Chapter 3 Episode 3
A carriage stopped in front of the Earl’s house.
The sky has become completely dark, people can only walk around while holding a candle.
The black painted two horse carriage stopped in front of the mansion. It is not something nobles would usually use.
But the one riding the carriage does not care about such things.
He hurriedly procures the carriage after the two sisters make a fuss about how he should maintain a minimum appearance as noble.
Servants who stood in line in front of the doorway lowered their heads all at once the moment Ryouma gets down from the carriage.
“”” Welcome, Mikoshiba-sama.”””
As expected of servants serving an Earl family. They welcomed Ryouma with such impeccable conduct. Two people then appear as if waiting for the servants to speak those words first.
“Welcome, welcome! Baron Mikoshiba-dono.”
The man who welcomes him exaggeratedly while raising his arm is the lord of the fortified city Epiroz, Earl Salzberg.
His height is around 180cm. His age is around late 30.
He’s a middle-aged man with his belly pushing forward a little, but one can see that he was a warrior. Might be due to the city being near the border.
(I heard it was a prestigious family that has been around since the founding of Rozeria Kingdom… Which in turn makes them not your ordinary noble family… But what’s up with that greeting? Somehow it feels disgusting…)
Ryouma who receive extremely polite greeting end up feels uneasy.
When it comes to rank, his rank is two level below that of an Earl rank.
Ryouma felt it as something very unnatural for the Earl to welcome him who’s a vagabond just the other day like this.
Ryouma braced himself. After all, he once took such behavior from Lupis for granted and was betrayed by her. It is reasonable for him to be more cautious.
Despite feeling like that, he did not show it on his face.
Ryouma smiled and lowered his head slightly to express his gratitude just like how a noble does things, and the one who taught him the manners of nobility was Laura.
“I’m very sorry for visiting so suddenly today. As someone who’s just a greenhorn, I would like to ask Earl Salzberg his continued guidance.”
Today, the attire Ryouma wore is not something spectacular.
Although he had money from selling the things he got from killing the slave trader, he needs that money to build the territory. He can’t use too much money in something unnecessary. But then, nobles have to protect their honor. He can’t just visit them with a commoner shirt and trousers.
That’s why today he wears black pants, silk shirt, and a belt with gold like buckle.
When going outdoors he also put a cloak over his clothes. Even with all of that, this is the bare minimum of clothes for nobles.
The minimum amount he needs to protect his honor as a noble.
The Earl in front of him is actually in contrast compared to him. He wears various jewelry to express his authority for being born as a noble.
The articles make him look dignified but does not make him feel vulgar either. His shirt buttons are made in the shape of pearls. On his chest, there’s a brooch with the shape of a flower.
Despite such glamorous looks, his wife who’s standing next to him is actually worse.
Give or take, her age is around 30.
She wore a silk dress that was designed to show her cleavage. Her dress is dyed pure white, matching her shining golden hair. She has a small silver crown atop of her head and large ruby and sapphire rings on her hands.
She’s exactly a walking gem.
From the sense of modern people, her appearance has too many decorative items.
However, with her smile showing her elegance, she manages to keep her beauty with exquisite balance.
(Fancy but not vulgar… I guess this is the thing called nobility character huh?)
Ryouma evaluated the two people smiling in front of him.
“Please come in. It must be hard with the long journey from the royal capital. Please relax inside our house tonight. Isn’t that right, Dear?”
Earl Salzberg nods greatly responding to his wife’s words.
“My wife is right, please rest at our place and heal your fatigue. After all, there won’t be any towns or villages once you enter Wortenia peninsula… And until the territory is developed in the future, it would be necessary to carry supplies from Epiroz. Since our territory is next to each other, I hope we have an everlasting relationship!”
“Thank you, I express my deepest gratitude…. From now on, I’ll be in your care…”
Ryouma lower his head slightly toward the Earl.
(Fuuh… My purpose for coming here have been known huh? From the way he talks, he seems wiling to cooperate in terms of purchasing goods… But first, I need to find out if that is really what’s inside their heart…)
Ryouma eyes shone sharply.
Ryouma is accompanied by the Earl toward the table.
