“So, do you have any last words?”
“Wai-!? Isn’t this going too far for a mere joke!?”
Her atmosphere as a bewitching and mysterious youth is crumbling.
Shirley was at an utter loss when her two daughters had embraced her tearfully when she got home, and as soon as she heard the full story made a beeline for the guild.
Canary, who tried to escape using teleportation magic, was tied up and hung upside down from a tree branch. Under her, there was a huge pot filled with boiling water that had been set up for her punishment.
“Hooooot!? Can’t you make the rope a bit shorter!? The steam is too hot!?”
“This much won’t kill you, right? To think that you meddled with my daughters…!”
“Stop it! Stop poking it with your sword!”
Shirley openly displays her anger by threateningly tapping the rope keeping Canary above the pot with the twin blades Igarima and Shul Shagana.
Incidentally, Canary can’t escape using magic. Because Shirley would simply cut the magic she could see in two the moment she tried anything.
“This double contract, what is it? What on earth are you plotting? Depending on your answer…”
As much as she’d like to simply cut the rope right now, she decided to at least hear Canary’s excuse, since without her she wouldn’t be able to attend the Visitation Day.
“I-it’s nothing dangerous! I just wanted you three to be the models for the first store opening of my newly launched maid cafe!”
Maids and a cafe. Shirley looked confused at this newly coined word, trying to imagine just why you would put the two together.
“Do you not like it? It seems that the tastes of the notables of the capitals have shifted to notions of ‘I want to be served by a maid.’ Investigating further, it came to light that even commoners have an infatuation for these maids. So, I intend to establish a franchise that seeks to fulfil these ardent hopes and desires of all people in the kingdom.”
The desires of those men… Shirley can’t really relate at all.
Although she doesn’t really understand the appeal having grown up amongst maids every day for 18 years, she can’t deny the facts if this is what the common man is into nowadays.
“So, you intended to use me and my daughter as advertising test cases?”
“Exactly~! Having three such beauties with the same colour hair… Won’t it be the perfect test for the new store, mm~? I plan to hold a celebration commemorating the defeat of those dragons, and all I ask is that you and your lovely daughters wait upon the partygoers~!”
It’s funny to think of the person who led a battle having to serve tables at the celebratory feast for it, but although it should be an easy thing to decline as she has absolutely zero interest in doing it, Shirley still groaned with a scowl.
To be frank, she has no intention of forgiving the witch in front of her for deceiving Sophie and Tio, but she can’t deny that it might be good for them to have a little experience in customer service.
Simply pampering your children and doing everything for them is no way to raise them. It’s Shirley’s theory that work experience can be a cornerstone of a child’s upbringing.
Although, they were tricked into doing it. As she wondered what to do, Canary writhed about like a lobster being held above the pot and yelled.
“In the first place, have you not already signed the contract!? Even if they’re children, declining would be a breach of contract, you know!?”
“Well… After hearing the details, if my daughters agree to it, I’ll do it. …Not that I’m condoning your behaviour as a swindler.”
“Indeed, indeed! Then, if we can just see to the matter of these ropes I can-”
There was an ominous sound, and the branch broke. It seems that it couldn’t support Canary’s weight as she thrashed around, and snapped.
Their surprised voices came out at the same time.
And with a massive splash, the Golden Witch who held the world’s economy in the palm of her hand plunged into the pot, showering hot water all over.
The witch stew having finally come together, it wasn’t until the next day that anyone saw the main ingredient that had run screaming from the pot.
And now Canary, who had completely restored her body to pristine condition without even a single burn using magic, stood in front of the adventurers in a jubilant mood, beer mug in hand.
“Ladies and Gentlemen! Let me extend my congratulations on your victory! This night exists to celebrate your spirit… So drink and make merry!”
She thrust the mug in the air, and the party began.
“To you, the honourable and brave warriors! To the Demonic White Sword that led the charge! To your future endeavours! Cheers~!!”
The other two prongs of the dragon king attacks had been repelled by the gatherings of superhuman like adventurers.
