(Nothing Really Happens)
"For me to be the weakest..."
Having been thoroughly defeated by the duels, Shikina seemed to have completely lost confidence in herself.
I don't think I can help her when it comes to combat, so I'll leave it to those four. She'll get stronger sooner or later just by dueling them.
And if she doesn't, I dunno. I became her master, but uhh, I wasn't told what to do.
In other words, if I feel like it, I can just insist I'm the sleeping master and slay asleep!
"What, you don't have to be strong. You came to me to learn, didn't you?"
"Now that you mention it, that's true!"
And she quickly pepped back up. Her ability to be so positive is a little enviable.
A little while later, I introduced her to Rei and the others.
She was surprised to see Neru's doll (a golem possessed by the ring succubus) sitting at the counter, but she was able to greet her.
I was relieved that she didn't assault her right off the bat for being a monster.
"Nerune-dono and Neru-dono have similar names, I might mix them up!"
It looks like Shikina is the type of person to say whatever's on her mind.
I guess that's just another reason why she was forced to resign from being a knight.
"By the way, Master... Will Shikina-san be another body pillow? It's not as though you've ever called for us, though..."
According to Rei, the dining room also heard Shikina's shouts from earlier.
... In other words, it appears that most of the inn's guests heard it. Uwaah, there's going to be more rumors now. Like the Brute Village Chief or Erotic Village Chief.
"... I don't understand what you're talking about. Besides, you know that with the way you said that, it could be taken as you and the others wanting to be body pillows right?"
"Ah, no, umm. Right, that's not what I, uhh... It might be presumptuous of me, but I think the order-umm, her rank is important.
Wait, she really wants to be my body pillow?
... The top rank becomes my body pillow? What the heck lead to that, oi. It's just that I've known Meat for a while and she's convenient, it has nothing to do with body pillows.
"Master Kehma, Rei-dono and the others certainly wish to be body pillows! Rei-dono wishes to be embraced and she indeed has aura of a good girl. Kinue-dono seems soft and fluffy, as well as have the smell about her of freshly baked bread. Nerune-dono is both simple and cute... however, she smells of medicine. And since Neru-dono smells of iron, you may be able to have fun dreaming of a battlefield. You may be crushed if she turns over in bed, though."
"You can shut up now?"
"Sir! I will now shut up and not say anything that I shouldn't!"
You've already said plenty enough... seriously.
"Although it may be a misunderstanding on my part, I generally don't intend on using anyone but Meat as my body pillow."
"Yes, I understand."
Rei suddenly bowed her head. By the way, I used [generally] there because Rokuko sometimes comes along.
After the partner declaration thing, she sometimes comes bringing the godly comforter with her.
But I'm afraid of that divine retribution, so I don't use the godly comforter. I just stroke it and enjoy the best touch sensation in the world... please spare me, please...
Rokuko always tells me it's OK because we're partners, but she doesn't have any basis for it.
"Come to think of it, Nerune-dono is Wataru-sensei's sweetheart, isn't she? She has a simple cuteness to her! I understand why Wataru-sensei likes her."
"Heeeh~, is that so~?"
"It is! There have been many instances of self-proclaimed ladies always attempting to dress up for him in the capital. He has had me make appearances to act as repellants against them."
"I see~, Shikina-san, please tell me more about that~"
Ooh? Is Nerune actually... interested in Wataru?
No, she's probably just thinking about ways to extort information from him. Nerune looks like a pure country girl, but she's actually a black-bellied miss.
It'll definitely give us new information on the imperial capital and the hero. Aah, so good.
Like that, Wataru, having come to enjoy the hot spring, was quickly toyed around with by Nerune.
Thanks for the meal.
"Haah, today was incredibly enlightening..."
"Really? That's good."
At the end of the day, I was drinking tea in the inn's employee lounge.
It had a Japanese layout with a kotatsu over tatami mats, so it was cosy.
Well, now's not the time of year for a full kotatsu, so it was just a thin sheet. It was still a kotatsu, though. The heating function itself was off, of course. Maybe I should make it have a cooling function, too?
"Guess it's around time for me to head back to my room and get some sleep."
"Oh, you are going to bed? I shall accompany you."
And just as I got out from under the kotatsu, Shikina did the same.
"... Huh? Why?"
That's strange, Shikina should already have a room of her own prepared, what's she saying?
"It is so that I can study each and every one of Master's actions by sleeping in the same room...?"
"It troubles me that you say that so naturally..."
"But that teeny-Kuroinu-dono is alright?"
With that, Shikina pointed to Meat, who was standing next to me.
Meat is alright, she's Meat. She is my super important body pillow, after all.
"Moreover, Kuroinu-dono herself said that she's gotten stronger since she began to sleep with you...!"
It's true that Meat's definitely gotten stronger since last year, but there's no causal relationship between that and her sleeping with me... there isn't, right?
It's just thanks to the clothes golem, right?
I glanced over to Meat. She, either due to knowing what I was thinking or not, nodded.
Yep, she definitely doesn't know what I want to say.
"Rather, Rokuko said that you aren't to enter the Village Chief's House. Give it up."
"Sir! Come to think of it, she did say that. I shall give it up!"
Shikina returned to the room prepared for her when I said that.
Her ludicrous honesty and obedience made her give it up so quickly that it felt almost like she was scheming something.
... By the way, she really did give up. The next day came without anything happening.