In this chapter, Harold finally meets the other fellow capture target~
ED: xtostos, eristol
Harold and I returned from the Castle of Light to Gilbert’s workshop and told Tirnanog and Gilbert, who were left behind, about our conversation with Earl Nibelheim.
Harold was embarrassed, so I omitted how the parent-child reconciliation went down.
Well, if I were to talk about how he cried for over thirty minutes, then I would also have to tell them about how he washed his face and did other things.
『Umu, even so, using the stone dust, huh? To think there was such a trick.』
“No, no, no, such too-good-to-be-true stories will not come easily like this, right?”
“My dad is not a man who will do something like a scam. That guy is very awkward to the extent that it’s irritating.”
Tirnanog seemed impressed, but Gilbert didn’t seem to want to believe it right away.
Looking at him acting like that, Harold spoke to him.
“With this we have all the ingredients, and it seems that the fundraising and the other things are going to go well……but, in the end, what are you going to do, Aniki?”
“Hm? What about me?”
“Because you were brooding over it. When will you go to see Master?”
Gilbert sighed deeply.
“I have been making excuses for so many years that I couldn’t face my old man until this was done, but here I just finished making it.
The prototypes of the small dishes are going to be completed soon too, so what should I make my next excuse?”
Gilbert stroked the dish on which the seven legendary monstro were drawn with his fingertips.
“I thought my connection with my old man had broken forever.
Broken things cannot be restored.
Just like my old man’s important decorative dish which I broke.
So at the very least, I wanted to make it again with my own hands.”
As if it was somebody else’s problem, Gilbert started divulging things he had been keeping inside his heart personally.
Although it is true that broken things can’t be restored to their initial state, Elder Turm still decorated the wall with that dish which was patched up with gold preciously.
Hm? Oh? Somehow Gilbert’s perception seems to be slightly off.
Perhaps Gilbert doesn’t know that the dish he broke has been restored?
“By the way, Gilbert-san, the dish that you broke has been restored neatly.”
“Hah……? How did he do something like that with a porcelain that was broken so finely?
When it comes to porcelain restoration, it cannot be done just by gluing.
The drawing is too fine to be using glue, then is it that?
No, whichever it was, you will need lacquer. There is no lacquer on this continent, so what can substitute for it……?”
Gilbert took the bait.
As someone who has dedicated his life for porcelain, it was a conversation that made him concerned about the details.
However, I smiled meaningfully, keeping my silence.
Seeing my action, it seems that Harold and Tirnanog also arrived at the same idea.
“Speaking of which, he said that it was restored with gold, right~?”
“Hah……what do you mean, Botchan!?”
“Honestly~ Master went through great troubles to find a way to remake the contact between the pieces~
When he starts talking about it, it always turns into a really long story, so even I haven’t heard the end of it~~”
『Yes, I also feel like I heard it from the shop owner, but I wonder what he said about the technique.』
“Hehehe, you’re curious, right, Aniki?”
“What is this! You’re all ganging up on me!”
The more we talked about the restoration, the more Gilbert’s face turned into a troubled expression.
I saw that it was the perfect time, so I gave him the last push.
These were the few words that became the deciding factor to push Gilbert’s back who really wanted a reason to go home.
“It’s been mended very beautifully, you should try going to the back of the Turm Wand Store.
Rather than listening to us amateurs, the expert Gilbert-san certainly would like to see it with his own eyes, right?”
When I pointed it out, Gilbert widened his eyes.
From the throat of Gilbert who was furrowing his eyebrows, sounds similar to a chuckle gradually came out.
The chuckles gradually grew louder, and finally he let out a loud laughter while looking up to the sky.
“Hahaha……you got me! I give up!
I have to go and see the workmanship of the restoration.
I was looking for reasons not to return home, but now I have found a reason to return!”
“I mean, Aniki, you couldn’t get close to the back of the store even though it’s nearby, just how cowardly are you!”
“Who cares! I have that kind of personality, okay! Aah, you’re all so noisy, I get it, I get it!”
Like that, Gilbert began to prepare for his homecoming while complaining.
He wore an overcoat, a hat and put away the important dish carefully into his bag.
Everyone might have noticed that as he lowered the hat over his eyes, his mouth slackened from his happiness, but no one mentioned it.
“I give up. I’m still nervous about seeing him, but somehow I’m getting excited.
