Chapter 42: That time when Latte came with me during the harvest festival Part 1
TL: kizen who's going to act like he didn't just take an unannounced break
The season has changed to fall. You can sometimes still feel the summer heat but it has now become much easier to bear.
It was almost evening when Suzuran reached the town. She went directly to my workplace and before heading home, we passed by the meat shop to buy some meat.
Incidentally, my workmates couldn't make eye contact with Suzuran when she came by. She was wearing her jinbei since it was hot so they kept getting distracted by her armpits.1
I already received the duplicate keys I asked from the landlady so I gave her one. I just came home so I wanted to laze around with her but I have to wipe my sweat first. To do that, I had to take off my shirt. Suzuran's gaze was starting to bother me a bit but just decided not to mind it.
Before long, Latte also came to my room so I decided to make some barley tea. It was also hot today so after I boiled the dried barley, I cooled it down for a bit.
「Iyaー, the tea that Caam-kun makes is really delicious, isn't itー?」
「What's this…? Why did you change your tone?」
Suzuran didn't say anything but she nodded in agreement with me.
「Ah, I forgot. They are going to harvest the wheat soon so that's why you should come back home. It would be really terrible if you didn't. We have the manpower but there are a lot of people relying on Caam's magic after all」
「Hmmー. Is it that time already? I guess I should ask for a slightly longer vacation so that I can go home ahead of time」
「I want to go to Caam-kun's village too~」
「Ahー, I don't mind but you should know that we're just going to be walking there」
「Hn~. That's fine with me. And besides, I haven't greeted Caam-kun and Suzuran's parents yet~」
When I looked at Suzuran's direction, she was just drinking her tea with an unconcerned face. Ah, does that mean she doesn't want to have anything to do with that?
「Well, let's just talk more about that while having dinner. I'll go make it now」
The old man at the butcher shop had some deer meat so I asked which part's good since Suzuran's here. I was thinking about making a sauce but I think Suzuran would like the meat as is. Latte's here though so it would probably be better if I just made some.
Should I just use the remaining apples to make a compote as a substitute? Well, I guess I should make some anyway and put it on saucers so that everyone can just choose what they'd like to add to the meat.
I cut the deer meat into thick slices and cover it with salt and pepper. I have to let that sit for a while so guess I should start making the compote.
It's really just some fruit simmered in sugar water but I'm going to add some lemon juice instead since that already has some sugar in it. I'll just let it simmer until the lemon juice has evaporated.
After that, I started grilling the meat. I did them on medium rare where there's only a slight redness left on the meat. What about the vegetables you ask? Since we have a girl who doesn't like them, I just put them on a separate bowl. Of course, I made enough for multiple helpings.
「Here you goー. Sautéed venison. I seasoned it with salt and pepper but you can also add this apple sauce if you want. Since Suzuran doesn't like vegetables, I placed them in another bowl」
I placed the plates on top of the small table.
「Since Suzuran is just gonna stuff her face with it anyway so the ones that have bones are there to make it easier to eat」
「Thanks. Let's eat」
「How fast! At least wait until everybody says it」
I took away the meat from her hands causing her to be a bit sullen. Even a dog, with just minimum training, will be able to wait a bit for his food after all.
「Well then, let's eat」
「Let's eat」「Let's eat~」
After we said that, Suzuran once again grabbed a hold of the meat, sank her teeth into it and tore it off to eat. This feels kinda like the food scenes from Gh*bli movies. It would be nice if she ate it in a way that made it look delicious though.
「Hmmー. I'm not really fond of thick slices of meat but this is delicious~. When the faint sourness meets with the sweetness of the sauce…… Caam's cooking is the best~desu」
As for this one, she's eating it gracefully using a fork and knife. The two of them really have exactly opposite personalities.
「Well, I'm glad to receive such praise. Looking at Suzuran reaction as well, as the cook, it makes me happy」
After dinner, it's time for my bath. For some reason, Latte had a change of clothes in my room so it has ended with the three of us going together.
I took the same amount of time as the last time Suzuran and I came here but the two of them weren't coming out at all. I guess that's fine since although fall has already begun, there's still a bit of the summer's heat left. The insects are bothering me though.
After 20 minutes of waiting, the two of them came out.
