Chapter 114 Misunderstandings Abound
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
After the day’s business ended, I called everyone together to relay what I had heard from Ronald-san.
”Hmm, I don’t think an old man like that would do something like that,” Mio said, her voice laced with skepticism.
”Ronald-san has always been worried about us every time we meet… I think it’s a good opportunity for Mio, but I’m a bit uneasy,” I conveyed my uncertainty.
”Is that so? I think it sounds like fun, and I’m curious about what the frontier we’ve heard rumors about is like,” Iko chimed in with her usual cheerful smile.
While Mio looked anxious, Iko wore her usual cheerful smile. These sisters were truly the complete opposite of each other, and someone who didn’t know them would never guess that they were twins.
”I think it’s okay to go to the frontier and check it out. From what I talked with Neil-sama, he doesn’t seem like a bad person, and it was Ronald-san’s proposal, right? So I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” Moona said in a soft and gentle voice.
”Ronald is a good person, so if he brought him, then he must be a good person too,” Momoka added, her tone confident and assured.
”Momo-chan… isn’t that a bit too naive of a thought?” Moona’s skeptical voice questioned Momoka’s optimism.
”Well, but everyone was watching you and Neil-sama’s conversation, right? I don’t think he looked like someone we should be very wary of,” Momoka reasoned in a calm and level voice.
”That’s true… I thought he was quite different from what I had imagined while watching him,” Moona agreed, her tone thoughtful.
”Wait a minute,” Iko raised her hand and interrupted the conversation. “I didn’t know that information. Did you forget about me?”
”No, I just didn’t share it with you on purpose,” I said, my voice tinged with annoyance.
”Why not!?” Iko’s voice was incredulous.
”If I shared it with you while you were working, could you have focused on your work?” I asked, my tone firm.
”That’s impossible, you know!” Iko’s voice was resolute.
I couldn’t help but feel frustrated with Iko’s confident response. While I have been helped many times by Iko’s unwavering brightness, I wonder if there is any way to fix this part of her.
”So what? Did I miss seeing Moona getting cozy with that nobleman?” Iko’s voice was teasing.
”Don’t phrase it like that. It’s not like I shared it to show you their actions,” I said, my tone admonishing.
”I know that, but come on… it’s not something you can see so easily, right?” Iko’s voice was lighthearted.
”What do you mean by ‘right?’ Geez.” My tone was exasperated.
Despite feeling exasperated by Iko’s behavior, I continued with the conversation.
”I do think that going to the frontier itself is not a bad idea,” I said, my voice measured. “However, the fact that we are going there now comes with some risks that we cannot ignore.”
Iko furrowed their brow. “What risks?”
”We have scheduled our journey,” I explained patiently, “and we have given our regular clients a copy of our schedule.”
”I see,” Iko said, their tone skeptical. “So if we go to the frontier, we will be deviating from the schedule, and our regular customers may be worried about us not showing up.”
I nodded. “The scariest thing is that if we don’t show up as planned, customers may leave us for that reason,” I said, my voice tinged with worry. “Even if we want to start traveling again because we’re unhappy with life in the frontier, there’s a high chance that our customers will have left us by then.”
Iko rubbed their chin, lost in thought. “If that happens, we’ll have to start all over again,” they said, their voice resigned.
We continued to discuss and came to a conclusion.
* * *
Main Character’s Perspective
The next day, I ended up playing at a brothel as a matter of course, and I was on my way back to the frontier with Ronald-san’s carriage.
”Sigh…In the end, I didn’t negotiate anything and just played around.”
After playing with Moona-san and being in a daze, I was taken to an inn by Ronald-san, who had already finished negotiating with Niya-san, and I was going back to the frontier without even negotiating properly. I was worried about how to explain this to Diana, as it seemed like I had only come along to visit the brothel.
”Well, it’s not so bad, is it? Even with conditions, we were able to secure the invitation.”
At Ronald-san’s words, I leaned out of the coachman’s box and looked back to see three carriages following us.
”If I had been present at the negotiation, I wouldn’t have had any objections.”
”But you did participate towards the end, didn’t you?”
”Can I really say that I participated in the negotiation for that?”
This morning, Niya-san presented us with three conditions to head towards the pioneer land to hear our response. The first condition was to ensure that they could live a minimum life while staying in the pioneer land, which in other words, meant that since we had invited them there, we needed to provide them with living expenses. Considering the current state of the pioneer land, it was a precaution in case they could not obtain any customers. However, the amount was only equivalent to the cost of food for five people, so I immediately agreed since it was a reasonable demand, given that we had invited them to a pioneer land with few people.
