Having dropped by the Trēs House, I was sipping tea in Vera’s room.
The mansion was extravagant, and even with Beim’s high population density, they had a vast yard surrounding it. What’s more, it wasn’t in a bad location like that mansion I’d bought.
In such a location, with all the conditions gathered together, a mansion that looked like overkill had been set up.
And if you were to ask what I was doing in Vera’s room…
“The items on this list? Let’s see. We could likely get them together ourselves, but they’re specialized tools, so it may be best to buy them all together at another shop. Because if you’re buying all this together, they’d usually give a discount. I’ll prepare a letter of introduction, so go buy them with Professor Damien.”
The memo Damien had scribbled out was re-written for readability’s sake, and I handed it to Vera.
“So buying them all at once is more beneficial?”
“With the Trēs Trading Company, we don’t deal in such specialized tools. We may have one or two in stock, but rather than purchasing them one by one, it’s to your benefit to buy them together. You can go there next time you want to buy something too. A shop that sells this sort would be…”
According to my consultation with Vera, if I wanted to buy the implements Damien requested, I would have to go there.
“It’s my loss. You’ve memorized all that?”
As she looked as if she remembered all the merchants and shops in Beim, I said that, and she laughed.
“Of course not. There aren’t too many specialists in this sort of machinery or equipments. It’s not like I know each and every door.”
She explained, as she began writing up a letter of recommendation. The Trēs House’s name was quite effective in Beim.
I heard the Fourth’s voice from the Jewel.
『Lyle, have her introduce a variety of craftsmen. Like some dealing in rare metal.』
The golems Damien was producing… dubbed the 【Valkyries】 by the man, had their skeletal frame parts incorporate rare metal, it seems.
But for the processing, and property selections of the metal, we would need the power of a specialized craftsman. So we would need an introduction so such a craftsman as well.
“While we’re at it, do you know any good craftsmen for processing rare metal? More than that, you know anyone who could work with Tressy’s materials? According to Damien, they were considerably amazing.”
When he saw Tressy’s materials, Damien said they contained some superior metals. But we had not the tools to process them, nor the acquaintances who could.
Vera sat on the sofa, and touched her hand to her chin, looking down a little.
“They’re mainly unknown rare metal, and never-before-seen materials, right? I’m sure there are quite a few craftsmen in Beim who could work with them, but before that… an experienced one who knows not the impossible. If you ask if I know one, then I do, but he’s quite stubborn. Perhaps you could negotiate with metals he’d never usually get to put his hands on?”
I was thinking the same. Collecting up the metal was going to take time. It would also cost money, so I wanted to use as much of Tressy’s leftover materials as I could.
“I did have that on mind. But it seems Damien is more fixated on those materials than I had anticipated. Saying they’ll be put to good use in his own research.”
Perhaps Vera found it funny, as she laughed.
“There’s no helping researchers and craftsmen. They should learn to compromise. I got it. I’ll put in a word. But even if you can meet him with me, he’s a craftsmen who sometimes even declines my father’s requests.”
“Is he that amazing?”
The fact there was a craftsman who would decline the requests of the Trēs House’s head surprised me.
But I could nod to the story.
“He’s a dwarf. They’re long lived, and it seems he’s been our exclusive merchant for a long time. Even in my grandfather’s time, we weren’t able to go against him too strongly. The important parts of the Vera Trēs were made by that dwarf.”
(I guess I’ll try meeting them. If it’s no good, I’ll move on.)
And as I continued talking with Vera like that, a knock resounded through the room. The one to enter was Vera’s younger sister Gina.
With red hair, she was, unlike Vera, abundant… in chest.
“Vera, there’s something I’d like to… oh my.”
As Vera took a discontent sip of tea, Gina-san looked at me with a bit of a troubled expression.
“T-the truth is… it’s about Roland.”
If I recall correctly, that’s the name of Vera’s first love. And at present, he was younger sister’s lover, it seems.
The Seventh let out a dubious voice from the Jewel.
『What could it be. You know… once you know this and that, it makes you want to tell the girl to make a better choice of people to consult her problems with.』
Milleia-san sounded delighted.
『Using these sorts of tactics… these muddy affairs sure are interesting. Even in the Walt house, there was a time where an elder and younger sister of mine were contesting over a single man, you know. In the end, the one who got the guy was a completely irrelevant younger sister, though. 』
The Fifth sounded surprised.
