On that day’s night, after having a dinner at the mansion whose master was away from home, one of the garrison guards came to conduct a police interview. I think that perhaps he purposely avoided coming here and disturb us at dinner time. Also, Taiga-san returned home along with him.
Then, it was arranged that we would be conversing in the reception room that was located next to the east side of the entrance hall. But well, it’s pretty much the same principle when we’re going to converse with the other guests.
With the order of the maids going first and then Saryuu and I going later, we were inquired of some very detailed matters. Though Saryuu and I mostly only watched the scene, there were still lots of things they inquired of us, such as the condition of the person who pretended to be a security officer and about the coachman who took refuge in the carriage.
When Taiga-san and Saryuu were being considerate and offered some tea, the guard refused because they were doing their professional duties. I thought that he was honestly admirable because he went that strict on doing his duties. Really, he did such a good job.
After hearing our stories one by one, the guard concluded his investigation and stood up to bow his head deeply. Since he had taken off his hat within the room, he didn’t do the usual salutation.
“Thank you very much. I’m sorry for troubling you and taking your time.”
“No. We also would like to thank you for troubling yourself to come to this place. We hope that the situation could be settled quickly, for the sake of the fief population, as well.”
“Yes, we will put forth every effort to work on our professional duties.”
More or less, I was like the main target here, so I became the representative and returned his greeting. Really, do your best, the guard who answered me stiffly. Putting aside about me, well, it also seemed dreadful for the fief population in the Shikino territory.
“I’ll be relying on you. Please send him off.”
At my request, Saya-san nodded. She had been waiting for me as Taiga-san had told her before that he wanted her to follow me. And then the guard left the mansion. I only heard a little bit of the sound that the small carriage made as it rattled on the street.
Nah, actually I wanted to send him off until the entranceway as well, but Taiga-san told me to stay here. He said that it was his own duty as the master in this house to send the guard off at the entrance hall.
After a while, Taiga-san entered the reception room. Didn’t he say that he had some kind of a meeting tonight?
“It was terrible, wasn’t it, Seiren-sama? Saryuu was also tired, right?”
“Nii-sama, too. You must be very surprised when you suddenly heard of the incident, right?”
“I’m fine. More importantly, Taiga-san, did the meeting go well?”
“It was around the time when the news arrived to me about Seiren-sama being in danger, right? Fortunately, the other party nodded and said that it was fine to adjourn the meeting until tomorrow.”
…Speaking of which, the garrison guards seemed to have come to see Taiga-san and sought a permission from him to come to the mansion in order to conduct a police interview with us, right? And Taiga-san who heard that we were assaulted quickly returned from his destination right after arriving there. The other party was really a good person for pardoning this.
“You’re regarded highly just because you’re the daughter of the Shiiya family. I think that Seiren-sama might not be getting the actual feeling of it, though.”
Taiga-san suddenly said that. I wonder if the daughters of feudal lords are really that important?
But the thing that he continued to tell me wasn’t about it anymore.
“The Shiiya territory was successful at cultivating pepper for over several years. Pepper is one of the essential spices, so there are a lot of neighboring feudal lords who would like to get their hands on the Shiiya territory’s know-how. In addition, there are lots of farmers at the Shikino and we have a good compatibility with pepper. Seeing those facts, it’s natural for both sides to have a strong mutual business relationship.”
Pepper huh-? Come to think of it, it was said that recently, we began cultivating the pepper at our own territory too, huh?
Well, I somehow can understand. The cold storage technology has been developed in the world where I was raised in, so the quality of meat doesn’t really decrease when it has been stored for quite a long time. But here, it seems to be very hard with how the meat will begin to smell as soon as we store the meat carelessly.
It seems that pepper is really important in order to make the meat last longer and still taste delicious when it is eaten. I only said that “it seems” to be like that because I hadn’t learned about it in practice.
“Outwardly, there are people who believe that my engagement with you is equal to a political marriage of convenience related to that fact. That our engagement will result in the two houses getting more powerful.”
“Whoa, is that so?”
“Well, certainly, thanks to the Shiiya’s pepper, the Shikino’s meat has become able to produce an excellent taste, though.”
Yes, tasty food is important. However, Taiga-san shrugged his shoulders as if he was troubled because he also understood that his meeting with me wasn’t intended for that purpose at all, I think.
“Even if I told them that our meeting was purely something that wasn’t related to that matter at all, they might find it unbelievable, since they’re looking at the matter from outside.”
“When they look at Nii-sama and Nee-sama practically, nobody would be able to tell that kind of a nonsense anymore. So, it’s alright.”
What do you mean by ‘it’s alright’, Saryuu?
Well, it’s not like we would be willing to say that it was a “meeting that happened because his own father looked like the stalker of his partner’s own mother”. Yup, it’s a secret that we will bring to the grave. I wonder if people of this world would phrase it to be “bringing it to the God of Sun’s place”?
After we have calmed down, we drank the tea together. Oh-, this one feels so much like a green tea. The tea cakes that appeared are dango, and they are very delicious and refreshing. Or perhaps I should say, so even here, they also match dango to be eaten together with green tea, huh-? So happy-.
Around the time I felt relieved, Saya-san went in whole carrying a big envelope. Then, she walked up to Taiga-san and handed over the envelope.
