Lyle Walt is a young noble boy and heir looking forward to the day he can inherit his family’s territory. Except around when he was 10 year old, his parents started neglecting him more and more in favour of his little sister, Celes.
On his fifteenth birthday, he is challenged to a duel by his sister to see who will inherit the household and horribly loses, being cast out of his family. Afterwards, he gets treated by the family groundskeepers and receives the family heirloom Gem from him that Lyle’s grandfather had entrusted to him. From there, he begins an aimless journey with his childhood friend and former fiancée, Novem, and the Gem-turned-Jewel that houses the memories, personalities, and Skills of seven of his ancestors.
Chapter 1 – Jewel
I saw a dream. A dream of the past.
I was watching the me of the past when I still hadn’t given up, thinking that someday, someone would look at me, while swinging my saber frantically in the back yard of the mansion.
Was the pathetic figure of myself swinging a saber while crying twelve years old or thirteen years old? While thinking that, a girl being led by a servant appeared.
"……Come to think of it, there was something like that huh."
The servant introduced the girl to me, then he returned just like that. And then, brown hair that looked sparkling──was it called a foxlight brown color? A girl with such hair tied into a side ponytail spoke to me with a red face that kept facing down.
"Lyle-sama, due to the talk between the Walt House and my house, it has been decided that I will be your fiancée."
Facing the girl who became my fiancée, the young me was taking a cold attitude.
"You are also unlucky huh. Getting pushed onto a failure like me……it’s fine even if you don’t come here anymore."
I guess that I became unable to believe in other people due to the treatment of the people around me. But, the girl showed her face in the mansion even since then. No matter how many times I told her that she didn’t need to come, she would bring herself to the mansion as much as possible.
I looked at the me who treated the girl like she was a bother when she was so devoted like that.
Thinking back now it was terrible treatment, but when I thought that obviously she would betray me right away when I opened up my heart to her, it was scary.
"What was it again? She said that I helped her in the past, or did I do something before I was shunned that made her like me? But, it doesn’t matter anymore……that’s right, there is nothing that matters anymore."
Everything was over.
I had nothing left anymore. Nothing at all.
When I looked at the mirror hung on the room’s wall, my blue haired and blue eyed figure was reflected there. The bandage that was stained with blood looked painful, but I looked at my face rather than that. It was an expression that was lacking in ambition and eyes that had no strength even for me. It made me hate myself. I unsightly……survived.
The me inside the mirror was making a terribly tired face.
When I took off the blood stained bandage, my wounds were closed. Perhaps expensive medicine was used on my scald, because none remained. A voice called out from behind.
"How are you feeling, young master?"
When I turned around, there was an old man standing there.
He was my life’s savior, a strange person.
He was wearing a hat, and his trousers was stained with dirt, perhaps because he came back from outside. Looks like today he was tending to the garden.
The old man built a small house in the mansion’s garden and lived there while working as a gardener. His wife had died, and apparently he had children and grandchildren, but right now they were living outside the mansion. It seemed that he received permission from my grandfather, the previous head of the house, to reconstruct the shed that stored the gardening tools into a house.
"Thank you, I’m feeling considerably well now."
"That’s great. You were really in danger there, young master. Your wounds could be treated a little more thoroughly if it’s by the mansion’s doctor, but……"
The old man who was looking apologetic was formerly a soldier even though he looked like this. He seemed to have knowledge of how to treat wounds and the like, and skillfully treated my injuries. Although what he found difficult to say even more than about the treatment was──
"I’m someone who was driven out of the mansion after all."
Looking at me smiling powerlessly, the old man──Zel-jiisanold man/gramps sat down on the chair inside the room.
There were several gardeners of the mansion, but Zel-jiisan was the only one living in the mansion. I had heard my parents saying several times that it was troubling they couldn’t tell Zel-jiisan to leave seeing he had worked in the mansion since grandfather’s era. I wondered how many years ago I heard that story?
