Chapter 9:

CHAPTER 8: ERIS GOES ON A TRIP

The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 1


Good morning…I guess?Bookmark here

Yeah, I knew I said that even though the light outside wasn’t changing at all; however, I decided to just count every time I sleep as a full Earth ‘day’. It’s really hard to measure time here since Chersea had no such standard.Bookmark here

Well, a-anyway, I’m having a problem as of this moment.Bookmark here

“What do you want?” I asked a group of maids that I caught inside my room once again.Bookmark here

“…” they remained silent, but all were looking back at me. Bookmark here

Is this some kind of staring contest?Bookmark here

“If you have nothing else to say, you may get out. I’ll just pretend this didn’t happen.” I waved my hand as a signal that I wanted them gone, but they remained on their spot. Bookmark here

I think these girls are looking for another trouble.Bookmark here

Uh…M-mister Kuro…” the maid that seemed to be the leader finally spoke, “W-we’re here to clean your room, so if it’s p-possible, can you leave the place to us?”Bookmark here

“…” Now it’s my turn to stay silent.Bookmark here

I’m suspecting something fishy here. Are they going to install a listening or monitoring device inside? Well, I’m not yet sure if this world had stuff like that, but I guess there’s nothing to worry about since I am not guilty of what they suspect me of doing. Yeah, watch and listen to me for all I care. You will get nothing.Bookmark here

“M-mister Kuro.” another maid approached me.Bookmark here

“What?”Bookmark here

Err…Big sis wants you to the kitchen.”Bookmark here

‘Big sis’. If you didn’t know yet, that’s what the junior maids call the most senior servant assigned in the Kitchen Department, Jessica.Bookmark here

Well, whatever; I don’t give a damn. Why did the bitch want me to come to the kitchen, anyway? She must be up to no good once again. I’m having second thoughts on leaving my room to these suspicious maids, but what the heck? It’s not like they could gather any damning pieces of evidence against me…Bookmark here

In the end, even against my judgment, I went to the kitchen.Bookmark here

----------Bookmark here

Something was going on.Bookmark here

“Please eat to your heart’s content.”Bookmark here

Err…there’s no poison here or anything, right?”Bookmark here

“What are you talking about?” the kitchen’s boss, Jessica, retorted. Yeah, I didn’t like that happy, cute smile. Before, whenever I appeared in her line of sight, she’d give me a frown, or a sharp glare, “If there’s poison, of course, I won’t tell it to you.”Bookmark here

“Puuu—” I immediately spat the little food I had in my mouth.Bookmark here

“That’s mean!” Jessica pouted. I’m having the chills watching her cute antics, “I was only joking about the poison. Please eat in peace.”Bookmark here

Yeah, something was going on behind my back. I mean look, before, I would cook and prepare my food, or the kitchen department maids would give me scraps and leftovers. But this time, Jessica prepared a full course meal just for me, just as she told me.Bookmark here

Err…is my face that weird when I eat?”Bookmark here

“Well, your face is indeed weird.” Jessica replied, dismissively waving her hand, “But it’s normal. Pretty much the same whether or not you eat.”Bookmark here

“Then why are you staring at me? I’m sure it’s not that nice to look upon.”Bookmark here

“What are you saying? I enjoy watching you.”Bookmark here

She hates me. Oh, but if I may say, Jessica’s cooking was pretty delicious. It reminded me of that good old home cooking of my mom back on Earth. Even though she’s my enemy, it wouldn’t hurt if I complimented on her work, was it? Bookmark here

“This is delicious.”Bookmark here

Ah, thank you!” Jessica smiled as she puffed her chest, “I take pride in my cooking. They say that my talent can make any man fall for me.”Bookmark here

For someone who’s so averted to men, hearing that from you gives me horrible chills. However, I guess I’m getting the hang of what’s happening. Bookmark here

Haa…I thought we already settled this back in that ‘almost’ dismissal ceremony. But apparently, it looked like Big Bitch—I mean, Big Sis Jessica had changed her strategy against me; if she couldn’t win using force, she’s bent on winning using charms. She’s aiming for me to become enamored with her and then struck when I let down my guard. Bookmark here

Ha! I can read you like a book, girl; you will not win against me!Bookmark here

Oh, so it’s Kuro!”Bookmark here

My train of thoughts got interrupted when the Head Maid—I mean, Lily—suddenly appeared. Jessica stood up to greet her; I was about to follow when she stopped both of us.Bookmark here

Ah, so what’s up?” I stroke up a conversation with Lily, “Is there anything wrong?”Bookmark here

