It was a holiday.
White mama had left in the morning, making it a rare occasion that allowed me to sleep in.
Though breakfast wasn’t prepared for me, there were some leftovers in the kitchen, so I ate.
It might be a little lonely, but that seems just right.
Since I don’t have a job, this is to be expected.
Typically on holidays, white-mama and red-mama go out, while blue-mama stays at home.
Recently, that’s been our home’s norm.
Dad may or may not be home, but today, he’s not.
That means I can relax at home.
「Ah, Sieg. Good Morning.」
Just as I thought, blue-mama had come to the dining room.
I’m a little on guard.
Blue-mama hasn’t directly told me to go find a job or keeps an eye on me in that regard.
She’s only hinted that I should seriously look for a job.
!!!In short, she has many weak points.
「Actually, Sieg. There’s something I want you to take a look at.」
「Wait just a moment.」
Blue-mama scampered off to her room.
Now then, what hand will she play today?
Shortly, blue-mama brought back a stack of square boards.
Perhaps her goal today isn’t to get me to find a job, but to get me to help with something.
That would be most welcome.
#I may be unemployed, but I wouldn’t turn down a request.
「Please look at this.」
Saying that, mom starts lining up the boards in front of me.
There were pieces of cloth attached to each board, with paintings on the cloth.
Portraits of women.
All portraits of women.
The girls look young, around 20 years old.
「That’s the second daughter of the Tyle House of the Ranoa Kingdom, Marida. That one’s the third daughter of House Yunipin, Monory」
「…And this one?」
「That’s the fifth daughter of the ruler of the Basherant Dukedom, Egrid. Since we’ve started to put effort into sales of magic tools with help from the Zanoba firm, Basherant has been wanting to establish some connection. As a matter of fact, Lily’s also received a marriage proposal from their prince.」
Even without hearing that keyword, I figured it was something like that from the lineup of portraits.
#From today’s predicament, I can feel my hair color changing.
「How about it? Aren’t they all quite beautiful?」
「Well, I guess they are…」
「Could it be that you’d prefer more cute-type girls over the beauties? In that case, how about these.」
「Look at this girl. Lotte House’s Krisna. She’s got a cute face and great tits. Ah, speaking of chest size, this girl’s great too. Taashin House’s Roko. She’s about as tall as I am, and with tits like that, from your height, you’ll have a nice view down her cleav-」
Hearing me shout, she stopped.
「I have no intention of getting married.」
「Why? Since they’re all high class, you’d be able to get away with taking on a not-very-job-like job.」
「I won’t be fooled so easily. Nobles still have to do quite a bit of work. They’re required to attend various events and ceremonies, and when the time comes, they have a duty to fight for the sake of the king. Knowingly marrying a child of the Greyrat House means that they intend to use me as a negotiation channel with all of the other Greyrat connections.」
Mainly, I hate that I would be made to deviate from my sense of justice for something like that.
If I was to get married, I’d be made to work for the house for whoever I get married to.
For a house that I don’t even like.
Working for the Greyrat House is still better…
「Well, I guess you’re right. You are an adult now. I might have been treating you too much like a kid just now.」
「But Sieg. In order to become a proper adult, it’s about time for you to find a partner. If you think about it as working for the girl you love, I feel like you might stop thinking about if something is a “job” or not.」
「That’s… you might be right.」
「Right? Well, I won’t say to do it immediately, but if any of these girls made you think 「Oh, She’s cute.」, why don’t you try just meeting her for now?」
「… I’ll think about it.」
Right then, Lily came into the dining room while yawning.
Looks like she also spent her holiday sleeping in.
She made a little gulp, seeing me and blue-mama sitting with a lineup of portraits.
「Lily. Good morning.」
Watching her come in, blue-mama broke into a grin that would indicate the end of the opening act.
「Of course, there’s some for you too.」
「D- don’t need it.」
「Ah, come, at least see what they look like. They’re all very understanding, saying that it would be fine for you to continue with your current job.」
To chase after Lily who fled, blue-mama ran out of the dining room.
It’s been a while since marriage proposals first came in for Lily.
She’s a talented lady working at the Zanoba Firm.
Various places have placed recognition upon her works.
