It was October, and Allen was eleven years old.
Since the end of May when we cleaned out the orc villages, we have killed about 20 orc villages. There are still more villages to go, but I intend to clear all of them. Naturally, we will clean them from the north of the Shiro Dragon Mountains in order to resume mining the mithril ore.
Thanks to this, preparations for the northernmost mining area of the four white dragon ranges are progressing at a good pace. The original plan was to take at least 3 years to start mining, but now it is going to be reduced to 2 years.
Job placement in the mining area is also in progress and from the beginning of next spring we will start preparing the mining area and the village with a furnace to refine the mithril ore. Recruitment of personnel has already begun.
All is well. We'll crush the entire orc village, and hopefully the entire armor ant nest, and we'll be adventurers next year.
When I was eight years old, I thought I would quit being a servant when I turned twelve and leave the house. It's been three years now. I think I've stayed at the house a long time.
Allen, take care of Cecil for me. Take care of him.
When I think of leaving, I remember Mihai's words lately. What did he want me to protect him from? If he wanted me to serve Cecil for the rest of my life, I can't do that. I'll try to think of something else to say, but I don't know what it is.
"I hear the royal envoy is coming today.
It seems so.
While eating breakfast, Cousin Rikker calls out to me. It's been three years since I've had breakfast with Rikker.
Today, as Rikker told you, the royal envoy is coming. He had an advance yesterday and will be a guest of honor today after noon. The baronial servants and attendants are requested to gather in the dining room upstairs.
(Are they talking about increasing the capitation tax again?)
I don't know why he came, because he didn't tell them ahead of time what he was coming for. But the messengers of the royal family are often arrogant, so I don't feel good about being there.
Shortly after noon, the royal messenger arrived. They will not have lunch, but they will have lunch in the dining room.
At the entrance, the butler will lead you to the dining room on the second floor. Three men will come to the dining room.
The first one is better dressed than the other two. The last two look like they're part of the entourage.
The best-dressed royal messenger sits at the birthday table, and the two entourage members stand behind him. The entourage seems to be holding something in their hands.
The butler who led the way stands behind the baron, who is seated on the other side. Behind the seat where Cecil is sitting, Allen is standing against the wall. The other squires and servants also stand behind the barons who serve in a similar manner.
"Welcome. How may I help you today?
Hmmm, Baron Granvelle has served the royal family well on a daily basis. His Majesty the King has said that Baron Granvelle's devotion is an example of nobility.
Well, that's a compliment that I'd appreciate, as I'm in charge of the Granville estate.
A royal messenger is so great . At least considerably higher than the baron. It is a royal envoy's privilege to speak at the word of His Majesty the King. The baron is facetiously upset because no royal messenger has ever spoken to him like this before.
Then there is a pause. The baron waits for the royal messenger's next words. He stares at the royal messenger and wonders what Thomas is up to.
Hmm, it pains me greatly to give this to such a Baron Granvelle.
After a short pause, the royal messenger speaks. As if on cue, a member of his entourage steps to the center of the long table. The butler saw this and walked to the center of the long table, facing his entourage.
The butler is handed something square by the aide. The butler places the envelope on the baron's table.
Yes, I have a letter from your son.
A royal messenger answers the baron's question.
"Mihai from Mihai?
The royal messenger doesn't seem to have any more answers. Partly because of Mihai's letter, Cecil's attention is focused on the letter on the table.
Seeing the royal messenger not saying anything else, the baron opens an unsealed envelope with wax and pulls out a piece of parchment.
As he pulls the parchment out of the envelope, what looks like a lilac thread flutters on the table.
Seeing this, the baron's expression suddenly changes to one of concern. He takes the parchment in his hand and begins to read it.
"What! d*mn it!
As soon as he began to read, the baron let out a sigh.
"Father, what did Brother Mihai say?
Basically, no one but the baron speaks when a guest is present. Only when spoken to by the guest. Ignoring that, Cecil speaks to the baron. But he does not respond to Cecil's words and reads the letter, shaking to his shoulder.
