The Compatible Yet Incompatible Duo
Beatrice sighed after blowing Subaru away and then smiled gently in satisfaction. She then looked at her palm, which had just been used to violently blow him away, before softly gazing in Puck’s direction.
“You deserved it… Bubby, here.”
“Alright, alright. I’ll see you later, Lia.”
Puck, having gotten invited by the girl, floated towards her. Upon welcoming him into her palms, the door slammed shut for good this time. The opponent’s turn now over, Subaru’s came up, but he was badly wounded already and didn’t have any energy left to do anything.
Subaru begrudgingly looked up at the twins, who were carefully adjusting the angle of the furnishings while trampling on him. “It’s obvious that furniture is higher up on your list of priorities compared to little ol’ me, who isn’t worth a dime, but…”
“Oh my, did you hear what he just said, Sister. He is saying something absurd.”
“Yes, I heard it, Rem. We can assume how dumb he is from his words.”
“Verbal abuse!” Subaru shouted. “And if it’s fine now, can you guys get off!? It seems like your underwear are pink and blue, too. That’s the only thing I’d rate…pankration!”
The two of them stepped on his face, interrupting his words.
The twins synchronized, saying that in an indifferent tone, and moved away. As they watched Subaru stand up with shoe marks on his face, they held hands and brought their faces together.
“But sir…no, Subaru. You are going to be our colleague, right?”
“But sir…no, Barusu. Aren’t you going to be a servant just like us?”
“Hey, one of you turned my name into a blinding spell.”
It’s a reference that kids make in elementary or middle school once in their life, and the pink-haired one pulled it out without knowing.
But they do have a point, and that is… “So my position is that? That of a manservant?”
“It would be best if you follow Rem and Ram’s instructions and help them out with the work around the manor,” said Roswaal. “Are you dissatisfied?”
“If there’s something I’m dissatisfied with, it’s with myself who mixes ‘take care of me!’ up with ‘hire me!’ …but it might not be so bad! Who knows, the girl I like might fall for me if she sees me working hard!”
I feel like a man can truly be a man by working and contributing to the community.
Subaru gave Emilia a quick glance, anticipating something, but she replied to it with a vague smile. “Well, I don’t know much about that, but, best of luck?”
“Sure,” replied Subaru. “You can be rest assured now that you are in the hands of a super professional! Though I have never worked before!”
He had never worked before and had never thought of working, either. He was an idler among idlers, thus he felt proud about his remarkable progress.
But those around him didn’t get why he was being so cheerful.
“Sister, Sister. Rem was stupid to think that the work would get slightly easier.”
“Rem, Rem. Ram was a fool to expect that she could slack off a bit.”
“Sister, you need to learn how to sugarcoat your true feelings, alright!?” Subaru complained.
The twins did not even attempt to hide their disappointment. Subaru tried his best to defend himself, but even Emilia, who was next to him, heaved a tired sigh. He felt like his heart was going to break. His face looked really miserable, too.
“But,” Emilia hastily started speaking, “from the looks of Subaru’s fingers, I guess we can’t blame him. He is stubborn, so I wouldn’t ask him about it, but he was probably in a position where he didn’t need to work.”
“That line makes me seem shady if you take it out of context, you know,” Subaru said.
“I’m trying hard to defend you, so don’t make fun of it.”
She poked Subaru’s forehead and as if she were saying, “Bad boy.” Not one to let such an opportunity go to waste, he grabbed her extended hand.
“Ah.” Emilia exclaimed in surprise. Subaru looked at Emilia’s arm and was astonished by the slimness and beauty of her fingers. It didn’t look like the fingers of a working lady at all.
“Comraaade,” teased Subaru.
“I reaally hate the way you pronounce it,” Emilia retorted. “And we are not the same. I am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. I’m in the care of the manor now, but I used to do everything on my own.” She freed her hand, slightly pushing her chest out. “Hmph.”
