Some time passed since Ryouma’s departure, and just as in the last days of the year at Japan, the people of this world also busied themselves to greet the end of the year… At a certain mansion in the imperial capital, within one of its rooms, were tea and sweets being distributed to five girls.
But only one of them touched those teas and sweets.
That girl was the daughter of the mansion’s master, Elialia.
“Girls, you don’t really have to worry so much. Especially you, Kanan.” [Elia]
“Telling me that only makes it worse!” [Kanan]
“Kanan, can’t you just do it like you normally do? I’m sorry, but now I’m nervous too.” [Michelle]
“I beg your pardon!? Michelle, aren’t you the daughter of a count? At the very least, you should show us how it’s done.” [Kanan]
“Ha ha, unfortunately, our family’s peerage was something we acquired by chasing after our scholastic pursuits for generations. It was something we just happened to pick up. This isn’t really something that could be said openly, but frankly, whether it’s me or my parents, we would much rather prioritize our scholastic pursuits rather than manners and etiquettes. I have been instructed on it, yes, but only the barest minimum required. If you’re looking for a demonstration, you should ask Riera instead.” [Michelle]
“You sure don’t hesitate to say something so unadmirable so brazenly. Unfortunately, I don’t really have the right to speak for others about being a proper lady… At most, I suppose I could teach about the proper ways to put on a dress?” [Riera]
“But didn’t she say to just do it ‘as you normally do’? Besides, if anyone here is going to be seen through for doing it poorly, it would be me.” [Miyabi]
“I see. Still, you sure are calm despite that.” [Riera]
“Surely you don’t believe that. I have simply – how would you put it? – ‘accepted my own fate’. Something similar has happened before too anyway…” [Miyabi]
“Honestly, girls. This is just an introduction of my friends to my family…” [Elia]
“Elia.” [Michelle, Kanan, Miyabi, Riera]
‘And that in itself is an important event,’ they tacitly told her with their eyes.
It was at a time like that that someone knocked on the luxuriously decorated door.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. The masters have come.” [Maid]
“!!” [Michelle, Kanan, Miyabi, Riera]
The moment the maid announced that, the four girls simultaneously stood up with a jolt, while Elia elegantly stood up a little slower.
And then a young couple and an elderly man entered.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. I am the current head of the Jamil family, Reinhart. Thank you for always taking care of my daughter.” [Reinhart]
“Father! And grandfather and mother too, you’re late.” [Elia]
“Sorry about that. An unexpected guest came, you see.” [Elize]
“But enough of that. You seem to be doing well, Elia.” [Reinbach]
“I see you’re doing well too grandfather, mother, father.” [Elia]
After the family exchanged a few words, the topic moved on to the four girls visiting them.
“By the way, Elia. Won’t you introduce us to your friends? A simple introduction will do.” [Elize]
“Right! From the left, the most nervous of them, Kanan.” [Elia]
“Greetings. My name is Kanan Shuza! I’m aiming to become a magic tool craftsman!” [Kanan]
“So you’re Kanan-chan. I’ve heard about you from Elia’s letters. You’re from the Shuza family, yes?” [Elize]
“Oh, speaking of the Shuza Family, is Defel-dono doing well? He helped me a lot in the past, but when I dropped by his store recently, I was informed that he’d retired already…” [Reinbach]
“Gramps— I mean, my grandfather is doing well. And he didn’t retire because of illness but because of his age. He complained, saying that he couldn’t move his fingers well, and couldn’t do a good enough job anymore, then suddenly retired… But he still fiddles with magic tools every day as a hobby, and his works are still better than actual active craftsmen and is even always scolding the young craftsmen.” [Kanan]
“That’s good to hear. If there’s an opportunity, please send him my regards.” [Reinbach]
“No probs! …Ah.” [Kanan]
Darn it! Kanan seemed to say as her countenance went grim. The three adults were all smiles. In the first place, although she hasn’t noticed it, her dog ears and tails have always been fidgeting the whole time, so it was evident to everyone here how nervous and unfamiliar she was with the situation.
Elia paid her faux pas no heed and proceeded to introduce Miyabi.
“My name is Miyabi Saionji. I think you might know already, but I am the daughter of the president of the Saionji Company. It’s a pleasure to make everyone’s acquaintance.” [Miyabi]
“So you’re Pioro-san’s daughter!” [Reinhart]
“Your dad’s been a great help to us too.” [Elize]
“I heard you’d be here, but this is our first time meeting each other. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” [Reinbach]
“Thank you very much.” [Miyabi]
“Next is Riera.” [Elia]
“Greetings, Your Grace. I am Riera Clifford, Baron Clifford’s youngest daughter. It brings me great joy to be able to meet you.” [Riera]
“A serious child, I see. This isn’t a public place, so feel free to be at ease.” [Reinhart]
“It is reassuring though that there’s at least one girl like her.” [Reinbach]
“Personally, I’d much rather hear all the stories.” [Elize]
“Understood! I’ll do my best.” [Riera]
Her salute was wonderful, but the words that followed afterwards were weak.
The adults couldn’t help but smile at her diligence.
“Lastly, Michelle. She’s wearing male clothes, but she’s definitely a woman, so please don’t misunderstand. Especially you, Father.” [Elia]
“Of course. Michelle-san, right? I heard you’re Count Willdan’s oldest daughter.” [Reinhart]
“It’s an honor to learn that you know me, Your Grace. But may I know what exactly Elia meant by misunderstanding?” [Michelle]
“Ah, I’m really sorry about that, but… Elia had sent me a letter prior, wherein she mentioned that Michelle-san was ‘popular among female students’. Well, how do I put it…” [Reinhart]
“Let me guess, you thought that the Michelle-san spoken of was a male student, and in your jealousy, sent back a letter demanding to know who he was?” [Elize]
“Good grief, you should know full well that going to school means that your daughter will have to interact with boys as well. And yet just because you heard your daughter was getting along well with some guy, you lost your cool. And we’re not even talking about a romantic relationship here. You may be my son, but that is truly pathetic behavior.” [Reinbach]
“…” [Kanan, Miyabi, Riera, Michelle]