Harassing Thief Girl Ch. 49

https://ncode.syosetu.com/n3461cg/49/

 

Runaway Girl

“Nyan Nyan Nyan.”
With Katie singing away while acting as the driver, the carriage was heading south towards Wheat Grace.
Of course, even if you call her the driver, it is not like there is much to do with the Magical horses leading the way.

This was the road between Warren and Wheat Grace known as Vegetable Road.

Grains such as wheat are primarily grown north of Warren in the Marsfield area which consists of mostly plains areas.
In comparison, Wheat Grace has mountains and marshes along with their plains, so they end up producing a wide variety of agricultural products such as vegetables, fruits, and beans.

These farm products have freshness as a priority, so Vegetable Road has several relay stations along it with lodgings and other facilities.

In normal circumstances, the journey from Warren to Wheat Grace takes five days.
However, that is only taking normal day travel into account.
Both Warren and Wheat Grace’s Merchant guilds provide transport services and fresh horses at those relay stations, so someone could make the journey in a little more than two days if they wanted to.

Wheat Grace also takes on the burden of gathering the specialty crops of the surrounding villages to be delivered to Warren–allowing Warren to gather a wide variety of products and secure its name as a city of trade.
With all this emphasis on ease of travel, there is also the fact that they were using Magical horses as well.
Ellis’s horse-drawn carriage ended up overtaking numerous carriages from behind as a result, destroying the usual Warren travel schedule.

Ellis’s group ended up making it to the first relay point in the afternoon of their first day.
There was a space to park one’s carriage and a trough for horses to drink from.
“It’s a little early, but let’s stop here for the day.”
At Ellis’s decision, Katie moved the carriage toward the relay point and parked the carriage there.
While Ellis deactivated and gathered the Magical horses, Reeve and Katie stretched out the awning, and Claire set up the table and arranged the silverware.
Frau had already started dinner before the carriage was parked.

When the sun finally started to set, the five girls enjoyed Frau’s special cooked chicken and baked potatoes underneath the Light stones embedded to the awning.

“What kind of special products does Reeve’s family handle?”
To Frau’s question, Reeve became a little timid.
“It used to be beans and tea, but it’s only beans now.”
Reeve explained the story.
Wheat Grace’s aristocrats each had their own specialty product along with their main agricultural exports–rice and beans.
The rice and beans are collectively bought up by the Wheat Grace Merchant guild, and the Warren Merchant guild buys all the product at once. In this way, a cooperative was formed among the local aristocrats.
In the past, the aristocrats’ special products were handled in the same way through a cooperative system, but the current leader of the Durkfienance house switched it over to a direct sales method.
The reason given was that the direct sales would benefit every aristocrat and lead to higher profits.
However, when you looked at the numbers, most aristocrats had actually lost money as they were unable to compete with the overwhelming production and sales power of the Durkfienance house.

As for the Lorenburg family, which was Reeve’s family, their ancestors had been producing their own tea ever since their family was first founded.
The quality of Lorenburg tea was quite high and very well known. No other aristocrat in Wheat Grace could compete with them, so it provided them with some stable income.

However, Ferdinand Lorenburg, the predecessor of the current head of the family, had many hobbies, and at one point, he talked about building a permanent theater in Wheat Grace. After using their tea industry as collateral, the whole affair proved to be a magnificent failure.
As a result, they lost all claims to the family business including the rights to their tea ceremonies, the tea fields, and the production methods for their tea.
Currently, this business was held by the Durkfienance house.
The brand, however, remains as Lorenburg tea.

Frau was more than a little surprised by this story.
“Lorenburg tea is famous for its sweet taste and sent! You’re family is that Lorenburg family!?”
Whatever timidity she had was blown away as Reeve burst out laughing by such an overexaggerated response from Frau.
Still, as evidenced by such a reaction, the brand power of ‘Lorenburg tea’ was certainly powerful. Most likely, the entire reason why a marriage was arranged between Lake and Reeve in the first place was just to keep the Lorenburg name.

