Hello, Ankydon is here.
If you see any typos/errors/etc, feel free to mention them in the comment section, for they won’t be neglected.
Update on Project Gender Bender
|Author: Kataoka Naotaro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Ankydon||English Source: Re:Library|
|Author: Kataoka Naotaro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Ankydon||English Source: Re:Library|
A little side story. Felt like writing about Peris, so here it is. Since it’s not integral to the rest of the story, I’ll understand if you choose to skip it. 1
My name is Clarifon Saeri Tuley. The eldest son of the Viscount house of Clarifon. I’ve enrolled in the Royal Academy this spring at 16 years old.
I’m interested in a certain girl. My classmate, Peris-chan.
I’ve seen her for the first time during the entrance exam. Coincidentally, our seats were right next to each other and her violet hair was rather eye-catching. But it was her beautiful visage that stole my soul and lifted me straight to the clouds. I’ve barely managed to pass the written exam one way or another because of that.
During the magic test, my eyes were glued to her. Though the same could be said about the teachers.
The test was all about showing the magic you are best at. Some people learn magic from childhood and can use 2, sometimes 3 different kinds of magic. I can use both, wind and water magic myself. So before the test even begun, a teacher called out to us.
「Those, who can use only one kind of magic, come to me. Those, who use two, to Sario-sensei. Three – to Shuse-sensei」
Everyone split into their respective groups. Since I can use two, I was about to make my way to Sario-sensei when I saw Peris-chan hesitating. I’ve gathered my courage and decided to talk to her.
「I-Is something wrong?」
「Emm……where should I go if I can use four?」
I’ve embarrassed myself in front of a girl. But it was natural. A real surprise.
When I told the teacher about it, there were really suspicious. After a lengthy discussion, they decided to bring Peris-chan alone to a different location.
And so the practical test began. Those, who can use multiple types of magic, were required to use their strongest spell at maximum power first. At this point, their magical power usually became exhausted, so they were allowed to rest and consume the recovery medicine.
After releasing my favorite LV2 water spell 「Water Bullet」, I took a break to recover my MP. At that time, my eyes happened to see something unbelievable.
A huge fire pillar rose from the place where Peris-chan was. It should be a LV3 fire spell 「Burst」. For a 16-year-old to be able to use LV3 magic is unbelievable. I’ve almost dropped my MP recovery medicine.
The examiners were frozen. Not minding their state in the slightest, Peris-chan said.
「Emm……can I move onto the next spell?」
「Eh? What about the recovery medicine?」
「I think it’s alright」
Having said that, she unleashed one spell after another. All of them above LV2! She even outclassed my 「Water Bullet」in both speed and power. She’s probably LV3. The examiners had a hard time remaining calm. Nothing unexpected here. A 16-year-old firing LV3 magic. I still find it hard to believe.
She was immediately surrounded by the teachers and led away. She must have many move skills than I do. However, there is one thing I know for sure. She’s definitely passed the test. I do not doubt that. 2
Honestly, I wasn’t confident I could enroll in the royal academy. However, if I fail to do so, I won’t have many opportunities to meet her in the future. In case I fail, I’ll have to return to the Clarifon territory. I’ll only be able to visit the capital during the monthly social events. However, our territory is rather far from the capital. At most, I’ll be able to come one every 2 to 3 months. As such, the opportunities to meet her will be almost nonexistent.
For the first time in my life, I went to the church of my own will. Usually, I come here because of necessity, but not this time. I’ve prayed to Crimiana-sama to pass the test with all my heart.
Perhaps the prayer worked, I’ve successfully enrolled in the royal academy. I was so happy I cried.
Right after I enrolled, I’ve immediately discovered Peris-chan. That hair color. Easily recognizable. Even without taking her beauty into account…..
As a special case, it was decided she’d study with us, the nobles. The male classmates feigned calm, but it was clear as the day they were conscious of her.
Surprisingly, she was a part of a newly emerged Marquis Versam house. Speaking of Versam family, it’s the family of the prime minister of the hostile Juka Kingdom. He moved to the empire after the kingdom was destroyed by the Great Demon King. Despite the fact that the head of the house was adopted, he obtained the title of honorary marquis and Princess Ricolette’s hand in marriage thus successfully entering the royal circle.
