Chapter 15 – Gold Shell
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The view that I, Itia, saw is a white and gold carriage. With a white base and gold trimmings it is definitely what you call a royalty's ride. It's long like a casket and is being pulled by four white horses and one singular horde with a horn on it's head, a . The design is filled with circular frills and leafs attach to the surface and pointy ends at the roof. 

It is also accompanied by a squad of about 30 armoured soldiers lined up in a parade-style position.

The people on the crowd are generally acting positively. "Prince-sama!" "The Prince is back!" "El Niño will prosper!" 

But as I look at the very back I can see some disgruntled faces, with my hearing I can hear their plight. "Tsk, he'll bring capital politics to this city." "He'll drag us and disturb the peace in this city." "Damn Prince..." But they seem to be at the very back and are few in number so they're at only just muttering it to avoid attention to the guards. 

""Woahh!"" The carriage trails along pass us and the people are giving out flower petals and other such confectioneries in celebration.

Until the curtains of one of the windows in the carriage opens and a hand was waves towards us, I couldn't see it very well though as instead of that hand a man with a wizard-style beard greets us instead. 

To which the crowd reacted even more ecstatic. "It's the Marquis!" "Hail the Marquis of El Niño!" He wave forward instead as the carriage passes by us and eventually left to continue the trail. 

I begin to wonder but before I could think Kumo ask me by living me down and stretching his back. "What do you think?" He ask me. 

As Kumo couldn't see what happened I'm the one to explain. "Well it seems as though the Prince and the Marquis are at the same carriage together." I conclude. 

Kumo nodded in agreement then ask a random human beside us that was shouting the Marquis earlier. "Hello good sir may I ask who the Marquis is?" Is what Kumo said. 

To which the human widen his eyes. "Hah?! You don't know the Marquis?!" He ask with a exasperated way. 

To which Kumo bows his head lightly. "Yes we just arrived at this city today." He says in a apologetic way. 

The man scratches his head. "Ayayai... Well if that's the case...." He finally explains. "Our Marquis is the great Marquis Norkin, he's been ruling this city and it's surroundings since I was a kid. So about 40 years ago." He pauses. "I dunno what the other city's think of theirs but we of El Niño very much like and are proud of our noble lord." After he explained that speech several other of the citizens chimed in. 

"We have never taken up arms in his reign." 

"Our city's prosperity comes from him!" 

"Lord Norkin is always fair and doesn't take much of our taxes!"

"My father actually met him and he said he's a gentlemen that doesn't look down on us!"

This is from what each humans said about him.

"I-I see..." I back off a bit from their enthusiasm and look at Kumo. "What do you think?" I ask him.

"Well unlike the prince he seems to be universally liked." Is Kumo's conclusion. As I look at the same back and saw the guys criticising the Prime either shutting up or praising the Marquis. 

"Yeah... I think so too." I nodded in agreement. 

Truthfully after we finished surveying the marketplace we don't really know what to do afterwards. But with this, unconsciously we both agreed to... 

"How about we investigate him?" Kumo, "Let's check them out." I, Itia, said at the same time. 

It's only a matter of who said it first.

"Fufu.." "Heh." We are both amused that we came to the same conclusion. 

But Kumo already has his planned out. "Gabril, go to Morus-sama and tell this report, and also..." He begun explaining the next plan. 

•••

"Kumo look." Itia pointed behind me. 

"I'm back~!" Gabril finally returned but this time not unlike the previous times she didn't casually waltz in midair but appeared on the corners of the alleyway. "I have brought the goods little boy hehehe..." I don't know what reference she's doing but she's holding her wings apart like a bat as bags and sacks are hanging on her feathers. 

"Sigh... Don't bring attention to yourself." I grab the bags out of her wings. 

"Well you see I had a thought, since I am invisible that means that I could make myself nak—ouf!" But she isn't immune to magical attacks. 

"Pervert." Itia is staring at Gabril so coldly I'm afraid she would turn her to ice. The speed of her fist infused with her mana moved so fast I didn't even noticed it before I could see a fist shaped bruise just below the belly. 

"Aah~!" Gabril overdramatically twirls around as her bruise is completely recovered lands onto Itia as she said to her with bliss. "Don't stimulate my womb that much~" I noticed a wet stain dripping on her thighs but I pay it no mind. 

"Y-you...!" Then their argument ensues. 

As I deliberately avoided to join their fight I look at the small brown bag the size of Itia's head. [It's Morus-sama's] But I hold it with extreme caution as it is a bag belonging to master. 

I hug it and slowly open up the buttons until. "There it is." I see the contents inside. 

