Epilogue: A Little into the Future
“… Let’s stop here today.”
“Thank you very much.”
“Your Highness has gotten a lot stronger.”
Elvis has remained expressionless since we met, but he still gave me a rare compliment. I know that he won’t flatter me, so I was stunned and happy that he had complimented me. However, there was another feeling that gushed up from within me as well.
“I’m still not strong enough yet.”
Elvis praises me as much as he did when I was younger.
Compared to his sons, Cyrus and Isma, I still have a long way to go.
When I thought that, I heard a familiar laugh from behind me.
“Haha, you’re usually sincere, but you won’t accept your master’s compliments… Apparently, my son has finally reached his rebellious age.”
I was a little surprised that father was here since he usually didn’t come here.
“Sylvester, you should accept compliments. It’s good that you want to improve, but it’s rare for Elvis to compliment someone, so you’ll be punished if you don’t accept it.”
“Oh, did I say something wrong? But, I came here today because I heard that Elvis started praising Sylvester recently.”
“Oh, you didn’t hear it directly?”
I reflexively looked at Elvis when I heard that. Elvis had no expression on his face and remained calm. His attitude also stated that he hadn’t particularly said anything special about me.
I blinked, and father laughed.
“I still remember that day when you asked me if you can have a match with Elvis.”
“Father, now that’s…”
I haven’t forgotten that I demanded this of father because Dilly liked knights. However, it felt uncomfortable to say that in front of Elvis. However, father doesn’t know the real reason behind it anyway.
“Your Majesty, if you’re going to enjoy each other’s companies, then I’ll step down.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it. I also came here to discuss something with you.”
“Yeah. Why don’t you accompany me for a while tonight? I got some good alcohol. Your beloved daughter is in Weltoria, so you don’t have to rush home, right?”
Elvis frowned at father’s words.
“I’m sorry, but…”
“Oh, my bad. I’m not teasing you. I just want to thank you in advance.”
Father continued with a smile to the Earl, who was baffled.
“It’s about time for me to choose a new sword for Sylvester. There are probably things that Sylvester and I can’t understand if we went alone, so won’t you come with us, Elvis?”
“His Highness’s sword?”
“Eh, my sword?”
My voice and Elvis’s almost overlapped. I don’t remember asking my father for a sword, but Elvis accepted father’s words with a nod.
“It might be a good time.”
“Ah. He seems to like what he has now, but he’s coming of age. I want to give him something good at this turning point in his life.”
Of course, I know that I’m approaching adulthood.
But receiving a new sword for that… makes me feel like I’ve been recognised as an adult, and I became speechless. Father laughed at how I was acting.
“Let’s choose a good sword that people will vow to. A sword that will allow you to overcome any difficulty…!”
“Th-thank you very much…!”
I still don’t know what kind of sword I will receive. But I know that I was so pleased with this that I had trouble breathing.
I returned to my room, and Vernoux was sitting on the edge of my desk.
“Hey, you look happy today.”
“Yup, something good happened.”
“Did you finally get a hit on the Earl?”
“… Not yet.”
I smiled wryly at my friend who had dragged my happy mood down.
“More importantly, Vernoux, that’s not a chair, it’s a desk. Clay will get angry when he gets here.”
“Oh, he’s not coming yet, so it’s fine. I can’t sit on your chair, and this chair is pretty high and easy to sit on.”
“But it’s not a chair.”
Vernoux stated his argument, and I gave up on persuading him… or rather, I don’t care since his sitting position doesn’t bother me. However, I warned him since he might make Clay angry again.
“But it’s not easy getting a hit on him.”
“Don’t say it so easily. Elvis is powerful.”
“Well, I know that. I definitely wouldn’t want to have a match with him.”
I don’t think he has to refuse it to that point, but his eyes are serious. Vernoux has always liked sword training, so he probably really wanted to avoid having a match with Elvis.
“Gille, what would you do if the Earl says, ‘I won’t give my daughter to a man who isn’t stronger than me’?”
“Before that, the problem is whether she would accept me or not… If he does say that, then I can only try my best.”
“Hmm? You’re really positive today, is it because of the ‘good thing’ that happened?”
I answered immediately, and Vernoux shrugged.
“Well, it’s great that you’re in a good mood. And something to make His Highness Sylvester happier.”
“A letter from Dilly came?”
“… So you know about it. Here.”
Vernoux threw the letter at me even though it was important, so I quickly caught it. Then, I swiftly took out the paper-knife from my drawer and opened the letter.
“What did she write?”
“Wait, I’m reading it now.”
Vernoux seemed to enjoy my reaction more than the contents of the letter, so I lightly brushed him off as I read the letter I hadn’t received in a while. As expected, we send letters to each other less frequently than when Dilly lived in the royal capital, but even though a year has passed, we still send each other letters at a fixed interval.
“… It looks like Dilly’s working hard on a lot of things. She went with Countess Weltoria to meet various feudal lords last month. She said she wants to help with trading, and the wives love her.”