As a matter of course, for us nobles, she’s a prime marriage target. Marrying her will allow one to forge a relationship with the Versam House. And through it, with the royal family.
However, Peris-chan became rather estranged in the class. Mostly because her behavior differed from the other nobles.
For example, the meal. More often than not, the students tend to it in the academy’s salon. The entry is restricted to nobles only as it serves as a place to make connections with other houses.
However, Peris-chan didn’t eat there. She preferred the lawn outside on the library. More importantly, she cooked her meals herself. Meals are something usually prepared by the servants or slaves. Some female students even reprimanded her for that. Yet she said that in the Versam House, every woman cooks, even Princess Ricolette.
It only made me more interested in Peris-chan.
One day, she remained alone in the class as she was frantically writing something down. I swallowed my nervousness and came up to talk to her.
「E-Excuse me, are you not going home?」
「Eh? Ah, sorry….」
「Ah, it seems I’m disturbing you」
「No no, I’ve been busy trying to come up with a dinner menu and stayed too late」
「Dinner menu……like what?」
「I’ve been thinking of gratin. But I’m not quite satisfied with the sauce….. 」
「Sauce, is it?」
「Cooking is interesting. One pinch of salt can sometimes change the taste completely」
「No such thing~. Rinos-san cooks much better than me」
「Eh? Honorary Marquis Versam can cook meals?」
「Sometimes. But it’s so delicious」
「Mm…..I want to try it once」
「How about I bring something with me next time?」
「Eh!? Are you serious?」
「I don’t mind」
「Ah, my name is Clarifon Saeri Tuley」
「I’m Peris. You were the one to help me during the exam, am I correct?」
「You remember me?」
In that way, we became friends (?). She even agreed to make something for me. This must be Crimiana-sama’s divine blessing. I should visit the church the first moment I can.
I’m looking forward to my life from now on.
Peris POV: Let’s give him the leftovers from my lunch♪
Hello, Ankydon is here.
If you see any typos/errors/etc, feel free to mention them in the comment section, for they won’t be neglected.
It’s been a while, eh?
Since it’s been a while, there might be a case of altered terms in some cases, for I don’t remember everything all that clearly. Hope for your understanding
|Author: Kataoka Naotaro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Ankydon||English Source: Re:Library|
Here I stand, glaring at the emperor. Disrespectful? Don’t give a damn.
I’ve received a sudden summons from the emperor. An invitation politely suggested from me and Rico to visit him. Whatever the reason, we headed to the royal palace. Someone led us towards a room that was used by the emperor to meet the foreign emissaries.
As we waited, His Majesty appeared and placed himself on the throne. The prime minister and His Highness Prince Viras stood by his sides. Then a tired boy with a beard appeared from another door.
「Are you in good health, Marquis Versam?」
The prime minister looks strangely tense today. What’s happening?
「You are becoming more beautiful by the day, my sister」
「O-Of course. I’m glad you’re in good health too」
As I was bust processing to events, prince Viras spoke to Rico. As expected, Rico had no trouble answering.
His Highness finally spoke. It’s the first time he said the words「brother-in-law」.
「There is a reason for your presence here, bother-in-law. There is a confidential matter to adress」
「Do you wish to ask for a personal favor?」
「Indeed. You can hear the details from Yuri-dono」
「A pleasure to meet you. I’m the prime minister of the Principality of Niza, Yuri」
「Versam Dake Rinos, a pleasure to meet you」
「I have a request for you, Marquis-sama. Would you consider saving our principality?」
「Did something happen in the Principality of Niza?」
「It goes like this…..」
The Principality of Niza is a country ruled by dwarfs. As a result, the country became famous for its excellent blacksmiths, as well as the armor and weapons they make. However, during the last few years, the farmlands fell into ruin with no possibility of them sustaining the population’s need for food.
