"Thanks for the hard work, Seiren-sama."
When dinner was over, I returned to my room. Alicsan made a cup of tea for me who was completely exhausted.
Nah, the situation was also like that during dinner, with Leo-san being there. I'm really tired, so I want him to just spare me.
It's quite difficult trying to wear a mask over your true self. I'm quite used to using "Watashi" to address myself, but I still use "Ore" when I'm at home. Yup.1
"Ah no-, even if I explain about that to him beforehand, there's no way he'd believe me, right…"
"That's right. Would you like to take a rest early today?"
"Ah- no, I'd like to write a letter to Taigsan. I want to deliver it tomorrow morning."
"Understood. Please don't overdo yourself, okay?"
Ah- well, since it's come to this, then I want to share this hardship a little bit with Taigsan. Since he's busy with his work, he can't really come here to visit, and I might not get a permission to go that far from home.
"Sorry, Taigsan. However, I want you to hear me out a bit."
I dyed the pen nib with ink and wrote to Taigsan, "Are you doing fine?" and right at that moment, a knock to my room's door could be heard. Minosan hurriedly went to see who it might be… and then she turned at me with a troubled face. Oof, I got a bad hunch.
"Seiren-sama, it's the guest."
"Se-iren-chaan! Let's ply!"
The one who suddenly peeked from behind Minosan was, well, as expected, it was none other than Leo-san. He seems to still have some make-ups on, although it's thinner than when we were having dinner. Don't tell me that it's his face with no make-up?
But still, he is still pretty much a man. As expected, I have a problem with how he peered into my room without getting a permission beforehand. Which is why, let's try scolding him a bit.
"Minosan, you can hit the person over there."
"Yes, then here I go."
"Ky, stop, stop it, it's my bad!!"
"Excuse me for being rude, but it's truly Leo-sama's fault for doing so. If you do it again, then I won't mind hitting you for real."
It seemed that Minosan also understood that I intended to only threaten him, so she stopped at lifting an object that was supposed to strike him. Leo-san exaggeratedly tried to protect his head, and the one who followed him behind as expected was Ayato-san. Ah, Maito-san was stretching his hand as if he was trying to protect Leo-san, more or less. As expected, they also worked as his guard concurrently.
Incidentally, the thing that Minosan was about to strike to him was the nearby chair. As expected of her, she lifted the chair lightly. Eh, but it's quite heavy because it is a well-made chair.
"Anyway, what is it? I'm preoccupied right now."
"Oh my-, though you're about to sleep?"
"I was about to write a letter. Since I memorized the alphabets quite late because of various circumstances, it would take time to write no matter what."
He didn't enter the room any further than the door indeed, so he inquired me about what I was up to from his location. Uhm well, since he's together with Ayato-san and Maito-san, I believe that he really came here in order to play.
In addition, it's real that it takes quite a bit of time for me to write the alphabets. I mean, since I'm writing it for Taigsan, I want my writing to be properly readable. Right?
"My, my. Still, isn't it fine for girls to not memorize the alphabets?"
"That can't do. I had some troubles for not being able to read the menu during the Spring Festival."
"Well, that's important, indeed. I'm sorry, it's also important to be able to read and write alphabets in order to exchange love letters, right?"
Leo-san meekly apologized, perhaps he came to realize the importance of having the skill to read and write alphabets.
Nah, really, it's important for you to be able to read menu. Though I was saved by the illustration in the menu during the last festival.
I'm not sure about the culture of memorizing the alphabets here, but there seems to be many people that are able to read and write the alphabets even among the servants and employees in other places. It's obvious that I can read and write the alphabets used in the world where I was raised in, but that is another thing.
Now then, no matter how I think about it… Leo-san, he seems like he'd stay there until morning if I were to ignore him like this.
"Oh well, it's fine, so please come on in. Didn't you come to play? Alicsan, give him a cup of tea."
"Understood. Please wait for a while."
"Uwaa, thanks-! Sorry for intruding."
"Excuse us for bothering you this late."
"…Good evening. Please excuse me."
Following Leo-san who leaped into the room, Ayato-san and Maito-san also went inside.
The two of them seemed to be wearing the same outfit as Leo-san when I first saw them, but Leo-san was wearing an outfit that seemed like a yukata, but at the same time it also looked like a bathrobe. The cloth was smooth with a vivid flower pattern. Whoa, he was extremely gaudy. In a sense, it suits him so well.
So, I offered them to sit on the sofa, and as if it was natural, only Leo-san sat down while the other two were right behind him. Nah, well, it's a really natural thing to do here, though.
Anyway, as soon as Leo-san sat down, he peered into the writing paper that was at my hand as if he was having fun. Stop it, hey there!
"Anyway, what is it? A love letter to your fiance-?"
"You're correct, but please don't look at it. Would it be fine if I throw my pen to your face?"
"Feel free to do so. I can help you fix the pen later on."2
For the time being, let's cover it with my hand. I didn't have the time to hide it, but don't go peeking at other's letter! Also, I didn't even deny it being a love letter.
