Published at 9th of February 2017 03:15:11 PM
Chapter 70
Chapter 70: Bonds of Obligations

 After the breakfast, Lieze was in front the bronze dresser in her room, as her hair was being arranged by Eira. Currently, Lieze’s hairstyle was what is generally referred as the chignon.In another name, the dumpling hairstyle. It was what she had heard from Kazura during the breakfast just now, that today they would be installing the waterwheel in the fields until the evening.Since they would be walking on foot without using Rata, a casual clothing that is easy to move is a must, and so was her hairstyle.
 「Hey, Eira, what are your thoughts about the things back then?」(Lieze) Lieze, whose hair was being tied up by Eira in silence, suddenly turned her sight from her own reflection in the mirror and looked at Eira’s reflection while asking her. 「Umm…… Is it about my concurrent post of being Kazura-sama’s servant?」(Eira) 「Un, that. Even though Kazura-sama has other maid assigned to him, what do Eira think about the reason to be nominated for that position?」(Lieze) 「The reason about that, is it? ……」(Eira) Eira stopped her hand that was tying Lieze’s hair and began thinking while grunting. 「Hmmmm. Perhaps since my experience as a Maid is considerably long and my age with Kazura-sama’s age are close? From his appearance, Kazura-sama looks like a person in the mid-twenties, so perhaps it’s because of this.」(Eira) 「…… Hmm.」(Lieze) Lieze’s attempted to say, that seems not true, but Eira interrupted her words. 「Or perhaps, Zirconia-sama was trying to induce Lieze-sama to have an interest to Kazura-sama? I think that by assigning me as Kazura-sama’s servant, it will create a point of contact between you two. Considering that Kazura-sama was invited to the dining table when the participants were only the family members until recently, I think that there is no mistake in this.」(Eira) 「Un, I have the same thought.」(Lieze) Since what she had thought was the same with Eira’s opinion, Lieze nodded in agreement. 「Several days ago, Okaa-samaMother expressly came to my room to discuss about Kazura-sama and I have no doubt it was to try to make me interested in Kazura-sama. However, there is one point that I couldn’t understand.」(Lieze) 「You couldn’t understand?」(Eira) 

When Eira asked her back, Lieze tilted her head slightly while making a doubting expression. 「Okaa-samaMother didn’t answer me when I ask which country’s noble Kazura-sama are. Don’t you think there is something being concealed?」(Lieze) 「……Certainly.」(Eira) When Lieze heard the story about Kazura from Zirconia, she said that Kazura is a great noble of a certain country.However, even when Lieze asked which country it is, Zirconia didn’t answer.Thinking it normally, there was no need to conceal such information with Lieze, so if the aim was to make Lieze became interested in him, it made Lieze couldn’t understand even more. 「Perhaps, he is a noble from Balveile.」(Eira) 「Eh, that’s not possible……」(Lieze) 「But, if we consider that he is a great noble from a nearby country, then there is only Balveile in the North, doesn’t it? There should be no noble that stand out that far in Claylatz[1] in the East, and Protia[2] beyond Claylatz don’t have much intimate relationship with Arcadia.」(Eira) The neighboring country in the east, Claylatz don’t have any great nobles who held much power.The reason for this was because Claylatz has a form of direct democracy government since ancient times. A direct democracy was a government form where each individual citizen could directly participate in the government.In Claylatz, all citizen above 18 years are given suffrage and have voting right for the matters in the congress.In peaceful time, the people who hold all important office, like the leader of the state or the diplomatic officer, were elected, furthermore, their term of office was limited to one year.For this reason, concentrating interest by a specific person won’t occur.Although there were nobles remained from the past where the nobles were the heart of the government, the nobles in Claylatz did not differ greatly from the commoners. In short, Claylatz was a country centered on common citizen.Of course, disparity of wealth still exist, but the rich and the poor have the same right, they were common citizen.In Claylatz, there were several cities other than the capital, which forms a close alliance of city-states.Therefore, it named itself 『Allied City-States of Claylatz.』[3] The country of Protia, located east from Claylatz, was a monarchy. There were nobles who held power, but until recent year there was no active cross-national interaction with Arcadia.In the war 4 years ago, as a result of Claylatz intermediation to unite in an alliance to oppose Balveile, there was finally an active interaction between the nations.Even before that, because of the trade that was actively performed through land or sea route, the relationship with each country was favorable. By the way, Claylatz and Protia relationship were currently extremely well.Until the war 4 years ago, this relationship was sometimes threatened by the issue of maritime rights or other concessions, but when the common enemy Balveile appeared, they mutually joined their hand.But then, it was a temporary improvement in the relationship for cooperating interest of opposing a common enemy, so it wasn’t clear what would happen when the war with Balveile was over.[4] Also, there was a country further east from Protia called Eltair Kingdom[5], this country too joined the same alliance as Arcadia at the previous war.The size of the country was the same as Protia.

