Meeting Over Tea
What kind of situation is this?
Octavia-sama is sparkly smiling, and somehow or another her daughter is there awkwardly.
It had only been a few months since she gave birth, but in the middle of Octavia-sama’s arms, one person seems to peacefully raise their hand towards the sky.
I, who from the feeling I had when I was invited, thought I was coming off as cautious, and because I am glancing at Octavia-sama, I’m nervous about my own mother, it seems.
For meeting over tea, I should try to have a more nonchalant feeling, yes?
The fruit tea made in the glass pot is refreshing to look at, and when the maid pours it into the glass teacup, the smell of seasonal fruits drifts up.
But, the good smell doesn’t appear to calm Ojou down.
For me, touching the unfamiliar glassware is frightening, I can’t instantly reach for it.
It’s absolutely expensive, and then breaking it is scary.
“Um, for inviting me for tea today, thank you very much.”
First of all, to buy time, I say my thanks for inviting me.
The tea made from many fruits is something that a commoner like me couldn’t drink their entire lives, possibly.
I also want to treat my mother to it.
I wonder if I can’t keep it and take it home, but even so, walking quickly back home is unreasonable.
“If it’s fine, from here on, if you can keep me company, I would be happy.
If it’s Dia, she wouldn’t introduce you at all.
At the very least, I have to recover Geordo’s share.”
If it’s only those two, it’s unfair, said a completely disappointed Octavia-sama, smiling.
Ojou, flustered, can’t strongly say anything, and furthermore no words continue.
“Occasionally, if you don’t mind.”
“Maaa, I’m happy.”
If I get my father’s permission, I don’t particularly mind.
Being able to eat sweets makes me happy.
Because with Duke-sama, I only occasionally encounter his surprise attacks, the encounter time is short.
Perhaps the time for today’s meeting over tea alone will exceed it, I wonder.
However, the giant slalom of yesterday was tough.
In my past life, it’s equivalent to the time you take too many coffee cups.
That, manually, you can evolve into a thrill ride, huh. [T/N: It’s kind of over the top, but I assume he means kind of when you’re at work and drink way too much coffee to keep up with overtime exhaustion, so you get all jittery.]
“It’s thanks to you, that recently Dia has been wearing matching dresses, you know.”
Looking delighted, a smiling Octavia-sama has a dress with the same design as Ojou.
I notice The baby rose decoration on the ribbon choker, and a wide U-shaped cut for the dress.
Octavia-sama has thin violets, and Ojou has something like the color of forget-me-nots.
Around their cat-like eyes, the two of them have matching thin blonde hair.
“Before, she obstinately refused.
I’m glad you persuaded her.”
“He didn’t persuade me!”
At that way of speaking that has a misunderstanding, I don’t see a response that would be good, but Ojou places both hands on the table, turning red while denying it.
Octavia-sama’s cat-like impression disappears as she comfortably smiles.
Persuaded, that’s what it’s called, but I only listened to her stories, Ojou spontaneously decided it.
I’m not doing anything.
Duke-sama as well, is misunderstanding.
“It’s difficult to call out to me, isn’t it? Calling me Via is fine, you know.”
She broadly smiles.
With Duke-sama it’s fine, and yet despite that smiling face why does it feel like I can’t resist?
Certainly for a long name, because it’s right to shorten it, a short method is comfortable, but Ojou who has an easily understood face pouts and glares at me, it seems.
For ordinary commoners like me, I wonder if they would call their own mothers so casually.
Ojou always talks about her mother with her eyes sparkling.
“If you’re envious, Dia can also be called by a nickname.”
“!? I am not envious!”
“Is that so? Then, only I will be called by a nickname.”
Ojou bites her lower lip, looking annoyed.
What is it, I wonder.
If she is a threatened kitten, the image I see is an teasing older-cat playing with her tail.
Octavia-sama, why don’t you play with Ojou?
Because there are no signs of her interjecting, I look at the scene of these two while worrying.
Ojou is reluctant, but I’m getting the feeling I have to call her by an abbreviation.
But, Ojou hating me is something I want to avoid.
