Saturday, October 16, 2021

Have a Cup of Coffee after School in the Fantasy World Café V3 (3 of 6)


Translator: Skythewood

Editor: Hiiro

A 「Joke」 included the element of playing and messing around, and wasn’t done seriously. I thought of the Maid Cafe as a joke, but the scene before me wasn’t like a joke at all.

「Uwah, it’s true, there are maids here.」

「Right? I said there are, I’m not pulling your leg.」

「Maid-san, what do you recommend?」

「Maid-san, which house are you working for?」

The maids were more popular than my feeble imagination could manage.

Normally, you could only see maids in the house of the wealthy or a noble, so it was rare to see them working in a restaurant.

It was dinner time, and there were many customers who wanted to see the maids, so there was a long queue outside the shop.

Linaria was serving the dishes confidently while wearing an apron, but Aina who was in a maid uniform kept getting chatted up by the customers, and they would call her over for some reason or another.

What surprised me was Aina smiling at the customers, handling them in an adequate manner, and wasn’t bothered by the male customers’ teasing.

「Wow, she sure is amazing.」

I was honestly impressed. I thought about letting Aina or Doddo take a break if the crowd got too rowdy, but they didn’t make me worry and continued working without being fazed.

「The Young Lady is used to social gatherings, and knows how do deal with such people.」

Doddo explained.

「By social gathering, you mean the banquets for nobles?」

「Yes, Master and Madam have brought the Young Lady to banquets since she was young. She could tell who held peerage and their standings by their demeanour and words. The Young Lady learned these techniques through live practice and the strict training by her home tutor.」

Was it fine for her to use such an incredible technique in a place like this? This was just a Cafe in the suburbs, and she was even wearing a maid uniform.

And the maid beside me was really capable too.

Her cooking movements were so clean and precise that I could take things easy. Unlike that time when Linaria and I were overwhelmed, we handled things just fine this time, despite having so many patrons.

I could prepare the dishes, beverage and Coffee with ease; Linaria and Aina served the dishes and took back new order chits.

The customers from out of town enjoyed their meals noisily and frowned when they drank the Coffee. They commented that 「it didn’t taste too bad」 and chatted happily.

The shop was brightly lit, and the light illuminated the alley outside through the windows. The laughter drew in the gazes of the people outside, and they opened their eyes wide at the sight of the maids and joined the queue.

This was such a summer night.

This Cafe had not been so bright and crowded since Linaria’s birthday.

It would be great if everyday was so joyous.

I couldn’t help thinking.

…… We had a maid here after all.

Tourists wouldn’t stay and relax here late into the night, since there was all sorts of entertainment in this city for them to enjoy at night.

I turned the sign to 「Closed for the day」 part way through the evening today to stem the visiting crowd, and slowly closed up. When the last customer left, we started cleaning up. With the four of us, we finished up much earlier than usual.

I finally realized what hiring more help was like.

We could provide meals and serve a large number of patrons, and clean up could be done in no time. I was more relaxed than usual, but earned more revenue. I felt as if I caught a glimpse of gold alchemy.

I pulled the curtains on the windows, cleaned up the shop and closed up for real.

An unfamiliar aroma came from the kitchen, Doddo was cooking something.

We didn’t eat when we were working, so it was time for us to dine. Doddo said she wanted to make the staff meal, and I accepted her gracious offer.

Aina and I set the table for four, put down a pitcher of juice and then sat down. When we were done, Doddo and Linaria brought over the plates.

「Oh, it’s Pieta, I haven’t eaten that for a long time.」

Aina said happily when she saw the dish before her.

I also looked at the Pieta before me. It was pasta in white sauce, with something like spinach and de-shelled shrimp. It should be a dish that was similar to spaghetti carbonara.

There was also a basket of Baguette covered in garlic spread baked to a golden crisp, and a meat and vegetable stew. This didn’t look like something that could be made in such a short amount of time, and they looked good enough for me to put on the menu.

「Doddo is great at cooking.」

I was impressed, and Doddo nodded while standing:

「This is only natural for a maid.」

「Doddo works twice as hard as others.」

Aina drowned out Doddo’s humble words and said proudly. Doddo neither affirmed nor denied that, and stood diagonally behind Aina.

