Visiting Draco Again (3)
“By the way, Kehma-dono. I would like to talk to you privately… may we?”
… What. I’m going to decline if it’s annoying, you know?
Although I was thinking that, I couldn’t exactly refuse a request from a (diplomatic) friend like Cid, so I wound up going to the residence of Draco’s village chief.
Meat and I were sitting with the escorts behind the two of us. Cid’s housemaids quietly served us all tea.
“Thanks to that magic tool, it appears we won’t have to worry about water from here on.”
“Hm? Couldn’t you manage with lifestyle magic1?”
“Oh, we can. We’ve been managing with water collectors and water-producing magic tools. Since the amount of rain we receive around this area—ah, I suppose this would be common knowledge for Draco’s village chief, Kehma-dono.”
So that’s common knowledge, huh. The amount’s probably different since we’re on opposite sides of the mountain, though.
“So, what’d you want to talk about? Just so you know, I’m going to shoot down any get rich quick scheme.”
“Nothing like that. I believe it is actually something you would like, Kehma-dono.”
“You say that, but that’s exactly the kind of shady thing a shady person would say to lure people in.”
“True… but, well, while it is about making money, it’s nothing dubious. Could you hear me out?”
“Yeah yeah, what is it then?”
When I urged Cid to go on, he nodded and proceeded to speak deliberately.
“To put it short, I would like to bind Kehma-dono to a Pavueran house.”
“Hm, hmmmmm… so, a marriage with some Pavueran woman?”
“No—actually, I suppose that’s possible? Right.”
I see. So it’s that. Deepening our relationship through marriage, similar to the whole Sia thing. I’m pretty knowledgeable about this whole thing, aristocrats are crazy about blood ties to preserve their lineage.
“Nope. I have Rokuko. Refused.”
“No, not you, Kehma-dono. I mean Kuroinu-dono.”
Cid looked toward Meat as he spoke.
“Is there any way you could become engaged to me?”
Cid spoke in a serious tone.
“Hey, hold up. You’re embarrassing Kuro. What kind of joke’s this supposed to be?”
Meat looked at me as if for aid, but Cid just kept pushing it forward.
I closed my eyes for a moment to think. Man, I want to sleep. Can’t I? … Probably not… Couldn’t I just push it off onto Village Sub-Chief Wozuma to deal with~? Come ooon…
… Alright, let’s stop the escapism and actually deal with this.
“Kuro is already engaged to Maidence-sama of Sia. There’s no way for Kuro to be engaged to Cid-dono.”
“Kehma-dono, you are misunderstanding something. There is no reason for the engagement between Maidence and Kuro-dono to be canceled.”
“Many aristocrats take second wives.”
Second wives. For men with excessive resources and who want to hold a flower in each hand.
That said, the whole thing places the man in an assuredly troubled situation if the two wives don’t get along well.
Not to mention inheritance and who gets what… it’s just a troublesome thing wrapped in trouble served with a side of annoyance!
“No no no, nope! Second wives are no good.”
“But wouldn’t Kuroinu-dono, Maidence, and I being bound together be a good thing?”
“Disagreements like who would be the legal wife and stuff… that’s a big no.”
“Oh, but that’s obvious?”
Between Meat, a slave, and Maidence, an aristocrat, Maidence would obviously be the legal wife.
“But then there would be no merits for us in the marriage?”
“I’ve heard from Yudence-dono that Kuroinu-dono is Kehma-dono’s child. In other words, a marriage between Kuroinu-dono and I would make you my father in law, Kehma-dono. I could promise that you would receive hospitable aid from Pavuera’s lord, my father. If that sounds agreeable to you…”
Cid followed up by taking out a contract already signed by Pavuera’s lord.
“Wait, is that real?”
“It is. I, Cid Pavuera, guarantee it.”
“Still, a person who can verify it isn’t here right now, so…”
Ichika might have been able to, but no, all I could really do is ask Wozuma, who originally served at Haku-san’s castle…
“Hm? What’s wrong, Shikina… Ah—?”
Having been standing behind me, Shikina suddenly took a look at the contract.
“Reveal to me the one who signed this name—[Signature].”
—and recited an incantation with her hand held up… the name that appeared said [Sora Pavuera].
“… Yeah, Sora Pavuera is in fact Lord Pavuera-sama.”
“What was that just now?”
“Contract magic to confirm signatures. You can think of it as lifestyle magic for aristocrats.”
Huh. So this world recognizes signatures enough to be part of its magic?
So I guess it’s not a counterfeit signature? Or maybe there’s some kind of counterfeiting magic? Like something to falsify what appears with the signature-confirming magic.
“… Right, Shikina, you’re an aristocrat as well.”
“Of course I am? My Kukkoro family name is considerably famous?”
“Who was it, the tamer, Dyne Kukkoro-san, that’s referred to as the Beast King?”
“My prided father. He is excellent in every regard!”
I know it’s a bit late to realize it, but his name is really confusing, given our village’s merchant with the same name. I mean, our village’s Dyne just shares a given name with Dyne Kukkoro though.
Cid stood up as I was thinking about that and bowed his head to Shikina.
“… Shikina-dono, was it? You were a daughter of the Kukkoro family? My apologies, I wasn’t aware.”
“Do not worry about it, Cid-dono. It happened due to me performing escort duties.”
“Would you like be to prepare a seat for you?”
“No, Cid-dono. Right now, I am Master’s—Kehma-dono’s escort. My interjection was due to Master being troubled… excuse my interference.”
Saying that, Shikina resumed her position behind me.
Cid smoothed his expression and took out three more contracts. They were all the same contents.
“One for Kehma-dono, one for the Pavuera family, one for the Sia family, and one for the guild. As their contents are somewhat indefinite, I had to press father for these. Once I said it was to form a connection with you, Kehma-dono, he signed them straight away.”
When I had Shikina use [Signature] just in case, they were all three proven to be legitimate signatures.
… I was told to not do anything extreme.
“I still have to refuse.”
I read through the contract, but it was easy to understand without any confusing aristocratic legalese and just said that [Golen and Draco will be supported once the marriage is performed]. It basically said that with the exception of the marriage, it was an unconditional promise of aid for Golen. Is it really alright for you to sign a document as crazy as this, Lord Pavuera-san?
… Well, I don’t intend to make Meat a second wife either way. I mean, it’d be another story if she wanted to be one, but still.
“Why? I might be the one saying it, but I believe I look alright, I consider myself smart, and I have a good reputation. Although I may be overshadowed by one such as yourself, Kehma-dono, it is to the point that I am referred to as a prodigy… I believe that I would jump at a similar offer if I were in your position.”
“… I won’t recognize it without a warm, gentle husband caring for her as the primary wife.”
Cid just tilted his neck to the side when I spoke.
Seeming to realize something immediately after, demonstrating that his treatment as a prodigy wasn’t just for show, he clapped his hands together.
“There appears to be a misunderstanding, Kehma-dono.”
Cid took out a certain magic drug, smiling from ear to ear.
It was [TS2], the sex reversing drug.
“I would be the second wife, of course, Father-in-Law.”
… Cid, are you crazy?