"Y-young Master? Is there a problem?"
Ian, who could not look back as he was driving the carriage, began to drip cold sweat.
It was because Riley suddenly leaned in towards the driver’s seat with two sparkling eyes.
"W-what you said...is it true?"
As Riley stuttered his question, Ian also stuttered his answer.
"A-about the black sugar beer?"
"Black sugar beer?"
"Yes, that is the name of the drink I've told you. That's how it is called in Solia."
Iris showed a reaction to the word ‘beer.’
She was aware that her son had never drunk alcohol before.
Although, that was excluding the previous life he had.
As Iris only knows the Riley of this world, her thoughts weren't entirely wrong.
"You're going to make Riley drink beer?"
Sons first learn how to drink from their father.
That is what Iris thought was norm.
"Haha, there is no need to worry. As I've said before...you cannot get drunk by drinking the black sugar beer. There is no alcohol in the drink itself. Even children aging five drink it without a problem in Solia."
That's how Coke should be.
A drink everyone wants on a hot day, regardless of age and gender.
It's so devilishly addictive that you could even believe it was made by the gods.
Although they say you gain weight and rot your teeth if you drink too much.
Riley loved that drink over every other food and drink in the world.
Ah, that fizziness.
"You drink it with food made from potatoes right? Or a sandwich, perhaps a burger."
Ian looked back after Riley's question.
Because the carriage began to knock about as Ian looked back, he quickly looked forward and answered Riley's question.
"Yes, you seem to know it well?"
‘Was what he saw in his dream so clear?’
Ian scratched his head as his Young Master who had never seen black sugar beer before seemed to know about it better than he did.
"Well, it's as you say. The sweetness cannot be compared with the likes of fruit beer and it goes well with salty food. Not to mention it's quite cheap, so the children love it. It is delicious."
Even Ian who had worked as a mercenary before had tasted the drink very rarely.
The black sugar beer was something you could only obtain in the capital, Solia.
"Well, the nobles don't seem to like it very much though."
As Sera joined in on the conversation with those words, Riley quickly turned and looked at her.
"It feels like peasant food."
Iris frowned at the unintentional swear words.
"Riley! Watch your language!"
Riley quickly apologised as he scratched the back of his head sheepishly and took his seat again.
"It's just a surprise that what I dreamed about actually exists here."
Black sugar beer.
A drink called Coke in his previous life.
Truth be told it wasn't simply his imagination manifesting in his dream, but something he remembered from his past.
Riley simply talked his way around it as there was no need to complicate things.
"Well, there are many things to see other than that. You can look forward to it."
"Can't you tell us more beforehand?"
As Sera promised them with a sly smile, Iris began to ask for more stories with a face full of curiosity.
"Hmm, I could tell you more..."
Sera's face became mischievous.
"But wouldn't that take the fun out of your vacation with Young Master?"
"Haha! I agree with Sera. It is always exciting to discover new things. Solia's peculiarities will make for good memories."
"Come on, are you really going to be like this?"
"I will be your guide. But, I shall only watch."
Ian looked after Riley's back, while Sera looked after Iris'.
For Iris and Riley of the Iphelleta House they serve,they wanted to see the two of them wander the city with joy.
It crushed their hearts to watch them be oppressed by Lady Orelly and her two sons... So they at least wanted to show them some happiness.
"Hmph, alright! Fine! So mean..."
Iris turned her nose with a “Hmph!”
Although her voice was sharp, there was a smile on her face.
While everyone was smiling, Riley was the only exception.
With a serious face and a finger to his mouth, he was thinking.
Thinking about the black sugar beer.
He was excited.
Among his past life filled with pain and regrets it was one of the few redeeming factors.
He wanted to drink it soon.
The boy sleeping on Iris' lap began to sleep talk and wriggle his fingers.
Iris, who was lending him her lap, playfully poked at the boy's cheek, and the sleeptalk stopped.
It was Riley.
"My lady, isn't it tiring?"
"No, I'm fine. I could ask you the same."
"We've only just swapped, it's alright."
Even during the night, the carriage continued without stopping.
It was thanks to the special horses pulling the carriage.
