It seems friendship is powerless in front of love.
“By the way, the bond of sisters is also powerless.”
“Don’t read my mind.”
“Oh my, I wouldn’t do something as lowly as that. I simply read that from your face.”
Sif saw off the back of her little sister, and Amelia spoke.
Amelia exchanged two to three words with Sif and took a seat, and Sif swayed her glass that had ice inside.
She washes her mouth with the sweetness and bitterness.
Black ice coffee.
The eldest daughter of the Rembrandt household is pretty manly in her selections.
By the way, Amelia went for a highly feminine choice of coffee with milk and a whole lot of honey added.
You can tell who is who in your mind immediately with those selections.
It doesn’t have to be exactly about coffee.
“The very person that said that she was going to go around to check for the latest fashion spots in Tsige…gone after just the first establishment?!”
And the other one who muttered this dumbfounded was a woman that seemed to have purposely hidden her hair and was wearing sunglasses.
Well, that’s a given.
She is the close friend of the girl that dashed out of the store, and the person that was practically forced into guiding them because she is from the area.
Her name, Ates.
A sturdy woman that’s the receptionist of the Adventurer Guild and also an idol which is a job that was just birthed.
Sif and Amelia not having a direct connection with Ates makes it even more fresh.
It is a mystery what information line led to this, but Yuno Rembrandt herself has gotten information that Misura might be coming into contact with Lisa Rembrandt, and formed this gathering without hesitation, and then ran off.
“If I remember correctly, you are the daughter of the Batoma Company, right? This is weird coming from her sister, but I am surprised you can be her friend. Thanks.” (Sif)
“No way, Sif-sama. Yuno and I are like childhood friends, so this kind of stuff…yeah, I am a bit used to it already.” (Ates)
“You are tough, Ates-san. But considering the unit you showed us last night, it might be natural to have that much courage.” (Amelia)
“A-About that, Amelia-san! I simply ended up working in a mysterious job called idol for some reason! It is a job, just so you know! A job! You could say we have already resolved ourselves…” (Ates)
Ates may be a bit hasty in her words, but she is managing to speak with the eldest daughter of the Rembrandt Company, Sif, and the Rotsgard Academy student deeply connected to the Kuzunoha Company, Amelia, without being crushed by the nerves.
Just like how Amelia has evaluated her, she is pretty tough.
If not, she wouldn’t be able to ask things of Raidou, or argue with the adventurers of Tsige.
“Father becomes an idiot from time to time, is what I thought at first, but…after feeling that heat with my own skin, I understand the fearsomeness.” (Sif)
“Sif-sama? Uhm, idols are simply a job where you wear weird clothes, sing, and dance, you know.” (Ates)
Ates herself still doesn’t understand well what’s the power of an idol.
Also, she has been witness to the Skills of the highest class adventurers as a long time guild staff member.
That’s why she didn’t understand the meaning of making men and women who don’t have any Skills at all stand on stage like the pros, who in this case would be the adventurer dancers, singers, and bards.
On the other hand, Amelia and Sif, who have no preconception, have directly tasted the heat of the live stage, and were imagining the worth they have as advertisement towers, and the power that their words will have in the future.
On top of that, they have been shown by Rembrandt the documents about how they served the role to increase and maintain morale in the independence war.
The effect was tremendous.
However, Yuno alone -probably because she had her friend filter on- held her stomach and laughed out loud seeing Ates in an amusing frilly dress that showed a lot of skin while singing and dancing.
Ates must have remembered how Yuno pointed and laughed, she placed a hand on her forehead as if enduring pain.
“You might be able to make a great revival for the Batoma, or become a skilled merchant that can even surpass your father…” (Sif)
“Eh, I didn’t know you were the type that could make jokes with a straight face, Sif-sama.” (Ates)
“Idol… There’s also the option of being an idol while you are young and using that to boost your career later… It is safer than being an adventurer and an occupation with really great prospects.” (Amelia)
“Even Amelia-sama?! Your way of teasing being in a different direction from Yuno is rough too.” (Ates)
“Unknown only to themselves, huh.” (Amelia)
Amelia spoke the words she had been taught just recently with a smile on her face.
It was clear as day who taught her that.
“Oh my, Shiki-san’s saying?” (Sif)
“That’s right. Problem?” (Amelia)
“Nope~. Yuno has run away and Amelia is always in lovestruck mode. So, what kind of guy is your boyfriend, A-chan?” (Sif)
“I don’t have one.” (Ates)
“I don’t have time for love with all the work!” (Ates)
“So even girls say that, huh.” (Sif)
“Even you, Sif-sama, I won’t prod too deeply, but don’t you have a good person in mind?!” (Ates)
“The number one would be Raidou-sensei.” (Sif)
“…Are you craz—I mean, are you sane?” (Ates)
Ates opened her eyes wide and asked Sif back.
“As the eldest daughter of the Rembrandt household.” (Sif)
“…So your way of thinking changed after you recovered from your illness. That goes the same for Yuno though.” (Ates)
“Oh my, even my little sister who has fallen awkwardly in love with Misura, if Sensei were to propose to her, she would reject Misura and marry Sensei, you know?” (Sif)
“The only person Father, Mother, and even Morris push persistently as a partner is Sensei. Well, I would have done the same as a parent, so I have no complaints about that.” (Sif)
“The Rembrandt household is really thorough. You could say they put loss and gain as their highest priority.” (Amelia)
On the other hand, Sif shook her head as if saying ‘you really don’t get it’.
