help.

“Sorry, he’s a bit special but he’s not a bad guy.” I said. “Anyway, Harri and Yoko are… my friends… sort of. I was thinking of maybe bringing them home?”

Her eyes squinted, Ivy finally managed to say something. “Friends?”

Yeah. I know what she is thinking. ‘Young mistress, you don’t have any friends, you’ve never brought anyone home before’ or something like that. I am not sure what she is the most surprised about, though. The fact that there is a demi-human among them, the fact that my ‘friends’ are abnormally perfect, or the fact that they have the same eyes as me. She is going to think that I am starting a ‘Golden eyed people’ club, isn’t she?

Nonetheless, she didn’t say anything. Instead, she just awkwardly greeted them, before going ahead, leading us home. From times to times, she would give a quick glance in our direction.

On the way, I firmly explained Yoko and Harri the rules they needed to follow, once we would arrive at the mansion.

“No matter what happens, you can’t display any hostility. Obviously, you are not allowed to attack or disrespect anyone. The words ‘God’, ‘Goddess’, ‘Divine’ and ‘Creator’ are forbidden and you have to address to me with my first name, Lynett. We are friends, nothing less, nothing more. We just happened to meet randomly in the market place. You helped me with a thief and I thought of bringing you home to thank you.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. That’s a lot of rules just for a visit.” Yoko complained.

It’s not like if I had the choice, considering their character. “Is that clear?” I asked.

“Sure.” They answered, with a dull voice.

Not too convincing… Are they even listening? Suddenly, an idea flashed through my mind, as a wicked grin slowly stretched on my lips.

“And you guys are a married couple.” I added.

“WHAT?!” They both exclaimed indignantly.

“What kind of bad joke is it?!” Yoko growled. “Why do I have to pretend to be in a relationship with this idiot? Look at his stupid face and his skinny body, there isn’t a slight hint of manliness in him! And his personality is even worse, a disaster! A real fool! He is the last man I’d want to be with!”

“I am the one you should feel sorry to!” Harri protested in his turn. “This minx isn’t even a woman! It’s a fox! She doesn’t have the kindness or the gentleness of women and she is as brutal as a demon! She is not worthy to be my wife!”

So they were listening after all. That strong refusal, though.

“It’s just acting, guys. It’ll make our story more believable. Besides, you’ll be a perfect couple! Ok?” I said, unable to hide my devilish smile.

The two of them looked at each other for a while. Then, Yoko’s face distorted in disgust while Harri placed his hand across his face, sighing. I will take that as a yes. Mufufu… I am looking forward it.

“Tch! Creator or not, one day, I’ll make you pay for this…” Yoko grunted quietly.

“Thinking about it, should we change your names?” I asked, ignoring her.

“No need,” Harri responded. “Having a few people named after Gods isn’t particularly rare among humans, especially if they were blessed. And Yoko and I aren’t as famous as Naia around here so it should be fine. Besides, you already gave our names to your servant.”

Right. I had forgotten. But with all this, everything should be fine, right? Nothing should go wrong…

As we kept approaching the house, I tried calming this unsettling feeling of nervousness in my chest, repeating the rules over and over to Yoko and Harri, making sure they had understood.

When we arrived at the gates of the mansion, we were greeted by Mairin, the head house-maid. Maririn is one of the rare servants who still hate me. As the head house-maid, she has been here longer than most of the employee, ever since my father was a child. Having served the family for this long, she is extremely loyal to them and shares their values. So she clearly doesn’t like my presence, as she sees me as a potential threat.

“You’re late.” She said.

Her cold stare then directed on Ivy, who immediately lowered her head in shame. She was clearly blaming her for failing in her duty and was probably thinking of how to punish her. Sorry Ivy… I will definitely make up later.

“What’s with that flower in your hair?” Mairin asked, raising an eyebrow.

Suddenly remembering the rose Harri gave her, Ivy quickly picked it and violently threw it on the grounds, ignoring Harri’s grief. “It’s nothing!” She exclaimed, her ears reddened in embarrassment.

Noticing Harri and Yoko, Mairin slightly widened her eyes, but she did not react any further.

“So you’ve brought some guests.” She muttered, with the same emotionless voice, as she returned her gaze on me. “I will warn the Lord. He has been waiting for you.”

Uncle Jack has been waiting for me? That can’t possibly be good.

