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In one of the more luxurious room in Riverwood, Anders can be seen as he reclined on a neatly made bed, questioning the lanky guard in front of him with an apprehensive expression.

“Are you certain? Are you positively sure the people from that caravan is actually some delicate aristocrats from the south?”

Upon hearing these very same words he had already heard many times before, the guard’s face displayed a somewhat helpless expression.

“Sir Anders, this is the seventeenth time you’ve asked me this. Like I said, they must be southern nobles pretending to be commoners if my judgment is correct…”

“Sir just think about it, doesn’t their physique and appearance resemble that of ordinary mercenaries and merchants to you? They also carry an air of elegance in their behavior and even though they purposely avoid presenting themselves as nobles, they truly don’t look like a typical merchants and anyone with a discerning eye could easily tell that they are a group of young nobles instead…”

“Also, from what I’ve heard from them, their caravan’s destination seemed to be Maple Leaf City as well. So, I was thinking of asking you Sir. Anders if we could travel together with them,” the guard cautiously suggested.

The old steward didn’t immediately respond.

Instead, he narrowed his eyes and asked with a tone of suspicion, “Did they say anything else? Apart from what you told me earlier that is.”

“Hmm, nothing else I could think of,” the guard shook his head.

“They’re truly just a group of young lords and ladies seeking adventure and excitement. Sir. Anders, you should be able to perceive it as well since you’re more familiar with the nobility.”

“Oh, and the goods they brought with them, didn’t I show them to you, Sir? Those are definitely not something a mere commoner could obtain…”

Anders nodded slightly.

That part was indeed correct.

Those plain wheat and Aries sweet potatoes emitted a faint magical aura, indicating they are fine crops that have been carefully cultivated unlike the crude ones being eaten by the masses.

Such rare commodities were only accessible to nobles.

With some common knights and mages even having no means to purchase these kinds of exotic goods.

Furthermore, since they came to Riverwood for excitement and adventure, it also meant that they still didn’t encounter anything else that might’ve interested them along the way.

…Like the ‘things’ inside the Elven Forest for example.

Thinking about this, Anders felt a bit relieved.

He curtly nodded and decided, “Let’s travel together then.”

He actually wasn’t particularly fond of these foreign noble sons and daughters who adore the reckless life of adventure…

However, despite their youth, these kids are still part of nobility. Therefore, as a retainer of the imperial Borderlord, even though he was reluctant, his job entails him to socialize with these kinds of people.

Nonetheless, despite his reluctance, making more acquaintances will certainly help further expand his network.

And networking and making connections has always been the most potent weapon and tool in his arsenal for a steward like him…

Time swiftly passed away, as the night yielded to the embrace of dawn. Meanwhile back on Earth, both the clock’s hands stood straight upwards, signifying the middle of the day.

During this time, some players had chosen to log out and take a nap in the real-world, while others slept inside the game or even logged out to do some other things back in reality.

And after a whole night’s rest, the players who have already replenished their stamina finally logged back in again one after another…

When everyone was finally present, the caravan then moved towards the entrance of Riverwood, where the lanky guard and Anders have also been waiting.

As soon as they arrived, the guard promptly gave the caravan their travel permit, and after bidding farewell to some locals who had also come to see them off, the caravan, alongside the two humans, finally set out on the road towards Maple Leaf City.

The subsequent ride became much more easier after they leave the town of Riverwood.

Perhaps due to it having been properly maintained on a routinely basis, the paved road that connects Riverwood and Maple Leaf City offered a far more smoother ride, bringing relief to players who had previously endured a rough time during their previous journeys.

Along the way, some players also engaged in deep conversations with the guard and Anders, probing each other out.

The players mostly asked about the culture and customs of Maple Leaf Territory, and inquired about news about some nobles from the Empire, as well as information about the upcoming auction.

And through their exchange, the players eventually realized that their disguise as a smuggling caravan had been exposed.

However, for some reason, they now been mistaken as a group of young noble lords and ladies who came to the north looking for excitement and adventure…

This was evident from Anders’ subtle inquiries about the players’ origins and their courteous tone during each of their conversations.

