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 Visiting the Sia Family

We went to Sia in a cheap wagon that rocked and jolted constantly.

Showing the invitation to the people at the gate, we were able to head through the gate especially quickly.

The toll was free even including Meat, how nice. As expected of the lord's invitation.

Passing through the gate, we immediately went to the lord's mansion-or not. We first headed to the stalls. I came here to refuse them, so it's best not to expect any warm welcomes from here on. Quickly going and quickly coming back, I decided to intrude on them during that marvelous time in the early afternoon.

"Oh, it's that meat skewer stall. Smells great."

"Yeah. Let's buy a lot."

"Heya-ooh, long time no see, An-chan!"

Hmm? Who was he again... oh, right. He's that old guy we delivered the rabbit meat to way back.

"You're not selling rabbit meat today?"

"Yeah, I'm D-Rank already so I've graduated from rabbits. I'm not troubled by money anymore either."

"Unfortunate, but congratulations on that. If you ever feel like bringing me any rabbits again, I'll buy them from you."

"Thanks for the offer. Well, I'll buy five of them."

"Coming right up. Ah, want to try a new flavor? I stocked up on some sauce from a peddler recently. I bought a few different kinds, but this one goes good with rabbit meat. It's delicious."

"... Sure, I'll try it. Kuro, is that alright?"

"Yes."

Is it our dungeon's sauce? Now that I think of it, we were giving out some in the dungeon to use in the inn as well I think? For it to spread over here... let's just say it's as expected.

When I paid him the twenty-five copper, he gave us six meat skewers, one of them as a freebie.

"Oh, thanks."

"Thanks for your help back then."

Meat downed the whole skewer immediately... yep, her tail's wagging. Guess it tastes great.

I ate one too. It has sauce, so it's like yakitori.

"Goshujin-sama..."

"Ah, yeah. I'll have one more, you can eat the rest."

Her tail flapped back and forth.

Meat immediately dug into the rest and nommed them up... there's sauce all around her mouth. So cute.

I pat her on the head.

"You two are the same as ever... why not release her from being a slave?"

"That's a line that I can't cross. Taking the one in a thousand chance into consideration..."

It's not like I don't trust her, but there's always the chance of her leaking information about the dungeon if she was tortured after being released from slavery. That'd be bad. And since it'd be bad, no can do.

I definitely don't think she'd attack me after being released or anything like that.

"It's complicated."

"Hmm. Well, I won't poke into it... but take care of her, yeah?"

"Yeah."

I bought ten more skewers and put them into my [Storage] to give to Rokuko and the rest as souvenirs.

Now that we've ate, I guess it's time to get going?

"It's time to head out... by the way, any clue where the lord lives?"

"... No idea."

*

I headed back to the gate.

As expected, Sia's gatekeepers were civil servants and memorized the city's streets.

One of them even guided me there. It was probably due to the invitation.

... I recorded it on the map, so I can get here myself next time!

The lord's manor was a pretty big house even compared to the houses in this luxurious area in the northeast part of Sia. It was a three-floored, white European-styled building that felt like it was perfectly maintained even despite the spacious garden that could be seen from the gate.

Then, giving the invitation to the mansion's gatekeeper, I was brought into what looked like a reception area.

... The gatekeeper didn't say [This lowly adventurer is...!] or anything like that. He was thoroughly polite in his responses and was trained well.

The sofa was so soft that it made me think about the ones we use at our place. After sitting next to Meat for a while doing nothing, there was a knock at the door.

"Ah, come in."

Reflexively responding to it with a welcome, a solidly build gentleman that was wearing clean clothes came in.

"Did I keep you waiting? I'm Von O'Doll Sia. I take it you know that I'm the lord?"

"I am Kehma. Pleased to meet you, Lord-sama. I wasn't waiting too long."

"That so?"

Introducing myself to him and shaking his hand, I sat back down.

"... Now that, if you don't mind, could you tell me a bit about it? About that village, I mean."

