The fact that Slow Prison Life is almost finished is making me realize there’s not much left to HTG either. With this chapter done, there’s thirty of them left. Thanks for staying with me for so long.
“Please think of this place as a vacation home.”
Ellis once again told Gurre, Bizon, and Mebett to act as comfortably as possible before bringing them down to meet Ken and Hanna.
“Ken and Hanna here are the two people who have lived in this neighborhood the longest. The two of them run the cake shop down the street, but we also trust them to act as caretakers for our house from time to time. If ever there is a problem while we are away, don’t hesitate to ask them for help. Ken, Hanna, greetings.”
Ken and Hanna politely greeted the three after being introduced.
Currently Hanna’s grandmother Rhonda and little sister Nina were helping in the store and with the morning prep work for the cakes finished, the happy couple were experiencing a little extra free time in their day to day lives. Especially Ken now that there was never any need for him to act as a coachman for the Jewelry Box. In the afternoon you could often see the two of them traveling to the different stores in Freedom Promenade, helping them to make any needed adjustments.
Ken’s hair had finally started to grow back from his Hyaaha days, and he was beginning to look like the fine young man only wanting to help out his city that he was. Hanna was the only person the Jewelry Box girls trusted with a key to their mansion, and she would be the one to make their beds or tidy up whenever they were away.
From Ellis’s perspective, these two were her first servants, but to the rest of the people in the neighborhood, Ken and Hanna were the first success story brought on by Ellis Finance.
“Big Sisters, since it’s a good opportunity, how about having a walk around the city and enjoying a meal together? You’ll have a fast pass anywhere inside Lily Garden or Freedom Promenade, although I suppose that won’t really apply to anywhere further in town. Here, take this money with you in case you need it in the rest of Warren.”
Reeve handed over her wallet to Bizon and Gurre. But there was one part of what Reeve said that didn’t fully register with the two sisters. So Bizon just came out with it and asked Reeve.
“What do you mean, ‘having a fast pass’?”
Reeve turned towards Ken looking a little troubled. And not being nearly as reserved as she obviously was on the matter, he had no problem answering their question on Reeve’s behalf.
“Everyone who lives in Lily Garden and Freedom Promenade owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all the Jewelry Box girls. That’s why we would never do something as absurd as asking for payment from one of their relatives.”
Reeve quickly added on looking embarrassed.
“But Grandpa Fel got a little too excited once which is why it became a set in stone rule that he must always pay. That’s why, if you’re ever with him, they’ll probably make you pay as well.”
Gurre and Bizon unintentionally spurt out a small laugh while wondering what their grandfather could have possibly done. And at the same time, any thought that their prodigal younger sister would end up like him faded away.
“We understand. Ellis, everyone. We’ll be sure to enjoy a fit of luxury suitable for nobles of Skycastle.”
Gurre answered the five girls with a smile. And the girls gave her a smile in kind.
It would be some time later that Bizon and Gurre would end up completely dumbfounded at the amount of money that was in the wallet they had been given.
The next day Bizon and Gurre went out into Warren and enjoyed the sights together. Gurre was already pretty well known around the city as the woman who had promoted Skycastle liquor up on the special stage during the carnival. But even then, as Lady Bluegreen’s older sisters, granddaughters to the Teaser Eel, and most importantly of all, the Golden Mistress’s guests, every store they visited treated them like kings.
The two of them were constantly being surprised no matter where they visited. Not just because of the reputation that the Jewelry Box held, but because of the high acclaim these stores held for the members of the Jewelry Box themselves.
For instance, at the cafe where they enjoyed breakfast in the morning, a tough looking male shopkeeper passionately praised the taste of Frau’s cooking to them.
They saw a morning stand-up routine at the live house, and the comedian ended up calling out to the two of them after the show had ended. He spun them a yarn all about how he had picked up his comedy act after watching Katie pulling jokes wherever and whenever she could.
According to the catgirl owner, their lunch set at the Steamed Kitchen would apparently have never been possible without the machines Claire had built.
They stopped by a casino that had looked interesting, and a woman wearing a tight skirt, white blouse, black vest, and a bow tie came out to thank them for all the help Reeve’s regular patronage there had created.
At one point they took a break at a tea shop to try and get out of the heat for a while and talked about just how big of a presence Ellis and the other girls held in this city. At a nearby table was the Land Dragon that had formed a contract with Ellis, but it wasn’t moving at all, apparently too preoccupied with basking in the steam that wrapped around his nose.
“Reeve and her friends sure are loved.”
“And I’m sure they love this city too.”
