A few days after returning to the Grances territory.
I enjoyed the festival in Rizelheim, it really reminded me of my previous life — By that, I’m talking about sweets.
In other words, I really want to eat some sweets right now.
I could have had Alice make some, but….I was told about a shop that was opening in Muhle. That’s why Alice and I are currently heading there.
“Wow, this town has really evolved.”
I said this as I looked out at the cityscape.
Several shops that appeared to be made of brick, but were actually made of reinforced concrete, lined the streets. There were multiple cafés, general stores, and many others.
The main street is made of cobblestone with sidewalks on either side. The sidewalks really reduce the chances of any accidents happening with carriages travelling along the main road.
There are many students walking along the sidewalks as well as many other people wearing more modern clothing. Honestly, I could easily mistake this scene as being in modern Japan.
“……When did we start mass-producing that clothing? I thought we weren’t able to mass-produce cashmere and silk yet.”
“That’s a different version that’s made of cotton and hemp.”
“Oh, I couldn’t even tell the difference.”
Is hemp really that cheap? Maybe it’s cheap in this world, but as a natural material, it’s more of a luxury.
As I looked to the side of me, I noticed Alice was no longer walking next to me. Looking back I could see she had stopped to look at something.
I followed her line of sight to see……a small cafe along the side of the road. No, is she looking at the students talking in the cafe?
Alice noticed me staring and quickly caught up to me.
“There’s nothing you need to worry about. So, where did you want to go shopping today?”
She’s just lying…..right? That’s fine though. I can guess as to what she’s thinking, but it’s probably best if I don’t force her to tell me.
“It’s this place Claire told me about. It’s a footbath cafe.”
“You really like footbaths.”
“The best feeling in winter was eating sweets with my feet under the kotatsu. I think this is as close as I can get to that in this world.”
Sadly, there are no kotatsus in this world, but a footbath should be close enough.
“Isn’t it kind of embarrassing to take your shoes and socks off in public and soak your feet in water?”
“You think so? Is it that embarrassing when everyone else is doing it?”
I remember when we were busy first building the city. When everyone was tired from work Claire, Sophia, Alice, and everyone else would all soak their feet in the footbath and talk.
“In this world, it isn’t uncommon for men and women to bathe with one another, but it doesn’t seem to be common among the nobility. Still, I think I don’t mind as much when it’s everyone doing it.”
“Hmm, then Alice really is just embarrassed….”
That would be nice to see.
I really wanted to go to the footbath cafe, but seeing Alice like this, I guess there’s no choice. But then, Alice let out a big sigh.
“……It can’t be helped. This is a special occasion, okay? I don’t want any other men there either.”
Alice looks cute with her cheeks dyed red.
My heart started beating faster when she said this is a special occasion. I began walking ahead in order to clear my mind.
The footbath cafe soon came into view. For some reason, the person working at the front was wearing a maid outfit. She greeted us with a, “Welcome home, Master and Lady.”
It is a maid cafe!
This is a real life footbath maid cafe.
By the way, each room was sectioned off with walls and a door. Alice looked completely relaxed as she soaked her feet in the footbath.
And she was so against coming here too.
“Wafu~…….The footbath feels amazing…..”
“So, what happened to being embarrassed?”
“Hn~? I’m a little embarrassed even now.”
“How are you at all embarrassed?”
“Well, even though this is a footbath, it’s still a bath.”
“That’s true, but you’re wearing your clothes still.”
I have to either roll up my pant legs or take them off altogether. Alice is wearing a miniskirt so she only needs to remove her knee socks and shoes. I don’t know why she would be embarrassed.
“Even if I’m wearing my clothing, this is similar to a mixed bath. It makes me feel relaxed and vulnerable so it’s a bit embarrassing.”
When she puts it like that, going to a footbath together seems a little immoral. Rather, seeing Alice’s face get dyed red from the hot water is a little sexy.
On top of that, her well-developed chest is pressed up against the table when she leans forward. They change shape every time she moves.
…….I’m feeling embarrassed just looking at her.
“Still, if Leon gets excited seeing me like this, maybe it isn’t so bad.”
— She saw straight through mmmeeeee! Damn, I was once again played by Alice…..It’s so frustrating.
“Fufu~, Leon is still a child.”
I’m already past puberty at this point. And whose fault do you think it is that I’m so conscious of a woman’s body? Of course, I can’t say that to her.
By the way, saying I’m just now conscious of women isn’t entirely accurate. Ever since I was born I had the mind of a teenager.
However, before this body hit puberty, I never really thought of women in that way. But now, my head becomes hot whenever I think about a woman’s body…..
I might need to give Alice an answer soon, but — As I was thinking this, I heard a familiar voice nearby.
“He~y, Aisha. Stop playing around so much; you’re annoying the other customers.”
“But Senpai, this is a maid cafe, right? We can experience a world normal citizens like us would never get to live.”
