Reincarnated into a Game as the Hero’s Friend - Chapter 148
Author’s note: This chapter takes place before the bandit’s subjugation.
It was late at night. After Welner, the governor, returned to his room, Neurath and Schunzel both threw themselves to the chairs.
“Huft… So tiring.” (Neurath)
“Maybe because he has been training since young, Welner-sama has a really great stamina.” (Schunzel)
“I finally understand the reason Ingo-sama said that I might have a hard time.” (Neurath)
Neurath said so with a bitter smile. To be more precise, Ingo said, ‘He might give you some hard time, but please take care of him’ when Ingo sent Neurath to Welner. Since becoming the subordinate of a minister’s son who was also the heir to a Count house was an honorable thing for his house, Neuarth at that time accepted the job without thinking too much about Ingo’s words.
With the same tired expression as Neurath, Schunzel nodded and then replied, “But we also learned a lot of things by staying by Welner-sama’s side.”
“I have to agree with that. Plus, we never got bored working with him.”
Sometimes, both of them couldn’t keep up with Welner’s ideas, but after Welner executed them, and they saw the results, they finally understood the reasons Welner chose to do this and that. Although it was true that sometimes Welner’s way of thinking was strange for a noble, Welner himself was truly knowledgeable, so they both learned a lot of things by staying by his side.
What was still a mystery for both of them until this day was where Welner gained that much knowledge. Perhaps the academy curriculum changed in Welner’s era, or perhaps Welner got his knowledge from some other source. Anyway, they weren’t sure.
On the other hand, they both were stronger than Welner in terms of swordsmanship, so Welner would use a spear when sparring with them. This was good training for Welner but also an opportunity for both Neurath and Schunzel to gain more experience in fighting an opponent that used a spear.
“You two still have it better than me” (Frenssen)
“Sir Frenssen, you’re here.”
“You’re right. At least we are two people, but you usually work alone, Sir.”
Frenssen, who had just returned from the archive, sat down along with the two with a tired expression.
“Sigh… One thing that bothers me is the tea I drink after a tiring day here isn’t that good.” Frenssen said with a somewhat complaining tone.
“I have to agree with that.”
“Yeah. It might be impossible to drink a tea as good as the one Tirula poured, but at least I hope to drink a tea as good as the one Lily poured.”
The tea brewed by the senior parlor maid of the Zeavert house, Tirula, was famous not only among Welner’s friends but even in the circle of the noble society. Tirula had even received high salary offers from other noble houses.
In addition to the extremely delicious tea, the Zeavert house had a connection with the now famous hero, so the tea party held by Zeavert house had become really popular. It was to the point that the madam of the Zeavert house, Claudia, was currently having a hard time adjusting the tea party schedule because of the overwhelming requests.
On the other hand, Lily did her work as a parlor maid with no complaint, perhaps because she was used to working as the daughter of an inn owner. In addition, Lily herself was a hardworking person who was eager to learn, making her an excellent student. Tirula herself had taken a liking to the lovely and honest Lily.
Not only Tirula, Lily was also well liked by the entire staff of the Zeavert house manor. Even Welner had once commented on how Norbert, the butler, treated Lily as if she was his granddaughter.
“Because Tirula is tall, it’s hard to call Tirula and Lily like sisters.”
“Rather than Tirula being tall, isn’t it more like Lily is small?”
“You’re right.” (Frenssen)
Imagining Lily sneezing in the mansion because they talked about her here, the three laughed. Then, Neurath turned to Frenssen as if he had remembered something.
(T/N: Japanese superstition said that when you sneeze out of nowhere, someone is talking about you.)
“By the way, I remember Norbert-dono was investigating the knight commander of the Witthoft house. Have you heard anything about the result of the investigation?” (Neurath)
“Ah, right, when the hero’s family saw him, they did show a complicated expression.” (Schunzel)
Remembering the result of the investigation, Frenssen let out a wry smile.
“That knight commander is the son of the Alea village’s village head.” (Frenssen)
“Yeah, I know that.”
“When he was young, he apparently courted Lily and Mazell-dono’s mother, Anna, but got rejected.” (Frenssen)
Neurath and Schunzel blurted out at the same time. Remembering that he got the same reaction from Welner when he told him about this, Frenssen laughed.
“Anna chose Ali instead of him, then because of that heartbreak, he left the village and went to the Witthoft House to be a knight.” (Frenssen)
“In short, for the former village head of the Alea village, the hero was the son of the woman that rejected his son, causing his son to leave the village?”
“Yes, that’s right.” (Frenssen)
“… that’s a quite complicated relationship,” said Schunzel, while crossing his arms with a complicated expression.
Although both Schunzel and Neurath didn’t like the former village head, they could understand why the former village head treated the hero’s family like that alongside with why the hero’s family showed a complicated expression when they saw the knight commander of the Witthoft family.
