After completing our adventure registration, Novem and I found a relatively moderate priced inn to stay at.
Having secured and settled into a room, we looked over the booklet Hawkins had given us.
Its contents were quite simple.
【Don’t cause trouble to people.】
There were also some things pertaining to the guild’s rules and manners.
“… It’s as if it were geared towards children.”
I let out my frank opinion, and Novem concurred.
“That’s right. But things like this are important too.”
From the Jewel, the Second Generation’s voice showed extreme approval.
『Right! That’s right! There are a lot of people out there who can’t even follow simple iron-clad rules!』
(Those words seem to have his true feelings behind them, or should I say, it seems he has a lot of discontentment, that Second Generation.)
I looked through it from start to finish, before closing it and putting it away. Novem had also finished it.
There, I decided to bring up something I had been curious about.
“Novem, about that money…”
Before I could finish, the Second Generation cut me off from within the Jewel.
『Lyle, stop! Don’t ask about it! No, wait, I don’t want to hear about it!』
But the First Generation seemed curious, as he pressed further.
『Why’s that? Just ask if you’re curious. And wait, the Forxuz House is currently a Baron one, right? They must have deep pockets, right? Does that mean we’ve been able to repay them a bit?』
As the First Generation was letting out a satisfied voice, the Second shouted.
And along with that, my Mana depleted.
『You fool! Even if they’re a Baron House, Novem-chan’s the second daughter! Preparing such a large sum is going to be quite reckless, even for a Baron’s kid. Recognize that!』
(… Eh? Really?)
I hadn’t noticed that. The value of ten gold was still not what I would consider to be that large of a sum.
Novem’s expression was a little troubled.
But she smiled as she spoke.
“It’s fine, Lyle-sama. It definitely was quite an expenditure, but we still have some reserves.”
As I thought, ten Gold really was a hefty sum.
Since I didn’t even have many gold ones on me, it even made me mildly jealous.
“I’m surprised you had so much on you. Was it from your parents?”
“N-no, well… um…”
“It wasn’t? Then what?”
There, the Second started screaming loudly. However, I was the only one who could hear it.
『Don’t go any further, is what I’m trying to tell you!!』
Novem hung her head. Finally realizing that I had probably asked what I shouldn’t have, I began to become a little panicked.
“N-no, well… I was just a little curious, so…”
I tried to bring an end to the conversation, but before that, Novem opened her mouth.
“My parents did indeed prepare some funds for my travels. But, well… it was my own flight of fancy, so I couldn’t really accept it, and… so, well…”
She looked like she had some trouble getting the words out, before she voiced something unthinkable.
“The clothes and household implements prepared for my marriage to Lyle-sama, I sold them. I deeply apologize.”
Looking at her disheartened face, I realized I had screwed up. On top of that, the ancestors in the Jewel started talking amongst themselves.
『Eh? Implements… eh?』
The First was bewildered.
『That’s why I warned you! Stop it… the feeling of guilt is…』
The third also spoke.
『This is about my era, but the dowry prepared for the house you marry into, for a woman, it was quite a fortune back then… how is it now?』
The Seventh Generation answered.
『It still is a fortune. It’s a fortune you bring with you from your own home, and the family you marry into doesn’t have the right to use it freely. And wait, the family that sent her out was probably doing the best they could, so… considering the Walt House’s current status, we may have asked the unreasonable of the Forxuz House.』
Hearing that, the First and Fourth Generations screamed out.
『That’s why I told you not to ask! For a girl to have that sort of money on her person, there’s got to be a reason!!』
『I’m sorry sis, I’m sorry that even my descendants are bringing trouble to you…』
(TL: He uses ane-san, which, rather than siblings, hints to a boss-subordinate relationship)
『What are we going to do about this one!? My descendants are still bothering the Forxuz House! Just what do I have to do to repay this debt!?』
The First just kept screaming. The second seemed to have a vague idea from the start.
The Third seemed to reminisce about the times he was taken care of by the Forxus House, and he began to apologize.
From his voice, the Fourth Generation seemed to be spilling quite an amount of tears.
(This is using up my Mana like crazy, you know… and wait, my ancestors gave them this much trouble as well?)
For them to support the Walt House this far, were they not an overly benevolent clan?
In truth, Novem was also serving me.
(Also… this feeling of guilt is nothing to laugh at.)
To marry into a family, even if you weren’t a noble, the woman’s family was supposed to prepare a dowry. I should add on, ‘if it’s a decent family,’ that is.
But from a girl’s point of view, marriage was one of the most important scenes of life’s events. The belongings and clothing bought for it were probably purchased without compromise.
To her, it was probably something like her treasure. She sold it, and used it for my sake.
(Eh? But wait a minute… for her to be able to prepare the money in the few days following my expulsion from the house…)
Thinking along those lines, did she open a yard sale with those household implements she gathered up or something?