Ferdinand had almost lost the family home of the Lorenburg family as well to the head of the Durkfienance house, Acoms Durkfienance. Instead, before things reached the point of no return, Ferdinand was forced to retire, and his son Leopold took responsibility.

Leopold, now in charge of the family, made his first priority the survival of the family through frugality–using his father as warning.
Currently, the only thing left to them was a single bean field, and the only people working it were the few servants who stayed in their service due to long-standing loyalty.

Claire and Katie listened in to Frau and Reeve’s conversation full of interest.
Could it be that Reeve was actually supposed to be a refined ojou-sama?
“There’s nothing refined about belonging to a fallen house.”
Reeve killed any delusions they had before they could even really start.

Ellis, on the other hand, was more focused on the content of Reeve’s story.
The Durkfienance house purposely undercut the other aristocrats and stole their profits under the excuse of ‘direct sales’ for the special products. This caused Reeve’s grandfather to have to rely on them in order to start into a new business venture which resulted in them claiming all of Lorenburg house’s assets.
It was a typical hi-jacking and black market lending scheme.

“There seems to be various things going on in Wheat Grace,” Ellis mused.
Ellis had already heard several stories about the city’s state from Theseus and Maria, but they did not know how it really was out there. There was no way to know without arriving and seeing for herself.
Ellis ran through all the little information she had picked up from that special rectangular box from the other world.

 

The next four days were spent traveling at a very leisurely pace.
The surrounding landscape of Vegetable Road was rich in variety as sometimes the girls would find themselves surrounded by a bamboo grove, sometimes in a wide meadow, and sometimes by paddy fields.
Soon enough though, there journey was over, and they arrived at Wheat Grace.
At first sight, it was more like a town rather than a city, and it suited the idyllic, rustic landscape.

“It won’t be long now.”
Replacing Katie at the head of the coach, she steered everyone towards her parents’ house.
“Here we are.”
Reeve stopped the horse-drawn carriage before a large, stone house that exuded history.
The grand hall was surrounded by an iron fence, but its gate was open, and there was no gatekeeper.
When Reeve pulled the carriage in front of the main entrance, she hopped off her seat and headed straight for the door.

As expected, she stopped just a short distance away, awkwardly shifting her weight between her feet until Ellis pushed on her back.
“You should’ve made up your mind a long time ago.”

Reeve slowly picked up the familiar knocker installed onto the door, and she took a deep breath.

*Gon!* *Gon!*

After waiting a while, a small voice could be heard from the other side of the door.
“Who is it?”
“It’s Reeve. Open up.”
“Big sis?”

The sound of iron grating against iron resounded as the latch was lifted, and the old wooden door swung out far faster than you would think possible.
A single, small boy stood before the party.
“Reeve!”
The boy’s name was Hymel, Reeve’s younger brother.
As Hymel rushed out to greet his returned older sister, another voice could be heard further inside the house.
“Everyone, Reeve has returned home!”
It was Reeve’s mother, Lux, who had raised the call.

Before things were taken too far, Reeve cut the both of them off with a sharp bow.
“Mother. I have caused you all trouble.”
“What are you talking about? We are at fault for not understanding you own feelings, so let’s forget about that. Come now and come in.”
As she was waving Reeve inside, Lux finally noticed the ladies standing behind her daughter.
“Oh, who are all of you?”
“They’re my friends who I live with in Warren.”
“Well then welcome! Please come in and have a seat.”
Lux enthusiastically guided Ellis’s group inside, through a library, towards the drawing room.

“It’s a little embarrassing showing off a room with nothing in it.”
With a small word of apology, Lux directed them a couch in the middle of the room.
To put it simply, the room was far too plain for a room belonging to an aristocrat’s mansion. It had the bare minimum for furniture, and there were no paintings or statues that aristocrats seem to love located anywhere.

