Chapter 6: The Hero Makes a Triumphant Return and Cheats on Domestic Affairs
“Ryoji-samaa! Look over here!”
“Thank you! For defeating the bull-man, the Lord’s enemy!”[TN: This Lord’s ‘主人’ is pronounced Aruji]
“Next time, I’ll plan the party!”
“Is it true you’re marrying Carena and Melta! I’ll never forgive you!”
“Carena-chan! Ryoji has five mistresses! Don’t marry him!”
“Hey! Who was that! The one who said all that shit! Come out! I don’t have a mistress!”
Ryoji and the others were heading towards the center of the city, receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the parade. The area was normally used as a plaza, and as before, the stage had been set up for the ceremony and was packed with residents.
After the parade was over, Ryoji and the others were ushered into the waiting room and ordered to wait until they were called by Yuhan.
“You’re really going all out again.”
“It’s only natural. The Cave of Trials, which had been giving us a headache, was now gone and we had a great mine. Plus, we’ll be able to disband the encampment, which has been a huge burden on us.”
“Oh? That’s thanks to me.”
Marcos replied to Ryoji’s happy voice in a dumbfounded tone.
“What are you saying now? It’s definitely thanks to you. In addition, your efforts to change the weapons and improve the management of the garrison army, as well as to improve the diet and hygiene management. There are a lot of things that we can do to strengthen our military operations in the future. In Yuhan’s eyes, Ryoji is a savior sent by the goddess Iorus.”
“O-Ou. I see a savior, huh.”
Ryoji, who had received an unusually serious compliment, replied, looking embarrassedly in the opposite direction.
“Then I will now bestow the reward on Ryoji. Ryoji! Step forward!”
As Ryoji stood on the stage, the crowd broke into earth-shaking applause and cheers. With a smile on his face, Yuhan placed Ryoji on his shoulders and let the cheers rise. He watched the endless applause for a while, but then he waved his hand to stop the applause and began to explain about the prize.
“Ryoji! Your performance this time was also splendid. Including the previous one, you have defeated four Bull-Men. One of them was a rare variant, and if you hadn’t defeated it, the city of Drugul might have been destroyed. You also discovered the cause of the monster outbreak and took measures to prevent the Bull-Men from ever coming out again. And I’ve heard reports that the Cave of Trials has been liberated and turned into a high-quality mine.”
At this point, Yuhan stopped speaking as if to take a break, then looked around at the crowd and spoke in a loud shout.
“You have also paved the way for the development and deployment of weapons for the garrison forces. And, reducing the cost of the overburdened garrison forces. I’m very happy about this. Things have been going well since Ryoji arrived in Drugul! I’ll do my utmost to reward him for his achievements!”
Yuhan received the medal from the civilian officer in the back, put it on Ryoji’s chest, and started to explain.
“It is a medal of honor, a sign of knighthood! From now on, Ryoji is no longer an honorary knight, but a knight under my command! In addition, 500 gold coins! Your adventurer rank will be upgraded from C to B.”
The crowd and the noblemen in attendance groaned at the magnitude of the reward announced by Yuhan. Normally, one cannot become a knight simply by earning a military rank. Yuhan listened to the groans with amusement, but then raised his hands and asked for silence, and took out another piece of parchment. Then, looking around slowly, he read.
“My knight! Uchino Ryoji! I convey to you your first command. I order you to defend and manage the mines at the site of the Cave of Trials and the new city that is being built! To assist you, I’m assigning Aurelio, Carena, and the other subordinates!”
This time, the earth broke into a shout of joy.
“I respectfully accept, sir”.
Ryoji was dumbfounded at first, but he used his etiquette skills to give the perfect answer.
“By the way, Ryoji-sama is a viscount of Japan, isn’t he? Is it all right for you to become a knight here?”
