An Unexpected Assistant (1)
“Is it true that the Duke requested for reinforcements?”
Dooha was spending time with Margaret in the annex, and her eyes widened with surprise at the news.
Surprised, Layla’s mouth gaped open widely from her position by their sides.
Meanwhile, Claude handed over the letter with a grave expression.
Dooha slowly unfolded the letter that she was handed.
On a fairly large sheet of paper, there was a rough map of the regions that suffered from the monsters’ attacks, a brief description about the monster subjugation’s situation, as well as the desired number of reinforcements.
The hastily scribbled handwriting seemed to suggest that the situation at the scene was worse than expected.
“First of all, the territory’s citizens were exterminated by a pack of werewolves that live in the north.”
“If it’s werewolves, are you talking about werewolves?”
[T/N: the ‘werewolves’ is a hangulization of the English word, and ‘werewolves’ is the Korean term.
I’m guessing Claude said it like that purposely because he thinks Dooha isn’t familiar with monsters, as shown below.
I’ll be translating both as werewolves]
Claude widened his eyes in surprise at Dooha’s response.
“Does Madam know about werewolves? I thought there weren’t any monsters in Bashal.”
“I saw it in one of the books in the library.
I don’t know what exactly it looks like though.”
Ever since the day she was attacked by a monster in the lake, she made the effort to learn about monsters.
Since she’d become the Lady of a family whose business revolved around subjugating monsters, she thought that she ought to have basic knowledge about monsters.
“But from what I’m aware, werewolves avoid villages inhabited by people as they are aware of their territory.
But why would they descend to the dukedom’s territory?”
At her query, Claude shook his head slightly with a pensive look on his face.
“I’m not aware of the reason, but if there’s an even greater pack than the ones attacking the dukedom’s territory, it would be impractical to rely only on the knights to handle them.”
“The fact that knights alone can’t…”
Dooha continued after a moment of contemplation.
“In other words, the power of a wizard is required.”
It’s much more efficient to use magic than swords and spears when hunting high-ranking monsters.”
Claude hesitated for a moment before scratching the back of his head with an exhausted expression.
“Fortunately, this castle hosts one of the greatest wizard guilds in the empire, so it wouldn’t be hard to find a wizard.
“I’m not sure if the wizards of the White Pagoda will participate in the monster subjugation.”
The Esbaden Family’s wizard guild, the White Pagoda.
The wizards there were the kind that feared blood and slaughter, and were of the opinion that they didn’t need to pay the external dangers any mind, as long as they could continue with the magic research that they were interested in.
“Even so, would they make excuses if the head of the family asked for troops?”
“As the Lord doesn’t have the authority to move the wizards of the White Pagoda…”
When Dooha frowned like she was unable to comprehend, he supplemented an explanation.
“In the White Pagoda, the head of the wizards, the ‘Master’, exists.
He is an ancient wizard by the name of Serion, and only he can compel the wizards.”
However, the Master of the White Pagoda wasn’t obligated to deal with matters outside of the ducal castle, as long as the castle’s safety is ensured, due to the covenant with one of the previous dukes.
In other words, unless it was a crisis that’s severe enough to spell the fall of the ducal castle, the Lord of the White Pagoda would never come forward.
“The Master of the White Pagoda has only rendered his assistance once as a wizard of the tower.
He’d personally intervened to mediate the familial conflict that arose during the process of succession to the previous duke’s position.”
If it was the previous duke’s succession, it would be an event that’s more than 20 years ago.
That being said, the Lord of the White Pagoda has never involved himself in any events outside the tower in more than 20 years.
There isn’t even time to persuade him.”
Therefore, I’m thinking of commissioning the mercenary guild outside the castle to gather wizards.
Finding wizards won’t be a problem as long as there’s a generous reward.”
Dooha could sense the worry from his words, and nodded.
“Pledge the maximum monetary reward possible.
Gather the wizards as soon as possible and make the preparations for their departure.”
Claude was about to rush off quickly, but he started and turned his head around.
“Madam, I’m embarrassed to say this as an escort knight, but please remain in the annex while I’m temporarily away.
This place has its own guards, so it’s much safer than anywhere else…”
“Is that really important considering the current situation? Get going!”
Dooha seemed to be quite frustrated and pushed Claude’s back.
Eventually, he kept looking back as he left the annex at full speed.
“Excuse me, Dooha.
Did something happen?”
“It’s nothing much, Margaret.”
For a moment, Dooha was conflicted.
Even if she explained the situation that the Duke was in to the current Margaret, she wouldn’t be able to understand.
However, even if she didn’t have her memories, the duke was still her grandson.
She didn’t have the right to withhold information from her, his grandmother, about the situation her own grandson was in.
After hesitating for a while, Dooha opened her mouth.
“…Truthfully, I think something big happened to the Duke.”
“Yes, he travelled to a far place to subjugate monsters, but it seems that the current strength he has isn’t enough.