I sat down on the bed while thinking that. My body was still tired. I really couldn’t move too much. While sitting I said my thanks to Zel-jiisan who was my life’s savior.
"Thank you for saving me, Zel-jiisan. Although, I cannot do anything to repay you. It’s pathetic but, I have nothing on me."
Seeing the dejected me, Zel-jiisan let out a deep sigh. I was really happy that my life was saved. I felt a bit happy having a proper conversation with someone else after so long.
"You didn’t wake up for three days. I was really worried there. However, the situation of the mansion recently, it’s abnormal even from my point of view. Just what in the world happened……"
Apparently even from the view point of Zel-jiisan who had served the Walt House for a long time, the mansion right now looked abnormal.
(It was from about five years ago huh. I cannot really remember matters of the past anymore.)
I was treated coldly and spent my days working hard, wanting someone to look at me. I had become unable to remember clearly the warm family from before that. It was the painful days that were strongly remaining in my memory.
"Not just what happened to the young master this time, but also about how the young miss became the heiress. If the previous head heard of this, he would have gotten extremely angry. Maizel-sama has really changed."
Zel-jiisan took his hat and strongly gripped it with a frustrated expression.
My grandfather, Brod Walt, was a stern noble. He was a feudal lord, had the position as a Count, and was one of the most influential nobles even in the Bahnseim Kingdom.
When he was still active, he was also appointed as an advisor of his Majesty, the King of Bahnseim. He also excelled in internal administration as a feudal lord, but as expected the impression he left from taking command of soldiers and achieving great deeds several times on the battlefield was stronger.
Apparently he was also a really stern person.
It seemed even father was nervous in front of grandfather. But, grandfather was really affectionate to me, his first grandson. Because of that, another side of him that was different from the impression I heard of from the surroundings strongly came to mind.
"I only have gentle impressions of grandfather though. But, I don’t have any face to meet him, now that I cannot succeed the house. Surely I will get scolded. He is going to call me a pathetic grandson."
Grandfather held expectations towards me. I betrayed his expectations. Thinking that all my hard work until now ended up in vain. I had nothing anymore. Nothing……. remained.
"Don’t think too hard of it. Brod-sama, too, would surely understand. If he was alive, surely he would protect the young master."
I recalled my deceased grandparents. The two who were happy of my growth. But, right now they weren’t in this world anymore.
"Yes, it would be nice if that was the case. But, grandfather isn’t here anymore. I wonder what I should do from now on……for now, it will be no good if I don’t leave the mansion."
When I smiled self-depreciatingly, Zel-jiisan stood up and moved towards the kitchen to prepare a drink. I stayed in place and looked down while holding back the tears. Did I do something bad? I still didn’t find the answer.
How did it become like this……why did I…….
When the fifth day came, my body was completely healed.
Thanks to Zel-jiisan using expensive medicine for me unsparingly, my wound’s recovery was fast. I became worried whether Zel-jiisan was forcing himself, but the person himself laughed and only said "Please don’t worry". He took care of me with a smile, saying that he was able to pay back his debt to my grandfather the previous head.
But, I too was feeling bad for being a bother to Zel-jiisan continuously. Besides, I was someone driven out from the house.
Perhaps a difficulty might visit Zel-jiisan who was sheltering me. If it was that Celes, she wouldn’t even bat an eyelid from just doing that much.
Thinking that I couldn’t continue burdening Zel-jiisan forever, I talked to him during dinner on the fifth day. Both of us sat around a small table and ate the dish cooked by Zel-jiisan while broaching the topic under the light of the lantern placed on the table. However, thinking that it would worry Zel-jiisan if I left without any prospect, I──
"Zel-jiisan, I’m thinking of becoming an adventurer."
──spoke randomly. It wasn’t like I wanted to become an adventurer. Just, thinking about the future, the only prospects that came to mind was either becoming an adventurer or a mercenary.
"Adventurer, is it? No, but……with the young master’s strength, it’s not beyond you to become an official of a noble house somewhere."
