Chapter 64: Celia’s Reminiscence
The stone house in which Rio and company lived could accommodate more than 10 people, the dinner table located in the kitchen could do so too.
Furthermore, with Miharu cooking along, the range of cuisine expanded.
Maybe in consideration to Celia, today’s menu is mainly western style consisting of rice, bread, cabbage roll of boiled tomato, terrine, and salad.
「Uwaa, the aroma is truly appetizing. Did Miharu make all of this？ 」
Celia asked with her nose twitching savoring the aroma of the dishes.
「Yeah, since cooking is one of Miharu-san’s forte, she’s sharing cooking allotment with me. For today, I left the decision of the menu to Miharu-san」
「Hee, maybe I should learn how to cook too？ I want to get along with Miharu quickly」
Celiia said that while smiling widely to the many dishes that were lined up on the table.
「That’s good then」
Rio replied while smiling lightly.
Teaching how to cook will also serve as Miharu’s conversation practice.
Maybe he will have to become the middle man when they need an interpreter.
「Haruto-anchan. Let’s eat quickly！ 」
Masato was already sitting on his chair seemingly not able to endure anymore.
Rio smiled lightly.
「Ah, sorry to make you wait」
Then he gave his apologize to Masato.
「Please sit over here Celia-sensei」
He offered Celia by pulling the chair on his left.
Incidentally, on his right was Miharu’s seat, in front of him were the seats of Aki and Masato.
「Thank you very much」
After saying her gratitude with a pleasant mood, Celia sat in her place. [TL : Flower in both hand]
The one that came last were Aki and Miharu who then sat in their places after coming back from the Kitchen.
The meal began.
Celia asked Rio.
Maybe she’s puzzled why all of them except for her said the same word.
「This is similar to the words for honoring the meal, it’s to express our gratitude to everything that gave this meal such as the ingredients and the cook」
Rio taught the meaning of that word to Celia who was tilting her head.
「He~, me too then. Itadakimasu」
Celia also said it by mimicking them.
Miharu who was looking at that smiled happily.
「Then, should we eat the terrine first」
Celia skillfully used the fork and knife to put the terrine inside her mouth.
「There’s the flavor of the raw ingredients which elevate the good taste. Maybe its light roasted like this lukewarm salad」
And gave her impression with a pretty smile.
As expected of Celia who is a noble, maybe more people in that area are gourmands.
Miharu dishes could make that Celia to sing her praises.
「Then next, how about this boiled cabbage」
After saying that and tasting the cabbage roll, Celia stiffened while her eyes opened wide.
「S-So delicious！ What kind of flavor is this！ It’s sooo rich！ The melting cheese inside of the meat is the best！ 」
Celia gave an extremely high praise.
Rio didn’t even need to translate it, Miharu felt bashful knowing that Celia was praising her dishes.
「What is this red colored thing？」
「That’s a type of ingredient called tomato. Though this ingredient does not exist in this region, it can be gathered in the center of the continent」
「Hee, this stew is also really delicious. The meat is soft and tender, the taste also seems to be perfectly permeated in it. Any noble will be pleased with this！ 」
Celia said that and gave her stamp of approval.
Miharu was happy being showered by such praise, Rio’s face also unintentionally formed a smile.
「Aah geez！ Now I want some liquor！ 」
「In that case …….I’ve a nice one.『ReleaseDischarge』」
The space next to Rio was distorted and a drinking vessel made of metal appeared out of thin air.
Celia’s eyes shined brightly when she heard the word “liquor”.
Rio’s line of sight shifted to Miharu.
「Though I want to treat Celia-sensei with liquor, how about you guys also try it？」
He turned the liquor to the three.
When one has a meal in Strahl region, many people prefer liquor over water to accompany their meal.
Or rather, the possibility of having natural unboiled water used as a beverage is none.
Though recently Rio has avoided drinking liquor to match the three, if Celia is there, he won’t be stingy.
「EH? Liquor？ 」
「Yes. Since even the underage drink liquor in this world. Well, drinking too much isn’t good but, how about trying mouthful of it?」
Rio easily recommended to them as if not putting any guard on it.
「E-Eh, then, only one mouthful please」
Though Miharu felt a little worried, maybe because she felt it would be bad rejecting such a special recommendation, she accepted Rio’s invitation.
「Ah, I want to taste it too！」
「Me too then …….」
Thereupon, Aki and Masato also followed after her.
It seems they were being lured by the metal drinking vessel that was taken out by Rio, both were also curious.
「okay. Then just a little」
While saying that, he poured the nicely chilled liquor into five metal karaffe. (ED: Karaffe = cup)
Though his and Celia’s parts were normal portions, Miharu, Aki, and Masato’s portion was truly just a little.
