Reclaiming their Peace
After applying a gauze, Shirley wrapped a bandage around the scar on Kyle’s forehead.
“Ow ow ow…”
“I’m sorry, did that hurt…?”
“I-I’m fine. It only hurt a little, I can deal with it.”
After everything had happened, Shirley had brought Kyle back to her room at the Deficit House and was helping him with his wounds to show how thankful she was for risking his life for her daughters.
With those two eyes shining like gems set in a beautiful face, her scent wafted through his nose and straight into his brain, making him feel drunk on the atmosphere.
“And that should… do it.”
“Ah, t-thank you very much.”
When Shirley finished putting on his bandage Kyle felt a strange mixture of relief and disappointment that it was over, but as he was struggling with this internal conflict, Shirley came closer.
“I really am truly grateful, Kyle. It’s because of you that my daughters are safe.”
“That’s… No, it’s fine. Shirley-san saved my life before, so it was only right that I…”
“I really am indebted to you… So…”
He heard the rustling of clothes. When he raised his eyes thinking something was wrong, he was shocked when he saw that Shirley had pulled down the top of her dress to expose her back and collarbone.
“Kyle… Can you accept this as thanks…?”
“N-N-N-Nooo way! Uh, I mean, if anything I should be thanking you! But, wait, isn’t this a bit too early…!?”
Shirley leaned into Kyle’s chest with the face of a woman deeply in love. It was in that moment when it seemed like that bountiful chest of hers might be exposed――――
“Oh, you awoke from your pleasant dreams?”
“Kill me! Just let me die!”
Whilst Shirley was having a heart-to-heart with her daughters, Canary had been peeping on Kyle’s dreams, the poor boy now curling up in a ball out of shame on the couch.
Kyle had eventually fainted from exhaustion and had been carried back to the guild where he was quickly given treatment and allowed to rest on a sofa, but… When he tried to wake up, he was in such a state.
After having such a lustful dream about the woman who had both saved his life and was the object of his yearning, the sneering face looking down on him when he opened his eyes had shattered the boy’s adolescent heart in embarrassment.
“Even if you look like a bit of a dull boy, I guess you really are a man after all. It’s a healthy thing, no?”
“Wai-!? Where are you looking as you say that!?”
For some reason, Kyle felt her gaze wandering to the lower part of his body and he tried to cover himself up with his hands.
“I-I can’t help what happens in my dreams! It’s not my fault!”
“Have you heard this theory? That dreams reflect the true desires of the dreamer, hm~?”
“Is it really that much fun to mess with me!?”
Even if it’s just a dream, to do that with the person who he owes so much… Kyle knows he’s still much too young to even think about it.
As that happy and embarrassing scene turned into pure self-loathing after waking up, Canary childishly laughed at the boy’s immaturity.
Reacting with an expression like that after peering into his very heart, she truly was viciously wicked.
“Aren’t you ashamed~? Aren’t you embarrassed thinking such things about your saviour~? Oh, where has my cake gone? Chef, cake! Bring me another chocolate cake!”
“Are you seriously going to eat cake as you laugh at me!?”
He began to understand why a lot of people in the guild, including Shirley, were uncomfortable around Canary.
She must have already been aware of the feelings Kyle secretly held for Shirley. Despite this, she had laid into him mercilessly without any regard for his feelings, such a cruel old woman. And what’s more, his boss.
“Kahahaha! It must have been so frustrating to have to wake up at the good part, just when Shirley was about to make your dream come trUEAGIBIGIBIGA!?”
“Uwaaaaaaah!? W-what’s wrong!?”
As soon as she took a bite of the chocolate cake that had been brought in, she fell to the floor with a strange cry and after writhing about a bit was completely still.
As Kyle wondered if he had just seen the guild master get poisoned, Yumina entered the room.
“Oh, don’t worry. I just put a little bit of anti-grandma hot sauce in the cake.”
“This person has an amazing sweet tooth, but she’s so bad at dealing with spice that it makes her faint. If you’re ever in a crisis like that, you can repel her with a chilli.”
The receptionist who had a cold smile plastered on her face grabbed Canary by the horn and started to drag her away.
“I can’t believe you ate the cake I was looking forward to…! Today’s the day that I…”
Her disturbing mutterings trailed off as she disappeared towards the back of the guild. Isn’t that where the incinerator is… Kyle tried to push the thought out of his mind.
He’d heard the story that the guild receptionist and the guild master were related so she wouldn’t go that far against a family member, right?
“Hm? That’s right, whose coat is this anyway?”
Ignoring the screaming he could hear in the distance, Kyle wondered about the coat that had been placed under his head instead of a pillow, something that looks too small to belong to a man.