[Our clothes.] The red tuxedo Morus-sama gave me when I was still an emotionless weakling that truly didn't know the significance of this gift as I only obediently wore it in my skin. As I wore different clothes now seeing it somehow makes me feel complete and fully realized it's importance of the identity as 'Kumo,' Morus-sama's butler.

[I guess the phrase that humans say, you don't know what you have until it's gone, applies here.] I grab my clothes, my identity, out of the bag and clutches it deeply. 

[I'll make sure I truly make my identity as a butler a reality for Morus-sama.] I smile at myself at that thought. 

I look back on Itia and Gabril as I saw that they finished their argument. "Itia, your clothes are inside here." I give her the bag. 

"Why thank you..." Itia grabs the bag but looks at me with a confused expression. "You seem awfully happy right now." She said as she tilts her head. 

"Well..." I find it rather unsightly to tell my thoughts to her so... "I really wanna see Morus-sama after this." I said to her. 

Itia giggles a bit, "Of course, we all are." As she grabs her slightly more modest dress this time. 

But there's one person been left out here. "Auu... I wish I had clothes Morus-sama made specially for me." Gabril said as her finger is in her lips and grinding her thighs as she looks at us with jealousy. 

"I'm sure you'll get one soon enough Gabril." I reassure her. 

She nodded in agreement with a bright smile. But another force. "Don't you fucking dare peek on me you hear?" Itia, is not going to let her off the hook. 

"Okiie..." Gabril once again slumps down at an arch in midair as she floats like a balloon. 

"Alright Kumo you change there and I change there." Itia points at two different corridors in this alley.

"Sure." I agreed. 

•••

"Hey man no customers today?" A man younger than me ask. 

"Yeah, the prince decided to use his own carriage and not mine." I said as I take a smoke at my pipe.

"Yeah no nobles will take your carriage of you pay them at your prices." The guys says with a grin. 

"Oh shuddup you youngins' I have been serving nobles and rich merchants with this beauty for 30 years! So I always bring the best quality with my rides." I angrily shut the youngsters up as I give the spare leaves of my pipe to my equestrian mare. 

Neeigh~! 

[She always loves them.] She gets quite active when I give them to her, so much that I have to avoid being hit by her horns, as I dodge another one. 

The youngster I've been talking to laughs. "Haha einhorn are a pain in the ass old man! Why don't you just use a regular horse and sell that thing? She got quite the large horn so I thing you'll get a fine sum to—cough!" I blow him a smoke of my pipe for the words this bastard said. 

"Like hell! I've been protecting my stallion here for 30 years! From poachers and other nobles! Ya think I'll give her, the only one with a einhorn in this whole business you brat?!" I stood up and gently rub my mare's mane, "There, there." She responded happily with the touch. 

"Tsk! Get with the times old man!" The youngster walks away stomping his foot. 

"Hmph! Youngsters these days." I took back a seat as I blow another smoke. 

As a coachman I have been escorting and touring nobles and the rich merchants in the Nobles' district for 30 years now. As a result from their gossip I have a certain degree of understanding the current day to day political situation. 

[That's probably why they keep spreading bad rumors about me recently.] Some bad apples, particularly those halos, have been bad mouthing me recently for my knowledge and also my code of not telling them information which earned me the noble's trust. Which I couldn't afford to break or I'll probably get mugged someday. 

[But if this keeps up I'll have no choice but to close down...] It seems that there smear campaign is working as I have less and less customers nowadays. 

I look at my einhorn, which is giving me a glossy eyed look and scratch her mane. "Well I have my family and you, plus I'm getting up in age so I guess it's not bad if I retire—" But somebody interrupted my moment. 

"Sir Takaar! You have a customer!" It was one of the staff from the company. 

[Customer?] Although I was surprised for a moment, I quickly got back up and cleaned off the dust and smell of my pipe as I, "Bring them in." Greeted them...

My eyes widen in shock as I saw them. They were a pair of young man in his early 20's and a really young woman in her mid teens. It's like they were fire and water, the young man wearing a luxurious deep red suit while the girl wears a gently, flowy sky blue dress. 

Even as a man I could tell that he is good-looking, almost like a member of royalty in fact, as I shiver a bit as he looks at me with fiery red eyes filled with ambition. With a sculpted face and orange hair, I could mistake him as a prince. 

But the young girl beside him has a different kind of beauty. With silver glossy hair with big eyelashes but with an uncaring and dull expression she seems like a spirit in another world that travelled towards us mortals, it makes me unconsciously bow towards her. 

The two of them are almost polar opposites, one like a raging inferno and the other gentle lake. But their otherworldly presence is the one thing that unites them together. 

