I felt someone behind me as I finished paying.
Hank froze in front of me.
I turned back and saw three boorish men glaring at Hank.
“You said earlier that this was the last of the meat.”
Ah, this doesn’t look good.
I pulled Rille-nee’s arm and tried to hide around the corner, but one of the men grabbed my shoulder and stopped him before he could leave.
Like I will!
I stretched my arms as far as I could and did a backstroke to get out of his grip.
“Ah, this fucking… Give me the meat!”
“Rille-nee, go over there!”
One of the men tried to grab us to steal the meat, so we climbed up on the crates that were lined up like stairs in front of the store and escaped. Then, we kicked down the middle boxes to prevent the man from climbing up.
I had no idea that shopping would turn into a real battle! Everyone loves meat! I guess they were annoyed that Hank said there was no meat left even though there was, and they were probably drunk as well.
One of the other men grabbed Hank by the chest and the other one was smashing a board with a cow’s head on it in front of the store. The man who was after our meat hadn’t given up yet.
Maybe I should give them the meat and run, but it was rare to find beef in the market, and this was a gift for Gis-nee, so I didn’t want to give it to them. I don’t think these men will reimburse me for the money I had paid.
This was a busy street, and the patrolling soldiers will hear the commotion and come rushing over soon. I won’t have to run if I’m patient.
I kicked the hands that reached out from underneath us and shouted so that my voice would reach far and wide.
“SOLDIERS~!! SOMEONE’S CAUSING TROUBLE HERE!!”
Someone ran out the moment Rille-nee’s skirt was grabbed.
I don’t know why, but Rossi suddenly appeared with a yell. The man was distracted by Rossi, and he let go of Rille-nee’s skirt.
Did you come here because you thought you could see Rille-nee? Well, I don’t care why you came here, but are you that free? Anyway, thanks for saving us!
“Great, Rossi! Keep it up!”
I tried to encourage him, but Rossi, who was hugging the man’s waist, was grabbed by the collar and easily thrown off.
Ah, Rossi’s no good. He can’t help us.
I prepared myself for the man who was coming towards us again.
There was a strange scream that didn’t sound like a normal human voice, and Rille-nee and I, as well as the man who was trying to take the meat from us, stopped moving and looked over.
There stood a deva king.
A corpse was already lying at Gis-nee’s feet, who was several times more reliable than a soldier.
Her normally sharp eyes were even sharper as she stabbed the remaining two omen.
“What do you want with my kids?!”
She asked in a low voice, or well more like threatened in a low voice.
Gis-nee dodged the terrified man’s fist with barely any movement and twisted her hip and punched the man in the stomach.
The man flew and slid about five metres across the ground and plunged into the crowd of onlookers that had gathered.
What is this, a comic?
I was stunned by Gis-nee’s superhuman strength. I wonder if his internal organs are ruptured. Is he going to be alright?
I worried, but someone suddenly grabbed my leg and pulled me down.
Rille-nee tried to grab me, but she couldn’t reach me in time, and I was held by a filthy hand.
“D-don’t move! I’ll kill her!”
Oh no, I messed up, but I won’t just sit around and let you use me like this!
I quickly checked to make sure that he didn’t have any weapons and bit the fat man’s arm as hard as I could.
At the same time, I heard an unpleasant crushing sound above my head.
When I stopped biting him, his arm around me loosened and he fell backwards.
Gis-nee was standing in front of me and Rille-nee was holding a jar of dried tomatoes above me.
The fallen man’s nose was weirdly crooked. Apparently, Gis-nee had slammed her fist into the man’s face the moment I bit him, and Rille-nee had hit him on the head with the jar.
We worked together to bring him down. But well, it might have been a bit merciless.
“Are you alright, Aime?!”
Rille-nee quickly climbed down from the crate to check if I was hurt.
“I’m alright. Thanks.”
“Are you hurt anywhere, Rille?”
“Nope, thanks to you, Gis-nee.”
Then, Gis-nee let out a heavy sigh.
“You guys are so…”
Gis-nee patted my head and I could tell she was relieved.
The soldiers were late to the scene. They asked Hank and us what had happened, then promptly took the unconscious men away. The case was settled.
Rossi and Hank weren’t seriously injured either, and they were happy that Rille-nee treated them and thanked them over and over again. I didn’t ruin their happiness since I was also grateful to them.
“Thank you so much, you saved us.”
“N-no, I can do this much for Ridill.”
“Yeah, you don’t have to thank us!”
But when they finally got the chance to confess to her, they got carried away and didn’t tell her their feelings, which is why they won’t do.
“Speaking of which, what are you doing here Gis-nee?”