“Ivy, lead our guests to the waiting room,” Mairin ordered.

“Yes Madam.”

And just like this, the four of us ended up in the waiting room. As soon as we arrived, without being asked twice, Yoko and Harri immediately sat comfortably in one of the couch, as they started to inspect the room curiously. I wish I was just as relaxed as them… Following their example, I sat between them.

I was starting to seriously regret bringing them here. For some reasons, I just felt that they were going to make a mistake and screw everything up, blowing up the cover that I struggled to keep for years. Thinking about it, my pulse rate went up. Before the panic could eat me alive, I managed to regain a steady heart beat by slowly breathing in through the nose, and breathing out through the mouth. However, just as those breathing exercises started to help me relax, I heard the sound of footsteps in the corridor, and my pulse rate shot up once again.

When the door opened, I saw three figures enter the room: Uncle Jack, Aunt Nora and Yao. I stood up to greet them. As they saw my guests, their body instantly stopped moving. They just froze, staring wide-eyed at them in silence, their mouth shut tight in a straight line as Harri and Yoko simply smiled at them. They remained like this for a while, before the shock finally began to melt away. Without breaking the eye-contact, Uncle Jack and Aunt Nora sat in the opposite couch, as Yao stood next to it.

◊◊◊◊◊

Now, returning to the current situation. It has been like this for at least ten minutes. The staring contest is still not over, and I am about to snap at any moment. That tension is too much, I want to run away already… I want to go to my room and read some books, not to be in the middle of all those glares. At least say something, damn it! I can’t stand awkward silences like this! After a few minutes –very long minutes- as if reacting to my silent wish, my uncle finally broke the silence.

“Ivy,” he spoke with a hoarse voice, without breaking the eye-contact.

Hearing her name called out, Ivy flinched in both surprise and fear. “YES MY LORD!” She shouted.

“Why don’t you bring our guests some tea?” He ordered.

“Right away!”

Excusing herself, she deeply bowed down in front of us before stepping out of the room hastily. Once she left, the silence immediately returned. If it wasn’t for my aunt’s comical expressions, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to withstand it. Fortunately, it didn’t take long before Ivy came back with an elegant porcelain tea set. She nicely arranged it on the table and started pouring the tea. I was worried that her nervousness would make her hands shake and cause her to do a big mistake, but she seems to have regained her professionalism. Once she was done, she silently regained her place, behind me.

“Please, help yourself.” Uncle Jack said.

Completely oblivious to the atmosphere, Yoko happily took her cup and drank the tea in one gulp. “Tastes like crap. Is this made of vegetable or something?” She bluntly said, putting her cup back on the table.

Oh come on, Yoko. Can’t you read the mood? I should have told her about the etiquettes!

Giving a quick glance in front of me, I tried to study the other party’s expression. As always, Uncle Jack kept his poker face, seemingly unbothered by Yoko’s rude behavior. I am pretty sure it is just on the outside though, since I know he can’t stand anything or anyone who doesn’t conform to the basic rules of courtesy.

On the other, each time Yoko did or said something, Aunt Nora’s facial muscles kept twitching in sync, which was quite comical. I know she is not fond of me, so it is a given that she would not like any of my guests, especially not a demi-human. Moreover, Yoko’s rude behavior is definitely not helping. Had I not been here, I am pretty sure Aunt Nora would have slapped her already.

“Yoko, my love?” Harri called out, with his usual handsome-guy face. “Mind your manners, will you? We’re not home, right now.”

For a split of a second, I was pretty sure that she was going to insult him, like she always does whenever he opens his mouth. However, she probably recalled my rules as a wry smile appeared on her face. “Sure, honey~! My bad, my bad.”

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“I am very sorry to hear it doesn’t suit your taste,” Uncle Jack said with a cold voice, clearly not thinking it. “So, who may you be?”

Here we are. With this one question, a sudden shiver ran down my spine as I felt an unsettling anxiety tingling through me like electrical sparks. One mistake. One mistake and it’s over. Everything is exposed. Turning to Yoko, without uttering a word, I gave her a meaningful look, hoping she wouldn’t say something unnecessary or screw up. Seeing my expression, she replied with a candid smile, as if saying ‘Don’t worry, I got it’.

