Be the Householder - 2
Side Story - Chapter 22
Wherever I glanced, there was a group of people.
People in black uniforms that are similar but slightly different.
They were of various ages, genders, and appearances, and they were enjoying a banquet among themselves on the other side of the banquet hall.
There was a strange atmosphere, even though they were not sitting at an angle, and maybe a little too free-spirited.
A person who is a little sensitive can never ignore the weight.
As if to prove it, there seemed to be an invisible wall between them and the other guests.
Eastern people kept their distance without ever getting close, even if they knew who they were.
Thanks to this, their surroundings were quite quiet in the crowded banquet hall.
Patriarch Luman chose the word once.
"The Duke of Knox from the eastern continent and his subordinates."
This time, I was quite surprised.
Of course, I knew that there were countries in the eastern continent where people lived and had a long history.
However, it is so far away that there is no interaction with the Lambrew Empire.
"Isn't it too far to cross the sea?"
At my question, Patriarch Luman.
"Yes. However, the navigation skills and techniques of the eastern continent are superior to ours. Not only related to the sea, they constantly study a technology called 'mana engineering'. That's why they say there are a lot of amazing things."
Indite Luman's explanation stirred my inner instinct as the Matriarch of a Lombardi.
It was literally discovering a new continent.
"Luman has traded frequently with the eastern continent since ancient times. So I sent them a wedding invitation... I really didn't expect them to come."
It's the eastern continent.
It was a place where it could be a new market. (TN: As expected Tia. You're a merchant to the bone.)
Besides, the word mana engineering was appealing to my ears.
"If you are interested in the eastern continent, talk to the silver-haired Duke of Knox over there."
"Is that guy over there?"
In this crowded banquet hall, there was only one man with clean, dazzling silver hair.
"That person is the Duke."
A man named Duke of Knox was sitting alone on the sofa, with one leg crossed, sipping his drink.
If there is not even a movement to turn the wine glass in one hand from time to time, I wonder if it is a painting.
"Unlike our western continent, titles exist in the eastern continent. Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount, and Baron in that order."
"And he's a Duke among them".
"Yes that's right. Also, the eastern continent has two unique features..."
Patriarch Luman swept his lips once and spoke a little awkwardly.
"Unlike the Lambrew Empire, which had a strong imperial power, unified the western continent, the eastern continent is divided into several kingdoms and empires. It's a chaotic time. In addition."
Indite Luman's voice was slightly lowered.
"Organizations that have grown and established themselves in each province have greater power than the imperial power and royal power."
"Organization? Are you talking about something like a dark district?"
"Well, that's what it is."
"Then, to talk to that Duke Knox..."
"The Duke of Knox's full name is Killian Knox, and he is the head of an organization called 'Knox' after his surname. In other words..."
Patriarch Luman smiled awkwardly, as if it was difficult for him to speak in front of me.
"It is said that he had more power than the emperor of the Rumpelt Empire, where the duke was located. Besides, not long ago, rumors circulated that the mana artifacts were successfully weaponized."
"Then he must be a man with unparalleled power."
After listening to Patriarch Luman's explanation, I now understood.
At first glance, the executives of the Knox organization in black uniforms seem to be scattered in an orderly manner.
But at the center of it was the Duke.
As if escorting him.
"How strong is his personal power? There are not one or two eyewitness accounts of people tearing apart with their bare hands."
"Really... he's like a monster."
That was when I said that.
Duke Knox, who had only been looking at the glass of wine in a drowsy manner, raised his head and looked at me.
Did you hear my voice from that place?
As if to tell me that my thoughts were right, our eyes met perfectly.
And I got goosebumps all over my body.
It was living.
Under the bright lights of the banquet hall, Duke Knox's eyes shone strangely with golden light.
Somehow I couldn't move.
It was as if I was facing a huge being that was not human.
At that time, Perez blocked me.
Apparently he was talking to the nobles of the East from afar.
Perez, staring at Killian Knox, did not hide his cold anger.
"What is that guy?"
"That evil, do you want to die?"
From where I appeared, the twins stood by my side.
Then there was a reaction from the other side as well.
