Chapter 70 – Planning previous world knowledge cheat countermeasures – Part 2
“Fueh? Me…? Really?”
Steph’s head whipped up from her name suddenly being called. Judging from her appearance, she couldn’t keep up with the discussion and was nodding off just like Beck.
“Yes. This might be a bit rude to say, but I would like to find out just how strong a person with no particular talent with combat could get.”
As I said that, dad had an uncomfortable expression on his face.
“Wait just a second, Ed. Young lady Steph is the precious daughter of Poporus-san, who entrusted her to us. It wouldn’t be nice if you started experimenting on her.”
“But it would be better if she could defend herself, right?”
“That’s… true, I guess. But…”
“In fact, she was even taken hostage by Gazein when Yatagarasu attacked the mansion.
As long as she serves as my attendant, she may be exposed to danger in the future too.”
“True…, but wouldn’t it be better then to find a capable former adventurer to serve as your maid and have her switch with Steph instead?”
Ugh… I did not expect that particular response.
I don’t think a brawny former adventurer maid following me would provide a soothing presence.
Keeping the saying ‘a measure taken in haste’ in mind, I rushed to come up with a reason that would prevent having to part with Steph.
“…it wouldn’t mean much, even if that someone was fairly capable, not against first-rate assassins like Gazain. That’s why I want to train her. Using all my current knowledge, I want to research what I need to do to raise someone with no experience with combat to a level where they could protect themselves. I will of course protect her in the meantime.”
It seemed Alfred-tousan was considering my words, then he turned to Steph and asked.
“Steph-san. What do you yourself think about this? It might be dangerous to stay around Ed in the future, too. Even if you want to resign from being Ed’s attendant, I’ll make sure it won’t impact you in any negative way. I want you to think about this with that in mind. Do you want to be trained by Ed and become strong, or do you want to avoid danger and switch with someone else?”
“What… do I want, huh.”
Steph closed her eyes and thought about it.
Seeing that reaction, dad started talking again.
“…you don’t need to decide right now, take some time to――”
“――no, it’s fine.”
Cutting dad off, Steph came forward.
Steph kneeled down in front of me and looked straight into my eyes.
“Young master Ed was very good to me until now.”
I almost dropped my shoulders in disappointment from the serious tone Steph started speaking with. I was thinking that this was a prelude to her turning me down.
“I made a lot of mistakes and caused a lot of trouble, but young master was only exasperated at most, and never angry. When we fell down the stairs at the mansion in Corbette Village, even though young master should’ve been in pain himself, young master still saved me when I fell after you. You also came to my defense when madam Julia scolded me.”
I vaguely remember something like that happening.
Thinking about it now, our relationship mainly consisted of me covering for Steph’s various mishaps. Who filled the role of master better during that time is debatable.
“Recently, you even began to teach me whenever you had time. ――Master, did you know that thanks to young master Ed, I’ve become able to do not just addition and subtraction, but even multiplication and division too? And not just the multiplication table, but even when there are a lot of digits I can calculate it without errors.”
“Hoh… In that case you can even be of help to Poporus-san, since he’s about to create his own merchant association. He will be happy that his daughter will be able to help out.”
Poporus-san is the village chief of Trenadett Village, and also Steph’s father.
I heard that he was a former traveling merchant with some sort of notable achievement under his belt, and that’s why dad appointed him as the village chief for Trenadett Village.
However, after getting used to living in the village, he started missing his former business. Therefore, it was decided he would be creating a new merchant association; this time with dad’s investment.
…to tell the truth, I’m also involved in this merchant association in some ways, but let’s leave that for later.
“No, master. I will not be returning to my father’s side. ――Young master Ed.”
“…what is it?”
“When I was being taught by young master Ed, it was the first time I discovered how enjoyable it is to learn something new. I still flounder sometimes, but I’m having a lot of fun lately. There are a lot of things I still don’t know about studying and work. I make mistakes too. But when I finally manage to do something, it makes me happy, since there wasn’t much I was able to do before this. That is why, if you tell me to learn how to fight, then I will learn how to fight. I want to become strong enough to stand by young master Ed’s side. That’s why…. well…”
Steph was having difficulties expressing herself, so she kind of panicked. After taking a deep breath, she once again properly looked into my eyes.
“T-that’s why… Please, from now on as well, let me remain by your side for many years to come!” Steph said while bowing.
“…thank you. I’ll be in your care from now on too, Steph,” I replied, trying my best to convey my emotions with those words.