Stranger’s Handbook – Chapter 17

Sorry for being a few hours late ><
But here ya’ go…Chapter 17 and finally, a slightly different ending phrase! xD



Chapter 17: Something Called Bento

 

 

 

A girl has cooked an obento* for me.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, when you receive such favors, from a person who admires you, it can signify the type of status between you two.
But of course, I’ve never received one……

Yes, I used the past tense.

Right now, I’m exactly in the middle of receiving an obento, but somehow I don’t feel happy at all about it.

“Young lady Beatrice, thank you for coming to such a place.”

I lowered my head in sign of courtesy.
Since she’s a daughter of the head family, being impolite towards her is not accepted.

The young lady looked at me with eyes filled of disgust, and while she used her fan seemingly to shake some dirt off her dress, she answered.

“You should thank me indeed. It’s the first time I’m visiting such a savage place like this.”
‘I was told not to get near this place since it’s dangerous, but I wanted to see Zest-sama so badly, that I convinced everyone to let me come.’

I can properly hear you, young lady. Today as well, your spoken words and your actual thoughts are completely opposite.

What? She’s approaching me for some reason.

She folded her fan and then she grabbed my chin and lifted it up, while showing a Frontier Count-like smile that covered her entire face.
It really is the smile of a madman, you know!

“Look, my dress is all covered in dust. Whose fault is it?”
‘I haven’t seen Zest-sama for such a long time, but somehow his reaction is bad…..No, the fact that we are getting married is not known yet, so it can’t be helped….but still, I’d like him to pay more attention to me.’

No, young lady………the thing is, I’ve got a lot to handle right now.
That sinister-looking basket in the hands of that maid, for example……..

“That was very rude of me. Young lady, there is a lawn close to here, where you can clean the dust off. And I’d be happy if you could offer me a little bit of your time and company?”

I quickly offered my hand and she took it while showing a sour expression, and for some reason she entwined her fingers with mine.

 

The lovers’ bond!

 

“Who, who’s that scary-looking woman?”    “Stop it! She’s a daughter of the Frontier Count’s Household!”     “He, he’s so composed, even while walking with such an intimidating woman…….”      “…….That’s his reward.”

 

So that guy was the one who said that last line……..I’ll remember this!
That guy is dangerous……Ah! Master sent him flying.

 

“I don’t have much time. Besides, for me to hold your bare hand so readily is impossible. I’m really glad I’m wearing gloves.”
‘Let’s get to that lawn fast! I can’t believe I’m wearing gloves and it was such a good chance…….Since it’s such a shame, I’ll keep holding onto this lovers’ bond, that the maid told me about, until we get there.’

The young lady was walking at a quick pace, while swinging our holding hands.
However, I really feel for this girl.

Precisely because she’s a dark magic prodigy, as an effect, her speech and conduct are badly influenced, and the young lady looks like an evil person.
But since I can use light magic in order to read her true feelings, for me she looks just like a cute girl……

 

When she is thinking, her dark magic gets activated, but I also find this to be a very cute part of her.

It was a time when I truly believed this.

 

“So, here you go!”
‘Will he be happy about this obento, I wonder?’

 

That is certainly a Pandora’s box…….even though it’s a basket…..

The maids accompanying her conveniently prepared a table and some chairs for us.
That thing was placed on the table.

 

The lunch consisted in the typical so-called sandwiches, having bread as their main ingredient, a salad made of vegetables that were perfectly cut in order to be easily eaten and a glass with some kind of beverage in it.

 

So? Isn’t this just a normal lunch? I bet this is what people would usually ask when presented with this information.
For my first obento, I think this is good enough…..Or rather, it’s quite the nice choice.

But I started shaking once I activated my observation magic.

‘Observation result: Deadly weapon
Attribute: Dark’

 

“You have……..such wonderful skills!”

And I’m not even lying.

 

When I grabbed the weapon in the shape of two slices of bread with something dark red inserted in between, I got goosebumps.

I strengthened my entire body with light magic.
I stole a glance at the young lady, who was watching me insistently. I can’t run away!
The maids that were patiently waiting behind were shedding tears while constantly repeating ‘Please forgive us” without voicing it.

I have to do it, there’s no other choice.

I prepared myself.

 

The first thing I felt was an unpleasant and rough texture and I was overwhelmed by a pungent bitterness. Every now and then, I would be attacked by these solid somethings that were difficult to masticate and were distinctively odd.
I concentrated my mind on them, and when I controlled my perception of their bad taste with light magic and changed it to something sweet, pain resonated within my brain.