「…… Aren’t you going to sit down?」

When I asked that, Doddo placed her hands on her abdomen as always and said with her back straight: 「Because I’m a maid.」

Because she was a maid, she had to wait on us.

「It’s fine, sit down. I will feel bothered if you are the only one standing.」

Linaria said cheerfully, and I concurred:

「That’s right, we all worked hard together.」

Doddo seemed a little troubled and looked towards Aina.

「Just take them up on their offer. And I’m a maid right now too, so it’s fine to eat at the same table.」

Aina said gently, as if she was speaking with a young child. Doddo blushed a little and nodded lightly.

「…… Pardon my intrusion then.」

「You’re not intruding at all.」

Linaria replied nonchalantly before standing up and bringing the dishes Doddo made to the dining table, and sat down with the four of us.

The dish Doddo made called Pieta tasted really good.

There were potatoes in the white cream, giving it a deep and sweet flavour. However, the delicious food wasn’t the only reason why it tasted great.

The atmosphere around the dining table was very cheerful. Aina brought up all sorts of topics, while Linaria and I answered. Doddo maintained a prim and proper posture at the dining table, and would reveal Aina’s secrets from time to time to tease Aina.

The food would taste great if we could all chat and dine together. And the delicious food made the experience even more pleasant.

I hope this delightful mealtime would last forever—— This was the first time in my life that I didn’t want to finish a meal.

After having our dinner, it was time to prepare for bed.

While Linaria was bathing, I took Aina and Doddo to their rooms. All four of us stayed in single rooms, so the four rooms on the second level were occupied.

Since this wasn’t a proper inn, the room wasn’t that big and only had the minimum furnitures. It was too rundown for rich nobles to stay in.

I thought Aina would disparage the place, but contrary to my expectations, her eyes were sparkling.

「Uwah…… So this is a room that adventurers lived in.」

「You aren’t wrong.」

This used to be a bar, so drunk adventurers might have stayed here.

「By the way, why are you so happy after seeing this room?」

「Oh no, it’s nothing. Hmmp, I didn’t expect much, but this room sure is small.」

Aina flicked the hair on her shoulder to hide something.

「It’s useless to act like a aristocratic lady at this point.」

Speaking of which, Doddo did mention……

「You likes adventures, right?」



「T-That’s impossible, there’s no way I would like adventure stories, hohoho.」

Aina covered her mouth in exaggerated laughter, but her cheeks were blushing. She wanted to hide this fact, but I didn’t think this was something shameful.

「S-Speaking of which.」

To change the topic, she spoke out loud. She thought about another topic and her gaze wavered.

「That’s right! There’s a bath here.」

She brought that up stiffly, but I didn’t mind.

「This place was supposed to be an inn at some point, so a bath was made.」

「I see……」

「Do you think it’s a pity? Did you want to visit the public bath like adventurers?」

「I-I don’t know what you are talking about, hohoho.」

This Young Lady was really easy to read.

This world was different from Japan where each house had its own bath, and people normally visited the public bath house. It could be found everywhere, was cheap and spacious. I would go occasionally too since cleaning my house’s bath was a hassle.

「The public bath aside, just soaking in the bathwater Linaria-san used……」

Aina looked into the void with her cheeks blushed and mouth agape. This wasn’t a face a maiden should be making, it was weird to even say this. I pulled away from her a little.

Aina suddenly showed a serious face with her trembling hands held before her chest, as if she just realized something terrible.

「What is it?」

I asked worriedly, but Aina just said to me with an emotionless face:

「…… I have some business to attend to, and will be off.」

She then went downstairs.

What happened? It was rare to see Aina being so serious.

Feeling ominous, I followed behind her.

I searched on the first floor but didn’t see Aina. I even checked the small store room under the stairs. I was suspecting whether she went outside when I remembered——

「No…… it can’t be……」

This was a frightening idea.

I was thinking 「she wouldn’t go that far」 and headed to the changing room. It was the small room adjoining the bath.

I found Aina squatting at the door to the bath.

「This is a crime……」

「Kyaa! B-Be quiet! Linaria-san will notice!」

Aina turned to me with her index finger on her lips, and then continued pressing her ear against the door and slowly reaching for the door handle.

「By the way, don’t you two visit the bath house together in the dormitory?」

「Yes we do, but this is different.」

Why did she go so far for the sake of peeking? I thought and remembered Aina’s stalking tendencies, she might just find this taboo exciting.