「Iyaー. The two of us washed each other so that's why we're late」
Suzuran just nodded with a slightly flushed face.
「It's good that you two are getting along but try to not do anything weird in public」
After saying that, Latte went home to her own house while Suzuran and I went back to my room. I'm not sure if she did that because she was being mindful of us but she has my gratitude.
The next morning, I woke up half-naked. Right next to me, Suzuran, who is also half-naked was clinging to my arm. You look really happy but I hope you'd forgive me for pushing you away since it's really hot.
I wiped my body then wore a shirt before waking Suzuran up. I picked up the upper part of her jinbei and threw it at her but she didn't wear it.
「I feel sticky. Want to wipe my body first. Caam, make water. Slightly larger amount」
She was still half asleep when she said that. Ahー, does this mean that it's alright for me to look? Without saying anything, I produced a balance ball-sized waterball and Suzuran plunged into it to wash her face.2
Her slovenliness even shows here huh? No, well, I guess that's just how she is.
Taking out her face from the waterball, she started wiping her face, hair, and body with a towel. After doing that, she changed her clothes. Thank you very much for the show… 3
As a man, it's a pleasure to watch a girl changing clothes so I was staring hard while she was wrapping her chest with a cloth in her underwear since I'm not getting hit this time.
I was going to turn yesterday's meat into today's breakfast and lunch but since it's also a bit hot today, I want to be spared from having meat this early in the morning so I just made a simple breakfast. I also took out all the moisture from the bento and let it cool down sufficiently before wrapping it.
This time, there's the harvest and the harvest festival so she has to go back home. Because of that, I decided to see her off at the gate.
「You didn't stay for too long but take care when going home okay?」
「Un. I received plenty of motivation last night so I'll be fine. I'm pretty strong so don't worry」
「Ah, got it. Well then. The next time I go home will be in 15 days」
「I'll let the village chief and the others know」
Saying that, without even a wave goodbye, she started on her way home. I'd like it if she was a bit more sociable sometimes but I guess I have Latte for that kind of thing.
Well then, I'll do my best to make bricks again today.
Thirteen days after Suzuran left. I wanted to go home ahead of time so I told the boss
「It's the harvest time in my village so I'll be away for a long while」
「You're a day laborer so you don't really have to ask me permission every time」
It's the first harvest festival since I came to town so I want to stay home for a bit longer.
After getting home from work, while I was taking a breather, Latte came by as usual. This has already become our daily routine. We didn't do anything in particular and passed the time like usual. Only when we finished eating our dinner did we start talking.
「Well then, tomorrow morning, we're going to leave once the gate opens so you should come earlier」
「Can't I just stay over?」
「Ahー, I don't really mind but we won't do it today, okay?」
Saying that while puffer her cheeks is pretty cute.
While we were having that conversation, there was a knock on the door. It was Celesso-san.
「Pardon for intruding」
「Ah, come in. We still haven't cleared the dishes though」
I took the chair in the corner of my room and placed it near the table.
「You don't have to worry about me. I have something to talk about with Latte so is it okay if I borrow her for a bit?」
「I don't mind but please bring her back okay?」
「I obviously know that. And besides, it's fine if Caam-kun also listens」
「Does it have anything to do with me?」
「I heard that Latte is going to Caam-kun's village tomorrow to meet with your parents so I just wanted to give her some advice……」
「Ah, if that's the case then it doesn't really matter if I'm here or not. Well, I wonder if it would be better if I'm here」
「I'll let you decide」
「Then, I'll stay」
「Let's do it here then, okay? It won't take that long. You tend to be mischievous and kinda fickle. That eccentric behavior of yours does stand out but make sure not to be rude in front of their parents okay?」
「"Are all succubi like this?" To avoid such remarks, think carefully about what you're going to say and do. Also, I do think that you know where you stand between the two of you but just make sure that you don't embarrass Suzuran-chan」
「After the harvest, there would usually be a harvest festival but make sure not to drink too much that you start to come on to other people. If somebody tries inviting you or says weird things, to protect Caam-kun's honor, make sure you reject them properly. Did you remember all of that?」
「If somebody touches you, just aptly deal with them. It's fine if it's just that much, right?」
While she was saying that, she also glanced in my direction.
「Yes」「I don't think there will be any problems. And if something happens, I'll just manage somehow」
This is the first time I saw Latte with such a serious expression.
