|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1315 words|
At any rate, dealing with hazardous material was the priority.
It was a happy accident even for me to reunite with Letina, but I couldn’t relax with the explosive materials gathered right next to us.
We returned to the foot of the mountain where the carriage was, loaded the luggage, and with that, we could finally sigh in relief.
Fortunately, Stella, Spica, and Elizabeth were waiting for us there without running away.
“So then, why were you being chased by your residence employees?”
“That is, well… More importantly, what happened to your eye?”
“Oh, this? I just have a troublesome condition. Something about charming.”
The charming eyes that I inherited from that Whitey. They held the power to even twist someone’s will. For the time being, my comrades all had the rings of resistance to negate their effect… but I haven’t given one to Letina yet, now that I think of it. I did plan to.
“Right, Letina. Take this.”
I took out a spare ring from the pocket and passed it to her.
The ring of resistance broke when the mental attack exceeded its ability. As such, it was normal for prosperous Adventurers to keep spares on hand.
“By the way, putting it on your left ring finger is banned.”
“I will not! Wait, does that mean someone has tried already?”
Finia and Michelle looked aside at her question. Michelle, you should look where you’re going, it’s dangerous.
“That aside, returning to the topic, why were you being chased?”
“Ugh… I suppose I cannot dodge this topic forever. Alright then. It is because I ran away from home.”
“You ran away?! That’s not something a Marquis’ daughter should say so carelessly…”
In the first place, I had met Marquis Yowi. Rather than laissez-faire, he felt more like a broad-minded person.
He even allowed his daughter to join us wannabe-Adventurers on the hunts, and even during the Goblin mass-breeding, he offered his garden to the commoners for shelter, as well as carriages.
I couldn’t imagine someone like that making an unreasonable demand towards his beloved daughter.
“I just can’t imagine that scene. Tell me in detail… Actually, no. I don’t wanna get rolled up in nobles’ troubles.”
“Nicole, that’s cold. It’s Letina’s family problem, you know? We aren’t unrelated.”
“Ugh… Well, I guess that’s true.”
Michelle joined the conversation from the coachman’s seat. Since I couldn’t operate the carriage, it was up to just Michelle now.
Finia could do it too, but she was busy keeping the fire extinguishing spell going. This was one reason why I said the return trip would be difficult.
Michelle could not leave her seat for this reason. But we could still talk as I kept the carriage curtain open so she could talk with Letina.
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“As expected of you, Michelle, you are quick on the uptake.”
“We are friends. Of course, I would!”
“I mean, she is also my friend, you know?”
“Then you have to hear her out.”
“Ugh, I’m already fearing what’s to come…”
Noble problems tended to have lingering effects. I didn’t wanna get involved if possible. But Michelle had a point too. Letina was my close friend, and still one of my comrades. It would leave a bad aftertaste if I ignored her problem.
“Agh, fine. Can you tell us the reason?”
“That is my Nicole there! As for the situation, we have to go back to three weeks prior.”
Three weeks ago would be right about when we arrived in Raum. Perhaps the reason she did not show up to see us was due to this trouble.
“I was called by my father and proposed… or rather, ordered to do a certain thing.”
“Ordered? By that gentle Marquis?”
“Yes… to have a marriage interview.”
I was surprised because I knew her personality, but she was already past fifteen. It was an appropriate time for marriage talks to come into play.
Considering Marquis’ standing, it wouldn’t have been strange if it had come even earlier.
“But you’re still fifteen, aren’t you, Letina?”
“I am Marquis’ daughter… so I knew this would come sooner or later. As such, I was thinking of going along with it at that time, however…”
According to her, the other party was the son of a higher-ranking duke household.
They were also twenty years old—so it wasn’t such a strange combination. However, there were dark rumors spread in the duke’s domain, and their public reputation could not be called good either.
Thus, she hired two groups of Adventurers to investigate it, but they had disappeared without a trace.
Letina thought of this as strange and made a direct appeal to her father, but due to the firm demands from the other party, he rejected her request, saying it would be hard to turn it down.
With that, she decided to resort to drastic measures to run away from home and planned to earn some time to investigate further, and then she ran into us.
“Oh wow, what an ugly state to be in.”
“But why is that duke so obsessed with having you as a wife?”
“Elven females are quite useful to humans, it seems. After all, we’ll remain young for a long time.”
“There are many nobles that use females like decorations. I cannot deny that tendency even in Raum where elven nobility is greater in number. Men are truly helpless…”
Letina apparently had a lot to say about men, but her criticism also hit me, being originally a man.
Certainly, Raum’s population had more elves, and many nobles were elves too. In such a situation, having a wife whose looks remained unchanged was seen as a kind of status.
The reason Letina hadn’t received such invitations until now was probably that the Marquis did his best to shut everything out. But when the other party was a higher-ranked duke who was connected to the royal bloodline, he apparently failed to turn them down.
This made me think back on how much difficulty the Marquis had been through. I could understand Letina’s feelings, but if she just broke it off, it could worsen the standing of her father, the Marquis.
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In the worst case, it could even develop into a problem that would concern the survival of the Yowi household.
“Honestly, this isn’t something you can just break off, is it?”
“I understand that much. As such, I was thinking of investigating those dark rumors spread in the duke’s domain.”
“I see. If a scandal breaks out at this time, the Marquis would have a good reason to break off the marriage talks, huh?”
“You guessed right.”
I see, makes sense… or so I wanted to say, but it was still not enough.
Nobles, especially someone so high-ranked that they were connected to the royalty, could easily shrug away most of the scandals. Even if Letina herself managed to find some kind of truth, she would be easily suppressed.
In that case, it would be better to bring it up with someone who could not be suppressed.
“But even if you manage to dig up some evidence, you’d just get crushed, Letina.”
Gadius and Maxwell. If she borrowed their strength, even Raum’s duke would be unable to make any moves against them. Having said that, suddenly forcing their way and breaking off the marriage talks would throw mud at the duke’s face.
Bringing the Yowi household into a favorable situation and then getting Maxwell or Gadius’ help, they should manage to turn it down without any future trouble.
“At any rate, first comes finding out if those dark rumors are true or not.”
“Yes, will you help me?”
Letina was one of my precious friends even now. I would never allow her to be forcibly wed to a duke household with dark rumors on their name.