『… I never heard anything like that. Something like that happened?』
Vera sighed, stood, and apologized to me.
“Sorry. It looks like that’s all for today.”
I also stood.
“No, I’m glad we could talk of all that we did. I really apologize I was almost all my own matters.”
“That’s fine. And accept the present later. I told them to hand it to you.”
In truth, it had mostly been about me. A fun conversation with Vera only took ten minutes or so up of the two hours.
The Fourth, in regards to that.
『You were so terrible before, even this is an improvement.』
Milleia-san, hearing that.
『So you were even more terrible before. I’d have liked to have seen that.』
(… Where is the kind young sister the Sixth was always talking about? That was definitely a lie.)
… Once Lyle had left the mansion, Vera went to Gina’s room.
She sat on her sofa, the two facing one another.
A strong light poured into the room, but everywhere it didn’t hit was quite dark.
Vera lowered her voice a bit.
“You don’t have to be so wary of us. Lyle has no intention of taking over the Trēs House.”
No intentions to take over. But Lyle had told her personally. That for the sake of the future, he was thinking of placing some regulations on Beim.
(If someone else said it, I’d wonder what they were even talking about. That sort of talk.)
Hearing that, Gina twitched in response, and after a while, she opened her mouth.
“Um, I’m sure you understand this, but an adventurer succeeding the Trēs House is a bit… even if you don’t have such intentions…”
Hearing Gina’s piece, Vera inferred the general just of it.
(Seeing as I’m not marrying a suitor chosen by father, she came to assure her position in the house. She’s also quite wary of Lyle.)
She knew Gina was moving to officially take Roland as a groom.
And in truth, Vera had always known Gina was the sort to make these sorts of calculated moves. And Gina knew full that Vera herself was in love with Roland.
She knew, and that’s why she moved first to start going out with him.
“Father doesn’t intend to let me succeed either. And it really doesn’t matter who does. What’s more, I haven’t the mind yet to lay hands on the Trēs House’s money. That was all my own funds.”
Gina seemed to be worried about whether Vera would become engrossed in Lyle, and eat away at the House’s assets.
“But would you usually go that far?”
And she surely had a side that cared for her elder sister. But to Vera, that was only a hindrance.
“… Gina, I won’t get in the way of you and Roland. If you want to succeed the Trēs House, then go and do it already. So please don’t get in the way of me and Lyle. I won’t cause you any trouble.”
Or so she thought in her heart…
Leaving Vera’s mansion, I showed my face at the East Branch for the first in a long time.
I had planned to go there from the start, but when I went in, I felt the surrounding stares. I had felt them since I returned to Beim, but as I thought, I stood out.
The low voices.
“Oy, it’s the Holy Knight.”
“Huh? Don’t you mean Knight of Love?”
“It’s that, ain’t it? Not just the Holy Maiden, he got a princess to fall too, or something…”
Hearing the adventurers’ voices, I felt some resentment at the fact most of my rumors were growing terrible.
There, I saw a familiar group.
It was Erhart’s party.
The Third in the Jewel was a little surprised.
『Oh, almost didn’t recognize him there.』
The Third’s surprise wasn’t misplaced. After all, while his tank top showed no alteration, his other equipment had become complete.
While it did feel he was the only one fully equipped, his other comrades were wearing the brand-new equipment of novice adventurers.
He was standing in Marianne-san’s line, keeping relatively quiet. He stood alongside another, as his other companions were on standby in a corner of the lobby.
There, noticing me, Erhart thrust out his finger.
I thought he had become a bit more decent, but it seems his insides hadn’t changed all that much. Deceived by his appearance, I had come under the impression he had matured.
“Long time no see. You doing well?”
When I dealt with him with a smile, he was as brimming with vigor as always. He was glaring my way, but his comrade grabbed his shoulder, letting him regain his composure.
“Hah! You’ve gotten just a little bit famous, but we’ll catch up to you in no time. No, we’ll pass you by before you know it!”
He was belligerent, but it doesn’t look like he would try to come at me or anything.
(What’s this? Even this miniscule change makes me feel he’s grown. Maybe it’s because I saw that adventurer of Cartaffs, but this guy is starting to look decent.)
“I’m counting on it.”
I said, as I started up the stairs. Perhaps Erhart’s turn in line came, as he went over to the receptionist Marianne-san with his head held high, and started up a conversation.
