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I was taking a lecture that day.
The lecture was called General Law IV, and it was a part of general subjects that everyone could take. Once people took this subject, they could challenge something like a bar exam in this country.
Of course, there was no fine legal system in the Kingdom of Shaalta that would be a full-test of the Six Laws like Japan. This would be a lower standard than the Japanese bar exam, but if people took it, their qualifications would increase.
The lecture was very popular among auditors, and there were quite a few Liberal Arts students. However, it wasn’t very popular among the Knights students. Rather than taking the elective general subjects of ancient Shan language, which was classical literature, I took this subject together with the Kura language.
“…Excuse me, Yuri-kun.” (Myaro)
Myaro, who was attending together, spoke to me. In this lecture, he was working with me to memorize the law. It was a relationship like a war comrade in the battlefield of study.
Even so, he made a face that I had never seen before.
“What is it?” (Yuri)
“Letter… I have a letter for you.” (Myaro)
“For me?” (Yuri)
Myaro put a letter on the desk.
It wasn’t strange to give letters to people in this country. However, this was the first time that a letter was given from Myaro even though we had been together for long time.
It was probably related to his position, and the Gudanvier’s name. Myaro was being held back since he was someone who was entrusted with the letter that might be read.
“Uhmm… are you going to accept it?” (Myaro)
Myaro timidly said so.
‘…Hmm? Accept it? What?’
“I didn’t say that I don’t want to accept it.” (Yuri)
‘Does it contain razors or anthrax? If so, I don’t want it.’
“No, it’s fine.” (Myaro)
Myaro put his hand on the envelope on the desk again and tried to take it back.
“Eh, isn’t that letter for me?” (Yuri)
“It’s for you, but… if you don’t want it, I’m going to burn it.” (Myaro)
‘Hey. What are you trying to say here?’
“If it’s for me, I’ll have to read it. It might be a silly letter, but I have to look through it.” (Yuri)
It wasn’t just a piece of paper that contained information, but it was a rather fine parchment envelope. If the envelope, the contents and the ink costs were combined, it would be around 50 Ruga. I was already familiar with the price of stationery.
“No. I’m sorry, I should do this from the beginning. What I did was… to try to get you involved at my own convenience.” (Myaro)
‘No, no, this looks like something serious, but I don’t know why. Rather, if you’re trying to give up, it gives me the exact opposite psychological effect.’
‘I am now like ‘If I go through this as it is, something ridiculous or irreparable things will happen. Since you are a person who always calm, if you suddenly utters something strange, that is something serious. That’s what I think.’
“I’m concerned, but if it’s about Myaro, I can’t help it. I’d rather not read it.” (Yuri)
I said something I didn’t mean it.
“You’re right. I’m sorry. If I dispose of it from the beginning, I wouldn’t have to bother you.” (Myaro)
I quietly put my arm around his shoulder, and tapped the opposite shoulder with my fingertips.
In the gap where Myaro was reflexively facing the other side, I moved my hand on the desk and stole the envelope.
“Eh, was that you, Yuri-kun?” (Myaro)
When Myaro saw it again, I had already opened the enveloped and took out the letter inside.
“Aah, yes.” (Yuri)
I replied while opening the letter.
“Ehehe, Yuri-kun, you’re meanie.” (Myaro)
“Well, yeah. That’s because your shoulders look stiff.” (Yuri)
I looked down and started reading the letter.
“Surely, you’re right. By the way, what are you reading? Is it a work document?” (Myaro)
“It’s the letter from before.” (Yuri)
“Please give it back.” (Myaro)
I heard the voice from the side, but I couldn’t see the complexion.
I was busy reading the letter.
“It’s not good. Sorry, but if you try to take it back, I’ll get it back even if I have to beat you. It seems that the letter isn’t a matter of joke.” (Yuri)
The letter was from Myaro Gudanvier’s grandmother. Her name was Luida Gudanvier. It was written that I had to meet her at once. As for Myaro, he was reluctant to do it, so his tuition fees had been stopped. Rather, there was a threat attached to this.
“I didn’t understand what the letter says, but looking at your behavior, did your tuition fees held back and you were pressed for the letter?” (Yuri)
“Yes… That’s right.” (Myaro)
It was a letter that I felt strange before I became angry.