The door opened with a creak, and Aina peeked through the gap.

「Ughh, there’s an inner door……!」

「Of course.」

I felt an oncoming headache. Should I stop her?

「Ah! That’s Linaria-san clothes! If I take one……」

「She will find out, right?」

But my heart started to race when I heard her report.

In a sense, peeking at the girl’s bath was a dream of all boys, a dream that could never be realized. Aina, who was also a girl, could do so easily, which made me envious.

「Oh, I can hear water splashing… She is enjoying herself.」

Aina turned to me and said excitedly. She smiled deviously at me:

「Well? You must be envious since you can’t do something like this.」

「It’s frustrating if you say that to me with such a face.」

「Regret your life for not being born a woman!」

She even laughed mockingly.

Why did I need to be mocked by her? I could be forgiven for smacking the back of her head, right? Wasn’t that the right thing to do?

With all those complicated thoughts in my mind, the door suddenly opened and hit the side of Aina’s head.

「That hurts!」

「Hey Aina, you’re really noisy.」

Linaria showed her face, then leaned her upper body out of the door.

She looked at me with an exasperated face.

Linaria’s vermillion hair was moist from the bath, and flowed straight down from her shoulders. I could clearly see the few strands sticking to her cheeks and forehead.

Her slender neck formed a smooth line to her collar bone, and the droplets of water on her skin flowed down to her breasts covered with a towel.

Her snow white skin, cheeks and round shoulders had a lustrous shine.

I was mesmerized by this visage and couldn’t say a word.

Linaria didn’t say anything either, her entire body turned bright red like a cooked octopus.

She quietly slid behind the door and closed it.

There was the sound of things toppling over in the bathroom, and the sound of things hitting the wall slowly got further away.

「Ugh, how unfortunate… My head is going to crack… Huh, what’s wrong? Why is your face so red?」

「No, it’s nothing.」

Aina stood up from the corner of the corridor and looked at my face before cocking her head. She then turned to the closed door and said as if she realized something:

「No way, are you kidding me. Did you see Linaria-san’s…」

「I didn’t see I didn’t see she covered up so it’s safe!」

「Are you for real!? No, it’s unforgivable even if it’s just the tip! Forget it right now! It should be me! I’m the one who wants to see!」

She grabbed me by the collar and shook me around, but I couldn’t forget that scene for now. The skinned coloured image kept flashing across my mind.


「Shut up.」


I didn’t say anything and just held the note in hand and checked the food stock.

Linaria tidied the utensils cabinet, with her wet long hair hanging before her chest.

Fresh out of the bath, Linaria was wearing loose pyjamas instead of her usual uniform. On her one piece pyjamas was a sheer blouse.

After Linaria came out, Aina went into the bath with Doddo accompanying her. I didn’t know the specifics of Doddo’s work, but it was probably something like washing Aina’s body or clothes.

But this was awkward.

I was happy that Linaria was helping with the preparations for tomorrow, but this must be out of her sense of responsibility.

However, Linaria wouldn’t look my way or speak with me.

She seemed too red for someone just out of the bath, and hung her head in obvious embarrassment. When I noticed her demeanour, my movements also turned stiff.

「Erm, it’s fine. I didn’t see anything beneath your shoulders.」

「I……! I told you not to talk about it! I want to forget it!」

I tried giving her an excuse to put this behind her, but Linaria raised her eyebrows and glared at me. But when we locked eyes, she turned away immediately.

「Anyway, forget it.」

「No, I didn’t see——」

「Forget it.」

Her tone was so firm that I just nodded profusely.

She gave off a heavy pressure that sent a chill down my spine. It was a difficult to describe feeling, and might be the result of something unfathomable like Linaria’s mana.

However, humans couldn’t forget something on command.

I couldn’t help staring at Linaria as she put the utensils back into the cabinet.

Her pyjamas were slightly oversized and covered half of her arm. I could see her messy hair pulled behind her ear, flowing down her neckline and into her collar. The ends of her hair were covered by her clothes, but I saw that part uncovered earlier.

「…… What?」

「Oh, it’s nothing.」

Linaria noticed my gaze and pulled her collars together and glared at me begrudgingly. I felt a thrill at her feminine movements.