“Nah. I was just passing by. So, how’s Jessica’s cooking?”Bookmark here

“I see. Well, so far I’m still alive.” I was just sarcastic.Bookmark here

Lily laughed, “Ah, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. After all, Jessica kept on asking me the other day how to make up with you. She wouldn’t even let me sle—”Bookmark here

Ah, p-please don’t tell M-mister K-K-Kuro about it!” Jessica was so flustered I thought of her as cute at that moment. Lily was roaring in laughter. Bookmark here

Dear God, forgive me, for I have sinned. For a second, I thought the bitch is cute.Bookmark here

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With nothing else to do—like usual—I went back to my room.Bookmark here

Just as I opened the door…Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Is this another staring contest?Bookmark here

The maids whom I left cleaning my place were still there, as well as their cleaning tools. Whether or not they tidied up my room, I couldn’t say. What made it odd was that they were all lying on my bed…and that one maid is holding my coat to her nose. Bookmark here

What the hell?Bookmark here

“M-m-m-m-m-m-m-”Bookmark here

“Kuro.” I reminded them of my name.Bookmark here

“Mister Kuro!” the leader of the maids blurted out; her face was red, “I thought you’re in the kitchen!”Bookmark here

“I am. I just finished eating.” I grabbed my coat from the maid who was holding it, “And stop sniffing that. I know I haven’t taken a bath for a long time so naturally; it’ll smell.”Bookmark here

“W-w-w-w-w-we’re sorry!” the leader of the maids quickly picked up her cleaning equipment and hurried out. Her flustered companions also followed suit.Bookmark here

I was left bewildered, “What the heck was that?”Bookmark here

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Ah, welcome Mister Defender—”,Bookmark here

“Kuro. Just call me Kuro.” I glared at the Marquise of Monfort the moment she started calling me that stupid nickname once again, “Please.Bookmark here

Err…K-Kuro, welcome!” the Marquise of Monfort repeated herself, “What brings you to the Armory?”Bookmark here

“Well, I was just wondering if you got a map of this place and the surrounding areas?”Bookmark here

“A map? What for?”Bookmark here

“I want to go exploring today. I’d like to search for a potential house to rent or buy.”Bookmark here

Ah…that.” the Marquise never hid her disappointment. Bookmark here

What, you think I’m going to some red-light district or something? Bookmark here

Tch. And here I thought you’re going to the red-light district to pick some girls.”Bookmark here

She indeed thinks of me like that!Bookmark here

“Well, I have a map for it. I have maps for almost all the areas in this land.” the Marquise’s proud smile appeared, “Just ask away whenever you need it.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, that’s exactly why I’m here.”Bookmark here

“Sorry bud, I left it at my family’s mansion.” was her immediate answer.Bookmark here

Then why the hell you tell me those things, you stupid paladin? Anyway, no matter how irritated I was, I declined to air my thoughts. I didn’t want any trouble.Bookmark here

“Well, I can have you escorted around by someone knowledgeable of the town.” the Marquise of Monfort offered a consolation, “Would you like me to arrange for that, Kuro?”Bookmark here

Ah yes please.” I didn’t want to disturb someone else. However, with the strange things happening between me and the maids, I hurried with my plan to find or rent a place to stay.Bookmark here

“Well, sorry dude. All of my guards are busy with their training.” she shrugged, “I think they’ve slackened their watch while I‘m gone.”Bookmark here

This idiot…is she trying to pick a fight with me? And besides, I think you’re the one who slackened Lady Monfort. I mean, look around this office! Armor pieces and weapons scattered all around. Crumpled papers fill the spaces in-between the discarded equipment. And…was that an old pizza with molds over there? How did that thing from Earth get here?Bookmark here

A pigsty is much cleaner than this place!Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Calm down, Kuro…you don’t want any trouble, right? Oh well, I guess there’s no helping it. I’ll discover the town myself then.Bookmark here

“If you’re going to town—”Bookmark here

“No thanks! I think I can manage on my own.”Bookmark here

“Really, are you sure? I can get you someone who can guide you around.”Bookmark here

“I-I’ll be fine.”Bookmark here

“I said, I can get you someone beautiful who can guide you around…”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

“Someone beautiful and seductive who can guide you around…”Bookmark here

Uh…ahem. W-well, I think that having a guide with those qualities wasn’t that bad. Bookmark here

But did she even have to point out those adjectives?Bookmark here

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Ahem. Well, it’s not bad when you walk side by side around the town with a beautiful girl…Bookmark here

