ASTKO 17

17

 

“Yaquel, do you have a minute?”

 

Retana called Yaquel who was cleaning the windows in the guestroom.

When he wiped his hands and stood up, the boy that’s around 12,3 years old with Retana was looking at him anxiously.

 

“This child is called Mareido. He doesn’t have any relatives, and it just so happens that we’re lacking manpower, I’m thinking of letting him work here.”

 

Just as Retana said, Hana-Hana is currently seriously understaffed. The number of customers visiting the shop has tripled and the prost*tutes are filled with designated customers. They can seldom have an idle chat in the waiting room, unlike before. And Yaquel and his colleague’s work has drastically increased, they’re so busy that they would even welcome a cat’s help. This was worth celebrating but it’s not good to be too busy either so Retana hired four new prost*tutes, and she was just looking for a manservant and maidservant.

 

“I found him collapsed by the mountain road, When I asked, he said that he was abandoned by his parents in Noran and that he walked this far thinking that he could live and work in Pyacca.

“Eeeh! Isn’t Noran five villages away?”

“I heard that sl*very still exists there, and there are a lot of poor people there, too. “

“So that’s the case…”

 

Sl*very has been abolished ever since the new king sat on the throne, but it still persists in rural towns and villages. The Knights of Krantz that’s led by Guinn is persistently cracking them down so it’s gradually diminishing, but human trafficking is still prevalent in the dark.

Yaquel remembered the time when he first came to Hana-Hana and his heart ached.

 

“Mareido, my name is Yaquel Rogino. Please call me Yaquel.”

 

Facing Mareido who is less than 160 cm, he bent down a little and held out his hand. Mareido raised his shoulders with a start and timidly shook hands with Yaquel.

Since Yaquel looks the way he does, meeting him for the first time generally gets the same reaction. But Yaquel’s big and rugged hand was very warm and its gentle strength that gave Mareido consideration made him(M) relax his shoulders.

 

“Mareido, you will be under Yaquel to learn the job.”

“I look forward to working with you, Mareido.”

“Yes… I’ll be in your care.”

 

Hearing Mareido’s voice for the first time, it was delicate and sounded like he was still a bit anxious.

It’s understandable. Being abandoned by his parents and living in a new place while still being distrustful of other people, it’s inevitable that he will be scared and uneasy. Since Yaquel has also experienced it, he perfectly understood Mareido’s feelings.

 

“It’s gonna be okay. Let’s learn the job step by step, okay?”

 

Yaquel lightly patted Mareido’s head, and Mareido reservedly nodded.

 

“Yaquel-san! I finished changing the sheets!”

“Yes, good job. You’re very skilled, Mareido.”

“Thank you very much. It’s because Yaquel-san’s instructions are easy to understand.”

“Is that so? I’m relieved to hear you say that.”

 

It has been a week since Mareido arrived. The speed that which he understood his job was shocking. Whether he’s originally skillful or he’s good at dealing with things, he accurately remembers the things he’s taught once and performs the job properly. It seems he’s also a fast thinker, he was able to think and act for himself before receiving instructions. It’s just that his body was small so it looked like he couldn’t do much heavy lifting but, despite that, his appearance when he worked hard on his tasks was very likable.

As if his shyness when they first met was a lie, he now adores Yaquel going “Yaquel-san, Yaquel-san” and following him around. Yaquel also adored Mareido like his little brother, he gave Mareido all the baked sweets he received and he would be happy seeing him eat them deliciously. The two close friends who were always together were teased as the odd couple and Yaquel was being bashful without feeling bothered. That has become Hana-Hana’s recent spectacle.

 

“Yaquel!”

“Guinn-sama.”

 

Guinn, who came to the shop, couldn’t wait and went to where Yaquel was working.

 

“Welcome.”

“Ahh. I missed you.”

 

He hugged Yaquel and enjoyed his sun-like gentle smell.

 

“…Hm? That child is?”

 

Noticing Mareido who was intently staring behind Yaquel, Guinn asked.

 

“Ohh, yes. He’s the manservant who recently came to Hana-Hana, Mareido. I was teaching him about work just now.”

“Is that so? So you’re a master now.”

“Teac, It’s not something oustanding like a master. I’m just telling him a little bit.”

“Hahaha, you’re still as humble as usual.”

 

Guinn kissed the corner of Yaquel’s eye, who was shyly waving his hands around saying ‘I’m not, I’m not’ in a fluster.

 

“Guinn-sama, you’re staying today, right? I’ll go and get ready now.”

“No, I was making an inspection near here so I just came to see you while I’m at it. I also brought you something that you’ll like.”

 

‘Look’, he said and pointed at the large quantity of pyankis placed on the bench.

 

“Woaaah! There’s so much! Is it really okay?!”

“Yeah. Eat as much as you want.”

“Thank you so much! I’ll accept your kind offer and help myself!”

“Yeah. Eat, eat.”

 

If it was the usual Yaquel then he would say, ‘I won’t be able to eat this much’, but he forgot his reservation and modesty before his favorite pyanki and honestly accepted them. But Guinn got the feeling of spoiling Yaquel and he(G) ogled at him with a lovestruck expression.

 

“Well then, I’m going back, Yaquel.”

“Already?”

“Yeah. I still have some work left to do, you see.”

“I see… Even though you’re busy, thank you so much for going out of your way to send me presents.”

“Sure. I’ll come back again.”

 

Guinn saw Yaquel’s opening and gave his lips a light kiss.

He actually wanted to have a deeper kiss. However, he could already see himself losing his self-control once he did that. He’s reluctant to leave but he must bear with it until the next time he comes back.

Aah, I really want Yaquel by my side. By my side where I can see him whenever…

 

Guinn left Hana-Hana with painful reluctance.

 

Three days after that, “THI, THIS IS URGENT!!!”  the clerk’s flustered voice reverberates within Hana-Hana while holding a letter with the royal family in his hands.

 

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