The lord’s residence in Marquis Marcel’s territory was located on a hill right next to the sea. There were no other buildings around them, so they could overlook the sea.
When Rachel opened the window, the sea breeze came in, carrying the scent of sea water. The blue sky and the horizon spreading out in front of her lifted her mood. Somehow, she got excited.
(Oh, how comfortable!)
She was happy to be able to see this kind of scenery in the morning.
Rachel had been feeling much better thanks to this good environment. She was learning how to control magic power from Theodore every day. The fresh seafood dishes made by Samuel was also good for her health.
As she looked at the scenery while holding Black, she heard a knocking sound. She answered with affirmation, only to hear, “It’s me,” as a reply.
Who is ‘me’, you wonder?
...Well, only one person would respond like this.
When Rachel lowered Black to the floor, Black ran, stopping in front of the door. Then he scratched it, telling her to open it.
Rachel watched that scene with a bitter smile. Then she replied, “I’m going now,” and opened the door. Sure enough, it was Theodore.
As usual, Black rubbed his body to Theodore’s feet. And when Theodore picked him up, he meowed like he was telling him something. In response, Theodore replied with a sweet voice, “Good morning.”
Their relationship was as steady as ever. Rachel felt envious watching that.
“Good morning, Lord Theodore.”
“Yeah, good morning.”
Since they came here, Theodore no longer wore his usual black robe. Currently, he was wearing a white shirt with a bolo tie, secured with a black glossy onyx.
According to Theodore, “Wearing a robe here will make me stand out too much. It’ll be troublesome if rumors about me start appearing.”
However, Rachel thought that his long silver hair was very noticeable as well. But he didn’t seem to bother about that much.
“Miss Rachel, are you ready?”
“Yes. Huh? Where is Samuel?”
“Oh. He’s checking today’s route with Roger.”
Rachel couldn’t go out for a few days after their arrival since he was too tired. However, she recovered little by little.
After a week, Rachel got a permit to go to the nearby park, beach, and eventually the town, increasing the distance and time of her travel. However, she was never bedridden since she came to the territory.
That’s probably because her days had been very fulfilling, everything she saw was brand new things.
And today she was going to the market. Theodore, Roger, and Samuel would accompany her. Today’s morning market was special; many stalls selling rare goods and fresh seafood.
“Then Sarah, we’re going.”
“Yes. Please be safe,” Sarah said with a smile and sent them out.
This was the first time Sarah came to Marcel’s territory, so she never saw the sea before. She was very impressed when she caught a sight of it.
Certainly, watching the sea calms one’s mind.
In the daytime, the waves shone brilliantly, and in the evening, the bright red dyed the sky and the sea into orange, sinking into the surface of the water. And at night, the stars twinkled, as if they were small diamonds scattering in the endless darkness.
It’s beautiful no matter when Rachel saw it.
There was a different country beyond this sea, with more diverse people living there. A strange feeling blossomed in her heart when she thought about that.
Once they arrived at the market, the tents were lined up, with various stalls selling vegetables, seafood, and spices.
“Samuel, is there anything you want to buy?”
“Right. For now, let’s look for salmon and sardines.”
“Hey, Samuel. Don’t forget to buy the clams.”
“I know. Lord Theodore, you sure like clams a lot.”
“Remember that my stomach will hurt if the clams aren’t fresh, okay.”
Theodore and Samuel, who led the way, had become friends with each other since they came to Marcel’s territory.
Watching Theodore went to the market together with the cook every day made all of the mansion’s servants shocked. No one would expect that the next Marquis, Viscount Fion, would go shopping. However, the Knights’ Order and Magic Division in this country had a meritocracy. Even Theodore, who was a pure noble, had to go buy his groceries by himself when he went to rural areas for a job. He could also cook his own meals since he frequently camped out. Rachel was very surprised when he heard that from Theodore.
In the crowd, Rachel walked behind Theodore and Samuel closely, making sure not to lose sight of them. Further behind them was Roger, carefully observing the surroundings as he walked.
