Friday, July 15, 2022 @

Chapter 7 Confession

 I put the flower bouquet, the necklace, and the cake in a storage bag and went back to the room I rented.
 Unlike in my previous life, I don't have to fool around behind the scenes in this part of my life. Because of this...
 "I'm home~!"
 "Welcome home, you're back so soon."
 "Of course, I wanted to see Shizuko-san, so I worked hard to finish work early."
 "Heheheh, that makes me so happy."
 That's it, that's it!
 A beautiful mature woman's broad smile.
 It's so soothing.
 People say Maria is a saint because of her healing nature.
 But once I've seen the real one, I can't help but think she's fake.
 I think she must be around this age to have a smile like this.
 "You always look so beautiful."
 "Heheheh, thank you! Ceres-kun looks great too! But, this old lady, I've never been told such a thing so often that I get embarrassed, my face turns red and I can't look at Ceres-kun seriously."
 "Shizuko-san is not an old lady... at most, you're like a big sister."
 "Really? Is that so? It makes me feel embarrassed."
 "Yes, I don't think you're an old lady and I think you're very beautiful and I really mean it, so please don't call yourself an old lady too much."
 "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it comes out unconsciously, but I'll try not to say it too much... Really, I'm so sorry!"
 "I'm so glad you did because I think you're really beautiful and pretty."
 "Really? I'm so embarrassed... Oh no, you shouldn't have done that."
 "Take it slow."
 "It helps me a lot."
 It can't be helped, she's Zect's mother and probably saw me as a friend of her son's until a little while ago.
 Even I started out as 'I wish I had a mother like that' before.
 Well, I'm pretty sure that's what I was looking at half the time.
 "Oh right, since I've got lots of time... I brought you this!"
 I pull out a bouquet of roses from my storage bag.
 "No way, are you giving this to me? I'm so happy, thank you!"
 Her beaming smile makes me realize that I'm really glad I bought this for her.
 Maybe I'm a bit of a softy, after all.
 "I also bought some more cakes, would you like to eat them?"
 Shizuko's face became a little puffy.
 "Ceres-kun, please eat it after we finish eating. If you eat the sweets first, you won't be able to eat your meal, right?"
 This was something Shizuko-san and other fellow mothers used to say to me when I was little.
 I was about to give her the necklace, but I couldn't give it now.
 I realized that I might have been looking not only at the ideal woman but also at the ideal mother.
 "Well, I guess I'll have to wait until after a meal"
 "Somehow, you look strange..."
 "No, I'm just thinking about what Zect and I used to be told to each other when we were little..."
 "Heheheh, it's true, I used to say that a lot."
 It's really soothing.
* * *
 "This stew and soup, it's very delicious!"
 "Even though I can only cook such rural food! But only Ceres-kun has told me so."
 This rural cooking is very delicious.
 It tastes like my mother's cooking or nostalgic taste, and it is very comforting.
 Both Zect and Uncle Sector may not think so because they are used to it, but there is no other dish that tastes as good as this.
 It may be the closest to 'the taste of my mother' or 'the taste of my hometown'.
 "I wonder if it's Shizuko-san's taste, I feel so relieved when I eat it."
 "Heheheh, I'm glad to hear you say so, it's really worth making."
 Shizuko-san smiles a lot.
 Just looking at her smile is soothing.
 Unfortunately, it will probably take Maria and her friends ten years to be able to do these adult smiles and facial expressions.
* * *
 After the meal, Shizuko makes some tea.
 It's made from dried leaves, a unique part of this world, and hot water is poured over it.
 There is a cake on the side.
 Looking back, I feel that my life as a member of the hero was very unfortunate.
 I was forced to do all the household chores.
 But everything was so different from what it is now.
 "Shizuko-san, thank you!"
 "I feel bad if you don't let me do this much."
 And so it is here in this room, clean and dust-free, and not a bit 'this much' at all.
 Someone who's never done the housework before wouldn't understand how hard it is.
 "Shizuko-san, would you mind if you take this?"
 Aiming at the moment when Shizuko was relaxing with a cup of tea, I took out the box containing a necklace.
 "Let's see~, what is it... a jewelry?"
 "Please open it."
 "Hmm? Isn't this from a famous store?"
 "I'll have at least give you this much."
 Shizuko carefully unwraps the package with her beautiful fingers, and I'm sure it's not my imagination, but her gesture is very elegant.
 The three of them must be a mess.
 "A necklace? Such a beautiful jewel! Are you going to give it to me? Do you know what it means?"
 "Of course!"
 "Really? Do you really understand it? You're going to give me something like this much, you know! But I'm an old lady who's not worth anything, and now I'm a slave too whom you can order around without doing this if you want! Are you sure you want to do this? You won't regret it?"
 "Of course not! You're the first person in this world I've fallen in love with..."
 "Okay, I accept it."
 Shizuko happily put the necklace I gave her around her neck.
 "How do you like it? Do you think it looks good on me?"
 Shizuko looked so beautiful as she brushed her hair back and put on the necklace.

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