“I also heard that the former village head repeatedly pushed Lily to go work outside the village.” (Frenssen)
“I won’t ask where that village head pushed Lily to work, but did the head of Witthoft house know that the village head pushed Lily?” (Schunzel)
“He should know, right?” (Neurath)
Neurath was the one that answered Schunzel’s question. But they got the feeling that they would start feeling sick if they continued to think about it in more detail, so they stopped.
“Ah, right. Was Lily the person who painted the picture in Welner-sama’s room?”
“Yes, I also heard that Welner-sama received a handkerchief from Lily.” (Frenssen)
“A handkerchief… Was it a handkerchief with handmade embroidery?”
In this world, clothes were expensive, so it was common for the wife to make the clothes for her husband and children by herself. The wife would also mend her children’s clothing when it got torn while the children were playing.
Due to that, there was a popular belief that ‘the children will not get hurt in the same place when the clothes were mended with love’ and overtime that belief became ‘The clothes mended with love will protect its wearer.’
Although there were cases of embroidering handkerchiefs for friends, most of the time women would embroider a handkerchief for their family, husband, or lover to pray for their safety when they went to a battle or a journey. Incidentally, this belief was the reason embroidery became popular among the noblewomen.
“I think Welner-sama should know about this.” (Schunzel)
“Maybe Welner-sama did know, but it never crossed his mind that he would receive a handkerchief with that sort of intent, so he didn’t realize Lily’s meaning.” (Frenssen)
“But still, isn’t Welner-sama too indifferent regarding women? Although his looks are not as good as the hero, it’s not atrocious. Adding to that, Welner-sama is the heir of a Count house!”
“Well, I heard from Norbert-sama that Welner-sama might have some distrust with women.” (Frenssen)
When he was a child, Welner was caught in a carriage accident. Although Welner was wounded, he survived, but his elder brother died in that accident. According to an eyewitness, that day, Welner’s elder brother died protecting Welner.
The problem was what happened after that accident. The family of Welner’s elder brother’s fiancee attended that funeral. That same fiancee was saying something along the lines of ‘I’m glad you died so I don’t have to be married into an official family.’ at the funeral. Secretly, of course, without the adult knowing. Welner seemed to have overheard those sentences.
Neurath and Schunzel were taken aback by Frenssen’s story.
“Their marriage is a political marriage… right?” Neurath asked.
“Most likely. Did that young fiancee not understand that marriage benefits her house too? In any case, Sir Frenssen, did the Count know about it?” (Schunzel)
“I don’t know about the Count, but Welner-sama definitely overheard it. According to Norbert-sama, Welner-sama didn’t speak a single word that day.”
Because of his position as the head of the Count house, Ingo that day most likely left the place for a moment to greet an important guest. Still, because the relationship between the Zeavert family and the fiancee’s family didn’t continue, one could guess what had happened between the two families.
“I see. Well, after that kind of incident, it can’t be helped that Welner-sama started to build a barrier between himself and noble ladies. After all, noble ladies who approach the heir of the Count house more likely than not have ulterior motives.”
“Maybe Welner-sama unconsciously thought that every noble lady that showed affection toward him had an ulterior motive, thus leading him to distance himself from them.”
They were all half-right. At that time, Welner had just regained the memory of his past life. He suddenly was faced with a realization that he was a mob character that would be killed by the subordinate of the Four Heavenly Kings in the future. Adding to that, Welner lost his beloved elder brother suddenly. The young Welner was overwhelmed.
Though, it was true that the words Welner heard that day made him develop a distorted understanding about what women of this world would think of him. Due to that, despite constantly comparing himself with Mazell in terms of popularity with women jokingly, Welner himself had never had any interest in women.
“Hey, Schunzel, could it be that Lily’s existence was actually a great blessing?” (Neurath)
“Ah, you might be right.” (Schunzel)
Lily was an honest person. She didn’t approach Welner with any ulterior motives. She was perfect for someone like Welner, who had apprehension against women.
Interacting with her had also softened Welner’s heart. I couldn’t imagine that there would be any other women in the future who could become as close to Welner as Lily, so even if they didn’t become a couple, Lily’s existence could be called a ‘great blessing’ that could change Welner’s distorted perception toward women.
“Ah, right. I remember Welner-sama said he wanted to go to the market to buy Lily some gifts.” (Frenssen)
“Well, that’s quite unusual.” Neurath said, and Schunzel nodded.
“We should go together to escort him, right?”
“Of course! This is an important mission.”
“…Important mission, you said.” (Frenssen)
“Yes, we are, after all, Welner-sama’s escort.”
Frenssen sighed as he looked at the two who had quite amusing expressions on their faces. It seemed like Frenssen would be working alone tomorrow.
Later on, the rumor that the governor had a fiancee waiting for him started to spread.
T/N: The source of the fiancee rumor is Welner’s own subordinate. Lol. Anyway, we got a bit more depth to Welner’s character. It seems like his brother’s death affected Welner more than he let on and I finally understood why Welner has a really bad view about women, especially noble ladies. The part of the fiancee’s family was shown in more detail in the LN.
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