Chapter 31 – Head maid
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It was a long return journey compared to the departure, not only was the distance greater due to the detour, it took a little over 3 hours regardless of the sparser crowds as well.

During that time, I asked a few questions and after getting kneed in the balls by Gwendolyn when he hesitated, he became much more cooperative. I was going to kick him myself at first but stopped when the girls reminded me of the difference in levels.

The testicles were so sensitive that even with dozens of levels between each other, it would still hurt a lot. But the difference between myself who was not even a level 1, and a child at that, and him; a Holy Knight that excels in sturdiness and is at least level 50... I really might end up making him enjoy it.

So the young red-headed maid stood up and slammed a knee into him without another word, the veins bursting out on his forehead almost had me worried his heart wouldn't be able to handle it. After that, he spoke in exchange for a promise that his sentence would not involve torture or prolonged pain.

I agreed... reluctantly. I honestly wanted to cut the fucker balls off and use them to play ping-pong in front of his face, but I wasn't sure I could effort to antagonise the royalty right now.

In the end, there were only half a dozen or so people involved in the whole thing, based on what he confessed to me. I was relieved because I wasn't about to jump into an entire arc of dealing with a corrupt church right after coming to this world.

Another thing was that despite capturing them, the mission had yet to be completed, my first thought was 'did I fail because I didn't arrive on time?'

But the mission was still there so it must be an ongoing mission, either the nun is feeling suicidal and I need to help her or I need to sweep all the trash to ensure she isn't hurt by them when they are cornered.

Once I got off the carriage with the help of the girls, the first person to greet me was the head maid. She was a well-maintained woman who was over a hundred years old. From what I have learned, once one reaches certain levels, their lifespan will increase and their youth will return and even their later years will be in better health.

When I asked the dapper teacher, Mr Smokes, about it, he had rearranged his clothes elegantly while a slight smirk was on his face. He then said that the oldest recorded human was said to have lived close to 7,000 years and happened to be his ancestor.

She had been so high levelled and her magical abilities were so high that all her descendants after her for the first 1,000 years have an average lifespan of 300 years without even improving their levels. I was more than a little stunned to find out that Timothy Smokes was over 170 years of age, he looked a little under 30 to me. 

Anyway, the head maid was a high-levelled combatant who was a retired Royal Knight, she had first served as the Head's bodyguard and closest ally in his youth. Once he took over the family, she took up the job of butler and then the head maid, she was respected by all members of the house and even my (hopefully) future wife treated her like a beloved aunt.

She was a tall woman with strong shoulders and a steady gaze, a height that was a little more than 180cm and the touch of grey hair just added an experienced charm to her. Despite her solid physique, her slim waist and flaring hips that had a plump behind attached reminded me of those pictures of hot female soldiers. She wasn't intimidating when she spoke normally, but there was a hidden steel in her voice that made others listen to her.

She then spoke with that calm yet compelling voice, "It's wonderful to see you have returned safely, Milady. The Head and the Lady would like to speak to you and hear of what has transpired" Again, I had no idea what 'transpired' was until I later asked... a wealthy household is nice and all but they all speak formally unless in private and even then, they use more complex vocabulary so it's really challenging for me.

Thankfully, it wasn't difficult to know what she wanted to say. I replied, "I understand, I'll go greet them now. Sophia, I'll leave arranging things here to you. Make sure to block their senses the way I told you, there's a little experiment I want to try."

I wanted to know just how much of an effect levels have and if an increase in something like the senses stat or the endurance affects mental fortitude. Let's not forget if there are skills for that too... again, I should ask first then try things like this. 'I need to stop this silly habit of assuming nobody thought of what I thought of yet. That's just an act of arrogance instilled from too many isekai manga's where the MC becomes OP by farting in chapter 1.'

Anyway, I should just consider this as psychological interrogation and make a quick report to Mr and Mrs Apicius. I still want to see how the nun is faring, as well as the other kids.

The carriages stopped outside a small square placed in the centre of a hedge garden, large white tiles were swept clean regularly, it was a garden entrance with a clean and verdant aesthetic. Anyone who visited the mansion would want to walk through here and enjoy the view at least once in every kind of weather condition.

I have already decided to add walks or picnics into my daily schedule in the future, I then recalled the children and looked around, I asked "Are there any expensive plants hard to grow and fix if they are damaged in this part of the garden?"

A smile finally broke through on her calm face, she said "No, there's nothing that can't be fixed so long as you don't pull out the plants."

'So there ARE some expensive plants...' My anxiety spiked up at the thought of it.

I looked at Clarise who was attending to me while Gwendolyn kept an eye on the kids and Sophia went off to do as I ordered; she was taking the prisoners along with the knights. "Prepare some food and simple clothing for the kids, it's fine if they play around the area. You can ask Gwendolyn to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't go too far."

'It would be good if some good food and playing around helps them move on.' I then asked the head maid to lead the way, her birthing hips were a delightful sight while going up the waaaay too long stairs.