|Louise & Yuka K.|
| Book: Be Careful What|
You Wish For, Chapter 7
|Written by||Vanishing Trooper|
Chapter 6 Yukav
Be Careful What
You Wish For
Be Careful What You Wish For
Author's note: And here we have the second part of the Charming Fairy Inn arc. Nothing much to say about it aside from the fact that Yuka doesn't actually attack anyone in this chapter. Imagine that!
Next chapter is the first Love Potion arc and the start of the Albion Arc. Please enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this fic that can be used against me in a court of law.
Be Careful What You Wish For
"So..." I muttered as the three members of the 'Kazami Family' stood next to each other inside the 'tavern' part of the Charming Fairy Inn near the entrance. I glanced around the area and found that there were several wooden round tables spread around the main floor, wooden chairs included. There was a bar to the side with shelves lined with bottles of liquor. The whole thing was lit up by several lamps and a chandelier that gave it a warm feel.
"S-so..." Matilda repeated as she stood to my right side.
"Hurm..." Louise grumbled as she stood to Matilda's right side. My master had looks that varied from embarrassment to displeasure to a simple flat stare that she had right now throughout our walk to the inn. Being thought of as a child didn't seem to sit well with Louise but I noted with some amusement that she never let go of Matilda's hand. In fact, she was still holding onto Matilda's hand as we stood there.
"And thus~! They turn to us for help~! And the Charming Fairy Inn was created in part to help those in need~! Isn't that right, girls~?" The creature, Scarron, addressed his employees. They were all dressed in what Marisa used to call 'Skimpy Maid Outfits' but with varying colors instead of the traditional blue or black, but they still all had the standard white aprons. I had heard in passing what happened to the thieving witch after she asked Alice to wear one of those. I think the crater was still there...
"Yes boss!" The girls all said in unison. I noticed that all the girls were young, probably older than Louise but not by much. I was wondering why such young women were working for something like Scarron when I noticed the aforementioned creature start to squirm where it stood.
"No~n!" The creature exclaimed while still squirming.
"I am starting to question the wisdom of coming to this place." I muttered as I stared at the scene unfolding before us.
"You girls already know that you should refer to me as mi mademoiselle when at work~!" Scarron stated while doing a few poses. I felt my brow twitch when I heard the young women start calling it as 'mi mademoiselle'. Did it brainwash them?
"I am really starting to question the wisdom of coming to this place." I muttered as I tightened the grip on my parasol.
"Now, now, Yuka. 'You don't have to like it, but it is the most effective way on going about things'. Those were your exact words, weren't they?" Matilda asked me with a sidewards glance and a bit of a smirk and a wink.
"Touché." I replied with a raised brow.
"Flurgen..." Louise grumbled again beside us. I found out why when I saw Scarron start to pose toward us. I was about to step forward to address it when I felt Matilda's hand on my arm.
"Just let me do the talking." Matilda reminded us, returning to her 'pro' self. I nodded in response while Louise simply gave another 'flurgen'. I was more than happy to let the former thief deal with the creature, less work for me. After all, I was just here to make sure that anyone stupid enough to try to harm Louise and Matilda during the course of this little mission would regret it...badly.
"Now then~!" The creature started. Matilda stepped forward to speak to the beast, finally letting go of Louise's hand. My master scooted over to me and gave me a grave expression.
"Are we really going to do this?" She asked me.
"It's for the Princess, Louise. You got us into this mess in the first place." I reminded her, earning an 'urk' from my master.
"Now, just be a good 'daughter' for the rest of this little charade." I stated as I patted her beret wearing head while giving her a sly smile. Louise let out a low growl before smacking my hand away.
"You just wanted to play house with Matilda, didn't you? Hmph! Some ancient and powerful being you are. In the end, you just want to get my tutor into bed!" Louise stated as scathingly as she could while looking at me with a disgusted expression.
"Louise, we've been through this..." I started to explain but any further argument was interrupted when Scarron and Matilda walked up to us.
"Is anything wrong, dear?" Matilda asked me, her mask of 'my wife' in full effect. Scarron looked worried as it seemed to have interrupted an argument between a father and daughter.
"Not at all, Matilda. I was merely telling Louise that there are a great many kinds of people living in the city." I stated while placing my hand on Louise's shoulder. Another half-truth. If I have to keep doing this, I'll need to start asking Yukari for advice on manipulating people.
"I see. Well, Scarron has agreed to provide us lodging and food as long as we pull our weight around here." Matilda explained. It seemed that our course was set and this little play will continue for the rest of this little mission. I briefly wondered if I could have traded places with Guiche for this mission, I still thought that I was completely unnecessary for this.
"What do we need to do?" Louise piped up, making all three of us turn to her. Was this her desire to accomplish a mission given to her personally by her beloved Princess? Or was this just her wanting to get this over with so she can go home?
"Well, dear, the two of us will be helping out in serving food and drinks while your father helps in the kitchen by washing dishes, taking out the trash, and cleaning up after the day's work." Matilda said simply.
""What?"" Both Louise and I exclaimed at the same time. Having my master wait tables whilst wearing those skimpy maid outfits aside, she was actually expecting me to...do a servant's job?
"I know that it is a far cry from your usual work as a botanist, but you did say that you'd do anything. Right?" Matilda stated with a sickly sweet smile. It would seem that this woman was starting to forget who it was that ripped apart her precious earth golem just days before.
"We'll do it!" Louise declared with pure determination. I truly question the wisdom of coming here.
"You seem to find yourself in a number of new outfits today, ma-Louise." I stated while looking at Louise's and Matilda's new outfits, making sure to cover my minor slip up by folding my arms and leaning back. Louise and Matilda found themselves wearing light-pink and red versions of the 'Skimpy Maid Outfits' respectively and were actively looking away from me while blushing. Obviously they were both embarrassed by their attire but, well, they did agree to do this after all.