I obliterated this deadly weapon inside my mouth with large amounts of magical power.

“Young lady, this was amazing!”

These are my honest thoughts.
It was a wonderful and dangerous weapon that could’ve taken my life away in an instant if I were to let my guard down even for a moment.

“Of course it was. Can’t you say something better than stating the obvious?”
‘I’m so glad! It seems he liked it!’

After that, I ate the salad that seemed to shriek every time I was taking a bite and proceeded to the glass which contained a mysterious drink that wouldn’t spill even when I inclined its container. I ate this too with a spoon.

Master Sonia was brought here by the maids and forced to partake in our lunch midway, but he took it as his responsibility as a father.

 

Due to these two brilliant mages the Frontier Count’s Household is so proud of, the nightmare was starting to vanish.
It was such a monstrous weapon…….

Thank you, dear maids…..I wouldn’t have won against this if I were alone.

 

 

 

 

“Now it’s time for desert!”
‘Now it’s time for desert!’

 

 

 

“W…….what?”
“W…….what?”

 

 

The young lady’s spoken words and her thoughts.
My words and master’s words.

It was a moment of beautiful harmony……I would rather die!


 

*obento/bento = a nice explanation of the Japanese tradition of making bentos can be found on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bento


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Translation: Nana
Proofreading: Carmina
DA BEST (among the worst): Mockii

18 thoughts on “Stranger’s Handbook – Chapter 17

  1. LOOOOL her spoken words and her thoughts match because while it was a nice thought it is the most evil thing she can say ROFL!

  2. Maybe she is just like Magellan from One Piece and she eats poisonous stuff because it supports her powers… 😀

  3. “When she is thinking, her dark magic gets activated, but I also find this to be a very cute part of her. It was a time when I truly believed this.”

    This threw me off a bit. Does it mean that he is just delusional? Or is it, that he is just wrong about the influence of her dark magic on speech?

    1. Hmmm….It actually refers to the process of thinking…so when she has a train of thoughts or something like that. And when she does that, her dark magic activates by itself, and our MC thought this was quite a cute part of her. Maybe I didn’t use the write words and I couldn’t convey the meaning properly. Sorry for confusing you! xD

      If you have a suggestion for changing this phrase in order to accurately transmit this idea, please share it with me! It will be greatly appreciated. ^^

      And sorry for answering this late, I’m facing with the end of the semester at uni, so lots of assignments and projects and exams…..I’ve almost reached my limit >< But, it'll end soon, so I'll give my best until it's over.

      Thx for your comment and I hope you'll keep following this story! 😀

      1. No problem at all. It’s the end of the semester here too, so it’s I who should be thanking you for providing such a treat.
        So here’s the line which caused confusion:
        “It was a time when I truly believed this.”
        It sounds somewhat ominous. Especially considering the title of the series and the fact that MC is writing this handbook. So it could be interpreted as foreshadowing.
        As it’s rather hard to determine if he is speaking about the dark magic interference or how cute she is, it’s best to leave something like:
        “I absolutely sure of it”
        Would be a huge twist though if the thoughts he is hearing aren’t really her true thoughts. Which given the direction this novel is heading is highly unlikely.
        Thanks again for spending time on this response!

    2. It’s unbelievable that no one seemed to reply with a proper answer, I thought it was obvious. Remember that her letters tend to have a dark atmosphere and because he knows her true thoughts, her facial expressions and her way of speech is considered cute, because she doesn’t mean it but can’t help it, it also doesn’t really harm anyone and is just a special quirk and cute thing about her(since he can read her thoughts, otherwise it’d just be scary).

      So, there was a time he thought it was cute how her dark magic influenced her actions and activated without her wanting it to, it made her a bit special and how she’d be depressed when misunderstood and happy when he understands her true thoughts is undoubtedly very cute. But now it activated and infused into the food(instead of just stuff like letters or speech/expressions), something he has to eat, turning it into a deadly weapon that could kill him if he wasn’t a very powerful light mage, heck, even now it would be possible to die if he let his guard down. Then, all of a sudden, that part wasn’t really cute anymore, at least not in this situation, because he has to put his life on the line because of it. Obviously he still believes the contrasting thoughts and actions to be cute, but the ability itself is quite horrifying when it can do stuff like this.

      So, you get it now? Well, there’s pretty much exactly one year between this comment and your comment, but someone else might get things clarified when reading this.

      1. Oh, and it’s supposed to sound ominous, since he’s currently in a life and death situation due to that magic ability, one caused by her weaponized food. It’s used to empathize his feelings on the matter, there’s no way it’s foreshadowing.

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