“Of course there’s the reason that you can create a sturdy pipe with both Sensei and the Kuzunoha Company, but don’t misunderstand, Amelia. Does Raidou-sensei look like the kind of man that would make her wife cry?” (Sif)
“…He doesn’t.” (Amelia)
“Right? With that person, you can live happily and enjoyably for the rest of your life; for some reason, I have that confidence. My parents probably think the same. Sensei himself says that he is not lucky or that misfortune follows him, but for the Rembrandt household, since the moment we met until now, he has been like the fairy of ultimate luck. He is someone that can’t be compared to faint attachment or first love.” (Sif)
“I see, so you understand the true gains and losses, huh. I have lost.” (Amelia)
Amelia throws a colorful bite-sized sweet into her mouth.
That pastry that’s pretty similar to macaron was piled up like a mountain in the fancy bowl at the middle of the table.
The 3 must have taken a liking to it, the mountain size was silently getting smaller and smaller.
“By the way, you are one capable woman too, right, A-chan? At the time when we were assailed by the curse disease, she would still visit us on our sickbed. She always did until Father refused all visits.” (Sif)
“Eh, of course I would go to visit my friend when she is ill. That’s the hyuman thing to do.” (Ates)
A-chan -Ates- had the talk thrown onto her by Sif, and was making a face of ‘what’s that about a capable woman?’.
A face as if saying ‘anyone would go visit a friend on their sickbed, right?’.
The unconscious and pure kindness of her made Amelia leak out a smile, and Sif smiled at the sight of that Amelia.
“? What?” (Amelia)
“There’s no way a girl that was an actual friend of the past Yuno would be the fluffy good girl, Amelia.” (Sif)
“This is shameful to say myself, but my little sister and I had a deserved terrible reputation in the Academy, you know. A-chan and the winners of Tsige, the reason why they would patiently come visit us when we were ill from the curse disease was because they judged that would be for their best benefit.” (Sif)
“The brave girl that went to visit until the very end, in the case when we manage a miraculous comeback, would be able to obtain the status of best friend from Yuno. Rather, there’s only demerits in bad mouthing us at our backs and taking distance. We are properly watching. We are Tsige women after all…isn’t that right?” (Sif)
It is not like Sif is saying all of this out of ill-will.
She was simply speaking objectively here.
“It is not like I was moving purely out of calculation. I was truly wishing for your recovery. Just that, it is not like the Rembrandt Company itself had lost its power, so laughing at the tragic state of Sif-sama, Yuno, and Lisa-sama would just serve to distract myself from my own shortcomings. Even as a child, I could understand there was no benefit in that.” (Ates)
And Ates didn’t shy about it and spoke in a way that affirmed the words of Sif.
Amelia’s face was saying ‘that’s no child’ -and at the same time, this made her understand in her own way the fierce world of the Tsige merchants.
“…But they were in quite the state, right? Weren’t you scared?” (Amelia)
“? They simply were going bald, their skin was really dry, and their eyes looked a bit like mamonos. Nothing to write home about. Tsige is like a jack-in-the-box where strong and weird people walk around on the main streets with normal faces, you know. Once their disease is cured, their appearances can come back. Adventurer stalkers are far scarier.” (Ates)
“Adventurer stalkers…” (Amelia)
Amelia was speechless.
Sif had a wry smile.
“Yeah. When you aggravate A rank adventurers or higher, normal people can’t do anything about it. I barely managed somehow, you know. There’s more than one or two scary experiences I would rather not remember.” (Ates)
Ates remembers her past with a serious face.
The things she spoke of eloquently were extreme, enough to make Amelia and Sif wince, but they couldn’t stop listening to it. It became an unexpectedly painful time.
The reality is that the love matters involving adventurers in Tsige don’t always end in happy endings.
Who knows how many times Ates would shake her head powerlessly to the sides and muttered ‘it is checkmate’ at the questions of Amelia and Sif.
Ates is currently putting strenuous efforts in her idol job, so it is a risky conversation for her to have, but she is also a person with a decent degree of plentiful experiences.
She is offsetting the stalkers with equally passionate and dependable fans, and she would also use the Rembrandt and Batoma company as her backing.
She has been able to deal with it in her own way with her conducting abilities.
“It is trouble, Onee-chan!!”
At the time when the girl talk was beginning to grow lively, Yuno, who had left right from the very start, had returned.
Came with a full power dash just like how she left.
Yuno took the glass of Ates and gulped it all down in one go without a single word.
‘A storm of pain has come’, is what the faces of the 3 were saying.
“I have solved the mystery of why the skin of Mother is so strangely good now!” (Yuno)
“! What did you just say?!” (Sif)
“The answer lies in the health preservation facility of the Kuzunoha Company!” (Yuno)
“Kuzu…listen here, Yuno, how are we going to even go there?” (Amelia)
Sif was caught off-guard and Amelia was the one to pose the issue.
“Of course, I have gotten permission from the manager-san! …What will you do, you 3?” (Yuno)
Yuno already knows the answer, but still asks just in case.
After coming back home to Tsige because of the school trip, the Rembrandt sisters noticed that their mother, Lisa, looked younger in a lot of areas now.
It seems like Lisa had finally opened up on the secret of that on the last day, and the tension of Yuno had reached max.
And this went the same for Sif and Amelia who have actually seen Lisa.
Ates has also been curious about the secret of the recent beauty in the Rembrandt lady.
In other words…
“I have been dragged around on my rare free day, so I seek repayment from my friend Yuno.” (Ates)
“Telling us on the last day…teasing us till the end, Mother.” (Sif)
“I should be able to use the health preservation facilities of the Kuzunoha Company eventually. That’s why it should be forgivable to get a taste ahead of time.” (Amelia)
The girls of age dashed off the store with Yuno on the lead.
The place they are heading to is the hot spring. A place they wouldn’t be able to easily go to once they go back to the academy.