“And there she was, just as I promised!” the Marquise of Monfort was all-smiles as she introduced me to my ultimate tour guide, “Your beautiful and seductive town girl.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

I was speechless. No, it’s not because I was awestruck or something…w-well, make that ‘I’m indeed awestruck’, but not in a good way.Bookmark here

“Mister Kuro, meet Eris. Eris, here’s Mister Kuro. He needs someone to guide him around the town.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Eris and I were silent. I could only stare at her, and she’s averting her gaze from me. I think I disturbed her work. And now she’s pissed.Bookmark here

Well, it’s not that I’m saying that Eris was not attractive; in fact, she was cute. Her short, wavy, red-brown hair and brown eyes matched her gentle personality. Combined that with the oh-so-classic maid uniform, and you get one super-cute girl for a companion. Bookmark here

However…Bookmark here

No matter how I look at Eris, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’m going to be arrested once people saw me walking with her. I mean, her appearance was close to that of a ten-year-old kid. Bookmark here

How did she end up along with the ‘seductive’ route, Lady Monfort? Are you blind or something?Bookmark here

“Well, if you’re asking how’d she end up with the ‘seductive’ description…” the Marquise whispered to me, “Don’t you know that many human nobles prefer her looks, especially because of ‘that’.”Bookmark here

By ‘that’ she meant Eris’ chest, which was like the place where the Holy Palatial Gardens stood—absolutely flat.Bookmark here

Oi. Don’t lump me with criminals.” furious, I whispered back.Bookmark here

Nah, don’t worry.” the Marquise slapped me from behind, “I know you’ll take proper responsibility; you’re a man of culture, after all.”Bookmark here

Guh…what made you say that?”Bookmark here

“You like flat chests, right?”Bookmark here

Ha? Where did that come from?Bookmark here

The Marquise’s stare was intense. What is she trying to prove here?Bookmark here

“N-no, I—”Bookmark here

“Flat. Is. Justice.” Her expression was getting scarier by the minute.Bookmark here

“Err…n-not exactly—”Bookmark here

“Flat. Is. Absolute. Justice.” I feel like I’m being coerced here.Bookmark here

I just nodded silently. I didn’t want further issues with this freak.Bookmark here

“See?” the Marquise of Monfort went back to being cheerful, “You’re indeed a man of culture.” She had a twisted smirk on her face. Bookmark here

I shouldn’t have asked for her help…Bookmark here

Uh…Mister K-Kuro…” we heard Eris’ spoke, “Could it be that y-you didn’t want E-Eris to accompany you?”Bookmark here

“Well, it’s alright if you don’t want to,” I replied. To be honest, it’s fine with me whether she wanted to go. Eris was a servant here after all, and I thought she needed to prioritize her duties more instead of going around town with a stranger like me. Bookmark here

However, Eris shook her head, “P-please let Eris come along if it’s okay.”Bookmark here

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Everything was silent as we went on our way to the town near the Holy Palatial Gardens.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

This was awkward. I would occasionally steal a glance at Eris, and sometimes she’d also return the favor. It’s like we’re bombarding each other with strange stares. Well, I couldn’t help it; back in my world, I dealt with teenagers as a teacher. Eris was more like a pre-adolescent girl, and I didn’t know what her interests were. Bookmark here

I have to be careful not to get on her unpleasant side.Bookmark here

Oh, by the way, Her Holiness had graciously lent us a cart and a horse for this trip. Well, she’s offering me a carriage, but I quickly refused it. At least, I didn’t want to stand out among the locals if I plan to mingle with them. If I go out, I’ll be fine just by walking; however, taking into consideration Eris’ body, I asked for a ride.Bookmark here

And now that I remember it, I wonder why Her Holiness and the Marquise of Monfort are exchanging nasty looks and smiles earlier…Bookmark here

“Uh…”Bookmark here

“Hiii!” I almost jumped out of the cart when I heard Eris speak.Bookmark here

“S-sorry; did Eris startle you?” she was apologetic.Bookmark here

“N-nah.” Of course, I wouldn’t tell her the truth; I didn’t want to piss Eris off, “I’m just a little jumpy since the cart’s pretty shaky, see?”Bookmark here

“Oh…” Eris smiled, though her eyes were still sad, “Eris is sorry for insisting to come with you, Mister Kuro. You even have to borrow a cart from Her Holiness out of consideration for Eris.” By the way, she’s the one driving the cart; I’m clueless how to prod a horse to move forward.Bookmark here

