Just as the peddler suggested, we hitched a carriage from a city to the capital.
The road was well maintained, and the coupled carriage was pulled by a total of six horses. The ride wasn’t bad, but getting a lift all the way to the Capital cost quite a pretty penny, it seems.
A sum of five silver coins a piece.
With me and Novem together, it was a total equal to a whole gold coin.
I sat and observed the scenery as I stared out the carriage.
Perhaps she was tired, but Novem was sound asleep. She was leaning on me, and breathing peacefully.
(Has she been pushing herself?)
I may be worthless by myself, but it was because Novem was with me that I could get all the way here. Otherwise, I would have probably gotten there eventually, but some time along the way, I would have ended up on foot.
Having never camped out before, travelling alone was completely out of the question, according to my ancestors. I had the vague notion that I would be alright, but it seems they were all fed up with the naivety of my thought process.
Even the Seventh Generation, my grandfather, didn’t stick up for me on that one.
In order not to wake Novem, I kept my eyes on the outside.
As I was doing that, I heard the Second’s voice.
Today is his day to look after me, apparently.
I don’t know the criterion, but while travelling, the first and second, and occasionally the fourth would start up a conversation with me.
There was the problem of my Mana, so having two talk to me at once was tiring. For that reason, they call out to me alone.
『You’ve sure got some convenient things around these days. We didn’t have this coupling system in my day.』
In a small voice, I answered.
“Is that how it was?”
『It’s because that was almost two hundred years ago. Magic Tools, was it? We never had anything that convenient.』
Magic Tools were something built to replace gems. They were a much simpler way to bestow skills unto people. However, perhaps because gems were the stronger of the two, it was impossible for one to use multiple Magic Tools at once.
It’s always either one or two.
But there was the problem with my Mana, so right now, I can’t use a Magic Tool. The Ancestors’ Skills included, the current me is bearing quite a load.
And the majority of them are ones I can’t even use.
Or should I say… the Seventh Generation’s skill was too much for me, myself to handle, so I couldn’t use it. The Second’s was one that interacted with and affected other skills.
About the First Generation’s, because he didn’t recognize me, he didn’t want to let me use it.
The other Skills were similar. Saying my body couldn’t handle it, they refused to give permission to use them.
(I’m in a state where I can’t use any of them, aren’t I?)
“But even if they’ll supply somewhere to stay along the way, is five silver that expensive?”
Apparently, my sense of money is clearly worse than I thought. Fifth generation onward, in order to live their lives as full nobles, had abandoned the sense of money of commoners.
That was apparent when I was choosing a weapon.
Fifth onwards said the more expensive ones would last for an exponentially longer time, and had a good cost-performance-ratio as they recommended a high-priced sword.
But taking the money I had on hand into consideration, that proved impossible. While I was able to afford it, it would make the travels afterwards difficult, so the Second and Third vetoed the decision.
『I think it’s on the cheaper side. You have a safe ride to the capital, and you’ve secured lodging for only five silver, you know? If it were me, I would be delighted. Though they probably have quite a large pool of customers to reap profits from.』
From a commoner’s standpoint, five silver was a hefty sum.
But because it promised for safe travels, there are quite a few who use the system.
『You sure live in a convenient era.』
After saying that, the Second Generation remained silent. I took the Jewel in my hands, and looked into it. The blue crystal was a treasure handed down by the Walt House for generations.
Is it alright for something like that to be in my hands right now?
(I hope it doesn’t become a problem.)
As I thought that, Novem stirred a little. I stuffed the Jewel attached to a necklace back under my shirt.
But Novem didn’t wake.
“Still, for the next five days, we’ll just be travelling like this…”
Around us, horse mounted guards circled the carriage. Looking at them, the other customers seemed relieved.
However, according to my predecessors’ words, the skill level of the escorts wasn’t all that high. That back in their day, the guards were much more skillful. A bragging contest of『My generation was amazing』 unfolded.
(But that part about them bringing up their time is a little… right…)
Like Novem, I opted to sleep.
The evening of the fifth day.
Having arrived at the destination of the coupled carriages, the imperial capital, we decided to search for an inn, as it was already dark.
It would be a pain once night fell, and more than anything, fatigue had built up in my body over those five days of travel. The unfamiliar environment was simply that hard on me.
We should rest a bit… is what the Ancestors proposed. For Novem’s sake.
“Lyle-sama, are you certain? It’s a bit of an expensive lodging this time.”
In front of our eyes, was an inn that, unlike the other ones, was equipped with baths in the private rooms.
Its outward appearance was, as befitting the capital city of the Bahnseim Kingdom, 【Centralle】, exceedingly extravagant.