Although, she does seem to bring about many worries for our parents.
She gives off the impression that if we were take our eyes off of her, she’ll end up getting captured by some slave traders.
Regardless of her work, I bet our parents wishes for some reliable husband to take care of her.
I totally sympathize.
「Before I do, shouldn’t Laroneesan be getting married first?」
「That girl will find someone on her own soon enough. I can tell.」
「That’s definitely a lie~!」
I could hear that coming from upstairs.
By the way, no marriage proposals had come in for Lara.
While I was away at the Asura Royal Academy, I thought that a good number of marriage proposals would come in for Lara.
However, no one wanted to marry her.
There weren’t any heroes brave enough to take my pranks-and-naps-loving sister.
Perhaps word had gotten out, leading blue-mama to give up.
「At any rate, we sure collected an impressive amount…」
Amongst the painted visages, there were only magnificently beautiful girls.
Since these were painted for the purpose of a marriage introduction, they might’ve drawn the girls a bit prettier than they are in reality, but they seem to have have gathered those who would be most likely to suit my tastes.
Without someone telling me, I wouldn’t even know their names or pedigree.
However, I’m sure they’re all well-breed ladies.
If I was to marry any of them, I’d expect to be able to enjoy a laid back lifestyle to some extent.
Even if I had to do some work as a noble’s adopted son, I could veto it to some extent.
Of course, I’m not unemployed because I want to slack off. It’s because I’m a temporary ally of justice.
Though I feel bad for blue-mama who went out of her way to gather these, I must decline.
While I was just thinking that, in the midst of tidying up the portraits.
Among the sheets of pictures, there was a face that I recognized.
A face adorned with fluffy blond hair, she was a doll-like girl.
Sariel Anemoi Asura.
A classmate from when I was at the Asura Royal Academy.
Though her face would normally be considered beautiful, thanks to the shy smile she was making, that cute representation suited her well.
I can picture very well what kind of expression she was making as she sat before the painter to have this portrait made.
As expected of one who works on portraits for Asuran royalty, this painter looked to be very skilled…
Amongst all of these candidates, of course she would be the one to stand out the most.
Putting hers along with the other portrait, I piled and left them.
As usual, I spend the day wondering around town.
The weather’s nice. A blue cloud-free sky spread to horizon, a rare occasion for this region.
It’s a little warm too. A perfect day for airing out laundry.
The river was glimmering from reflected sunlight.
Since it flowed through the town, it wasn’t the prettiest river, but you could see a few shadows of fish in it.
It wouldn’t be bad to do a bit of fishing on a day like this.
Blue-mama likes to fish.
When we were young, on a day like this, she would take me and my siblings upstream.
I would often play around the river with my older brother, but at other I would go fishing with blue-mama.
She would sit me down in her lap, and while holding the rod, she would tell me stories of her days as an adventurer.
In particular, I enjoyed her stories of when she would go solo into a labyrinth.
That reminds me, though my eldest sister is usually quite refined, she too enjoyed fishing.
After we all got older, those family fishing trips stopped happening, and mom would end up fishing alone.
On those days, we could always expect the dining table to be lined with fish dishes.
Maybe I should also try fishing by myself once in a while.
When my eldest sister got married, she didn’t take any fishing gear with her.
Most likely, the gear is still gathering dust in the storehouse.
While I was lost in thought, it sounded like someone was moaning.
No, not “sounded like”. Someone was definitely moaning.
Someone was in pain.
There was no way an aspiring ally of justice such as myself would mishear that.
I restlessly survey the area.
Moon knight’s insight evolved to clairvoyance with the power of sunlight.
Under the shade at the side of a bridge, there was a man crouching.
I immediately rush over to talk to him.
A beardless middle-aged man.
He was leaning himself over a cask.
「Oh, It’s Sieg-kun…」
Where have I met him before… Ah, It’s the old man from the fruit stall.
I didn’t immediately recognize him, since he shaved his beard.
「I was supposed carry this barrel of wine to the church up ahead, but midway, my back gave out… Oooww… I hate to ask, but could you help out?」
「A simple task.」
First off, I massage his back.
Adding in a little magical power, I clear up the pain.
