Next to the feudal lord’s mansion in Fokalore there is a large second residence built by the previous feudal lord. His lovers and the servants lived there. Currently it is functioning as staff’s dormitory.
Since there were rooms left, it was decided that the unmarried aspirants desiring to work as staff among the group of immigrants from Horant will live there temporarily. Because it’s the staff’s dormitory to begin with, they are provided with three meals per day in the dining hall.
In addition, those wanting to join the feudal army will enter the dormitories for families and singles of the territorial troops. Those hoping for employment and those, who possessed skills in carpentry and blacksmithing, were moved to inns in the whole town and dormitories for the pupils of craftsmen.
The people, who chose the path of becoming a staff member, were given a probation for studying first.
It’s quite different from the image they had of the territory’s circumstances, but currently Fokalore is becoming a cutting-edge training centre in this world, let alone within the country.
Including even those who have left the alienated Vichy, where education is compulsory, there are many people like the sons of the coming and going merchants and those who are working as civil officials in the neighbouring cities and other noble’s fiefs, who are gathering in Fokalore for “studying abroad” to receive education.
In addition to learning the basics in what is called advancing through a set curriculum, there was a charm in being taught anything without reserves concerning the territorial administration of Fokalore, which has accomplished a successful expansion.
Even with only this education service, the Tohno territory’s operation budget is profiting quite a bit.
Although the population is growing, the staff members got used to handling the citizen’s information and the registration in the family register. Rather, the situation has begun to settle down within the mansion of the feudal lord. Although the immigrants from Horant caused some temporary noise, it reached the point that the staff could take a little vacation, even including the civil official slaves.
There is one person that doesn’t find such situation amusing.
“Recently the opportunities to build remarkably interesting things vanished.” (Pruflas)
As group leader of the development team the dwarf Pruflas hadn’t even the time to sleep for an hour. Nowadays they are building office supplies like tables and chairs. They bid farewell to the calm days where they could leisurely drink sake.
“Something interesting?” (Vaiya)
His conversation partner was Vaiya.
Participating in the training of the feudal army in the beginning, he asked Miyukare, who is the person in charge of military affairs, to teach him the management of troops and the unique way of thinking to implement three man cells within the ranks, but he ended up being driven away by her, who was extremely displeased over being separated from Alyssa.
There was also the matter of the place being a room within the lord’s mansion.
“Guys, who are emitting an aura of happiness, should just leave!” (Miyukare)
This shout of Miyukare became a famous saying handed down amongst the staff on the second floor.
Contributing to the increasing number of couples between the single staff members appearing, Miyukare has completely solidified her position as “Court Lady-sama” with those few words.
“Now that you mention it, the wagons and spear throwers, used by the feudal army, apparently were developed here.” (Vaiya)
“We built them, but the idea came from the Lord. The platform wagons were wagons with wheels attached for travelling within the territory having the name rail car at the beginning.” (Pruflas)
“They didn’t run well and were terrible.” Pruflas laughs while gulping down the sake he held in one hand.
“We build this and that. There were also thing’s that couldn’t be used as weapons at all. There is the collapsible fan called “Folding Fan.” Did you see them being sold as souvenirs in Fokalore? That thing is something we originally tried to make out of wood as a trial at the time we produced the iron-ribbed fan Origa-jou-chan possesses. Though it was the Lord who gave it its name.” (Pruflas)
The more he heard, the less Vaiya could understand the character called Hifumi. Before he noticed it, he was making a troubled face. Pruflas laughs.
“What are you making such weird face for? If you want to know about Lord-sama, you simply have to ask Origa-jou-chan. Though she hasn’t returned yet.” (Pruflas)
“I see…” (Vaiya)
“Putting that aside, you are a knight-sama, aren’t you? If you are curious, there are spares of the weapons Lord-sama uses. Do you want to have a look?” (Pruflas)
“Is that alright?” (Vaiya)
Seeing Vaiya saying this delightfully, Pruflas became happy as well.