「Let’s drink then. Toast」
After all the cups were distributed to the members, they made a toast. (ED: if the container is made of metal, is it still called glass, like a glass of water?)
They brought the metal cup of liquor to their lips with a timid movement.
「Amazing, was the so called liquor this delicious?」
Miharu, Aki and Masato said their impression with dumbfounded faces.
Following after that, Celia who was entranced by the aroma sipped the liquor. (ED: Celia is being changed to Celia?)
「!!!!! What is this liquor！ It’s way too delicious！」
She was shouting with her expression changing to that of amazement.
The best liquor amongst the liquor that was kept by Rio is certainly this spirit liquor but, the amount isn’t that much either.
With Celia’s liquor tolerance, it might be better if they didn’t drink too much of this liquor.
The one they drank right now is the most famous brand of liquor made in Seirei no Tami village but, even excluding spirit liquor, the taste is in a different league in quality compared to the one made by the human tribe.
Celia’s reaction was just natural.
「Though it’s easy to drink, the liquor itself is strong, so please don’t drink too much」
「Something like this, where did you get such a famous brand of liquor！ If you sell it, several gold coin isn’t too much！ 」
The best liquor that appeared in the human tribes society is priced at several gold coins.
But, after drinking the spirit liquor, Celia declared that its price is more than that.
「Because this liquor isn’t made by the human tribe right」
「Aah, I see」
Rio briefly explained about his exchange with Seirei no Tami till they arrived at the rock house.
Maybe that’s where Celia guessed the place in which he obtained the liquor.
After she inhaled the sweet and mellow fragrance of the liquor with her nose.
「The nobles who enjoy liquor will have their expression changed for negotiation when they know about this. Uhhn, no doubt about it, many people will desire it」
After saying that with an entranced face.
「But, I have no plan to introduce it to the world」
「Aah, to think that we’re the only one who drink this delicious liquor, what an unthinkable luxury ……..」
Celia sighed as if lamenting about that fact.
Delicious liquor at this level has yet to come out, it’s to the point that she didn’t think that there’ll be liquor more delicious than this.
Rio ate the beef stew made by Miharu in silence.
The beef stew was boiled and tended well was oozing out with delicious flavor, Rio smiled from ear to ear.
「Well, now we should enjoy the meal that Miharu made. What are the white grains that are served on this plate？ It’s ….. Not wheat right？ 」
「That’s rice. Though I couldn’t say unconditionally all of the types, its feature is that it doesn’t have any taste. But the other flavors will be attached to it, the popular way to eat this is to eat it with other dishes」
「Hee, then, let’s taste it as it is ……..Uhn, you’re right, it has no taste. I wonder which dish is the better match. Ah, it’s good when I eat it with this cabbage. It’s also a match with the meat stew」
She’s enjoying the meal with a full smile.
From beginning to the end Celia was eating the dishes made by Miharu with that kind of feeling.
Now is time to bath after dinner.
「Here is the dressing room. The bathroom is on the other side of that door」
Rio guided Celia who didn’t know the culture of bathing, in order to teach her how to use the bath.
「What a splendid dressing room. At this rate, the bathroom might be larger too. Is what I thought but, this house didn’t seems to be that wide right？ 」
Celia asked that while looking restlessly into the dressing room.
「Yeah, it’s because space magic is being used to enlarge the inside. Looking from the construction perspective, though there’s a limit to how much I can enlarge it, it’s really handy」
And, Rio’s answering her with calm tone.
「S-Space magic. Is that also something that you got from the people called Seirei no Tami? Now I feel the reality of how much the human tribes are falling behind」
Celia’s face cramped.
「At first, I was also deeply moved by such convenience. Then, let’s move into the bathroom」
He’s making a gesture for Celia to follow him to enter as he opened the door of the bathroom.
「Thank you very much」
After entering the bathroom, she said her gratitude with a low voice.
「W-What is this？ WAAAAOW！ Is this, a bathroom? 」
Celia unintentionally shouted loudly .
「This is what we call a bathroom, after washing our body, we warm our body by soaking it inside the hot water」
「It’s really different from the baths in the human tribes right」
After looking at the bath that was surrounded by rocks, Celia took a deep breath being emotionally moved.
There’s no culture of immersing oneself in the bath except in some unexplored areas with hot springs in the Strahl region.
Though Celia was also aware about the hot springs, she never immersed herself in them, that’s why she’s truly interested in her first time trying it.
「I think you’ll be addicted once you try it」
Rio said that while grinning widely.
He turned his line of sight towards the indoor open space.
「Please wash your body and hair over there. The hot water will be coming out if you touch the installed magic tool crystal with your hand. There are 5 kinds of soap, each with a different function――」
Then he taught Celia how to use the soap and the magic tools installed in the bathroom.
