Chapter 32

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Minister’s point of view.
We walked along the road that has become completely uneven towards the mansion.
It seems that a mixed force of royal magicians and knights had clashed with commoners here, as there was a small-sized crater littered with burnt armor and the occasional corpse.
I don’t know if Randolph is used to it or if he’s just trying not to look at it, but I can’t see any expression on his face.
Then, I noticed commoners sneaking around in front of us, and hurriedly told Randolph.

“I could see them even if you didn’t tell me. But, aren’t they nobles?”

“You think so?”

When I looked at the sneaking commoners again, it looked to me as if they were trying to run away from something.
They might have simply gotten separated from their friends and were moving about so the knights wouldn’t discover them, but the way they carried themselves somewhat made me believe that they were nobles.

“What do we do, talk with them pretending to be commoners?”

“That’s fine with me, but… please think about the excuse to say if they really turn out to be commoners, okay?”

While thinking of a suitable excuse, we slowly approached the three people that were peeking from a street corner.
Then, the boy who seemed to be watching the luggage took notice of us and quickly pulled on the clothes of the two in front of him in panic.
As a result, the other two who noticed us started panicking too.

“Y, yo, brother. What’s up?”

“Why this line?”

This person had a misunderstanding that commoners call each other ‘brother’ whether they are close or not, so he must be a noble, after all.
Even though I was certain, I kept pretending to be a commoner just in case.

“What are you guys doing in a place like this?”

“E, erm… we were entrusted with scouting this place.”

“Really? Aren’t you a noble, though?”

The man’s body shook when he heard my words, and he forced a smile out without noticing the sweat dripping down his forehead.

“There’s no way that’s true, I hate nobles, you know?”

“That so? Well, don’t you recognize this face then?”

I determined that he was a nobleman from his suspicious behavior. The man was sweating profusely as I pointed to my own face.
The man made a puzzled face, wondering what I was talking about, but the next moment,

“Minister!? W, what are you doing in a place like this?”

“I have to return to my mansion in person because the post office cannot be used. And so, which noble are you?”

“Ah, pardon my late introductions. I am Erbel Claymore, I am… was a Baron.”

A Baron, huh. No wonder I don’t recognize his face.
Then, Erbel apologetically lowered his eyes as he spoke to me.

“That… I am sorry to ask you of this, but could we tag along with you? My mansion doesn’t have an escape route, so we were searching for one with it.”

“Hou… wait a moment.”

I turned to Randolph and asked him about his opinion.
The more people in our group, the more hardships will fall on this man who is my bodyguard. I cannot be selfish here.
Randolph seemed to be pondering about something for a while.

“I cannot guarantee their safety, but they are comrades, no? Wouldn’t it be fine to act together?”

“Or so he says, Erbel.”

“Thank you very much.”

Erbel, who bowed deeply in silence then introduced the two people behind him. They were his child Edgar, and his wife, Erika. I introduced Randolph to them as well.
To be honest, I was feeling a tad lonely traveling with just the two of us, so I’m glad to have more friends around.
Then Randolph turned around as he seemingly noticed something.

“The commoners are here, let us move at once.”

Nodding to his words, we started moving together with Erbel’s group.

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