When the soldiers guarding the gate spotted the coat of arms that was affixed to the carriage, they flusteredly rushed out to greet them.
Originally, one of the baron’s knights was supposed to announce the baron’s arrival to the guards in advance. However, this time, Baron Atelier’s escorts only consisted of Ashley and Ray. Both of them weren’t retainers to Baron Atelier’s house and therefore, weren’t able to warn the city guards of his arrival.
A guard who appeared to be the captain stepped forward and knelt down onto one knee before the carriage. The lower-ranked knights behind him followed suit.
Seeing the two-person escort and the unmanned horses, the captain sensed that the baron and his party must have encountered some kind of mishap. However, he didn’t immediately question the baron. Instead, continued to lower his head in silence as he respectfully waited for an explanation.
The baron descended from the carriage and morosely informed him, “The mercenaries we hired on the way here betrayed us.” A disturbance spreads throughout the gathered soldiers.
“Although Oliena and I are safe, all the knights of the escort party have unfortunately perished. Their corpses are on the carriage. I ask that you carefully carry them into the estate . . .”
After that, he gave several other instructions to the city guards.
Ashley observed the baron and the city guards in an unconcerned manner. Although Ray considered assisting the city guards with their tasks, in the end, he decided to continue standing beside Ashley.
Should I give those guards a hand? I guess that for now, I’ll just silently stay beside Ashley until they tell me otherwise.
When the baron finished giving out all his instructions, he once again boarded the carriage and ordered Edward the butler to head towards the estate. After shortly holding out her bracelet to the city guards, Ashley mounted her horse and also began to follow after the carriage.
Wretchedly left behind, Ray involuntarily shouted “Ashley! Wait! What am I supposed do!?”
Ashley’s face seemed to say, oops, as she said, “Sorry, please stay here for a moment.” and then continued towards the baron’s carriage. When she caught up with the baron and reminded him about Ray, he replied, “Ray-dono is our benefactor. I don’t mind him entering the city.”
Ray breathed a sigh a relief as he mounted his horse and passed through the gate with the city guards’ eyes on him.
Ashley’s bracelet is a Guild Orb isn’t it. A magic tool that replaces a person’s personal credentials. When I arrived in this world, I didn’t find that Orb anywhere on me. If I don’t hurry up and get one, I won’t be able to stay at an inn . . .
Orbs were unique magic tools that were capable of interacting with Magic Stones. Orbs could verify a person’s identity by decoding the information stored inside their Magic Stone.
They were normally either hung around the neck in the form of a pendant, or equipped on the arm in the form of a bracelet. The use of these ingenious devices weren’t limited to guilds alone. Not even close. The governments of all cities and villages distributed these bracelets to everyone over the age of 10.
In addition to being used as proofs of personal identity, Orbs were also used when authorizing payments, checking into hotels, and entering and leaving cities. In the event your Orb is lost, requesting for another one to be reissued is no problem. However, your actions during the waiting period will be extremely limited. Because of this, most people never took off their Orb, even when they slept.
Ray caught up with the carriage and continued to follow behind it.
Since the city of Molton had been constructed on a hill, with most of the city on a slope, the trip from the gate was a gradual ascent. A meandering road continued up towards the top of the hill, where several steeples and a massive wall stood. Several windmills could be seen here and there, their wide blades slowly turning.
Houses characterized by white walls and vibrant orange roofs were placed closely together on both sides of a road that was completely paved with cobblestone.
Ray gazed at the beautiful cityscape as he ascended the hill. In the background was a sky that was being dyed in the red colors of dusk. When the citizens saw the baron’s coat of arms on the carriage, they immediately exited the road and politely bowed while standing to the side. When Ray saw all the natural smiles on their faces, he could feel that the baron was considerably popular in his territory.
After climbing up the slope for around 20 minutes, they arrived at building that was surrounded by a splendid stone wall and had steeples erected in all four corners. It boasted a level of splendor fit for a small castle. The sturdy-looking gray walls were of around 10 meters in height and equipped with a crenelated parapet. (TL: If needed, please look here and here) The building certainly asserted itself as a castle built for battle.
Still staying right behind the carriage, Ray passed through the castle gate.
Beyond the gate stood a large three story mansion that was built in the same style as the city’s white walled and orange roofed buildings. Ray felt as if the mansion was something that had come straight out of a movie. However, he was also gradually beginning to fear that it was him who was out of place.
Wow. Is it really okay for me to come here? Well, even though I say that, it’s not like I know where else to go . . .
Still feeling uncertain about what to do, Ray paid close attention to Ashley’s actions. He matched her as she descended from her horse and nonchalantly passed her horse to the stableman waiting nearby.
After she had gone to the baron who had descended from the carriage and lowered her head to him, she asked, “Is Ray-dono free after this?”
The baron ordered the butler, “Hm, Edward, could you go prepare the rooms for them?” and then turned towards Ray, and said, “For tonight, I’d like to welcome you to our residence, Ray-dono.”
Ray initially slightly hesitated to accept his offer. However, when learned that the baron had also invited Ashley to the dinner and that they could sleep a night in the mansion, he lowered his head and said, “Thank you very much.”
Since I don’t have anywhere I can go, it would probably be safer to be under the baron’s protection for the time being. Until I get my hands on an Orb, going out on my own isn’t even an option worth considering . . .
The baron headed into the deeper part of the mansion with his daughter, Oliena, and Edward the butler guided Ashley and Ray to their rooms.
Ray’s guest room was provided with a space of around 15 tatami mats and was located right next to Ashley’s room. (TL: Here’s a good example.)
“Dinner will be served in an hour. Baron Atelier will send me to you when it is time, so please make yourselves at home until then.”
Edward proceeded to explain the evening plans. Then, as if he wasn’t affected by the mercenaries’ betrayal or fatigued from the journey at all, performed a beautiful bow as he left the room.
Before I knew it, they’ve already set the time for dinner. Are all butlers like this?
After meeting a genuine butler for the first time, Ray felt quite impressed. However, now that he was alone, a heavy sense of fatigue abruptly overcame him. Although he wanted to dive into the bed right away, he changed his mind and decided that he had to take off his armor first.
Alright, I’m going to have to take off this armor . . . wait. How do you do that?