“Taiga-sama, Seiren-sama. Here is the duplicate of the criminal investigation report.”
He received it and took out the investigation report from within the envelope. Taiga-san flipped through the paper sheets and looked at the report before he presented the papers to my direction while saying, “Here you go.” Together with Saryuu, we scanned the content of the report.
Although one might say that Taiga-san told us the full details of it.
“It’s so disappointing, but the security officer was a genuine officer. It seemed that my father counted on him and entered him among the garrisons.”
By his father, it means Touka-san. Which means, that security officer was someone who was close to Touka-san.
“Meanwhile, the others… several people were the group of people who became unemployed after the summer, and the others seemed to be hired for the money, but it seems that they haven’t confessed the source of that money yet.”
Saya-san then talked about the continuation without any hesitation. Haa, so they gathered a number of people using money as the reward.
The group of people who got unemployed after the summer, in other words, they were the employees who became unemployed because of Taiga-san’s restructuring, as they were siding with Touka-san, huh. They then targeted me who was Taiga-san’s fiancee, as Taiga-san was the one who caused their group’s unemployment… Nn-, it seemed like they took offense and planned to poke at our weak point. The maids are strong, but I’m weak, after all.
“So, it seems like the security officer and his allies became excessively desperate in their assaults. After all, if they revealed the facts of the matter to public, their own positions would be bad and it won’t be good for them.”
Kanna-san who prepared our tea inflated her cheeks. Well, I think that it’s way better than hiding the crimes inside.
Oriza-san who arranged the dango together shrugged her shoulders a bit and said, “And after that…”
“The stray magician that was on the clock tower seemed to refuse talking at all. If he keeps being silent, it seems that a magician specializing in investigations would also participate in questioning him-.”
Ah-, they’re trying to open his mouth with magic, right? Such kind of thing… actually exists, huh? There doesn’t seem to be any lie detector in this world.
But still, the one who’s keeping silent is also a magician, isn’t he?
“Wouldn’t it be hard because they are fellow magicians? It’s likely that there will be something like a resistance.”
“Ah, Seiren-sama knows about it really well, eh-?”
“…As I thought-. I mean, isn’t it obvious that one has to be careful when using their own magic towards an opponent or a target that is able to use magic as well?”
It’s something like a common arrangement, or something like that. The magician that I know is only about Jigen-san, but that gramps possesses an absolutely powerful defense magic. Nah, I have never seen it in actuality, though.
“It is certainly true. In the first place, the so-called magic barrier was also created in order for the magician to prepare for their opponent’s attack.”
Taiga-san told me about it and everyone including me nodded in comprehension, “I see-.” Wait, even Oriza-san nodded? Aren’t you the one who’s most well-informed with magic among all of us here?
After the tea party ended, another maid who wasn’t Saya-san rushed in. She is probably still very young, and she looks adorable with how she seems to not getting used to wearing the maid uniform. Her hand grasped a white envelope.
“It’s an urgent letter. It has a crown seal.”
As he took the presented envelope, Taiga-san’s expression changed. Nevertheless, Taiga-san stood up without showing his flustered condition and turned to face me and Saryuu.
“I’m sorry, Seiren-sama. I will excuse myself tonight. Saryuu, you should also sleep earlier.”
“Ah, yes. Good night, Taiga-san.”
“Yes, I understand. Good night, Nii-sama.”
Taiga-san slightly nodded and went out of the room. As I sent off that back of his, I inclined my head at the words that I have never heard before.
“To put it simply, it’s a letter sent out from the royal family. The wax that was used as a seal had the pattern of the crown, so that was how we called it.”
I see, thanks, Saryuu. If that’s the case, of course Taiga-san ought to read it as soon as possible.
Speaking of which, it’s also fine for feudal lords to have their specific crests or something like that, but the Shikino and the Shiiya don’t have it, huh?
“In this country, the crests are only put up outside of the territory. It is something used to prove your identity, after all. Please think of the royal family’s crown as an exception.”
“Then, what about me?”
It seems that Saryuu knows a lot about this kind of thing, so I’m really saved that he told me all this.
Anyway, I am the daughter of the Shiiya family and this is the Shikino’s territory. In other words, wouldn’t I have to wear my family’s crest over here?”
“The Shikino and the Shiiya families are distantly related, and Nee-sama is Nii-sama’s fiancee, and these points alone are enough for identification. Also, almost all of the carriages don’t have any crest attached to them.”
“Because there are such things as being attacked en route, we don’t usually attach any crest to the carriages. The royal family is a special case, as they’re using a very sturdy carriage.”
As Saya-san added her explanation, I came to understand it. I see, attaching a crest to a carriage would mean that the one riding this carriage is some big shots, and it seems to be saying that there are valuable things inside. The exceptions are rare and such cases happen when they have tight security.
Saya-san smiled and then said, “Aah, Seiren-sama,” before she proceeded to tell me one more thing.
“When you’re holding your wedding ceremony, you will be coming here grandly by using a carriage with a crest attached on it.”
“…Whoa, I’d better be prepared for it.”
That’s right. I will soon become the bride of this house.
…By the way, I wonder does this world have something like a wedding dress? It would be good if it doesn’t have to be dragged along, or if it doesn’t get torn or stuck in something that easily, but no, I shouldn’t be too concerned with that for the time being. Yup.