༺ Suspiciously… (3) ༻
To prepare for Count Casseus’s party, Marie and I headed to one of the shopping districts in the city.
There, I noticed an interesting street name.
“Uht…! I, it’s nothing important!”
The name of the shopping district was Marie Street.
What in the world was this?
“Can you explain what this means?”
“Ugh… Like, when I was born, dad built this place to celebrate my birth.”
It seemed that the Duke really cherished Marie.
“All the stores here look very expensive though.”
Marie Street was like a fashion street that was filled with all sorts of branded clothing stores and jewelry shops.
“Montijo? Ghesquiere? Oh damn…”
Even though it was a fantasy world, there were branded stores that were on the same level as famous places on Earth.
After living in this world for 3 years, I reached a point where I could somewhat recognize a few of those names.
Are we going to shop here?”
Why, is there a problem?”
Unlike Marie who was born as the daughter of the super potato farm, I was a salaryman who just became a Grade 1 Knight.
I had yet to even receive my first support fund so there was no way I could afford these expensive items.
“Sorry but… I don’t have enough money…”
Marie blocked her mouth as if she wasn’t expecting to hear such a thing.
What she then said was very unexpected as well.
“Why would you consider using your money Korin?”
“Of course I’m going to be buying it for you!”
“Like, that’s a bit…”
I had my pride as a man and couldn’t afford to receive something so expensive.
That was when Marie tightly grabbed onto my hand and said with a bright smile.
“I really wanted to buy you clothes! Can you please let me buy you presents just for today?”
Her eyes were very clear.
Well, then can I please ask you to buy me a couple of clothes?”
She seemed extremely glad to hear my words.
Everything was fine as long as she was happy with it herself.
“Then I will give you everything we buy today as a present!”
Wait, did I hear something wrong? Did she say everything instead of one?
“Let’s go there first! I really wanted to be the one to get you your first tuxedo!”
Pulling my hand, Marie hurried me forward.
Her following words that today was too short to go looking around all the places was a bit puzzling though.
Well… it’s not like we would be buying that many clothes right?
What I should have known, was that ‘looking around’ was definitely not the only thing we were doing.
“One for daytime and one for nighttime please.”
“What kind of style would you like?”
“Three buttons – obsidian would be good.
Ones that are carved in the southern style.”
Isabelle Eastwood Dress Shop.
I almost lost myself after seeing how dozens of gold coins for a single suit was the bare minimum.
“Please make sure you show his neck line! Because Korin has a beautiful neck and collarbones!”
“Oh my, as expected of Lady Marie.
You have amazing eyes for this.”
“Right! Also, Korin has muscles and wide shoulders so a roped shoulder fit would be nice.”
“We will also make sure his trousers are so perfect that he can even squat with them on.”
“Won’t the design be a bit plain though? I think adding a birdseye jacquard or a herringbone pattern would add flavor to the suit.”
“In that case, we will add a faint pattern arrangement that makes it seem seamless at a distance, but with a hint of herringbone pattern when nearby.
If you add this handkerchief and this tie on top of that…”
What in the world were they talking about? Was this the same Marie as the one who was boiling potatoes every morning to give to her peers?
“As expected of Isabelle Eastwood! I can trust you with this.”
“It is an honor, Lady Marie.
We will send them to the mansion in time before the party.”
Under the devoted care of the workers, I left the store while carefully holding onto the container of handkerchief that they gave as a souvenir.
Even though it was just a souvenir, I was shocked upon hearing that this cost 3 gold coins and that was why I was being exceptionally careful with this.
“Aren’t we… using too much money?”
“Nn? Did we use that much?”
Looking back, I don’t think we even paid for them though…”
“They’ll send the bill home so don’t worry!”
“Is that okay?”
Marie suddenly called my name with a serious look on her face.
“My name is all the credit they need.”
She was dazzling.
I would love to become someone like her who can say things like that!
“Hah~.” I said after a sigh though.
“Aren’t you teasing me too much?”
“Ah, you figured it out!”
“Of course I would when you are smirking all the time while waiting for my reaction.”
Because Korin was always the one teasing me! When would I get to tease you if not now?”
If this is how you tease… then I’d welcome it any time.”
We used a white gold coin for a single suit.
I was somewhat expecting that to happen after seeing her spend dozens of gold coins for a necklace and boots but… it was still shocking nonetheless.
By the way, we also bought a ridiculous number of casual branded clothes before going for the tailored suit.
Those only cost 3~4 gold coins each so they didn’t make me as uncomfortable as this suit, which was a plus.
……The fact that I unknowingly thought to myself that they ‘only’ cost 3~4 gold coins after buying a bunch of shirts that were worth thousands of dollars was the frightening result of today’s shopping.
“Anyway, this is everything right?”
