Chapter 42: Entering the Fief
On a clear morning, I went out to the garden of the mansion.
I stood in front of a banyan tree, a common tree in the Almeria region.
The banyan tree is a characteristic plant that has “beard-like” roots hanging down from its trunk.
When the whiskers come together and become entangled, they form a new trunk, but because the whiskers are originally thin and thread-like, they look stringy even after they are entangled and hardened, making the tree look like the body of an old man.
The banyan tree is called the “long-life tree” or the “hermit tree” because of its whiskers, and this is a tree of good luck.
I pulled out my leviathan and slashed at the banyan’s beard as if I were cleaving it.
The blade of the demon sword, which was trailing a light blue afterglow, struck the whiskers – it couldn’t be cut.
Starting with that, I unleashed a series of slashes.
The whiskers, which could be torn off by even a child’s hand, did not seem to be cut by the slashes, no matter how many they were received.
Well, I was not trying to cut it.
Leviathan has a sword technique inside it, a technique to control the blade line so that even if something can be cut easily, it will not be cut.
For a while now, I’ve been practicing it as part of my morning routine.
After swinging the leviathan for about half an hour, I put the sword away and took a breath.
I look at the ground.
Today, not a single whisker had been cut.
“As expected, Noah-sama.”
I heard a girl’s voice and the sound of applause from behind me.
When I turned around, I saw a girl about fifteen years old, like me, coming towards me with Zoe, my maid, in tow.
The girl’s name was Audrey.
She’s the granddaughter of the Thunder Prince Indra, and she’s my wife.
“You have been brilliant today.”
“Well, I guess so.”
“Until I met Noah-sama, I could never have imagined that this kind of swordsmanship existed in the world. That’s Noah-sama for you.
Audrey said and came even closer.
Then she stood in front of me.
“Would you like some breakfast?”
“Sure let’s have it here.”
“All right. Zoe.”
At Audrey’s command, Zoe, who was now the head maid of the mansion, ran to get ready.
Once she retreated into the mansion, she immediately came out with several maids.
The maids quickly set up a table and a chair in front of us and laid out a tablecloth and dishes on it.
Then the food was brought in.
Audrey took the food brought by the maids and placed it in front of me.
“Here you go, Noah-sama.”
It was a usual morning breakfast, served by Audrey.
When a member of the royal family takes a wife, the role of the servants in the house changes drastically.
Serving my meal was the job of Audrey and the concubines who would join her in the future.
Even Zoe, the head maid, cannot serve me directly when the “lady” is around.
Also, unless there’s something wrong, the main and entourage chambers will not eat with me.
There are two meanings to this.
The first is that the head of the house is the royal family, in this case, me.
It’s like the epitome of a Royal Family.
That’s why Audrey, my wife, serves me.
The other reason is to improve the status of my wife.
She is the only one who can “do something directly” to the head of the house, to emphasize that she is in the number two position in the house.
While being served by Audrey, my wife, I had a chat with her.
“By the way, you are turning fifteen next week, aren’t you?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Now we can finally perform the ‘Rite of Expulsion’.”
“Yes! I’ve been waiting for this!”
Audrey answered excitedly, her eyes shining.
There is one more thing that distinguishes the wives of the royal family from the common people.
That is, they lose their last names.
Right now, Audrey’s full name is Audrey Ararat.
In a ceremony called the ‘Rite of Expulsion’, she takes off her last name, Ararat, and becomes just Audrey.
It’s an old custom.
A person who becomes the wife of a member of the royal family is not allowed to divorce at all.
And a surname means “the house of one’s birth’.
It is an old custom to remove it and say ‘ there is no home to go back to.’
“I understand that the common people yearn for the rite of expulsion, but were you the same?”
“Yes! Because now I can truly and authentically become Noah’s wife.”
So it’s not about the ritual itself, but about being mine.
“Well, don’t get worked up. It’s just a ritual in itself. As you can see from the maids, I have no intention of letting anyone else cross this threshold.”
“Yes! Thank you very much!”
Audrey smiled even more gleefully.
Nisir, the capital city of Almeria.
At the age of fifteen, I entered a feudal domain with my wife Audrey.
As is customary, we live in a feudal domain for several years to study political affairs.
However, I had been appointed Minister of Justice for a long time, and His Majesty had asked me for my opinions on political matters on various occasions.
I didn’t feel particularly nervous when I entered the estate, and it was business as usual.
Today, too, I went out to the city around mid-afternoon after I had taken care of all the political affairs.
Nisir was the “capital of the province,” and it was quite prosperous.
Everything found in the imperial capital is also found here.
Overall, Nisir is a smaller version of the Imperial Capital.
I went straight to the one store I wanted to visit.
I have heard that she will be coming here today.
As I approached the store.
“There she is.”
I said with a smile.
I heard a singing voice.
It belonged to Alice.
Alice, whom I had once helped and then become a patron of.
She has been singing for a while now and has become one of the best singers in the Empire.
As a result, she began to sing all over the Empire.
Of course, the travel expenses, her mother’s living expenses, and even purchasing outlets in the places she went.
