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Chapter 9 – A Despicable Trap
Inside the dungeon.
After finding the sacred tree’s sapling, I asked Mr. Narcisse to appraise it.
「M-magnificent. It’s just like the legend said. The excessive number of monsters that we encountered on our way here and also the existence of a monster that protected the sapling, they were just like what I read in the book!」
「Then, this thing is undoubtedly a sacred tree’s sapling, is that right?」
I asked just in case. Mr. Narcisse nodded to my question with sparkling eyes.
His eyes were fixed solely to the sapling. He wasn’t looking toward me.
「There is no mistake. The sacred tree’s sapling has been discovered several times before this, but in the end it would wither every time. According to an academic conference, there must be a meaning in the place where the sapling is discovered, so when you find one it’s recommended to secure that location──」
The story seemed like it would be a long one, so I put down my rucksack and took out a glass case from there.
The case was like a bowl to plant sapling with acrylic covering it.
Then I pulled out the sapling roughly.
Mr. Narcisse who saw the sapling uprooted right before his eyes screamed.
「W-w-w-wh-what in the world are you doinggggg!」
Mr. Narcisse protested to me with a look of despair. I planted the sapling into the bowl with a smile.
「No, this is my objective this time. I think I’ll be able to lure even the six great nobles if I have this, so it’s lucky that we found it.」
I thought it would take several days, but it was just fortunate that we found one in the first day.
「Your objective is the sacred tree’s sapling? Don’t tell me, you knew that there is a sacred tree’s sapling here from the start?」
「No way. I just thought that it would be great if we actually find one. ──This thing will be the bait to drag out that bastard Pierre.」
From my investigation, apparently the sacred tree’s sapling was an item that the six great nobles greatly desired.
Surely it had an important meaning for them.
「Wait a second. I’ll contact my family, the Granze House. We will take back the airship from Pierre too, so I want you to hand over that sapling to Alzer. It’s not something to be used for gambling object!」
I transplanted the sapling, covered it with the case, and held it up with one hand. I peered to it.
With this it wouldn’t wither for a while.
「Don’t wanna. You see──I want to punch Pierre’s ugly mug with this hand.」
Mr. Narcisse looked on uncomprehendingly at my desire. He shook his head side to side.
But, he seemed to realize something and lifted up his head.
「T-that’s right. If this area is an optimum environment for a sapling to grow, then it might be possible to obtain another sapling just by securing this place──」
Mr. Narcisse looked around. What he saw caused blood to recede from his face.
「Jilk, look! I got a magic stone this big.」
Julius was boasting about the magic stone in his arms. Jilk was looking at it enviously.
「Your highness, please lend me a shovel too.」
「I refuse. I want to gather even more magic stones.」
The two of them were talking like kids fighting for toys. Beside them Chris was working hard with his upper body naked.
He was digging up the ground and piling up metals around him.
Chris wiped up the sweat on his forehead after finishing his task.
「It feels pleasant to obtain a big catch like this. Even so, it’ll be backbreaking to bring this much back.」
The area was getting wrecked up.
Mr. Narcisse screamed toward the sky.
「WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS DOINGGGGG!!」
Then I took out my device and operated it.
By doing that the small ship that had come nearby slowly descended from the ceiling.
「T-this is, isn’t this Leon-kun’s airship!? How can it move by itself even though there is no one in it?」
Mr. Narcisse found a new object of interest and calmed down. During that time I talked to Julius who was carrying a magic stone in his arms.
「Load the treasures you find on the airship. We’ll bring them back and sell them.」
「Bartfalt, even that small ship can move by itself?」
「Yeah, that’s right. Ah, also, we’re going to bring back the magic stones and other treasures we find in this adventure to the kingdom and sell them there, so just be patient with the advance payment for now as your reward.」
「That’s fine but──」
Apparently he was more curious with the small ship rather than the matter about reward.
「I’ll bring back some tool, so prepare to load all the treasures.」
I didn’t really feel like speaking much about it, so I immediately got onto the small ship.
Then I found a letter in the small ship that wasn’t there before our departure.
There was also a paper bag placed along with the letter. It was filled with dog food for Noelle-chan.
I opened the letter and read the inside before putting it into my pocket.
Around that time.
Einhorn that was anchored at the harbor was boarded by men in black suits.
A man wearing a flashy suit was leading them. He was wearing a muffler on his shoulder.
