MS Chapter 12: The Tea Party, Part II

“Well? Just what are you guilty of today?”

Huh? I incline my head at Vampir’s bizarre question.

“The guild has been most clamorous all morning. First I sense Laladi and Sorglos clash with bloodlust, and now it’s Ritter and Reese.”

Ah, she’s talking about the guild members I got to meet with today. No, hold on a minute… bloodlust? Were they giving off any of that earlier?

“Ritter and Reese being at each other’s throats is hardly anything new, but Laladi and Sorglos? That’s quite uncommon.”

True, true. I’m very familiar with that myself. Both Ritter and Reese fancy themselves as the warrior type, after all.

I’m well aware that the two of them train in battle every morning, keen on elevating themselves to new heights. Still, I just can’t bring myself to believe what Vampir’s saying.

Laladi’s a pampered sweetheart who loves getting me to carry her, and Sorglos is a more reserved type of person who’s willing to protect me each step of the way. No matter how much I try, I just can’t imagine the two of them flinging their bloodlust at each other.

“Goodness, you’re thick-headed. Not that I take issue with that, mind. Well? Just what did you do, Master?”

She can question me as much as she wants… But you could rip my mouth open, and I’d still never talk about that request to pet their tongue and rear, courtesy of Reese and Ritter.

So, I do my best to explain away what happened with a small, white lie. To be more specific, I just tell her that they wanted me to pet their heads. That much shouldn’t make her overreact, right?

“Wha… Did you just say… Petting?!”

Vampir brings her tea down to the table with a sharp clink and stares at me, her eyes wide. Wait, isn’t she giving me a pretty huge reaction right now…?

“Master, allow me to pour you some tea.”

Schwald speaks up and stretches her hand towards me. What? I still have plenty of tea left, you know!

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Ah! It’s about to overflow! Stop, stop!

“Oh…  I’m awfully sorry…”

Schwald apologizes, suddenly despondent. Oh, don’t worry about it. I don’t mind. It didn’t go that far, right?

But who’d have guessed that Schwald, the girl I’d taken to calling the ‘Perfect Maid’ on a personal whim, would make this kind of mistake? What made her do that, I wonder…?

“A… Ahem! Master? What would you consider to be proper compensation for this… ‘petting’ of yours?”

Vampir clears her throat and asks me about petting. Huh? What’s this about compensation?

There’ll be none of that, obviously. I see the members of this guild as my own daughters… it’s really just something I do when I want to give them some sort of praise, or when I just feel like spoiling them a little. I tell her that, and her face goes thoughtfully as she hums to herself.

“Hm… Just what would I have to accomplish to achieve the splendor of being petted…? I already belong to the Master, both in mind and body… Goodness! Why couldn’t it just be some kind of more conceivable price, as a treasure of gold and silver?!”

Vampir’s muttering something to herself. Her face busies itself by constantly changing, slackening at times then going taut at others.

I wonder what she’s on about… Would she be alright with having her head petted, then?

While I’m deep in thought, Schwald comes over and gently tugs at my sleeve. Hm? What’s up with her?

“Master. You know that I follow through with my duties as a maid without fail. Make no mistake, just being able to attend to you is enough to make me feel as if I were in paradise, but a little… just the tiniest reward would make me happy.”

She has a point. Schwald’s skills as a maid have saved this entire guild more times than I can count. Since our small guild is a little… peculiar, even I don’t have that much paperwork to deal with, but whenever it does come up Schwald is always more than willing to lend a hand.

Personally, I’ve come to rely on her for a lot of things. Compared to all of that, my petting probably wouldn’t even make a dent. But if that’s what Schwald wants, then I should really humor her. Considering that I haven’t gotten to pet her head in some time, I can’t help but feel a little happy myself.

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“Mhm, Fuhfuh…”

I thoroughly pet her head, and she lets out a pretty terrific sound. I’m so surprised that for a moment, I’m not even entirely sure if it’s her to begin with.

“Ah! That’s hardly sporting! Schwald hasn’t even done anything to speak of!”

Vampir stops muttering to herself once she catches the two of us in action.

Come on now, nothing…? Weren’t you just enjoying the tea Schwald made for you?

“Ma… Master…? If you insist…! Only if you insist! Then I can make an exception! I wouldn’t mind letting you pet my beautiful hair… alright?”

Vampir somehow manages to emphasize random parts of her speech and raise her voice at the oddest of times. Oh hoh… So you don’t mind if I pet your hair, Vampir…

As much as she sounds like he’s tooting her own horn, she’s right. Her golden hair is incredibly beautiful. I wonder if petting it would feel good… I unsteadily move closer to her before a cold voice cuts through the air.

“Had you just asked the Master normally, I wouldn’t have minded if he did pet you. But that disrespectful tone is something I can’t let slide.”

The one who had spoken was Schwald, who until now had sported a slack and relaxed expression. Her face, now expressionless, cold and unfeeling, looked down on Vampir with impunity.

Hi… Hieeeh… I just managed to lighten the mood, and it turned on its head in a single moment… And besides, I don’t even mind what she said.

“Oh, would you look at that. Still attempting to stand out, Schwald? Is the help complaining to me now?”

“The one I serve is the Master and the Master alone. It’s not you and never will be, Vampir. And that was hardly a complaint. It was a direct order.”

Gyaaah! I can feel the air crackling with tension! Sure, I’m smiling on the outside, but the crackling’s getting to me!

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Vampir, hearing Schwald’s words, stands from her seat.

“It would seem as if you need to be educated on how to use the common tongue. Be grateful. I won’t spare the rod when I’m teaching you directly.”

“I politely decline. The only one able to command me is the Master.”

The pressure they both radiate is overwhelming.

With a civil smile and a gentle laugh, I turn on my heel and sneak away to resume my morning walk.



“Goodness! The Master’s disappeared!”

“Of course he did. He was so disgusted by your rude behavior that he just decided to go back.”

“Th-That’s not the case! Master is hardly that shallow of a person!”

“…I’m joking. Please, stop crying. You’re not the youngest, you know; it’s pitiful to see.”

“I’m not crying, not at all! And my age has nothing to do with anything!”

“Of course, of course. Will you be drinking your tea?”

“… I will. Huh…? Come to think of it; you got to be petted, but I…”

“Alright, here you go.”

“E… Eeeeeh…? Oh. This is delicious.”