The Great Spirit Puck's Nyan Nyan Nyan Sunny Day
“—Lately, I feel like Lia’s eyes look cold when she looks at me,” Puck said, looking serious with his arms crossed as he floated in front of Subaru’s face.
It was in the morning, right after everyone was done with breakfast. Rem was in charge of cleaning up the dining table, and Subaru was on his way to clean the bathhouse in the basement of the mansion as directed by Ram. As usual, he showed his affection towards Emilia and exchanged snarky remarks with Beatrice, but then he was stopped when he came out of the dining room.
“In the past, Lia believed me unconditionally and was fooled by me, but nowadays I feel like she has become less naïve. Subaru, what do you think?”
“First off, I’m starting to get worried about leaving Emilia-tan in your care.”
The fact that he doesn’t have any malicious intent makes it worse.
Subaru lost interest in taking it seriously and headed for the bathhouse, but Puck didn’t seem to care and followed him, flying around the back of his head.
“Hey, hey, take it seriously. I am serious about it, this is a serious matter.”
“Alright then, I’ll answer you with some seriousness. Since you demonstrated being a really good-for-nothing cat, she might be pumped up as the owner and wants to discipline you, I guess?”
“Stop that! I’m not in a mood to hear jokes like that. You are quite rude.”
Puck puffed his cheeks as if he was offended and started slapping Subaru’s face with his tail. But Subaru didn’t mean to joke around, and for the most part, it was his honest opinion. It was only the other day that Subaru and Emilia found out what Puck did when he was on his own. His behavior was that of a house cat for the most part, which shocked Emilia, who had believed that Puck was contributing to world peace.
“Until then, Emilia-tan had innocently believed that her parent was doing an admirable job…”
“It’s not good to say things like that. There’s no such thing as a noble or lowly job. Every job is admirable. If you word it like that, then…”
“There’s no such thing as a noble or a lowly job, but in your case, that isn’t a job! It’s just your natural instincts!” Subaru shouted at Puck, who was being shameless, then took his jacket off in the changing room, rolled up his pants, and entered the bathhouse with a mop in hand.
He then proceeded to clean it with a practiced hand.
“But even so… I’m worried about Lia. So many things have changed for her, so maybe she’s feeling tired because of that.”
“I think your behavior recently has been her greatest source of fatigue.”
“My my… It’s quite troubling that her greatest source of fatigue is unaware.”
The sources of her headache were blaming each other, but things couldn’t be judged since Emilia wasn’t there.
Puck then clapped his hands as if he’d struck upon a great idea. “Maybe, she is in her rebellious age…? A lot of things would make sense if I think that way…!”
“Does it make sense though?”
“I feel like the skin-to-skin contact between Lia and I has been lacking lately. Lia is busy nowadays, and I’ve been letting her off the hook since I felt like she should be independent from her parent… This isn’t good!”
“It’s not she who needs to let go of her attachment to her parent, but you who needs to let go of your attachment to your daughter, isn’t it? Before you could even do that, you were losing your sanity and about to turn into a cat. Not a stray, either, but a house cat,” Subaru called out after he finished mopping, but Puck didn’t have any intention of listening to his opinion.
Subaru shook his head at the pondering spirit and pointed at the water inside the bathtub. “Hey, Puck. Use that water to wash the floor in exchange for the consultation fee. It’ll be much faster than using the hand tub. You can do that much, right?”
Even though he was inattentive, Puck extended his hand towards the bathtub at Subaru’s request and concentrated his mana. And then—as expected of his large mana reserves—the water in the bathtub rose and started floating around the tub.
“Woah! Amazing! That’s sooo cool, man!”
It wasn’t quite jelly-like, but the surface of the water rippled as it floated around. And as long as it slowly descended to the floor, Subaru’s request would be fulfilled. But…
“—Yeah, I’m sure of it. The thing Lia and I are lacking is parent-child communication!”
As soon as Puck had come to some sort of conclusion to his thoughts, he stopped controlling the solidified water.
Immediately, the de-solidified water came crashing down, turning into an overwhelming wave. The rough waves smashed into Subaru at the waist, flipping him upside down and taking him into its murky flow.
“Bah! Hey! It isn’t on the same level as boxers getting wet ya know!?” Subaru shouted while shaking his head after popping his head out from the tub.
