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As soon as I mentioned who the letter of introduction belonged to, Lord Porco Fatma stood up in surprise, which in turn surprised me too. I wonder if there’s a problem.
“Yes. I have it in stored in my Item Box. May I take it out?” [Ryouma]
“Yes, by all means, please let me see it. I don’t mind if you use magic.” [Porco]
He gave me permission, so I went ahead and took out the letter.
The feudal lord stretched out his hand and received it from me himself.
Normally, since it’s too dangerous, the servant will be the one to receive the letter on the feudal lord’s behalf, but it seems he doesn’t mind receiving it directly.
The feudal lord unsealed the letter and read the contents with rapt attention.
“Mu mu mu… You are Ryouma-kun?” [Porco]
“That’s right.” [Ryouma]
“Did Reinhart say anything when he handed this to you?” [Ryouma]
I thought back to when I received the letter.
“…He’s someone I trust, so he just told me to rely on him if a problem ever arises. That’s all. Now that I think about it, perhaps there was something he found hard to say, but…” [Ryouma]
“I see. Hard to say, huh? I see… Ku, ha ha ha ha!! —*Snort!” [Porco]
…Just what was written on that letter, I wonder.
Just when I thought he understood, in the next moment, he suddenly laughed, and then snorted like a pig due to laughing too much.
Everything was happening so quickly I wasn’t able to keep up. I glanced around, and it seems that it wasn’t just me but everyone too, his servants included. I’d like some explanation please.
“Fu, fu fu, fuu. Ah, excuse me. Where are my manners? It seems Reinhart treasures you a lot.” [Porco]
After he calmed down and regulated his breathing, he started speaking again.
“This letter of introduction states that the Jamil family is thinking of roping you in as one of their specialist. That is to say that you are an individual skilled enough to be valued so. Moreover, this letter of introduction presumes that you have been embroiled in some kind of trouble that necessitated your meeting with me; hence, there is a request included in it to help you. Moreover, since you are someone that they wish to rope, he also wishes for me not to take you away.” [Porco]
“Yes. In the first place, it’s a strange thing for Reinhart to write a letter of introduction. What’s more who would’ve thought that the contents would turn out to be this? Truly, strange things do happen, don’t they?” [Reinhart]
The feudal lord’s expression when he looked at the letter was really gentle.
I might have stared too much for when he raised his head up our eyes met.
“Hmm? Oh, right. You weren’t informed, were you? I am an earl and Reinhart is a duke. Are you wondering why I call him without honorifics despite being lower ranked?” [Porco]
“No, I didn’t mean that, but now that you mention it, why is that?” [Ryouma]
“You’re an honest kid too, aren’t you? Actually, Reinhart and I are senpais and kouhais back in the academy.” [POrco]
“! I see. So you knew each other since your academy days.” [Ryouma]
“Of course, in public, we have to address each other properly, but in private, we can just call each other as we please. Also, since we go way back, I know a lot about his blunders and embarrassing memories.
He probably didn’t talk about me much because he didn’t want to talk about his days at the academy. That guy surprisingly cares a lot about appearances.” [Porco]
“That’s right. But considering the environment he grew up in, I guess it can’t be helped. After all, his dad is none other than that Fire Dragon Duke. Have you heard of Reinbach-sama’s accomplishments?” [Porco]
“About how he formed a contract with a divine beast?” [Ryouma]
“Exactly. Because of Reinhart’s amazing dad, he was often referred to in the academy as ‘his son’. He was often compared with him and couldn’t live his life as he pleased. He couldn’t act improperly even in the most trivial of things.” [Porco]
“I see…” [Ryouma]
“Because of that he didn’t have a lot of close friends. It just so happened that I also had an amazing dad. Well, I had it a lot easier, though. But because of that Reinhart and I got along and he started coming to me for advice. Now that I think about it, those were some good times…
But this isn’t really the time to be talking about this. At this rate, there’s no telling when we can end this conversation.” [Reinbach]
“Thank you very much for that deeply interesting story.” [Ryouma]
“Yes. Let’s talk about this again some other time. But with that I’ve confirmed it.” [Porco]
? Confirmed what?
