Chapter 16 – The Marquis’ Residence
The next day, Luce and I were invited to the mansion of the Howlod Family.
‘To thank you for what happened in the Phantasmal Beast Tower once again’, they said.
Led by Izabella, we were walking the corridors of the mansion.
“This is the first time I’ve been inside a magnificent building like this….. Aren’t I kind of out of place here? Maybe you should’ve come here alone after all, Elma-san….”
Luce was looking around timidly.
“What are you saying? You both saved ojou-sama’s life, did you not? There is no reason to lose your nerve here. Also….you shouldn’t expect any over the top ceremony either. The Lord will not involve himself in these incidents at this time.”
Izabella smiled wryly at Luce’s state.
“Normally, it would be expected from ojou-sama’s father, Marquis Harden, to welcome the saviors of his daughter, but…..he’s an exceedingly busy person.”
Izabella said with a somewhat apologetic expression.
“Marquis Harden is exceptionally cold even towards Snow-sama, despite the fact that she is his daughter and the leading candidate to inherit his title. He much prefers concrete action rather than manners or appearances, so he rarely appears at times like this. So please don’t be discouraged by it.”
“Eheheh….Actually, that makes me somewhat relieved instead…. I heard that he was a scary person, so I was a bit afraid of meeting him…..”
Luce said while scratching her head.
As for me, I would’ve liked to meet Marquis Harden, a Lord of a territory different from ours.
The unusual Dungeon calamities that manifested near La Colina…..and the item that caused them, the Mourning Trapezohedron.
It’s clear that some people intend to make use of the natural disasters of the world, the Dungeons, in their evil scheme.
I believe if we don’t respond to this in time, this might turn into a situation where there is no coming back from.
We simply don’t have enough information about the Howlod Family to make inquiries around these parts.
The Howlod Family is indeed a suspect in this case, but they are also the largest organization that protects this territory at the same time.
Using this chance, I wanted to meet with their leader, Marquis Harden, and try to feel out his stance on the incidents that have been happening lately.
“Izabella-san, is it true that Marquis Harden has a really scary face….?”
Luce whispered her question to Izabella.
“….Luce, don’t ask a question like that from people from their own household.”
“I-I’m sorry, I just heard this rumor and I was curious, so…..”
Izabella checked our surroundings to make sure no one else was around, then broke into a grin.
“Yeah, he’s extremely scary. He always has a fierce look on his face, a large mouth like a dragon, pointy ears and nose like a devil, and imp-like bulging eyes…. I’m glad that ojou-sama took after her mother instead with her charming appearance.”
Izabella wiggled her fingers, trying to scare Luce.
…..this person is unexpectedly good at playing along.
It seems Marquis Harden is quite cold towards Snow as well, and he doesn’t seems to be Izabella’s favorite person either.
“This is the drawing room…..”
Izabella’s words cut off as she opened the door.
A luxurious chandelier and a high quality long table came into view.
…..and at the head of that sat a large man who looked to be in his prime, had a large mouth like a dragon, pointy ears and nose like a devil, and imp-like bulging eyes.
Luce whispered with a pale face.
“I’m also happy that she took after her mother instead. Snow’s quite pretty, isn’t she?”
The man looked at Izabella with a smiling expression.
Izabella was white as a sheet; her mouth kept moving, yet no sound came out.
“W-w-why is the Lord here in the drawing room…..?”
“Can’t a father be here to welcome the guests of his beloved daughter?”
“Sorry, Izabella. Father said that he wants to talk with Elma-san after all….”
Snow hesitantly interjected from beside Marquis Harden.
“Take a seat, everyone. I wanted to speak to you, Elma-kun.”
“I-I see. Thank you….”
I awkwardly bowed my head.
It was quite a fortunate happenstance that I managed to meet Marquis Harden here, but the man himself had a somewhat eerie atmosphere around him.
He didn’t seem to have the cold bearing I’ve heard about.
Rather, he seemed to be an easygoing, jovial person instead.
Only, coming face to face with him left me with a mysterious feeling.
There is no way he’s just a mischievous dad with an unfortunate face.
We all took a seat, then delicious looking food was served right away.
“Elma-san, Elma-san, I’m not doing anything against manners, right? You will tell me if I do something wrong, right? Right?”
Luce anxiously asked me to check her conduct.
“No need to be so formal. We are the only ones here after all.”
Marquis Harden said with his large mouth curving into a smile.
After that, he cut up the steak on his plate and brought it to his mouth in a cheerful manner.
“Y-yes….thank you very much.”
Luce bowed her head a few times, then sighed in relief.
“He doesn’t seem to be as scary a person as the rumors say, Elma-san.”
“….that would indeed be good news if true.”
Snow and Izabella are obviously very tense.
During my time in the Edvan household, my father, Izas, frequently complained about Marquis Harden.
He said that he’s an arrogant and spiteful man….
Luce is a commoner and I’m cut off from the Edvan Family as well.
It’s unlikely that Marquis Harden would try to do anything to us, but as Izabella said before, he shouldn’t be someone that would go out of his way to meet the rescuers of his daughter like this either.
I think it would be best if I keep my guard up for this.