“What do you mean, Korin?”
“…Is there more?”
“You have to buy a watch as well! Men need to be wearing good watches before doing anything big!”
“It will break in the middle of a fight…”
“It’s okay! We can get a few spares!”
After going to a watch store, Marie said the following.
“Please give us one each from here to over there!”
I thought I earned a fair bit of money myself in the last iteration after working hard for 3 years, but I finally noticed something after seeing Marie use a blank cheque.
Whether it be a hero of a war or whatever, it was impossible for an individual to reach the financial level of a truly wealthy family.
The last place we went to was a workshop.
“What is this place, Senior?”
“Nn you see! There is something I prepared for you, Korin!”
If it isn’t Lady Marie! You are finally here.”
“Hello, Miss Sariere.”
A master craftswoman who had brown skin, which was unique to those from the southern archipelagoes, welcomed Marie as if she had been waiting for her.
“Are you here to collect your requested item?”
In response, the person called Sariere headed somewhere before carrying back a large box and opening it.
Inside was a piece of iron that looked like normal steel.
But I knew how this ore changed when going into the Domain.
“Nn! This is the same ore as the one that went into Junior Alicia’s Demon-Slaying Sword!”
“How did you…”
It was something that even the Academy did not have.
I received Refined Silver instead but it wasn’t something that could be used perfectly like the Unbreakable Stone and was something that would one day crumble after entering the Domain too much.
However, the Unbreakable Stone was different.
This one never broke.
It was a Unique-Grade magic stone that instead became more powerful after entering the Domain.
“How did you even get this? They’re hard to find on the market, aren’t they?”
“Nn? I don’t think it was that hard to find it though.”
“Ah… I see.”
“If we cover your spear with this, it will be possible to use your spear inside the place that you called ‘Domain’, without a problem, right?”
This single stone was incomparably more valuable than everything I received today.
The Unbreakable Stone wasn’t classified as Unique-Grade for nothing – it was the one that was used for the sword of Garrand Arden the Sword Emperor before he gave it to Alicia.
It was hard to obtain because it was pretty much impossible to see them on sale.
This is my last gift for you!”
And yet Marie handed it over to me with a bright smile on her face.
That night, I was invited to a family meal of the Dunareff family.
“This way please, Sir Korin.”
Following the directions of the butler that was assigned for me, I arrived at the dining room.
The explanations he gave about the history of the Dunareff Mansion and the artworks decorating the corridor were mind-blowing.
The butlers were excessively kind to me, whereas the maids were rather antagonistic for some reason.
As for the butlers, it was probably because the Head Butler, Mr.
Paul, had a good impression of me but I had no idea why the maids hated me so much.
When I arrived at the dining room, I found 3 people sitting on the seats including Marie.
Needless to say, they were her parents.
Nice to meet you.”
What a handsome-looking gentleman.”
A middle-aged woman who looked exactly like Marie was the first to open their mouth.
The charming middle-aged lady who looked like a future version of Marie welcomed me with a deep smile on her face.
“Hmph! You call that handsome?”
On the other hand, sitting on the highest seat of the table was a middle-aged man with water-colored hair.
It seemed Marie had received her hair color from her father.
From what I heard, he was a very skilled mage.
I could see him sitting in the unique posture of a mage in a tidy robe.
“It is an honor to see you, Duke Dunareff.”
Although I may look like this, I had to meet quite a lot of nobles and people from the royal court in the last iteration.
Duke Dunareff had a slightly surprised look on his face after seeing my decent etiquette.
“Take a seat.”
“Korin! Come here! Here!”
Marie invited me over to the seat next to her by tapping on the chair.
I sat down on the seat which was in between Marie and the duke.
Veins immediately popped up on Duke’s face.
“Dear? Anything wrong?”
“Kuhuhum…! Mari? How about you sit next to daddy like you’ve been doing all the time?”
“No, it’s alright! Because today, I want to introduce Korin to you daddy!”
“Oh my oh my~”
Her words were very open for misunderstandings, which thus resulted in two contradicting reactions.
Duke glared daggers at me like a thief who stole his seat from him.
‘Is this my fault?’ I asked with my gaze, and he returned, ‘It is’.
Even though this was quite unfair, I could understand why he was vigilant as a father.
If I had a daughter like Marie myself, then I would have done everything for her as well.
“Again, it is an honor to meet you.
My name is Korin Lork.”
“I am Marde Dunareff.”
“And I’m Elencia Dunareff.
So you are my son-in… I mean, Student Korin, right? Nice to meet you.”
I thought I heard something strange just then.
I was hearing things… right?
“So,” said the Duke.
“I heard you are one year younger than Marie.”
That is the case.”
“And I heard you are a knight of excellent skills.
