CHAPTER 43: THE ROYAL CAPITAL, INN, AND DRUG
The royal capital had, for this world, an incredible amount of people.
Even so, the roads were wide enough for carriages to pass through and the shops lined up on sides of the road were the most well-made I’ve seen so far.
Though with that said, it’s nearly evening, so I can’t really see that well.
Entering the capital, we saw Milea-san off, since she went ahead to park the carriage at their shop, before having Anicet guide us to the inn.
「So you have your own shop」
「Just a small one though.
Our girl is waiting for us there.」
「He~eh, you have a child then.」
「Though, she’s not quite the age that you would call a child.
She’s turning 18 this year.
She’s also quite bright and popular at the commoner district, you see……」
While we were chatting as we walked, it seems like I ended up pushing a certain switch that I shouldn’t have.
For a while ever since then, we have been listening to Anicet’s drawn-out daughter talk.
Like the smile she had at 3 years old or her present when she turned 5 for example.
It was frankly uninteresting but since I have no intention of giving out information from our side, I just shut up and listened.
『So normal children grow up like that then.』
『Judging from his story, they do sound somewhat wealthy though.』
『If we’re talking about wealth, mine is wealthier than theirs, right After all, I got to drink expensive pills everyday.』
『I didn’t mean that, I didn’t mean it that way.
I was just a bit impressed after hearing about normal things, that’s all.』
I thought that Ciel got melancholic from listening to the stories of another family, but after hearing her crisp tone, it seems like she doesn’t actually mind it at all.
Then in this case, there’s need for me to worry too much about this as well.
『Well thanks to that, our magic power increased quite a lot.』
『By the way, should we go ahead and take the inn he’s guiding us to』
『Ummm…… if I said I want to because I’m curious, would you get mad』
But it just… might be somewhat dangerous.』
『Then in that case, I’ll be ready to run away at any time.』
Given that Ciel already has the resolve, it should be fine to try it.
Ciel seems to have her own reasons after all and it’s quite unusual for her to say things like these as well.
As I continued chatting with Ciel while letting Anicet’s stories out of my other ear, we stopped in front of a building that had the beauty of white porcelain.
While it looks like an expensive inn, it doesn’t seem to be aimed at nobles.
It seems to target commoners who want to splurge.
「Right, right, this is the inn.
I’m friends with the owner here, you see Usually it would be costly to stay here, but if it’s just one night, they should let you stay for free.」
Even though it’s such a great inn.」
Anyway, go inside now.」
Being urged from behind, we were pushed into the inn.
With the high-class, mainly white motif of its interior, it’s definitely hard to call this a place aimed towards the general public.
Considering that we usually choose places that are neither too cheap nor too expensive, this inn feels like it should be considerably beyond our budget.
A cheap place is naturally out due to security reasons, while on the other hand, staying at a very expensive place would risk us being thought of as a child with money.
Especially in Ciel’s case, due to her appearance, it’s already common for Ciel to be mistaken for a noble and being seen as a noble’s child with no escorts makes her an easy target for kidnapping.
While we’re not the type to be abducted without any resistance; if things get serious, there’ll be a possibility of standing out, so I’d like to avoid that as much as possible.
Also, Ciel simply doesn’t like it when my workload increases.
While it’s already too late in my opinion, given that I’m operating a barrier around the clock to protect Ciel, it seems that Ciel’s stance is that she wants me to get even just a bit more rest.
「Hey, it’s been awhile.
This girl is a VIP, you see.
If possible, could you give her some service」
Arriving at the reception desk, Anicet spoke to a lady sitting with her eyes closed who looks to be near his age.
Having a vaguely cold feel to her, the lady stared at me with a piercing look before closing her eyes again and nodding.
「If that is the case, being Anicet-sama’s VIP, we can offer a one night trial stay at a special room.」
「Then let’s go with that.」
「Young lady, would you be fine going along with that」
「As long as I can stay for free……」
Not that I actually think of that for even the slightest bit.
We don’t have any issue with money after all.
Rather, the magic bag we got from Carol-san is starting to get full, so I want to use up our money.
Actually, maybe we should get a different purse to use for coins worth silver and below.
「Well, I’ll be going now.
We’re in your debt little miss.」
「Don’t mention it, I feel the same way too.」
「Now then, allow me to lead you to your room.」
Finishing the check-in, Anicet leaves the inn.
It seems like he’s not staying here.
