In October, I finally turned twelve years old. It’s been four years since I started working in the mansion.
In the past five months or so, the Knights have been taking care of the Armored Ant Nests that I defeated, and the Mithril ore mines in the northernmost part of the White Dragon Mountains started operating around September. Mining hasn’t been started on the site that I have rights over though.
The mining of that site is not expected to be possible until next year.
At this stage, we have only sent expert miners to confirm that it is a new Mithril ore mine. The results of that investigation showed that the Mithril ore there was quite abundant.
Since then, I’ve cleared two more Armored Ant Nests. Unfortunately, I did not find any Mithril ore there. Still, I was not as disappointed as I thought I would be.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about this.
I got <Sharing> skill and had more time to hunt. When the Knight Commander helped me in the Orc Village, I learned that I was in a very free environment. From next year, I’ll have income from the Mithril mine, and I’ll be able to live a comfortable life.
When I thought about it, I realized that there was something missing lately.
There was one thing that I was lacking in Kurena’s village. It was status. I was desperate to make my family commoners, so I hunted Albaherons and led the Boar hunt. I couldn’t leave the village, but it was very fulfilling.
What about now? My current situation is like frantically hunting slimes around the town. I can keep hunting slimes until my level reaches the maximum. I have enough money and I don’t have to worry about any dangers. I can just go about your daily routine.
(Mining rights, isn’t it just useless load?)
I feel like I’m carrying the useless weight that I don’t need to have. I came to this world to reach the maximum level. I don’t want to live in peace.
This is not the kind of thing that is challenging for me.
When I came to the mansion at the age of eight, I was planning to become an adventurer. Mihai asked me to protect Cecile. I said “yes” to Mihai’s last wish. I’d like to live up to that wish.
I’m twelve years old now. It’s time for me to take the next step. A life of hunting slime around the town is surely not the right answer.
“Hey, what are you thinking?”
Rickel called out to me.
I was chatting over breakfast with Rickel, the head manservant for the past four years. Rickel said that he would quit his position as head manservant next year and become a Mayor or a Chef. It’s not a job that you can do for decades, but you have to give up your seat to a successor. In his usual light tone of voice, he asked me which job would be easier.
I think it’s typical of Rickel to think like that. When I look at Rickel, I wonder if maybe I’m thinking too much.
“Looks like the Royal Messenger’s coming again because of this Mithril.”
“It seems so. He came here last month too. I wonder what the Royal Family wants.”
Baron Granvelle has received many Royal Messengers in the past. However, for the past year or so, the frequency seems to have increased.
The purpose of the meeting was to confirm the schedule and current progress of the Mithril mining. Mithril can no longer be obtained from the Viscount Carnell’s side of the White Dragon Mountains. I’m not sure if there’s a shortage of Mithril in the Kingdom or not, but the Royal Messengers come to the mansion with an attitude that’s very close to demanding.
The person who came the other day specified the date and time, but did not tell us what he was going to talk about.
I, too, was told by the Butler to remain in the upstairs dining room after the Baron had his lunch, as the Royal Messenger would be arriving in the afternoon.
A little after 1:00 p.m., two men came to the mansion.
The Baron gulped as the Butler led him into the dining room.
One of them was a messenger from the Royal Family. There are a number of Royal Messengers, so a department in the Royal Castle determines who delivers what message. I had met today’s Royal Messenger before.
And the other was a man who could hardly be described as just familiar.
The man who came with the Royal Messenger was Viscount Carnell.
“Thank you for coming.”
The Baron spoke calmly. The Baron also thought that the Messenger had come today because of the Mithril. That’s why the Baron’s wife and children were present in the dining room. If Viscount Carnell was coming, the Baron would have handled it alone.
“I hear that the Baron of Granvelle is actively engaged in the development of his territory. You are a model for Nobles.”
The Royal Messenger, speaking in a pretentious manner, took his place at the opposite end of the table. The Royal Messenger was as arrogant as ever.
Viscount Carnell, without taking a seat, stood a little behind the Royal Messenger as if he were an aide. Just like the Butler standing behind the Baron.
“So, what brings you here today?”