“Friends!” She exclaimed, responding to my uncle’s question. “Nothing less, nothing more! We just randomly met at the market place. We helped Lynett with a thief, and she thought of inviting us to thank us!”

Isn’t this exactly the same thing I said? God damn it, Yoko. I mean, I know she doesn’t like to tell lies and I am grateful that she stuck to the plan, but… Seriously, do your bit.

“My name is Harri, and this lovelybreathtaking woman is my wife, Yoko.” Harri said, emphasizing on the compliments, clearly overdoing it. “As she just stated, we are friends with the Cr-… with Lynett.”

“Friends, huh?” My uncle repeated, obviously not convinced.

“Right, friends! Nothing less, nothing more! We just randomly met at-“

“Yoko,” I interrupted her. “I think they understood.”

She is such a bad liar… I actually chose this story because it wasn’t too far from the reality. So even though it doesn’t tell everything, it’s not completely a lie either. Yet, look at her. She really can’t lie, can she? Thank god I didn’t make up another story. The lie would have been exposed immediately.

“So, you must be Lynett’s family!” Yoko said, trying to change the topic. “Are you the humans who gave birth to her?”

“She is our niece,” Uncle Jack quickly corrected. “I am the Marquis of Eskor, Jack Whiteheart and this is my sister Nora.”

“Is that so? What a relief!” Yoko exclaimed before turning to me. “Thinking about it, you did say that your mother was an elf, right? Good thing it’s not her! I mean, I would have really pitied you if such a boobless woman was your mother, haha!”

Yoko, I am so going to make you pay for this. Read the GODDAMN mood! The worst thing about this situation is that she is such an airhead she didn’t even notice she was being rude.

I gave a quick glance to Aunt Nora. As I thought, she was about to snap. Her whole body was trembling in anger as she was biting her lips and clenching her fists. She was holding it in, but not for much longer. There was just no way that she would let a (seemingly) demi-human insult her like this, right in front of her face.

“But, what’s wrong with her? She keeps shivering. Is she sick?” Yoko asked, completely oblivious. “No charms at all! Don’t you agree honey~?”

“Uhm… I think the real problem is this ‘uncle’ over there.” Harri responded.

Oh gods. Not him too. Please, Harri, don’t make it worse. 

“Look at him, as stiff as a statue. And what’s with his cold stare? A real man should give off refreshing vibes and display an appealing smile in all circumstances! He is nothing like a gentleman at all!”

… They can hear everything you say, you know? Why are you guys talking like if they weren’t here? Those stupid Gods… No common sense at all. I knew they were straightforward, but can’t they have a little restraint? The only rule I should have made is to keep their mouth shut all the time! Ah, whatever. I don’t care anymore…

“I WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS ANYMORE!” A feminine voice suddenly shouted, as a flat palm slammed against the table.

Well, it was about time. As I thought, Aunt Nora finally snapped.

 “What’s wrong with you two? Are you out of your mind?!” She continued. “Do you have any ideas of where you are, right now, and who you are talking to?!”

“Oh my, I think she’s upset.” Yoko said, with a slight tone of naivety in her voice.

“OF COURSE I AM! Am I supposed to let myself be insulted by a lowly slave?!”

This time, it was Yoko’s turn to snap.

“Lowly sl-?! Hey, boobless girl. Don’t say something that you will regret.” She grunted with an arrogant smile. “I am superior to you in any aspect. Power, rank, race, face and boobs.”

“Yoko, my love, you know that there is no point in arguing with an excited woman.” Harri said, trying to calm the situation, completely unaware that he was only making things worse.

“Shut up!” Aunt Nora yelled, turning her gaze to Harri. “I don’t want to hear that from you, a fool who actually dared to marry to an inferior race! You are the worst of all, trying to mix our blood with those filthy beasts!”

Harri widened his eyes and blinked a few time, confused. Then, he brought his hand to his face, letting out a loud sigh. “Such vulgarity… Not lady-like at all.”

Yoko suddenly bursted out in laughter. “Ahahaha! See that Harri? Isn’t she even worse than me? Such a bad character! Hahaha! She must really not be popular among men!”

Touché. Unable to withstand the affront any longer, Aunt Nora suddenly stood and raised her hand, ready to slap Yoko. However, before she had the time to give her the smack, Yoko also stood up, grabbed her hand and pulled her over, making her lose her balance. Preventing Aunt Nora to fall, Yoko placed her second arm around her waist and… Huh?

