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While the mansion continued to be abuzz with the servants getting everything ready for the sudden visit, I built various stuff, was asked to make this and that, and got dragged around all over the place when Sword was invited somehwere. During such a busy time, a letter was delivered.
In this world, letters were – you’d never believe it – transferred through the guild. Although only something with the size of a letter could be passed on like that, it still allowed for letters to be instantly sent from the capital to a remote place like Ys. And even though it was possible for a letter to get lost on the way since it was delivered to the addressee by a guild postman after reaching the destination guild, it almost never happened, so far as I’ve heard.
Then again, it’s not usual for commoners to correspond through letters either. Most of them can only write their name and their reading skills are rudimentary at best.
Merchants, on the other hand, were obviously able to read and write decently.
Anyway, back to the main story. The letter stated that they’d arrive in around five days.
…Isn’t that pretty fast?
“Is it normal for them to travel so quickly?”
“They are members of a ducal family, so I would guess that they are using swift horses to travel,” the head maid told me.
Also, there’s one more thing bothering me about the letter’s content.
“…She’s written that her family is coming with her. Why is that so? According to what I’ve heard from Damsel Scarlet, it was something akin to visiting a school friend’s home to play. So for what reason would she come over together with her family?”
Everyone present froze on the spot.
“Sally, Clara, Anna, please prepare another three guest rooms. Lady Indra, I am terribly sorry, but would it be alright for me to request you make side tables and chairs for the guest rooms?”
The head maid rebooted at once, and started to quickly hurl out a flurry of instructions. Given that I excelled at various kinds of workmanship, I built tables and chairs with ornamental carvings. The parlor and dining hall was prettied up to look luxurious, too.
On the appointed day, carriages arrived. Three of them.
Maids and servants descended from two of them, and opened the door of the third carriage, which was clearly more gorgeous than the other two.
“Welcome and thank you kindly for making the long trip all the way here. …Is it fine for me to assume that you are Duke Chaudgal?”
A man with sparkling eyes got off the carriage in front of me.
“Oohh, you must be the partner of Hero 【Thunderclap Whitefang】, correct!? My name is Gerard Chaudgal. Hero 【Thunderclap Whitefang】 saved my life in the past!”
…Ah, now I somehow get the reason why her father visited as well. He’s a fan, so he used the chance to come along, huh? Well, he definitely came here to meet Sword.
And Sword had apparently grasped that reason, seeing how he immediately disappeared even though he had been standing next to me just moments ago.
Damsel Scarlet, who had followed her father out of the carriage, covered her face with both hands, looking extremely apologetic.
“……Father……it is embarrassing, so could you please stop it.”
“……Damsel Scarlet, I’m not up to date with the most recent etiquette among nobility, but is it normal for your parents to come along when you visit a school friend?”
I asked for good measure.
“…I truly beg your pardon for my father!”
Pheew, that’s great to hear. Wait…nothing is great about it. But well, now that he’s shown up, it can’t be helped either way.
Still, at least her mother didn’t show up.
Then I was handed a letter by Damsel Scarlet. It basically said: 『My husband, who always turns weird whenever it comes to the hero, threw a tantrum and insisted on coming along. Please forgive us for the trouble we might have caused you with this. In exchange, feel free to use him as you see fit』
“…Well, no helping it. Since you kindly sent us a letter ahead of time, we have prepared everything. I’m not the head of the family around here, but…the lord of the mansion, who’s my partner, ran away after feeling himself to be in danger. I’ll guide you in his stead.”
Duke Chaudgal looked at me with eyes full of admiration, “Even though you should have revoked your noble rank, you are coming across as a truly dignified person with a proper demeanor. It looks like the rumor about you is true.”
“What kind of rumor?” I tilted my head in confusion.
“The rumor stating that you ought to have rightfully inherited the Springcoat House.”
What’s with that crazy rumor?
“I’m not such an oddball that I’d feel like inheriting an earl house on the verge of ruin. I’m Sword’s partner and an adventurer.”
Inheriting that shit hole? No, thanks.
“Yes, I’m well aware of that. While my powers might be meager, I shall assist you with all I can offer.”
After resolutely looking at the duke, I held out a hand.
“That’d be a big help. I don’t feel like becoming a noble at this point. I want to keep going on adventures with Sword as a commoner. The administration of a fief isn’t anything I would ever want to do. I want to keep traveling in my quest for thrills. If I can have you assist me with that, it’ll be a very reliable source of strength for me.”
“Of course! I shall cooperate with you as much as I can!” He exchanged a firm handshake with me.
Meanwhile I could hear, “Ah, these two might be kindred spirits?” as a whisper from behind him.
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