Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu! Support the Translators and Editors!
16. We Had a Conversation
Just to make things clear, it was not like Seiichirou lacked experience with love. He had girlfriends before, and he was no virgin. Though, those partners had always departed with the ever cliché, “What’s more important, your job or me?” Therefore, he knew that his current relationship with Aresh was strange, no matter how different this world may have seemed.
In the first place, this connection had only come about through a lifesaving act. He thought the fact that Aresh had been overly concerned with Seichiirou’s health and its management was either some kind of atonement for abducting him from his own world or that the captain was a big softie…
But perhaps it was just in his nature to not leave things well enough alone once he picked them up.
That did not, however, explain the kiss yesterday.
Seiichirou had tried to get his hands on more nutritional supplements, but maybe it was better to just let certain discomforts be.
Aresh had gone out of his way to treat Seiichirou with a healing spell and suppressed the subsequent “mana intoxication” caused by the knight’s magic with a kiss. Such an act was usually only reserved for your lover or a chosen partner.
They had already had sex, so did this not count then? Or was it more like something you would do to a pet?
The knight captain’s true intentions were undecipherable, but, even for Seiichirou, Aresh was someone he could not ignore. It was no exaggeration to say that Seiichirou’s life was literally in his hands, as he was the only one who seemed to care about Seiichirou’s health.
On top of that, Aresh held such an important position in this country. Be it either his work or his status, Seichiirou could not disrespect the man.
Finding the name “Third Knight’s Order” on top of the document he picked up, Seiichirou let out a long-suffering sigh.
Damage caused by miasma in the Forest of Magic, though slow, was progressing, but dispatching the Saint to deal with it was still a long way off.
It was quite difficult to try and calculate the budget as it was unknown whether the Saint’s “purification” would resolve everything in one go or not. Seiichirou was not very well informed about this country still.
Everything, including the ongoing matter with Aresh, could only be considered thoroughly after gathering more information.
For the time being, Seiichirou tossed the Third Knight’s Order’s incessant appeal for another large reimbursement in the rejection pile and moved on to the next document. If he didn’t hurry, he would be taken to the cafeteria for another mid-work lunch break before he could finish.
Seiichirou, who had been concentrating single-mindedly on his work, did not even notice the buzz that was spreading through the accounting department. He only looked up when Norbert tapped him on the shoulder, hard.
“Accounting Department Vice-Director Kondoh, His Excellency, the Prime Minister, is calling for you. Come.”
Why don’t the big-wigs of this country make appointments in advance like everyone else…?
“Sorry for calling you away while you were working.”
Yes, well, if you knew that, then don’t call for me, Seiichirou thought. But, of course, he put on a smile and said instead, “It’s fine.” A working man was often in the habit of swallowing his words.
The room he was brought to was not the Prime Minister’s office but a parlour of sorts. Facing one another from the opposite sides of a rectangular antique desk, Seiichirou was offered a cup of tea that he sipped slowly to calm himself.
Although Seiichirou had been abducted from another world, it was unusual to meet with the Prime Minister, the head of this country’s national affairs, this way.
This is the second time I’ve spoken to him face to face; the last time was when he forced me to take the managerial position in accounting. Maybe I’ve been recognised because of my hard work, Seiichirou thought.
No matter the reason, Seiichirou was distinctly aware that he was an outsider here. Perhaps it might have been reported that he talked to the Saint, Shiraishi Yua, about the drawbacks of being summoned to aid this foreign country. Aresh had told him that the Prime Minister was watching him.
Suddenly being summoned by such a person and left alone with him, albeit with secretaries and people who looked like guards in the room…taking all of that into account, it was impossible not to be on high alert.
Seiichirou had no intention of dying in vain, but more importantly, he didn’t want to lose his current job.
“How are you feeling?”
His back straightened; Seiichirou was unable to respond properly to the Prime Minister…Kamil’s words. Quickly, he came to his senses, figuring that it was nothing more than a standard greeting and replied, “I’m doing well.”
“I was concerned when I heard rumours that you had been taken to the infirmary.”
“I was only a little sick, but I’m fine now.”
It wasn’t a lie that he was doing better at the moment.
“Well, that’s good then. You are our guest summoned from another world, after all. If there is ever any inconvenience, please let me know.”
It seemed that the prime minister already knew his kingdom’s air was toxic, the food potentially poisonous, and that if Seiichirou ingested too much, he would die. Seiichirou made sure to plaster a smile on in reply.
“I’m not worthy of such words. You’ve all been very good to me, so I’m more than fine.”
“Well, that’s good to know. By the way, I have some things I wish to ask about the budget proposal you prepared for me the other day.”
Blue grey eyes narrowed, as if to say the previous conversation was over. Those were just words said for politeness’ sake after all.
As Seichiirou answered questions with all the applicable knowledge he possessed, he was secretly relieved to discover that this meeting was only about work. If anything involved work-related matters, then it couldn’t be helped that he was called on with such short notice.
