Oh, I love the taste, I love the taste, I miss it.
Lertz finishes cooking the food and Pham brings it to Mireille. Mireille ate it with relish.
When he finished the food, he now drank the drink in one go.
''Please have another drink.''
Lertz poured the drink into a glass and held it out.
'So? Where have you been all this time and what have you been doing?
Lertz asked Mireille.
'I've been traveling all over the Empire,' he said. I've been to all seven provinces and visited all the main cities. I found that when you change from one province to another, there are differences in culture, food and language. Well, it's just as well that it's a different country.
Hmm, I don't know if I've ever been out of Alcantes, let alone another state.
That's good enough for a saloon owner like you, isn't it?
That's a very annoying way to put it.
But no matter where you went, you didn't want a nobleman hiring me. They don't understand anything about human nature, do they?
I don't know what I'd do if I hired a guy like you who looks like a badass. You don't know anything about politeness, do you? You've been rude to the nobles, haven't you? You're just lucky that you didn't get cut down.
'It's wrong to look at people by their etiquette, isn't it? If I were you, I wouldn't look at anything but ability. It's just a matter of maneuvering well, even for someone with a bad character. If you can't do that, you shouldn't be in charge of people. And the reason I didn't get cut down is not because I was lucky. In fact, I was almost cut down, but it was because I was tactful on the spot.
I don't think that's something to be proud of.
As Pham listened to this conversation from the side, he was even more curious about who Mireille was.
It is not a normal thing for a person to travel all over the empire and try to serve the nobles.
None of the nobles seemed to have taken her as a vassal, but Mireille herself seemed to have absolute confidence in her own abilities.
''Come to think of it, you said you were originally a nobleman, can't you go back?
If the current situation calls for my return, I may be able to return. But I don't have enough pride to become a vassal again, bowing to someone who was once exiled.
Well, as far as I'm concerned, it's a lie that he was in the service of the castle in the first place.
I worked for the castle...
The fact that he served the castle would mean that he was at Castle Arcantes.
If that's the case, there's a possibility that you're somewhat familiar with the inner workings of the castle.
But since it would have been at least two years ago that he was kicked out, he wouldn't have much detail about how things are going lately, though.
It's doubtful that it's true, since it's something he says on his own accord before that.
Pham wonders whether or not he should get the information out of Mireille.
I had quite a bit of money before I left here, but I lost it when I was traveling, and now I'm completely penniless. How am I going to live now?
'Heh, penniless... penniless?
Lertz's expression changes.
'If you take out the money you're paying for this dish, it means you're broke, of course.
What? Penniless is penniless, right? It means I don't have any money. I don't have any money to pay for this restaurant. This place was a very nostalgic place where they would buy food for people who hadn't been here in a long time.
"Well it's been a long time since I've had a free ride and you're an idiot! You're going to pay me in full!
What's your problem, you cheapskate. You can't pay what you don't have, so you can't do anything about it. I'm sorry I didn't check before I sent it out.
That's what you call a "fierce thief". That necklace around your neck looks really expensive. You could pay for it.
You're an idiot. Do you think this is the equivalent of that hors d'oeuvre you just made? And I can't give you this. If I didn't have this around my neck, I'd just look like a poor wanderer.
'Even if you have, you look like a poor wanderer. If you don't want to pay for it, then pay me back with your body.
"....What's your problem? You're looking at me like that? A woman as beautiful as me isn't cheap enough to buy for this level of cooking.
I mean, "Work to pay me back! Don't make a terrible mistake!
'Oh? You want me to work, and you want this a**h*le to do menial work for you?
Yeah. Give me the necklace if you don't like it.
Well, I don't have anywhere to go, so I don't mind working for a while. It's a total disaster, this day.
I could say the same thing.
Pham felt a little uneasy about what a strange turn of events it was to have Mireille working all of a sudden.
Geez, I'm tired.
A room on the second floor of Kentran. Mireille and Pham were alone in the room.