“Eh? T-That’s okay. Even if I have multiple titles, I can pass them on when I have children. After training, when I return to Japan, I plan to become an earl, so I can pass on the current viscount and the newly acquired knighthood to my children in the future. So, it’s a good thing to have more titles, and there’s no need to worry about it. Even if it’s a knighthood from another country.”
“Ah. I see. ……. That’s right. So it is. The world of the aristocracy is too far away for me to understand at all. ……. I don’t understand.”
Ryoji answered the question casually asked by Sieve by putting on a calm face and answering lightly.
(Well. It’s strangely enough that a person with a title can get a title in another country. In order to escape Marco’s investigation, I just randomly referred to myself as a viscount of Japan. If anyone pursues me, I could say that I was ruined during my warrior training or that I actually came from the past! Will it be possible to muddle through like that?)
It’s a story that would make anyone scratch their head, but Ryoji himself decided to cover it up with enthusiasm and gusto.
Two weeks had passed since Ryoji had been entrusted with the management of the territory by Yuhan.
When Marco told Yuhan that he had completed the formalities in the capital, returned to Drugul, and was on his way to the garrison, Yuhan responded with a dry laugh and some words of advice. To his surprise, Melta at the Adventurer’s Guild gave him a proud look, while Sieve at Ryoji’s mansion gave him an exciting look.
“Just come and see (it)!”
Marco, who was riding his horse, wondering why it didn’t sound exactly the same despite the same words, felt strange on the way.
“Hmm? The roads are cleaner?”
The streets were much cleaner than before, and there were more people coming and going. And, the width of the road, which used to be a beastly road used by humans, was now wide enough for a carriage to pass.
Thanks to this, the horses were able to walk without stress because their legs were no longer burdened, and they were able to reach the city in about three hours, instead of the half-day it had taken them from Drugul.
“What did he do to make this happen?”
Marco looked around, stunned, and saw a cityscape that was as good as the one in Drugul but without walls or gates. The streets were neatly laid out in a grid pattern, and the main street was large enough for two carriages to pass each other. Also, there was a line drawn in the middle of the road, which seemed to determine the direction of travel.
On the other hand, the pathway was narrow enough for a horse-drawn carriage to enter, allowing light to shine in and making it feel less dark. The stores on the main street were filled with lively shouting, and in the area where the blacksmiths would gather, adventurers and garrison soldiers could be seen gathering.
In general, the stores selling food and places to eat seemed to be the most plentiful, probably because of the strong intentions of the people who had planned the area.
“What just happened in the last two weeks? No doubt, Ryoji is involved. ……”
Marco muttered and stiffened with his mouth wide open as he arrived at the site where Ryoji’s mansion was to be built. The plan was to build a mansion for the last, and it was supposed to be a place where tents and simple huts would be erected first, to serve as a base camp for office work and the extermination of monsters in the area.
“This is the place, right? Where’s Ryoji’s mansion?”
As Marco looked up in dismay, he saw that a magnificent mansion had already been built. It usually takes at least a month to build a mansion, and judging by the cityscape, they must have prioritized urban areas for construction.
No matter how he calculated it, there was no way a mansion of this size could be built in two weeks, and Marco could only think of questions. As he stood in front of the mansion, thinking endlessly, a voice called out from behind him.
“Huh? It’s Marco. What’s wrong? With such a difficult look on your face. Maybe you were concentrating on making a point?”
“I am seriously stunned! For God’s sake, explain to me what this city is all about!”
Marco shook his head as if he had just woken up from a dream when Ryoji called out to him. He asked Ryoji for an explanation when he regained his senses.
Marco was led to the house and Ryoji explained to him.
“I got the territory first. Then, using earth magic, I cleaned up the streets on the way to the territory. Surprisingly, this was a lot of work. I even camped out. I spent the next week clearing the streets with earth magic and building houses with magic. And now that the roads are clean, I can improve the carriages and make three regular round trips a day to and from the city of Drugul.”
“Hey. Wait a minute. Let me put tsukkomi in it.”
Marco held his head and tried to squeeze out a tsukkomi, but Ryoji ignored him and kept talking.
