Chapter 161 – Outstanding margrave
A margrave, this noble title is classified as a high rank in noble society. Margraves are usually given out as a title to nobles that maintain something critical to Arxia. For example, court nobles that work in the highest-ranking financial jobs, nobles with the most strategically important borders that need defending, or nobles with domains that produce a large amount of food eaten by everyone, or nobles with rare resources in their domain, these nobles will all be designated as margraves.
So, nobles that are margraves obtain their ranks differently from nobles that are earls. Only a handful of high-ranked nobles have the title of margrave.
Margrave Molton has his title because of rare resources in his domain. His previous generations were only lesser earls, but eventually the Molton domain began to develop and produce various gems, including two really rare gems called Esmeralts and Vardalias in this world, which is how he obtained his title.
“Thank you for coming tonight, Earl Kaldia. Usually I just stay by myself in my residence, and this is honestly just a tiny evening party, but I’ll be happy if you can enjoy yourself.”
“Of course, it’s my honor to be invited to your son’s birthday party, Lord Molton.”
The beautiful deep blue Vardalias matched his eye color on the jacket Margrave Molton was wearing, and as always, I found it difficult to believe he had a son the same age as me as he smiled brilliantly.
A building resembling a castle was standing behind him. I can’t imagine what it’s like for him to sleep there by himself. It’s definitely a residence befitting one one of the few higher-ranked nobles. Its size and value completely outclass my former residence in the royal capital, as I was only a low-ranked viscountess back then.
“……So, why was it that you took the trouble of having me enter through the back entrance?”
For some reason, he had me come through the back door of this wonderful mansion. The margrave smiled mischievously, which I thought was rather cute.
“Actually, my beloved second son Lucius is the main character tonight, he’s quite a fan of yours. He’ll be entering noble school next year, and I was wondering if you could tell him some stories about it.”
And that’s what he said. I clutched at my head.
Even though he often travels in and out of the royal capital, I don’t know whether to say that his actions are a little strange, or that he just likes going at his own pace…… I don’t know how to describe it, this was just so sudden.
His appearance and gentle personality are probably why the royal capital’s social circles treat him as an overly gaudy existence. He’s too sincere and direct. For a domain lord, his personality stands out too much.
“I wish you could have informed me of this earlier. I didn’t prepare any presents for him, after all.”
“It’s fine, there’s no need. You are his gift, after all. Since it’s not a busy time for nobles, I’m just asking you to do a little baby-sitting.”
“I’ll be troubled if you just give me away as you please. ……Also, any child that’s my fan must be an unusual one. My reputation should be infamous.”
While I casually chatted with Margrave Molton, he guided me to the room where Lucius was waiting for me. Even though my three young servants didn’t say anything, I could also detect their confusion as they followed behind us. I informed them beforehand that the margrave was a bit of a unique character, but they probably don’t realize just how different he is because they haven’t interacted with any nobles from the royal capital yet.
A young child who seemed almost pale with nervousness was waiting together with his older brother Zephyr who was being a good brother and trying to calm him down. This child is probably Lucius. He also has his father’s silver hair, he’s got even clearer emerald-green eyes than Zephyr, but his face must resemble his mother, he looks almost feminine.
“……Ahh, Zephyr. I’m no good after all. When I think about how to do a greeting, my chest keeps hurting……”
“It’ll be fine. Lucius, you can do it. You’re much better than last year. Didn’t our tutor praise you as well?”
“But brother, she always scolds me to speak more clearly like you, without stuttering…… I can’t do it well. I think it’s impossible for me.”
“When you give your greeting, father and I will be by your side. That’s why you can calm down and not worry about things. Yep, take a deep breath, exhale, inhale, inhale, inhale-”
Lucius continued to take deep breaths to the limit of what his lungs could handle, but then he began coughing, and he glared at Zephyr with tears in his eyes. Zephyr handled it with a cool expression and a mischievous smile, looking almost exactly like Margrave Molton from earlier.
Zephyr and his father give off really different impressions, but their behavior is so similar. Shouldn’t it usually be the reverse?
“Hey Zephyr, don’t get Lucius into a bad mood before he has to come to the hallway, you know?”
Margrave Molton was chuckling with laughter as he spoke up. The brothers looked up and noticed their father, and froze solid when they saw me standing behind him as well. Well, I’m sure it would be surprising since their father suddenly brought me in unannounced through their back door.
Besides, I had refused Zephyr’s earlier invitation to his place. It’s completely his father’s fault that I ended up coming here after all.
I was a little lost on what I should do, but I ended up waving to Zephyr who was still frozen solid.
“Good evening, Zephyr.”
“Eh, eh? What’s going on? I thought you said you had something else to do today?”
“Ahh, yes, something else to do. It’s because I was invited by a certain jokester father, to apparently come and attend his second son’s birthday celebration, that’s why.”
Sorry, I can’t go, I had rejected his invitation a few days ago. Hey, don’t stare so seriously at me, even I didn’t know what your father was thinking. I’m confused as well, but with things as it is I can only go along with whatever Margrave Molton says now.
“Hm? I invited and brought over my friend, isn’t that something natural?”
While Margrave Molton had this wonderful smile, I was amazed to the extent of wanting to hide my face. He’s such a no-good father, both spoiling his children so much and playing so many jokes on them.
However, he seemed to have a proper trusting parent-child relationship with them. Even an outsider like me could tell that Zephyr wasn’t actually frustrated at his father’s harmless although tasteless joke, even if he looked a bit dissatisfied.
Actually, I’m just a little bit envious of them.
As an aside, Zephyr told me that his brother Lucius was quite sickly and couldn’t quite manage having a conversation with me, so I ended up spending some time chatting with Zephyr.
Well, maybe it was better after all that I didn’t prepare a present. Seeing the current situation, he might have difficulties even with basic greetings.
After Lucius got over his nervousness though, he was able to channel his excitement into a better direction, and he properly gave his greetings. The margrave seems to understand his children well and is skilled at dealing with them. I truly apologize for thinking he was a little strange. As expected of the outstanding margrave. He has such a way with children and their worries.