I felt bashful and averted my face, but my heart was racing.

「…… It will make me embarrassed if you act like that now.」

Linaria commented. This was weird, when did we get so awkward.

Her pyjamas were less revealing than a swimsuit, the cover models on magazines and late night television were more risque. However, they couldn’t compare to how the pyjamas excited me.

My ears felt hotter than my face. How strange, I was fine just now, why was I like this?



The both of us didn’t say a word.

Should I fudge things over as a joke? But I felt a lump in my throat, and I couldn’t muster the courage to break this silence.

I glanced her way, and saw Linaria gripping her collars with her head hung low and cheeks flushed. My face should be red too, and wasn’t in the mood to retort 「Are we an innocent couple in love?」

So I felt at ease and grateful when the door chime rang so late at night.

Who could it be at this hour, thank you very much!

I looked up with that in mind and saw the Director. I last saw him a few days ago, and he had grown a little skinnier.

「Hi, Good Evening, sorry for visiting so late at night.」

「Not at all, I will always welcome the Director.」

The Director said humbly, and Linaria hurriedly went around the counter to welcome him. She was glad to see him too.

「It’s true! You came at just the right time.」


「Here, Director, take a seat here!」

Linaria dragged the suspicious Director and seated him down.

I couldn’t stop my cold sweat from breaking out. It wasn’t intentional, but if he learned that I peeked on Linaria in the bath, he would send me to meet my maker.

「Ehh? Director, you’re hurt.」

When he heard what Linaria said, the Director waved his left hand a little. Now that she mentioned it, I noticed it too. There was a cut on the Director’s palm, and it was bleeding.

「Oh, I was pushed in the crowd and fell just now. There sure is a lot of people in this city.」

「Please be careful, there’s a lot of pickpockets too.」

「Now you sound like you’re the guardian.」

Linaria smiled at the cheerful Director and sat on the chair beside him, then grabbed his left hand.

And just like what happened on that day, his hand was covered by a mist-like light. Linaria did the same thing for me when I cut my finger with a knife. It was incredible, but she had the power to heal wounds.

「…… Phew.」

Linaria exhaled, and the Director’s wound vanished. When he saw that, the Director stopped moving and stared at his hand.

「Did that surprise you? I only manage to do that recently.」

Linaria said like a child boasting to her parents, but the Director remained quiet and stared at the place where his wound was.


「Linaria, you…」

Director lowered his head and muttered:

「No, this is to be expected. She did say healing magic can be inherited.」

「Erm, what are you saying?」

When he heard Linaria’s confused voice, the Director lifted his head.

「Actually, fundraising is just one of the reasons I came to this city, there is something important I want to tell you too.」

「What is it? Why are you so serious all of a sudden?」

Linaria brushed it off with a smile, but the Director remained serious.

「Listen Linaria, I want to tell you about your parents.」

The shop was silent and no one spoke.

Linaria held her breath and didn’t move, while the Director waited quietly for her reaction.


Linaria squeezed out her voice:

「But Director, you said you didn’t know anything.」

The Director closed his eyes for a moment, then said slowly:

「Sorry, I have been keeping you in the dark because I made a promise with your parents.」


Linaria shouted and stood up, knocking her chair over.

「Have you always known!? And you have been lying all this while!? I asked you so many times, and you have always……!」

Linaria’s shout even made the one listening feel hurt.

It was too sudden, so I couldn’t understand her feelings. I couldn’t say anything and could only stand stiffly in place.

The Director took on Linaria’s harsh words with a bitter expression, tried to say something before pausing. In that short instance, how many emotions ran through his mind? What he finally said was:

「…… I’m sorry.」

Words of apology.

Linaria probably felt terrible too.

With someone apologizing to her with a pained face, she couldn’t press the issue. For better or for worse, Linaria couldn’t help caring for the other party even when she was emotional.

She couldn’t make a ruckus, and couldn’t accept this fact either. Linaria bit her lips with clenched fists, then turned to leave.

She walked past me. I was thinking about what to say to stop her, but couldn’t find the words.

The sound of her climbing the stairs slowly faded into the distance, and with the sound of the door closing, the shop returned to silence.

「I always thought I would have to tell her one day.」

The Director muttered in penance. Rather than talking to me, it was like he was talking to himself.