Ah…damn. I thought I’m making her feel bad, I had to change the topic, “Ah, that’s right. I’ve been wanting to ask you since earlier about the town we’re going to. As you know, I’m pretty new to this world, so anything I need to remember before going in?”Bookmark here

Eris remained silent for a while as she pondered on my question. Then she explained, “Well, Arles is a pretty small but affluent town about two-thirds in size of the Holy Palatial Gardens. Because of its proximity to Her Holiness’ place, it is our immediate supplier of various goods like food, clothing, and others.”Bookmark here

“Oh…” Well, I could see what she’s talking about. Even though we’re still quite a distance off the town proper itself, we could already distinguish those well-built houses meant for someone of significant influence or power, “Those houses are really impressive, don’t you think?”Bookmark here

Ah yes. Most of the population of Arles are rich merchants, members of the nobility, and influential people, after all. Because of that, it is also a well-guarded place. A lot of soldiers from the locals’ private armies patrol the surrounding area, aside from the militia raised by the town council.” Eris explained, “That’s why, if you noticed, we have encountered no monsters yet.”Bookmark here

Hmm…pretty beneficial, huh?” Bookmark here

Now that I realized, it seemed like Eris was well-informed about Arles. Honestly, I’m enjoying talking to her, “So, if I may ask, do you have any idea on how much a house sells at Arles?”Bookmark here

“Let’s see…last time Eris checked, it’s around 15 gold coins for a small property in the town.”Bookmark here

I froze. Hearing the amount gave me goosebumps. Though I knew nothing on prices and value of money here in Chersea, the number that Eris gave me was just staggering. After all, a lowest-ranked maid back at the Palatial Gardens receives 50 silver coins at every start of the season. And for the freeterthat is, me—I was to receive 20 silver coins.Bookmark here

So, if I intend to buy a house in this town, I would’ve to pass 75 seasons at least. And frankly, I didn’t know the exact duration of a season here; according to what I’ve read in the books, sometimes the seasons were short, and otherwise.Bookmark here

I can’t wait for 75 seasons! I might get butchered halfway by that bitch, Jessica!Bookmark here

“M-mister Kuro?” Eris’ voice brought me back to reality, “Are you alright? You look pale.”Bookmark here

“Ah…y-yeah, I’m fine. Thanks, Eris.” Deep inside, however, my mind was searching for a workable solution for my predicament. Should I ask for the Saint’s help? It looked like she’ll provide me aid if I asked her; but damn, that would be a colossal blow to my pride as a man. Bookmark here

If that’s how it will go, then I guess I need to get a part-time job.Bookmark here

Ah, by the way, Mister Kuro, there are no adventurers’ guild or leveling system that exists anywhere in this land, though Eris doesn’t know what are those.”Bookmark here

Well, fuck me. Eris shot me down just as I was about to ask her that. Bookmark here

By the way, how could this be a proper fantasy world if there were no obligatory adventurer’s guild and leveling system here? And why did this girl suddenly speak about those when it didn’t exist here in the first place?Bookmark here

Ah, let’s just forget about that. I just realized that the price Eris told me was the rate for Arles’ affluent citizens. How about the commoner ones?Bookmark here

Uhm…there are only rich commoners in Arles, Mister Kuro.”Bookmark here

“Is that so?”Bookmark here

“Yes, if you’re looking for a commoners’ quarters with a more affordable price for houses, then you’re looking for the city beyond those mountains to our north. The city of Kamran is the nearest here next to Arles.”Bookmark here

Ah, thanks for that information!” It overjoyed me when I heard that; it seemed I’m still pretty lucky, “So, what’s the price of properties over there?”Bookmark here

“S-sorry Mister Kuro, Eris doesn’t exactly know.”Bookmark here

Oh, right. I forgot that Eris and the other staff at the Holy Palatial Gardens came from the royalties and nobilities of Chersea. There’s no way they would know about a commoner’s daily stuff.Bookmark here

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***Meanwhile, back at the Holy Palatial Gardens***Bookmark here

“So, Your Holiness…” it was the Marquise of Monfort, “Are you sure about this?”Bookmark here

The Saint of Chersea slowly opened her eyes as she listened to the chief of her palace’s guards, “Yes, I am serious, Lady Monfort. That’s why we sent Eris together with that human from another land.”Bookmark here

The Marquise of Monfort could feel the cold sweat form on her forehead. She’s regretting everything she had done just now…Bookmark here

“But what if—”Bookmark here

“Are you doubting me, Lady Monfort?” Her Holiness snarled.Bookmark here

“Well, it’s just that, I have done nothing to help Eris in her problems with the other maids, and…”Bookmark here

