Sunday, October 10, 2021

Have a Cup of Coffee after School in the Fantasy World Café V3 (2 of 6)


Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro


No matter how many tourists there were in the city, not many of them would come out early in the morning. The crowd during lunch and dinner yesterday was like a dream, and the shop welcomed a peaceful morning.

Linaria ate a hot pressed ham sandwich for breakfast like usual, and read a thick book at the bar counter. There were also a few whimsical customers enjoying an elegant breakfast here too.

I had to visit the market to procure a large amount of ingredients. The courier Shilulu would usually deliver them to me, but considering the crowd yesterday, I knew the usual amount wasn’t enough. This was my first time making an estimate and going to the market to purchase the shortfall.

A customer came when I was peeling vegetables while the crowd was still thin. The visitor had long silver hair, eyes filled with life and a tall, slender figure. She wore a knight’s attire that had a mature colour.

「Welcome, Arbel-san, long time no see.」

「The exploration mission dragged on for a while, resulting in my late visit.」

Arbel-san was a mesmerizing beauty, and could be easily mistaken for a model, but she was actually an adventurer who challenges the labyrinth.

「Want a cup of the usual?」

「Yes, a cup of the Coffee Master’s brew. That’s the reason why I work so hard every day.」

Arbel-san winked mischievously. I knew she was just being polite, but that still made me happy.

「Have things been busy?」

I asked while I prepared the Coffee maker.

「You know the Songstress will be visiting this city soon?」

I nodded.

「The two Songstresses will be sharing the stage. Royals will come from the capital, and people from all over the nation will gather here. Have you seen the city walls? Makeshift lodgings are being erected here, which means the city is full of people.」

「That’s really…… shocking.」

I couldn’t find a better way of saying this.

「Anyway, it’s really shocking. The guild is troubled by this unprecedented crowd too, and might not be able to handle it if the tourists charge into the labyrinth. They might seal off the labyrinth completely during the Songstress’ stay here.」

「I see. So you will be diving into the labyrinth before it gets sealed off?」

「That’s right, some shops have closed temporarily because they can’t handle the rowdy tourists. If we get hurt while the hospitals are filled with tourists, we might die. Adventurers are sensitive to change, and hates it when things aren’t the same.」

I placed the extracted Coffee before Arbel-san who was smiling wryly.

「Oh, this fragrance! I have been waiting for this.」

She moved her nose to the cup she was holding, and the corners of her eyes narrowed into a smile. I felt a warmth in my chest, seeing her face relaxing because of my Coffee.

Arbel-san took a sip, furrowed her brows and closed her eyes tightly. She then relaxed her jaw and exhaled seductively.

「This moisturizing feeling… feels like an empty part of me being filled. I can’t get enough of this. I don’t drink alcohol, but those who loves alcohol are probably chasing this feeling.」

「The Coffee and I are both glad to hear you say that.」

I couldn’t help worrying whether she was showing withdrawal symptoms. Coffee contains caffeine, and taking in too much would cause addiction or even death. But the amount of caffeine in Coffee was miniscule, so there was no need to worry unless you drank it like water… probably.

「Coffee master, may I have another?」

But I couldn’t be sure after seeing Arbel-san finishing a cup in no time and asking for seconds.

However, I couldn’t reject the request of a young girl with sparkling eyes, and got right to preparing a second cup.

「By the way, I thought you can’t drink, so it’s just you chose not to.」

「Well, I can’t hold my liquor well, and will feel uncomfortable before I get drunk.」

「That’s a surprise.」

To me, Arbel-san was a mature and dependable woman.

She would fit right in a bar drinking a fashionable cocktail. Downing a strong cup of liquor would suit her image well too.

Arbel-san seemed to read my mind and said with a laugh:

「People often comment that I don’t drink despite being an adventurer. But I take after my father who is bad with alcohol. And I found something nice that can replace alcohol too.」

She took my second cup of Coffee with a smile.

「It’s a pity that I can’t drink a cup after I finish work late at night.」

She blinked at me teasingly, which shot an arrow through my heart. She was too cute and charming.


Right then, I heard someone clearing her throat beside me. When I realized it, Linaria was sitting beside me at the bar counter, as if to remind me to not stare with a dumb face.

I quickly straightened my face when the door chimed. Before it registered with me that guests were coming, the noise came in first.

「This is the place, this shop has a great atmosphere!」

「Yes, you are right. It’s a bit rundown, but ain’t half bad. Masa, you really like places like this.」

「Amazing! You found such a place so soon after coming to this city.」

「Oh, it’s nothing! It will be a long time before the Songstress comes, and it will be boring to have nothing to do in the meantime, right? So I started walking around the place.」

A group of housewives entered the shop as they chatted nonstop. I thought that was all of them, but the door opened again, and eight more people strolled in.

The quiet shop suddenly turned rowdy. If this was a television, I would want to lower the volume, but that wasn’t possible in reality. Seeing the crowd, Linaria stood up and put on the black apron hanging on the back of a chair. There was still some time before noon, so I put my hands together in gratitude over her willingness to help.

「…… The Songstress is really popular.」

Arbel-san swept her gaze through the crowd of housewives and said quietly.

「That’s true, my shop has been getting busy lately.」

「It’s the same for every shop. You have to go all out and make full use of this chance to be called a businessman.」

Arbel-san drank all her Coffee, then took out something that resembled a purse.

「Eh? You are leaving already?」

She would usually stay much longer.

