10-23. Residences of the Mansion
Satou's here. I randomly imagine about some bizarre event when I look at a western-style house during the popularity of a genre called 'Mansion'. I also remember that there are many (games) where the mistress of the house is the mastermind for some reason.
Now then, two days after we set the carved seal board in the new hunting ground--area 74, we decided to go back to the mansion. I went back to the mansion once every day with [Return] to see the situation there, but since Arisa and the others wanted to see Ms. Miteruna, they're currently going back through area 4. The reason why they didn't return the day after that was to hide the space magic. It would be strange if they got back earlier than the explorers who were exterminating the maze cockroaches when they should have been behind, so we delayed it by one day.
Nana and me directly teleport to the mansion ahead of them. We're teleporting to the stable. I've confirmed that there's no one beside the horses. They're good horses for not being surprised to us who appear suddenly. I've decided to give them special-made feed as the reward. It's a new one that's added with smashed corns.
We leave the stable and head to the main building. The girls who were working on the garden seemed to have noticed us and came to us. They're called Roji and Annie if I'm not mistaken.
"Welcome home, Chevalier-sama."
"Ah, I'm home."
The radar caught on Ms. Miteruna who seemed to have noticed the two's cheerful voices and then went to the entrance hall.
I've already confirmed the situation of the children and Ms. Miteruna with [Clairvoyance] magic. Although I can't say that they've opened their hearts, they've become better.
"Welcome home, master."
"I'm back, did anything happen during my absence?"
"Yes, two letters have arrived."
In the living room, I'm listening to Ms. Miteruna about the visitors and events here during my absence.
The letters are from Viscount Shimen and Marchioness Ashinen. It seems the Viscount is going back to the duchy capital the day after tomorrow, so he's inviting me to a dinner tomorrow.
Marchioness Ashinen invites me to a tea party the noon of the day after tomorrow. It seems that the wifes and daughters of Selbira's influential nobles regularly attend the tea party. Since personal connections helped me a lot in the duchy capital, I wrote the acceptance letter and gave it to Ms. Miteruna.
Oh right, I remembered about the letters.
I hand over the remaining bundle of the greeting letters that I've written last night to Ms. Miteruna. She looked slightly surprised due to the bundle's thickness. These are for my acquaintances in the duchy capital and the dwarves in Bollhart. I've written the shares for princess Menea's at the royal capital, and the viceroy's daughter Ririna's too of course.
I've also written our present condition besides greeting formalities for Sera and the people whom I'm close to.
Unlike for faraway place like Muno Barondom, there are merchant caravans that regularly go to the royal capital, and then airships can go from the royal capital to the duchy capital, so passing the letter is also easy. The dwarf hometown is slightly too far, but since there are merchant caravans that regularly go there from the duchy capital, it should be fine.
The children whom we've saved have recovered enough to do simple chores, thanks to the nourishments and magic potions. After they've restored their muscle strengths later, they should be alright.
By Ms. Miteruna's advice, the children's beds have been moved to the servant building from the main building.
The reason why those children were in such place was because they wanted a kind of grass that were growing in the stable. The fruits of the grass called Tami Poppy seems to be very bitter, but it can be used as painkiller. However, it contains slight toxin, so when someone ingests it in large quantity, their consciousness will become turbid and lethargic.
They needed such painkiller due to the injuries they had gotten in the labyrinth. For baggage carriers who have bone fractures especially, their only choices are either selling themselves to the slave trader or die a dog's death. The slave trader had given up on these children. Since getting saved like in this case seemed to be quite rare, the children were extremely grateful.
That's not the reason of me wanting to employ these children as the mansion's servants though. This mansion needs various helping hands since there are magic tools in this mansion unlike the mansions of the duchy capital nobles, so this is just right.
"Then, are you going to let them stay in the mansion?"
"They don't seem to have any aim even if we let them go. Could you teach them how to work little by little?"
"I accept. I will bring them up into excellent maids."
Ms. Miteruna reassuringly accepted it. Quite reliable.
"Right, how much do people usually pay children for labor?"
"You don't have to pay them if they live in."
According to her, in exchange of not paying them until they grow up, you have to guarantee their food, clothing and shelter. If you're going to hire them after they've grown up, the common payment is one silver coin, although it also depends on their ability. The payment is not for a day worth. It's for one month. Of course the sum will go up when their job description increases, or their ability improves.
By the way, Ms. Miteruna's wage is one gold coin a month.
"Master, please give the children clothing and footwear if you're going to employ them. You don't have to give them something expensive, but if you let them wear old rags and be bare footed, people will doubt the family status of Pendragon house."
Worrying about family status of a house that's just been established for several months is one thing, but I do want to give them clothes and footwears.
"I understand. Buy them 2-3 clothes including for changes. If the money I've given before isn't enough, should I add it?"
