Chapter 32

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A week later, after the dinner ban had been lifted, Fii once again came to the 18th Division's meeting place.

When she entered, Conrad-san was there, as expected.
After exchanging greetings as usual, he made some tea for her. Today's was chamomile. It was calming, and just a little sweet, so it really made her relax somehow.

While she was enjoying it, Conrad spoke from the seat opposite her:

"Today you'll be going on a mission with me, so let's get along, Heath-chan!"

before giving her a wink.

"Eh...?"

Fii was dumbfounded.
Conrad gave her an unreadable smile in return, and after resting his head in his palms, as the table supported his elbows, he looked up at Fii.

"Goodness, you're so mean, Heath-chan. It's almost as though your expression is saying―――I never expected the words 'mission' to come out of this guy's mouth―――or something like that. Why, that makes me sound like a chronic laze-about or something."

(He read my thoughts!?)

Fii felt goosebumps rise on her back.

"I-, I'm sorry. But, it's because you're always here when I come."

"That's because I wanted to have tea with you, you see~"

Seeing Conrad's sweet smile, Fii thought to herself that perhaps he really was just a laze-about.
Even Crow who always looked after Fii would sometimes be out helping other divisions, but Conrad could win a reward for perfect attendance.

"So, what is this mission then?"

"Aah, we're just going to head out to town for a little. There's still some tea left, so let's enjoy the tea first."

The whole conversation lacked any of the suspense you would expect from two people about to head off on a mission.

(Are we going to buy groceries or something...?)

Even though it should have been impossible, for some reason Fii felt it possible instead.

After the two finished leisurely drinking the tea, they headed out the castle gate.
The centre of town was filled with orderly stone buildings, but Conrad took Fii somewhere a little further out, where the stone was replaced by wood.
And unlike the lower city parts that she and the other apprentices would go shopping in, this place gave off a somewhat dangerous atmosphere.

Fii couldn't help but look left and right restlessly. Seeing this, Conrad chuckled and warned,

"You shouldn't look so restless. You'll attract somebody dangerous, you know."

Having been told that, Fii stopped it.
Apparently it really was a dangerous place.

In the end, they arrived at a worn-down inn.
It was a two-story wooden building, but parts of the walls were modified here and there, and it gave off a deserted feeling. And rightfully so, because there was no sign of anybody at all.

When they entered, there was an old person sitting at the counter.
They were visibly blind. Without saying a word, Conrad simply placed gold on the counter, and headed further in.

(Uwahh!)

It was a huge amount of money, unthinkable for a stay at an inn.
It was three times larger than her monthly salary as an apprentice knight.

As for the old person, they simply accepted the money silently.

Fii also realised that it wasn't the right place to talk, so she followed Conrad in without a sound.

After climbing up the stairs, there were roughly six rooms on the second floor. As usual, there were no signs of life.
Conrad suddenly handed some clothing to her.

It was a butler outfit, sized for a young boy.
A white shirt and vest, with a black tie, and black pants. There was no jacket.

"Change in this room. I'll be changing too."

Conrad indicated one of the rooms, before heading into the neighbouring one.

(What's going on...)

Fii didn't really understand, but when she began to change, she realised that the clothing fit her perfectly.
Naturally, she was left in wonder.

But since thinking about it would yield no answers, she left the room.
Conrad wasn't done yet.
But it didn't take long until the door to his room opened.

And a peerless beauty appeared.

Long, striking red hair, and large almond eyes, adorned with long lashes. Skin, white like china, with just a single dash of red, made her face a work of art.
By her mouth, she held a folding fan, feathered and luxurious.
The dress which opened daringly at her breast, enveloped her slender, but full body, and the charm that she exuded caused even Fii's female heart to pound.

Above all, she was giving off an incredibly nice smell.
Fii unconsciously sniffed.

After Fii had had her fill of being charmed by the bewitching beauty, the beauty snapped the fan shut, and spoke.

"I've kept you waiting, Heath-chan."

It was Conrad-san's voice...

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