Side Story: A Seaside Summer Vacation — Part 3
Editor(s): Joker, Speedphoenix
“Mind lending me a hand?” I asked.
“Of course not, my Lord,” responded the maid.
I stopped lazing around some time in the mid-late afternoon so I could get the barbecue up and running for dinner. The sun had yet to start setting, but I knew better than to dally around any longer. Playing around all day was sure to leave everyone exhausted and wanting to go to bed much earlier than usual.
Everyone had volunteered to help out, but I told them it was fine. I could tell that they still wanted to keep messing around, and that they were incredibly keen on doing so, even in spite of how suddenly the event had been sprung on them.
Leila and I aside, everyone was currently off exploring. A Lefi-drawn banana boat had taken the group off into the distance. There were more monsters out at sea, but it was unlikely that they would run into any issues so long as Lefi and Nell were present.
I used my primordial magic to make a series of bricks, and then stacked them on top of each other to form a stove. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “What the fuck, Yuki? Why are you making the goddamn barbecue? Just buy one.” You see, it’s ’cause barbecues are actually surprisingly simple to make. All you have to do is get some bricks, stack ’em up, and throw a cooking grate on top. Boom. Done. Having your own custom built barbecue does wonders for the atmosphere too. And when it comes to spending a day at the beach, the atmosphere is pretty much the most important part. And shit dude, you can even leave everything but the grate behind, then come back and use it again some other time. Would recommend/10.
Naturally, it didn’t take two of us to put such a simple piece of cookware together. Leila’s job was getting the ingredients ready, and she was doing just that. The table next to me was covered with plates of meat, vegetables, and seafood, with much of the latter being courtesy of Enne and the triplets. There’s a lot of shit to prep, so I’m probably going to start helping her with it once I’m done with the stove.
“Hey, Leila?” I randomly called out to her as I magically lit the charcoal I’d deposited inside the barbecue.
The sheep-horned maid was no longer wearing just a swimsuit. She had a hoodie over it, which frankly, made for a fantastic look. The way those long, sexy legs of hers come out from right underneath the hoodie is just hnnng.
…I should probably stop staring before I get called out for being a pervert.
“What is it?”
“I errr…. just wanted to apologize for always eating up so much of your time. The point of this whole thing was to play, and that’s exactly what you came here to do, but here you are helping me with shit again. And that’s on top of you already having helped with lunch, and getting everyone’s clothes ready.”
At first, we’d more or less hired Leila. She was just supposed to be a maid. But now, she’s family.
This wasn’t the first time I’d ended up asking her for help and relying on her for whatever. And it wasn’t going to be the last either. It was too easy to make the mistake, given how responsible she was. Honestly, it’s gotten to the point where she’s the one keeping our household functioning. Makes me feel kinda bad, given how much of the housework she’s doing.
And maybe I probably shouldn’t just start going off and thinking of her as a part of the family, at least not without her express permission. She’d probably think it’s kinda weird, seeing as how, unlike the others, she’s not married to me.
“Not to worry, my Lord. I’m quite enjoying my life as it is now. And today was no exception.”
She seemed genuinely surprised by my concern, surprised enough to stare and blink a few times before answering.
“I certainly am. While the acquisition of knowledge has always been my top priority, I’ve also always enjoyed taking care of others as well.” She smiled reassuringly—to tell me she really did mean what she said—before she continued. “There’s no need for you to be concerned, my Lord. I very much enjoy the time I spend here. It makes me incredibly happy to see everyone comfortably idle away in the rooms that I have cleaned, and it warms me to watch as you all enjoy the meals that I cook. I’m even allowed to indulge in as much research as I would like during the downtime between my chores. And on whatever topic might have piqued my curiosity, at that. I doubt there are many other places in this world where I could be so free to follow my heart’s desires.”
“So that’s how you felt about it,” I smiled back. “You know, we’ve always thought that we were super lucky to have you. You’ve made life so much more enjoyable for us.”
“You’ve made my life rather enjoyable as well, my Lord. Every day I spend here is filled to the brim with fun. I would actually like to thank you for giving me the opportunity.”
The smile on her face was so lovely I couldn’t help but find myself charmed.
“…If I was single, I would’ve instantly proposed to you just now. Just saying.”
“Oh my.” Leila placed a hand on her cheek and chuckled lightly. “And I would have been glad to accept.”
It was the kind of laugh that made it hard to tell if she was being serious.
But rather than attempting to figure it out, I instead turned to a certain pair doing their best to stay out of sight.
“The hell are you two hiding for? Get out here already.”
One of the two was Nell, and the other was Lyuu. I had no idea when they’d gotten back, but apparently, they had.
“I-it ain’t our fault. You two had such a good atmosphere goin’ that it was hard for us to announce ourselves.”
“W-we really didn’t mean to spy on you,” said Nell, with an awkward laugh.
Those are some pretty damn obvious excuses you girls have got going…
The pair went on to explain that they’d returned to help out after leaving the kids in Lefi’s care.
“Come here for a sec, Master,” said Lyuu.
She pulled me aside and began whispering to me with a huge shit-eating grin on her face.
“I think you’ve got her right on the hook! If you try pushin’ just a little bit and start sweet talkin’ her, she’ll be yours in a heartbeat. We’ll see if we can find an excuse to wander off for a bit, so go get ‘er, tiger!”
“Ow! W-Why’re you bonkin’ me over the head like that!?”
“Because you’re being stupid,” I said. “If you’re going to help us make dinner, then get to it. Everyone’s going to be hungry as shit by the time they get back.”
“Oh, fine,” she said, with a click of the tongue.
Disgruntled and annoyed, Lyuu turned around and headed back to our makeshift kitchen. For fuck’s sake, Lyuu. For fuck’s sake…