Chapter 19 Preparing a New Life

 There is a lot of noise in the living room when Chihiro wakes up.
 And he woke up in Maria's room. The reason is that yesterday, he had to move to the bed at the end of the day to avoid running out of energy.
 Looking outside, it's already bright. It seems he passed the night without even eating.
 Also, Maria is not in the room. No wonder, there is a lot of noise coming from the living room, which is probably the two of them arguing.
I wonder... if I can manage it
 Chihiro is very sleepy, but he's not injured.
 Today is Saturday, so there is a half-day class. And because tomorrow is a holiday, he decides to push himself a little.
...Well then
 He gets out of bed naked, leave the room and head for the living room.
 Sure enough, Maria and Riko are there.
You can't do that, you can't!
Oh, are you sure? If you keep talking like that, Master might get tired of you
Wha!? It's not like I care what he does to me
 They're both in their nightgowns. Maria in a negligee, Riko in pajamas. Judging from the fact that their sizes are slightly different, Riko must have borrowed Maria's. And they seem to have already bathed and looked refreshed.
 Then, while standing, I'm talking to them.
Umm, what are you talking about?
Good morning, Izumi-kun. Did you sleep well?
 Riko, who hear my voice, mumbling something with dyed cheeks and stopped abruptly. Then, when she turned around and saw that Chihiro is naked, she stiffened.
 Maria, on the other hand, looked back at Chihiro and smiled thinly.
...Ah, un. The quality of my sleep has been good lately
 When Chihiro looked at Riko, who was concerned about what she had just said, she looked away.
...Nothing, it's not really nothing
Well, she was wondering what tone of voice she should use when Izumi-kun wakes up, so I was telling her... "Why don't you call him 'Master'?"
Wha, stupid! Why would you say that!?
I'll tell you something. Why would a slave hide something from their Master?
I'm not a sla... I mean, I'm a slave, but...
 Anyway, the two of them seem to be getting along just fine.
Well, I'm gonna take a shower
Yeah, take your time
Eh, Izumi...?
Nishizaki-san can come in, too. Why don't you wash Izumi-kun's body?
No, I won't!
 Ignoring their continued bickering (?), Chihiro moved to the bathroom to took a shower. Chihiro's shirt and underwear are placed in the laundry basket, followed by Maria's underwear and two blouses.
 There is no Riko's underwear. So, she probably wore it again because she didn't have a change, and her embarrassment earlier was probably because she didn't want people to see her underwear.
 "...I don't think this is a big problem now", Chihiro's thought.
 Well, if that's the case, he picked up the two blouses and sniffed them. The first one smells like Maria's body odor, which he had gotten used to, which means that the other blouse, which smells a little sweaty, belongs to Riko.
...What am I doing?
 Chihiro came to his senses, put the blouse back in the laundry basket, and quickly took a shower.
 After that, he put on his uniform, which had been folded as usual, and returned to the living room. Maria is in the kitchen cooking, and Riko is sitting in her pajamas.
 Her gaze wanders aimlessly, and she immediately notices Chihiro, but turns away pretending that nothing has happened.
 When Chihiro call her name, she looks back at him happily, though she probably doesn't realize it.
You can call me whatever you want. Either way, you can't call me anything weird at school, and I'll still call you “Nishizaki-san” at school
Oh, y-yeah
 Feeling relieved, Riko let out a light breath.
Then... I'll call you Izumi
Yes, thank you. It'll take some time, but please treat me well
Okay... I mean, it's not like this is much trouble
 Despite her immediate outburst of annoyance, her voice sounded gentler than expected.
 Feeling happy, Chihiro reached out to touch her hair. When he gently patted her hair, she stared at him with a red face.
I'm sorry, did you not like it?
 When he took his hand away and said that, Riko stared at him even more.
 As they continued this conversation, Maria came to the living room after preparing breakfast. First, a large omelet is served. Then came a salad piled high in a deep dish, bacon cooked until slightly browned, potage in a soup dish for each person... and a large number of butter rolls and a banana for each person.
I've prepared plenty of food for last night's dinner as well
 That's a lot of food for three people, but so be it.
 Chihiro's stomach growled at the ample amount and the delicious smell. Riko also looked satisfied, and muttered complicatedly, "Isn't it a foul thing that you are good at cooking too?" .
 And so, the sound of clattering dishes echoed in the room, and then Maria opened her mouth.
By the way, does Nishizaki-san live in a dormitory too?
...Yes, but...
 Riko replied with an attitude of "So what?"
Okay. Then I thought you should live here too
 Both Chihiro and Riko shouted in surprise at the same time.
 After looking at each other for a moment, Riko replied in a slurred voice.
There's no way I can do that
Why not? If you need permission to stay overnight, I don't mind if you move to my address. There is still room for you
 After a similar discussion with Chihiro about living together. Maria easily eliminated Riko's escape routes one by one. Unlike in Chihiro's case, there are few obstacles since they are both women.
 The rent of the dormitory is not free, so in terms of cost, it's a good deal, and sharing meals and laundry will reduce the burden.
 And now, Riko is at a loss for words.
B-But... Isn't Izumi with us?
No. Izumi-kun doesn't live here
He doesn't?
Not like that. Well, he hasn't moved his address, but rather he's staying or residing here
Isn't it the same thing!?
 With that, a fork is thrust into a piece of bacon.
 Then, Riko threw the whole thing into her mouth, chewed and swallowed, and sighed.
There's no point in saying no, is there?
 Maria smiled as she sliced the butter roll.
You really know what you're doing
 Riko groaned.
 She looked down at the table, pretending to concentrate on eating, but seemed to be thinking about something. And her face is red.
 That said, it would have been a bad idea if Chihiro had asked her to go back to the dormitory.
 So, Chihiro mentioned the problem in a matter-of-fact manner.
Even if there are rooms available, aren't there enough beds?
It'll be okay
 The remark is simply denied.
 After finishing a piece of bread, Maria stood up and beckoned to Chihiro and Riko. The two of them put away their half-eaten portions without understanding and followed her.
 They went to the opposite side of Maria's room. They knew there is a door, but they had never seen it open before.
 What they saw inside is...
Wow, it's huge...
 Riko muttered.
 King size, perhaps.
 There is an oversized bed in the middle of the room, big enough for several people to sleep side by side. Other than that, there is a carpet on the floor, a closet and a small cabinet, but not much else in the room.
 Considering the location of the entrance, the walls around the room are thickly built. The room is located at the far end of the apartment, so there is almost no noise to worry about, and the window on the corridor side is double-layered.
 It is quite easy to understand what the room is for.
There's plenty of space for the three of us to sleep here, isn't there?
...Yes, indeed
 It's more than enough for three people.
 There are some problems with privacy, though.
 Still, when Chihiro quietly looked at Riko.
 She stood there, unable to fully process her feelings, but eventually gave up and said.
...That's enough, then
Oh. You imagined Master holding you here anyway, didn't you?
Shut up, I'll kill you!?
 Loud voices echoed in the room, but probably it doesn't leak to the upper floor or outside.
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