“Eh? You’re going to have them go on a trip before the graduation? How is that necessary?”
“I mean, this place is a prep school.”
“I’ve never heard about Breitburg’s prep school, the capital’s prep school, or any other prep school for that matter taking their students on a trip before graduation…”
“Then I’ll be the first, I guess. I’ll dub it 『School Trip』.”
“What are they going to learn on that trip? Besides, there’s also the issue with the expenses!”
Somehow Master and Erwin-sama seem to have an argument. Master apparently wants to take the students, who’re going to graduate very soon, on a trip.
It’s the first time for me to hear talks about the students of the academy or prep schools going on a trip, but it looks like it’s yet another of Master’s unique ideas. He’s even decided the naming for it to be 『School Trip』.
Erwin-sama appears to mostly oppose the idea with his argumentation centered around the problem of payment and the question of what the students would learn on such a trip.
He’s right. It’ll cost a lot to take a great number of students on a trip. For the Baumeister Earldom, which is still in the process of development, allowing that many people to travel will be a tough burden. After all, the transport of materials and personnel needed for the development have been prioritized until now.
However, Erwin-sama should realize another fact. If Master comes up with something and starts to talk about putting it into practice, it means he won’t yield on it, no matter what happens.
“Lea, those are the times when a wife must assist her husband the most. Since you’re going to become Erwin-sama’s wife soon, make sure to not be negligent in your preparations.”
Dominique-neesan has apparently anticipated that Master wouldn’t give up on his idea of 『School Trip』. Since she believes that Erwin-sama is going to accompany him in the end, she’s telling me to assist him as I’ll also come along.
I see. She’s absolutely right. Supporting my future husband can only be called the proper duty of a wife.
“In other words, you’re telling me that I should go all lovey-dovey with Erwin-sama to create nice memories on the trip, right?”
Ugghh───! It’s been a while since I last suffered Dominique-neesan’s knuckle. Her blow has truly penetrated my brain. But then again, it’s not as long ago as I’ve mentioned a second ago. It’s just, she always hits me so hard that I tend to forget the blow itself.
“Anna-san, you understand as well, right?”
“Yes. Will there be a need to help with the camping as well?”
“You can’t exclude the possibility.”
Dominique-neesan tells Anna-san, who’s going to marry Erwin-sama just like me, to get ready to leave on the trip as well.
She’s currently working as a maid in the Earl Baumeister mansion as training before her marriage. Although she’s Erwin-sama’s childhood friend, my ability as a maid is superior! In short, I can run the household more skilfully as his wife…there are times where I consider it like that as well, but…despite hailing from a rural merchant’s house, Anna-san is almost perfect when it comes to housework, allowing her to quickly grow accustomed to the mansion here.
Given that a tiny, rural merchant house has no maids, she’s apparently been strictly trained in things like house chores in preparation for her marriage into another family. Even though Dominique-neesan had often hit my head with her iron knuckle back when I only arrived at this mansion, she only gives Anna-san light warnings…I feel like it’s somewhat unfair.
“Anna-san gets things done after a short explanation, without the need to warn her overly much.”
“Guh! Did you read my mind, Dominique-neesan!?”
“For how long do you think we know each other? Even without having mind reading abilities, it’s easy for me to imagine what you’re thinking, Lea.”
No way…doesn’t this make me a simple-minded girl?
“Since Master is surely going to consult Roderich-sama, the shape of that school trip thing should be decided in the next few days. Once we hear the outcome of their discussion, we will know whether it’s going to be camping or a stay in an inn.”
“Camping…somehow that doesn’t really sound like a trip.”
Since it’s going to be a trip, I’d like us to at least stay in an inn, no matter how run-down it might be.
“It’s all about the issue of how much budget will be available. If Master covers the inn fee with his pocket money, it’s possible that it will prove difficult to do the same trip in the following years. I think it will result in going camping in Baulburg’s outskirts.”
In that case, it wouldn’t require much of a budget, and it’d have the advantage of serving as training for camping after the students become adventurers.
I believed that it’d definitely turn out as Dominique-neesan said, but…
“Eh? A field trip into the Demon Forest, and lodging in a nearby hot-spring inn? The school sure is splurging there.”
“It appears that Master has been quite tenacious about this matter.”
