I’ve achieved my goal of establishing a knight order, but there’s still several major tasks remaining ahead of me.
I’m talking about the meeting between the Jugfena region domains of Kaldia, Jugfena, and Genas, as well as the issue of Feria Rogshia’s engagement.
There’s also some other points of concern. For example, the movements of the woman named Diferis and her terrorist organization described to me by the bandits a few years back, and their possible connections to the northern nobles. While Priest Faris had provided some information to Earl Terejia, there’s been no progress.
The date for the meeting between the three Jugfena region domains has already been decided, so there’s just some various small matters that need to be taken care of before that. Other than that, it’s just waiting for the day to arrive.
However, Feria Rogshia’s engagement is a special problem.
The Ogren family is a northern noble family, and they’re quite close to the Nordsturms. I’m pretty sure that Marquis Nordsturm had Viscount Ogren request me on purpose, and I’m not enthusiastic about having to complete a task for them.
Not only that, I have suspicions that they may be traitors to our country. This suspicion is because they may be connected to Diferis, who is working to undermine Arxia as a terrorist. But Diferis seems to be hiding in the north somewhere, and there’s no evidence to connect her to the northern nobles.
Personally speaking, with my suspicion against them, I don’t want to help them arrange a marriage with nobles from the Greenfield region, so close to the capital.
Should I crush this engagement, or should I fix it like I’m supposed to?
Breaking the engagement will be a problem as well. If I merely break the engagement without being able to give a really good reason, this will severely affect my status as a noble, and Earl Terejia’s standing will suffer as well.
How bothersome, this engagement involving the fates of the Ogren and Rogshia families. Both domains already depend on each other for trade. That’s why it’s so irritating that Feria’s only thinking about herself with her actions.
And so, the days passed by as I gathered information on the other domains, looking for a method to deal with this problem.
– If only I could unlearn what I was just about to find out.
“Hmm? Isn’t that Earl Freche’s youngest son?”
Summer’s almost over, and I’ll be soon returning to my domain from the royal capital. I’m currently on my way to shop for a souvenir for Elise at a high class store. Claudia made a loud comment suddenly as she peered outside the horse-drawn carriage’s window.
“……Are you acquainted with Earl Freche?”
“No, not at all. It’s just that his son is the same age as me, so I visited an evening party at the Freche residence once in the past.”
Somehow, I’m a little unconvinced at Claudia saying she was able to remember Earl Freche’s son even though she only met him once. For someone like her who’s so bad with remembering names, it took several years before she memorized who I was. ……Sometimes, from the bottom of my heart, I truly believe that Claudia is an incomprehensible existence.
I have no connections to Earl Freche at all, unless you count me getting horses and training from the Ruktoferd domain, which is part of the Freche region. Well, this is a good time to get to know more nobles, and band together against the threat of our neighbors. Thinking this, I decided to peek out the window as well to see what Earl Freche’s youngest son looked like.
When I looked in the same direction as Claudia, at the shops along the street, I saw a teenage boy on the edge of reaching adulthood, and a girl holding hands with him walking with a delighted expression on her face. I wonder if she detected us looking, she just happened to look back directly at us.
It’s a face I’m all too familiar with.
It was Feria Rogshia, the person responsible for so much of my aggravation, foolishly enjoying a date in public with a boy that’s not her fiancé, without caring about who might see her.
I couldn’t help but utter her name in exasperation. I found it so unexpected, that Feria would do this in broad daylight.
That girl, does she have the awareness that she could be cast out of noble society together with that boy? Or is it just the recklessness of youth, and she’s not thinking at all?
Claudia’s expression turned serious as she met my gaze. After receiving my cue, she bounded out of the horse carriage’s window as lithely as a cat – artistry in motion.
My heart is pounding. Well, even though I’m sort of used to it now, it still gives me breathing difficulty. I feel like this may shorten my life span, but I’ve already given up on talking to Claudia about jumping out of windows. I suppose I have no choice but to get accustomed to this.
I heard Claudia’s voice telling the servant to stop the carriage. As the horse gradually slowed, and the scenery outside the window stopped moving, this time I heard Claudia’s voice straight from above me, on the roof of the carriage.
“-Hello there, please wait a moment.”
This road is rather deserted, so Claudia’s voice carried far. Several people suddenly appeared from the shadows. I’m guessing they’re probably Earl Freche’s son’s bodyguards. Although public order is quite good in the noble district, it’s still impossible for most nobles to go outside by themselves.
……But anyways. I won’t make any assumptions about Earl Freche’s son, but for now it’s quite apparent that Viscount Rogshia doesn’t intend to restrict his daughter’s movements in any way whatsoever.
This is getting more and more bothersome, this annoying task.
The troublesome couple in question looked back at Claudia with expressions of shock on their faces. At seeing their faces pale in unison, I couldn’t help but chuckle slightly.
Both of them should currently be students at noble school. There’s a rule that students who live in the dormitory aren’t allowed to leave without permission. Usually only the head of the household can give their children permission to leave……
Since they seem so flustered at us simply calling out to them, perhaps they’ve sneaked out of school without permission. Due to this situation, are they going to have to request me to keep it secret for them?
“W, what is it……”
Earl Freche’s son seemed at a loss for what to say as he asked Claudia why she called out to them. Claudia has a stern expression aimed directly at Feria. ……This is the first time I’ve seen such an expression on her face. Claudia’s temperament is usually simultaneously competitive yet gentle, but I’ve always thought that she held no negative feelings towards others whatsoever.
“You’re Viscount Rogshia’s daughter, and Earl Freche’s son, right? Who else are you with?”
“Are you lost? That’s no good at all. How about I take you guys to the noble school?”
“N, …… no! There’s no need for you to go to all this trouble, when we don’t even know each other!”
Blood seemed to be draining from Freche’s son’s face as he backed away from Claudia, and even hid behind Feria. Claudia kept that strict expression on her face, and shook her head saying she didn’t mind the trouble at all.
“It will be evening soon enough, and we’re currently quite close to the noble school. -Also, my lord will definitely have some matters to discuss with Lady Rogshia here.”
Feria’s shoulder suddenly jerked upwards. I could see fear in her eyes, from Claudia’s imposing presence, as her shoulder started trembling. That’s when she finally noticed me as well.
Now she was simply dumbfounded, and she sat down right where she was standing in the middle of the street. Freche’s son tried his best to catch her, but perhaps he simply isn’t strong enough, both of them ended up falling down. With a hup, Claudia made it look easy as she pulled both of them up again.
“Yep, it seems like you two must be quite exhausted.”
Saying that to the two targets she’s captured, how wonderfully ironic she can be.