The next day.
At a time a little past noon, I was seated in a carriage on the way to the duke’s residence.
“Who would have thought we’d be able to meet the duke’s family so soon?” [Ryouma]
“Carm sent me a letter as soon as you left. He included your schedule and when you’re expected to arrive, so I was able to pass word of that to the duke’s family. When I did, they told me that we can meet as soon as today if it worked with our schedule… Frankly, I’m a little shocked myself.” [Serge]
“Normally, you can’t meet them this easily.” [Piero]
Serge-san was originally planning to meet with them three days later and had just come early not to be late, but…
“They probably can’t wait to meet with you, Ryouma.” [Pioro]
“That’s probably it.” [Serge]
“Ha ha…” [Ryouma]
Considering it’s that gentle family we’re talking about, that is probably the case.
Even though we’ve already parted, they still continue to worry about me. They really make me happy.
“Speaking of which, the town sure has changed, hasn’t it?” [Ryouma]
The carriage has been slowly going up a hill since awhile ago. The scenery that could be seen through the window gradually changed from a lively townscape of small stores and private houses to large shops and restaurants.
“We’ll be reaching the nobles district soon. The number of people out are also getting fewer and fewer.” [Pioro]
The ‘nobles district’… It seems it’s up ahead.
“So it appears. This town is built around a small hill. The higher up you go, the more luxurious the residences and the stores become.
But there’s no need to be so tense. It may be called the nobles district, but there are also rich commoners living here. There’s no restriction to enter this district either.” [Serge]
“Still, it’s not a place a person should be loitering around in without good reason either. We should just keep going like this and head straight for the duke’s family.
The residence of the duke is at the peak of the hill. It’s situated at the highest place even compared to the nobles.” [Pioro]
“That’s easy to imagine.” [Ryouma]
I wonder what kind of place it is. Surely it won’t be smaller than how I imagine it. Maybe it’s like a certain ‘Land of Dreams'?
“No need to be so impatient. We’ll be there soon.” [Pioro]
“I look forward to seeing what kind of place it is.” [Ryouma]
“By the way…” [Serge and Pioro]
Their voices overlapped. Neither had intended to speak at the same time, so they were taken aback for a moment. They compromised and Serge-san continued with what he was about to say.
“Ryouma-sama, those clothes you’re wearing…” [Serge]
He’s pointing out my clothes!?
…Today I’m dressed in the special navy blue suit made by the tailor at Gimuru. They made it just as I requested, so I’m personally satisfied with it. But…
“Is it really that plain?” [Ryouma]
Even the employees of the tailor and the employees of my store had an odd reaction when they saw me wearing my suit.
“Yes. Very much. It won’t offend anyone, though.” [Pioro]
“It would have been fine to dress with more extravagance, you know?” [Serge]
So they say, but from my perspective, their clothes are just straight-up outrageous.
Pioro-san was wearing a shirt with frill lace and a coat with brightly colored cloths peeking out from the slits.
Serge-san was wearing clothes made from seemingly expensive fabric, but the design is actually normal, relatively speaking. But he had that ruffed collar on his neck and on his lap was a beret with a large plume attached to it. He’s probably planning to put that thing on when he goes out.
I know it’s a bit late to be saying this, but of course they would be wearing such clothes. The clerk at the clothing store was really adamant about recommending those kind of clothes, after all, so I guess that just goes to show how popular they are. And even though they’re wearing such outrageous clothes right in front of me, they’re acting as if all is right in the world.
Well, I suppose there really isn’t anything out of the ordinary for them, but… Well, anyhow, I’m happy with my suit.
“I like this kind of design. It’s easy to move around in too.” [Ryouma]
“I see. It’s good to have a preference. Especially, when it comes to clothes.” [Serge]
“Just chasing trends doesn’t make one fashionable, after all.” [Pioro]
“Ha ha… Frankly, I’m not really that confident in my fashion sense.” [Ryouma]
“Oh, please don’t be modest. That polished form. The first-rate materials used. The careful tailoring. That’s a suit I would want to wear myself. Please do tell, where did you buy it from?” [Serge]
“From a store at the western section of Gimuru. Right turn at the fifth corner from the main street.” [Ryouma]
“Western section, fifth corner… Ah, it must be that store. I heard it was still new, but… I see. I’ve found a new good store.” [Serge]
“Carm-san was the one who found out about it. It was thanks to him that I was able to easily get a complete set.” [Ryouma]
“Oh? That necktie pin too?” [Sereg]
I figured he’d notice it.
“The stone is an inheritance left behind by my grandmother. I handed it to the store, and they left it to a trusted and skilled craftsman to be processed.” [Ryouma]
At the base of the necktie pin were intertwining curves and lines like entangled vines, delicately crafted like threads. And at the center was a blooming flower with a large diamond in the middle. Although the necktie pin was not sprinkled with countless gems, there was a sense of harmony that could only be brought about by the hands of a craftsman.
“This craftsman is indeed skilled. This fineness… It is likely that this craftsman has a deep knowledge of metal magic.” [Serge]
“As expected of you, Serge-san. That was indeed how it was explained to me when I got it.” [Ryouma]
The metal attribute is a fusion of earth and fire attributes. It is the common name to refer to magic used in metalworks. The more attributes are used, the more difficult the spells become. But craftsmanship requires careful control; hence, it could be inferred just how skilled the craftsman was to be able to create this one product. The clerk’s eyes were sparkling when he talked about it. Expert metal mages are often called upon by national organizations, such as mints, so it’s rare to find one in private practice.
“Mu mu mu… To think that such a skilled cratfsman would be in Gimuru. I must meet him!” [Serge]
“I also want to buy something for my wife.” [Pioro]
“Ah, is it to celebrate your wedding anniversary? Kurana-san will be elated, I’m sure.” [Ryouma]
As we got into the conversation and moved from topic to topic, the carriage eventually stopped being tilted.
“Oh, it seems we’ve passed the slope. We’ll be there soon then.” [Serge]
 – Disneyland.