The second condition was that they would stay for a maximum of only Beginning month’s period and not settle down permanently. They did not intend to immediately settle down in an unknown place like the pioneer land. I also agreed to this condition as it seemed reasonable.
The last condition was that they could leave the pioneer land anytime without waiting for the trial period to end. They would not want to be held back by any circumstances in the pioneer land. When I asked why they were in such a hurry, Niya-san seemed to fear that customers would leave while they were in the pioneer land. They wanted to ensure that they could return to their original life immediately if they decided that there was no future for them in the pioneer land. It seemed like they were already making a request that was a stretch, so I had no right to keep them there. Well, I wanted to settle things peacefully as much as possible, so I accepted all of their conditions.
I confirmed only the conditions for their arrival in the pioneer land, and I did not negotiate anything.
”Thanks to your arrival, it ended quickly. If you had stayed in the pioneer land, I would have had to come back to confirm again,” said Ronald.
”Isn’t there a branch of Harvest Hoe’s in that city?” I asked.
”Oh, now that you mention it, there is.”
”Then, why don’t you confirm through there and be done with it?”
I let out a deep sigh as it seemed that my personal purpose for coming was entirely meaningless. In the end, I realized that there would be no answers until my underlying doubts were resolved.
”Diana, will she be angry?”
”Well, even though there was no one else who could be entrusted with the new territory, I suppose she’s dissatisfied that she couldn’t come as your servant.”
”From an outsider’s perspective, I’m just a worthless man who abandoned his duty as a nobleman to visit a brothel…”
In short, I was just a scumbag.
As I thought about what excuse to make when I returned to the new territory, I realized that the carriage had already arrived at the narrow mountain road leading to the new territory.
”We have arrived…”
”Yes, we have. Please get off.”
The carriage stopped next to the mansion, and as soon as I got off, Diana welcomed me as if she had anticipated my arrival time.
”Welcome back, Master Neil.”
”It seems that the invitation to the brothel was successfully achieved.”
”Oh, yes. Thanks to Ronald-san.”
Oh? She seems to be in a better mood than I expected. Maybe she’s not as angry as I thought…
”I see. And how about your side of the story, Master Neil?”
Oh no, it’s no good. I knew it wouldn’t be forgiven. I didn’t even learn anything I wanted to know, and I played around too much. If I say the wrong thing, it’ll definitely be over.
As I pondered how to get out of this situation, a familiar face appeared behind Diana.
”Oh, Master Neil, welcome back.”
”Ronim-san? Did you come back?”
There, I saw Ronim-san, who had returned to the city before the new year. I tried to continue talking with Ronim-san, thinking that this was a chance to avoid Diana’s pursuit, but then I noticed a little girl peeking at me from behind Ronim-san’s back.
”Oh, Ronim-san, who is that child behind you?”
”Oh, she’s my daughter. She was worried about me because I didn’t come back at all, and she wouldn’t let me go alone this time, so I had no choice but to bring her along.”
”Your daughter, is it?”
The girl who Ronim-san said was his daughter was certainly small in height, but for a dwarf child, she was quite slender, or to be honest, she didn’t look like a dwarf at all. Dwarves, regardless of age or gender, had a chubby body shape, and to put it bluntly, they all had a barrel-like physique. Despite that, the girl in front of me had a delicate body shape and her bone structure was clearly different from that of a dwarf. I was wondering if it was okay to point that out when the girl who had been hiding behind Ronim-san made up her mind and came out in front of me, opening her mouth wide.
”Oh, you’re the rumored nobleman, huh! Going out with women and leaving your servants with work! I knew I couldn’t trust nobles after all!”
”Zora! What are you saying!”
The girl called Zora seemed to have said what she wanted to say, and she ignored Ronim-san scolding her and ran away somewhere.
”Really… I’m sorry, my daughter’s dislike of nobles is particularly evident even among our group. Please forgive her.”
”Oh, no, it’s what a child says, so it’s okay.”
”Well then, I’ll excuse myself here. I still have work to do. Oh, and…”
When Ronim-san tried to go back to work and looked back at me, he had a very kind smile on his face.
”It’s natural for someone of Master Neil’s age to be interested in brothel. There’s no need to worry about it.”
