Who is the Strongest Appraiser?

Chapter 26

The gap in chapters is due to me thinking that this and the LN were the same. I recommend reading the LN Chapters and then this. After 2 more chapters it will be roughly at the same point. The translated chapters from the LN page don't differ until this chapter, so it should be fine.

TL: Hello everyone!~ I found this novel while looking for my first public novel to translate and thought an easy-going novel like this would be good for a first real attempt at translating. As I’m MTL sometimes things are lost on me, but I will do my best to make the references understandable!

P.S. The MTL I use sometimes gets names wrong and I miss it- sorry!

(* ^ ω ^)~ enjoy

Chapter 26

"Oh my~ you're Yuri-chan, aren't you?"

The person spoke in a very friendly, bright and charming smile that seemed to creep into the gaps of people's hearts. Yuri, who had been very pleased to have washed and hung out all the sheets in their hideout due to the incredibly pleasant weather, tilted her head curiously at the stranger. Beside Yuri, Urgus, who had been helping with the laundry, was whimpering softly, but Yuri didn't seem to notice.

The person gave a striking impression. Their smile was gentle, and they wore a faint makeup on their well-structured face. They had long brown hair braided loosely into three strands and hanging down from their shoulders, with one strand on the side dyed silver. Their slim body was dressed in a neat pants style, with a cloth wrapped around their waist like a mantle, resembling a skirt in some way. Their earrings chimed with every movement of their face.

Though their appearance and tone were very gentle, Yuri tilted her head and spoke to the person in front of her.

"You're very beautiful."

"Oh, thank you. You're such a sweet child, just as the rumors say. No one else has ever responded to me like that the first time we meet."

"But you really are beautiful. It suits you very well."

"Aww, you're such a good kid."

The person's happy expression as they narrowed their eyes and smiled was truly beautiful. That was undeniable. The makeup, accessories, and slightly eccentric clothing all suited this person very well. However, however…

The voice, face, and physique were all undoubtedly those of a man.

Urgus averted his gaze from the person in front of him. It seemed that he was not good at dealing with this elusive beauty. Yuri had never met such a person before. Although he was a little eccentric in appearance, he did not seem to be a bad person, and it suited him well, so Yuri had no intention of saying anything.

"I haven't introduced myself yet. Please call me Leone. I am a perfumer who runs a perfume shop in town."

"...A perfume shop... Ah, are you the owner of "Seven-Colored Drops" by any chance?"

"Very good. Thank you for purchasing my masterpiece the other day."

Yuri bowed her head to Leone, the perfumer who smiled sweetly. He had bought perfume to make sachets the other day, and the shop she went to was "Seven-Colored Drops". When she gathered information in town, he was introduced to the shop as a place that handles first-class perfumes, albeit a little expensive. When he went shopping, there was only a salesgirl there, so Yuri never thought that the owner and perfumer would be such an eccentric person.

"What brings you here, Leopold?"

"Just to say hello, Ari. I told you to call me Leone."

"Your name is Leopold, you crazy perfumer."

"You're still as rude as ever. And on top of that, when are you going to stop that haircut? It's such a waste."

Yuri twisted her neck as she listened to the exchange between Leone-turned-Leopold and Ali, who sported a bald head and an eye patch. Urgus had disappeared without a trace, perhaps not wanting to get involved in their argument. Camille and Mag, who had briefly caught Yuri's eye and waved before disappearing down the hall, probably felt the same way.

It was quite a sight to see these two, one with a bald head and an eye patch and the other with a long braided hair and makeup, arguing face to face. But Yuri, a carefree and easy-going person, didn't pay much attention to the details and spoke her mind.

Yuri asked, "Do you shave your head yourself, Ari?"

"Yes, I do, Yuri-chan," Ari replied.

“This guy is a very rare, pretty, pretty strawberry blonde. Yet he ended up shaving it bald…” Leone said with a sigh.

"What guy cares about their hair color? Plus, I don't like that name," Ali interjected.

“Strawberry blonde is pretty! I think it would look good on Ali-san because he's so cool,” Yuri said.

“Oi’, Yuri-” the man interrupted again.

“You're right! As expected of you, Yuri-chan~ I agree with your sense of style!~.” Leone said.

“Leopold, what are you getting so excited about?!”

As Ali watched the two of them having fun, holding hands and giggling, he began to feel a headache coming on. However, neither of them meant any harm. One was a skilled crossdresser who dressed and did makeup flawlessly, while the other was a pure-hearted feminine boy, who loved cute and pretty things with a laid-back personality. They were meant to meet each other, and in a way, meant to hold hands because of their shared interests, mainly in fashion.