「Yes, I have some business to attend to.」

She said reservedly. I was wondering if she just came up with that excuse when Arbel-san put the money on the table and stood up.

「It taste great, thank you for your hospitality.」

「Oh, right, thank you. Do come again.」

「Of course.」

Arbel-san left the shop with a light wave.

Laughter erupted in the shop. I turned to find the table of housewives laughing happily, someone must have said something interesting.

Linaria came over with an order chit.

「Here, this is their order.」

I couldn’t understand the words in this world, but I remember the dishes in the shop. This was closer to matching symbols instead of understanding them.

The orders covered the paper, and I took some time to decipher and confirm all of them.

「What’s wrong?」

When I heard Linaria’s question, I shook my head and said:

「No, it’s fine, I’ll get right onto it.」

They ordered light meals and juices, no one ordered Coffee.

I went out of my way to order extra ingredients in the morning, but still ran out before the day was over, and had to close shop earlier than usual.

「There’s a big crowd today too.」

Linaria pulled her ponytail to the front of her shoulder as she said that. Her feminine movement made my heart race, and I nodded:

「A returning customer promoted this shop to her friends.」

In the past, customers usually came alone or in pairs, but now, there were more groups with three or more patrons.

「Any problem with the cooking?」

Linaria supported her cheek with her palm at the counter and asked me.


That was a tough question.

It was still fine in the afternoon, but customers during dinner time usually order main courses and treat this place like a restaurant.

Which was to be expected, since there was no concept of cafes in this world. This was just a shop that served Coffee and light meals.

For the customers, they just visited this shop because they were hungry, and ordered dishes with names that intrigued them.

Hence, I couldn’t complain about the customers only ordering meals. I should even consider changing the operations at night to provide main dishes and alcohol to make more money.

However, I was the only chef in the shop, and I had to prepare the beverage. Linaria took care of the ordering, serving the dishes, settling the bill and cleaning up the tables. And now, there was a serious problem of us being short handed.

「This is a problem」

「It is.」

Linaria and I looked at each other with bitter smiles.

The orders today ran into a jam today too. There weren't many dishes and the prep work was well done, but there were still limits to what I could do alone.

Fortunately, the customers were ecstatic because of the festive mood and didn’t complain about the long wait, but we couldn’t continue like this.

「What should we do?」

「There’s nothing we can do, it’s not easy to find someone who can cook.」

With how busy we were, the actual restaurants must be even busier. All the shops were short handed.

「I never thought I will need to worry about this.」

「It’s a happy problem to have, right? Isn’t it great to have more customers? The place is usually deserted.」

Linaria teased me with a devious smile.

「I’m happy about it.」

Had there been so many customers visiting before? No, my revenue in recent days is substantial.


「What, something you are unhappy about?」

「I’m not unhappy, this just doesn’t feel like I’m running a cafe.」

「It can’t be helped during this period of time. Tourists can be satisfied by eating exotic food in an exotic place.」

Linaria said with a wave of her hand. I couldn’t help smiling at her concise comment.

She was exactly right.

The customers came for my dishes, felt it was delicious and paid the bill. It might stem from their curiosity, but it still made me happy.

It felt like my value had been affirmed, it wasn’t a bad feeling.

「Speaking of which, what should we do for dinner? Want me to buy something back?」

I only noticed the condition of my stomach when Linaria said that. I was famished.

「Actually, I set aside the portion for our dinner.」

「As expected of Yu.」

Linaria clapped her hands, and I stuck out my chest proudly before taking the ingredients for dinner out of the fridge.

Today’s dinner was fish. However, it wasn’t one whole fish, but a third of it. Even so, it was so big that I needed both hands to hold it.

Linaria saw it with her sharp eyes from across the counter and cheered:

「That’s Sole fish! Isn’t it expensive?」

「I ran into the fishmonger lady when I was grocery shopping in the morning, and she told me this wasn’t a common fish, and told me to try it. She gave me a discount, since she’s a regular of the cafe.」

No matter which world it was, all old ladies were kind.

「This isn’t a fish you can buy easily off a regular…」

「She said I resemble her son when he was still young.」

Sole fish meat was as beautiful as sakura flowers. According to the fishmonger lady, this was a high class fish that could only be caught during a short period of time in early summer.

「You aren’t going to put it on the menu?」

I shook my head and said:

「Handling fish is a hassle and involves a lot of prep work. I need to pay attention to hygiene, and cooking it requires skill to cleanse the gamey taste.」

It wouldn’t be worth it if the fragrance of the Coffee got messed up by the stench of the fish. Besides, this place will really turn into a restaurant if I serve fish dishes.

「I see, but can you cook it?」

「I can cook up something simple.」

I could cut it up into sashimi slices or deep fry it. However, raw fish wasn’t common in this world.

Long distance transportation with magic had only been developed in recent days, so I doubt this city had the culture of eating fresh raw fish.

「For the staff meal today, I want to make pan seared Sole fish with butter.」

I declared, and Linaria raised her hand while still supporting her cheek:

「Professor, a question?」

「Student Linaria, please keep the question concise.」

「Yes, Professor, I don’t know how to pan seared the fish, please teach me.」

「Alright then, listen carefully. First, cut the fish into slices, then season with salt and pepper.」

I cut out four slices and returned the rest of the fish to the fridge.

「Then sprinkle on flour.」

「It’s white now.」

「This part is important. Shake any excess flour away, or it will mess up the texture.」

Then heat up oil in a pan, put the sole fish slices in and use medium heat.