“Then, I started accepting residents using horse-drawn carriages. After doing so, various requests came up, so I started solving them one by one. Finally, about three days ago, I had time to build my own mansion, so I went all out with my hobby, poured all my skills and magic power into it, and built it just the way I like it! Do you understand?”
“I don’t know where to begin. Carena was by his side, right? Is it easy to build a road or a house with earth magic?”
“Of course not. I’ve never even heard of it.”
When Marco asked, Carena, shook her head tiredly. Ryoji listened to the exchange between the two, and his tone intensified.
“What are you doubting! It’s possible! I put magic power into it to keep it from collapsing!”
“It’s not about that! I’ve never heard of paving a street or building a house with magic! How can you do that!”
“Eh? Something can be done with a little enthusiasm, right?
Marco let out a big sigh when Ryoji said it in his usual way, and then he remembered the look on Yuhan and the others’ faces when he left the city of Drugul and understood what they meant.
“I would like to report on the events of the past two weeks at the garrison.”
The man who had listened to the report from his subordinate who was kneeling down to give his report until the end looked at the reporting person’s face with a disturbed expression.
“Isn’t it possible to give a better report? How can a town be built in such a short period of time? Is this Ryoji guy an angel of God?”
“Ha! I wrote the report as I saw it with my own eyes, but even after I finished writing it, I couldn’t believe it. However, the next morning, a building had been erected in a place where nothing had existed before yesterday!”
The man under his command continued his explanation, gradually raising the tension. The road from the garrison to the city of Druegul was built overnight. There were three regular trips a day, and the carriages themselves were spacious with a little shaking, so much so that you could eat in them. The distribution of goods hadn’t stopped, and the city of Durugul and the garrison were being supplied with what they needed.
“The first thing I felt was that the standard of living of the residents has risen dramatically. Currently, the garrison is short on manpower, and there is a huge recruitment drive for immigrants. With all due respect, I think it would be best to get someone undercover as soon as possible.”
Examining the proposal of the informant, he let out a sigh as he looked at the proffered report again.
“The Hero of Drugul, who has built a city in two weeks, established regular transportation to and from the city of Drugul, liberated the Cave of Trials and turned it into a mine, and is running an innovative business. He’s a nobleman from another country, but he’s also been knighted here. In addition, he has a track record of defeating four Bull-men and is capable of applying double attributes, huh.”
When he dismissed his subordinate who made the report with encouragement, the man was lost in thought about what to do in the future.
“Ryoji-san! Where are you? Please don’t run away saying ‘I’m bored with paperwork’!”
Ryoji, who had slipped out of his office for a break, escaped from the mansion, hearing Aurelio’s voice in the distance, and looked at the cityscape he had created.
It had been a month since Yuhan had given him the post. Rather than settling down, the city’s vitality was heating up even more, and the number of people who had moved to the garrison in the past month was about to exceed 500.
The garrison troops, who were to be reorganized and dispersed throughout the country were concerned that the rapid increase in population would worsen public safety, so they remained in the garrison to maintain security and receive training from Ryoji.
“It’s getting quite lively, isn’t it? The report said that there would be another 500 people coming next week, so we need to expand the area. We’d better fill in the mines if anything looks dangerous, so we can do both tomorrow. Speaking of which, I heard that there are monsters in the north. Let’s have 60% of the new recruits scout the area to train the garrison troops as well. I also need to explain to the blacksmith guild about the new carriage I’ve been thinking about. And …….”
Ryoji, who was filling in the list of things to do while activating the interface, didn’t realize that he was adding to his own workload. The next morning, he would look at the list and see how much work he had to do.
However, Ryoji, who was enjoying running the territory, was completely oblivious to the fact at the moment and arrived at the shopping district, enjoying the overflow of ideas.
“Hey. Ryoji! You look like you’re having fun. By the way, didn’t you say that you and Aurelio-san were going to focus on your office work today?”