“Um, then, Oku-sama.” [T/N: So I nearly died of laughter here because “oku-san” comes dangerously close to “wife” (“oku-san”, however, refers to someone else’s wife.)]
If it’s a compromise for the particular nickname, how is it, I wonder.
The two of them, after looking at me blankly, one had a pleasant smile on her face, one had a face that was turning red and getting mad.
“You can’t give Mother a strange nickname!”
In the end, Ojou got mad.
What was the best thing I could have done?
“Fufufu…… it’s good, you know.
Using that way of calling me……”
Oku-sama is really on the mark.
Ojou’s sister in her arms holds her hands up and moves them, cheerfully raising her voice.
What kind of funny thing did I say?
I lose heart, someway or another, and start to work on the tea.
It’s delicious, with the refreshing smell and sweetness of fruits.
It’s warm and sufficiently well-prepared, but from time ago the temperature seemed higher, yet for her, I wonder if that cold way is good.
“Ojou, can I borrow you for a moment?”
I try to calm her down, and the Ojou who was holding a teacup sits in stillness.
“You will have your own share, it seems.”
“Don’t worry about that.”
I stand up from my chair and then to the puzzle Ojou, I go and reach out with my hand.
Ojou doesn’t understand me as it is and hands over her teacup.
With both hands I wrap the teacup and then wait a few seconds.
With this much, it’s fine, right, is my feeling, and incidentally I return the teacup to Ojou.
“Here you go.”
Ojou tilts her head to the size while receiving it, first of all I drank a mouthful of black tea.
Her pale blue eyes open wide.
“Has it cooled down a bit?”
“What are you saying!?”
It’s cooled down only a little, however.”
With magic, it’s cooled down only a little.
Because it does not mean it’s frozen, a lot of magical power isn’t used.
With my progress in magical power, to this completed magic, why is she so surprised?
“How can you use magic without an aria!? Besides, this is ice magic, then……”
“Isaac-kun has two magical attributes?”
“No, I just trained with other attributes a little.
Because wind is next in terms of magical power, it’s only reasonable to use it.”
However, for the ice element that uses water and wind elements, it can’t surpass the limits of my scarce wind magic.
I, using a shabby magic, tilt my head in confusion.
“……This is my first time seeing someone use magic outside their element.”
After several beats of silence, Oku-sama mumbles in admiration.
Which reminds me, this is my first time showing someone outside my house using another element.
Because I thought it was an extension of water magic, I didn’t mind much.
Maa, because it’s to Ojou and her mother, it’s fine, right?
“……but, the aria!? Without considering that, how are you able to use magic?”
I hope the spirits will help me.”
To my answer, Ojou opens her mouth in silence.
“Spirits…..? Instead of using magical power for the price……?”
“I can’t summon spirits with my magical power.”
It seems Ojou can’t understand, making a facial expression, but I also don’t understand, tilting my head in confusion.
I know there is a spirit, that’s the extent of my magical power.
Viewing it as Ojou or someone from the Ernest house, the ability to summon spirits is there it seems, but. For the case of low magical power, according to the use of magic, you use things like a chant as an intermediary to pay the cost of magic.
For commoners, the low use of magic is influenced by the incredibly low literacy rate.
Maybe if there is a meaning to some extent that accompanies a spell you think of yourself, a certain magic is used.
But, because I don’t want to bear the risk of that dark history, without an aria I use the assistance of a spirit.
Putting chunnibyou into practice is scary. [T/N: I died of laughter at this reasoning.
Other note, chunnibyou is literally “8th grader disease” where kids around that age have incredible delusions about having superpowers and coming up with crazy incantations to activate them.]
“……you see, Isaac-kun.
For nobles, how many spirits they can summon is with magic a part of their status.”
Therefore, in the first place, receiving help from the spirits, the general concept doesn’t exist, Oku-sama explains.
“Heeeh, so if your magic power is great, it’s that kind of experience, huh.”
Bulldozing with power, huh? It seems nobles are troublesome.
Hm? So that means……
“So I’m strange?”
When I point at myself and ask, Ojou firmly nods her head.
“It is unusual.”
“I don’t think there are any examples of a commoner going to the extent of trying to use that ambitious magic, you know?”