However, as the culprit had already disappeared from the bathhouse, his cries echoed in vain.
And while Subaru was left soaking wet alone—
“You are making a lot of noise, Barusu. Don’t play around just because no one is looking…”
Ram had opened the door to the changing room and peeked inside. She looked at Subaru, who was submerged in the bathtub and all wet, squinted at him, and let out a deep sigh. “Do you want to drink the used water so badly that you’d resort to such cheap tricks? Disgusting.”
“I’m not that advanced!!”
In the first place, it’s the warm water that both Roswaal and I have soaked in, and it gets changed every time, anyway.
—I’ve only thought about it once or twice.
After the incident in the bathhouse, Subaru changed his clothes even after taking Ram’s mild eyes of disdain. Since he’d gotten his servant attire dirty, he was wearing his tracksuit now.
He touched his partially dry hair and walked down the corridor thinking of what to do with Puck. “That piece of shit ran away after doing all that to me. I won’t let him get away with it…” He reached the stairs with that in his heart.
Something suddenly fell on the stair landing from the floor above. A small ball had hit the wall and rolled towards Subaru’s feet. It was palm-sized and probably something like a tennis ball. He picked it up and found that it felt and weighed like a tennis ball, too.
“Why is there a…tennis ball here?”
Emilia had showed herself from the floor above while he was tilting his head with the tennis ball in his hand.
She looked at the ball in Subaru’s hand and scrunched up her pretty eyebrows in an apologetic way. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“I wasn’t startled, but is this yours, Emilia-tan?”
“No, it’s more like it’s Puck’s but…no, never mind, it’s fine. Can you return that to Puck? Since I’m busy now.” After saying that quickly, she tapped on Subaru’s shoulder and went further downstairs.
“That’s fine by me but…oh well.”
Subaru felt like something unusual was going on since she wasn’t usually that bossy, but someone else came towards him there.
“What’s up with that pathetic face and voice? Emilia-tan said that she’s busy.”
Puck dizzyingly and weakly swayed down to Subaru, who caught him with his left hand.
Puck stared at the ball in his hand with a pathetic face. “Aah, so you had it… Unfortunately, the communication strategy has failed. I took your advice, but it didn’t work.”
“Since when did this become my idea? But what did you do? I would hope not, but was it something like you getting the ball that Emilia-tan throws?”
If that’s the case, then it is undoubtedly communication between a pet and its owner. And that’s not the kind of relationship owners have with a cat, but with a dog.
Puck stretched his ears angrily at that. “It’s not thattt. It’s a game of catch of course, when it comes to parent-child interaction. I wanted to get closer to her by asking questions like ‘What does Lia want to be in the future?’”
“You wouldn’t get it, but what, are you like from the Showa period!? You already know what Emilia-tan wants to become! She wants to be the ruler of this country!”
“No, no, what Lia really wants to become is…oh wait, it isn’t the right time to say it.”
“That’s something deep! No, I don’t need to know something like that!”
Subaru started to doubt if Puck really wanted to repair their relationship as they continued to talk like that. But it seemed like Puck was taking a real toll from his atrophied ears and tail.
“Well, if the relationship between you and Emilia stays cracked then you guys might not be able to coordinate well in a critical moment. That would be troublesome for you.”
“Yeah…so I have thought of my next plan.”
“After giving it some thought, it’s possible that Lia has gotten used to my charm. So, I thought of going back to the basics and doing it more unscrupulously.”
“Weren’t you the one who asked for it?”
“I said that because I was expecting you to say something decent!”
Having come to an odd conclusion, Puck flew off softly from Subaru’s hand. Subaru followed Puck without a second thought as he crossed through the stair landing and went towards the corridor lined with guest rooms. Puck picked one of the guest rooms and energetically turned back at Subaru in front of the door.
“I’m going to train here from now on to overcome my past self. It’s futile to try to stop me.”
“I won’t stop you, and I won’t peek, either. All of our talk up until now was meaningless.”
“—I’ll go, in order to regain our family bond and—to be a family once again.”
“The only thing super cool about it is your dialogue.”
Puck went into the guest room right in front of him with a melancholic air. After staring at the door, Subaru didn’t peek, but put his ear next to the door to listen to what was happening inside.