「If possible, I didn’t want to tell her. If she lived a blissful life without knowing anything, I have made up my mind to take this matter to my grave. I came here to see how she is doing.」

「Linaria is……」

Instead of being a listener to the Director’s conversation with himself, I wanted to be his conversation partner. That was why I said:

「Trying to be a Medical Mage.」

Director looked at the ceiling as if in prayer.

「She must remember her mother, who is also a Medical Mage.」

I wasn’t surprised and just thought that sounded right. This must be one of Linaria’s worries. Facing this problem that she couldn’t solve, she probably made up her mind and chose this goal as her career.

We didn’t speak after that.

There was a gulf between the Director and me, which stopped us from conversing. I didn’t understand the Director’s worries, and didn’t have the right to ask about Linaria’s past, since I was just an outsider.

After a period of silence, the Director said:

「…… Can I drop by again?」

「Of course.」

I nodded, and the Director stood up slowly. He seemed to be in his forties, but his every move seemed heavy as if he was old and frail.

He then looked into the shop, as if he was looking at Linaria who was hiding.

「I hope she will listen to what I have to say before I leave the city… But I can’t ask for her forgiveness since I hurt that child.」

The Director then bowed deeply towards me and said:

「I will leave that child in your hands.」

With that, he slowly walked out of the shop.

I turned and looked up at the second floor.

This was Linaria’s problem, but it was rooted so deeply in her soul that outsiders couldn’t venture in easily.

I couldn’t be brash and unveil the issue that had been carefully set aside.

It was the Director’s request, but I couldn’t give him my word so easily.

——Was there something I could do?

I realized that Linaria and I had more things we didn’t know about each other, compared to what we did know of each other. Both of us had territories we couldn’t let others enter, nor would we want others to enter.

Chapter 2: The Yearning Summer Grass and the Heart of Spring


A few days passed, and Linaria acted as always. She might be putting on a facade, or maybe she had sorted out her feelings.

In any case, I had decided not to interfere with this matter.

The shop was too busy for us to think about all that.

I mentioned the maid cafe as a joke, but it had surprisingly captured the hearts of the customers.

The queue in front of the shop grew day by day, and everyone came to see the maids, Aina and Doddo. Linaria refused to wear a maid uniform, and was still wearing a black apron today.

We couldn’t even spare the effort to think about how busy it was, and thrusted ourselves into the tasks at hand.

After getting used to the bustling days, I realized something for the first time in my life——

That I wasn’t that bothered by a busy life, which surprised me.

I looked at the order chits before me, noted the dishes I needed to make, and kept thinking how to efficiently complete my orders as I moved my body.

The orders kept piling up, and I kept cooking as if I was being chased. My brain turned clear as if it was slowly melting, and my focus gradually improved.

This felt indescribably great, as if a cooking machine had been installed in my body. Everything was smooth and ecstasy set in.

Doddo had a big effect on this, she could tell what I was making in an instant, and when I realized it, the things I wanted were already within reach. She would take out seasonings from the cupboard, ingredients from the storeroom, and get the plates ready. Because Doddo took care of the miscellaneous chores for me, I could concentrate on the cooking.

Maids…… were amazing. Maybe Doddo was just special, but I really wanted to hire her.

Recently, closing the shop after lunch became a routine.

The ingredients we prepared in the morning would have run out, and we were exhausted too.

More accurately speaking, I was the only one who was tired.

Linaria wasn’t tired, and Doddo showed no signs of fatigue either. As expected of a real maid, my stamina couldn’t keep up at all.

What I didn’t expect was that Aina was fine too. She had a slender build and was an aristocratic lady, so I thought she couldn’t manage hard labour.

I only learned after asking——

「You’re looking down on the parties of nobles. I had to wear a gown, high heels and corsets, and keep talking without eating and drinking.」

She said to me haughtily.

I didn’t know at first, but being a noble was an exhausting job.

In the end, everyone but me were fine, but I needed this rest time badly. Today was exhausting for me too.

「It’s a long queue today too.」

Aina said proudly with her hands on her hips.

And of course, she was in a maid uniform. She showed no displeasure nor doubt about her attire, and wore them perfectly every day.

「We are a famous shop now, how exhilarating.」

I was beat, resting my face on the counter as I joked.

The shop had few customers since its opening, but it was now fully packed for a few days in a row. Business was booming, and I still couldn’t believe it.

