Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 101: The Hermit of Endsk (X)
※Attention: There is a kiss, but it’s only a peck.1
~The Next Morning~
Zora Confield got ready in the bathroom mirror, putting on an outfit that was not run-of-the-mill for him. Instead of his hermit-looking black robe, he put on a shirt and trousers, and he even put on a tie.
Both Dawn and Yuan were shocked.
“Grampa, what’s going on? You look different.”
“Father-in-law, you actually have respectable clothes?”
Zora used the mirror to give Dawn a glare for saying such a rude thing.
“Shut up, of course, I do. Don’t be so rude! Since I’m the one who turned him away in the first place, I should dress respectably if I am going to pay him a visit.”
“Huh… this is surprising, Grampa. You’re actually going to go visit Lord Vio?”
Yuan’s eyes glittered and sparkled.
“Yeah. Well, my cute little grandson told me I had to over and over, so I just had to. There’s no way I couldn’t!”
“Should I come with you?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m a full-grown adult! I can go alone!”
Yuan only shrugged his shoulders in response to being snapped at. Despite the response he got, he was beaming with joy.
“I’m glad you’re willing to go meet him. In that case, I’ll go help out at the orphanage.”
Dawn lowered his shoulders in relief. He patted Yuan’s head, left the bathroom, and headed toward the dining room.
“Well, let’s go grab some food, Yuan.”
“Eh, what about grampa?”
“Older people get up earlier. He’s already eaten.”
Zora turned around and yelled at Dawn, who always said one word too many. “Shut up! Quit running your mouth!”
After he finished getting dressed, Zora grabbed his satchel as he left the house and headed down the street. The inn where Vio was staying was the most luxurious in town, so he knew exactly where he was going. Zora’s house was on a side street extending off the main road. When he started heading down the main road, a young aristocrat stepped out of a black carriage parked on the shoulder.
“Are you Mr. Zora Confield?”
The question came from a smiling young man with dark-brown hair.
That morning, Jill heard Vio sigh deeply while changing into the clothes he would be wearing for the day.
“What does Viscount Karam want with me anyway?”
Even though Vio refused his help, Karam seemed to have set up a meeting with Zora.
Karam Simmons’ messenger came to the inn to tell them the location and time, so Vio had no choice but to get himself together and go. He didn’t even want Karam’s help but knew if Zora showed up and he didn’t, it might hurt his chances of being able to hire Zora even more.
“It’s hard to say what he’s aiming for and honestly I’m not sure. But please take this with you.”
As Vio tied his necktie and tucked it into his vest, Jill slid Vio’s jacket onto him. He then handed him a slip of paper.
The magic summoning circle on the slip of paper summoned a lightning spell. Except the strength of the spell was so powerful Vio questioned Jill’s sanity.
“Why did you hand me this magic circle? You don’t actually think we’re heading into battle, do you?”
“You won’t have all of us protecting you, so I thought you could at least have this much, young master. If you feel you are in danger, use it immediately.”
“You… if you keep acting like you’re an old man, I think you might actually die.”
Vio was confused by the idea but shoved the magic circle into his pocket as suggested.
Zora hated him, so he didn’t want to bring too many people to the meeting. Together with Karam, it would just be the three of them.
“…Anyways, please be careful.”
“I understand. Honestly, I’m really annoyed with how much Viscount Karam is meddling.”
Vio felt gloomy. He thought that from now on he had to keep all this unnecessary behavior in the back of his mind for the next time he met the viscount. He didn’t need to waste kindness on someone who acted this way.
Vio arrived at the designated inn with Legion and Jill, and he had both of them wait in the carriage as he entered the building.
There was a table in the middle of the reception room, and Zora was sitting in the chair furthest to the back.
It seemed Karam had actually brought him here to talk to Zora.
Vio’s voice wavered as he tried to greet him. Zora had a gag in his mouth and was tied to the chair. A tinge of dread seeped in, and the door slammed behind Vio.
“Welcome, please come in, Lord Violant. I have brought you the thing you desired.2
Karam stood in front of the door with a smile.
“Viscount Karam! What is the meaning of this? Did you take him forcefully?”
“No, not at all. I brought him to you politely.”
“That’s just a figure of speech!”3
“But, my dear, what do you even want with this old man? I thought it would be much quicker for my men to bring him here than wait for him to have a change of heart.”4
Vio’s objection did not seem to reach Karam’s ears, leaving Vio confused. He looked at Karam suspiciously.
“Because of kindness…? It’s just common sense. You can’t just win over people by kidnapping them. There is a connection that must be built between people. If you cannot change their mind through your own efforts, then there was never a connection to begin with. Without a connection, you cannot form a contract.”
“Is that so? Your father and brother would have done the same thing I did.”
“Do not compare me to my dad nor my brother!”
Vio glared at Karam and then rushed over to help Zora.
“Are you okay? I’ll get you loose soon. I’m really sorry for this. It’s my fault…”
Zora groaned, “MmMMmmpf!” A seething fire burned in his dark green eyes. Vio’s heart sank. It was going to be impossible to form a contract with him now.
Vio tried to untie the ropes that bound Zora, but the ropes were taut and the knot was tight. He struggled to loosen the knot, eyebrows furrowed in frustration. Vio’s attempts were interrupted by Karam as he pulled his arms away.
“Hey, just let me untie him, please!”
“Don’t bother with something like that. Oh, look, your fingers are red now.”
Karam took Vio’s fingers and lightly kissed them. Vio froze in shock.
He was so shocked he could no longer speak. Goosebumps broke out across Vio’s body, his hair standing on end. Vio pulled his hand away and stepped back without thinking.
A look of amazement was plastered on Karam’s face as he stared at Vio.
“My, your reaction is much different than what I thought it would be. To look as beautiful as you do and not have any experience?”
“Experience? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Stop joking around. Anyways, please release this old man!”
Vio tilted his head, covered in chills from the uncertainty. Vio tried to regain his composure.
Karam seemed unaffected by Vio’s response. He burst into a fit of laughter.
“Hahahaha, this is great. Behaving in a manner as pure as the way you look.”
While Vio started at Karam, Zora grumbled as he began to shake around violently.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
Vio hurried over to Zora, wondering if his current situation was exacerbating a chronic illness he might have. Zora locked eyes with Vio and pointed towards the door with a flinging gesture of his chin.
Door? Should I call for help? thought Vio.
Vio leaped onto the table, taking a cup of tea and throwing it at Karam. He took the chance to run towards the door, but it wouldn’t budge.
He searched the door to find the lock. All he saw was a keyhole. It was a door that could be locked from both sides using a key.
“Help, someone, get in here! There’s a man in here who is ill!”
Vio pounded on the door, hoping the inn staff would hear, but there was no response.
Vio was frustrated, thinking Zora was in danger. He looked back at Karam.
“Karam, if you have the key, please open this door. You’re being cruel to this innocent old man. He needs to see a doctor!”
As Vio headed towards Karam this time, he noticed Zora was shaking his head from side to side.
“Huh? What, what is it?”
“Hahaha, this is hilarious. It looks like the old man is trying to tell you to run away.”
“Why would I run away? Mr. Zora needs help. His health is deteriorating.”
He didn’t understand. Vio stood in shock as Karam walked up to his side and grabbed his right hand. He couldn’t figure out why he was so close. Vio pulled back in disgust, but unfortunately, now his back was against the door.
“That is to say, he fears I will do something like this.”
At that moment, Karam pulled Vio’s face towards his and covered Vio’s lips with his own.