Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 27.1: “Knight Harrison Gunnel: Part 1”

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 July 18th, 317 of the Tria calendar.



 It’s a crisp early summer morning, clear blue skies, and a cool breeze that has yet to heat up caresses my cheeks.



 Yesterday, we discussed the order of our dates and agreed on Mel, Liddy, Sharon, and Beatrice. Liddy looked at me strangely, so I said, “Mel said it first”, and the rest is kind of a blur.



 So, Mel’s tension was unusually high in the morning, and she was fidgety and restless. She was not at all enthusiastic during the usual early-morning training.


 I felt a pang of pain in my heart at the sight of her.



(It hurts my heart to see her enjoying herself like that. I’m sure she’ll be sad when she finds out it’s a trap to lure Gunnel out of the house. …Let’s do it all over again to make it up to her when we’re done safely…) (Zack)



 After the training, it was time for breakfast.


 Mel had already finished getting ready to go out and was dressed in the same blue dress she wore to the banquet.


 Throughout breakfast, she wore a bright smile and asked, “Where are we going today?”



“Right. Anywhere Mel wants to go is fine.” (Zack)



 Although I said that, I still had a destination in mind.


 As expected, Mel gave me a puzzled answer, “Um, what would you like to do?”, but at the same time, she seemed to be expecting something.



“Well, let’s go to the stores on the main street and wander around the west district.” (Zack)



 The highway is the main street of Welburn as well as the Northern Road – the road from Netherton, the main city in the central part of the Caelum Empire, to Rawcliffe. Therefore, it is lined with many branches of major stores that have their headquarters in the imperial city of Primus or the commercial city of Aurella, and it is always crowded with people.


 This main street is very beautiful and a great place to stroll.


 Originally, the buildings on the main street had orange roofs with red tiles, white or yellow stucco walls, and black preservative-treated columns, creating a contrast that makes each building look like a painting. Furthermore, all the buildings on the main street were three-story buildings in order to increase the living area, and the straight streets had triangular roofs that continued at the same height. Since most of the buildings were stores, they were clearly identified by signs and beautiful awnings made of bright primary-colored fabrics. In addition, the second and third-floor windows were decorated with colorful flowers, giving the impression of being in a theme park.


 The western area is the commercial district of Welburn and is lined with a variety of stores selling everything from food to clothing, weapons, and accessories. Although there are no architectural restrictions here like on the main street, the reddish triangular roofs and white stucco buildings are still beautiful, similar to European tourist attractions.


 In addition, a market bazaar is held in the square, and tents of various colors are erected. Between the tents, which are like narrow alleys, the voices of vendors echo as they sell their abundant wares.


 Both are lively places to hang out and do some window shopping.



 We lived in the academic city of Doctus, too, but Welburn, the largest city in the northern part of the Caelum Empire, the world’s most powerful nation, is a different story. Doctus has a population of 15,000, but the New Town, the commercial district, has a population of only 10,000. Welburn, on the other hand, is a large city with a population of 30,000 in the city alone, and more than 100,000 in the surrounding towns and villages that make up the commercial district.


 Therefore, the scale of the commercial district is large, and the products are abundant in both variety and quantity, ranging from those from the southern part of the empire to those from the Kingdom of Saltus in the north and the Kingdom of Caum in the east.


 Even though I know big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, I can still think of Welburn as a big city.



 I was dressed in my usual all-black attire, leather pants, and a linen shirt. I have my bastard sword with me, just in case. Mel, on the other hand, is wearing a one-piece dress and does not have a sword. If the need arises, I can take out a spare sword from my [Inventory], but Mell will not be able to use her usual moves, so I don’t think I will give it to her unless the situation becomes very dangerous.



 We leave Welburn Castle for the city center around 9:00 a.m.


 I hold out my left arm and Mel entwines her right arm with a slightly embarrassed expression on her face. From the outside, we must have looked like a first-day couple.


 We stroll down the main street, which is crowded with many people, and browse through stores selling clothing and accessories.



 After spending the morning strolling down the main street, we decided to have lunch at a trendy food place that looked like a café just inside the western district.