“I ran away because the paperwork was too much trouble. The amount of work that Aurelio brings in is more than half of what it should be, you know? And he says with a straight face, ‘There are at least five of these piles,’ you know? You shouldn’t let a kid like me, who hasn’t reached adulthood, work so hard.”
The merchant laughed as he saw an angry Aurelio frantically searching for Ryoji as he proudly explained that it was not his fault.
“If you’ve run away, you’d better find some kind of business. If you leave empty-handed, Aurelio will be furious for sure.”
“No worries! I already have a lot of ideas. It’s really sad that we don’t have time to implement them. That’s right! Do you want to join in?”
The merchant thought for a moment that he should listen to Ryoji’s suggestion, but then he reconsidered that he would be entrusted with a huge amount of work if he agreed to it easily, and he lightly passed it on.
“I have some business in the city of Drugul, so tell me about it the next time we meet. See you there!”
The merchant laughed lightly and turned to leave, but Ryoji had no intention of letting him walk away. In order to push the matter to the merchant in front of him, he marked the merchant with the search function so that he could find him at any time.
“Welcome back, Ryoji-sama.”
When Ryoji returned to the mansion, he was greeted by Carena, handing over his sword and taking off his jacket. He went to the living room, talking happily about what had happened at the garrison and what he had noticed.
Just as Ryoji was about to enter the living room, Carena gently hugged him from behind.
“Ca-Carena-san? What’s up with you all of a sudden?”
“Ryoji-sama. You’re now officially a knight, so you shouldn’t using honorifics as “san”. Huh? Your clothes are a bit damaged. Keep still, please.”
Ryoji, who was unable to move due to the sudden action of Carena, who began to fix his clothes in close contact with him, confirmed with a troubled expression while enjoying the softness of Carena.
“Hey, Carena? Mithril’s clothes won’t get damaged. And you can a get a bit close. ……”
“All right! It’s done! You can come out now. Aurelio.”
“Ehh? Eh? Why am I tied up with rope?”
Aurelio appeared from the living room with a wonderful smile on his face, while Ryoji was confused and could not understand the situation. Carena gave Aurelio a high five and handed him the rope she was holding.
“No. You can’t do that, Ryoji-sama. You can’t use “san”. But what’s worse, don’t you think, is throwing away your work in the middle of the day?”
“You’re right. There is a lot of work for you to do, Ryoji-san. Don’t think you can sleep in your bed today. Stop messing around and don’t think you can get away with it now!”
Ryoji tried to run away from the two people who were smiling at him but their eyes were not smiling at all, but the ropes he was tied to prevent him from doing so, and with a twitching smile, he prepared to stay up all night.
“The population of the garrison exceeded 1000? Wasn’t the original plan to have 800?”
“Even after we closed the recruitment, there was no end to the number of people who came directly to us. We couldn’t say to the people who gave up everything to come here, ‘Go home, the recruitment is over!’ .”
Ryoji, who had visited the Drugul to ask for permission to expand the land, was explaining the situation to Yuhan while shrugging his shoulders in an embarrassed manner.
He looked at the report that Ryoji had handed him, which was full of unrealistic figures, and the expansion plan that he wanted to question for at least an hour about how they were going to raise the money.
“The population is 1,325, and the 25 households consist of 30% miners, 10% blacksmiths, 10% merchants, and the remaining 50% are families. There are elderly people and children who don’t have jobs, so if one person has to support the family, the breadwinner must be well paid to make a living, right? What about that area?”
“It’s okay in that area. For those who had a job before, they will be doing the same job they have been doing. And those who didn’t have a job, we’ve prepared jobs for them, such as cleaning up the town, assisting with transportation at the mine, and maintaining the streets.”
“I see. So you’re letting them offer their labor in exchange for tax payment.”
When Yuhan nodded, Ryoji shook his head and denied it.