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS SHE DOING?! She’s kissing her!!

The heck?! What is she thinking? Am I dreaming? Quickly examining the others, I noticed that everyone just froze in place, watching the scene in astonishment. Definitely not a dream. But… Wow! That’s my first time seeing two girls kissing. I slowly turned to Harri, the only one who didn’t seem bothered by Yoko’s sudden action as he took a sip of his tea nonchalantly.

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“Aren’t you going to stop her?” I whispered to him.

“Uhm? Why would I? Leave her be, she’s just discussing.” He simply answered, unconcerned.

“You call that discussing?!”

“Yes. Kissing is the language of love. Besides, it’s Yoko we’re talking about.”

What’s with that mentality? He is insane! All my Gods are insane!

“Still,” I insisted in a low voice, making sure we wouldn’t be heard. “As the God of Love, shouldn’t you be bothered by it? I mean… since they’re both female.”

“Quite the opposite, actually.” Harri shrugged. “I support all kind of love. Be it with a man, a woman, or a beast. As long as there is love, it’s completely fine.”

Oh, that’s quite poetic! As expected of the God of Love! But I don’t think there is any love in this, so he should… Wait, what?! A beast? Bestiality is ok too?!

Guessing what I was thinking, as he saw my expression, a wry smile played on Harri’s lips. “How do you think the beastkin was created to begin with?” He asked.

HUH?! So that’s how the beastkin was created? Wait, no! It’s not like that! Beastmen exist because I created them! Suddenly understanding that Harri was just teasing me, I sent a deadly stare at him.

“Haha, just kidding,” he simply said, avoiding my gaze.

I could have thought of a way to punish him, but my attention returned to Yoko and Aunt Nora, as their kiss –very long kiss- finally ended. Aunt Nora immediately collapsed on the sofa, gasping, as Yoko stole all the air from her lungs. Her face completely flushed, she grabbed her chest as her body was starving for oxygen. That sure was intense. Auntie, you need to breathe through your nose. 

“Chill, girl.” Yoko said, as her lips curled into a grin. “You shouldn’t get angry like that. It will only ruin your make-up. Have some pride and don’t waste your pretty face any more than this.”

Hearing this, everyone was drawn from the confused state that they had fallen into, as they tried to comprehend what just happened. Her breathing finally returning to normal, Aunt Nora turned her gaze on Yoko, her eyes full of anger and indignation. Obviously, stealing a kiss from her didn’t help in calming her down. Quite the opposite actually. But before she could say anything, I spoke up. I didn’t need the situation to escalate more than it already did.

“Excuse her. They’re foreigners; they don’t have the same custom as us. For her, kissing is just a way to… make up. She didn’t mean to be rude.”

“ARE YOU KIDDING M-“ Aunt Nora started to yell out at me, but then, she suddenly recalled who she was talking to, as she lowered her tone, averting her gaze. “Even though… Even as foreigners, there are limits! And in what kind of country do people kiss each other like this?!”

“Uhm? What, would you have preferred to go all the way?” Yoko asked naturally, raising a single eyebrow.

God damn it, Yoko… Once again, read the mood. Meanwhile, my aunt just widened her eyes and furrowed her forehead, clearly not believing what she just heard. Her jaw was shaking as she was trying to say something.

“You…! Do you want to di-“

“Nora.” The cold voice of Uncle Jack suddenly interrupted her.

Without saying anything else, he simply gave her a meaningful look. Aunt Nora looked at him for a few seconds before letting out a heavy sigh. She clicked her tongue as she crossed her arms in front of her. While she did not push the matter any further, her deadly stares at Yoko clearly indicated that she still has not given up.

“My apologizes, my sister has some temper issues,” Uncle Jack said. “Please do not mind her. I am grateful for your assistance to my niece. Make yourself at home and feel free to stay as much as you want.”

Finishing his host’s speech, Uncle Jack stood up, as Aunt Nora imitated him, still annoyed.

“Now then, I guess we should leave some time to our dear Lynett and her friends.”

Without even waiting for an answer, Uncle Jack headed to the door, and everyone else followed him silently. As he was about to step out of the room, he turned one last time at us.

“Please, take your time.” He added just before disappearing, as a gentle smile appeared on his face.

Did I just see my uncle smile…?

Creepy.

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