TWEM Vol. 2 Chapter 11

 

Chapter 11 – Tour of the Residence

 

The next morning, Finne and I were having breakfast at New Moon Inn, when the entrance’s door was opened with brisk momentum.

“Haruto, Finne, I have come!”

All the eyes in the cafeteria turned towards the entrance.

On behalf of all of them, I voiced the question that surfaced in everyone’s mind.

“Iris, why are you here?”

The sudden visitor was indeed Princess Iris, accompanied by her maid and friend Asha.

Unlike the day before, she was now wearing casual clothes, like the day when I first met her.

The New Moon Inn guests had all seen her in the ceremony the day before, and I just said her name too. It didn’t take time until everyone realized that she was none other than the first princess of the Perdis kingdom.

Sofia and Jayn, who were serving food, as well as all the other guests, immediately got one knee and lowered their heads.

Normal behavior if your kingdom’s princess appears before you, I thought. Finne and I acted normally, though.

Iris looked over at the kneeling crowd and spoke.

“No need for ceremony, please. I apologize for bothering you while you were working or enjoying your meal. Please, do not mind me.”

Jayn took the opportunity to speak.

“…with Your permission, Princess, what brings Your Highness to our establishment?”

“I have some business with Haruto, you see.”

Iris then looked towards me.

“Okay then Haruto, let us be on our way!”

“…on our way where?”

“The residence, of course. You received the documents yesterday, didn’t you?”

Yeah, I should have known that. Well, I didn’t have any urgent plans for the next few days, so I was thinking of visiting it soon, anyway.

“Okay, got it…Finne, let’s finish eating and go.”

“Yes, let’s.”

The other people in the cafeteria, following Iris’ words of permission, had returned to their work or meal.

They all seemed somewhat awkward, however: they were surely nervous.

I felt sorry for putting them through that, so I finished my breakfast as soon as I could and left the inn as if running away.

~

Finne, Iris, Asha, and I headed for the residence.

Iris knew where it was located already: she guided us through the nobles’ district without hesitation.

Though…

“Hey Iris, we’ve been walking for a good while after we arrived in this district, are you sure this is the right way?”

“Yes, why?”

Iris replied with beaming confidence.

The nobles’ district was adjacent to the royal palace: it was divided into several areas, rising in rank according to their proximity to it. Dillan said the residence was in the highest rank area, but we were so close we were practically in the palace…

Iris eventually stopped in front of a majestic villa.

The building itself was massive, as the garden that surrounded it: it was spacious enough that you could fit another residence on it. A garden so large in such a prestigious area was an incredible luxury, I thought.

Wait…if Iris stopped here, does that mean…

Finne and I timorously looked at her.

“You don’t mean…”

“…that this is…”

“Indeed it is! Starting from today, this is our residence!”

Iris puffed her chest as she proudly presented our “new home”.

“Wait, wait, isn’t this too extravagant!?”

“T-that’s right, it’s simply too large for us…!”

“Oh, don’t worry, there are more and more wives coming in, anyway!”

Eh? Did I hear that right?

“C-come again? What did you just say?”

“I said that there are more wives coming in.”

Iris repeated it as if it was the most natural thing in the world. After a brief moment of speechlessness, Finne and I reacted at the same time.

“EEEEHHHH!?!”

It was too sudden, too abrupt, I couldn’t help being confused.

“No, wait, why does that even happen!?”

“Because you’re handsome and cool, Haruto! A man as fascinating as you will attract women to no end, it is inevitable. There is no way the number of your wives will stop at two!”

“W-who says that’s really going to happen!? I don’t have any intention to, you know!!”

For some reason, the more I talked, the more it felt like I was just acting in denial…

Iris did not seem to be listening to me, however: she put a finger on her chin, pondering something.

“Hmm, I guess we’ll need at least three more?”

“That’s just what YOU want!!”

“They have to be cute, first of all…hmm, I guess five is a better number after all!”

“She’s hopeless…”

I left Iris to her fantasies and turned towards Finne.