“True, but…..I’ve been to Leon-sama’s mansion a few times.”
“Ku~I’m so envious of you. All of the seniors are so sneaky.”
I didn’t recognize the girl named Aisha’s voice, but I did recognize the senior’s voice.
I looked over the low wall in the direction of the voice. As expected, I could see Lyanna standing there.
“Hey, Lyanna. It’s strange seeing you in a place like this.”
After completing her second year at the school, Lyanna was now teaching there.
She’s seventeen years old this year. Although she was already cute when she entered the school, she’s now more mature and even cuter.
I’ve also been told by Claire that she has been confessed to by several of the boys that have entered the school —- It must be hard for her.
“Huh? I didn’t know you were back in Muhle.”
“Ah, yeah we returned a few days ago. How have you been, Lyanna?”
“— Senpai, se-n-pa-i~ Who is this obnoxious boy?”
The girl named Aisha hits the top of my head. Lyanna’s face turned pale after witnessing this. Aisha didn’t notice and looked at my face.
Seeing her this close…..she’s maybe a year younger than Lyanna. She has unique green hair and brown eyes. She’s definitely a lively girl with short hair.
She’s calling Lyanna ‘Senpai’ so she must be one of the third-years. It’s not surprising she doesn’t recognize me as I haven’t been to the school lately.
I only ever attended the third-years graduation. If she even saw me there, she probably thought I was a student like her.
“Fumufumu. Your face is pretty good, but even if you stare at Lyanna senpai like that, you’ll never steal her heart.”
She’s the type of girl that says whatever she wants.
Well, if Aisha is Lyanna’s junior, she’s actually older than me.
“Why are you staying silent? Did I hit the mark? Now you’re just speechless *uri uri*”
Stop pinching my cheeks — this feels like a scene out of a romantic comedy.
“A-Aisha stop! That person is —”
Lyanna was about to reveal my identity before she suddenly stopped.
Aisha had looked back towards Lyanna and I was now holding my finger to my lips in order to keep her silent.
For a certain reason, I was waiting until most students that knew Alice was associated with me had graduated.
I wouldn’t really mind if Aisha found out, but there are currently many other students around us that are taking notice of our conversation.
As of now, all the students that knew of Alice have already graduated. I’d rather not let all of the new students here see her with me.
“This boy is…..umm…..”
“My name is Leo. Lyanna helped me out the other day when I was in trouble.”
“Th-That’s right. I helped Leo-kun. Fueh!? I helped you!?”
“Eh, didn’t you?”
“I felt like it was the opposite….”
“What are you talking about? Of course, Lyanna was the one that helped me.”
“I-I guess so.”
Well, it is true that Lyanna helped me solve the food shortage in the territory. So, I’m not lying when I say she helped me.
“Hee~, so that’s how it is. So, Leo-kun likes Lyanna senpai?”
“Well, I wonder if it’s something like that.”
“Fueeh!? Leo-sa — kun likes me?”
Lyanna started to panic and almost used the proper honorific.
“I see. Well, I’ll do my best to support you, but Lyanna senpai likes the Earl of this territory. I’m not sure if that’s a hurdle you’ll be able to get over.”
“Aaaissshaaa!! Wh-Wh-Wh-What are you saying!?”
“Well, it is the truth. Lyanna senpai if you don’t tell him now, this kid will just get hurt later on.”
“That’s not the point! Well, that is true, but it isn’t true!”
“Umm…..which one is it?”
……..Anyway, Aisha seems to be worried about me liking Lyanna. She’s a little brash but I think she’s a good person.
What she said about Lyanna…….Right, I must have misheard her. I’m sure Lyanna is feeling embarrassed, I’ll give her a chance to clear things up.
“That’s the first I’ve heard about you liking Lord Leon.”
“Fueh!? W-Well, that’s because Aisha said something.”
“Of course, she was lying, right? There’s no reason that you’d like Lord Leon.”
“Of course there is! He’s amazing and so gentle. He’s also determined and that’s why Leon-sama is for me — “
Lyanna’s entire face was now bright red and she started staring down at the floor.
…….Eh? Wasn’t she supposed to clear things up? But, seeing Lyanna panicking like this is also nice.
It’s a rare sight to see her acting like this so I kind of want to see more of this.
But, I can’t do that to her. I’ll try to change the subject.
“Lyanna, I’m sorry to keep you. You came here to have some sweets with your friend, right?”
“Ah, t-that’s right. Then, Aisha let’s find a seat!”
“Eh, but, I want to sit here and talk with Leo-kun more.”
“Just-come-on-already! Let’s go!”
“Wai-, Senpai!? Don’t push me! Stop pushing!”
“Then, Leo-kun, I’ll see you some other time!”
In other words, Lyanna pushed Aisha to another table some ways away from us. I waved goodbye to them and went back into the private room.
— And my eyes were met with Alice’s cold stare.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.