Pierre welcomed that man and talked with him with a friendly tone.
「Yo, you look well.」
「Pierre-sama, it looks like you have been playing your game again, very loudly this time.」
That fat man took off his hat and acted subserviently toward Pierre.
Luxion was watching that scene.
『And who could this be?』
「Ahn? Don’t keep asking questions every time. These guys are merchants. Well, they are handling items that can’t be shown publicly though.」
The merchant started smoking. He instructed his subordinate to hand Pierre several leather bags.
Pierre’s hangers-on accepted the bags and checked the inside. There were bundles of money inside.
「Pierre-san, there is no problem here.」
「I see. Then bring it out.」
Based on the number of money bundles inside the bags, this seemed to be a transaction in the scale of several billion yen.
What Pierre’s hangers-on brought out in exchange of the money was a glowing green sphere as big as a bowling ball.
When the merchant took it, he lifted up the corner of his lips high.
「Thank you for your business every time.」
「I’m also thankful yeah. After all you paid me good money just for smuggling orb that almost run out of juice.」
Luxion stared at the sphere that was called an orb and started collecting data.
(So this is an orb. It’s containing a lot of energy inside it. I heard that there is an item called orb among the sacred tree’s fruits. So this is the actual article──it’s very interesting, but the country should be the one managing the usage of all orbs.)
Pierre was selling an important item that was managed by the country in a place outside of public eyes. It didn’t look honest at all.
It seemed Pierre and this merchant had a dark connection behind the closed doors.
「──And, when will Pierre-sama obtain the seat of the family head?」
Pierre smiled sinisterly once more when the merchant asked that.
He gnawed on his nail and spoke of various things to the merchant who he thought as his comrade.
「Even the old man is interested with this airship. He was pretty happy when I talked to him about going to war with the kingdom soon and taking away their technology to mass produce this airship. I might become the next head without even needing to make my brother disappear.」
「That’s a great news! All my investments to Pierre-sama until now is worth every penny.」
Luxion consolidated the information that it listened from the two’s conversation.
(Pierre who is aiming for the seat of family head joined hand with this merchant by smuggling orb to him. Perhaps he is gathering fun in order to become the family head?)
Luxion would at least evaluate Pierre for his backbone to kick down even his elder brother in order to stand at the top.
After all such backbone was something that Leon lacked.
But, it couldn’t evaluate Pierre highly in regard to his choice of friend.
Pierre’s hangers-on were counting the money.
The inside of Einhorn was filled with ruffians that looked like pirate no matter how anyone looked at it.
They were Pierre’s subordinates, but all of them were thugs without exception.
While Pierre was having pleasant conversation with the merchant, one of his hangers-on suddenly ran into the ship.
「Pierre-san, there’s trouble!」
Pierre turned toward the hanger-on who yelled that loudly and scowled.
「Don’t be so loud you idiot. And, what happened? Is the kingdom attacking?」
Pierre wasn’t receiving the interruption with too much seriousness, but his attitude changed drastically when he listened to the detail.
「It’s not that. A sacred tree’s sapling has been discovered! What’s more it’s a sapling that hasn’t withered yet.」
It seemed to be an information that shocked even Pierre. He listened to his hanger-on seriously.
「Yes. But, it’s the overseas students who obtained it. In addition the guy called Leon rode into the academy with the sacred tree’s sapling on hand. It seems he is making a commotion asking them to bring out Pierre-san.」
Luxion was floating quietly.
Pierre was making an annoyed expression.
「He is calling me out? ──But, I want it, that sacred tree’s sapling. I want to take it from that Leon guy, but as expected I won’t be able to do anything in the academy.」
「A-about that, it looks like Louise-san is backing him up. Mr. Narcisse is also with him, so it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to easily make a move on him.」
「Louise is with him?」
Pierre pondered slightly after hearing Louise’s name.
It seemed he wasn’t interested with the mention of Narcisse.
「──Well, fine. Let’s go take a look at this sacred tree’s sapling.」
Pierre and his gang hurriedly departed toward the academy. Luxion saw them off while thinking.
(They want to obtain the sacred tree’s sapling even though there is already the grown up sacred tree here? I can understand their feeling that wants to obtain it but, they look more anxious than expected.)
Luxion’s red lens shined eerily.
I was led into the reception room when I came to the academy.