「Cook it until it turns golden. In the meantime, prepare the salad and bread.」

「Leave this part to me, I will keep an eye on it.」

Linaria looked at the sole fish being grilled with a mesmerized expression. For someone with a big appetite like her, the sole fish must be very tempting.

With Linaria watching the stove, I made a simple salad and sliced the bread. I cut some corners since this was a staff meal, but it should be fine.

I felt it was about time and flipped the fish slices over, and it showed an alluring golden colour. I pressed the slices down with my spatula to make it more crispy.

A strong fragrance came out of the grilling fish.

「Uwah…… This smells nice, I feel so hungry……」

「Right…… Why is the smell of fish so appetizing……」

We worked without rest the entire time, and were famished. My stomach was protesting strongly for food, and was about to break out into song.

Linaria kept glancing my way, asking if the fish was done yet.

I stared at the fish and exercised patience.

I wanted to eat the fish right now, but it would be bad if I got too hasty and didn’t cook it completely. No matter how good the ingredient was, if I messed up the heat, it would all be for naught.

The top side was very well cooked, so the underside didn’t need to be grilled for too long.

Linaria was anxiously swaying her shoulders, so I turned off the heat, and tilted the pan. The oil accumulated on the side, and I wiped it off.

Linaria stood up, thinking that it was done, but I was just getting to the good part.

I cut a slice of the butter on the chopping board, and added it into the pan.


Linaria sounded like she was screaming and cheering at the same time. I looked at her face, which seemed to be saying 「You can do something so terrifying?」

I could understand how she felt. Butter was a sinful ingredient, and one would feel guilty after eating a lot of them.

But this was the right way of pan seareding.

By adding a crazy amount of butter to add in the flavour, it would create a taste that shocked the mind.

I didn’t want to commit this sin either, but I couldn’t help it since this was what the recipe said. I wasn’t in the wrong, it was the fault of the person who came up with the recipe. This meant pan searing with butter was a legal way of cooking.

I turned down the heat and watched the butter melt. It turned smaller along its edge, and the melted butter seeped into the golden Sole fish.

When the butter had melted completely, I turned off the stove and coated the fish with the butter. I then plated the fish slices and poured the leftover butter on top.

「Good, it’s done.」

Linaria stared at the dish I placed on the counter and gulped.

「To think… you came up with such a terrifying dish… pan seared with butter is so shocking.」

Melting a lot of butter and coating it on the fish. This method of cooking had captured Linaria’s heart. She kept staring at the dish.

After tidying up a little, I went to the dining table and the two of us could finally eat dinner.

But I felt a little uneasy. I thought Sole fish was similar to salmon and chose to pan sear it with butter, but since this was a different world, this fish might have a fruity taste or become as tough as meat when cooked. I wouldn’t know if I succeeded without trying a bite.

I didn’t move my utensils because I was thinking about all that, and Linaria took her first bite. I peeked at her reaction. She opened her eyes wide, and kept chewing with the back of her hand to her mouth.

She then swallowed and turned to me with a serious face:

「I will eat only pan seared fish with butter for the rest of my life.」

My elbow slid off the table. I felt embarrassed doing something so cliche. I was too nervous, and felt my worries were in vain when I heard that childish response.

「You’re saying it’s delicious?」

Linaria swiftly took a second bite, and nodded repeatedly with her cheeks puffed out.

I found the way she was eating very cute.

It’s a joyous thing to watch someone enjoy your cooking.

With a warm heart, I sliced the pan seared Sole fish with butter. The cut section was a deep sakura colour, which was appealing to the eyes too.

I put it into my mouth, and the fragrance of the butter lingered in my nasal cavity. The rich and delicious juice from the Sole fish rioted on the tip of my tongue.

I couldn’t help biting down, and the surface made a crispy sound, with a smooth and tender flesh beneath.

The juice poured forth with every bite, and the strong taste that I should be getting tired of was smoothened by the butter.

This would definitely fail if I used butter sold in the supermarket.

Only the butter in this world, made with fresh ingredients in an environment untainted by science, could complement the intense taste of the Sole fish with its gentle flavour.

I couldn’t help looking down at the plate. This was a tastiness that moved me.

「Pan seared Sole fish with butter… I never thought it is this tasty.」

Linaria had already started on her second slice.

「If I can eat such delicious food, I can stay here forever.」

I raised my head when I heard that.

But, Linaria just ate the fish blissfully without being aware of what she just said.

I smiled awkwardly then forked up a cut Sole fish.

I couldn’t tell her that I would make pan seared Sole fish with butter for you everyday, right?

<TL: Referencing >


I suddenly remembered how I came to this world.

I was on the way back home from school when the ground disappeared beneath my feet, and I felt like I was falling. I even thought there was an uncovered manhole. When I realized it, I had fallen inside a labyrinth.

I couldn’t describe the confusion I felt with words. My mind was too cluttered for me to understand the situation.

Anyway, the one who saved me was the owner of this shop, an old man.

To be honest, I didn’t know much about him.

I knew he was a retired adventurer running the bar that didn’t have much business. He was incredibly skilled in chess, had a grumpy face, and looked really scary.

After the old man handed the shop over to me, he started wandering without any destination. That was his plan all along, he just slightly altered his plan to close down the bar.

When I said I wanted to open a Cafe, the old man didn’t press me for the reason.