I immediately gulp down my pipe tasted saliva as these two come to me. "You must be our escort right?" The girl ask me. 

I drip with sweat on my back but with 30 years of experience I must not falter. "Yes, I will be your escort for today ma'am." I bow. "May I ask what your name is fine customers?" But I need to know their identities first. 

"Oh, my apologies it is courtesy to introduce ourselves." She made a small bow. 

Then, "My name is Itia Geist, and this man right here is Kumo Kruisspin, my butler." She introduce themselves. 

[I see...] They have last names, which means they must have a family or some kind which means they would be a noble of sorts. I now know what they are. 

But, "Okay then—" The woman said something even more unbelievable. 

"And we belong to house Sibylissa."

•••

Noble houses. 

From my years of dealing with nobles knowing their house and how to address them is an absolute necessity. Noble houses, especially the larger ones, are divided into junior and senior houses, with the ones that are closer to the main branch being seniors and those farther are juniors. 

Technically every noble is part of those large houses because of marriage but they are so apart and such a tangible connection like a wife that it is more likely the main branch would choose their junior houses and more importantly pick only with patrilineal lineages.

So this Itia woman proclaiming to be part of another house is a big deal in the noble world. As it indicates you are a branch to that family. 

But most importantly of all... [Sibylissa...?] I have never heard of such a house before. I would know what recent happenings in the noble world in a few weeks time but I have never heard of that family name before. So the only possibility is them being a foreign house. 

With their luxurious outfits and looks they must some rich nobles or wealthy merchants that decided to visit here. 

Which means [I have to be even more careful from now on.] If I made a mistake I would not only embarrass my country but insult another, and I would not be surprised if royalty itself would execute me and my family.

I shiver at the thought as I carefully not try to provoke them as I stir up my stallion. But then... "May I ask you a question Sir Takaar?" Said the young butler that I keep swearing is a prince of some kind. 

"...Yes?" I ask nervously.

"You don't have to be so stiff Mr. Takaar." Said the woman. 

"Of-of course." I said still nervously. 

"We're not nobles of this country you know?" Said the woman as she grabs the bottle of wine resting at the side. 

"Yes...." I am speechless at the sight of this noble woman acting so slovenly in front of a commoner like me. 

But it also felt a bit relieving to see someone act so freely like that, but as I look at the man he made me tense up again as he said this to me. "Well now my question..." He pauses. "You seem to know a lot about this country's nobles?" He asks like it's nothing. 

I immediately jolt up. [Why does he want to know?] For my own safety I decided to not leak any of the words that the nobles had said in this room to which I earned their trust. [I'm sorry but...] I don't want my life taken if I were to blow them out. 

"I believe I..." But I was interrupted before I could deny them. 

"We don't mean sensitive information, just the general structure of this country." The woman said. To which the butler added. "We have only recently came here a few days ago and have plans to permanently stay here, so we wish for any information right now." The butler explained. 

I gulped another pack of my saliva, I have been doing that recently. [But if it's only that then...] The general politics is something which I wouldn't get myself killed if I were to leak it out so I'm safe, and plus... [What an interesting duo.] They dress very fancily but isn't boastful like most nobles I have escorted is. I also believe, [They'll change this city...] It's just a hunch, and unlike the Kurumist they will bring positive changes. 

I made a smile as I turn around and agreed to their request. "Well okay, I'll be explaining things now. It's long and it'll cost extra so I hope that's fine with you gentlemen." Information doesn't come free. 

But both of them seem to agree. ""Of course.""

I smile even more wildly and begin explaining.

AUTHORS NOTE:

Hey guys! Me here! But this is the first. MY FUCKING AUTHORS NOTE GOT DELETED. in fact ITS FUCKING BROKEN. This is not pertaining to the chapter or anything but this one has annoyed me. Errors errors errors I dunno why that happened when I was editing but it became errors when I click update. But yeah, this chapter where it was just supposed to be an easy write became frustrating. So fuck the editing, this is something I need to explain to you guys. so that's why I'll do this instead because yeah, it's broken. 

Well anyways back to the chapter I was pissed when this happened lol but first there will be more Kumo and Itia chapters!! Yeah this will go on for a fee more so ye, this was a really short chapter but I fell asleep looking at doujins so I only finished this earlier XD but yeah the most important thing is that I felt really smart about the family name Sibylissa. In the original it's lamia but I thought it didn't make sense and Morus doesn't have any snake bits yet so yeah, they came from the Greek word Sibyl and Vasilissa, combine them and boom! A good name. Well anyways guys arigatou! 

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