I was holding up the case that was filled with the sacred tree’s sapling with one hand while sitting brazenly in front of the teachers.
I was putting up my leg on the table.
The teachers were scowling seeing my behavior.
「Bartfalt-kun, aren’t you being rude right now?」
「──This is why the people of the kingdom are all savage.」
「Enough about that, please put down the sapling right away. What if you drop it!?」
The teachers were showing various reactions.
They were completely flustered in the presence of the sacred tree’s sapling.
Unexpectedly it was Mr. Clement who was calming down that situation.
「Everyone, let’s calm down a little. Narcisse-kyun too, please give up a proper explanation.」
「──Mr. Clement, why are you hugging my arm?」
「Oh my. This clumsy me, how can I act so shamelessly like this.」
Just when I thought he was taking control of the situation seriously, he was snuggling close to Mr. Narcisse. In addition was 「Narcisse-kyun」!? It seemed that Mr. Clement’s type was someone like Mr. Narcisse. He showed no sign of letting go even after saying that he was being shameless.
Mr. Narcisse seemed to be ignorant of someone else’s feeling. He didn’t look like he was noticing Mr. Clement’s effort in making appeal toward him.
This insensitive fellow──good grief, I wouldn’t care even if something irreversible happen because you didn’t notice the other person’s feeling even after they were appealing so blatantly like that toward you.
The other teachers also quietly averted their gazes. When the place became quiet, Louise-san who was standing near me gave me a warning.
「Leon-kun, you’re behaving rudely.」
「Oh, pardon me for this. After all I’m just an upstart who was formerly a savage adventurer. It can’t be helped that I’m handling the sapling slovenly because of that.」
The teachers inside the room made a bitter expression when I talked sarcastically.
I put down my legs from the table and placed the case that was filled with the sacred tree’s sapling──no, my luck bringer sapling-chan on the table.
However, my hand didn’t let go of it.
「More importantly, bring Pierre here already. How long are you guys planning to make me wait?」
One of the teachers warned me in panic about my way of speaking.
「Stop talking so rudely like that. You’re talking about someone from the six great nobles here. Louise-sama too, please stop siding with this person.」
I turned my gaze toward Louise-san, but she didn’t show any sign of following the words of the teachers.
「It’s not your business who I’m siding with.」
The teachers fell silent when the princess of the six great nobles said that.
Even so, why would this person cooperate with me until this far?
She didn’t even show any sign of trying to trick me.
Mr. Narcisse sighed.
「It looks like he has come.」
The door was suddenly opened roughly and Pierre appeared there with his hangers-on.
He was reeking of alcohol even though the sun was still high in the sky.
He looked irritated from getting called here, but his eyes snapped wide open when seeing sapling-chan that I had.
「Is that the real thing?」
His eyes already didn’t see me anymore. His hand reached out to take sapling-chan away.
When I lifted up the case, he immediately glared at me with a scowl.
「You son of a bitch, who the hell do you think you’re talking to huh?」
When the back of Pierre’s right hand started glowing, Louise-san stood in front of me.
「Stop. Pierre, it will be two on one if you start something here.」
「Move aside Louise! Are you going to oppose me? You are the same chosen people like me!」
He must be proud for being chosen by the sacred tree.
But, Louise-san didn’t step aside.
Mr. Narcisse also joined the talk.
「Pierre, enough with unseemly act.」
「Even the pretend scholar Narcisse is siding with this guy? You two, aren’t you mortified that the sacred tree’s sapling fell to the hand of this kind of guy!?」
The other teachers were staying quiet at Pierre’s behavior.
It would be troublesome to keep this on so I came out.
「Stop squealing you trash. It’s irritating to hear. ──Now then, you better keep your promise from before.」
Pierre’s ill-bred henchmen were also inside the room, but they didn’t interrupt the talk because Louise-san and Mr. Narcisse were here.
Pierre brought his face closer to me with a thuggish expression and his hands in his pockets.
「You said it before right? That you’ll fight me if I prepared something of equal value. Or perhaps, you can’t even remember your own words from not long ago? Pardon me then. Is this talk too difficult for you perhaps?」
His face immediately went red after I provoked him for a bit.
「Don’t fuck around. I’ll kill you here!」
「Try it if you can. But this thing will also wither at that time though.」
Even Pierre’s mouth shut up when I showed sapling-chan to him.
