――Two days later.
Julia-kaasan and I reached the neighboring village Riverette
The distance to Riverette village from Corbett village, where the mansion is, is half a day by carriage.
The day before yesterday we received a notice from dad, the next day we finished preparing for the journey, then today we arrived in Riverette village like so.
Regarding what Alfred-tousan’s carrier pigeon was about, in short,
――The work in Ranzrack Fortress still won’t be over for a while. So please head in the direction of the capital with Edgar. I will follow you with fast horses later.
The contents were roughly this.
Very much resembling Corbette village, Riverette village had the image of a typical farming village.
They are so similar that if you were to put it right beside Corbette village and ask people to search for differences, then perhaps even its residents would mistake one for the other.
This area is a reclaimed land by nature and the four villages in the territory of Viscount Cherbl were settled at the same time, so they closely resemble each other and are even called quadruplet villages.
Corbett , Riverette , Trenadette , Kuuret.
These are a bit jumbled versions of words that mean「first」, 「second」, 「third」, 「fourth」in Common Marquekt Language.
In other words, First village, Second village, Third village, Fourth village, an exceedingly simple naming convention.
Julia-kaasan and I (and Steph) are staying at the house of the village chief of the Second village (Riverette village).
One reason was that the sun almost set already, but even so, it wouldn’t have been impossible to reach the next village (Third village).
The reason why we decided to stay at this village was that the village chief wanted to welcome mom, who is the wife of the Viscount.
We are just waiting for dad to catch up during this journey anyway, so mom accepted the village chief’s invitation and decided to ask about the general situation of the village as we spend a night here in Riverette village.
This was also in the notice brought by the carrier pigeon, dad asked us to hear out the people if we have time for it.
‘Because if I’m also there, there is a possibility they would hesitate to speak their mind’, he wrote.
Dad is not the type to act too much like a noble and he is quite a candid person, but to the people, he is no doubt a person that is above the clouds.
On the other hand, mom has that personality and she is also an ex-adventurer, so it’s easier for her to mix with the locals.
And even if there are some misguided fellows that would make a move on her, all it would result in is that they would realize that the nickname of 《Fire Prison Witch》 is not just for show.
Even if it’s the village chief’s house it’s a modest one, much like the old Japanese houses, it is a grass-roofed single-storey wooden house.
Even so, it’s a comfortable, nice and cozy house.
We took off our shoes and went to the living space around the central fireplace, where we listened to the villagers that gathered, but after a while, my eyelids felt like they got heavier.
Although the reason why my eyelids felt heavy was only because I was influenced by the memories from my previous life, in reality, thanks to [No Fatigue], I was as awake as I usually am.
So I didn’t miss a news like this.
“That’s right, madam. Fairies snatched away the son from Volvo’s family.”
According to the spokesperson-like man, this is what happened.
Apparently, half a year ago a woodcutter suddenly started saying that he saw fairies deep in the forest.
However the fairies are not something that anyone can normally see, if one doesn’t have an ability to sense the supernatural, or didn’t drank a bunch of alcohol and got drunk, one wouldn’t be able to see, they say.
In other words, that woodcutter, seizing the opportunity that no one was around, had a bit during work.
Since it was from a guy like that, no one believed what he said.
But the woodcutter insisted that he saw them.
Some mean villager then started saying that they should make a bet.
After that, when led by the woodcutter, the villager that made a bet with the woodcutter went to the place where the woodcutter saw the fairies, and there a strange pattern that looked like something between a writing and a picture was drawn all over the ground.
Even then, he said it was part of his charade and that didn’t make him the winner of the bet.
That being said, there wasn’t any evidence that is was, in fact, his doing, so with the mediation of the village chief, the bet was invalidated.
Some people still teased the woodcutter for a while, but even that died down in time and the villagers all forgot about the fairy business.
“But then, it happened just a few days ago. Volvo’s boy――Boyce is his name, a pleasant boy around 5 years old that doesn’t resemble him at all, has disappeared all of a sudden, I say.”
Volvo was a villager that made the bet with the woodcutter in the previous story.
His son, Boyce, didn’t return after saying he was going to play near the river.
“We searched downstream of the river and even deep in the forest with the adults of the village but didn’t find him anywhere. When the people of the village were talking about how this or that may have happened, that woodcutter guy started saying some daft things.”
“By daft he means foolish, madam.”
No, Julia-kaasan probably knows that already.
I ask in her stead.
“What did he say?”
“Hee, Young Master can already speak? The Master is smart too, so it’s no wonder if the child is also clever.”