After walking for a while, they found a mysterious stall with a unique aura. From what Rachel could see, they were selling rice, some kinds of seasonings in bottles, and beans that she had never seen before.
Rachel pointed to the stall and said to Theodore, who walked in front of her. “Oh? What are they selling over there?”
“Hm? Where… Ah, that’s the highlight of today’s market… If I remember right, they sell rare ingredients ordered from the East. Right, Samuel?” Theodore responded, turning his gaze toward Samuel. However, there was no reaction from Samuel.
Rachel also turned to Samuel.
Samuel stand rooted to the spot in a stun.
“What’s wrong, Samuel?”
Rachel tried calling him, but her voice didn’t reach him at all. Samuel staggered to the stall, almost slamming other people.
Theodore and Rachel reflexively looked at each other, confusion.
“Let’s follow him for now?”
They followed Samuel and headed to the front of the stall. And lined up behind Samuel. Apparently, he was checking the mysterious beans.
Then Samuel suddenly collapsed, as if he suddenly lost his strength. He could barely support his body with his knees and hands.
“Wah!” Surprised at his sudden action, Rachel raised her shoulder in a twitch.
Rachel didn’t know what happened, but she was worried. She looked into Samuel’s face, trying to understand him. Samuel’s mouth was moving, muttering something.
“What is it? I can’t hear you.”
“...Zu… Ki… Bean… Finally…”
“Soybeans, adzuki beans!”
“Why are they here… But I finally… I finally met them… Finally…”
Rachel exchanged glances with Theodore again.
“Adzuki? What’s that?”
“He reacted like he’s reuniting with his missing brother.”
“His shoulders are shaking. Isn’t he crying?”
“...Maybe he really missed those ingredients?”
Samuel’s unusual behavior made Rachel twist her face and take a step back. From the corner of her eyes, Rachel saw Roger took half a step behind as well.
Just what’s happening here? Rachel didn’t know what soybeans and adzuki beans were, but maybe those were the name of the beans?
“Um… Does he want to buy it?”
Theodore sighed deeply. “Miss Rachel. I’ll watch him, so you can look around there with Roger.”
Meanwhile, Samuel still muttered, “Koji… I need koji… Miso? Can I make it? Really? ...Eh, bean paste? ...Am I dreaming?” Theodore watched such Samuel with a distant eye, scratching his cheek.
Hmm. Looking at him, Rachel could guess that the cook would need more time to calm down. She was worried about leaving him in this state, but having a large number of people in front of the stall would annoy other people.
“Um, are you sure?”
“I don’t think we’ll leave this stall for some time. Anyway, let’s meet up here when you finish looking around.”
“Roger, I’ll leave Miss Rachel to you,” Theodore said, shifting his eyes to Roger.
Roger nodded, replying with a serious face. “Yes. I will protect her without fail.”
“Then I will look around there. Roger, can you follow me?”
Rachel wasn’t sure if separating like this was a good idea, but she was interested about the tea stall they had just passed.
Therefore, she took Theodore’s offer and went with Roger.
(Ah, there it is!)
Rachel found a stall with many types of tea cans and many colorful jams in glass jars.
(So cute! Will Sarah be happy if I buy them for her?)
She walked to the store, but then she felt like her skirt was being pulled.
Glancing down, she saw a girl clasping her skirt. From her appearance, she was probably around four or five years old.
The girl had her brown hair tied in two, desperately enduring the tears swelling in her eyes from falling.
Rachel crouched down to match the girl’s height so that she wouldn’t scare her. Even so, the girl pursed her lips, silent. Instead of answering, the hand holding her skirt became even stronger.
“Did you get lost?”
“Um, who did you come with? Your mother?”
The moment the girl heard that, she opened her pursed lips, her tears overflowing. “Uu… Uu… Uwaaa!”
She cried out loud.
(Eh? Did I make her cry? W-what should I do now!?)
“I-it’s fine! Don’t worry, everything will be fine!”
Rachel didn’t know what happened to her, but in the midst of her panic, she could only say those words.
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