He humoured me by listening to my passionate speech about Cafe and Coffee, then said lazily: 「I will finance it, so do what you want.」

Thinking about it calmly, I didn’t expect the old man to really help me out with this, since it cost quite a significant sum. To the old man, I was just a suspicious person saying nonsense.

After leaving the shop to me and giving me some money for living expenses, he left on a journey. That was a little crazy.

No, I was really grateful and wanted to thank him if I met him again, but the old man didn’t even send a letter.

Business was terrible after the Cafe opened.

No customers came, and I was always idle. I wasn’t familiar with accounting but still tried my best, and was in the red everyday. I didn’t know how to get customers, and was beaten down by how tough it was to run a business.

I still remembered the promise I made on that day.

One day, I would fill all the seats in this shop, run a booming business and not be troubled by being in the red ever again. Speaking of which, why did I open the shop in the first place? I wanted to give up.

And now, that promise had turned into reality——

「Two more Hamburg steaks with assorted mushrooms.」

「…… Even if you told me in the past that things will turn out this way, I wouldn’t have believed it… Heehee.」

「Stop that weird laugh and get on with it.」

Linaria went into the kitchen, took out a bottle of juice and poured it into a glass.

I was too busy, so Linaria handled the beverages outside of Coffee. I was in awe of how competent she was.

On the other hand, I was constantly at my limits.

The pan and pot of soup was on the stove, and the order chits written by Linaria were tied at my eye level. This was it, I gave up.

「I’m… not a chef… No way… There’s too many……」

「Stop mumbling and do your best.」

Linaria cheered me on warmly (but not gently), and I kept making the dishes like hot pressed sandwich, Spaghetti, Hamburg steak, pancakes and so forth.

I thought I could simplify the process and prep work by reducing the number of dishes on the menu, but if the number of orders built up, this strategy would be meaningless.

Maybe I could change the menu to serve simpler dishes.

I used the pan to cook the hot pressed sandwich as I looked at the shop:

「This is the full house that I dreamt of.」

The dining tables and bar counters were fully occupied.

We should have stopped accepting guests before the place was full, but we were too busy and the customers came in without us noticing.

Idle chatter echoed in the shop, and instead of being lively, it felt more noisy instead. The tourists were all free-spirited people.

There were even people queueing outside.

「Is it done yet?」

Linaria asked from across the counter.

I plated a freshly made hot pressed sandwich and handed it over with the order chit. I actually wanted to add a poached egg on top, but was too busy to do so.

I watched Linaria serve the hot pressed sandwich and start cooking the next one. How many hot pressed sandwiches have I made so far?

I cooked spaghetti, Hamburg steak and all sorts of things at the same time.

Because of the prep work I did in the morning, I somehow managed to operate normally. However, the food was still served very slowly. If this was Japan, I would have received a complaint; but in this world, people weren’t too strict about time. They weren’t bothered by the crowd or the noise, and didn’t mind even if the dishes didn’t come.

I was glad about that, but I wasn’t thick skinned enough to just accept this situation.

I was yelling 「Oh no, oh no」 in my brain as I kept making dishes.

Because of this situation, I couldn’t see the faces of the customers or speak with them. The best I could do was to tell them 「thank you for your patronage」 when they say 「thank you for your hospitality」.

When the lunch time rush was over and the crowd subsided, I flipped the 「Now open」 sign to the 「Closed for the day」 side. I was exhausted.

Without new customers coming in, we could finally focus on our work. After the customers left one after another, I could finally wash the dishes in the basin and clean up the messy kitchen.

When the last customer left, we could finally rest.

After cleaning up for a bit, I sat at the bar counter seat and tapped my shoulder:

「…… That’s a shocking number of people.」

「…… Isn’t that great? Business is booming.」

Linaria hung her apron on the back of a chair and sat beside me.

「Is our shop a trending topic somewhere? There’s too many people for us to manage.」

「I feel overwhelmed today too.」

Linaria stretched her arms and laid on the counter.

Given the size of this shop, it’s too tough to have just one person working the floor and one person working the kitchen.

We managed somehow through Linaria’s nimble and quick movements, but this was too heavy a load for the two of us.

「We should hire some people. We might be able to go through this ourselves, but this is really tiring.」

「If we can get one or two more staff……」

I never thought there would be a day that I would be shorthanded. I didn’t even know how to recruit more employees.

「Try making a request through the Adventurer Guild.」

「Maybe the Merchant Guild instead? Those with experience are there… but all the shops are short handed, so we might not be able to find help right away.」

Linaria was right, even my shop with slow business got so busy, the other shops must be swarmed and short on hands too.

But I couldn’t give up so easily. I had to bet on this small glimmer of hope and negotiate with them, or I might die from work exhaustion in the near future.

We sighed deeply in unison, and the door chime loudly. A loud voice drowning out the chime came our way:

「Linaria-san what’s going on here are you kidding me you are really living here!?」

I turned and saw a girl wearing the same Arialu School of Wizardry uniform like Linaria. She charged right to the counter, her beret almost fell off along the way.

「Oh, that’s great! I’m glad you are safe! Did this man do anything to you!? Like something immodest!?」

This girl—— Ainaleila pressed Linaria with a stream of questions.

Linaria frowned and tried to push Aina who was in almost in her face away:

「Hey, that’s too close.」

「Why didn’t you discuss this with me!? I can arrange for lodgings in an inn, and even invite you to stay at my place for a few days too!」

Aina’s words were kind, but her nose was flaring and her eyes were bloodshot.

「Why should I discuss this with Aina?」

Linaria didn’t show any mercy.