I’m not particularly good at healing magic, but I can at least do this much.
「I used some healing magic. How does it feel?」
「Oh… The pain’s gone. That’s a big help. With this…」
「Hold up. The healing magic might have relieved your stained back, but you should still rest for a while. I’ll carry the cask.」
「Is that so? Then, If you would please.」
I pick up the cask of wine, putting it under my arms.
It’s quite an amount.
Too much for a single person to drink.
「What are they going to do with so much wine?」
「I’m glad you asked. Today’s my daughter’s wedding.」
「Thank you. Well, it’s hard to stomach how her husband’s going to be the son from the liquor store!」
While chatting, the church came into view.
Lots of people were gathered.
From a carriage parked in front of the church, luggage was being carried in.
Out of the crowd, a single man came before us.
A man with a beard.
It was the owner of the liquor store.
Wearing a bright smile, he approached us.
「Didn’t you get all excited, saying that you’d bring in the wine for the banquet yourself? And yet you got Sieg-kun to carry it for you.」
「There’s no helping it. My back went out on my halfway here.」
「Your back? Haha, your back gave in!? Weren’t you too excited!? Dumbass!」
The fruit store owner wasn’t amused seeing the liquor store owner laugh.
These two are childhood friends, born and raised together in this town.
Partners in crime, so to speak.
「Sieg-kun, were you also come by to give your regards?」
「No, I was just passing by.」
「I see. Thanks for cleaning up after this idiot. Since you’re here already, how about joining in on the celebration?」
The liquor store’s old man let out a hearty laugh, patting me on the back.
Then, the fruit store’s old man turned around with a grin on his face.
「Well, however. Next time, just have my boy carry it. He might be the second son, but he’s a professional at moving around wine barrels.」
「I’ll do just that. After all, from this day forward, he’s my son too.」
A daughter from the fruit stall and a son from the liquor store.
When I last saw them, both were still fairly young…
That’s before I attended the royal academy though.
I wonder how many years it’s been. Before I knew it, they had grown up and are now getting married.
「Well, it’s best to get a day’s rest if you got a strained back. Just sit back and watch.」
The liquor store owner showed off his biceps.
And then, he went to grab one of the crates filled with fruit out of the carriage.
「For now, I’ll carry in what’s here. You should head inside and take care of less strenuous…」
Saying that, when going to lift the crate, as he put pressure on his back, he put the box back down and fell forward.
「Oi, Godol. Could it be that you…」
「Ha! Did your back give in!? After laughing at me, you went and threw out your back too?! Hahaa!」
「Fucking asshole… shit… I’m… just not used to carrying fruit is all…」
I went up to the liquor store owner who was breaking out in a cold sweat and applied some healing magic.
「Thanks Sieg-kun… being able to use healing magic at a time like this is really convenient, isn’t it?」
The liquor store owner said that while on all fours, putting pressure on his back.
Having cast healing magic, he should be fine after some rest.
「Asshole… Laugh while you can, but what are we going to do with all this luggage? If you we can’t do anything, how are we be ready in time for the ceremony?」
The fruit store owner stopped laughing and turned green.
The two of them made an unpleasant face at each other and turned to me after a while.
「Hey, Sieg-kun. Can you help a little?」
Immediately after replying, I got to work.
This kind of honest work also falls under the jurisdiction of an ally of justice.
After that, the wedding went on without a hitch.
Both the bride and groom were younger than me.
During the ceremony, both looked to be a little flustered with an innocent blush on their faces.
Looking at scene, you can tell that the two truly loved each other, even making me break out in a natural smile.
After the ceremony finished, it was time for the reception.
It’s not the Milis faith, but the local custom.
Everyone makes merry and feasts in celebration of the couple’s new life.
Leaving nothing in want, happiness spread across the wedding and banquet.
All thanks to me taking up the fathers’ job of bringing over the wine.
Though I probably shouldn’t say that myself.
The two old men with strained backs were very gracious, but I turned down their offer of partaking in the banquet in return for helping.
That’s because an ally of justice doesn’t act for reward.
Do what I must and take my leave.
That is the way of an ally-of-justice.
「Now then, what should I do next?」
It is now evening.
No destination nor direction.