"No, if master allow me use one silver coin from the money that has been given to me, it should be enough for old clothes and strings. Changes for underwear are needed, but it's enough to give them one clothes each. If their treatments were too lavish, the servants' attitudes would become arrogant--"
Ms. Miteruna gently reproved me. I intend to tailor maid uniforms for them later, is that bad too?
"Tailoring matching clothes for the servants is it? Having matching maid uniforms do happen in grand nobles' mansions, but only in big cities like the royal capital and the duchy capital, there is no mansion that does such thing in this savage labyrinth city."
It just doesn't exist, not prohibited, so I've decided to present maid uniforms to the children when they've become able to work their own job.
Arisa and the others have returned. For some reason, she contacted me with [Telephone] when they just came out of the labyrinth gate. Looks like they've been surrounded by explorers, and can't move.It seems they will handle it appropriately and go back here.
Arisa and the others arrived one hour later.
"We were crowded, it was terrible you know. They're going to hold a party celebrating the safe return in the tavern tonight they said. Master was also invited."
"Understood. I'll go with you since I don't have any plan tonight."
She hands me a small sack with cash while grumbling. The payment from the sales of magic cores and materials is a bit much. It seems the leader of the roach extermination party has given the magic cores payment for the roaches that we exterminated.
"He apologized that he couldn't bring back most of the roach's material since they didn't bring baggage carrier."
"What kind of things can be made from roach's material?"
"Dunno? Maybe roach armor and helmet?"
Looks like she's not really interested, Arisa absentmindedly replies.
Now then, I gather Arisa and the others and the servants in the hall, and let them introduce themselves to each other.
By the way, the dying children are all human girls, and their names are Junni, Aina, Kitona, Suna, Teriona, and Hoho from the eldest to the youngest. I thought that they were ugly since the slave trader abandoned them, but every girl looks normal although plain. Their hair are all cut in short cut or bob cut since the grooming is hard.
"Then, everyone besides Nana-sama and Mia-sama is a slave?"
"Yeah, I'd like to release Arisa and Lulu but I can't since there's a bit of circumstance. I would immediately release Liza and the others if they wish so though."
I answer Ms. Miteruna's question with a bitter smile.
They've obtained Red Iron Plates after all, they're already fine enough to be released anytime. I have to seriously research the way to release the enforcement (Geass) once Arisa and the others have leveled up enough.
"Master, our wishes are to repay the favor to master. Please use us as slaves as it is."
"Please don't abandon Pochi nodesu."
They said similar things like when I was going to release them in Seryuu city back then. How about retainers instead of slaves?
"You're not unneeded child. What about becoming my retainers, not slaves?"
"Everyone becomes a retainer nodesu?"
"Arisa and Lulu have to wait a bit though."
"Can we do it together~?"
"Then we do it together nodesu."
Arisa puts her arms on Pochi's and Tama's necks and shouts "Cute~ mou!" while swinging around. Lulu also looks really happy.
"Right! Since they're going to be employed here, how about teaching them letters?"
"You're right, can you lend them that learning cards?"
I agree on Arisa's suggestion. The later words were from Pochi and Tama. Since they're OK with it, I ask Arisa to teach the children and Ms. Miteruna the way to play the learning cards. Ms. Miteruna looks really puzzled while saying "Teaching letters to commoner children?"
"That's right~ All members of team 『Pendragon』 can read, write and calculate after all."
"Th-these children too?"
Pochi and Tama who are pointed by Ms. Miteruna answer "Of course~", "Nanodesu!" and begin reading picture books out loud. They have to properly stop at the punctuations though.
I asked the senior group that are Lulu, Liza and Nana while Arisa was lecturing the way to play the learning cards.
I'm absorbed in reading a book on the chair that I've put under the tree on the courtyard.
It's a dummy of course.
In actuality, I'm currently investigating the experiment for Living Armor's source of power. The prime candidate is the magic power vessel (battery) like the scarecrows use, but since it needs special material like world tree's sap, I want something more generic.
Suddenly, I thought about the holy sword and the wooden magic sword that had been filled with magic power.
Right, filling things with magic power itself is possible even without using special material like world tree's sap. The problem are the storage capacity, period and also efficiency. Now then, let's look for some usable circuit for it.
Lulu calls out to me as if she's seen through that I've decided on the rough objectives.
"Master, how about some tea?"
Lulu is carrying a glass goblet with blue tea inside. It's a cold tea that's proper with the TPO.
"Thank you, did you cool it with life magic?"
"Yes! Using magic is really convenient."
Lulu who's talking to me while smiling with her whole face is dazzling. Her magic capacity has increased with her level so she's become able to freely use the magic.
It might be a good idea to teach the children life magic and compounding after they've learned to read and write.
While thinking such thing, my mind goes back to the magic tool study.