No way, I didn’t realize that I actually really want to see my old man.
Ah……say, I mean……everyone, thank you very much.”
With a shy appearance which is unlike him, Gilbert muttered so.
Perhaps he was too embarrassed to hear our replies, so he took his bag and started walking quickly.
We saw him off silently, but we were staring at him with warm gazes.
Gilbert’s footsteps towards Town of All Kinds of Goods were light, and his back looked somewhat proud.
Harold suggested taking a late lunch after seeing off Gilbert’s homecoming.
I was thankful for his suggestion as I have missed lunch today as well.
The menu is a specially made yellowish-brown colored onion tart that Harold bought from Gizella.
“I was also curious about this, I thought that I should buy it next time.”
“Hehe, glad to hear that!”
Harold cut the tart neatly.
Oh, speaking of which, there is something I wanted to ask him to do.
In order to use them in the investigation of the aforementioned ruins, I have to charge the wands for underground exploration like Digging in large amount.
Since the porcelain-related works have also settled down, it might be the best time if I want to borrow his help.
“What is it, what is it? You don’t have to worry, I’ll give you the most delicious one, you know?”
“No, it’s not about tart. It’s fine if it’s done after we finish eating, but I’d like to ask for mass charging of wands.”
“Ooh~ that’s fine. What kind of wand?”
I tried counting the minimum necessary wands.
At times like this, the experience of exploring the Ruins of Visitor is useful.
At that time, I could entrust some magic to Klaus, but this time, I have to do it all alone.
“I need you to charge Digging, Glam Sight, Magic Mapping, and then Levitation and Feather Falling.”
“……There’s probably not enough material to charge a large volume right now, but if we get back to my place I may be able to manage something.
Even so, that’s an amazing amount of wands. Are you going to search for gold or diamond veins this time?”
“No, that’s not it……ah, that’s right. Incidentally, I need a recommendation for a cooling system of offensive wands.”
Hearing the word ‘offensive’, Harold’s face turned stiff for a moment.
“Seriously, what are you planning to do behind the scenes, Erica?”
“That is……going to be a long explanation, so let’s talk while eating.”
“Heeh~? Well, I’m also hungry, so thank you.”
Harold shrugged his shoulders and distributed the sliced tarts to me and Tirnanog.
At that time, the window was hit by the wind and rattled violently.
“I wonder if the window fitting is bad because it’s old.
I give up. If he’s seriously using this cabin as a workshop, he should have repaired it first—uwah!?”
Harold who was peeking outside the window became speechless.
From the gap of the slatted shutter which he lifted, I saw the appearance of a dragon descending from the sky to the ground.
By the way, I feel like I have seen a dragon like this during the launching ceremony.
“What is that!?”
『It’s a dragon. Looking at its size, it’s the 10-meter class.』
“It looks like a gray dragon. Its scales are beautiful.”
“Why are you so calm! That’s not it, why is a dragon coming down here when this isn’t even close to any air patrol routes!?”
“I wonder. If it isn’t patrolling, then maybe it’s sightseeing?”
『Umu. I guess it is sightseeing.』
“No, it’s not!”
While bantering with the panicking Harold, I saw a lightly dressed young boy getting down from the back of the gray dragon gracefully.
“Ah— it’s Auguste-sama after all……”
“Heh!? By Auguste, you mean the Crown Prince of Ignitia? Why has such an important person come to the countryside like this?”
“Well, maybe he’s looking for something?”
『Don’t you mean someone?』
Tirnanog stared at me meaningfully.
He is looking for you.
For certain, I feel that was the meaning of that stare.
Auguste stroked the forehead of the gray dragon and whispered something.
The dragon flew in response to Auguste’s instructions, after turning over in the sky several times, it flew away somewhere.
He stared at the footprints on the ground and then approached the workshop without hesitation.
My whereabouts were completely exposed.
I opened the door of the workshop and decided to invite Auguste in.
“Greetings, Auguste-sama. What reason is there for the prince of the whole country to be in a remote place like this……?”
“Oh yeah, that’s of course, to meet a certain duke’s daughter who has hidden herself in this remote place.”
Auguste showed a carefree smile.
He looked around the interior of the workshop curiously over my shoulder.
For now, it seems that the working golems are taking a break at the back of the workshop, but I wonder how much it would be fine to expose.