"What do you think~? Don't they look wonderful~?" Scarron asked from behind the girls. I scrutinized their clothing and noted that, even though they were designed to be revealing, they still made sure that all the important parts were carefully and securely covered.
"I can't complain about the design but..." I muttered while looking up and down Matilda's frame. The former thief glared at me when she noticed while pulling down on her skirt with her left hand, in effort to cover her legs, and putting her right hand over her chest, in an effort to cover her breasts. Honestly, it's like she assumes that she has anything that I haven't seen before. Matilda was still glaring at me while her face was still as crimson as her clothes when I turned to Scarron.
"The color doesn't suit her. Make it green instead, dark green." I said with no small sense of certainty. My choice of colors for Matilda's current outfit stemmed from the fact that it would have simply matched her hair, like Louise's outfit did. The darker shade of the 'Skimpy Maid Outfit' would have accented her hair color and would increase the chances of customers looking at her face instead of anywhere else. Louise did not need to deal with the same problem since she didn't have anything else to show off to customers aside from her vibrant hair and her cute face, not that those aspects were not enough to garner attention. Everyone blinked at me in wonder except for Louise, who just gave me an annoyed look.
"Isn't dark green your color?" She accused me with irritation. My color? Ah, she must have meant my wings. Matilda's embarrassed expression turned to wide eyed realization when she understood the meaning behind my master's words. I had used my wings to intercept the stone spikes that her golem launched at Sylphid during our last battle. She might have been on the very verge of panic and was likely already starting to run away, but she should have been able to see that little display of mine as she went.
"Only on certain occasions." I replied with a shrug. Scarron had taken the time we used for our short exchange to bring out a dark green version of Matilda's outfit. I purposely refused to think about how the creature knew my master's and Matilda's measurements to be able to provide those outfits that fit both of them perfectly. Nevertheless, Matilda went off to change into her new outfit with Louise in tow while Scarron started giving out reminders to the regular staff about something-or-other in their work. There was something about a magical black 'Skimpy Maid Outfit' that was supposed to allow the wearer to get a wish or some such nonsense but I didn't really listen to that part.
"Hey, new guy!" A female voice stated from behind me. I spared her a look and raised a brow. The young woman who was flatly staring at me was taller than Louise and was nearly as tall as Matilda. She had fair features, long black hair that was wrapped with a bandanna, and was wearing a low cut single piece dark green dress. The odd thing was...this young woman reminded me of Siesta. How strange.
"Yes?" I regarded the girl. She had her hands on her hips and was carefully looking up and down my frame. Imagine that, a mortal human girl sizing me up like I was some common rabble.
"I can't believe that this is the guy that snagged Big-Sis Mathilda." The young woman sneered at me before giving me another once over. It would appear that this girl had taken offense to our little cover story.
"It's Matilda now actually." I corrected her. The young woman narrowed her eyes at me and grit her teeth before she stepped forward and attempted to grab my shirt with her right hand. I cleanly intercepted the oncoming hand with my own left and I was currently holding her fast by the wrist. It seemed that she had taken a bit more than an offense to our little cover story.
"I don't know who you are and what you did...but I know that Big-Sis Mathilda would never marry someone like you!" The young woman yelled at me as she tried to pull her wrist free from my grasp. I had noticed that the rest of the people there had already gone silent, but it did not seem that this girl cared. She suddenly closed the gap between us, close enough for her face to be mere inches from mine.
"And I know that the pink-haired girl you came in with is not your daughter." She hissed at me. I didn't really feel worried by her statement. Logically speaking, Louise really didn't look like a daughter that would have come from a union between me and Matilda.
"Jessica~! Cease that at once~!" Scarron exclaimed. Me and the girl, apparently named Jessica, turned to the crowd and saw that they were all looking at us with concerned expressions.
"I hate to admit it, but you really do look better in...green...what happened?" Louise trailed off and asked as she and Matilda walked into a rather peculiar scene.
"Jessica, what do you think you're doing?" Matilda asked the girl in my grasp in a somewhat cold tone. I took that as a cue to let the young woman go. Jessica reeled back from the sudden release but quickly recovered her balance. Interesting, she either had that sense of balance naturally or someone...taught her. I see. It seemed that we've encountered an unforeseen complication, or did Matilda already take this into account?
"What I'm doing? What do you think you're doing Big-Sis? How can you even think of marrying a guy that looks like that? He doesn't even look like he can fight!" Jessica yelled at Matilda, who had a scowl on and was biting her bottom lip. It seemed that even our expert did not expect this. I certainly expected the sudden spike in magical energy coming from Louise though. I was contemplating on stopping her before she suddenly pulled out her wand when I found that such an action was unnecessary. Reason being that Louise chose to simply stomp toward Jessica and try to slap the taller girl. Jessica was sufficiently aware and fast enough to catch my master's hand mere inches from her left cheek, leaving everyone with an ironically similar situation that we had moments ago.
"Don't you dare talk about them like that..." Louise stated with about as much vehemence she could muster even though she was currently in a disadvantageous position. I really need to speak to my master about how her emotions affect her judgment so much.
"And what would you know about Big-Sis, huh? Little. Noble. Girl?" Jessica challenged Louise, revealing the biggest secret we had. A challenge that Louise answered by virtue of her other hand that she tried to use to slap the other girl with. Jessica managed to catch that hand too and both girls settled to simply glaring at each other to death. I watched the scene before me and forced down a sigh. Louise should have given Jessica a head butt to the jaw. The height difference should have given her the angle for the strike to force the taller girl to let go of her wrists. After she was free, Louise could have closed the distance between them and-
"Enough~!" Scarron declared as it subjected both girls to headlocks. I felt my brow twitch when I realized that I didn't even see it move. It twitched a bit more when I thought about what it would have been like to be in a headlock done by that creature. I proceeded to Dual Spark that thought into oblivion.
