Two chapters this time! 1/2
The Girl Who Can’t Read Letters
When the negotiations with the dwarf king ended, I literally took a breath.
Using the 2nd Army Corps as a decoy to pin down the Multiple King Alliance, during that the raid on Isthmus, rescuing Gunther, the negotiations after that, it was dizzingly busy.
Honestly, it was at the point where I wanted to have one more body.
“I can’t ask the Commander to make another me right?”
If I did that, work would be halved.
I said that as a joke, but Sati the maid beside approved wholeheartedly.
“By all means please do so.”
Apparently, if I do so, then while I go to war, she won’t end up having too much free time.
“Now that you mention it, what does Sati do while I’m away?”
“Basically I am cleaning.”
“That’s what you’re always doing isn’t it?”
“I carry it out more carefully than usual.”
According to her, since only I live in this mansion, it seems that when I’m not hear she really has nothing to do.
That’s why other than cleaning more carefully, or recently rubbing the belly of a cat that settled down in the garden, it seems she has nothing to do.
It’s pitiable not having hobbies.
Certainly this other world is different from the previous world, there’s hardly any entertainment.
It’s obvious, but if there’s not even internet there’s also no TV.
There exists plays and acrobats, but Ivalice is a small town, and a front line town, so they don’t come here.
However, even if there were a theatre in this town, it’s hard to imagine that Sati would go there.
This girl is modest, or rather she’s astonishingly without desire.
Supposing I told her to go to a play, and gave her money, she would take and buy a present for me, or donate it to a person in need.
The girl known as Sati is that kind of girl.
“……uun, I have to somehow make a hobby for this girl.”
I arrive at that kind of thought.
From now on, the chances that I will be absent from Ivalice will increase I’m sure.
If each time Sati works hard at cleaning, dust might be purged from this mansion.
In reality this mansion is abnormally clean.
Not a bit of dirt has fallen.
As a test I approach the bookshelf and trace my finger along the edge of the bookshelf.
Almost like the act of a mother-in-law that appears in Japan’s TV dramas, but there’s no dirt on my finger like in a drama.
In other words, that means that they have been meticulously cleaned that much.
I won’t say not to clean, but there’s not any need to to go this far right.
I cannot help thinking so.
“In the first place there are only books I’ve read once on this bookshelf, right. It would be fine even if it was disposed.”
“Will you dispose of it?”
“……no, that would be a waste.”
In this world, books are precious.
Things like printing haven’t been invented, so they can only be transcribed by hand one copy at a time, or a magician can copy them with 《Copy》 magic.
When I was thinking like that, Sati spoke something unexpected.
“But, although Sati can’t read books, I like them.”
“Sati likes books?”
“I see. Then, it’s fine if you read books while I’m not here isn’t it.”
“I can’t do that.”
So she declares.
“Arbitrarily borrowing Goshujin-sama’s things, as a maid it’s something that mustn’t be done. In addition––––”
So she continues.
“Although Sati likes books, I can’t read letters. Even if I borrow them, it’s meaningless.”
“……I see, Sati can’t read letters huh.”
Well that’s natural, I don’t really understand the condition of this other world’s literacy rate, but at least there’s noting that could be called an educational institution in this Ivalice.
Magicians and scholars open private schools, and teach children letters and simple calculations, but there’s a limit in that.
In addition Sati is a slave’s child.
I’m sure she hasn’t received even that type of minimum education.
“Incidentally, even though you can’t read letters, why do you like books.”
“I like the smell of books. In addition I feel like I become smarter just by looking at the spine of the books. Also, occasionally flipping through pages and they have an illustration, just by looking at that I forget the time. A picture of a place I haven’t been to is drawn, a beautiful woman is drawn––––”
Unusually, Sati’s words don’t stop.
She has that much interest in books I suppose.
From the start she was a smart girl.
Her spirit of inquiry might be stronger than others.
I who that that decided to teach Sati letters.
“Eh, is that fine?”
Somewhat excited and guiltily, she asks me.
“Ahh, right now Gunther-dono is writing letters to dwarves in various places right. Until those reach the dwarves and they arrive at this town, there’s a little time. Until then, I will teach you letters between my duties.”
“Really!? I’m happy!”
She was delighted as if she would hop.
Sati is a girl that doesn’t show her emotions on her face. Her facial expressions becoming this great is rare.
Looking at that appearance, even I become happy.
“If I become able to read books, I want to read this book first.”
She says so and goes to the library, she comes back holding many books in both hands.
That appearance is almost like a child who received a present from santa.
The first book she spread out is a cooking book.
“This is a cooking recipe book right?”
“If I become able to read this, the kinds of cuisine I can make fore Ike-sama will increase a lot. In addition, I’ll be able to make it even more delicious.”
Though even now it’s plenty delicious, without giving me room to say that she continues.
The next one she opens is a certain adventurer’s oriental record. It’s reading material in diary style of a personage that actually existed around 100 years before, the story of a man who ventured all the way to a country called Seika the east of this continent.1
“Ahh, I’ve read that as well. How much is true, and how much is false, I don’t know, but it was quite interesting.”
Until Sati met me, she hadn’t even gone outside the town of Arsenum.
She might admire this kind of adventure record.
“Yes, even once is fine, Sati wants to try going on an adventure. I want to try riding on horse-san, and traveling to unknown places.”
“Unexpectedly dynamic. I thought you would like typical girl, romance stories.”
“I want to read those as well. In any case, Sati wants to try reading lots of books.”
Sati strongly declares, but I notice that among the books she brought there are erotic novel like books.
––––something the previous lord left.
For the time being, I decide to hide those kinds of dangerous books, and decided to begin teaching her letters at once.
The letters in this world are complex and strange.
There are many that like english, their pronunciation and spelling, the grammar’s imperfection also stands out.
The learning difficulty might be more difficult than japanese.
“Well, even then it’s better than Sati having too much free time to manage I guess.”
As I speak that, I decided to teach her from the most simple letter.
If I were to speak of the alphabet then it’s “A”, in japanese, “あ” would be an equivalent term.
Sati listens attentively to my lecture with enthusiasm.
She’s a smart girl.
In less than a year she’ll become able to read a simple book I’m sure.
I thought so, but her cleverness was above expectations.
––––one month later, while happily half running she came to my side.
“Ike-sama, I was taught how to write letters from Gunther-sama.”
Apparently she become able to not just read, but even write letters.
She hands that to me.
There were crude letters there, but proper words were written.
“goshujin-sama, i love you.”
––––I’m sure there’s no deep meaning, but somehow they were words that made me embarrassed.
At any rate, if it’s this trend, then in less than a half a year Sati will be able to become an avid reader.
An otherworld with little entertainment.
The luxury of at least reading books should be allowed to even a maid right.
While thinking as such, while teaching her letters, I wait for the dwarves Gunther called to gather.
1.The kanji used here are 東方見聞録 which is the Japanese title of The Travels of Marco Polo