My family home is the Lord’s residence in the center of Dolknes town. It was the largest and most impressive structure in the territory.
Since it serves as a residence and a government office, it must be of a specific size.
Furthermore, there is an unspoken agreement that the Lord’s mansion must be the largest or will lose its standing amongst the nobles, and no building above a certain size is allowed to be built by the people.
These customs don’t bother me, but people around me care about them. However, I would like to see more tall and big buildings built.
Wouldn’t it be great if you woke up one day and Tokyo Tower was the view? Okay, maybe not Tokyo Tower. I can see a future where Ryuu begins to play as a giant monster and destroys them.
For these reasons, a large building should not appear next door.
Yet, the neighbor’s house, which has been under construction for a while now, looks like it will be bigger than ours. While I had suspected this at the foundation stage, it was only when the pillars and support columns began to be built that I became sure.
I’m in the office right now, reviewing the paperwork. All I have to do is double-check what Damon has verified and stamp the seal.
This year’s tax is zero for my first year as a Lord campaign, but the harvest will be surveyed. Reviewing the fall harvest documents from all over the territory, I asked Damon.
“Do you know who’s moving into the construction next door? They’re wealthy, aren’t they?”
“When you say next door… Do you mean the neighboring house?”
“Um, I explained it to you before, didn’t I?”
When I point to the neighbor’s house, his eyes widen in surprise.
Damon told me that he said it, then he must have said it. Then I must have heard it, but either didn’t listen to him or forgot about it.
Damon and I have that kind of trusting relationship.
I don’t remember hearing about anyone moving in. Damon told me when I was pondering whether stimulating my brain would help me remember or whether I should stick my finger in my head.
“I believe I had received permission from Yumiela-sama for the guest house. With less than half a year to go, we had to build a new one because we didn’t have enough space to host His Majesty and Her Majesty for the wedding.”
“Ah, I remember… but why is it so big?!”
“With His Majesty, the number of people accompanying him alone is quite large. We’ve also arranged for craftsmen who can handle magic, so we’ll be able to get it in time.”
“If it’s that big, it will take a long time.”
It is not that I had forgotten. I just had no idea that the guest house would be that big.
Come to think of it, the budget was crazy. Since Patrick had also checked it out, I had my permission without thinking about anything else, except the house would be more expensive than I had expected.
“What a waste. I might have read that you plan to transfer all the mansion’s functions to a new location after the wedding.”
“Yes. The old building will only be used for administrative purposes, moving Yumiela and Patrick’s residence and guest room.”
Oh, that’s what he meant. I had assumed that it would be like living in the office, so we’re going to commute from our regular residence to the office. I thought the private room might be smaller but rather large.
Stil, noble weddings are expensive.
After dinner the next day, I have tea with Patrick. Rita offers him a letter as he sits opposite her.
“Excuse me for interrupting. This seems urgent.”
“Oh, thank you.”
Opening the letter’s seal with his wind blade, Patrick begins to read the letter.
I check the envelope under the illuminating magic device, which seems slightly lacking in luminosity. The wax seal is from Patrick’s family, the Ashbaton Frontier Count.
When the delivery person tells you that it is urgent, that means that something is urgent. If it were so urgent, someone from the Ashbaton family would come directly to the house as a messenger.
As he was reading the letter, he muttered with a grim look.
Missing is not a peaceful thing. I was afraid to meddle too much in his family affairs, but I couldn’t help but ask.
Patrick finished reading the letter, closed it, and answered.
“My brother is missing.”
“Ehhh?! Isn’t that a big problem?”
“Errr… he was the one who wrote the letter to me.”
Although his brother is missing, he somehow doesn’t seem to be in dire need of help.
Patrick is the second born of two brothers. His only brother is the heir. Other than that, I know almost nothing about him. Based on his stories about his brother, he is a good brother, but I didn’t meet him when I visited.
Could it be a kidnapping or something like that?
“Is he strong?”
“His strength is adequate, but I can’t imagine him being in danger. That’s how good he is at being on the move. Besides, he has his reasons for leaving.”
“The heir shouldn’t run away from home. What’s his reason for leaving?”
After a pause, he opens his mouth slowly, carefully choosing his words.
“Do you remember when you visited my home and didn’t meet my brother?”
“Was he afraid of women or something?”
We didn’t cross paths because Patrick’s brother was avoiding me.
I had an extremely limited impression of someone who would become my brother-in-law, partly because I didn’t recognize his face. Even his name is vague.
“Eh? I forgot your brother’s name.”
“Ah, Gilbert-san. It’s hard to remember a name without knowing his appearance.”
Gilbert, Gilbert, Gilbert. Okay, I’ve memorized his name. When I meet someone named Gilbert in this country, I will think of him as Patrick’s brother, even if it’s a woman. And let’s keep our eccentricity to a minimum. First impressions are important.
I have gotten off-topic. Patrick urges me to continue.
“Gilbert-san has a phobia of women, then?”
“It’s not that he has a phobia, but he’s strong-willed? Has a hot temperamental? No, that’s wrong. But you sometimes say and do something unpredictable, and he has a hard time with a woman like that. Probably because of my mother’s influence.”
In normal circumstances, Patrick’s mother is very calm and gentle. But when it comes to Remrest, she suddenly becomes extremely aggressive in her words and actions.
“But I’m not as intense as your mother? Isn’t it strange that he would refuse to meet me when he didn’t know me?”
“I’ve known you long, and I find Yumiela to be more intense than my mother.”
“…Huh, we’ll talk about that later. After hearing all that, I still don’t get his vibe.”
“The vibe… the closest thing to meet my brother’s vibe….”
Thinking about it, he must be someone who has a different vibe from both Patrick and their parents.
I wonder whose names will really be mentioned. We don’t have many mutual acquaintances, so I might not know them.
