Chapter 1-1

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Lyle Waldstein woke up to the annoying chirping of birds.

He was on the laboratory’s sofa. Pushing aside the research papers that were covering his face, his eyes were assailed by the morning sun, which the curtains could not block out.

“Ugh……”

Running his hand through his steel-coloured, albeit bed hair afflicted hair, he then rubbed his childlike face that was unlike that of a sixteen year old.

Noticing that he was not wearing his glasses, he fumbled about his immediate surroundings, searching with half-awake eyes.

“Nnn… my glasses, glasses……”

Upon expanding his search area, his outstretched hand came into contact with something tender and soft in the vicinity of his solar plexus.

Wondering what exactly it was, he groped around with his hand, and that soft something changed its shape gently in the middle of his palm.

“Nnnya…… aahn……”

Was that a bird? They’re making some pretty strange sounds today.

But still, what is this object with such a remarkable elasticity coefficient?

As Lyle reaffirmed the feeling of that soft something with his hands by opening and closing his palm,

“Nnh… no… oh, Lyle…”

The birds today sure are making some really weird sounds. They’re even calling out my name, did a parrot from the southern archipelago get mixed up here or what—

“……Mmm?”

At last, Lyle became fully awake, and he opened his eyes.

Even with his shortsightedness, Lyle could tell that before him was hair of a beautiful copper colour, adorning an even more beautiful face. A slender face, with delicate features. Her well-featured face, and the subtle sensuousness of her cherry lips were vividly engraved in his sight.

“Wh— Ma—”

Lyle’s body stiffened in surprise.

Of course, Lyle’s hand had already grabbed firmly onto that soft something.

“Hah, mm…. mm, Lyle ~”

Stretching inside the blanket, the girl pressed her soft body on top of Lyle.

Lyle looked as though he was about to scream—and he suppressed the urge to do so, after mustering all his self-control.

Discreetly removing his right hand in which the feeling of that soft something still lingered and had been thrust into the blanket covering the girl, he then extended his hand at the girl’s blissful looking sleeping face—

“Mm…… nya? Nanyanyanayaya?”

Having her nose pinched mercilessly, the girl flailed her limbs about, sending the blanket flying. The girl who had been unreasonably roused from her sleep blinked her jade green eyes, looking at Lyle’s face, and elegantly—while still having her nose pinched—smiled.

“Gfff mgghning, fuaafuu.”

“Good morning, Maria.”

Releasing his fingers from pinching her nose, Lyle got up from the sofa. Folding his arms and looking at the girl’s face—and just her face, he raised his eyebrows in a frown.

“…… Although this is already the sixtieth time…… please don’t get naked while in the company of others.”

“I’m not naked, y’know?”

The girl with hair the colour of copper—Maria, saying that, crossed her legs while sitting on the sofa.

Indeed, she was wearing black garter stockings and silk undergarments, but the exposure of that was, on the contrary, even more seductive.

“Stop being so shameless already!”

“Lyle, be that as it may, aren’t you also partially responsible? You see, because the laboratory door wasn’t locked, I couldn’t help but think that it was an invitation!”

Laughing out loud, Maria shrugged her shoulders, sending those abundantly developed twin hills of hers shaking.

Before he realised it, his gaze had fallen there. Noticing that, Lyle corrected his gaze in a panic.

“…. Certainly, if I were to consider your personality, it might have been careless of me to have not locked the door.”

“Aren’t I right?”

“But even if it’s a joke, you are still a viscount’s daughter, aren’t you? You ought to be more modest…”

“Pfft. Isn’t ‘Viscount Highline’ just something that was bought with money? For a noble whose title was bought, even if I conduct myself with modesty, only malicious gossip is going to be spread about me anyway.”

Maria’s eyes that were long slits flickered sharply, and she brushed her long copper hair upwards. She was easy-going and rough, but somehow also elegant.

For the bourgeoisie who had obtained wealth from the <Steam Engine Revolution>, there would be many of whom would want to buy the Viscount title that anyone would recognise. The Highline family, was one of the [Capitalist Nobility]—the more abusive term for it would be [nouveau riche nobility], among others.

However, Maria Highline was openly unconcerned with that sort of thing.

“…. If that’s the case, I take back what I said about you being like a girl of marriageable age. You ought to conduct yourself with firmness.”

“Lyle, you don’t sound like a boy your age at all. And also, such a fine woman was sleeping right beside you when you awoke, you know? Would it kill you to at least drool over me a little?”

“A fine woman, you say….”

Lyle bitterly smiled at Maria in secret, as though he were unable to comprehend that. Precisely because she was a fine woman, it could not be said that she was singing her own praises. And she was an extremely fine one at that, too.

“Even so… Aren’t you tired of being naked together? Have you forgotten that you had torn off my clothes and pushed me into the river? Without even wearing your underwear, you dragged me down into the depths, and finally finishing off with our first kiss?”

“That happened like ten years ago! And artificial respiration doesn’t count, it doesn’t count!”

“Yes, for ten years we’ve had an inseparable relationship. After such a long time, it can’t be helped that you would be flustered about it.”

“If that’s the case, why are you turning your head away?”

“A hedge between keeps friendship green. Unlike a certain somebody, I’m a modest person.”

“What, you’re making me out to be like some promiscuous woman who doesn’t have a single bit of modesty.”

“If you disagree, why don’t you prove it by putting some clothes on right away?”

Upon Lyle’s rebuke, Maria started to put on her clothes while grumbling.

The sound of rustling clothes filled the room.

In order to block out his imagination that was running wild, Lyle got down on his hands and knees and resumed searching for his glasses.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m looking for my glasses.”

“Glasses? If that’s what you’re looking for, they’re right here.”

“Is that so? That’s great— !”

When he looked back, Lyle’s words were caught in his throat.

Maria, who he had thought was putting on her clothes, had only put on a bustier. Because of her underwear, which pushed up her breasts moderately, her cleavage was emphasised even more. Moreover, Lyle’s glasses were caught between, of all things, those soft mounds of hers.

“Look, it’s really troublesome for me to have it here. Won’t you quickly take it out for me?”

“…… Can’t you pass it to me normally?”

“Hmm? I’m a noble’s daughter, I can’t lift anything heavier than a quill pen.”

“Isn’t that the total opposite of what you said earlier?”

“Look here, if you want me to put on my clothes faster, you have no choice but to quickly take your glasses out.”

Maria bent forward, further emphasising her cleavage. With a mischievous smile and expression, it looked like she was taking her revenge for being treated so coldly.

Bring it on. As if something of this level will faze me.

Lyle fixated his glance at her, returning Maria’s seemingly mischievous expression with a glowering look.

“…..Maria has always been an outrageous tomboy of a noble’s daughter, even from before.”

“It is an honour to receive your praise.”

Narrowing her jade eyes, Maria smiled, seemingly delighted from the bottom of her heart.

Expressionlessly maintaining his caution, Lyle reached out with his hand.

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