When I bit into the golden brown stewed potato, the delicious flavor of the stock gradually spread in my mouth.


Ouwaaa, it’s so good!

I wonder how long it’s been since I’ve eaten a meal prepared by someone else!

As I was enjoying my happiness, I suddenly looked at Schwarz-sama’s plate and saw that…

There wasn’t anything!?

Of the tens of platters, half of them were already empty.

Ehhh? Huh!

Did he eat all of that deep-fried carp bigger than both of my hands, the root vegetable stew, and the stir-fried chicken?

While I quietly watched him, he silently reduced the candy-colored grilled pork ribs to just bones.

Amazing speed, amazing appetite.

When he ordered, he ordered tens of dishes for two or three people, so I thought he was rich and would eat as much as he wanted and leave the rest…

However, I was stunned to find that he could eat everything he wanted.

While I was stunned, Schwarz-sama noticed my gaze and stopped eating with a quick blush on his cheeks.

“…I’ve been on the front line all my… life, so I’ve gotten into the habit of eating quickly whenever I can… I use a lot of physical energy, so I… get hungry quickly and ……”

It’s okay, he doesn’t have to explain to me.

“No, please enjoy your meal however you like.”

I smiled back at him and started on my own meal.
I have only eaten one dish from the plate we have shared.
At this rate, Schwarz-sama will finish his meal before me.
A servant should not keep his master waiting.

I became impatient as I thought so and began eating quickly…


“You may eat at your own speed too, Michel.”

Schwarz-sama made the first move.

“What a polite little way you eat… You must have been raised well.”

“Well…”

Despite being modest, I was pleased to receive compliments on my eating manners, as my mother had strictly trained me to do so.

“May I ask you a few questions… if you don’t mid, Schwarz-sama?”

I cut in, advancing my fork.

“About what?”

“It’s about you, Schwarz-sama.
I’d like to ask you a few questions before I start working for you at your mansion.”

“Yeah, you can ask me whatever you want.”

“Well then…”

I cleared my throat and asked,

“Are you married, Schwarz-sama?”

*BHWUOOWW!*

The General sputtered violently!

“A-are you all right??”

I sat up and rubbed his back and held out a handkerchief to Schwarz-sama, who was choking in pain.


“My bad… it was entirely unexpected…”

The general held his mouth with the handkerchief and forced himself to catch his breath.

Was it such a strange question.

“I’m really sorry.
I just wanted to know how many family members live with us so that I can take care of them.”

When I told him my intention, Mr.
Schwarz nodded, ‘I see.’

“I am not married.
And there is no family living with me.
I am alone in that house.”

Yes, there was certainly no sign of anyone living there.

“But… there was a room in the closet with women’s clothing and a baby crib.”

“Those were things left behind by the previous occupants.
The house had been put up for sale by a fallen nobleman, and I had bought it with all the furniture.
I have only been in the capital for a short period of time.
I started living in that house three days ago only.”

“Three days…?”

That is why the furniture had no signs of having been used for a long time and was covered in dust?

“Then what were you doing before that? How did you come to be in the capital?”

When I asked further, Schwarz-sama wrinkled his brow as usual and said,

“I guess it’s kind of a long story?”

“I want to know.”

For the future, I want to know about him.

As if tracing his memory, Schwarz-sama began to speak slowly.


****

Schwarz Gastargy was born in a small village on the border.

Their poor but happy family was struck by tragedy when Schwarz was six years old.

Their village was destroyed in an invasion by a neighboring country.
His family was killed and he fled on his own, and was taken into the custody of our military camp.
There, he began working as a foot soldier.

At first he was assigned to a supply unit, but his talent for martial arts was recognized, and he began fighting on the front lines before he was even ten years old.

The battle-axe blows delivered from his monstrously large body made soldiers tremble, and by the time he reached adolescence, he was known as “The Nightmare of the Battlefield.”

He was also a skilled tactician, and when his commander was killed on the front line, he personally led his crumbling army to regroup and defeat the enemy, earning him the title of knight.

That’s a career path that any military personnel would love to follow, but…

“The war ended when I brought down an enemy fortress, and a peace treaty was signed…”

Schwarz-sama sighed through his deer-in-the-headlights look.

“His Majesty the King has offered me a knighthood as a reward and the right to rule over the entire border area.”

…That means that as a frontier count, he’ll have to keep an eye on the borderline from now on, won’t he?

“But I was tired of fighting, and I never wanted to be a lord, so I turned down the offer.”

“What?!”

Can one turn down a knighthood?

“And I said I wanted the money more than the knighthood.”

“What?!?”


That’s very disrespectful! – Oh, my God!? That’s!

“So I was going to retire from the military because I had received a bounty equivalent to a fiefdom, but His Majesty approached me and said, ‘Come to the capital and train the soldiers who will succeed you.’ I recently came out here from the frontier to the capital.”

Schwarz-sama slurped down his potage soup as fast as he could.
I’ve never seen anyone put their mouth on a… soup plate before..

“So, at first I was staying in the army quarters, but the lower-ranking soldiers complained that the general’s presence in the living space didn’t make them feel at ease.”

I guess that’s true…

“I bought a vacant house at random.”

Why would you buy a mansion of that size at random?

“But since I joined the army, I had been taken care of by my underlings, so I didn’t know what it was like to live on my own.
I asked my deputy about it, and he introduced me to the servant’s guild.”

“So that’s why they sent me?”

He nodded at me as I said so. 

…I see.

The house had been unused for a long time, so it was dusty and full of luggage unlike the owner of the house, Schwarz-sama.
And since he had never lived the life of a nobleman, his attitude toward me, his servant, must have been different.

…Schwarz-sama said he declined the knighthood, but since he is an honorary excellency, he should be treated as a nobel, right…?

“–that’s the thing.
I don’t know anything about life in the capital or the cost of living.
To be honest, all I need is a place to eat and sleep, and I don’t want to spend my time doing anything else.
That’s why I want you, Michel, to take care of the housework so that I can live well enough to get by.”

The instructions were clear and straightforward.

“Yes.
I’m in complete agreement with you.
I, Michelle, will help you to make your stay comfortable.”

I assured my master, who had emptied all the plates before I knew it, with a thump on my chest.

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