Chapter 2: Banquet x Handing over the mansion x Potion sales = Big ruckus everywhere
” It’ s gonna happen this evening, so do your best!”
“Hey! The hell is ” It’s gonna happen this evening” all of a sudden? You skipped over 90% of the whole thing and started talking! Tell me from the beginning!”
There was no way that Ryoji’s first words would be understood by the innkeeper, and it was only natural that he would be asked to explain from the beginning. Ryoji told him that he had moved up in rank and explained that the celebration would be held in the dining room.
“I see. So that means we’re going to celebrate Ryoji getting a D-rank. Come to think of it, when you came to the city of Drugul, we had a banquet at the guild’s tavern, didn’t we? Why don’t we do it that way again?”
“What are you talking about? It’s only natural that it would contribute to the sales of an inn run by a comrade in the Maid Alliance!”
The innkeeper opened his eyes and silently held out his hand to him. Ryoji squeezed back the owner’s hand and gave a small nod, and then went out into the streets of Drugul to prepare himself.
Ryoji headed to the district of Drugul’s city where the shops dealing in foodstuffs are gathered. For now, he entered a butcher shop that he had spotted and spoke to a man who seemed to be the owner of the shop in a friendly manner.
“Hello! It’s a beautiful day.”
“Yeah. It’s a beautiful day. So, what can I do for you? This is a butcher shop, you know?”
“Of course I’m going shopping! I need to sell a lot of the meat here. Also, could you recommend someone who can cook?”
The shopkeeper gives Ryoji a quizzical look at his words.
“Oh, you want me to sell you some meat. Surely you have the money, right? And the cook’s suggestion? This is a butcher shop, sure, and there are a number of cooks who come in to shop. But I wouldn’t recommend it to you, a complete stranger, would I? …… hmmm on credit issues? You look familiar, don’t you?”
The butcher shop owner, who had been staring intently at Ryoji’s face, shouted loudly with a look of surprise.
”You’re Ryoji, the hero of the Drugul! Thanks to you hunting all the demons in the Trial Cave, there’s a huge amount of demon meat in the market. No. I’m just complimenting you! I’ve made a lot of valuable meat, and I’ve made a lot of money. A big thank you to the Hero of Drugul. The next time you get a request to take them down, bring them back to me. I’ll buy it for 20 percent more than I’ll get from the guild! So what’s the deal with the massive meat purchase and the cook’s recommendation?”
Ryoji told the owner, who suddenly got excited, that he had come to get some ingredients to celebrate the D-rank up. He told him that this was the first place he was going to shop for ingredients for the celebration. The owner of the butcher’s shop, after hearing the story, thought about it for a while, and then proposed a suggestion to Ryoji.
“You see. How about I get a piece of that celebration? Of course, I’ll get the meat for cheap from my place! I’ll see to it that you get the other vegetables and fruits and drinks you need, too. The cooks will be fine, too, because there are plenty of guys in this town who look like they have a lot of free time on their hands.”
“If you’re willing to go that far, I’ll ask for it?”
The owner nodded happily at Ryoji’s reply.
“By the way, what’s your budget?”
“The frontier count has offered me 50 gold pieces for defeating the bull man, so let’s keep it within that limit, please!”
“How big of a party are we going to have? You’re royalty! Just give me the 10 gold coins for now. I will ask for more later if they are not enough. What time do you plan to start?”
“Well, since I said evening, would you mind if I left that part up to you? I’ll let the innkeeper know.”
“Oh! Then I’ll take a suitable cook and go to the inn.”
He took ten gold coins out of storage and handed them over. The proprietor called the clerk and instructed him to deliver a large quantity of meat to the inn, and himself left the restaurant to secure a cook.
“The butcher shop owner will be here tonight!”
“The butcher shop owner. You got a good man to talk to.”
“Yeah. He loves these festivities, you know. He organizes these festivities and runs a deficit and gets beaten up by his wife.”
