Chapter 180 Celebratory Items are Aid Supplies
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
After that, we went around the settlement and before we knew it, it was getting dark and it was time for dinner, so we decided to return to the mansion. However, my steps towards the mansion were very heavy.
”Are you that unhappy about dinner?”
”Well, of course. Besides my father, Viscount Hedmar will also be present. And we are the ones hosting, so it’s natural to feel nervous.”
I had some interaction with other nobles in social circles, but all of them were invitations to participate. This was the first time I would be hosting.
”Hmm, this aspect of you hasn’t changed. Master Neil, since you have come of age, you should be more confident. Look, today marks exactly one year since–“
Suddenly, while Diana was speaking, she thrust her fist towards the side of Kaltz’s abdomen, but Kaltz narrowly dodged it.
”What’s gotten into you all of a sudden!?”
”I apologize, I saw a large fly landing on Kaltz-sama’s side… and also, words can be troublesome.”
”Huh? Oh, haha, sorry, sorry.”
”What are you two doing?”
Just when I thought the fight had started without any warning, Kaltz suddenly scratched his head and apologized. I, who couldn’t keep up with the situation, asked in a mix of exasperation, and Kaltz, who clearly tried to cover something up, patted my shoulder.
”Master Neil, there’s no need for you to worry about such things. Come on, Lord and Madam are waiting, let’s go to the dining hall quickly.”
With Kaltz, who is not good at covering up, pushing my back, I ended up in front of the dining hall door. Once I opened this door, I would have to entertain the guests as the master of this mansion and be expected to respond accordingly.
Taking a deep breath two or three times on the spot, I made up my mind and opened the door to the dining hall. My parents, and Viscount Hedmar and his wife were sitting at the table in the dining hall, but when I looked from the entrance of the dining hall, I witnessed Mei sitting next to my mother, and I involuntarily stopped.
Why is Mei here? There is no problem in terms of status, but I wondered why Mei would willingly participate in such a formal occasion. Just as I was wondering about Mei’s presence, my father spoke up.
”Don’t just stand there, take your seat quickly.”
Prompted by my father, I was also bewildered by the unexpected situation, and my previous determination disappeared, and I sat in the vacant seat with fear and trembling.
As I was confused by this situation, my father called out to one of the servants who had been standing by the wall and instructed them to bring something. Without much delay, one of the servants brought something that looked like clothes, and handed it to me.
Once again, prompted by my father, I took the offered clothes and checked them. They had a slightly different design, but they were similar to the clothes I was currently wearing.
”It’s a custom-made item using Brassworm thread. We don’t know what might happen in the settlement, so it’s better to be cautious.”
”Ah, thank you very much.”
Brassworms are magic creatures that produce a special thread with excellent tensile strength and cut resistance.
Even in its normal state, the thread is already superior, but when infused with magic, it exhibits a strength that can withstand even a powerful blow.
It is used for various purposes and is particularly used as armor. In the dangerous settlement where dangerous magic creatures roam, such items are very much appreciated.
However, I wondered why they were given to me at this timing, and my mother laughed as she watched my puzzled expression.
”I knew you hadn’t noticed. You always show interesting reactions every year, so I never get bored.”
”Every year?… Oh.”
At that moment, I remembered what day it was today. Today is the third Wind Week of Water Star, my birthday.
”I was worried that even if you came all the way to the settlement, you wouldn’t notice, but it seems I was worried for nothing.”
”I’ve been busy with paperwork lately, so my mind hasn’t been that sharp.”
Well, I’m not usually aware of my birthday, so it’s quite possible that I wouldn’t have noticed it even if I wasn’t busy…but I see, the reason why Mei, who usually never joins such a party, is here is because it’s my birthday, right?
I now understand what Kaltz-san said earlier, and why Diana tried to interrupt him.
I was supposed to be the organizer of the party, but I found myself the guest of honor, and I smiled back at the congratulatory words being offered to me by the people around me, even though I was a bit puzzled.
”Phew… I’m tired.”
After finishing dinner and taking a bath, I bury my face in my bedroom’s bed and let out a deep sigh. Even though it’s my birthday, there won’t be any extravagant celebration among the imperial nobles.
It’s still going to be formal and rigid. Exhausted from using my mental strength, I feel completely worn out.
If it were just my father, mother, and Mei, I wouldn’t have to worry so much. But with Viscount Hedmar present, I can’t let my guard down.
The thought of this continuing tomorrow fills me with a gloomy mood. As if to release those feelings, I let out another deep sigh, and then the bedroom door is knocked.
”Neil, it’s me.”
”Lewya? Please come in.”
When I invite her to enter, Lewya opens the door slightly and slips into the room through the gap. She seems to not want anyone else to know that she’s here, and I tilt my head at her appearance.
”What are you doing at this hour?”
”Well, I wanted to give this to you, Neil.”
Saying that, Lewya approaches the bed and hands me something. It’s a small necklace with a pale green crystal attached to it.
The crystal has a thin transparency and a murky color, so it doesn’t seem suitable for use as an accessory.
