The man in front of me laughed in a peculiar way. And while laughing, he pierced the meat with his fork and carried it to his mouth and then, again continued laughing in a similar fashion.
To be completely honest, it is quite unpleasant. He isn’t batting an eye as the gravy leaks out from his mouth and drips from his chin, making the napkin he was wearing completely dirty—very unrefined, to say the least.
This man, he’s also very fat. So much that I ended up thinking, ‘can you still eat even when you’re that fat?’, which was rude of me. No, maybe he is greedy for more because he’s fat.
It’s delicious, is it? I was a bit perplexed but that’s good then. These are dishes Eli and the temporary chefs worked hard to make. I’m glad he’s having them with pleasure…. However, now that I look at his plate, he hasn’t touched anything other than the meat.
Vegetables or soup or cereal. Even the potatoes which Eri raised with care and cooked with love remained. How foolish of him.
“Well? Why have Alegraden-dono of Fonteyne family come all the way to Helan territory for?”
“Foffofofo, since I also had some delicious meat, I guess I should get to the point.”
Alegraden took his dirty napkin and scrubbed his dirty chin with it. Would that help?–I thought so I made someone bring a clean napkin at once.
Even the clean white napkin kept getting dirty with every wipe. You can have that, really. I don’t want it back anymore.
It was this morning. A messenger came rushing to the mansion with a horse to inform us that the noble Alegraden Fonteyne would be visiting. They even went on to arrogantly demand that we politely welcome him and present him with luxurious cooking.
I got to know later on from Lotson-san that he is quite a powerful noble at the capital and manages many different businesses. And that this visit was because of some important talk.
To be honest, I was still sleepy. And I was also irritated by his attitude.
“I will kill you, you know?” or so I could have said to the arrogant messenger but I endured.
“We have been waiting.” — I want someone to praise me for being able to say that with a smile.
And so, like that, by afternoon, the visitor reached the mansion on an extravagant carriage.
He was helped down from the carriage by 2-3 people. He was a man with about 3 times the width of a normal person, having excess flesh on his chin, belly and lower half. He had accessories and gems on his fingers and arms but because of the excess flesh condition, all of it was caved in by the flesh. It felt like it would go ‘tngg!’ even now and pop off. It’s kinda scary.
“Foo, I am hungry.”
That’s the first thing he says. Not even a single greeting, even though we had been waiting outside for him all this time. He was the worst from the first impression.
I felt like the indoor temperature skyrocketed as he came in. No, it might not just be me.
I didn’t let him into the living room we usually use. It’s narrow and most importantly, I don’t want to invite a stranger in there. We have the hall. We also have luxurious tables and chairs. We also prepared the food there. That’s where I took him.
Alegraden Fonteyne and his group started munching on the food right as they sat down. Meat, meat, meat!
And that’s when he started with that creepy laugh.
“Kururi Helan-dono, I’ve brought a good deal for you as well, foo.”
Having finally cleaned his face, he said that while looking at me. No, wait. There’s still some on the cheek! Clean properly, you fool!
“And what might that be, this good deal?”
That thing on his cheek still bothered me but I couldn’t be rude either. From what I can tell, he probably wants to do business here in Helan territory. I can’t ignore such a person who can bring profits to the land. More than anything else, the landlord wishes his land to prosper. And as such, he was a person I needed to prioritize more than anything else at the moment.
“I have heard of your previous feats. How you drastically developed this Helan territory, which was just another remote district. Something mysterious happened and Helan territory was covered by sand for a period of time and I don’t know how but it has returned to its original state like this. And on top of that, Kururi Helan-dono has returned as well, foo.”
He stopped for once and helped himself to some tea, which was served after dinner. After gulping it all at once, he continued again.
“The topic of you returning has become quite popular even at the capital. Everyone’s expecting that Helan territory will return to its rich state again. I think there will be more nobles investing as well.”
Investing, you say? Hmm, hmm? The impression he gave off was so bad but is he perhaps a surprisingly good customer?
“Hoho? That’s quite interesting.”
“Right? The other nobles are seeing how things turn out. But that’s no good. That would be moving second. And as such, although it was bothersome, I have come all the way here, to Helan, foo”
“I see, I see, I am glad you trust in this land, foo—ah, no, I meant, I am glad for your faith, yes.”
I also extended my hand for the tea. There are a lot of things I want to do for the land from now on. Quite a lot of capital is being used on the ‘craftsmen city’ project too. Nobles in the capital investing here are very much welcome for the future. I feel like laughing as well. I should keep it to myself, though. Fooffofofofo.
“You see, recently, the youngsters from Gap company severely got me. I could have fought with them more but I decided to stop competing. I have found a new, good place. I can just do business there now, foo.”
Gap company, eh? I recalled the hooded man I met at the capital. It seems he was a really close friend before my memories disappeared. It is true, I didn’t feel like he was a stranger. So this fat noble had been fighting with the Gap company at the capital.
“And that’s Helan territory? Of course, we will accept it, if it’s proper business…”
I also plan on being friendly with the Gap company. If he has come here after losing to Gap company in the capital, then this will turn into a tough talk for him. And so I decided to stay put for a while.
“Proper business, foo. We deal with medicine, foo. And were also a famous name in the capital, crossing generations to generations. When people hear Fonteyne family, they think medicine. When they think medicine, they think of Fonteyne family. I could have done business there forever if that Gap company didn’t go and spread fake medicine, foo.”
Fake, eh? Men’s jealousy is unsightly.
“So you mean, you will be selling medicine here as well?”
“That’s right, foo.”
Saying that, he nodded, which looked quite hard for him to do.
“We will welcome you. however, the Gap company which you hate so much—we also plan on accepting their goods in large amounts as well. If they desire to open up a branch here, we will answer to that as well. And from there, it’s just up to the Fonteyne family and Gap company as both your products will be lined up in the marketplace. It’s for the people to decide whose products they want to buy.”