“What’s that about?”
While the innkeeper happily recounted stories of past festivities and the butcher shop owner who had been beaten by his wife for running a deficit, he remembered the conversation about the budget.
“You didn’t tell me about the crucial part, the budget.”
” I gave the butcher 10 gold coins for the initial cost of the program! If it’s not enough, there are fifty gold coins to spare!”
The innkeeper stiffened for a moment, then let out a sigh as he stared at Ryoji and gave his thoughts in a straightforward manner.
“You’re an idiot, right?”
“What! Idiot! You are terrible for a fellow comrade!”
“Shut up! There’s nothing wrong with calling a fool a fool!”
“It’s okay! I’m making sure the inn is profitable, too!”
“That’s not what I’m talking about! I’m talking about the amount of money you spend! Where do you see someone spending ten gold coins on a rank-up celebration!”
“I don’t care! I’ll stand out! It’s a Template!”
“But I’m doing the heavy lifting for you. Remember the word ‘dead weight’ a little.”
The innkeeper looked tired, but began to prepare for the rank-up celebration with a grand celebration.
“Oh. It’s going to be pretty awesome!”
Three hours passed before he was told to wait in the inn’ s room because it would interfere with his preparations. When the innkeeper called out to him, he went downstairs to find that the dining room on the first floor had been turned into a large banquet hall. Normally there would be tables and chairs lined up, but now there was a hardened table in the center of the room with a cross hanging over it and flowers arranged in the center. In addition, the food was arranged in a huddle.
The owner of the butcher shop, who was making a final check, noticed Ryoji and approached him.
“How’s that! Isn’t it great! But hey, it’s not just here. Look outside, too.”
” It’ s turning out good. A real party guy indeed.”
Ryoji happily thanked the owner of the butcher shop and went outside to look at the scenery, and was even more exclaimed. The front street out of the inn was lined with about thirty stalls, and it was impossible to even see what they were selling at the far end of the street.
There is grilled meat, grilled seafood, dumplings, fruit and drinks. For some reason, flowers, weapons, armor, potions and other adventurer’s tools were also on display.
“Good evening. Ryoji-san.”
“Good evening. Aurelio-san. Is something good happening?”
When Ryoji speaks to Aurelio, who approaches him with a big smile, Aurelio replies with a dumbfounded face.
“Today is Ryoji-san’s rank-up celebration, right? The owner of the butcher’s shop told me about it, and I have the full force of the Carcano Chamber of Commerce to help out.”
“Eh? The plan was to celebrate with just the adventurers, wasn’t it?”
Hearing that it was the total workforce of the Carcano Chamber of Commerce, he was slightly retracted, and Aurelio dropped more bombs.
“Princess Elena and the Frontier Count are also coming, right?”
“Eh? Just how many contacts does that butcher shop owner have!”
”No, no. The owner of the butcher’s shop contacted me, and I checked with Carena and Marco, and then it seems that Yuhan-sama, who was there, invited Princess Elena to join him.”
“Aurelio-san was the culprit!”
In response to Ryoji looking at him with accusing eyes, Aurelio cowered his shoulders and threw a look behind Ryoji with a heartbroken expression and said.
“They’d say it’s overkill. Marco, Carena.”
“Eh! I thought Ryoji-san would absolutely love it! The flowers on the first floor are my design!”
“Ryoji said something about ‘doing it flashy,’ right? It’s your fault for not limiting it to adventurers only. The way you said it, people would think it could be anybody, right?”
Ryoji turned around to see Carena’s happy face and Marco smiling like a prankster whose trickery had succeeded. After seeing their faces, Ryoji was convinced and whispered in his ear as he approached Marco.
“Since you used the party to redeem the honor of the Shirayuki kidnapping case, make sure you tell them to pay for it when they have a leg to stand on for expenses.”
Marco nodded with a bitter smile, and Ryoji gave him a big smile.