 The café had tables set up overhanging the street, and customers were happily enjoying their meals with wine or beer in hand.


 This was possible because the main roads in Welburn are paved with cobblestones and free of dust. The width of the main street seems to be set, and even the roads outside of the main streets are quite wide. Therefore, even if they are a little out of the way, they do not hinder the passage of pedestrians.



 When I ordered a galette with cheese, spinach, and eggs – a baked thin buckwheat crepe – Mel ordered the same galette and asked, “What drink pairs with it best?”



“I think cider would be the best match. White wine from this area would also be good.” (Waiter)



 Mel ordered a slightly sweet cider, as recommended, while I chose a light white wine.



 We enjoyed chatting while eating the savory galettes.


 After finishing our meal, we headed back out into the city.



 Until then, we felt no danger. But every now and then, I felt a gaze watching us.



(Perhaps we are being followed. I don’t think they’ll attack us today, but we just have to stay on our toes…) (Zack)



 I pulled myself together so Mel wouldn’t notice me.





~Gunnel’s Perspective~



 I – Harrison Gunnel – infiltrated the city of Welburn the day before yesterday, on the evening of July 16.


 It seems that a wanted person is already circulating under the name of Harrison Gunnel, so I dyed my hair black and walked through the gates of Welburn City under the alias Harold, which I always use.


 The name Harold is also dangerous because it was passed on to the Knights during the attack on the Lockhart family, but this time, with no time to prepare, I had no choice but to use it.


 But it is not a gamble without any chance of winning. The name Harold is not uncommon, and the orb – a magical device that proves one’s identity – is almost indistinguishable from a legitimate one. There is little danger of being discovered by ordinary soldiers.


 In fact, the soldiers conducting checkpoints at the gates of the castle were hardly on the lookout, merely checking the criminal history of the orb (the orb has a system whereby a person is identified as a criminal if he or she breaks an oath made at the time of creation).


 The city itself speaks for itself.


 The rebellion by the 4th Battalion has ended, and although there is still some discomfort with Lux and Aurella, the announcement that the marriage ceremony of the Frontier Count’s daughter will be held in a few days will go ahead as planned has the town in a celebratory mood.



 Under such circumstances, I was thinking of taking action to avenge the memory of my great benefactor, Master Desmond, Baronet Desmond Gateskell.


 My first thought was to rescue Master Desmond.


 However, he was troubled by the ingenious trickery of the Frontier Count Roswell.


 Count Roswell announced that Desmond had been manipulated by Lux with dubious techniques and forced to act against his will. He also made a comment to the effect that Master Desmond was an unfortunate victim and that it was Lux and Aurella who had guided him that he should hate.


 For this reason, even if I rescued Master Desmond, it can only be seen as a move by Lux to destroy evidence or to use him for further deviousness.



 Before that, Master Desmond, who should have been rescued, was forced to commit suicide by the Frontier Count and is likely to have already passed away.


 Even if he had not yet died and had succeeded in escaping by all means, it would be difficult for Master Desmond to make a comeback. No matter where he goes, he will probably be seen as a pawn in Lux’s evil schemes or used as a means to provoke the Frontier Count’s wrath.


 In other words, even if we let him escape, he would only spend his time fruitlessly and be used as a propaganda tool by the Frontier Count. This is where the Frontier Count was so clever.


 And the hardest part is that the proud Master Desmond would not approve of it. I wish there was some way to persuade him, but I have no idea how to do it.



 I thought about it, and then I realized I was getting ahead of myself.


 I have too little information to base my decision on. Everything I have just thought of is just my imagination.


 I decided that the only thing I could do now was to gather information.


 Gathering information, I look for an opportunity to rescue them. And if the opportunity presents itself, I will risk my life to save him. That is the only way.


 However, there is a high possibility that he is already dead. In order not to use time in vain, we should consider other measures.



 The next thing I thought of was revenge.


 Retaliate against Hubert Roswell, the frontiersman who had wronged Master Desmond.



Count Roswell is using his daughter’s marriage to strengthen his political base. I don’t know much about it, but that is what Master Desmond was thinking.




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