「Was there some sort of natural disaster?」
「No, no such thing. It’s pests」
「How should I say it……the deers suddenly multiplied and consumed the crops」
「Deers? Don’t you have any hunters?」
「There is a belief among us dwarves that deers are the servants of gods. Therefore, killing a deer is a serious crime」
「So, what are you expecting of me?」
「If possible, we’d like you to share your wisdom in hopes of reviving our farmland…..」
「I don’t think there is a method that doesn’t involve killing the deers……」
「In that case, we request you to do so……」
Doing it themselves is punishable by the law. So why not to ask someone else and pretend that「the deer herd suddenly became smaller for no reason whatsoever, tehe~」? Fools and idiots always have an easy life, huh.
「Isn’t it fine if it’s not me then? There are plenty of others」
I glared at His Majesty. What’s the meaning behind an invitation to both, me and Rico? But the prime minister ignored me and continued.
「The truth is, there is another matter we’d like to entrust you with」
「What might it be?」
「There are signs indicating that the deer outbreak might have been artificially induced」
「The scale of the outbreak is unheard of in the principality’s history. It happened too abruptly. Moreover, their recent political decisions seem rather strange too. On that note, I’d like you to investigate the situation from the inside」
「Brother-in-law, our Hideta Empire and the Principality of Niza are long-time allies. I apologize for the inconvenience, but can I count on your help?」
「If that’s what you wish for, Your Majesty…..」
「In that case, Marquis Versam shall temporarily assist the Principality of Niza. Is this arrangement fine with you, Yuri-dono?」
「You have my grattitude」
Prime Minister Yuri has left and we followed after His Majesty. We’ve arrived at his private study soon after. There was a girl inside, which I last saw with His Majesty in my hotel. The moment she saw us, she immediately tried to leave.
「It’s alright, Taunzette. Come here」
「I don’t mind, everyone here is a relative」
The girl by the name of Taunzette, returned to the chair she originally sprung up from.
「Please allow her to be present. After all, I’ve already fallen into her trap」
「Eh!? Congratulations are in order!」
It seems the prime minister didn’t know. What a surprise. Though he had his suspicions.
「I see, so that’s why Taunzette-sama is in His Majesty’s room….」
「Indeed. The women at the royal court are the jealous bunch. I’m letting her stay in this room for her own safety. There are rumors that I’m having her work all day and night every single day. Hahahahaha」
「And that’s where I come in…..」
「You are quick to catch up. I’m counting on you」
I put a barrier on Taunzette-sama. A pretty strong one, as a service.
「Well then, brother-in-law, everyone. There are still some things left to discuss regarding the Principality of Niza」
「I don’t think there is any reason for me personally to do it, Your Majesty….」
「Why did you pick Rinos, bother? Please let me hear the reason」
「There are traces of demonic activity in that country. They cause a lot of confusion within the country. A confidential letter had arrived from the Dwarven King. There is no denying the principality’s importance as a trading partner and it’s geographical position. Of course, I have no intention to use them as a buffer state and I also have a great opinion of the Dwarven King. Me trying to help him is my personal desire」
I see, so it’s in a strategic location and any disturbance would be unwelcome.
「I’ll send you as a representative of our country. Officially, you’ll be there to help with their farmland. After all, you do have a track record. They should welcome you with open arms. While there, I also want you to deal with any demons you find. This problem could eventually affect the empire if left unattended」
「….I don’t have an option to refuse, do I?」
「You are the brother-in-law of the emperor, Rinos-dono. I won’t force you to do anything. There is a forest you have to pass through to get to the principality, it will also be possible to investigate the deer problem while at it. The only person I know who can do both things is you, Rinos-dono」
「Counting on you」
Continuously asked by His Majesty, I reluctantly nodded my head.
I told everyone what’s happened the moment I came back to the mansion.
「It’s hard to imagine the deers suddenly multiplied for no reason」
Mei tilted her head in puzzlement.
「Do you have to go alone, Master?」
「No, Gon and……Ferris, you’ll go with me. Everyone else is on standby at home. Prepare your things, we’ll depart shortly」
That night, Rico crawled into my bed. She was the most assertive I’ve ever seen her.