He probably doesn’t have enough money to stay here anyway and since he has a shop, I guess he’s heading there.
「Your name, what should I call you」
「I have no name to offer to our guests.」
I tried asking that on the way, but she only returned that brief reply.
It’s not as if she has a name tag like how the employees do in modern Japan after all, though there are probably some people that simply don’t want to give their names as well.
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『I can’t help feeling suspicious but I wonder if I’m just being too skeptical』
『But Ain, you’re not on alert, right』
『That’s because it’s not worth being vigilant about.
Also, if she notices that we’re weirdly tense, we might not get any time to rest.
Still, it would be nice if I’m only worrying too much.』
『So the issue is whether we can rest or not then』
『That’s because I want to take a bath.』
『Ain really loves taking a bath after all.』
「This will be your room.」
「Thank you very much.」
「We will be delivering the meal to your room, so please feel free to relax and unwind.」
The room we were shown was surprisingly spacious.
While the only furniture there was a bed, a table, a chair and a clothes rack, it’s double the size of the usual inn room.
The bed is on the bigger side as well, with its pure white sheet has not a single crease.
The bathroom and the tub are spacious too, so if not for my worries, this would’ve been the perfect room.
『Since we’re in our room now, I’ll return your body, okay』
「Ain, it’s fine to use it for a bit longer, you know」
『I’ve used it plenty for today…… Is what I’d like to say, but I’ll might have a chance to borrow it again soon, so I’ll be using it then.』
Then how about we take a bath right now」
「Of course, it makes Ain so happy after all.」
Ciel giggled as she heard me delighted, but I hope she won’t mind me feeling this way.
After all, being a former Japanese, just when I was able to take a bath after ten years of being unable to do so, this time because I’m not even sure if I can have a bath or not because of our current lifestyle.
I can endure it.
I can endure it, but I still really want to take a bath.
Ciel took off her clothes, sliding them off her silk-like skin.
Her body is now healthily meatier than before.
She was just too skinny in the past, she’s definitely still slender even now.
While she gained some muscles due to the frequent dancing, she still has a feminine softness to her body.
I always speak up when it comes to her beauty and health, so seeing Ciel stay pretty feels extremely satisfying.
Entering the bathroom, Ciel washed her head and body, then soaked herself in the tub.
While soaking hair in water isn’t usually good, Ciel’s pure white hair spreading out in hot water was awfully beautiful to see.
Though, the only reason I allowed this is because I’m using my barrier.
Still, the sight of her hair clinging to her arm as she raised it from the tub appeared almost like a piece of art.
Stepping out of the bath, I had Ciel switch with me and dried her hair.
It’s a sorcery Ciel can do but considering her safety, it’s best that I do it.
『We got to switch unexpectedly soon.』
『I forgot the fact that we switch when drying your hair.』
『Should we stay like this for today』
『Frankly, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea but you should rest your body, Ciel.
Since if anything ever happens, given that I don’t have any offensive ability, I would eventually need to switch with you.』
『Then in that case, would you mind at least taking time on this, Ain
These times when Ain dries my hair for me, I quite like it to be honest.』
However, doing this for too long won’t be good as well, so I’ll stop once it dries, okay』
『Of course, I don’t want Ain to hate me after all.』
『I won’t hate you just because of that, you know』
『Fufu. Ain, Thank you.』
『Don’t worry, it’s my pleasure.』
As I was drying her hair, Ciel certainly does seem more relaxed, or rather, drowsy.
And even during the moment she thanked me, she sounded practically half-asleep in my opinion.
If it makes her happy, then I’ll gladly do it.
Though, even if Ciel does fall asleep, I probably wouldn’t mind it anyway.
By the time her hair was dry, there was a knock from our door, and Miss No-name-to-offer from the reception desk brought us our dinner.
The dinner menu was similar to some meals seen in Japan; white bread, big-footed deer—I’m told that it’s literally a deer with big feet—as well as a vegetable-filled soup and, likewise, a salad.
Faced with food rarely seen in other places, Ciel’s eyes began to sparkle.
We were told to simply leave the dishes outside the door after eating but to begin with, I’m doubtful if this is really fine to eat.
I feel sorry for Ciel, but I’ll need to have her refrain from eating for now.
『I’m sorry to bother when you’re about to eat but if possible, would you mind not eating it yet』
『…… Why is that』
Unusually, Ciel replied in a displeased tone.