I receive confirmation from Oku-sama.
Are you serious? Because Father and Mother said nothing, I didn’t think it was an unprecedented situation.
“In what way is receiving help from the spirits……?”
Ojou comes to listen as well, listening intently.
Experiencing something like having a fairy companion is a story girls like, is it?
“……is that a habit?”
“What do you mean by that?”
From when I thought about it and understood, Ojou made her eyes look as if she was fooling around.
“Look, it is like saying thanks.”
When I put my hands together and show her, Ojou also seems to suddenly understand, but I’m not convinced.
“That, the time you’re humming an aria also, if you put in the feeling of giving a little thanks, they’ll be delighted.
At the time Ojou is taking lessons with musical instruments, with that feeling, if you play, you’ll understand, I think.”
“With that sort of feeling……”
By no means does she believe, by the facial expression Ojou is making, and when I was worried about how I can make her understand, one more thing came to mind.
I return to my seat, then on my plate distribute three cookies, and clap my hand twice.
Then, pressing my hands together, I close my eyes and pay my respects.
When after several seconds, I open my eyes, half the cookies were already gone, as if during the period my eyes were closed they had dissolved into air.
“How is it? Was Ojou able to see the spirits?”
Because of the confirmation the cookies had disappeared, Ojou who was staring intently at the plate quietly nodded.
At the time I receive snacks, I’m sure to leave half to a third as an offering for the spirits.
When I was more of a child, Mother taught me there were spirits even if I could not see them, so I tested if they ate sweets.
The experiment was a success, and then finding out spirits existed was fascinating, and so it became a habit.
Because Ojou sees, I’m a little more excited than that time, it seems.
“That is amazing……”
“Does Ojou want to try?”
Understanding it’s good if she also does it, Ojou straightens her back.
“Here you are, if you think with that kind of feeling, it will be transmitted.”
When I taught the simple way of doing it, Ojou nodded her head and then faced towards her share of cake.
It’s a scientific experiment intended for children, huh.
I understand her heart is racing.
Ojou clapped both her hands together more respectfully than me, and bowed slightly to the cake.
Ojou, who for a moment, gently opened her eyes and then peeked, at the situation of cake disappearing, separated both of her hands as her face sparkled.
Certainly, to Ojou, she was seeing the spirits eating the cake, it seems.
With that being like a picture book, it’s fun, and she understands me.
“I, I was able to do it……”
The cake is disappearing from the plate and when we mutually look at each other, Ojou delightfully reports a success.
“If they grow fat, it’ll be terrible, so therefore, do it in moderation.”
When I told her not to give too much, Ojou again nodded her head obediently.
In the same way as field and wild animals, it’s no good to overdo the offerings if there is no intent to use them.
Because it seems Ojou has more chances to eat sweets than I do, she needs to be properly careful.
As for spirits growing fat, I don’t know, because I can’t see them.
Ojou, without any words, had a sparkling facial expression, and stared at the cake disappearing from the plate.
Then, she noticed the smiling Oku-sama’s gaze, blushed, and then drank the tea I cooled down.
Either she doesn’t want Oku-sama to get involved, or she wants to calm down, it seems.
“I’m glad Isaac-kun was here.”
I looked at Ojou, who blushed and curled up, and mumbles to Oku-sama.
For being happy that Ojou was having fun, I’m the same, and understand this, however, how does my existence have an influence, I wonder.
I wondered about Oku-sama’s strange way of thinking.
“Um, is it okay to hug?”
Going to Oku-sama, I extend both hands in the direction of Ojou’s younger sister.
She hugs her more often than in the beginning.
She’s a noble, therefore she gets assistance from someone like the maids as expected, however, if you imagine it, when the family is there, Oku-sama is always embracing her.
For meeting, it’s the second time, however, that’s the limit of what I heard from Ojou.
Oku-sama opens her pink eyes a little bit.
Then, she smiled like soft flowers.
“It’s fine, you know.”
“Thank you very much.”
Tightly holding onto Ojou’s sister who was gently handed to me, I return to my seat.
“I can hold her as well.”