Aina was like Linaria’s stalker, but not because of some dangerous ideas, she just wanted to be on good terms with Linaria whom she respects. After a certain event, the two of them became friends.

However, Aina’s passion didn’t subside at all, and would go out of control occasionally. She must be thinking about cohabiting with Linaria-san right now.

「I want to live together with Linaria! How sly! It’s not too late, come to my place!」

「…… Thanks, but no thanks.」

Linaria leaned back to pull away as she said that.

「But why!?」

「Because I feel my life is at risk.」

「You mean I’m more dangerous than this man?!」

Aina pointed at me aggressively, she had not been holding back all this while.

Linaria looked at me, then looked at Aina, and nodded wordlessly.

「How is that possible!?」

Aina looked crestfallen and crumpled onto the floor.

I was happy that Linaria trusted me, but I felt complicated about her not treating me like a man.

「Speaking of which, Aina is on vacation too, right? But you are still wearing your uniform.」

Aina looked up and glared at me with teary eyes:

「…… I heard there was an explosion in the school, and rushed back from the territory.」

「Aina’s territory?」

「The young lady’s home is in the Froger County, and is six hours away on carriage.」


I heard a voice behind me and jumped up from my seat. I turned and saw a maid was standing behind me.

「L-Long time no see.」

「Yes, it’s been a while, I’m glad to see that you have been well.」

She said emotionlessly.

The maid’s back was ramrod straight, and her hands crossed before her abdomen. Her posture was as polished as sparkling glass, and gave off an intimidating aura.

This woman named Doddo was Aina’s personal maid, and would occasionally follow Aina to my shop.

「I rushed to the academy and found a school building half destroyed, and the dormitory missing its walls. The school said it evacuated the students who had stayed behind.」

Aina stood up and Doddo closed in silently to smoothen Aina’s skirt and adjusted her bow tie.

「Even when I asked them where Linaria-san is, no one will tell me.」

Doddo went behind Aina and straightened Aina’s beret.

「I asked Doddo to investigate, and found out that you are living on the second floor of this place! And you are serving the customers too!」

Doddo took out a comb to brush Aina’s messy hair and backed away to the side, staying as still as a doll.

「I can’t let Linaria-san stay in a place like this! Her chastity will be in danger!」

Aina stated firmly, her words rounding back to the starting point, but something like that didn’t matter.

「Maid-san is amazing…」


Linaria and I were both impressed.

「I hope she can come help out in the morning…」

「She will definitely be a big help…」

「You flatter me.」

Doddo nodded in acknowledgement.

「Hey, I’m, over, here! I’m the one talking! You two! This way! Look at me!」

Aina waved her hands at the corners of our vision.

「It must be tough being a maid, right?」

I mused.

「Of course it’s tough, they have to deal with nobles every day without any chance to relax.」

Linaria said.

「It’s a meaningful job.」

Maid-san responded.

「…… I’m going to cry, you know? Are you fine with that?」

Aina said in a trembling voice.

She really was about to cry, so we stopped messing around and turned to Aina.

「So, what’s with you all of a sudden?」

「You are playing dumb…… In that case…… I will use the power of the nobles…… and bury you…… in the darkness……」

Aina mumbled with her bangs covering her eyes, which sent a chill down my back.

「Sorry Linaria, can I leave the shop to you tomorrow? I have something on.」

「No, you can only choose death or cooking.」

「The options are too hard.」

「As the young lady’s attendant, I will suggest to her a less painful method, so please don’t worry.」

「Maid-san is really tough on me too.」

「Like I said, don’t ignore me and chat happily along, alright!?」

Aina waved her hands. What an entertaining girl.

Linaria snickered and I laughed too. Doddo gracefully covered her mouth with her fingertips, and was obviously smiling.

Seeing us laugh, Aina puffed her cheeks and slouched her shoulders dejectedly:

「This is weird… I shouldn’t be such a character……」

After we sat down at the dining table, Doddo said 「let me borrow your kitchen」, and walked behind the counter.

I was about to ask why when she took out a cup from the cabinet with practiced movements and started heating up some water.

She seemed to know where everything was and how she should move, as if she had worked in my shop before.

「…… Why are you so familiar with this place?」

「Because I’m a maid.」

Doddo answered my question with an even tone.

I see, she being a maid was the reason...

「Don’t think too hard about it.」

Aina said, and I decided to follow her advice. Since her employer said so, there was no point in pursuing the matter. Doddo then brought three cups to the table. They were Coffee cups, but they contained tea. Even though our shop didn’t have tea.

「Where did the tea… Never mind, forget it.」

I copied Aina and reached for the cup.

「Let me say this again. Linaria-san, please come to my house to play.」

Linaria drank the tea, looked towards Aina and said:

「Thank you very much for the offer, but no need.」

「But why!? It’s too dangerous to live under the same roof with a man!」

I felt that this made sense.

「But your place is six hours away via carriage, right?」

When she heard that, Aina said with a sigh:

「That’s for the main house, we have a villa in this city, and I want to invite Linaria-san to stay there.」

Oh, a villa huh, I see.

I didn’t know how large Aina’s mansion was, but since it was the residence of a noble, it should be like a top class hotel.

At the very least, it should be much more comfortable than the second floor of a rundown old bar. And living with me would give Linaria a lot of pressure too.

I glanced at Linaria, and she was still sipping at her tea. She furrowed her brows and said 「it;s hot.」 What was she doing?