"No! Why are you even supporting this Daddy? You know that this whole thing is a sham! That man and that noble girl are probably blackmailing Big-Sis!" Jessica yelled to Scarron. Wait, what? Daddy? This young woman just called that abomination a father? I felt my face contort into a confused and disgusted scowl when I tried to comprehend the logic of how a creature like Scarron could ever sire a daughter.
"I am sure that Matilda has her reasons, don't you~?" Scarron turned to Matilda, its voice betraying uncertainty and desperation.
"I do. So Jessica, please understand. I'm doing this because-" Matilda's explanation was cut off by the young woman, Jessica.
"Understand, nothing! I don't know what they did to make you agree to this, but the Big-Sis that I know would never allow herself to be subjugated by a noble! The Big-Sis that I know woul-" Jessica's tirade was interrupted by me after I struck the wooden floor with the tip of my parasol.
"That...is quite enough." I stated flatly, getting the attention of the entire room. I opened my eyes, which I had closed beforehand, and regarded the room at large. Everyone present froze and gulped. Good.
"Scarron, I request that you release both girls at once." I told the creature and it complied, releasing both my master and its...daughter.
"As both Scarron and Matilda have tried to explain to you, we are here for a reason." I started and, predictably enough, Jessica scowled at me again.
"I don't care what your reaso-" The young woman's interruption was cut off when I once again struck the wooden floor with my parasol.
"Do not interrupt me, child." I stated in an icy voice, silencing any further interruption from anyone else.
"But you are correct. You don't have to care what our reasons are, you don't have to like them, you don't even have to understand them, but you will respect them. You will respect the fact that Matilda has willingly come back here and asked for help with something, something that cannot be stated out loud because of certain reasons. Now, will you respect her wishes and help us? Or will you continue to act like a spoiled child and trample all over the wishes of the very woman that you admire so?" I finished my words as I once again folded my arms and leaned back with my parasol in my right hand. Everyone was silent for several moments, even my master. Maybe I overdid it a bit? I was never one to approach delicate situations between relationships with tact as I never really had one myself. So I approached it like pre-battle banter. Matilda was the one who moved first, approaching Jessica before she placed her right hand gently on the young woman's cheek. Jessica flinched away for a bit but she calmed down and looked up at Matilda's eyes.
"Jessica, dear." Matilda started with a tone that I had never heard her use before.
"Yuka and Louise are not bad people. Whether you believe it or not, they saved me and gave me a new life. Honestly, I really thought that it was too good to be true at first...but..." Matilda trailed off as she glanced at Louise and me.
"...but it wasn't. I'm happy where I am right now, Jessica. I know that you don't like nobles but...at least give Louise a chance." Matilda finished by kissing the younger woman on the forehead. Really, after all this, I am very much convinced that I was not needed for this little mission.
"I'm sorry!" Jessica exclaimed as she bowed in front of me, once again reminding me of how much she resembled Siesta. Well, this was unexpected...
Thanks to the little drama that ensued between Jessica, Matilda, and Louise, there was a delay in the opening of the Charming Fairy Inn for the evening. This apparently meant that there were more people waiting to be served food and drinks once the establishment was opened. This also meant that, right now, Matilda and my master were currently serving the customer...much to Louise's chagrin. When she realized that she was supposed to pour drinks for commoners, she nearly blew her top. It was only because I reminded her that this was a personal request from the Princess herself that she calmed down and reluctantly accepted the job. This left me relegated to the kitchen since I couldn't be expected to serve the customers. Although, Scarron did hint that it had a 'Skimpy Maid Outfit' that would have fit me, eliciting snorts of amusement from Louise and Matilda. Ignoring all of that, I proceeded to the kitchen to see if there were any tasks that I could productively accomplish. It turned out that the kitchen was Jessica's station and we subsequently encountered each other there. Hence, the current situation.
"For what?" I asked the daughter of Scarron. Honestly, I still find it extremely hard to believe that a creature like Scarron could possibly sire a daughter as...normal...as Jessica, and I'm someone who has encountered large amounts of impossibilities in my many years of life.
"Huh?" Jessica asked in confusion as she looked up at me.
"Firstly, stand up straight. Unless you are intentionally trying to show me your cleavage, in which case, I ask that you would stand up straight." I replied while folding my arms and leaning back. The young woman blinked at me a few times before looking down at her chest. She subsequently blushed hard and stood up straight after she understood what I had meant.
"That aside, there is no real reason why I should forgive you when there is nothing to forgive." I simply stated. Ah, I could almost see the question marks appearing on the young woman's face as she tilted her head to the side in confusion.
"You did what you did out of love and concern for a woman that you admire, possibly the kind of woman you aspire to be." I started, earning an embarrassed blush from Jessica. When she said nothing in response, I decided to continue.
"You acted upon an assumption based on the most recent information you had about both Matilda and Nobles in general. Seeing her suddenly walk in with a noble and an unknown man, well, I understand why it would have raised a few eyebrows." I admitted at how absurd we must have looked when the three of us came in claiming to be a family. If Scarron hadn't insisted on that claim, we probably would have come up with a better cover story.
"Rest assured that Louise and Matilda have a very productive relationship as student and teacher respectively." I continued, earning a raised brow from Jessica.
"Teacher and Student? What could Big-Sis possibly be teaching a noble girl?" Jessica asked me while folding her arms under head breasts and leaning back.
"A few odd things. Right now though, she is teaching my master how to live as a commoner. A way for her to sympathize and understand people from other walks of life if you will." I expounded while gesturing with my hands, I had left my parasol in the room that Scarron had arranged for us to sleep in as I didn't want it to get dirty. The young woman nodded, seemingly accepting my answer.
"But...why the makeover and the name change?" Jessica asked me with obvious apprehension.
