「This is my first time going out with senpai, isn’t it?」
「Yeah, it is. Actually, I haven’t exactly been going out with my coworkers much anyway.」
「Huh, really? Oh, now that I think about it, even when all the employees had to assemble for a meeting, senpai wasn’t there.」
「…wait, there was a meeting?」
「Yeah, you didn’t know about it? Speaking of which, they said it was for everyone, so I thought you were included, but I guess they didn’t invite you, huh?」
No invite for me, huh.
「Could it be that I was… rejected?」
I could just cry.
「I don’t think so. Everyone said you were a good senior.」
Was that true? It wasn’t just to comfort me, right? Though now I can’t help but believe it.
We walked side by side for a while, but I felt like Ristina-san was just walking aimlessly.
「Actually, where exactly are you going, Ristina-san? Did you have to get there soon?」
「…Hang on, senpai. Can I ask you something?」
「Why do you always speak politely to everyone?」
Ristina-san was staring at me.
「It became a habit at some point. I basically speak politely to everyone except my relatives.」
Actually, it’s just easier. If I always speak politely, I won’t get mixed up when switching between professional and personal contexts. For example, when a customer comes in the middle of me talking comfortably at work, I can just talk naturally.
In fact, I mixed that up so much in the past, I decided to just be polite all the time.
「I mean, I feel like you’re always keeping me at a distance.」
「Did you just now realize that?」
Ristina-san just stared at me again.
「Oh, you really do that, huh?」
「It was just a joke, you know.」
I’m not really trying to maintain my distance. That said, it’s also true that only young women have been hired recently, so I need to draw a certain line, too. So it was unusual for us to go out together like this.
「Jeez, even though you have such a cute junior like me, haven’t you ever thought about putting your hands on me?」
「That would be a problem, wouldn’t it? Oji-san and Oba-san would give me a beating.」
「So you didn’t have the guts, did you?」
「Ristina-san, what’s this about? Do you actually want me to put my hands on you?」
「I’d report it to your Oji-san and Oba-san if you did.」
Ristina-san grinned. I’m already used to this kind of banter.
「So, Ristina-san. Where exactly did you want to go?」
「I was thinking about buying some clothes. Right over there.」
When Ristina-san started walking to the shop she pointed at, she suddenly grabbed my left arm.
Why are you crossing your arm with me!?
「It’s a date, isn’t it? Because we’re on a date, I want to make you feel a little better, you know?」
I desperately tried to ignore the soft sensation from that which could still grow and was right next to me. Ristina-san started to laugh.
「Aww, your reaction is too precious!」
「Can you please not make fun of your senior that much!?」
When I raised my voice, Ristina-san laughed even more joyfully.
I tried to release Ristina-san’s hand, but she didn’t want to let me.
「That’s enough, isn’t it?」
「N-no, it’s… please, just a little longer.」
Her expression became a little tense.
What happened? That carefree atmosphere when she was teasing me earlier has practically evaporated.
「No, it’s just… I thought I heard the voice of that adventurer I told you about… I-I’m sorry.」
Ristina-san suddenly looked so vulnerable. Sigh, that look is completely unfair. I pulled her closer in a protective way.
「Don’t leave my side, then. I can protect you as long as you’re close.」
「Shall we go?」
「S-sorry. Yeah, please…」
Ristina-san nodded, and grasped my arm tightly.
◆ ◆ ◆
「Relius-senpai, here’s the store I wanted to visit!」
I went ahead inside with Ristina-san.
The shop was made so that the inside can’t be seen from the outside. It was a place I’d never visited before ― an underwear shop.
It’s also one of those rare stores that specializes in products for women. My face was getting hot from seeing so much women’s underwear in one place. Why did she bring me here? Such a cheeky junior!
She looked at me with a very pleased expression on her face.
「Relius-senpai, we’re still on a date, right?」
She said it in such a haunting voice, I agreed to it and kept walking with her.
「…Alright, alright, I understand.」
It wasn’t a big store. She was taking a look at the rows of underwear, and then she took one.
「How about this?」
「…Uh, why exactly are you asking for my opinion on this?」
「Well, it’s natural to ask my boyfriend, isn’t it?」
But… it’s just a temporary thing…
I exhaled to cool the shame from my burning cheeks, and then stared at the two pairs of underwear she had in her hand.
It doesn’t matter if it can be created, I don’t need to activate that ability now.
I was thinking that, but then I was amazed by the underwear in the corner of my vision.
Th-that’s an insanely naughty pair of underwear…! Wait, that’s not what I mean!
What was important was the skill I saw on it.
Weapon Break [S-rank].
That skill was on a pair of underwear that looked like little more than a black strip.
It’s kind of surprising, but it’s not that strange if I really think about it. I’ve also given skills to the clothes I’m wearing right now. It only has one S-rank skill because it has a 50-point capacity, but it’s still attached.
Even my underwear is included. Every article of clothing I wear has been given some kind of strengthening skill, though S-rank skills aren’t possible on all of them. Before, when I went looking for skills, I was only paying attention to accessories and weapons. If I really look hard, maybe I can even find skills on plain outfits.
…I’ll have to look out for these from now on. It’s thanks to Ristina-san that I was able to find this skill here. Weapon Break… what kind of effect does it have? I really want it.
But, but… it’s bad for me to buy this underwear. It would be fine if this was a city I’d never visit again, but I plan to keep living here for quite some time. Should I just… come back later in disguise? Or should I ask Ristina-san to buy it, right now?
Let Ristina-san buy it, and collect the skill only when I have an opportunity. That was an even better plan, wasn’t it?
「S-senpai? Why are you looking at that underwear so seriously? It’s somewhat attractive, but…」
「Having comfortable and protective underwear is important, isn’t it? I can’t choose that kind of thing so easily.」
I’ll deceive her by saying something like that.
「But, you didn’t need to look at it with such vigor…」
I looked at it and decided. I wanted Ristina-san to buy this naughty black underwear. No, that’s bad phrasing. Actually, I guess it’s fine. But how would I get her to buy it?
That would depend on my speaking skills.