It’s an event called 『School Trip』, thought up by Master, but somehow it’s been decided for us to go out to the Demon Forest with all of the prep school’s students. Dominique-neesan is fairly surprised by this as well.
“Let me be frank: is the budget going to be alright?”
“According to Roderich-sama, it’s going to be realized thanks to Master’s efforts baring no rest, his flawless persuasion and limiting the budget to the utmost through the students paying their own expenses.”
First off, the travel to the Demon Forest is going to take place on a currently noncommissioned airship where sailors are being trained. Given that the airship doesn’t yet allow for guests to officially board, the journey is going to be for free while serving as a training for the sailors at the same time.
Next, they’re going to have the adventurer guild sponsor a small amount of money as this entire trip is treated as semi-training course for the sake of getting the students ready for their adventuring by showing them the situation over at the guild’s branch, and allowing them to go on a field trip to the Demon Forest, albeit limited to looking at it from outside.
Afterwards, all the students are going to hunt in the still untouched nature north of the Demon Forest, and the costs for the trip will be covered by selling the spoils to the guild.
As for the inn, I only remembered after being told about by Dominique-neesan, but the Earl Baumeister family owns a rest house at a hot spring close to the Demon Forest. Apart from the holiday house used by Master and his wives, the Baumeister House’s retainers and their families have a rest house they can book for cheap. A lot of people look forward all year long to go to this rest house to take a break.
It looks like the students of the prep school will be allowed to lodge there. They aren’t the Baumeister House’s retainers, but since they’re students of the prep school whose facilities are run by the Baumeister House, Roderich-sama negotiated with the lodging house’s owner to get permission.
Either way, I wonder just what has stimulated Master to put this 『School Trip』 thing into practice. It’s really odd.
“For such a reason, I’d like you two, Lea and Anna, to accompany Master and Erwin-sama and help them out on site. I can’t go myself since I have to take care of Elise-sama and the others.”
“Okay, I understand.”
I see, Anna and I will assist Master, who leads the 『School Trip』, and Erwin-sama who comes along as his aide.
“But it’s really amazing. Students can go on trips at the adventurer prep schools managed by high-ranking nobles.”
In the eyes of Anna-san, who has never left her village until she came here, trips seem to give her the impression of luxury. Because of that, she looks totally hyped after hearing that she’ll be able to come along.
“Anna-san, such events don’t take place at the houses of other high-ranking nobles. The prep school in the capital doesn’t do it either.”
“Is that so? That means Earl Baumeister-sama is a very great man, doesn’t it?”
Anna-san seems surprised by Master’s generosity, but if you crunch the numbers a bit, you’ll immediately see that it doesn’t cost that much money… The ones earning the travel expenses by hunting at the destination are actually the students themselves.
“Dominique-neesan, is it okay for Anna-san and me to only take care of Master and Erwin-sama?”
“There is staff at the rest house, but since the number of lodgers will be rather big, I’d like you to help the staff with food preparations and cleaning as much as possible.”
Okay, so it’s the same as usual, I suppose. Because I’m a capable maid, I’ll do my best at working energetically, all for the sake of being considered 『great wife material』 by Erwin-sama.
“Ah, but I’ve heard that the rest house has a hot spring, so it should be fine for you to enter the bath during your free time.”
If things go smoothly, I think it could turn into a nice mood by me entering the hot spring all alone with Erwin-sama. Considering this, it makes me look forward to this job very much. Anna-san might be thinking something similar. I’ll give it my all here!
“Please take care of it, Lea, Anna-san.”
“Please leave it to me. I’ll enjoy a steamy hot spring time with Erwin-sama!”
“Just why do you have to derail the conversation in such a way!?”
Ouch… This is the second, continuous knuckle hit by Dominique-neesan since yesterday, but just as usual, her merciless hits sting. Is this stinging pain going to fade away once I enter the hot spring?
＊ ＊ ＊
“All of you, make sure to stay together and don’t act by yourself! First up is the field trip to the newly-built Demon Forest branch of the adventurer’s guild.”
“Wend, why are you looking so happy about all this?”
That’s how the school trip started. After the medium-sized magic airship safely arrives at a port close to the Demon Forest, the accompanying teachers give instructions to their respective classes.