“Princess Elena would like to congratulate Ryoji-kun, the hope of Drugul on his increase to D-rank. Also, I would like to ask her for a toast.”
Receiving a microphone from the butcher shop owner, who was acting as an imposing host, Elena walked up to the hastily set up stage and approached Ryoji and began to congratulate him.
”Ryoji-san, congratulations on your promotion to D-rank. Please continue to protect this city and our country as a sword and a shield. This day is a celebration for the rank advancement, which was Ryoji’s idea, and we have received a little help from the royal family as well as Lord Yuhan. We would like you to eat and drink to your heart’s content and celebrate your achievements, Ryoji-san. Cheers!”
When Elena raised her glass in a toast, there was a vigorous shout from the adventurers as well. That was the signal, and a battle for the food that resembled a battlefield began at the party.
“Are you enjoying yourself? Ryoji-sama.”
Yuhan, Marco, and Carena were waiting around Elena, and the soldiers of the guards were lined up as if they were surrounding them. Elena spoke to Ryoji, who was nearby but was not talking much.
“I’m enjoying myself to the fullest. I was dumbfounded, not expecting the rank-up celebration that we started with a light heart to turn into such a grand affair.”
“It’s only natural since we’re celebrating for the hero of Drugul, Ryoji-san. I’ve heard that quite a bit of money has been offered as well. Isn’t it only natural that it should be this big?”
Elena thought as she looked at Ryoji’s profile. The expected newcomer to the Adventurer’s Guild of Drugul. A foreign viscount who had flown in an artifact from a far eastern country. Swordsmanship that could defeat a bull man with overwhelming force without a scratch. An intellectual who knows about cuisines she’s never eaten or heard of before.
“He is well versed in unusual cuisines and cuisines, and has the nostalgia to treat everyone equally. Carena has his eyes on him, but shall I take a shot at him as well?”
Elena whispered to herself, but it seemed that Carena could hear her. She approached Elena with a smile but not a smiling expression in her eyes and took her to a less crowded place.
“Elena. You know I’m the one who’s trying to get to Ryoji-san. No matter how much you’re a Princess, Elena, I won’t give up, okay?”
“It’ll be fine. Ryoji-san has to be at least an earl in my country. Currently, his status would not allow him to marry me. Moreover, I am after his competence and charisma. So I also have my sights set on him.”
Elena smiled reassuringly at her old friend, who warned her with a smile laced with menace, and patted Carena’s shoulder as she walked back to the food circle.
“This is the residence provided by Master Yuhan.”
One of the young civil servants who had been waiting beside Yuhan at the ceremony had come to pick him up at the inn and give him a tour of the mansion. The mansion that they arrived at was located about ten minutes by carriage from the inn where Ryoji was staying. The exterior of the house is neither old nor new, and the garden is well-kept. It’s a natural-looking place, and Ryoji liked it at first glance.
“It’s very well maintained.”
“Yeah, right. Oh, yeah, right? That’s right, I heard that the person who lived there three years ago retired from knighthood and returned to his wife’s family village. After that, this place was left in the custody of Yuhan-sama. The garden and the interior of the house are being renovated to make it ready for the granting of the house to you. R-Ryoji-sama. Now, now, let’s get inside the house, quickly! That’s right! Just hurry! Let’s get in now!”
As soon as he arrived at the mansion, Ryoji looked suspiciously at the young civil servant who had begun to stammer, but he put his hand on the door and went inside. Entering from the brightly lit outside, Ryoji was surprised to see multiple figures standing in the slightly dimly lit entrance hall, and he couldn’t help but put his hand on the sword at his waist and throw out a who-who-who call.
”Who is it!”
“”””Welcome back! Master! “”””
A cheerful reply came back from the figures, breaking the tension. Ryoji, whose voice had an idea of what he was hearing, looked at the four people one by one and then, without saying a word, walked out and asked the civil servant while closing the door.
