Chapter 101: A Too Unexpected Newcomer
「What, Zack is……」
「I was also surprised when I first heard of it」
「Why…did he? 」
「He said he found a place to work. I was hoping for him to be an executive officer candidate, but……he was determined to leave. If he just wants to leave for no reason, I could still stop him. But if he has found what he wants to do, then it is for the best. He will be leaving the Order as soon as the next administration completely takes over」
「That cannot be……」
I never thought Zack would leave the Order. I was even saying that he was the most successful first-rank knight.
Moreover, Wilhelm-sama was hoping for him to be an executive officer candidate—so why?
「Well, if Zack is fine with it, I am not going to delay him. Zack will not be a child forever. And if he found what he wanted to do, I will naturally support him」
「What is Zack…going to do? 」
「……W-Well, he said he would not get involved with anything strange. That guy is still a member of the Order. He will not get involved in an illegal business」
For some reason, Wilhelm-sama was looking away. Why was that, I wonder?
Still, if Wilhelm-sama had accepted it, then I could not say anything.
Nonetheless, it was surprising that there was something he wanted to do, enough to leave a good place of work that was the Order. Did he want to put up a store or something like that? He had been working in the Order for a long time; Perhaps, from the start, he was saving up with a goal in mind.
If it was a store, I would contribute to the sales as much as I could. If it was a restaurant or a coffee shop, it might be good to ask my mother for a little patronage from the Ambrose ducal house.
When we meet, I would ask him what he was going to do.
「Now then……it is about time for the lecture. It has been a while, but do not be nervous」
Before I knew it, it was almost time for the lecture.
I still wanted to talk more, but I would do so after Wilhelm-sama returned today.
I might even meet Zack along the way. Since we would occasionally meet at timings where it seemed he had been waiting in ambush for me.
But first, I would have to properly give a lecture.
「Recently, the number of listeners seems to be increasing」
「Before, some of those who had taken the lecture once were on their day off. I feel sorry having to explain the same thing twice……」
「There is no helping it. That is just how well-received it is. When they were notified of the resuming of lectures starting today, there were many who wanted to attend……the room may possibly be crowded」
「I have to be careful not to trip over my tongue, then」
I laughed with an ufufu.
I already got used to it, so I could teach without tripping over my tongue. But since it had been a while, I might get nervous.
Well, that was about it. In any case, I must give a lecture in a natural way.
「Now then. I will also go back to instructing Victor. Come over when the lecture is over」
「Yes. Then, I will see you later」
Wilhelm-sama stood up and left for the office.
I cleaned up the empty baskets and cups, checked the documents for a final time, and then headed for lecture.
It had been a long time, but surely I would be fine.
In the end, I tripped over my tongue thrice.
As expected, I became nervous after a long time, and there were far more listeners than ever before. So much so that it was surprising. But I was grateful that they wanted to listen to my lecture again.
I was puzzled by the many questions asked. But, thankfully, I was able to answer all them.
Also, somehow, I could not focus because I was concerned about Zack.
「Wilhelm-sama, please excuse me」
When I visited the captain’s office after the lecture, the only person inside was Vice-captain……Captain Victor. He had always been “vice-captain”, so I was not used to calling him “captain”.
Captain Victor, who looked up, heavily sighed as he looked somewhat sullenly at the documents.
「Aah……if it is Captain Wilhelm, he is away」
「Is that so? 」
「There was a summons from the palace. I do my duties as the captain, and Captain Wilhelm responds to the summons. Your escort will be here soon, so wait a while」
I bowed and sat down on the couch in the captain’s office. Mary remained standing behind me.
It was silent.
I did not have much interaction with Captain Victor, so we did not have any common topic. Besides, he seemed to be very busy, since he would be taking over as the knight captain.
It was better not to bother him.
「Please excuse me! Captain! 」
「Aah……you have come. Lady Carol, he is your escort」
「My name is Alex, a first-rank knight! I will be escorting you to your residence! 」
「Yes. Thank you very much」
「Then, we will count on you for lectures again」
「Yes. I will now take my leave」
Saying goodbye to Captain Victor, I left together with the knight named Alex-san.
It would have been nice if I were with a familiar person like Julius-san or Zack, but I once saw this person on my lecture.
Without delay, Alex-san escorted me while checking the surroundings a little too carefully.
Then again, if something happened to me, the Ducal House would not stay silent, so it might be necessary to be that cautious.
Or rather, it was Zack who was strange for merely chatting on the way back.
And so, with no particular threats on the way back, we reached the residence without any trouble.
「I wish you a good day! 」
「Yes. Please take care as well, Alex-san」
「Yes, ma’am! 」
Alex-san bowed and ran straight back to the garrison. Did that also serve as training, I wonder?
Now then, I would have Mary prepare dinner, and while at it, make some of tomorrow’s documents. That way, it would be easier tomorrow.
With that thought, I opened the manor’s door.
「Welcome back, Ojou-sama」
Natalia, who should have been on a day off today, was there for some reason.
Was she not on a date with Zack?
「Is it not your day off today? 」
「It is. However, I came for a matter. I believe I mentioned before that I have a reliable servant in mind」
「Yes, you did」
「Today, I was showing the new servant around the residence」
Speaking of which, she did say so. I had not asked who it was, though.
Then, behind Natalia—stepping out from behind a pillar was…
「Welcome back, Ojou-sama……hehe, this is embarrassing」
Dressed in a steward’s clothing, similar to what Richard wore at the ducal main residence.
Unexpectedly—it was Zack.