‘They are Seven Great Witches who are rained with money. Is it possible that they are stingy to the point of not paying tuition fees for their kids? That’s a threat.’
‘I can’t think of anything else other than to deceive the kid to listen to them.’
‘Even if it’s fine to deceive a child, Myaro is a clever guy, but it didn’t make sense since it feels like a threat. Since Myaro really hates his household, if he had been given this letter, he would either refuse or rip it. I think that’s a natural reaction.’
‘However, he actually brought it and worried whether to hand it over or not. That’s because in reality, stopping the tuition fees is perceived as a threat.’
“Well, it’s not hard to have a meeting with her. I’ll go there tomorrow.” (Yuri)
‘I don’t why is he worried, but if going there will solve the problem, it’s fine then.’
“Please don’t go. It’s dangerous.” (Myaro)
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” (Yuri)
I said that while putting the letter in my bag.
“It’s not good.” (Myaro)
‘How persistent you are…’
“When I tell you it’s fine, it’s fine. This discussion ends here.” (Yuri)
After the lecture, I headed to the second residence.
I told Myaro I would go tomorrow, but I was going to do it today.
‘If I go tomorrow, he will surely try to accompany me. Then, the matter becomes complicated. So, the correct answer is to go there today.’
I also had another reason to go today.
“Oh, it’s you, Young Master. It’s been a while.” (Soim)
Soim wanted to meet his relatives in the royal capital, so it happened that he came here when there were changes of guards.
I knew that, but since he also had no business in particular, I didn’t think he would come. However, that wasn’t the case. Soim would be back tomorrow, so if tomorrow, he wouldn’t be here anymore.
“It’s a bit late in the night, but would you like to exchange spears for the first time in a long time?” (Soim)
‘Uwaah. You’re as energetic as ever. Didn’t he turn 100 years old this year?’
“No… I’ve swung spears many times already this morning.” (Yuri)
‘Give me a break.’
“Hoho, it looks like you’re being held by the school.” (Soim)
He laughed as he found this amusing.
“Actually, I want you to go out with me today.” (Yuri)
“Oh, is it a dating? Well, it’s time to have a drink with Young Master.” (Soim)
“I was invited to the house of Gudanvier, one of the Seven Great Witches. I have to go there for some reason.” (Yuri)
Soim put his hand on his beard, and stroked it with interest.
He looked at me as if he became like a comrade.
“A person like me is invited to that house. This is something like a raid. So, it’ll be reassuring if you’re there.” (Yuri)
“I don’t know if this old bone can still work, but this Soim is delighted to accompany you.” (Soim)
‘It seems he will follow me. Soim has been added as party member!’
‘There’s nothing so reassuring more than that. Since I was born, I haven’t seen any instructors from the school of Knights who are stronger than him.’
“I see. Then, you can wear a butler’s clothes and you don’t need to bring a spear.” (Yuri)
“A butler’s clothes… is it?” (Soim)
“Yes. Since we’re going to have a meeting, I don’t you can bring a spear and an armor.” (Yuri)
“It’s alright. If it’s Witches or someone along that degree, I can do it without a spear.” (Soim)
‘That’s why he is dependable.’
“As I expected. Well then, let’s get ready and go there. I want to go home by the end of the day.” (Yuri)
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The main residence of the Gudanvier Household was built in the Witch Forest located at the edge of the royal capital.
In fact, the Seven Great Witches households were built to surround the Witch Forest. Therefore, the surroundings of the Witch Forest were all owned by the Seven Great Witches Households. The Witch Forest wasn’t a public resting forest, but a private land that didn’t allow the public to enter from the outside.
After changing clothes, I was rocked by a carriage and got to the main entrance of the Gudanvier Household. The main entrance was, of course, closed.
When I stopped at the gate, a guard in the uniform of the 2nd unit of the Imperial Guards, was approaching from the outside of the window. The 2nd unit of the Imperial Guards was referred to the Imperial Guards that the Witch households had under their control.
“This is the Gudanvier’s residence! What are you coming here for!?” (Guard)
I heard a voice from the outside of the carriage.
“Young Master.” (Soim)
“Soim, keep silent until I say it’s good.” (Yuri)
I opened the carriage door. I showed my face and said.
