Chapter 4-3

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Chapter 4: Butler and Maid – Part 3

In the end, I couldn’t get any sleep at all.

“As if I could sleep like this!”

As usual, my consciousness had slowly faded away while Konoe held me throughout the night. I had eventually managed to break free from her grip, but at that time, the birds had already been announcing the start of a new day.

This felt as if I had gone through a night of torture. And this was the second time it happened. I had a severe headache that was clearly due to lack of sleep.

“Geh~, now that I think about it, shouldn’t you have just slept in Kureha’s room?”

Drinking the milk that I had poured into my glass, I questioned Suzutsuki. Even if that puppy was in Kureha’s room, there should have been enough space for her to sleep there.

“Of course that wouldn’t do. If I’d done that, I wouldn’t have an advantage.”

“What?”

“The battle has already begun. When it comes to being a servant, Subaru is more experienced. So it’s fine for me to try to obtain some advantage.”

This devil Suzutsuki.

Planning for today’s showdown, she had made me and Konoe sleep in the same room. If everything went well, Konoe would be lacking sleep, and she would be able to win this easily. Could shepossibly be Zhuge Liang?(1) But,herscheme failed, and I was the one lacking sleep.

“On that note, Jirou-kun…”

Suddenly, she started whispering.

“You used contraception, right?”

I spit out the milk I was drinking.

“What’s with that reaction? Spitting all your milk? Was that your way of saying ‘Of course I didn’t’?”

“Of course not!”

“Then you did use it.”

“I didn’t do anything! Not one filthy thing!”

“You didn’t sleep on the same futon?”

“Of course not!”

I was not telling any lies. We’d lain in the same bed, but I hadn’t slept.

“Ahhh, I’m glad. If something had happened, I would have had to take some countermeasures.”

Suzutsuki-san had an extremely cold grin on her face. What could these ‘countermeasures’ be? I was extremely curious, but I would refrain from asking. I could read the atmosphere to that extent, at the very least.

“Good morning, Nii-san!”

Kureha entered the living room. In her arms, the puppy from yesterday wagged its tail. It had already gotten used to my house.

“Hmm…?”

I had the impression that there was an accessory that I hadn’t seen on the puppy’s neck before. Could it be a choker? But, it looked rather strange.

“Aaah… This is theWanligual!(2) Aah… It’s a machine that translates the dog’s barks into human words. I heard that you had picked up a dog, so I brought it from the mansion,” Suzutsuki said after finishing her apple.

“This is incredible! I can understand what Kojirou is saying.”

“Hmmm…”

Heh… Its name was Kojirou. As expected, that was the name she chose.

After Suzutsuki’s declaration of war last night, we had another meeting to decide the puppy’s name, but as usual, only useless names were suggested.

The one suggesting the most peculiar names was Konoe. ‘Liver’ ‘Harumon’(3) ‘Harami’. Why were all of them grilled meat dishes? Had she been confusing him with some kind of dish?

Kureha tried to push her hobby into it. ‘Hansen’, ‘Brody’, ‘Andre’. It seemed like she really wanted it to be a pro-wrestler.

The most qualified name-giver was Suzutsuki. ‘Ed’, ‘Roy’, ‘Alex’. It definitely qualified her love for manga, that is. I could tell that she wanted to give off the feeling of a Dog of the army’. (4)

The meeting had taken two hours and a half due to the rather pointless discussions. In the end, the name they’d chosen was Kojirou. It was a name that gave off the feeling that he could go for a duel in Ganryuujima at any time(5), but of course, they chose it because it was similar to my name. To think that I would get a little brother at this age.

“I’m hungry~”

Suddenly, I heard a voice that sounded like that of one of those anime girls. When I turned around, I saw Kureha giving dog food (that Suzutsuki had brought) to Kojirou.

I see, so this is the Wanlingual?

To think that this thing could translate the dog’s barks into human language. It really brings this country’s democracy to a whole new level. We can even understanda dog’s opinions now.

But, that was a little interesting.

“Kureha, let me talk to him for a bit.”

