Lone sighed deeply and decided to see if he could get an Elvish to Human translation book to learn the written language a little bit more efficiently since Lone couldn't hope to learn much if he only read the book with the little knowledge he currently held.
Lone put the book that he was holding away and then went down the stairs to ask the receptionist if the library had such a book.
"Excuse me," Lone said to her as soon as he had reached the desk she was sitting at.
"... What?" she curtly replied. It was evident that she still held next to no interest in Lone.
"I was wondering if you had any Elvish to Human translation books?" Lone asked while he hoped for such a convenience to be real. It would make things much easier.
"Why?" the young woman asked with a little bit less hostility and more interest now evident in her voice.
"Well, it just so happens that my understanding of the Human written language is vastly inferior to my knowledge of the Elvish one," Lone explained. He was now happy with her new interest in his questions.
"You? You know Elvish?" she said in both surprise and doubt.
"Indeed I do, but my spoken is a bit worse than my written," Lone replied in near fluent Elvish. The blue haired receptionist's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets upon him doing so. A human knowing Elvish was such a rare sight, and this girl had never met anyone who knew any Elvish save for her family's head butler.
'Handsome, check. Strong... that spear on his back looks sharp so, check. Smart, check. Interest in books, check,' The receptionist checked off several things on a list in her mind that were apparent factors that changed her opinion of Lone. "My name's Lilith, please marry me," she abruptly said after her mind had come to some sort of conclusion.
"I refuse. Now about that book?" Lone immediately denied. He had more interest in Sophie than he did with this exceedingly rude and shallow girl, so it only made sense for him to deny her unreasonable request.
'Why would I even consider someone as shallow as you even if I didn't dislike people?' Lone thought. He was mildly disgusted by the abrupt change in Lilith's attitude.
"O-Of course, I'll go get it right away." Lilith had replied before she scurried off in embarrassment. 'Stupid! Why'd you blurt that out?! You need to worm your way into his life slowly!' Lilith told herself. She still didn't have a morally correct mindset regarding Lone, but she did indeed go off to find the requested book which was all that Lone cared about. It took her 5 minutes to return, and as she was about to talk to Lone, intent on learning more about him, he immediately snatched the book and went back up to the second floor.
'Now look what you've done! He hates you now!' Lilith had thought before she sat back down to think about ways to earn his favour. It would seem that she had misinterpreted Lone's dislike of her attitude as a declaration of hate towards her in general, when in fact, Lone merely wished to avoid her and anyone else that would be such a nuisance in the future to him.
"Fuck me. Next time, I'll bring Soph to pose as my lover, either that or store the whole damn library then flee the country," Lone quietly said to himself. He would rather risk being hunted by the entire county than having to deal with more interactions of a similar nature it would seem. Lone could be rather foolish at times it would appear. He then proceeded to read the book about human anatomy for 2 hours before stopping.
"Well, that was insightful. A few more books and I can start testing on the pirate's bodies, maybe after that, I can even restore the girl's bodies to their best condition," Lone said as he remembered the slave girls he had 'freed' from their torment.
He then returned the human anatomy book to its shelf and gave the translation book back to Lilith without a word before heading back to the barbershop to collect Sophie. He soon returned, and upon reaching the barbershop, he saw a small crowd surrounding it.
"She's so beautiful..."
"I wonder if she's single?"
"She looks a bit young for a relationship."
"Yeah but she looks like a noble, maybe even royalty and you know how they are."
Suddenly, the girl in question quickly squeezed past the crowd and jumped into the arms of a well-dressed young man with a wooden spear strapped to his back. He also had swept back golden blonde hair and a single hand. He used his stumped hand to support the girl as he picked her up. He then walked over towards the crowd.
The woman he left Sophie in the care of quickly came out of the crowd and spoke to the young man.
"I-I'm so sorry, Sir. After I was done braiding your sister's hair the crowd just naturally gath-" she tried to explain before she was cut off by Lone's dismissive voice.
"I understand. After all, she looks phenomenally more beautiful now," he said before handing the woman five silver coins. He was finished for today and felt like this would be a waste of time, so he only wanted to go back to the Inn and have some rest.
"S-Sir this is too mu-" she was cut off once again by lone.
"Keep it, as thanks for your services and for looking after my sister," Lone said before he turned around and walked away. The crowd then dispersed as the attraction had left. Lone then carried Sophie like that the entire way back to the inn in silence as she seemed like she didn't want to talk.
Upon the pair entering the hotel, the Innkeeper stopped reading his book, then eyed the pair quizzically when he noticed them but chose to say nothing as he could tell something must have happened. Lone nodded towards him then walked straight up to the deluxe room, opened it and locked it once inside. He then gently laid Sophie down on one of the beds and patted her head a little in an attempt to comfort the small girl.
