complicated guy.
I'm not so lucky.”


 The peddler sighs deeply as he receives the payment, which is a bargain compared to the quality in the technical sense, regardless of the material of the goods, and starts to gather up the goods from the stalls to leave the market.


 ”Well, even though I just met you, you're going to have to work hard, too.
It looks like you're going through a hard time…
but you'd better get on with your life, okay?”

 ”……? What is that…”


 The peddler is half in disgust and half in sympathy as he puts his goods on the horse parked beside him.
I felt something indescribably wrong with the nuance of his expression, but I didn't have time to ask him about it.
Before I could speak to him, a girl who had come close to me was grabbing the sleeve of my clothes with a dissatisfied expression on her face.



 ”Call me Gonbei.”

 ”I called out to you, but you ignored me.”


 Kayo replies with a truly grumpy attitude.
Well, I remember she called me several times.
So, I guess she was sulking because she was the only one left out of the group.


 ”…please forgive me, Yuzu.”

 ”It's Kayo.”

 ”…yes, Miss Kayo.
Forgive me.”

 ”It's 'Kayo'.”

 ”…Kayo, please forgive me.”


 I reply reverently, but Kayo's expression turns grimmer.
No, I don't know what's wrong with her anymore.


 'Think back.
Before talking to the peddler, what did the girl say to you?'


 The bee shikigami gives me sighing advice in my ear, but unfortunately, I forget what she said to me just before, so I can't give her an answer.


 Kayo, perhaps sensing my confusion, gave me a sultry look, thought about something, let out a sigh, and then presented it to me in a reluctant manner.


 ”What happened?”

 ”Don't you recognize it? It's the hairpin that Gonbei-san just bought.”

 ”Yes, and that's…?”

 ”Actually, there was another one that looked good, too.”


 …I think I understand the reason for her moody mood.


 Come to think of it, Kayo was showing me off first.
I guess she had a few items she liked and wanted to buy them after she tried them on and got my third-party opinion.
If I ignored her questions about whether or not they looked good on her, ignored her repeated calls to me by name, and then bought them on my own, she might have been displeased.


 'Maybe, is not the word.
I am sure she would be.
Anyone would be displeased if they are disrespected.
Especially in this case.'


 A bee shikigami poking me invisibly in the ear.
Stop it, it hurts.


 ”Gonbei-san, haven’t you said it to me? You said you'd keep me satisfied.”


 If I said, “I'm afraid I'm not that sure,” she'd be offended…
So, I guess the best thing to do here is to apologize.
Even if there are things I want to say, sometimes it's best to be honest, without making excuses.


 ”…please forgive me.
I will make up for it in the future, so please accept this kind treatment.”

 ”Tomobe-san, do you think you can get forgiveness if you apologize?”

 ”That's all I can do.”


 If all I had to do was apologize, there would be no need for the police.
But this time, I'm not going to call the police.


you don't seem to be putting up much of a fight.
It's hard to do if you apologize so frankly and without hesitation!”


 The girl puffs out her cheeks and sulks.


 ”I can't fight with you, and I don't want to.
Is it different for you, Yuzu?”


different, but…
I understand.
Then, please make up for the loss of my favorability, okay?”


 Kayo ordered me, though she was a little dissatisfied.
At the same time, I offered her the hair ornament I had just bought.


 ”What is this?”

 ”Please put it on anyway.
Don't you want to?”



 Since the girl was responding to my sincerity, it was not a good idea to make things worse by refusing to wear it.
I follow the order and put the hair ornament I received on her golden hair.


 ”Hehehe, does it look good on me?”

The color combination is not bad.”


 The combination of yellow and blue colors originally make each other look good color-wise.
The color of her hair and the polka dots in the shape of flowers go well with each other.


 ”That's good.
Then, let's go!”


 With a shove, Kayo tugs on my hand.
And then she says.


 ”Now, I'll tell you where we're going! There's a place I've always wanted to visit.
Is that okay?”


 The girl asked with a tilt of her head, prettily, with attitude, and with nonchalance.
Of course, I had no choice, and even more so after what had just happened, so I…


as you wish.”


