Baron Cisne. Originally, the great grandfather of Mouet Cisne, who was the current family head, had received the lesser noble title of baronet from achievements he made in a war with the Bestir Empire. After that, he continued to fight in several more battles against the Bestir Empire and was eventually appointed a baron, becoming a formal member of the nobility. Although Mouet’s grandfather was quite talented, his son……Mouet’s grandfather, did not inherit his talent. His son, Mouet’s father, lacked the talent or skills for political intrigue as well as Mouet’s great grandfather’s talent for war. The title of Baron Cisne, which had been one of the foremost barons at one time, continued to fall. By the time Mouet became the head, they had already become poor nobles, holding nobility in name alone.
Still, though it was small, he still had the territory of a baron……but even that was caught up in a power struggle within the Imperial Capital and as a matter of course, Mouet, who had little talent as a noble, was used and thrown away as a scapegoat……eventually losing his territory and moving to the city of Gilm.
Mouet’s biggest misfortune was that he wasn’t part of any faction. Of course, the Imperial Capital had a few nobles who were not part of the Royalist, Nobles or Neutral faction. However, those nobles who didn’t belong to any faction were able to do so because they had the power and backing to do that. Mouet, who had no power or backing, had no way of resisting the power struggles that occurred within the capital.
Still, because he had several close friends among the Neutral faction, relying on that connection, he was protected by Margrave Rowlocks, a central figure in the Neutral faction, and made his way to Gilm instead of staying in the capital. He came along with his son, the last memento of his wife, and Ashie, their maid and only servant.
「……I see. You’ve gone through various hardships.」
Rei, who had asked Mouet about the origins of the Baron Cisne title in the reception room, gave a sigh.
In response to that sigh, Mouet shook his head with a fainthearted smile.
「No, no. I wasn’t suited for life as a noble to begin with. Living a leisurely life in Gilm isn’t so bad. Rather, as a noble, I’m glad I don’t have to copy their behaviour.」
It was clear to Rei that Mouet was saying that seriously. It seems his interaction with nobles in the Imperial Capital may have shaved away his spirit.
「And, I’m neither someone with the social skills to interact with my peers nor as brave as my great-grandfather who was given the title of baron. But, my son……Basrelo is different. It might be the from the eyes of a parent, but I think he has considerable talent.」
「Father, that is……」
Being praised all of a sudden, Baslero’s cheek went slightly red. Ashie also looked at her master’s son with a smile full of compassion.
「Well, that’s okay then. I understand. However, as I said earlier, my style of fighting is my own. It has been refined through actual combat. Anyhow, the main focus will be on mock battles so if you go to a proper school that teaches combat in future, they might say you have some strange habits. Is that okay with you?」
「Yes! I’ve heard that Rei-san has the strongest combat strength in Gilm. I’m sure that sparring with Rei-san will definitely boost my skills.」
「……Ah, ahh. Is that so. Well that’s fine.」
Rei replied with a little embarrassment at the words that didn’t sound like a child’s. With that, it was quickly settled.
「So, the key necessity for sparring is a suitable location……is there a place for training on this estate?」
In response to Rei’s question, Mouet calmly shook his head.
「You see, I was given this residence here due to the kindness of Margrave Rowlocks. I couldn’t hope for a residence nice enough to have a training ground.」
「So, where would you like me to practice with him? Borrowing a training ground somewhere……I guess isn’t possible.」
Rei laughed when he saw Mouet shake his head without saying anything.
In the first place, Mouet, Baron Cisne, had said himself that he was poor and had no money. If he had enough money to borrow a training ground, he would probably just send Baslero to a proper school to learn how to fight rather than ask an adventurer for cheap combat training.
「About that, I’m sorry……」
As Mouet said that, he looked towards the window of the reception room.
「Tentatively, the garden is quite wide. Although it’s a bit messy……there shouldn’t be any problem moving around for things like combat training.」
「I see. Well, I guess that will do.」
「……Eh? Is that okay?」
Mouet asked, surprised at Rei’s reply, despite him suggesting it in the first place.
「Ahh. After all, fighting is not something that will only happen in a training ground. No, for adventurers, fighting takes place in the mountains, grasslands, swamps and narrow caves rather than in the city. If you consider that, this isn’t too bad. Well, it doesn’t make sense to practice real combat without any basic skills though…what do you think?」
「As far as that goes, I’ve read through notes left by my great grandfather and I’ve practiced a bit myself……but I don’t know if that counts as having the basic skills. I apologise, but please judge for yourself after seeing Baslero’s skills.」
「……Well, if the client is fine with it, then I’m fine with it.」
Because he had no talent himself, he left the gauging of Baslero talent to someone who could. In some way, he was quite gracious person. While thinking of that, he turned to look at Baslero.
「Well then, for now, could you demonstrate your skills in the garden? ……Is that okay with you?」
「Yes! I will get ready right away. Ashie!」
Hearing Rei’s words, Baslero called out to the maid before leaving the reception room.
Seeing him leave, Rei turned back to look at Mouet.