The relationship between Arcadia and Eltair Kingdom was even thinner than with Protia because of the distance issue.Because the distance of the land route needs to pass through 3 national borders, the trades mainly came from the sea route. 「However, Zirconia-sama who greatly hate Balveile, not only won’t invite a Balveile’s noble to the resident, it will simply be unthinkable for her to invite that noble to join the dining table with the family.」(Eira) 「But, then that’s only leave Protia…… By the way, why Okaa-samaMother hate Balveile that much? Although I believe that it is reasonable if that hate was because of the sudden invasion, but if there is other reasons, perhaps something terrible…..」(Lieze) The people who live or work in this Estate knew the well-known Zirconia’s antipathy towards Balveile. When the ceasefire agreement decision was being discussed between the nations, there was a famous story of how Zirconia quarreled with Nelson with considerably furious tone.There was a rumor that Zirconia strongly advocated to reject the ceasefire agreement and then while the northern barbarian was moving, they should cooperate in invading Balveile.Even after explaining the current Arcadia and the other countries situation, Zirconia didn’t change her opinion, moreover it seems that she called Nelson as a coward.At that time, it said that she verbally insult Balveile quite abusively and claimed that every Balveilean need to be massacred. Whether or not this was true is not certain. Furthermore, it was true that several days after the ceasefire agreement had been finalized, Zirconia was in an extremely bad mood, that she even didn’t talk with Nelson and Lieze.After several days had passed, it seems that her mind had calmed down, Zirconia apologized to Nelson, and afterward, she returned to her usual gentle woman attitude.Or rather, it seems that her character had been mellowed than before, as she was dealing with the surroundings in a gentle manner.But, it was different when it came to the military affair, her character of not compromising with anything in training or the likes, was still the same as before. However, when the subject of the past war with Balveile came out in the conversation, Zirconia’s expression suddenly became scary, hence Lieze would deliberately avoid bringing that subject up.  「……This is only a story I heard from the rumor.」(Eira) Eira began to talk while looking down at Lieze who was pondering. 「It was said that several months before the war with Balveile happened, several villages in the northern mountain region in Isteria Province was attacked by bandits. The inhabitants of the attacked village were all killed or kidnapped…… that……」(Eira) Lieze stared motionlessly at Eira who stopped the words and looked hesitating. 「Zirconia-sama seems to be a survivor of those attacked villages. The details were not known, but afterward, she volunteered to Isterian Army as a soldier, and then Nelson-sama fallen in love with her, then just before the war, they married.」(Eira) 「…… Where do you hear this from?」(Lieze) 「When Nelson-sama and Zirconia-sama intended to marry, I sometimes heard the senior maids gossiping…… However, it was purely a rumor, so I don’t know how true it is.」(Eira) 「……」(Lieze) Hearing about Zirconia’s past for the first time, Lieze sank into silence with a mixed feeling. If these rumors were right then Balveile might have a hand at the bandit’s attacks at the villages in the northern mountain district.If that’s the case that explains why Zirconia extreme hate towards Balveile and why she is sensitive when Balveile’s subject is brought up.Why she married Nelson was still something not really understood for now, but perhaps it could be conjectured to be related with Balveile. 「Why have you never informed me about this before?」(Lieze) 「This is not a subject that can be purposely talked about…… Furthermore, it must be remembered that this just purely rumors.」