“T-three more…? I wonder if I will be okay…but I have to do my best, as the first wife…! But— ”

I turned towards Finne, and found her as red as a ripe apple, mumbling to herself.

I sighed, then looked at Asha.

“Take care of Iris, please.”

“Yes sir.”

I tried shaking Finne out of her trip.

“Finne, do you hear me?”

No response.

My next attempt was to put my hands on her cheeks and squeeze them a bit.

“Fwah? Sir Haruto…? Oh, oh, oh no! That’s not true!! I wasn’t— ”

Finne finally regained her composure, realized what she had been saying, and panicked a little.

“What? Did you say something?”

I pretended I hadn’t heard anything, to spare her the embarrassment.

I was sure she could break down if she knew I had heard.

“N-no, nothing at all…”

Finne sighed, relieved.

I turned towards Iris and Asha and found the maid energetically shaking her mistress’ shoulders.

“Enough fantasies, Your Highness! Let us be on our way!”

I wasn’t sure it was appropriate to treat a princess like that, but Asha and Iris had known each other for a long time, so it was probably okay.

Iris finally snapped back to reality and looked at Asha with wonder.

“What’s wrong, Asha?”

“We have to go see the residence, right?”

“Oh, yes, you’re right. Well then…Haruto, Finne, follow my lead!”

Iris finally recalled our objective and opened the gates leading into the residence.

The path leading from the gates to the entrance was more than 50 Metol long: there was even a fountain in the middle.

We glanced at the fountain as we walked, then Iris opened the large double doors at the main entrance.

Beyond the door lay a large hall and a set of stairs leading to the upper floor. Around the stairs there were several doors and corridors, extending left and right into the residence’s lateral wings. The furniture and decorations seemed exquisite too.

Finne and I were both too shocked for words: it was much more luxurious than expected.

“A-amazing…”

“…truly.”

“Hehe! But of course!”

“Iris, you’re acting like you built this place by yourself…”

We continued chatting like that as we toured the rooms on the first and second floors of the villa.

The first floor contained a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room, and a guest room, all fairly large, and a small hall. There were also two spacious empty rooms.

On the second floor, there were one study and twelve bedrooms.

The villa also had an underground floor, which housed a food storehouse and warehouse.

The king probably had the whole residence cleaned after he decided to give it to me: there wasn’t a speck of dust anywhere.

After completing our tour, we returned to the entrance hall and talked about assigning the rooms.

“Okay, we should decide which rooms to use, first. Finne, Iris, do you have any particular preferences?”

I thought of letting them choose their room, and then choose mine from one of the remaining ones, but— 

“First of all, Haruto should take the largest room on the second floor!”

“Yes, that’s right!”

“Yes, that seems fitting.”

Iris, Finne, and Asha all shared the same opinion.

“Eh? Wait, no one asks me what I think…?”

“Then, Finne and I will take the rooms on the left and right of Haruto’s room!”

“Yes, that’s right!”

“Yes, that seems fitting.”

Iris and Finne’s rooms were decided too, with no regard to what I said.

“I would like to use a room on the first floor then, to make it easier to work. It’s a bit spacious, but since you will surely hire more helpers, I would like to use it as a sort of staff room.”

Asha bowed to us.

“Oh? Asha, you’re going to stay in this residence too?”

“Yes, His Majesty told me to.”

Asha firmly nodded to my question, then gave me a piece of paper, which read:

.

To Asha

Iris will live in Haruto’s residence from now on.

You are to accompany her and live there as well.

.

Well, Asha was Iris’ personal attendant, so I guess this was to be expected.

It sounded like she was going to help manage the residence, which I was sincerely thankful for, but…

“This place is too big to clean by ourselves, though…”

It wouldn’t be right to keep clean only the places we normally used either…

I started thinking about what we should do, when Iris interjected as if stating the obvious.

“We just need to hire servants, don’t we? Papa said so too.”

“…servants?”

He did say something like that, I think…

“Exactly. You’re the hero that saved the capital, Haruto, so I bet a lot of people would come if you put up a job offer!”