"That was to be able to protect Matilda and some people she cares about greatly from certain...unsavory individuals." I answered. 'Who forced you to steal the Staff of Destruction?' It was the very first thing that Louise asked Matilda when we got back to the academy after recovering the Rawket Lawnchair. Judging from the expression that she had when Louise brought it up, it was not a subject that she relished. It seemed that certain individuals managed to find out who she really was, track down where she was, they even manage to find where the orphanage that her sister was managing was and even how many children were there. Matilda said that only people who had significant resources would have been able to find that much information about her considering how hard she had worked to prevent anyone from finding out about her.
Needless to say, my master and her friends were furious when they found out about it, even the ever-stoic Tabitha had put away her book during Matilda's explanation and her eyes once again burned with an icy cold flame. Louise demanded to know who the individuals that threatened Matilda and her sister were, even going so far as openly declaring that she'd 'Unleash the uncontrollable horror that was Yuka Kazami upon their heretical souls.' Unfortunately, when Matilda tried to recall the names and faces of the people that threatened her to steal the Rawket Lawnchair, she was assaulted with a very powerful headache. I said powerful headache because it was strong enough to knock her unconscious. We got her in Louise's room in short order, Monmon assured us that she wasn't really hurt by the headache. I took the time made by all the commotion to look for Professor Colbert and Headmaster Osmond and ask them about what they knew about me. Strangely, they were both called off to an important meeting somewhere in the country of Romalia for the next several days.
I returned to Louise's room and found my master holding onto Matilda's hand as the older woman seemed to be having a nightmare. My master demanded that I go into her dream and stop whatever nightmare was assaulting her. I explained that I had no such ability, my power to go to the border of dreams-to Mugenkan-is only restricted to my own dream realm. I only knew of two beings that can dive into another's dream but I did not know of their whereabouts at the time, much less have a means to contact and get them here in such a short a time.
Apparently, my use of logic had angered my master and she threatened to expose me to as many of her broken spells as she could possibly cast if I did not do something to help Matilda. I did not understand at the time why she was so adamant to stop the nightmare that Matilda was having until I heard just what the woman was having a nightmare about. She was asking, pleading, begging, anyone to save someone...someone named Tiffania. She was heaving and sweating heavily as she endured her nightmare. Was this also a part of the spell that kept the woman from identifying someone that had to do with her attempted theft or was it just her own fears after she had failed in her mission? The only thing that we knew for sure was the reason why she seemed to desperate to ask someone to save this 'Tiffania'. That was the name of her half-sister. I had no means to take away the nightmare she was being subjected to so I decided to make her stop dreaming altogether.
Dream Eater. It was a large purple five-petaled flower that uses its roots to latch onto someone's head like a hat and tap into the subconscious of its victim in order to make it dream eternally while providing sustenance for the flower. Obviously this ends with the victim dying after a while, though normally it would be enough time for the flower to send out seeds to continue the species even after it dies away with its host. Louise freaked out when I described what the flower did but I assured her that I could control it enough for it to only take away the nightmare and nothing more. Matilda had a dreamless night but it was better than the alternative. I think that was when Louise started to really care for her new tutor. As Matilda slept, Louise, still holding her hand, asked me if I could somehow get the information on the people that did that to Matilda from her mind or break the spell that was preventing the woman from doing so herself. I told her that I did not have the power to do either task. If Satori were here, she could have done the former rather easily. If I used Ultimate Magic, I could have done the latter...but I did not tell Louise about it. Using Ultimate Magic would allow me to break the spell that was locking down Matilda's mind but it would have been a brute force method of doing so. I could not guarantee Matilda's mental or physical health if used it on her. So in the end, Louise simply slept next to Matilda until they both woke up the next day...still holding each other's hand.
"Those bastards!" Jessica exclaimed after she caught my pause before I said 'unsavory individuals', it seemed that she and Louise shared sentiments in that regard.
"Don't worry, Louise did not like it any better than you do. Matilda will be safe while she is with us, of that you can be certain." I assured the young woman. She regarded me carefully before narrowing her eyes at me.
"I know that Louise isn't Big-Sis' daughter and it looks like you're the noble girl's servant or something..." Jessica started, probably judging me from the clothes I wore but wasn't sure about it because of how casual I had been with Louise.
"...so...what I'm trying to say is...ugh..." Jessica struggled to reach her point, a point that I had already guessed, so I decided to make it for her.
"You are wondering if Matilda and I are lovers for real." I said with a raised brow. Jessica grimaced before looking away and nodding, a faint blush went across her cheeks.
"Then the answer would be no." I clearly stated, making the young woman look back to me in confusion.
"So you and Big-Sis aren't..." She muttered and I shook my head in response.
"Why not?" She exclaimed. I raised a brow at her reaction. I felt that will never understand women...and that is saying something considering I was a woman before I came to this world.
"Why do you seem surprised? Weren't you the one who was so adamant at claiming that she and I could never be together?" I voiced my confusion. Jessica gave an 'urk' before she started to awkwardly laugh.
"Oh yeah! That...that was...that...was..." The young woman trailed off as she failed to come up with a suitable explanation in the time that passed between the end of her awkward laugh and the moment she exclaimed 'oh yeah'.
"You were lying..." I ventured, earning another 'urk' from Jessica. Perhaps I should start taking that sound as 'yes' whenever someone says it.
"I'm sorry!" She once again said with a bow before standing up straight again.
"For what reason though?" I asked her, honestly curious about it because of how strange it seemed to me.
"It was because...you and Big-Sis look...great...together..." Jessica admitted in a quiet voice while twiddling her thumbs. She made the assumption that Matilda and I were lovers because of how we looked when we were together? Odd. I rubbed my chin with my right hand as I thought about it. Did anyone else see us as such? If so, it might start other inconvenient misunderstandings like it did with Jessica.
"It's not just that!" Jessica exclaimed again, she must have become uncomfortable with my lack of a response to her words.
"Yes?" I asked, expecting her to continue. I was curious as to what else this young woman saw between me and Matilda that would have prompted the assumption that we were lovers. Knowing more about it might help in preventing any future misunderstandings with other people.