Master, Erwin-sama, Anna-san, and I are in charge of the magician class. Since Anna-san and I wear our maid uniforms, we look completely out of place near the Demon Forest.
“Lea-san, somehow I feel like we’re being stared at…”
“I want to head over to the rest house as soon as possible.”
It’s not like we can simply go ahead to the rest house, and thus we first head over to the Demon Forest’s guild branch. Because a big group of boys and girls is walking around, they garner the attention of the adventurers who wonder what’s going on.
Since Anna-san and I wear maid uniforms, it feels like we are in the focus…
“This is the reception.”
Given that all of the students have already sold hunted game to the branch in Baulburg as part-time job, it’s kinda redundant to give them such an explanation at this point, but I guess this is also part of the school trip.
Next, we’re led to the facility where the hunted game is dismantled, then we inspect the Demon Forest from outside, and lastly we head over to a plain.
“You still aren’t allowed to enter the Demon Forest, but the density of prey around here is high. Please do your best at earning your travel expenses.”
If they can hunt plenty of game, the school trip expenses will drop to zero. With that motivation by Master, the students begin hunting in the name of giving their training so far the finishing touch.
“That means, we’re up now.”
Meanwhile, Anna-san and I prepare lunch.
“Though most of it has been prepared in advance.”
If we had to make lunch for so many people from scratch now and here, we wouldn’t be on time. We’re just going to get the food previously prepared by Dominique-neesan and the other maids from Master’s magic bag, and distribute it. All we have to do is to reheat the pots with soup.
“I don’t quite understand whether it’s a trip or training.”
As Anna-san says, the students’ travel expenses will be paid for thanks to this hunt, but I think only the trip of an adventurer prep school would include hunting. That’s why it’s called 『School Trip』, I guess.
“What are they learning from this?”
Now that she mentions it, there’s no need to explicitly come to the Demon Forest to hunt since the students are doing it every day after school anyway. Oh dear, I suppose I truly can’t understand the far-sighted and deep intent behind Master’s idea.
“No kidding, he suddenly comes up with something weird, and stubbornly insists on it being carried out.”
Erwin-sama comes over to check how things are going on our end. I think he wants to make sure that the food can be handed out on time.
“Well, it’s okay since everyone looks like they’re having fun. If you show the students the rough adventurers near the Demon Forest and the ill-mannered folks at the guild’s reception, telling them to not become like those people, many students should pay attention in the future. By actually taking a look at the materials of the Demon Forest’s huge monsters when being dismantled, it might decrease the number of folks dying after getting reckless. It looks like they’ve also taken a look at the place where the wounded are treated. Maybe it’s not bad to show them such reality before they become adventurers themselves. Veteran adventurers tend to consider such things, but they don’t have the time to pass on their experience to everyone about becoming an adventurer. Our Lord found a perfectly fitting name for it with 『School Trip』, I think.”
At a first glance, it looks like playing around, but I guess Master is properly thinking about the students entrusted to him.
“The economy in our territory gets incited in proportion to the students moving around. Once they become adventurers, they’ll definitely stay in an inn at some point, so this also serves as training for manners and similar. If the students behave properly as customers, the inn’s side will give them discounts for extended stays, prepare lunch boxes, or do their laundry. That’d be much more beneficial to the students than being hated for bad manners, right? However, unexpectedly no one teaches them stuff like that.”
“To think that far ahead…Master is truly amazing.”
Anna-san, who’s still a relatively new addition to the Baumeister House, feels deeply impressed by Master’s intentions. I haven’t noticed that this simple school trip event has so many beneficial parts to it either.
For some reason, Erwin-sama’s expression doesn’t look overly cheerful as he explains all that, though.
“Erwin-sama, is something worrying you?”
“No, those advantages persuaded Roderich-san to agree with this event, but somehow I can’t get rid of the suspicion that Wend simply wanted to carry out such an event for his own amusement.”
He’s right, now that he mentions it, it sounds logical… I don’t know what Anna-san is thinking about this, but even if it’s just as a helper, she should be happy as she was able to come on this trip. Besides, hot springs are waiting for us once we reach the inn.
I’m looking forward to whatever situation might come out of this. It’s the perfect time as Dominique-neesan isn’t around either.