Knox's executives, who seemed to be relaxing while drinking alcohol, were standing up from their seats one by one with their faces hardened.
The expressionless faces of the people who had been chatting and playing a while ago seemed to rush towards this direction with just one gesture from Duke Knox.
As the situation went on, people who filled the banquet hall felt something strange and began to look around one by one.
"At this rate, Larane's wedding will be ruined."
How difficult is it to open an open space, but we can't make it that way.
"Perez, I'm fine."
I stopped Perez, who was staring at the Duke of Knox with an unprecedented cold face.
And in the Knox camp, one person moved.
She was a woman with high-rise, curly black hair that stood out.
Likewise, in a black uniform, she trudged up to Duke Killian Knox.
Then, without hesitation, she was seen touching the Duke's shoulder and frowning and saying something.
Is that okay?
Isn't that right?
Unknowingly, I'm worried about a woman whose name I don't know.
Something like a lie happened.
Duke Knox, who was exuding a thick flesh that stinging skin, quickly turned his head.
And as if he had never done that, he started drinking again.
The tension, which had been pulled tightly as if something would happen right away, disappeared.
Knox's executives, who had been on alert, began to chat again.
I let out a small sigh without realizing it.
It could be seen that the woman on the other side was shaking her head as if it was the same for her over there.
"Oh, we made eye contact."
The woman looked at me.
Her eyes were very red, just like Perez's.
I've never seen anyone with red eyes like that other than him.
Maybe it means she's sorry.
Anyway, it was me who made the mistake first.
I also made eye contact, greeted her.
It was quite a distance from the other side of the banquet hall, but why is it that a feeling of sympathy is conveyed for some reason?
"Tia, what's wrong?"
Did she notice that the atmosphere is not good?
The complexions of Larane and Avinox approaching me were not good.
It's a day where just being happy isn't enough.
Feeling sorry for some reason, I smiled even more broadly.
"It's no big deal. Aren't we supposed to talk a little more with people?"
"Yes. I and Sir Avinox are a little tired. Nothing really happened, right?
"Of course. Oh, that's right!"
I said, holding Larane's hands tightly.
"Congratulations on your wedding, Larane."
"Oh... Thank you, Tia."
Larane blushed as if she had dyed her cheeks with flowers.
"You must have heard it dozens of times all day today. Are you shy now?"
"It's not anyone else, and Tia tells me that, so somehow I really feel it."
"Congratulations, Sir Avinox. Do you live a pretty life?"
"Of course! About Larane, don't worry, Matriarch Lombardi."
Honestly, when I first let Larane ran away at that night, I felt very anxious.
This was done because I knew how Larane's life ended in the last life.
Just because he wasn't that bastard back then, there was no guarantee that he would be a person who could make Larane happy.
Fortunately, however, Avinox cared about Larane more than anyone else.
Even if I didn't have to ask, I could tell by looking at the affectionate eyes that moved silently between the two of them.
Hmm, I'm happy.
I smiled satisfactorily and caught the two-shot of Larane and Avinox in my eyes.
"I'm about to get jealous".
A low voice came to my ears when I was nodding my head at the appearance of Avinox lovingly looking at Larane.
"Tia, you're looking at a man other than me."
"...Avinox is a man?"
No, he's a man.
We're a family now.
"I want you to see only me. The symptoms are getting worse."
Perez said like a light sigh.
I say it like a joke, but I know that he is serious.
I narrowed my eyes and clicked my tongue.
"You are very serious."
"But don't hate me, Tia."
"...I can't hate you."
I'm serious, too.
No matter what he does, I can't hate Perez.
"You know everything."
But it was a little cheeky, so I slapped Perez on the side without pain.
Then Larane said to us like that.
"Tia looks happy too."
Saying that and smiling, Larane's face looks similar to mine a while ago, is that an illusion?
"It's a relief, right?"
Despite so much going on, the fact that we're happy to gather here like this.
How miraculous it is.
Larane, who was smiling while facing me, looked at my back.
At the same time, as if the flowers were blooming, a smile that could not be hidden spread around Larane's lips.