“Well now, we’ve prepared everything for the sake of welcoming Baron Mikoshiba today, I asked the chef to perform his extraordinary cooking skills. Unlike the royal capital, there’s not much product in this remote area, but there’s quantity, please relish to your hearts content.”
Along with Earl Salzberg’s words, the door of the hall was opened up, and maids came in with dishes on a cart.
It was natural for Ryouma to be lost for words when looking at the dishes being arranged on the table.
There’s a whole roasted pig, various cuts of beef, bird meat, and then fish meat, there are also various vegetables and seaweed presented as salad. Seasonal fruit chilled by using crushed ice.
The table that can easily seat 20 people was overflowing with foods.
“Oh dear, this is very embarrassing. Perhaps this is not usual at the royal capital but when a guest visits, it is a custom for us to welcome them with more food than can be eaten… Well, it is just a custom from the countryside, consider it as a token of wanting to build a good relationship.”
Earl Salzberg said those words while stroking his head.
“No no, as an upstart I’m very grateful toward Earl Salzberg’s warm welcome.”
“Hahahaha! I guess an upstart always being this humble. Mikoshiba-dono, you’re someone who has made remarkable achievements during the civil war. I heard the princess trusts you very much… On the other hand, I can’t move even one step due to my anxiety that the Zalda Kingdom might make their move.”
Ryouma made an amiable laugh in response to the Earl’s words.
“Dear? Enough with the story. The food will get cold you know?”
The Earl’s wife named Yuria warned him.
“Oh right! That was rude of me… Oi! Pour some wine into Mikoshiba-dono’s glass.”
Following the Earl’s words, the crimson wine was poured into the glass in front of Ryouma.
“Well then… To celebrate Mikoshiba-dono’s prosperity and relationship between our families! Cheers!”
Together with the Earl’s words, Ryouma raised his glass.
A rich grape fragrance spreads inside his mouth. It has a very stimulating flavor. Afterwards the deep richness of the wine spreads through his whole body.
He can feel the wine easily slide down his throat. It was sliding just like silk.
(Such fine quality wine…)
Ryouma is a high school student who supposedly never know the taste of an alcohol, However, because of his grandfather he was already experienced with alcohol, and since he came to this world, he he drinks it almost every day.
From his experience in this world, the wine the Earl has offered is one of the highest quality.
While he was staying at Pireaus castle, he was offered luxury liquor, but the one he is drinking currently is a grade higher.
(The cooking, and this wine… What’s going on? No rather, how did they manage to do all of this? Are they able to do this just by using revenue from the tax?)
Even if it was only the food.
Looking at the ingredients they have used. Numerous spices had been used without holding back.
No matter how much one said it was their custom at welcoming people, this is too extravagant for the sake of welcoming an upstart Baron.
(Maybe, this is something normal for them? If that is the case then…)
Looking at the Earl’s wife’s clothes, it was such extraordinary luxurious.
Rather than regarding their welcome as something extravagant, what if their living standard that was simply high.
(No, that is impossible… With only tax, such luxury cannot be maintained… That’s means…)
Ryouma was unable to conclude an answer. Because he only has a little information about them. But if Ryouma think about it, he can imagine where this all came from…
(I have to consider all the reports everyone has gathered after this is over…)
“Oh. It seems like you only ate a little, does the food not match your taste?”
After drinking a bit of wine, the Earl spoke to Ryouma who has kept silent without eating much of his food.
“I’m sure it was because he’s too tired due to the long journey, Dear. Were the meat dishes too heavy for your stomach? Anna. Please give Baron-sama the cold fruits. I’m sure Baron-sama would like it.”
According to the Earl’s wife words, one of the maids brings the fruit that was in a golden container filled with ice.
“Please excuse me. I’m sorry for the trouble.”
After saying that, Ryouma ate the cold orange.
He was actually just thinking of something, but he has no intention of correcting the Earl’s misunderstanding.
“As expected, you look tired… I do want to hear your story as the person who helped to end the civil war but… But I guess it can’t be helped? Since usually to reach here, one needs to ride a horse for half a month.”
“Dear! That’s rude… I’m sure it was because of mental fatigue due to suddenly being appointed as noble… Am I right? Baron-sama.”
