Chapter 404

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Where is this?
The carriage we drove in passed by several large buildings and went even deeper into the academy until it stopped before a three-story building.
… Huh? It doesn’t seem to be far from the building we stopped at a while ago, but… isn’t it just a bit beyond what you can see?

“Now then, we have arrived. Let’s go inside.”

Teacher Neil said so smilingly and got down from the carriage.
Eh? We are getting off? Where is this?
Oniisama looked at the confused me, sighed deeply and extended his hand with a smile.

“Everything’s going to be fine, Tea. I will be by your side.”
“Oniisama…”

Ugh, Oniisama is so kind. Oniisama must be troubled as well since something like this is happening from the very beginning.

“O, okay…”

As I was about to reach for Oniisama’s hand, Kurogane and Mashiro pulled me towards themselves.

“We will be there to protect Lord, big bro should go ahead first.”
“N. We will protect Cristea.”

Saying that, the two tightly supported me on both sides.
N, gee~! You two! This is not the time to demonstrate your desires to monopolize me, okay-!
It’s not just my problem, it’s equally your guys’ problem too, alright!?

“… There’s really no need for guards, though. I will leave Cristea in your care then.”

Oniisama got off the carriage first with “Can’t be helped” expression on his face.
After him, Kurogane got off and helped me down, followed by Mashiro from behind.
Oniisama gave some instructions to the driver as the carriage swiftly turned back on the road.
Ehhh… how are we going to run away without the carriage!?
No, there’s no need to run away… I think.

“O, Oniisama. Why did you send the carriage away?”
“Ah, it’s fine. I only told him to drop off my luggage at the boys’ dormitory first.”

That’s right! My luggage is still in the carriage!
I wonder if they will deliver my luggage to the girls’ dormitory too. Nono, I would love a U-turn home first…

“Everyone, come in quickly. I will brew tea.”

When Teacher Neil beckoned us while saying that in front of the door, Oniisama had the most fed up expression ever.

“I won’t drink tea brewed by you, Teacher Neil. Have you not given up yet?”
“No way, Norman-kun. Why would I give up? The path of tea is profound, it takes a long journey to master it.”
“… I think it would be wiser for you to give up on that path, Teacher.”

Oniisama told the smiling Teacher Neil with increasingly warped expression.
… What is this about, I wonder?

“Now, leave it at that and let’s get inside.”

When Teacher Neil said so and opened the door, Oniisama gave up and walked towards the door.

“Umm, Oniisama…”

Where is this place?
Oniisama looked into my insecure face and his displeased expression relaxed.

“It will be fine. I won’t let anything bad happen to you. Come, let’s go.”

Oniisama followed after Teacher Neil inside the building.

“… We can’t stand here forever anyway, we can only enter. Mashiro, Kurogane, let’s go.”

I prepared myself and entered the building.

Behind the door was a wide hall.
It definitely wasn’t gaudy, there was a large staircase at the back of the hall, and there were large doors on both sides. Oniisama was waiting for us before one of the large doors.
When we stood next to each other, Oniisama opened the door without knocking.
While surprised by the rudeness Oniisama displayed, he let out a chuckle.

“This is a lounge.”
“Lounge…?”

When I walked inside after Oniisama, I saw sofas and tables in a spacious room.
Unlike a parlor, the atmosphere here felt a bit disordered but had an air of relaxation.

“Yeah. This is a room where the boarding students gather to have conversations.”

Boarding students… is this the girls’ dormitory then?
And yet, Oniisama and Teacher entered so carefreely, are they not popular?

“… Teacher, are you really planning on brewing tea?”
“Of course! Why don’t you sit and wait for me to finish?”

Teacher Neil started preparing tea with a smile, but I wonder if this is not the time for that…
That being said, I couldn’t help but feel dumbfounded, so I sat next to Oniisama.

“… Cristea, you can just pretend to drink.”

Oniisama whispered to my ear.
Eh, don’t drink… there’s not something in it, is there!?

When I shifted my attention to Teacher Neil, I saw him quickly tossing tea leaves into the pot.
… Hah? W, wait a moment?
The pot doesn’t seem to be warmed up, and I am not even talking about the number of leaves he’s tossing in…
While feeling puzzled, Teacher Neil poured water into the pot by using water magic and then he threw a little fireball inside. I think I heard a little “boom” that moment, though… still, the pot seems to be fine.

“Ah, sorry for surprising you. This pot was strengthened, so it seldom breaks, you need not worry.”

Ahh, I am relieved to hear that… huh, nono!
There would be no need to strengthen the pot if you didn’t put it in like that, no!?
In the first place, is this even drinkable!?
A black tea-like was beverage served in picnic teacups in front of us.

“Now, have a taste while it’s warm.”

Teacher Neil is encouraging with a smile, but… this is tea, right?
That exploding(?) phenomenon broke the tea leaves as they were lightly floating on top.
I, I wonder if this is safe to drink…

“I, I will have a try…”

Oniisama told me to pretend to drink, but having just a little would be fine, right…?
While thinking that, the cup was getting closer to my mouth, but at that moment my instincts told me “Oh, this is not good.”
This fellow here is not good to drink…!
I followed Oniisama’s advice and only pretended to drink a bit.

“How is it? I am currently trying to see how efficiently I can make tea.”
“Rather than working on efficiency, you should make sure that it can even be called black tea in the first place.”

Oniisama pushed the teacup away.

“Ehh? I only put in black tea leaves, so it’s black tea, you know? There’s no blend of herbs like before, you know?”

… Teacher Neil looks like the hopeless type of person, doesn’t he!?

“… Teacher Neil, I believe that black tea is best when prepared the normal way, so please don’t go around looking for efficiency please.”
“I believe that ambition is a very important aspect for us, humans, though. Oh well, anyhow, let’s get down the business?”

Teacher Neil sat deep into the sofa.
…… Here it comes.
I prepared myself and faced Teacher Neil.

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