「You have to thank the Songstress for this.」

Linaria sat at the counter with her palm on her cheek, and said lazily.

We had a big crowd because of the Songstress’ upcoming visit, which drew in tourists who wanted to catch a glimpse of the Songstress.

「I would like to thank them in person.」

「So do half the citizens in this city. Thanks to the Songstress, we had a great financial boom. And it was said the two Songstresses had beauty that could outshine any gems.」

Aina told me.

「Oh, are they that beautiful?」

That was definitely an exaggeration, but if they were that beautiful, I would like to see them too.

What kind of person were the Songstresses?

Since they were Songstresses, they should have a charming voice and a beauty on par with a Princess.

I had never seen Songstresses before, and couldn’t imagine.

I was about to push my imagination when I realized someone tugging at my sleeve. It was Doddo who was shaking her head while looking down.

I looked up and saw Linaria and Aina staring at me with icy gazes.

「…… Let’s start the preparation for dinner.」

「Boys are so stupid.」

「Linaria-san, that can’t be helped, men are drawn by beautiful women throughout history. And this is a Songstress, so it’s only to be expected that the plebeian is so enraptured.」

Their gazes pricked me. It should be fine for me to have some fantasies about the Songstresses, right……?

I pretended to be unfazed and started peeling the vegetables. It would be great if I had a peeler, but all this had to be done with a knife. Sigh, this was tough and tiring.


「Linaria-san, he is pretending that he didn’t hear that.」

「People tends to play dead like that when the situation is unfavourable.」

「Please stop here for now, you can’t push a man too much. The madam said their hearts are more fragile than glass.」

That was weird, why was I being dissed. No, maybe this was to be expected for all men.

I moved away from the three chatting happily and focused on the peeling. Wow, it got peeled so clean, so nice.

The door chime pulled me back from the brief respite, and everyone looked at the source of the sound.

All eyes fell on the customer when he entered, and he raised an eyebrow.

「There is nothing more blissful for a man then drawing the attention of young ladies.」

He was about 30 years old, and was wiping his sweat with a handkerchief after walking outside in the heat of the summer. He laughed softly and patted his protruding stomach.

I put down my knife and ingredient and said:

「I’m sorry, but we are still in the midst of preparing for business.」

「Oh, my apologies. I know the shop is closed for now, but I’m not a customer.」

He approached with light steps and said:

「Oh, sorry about that, I’m a bit plump.」

He walked between Linaria and the others, then stood opposite me at the counter. He pulled out something from his pocket and offered it to me.

「I’m Monte Mong Montblanc from the Monte Company. Nice to meet you, please call me Momon.」

「The Monte Company?」

It was Aina who responded.

I accepted the thing Momon offered with a big smile. It was a silver card the size of a palm with intrinsic flower designs, and words in the center. It looked like a namecard.

「Yes, I’m the owner of the Monte Company, you know about me?」

The man named Momon turned to Aina after confirming that I had taken his name card.

「I heard about your company before. It might be new, but your business is really good.」

「You’re too kind, we are working desperately every day. As expected of the daughter of House Froger, you are well informed.」

Aina furrowed her brows and said:

「…… Oh, you know about me?」

「Yes, of course! I can’t survive in this line of business if I don’t have a good information network.」

Momon laughed quietly with a friendly face. His laughter sounded quite unique though.

But Aina handled him with the most perfect smile I had seen. But it looked really fake and shallow.

「Well then——」

It was getting awkward so I spoke up to ease the mood:

「What business does the Monte Company have with me?」

「Oh, pardon me. I’m here to propose a small matter to the owner of this famous shop. Which is to say……」

Momon said with a brilliant smile:

「A brand new business opportunity.」


I sat opposite Momon at the dining table at the back of the shop, and served him an Iced Coffee.

Momon picked up the glass curiously.

He inspected the colour through the light, then sniffed it as if he was checking the wine fragrance, then timidly took a sip, and another. He then nodded profusely.

「This is Interesting. I heard in the monastery in a certain country, they would drink a beverage made by grinding special beans when they copied scriptures. This drink had features similar to that beverage, clearing drowsiness and improving focus.」

I turned to Momon as he said that.