“I’m Yuri Hou. I was invited by the head of Gudanvier here. If you understand, go check now, and open the gate immediately. Don’t make a visitor wait, you slowpoke.” (Yuri)
When I entered a ridiculously old stone house, a woman dressed in unusual clothes, different from maid clothes, came to guide me. She was wearing clothes like a slender trouser suit.
Since it wasn’t clothes premised on dirty work, it might not be attached to the role of cleaning. She looked like a secretary.
“I will take your coat.” (Woman)
I turned to my back, took the collar and sleeves. When I twisted a little bit, my coat came off easily.
‘Is she a receptionist expert?’
When she left the coat to another maid…
“I will guide you to Luida-sama.” (Woman)
…she said so.
I nonchalantly followed her.
‘Should I say as expected of a Witch household, that she lives in a fine house?’
The Hou Household’s residence was also very well made, but there’s no such things like oil paintings on the corridor.
It was regrettable, but the preference was just fine. While the corridor was made of stone, the wooden boards reached to the waste in order to hide the rugged impression of the stone walls. It was old, and yet, it was perfectly cleaned and well maintained.
“This way.” (Woman)
Then, she opened a door.
I went into the room. After that, the woman withdrew immediately, and returned to the corridor.
“Good evening. Welcome.” (??)
The old woman, who sat on a chair in the room, was a very old woman. Although she was younger than Soim, I got the impression that she hadn’t retired at her age.
‘Is this Luida Gudanvier? I can mostly guess, but even with such an age, she is probably the type who pursue the interest the interest. Don’t you want to live in peace at the time of death? Have some fears, will you?’
“Good evening.” (Yuri)
“You can sit there.” (Luida)
“I was going to sit down without being told.” (Yuri)
I sat down in a chair that faced the old woman. It was a soft chair that sucked my body.
“That person is…? Is he the Hou Household’s butler?” (Luida)
“It doesn’t matter who I’m with.” (Yuri)
I had been asked something unrelated. Anyhow, he was coming with me as my escort.
“Yes, that’s right.” (Luida)
“What do you mean by ‘so’?” (Luida)
“I’m asking what is the reason you called me for.” (Yuri)
‘I want to settle this quickly.’
“Oh my, how impatient you are.” (Luida)
“I want to go home before dinner.” (Yuri)
‘I mean, the main objective of coming here is ‘to meet this old woman’. From here on, it will be side missions, and there is no problem even if I go back now. I’m not hesitate to go home, and it’s up to the old woman to stop me.’
‘Even if I return, Myaro’s tuition fees will be guaranteed. The order that had been given to Myaro was probably something like ‘deliver the letter, persuade Yuri, and bring him here’. So, even if I leave after being persuaded, my mission has been accomplished completely. There should be no complaint.’
“I’ll treat you to dinner if you like.” (Luida)
“It wouldn’t be a smart move to have dinner at the home of a person who uses his grandson as a tool of intimidation.” (Yuri)
‘I didn’t come here to get along with you. There’s no need to be nice.’
“That’s same goes to me. It’s not wise to poison the heir of the Hou Household.” (luida)
‘I guess so. If you kill me, you truly will turn the Hou Household into an enemy.’
‘I suppose it’s because of that the Yakuzas haven’t rushed to me even my company has grown considerably. It’s fine if the company is destroyed or got racked violently, but if I got kidnapped during that time, there’s a possibility to they will kill me.’
‘If she does that, the Hou Household will prepare the soldiers and will come up to the capital. It’s normal to think so if I am left alone by the Witch households, and since it’s bad to do that, they are restricted to harass indirectly.’
“It doesn’t matter. Even if I eat in a place like this, I won’t know the taste.” (Yuri)
“Does it taste better when you eat with my grandchild at the dormitory’s dining hall?” (Luida)
‘What a nonsense.’
“Of course. If it’s with a close friend, it taste better even with just a salted bread.” (Yuri)
‘At least, it’s better than eating here.’
“…I see.” (Luida)
‘Since the old woman thinks of me as Myaro’s close friend, she must have assumptions or something. Should I say that this is bad?’
“Please start talking now.” (Yuri)
“Aren’t you slightly suspecting me?” (Luida)
‘It’s not a good idea to expose your thoughts in front of these people. Ten out of ten is about the Hou and Associates company, but I also had other things to worry about. It could be about Myaro or Carol. Maybe it’s about Carya.’