「That's not good enough. Make sure you protect Latte!」
That forcefulness of hers caused me to stutter for a bit.
「That's all. Also, think properly about what you will do so that you won't become a hindrance」
After saying that, Celesso-san left.
「Iyaー, that was scaryー. Once in a while, Celesso-san gets like that, especially if it concerns a fellow member of the Succubus raceー」
「Well, if she thinks about you that much, doesn't that make her a really good person then? Being around that kind of person can be considered a blessing you know?」
「That's right~. Thanks~. Let me do the dishes today, okay~」
I guess there are also times where Latte becomes seriousー. I wonder which side of her is the real one?
While Latte was washing the dishes, Celesso-san arrived.
「Latte, you understand right?」
Latte stopped what she was doing and looked over.
「I understand. I'll make sure not to show any weird behavior and protect the honor of those two」
「If that's the case then good. Enjoy yourself」
Was she relieved because my reply didn't contain any hesitation I wonder? Different from the air she was letting off just now, she said that in a gentle voice.4
「I'm back~. How are we going to prepare for tomorrow's trip~?」
「Hmmー. We're going to stay there for a while so how about bringing a lot more change of clothes? If you don't mind reusing them then just two sets will be fine. We can also just get you something else to wear from there」
「Hmmー. Then I guess I'll just prepare three sets of clothes~」
「I have other clothes there since I'm going home so you can bring more than that since I can help you carry them, you know?」
「But still~. Is a change of clothes really all that we're going to bring?」
「……I guess that's true. I also have to bring some souvenirs along with me」
Speaking of that, aside from a large amount of candy made from fruits, I wonder if I can find a store that wholesales apples at such short notice compote so that I can turn those into compote. She was really pleased with the apple sauce I made for the meat the other day so she was pestering me for that.」
「I too, want to bring presents to Caam-kun and Suzuran-chan's family you know~?」
「Eh? But you don't have anything with you right now, right?」
「I can just buy those quickly tomorrow before we leave town」
「Ahー, well. If we eat breakfast quickly, we can buy them before the gate opens. Want to go together?」
「Hmm~. I'd like it if you let me off this time~」
「There also your luggage but I haven't been to Latte's room even once so I want to go」
「……got it. Then I'll show it to you tomorrow」
She looked a bit disappointed saying that.
「Then it's decided okay? Let's meet at my room tomorrow~」
Just when I thought that, she immediately goes back to her previous way of speaking.
「Yeah yeah. Let's go take a bath now then go to sleep or we won't be able to get up early tomorrow」
Next morning, I woke up with Latte clinging to my arm.
Why do both Suzuran and Latte like to cling to my arm I wonder? Well, in Latte's case, she has fuller breasts so it feels a bit softer.
Since we're going to leave this room vacant for quite a while, I don't want to just leave ingredients hanging around. That's why today's breakfast and lunch will just be something simple.
「Well thenー, shall we go to my house?」
「Speaking of which, where do you actually live?」
「Fufuーn. I've been keeping that a secret until now after all since I didn't want you to come」
「Well, since you come to my room every day, there was no need for me to do that.」
「You see, I live in the middle of the lower class district so it's a bit further away from the gate. Is it okay if our departure gets slightly delayed?」
「As long as the sun hasn't started going down then I don't mind」
After saying that, we gradually went even deeper into the lower class district to where Latte lives. I could see slightly dirty vagrant-like people roaming around. Are you telling me that she's been living in this kind of place? It feels like this place is halfway towards being called the slums you know?
After saying that, we entered a pretty old bar. It's still early but the bar is already running and was completely filled with smoke. Ever since I came to this world, I haven't seen any but is this the product of tobacco, I wonder?
【Skill・Poison Resistance: 4】 acquired.
【Skill・Confusion Resistance: 2】 acquired.
Why did this cause poison resistance to go up? It even caused confusion resistance to go all the way up to 2.
「Ahー. Try not to breathe too much of that smoke okay~? You might get addicted to it. The room I'm renting is on the 2nd floor~」
What the heck? Was this smoke actually from one of those dangerous kinds of drugs? Moreover, there are a lot of dangerous looking customers here.