Noticing that, my face turned pale, but Novem tried to console me.
“Don’t worry. They were still officially the property of my parents, but I properly obtained permission. Also, in order for Lyle-sama to succeed as a splendid adventurer, it was a necessary transaction. I’m happy I was able to use them like that.”
Once they’d been bought once, furniture counted as used. What’s more, if she was selling them in a rush, the merchants would likely beat down the prices. Naturally, the merchant’s side was probably troubled, having her come to them all of a sudden.
Compared to the price they were bought at, there’s no doubt she sold them for quite a lower sum.
Perhaps because they were tired from all the screaming, the Jewel was silent. No, there’s also the possibility my Mana was at its limit.
In all truth, I did feel considerably tired.
“Why would you go that far? They’re the belongings you preciously assembled, right? Even if it wasn’t me, you’d be sure to find a marriage partner soon enough. Even so… why did you go as far as to sell them to tag along with me!?”
I ended up taking out some of my anger on her.
Having lost my status as future head, I was a man who was abandoned by his family.
I was oblivious to the world, and I bothered Novem enough that the ancestors were fed up with me.
If you’re looking for anything I’ve built up over the years, the current me has nothing. No status, and no money. I simply couldn’t understand why Novem would stick herself to a man like that.
When my parents began to give me a cold treatment at ten, I gradually witnessed the surrounding people distancing themselves from me. Even at that time, I got the feeling Novem was by my side.
Betting on the slight chance that I would become the next heir, on me…
But right now, I truly have nothing. For her to still follow me is something I couldn’t believe somewhere in my heart.
“There’s no value in trying to serve me! To my younger sister… to Celes, I lost, and my family drove me out! I’m that wimpy and idiotic of a man! I… have no value at all!”
Novem looked at me with all earnesty. From her violet irises, I averted my eyes. I was scared of seeing her giving up on me.
From back then, I exerted myself, as if driven by fear. I exerted myself to not be thrown away.
But that effort was always all too easily surpassed. Every time that happened, I just tried even harder than before.
… Even when I knew it would never be requited.
I always kept at it alone.
There, Novem spoke to me.
“… It’s because I was always watching.”
“When we were small, Lyle-sama really could accomplish anything, and he was so kind… Do you remember? Back then, I was alone, and even when I was called to the Count-sama’s mansion, I couldn’t get close to the other kids.”
My youthful memories are all nice ones to me. But due to my anguish at ten, I had gradually started to forget them.
“Come to think of that, you’re right. But while you were alone, you were quite wary of your surroundings, and to attract people’s attention, you would often pull pranks on the men, right?”
By trying to gain attention through mischief, she only served to isolate herself more. As the successor to a Count’s house, I remember trying to mediate her disputes.
It’s a memory from my childhood.
(That time may have been the most enjoyable of my life.)
“You always tried your hardest, and even after getting a cold reception from your family, you never gave up… Looking at that, I decided to try my best as well.”
From ten onwards, I was separated from my surroundings. And I ended up living mostly alone.
I had memories of Novem being around, but with the rumors being spread about me, I never called out to her.
“It was when I was thirteen. I was called by my parents, and told that my marriage to Lyle-sama had been established. I was happy. Happy that I could support you from your side.”
“… But it’s all useless. My effort was all useless in front of that girl.”
Due to the sudden loss of my Mana, my vision became hazy.
Me taking out my anger was because my sense of self control was waning… I think.
Tears are starting to come out.
“There’s no one… who’ll look at me.”
“I was always watching. Lyle-sama, you tried your best.”
“But I was driven out… I lost everything…”
I indecisively issue out complaints, but Novem gently patted my shoulder.
“I’m here. I’m by your side.”
“My parents don’t need me. They never looked at me… all I wanted was their praise, and yet…”
My tears are sloppily falling down. The feelings I had been enduring in the depths of my heart were starting to rise up, making my mood just a little lighter.
“I was watching. You were splendid, Lyle-sama. No matter the time, you never gave up, and even when you were scared, you would stand your ground. You’re a splendid person.”
I was afraid.
Of the existence of my sister.
The perfect being known as Celes was truly scary. But I couldn’t stand to run away. Even if I knew I would lose, I would challenge her.
And so, I lost everything.
Now, it’s starting to not matter to me. I thought everything would work out one way or another, but society isn’t that kind of an entity.
For someone like me, I’m not sure where I would be if Novem wasn’t there.
“You have value, Lyle-sama. I can say that with confidence. So let’s try our hardest together.”
That night, I fell asleep, while still clinging to Novem…
『There’s no one who’ll look at me~.』
『I lost everything~.』
『But Novem-chan’s by your side~.』
『This is where you should stand up for yourself! Don’t act so spoiled!』
The First, Fourth, and Third were singing, and lastly, the Second shouted at me.
