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Magi Craft Meister 593

18 Further Progress Arc

18-13 Homecoming

After explaining the purpose of his visit to the village, Jin headed to the village chief’s house with Elsa. Reiko and Edgar followed closely behind them while carrying their luggage.

Barrow and Belle also joined them so that they could talk about their circumstances with the village chief.

“Look at you, Barrow, you seem well!”

“I thought you were working in the Celuroa Kingdom, but you were actually working for the Magi Craft Meister? That’s amazing!”

“It looks like you’ve grown a little taller, haven’t you?”

“Big bro, did you bring us anything?”

Barrow’s family tagged along while catching up with him.

“Yeah, I’ll give it to you later.”

Barrow’s cheeks were a bit reddish.

However, there didn’t seem to be anyone here trying to catch up with Belle.

(Come to think of it, she did say she doesn’t have any living relatives anymore…)

Jin remembered her saying something to that effect back when he first hired her. Still, this was her hometown, and that alone was enough for her to want to come back here.

“This way, please.”

Jin was brought back from his thoughts by the village chief’s voice. Before he knew it, they had already parted with Barrow’s family, and were standing in front of the village chief’s house.

Jin was led into the house’s parlor, where the tax collector in charge of the Etranto region, the one called Flix Becker, stood face-to-face with him.

Although there may be some exceptions, tax collectors in this world were reasonably trustworthy. Flix, who seemed to be deeply sincere, started by bowing to Jin.

“Please allow me to apologize once again for my rudeness from earlier. I am truly sorry.”

“No, I understand. After all, I pretty much appeared out of nowhere.”

“You are too kind. By the way, may I report your visit to Her Majesty?”

“Sure, no problem.”

Once he was done here, Jin had planned to go to Reinhardt’s place. He would have to cross Lake Tosmo for that, and he would not be able to avoid passing through the capital Loizart on the way there.

“Then I’ll do just that. Are you planning to stay in this village for a long time?”

Jin explained that he was going to visit a friend after two days at most.

Flix Becker nodded, and after making sure Jin didn’t need anything else, he left the village chief’s house.

Then came the village chief.

“Welcome, Mr. Jin. My name is Robard, and I am the chief of this Magiroots Village.”

Robard greeted Jin and the others, and welcomed them once again.

“Please use our house during your stay.”

After saying that, he led the party to a separate building for guests that was right next to his own.

There were three such buildings right outside the village chief’s house, so that visitors could use them during their stay. Frix was currently staying in one of them as well.

Jin brought in his baggage, turned to Barrow and Belle…

“Well, that’ll be all for today, so you’re free to spend the rest of the day however you please.”

…And gave them the rest of the day off.

“Thank you!”

Barrow was about to run off happily, but stopped as soon as he noticed Belle.

“What will you do, Belle?”

“…I’ll go take a look at my old house.”

Then she left the building and started walking towards the outskirts of the village.

Jin turned to Barrow, who was now standing still.

“I remember Belle said she no longer had a family, but she still has a house to return to?”

“Yes. It should be on the outskirts of the village. Her parents and sister died two years ago from an epidemic.”

“Oh, I see…”

Up until now, Jin had avoided asking Belle anything about her past, thinking that it would be better not to pry into it. However, now that he knew that much, he couldn’t just pretend to be oblivious to her situation.

“Ah, um, Master Jin… W-Would… Would it be alright if I introduced you to my family?”

Noticing Jin seemed to be deep in thought, Barrow timidly asked him this question, which Jin replied to with a smile and a nod.

And so, Jin and Reiko went with Barrow to his parents’ house. Elsa said she’d go back to the guesthouse to finish unpacking.

“I’m home.”

It was a small house on the outskirts of the village. Barrow’s parents and siblings gathered to welcome him.

“Big bro!”

“Welcome home, Barrow!”

A mother, a father, one brother, and one sister. They seemed to be a very lively family.

