「The favorability of the knight ‘Van Herdos’ has increased by 5.」
「Current favorability: 78/100」
It went up again?
Stunned, Cadel turned around and saw that Van’s earlobes were stained bright red. He rubbed his heated earlobes and lowered his eyes. His face was beautiful, so it was nice to see him shy, but…….
‘Damn it, every time I say something, his favorability goes up!’
Getting goosebumps was a separate issue. Cadel tried to turn his head away, vowing to save his words as much as possible. Next to him, Van spoke in a voice sweet enough to make his ears crawl.
“I’ll keep it for the rest of my life, Commander.”
“No……. Just throw it away when it’s loose…….”
Van, now spotting bright blush on both cheeks, smiled as he handed the skewers back to Cadel.
“Because I’m Commander’s man until I die.”
……No matter what he said, Van didn’t seem to be listening.
* * *
While waiting for the day to pass, Cadel and Van chance to meet Ron and Babyl for drinks. They went to Young Master Drew to collect the commission fee and were kicked out after hearing the evil remark ‘I saved your life, so be thankful and go away before I change my mind’. They seemed quite upset, seeing that they talked at the bar all morning after being provoked once.
Cadel, who was struggling to get rid of the drunkenness and sleep while listening to their harsh criticism, listened to the topic of conversation that had shifted before he knew it.
“Rumors are circulating in Hermel City these days, aren’t they?”
“Ah, are you talking about the rumors about the temple? Believers going to worship disappear en masse?”
Hermel City was their next destination. Cadel intervened in the conversation, rubbing his puffy eyelids.
“Missing? Who’s kidnapping the believers?”
“We don’t know that much either. Still, the rumor spread all the way from Hermel City to here, so it’s not just a rumor. Something must be wrong with the temple.”
“Is it an old rumor?”
“It must have been about a week. Well, it wasn’t that much of a topic since the Smog Plains was a bigger problem than the distant Hermel.”
Temple of Hermel City.
Based on the intuition of a veteran player, it seemed highly likely that it was related to the next main quest. In fact, there was also a story centered around the temple.
Cadel emptied his own glass neatly and engraved the information of the temple told by Ron and Babyl in his head.
‘A new area and a new quest. Maybe there will be an opportunity to recruit a new knight.’
The next afternoon.
Cadel headed to the mansion to meet Viscount Stra. Fortunately, he didn’t have a hangover from last night’s drinking. He might have benefited from the honey water that Van eagerly handed over.
When he visited in such a relatively normal manner, the Viscount called Cadel into the drawing room again this time.
“I’m sure you have the skills. I put in twice the suggested commission fee.”
The Viscount put the money bag on the table. Cadel quickly snatched the money bag and counted the amount right in front of the Viscount. As if he was watching a beggar hurriedly picking up a piece of bread that had been dropped by mistake, the Viscount’s brows wrinkled.
“You don’t trust me? Even though you are the illegitimate son of a fallen family, you have no manners.”
“Ah……! I guess it’s become a habit after working as a mercenary for a long time. I’m sorry. It may be a small amount to Viscount, but it is quite a large amount to me.…….”
An awkward gaze filled with disgust reached him, but Cadel smiled kindly and tightened the opening of the money bag.
‘The amount is correct. Now that it’s doubled, the plan will be much easier.’
It was not his habit as a mercenary to check the amount in front of the Viscount without notice. In the first place, he had only been a mercenary for a day, so what kind of habit would he have? Cadel planned to run away as soon as the story was over, and since he had no plans to return, he only confirmed the amount of the commission fee in front of the Viscount.
Viscount Stra might have put in less money pretending it was a mistake to save a penny or two. The calculation of money was something that must be accurately considered regardless of the times.
“Forget it. So, did you convince your faithful dog well?”
“It doesn’t matter if you can’t convince him. If that mercenary bothers you, I’ll order my soldiers to kick him out.”
“You don’t have to, Viscount Stra.”
At Cadel’s answer, the Viscount raised one eyebrow. He put down the cup he was drinking from and arrogantly crossed his legs.
“Your expression is strange. Did something happen?”
“No, there’s no problem.”
“All right. So, in earnest, let’s start talking about how your joining―”
“I will decline Viscount’s offer.”
Cadel stood up without hesitation. He put his moneybag into his bosom and bowed slightly to the Viscount.
“Being an escort magician isn’t my cup of tea.”
“Not your cup of tea? Are you in a position to question that now!”
“I don’t even need a position to do that.”
“You are a member of a fallen family for the crime of slandering the Imperial family―”
“What do you mean? This is the Kingdom of Mainue, Viscount*.”
“Yes, Viscount. I hate to see you keep talking about my old family and trying to get a precious magician for a bargain. I’d rather be a mercenary for the rest of my life than escort someone like you. Your offer is rejected.”
The Viscount’s mouth hung open as if the sudden change of attitude in an instant was astonishing. A shuddering sound came from his gaping mouth. And Cadel quickly left the drawing room without missing the silence.
Soldiers guarding the outside rolled their eyes following Cadel’s movements. The conversation in the drawing room did not seem to have been heard. He tried to walk confidently to escape naturally without drawing as much attention as possible.
“Get him! Now!”
With the cry of the Viscount who ran out of the drawing room, he had to run straight.
T/N: From the part ‘Viscount*’, Cadel stopped using the honorific suffix ‘-nim’, as in the raw, when addressing the viscount, that’s why the viscount was surprised as he thought Cadel should always be humble before him, a noble.