“Phew, finally I got some free time”
As I left the mansion I stretched out both of my arms and took a deep breath.
I continued to watch Braham’s cityscape from the hill.
The red roofs forming lines which one could clearly see through this clear winter air looked beautiful.
The Saint Perrier Cathedral in its middle, the Holms River flowing through the area close-by.
The river was shining brightly as it reflected the sunlight.
I used Italy’s Florence as this town’s model.
Though I’ve never been there my father travelled there in his younger days and would talk about it a lot.
It seems like the view one could see from the Michelangelo hill was very beautiful.⌈1⌋
The cuisine is delicious and the town is full of art.
It was a town I absolutely wanted to visit sometime.
The part with the windmills kind of got inspired by the Netherlands, lol.
Well, it’s more like a mix of various cities, huh?
“Oh, Carlo-sama, alone today?”
As I was called out and turned around I saw Doji standing there.
Ah, I forgot to give Doji a bonus (sweats).
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“Ah, no, everyone took the day off. Why don’t you go home as well, Doji?”
“It’s just around the corner and even if I return, Mum just makes me help around the house”
“Is that so? How about you go buy your mother something nice?”
I gave Doji two gold coins from my wallet.
As it is equivalent to 200,000 yen that should be sufficient as a bonus.
“That’s, is it really fine to give this to me?”
“Yeah, everyone got this much after all. Besides, you took care of me a lot this time around, Doji”
“Really, thank you”
“I was going to go through the town a bit, do you want to come with me?”
“I just got some free time so I’ll accompany you.”
I went to the town accompanied by Doji.
On the way, I didn’t forget to cover my scar with a scarf as a substitute for my mask so that my face won’t stand out as much.
“Carlo-sama, those clothes suit you”
“Don’t call me Carlo from now on, call me Akatsuki.”
“Ah, I see. It’s Akatsuki-sama then. Understood”
It was a good decision to tell Doji about Akatsuki.
On our way, as we walked through the town I bought some Hobbit wine at a liquor shop.
I requested something of the blacksmith, Mohkan.
I entered Mohkan’s forge leaving Doji at the store front.
“Old man, I’m coming in”
“Just when I was wondering who it might be it turned out to be Mister Akatsuki. I couldn’t immediately recognise you because you aren’t wearing your mask.”
“Yeah, today’s a little, you know. Is the thing I requested ready yet?”
“Hey, hey, wait a minute. After requesting for such a large quantity don’t ask for the impossible. Half of it isn’t done yet.”
As Mohkan said that he took out one of the spears.
“Here it is, how is it?”
The length of the spear Mohkan was holding was 5 metres like the long spears Nals and I created for the military reform.
Just, different from a normal spear, there’s a sickle under the spear’s tip.⌈2⌋
“Hoh, it looks very good”
“It’s a strange spear. However, is it really true that Margrave Carlo ordered these?”
“Yeah, no doubt. You received your payment form the Margrave, right?”
“That’s true but what kind of relation do you have with the Margrave?”
Doji must have had a strange expression on his face as he heard that.
It was a good idea to leave him at the shop front.
“Well, several things happened. It’s none of your concern”
“Even the matter about the Oricalcum sword, it seems like you got various people backing you. However, as far as I’m concerned, as long as you pay the proper price I won’t complain. You always bring me my favourite drink as well like this.”
After he said this Mohkan drank the wine I brought straight from the bottle.
Hey, hey, it’s still noon and a work day.
He’s a dwarf though, so he should be able to hold his liquor.
“I’m not done yet, but you should take the finished ones to the Guard Order’s arsenal. As we discussed”
“Yeah, fine. I’ll get them tomorrow.”
“Sorry for troubling you, have a happy new year then.”
Like this, I left the forge.
“Are you done?”
“Yeah, our next destination will be the hideout. Come”
There’s only one reason why I wanted to have some free time during these New Year’s holidays.
I only wanted to spend some time together with Elsa, that’s it.
I wanted to settle this whole DDT matter by the end of this year!
Fortunately, Doji also knew about Elsa being inside the hideout as well.
I intended to ask Doji to inform me if anything happens at the mansion while I’m here.
While I explained these things to him as we walked, we arrived at the hideout.
Knock, Knockknock, Knock
I made Doji wait and knocked the door in the manner I agreed with her beforehand.
After hearing the sound of some things getting knocked over the door got opened.
“Elsa, it’s been a long time”
“Akatsuki-sama, welcome back”
Elsa greeted me, but, I wonder, she seemed kind of impatient.
I felt someone’s presence in the back.
Hahan, is Crescent Moon loitering around in there again?
“Is someone in there?”
“Ah, yes, ehm……”
Elsa looked into my face with slight uneasiness in her gaze.
Could it be an affair?!
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“It’s the matter we talked about before, Akatsuki-sama……”
What we talked about before, what was that?
“I called my grandparents over, was that okay?”
As she said that Elsa waited for my answer.
Aah, I certainly said that.
Though that’s fine and all, but why nooow.
But, as she already called them over it can’t be helped now.
I can’t just tell them to go now.
“Yeah, of course. I told you, you may call them over. I’m glad that you can spend time with your family.”
“Yes! It’s all thanks to Akatsuki-sama. Ehm, may I introduce you?”
“I see, let’s do it like that. But could you first fetch my mask?”
“Ah, yes. I shall bring it to you right away”
“– I really wanted to give you my thanks.”
“No, don’t mention it. I just wanted to see Elsa’s happy face.”
“Elsa, aren’t you lucky to be the bride of such a good guy?”
Ehm, what was that about a bride?
Elsa’s cheeks also redden in embarrassment.
Though I know she couldn’t possibly tell them she’s my mistress but couldn’t she have chosen something else?
Besides, shouldn’t they say something about me wearing a mask as if it’s normal?!
Are you fine with your important granddaughter marrying some strange masked man?
“My, that mask also seems like a somewhat luxurious item, don’t you think, grandma?”
“That’s true, grandpa. Besides, he’s such a filial bridegroom to help us out with the shop”
They are clearly just aiming for the money!
As one would expect from merchants, trying to make money through their granddaughter.
It absolutely can’t be exposed that I’m Carlo.
How much will they extort out of me if they find out the groom is actually a feudal lord?
I shall remind Elsa to keep silent about that again.
“Anyway, you should look for affordable shops and houses and move in soon. Until then they can stay here, Elsa”
“Well, thank you very much. So what brings you here today?”
I wanted to take your virginity……I mean, I can’t say that!
“No, I just came to get the mask and sword. I’m going to leave for some time again.”
“You go out at such a time? Please take care of yourself”
“Yeah, have a happy new year, Elsa. Use this and see the old year out happily”
I produced some money out of my wallet and gave it to Elsa before I left the hideout.
Her grandparents suggested to have dinner together but I politely declined.
I shouldn’t get involved with those two more than necessary.
“Huh? Car, I mean, Akatsuki-sama, you’re already leaving?”
Doji who waited outside asked with a wondering expression on his face.
“Yeah…… change of plans. I’m going out for a while.”
I’m not crying, I’m not crying.
My eyes are just filled with tears because the cold winter wind blew into them.