I changed my clothes, or rather they made me change my clothes, and I was in the carriage with Marius and Camilo. I couldn't help but look resentful. The only thing that saved me was that Cermia and Rike didn't see me like this.
"Don't be so mad. Don't you want to see the fake?"
"I'm not saying I don't want to see it, but ......
I'm not saying I don't want to see it, but it's a family heirloom given to the king, it's probably more than that, and if you're asking me if I don't mind, of course I do.
This is my request. It's my request. I've gotten you both involved and I want you both to know what happened.
Marius says. I have no objection to that.
"So, why did I have to wear this?
That's the only thing that's bothering me.
"To put it bluntly, I can't have a mere blacksmith present at such an occasion. I think it's a bunch of crap. So I dressed him in noble clothes.
And Eizo is supposed to be my guest from the north. Karel will be bringing some people with him, so it won't be a problem for him to bring a guest. For Karel, it would be more convenient if he could announce his recapture in the presence of a third party. The same is true for Camilo-dono. He's probably hoping that the word will spread through the peddler's information network. Otherwise, there's no way that Karel would accept the presence of a peddler."
"A peddler" is Karel's word, not Marius's. Marius is supposed to be the next Count, but he's "progressive" for a nobleman. I wonder if his experience as a city guard has helped him to see many people. It is not hard to understand why a peddler is good and a blacksmith is not, considering the spread of information.
Does that mean that all these things will backfire?
Being seen by a third party like me, or by a peddler with a network of information like Camilo, will only result in the spread of Karel's failure. Karel bringing his friends and acquaintances would have the same result. I hope that's enough to get him to admit it. I couldn't help but think so.
Eventually, we arrived at a large mansion. I wonder if this is the house of the Count of Amur.
"This is Lord Menzel's villa.
Marius tells me, but the name doesn't sound familiar to me.
"Lord Menzel is a marquis of this country.
Camilo followed up. A marquess is one rank above a count.
Wow. Wow. You've come to the right place.
"My father is an old acquaintance of Lord Menzel's. He's younger than my father, but he's a good friend. That's why he's asked me to rule on this matter.
That's Marius. I see. If you're a marquis, you probably report directly to the king.
When we got off the carriage at the mansion, a polite young man, probably a servant, showed us around and took us to a large room. When we arrived, there was no one in the room. Marius took a seat, and we sat down near him. I don't know much about seating arrangements in this kind of situation, but it doesn't seem that different from the previous world. The "real" heirloom sword is wrapped in a cloth and placed near Marius.
Moments later, three men entered the room. One of them has a grim smile on his face. He looks vaguely like Marius, so that's Karel. He doesn't look like a bad guy. I guess he just happened to be blinded by greed. ....... The other two must be people of a certain rank. Karel and the others sat down facing us.
I'm not sure if you've ever heard of this, but I'm sure you have.
Some time later, an elderly man in luxurious clothes entered the room. He was stoutly built, with a neatly groomed mustache and head of hair. Is that the Marquis of Menzel? We all stand up at once. The Marquis took his seat at the top of the table and invited us to sit down as well.
"Now, you said that the Amur family lost their heirloom sword and Lord Karel retrieved it?
The Marquis asked Karel and the others. The Marquis asked them. His voice was low and firm, as one would expect from a man of his stout physique, and most people would tremble if he were to shout at them.
"Yes, sir. It was the work of bandits near the border, but we managed to get it back yesterday.
Karel's voice was high but calm. He pulled out a long object wrapped in cloth, which turned out to be a sword. As Marius had said, it was in a simple scabbard without much ornamentation. The sword was in a simple scabbard with no ornamentation, as Marius had said, and the same was true of the sword's hilt and tsuba, indicating that it had been made by a skilled craftsman.
So, what is it that you wish me to rule on? If you have retrieved what was lost, then there should be no problem. If the Count of Amur is succeeded by Marius, then all will be well, won't it?
The Marquis gives it back to Karel. The Marquis may not have a very good impression of Karel, or he may be a person like this by nature, but he speaks in a brusque manner.
I'm not sure that a man who has had his family heirlooms stolen from him and has done nothing but sit on his hands is fit to be the head of a county family.
Karel countered, glancing at Marius. It's started. The Marquis is pondering over these words.
I don't understand what Karel is saying. It's doubtful that a person who can do nothing but flail about after his family's most valuable possessions have been stolen would be a suitable patriarch for a family of high rank. The higher the status of the family, the more people are involved. The lives of the people in the territory as well as their own depend on the patriarch. The patriarch must have the ability to solve such difficulties, and Marius was unable to show it this time.
That is, of course, if the family heirlooms were really stolen and he was just sitting on his hands against the bandits, which is not the case here. But it's impossible for us to prove otherwise. I think it's possible that Karel is taking care of the bandits he brought in. In that case, Karel's story of "the family heirlooms were stolen, so I found out where the bandits were, took them out, and got them back" is consistent on the surface, and most importantly, it is not a lie.
But we have a trump card. It's a tightrope we have to walk, but it's a trump card that Karel never thought of.
Marius opens his mouth.
"May I have a word?
No problem. Go ahead and say it.
The Marquis prompts.
The reason I seemed to slow down was because the heirloom was a fake. The real one was in my possession, and I thought I would be able to hunt down the bandits slowly. I regret that I seemed to have been too lazy to do anything about it, but I hope you understand that there is a difference between a quick cleanup and a slow and steady hunt and finish.
The Marquis raises one eyebrow at Marius' counterattack. I'm not sure if this is a good idea or not, but I think it's a good idea.
"Here's the real thing."
Marius unwrapped the cloth wrapping beside him and pulled out a sword in its scabbard. Here's the real thing, the sword I struck with.