“Oh, Lea-san, Anna-san, it looks like we’re going to share a room. Please take care of us.”
“Please teach me even more elaborate dishes in the near future.”
“Me too please. Ah! A dessert that would please sensei would be great, I think.”
With the hunt ending safely, we sell a huge amount of game to the adventurer’s guild, resulting in a complete coverage of the travel expenses. This time Master had apparently promised to pay it out of his pocket if they were to be short on money since he was the one to suggest this whole trip to begin with, but in such a case, the 『School Trip』 would have likely remained a one-time-only event. Master looked very relieved when he learned that they hadn’t gone into the red with the expenses.
Next we moved to the rest house where we’d spent the night, and brought our luggage to the rooms assigned to us.
This place can’t be compared to Master’s holiday villa or the exclusive, high-class vacation house for the chief retainers, but since it’s a new building, it’s very nice. Splitting the classes up into boys and girls, all of them are assigned a room in groups of five or six. Anna-san and I share a room with Agnes-san, Betty-san, and Cindy-san.
I’m still teaching the three how to cook every once in a while, so I think we’ve been put together in one room because of that relationship. Since Anna-san often teaches them cooking together with me, Agnes-san and the other two are acquainted with her as well.
By the way, Master and Erwin-sama are staying in the room next to ours. Naturally there’s no way for the two to share a room with five or six other guys, and thus they’re sharing one room together.
I think it’d have been fine for them to stay at the holiday villa, but since Master is participating as a teacher of the prep school, they’re lodging in this place as well. I guess you can describe Master as a surprisingly earnest person…
“Lea-san, there’s no work left for us.”
“That’s definitely unexpected…”
Since many students are staying over, Anna-san and I have accompanied the group, also with the intent to help out, but because more staff than expected works at this rest home, our help was turned down. Since we were told by Master, 『Isn’t it fine for you to rest up then until we go back home tomorrow?』, once we informed him of the circumstances, we’ve basically received a free pass to enjoy our free time without reservations.
Because the staff working here is also proud of their duty, I doubt that it’d be a good idea for us to force our way into their work. A truly excellent maid can make a clear distinction between work and private time. Besides, seeing as Master told us to take a rest, even Dominique-neesan shouldn’t be able to bicker about it.
“Since it’s a rare opportunity, let’s enjoy the hot spring.”
“Lea-san, do you know about the hot spring in this place?”
Given that I’ve originally been sent here to assist Master, I’ve naturally checked out the information of this rest home beforehand.
“Please relax, Agnes-san. About the hot spring over here…”
Unlike Master’s holiday villa and the vacation house used by the chief retainers and their families, the extravagance of the facilities falls slightly short, but other noble houses don’t even provide a rest house for their low-ranking retainers in the first place. In other words, this is also an expression of Master’s tolerance and deep compassion.
“It’s very big and has large bathtubs, segregated by gender.”
The hot spring facility is big enough that all the prep school students lodging here today could enter simultaneously without a problem. Moreover, since it’s properly divided in men and women sections, it’s unnecessary to worry about being peeped at, too.
I wouldn’t mind if Erwin-sama came to take a peek at me, but I’d hate it if the other guys would also ogle me.
“Moreover, there’s also something called a family bath.”
This is a private hot spring that can be entered together with your family.
“Family means it’s okay for men and women to enter together?”
“Well, they’re family after all.”
Cindy-san acts like it’s very commonplace…
“Then I’ll invite sensei.”
“That’s a no-no.”
Even if Cindy-san might be Master’s pupil, it’s not like they’re family. A man and woman, who aren’t married to each other, entering a bath together is rather questionable. Warning people about such things is yet another task of a maid…at least I think it is?
“Then it’d be no problem for me to enter the family bath together with Erwin-sama, right?” Anna-san suddenly goes for the big shot here.
Certainly, Anna-san is Erwin-sama’s fiancée. Entering the bath together…isn’t allowed since she’s still not married officially to him…or rather, isn’t she in the same position as me?
“Fu fu fu. In other words, it means I have a chance as well.”
Anna-san, don’t think that I’d simply let you wander off to nonchalantly invite Erwin-sama into the family bath without inviting me as well!
“Anna-san, it’s taboo to steal a march.”
“It’ll be a contest!”