For some reason, it smelt strangely good. When Yumina re-entered the room with a refreshed look on her face, Kyle asked her about it.
“Um, do you know who this belongs to?”
“Ah, that’s Shirley-san’s jacket. Since she still wants to do something to thank you for what you did, she said you can return it then.”
Kyle understood just what the source of his dream was now.
“Kukuku… Are you planning on having some leisure time with that tonight?”
Kyle turned around in shock as Canary suddenly appeared behind him, covered head to foot in soot. He pretended not to hear Yumina say “Oh, so you’re still alive?”
“I understand, I truly do understand, you know? Puberty is something everyone goes through… So you should enjoy it to your heart’s content. You can rest assured that I shall convey your heartfelt feelings to Shirley for you.”
“Do you really want me to take you out back again?”
Despite the threat, Canary can’t help but stick her nose into the poor boy’s love life with a gentle expression, as if she knows everything on his mind.
Seeing her roll around on the floor screaming about hot sauce had made him forget that he was actually face to face with the guild master, when he realized it he got flustered all over again and quickly changed the topic.
“A-anyways, when we were attacked by the kidnappers Tio did something with a pocket watch, then Shirley suddenly appeared! What was that!?”
“Ehh~? You want to hear it? You want to hear all about my great and powerful sorcery?”
He was a bit reluctant after Canary fluttered her eyelashes at him, but Kyle pressed on anyway.
“I-I want to know! I want to know the great power of the guild master!”
“Well if you put it like that… I suppose I’ll have to indulge you just a little bit?”
Apparently, she’s weak to flattery as well as spicy food. The young adventurer learned something else about the Golden Witch.
“That was the first magical tool I endowed Shirley with after she won the annual special prize. It consists of three pocket watches. The first two belong to her daughters and will transmit a magical signal at the press of a button, the third belongs to Shirley and will make a noise if it has been activated, it also has the capacity to transport her using my own special brand of spatial magic. Moreover, it can even teleport back to the original spot once the task is complete, meaning she has no excuses for not finishing requests! This was the first thing she asked me for, a magical tool that acts as a security alarm for her daughters, what a ridiculously silly parent, no?”
Canary boasted about the magic tool she had given to Shirley. Feeling a little dizzy after the explanation of a magical tool far beyond his level of understanding, a new question popped up in his head.
“Annual special prize…? What’s that?”
“At the end of the year, a reward is given to the adventurer who completed the most requests.”
Yumina spoke as if she’s had to explain this as part of her job a hundred times before, entering the conversation as she brought in fresh tea.
“The judgement is usually based on some guild politics, but whoever wins is always awarded a magic tool built by the guild master herself.”
“Oh… Then, by any chance, has…”
“Yes, Shirley-san has won the special prize three times already!”
“Woah… I didn’t really understand the politics part, but I guess that means she’s amazing! Shirley-san really is a top adventurer after all.”
“If anything, the fact that Shirley-san is able to ever beat out those favoured S-Rank adventurers for the top prize when she puts more effort into child-care than adventuring is incredible.”
Even though it wasn’t about him, for some reason Kyle felt a strange sense of pride. The person he admired so much really was the greatest.
(But… In the end, I don’t know anything about her…)
If anything, this whole case has only made her more mysterious. If the twins, who he thought were just normal people, were actually Imperial princesses… Then just who was their mother, Shirley?
He’s curious. He’s curious, but… Kyle didn’t have the courage to press her for an answer. Privacy, delicacy, there were plenty of reasons why he would hesitate to pry. If he was pushed away because he asked when he really had no business asking, then the pain he would feel would be nothing compared to Canary’s taunting.
Besides, no matter what the truth may be, Kyle doesn’t think his feelings for Shirley will ever change.
So, it doesn’t matter if he’s kept in the dark… If he wants to know, he’ll wait for the day when Shirley will tell him herself.
After midnight as the city lay quiet, three people lay together in a bed at the Deficit House, mother and daughters.
They usually sleep in their separate rooms… Although they do sometimes sleep in the same bed, that’s usually Sophie and Tio sneaking into her room late at night, this time they shared the bed from the beginning.
Tio muttered, her face slightly flushed. Since Shirley didn’t think that slim nightwear for summer was becoming of young girls… The only pyjamas they had were sleepwear that looked like it was designed for old men, with pants down to their ankles and full sleeves.
Gently tugging at the collar, she tried to fan some air onto her skin that was covered in sweat.
“Didn’t I say so? It’s going to be even worse in the summer, so you two need to stop creeping into my bed.”
“Uuu… But it should be fine, just for today…”
Sophie, whose sleepwear is white and frilled with cute laces and ribbons on the fabric hugged Shirley, who was wearing a simple design like Tio, tightly around her waist.
