It was a few hours after the sunrise.
The youngest master of the Iphelleta House said he wanted to go out. It had been a while since he had done so.
“Excuse me, young master. How about just letting us accompany you?”
Having heard Riley saying he wanted to go to Iffa village, far away in the outskirts of the area, Ian dropped everything he was working on and rushed to see Riley in order to convince him.
“Nainiae only just started working. She also still needs to receive the maid training. If you went there by yourself, it could be dangerous, so even if it is someone other than myself, please take another servant to accompany you.”
He was saying all that because the one he picked to accompany him was Nainiae, the new maid who had been working in the House for less than a week.
“Dangerous? Why would it be?”
“It is! Having just Nainiae would be dangerous! Instead, allowing me to accompany you would be…”
Ian was saying all this because he heard Riley intended to take only one person, just Nainiae, to accompany him.
Since Ian was making the complaint from that angle, Riley actually had a lot to say.
Whenever Riley was inside the mansion or outside somewhere, it was none other than Ian who accompanied Riley, and he always had done it by himself without any other servants.
Unlike how the man looked, Ian was overprotective toward Riley. He cared for Riley like one would care for a fragile little baby. That was the perfect way to describe Ian.
When it came to this, Ian was more overbearing than Riley’s mother. As Riley thought that, he sighed and asked Ian,
“Ian, didn’t you say my father was calling for you?”
“S-Still, it’s dangerous?!”
As he listened to Ian, Riley looked at Nainiae. She was waiting quietly with the carriage ready at the back end of the mansion where an entrance was. Riley sighed again and said,
“Come on. I have a Six Circles mage as the bodyguard here. Isn’t that enough?”
Nainiae might still lack the delicate skills as a maid, but when it came to functioning as a bodyguard, there probably wasn’t anyone in the mansion that could be more efficient at it than Nainiae.
After all, she was a Six Circles mage.
Ian was about to say ‘A mage is!’ and say something to object, but he crumpled his face and quickly lowered his voice.
It was because there wasn’t anyone, besides the few that went to Solia with Riley, who knew that Nainiae was a mage.
Ian looked over the shoulders and checked other servants. There were a few cleaning up the garden area. He figured he should keep this a secret.
Ian scratched his head and came back to the main point.
“Anyway, I’m against this idea!”
“But you said before that I should stop sitting around and move a little, didn’t you?”
“But that was!”
It looked like Ian was going to explode from frustration.
With tightened fists, Ian pounded at his own chest like a gorilla. He continued,
“That was about swords. Your skill is…”
“You have a rough idea from what you saw at Solia Castle?”
Riley interrupted Ian.
Riley could no longer deny his own abilities to Ian. Making silly excuses, such as practicing some moves just in case, was not going to work either.
Back in Solia, at the castle’s restroom hallway, Ian clearly saw how Riley handled Erengium’s eldest son by demonstrating his real power. It was overwhelmingly flawless.
Ian was completely lost for words. He looked like someone who couldn’t speak because his mouth was full of sweets.
To be exact, what Ian saw that day was not just flawless. It was to the point Ian was having a hard time believing.
“Let alone any training, you never once grabbed a sword, so how…”
“Well, that’s that.”
“Now that we are on this subject, I have to ask. What you did that day, how was it possible for you to do it?”
“I’m not sure?”
“Could it be that you already have mastered mana long ago?”
“I’m not sure?”
“I also think the mana measurement you did last time was odd. Did you adjust your mana when you were getting it measured?”
“I’m not sure?”
As Riley kept on spewing out ‘I’m not sure?’ as the answers, Ian quickly took steps back.
“Young master, by chance… You haven’t been using…”
“Ha! That’s right. Why don’t you go get a narcotic sniffing dog and raise it?”
Riley was thinking Ian’s idea was ridiculous, and that showed in his mumbling reply.
“A narcotic sniffing dog?”
“There isn’t one in this world? Well, think whatever you think it is.”
Riley answered as he shrugged.
He was innocent, so there wasn’t anything that was poking his conscience.
Riley was skilled in swordsmanship because he had been swinging it until he got sick of it when he was in his past life.
As for the mana, it was possible because Riley still remembered the blessing he received from his last life. With it, just by breathing, he could reach new heights faster than others using dedicated training methods.
“Still, I’m against this. Instead of having just Nainiae to accompany you, it would be better…!”
