"I should make myself a bokutō and get back into training," Gryphon mused. "We've got plenty of scrap wood from all the construction, I don't know why I never thought of it before."
"That sounds like a Fusōnese word, but I don't recognize it," said Remilia.
Gryphon nodded. "It's a wooden sword. For kenjutsu practice. Remember I told you I was trained in kenjutsu during my exile? I lost my swords a while back, and hadn't gotten around to replacing them before I came to this era. I've got a bokutō back at Saint-Ulrich, but that's not doing me much good here." He chuckled ruefully. "And trying to use a raw tree branch didn't do either of us any good."
"No," Remilia agreed, unconsciously touching the spot on her chest where she'd been staked with a fragment of that tree branch.
"Not that I'm expecting Flan to go off the rails again," Gryphon noted, "but it's really not good to be so unprepared for contingencies. I'm getting soft in my old age," he joked with a little grin. "When I eventually go back to April, they're going to be like, 'How the hell did you get so fat in one afternoon?'"
Remilia snorted. "You aren't getting fat, mon vieux. Trust me, I pay very close attention to your condition." She smirked. "And so will everyone else, if you and Meiling do manage to get the Fusōnese bath working."
Sakuya, in the midst of a sip of wine, suppressed a snicker—without complete success, causing her employer to give her an arch little smile. "Looking forward to that, are we, Miss Izayoi?"
"I've seen it before," Sakuya quipped, then said, "Oh dear, that was indiscreet. Ah, well. Now you know, Chief. At some point in your future, I've seen you with no clothes on."
"At some point in my future, who hasn't?" Gryphon replied philosophically, making both women laugh. "I don't suppose you'd care to tell me whether the situation was reciprocal."
"Are you flirting with my maid right in front of me, you libertine beast?" Remilia demanded with faux outrage.
"A bit," Gryphon conceded mildly.
"No, no I would not," Sakuya replied primly to Gryphon. "I've already said too much. The Doctor would scold me if he were here, and he'd be right to do it. I know better than that! I just got drawn into the cozy atmosphere." She gave Remilia a mock-reproachful glance. "I warned you the discipline of the household would suffer if you let me get familiar, m'lady."
Remilia laughed and settled back in the Ottomane. "Ah, well, I suppose I shall have to get used to this. Suddenly my house is filled with predatory females, and they're all going to want a piece of the only man in the game."
"Eh, I'm pretty sure Meiling's not interested. We're just buds," Gryphon said, and then, with a sly grin, "She's got everything she wants already."
Sakuya, going very red, did not reply with words; only looked down at her knitting with an insuppressible goofy smile while Remilia laughed again, higher and heartier this time.
"I'd almost forgotten what it was like for things to be lively around here," she said when she'd finished.
"Nice, isn't it?" Gryphon said.