Located far from the Empire, the Kingdom of Las is a peninsula covered by sea on three sides. If you go to the edge of the peninsula, you can see the beautiful emerald sea.
After leaving the Empire, Yuria and I settled in Arya, a city at the southern tip of the Kingdom of Las. It’s because I really liked the bustling city and the sea that was just outside the city.
Yuria looked at the sea enough while coming here by boat, and looked at Arya’s sea as if it were someone who had never seen the sea for the first time. It was so cute that she grabbed my arm and waved it back and forth, so I laughed instead of saying something.
We bought a small house there, big enough for two people, and the building big enough to run a clothing store. The first floor was intended to be used as a shop and the second floor as a studio. The real estate agent seemed to wonder how young people like us could afford such an expensive building.
After the building deal was completed, Layla and I were the first to decorate the house. What I felt in the process… Money is always right.
Because we had money, we could easily find someone to help with the interior, and we were able to purchase the furniture we suggested without hesitation. It’s not just the house. We were also able to comfortably decorate the building to be used as a shop.
Now that the building is in place, all it needs is staff. We hired the necessary staff, such as designers and counters. After the preparations were completed smoothly, we began to sell clothes on the wholesale market at low prices, and sold a handful of clothes designed in the workshop.
Yuria worked as a designer and learned how to design and make clothes, and I worked as a bookkeeper. Although the store was small, business was on the good side because it was located in a downtown area. Yuria was happy when the sales went up, but I didn’t really care. There was a lot of money left from the Duke, so there was no need to worry about sales.
While we were laughing and chatting with the staff, meeting new people, and adjusting to life in Arya, autumn passed and winter came. The chilly weather turned cold enough to make my body tremble. If I leave the bedroom window even slightly open, I will wake up to the cold wind.
Just like now.
I opened my eyes, feeling like putting ice on my cheek.
I guess I forgot to sleep with the window closed last night, the window was wide open and I was bumping into the wall. I quickly closed the window and got out of bed. I put on a thick cardigan over my pajamas and went down to the kitchen on the first floor.
“Let’s make breakfast before Yuria wakes up.”
Fried eggs and bacon were being fried and I heard someone knocking on the window.
As soon as the food was finished, I opened the window. I looked outside and saw the children of the neighborhood surrounding the window. The age range is wide, from kindergarteners to the lower grades of elementary school, and is a mixture of boy and girl. As we came and stayed here, we talked and gave them food, so we became close friends. They sometimes came home to tell stories about what happened in the neighborhood or to beg for snacks. They are very excited about what they have to say today.
Shelly, who likes to talk the most, smiled broadly, sticking her face out the window. The five-year-old girl was still short and couldn’t lean her face against her window sill. Her red curly hair looked like her orange, and her freckles twinkled like stardust as her sunlight shone down on her. Her cheeks are red because of the cold winter wind.
The child said with a lot of fuss.
“You saw it? didn’t you see? Yeah, you probably didn’t see it.”
“What are you talking about? Calm down and tell me.”
“I saw a very handsome man around here today! He was a little scary because the snow was so high… Cool like a prince. Seeing that he was carrying a large suitcase, he must have traveled here. Where did he stay? I want to see him again.”
“Really? How handsome is he? I wonder too.”
She stroked Shelly’s hair, her eyes shining like a dreaming girl. Arya was a place where many people traveled as it was located on the beach. It is said that many people come to play in the water when it’s summer, but there are not many customers in winter. Does the man, Shelly, talk about wants to see the winter sea?
“Then I will tell you what he is. He is tall, and his face is really small.”
“Hmm. He’s tall and his face is small.”
“His hair is black! He looked as good as Michaela, no, he’s more handsome than Michaela.”
Listening to her chatter, I picked up the candy that had been left on the table and put it into the child’s mouth. Shelly is now starting to focus on rolling the candy rather than talking. Shelly is quiet, this time the other kids are noisy. These were the stories of someone who lived next door and someone who was dating, someone who saw a mermaid on the beach over there. She listened to the children one after another, handed them candy and sent them away.
An old woman passing by saw it and burst into laughter.
“Oh, you have a lot of trouble today because of the kids. If it bothers you, let them be.”