Then, while the customers we're glaring at us as we made our way towards her room, a one-eyed beastkin who I wasn't sure if he was a dog or wolf, called out to us.
「Hey boy. That girl's stopped taking customers recently so you're better off goin' home」
Did he get ticked off because I was together with her? To threaten me, he got his face close enough that his breath was reaching me.
「Latte, this person is?」
「He was a customer before. He's probably jealous of you. He's drunk and has taken some of those drugs so it's fine if you don't take him seriously」
Did she get pissed that he didn't use her name when referring to her? She replied to me in a lower voice than usual that honestly gave me the chills since you wouldn't be able to imagine that coming from her considering her usual cheerful self.
「Ahー, yeah yeah. I'm not really a customer, I just came to help out so it's fine. Once we enter the room, we'll immediately come out」
「Ahー, I got it. You're probably the rumored bastard that's been making passes at Latte lately, right? She works at the red-light district after all. Did you fall for that hole after sleeping with it for a few times? If that's the case then you'd be better off just going back to your mother to suck on her teat」
Does this world have a provocation resistance or something? I'm not getting mad at all. It would be different if the one saying such things was a foreigner but I won't get intimidated if it's just somebody like this.
What surprised me though was that he pulled out a knife from his waist while he was saying that. Behind him, there are people who are saying stuff like 「Don't kill him, okay?ー」 while laughing. Even the master5 was acting like it doesn't concern him.
Ah-ah, why did you have to pull it out? I really didn't want to start a commotion you know?
I started by grabbing the wrist of his unarmed hand and rotate towards his back, take the knife off of his other hand and point it at his throat, causing some of his hair to fall on the floor.
Iyaー, it's a good thing I've seen this in games and movies. It's also a good thing that I learned how to do this in full detail from Watanabe-kun. I feel like that guy probably ended up being a policeman.
This is all thanks to the peerless protagonist of the chinmoku series6, hebi no hito, and Watanabe-kun.
「Iyaー, it's scary so could you put away this knife? You see, if you don't then the tip might just dig into your throat」
I tried saying that as nicely as possible while smiling at the others.
「O-oi. If you kill me then you'll get sent to the front lines. Did you know that?」
「You're the one who pulled this out earlier, right? You're an idiot for pulling out a knife just to threaten somebody. I knew that you didn't plan to kill me because if you did, you would have started slashing at me the moment you pulled it out. Although you didn't have the intention to kill, you could cause a lot of blood to come out if your hand slips for a bit so I took it because I'm sure that nobody wants to die because of that」
While saying that, I increased my physical abilities by 10% and strengthened my grip on his hand while bringing the knife closer to his throat.
「Oi! You guys! Don't just look, help me!」
ah, he started making even more of a fuss. People who look like his companions started rising up from their seats so I gave the man's back a powerful kick, sending him flying towards their tables scattering their food, drinks, and the drugs they were smoking.
I just observed the situation for a while because if they all come at me, I would have to respond appropriately but it doesn't seem like that's the case this time.
「Ahー, isn't that good enough already? Master, I'm sorry for the trouble」
He just lightly nodded after I said that. It doesn't seem like he has anything he wants to say. I think silently wiping the glasses like that looks refined and cool but as expected, he's probably just doing that because manufactured glass products are still expensive in this world.
「Well thenー, shall we head upstairs?」
Seeing the result of our exchange earlier, Latte called out to me. Thanks to them deciding not to back him up, the commotion we made didn't get any bigger and we were able to proceed.
「Here's my room~」
She let out an atmosphere that was completely different than earlier. Did she already forget about it?
The building's old so it has an overall dusty look but the inside of her room has been kept pretty clean. While I was thinking that, she started setting up a large shawl bag and various change of clothes on top of her bed. Looking closely, she even has some dirty7 but easy to move in clothes set up. So she did have some clothes that are like that. I didn't think she would at all.8
「Hmmー. Caam-kun, would this be good?」
「That's fine, isn't it? You even have work clothes after all」
「Then, I'll go with this~」
After saying that, she stuffed all of her clothes inside her bag and the small articles inside of the pouch-like thing. Those are her cosmetics and accessories I guess. Taking a quick look inside her dresser, I saw that she had some cute but slightly risqué panties.