Since he is Patrick’s brother, his face must be good-looking. Wouldn’t it be great to have a good-looking guy who looks like Patrick but isn’t like Patrick? Whoever he is, I’m happy.
“Duke Hillrose, Miss Eleanora’s father.”
The worst person I expected. That Duke Hillrose, whose personality is famed for being the worst of the worst? Eleanora’s father, who is now the village chief in my newly established village in Dolknes territory, hiding his identity?
With an evil father, an eldest son who looks shady, and a daughter who is an angel. How did an angel like Eleanora come from that kind of family?
“He’s a schemer type. He is someone who considers his enemies’ personalities, thinks logically, and does what they dislike the most. This is why he is not very good with people like mother and Yumiela, who can change their course of action at the drop of a hat.”
“In short, are you saying he doesn’t have a good character?”
“I guess his personality isn’t good. But he’s kind to his people.”
He is just like the Duke, even to the point of being kind to his people. It’s the worst.
“I don’t feel like I can get along with my brother-in-law.”
“He seems to think the same way. He recently disagreed with our father over whether he wanted to be at our wedding.”
“Did father-in-law want him to attend, and he doesn’t want to?”
Is that why he is running away from home? How much does he hate me for not wanting to attend our wedding? I haven’t even met him yet.
But I have to accept that he hates me that much without meeting me. Gilbert-san’s decision was based on various rumors about me. We don’t seem to be very compatible.
“He won’t be attending our wedding… and my parents aren’t coming either….”
“Sorry, when the time is right, I’ll go back to Ashbaton on my own. My brother will understand if I talk to him patiently.”
It will be hard to persuade him if he’s stubborn to the point of running away from home.
Both my parents, who are in their residence in the royal capital, immediately turned it down when I invited them.
Hmmm. Does it seem like there is no need for a wedding that won’t be celebrated… wait? Is it even necessary to have a wedding to be celebrated in the first place?
I attended a wedding once in my previous life.
It was one of my relative’s weddings, and it was hard. Getting to the venue by bus was difficult. Then I had to wait a long time for the ceremony to begin.
The speech delivered by the bride’s father, who cried a lot, was incomprehensible, and the groom’s boss’ speech was so long that none of the speech stuck in my head. As a high school student, it was then that I first noticed that my principal was a good speaker.
Then, the bride and groom’s college friends perform the entertainment. Well-aged men and women sing and dance to idol songs. Some were drunk and wobbly.
Lastly, the gifts that are brought as souvenirs. A plate with the bride and groom’s portraits was printed on it. Seriously, I don’t want it.
Yes, if a marriage is the graveyard of life, then a wedding is the funeral of life. How could I have forgotten until now? We were about to relive that hell.
“Should we call off the wedding?”
“Don’t say that. I’ll definitely make him attend our wedding.”
“No, not like that. I thought it would be better if he didn’t come and we call off the wedding.”
Right. Weddings are expensive. I have heard that even if you get a congratulatory gift, it will be quite a loss.
The idea of a wedding with Patrick would be lovely. But it is the same as being happy living in poverty if you are with the loved one. It is better to be wealthy than poor and have no wedding than have one.
“Why the sudden change of mind?”
“There doesn’t necessarily have to be a wedding to get married. I want to get married, but I don’t want a wedding. Plus, I have to speak in front of many people, and His Majesty will be there, so I have to be careful, and I can’t eat curry udon in my wedding dress.”
“No, you’re a noble. Moreover, it’s the head of a Count’s family marriage….”
“Which one is more important, the public image or me?! If I’m more important, then cancel the wedding! If the public image is important to you, I’ll cling to your legs, crying and begging you not to dump me.”
“Wow, I don’t like both of them. Guess I’ll have to convince you first.”
Patrick sighs in exasperation.
Convince me? You will never succeed.
He pauses, then an idea comes to him.
“Hmm, didn’t you say you’re looking forward to our wedding cake?”
“The big cake?”
“Yup, the big cake.”
Right, I forgot about the big cake. It was like a bad dream, and I was about to be fooled.
What an inconvenient truth about wedding cakes I am unraveling. Patrick snapped his fingers at me and declared.
“There is no wedding cake!”
“…Yes, there is!”
He looks at me, scowling.
It can’t be helped. Let me tell you the truth.
“Wedding cake doesn’t exist. In the end, they will be cut and served, right? I wonder if maybe at nobles’ weddings they just display them and don’t eat the cake?”
“…It is usually only displayed and not eaten by the attendees. And after the ceremony, they would slice them up and give them to the people.”
“Ha, I knew it! If it’s not in my mouth, then it doesn’t exist.”
“That’s outrageous. All right, I’ll make sure to save some for Yumiela.”
“That would be a regular-sized sliced cake! Big cakes don’t exist!”
“You can eat the whole thing.”
“Don’t you feel sorry for the people looking forward to the cake, considering that it is the custom?!”
I can hardly do such a terrible thing as monopolizing what is supposed to be shared with the people. Patrick, you are showing the bad side of the privileged class.
With a hearty, tiresome look on his face, he says.
“…Two. I’ll get two wedding cakes, one for sharing and one for Yumiela.”
Hmmm. Then surely a wedding cake does indeed exist. Okay, I guess the wedding cake was real?
A cake taller than I am. Filled to the brim with fresh cream. Wondering where do I start with my fork to eat it.
“No, no, no. I can’t eat that much by myself.”
Patrick was slightly annoyed, I could tell. Sorry. I can’t eat that amount by myself. Initially, I could eat it all at once, but after the fifth bite, I would get full.
Feeling a little apologetic and sullen, he takes this opportunity to say,
“We’re going to do the wedding. We have already sent out the invitations. The preparations are progressing steadily.”
“…I will be going home to my parents.”