"That's fine, but, well... Concerning the matter of why I'm here..."

"I have heard some stories about Golen Village, but how many iron golems are there to secure?"

"How many, is it... it's not as though I have a detailed understanding of the matter either. We were able to capture around thirty last winter, though. But really, concerning the matter of why I'm here..."

"Hoh, thirty? That's a decent amount. That'd be enough to forge two hundred complete sets of armor. Or maybe if we just forged swords, ten thousand of them? Of those thirty, how many did you capture, Kehma-dono?"

"It's not like I did it alone, but six of them..."

-Wait, is he probing around for how much I earn? ... Annual income is important, I guess.

"Umm. It's about the reason I'm here, but-"

"Ah, one moment please. Ooi, Mai, come on in!"

"Alright, sorry for intruding."

Saying that, a girl-she has blue hair!?

With the hair on the sides of her face in ringlets and wearing white and neat clothes, a just barely ten year old girl walked in.

... Yep. It's one of those.

"I am Mai O'doll Sia. Are you Kehma-sama, the one who is my fiance?"

A N O T H E R L O L I.

The heck? Is the suspicion of me being a lolicon so concrete?

"... Err."

"Hey now, Mai. That's not it. He's not your fiance yet. Right, Kehma-dono?"

"Eh? Uh, yeah...-no, I don't intend to be her fiance at all."

"Hoh. So quick to jump to spouse-hood? How lively, Kehma-dono. Ha ha ha!"

"How hasty, Kehma-sama... fufu."

No, I just refused you. Why does it seem like they just took a step forward?

Mai O'doll hopped up onto the sofa next to Von O'doll with a quick heave-ho.

Seeing that, Meat raised her hand.

"... May I?"

"... Is something wrong, Kuroinu-dono?"

"This matter, he refuses."

She said iiiiiiit!! Meat just blew apart their flow in just a few words!!

Well done Meat, how reliable! I love it when you're like this!

"Sorry, I don't believe I heard you correctly. Could you say that again?"

"He. Refuses."

She totally just said it even shorter than last tiiiiiime!! Her reliability makes me look timid... I was supposed to have more courage now, but compared to Meat, my courage is trash. Trash, I say!

When she said that again, the conversation's flow got so blown up that they were at a loss!

"... Kehma-dono? Is that your intention?"

He scowled at me, but it wasn't too scary. Compared to Haku-san's bloodlust-filled eyes, his is more like a spring breeze.

"Yeah, I don't intend to get married..."

"Great! Isn't that nice? How about we simply respect Kehma-dono's esteemed opinion on the matter?"

"Otou-sama, your view clearly seeped into your words... Kehma-sama, you're so dreamy!"

H-huh?

Was refusing them the correct answer from the start?

"Right! It'd be different if you were born a noble, but Kehma-sama, you came from a commoner. This is my first marriage interview, and for the person who offered to have such a childish body as mine... the result should be obvious."

Mai O'doll kept nodding... is she on my side here?

"Which is why I decided to make you a fiance candidate and that it would be better for us to move forward with the engagement when I know your disposition better.

"Ooh, I see. How wise of you, Mai. Kehma-dono, is that alright?"

"Eh? No, I-"

"I'd definitely like to be friends with you, Kehma-sama. The stories of your adventures... I'd really, really, really love to hear about them!"

Mai O'doll was leaning forward toward me with her whole body... Von O'doll was holding her back.

"Mai, isn't it around time for you to study?"

"Oh, excuse me, then. Kehma-sama, see you again."

Mai O'doll hopped off the sofa and left the room. She bowed toward me and smiled, waving on her way out the door.

How should I put it... it feels like my opinions have been mostly ignored since the moment I entered the room. Should I just run away?"

"... Now, Kehma-dono. I have something to talk with you about, so hear me out."

Von O'doll's face was smiling, but not his eyes. It definitely feels like it's about something troublesome.

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