I shook my head sideways. Certainly there might be a possibility of being accepted as an official. Even like this I had received education to be the successor of the Walt House. But, I might be a bother for the place that accepted me. Even as a noble, or even as a feudal lord, the Walt House was a large house. It had that much authority. If it was that Celes, it felt like she might do something like threatening the place where I was accepted as an official. Surely that girl would hinder me while laughing. Why did she hate me that much?
I didn’t have any recollection of it, so I also couldn’t understand it.
"This is a fresh start from zero after I lost everything. I will become an adventurer so I can live by my own strength."
When Zel-jiisan heard that,
"I don’t know what to say……Brod-sama will surely faint if he heard that. However, if it’s the path that the young master chose, perhaps that is also fine. Because, if it’s the young master, surely you won’t stray off the right path."
I tilted my head seeing Zel-jiisan smiling wryly. Then, Zel-jiisan placed his spoon and scratched his cheek with his finger.
"Brod-sama hated adventurers and mercenaries. If he faced an adventurer or a mercenary, he would look at them with a biased viewpoint no matter what……he would give them harsh evaluations. He would hate them no matter what. Although it was understandable given the reason that made him like that."
I felt surprised hearing such a story of grandfather. I thought he was a person who judged someone based on their personality and ability without regard of their status.
"Is that so."
"There was various things in the past. However, so the young master will become an adventurer."
I spoke jokingly in order to give the worried Zel-jiisan a peace of mind.
"If I become a first class adventurer, my earnings will also be amazing right? I heard that you can earn several hundred gold coins from just one work? If I can become like that, then I’ll also be able to repay back Zel-jiisan."
Hearing that Zel-jiisan laughed loudly. He looked happy watching me.
"Hahaha, I’ll look forward to that, young master."
He must be going along with my joke. Although, inside my heart I didn’t think that the business of an adventurer would be that simple. Or rather, I also knew about the unpleasant aspect of it.
Even like this I was formerly the heir of a feudal lord. Naturally I also had that kind of knowledge.
Fighting monsters and receiving rewards, challenging labyrinths and bringing back treasures──that was the figure of an adventurer that anyone admired. No wonder children would be in admiration If they heard such a story, but in actuality, adventurers were nothing more than a gathering of ruffians.
If an adventurer introduced themselves as a mercenary, then they were a mercenary. Those same mercenaries would also do something like attacking and plundering villages without remorse. If adventurers that normally fought against powerful monsters became bandits, that was surely an absurd threat from the viewpoint of the general populace. However, it also didn’t mean that all adventurers were bad people.
For adventurers with real strength, it would be possible for them to receive favorable treatment and be hired as officials. Adventurers with fame and who led a powerful mercenary group would be hired with a large sum of money by their employer and would even receive a warm welcome. It was also a fact that among them were adventurers that could be respected as human beings.
"However, adventurer is it. In that case, the free city Beim would be the best place for it."
Zel-jiisan was seriously pondering about the random speech that came out of my mouth.
"Beim? It’s the city of merchants that doesn’t have a feudal lord isn’t it? It should be a commerce area with other countries though? Certainly I heard that there were many adventurers and mercenaries there, but that place is the best place?"
It was a country that I have heard about to a certain degree. It was positioned with another country caught between it and the Bahnseim Kingdom, so I don’t really know about it in much detail.
"It has a local characteristic that gathers adventurers and mercenary groups to it. Its surrounding countries are involved in skirmishes every year, so adventurers and mercenary groups find it easier to earn money there. Besides, due to its flourishing commerce, people and goods flock towards the money. In that kind of place, even if you don’t do anything, various people will come. There are also a lot of bad people there. Young master too, please be careful."
There were a lot of adventurers who turned criminal. If that happened, they would receive banishment measure from the adventurer guild, and there were also some who became wanted men with bounties on their head. In towns or cities that were equipped with a large adventurer guild, there were also people called Sweepers who dealt with such criminals, or even bounty hunters who hunt people with a bounty on their head.
