At the east end of the country, the lovable Helan territory…. However, that person was still not found. Neither on the road nor at the destination, she was nowhere to be found. Where have you gone, Eliza…?
Helan territory could be called peace itself; As if all the disturbances of the capital are from another world, the time in Helan territory was flowing slowly and peacefully. It seems like my home’s hot spring is still good for the skin.
When I went back to the mansion, Lotson-san was standing there with an apologetic face. To think Lotson-san, who is like the cla.s.sic example of a capable man, would make such a face…
“Welcome back, Kururi-sama.”
“Thank you. More importantly, did something happen?”
“….Yes. The feudal lord has fallen sick. If possible, please show him your healthy face.”
I hurried to his bedroom.
He was a fragile person mentally from the beginning and to trouble him even more with this incident. I am so sorry.
“Father, Kururi has returned.”
What did he go through to lose weight and become this thin…… And for some reason, he had turned into quite a handsome guy. Eh.. what? So he looks good when he is thin…?
“Ohhh, Kururi. So you have really returned. The moment I heard you got captured, I was really, really, worried.”
“Sorry to have worried you. But, as you can see, I have returned now and am healthy so please don’t worry anymore. Please focus on your own health from now on.”
“I see. As expected from my son. Actually, when you were arrested, a secret messenger from the Dartanel family came. They wanted the Helan territory in exchange for getting you out of the prison with their power. I….”
To think that family’s evil influence also came this far… I can’t forgive them. Making my father suffer with those two unchoosable options.
“I chose the Helan territory.”
You chose Helan territory?!! Be worried!! And pick me!
“Well, of course, I was really troubled over it but the Helan territory is a important land our ancestors have left us, after all. And also, the capable Lotson also said that there is nothing to worry about if it’s you. And things more or less go smoothly when I listen to him so….”
Kuuggh! I guess there are some truth which are better left unheard.
“I am terribly sorry, Kururi-sama. However, I had believed that if it was you, you could get out of the situation by yourself. And that you would have wanted us to protect this Helan territory as well.”
Saying that with such a serious face really gives off the feeling of him being capable but, it is the truth, right? You didn’t abandon me or anything, right?
“It’s fine. I am sorry to have made you guys worry.”
“No, this is just because of the food poisoning from the rotten first-cla.s.s meat I had the other day and the Dartanel family isn’t connected or anything. Things turn out fine when I do as Lotson-kun says and I didn’t really worry that much either….”
Is it okay if I punch this guy? He is my father and has food poisoning but can I punch him? He is even having first-cla.s.s meat and what not. Where is that, by the way?
“Haa, I am utterly shocked. Just stay thin like that and keep looking good. Come, Lotson-san, you don’t need to aid my father while I am here.”
“Oi! Kururi! If Lotson-kun isn’t here, I wouldn’t know what to do anymore! I am not kidding! Are you okay with that?! Oi, next feudal lord!!”
Leaving the handsome dude on the bed, we changed location.
I brought up the important matter with Lotson-san.
“Lotson-san, you know Eliza, right?”
“Yes, your school friend, Eliza Deauville, right?”
“As expected of you. That Eliza has disappeared. It has already been a few weeks. I can’t grasp her whereabouts at all. Judging from a clue, I thought she would be here in Helan territory. I don’t care how much money needs to be spent, please find her.”
“Understood. I shall also try the neighboring territories as well.”
“Thank you very much. Also, that thing father also talked about, the talk about handing over the territory to Dartanel family. Let me hear all of it.”
Seems like Lotson-san took necessary measures regarding this beforehand so I was able to hear some more details.
“If we had given away Helan territory, it would have returned to the country, meaning to the unified lands. However, governing a land so far out would be difficult so they would need a new landlord for the most part. I believe the Dartanel family had the confidence of taking that seat.”
“……It might be weird for me to say this but, is there that much value to this remote region? I know, we are prospering recently but if they wanted money, I think the capital would be far better, right?”
“I also think so but it seems like they are looking far ahead. Using my underground intel collecting system, I got a hold of some really fascinating data.”
Underground intel collecting system….? I guess I will leave that aside for now but I do want to hear about it in detail some other day.
Lotson-san presented a bulky parchment, in which a plan of a vehicle was written about in detail.
“I do not know of the details but it seems like a magic train. Using magic, they are trying to carry huge boxes.”
“Train, eh… I see, Helan territory and the capital… they want to use railroads to connect these two areas..”
“It seems like Kururi-sama understands what this is about. So as I thought, Helan territory is needed for this project?”
