Side Story 12
That day, it unusually rained heavily so early in the morning.
The Rosevita Kingdom has a mild climate throughout the year, and although the amount of rainwater does not cause water shortage, it was rare to have rough weather like this. This downpour that can obstruct the vision happens particularly once a year.
Just when I took a long journey, I got caught up in a nasty weather.
While listening to the violent sounds striking the window of the carriage, the man . . . the former Duke of Klassen took a deep sigh.
Nonetheless, coming to this place today was what he has decided for himself.
He is already an old man who was long succeeded by his son but his numerous achievements in the past era are still remembered, so a lot of people everywhere are still seeking for his advice even now. In order to respond, he was travelling around, inciting the worry of his children and grandchildren. He can’t help but complain about the weather right now.
The two-horse carriage carrying the former duke ran straight on the road even in the heavy rain. He soon realized that the landscape is now green and the rain subsided a little.
Is this really the Viscount’s estate? This area which can be somewhat classified as a countryside, a land that is given to a noble, is wide and the agriculture which used the fertile soil and the stock breeding must be their main source of income. The wide distance between houses also has a landscape, and the greenery instead leaves a lot of impression. It is a calm and peaceful scenery, unlike the suburbs where he lives.
However, the sky today looked threatening. For an agriculturist, it is a matter of concern . . .
“Fumu, I see.”
Although all the inhabitants are calling out each other in the fields, they did not seem to be panicking or anxious.
Just like the man riding the horse-drawn carriage, they only said, “It’s a nasty weather”, with a bitter smile.
In other words, countermeasures against water disasters such as waterways are properly taken care of. And their countermeasures . . . they trust their lord who is a statesman.
It is a countryside but this seems to be a good place.
Unconsciously smiling at him, the person sitting opposite him delightedly, “The food in this place is reputed to be delicious.”
It’s no use stressing over the bad weather. If that’s the case, then maybe they should just stay in this place today and enjoy a good meal. With the proposal replacing the gloominess brought by the weather, they shared a laughter together.
* * *
The carriage drove on for a couple of minutes.
When he began to worry about the visibility when the rain became heavier, the horses fiercely neighed. With the shaking ground and the flurried voice of the coachman, it must be the horses from their carriage.
“What is happening?!”
After checking upon his master, the manservant alighted the carriage with a grim expression. In the middle of the road . . . a young woman was kneeling.
He thought she was a beggar of some sort, but she looked different upon closer inspection. Although she was soaking wet with the heavy rain, her attire is of a commoner . . . no, she looks even better than that. There were no scratches or dirt on the white skin under her long flaxen hair. And she is “kneeling” in a bad weather where visibility is not improving. Although her knees are on the ground, she is not crouching. She quietly maintained her posture that shows respect for people of a higher rank.
“……Did something happen?”
When the former duke unexpectedly peered out of the window, she finally raised her face. Wearing a slightly wide-framed glasses, she flashed a charming smile.
“Please forgive my brazenness, former Duke of Klassen. I only have this means for meeting a busy person such as yourself.”
She said clearly and fluently, then lowered her head deeply. But the fact that she called him by his title made him instantly stiffen.
He is a “former” duke, a person who is supposed to be living in retirement. Although the carriage can be said to be made of high quality materials at a first glance, there is no family crest or something. What’s more, no one knew his schedule other than those who are close to him, and even the people he is going to visit does not know specifically his location since his travels were also unexpected.
And yet, this girl addressed him with his title without hesitation. It only meant two things for the Duke of Klassen. Is she a member of his household or a person who wants to harm the duke . . . ?
“………Who are you, young lady?”
After a few seconds of silence, the former duke himself asked for her name. Of course the manservant stood up beside him to protect him, and the coachman reached out for something behind his back and faced her.
The woman smiled a little and presented something from her chest. She did this while still in a kneeling position. The manservant approached her warily and accepted it. It was a very ordinary looking pendant on a silver chain. In front of it is a big medal with a picture of a “carrier pigeon” engraved in the center.
When he presented it to his master, the master’s eyes widened and appeased his manservant. The carrier pigeon is not the family crest of the Duke of Klassen. Also, it did not match any of the noble family’s crest he knew but . . .
The former duke let go of his restraint and approached the woman, putting his own jacket on her.
“Lift your head.” He said in a worried voice, as if she is one of his family members.
“Thank you, Your Grace. To tell you the truth, there is someone who would like to meet you at this place.”
While thanking the old man who was touching her gently, the flaxen haired maiden returned a calm smile again. But her eyes reflected her strong determination.
“This place is without a doubt . . . the land that the ‘Viscount of Kralvane’ owns. I assume it is not connected to this family? Or is it someone else?”
“No. No, Your Grace. It has something to do with the Viscount’s family. Not to you . . . but your ‘granddaughter’.”
Yes, the moment she properly told him, his eyes widened again . . . and nodded deeply after a few seconds.
“Indeed, you seem real.”
The former Duke of Klassen has three sons. Although they are married, including the current duke, the eldest son who succeeded him, their children are “only boys”. The master, who only has male descendants, smiled wryly and nodded back to the woman with certainty. He then looked back to the confused manservant and, in his usual expression, told him, “The schedule will change.” It was not fit for his aged body but his eyes showed his strong will.
That day, the rain fell heavily.
That day, only a month left until the graduation ceremony of the Magic Academy.