I have a part time work interview tomorrow. kinda scared and nervous. Let’s hope things go well. Give the fb page a few more likes and I’ll try to get the next chapter edited quicker 🙂
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Silver-haired Maiden, Working at another shop. Second day.
“Oh? What’s wrong, Rudi?”
“I’m the one who should be saying that to you, right? Why are you at Marcel’s place?”
It was a little past noon on the second day of when Latina was working at 『The Alley’s Bakery』that Latina was having such a conversation with her childhood friend.
The hecticness of the peak hour had passed, and the shop was taking a breather, in relief.
Hearing Rudolf’s question, Latina smiled like she was troubled. Seeing her expression, he thought back to that 『Terrible tragedy』, and awkwardly avoided looking at her.
Suddenly, he stated the reason he came here, in a very out of place manner.
“Oh, so I was called here. By those people up top, you know. To come buy a light meal.”
He had been ordered to go shopping, at this shop specifically, by his superiors in the Military. Since theirs was a society where they were basically beaten into a hierarchical system, they would never interject an order from above or talk back to them. That was the sort of place he was working in.
“I’m still inexperienced, so it’s going to take some time. You ordered so much after all.”
“Well, of course.”
As she heard Rudolf answer like that, Latina started to prepare the bread.
Taking out the amount of bread that he had ordered, and puts the knife on its side. Her skill in spreading the butter-mustard mix, was probably the result of her constantly polishing her cooking skills since she was young.
“Do you have anything you don’t like eating?”
“You don’t have to mind every single detail like that, it’s fine.”
“Is that so?”
She laid slices of smoked meat on top of the colourfully dressed mountain of vegetables. In a blink of an eye, a delicious looking sandwich was complete.
Seeing that there were a lot of orders, Marcel’s mother came out to help her out, and started wrapping the finished sandwiches with a thin piece of paper. Just as Latina was checking what Marcel’s mother was doing, she went back to layering the pieces of bread.
“…This….Can you carry all this by yourself, Rudi?”
The pile of sandwiches that she finished making after a little while was so high, that Latina tilted her head looking at it.
“….Should I help you?”
“I-it’s alright, if it’s this much. You’re the one who needs help. Don’t just so casually say that you’ll leave when you’re tending to the store.”
“That’s true. Well, take care, Rudi.”
Latina opens the door for Rudolf, who’s arms were clogged with the bag filled with sandwiches, and sends him off.
Latina was looking worriedly at him heading towards the Military’s office for a little while, but thinking that there was nothing more she could do for him, she headed back inside the store.
— Even though it was Latina who was the one who said she wanted to help, it was Rudolf, the one who had refused, who’s training was severely harsh for some reason.
The older men in the upper ranks who had their energies refilled by the Special Poster Girl Handmade Sandwiches, were extremely energetic.
— Even if Latina had helped Rudolf carry it, and went to the office with him, it’s obvious, just by looking at the bunch of old men, who seemed completely different to how they 『normally were(Drunk)』, and trying their best to look their most enthusiastic for her, that Rudolf’s afternoon training would still have been very harsh.
It would’ve been tragic, no matter how things would have turned out.
After finishing work at 『The Alley’s Bakery』, Latina headed over to Chloe’s house.
On the night of the Night festival, Latina, who had changed into a new one piece at Chloe’s house, had left the rest of her clothes that she had been wearing at her place. As well as the makeup kit.
Even though she knew she had to go pick it up, she still felt a little gloomy.
As if trying to support such a thought, when Chloe, who went out to welcome Latina, asked about what happened after they separated on the night of the Night festival, she let out a big sigh and dropped her shoulders.
She dropped a chop on top of Latina’s head.
“Latina, you’re seriously…. even though you have a good head on your shoulders, you’re really such an idiot in strange places.”
Once again, a chop falls down.
Even though those grey pupils of hers teared up from the attack, her best friend wasn’t moved at all by them.
“Why… did you choose to say it like that?”
Chloe’s astonished state, was related to the girl’s 『Confession』 which had been 『Called rebellious』 by the girl’s 『Guardian』. There were a lot of important words, which didn’t get said.
Hearing her best friend’s astonished voice, Latina looked down downheartedly. However, she didn’t quieten down. She went over the details quietly, in bits and pieces.
“The 『word, Love』, is something I always say to him, mon… That’s why, you know, I thought I should try to express it with 『Other words』, no…”
Which is exactly why, at that time, Latina had told Dale that, 『I never thought of you as a dad』.
The him in her eyes, was an important 『Man』 who she loved.
