Chapter 10 – A Mother’s Tracks
It took us a full day to reach the end of the line and enter Termuilles City.
Although it was already evening, there was still a relatively large amount of people, compared to the traffic of the towns of Baron Schirn and Count Gartner.
The races that stood out in the human town were Elves, Dwarves, and the Beastfolk. They didn’t appear in public and preferred secluded areas.
There was a superstition that caused them to be harshly persecuted, because there were lower education standards. They were treated with prejudice, discrimination, and other similar attitudes.
As for myself…this scene made my tension rise. The city felt quite imposing since the NPCs and Players weren’t avatars, but real people.
Perhaps the atmosphere was unique to the Boundary City, but one shouldn’t be immersed in their feelings.
There were a lot of things we needed to do after arriving at the city, so it was impossible to immediately head towards the Labyrinth.
In the first place, since Forest Bird completed their mission once we arrived in Termuilles, I needed to give them their completion bonus.
“Thank you very much. Huh? This is…No, isn’t this too much?”
“I might still have things I’ll need your help with, so at that time, I’ll be relying on you.”
“Is that true~? I’m glad.”
The Forest Bird in particular had been able to travel stress-free.
Although Dad had been the one to suggest an escort, I had been the one to choose my traveling companions. The journey would not have been as smooth if Grace and I had travelled alone.
If it had been just us, we may have been pressured by something like needing to procure supplies, and could have lost our carriage when we encountered the ants. Not only that, I think we would have been viewed as easy targets by malicious people, and would have definitely attracted unnecessary trouble. I’m really thankful that Forest Bird was with us.
Ideally, trustworthy companions wouldn’t be swayed by money. These guys wanted to build a firm relationship with me.
“Although a part of me has yet to decide on what to do from here, for now, I’ll go and talk with the Adventurer’s Guild.”
“Then we will go relay Theo-kun’s name to the inn that we’ll be staying at for the night.”
“It’s okay for you guys to wait for me at the Guild. We’re going to do a bit of work around here…and if we can do it by ourselves, we might go settle down afterwards.”
“I pray that your work goes well. It’s fundamental for Forest Bird to stay together, so it will be fine as long as you don’t recklessly go too far into the Labyrinth.”
After I answered them while nodding to Lucian and Monica, they smiled at me.
“What will you do after this?”
“We will head to the place where my dad’s intermediary is supposed to be.”
My father’s acquaintance, Rossetta Athenblow, was said to live on Fallen Leaf Street, in the Eastern District.
Although he had told me that she was an elderly person, I wondered what she would be like. Dad’s conditions for me to come to Termuilles were to have an escort along the way and to meet with Rossetta Athenblow once I arrived. I had to fulfill my promise to him.
“Well then, we will escort you there.”
“You have various things to do as well…like searching for an inn, right?”
“Well, it’s not a problem if it’s this much. This is quite thrilling for me.”
Mmm. Well, that’s fine?
If I had to describe the Eastern District, it was an area where lots of rich people lived. As for the reason why, maybe it was related to the amount of sunlight the area received. When it came to my dad’s acquaintance, it was thanks to him that she was living in the Eastern District.
Nevertheless, I didn’t think she was a person who was involved with nobles.
When we arrived at the residence that was written about on dad’s note, we found a modest but elegant mansion.
“Well then, we will part ways here.”
“See you later, Theo-kun, Grace-san.”
“Yeah. Let’s meet up again later.”
We separated from Forest Bird and headed to the door of Rossetta’s residence. Some time after sounding the lionhead door knocker, a woman with dark red hair appeared. She was probably between her late 20’s or early 30’s.
She didn’t have the atmosphere of a servant. Was this woman Rossetta?
As the redhead’s gaze dropped down to us, she moved closer to Grace and me.
“I’m very sorry for coming so late in the evening. Is this the residence of Rossetta Athenblow-sama?”
“Just Rossetta is fine. Um…You’re Theodore, right? Henri’s child. Then, this person over here is Grace?”
“That’s right. Have you met us before?”
I didn’t have any recollection of that happening. Since she said that she knew that I was Henri’s child, did that mean she knew my mother as well?
“I met you once, when you were a baby. The next time we met was at Henri’s residence. I’ve met you a total of two times. Well, it’s natural that you don’t remember. As for Grace…even though I had heard about her from Risa in a letter, I recognized her immediately. You really are a pretty child.”
