A month had passed since the war. As the New Year approaches, Ardis walks along the road of the royal capital with Rona at the request of a certain person.
Since then, there was no signs of reinvasion from the Empire, the Kingdom saved its neck barely. It seems like the civil situation in Empire has finally reached the ears of the Kingdom’s government, calm has started to return to the capital.
「Hey Al. We aren’t going to hunt today? 」
After seeing no one around, Rona asked in a soft voice.
「Yeah. We’re going to meet someone today. 」
「What, boring. 」
「Didn’t I said so when we went out? No need to follow me that is. 」
Ardis patted Rona’s head who had lost his interest while walking. Rona showed a strange expression at Ardis’s face that seemed different than usual.
「What happened? 」
「You don’t look like you want to go. 」
Rona’s worry peered into Ardis’s face.
「I see. It was obvious huh. Well, I won’t deny that I would rather not go. 」
「Isn’t it fine to not go then? 」
「I would’ve done so normally but, there’s a reason I must. 」
Fuu, Ardis sighed and patted Rona’s head again.
Even Ardis looked a little sour. After all, he was heading to a noble’s house.
On top of that, it was no normal noble. A noble among nobles, The house of a duke with royal blood.
「I shouldn’t have owed a favor……」
Ardis started regretting deeply over asking for a favor from a certain person without many thoughts. Winding the clock back to a few days prior.
After selling the piece of information to Chezare, Ardis had a period without going out to hunt, nor accepting any request but only spent days in idle enjoying his peaceful afternoon naps.
It’s about time he should visit the capital again. Ten days after he thought that, after stopping by his frequented inn 『Seseragi Inn』, Melir complained to Ardis.
「Mou! Ardis-san it was a trouble! 」
Ardis who had already been known as the 『Three Great Demons Subjugator』 now had a new name after the war as 『Countless Swords Sorcerer』.
As the information of Ardis frequently staying at 『Seseragi Inn』 a common knowledge, there’re many people that are interested or wish to have a tie with him, and so, many people tried to look for him there.
「Well, sorry for that. 」
In any case, Seseragi Inn’s final weapon (Melir’s special menu) had sold ten times the volume, so it probably wasn’t really bad. Though, it would be nothing but nightmares for those who ate it without any prior knowledge…….
「Anyway, there’re many messages and letters that people left for Ardis-san. 」
Melir who said so went inside while Ardis sat on an empty seat and when she returned, it was with a mountain of notes and sealed letters dumped on him.
Though Ardis was reluctant, he still had to glance through them a little. After slowly verifying the sender’s identity one after another, he categorized them into ones that he would read, and ones that he would just discard.
And among one. He found a message from someone he couldn’t ignore.
『I will need you to return the favor now』
The sender’s name is Moore. It was from the commander of the mercenary unit in the war. Those that wanted to hire him, form a party, or invitation to private army are all ignored.
Finally, there were only a few that Ardis had to reply no matter what. And among those was Moore’s matter.
When Ardis left the frontline in the war, he had owed a 『Favor』 to the captain, Moore who was understanding of his reasons. If he needed Ardis to return the favor, then Ardis couldn’t ignore it.
The favor that Ardis would come to know of after visiting Moore’s mansion was something so troublesome that it made his face cringe.
「Ou, you’re here. Sorry for the wait. 」
「Though I knew having a high rank for the army can live a good life, I didn’t think it is such a good mansion. 」
「I have my salary as the captain, and also I have my fair share of earnings during my mercenary days. Though it’s stupid, it won’t look good if I haven’t hired many. 」
I see, Ardis understood.
Many of the servants Ardis saw after entering the mansion had missing parts of their body or those that were limping. At the same time, from how their eyes shone, Ardis understood they were also once combatants. They’re probably people that had been injured and can no longer fight.
They might be Moore’s past comrades when he was a mercenary. The reason why he has such a big mansion might’ve been because of them too.
「I thought you will be here earlier though. 」
「Sorry. I wasn’t around in the capital recently. I just received the message yesterday. 」
「I see. You’re now a busy celebrity right. 」
Moore was smirking while poking fun at Ardis.
「Seriously. Too many invitations left and right only cause me headache. 」
「Is that so. Then what I have will be good――actually, something completely different from that. 」
「What is it? 」
「The reason why I called you here. Although you might be happy about it, it might also be something really troublesome. 」
Moore started talking about the reason why he called Ardis over with some prelude.
「Someone that was taking care of me had a favor, it’s something difficult for me. So, I need your help to take care of that favor for me, that’s the premise. 」
The story that had many turns made Ardis anxious. Even if one isn’t a trained mercenary, a feeling like this are often right on the mark.
「What kind of favor is it? 」
Ardis who asked warily was replied with something akin to a curse from Moore.
「The role of instructing a Duke’s daughter. 」
And few days after that, Ardis was moving his heavy feet heading for an upper-class mansion.
「Yeah, instructing. 」
Rona tilted his head, not understanding.
「Not as a home tutor? 」
「They probably have other home tutors. After all, they’re a duke family, I bet they have enough money and connections to make them flock over. 」
The request that Ardis received from Moore was to teach magic to the daughter of a duke family. It was a request that was for Moore originally, but he didn’t have anyone to introduce as he didn’t know any magicians.
And if teaching a duke’s daughter, it must be someone whose identity is good enough that the duke can acknowledge. But there aren’t many people who has a good background and can teach magic well in the capital too.
And those who fits those criteria are mostly already hired as an educator in the military or some other institution, there aren’t any who still have time leftover to conduct private lesson.
Moore was troubled to no ends, it can be said that his connection to Ardis who is a mercenary that can use magic is his saving grace.
Although Ardis is a mercenary, he’s a famed magician who had subjugated the 『Three Great Demons』 in the Kingdom. And also, his contribution in the recent war with the Empire was something no one wouldn’t know. Now the rumors of his feats as 『Countless Swords Sorcerer』 are not lacking anywhere.
Of course, he’s still a mercenary despite being famous. It will be the end if the duke or the daughter didn’t want him as the instructor but, from how the fact that Moore knew the duke, it seems like the duke doesn’t have prejudice towards mercenaries unlike normal nobles, as well as the daughter seems to be excited at the news of Ardis who was known as the Countless Swords Sorcerer instructing her too.
Ardis would be really happy if they rejected him outright then. Ardis wanted to grumble about it the whole day. But if the duke gave the approval, Ardis didn’t have any reason to not accept it.
Since it was a favor to be returned to Moore, he couldn’t be like the usual him to 「Who cares」.
「So depressing. 」
Ardis sighed along with a mutter. Ardis heard from Moore that the duke’s daughter wants to learn 『Sword magic』 but, of course, how hard is it to learn is something Ardis knows best.
For the people of this world that has the common sense of requiring chanting to activate a magic, sword magic is probably――no, in the first place, they would find understanding the concept of 『Magic』 hard.
After all, even for Kyrill who is known as a rare prodigy in the academy had troubles understanding it. Sword magic isn’t something that simple that can be learned with half assed determination.
「How should I convince them about it. 」
After his n-th time of sigh, Ardis had started patting Rona again.