“Are Father and Grandfather here?”
Lux’s smile gave way slightly at Reeve’s question.
“They’re currently meeting with Acoms. There was a slight problem with some monetary transactions.”
“Trouble…?”
A heavy air descended down upon the room.
In that kind of atmosphere, Reeve stood before her mother.
“Mother, how much was the remuneration for breaking off the engagement to Lake?”
“You don’t have to worry about something like that.”
Lux tried to laugh off Reeve’s question and gave her a reassuring smile.

But Reeve would not relent.
“Listen to me, Mother. Thanks to Ellis, I have succeeded as an adventurer in Warren.”
Lux took another look at the friends her daughter had brought with her. She was surprised to hear that all these young girls were adventurers, but she was even more shocked to learn that Ellis was an associate member of the Warren council.
Reeve took a step forward and grabbed hold of her mother’s shoulders, looking more serious than she had her entire life.
“I have secured a good life and a good sum of money. Please. Please, let me help.”
Lux couldn’t say no.

“It’s 10 million ril.”
“…Really?”

The fire burning inside Reeve’s heart quickly burned itself out.
A debt of that size was nothing to her.
But then she remembered, for the current Lorenburg family, it might as well have been 100 million ril.

“I will give you this for the time being.”
When Reeve said the command word {Meal Time}, her favorite Pouch of Gluttony opened up, and she handed over the 200 million ril adventurer guild exchange note to her mother.

Lux stared at the note in her hands for a long time. More specifically, she stared at the number printed in deep, black letters.
“Um.”
Right when Reeve tried to bring her mother back, Lux ended up collapsing onto the sofa behind her.
“Mother! Are you alright!?”
Lux had unexpectedly started to cry, and when Reeve ran up to her to see if she was okay, Lux tried to fight her off.
“What is this!? What did you do!? Oh no, my daughter’s a criminal!”
“Calm down Mother! This is all legal!”
It took awhile for Reeve to calm her mother down enough in order for her to explain how she got the money. She had to go slow in parts to make sure her mother wouldn’t get worked up again, and she sat close to her on the couch holding her hands in order to comfort her.
She told her almost everything. She became an adventurer after running away from home. She became Ellis’s legal guardian and began living with her in the mansion. And all five of them earnestly searched the city’s surrounding labyrinths.
“I now jointly run Warren’s Lily Garden bathhouse along with Ellis.”
“Lily Garden?”
The name struck a chord with Lux. Of course news about Warren’s latest facility that attracts wealthy ladies from all over had reached Wheat Grace as well.

There were two pieces of gossip that Lux managed to recall.
The first was that the bath was supposedly run by five beautiful differently-colored maidens.
“Maybe you five are Warren’s Jewelry Box?”
“I have never once called myself by such an embarrassing name.”
Lux was able to infer the truth, contrary to Reeve’s immediate denial.
That means…….
The second rumor–male-dressed lady who occasionally appears at Lily Garden’s restaurant to sing….

“The Blue Beauty…..”

Reeve gave a slightly ashamed laugh.
“It sounds ridiculous, but that’s probably me.”

This time, Lux really did faint.
It’s to be expected in a sense.

Her daughter who ran away somehow became a ridiculously famous celebrity in only a few months.

Chapter 48

Chapter 50

 

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4 thoughts on “Harassing Thief Girl Ch. 49

    1. Actually, i think she’d probably accept it being that they are Reeve’s true feelings. The father might not though. His motive, that was mentioned, was basically ‘preserve the family at all costs’ which seems to include effectively trying to sell his daughter.

      Like

  1. Seems like the Durkfienance house are a long line of corrupt, dirty douchebags. Just the type of people that Ellis likes scamming repeatedly until they have lost their entire fortune.

    I foresee Ellis causing all sorts of havoc and chaos in this town until the dirkfienance family are bankrupt and spit out everything they’ve swindled.

    Like

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