To the point that you became a Grade 1 Knight in just one semester.”
“It is still far from enough.”
Something I’ve noticed from conversing with a lot of people was that it was better to hide your pride and ego.
They generally considered it rude for you to proudly talk about yourself.
When I gave a humble reply, it was instead Marie, who was sitting next to me, that praised me with a fuss.
“Korin is super amazing! He fought on equal grounds with Sword Master Lunia as well!”
“Against Lunia Arden?”
“Nn! It was during the interim exam.
He was amazing!”
Even Duke Marde seemed surprised after hearing that I had a close fight against Sword Master Lunia Arden.
Her name was incredibly powerful even in a place this far from the center of the continent.
“Just letting you know, I was promoted to Grade 1 Mage 20 years ago.”
“…Is that so, sir?”
“I was 20 years faster than you.”
“I see… Congratulations.”
Congratulations on doing that before I was even born.
“So, what kind of work do your parents do?”
It was strange that he was suddenly asking about my family, but I answered his question by going through the memories of Korin Lork.
“My parents run a restaurant.”
Do you have siblings?”
“I have a younger sister.”
A normal household.”
“Quite normal, yes.”
It was a normal family that you could see anywhere on both Earth and here.
“Now, listen carefully.
This question is the most important one of all.” Duke Marde gazed at me with a serene and serious look on his face when saying that..
He was the ruler of the South – the emperor of the Potato Empire that was running the omega enormous agricultural business of the Dunareff.
I got to see a portion of their wealth today.
What question was this man – who could move the entire southern region with one word – going to ask me!?
If this was still a game, this would be the turning point of an important scenario quest.
“Are you a virgin?”
“Come on dear! Why would you ask something like that?”
Duchess Elencia slapped him by the shoulder and the Duke explained himself while throwing glances at her face.
“Of course the son-in-law of the Dunareff family must be a pure virgin…!”
Oh… So he is misunderstanding our relationship, huh?
Korin Lork! Marie took everything after me; she’s very clever and is very kind at heart.”
I don’t think she took after your personality though?
“I am not trying to brag or anything, but Marie was able to use magic ever since she was 7.
She’s a prodigy among prodigies.”
Aren’t you bragging at this point?
“She is the apple of my eye, and my precious daughter that I raised with everything I had…!”
“Ah… I see.
Duke Marde glared at me with a bloody gaze.
I could sense his wariness in his eyes.
“So I will never give you my daughter!”
As expected, he suddenly started rambling on.
He was as unstoppable as a bulldozer.
“Mari said, ‘I’ll marry daddy when I grow up!’ I will never give her to you…!”
Marie shouted while looking at Duke Marde with an appalled look on her face.
“What are you saying! To someone you’re seeing for the first time!!!”
With a deeply flushed face, Marie pushed him and hit him by the shoulder.
Even though he was double her size, Marie was the one overpowering him.
“Ahkk..! Ugh! Ahkkk…! W, wait! Mari, it hurts! W, why are you so…! You take all these bad things from your mom…!”
“Please just stop talking, dad!”
It was pitiful seeing him be dragged out like that by Marie.
Now that I thought about it, there was probably no-one in this family that could resist Marie’s power.
Now that Marie dragged Duke Marde out of the dining room, Duchess Elencia and I were the only ones left behind inside the room.
“Sorry for the mess, Mr.
“Haha, I am jealous of the open atmosphere here.”
“A bit too open, I might say.”
The duchess wearing an amicable smile on her face looked at me with an elegant gaze before suddenly standing up from her seat.
Then, she deeply lowered her head.
“Thank you very much for helping Marie.”
“…Please don’t lower your head like that.
It makes me feel uncomfortable.”
“And I was just doing it because I could.”
“Plus, more than anything… Senior Marie is someone who has the right to be more happy.”
It was better for good people to have better end to their story.
In fact, that was the natural thing.
In response, the Duchess returned a refreshing smile that was similar to Marie’s before covering her mouth.
“I was worried that she was way too blinded when I saw her letter but… Ah, and I do welcome you, Mr.
Unlike my husband, I am not the type to bind my daughter too much.”
About what? And what’s with this letter from Marie?
– Ahhhk! No you cannot, Mari! Your daddy will not allow this!
– Please stop!
– Y, you can hold hands! But you can’t do anything more than that!
– S, s, stop saying weird things like that! I hate you, dad! You idiot!
– Ha, aahkkkkk…! Marieeee…!
It was an illness at this point.
Were all fathers like that after having a daughter?
Soon, Duke Marde came back and gave both an apology and a word of gratitude, but he still couldn’t give up until the very end.
“You may hold your hands but that is it…! That virginity of yours! You better keep that until the end of your life…!!”
The best cure for the rampaging husband was a slap to the back from his wife.
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