The girl guides me to a round dining table with two wooden chairs around it.
I sit on one of the chairs.
On the right, there’s a sofa and a window right next to it. Beyond the window, there’s a veranda overgrown with flowers and trees.
On the left, there’s a kitchen and the back of the girl who cheerfully moves the cooking utensils.
With just a move of the girl’s finger and the frying pan is floating, the ladle is moving, and the plate is standing by in the air. She pointed her index finger up and fire is ignited right below the frying pan.
Is she moving it with Wind Magic?
I can’t control my Mana as good as her… Can all magicians do this much? Perhaps it’s just me who don’t know this?
Right before I open my mouth, the girl turns to me.
“It’s my name–Ah, Wait! Don’t say your name! I want to guess it!”
The girl puts her index finger on her upper lip and observes my face,
I don’t think you can guess someone’s name just by observing the face.
“It must be “Leon”!”
“Totally wrong …”
The girl puts her right hand on her hip,
Even though the girl is busy thinking about my name, the cooking utensils still moving to make the dishes.
It seems she can unconsciously do difficult task like cooking.
It’s really amazing. She’s using Blue and Green Mana at the same time for quite a long time. I’m sure it’s something that not every people can do.
“Give me a hint!”
” It starts with “Se”. “
” “Sean”! “
The girl keeps trying to guess my name, but none of them are correct even after I gave hints that were almost like answers.
After a while…
” “Seal”! It must be “Seal”!”
Finally, it’s over …
“Correct. My full name is “Seal Zetta”.”
I heard a sound of a plate cracking.
It seems that the plate that Layla was manipulating with Magic fell to the ground and broke.
I stand up, go into the kitchen and look into Layla’s face.
“Hey! Are you okay?”
There… Layla is shaking her body and laughing, “No way.”
“What’s wrong? You look pale.”
“Ah, it’s nothing. Seal-kun. Please wait for a bit longer, the food will be ready soon.”
Somehow, the girl looks upset, but for some reason she also looks confused.
Yep, one wrong move, and she would explode.
After waiting for a few minutes, the dishes fly in the air and line up on the table.
In total, it’s five dishes.
A curry with green vegetables.
A soup with purple corn.
A seafood pie.
A jelly with red and blue fruits that I have never seen.
Everything looks good. Just by looking it, makes me feel hungry.
The girl sits across the table and spreads her hands.
I pick the wooden spoon and put my hands together.
“Alright then, Itadakimasu.”
First, I scoop up the curry and bring it to my mouth.
It seems, I’m in a difficult situation now.
It tastes like crap.
Although it’s curry, it’s sticky and the strong taste doesn’t mix well with the veggies.
So, humans can stay calm even when they eat really bad food huh…. Anyway, it’s not to the level where I’ll shout, “So bad!”, or something like that.
Looking at the front, Layla is looking at me with a face saying, “How is it? It’s delicious, right?”
No, it’s too early to give up.
Other than curry, it may be delicious.
I bring my spoon to the soup.
It’s a clear soup, so it must not be deeply seasoned.
Yeah, this shouldn’t be bad.
I put it on my mouth and frown.
…Did you use mud or dirt? It tastes so bad.
Two out of five are like this means that the others also…
――Well, as a man, I can’t say, “it’s bad”, now… right?
It’s okay, I’ve drank muddy water before. With my hands, I can turn this muddy water into a superb soup with just one seasoning…!
I reach for the seasoning in the center of the table――
I look at Layla. She’s is looking at me with anxiety. And when our eyes meet, she smiles.
“I’m sorry. Don’t worry about me… When someone eat my food, they always sprinkle a lot of seasonings. I-It ’s okay! You see, I made it a fairly strong taste this time, but… it’s okay, you can add more…”
Do you think I can just use it after being told something like that?!!!
I withdraw my extended hand.
Then, it’s plan b…
I’ll put the food in my mouth and spit it out in the bathroom. It’s really inhumane, but it can’t be helped.
