33 – The Earl House of Gargadon
The day after Tatsumi got caught up with those unknown thugs.
Tatsumi and Calcedonia both went to Giuseppe and gave him a description of things.
“Ho Ho! So they already made a move did they?”
For some reason, Giuseppe started to laugh happily after hearing Tatsumi’s report.
“E-Excuse me, Mister Giuseppe? By any chance do you have some insights on this matter…?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact I do. But I myself only learnt of this yesterday. Calsey, are you aware of a certain person called Lalaic Gargadon?”
Tilting her head, Calcedonia pondered for a while. Tatsumi excluded who obviously did not know of him, Giuseppe keenly stared at Calcedonia with his brows squinted as if he was waiting for a certain reaction.
“………… Please forgive me, but I have no recollection of that name. However, by Gargadon, do you mean the noble house of Gargadon? I was not aware that the Gargadon house had someone called Lalaic.”
After judging that Calcedonia was not deceiving him, for some reason Giuseppe looked up towards the ceiling, and then covered both of his eyes with his hand.
“………………………………………………………………………… So in the end it was never a matter of like or dislike… Well, this got me good. It’s too pitiful. I might have actually started to feel a tinge of sympathy for the poor lad.”
Giuseppe was of course aware of the fact that Calcedonia received marriage proposals from Lalaic a number of times. And he knew Calcedonia herself was aware she was getting a ton load of marriage proposals from here and there, since in the end they were all forwarded to her.
But even so, for her to not even remember his name, was that how much of a tiny impression he left? No! It meant he didn’t leave the tiniest impression at all.
“Remember, from all the marriage proposals you’ve got there should have been ones from the eldest son of the Gargadon house right? He is the one called Lalaic.”
She once again scoured her memories, and this time as if she had a sudden realization her expression brightened up like a light bulb.
“ Ah! I remember. Now that you mention it, I did get some from him didn’t I?”
Even though he proposed to her, she took this long just to remember his very existence! As a fellow man, even Tatsumi started to feel sympathy for Lalaic.
But this and that were two different matters. From how this conversation was progressing, there was no mistake that Lalaic was the one who instigated yesterday’s event.
“Then this person called Lalaic was the one who…?”
“Without doubt, Lalaic was the one who hired the men from yesterday to target son-in-law. And his objective was—”
Giuseppe’s gaze pointed towards not Tatsumi, but Calcedonia.
“Because he was rejected after proposing to Chiiko so many times, he wanted to harass me?”
“That is probably it. More accurately, he might’ve wanted to make you and Calsey split apart by harassing you and then taking son-in-law’s place as her husband.”
Even if, by some godly intervention he did succeed in breaking Calcedonia and Tatsumi apart, from Calcedonia’s character the chances of him becoming her next partner was equal to zero.
So one might ask, what’s the point of him doing all these?
Tatsumi tilted his head in confusion while thinking that.
Of course this question of his remained unanswered because not in a million chance would he ever think that according to Lalaic, just because he was in love with Calcedonia meant Calcedonia must surely be in love with him too.
That aside, there’s no way they could let Lalaic do as he pleased any longer.
“Then, what should be done from now?”
From what Giuseppe was telling them, there’s no way Lalaic would stop with just yesterday’s attempt. So how they would deal with this was the real question.
“About that, I have a plan. Honestly, I myself am a bit irritated at this youngster who never learns. I would like to use this chance to properly teach him a good lesson. But for this I need son-in-law and Calsey’s cooperation. Especially you, son-in-law, I need you to work a bit hard on this… are you okay with that?”
“Of course, as long as I am able to… So, what should I do?”
“I will also do my best!! The nerve of that guy, to dare threaten my master!! I will never forgive him!!”
Slowly, Calcedonia’s body burst out with an extreme magic pressure.
And for some reason because of the intensity released by her, Tatsumi’s face unintentionally cramped.
“Jeez girl, whenever it concerns son-in-law you keep acting like this. But, for now we have to act while observing the other’s hands. We shall proceed by irritating the opponent time and again. The more we do it, chances are Lalaic will personally make a move. Till then, each of you should move with prudence. Remember, no matter what do not give them an opportunity to take advantage of.”
Being instructed by Giuseppe who seemed to be serious on this matter, both Tatsumi and Calcedonia nodded.
“What is the meaning of this!?”
Lalaic threw the high grade quartz wine cup at the servant’s feet.
“Why? Why are my plans not going smoothly!?”
The cup which was thrown on the ground smashed into tiny sparkling fragments.
But the current Lalaic didn’t care at all.
With a face way past displeasure, his expression twisted in rage as he proceeded to stomp the glass fragments into even tinier bits with his feet.
Lalaic’s plan was of course, to harass Tatsumi.
He hired skilled hoodlums and thugs to threaten Tatsumi but time and time again Tatsumi for some reason, managed to escape perfectly.
