Black Cat Chapter 159: Count Grobrus Territory

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 The scenery changed drastically as we passed through the forest that bordered the territory of the Marquis Escalante.


 Both sides of the road were fields as far as the eye could see, with lush green crops growing thick to the horizon.



“Wow… That’s amazing, these are all fields, huh?” (Nyango)


“Yes, they are, these are all winter-sown wheat fields around here. In two months, the ears will be out, and it will be time to reap the harvest, and the whole area will look like a sea of gold. ” (Novak)



 Mr. Novak, who serves as the Viscount Lagart’s coachman, boasted as if it were his own achievement.



“That’s amazing… I want to see it.” (Nyango)


“Hahahaha… When I see them for the first time, I have the same reaction as Nyango, but I get bored of them quickly.” (Novak)


“Bored of them…?” (Nyango)


“That’s right because the same scenery goes on and on.” (Novak)


 I thought that was not true because it was such a magnificent view… but as expected, I got bored after more than an hour of seeing only the same scenery.


 Count Grobrus’s territory is known as the breadbasket of the Kingdom Schrendl.



 The gently sloping plains were carved out over a long period of time and thoroughly laid out with farmland on both sides of the road, land for dairy and livestock farming at the back of the road, and fruit tree forests at the back of the road.


 The wheat straw is used as feed for livestock, and the livestock dung is used as compost, so-called sustainable agriculture.



“Wow, this time it’s a field of flowers.” (Nyango)


“Ah, this area is where rapeseed flowers are grown for extracting oil.” (Novak)


“Hmm, it smells good…” (Nyango)



 The strong grassy smell of the wheat field is replaced by the sweet scent of flowers.


 Here and there along the side of the street, carriages with several large boxes were parked.



 I was on high alert, wondering if they were up to something, but the knights who were stationed around the magic carriage showed no signs of nervousness.



“Mr. Novak, what are those carriages?” (Nyango)


“Oh, that’s a beekeeper. They must be releasing bees to collect honey. Grobrus is famous for its honey.” (Novak)


“Honey! I want to eat some…” (Nyango)


“I’m looking forward to lunch. Well, we can’t have some at night…” (Novak)


“Meow…?” (Nyango)



 I noticed that Mr. Novak seemed to be mincing words, but he quickly switched to another topic, so I forgot about it.


 I had a teriyaki chicken sandwich for lunch.



“Yummeow! Teriyaki, yummeow! The meat is tender, and the sweetness…” (Nyango)


“That one has the sweetness of honey. It’s probably in these scones, too.” (Novak)



 The lunch served to us, and the knights was also accompanied by scones for dessert.


 The scones had slits in them, and honey soaked inside.



“Yummeow! Sweetmeow! Crispy on the outside, soft and soaked with honey on the inside, sweetmeow, yummeow!”


“Hahahaha… Look, Nyango, if you’re not careful, you’ll get sticky around your mouth.” (Novak)


“Ah, I’ll wipe it off later. For now, the scones… yummeow!” (Nyango)



 Kaya Village, where we stopped for lunch, is said to be a relatively large village in the Grobrus territory like Atsuka and Ibouro added together and divided by two.


 However, although the village is large, it is not as prosperous as Ibouro and seems to play an important role as a base for the accumulation and transportation of grain.



 Most of the people walking around the village were dressed for work, and there were no people dressed up like in Ibouro.



“I heard that all the grain produced in the area we passed through in the morning is collected in Kaya and shipped to various places from here.” (Novak)


“Huh… but if you’re shipping to Escalante territory, wouldn’t you have to go back the way you came?” (Nyango)


Well, yes, but Grobrus has their own way of doing things.” (Novak)


“I see…” (Nyango)



 After enjoying a honey-laden lunch and an afternoon of endless, irreplaceable scenery, I inevitably fell asleep.


 Tall crops are being grown in places, and the knights seem to be bracing themselves as they pass through such areas, but they seem to relax in places where the soil is visible because it has just been planted.



 It seems like the knights with their horses’ heads lined up have enough time to enjoy a conversation, and I’m starting to feel sleepy.


 Even so, I can’t doze off because I just made a direct appeal to Viscount Lagart to improve the treatment of catkins and he pointed out the shortcomings of catkins’ nature.



 I am desperately trying to lift up the eyelid of my right eye, which is about to close, but occasionally my head almost falls with a thump.


 At times like this, I thought of eavesdropping on a conversation in the magic carriage… but all I heard was a healthy snore of sleep.