Not only that, on the roof there was also an invention made by the wizards, a creation made thanks to their sweat and blood which allowed for safe travels even at night.
"How long until our arrival?"
Iris turned and faced Ian who was sitting across from her.
"There is still some distance. You should sleep as well."
Ian, who was sitting with his arms crossed, looked at the map after Iris' question and answered.
“At the latest we should arrive by tomorrow night. If we arrive earlier then we need to have a tour with Young Master."
"That sounds nice, but shouldn't we register for the swordsmanship tournament first?"
Although Riley wasn't competing, watching the tournament also required registration.
In order to be registered, they must send news of their arrival to the castle in Upper Solia, and request for a pass.
"That can be done by either Sera or me."
At Ian's reply Iris changed her question with a sorry face.
It was about rest.
"Shouldn't you be sleeping too, Ian?"
Ian held out his hand at Iris' question.
"There are times I've been awake for a week straight during wartime. This much is a walk in the park for me."
It was during Ian's prime days.
He began to work as a mercenary when he was a teen, and participated in many battles.
Comparing the days he spent next to a corpse with all his senses sharp and unable to sleep, this truly was a walk in the park.
"But that was in the past."
He may have been like that in his prime, but Ian was beyond seventy years old now.
Thanks to the training of his body and mana, he was healthy compared to others of his age, but Iris could not hide her worry at the sight of Ian's white hair.
"My lady, how could you? I am still on active duty."
‘Is this how most swordsmen are like?
It's good to rest when you can but they are too stubborn.’
After arriving as Stein's concubine, she was so busy trying to recover from her sickness that she, who hadn’t learned swordsmanship, couldn't comprehend many of their aspects.
"If you can't sleep, then how about a chat?"
Ian began to search through their packs to prepare a good tea to drink before sleep and handed one of the cups to Iris.
"Ah, thank you."
It was the tea made from the seeds given by Riley.
Iris had a proud smile on her.
While they were waiting for the tea to cool down, Ian asked Iris a question.
"You...are not going to change your mind right?"
"About the tournament?"
Ian, who was as excited as Stein that Riley was going to compete in the tournament, lowered his eyes as he grabbed the cup's handle.
Iris paused for a short moment then answered.
Although she knew nothing about the sword, she gave an answer so unwavering, it was as if she would never back down on this matter.
"My decision won't change. If Riley does not want to compete then I don't want to force him."
"Ian. If you truly serve Riley, you shouldn't push him into this. You should support him."
Iris tried to convince Ian.
"You know, don’t you? That Riley is worried. That he's worried about how everyone looks at him."
Ian had always been next to Riley.
Even when he would doze off on the mansion's apple tree.
Even when he swung the wooden sword at the dummy and casted it away.
Ian knew that Young Master was reading the atmosphere.
And he also got the feel that he was hiding something.
"...I guess with age comes anxiousness."
Ian broke the silence in the carriage.
"Although I've just boasted that I'm still on active duty, I am in truth worried. I don't know when I'll disappear."
Ian's face became bitter, as he seemed to remember the time he collapsed before.
"There's nothing I can do. There's nothing I can do but have hope in the Young Master."
‘I saw the possibility.
I saw hope.’
When he had first seen the talent in Riley that could not compare to Ryan, Lloyd or even Stein, he was unable to sleep for three days.
He was excited, and delighted that Riley would attain what he could never achieve.
"You just told me, right? That I shouldn't push him into this, but support him instead."
Although he was a servant, it was advice from an elder.
Iris nodded her head.
"I am the same as you my lady. It may not be identical, but it is very similar. Just as you were resolute on declining his spot in the competition, I was hoping for his participation."
‘Why would you go so far?’
Iris's eyes seemed to ask that question.
Ian replied with a detached look on his face.
"...Placing hope on the next generation is the duty of the old."
As Ian muttered those words.
The carriage was knocked about.
At the sudden shaking, Ian and Iris looked at Sera who was driving the carriage.
Sera had a sharp look on her face, which wasn't her usual look.
"It's an ambush."
Riley who was sleeping on Iris' lap narrowly opened his eyes.