He wanted to lay a trap by using a femme-fatale or escort and then blackmail Tatsumi using the proof of the affair but in the first place Tatsumi never even visited those kind of places.
After that, Lalaic also sent some people directly to Tatsumi —of course hiding that they were from the house of Gargadon— to hand him a bag full of silver coins telling him to break up with the <<Holy Maiden>>, but Tatsumi immediately refused it as if silver coins held no value to him.
Being harassed by violence, and caught in the deadly trap of a woman’s allure Tatsumi would lose his social position. After that he would have gladly accepted the bag of coins as his last saving grace and escaped from the Capital.
This was the plan Lalaic arbitrarily drew.
And obviously not even a single part of this self-centered plan was a success. It was too stupid to succeed.
“Why!? Why is nothing going my way!?”
So since his ‘carefully’ thought up plans did not come to fruition at all, Lalaic was screaming and cursing in madness with his spit flying everywhere while stomping his feet.
Right now, there was no one near him. Both his personal servants and family members were scared witless as they retreated from his vicinity.
Lalaic was all alone, rampaging in his room.
The broken furniture and ornaments from the other day’s rampage had all been replaced with more expensive looking things. Today, he broke them once again.
Just when he was through with about half of the stuff in his room.
The door to his room opened and a man and woman came in.
“What are you doing, Lalaic! Can’t you see all the servants have been frightened!!?”
“Oh my…. My dear Lala, why is your room such a mess again…”
The one’s who entered the room were a middle aged couple. The man was the current head of the house of Gargadon, Almond Gargadon. The woman was his wife Schecrya Gargadon. And of course, they were Lalaic’s parents.
Almond, while not being that tall had a well-toned body. Compared to him, his wife Schecrya, though not as tall as him, definitely had more than double his weight. And on her massive body, she was wearing a variety of shiny jewelry.
“M-Motheeeeeeeeeeeeer!! M-My Calcedonia… My Calcedoniaaaaaaa!!”
Lalaic suddenly cried out and jumped into his mother’s —massive body— arms.
And Schecrya fondly patted her son’s head as if he was a kid.
Though this scene might seem like an image of a happy family, considering the age and status of the people involved, spectators would find that it was more repulsive than happy, if anything.
“My, there there, it’s okay to cry, dear Lala. Mother will always be on your side.”
“Uh…Uh!! Thank you, Mother!! B-But… My Calcedonia… she won’t marry me… I-I know she is in love with me too… She must be…. I’m sure, that villain called Tatsumi is tricking her, he is threatening her……!!”
“Of course he is. There is no way any girl could ever dislike my sweet Lala. I am sure it’s exactly as Lala said.”
A mother who would spoil her son no matter what. Seeing that, Almond opened his mouth both as a husband and as a father.
“Even if you say that, Lalaic. I have heard of the engagement of this Tatsumi and Lady Calcedonia’s myself. They say their relationship is exceedingly harmonious. And even his holiness Lord Chrysophrase has given a golden seal to their engagement. To dare object to a marriage personally approved by the supreme pontiff of the temple that serves the God of Marriage is-”
“Shut your mouth!! Can you not see how your own son is suffering so much!?Even after… Even after seeing your son cry like this do you not want to help him out!?”
“N-No…. Isn’t Lalaic already past 20 years old? If he was a kid then that was one thing but as a fully grown adult, to spoil him like this is…”
“Enough!! I will not rely on you!! Jeez dear, even though you have talent in making money, to not even bat and eyelid at your son’s suffering…!!!”
While hugging Lalaic, Schecrya started to fume as she angrily stomped her feet.
If Tatsumi was to see this scene, he would have definitely thought of a sumo wrestler doing a ‘Shiko’ while screaming.
“Leave everything to your mother, Lala. Mother will directly go to lord Chrysophrase and ask him to marry Miss Calcedonia to you. Even if it is his holiness, he will not ignore the power of our house of Gargadon. He will definitely agree.”
“Yes…Yeah!! Please, mother!!”
The mother and son once again tightly hugged each other. Looking at that scene, the father could do nothing but let out a sigh.
The house of Gargadon is an Earl’s house now but till Almond’s father’s generation, it was a Viscount house.
But, even though their position within the noble circle was not that high, their influence definitely ranked as one of the top.
They had a number of rich ore veins running through the territory. And the yield from the mines filled the Gargadon’s fief with abundance.
And this was all thanks to the skill of the current head, Almond Gargadon.
By his order, the workers and subordinates working under the Earl worked day and night to process all the ore into weapons, armor and other daily necessities.
Almond didn’t only put priority in ore production, but also trained good workers and smiths. Because of him the metal products of the Gargadon territory gained fame not only throughout the country, but in other kingdoms as well.
Almond also sent the kingdom many weapons and armors as tribute which increased their standing as aristocrats. Then finally, by the order of the king his house was promoted from Viscount to Earl.