「The way to use that place. Since the hinoki cypress and the stone bathtub have different temperatures, you can enter whichever you like. Please try it later. Since I’ll go back to my room」
「Yeah, thank you very much」
The two of them returned to the dressing room, Rio went back to his room, leaving Celia alone.
After locking the dressing room, she took off the one piece that she wore and was left only with her plain underwear.
After taking off her underwear, her straight white hair that was stretching till her back was spread with a thud.
Though no one was in the dressing room, she just couldn’t calm her heart when she’s alone and naked in such a spacious bathroom.
Celia hurriedly entered the bath area.
「There’s no doubt that immersing myself in the hot water feels good」
Though she unintentionally had an impulse of wanting to jump with a “plop” into the bathtub that was raising the white steam, she must first wash her body and hair following Rio’s instructions.
「Uwaa, this is the first time I see liquid soap. But it has a really nice smell」
Celia astonished of the soap’s quality.
That’s right, first, the smell is different.
The soap that appeared in the human society is a soft thing thats called soft soap, the smell was also not very nice.
But, the soap prepared by Rio had a gentle fragrance of flowers to the point that she unintentionally sniffed it with her nose,
It’s definitely even better than the hard soap that was recently invented by Rikka firm.
「Rio said that he made all of the five types, the amount of his income will become unthinkable only by teaching the recipe for this[soap]. Well, that child won’t do that though」
Rio is the type who prefers a calm and quiet life rather than something like fame or social position. [TL : All riajuu is like that] (ED: nah, that’s only the good riajuu)
Even if he teaches the recipe, she feel that he absolutely won’t let his name be published.
Incidentally because the soap provided in this house is made using ingredients that couldn’t be found anywhere except in Seirei no Tami village, it can’t be made even if the recipe is taught to the human tribes.
That quality with the one certified by Seirei no Tami is superior to the point of it being absurd even when comparing it with the soap made in Strahl region.
Furthermore, the recipe that he passed down to Yuba village in Karasuki Kingdom had a lower grade than the ones made in Seirei no Tami, it was the one that was easy to make.
「Well, maybe it’s okay with this degree of cleanliness」
By the way, she gently washed till every nook of her body was covered with the bubble soap and then poured it with the hot water from the hot water tap magic tool to wash away the bubbles.
She noticed by this point that her skin became glossier than usual.
「Next is the face. Uhhm, maybe this one」
After pouring the lukewarm water in the bucket to her face, she picked up the container that had “For face” written on it and took out a suitable amount of soap from inside.
Applying the bubble soap as it is to her face while gently massaging her face without scrubbing it.
「Uwaa. It feels nice」
The filth that was sticking on her face was washed clean, there’s only a springy and moist feeling left on her skin.
「Then, next is the head. Uhm, starting with shampoo then using the treatment next」
After carefully washing her hair with shampoo in the beginning, she throughly applied the treatment next from the center of her hair of all the way to the tips.
「Maybe this is enough？ 」
After wrapping her head and long hair with a warm towel following Rio’s instruction, she immersed herself in the bathtub as it is.
An agonizing like moan leaked out from Celia’s lips.
「It’s feel ni~ce~. I might get addicted to this」
She felt herself grow weak to the comfortable feeling that wrapped around her body.
After immersing herself in the hot water till her lips while shutting her eyes, her whole body relaxed.
When she raised her face, beautiful stars were reflected in her eyes.
A smile floated on her face.
「So pretty. It’s like the feeling that my world was about to end half day ago was a lie」
Suddenly, Celia recalled the time that became the trigger of her getting on good terms with Rio.
The place is the library of the royal institute of Bertram Kingdom.
The time is maybe around one month after Rio was enrolled in the institute.
（Ara, that child …….. He’s still doing it）
Though Celia was always confined inside of her laboratory, she often came out like this to the library looking for books.
In that place, Celia witnessed Rio who was reading a book alone.
Thus Celia caught a glimpse of Rio reading a book in the library.
Though at that time Celia had little to none interactions with Rio.
But, Celia remembered about Rio since she’s the one who taught him the arithmetic symbol right after the entrance ceremony, and was impressed by the way he solved the problems using mental arithmetic with an unusual speed at that time.
（He’s always stacking up books but, I wonder what kind of books does he read？）
As expected, she became a little anxious after frequently seeing him in there.
Though she was always looking at him from afar, Celia slowly approached Rio.
（Are, did he sleep？）
When she approached him, Rio was breathing calmly in his sleep while holding the book.
There are so many papers written with closely packed letters on top of the desk.
（Could it be that he’s trying to learn about letters while reading the book）
The book that he read is the book that was aimed for children but, he also put a picture book and a literal text book on the desk.
Maybe he’s reading the book while trying to find something with what he didn’t know.
