The Appearance of a Demon [Part 2]
“If you were going to say that, then you should’ve just returned alone, y’know, Oliver?”
Leonard spoke to Oliver while tasting the freeze-dried miso soup sample Emma had made.
“You think I can just confidently return on my own?! People would think I fled because I wasn’t used to Imperial Japan and couldn’t stand staying here!”
“…Um, well, it’s alright for you to go home if it’s tough.”
George patted Oliver on the shoulder.
He had visibly lost a lot of weight in the two months since he had arrived in Imperial Japan.
The people around him were all Imperial Japanese people, who he couldn’t communicate with.
Oliver had been all worked up thinking that if the Stuart family could speak Imperial Japanese, then he had to be able to learn it too, sooner or later.
However, reality was harsh.
No matter how long he stayed in Imperial Japan, no matter how many locals he was surrounded by, or how much he listened to Imperial Japanese, he was nowhere near understanding the language.
He couldn’t remember a single word.
“And here I’m asking, just why won’t you go back?!”
Oliver, who missed the royal capital very much, was feeling homesick.
“The unfamiliar food (although it doesn’t taste bad), the strange habit of taking off shoes when indoors, the loud shoki shoki creature that appears night after night, or the fear of monsters appearing because this country’s land is smaller than the Kingdom… Don’t you ever feel bothered by any of this?!”
All of Oliver’s pent-up frustration exploded at once.
He hadn’t done anything in particular since coming to Imperial Japan though.
“But Imperial Japan’s rice… is extraordinarily delicious.
Don’t you agree?”
William replied to Oliver while puckering his mouth from the sourness of the pickled plum onigiri.
“Eh? I personally think taking off our shoes is more hygienic though…”
Melsa answered while reaching out for her second serving of onigiri.
“ “Monsters being nearby is completely normal, isn’t it?” ”
Leonard and George responded as they began to munch on their third serving of onigiri.
“W-What’s up with this insensitive family?! Oi! Merchant boy?! You wanna go home too, don’t you?! You often take part in the social season, right?! Is this the time to be idling away in Imperial Japan?”
Because Oliver couldn’t get through to the Stuart family, who had been living a much more leisurely life here than in the royal capital, he directed his questions at Joshua.
“…Eh? Hmm, you might say it’s because I knew beforehand that the Empire’s cotton this year would be of the worst quality, and with a steep rise in prices at that… Moreover, we would have suffered a heavy loss if the Empire had asked us to hand over silk in the name of ‘bartering’… With these circumstances in mind, I think it was right for Oliver-sama to be absent from the royal capital this time… That said, I’ll be happy wherever I am as long as I am by Emma-sama‘s side,” answered Joshua, who was camping on the position right next to Emma cheekily.
Now that his rival (read: the prince) was not here, it was his chance to press home his advantage.
“Uncle Oliver… could you tell me more about the shoki shoki you spoke of?”
Being completely oblivious to Joshua’s loving words, Emma showed interest in the thing Oliver had complained about.
Even after Over was defeated, the Imperial Japanese citizens still remained in Edo.
Most of the houses had collapsed due to Over‘s seeds, and it was easier to prepare and distribute food and the like if the citizens were gathered in one city.
As expected, after seeing the Emperor and the Shogun’s reaction to the tailless whip scorpions and the cats, they couldn’t reveal the appearance of their ‘saviors’ to the Imperial Japanese people.
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