 There seemed to be no other choice but to accept the princess's words with the same reverence as a knight of the west, just as I did before…


* * *


 ”…so this is the place you've been wanting to visit?”


 The merchant young lady pulled me by the hand and took me into a bookstore.
It was an ordinary bookstore in a corner of the capital…
but I had seen this place in the original game.


 As I recall, depending on the level of likability and the progress of the game, some characters would appear here, and small events would occur that had little to do with the main story.
In the front, it is an ordinary bookstore, and in the back, it is a place that sells and rents books that are odd and strange in a bad way, frequented even by nobles on a secret trip.


 ”So? What brings you to this place?

 ”I overheard the maids talking before.
Father and Otsuru (the old servant) don't let me read books so freely.


 Kayo puts her not-so-big hands together and smiles at me.
It's a mock begging pose.


 ”There are some stories I've been wanting to read.
Could you help me find them?”

 ”…I can't take the responsibility, you know?”

 ”Oh, so, you can read?”

 ”…to some extent.”

 ”Hehehe, I'm glad to hear that.”


 Kayo's words made me realize that I had dug my own grave.
She seemed to have noticed that I could read and write well enough to read the titles of books, although I had been appealing my position as a servant who was basically uneducated and had few skills other than combat.
A real pain in the ass…


 Even though there are terakoya (temple schools) in this world as in the Edo period, the majority of the population are farmers, and the terakoya (temple school) itself is not free of charge.
Moreover, children are also a valuable labor force in rural areas.
Thus, the literacy rate is not high.
Perhaps only half of the men and women are literate.
And servants like me are not exactly considered commodities…


 Fortunately, many of the characters used in Fusō-kuni are broken characters, and although the use of words is old-fashioned, they are still 'Japanese'.
Therefore, although I had some difficulty, I could read and write from the time I was in the village thanks to my knowledge from my previous life, and when I was employed to work as a maid for Hina, I was even able to learn the grammar and typefaces for the nobles.



 ”I understand.
Don't worry.
I wrote the title down on a piece of paper.
That'll give me an excuse to my father and the others, won't it?”


 She says with a smile and holds out a piece of paper with the title written on it with a fountain pen.
How well prepared she is.


 I did not want the Kizuki family to find out that I could read, at least to a certain extent.
If they find out that I can read the title of the book, they will detest me.
Ostensibly, I would like to say that I searched by the “form of characters” in the title of the book.
If I don't know the meaning of the title of a book, I can't understand what's in it.


 ”I appreciate your help.
Shall I find the book you're looking for?”


 I thanked her reverently and started to search for the book.


 ”Even so, this lineup is a bit too far into the future, isn't it?”


 I inquired as I looked at the bookshelves and read the titles of the books lined up there in my mind.
No, it's true that in real literature, there have been yuri and bisexual genres for a long time, as well as status difference genres…
but to have TS (Transsexual), interracial, age difference, onee-shota, and even hypnosis genres is quite a feat.
This is a genre that fights against morality and chastity with all its might.


 ”There are also anonymous criticisms of the imperial court, and some publications with radical caricatures and dedications…but the majority of them are just trivial entertainment books.
What a pity.
Why waste precious paper on such nonsense…”

 'Haha, well…
human desire knows no bounds…'


 The bee shikigami on my shoulder says with disdain in her voice, and I respond with a wry smile.
I look at the pile of books on the shelves, so tightly packed that they almost collapse on top of each other, and half of them are obviously of an unhealthy nature…
and I'm dumbfounded.
It's true that unlike in my previous life, books are not so cheap that they can be easily discarded…


 (Well, everyone needs entertainment.)


 Regardless of the orientation, the human mind will be worn out if they have to work all the time.
And although the content is out of the question, it is better than gambling, drinking, and women.
With these thoughts in mind, I resume my search for Kayo's book from the shelf.


 …and maybe it's my fault for looking away like that.


 ”But where's the book in question? Hmm? Huh…? Whoa!?”


 I didn't notice the figure sitting on the floor reading a book just before I turned the shelf the next moment…

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