On the other hand, Schecrya’s family was that of a Marquis and they were relatives to a certain Ducal house. But even though they were a Marquisates their reputation was by no means a good one.
They were the exact image of a typical bad noble. They didn’t work hard to improve their territory and were only getting fatter and fatter by exploiting the citizen.
They didn’t have their own specialty, and over hunted all the wild products till there was none left. Finally they fell to become a [Destitute House].
The house of an Earl who had less status but more money, and the house of a Marquis who had more status but no money. It could be said that for these 2 houses to become connected by marriage was fate, in a certain sense.
Though she was a noble, Schecrya had always led a modest life because of poverty. But then her fate completely changed through marriage.
At first she was unwilling to marry into a house with lower standing. But after actually marrying and leading a lavish life, she became fascinated with it.
Though it was a political marriage, Almond dearly loved his wife. So he listened to whatever she said, and ended up getting her whatever she wished for.
But it was only now, after all this time that he realized, what he did was a complete mistake. And he regretted it
Because she was the daughter of a high ranking noble house, Schecrya was prideful and selfish to the limit. But as her house was in destitute she usually constrained her behavior.
So after marrying into an affluent house her original nature broke out of its shell and started a rampage.
Her husband listened to whatever she said.
He bought her whatever she wanted.
This fact also gave wings to her original selfish nature.
Though Almond was aware of Schecrya’s nature, he let her run loose nonetheless.
He was always busy as the feudal lord, and he thought after they had a child her selfish nature would correct itself automatically.
A mother naturally loses her selfishness after a child is born. Because no matter what a mother’s feeling towards her newborn baby would always be the strongest.
But things didn’t go as Almond hoped. Even after the child was born Schecrya didn’t change. Rather she raised her child by completely spoiling him head to toe. And the child, totally embracing his mother’s love developed a character exactly the same as her’s.
Even if the world was different, the fact that a baby would follow its parent’s footsteps would never change.
That’s how the child — Lalaic Gargadon became a completely spoiled selfish human being. Because no matter how strict Almond was, Schecrya spoiled him as if to overturn all of Almond’s sternness.
The Savaiv temple premises were surrounded by walls. The main gate and the rear gate were the only 2 options if you wanted to come in or leave properly.
But of course because the place was a temple, the walls were not that sky high and if one had good athletic abilities he or she could jump over or climb it.
However the temple was considered the sacred home of God so there were almost no people who would conduct such uncouth actions. Those who wanted to enter the temple would do so grandly by using the main gate.
By the way, the rear gate was mostly used by traders who delivered supplies like food and firewood to the temple.
Tatsumi who took one step out of the main gate, looked around with due caution.
The last few days, thugs and hoodlums would swarm to him the moment he stepped out of the temple.
The reason why the men did not enter beyond the gate was because if they caused trouble within the temple, the Clerical knights would not pardon them.
Of course Tatsumi knew full well what the men were after so if he saw them coming he could make quick decisions and run away, or step back inside the temple and slip away using the rear gate.
After scanning the surrounding a number of times, he judged everything was okay and looked back towards the main gate.
“It’s okay Chiiko. Doesn’t look like they are here today.”
After hearing Tatsumi’s confirmation, Calcedonia showed herself from beyond the gate and quickly hurried to Tatsumi.
After being warned by Giuseppe, just to be more vigilant these 2 began going back home together unlike before.
“But master, there really is no need to be so overwrought… As long as I am here, I won’t let anyone touch a single hair on your body you know? Rather as long as they show myself, and as long as they don’t die I would with my magic……”
“No no no wait. Even if they are thugs in the end they’ve simply been hired by other people. There’s no need to go that extreme on them.”
“Jeez… I guess it can’t be helped since you told me not to but……”
Calcedonia pouted in discontentment, but as soon as Tatsumi started walking she followed close behind.
And as if she thought of something, she quickly ran to him and hugged his right arm completely squeezing them onto her breasts.
“Eh…? C-Chiiko? W-What are you doing so suddenly!?”
Tatsumi cried out at the sudden event. And Calcedonia replied with a clear cute tone,
“If I glue myself to master like this, I can protect you better!!”
With a grin. And then it changed to a blissful smile.
“If it’s like this, then I can use my own body to protect master!!…. And isn’t it warmer this way?”
“No, you don’t have to use your body to protect me… A-And well yeah, I guess it’s warmer…”
Saying that, the Tatsumi who was by no means dissatisfied started to make his way home with Calcedonia.
Of course, they were already very familiar with the route back home from the temple.
And whenever they went home together, most of the time they did it like this, linking their arms. Maybe because of that, all the shopkeepers and traders who opened their business by the street, and the pedestrians who passed by them would always look at the 2 with warm gazes.
The harmonious relationship between the <<Holy Maiden>> of the temple of Savaiv and the mysterious ‘Black haired black eyed youth’ had long become a familiar sight for a portion of the dwellers of Levantes.