Then the Royal Messenger said, “Hmm,” and after a sufficient silence, he replied.
“Today, I brought a proposal to Baron Granvelle.
“Yes. There is a famous quarrel among the Nobles in the Kingdom, isn’t there? This is a proposal to resolve it.”
The Baron’s mind wandered to what he was quarreling about. Nothing comes to his mind.
“Yes, it’s a big dispute between Baron Granvelle and Viscount Carnell. I thought it necessary to solve this problem, which the Royal Family cannot ignore.”
There is only one major quarrel between Baron Granvelle and Viscount Carnell, the Mithril mines of the White Dragon Mountains. It’s true that they’ve been having problems for generations and both territories have thrived and declined at the mercy of the White Dragon.
“So, I’ve got this for you today.”
Viscount Carnell reacted to the Royal Messenger’s words and brought a rolled-up sealed envelope to the Baron’s seat.
The Butler reacted and took Viscount Carnell’s sealed envelope with both hands. He placed the sealed envelope on the Baron’s seat.
The Baron unsealed the envelope, took out a parchment, and began reading. As the Baron continued reading, the Baron’s face suddenly changed.
“This… what is this all about?”
“Well, what’s the problem? I am trying to help you with your problems, aren’t I?”
“What is all this about joint management?”
“Isn’t it obvious? The border between your territory and Viscount Carnell’s is the White Dragon Mountains. So, the two sides will jointly manage the Mithril mines that are found there. And naturally, the profits generated will be split 50-50 too.”
(Joint-management? The Baron and the Viscount? Seriously? So that’s why the Viscount is smirking.)
Viscount Carnell was smiling behind the Royal Messenger. He seemed to be shaking his shoulders and trying desperately to hold back his laughter.
What the Royal Messenger brought was a contract for the joint management of the White Dragon Mountains between Baron Granvelle and Viscount Carnell. It stated that both Nobles would share both the burden and the profits.
“What’s your problem? I asked the Deputy Minister of Justice to draw up a contract to solve your problems.”
“But it’s …”
“Enough. Viscount Carnell has already signed it.”
The Baron was confused and bewildered, but the Royal Messenger told him to just sign the contract without saying anything more. He really wanted the Baron to sign the contract.
Silence ensued. The Royal Messenger glared at the Baron.
“I’m sorry… but may I ask you to check with the Royal family once?”
The Baron finally managed to squeeze out a few words.
“What? You think you can’t sign the contract that I went to the trouble of having the Deputy Minister of Justice draw up? That’s a big step for a Baron.”
“No, no. I just need to check it once. I’d like to go to Royal Capital to check it out.”
“Oh, you don’t trust me, do you? It seems you’ve become arrogant now that you can harvest Mithril. Enough!”
With that, the Royal Messenger stood up and walked quickly to the exit. Viscount Carnell followed behind him like an aide. When the Butler tried to follow him, he closed the door tightly, saying he didn’t need to see him off.
Back in the dining room after the Royal Messenger left, the Baron threw the contract that was in his hand.
“There is no way such a contract is real. Sebas, we’ll head to the Royal Capital at once. The Knight Commander will be back in two days, won’t he?”
“Yes, he will be back in two days”.
As if time, which had been stopped by the Royal Messenger, had started to move forward, I began to check the situation. It seems that as soon as the Knight Commander returns from the Mountains, the Baron will head to the Royal Capital on the Magic Ship.
The Baron’s family and the servants gathered in the dining room were told to disperse.
A few hours later, I was engaged in my afternoon work. When I say “work,” I mean that other than serving, I help out where there is need. I cook, I garden, I do laundry too. Today I am polishing the silverware used by the Barons with a cloth.
(Joint management, huh? It’s a tricky situation for the Baron.)
I remembered what had just happened as I wiped the silverware clean with a cloth.
Joint management, peaceful operation, and equal distribution without conflict.
I think it would be difficult to refuse this because the words are so beautiful. If the Baron refused, he will be asked why he refused. He might be accused of monopolizing the situation. I wonder what the Baron wants to do by going to the Royal Capital.
That was when it happened.
A woman’s scream echoed from the upper floor.
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