That’s why I have to find wizards that’ll be of assistance to him, but it isn’t easy.”
“Oh, so that’s what happened.”
Margaret seemed to be quite worried, and stewed over it for a long while before suddenly lifting up the cat on her lap high.
“Muffin can solve anything.
Why don’t you ask Muffin for help?”
“…Ask the cat?”
Dooha furrowed her brows as she looked at the flat snouted cat that was shoved before her.
The little rascal bared his teeth slightly, probably because he didn’t like being dangled in the air suddenly.
Is this cat capable of coming up with a solution?
Just as Dooha was staring at the previous duchess’ beloved cat with a reluctant expression.
In an instant, she felt the breeze halt weirdly as sound from all around them disappeared without a trace.
It was as though the time of all living beings was paused at that very moment.
All except for Dooha.
There wasn’t any time for her to be startled at the sight of Margaret, who’d suddenly stiffened in place like stone, as an unfamiliar voice rang in her head.
— All I’d done was stop time momentarily, so there’s no need for such a fuss.
It was a strange voice that was neither male nor female.
Surprised, Dooha covered her ears and looked around.
— If you’re looking for the voice’s owner, it’s right in front of you, you foolish human girl.
Right in front?
Dooha slowly lowered her head.
Other than Margaret, Layla, and the handmaidens that were around, there was only a cat staring at her before her.
— Margaret is the only one that can call me by that sort of name.
If you address me like that again, I’ll slit your throat, even if you’re Margaret’s granddaughter-in-law.
At the bloodthirsty threat, Dooha couldn’t help but gulp.
It was because she could feel a momentum that she couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by from the cat that she had thought was slightly unusual.
“…Who are you?”
— I’m the owner of the great name that you were making a fuss about a while ago.
When she recalled what she’d said previously, Dooha’s eyes widened suddenly.
Though it was impossible, she was only unfamiliar with one name amongst the ones that she’d previously mentioned.
The owner of the White Pagoda, Serion.
— Are you only realising that now? What a foolish and clueless lass you are.
I feel sorry for Margaret.
The cat, or Serion, escaped out of Margaret’s grasp and landed gently onto the floor in a very feline-like gesture.
— Actually, I didn’t intend to reveal my true identity to a lass like you, but I decided to come forward just this time for Margaret’s sake.
Serion’s golden eyes gleamed brilliantly.
— I particularly detest those that are stupid and tactless, but since you’d saved Margaret’s life once, I ought to pay you back.
He knew that Dooha brought back medicinal herbs for Margaret.
Well, he was always beside Margaret then, so it’s obvious that he’d know about it.
— In any case, I can’t help Leonhart, that rascal.
Dooha frowned at the answer that she didn’t want to hear.
“Why is that so?”
— I’m unable to interfere in anything that happens outside the castle.
That’s the terms of my contract to protect this castle.
“There’s no need for you to personally lend a hand.
You can just send some of the White Pagoda’s wizards as backup…”
— I’m afraid that I’m the only wizard in the White Pagoda.
She was surprised that the Master of the White Pagoda was a cat.
But what’s this?
Dooha’s face twisted.
“What does that mean?”
— The White Pagoda was made in order to trap me.
The wizards of the White Pagoda that the humans here think exist are just fake alter egos that I’d created.
— In other words, I’m the only wizard in the Duchy.
She had definitely heard that magic tools were made by the White Pagoda, and they were even sold elsewhere.
Was this cat making all those magic tools by itself?
— I’m not a cat, you foolish girl.
It’s just that Margaret loves this appearance, so I changed my form.
My original appearance is much larger than this castle.
As if he had read her mind, Serion revealed various information that she didn’t ask for.
— If it weren’t for Margaret, I wouldn’t want to be fettered within this d*mned castle of humans like a slave.
The more I think about it, the angrier I get.
However, Dooha wasn’t curious about his secret past or his hidden circumstances.
“Excuse me, Serion.
Didn’t you just say that you’ll repay me?”
— As expected, I shouldn’t have listened to Margaret then.
I should’ve just burned down all the people in this castle and left with Margaret… What did you say?
“Didn’t you say that you’ll repay me? In exchange for saving Margaret’s life.”
Dooha continued with a look of determination.
“Right now, a measure that will assist the Duke is what I need.”
Ever since she came to Esbaden, Dooha has watched him leave to subjugate monsters countless times, but never once had he requested for assistance.
This proved how critical the Duke’s situation was.
“As we can’t expect support from the wizards of the White Pagoda, so we’ll hire wizards from outside.
As the wizard’s power is the best way to hunt down those monsters.”
But in this world, there would always be exceptions.
“What should I do if I can’t find any wizards?”
With an earnest voice, Dooha seeked for an answer from the greatest wizard that was before her in the form of a cat.
But the response that came in return was quite absurd.
— Is that any of my business?
At the indifferent response, the Duchess of Esbaden stiffened on the spot like a plaster statue.
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