She’s probably feeling superior to me since she can do chores. Though such childish gestures were something that made her look cute, Emilia thought she looked elegant.
“But I don’t want to be treated as a useless person!” exclaimed Subaru. “It’s not like I’m incapable of doing domestic chores, I am good at some things!”
“I see, that’s a bit unexpected,” Emilia replied. “What are you good at? Cooking? Laundry? …Or cleaning?”
“That’s a surprise!” Emilia pouted to show that she wasn’t happy with not being able to guess the answer.
It wasn’t a lie or a bluff, Subaru really was good with needles. He could patiently pass the thread through the needle hole and mend things using it. It was one of his hidden skills.
“I can put buttons on things that have lost them, and I can mend things that got torn! I’m also good at…doing embroidery on accessories or clothes.”
“It’s hard to think of occasions where your skill could be put to use,” Emilia said. “You are overly dexterous…”
I think so too, he thought. Unlike the old-fashioned household skills like cooking, laundry, or cleaning, sewing isn’t that mainstream. It isn’t a necessity, unlike those three, which see daily use.
“I wonder what Subaru’s family was thinking when they taught him that…”
“They probably weren’t thinking of anything; and I didn’t learn from them, I learned it on my own.”
Emilia looked curious but Subaru dodged it with a wave of his hand. “Well, leaving that aside.”
After that, Subaru turned towards the twins, pointlessly puffed up his chest, and pompously said, “Well, then. I’ll leave it up to you two to decide what you want me to do since you guys have been working here much longer that I have! I will exert myself to the ut…something.”
“““Utmost,””” said the three of them in sync.
The three of them had pointed their fingers at him and confirmed the word Subaru temporarily had trouble recalling.
Roswaal looked at the fine team play of the servants, then touched his chin and nodded in satisfaction. “Good,” he said. “It’s beautiful that you all are on good terms. Seems like there isn’t any tension between any of you, which is a great thing for an employer, wouldn’t you saaaay?”
“I feel like I can get along with them,” replied Subaru. “It’s like we have the same vibe or something? I’m definitely more compatible with them than with that loli!”
“It seems like you really didn’t like being compatible with Beatrice…” murmured Emilia pitifully, ending the long and noisy breakfast exchange with those words.
Roswaal clapped gently and drew the attention of the remaining four in attendance, and then pointed at something that looked like a picture frame hanging on the wall. Subaru followed Roswaal’s finger and looked at it, then frowned to show his confusion.
—The frame didn’t have paintings like the ones he had seen here and there in the hallway of the manor, it had a small crystal, slightly larger than a fist held within it. The crystal was giving off a mysterious, dim dark blue glow and was being gazed at by all five of them. The tall man spoke while pointing at the crystal. “Loook, it’ll be almost halfway through Water Time soooon. Let’s hurrry up… Ram and Rem: do as I told you before. Lady Emilia: do visit my room for a moment. Alright everyone, off you go.”
The harmonious breakfast had come to an end after Roswaal gave everyone their assignments.
Rem quickly began clearing the dishes from the table, Emilia sighed melancholically, thinking about her upcoming schedule. Roswaal walked over to Subaru, who had been left behind by the others, and tapped him on the shoulder.
“Weeell then, I’ll be expecting a lot from you. Of course, I’ll pay you since I’ve hired you. You dooon’t need to worry about that.”
“I’ll ask you the details regarding the conditions of my employment later…but for now, thank you for your hospitality. Should I call you sir or something?”
“Ahaaa, you can call me Rosy if the guests aren’t around. It is somewhat refreshing being called by a nickname.”
Roswaal closed his yellow eye and winked, then waved lightly and left the dining room. A moment before leaving the room, he gestured lightly at Ram with his eyes, and the pink-haired girl nodded again and again, her face turning red as if she had been given some sort of instructions.