He had a round face and thin eyes. He had a gold mustache under his onion-like nose. His hair was sparse but combed in a side parting. He was all smiles, but there was no telling what he was actually thinking.

「This beverage is very suitable on hot days and goes down smoothly. I prefer this over juice.」

Momon put down the Iced Coffee with a laugh.

「What is this beverage called?」

「This is Coffee, and since it had been iced, this is Iced Coffee.」

「I see, this is Coffee! What a nice name.」

He nodded profusely.

「So, what do you want to discuss with me?」

I chatted with him for a while, and found him difficult to grasp. He mentioned business opportunities, so was he doing door to door sales? I didn’t know if such a profession existed in this world.

Momon leaned forward and said:

「Actually, I heard some comments about your shop recently.」

「Comments, huh.」

「Yes, they are all good reviews that mentioned being served by a maid.」

I nodded in agreement.

With the avalanche of customers recently, it wasn’t a surprise that we were the talk of the town. And that would bring in even more customers.

Momon raised an index finger and said with a smile:

「I couldn’t believe it at first, but it then hit me that the idea of maids serving customers is really interesting. I put my thoughts in order and here I am to meet you.」

Momon leaned his body forward and said quietly:

「But why is the young lady of the Froger house dressed up like a maid?」

I replied with a wry smile:

「Due to some circumstances, I asked her to help me out.」

「I see, I see.」

Momon sat back down and stroked his chin with his thick fingers in deep thought. He was still smiling with curved eyes, and stayed quiet for a while.

「It’s a bit late, but may I have your name?」

「Oh, pardon me, I’m Yu.」

「Well met, Shopkeep Yu, would you like to do business with me?」

I was a little guarded. A stranger suddenly came to my shop and asked to do business with me, this was too suspicious.

「Yes, yes, I know this looks shady, I even felt that way when I brought this up. But can you hear me out?」

Momon laughed cheerfully and rubbed his protruding belly.

「You sure are honest, and I can empathize with how you feel. I will be honest too, I want to spread the service method of this shop—— serving customers with maids.」

「Oh, you want to open more Maid Cafes?」

「Maid Cafe?」

When he heard what I said, Momon’s eyes turned serious and his voice was sharp.

「Shopkeep Yu, what is a Maid Cafe?」

The difference with the earlier harmonious atmosphere made me answer with a stammer:

「Erm, the shop where maids work as servers are called Maid Cafes. Cafes are shops where patrons can relax and enjoy snacks and beverages.」

「I see, Cafes and Maids, huh… Oh, how interesting.」

Momon nodded profusely with a brilliant smile.

What was he thinking?

「Employing people with outstanding looks as servers is common for high end restaurants and shops frequented by nobles. However, shops for commoners don’t have the creativity of using beautiful maids as servers, and in the past, it was impossible for commoners to enjoy the service of maids, like nobles do. But in modern times, the difference between nobles and commoners is less prominent. In fact, this shop where maids serve customers is popular and well received. In other words, this will meet the demands of the present era, a new beginning for the culinary world! Maid Cafes are splendid!」

Momon raised his fists and said passionately. He was so hyped that I pulled my chair away from him. He was talking too fast, and I couldn’t absorb all the content.

「Listen well, Shopkeep Yu. Merchants will do anything to make money. The idea here will be copied in no time. That’s right, in a few weeks, every store will be filled with young people wearing low quality maid attire.」

「I-I see.」

「That’s right, merchants are creatures that can do anything to make money.」

With how certain he said that, I felt that was true.

「And that is why I’m here. Before the other shops imitates you, we need to make it known that this shop is the original Maid Cafe!」

Momon spread his arms like an actor basking in the spotlight.

「Erm, make it well known… To be honest, I don’t really get what you are saying.」

「Oh, my apologies, I got a bit too excited.」

He scratched his head, but even that action seemed rehearsed.

「Which is to say, we must imprint onto the mind of the people the concept of Maid Cafe and the name of this shop.」

Momon explained in a simple way that even I could understand.

「If we start now, we can capture the hearts of the customers. It will be an exhilarating experience to be served by maids in this shop. By associating Maid Cafes with this shop, our position will remain unshakeable even when copycats appear. Or rather, having copycats will be even better, we can advertise this shop as the original and the Cafe to experience the service of real maids.」

I was stunned by his words. His thinking was very commercialized, but not in a negative way, he had a clear sale strategy in mind.

