I guess I could say that I’d seen this coming, but… well, this is, without a doubt, the Fulbright household.
The to-be-fallen ancestral clan of Warren the Black Emperor and Jennifer the Bone Fist.
I hadn’t expected them to date this far back, let alone being so distinguished.
This would mean that the black-haired boy was Bright Fulbright, and the piercing gaze that I’ve been feeling through the wall… probably June Fulbright.
“Yes, sir. I was hoping to be paid on a fixed interval, based on the job description I’ve read.”
Huh, should I have not said that? The old man just looked surprised for a second there, before going back to his boorish expression and glaring at me.
What, is he looking down on my… financial status, or something? Well, I’d said it – can’t be undone now.
“We of house Fulbright have been looking to recruit a capable mage. Second question: what is your name?”
“I am called Poer, sir.”
“Noted. Next question: are you a mage?”
Why’d the old man ask my name again, anyway?
“It may seem unnecessary to ask, but your body seems more fit for a warrior, despite your gaudy attire.”
“I am a mage, yes. However, I stick to the idea of using anything I have access to in battle, sir.”
“Hmm. True, that body of yours seems quite useful.”
Now that reminds me… the distinction of mages and warriors have existed in this era, too. I’ll remember to investigate the deal with that in this era some time later.
“However, I am not convinced that you are fully qualified for the job.”
His words, with hits of an exasperated sigh, were full of irritation-inducing intent. But what actually had been an irritation to me was that I felt it wasn’t on purpose.
Still, that didn’t rule out the possibility that this, too, was part of the selection process.
In any case, after being told that, I stayed silent and stared at the old man – the act seemed annoying enough for him to click his tongue.
I’d prefer him not do that right in my face…
Now then, time for me to ask my questions.
“So… the job description was that I would be the instructor of arcane arts for Master Bright – what is the level of proficiency that he requires, sir?”
“Your acceptance has not yet been decided, young man.”
The old man replied without a moment’s delay.
That made my brows twitch.
I haven’t said anything about taking the job yet, either…
All right, fine. Let’s do this in a different way, then.
“Now then, I’d like to be interviewed by the real deal, if you please.”
I turned to the wall and spoke up, prompting the old man to raise an eyebrow. The intense stare I’d been feeling now weakened, and gradually faded away.
My guess was that one would need the perceptiveness of an A-ranked adventurer to notice the stare, but I wouldn’t expect that to be part of the selection, too.
The old man heaved a deep sigh, and then quickly returned to his dignified look. Probably because his employers were already here.
I felt two presences on the other side of the door. Bright, and… the one who’d been staring at me.
The door opened, revealing the black-haired boy and a young woman.
“Lady June, Young Master. Was he to your liking?”
June nodded lightly in response to the old man’s subdued remark.
Her eyes, locked on to mine right as I stood up, were pure and in a dark shade of gray.
“Alfred, you have done well. We will take over from here.”
Alfred. That’s his name, huh? Oddly fitting.
He bowed, went to the door and opened it, walked out, then bowed again before closing it.
And so… that lady is June. The one who had surprised Lylia with her power.
She had black hair and tan skin, wore a silver earring on her right ear, and had particularly glossy lips. The armor she had equipped looked quite hefty, and was adorned with beautiful golden carvings.
Definitely equipped fittingly for such a socially distinguished person. Seeing that she carried a straight sword, I would assume that she was a warrior.
“Bright, be seated in the back.”
In contrast to his sister, the skin of young Bright was pale. And now that I thought about it, the feeling that I’d seen him before might have come from his resemblance to Warren – only in some respects.
The major difference was that the guy I knew would always have his trademark grin, while young Bright here had none of that creepiness. Makes me wonder… would the boy grow up to be like that someday?
June took a seat, and then signaled me to do so as well.
She stared at me all the while I did so.
…Oh, I see. She’s trying to help set her brother on track. I still think specifically excluding homosexual men was too much, though.
“Let us first apologize for our impoliteness, and what we put you through.”