The twins were indifferent when it came to expressing themselves via facial or verbal means, but their nonchalant attitude crumbled away while interacting with Roswaal. The word ‘loyal dog’ crossed Subaru’s mind.
“Alright, Barusu,” said Ram.
“Oh, so you are gonna go with that.”
“Yeah, well, Barusu. Master Roswaal has instructed me to give you a tour of the manor, so kindly follow me and don’t get left behind.”
“It’s not like I’m Emilia-tan, so I’m not gonna run off or anything.”
Emilia puffed up her cheeks at Subaru’s teasing. It felt very fresh to him when she called out his name by pronouncing each syllable separately. He then pointed his finger at her while giving her a broad smile. “It’s a harmless party joke. You would not be able to turn into a wonderful queen if you cannot even take a joke like this, Fräulein.”
“What’s fraulein…?” asked Emilia.
“It’s something you need to learn along with the rest of the stuff. Life is like climbing an endless mountain without any supplies. If you are lazy about collecting the items known as knowledge in between, you’ll end up dropping out at the third station without reaching the top.”
Emilia got quiet and widened her eyes. It seemed like she was impressed by what Subaru had said.
Seems like the statement from a dude that dropped out of school carries a different weight.
Subaru was hurt by his own self-deprecatory thought. “Well then,” he said, then glanced at Ram. “I don’t want to leave, but I guess we have to. Let’s go, boss.”
“Yeah, let’s do that, Barusu. Lady Emilia, we’ll be seeing you later.”
Subaru started following the girl heading towards the door after she had curtsied, her pink hair swinging here and there. Emilia looked at them. “Subaru, I need to give it my best, but…you can give it your best, too.”
“What’s up with that? It makes me really happy. I feel extremely motivated now. Are you a goddess?”
Subaru lightly ‘curtsied’ with his tracksuit and bowed, following Ram’s example. He left the dining room after putting a peculiar expression on Emilia’s face.
Ram, who had stopped after she was out in the hallway, turned her indifferent expression into a frown. “There’s a difference between what’s expected of a maid and what’s expected of a manservant.”
“I know, I know. But, if I were to do housekeeping, I wanted to do it with elegance and glamor. Wait, do you have a uniform for me?”
After all, it would be tasteless to start working as a servant in a tracksuit.
Of course, there’s no doubt about it being the best when it comes to ease of movement but… “It’s natural to long for prestigious clothing when you are sent to work in a nobleman’s manor. It might come as a surprise, but I look good in formal wear.”
“I agree that clothes are important,” said Ram. “Just the right clothes for you… Yes, I’m sure there are some.”
“I see, I see. Then let’s start with that. I am the kind of person who focuses on the aesthetics first! I start my preparations for an exam by cleaning the room so I can focus on my studies.”
And then he didn’t actually study after that.
Subaru gave her a thumbs up accompanied by a gleaming wide-toothed smile. Ram was looking his body up and down while lifting her fingers and muttering. “Hmmm.”
It seemed like Ram was able to measure the approximate clothes size needed for Subaru just by doing that. She nodded in satisfaction and pointed in the direction of the upper floor.
“There is an anteroom for the servants upstairs. You’ll find your clothes there. Considering your size, you’ll fit into Frederica’s, who left two months ago.”
“Oooh, you left just at the right time, Frederica… Isn’t she a woman, though?”
“Her size is almost equal to yours, Barusu.”
“But the gender is different, right?”
Ram stopped walking and turned back, giving Subaru an icy look. She then sighed as if she were tired and touched her forehead. “You said that you wanted to do it with elegance and glamor, so I was kindly going to make your wish come true. What are you complaining about?”
“If it were Emilia-tan, it would be understandable, but who would benefit from me wearing a maid’s outfit!? What would I do if it benefits me after I develop a weird kink!? There’s a possibility of me developing such a kink and I don’t want that!”
After entering this other world, various new kinks have been blooming vividly. If this opens a door for cross-dressing, then there would be no trace of a man named Subaru Natsuki left!