“Okay, then you take care of Kojirou, Nii-san. I’ll eat my breakfast in the meantime.”

Withthat, Kureha made her way to the table.

What should I do?This is my first time talking to a dog.

First contact. If it were a human, I would ask where he was born, but I don’t expect to have such a conversation with a dog.Then…

“Hello, Kojirou.”

For the time being, I tried greeting him.When I did that, Kojirou just let out a ‘woof’.

After a few seconds, that cute anime voice came again.

“Shut up, brat.”

“…”

“Don’t try talking friendly with me.”

“…”

“Do you even know your position? You dog of academic meritocracy.”

“I was called dog by a dog—”

I was astonished byhisanswer.

What’s with this guy! I was just talking normally! Or rather, that single ‘woof’could contain all this meaning?

“What happened,Nii-san? Why are you screaming this early in the morning?”

Kureha came back chewing an apple.

“Kureha? Isn’t this dog strange? It complained about the education system of this country just now…”

“Eeeh? There’s no way that’s true, right Kojirou?”

When Kureha talked to him with a smile, Kojirou barked again.

“Save me, Onee-chan, this guy is bullying me!”

“…”

“He’s been looking at me as if he’s trying to decide on a price…”

“…”

“Laughing like a pervert and saying things like ‘You have a good body, boy’.”

“I was not laughing like that!”

He really is strange! He’s definitely making false accusations about me! And what’s more, he’s clearly trying to get closer to Kureha!

“Nii-san, no matter how much you hate dogs, you can’t just bully Kojirou!”

“Are you an idiot? That’s not how you’re supposed to react!”

“Who is the idiot, huh? Nii-san, you’re not getting any breakfast today.”

Kureha cleaned the dishes, obviously ticked off. Aaah, my breakfast. I bid a sad goodbye with my eyes on the apples that were disappearing from the table.

“—Just as planned.”

“…”

When I looked down, Kojirou was looking at me with a big grin in his face.

…Scary.

As I thought, this guy might be more than just a simple dog. If that’s the case, I’ll have to sell him off to that TV Circus, and fast. This time, he didn’t even bark, and yet he said something.

“…Hmm?”

Wait.

Isn’t it strange for him to say something without even barking? This ‘Wanlingual’ is supposed to translate the barks only.

“Well… What he said just now was very strange.”

I also didn’t expect the creator to input such sentences… Then, don’t tell me…

I shifted my line of sight to the table.

When I did that, I saw the silhouette of a maid mumbling something into a machine.

“Ahahah, you found out?”

“So it was you!”

“Shut up, Kojirou.”

“You shut up! Just because he’s a dog doesn’t mean that you can make him say whatever you want.”

“That’s all for this week’s Bikkuri Dokkiri Meka~”

“I will punish you~… Hey, don’t try to change the subject!”(6)

Now that I think about it, it was a rather simple trick. Everything that this ‘Wanlingual’had said up till now had all been made up by Suzutsuki.

“A normal Wanlingual wouldn’t be fun, so I attached this small transceiver to it. Just some remodeling.”

“Ufufu.” Suzutsuki laughed like she always did with that anime-like voice.

Sorry, Kojirou. Everything was this cold-blooded animal’s fault. If you ever have the opportunity, you can bite her to your heart’s content.

“Wait, are you really having a showdown with Konoe?”

Butler vs Maid – I wondered if there was really a need for it. I somehow felt that she was just killing time… Well, it would be amusing to watch, at the very least.

“Of course.The reason I came here was to get Subaru to return to the mansion.”

“Return?”

“Yes. If she’s expelled from here, I don’t think she has any other choice but to return to the mansion. That’s why—I can’t afford to lose this showdown. Even if I have to use the most underhanded methods available!”

Suzutsuki was literally glowing with fighting spirit.

It seemed like Konoe had a reason for not wanting to return to the mansion. And it seemed to be pretty personal. If she had just been expelled, Suzutsuki wouldn’t have to go through all this.

