Chapter 031 – Shopping
The morning three days after the meeting about Karen’s surprise birthday, ojou-sama boarded the carriage in outdoor wear.
Her face was obscured by a hat in which her was hair stuffed into and she wears a one piece dress that is made from a silk-like material. The hem of the dress and the sleeves are long in length, to minimize skin exposure to the utmost. It’s a low profile disguise style.
I sit next to her in my butler uniform, gently holding her hand.
The carriage was a six-seater
The windows are behind curtains that block the light.
The faint daylight shines through it.
The escort Gigi-san sat down on the coachman’s seat, and steered two horned horses.
To choose a birthday present for Karen Bishop of the centaur race today, we went to the town 1 hour away from the castle.
When I told master,
“Hahahahaha! Is that so! Then go and buy something you like! This should be enough, right?”
He handed over a bag with more than 50 gold coins.
I received it with trembling hands
I thought that it was way too much for me but Merry san the head butler did not react when I glanced at him.
It seems he really intended to give me 50 gold pieces
And so we left for the town with Gigi san as a watchman and driver and I to take care of the money and Ojou-sama
Ojou sama has had a forlon expression ever since she boarded the carriage in the morning
Looks like it really is difficult for her to go outside even after nearly two years.
I made conversation in an attempt to improve the mood.
“Which reminds me, this is the first time since I began working in the Vlad household that I’m going into town. What kind of place might it be? I was so excited yesterday that I couldn’t sleep.”
[It has been a long time for me as well, so I am looking forward to it.]
While I wasn’t exactly excited enough to not be able to sleep I suppose this little lie is acceptable to improve the mood.
Ojou-sama joins in the conversation.
It is slightly hard to read from the mini blackboard due to the dimness.
“There was an Adventurer’s Support Union Guild in a city in Fairyland, and the streets were filled with food stalls. The children were adorable as they held their pocket money tightly as they lined up in front of the candy vendors, were they not?”
[Though Onii-chan is only a 12 year old child, if you speak this way, you sound like an Oji-chan.]
Ojou-sama finally smiled after coming out of the estate.
While I currently look 12 years old on the outside, on the inside I am a 40 year old man with my previous life added. The words spoken might have been a little old-man-like.
But that’s alright if Ojou-sama laughs.
[If it is regarding stalls selling confectioneries, there’s also some at the town that we are heading to. I have previously tried some while shopping with the others on our day off. Speaking of them, Karen-chan had her fried confection stolen by a crested pigeon while she was in the midst of eating it. Though it was unfortunate for Karen-chan, we all laughed about it.]
Karen really has a <abbr title=”TLC Note: it’s more of saying Karen is constantly at the butt of jokes rather than her actual character”>sweet character</abbr>.
I couldn’t do something like that even if I tried
With such a feeling I chatted with Ojou-sama until we reached the town.
The tension that made her body shiver seems to be gone, but we continue to hold hands.
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The city is on an open field, and although it wasn’t very tall, the city was surrounded by a wall.
After receiving an inspection at the gate, we enter the town.
There are no large buildings; the general populace coming out and gathering gives it the feeling of a merchant city. Due to the large variety of goods and services available, there are many people coming and going.
The carriage is left at the carriage parking lot.
And I paid the parking fees and water fee for the horned horses.
[……Then, shall we go?]
Ojou sama readjusted her hat and gripped my hand tightly.
I return the grip firmly so as to not get separated from Ojou-sama.
The plan is for Ojou-sama and me, the 2 of us, to look around town while shopping.
Ojou-sama is told that Gigi-san will be looking around town separately from us. In reality, he is to keep an arranged distance and make sure that no danger befalls us.
“I understand. Well then Gigi-san, we will come back in the evening.”
“………Understood. But pay attention to one thing.”
Gigi-san takes one step and he draws his mouth close to my ear.
‘No matter what happens, do not let go of Ojou-sama’s hand. And never lose sight of her.’
‘Alright. I will be careful.’
‘And then, if you do more than holding hands with Ojou-sama like I said before……I guess, you understand? I will always have a close eye on you. So when it’s only the two of you, and you have desire for Ojou-sama, I won’t pardon Lute. Consider your Life done. You understand.’
We’re not even alone; you are worrying too much.
From behind, he painfully grasps my shoulder with an almighty grip.
His blood-shot eyes are scary.
‘That’s all. Take care of Ojou-sama properly.’
After having worried like a father leaving his daughter, Gigi-san removes his hand from my shoulder to disappear into the crowd.
Gigi-san’s appearance was not like someone who would overprotect his daughter….