That was something that was definitely not an intimacy that she would show to a 『Dad』, was what she was trying to say.
“But, I never thought that, he would be doubtful of my 『I love you』, mon….”
The reaction that Dale had, after hearing her words, was one of 『My daughter rejecting my very being』.
Even though she had been thinking that her 『I love you』, that she has told him countless times until now, was something that was unshakeable and resolute, Dale had ended up even having doubts about that part of her.
Facing such an extremely ridiculous shock, she couldn’t manage out another word, and she was once again being enveloped inside a massive cloud of confusion.
“Maybe I should’ve said that he was 『Wrong』, or maybe I should have insisted with 『I’m saying that, I love you』…. but my head, just went completely blank…. And I didn’t know what to say at all…..”
Looking down, and feeling dejected. It had been a common sight ever since she was young.
“That’s why I’m asking you…. Why were you still sulking about it after that?”
Facing Chloe’s intense questioning, Latina slowly turned her lowered gaze up, looking teary-eyed.
“After that…. I…. not even I knew what I was doing….”
“I decided that I was going to confess…. And wanted to establish a different 『relationship』 than what we’ve had up till now, and that should’ve been the 『truth』 but…. But….”
With a held back voice, that was definitely not loud, but nevertheless seemed like she was shouting it out with all her heart, Latina told her best friend about her true feelings.
“When Dale didn’t notice that it was a 『Confession』, I, was really relieved….hic.”
“I was so relieved…. That 『This』 could continue…. That 『Our everyday lives』 could continue….. It was just as Silvia said, but, truthfully, more than that…. I realised that, I want to keep 『staying with Dale like this』….”
To Latina, 『Within Dale’s arms』, was 『Her safest place in the entire world』.
It has always been like that ever since he had saved her, and carried her, who had lost everything, who had even given up on her own life herself, up into his arms.
When she was lonely, when she was in pain, he was a warm 『place』 that had always supported her. In times of need, and on occasions when her tears wouldn’t stop, it was a place where he would call out to her, saying “It’ll be alright”, and hug her tightly.
Dale would probably continue to protect her from here onwards, treating her as his precious.
Hugging her with his two arms, and gently patting her head with the palm of his warm hands.
As long as she was his 『Cute daughter』.
Perhaps, for Dale, even if she was to find someone she loves, get married, and start a family — He wouldn’t abandon her. After all, she knew more than anyone, just how amazingly kind, and caring a person he was.
— However, if, she was to ever stop being his 『Cute Daughter』 —
Dale had never thought of her as someone of the 『Opposite sex』 in the first place. This was because, in his mind, she was still a 『Small, small girl』.
However, it wasn’t just that. For Dale, maybe she wasn’t someone who he would hold 『Feelings of Love』 for.
She didn’t have anything — Unlike the 『Adult woman he used to work with』, she had none of her maturity, none of her calmness, none of her male charming figure.
It would’ve been fine, if she was 『Human』 at the very least.
Just with the fact that they were 『Human』 just like him, it appears all of the other girls around, are 『much, much more wonderful』.
She kept counting all of the things she lacked.
Even if someone like her confessed, it might only cause trouble for Dale.
And – If, as a result, their relationship ended up changing to something awkward then —
If she was to get 『Rejected』 by Dale, then.
She would lose the 『place』 that should could go home to, the one and only 『place where she could feel safe』.
There is, for Latina, nothing more horrifying a thought.
Being in low spirits, as well as becoming so embarrassed, to the point that she couldn’t even look him in his face because he didn’t even realise that it was a 『confession』, was also her 『true feelings』.
Despite that, her feelings of relief at the same time, was without a doubt, her 『true feelings』 as well.
“Which is why…. I wanted a little time away, no. Until I can smile and tell him that I’m sorry, and that it’s fine and I’m all back to normal. Until then, I’m taking a little distance away from Dale…”
If this continues, if these feelings of hers of wanting to tell him her thoughts, and wanting to change their relationship couldn’t be conveyed then, these feelings of hers, of wanting to secretly continue like they were right now, was also true. Both, were in the very depths of her heart.
Her 『true feelings』, which had been realised after having them pointed out by Silvia, also made her realise the various contradictory feelings she held inside her.
Not even Latina herself knew what to do with her heart, which was caught in waves of chaos.
“I just want…. A little bit more time…”
Until, she could bring out an answer about what she wanted to do.
(Author’s note: Here’s the tragedy’s reason, from the daughter’s view. She has a low evaluation towards herself. She was acknowledged as a criminal in her hometown after all.)