As I thought about that, Auguste’s gaze suddenly stopped at one point.
Looking back, there was Harold, who was tense and rigid.
Auguste had a delighted expression on his face, similar to a cat who has found a bird, making him look like a mean person.
“Wait a moment. Let me guess. When I arrived at this city, I have seen someone with a similar face.
I’m sure that he was called Harold II, the Earl of Nibelheim.”
“Eh, how do you know my dad’s name……?”
“Learning the face and name of a person turns out to be my job. I’m Auguste Ignitia.”
Harold grasped the hand that Auguste presented out in a terribly scared state.
“You have the same name as your father. Nice to meet you, Harold III.”
Harold nodded as he shrunk on himself, worried stiff.
It is understandable. No doubt that he is thinking why a prince like him suddenly came to a place like this.
“Well, you don’t have to be that tense.”
“Although he looks like a perfect prince, on the inside he is like a curious and mischievous kitten, so even if you’re a little rude, he will smile and forgive you, Harold.”
“Hahaha, Erica. Rather, the only one who manages to say rude things to me to that degree is you.”
Auguste imitated me and nudged me with his elbow in a playful gesture.
After laughing for a while, he stared at my face suddenly and showed me a gentle smile.
“It seems that your troubles have been sorted out, huh?”
“Oh my, does it show on my face?”
“Rather than your face, it’s your attitude. Because your facial expression is rather difficult to read.
I did think you looked a bit serious in your absentmindedness during the launching ceremony.
Because this is you we’re talking about, you stuck your nose in a troublesome matter again, didn’t you?”
“I’ve been seen through. As expected of Auguste-sama.”
“It’s only you whom I have to keep an eye on properly, because it can be dangerous otherwise.”
It seems that Auguste treats me as a problem child.
It is a help that he cares, rather, there are aspects that I am grateful for.
“Aa~h, I’m too late, huh? I thought I could kill time or something.”
“So you’re thinking of using other people’s trouble to kill time, huh?”
“Because even if I say ‘trouble’, it seems to be more of a conspiracy.
With this massive workshop, you pulled the Nibelheim’s successor to join in your conspiracy.”
Auguste said that with a look of a mischievous child and looked around curiously.
Harold seemed to become even more wary of Auguste’s attitude, which changed to having eyes like a cat1.
To begin with, it is troubling that such a reaction was not unwarranted.
I also feel nervous about the fact that Auguste seems to want to explore the workshop even now.
What should I do? Even though there are so many things that we can’t show off to outsiders yet.
I wonder if Auguste should be integrated into the plan as well.
Thinking that way, his position and popularity are very useful.
“Auguste-sama, since I also have something to discuss with you, how about we continue our conversation while eating and drinking?
You’re just in time, we were about to slice the tart.”
“That’s a good suggestion. I’m in.”
“Then, please go over there. I hope the taste suits your palate.”
I pointed to a room where we were preparing lunch a while ago and urged Auguste.
At the same time, Harold was hiding behind Tirnanog and looking at the situation.
“Harold, I wonder if you can brew us tea. You know the location of the tea set, right?”
“Eh? Yeah, alright.”
“Because it’s something to serve the prince with, please choose the best one.”
“Yeah? Ah……aah, I see! I understand, leave it to me!
We will offer a rare beauty that Auguste-sama has never seen before.”
Harold realized the true meaning I wanted to convey and nodded vigorously.
He seems to have recovered from his state a while ago and is full of spirits.
Auguste tilted his head and seemed puzzled.
“Are you planning something after all?”
“Now, I’m not sure I know what you mean.”
“Is it a new kind of tea leaves? No, this doesn’t look like a workshop that processes tea leaves.
Then, something in the tea set……”
“Please look forward to seeing it.”
I donned a business smile on my face as I stood in front of Auguste to guide him as he continued his deduction about the truth of our conspiracy.
Now then, we were able to draw his interest.
If he looks at the real porcelain, he will definitely sink his teeth into it.
And now to make him an accomplice, huh? This is my time to shine.
1 Have eyes like a cat: in Japan, making eyes like a cat is often associated with careless and oftentimes destructive curiosity. This means, when Auguste makes eyes like a cat after their talk, Harold and Erica are worried that Auguste is going to forcefully rummage through the workshop without their consent, because that’s how a cat would act.