On our second day in Dalien, we took the newbie course at the guild, bought whatever items were necessary, and slept in preparation for tomorrow.
But I was told that an emergency meeting was to be called, so I was forcefully dragged to the meeting room.
On the circular room surrounded by eight doors, four people were dancing on the table as they teased me.
“S-so you guys were watching…”
It’s embarrassing. Ridiculously embarrassing.
It was so embarrassing that I couldn’t look Novem in the eye the next morning. When night fell, the ancestors began teasing me about an embarrassing memory.
『We’re the ones who should be feeling embarrassed here!』
The First had been singing in high spirits, but his face completely changed as he shouted at me.
“I was embarrassed too, you know! But my Mana was drained, and I was wobbling unsteadily, and my mood was also down, so there was no helping it, given the situation!”
I rebuked with all my might, but the eyes around me were cold.
The Seventh Generation…
『W-well… he was driven out of the house at the ripe age of fifteen, so Lyle’s still a child, right…? S-so you were lonely, Lyle?』
“Stop it! I don’t need your sympathy! It’ll make me unnecessarily embarrassed!”
As I hid my face with both hands, I found that my head was quite feverish.
My face was definitely bright red right now.
In a meeting room like that, perhaps the Fifth Generation was irritated, so he strained his voice.
『Let’s get to the main topic already. You’ve teased him enough, haven’t you?』
The Fourth got off the table and returned to his seat.
『That’s right. We’ve got some teasing material for later, so let’s call a close today.』
The First Generation said it with a satisfied tone, but having them see my embarrassing moments, I couldn’t offer a complaint.
(This’ll definitely be arbitrarily brought into conversations to come. These guys…)
“And so, what’s with the urgent meeting?”
I wanted to get this over with already, so I transitioned to the main point.
There, the Fourth Generation started up his role as a facilitator and broke the ice.
『Lyle… how about you just get married to Novem-chan already?』
“Yes, marriage, is it. I see……………… Eh? Marriage!?”
I looked at Generations Five and onwards.
Generally, Five and on didn’t favor Novem.
So about their opinion on the matter…
『Marry her already. And wait, I think it’ll be hard for you to find someone willing besides that child. You know the Walt House’s precepts, right?』
The Walt Family Precepts were a set or required criterion to go by when choosing a woman for the Walt Family.
Having apparently been set by the First Generation, it’s still held strong in the Walt Family.
“I-I know them… and Novem definitely clears the requirements, but…”
The Walt House Precepts. Those are…
【A woman to be welcomed as a wife must, first of all, have a superior appearance.】
【Second, be healthy.】
【Third, have a sturdy body.】
【Fourth, have a good head on her shoulders】
【Fifth, have nice skin.】
Those five. Since we became a Count family, a clause about magic was also added.
【Sixth, must excel in magic.】
It appears the Fifth Generation tacked that one on.
The Second Generation continues to heavily recommend her.
『You may have been exiled from the Walt house, but no matter how you look at it, the next head’s got to be Lyle, right? It’s still a continuing family, for argument’s sake, and I also went through some trouble, but if you let Novem-chan get away, I doubt you’d find anyone else. And wait, if you’re not going to get yourself married after all of that, I’ll seriously curse you to death man.』
The Sixth Generation takes control.
『Let’s put cursing and whatnot aside for now, and so, there’s no objections to this marriage, right? Lyle, go get hitched as soon as you can.』
“N-no, it’s not that I don’t like Novem. But even if you tell me that all of a sudden, I don’t have the aptitude, or anything like that…”
There, the Third spoke.
『Then you just have to try hard from here on. If you’ve undergone a proper education, then you should be able to handle most things to some extent. Well, I never had trouble finding a bride, so I don’t really know, but it’s apparently quite dreadful, you know?』
Hearing that, the Second Flew into a rage.
『That’s because I’m the one who found her for you! So that you wouldn’t have trouble finding someone like me, just how hard do you think I worked!?』
While meeting room was getting heated up, the First Generation said something quite troublesome.
『Hey… what’s a precept?』
As if he really didn’t comprehend it, he tilted his head, as he gazed at everyone’s faces.
『I kinda had a feeling he would say something like that.』
『Why doesn’t the First Generation know?』
『Wait a second. Wasn’t it the criteria set forth by the First Generation?』
Everyone was shocked. No, only the Second Generation was shaking with anger, and it looked as if he was going to explode.
The First was completely oblivious to all of this.
『Novem-chan’s a good kid, so I do think it’s best if you get hitched. But what’s all this about precepts? Was there some restriction on choosing marriage partners? What idiot set forth some pain-in-the-ass rule like that?』
The Second stood up, and pointed his finger in rage.
『It was you, dumbass!!』
『Eh? No way.』
It appears that the First Generation had no recollection of the so called regulations.