“No. We pay them a salary. Besides, we’ve set up a free school for the children, where they can study and learn skills, and we provide them with school lunches. Surprisingly, this has been well received. In addition, we have elderly people who help us as teachers. Ah! Of course, we pay the old people as well. Also, we decided not to collect resident’s tax for the first three months after moving there.”
It was written in the report, but when Yuhan heard Ryoji’s explanation again, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. According to his own common sense, it was impossible to exempt residents from taxes for three months, and he had never heard of providing jobs for those who did not have jobs or free schools for children.
Furthermore, according to the information that Yuhan had gathered on his own, there were no slums in the city, which any place would do. When he asked why Ryoji showed him a document different from the report. On it was written the family structure of those who had come to the garrison, where they had lived before, their occupations, and their awards and punishments. They were given a house commensurate with these details and assigned jobs according to their occupation.
For example, a man who had worked as a blacksmith in the previous town would receive not only a house but also an additional workshop, as long as he was capable. And by joining the guild, he would be assigned jobs such as repairing miners’ tools or making them, and the guild would pay him.
Also, those artisans with technical skills will be instructed to make tools of Ryoji’s own design, which will be sold at a high price. Those who have their own ideas can present them to Ryoji, and if he likes them, he will fund them.
Yuhan, who was listening to the discussion, was having a hard time figuring out if he could do it, but he was intrigued by the unprecedented method of governance and asked a question.
“Is it safe to not collect taxes for three months? Besides, building a school for free would be a huge burden. Aurelio told you how to collect the tax, right?”
“Yes. The city of Drugul focuses on the resident tax, right? If the person who is the source of your income gets sick or injured, you can take a grace period and pay it in installments after he or she recovers. In addition, a purchase tax is levied on luxury goods.”
“I like the idea of a purchase tax on luxury goods. But if we impose progressive taxes and deferrals for illnesses, there will be no end to the number of cheaters, right?”
Ryoji, who had some idea of what Yuhan was asking, chuckled and explained his response.
“There is no way to fool Aurelio’s eyes, even if you try to deceive him. Anyone who abuses the grace period due to illness, I will personally go out and take a report. I’m planning to draw up a manual in the near future.”
“What happens if someone is able to trick Ryoji?”
“That’s okay. I have the ability to know what kind of condition a person is in. ‘You are fine, right? You lied to me, didn’t you? I can tell,’ I would say, smiling as I approached them, smiling a little closer, and they would all be frightened ……. Instead, they’ll change their minds and pay their taxes.”
“That’s a trick only Ryoji could pull off.”
Yuhan let out a chuckle at the not-so-subtle answer to his question.
“And how long will it take you to get back on track with your territory management? It seems to me that there is no end in sight.”
“But if I do not finish it, I will not be able to keep my promise to the Frontier Count, right? I’ll miss the timing to enter the Royal Magic Academy.”
Yuhan was relieved that Ryoji had not forgotten to go to the academy, and told him the schedule for the future.
“There will be an entrance ceremony in three months. I want you to be ready by then.”
“Understood. First of all, I’ll make sure that the garrison management runs without me. It will be okay if I leave everything to Aurelio, right?”
“I’ll prepare several civil servants to make sure Aurelio doesn’t collapse.”
“Ryoji-sama. You’re going to the capital in two weeks, right?”
“Yes, that’s right. Melta should have known that. Why such a sudden confirmation?”
Ryoji, who was spending his first day off in a long time at Druguls’s mansion, replied to Melta in a puzzled manner.
“Of course I know, but it’s going to be hectic. Are you prepared? You didn’t forget anything, right?”
“Well. Melta has prepared everything for me, hasn’t she? I have no idea what you’ve prepared for me, you know?”
“I got it! Melta-san is nervous because Ryoji-sama is going to Royal Capital and she’s going to miss him!”
“That’s not the case. The reason why Ryoji-sama is going to the capital is that Yuhan-sama personally asked him to. It’s a great honor, so why should I be anxious just because I will be lonely? Sieve-san. Let’s go over there and have a nice talk. Well then, Ryoji-sama. I have some business to attend to, so if you’ll excuse me.”
