50-Episode 50: Clan

 A few days have passed since I received my reward from Lemayre.

 It is now December 15, the height of summer. Lumberk is comfortable in the winter, but it is disgustingly hot in the summer. There was no air conditioner in this world that existed in my previous life, and I spent my days wondering if it wouldn't be autumn.

'Master Ars, I have received a letter from Master Lemayle.

 The retainer brought the letter.
 It's expected. Perhaps it was about the party, as he had mentioned before.

 When I read the contents, my prediction was correct.
 It seems that the date of the party has been set for December 30 and January 1.
 There is a tradition in this world to celebrate the New Year's Eve. The party would be held in conjunction with that. Considering that, it's going to be a pretty fancy party.
 The place is Perena Castle.
 By the way, it is written that only I can participate in the party. Well, I'm not in a position to participate in this party, so that may be inevitable.
 I can't participate in the party, but I'll go with Perena as well as an escort.
 If possible, I'd like to spend the year with Leets and the others, but I guess I have no choice this year.

 It will take about three days to get to Perena by horse.
 I left the mansion on the morning of December 25, five days ago, just in case, and headed for Perena.

 Now I can ride a horse by myself.
 I also have a horse for myself, and this time I was riding that horse to Perena.
 He's a small horse with red hair. He has a quiet personality and is easy to handle.

 Riding a horse is more strenuous than you might think, and it's summer now. I've never ridden a horse long distances.
 By the time we reached Perena, I was exhausted.

 I arrived on December 29th. I arrived a little later than planned.

 The town of Perena is a walled city like Canale. It is slightly larger than Canale. Like Canale, there are towns outside the city walls.
 I took a hotel and rested immediately.
 If we had arrived on the day, we would have had to leave for the party in a very tired state, so we were glad to be able to rest for a day.

 Then, around the evening of that day, December 30, it was time for the party to start.

 I asked Leets to escort me to the front of the castle.

'Then I'm off.'

 I'm the only one who can join the party this time. Rietz seems to be anxious to leave.
 Since this is the kind of party that the Clan would come to, the guards are strong. There are also a very large number of soldiers in front of the gate. They won't have to worry about being attacked during the party.
 I'm worried that I myself will act unexpectedly rude at the party, and that's what I'm worried about.

 I leave Reetz and his friends and enter Perena Castle.

 At first I was stopped by the gatekeepers, but this time I was able to enter the castle easily because I had received a bill of sale with my letter of intent to enter the castle.

 Perena Castle was as old as Canale Castle. It appears to be slightly larger than Canale Castle.

 As we approached the entrance to the castle through the gates, we began to hear a rustling sound.

 Could it be that we are late? I hurried on impatiently.

 When I entered the castle, a large number of nobles were sitting in chairs chatting.
 It seems that the party has not yet begun, as the food has not been delivered. I am relieved.

 As I entered the castle, some noblemen looked at me with a look on their faces and said, "What a little brat!

 The nobles who come here must be almost all nobles of higher rank than me. I felt uncomfortable somehow.

''Oh, it's Ars! You're here!

 I heard a familiar voice.

 When I looked at the direction I heard the voice, I saw Lemayle walking towards us.

 Menace, who is always by Lemayle's side, wasn't there today. He must not have been invited to the party either.

'I'll be quick to explain, since I'm sure they're all strangers to Ars, but I'll be brief. First of all, I see that the smaller man sitting over there is Luke Doran, the Mayor of Perena County.

 Lemeil said, pointing to a small middle-aged man with white hair 《Hakuhachi》.

 I appraised Perena County Chief Luke.

 He is small in stature but high in leadership and valor. His politics are also reasonably high, but his intelligence is not so high.
 As I recall, he was an upstart like his father.
 He seems to be a moderately capable man, so the fact that he has become an ally is probably significant, even if we don't talk about resources.

 One after another, Lemayle introduces the leading nobles to them.

 When it came to the nobles of the county chief's rank, most of them had a competent status compared to ordinary people. Although there were some that wondered if this guy was okay.

 There was just no one with outstanding abilities. That part was a bit worrisome.

''Is Clan-sama still not here?''
You'll be there, but you won't be there. He will be speaking when the party is held.

 If you're going to give a speech, I can appraise you then. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of person he is.

 After the introductions were completed, I took a seat to the right of Lemayle. In the seat to the left of Lemayle, Lemayle's full-time wife was sitting next to him.
 I heard that the people attending the party this time were influential noblemen, their wives, and then their children and brothers.

 Many of them hadn't yet been appraised, and as I was about to appraise them, a sound like the tapping of a cymbal rang out.

 The nobles who had been chatting fell silent and stood up. I stood up as well, drifting around.

 The lumeil next to me.

He's ready.

 I whispered.

 Kots, kots, and the sound of footsteps approaching in the silence.

 A door at the back of the hall opens.

 A blond man enters.

 At the same time, the nobles begin to bow their heads, and I hurriedly lower them as well. I think that's the Clan, but I couldn't be sure.

''Raise your face.''

 A low, dignified voice rang out.

 I raise my head.

 A blonde man dressed in opulent clothing stood proudly in front of the nobles. He was about forty-something years old.
 The multiple scars on his face showed that he was a nobleman of good birth, but he had been through many battles.

 I immediately appraised the clan.

 Clan Salemakia, 45 years old, male.
 Leadership 99/99.
 Valor 97/97
 Wisdom 78/79
 Politics 80/81
 Ambition 93
 Infantry A
 Cavalry S
 Archers B
 Magician B
 Castle A
 Weapons C
 Navy A
 Air Force B
 Plan C

 It had more status than I had imagined.