While reading a book in the library, I felt eyes gazing at me.
“Eldor… why are you staring at me?”
“No particular reason.”
I let out a huge sigh. The reason was pretty obvious. It was to prevent me from secretly sneaking out and heading towards the town of ore.
The town of Maaken is not that far away from here, but it’s not a place an 11-year-old kid should go to by himself. I just simply wanted to buy some magic ores, but Eldor ended giving me a warning. Telling me something along the lines of “Children should not head out alone.”
Since I had no other options left, I thought about asking father, but sadly he was too busy with his work, so he didn’t have any time to spare. The only other person I could think of is Sebastian but being the sole person in charge of giving directions to the other servants of the house; I couldn’t ask him to go on a long trip with me. Even if it’s not that far, all-in-all it would take about half a day to search and ask around about magic ores. And so that’s why I’m in the current situation, confined in the library quietly with Eldor.
If you are asking for a reason for wanting to buy the ores, I have it…
The magic ores produced in Maaken that are used for the repair of Demonic Jewels should also be obtainable in the Capital city of the Jackberry territory. What’s more, our house should have some in stock. I have seen magic teacher Joshua handle magic ores on multiple occasions during magic classes. Furthermore, I have seen Fortuna’s magic teacher, Cledil, take them out of the magic warehouse to use in his classes later. In the magic warehouse, there are a great amount of tools related to magic and magic ores should be no doubt part of them as well. Even if there are ores mixed in between that are not from Maaken, we should be able to easily find out by laying them next to Ariane’s necklace.
The problem, however, is that the success rate of repair drops the older they are. In other words, I want magic ores that have only recently been excavated. Putting skilled craftsman who excel at handling demonic jewels aside, if a beginner like me is to handle it, I’d like the success chance to be as high as possible, even by a little. Furthermore, Ariane’s necklace is a memento from her mother. It’s the only one in the world, so making a mistake is absolutely unforgivable. That’s why, somehow, I want to go to the town of ore Maaken, but…
“Is there something on my face…?”
“No, nothing in particular.”
I wonder if it’s possible to sneak out behind Eldor’s back? Ever since I recovered the memories of my previous life, it feels like Eldor won’t give me any break. He used to let his guard down around me a lot more.
I let out another huge sigh.
One day while pondering how I would go to the town of ore, Maaken. An opportunity showed itself. As usual, Riley out of nowhere visited my house. While Eldor was busy preparing tea, Riley whispered “Leave it to me” with his thumb sticking up.
I’m counting on you!
“Eldor. I apologize but could you get us some black tea from Bau today?”
“From Bau, you say?”
After hearing Riley’s words, Eldor who was preparing Riley’s favorite Burandin black tea froze for a short instant. That’s right. The black tea from Bau is not among my favorites, so it’s barely ever ordered. There shouldn’t be any leaves from Bau in this room. Riley surely asked for it knowing all this.
“It’s been a while, so I feel like drinking that tea again.”
After giving a bow, Eldor leaves the room. There should not be any Bau leaves except for in the kitchen or perhaps in the warehouse.
“Shall we take this chance and go?”
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“Hey hey, don’t ask the impossible. We have roughly 20 minutes at most before Eldor returns, right? There is no way we can escape in that short of time.”
Riley waves one of his hands, gesturing ‘impossible.’ Then what do we do?
Riley pulls close to me and whispers in my ear.
“Are you serious…?”
With a wide grin, Riley laughed back at me.
“Well then, Riley-sama. I’ll leave Langlease-sama in your care.”
“Yeah, leave him to me!”
In front of the main gate of the Jackberry manor facing the magic carriages prepared by the Weimar family, Eldor silently bowed his head. I decided to stay at Riley’s house for three days, starting now.
In truth, we are heading to the town of ore, Maaken. We deceived Eldor this way.
Eldor is the same as always, spotless slate gray hair arranged smartly, and just like his father Sebastian, his eyes were quite frank.
I’m sorry, Eldor.
I take a look at the luggage that Eldor prepared for us, while a servant named Trian from Riley’s house was piling up our luggage aboard the carriage. Inside the luggage that was being loaded on the magic carriage was changes of clothes for three days and some souvenirs for Riley’s family.
“If you’re not allowed to go out alone then let’s go together. I will tell my family that I’ve decided to stay at your house, while you tell yours that you’ve decided to stay at mine.”
While we made Eldor retrieve some Bau tea for us, Riley whispered that in my ear. If I tell them I’m staying over at Riley’s house, I will be able to move freely. We have stayed at each others house on numerous occasions so it shouldn’t be suspicious. I who wanted to hurry and repair Ariane’s necklace as soon as possible accepted the proposal without hesitating, but…
Aaah, this is hard. If you wonder what’s so hard, it’s about how much it weighs down on me to deceive Eldor like this. Eldor also wanted to come along with us, but I reminded him of the task I gave him to keep a lookout on Ariane and Riley also used some of his eloquence to forcibly convince him to stay behind and take care of the house.