”It may not look good as a decoration for nobles, but its effects are outstanding.”
”Effects? So it’s not just a decoration?”
”It would be faster to experience it firsthand rather than explaining it in words. I think it will work well for you now, Neil. Try holding the crystal and letting magic flow through it.”
As instructed by Lewya, I hold the pale green crystal and let magic flow through it.
The crystal, imbued with magic, emits a faint glow, and at the same time, I feel the fatigue that had accumulated in my body dissipating.
”Amazing, the tiredness disappeared all at once.”
”The crystal is made by squeezing the juice from the medicinal herbs we use for healing, solidifying it, and then inscribing some kind of magic on it.”
”It was made by someone from our village, not by me. I don’t know the exact process, and besides, I’m not good at magic. So I don’t really understand those details.”
”I see, but I thought elves didn’t have any magic tools other than the wedges.”
”That’s right. So it’s not an existing item. I asked the people from the village to make it, and it was completed and delivered just three days ago.”
”I see. But why did you make something like this?”
”Neil, you’ve been exhausted every day recently. I thought if I could help even a little, I could make something useful for the village. That’s why we came up with the idea of making something that would help with fatigue recovery.”
”I see. Lewya’s consideration touched me.”
But at the same time, I realized something.
”If it was delivered three days ago, why didn’t you give it to me right away?”
”It’s because of you, Neil. If I had given you something like that before the reinforcements arrived, I could already see you saying, ‘I’m fine because I have this,’ and pushing yourself too hard.”
”Oh, ahahaha… I can’t say anything.”
As Lewya says, I can easily imagine myself not leaving my desk if I had received it three days ago. All I can do is smile wryly.
”Also, I heard today is your birthday. I thought it would be best to give it to you today… um, was it inappropriate to give it on your birthday?”
”I heard from Diana that a birthday gift for nobles is not just a congratulatory item. I thought you wouldn’t mind, Neil, but I was a little worried.”
”Oh, I see. That’s what you meant. Don’t worry, I don’t mind.”
I reassure Lewya, who looks anxious.
Lewya also said that the gifts given to the nobles on their birthdays had meanings other than congratulations. Long ago, in a certain lord’s territory, there was a series of poor harvests, and the people not only struggled to pay taxes but also to find food to eat.
The lord was desperate because many of his subjects would starve to death if things continued like this. At that time, a large number of carts loaded with food arrived from a neighboring territory.
The lord rushed to the procession of carts and asked what was happening. He was told,
’This is a gift from my master to you, Lord, to celebrate your birth.’
It wasn’t the lord’s birthday that day, but he learned that the neighboring lord, who knew the situation and felt sorry, had given him food with a suitable excuse.
The lord gratefully shared the food with his subjects and managed to avoid the worst-case scenario. This story spread throughout the continent, and over time, it became a custom to extend a helping hand to those in need on their birthdays, continuing to this day.
However, the tricky part of this story is that giving gifts on someone’s birthday who is in need is seen as a form of assistance rather than a congratulatory gift. In other words, it is perceived as a somewhat condescending gift, saying, “You’re in trouble, so I’ll help you.”
Therefore, giving gifts on birthdays is limited to those who are in a higher position than the recipient, even if they are offerings. It is considered taboo to give gifts on birthdays.
”I actually thought about giving the gift one day late, but I thought it would be better to give it on a festive day. And I asked Diana if she wanted to give something as well, thinking that it would be better to celebrate with more. But she refused, saying, ‘It’s inappropriate for me to give something to Master Neil.’”
”Diana is quite strict about those things. Even if she knows I don’t mind, she would still refuse.”
Still, Lewya didn’t stop giving gifts, which means Diana also showed some flexibility.
”Oh, so that’s why you sneaked into the room secretly?”
”Yeah, I thought it might cause trouble if Neil’s parents saw. Even if they did, I planned to make up an excuse like ‘I came for a night visit.’”
”Please spare me that excuse.”
Maybe Lewya couldn’t think of any other reason to visit the master’s bedroom at night, but seriously, reporting to my parents, “I’m going to sleep with your son tonight,” what kind of embarrassing play is that?
Father probably won’t say anything and will avoid the topic, but I can already imagine Mother teasing and playing around. I’m glad Lewya didn’t get caught by Mother.
”Anyway, thank you for this. I’ll use it carefully.”
”Yeah, please do. Goodnight, Neil.”
I bid farewell to Lewya as she left the room, feeling the accumulated fatigue dissipate, and I was about to go to sleep in a pleasant mood when it happened.
”Oh, you’re… I believe…”
”Ah, this is, ma’am.”
”I thought this was Neil’s room, but what are you doing here at this hour? Could it be… oh my, oh my, oh my!”
I heard an unsettling conversation from outside the room, so I quietly covered myself with the blanket, blocking out the sound from outside.
It must be my imagination now. I’ll pretend I didn’t hear anything and escape into the dream world, away from reality.
The next morning, it goes without saying that I was bombarded with questions from Mother.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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