“It’s hard, because they are all cute.”
I can’t help but love small, cute, and innocent children. Sometimes, though, they show off their little devilish side. If they didn’t like it, they wouldn’t even have taken the candy. I closed the window and turned around to see Yuria coming down from the second floor. She rolled her eyes as she looked at her table with her food prepared.
“Lala, I said I was going to make it today…!”
“I woke up early and had nothing to do, so this is what happened.”
“Next time I will make it. Understand?”
“Yeah, okay, okay.”
Yuria’s dissatisfied face changed to a bright smile as soon as she ate the food.
After eating, we went to the store together. This was not common. Usually, Yuria was the only one to go to work, and sometimes I only went to the store when she didn’t have enough staff or when I was curious about how Yuria was working. While Yuria was working hard, I used my past life memories to run around to start a new business.
However, today, Emma, who looked after the counter, was away for urgent work, so I took over the job.
Of course, it is possible to get the designer Michaela or Yuria to work, but I hoped that Michaela would teach Yuria more during that time.
When we arrived at the store, Michaela staggered down from the second floor.
“Come on…. First boss, second boss.”
Contrary to his feminine name, Michaela was a man with long silver hair and blue eyes. The person we hired as a designer is also a resident who lives on the second floor of the store. The reason Michaela lived on the second floor was because of the terms of employment he offered. He said that he would work hard, he didn’t need any money and only needed to provide room and board, so we accidentally gave up the second floor.
“I turned on the stove in advance for fear of being cold, so there is no need to go out.”
With a big yawn, he tried to pull a cigarette out of his pocket like a scoundrel. Yuria quickly grabbed his hand as usual.
“No…! The clothes will smell.”
“Then can I go out and smoke?”
“It’s a bit… Tobacco is bad for you.”
“… It’s good for my mental health.”
As Yuria acted resolutely, Michaela looked at me as if asking for help.
“It’s better not to smoke.”
Didn’t cigarettes cause lung cancer? It wasn’t a good thing to get close to.
As I say that and shrug my shoulders, he begins to drool.
“How can I, who was once the chief disciple of the empire’s best designer, get nagging from kids who don’t even know the ‘D’ in design… My situation is pitiful.”
“That’s what it sounds like every time, really.”
He always claims to have worked for the Empire’s top designer, Aeronsia, but the truth is unknown. It sure looks good, but… Why would the chief disciple of Aeronsia come to a kingdom several times smaller than the Empire and work in such a small shop? Although this world is a fictional world, I don’t think such nonsense would ever happen.
“Yes, I understand, so eat this.”
I handed him a sandwich I had made at home before I came. Michaela happily took the sandwich and went up to the second floor with Yuria.
I sat down at the counter looking at the back of the two of them. The counter was lined with romance books. It was Emma’s hobby. Since there were not many guests today, I decided to pass the time by reading a book.
“That’s interesting. There are reincarnated subjects in this world too.”
Most of Emma’s books were about being loved by the people around them by possessing the common female protagonist, a hated villain or a noble lady. Given that there are possessed objects, wouldn’t there be dimensional moving objects or reincarnations? With that thought in my mind, I quickly read a book called “The Circumstances of That Evil Woman”. I closed the book and lifted my head to see the white snow falling out of the window.
It was the first snow I saw when I came to Arya. As I watched the downtown area painted white, I realized once again that winter had come.
As I was staring blankly at the scenery outside the window, I heard the sound of a ringing bell hanging on the door. I got up from my seat and prepared to welcome the guests.
Looking back at the entrance, I was surprised. Because there was a very familiar face there. The man with curly black hair and blood-red eyes had a beautiful face that didn’t look like a real person. Wherever the fine cloth clothes he had always worn all over his body went, he was dressed in ordinary clothes like a commoner and was carrying a huge bag on one shoulder. White snow piled up over his head and shoulders, as if he had been walking outside.
I can’t believe he’s here, I stutter and spit out the title I always called.
“… Young master?”
“… Hello, Layla.”
The man answered with a look that seemed to be filled with heart.
“I am no longer a young master, just…. It’s just Isley.”
“Masters, Are You Going To Imprison My Sister?”
-Main Story End-