Chapter 90 – The Son-In-Law
Eiji took a breath the moment he withdrew from the audition room.
It was a tense discussion that made him sweat on his back.
Still, at least, he could consider it as something that paid off.
Soon after, Franko, who had left the room at nearly the same time, approached Eiji.
– I’ll guide you to the vault.
– Suddenly, you started to be more polite in talking with me, didn’t you?
– Despite you and Nazioni-sama not having binding a contract as a parent and child yet, you have already become his son, you see. It’s just natural for me to change the way I treat you.
– When it comes to that, I guess you’re doing a fine job indeed.
– That’s simply habit. There are many occasions in which I think it’s better to follow things as they are. Still, I do agree that there is as well a huge number of times when it’s not the case.
Is this what people refer to as being an official who strongly adheres to the rules?
People like that are capable, but seem to have hard times in their daily life.
Eiji, who used to be described as a stubborn and honest person, gave such an evaluation.
After a short walk, they both reached their destination.
The vault was solidly closed and secured with an unusually firm lock.
Franko opened it as he was in charge of the key.
*kacha* – the sound of an opening lock was heard as the key twisted smoothly.
Judging from its sound, Eiji could understand that the lock had been scrupulously maintained.
– Please enter in.
– Well then, pardon the intrusion.
A pitch black interior appeared in front of him once he passed through the vault’s thick door, however, the interior gave out the feeling of being swept regularly without much of dust.
It was quite a spacious room.
The entrance was lit thanks to the light coming from the hallway, but nevertheless, Eiji couldn’t see the majority of the vault’s interior.
– It’s rare for anyone to enter into this place.
– You mean it? Makes me feel privileged.
– There are lots of people who haven’t seen this place even once despite already serving Nazioni-sama.
– How about Franko-san?
– Rather than being on the side that gets rewarded, I’ve been managing this place for a long time, you see.
Franko lit a torch.
What came in their view following that were numerous ornaments, gorgeous clothes and pieces of cloth, valuable stockfish, and earthenware.
Considering their display, Eiji had the feeling like he was observing articles in a museum, or some kind of a shop.
Eiji looked around restlessly while checking the room.
– Ohh, this is incredible.
– That’s because all these high-grade products come from offerings, you see. This place gathers all specialties from every single place on the island. Even though it’s true, we are still losing in terms of amount to Mostori, which lies in the west.
– You mean the place in which Pierro resides? Isn’t it because they trade items?
– That’s most likely the case.
Certainly, Eiji could remember that village’s warehouse overflowing with surprisingly many different items.
Grabbing articles on shelves one by one, Eiji was thinking which one would suit Tanya the best.
For instance, how about a brooch that matches her long hair?
There was an exquisite, agate-made, cameo brooch among the items.
The way it was carved made it look like it was designed for women.
Eiji didn’t know about the local culture here, but the brooch seemed to represent some sort of goddess.
I wonder if this will do…..
And then, his second choice was a fabric used to make clothes.
The one he found was a cotton cloth, which was known for its unusually high price. However, the texture coming from this one was unexpectedly bad.
Perhaps, it could be due to the lack of high-level weaving methods.
Still, no matter how smooth this cotton fabric would be, it was clear that there were small twists on it.
Was this dyed with madder? I’ll take a single piece.
I wonder if we can make a pair of skirt and a shirt from this.
Eiji then pondered about his third choice.
I have an ornament and a cloth.
If I could give Tanya a high priced gift as the remaining thing……..
Ohh, this one looks to be nice.
What Eiji took in his hand was, honey.
As soon as he opened the lid of a jar full of honey, a sweet fragrance arose into the air.
In this period, things with a sweet taste were considered a top grade luxury.
Licking this honey alone is tasty enough, but, perhaps she would be much happier, were we to make biscuits and cookies using this. – He thought.
Eiji was thankful that basic ingredients such as wheat, eggs, and butter were present inside their village.
What’s more, the sweet taste plays an important role too as it has lots of calories.
Eiji also wanted for their own child to get proper nutrition.
– I’d like to have these three.
– Understood. I shall have them prepared and delivered to your home.
– Please do so.
It was decided that Eiji would sleep separately from the other villagers who tagged along with him.