This was a method everyone in modern society was familiar with, 「If you want to buy this product, you should go with this brand」, 「You can have a pleasant experience if you go there」, and the like. This was an important strategy of building trust with the customers by providing products or services, and building up your brand.

This was an obvious thing in modern society, but that wasn’t true in this world.

I was shocked by Momon’s modern mindset, and he continued:

「Just having the servers wear maid attires isn’t enough, we need to employ trained personnel, and real maids if possible. 『You can enjoy a lavish time like a noble here』…… That’s it!」


I replied in a daze.

I had never put so much thought into the direction of this shop.

「Eh, which is to say, you want to do this together with me, Momon-san?」

「Yes, it is as you say. Right now, the young lady of the Froger house and her maid are attending to the patrons, but Lady Froger can’t work here indefinitely.」

I thought that was a dumb question, but Momon didn’t laugh at me, and answered seriously.

「That’s true.」

「Before the Songstress visit happens, it will be difficult to employ someone to work in an eatery.」

「That’s right.」

「I can help with that, providing talent is one of the job of the Monte Company.」

I crossed my arms and fell deep into thought.

Spreading the concept of Maid Cafe?

That sounded absurd and felt unreal, it sounded like a joke.

But Momon was serious and sincere, how did the world look like with his modern businessman perspective?

If his forward thinking and creativity could be fully utilized, then his business would work.

And I was drawn to his offer to provide talent.

My shop was overwhelmed right now, and the situation wouldn’t change any time soon.

Right now, Aina, Doddo and Linaria were just temporary student workers helping out for the short term, but once summer break was over, they wouldn’t be able to help.

If someone asked me if I could handle the visitors alone, my answer would be no. And I couldn’t wear the maid attire either.

Many thoughts were circulating in my mind and mingled together, which made my temple hurt. It would be simple if I was smart enough to come up with an answer, but that was impossible for me.

By the way, I had a question.

「Even without telling me that, Momon-san can just start doing that by yourself, right?」

「A good question.」

Momon nodded with a smile.

「But that is only for normal situations. If a normal person discovers a good idea, others can just copy him. There are many who do business by using the wisdom of the pioneers while ignoring the effort that was put in.」

Momon facepalmed and shook his head.

「But we, the Monte Company, reject the present situation, and want to protect the people who come up with good products and ideas, and guard their rights and profits. At the same time, we will help them to commercialize their products and ideas. That’s the spirit of our company.」

「Oh…… that’s amazing.」

This world didn’t have the concept of copyright. Instead of the world being different, it would be more correct to say that the era was different.

The concept of protecting intellectual property and inventions could only be realized when society had matured. Even in my world, there were people who ignored copyrights and manufacture low quality counterfeits. Illegal downloads were also a problem.

And he wanted to promote this concept in this world, and incorporated it into a business, he was truly ahead of his times.

「Doing business always involves many complicated procedures and documentations, and my company will settle all these tedious processes. That way, we can create an environment where Shopkeep Yu can focus on the things you want to do.」

After hearing him out, I thought it sounded alright.

The paperwork to run a shop, the processes of the merchant guild, the renewal of contract and the payment of taxes. There were many tedious matters, and my head would hurt when the time came for me to deal with all that.

Even just settling these matters for me was tempting enough for me to work together with him.

「Because of the Songstress, more people are visiting this City. Why not use this chance to renovate the shop? I can get you a chef, then Shopkeep Yu can continue to earn money even when you sleep.」

Whether it would succeed aside, the Cafe I opened to create a familiar face for myself could actually be expanded into a business in this world. This was like a dream, although I didn’t have the courage to slack off.

「I think this proposal not only benefits me, but is also a good chance for Shopkeep Yu too.」

「Yes, that’s right.」

From what I heard so far, it didn’t sound like a bad proposal, and I got a better part of the deal too. But I couldn’t decide on the spot either. There were many things I still didn’t understand, and it wasn’t in my nature to be decisive. Furthermore, was he serious about opening a Maid Cafe?

「Can you give me some time?」

「Yes, of course, but if you take too long……」

Other shops would copy me.

「Yes, I understand.」

Seeing me nod, Momon stood up to shake my hand. I held his hand and he grasped it tightly.

「I will wait for your favourable response.」

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