Bizon and Gurre, they had grown a little jealous of their delinquent, runaway sister who had come to this city instead of getting married. But, those thoughts didn’t last long. They both knew it would be impossible for them to help a city to grow like this one has. In addition, they were both quite happy with the lives they had managed to build for themselves by leaving home to be brides.
“By the way, what about Stewart? Are the two of you looking to have any children?”
“I’m still only 20 after all. I’m hoping to have two of them. And you?”
“Yes, I hear it’s ideal to have a girl first and then a boy, so I’m aiming for a son soon.”
And so the two sisters happily enjoyed their talk over a cup of tea, laughing about their good fortune.
Now the only person left was Mebett. The six-year-old girl had bluntly told her mother at the time,
“I want to spend time with my Big Sisters, so Mother should enjoy the city along with Aunt Gurre.”
Bizon was a little worried, but seeing Mebett cling to Ellis and the knowledge that Reeve would be with them too allowed her to relax.
“Is everyone in the Jewelry Box sure about this?”
“It’ll be just fine,” Ellis gave Bizon an answer while making an innocent smile, but for some reason the other four girls didn’t look too sure. However, Bizon was unable to tell their anxiousness from their expressions alone.
On the other hand, Ellis re-awoke to something she had long forgotten because of how busy she had always been ever since waking up in this world so long ago.
“Lolis are the best”
Ellis’s smile was absolutely radiant as she took Mebett’s hand into her own.
However there were a number of things that’d be impossible to do in broad daylight. And it would be impossible for Warren to start up its own Sabbath.
So with Mebett’s hand still in hers, Ellis started to guide Mebett around the city. Reeve and Frau followed close behind with justifiably worried expressions.
By the way, Claire was completely focused on her work and immediately made for the Workshop Guild in the morning. Katie isn’t the type to worry about other people, so she and Ah-nyan in his beastman form staggered off in some other direction when everyone separated as well.
“Hey Mistress, I’d really appreciate it if you remember that Mebett is only six.”
“Ellis, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to try and……stimulate Mebett too much.”
From behind the two smiling girls, Reeve and Frau quietly whispered in Ellis’s ears.
“Shut up. I know!”
With the two of them having seen directly into her soul, Ellis did her best to object at least for appearance’s sake.
As for Mebett. Perhaps because of the faith she put into the hand currently holding her own, she was able to enjoy the sights of the city without any worries at all.
The carefree smile of a little girl. Ellis was getting excited having new prey after such a long time.
“Can I have Mebett returned to my room?” and then as if sensing that something was wrong, Claire sent out a message on their Howling Plush Toys.
Ellis let out a deep sigh, bringing the doll strapped to her waist up in front of her face, she responded back without bothering to hide her irritation.
“What is it Claire?”
“What’s with the rudeness Ellis? You’re with Mebett right now right? I need to confirm her aptitude with something, so bring her over here.”
Claire had shut herself inside the Workshop Guild with their new Dark Mithril. Naturally Pi-tan, her dragon and the only known being able to alter the flow of magic and thus forge that Dark Mithril, was with her.
“I’ve already drawn up the blueprints. I just need to increase the affinity as much as possible now to decrease the amount of MP it will take.”
Claire was saying a bunch of things on the other end of this doll that Ellis didn’t understand, so all Ellis could say in response was, “I got it. We’ll come over now.”
It took them a while to get back to the mansion and Claire’s workshop, but as soon as they got there, Claire walked over to Mebett, giving her a ring and a palm-sized prototype Mogemoge-kun.
“Mebett, would you mind focusing on your ring to move this child?”
“Yes, Big Sister Claire”
Mebett had played with other versions of Claire’s palm-sized Mogemoge-kuns before, so she was already adept at moving the small golem using her mind and its controller ring. And sure enough the Mogemoge-kun rattled to life just like normal.
“As we thought”
“That’s right Claire”
Yet Claire and Pi-tan shared a confirmation with each other as if they had just figured something out. Claire then handed Mebett a different ring.
“Mebett, are you able to read anything off of this ring?”
Mebett took the ring from Claire and tried focusing on it just as she had done with the one for Mogemoge-kun. Almost a full minute had passed before a technique suddenly floated in her mind’s eye.
“Big Sister Claire………”
Claire and Pi-tan smiled.
“Yosh, then we’ll finish up the rest. Ellis, you can go back now.”
“You’re not going to explain anything to me Claire?”
“You can hear all about it when it’s done Ellis. Look forward to it.”
Neither Claire nor Pi-tan would give Ellis an inch, but trusting that the two of them knew what they were doing, Ellis left the Workshop Guild with plenty of time left in the day.