After being pointed out by Sieve pointed, Melta with a smile held Sieve’s scruff, then took the pale-faced Sieve and disappeared into another room.
“I’ll be in the Capital next month, so I’d better do what I can.”
Ryoji muttered, and when he arrived at the area where Yuhan had permitted him to expand, he began to build a building to worship Iolus by casting earth attribute magic. He made the building larger than usual, and as he entered, he raised the center of the ceiling to create more space. He also decorated the ceiling and pillars using the design ability he had acquired with his skills. In addition, he prepared about 300 chairs for the believers and created a chapel in the basement. Two wells were prepared in the basement chapel so that they could be used as an evacuation point for the residents in case of an emergency. With a life-sized statue of Iorus on the altar, it was more magnificent than the church in Drugul.
“Good. I hope I’ve been able to return the favor to Iorus. Now, all we need to do is to call the priests, and I’ll ask the Frontier Count to do it.”
After finishing his work, Ryoji returned to the mansion and asked Yuhan to write a letter to Sieve to ask the church to send a priest. Upon receiving the request, Yuhan was planning to take a tour of the building first and then solicit requests for priests in the capital, but before the tour, there was a rush of requests for priests, and even though the initial request was for two priests, the church headquarters requested that five be hired.
“Even so, Ryoji-sama is a devout believer with a strong faith. Goddess Iorus will surely be pleased.”
“That’s true. I’m sure she would be pleased. If there is anything that you think is missing from the church, please don’t hesitate to ask the mansion staff. I’ll send you a separate donation, but for now, please use this.”
“Well, well. Thank you very much. May the blessings of the god Iorus be with you, Ryoji-sama.”
The priest representing the group expressed his gratitude to Ryoji. Ryoji took a bag from storage and handed it to the representative. The priest, who judged from the contents of the bag that it contained about 100 coins, reverently accepted it and handed it to the priest behind him to give thanks.
After Ryoji left the church, the priests checked the contents and were surprised to find that the coins they thought to be silver were gold, and sent a report to the Cardinal of the capital about Ryoji’s large donation.
Ryoji, the hero of Drugul, was a devout believer who had prepared a wonderful church and provided food, clothing, and shelter for the five priests and their families who were assigned to the church. He also provided 100 gold coins as living expenses for the time being, and also made a large donation.
He is not only a hero of Drugul, having defeated four Bull-Men, but he also manages the garrison well and has a wide network of contacts, including the Frontier Count and other prominent figures in Drugul, such as Marco, Carena, and Aurelio, who give him their full support. Considering his contribution to the Church, he should be included in the Papal faction together with Count Yuhan.”
“Will Sieve be going to the capital?”
“I won’t go.”
Cozmo was relieved to hear that his beloved daughter was not going to the capital, but he wondered why she was not going with him when she was hired as an apprentice maid. He asked his daughter, who was helping him because she was off duty, and she answered with a smile, although she looked sad.
“Dad just moved his workshop to the garrison. Besides, we can’t leave the house empty, can we? Look at this! Isn’t this amazing!”
What Sieve showed him was a necklace of a chariot made of silver. The necklace was so elaborate that even Cozimo, who decorates the pattern himself, could not guess its value as an ornament.
“It’s a very nice piece. Did you get it from Ryoji-sama?”
“Yes, I did! And he made it for me! If you show it to the master, you can ride in his carriage for free. He asked me to take care of the garrison and Drugul’s mansion while he is away in the capital. I know that I’ll miss him when goes to the Capital, but since he asked me, I’ll do my best. And listen! He hired another maid in addition to me, and I became the head maid!”
“Head maid? Sieve is still underage, how can she be the head maid?”
“Ryoji-sama told me that ‘All you have to do is give orders,’ so it’s okay! I’ll do my best to get praise from him!”
