Chapter 07: Heirloom and Oath
Volume 1 — The Temporary Snow Country Life of the Northern Nobleman and the Raptor Wife
Nothing happened during the five hour long ride and everyone arrived safely at the village, so I felt relieved.
There was a towering structure in front of our eyes, an old fortress.
The village is surrounded by a tall stone wall.
This is recorded to have been built three centuries ago using the national budget, because of the severe damage from pests.
The reason why there is such a nice fortress is not recorded, but one could tell that the lord back then was a trusted man.
However, after three hundred years, the facility deteriorated quite a bit that most of the village funds went to the maintenance of the fortress.
After thanking the reindeer for its work, I checked on the women seated behind.
“We’ve arrived. How are you feeling?”
Sieg said that she was fine very dependably. Miruporon pounded her chest, gesturing that she was fine.
“Now then, this is a problem.”
“What is it?”
“The sentry isn’t here.”
In front of the main gate, there is an outpost for the sentries, but seeing that no light came out of the building, there clearly was no one insider.
Again…… Sighing like that, I laid my hands on the steel gate. I ordered them to always bolt the gates, but to be opened without me doing anything…… my head hurts.
Pulling the reindeer along, we entered. Past the gate there was a narrow passage leading to the hallway, but even here the steel bars I ordered to be lowered at all times was raised up.
While being dumbfounded, I exited the narrow passage and arrived at a place that had a counter and a barred hallway. And of course no one was waiting. From the room behind the counter, energetic voices flowed out.
I rang the bell on the counter, but no one came out. Since no one came out even though I waited patiently, I ended up yelling at them to come out.
The door behind the counter opened with great vigour, revealing the merry banquet inside.
“Sorry~ We’re closed~”
“What do you mean you’re closed you fool!!”
“Oh my, if it isn’t my lord.”
“Oh, that a guest of yours?”
The man announced that the lord got a new wife, to which a bunch of red-faced men turned around.
“What? Wife!? Which one!?”
“The huge one’s the martial race lass, eh?”
“No, both are pretty huge.”
“You can’t really see her as a women on first sight.”
“You can’t even if you look closely.”
These people running their mouths off are soldiers dispatched to this village from the city. Their usual task given by the country is gatekeeping and checking for pests from the watchtower.
However, these soldiers never worked seriously. Since only these kind of people were dispatched here from grandfather’s generation, they say ‘it’s our loss if we get bothered by it’.
For them, getting ordered to protect this village from thieves and wolves may be tantamount to being told that they’re excluded from the actual fighting. In other words, this place for them is like a place for relegation.
“M’lord~ no other good ladies, eh?”
“Hey, stop that. Isn’t he pitiful?”
“A~nyhow, she looks like one tough woman.”
“Cold and poor, all the women of this village are tough. Haah, there’s nothing good here.”
They spoke in the language of this country. It was fortunate that the meaning did not get across to Sieg.
The steel bars were still down. Since these doors were opened from inside the counter, I told them to do so so many times yet they did not open the door.
Having lost their interest, the drunkards left except one.
The reindeer was sneezing behind me.
Oh yeah, it’s quite cold here.
“Ah, my lord, can you lend me a knife? I want to cut some cheese but mine’s rusted.”
The improperly dressed man showed me his issued knife.
“See, it’s got like this. It can’t even cut cheese.”
“Okay, fine, but raise the bars first. We’re all tired.”
The man taps the desk, demanding the knife.
Since it couldn’t be helped, I drew the biggest knife on my belt and swiftly stabbed the desk with it, sticking it between the man’s index finger and middle finger.
The sharp knife stuck right in the small gap between the fingers, even piercing the desk.
The red-faced man suddenly fell silent, as though he became sober instantly.
“So, how about now?”
“Wa, the door, I’ll open it, right away!”
Not much later, the door opened and we could proceed to the passage leading to the village.
I moved on, dragging along the reindeer that was puffing out white breaths as though it had a cold.