It was the image of adventurers that there were a lot of ruffians among them. Could I make a living in such a place? Like that, I became slightly timid despite my random talk. I didn’t even think about something like where I would become an adventurer. Besides, thinking carefully, being an adventurer was a dangerous occupation.
After pondering for a bit, Zel-jiisan looked at me and gave me a push.
"Hahaha, don’t be so worried. There won’t be any problem if you don’t go to places where it looks like bad guys will gather. It’s just, if you are going to Beim, it might be better to head there after getting experience as an adventurer."
For the current me the hurdle must be too high to suddenly go to Beim.
"I see. I think it will be fine to become an adventurer at place like the Royal Capital Centralle though."
The largest city of Bahnseim was the capital Centralle as expected. I had never gone there before, but I heard that it was a really large city. If I went to such a place, I believed there would be job for an adventurer there.
Then, Zel-jiisan shook his head sideways. He said that the capital didn’t need adventurers.
"There are also a lot of people there, but there are the knight order and the soldiers there to keep the public order. I really cannot recommend becoming an adventurer in the capital. There should also be few work to be found there."
I who wasn’t really knowledgeable about an adventurer’s situation listened to Zel-jiisan’s story.
"It’s also the same with the Weihs area that is the territory of the Walt House. Work for an adventurer will be few when the public order is good. Why do you think that is?"
"……Because there are few monsters?"
"Yes. Monsters and bandits can be subjugated by their own effort in places where the governing is done properly. A place that needs adventurers is a place with bad public order or a place that has a shortage of labor. Places like Beim are an exception."
Beim was a city of merchants. At the same time, there were also many adventurers there looking for work. Because there was no feudal lord, that might be why a lot of work gets distributed to the adventurers.
But, there was also a guild in the territory of the Walt House, but…….
"There is no work for adventurers in our territory too?"
Zel-jiisan stroked his beard while speaking.
"I heard that they are given work to a degree. Besides, the Weihs area is vast. There are also a lot of places where the governing doesn’t reach purely because of the vast size of the territory."
Now I was feeling a bit of interest towards adventurers that I mentioned as a random excuse. I didn’t have any plan for the future anyway. Now it seemed that becoming an adventurer would also be interesting.
"Centralle is no good. If Beim is also difficult……where would be good then? As for me, I want to get out from this house right away. The Weihs area isn’t an option."
Zel-jiisan spoke the name of several cities.
"Speaking about famous places, it’s a bit far but there is the academy city Arumsaas. Other than that Orlan that is a gathering for adventurers and mercenary groups is also famous. Its border is also directly facing our border. But, I don’t recommend that place too much. There are a lot of skirmishes there."
"Orlan huh……will it be alright if I go until Remlraudt and then go to Orlan from there?"
Orlan was a city that was positioned relatively near. There was a feudal lord protecting the national border there, and the area together with the Walt House’s Weihs area was holding Remlraudt in between, so the highway connecting the two areas was well maintained.
"My apologies, young master. I’m not that knowledgeable about adventurers, the best I can do is only mentioning several city names……"
Zel-jiisan also wasn’t that knowledgeable about an adventurer’s circumstances. Rather, he was an old man silently tending the garden of the mansion. But, I simply had never talked with him until now, he also ordinarily knew about a lot of interesting things.
I thought that it would have been great if I could have become closer with Zel-jiisan a bit earlier.
"Beim, Arumsaas, Orlan……Orlan is the nearest. Perhaps it will be better to become an adventurer there."
Zel-jiisan looked a bit worried seeing me speaking carefreely.
"Young master, please don’t be too reckless. You can find the story of young adventurers acting recklessly and dying as a result, anywhere. I don’t know about adventurers, but even on the battlefield it’s the same."
In order to reassure Zel-jiisan I,
"Don’t worry. I’ll defeat monsters and conquer dungeons. And then I’ll become a first class adventurer. Or rather, I wonder how does an adventurer make a living. I only know that they receive jobs from the guild."
