Lecan and Norma went back to the annex, and entered the living room.
Their bedrooms and bathrooms are separated, but they share the same living room.
Norma is sitting on a sofa in the back, while Lecan's sofa is on the same side as hers.
It's a habit he's got long before their seating positions at the guest house.
Though his <Life Detection> and <3D Perceptions> don't have problems detecting things behind him, it's just easier to do that on objects ahead of him.
"Want some drink too?"
Norma asked while taking a silver tumbler out of the shelf.
"Yea. I'll have one."
Lecan was poured an amber-colored liquor from two tumblers.
The two enjoyed the taste and aroma of the liquor in silence for a while.
The shelf has all kinds of snacks in it, from bean pastry, smoked meat, and dried fish. The stuff Lecan had eaten has been replenished, with more new stuff added. Employees of this residence are quite well trained.
"What a surprise this whole thing has been. Never would have imagined it would turn out this way."
"Isn't this outcome preferable to you though?"
"It's like I'm dreaming. I'm still not sure where this will take me, but my father's literary work will remain for posterity. That will likely come true regardless of form."
"They've got his books at the capital's temples already."
"That was shocking too. To think the marquis would do that."
This marquis would be Norma's uncle, the previous Marquis of Mashajain, Godfrey Wazrof.
"So he presented the books to Ceres Temple, is that something you can do just like that?"
"The custom is a bit different when a noble presents books to temples than when a commoner does."
"When a noble does it, the inner paper must be first class, and the letters must be beautifully written. In other words, it has to be done by a first-rate transcriber."
"The leather cover must be of a fine quality, and the beaten gold as well as the seal must be done right, not to mention the binding. In short, it's going to cost you a lot."
"Guess making books is a serious business."
"The truly luxurious books fetch a handsome sum. And the offering money would have to match that when a noble present books to a temple."
"What's the point of presenting books to a temple."
"It's to make a declaration and to repay the favor to gods, like showing how much you have accomplished. Since you're unraveling the secret of this world by doing research. Nobles may present books to temples to signify the development of their territory's culture as well. Military might alone does not represent the quality of a noble after all."
"Sounds like some nobles would present some really extravagant books then."
"Presenting a book that's only got luxurious binding without content to match gets you ridiculed instead. They won't say it in public though."
"Then that means your uncle has recognized the content of your father's research huh."
"I didn't expect that. Really took me by surprise. But what's even more surprising is when Amamir-sama mentioned him saying Sasfrey, his little brother, wrote those books. To be frank, I just can't imagine those words coming out of that marquis's mouth. But Amamir-sama can't possibly lie. Little brother, really?"
"What kind of elder brother is this Godfrey to your father?"
"He wouldn't allow father to call him brother. It must be Godfrey-sama."
"Did your father hate or resent Godfrey?"
"Eh? No. That was never the case. Or rather."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"They talk normally."
Norma's father, Sasfrey is a little brother of Godfrey from a different mother. Wonder if they lived in the same mansion during childhood. Must be.
Since Sasfrey's mother had a low standing, Godfrey couldn't publicly treated Sasfrey as his little brother.
But behind his cold exteriors, just how did Godfrey saw his years apart little brother.
"When your father died."
"Godfrey sent a letter to Jinga which had this written. 'I shall avenge my brother without fail, you keep protecting Norma'."
Norma turned to look at Lecan next to her. Her eyes were wide open out of shock.
"You said this before. Marquis house is like a machine to protect their house and territory, the marquis and the family members are nothing more than gears in that machine. Godfrey was a machine for the marquis house. But the words he sent when your father died sounds like it comes from a genuinely passionate man to me."
Norma could only stare at Lecan like she was at a loss for words.
"Godfrey avenged his little brother, took back the wand and sent it to Jinga."
"So it was the marquis who got this wand back."
"Your mother's wand was sent to you. It's loaded with the feelings Godfrey had for you."
"The marquis said this when you and your father left Mashajain to go back to Vouka. Do not bring your assets."
"Right. That marquis went and said that right in front of me."
"But you brought all those books, documents and research results without missing any. Along with a great variety of medicinal plants. And transporting all those things here must cost a lot."
"Yup. I wondered about that too myself. There were so many carriages."
"Have you ever thought of this. Prohibiting you take your assets was nothing more than a front. That must how he explained it to his relatives. But Godfrey wanted to let your father take everything he needed, no matter what it was."
"That's. That's just."
"What kind of position Jinga held at the marquis house?"
"He was the highest rank of knights. That's why having Jinga guard mother was seen as a serious matter to the marquis family."
"Jinga was posted to guard you and your father when your mother passed away. What meaning does that carry."
"I don't know. I really don't know to be honest. However, others saw it as an obvious demotion. An awful one at that. I'm not privy of rumors spreading within the marquis family, but the people there probably thought Jinga did a grave mistake, or Godfrey-sama, the then newly appointed marquis must have really hated him."
"Your mother asked Jinga this before her passing. 'Please take care of my husband and daughter'."
"Godfrey who was aware of that, said this to Jinga. 'My little brother is returning to that town, you go protect those two'."
"How did you know. No, the answer is obvious. You heard that from Jinga."
"This is nothing more than a guess of mine, but Jinga was probably anguishing between the formal request from the Marquis Family, and the personal wish from Godfrey."
"The marquis's... personal, wish."
"The marquis family sent Jinga a lifetime reward as part of Godfrey's will. Jinga returned his knightly standing to the marquis house. All the while laughing, saying he's now a chore taker of your medical center both in name and reality."
"Was my father, loved by the previous marquis, by Godfrey?"
"I believe he was. Both your father, and you."
"Godfrey sent his most trusted knight to you and your father. Then he ordered that knight to protect you when your father died. That was Godfrey's true intent."
Norma suddenly wept.
(Missed my chance to escape.)
Lecan is not into staring a crying woman. He planned to quickly make his way out once he knew she was going to cry, but Norma wouldn't allow him to.
(What to do here.)
As Lecan was freezing, Norma leaned on him.
He couldn't defend nor dodge it.
Norma put her forehead on Lecan's shoulder and hugged him.
A sobbing voice resounded in the living room.
Lecan who got his dominant arm sealed away could only stay there motionlessly.
The fragrance drifting from Norma reminded Lecan of Heles.
Their faces look quite similar.
There are some clear differences, but they really do look similar.
Norma and Heles are completely unrelated.
These two strangers are letting out a very similar scent both.
Not just scent. Their firm forms, the way they walk and the way they carry themselves, their womanliness in their dignity are also surprisingly similar.
Women are such a mystery, thought Lecan.