From a while back, Sieg followed without saying anything. I felt sorry for showing her these unkempt soldiers.
“Haah, I’m sorry. They’re quite the rabble.”
“No, it doesn’t really matter, but who were they?”
“Dropouts from the regulars.”
Until now, my impression of a soldier inside me was not good, but meeting Sieg it was changing. However, it was quite severe that showing her that made me feel embarrassed.
To stop thinking about depressing things, I thought up brighter topics and talked about that.
“By the way, what happened to your uniform? Back at home?”
“No, I returned it to the military, but why?”
I turned pale with surprise at the knowledge that I could no longer see Sieg in uniform. Apparently, they are managed carefully so that no one abuses them.
“Is there anything wrong about my military uniform?”
“No, I just wanted to see you wearing it again.”
“What do you mean by me in my uniform.”
“You were handsome in it, so I wanted to see it again, more calmly this time.”
Sieg looked at me sharply. Seeing her wary eyes after a long time, I shuddered somewhat.
“Sorry for saying a stupid thing. It’s cold, so let’s get going.”
When we exited the fortress, we were greeted by a short tree that grew in these snowy fields. The ice crystals that looked like flowers still reflected light faintly in the dark.
Walking through the snow, we could see red brick houses lined up.
From some of the houses, warm light leaked out that it created a dreamlike mood to the village.
Here, there are 70 households, about 400 people.
The major industries are traditional crafts and meat and fur from hunting. We attract tourists over, but in this season the nearby port is closed so we don’t earn a lot.
The people who visit are people from Sieg’s country and people from the island country to the east. So in this village, in addition to our language, we learn the languages of those two countries from a young age.
“Ah, Sieg, look at that!”
At the pitch black sky, a thin streak of light appeared so I pointed at that.
The faint light soon spread across the sky, drawing a sapphire coloured curtain.
Foreigners call this phenomenon ‘aurora’.
Tourists come all the way to these parts just to see the auroras.
“My, how pretty.”
“Really? I’m happy.”
“I’ve heard the rumours, but this feels otherworldly.”
It seemed that Sieg saw the aurora as pretty, so I felt relieved.
By the way, since auroras could be seen almost every day, they weren’t too rare for the inhabitants. Frankly, I feel more thankful when the sun comes out.
“Here, we don’t call it aurora, but call it a foxfire.”
“Heeh. What’s the reason?”
“According to old folklore, the tail of a large fox hit a hill, and that exploded, creating fires that became the aurora……”
And House Levantret has been bestowed these raiments of the sky from the king. The name means ‘foxfire’ in the ancient tongue.
Other nobles are bestowed various goods from the king, but House Levantret was bestowed one that was unreachable. It was a rather pitiful story, that a poor noble family that did not even have a heirloom were forced to administer these lands.
However, Sieg said that it was a good treasure.
“This is a treasure that was protected by the people of House Levantret.”
“Yes, without a doubt.”
In this village, we do not have any marriage ceremonies like foreigners. There are no oaths and exchanges of rings that are done outside.
There really isn’t anything here.
“What is it?”
So, I thought it important to say something.
Though it was somewhat embarrassing, I faced her and said it.
“I vow to do my best to make Sieglinde happy,” said I.
That was the greatest oath I could say to her.
Since there weren’t any houses around, I couldn’t see Sieg’s expression in the dark, but I felt as though she was smiling.
And then I came back to reality from the sneeze of a reindeer.
There’s no time to be staring at the aurora. I told her that we should hurry since it’s cold, and we arrived back home.
I’m doing this when I have some spare time, so I can’t promise that I’ll upload this a lot. However, I’ll try to upload some on the weekend at least. I need to finish my other work first.
Oh, I forgot to upload the picture for this:
Also, stupid Japanese for not specifying the number when referring to stuff, dammit. My Korean language brain accepts it perfectly but my English language part just gets frazzled up.