"I mean...Big-Sis just seemed...happy...when she was with you two..." Jessica replied while gazing at the floor and once more twiddling her thumbs in the process.
"Please explain." I stated immediately, making Jessica look to me in surprise.
"I am merely curious as to why you would think that. After all, it is entirely possible that she is simply taking her responsibility as Louise's tutor in a positive light. Just being seemingly happy while she was with me and my master does not seem to be enough for one to assume us as lovers." I explained my reason for asking.
"Wow, that's a really roundabout way of saying 'I don't know what you are talking about'." She flatly stated while slowly shaking her head.
"I suppose it is. Your answer?" I admitted before shifting the conversation back to the main topic.
"I can't really put it to words well myself. I mean, the last time I saw Big-Sis was years ago, when she stopped by after a big treasure hunt. She was absolutely ecstatic with the amount of money she got when she cashed in her loot." Jessica explained, it was likely the same story that Scarron mentioned when he made the assumption that me, Matilda, and Louise were a family.
"But when she came in today and introduced you two to everyone..." Jessica trailed off, possibly unable to find the words to continue with.
"She showed a smile that eclipsed all others that she had previously shown." I stated, finishing the line of thought for her. Jessica blinked at me a few times before nodding.
"Yeah...how did you..." The young woman started.
"They were the same words that your...father...said when he assumed roughly the same thing." I explained. It seemed that those two really were kin...as unbelievable as it seemed.
"Oh, okay. The point is, even if the two of you aren't lovers, Big-Sis seems to have taken a liking to you. The problem is, she'll probably never admit it because of her sense of responsibility." Jessica continued. The part about responsibility was likely because of her half-sister and their orphanage.
"So...you don't see Big-Sis like that? Someone who you'd be interested in?" Jessica asked me with a raised brow.
"No. As I have already stated to my master when she brought up a similar subject, I have never fallen in love before." I repeated the words I said to Louise back when she thought that I was interested in Siesta.
"Never?" Jessica asked in disbelief.
"Never." I repeated with a firm nod.
"Make no mistake, I respect Matilda a great deal. She has proven herself quite capable in situations where in she would normally be at a disadvantage. However, I simply do not see her in that light." I clearly stated, recalling the two times I had previously faced her in battle. Jessica seemed to understand as she nodded to herself as I explained.
"Well then, I want to ask a favor from you." I blinked at her words. A human, asking me for a favor? That is not a first I admit, but it was certainly unexpected.
"What kind of favor?" I asked with a raised brow.
"If you ever find yourself falling in love with Big-Sis, please tell her once you confirm your feelings!" Jessica stated with a polite bow and a certain sense of...conviction in her words.
"What do you mean?" I asked, honestly confused as to what the young woman was saying.
"Well, you seem pretty...dense...to this kind of thing. You probably won't even realize your own feelings for her for a while. That's why I want you to tell her as soon as you do confirm it." The young woman explained. Me? Dense...?
"And...Big-Sis has been through a lot...she deserves to be happy and...I really think that she'd be happy if she was with you." Jessica concluded. An air of silence settled between us for a few moments as I considered her words.
There is a first time for everything.
My master's words echoed in my mind as I thought about what the young woman had said. Would it be possible? I looked back to Jessica, who was eagerly awaiting my response, and made up my mind.
"I cannot promise such a thing." I stated and Jessica looked distraught by it. I held up a hand to stop her from voicing her disapproval of my actions and continued.
"Nothing is impossible. Nothing is certain. Things change so I cannot guarantee anything. All I can say is...we will see." I said. Jessica pursed her lips and looked at me intently.
"Fine, I understand. But know this, Yuka Kaah-Zhaa-Mii. I will support Big-Sis when it comes to this and I'll do everything I can so you'll fall head over heels in love with her!" The young woman declared while pumping her right fist, butchering my last name in the process. That was quite possibly the strangest declaration of support in love I have ever heard, almost like I was speaking to Marisa or something.
"Suit yourself." I replied nonchalantly. I heard the young woman take a deep breath before putting her hands on her hips, her breasts bouncing slightly at the action. Yep, definitely reminds me of Siesta.
"Now that all the mushy stuff is out of the way, it's time to get you to work!" The young woman declared while looking around the kitchen.
"Can you cook?" She asked.
"No." I replied.
"Can you cut vegetables and meat?" She asked.
"No." I replied.
"Can you prepare soups?" She asked.
"No." I replied.
"Can you wash dishes?" She asked.
"No." I replied.
"What the hell kind of servant are you?" Jessica yelled at me while waving her arms around.
"Admittedly, I'm more of a bodyguard and a trainer for Louise than a regular servant." I stated with a curt nod.
"Well, that would explain why the noble girl brought you along for something like this..." The young woman muttered while giving me a sidewards glance.
"...but that doesn't change the fact that you're practically useless in the kitchen." She continued as she rubbed her chin with her right hand.
"Can you serve drinks?" She asked.
"No." I replied.
"Can you tell the difference between several kinds of liquor?" She asked.
"No." I replied.
"Can you tell the difference between several kinds of food orders?" She asked.
"No." I replied.
"For Brimir's sakes man! Work with me here!" She yelled at me.
"I cannot do what I cannot do." I replied with a shrug. Jessica grumbled for a few moments before glaring at me.
"I'm starting to question Big-Sis Matilda's tastes in men..." She muttered to herself.
"Look! You know what, just go out there, look intimidating, and keep an eye on the girls!" Jessica declared while pointing to the swinging double-doors that led to main hall of the tavern.
"I can do 'intimidating'." I said with a vicious smile. Jessica looked alarmed at my expression for a moment before sighing.
"I'm really starting to question Big-Sis Matilda's tastes in men..." She muttered to herself as I left her in the kitchen. I surveyed the area and found that the tables were populated entirely by men...working men from how they looked. They were all commoners as well, no nobles to be found anywhere. I felt my brow twitch when I saw Louise being harassed by a balding middle-aged man.
