Viscount Goroun looked at Jinga. His eyes signaling, 'Do something about this.'
Jinga was a royally appointed knight by the king himself, affiliated to Wazrof House. He may be retired, but that affiliation remains even now. And he hails from a long line of a knight family loyal to House of Wazrof, so naturally he should obey the present master as well, thus the viscount believed. And Viscount Goroun is an old friend of Jinga to boot. But the words coming out of Jinga astounded the viscount instead.
"Dare you take my lord against her will, I shall resist until my dying breath."
It's as if he's having a confrontation with his mortal enemy. However, the temperature of Jinga's emotion reflects that of his lord, Norma. Showing how much Goroun has angered Norma.
And now it's questionable if Jinga even belongs to Wazrof.
There are many cases of unclear affiliation of a knight dispatched to one's wed daughter. Some knights would choose to go back to their former house when that daughter passed away, but there are also cases where they kept guarding the children instead. As for who's paying that knight's salary, the answer can differ a lot. It all depends on the cases.
Viscount Goroun switched gear befitting of a veteran negotiator. He stood up, put both his hands on his chest and lowered his head to apologize.
That apology, directed to heiress of Goncourt, Norma, was fashioned like he was apologizing to a member of Wazrof.
Since Norma had no intention of cornering the viscount even further, she readily accepted his apology.
Afterward, Viscount Goroun invited Norma to Mashajain once again.
However, Norma told him that she was in the middle of an extremely important project, she could not afford to take a long trip even if it was an invitation by Marquis of Mashajain himself, nevertheless she could be wiling to compromise and reconsider if the viscount would divulge to her what this urgent matter is.
The viscount told her that he was not allowed to disclose the matter, but it's a highly critical issue that pertains many high ranking nobles of this country.
Norma asked if that issue has anything to do with Goncourt.
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The viscount answered back, no, it's unrelated to them.
Thus, after decisively snatching the higher ground in the negotiation, Norma put up some conditions if she were to visit Mashajain.
Which is, she must be back at Vouka within 30 days after departure, and they must vow not to make Norma do something against her will.
Once the viscount took that vow on the spot, Norma acted swiftly. She immediately summoned Findin to prepare for the trip, explained the situation to transcriber Rakrus and made arrangements on his work during her absence, and left Vouka the day after.
Jinga, Findin, Eda, and a maid accompanied her.
Eda volunteered her company on her own volition. Norma herself felt relieved with Eda around, and not even Wazrof would dare to detain Eda with Herb Saint's warning.
At first there were going to be three maids. Norma herself didn't think she needed one, and Wazrof would definitely send their own maids anyway. However, as it was a honor thing with noble houses, neither Prado nor Kanner would relent, thus they compromised with one. Additionally, Norma's group was to board a Goncourt's wagon instead of Wazrof's. Along with a coachman.
House of Wazrof had dispatched two knights in the entourage, the older one had received tutelage under Jinga, and deeply respected him. The younger one looked respectful to Jinga as well. As such, Jinga took the leadership of the entourage to lead them on a smooth trip. They got raided by a group of Spider Monkeys once and another time by bandits, Eda took care of both times with <Bow of Ishia> without letting the wagons or anyone got hurt. The two knights were greatly surprised to find out <Healing Hand of Herb Saint> was a skilled adventurer. Wazrof maids never said a word and were thorough in their work, they did not offend Norma even once during the journey.
Norma spent a lot of times in Wazrof wagon on the way. She gathered as much information as she could about Wazrof and the situation surrounding the house from Viscount Goroun.
The wagon arrived at Mashajain on the 14th.
Norma was led to a guest house. It was a very nice room. The bath was prepared, meals were ready.
The day after, Norma had an audience with the present master of Wazrof, Manfrey. Accompanied by Jinga, Findin, and Eda.
Manfrey is 41 this year. They may be cousins, but he's 14 year Norma's senior.
"I offer you my greatest gratitude for responding to my call here despite your busy schedule, heiress to House of Goncourt, Norma Goncourt-dono. It has been a while, Norma."
"Yes. It's good to see you again, Manfrey-sama."