I regain my spirit and escort Ojou-sama for now.
“Then shall we go, too?”
Nodding, Ojou-sama clasps my hand with a smile and we begin to walk.
The place we aim for is aligned at the corner of the shopping district.
The stores line up at both ends almost without a gap and high-spirited calling comes forth from the stores.
It was really lively. Ojou-sama with a short stature seems to have difficulty breathing in the huge crowd of people.
“Are you alright, Ojou-sama? Shall we change locations?”
She shakes her head side-to-side quickly.
I feel from her strong will that for choosing a birthday present for her friend Karen, this much is nothing.
“At which shop should we look first?. If it’s Karen-sama, she would be happy with things like a sword or spear, a shield, or something like an armour, to name some?”
[Mou Lute-onii-chan, there is no girl who would be happy to get something like that.]
Ojou-sama puffs her cheeks with a “pun-pun” and gets angry.
I’m not scared at all.
Rather, it’s too cute.
I spontaneously poke at her puffed cheeks and the air leaves from her mouth.
Though Ojou-sama is getting angry at my tomfoolery, her cheeks puffed out once again.
This is seriously dangerously cute.
I can’t I can’t. Like this, it will become an infinite loop of poking Ojou-sama’s cheeks.
I utter an apology earnestly.
“Sorry. They are surely not presents to give a lady.”
But I think Karen who is from a military lineage would be happy.
But that’s better left unsaid.
“Has Ojou-sama thought of anything?”
[Yes. I Intend to give Karen-chan an accessory that I think would suit her. ]
Ojou-sama writes skillfully on her mini blackboard while linking her arm with mine.
On that occasion, her chest that’s still small is pushed against my arm.
It’s hard, but still, I can certainly feel her chest.
While Snow’s were like, [Funya, Poyon]; these have a certain firmness despite their soft feeling, have completely distinct vectors, and give the feeling of a miracle that defies logic.
The unripe fruit is still green.
Taking a bite off the apple that has yet to ripen, a sourness spread–but there was a certain sweetness within the sourness. Precisely because it is sour, the sweetness remains at the tip of the tongue and leaves a deep impression.
Furthermore the so called 11-y/o boobs.
It’s forbidden, a taboo, to step into such a holy place.
But even so, there is an immoral feeling, like being the first to soil the fresh snowfall.
Needless to say that there’s such dangerous sweetness in Ojou-sama’s boobs.
Snow’s boobs are the best, but Ojou-sama’s boobs are also good.
Furthermore if I look at Madam, the future will be promising.
[ !? ]
As such thoughts about boobs are developing, I feel a thick bloodlust on my neck.
As it hit me, I look restlessly around from shop to shop and see Gigi-san peeking from the space between them.
With the look in his eyes and the blood thirst he put into it, he could easily kill a small animal.
…I got a little too excited. Sorry.
[Is something wrong?]
Ojou-sama tilts her head in wonder.
No, it’s nothing. Accessory, is it? Then Karen will certainly be happy to get it.
[Tehehehe, I thought hard about it. Let’s go this way. There is a merchant with reasonable prices.]
Ojou-sama leads me by the hand through the crowd.
I take one last look at Gigi-san’s direction, but his figure can no longer be seen.
Really, if it involves Ojou-sama, Gigi-san easily loses all of his control…
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I leave it to Ojou-sama who is familiar with the area to lead me through the crowd and we advance toward the inside.
As the crowd thins, the number of wealthy-looking people wearing well-tailored clothes increases.
[This is it. It’s a store where I used to shop at with everyone in the past.]
This place, huh…
A shop with white walls made of stone.
Even compared to Ginza, Japan from my previous life, the products and atmosphere are good.
Indeed, an atmosphere that seems to only want to deal with wealthy people drifts furiously.
While I was still hesitating, Ojou-sama casually steps over the entrance as if just entering a convenience store.
Just by taking a single step into the store, I feel like I was in a totally different dimension.
First off, the air smells different.
Citrus aroma with a faint sweetness could be smelled drifting and it is so refreshing.
To one side of the floor, where red carpet is laid out, a glass showcase is lined up.
The number of items available seem few, when compared to the spaciousness of the store.
There is a chandelier on the ceiling.
Its light source was probably magic.
Items such as paintings and well-arranged vases of flowers are on display alongside the walls.
Inside the store, apart from ourselves, there is a young married couple walking arm-in-arm as they are looking around the store led by a clerk.
We, who entered the store, were staring at the heartwarming sight of the couple.
From a third-person perspective, we, who were holding hands, definitely look like a young couple.