Enough of that already!
After I glared at him a bit, the spokesperson that apparently intentionally played silly let out a small strained laugh, then continued with the story.
“Yeah, sorry about that. Ah, I was talking about the woodcutter. You probably suspect already. The woodcutter started saying that the ones that snatched Boyce away were the fairies.”
Julia-kaasan charmingly tilted her head.
I also share mom’s doubt.
They say that faeries are fundamentally good beings.
There is a paragraph about faeries in the 『Abbadon Magic Compilation』 and it states that fairies are innocent familiars created by an ancient and legendary race called Pioneer Elves.
It’s one of my favorite memorized parts, so there is no mistake.
“At first, no one in the village given it a thought. That woodcutter guy must have drank so much he is a bit not right in the head anymore, everyone thought that while ignoring him. It’s his fault for just drinking all the time, saying the forest is scaary scaary.”
“But, after a while others started saying what if it was the work of fairies. I thought it was idiotic, but as someone that manages the people of the village, I can’t ignore it. So to decide it once and for all we went looking in the forest.”
Then, in the forest, the thing that looked like something between writing and a picture that was supposedly drawn by fairies has been left there.
“Different from the one, the woodcutter found?”
I asked without thinking.
“It was a different one. For one, it was half a year ago when the woodcutter said that he saw fairies. There is no way a pattern drawn on the ground can last that long.”
“Where is, that pattern?”
“Deep in the forest, upstream from where Boyce said he was going to play. We thought the Lord would want to see it so we fenced it off.”
‘It creeps everyone out, so no one goes near’ the spokesperson said.
“It means the upper part of the river”
No, I know what it means.
If there is a fence then I would be able to find it without a guide.
While I was thinking that, Julia-kaasan also asked the spokesperson something.
“You didn’t pay attention to what the woodcutter-san was saying before, so why did it change after?”
“It was the innkeeper that started saying it that time. Don’t know if it was before or after that traveler stayed here.”
“He said he was coming from the direction of Corbette as I remember. After staying one night he said he’s heading to the capital. He shared stories about foreign countries, so everyone had a good time.”
Mom is staring into space while tilting her head.
I try doing the same, but it’s not like there is something to see.
All I see is a sooty beam.
That time, the door of the living space suddenly opened.
“――The fairies didn’t do anything wrong!!”
Shouting that, an around 5 years old child came running in.
“H-hey, Aino! You are in front of the guests!”
From the look of the chiding spokesperson, she is probably his daughter.
Not resembling her father, she is a charming little girl.
She looks older than me though.
“Fairy-san saved me when I was lost and in trouble!”
“Are you still saying that? You had a fever that time. What you saw was most likely a hallucination.”
“No way! It was a blond spirally haired fairy-san! She was very kind!”
‘Ueeee’, Aino-chan started crying.
Taking a sidelong glance at the flustered spokesperson, Julia-kaasan tries to pacify Aino-chan.
Maybe Aino-chan got tired from crying, she fell asleep near the fireplace.
“I’m sorry, madam.”
“It’s okay. She is very charming. We don’t have girls at home so I’m envious.”
The 3 children of Alfred-tousan’s former wife are all men and I’m also a man.
If we say 4 then it feels like a lot, but we are nobles and mom’s own child is only me, so one may yet be born in the future.
“It looks like Aino-chan is worried about Boyce-kun.”
Aah, I see how it is.
I think it’s a bit precocious, but they must’ve been close friends.
“All right! Let me do my best too!”
“Even if I don’t look like it, I’m an ex A-rank adventurer.”
‘Ahem’, mom exclaimed.
There the village chief, who only watched over the discussion with the spokesperson, cut in suddenly.
“We have heard much about you. But is it alright? This village can’t prepare a fitting reward for an A-rank adventurer?”
“It’s okay~. This is Al-kun’s domain. It’s the Lord’s duty to protect his people, right?”
“I-, I see……”
While looking perplexed, the village chief gave an acknowledging response.
If it’s an A-rank then perhaps, is probably what he is thinking, but the Julia-kaasan in front of him doesn’t look that reliable, it’s probably something like that.
It’s unknown whether mom has noticed that look on the village chief or not.
“Edgar-kun, wait here in the house, okay?”
Saying that she set out at once to gather information from the village.
What will I do, you ask?
Of course, staying patiently at the village chief’s house is not even an option.
After I lost consciousness by doing the maximum MP raising and made Steph believe that I fell asleep I woke right up.
Only one thing was on my mind.