“Don’t worry. That boy could protect Eris in your stead.” Her Holiness smiled, “I don’t think there would be any problems other than…”Bookmark here

“Other than what, Your Holiness?”Bookmark here

“Well, Lady Monfort…” the Saint’s dark smile was prominent. “Are you increasing your bet, or what?”Bookmark here

Damn it, Your Holiness! If Kuro and Eris became close after this, then it’s my win!”Bookmark here

“Sure!” Her Holiness’ confidence was oozing, “But if Eris didn’t progress, then I’ll take everything from you, save for your title!”Bookmark here

“Ugh…” the Marquise of Monfort couldn’t stay calm after hearing that. Did she just commit the biggest mistake of her life by gambling against the Saint? Well, whatever, she thought. That little girl’s desire to get to know that strange boy from another world was her priority. So, she asked for Her Holiness’ help in bringing them close.Bookmark here

As long as Eris was happy, then she was happy…Bookmark here

Besides, gambling is fun and exciting, anyway.Bookmark here

Please don’t emulate her, dear readers.Bookmark here

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**Kuro**Bookmark here

As we couldn’t settle the housing issue as of the moment, Eris and I toured around Arles. After all, it would be a wasted opportunity to learn something new about this world if we simply returned to the Palatial Gardens. We already borrowed the cart and horse.Bookmark here

Compared to Earth’s towns, Arles was small—if I reckon it would be around the size of a typical Earth village. A thick rampart surrounded the entire place, and at least twenty well-equipped guards from the town militia manned the gates.Bookmark here

“Oh, it’s Miss Eris!”Bookmark here

“Open the gate!”Bookmark here

Eris and the others from the Palatial Gardens were well known here. Well, it’s pretty obvious since Arles was the nearest settlement near the Saint’s enclave. I wasn’t questioned upon entering the town, unlike the protagonists that I read from several fantasy novels back on Earth. The soldiers even saluted us.Bookmark here

Heh, talk about being a big-shot. Pretty convenient, eh?Bookmark here

We parked our cart and horse at a nearby stable before proceeding. Then, after making sure that everything was secure, we went on our tour around the town. Coming through the major thoroughfare of Arles, I saw a lot of shops that lined up along the road, just like a typical European Middle Ages city. Restaurants that served fancy food, stores that sell luxury clothes, alchemists that peddle medicines and other types of potions, blacksmiths that cater to warriors’ equipment…name it, I think Arles has them—well, at least, for the rich. Bookmark here

Eris told me that prices here were much inflated than in any other region in Chersea.Bookmark here

Of course, there were people from various races walking around as we stroll, and Eris was having fun explaining everything I laid my eyes upon.Bookmark here

Ah, those are Elves.” she said the moment I looked at those guys with long, pointed ears, “They come from the continent of Cherwoods to the southeast. They are an elegant and gentle race; if Eris is not mistaken, they are also great archers and magicians.”Bookmark here

“Oh…” Well, I think almost every fantasy story that was written out there presented the elves as proficient magicians and archers, so I’m not that surprised. Besides, I knew something about them when I was reading back at the library.Bookmark here

“And Elves are well-known lovers of wine and alcohol, though they can’t hold being drunk. They are also closet lechers, as well.”Bookmark here

Hey, I think that last comment is uncalled for.Bookmark here

Anyway, my attention then turned to those people with animal appendages as parts of their body, “So those are beastmen if I’m correct?”Bookmark here

“Yes, Mister Kuro.” Eris nodded, “Most of the beastmen tribes hail from the land of Cherwind to the south. They form a very close-knit society based on their appearance.”Bookmark here

“So, for example, that one with rabbit ears is from the Rabbit tribe?”Bookmark here

Oh…you catch on quick, Mister Kuro.”Bookmark here

“I think it’s one of my strengths.” I proudly declared. I cannot tell her I enjoy reading ‘Isekai’-themed novels, do I? Or I’ll be explaining to her all day…Bookmark here

Eris laughed softly, “By the way, Beastmen are a race of warriors who take pride in their unusual physical strengths. They are also well-documented masochists and loves head-pats.”Bookmark here

Err…do I need to know that kind of information, Eris? Anyway, I should change the topic, “Oh, those are dwarves, correct?” I was referring to those small bearded guys with stocky bodies and wielding great axes.Bookmark here