She was still staying quiet; Lone assumed she must have suffered some trauma of some sort and just needed time. So he shortly afterwards got up and headed to the bathroom for a much-needed bath as he had only been using stored sea water to wash recently.
"I dislike people, and she can't stand crowds of them... it's almost comical," Lone mumbled while he entered the bathroom. He had a lot to talk about with her after some rest.
After Lone had finished taking a bath, he toggled his Hide Racial Traits skill off, letting his fox parts loose once again before going back into the bedroom. He opened the glass pane windows to let some air in briefly before shutting them with the wooden shutters. Then he moved towards their beds.
He noticed that all of Sophie's clothes were piled up on the floor next to her bed as he approached the far side of the room. It also seemed that Sophie was now under the sheets of the bed with just the top part of her head showing.
"Asleep, huh? Well, she can tell me what happened when she's ready I suppose," Lone said to himself as he stored her clothes then got into his own bed after storing his own clothes and turning off the lamp. He awoke sometime the next morning.
"Hmm. Still asleep?" Lone mumbled as he noticed Sophie's head was still ever so slightly poking out of her sheets. He decided to leave her be and just write a note in English saying that he would be downstairs after he had re-hid his fox traits, unstored her clothes and gotten dressed.
He then left the room to get some breakfast but not before he slid the room key under the door after locking it. He got some simple soup to eat while he waited for Sophie.
"Good morning sleepyhead." Lone greeted as he noticed his companion had decided to wake up. Her eyes were noticeably puffy and red. It would seem that she had cried in her sleep.
"T-thank you..." She quietly said as she handed him the room key.
"Hmm? Don't worry about it. You can tell me about what happened yesterday whenever you feel comfortable doing so," Lone told her with a smile before handing her a small loaf of bread. She nodded in response before moving to sit on his lap.
'Hmm? Well, this is new. Does she not want to be left alone or something?' Lone thought as he allowed her to act a bit selfishly. They remained in silence as they ate, occasionally getting an odd look from the other customers.
"Soph," Lone said as they finished their meal.
"... ?" Sophie tilted her head back to look up at his face.
"Wanna become my fiancée?" Lone suddenly asked her in a nonchalant manner.
"... huh?" She replied in confusion.
"Hmm. How to explain. There's this shallow receptionist at the library who wanted to marry me after just meeting me. I honestly don't care for her in the least. I wanna use you as a countermeasure against her since I have to read in the library because they don't loan out books for whatever reason. So, you okay with that?" He asked after explaining the situation.
"Eh?... Sure," Sophie answered absentmindedly. Sophie was happy that Lone wasn't being serious because she didn't feel that way about Lone, but she felt there were no issues with her pretending to be his love interest to help him.
The two quickly finished their meal and left to go to the library. It didn't take the pair long to reach it, and thankfully nothing eventful happened during their journey there.
"Hi Lilith, this is my fiancée, Sophie, she may be young, but you understand how us nobles are," Lone said before he visibly saw the look of life drain from Lilith's eyes.
"Of course she is..." Lilith said with a deadpan expression. She had spent all morning thinking of ways to improve Lone's opinion of her only for these plans to fall into ruin now.
"So I'd like to use that translation book again please," Lone said with a sincere smile.
"Yes, Sir. I prepared it for you in advance, Sir," Lilith replied mechanically as she stiffly handed it over. Sophie immediately took the book with her right hand as her left one was busy holding Lones. The two then walked up to the second floor as Lilith sat back on her chair in a way that looked almost like a flower wilting.
'Of course hahahahaha of course,' Her mind had seemed to have wilted as well. Lone then took a seat after collecting some human anatomy related books and Sophie then once again occupied his lap. Lone apparently noticed her doing so.
'Is this going to become a regular thing?' Lone thought as he started reading the book. The physical contact didn't really bother him at all. He was far to indifferent about the whole situation.
'Hmpf, I'll use your lap today since I stupidly slept past my cuddle time with the tails,' Sophie tried to convince herself, while she tried to bury the crushing feelings of helplessness she had when the only person she relied on wasn't there when she was once again, reminded of her suffocating fear of groups of individuals.
It had been a while since she felt like that. She had almost forgotten about her fears, and she didn't wish to remember them, but unfortunately, she had indeed remembered them.
'That happened 800 years ago! Stop thinking about it!' she said in her mind with a slight shake of the head.
Lone left her to figure out whatever she was going through as he absorbed himself into the books, phasing her existence out of his mind. It wouldn't be long before Lone learned of the past experiences that were currently plaguing her. Not long indeed.
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- The Scottish Slothy Sloth
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