Chapter 7 – Lodging
I hear there’s a noble staying at our inn now. When it comes to nobles, they’d usually stay at a high-class inn, but apparently this one was a longtime acquaintance from a while ago.
…to be precise, he was the one who gave my parents their last quest.
Because of this connection, he was also acquainted with Uncle, the owner of this inn. I’ve supposedly met him as well, but that was probably when I was less than five years old, so I didn’t remember it at all.
“Relius, have you cleaned room 201?”
Uncle seemed nervous because the nobleman was arriving that night. The room we prepared was room 201, where I recreated the bed before.
Well, this wasn’t the only room with remade furniture; by now I’d done them all. However, only room 201 had an S rank bed ― the beds in other rooms were B- and A-rank. The S-rank bed is of course the best one for sleeping in, so we were preparing that room for the nobleman.
Of course, I was a little nervous. All the furniture in this room was remade by me. It was all the highest grade of S-rank, but I still wondered if a noble would find them acceptable.
Auntie smiled while patting me on the shoulder. “Relius, all the furniture you’ve created is very popular with the customers, so it should be fine.”
…She probably noticed my anxiety.
“The usual customers are adventurers, but this time it’s a noble…”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. An A-rank adventurer who stayed here said it himself, right? Said it was much better to sleep here than even in a luxury inn where he’d been before! The comfort of the chairs was the best! Only the food was normal!”
Uncle heard that and dropped his shoulders for a moment, before shrugging. “We can’t help that, right? A high-class inn would use better ingredients.”
“Well now… at least I think your food is delicious,” Auntie replied with a grin. Uncle perked up after that compliment.
“Time to get ready, everyone! He’ll be coming soon!”
At Uncle’s signal, we went outside to meet him. The entire inn was reserved for the day. Both the noble and his knight escorts would be staying. That’s why Uncle had been so enthusiastic since morning.
We’ll definitely make it a success.
I glanced at Mear who stood next to me.
“Don’t be so nervous, Mear.”
It was useless. Mear was entrusted with meeting and greeting the noble because she was the most cheerful person on staff.
A carriage rolled through the darkened town, slowly coming our way. There was no doubt about it, the carriage was emblazoned with a family crest, belonging to the Shells family. Apparently he was the Viscount in charge of managing this region, and he was now making inspections in our area. A young man who looked to be about 20 years old got off the carriage along with the knights.
He looks much younger than I heard. Maybe it’s his son?
“Oh! You look like… could you be Relius?”
“W-Well, uh… Yes sir, I’m Relius.”
He smiled like a kid and came over to me. “I’m Cray Shells. It’s been a while, we used to play together when we were little. Do you remember me?”
“Uh… sorry, I can’t remember you at all.”
“Haha, it’s fine, it’s fine. You were about 3 years old back then, right? Your eyes look just like your father’s.”
He said something rather pleasant… but I can’t be happy just yet. When I glanced at Mear, she raised her hand to indicate the inn with a tight smile. “W-Well th-then!….. P-Please c-come!”
She’s really nervous.
But he didn’t seem to get angry. On the contrary, this guy just kept talking to me happily.
“Well, it’s been a long time. I miss the old days because there weren’t many kids who played with me.”
“…is that how it was?”
“Oh yeah, totally. Because I’m the son of a noble who ruled this area, the other kids kept their distance from me. I even tried to figure out whether my parents were involved in it.”
“I see … but when a noble comes all the way out here, we also feel kind of nervous, so isn’t it unavoidable?”
“Don’t say that. Not all nobles are narrow-minded. Well, in my case, the nobles who were previously entrusted to rule this region were terrible people. That might be one of the reasons people try to keep their distance.”
“I see… it might be unavoidable.”
“That’s why my playmates were just monsters and you. Your parents often invited me to hunt with them back then, I really enjoyed it. Ahh… oh, sorry. I’ve often been called insensitive.”
“No, it’s alright. I don’t mind it that much.”
With just a few minutes of exchanging words, I was sure he wasn’t a bad person. Speaking of exchanging words, he was a really talkative person, and I always ended up listening to him. We continued to the cafeteria, where food was already prepared.
It was like a light banquet with knights invited. I sat with Cray-san, still listening to him go on and on. Alcohol started to affect him in short order, his face turned slightly red before I knew it.
“Say, Relius… is it hard for you to become an adventurer?”
“Yeah, it seems that way… because I became a Blacksmith.”
“Ooh… I’m sorry to hear that. Come to think of it, the daughter of this inn is a Hero, isn’t she?”
As expected, he was well-informed, mainly because it’s the only hero in his territory. They say Cray-san was starting to take on more of his father’s duties. Supposedly he’d become the lord himself in one more year.
“There sure were a lot of people getting the Hero occupation this year.”
“The higher-ups seemed like they were getting pretty excited.”
“Well, I guess so, but I can’t help thinking it’s a sign of something ominous.”
I paused for a second. “Ominous?”
“Yeah. Why do you think God gives us occupations or Divine Treasures?”
“Is it because they’re necessary for us to live in this world?”
“Mmmhmm, that’s kind of accurate. But man, what kind of situation do you think we’d need the power of one Hero for, let alone five?”
He has a point. In other words, it’s certainly possible something big will happen.
“Well, I hope it’s just unfounded speculation.” He yawned. “…I’m getting sleepy.”
Cray-san stretched in place, with one hand over his mouth.
“We’ve prepared room 201 for you to stay in tonight. Should I guide you there?”
“Mmm… alright. I want to get some sleep soon.”
Cray-san stretched again and stood up. Two knights came to support him at once, and I led them all to room 201. We went inside and brought him onto the bed, and he immediately closed his eyes. The knights were flabbergasted.
“M-Master Cray slept in an instant!?” One shouted in surprise, before clapping a hand over his mouth.
“Hmm? Is that something to be surprised about?”
They quietly left the room and I followed behind.
“Cray-sama is usually quite restless. I even brought his usual pillow along because he couldn’t sleep with a different one.”
If it’s like that, this is indeed pretty surprising.