The air around it was completely different from the villages and towns we passed through.
“Let’s take it easy for today, at least. It’s important to heal the pent up fatigue of a long voyage (And if I don’t, the ancestors are going to get loud, aren’t they).”
Mainly the First to the Fourth. They seem quite wary of her.
If you’re wondering just what it was Novem’s Forxuz House did for them for them to be that grateful…
The first received extensive assistance when he was reclaiming and cultivating the abandoned settlements on his new territory, the Second was imparted with their know-how on how to manage land, and they even helped him search for his bride.
When the Third generation was confused with his own elevation of status, they lent a had as well, apparently.
And after the Third Died in battle, the Fourth suddenly had status thrust at him at a young age, and because of his father’s efforts, the House obtained Baron status under him.
At that time, it was apparently the Forxuz House that supported him from the shadows.
(My homeland, the Walt House, would never have developed so far if the Forxuzes weren’t there… even so, as we’ve made them a vassal house, we’ve been unable to repay those debts.)
It isn’t anything directly related to Novem, but they’re sentiments I tip my hat to.
Of course, that train of thought changed heavily Fifth Generation onwards.
Since they’d associated with each other for many years, they were under the impression that the debt was already paid off. It’s just the First to Fourth had direct, personal debts, so they weren’t satisfied with that.
(And wait, after being so close, for us to not have blood relations…)
I’ll bet there were quite a few circumstances, but anyways, the deeply connected Walt and Forxuz Houses had never been connected through blood.
Normally, after so long, it wouldn’t be strange for there to be a marriage or two thrown in there.
(What are you guys even doing… my House… no, my ancestors.)
From what I’d heard in the meeting room, I feel something vital wasn’t in place somewhere.
From what I’d heard by hearsay, the First Generation was supposedly the one who cut open the path to savage land, and founded his family there. Even so, in reality, he was one who looks like he would often be mistaken for a pelt-wearing barbarian.
“Thank you for accompanying me this far. Well then, shall we go?”
We entered the inn, and found a counter by the door.
It was well maintained, and the room was lighted by a magic stone-like Magic Tool.
The clerk behind the counter cordially welcomed us.
“”Will you be staying the night?
Even their reception was polite.
I’ll be able to get some rest for the first time in a while. That’s what I thought.
As I was sleeping in a fluffy bed for the first in a long time, I was called to the meeting room.
But there was no one there but the First Generation.
He gave me a grade the moment we met, and I’m not really sure how to respond upon being awarded a zero. So…
“Is that so? … Can I go back yet?”
『Why do you have such a low sense of competition!? You’re too well behaved that it’s boring!』
But no matter what answer I return, he’s going to be angry, isn’t he?
As I thought that, I decided to hear what the First had to say.
“And so, what is it? I want to get some rest in preparation for tomorrow.”
『I know! But there was something I wanted to tell you no matter what.』
He seemed serious, but he may merely repeat the same monster accusations as before.
I gave an unpleasant face, but his eyes were earnest. And earnestly, to me… he started talking about the creation of the Kingdom.
『I was born around the time the Kingdom was fifty years old. At that time, there were still survivors from the violent domestic turmoil that resulted.』
“… Hah, is that so?”
『In the place where I lived, there were some soldier who were around when the Royal Faction and the Noble Faction began warring amongst themselves, you see. Those old men would often say it… they often asked why it was they just fought as they were told at the time.』
I recalled the Kingdom’s history that spanned three hundred years. As part of my training, I also studied history, and there, I learned how the country came to be.
Around the time, a Monarchy was acting quite corrupt, and the local nobles couldn’t bear it anymore, so they raised some revolts. What they made from it was the 【Bahnseim Kingdom】.
“Isn’t that because the flames in them had died down?”
『I think so too. But, you see, those old dogs said it was as if they were living in a dream. And at the same time, there was this high-up beauty in the Royal Faction.』
I guess there was quite a pretty woman there.
Well, the current opinion on the matter is that figures like that are mostly the product of stories, and it’s precisely because times and situations change that war happens.
It was a revolt that happened because it was inevitable, or so I was taught.
However, there was apparently a time where a single beautiful woman controlled politics as she wished.
But even if a beauty like that was there, no decent country would let their politics be led around like that.
It’s because the core of the country was already corrupt by that time.
“If it’s about that beautiful woman, I think I’ve heard about her before. But wasn’t that just one of the many excuses that started it?”
『That’s wrong. They really exist, you know. Should I call it the turning points of history? At times like that, the monsters come out. Those guys are much scarier and more malicious than some monster you’d find in the forest.』
Still with a serious expressions, he continued to speak.
