To the Earldom (1)
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“Preparations done on your end?” Miss Margrett said, checking her luggage on the carriage in front of the florist.

“Ah yes, we’re good,” I picked up the crate.
“It doesn’t seem you have much at hand to carry,” I passed the crate to Miss Margrett.

“I mean.. you know..”

“Of course I do,” Miss Margrett loaded the crate into the back.

Somehow, this carriage feels more like a car screaming fantasy than does an actual horse-pulled carriage. This one Miss Margrett rented was larger than the normal ones you’d encounter at the carriage stations.

I get how it’s a vehicle powered by a magic engine.. but the lack of a horse just makes it look funny.

“This is the last of it.”

“Now then.. where could the driver be..” Miss Margrett looked around.

Two things to note.

First, was that the wedding venue is in the Earl’s territory-- an earldom, basically. Which means we have to travel-- and thus why the carriage.

Two, was that this trip would last around 4 days. Jennifer-chan took a leave of absence for this. The trip from Erudite Kingdom to Harriot Earldom is a half-day trip. We were leaving for the venue one day before the wedding.

Three, it’s a freaking vacation!

“It’s been half a column..” Miss Margrett checked the time. Column, as in one sundial column, is half an hour. “How about the rest? I assume they are going to travel via that Unique Skill of yours?”

“Might be the case for Prune and Nine.. no problems with that right?”

“We just have to be discreet about it. It is quite the omnipotent skill.”

“I’m done!” Jennifer-chan bounced out of the florist holding her green school bag. Today, she was in a dark blue adventurer's dress, a brown jacket around her shoulders. Her lavender coloured hair was clipped to the side.

“I can’t believe it, we’re going on a trip!” Gabriel cheered. She wore a normal set of clothes consisting of a white blouse with a belt crossing over the front. Let’s not forget the sword hanging on her waist.

People here don’t really use rubber bands. Hair clips are more of the norm.

“I put it here right?” Gabriel asked.

“Yes dear.”

“Is everything ready?” Liliath came out last. She wore a loose dress-like garment over pants. 

In short, Liliath teleported Gabriel over. Gabriel was one of Jennifer’s friends. She was personally invited to the wedding. Permission was granted by her parents and that’s why she’ll be travelling with us.

Nine and Prune were in the apartment, we’re saving cost, space and comfort. Else, everyone would have to squeeze in the carriage.

There was another reason they were staying in the apartment though..

“I’m back. Alls well it seems?”

“Ah Mister Dane, yes. All has been prepared.”

“I apologize for the absence, there was an important matter I needed to attend to.”
“I understand. Are there going to be any issues for the trip?”

Miss Margrett locked up shop. We hopped on the carriage and set off. 

To the north gate we go.

You know.. circuit magic is a mystery. This carriage is heated. It’s a nice toasty temperature here.

Gallop. Gallop. 

The sound of the wheels bumping against the pavements.

The typical response of almost every novel which involves riding a carriage is: my butt hurts, or the carriage is shaky.

I would say.. not? They have a suspension thing in place and the seats are cushioned. Which is just great. 

The view outside the carriage as we passed through the northern industrial sector was eye opening.  Factories didn’t look like factories, most of them didn’t have anything that looked like a tower billowing black smoke. The give-away were the large warehouses made of metal and concrete. The streets of this district were less busy. 

Whenever a carriage passes by, it would create this whooshing sound. 

We reached the northern gate after a while. Paying the toll or whatever, and a short inspection later, we left the kingdom.

A wilderness of white. A long dirt path forward.

Jennifer-chan blew mist onto the glass window, drew a smiley face, then pressed her face against it. Dunno what's that about. 

Miss Margrett herself sat in front at the two-seater seat together with the coachman.

Liliath and I sat beside each other, me between her and Jennifer-chan. We were secretly holding hands.

“Noel-san, Liliath-sama, stop flirting around and look there!” Gabriel called out.

“This kid really,” I muttered under my breath. And here I though I took enough precautions to hide it.

“Who is the kid here, really?” Gabriel retorted.

Seriously. Kids these days, even in the fantasy world.

Liliath leaned over and looked outside the window. A field of blue and purple flowers till the ends the eyes can see. On Jennifer’s side, this flower field reaches all the way to the sea, you could see it glistening far out in the distance. 

“What flower is that?”

“I think it’s called Roxi flowers. You can use appraisal right?”
I did a quick appraisal.
“Fermented Roxi flowers,” I said.

“A sea of tea..”

“What?”

“You heard nothing.”

What has Roxi flowers got to do with tea?

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We finally reached the Earldom. More specifically, we arrived at the entrance of Earl’s villa. We had to pass through this gigantic gate, and weaved our way through the city. The Earl’s estate was further away from the city, surrounded by lush blue forage.

Just a side note, the Earldom itself was quite a large area. The city has a different air compared to Erudite Kingdom, but for the most part, it’s like any other medieval city.

“Thank you very much for the service.”
“Thank you for your patronage. Your return would be on the early 33rd of winter?”

“Yes, that’s the time. Will meet again then.”
“Will do.”

“Bye mister!” Jennifer-chan said.

“He’s bald,” Gabriel muttered in a very soft voice. This kid really..

Nodding, he left along with the carriage. Gallop. Gallop.

Since we were already in front of the villa, a few high pillars supporting the large overhanging structure leading up to the stairway entrance-- there were fantasy butlers and maids waiting to receive us. Like wow..

The grey haired butler sharpened by years of work stepped forward.

“Many thanks for the invitation.”

“Be at ease. My master has prepared suitable accommodations for you.”

“Oh, there would be 7 in total sir.”

“When would the rest be arriving?”

“I will fetch them from the guild after we settle in,” what a sly tongue, I have no complaints about what Miss Margrett did there.

“Then please follow me.”

“Excuse me um.. ” I raised my voice.

“Yes?” the butler stopped and turned to me.

“Can I know the location of the washroom?”

“I’ll point out the admentities as we go,” the butler gave a professional answer.

It’s a mystery how people cope with long trips, especially when nature calls. Since it was a half-day trip, it was sorta bearable but I need to go to the toilet ASAP. And.. I take back my words, my butt hurts.

As for the interior of the villa.. it’s got a lot of cool antiques. The walls are made of plaster, the skeleton of the house mainly reinforced wood. A large coat of arms displayed on the top of the lobby. And towering, grandiose shelves displaying various jewels, pottery, weapons, and cursed objects.

I’m not joking. That one there is a cursed weapon.

2 guest rooms were prepared, the room was quite lavish with the french windows, curtains. A fruit basket was even prepared for each room. 

As for the washroom.. that problem was dealt with. There was one located at the end of the hall. Yippe..

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