"Hey! What do you think you're doing?" The man yelled out as Louise dumped a cup of ale on his head. I was about to step forward, when he looked like he was about to confront my master, but a hand on my arm stopped me. I turned and saw Matilda carrying an empty tray under her arm and was sporting a sly smile.
"Don't worry about Louise." She confidently said. Did she expect my master to fight back? I never trained her in close combat since I had previously worked out that her magic should render that moot once she unlocks her true potential. Hence, why was only training her in evasion while in Mugenkan. Did she expect Louise to use her magic on the man even though it would blow her cover? No, Matilda's smarter than that and she couldn't have known about Louise's Danmaku dodging training since I made my master promise never to say anything about it to anyone else after our second training session. I finally got my answer when Scarron appeared out of nowhere and...embraced...the man that was threatening Louise. I cringed in disgust as the creature proceeded to move the man back to his seat while making it as uncomfortable for him as humanly possible.
"That...was that really necessary?" I asked Matilda while watching Louise serve a different table, much more successfully I might add.
"It's extremely effective as a deterrent." Matilda replied with a satisfied smile.
"Of that, I have no doubt. I am surprised at how disciplined Louise is being though. She would normally think of serving commoners food and drinks to be very unappealing after her initial reaction to the idea." I commented as I continued to watch Louise take orders from a different table.
"This caliber of teaching is possible for Matilda Chevalier de Tristain. What do you think?" The former thief replied with a smile. Ah, so this goes back to when I challenged her to teach Louise how to act like a commoner. Well played...
"Well done. I won't ask how you did it, the results speak for themselves, but well done." I complimented the woman.
"Good." She replied. A comfortable silence settled between us as we observed the hustle and bustle of the tavern.
"And? Have you found anything?" I asked the former thief, someone of her caliber should have gotten some useful information by now. She nodded in response before she started speaking.
"A nobleman, Chillan by name, tax collector by trade, has been harassing the local businesses in the area. Word is that if you didn't give the nobleman what he wanted, he would impose impossibly heavy taxes on you." She stated her finding. A greedy tax collector imposing his will upon the people? How cliché...
"Is that all? No other nobles doing unscrupulous deeds?" I asked her, getting another nod in response.
"No. Chillan is the only problem noble here, surprisingly enough." Matilda admitted with a hint of disdain.
"Have you told Louise?" I asked her.
"And watch her go on a warpath all the way to his office without any evidence?" Matilda shot back with an 'are you stupid?' look before blinking a few times in realization of something.
"Why aren't you working?" She asked me.
"Thanks to Jessica, I have found that me and 'working in a kitchen' do not mix." I stated, eliciting a giggle from the green haired woman.
"I figured as much..." She said after she stopped giggling.
"Our cover is blown, Jessica knows that Louise is a noble." I simply stated, earning a dismissive snort from Matilda.
"Please, a blind man could tell that Louise is a noble." Matilda replied with a smirk. I raised brow at her words and her lack of alarm at that piece of news.
"No one cares, Yuka. Scarron, the rest of the girls, even the customers. None of them care that Louise is a noble." She explained.
"They don't care that a noble is working here?" I asked her in mild confusion. After what she told me about how the people were being treated by the tax collector, I would have assumed that they would hate all nobles in general.
"Nope. All they know, all they care about, is that a noble girl came off the streets wearing a commoner's clothes and asked for a job." She stated with a resigned sigh. I thought about what she said and felt my eyes widen in realization.
"This was your original plan..." I muttered while narrowing my eyes at Matilda, who just smirked at me.
"I was wondering when you'd catch on. Yes, this was my original intention when I walked off with Louise earlier." Matilda admitted.
"It was physically impossible for her to be able to act like a commoner. I understood that the moment I tried to get her to act like one. She would not let go of her morals and standards as a noble no matter what I tried, probably because of her upbringing by her family." She explained.
"Her family?" I asked her with a raised brow. I admit, I knew next to nothing about Louise's family aside that she had a mother, a father, and two sisters. That, and their family was supposed to be incredibly rich and powerful.
"The Valliere family is one of the most powerful noble families in Tristain. The main difference is that they actually take the word 'noble' seriously. Their family has been churning out amazing mages over the years, as you already know from the meeting before we went off the catch me. They are also extremely strict when it comes to tradition and honor. They take care of their land and people and their people repay them in kind. They're one of the few noble houses that I actually respect." Matilda explained. If someone like her, who hates most nobles in general, speaks so highly of Louise's family, then they must be something else.
"So the plan I came up with was that Louise was the daughter of a fallen noble family, you were her personal bodyguard, and I was just me. Of course, thanks to Scarron, that plan went down the river but was saved thanks to Jessica. Talk about irony..." Matilda said with a sardonic smile.
"I don't understand. If Louise still acts like a noble, then how is she willingly serving food and drink to commoners so freely?" I wondered aloud while folding my arms and leaning back.
"Because of the very same nobility I was talking about before. Everyone still accepted her without question even after she was found out as a noble. She wanted to repay that kindness, simple as that." Matilda stated rather simply.
"I still don't understand...so many factors could have brought all of this down..." I muttered as I thought of the improbability of such a thing.
"Sometimes, the simplest answers are the right ones. Not everything is played by mind games, Yuka." She said while shaking her head slowly.
"When you've lived a life like mine, you tend to consider things like this as mind games if they go your way too well." I personally place the blame firmly on Yukari, the Lunarians, the Moriya Shrine, and Cirno for that way of thinking.
"And? What was your life like? Before you became Louise's familiar, I mean." Matilda asked softly. I turned to her and saw that she was looking at me intently. Her eyes betrayed longing and uncertainty. It seemed that she wanted to know more about me but was conflicted by something. I guess this what was Jessica was talking about earlier.
