Dream Life Vol 3 Chapter 9.1: “Count Roswell”

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 Around 3:00 p.m. on July 10, 317 of the Tria calendar.



 With my brother Rodrick leading the way, we arrived safely at the castle of the Count of Roswell.


 At the entrance to the main castle, which serves as the main building, two guards stood with axe spears and halberds in their hands, and when we stopped the carriage at the carriageway, they asked us who we were.


 My brother, who was accustomed to this kind of exchange, immediately answered the who’s who.



“Sir Mathias Lockhart has come to greet His Excellency the Governor of the North. Please make way!” (Messenger)



 The soldiers knew that their father was going to visit, and it seemed to be a formal who’s who, and soon a messenger ran inside.



 A few minutes later, a person who appeared to be either the butler or the family advisor appeared from inside the castle. The person was a man dressed in black clothes like tails, with short gray hair neatly brushed back in an all-back style. Despite his gray hair, he did not look like an old man, and he appeared to be in his fifties.



“We’ve been waiting for you, Lord Lockhart.” (Oldham)



 The man welcomes my father, holding out his right hand. My father, perhaps an old acquaintance, returned the greeting with a smile, “I am glad to see that you are in good health, Mr. Oldham.”



 The man was Ferdinand Oldham, the head of the Oldham barony as well as the advisor in charge of the Roswell family.



 Even though he is the family advisor, he has a great influence on politics as a civil official in a world without a well-developed political system. In the family of the Count of Roswell, which has military and economic power comparable to that of a small country, he is probably the second most important figure after the head of the family, Hubert Roswell.



 Although he is as important as a prime minister of a small country, Oldham’s manner was very soft, and he seemed to be nothing more than an excellent butler.



 When my father introduced me, Oldham’s eyes were slightly closed as he smiled softly,



“You are young, after all. From what my lord told me, I thought you had a more cool-headed air about you, but… No, that’s rude of me.” (Oldham)



 The “lord” that Oldham was referring to was the frontier count, and I couldn’t help but notice that my name came from the frontier count, so I asked, “His Excellency spoke of me?”


 He politely answered my impolite question, “Yes. He has often talked about Master since about a year ago.”



 I felt uncomfortable with that wording.


 I am the second son of a knight and Oldham is the head of a baron’s family. Normally, I would be the one to get down on one knee and address him with the title of “Master.” But he was more polite to me than he was to my father, Mathias.



(I don’t know what his intentions are, but he is a baron. I can’t be hasty…) (Zack)



 Regarding the treatment of the bandit’s boss, Maddock, my brother says, “Keep this man in custody.” Without a formal order from the viceroy, he ordered his knights under him, “You must not hand him over to whoever comes to ask you.”



 We left our horses with the servants and followed Oldham straight into the castle.


 Guy and the other squires of the Lockhart family and my brother’s men would separate there to go to a separate waiting room.



 Here a small problem arose.


 Liddy and Beatrice’s position, officially, is that they are the Lockhart family guards. But since my father had introduced them to Oldham as my fiancées, a slight misunderstanding arose.



 Liddy, Beatrice, Mel, Sharon, and Dan were about to go to the squire’s waiting room, but Oldham stopped them and said, “Mistress Lydiane and Beatrice are engaged to Lord Zacharias, so come this way,” and urged them to go with us Lockhart family to an audience with the Count of the Frontier.



 Liddy and Beatrice tell him that they will not go, but Oldham, in a soft but noncommittal tone, refuses to budge, saying, “It is the Lady’s order to bring Master Lockhart’s relations with us.”


 In the end, my father asked them to accompany him, and Liddy whispered, “I didn’t hear anything about an audience,” while Beatrice half-heartedly said, “I was given an audience with the governor of the empire…”



(I’m sure they’ll complain a lot about it later. What’s the intention, anyway?) (Zack)



 Thinking about this, I walked down the corridor.


 As might be expected of a castle where the chief vassals of the empire reside, the corridor was made of chalky white stone-like marble and covered with a vermilion carpet. Along the walls are various sculptures and paintings, giving the place a “royal palace” atmosphere.



 Following Oldham, we walked through the castle for about five minutes and arrived at a luxurious door. There, too, a full-armored soldier with a spear stood before us and told us to remove our weapons, saying, “I am sorry, but you cannot bring in weapons of any kind.”



 After handing over the weapons, Oldham said, “Then the lady and children will be heading this way,” and led my mother, Theo, and my sisters to a room that looked like a waiting room. When Oldham returned, he ordered the soldiers to open the door.



 Behind the door was a heavily built desk and bookcase, looking like the office of a frontier count. When we followed Oldham into the room, we found a mature man who looked like the frontier count, two military officers who looked like guards, and a girl in her mid-teens wearing a light pink dress waiting for us.



 My father got down on one knee, and we followed suit, bowing our heads.



“Good. This is a meeting of between family only.” (Count)



 The frontier count said in a firm voice, and my father quietly raised his head. Just as my father was about to say something, the frontier count was the first to offer an apology.



