She and the Outing 2
As we always did, we passed through the secret passage and arrived at Ms. Delris’s house.
After I knocked and opened the door, I was hit with the smell of medicinal herbs.
Apparently, Ms. Delris was in the middle of making medicine. While stirring a cauldron with a big mixer, she looked up and invited us with a, “Come down.”
When we reached the bottom of the stairs and approached her, Ms. Delris stopped stirring.
“Is this a good time? Are we, by any chance, interrupting you?”
“No. I’ve finished, so it’s not at all an issue. All it needs now is to cool down.”
“Ooh? It smells good.”
The lavender-like aroma was pleasant, but of course, it wasn’t just lavender.
“Come on, sit down.”
Ms. Delris said while looking pointedly at our usual seats.
The table for four people had changed to one that sat six people.
It was the type where three people sat on each side. She obviously prepared it expecting that I’d bring Freed along.
“I said that you could bring him, right? I wouldn’t bully him by not preparing him a seat.”
“Fufu, thank you.”
I was delighted to learn that she’d welcomed Freed. He looked taken aback, but he immediately bowed his head in gratitude.
“Thank you very much for letting me visit.”
“It’s nothing. I don’t remember ever saying you were unwelcome here. That’s all. More importantly, what about that thing I requested? Take it out quickly.”
Ms. Delris held out her hand, and with a wry smile Freed handed over the jute bag.
After checking the contents, Ms. Delris nodded.
“Those are certainly the Lyrelic seeds that I had requested. Furthermore, there’s quite a bit of it. With this, I could probably divide them into separate portions; for medicinal use and for planting in the garden.”
“… I have a small question, Ms. Delris. Does your house have a garden?”
That question was pure curiosity on my part.
She basically lived in a house hidden in fog.
I couldn’t imagine it having a garden even though she’d said it, but Ms. Delris grinned in response.
“Of course it does. I grow lots of valuable herbs. I’ve placed it in a location that no one can find.”
I wanted to see it, but it would be a huge problem if I accidentally damaged, or stepped on, an important herb. I was fairly scatterbrained, so it was safer to avoid that. And even if she’d given me instructions, I wouldn’t have necessarily understood them.
“Are you interested?”
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t, but I’m also clumsy, so I’m concerned I’d step on something. It’s fine…”
When I honestly said that, Ms. Delris stared at me wondrously and loudly laughed.
“Hahaha! I didn’t expect a reason like that, but that certainly sounds like you. Well, whatever. Sit down and I’ll make some tea.”
“Yes. Ah, if you like, please have these. I made them, thinking that you haven’t eaten these yet, Ms. Delris. They’re called ohagi.”
I handed Ms. Delris the box I’d brought with me, and she immediately took off the lid and checked the contents.
“… It’s the first time I’ve seen these.”
“Indeed. Ms. Delris, you like daifuku, right? These confectioneries are also made from red bean paste, so I thought you’d like them. They also have glutinous rice inside.”
“Hm. Since Lidi went through the trouble of making these, let’s all eat them. Alright, I’ll brew a special tea, so give me a moment.”
“Hold on, Granny, stop!”
Cain tried to stop Ms. Delris’ eagerness.
“You mean you’ll brew that delicious tea, right? It won’t be the nasty tea that makes you want to throw up, right?”
“Oh? So, you want the tea that will make you vomit, is what you’re saying?”
“Absolutely not! I’m saying to serve us anything but that!”
While laughing at Cain getting seriously anxious, Ms. Delris opened the door to the adjoining room.
“Lidi made these for me. I’ll prepare a respectable tea.”
“… I wonder about that. Honestly, you’re such a prankster, Granny.”
Freed was astonished to see, for the first time, this casual interaction between Ms. Delris and Cain.
“… How surprising. Cain and the witch are incredibly close, aren’t they?”
“They are. Don’t they feel like a grandmother and a grandchild?”
“I can see it. She completely treats Cain like a child.”
“She does. But, I think Cain might be happy about that.”
Due to his upbringing, Cain had never been treated like a normal person. I thought that’s precisely why he butted heads with Ms. Delris so openly like a teenage boy, not an assassin.
It couldn’t have been done without a relationship of mutual trust.
“I love listening to conversations between Cain and Ms. Delris.”
“Yeah, I feel like I can understand that.”
“… Don’t act as if you’re my guardian.”
After Freed spoke, Cain complained in response with a sullen look on his face.
“Sorry. That wasn’t our intention. It’s just fun to see two people I like get along, so please don’t mind it.”
“… I don’t really. But honestly Princess, you say ‘like’ as if it’s nothing.”
“Hm? But of course? I have to put it into words to convey it.”
I tilted my head, wondering what Cain was on about. I couldn’t figure out why he’d told me something like that.
Unless you explicitly say the word, “like,” it won’t be conveyed. That was common sense for me.
It’s naïve to think that the other person will understand if they just thought about it. You could tell how important it is by looking at my parents-in-law. I was glad, and grateful, that Freed had shown me his affection in an easy-to-understand manner from the very beginning.
I had been able to comprehend without misunderstanding that he liked me in the romantic sense.
“It’s self-centered to assume that it can be understood without saying it. You might not understand if I don’t say it.”
“Lidi, I love you.”
When I smiled at Cain, Freed suddenly pulled my arm and whispered that into my ear for some reason.
I looked at him wondering why he did that out of nowhere. Freed grinned and told me.
“I also wanted to convey my feelings for you, Lidi.”
“Hm? Freed, I know you love me, though?”
“Even so. Or Lidi, since you know, are you okay with only being told that once in a while? Don’t you want to hear that I like you every day? I want to be told that.”
“I want to be told that as well.”
I absolutely do. I never get tired of being told that every day, and I feel happy every time.
While I was agreeing from the bottom of my heart, Freed continued.
“That’s why I said that I love you.”
The words that gently resonated in my ear made me naturally smile. I also told Freed.
“Freed, I love you too. Very much so.”
“Yeah, I know. I’m happy, Lidi.”
I locked eyes with my beloved, and his face drew closer.
While I was spellbound, I heard Cain’s exasperated voice.
“Stop that. You may have forgotten yourselves, but this is Granny’s place, not your own.”
When he pointed out that very reasonable fact, I returned to my senses.
I blinked my eyes.
“Please, do these things in your own room… I think Granny would be upset by this, too.”
“… Y-You’re right! Sorry!”
I separated from Freed in a fluster. He seemed disappointed, but he let me go without much resistance. Instead, he reminded me in a whisper.
“… Lidi, as soon as we’re back… Okay?”
He invited me in a very easy-to-understand manner. My uterus reflexively ached.
My body that had been totally trained by him easily got its hopes up.
Recalling the feeling of being pierced deep inside, my face grew hot.
“Y-Yeah… When we get back…”
Freed brightened up at hearing my answer.
“That’s good. I’m looking forward to it.”
I nodded while blushing, then sat on the chair Ms. Delris had shown me. Freed sat to the left, and Cain to the right.
The door opened again at just the right time.
“Oh, are you done flirting?”
Holding a tray, Ms. Delris looked at us while grinning. Then she placed enough plates and cups for everyone on the table and started distributing ohagi.
One by one, red bean paste and roasted soybean flour. I took a peek inside the cup, and it seemed to be the same green tea she’d served before.
“I don’t really mind, so you can flirt to your hearts’ content.”
“That’s not what…”
She was in the next room over, so how did she know? I found it strange, but she was a witch, and this was Ms. Delris’s territory. That must’ve been why she had been able to see what we were doing.