Probably because they had come so close to being separated from their mother by the hand of the Empire today, they wanted to sleep in the same bed, even if it meant sweating a little.
Shirley herself is feeling a little overheated having both her children on either side of her, but it’s not unbearable. Rather, she’s happy to ignore her own parenting ideas of raising independent children to indulge her girls, just for tonight.
(Besides, it’s not like we can do this kind of thing forever.)
All children grow up. And if that’s the case, it’s this mother’s wish to pamper her girls as much as she can whilst they’ll let her.
“Mum… Are you awake?”
“…Yes, I’m awake. Did something happen?”
“Those people from the Empire, will they come again?”
Sophie on the other side of the bed also seemed to react when she heard Tio’s words. They have some idea of just how serious the situation is and that if the Empire isn’t going to give up on taking them, more things like today’s events happening again has to be inevitable.
The Empire is unmistakably a mighty power to reckon with. Even if the country might not be wholly united because of Philia, if it’s an issue of succession they won’t easily give up, even if it means conflict with the Kingdom.
“They probably will come. But, even if they do, I’ll just repu――――”
“No, mama, that’s not it.”
The blue eyes that seemed to shine through the darkness and the red eyes on the other side both looked at Shirley.
“We talked a little bit when mama was making dinner. About what we should do from now on.”
“Mm. It was really hard to understand everything since it’s so complicated, but there’s just one thing we need to say.”
Sophie and Tio took a deep breath.
” “Because we want to adventure together with mum, we’ll never be princesses.” ”
That dream that hadn’t yet taken shape, those two hadn’t given up on it. Seeing the beauty of the world with their mother who has had to struggle through so much for them and still does every day, that’s their dream.
“I know that you said that sometimes adults have to ignore what another person wants, but isn’t what the Empire is doing too much?”
“Then, we have to tell them ourselves that we want to stay here… I don’t really know how to say it, but it feels creepy not knowing why they want to take us back.”
Just a little bit… Her tear ducts watered. Who could have ever thought that the girls whose tiny hands ten years ago had gripped the finger of a demon who was set to die in an inferno of revenge, would now seek to stand up to that same country despite all of its power and influence?
It must have been so scary being surrounded by those men… Even if she’s proud to see how they’ve grown, she also feels a tinge of sadness…
(But if the two of them have already decided… Then I have to do everything I can.)
Shirley hugged the twins tightly as if to make sure they were still there beside her. She remembered the time when they were still in the womb.
Their warmth… Their heartbeat… When she hugs them both like this, it’s as if nothing had ever changed.
Sophie and Tio were a little surprised by the sudden embrace, but they smiled and hugged her back.
Later, feeling the heat, Sophie awoke to find a mountain range pressed against her face… She sprang up and looked at Shirley’s chest.
“That’s right, mama!? Why is it that you’ve already bought a bra for Tio!? When is it my turn to grow!?”
“HUH!? KOFF KOFF!”
Shirley choked at the sudden topic. She was worried about them talking about their chests in the middle of the hallway before, but it seems like it’s still on Sophie’s mind.
“W-what is this all of a sudden? It’s not like you’re growing late, Tio is just growing a little earlier than most girls…?”
“T-that might be it… You didn’t secretly teach Tio the secret of big boobs though, did you?”
“No, I wouldn’t do that even if something like that existe-… Huh? Did you want your own bra?”
“I-I’m not begging you or anything!? It’s just… The bras at the shop looked so adult…”
The physical checks Shirley can do with her eyes are perfect. Would Sophie’s small chest really fit the underwear she had her eyes on at the shop?
…In other words, if the bras sold at that shop barely had sizes small enough to accommodate Tio’s growing chest, the less said about Sophie the better.
“Mm. It’s only normal that there should be differences between adults and children. I told you before that you shouldn’t be impatient. Sophie’s time will have to come some day.”
“A-Are you making fun of me!? Getting so high and mighty just because you’re wearing a bra!?”
Sophie and Tio started fighting in the bed, squishing their mother between them. She’s never really cared much about breast size, but Tio is probably right that Sophie’s will eventually grow, although she seems to be dissatisfied that she was beaten to the punch as someone who prides herself as the older sister.
There’s another type of bra called a corrective bra. If Sophie is so worried about it, Shirley seriously considered whether or not she should ask Canary to make a magical bra after winning this year’s special prize.
So, two bits of housekeeping: First up, you can read what the plans for MotoMusu (and other series) over the holidays are here.
Second, my copy of Volume I arrived.
Yep, they’re making another volume release and it’s due out in Spring 2019, so that’s cool. Most web novel series don’t get a second volume, especially not announced straight away, so it’s nice to see.