Ian was going to try to convince Riley again, but his shoulders flinched.
It was because, while he had his guard down, a sharp voice flew by and stabbed him in the ears from the back.
“I was wondering where you were! You were here? Count Stein is calling for you!”
It looked like she must have been running around the entire mansion in search of Ian.
She was sweating all over. Sera came right next to Ian and grabbed him by the sleeve.
“Instead of holding young master here, just come quickly. Count Stein is calling for you. Didn’t you hear?”
“S-Sera! Wait! You stop young master too! He is going to Iffa village, but having just Nainiae to accompany him is too dangerous…”
It looked like the roles of the junior and higher ranking officers were reversed.
Ian was starting to be dragged away by Sera who held him by the sleeve.
Sera directed her gaze toward Nainiae, who was waiting at the mansion’s entrance. She winked at her and said,
“I don’t think so! I think Nainiae alone is more than enough!”
Ian held his ground with all of his might and gritted his teeth.
With desperate eyes, he started to stare at Riley.
His eyes were pleading with Riley to take him along.
Riley looked at Ian and then moved his gaze.
When his gaze met with Sera, she said with her eyes,
Riley expressed his gratitude with his eyes and turned around without any hesitation.
At that moment, Ian’s face darkened.
Ignoring Ian’s desperate cry, Riley went straight to get on the carriage that Nainiae had prepared and waved as he smiled.
“We’ll be back later.”
“You said Iffa village, right?”
Perhaps inside of the carriage was too confining for him.
Riley was sitting on the drivers’ seats and watching the sceneries passing by. With an uninterested face, he nodded and said,
“We’ll be there if we go for about another five minutes.”
“Is it the very last village we saw on the way back to the mansion?”
Noticing the carriage rumbling, Nainiae used wind magic to gently sweep away low hanging tree branches that could get to Riley. She slowed down the carriage when she saw the village gradually coming into her field of view.
“What should I do about the carriage?”
“You can park it near our destination, so take it all the way there for now.”
It appeared Nainiae understood Riley. She nodded. Following Riley’s order, she drove the carriage methodically. They successfully arrived at the destination.
“Oh, you got here on the first try?”
It wasn’t obvious if this was due to her extraordinary senses of figuring out what her master wants or her sheer brilliance.
She hadn’t even been doing this for a very long time, but she drove the carriage to the destination without asking Riley any questions. Riley looked impressed.
‘Did she use her eye?’
Riley looked at her white eye and cracked a smile as if he was impressed.
After dismounting from the carriage, Nainiae tied the horses to a pillar at the destination, checked the tightness of the tie, came to Riley in puppy steps and put forth her head toward Riley.
Noticing the top of Nainiae’s head suddenly coming right at his face, Riley tilted his head to the side and asked.
“That is… I was wondering if you could please praise me.”
As a reward for getting here on the first try, Nainiae wanted a compliment.
If Sera was here, she would have said, ‘A maid asking for compliments from the master she is serving? That’s unbelievable! Just focus on your work!’ to scold Nainiae.
Nainiae slightly lifted her head. It looked like she figured that wasn’t going to be enough. Now, she showed a disappointed look on her face.
After sighing, Riley raised his right hand and put it on top of Nainiae’s head.
It seemed Sera was personally taking care of Nainiae. Compared to how Nainiae was when Riley met her for the first time, the smell of her hair was significantly improved.
It wasn’t like he said anything complimentary.
All he did was patting her head.
Despite that, Nainiae looked like she was happy like an innocent child.
Watching this, Riley too cracked a smile as he started to walk.
“Now, are you satisfied?”
Perhaps she was too happy that she couldn’t move her lips.
Instead, Nainiae nodded in response.
“Let’s get inside then.”
Riley and Nainiae came out of the mansion toward the end of the morning. This place, the place they arrived around lunch time, was the third biggest pub in Iffa village.
‘This place is?’
Nainiae cast simple search and alarm magic spells around the area and followed Riley’s back.
Perhaps it was a very old door.
The wooden door opened with a hated noise.
Riley stepped inside as he called for someone.
‘Mana measurement and artifact identifications in a pub? Why? Wait, perhaps that’s not it? Did he come here for a different reason?’
Nainiae followed in after Riley. She looked once at the floor, which was making squeaky noises, and then inside of the store, which was in shambles.
“…Andal! Are you sitting on your ass again?”
Riley kicked one of the empty chairs and called the name again.