Ram reacted to Subaru’s shouting by covering her ears, then looked at him, who was breathing heavily, and spoke up with a bored expression. “I can’t do this without Rem. Let’s go.”
“It’s amazing that your ability to go at your own pace surpasses mine.”
I guess you need to be this unshakable to survive here.
Subaru became melancholic after realizing how high the hurdles were before his first job experience ever.
“On the second floor, yes. Any of the rooms on the west side…of the servant’s anteroom would do. You can have any room you like. I’ll leave your uniform there.”
“Alright, roger that. Well, let’s see…”
After getting escorted upstairs, Subaru started looking at the rooms that were candidates for temporary accommodation and where his uniform would be given.
However, the rooms will be the same inside and only the placement of the rooms will be slightly different. If that’s the case, then it would be more convenient to move around if the room is closer to the stairs. With this in mind, he twisted the doorknob of his chosen room.
“Alright, I’d like to pick this…”
“Bubby, you are wonderful. Your fluffiness is the best. You’re just so fluffy and soft, in fact.”
He discovered a loli petting a kitten in the library.
Noticing Subaru’s presence, the girl with vertical rolls slowly turned her gaze towards him. Subaru looked at Ram, who was standing in the corridor, and saw her shaking her head.
After that, he spoke to Beatrice, who was right in front of him, while scratching his head. “Congratulations. I bless the birth of a new Fluffist.”
“Just close the door already!” yelled Beatrice.
He was blown away by a magical force and collided with the wall of the corridor once again. The door was violently slammed shut, not paying any mind to Subaru, whose eyes had rolled to the back of his head.
“Damn…you…” he cursed.
Subaru shook his head. His vision was still flickering, and he even seemed furious now. He opened the door that had just been shut. He was going to complain to the flirt inside, but… “How dare you flirt with someone else’s fuzzball! Pay me the compensation, the compen…sation?”
He stepped inside while shouting, his spit flying here and there, but all he saw was a simple room with a bed and a wardrobe. There was no sign of the library that had been there before. This must be the effect of her ‘Door Crossing,’ he thought.
“Once Lady Beatrice hides her presence, we won’t be able to know where she is. We won’t be able to find her unless we open all the doors of the manor since she won’t come out on her own,” said Ram adamantly, as if she were telling Subaru to admit his defeat.
She patted him on the back as if to comfort him. Feeling that sensation, he decided to admit his defeat—not. “I’m really mad now. That attitude of hers that makes me seem like a bad guy is to blame!”
He shook off Ram’s hand and ran down the corridor as fast as he could after turning back. Ram watched him with her eyes opened wide while he ran to the door at the end of the corridor. “This one!” he shouted.
“That’s amazing, Subaru.”
He was welcomed by the girl’s scream and the gray cat’s praise.
He observed the shock on Beatrice’s face caused by her door crossing getting breached again, then immediately rolled inside the library to avoid being blown away. He did a handspring followed by a headspring, a cartwheel into a roundoff, then a back handspring, and finally topped it all off with a spectacular backflip—landing right in front of the girl.
“Alright! 10 points!” praised Puck.
“You made the place very dusty!” Beatrice complained.
“It’s because you don’t clean properly! You shouldn’t bring a cat into the library to begin with! They’ll sharpen their claws using thick covers!”
“My claws have been cut short by Lia, so it isn’t an issue,” murmured Puck calmly next to Subaru and Beatrice, who were yelling at each other, but his words didn’t reach them since they were too busy arguing.
The two were exchanging shouts so loudly that it seemed as if their voices would echo throughout the manor.
Ram reached the door leading to the forbidden library a moment later. As she watched them arguing, she murmured, “Leaving aside whether you two have a good relationship or not, it appears to be true that you two are compatible.”
““—That’s not true!!””
Their combined scream that morning shook Roswaal Manor to its foundations.