Oh, those are just humans lacking in height.”Bookmark here

S-seriously?Bookmark here

“If you’re looking for dwarves…” Eris pointed in a certain direction, “There they are.”Bookmark here

Double seriously? No matter how long I stare at them, they resembled ordinary humans with colored hair, thick glasses, and overweight bodies.Bookmark here

Uh…Eris, aren’t you mistaking those for dwarves? They look more like ‘Social Justice Warriors’ to me.”Bookmark here

“Social Justice Warriors? Are those brave people from your homeland, Mister Kuro?”Bookmark here

“Well, brave…in a way.” I had a sarcastic grin on my face, “Err…anyway, I’m curious. What makes them dwarves?”Bookmark here

Hmm, they call themselves dwarves. So, we call them that way, or they’ll get offended because we just assigned them a race-specific role brought about by the humanistic bias of the society.” Eris shrugged, “Honestly, Eris doesn’t understand what they mean by that, but Eris doesn’t recommend getting too involved with them. The dwarves believe in the ‘equality of all races’ but if you take pride in your humanity, they’ll be offended and debate you ‘till your ears bleed.”Bookmark here

Eris talked like she went through a traumatic experience. Uh…it’s best that I follow her advice and avoid them.Bookmark here

“By the way, Mister Kuro, dwarves are vegans; if they saw you eat meat, they’ll get offended too.”Bookmark here

Sounds like they’re a pain in the ass, “So let me guess, they come from a continent called ‘Cherland’?”Bookmark here

“Nope. They live in a land named ‘Equality’, which is to the east of here. Please don’t let them hear you made that mistake, or they’ll get offended.”Bookmark here

Yep, too ‘SJW’ for me.Bookmark here

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Anyway, all that walking and talking has made me hungry. Since I got no single coin in my pocket, I asked Eris if we could now return to the Palatial Gardens. I tried my best to appear as casual as possible, but…Bookmark here

“You must be hungry, Mister Kuro?”Bookmark here

“H-how d’you know?” I sheepishly asked.Bookmark here

“Eris can hear your stomach growl.” Eris laughed softly, “Don’t worry, Eris brought money with her. Let’s eat somewhere nice.”Bookmark here

Ah please…” I bowed repeatedly, “I’d feel bad if you treat me for free.”Bookmark here

Nah, don’t worry.” she reassured me, “This is thanks for helping Eris before. Come!” Eris pulled my hand and led me to the place she wanted to go to.Bookmark here

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Welcome to the Holy Frills Diner!”Bookmark here

Err…that’s quite a name. Looks like the owner put much thought into coming up with it.Bookmark here

Anyway, it was a small restaurant. The girls who served were wearing frilly uniforms, thus the name of the restaurant. However, what called my attention was that macho man in a frilly dress behind the counter further in.Bookmark here

Ah, welcome, Miss Eris!” the macho man greeted.Bookmark here

“Hello, Mister Ricardo!” Eris chirped back, “By the way, he’s the owner of this place, Mister Kuro.”Bookmark here

Ricardo’s deep baritone voice and serious expression didn’t match his words, nor his frilly, fancy dress. I mean, it felt like he’s threatening us more than welcoming. Add the eyepatch, bulging muscles, and a big scar on his face, it looked like we’re talking to a veteran mercenary than a restauranteur.Bookmark here

“Mister Ricardo’s also a former mercenary.” Eris added, “But he took an arrow to the knee, so he had to retire.”Bookmark here

“Oh…” Isn’t that a little Todd Howard-ish?Bookmark here

Ricardo laughed, “Well, that’s all behind me now. I don’t want to wake up in another cart with prisoners and getting attacked by a dragon on the way…”Bookmark here

Damn…Todd Howard, you did it again!Bookmark here

“So anyway, Eris…” Ricardo took an eyeful of me, “Who’s the guy? Your man?”Bookmark here

Err…ah, n-no!” Eris was quick to deny, “M-mister Kuro is just a friend.”Bookmark here

Oh…well, every love story starts with being a friend.” the former mercenary countered.Bookmark here

My companion fell silent; her face was beet-red. Uh, you don’t need to get pissed as much as that, Eris…Bookmark here

Ah, anyway, please have a seat as usual, Miss Eris!” Bookmark here

Eris then led me to her favorite spot in that restaurant, passing through several tables filled with other customers. Some of which were looking at us; it must be because of the disparity between our height and ages. Bookmark here

I mean, I’m a young adult and Eris just looked like my little sister.Bookmark here