“Aye, you can say it’s fine because we are steadily receiving requests to produce weapons from Lord-sama. I won’t mind you taking some with you, if you are pleased with them.” (Pruflas)
Pruflas, who stood up, took Vaiya and moved to the testing room, that also functioned as storage, which existed within the work room.
The testing room, with its wide, bare ground, has countless weapons and kimonos lined up on one wall. Most of them are made out of wood and iron, but there are also items with unknown materials on the right side that might have monster materials within.
“This is amazing. I have never seen something like this, even not at the training field of the knight order. Can I also hold them?” (Vaiya)
“Of course.” (Pruflas)
The first thing Vaiya held after receiving permission was the kusarigama. After gazing at the sickle, he intently stares at its chains and the counterweights with their pointed ends with great interest.
“A strangely formed… weapon, is it?”`(Vaiya)
“Seems so. I repaired it several times, however it was interesting at the time I was shown the place where it was used for testing.” (Pruflas)
Though he had heard about the way to use it, it was said that you could swing the end part of the chain, hit with its weight, cut with the sickle and throw and pull with it. Vaiya wasn’t able to understand most of it.
Furthermore, beginning with the suntetsu and sansetsukon and arriving at the tokko and caltrop, he couldn’t imagine how to use those.
Because Pruflas was able to explain about the shuriken and the jitte for enforcing orders and regulations, Vaiya earnestly and carefully listened to him without missing anything. He tried to throw the shuriken several times to test it.
“Such small and hand-held weapon with high adaptability is great. It can be used by guards within the castle…” (Vaiya)
“If you are interested in it, it’s fine to ask that arrogant Caim.” (Pruflas)
The name of an unexpected person appeared at this place from Pruflas. Vaiya tilted his head to the side.
“Caim-dono, it is?” (Vaiya)
Even Pruflas himself considers the question, why the name of that civil official appeared here, to be strange.
“That expressionless arsehole knows the basic details of the weapons in this place. It seems he was taught the way of using them to some degree by the feudal lord. He is practising his usage of the shuriken and kusarigama in this testing room every morning.” (Pruflas)
Furthermore it appears that the other civil official slaves practise here sometimes as well.
“Aren’t they slaves, and even more civil officials? Why are they training?” (Vaiya)
“I don’t know. I don’t care since I wasn’t told about it. If you are worried about it, go and ask them directly.” (Pruflas)
Vaiya was bad with the type of person like Caim. He couldn’t keep up a conversation with Caim, who doesn’t show his emotions on the surface, since he doesn’t know what he’s thinking about.
“Well, since I gave you the permission to come and go here, it’s fine if you do as you like.” (Pruflas)
“Thank you very much.” (Vaiya)
“Please stop. I’m a slave as well and will be troubled if a knight like you bows his head to me.” (Pruflas)
Vaiya smiles bitterly as he is watching the back of the leaving Pruflas who is laughing.
“I can’t see the slaves here as slaves at all.” (Vaiya)
Pulling himself together, he decided to go meet with Caim. He considered to adopt these weapons in the Royal Knight Order.
The guards in the border fortress on Horant’s side still hadn’t been replaced. Although it’s uncertain whether the previously killed group was the guard unit, there are no soldiers at all.
In the vicinity of the fortress the common people, apparently families and couples, were sitting in countless groups.
Once he passed the border on the highway while riding on his horse, there are soldiers properly standing guard on Orsongrande’s side.
“Earl Tohno-sama! Welcome home!” (Soldier)
The two soldiers, apparently on guard duty, greeted him while smiling. They probably were able to earn some good income during the time of Hifumi’s invasion in Horant.
“Ah, the refugees from Horant won’t come following from behind?” (Hifumi)
“Yea, currently there are only people who have no permission to enter our country…” (Soldier)
As it is there’s no person in charge on Horant’s side to hand out authorization and identification papers. As one would expect, they can’t enter the country without permission. Except for the merchants, who have a permit, they will be continuously denied entry.
