W-Well, this is kind of like an omake for the cooking methods.
“And… Oh, right! My lord. Can I have some of the bamboos growing beside the hot springs?” [Ryouma]
If I recall correctly, I spoke to the feudal lord about bamboo shoots a few days ago. Bamboos can be used to make charcoal or to craft things with. They’re very convenient grasses. I should be able to create a place just for them somewhere in the mines.
When I said that, the feudal lord stared at me, then heaved a breath.
“So you don’t want anything… As you’ve seen before, bamboos grow everywhere. We’re not using them for anything, so feel free to take as many as you want with you. Is there nothing else you want?” [Porco]
Hmm~ In that case, how about I just ask for money? …When I think of something that might have value…
“I heard that on top of fishes, Fatma also had pottery for its local specialties.” [Ryouma]
“Yes. We do have plenty of clay here, after all. Do you want some pottery?”
When I cooked at the village, the earthenware pots looked really easy to use. I want to purchase a couple and take them back with me. Also, wood and metal are more popular back at Gimuru, so earthenwares might actually be rare goods there. I could buy a few and bring some to Serge-san’s store.
And if there are some good ones, I could decorate the reception office of my store with them. Unfortunately, I don’t really have any sense for aesthetics, so I don’t really know…
“In that case, I can gift you one of the jars I have back at my mansion. It’s worth quite a bit, so you should be able to decorate your store with it. I can also introduce you to a potter I’m friendly with, so you can buy as much as you want from him. He’s an honest potter, he should be more than willing to accommodate you if you wish to consult with him.” [Pottor]
When I told the feudal lord what I had in mind, he immediately arranged everything for me.
“Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
“Don’t worry about it. I’m just compensating you for everything you’ve done. And Reinhart did ask me to help you too.” [Porco]
“Fu fu… Oh, right. You remember what I said when I talked about my relationship with Reinhart?” [Porco]
“Yes. You’re Reinhart-san’s senpai, right? And since Reinhart-san was Reinbach-sama’s son, the people around him all looked at him with biased eyes, which inconvenienced him greatly.” [Ryouma]
“Exactly. My dad also achieved greatness by building the roads in these lands, but Reinbach-sama’s achievements went beyond that. The weight Reinhart inherited must’ve been equally great. What’s more is that the duke’s family has a lot of enemies.” [Porco]
“I suppose that’s to be expected.” [Ryouma]
“The nobles are always fighting among themselves, and there’s plenty to be envious about too.” [Porco]
It’s a common story…
“Especially the pedigree of the duke’s family and the history and authority that comes with it. Not to mention, Reinbach-sama’s personal achievements and the matter of forming a contract with a divine beast. So long as he’s alive, no one will probably come to pick a fight with them, but recently, there’s been a lot of rumors of Reinhart’s territory being turbulent.” [Porco]
“He’s a brilliant man. When we were still students, he was always within the top 5 regardless what field it was. But what allowed him to accomplish that was the great effort of many people. Reinhart wasn’t a genius. Of course, he wasn’t incompetent either, so it’s not as if he didn’t have any talent, but… No. This isn’t really what I wanted to talk about.” [Porco]
The feudal lord gazed at the night sky for a few seconds, then started talking again.
“I’m not asking this as a lord. This is a personal request… As much as possible, please help Reinhart. He’s a brilliant man, but he can’t handle the administration of his fief alone. What’s more is that he’s the sort to carry all of his worries alone.” [Porco]
“? Does he not appear that way?” [Porco]
A little, actually… I mean if anything the one who doesn’t rely enough on others is me. In fact, I’ve caused him a lot of worries because of that.
When I told Porco-sama that.
“Pu! Puhahaha! Puga!” [Porco]
Ah, it’s the usual pattern where he snorts from laughing too much.
“S-Sorry. But, still… Ku ku. I see, so he told you to ‘rely on others’, did he? I guess it’s only natural that he would no longer be the same as back then. Was he able to fix that bad habit of not relying on others then? Even though he almost got crushed because of that. Or maybe it’s precisely because he’s experienced it for himself that he advised you that. Fuha.” [Porco[
The feudal lord became a lot more cheerful after I told him that. He happily nodded.
“Fuu… If there are people around him that he can rely on, then I can be at ease. And if you can also be there for him, then all the more so. After working with you, I’ve come to realize that the way you see things is different from us. Also, that you know many things. It’s only natural that Reinhart wants you. If not for that letter of introduction from him, I would love to employ you myself.” [Porco]
‘It’s an honor’, I was about to tell him, but then…
“But that’s all the more reason you should be careful.” [Porco]
The feudal lord stopped smiling and looked me in the eye with a grave atmosphere.
“I gave you two jobs. I’d mentioned that it was because I ‘heard about the rumors of the Barley Tea Sage’, remember? In other words, even if one didn’t know about ‘the adventurer from Gimuru named Ryouma-kun’, word of you has traveled far enough that if someone wanted to investigate you, they could summon the Semroid Troupe like I did or send their subordinate to investigate you in Gimuru.
Reinhart warned me, so I won’t ask about your accomplishments, but there are many people in this world who would stain their hands if it meant fattening their purse. That’s true even for nobles. After all, not everyone is like me or Reinhart.” [Porco]
“What have you done so far?” He says, but… I feel like he knows more than he’s letting on. This is a warning.
“Thank you for your warning. I’ll be careful.” [Ryouma]
“Yes. Since you’ve managed to form a relationship with Reinhart, you should use his authority well.” [Porco]
The feudal lord stretched his body.
“Now then, I should be mostly sober now. It’s not good to stay out for too long.” [Porco]
As though he’s done saying his piece, the feudal lord started preparing to go home.
Perhaps, sobering himself was just an excuse and what he really wanted to do was to warn me.
If so, then he has my gratitude.
“Oh, right. Ryouma-kun. When are you going back to Gimuru?” [Porco]
I have to prepare first and I have to buy some souvenirs.
I also still have to catch myself a mud slime, so I should still be here for a few days.
I’m concerned about the bad rumors surrounding Reinhart-san’s fief, though. A trustworthy man like Carm-san is taking care of my store and Fei-san and the others are there too, so it’s probably fine, but… I should push forward my schedule.
“I’m going to be preparing as much as I can tomorrow, so the earliest I can leave would be the day after tomorrow.” [Ryouma]
“I see. In that case, I’ll talk to the pottery store first thing in the morning tomorrow. I’ll leave our houses jar with them too, so you should pick it up from there. The end of the year is a time for socializing, so we have a lot of preparations to do too.” [Porco]
“I understand. Thank you for helping me despite your busy schedule.” [Ryouma]
“Likewise. It was fun, Ryouma-kun. Well then.” [Porco]
The feudal lord left me the name of the store, then got on his boat and left through the lake.