“!!!” I felt Eris jerked suddenly.Bookmark here

“What happened?” I asked her, “You okay?”Bookmark here

“Eris felt someone touched her b-butt.”Bookmark here

“Eh?” I turned around and saw a bunch of armed people looking lecherously in our direction, particularly at Eris. That one’s a human, and two were elves…and they didn’t have a pleasant air around them.Bookmark here

“Nice pick, dude!”Bookmark here

“How’s her ass?”Bookmark here

Uh…these guys. I could see the fear in Eris’ eyes; clearly, that’s where her distrust for men came from. I, being the more mature one, should protect her. Bookmark here

And damn, looks like this world has no child-protection laws…Bookmark here

“Hey!” I came to the table of those who touched Eris.Bookmark here

“Who’s the shrimp, Gio?” the elf asked their human companion.Bookmark here

“I dunno…all I see is a wimp.Bookmark here

They all mocked and laughed at us. They were drunk and armed. And I don’t like their attitude either…Bookmark here

“…” Bookmark here

Wait, wasn’t this the generic ‘Isekai’ early scenes where the protagonist gets involved with the bad guys and shows his overwhelming powers by kicking their asses? Hoo…I think I should man up and show them what I could do!Bookmark here

“What do you want?” the human drunk gruffly asked.Bookmark here

“You owe Eris an apology!” was what I should’ve said, but I contented myself with, “Uh…shouldn’t you…uhm, s-say sorry for my companion?” Hey, don’t judge me; it’s difficult to confront aggressive and armed assholes, you know. I’m just an old teacher until recently; of course, I don’t know how to fight them.Bookmark here

“Apology? What for?”Bookmark here

Uh…err…y-you inappropriately touched h-her.”Bookmark here

“And so?”Bookmark here

“S-say sorry? P-please?” Oh god, I look pathetic.Bookmark here

“What’s your name, kid?”Bookmark here

“Me? I’m Kuro.”Bookmark here

Hmm…and my name’s Gio.” I could feel the threatening aura coming from the drunk human, “Kuro…”Bookmark here

“G-Gio!”Bookmark here

“Instead of running away, you’re coming right to me?”Bookmark here

“I can’t beat the shit out of you without getting closer.”Bookmark here

Oh ho! Then come as close as you like.”Bookmark here

MUDA! MUDA! MUDA! MUDA! MUDA!Bookmark here

ORA! ORA! ORA! ORA! ORA! ORA!Bookmark here

We fiercely exchanged punches…at least, through the air. I didn’t want to come that close to him; he’s so drunk he couldn’t walk properly towards me.Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Uhh…really, we look stupid.Bookmark here

“Za Warudo! (The World!)” Gio jumped and unleashed his power against me.Bookmark here

“Nani?” I blurted out. Then someone grabbed me. Turning around, I realized the human drunk’s elven companions restraining me.Bookmark here

“That’s enough dude!”Bookmark here

“Yeah, stop that! Gio’s already knocked down!”Bookmark here

Oh, sorry…” Bookmark here

Err…how’d that even happen?Bookmark here

“Gio hit his head on the table after jumping and fell unconscious. So, we are going in his stead!” the elves were about to reach out for their weapons when…Bookmark here

“Hey you two!” it was Eris; she already had her wand drawn against them, “Don’t move or Eris will burn you to cinders with her magic.” The surrounding miasma became so thick that it was hard to breathe. Her eyes glared overwhelmingly, that they trembled in fear.Bookmark here

“I’d walk away if I were you.” Bookmark here

It was Ricardo, who already intervened, “Aside from bothering other customers, that girl you’re dealing with is a maid from the Holy Palatial Gardens. You don’t want to incur the wrath of the Human Saint, do you?”Bookmark here

“We’re sorry!” the elves quickly grabbed the fallen Gio and scurried away.Bookmark here

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Bookmark here

E-Eris is sorry, Mister Ricardo!” Eris was bowing repeatedly before the macho-man when everything settled down.Bookmark here

“Ahahahaha!” Ricardo gave a hearty laugh, “This is the first time I saw you get angry after for so long, Duchess Braunhauer! Don’t worry, I was watching the entire time and I know who’s in the wrong.”Bookmark here

Well, if you’re watching the entire time, why didn’t you intervene when things are escalating, macho man? I thought of that but decided against speaking my mind.Bookmark here

Ah anyway…” Ricardo guided us to Eris’ favorite place, “Let’s forget those bad things and just enjoy eating, shall we?” The moment he clapped his hands, a beastman—a girl from the Fox tribe—appeared with a pair of the restaurant’s menu in her hands.Bookmark here