"It looks like business is good!" A loud male voice echoed through the tavern, silencing everyone there. Matilda and I turned to the source of the voice and I felt the woman's hostile intent rise like boiling water. The man was everything that Matilda hated in a noble: Fat, bald, overly-dressed, and held a sneer of contempt on his face like a permanent mask. The noble also had six guards with him who each wielded wooden staffs, magicians obviously. I saw Scarron try to dissuade the noble from using the bar by stating that it was already full. The noble simply sneered at Scarron before declaring himself the royal tax collector, Chillan, the very man we were after. The rest of the patrons made a hasty retreat after the noble declared who he was and had his guards start posturing as a display of power.
"Find Louise and keep her safe." I said to Matilda who eyed me curiously.
"And what will you do?" She asked as she scanned the area for my master.
"We shall see..." I replied with a smile. If things continued to go our way, then I probably won't even have to lift a finger and the whole thing will resolve itself. If things stopped going our way, well...
"Ugh! Not him..." The disgusted voice of Jessica said from behind me. I turned to her and saw her looking at noble like it was a walking piece of rotting flesh.
"I assume that he is not well liked?" I asked as we both watched the noble take a seat in the middle of the room with his guards posted behind him.
"Are you kidding? That bastard has been strong-arming everyone here! If he doesn't like you or if he doesn't get what he wants from you, then he imposes impossible tax rates on your business until you go under." Jessica bitterly confirmed Matilda's earlier report on the man.
"What's worse is that the pig feels you up all over and doesn't even give any tips. I can't imagine anyone willing to serve him after all that." Jessica stated with as much hate as she could while keeping the conversation relatively civil. That was the moment when we noticed Louise walking up to the noble with a tray of drinks. I immediately scanned around for Matilda and found her on the far side of the room with a look of irritation and worry. It seemed that she didn't make it to Louise in time. This certainly complicates matters. My master greeted the noble like she did any other customer and offered to serve him a drink. That's when things went downhill for the man.
"Hey, Scarron! Don't tell me that you hire boys now too!" The noble yelled out while sneering at Louise. I could feel her magical power start to boil but she seemed to be working very hard to keep it under control.
"I can assure you that I am a girl…" Louise stated with a faltering smile. That statement made the noble and his guards pause and stare at Louise for a few moments before they all started laughing.
"You? A girl? That's…that's…ahahahaha!" The noble ground out before starting another wave of laughter. I glanced at both Louise and Matilda and saw that they both had indignant expressions. I then watched as Louise dealt with the noble in the way she had been doing to the customers who were rude to her, she dumped a pitcher of ale on his head. The noble immediately fumed and stood up from his seat, his guards maneuvering to his sides.
"Why you little brat!" The fat noble yelled at Louise who looked like she had enough of his insults. Matilda looked like she was about to burst as well. I was studying the situation when I felt Jessica tug on my sleeve.
"Shouldn't you stop this?" She asked me in a worried voice, understandable since if you didn't know any better, the scene looked like seven mages against one girl. I was thinking about stopping this but wondering who I should stop. The noble and his guards from making fools of themselves? My master from unleashing a broken spell, obliterating the noble and his guards, and wrecking the tavern? Or Matilda from unleashing her golem and grinding the noble and his guards into a fine paste?
"Y-y-you! You come in here and drive away all the customers…you strut in like you own the place…and y-y-you had the gall to call me a b-b-boy…you fat pig!" Louise countered. I took a step forward to try to stop anything else from happening when Matilda placed herself between Louise and the noble.
"I apologize for the transgression done by my student and I humbly ask for your forgiveness in this matter." Matilda said with a bow. Both Louise and I stared at Matilda as she…asked the noble for forgiveness? What was she playing at? Judging from her expression, she's probably finding the action very unappealing but was doing it in the first place. Was she doing this for Louise?
The Valliere family is one of the most powerful noble families in Tristain. The main difference is that they actually take the word 'noble' seriously. They are also extremely strict when it comes to tradition and honor.
Matilda's words echoed in my mind. I see. Louise would normally declare who she was before she did anything she deemed worthy of stating her name to. With a corrupt noble right in front of her, she wouldn't hesitate to declare who she was before she proceeded to dispense justice upon the royal tax collector. The bad thing about that is the corrupt noble would have the news that a daughter of the Valliere family was working in a commoner's tavern as a waitress. I doubt that such news would be looked upon in a positive light once Louise's family finds out about it.
"Oooh?" The noble said while looking over Matilda's body with a lecherous smile. The action made Louise's magical power spike again and she was visibly starting to tremble.
"Well then, maybe you can repay the debt with your body!" The noble declared before reaching out and grabbing Matilda's left breast roughly, she grunted and winced in pain at the sudden action. That was enough to send Louise over the edge as, a second later, an explosion rocked the tavern. When the dust settled, the noble and his guards were sprawled on the ground while Louise was standing on a table wit her wand pointed at them.
"Louise?" Matilda called out to my master as she turned to her. My master was furious and her expression showed it.
"Y-y-you! Who the hell are you?" The noble yelled out as he stood back up with the help of his guards. No. This was what Matilda was trying to prevent in the first place. I flexed my hands, preparing to permanently silence the noble and his guards when Louise made the action unnecessary.
"I have no name to give to the likes of you!" Louise declared proudly as she stomped on the table while maintaining her furious expression.
"I see…you're nothing more than a fallen noble girl. Well don't think that you will be able to get away with assaulting the royal tax collector! This place will crumble by my hands!" The noble declared with a sadistic smile, one that my master met with one of her own.
"Oh? Is that so?" Louise asked as she pulled out the parchment that the Princess gave her and unfurled it in front of the noble.
"A-a-a-a royal certificate!" The noble exclaimed in shock. Not a second later, he and his guards were prostrating themselves in front of my master while begging for their forgiveness.
"By the name of Princess Henrietta de Tristain, you will return all assets that you gained from overtaxing the local businesses. Is that understood?" Louise roared and the noble agreed wholeheartedly. I took this time to step in front of the noble. He and his guards looked up at me and met my crimson glowing eyes, my aura of terror in full effect.