I asked Gis-nee while we were all helping Hank clean up his trashed store. I thought she was going to be at home today.
“I had a bad feeling since you two were acting weird, so I was looking for you.”
Eh, did she notice? I thought we were acting completely normal.
“How were we strange?”
“Aime was talking a bit weirdly and Rille was strangely silent. That’s how you two usually act when you’re up to something.
Woah, so she knew we were up to something.
“Then, I rushed here because I heard your voice. What the hell were you doing? What’s with that bouquet and the flowers on your bag?”
Gis-nee’s eyes landed on the gifts that we hadn’t wanted to show to her.
Argh, my plans have gone out of the window. I wanted to come home and say, “Thanks, Gis-nee,” with the force of a firecracker!
Gis-nee entered lecturing mode. She won’t stop asking until I answer her properly.
Rille-nee and I looked at each other and sighed deeply.
“――― With Aime!”
“We can’t cook it in three minutes~!”
I stood in front of the hearth and shouted desperately.
“… What’s going on?”
“I don’t know, but Aime told me to do it.”
Gis-nee propped her elbows on the table and stared at us blankly. I forced her to wear the shriveled flower crown and necklace, since I was frustrated that she had found out our plans.
“You don’t have to do this, you know?”
“We already started! Gis-nee, you just wait quietly!”
“Alright, alright. Well, I’m looking forward to it.”
I got hyped up after she said that. What I couldn’t surprise her with, I had to make it up in cooking.
The first thing I did was fry onions in a pan with oil until they were golden brown. When they were done, I took them out, cut the shank into smaller pieces with a knife, sprinkle salt on both sides, and put the onions on top.
Then, I added the malt liquor, water, dried tomatoes and some herbs. Next, I just had to simmer it until the sauce became thick. We don’t have a pressure cooker, so I had to be patient. It might be too late to mention this now, but this isn’t a summer dish. The main ingredient is shank meat. Well, it doesn’t matter as long as it tastes good.
The soup turned red from the tomatoes, and the soup turned into a bright colour like the sansalem flowers. The delicious aroma spread through the house and overpowered the smell of the medicinal herbs on the shelves.
I removed the scum, checked the consistency of the meat, and when it looked done, I seasoned the soup with more salt to complete the dish!
I managed to make it in time for the usual dinner time since I started cooking early.
I put a lot of meat on Gis-nee’s plate and brought it to the table.
“Thank you for waiting!”
“You’re welcome. That looks amazing.”
Gis-nee immediately took a bite of the meat, then she took off the flower crown and necklace.
Gis-nee was slightly surprised. Yay! After we watched her eat the first bite, we ate our portions as well.
I taste tested it while I was cooking, so I knew it was good. The umami and flavours of the dried tomatoes and fried onions made it delicious.
“It’s been cooked really well.”
“Aime came up with the recipe. I can’t believe it’s this delicious, you’re amazing Aime.”
Rille-nee drank the soup and said happily, but Gis-nee stopped eating and looked carefully at her plate as soon as my name was mentioned.
“… You didn’t put anything weird in this, right?”
“I didn’t?! I don’t experiment on people!”
“Don’t worry, Gis-nee. I kept my eye on her while she was cooking.”
“Eh, did you think I was going to put something strange in it, Rille-nee?”
“I, I didn’t.”
Rille-nee quickly waved her hands in a ‘no’ motion, but she probably did think I was going to put something weird in the soup.
“――― Well, leaving that aside.”
Let’s leave the trust issues aside and say what we have to say.
I stopped eating for a moment, took the banquet that I hadn’t officially given to her yet and walked around to Gis-nee’s side.
“Once again. Thank you for letting us into your home, Gis-nee.”
I handed her the bouquet as we said our words of thanks.
Gis-nee put down her spoon and accepted the bouquet. She looked a little embarrassed.
“You also help me in a lot of ways.”
“You helped us more. We’ve been unlucky ever since we were born, but that all changed when we met you, Gis-nee.”
“Our fates changed when you accepted us as your family.”
Rille-nee continued after I spoke.
“You didn’t just give us a place to live. You are the kindest person we have met. You gave us the warmth that we’ve always wanted. So, we are really, really grateful to you.”
“That sums it up nicely.”
I casually walked around to the other side, made eye contact with Rille-nee and smiled.
“We love you, Gis-nee!”
We tightly hugged her from both sides.
The ex-soldier was caught off guard and couldn’t say anything for a moment. She placed the bouquet on the table and hugged us with her long arms.
“――― I love you guys too.”
She whispered softly and I felt extremely happy.
I was convinced that I hadn’t been born here through someone else’s ill will.