“It’s good that Ojou became able to hold her head up high.”
Ojou, whose face is saying “unfair”, raises a hand and makes her claim.
I, knowing Ojou’s physical offensive ability, judge that I don’t have the physical power to support Ojou’s sister and stop her.
But, since she hasn’t held her sister yet, Ojou’s cheeks swell.
“Does Isaac-kun have siblings? You seem used to it, however.”
Seeing Ojou’s sister being hugged, Oku-sama tilted her head a little.
“No, I don’t have any.
People in the neighborhood requested something like this.”
In Shitamachi, both of my parents are working, when neither of them are absent, I, who wasn’t working, was asked to play with kids from the neighborhood.
Of course you don’t entrust just children, so a group of housewives will follow during a break in their housework.
As I wasn’t as old as all the older guys and girls who started work, until last year I was asked.
Now, also following that example, during holidays I’ve been asked to do the same.
How, I wonder.
In the case of my memories of my previous life, because I didn’t have the experience of having a girlfriend around my age, I have a hard time feeling it.
Besides, presently, I don’t have an interest in romance.
An older woman in the neighborhood, as a joke, called out to her husband’s daughter, but she finds the person who changed her diapers disagreeable.
For now, I’ll take the compliment, and was thinking I should give my thanks when my stomach rumbled.
Oku-sama recommended which cookies were good to eat, but right in front of me was a small plate that had been emptied by the spirits, and on the opposite site was a large plate with a second helping.
Then, in my arms is Ojou’s sister.
Maid-san had again distributed three cookies to me and Ojou, but I can’t move.
Ojou, who can move normally, ate her share, and stared at me while my stomach growls.
It’s good, and it seems clever.
“…………what is it?”
At my gaze and the sound of my stomach, Ojou, who is having difficulty eating, stops with a cookie held in her hand.
There’s something I want to eat, but being in the state of being unable to eat is surprisingly torturous.
Somehow or another, I can’t eat, only that idea occupies my thoughts.
I turn in Ojou’s direction and open my mouth.
Ojou’s eyes widen and her face turns red at the same time, realizing she had done something silly and becoming embarrassed.
Because it wasn’t a well-aged man asking, for Ojou this kind of thing should be simple.
While feeling shy as my cheeks were dyed red, I hang my head a little.
Then, I exactly meet the pink pupils of Ojou’s younger sister.
I’m happy to meet those eyes, it seems, and if she’s happy because I talked, she smiles back.
Dangit, I should have at least ate one before I offered it.
When I made my regrets at this point in time, a sweet smell tickled my nose.
Lured by the sweet smell, when I lifted my gaze, right in front of me was a cookie.
“……I, it’s Flora’s fault, so.”
It can’t be helped, Ojou’s expression says, her head turning away while holding out the cookie.
Whether it’s frustrating or unsatisfied, around her eyebrows as well as her face are an amazing red.
With a face like just before she gets mad, the cookie held in her hands trembles.
If it’s that much of a disgrace, she doesn’t have to do it.
When I thought it was a little bad that I should I refuse, my stomach growled again.
I, who can’t go against my stomach after several seconds of hesitation, lean over Ojou’s hand, biting into the cookie to eat it.
Surprised, Ojou draws her hand back.
After strongly chewing and eating, I laugh.
Thank you, Ojou.”
As expected of the sweets of the duke’s house.
the sweetness isn’t too heavy, and it has an elegant flavor to it.
The crisp texture was also enjoyable.
At the flavor of a cookie I can’t ordinarily eat, I’m grateful, and Ojou was struggling with something.
She can’t return to her seat and eat, I was thinking, and from my plate Ojou picks up one more cookie and presents it to me.
“Is it fine?”
As expected, because she’s turning her face away as it is, with a seemingly satisfied look, Ojou slightly nodded her head.
I don’t really understand, but I’m grateful for being able to eat food I want to eat, so I give my thanks.
“Thank you very much.”
From there, again I held the cookie in my mouth.
In the end, for some reason Ojou gave me some more.
That day, when meeting for tea, it feels like Ojou was not able to eat a lot.
Next time, I’ll have to give her an apology.
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