Intermission: Night of the Party
Satou's here. I feel that I spent a lot of Christmas in the office after I had become a working adult. If March wasn't the end of the fiscal year, maybe I could have passed the end of year more relaxedly.
"Master, Arisa is looking strange."
Arisa has always been strange though, but since it's Lulu who's saying it, she must be even stranger now.
When I look at the place Lulu points to, Arisa is humming a parody of Christmas songs, like "Siilent night", "loonely night", questionably in a dark room while staring at the fireworks afar.
Did something happen that stimulated her past trauma?
"Looks like she's remembering something unpleasant, so let's leave her alone."
To relieve Lulu who's worrying about her little sister, let's hold a fun Christmas party and overwrite Arisa's bad memories.
"What is it, so suddenly? There are no Christmas or Valentine over here you know?"
Arisa seems like she's rebounded but since she murmurs, "Riajuu, serves you right", looks like there's still some lingering effect.
"Is that so, I thought that the past heroes had spread them."
"Christmas is just an urban legend. Just like there's no Tsuchinoko here, there's also no Christmas here! QED, conclusion!"
No, that's very forced y'know? It can't be completely proved in the first place.
Well, it's fine.
"I've thought of holding a feast, and do something that's Christmas party-like, but I guess I should not."
"Meat festival nanodesu?"
The youth troop reacted to the feast word.
"Are there going to be a roasted whole turkey, champagne? Is there going to be (fried) chicken with bone too?"
"I've never seen a turkey, but there are chicken-like birds, so I'll make them if you're fine with it."
"Yahoo! Then, I also have to make Christmas outfits! Do expect mini skirt Santa!"
It might just be a bravado, but it seems she's become a bit more energetic.
"Master, about the lulu fruits that we're going to use to make the cake--"
According to Lulu, ever since the wedding of Tisrad-shi, the fruits are always sold-out. Erina and Talna pair who I've asked to help Lulu carry ingredients are slumping on the chairs after using up all their strength.
I guess I should directly ask viscount Emlin to get the fruits. It'll be awkward since I've declined his daughter's marriage proposal, but but the viscount probably wasn't serious anyway, so it's fine right.
"I'll do something about that. I want Lulu to make the sponge cake, can you do it?"
"Yes! I've trained intensively, so I'm fine."
Lulu is a hard worker. I'll entrust Lulu with the preparation for the cakes and the cookings, and borrow the maids of baron Muno for the parts that can't be done alone. They should be able to at least peel potatoes.
"Heya, Lina-sama, it's been awhile."
The second daughter, Lina, greeted me in the house of viscount Emlin.
The viscount offered me with Lina's hand in marriage the other day as a thank for making the value of lulu's orchard instantly rises right. No matter how you looked at it, I felt sorry for her to be married with a countryside lower rank noble, so I properly refused it.
I praised her new dress until viscount Emlin came to the parlor. She had told me that her dress from before was her mother's, so maybe it's because she was happy for her new dress that she was turning around happily when I praised it.
"Hou? Christmas party is it?"
"I've found it written on an ancient document when I was researching for the cuisines of the ancient king Yamato's era. When I inquired it to hero-sama the other day, he informed me that it was a festival in hero-sama's birthplace, so I want to try reproducing it."
I'll use Hayato as an excuse for this occasion. He doesn't live in the duchy capital anyway, and he should be busy, so they won't suspect that it's just a random talk.
For now, after we've discussed about it, they're going to let me have some Lulu fruits. It seems that he's instructed the orchard's caretakers to harvest the best fruits. He's kind like always.
When I was idling in the viscount's mansion, I told Lina as a lip service, "Please come to the party if it's fine with you." Lady Karina and the others are going to be there anyway, the more the merrier for a party.
Next, I head toward the ingredient market in front of the harbor.
I'm searching for rare fruits for Mia's fruits festival, and vegetables to color the dishes.
"Nana, there's masta."
When I turn toward the source of the lisp voices, there is Nana who's carrying sea lionkin children on both hands. For some reason, Sera is also behind her.
"Good day, Satou-san."
As always Sera begins to smile sweetly when our eyes only meet.
However, there shouldn't be food distribution today, I wonder what's happened?
"Yes, I was doing some errands, so I came here, and happened to catch sight of Nana-san."
"Seera, masta listening to."
"Nana, masta's lover?"
"I have cross-examined my relationship with master, I announce that it's a relationship between a master and his attendant."
Sera is gesturing them to stop talking with a reddened face, but it's probably impossible to expect these three to read the mood.
However, I think miko-san isn't allowed go out with the opposite sex, but I guess she's at that age, so she's interested with such talk.
I keep Sera company with the nonsensical chatter as she's trying to change the subject. I invited Sera to the Christmas party while we were at it.