「Anyway, I’m fine with staying here, I can’t relax in the home of a noble.」

「That’s such a basic issue……!」

Aina cried as she held her head.

「And it’s more convenient since I will be helping out the shop.」

「Oh right! That thing too! Linaria-san is working in this shop! I want to see you wear an apron too!」

Don’t mix your desires into the conversation.

「I’m not sure if this is the effect of the Songstress, but there has been a lot of customers recently, and I asked Linaria to help me out.」

After I explained it, Aina opened her eyes wide in disbelief.

「This shop…… has a lot of customers?」

「Can you not make a face that says 『I don’t believe it?』 And stop sweeping your gaze around the shop to check, and spread out your arms to snort!」

She was using her entire body to convey the message 「you must be joking.」

「Really now, you are abusing Linaria-san’s kindness, how vicious. You must be ordering her around all day to do your bidding.」

Aina even started to wipe the fake tears from the corners of her eyes with a handkerchief, and I gave up on refuting her.

Linaria must be dumbstruck by this too. I turned to look, and saw her smiling nefariously. She looked ready to set someone up.

「Yes, it has been so busy that I’m on the verge of fainting. There are just the two of us, but the customers keep coming and I can’t rest properly. So we want to hire more people.」

Linaria peeked at Aina, then looked out the window and said:

「Ah—— is there anyone willing to work together with me? If they can help out from evening, I will be really happy.」


「But there’s no way things will work out so well. Sigh, how troubling.」

T-This trap was too obvious, no one would be fooled by such terrible acting——

「Plebeian, I just happen to, very coincidentally, be free for one week. Please let me… No, if you ask me desperately, I can help you out.」

It actually worked!

Aina said with her hand proudly on her chest and a bright smile.

Linaria was facing away from us, but her shoulders were trembling, failing to hide her laughter.

We were talking about hiring more help, but I never expected her to do that. However——

「…… Can a noble work here?」

「My father often tells me to familiarize myself with all aspects of society, so this can be an experience to understand society. Yes, that is so.」

She made a face that said everything was as she expected, but I ignored that and looked towards Doddo. Since she was taking care of Aina, she could make the correct decision.

「As expected of the young lady, you are really exemplary.」

Doddo said monotonously and nodded at me. So it was fine then.

It would be great to work together with people we know.

「I will be counting on you then.」

「A wise decision! Speaking of which……」

Aina leaned in close. Her cheeks were flushed and her breathing ragged. She was pretty, so I felt nervous. She said quietly:

「I want to stay here too. If possible, I want to stay next to Linaria-san’s room.」

「…… Don’t you have a house?」

「But Linaria-san is not there.」

This girl was saying that with a straight face.

All nobles should be wealthy with large mansions. The academy was glamorous too, so the dormitory shouldn’t be too bad.

Was it fine for someone living in such a place to move into my home? They might think my place was a dog house.

I looked at Doddo.

「The young lady always wanted to stay outside with her friends.」

「Hey, Doddo!?」

Aina stood up and chased after Doddo, and Doddo deftly moved into the shop to dodge.

I turned to Linaria and asked her 「What do you think?」 She nodded with an awkward smile.

There were no problems then. Oh, there was also the issue of my peace of mind. It was impossible for a healthy boy not to be fazed by this situation. This was an ideal environment, but this wouldn’t do.

「Can you lend me a room to take care of the Young Lady? Even a storage room is fine.」


Doddo whispered into my ear without me noticing, she didn’t make any sound at all.

She was Aina’s personal maid, so if Aina was staying, she would be staying too.

Which meant I would be living with three girls.

「This is making my heart race.」

「You’re saying something retarded with a straight face, you know?」

The two of them started helping out that very evening.

The four of us had a simple lunch—— staff lunch was the Sole fish from yesterday and mushroom spaghetti, and it received rave reviews. Sole fish could do anything—— after finishing the meal, we started discussing the plan for the dinner time period.

「…… Erm, why do I have to wear a maid attire too?」

「Young Lady, the proper attire for a server is a maid attire.」

「I-Is that so?」

Because of that reason, Aina was forced into a maid uniform. She fidgeted with her skirt and white hair accessory, not used to this attire.

Doddo took that maid uniform out of nowhere, but it suited Aina really well. Aina usually had an air of nobility about her, but with a change of clothes, she looked more demure and lady-like.

A black one piece dress with a frilled apron. It was a plain attire, but why was a maid’s costume so attractive? You could be a maid by putting on the uniform, and men had fantasies about maids.

「Ehh, Linaria should wear it too.」

「Don’t wanna.」

「I’m sorry.」

I was just kidding, but she glared at me so sharply that I started sweating bullets.

「Do you like maid uniforms?」

Linaria asked teasingly.

「There are no man in the world who hates maid uniforms.」

I declared firmly, and she looked at me as if she was looking at walking garbage.

She was the one who asked, so it was rude for her to make that face.

Even if people rolled their eyes at me, felt disheartened or felt physical repulsion, I couldn’t lie to myself. I held my head up high bravely.

Aina swayed the skirt of her maid uniform and walked towards us, then looked at Linaria with the sparkling eyes of a child:

「Erm, Linaria-san, please wear a maid uniform together with me.」

「Why would you even ask? I won’t wear it.」

「But why nyaa.」

「…… Can you not make such a wimpy sound?」

「Because I want to see Linaria-san wear a maid uniform! If I missed this chance, I might not get to see it in this lifetime! Come, I will wear it too!」

Aina approached with imposing steps, and Linaria shirked away.


