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The day after being promoted to D rank, Toru and his party came to the aristocratic district in the center of Finlis.
The destination is the Marquis of Finlis’ mansion, in the middle of Finlis.
I had been able to see it from the moment I entered the aristocratic district. As I approached it, I could clearly see how huge the Marquis’ Mansion was.
At first glance, it looks like a castle, but this mansion has no watchtowers or archers.
It wasn’t designed with defense in mind like a European castle from Earth.
At the entrance of the Marquis Mansion, there was a guard on standby.
I gave that person the invitation I received from the guild.
“I will confirm it, please wait for a moment.” (Gatekeeper)
Gatekeepers everywhere seem to be polite when dealing with commoners.
They are well-educated to show courtesy to any guest that comes.
That alone tells us what kind of person this Marquis Finlis is.
When I was waiting in front of the gate for a while, the gatekeeper and another older man dressed in fine clothes, appeared from the mansion.
The man walked up to me and bowed slightly.
“Thank you very much for your patience. My name is Thomas and I am the head butler. Am I correct to assume you’re both Toru-sama and Esther-sama?” (Thomas)
“Oh, yeah.” (Esther)
“Then, please come in.” (Thomas)
Thomas, the head butler, lead us around the mansion.
This was my first to visit a real aristocratic mansion, and I wasn’t disappointed because I had already visited Western-style mansions built during the Taisho and Meiji era in Japan.
(What kind of person is the Lord? I wonder if he is a dignified person.)
I could even afford to enjoy this special situation.
On the contrary, Esther tends to tense up.
The ponytail, which usually sways freely, was frozen in place as if it had been exposed to a blizzard.
The room where we were guided to was a parlor about 10 tatami mats wide.
Thomas, Esther, and I sat on the couch.
“First of all, I would like to thank you on behalf of Lord Gaius Finlis for your great efforts in defending Finlis.” (Thomas)
“It was our pleasure.”
“I hear that Toru-dono and Esther-dono are up-and-coming adventurers. If the two of you have the skills to subdue a far superior werewolf, Finlis’ defense is probably of no concern–” (Thomas)
While listening to Thomas’ words, I was sweating cold bullets.
His words were not compliments.
“Of course, even if something happens again, you will protect Finlis, right? You have that much strength, you wouldn’t fail on helping with the defense?”, They sound more like threats.
Even in the company where I used to work, such words were often heard.
“Minasuki is okay because you have the talent! (You know what to do if there is a problem, right?)” (Voice from Toru’s Past)
Each time it happened, I would grind my nerves to ensure that no mistakes would ever be made, and I would stay up all night to check…… Oh, my stomach was already starting to hurt.
I forcibly shut out old memories.
“–Now, we would like to thank Toru-dono and Esther-dono with a reward from Lord Gaius. Regarding the content of the reward, Gaius-sama has strongly advised me to fulfill your wishes. Please tell me anything.” (Thomas)
“… Um, do we have to?”
“Sure. Go ahead.” (Thomas)
I fixed my posture and expression and then opened my mouth, careful not to sound rude.
“Will, the lord not meet with us?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Toru-dono and Esther-dono cannot meet with Gaius-sama.” (Thomas)
“In the world of aristocrats, it is basic to meet with a person of equal rank. For example, the head of the family meets only with the head of the family and the butler meets with another butler. The same is true for the guest. Therefore, I was in charge as the head butler since you are both D-ranked adventurers.” (Thomas)
With those words from Thomas, I finally understood the meaning of Aaron’s words, “If you go to the lord’s residence as E-rankers, you will be looked down on.”
Thomas was hospitable because we were D-rank adventurers.
What if we remained E-rankers…?
That may have been “humiliating” as Aaron said.
“Actually, Gaius-sama was saying that such a ritual was unnecessary, and it was difficult for me to put a stop to that thought.” (Thomas)
“… I see. I understand.”
The thought that Thomas was “an amazing person” escaped from my mouth with an inaudible whisper.
For commoners, dealing with rules when visiting nobles is incomprehensible.
I wish I could meet them normally regardless of status. Yes, every commoner would have thought that.
There is a fear that we might be dissatisfied if Lord Gaius does not meet with us.
Thomas said, “Actually Gaius-sama wanted to meet, but I stopped him. I’m the one who’s bad,” he said it that way, making himself a villain while lifting the Lord.
To be honest, I was disappointed to know that I couldn’t meet the lord.
But the greatness of his response easily counteracted my disappointment.
He was quite loyal to his lord.
Indeed, he is deserving to be the head butler.
“I understand that you may be disappointed about not being able to meet Gaius-sama. I would appreciate it if you would trust me on his behalf.” (Thomas)
“Then, what do you wish for? Please don’t hesitate, sir.” (Thomas)
“Then I won’t.”
I glanced at Esther.
Esther is still like a deer in the headlights, and her brain does not appear to be working.
(Hmm. It’s something they both wanted, so why don’t I just say it?)
Thinking so, I took the plunge and opened my mouth.
“I want a house.”
It has long been the goal of us to have a base of our own as adventurers.
The cost to maintain a base is hard if we were still E-rankers but now that we are D-rankers we can do something about it.
All we have to do is get a house that is suitable as a base for adventurers.
“A house is it?” (Thomas)
“Yes. I want to make it a base for future operations, so if possible, a house with a courtyard where we can train our swordsmanship would be good.”
It seems that Esther’s thoughts have finally rebooted with my words.
She nodded her head quickly as if to say, “That’s good.”
“Is there anything else?” (Thomas)
“Toru-dono and Esther-dono are adventurers. How about a better weapon?” (Thomas)
“I don’t really want it.”
“Then what about the bounty?” (Thomas)
A good weapon is already on hand.
Also, if it is the bounty, the guild has given us a considerable amount of money in the form of buying the materials from the werewolf.
I didn’t want any of those things.
“Hmm. How about Esther-dono?” (Thomas)
“I also like a house. Can Toru and I use it for a single wish?” (Esther)
“… I understand. Then, I would like to convey to Gaius-sama the wishes of Toru-dono and Esther-dono. There is no guarantee that this wish will be granted. Please note that changes may be made at the discretion of Gaius-sama.”
Then our visit with the butler, not the lord, ended without a hitch.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t meet Gaius-sama.” (Esther)
“Yeah, but Thomas-san seemed to be a good guy.”
After the visit. We were now walking out of the mansion towards the gate.
“Will our wishes be granted?” (Esther)
“I guess that’s just luck, huh? After all, a house isn’t cheap enough to just say you want one and get it… huh?”
Suddenly, my [Intuition] caught a memorable sign.
What was that sign?
Before coming up with the answer, I summoned my [Magic Sword].
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