Then, Zel-jiisan rubbed his eyes looking a bit exasperated. I tilted my head, wondering if I had something stupid.
"Well, the young master was unable to learn about the state of affairs regarding that after all. Originally, the young master should have been given a chance to go outside at the age when you started to be confined in the mansion."
Zel-jiisan looked at me a bit sadly. Seeing that, I felt an indescribable feeling. Since my parents gave up on me, I was simply kept alive in the mansion.
Certainly I might be living a life that it couldn’t be helped even if it was called as a life of confinement. Come to think of it, why did I just accept that? It felt normal when I was inside the mansion…….
While I was pondering, Zel-jiisan taught me about adventurers.
"I also don’t know about it in detail but, anyone can become an adventurer if they register in the adventurer guild. Over there, there is basically no difference between noble or commoner. Just, in Bahnseim, a noble or knight becoming an adventurer isn’t really seen in a positive light."
I nodded, but I wasn’t really informed about the circumstance of such matter. My knowledge was only limited to knowing that there was a tendency to think that a job like being an adventurer wasn’t fitting for a noble or knight.
"Next about the work……young master, are you thinking that an adventurer’s work is always about fighting?"
"Is that wrong?"
When I replied with a serious face, Zel-jiisan shook his head sideways.
"Certainly monster extermination and dungeon subjugation are included in the work of adventurers. But, to reach that point adventurers have to earn the money to buy their arms. There must also be people who cannot obtain loans. Even if they can, whether they can obtain a loan in the amount that can purchase arms or not is unclear……for those kinds of people, the guild will act as mediator to give them work. Well, it will be work like manual labor."
Hearing that, the image I had of adventurers until now was crumbling. I thought that an adventurer’s job was to carry weapons and fight monsters, but it seemed the reality was different.
"There are jobs like manual labor and various other jobs. Like that, adventurers save their money to buy weapons in preparation to fight monsters. When they defeat a monster, they will strip off the monster’s magic stone and the parts that can be used practically, in other words the monster material. By registering in the guild, adventurers can receive requests, and they can have the guild buy the magic stones from them."
"Only the magic stone?"
"Yes, regarding the other material, they will have to bargain with the merchants. Right now the adventurer guild is managing the adventurers, but originally it was a guild that managed the magic stones."
Magic stone──that was the red stone that monsters possessed inside their bodies. It would become material for craftsman to create items, at present there were even magic tool that worked using magic stones. Since magic tools that used magic stones was starting to spread, magic stones also became a precious energy source that affected people’s livelihoods. The one holding the right for those magic stones was the adventurer guild, not just the adventurer guild in Bahnseim, but also the adventurer guilds existing in other countries.
"……Somehow, the guild is even scarier than the country huh. They are holding the rights, and in addition they have connections that is unrelated to the country."
Zel-jiisan laughed hearing that.
"No no, certainly the adventurer guild also exists in other countries, but fundamentally they are only adopting the same system. They have to make the standard and decide things like the rate for magic stone and the like, so connection to each other will be created no matter what. I heard the guild will also be varied, depending on the city."
Magic stones were something indispensable for everyday life. The guild that was holding that rights must be complicated in various aspects.
"That’s as far as I know. After all I’m not really educated or anything. I’m uneasy whether it will be useful or not for you young master."
"There is no such thing. I have never gone out from the mansion……I learned many things from just now."
"Is that so. By the way, young master."
When I finished the meal and reached out for the tea, Zel-jiisan looked at me with a serious expression and said.
"Don’t you feel anything inside this house? Like a strange expression or anything is fine. I wonder if there is anything that you feel?"
Zel-jiisan asked about something vague. I folded my arms and tried to remember. Something that felt strange since I came to Zel-jiisan’s house……a strange experience……. Now that he mentioned it, I saw a strange dream. Was it the afterlife, or a dream……well, there was only that I guess.