“This is about the business you’re doing.” (Luida)
‘Was it about my company after all?’
“Be under my wing. If you do that, I’ll protect you.” (Luida)
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‘I was about to burst out. From whom? Are you going to protect me from the people of your kind? From paying you people? Are you trying to make me laugh? Stop talking nonsense.’
“Are you going to protect me?” (Yuri)
“I wonder if that it hurts the feeling of a great Knight-sama. But you know, that’s the tradition in the royal capital.” (Luida)
‘I’m deeply aware that I’m breaking the tradition. But the tradition mentioned isn’t decided by anyone. Of course, it’s not the kind of law issued by the royal family.’
‘The bad habits have taken root over time, and these people just call it ‘tradition’ for their convenience. As for protecting the tradition, it is similar to their bad habits. It’s not like I don’t know that.’
“Well, in regards to the disturbance…” (Luida)
“No, that’s not it. How much is the protection?” (Yuri)
“…Well, I’d like to say thirty percent of the sales, but twenty percent is fine.” (Luida)
‘Twenty percent? Are you freaking kidding me?’
‘If twenty percent of sales are taken in addition to the tax to the royal capital, there will be no more money needed to grow the company. That’s out of the question.’
“This isn’t going to be a discussion. I’m going to do my stuff as usual.” (Yuri)
‘Is she stupid? Who is going to pay for that?’
“Then, what number is good?” (Luida)
“Now, I have no intention to deal with you from the beginning.” (Yuri)
‘The Hou Household is a General household, and it would be a big problem if the heir lower his head to the Witches and beg for help. I have no intention to have a deal from the beginning. Even if it is just one percent, I wouldn’t bow my head. So, twenty percent was out of the question.’
“Well, if I can give you as many as thirty sheets of Hou paper every month which enough to wipe your butt, yeah, sure, I accept.” (Yuri)
“You… are you trying to be funny?” (Luida)
Luida’s complexion had changed.
“In this neighborhood, if you have an unfounded confidence, you will get hurt unexpectedly, you know.” (Luida)
‘Yes, that’s how many people hurt. It’s like what happened to Harol.’
“I’m troubled with an old woman’s blabbering.” (Yuri)
“What did you say?” (Luida)
“Whether my confidence is unfounded or not, it will be fine as long as I know it. You have no right to preach to others.” (Yuri)
‘If you decide your success based on the evaluation of others, you will be distracted. Then, you won’t be able to succeed like other people.’
“What a reckless young man.” (Luida)
“What are you going to do about it? It might be reckless or it might be an accurate analysis. I won’t be able to understand unless I try it.” (Yuri)
“While a young man like you can’t understand, it surely reckless to have that kind of mouth when there are only two of you came to the Gudanvier’s house.” (Luida)
Luida clapped her hand. There was a sound that the door at the rear opened.
Thugs appeared, they seemed to apprehend me and my escort.
‘After all, I’m basically trying to make fun of the situation.’
“Soim, do it.” (Yuri)
I said it without looking back.
I heard the sound of stepping on the floorboards and hitting something with a fist.
A loud voice of a man whom I didn’t know was heard, there were breaking sound of furniture.
After a few moments, the sound of someone getting hit or thrown suddenly became quiet.
Then, I heard a sound of closing door, and I knew that Soim had closed the door without permission.
It seemed he was done. Certainly, it would be noisy if someone saw the devastation in the room.
“Excuse me, who do you think trying to be funny here? We are a family that makes war a living. We are fundamentally different from you, who are bossing thugs. It’s not good to join up with you people.” (Yuri)
‘It’s like thugs inviting fights to the soldiers. In a sense, these people are complacent about peace.’
“…Hmm, it seems you have guts.” (Luida)
“Same to you. I’m impressed.” (Yuri)
‘Now, the forces in this place are reversed. Of course, I won’t do anything to her. The fact that there is no movement means that she is planning not to do anything.’