（Which reminds me, he said that he’s an orphan）
She recalled Rio’s circumstances.
Originally there’s almost no one who was originally an orphaned child that knows common sense .
Though the books are aimed for children, reading them is quite troublesome.
（Even so, this boy shouldn’t be able to read a letter right. He didn’t even know arithmetic symbols one month ago. Don’t tell me ….）
Could it be that he’s learned the letters to read in just one month.
Moreover through self-learning.
Celia noticed that fact.
（But, his lessons won’t be able to progress forward …….）
The royal institute is the school which the nobles children go to, the teachers also won’t have such spare time.
And they won’t simply delaying the pace of the lesson just because a former orphan child didn’t understand it, or rather they won’t even take some of their time outside the lesson to teach a former orphan.
That’s why, as the lessons steadily advance forward, Rio will be left behind since he’s unable to follow it.
Though Celia herself wasn’t aware of that because she’s quite busy, she could imagine how that would feel if she just though a little.
（Even so, this much with just one month of self-study ……. This child is too brilliant. If it’s at this level, it might also be why he’s knowledgeable about arithmetic？）
Taking one note that was left on the table, she took a look at it.
The handwriting is beautiful without any futile movement.
Moreover, it’s put in a way that it’ll be easy to read, the detailed explanation being written on it is clear.
There’s even as far as handmade flash cards amongst it.
（He might be tired. Well it’s just natural if he continuously read the books in this place after his lessons finish）
Though his tranquil sleeping face is well ordered, he seemed to be really innocent.
Celia’s face unintentionally formed a smile.
「Hey, you’ll catch a cold if you sleep in this kind of place you know」
She shook Rio’s shoulder.
「…….. Uhn…….. Celia…………. Sensei？」
「Ara, so you remember my name. You’re called Rio, right？ 」
Celia displayed an attractive smile to Rio who was still half-asleep.
「Yes. You’re right but ……….. 」
Rio turned his line of sight to Celia as if he wanted to ask “What can I do to help you?”.
「Don’t you want to have some tea for a little rest？」
「Eh, but .……」
「It’s alright, now follow me」
Celia pulled Rio’s hand who was still bewildered.
She avoided Rio’s eyes since she was a bit embarrassed.
(I wonder why did I do such a bold action)
She now wonders while in reminiscence.
But, now she’s glad that she chose to do that.
It’s her real feeling.
Since she wouldn’t be on good terms with Rio if she had not done that.
With that as a trigger, Celia prepared to drink tea with Rio.
Before she noticed, she was meeting with Rio almost every day, and talking about many things.
Time passed in the blink of an eye, Rio received a false charge and she was extremely shocked to the fact that Rio went missing, since he would die unless he escaped from the country.
After he left, though Celia and Rio’s connection was cut, Celia preserved the memories of her with Rio in her mind.
Incidentally, she’s always carrying the letter that she got from Rio without leaving it too far from her.
She read the letter as a change of pace whenever she felt down.
「I wonder what kind of face he’ll make if I tell him that I always carry his letter」
Celia leaked out a smile while laughing “fufufu”.
To Celia, Rio isn’t simply one of her pupils.
Maybe because she became a lecturer of the royal institute at a young age and due to envy, for Celia, there is almost no one who she could call as friend.
Rio was the only companion to whom she let her guard down in that kind of living environment.
There was also the day in which she lamented her own powerlessness, because she couldn’t do anything when he was being chased out of the country with false charges.
There was even a day in which she though that they might never be able to meet again for a second time.
Even so, she couldn’t throw away Rio’s letter which became their sole connection.
They might meet again someday.
Because Celia wished for it.
Because for Celia, Rio was an important person similar to a friend, or a younger brother.
But, it might be a little different now.
No, though he still was that kind of existence for her, an emotion a little different started to bud in her heart.
Though she couldn’t explain it, Celia could feel that emotion.
Even now, her heart beat raised whenever she thought about Rio.
To the extent that she wants to laugh at herself who thought that she didn’t need something like marriage.
To the point that she’s wondering about her own self who’s immersed in her research, what kind of maiden her current self is.
「In reality, it’s not just gratitude towards Rio」
For the sake of a reunion with her, he was coming back to the Bertram kingdom in which he had nothing but unpleasant memories.
Though he might be making the enemy of a country, he readily saved her knowing that she’s in a dangerous situation.
Though the connection between Celia and Rio is nothing more than a bit over five years.
「…… Maybe it’s almost time」
She might have immersed herself in the bathtub for a bit too long.
After washing her body and washing the treatment that she applied to herself, Celia left the bathroom.
「Rio, the hot water is nice. Thank you」
When she returned to the living room after changing her clothes, Celia told her gratitude with slightly blushing cheeks to Rio who was chatting with Miharu-tachi while drinking black tea.