“Langlease, hurry up and get on. We are leaving!”
Urged by Riley, I boarded the magic carriage.
“Well then, preparations are complete! ♪” 1
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When we were unable to see the Jackberry house, Riley who was sitting inside the carriage was in a good mood and excitedly began chanting some magic spells. A light fluttered around transforming Riley and changing his appearance to that of a simple young man. Glossy brown hair without any charm and a face filled with freckles. Ordinary clothes with not a single ornament decorating it and appearing as if changed in a hurry. No matter how you look at it, you wouldn’t guess he’s an aristocrat. As always, his transformation is pretty well done.
“What appearance would you be okay with?”
“Even if you ask me that… I guess one fitting for someone of the town of Maaken?”
“…I’ll try to change you appropriately.”
From Riley’s fingertip came a small beam of light that started hovering around me.
“How about this?”
He passed me a hand mirror where I peered into timidly.
“Didn’t it change too little?”
The hair color and pupils were the same as Riley’s and my slant eyes just turned droopy. Honestly, my round figure was not changed at all.
“My figure still hasn’t changed.”
“You think anyone will find out?”
This plump figure is not that bad.
“…Well, this will do somehow, right?”
Don’t turn your eyes away, Riley!
Well even if I get found out, it’s not like I have any acquaintances in Maaken. It will work out somehow. Yeah. I also ended up excitedly changing into simpler clothes. Good thing I prepared some marathon clothes. The ones Riley gave me were roughly my size, and I used them everyday when working hard on the marathons, but the ones I’m wearing now are the ones that I ordered myself previously, in the end, I didn’t cancel them. They were a special order so I thought it would be troublesome for the tailor’s family if I suddenly canceled them.
“You dress up by yourself huh. That’s a bit unexpected.”
Riley made a dumbfounded face as he watched me fit each of the buttons in the correct holes and smoothly dressing myself. Well, normally I would have some servants dress me.
After sitting in the shaking magic carriage for a few hours, it slowly began to decrease its speed indicating that we were approaching our destination. Although a magic carriage is horse-drawn, it rarely shakes. The horses used for them were jet black, probably because it’s a creature produced with a demonic jewel as its core. It’s movements and actions weren’t any different from that of a normal horse though.
“Riley, can you make one of those horses?”
“Don’t be a fool. You need to learn high-level crafting for those. I can only use magic.”
It would be easier to move around if we could make those horses whenever we wanted. What a shame.
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The magic carriage slowly passes through the walls of Maaken. The noisy and lively sound of a group of people making a commotion could be heard outside the carriage, so I slid the curtains to the side a bit to take a look outside. Some little girls were pointing at the magic carriage with bright smiles on their faces. Aside from the girls, there were also some other flickering gazes looking this way.
I wonder if it was a bad call to enter the town through the suburbs since we took the trouble of using simple clothes as a disguise. We made it so that our fake appearance didn’t stand out too much. Oh well, even if it’s found out we are aristocrats it’s not like any group can target us whenever they’d like. I would prefer if they thought of us as somewhat wealthy folks though.
“Stop in front of the [Golden Wall Inn].”
Riley called out to the coachman.
“Did you arrange for an Inn as well?”
“Rather what would you have done if I didn’t arrange for one? It’s impossible for us to camp outside.”
“Will we need an Inn?”
“You should take into account the margin of time both for searching for the magic ore and repairing the necklace. Also, it’s better if we avoid leaving the town after sunset, right?”
“Yeah, you’re right.”
In truth, after arriving at the town of ore, Maaken and getting some magic ores, I thought the plan was to head straight to Riley’s house. I even put a craftsman’s kit into my hand baggage secretly. Still though, isn’t Riley being way too efficient? Would it normally be possible to prepare that much ahead?
“I’m normal. You are just ignorant of how the world works.”
“Eh? How did you…?”
“It’s written all over your face. Come on, we arrived. Let’s get off. Can you carry your luggage by yourself?”
I stepped out of the magic carriage following Riley and received the traveling bag that Trian took down for me.
Ugh, this is quite heavy. I feel that my stamina has gotten a little better with the stretches and marathons, but my strength is still lacking.
“Lease-sama, allow me.”
“Sorry about that.”
Seeing the staggering me, Trian offered his support and took the traveling bag from me. Haa, so pathetic. By the way, my name is “Lease,” we decided this in an earlier meeting, Riley’s name is “Rai.” I didn’t really see the point in using pseudonyms, but it was Riley that recommended it after all. He is used to being incognito and disguising himself, so I’ll follow his advice.
Trian walks up front and opens the door of the Golden Wall Inn.
The moment we entered through the door, me and Riley were lost for words at the same time.
“I’ve been waiting for you.”
Just behind the door, Eldor stood there with an icy smile.
- He’s probably saying this in a melodious way.