“Speaking of which, from which country did you come from Noel-san? I’m just curious what happened along the way, and how you ended up staying at Margrett-san’s place. You’re an adventurer right?” Hal asked.
This boy in front of him. He didn’t look all that tan or muscular. If anything, he looked like an upstart adventurer who lacked experience. What had he been doing all this time?
Hal observed, but couldn’t come up with an accurate deduction.
“Somewhat an adventurer,” The boy, Noel said.
“Okay, I’ll not dig too much into your past.. though..” Hal appraised Noel at a guess.
[Name: Noel Bougainvillea]
That’s when it hit him.
“Should be, I’ll tell him about it.”
“Nothing, just saying that your father might miss you..” he whispered.
Right. This boy couldn’t be an adventurer. He didn’t have that aura most adventurers he had connections with exuded. He was a greenhorn.
Which meant one of two things.
This boy was either kicked out of his house or.. was a bargaining piece-- he had been raised in some other home before he started staying at Margrett’s place.
Miss Margrett glanced at the boy with a curious face.
“No.. just. It’s alright, you have your own situation. I shouldn't pry too much into it.” Hal muttered.
He wondered what he should do about this.
“Pailyn-chan, do you still have that communication talisman Margrave Bougainvillea passed us last time..” Hal came into his office, turning to the girl dusting the shelves with a feather duster, he asked.
“Margrave Bougainvillea? I’ll have to check.”
“You don’t have to clean the place, you know? That’s the maid’s work.”
“I can’t possibly allow anyone in here, what if they tried to take advantage of the information gleaned through these documents?” Pailyn pouted.
“You’re my secretary for heaven's sake, I’m not going to pay you extra for doing all this cleaning.”
“But you will shower me with concern and your affection in exchange~”
Hal clicked his tongue. He wondered how he bought such a slave.
Pailyn was for a noble upbringing, and when her house fell, she was enslaved to be sold. There, Hal picked her up. She had the skills to become his secretary, moreover, as a slave, she wouldn’t be able to betray him even if she wanted to.
Though.. it had been years since her collar had been removed. Hal had trusted her enough to bring her out of slavery.
Hal brushed his fingers across his desk. There were files and papers neatly arranged at one corner and his schedule on the other.
He raised his finger to his eye. Dust.
“You missed this place.”
“I properly cleaned that okay! I-I’m sure it’s because you kicked up the dust when you came in, yeah, that’s how it ended up on your desk!” she sent him a sidelong glance.
Teasing his secretary wasn’t all that bad once in a while.
“What do you want to contact the Margrave for?” Pailyn placed the duster in the corner of the room and rubbed her hands.
“I just found something interesting, that’s all.”
“Can you at least tell your beloved secretary what exactly is interesting and dally-dilly, hopping around the topic?”
“I don’t have such a secretary.”
“I’ll throw your entire desk outside okay~?”
“I found another kid with the Bougainvillea house name.”
“Ah-hah? What?! Which means?”
“I don’t know if he was the Margraves illegitimate child that he recently found and got kicked out or he was being taken care of by some well known merchant house until he moved out to become a tenant of one of my acquiantance’s place.”
“Are you thinking too much? If that person was being taken care of by some other merchant house.. why would he end up renting? You said he was a tenant right?”
“Yes. But.. he just doesn’t have that feeling he was from some commoner’s upbringing. Sure, he’s crude but naive. He doesn’t have the workings of a noble nor did he have that crude feel of being a commoner-- then where did he come from? The merchant house should’ve taken advantage of him already shouldn't they? They have Margrave's illegitimate child after all..”
“Stop thinking so much. Here, just tell that lusty Margrave about it,” Pailyn finally dug out the talisman from a small chest.
“Who's the rude one here?”
Pailyn wasn’t wrong. This wasn’t the first time the Margrave had stumbled upon one of his children out in the streets.
“Lord Bougainvillea, it’s been a while,” Hal lowered his head. He had come all the way to the Margrave’s territory per the requested permission.
“It’s been a while, Merchant Hal from the Randolf house, I’ll get straight to the point. Explain what you saw and your deductions.”
“That’s being quite hasty is it not my lord?”
“Speak only of what is required,” his tone turned cold.
“Right,” Hal only wanted to joke a little, he didn’t think the Margrave would be so serious.
Hal sat on the couch. The maid served him tea, and was soon dismissed by the Margrave after doing so.
Hal went on to explain what little information he had on the matter. If he had taken into account the severity of the matter and taken more action, he wouldn't have been so underprepared for the questions the Margrave threw at him.
“Noel Bougainvillea, is that not a girl’s name?” the Margrave snorted. Of all names that could've been given, the woman just had to give that.. the Margrave said in a whipsher.
Hal kept his silence. He knew of the past Margrave’s nighttime habits. And a little too often would cause situations like this to appear.
The boy Noel looked to be around 17 of age, which meant that it was an accident that occurred more than a decade ago.
What would his wife think of it? Hal didn’t dare to ask. He heard from rumours, of the last two children found, one had been poisoned to death.
“Bring him here.”
“You are a merchant in the logistics sector, correct? Then bring him here to me.”
“That’s not possible my Lord. I..”
“Are you defying my orders?”
“No my lord. My intention was that you have your kins to meet with this person, confirm his identity before bringing him to your lordship. You have received the invitation to the marriage between the Ifrit house and Harriot house have you not?”
“That is your suggestion?”
“I had said before that I am unable to arrange the time for it? Even if I did meet with this person, he may not agree to meet your lordship.”
“Explain your suggestion in detail. Are you stating that this child of mine will be attending the wedding? Is he planning to reveal himself so openly to sully my name?”
If there was someone at the wedding who had an appraisal skill, Noel’s identity would be found out at that instant. And that would indefinitely become the beginning spark of a flame.
So who exactly was it that Noel was affiliated with? Margrett most probably had nothing to do with it and didn’t find the boy suspicious in any way.
Hal regretted not doing the research. He should have investigated the other 3 tenants for more information.
“Chances are, he will only have to do with the decoration of the venue and not the event itself. He is currently under the care of one of my acquaintances, a florist.”
“And this florist, who is this person?”
“My theory is that she herself doesn’t know of the boy’s identity. She had said that the boy came to stay at her place a week ago by his own volition. Moreover, his participation in the wedding, in the preparation, was on whim. It is unlikely he had any ulterior motives behind his relations to the wedding.”
“Which only emphasises his origin. Which prostitute was it..” The Margrave massaged his head.
Hal took a sip of the tea. He made sure to appraise that it was poison free.
“Don’t speak a word of this to my wife.”
“I understand that much.” Hal replied with a sigh.
This was troublesome. He prayed that Noel would remain safe. The Margrave’s wife is not someone to fool with.
VOLUME 6 END~
Yeah, I actually kinda wonder, does my novel connect with you? The fact is that no matter how good a novel is, not everyone will like it, only the few, like you. This has to do with our internal preference. If you've read this far, it means my work is to your taste, and I thank you for that.
Please consider reading my novel on the website I created for you. Here