“Please order anything you want, it’s on the house.” Ricardo winked at us before he left. Bookmark here

I’m liking this guy. I mean, not that ‘sort’ of like, but well…Ah, whatever!Bookmark here

And so, they left us alone in that part of the restaurant.Bookmark here

Well, this was a quite pleasant change of pace from the grandeur of the Holy Palatial Gardens. The interior of this restaurant paled compared to the dining room of the Holy Chambers palace, but I like its simplicity. Plus, the size of this place gave me that warm, cozy feeling that I hadn’t felt for a long time.Bookmark here

I feel nostalgic…Bookmark here

Uhh…Mister Kuro…” it was Eris, “Eris wonders what would you want to eat?”Bookmark here

Oh, sorry!” I’m too engrossed admiring the place that I forgot picking food, “Well, how about this one?”Bookmark here

“Eh?” Eris had a dismayed look on her face, “You want that? Isn’t it the cheapest food here?”Bookmark here

Yeah, it is. I precisely picked that because I didn’t want to be a burden to Eris. Even though Ricardo said they’ll be giving us something for free, I knew Eris had a large part in that decision. If I came here alone, I doubt he would even bother…Bookmark here

“Yes, two of these, please. And a pair of this one too, I’ll pay for it, please tell Mister Ricardo.” My train of thoughts got interrupted by Eris talking to a waitress, “There, I’ve already ordered our food, Mister Kuro. Plus, some sides.”Bookmark here

“Thanks!”Bookmark here

“So that would be…” the waitress repeated our order, and wait…isn’t that the most expensive side item on the menu? Two of them?Bookmark here

“One for you and one for Eris.” Eris lips drew a mischievous smile, “If Eris let you, you’ll be too considerate and thus, won’t be able to enjoy the food here that much.”Bookmark here

“But the payment…”Bookmark here

“Nope. Eris doesn’t mind, actually.”Bookmark here

“I’d feel bad if I don’t—”Bookmark here

“As Eris told you before, it is thanks for saving her from her bullies.”Bookmark here

Err…thanks, I guess.” Bookmark here

Eris, you’re too kind, you know that?Bookmark here

“Well, I hope you’re enjoying yourself, Mister Kuro.”Bookmark here

“I do!” I honestly told her what I felt, “In fact, I think I’m imposing too much on you. It’s pretty embarrassing. I apologize.”Bookmark here

Ah, please don’t Mister Kuro.” Eris was sad as she told me that, “Actually, Eris thinks that this is only a small token compared to what you did for her and Big sis Jessica.”Bookmark here

She’s a bitch, and you still think of her that way? You’re kind, Eris…Bookmark here

“But Big sis Jessica already changed her opinion of you!” Eris was quick to retort, “She’s now actively convincing the other maids that you’re not a pervert like other men.”Bookmark here

Heh…as if I’d fall for that. Well, it’s not that I had to oppose that bitch; I only needed to keep my guard up. I may never know when Jessica might attack me once again.Bookmark here

“Eris believes that you’re a good guy, Mister Kuro. The Head Maid believes you are, too. Big sis Jessica and the other maids who hate you are also changing the way they think about you, as well.”Bookmark here

Nah, they’re just reading too much into my actions. I guess I needed to drop the truth for Eris…Bookmark here

Hmm…you’re too naïve, Eris.” it’s my turn to explain, “If you believe I’m not a pervert or a good person, then you’re mistaken. I’m a boy, so I’m interested in perverted things—there’s no normal guy in this world or the other that isn’t interested in that. However, I put my urges and desires to their proper places.”Bookmark here

“…” Eris was silent. Did her ‘nice guy’ vision of me crashed into pieces? Sorry kid, the world—Earth or Chersea—isn’t as simple as you thought. There are a lot of gray areas, no matter where you look.Bookmark here

“As Eris thought…” her gentle eyes focused on me, “You’re an honest person, too.”Bookmark here

Ha? Did she understand what I just told her?Bookmark here

“Eris knows all men are like that, but Mister Kuro doesn’t act based on what he feels, so Eris feels much safer with him.”Bookmark here

Ooookay? Aren’t you too trusting as well, Eris?Bookmark here

“That’s why…” Eris suddenly stood up and bowed, “Eris wanted to apologize for the trouble she caused you before, Mister Kuro. Please forgive Eris and be her friend!”Bookmark here

“…” Bookmark here

It left me speechless; I’m too shocked to say anything.Bookmark here

Uh, Eris, aren’t we two friends already?Bookmark here


Bookmarked
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