"Perhaps, I think it was when I was brought to here, but-"
Zel-jiisan was serious. I didn’t think that this was something to talk seriously about but, this was the only thing that came to mind.
"I saw a strange dream. Perhaps it was the afterlife? I heard grandfather’s voice. That wasn’t all. There were also voices that seemed to be the successive heads of the Walt House. Well, it must just be a dream though."
I said that with a laugh, but Zel-jiisan looked serious. And then, he nodded several times and looked at my face before speaking.
"Young master, it’s already late today. Let’s rest in preparation for tomorrow."
Zel-jiisan’s expression looked peaceful and very refreshed. It was as though he was satisfied with my answer.
The morning of the next day.
After I ate breakfast, I finished my preparations to leave the mansion. I left my ragged clothing to Zel-jiiasn, in exchange I borrowed the old clothes of Zel-jiisan’s son. It consisted of a trouser, boots, and then a jacket and a robe. I also received a belt and a bag.
"They are clothes my son left behind, but the height is the same as the young master. I’m sorry that they are old things, but please bear with it."
Zel-jiisan looked apologetic. I shook my head and spoke my thanks.
"No, I’m really thankful. Besides, thank you for everything. Even the medicine must be expensive. Thank you for nursing me and the meals……it’s really pathetic that I cannot give anything to pay you back."
Zel-jiisan bowed his head to me.
"No, I have received enough repayment. I really had fun these few days, young master. Also, please accept this."
Saying that he handed me a leather bag. The palm sized leather bag seemed to be filled with coins, they made jingling sounds.
"No, there is no way I can accept this money……"
As expected I couldn’t accept this. When I refused, Zel-jiisan forcefully pushed it on me.
"Young master will absolutely need it. What are you intending to do from now on if you are penniless? Besides, if the young master is going to pay me back, then think of this as an investment."
Looking at Zel-jiisan’s smile, I said "You’re right. I’ll borrow this" and accepted. One day, I would return this. Right now that became my objective.
"I keep getting indebted to Zel-jiisan. I swear when I repay this I’ll give back double the amount."
"It’s enough with only that feeling. Besides, when thinking that with this I can accomplish my promise with the late Brod-sama that had been weighing on my heart, it makes me happy instead."
Zel-jiisan who mentioned his promise with grandfather took out a small wooden box. He held the long and narrow wooden box with great care, opened the lid in front of my eyes and inside there was a necklace. Seeing the silver colored necklace, I immediately realized that it was a valuable item. And then, it felt like I had seen the gem that was embedded into the pendant somewhere before…….
The blue and round gem had a diameter around three centimeters. Around the gem was a silver colored metal with ornamental shape, and the chain of the pendant seemed to be made from the same metal. Looking at that item that was created with great detail, I said that, as expected, I couldn’t accept it.
"Zel-jiisan, I cannot accept a treasure like this. This is obviously really valuable isn’t it?"
Hearing my words, Zel-jiisan said "Young master has to accept this" with a serious expression. And then, he explained about the gem to me.
"Originally this is something that the young master should inherit. Brod-sama entrusted this to me. He didn’t hand it to Maizel-sama but left it in my custody."
I looked at the necklace and thought back. The blue and round gem was something called a “Gem”. It was a tool to memorize Arts that was created even further back in the past than magic tools. Unlike a magic tool, which could be carved with Arts of the user’s preference, a Gem was different in how it recorded the Art of the user.
In a wide sense it was the same as a magic tool, but with its difficulty to use, recently few people carried a Gem. After all, a Gem would interfere with other general magic tools and the user became unable to use the Arts from those magic tools. Besides, it was nice and all that the Gem recorded the user’s Art, but there was no guarantee that there would be the Art the user wished for recorded in the Gem. If that was the case, it would be easier to use the a general magic tool that would have the desired Art in it right from the start.
Gem──was treated as a relic of the past. However, it also had value in its own way as an item that had been passed down through generations, so among nobles there were also houses that passed it down when the new generation took over.