This thing was only a key item in that otome game, but it proved to be useful enough when it was in the real world.
「I’ll fight you if you put Einhorn that you stole from me on the line. As for the method──I’ll be fine with a simple duel where you can also use armor. However, my condition is that you can’t use the sacred tree’s power.」
Pierre showed a surprised expression just for a moment when I said that.
He was showing hesitation and refused with an agitated look.
「Why the hell you bastard are deciding the rule huh? That’s unfair.」
「Unfair? I’m amazed a cheating bastard like you can say that. You want me to prepare a mirror?」
He was enraged and immediately tried to rely on the sacred tree’s power, but he stopped because Louise-san and Mr. Narcisse were also here.
「We won’t finish talking like this so I’ll continue. I’m not like you coward, I’m simply suggesting to have a fair duel using armor. I’ll ask Louise-san and Mr. Narcisse to be our witnesses. ──Or what? Pierre-kun, you don’t want to have a fair fight because you won’t be able to win like that?」
Perhaps you can’t fight without handicap~? This amusing guy immediately reacted when I provoked him like that.
「──Alright, bring it on.」
Pierre finally steeled himself. I then confirmed the conditions.
「Then, let’s swear to this sacred tree thingy. I’m betting the sacred tree’s sapling. I’ll hand over this thing if I lose.」
「Fie. Then I’ll return your ship to you if I lose.」
I made an exaggerated sigh and said 「You don’t get it~」 to Pierre.
「It’ll be pointless if you only return the airship but emptied everything in it. I’ll have you return everything you took from me. You get that, “everything”. If you lose against me, bring right in front of me everything that you stole from me.」
I wouldn’t allow him saying something like I returned the ship, but I won’t return Arroganz!
That kind of excuse obviously wouldn’t fly!
Pierre corrected his wording with a fed up look after I told him that.
「Yeah~, I’ll return them. If this great Pierre-sama lose, I’ll return everything I took. You’re satisfied?」
Pierre wasn’t bothered with the detail. He didn’t look like he considered even the slightest possibility of losing.
「Say that you will bring them “in front of me” properly. You get it, all of them.」
「That’s only if you win against me.」
Mr. Narcisse confirmed the conditions for the last time.
「Then, Louise and I will be the witnesses. Will both of you swear to the sacred tree that you will follow the conditions mentioned just now? Is there also no problem with the date and time?」
I nodded with a wide smile. ──Yes. It was fine like this.
But Pierre looked disgruntled.
「Wait a second. Does this guy has any armor?」
How kind of him to be concerned about me.
「No, I don’t have any. I plan to buy a new one in the commonwealth.」
Then Louise-san suggested to me.
「I’ll prepare one for you. That’s fine right?」
Pierre suddenly opposed strongly to that suggestion.
「That’s not allowed! I won’t allow the witnesses to back the participant. I won’t accept it unless this guy prepare an armor by himself.」
Louise-san looked like she wanted to argue back, but I stopped her.
「──That’s fine. And, what if I can’t procure one?」
「Then fight without one. That’ll be a wonderful show. A wonderful show of the kingdom’s hero unable to do anything against this great Pierre-sama before crying and apologizing in front of everyone!」
Pierre looked like he was having a lot of fun. I smiled along with him.
Louise-san got shocked, but Pierre turned his gaze toward Mr. Narcisse.
「The person himself said he is fine with that. Got any problem?」
「──Pierre, I won’t allow any underhanded act.」
Mr. Narcisse said that and raised his right hand. A magic circle formed on the floor of the room after that.
It was the duel method of the commonwealth that was making use of the oath to the sacred tree. It seemed to have the implication that after the match ended, the participants would be forced to keep their promise.
Mr. Narcisse proclaimed.
「This is a sacred duel under the oath to the sacred tree. Both of you must not forget the meaning of that.」
Mr. Narcisse must be saying that to imply that any act that would besmirch the sacred duel must not be done.
I carried the sapling under my arm.
After that Pierre led his henchmen out of the room.
「Hopefully you can prepare an armor before the day of duel.」
Pierre leered disgustingly while saying that remark. I replied to him.
「Yeah, I’ll prepare one by myself.」
Pierre returned to Einhorn and drank alcohol in a great mood.
He was at the hangar.
Pierre was laughing in front of Arroganz that had been decorated to have a spiky look.