When is this?
It's something I write about regularly, and it's about three months old.
"What? Oh no, that's not the story! Hey, how did this happen in six months!
Unhappy with the royal messenger's so nonchalant attitude, the baron lashes out at the royal messenger. His emotional attitude is very far from his normal demeanor.
"Your son has done his duty.
"Yeah, well, we were a lowly nobleman anyway, so you put us in a dangerous place! Mihai just graduated from the school!
The baron has already risen and continues to glare and shout abuse at the royal messenger.
"Are you sure you want to take that as a word against the royal family?
The attitude of the royal messenger has not changed since he came into this dining room. Then he tells the baron with the same wording. The baron is too unreasonable to swallow the words as he says flatly.
"Let me read it, too!
The baroness couldn't resist getting up, taking the letter from the baron and starting to read it.
"Oh no, Mihai, Mihai ......
The baroness is in the middle of reading and faints from shock. A servant of the baroness rushes to hold her in his arms. She carries the unconscious baroness from the dining room.
"We are currently examining the list of those who died and the money for their condolences.
The baron can't keep up with the royal messenger who goes on and on with his story.
Well, you got it. I have to go to my next fiefdom, so I'll be going now. Now then, Baron Granville.
A royal messenger stands up to the baron and tells him.
"I hope you will continue to serve as a baron in charge of the Granville estate.
Now is not the time to answer. You don't care that the baron doesn't answer, and you walk out of the dining room. When the butler is about to say goodbye, he is told "no need to see me off".
The royal messenger has left and the baroness is gone, leaving the dining room silent.
Father, what's going on?
Then Cecil, who had been silent until now, asks the baron a question. That's the only flow of the conversation. All we know is that Mihai is dead from the exchange with the royal messenger. You want to ask the baron for more information.
Sure. ....... Can everyone excuse me? Thomas, too.
The baron tells everyone to leave. The baron Thomas can't seem to listen either. The baron, Cecil, and the butler are the only three that remain, and Allen is leaving too.
In the afternoon, I will clean the house with the other maids. While cleaning, I think about Mihai.
Maybe this is what you wanted to say, Mihai. Maybe this is what Mihai wanted to say, or maybe this is what he wanted to entrust to me.
I knew from the royal messenger's conversation that Mihai was dead. I'm sure the letter was a suicide note or something. And I wondered what it meant to Allen when Mihai left the mansion.
It was then. A voice rose from the second floor dining room, so loud it could be heard on the first floor.
So you're saying that father left brother Mihai to die? You mean you knew you were going to die and sent it off!
"What? That's not what I said. You have a nobleman's duty.
"Well, you want me to die in that capacity too! Does that mean I've lived to be killed!
"What? Not so. Wait, wait. Hey, Cecil!
You hear the dining room door close with a resounding noise that echoes through the building. It's as if Cecil has gone back to his room. The maids and the servants could hear it. What's all the noise?
Cecil was gone for dinner that night. He seemed to be locked in his room.
And the next morning.
"Allen, did you hear that last night?
Yes, it was pretty loud.
Everyone in the building heard the exchange between the Baron and Cecil.
"So it's true, then.
Saying yes, Rikker, who had been talking across the table, sat up and leaned in close to Allen and whispered, "I've heard that story before, but I'm not sure.
I'm not sure, but I've heard that story too. There's a rumor that the Granvels have a short life span. I heard that both your parents and your brother died prematurely.
They tell me not to tell the story in public. It seems to be long before Rickel worked as a maid.
Meanwhile, it's time to take care of Cecil. I'll go with the maid to Cecil's room, where he didn't come for supper last night.
As usual, a maid comes knocking, to let Cecil change clothes. Allen, meanwhile, is waiting at the door.
A maid entered the room and started screaming. When Allen looked in, he saw the maid holding her mouth with her hands, upset.
Cecil was not in the room.