A/N: Sorry about the long delay on this chapter. RL had a big fight with me. Home was getting some renovations and tests came up! Will probably be moving this series over on a weekly/biweekly basis so I can work on re-writing what I need to. Also, a large amount of this series is going to be re-written starting somewhere around chapter 7, so it might take a bit longer to push that chapter out. But without further ado, here’s the chapter!
Uncle should have come to greet me earlier today. What’s taking him so long? He’s just delivering some wine from another town, so there shouldn’t be any hold ups. Did he run into bandits? Goblins? Uncle’s guards should be able to handle goblins like they’re nothing, unless they attacked in a large group. I mean, they are the Philbert the Friendly and Aelesia the Widow.
Those two have climbed the ranks to become C-rank adventurers in less than a year. Measly little goblins shouldn’t even be much of a distraction. Then again, it is said that the smell of wine attracts goblins. That’s just a rumor though.
All of a sudden, there is a loud noise of something moving outside.
Oh? Is that Uncle? I better go greet him.
I rush out the door to see Uncle and some strangely dressed man standing next to him. Who is that man? I’ve never seen him before?
“Uncle!” I say, jumping into Uncle’s arms.
“Isobelle!” Uncle says, catching me before quickly setting me down. “Look at how you’ve grown! So, how’re you doing?”
“I’m doing well. I’ll be going to school next year, so my tutor is finally teaching me some more advanced magic!” I say, beating my fist on my chest.
“Oh! That’s impressive! You’re already learning some advanced magic!” Uncle says, grabbing my shoulders. “If you ever need any, I’ll try to get you some books so you can learn even more types of magic.”
“Thank you, Uncle, but I don’t think that will be necessary. Zoral’s magic school already has a lot of magic books, and I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you.” I say, smiling. I look over to the left, and see that man staring at me, wiping the smile off my face. “So, who’s this?” I glare at the man, using a harsh tone.
“I-I-I’m Byron. Byron Darius.” The man stutters. “I-I’m helping Baynard c-carry some things.” He puts his right arm in front of his chest and bows, letting his left arm extended out.
Suspicious. This guy is definitely hiding something. Is he a thief? Or… No, Uncle couldn’t possibly. Then again, I’ve never seen Uncle with a woman before.
“What’s with this guy? His clothes are weird, too.” I say, leaning in near Uncle’s ear. “He couldn’t be, one of those… you know…” I lean back out. “Is this guy just following you? I can get rid of him if you want.”
Actually, I really want to get rid of him. I don’t like the idea of a male prostitute being around Uncle. I like the idea of Uncle actually hiring him even less.
“No no. This guy really is just helping me carry things.” Uncle says, wearing a weary smile on his face.
I look back at the strange man. I don’t see him carrying anything. I look back at Uncle and my gaze turns into one of disappointment. Uncle… I didn’t think you… My eyes start to water just a little.
“He’s using [Storage Box], so you can’t see what he’s carrying!” Uncle says quickly.
I stealthily wipe the tears from my face. I see, so he’s a [Storage Box] user, huh? I guess he’s like my tutor. I quickly look back at the strange man, expecting him to prove it.
“Is that so?” I ask.
“Yes, here let me prove it.” He says, his tone sounds more relaxed. “[Storage Box]”
Was this what he was trying to hide? But why would you want to hide the fact you can use [Storage Box]? You can get hired for more than the usual amount for jobs where you guard merchants.
The man pulls a [Bronze Short Sword] out of thin air.
Impressive! I can even sense a smile on my face. But, that wasn’t [Storage Box]! [Storage Box] doesn’t look like that when used! That can only mean…!
The smile on my face disappears. I can feel a cold sweat begin to form on my forehead.
“Uncle,” I say, “That wasn’t [Storage Box]” Ah, I can feel my body shaking. What’s wrong with me?! How could I possibly have accused this man of being a prostitute before?! I-I have to find some way to gain favor with him.
“Are you sure?” Uncle says, darting his eyes at me. A cold sweat is forming on his face as well. “Have you even seen [Storage Box] used before?”
I nod my head.
Uncle quickly rushes over to the man, grabbing his shoulders in the process.
“What skills are you using, son?”
“I-I-I c-can’t t-tell you that.” The man says, darting his eyes away towards the ground.
