Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 1: “To Count Roswell’s Territory”

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A/N: The third arc begins.



 July 2, 317 of the Tria calendar.



 Sharon and I graduated from the Tyria Magic Academy, and today we are leaving Doctus, where we have spent the last five years of our lives.



 We had already finished sorting out our affairs before we left Doctus.



 When I greeted my neighbors, the Litorfs and the Novellos, I was sad to say goodbye to them. I have had a good relationship with both families, and I can’t thank them enough, especially for the care they gave to young Sharon right after we moved in.



 Furthermore, Sai Furman, an informer, Gerald, a second-rank adventurer, Zergius, a blacksmith, and Rufus and Rachael, leather craftsmen. I reported to the other people I had known that I was leaving the city, and they all bid me farewell. When I said goodbye to the people who had taken care of me, my eyes were a little hot with loneliness at the thought of leaving the town where I had spent five years.



 Then we would be moving out of the house, but since I had installed the bath, it would have to be removed. Before removing it, I went to the McLeod Trading Company, the landlord, to confirm how much the restoration was going to cost.



 When I entered the building of the Trading Company, a man who looked like a clerk rushed to call Douglas McLeod, the chairman of the Trading Company, even though I had not told him my name. Mr. McLeod came in looking flustered as well.


 When I told him about the removal of the baths, he said he was fine with it. I asked him why,



“I’m thinking of renting out the house as it is. The house is the home where the famous geniuses Zacharias Lockhart and Sharon Jakes spent their time. I’ve already received inquiries from students who are taking this year’s entrance exam.” (McLeod)



“Then, shouldn’t you make it ready for immediate use?” (Zack)



 When I said that, McLeod shook his head,



“Magically heating a bath. Making ice to cool things. No one here in Doctus can do this with magic. They are almost legendary, Mr. Lockhart and the others. Therefore, it is more convenient for those who wish to be graced by you to leave it as it is…” (Zack)



 Apparently, the house is being treated like the home of a famous literary legend. McLeod also asked me to leave the furniture as it was.



 I was happy to accept the offer since I had been thinking of getting rid of it, but the people around me had such an excessive opinion of me that I honestly didn’t feel at ease.


 I decided to have them take everything except what I needed, and most of my things were eligible for pickup. And I was surprised at the amount of money they assessed.



“How about a thousand Crona?” (McLeod)



“A thousand? Did you mistake another zero? There’s nothing of much value left there.” (Zack)



 The original price was not much, and these are items that I had been using for five years.


 Frankly, I didn’t think it would be worth much money if I sold the furniture. But McLeod offered me a thousand Crona for all of it or about a million yen.



“No, there is no problem with a thousand. It’s worth that much.” (McLeod)



 As I pondered, McLeod rubbed his hands and continued talking.



“In exchange, I have one request.” (McLeod)



 Instinctively, I asked, “Request?”


 He nodded vigorously,



“I would like you to leave me some evidence of your stay, Mr. Lockhart. For example, a notebook that you no longer need or a wooden sword that you used in your training…” (McLeod)



 Listening to him carefully, it seems that he intends to add value by saying that there are auspicious objects for students who are taking exams or studying at the academy.



(Certainly, this is the house where the people who did not give up the first and second seats for five years lived. Maybe it’s good luck, but… I believe it was fifty Crona a month. I wonder how much they plan to add on top of that. Well, if both parties have agreed, I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t see how it could be used for business…) (Zack)



 I was curious, so I asked him how much he was going to add on, and he said he would add fifty on top and rent it out for a hundred Crona a month or double the price.



“Even so, there are many people who want to rent it. Even if I pay Lockhart a thousand C, I can recover it in less than two years. Of course, they won’t bargain like you do.” (McLeod)



 When McLeod said this to me with a laugh, I couldn’t help but chuckle.



(He has become more cunning. There is no wonder why his Trading Company is getting bigger…) (Zack)



 On the morning of my departure, I put my signature on a wooden sword that I no longer use and a workbench that I used to make magic tools, and handed it to McLeod.



 Leaving McLeod, who was delighted, I slowly looked around the house I had lived in for five years. Sharon is nostalgically looking around the house as well. Liddy, Beatrice, Mel, and Dan were also reminiscing about their time together.



 After doing so for about five minutes, I asked the five of them if they were ready to go.


 They all nodded with smiles, grabbed their luggage, and left the house.



 The six of us headed for the new town to meet up with our parents, who were staying at an inn in the commercial district.


 The excitement of yesterday’s Midsummer’s Eve festival still lingered in the city, but there was still a somewhat somber atmosphere after the festival.



 As soon as we arrived at the inn, the twins, Theophilus and Seraphine, jumped on me saying, “Brother Zack!” Both of them were very friendly to me, and I often had to play with them when I went home for the summer vacation.



 They were ten years old this year.


 They both studied swordsmanship under their grandfather. My younger sister, Sera, thought she would quit halfway through, but she is still continuing her training. When I asked her about it, she said that Mel had a great influence on her.


 In the village of Rathmore, not only Sera but also young women are beginning to learn swordsmanship and spearmanship. As the village grows richer, more and more girls are thinking about protecting the village.



 My mother, twins Theo and Sera, and my youngest sister Sophia would ride in the carriage, while my father and the squires who guarded us would travel on horseback.


 The six of us would ride horses borrowed from the Adventurers’ Guild to escort the carriage.



 In addition to the two-horse, black-lacquered carriage in which my mother and the others rode, there was a large four-horse-drawn carriage.


 I spoke to my father, who told me that they were loaded with souvenirs for the Frontier Count Roswell.