The adventurers who had received the news were throwing a party at the rented dining room of the Deficit House.
Although there were far fewer casualties than expected due to the world creation magic, that doesn’t mean there weren’t any.
Even if there are some people who were only lightly wounded still attending the feast, there are several who still haven’t regained consciousness because of the severity of their wounds, as well as those who didn’t return at all.
That’s why the adventurers celebrate. In the hopes that their noisy party might help to wake up those who are asleep.
That’s why the adventurers sing. In the hopes that their choruses and ballads of brave deeds might be heard by their fallen comrades in the afterlife.
“Now, it’s tomfoolery to throw a feast without beautiful girls to wait on our brave heroes. For today, yours truly went through A LOT OF TROUBLE to bring you these adorable servers~!”
Before the adventurers who had just toasted their victory, two young twins stepped out, looking like a pairing of an angel and a fairy.
Wearing sleeveless apron dresses with the skirt length reaching just a little above the knee and with thigh-high socks, long gloves that stretched to the elbow and high heels, Sophie and Tio, the daughters of that fearsome Demonic White Sword, looked more like waitresses than maids.
…However, their angry expressions didn’t suit the hospitality industry at all..
“Uu… You tricked us! You tricked us, didn’t you!? I can’t believe you actually tricked us with that serious atmosphere and hammy lines!”
“…I want you to return all of it, all of the worrying we did.”
The face of their mother who had come back home for the school visit and panicked when she saw them crying was still fresh in their minds.
But, a promise is a promise. Even if they’re very… Very unhappy about the circumstances, once you’ve made a promise, it’s your responsibility to see it done.
“Oh wow… Even though they’re just kids…!”
“I heard they were the same age as my sister… What is this weird feeling…”
“I want to have them sit on my knee as I pat their heads…”
“Mister will give you some pocket money if you like…”
Meanwhile, the adventurers who have no idea what’s going through their mind, get excited seeing the two beautiful young girls.
Those adventurers who suddenly awoke to something were the ones singing the girls’ praises the most.
…Although, the fact that the adventurers who said the last lines above got punched and kicked by people all around them is another story entirely.
“And, tonight’s leading star! The strongest swordswoman and the pride of our guild who defeated the dragon king! Through various circumstances, she will be serving everyone wearing a maid outfit! Give it up for the Demonic White Swooooooooooooooooord~!!”
The atmosphere in the room tensed up at Canary’s words, and everyone’s eyes looked to the entrance… But, Shirley did not appear.
As the adventurers looked confused, Canary ran to the entrance and poked her head around the door.
“Now now, you’re the leading role, you can’t stay back here forever!”
“Ah, Martha, don’t push me…! If I appear in public wearing this, I’ll have to live the rest of my life in shame…!”
“It’s fine! You look good!”
“T-that’s not the problem…!”
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“Ah, Canary-san! Even though she already got changed, this child is gettin’ all flustered about getting out there!”
“Hmm, what a troublesome girl. Well, an embarrassed maid is fine as well, come along!”
Not able to react to Canary’s teleportation magic in time, Shirley was suddenly thrown into the middle of the dining room as everyone looked at her.
“No…!? P-please don’t… look at me…!”
She’s wearing an apron dress that is the base for all maid outfits. But, the skirt she’s wearing is even shorter than her daughters’, so short she’s worried that people might be able to see her underwear.
Her exposed thighs are made even more seductive with the garter belt she’s wearing, and there’s a gap between the top and the skirt that shows off her white navel.
And most striking of all is that bountiful chest, with her cleavage exposed. That great mountain range that jiggles with even the slightest movement bewitched both men and women alike.
“Ma… Mamama… MAMA…!?”
“…What’s with that outfit.”
Trying to hold down the hem of her skirt with one hand and covering her breasts with the other, it was as if their mother had passed into a forbidden realm.
“T-this is…! This kind of clothing is… I’m not… Um… Ah…!”
