Chapter 3: A Morning Of Eavesdropping
It’s been a few days since I turned five.
It’s morning during what’s left of early spring. It wasn’t time for Mrs. Galton to come wake me up yet, I might have woken up because I sensed something. Something seemed to be abuzz in the mansion, I could hear the adults discussing something in low voices. I hurriedly changed from my pajamas into casual wear, and left my room as softly as possible. The hallway was still a bit dim and chilly.
In this country…… or rather, this area, the most common casual wear is tunics and dalmatics, they’re a bit too needlessly heavy for me. It’s such a pain to carry the hems so that they don’t make a sound against the ground.
Originally, I’m supposed to stay in my room obediently until Mrs. Galton comes to get me, but today it seems like something is afoot. It should be fine if I just see what’s going on without being a bother to anyone.
This mansion is called the Mansion of Golden Hills, but given the Kaldia family’s former predilection towards wild extravagance, it actually seems a little small in comparison. The name comes from the wheat fields under direct control of the family surrounding the mansion. In this domain, the areas under direct control primarily harvest high-priced wheat, while commoners mainly have to raise rye for themselves. But three years ago, these wheat fields had been a blighted wasteland due to a plague.
It seems that in Arxia, the residence of a lord of the domain is usually on the scale of a small castle, but since the Kaldia family’s domain has been small and poor for several generations, they couldn’t afford to build something like a castle. And as for why my father never even maintained the place at all…… He was afraid of attracting attention with flashy reconstruction. His hobby instead was to expand the dungeons as much as possible, really, he was the lowest of the low. He didn’t even consider that his own actions caused the people to resent him, leading to a loop where he would imprison more and more people. Because of this, the Mansion of Golden Hills was considered to be one of the smallest noble residences, split up so that the second and third floors had various bedrooms and empty rooms, and the first floor had rooms such as the drawing room and kitchen. My bedroom was located in basically the innermost part of the second floor, and even though the floor was decently thick, I could still hear a commotion from downstairs all the way from the second floor, so in order not to be caught, I quietly moved until the sounds grew louder and I reached the staircase. After all, it’s been the first time ever since I killed my family that there’s been such a large commotion.
Hiding myself in the shadows of the pillars, I peeked from the staircase railings over towards the entrance. Both entrance doors were wide open, and several busy-seeming adults were bustling about repeatedly. They seemed to mostly consist of fully armed men, and the ones that were all wearing leather with no sense of uniformity, they were probably Viscount Kaldia’s personal troops. The soldiers that were wearing metal armor, were probably prepared by Earl Terejia for some reason, or maybe even sent here by the House of Lords for some purpose……
Given that soldiers from other territories generally wore chainmail, it feels like the technological level of my domain might be almost one hundred years behind the other domains. Because of the House of Lords, the nobles aren’t totally isolated from each other, so a certain level of standard has been achieved across Arxia, making my domain’s soldiers stand out as rather unusual. Once again, this is just appalling.
Currently, this mansion is inhabited by eleven people, including me and Earl Terejia. My nanny, Mrs. Galton, my governess, Mrs. Marshan, the earl’s secretary, Bellway, the cook Nathan and the baker Olga, the maids Isadora and Phoebe, the gardener Boriswaf, and the maidservant Mary.
The people that were usually still sleeping at this time were only me, Mrs. Galton, and Mrs. Marshan, while everyone else would have started working already. Anyways, I could hear someone’s angry voice without any hesitation to it coming from the drawing room. Even though I wanted to know what was going on and even sneaked out of my room to here, no matter how much I concentrated I couldn’t make out what was being said.
I wonder if it’s better to give up and go back to my room. It’s probably almost time for Mrs. Galton to come to my room in order to wake me up. The thin clouds outside the window were beginning to let a few rays of sunshine through the dimness.
Thinking while running my hand through my hair, I slowly began to return. Just at this moment, someone ran to the drawing room.
Maybe he didn’t close the door because he was in such a hurry, or maybe he just felt it wasn’t necessary. Now that the door to the drawing room was no longer closed, I could suddenly hear a sonorous voice loud and clearly from where I was.
“Here’s my report. Agil Irishettsu, stationed at Cyril village, is reporting that the wolf dragon draconis has been discovered.”
– Draconis? At the term that sounded out of place, I involuntarily stepped forward a bit. It’s a name I’ve only heard in fairy tales here, so I was rather tense about this. The strange name caught my full attention and piqued my curiosity, and I completely forgot about returning to my room.
In one of my bedtime stories that Mrs. Galton had read to me, there were a few of them that could be counted as heroic epics. Something that didn’t change from world to world, was the fact that morality plays where monsters were exterminated were always popular. For example, the tale where the Ar Xia church’s shrine maiden, Xia Fema’s servant Wetzlar defeated the giant evil wolf dragon and rescued his wife and daughter is famous throughout all of Arxia. Really, this is closer to a myth than a fairy tale, but……
There’s also other stories like how the monkey sage and the ancient wolf dragon have lived for thousands of years, but this is just another commonly told fairy tale.
According to it, draconis is a gigantic wolf with scales, with a snake’s tail, and wings on its back like a bat’s that allow it to fly.
I had thought it was only a fusion of several beasts made from imagination, but it seems that wasn’t the case.
The draconis actually exists. Come to think of it, this world isn’t only a separate world entirely, I finally remembered that this is also a fantasy world. If I think back really hard on the game’s information, the word “monster” did seem to appear several times in it.
Of course, in the ordinary Amon Nor Mountains, it was said that in the farthest innermost portion of the Bandishia Plateau, they lived and ate the snow snakes there, but since I’d never seen such a thing for myself, I didn’t believe it up until now.
“Anyways, something like the draconis suddenly appearing. Exactly what is going on?”
“……Somehow it happened.”
Since I slipped out from my room and heard about the draconis, Mrs. Galton had a strange look on her face but I somehow came up with a good excuse although I was rather ambiguous and vague. After all, surely I couldn’t tell her the truth about slipping out and what I just heard.
Even in the afternoon, the commotion in the mansion still hadn’t died down. It didn’t seem like Earl Terejia was trying to hide the information on the draconis from me. He did seem to tell Mrs. Galton to not let me loiter around too close to the drawing room, but I stayed in the dining hall next to the drawing room and could still hear everything being said just fine.
The discovered draconis was quite large. According to the stories I heard before, draconis were supposed to be rather similar to wolves, preferring to live in herds. That’s why the draconis from this village was being called a lone wolf.
I wondered what exactly the draconis had come down especially for from the Amon Nor Mountains, to the place where humans lived. Since the mountains weren’t a fitting location for a domain there, there really should be no reason. Since they’re saying it’s such a large individual, I doubt it would have lost in some territory war amongst its own kind up there either.
“Eliza-sama, it’s time for your meal now!”
There was too much to think about so I had lost sight of my surroundings while I concentrated. After a sharp rebuke from Mrs. Galton at neglecting my meal, I hurriedly stopped thinking about the draconis for the time being.