I don’t think that it’d be much of a problem if I emphasized my seniority here, but considering the future, we should have a fair contest on this. I have prepared Master’s invention, Othello, which is currently a hype in the earldom.
“The winner will be allowed to enter the family bath with Erwin-sama.”
“I see. The rules are easy to understand.”
Anna-san and I begin to play Othello with the right to enter a bath together with Erwin-sama as a trophy. But…
For some reason, Anna-san wins the match. Even though I should be more familiar with Othello…
Am I possibly very bad at this game?
“The match lasts until either of us has three wins.”
Now that it has come to this, I’ve got no choice but to switch to a war of attrition! It’ll be fine as long as I win in the end!
As long as I win!
“Agnes, anyone plays until three wins, you know?”
“Cindy-chan is right!”
Next to us, Agnes’ group has started to play Old Maid with the right to enter the family bath with Master as a trophy.
Just when I thought that Agnes-san would win since she’s good at games like these, it actually happened, but Cindy-san and Betty-san used the same move I used.
No matter how much you delay the game, all will be fine if you win at the end.
“I’ve won three times.”
“As I thought, it’s better to go with five wins.”
“No, saying this now would be too unfair.”
Huh? Or rather, why do I suck so much at Othello? It’s a mystery…or I guess not. So far I’ve played against Dominique-neesan many times, but I’ve hardly ever won against her…
Haven’t I totally messed up with my choice of the match’s content───!?
“It’s three wins with this.”
“Agnes, anyone plays until five wins, you know?”
“I’m with Cindy-chan on that!”
“You two are slyyyy───!”
Cindy-san and Betty-san repeat my words. I feel a deep sympathy between us.
“Lea-san, please don’t hate me, but a match is a match.”
“That’s how it is, Cindy, Betty.”
As expected, the strategy to delay it to five wins hasn’t worked. Anna-san and Agnes-san head out to invite Master and Erwin-sama to the family bath. But, an unforeseen accident occurs at that point.
“Hmm? Anna, you still haven’t gone bathing? Since I’ve already taken a bath in the public one with Wend, it’d be best for you to get in quickly as well, Anna. It’s a hot spring, so it feels really great.”
“Agnes, have you been playing in your room with Lea, Anna and the other two? It’d be better for you to enter the bath before it’s closed.”
Back when it was settled who would enter the family bath together with Master and Erwin-sama, the two had already finished their bath ── that’s the kind of unforeseen accident I meant.
“Uuuhh…Lea-san, you’ve aimed for this…”
“Cindy, Betty, you’ve aimed for this…”
No, no, no. I can’t read Cindy-san and Betty-san’s minds, but I haven’t planned things this far! Honestly, it’s simply a coincidence that it has turned out like this! …Honestly, okay?
“The hot water sure is wonderful.”
“It definitely is, but…right, Agnes-san?”
“No kidding, Anna-san.”
As there was absolutely no way to invite the two men, who had already taken a bath, to take yet another bath, the five of us used the large bath in the public area. Agnes-san and Anna-san are grumbling around a bit, but I’ll simply ignore them and enjoy the bath.
“Hmm, still, all things considered…”
“What’s wrong, Lea-san?”
“Our breasts are way too average!”
Of course it’s not like I’m harboring any such futile aspirations as getting close to Elise-sama, but even though we’re going to marry Erwin-sama in the future, Anna-san’s and my breasts are average at best. Considering Haruka-sama who possesses quite a big rack, this will turn into a problem in the future, won’t it?
“They’ll grow eventually.”
“I’m sure they will, Lea-san.”
Going by our ages, the growth spurt for Anna-san and me should start soon. But then again, it’s also a question of what humans would do if they had no hope for the future.
I’m sure they’ll grow.
“Does having a chest the size of Elise-sama make sensei happy?”
“But, Agnes! We still have hope! Look at Luise-sama!”
“Hmm, makes sense. Our breasts are average, and Cindy-chan’s is a bit above average…still, even Luise-sama is a go!”
“Betty, it’s alright since our chests are still growing!”
Come to think of it, Agnes’ group, who’s aiming to become Master’s wives, have average chests lacking any individuality. Still, the words 『Bigger than Luise-sama…』 have encouraged Anna-san and me as well.