When I was on my way back, I joined with Liza who was carrying fir-like tree on her shoulder.
It looks quite genuine.
Back in the mansion, it's been decorated with many ornaments. Erina carried several samples to the artisan street on the downtown, and mass produced them. Arisa seems to be the one who's requested it, and made me pay the bill. When I was going to hand over gold coins, they told me that several big copper coins were enough. Geez, the wage here is cheap.
I left the decorations to Mia and the maids, and went to help Lulu in the kitchen.
"Welcome back! These sponge cakes should be enough right?"
"Yes, they are."
Or rather, aren't there too many?
Well, if there are leftovers, I'll just give them to my acquaintances.
As I'm preparing for roasting the birds, I think about the party's lineup. It'd be gone in an instant if it's just roasted whole bird, and karaage.
I continue the preparation to make the simple whale karaage in large quantity since it's easy to mass produce. I've abstained to use the whale due to everyone's reaction to it, but since there isn't any particular effect after that, it's probably alright. I might as well share the potatoe chips and the whale karaage to the children of the orphanage.
I caught Talna who was snacking on the karaage, and made her the one in charge to deliver them to the orphanage.
"To be prohibited to eat while surrounded by this smell! Chevalier-sama is an ogre~"
"Ogre is too much. You're free to eat as much as you want in the party, so work hard with the delivery okay."
I wonder if she's delighted with the 'eat as much as you want' phrase, Talna vigorously drive the carriage to the orphanage even while having her usual sleepy face. Please be careful with the traffic okay?
I've made too much karaage, I guess I'll share them with Ga Hou and the others later at night.
"Master! It's terrible nanodesu!"
"I see~ it's terrible huh."
When I was decorating the cake, Pochi and Tama were running while looking flustered. Since I was concentrating, I gave some random reply. Liza who's helping with the cooking scolds the two for raising the dust. Mia also came a bit later.
"Is Tama a good kid~?"
"Is Pochi a good kid nanodesu?"
You three, why are they questions.
"Everyone is a good kid."
"With this, Santa will come at night nodesu!"
Arisa, what did you tell them this time. Or rather, various things are mixed in!
The youth troop, young maids and Nana are wearing mini skirt Santa outfits. Pina and Liza are wearing long skirt type ones, maybe because they're embarrassed with it.
I was almost made to wear short pants type Santa outfit, but I evaded it somehow.
"I've come for the invitation today."
Lina's arrived slightly late. She's wearing a different dress than the one in the afternoon, it's a dress with open neckline to emphasize sexiness that doesn't suit her age. It's a bit too stretched. She should be able to wear it without forcing herself in five years.
Since she's worked hard, I give a lip service, "You look like an adult today", which prompts her to put her hands on her cheeks, looking shy.
A new guest arrives right at that time.
"Good evening, Satou-san."
"Please come in, Sera-san."
Sera looks a bit different than usual. She's wearing fiercer make up, and ceremonial-like miko clothes that emphasizes on its mysteriousness. She's also wearing several refined accessories that match the miko clothes, and aren't standing out.
When I was praising Sera's miko clothes and accessories, Lina who was at loose end joined the conversation. I wish lady Karina will follow her sociability.
"Sera-sama! Is chevalier-sama acquainted with the miko-sama of oracle?"
"Yes, He's been helping the food distribution at the downtown with me."
"Satou-san, is the lovely lady your acquaintance?"
Huh? Aren't there some sparks flying?
"Ara? It smells nice. Are you having some kind of party?"
"Welcome back, Karina-sama."
Pina and the maids are welcoming lady Karina who was going out with her little brother, Orion-kun, in a hurry.
"Oh god, why are people born differently...."
Lina is speechless when she sees lady Karina. After Sera saw lady Karina's breast, she confirmed her breasts with her palms, and then she complained about something to the god. Sera, it won't be a joke if the miko of oracle does that.
When everyone was present, I cut the cake and started the party.
Mia is playing the lute, and Arisa begins singing while matching her.
She's even deliberately prepared lyric cards for the guests. Judging from these rounded handwritings, looks like they're written by Pochi and Tama.
"Jingle bell~, Jingle bell~"
"Meat are falling~"
"Today is fun."
"Meat festival~""Fruits festival~"
It's wrong, the song is definitely wrong. Arisa presents the independence Christmas dance with the youth troop and Nana in mini skirt Santa outfits.
I wonder what is this heartwarming feeling as if I'm watching the elementary school festival.
Everyone is enjoying the party while eating the cake, enjoying the seasonal fruits, and the chicken karaage. The potato chips that I've made in bulk are unexpectedly popular. I wanted to get the carbonic drinks, but since it was transported for orders, I couldn't get it.