“Yes, they probably need this land to single-handedly take over the whole distribution. If something like this is done, the country’s development will be spectacular.”
I guess there are amazing people in every era, huh? Even if they are on the enemy side, this deserves my honest praise.
“Then, is it a good thing?”
“Yes, if the leader is a capable person, it will probably turn out to be good. However, if a person engulfed by greed becomes the leader, then this will result in something tragic. The labour needed to complete this and the strife over its rights after completion… If it is not lead properly, this country will probably fall prey to an incurable disease.”
“Fortunately, we were able to get a hold of the project early on. I also know of the person who made this project. Rather, how about Kururi-sama takes control of it after crushing the Dartanel family? If it is you, you can bring forth the just result.”
You just said something pretty scary without hesitation now… Something like crushing the Dartanel family or something…
“The biggest problem will be the labour, I think. Considering the lack of funds, we don’t have any way other than to force the workers to work. If we do that, we will have to live on top of someone’s sorrow. It isn’t something I would like to do.”
“Then, you are saying that, at this stage, it is quite a harsh project?”
“It will most definitely give birth to a big distortion. It was really good that we were able to know of this early on. We can’t hand over Helan territory no matter what now. That much is certain.”
“I see. If you are willing to do it, I will support you with all my strength anytime. Then, I will immediately dispatch men for Eliza-sama’s search.”
“I leave it you.”
This plan of a magic train, it isn’t something which should be easily leaked
At noon, I welcomed Rahsa, who had come by a different route. He also couldn’t find Eliza. Did Eliza really aim for Helan territory? It is a bit late to think of this but I can’t help but worry.
The next morning, the people Lotson-san gathered were in front of the mansion. That’s some amazing connections…
“The future Mrs. Helan has gone missing for a few weeks now. To confirm of her safety, we need to depart immediately. I have prepared a portrait, so I want you guys to circulate it to the other territories as well. Well then, everyone, I expect good results!”
Future Mrs. Helan…..? As expected of a capable person! Moreover, the portrait’s quality is high! The eyes are exactly the same…. I shall keep one for myself.
“To think you would be able to do all this in just a night. As always, I am always being saved by you, Lotson-san.”
“Not at all, I am that much of a remuneration, after all.”
“Really? I think you would be able to earn far more if you went to the capital, though.”
“It is because I am working under Kururi-sama that my work feels worthwhile.
He sure says some embarra.s.sing stuff. Although it makes me happy.
However, Lotson-san’s contribution was also in vain and Eliza was still not found. Only time pa.s.sed by. Where have you gone, Eliza?
This is the Dartanel mansion.
This building, which is excessively luxurious even for one in the capital, had many rooms. It was mostly built extravagantly, to show off to the visitors but inside there were rooms which even the employees did not know of. Only the people who inherit the name of Dartanel can enter those rooms….
Beyond the dim pa.s.sage, inside the room, there were people waiting—-
“The time to make you people work has come once again.”
Brau Dartanel and his son, Fregen Dartanel, entered the room and explained the details to the dwellers inside, who were four people. Anyone could guess they were not just any human from a glance.
The man in the middle of the room with the eye patch answered as the representative,
“We had to seal the mouth of the jailer last time. What is it now? We are needed out there quite a lot recently.”
“Yes, it is an important time, after all. I am also paying you for that, right?”
“….That is also true.”
“The next job is a little far. Towards the far east, the Helan territory. Erase it’s feudal lord and his son. Is that possible?”
“Possible, you say?”
The man with the eyepatch said with a smile. It was a terribly distorted smile. So much that their employer, Brau and Fregen, were also somewhat scared.
“Tell me the names. Names of the target.”
“Toral Helan and his son, Kururi Helan.”
Here, Fregen says something which he didn’t need to. At the very least, he hadn’t said anything like this so far.
“Kururi Helan. Make him meet a terrible end.”
“….I do not like when people meddle in my job.”
He said with a very gloomy, low voice. One couldn’t grasp the feelings behind the words, whether it was rage or something else. However, Fregen who had heard that, knew true fear. Fregen, who was supposed to be their employer.
“But, it is unusual for you guys to be descriptive. Fine, we will do our best with Kururi Helan. We will take extra reward for it.”
Just as they finished, the four of them disappeared. It was like the father and son of the Dartanel family had seen an illusion for a moment.
However, they were able to believe that if it was those 4, they could finish the job this time, once and for all. All that’s left for them to do is wait for the report of the job’s completion, like always.