Chapter 7 – The little sister was stronger
After a short ride in the carriage, we arrived at a very luxurious mansion. At the entrance, there is a big gate and a knight on guard, and the distance from there to the mansion is about one hundred meters.
The garden is full of colorful flowers, and it’s a delight to look at them. Unfortunately, it is night now. There is a terrace near the mansion, where you can have a tea party. More than I was admiring the gardens, Lusha was looking out of the carriage with a twinkle in her eye. She was enjoying herself very much and was looking around.
“Amazing. I guess when you take care of it, the flowers bloom beautifully, too.”
“Yeah. It’s a garden we’re preparing for Lucia.”
Ishmer nodded proudly when he heard Lusha’s words. And soon, the carriage came to the front door, and the horses stopped in their tracks. When everyone got off, a man in a butler’s uniform arrived to greet us.
“Welcome back, Ishmer-sama. Welcome, Takanashi-sama. And these two are――,”
“I’m Lusha Plum. I’m a friend of Ru―Takanashi.”
“Is that so? Welcome. I’m the butler of the mansion; my name is Severo.”
With a smile, Severo-san led us into the reception room. The elegant dark green carpet and the carefully crafted furnishings. Paintings adorned the walls, and white flowers were arranged in a vase. It was a far cry from the tacky room at the royal castle I had seen before.
The tea is served, and Ruri, Lusha and I are seated on the three-seater sofa. It seems that Ishmer will come with his sister after he finishes getting dressed.
“Hey, does Lucia-sama, who we’re about to meet, have any clues?”
“Yes. I don’t know if she has any information, but I’m sure we can get something out of her.”
“She’s from a duke family, after all. She must have quite a connection.”
As we were talking, the door opened with a knock and Ishmer walked in. Behind her is a mature-looking girl, just as I had heard from Ruri. Probably the person we wanted to meet―Lucia-sama.
When she looked at us, she smiled and gracefully thanked us.
“I am Lucia Cracked. Takanashi-sama has been a good friend to me.”
Lucia Cracked, a gentle-eyed young lady. She has fluffy ash-white hair with a black hairband, light blue eyes and slightly thicker eyebrows. Her dress is white with a black ribbon and a pretty light blue frilly skirt. She’s a beautiful girl who seems to be in a position that is said to be far from any dispute.
Lusha and I greeted her as well, and they took their seats.
“It’s been a while, Lucia-sama. I’m sorry for visiting you even though it’s late at night.”
“No. You are always welcome here.”
While leisurely sipping my tea, I listen to Ruri and Lucia-sama’s story.
“But, why is Takanashi-sama here… is there something happening? If I can help, I’d be happy to do so.”
“You can see what it seems like.”
Before we could start talking, Lucia-sama asked Ruri a question, understanding our intentions. I thought she was just a quiet young lady, but she seems to be thinking about the matter. I think she’s easy to talk to.
“Actually, it’s about His Majesty Joseph.”
When Ruri spoke, Lucia-sama was surprised, and Ishmer’s expression tightened as well. The two of them knew that Ruri was a member of the hero party, so they decided that it wasn’t so simple to talk about.
“…There’s someone who has a contract with His Majesty Joseph, and I want to cancel it.”
Lucia-sama didn’t know what Ruri was talking about, but she seemed to be wondering after hearing Ruri’s words. However, Ishmer seemed to pinpoint it right away, saying, “Is it the contract bracelet?” He made a great guess. Ruri nodded quietly and continued to speak.
“But that contract is too beneficial to His Majesty Joseph. Even if I asked him to cancel it, it would be impossible.”
“…Are you saying that your request is a negotiation point for terminating the contract, Takanashi-sama?”
“Yes. …I knew I shouldn’t be asking this kind of question to Lucia-sama.”
With the words of the contract bracelet, it seems that Lucia-sama has grasped the contents.
“It must be someone important to you that you have to ask me for help, right?”
Ruri nodded firmly at Lucia-sama’s words that were asked.
And speaking of Ishmer, he has an incredibly unpleasant expression on his face. Perhaps he wasn’t amused that Ruri affirmed that she has someone important to her. This guy seems to be in love with Ruri.
“Then, of course, I’ll help you. Isn’t that right, dear brother?”
“… Lucia is too easy to make a promise. The contract is with the hero, Watanabe, isn’t it?”
“You know about it, Ishmel-sama!?”
Ruri looked at Ishmer in surprise and huffed.
“Only a few people, including me, know about it. …But those who know a lot about magic tools may also be aware of it. Though they might not know who the contractor is.”
“So that’s the case…”
Ishmer seems to know more about the inner circle than we expected. Perhaps he has more information than Lucia-sama. That seems to have been right, and Lucia-sama’s face clouds over.
“…I wish I could have interceded, but it might be difficult if the person with whom the contract is signed is a hero. For example, if it was another nobleman or a commoner, he might have listened to my request even if I asked him to.”
“I don’t think he’s going to accept it because the person he’s contracted is a big shot, a hero.”
The troublesome part is that the contract partner is a hero. That’s right; I’m sure he went through a lot of trouble to summon us… so there’s no way the king would let go of us so easily. This is quite tricky, I thought to myself.
Then Ishmer opened his mouth as he looked at Ruri.
“It’s certainly a difficult problem but… if Miss Takanashi marries me, I’ll make it happen.”
“Oh, I’m afraid I must decline that.”
Before Ruri could respond in any way, I opened my mouth as quickly as I could. No, this can’t be helped, can it?
Maybe it’s because I’ve been listening quietly the whole time and interrupted him, but Ishmer is staring at me with an amazed look on his face… but let’s pretend I didn’t see it.
“What’s the point of sacrificing Takanashi to save Watanabe? This time I’ll be the one who will save Takanashi if she becomes your fiancée.”
“You, shut up and listen and do whatever I want…!”
Ishmer got up from the sofa and was about to walk towards me―but Lucia-sama pulled the hem of his jacket, and he went backwards to the sofa.
“Lucia! What are you―.”
“Dear brother, you can’t. I misjudged you for proposing such a deal to Takanashi-sama. As a sister, I am very ashamed. To threaten a woman with an engagement…”
Ishmer shrinks as Lucia-sama told him. …Could it be that, in this sibling’s case, the younger sister is stronger? I guess he doesn’t want his beautiful sister to hate him.
“I’m sorry, Takanashi-sama. As an apology, my brother will give you an extraordinary piece of information.”
“Well… That would be very helpful. Thank you, Lucia-sama, Ishmer-sama.”
Oops, I noticed that the story was well put together. As expected of Ruri…