Translator’s note: I totally forgot to add the light novel’s pictures to chapter 55 and 56. They’re now fixed.
The masked pub and the wolfrim’s family
I had yet to believe what happened: my teacher finally listened to me and accepted helping me out in my bar…!
She was now taking a bath before getting into her job clothes.
I applied waterproof finish on the door to prevent it from dampening. Almost no one in the capital knew about this way to prevent doors from deteriorating in time, not even the nobles. I remember going to Cardila store and the shopkeeper welcomed me with a “We found something curious”, then showed me ‘laval bark’, whose sap has a waterproof effect once it gets processed.
If we could produce more laval bark, we could’ve used it to create waterproof stuff like shoes, specifically for wetlands, or stuff to mitigate damages buildings take from the rain, but since there was a very high demand for it, the capital had yet to bring it to its market.
We wouldn’t see it any time soon…
Anyway, for some reason I could hear Teacher and Mizuha’s voices coming from the bathroom. Mizuha said she wanted to take a bath before starting her night shift, so she had joined Teacher, but forgot to bring a towel with her, which I was about to leave nearby the door.
“Why are you telling me you were the maker of those collars?”
I didn’t know what was happening in there, but given the short sentences I heard, I understood Teacher wanted to take her responsibilities and face Mizuha, who was one of Garamdoor’s victims.
“Because Dick told me I should take responsibility and apologize. I understand that what I’ve done is wrong, so feel free to vent your hate on me as you see fit.”
I knew there was the chance for Teacher to act like that.
She knew plenty well how vicious she acted and how much negativity the victims had to feel. She never cared to be hated in the past, but now she looked ready to face people and accept their forgiveness at a price.
“There’s no reason to, I forgive you. If I didn’t shape-shift, I wouldn’t have fled from those criminals. I wouldn’t be working here either. You see, I’m having a lot of fun thanks to my brother and Lord Dick ever since I got to work here. My brother feels better too, although he has some bitterness left from Blue Sagittarius.”
“Are you sure you want to let me off the hook like that? I’m ready for anything.”
“It’s fine. I kind of understand why you did that. Lord Dick is somewhat… This is going to sound funny, but I feel like he’s ‘wee like me’ and naive like a child. I can understand why you wouldn’t let him go.”
Mizuha, you couldn’t phrase that any worse… man, I feel so weird now…
I thought to shout “I’m leaving your towel here”, but refrained to, since they could’ve thought I was eavesdropping. That would be bad, so I called it quits.
I just left the towel there and took some distance.
“Right, if you’re his Teacher, I’m your student’s student!”
“You know… your village has a very long story, so maybe you heard this from someone. Long time ago, I had the coconobi fruit adapt to cold environments, that’s why it grows so much in those places and your people farm it. Do you still grow it? If you do, did you find some other tasty plant like that?”
Did Teacher just ignore Mizuha’s comment right now…?
The coconobi fruit is so easy to eat now because it went through a lot of selective breeding, but I would’ve never thought Teacher was behind that too. I couldn’t imagine how many things she changed in Albein thorough her long life.
I wouldn’t say everything, but she surely influenced a lot of stuff… that’s what living so long means. Thinking that her journey wasn’t all about finding a way to die put a smile on my face.
I walked down the stairs and saw Verlaine instructing the new momentary members of the bar, the whole expedition party.
“Thanks for helping, girls. I’ll be the headmaster of our team for this shift, so trust me and follow my lead, ‘kay?”
“Verlaine… it’s better if you start playing your role before a customer hears you talking like that and gets the wrong idea of you…”
“Wait, is Dick not the headmaster…?”
Verlaine, Mylarka and Yuma wore a waitress dress, and Cody a waiter one.
I bet Cody was going to be very popular with our female customers. Not like noble ladies were coming to see her, but if they found out about her, I was sure she’d be mistaken as a royal actor and the ladies would swoon over her.
Thinking about it, there was a girls-only troupe that was winning over the people’s liking…
But the girls were all that filled my mind in that moment: Yuma was the only one who had a little problem with the maid dress she was wearing, as it looked baggy around her chest, unlike Aileen and Mylarka who were simply beautiful.
The former of the two wore a short skirt despite Verlaine imposed her not to – she said that showing too much skin was of bad taste for an attendant – but as the owner, in the end I found their looks very great and appealing, so I let her do as she wanted.
I have to admit I was about to look at Mylarka like a predator a few times, though.
“Master is more like a secret owner. I am employed here as a shopkeeper and that makes me the woman in charge of the whole administrative and managerial part of this bar, so I need you to listen to my directives.”
“Alright, Boss, I can’t bring myself to have male customers looking at me in this dress, so can I help in the kitchen full time?”