“Please think nothing of it. I realize that I may have overstepped my bounds, too.”
“Your honesty is appreciated. I am June Fulbright.”
She held out her hand, revealing countless calluses – presumably from holding her sword. They served as the proof that she’d had extensive battle experience.
We shook hands and sat back down. June then turned to Bright.
“This is Bright, my younger brother. Truth be told, Alfred was sent to the Guild earlier today to cancel the request. I’d never expected you to appear at the very last minute.”
“Cancel… could it be that you’ve already found a suitable tutor?”
“No – an incident has come up, forcing me to be away from this mansion. I must depart for the East within tomorrow.”
“While she’s gone, only I, Alfred, and a handful of servants will be left to occupy this place.”
Since June was the only one leaving, it made sense how she would be even more worried about her brother.
June put her hand on Bright’s head and continued,
“Now, to get into the job’s details. During my absence, I would like you to instruct him in the arcane arts, and also act as his bodyguard.”
“I can certainly do both, but… didn’t the description on the paper call only for the former role?”
“My business is urgent, you understand. I’d planned to take Bright along, but since a trustworthy candidate has appeared at my door, there is no longer a need to force him away from his tracks.”
Not knowing how I’d built such a reputation in the short time I’d been in this era, I was visibly confused.
Understanding that reaction of mine, June added,
“Sir Giorno has endorsed you. That alone is enough.”
“Giorno? He did…?”
“A man of many secrets, but not evil – that was what he said.”
So, despite saying that he would be returning to T’oued soon, he had gone through the trouble to come here and recommend this job to me.
…Not that I’d believed him to go all the way back here in the first place.
But in any case, I guess he’d seen through our act.
“Don’t you think that’s not enough? Trusting me based on the opinion of just one man…”
“You see, we of house Fulbright are distinguished by our prowess in martial arts. My current social status, too, has been achieved largely by my military capabilities. That has made me confident in my discerning eyes. Trust… is something one can earn in the process. It is not necessarily an absolute factor.”
She seemed quite confident in herself – and in a different way from Tarawo’s.
Seeing me scratch my cheek in reluctance, June smirked in one edge of her mouth and added,
“And the new description still stands – you will not only be teaching my brother, but also provide him with protection. Therefore, in addition to the payment upon successful term completion, you will be receiving an amount of guaranteed compensation.”
“I didn’t mean to pry, Sir Poer, but I’d heard that you were having… livelihood difficulties. I thought it would be reasonable to provide you with some assistance.”
Hmm, I see, I see. Food and lodging, I assume?
I’ve got a glutton champion with me, so getting rid of most of our expenses would be a big help indeed.
There’s still the demerit of being tied down to this one location and profession, though…
“I reckon I will be done in one month. Afterward, you will most likely have less to deal with in way of bodyguard duties. As for your compensation… let us agree to settle on an amount based on Bright’s capabilities upon my return. We guarantee a minimum of a hundred thousand – what do you say?”
The more I hear about it, the better the deal gets. Now, what to do, what to do…
I crossed my arms and agonized over my choices – and then a certain familiar voice rang up in my head.
[“Let’s do it, Master!”]
[“Whoa?! What the hell, Pochi?!”]
“What do you mean, what? It’s a Telepathic Call! I could barely hear you from here, so…”
[“Telepathic Call?! But how-“]
[“My arcane energy poll has increased quite a lot after all those levels! Of course I can do this now!”]
Oh, right… so thanks to her MP growth, her magic and magecraft capabilities have been expanded as well.
[“Hmm, all right. Let’s give it a try. For now, I’ll see how it goes for a month.”]
Bright looked slightly confused at what I’d been doing, but kept himself quiet.
“I’ll do it. To the best of my capabilities.”
June and I shook hands just as we’d done at the start of the conversation, but this time more firmly.
Bright put his little hands on top of ours, his eyes sparkling. His… bright personality helped our expressions lighten up somewhat, too.
So, holding magic classes in the distant past, huh… let’s give it all I’ve got.