"Why is grandfather’s possession here……besides, isn’t this an important heirloom that has been passed down through generations? Father should be the one to have this."
Zel-jiisan explained the circumstances of that to me.
"Brod-sama mentioned about making this heirloom to be worthy for a Count house. He obtained a rare metal so he hired a first class craftsman to make an ornament from it. That craftsman also breathed his last at the end of creating this. Unfortunately, Brod-sama also passed away before he received the ornamental part. He entrusted me with attending ot the task of embedding this Gem, that is an important treasure, into the pendant, and he left it in my custody. But, I had no chance to hand it over to Maizel-sama."
I recalled it when looking at Zel-jiisan’s apologetic face. In the past, father called Zel-jiisan a parasite. Father told Zel-jiisan that he had to obey his instruction. Besides, father was also busy due to his position as a feudal lord. During that time, perhaps he was postponing from clearing his schedule in order to meet Zel-jiisan who he thought as a parasite, or perhaps he had no intention to meet him at all from the beginning.
I took out the pendant of Gem from the wooden box.
Gems──the prototype of magic tools, where at the present its manufacturing method had been lost, it was something that recorded the Art that an individual manifested. As only single Art existed for each person, it was the mainstream in the ancient era to record that Art and use it. And then, the thing to record the Art was the Gem.
But, with the creation of magic tools, that eliminated the trouble of having to record the Art, the chance to use a Gem was extremely decreased. Even without recording the Art, the modern magic tool that could be installed──also called engraving──with the necessary Art was more convenient than a Gem. Besides, if speaking about Gems, putting aside the first stage of the recorded Arts, there were also requirements to use the second and third stage of the Arts. I once read in a book that the user had to know about the second and third stage of the Art, and it would be necessary for the user to have the ability and aptitude to use the Art well.
The Gem of the Walt House too, I had heard that because the third head died in battle he was unable to teach the Arts, and a part of the polished up Arts was lost. Just, even so the heads of successive generations manifested their own Arts and made the Gem record those Arts. This Gem was far more valuable than some half-baked magic tool.
"Is it alright? For me to receive that kind of important item?"
"I cannot hand this over to the current Maizel-sama. This is my own arbitrary decision but, young master……Lyle-sama, please take it. By you doing that will also be my repayment to Brod-sama."
I put the pendant on my neck and grasped the Gem. It felt a bit warm.
"Thank you. This is the Walt House’s treasure. I’ll treasure it. Also……one day I will return for sure. Let me pay back these debts at that time."
Zel-jiisan smiled at my words. Even though we never talked until now, when I was driven out from this house he healed me and sent me off. I was filled with a boundless feeling of gratitude.
"I’ll look forward to it, Lyle-sama."
I waved my hand and left that place. Zel-jiisan saw me off until the end.
──Zel recalled the last six days.
He stared at the house that now felt really spacious with Lyle’s departure. The house that he once lived in together with his family was also a hideout that was sometimes visited by the previous head Brod with alcohol in hand. Zel muttered while looking at the picture of his wife that he asked an artist in the city to draw. The framed picture was made with wooden frame and it was placed on the shelf. He took it in hand and embraced it.
"Hey, mum. With this the weight is removed from my mind."
Zel moved to the bed with the picture and lied down even though the sun was still up in the sky. He was taking deep breaths many times since some time ago. Like that, he talked about his reminiscence inside the house where he was alone.
"However, to think that Lyle-sama’s preference is the same as Brod-sama. That person also liked boiled meat. He often slipped out from the mansion and came here bringing alcohol to drink together. I really miss that."
What Zell reminisced was the state of this house when it was lively. His wife was here, his children were here. It was lively, and sometimes the head of that time Brod would visit. Brod allowed Zel to build a house in the garden and lived there for the sake of his own relaxation. Zel was treated differently from the other servants because for Brod, Zel was the only one he could relaxedly talk with.
And then, Zel recalled the time when the Gem that had been passed down for generations was entrusted to him by Brod. Even now he remembered the figure of Brod that was thinned and weakened and could only lie down on bed.
