Shinichi thought to himself while the maids were panicking to the side.
Youko consoled him from his shoulders, but his face remained sullen.
“What are you doing?”
That voice came from behind, and it belonged to none other than the head maid, Stella.
Those long slitted amber eyes of hers seemed to become even sharper as she stared at them in an almost glare-like fashion.
“As expected, you’re perfect. Not even a speck of lint.”
He checked out her whole body but did so in a way that was neither impolite nor sexual.
Their uniform was styled just like the Victorian Maids back on Earth.
But while they all wore the same clothes, Stella, who naturally stretched her back and maintained a quiet demeanor, was a step above the other maids, and that difference reflected on her uniform.
“But of course, I am a maid, after all.”
Stella said without hesitation despite the praise.
But while the tone of her voice was flat, there was a sense of rejection behind it.
She has always been curt, but she was especially curt today.
“I believe I asked what you were doing, however.”
Her eyes only grew sharper despite her expressionless face.
Already, she was outright glaring at Shinichi with an air of intimidation.
Normally, it would be strange for her to adopt such an attitude toward someone who was basically a guest, but the maids were too afraid to point that out.
Only, Youko unhappily returned her glare.
“What we’re doing, huh────Don’t worry.”
Only the person in question received her gaze without flinching, and after thinking for awhile, he nodded and said something seemingly unrelated, causing confusion to surface on her.
“I won’t lay a hand on your precious sisters, not in either sense of the word.”
Whether he’d guessed her intentions correctly or not, Stella became speechless, while the other maids were at a loss.
For a moment, Stella blushed, but she quickly recovered her expressionless face and retorted.
“Should that be interpreted to mean that… They’re not worth you laying your hand on them?”
These were subordinates with whom she overcame the strict training and education of Earthgant.
They were also her younger sisters who grew up with her.
“…Y-You’re attacking from there?”
Understandably, even Shinichi was stunned by such a response and felt like he’d lost.
Stella’s plan to get back at him for revealing her thoughts was a success.
Indeed, a poor response here would hurt the maids’ pride both as a maid and as a woman.
Shinichi wasn’t one to balk at such a move if necessary, but there was no reason to do so now.
That’s why all he could give in response was a troubled smile and a few vague words.
“Let’s just say that… I’m not fond of violence.”
Which meant to say that he didn’t mind these girls for his partner in either sense of the word.
But such an excuse seemed even weaker than usual.
“I’ve never heard of such an unpersuasive excuse.”
Hence, cold glares poured onto Shinichi.
Was he not the man who drove them into an inch of their life, then displayed his overwhelming fighting prowess at every turn? Not to mention a man who ever relied on threats and extortion?
Though they didn’t say that out loud, their eyes told plenty.
“Ha ha, that’s true… But that’s just because that’s all I can do.”
Self-aware, he could only feebly admit to that with a wry smile.
Stella was concerned by the abject smile on him that everyone else ignored, but she put off pursuing it for later and prioritized duty.
───Unfortunately, that is something that she would come to bitterly regret.
“…Well, whatever. More importantly, Nakamura-sama. As you may have heard, the count has invited us to a welcome party tonight, and we will all be going away to help with the preparations and guard Lilisha and the others.”
“Got it, I’ll keep watch while everyone is out. Or maybe I should guard the manor too? I might dirty the room again if I stay there… From here on, I’ll just use it when it’s time to sleep.”
“I would be much obliged.”
Was her gratitude meant for his offer of working as a guard? Or was it meant for him only using his bed for sleep?
The answer was obviously────both.
But of course, it was mostly for the latter.
“Also, Lilisha-sama and Kite-sama are waiting for you at the dining room.”
“Oh, it’s that time already? I got it. Thank you for coming to call me.”
“I’m just following my master’s orders.”
She said curtly once again, as though to say that there was no other meaning behind this.
But pointing out the real reason only left a smile on Shinichi’s face.
Stella understood why he was looking at her with such a smile, but she didn’t say anything and just turned around to lead him, as though to say, ‘shut up and follow me.’
That made the smile on him deeper, but he quietly followed nonetheless.
“…Today’s head maid is a bit unhappy, no?”
“Though he’s technically not a guest, that’s still not the right attitude to take with him.”
The maids followed too, albeit a bit slower, and they spoke among themselves about the strange behavior of the head maid, showing fear and concern, but Shinichi shook his head.
“She’s just on guard. I mean, can you blame her? A person she can’t beat was alone with her sisters for a few hours.”
“S-So that’s how it is…”
The girls were shocked when they realized it. Before they knew it, they’d already let their guard down around Shinichi.
Though he had displayed great power, that power has never been directed to them other than the first time, and he always acted like this with them.
Normally, they had the skills to avoid or even physically eliminate a lecherous guest, but Shinichi’s overwhelming power meant that they were helpless before him.
Given that, it was only normal for Stella to be worried.
“Though she didn’t lie about being commanded to come here, she’s been dropping by every day on some pretense to check the cleaning.”
Given that, it wasn’t hard to put two and two together, Shinichi laughed.
Upon realizing how much concern the head maid had shown them, the younger sisters looked at their older sister with a loving gaze.
Shinichi smiled at that. Normally, not being trusted was something to bemoan, but seeing this older sister do her best to hide her concern for her younger sisters was just too loveable and amusing.
“I see. So, in the end, it was just a sweet older sister going all, ‘what bug dares approach my younger sisters?’ What a violent way to hide her embarrassment, though,” Youko said.
“Youko, don’t talk so much,” Shinichi said.
“…Huh? Hide her embarrassment? …So all that attitude from earlier was just her hiding her embarrassment?” One of the maids said.
Shinichi laughed as he watched the back of the head maid walking in front.
She could hear their conversation, but she wasn’t saying anything.
Unfortunately for her, it was all too obvious to see that she was doing her best to suppress the trembling of her shoulders and limbs.
That’s why Shinichi laughed.
What a terrible personality.
To think that the absolutely superior Head Maid would have such a childish side to her.
It was such a surprising fact that – for awhile – their ever expressionless face showed emotion.