Seeing him like that, I gave a bitter smile, but just a bit…
(Huh? Why does Marianne-san look a little sad?)
… I ended up thinking that.
The Guild’s third floor.
When I went to individually check with a receptionist on my future requests, I found Tanya-san at the desk.
Black bob-cut, bespectacled with the air of a capable woman, she conversed with me, and helped me think over my future objectives as an adventurer.
With the East Branch being a dispatch-type Guild, quite an amount of time was needed for each request. So if you wanted to make money, it would be quite difficult.
But adventurers recognized by a branch could, like this, be introduced to requests of high difficulty, and favorable profits.
Tanya-san confirmed the request I had chosen.
“Very well, so you wish to complete this one next. While you’re at it, could I get you to take care of a cheaper one as well? There are a few on the way.”
Saying she wanted me to take care of a few miscellaneous jobs, she let me review the contents.
“This definitely isn’t on the way, is it? It’s a bit of a detour. Well, not that I mind. I want to participate in the next Labyrinth Subjugation after all.”
When I put in a bit of cynicism, Tanya-san gave a wry smile.
“It’s because you’re a skilled adventurer, Lyle-kun. We’ll properly call out to you when the time comes. Come to think of it, Alette-san’s party has returned, but have you met up with her yet? Last she came in, she said that her timing was off, and she missed a chance to meet you.”
I tilted my head.
Alette Baillet… a female knight even said to be the next vice-captain of Lorphys’ knights. With Lorphys’ newly expanded territory, I thought she would be living a life chased by the demons of work.
I couldn’t see why she had returned to Beim.
“When her own country is so busy, I’m surprised they could dispatch her back to Beim. I get the feeling their financial situation isn’t that bad, you know.”
“… I won’t ask why you’re so knowledgeable on Lorphy’s financial affairs. But she’s probably here for you, Lyle-kun.”
I couldn’t see the reason for that either. I looked down a bit in thought.
There, the Seventh spoke.
『I don’t think they’re trying to make an enemy of us, but could it be enclosure? If they wanted to kill Lyle here, it would become another spark with Zayin. It’s hard to think they would work together with Zayin to kill Lyle.』
(TL: Enclosure, as in the process of converting public property into private property)
The Fourth laughed.
『Their country’s internal affairs are going right through us! If they came to kill him, I’m sure we could go crush them.』
(How scary. But I can actually think of a number of means.)
Having worked in Zayin, I came to understand quite a few weaknesses of Zayin and Lorphys. Like which locations to attack to give the most possible damage.
(And both places only have one successor at present. Zayin has Thelma-san, but it would be hard for her to make a comeback at this point.)
Tanya-san collected up the documents as she spoke.
“Well, it’s not like she’s got her eyes on you in a bad sense, so if you find the time, why not try and meet her?”
I nodded, and thought over when to meet her.
It was that moment. I suddenly remembered Marianne-san’s saddened face.
“This is a completely different matter, but you know Marianne-san who’s in charge of Erhart’s party? Did something happen between her and Erhart? She looked a little sad, or how should I put it… just wondering if those guys did anything.”
There, Tanya-san looked a little surprised. But it seems something came to mind at once, as she explained it to me.
What she spoke of was likely just what she was permitted to say.
“They’ve become shockingly more diligent than they started out. They’re able to reliably earn high evaluations on odd jobs, after all. Well, I’m telling you because I doubt there will be a problem, but it’s getting close to the time for them to graduate.”
“They’ve lost the need to have an exclusive receptionist. Of course, from here on, there will be times when she’ll deal with them normally. Even so, seeing an adventurer come of age, even a receptionist has some things to think about. And Marianne’s an especially kind one.”
Compleeting requests, saving money, and getting equipment in order.
Young adventurers who properly prepared, as long as they didn’t push themselves, had a high chance of survival.
What’s more, Erhart was a Skillholder.
They’d surely be just fine with the monsters around Beim.
“Not to sound rude, but I thought it was something darker than that.”
Tanya0san upon hearing that, sharpened her gaze a little.
“… I won’t deny the fact there are receptionists like that, but Marianne isn’t one of them.”
On her words I apologized, and Tanya-san apologized as well. And with the papers all in order, she put them in an envelope, and handed them over to me.
At the end.
“Well, receptionists have a lot going on as well.”
She said that.