What happened to that usual cool and determined attitude? This is what everyone thought as Shirley did her best to desperately defend her dignity, as her daughters watched on with cold eyes.
She had imagined wearing a traditional servant’s uniform that emphasized virtue and loyalty, but the reality was that Canary had custom ordered this risqué maid outfit just for her.
For someone who had been raised with the notion that exposing yourself in public is the height of vulgarity, even though she was forced into it the shame she’s feeling wearing these clothes is immense.
“W-what? Get a load of that chest…!”
“Oi, calm down! That’s still that unsociable sword demon, you know!?”
“Thirty with two children, my arse!”
“A semi-immortal teenage body with two cute daughters… Nice…”
As the usually horribly distant and cold woman suddenly shows this side of herself, even the women are charmed, and a strange sort of passion begins to overwhelm the room.
“Quit being such a shrinking violet! You have masters to serve, do you not~!?”
Shirley still refuses to stop trying to cover herself up, so Canary looked around the room.
And spied Kyle, the rookie adventurer whose eyes were glued to Shirley’s figure.
“Oi, Mister E-rank… Kyle, was it not? Come hither for a moment.”
“…Eh? Wait, me?”
Grinning as if she’s found a new toy, Canary forced Kyle to stand in front of the white-haired mother and daughters.
“Now, repeat what I taught you.”
“Eeh!? W-we have to say that!?”
“I knew it… it’s really embarrassing…”
Kyle tensed up, unsure of what exactly they were going to say, and then…
Sophie looked up with tearful embarrassed eyes, her hands crossed over her chest.
Meanwhile, Tio mumbled as she looked away with a slight blush on her face.
Despite Shirley stammering out the words with absolutely no conviction, and her face completely flush, Kyle was pierced through the heart.
Kyle was stuck on the spot, completely lost in a daze of happiness, until Canary kicked him in the rear and told him he was in the way.
…Not that he seems to care, he still seems to be lost in some happy place.
“Well then, what’s next? Falling to your knees and saying ‘Kyaa~♡’!? Or shall you make a heart shape with your hands over some food and say ‘My love spell will make it delicious, master♡~’!?”
“Y-you didn’t say anything about all that!?”
With a scraping of chairs, all the men rose to their feet at once with a cheer.
At Canary’s sudden proposal, Shirley blushed even harder and vigorously shook her head, whilst Sophie and Tio voiced their disapproval.
To do something most women would be ashamed to do for their lover, that was too high a hurdle for Shirley.
“Fuhahahahaha! Your resistance is futile! For the course of the night, I hold you in the palm of my hand! Now, my esteemed guests! Please enjoy the service of this lovely mother and daughters trio!”
As the adventurers (mostly men) jostled to try and form lines, someone’s hand grasped Canary hard by the shoulder.
“Eh, what is it!? We were just getting to the good part-”
“Looks like you’re having a lot of fun, Grandma?”
Although she might have said it with a smile, those eyes are anything but, and the face of the Golden Witch became pale with fear.
“I-impossible…!? S-shouldn’t you be back at the guild still…!?”
“Yes, it turns out there’s a lot of paperwork involved when someone suddenly teleports every single adventurer under B-Rank in the town somewhere, though I can’t deny I enjoyed seeing that balding branch chief squirm a bit… Regardless, after I finished work I had a bad premonition and came here. And what did I find…”
“Noooo!? U-unhand me!”
As you might have guessed from what she had called her, Yumina and Canary are relatives.
Even if she looks young, she’s really over a thousand years old, and she’s had many children and grandchildren across the years. As she grabbed the black horns that grew on the head of a person she could already call an ancestor by age alone, the receptionist dragged her into the corridor.
“C-cease and desist! W-what are you planning to do with me! D-don’t get violent with me, young lady! No wonder you have no sex appea- AHHH!?”
Bang. Rattle rattle rattle…
The black horn that was mercilessly snapped off rolled back into the dining room.
No one knew what really became of the strongest witch after she was dragged away by her distant descendant.
After that, the party went on without a hitch.