I wanted to ask her to put it on for a bit but I wonder if she would oblige? Huh? Wait, aren't those scanties9? Or would it be better to call them low leg panties instead? I haven't seen any garters in this world and everyone just uses string panties. Even the cotton shorts that feel nice to touch that I use are just tied to my waist using a string. With such a small amount of cloth, where do you even put the string in that?
「'Kay~ My preparations are comple~te」
After wearing her shawl bag, she stood up. The bag was heavy that the shoulder strap is causing her breast to get even more defined than usual which made me give a huge thumbs up in my mind. Thank you very much, artisan who made that shawl bag.
「Got it. Shall we go then?」
With that said, we started our departure with a light mood but I was slightly afraid of what the reaction of those guys downstairs will be. When we reached the 1st floor, there were no signs that they were even willing to meet eyes with me. Seeing that there wasn't any need to cause a commotion, we immediately headed straight for the gates. 10
Reaching the gate, we encountered my gatekeeper friend.
「Ohー. Do you not have work today?」
「It's harvest time at our village so I'll go home to help out.」
「Really? Is that person also going with you?」
He probably figured out our relationship in an instant so he didn't hesitate to ask.
「Yes. Since I have the opportunity, I'll go there to greet Caam-kun's parents」
「I see. I heard all about it from Caam at the bar so I don't think you'll encounter any opposition there but just do your best」
「Well then, take care」
After they had that short conversation, he came to me and started hitting my shoulder strongly. Please stop. It's honestly quite painful. I'll just treat you to a drink later.
I still prepared my shovel in case we encountered a monster but we reached the gazebo without any problems. Because of that, even though it's still early, we decided to have our lunch. We're just having a simple bacon and cheese sandwich though.
「Don't mind~」「It's tasty you know~」
She said that as we started leisurely eating together. There were some unnatural movements by the bushes but I decided not to mind it and just continue on towards the village.
When we reached the village, Latte told me that she wanted to greet my parents first but as usual, they're not at home at this time so we just went straight to my room to put down our luggage. By the way, I wasn't attacked by Schinken this time.
「So this is Caam-kun's room…」
Mufufu. Latte started doing that weird laugh before driving into the bed and rolling around in it.
「Ahー, it's the bed that Caam-kun has used since childhoooodd!!」
She started acting wildly so I gave her a chop to the head to make her behave.
I didn't put any power to that so it doesn't seem like she reflected on it at all. She started sniffing on my pillow next. Geez, stop it already.
After letting her do as she wants for a while, she started opening my drawers to take out my underwear so I finally pinned her from behind and forced her to sit on the bed.
Good grief, what am I to do with you? Are you a child or what?
Once she calmed down, she became interested in the contents of my desk. She saw the broken glass inside the small box so it seems like she shifted her curiosity to that.
「Hey hey~, did you make that hair ornament here?」
「Hm? Ahー, that's right. I make those here. I'm just renting a room at Clinochlore so there are a lot of things I can't do there. I even made those glass beads you saw before here」
「Hmmmー, you also have other things here, don't you? I wonder if this is what other boy's desk look like?」
「Who knows? I'm not really sure. Since it has a mirror, some accessories and a few cosmetics that you would normally find in a girls room, wouldn't that be completely the opposite of what a man would have?」
I wasn't really organized back in my previous life. My desk at work would just be covered by a mountain of papers. I didn't even organize them after pulling out some from the middle of the stack. Even my room's PC was surrounded by things that would be convenient having nearby. A cup, my seal, remotes, a phone charger, a clock, nail clippers, a thermometer, an ear pick, and various other small accessories were all packed there and within arms reach.
「Hmmー. Is that how a boy's room is supposed to be? Aside from Caam-kun's, I haven't really visited anybody else's room before so I don't know」
Really? Well, It's best not to think about it too deeply.
Then, we were going to idly pass the time as usual but since it seemed like my parents are back, we decided to go to the living room.
「Araー. Welcome back. That girl with you is Latte-chan, right? Nice to meet you. I'm Sleet」
She greeted her with a smile. Mother is acting the same as usual huh?
「Nice to meet you. My name is Latte」
Latte, on the other hand, felt like she was a bit nervous while she said that.
「Ara ara. You don't have to be so nervous. You're already a part of our family after all」
It sure is rare seeing Latte like this.