An unexpected person appaeared while we were playing twister game that Arisa had prepared.
Lady Karina was the sole winner of this game. On top of having soft body, since her balance and strength are supported by Raka, she won't collapse no matter what place she ends up on. I also lost quickly and was watching it, it was exceedingly eye-pleasing. The cause of the lost isn't due to balance, but a pair of ultimate weapons, and even though Mia and Arisa are telling me Guilty, that's a cheap price to pay.
"Yo, Satou! I've come after hearing you're doing Christmas."
Yusha who's holding champagne and his followers intrude somehow, and the party's degree of chaos is increased even further.
"Haven't you departed the duchy capital this morning?"
"Ah, I got some bothersome thing from an acquaintance. So I needed to have some talk with the duke, and so we decided to stay in the duchy capital for a while."
So it's because of the short horn I've given them yesterday.
The hero murmurs, "This pork is way too delicious", while chewing the last remaining piece of the whale karaage.
Thanks to his ill manner, the raw material doesn't come to light.
Hero has appraisal skill on by default, so I was almost exposed.
I ask Lulu to bring out the cakes, and the prepared giant bird teriyaki.
The hero receives the hors d'oeuvre from the maids while opening the champagne that he's brought. Since Lina looked like she wanted to talk to the hero, so I introduced her, she asked for a handshake instead.
"Sera? What are you doing slipping out of the temple!"
"I did not slip out! I've properly acquired permission from head miko-sama."
Such sisterly quarrel, well, it's fine since it's heartwarming though.
"Isn't fine with being late to marry, what's wrong with it anyway~"
"That's exactly true desuwayo. I have 100 siblings anyway, isn't it fine if one of them doesn't get married?!"
"That's right! I'll make a society where a woman can live alone! It's woman's movement!"
Arisa, and lady Maryest are getting excited for something troublesome. Arisa shouldn't have drunk the Champagne that the hero's brought, but she's excited with her talk with lady Maryest.
Or rather, isn't this Champagne's dosage too much?
"It's karaage speed eating nanodesu!"
"Do you girls always eat this tasty dishes."
"I'm so envious!"
The two beastearkin and Pochi and Tama combo are having speed eating contest with the karaage, but since I've made heaps of it, it probably won't be gone for the time being.
"Please enjoy the whole roast here. It's quite something when you eat it with this leaf wrapping."
"Oh! This is delicious."
"To make someone who hates vegetables like you to utter such impressions."
Lulu recommends the whole roast bird to the long earkin archer girl from the hero's party. I've never seen the dark elf-like long earkin beside her, but it seems she's one of the hero's party.
"Chicken meat is wonderful after all. Savoriness of the meat is one certain thing, but bird meat is the best for tasting to the bone."
"I think that having no bone is delicious~"
"Pina-san, stop eating the rice porridge and eat these karaage!"
"Talna, this rice porridge isn't just a simple unflavored one. It's using the soup stock from the birds, creating its deep flavor. Do you hear me--"
"Talna, I'll leave you to deal with the two. I live for the meal!"
"Wait Erina, escaping is unfair~"
Liza and the maid company seem to be enjoying the dishes in their paces.
I'm being pressed by lady Karina who's wasted, and priest Loreiya on both sides, and enjoying the blissful feeling. I'm glad that I'm holding the Christmas party.
"Guilty? That's right, it's guilty! Don't you understand Satou? You don't do you. Breast isn't only about bigness! It's not you know? It's alright as long as it's soft you know? It's true you know?"
I wonder if Ms. Loreiya made her drink, Mia's become talkative.
Mia occupies my lap in place of Tama who's busy with the food, and preaches to me, but since the huge volumes on both sides are too amazing, it passes through my ear.
"Satou? Do you hear me? You don't! You can't do that you know? Listen to me properly. If you don't, I'll do the last resort you know? Yes, my trump card!"
Looks like she's mad at me for not keeping her company properly, she hugs my face with her chest from the front. No well, it's having the opposite effect if you hug that strongly. Her ribs are hitting me, it hurts. Of course I don't say it out loud. She'll get seriously mad if do so.
I waited until Mia is satisfied, I made her sit normally and knitted her hair. It looks like she's satisfied when I care for her. After a while, wonder if she's lost to the alcohol, I hear her sleeping breath, so I put her to sleep.
"Masta is going to get taken you know?"
"We need recapture strategy! I announce the start of mobilization!"
"Nana, work hard."
I don't remember much of the time when Nana attacks me from behind.
It's a very, very happy night.
That night, starting with Arisa, everyone has hanged socks beside their beds, so I put the prepared Christmas presents inside.
While imagining the delighted faces of everyone after seeing the presents, we hold the Christmas night part.
Sipping Champagne while listening to the moody music is nice once in a while.