Once we reached the village the villagers saw the wagon and hastily ran into the village shouting.
From within the Headman and the higher-ups hurried out.
「Cyril did you safely steal it?」
「Of course. And there’s enough to pass the winter. You can see it in the storage area right?」
I said and the Headman stuck his head into the wagons storage area and chuckled once he saw all of it.
「I can’t believe you actually pulled it off…….Good work. We’ll take care of the wagon so go on ahead and rest. However, you’d best not forget about the weapons that can pierce armor you promised.」
Then the Headman started calling over his henchmen.
At that time the normal villagers also gathered.
「Cyril, let me say this in advance…..Sorry.」
Lucy murmured quickly from the driver’s seat.
「Everyone Cyril brought back food!」
Then she quickly got off the seat and opened the wagon doors wide to show off the goods.
「Look there’s plenty of rare stuff everyone look look. There’s mead, beef, jerky, and a deer that Cyril hunted along the way! Everyone come take a look!」
The villagers all gathered closer upon hearing Lucy’s words.
「Amazing Onee-chan I’ve never seen so much before.」
「There’s even alcohol.」
「Ah, there’s vinegar and pepper. It’s the first time I’ve seen it since the Empire restricted our goods.」
「And look at all this, there’s enough to pass the winter.」
The surroundings got noisy.
People pushed their way to the front in a loop as more and more people saw the interior of the wagon.
Lucy and I had stepped away from the wagon as we watched the situation.
With this the Headman couldn’t do as he pleased. The villagers now knew what was inside the wagon.
I’m sure the Headman and his people were not pleased.
I sighed deeply.
「Lucy why did you do this?」
「I wanted everyone in the village to know the results of Cyril’s hard work. I didn’t want the results of our hard work to get stolen. Plus I wanted everyone in the village to get some.」
She didn’t have any ill will….but I would still have to get angry. I couldn’t let her act rashly without thought to the consequences.
「Lucy…let’s go back to the house and talk. It seems you need a lecture.」
「……..un, I’m prepared for it.」
This is why Lucy had apologized. She knew she was going against what I wanted.
After that we obeyed the Headman’s request and left everything to him and his people.
Along the way home we were complimented by plenty of people we knew, but I didn’t feel so great.
I said immediately upon entering the house where Lucy and I lived.
Lucy seemed confused by the word she didn’t know. Ah…that’s right. There wasn’t a such thing as seiza in this world.
「Do it like this.」
I said and made her kneel with the tops of her feet flat on the floor while sitting on her soles.
「The floor’s cold…and it hurts to sit like this.」
「It’s a lecture. It’s not supposed to be comfortable.」
I said harshly as Lucy looked at me tearfully.
「Isn’t this worse than when I fell asleep?」
「That was a mistake due to unavoidable circumstances, this came about because you did it of your own volition.」
「I’m sorry. I said it before, but I didn’t want Cyril’s hard work to get stolen. I couldn’t forgive the Headman for monopolizing the things the villagers should get.」
「I understand how you’re feeling. I was doing this to allow that to happen.」
「You wanted to make the Headman and his followers happy?」
Lucy seemed confused by what I was saying and sent a gaze of protest towards me.
「From now on I’m going to be doing big things in the village. I’ll need the Headman’s cooperation for that. I was going to use this chance to get on his good side and get a certain degree of freedom to do as I please. With the Headman’s authorization I could have pretty much done everything I needed to.」
In order to make him like me I had planned this kind of situation.
At the best of times, the current Headman (who was my father’s younger brother) didn’t like me very much as he had constantly been compared to my father who was excellent.
That’s why I was trying to make him like me better by purposefully reducing my achievements and increasing the Headman’s benefits.
It would have been irresistible bait for him. I would have been able to obtain a free pass to do anything…..that was my aim.
「I hate that. Cyril did all of this for everyone so I want everything to be fair and aboveboard. Letting the Headman do all this secretly isn’t like you Cyril.」
「It isn’t like me huh? Now that the Headman’s impression of this is the worst possible I have no choice but to go the other route. Of course it’s probably the one that you think is like me…」
「Un, instead of using the Headman’s authority I garner recognition from each villager and make them my ally until the Headman is no longer able to ignore me. For that I have to slowly make everyone in the village happy.」
「If you can do that then that’s the much better option.」
「I can’t say you’re wrong…but it’ll take time no matter what. What I’m lacking the most right now is time.」
Getting true recognition from people was difficult. The reason I tried to get the Headman on my side was because of that.
However, since the village was filled with issues it was definitely possible to get them to owe me and become my allies.
I worked out a plan quickly beforehand…..and I had left some insurance in the wagon.
「As I thought….you’re angry.」
「Un, I’m really angry. Do you know why I’m angry?」
「Because I didn’t listen to you Cyril.」
「That’s part of it. But the biggest reason is you lied to me. I asked you not to interfere with the Headman and you agreed. Then you betrayed my trust.」
「This time I’ll be able to recover the situation through different means…but depending on the situation actions like this could potentially ruin everything. I want you to understand this.」
I said harshly as Lucy’s face crumbled.
「You have to tell me if you can’t accept something properly. I don’t mind us having a quarrel. I do mind you saying one thing and doing another. I won’t be able to properly follow up on those actions. If you do something like this again I won’t be able to trust you anymore.」
「I understand. Next time I’ll properly talk it out to the end.」
「Do so. It’s a matter of life or death. I don’t want to lose you Lucy.」
「I’m really really sorry. I didn’t think about it deeply enough. I just wanted to make everyone in the village happy and have them all say that Cyril is amazing………sorry I’m making excuses.」
Lucy despondently stopped talking.
I think things will be alright now. She seemed to be reflecting on her actions.
I decided to be a little nicer as I opened my mouth.
「Lucy I am angry about what you did, but I’m happy you were trying to do something for my sake. You can stop doing seiza. Did it hurt?」
My thankful words were the truth. I at least wanted her to know that.
Lucy apologized one more time and went to stand up when her legs got tangled up.
She wasn’t used to seiza so it must have been hard on her. She did well to endure it.
Or so I thought when…
「Ow! My feet hurt. They’re also really numb…oh no…I might never stand again….」
She said with a pale face and some panic.
I just handed her a cup of hot tea and massaged her feet til they were better.
「Sorry Lucy. I might’ve overdone it.」
「No, I was the one in the wrong. I’m glad you got angry since it means you can still trust me.」
She said as a natural smile emerged on her face.
Thanks to Lucy’s actions I was forced down a more difficult path.
However, I thought that it was still good.
I added a new objective to my plan to save the village….I needed to do it while looking cool to Lucy.
It might be naive, immature, and childish…but I had the power to do it. I could do it for Lucy.
In the future I had to make sure I did the best I could.
Creating weapons while making everyone in the village my ally…..I would not waver on this new path.