Eiji was given a private room, whereas, the others would be sleeping together in a huddle inside a single, big room.
Rather than for a hard work, it was a side benefit given to those who were rewarded.
Nazioni’s private room was found in the deepest part of his mansion.
In order to reach that place, one had to walk through a narrow hallway with extremely small daylight windows.
Was this perhaps one of their defense countermeasures?
Even if an enemy was to attack, it would be much easier to protect were the hallway more narrowed, allowing only one person to pass from the other side.
While imagining that, Eiji knocked on the room’s door as he required permission first before entering.
– Yo, you’ve made some good effort by coming here, haven’t you?
– I believe I’ve introduced myself to you some time ago, but, my name is Eiji. Please treat me well.
– Well, take your seat.
– Pardon me for my intrusion.
Nazioni’s room wasn’t that large.
There was furniture such as a working desk, chairs, a guest table, and a large bed.
And with some shelves inside, the room didn’t look that strange.
Every single item was placed neatly in order.
Could it be that Nazioni was the one in charge of that?
Or perhaps, somebody else took care of tidying up?
Eiji felt like he witnessed something unpredictable.
What he imagined at first was a more luxurious, gaudy, and palatial residence worthy of heroes to be living in.
Nazioni had probably read Eiji’s mind from his queer-looking expression as he began to explain.
– I too keep saying this, but, I’m not the kind of person who’s attached to things. Just what’s the deal in staring at gold’s luster? How’s that supposed to make my heart race? Rather than that, it’s way more enjoyable to hunt some deer with a bow and skewer wolves.
– Then, what is the purpose of you dressing up during a meeting?
– Well, that’s because there’s no pride in having a dull look.
There was some truth in what Nazioni said.
Indeed, one’s outward appearance would most likely give a strong impact.
Nonetheless, Eiji couldn’t comprehend Nazioni’s interest with hunting.
Despite saying so, people who are hooked on hunting certainly exist.
There were rumors about German nobles going on a hunt each day.
As well as accounts of aristocrats from medieval times who enjoyed hunting.
And even in the modern Japan, there are people who will request a gun permit for hunting.
Still, Eiji couldn’t share the same feelings.
– First, there’s something I need to tell you.
– What might it be?
– That foolish son of mine has been in your care all this time. For that, you have my gratitude.
– P, Please wait a moment.
Eiji became flustered.
Nazioni, who would usually look arrogant, bowed down toward him.
– As his father, it’s my responsibility to thank you. I couldn’t figure out any way to make that stupid son become more honest, still, you’ve done a good job doing it in my stead.
– Indeed, he was bad tempered at first, but, it’s not like I’ve done anything in particular. People won’t just change because of certain someone, and I think Dante himself wanted to change, so it happened.
– It doesn’t appear as such to me, but…. well.
– Even among one’s family, there are many things people tend not to see.
– Is that true?
Nazioni asked in a curious way.
Was there some sort of a reason behind Dante’s irritable attitude? It was as though one couldn’t guess.
It felt more like it was due to Dante’s surroundings where nobody would recognize him that Dante’s insolent attitude had been shaped. Still, Eiji couldn’t be sure about that.
– Well then, should we make a toast?
– A toast?
– Yeah, take out the wine cups.
Nazioni continued to pour wine in splendid wine cups made from pure gold.
Certainly, there are people who could see their dazzling radiance as something possessing a devilish charm.
The wine seemed as though it was releasing a mysterious-like fragrance.
– I, Nazioni, shall hereby declare to treat Eiji as my son, just like a blood-related one, from now on.
– Please treat me well.
The ancient romans were said to be fond of zinc-made wine cups, but, even drinking from a golden one felt tasty enough for Eiji.
As he was slowly drinking his wine cup, his body began to feel nice and warm.
– What’s that? Could it be you’re not good at holding your liquor?
– I guess so. I think I should refrain from drinking much.
– It’s fine. Were you to get totally drunk, you would be unable to last for the next two days.
– That’s sounds quite like a hell.
– Then, shall we have a small talk with each other before getting drunk?
– What is it?
Nazioni smiled in a pleasant way.
And then, out of blue, he threw out a bombshell statement.
– Won’t you retire from being a blacksmith prematurely and help us with the management of this island?
Translator and reference notes: