“Hoh, there’s a pleasure district at the ends of the capital, huh.” (Makoto)
I thought there wouldn’t be those kinds of areas with that uptight-looking princess.
There was a mix of bars and brothels lined up as we passed by.
“There’s the need for a break in everything after all.” (Fujiwara)
Today at dinner, Fuji-yan told me that he had something to talk about, so it is only the two of us.
Fuji-yan seems to be used to the area around here, we advance deeper and deeper.
We arrived at a hideout-like bar with a nice atmosphere.
When we entered the store, the dim store interior was smoky.
Tobacco? …No, cigar, maybe?
I am already used to the scent of cigars from the stalls of Makkaren, but the cigars in this establishment have a pretty sweet scent.
“…Takki-dono, let’s not go to this one.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan says this with a frown.
“I don’t really mind the smell of cigarettes though.” (Makoto)
Is he being considerate of me?
“No, it would be best to not stay here.” (Fujiwara)
Fuji-yan didn’t say the reason and just changed the place.
The next one had a similar peaceful atmosphere.
I didn’t mind the previous one though.
““”Cheers””, we say as we clink our glasses and relax.
We ordered the food, and after a while of chatting and drinking, Fuji-yan says all of a sudden.
“The establishment of before, it had smoke all around, right?” (Fujiwara)
“There were a lot of people smoking cigars.” (Makoto)
“Wasn’t the smell a bit peculiar?” (Fujiwara)
“Yeah, it was kinda sweet.” (Makoto)
I did feel like it wouldn’t go well with the food, but it wasn’t a displeasing smell.
Fuji-yan moved his face closer and whispered in my ear.
“That cigar is called ‘weed’…it is a drug-desu zo.” (Fujiwara)
I sobered up in an instant.
“I don’t know if it is due to the uneasiness from the impending revival of the Great Demon Lord…they have been getting popular lately.” (Fujiwara)
“…Is that so.” (Makoto)
I didn’t know at all.
“Well, if you get it recommended, please refuse, Takki-dono. The effects it has on the body can be somewhat dealt with using detoxification magic, but the addiction can’t be cured.” (Fujiwara)
“I think I will be okay.” (Makoto)
Honestly speaking, I am not interested, or more like, that’s scary.
I don’t think I will ever be close to that stuff.
“By the way, didn’t you have something to tell me today?” (Makoto)
“R-Right… Actually, it is about Chris-dono and Nina-dono.” (Fujiwara)
“Aah, those two don’t get along, right.” (Makoto)
Moreover, he was proposed to by Chris-san.
“What about just marrying the both of them.” (Makoto)
Polygamy seems to be an accepted practice anyways.
Fuji-yan should also have plenty leeway economically.
“Considering their social standing, I can’t really do that…” (Fujiwara)
Nobles and beastkin apparently don’t get along too well.
Or more like, Fuji-yan, you are not hiding your desire for a harem, huh.
“What are you saying?! That’s the dream of a man, isn’t that right?!” (Fujiwara)
“How manly.” (Makoto)
I am fine with having only one.
“What are you saying?! Aren’t you straight onto the harem route, Takki-dono?!” (Fujiwara)
“…Just asking but, you are talking about Lucy and Sa-san, right?” (Makoto)
Well, I do feel that they have feelings for me though.
“Fufufu, I wanted to have a real good long talk in regards to those kinds of things-desu zo.” (Fujiwara)
“Eeh, weren’t we talking about you, Fuji-yan?” (Makoto)
I am fine with hearing people out, but talking about myself is a bit embarrassing. No, it is pretty embarrassing.
“Think of this as an act of the alcohol and speak your heart out!” (Fujiwara)
“Well, even if I don’t say it, it will get exposed anyways.” (Makoto)
Let’s give up on hiding things from this friend of mine.
Can’t be helped. Today is a day where I will speak my heart out.
The night is long.
Goshujin-sama went out with Takatsuki-sama.
They apparently have an important talk between men.
He seemed like he was really looking forward to it.
“Goshujin-sama, are you going to become a noble…?” (Nina)
When I am alone, I remember the talk of Christiana at dinner.
Receiving Goshujin-sama as part of Makkaren.
In order to obtain success as a merchant in the Water Country, you need a certain amount of standing.
Him refusing the peerage from the princess must have been because he plans on obtaining it from Christiana.
When that happens, what will it be of me?
“Will I return to being a gladiator in Great Keith…?” (Nina)
I am feeling heavy… Am I going to return to those wound riddled days?
The Fujiwara Store’s treatment towards beastkin is good.
The beastkin are bad at learning things, so in other stores they are paid 70% of what humans would get.
In terrible stores, I hear that they are paid half.
That’s why the beastkin gathered at the Fujiwara Store, and everyone works with smiles.
This is something that happened in the past, but…
“Nina-dono, the fact that beastkin have beast ears should mean they get double the pay.” (Fujiwara)
“Goshujin-sama, I don’t understand that logic.” (Nina)
This, I stopped.
It would be a problem to have the store go under because of paying too much salary to the beastkin.
However, if Goshujin-sama were to join the nobles of Makkaren, we won’t be able to stay the same as always.
Especially because I am being hated by Christiana.
I won’t have a place anymore…
A sigh came out.
Someone knocked on the door.
“Yes yes, who is it?” (Nina)
Did Sasaki-sama come to train martial arts?
Right, if I move my body, I might be able to clear my mind a bit.
“It is Christiana. Nina-san, do you have some time?” (Chris)
I should have played it as if I wasn’t here.
I can’t do that anymore, so I open the door.
It is not the smile she always shows Goshujin-sama, but an expressionless Christiana.
“What is it?” (Nina)
“There’s something I want to talk about. I am coming in”, she says this and sits on the bed without even asking.