Cudd and Leia tried to compete in a drinking game with a dwarf and a giant warrior, and both collapsed at the same time.
As the two drunkards were placed in the corner to sleep it off, Sophie and Tio ran food from the kitchen to the customers.
Shirley made sure to project severe bloodlust towards anyone who stared at the twins just a little too long.
As Shirley kept an eye out for any potential perverts, the B-rank adventurer with the buster sword kept pestering her for drinks.
As for the garbage bag with a distinctive black horn sticking out of the side… Since Yumina was scary, no one dared mention it.
As the party began to quiet down, Shirley sighed as she leaned against the wall and looked around the dining room.
Even though she wasn’t doing this for money or merit, working as a waitress had tired her out a lot more than she thought it would.
That said, even though she had managed to calm herself about halfway through the night, she swore to herself to never wear anything like this again.
To wear such exposing clothes didn’t suit her at all… Well, the partygoers might have disagreed.
“Good work tonight, Shirley-san.”
Yumina leant up against the wall next to Shirley, a wine glass in her hand.
“Sorry, Grandma made you do something so horrible.”
“No… Because I agreed to this, my wish was granted as well. But…”
Shirley looked down at her clothes, then sighed and held her head.
“I didn’t think I’d have to go out in public with such exposing clothing…!”
“About that… I’m really sorry. I have to say though, it does suit you?”
“I’m too old for this kind of thing…!”
Although it’s hard to tell from just how popular Shirley was, that kind of daring clothing was more common amongst younger women.
If someone in their 30s wore things like that, they’d get comments like ‘Don’t overdo it’. No matter how youthful she may look, that’s not the point for her.
“Canary said the same thing.”
“Yep, and the other adventurers seemed positive as well, right?”
The conversation tailed off. It wasn’t from awkwardness, they just watched the hustle and bustle of the party for a while in silence.
“…I’m still a little curious about it.”
Unexpectedly, the one who broke the silence between the two was Shirley.
“Why did they agree to fight against an army led by dragons? It’s hard to imagine they’d come to a battlefield with such a low chance of survival, just for the sake of money.”
She had tried asking in a roundabout way during the party and everyone just said they did it for the money, but from the looks on their faces, Shirley thought they were hiding something.
Even though she knows the main motivation was probably the desire for fame from beating a dragon, Shirley still looked confused, so Yumina answered her with a little smile.
“Well, if I had to guess… I’m sure they just wanted to fight alongside you.”
At those words, Shirley looked stunned.
“What do you mean? I thought I had a bad reputation with the other adventurers?”
“That’s right. Shirley-san is always very unfriendly, and you caused a big ruckus when you first arrived ten years ago.”
As she said that, Yumina looked at the adventurers who were still singing and having fun.
“Even though you never cooperate with anyone, they all recognize your strength… Isn’t the nickname ‘The Demonic White Sword’ proof of that? Profit and pride, I’m sure those factored into it as well, but I bet there were a lot of people who couldn’t resist the opportunity to fight alongside such an amazing adventurer, right? Actually, I’m often asked if Shirley-san has submitted any party requests.”
There are a lot of people who can’t be honest with themselves, so they’d never actually ask her face to face.
Finishing her speech, Yumina polished off the last drop of wine in her glass and looked at Shirley.
“Well then, I think I’ll be going home. I have work tomorrow, after all.”
As the receptionist bid her farewell, Shirley absentmindedly looked at a group of adventurers playing with her daughters.
They were the only ones that mattered to her. She had convinced herself that she could never truly show interest in other people.
Even if someone did approach her, she always assumed they had ulterior motives, and out of fear for her daughters she never let anyone get close.
“That demon is finally gone… Ouch ouch ouch ouch… Oh, it’s you… Pardon my unsightly appearance.”
As she watched the adventurers she had previously had zero interest in before, Canary tore her way out of the trash can, her broken horn attached with glue.
“And? What are you staring at with such a vague visage, mm~?”
“Canary… I’ve been wanting to ask you for a while now.”
