Leah Flores’s Devotion – I May Be a Mob Knight, but in This Life I Will Definitely Protect Duke William with All My Might! – Chapter 13

Chapter 13: The Street

“I’d like to go into town for a tour.”

William-sama said on a day when it had snowed in the garden.

“A tour?”

I repeated, and William-sama nodded seriously.

“I’ve hardly ever gone outside before. When nobles go out, it’s generally their assigned escorts from the knights who are in charge of the mansion’s security who accompany them, but no one seems to want to have anything to do with me, so it’s hard to ask for their help.”

He turned his face towards the window and looked out.

“Nobles have to make sure that the people living in their domains have a comfortable life. I don’t know if I’ll ever become a lord, but if there’s even a slight possibility of that happening, then I have a duty to try my best to be a good lord. I want to see what kind of lives the people in my domain are living, what they want…”

His expression was sincerely serious.

As I looked at William’s profile, I thought about what needed to be done to prepare for a tour of the town.

“…Would the day after tomorrow be alright?”

A few seconds later, I made this suggestion, and William-sama turned around in surprise.

“You’ll take me?”

“Yes, your Grace. We can’t leave right away, but if you can give me a couple of days, it should be possible.”

As he listened to my words, he opened his eyes even wider, but eventually his expression relaxed.

“…I thought I’d never be able to go out into the town. I’m very happy. Flores, thank you.”

I made a slight bow to William-sama, and then began making plans in my head for procuring the necessary supplies.

A clear morning.

As I stepped off the horse-drawn carriage at the edge of the busy street and turned around, I held out my hand.

As I gently took the white hand that was offered to me, a boy wearing a hunting cap appeared from the carriage.

As the boy set his feet on the ground too quickly, the carriage raised a cloud of dust and drove away.

I leaned close to the boy’s ear, who was looking around with curiosity.

“Your Grace, it looks unnatural to stare around like that.”

As I whispered, the boy wearing the hunting cap… William-sama looked back in a panic.

“This is a place where carriages pick up passengers, so if we stay here for long, we’ll be in the way of the people who want to ride in the carriages. Let’s move.”

“Understood.”

I walked quickly towards the center of the town, still holding William-sama’s hand.

This town was located slightly inland from the coast, and its bustling main street, lined with various shops, was one of the busiest in the domain.

William had originally wanted to tour the slums, but I convinced him that it would be dangerous on his first tour, so we ended up touring this town, which was busy with people coming and going.

As a former orphan and commoner, I could pass as a perfectly ordinary person no matter how I was viewed, but on the other hand, my lord, even if he tried to disguise his noble background, couldn’t hide the elegance that showed through his actions.

It’s often said that the best place to hide your leaves is in the forest, and in this town with so many people, we managed to avoid standing out…

(If this were a rural town or slum, we would have been immediately recognized as noble.)

Thinking this, I stole a sidelong glance at William-sama.

The boy who does not know my inner feelings is looking at the fruit displayed in front of the store with interest.

“Flores, what is this?”

“It’s a yana fruit. It’s a specialty grown in the suburbs of this town, and you eat it by cutting out the seeds inside, not the flesh on the outside.”

William nodded in appreciation.

“So this is a yana fruit… I read in a book that it is popular among the common people because it is inexpensive, but this is the first time I’ve seen it in person.”

While William-sama was showing appreciation, the owner of the store approached us from the back.

“Hey, young boys. Did you come on a house errand? That yana fruit was freshly picked this morning, it’s super fresh! Won’t you buy one?”

“No, I…”

While trying to refuse the sales pitch from the store owner, William-sama couldn’t take his eyes off the fruit. I picked up one of the fruits lined up on the store counter.

“I’ll have one please. I’ll eat it right away, can you cut it for me?”

“Yes, of course! Thank you for your business!”

After receiving the money from me, the store owner went into the back of the store to cut the fruit. As I watched him go, I felt someone’s gaze on me.

When I looked to the side, William-sama was looking at me in surprise.

“Flores…”

As he muttered and his lips trembled, I tilted my head slightly.

“I thought you might want to try it… Was I mistaken?”

He shook his head lightly.

“It’s true that I wanted to try it… But the money you just paid came out of Flores’ wages, right? That’s not right…”

As he said that, he pursed his lips.

“I carelessly only brought gold coins with me, so I even made Flores pay for the hired carriage earlier. I didn’t know that only nobles or royalty used gold coins. So I was thinking of not using any money this time…”

I peeked at his face as he bit his lip as if blaming himself.

“It’s not surprising that your Grace didn’t know how rare gold coins are for commoners, since it’s your first time coming down to the town dressed as a commoner. Could you think of this as a present from me? It would make me happy.”

William-sama hesitated for a moment, but when I smiled at him, he returned the smile.

“…thank you, Flores.”

Just after William said that, the store owner returned with the yana fruit cut into two pieces.

He also lent us a spoon, so we ate the edible part of the yana fruit in front of the store.

The semi-transparent white fruit was slightly sweet and had a texture like jelly.

While watching William, who was surprised by the texture of the fruit he was eating for the first time, I took another bite.

Then we went to various stores, including a stationery store with a lot of imported items, a clothing store with colorful clothes, and a household goods store.