Since the family had quite a few members, the house had a spacious dining room, where Jin would be face to face with all of them once again.

“So this is the person that’s been taking care of you?”

“That’s right. Master Jin Nidou. He’s an honorary knight and the Magi Craft Meister.”

“A knight!?”

“S-Son, do you think it’s okay to behave so casually around such a person?”

His parents were surprised to learn that Jin was a nobleman. Or rather, instead of being surprised that Jin was the Magi Craft Meister, they were taken aback by the fact that he was an “honorary knight”.

It seemed that, for the general public, the title of “honorary knight” was more relevant than that of “Magi Craft Meister”.

“Don’t worry about that. After all, it’s just an honorary title.”

Jin also addressed Barrow’s parents in a casual tone.

“I’m Barrow’s father. My name is Conti.”

“And I’m his mother Maitz. Thanks for taking care of our son.”

“Don’t mention it. He’s been a great help.”

Even though Jin’s title was an honorary one, for Burrow’s parents, he was still a member of the nobility, so both of them still leaned towards a formal tone when addressing Jin.

“Big bro, you said you brought something for us.”

Barrow’s little brother didn’t seem to be even 10 years old yet. He clung to his big brother and started begging him for the gifts that had been promised to him.

“I know, I know. Here.”

After lowering the luggage bag he was carrying on his back to the floor, he took out a few small packages.

“This one’s for you, Kono. Come here, Lucca, I’ve got one for you too.”

Lucca was Barrow’s little sister. She seemed to be very shy about Jin’s visit, and was hiding behind her mother.

“Wow, thank you, big bro!”

Kono opened the souvenir he received on the spot.

“Whoa!”

Kono’s package had a pair of children’s gloves and shoes. They were from Eric’s store, and were made of durable Wood Bear leather.

This area had no Wood Bears, so its leather was quite a rare sight here.

“Come on, Lucca, come here.”

After calling her name several times, Lucca finally came out from behind her mother and received her gift.

It was a scarf made of hare fur. It was pure white and very fluffy.

“T-Thank you… big bro…”

After gathering enough courage to say that, Lucca then quickly returned to the safety of her mother’s shadow while wearing her new scarf.

“Oh, look at that, what nice gifts your brother has brought you!”

Seeing her daughter with her new scarf around her neck brought a smile to Maitz’s face.

“And this is for both of you, mother, father. I hope it helps with the family finances.”

The leather bag that Barrow put on the table made a metallic sound.

Surprised, Conti opened the bag and found 20 silver coins and 1 gold coin inside.

Back when he was an apprentice butler, Jin would pay him a monthly wage of 10 silver coins, but after he was officially hired as a full-fledged butler last August, he started earning a monthly salary of 1 gold coin, which was worth 10,000 tor.

And since Jin was also providing him with all his life necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter in addition to his monthly wage, this made it all an exceptionally high salary for a 15-year-old like Barrow.

“Y-You… Whoa…”

Since he knew Barrow had a powerful employer in Jin, he had assumed that his son would have a rather fair salary, but he still couldn’t avoid his surprise when he saw the contents of the bag.

“I’m sorry I was away for so long. Please take it.”

Then, scratching his head apologetically, Barrow started bringing his family up to speed on what he had been doing so far.

He briefly talked about how he started working in the Celuroa Kingdom, about the purge of the nobles, about how turned adrift in the streets as a result, and about how Jin found him and hired him as an apprentice butler.

“…You’ve had it quite rough, haven’t you, son?”

“But I’m glad you were able to find such a kind-hearted master… Sir Jin, thank you so much for taking care of our son…”

Conti and Maitz bowed their heads at the same time. Jin met their reverence with a slight bow of his own.

“The pleasure is mine. Barrow, thank you for all your help so far. I hope I can keep counting on you in the future”

“Yes, Master Jin!”

Both of Barrow’s parents stared at their son and Jin, and smiled at each other.