“Hey, you, isn’t that Claudia?”
Right after I got saddled with something annoying due to the Nordsturms’ harassment, I heard a loud booming voice coming from beside us as I discussed things with Claudia and Margrave Molton. When I turned to see who the owner of the voice was, I saw a head of honey blonde hair glittering in the sunlight like a chandelier. He’s a young man with a cool demeanor that has gray eyes the color of stone, I could tell right away by his appearance that he’s definitely related to Claudia in some way. He’s almost certainly a close relative of hers.
With Claudia’s surprised voice, now I knew for certain that this person was her older brother. Looks like I was right on the mark. Comparing the two of them, they definitely appeared so similar to each other.
“What are you doing here?”
“That’s what I should be saying, Claudia. Today’s party organizer is one of the leaders of the Knight Order, didn’t you know?”
“I’m only attending as the personal attendant of a noble today…… I see now. That’s why there were so many of my distant Rolentsor relatives at the party today.”
Margrave Molton seemed to be interested as he watched the siblings greet each other. It seems that since the Rolentsors are a military family, they don’t like to go to most social gatherings. Indeed, other than Claudia, I don’t know anyone from the Rolentsor family at all.
“Then, is the one next to you your current master, Claudia?”
“Ahh, she’s Eliza-do…… Eliza-sama, sorry for the late introduction, but allow me to introduce my brother to you.”
She didn’t call me Eliza-dono like she always did, maybe she suddenly remembered that we were in public and she hurriedly corrected herself and used a more polite term. Maybe he’s used to seeing such things from Claudia, her brother just smiled wryly. I nodded at Claudia and she breathed in relief, as I exchanged knowing glances with her brother.
“Eliza-sama, this is my older brother, Nathaniel Rolentsor. Older brother, this person is Lord Eliza Kaldia, my current master.”
……Ohh, she managed to say all that without stuttering. She’s not very used to using polite speech and she probably has butterflies in her stomach right now, but as expected she can do it when she tries. She was able to perfectly introduce Nathaniel and I to each other in a ladylike manner.
“Pleased to meet you, Lord Kaldia. I’m Nathaniel, Claudia’s older brother. I work in the royal capital’s military police. It’s an honor to make your acquaintance.”
“Pleased to meet you as well, Nathaniel-dono. Thank you for taking care of your sister before this.”
I was going to bow to him, but Nathaniel suddenly stuck his right hand out at me. With a bit of confusion, I shook his hand. Then, with a wry smile on his face, Margrave Molton interrupted us.
“Nathaniel-dono, I believe that your sister’s master is a lady.”
While I was surprised just now that he shook hands with me, Nathaniel seemed even more shocked right now, and he swiftly let go of my hand. In Arxia it’s the custom for men to shake hands with each other, while boys and girls are expected to keep more of a distance from the other gender during a first introduction. Due to the way I dress, he must have mistook me for a boy.
“S, sorry…… To think that I was so rude to a lady.”
“No, I don’t mind at all. I prefer to dress like this. I don’t mind being treated according to my clothes, either.”
Boys and girls are just supposed to simply greet each other on a first introduction. I felt sorry for Nathaniel who was apologizing for treating me like a boy because of how I dressed, so I told him the truth that I didn’t mind.
We got some drinks from the party, and everyone’s calmed down and relaxed a bit. Nathaniel apologized to me once more, and I calmly and politely told him again that I didn’t mind, then he started speaking to Claudia again.
“By the way, Claudia. Shouldn’t you be handing in your resignation to Eliza-sama soon? Are you still going to continue on like this?”
Both Claudia and I were wide-eyed in surprise at his sudden question. Only Margrave Molton was able to keep a cool smile on his face as he watched us with interest in his eyes.
“Eh, what are you talking about?”
“You don’t even know what I’m talking about…… Hey, you, didn’t you make a promise with father? If you aren’t able to become a knight by the time you turn twenty, you’ll return home and listen to his orders?”
As if she just remembered something, Claudia smacked her fist into her hand. That’s not the reaction I want from her though! She’s forgotten such an important thing? Although I probably shouldn’t criticize her for it. Now that I think back on it, she told me about this several years ago when I first met her, but I’d completely forgotten about it as well. I had just been thinking about creating a knight order in Kaldia, but I had thought that I’d be able to take my time. Now I have to establish a knight order as fast as possible, so that Claudia won’t be taken away from me.
Honestly, this is the worst time possible for me to be saddled with an annoying burden by the Nordsturms!
Even though I was mentally screaming inside, I also started calculating and planning out what I could do as quickly as I could in order to create my knight order. And of course, Claudia would pick at this moment to go off completely on another tangent and interrupt me.
“Eliza-sama, is it alright if I go and greet the hosts of this party tonight!? I want to see if I can ask to become a knight! No wait, I won’t ask them to make me a knight, I just want permission to take the test!!”
“……Wait, wait, calm down, Claudia. You’re getting overly excited. Besides, you’re only a noble’s personal attendant. You don’t have the status to go and greet someone so high-ranked, please don’t try it.”
Claudia was tightly gripping the hems of her dress, and she seemed like she was almost about to fly out of here. I prepared myself mentally to talk to her about this, now just how to do the persuasion.
I absolutely can’t have a confrontation with Claudia in front of Nathaniel. If he reports it to their parents, it might be that Claudia will be forced to leave me even sooner. When I glanced over at Nathaniel uneasily, he was grinning like a cat, a smile that looked just like his sister’s, and it looked like he was having fun watching us discuss things.
“……You guys get along so well for servant and master. I’m glad that you were able to meet a master that complements you so well. You’ve even managed to remember her name properly.”
This comment from him hit me hard. All my feelings, that I can’t get in order, that are going out of control. Undoubtedly, Claudia’s older brother can see how we get along.
Margrave Molton who was watching all this from behind us seemed to be chuckling with that wry smile of his stuck to his face all this time, while I just felt incredibly tired from everything.