“You do not have to worry, Mylarka, you are going to wear a mask so that none of the people you know will be able to figure you out.”
“Ugh…! Do you think the people I know would come to a shady place like this?! And I won’t wear a mask. I don’t want this bar to look even shadier than it is right now.”
“You know, Mylarka… thinking about it, I might have some problems if someone recognizes me, especially if they see me working here, so… probably wearing a mask would be best for me, yeah.”
“If Cody is doing that and we are all dressing up, there is nothing to be ashamed of, so I am in as well~♪ ”
Yuma was really good at playing along, and she had a rare ability to always set the right mood. Once she was in, everyone would surely follow her, thinking “oh, if Yuma is in, let’s go”.
“Lady Aileen, I know I will sound pushy, but no matter how many times I pointed out that your skirt is too short, you never listened to me.”
“It’s fine, Verlaine, what of it? I’m wearing bloomers.”
“Bloomers will make you look like a nasty woman given your attire. I know you always wear dresses with those deep slits to stimulate my Master, but I still feel your sense of style is too risky.”
“I-I dun even mean any of that! I just wear my martial artist’s stuff…!”
Aileen blushed slightly and looked away from the former Demon Lord, defeated by her witty remark.
But Mylarka was still fighting her own battle.
“I don’t think you should call out to attire so much, Verlaine. By the way, if the Magic academy knew that I, one of their teachers, is working part-time as a waitress here, their preaching would have no end. Let me work in the kitchen.”
“Lady Mylarka, do you have a license to prepare food in a bar?”
“Ugh…! Why do you point that out now?! It’s no fair! Do you want me to look after our customers so bad?! Okay, fine, I’ll annihilate everything!”
With that, Verlaine won the two one-on-one battles fair and square.
I understood why Mylarka wanted to work in the kitchen. Of course she’d be embarrassed if men were going to eye her all the time. I mean, as impressive as it is to say, her dress looked slightly cramped on her chest, although it was designed for Verlaine.
Yeah, everyone will surely look at her chest all the time… but damn… I love maid dresses…!
When Verlaine wore one for the first time, I was simply surprised to see her, but now that I got to see the other girls dressed like that too, somehow I felt my heart swaying. I always saw them wearing other clothes, after all.
Cody noticed that Yuma’s dress was a bit too big for her and hurried to turn her sleeves up so that her hands could be easily seen. Once everyone was sure they looked as they should have, they got serious.
“I’ll work hard not to disappoint Dick. Where’s my mask, now?”
“It is coming, Cody. If you all need to wear a mask, we should throw a masquerade tonight.”
“I don’t think I’ll dance, but I’m glad you found an excuse for all of us to wear a mask. I’d be ashamed if people thought we’re doing this for fun.”
“Do you think so, Mylarka…? I have never seen a masquerade… it sounds fantastic!”
“Eheh! Then I’ll teach ya all how to dance if Dick comes down! Sometimes even this bar can be a bit flashy!”
Aileen was thinking more about a battlefield than a masquerade. In her birthplace there was this festival where dancers would put up a show for their ancestors, but I heard that their dance was very close to a show of martial techniques.
“I can help with that too, I know how to dance a bit…”
“You do, Mylarka? That sounds fun. I’d rather escort you girls, then.”
“I think the girls can entertain our customers. I will hang a sign at the door saying that we are having a masquerade tonight. Arranging the hall in a way that people can dance might be nice too, and it might be fun if they talked about it in the long run. Master might not be very glad about the commotion, but whatever.”
“Let’s take it as a one-time event, please…”
I finally approached them normally, thinking that someone could react badly, but they all looked at me with relaxed faces.
“Good evening, Dick. It looks like you had your nice talk with her.”
“Yeah, thank you, Mylarka. We never fought like that before… I want to keep her save for now, so I might ask her to live in Beatrice’s mansion.”
“Oh, really? I thought you wanted her to live with you…”
“Dick is old enough to have fun with someone he’s sharing his roof with… By the way, your teacher doesn’t look much older than us. How old is she really?”
Since she was one of the Forsaken legacies, as Verlaine guessed, it was probably impossible to know. She might’ve seen the very first man walking this land, but I doubted they would really believe it.
Still, how old they thought she was if she looked around our age?
“I don’t know, really… How old do you think she is, Mylarka?”
“We shouldn’t talk about people’s age at their back… but if I had to say, she looks around my age, so on her twenties.”
“Hmm… I don’t think she looks much older than us too, but she surely feels like your big sister, Dick, so I can’t imagine she’s very young.”
“You are right, Aileen. She is way older, more mature and tolerant than… surely than me. I cannot find the right words to describe her, but I feel her affection is like that of a mother for her children. I can see her loneliness and emptiness too, but I can tell she is a very warm person.”
