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109 Angora’s Growth

 The building that Angora lived in was the same as the other houses in the town, with clean walls that were painted white, which contrasted well with the light red tiles of the roof that could be seen under a layer of snow. Along with the evergreen plants that were planted in the courtyard, the entire building seemed as delicate and beautiful as a fairy's house, and didn't give the overly extravagant feeling that the mansions of the other nobles did.

Upon walking into the villa, Miller was met with a meticulously furnished meeting room.

Black and white tiles were laid out in a design that was simple but beautiful, and golden gilded tiles that were even considered extravagant back in the royal capital were arranged throughout the design, each and every tile polished to a shine.

The interior decor was also quite stylish and refined-Gray, comfortable-looking sofas surrounded the black wooden fireplace that was crackling with warm embers, while thick and lavish velvet carpets were laid on the floor. Above, a crystal chandelier hung on the ceiling and cast a dim glow on the room, and even though none of these items seemed all that special, but when put together, they complimented each other well and gave the room a special, classical air to it.

Following Vela, Miller was led to the study where he met the lord of the small town, the youngest son of the Silver Eagle Duke, Angora Faust.

This wasn't the first time he had met Angora.

During the harvest festival two years ago, Miller who had been travelling around the kingdom received a letter from his father, urging him to come back to the duchy for the festivities. It was back then that he met this youngest son of the duke.

Back then, Angora was still a young kid that only hid behind his father, and even though he had decent manners and conduct, but because he was quite demure and timid, no one thought that he was a decent aristocrat.

This greatly disappointed many nobles that wanted to get on his good side while he was young in case he became the next duke of the duchy, to the point where all of them expressed support for Cecil Faust instead. This was also one of the reasons why Angora was sent to be the lord of this town that was in the middle of nowhere...

Miller hadn't expected in the least that such a person would have been able to flourish in this backwater town.

At that moment, Angora was sitting behind the mahogany table with both of his elbows propped on the table, resting his chin on his laced fingers as he scrutinized Miller, his expression hidden by the backlight coming from the open window behind him.

In response, Miller felt as if he was faced with an indescribable, suffocating pressure from the man in front of him, making him break out in a cold sweat.

D*mn, was this really the same innocent young man from two years ago?

Miller had visited an orc tribe on the outskirts of the Great Duchy of Rimross a while ago, and the great shaman told him that, "Heroes are not born, they are made. What makes someone into a hero is not only their own talent and ability, but more so their trials and tribulations."

He had completely dismissed this statement of the shaman. After all, didn't the existence of Saints, Saintesses, and Chosen Ones completely prove this statement null and void?

At this moment however, he was forced to reconsider the plausibility of what the shaman had said. Was it really true that trials and tribulations could stimulate growth in character to such a degree?

"I have met you before, yes?" Angora asked.

"Yes, Sir Faust, we have met at the harvest festival before."

"Ah, I remember now! Salutations to your father, the Minister of Military Affairs."

"Uhm..."

"What is it? You can just tell me whatever is on your mind, as I'm not a duke like Father is, no need to be so reserved." Angora smiled reassuringly, and continued, "Your position won't be any lower than mine once you get one, after all."

"Well...My father is the Minister of Finance..."

"..."

"..."

"Ahem, then salutations to the Minister of Finance, then." Angora corrected his mistake as if he didn't make it in the first place.

And so, the pressure in the room lightened immediately.

Miller who had finally become more relaxed started to relay to Angora what he came to this town for, as well as handing him a letter written by the Silver Eagle Duke, Horan Faust.

"The duke wishes that you could return to the capital for the sowing festival, he misses you very much."

"I miss Father very much too, of course," Angora replied halfheartedly, making sure that the wax seal was untouched before slicing it open with a small knife and taking out the letter from within. "Unfortunately, it's been a little hectic with the town lately, you see? So I don't think I would be able to go back anytime soon..."

In the letter, Angora's father first expressed his thoughts and relief on the letter that Angora sent him earlier, before vaguely mentioning the death of Angora's older brother, warning him to be more careful. Finally, he wrote that he wished for Angora to go back and visit during the sowing festival.

Angora wouldn't go back, of course. He wasn't sure if he could come back to life like the other players did, so it was the safest choice to stay put in the town where the other players could protect him.

He had become extremely cautious of assassination attempts ever since the one that happened before he arrived at the town, and he never wanted to experience the feeling of having his life and death held in the hands of another.

Adding onto that was the fact that there were probably people that were still waiting for a chance to kill him, so he had no reason to go back home.

Upon more thought, he was actually in quite an awkward situation at the moment.

His life was in peril for some reason he had no idea of, and until now, he had no idea who the mastermind behind the attempts on his life were. Now that his brother, the only one that knew the truth had died, he couldn't have any way of telling anyone. After all, he couldn't go around and tell people that his older brother got someone to assassinate him, but got killed himself in the process, who would believe him? Even the one that killed his brother had already been killed by the players, and now he didn't have even the slightest bit of evidence.

More troubling was the fact that if Angora were Cecil, he would probably guess that this youngest son killed the second in line, and was about to kill him in order to get the position of the one and only heir. He would definitely be wary of Angora, and might even move to kill him first just in case...The familial relationships in noble families were all as thin as paper, after all...

In conclusion, there wouldn't be any merit to returning at this point in time. After all, he didn't have a useful protection item like the Hitman Genie Lamp anymore...

"Ah, so you won't be able to return? That's an awful shame." Miller nodded, his expression slightly disappointed.

"This journey must have been hard for you, so, by all means, please stay for a night at this town before you return. I've been busy, so I won't be going back...."

[Ding! Quest Unlocked-Find the Tsujigiri]

[Quest Reward: Hitman Spirit Wand x1]

"...But on second thought, I think I can clear out my schedule."