The frail figure of Brod who was dignified and a person who he admired brought tears to Zel’s eyes.
"For him to pass away with the heirloom left in my care……surely Brod-sama too also noticed that something was strange. But, Brod-sama……this Zel, has accomplished my role properly now."
The memory of his youth when he accompanied Brod rushing through the battlefield was resurrected in Zel’s mind. And then, he also recalled when he was injured and tried to leave the Walt House, Brod told him to become a gardener and stay here.
"You asked something absurd from me who didn’t know anything about tending to a garden……thanks to that, I’m completely a gardener right now. How nostalgic. Truly……"
What Zel recalled as the last while shedding tears was about Lyle.
"Right now Lyle-sama is still a bit unreliable, but if it’s him then surely he will be alright, Brod-sama. ……Mum, I will head there too right now."
The old man took one last breath at the end, then his expression turned into a peaceful smile.
I arrived at the gate that was the exit and entrance of the city where the traffic of people coming and going was heavy in the afternoon. Around me wagons, coaches, and then a lot of people were coming and going. The soldiers who guarded the gate were also working busily.
It was my first experience going out of the mansion and walking in the city. Looking at the mansion from outside, it looked like a castle located at the center of the city on a slightly elevated position. Even when I went outside in the past, I was riding a coach and could only see the scenery outside from the window.
It was a beautiful mansion. It was the center of the territory that the Walt House had poured their heart and blood into. I felt ashamed that after this I would leave as though running away. I looked around. I would call out to a traveling merchant that would depart after this. I was thinking to ask them to allow me to ride their wagon until midway.
The other party looked with suspicion at me who was wearing a hood. After confirming their destination, it seemed I couldn’t hitch a ride until Remlraudt. But, apparently they would stop by an inn town.
"Excuse me, can you give me a lift?"
"Until the inn town? I don’t mind but, we will arrive at night and it’s unclear whether there will be an empty inn there. I have connections so I’ll be able to find lodging, but the traffic there is heavy so I don’t know about you."
It would be fine if I was allowed to come together until midway. I wanted to get away from this city as quickly as possible.
"If you want to get a lift you’ll need to pay. Also you better not think anything strange. We are moving in a group, if something happens I have fellow merchant comrades. Well, if you can use a weapon then I’ll consider it even with you acting as a guard as fee payment."
I who was told that I wouldn’t need to pay money if I showed that I could use a weapon didn’t have my saber, but I turned my palm up and created a fire ball. The merchant was surprised, but his attitude immediately changed.
"I’m surprised. If you are a magician, are you a noble? No, from your getup……oops, that was unnecessary prying from me. I get it. If you will guard my luggage for me, you don’t need to pay any fee. Rather, depending on your work I’ll even pay you."
The traveling merchant changed his attitude quickly and allowed me to hitch a ride. I felt relieved and said my thanks.
"Thank you very much. About after we reached the inn town though──"
Then, a voice interrupted my conversation with the merchant. It was a female’s voice. Furthermore it was a familiar voice. When I looked around, someone who I was really familiar with was standing there.
"E, excuse me! Please take me along too!"
Her long hair had light brown color. That hair was tied into a side ponytail at her head’s left side. She was wearing a navy blue hooded coat, under it she was wearing a shirt and short skirt, black knee socks, and boots that covered until under her knees. Her hands were holding a silver staff and a large travelling bag. I remembered seeing the staff before. It had simple make, but it was the heirloom of her house.
Her violet eyes had radiance and strength in them unlike me. At the same time, her gentle looking expression also looked uneasy after meeting me.
When I called her name, Novem looked down.
The name of this girl who was looking down was Novem Forxuz. She was the second daughter of a Baron house, the Forxuz House that had a long association with the Walt House. She was 15 years old like me.
And then, she was my fiancée──no, I was driven out from the house so it would be correct to call her my former fiancée.
Novem who was my former fiancée was standing there, looking prepared to go on a journey.