“What is it?”
“Why did you fulfill my wish by sending reinforcements, instead of just postponing the class visiting day?”
She was the principal benefactor of the school and on the board of directors, she had oversight when it came to the school’s administration. She would have saved a lot of money that way, so why didn’t she?
It doesn’t seem rational. Although she says she engineered the entire thing for her own pleasure, Canary is a witch that would not act without real reason.
If it was for some bigger picture, or even for some trifle, she doesn’t think Canary did it solely to have a night to poke fun at Shirley, or at least that’s what she thought after hearing that story from one of Canary’s descendants.
“There wasn’t really any grand scheme at play. It was just mere sentimentality. I just wanted to see such a spectacle… And to press you into an arbitrary whim of mine… I am simply being as selfish as ever.”
Canary flashed a grin.
“But, if you kept plotting that kind of course, you would eventually break down… So, I determined to intercede.”
“…Can I ask why?”
“How can you seek to raise healthy daughters, if you care not a whit about yourself?”
It was such an obvious thing.
Each and every day, she only ever worried about her daughters and their future, and in making them her reason to live she neglected to live for herself at all.
When it came time for Sophie and Tio to become independent, Shirley’s life would be utterly devoid of meaning.
“That’s why I did it. An empty husk standing alone on a ravaged battlefield, such a thing isn’t fun to play with at all.”
“Playing with people’s lives for your own amusement, huh…? You never really change.”
“Naturally. The one before you is the Golden Witch… There is nothing under heaven that I cannot meddle with to my satisfaction.”
The witch hasn’t changed since ancient times. She is egotistical and always causes inconvenience for people wherever she goes, but somehow her meddling always ends up helping people in the long run, and although some people see her as a scoundrel, others love her as a goddess of luck.
“Therefore, learn to enjoy your adventures, girl. Not just for yourself, but the joy of adventuring with friends. And, sometime in the future, find a new reason to go on living. Someone who isn’t happy themselves has no hope of raising happy children.”
“Well, having said all that, my main goal was still to see your ashamed and humiliated face in such a raunchy maid outfit! Hyahahahahaha!!”
“Please give back my improved impression of you.”
Somehow, she spoiled it straight away.
(But… That’s right. An adventurer is supposed to be such a person.)
She remembered back to the time where she was nothing but a weak girl.
She came from a society where love and hatred were hidden behind flattery and falsehood, and after she was betrayed and accused, those memories remained incredibly vivid and she found it hard to ever trust what people really said, fearing what darkness could lie in their hearts.
But, contrary to the aristocratic society where everyone’s true intentions were hidden behind masks of deceit, these rough and vulgar adventurers didn’t hold ugly motives behind sweet words, and always wore their hearts on their sleeves.
“Mama~! Martha-san is going to take a commemorative photo!”
“Yes, I’m coming.”
She stepped back into the party atmosphere.
Of course, whilst she doesn’t think she can get along with everyone suddenly, she might be able to treat people with a little less suspicion from now on. Those people who make no secret that their intentions are gold and glory, maybe it’s possible to trust them.
She won’t stop making her daughters her number one priority, that will never change… But, if at the end of requests from now on, there can be parties like this one that she can enjoy with her daughters…
…Then, maybe working as an adventurer isn’t too much of a hassle.
The adventurers noticed her and looked at each other with laughs and smiles.
That cold and blunt woman, a sword demon characterized by those fierce eyes that seemed to drill right through you, caught everyone’s eye as she smiled back.
“I’m going to get changed, so can you wait just a little while?”
” “…No.” ”
The first volume (Adventurer) is finished! I actually really like working on this series when it’s less focused on fighting monsters, though that’s probably because I’m awful at translating battle scenes in a way that keeps them interesting to read.
Also, what good timing, the cover for the published version of volume one came out today. Hopefully, they’ll do the rest. I actually ordered a copy, I need those
Volume 2 is called ‘The Empire’s Just Deserts’. Thanks for reading this far.