「Those guys are really idiots!」
The people around Pierre were also agreeing with him.
Pierre brought the wine bottle to his mouth and gulped it all in one breath. Then he threw the empty bottle to the floor.
No one paid it any mind even when the bottle was smashed.
Einhorn’s interior was in a very messy condition.
The worker robots were cleaning all the messes quietly.
「That guy want to obtain an armor in this country. There’s no way he can.」
One hanger-on handed a new bottle to Pierre.
「Pierre-san is really a horrible person. To make someone come out in a duel without any armor like that」
「It’s his fault for getting tricked.」
Pierre and his hanger-on were heating up. They were talking in excitement as though they had won already.
「The old man will name me as the heir when I obtain the sapling. Then I’ll kick out big brother to live on the street.」
Pierre was also thinking about after he became the head of Faiviel House.
「If I have the sacred tree’s sapling, Rault House won’t be able to keep acting like a big shot. Even that cheeky Louise will only be able to what I say.」
One of the hangers-on got worried.
「Will that be alright? There is a rumor that she is going to get engaged with Hughes-san.」
「I don’t give a damn. Besides as long as I have the sacred tree’s sapling, then they will be the one to bow at me asking to marry their daughter. As I thought, Louise is the only woman worthy for me.」
Pierre was getting excited thinking about the future. He then got another idea.
「That’s right──just to make doubly sure」
He talked with a wide smirk. He was waiting impatiently for the day of the duel to arrive.
In front of Leon’s house.
Lelia visited there.
Lelia came with a memo in her hand. She rang the bell and waited for someone to come out.
──However, no one came out.
「Hey, why isn’t there anyone who come out?」
She rang the bell many times in irritation. Then a passerby talked to her.
「You there, the inhabitant of that house won’t come home for a while.」
This person seemed to be someone who lived in this neighborhood. Lelia asked about Leon from him.
「Just a little while ago he went out while carrying a lot of luggage. It was too much luggage just for going to a trip, but it also didn’t look like he was moving out. I still remembered because it seemed strange to me.」
「W-where did he go!?」
「Who knows? There was also a girl around the same age with him, perhaps they were lovers eloping at night?」
The passerby left after saying that. Lelia’s hand let go of the memo with a dumbfounded look in her face.
「──No way. I-I’LL BE IN TROUBLE LIKE THATTTTT!」
After a while she yelled while holding her head.
「What now!? What now big bro!?」
「You’re noisy Marie-san.」
I was staying in Marie’s mansion while the day of the duel was approaching near.
The reason was because it would be safer for everyone to stay in one place.
Marie became tearful after I called her with “-san” added to her name.
「Because! At this rate big bro won’t have any armor at the day of the duel! Even though it will already be hard to win against Arroganz even with armor, big bro will become mince meat if you go out there unarmored like that!」
I was unable to obtain a new armor.
「It can’t be helped. No one will sell me an armor. The merchants of Alzer are really stingy.」
「This isn’t a laughing matter~」
It seemed Marie thought that I was still angry with her. She was more obedient than usual.
Even now she was serving me like a waitress.
I drank the tea that Marie brewed──it was really bad.
「It’s lukewarm. Remake it.」
Marie left the room carrying the cup and teapot while looking like she was going to cry. She cussed 「That damn tea maniac!」 after she left the room.
It was really just like Marie to let go of her caution at the very end like that.
Inside the room I leaned on the chair and thought of a way to pass the time until the day of the duel.
「Now then, with my inability to purchase a new armor, I’ll have to fight Arroganz with my flesh body. H~m, how despairing.」
My reliable partner wasn’t here.
I got into a habit of sending glances to my right shoulder.
「──That damn bonehead.」
I cursed while waiting for Marie to return. It was then Noelle entered the room.
「Hey, did something happen? I saw Marie-chan putting a thermometer inside a teapot and muttering to herself while pouring water. Is she doing some kind of experiment?」
What was that girl doing?
Perhaps to Noelle’s eyes she was doing some kind of science experiment.
「I’m making fun of him right now. After all that girl is a hard worker only when she is cornered.」
There were many times I wanted to tell her to get serious right from the start.
「I-is that so? You two are really close. Ah, I forgot, there is a guest for you Leon.」
Louise-san was there when I went to the entrance.
She folded her arms under her big breasts when she saw Noelle. Her face looked really irritated.
