༺ Our Fair is open for Business (3) ༻
After being kicked out by Louise and recruited by Marghetta, I had a bizarre exposition where I went out to the booth every morning as soon as I went to work. Sir Villar looked at me as if saying, ‘What’s that bastard doing?’ but I couldn’t say anything.
After all, I also didn’t know I would become a wanderer. It’s a situation where the person who had called for people due to lack of manpower has run away first, so there’s really nothing to say. Although Sir Villar and the others were there because of protection in reality, I couldn’t help but think this was a bit too much.
But still, as a Civil Servant, there’s no way I’d be able to ignore Louise’s words. After all, she was a citizen. I hope they understand.
“The Fair is quite silent this year. Last year, there was always something going on.”
While I was silently apologizing to Villar in my mind, Marghetta, who was walking beside me, spoke up.
“Is that so? I haven’t been here last year, so I didn’t know.”
“Back then, there was subtle competition over booth locations and competition to attract customers.”
That seems likely. Even if they didn’t operate booths themselves, if visible results were achieved through booth operations, the proud nobles would naturally compete. If they had started, there would have been quite a number of ambitious nobles who would go to great lengths to win.
“Fufu, this is all thanks to Sir Carl. Thank you.”
Marghetta said while giggling, and I replied with a smile. Just as she said, I was probably one of the reasons.
The participation of the Prosecutor’s Executive Manager and all of the nobles that came to see me. Even if the sons and daughters of the noble households were competitive, this lineup made them a little cautious. I’m glad I ended up helping Marghetta.
“I’m glad I was of help. Ah, do you want more?”
“Yes, thank you.”
While blushing, Marghetta grabbed a bit of corn from my hand. Seeing Marghetta blush, I almost laughed.
At first, I thought that Marghetta was walking around without having breakfast, so I tried to give her something simple to eat, but she refused, saying it looked undignified.
However, it was also inconvenient to sit down and eat. If she had time for that in the first place, she wouldn’t have skipped breakfast.
“Then I’ll carry it around so you can eat whenever you want.”
I bought corn that was nearby, tore off the kernels, and gave them to Marghetta. Seeing her eyes shake was memorable.
“By doing this, you wouldn’t be the one carrying it around. Take as much as you want.”
Marghetta hesitated a bit, then she lowered her head and grabbed the corn that was in my hands. I decided not to think about Marghetta’s expression after that. It was my own fault for pushing my hand closer and causing misunderstandings. Marghetta’s kindness in not giving me a hard time and accepting it was admirable.
Anyway, I decided to leave it there because Marghetta’s appearance while eating the corn looked like she was about to tear up at any moment.
Even now, she was blushing while looking at the corn.
“If you’re uncomfortable holding it by hand, it’s okay to take it like before.”
Seeing Marghetta chewing and then lowering her head was quite memorable. I couldn’t help but laugh at such a sight.
That’s why I was sorry and thankful to Marghetta. Even though I’d rejected the marriage proposal and hadn’t seen her in over a year, how she treated me didn’t change.
‘I’m glad I’m still alive.’
If I felt this bitter, I wonder how the Iron-blooded Duke felt. The debt I owed to the Duke of Valenti was too big.
After hanging out with Marghetta, I returned to the booth in the afternoon.
Wandering around for the entire day was too tiresome for me, so I obtained permission from Louise to return to the booth in the afternoon.
To put it briefly, I play outside during the morning and rest inside the booth in the afternoon. Saying it like this makes me feel like an adult that doesn’t do anything.
“Brother, make yourself comfortable.”
“Brother, watching us from a distance is more than enough.”
As if they were bothered by my gaze from the corner of their eyes, the other club members said something. From their point of view, it seems like they were just trying to make me feel comfortable.
‘Am I a new recruit?’
No matter how I looked into it, I felt like a new recruit that had been put in a corner. It was as if the more experienced ones were walking by while asking me to stay comfortable. Their care and attention turned into poison and made me feel miserable.
As I looked at Louise, she turned around then she smiled, and shook her head. Because of that, I couldn’t say anything. She was asking me to stay still.
I was thankful for her consideration, but it’s hard to sit still when I know that others were working.
“If you’re not going to rest at a moment like this, when will you take a break?”
As if he’d been reading my thoughts, I heard a voice next to me. As I turned my head, I saw Rutis smile as he ran a hand through his red hair.
‘The more I look at them, the more interesting they are.’
Rutis having red hair was not surprising. It was that every club member had a different hair color.
Louise had pink hair while Erich had black, and Ainter was blond. Rutis, Lather, and Tannian each had red, blue, and white hair colors. With only six people, what were the chances of each having a different hair color? I wonder if the original novel made such distinctions.
“Hmm? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
I decided not to say that I couldn’t help but think of a traffic light when I saw him standing next to Lather.
“Well, if you say so.”
Rutis smirked and sat down next to me, extending one of the coffee cups he was holding towards me.
“The aroma is quite good. Do you want a cup?”
As I looked at him as if I were asking, ‘I’m okay, but can you be here?’ Rutis laughed and said.
“Haha. We’ve all gotten used to the work, so we’re taking turns resting. It happens to be my turn to rest.”
Certainly, it’s best for those who can rest when they have the leisure to do so.
Nodding my head, I drank the coffee Rutis handed me, but I’m not sure if the aroma was as good as Rutis claimed.