Yuria’s words are filled with concern for Ryouma
“Indeed… Suddenly I was given a territory, to be honest as a commoner it was very confusing…”
Ryouma answered her briefly while carries a piece of beef meat into his mouth.
“Is that so? I heard Mikoshiba-dono is a person with excellent wisdom. I will help you whenever you need help. And since our territories are next to each other, we should help each other in times of need… Oh? Was the food not good?”
The Earl looks suspiciously at Ryouma who chewed the beef meat slowly and carefully
“No, it’s just that this uses salt more than I thought… Back at the royal capital, the salt in the dishes tastes quite thin. That’s why I was wondering.”
Just like spice, salt was very precious in this world.
At any rate, in this world salt is fundamental to someone livelihood, and there are only two ways to obtain it, either making a field for drying salt or dig up rock salt.
If one’s territory is facing the sea, then they won’t have to worry about it, but Earl Salzberg’s territory should not have any land facing the sea.
If that the case then, either they found rock salt, or transported the salt from another place.
“Hahahaha… I guess those who have accustomed to the light taste from the royal capital would feel surprised.”
Ryouma interject the Earl words.
His purpose is to jolt them and blurt out their secret.
“There shouldn’t have been any parts of this territory that touched the sea… Did you find a rock salt vein?”
“No, in factー yes that’s right… We’ve found a large rock salt vein in recent years”
The Earl’s wife interrupted the Earl’s answer with smile. ………………………
“Hou… That’s very enviable… ”
Ryouma responded to the wife’s answer with a smile as well.
There’s no need for Ryouma to push for the answer here.
(Salt huh?… I guess it is worth investigating…)
Ryouma swallowed the beef inside his mouth while having such thought.
After that, nothing dramatic happens, and the talk proceeds normally, Ryouma and the Earl have succeeded in establishing friendly relations.
Both of them talked while drinking wine, and the Earl’s wife also joined the conversation occasionally.
They did not show any arrogance as nobles, and welcomed Ryouma from the beginning to the end.
After finishing their talk the Earl asks Ryouma to stay in the mansion which he accepts.
Ryouma entered the room which the maid guided him to.
A room filled with types of furniture that show craftsmanship with a great deal of effort to make. Both the curtains and the sheets are made by using silk. There are some paintings and vases around the room.
The luxury was comparable to that of a first-class hotel.
(Just how much would all this be worth if I sold it?)
Ryouma muttered those words while lying down on the bed.
This room alone is filled with mountain of treasures. Then the thought of how much money one needs to develop a territory crosses his mind.
(This is a proof that they have economic power huh? But as far as I know, according to the documents I’ve checked in the library at the royal capital, they should have no major product though…?)
He can’t understand the Earl and his wife’s attitude either.
Looking at the outside, they look like a friendly couple, but one can’t be sure how they actually feel inside.
While Ryouma was in deep thought the sound of someone knocking the door brought him back to reality.
“Baron-sama… May I enter?”
A faint voice of a young woman can be heard.
“Come in… I didn’t lock the door.”
“Please excuse me…”
Following Ryouma’s words, the door was opened and a maid stepped inside.
“Does the Earl call me?”
“E-Emm… The madam… To Baron-sama…”
Looking at the appearance of the maid that came in, Ryouma is able to guess what had happened.
The attire that covered the maid’s body is a sexy baby doll lingerie. Under that, one can see alluring pink panty and bra.
Looking at her shoulders quivering occasionally, one can immediately understand that she desperately endured something.
“If I said I do not need it, will you get in trouble?”
When she heard Ryouma’s words, the color of despair appeared on her expression.
“Ah! E-Emm… T-This is… My first time doing this… U-Umm… I-I’ll do my best for Baron-sama… A-Am I no good…?”
It might be because she was being ordered, but one can see her determination and eagerness.
Who can turn down a girl that already said that much with such a reddened face?
“Very well… Come here.”
Ryouma called out to her as gently as possible so as not to frighten her.
Of course, Ryouma is not someone with an abundance of experience when it comes to women.
However, he can’t let himself show a boorish attitude by rejecting her, and there’s also his honor as a man.
He grabs the maid’s hand.
Hearing the maid’s powerful reply, Ryouma brings her body closer towards him.
The candlelight on the bedside disappeared and darkness dominated the room.