A thoroughly thought-out plan. Giving her the warm feeling of a home for a while, then taking it away immediately after -she was trying to force Konoe back to the mansion with that.

For a moment, I thought she was overdoing it, but I also realized that I should just let it be.

Yes… This was a secret, but— I knew that Suzutsuki’s first love was Konoe.

Initially, when I’d heard about it last month, I’d been surprised, since they were both girls – even if Konoe was dressing like a boy.

It might just be her bullshitting again, but what she said seemed to match up with the facts. It’s as if she’s invading my house to bring back the one she loves. That sounds somewhat romantic.

“Ojou-sama.”

A high-pitched voice echoed through the living room.

When I shifted my line of sight, Konoe Subaru was standing there.

In her butler’s clothes.

Wearing those black and white clothes, Konoe looked straight at Suzutsuki.

“Let me just get this clear right from the start. Even if Ojou-sama is my opponent… I can’t afford to lose this time.”

Ooh. It seemed like Konoe also had some pride as a butler. She was in her serious mode. Even for Suzutsuki, the situation was bad…

“What a coincidence. I was thinking the same thing just now. But— just one thing. I want to tell you something before starting.”

“What is it?”

In response to Konoe’s question, Suzutski replied with an indifferent voice.

Don’t go calling me ‘Ojou-sama’ so lightly.”

“…”

“Of course. Now that you’re this house’s butler, you can’t call yourself my butler, so you have no reason to call me Ojou-sama.”

“N-No way.”

In contrast to Suzutsuki, who was very calm, Konoe looked as if her end of the world had just descended.

…Hey hey, no matter what the situation is, you’re going too far.

Konoe had an extreme obsession with being Suzutsuki’s butler. Despite that, her mistress, Suzutsuki, just straight up refuted that connection. Even if she did that to shake up Konoe’s confidence before the showdown, wasn’t it just a little too much?

But.

Without warning Suzutsuki cleared away the turbulent mood she had just created all by herself.

“What I said just now doesn’t mean that I don’t want you to be my butler.”

“…Huh?”

“I said ’as long as you stay at this house’. So, as long as we’re here, we are of the same status. That’s why, you must be nuts if you refer tome as ‘Ojou-sama’.”

“…Th-Then, how should I address you?”

Konoe looked seriously troubled.

Deeply troubled. Suzutsuki inhaled sharply and said, “Are you a fool? Since we are of the same status, you should call me ‘Kana-chan’.”

She said it so naturally.

“But—But, even so, Ojou-sama—“

“Kana-chan!”

“…Kana-chan! But, this is…”

“Do you not like calling me that? We’re enemies now, so calling me ‘Ojou-sama’ is strange.”

“B-But even so…”

“Also, let’s not talk so formally. We are of the same status after all. Right? Subaru?”

“…”

After making a very troubled expression, Konoe said, “I understand. Would this be alright, Kana-chan?” Obviously embarrassed, she called out the name.

“Fufu. Thank you. We shall start the match now. Let’s give it our best shot, Subaru.”

“Right, let’s fight with all we’ve got, Kana-chan.”

The butler and the maid were glaringat each other.

Butler vs Maid.

Even though they were going to have a showdown now, they looked as though they were having fun.

Aah, well, what can I say?

Suzutsuki Kanade.

She just couldn’t be true to herself.

In the end, didn’t she just want to play with her butler and her friends?

And I, who as usual could not handle people with such conflicting personalities, just took a deep breath and watched from the sidelines.

♀♂

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TRANSLATOR NOTES:

(1) Chinese strategist, for more information, Google it.
(2) Bowlingual, copyrights and stuff.
(3) Short for Harumonyaki.
(4) Konoe gave the names from grilled meat dishes, Kureha gave names from famous pro-wrestlers, and Suzutsuki gave names of characters from the Manga ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ that were ‘Dogs of the army’.
(5) Kojirou is famous because of his duel with Miyamoto Musashi at Ganryuujima.
(6) A reference to the Yatterman anime. “I will punish you” is a catchphrase of the mini-robots in that series.

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