「What’s wrong, Rico?」
「……You are going on a trip. And you aren’t taking me with you」
「There is still Kurumfar」
「Perhaps…….But I don’t want to sleep alone」
「It’s alright. I’ll be sure to teleport back every night. No need to worry」
「Every single night?」
「Of course. Every single night I’ll be there to embrace you」
「You must, you have to come back」
I hugged Rico close to myself and gently squeezed her buttcheek. Stimulated by my touch, she wiggled in delight as her breath turned hot and rough.
And so the night continued.
「Well then, let’s begin」
「I’m counting on you, Gon」
Taking a deep breath, Gon calmed down his mind. At the moment, Gon wasn’t in his usual human form but in his true white fox form. And before him, there stood the nervous Peris.
「Rinos, I want to consult with you about Peris」
Some time ago, I was approached by Rico. Apparently, she had the same conversation with Peris a while ago.
「Peris is going to become 16 years old very soon. How about sending her to the university in the imperial capital? 」
「The university in the imperial capital?」
「Yes. Peris wants to learn so much more. In that case, the university should be the best place for her」
「Will she be able to enroll without any complications?」
「There is no problem with her knowledge. But I don’t know whether it’s possible for monsters to enroll」
「Un, I’m keeping her under the barrier, though」
First of all, I called Peris from the kitchen to the dining room to have a talk.
「The university…….I want to try it. I want to learn all kinds of things」
「Peris always works hard as the chef, I thought it would be a pity for her to stay home all time. If Peris wants to learn then I want to support her with all my power」
「I see. Then you should go. I agree」
「While she’s away the meal would be made by me, Ferris, or Luara, Gon can take care of the fields. Peris should concentrate on her studies」
「It might be better to downsize her a little, though」
There are times in university when one needs to change his clothes. Even my barrier can’t cover for that. Well, it can, but it will take a lot of time to set it up.
「It would be nice to be able to transform into a human, like Gon-sensei………. I’ll do my best to learn it before the admission starts」
「No, getting the skill from Gon might be faster」
Gon had「Human Transformation」as one of his skills. When I asked Gon about it,
「My Human Transformation skill is LV3. In case you need me to bestow a skill above LV3, I need Ohi-sama’s permission」
Immediately I brought Gon with me as I moved to Ohi-sama’s mansion for the first time in quite a while.
「It’s been a while」
「It has indeed…..Your titles have increased once again. Looking at your skills truly makes one jealous」
Un? My titles?? I appraised myself in a hurry,
Rinos (Barrier Master, 19 years old) LV∞
Barrier Magic LV5
Fire Magic LV5
Water Magic LV5
Wind Magic LV5
Lightning Magic LV5
Earth Magic LV5 (UP)
Recovery Magic LV5
Life Magic LV3 (UP)
Appraisal Magic LV5
Sword Arts LV5
MP Recovery LV5
Presence Detection LV5
Mana Detection LV5
Mana Absorption LV5
Body Strengthening LV5
Paralysis Resistance LV5
Poison Resistance LV5
Mental Resistance LV5
Black Magic LV5
Divine Protection LV5
God of War, God of Knowledge, Great Demon God, Iron Man, Iron Fist, God of Barriers, Hothead, Wiseman, Famous Tracker, Life and Death, Scholar, Creator of Worlds
God of War: Sword Arts LV5 Lightning Magic LV5 Wind Magic LV5
God of Knowledge: Appraisal Magic LV5 Recovery Magic LV5
Great Demon God: Black Magic LV5
Iron Man: Mental Resistance LV5 Poison Resistance LV5 Paralysis Resistance LV5
Iron Fist: Body Strengthening LV5
God of Barriers: Barrier Magic LV5
Hothead: Fire Magic LV5 Water Magic LV5
Wiseman: Chanting LV5 MP Recovery LV5 Mana Absorption LV5
Famous Tracker: Presence Detection LV5 Mana Detection LV5 Evasion LV5
Life and Death: Divine Protection LV5
Scholar: Education LV5
Creator of Worlds: Earth Magic LV5
…..Earth Magic is maxed out. How did that happen?? MP also increased by a lot.