Linaria looked at me with pleading eyes.

But I agreed with what Aina said.

Linaria in a maid uniform… If we missed this chance, she would never wear it again, so I hope she would put it on.

When I gave a thumbs up with a smile, Linaria’s face turned stiff.

She realized she had no allies, and chose to defy Aina on her own.

「Hey Aina, calm down.」

「Linaria-san, give it up already.」

「Her eyes are really scary!」

Aina slowly closed in on Linaria, pushing her towards the wall as if she was going to hug her.

Two cute girls pressing close to each other was a mesmerizing sight, and one of them was wearing a maid uniform too.

「This is really…… Hmm…… I see.」

「What do you mean you see, help me!」

「Do you have another maid uniform?」

I turned a deaf ear to Linaria’s cries for help, and after I asked Doddo, she took out a neatly folded maid uniform from behind her.

「I have one here, and the size is just right.」


「You flatter me.」

Maid-san was so competent that it gave me the chills.

Linaria was forced to the wall with no way of escaping.

This was normally impossible.

But Aina in a maid uniform had a power that even Linaria couldn’t resist, this was the magic of maids. Linaria’s hands were pushed against the wall, and Aina slowly leaned her flaring nostrils and bloodshot eyes towards her.

This looked dangerous even to a bystander. I was seriously thinking about subduing her. Aina gets a pass since she was still a cute teenage girl, but a middle aged man would get arrested immediately.

「Wait, you……!」

「Hah…… Hah……」

Linaria’s resistance ended in futility, and she couldn’t break out of her confinement.

Aina was silent, and just kept breathing hard and inching closer.

Linaria who was watching from up close must have realized something——

That this girl was bad news.

And she realized her life was in danger.

She took in a sharp breath as if she was spasming, and yelled at Doddo and me:

「I will wear it! I will wear a maid uniform or anything!」

Linaria was on the verge of tears.

With that settled, it was time to save the damsel in distress. Doddo dashed over and subdued Aina.

「W-Wait, what’s going on here!? I didn’t do anything!」

「That’s what all the convicts say!」

Doddo seized Aina from behind and dragged her away, and I put myself between her and Linaria.

「W-Who’s a convict!? I just want to express my feelings to Linaria-san!」

「It’s a crime to force your feelings one-sidedly!」

I said to her seriously.

「What did you say!? Et tu, Doddo?!」

「I’m very sorry, but this is for the sake of protecting the Young Lady’s social standing.」

Doddo said as she subdued Aina from behind.

Speaking of which, Doddo was really strong. She subdued Aina who was struggling wildly without batting an eye.

「This is an outrage! I just want to see Linaria-san in a maid uniform————!」

Maid uniforms… were really scary.

Its charms would occasionally bare its fangs and drive people insane. I could understand how Aina felt, which made it even more scary.

The Aina today might be the me tomorrow.

「I-I’m saved…… Thank you.」

Linaria put her hand on her breasts to steady her breathing and said to me. I turned to her and said:


「W-What, why the serious face?」

「You said you will wear it, right?」

「…… Huh?」

Linaria’s face turned stiff.

「You said you’ll wear a maid uniform or anything, right?」

「…… Did I? I was really anxious, and don’t remember.」

She blatantly averted her gaze as she stammered.

I said with a mischievous smile:

「Oh, that’s strange. Did Linaria-san, who ranked top in her grade at the renowned Arialu School of Wizardry, forgot what she said?」

「Ughh…… Mmmm……」

I stared right at her.

「Well, that’s still possible. So Linaria, look me in the eyes and say 『you don’t remember』, and I will believe you, okay?」

I kept leaning in, but Linaria didn’t dare to look at me. She bit her lips, her shoulders trembled, and then said in resignation:

「I know, I will wear it, I will wear it, really now!」

Linaria shouted exasperatedly, picked up the maid uniform from the counter and walked to the back.

I watched her go, closed my eyes, and turned to the ceiling.

—— I won.

Had I ever felt so happy in the past before? Excitement filled my entire body.

「I’m amazed by how unscrupulous you made used of all possible methods to force your opponent into a corner.」

Doddo said.

「That is just straight out coercion, not my style.」

「I don’t want to hear that from you!」

I couldn’t help shouting at what Aina said. I only said what I did to follow through on Aina’s prank, so I would feel troubled if you calm down all of a sudden.

Aina looked down at her clothes, then said with her index finger on her lips:

「I was controlled by an emotion I didn’t understand… It might be the fault of these clothes.」

「Don’t push the blame onto the maid uniform with a straight face.」

「It couldn’t be helped, it is said that a maid uniform possess magic.」

I stared at Doddo.

Seeing that her face was calm, I looked towards Aina.

Because Doddo looked serious, I couldn’t tell if she was joking or if it was the truth.

Aina shook her head in resignation just like me.

I see…… It’s better not to retort here……

I was hesitating about how to react when Aina suddenly interlocked her fingers with a cheer, like a toddler who saw an enormous cake.

I was drawn by her reaction and looked in the direction of her gaze, and opened my eyes wide.

「…… I feel constricted in these clothes.」

Linaria changed into a simple black and white uniform, and returned awkwardly to us. Her cheeks were blushed, and the corners of her lips were drooping with displeasure. But her reluctant attitude stabbed right into my heart.

「…… How wonderful.」

「What’s wonderful, retard! It’s embarrassing to dress like this!」

Her lecturing tone sounded just like always.