“What exactly is this? Civil servant-san?”
To Ryoji, who was confused and bewildered and couldn’t catch up with his understanding, the civilian officer also replied with a large amount of cold sweat and a bright blue face as he shouted.
“I’m sorry! I haven’t seen or heard anything! I didn’t hear that! Here’s the key! Please take care of the rest!”
The civil servant forcibly handed over the keys and got into the carriage as if to escape from the mansion and Ryoji, and hurried back in a great hurry.
“What should I do now?”
Unable to keep up with the development of the situation, Ryoji, left alone, opened the front door again fearfully, holding the key in hand, and peered inside.
“””” Welcome back! Ryoji-sama! “”””
As expected, he could hear energetic voices from the four people he recognized. After confirming that it’s not an illusion, Ryoji decides to prepare himself and as he looks at the four, he asks a question.
“You’ll explain it to me, won’t you? Carena-san?”
“Yes! We have been waiting for you, Master.”
“Nope. It’s not: ……”
Ryoji saw Carena reply to the question with a tired expression on her face with a graceful bow. Carena’s outfit was an orthodox long maid’s outfit, united by a black base, with pure white ruffles scattered across her apron. She wore a headband on her head, and her hair was uncharacteristically tied up in a bun and parted to the left and right.
“You didn’t like it? Master Ryoji?”
Ryoji was stunned for a long time, but anxiously, Carena asked him with a superior look while clasping her hands.
“I’m fine! It’s great! It’s straight down the middle of a strike! You look so good it almost makes my nose bleed! By the way, why are Melta-san and Sieve also dressed as maids? And I don’t want to be a prick, but why is even Princess Elena in a maid’s outfit?!”
Ryoji’s shout echoed throughout the mansion.
“Eh? Carena told me that “Ryoji-san likes the maid look,” and I did my best to get the information.”
“Carena-san and Melta-san said, ‘Attack him with little maid sister,’ you know?”
“I’ve always wanted to try it on.”
The answers from all four of them made Ryoji feel dizzy, and he looked at the maid’s clothes that the four of them were wearing perfectly, with excitement.
(This is a sight for sore eyes. All four of them are different types of people, so the same outfit gives a completely different impression. Assuming the legitimate beautiful girl, Carena-san, is perfect, I want the intelligent beauty, Melta-san, to put on her glasses and become the head maid! I’m sure that in three years, Sieve will definitely be an lively and beautiful girl. Sieve in a maid’s outfit will make Carena-san and Melta-san to be called, ‘Sister!” All she has to do is call them and you can make up a story! And that’s it! Princess Elena! The princess is in a maid’s uniform! Even in the maid’s uniform, she exudes an unconcealed nobility. This mismatch! Again, I’ll tell you, this is a mismatch! I can”t stand this mismatch!)
“Ryoji-san. Please don’t just stare at us, we want your feedback.”
When Ryoji was looking at them with a grin without saying a word, a numbed Carena snuck up on him as a representative.
“I understand. This Ryoji Uchino will hire you all. The contract money is 5000 gold coins! Does five gold coins a month pay suffice?”
As Ryoji spouted off a tremendous amount of money at a rate that made his nose bleed, the women now panicked. It wasn’t until Yuhan and Marco came to visit the mansion that they all recovered from their panic.
“Eht? Are they really willing to work as maids?”
With a scowl on his face, Ryoji checks in with Yuhan. Yuhan chuckles and nods gravely and begins to explain.
“That’s right. Since it’s a mansion, you need something to protect your home, right? For the time being, I’ve prepared Carena, Melta and Sieve as maids. Carena is also the captain of the guard, and she will also be asked to manage the guard team that regularly patrols the house. Melta, as the head maid, will mainly maintain and manage the mansion, prepare meals and deal with visitors, and Sieve, as an apprentice maid, will do general chores.”