「──So you are really here.」
Louise-san said with narrowed eyes. Noelle averted her face.
「Don’t say anything.」
「I have no time to care about you today. Leon-kun, I heard a rumor that you are unable to procure an armor, is that true?」
When I nodded in affirmative, Louise-san’s expression turned frustrated.
「I can’t lend you any help right now.」
「Because of this oath to the sacred tree?」
「──That’s right. Pierre might not think much about it, but this oath to the sacred tree is something important for us.」
Noelle was showing displeasure when she heard those words.
「That thing isn’t a sacred tree」
Hearing that, Louise-san glared at Noelle.
I clapped my hand to keep the talk on the right track.
「Okay, don’t fight. And, is Louise-san coming here just to check on that rumor?」
「That’s not it. I will talk to father about this matter, so Leon-kun, please meet him along with the sacred tree’s sapling. The sapling is really important for us. That’s why I’ll ask father to open a negotiation with Faiviel House. That should be far better than doing this kind of duel.」
Was she meaning to open a negotiation to exchange the sapling with Einhorn?
Doing it that way might also be possible, but I wouldn’t be satisfying for me so I refused.
「That’s no good.」
「Why’s that!? You’re going to die if you go into the duel like this!」
An armor versus flesh and blood human wouldn’t even be a fight.
Even I understood that much.
「I’m happy that Louise-san is trying to help me. But you see──I can’t forgive Pierre.」
I should crush him earlier at the beginning.
The me who was fixated with troublesome thing like event or the like was stupid.
Noelle was looking at me worriedly.
「H-hey, you shouldn’t force yourself doing reckless thing. In the first place the other side is the one in the wrong, so it’ll be better if you rely on Louise here.」
Noelle and Louise-san were worried for me. Guess I’d told them something important.
「Do you two know why I’m called as a hero in the kingdom?」
「Eh? ──B-because you’re strong?」
Noelle gave a very simple answer even while looking bewildered.
In contrast Louise-san gave a slightly different answer.
「Perhaps it’s luck? No matter how strong you are, you won’t be able to become a hero without the right chance for it.」
「Both of you are right! However my answer is different. The requirement to become a hero is──to survive. In addition is to not go into a fight that you will lose. You just need to continue fighting only an opponent that you can beat.」
Noelle immediately replied when I proclaimed that confidently.
「Eh, isn’t that cowardly?」
「──B-being called a coward is the highest praise in the battlefield.」
That was what Luxion said so it must be right.
The day before the duel.
Pierre and his hangers-on came to a bar for the advance celebration.
「It’s the advance celebration for my victory! Drink as much as you like!」
The thugs who were following him chased out the guests inside the bar and made their order to the waitress.
The bar owner brought the alcohol to Pierre. He squeezed out his courage and made a request.
「Pierre-sama, the bill’s amount has been piling up. Also, if I can please beg you to not trouble the other customers too much」
Hearing that request, Pierre poured the alcohol he received on the bar owner’s head.
「What? You want to protest to this great Pierre-sama?」
「N-no, by no means I──」
「Who do you owe your thanks to so that trashes like you guys can live in Alzer like this? Say it!」
Pierre punched the bar owner, but the bar owner didn’t look he was really hurt by Pierre’s fist.
That offended Pierre’s feeling.
「You guys, wreck this place!」
Pierre’s angry yell made the companions around him stood up and started trashing the bar.
The bar owner hurriedly clung on one of Pierre’s friend.
「P-please stop! I’m begging you!」
「It’s your fault for making Pierre-san angry!」
The bar owner got kicked away on the ground. His wife and daughter ran toward him.
Pierre started laughing with a grin when the two helped the bar owner to stand up.
「This is a bit lacking for an advance celebration, guess I should make your family to take responsibility after you angered me like this.」
The bar owner guessed what Pierre was thinking and stepped forward to defend his wife and daughter.
Pierre lifted up his right hand toward the resisting bar owner and tree roots grew up through the floor.
Pierre’s henchmen gathered around the bar owner who was restrained by the roots.
「You guys, let’s go outside.」
The restrained bar owner reached out toward his wife and daughter who were dragged away.
「Let go of them!」
Pierre laughed with a wide smirk.
「Yeah, we’ll let them go after having some fun. Though, I think you better worry about yourself.」
Pierre and his henchmen went outside and lit the bar on fire.
They did that while the bar owner was still inside.