After that, they continued with their small talk while we waited for father to come home. This is making me feel somewhat tense.
Eventually, father arrived and once everyone was gathered, we once again did our self-introductions. We didn't experience any problems and it seems like father has already accepted Latte.
「I have something to say」
Latte suddenly interjected. I haven't seen her with such a serious look before.
「What is it, Latte-chan?」
「I'm really sorry for getting in between Caam-kun and Suzuran-chan's relationship as well as causing a rift in your family's relationship」
Seeing the serious look on her face as she said that, my parents silently waited for what she's going to say next.
「I thought that an apology wouldn't cut it so I was going to prepare a present for the both of you but I haven't met Hail-san and Sleet-san before so I didn't know what you liked. I couldn't ask Caam-kun and I didn't know what to choose so I wasn't able to prepare one. Because of that, I just prepared some reparation money so please accept it」
I haven't seen her this serious before.
I'm not sure where she hid that but she pulled out a coin wrapped in pretty paper and placed it on the table. Based on the size, is that a gold coin?
「Latte-chan, since you have already shared a bed with Caam, you are already considered our family. That's why we can't receive something like that from you」
「Latte-chan, I also feel the same. If we accept that, it won't feel like we have truly become a family. That's why it would be better if you just used that money for when you, Caam, and Suzuran-chan start building your family」
「……yes. I understand」
Latte started tearing up a bit.
Unable to stand seeing that, mother went to the kitchen to make some tea. Thus, all of us remain within that slightly awkward situation while silently drinking tea.
Then, seeing that Latte has already finished her tea, my father said.
「Since you already introduced yourself to us, shouldn't you go and greet Suzuran-chan's parents as well? If so then you better go there before it becomes completely dark」
「……I understand. Thank you very much. Please treat me well from now on」
Latte bowed her head after saying that.
「Nice meeting you too」
Receiving those kind works, she started smiling again.
「You're a girl so you look even more beautiful when you smile. You should keep smiling from now on as well」
「Then, we're off」
「Take care, okay?」
With that said, we stood up and left for Suzuran's house. It's just a short walk there but the two of us just walked without saying a word. To be honest, it felt awkward. I mean, I didn't think she would do something like that. I'm not really sure how I should approach her.
While I was thinking about that, we arrived in front of Suzuran's house.
「We're here but are you really alright? We can just keep walking for a while more so that you can calm down」
「Uun, I'm okay. Caam-kun, I'll leave the knocking to you」
With that said, I knocked on the door an waited for somebody to come.
Judging from the voice, this must be Ricoris-san.
「Good eveningー. It's Caam. There's something important I want to talk about.」
She opened the door and said
「What is it I wonder?」
Noticing Latte, she smiled and gave her a mellow greeting.
「Go ahead. Come in」 , she started saying that as she guided her inside. They didn't have enough chairs so Suzuran brought one from her room.
After finishing the introductions, like what she did with my parents, Latte also offered them reparation money but this time, the paper was folded differently. Although the paper's different, are you telling me that Latte managed to prepare another two gold coins? It's probably better if I don't pry too deeply, isn't it?
「We won't accept that so put it away」
It's going in the same direction it did earlier.
「I'm sure Ma will say the same thing as well. We don't need it」
「That's rightー. We can't accept that so you're better off putting that away. You didn't cause us that much trouble and we aren't angry as well. That's why you should set that aside for your future. Even Suzuran isn't bothered by it at all. Right?」
While drinking tea, she bobbed her head up and down.
「She won't understand if you don't say it properly」
「I'm not angry. In fact, I got even closer to you when we took a bath together the other day. You might be shorter than me but it feels like you're my older sister」
So it was at that time… Well, I guess something like that happened since they really took their time.
She didn't just get teary-eyed this time, she now started crying. The people of this village sure are nice. I didn't even have to do anything at all. Oh, I guess I was the one who knocked down on the door.
「I want you to stay at our house today」
Reading the mood, Suzuran interjected.
Latte tried to disagree but she lost to Ichii-san and Ricoris-san's half forceful persuasion.
「Then, I'll just bring Latte's luggage here」
Judging that the timing was right, I said that before going out to get her stuff.
It kinda feels like I got left behind but, oh well.
It seems like I'll have other things I'll be busy with other things tomorrow aside from the harvest.