N-No! He really is using it!
“Is that so?” Uncle says, a frown appearing on his face. “Why not?”
“I-I don’t want to get involved in with troublesome people or things.” The man says, clearly mustering all of his courage to say that. He’s quite the shy person, huh? I wonder how Uncle cracked his shell. Hm? Why is that man staring at me again? Ah, no. He couldn’t… could he?
“I see.” Uncle says, letting go of his shoulders.
Ah, that man is staring at me again. There couldn’t be any other explanation, could there? He’s become infatuated with me, hasn’t he?
“I can’t say I don’t understand that.” Uncle says, quickly turning around. “So, Isobelle, what skill is this guy using?”
Eh, me? Why do you want me to say it? Ah, that guy’s looking at me again. It’s starting to feel a bit weird.
“H-He’s using [Inventory]” I say. Please don’t get mad at me.
“What?!” Uncle says, grabbing the man’s collar and picking him up off the ground. “You, you have [Inventory]?!” Surprise and anger rush through Uncle’s face. It’s almost impossible to tell he is faking it. He’s known all along, hasn’t he?
The man nods, darting his eyes away towards me. This man, he’s definitely become infatuated with me. Ah, this might be a way for me to curry favor with him.
“This is big news!” Uncle says, beginning to run in circles. “We have to tell the king!”
“N-No!” The man shouts. “You can’t! This is exactly what I don’t want!”
The man looks back over to me.
“But,” I say, “There’s a law saying that we have to tell the king if someone able to use the skills [Inventory], [Analyze], or [Language Translation] shows up.”
I hope he falls for this lie. There’s no way that law actually exists, but those skills are extremely rare, so he should buy it.
“The hero who founded this country hailed from what he claimed to be another world. He is the only person in history to have these skills. The third king in our nations history founded this law, thinking that if someone had even one of these skills, they must be a hero.” I say.
Well, it’s not a total lie. The founder really did claim to be from another world, but he’s not the only person to have those skills. Our previous king actually had them. Naturally, the part about the third king is completely false. Have to make it sound real. I wonder if Byron has all of those skills? If he’s a hero, I would definitely like to get closer to him.
“Hahaha…” The man chuckles.
Yup. He definitely has those skills. He’s staring at me again. I have to take advantage of this to get more… intimate with him somehow.
“You have all those skills, don’t you?” Uncle says, grabbing his shoulders.
“N-No. No way. I couldn’t have those skills, right?” He says, waving his hand in front of his face.
“If he was from another world, it would explain those weird clothes. And what’s so bad about being called a hero, anyways?” I say, walking closer. “You get a high ranking nobility, and can ask for just about anything you want. It’s pretty much free stuff in this time of peace.”
“Except,” Uncle says, blocking my advance, “if there’s a hero summoned, there must be a time of strife ahead.” Uncle looks back at me with a glare.
Tch. Fine, I won’t be so obvious in my advances.
“Look, I don’t know if there is a time of strife coming or not. What I do know is that I wasn’t meant to be brought here.” The man says, looking down to the ground.
Eh? He wasn’t summoned here by the gods? Is he… not a hero then?
“What do you mean?” I ask. I can feel a slight amount of disappointment rush through my body.
“My coming here was an accident. I can’t really explain more than that because you wouldn’t believe me. But it’s the truth,” He says. “Anyways, can we please just get on with what we came here to do originally, okay?”
I’m still not sure what it is what Uncle brought you here to do, but I think I have a pretty good idea. However, I find it doubtful that he was brought here on accident. He must be a hero. Ah, how I’ve longed to meet a hero, get closer to a hero…
“We can’t just ignore what was just said here.” Uncle says, a smirk appearing on his face for a split-second before disappearing entirely.
“Then how about we tell my father about it, see what he says to do.” I say. My father will figure out some way to keep him aligned with us. I’m sure of it.
“Fine,” He says, walking forward a bit. “Lets do that. If he agrees that I should be sent to the king, I’ll begrudgingly do it. But if he says not to, then I won’t go for now. We still have the business deal to go through with anyways.”
“Hmm. Fine, I guess we can do that. I still think that you should go to the king anyways. The guild will find out almost immediately anyways.” Uncle mutters under his breath.
While that is true, Uncle, we should have the chance to align him with us before any other nobles steal him away.