Cozmo looked at his daughter, who was giggling and enjoying the conversation, smiling. In fact, the new maids were excellent people who had been hired with favorable treatment, and Sieve was the nominal head maid.
In effect, they would be the chief maids and protect the house. It was Ryoji’s concern that Sieve was too young to leave her parents, so he gave her the position of the head maid to make it easier for her to stay.[TN: For a lolicon, Ryoji is considerate]
At Ryoji’s mansion in the city of Drugul, preparations for departure were being made in a hurry. Under the direction of Melta, Ryoji and Carena were hovering around in a hurry while people were busily preparing. However, the situation changed when Melta received a complaint from one of the workers around them.”
“Ryoji-sama and Carena are getting in the way! There’s still some time left, so please take a walk around the city and say hello to the residents until we leave.”
After being kicked out of the mansion by Melta, Ryoji and Carena came to the shopping area of Drugul and bid farewell to the shopkeepers while shopping for food and drinks.
“It’s going to be really lonely. Let’s have one more departure celebration to drown out the loneliness!”
The owner of the monster meat store was crying and proposed to Ryoji with such force that he almost hugged him. After a long day of partying, Ryoji smiled and said goodbye as he escaped.
The two of them leave the shopping district and visit the area where Cozimo’s second workshop is located. It used to be Cozimo’s store, but since his main customers were garrison soldiers, he had moved to a workshop in the garrison that Ryoji had prepared. The former workshop in Drugul is now run by his apprentices as a store specializing in repairing Cozimo swords.
“Ah! Ryoji-san. You’re leaving today, aren’t you? Please do your best even when you go to the capital. You’re the star of hope for us residents of Drugul.”
“Ouu! By the time I come back, you guys should be able to surpass Cozimo-san. I’ll personally request you to create a weapon for me.”
Ryoji’s words made the disciples excited. Cozimo had ten apprentices working at the second workshop, and they knew that this workshop had grown to this size because Ryoji had asked Cozimo to make swords.
“Here’s a little assignment from me. I’m going to give you a silver ingot, and I want you to make something with it. It doesn’t have to be a weapon! This ingot is worth about two gold coins. You can run away with it! You can make something that will make me groan! Do with it what you will. I’ll even give you a prize for your best work.”
The apprentices who were given the ingots laughed out loud at the part about running away with them, even as their eyes lit up at Ryoji’s assignment.
“I’m pretty sure no one would do such a thing as running away with something! We’re going to make some great work, so don’t forget your promise!”
With ingots in hand, the disciples began to formulate ideas for their work, hoping to impress Ryoji.
“Isn’t it Ryoji-sama? Thank you for taking the time before your departure to visit my store.”
The owner welcomed Ryoji and Carena to his store and began to talk to them as he led them to the seat where Ryoji had ended up proposing.
“We have redesigned this as a special seat. And it is used by many different people. We owe it all to you, Ryoji-sama.”
“Thanks to me? And this is a special seat?”
“That’s correct. Ever since Ryoji-sama proposed to Carena-sama, there has been a rumor going around that if you say your feelings in this store, happiness will come to you. For those who have purchased an engagement ring at our store, we have made it so that the ring can be handed over at this special table. We are using the place where the two of you are sitting now as the ‘hero’s seat of Drugul’ where he had proposed.”
When Ryoji and Carena looked around, the eyes of all the customers in the store were focused on them.
“Ooh! I’ve never seen a proposal recreated like that!”
“It’s still very picturesque, isn’t it? I wish I could meet a man who was as patient as he was.”
“All right! Let’s get this one! I’ll pick it up tomorrow with my girlfriend and we can use the hero’s seat in Drugul!”
“Ooh, ……. Something awesome is going on there. I bet it was the owner who spread the rumor, right?”
“Well, what do you think?”
When Ryoji asked the owner, he answered with a smile. Ryoji, who had been lightly brushed off, looked at Carena with a wry smile and found her face red and downcast perhaps remembering the incident.
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