Chapter 579.2

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Invitation to the Tea Party
The human-shaped Mashiro might still be fine, but Kurogane, being in the form of an adult man, could be too intimidating. Additionally, Mashiro is Mashiro, and given Alicia-sama’s unfavorable impression of me from the time when she openly showed hostility towards me, Mashiro’s usual sharp tongue might hurt her feelings.

On the other hand, if they were in their Sacred Beast forms, Alicia-sama, being a fan of fluffiness, might enjoy having them around. However, I don’t want Alicia-sama to feel uncomfortable if she sees their reluctance when allowing her to touch them.
It’s better to wait until we are all more accustomed to each other.

“Now, now. If it’s about protection, you can rely on me. If it comes to it, I’ll pass my cane to Mariel.”

“Ruby… Let’s not casually mention means of attack that could potentionally destroy the salon building, okay?”

While hugging Ruby, who winked at Kurogane and Mashiro, Mariel-chan recalled the effectiveness of the recent training and shivered as she scolded him.

“That’s right. In exchange, I will be accompanying Miss Miria as a guard and attendant. Oh, Sei-sama, please ensure the procurement of the reward, which would be pudding, pokay?”

“… I think you already finished the reward portion earlier, but well, I’ll set aside mine for you. Consider it done.”

“As expected of my Lord! Thank you very much!”

Suzaku-sama proudly announced to Kurogane and Mashiro with a smirk, and she gave Sei a charming smile, requesting pudding.
I do recall seeing several cleaned pudding cups in the dining hall a while ago…

“… It’s fine if this annoying bird acts as a guard, but what about Ruby joining?”

Kurogane gave Suzaku-sama a bitter look and then looked down at Ruby and Mariel-chan.

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“Eh, err, well, you see. About Ruby…”

Trying to explain under Kurogane’s pressure, Ruby slipped out of Mariel-chan’s grasp and smoothly hopped onto her shoulder. Placing one front paw on Mariel-chan’s head, Ruby shook his head with a relaxed expression.

“Oh mi. I’m obviously the cute girl of the group, okay? Without someone as cute as me, the girls-only gathering won’t be as lively, you know?”

… Cute equals being a girl?
I guess at the tea party, Ruby doesn’t plan to transform into a macho older bro… sister.
Having Ruby around might help ease Alicia-sama’s tension, so I refrained from making a retort.

“… If you’re fine with him, then I’m totally fine too!”

… Certainly, Mashiro is adorable both in Sacred Beast form and in human form, but I think it’s a stretch to consider him part of the girls-only gathering.

“… Stop it, Mashiro. This creature doesn’t feel aversion towards that girl, and indeed, having him by their side as a guard is probably for the better.”

“Gnunu…”

Seemingly uninterested in competing over whether he belongs in the girls-only group, Kurogane quickly gave up and stopped Mashiro.

“Sorry, Kurogane, Mashiro. Once we become good friends with Alicia-sama, we can have tea party together. Today, Adry-sama will be visiting the dorm, so please accompany him.”

Considering Adry-sama’s aspirations to become a knight capable of riding a magic beast in the future, there are probably many questions he would like to ask Byakko-sama and Kurogane.
When I mentioned that, both of them reluctantly agreed.

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