Once more, Layla is looking at me with anxiety, just because I tried to say “Toilet”.
This is the same pattern as before…
―― BE A MAN!
…my pride just shouted at me.
Alright, there is no choice but to chew as minimum as possible and pour in water afterward.
I grab a spoon and bring it to the curry.
I calculate how many times I need to chew just based on the feeling after the foods touch my spoon.
――Red vegetables.. chewing it three times is enough.
――Green vegetables.. twice.
――Bubble wrap rice.. once.
――Potato.. four times.
Alright, a bit more…!
My heart sinks.
Despair has come…
When I scoop the bottom of the curry, something white is stretching out.
――-Curry and mochi!!!?
How many times do I need to chew?
This can lead to a life-threatening situation if I’m not careful. If I chew too less, it will get stuck in my throat and I may die. If I chew too many times, I’ll die because of the taste.
… it’s a dead end either way.
I brace myself and take a step to hell…
After I finished eating, my stomach didn’t feel heavy at all. On the contrary, I think my physical condition has improved. It seems the nutritional balance of those foods was good. But, my mental health….
A lot of unfamiliar tastes still remain in my mouth… Seriously, I want to praise her. How can she make all the dishes have different kind of unfamiliar taste?
“It’s a lie… I really did it! It was my first time seeing someone finished the foods I cooked!”
Looking at the plate I emptied, Layla looks so happy.
I see her smile as I lie down on the table.
Well, I guess it’s worth the effort?
“Well, I guess, it’s about time to go. I can’t bother you more than this. I will return the clothes tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.”
“You don’t have to return the clothes. In the first place, I was thinking of throwing them away. Anyway, do you have a place to go? “
“More or less…”
―― 『”…If you have any problems at <Mother Punk>, you could rely on the knight called ‘Pearl”…』
“Pearl” … is probably that middle-aged knight who visited the Old Man’s prison.
Should I find that person?
It would be great if I can find Shura and others on the way.
“Layla. Do you know a knight named, Pearl?”
“Eh You mean uncle Pearl?”
“It looks like you know him.”
“Yeah! He’s my grandpa’s acquaintance. He pampered me since I was a child. But I think he haven’t returned from the Imperial City yet… Ah, if I’m not mistaken, he said he would be back tomorrow. “
Well, it’s okay to stay in the field without eating for about a day. Oh yeah, I used to live like that.
“Don’t say, you plan to sleep outside today?”
“Fufufu, what an easy-to-understand reaction. If you like, why don’t you stay at my house today?”
From below, she gazes at me.
“It’s a pure question, but why does Layla take care of me so much?”
“Hmm, Well. If I’ve to give a reason… You look like the person I loved … “
I can feel loneliness behind Layla’s smile.
“What’s that? A new pick-up line?”
“You can think so.”
“Then, I’ll be gladly persuaded. Please, lent me one of the rooms today.”
I bow my head lightly.
“Okay.. Ah! Don’t even think about crawling to my room at night! This is just me trying to help you with good intention. It’s not like I, like Seal-kun or anything like that!”
I raise my head…
There, Layla is hiding her chest with both hands and staring at me.
“Where did you learn such words as “crawling at night”?…..”
“I’m so strong, you know. I’m going to beat you up if you dare to.”
Seeing my frightened face, Layla laughs at me.
Layla looks like a delicate girl who you can only found in a painting.
One drop of a paint and the painting will be ruined ―― Yes, she’s that delicate.
“Hey, Seal-kun… Before we meet Uncle Pearl tomorrow…”
“Hmm? What is it?”
“Let’s, have a date. I’ll show you around this city.”
I’m sure Layla is conscious about her looks. Definitely. She knows how to make gestures and facial expressions that can easily capture the hearts of men.
Her cheeks are slightly crimson. The corner of her lips is pointing up. Her light blue eyes are staring into the back of my eyes.
My heart is about to beat fast… Dangerous, this’s dangerous… She’s the type I’ve never met. An enchantress… A bewitching girl…