"…So, what brings you all the way here?"

"I came to see Yuri-chan, of course. It's rare enough that a boy bought my perfume, but he even made such a lovely sachet! I can't help but want to see him."

"Hold on, how do you even know about sachets?"

"Lerei-chan taught me."

"...That little brat."

Ali groans in a low voice, warning Leo to keep unnecessary information from leaking to the outside. But Leo just smiles happily, his soft atmosphere giving off a strange charm. Even though he is clearly a man, he has a gentle, feminine quality about him. However, there is no sense of disgust towards him from others. It's just his unique personality that people accept, as if it's a matter of course.

As he continues to smile happily, Leo suddenly narrows his eyes and looks at Yuri seriously. Yuri tilts his head in confusion. Leo reaches out to him, using his slender yet sturdy fingers that are somewhat feminine for a man, to brush aside his long bangs that cover almost half of his glasses.

"Oh my, I thought you had a gentle atmosphere, but you have a very cute face."

"...Cute, you say?"

"Yes, like a small animal. It's a shame to hide your face by letting your bangs grow like this. Do you have a reason for letting it grow?"

Leopold asked with a gentle smile. It was an attitude that he wouldn't force it if there was a reason. Whether it got through or not, Yuri looked at him curiously and then answered nonchalantly.

"I'm too lazy to bother cutting it."

Leopold froze at the words. Ali couldn't help but cover her mouth and suppress her laughter behind him. The words that were spoken were too far from Yuri's usual behavior. He was a boy who loved cute and beautiful things, loved cleaning and laundry, and added decorations here and there whenever he had time. That was Yuri, so the words that came out of his mouth were too unexpected.

Leopold froze for a while, but he soon recovered. He sighed and pressed his temple, looking at Yuri in distress.

"I see. I understand now. You like to play around with others, but you don't really care much about yourself, huh?"

"Yes? Well, that's because I don't look good with cute or pretty things like Leone-san does."

"That's true. You're cute, but you're just an ordinary boy. The cute things you like don't suit you... That's why you try so hard to play around with others."

Leopold was convinced of many things. He was a perfumer himself and enjoyed dressing up. He was also good at improving himself to suit his own needs. He believed that he could only become a real perfumer if he used his own perfumes well. This was a way of thinking that applied to fashion artisans as well.

And then there were people like Yori who just liked making and playing around with things without paying much attention to themselves. Simply put, this type of person would be a furniture artisan or a small item artisan. They were passionate about making better things, but they did not consider using or decorating them for themselves. They focused on decorating "someone" else, or having "someone" else use their creations, without putting themselves into the equation. That's the type of person they were.

"Well then, can I at least cut or tie up your bangs so I can see that cute face of yours?"

"Huh? Isn't my face boring?"

"It's not boring to me! I want to make a cute boy even cuter... Is that a problem?"

"No, it's not. Actually, I was thinking of cutting them soon, so please go ahead."

Yuri bowed her head with a slight nod, showing no signs of tension. Leopold remained silent for a while and glanced at Ali. Ali avoided his gaze as if to say, "Don't tell me." It was already known that Yuri was carefree, scatterbrained, and often off-topic. Even if she were criticized, it wouldn't bother her.

Leopold seemed to have sensed this and led Yuri to the front yard. He took out a large cloth from his pouch and instructed Yuri to hold it in front of her face. Yuri obediently followed, took off her glasses, and closed her eyes quietly. Leopold then took out a pair of scissors and a comb from his pouch and skillfully cut Yuri's bangs. It was obvious that his pouch was a magic bag with a size and content that didn't match.

Leopold was skilled, and he quickly trimmed Yuri's bangs neatly. When the length was just enough to cover the edge of her glasses, Yuri's face, which had been half hidden, was revealed. As Leopold described, it was the face of a boy who looked younger than his actual age, cute like a small animal. However, he was still a boy.

"Thank you."

After thanking him with a bow, Yuri leaned over the water bucket to check the length. It was a length that was not particularly troublesome and was neatly trimmed to be fashionable. It was proof of Leopold's skill. Despite blinking repeatedly in the light that was now coming straight in, Yuri had no complaints.

"Leone-san, you're good at cutting hair."

"I'm pretty good with bangs since I adjust them myself frequently."

The lovely lady giggled happily, while the carefree and airheaded young man smiled cheerfully. Ali, on the other hand, was alone, holding his head in frustration at how the troublesome duo had become such good friends. However, no one understood his worries.

By the way, as a side note, Leopold, who had become fond of Yuri, visited their hideout frequently after that, causing some of the male members to feel uneasy.

TL: ‘uneasy’ (   ̄Д ̄)

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