Of course, the crucial moment was during one of their lunch break wherein the guard accidentally let it slip.

At that time, the players took out the provisions they had brought along with them, and being modern individuals accustomed to a rich diet, their food was naturally far more extravagant compared to what the inhabitants of Saigües normally consumed.

Especially more so for Little Salty Cat.

This petite girl had been leading a guild full of life-oriented players, and its members, instead of leveling up and strengthening themselves, focused more on either building structures or recreating things from Earth, such as foods or pastries.

As such, after she shared a fruit dessert with the guard, he immediately exclaimed,

“As expected of a noble from the south…you guys really knew how to enjoy life! This is the most delicious food I’ve ever had in my life…”

Of course, as soon as the guard uttered it, he quickly realized he had made a mistake.

Alas, there was no more hiding it.

The players who heard him were initially puzzled, but quickly understood that the guard might have developed some sort of misunderstanding.

But, all of it was fine.

After all, they couldn’t properly pulled it off anyway!

In the end, the players decided to go along with being mistakenly identified as nobles, boldly inquiring about local customs and such, while completely abandoning their initial plan of being a smuggling caravan.

Strangely, this made the guard and Anders act more normal towards them.

However, much to the disappointment of the two humans, these ‘southern nobles’ remained tight-lipped about their origins no matter how much they both inquired.

Of course, in the end, Anders didn’t press on the matter.

Despite being a steward, he was also a lesser noble and since the other party was so secretive about their origins, there was no need to get involved much further.

Another reason was that, upon further observation, Anders also discovered that these young nobles, although peculiar, lacked the inherent refinement and knowledge expected of a typical nobility.

Of course, younger people in general have a tendency to be a bit reckless and dumb.

However, this also indirectly indicated that even if these young people were part of nobility, their background were probably just nouveau riché, and their foundations most likely lacked the deeper roots of an old longstanding aristocratic household.

Essentially, the Nobility also had different ranks.

The most deeply rooted noble households in Saigües all have histories dating back thousands of years, with some even having demigod blood within their lineage!

Moreover, those of the highest ranking households even had bloodlines of true gods!

This was especially true for many aristocrats of the Holy Maniya Empire.

Of course, as time passed, many of these prestigious households had declined or even went extinct…

Speaking of which, the ancestor of the current Borderlord isn’t a nobleman, despite his household spanning a history more than thousands of years.

It was actually founded by a legendary expert who had achieved great success during the Heavenly War.

It was truly a legendary household!

However, in recent years, although the current Borderlord hasn’t achieved a similar legendary status like his ancestors, his marriage has secured his position as one of the Empire’s candidates for the throne, and the influence of the entire Maple Leaf household has been steadily growing ever since then…

It could be said that within the Empire’s aristocratic circles, the Maple Leaf Nobles were considered upper-class.

This made Anders, who took pride in being a retainer of the Borderlord, stand a bit taller.

These young nobles from the south probably don’t have a deeper backing unlike him…

Not only that but they weren’t even nobles of the Empire in the first place!

As for the Kingdom of Aries, its history is not as long as that of the Holy Maniya Empire, and it is founded by some remnant forces that used to belong to an old magic kingdom. Therefore, the nobles from the south are often looked down upon by the imperial nobles from the north.

Although the aristocrats from the Kingdom of Aries were generally more wealthier, in the eyes of the northern nobles, they were just nouveau riche with not much experience with magic and commerce.

After this shift in perspective, Anders now looked at these youngsters differently.

In his mind, all these young nobles, laden with various goods and displaying evident wealth, no longer seemed like potential lucrative business partners…

Instead, they now appear as a flock of fat sheeps ready to be exploited and taken advantage of.

Furthermore, the old steward has already started thinking of ways to shear the wealth off these naive, ignorant youngsters’ fleece before sending them to the butchers, so to speak.

These handful of fat sheeps would soon be in the palm of his hands!

And they wouldn’t even realized it! Especially when they entered the vicinity of Maple Leaf City…

—Since that would be his home territory!

274

【 A FLOCK OF FAT SHEEPS

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