“For real?”

“For real!”

Iris puffed her chest proudly, for some reason.

I wasn’t sure why she acted so proud…but I was kind of happy to hear that.

“Where should we put up the job offer?”

My doubt was cleared by Ashe.

“It’s possible to look for servants through the adventurers’ guild, actually.”

“Really. We should go, then.”

“Right now?”

“Yeah, the sooner we go, the better…it’ll be just filling in a request form or something, so you three can stay here.”

The three girls nodded to me, then started giddily discussing what to do about the furniture.

~

When I arrived at the adventurers’ guild it was almost noon.

I opened the door and noticed some familiar faces of adventurers, who waved at me. Dyne and the others weren’t around today, so the place was pretty quiet.

I headed straight for the reception to talk with Claire.

“Oh, Sir Haruto, hello. Should we go speak in private?”

“No, it’s nothing too important, we can stay here. I came because— ”

I explained about the residence and that I needed servants to take care of it.

“ — I see, so the reward His Majesty mentioned yesterday was a residence in the nobles’ district…how many are you looking for, and for what kind of work?”

Hmm, since we have Asha already, I guess four total would be enough?

“Well, let’s say three for now. Any gender is fine, but I’d like at least one man. Since I, the EX rank adventurer, and princess Iris will live under the same roof, all sorts of trouble might happen, so I want people good enough to be adventurer rank C or above.”

Claire stopped frozen for a moment, whispering “P-princess Iris…!?” to herself, then hurriedly continued.

“Rank C is a pretty strict condition, but I’ll see what I can find. What about the pay? A house servant’s average salary is about 20,000 Gould per month, but…”

Wow, that’s less than expected. Well, they’d live in the residence, so they’d have food and a place to stay for free, so maybe it was normal…

I didn’t want to risk not gathering enough people with low pay, so…

“Let’s see…raise it to 35,000 Gould”

“R-really??”

Claire shouted, surprised, attracting the surroundings’ attention.

She realized people were looking and apologized, her face red in embarrassment.

“I-I’m sorry! But Sir Haruto, that is simply too much!”

“It’ll attract more people this way, no?”

“That might be true, but…even if you don’t do that, you are this town’s savior! There are many people who would do anything to work for you, even if the salary wasn’t high!”

Really now. Even so, I didn’t want to keep it so low…

Well, rather than acting stingy here, I’d prefer to show how generous I can be, honestly.

“Hmm, but I think it won’t be easy work, so please keep the salary as I said. Make sure they are skilled people, though.”

“…understood, Sir Haruto. I will inform you about the results one week from now, please come again then.”

I nodded to Claire and left the guild.

~

I ate my lunch at a street stall, then returned to the residence. As soon as I stepped in, Finne and the others ran up to me.

“How did it go!?”

“Calm down, it’s not going to be so easy. I turned in the request, all we have to do is wait.”

I continued by explaining the conditions I gave to Claire.

“All three of them should be ranked C or above? That could be really difficult…”

“D-does that mean someone higher than me in rank might come!?”

“Thirty-five thousand Gould is too high!! My salary is 23,000, Sir!!”

The three girls all expressed their surprise, in three different ways. Needless to say, the order was Iris, Finne, and Asha.

“I wonder if His Majesty will give me a raise if I ask politely…”

Asha looked melancholic, but I didn’t know what I could tell her. She worked in my residence now, so it felt right for me to pay her salary, but maybe that would complicate things?

I couldn’t reach a conclusion yet, so all I could say was a non-committal reply.

“…I hope he does.”

“Sir Haruto, please ask His Majesty for my sake too!!“

Whoops, maybe I should have kept quiet…

I told Asha that I’ll try to appease her: Iris and Finne looked at me like I was hopeless, which was kind of painful.

“A-anyway, we should go look for furniture, bedding, food, and stuff. We can start buying tomorrow, but we should check out the shops first.”

The three girls nodded to my proposal: that day, we looked around the shops until the evening, then Finne and I returned to the inn, Iris, and Asha to the royal palace.

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