「How about Larnee’s place… Yeah, that sounds good. I’ll get her to feed me.」
Having decided that, I head towards the Magic Academy.
Acting like this school belongs to my family, I head up the stairs towards Lara’s lab.
However it was locked.
It’s rare for her door to be locked. She only does that when she’s away.
Guess she’s out.
「Ah, Sensei. Do you know where Larnee is?」
I tried asking a teacher who was nearby.
「She wasn’t in her lab? Then, I don’t know. There’s no way I’d know. No one in this school except maybe Roxy-sensei can guess where that girl’s gone.」
「I guess so.」
Roxy is blue-mama’s name.
And today, she’s on break.
That means no one has any idea where she went.
Not a single person alive is capable of finding the elusive Lara.
Where am I to go to fill this empty stomach?
The bar I usually go to for gathering intelligence isn’t open yet.
Since father won’t be home today, there is the possibility of heading home to plunder the kitchen.
Alternatively, I could head back to the church and pick at their leftover fruits.
However, if I was going to do that, I might as well have stayed there for the whole cermony.
Since I am acquainted with both the bride and groom, if I was there to congratulate the newlyweds, I could have considered the food to be part of the ceremony, and not a reward for helping.
No… as an ally of justice, I don’t think that’s appropriate…
Suddenly, I could hear crying.
I’m particularly sensitive to the sound of someone crying.
That’s because I’m an ally of justice.
My Justice Ear is tingling as I search for the source.
There, at the bottom of the stairway.
I found a girl hidden in the shadows.
I say “girl”, but she’s more like on the brink of adulthood.
She looks to be around 15 years old.
Probably of the human tribe.
「What’s the matter?」
Having called out to her, she turned to me with a surprised face.
She was a pretty girl with flaxen hair.
「Ah, I’m sorry. I’m not a suspicious person. I’m Sieg. Sieghardt Saladin Greyrat」
「The Greyrat House…!」
In times like these, the name Greyrat is quite useful.
That’s because it’s a trustworthy name.
My own name might more or less lower the credibility, but not enough to shake the solid foundation of the name “Greyrat”.
「Why were you crying?」
「It’s alright. I won’t tell anyone. I may be able to help, and even if I can’t, just talking to someone will be a weight of your shoulders.」
I have no intention of lying.
If it’s within my ability, I intend to lend her my strength.
In fact, I’ve been on the strong side ever since I was a child. I have plenty of extra strength to lend out.
She looked quite reluctant, but little by little, words began to come out.
「I’m… supposed to get married tomorrow.」
「Oh. Well, congrats.」
Looks like today’s theme is definitely about marriage.
Perhaps some greater power is pushing me to accept one of those marriage interviews.
「There’s nothing to congratulate. The groom is over thirty years older than me.」
「…That’s no good. It’s quite the age gap.」
「I don’t want to get married… but, that guy, he said he wanted me no matter what. and my parents. said… that I have to… since we… don’t have money…… Tonight…. I was… supposed to go meet… his family… but I don’t want to… so I came here… to cry… *hick*… gsu… …WwwaaaaA……」
She burst into tears, but not before managing to explain her situation.
Her parents forced her into this marriage.
Like a political marriage of convenience, parents frequently decide their child’s spouse for them.
This thing called “marriage” is used as a means to connect families.
Therefore, there are many cases where the head of a household would send off their child in order to establish a connection with another house.
That could have been the case even for the marriage between the liquor store and fruit store’s children earlier today.
However, unlike the wedding earlier today, there’s clearly isn’t mutual love in this situation.
This is simply for the sake of money or status.
Even though the girl herself is against it, the parents are forcing this along for their own convenience.
Looks like she’s being offered up to a perverted old man more than 30 years older than her.
#Moreover, even though the other party one-sidely wants this, the parents
My father is against forcing a marriage on us kids.
He might initiate the conversation, but won’t force us into anything.
That’s why Lily and I are able to dodge the issue though…
Many families aren’t like ours.
If there are happy marriages, there are also unhappy marriages.
That can’t be helped.
However, if the power of money is being used to create an unhappy marriage…
It would be impossible for me to overlook.
My righteous deed for the day has been decided.