Since she tends to look forward to eating ever since she encountered proper food, this isn’t surprising at all.
On another note, except when during battle, I’ve never stopped Ciel’s dance.
While I have no idea how Ciel will react if I stop her, there are things better left unknown.
Back to topic.
After responding『It’s possible that there was some sort of drug mixed in.』to the irked Ciel, she begrudgingly glares at the white bread.
Sleeping pills and numbing drugs are likely and while I can’t say the same for the former, I might not be able to do anything if it’s the latter.
With that said, since we’ll need to leave the tableware outside, I’ll have to do something about our dinner.
『I’d like to try some things out to make them edible, so would you mind switching Ciel』
I don’t want to eat portable food when we already have a proper meal right in front of us too, so I’ll have to try my best.
Though with that said, the most I can do is make a barrier that acts like a filter.
As stated before, I can put restrictions on what passes through my barrier.
Utilising that, this will be an experiment on whether it’s possible to isolate poisonous substances or not.
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To test, I made a barrier that「Drugs」can’t pass through, then attempted to pass the white bread through it, but no change occurred.
Likewise,「Poisons」had no effect as well.
Next, I tried「Ill will」and「Malice」and then the bread couldn’t pass through the barrier anymore.
I then tried dropping it on top of a table-shaped barrier and it perfectly sat on top of it, so there’s no mistaking it.
In other words, this bread is a lump of ill will and malice.
I also tried other things that came to mind, but it didn’t bring any good results.
Also, this uses up a fair amount of magic power, so it doesn’t seem like I can continue experimenting endlessly.
On the other hand, when I tried making a barrier that would allow only the bread to pass through, it went through without any sign of resistance.
While I’m practically sure that there’s something mixed in this bread, since it still went through without leaving anything behind, I guess that the drug is already an inseparable component of it as a bread.
With that being the case, my last resort was a barrier that would allow only the bread’s ingredients to pass through.
Wheat flour, salt, butter, yeast, eggs…… what else were there besides that…
I’ve never made bread before and, to begin with, I’m not sure if they’re even made with these same ingredients here.
Anyhow, since it’s fine as long as I exclude the drug, I enumerated every ingredient I could think of, and as the white bread went through, some white powder remained on the barrier.
This should be sleeping powder or something.
I’d hate to inhale it by accident, so I made a box with the barrier and sealed it inside a jar.
After going this far, I’m starting to question what exactly a barrier is, but everything I did should be within the known limits.
Anyway, since it went well, I should inform Ciel.
『With this, the white bread should be safe to eat, I think.』
『Ain, you can eat it, you know』
『I’ll leave eating to you, Ciel.
Still, this barrier requires quite a lot of effort, so please bear with just this and the steak.』
『I’m already happy to eat even some of this.
Besides, it’ll be rather difficult for me to finish all of this.』
After all, while Ciel does love to eat, she can’t eat that much.
After detoxifying () the steak, I switched with Ciel.
Ciel picked up the bread first, tore a mouthful, and ate it.
This is delicious.
While the flavor is subdued, I can still taste the sweetness of wheat, and its soft texture isn’t bad at all.
Though, since I unfortunately took too much time, the once freshly baked bread is now cold, and after forcefully pulling out the malicious parts during the detoxification, the bread also feels hollowed out.
As for the steak, how should I say this, it had a strong taste of meat.
There was barely any fat, it was practically all lean meat.
It has a better base flavor compared to beef.
In short, delicious.
Seemingly satisfied as well, Ciel had a look of utter bliss.
Capital: Populous, Merchants: Suspicious, AinCiel: Cute, Hotel: Trivago
Heya~! Our princess have arrived safely at the inn, but it seems like the inn itself isn’t safe at all.
First of all, Anicet, you talk too much about your daughter, lol.
But still, it was nice to see Ciel being cheerful enough to joke around like that.
Anyhow, today was undoubtedly an AinCiel fluff chapter, an absolutely welcome treat~
While there was hints of darkness all around this chapter, Mom Ain is the highlight as always, skincare, lol.
On the other hand, more sulky Ciel (Also Ciel having absolute older sister energy when giggling)! “There are things better left unknown” lol.
Also, Ain completely forgetting that they were going to switch immediately after bathing.
So busy being ominous that you forget your motherly duty of drying Ciel’s hair.
Still, Ain being happy about talking a bath was cute.