“—Meow! Meow! Meaaa.”
“───” Hearing the sounds of training, Subaru sighed deeply, then moved away from the door to complete his remaining chores. He dragged his unusually tired body around even though it was only midmorning.
“Subaru, isn’t it almost time for a break? Would you like some tea?” Emilia asked after entering the garden to reward Subaru for his hard work as he was putting away the tools after finishing the last chore of the morning, which was tending to the garden.
“Oh, it makes me really happy that it’s an invitation from you, Emilia-tan. Have my daily efforts finally paid off?”
“—? I don’t really get it, but if you are working hard, then I hope they paid off.”
“That answer of yours tells me I’m not putting in enough effort. Thank you,” Subaru said, giving Emilia, who didn’t get it, a wry smile, then washed his hands and joined her.
“Let’s do it in my room,” Emilia said, inviting Subaru.
While they were walking towards her room, Emilia suddenly started talking in a hushed voice. “Hey. Is Puck bothering you?”
“He is bothering me a lot, but it isn’t something you need to worry about. It’s a man’s destiny to get into trouble with his father-in-law… That being sad, he was feeling down.”
“I thought so. Maybe it’s because I’m being harsh with Puck.”
“Oh, so Puck wasn’t imagining it.”
Seeing that Emilia looked serious, Subaru scratched his head.
It seems like Puck wasn’t wrong about Emilia acting like that on purpose.
“Can I ask you why?”
“It’s…well, maybe I am sulking a bit. I thought Puck would be more mature, but I really lost my energy due to that incident the other day.”
“Oh, just like I thought…”
The cause and the things that followed being the same as Subaru had speculated, he put his hand on his forehead, but then immediately laughed at the worried-looking Emilia.
“It isn’t a big deal,” he said. “I can understand your feelings, Emilia-tan, but he needs to learn a lesson sometimes. He wouldn’t bat an eye if anyone else did that to him, so knocking him down a peg like that will do him some good, too.”
“Is, that…so. Yeah, you are right. Puck needs to reflect on things a bit.”
“That’s the spirit! And I really think that there’s something wrong with what he did…”
Subaru had no other option but to be considerate to Emilia.
And Puck brought this situation upon himself for the most part, so he needs to reflect upon it and feel down.
It seemed like Subaru’s words had eased Emilia’s mind since she didn’t look anxious anymore. And then they reached her room.
Let’s go in and have some tea—
“Well then, Subaru. I have prepared tea for…”
Emilia’s feet stopped the moment she stepped into the room. Her gaze was directed to the front, at the center of the room, from where she heard a sweet, flirtatious cry. Subaru frowned at that and looked inside the room over Emilia’s shoulder. And…
“Meo, meo, meow. Meeoowww…”
There was a cat dancing in a cute, calculated manner, twisting his long tail, his round eyes glistening. The sight of his fluffy fur, quivering ears, and the sad purr was a sweet trap that stimulated the primitive human desire to protect something. —It was the ultimate calculated charm, perfected by a house cat.
“Meow, meow, mew, mew…”
Emilia’s voice trembled after seeing Puck like that. Recalling her conclusion from before, it was clear how she would react to the sight of Puck, who had lost his wild instincts. But—
“Oh no, Puck, you are so cute…! What happened to you? Cute…!” Completely losing against Puck’s calculated charms, Emilia picked him up, blushing.
She then proceeded to rub her cheeks against his. It seemed like her conclusion and resolute decision had completely faded away.
“Meow…make up,” Puck requested in a sweet voice.
“Make up? Yes, sure, sure,” Emilia said, easily giving in. “Puck, you are so cute. I am sorry for being stubborn.”
Puck thrust out his palm energetically at Subaru, who was looking at them with a blank face.
He’s acting like ‘It all went well thanks to you’, but that’s a false accusation. Anyway, leaving all of that aside… “The reason why a house cat gets too cocky is because there’s a problem with the owner’s way of disciplining it…” Subaru muttered in a resigned voice as he witnessed Puck and Emilia playing with each other.
They probably won’t stop playing until the tea gets cold, he thought to himself.
—And in fact, their adorable merrymaking didn’t end until lunch was called.