When I unintentionally replied to him with my disappearing expression, Ayato-san furrowed his brows and nodded at me. Meanwhile, Maito-san silently grabbed Leo-san's cheeks from behind Leo-san. In this case, it seems like I'd be able to hit him really well—no, wrong, it's not that.
"I haven't seen it and I haven't read it, too! Ayato, don't you go cooperating with her!"
"I haven't said it to Leo-sama, but it seems like you won't understand unless you experience the pain repeatedly on your own. Maito, let him go."
At Ayato-san's words, Maito-san let go of his hands in silence again. Oh my, the part that he held down became slightly red.
He seemed to be so slender, but he was quite powerful, huh? Well, if he wasn't powerful enough, he wouldn't be able to become his attendant in the first place, eh… wait, that is only if Leo-san's attendants also acted as his guards at the same time. But since they were staying at the same room, I doubt that I'm mistaken with my conjecture.
"…Ayato-san and Maito-san seem to have it hard…"
"This is our duty, after all."
"We've gotten used to it."
I tried to show my appreciation while closing the letter in a hurry. I wanted to cry a little due to Maito-san's words that he said in a murmur. I see, so they got used to it, huh. Just how long did it take for them to get used to this kind of thing?
We had a conversation as we drunk the tea that Alicsan brought together. Because of his wording, rather than a conversation with a man, it felt more like a conversation between two female friends, well that can't be helped. Nah, I don't have any other female friends than the maids, though. In this case, I'm not sure if I can include Kuon-sensei in my list of female friends.
But well, speaking of a conversation between women, it has become such a conversation. Nah, the other party's an effeminate man, though. I'm still roughly a man on the inside, though.
"Hey, hey, Seiren-chan, what kind of person is your fiance?"
"That's right. I heard that he's the new head of the Shikino family?"
The news about how there was a change of the Shikino family's head travelled… and has made it all the way to the capital, huh? Well, it might be because it was necessary for them to go through the formalities and report it.
Anyway, I wonder what he would like to hear about Taigsan in this situation? Well, at least I understand that it's not about how he is as the head of the Shikino family, though.
Which means, he's asking about my personal opinion, huh?
"Uhm, he's quite brave, gentle, and attractive. But even so, if he's aiming for something, he's not going to sit still and will actively pursue it."
"Oh-, is that so?"
And so, when I voiced my honest thoughts, Leo-san stared in wonder as if he was a bit surprised.
No, I mean look, he turned up in front of my window on Genjirou, he was cautious enough that he used the same day delivery service, look at those facts and think about it.
I really want to think that I'm seeing things with clear head right now. I wonder what will he do if the work of a feudal lord is too busy that he can't manage it all? I spontaneously looked into the distance.
"So, in what way is he gentle and attractive, but also brave at the same time?"
"Nah, I mean, maybe it's only in my opinion, and others might find him unattractive, right? I'm not really skilled in giving an objective opinion."
"Eh-, didn't you get yourself a good man? If that's the case, I think it's okay if you boast a bit more."
Ah- yes, well, certainly I admit that he's a good man. The orphanage director also acknowledged him.
I mean, I don't know if I have the ability to judge others' characters. …I wonder if I can really trust my own eyes?
"So, that head of the Shikino family, which number is he for you?"
I thought of his question for a little bit, as I could't understand what it meant for a moment. Or rather, what did he mean by which number?
"I am ask-ing yo-u. In which number is he standing at your crush history?"
"Crush… is it?"
Aah, so it's such a thing. The number of crush, huh?
Hmm well, how do I say it, I can't think of a thing, so let's try thinking about it. Wait, it's unnecessary, the answer's clear.
Though I was a man before I came here, to be frank, I've never fallen in love with a girl before, or should I say that I wasn't that interested in such a thing, or was it because the girls at the institution were so dominating that they felt more like my elder sisters that the thought of dating them was out of question? I'm also aware that the person I was the most emotionally attached to was the orphanage director.
Then, I came here and returned to being a woman, and then for the first time… Uhm, that, the person I came to like was Taigsan.
In other words.
"…Perhaps, my first… crush."
"Eh-? No way, though Seiren-chan seems to be quite popular-!"
"That's the truth. In the first place, it wasn't that kind of environment."
"Eh, is that so? You were recuperating in the countryside, right…? How does the countryside look like in comparison to this place? Don't tell me that there were only horses or cows?"
I can't really tell him that I was in a completely different world, right? Oh well, I think that the area of our villa can be categorized as a countryside area. Could it be that Leo-san hasn't had any chance to go that far from the capital? It seems that there exists the so-called city kid even in this world.
"But hmm, I see… Seiren-chan, you only have a little experience in that area (romance), right?"
"It's either too shallow… or almost nonexistent."
Uhm, now that you mention it.
Taigsan was pretty assertive, and I felt like I was always being protected by him.
But, even so.
"Yosh. Seiren-chan, why don't you try it out with me?"
I don't think that infidelity is recommended, Leo-san.
After all, I was brought up in a place that has a moral value that such a thing is bad. At any rate, my foster parent remained unmarried for 30 years because he was charmed with a woman. …I can't tell you about it, though.