"You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanted." I slowly stated with a vicious smile, letting my aura seep into their very being.
"Leave." I stated with a frown and the noble and his men complied, leaving the tavern with shrieks of terror. I turned around and found the entire tavern dead silent and staring at me, even Louise and Matilda. I glanced at Jessica, who had gone pale from my little display.
"I told you I can do 'intimidating'." I stated with a smug smile. That was enough to snap Louise from her shock. She hopped off the table and went to Matilda's side.
"Are you alright?" She asked in honest concern. The woman blinked at her for a few moments before giving a soft smile.
"Where did you hide your wand anyway?" I asked, making both women turn to me.
"Matilda told me to tie it to my leg in case of emergencies." Louise simply stated while lifting her skirt slightly and showing me a pink garter that she used to holster her wand.
"Smart." I stated, earning a smile of satisfaction from my master.
"That was amazing~! Tres Bien~!" Scarron exclaimed, snapping the rest of the people remaining in the tavern out of their shock.
"I'm sorry about the tavern…" Louise said as she fidgeted in place. I looked around and found that a good third of the place was a mess because of the shockwave made by my master's explosion.
"I wouldn't worry about that. Lord Chillan left a pretty nice tip for Louise." Jessica said in an amused tone as she pointed at the sacks of gold coins that the man left behind.
"Where was he hiding all of that?" I asked, did Yukari have anything to do with this?
"He's fat, that's why." Louise simply stated with a smile.
"But…" My counter argument was stopped when Matilda pulled on my sleeve.
"Let it go, Yuka. Remember, sometimes the simplest answers are the right ones." Matilda repeated her earlier words. I simply shook my head as I watched Jessica and Scarron award Louise with the magical black 'Skimpy Maid Outfit' since she got the largest tip in the whole tavern.
We reported the incident to the Princess and she assured us that she had taken steps on preventing any future incidents from happening again. Louise and Matilda volunteered to stay at the Charming Fairy Inn to make sure that no other nobles were abusing their power there. Thankfully, the rest of our stay there went without incident. Louise's newfound sense of balance and spatial awareness, thanks to my training, helped her go about her work with surprising efficiency. She wore the black 'Skimpy Maid Outfit' until we left the tavern to return to the academy.
"Louise, I thought you went home." Kirche exclaimed as she saw us return from the city. I still refused to ride a horse back to the academy and Louise stated that I should just run back instead, so I did. Matilda and Louise dismounted their horse, they shared one obviously, and my master regarded Kriche and Tabitha for a moment.
"No, I just had an errand to run. Are you two going somewhere?" She asked as she eyed the luggage that was being loaded onto a carriage.
"Yep. I'm going to spend some time with Tabitha since she's going to visit her home." Kirche stated, nudging her stoic friend.
"You're going to visit your family?" I asked the blue-haired girl, who simply nodded in response.
"You can come with us you know~" Kirche said in a teasing voice as she walked up to me and put a finger on my chest.
"I decline your offer, too tired." Louise answered with a dismissive wave.
"I was talking to Yuka!" Kirche clarified before latching onto my right arm.
"Leaving." Tabitha stated as she peered from within the carriage. The driver was already in his seat and awaiting the order to depart.
"Awww~! Wait for me Tabitha!" Kirche yelled out as she got into the carriage before they went on their way. Kirche blew me a goodbye kiss, one that I 'dodged' to the side.
"Well, that was weird." I stated before I looked back to Louise and Matilda who were both leveling flat stares at me.
"What?" I asked them. The two women looked at each other before sighing.
""Nothing."" They flatly answered at the same time before heading toward the dormitory tower. I will never understand women…
I went my separate way after Louise and Matilda got inside Louise's room to change. I wanted to check if Professor Colbert and Headmaster Osmond returned from their trip. I was walking through the halls and found Siesta walking toward me with a basket of laundry.
"Mister Yuka!" The maid exclaimed happily, she probably would have waved to me but her current state prevented her from doing so.
"Greetings, Siesta." I returned the maid's greeting with a smile and a curt nod.
"I thought Miss Valliere went to her home after I noticed that you were gone for the past few days." She stated in a somewhat confused voice.
"Yes, that seems to be going around a lot lately. My master had some things to take care of so Matilda and I went with her to make sure that she was safe." I explained. I noticed Siesta's expression falter for a moment before returning to her usual smile.
"Miss Matilda, huh?" She muttered worriedly.
"Is something wrong?" I asked the girl. She tensed up before shaking her head.
"Nothing at all! Is there something else you need?" She quickly stated, changing the subject.
"Yes, I'm looking for Professor Colbert and Headmaster Osmond, have they returned?" I asked the maid.
"Not yet, but they sent out a letter that stated that they should return in a few days." Siesta answered with a smile. A few more days to wait, huh? I guess I can have Louise practice with a few more patterns while I wait.
"Thank you for telling me." I thanked Siesta before saying goodbye. I walked back to Louise room and was about to open the door when I heard the sounds of struggling inside. Strange, I did not notice any hostile intent coming from within the room. I opened the door and doubted the sight before me.
"So…" I stated as I shook my head in disbelief.
"So!" Derf repeated.
"Can you explain why-" I started as I turned to the sword, which was making whistling sounds.
"-my master is currently trying to undress Matilda while looking like she's drunk?" I finished while closing the door. On the bed, Louise was currently on top of Matilda. Both were already changed into eveningwear and Louise was currently trying to take off Matilda's.
"Who cares! Pull up a chair and enjoy the show!" Derf dismissed my question before laughing.
"Ma~til~da~" Louise called out to her tutor as seductively as she could before giving her a kiss. I scratched my head at the weird irony of the situation as Matilda struggled to get free.
This was either caused by magic, a shady drug made my Eirin, a Moriya Shrine Conspiracy, or Yukari is fooling around again.