「It’s normal to grow fast when you use the same magic over and over. You’ve used Earth Magic to the limit of your MP, am I correct? Moreover, with you having Divine Protection skill, it’s a matter of course for the other skills to rise up in levels」
Despite my LV being displayed as infinite, HP and MP keep increasing. I don’t really understand the workings of this world.
According to Ohi-sama, when your Earth Magic is maxed out, you can make the earth assume any shape you want. Should I dabble in ceramics in my spare time?
Pulling myself back together, I presented the offering. This time, in addition to the usual ones, I brought out cream bread with our newly developed custard cream. A first-class item made from Fairy’s vanilla beans and harpy’s eggs.
「Hou, cream bread, is it?……..It’s not bad…….but This Mistress still prefers ohagi」
……So Ohi-sama is into Japanese sweets. The supervisors, Chieda and Saeda, seemed rather delighted, though. From now on, let’s leave cream bread to them.
「Mumu! Isn’t that outstanding? Umumu, this is good. I like it! 」
……Sandill seems to be in favor of it too. Does this old man have a sweet tooth?
「Thank you very much. I made sure to prepare additional aburaage for Sandill-san」
I brought out katsuobushi with some aburaage, radish, and soy sauce inside of it.
「T-This is!! You overdid yourself」
It disappeared in an instant. Since the matter of tribute has been finished, let’s get to the main topic.
「I’m thinking of giving one of the monsters, who live with us,「Human Transformation」skill. Is it okay for Gon to bestow LV3 Human Transformation skill? 」
「Monsters aren’t to be given skills」
「However, she was the one, who made today’s tribute」
「Fumu……In that case, Gon can proceed」
Great. The permission has been given. Ohi-sama already knew about Kurumfar’s success and was greatly impressed. I also received an order of sashimi for my next visit. Sandill stood by her side with inflated nostrils, so let’s bring him some too.
I soon as I came back to the mansion, I called Peris and had Gon grant her Human Transformation skill.
Gon didn’t move as he calmed down his mind. After a while, Gon’s white body shone yellow. In accordance to that, Peris’ body was enveloped in yellow light too. In a moment, the whole room was covered in dazzling light. When I opened my eyes, I saw Gon fainted on the floor.
「Gon! Are you okay? 」
He is dead tired. Apparently, he used his MP to the limit and lost his consciousness. At the second glance, there was also Peris. She didn’t seem particularly affected. Let’s appraise her.
Peris (Belial Princess, 15 years old) LV22
Fire Magic LV3
Water Magic LV3
Wind Magic LV2
Lightning Magic LV2
Recovery Magic LV2
MP Recovery LV2
Presence Detection LV2
Mana Detection LV2
Body Strengthening LV2
Spear Arts LV2
Human Transformation LV3
Human Transformation skill was properly added. After 5 years in our house, her skill grew overall but, since she didn’t participate in any battles, there was nothing dramatic. I should let her fight sometime in the future.
「Etto……….then I’m going to try it out」
Peris’ body glowed purple. Her body gradually molded into a human shape. After a while, she became a purple-haired beautiful girl with a well-proportioned body. 
「Oh! Beautiful! 」
「Amazing, Peris-chan is so pretty!」
「Big Sister Peris, beautiful!」
I, Ferris, and Luara unknowingly let out surprised voices. Fairy stared with her eyes round. Since she was naked, I wanted to gaze at her for a while, but Rico chimed in.
「So cute! As expected of Peris! Let’s pick the clothes right away. I have some brand new clothes. Let’s try them on! 」
「Yes. Yes, I’m in your care」
Being pulled by her hand, she was dragged into Rico’s room. Although it was slightly disappointing, I can rest easy if it’s Rico. Just as I thought so, Rico came running back.
When I came to Rico’s room, I saw Peris in her normal belial form collapsed on the floor. It seems that she ran out of MP. Let’s replenish it.
「……Thank you very much. MP consumption is more intense than I expected. I might need some practice」
「When spent to the limit, MP will increase. It’s hard at first, so practice diligently」
「Yes, I’ll do my best」
From this day onwards, Peris began her training. At first, she fainted every time she attempted it, but, eventually, the time she could spend in human form grew longer. In the beginning, she was always naked when transformed and, when she stood in the kitchen with only an apron, she looked like a figure from many men’s fantasies.