 Specifically, there were two barrels of three-year-old Scotch, a barrel of three-year-old marl – brandy distilled from wine pomace – and three barrels of apple brandy. There was also a wooden box full of fragrant soap.


 I said to my father, “He would have been happier with a decade-old inventory.”



“This is the Lockhart family’s gift to the count. I thought it would be better to use the three-year-old liquor that we usually give out along with the soaps. Besides, those were yours to begin with.” (Matt)



“If you had written to me directly, I would have had no objection.” (Zack)



 My father shook his head with a serious look on his face,



“Honestly, you’re also one who knows if it’s okay to put it out there. Besides, I was hesitant to bring the ‘Zack Label’ out. We have to take it to Ars first, or anything could happen to it. Do you think I can do something that dangerous?” (Matt)



 When I nodded my head in agreement, my father burst out laughing and said, “Just kidding.”



 It didn’t sound like a joke to me.


 I thought I heard the vindictive voices of the dwarves.



 There is a reason I thought so.


 My father has given a barrel of scotch to the branch of the Blacksmith’s Guild here in Doctus. He thought of the dwarves who had learned that the head of the Lockhart family was coming through and wondered if he had given it to appease them.


 To be sure, I asked my father why,



“I heard from someone from the Norton Trading Company in Pericritor that the dwarves can sense scotch. He told me that if I did not leave the scotch in a large town, the dwarves in the town would follow the wagon in droves, and the town might lose its dwarves.” (Matt)



 I nodded again, still thinking that was true.


 If the Norton Trading Company, which transports scotch from the village of Rathmore to Pericritor, says so, it’s possible.


 My father saw the serious look on my face, and he guffawed loudly again, saying, “This is a joke, too.”



“A blacksmith named Zergius took care of you guys, didn’t he? If so, I thought I could leave a barrel or so as thank you. But you have an interesting overreaction when it comes to dwarves.” (Matt)



 It seemed that my father was once again teasing me.


 But when I recall the commotion at the Blacksmith’s Guild, I think it’s not impossible. This would have to do.


 To change the subject, I asked him about apple brandy, a distilled spirit from cider.



“I have a feeling there’s a high percentage of distilled cider?” (Zack)



“Yeah, it’s cider, but it’s surprisingly easy to drink. I had a little trouble deciding, but let alone dwarves, I thought it would be more appreciated by humans who are not used to drinking. I also prepared some soap specially made by Nicholas for the ladies. I’ve heard that our village still has the best fragrance.” (Matt)



(It has been a little over ten years since we started the reform plan. We have managed to produce a specialty product, so I guess we can consider it a success.) (Zack)



 Before departure, the three squires, Guy, Byron, and Enos, are all present, and Byron orders the five vigilante youths, Brett, Sid, Mark, Jim, and Kevin, to get ready in his deep voice.


 This time, the squires would be led by my father, who was the lord, but Byron was in charge of such menial chores.



 Normally, Guy, his senior, would have been in charge, but he had declined to do so himself.


 He told me the reason for this with an unconfident expression, which was unusual for him.



“I don’t mind if it’s just battle, but I’m not sure I want to be in charge in front of all these big fish. I thought Byron, who is used to it, would be more suitable.” (Guy)



 It is true that Guy is fully capable of leading escorts and battles on the streets. However, this time there is also an event in the territory of the Frontier Count Roswell, a senior nobleman.


 He was a former adventurer, and notwithstanding his abilities in the forest, he was not confident in his ability to observe proper protocol with the nobles since he had become a squire in the frontier village of Rathmore.


 For this reason, he gave the position to Byron, a former captain of a garrison in the Kingdom of Caum.



 Guy seems to have been traumatized by the etiquette training he was taught by Walt, the head squire, Walt Vassell.



 Byron is a sturdy man, standing nearly two meters tall, trained by my grandfather, and has an air of dignity that makes him look like no ordinary squire.


 In fact, he had led a hundred men until about ten years ago, so it is not surprising that he might be more suitable for such an event than Walt, the head squire.



 On a different note, the year after Byron was made a squire, he married a young girl from the village, twenty years younger than him. Two years ago, his eldest daughter was born, and last year his eldest son was born.


 Perhaps because of this, his expression has become softer, and he no longer has the air of a mercenary captain leading a band of ruffians.


 When I mentioned this to him, with a bashful smile on his rugged face he said,



“I never thought I would be able to marry at my age. I never thought I would be able to support a family in my precarious mercenary career.” (Byron)



 In fact, many of the mercenaries who become guards during travel are predominantly single. Even if the work is short, it’s a month away from home, and it’s a dangerous job, and it seems that the unmarried rate is higher than that of adventurers who hunt monsters.



 Conversely, the peasants who have settled in the village marry early, and three of the young men from the village patrol accompanying us are already married. It is not unusual for young people in the village to have two or three children by the age of 20 or so.



 While talking about such things with Byron and Guy, Enos and the others had finished preparing for departure.


 After confirming that the preparations for departure were complete, the father straddled the horse and ordered “Ride on!”.


 Guy and Byron, who had been looking calm, suddenly tightened their expressions and, together with the young men of the village patrol, straddled their horses, their cloaks with the coat of arms fluttering.


 Their appearance was so dignified that they could be described as an elite cavalry unit.



 The cloak for ceremonial dress was black with the Lockhart family crest, but the regular equipment had a camouflage pattern. Two types of camouflage patterns are used as official equipment: a woodland pattern for summer and a whitish tiger stripe for winter.



 The six of us mounted at the signal and waited for my father’s departure signal.


 Then, with a short signal from my father, “Forward!” we left the academic city of Doctus, where we had spent five years of our lives.



 We decided to go with the westbound merchant caravan.



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