In any case, I continue to support her so that she can concentrate on singing.
When I entered the store, I found that it was the same kind of store as Keith’s in the Imperial City.
But on a smaller scale, so as soon as I walked in, my eyes met Alice’s, who was singing.
Before she could do anything, I held up my hand to stop her.
I gave her a look and told her to keep singing, and sat down at an appropriate seat.
And then I sat down and listened to her sing.
I was satisfied with her voice, which was getting better and better.
After one song, Alice went back to the back of the stage for a while.
The audience, who had been listening quietly until then, opened their mouths at once.
Some were discussing their impressions, while others were just chatting.
I like this kind of miscellaneous atmosphere that is common in such stores.
“Oh, by the way, I’m moving to Gora next month.”
“Gora? What kind of place is that?”
“Don’t you know? Gora’s new governor Evelyn, she’s amazing.”
I overheard a conversation between two people sitting next to me.
Evelyn, the governor of Gora ……, is definitely my servant Evelyn that I sent out from my mansion.
I was curious about what the big deal was because it wasn’t entirely unrelated.
“Ever since Evelyn-sama came, she’s put a lot of effort into security, and now Gora is so safe you don’t even have to lock your door at night.”
“I am serious. Well, if you commit a crime, you’re in trouble. I have no intention of doing that, so that’s why I decided to move there.”
“Wow. That’s great.”
“Yeah. Well, it’s because of the ‘Wise officials’.”
“What’s that? What’s this “Wise”?”
“A wise person is an official appointed by the Wise Prince. The rest are ‘Imperial Appointees’, officials appointed by the Emperor.”
The man who was planning to move out broke off at that point, and then said with a sense of pride, as if he were speaking for himself.
“There are only a few wise officials, but they’re all very good ones. Everywhere they go, people are getting richer and safer. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the imperial appointees, you know. Just that the wise officials are better.”
” Amazing. That may be because Wise Prince had a good eye for people?”
“Although there is that too, the merchants who spoke directly with the Governor-samas say that they are all extremely loyal to him and will repay his debt by doing things right.”
“His subordinates love him so much, that’s even more impressive. ……”
I listened to the men talk for a while, but they didn’t give me any more new information.
I’ve received reports that the Evelyn I sent out is doing reasonably well.
That being said, I’m glad to hear that the people are actually talking about her.
I’ll send Evelyn a letter of appreciation later.
Just as I was thinking this, Alice returned from backstage.
There was applause, and the chatter died down.
The next song then—.
–did not start.
Three tactless men approached Alice from downstage.
Alice’s brow furrowed for a moment, but she answered with a cold expression.
“Yes I am, so what about it?”
“Pascal-sama has taken a liking to you. He has invited you to sing in his house.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t accept such invitations, no matter who they are. If you want to hear me sing, just come to my store.”
“Oh, come on, you don’t know anything. Pascal-sama is the governor of Nisir. And it’s only for one night, you know.”
“I already told you. Whoever you are, please come to the store.”
“Hey, you don’t get it yet, do you? I…”
Watching the scene unfold, my voice rang out more than usual in the quiet store.
I got up from my chair and slowly made my way to the stage.
“Haah? What the fuck, kid? Do you have any idea who you’re talking to?”
“We’re Pascal’s messengers, you know.”
“I don’t care.”
“Then I’ll have to drill it into your body until you do.”
The men laughed mockingly, and one of them reached out to grab my shoulder.
The next moment, both my arms were covered in flames.
I punched the open body of the man who had grabbed me.
The man was blown away a few meters and turned into a fire doll, rolling around on the ground.
The other two also came at me.
I hit them both with the same fist of flame, turning them into a fire doll.
The flames only lasted for a dozen seconds, and then subsided as if they were a lie.
“What the hell was that?”
“Wow, ……, he’s controlling the flames at will, huh?”
“Who is he?”
While the customers in the store were buzzing, another group of people jumped in from outside.
This one was a city patrolman, in uniform and armed.
“What’s this!? Who’s that rampaging around here?”
“It’s yo——–!? H-His Highness the 13th? I apologize for the intrusion!!”
The patrolman looked at my face and quickly dropped to one knee in front of me.
“His Highness the 13th?”
“Could it be that, His Highness the 13th Wise Prince?”
“The lord of Almeria!”
The buzz in the store reached its peak.
Ignoring it, I said to the patrolman.
“They tried to take someone from the store, arrest them and throw them in jail for a while.”
“Also this guy Pascal should come to have his men released. And tell them to come to me.”
“As you wish.”
The patrolman followed my orders, grabbed the man who was letting out smoke, and left.
I turned to Alice.
“Is everything alright? You don’t have to be so stubborn when it comes to things like that.”
“No, even Noah-sama always comes to the store. So I can’t go with him, no matter who he is.”
“I see. Well, then let’s hear some more singing here.”
“Yes! With pleasure!”
I turned myself around and walked back to my seat as people stared at me, enjoying the song Alice was singing again.
Halfway through the song, a man named Pascal came to get down on his knees, but I ignored him and kept him on his knees until Alice finished singing.
Grrrrr, that time skip.
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