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After we entered the castle without any issues to speak of, Eleanora-san commenced our tour. We went through passage after passage, each lined beautifully with decorations. This was all familiar to me, but Shuri, who was visiting here for the first time, couldn’t stop her eyes from glittering as she looked around. On the other hand, Fina, who hadn’t been here in a while either, looked a bit nervous.
I soon realized that Eleanora-san was taking us around to the same places that I had been to when I had first visited the castle. Was there a designated sightseeing tour?
Well, since the castle wasn’t a place where commoners could enter freely just to take a look around, perhaps this was indeed the set route for guests.
We visited many sights and eventually made our way to the training grounds for soldiers and knights, which caused a wave of nostalgia to sweep over me.
This was the place where I had met Princess Flora.
I remembered how surprised I had been when the moment I had walked in, a little girl had come up and hugged me. I had only later been told that she was the princess.
Fina was so nervous at the time that she claimed she didn’t remember what had happened at all. Such a beautiful memory…
At the training grounds, a large group of knights and soldiers were practicing their swordsmanship. The sounds of metal clashing rang through the air as they swung their swords at each other. As a former gamer, I enjoyed the sight, but would personally prefer to see the magic training. I really wanted to see how powerful the castle’s mages were.
「Huh? The third knight platoon is training right now…」
Eleanora-san muttered as she looked at the knights training. She rolled her eyes, looking a bit displeased.
「Okay girls, let’s go somewhere else.」
We hadn’t even looked at them for a few seconds when Eleanora-san already ushered us to leave. Well, this might not be something that the children should see, so I didn’t object. I wasn’t too interested in knights and soldiers practicing myself, either.
「Why, if it isn’t it Eleanora-dono?」
Just as we were about to leave, a bearded, forty-something-year-old man called out to Eleanora-san with a big grin on his face. The moment she saw him, her feminine face looked like it was physiologically repulsed. His eyes were disagreeable enough with me that I reflexively pulled my Bear-san Hood down. Fina and Shuri hid behind me while Noa was already behind Eleanora-san.
Eleanora-san uttered his name as she turned to face him. She looked as if she had accidentally chewed on a bitter bug.
「This must be the rumored Bear. And your daughter, I see.」
The man walked up to us. He looked at Noa and me as if he was going to run his tongue all over us.
「My daughter is timid, so could you stop looking at her?」
「My, excuse me. She reminds me of her older sister, how cute.」
「Yes, both of them resemble me, that’s why.」
Eleanora-san returned the man’s comment with a polite smile.
「Anyway, are you giving them a tour of the grounds, Eleanora-dono?」
「Yes. We didn’t want to get in the way of your practice, so we were just leaving. We’ll appreciate it if you didn’t mind us.」
「No, no. Please look around at your own pace. The other knights will work harder knowing that you are watching them.」
「I appreciate your offer, but we still have many other places to visit, so please excuse us. Come on girls, let’s go.」
We silently followed Eleanora-san as she began walking off. When I turned to sneak a peek at the man, I saw him glaring at Eleanora-san.
「Mother, is everything okay?」
「Don’t worry about it, Noa. I won’t let him lay a single finger on you.」
She placed her hand on Noa’s head and smiled gently.
That man seemed to know who I was, but I couldn’t recall a pair of eyes that looked so nasty. I felt that might be a good idea to at least know who he was, so I planned to ask Eleanora-san about him later. Fina and Shuri luckily hadn’t been involved, and I would like to keep it that way.
To help brighten the mood, Eleanora-san brought us to the gardens.
「Uwah, there’s so many flowers.」
「How about we take a break here?」
「Fina, Shuri, let’s go over there!」
「Don’t run and trip, okay?」
Noa grabbed the two by their hands and led them further into the garden while Eleanora-san and I slowly strolled towards the center.
「Those three look like they’re having a lot of fun.」
We looked at the girls getting along and smiled.
「Eleanora-san, who was that man earlier? His attitude towards you was kind of bad.」
I asked her when the girls were out of sight.
If that guy was a danger for the girls, I would consider him my enemy.
「That guy hates me.」
I could tell that much. The man had scowled at Eleanora-san when we were leaving, after all.
「Do nobles have factions or something?」
I still didn’t know much about this world. I hadn’t ever had to deal with these kinds of politics, since I hadn’t been actively going to school nor had to learn about it in order to get a job. The only things I could presume about such politics was based on the stories of manga and novels.
「Of course there are factions, but perhaps it is more accurate to say that he bears a grudge against me.」
Could it be that Eleanora-san had given him some crazy orders to carry out? Or, maybe he was simply resentful because she kept skipping out on her work?
「I’m pretty sure what you’re thinking of right now is different from the actual reason.」
「I’m not thinking of anything.」
I really wished she would stop reading my thoughts.
「His name is Count Rutum Roland. The reason he resents me is due to Cliff.」
「The two of them never got along, but there is a larger reason for it. You see, a while back, there was this other guy who used to work for Cliff. His attitude was pretty bad, too, and at some point, Cliff was enraged at something that person did and had him executed. That person, however, was Rutum’s relative. The official story of his death was that he had been killed by a rival, but I think the count managed to sniff out the truth. That’s why he resents Cliff and me.」
I couldn’t imagine Cliff ordering an execution of somebody. Since he had done so, that guy must have done something extremely awful. No wonder the count disliked Cliff and Eleanora-san so much; his relative had been killed because of them. Still, that was just unjustified anger, wasn’t it? I had a feeling that there was something even deeper as to why he hated Eleanora-san so much.
「By the way, Yuna-chan, you’re involved in this, too.」
I couldn’t remember ever getting involved with noble matters or doing anything that would cause someone not to like me.
