Dream Life Vol II Chapter 61.2: “Reward for Subjugating Bandits”

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 I left the garrison’s packing house and headed for the inn.


 When I arrived at the inn, I had a guest. They were merchants from the same merchant caravan we had accompanied at the Karsh Pass.



“I did not know that you were the son of the Lockhart family the other day, and I apologize for the inconvenience. Please forgive me.” (Merchant)



 The representative of the merchants bowed deeply.


 The representative then took out a leather bag from his pocket and offered it to us, saying, “This is a small token of our gratitude for protecting us from the bandits. Please receive our gratitude.”



 It seemed that he had come in a hurry when he heard that I was a member of the Lockhart family. The Lockhart family is very popular in this area, so I guess they couldn’t tell anyone that they had been saved by a member of the family but that they had not thanked him.



 I said, “Don’t worry about it. I didn’t do it because I wanted to buy your gratitude.”


 I could have taken it, but my grandfather does not accept rewards from the merchants and travelers he helps. He would have been disappointed, because if I accepted them, the Lockhart family’s reputation would be damaged.


 He asked me several times to accept the gift, but I was adamant.



(Well, they are not a very rich merchant, and I’ve already received the bounty. Besides, I still have enough from the horses and weapons, so there’s no need to be greedy… I might as well elevate the Lockhart family’s reputation here…) (Zack)



“I have heard from my grandfather Govan and my father Mathias that an infestation of bandits is proof that the lords are not doing their duty. If that is the case, then the House of Lockhart has failed in our duty. Therefore, we cannot accept any gratuities.” (Zack)



 I said firmly, trying to convince the merchants.


 The merchants thanked me one last time and left the inn.



 Liddy, seeing this, teased me, saying, “What a knightly thing to do.”



“I just elevated the Lockhart family’s reputation. If we know that their eleven-year-old second son has been well educated, they can be sure that the next generation will be secure, too.” (Zack)



“I don’t know about that. If you become too popular, Rod – your brother Roderick – will be troubled. You’re famous for being a ‘genius’, after all.” (Liddy)



 Liddy said this to me with a serious face, and I was at a loss for words.



(It is true that he is a good man, but he is not as well known as I am. No, I heard that he has already achieved a lot of success in the northern Caelum Empire Governor-General’s Army commanded by Count Roswell, so he would normally be popular. But, the problem is that he’s not here. I should have thought a little more about it… And I didn’t expect Liddy to point it out to me…) (Zack)



 Beatrice watched the exchange curiously.



“You’re the second son, aren’t you, but you’re not trying to start a battle for the heirship. You don’t need to worry about it.” (Beatrice)



 Before I could answer, Liddy answered with a laugh.



“Tomorrow you will find out. …I’m sure you’ll be surprised how this man is viewed in the village of Rathmore… fufu.” (Liddy)



 Sharon nodded in agreement, but I wasn’t quite sure what she meant.



(Well, I’m sure Mel, Dan, and our squires will welcome us enthusiastically, but that’s all I’m sure of. …I’m not sure I understand what Liddy means…) (Zack)



 That night, while having dinner in the inn’s dining room, we are greeted one by one. Of course, none of them were as familiar with me as the adventurers’ guild in Doctus.


 They had heard that I had used magic to kill the bandits and wanted to say a few words of thanks, so the locals came over.


 Beatrice watched them and muttered something.



 After an hour or so, the greetings finally ceased, and we were able to eat peacefully.


 I was curious as to what Beatrice was muttering and asked, “Did you say something earlier?”


 She looked a little confused,



“I didn’t forget, but I was just thinking that you’re a nobleman. Tomorrow we will meet the lord and a real hero. So, I wondered what to do with that…” (Beatrice)



 When I asked her about it, she said she didn’t know anything about the etiquette of meeting my father and grandfather, and she was concerned that she was talking to me too casually.



“My family has only been knighted since my grandfather’s generation. You don’t have to worry about manners. Liddy calls my grandfather “Govie,” and Beatrice is my guardian. You are like a mentor to me. You just have to be as dignified as you always have been.” (Zack)



 Even after I said that, she still didn’t seem convinced,



(Surprising, isn’t it? I thought she didn’t care about such things. But she believes my family has great men. If I don’t think of something, I will feel bad for Beatrice worrying…) (Zack)



 I guess I didn’t really understand Beatrice as a woman.


 I thought she wasn’t that good at deep socializing, to be sure. But I didn’t expect her to care so much because she was taking care of the young people.



 After the meal, I talked to Liddy about it.


 She laughed and said, “It’s okay,” but didn’t say anything specific.



“No, it won’t be okay. My family is certainly not prestigious or picky about manners, but if she talks to me in a casual manner, Walt—Walt Vassell, Head Squire of the Lockhart family—or Guy—Squire Guy Jakes, Sharon’s father—might have something to say about it. If that happens, it’s going to make Beatrice very uncomfortable.” (Zack)



 Liddy said, “Right. Then all you have to do is declare to everyone. She’s my woman and she’s supposed to treat me this way… Fufufu…” and she starts laughing.


 I said, “You know what?” and then I lost my will to continue.



 I still haven’t come to a conclusion about the conversation in the beginning of the year, about whether or not to accept Beatrice’s feelings.


 I consider myself to be indecisive. I am only fooling myself with the fact that I have the body of a child.



 Beatrice has not approached me aggressively, and she seems to be pretending that the conversation never happened. I was acting the same way, but I knew that I was only delaying the conclusion.



(If I go back to the village, Mel will be there. But we’ll have to come to a conclusion in the next few years, or maybe next year… But I’m really not good at this kind of emotional talk. I’m not trying to be a science guy, but it’s still easier to talk about things in a logical way…) (Zack)



 The next day, before we left, we went to the garrison’s staff room, where the captain was waiting for us.



“Regarding arms and horses, I heard that they don’t have anything they want to keep. According to the results of the appraisal, the 27 horses are valued at 5,200, and armaments, 4,200, for a total of 9,440 C (= 940,000 yen). In addition, they had 683 C in cash. Normally, the valuation of the armaments should have been a little higher, but there were a lot of burnt ones. …sorry.” (Soldier)



 I smiled and said, “The burnt items are due to our magic, and I don’t mind. That’s good enough for me,” I replied.



 In the end, we were paid 11,633C, or over 10 million yen, for subjugating the 24 bandits.



(Considering the price of a horse, I guess that makes sense, but just over 10 million yen for destroying a band of bandits? Is that too much or too little? If the number of mercenaries was the same as the bandits, each mercenary would earn a little less than 500,000 yen. It’s a good profit for one day, but when you consider that we have to find and subjugate the bandits, bounty hunters don’t have a very profitable business. For now, let’s split the money up when we get back to the mansion.) (Zack)



 We thanked the captain of the garrison and left for our old hometown, Rathmore Village.




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