“The negotiation is over. I’ll take care of things on my own.” (Luida)
“I plan to do so even if you don’t tell me. I have no intention to negotiate with other people who threaten with the grandchild’s tuition fees.” (Yuri)
“I don’t care about that.” (Luida)
“Of course. Myaro is doing very well. It’s too childish to threaten.” (Yuri)
‘No matter how bad men are treated by the Witch households, I can’t allow the act of stopping tuition fees and stopping Myaro from attending the Academy when the family doesn’t have problem with money.’
‘Graduating from the Academy is synonymous with being entitled to a full-fledged noble in this country.’
‘If you don’t graduate from the school of Knights or the school of Liberal Arts, there is no way for you to be a Knight or a government official. You will be a noble only on paper, and it’s similar to those of the depositor households. The threat that Luida has made are low-level threat.’
“You’re probably good, but you just don’t know things.” (Luida)
“You’re the one who let him enroll in the Academy. Anyhow, you’re a selfish person, you know.” (Yuri)
‘I’m surprised with this woman. Even my dang old man didn’t stop the tuition fees just because I didn’t enter the course that he wanted.’
“I didn’t do that. Myaro did it, not me.” (Luida)
‘What? Did Myaro entered the Academy without permission?’
‘No, well, is there such a thing? I mean like not entering the school of Liberal arts, and enters the school of Knights instead. I wonder if he longs for it.
‘However, Myaro has done something crazy.’
“Whether he is selfish or not, if he is smart, he would be able to become a Knight and his future prospect will be good.” (Yuri)
‘After all, there is no General household who will accept the children of the Seven Great Witches households. However, there should be no problem if he could get a job as a guard. There is no need to be ashamed even if he is from a Witch household, and it is a great place to work.’
“What are you talking about? The employment of the imperial guards is under the jurisdiction of Karsfit. There’s no way to get it.” (Luida)
‘Hmm. Is there such a thing? However, this woman is talking about the second unit, so he should be able to join in the first unit which is the real royal army.’
“Anyway, he seems like an unwanted child to you. If you treat him coldly, he will treat you the way he wants after he graduates later.” (Yuri)
“Haa? What do you mean unwanted child?” (Luida)
“Aren’t you being cold just because Myaro is a man? That means you’re a narrow-minded person.” (Yuri)
‘I wonder if there was no complaint if a woman is born. What a stupid household.’
“You… hehe… hahaha, hahahahaha.” (Luida)
Suddenly, Luida laughed out loud.
‘What? Did I say something strange?’
‘I don’t understand? Which part is funny?’
“You… do you think that child is a man?” (Luida)
“That child is a woman since she was born! Why did you think that she was a man, hahahaha! No wonder it doesn’t make sense! I thought you have made love with him already!! I didn’t expect it to be this strange!” (Luida)
‘??? What? Eh? Myaro is a woman???’
‘No, no, no, no. He is a man. He is supposed to be a man.’
‘No. Wait a sec. This flow is bad. For now, that doesn’t matter.’
‘I can put everything of that matter aside. Or I will have to follow her pace.’
“Well, it’s fine. The talk ends here. Myaro’s tuition fees is safe. I’m going home now.” (Yuri)
‘In this matter, my choice is limited to go home. It feels slightly bad.’
“Ahaha… it’s fine if you go home, but when did I say that I’m going to pay for her tuition fees?” (Luida)
‘Hey… Can you talk normally? It’s really annoying.’
“It doesn’t matter. It will be an advantage for me.” (Yuri)
“What did you say?” (Luida)
“When it’s time to leave the Academy, I’m going to ask Myaro to cut ties with the Gudanvier. Then, Myaro will be my adopted siblings.” (Yuri)
Luida stopped laughing and frowned because of that unexpected option. That became a reward to me.
“I will have my father to adopt Myaro. If anything, I can pay her tuition fees myself. I’m pretty sure she will be very happy soon.” (Yuri)
“Such a thing…” (Luida)
“It’s possible. That will happen if you stop her tuition fees and force her to quit the Academy.” (Yuri)
‘This could actually be done. Although she has no problem with paying the tuition money even the slightest, it would be inhuman to let her stops going to school just because the fees aren’t paid. So, she definitely can’t allow Myaro to cut ties with the family. That situation is definitely strange.’
“Well then, please excuse me.” (Yuri)
When I stood up without waiting and looked back for the first time, there was Soim, who was standing, and at his foot, there were four fainted muscular men.
‘It would be dangerous if the old man isn’t here.’
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