『You guys may think it’s some idle gossip, but it really was a chaotic time. My grandparents even said there were way too many strange happenings in that era. They couldn’t believe it themselves. And the one who stirred it all up was… 』
“… A monster?”
『Right! A Supreme beauty who ruined the country! A general a match for an army of thousands! A Magician great enough to lift islands! Those guys all come out at the turning points of history. Your sister is a monster like that. To think a Monster would be born of my own lineage.』
(TL: If you don’t get it, this is a metaphor.)
“T-that couldn’t be.”
As I voiced my skepticism, the First spoke..
『Then you think distance their dear heir? Even if you’re rotten, you’re the man who was to become the next Head. You must have been treated befitting of that. If you don’t like something, then giving an order to change it is normal for your ilk. Also, the fact that you got the minimal treatment is your own fortune.』
『That’s right. You know you were in a situation where it wouldn’t be strange if you died, right? More so than kicking you out because they didn’t like you, it would be easier on them to kill you, and feign that it was an illness.』
Being told that was quite a shock. I truly was in an environment where my needs were minimized. Of course, it was also one where I was never recognized.
And after being told, the fact that I wasn’t killed began to sound strange for the first time. Even for Celes, who treated me as a hated figure.
『Finally starting to get it? You never thought it was strange before, right? Where was the charm that pulled the wool over your eyes? A monster great enough to twist your environment. You’re lucky to have survived. That may just be how much your parents loved you, and resisted that monster.』
A monster that even altered the environment… that was Celes, the First Generation concluded.
『Those ones have nothing like common sense, and it may just be by a whim that you were thrown away. There’s no way for me to understand a monster’s feelings. But they truly do exist.』
The First’s monsters of history.
I was slightly swallowed by his words. My experience with Celes makes it something I can’t laugh away.
“Then… is Celes the cause of it all? I wasn’t wrong?”
『No idea about that one. By what I know about you, you’re a brat oblivious to the world that causes trouble to the old man’s descendants. A true spoiled brat. And I also don’t know that girl known as Celes. I only ever began to be able to speak like this when your Skill manifested in here.』
The things I lacked a response to continued to multiply, and I could do nothing but stay silent. There, the First Generation spoke.
“Hey, you, what do you plan on doing from here on out?”
“Eh? Well… I’ll become an adventurer, right?”
『Wrong! In a time when the country might be swept up in turmoil, and you know it’s going to happen, what is your course of action, is my question! The life of that Novem-chan’s in your hands too! If you act poorly, I’ll smack you, you got that?』
Today, I learned that there were many things I hadn’t been giving thought to.
I thought it would work out one way or another, but right now, I have the existence called Novem alongside me. You could say she arbitrarily tagged along of her own accord, but abandoning her isn’t a possible option.
『… You need to think of yourself more. Just looking at you irritates me.』
Saying that, the First Generation headed off to his room. He opened the door, and slammed it behind him with all his might. Having been left in the meeting room, I thought for a while about what it was I should do.
“It’s come into sight, Lyle-sama!”
Standing up high on the loading cart of the wagon, Novem shouted as she pointed at the city of Dalien that had come into view.
Perhaps because our long voyage was finally coming to an end, Novem’s expression was bright. My mood had also become lighter.
I plan to exert myself as an adventurer in Dalien for the time being. Meaning our travels will be put on a temporary hold.
“It sure has. It doesn’t look like a bad place.”It didn’t seem overflowing with people like the Imperial Capital. And I won’t say it was noisy, but it was a lively city.
Dalien… like Zell had told me, it was a town with the energy to drive forwards its development.
I looked at the side profile of Novem’s happy face as I thought.
(Just… what is it that I should be doing…)
I had been thinking about it since yesterday, but I couldn’t find an answer whatsoever. Even if I wanted to consult someone, it seems that today’s the First Generation’s turn to look over me, so even if I call out, there’s no response.
He must be feeling quite irritated, looking at me.
“The adventurers’ guild in Dalien is is quite big, I hear. There’s an abundance in work to be found, and it’s said to be a perfect place for a novice to start out.”
“Where did you hear something like that?”
“When we were out shopping in the capital. It was where we were to stay for a while, so I was curious as to what sort of place it was.”
As Novem said that, I heard a voice from the Jewel.
『… What a good kid. She’s more than you deserve. Compared to that, you didn’t even try to collect information… che!』
I heard him click his tongue.
“… Novem, I’ve caused you quite a bit of trouble. I-I’ll also work hard from here on.”
I felt my own worthlessness, as I gave my thanks to her.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m doing this because I want to. Lyle-sama, let’s work hard together.”
There, this time, the voice came from the owner of the cart, a young peddler…
… He clicked his tongue. The First Generation as well.