“I’ll wake you up if anything happens, you can go to sleep.” (Novak)


“Nyoo… I’m still on an escort request, so I don’t want to go to sleep…” (Nyango)


“I see, then do your best…” (Novak)



 I don’t like the fact that Mr. Novak’s pep talk contains a little bit of laughter, but I’d rather he does something about the catkin’s constitution.


 As I continued to struggle with drowsiness on the coachman’s seat, we turned to the east on a street just as the sun was beginning to set a little.



 The road was wide enough for a horse-drawn carriage to easily pass by, but it became narrow enough for a carriage to barely pass by, including the edges.


 Although the road became narrower, the road surface seemed to have been cleaned up, and the magic carriage’s shaking became lesser than before.



 As we proceeded along the beautifully paved road, a masonry wall came into view.


 A gate with iron bars was set up at the road and was tightly closed.



 A knight was waiting for us in front of the gate, and when we called out to the guards inside, the gate was finally opened.


 Beyond the gate was a gentle uphill, and as we proceeded, we found a similar stone wall and an even sturdier-looking gate.



 Further up the gradual slope, we came to a towering wall that seemed to be five meters high.


 Around the wall was an empty moat, and as Viscount Lagart approached, we could see a drawbridge leading to the gate being lowered.



“It’s a very tight security.” (Nyango)


“It’s too early to be surprised.” (Novak)


“Really?” (Nyango)



 I was tilting my head, not understanding what Mr. Novak was saying, but I understood what he meant when we got through the gate.



“Wow! This is…” (Nyango)


“How’s it look, isn’t it awesome?” (Novak)


“It’s amazing, but… how do I say…” (Nyango)


“It’s has bad taste, isn’t it?” (Novak)


“Yes…” (Nyango)



 Inside the gates stood a gilded mansion.


 Literally, gold walls, gold pillars, gold roofs… There is not a shred of the atmosphere of the Japanese Golden Pavilion, and what is coming in is an overwhelming aura of money and excess.



 The magic carriage pulled up to the front of the mansion, and the butlers and maids began to unload their luggage, but the Viscount did not come down.


 I helped them unload their luggage and finished lining up with the butler and the maids next to the magic carriage, but the Viscount still hadn’t come down.



 Just as I was getting a little worried that there might be some kind of trouble, there was finally movement.


 Going around the mansion, a servant appeared carrying a large roll.



 The servant placed the roll in front of the entrance of the mansion and began rolling it toward the magic carriage.


 The roll was a bright blue carpet, creating a blue carpet path instead of a red carpet.



 At this point, the butler opened the door of the magic carriage, and finally, the Viscount family and Derrick got out.


 As if to confirm what was happening, the front door was opened and a fat middle-aged man appeared.



 Andreas is the current head of Count Grobrus’s family, and although he is apparently still in his thirties, he looks so old that one might believe him even if he were said to be nearly fifty.


 He has a prominent nose that looks slightly upturned, which is characteristic of pigs, and a soft figure that seems to have no trace of training at all; he could be mistaken for a fully clothed orc.



 Although he has a polite smile, he is very different from Alvaros Escalante, who greeted the magic carriage outside the mansion just before it was a bit late.



“Viscount Lagart, welcome, you have come a long way.” (Andreas)


“I am very grateful for your hospitality, Count. I will be staying with you for the night.” (Frederick)


“Don’t just stay overnight, you are welcome to stay as long as you like.” (Andreas)


“Thank you.” (Frederick)



 If it were only an exchange of words, they would sound like two aristocrats rejoicing in their reunion, but in Andreas’ gaze and expression, there is a hint of contempt for the Viscount and his party.


 Certainly, if we look at it in terms of simple titles, Count Grobrus would be higher, but the Lagart family remains in the position of viscounts instead to be able to give their opinions to the Royal Family.



 If they were nobles among themselves, I would think they would know about such circumstances, but I wonder if there are some other circumstances.


 Anyway, it seems certain that Viscount Lagart is not welcome.



“Sir Viscount… who is that catkin?” (Andreas)



 When Andreas, who was greeting everyone from the Viscount Lagart family, spotted me, he turned his eyes towards me with an unpleasant glare.



“He is an adventurer from Ibouro and a young hope.” (Frederick)


“Young Hope? That catkin?” (Andreas)


“Yes, he did a great job the other day in subjugating a wyvern.” (Frederick)


“Ho, a wyvern…” (Andreas)



 Andreas seemed to have no interest in wyvern subjugation. He gave me a disdainful look, snickered, and walked into the house.


 I don’t really know what he’s thinking, but there’s no doubt that this is not a good place for me.




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