Yuma was probably talking about her soul rather than her looks. She could feel Teacher’s insecurities too.
Anyway, if Mylarka and Aileen said Teacher looked around our age, so be it. She didn’t change at all since the first day we met. Only her hairstyle looked a tiny bit different, but her hair was still long as I remember.
“I think she’s around our age, but honetly I think she’s slightly younger. At least, I thought she was at first glance.”
“I see. So she’s about sixteen or seventeen for you, Cody…? Let’s just say she’s around that, yeah. Verlaine, can you dress Teacher and Mizuha up when they get out of the bath?”
“As you wish. Our staff is full today, so I shall grant Lady Mylarka’s wish as well. Let me know if someone else wants to do something specific.”
Everyone picked what felt best for them: Mylarka and Yuma were helping Verlaine at the counter; Cody, Aileen and Mizuha – who was now ready to work – were in the hall arranging what it was needed to, and…
When I saw my teacher in that maid uniform, I was so taken aback I lost my words.
“So you want your girls dressed up like this when they work at your bar, Dee? Are you into this?”
“N-No… Verlaine brought these in…”
“And my Master has taken a liking to them. It looks like he is loving them right now, does he not?”
“I don’t mind these as well. This headdress is cute, I wouldn’t mind wearing this all the time.”
I had no idea what kind of clothes my teacher liked… and I wondered what was that glance in my direction right now.
Anyway, no matter how fit that maid dress was for her, I couldn’t look at her all day. I had to keep myself together and remember that we were still in a delicate situation.
Teacher faced Verlaine.
“I’d like to watch you work and learn from that, then try it out in a later moment. Is that okay?”
“Yes, if you wish to…”
The next moment, dling dlong, the bar’s door opened.
Three people entered the bar.
The leading one was Sakuya, followed by a male wolfrim dressed as a fighter and a girl. The latter was about as old as Mizuha and had mixed black and silver locks of hair, just like the man.
Teacher looked at her as if to guess their business. She first looked at Sakuya, then stared at the other two.
“Master, let me introduce you. This is Gustav Wolfgang, and this is his daughter Mimia.”
That girl was probably one of the demi-humans who was caught and sold by Garamdoor. I was glad to see her reunited with her father.
That girl… Mimia had her shape-shifting ability blocked by Teacher’s collar, but finally she was back to her human form. She looked very tense, but still held our gaze one by one.
“Nice to meet you, I’m Gustav. I heard the one who pulled the strings behind the scenes concerning my daughter is here, so…”
“Yes, it’s me. I’m those collars’ creator.”
Teacher stepped forward before he could finish the sentence.
Gustav was huge compared to my teacher, who looked like a child standing near him. He was like thrice her size.
When he saw the woman stepping so boldly in front of him, everyone could see a wave of rage flooding his gaze, but Mimia squeezed his hand and shook her head.
He breathed in to calm himself down, then spoke.
“My daugther is safe. Saying this pisses me off, but I have to admit my daughter was handled like the finest of goods, so she didn’t face the worst. I was looking for you only to tell you this: please, never create something so nasty ever again. Don’t let disgusting people like Garamdoor ruin people’s life. And please, next time collect them back as soon as possible to avoid replicas and a further spread of nasty tools. I’d like to look for all the guys who has been sold, but I have to bring my daughter back home first. I have a family as well, you see.”
“Sorry, dad… I just looked so forward to the outside world that I…”
“You don’t need to apologize, sweetie. Dad isn’t mad anymore. He forgives you. He’s so glad to see you’re okay that he feels like he’s dreaming.”
He placed a hand on her shoulder and smiled at her fondly. As their business with Teacher was over, they turned around and were about to leave, but Verlaine stopped them.
“Dear customers, make yourselves at home and enjoy our service before leaving. We are still preparing everything to open, but if you do not mind it, you are very free to order something to any of our staff members.”
“Are you sure…? There are plenty of people who despise Demi-humans.”
I could understand why Gustav was so worried, but demi-humans were welcome here. Racism had no place in my bar.
Luckily, Verlaine spoke in my place.
“There is no unwelcome customer in this bar. One’s race does not matter to any of us. We will gladly have you take a seat and enjoy some good food or drink.”
Racism was the cause of Garamdoor’s acts.
I wanted to prevent any other case like this. Treating demi-humans like ‘rare animals’ is simply disgusting.
As my teacher’s pupil, I wanted to welcome Gustav and her daughter as best as I could to improve the chance they would forgive what happened.
Gustav was lost in thought due to Verlaine’s words, and looked at his daughter for an answer. For a moment, Mimia looked up to him with puppy eyes, then nervously looked at me.
Her concern was evident: she had no idea what could’ve happened if they stayed… but they still decided to take a seat.