「You talked about combat training, but in practice, how far can I go?」
「How far, you ask?」
He didn’t understand what Rei was asking. Seeing Mouet ask like that, Rei spoke with a sigh.
「For example. Does it matter if there is a certain level of bruising or as far as bone fractures.」
「……If it’s possible for you, I don’t want him to be injured too much, but it’s just small injuries, Ashie can treat it with healing magic.」
「Yes. Although Ashie looks like that, she’s a master of high level healing magic.」
「……Then why would she bother staying as a maid?」
Rei asked that involuntarily at Mouet’s words.
After all, if she was a master of healing magic, she would never have trouble with work. Especially for adventurers, even if they got injured in the middle of a request, with healing magic, they wouldn’t need to worry about a loss of strength, so they were in high demand. Of course, if she didn’t have the ability to fight, that would be a negative, but it wasn’t too much of a big deal if she just said it in advance. Or, she could work in a hospital, where mages who used healing magic were welcomed in most places. At the very least, she wouldn’t be the maid in the mansion of a poor baron who’s son might not end up inheriting his title.
Rei’s thoughts were expressed clearly on his face. Mouet spoke with a smile.
「Actually, Ashie’s family……going back from the time of my great grandfather, they have served my family. They have always served us since they were saved by my great grandfather on the battlefield. ……I’ve also told her that she has a talent for healing magic, so why not work a job that could make more money, but I was told that her family aside, she wanted to continue serving us……」
「……Well, she’s quite sincere. From hearing that, it seems Ashie’s family has found other work?」
「Yes. After all, as poor as we are right now, we couldn’t give them a proper salary. Right now, I’m at a state of living off the salary that is given to us by Margrave Rowlocks. ……Ahh, I’m sorry for telling you all this, but this is the current situation.」
He might have noticed the footsteps approaching the room. Mouet bowed his head apologetically.
Rei nodded back silently.
(If he died, they would be left without any means of monetary support. In other words, he was worried about that and hired me so that his son could manage to support himself in the event that anything happened to him. ……Nobles don’t always just play around it seems.)
It was just Rei’s own thoughts, but Baron Cisne was arguably the poorest of all the noble there were. In fact, if you actually looked at the high ranking nobles, there were many people who just lived and played around like Rei had thought.
「Rei-san, I’m ready! Please take care of me!」
Baslero entered the reception room wearing a set of leather armour that was easy to move around in. Rei was surprised when he saw it because the leather armour appeared to be of high enough quality that he could tell at a glance.
Of course, Rei didn’t have an eye for aesthetics. If it had contained a strong magical power, such as the various magic items Rei had, he would also be able to feel something strange about them. But, Baslero wasn’t wearing any magic items. However, Rei still felt that it gave the feeling it had some history to it.
「……That armour, it’s quite substantial.」
「Yes. It’s a rework of the leather armour my great grandfather wore. It was made from something like the skin of a B rank monster. ……Well, the tailoring cost a lost of money, but it was an unavoidable expense considering the safety of my son.」
Rei nodded at Mouet’s words as he went over to Baslero, who was looking at him with hopeful eyes.
「Now then. Let’s see your skills as we talked about earlier. As I’ve said before many times, my fighting style is completely my own. Of course, I haven’t fought that much against other people.」
As he said that, Rei thought of the time he had sparred on the guild’s training grounds. There was the mock battle with Milein and the rank up test a while later. In either case, the opponent had been an experience adventurer to some extent.
(But, Baslero is just an amateur kid. ……Even though Ashie can use healing magic, it would be best to avoid any injuries.)
「Yes! I’ll be in your care!.」
「Ahh, of course. Well then, please guide me to the garden.」
「I understand. It’s this way, teacher.」
Being called that, Rei asked in confusion.
However, Baslero just replied in some confusion of his own.
「Because you’re the teacher who will train me right? Or, should I call you master?」
「……I’m fine with teacher.」
Having never been called teacher in his life, he was a bit embarrassed. However, he still decided to be called teacher, feeling that it would be better than being called master.
Then, leaving the reception room, it took them a minute or so to reach the back door of the residence before walking outside.
The first thing he saw was different kinds of dead plants. Weeds weren’t all over the place because it was winter, but if he came here in spring or summer, the vegetation would probably have grown all over the place and made it difficult to walk. There also seemed to be a lot of fallen branches spread around.
However, it was not Rei who was surprised at what he saw, but Baslero. Ashie, who came over from behind, also had a surprised expression without saying anything. That was because……
「Set, what on earth are you doing.」
Yes. Among all the fallen branches that were scattered all over the garden, Set had picked up all the large ones and carried them over to a single location for some reason.
Rei asked Set in a somewhat confused way. Hearing Rei’s voice and noticing his presence, Set gave a questioning cry.
As it seemed Set didn’t seem to realise what was wrong, Rei just gave a wry smile while Baslero and Ashie just looked at the pile of fallen branches lying in the corner of the garden.
Maybe they were surprised that the big branches had been grouped up, considering the size of their garden, although there were still many fallen branches left lying around.