After the tea party ended, there was someone who abruptly turned up in the reception room. It was Fubuki-san. Come to think of it, I haven't seen her ever since I returned to the mansion.
"I'm sorry for being late."
"Fubuki, where did you go?"
Saysan, who remained even after Taigsan left, raised her eyebrows. In front of her, Fubuki-san who had changed her clothes to her maid uniform bowed her head deeply.
"I have just tidied up the tea and tea cakes. Since they were of the brands that weren't usually used, it took me a little bit of time."
"It's unusual for you to do that. Nonetheless, your current duty is to protect Seiren-sama. Please be more careful in the future."
Saysan's slightly strict way of talking is really similar to Kaysan's. As expected of sisters, yup.
…Even so, is it that troublesome to prepare for the green tea? I wonder if the brewing method is different from the tea that I know?
Oh well, whatever. I will understand once I try to ask later on. More importantly, I have to quickly return to my room.
"Well then, since Fubuki-san has also returned, shall we go back to our room to take a rest?"
"That's right. Nii-sama also told me to go to bed earlier."
At my proposal, Saryuu also answered as if he felt relieved. …As expected, if Taigsan isn't here, I have to take up the main role, or else the others won't move, I guess. I have to be more careful, then.
"Then, I will guide you back."
"Please do. Everyone, good night."
After walking towards the door leading to the outside of the reception room under the guidance of Fubuki-san and my maids, I turned around and bowed. I think that this gesture might be okay.
"Good night, Seiren-sama."
"Nee-sama, good night."
"Seiren-sama, good night-!"
When I looked at Saysan and the others' expressions, it seemed that my gesture before was fine. Ah-, I'm glad. I wonder if I should ask my mother about it once I go home. Or, Taigsan. Whomever I choose, it's impossible to ask them now.
During when we walked to the guest room, Fubuki-san brought up a subject as if she was worried about me.
"Today was such a terrible day, wasn't it, Seiren-sama? Thank you for your hard work."
"Well, yeah. However, I'm fine since Fubuki-san and the others are here."
"It is our duty, after all."
Her face which I saw at a glance was completely composed. Well, certainly it is her job right now to follow me, so it's a matter of course.
When we arrived at the guest room, she turned to face my direction. From this door onwards, it's probably the erea where Alicsan and the others—my three maids will be taking the duty of protecting me. It's also about time for Fubuki-san to take a rest.
"Then, I will be taking my leave. Have a good night, Seiren-sama."
"Good night, Fubuki-san. See you tomorrow."
"Yes. Please excuse me for today."
After saying that and bowing her head, Fubuki-san went away. Whoa, I can't hear her footsteps at all, awesome.
I entered the room and settled down on the sofa. Then, I raised a voice that is not ladylike at all.
Nah well, I mean, no matter what, I'm getting so tensed up because there are the maids here who are looking at me. For example, I have to properly use "Watashi" instead of "Ore" as how I address myself here.1
…I might be occasionally careless when I was together with Taigsan. Ah-, this is bad, I hope Saysan ignored my carelessness, then everything is fine, though.
As I was thinking of it, Orizsan peered at me. As expected, since I have just finished the tea party, there's no need for me to drink something else again right now. Not to mention that my belly is getting flabby, too.
"You must have been tired-, Seiren-sama?"
"No, no, everyone else should be even more tired than I do, right?"
"If it's only like this, then it doesn't even count as a warming up."
Minosan calmly answered. I see, it doesn't even count as a warming up, huh? Then, I wonder if confronting Gonzou was counted as a proper warming up? Nah, I don't intend to ask about it, though.
…That's right. I have something that I want to ask, huh?
"…Hey-. That green tea, how do you usually brew it?"
At my question, the three of them simultaneously turned towards me. It seemed that they managed to understand what I meant by "green", and Alicsan was the first one to answer.
"Ah, I have never brewed it before. What about Oriza and Minoa?"
"I have never brewed it, too-."
"Ah, I've learned it once. Because it is a variety that doesn't appear often on the market around the Shiiya territory, there hasn't been many chances to brew it."
Because I thought that the three of them might know about it, so it was quite unexpected that only Minosan seems to have known about it. But well, certainly, I have never drunk a green tea at the Shiiya mansion. If that's the case, it can't be helped. There doesn't seem to be any other way to procure it other than receiving it as a souvenir.
"Though I must say that it shouldn't differ that much from how we usually brew tea. We just have to remember to be careful and pour the tea into the cup earlier than usual because the astringent will come out if we leave it for too long after pouring the hot water."
Ah, I see, I see. It will turn brown and the fragance will change-.
When I was still at the institution, I drank the tea after the tea leaves had been used up and became densely packed. There only remained a colored hot water at the end. Whoa, how nostalgic.
"I see. Then, it doesn't seem to be much different from the brewing method that I know."
"That kind of tea existed even in the world where Seiren-sama was raised in-?"
"Yup. Rather than that, it was the main tea in the country where I was raised in."
"Hee, such kind of a place also exists, huh-?"
Right? Meanwhile, here, the tea that was called as "black tea" at the other world seems to be the main variety, and on the contrary, the green tea seems to be quite rare. That's why, out of the three maids here, only Minosan knows the way to brew it.
It also doesn't seem to be a major variety used in the Shikino territory. I was thinking of what Fubuki-san said earlier.
"…Anyway, why did Seiren-sama ask about it?"
Alicsan asked while preparing my pajamas. That's right, they don't understand why I asked such a thing out of a sudden. Yup, I have to explain.
"No, well, I heard that Fubuki-san took quite a bit of time when she tidied up the tea. I thought that there might be some kind of special tools being used here."
"There is no such thing."
Minosan negated my guess. If that's the case, Fubuki-san's excuse of tidying it up taking quite a bit of time—no matter how I look at it, it is weird. And it's not like we use tea bags even for the black tea here.
"Since you can just reuse the same tools, it shouldn't take that much of a time to tidy it up. The disposal of the used leaves shouldn't also be that different."
"Right? …Yes, I can't really understand."
Which means, Fubuki-san was lying. However, I don't understand why she lied to me like that.
If you were late because you had another errand to do, then you should honestly say so.
While I was thinking of it, Alicsan and Orizsan stared at my face fixedly. 'What is it?' so I thought.
"Well, there was that incident today, so I think it's better for us to just be more careful."
"Right-? Seiren-sama, sometimes, you just got yourself in a tough predicament."
"…I will be very careful. I'm sorry."
Yes, sorry. As expected, it isn't good for me who doesn't have any power like everyone else to be going to dangerous places. Or rather, the thing about me getting myself in a tough predicament… was she referring to that incident in spring? She still held a grudge on it… oh well, it can't be helped.
"Really, please be careful. Though we will also be strictly guarding you, we might not be able to do anything if the Contact Magic is used."
Minosan heaved a big sigh and I could only hang my head.
Hahaha, at the last moment, I felt very tired. Let's just sleep for today, yup.