After purchasing a duck sandwich at a food stall for lunch,

“I’ve never seen a sandwich with so much duck meat stuffed in it. I never have the opportunity to eat sandwiches at the mansion, so this is the first time I’ve seen one like this.”

William-sama was surprised.

As I took a bite of the duck sandwich next to William-sama, who was impressed, the juicy meat juice and sweet sauce spread in my mouth.

Normally, meals for nobles are basically course meals, and if sandwiches are served, they are usually elegant bite-sized ones.

Moreover, the image of sandwiches for nobles is that they are prepared for outings such as picnics, so it is rare for William-sama to have the opportunity to see such a magnificent sandwich.

William-sama seemed to struggle with the unfamiliar way of “taking a bite” at first, but after watching me bite into the duck sandwich and imitating my eating style, he was finally able to eat it well.

It was while we were walking to the town square and strolling around.

This square, which is so popular with citizens and tourists that it can be called the symbol of the town, is crowded with people today as well.

As we walked along the main street, I noticed that William’s pace was unusually slow.

I quietly observed him.

(…William-sama’s breathing seems to be rough)

While thinking that, William-sama stopped in his tracks.

Surprised, I said,

“Your Grace, is something the matter?”

As I spoke, I peeked under his hunting hat.

“…?!.”

When I saw his face, I couldn’t help but stare.

William-sama’s face was unusually white, and cold sweat was running down his face.

His face was filled with agony and deep wrinkles were carved between his well-shaped eyebrows.

It was an unusual sight.

“Your Grace! Are you feeling unwell?!”

As I whispered the question, he weakly smiled.

“I’m sorry, it looks like I had an attack from my chronic illness.”

Even as he said that, he kept smiling as if worried about me, but his pale face made it look painful.

William-sama pressed his chest with his hand as if in pain.

The wave of people that continued to flow relentlessly tried to push us, who had stopped, away.

(If we stay here, we will attract attention. Above all, William-sama cannot rest calmly. We have to move somewhere…)

As I looked around in a hurry, a bench in the distance caught my eye, visible through the gaps between people.

“Excuse me, William-sama.”

I picked up William-sama in a hurry.

“…what… Flores, what are you doing…”

“I apologize for the rudeness.”

I fixed his body with my arm and rushed towards the bench.

A little later.

“Thank you, Flores. You’ve been very helpful.”

William-sama, who had gotten up from the bench, said that and smiled at me.

After William-sama collapsed in the middle of the square, I arrived at the bench and laid him down without a word.

He suffered for a while, but gradually his breathing became calm as he followed my instructions to rest quietly.

Currently, his complexion has also recovered and his health looks somewhat better.

“Still, I didn’t think I would have an attack from my chronic illness in a place like this. I have been careless lately because I haven’t had many attacks.”

William-sama muttered and looked at me.

“I have caused you trouble, Flores.”

From his face, it’s clear that he feels guilty and…

(…sadness?)

“…may I ask why you have such a sad expression?”

Upon hearing this, William-sama touched his face as if he couldn’t help it.

“…I guess it’s written all over my face.”

As he lowers his gaze, his shiny short black hair sways.

“This is how I ended up showing such an unsightly appearance. I thought I wouldn’t be able to be taken outside anymore…It’s pathetic, isn’t it? I’ve even caused trouble for you, my servant, my regret for not being able to go outside comes before feeling sorry for it. As someone standing above, it’s a disgrace.”

He laughs as if mocking himself.

“There have been times before when I insisted on going out and took a servant with me. That servant was always scared. Of course, if I became fragile during the outing, they would have to bear some responsibility. Even this time, I knew that it would be better for you not to go out if I thought about you, but…”

His tightly clenched lips look painful.

“If only this body were healthy…”

With a face like he was enduring something, William-sama tightens his fist.

I can’t bear to watch him like this, so I gently lift his tightly grasped hand with both of my hands.

William-sama looks at me with surprise.

I continue to hold his hand with both hands.

“Your Grace, it is not your fault that the seizure occurred. It is because of the illness. Please don’t blame yourself too much.”

Slowly, with emphasis, I put the words on my tongue while looking him in the eye.

“You say [I can’t be taken out anymore], but that’s not true. If a seizure occurs, it would be better to tidy up a rest area beforehand and then go out.”

“Beforehand… tidy up a rest area…”

Towards him, who looked back at me with a surprised face, I piled on the words.

“However, there is one thing I would like you to promise me before going out.”

I tightly grip his hand.

“Please don’t hide from me if you are not feeling well.”

Upon hearing that, he made a stunned face.

“… That’s all?”

Towards him, who was dazed, I strongly nodded.

“Yes. If I don’t know how much you are suffering, I can’t do anything. Even if I just know, there might be something we can do together?”

Upon saying that, he opened his eyes wide.

With a face showing a mix of surprise, joy, and confusion, he twisted his expression.

“… I promise you. I won’t hide my condition from you… Can you still go out with me from now on?”

When I looked him straight in the eye and nodded,

“Yes. I will go with you.”

William-sama said,

“Thank you.”

And laughed.

While basking in the orange sunset, I walked with William-sama on my back.

William-sama said,

“I can walk now.”

But because his face still looked a little bad, I forcibly pushed through it.

While talking little by little on the way home, the road felt somehow different even though it was the same as the way there.

Feeling the weight of my lord on my back, I headed towards the carriage stop one step at a time.


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