“Then let the refugees heading for the territory of Fokalore pass through. Those guys will become citizens of my place.” (Hifumi)
The soldiers exchanged glances.
“Is it fine to do a verbal, unsubstantiated assertion?” (Soldier)
“I don’t care. I will accept them, if they can come to my territory by themselves.” (Hifumi)
“In such case, affirmative.” (Soldier)
Since it’s also alright to enter the territory over there, Hifumi handed over a suitable gratuity for them to go calling out whether there are any candidates.
One of them remained while the other ran off to Horant’s side in high spirits. Probably the awareness of the borders will fade away if I tear them down once?
“Well, then I leave the rest to you.” (Hifumi)
Once again he spurs on his horse.
As he is steadily travelling on the highway, there are too many merchants waving their hands at him.
People, who are living in the capital, and people, who are sensitive to information, began to spread Hifumi’s appearance and figure as well as even the strangely formed sword affixed to his waist.
One part among them are adventurers, who have strange tastes in fashion, and people who get carried away easily. There are also people imitating him by handling a single edged sword. Of course, many of those swords are crude while being only thin making them nonsensical to use. Cases of people losing their lives during battles with monsters due to those breaking are occurring as well.
Even a part of the newcomers in the capital’s guild are using a thin, single-edged sword, but among those people, who know about the incident of veterans being killed in the guild, there are those who regard the katana as object of dread.
Hifumi waves appropriately and returns waves. Although young women and young women, who boarded carriages, raise shrill voices upon seeing him, Hifumi, who is travelling on horse, passes them by while ignoring them irresponsibly.
“If I become suitably popular, it will likely gather money and people in the territory. Although I want to prepare an expedition again as well.” (Hifumi)
“I want to make that and I haven’t touched this in a while”, while thinking about tools and weapons for Pruflas to make once he returned to the territory, he steers his horse to gallop towards Münster.
“Ah~… this is the most relaxing place.” (Sabnak)
“Sabnak… no, I mean, captain. Is it fine to take your dinner at such place? Shall we have a maid carry it to your own room within the castle?”
In the dining hall intended for knight ranks within the castle, Sabnak was enjoying dinner time with his companions, who transferred from the Third Knight Order to the Royal Knight Order, at one table.
“It’s okay to address me without honorifics unless it’s an official place. Not using honorific language is fine, too. It still doesn’t feel real after all.” (Sabnak)
As it’s only food eaten by nobility, the menu is picky about seasoning and ingredients, but the dishes intended for knights are plentiful in quantity as well.
There is a relaxed atmosphere as if in a club room for extracurricular activities. If one protects the minimum of manners, it’s a peculiar place where no one will annoy you.
While stuffing his cheeks with loads of salad and grilled fish, Sabnak laughed with a face, that has gone beyond relaxing and is now slackening.
“The child of a maid, eh… ? Which reminds me, I didn’t hear her name yet.” (Sabnak)
As Sabnak mutters this, his colleagues laughed while dipping bread in a tartar sauce made out of root crops and meat.
“You are a heartless guy. Aren’t they daughters of some nobles, if you talk about the maids within the castle? It will get scary later, if she’s the daughter of some high-ranking noble.”
“Of noble origin, eh?” Sabnak remembered the face of his maid. She has dark blue hair and pupils in the same colour. Her appearance is put in order plainly.
“But you know… how do you call it? She’s eerie.” (Sabnak)
His colleague lowered his eyebrows.
“What are you saying in spite of being able to interact normally with Earl Tohno?”
“It’s slightly different from that.” (Sabnak)
“I don’t quite understand”, the knight at his side shrugs his shoulders. Midas came from somewhere and sat down.
“Let me intrude.” (Midas)
“Eh? Midas-san… no, I mean vice-captain-dono.” (Sabnak)
A dining hall staff member came pushing a wagon, lined up the dishes in front of the sitting Midas and left.