When Yuhan finished explaining, Marco looked at Elena with a dumbfounded look on his face and complained bitterly.
“Please give me a break. Elena-sama. We aren’t just going to be pissed off, you know. Listen, Ryoji! Naturally, we’ll be retrieving Princess Elena. We’re the only ones who have seen the princess in her maid’s outfit, including the civil servant who guided her. Don’t tell anyone. If the king hears that the princess said ‘Master’ to Ryoji in her maid’s uniform, he will come to attack the city of Drugul.”
“I had a good time, so I don’t mind being a maid to Master Ryoji? I want to wear a maid’s outfit again.”
“Seriously, please stop.”
When Elena returns with a big smile, Marco and Yuhan ask for it with a wry smile, Ryoji suggests to Elena from the side.
“Then Princess Elena. Would you like to get a job with me for 50000 gold coins?”
“NOT OKAY AT ALL! Hey! Ryoji! You’re going to start an all-out war between the Royals and the Stokeman family!”
“What is the Stokeman family?”
“It’s our family name! You’ve been made an honorary knight, you should at least learn the name of the Lord’s house! Also, Elena-sama don’t look too full of it!”
As Yuhan listened to Ryoji and Marco begin their crossover comedy, he was lost in thought.
( The mistake about inviting Princess Elena to Drugul’s city was made up for by Ryoji, and he made up for it beautifully. Princess Elena seemed to like Ryoji as well. Now if Ryoji can establish himself in the academy, my position in the royal capital will be better.)
When he casually turned his gaze to the center of the conversation, he saw Ryoji’s gaze, which was not the usual joking around, but rather seriously valuing this. Yuhan was impatient that his mind had been read, but when he looked at him again, he returned to his usual expression and spoke to him with a smile.
“Lord Yuhan! Thank you so much! I can’t believe you’ve sent not only the mansion, but also three such lovely maids. Ryoji Uchino will follow you for the rest of your life!”
“Oh. I’m glad for you to be so happy for me. I know that Ryoji is a minor, so marriage is a long way off, but I want you to take all three of them in this country.”
On the surface, the conversation was friendly, but Ryoji continued to smile, knowing that Yuhan was breaking out in a cold sweat.
“When will you be able to come to the mansion?”
Ryoji replies while pretending not to notice Yuhan, who is giving Elena a grateful look as she enters the conversation.
“That’s right. I’ve told the innkeeper that today is the last day. So I’m thinking of moving here tomorrow morning. I thought I could go buy what I need tomorrow.”
“What are we supposed to do?”
When Melta asked the question on behalf of the three of them, Ryoji took twenty gold coins out of storage and handed them over.
“Can you get me what I need? I’m happy to pay for anything else I think we need to live with the four of us, and also pay for everyone’s moving expenses. By the way, how do I pay you? I’m hiring a maid for the first time and I don’t know how much pay I’m going to give you?”
“That’s right. Since the five gold coins you just mentioned are unlikely, shouldn’t the normal maid’s pay be enough? Me and Carena will be fine with five silver coins, and as apprentice maid, Sieve will be fine with one silver coin.”
“Is that a good amount of money?”
When Ryoji asks, confused by the pay gap between him and Sieve, who is an apprentice, on top of being cheaper than he expected, Melta replies with a wry smile.
“Even with this amount of money, though, it’s too much. Five silver coins are unprecedented for us who have no experience as maids, and for Sieve as an apprentice maid who would be getting a salary, it’s a great thing, right? Right? Sieve.”
“Yes! Ryoji-kun ……. No,Ryoji-sama is a generous master and I am very happy. Thank you for hiring me!”
“Yeah, yeah. It’s less than the guild’s receptionist job, but free food and clothing is a big deal.”
When he asked Carena, who was nodding beside him, to elaborate, he found that apprentice maids were grateful just to be guaranteed food, clothing, and shelter, and that it was common sense to work without pay.
—-Part I end—
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