To her left, Seiga froze when Shuurei casually picked up a pink-coloured book and started to flip through it. To her right, Suou, who'd been looking around unsurprised at the state of the room, also exclaimed. But it was too late. A completely unsuspecting Shuurei opened the book and froze. Inside were images of women in exceptionally little clothing striking undulating poses sending coquettish looks. Th-this wouldn't be...
Even Seiga was unable to say anything and covered his mouth as he looked away.
Suou peered at the book nodded as he saw that there were only images of women in the book.
"Ah, you're lucky with that one, Miss. That's an pink publication."
"What do you mean lucky, Tantan?! What do you mean "pink publication"?!"
"Pink publications are aimed at beginners to fantasize over on their own. Almost but not quite being able to see anything is their main selling point. So they're not at all extreme, right? Not to mention there's no male partner in there either."
Shuurei's mouth moved but no words came out. 'wh-wh-wha...... a male partner......?'
"Ah, this one's aimed at higher levels. It's one that uses various instruments. It might be a bit too shocking for you." He picked up a suspicious black book liberally sprinkled with gold dust from amongst the junk scattered on the floor. Suou started to flip through the book when Shuurei quickly grabbed it and hid it behind her back.
"Nooo! Tantan you idiot! What're you looking at?!"
Suou looked at a bright-red Shuurei who looked like she was about to explode and tapped her on the nose.
"......You're thinking, "Idiot! Men... men are the absolute worst!" aren't you?"
Suou laughed at her slightly.
"All men are like that. I'll have you know that if a guy isn't a lech, it's game over for him. Being dirty-minded is part of being a man. It's pointless to think otherwise of them. I'm sure, even that handsome servant of yours reads books like these in the middle of the night fantasizing. No doubt he's hiding these sorts of books under the bed or at the bottom of the wardrobe. If he doesn't, he's not a man."
Shuurei, her ears bright red, defended Seiran. As if that Seiran...
"Wh-wha...... Seiran's not like that! He doesn't have these sorts of dirty books! If he had that sort of money, he's put it towards the food budget! ......I-I think......"
Suou was impressed as he considered Seiran. He must've worked quite hard to gain that level of confidence. Considering that effort, Suou thought, 'come to think of it, with his looks, he could have anyone he wanted rather than have to rely on these sorts of books...' but he didn't say anything. If he destroyed "her ladyship's" image of him to that extent, no doubt the bamboo serpent*... or rather servant would bring Suou's life to a sudden end.
[* lit bamboo monster with a play on kaijin vs kajin]
Still, Suou thought that Seiran should at least teach her what typical men were like.
"Well, it's true you guys are poor. No doubt he reads them for free in the corner of a bookstore. You have some too, right Se-ga-kun? Right? You must have some."
Seigan drew back slightly as both Shuurei and Suou looked at him. It was the first time he'd been asked such a difficult question. He coughed as he steadied himself.
"Eh, ah, well, ......I don't."
"Liar! Don't try to act cool just because there's a girl here. She needs to learn how things really are. Girls having weird expectations of guys makes for more guys being dumped and the sales of pink publications then......"
Shuurei hit Suou on the back of the head with the erotic book. "The sales of pink publications don't matter, Tantan! For one thing, that's not the issue here!"
"This is the workplace!"
"I'm back, my lady. I'll help (with dinner). Oh, and I brought you some dango."
"Welcome back, Seiran. My! These are quite famous dango! Thank you. In that case will you get the plates? Umm, today...... the salt's a little..."
Seiran smiled at Shuurei, who hung her head over having bought cheap salt.
"Please don't worry about it. In that case, I'll get the plates."
Shuurei stared at Seiran as he quickly started pulling out the dishes. She remembered "Tantan's description of typical men." Up until now, it'd never bothered her, but...
Sensing her looking at him strangely, Seiran coughed slightly and turned. What could it be about?
"......Um, my lady, is something wrong?"
"......Seiran, would it ever bother you if I happened to look under you bed or in the bottom of your wardrobe?"
Seiran was even more confused. He had no idea what she was trying to say.
"It wouldn't bother me, but...... why would you want to look in a place like that? There's no hidden cache."
Shuurei was relieved. Apparently the words "under the bed" made Seiran think of hidden savings rather than pornography."
"Oh, okay. Hohoho, never mind."
It's that "hohoho". Seiran looked at her ladyship suspiciously. Something was up.
"......um, it's really bothering me."
"Don't worry about it. Really, it's nothing."
"Please don't lie. You're wondering something about me. What is it?"
Shuurei saw the look on Seiran's face and surrendered as she broke out in a cold sweat. He never backed down when he had that look on his face.
"Uh, umm...... Tantan said that since you're a man, you'd definitely have things like pink publications hidden in those sorts of places...... and I couldn't help wondering......"
Seiran stood silent his expression unchanged. Shuurei waved her hands in front of her in denial, flustered.
"Ah, umm... it's okay. You're a man, after all! I don't really understand, but that's normal. No doubt. And if I just happened to find something, I'll pretend I didn't see anything. I absolutely won't go looking in secret either! I swear!"
"--You can look wherever you like. There aren't any."
Seiran stated as he forced a smile. In his mind, he threw a bamboo spear at Suou for teaching her things she didn't need to know.
'......Tantan-kun......prepare yourself tomorrow.'
For the day to come where her ladyship would suspect him of that sort of thing...
"If I had that sort of money, I'd put it towards the food bill."
"Y-yeah. I'm sorry. Um...... but we could increase your allowance a bit?"
"I won't buy any!!"
"......But, you knew what sort of books they are, didn't you, Seiran......"
Seiran almost dropped the dish he was holding at those muttered words. Shoot--
He never thought he'd see the day where he got caught by her ladyship.
It was all Tantan's fault, Seiran decided. What else did you teach her, Tantan?
"Speaking of Tantan, he was a bit strange..."
"...What else did he do?"
"He kept saying I shouldn't be nice to men so readily."
Seiran couldn't say anything. He couldn't argue. More to the point, he was completely in agreement. It's because she took people in and showed them such unstinting kindness that even men like Sa Sakujun ended up being attracted.
"Eh, ah, that's...... yeah, I think so, too."
"Eh, you too, Seiran?" What's wrong with showing as much kindness as you can to those around you?"
"Um, well, yes, certainly it's not bad, but within reason......"
Seiran couldn't fight against the "?" that was clearly written on Shuurei's face. He realised he couldn't openly explain such things like Tantan. No doubt, Tantan would tell her that it was a "matter of men thinking with their balls".
Seiran decide against the bamboo spear and decided to hit him with a bamboo shoot instead. He was starting to get the feeling that the class "The World According to Tantan" could be quite useful.