The only nobles I was familiar with were Cliff and Gran-san.
「Yuna-chan, do you remember the Salbert family from Sheelin?」
Oh right, there was also that noble family…
I normally didn’t want to recall them.
「The Salbert family are also distant relatives of the Roland family.」
「Then, the son from the Salbert family…」
「Yes, the Roland family were the ones who took him in. That incident is also another reason why he despises me.」
「And me, too?」
「Hmm, I think that depends on Gerardo’s son. Before the Roland family took him in, His Majesty had forbidden anyone who knew what had happened to disclose the contents of this case. Anybody found leaking information, even to their own family members, will not be forgiven and will be executed. That’s why Gerardo’s son shouldn’t have said a word to anyone about you. That, and I’m pretty sure he is too embarrassed to say that he got done in by a girl wearing a bear costume; as if anyone would believe him that, anyway. Also, I’ve heard a rumor that Gajurdo’s son had been sent to Rutum’s territory as a servant. I’m sure anyone there knows better than to try and dig out why a noble had been turned into a servant. Before, Rutum had been using the Salbert family as his pawn, but his powers took a blow when that family was thoroughly dismantled. Since he knows we, the Foschuroze family, were involved in their destruction, he resents us for it.」
She let out a small sigh as she finished her explanation.
「I’m, well, sorry.」
「Yuna-chan, you’ve done nothing wrong. You have our gratitude for saving Misa. Also, the Salbert family ended up being destroyed in the process. Compared to that, getting resented by that guy is nothing. Not to mention that he had already hated us from the beginning anyway.」
I could now understand why he hated Eleanora-san so much.
Half of it was due to my actions in Sheelin, so I still felt bad for having caused trouble for Eleanora-san.
「With all that, him treating me as such can’t be helped. Actually, there’s one more reason. Yuna-chan, do you remember that time when you subjugated a swarm of monsters near the capital to protect Cliff?」
「Yeah, I remember that.」
I had wiped out a ten-thousand-monster army back then. I still had some remains of the defeated monsters in my Bear Box.
「When news of a monster horde heading to the capital had been released, Rutum had taken the initiative to rally an attack force to drive back the monsters so that he could garner the achievements.」
Eleanora-san looked at me.
Yes, and then I had butted in and subjugated everything, taking all the achievements with it.
「When he found out that the monsters had been defeated before he could do anything, Rutum was furious that he was left with nothing. He kept bothering His Majesty about the identity of the adventurer who subjugated them. Of course, His Majesty only told him that it was a Rank A adventurer, nothing more.」
His Majesty had kept his promise not to reveal my name, huh. I needed to thank him for that.
Maybe I should give him something delicious to eat next time I came here, without the usual cruel treatment?
「However, he did find out that the adventurer was somewhat related to Cliff.」
「He got that idea when he learned that Cliff had gone and met with Sanya of the Adventurer’s Guild right after the monsters were subjugated.」
「Oh, and I was with him at the time.」
「Yuna-chan, you were still a rank D adventurer back then, so nobody would have imagined you were the one who subjugated all those monsters. His Majesty told him a rank A adventurer took care of them, so Rutum could never have guessed it was you. Not to mention nobody would expect a girl wearing a bear outfit was capable of such a feat.」
True, nobody would imagine a rank D adventurer would be able to subjugate ten thousand monsters all by herself. Especially a young girl dressed as a Bear.
「What’s more, his most recent business ventures had ended up failing due to bad luck… Just a while ago, monsters had appeared in the ore mine and completely shut the place down. Seeing that iron could no longer be mined, he quickly bought up a large amount of iron on the market to drive up the prices even higher so that he could sell them at a massive profit. However, before he sold any of it, a certain someone went and fixed the monster problem at the mine. Because iron ore could be mined again, the prices dipped immediately, and he suffered quite the loss.」
Eleanora-san gave me a devious smile.
She must be talking about the golem incident. I couldn’t be blamed for that one, though. I had simply taken the request from the Adventurer’s Guild and had defeated the monsters like normal. Also, the guild records should state that Jade’s party and the Idiot Rangers party had been the ones who had taken the golems down. Good thing I hadn’t claimed any responsibility for it. Even if I personally told someone I had defeated the Mithril Golem now, nobody would believe me.
Still, for everything other than Cliff executing the count’s relative, I was somewhat involved in the story. The only saving grace in all of this was the hope that the guy didn’t know I was responsible for all of the troubles happening to him.
「Fufu. You don’t have to worry about it, Yuna-chan. It was his fault for trying to make easy money. It serves him right. I even laughed when I heard about what happened.」
Eleanora-san couldn’t help but stifle another laugh.
「Anyway, I really don’t think he knows you’re involved in any of those cases. Still, he does believe you’re related to us, which might bring you trouble. If that guy harrasses you, both His Majesty and I will make sure to protect you.」
「Thank you. Nothing has happened at this point, so it should probably be fine.」
I had gone in and out of the castle many times by now, and I couldn’t remember ever receiving any harassment. To begin with, I hadn’t even known about him before today.
Nothing would most likely happen in the future, either.
The school festival was starting soon, and with Fina, Shuri, and Noa here, I should leave this matter aside for now.
In this chapter, I was able to make use of a setting that I had written before on a whim. lol
Enzo Roland is the noble who embezzled the money from the orphanage. He was then executed by Cliff. Turns out, he was Rutum Roland’s older brother. lol
By the way, Yuna does know about that, but she clearly forgot. lol
Anyway, as you’ve seen in this chapter, all of the things Yuna has done, which caused misfortune for others, have been covered up. lol (they were all set so we could laugh at it later)
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