(Eira) 「I….. I see. Eira, your hands stopped.」(Lieze) 「Ah, my apologies.」(Eira) Lieze warned Eira who was unaware that her hands had stopped, and then she returned her sight to her own reflection again. ✧✦✧✦ While Lieze was preparing herself in her room, in a certain room at Leveson’s Mansion, Havel was facing his father Nord who was on the other side of the table.In contrast with Nord’s stern expression, Have was relatively at ease. 「Father, this is just a misunderstanding. I had never done anything to promote Marie.」(Havel) 「Then why it was Marie who was designated? It will be normal to think that you had made Marie to look after that noble named Kazura when he lodged at this house, having foreseen that it will come to this.」(Nord) Nord was enquiring Havel as if to interrogate him, but he didn’t raise his tone of voice.However, inside his eyes, anger appeared and disappeared. 「Since compared to other maids proficient in cooking, Marie’s skill was somewhat inferior, I only ordered her to help the cooking preparation on top of aiding Kazura-sama’s daily necessities. So Father’s complaint sounds like a strained interpretation.」(Havel) 「…… Fumu. Then, why at the other day trip you took Marie as a servant? Even though, another servant will be acceptable.」(Nord) 「That day was the day when Father and Brother had just returned from Gregorn Province, so I just choose a person who wouldn’t be a matter if they are missing from the servants which need to do the reception for that day. Furthermore, since Brother hate Marie, she is attached to me. If you consider these points, then wouldn’t it be natural for me to chose Marie.」(Havel) 「I see that you have become a fairly smooth-talker……. Well, I will consider this to be a good thing.」(Nord) Nord relaxed his stern expression and lightly sighed.Nord had mostly sure that Havel had promoted Marie away, but he admired how Havel stated his logical excuse. 「By my proposition, Marie was temporarily loaned to Istelle House. When that man is away from Isteria, then Marie will be expected to be returned to Leveson House.」(Nord) 「…… Loaning, is it?」(Havel) 「Yes.」(Nord) When he heard about the loaning, Havel frowned only slightly.When he heard from Nord not long ago that Zirconia had personally come to Leveson’s Mansion to request for Marie’s redemption, he had thought that surely the property rights will be transferred to Istelle House. 「Havel, do you remember the promise we exchanged before?」(Nord) 「Yes, of course.」(Havel) 「Then you should know, right? Without even any need to be in a haste, if you had advanced in the military and reached a suitable position that will bring the profit to Leveson’s House, then I will yield Marie to you. Since money is needed to release Marie from slavery, after all.」 「……Yes.」(Havel) 「If you understand then stop with the poor tricks. Even if it’s you, if my image of you deteriorated then that promise will become a scrap paper, you will be troubled by it, understood?」(Nord) When Nord said this, Havel’s glance at him, even if it was only slightly, sharpened.He was worried whether he will be blamed by this matter.On the other hand, Nord waved his hand and lightly laughed. 「No need for that glare. It’s not like I will annul that promise. Look now, it’s the time where you must report for your military duty, isn’t it?」(Nord) 「……」(Havel) Havel slightly bent his waist to bow at Nord and then head towards the room’s exit. 「Hey, Havel.」(Nord) When Havel put his hand on the door’s knob, Nord called out to him. 「What is it?」(Havel) 「This time method is a bit too overbearing, but well, this is quite a good method. I amend my words, this is not a poor trick. Do an even better one next time.」(Nord) 「…… Excuse me.」(Havel) This time Havel made a clear frown at Nord’s remarks, before calmly exiting the room. ☾☽☾☽☾☽☾☽☾☽☾☽☾☽☾☽☾☽☾☽