“A monster tamer with many slimes who also happens to be close with Reinhart. Moreover, your name is Ryouma Takebayashi. You also have a laundromat at Gimuru, right?” [Porco]
“Yes. That’s right.” [Ryouma]
“I knew it! You’re the ‘Barley Tea Sage’!” [Porco]
The feudal lord was visibly excited as he leaned over the table, but I was just confused.
“Barley Tea Sage?” [Ryouma]
“Do you know the Semroid Troupe?” [Porco]
The Semroid Troupe!
“Of course. We became acquainted this summer.” [Ryouma]
“I see, then it should be fine then.” [Porco]
According to the feudal lord…
There’s been rumors of a troubadour telling tales of a sage that saved a poor farming village by telling them how to make barley tea. When he investigated it, he found out that the troubadour were near the town he was at, so he called his troupe over and listened to their song.
Although there was a smattering of creative license applied on the song, the fact that a village was indeed saved by someone meant that the person who passed on the method to produce the tea must also exist.
The feudal lord wanted to talk to such a person, and he was told that that the sage was an acquaintance of Reinhart. As he was thinking of contacting Reinhart and asking him to introduce me, someone that seemed to fit the bill visited his territory.
And since he also had to thank the people defending the villages, he decided to meet me directly.
I can’t believe the Semroid Troupe has even reached this place. And that Prenence-san actually managed to turn that barley tea into a song. I know he said he would, but I can’t believe he actually did it. What’s more is that the reason I’m now meeting the feudal lord is because he heard his song. The world really is small. Still, I’m glad that he seems to be doing well.
I wonder what the feudal lord wants to talk to me about.
“I have two things I wish to consult you on. But there’s no need to think so deeply about it. It’s just a possibility, so you can also refuse if you want.
First, I’m thinking of a local specialty that my fief could produce.” [Porco]
“A local specialty. Ah, that’s why the barley tea got your attention.” [Ryouma]
“Yes. The roads have been maintained since my father’s generation, so there has been an increase in merchants and the economy is booming. But I want a new product other than fish. Of course, I want it to be food because I love eating delicious food the most.” [Porco]
Smiled the feudal lord faintly as he smacked his tummy.
I suppose he loves to eat as much as his looks suggest.
“Notices have already been spread through my territory, and already many opinions and recipes have been submitted, but I still can’t find a product with enough of an appeal… I need a hint from someone with a different viewpoint or an idea for a good dish.
The second thing I need help with involves your laundromat. There is a mountain beyond the lake, on top of which is a hidden hot spring that my dad loved a lot when he was still alive. He made a shed there at the top of that mountain. I would like to get your help to clean that shed.” [Porco]
“? Couldn’t you have just asked a normal person for that?” [Ryouma]
“Well the thing is…. I’ve been really busy with work ever since my dad passed, and I haven’t been able to manage the shed or the hot spring for a long time. Layers of filth have long accumulated and hardened. No matter how many times we try to clean the place, they just can’t be rid of. What do you think? Can you clean the place?” [Porco]
“There are all sorts when it comes to filth, so I can’t say for sure unless I see the place in person.” [Ryouma]
If I recall correctly, there should be no fishing tomorrow.
“If it’s alright with you, could I see that shed tomorrow? If I can I’ll clean it right then and there.” [Ryouma]
“You’ll accept the job then!? In that case, I’ll get someone to show you the way. If you can clean the place, I’ll pay you 10 small gold coins.” [Porco]
10 small gold coins to clean a bath. As expected, even the crowd couldn’t keep calm at such an astounding figure.
“Isn’t that much?” [Ryouma]
“Perhaps, But it’s fine. That place is really hard to clean, but more than that, that place is like my father’s memento to me.” [Porco]
The feudal lord spoke normally, but his eyes fell a little.
“I understand. I’ll be making a lot if I succeed, so I have no complaints.” [Ryouma]
Like that I agreed to the feudal lord’s request to clean the bath.
The feudal lord thanked me with a huge smile, and then he went back.
Now that I think back to it, I was nervous at first too, but in the end, everything was wrapped up before I knew it.
I may have had a letter of introduction, but I guess this is about what you’d expect meeting someone for the first time.
Still, I sure wanted to ask about that sumo appearance, though…
As I saw the feudal lord off with the villagers, I thought those things to myself.
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