The young married couple both had blue skin and had horns growing out of their foreheads; they were of the demon race.
An idle clerk notices us and approaches with a smile.
“Welcome… … ! Oh, Vlad-sama, it has been a while.”
[Indeed it has.]
A well-proportioned, tall, elderly, and gentlemanlike clerk.
His height is around 180 cm and wears a butler-like suit as well as white gloves. Though he looks like he is of the human race, a black tilde-shaped tail extends from his pants.
Without even batting an eye towards Ojou-sama who uses a mini blackboard to talk, he continues conversing and not with a business smile, but with a welcoming smile that came from the heart.
“And so, to what do we owe this pleasure?”
[I am thinking of giving Karen-chan an accessory for her birthday. Do you have something that may suit her?]
“I see, alright. Well then, please wait a moment.”
Said the clerk and he went into the back of the store.
[It seems that just by saying the name “Karen-chan”, he is able to understand who the gift is meant for.]
Even if they are former regulars, to remember their names and faces… a pro truly is different.
“What a cute girlfriend…”
While waiting for the elderly clerk, we happen to start talking with the young couple who have made a purchase and are heading out.
Hearing the words “cute girlfriend”, Ojou-sama’s face becomes 10 times redder than usual.
Add her shyness on top of that and she ends up hiding behind my back.
“Thank you very much for your praise. At any rate, my Mistress has extreme anxiety of strangers. Please forgive us for our discourteous attitude.”
“Eh? A servant? I thought for sure… …”
“Hey! You’re being rude.”
The man scolds the woman.
“Not at all, please pay it no heed. Rather, it is a great honor for me to be mistaken as Ojou-sama’s lover.”
As for Ojou-sama, a related party, she is red up to her ears after hearing my words as she grinds her forehead against me.
Ouch… It’s painful, Ojou-sama.
We made conversation like so and before long, several accessories are brought out from inside.
On the glass showcase, 5 accessories are lined up.
From the right, they are earrings, a necklace, a ring, a ring and a bracelet.
Each one implements a piece of large red gem.
Ojou-sama shows herself from my back and picks up each of the 5 accessories one by one to look at.
“For Bishop-sama who is a mix of gallantry and cuteness, I thought that rubies would suit her well and prepared these.”
[Now that you mention it, red does suit Karen-chan well, doesn’t it?]
”The necklace over here makes use of a large piece of ruby and is a new product from an up-and-coming artisan, a top highlight from next month’s releases. It’s only for Vlad-sama that I would present it on this day.”
What’s with this VIP treatment?
[Though it is beautiful, it feels like it would be disproportionate on Karen-chan’s neck… … What are Onii-chan’s thoughts on it?]
“Ah, err…. Certainly it’s a little too showy, I think… “
“Well then, how about these earrings? The gem is small, but that sort of design is the current trend.”
[These earrings are so pretty…]
Ojou-sama takes the bait.
Ojou-sama narrows down on giving earrings for the present, and even checked over a dozen different delicate designs.
Among those, she picked ruby earrings with a simple design.
Its price was 1 gold coin.
That would be approximately 100,000 Japanese Yen.
As a present to a friend, it seemed a bit excessive, but Ojou-sama wholly paid it no heed.
Well… even a slave like myself was bought as a gift, so it’s probably not a huge amount of money for her family.
Since we wanted the earrings to be nicely wrapped, it would be picked up at a later date.
We then left the shop with the elderly clerk seeing us off.
[Because of Onii-chan, I was able to pick Karen-chan’s present with no qualms. Thank you.]
“I am honored to have been of use to Ojou-sama. Well then, what should we do now? We still have some time ‘till the evening.”
If we’re going home, then we should return to the carriage.
Most likely, Gigi-san is still, from somewhere, monitoring us… or not. He’s just doing his job as a bodyguard.
If we return to the rendezvous point at this time right now, there should be time left over.
But Ojou-sama showed positiveness unexpected from a former shut-in.
[If it’s not too much trouble, I wanted to look around town since it’s been a while.]
An outing after a long time.
Coming to the town where she often spent her off days with her friends must’ve made her recall all the fun times she had in the past.
I suppose the nostalgia made her want to take a walk.
Needless to say, there is no reason to object.
“Then let’s go look around various places until dusk. However, please do not push yourself too hard and tell me if you get tired. After all, we could always visit the town again any number of times.”
With a smile, Ojou-sama cheerfully writes on her mini blackboard.
Once again, hand in hand, we go back into the crowd.
Thanks for reading thus far!
Impressions, typos, opinions and the like are welcome!
Next update is scheduled for tomorrow, 21 December, 21:00.
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