The Muscleheaded Grandmaster
There was no shortage of work for a nobleman. Well, I suppose if someone was just watching from afar, they’d think I spent all my time fawning over my wife and daughter, but… those are just brief moments of leisure that I’m able to eke out of my desperately busy days.
The truth is that I’d love to spend entire days spoiling those two, but such a thing was impossible for me. Usually I’d be able to bear it when working from home, but… due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to once more come to the royal palace in order to clarify certain things.
I wasn’t too worried about home security, because I had gone out of my way to hire only the most skilled and loyal guards my money could buy to keep any potential pests away. Was it perhaps because of Callis’ nature? In the past, there were definitely rough elements to the guards and servants employed by the household, but… anyone on the payroll who caused me even a hint of unease had been let go, and I had spared no expense whether in money or favours owed in order to populate the household with people I trusted.
Well, I felt a little bad about the sheer amount of work that put on Zeke’s back because of all the dismissals and new arrivals, but… it can’t be helped, considering Callis’ past actions.
“Oh? If it isn’t Duke Fall. When was the last time we met?”
As I walked through the corridors of the palace deep in thought, I suddenly heard a friendly voice call out from in front of me. A man around my age who must have been some sort of knight, considering he was decked out from the shoulders down in plate armour. I believe… this guy is…
“Ah, Viscount Grieze. It has been some time. Oh, rather, perhaps I should be calling you ‘Grandmaster Grieze’ now?”
“I’d very much like you to call me by that name if you were to re-join the order. How about it? I know you may have retired, but your martial renown is still legendary. I can promise you an excellent post, you know?”
The man who smiled warmly at me as he spoke was the Grandmaster of the Kingdom’s Order of Knights, the force that served as the backbone of the country’s military, though amongst the peerage his title was Viscount Grieze.
The previous Grandmaster had once been a Duke, however… a genius swordsman worked his way up to the chief position on the backs of his merits, despite being outranked… that man was Viscount Grieze.
I grimaced as I returned Grieze’s words.
“I am flattered by your invitation, but don’t you think my old bones have seen enough of fighting by now? What’s more, I have been away from the military for quite some time now… I am sure that the knights would only consider me a nuisance.”
“On the contrary, I think that the men would be delighted if you returned. To think, the valorous man once known as the ‘Sword Demon’ returning to our ranks? I am sure that it would be a great source of inspiration to the rookies… and the old hands would be pleased as well.”
You’re doing me too much credit… is what I’d like to say if I were merely talking about myself, but his evaluation probably wasn’t too far off the mark if you looked at the man known as Callis objectively.
Because of the increased workload at the Fall ducal house, he had retired from the Order, but… especially after beginning to exercise a lot more with his body, I can understand just why Callis’ prowess was thought so highly off, even amongst the other knights of the Order.
Well… that being said, I still had absolutely no intention of rejoining the Order. Because, if I add the workload of being a knight commander on top of what I’ve already got to do, then I wouldn’t ever be able to find time to dote on those two! Such a dull life wouldn’t even be worth living!
By the way, Callis used to be very active in his duty as a knight… well, in truth, it seemed Callis decided not to have a honeymoon with Sasha in order to spend more time at work, and eventually used his work as both a Knight and a Duke as a sort of shield to avoid having to spend much time at home… honestly, what a waste of time. If I’d ever worked for a company so bleak in my previous life that they wouldn’t even let you take a honeymoon, I’d probably have fallen into depression. Well, since I want to spend as much time with those two as possible I’d like to avoid such a working life, so…
“Well, I’m doing my best to make time for my wife and daughter these days, so I’ll have to decline.”
When I said that, Grieze’s expression froze on his face.
As I was wondering just what had happened, Grieze didn’t even to hide the surprise in his eyes as he finally spoke.
“If you’re saying something like that yourself… then I suppose the rumours really are true?”
“Yes… That recently, the Duke of Fall has an excellent relationship with his family… rather, that he seems so attached to his family that it’s as if he’s an entirely different person.”
Callis… you neglected your family so much that you even gained a reputation for it amongst the other nobles, huh? I almost cried at the thought, but… suddenly, I noticed a small shadow behind Viscount Grieze’s legs.
“Viscount Grieze, just what is that behind you…?”
“Hm? Ah, how rude of me. This is my son, Reuben Grieze. Reuben, why don’t you introduce yourself?”
At those words, from out behind Viscount Grieze stepped a boy of maybe four or five years old, with red hair just like his father’s… that boy who looked somewhat familiar greeted me with a trembling voice.
“I… I am… Reuben Grieze…”