“Erich made it. He said he was worried about you, so he worked hard to make it.”
“Is that so?”
Now that I think about it, it tastes good.
Now that I think about it, it seems fine. Just hearing that the coffee was made by Erich made me keep drinking. I’m not sure about the aroma, but at least I can tell that it was made with the dedication of my family.
“Are you hurt?”
After seeing me like that, Rutis, who was chuckling, spoke softly. My gaze involuntarily turned back to him at the sudden remark without context.
“What do you mean?”
“Did you really think we wouldn’t know?”
I couldn’t help but sigh.
Yes. There were many signs. The 1st Manager suddenly joined, and recently, both the 1st Manager and I disappeared side by side until it was time to close the booth. If he didn’t notice anything weird after seeing those hints, he wouldn’t be considered a royal family member.
Now that I think about it, it’s a bit annoying. Why are those guys, who are disastrous when it comes to love, thinking rationally in a situation like this? If Rutis knows, Ainter, Lather, and Tannian must know as well. Seeing that they were worried about me, Erich must be too.
“Of course, we don’t know what happened. We just knew that something had happened.”
“There’s no need to worry. Nothing much happened.”
“Is that so?”
A moment of silence fell. The one who broke the silence was Rutis.
“Thank you, Advisor.”
I was about to take another sip of coffee when my hands stopped. A member of a Royal Family member mustn’t easily say thanks or sorry. As the ruling family of a nation, they shouldn’t easily express their emotions. It’s a tradition that has continued since ancient times.
…Of course, judging by the appearance they showed in the club, it didn’t seem like a big deal, but it wasn’t easy to bring up such words in a situation like this where only the two of us were talking.
“Is there anything you’re thankful about?”
“Why wouldn’t there be? You’re the one who struggles the most because of us.”
If you bastards know that, then why?
I barely managed not to say that. I silently looked at Rutis. Regardless of how I felt, it takes great determination for a royal to express their emotions so honestly.
“I’m always thankful. Not just me, but thanks to you, we can all study in the Academy without much trouble.”
“Is that so?”
“I’m aware that the Advisor is working hard to make that possible, just like this time.”
Awkwardly answering Rutis’ sudden words was all I could do. Though our relationship wasn’t hostile, it was still a distant and reserved one. Hearing such words in this situation made me feel embarrassed.
It seemed like that was also the case for Rutis. He scratched his head a few times and sighed.
“I’m not used to beating around the bush.”
“Seems like it.”
“What I want to say is that there’s a lot of people who’re thankful to you. There’s probably more than the people that don’t like you.”
The one talking was Rutis, but for some reason, I was the one becoming embarrassed.
“No matter what worries or troubles you have, there will always be people who are grateful to and willing to help the Advisor.”
“─that’s what Louise asked me to tell you.”
As Rutis changed the serious atmosphere and burst into laughter, I couldn’t help but let out a chuckle. This brat suddenly did something, and it turns out that he received a messenger quest from Louise.
As I turned my eyes toward Louise, she flinched and smiled awkwardly. Since there was no reason to get angry, I lightly waved my hand to reassure her.
“Louise begged me so much that this makes me worried that we will also have to compete with you.”
“Why? Do you want to blow me away before competing?”
“Are you someone that can be blown away just because someone wants to?”
For some reason, he began laughing, which also made me laugh. They say that laughter is contagious. Seeing this situation makes me think that’s really the case.
“If we compete, it won’t be easy, but I’ll have to do my best.”
“I’m already competing with five people, so what’s the problem with six? Besides, Louise isn’t an object, so I have no reason to interfere.”
I thought that a royal who was caught by Louise would resort to any means necessary, but he’s surprisingly speaking in a normal manner. That’s truly unexpected.
“Why? Did you think I’d say something like, ‘If I can’t have Louise, I’ll destroy everything’?”
Rutis then added, “If I wanted to do that, I would’ve tried to get her by using my power.”
I silently nodded in agreement. Indeed, compared to their status, the competition for Louise was conducted on such a small scale to the point where the viewer was dumbfounded.
“An Armein Knight seeks a fair and clean duel and then accepts the results.”
“There are too many people to keep in check to call it clean.”
“Hahaha! That’s also part of the competition.”
After drinking his cup of coffee, Rutis stood up.
“That’s why, if I lose, I’ll have to admit it. It’s best if that doesn’t happen, though.”
The other four also probably feel the same way.
After saying that, Rutis began walking toward the other members when he suddenly turned around.
“Ah, and I sincerely meant it when I said thank you. If I didn’t have that mindset, I wouldn’t have listened to Louise’s request, even if it was about you.”
Seeing Rutis walk away made me think of numerous things.
If he had done half of that for things regarding Louise, he would’ve advanced a lot.
In situations like this, he’s definitely a royal family member. But why does he act like that in the most important situation?
After making some adjustments to my evaluation of Rutis, a belated sense of embarrassment washed over me.
‘Was it that bad?’
How bad did it look that Louise even ended up using Rutis? Even though I thought that it was different from my usual self, was it really that bad?
But what can I do? It’s not something that can be resolved in an instant, considering that it’s something I can’t even resolve in the past two years.
Even now, I couldn’t easily brush it off. If it were possible, I would have already done it. But even so, if I made someone the age of my little brother worry to this extent, it’s something truly embarrassing.