In that moment, the temperature in the room remarkably fell.
Reinhart-san and the other adults couldn’t hide the stiffness in their expression.
“…Is there anything else?” [Ryouma]
“Anything else? …Well, there’s nothing else in particular. Even a Rank 3 Specialist won’t have to be bothered anymore by propositions from other nobles. And if you wish, I can also keep your name from spreading too much. I can make it so that word of you is kept to a minimum even among my subjects. The work isn’t bad too. As long as you’re able to produce results, then you have a relatively high degree of freedom. If you were applying to be a knight, you’d have to participate in daily training and serve in war during emergencies. There are other things too, but the point is that specialists don’t have to do any of those.” [Reinhart]
Not having to serve in war is certainly a good thing. Although it’s peaceful right now and there doesn’t seem to be any wars, there’s no telling what will happen in 10 or 20 years. Being able to choose my course of action in the case that something does happen is a big merit.
All the other conditions are favorable to me too… Besides, in the first place, becoming a specialist of the duke’s family is a prime example of getting ahead in life. All the more so when it’s a commoner being appointed as one. Such a thing should be a very rare event. With such exceptional conditions compared to normal specialists, the normal reaction would probably be to immediately accept the offer with a heart full of gratitude.
I can’t speak for other people, but people like myself who have to rack their heads despite such a good offer are probably in the minority.
“…Well, I did just bring it up all of the sudden. I’m sure it must be difficult to come up with an answer immediately. Why don’t you take your time before giving me a reply? Either way, it’s not like the cure for the Cursed Wound is complete yet, right?” [Reinhart]
I had gone quiet due to thinking to myself, so Reinhart-san called out to me gently.
“Until the animal experiments there’s no telling what will actually happen when the cure is administered to humans.” [Ryouma]
“There’s no need to rush then. The reason I offered to appoint you as a specialist is because of the value of that blood serum of yours and its inevitable influence on your life. If the cure is not being released to the public just yet, then we can postpone this issue for another time. What do you think, gentlemen, Elize? Shall we keep this conversation to ourselves and wait until the time is ripe before bringing it up again?” [Reinhart]
“I agree.. I would be glad if Ryouma-kun were to become our family’s specialist, but becoming a specialist is a big decision. It will have a huge influence on his life. It’s a big decision to make even for adults, so I believe he should think about it hard so that he doesn’t regret his decision.” [Elize]
“I agree too. After all, Ryouma-sama’s slime research also has other results than the blood serum that can turn over a profit. It wouldn’t be too late if he focused on those first and solidified his foundations before approaching other avenues. I have a tendency to forget when we’re talking like this, but Ryouma-sama is still just a child. One who’s not yet even 15.” [Serge]
“I am also in agreement. People who are appointed as specialists are either expert craftsmen, who have accumulated many years of experience, or students or researchers who left the imperial capital’s academy or a research facility with excellent results. Being 20 or 30 years old is normal. Although it’s true that Ryouma has the qualifications for it. Compared to those people, he is simply too young. For a boy not even fifteen to become the duke’s specialist… Blood Serum or not, word is bound to spread.” [Pioro]
“Ah, now that you mention it… His age would certainly attract curious eyes. I do intend to protect him, but… Yeah…” [Reinhart]
Reinhart-san’s voice gradually grew weaker and weaker.
The madam turned to him with a look that seemed to ask ‘You hadn’t considered it?’
Serge-san and Pioro-san cheerfully smiled as they drank their tea that had lost its steam.
Before I knew it, the atmosphere that had grown cold earlier had once again grown warm.
“Still, Ryouma-kun…” [Reinhart]
“It would appear that you actually took care not to talk about your findings so carelessly.” [Reinhart]
Reinhart-san turned away from the madam as if he were running away and started talking to me again.
“When you first started talking about the blood serum to us, you mentioned that it was your first time talking about it with someone, right? When you discovered the blood serum, you were in the middle of training, where many adventurers were, and a lot of time has passed since then, and yet you never talked about it with anyone else. It seems you understand full well just how dangerous this knowledge is. Because of that you avoided talking about it to other people. You didn’t even write about it in the letters you send us regularly.” [Reinhart]
But of course. If I wrote about it in the letter, and if someone were to happen to read it, it would turn into a huge problem.
“I’m glad that you understand just how important of a matter this is… You’re too generous and you have a tendency not to be mindful of your abilities or knowledge, so…” [Reinhart]
“I at least know not to just carelessly bring out something so dangerous.” [Ryouma]
That’s what I said, but after looking at the expression of the adults a little closer, I noticed that the madam, Serge-san, and even Pioro-san… All of them were looking at me with a strange face.
…D-Do they really think I’m that vulnerable? I know I don’t pay attention to minor details most of the time, but I don’t think I’m that vulnerable. …At least, I don’t think so…
In the end, I couldn’t help but wryly smile with them, unable to refute their impression of me.
“Ahh, about the message earlier, there’s something I forgot to inform you, Ryouma-kun. About Hyuzu and Rurunez’ wedding… Apparently, the requests of the servants have been finalized.” [Reinhart]
“I see. In that case, we can start construction tomorrow.” [Ryouma]
“How many people will you be needing?” [Elize]
“Right… I’ll need people specializing in physical labor. If there’s anyone free, please send them over. I want to start with the foundation, so there will be plenty of work. No matter how many you send, I’m sure I’ll have something for them to do.” [Ryouma]
“Very well. If you need help with physical labor, then… Would it be okay to start in the afternoon tomorrow? I think that would make it easier to gather the guards since that’s when their training ends.” [Elize]
“Yes. That’s fine. Thank you.” [Ryouma]
With a new topic brought up, we continued talking as if nothing had happened.
I’m sure everyone is taking my feelings into consideration and are giving me time to think about things first.
…Yes. That’s definitely it. It most certainly has nothing to do with them thinking I’m too vulnerable in regards to my research.