Leaving behind the most unnecessary follow-up, Ronim-san left.
But wait, how did Ronim-san know that I went to the brothel? That even a little girl knew about it? Could it be…
”Diana, did you tell everyone that I went to the brothel?”
”Yes, when asked about Master Neil’s absence, I saw no need to hide it.”
”So, did you make up some excuse like I went there to scout for potential brothels in the new settlement?”
”No, I simply said, ‘Master Neil is currently absent as he went to the brothel.’”
”That’s going to create a huge misunderstanding!”
Although I only went there to have some fun, it’s hard to explain, and at the very least, anyone who only heard Diana’s explanation would assume that I left to go to the brothel instead of being responsible for the new settlement. It’s a terrible misunderstanding that has spread throughout the settlement, and I collapsed on the spot in despair.
”Why did you have to explain it like that?”
”I thought it would be clumsy to just convey the reason as Master Neil said.”
The reason I gave was that I wanted to talk to a certain person who worked at the brothel. Admittedly, it’s like revealing that the people who work at the brothel being recruited to settle in the new land are prostitutes, so Diana tried to be considerate in her own way, but I wish she had been considerate of me too. Even if I try to clear up the misunderstanding now, judging by Ronim-san’s reaction, it would only be seen as a shameful confession of a teenage boy who went to a brothel. I was at a loss as to what to do in this situation, and then Lewya came to me.
”…What’s going on here?”
Normally, Lewya would use respectful language since Ronald-san and the others were present, but upon seeing the situation, she seemed to have forgotten to use it and let out those words.
”Master Neil, please stand up already. You’re in front of guests, you know.”
”Darn it… why does this always happen…”
I couldn’t stay on my knees on the ground forever, so I unsteadily stood up and turned towards Lewya.
”Lewya, did you come here to tell me something?”
She paused and then whispered in my ear so only I could hear her.
”Spirits have witnessed suspicious individuals near the settlement last night.”
”Is that for sure?”
”Yeah, when I left the mansion to go to the spot where I was spotted, the people who saw me apparently ran straight into the woods.”
If they ran away from Lewya because they were afraid of being found by her, then they were definitely not good people. I recalled what I had heard from Gibbett-san before about people who cultivate crops out of season, which could be the reason for the suspicious behavior.
Gibbett-san had said that there were no fools who would trespass on land managed by nobles, but apparently one had emerged. I wanted to hear more about the details, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to talk about it openly here.
”Diana, can I ask you to guide Niya-san and the others to the settlement?”
Diana seemed to understand my intentions and obediently followed my instructions. Okay, I’ll leave Niya and the others to Diana and get the details from Lewya.
”Well then, everyone, I’ll guide you to the settlement. Oh, and by the way, who was the one who spent time with Master Neil last night?”
”Wait a minute!”
I grabbed Diana’s shoulder, who was trying to ask unnecessary questions.
”What are you trying to ask!?”
”From your reaction, it seems like you spent time with someone, right?”
Oh no, I just dug my own grave.
”After guiding the guests, I will ask for more details.”
”Is that okay?”
”Well then, everyone, I will guide you through the settlement, so please come this way,” said Diana, but Niya-san and the others looked troubled and didn’t move from around the carriage.
”Well, I was thinking about what to do with the carriage watch.”
”This carriage is like our home, and there are many important things inside. So someone needs to stay behind.”
I see. So the three carriages owned by Niya-san and the others are not just a means of transportation, but also their homes. Although the carriage is a normal wagon and not locked, leaving it unattended without a guard is as reckless as leaving the front door open. While everyone in the settlement is like family, it’s hard for Niya-san and the others, who just arrived, to understand that there are no thieves or dishonest people in the settlement. As Niya-san and the others discussed who should stay behind, Diana interjected.
”If that’s the case, why not ask Ronald-san to watch over it?”
”Well, you’re not strangers to each other, are you? I thought Niya-san and the others would feel safe leaving it to Ronald-san.”
”It’s true that I’d feel more at ease if Ronald watched over it, but is Ronald okay with that?”
”Well, it’s already too dangerous to leave the settlement at this time, so the departure will be tomorrow anyway. It’s fine if Ronald watches over it while you guys look around the settlement.”
”…Then, we’ll leave it to Ronald.”
With Ronald on guard duty, the discussion settled down, and Niya-san and the others went to explore the settlement together. Meanwhile, I went to the office with Lewya to hear the details of last night.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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