Both of them were working as live-in workers, and since there was no room available, Mireille had to stay in the same room as Pham.
'Well, you're Lynn, right? I know it's going to be a little while from now on, but keep in touch.''
Yes, nice to meet you.
Pham greeted him with a smile.
'Let's talk about fellowship, shall we?
So my question is, why are you dressed like that for a boy?
The question made Pham unusually upset.
He hadn't completely assumed that his own disguise would be exposed.
I could understand if he said that he was seen naked or something, but he didn't screw up like that.
'What do you mean by that? I'm a girl!
Pham puffed out his cheeks and returned it. 'It's possible that he's just joking, so it's probably too early to admit it.
'I know. I'm doing my best to turn it into something, but unfortunately, my eyes can't fool you.''
'Um, I'll be angry too. I don't care how much you treat a man, it's terrible!
Femme pretends to be really angry and sad, though.
That's when Mireille's hand quickly reaches between Pham's legs.
Fam retreats in a super reaction and avoids it. Immediately after that, I thought I'd lost it.
The crotch is a man's weakness. Even though Pham was able to get used to the pain, he would stop moving for a few seconds if he was hit by the attack. Those few seconds in battle can be fatal, so when an attack came to his groin, he reflexively avoided it.
'That's an amazing reaction. It doesn't look like this is just a cross-dressing boy, either.
I won't say that this gave away her true identity, but it did raise some strange suspicions.
Even so, she is a woman who does outrageous things, and Fam doubts Mireille's sanity.
I did not expect her to suddenly touch my crotch.
Pham managed to think of a reason and tell her about it.
''I've been in danger for a long time, so I'm good at avoiding it. Also, like Mireille-san said, I'm actually a man. It's like I'm dressed like this for a lot of reasons. Please don't tell Lertz-san about it.
I've decided to tell you the gender.
If I kept on misrepresenting myself incessantly, there was a chance that I would raise more suspicion. By telling the truth about the gender, the aim was to make people think that I wouldn't be lying about anything else. Families have no problem with their gender being revealed.
'Hmm. 'Dangerous. Well, let's just put it that way.
He didn't seem to have completely cleared his suspicions, but he didn't seem to have bothered to pursue the matter.
'Um, didn't you think it was strange? A man dressed like this...
Pham said with a sad expression on his face.
'It's weird, but it doesn't matter, does it? Everyone has their own set of circumstances.
'Well, that's good... actually there's a reason I'm dressed like this...'
After that, Pham tearfully tells us why it's a complete lie.
He aims to clear his suspicions by talking about his past and also to make it easier to get more out of Mireille. Pham wanted to know more about what kind of person Mireille was.
''Hmm, you're having a hard time too, huh?''
Does that mean that Mireille has something to do with it?
'Yes. I'll tell you something special.
It was a rather natural flow to ask him about his past.
'Atashi, now apparently dead, was discovered by Governor Meesian to have talent and was assigned to serve with his brother. The governor had a good eye for people, and after showing his talents in battle, his brother became Basamark's right hand man, and I was given the estate of Pernora in the county of Alcantes. It's a form of land that was originally under the direct control of the governor's family. And from there, I was pretty active in the war, you know?
That's amazing. So you were a nobleman then?
Well, to a point. I got kicked out, though.
Why did you get kicked out?
'Come on. I think it was because of bad behavior or a strange way of being a lord or something like that. Well, actually it wasn't.
What's the real reason?
It's a secret.
Pham listened and thought that instead of trying to get information out of Mireille, he should try to guess at Ars.
He could be a competent person as far as the story goes. Although there seems to be a lot of difficulty with his personality.
If he becomes a vassal of Ars, there would be no need to get information out of him because he would speak for himself.
Even if he is incompetent, there is no disadvantage.
Pham decided to nominate Mireille.
''Does that Mireille-san want to serve somewhere else?''
Hmm? Yeah, I'd like to. There's no place to go. It's not going to work out so well, though.
Actually, I have a great story for you, would you like to hear it?