I immediately believed what Doddo said, and that maid uniforms possessed magic that could charm people’s hearts and bring peace to the world. I nodded firmly in agreement.

「Linaria-san, you look great! It suits you well, just like I imagined!」

Aina ran over and said while holding Linaria’s hands:

「I want to abduct you, bring you back home and decorate you in my room.」

「Hey, this girl just said her true feelings out loud.」

「I can empathize with her feelings.」

I nodded firmly.

「What do you mean you can empathize, stop that.」

「As expected of the Young Lady.」

Doddo said seriously.

「Aren’t you acting too normal!?」

I joked as I burned the image of Linaria in a maid uniform into my brain.

I might not see her wear this again in my lifetime, so this was a precious image.

I joked with Doddo, but Aina was serious. She was all smiles, but her eyes weren’t smiling.

「Since you already put it on, then for the work today——」

I tried suggesting something, and Linaria looked at me with a beautiful fake smile and said:

「Did you say something?」

「No, it’s nothing.」

I sensed a hint of killing intent behind her respectful tone. She might look like a maid, but she was still Linaria on the inside. I would lose my life if I got too cocky.

I was wiping the sweat from my brows when Doddo reached behind her and took out another maid uniform:

「By the way, I also have a maid uniform for Yu-san.」


「It’s the right size too.」


…… Huh?

After that, a customer came in, and Linaria changed back to her usual clothes.

It was regrettable that I couldn’t see Linaria in maid uniform, but I managed to dodge a bullet there.

Doddo’s eyes were more serious than usual, it was scary since I couldn’t tell if she was kidding. I wouldn’t ask why she had a maid uniform in my size in the future too, there were things I was better off not knowing in this world.

With the setting of the sun, the number of patrons gradually increased. We slowly started running the shop before the peak.

We started off with a demonstration, with Linaria who had gotten used to things and Doddo who was a professional tending to the customers.

The door chimed, alerting us of a customer coming in, and Aina moved to welcome them. She wasn’t nervous at all, and the long skirt of her maid uniform swayed as she went to the customer who just entered and bowed gracefully:



The man wearing light armour like an adventurer perked up his beast ears and looked at Aina again.

「Huh? M-Maid-san? Isn’t this a normal eatery?」

The man was confused and even used the ‘san’ honorifics. I could empathize with how he felt.

「We do serve meals here, but this is a Cafe.」


「Yes, a Cafe.」

「I-I see, a Cafe huh.」

The man nodded. He couldn’t ask what a Cafe was, since the one speaking with him was a maid-san.

…… Hmm?


「What’s wrong?」

Linaria asked, but the inspiration had just struck me, and I couldn’t respond.

I realized an important thing.

This was a Cafe.

And Aina was a maid.

Doddo was also a maid.

Which means, right now, this place was a maid Cafe.

I heard all the big cities in Japan had several maid Cafes.

Maid Cafe didn’t only provide beverages, the staff were also cute girls in maid uniforms, and the situation right now was just like that.

「I see…… so there is such a method… This is a blindspot.」

「What are you mumbling about?」

「Nothing…… I’m starting a revolution in this world, and this might be the pioneer of a new era.」

「Did you hit your head? Do you need healing?」

Linaria was seriously worried, so I stopped messing around. But it was difficult to toss the idea of a maid Cafe out of my head.

While I was murmuring to myself, Aina had asked the customer for his order and came back.

「I used Doddo as a reference… Did I do alright?」

「You did well, you are just a little stiff.」

Linaria commented.

「That was marvelous.」

Doddo said.

「It will be great if you can talk to me like that.」

Aina snorted when I said that and averted her face.

「Don’t wanna.」

But I was still your boss, you know……

I was teary because of the cold harshness of the world as I accepted Aina’s order chit.

Hmm, Hamburg steak and Iced Coffee, huh. It was summer, so Iced Coffee was popular. The customer probably saw Iced Coffee on the menu, and just ordered it since it was iced, and didn’t care about the Coffee part.

Doddo, who was standing beside me in the kitchen, glanced at the order chit.

「I will handle the Hamburg steak.」

「…… Do you know how to make it?」

I didn’t teach her how to.

「I do, because I’m a maid.」

「That’s a convenient line, but I’m no longer surprised.」

Linaria and Aina will handle the customers, while Doddo and I will be responsible for the kitchen. I was planning to teach her how to cook each dish when the orders came in.

I watched her as I prepared Iced Coffee, and found Doddo’s movement to be smooth, her knivework steady, and the steps correct. She visited with Aina many times and probably saw me make the dishes. But that was still an amazing memory.

Doddo made the Hamburg steak in a blink of an eye. I did the prep work ahead of time, but she was still really fast.

「Please have a sample.」

Doddo scooped up the sauce with a soup spoon for me. I hesitated a little, but still opened my mouth. The spoon went in, and the warm sauce flowed onto my tongue.

「How is it?」

She looked at me from close up and asked. Doddo’s features were well defined, and I felt a little awkward because of that.

「It’s great.」

I answered honestly. It has a more elegant taste than mine, without any unnecessary flavor. The taste was mixed just right and harmoniously. I was surprised that Doddo was such a great cook.

I noticed something.

The one tending to the customers was a maid (Cosplay) …… the one cooking was a maid (Professional)... So this was a maid cafe (in many levels).

Linaria just happen to be by the counter, so I turned to her and said:

「Linaria, want to wear a maid uniform again?」

「Have you gotten tired of living?」

「I’m sorry.」

Tch, I failed.

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