be helped.
If this pioneering village succeeded, I was planning on welcoming this territory as a branch of my family, but that seemed difficult for now.
There were no males in this village, after all.
It would be difficult even to maintain land in this country.

“Though I may not have much to offer, please enter my home, Lady Margravine.”
“Yeah, I also wanted to see the state of this village.
Give me a tour.”
“Very well.”

We head towards Aria’s residence, while being guided by her.

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The house where she lived turned out to be the large stone house, which could be seen from afar.

As I was walking, the head butler approaches me and whispers in a voice which couldn’t be heard by Aria.

“Alicia-sama.
This village seems suspicious, after all.”
“? What do you mean?”
“Including that wall, the stones used to make this house are too clean.
I’m afraid they may have had help from a magician.”
“What?”

Now that he mentions it, the stones used to make the house and walls seemed too neatly lined up.
Buying such uniform stones would come out to quite an expense.
Which means it’s quite possible that this was the work of a magician.

(I’ll try and pry into this)

Rather than the closed-off house, we’re less likely to be ambushed outside here even if we’re surrounded by a moat, plus it’s easier to use our advantage in numbers.
I’m also fairly confident in my magic.
As long as we’re not ambushed, it’s not out of question to turn any attackers into cinders using fire magic.

“Speaking of, Aria, you seem to have a splendid house with strong walls, but how did you manage to make all this?”
“Eh? Ah, a traveling magician recently moved in with us, he’s the one who made them.
I apologize for the delay in reporting this.
The Demon Forest had recently become more active, so I wanted him to stay with us till springtime.
I believed registering him in spring thus made more sense.”
“I see, a magician…”

It was a magician after all.

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It seemed weird that he moved in, but at least the worst case was avoided.

Wait no, maybe he’s forcing Aria to use her body in order to make him stay.
If that’s the case, I’ll offer to deal with him appropriately.

In any case, it won’t do if I didn’t meet him personally.

“We’ll manage his registration for you.
I’m a bit interested in that magician though, can’t I meet him?”
“Ah, yes.
Then let me call him.”

Before we knew it, we’d reached her home while chatting about things.
When I said I wanted to meet him, Aria headed to the back of the house.
Apparently, they were also living together.

“Alicia-sama, is it alright?”

The head butler asks me in a worried voice.

“I have confidence in my magic.
Besides, if there really is a magician, it’s better to deal with him upfront, rather than some place where we can’t see him.”
“…I see, indeed that is certainly true.”
“I have brought him with me.”

Aria came back immediately.
From behind her, a single boy steps out.

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