Just now it felt like I heard a sneeze resembling Luise-sama’s voice from somewhere… But, since Luise-sama is currently at the mansion in Baulbug, I must have imagined it.
“Sensei isn’t a man of such a low caliber that he’d discriminate against women for their breast size!”
“You’re right! Even Luise-sama is a go! Even if they’re on the smaller side, it’s absolutely no problem, right!?”
“The overall balance plays a big role as well. Since I’m training myself through hunting and such, my legs are slender and my butt is tight as well. Agnes-chan is sitting a lot because she’s studying, so she’s a bit flabby.”
“I’m not that flabby!! Betty, even though your legs might be slender, they’re muscular, making them kinda unsuited for giving lap pillows.”
“The other day I gave sensei a lap pillow after he became a child, but it didn’t seem like there were any problems with that.”
“Right now, my breasts are small, but they’ll grow very soon. Unlike Agnes and Betty, I have a future ahead of me.”
“”Our ages aren’t that far apart!!””
Girl’s talk is the highlight of every trip. Even after we returned to our room, we kept talking about various matters until late into the night.
The 『School Trip』 consisted of only one-night stay-over, but I enjoyed it very much. Contrary to usual, I earnestly prayed for the 『School Trip』 to be held in the coming years as well. Things like this trip are necessary for a woman.
＊ ＊ ＊
“I see, the rest house had enough staff, so there was no work for you to be done, you’re saying?”
“Yes. Until we arrived there, we’ve been doing our work properly.”
“Well, I guess it’s fine if Master allowed it.”
“Was everything alright over here in the mansion?”
“Yes. Last night Luise-sama was worried that she might have caught the flu since she suffered from a weird sneezing, but her sneezing remained limited to one.”
After we returned to the mansion once the 『School Trip』 ended, I reported the rundown to Dominique-neesan, but she didn’t say much about the matter of me not having worked at all after reaching the rest house. I’m pretty sure it’s fully owed to Master’s authority.
“Come think of it…”
“What is it, Dominique-neesan?”
Is there something she’s going to point out?
“It’s about the family bath…”
“Ahaha, you mean it was wrong of Anna-san and me since we aren’t officially married to Erwin-sama yet?”
Since Dominique-neesan is such a serious bore, she maybe wants to warn me about it, despite it ending at an attempt.
“No, I won’t tell you anything so stiff. I think it’s a great facility to have a family bath you can enter with your family members. Anyway, why was it necessary to have a match with Anna-san about who was going to enter the bath with Erwin-sama? It’d have been just fine for all three of you to go in together.”
Now that Dominique-neesan has pointed it out, I’ve noticed it myself as well.
That’s it! Since both of us are going to become Erwin-sama’s wives anyway, there was no need for an unproductive quarrel! How foolish of Anna-san and me! Even though Erwin-sama always tells us that disputes don’t lead to anything!
“Even though it would have delighted Erwin-sama very much without any inconveniences to any of us whatsoever if us three had entered together! Moreover, for the straight-laced Dominique-neesan to have realized something I failed to notice!”
I mean the part of you immediately giving me a knuckle blow.
“Today the top of my head stings especially intensely…”
Sooner or later I might actually start to shrink from those hits.
“You’re right, it’s just as you say, Dominique-san!” At that point, Agnes-san, who had come over to learn cooking today, butted into our conversation while donning an expression full of regret over having blundered.
Moreover, Cindy-san and Betty-san, who are behind her, have similar expressions.
“Sensei often enters the bath with several women, so there wouldn’t have been any problem with us three entering the bath together with him!”
“Only now realizing that part after having it pointed out to us! I also wanted to enter a bath with sensei!”
“No, that doesn’t work for you three, you know? It’s not like you’re married to him.”
“””It wouldn’t have worked!?”””
Unlike with Anna-san and me, Dominique-neesan calmly declines the option of a mixed bathing for the three girls. As expected. That’s a straight-laced person for you. Dominique-neesan’s straight-laced way of life has been contributing to the maintenance of order within the Earl Baumeister mansion…
“Even though I haven’t said anythiiing!”
“You haven’t said anything, but you thought about it, right?”
“Uuhh…I can’t deny that.”
Once again Dominique-neesan has read my mind. I’ve started to become worried about what she’s turning into.