“I’m sorry for the attack on the outskirts of Rawcliffe… That was probably caused by me and Rosalie…” (Hubert)



 My father tried to voice his doubts, “Your Excellency and My Lady…” The count nods his head and continues the conversation again.



“The only person who would try to harm you is Constance. Because I said something careless…” (Hubert)



 Viscount Constance Tysburn is the brother of Count Roswell.


 Rosalind Roswell, Rosalie, who was beside him, apologizes in a tearful voice.



“No, if I, myself… I had not said those things, Master Lockhart’s life would not have been threatened. I am truly… very sorry…” (Rosalind)



 At the end, she apologizes in a week voice and bows her head even more widely. If you look closely, I can see that her eyes are red and bloodshot, and she has been crying for quite some time.


 The frontier count held his beloved daughter’s shoulder,



“Let me explain. It was about a year ago, when the name of Master Zacharias began to echo everywhere in the land…” (Hubert)



 I was shocked at the sudden mention of my name.



(Why is my name mentioned? Speaking of a year ago… It was around the time when each country presented me with conditions for service…) (Zack)



“…I was thinking of having Sir Zacharias as my grandson, Francis’ guardian, and my ally. I have told this to those around me… and I am willing to give you half of my lands if you will serve my family of Roswell…” (Zack)



 Speaking of half of Count Roswell’s territory, it would be more than a count’s territory in the empire. In the case of other great powers, such as the Kingdom of Caum and the Kingdom of Lacus, it would rival the domain of a duke.


 I couldn’t hide my excitement.



(I haven’t heard of that! The Count had indeed called out to me. He was talking about making me a knight and eventually lobbying the emperor to grant me a title…) (Zack)



 As if he could hear the words within my heart, the Frontier Count answered my doubts.



“Even though it is my territory, I cannot give it to you without the emperor’s approval. I would never give it to a 14- or 15-year-old boy with no experience. But Master Zacharias is worth it. No, I think you are worth more than that. Of course, I still…” (Hubert)



 I almost shout out that he is overrated, but since I am not asked to speak, I force myself to remain silent. Meanwhile, the frontier count’s soliloquy continues.



“…This leaked to Constance… But at that time, after Master refused, I told Constance that there was no such truth. He seemed relieved that I said that…” (Hubert)



 Then Rosalind begins to speak.



“I had made a mistake. After Rodrick returned to his territory, Master Zacharias would be able to take over Francis’ guardianship… And I accidentally told my uncle about this…” (Rosalind)



 The story seems to go something like this.


 The Frontier Count thinks highly of me. This was then conveyed to Viscount Constance Tysburn.



 There was no problem at that point, but Rosalind mistakenly thought that I would replace my brother Roderick in Welburn and become a vassal of the Frontier Count.


 And she told Tysburn about it. The explanation was that Tysburn overreacted and tried to get rid of us.



 The reason she thought I would serve the Roswell was due to a combination of several misunderstandings.



 First, the Frontier Count ordered Rosalind to go to the village of Rathmore to prevent his beloved daughter from becoming involved in the struggle for the succession of the Roswell family.


 She was concerned about her father, the Frontier Count, and her nephew, Francis, and insisted that she remain in Welburn after her marriage. At that time, the Frontier Count convinced her that it would not be a problem because he had taken the necessary steps.



 That is where Rosalind’s misunderstanding started.


 She thought that the necessary move was for me, Zacharias Lockhart, to become a vassal of the Count of Welburn and protect Francis from Viscount Tysburn.


 The Frontier Count had often told her that if I became Francis’ guardian, there would be no more problems, and she seemed to think that this had come true.



 It seems strange to place such high expectations on me, a boy of only 14 or 15 years old, but she mistakenly believed that I was an excellent politician because of the high evaluation of the Frontier Count, the stories about me told by my elder brother Roderick, and the fact that I had sent notices to various countries through the Magician’s Guild.



 The Count of the Frontier also called me “the only person who can move the Blacksmith’s Guild, which is not moved by money or power,” and “one of the few people who can personally influence Piers Wagman, the famously shrewd chairman of the Council of the Magician’s Guild.” It seems I was highly evaluated.



 On the surface, this is certainly true, and when a Frontier Count with a proven record as a politician talks about it, it is not surprising that Rosalind, who is his daughter and respects her father, would believe him.



 The second part to fueled her misunderstanding was thinking that I would use their wedding as an opportunity to settle down here. The reason was that I had brought my family, Liddy, and the others, my “fiancées”, with me. They thought I was going to settle down in Welburn.



 Once again, the Frontier Count was involved in this.



 It seems that the Frontier Count had obtained quite detailed information about me, not only about Liddy and Beatrice, but also about Mel, Sharon, and Dan.


 In other words, he also knew the two names of the “all-around, all-range harem prince,” as an example. [T/N: LOL.]



 And a letter from my father, Mathias, said that my fiancées… would be accompanying me.




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