“Eh. Travelling, huh. Sounds like fun.”
I briefly told him what I had read, and Vernoux raised his voice in envy, so I tilted my head.
“Does Dilly not tell you anything?”
“It’s a miracle if she writes five lines in her letters to me.”
I was a little surprised since Dilly is an excellent writer and she had only written that much to Vernoux.
“She sends me different kinds of preserved food instead of a letter. She wrote, ‘I think it’s better for Vernoux-sama to receive products rather than a letter’.”
Thinking about it carefully, I can’t imagine Vernoux writing a proper reply to Dilly no matter what she writes. He finishes things he has to submit, but when they’re private letters, he ends them in two sentences. Well, it’s probably because it’ll be quicker for him to meet the person than write them a letter.
To sum it up, Dilly replied appropriately since Vernoux doesn’t write much in his letters. However, please forgive me for feeling like I talk to Dilly more because of this.
“Oh yeah, the dried shellfish that I received the other day was pretty good. I had it made into soup, and it tasted pretty good.”
Maybe I’ll get her to send me some next time, so I can try it. I read the second letter as I thought about that.
“… She’s made a herb garden in Ertiga.”
“Are the fields and greenhouse in the royal capital not enough for her?”
“It’s probably not enough for making essential oils. She also started making a workshop. I wonder if she’s going to make that a speciality product.”
It’s pretty widespread that Dilly is making fragrant essential oils.
However, she hasn’t debuted in high society, and her guardian, Elvis, is pretty hard to approach. Even if people know that they can contact her through Countess Weltoria or Marquis Flantheim and his wife, they wouldn’t expect to be referred for free.
Therefore, more women are looking forward to Dilly’s appearance than she could imagine.
Rumour has it that people have tried to imitate Dilly and have been making new aromas, but they haven’t succeeded, and the products that she has produced until now are still priceless treasures. I don’t know if it’s a perfect mistake, but Dilly is still a child, and she’s clad in pleasant aromas, so incomplete products were forced to be recognised as failures.
I’m sure Dilly anticipated a situation like this when she announced her product back then. She’s able to come up with things that I couldn’t, one after the other, so it wouldn’t be strange if she thought this could happen.
“Well, thinking about it again, Dilly tries hard in a lot of things, right? So, I also want to write to her that I’m doing my best too, but it’s disappointing that I can’t come up with anything.”
All the things I’m doing my best in are as 『Sylvester』. Honestly, the only thing that 『Gille』 is doing his best in is going incognito. I think it would seem insincere if I only write about going incognito, having said that, I can’t write about the things I do as 『Sylvester』.
“『Actually I’m Sylvester』, you can write that, can’t you?”
“You can say that lightly… but what is the probability of her not replying to me after I write that?”
I’m sure she’ll stop replying to me. I thought, and Vernoux tilted his head.
“100%, she’ll definitely reply.”
I widened my eyes in surprise since he didn’t take long to reply. Did Dilly tell Vernoux something…? However, my expectations were shattered in an instant.
“Do you think Dilly is someone who could ignore a letter from 『His Highness』?”
Vernoux said in a very natural way, and I sighed with all my heart.
“… Which means she’ll send back a really reserved letter?”
“I can’t have that. No.”
That would hardly be a letter from Dilly. Vernoux sighed a few times at me.
“It’s your fault for not saying it on that day. You finally took her out and created an opportunity to do so, but you didn’t.”
“… I missed the chance because it was too cosy.”
“Good grief. You good-for-nothing.”
It was a horrible thing to say, but unfortunately, I don’t have a reply to him.
I was really going to tell her that day.
I wanted to tell her since we were going to be separated for a long time.
I don’t know what kind of encounter is waiting for her at Weltoria fief, and there have been rumours that she will be adopted by Countess Weltoria from long ago, so I was really going to tell her that I’m Sylvester.
But, Dilly was pleased and was enjoying herself, so I hesitated to tell her something about myself. I wanted her to make happy memories, but it could have been ruined.
I was also worried that if I were to be rejected at that time, then I wouldn’t be able to justify myself because of the distance between us. I don’t know why she’s been avoiding me since long ago, but I can still make a comeback if she’s in the royal capital.
However, that wasn’t a reason to deny Vernoux’s ‘good-for-nothing’ comment, but it’s certainly my fault for not being able to make up my mind in a hurry.
“It just had to happen right after she started visiting the castle. I wanted to get along with her a little as ‘Sylvester’ when she received the permit.”
“Oh… I’m sorry about that.”
Vernoux averted his eyes.
However, I don’t think it’s all Vernoux’s fault at that time. I was a little happy, so Clay found out that Dilly was coming, and things ended up like that.
“There’s no use crying about it now.”
“Your depression at that time was amazing. You were really worried about Dilly too.”
“It doesn’t matter how I felt, but whose fault was it that Dilly got injured?”