Returning to my seat Jessica tottered behind, with her mouth in a deep-set frown.
As always, she wore her yellow coat and showy sword at her hip, but looking closely, they were even dirtier than when I last saw her.
Her pale legs had become swollen and red here and there, her coat had something like dirt stuck onto it. While its yellow was still yellow, it had gained a sort of antique gold look to it.
She was doing something like a homeless person, so I hadn’t noticed, but fatigue had built up on her face. Because of that, her previous luminescence had faded, leaving her face dull.
… She’s aged some.
Seeing her lightly take her seat, I did feel sorry for her.
“W-well, you did a good job this time around. Right, I bought cake. Have as much as you want!”
I handed her the box of cake I’d bought before I arrived. For a moment, I saw the master’s offended expression, but I purposely ignored it.
“Uwah, thank you! I really, really wanted one of these!”
“I see, I see, that’s good!”
As she opened the box, her teary face lit up, and she directly used her hands to grab the cream-loaded shortcake.
“Haha, slow down. Use a fork.”
“Ehehehe, it would be dangerous if I used a fork.”
“Oh? What do you mean by that?”
“Well you see, this is what I mean!”
Splat. Jessica tossed the cake at my face with all her might. With it being so sudden, I failed to dodge, and the cake stuck fast.
“Hah, hah, hah, that was refreshing!”
Jessica gave an especially gentle voice. I’m sure a full smile was spreading across her face. Of course, right now, my vision was blocked by white cream, so I couldn’t see her smile.
Eventually, the cake lost to the force of gravity, falling onto the table with a splat. But it seems the cream was to remain on my face, and seeing that, Jessica gave a grin.
“Oy, oy,” I took the cream sticking to my nose with a finger, and licked it. “It’s really sweet. You shouldn’t waste food.”
“Shut it. I was just about to waste my life!”
“No, it’s true I’m at fault for not properly telling you. But in the first place, you’re a mercenary, right? Mercenaries and dangerous jobs go hand in hand.”
I used a napkin to wipe the cream off of my face. “If you value your life so much, go get insurance.”
“I did. The moment I got back to this country! I bought the most expensive one they had, what are you going to do about this!?”
“I’m telling you I don’t know. That was a result brought about by your rash actions. And isn’t it fine? The next time you face something life-threatening, you’ll get a payout from the insurance company.”
I felt there was still some cream on my face, but there was no point paying any further mind to it, so I gave up. I retrieved the cake that had flopped onto the table, and returned it to its box.
“On to business…”
“There’s still some on you,” said Jessica, as she leaned across the table, and touched her index finger to my face. White cream stuck to her small finger.
Ager putting it in her mouth, “It’s sweet! Seconds please!” she declared.
“There’s none left.”
“Isn’t that your fault?”
Jessica gave a depressed look alongside a, “Awww,” so I reluctantly, truly reluctantly placed in an order for a short cake.
With brisk movements, the master brought out a short cake from behind the counter. Somehow, it looked tastier than the cake that had just collided with me.
“Wow, thank you! Ah, but since you’re so stingy Mr. Daniel, you plan to split the cost, don’t you!”
… Oh shut it.
“It’s my treat, I’ll pay. You did your best.”
“Ehehehe, I sure did.”
Seeing her munch down the short cake, I ordered a coffee and took a sip.
“So,” I judged the time when she was in good enough humor, and cut to the main topic.
“Could you show me the pictures you took in the Dark Forest?”