“Midas is okay. … It’s a bad point that there is too much of the food here.” (Midas)
Sabnak threw a question at Midas, who put the spoon into the stew.
“It is difficult for me to say it, but didn’t you usually go home to eat your wife’s home cooking? What’s wrong today?” (Sabnak)
“Whose fault do you think it is?” (Midas)
Glaring at Sabnak, he eats a mouthful of the stew. He considered his wife’s cooking to be delicious.
“Due to the guarding of the coronation ceremony, all of the guarding outside the castle has been dumped on the knight order. I became the one responsible for that. Thanks to that, it doesn’t look like I will return home until midnight.” (Midas)
“Huh? Haven’t you arranged for a house near the royal castle after you became a vice-captain, Midas-san? Can’t you go home for just eating?” (Sabnak)
“Yea, more or less I did prepare it, but… my wife and me refused because we couldn’t calm down with its too big size.” (Midas)
“Ah, I know that feeling. There was a room prepared for me within the castle, however having three rooms and even a bathroom for myself… I wondered whether I should return to the dormitory for singles.” (Sabnak)
“Before we became aware of it, the knight order has turned into the den of the commoners faction”, their knight colleagues ended up laughing unintentionally.
“Rather than the matter of my house, it’s more about the case of the maid attached to Sabnak you talked about before.” (Midas)
“What’s wrong with her?” (Sabnak)
“She is called by the name Sibylla Winger (T/N: Shibiyura Vinja). It would be better if your properly remembered it.” (Midas)
“… Why does Midas-san know about her name though?” (Sabnak)
Midas, who put down the spoon, closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh.
“By chance I ran into the prime minister. He told me to convey his regards, if I meet you by chance, Sabnak.” (Midas)
“Why does the prime minister…” (Sabnak) (T/N: Aren’t we rather slow, Mr. Sabnak?)
“Don’t you know the full name of Prime Minister Adol?” (Midas)
“I know at least that much.” (Sabnak)
Even though he replied pridefully, it took Sabnak full 10 minutes to remember.
“Umm… it was Adol Phyiol Winger-sama, right? Eh? Winger…” (Sabnak)
“She is the only daughter of the prime minister. And at the same time she is the niece of the current head of the Marquis Winger household.” (Midas)
“Eh… but she said something about marrying into money and power…” (Sabnak)
His trembling fork hits the salad bowl with a clacking.
“At the time Adol-sama was appointed to his duty as prime minister, in order to not make it seem like his family’s home is being favoured, he gave up on his family status as Marquis family. That’s why his daughter isn’t a noble to be precise.” (Midas)
“There’s no doubt that she would marry into money and power”, his colleagues, who heard that, laughed, though it isn’t a laughing matter for Sabnak at all.
“H-However, I ran away from the earldom myself. It’s also not like I will succeed as the third son…” (Sabnak)
The son of an Earl is treated as Associate Viscount, but with having a small annuity and possessing no territory, you almost can’t call them nobles. That situation is the reason why those below the second son of a noble are aiming to become military officers or civil officials. People, who became skilled as knights, were in a fortunate situation.
“Calm down, Sabnak. With your accomplishments so far and the good will of Imeraria-sama, you have reached the problematic status of captain of the Royal Knight Order. You can consider this as being raised to the same rank as your family’s home. … With conditions attached.” (Midas)
“Conditions… it is?” (Sabnak)
Midas hesitated to continue for a short while, but he resigned himself when Sabnak glared at him.
“… The condition is to marry a partner that suits your rank and settle down with them.” (Midas)
“Well, you should be prepared that you won’t be able to idle around as single indefinitely”, while Midas warned Sabnak, his colleagues escaped in a hurry.
Summary of Author’s notes:
There will be more of Sabnak since he was well received in the last chapter and the release pace will increase (T/N: though that doesn’t really matter to us).