The bar owner’s wife and daughter cried and screamed seeing the blazing flame.
Pierre cackled seeing them crying. He looked like he was genuinely having fun.
「Those who oppose me are going to end up like this!」
The people who gathered around there were watching Pierre with frustration.
But, no one said anything.
Even the military officers of the commonwealth who came here after hearing the commotion only moved to extinguish the fire without capturing anyone when they learned that Pierre was the culprit.
「Small fries just need to obey me!」
Pierre’s voice resounded in front of the burning bar.
At the day of the duel.
In the end I couldn’t obtain any armor.
I was squatting to watch Noelle-chan eating her food in the mansion while talking to her.
「Eat a lot. Your owner will also return soon.」
I didn’t think that she would be able to understand my words, but Noelle-chan looked at my face once before returning to her food.
Kyle was watching me doing that while placing his hands behind his head.
「Count, you are being carefree like usual. Be more serious in this situation.」
「Haha~, I’m being healed from watching Noelle-chan.」
「The duel is today you know? Can you win?」
「H~m, I wonder?」
Kyle was staring fixedly at me.
「Well, I believe that you have some kind of plan. More importantly, recently goshujin-sama is acting strange.」
「That girl is always strange so don’t worry.」
When I stood up, Cara came bringing a brown paper bag.
「Count Bartfalt, a packet came for you.」
「But, the sender is unknown.」
「Ah, it’s fine.」
I received the bag and found a glove inside it.
It was a black leather glove with knuckle guard attached.
I put it inside my pocket while Cara was taking care of Noelle-chan.
「Cara, you’re going to stay behind to take care of Noelle-chan?」
「Yes. Please leave it to me!」
Cara was a woman who sent me into a trap before, but now she could make a face like this as though there was no burden that was haunting her anymore.
「Then I’ll leave it to you.」
As for Kyle, it seemed he would come to the duel to cheer for me.
「I’ll be cheering from the audience stand with everyone.」
「I see. Then bet on me. I’ll make you profit a lot.」
「Apparently in this country you cannot make a bet with a duel that is hold under the oath to the sacred tree. Goshujin-sama mentioned that.」
「Eh, is that so?」
Even though I wanted to place a bet if there was any gambling, it was unfortunate but it couldn’t be helped.
Well, it didn’t matter.
「Then I’m going. You guys, don’t be late.」
After I said that and moved to leave the mansion, Noelle got out of the mansion while holding the case that was filled with sapling-chan.
「Leon, you forget this! You mustn’t leave this behind!」
Seeing Noelle holding sapling-chan in her arms, I put my hand on my chin and thought.
──And then I was struck with an idea.
「You hold on it Noelle.」
「Eh, is that alright? This is a very important thing though.」
Noelle looked bewildered. I answered her with a smile.
「I have the feeling that it will be better for it to be with Noelle rather than with me. Well, there won’t be any problem even if it got taken away. I’ll take it back without fail in that case, so just hold on it while feeling at ease.」
Noelle hugged the case that was filled with sapling-chan.
「I don’t want it to be stolen but──okay, I get it. I’ll hold on it.」
I felt slightly jealous to Jean when I saw Noelle’s smile.
Good grief, this just cannot do. Even though I got two fiancées waiting back home.
「Cara, take care of Brad and Noelle-chan!」
At the mansion’s entrance.
Noelle was seeing off Marie and others leaving while holding Noelle in her arms.
After they left she would take Noelle outside to breathe fresh air.
「Noelle-chan, let’s walk outside for a bit.」
But when she was going to close the gate, a man’s hand suddenly reached out and grabbed the gate.
Faster than Cara could react, the gate was opened and men in black suits came inside.
「W-what’s going on!?」
The black suited men grabbed Cara right away.
「Is this girl fine?」
「Then let’s take her right away.」
Cara was trembling in fear seeing the men taking out a rope. Then Brad who noticed the noise from the entrance peeked out from the mansion.
「I thought I’d take a look because you would go out, but to think there is another trouble happening.」
「I’ll have you men let go of Cara-san.」
Brad came out even though his wounds still hadn’t healed fully. The men looked at each other.
「Let’s beat him up.」
「Search for the sacred tree’s sapling too while we’re at it.」
Brad broke into cold sweat in front of the black suited men.
「──What a pain. Even though I still haven’t completely recovered」
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