The group returned to the capital of Dushan and reported to the King that everything was finished.
「The leader of the bandits has been defeated. It should collapse soon.」
Hearing Alexis' news, the King was pleased.
He took Alexis's hand and promised him a reward for his work and future exchanges and preferential trading rights with the Sagrado kingdom.
Originally, Alexis had come to this country to arrange favorable terms of trade between the Krangal Kingdom and this country's most prominent merchant.
But because of this unexpected result, Alexis was surprised, though it was a good thing.
「Then, we will definitely use the Ilaana trading company for our future trade with Sagrado.」
Alexis turned around to see Ilaana.
She is wearing the new clothes that Maria bought for her yesterday.
The reason why she is with Alexis and the others is that they both helped to destroy the bandits.
And with this unexpected appointment, she blinks her eyes.
The King, however, seems immediately convinced.
「I see. This case is indeed possible only with the cooperation of Ilaana. Her group is still small but should be rewarded according to their achievement.」
After saying this, King Dushan nodded his head.
「From now on, Ilaana will have the exclusive right to trade with Sagrado. This will remain in effect permanently unless otherwise requested by the Sagrado Kingdom. —How about that?」
「Y-Yes. Thank you, Your Majesty! And—」
Ilaana's turquoise eyes turn to Alexis.
Today she is wearing clear and pure air, and her brown skin peeking out from her clothes is shiny and beautiful.
「...Alexis Krangal Sagrado-sama. Thank you for your continued support. Well, I mean, trade, too...」
Her words are slurred with a wry smile.
Looking at this, the King seems puzzled, while Alexis smiles.
* * *
After that, they leave the capital of Dushan, albeit a little behind schedule.
「The next stop is further southwest, in the Fidelia country, Prince-sama」
Maria, dressed as a secretary, said to Alexis in the carriage as she flipped through her schedule book.
「...Huff, I don't think we're going to go home yet...」
Alexis looks out the window of the carriage and murmurs.
On the Couchman platform, Eden, dressed in full body armor and an armet is leading the horse again today.
Now, while Alexis looked out the window, Maria wondered what was on his mind...
"Um, Prince-sama?" Maria asked with a puzzled look.
When Alexis turned around, she was miffed.
「Don't play with fire on the road. Are you going to let the princess worry about you?」
"Ugh," Alexis growled. He felt like he'd been hit right where it hurt.
「Why do you have to say that to me? You're dealing with me, too.」
He couldn't help but retort.
And hearing this, Maria turns her cheeks and turns away.
「I-I don't mind. I'm just a prostitute for you too」
Her reply made Alexis grin with a flash of recognition.
「Are you jealous?」
Maria is stunned as if she had hit the nail on the head.
But Alexis was grinning even more, and she was so angry that she pinched his knee firmly.
「It hurts! You're terrible...」
「...It's not terrible. Anyway, I'm still good. I've had more chances to be Prince-sama's partner than most」
Maria retorted and turned her eyes away from him.
Alexis followed her gaze and saw Eden's back.
「...I know she's a guard... And she should be jealous sometimes. But because of her personality, she's not a very assertive girl. Why don't you give her some attention once in a while? Especially, in this case, I'm sure she's been of the most help to you」
Alexis nodded his head at Maria's words.
* * *
It was almost evening when they arrived at the small town.
Alexis motioned to Eden to stop the carriage and said, "I guess we're staying here today."
They left the horses and the carriage at a nearby stable and asked someone to take care of their cargo, including the carriage.
They carried only their valuables and a sack containing the bare necessities. The armors are not a problem, as each member is wearing his or her own armors. —One point is that Maria is dressed as a secretary more often than others. But it is more convenient for her to do so.
Besides, Maria is the one who takes the lead in miscellaneous negotiations. For example, she is the one who makes reservations for accommodations or simple negotiations with stores.
And for tonight, they decided to spend the night at an inn near the stables.
Maria quickly goes to the counter to rent a room, and Eden stands near the front door.
As she waited, Alexis suddenly tapped her shoulder.
He then casually spoke to her, "Eden, good work."
At this point, Eden sometimes feels slightly puzzled by such an attitude she never had with the previous owner. Eden, however, does not dislike the Lord's current disposition.
Still, she does not know how to reply to him, and she ends up giving the usual "...hmm..." curtly.
But Alexis didn't seem to mind at all and spoke to her, "You've been dressed like that for a long time now."
「Why don't you return to your room early and get some rest? You don't have to guard me all the time, okay?」
Eden is in trouble.
Get back to my room as soon as possible. Is that a distraction? I don't mind this job. It's also a guard's job. In fact, I like it. That was Eden's thought.
But Master's words are absolute.
So, Eden nodded her head.
—Well, there was nothing to do, though.
After thought so, Eden goes to her assigned private room and takes off her helmet.
Holding her helmet in her hands, she shakes her head to loosen the clumps of her hair.
She then looks over to the side and sees a full-length mirror.
She saw herself sweating, and her hair was sticking to her cheeks.
Well, the climate here is a little hot and humid for this outfit.
So, she puts down her helmet and weapons and removes her armor.
She then wears a light one-piece dress underneath. She also wears laced leather sandals instead of shoes. It is otherwise hot.
Now, she opens the window, and a breeze comes in and coolly caresses her body.
She squinted her eyes, enjoying the coolness.
Then she heard a knock at the door.
「...Who is it?」
Eden, who had not expected someone to come at this time of the day, braces herself.
（...What is it?）
As she gasped for breath and quietly approached the door, she heard a voice saying, "it's me," and thought her heart would stop.
「It's Alexis. May I come in?」
Her shoulders relax.
At the same time, the door in front of her slammed open. Alexis, dressed in his usual clothes with a short sword on his belt, stood there.
（It is rare to see him with a sword）
As Eden thinks this, Alexis' eyes widen.
「You're taking off your armor?」
「...Hmm. I didn't think I'd need it today. I'm sorry... soon, I'll be ready.」
She rushes to reach for her armour, but Alexis says, "No."
「Anyway, why don't we go for a short walk?」
Eden is at a loss.
If her Master had been his usual self, he would have been checking his schedule with Maria for a while after arriving at the inn.
Perhaps she thought so, but it showed on her face.
"I left work early today too."
Alexis said and laughed.
「Come on. Let's go for a walk. —Off duty, of course」
「...As you wish」
Eden nodded in agreement, but Alexis said, "No, no."
「You should tell me, "What a terrible Master you are, to try to take me outside of work"」
「Hmm... "What a terrible master you are, to try to take me outside of work...」
Eden complied with her words, though she had a grim expression.
And Chuckling at Eden, Alexis extended his hand, "Come on, let's go."
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