It seemed the owner of this pub was named ‘Andal.’
“There aren’t any customers…”
She wondered if this was a pub where nobody came to during lunch for a reason.
She murmured as she noticed the empty scene inside the pub.
“Still, it is pretty busy during the dinner time, and that’s why I came during the lunch time.”
After answering, Riley walked toward a table that looked like there should be a bartender standing behind it. He extended his neck toward other side of the table.
“Andal? He is not here. Is he further in back?”
From inside of the store, they could see three doors.
One was a restroom for men.
The other was a restroom for women.
The last one was a storage and changing room for people working at the store.
“…Ugh. I thought I made it clear that I don’t do business during the lunchtime. Who is the runt that didn’t get the memo?”
Soon, they could hear an annoyed voice. The unwelcoming voice was coming from the changing room.
The changing room’s door opened with a squeaky noise, and a man with red hair walked out of the room.
The man walked out of the door as he scratched his head. His eyebrows twitched when he noticed Riley leaning his upper body on the bar table.
Watching the man with twitching facial muscles looking at him, Riley raised a hand and greeted him.
“Wow… You finally woke up? You have gotten really lazy.”
“Shut up you lunatic. To think I’ll be hearing something like that coming from you of all people…”
Extremely annoyed, the man scratched his head with all of his might. With a displeased face, the man walked behind the other side of the table that Riley was leaning toward.
It appeared this was Andal, the pub owner.
“About cleaning up after Tess's trading company… Did you do it right?”
Andal washed his hands immediately after coming inside the kitchen. When he heard Riley ask the question, he turned his head for a brief moment toward Riley and then went back to rubbing his hands under the running water.
“Ah, don’t even bring that up. Because of your stupidity, I had to do all sorts of bullshit stuff that weren’t even becoming of me. All in order to round up what you did...”
Because the man kept on spewing out swear words at Riley, unable to stand it any further, Nainiae was about to step in, but she was stopped by Riley.
“There is no need. He is an old friend.”
“He is a friend?”
‘Could it be that these swear words are different from how they are in Lower Solia?’
Because Riley gestured toward Nainiae to stay put and sit down, Nainiae lowered her head a little and sat down.
“What’s this? Is it a new servant? She sure listens well.”
‘I’m sure he had a good look of my scar, so why?’
Andal was not batting an eye despite having noticed the scar on her face. Surprised, Nainiae stared at Andal’s back.
“So? What would you like to drink? The usual?”
Having heard Andal’s question, Riley smiled widely and nodded.
Andal sighed heavily, turned his body and complained.
“Tsk. If you are called the Lazy Sword, why don’t you go chug a bucket full of sleep aid drink and sleep? You really have mastered the art of causing annoyance to others while having everything to be convenient for yourself. You are a master at it I tell ya.”
The way he talked was somehow similar to Riley.
Noticing this, Nainiae shriveled her shoulders and started to be cautious of the atmosphere.
“Riley. About the Tes incident, you owe me. You know that, right?”
“Hey. That one doesn’t count as a debt.”
Nainiae slowly turned her head and looked at the inside of the pub.
She observed it with her eye, and then examined it with her search magic. Either way, it was an ordinary store.
She was wondering if it was not her place to sit next to her master at a pub like this, so, instead, she was torturing the tip of her skirt that was innocent in all this.
She started to stare at the back of Andal and listen to their conversation again.
“Ha! Right… Let’s hear a reason. If you are trying to scam me, you better be prepared to eat my burp. You know that, right?”
“Hey. I absolutely don’t want your burp.”
Riley answered as he giggled.
Andal served two cups of beverages to Riley and Nainiae.
Riley said as he grabbed the cup.
“I was at Solia recently, and I heard an interesting story when I visited the Holy Temple.”
“So what does that have to do with how you are trying to scam…”
“Can you guess what they told me to do?”
As if he was trying to say Andal should just hear the whole thing first, Riley interrupted him.
Riley lifted the hand that was holding the cup and opened just the index finger to point it at Andal who was standing inside the kitchen.
Andal was furrowing his brows. They looked like they were saying, ‘What did they say?’
“…They told me to slay you. Can you believe that?”
Having heard what Riley said,
Nainiae’s lips became shaped like a circle.
It looked like Nainiae was having a hard time understanding what she just heard. Nainiae, with a confused face, went back and forth looking at Riley and Andal.