“Hmm… As I thought, your way of thinking is very interesting. I cannot deny that I lack knowledge as far as budgeting is concerned, but it can’t be helped.”
“I’m sorry, there are too many things in this world that are unknown to me. I’m still learning.”
“No, it’s fine. I think you’re learning quite well even as you work.”
But of course. As an accountant, it was no good if one was unaware of the standards in the world, of this country. On days when Seiichirou didn’t have a lot of paperwork to take home, or when he had a day off, he spent all of his time acquiring knowledge about this world. I’ve always listened to Aresh and Norbert talk over meals. I consider it a part of my job as well, he thought.
“By the way, you haven’t asked about the Saint at all, have you?”
I was completely in work mode, only focused on working hard, Seiichirou panicked. That caught me entirely off guard. He felt tea go down the wrong pipe and let out a high-pitched squeak.
“You both came to this world together, and I hear that you were quite worried about her, that you gave her some advice. Don’t you care to know how she’s been doing since?”
Kamil asked him the question with a calm demeanor, so it had Seiichirou convinced that what transpired between him and Yua had been reported to the highest official. The prime minister waited for Seiichirou’s answer with an expression that seemed to promise reprimand for needlessly talking to this country’s most valuable person, the Saint. From Seiichirou’s point of view and based on what he knew of the man, he could tell that Kamil was not going to be a straightforward opponent.
Depending on the answer given, Seiichirou realized he might be forced to leave his job or, in the worst case scenario, be executed for insolence. After carefully considering what to say, Seiichirou let out a breath.
“What would you do, Your Excellency, if you were forced to go to a strange land, not of your own free will, and there was a child from your hometown that you had never met before?”
The corners of Kamil’s eyes twitched in response to Seiichirou’s question, but his expression remained unchanged. He answered without pointing out the fact that Seiichirou had addressed him directly.
“I might try to protect them if I could afford to.”
As Seiichirou had expected, Kamil was the same sort of person as himself.
“That’s right. That’s all she means to me. She’s someone that has to be protected, but that is only if I can afford to do so. Besides, she was the one they were searching for. The kingdom protects her better than anything I could’ve done myself as a mere human being.”
Yua was a minor. If they were in Japan, there would have been no question that she was a person who required protection. So, as the closest adult figure to her in this world, Seiichirou felt obligated to be the one who took care of her.
However, there was very little Seiichirou could actually do for Yua now. She was the Saint of this world who had been spirited away and was being treated with the utmost care, albeit for the sake of her mission.
Even though he had warned her to think and act in her own self interests—to grow a greater sense of independence—since this shift in environment here, she did not understand. Seiichirou did not even know her well enough to try and make her either.
I can’t be bothered to think about anything other than work, he reasoned, so I answered honestly without thinking things through. This sudden silence now is proof that it was a bad idea to say anything at all.
In spite of Seiichirou’s worries, Kamil had no issue defusing the tension between them.
I feel a little creeped out by the way this esteemed-looking man has his hand over his mouth and his shoulders shaking, but it doesn’t seem like such a bad development, Seiichirou placated himself.
“Yes, I like that rationality and cunningness of yours.”
Cunning? That’s rude, is what Seiichirou thought, but well, he knew that his behaviour towards a superior might call for such a label.
“Kondoh, what was your first name again?”
“Sei…chiro…? The names from your country are so hard to pronounce.”
That’s rich coming from someone who has miasma filling the air of their country, Seiichirou thought but didn’t voice out loud. Nevertheless, he knew that pronunciation was based on ethnic characteristics and had its own set of pros and cons.
“Sei…Seiichirou, yes, I think I’ve got it now.”
It appeared that exceptional people did indeed have minds like a steel trap.
“Talking with you was quite worthwhile, I think. I’ll call on you again if I need anything in the future.”
He felt like he was being told to prepare himself in advance, but Seiichirou was never reluctant when it came to working. He, too, thought that his conversation with the head of this country had been worthwhile as well.
Seiichirou thanked him, left the room, and returned to his desk in the accounting department. It was now the Hour of Fire; he figured that Norbert and the others would have told Aresh that he had been called by the Prime Minister and so the captain did not stop by. There was no need for Seiichirou to force himself down to the cafeteria then.
He’d had tea and thought he’d be okay to skip lunch, so Seiichirou grabbed some paperwork in the deserted accounting office and got back to work. But, of course, when Aresh came to pick him up after work, he scolded Seiichirou severely. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the tea I drank in the Prime Minister’s office ended up giving me a stomachache, he groused internally.
“The process of making tea leaves in this country incorporates mana and uses magic. Don’t drink anything other than what I’ve specified is safe for you,” Aresh chided him again.
I can’t even drink tea freely, Seiichirou sighed to himself as Aresh stroked his stomach and kissed him once again.
Buy Kuromaru a Coffee!
When talking about work, love and romance are pushed to the furthest corners of my mind.
His Excellency, the Prime Minister, and Seiichirou seem to be kindred spirits in that they are both rational workaholics.