She doesn’t have her guards. Isn’t that a bit too careless?
“Please sit.” (Chris)
I sit at a chair in the room and face the daughter of the feudal lord.
She said right from the start.
“You hate me, right?” (Chris)
“…What about it?” (Nina)
Would it have been better to deny it?
No, there’s no point in doing that after all this time.
“I also hate you.” (Chris)
“I know. So, are you telling me to leave or something?” (Nina)
The woman in front of me didn’t say anything.
She takes a deep breath and slides her way to me.
Her face is close. I don’t like her, but she has a beautiful face.
As I thought, Goshujin-sama would prefer a human rather than a beastkin…
“Nina-san, marry Fujiwara-sama.” (Chris)
What is this woman saying?
“But I will be the first wife. You will be the second. I won’t be giving that up.” (Chris)
“Aren’t you trying to say a mistress or a slave?” (Nina)
I haven’t heard of nobles having beastkin as wives.
“Fujiwara-sama wouldn’t accept that. We have to be in equal standings.” (Chris)
“…You will become the laughingstock of the nobles around the country, you know?” (Nina)
Even I, who am not knowledgeable about worldly affairs, can tell this.
A noble like Christiana, and a beastkin like me cannot have the same standing.
However, her face turned desperate at that part.
“At this rate, Fujiwara-sama will obtain a peerage on his own! The only thing I can offer Fujiwara-sama is a position as a noble!” (Chris)
“That’s not true…” (Nina)
The second daughter of the Makkaren feudal lord.
She should have a lot of money and connections.
But Christiana laughed powerlessly.
“Fujiwara-sama is the man that has made new projects one after the other in Makkaren, and is friendly with the coming president of the biggest company of the continent, the Franz Company. My little fortune and connections wouldn’t be of worth…” (Chris)
This is surprising.
I thought she was a woman overflowing with confidence and smiled all the time.
To think she had been so weakened.
“But marrying at the same time is…” (Nina)
“It is not a bad condition, right? There shouldn’t be any demerits for you.” (Chris)
Goshujin-sama will become a noble, and I will be able to stay at the side of the person I love.
There’s no problem at all.
“You who are after the fortune and power of Goshujin-sama…” (Nina)
Marrying a man that you don’t even like, for the sake of the prosperity of your household.
This may be a natural thing for nobles, but it is something that I find hard to accept.
“That’s it! That’s what I don’t like!”, Chris raised her voice.
“Why do you deny my love for Fujiwara-sama?” (Chris)
“…Do you seriously love him?” (Nina)
I am a beastkin.
Beastkin fall in love with strong men.
Goshujin-sama doesn’t have the strength to fight, but he is the man that has succeeded the most in Makkaren.
At a glance, he looks like a good-natured young man, but the evil merchants that try to approach him to deceive him are all made to run away without a single coin left.
No matter how ingenious of a con artist they are, or a pitch black villain, Goshujin-sama wouldn’t be deceived.
Completely opposite to his appearance, he is a skilled manager, and is the most successful in Makkaren.
My heart was stolen by this.
However, what did Christiana fall for?
“By the way, what part of him?” (Nina)
Christiana hasn’t been watching Goshujin-sama’s work from that close.
“In my family, our sisters would always be fighting. There’s the family tradition that the one who makes Makkaren flourish the most is the one who will be the successor.” (Chris)
“That’s why there’s the need to show often to the people of the city, get the favor of many people, and get allies.” (Chris)
“But there were a lot of people who would approach me to use me…” (Chris)
“What I disliked the most was the fiancee that my mother prepared.” (Chris)
I have heard about it.
That he is a noble of the Fire Country’s Great Keith, and that he is a second son with a bad personality.
There weren’t any decent people within the nobles of the Fire Country…
“Fujiwara-sama was the one who saved me from that.” (Chris)
“He wiped out the villains that approached me, and reorganized the projects that had been stagnating.” (Chris)
“He offered me his hand when my fiance looked down on me and I was feeling depressed.” (Chris)
“He is my prince!” (Chris)
Christiana was speaking passionately.
I opened my mouth wide in surprise.
I haven’t gone as far as to think of Goshujin-sama as a prince.
Doesn’t a prince refer to people like Prince Leonard that we met today?
Well, that one is an actual prince though.
“Got a problem with that?” (Chris)
Everyone has a different sense of worth.
Looks like I was misunderstanding something.
Christiana isn’t an underhanded woman that’s aiming for the fortune of Goshujin-sama.
She was simply a love rival that fell in love with the same man as me.
Moreover, she is saying that she will accept having a beastkin being in the same standing as her in the marriage.
Those are extraordinary conditions.
I tried speaking out what bothered me.
“But…what if both of us get rejected?” (Nina)
Honestly speaking, I don’t understand the feelings of Goshujin-sama.
Even when I try to seduce him, he doesn’t follow through at all.
“If we both get rejected…we are drowning in alcohol till morning! You are going to tag along with me, right, Nina-san?!” (Chris)
Hearing this, I ended up laughing.
“Okay, Christiana-sama.” (Nina)
What’s with this noble lady.
This is the first time I have seen a noble like this.
“Call me Chris! Now, we will be waiting for Fujiwara-sama in his room till he returns! We will propose to him at the same time!” (Chris)
“These kinds of things are best done as fast as possible!” (Chris)
Wow, this person is incredible.
If it is with this person, it might go well.
That’s how I felt.
-Takatsuki Makoto POV-
Fuji-yan at my side trembled.
“What’s the matter? A cold?” (Makoto)
“…For some reason, chills ran down my spine.” (Fujiwara)
“Let’s go back.” (Makoto)
It is about to get pretty late already.
Today was fun too.
I would learn about what happens later when tomorrow comes.