Grace’s eyes bulged out in slight surprise, and Rossetta gave her a smile. In other words, she was a person that Mom had trusted enough to talk to about Grace.
Speaking of which, the second time she met me, was that when Mom passed away? She knew of Mom’s death…and I think people came to our residence to mourn her…I don’t remember it too well.
“Here, this is Dad’s letter.”
Rossetta nodded and lightly cast her eyes down to the sealed letter I held out to her.
“This is definitely from the Count’s residence. Please, come in.”
“…What’s in the letter?”
“Your father wrote that he wants me to accommodate you on various things, in order to help you live here.”
After passing through the reception room, we settled down and began to talk.
Rossetta looked over the letter many times, and then faced me as I sat on the other side of the table.
“I understand your circumstances. Wanting to learn magic in Termuilles…is it so that you can enroll in the Perezford School? I’ll meet your expectations as long as it’s something I’m capable of doing.”
The Perezford School was an educational facility located in the Eastern District. It was similar to a college, and those who enrolled there were able to take lectures and receive training in order to cultivate knowledge and skills as they desired. Aside from being an educational facility, it also served as a research facility.
In regards to the students who commuted, since they had a variety of ages, races, and goals, the school was liberal, rather than laissez-faire.
However, it was a different story for the children of nobles.
Common students had a dorm in a separate school building. Children of nobles upheld that the reason for this was to help the education of those who were worthy.
However, those nobles didn’t have any real relation to me. Since I didn’t come here to become a so-called ‘Gallant Noble,’ I had no plans to enter a dorm. I just planned on learning appropriate magic for daily life, and even if I was to say that I wanted to study other things, nothing came to mind. Perhaps that would just end up as a waste of my time.
Even though I had plans to, at minimum, enroll in order to learn magic that would be useful for daily life, I had planned on spending my free time as I liked while avoiding a stereotypical image.
One couldn’t freely dive down into the Labyrinth, because that would be putting the cart before the horse.
“Although there was that as well, I want to search for a house in the city.”
“Even if I trouble Rossetta-san, it won’t change the fact that I’m affiliated with him, since you were introduced through Dad. As long as I am capable of it, I will do things by myself.”
After I finished saying that, Rossetta looked at my face keenly, with doubt.
Although the two of us stared at each other for a while, she eventually shifted her gaze elsewhere and sighed very deeply.
“…Fine. Let’s do as you wish.”
“I thought you would oppose me.”
“It’s surprising, isn’t it? The face you’re making says that you believed that I would oppose you.”
Rossetta gave a sardonic smile.
“Of course, my heart is against it, but you are…If I did that, you would leave without hesitation, right? You don’t look anxious at all, and even if you don’t gain my favor, you have the ability to suddenly appear at my house. He also mentioned that you are…capable of using chantless magic, so, if our conversation ended in a disagreement, I would have needed to think of something at that time?”
“Well, that’s true.”
Would she arrange a base for me to live in while I took up a room in an inn, went to the Adventurer’s guild, and dove down into the Labyrinth? Perhaps she would arrange it because I would be diving down there? Either way, it was just a difference in perspectives.
“So, that’s why I’ve concluded that it’s better to cooperate with you, since you’re quite certain, rather than letting it become a situation where I must watch over you. That’s the reason, more or less. Will you agree?”
…I see. Certainly, if she had ordered me around without listening to me, I would have left.
Coming here to talk about my story didn’t have any significance for me, other than fulfilling the promise with my dad.
However, that wasn’t the case for Rossetta. She said that I had eyes that were looking far into the future.
“If something were to happen to you…I wouldn’t be able to explain myself to Risa.”
“…You’re Mom’s acquaintance, aren’t you?”
“It’s more like I’m your parents’ acquaintance. We were classmates in the same school.
We went down into the Labyrinth together.”
Ah, that meant that she had met my mom and dad at Termuilles. Though, I knew quite a bit about Dad, since I had listened to Mom’s stories when I was young.
On the other hand, I didn’t think it was that strange. The Boundary City gathered people from various places and allowed them to study so that they could accumulate knowledge and skills.
The schools of Termuilles were said to be places where nobles, people with talent, and other similar people came together.
“Well, please stay at the house for today and recover from your long trip.”
Besides, didn’t she dive down into the Labyrinth with Mom? Exactly what kind of person was Rossetta? Even if I looked at her, she just smiled at me.