After 2 months of training, close to the end of the year, she could maintain her human form for a whole day. After that, to Rico’s delight, she finally made her wear clothes and went to buy some things in the capital. They spent the whole day buying a mountain of clothes, underwear, and accessories. Even though they were supposed to carry it home on their own, they ended up buying so much that they needed a carriage.
After they came back, Peris became Rico’s personal doll to dress and undress. Indeed, she had a beautiful place and a great style, so whatever she wore it suited her well. How enviable.
And when spring came, it was time for the university examinations. Unlike Japanese examinations, there wasn’t only a paper test but also a magic test. There were about 500 applicants with humans and beastmen taking about half each. Apparently, only 100 of them will be accepted.
In the end, Peris managed to pass. And she was at the top at that. She took the first in both, paper and magic test. Peris, being a humble person, was relieved when she heard that she passed.
However, she didn’t know. She greatly surprised the teachers in the university and they decided to give her special treatment and focus on nurturing her talents. In addition, due to her exceptional beauty, she instantly became famous amongst the freshmen.
Peris’ university life was about to begin.
As the three were engaged in a staring contest, Ferris came back from the capital. Ferris stood petrified once she laid eyes on the fairy dragon.
「It’s my first time seeing a fairy dragon with such colorful and magnificent wings」
「Does that mean something?」
「The more colorful the wings are the more talented a fairy dragon is supposed to be. This child seems to have quite the talent」
「When I met it, it didn’t have one wing. It also lost all of its horns」
「Strange. For us, dragons, the horns are as valuable as the life. For it to lose them………it must have encountered a strong monster. I’m going to ask」
Ferris stared fixedly at the fairy dragon. It seems that they were engaged in telepathy. Ferris’ face gradually turned serious as they talked.
「Are you an idiot!? Go ahead and rest! 」
Then, out of nowhere, she grabbed it by its horns and started swinging it around. The dragon let out a scream in response.
「Ferris, that’s enough!」
Having heard my voice, Ferris stopped. Then, she threw the dragon on the table, stared at it once again, grinned, and laughed. For some reason, Itora was rejoicing at the side.
「Kiyuo! Kiyua, kiyua, kiyuaaaa」
The dragon burst into tears. Oi, Ferris, what have you done?
「It’s alright. Just a little scolding. This one’s story? Ah, it’s okay if you don’t hear it. It’s incredibly stupid」
「Kiyua, kiyukyukyu, kiyukyukyukyukyu? Kiyukyukiyu, kiyu, kiyu」
She desperately tried to somehow appeal to me but, regretfully, I couldn’t understand a thing. 
「Ferris, just what did this dragon say?」
There was a nice follow-up from Rico.
「Ah. It’s an incredibly stupid story. Well, if it’s big sister Rico, I might as well tell」
Rico and Ferris looked at each other. And, gradually, Rico’s face stiffened.
「……..There is no need to tell Rinos. Ridiculous」
The dragon’s wings dropped on the ground and she lowered her head in disappointment. Somehow, it made my chest hurt.
「Rinos-san, what are we going to do about this dragon?」
「What do you mean?」
「Make a steak or smoke…….stew is also okay」
「Eh! Are you going to eat her? You are a dragon, right? Won’t that count as cannibalism? 」
「Since we aren’t of the same subspecies, it won’t. Rather, she is just a right prey」
「Agya! Gya! Kiyua」
The fairy dragon seemed to be angry. Ferris breathed out and
「You still don’t understand. That’s why you can’t」
Having said that, Ferris took the fairy dragon by the horns and threw her out. As expected of a dragon, she flapped her wings and avoided the collision with the ground. Ferris headed outside as she stripped herself of one piece of clothing after another until she became naked. Then, she turned off her human transformation before the fairy dragon.
Seeing Ferris in her kukulkan form, the fairy dragon let out a loud scream. At that moment, my chest became heavier and, before I noticed, there was the fairy dragon there. Such incredible speed. The dragon hid her face in my chest as she trembled all over. Oh, how adorable. I tightly embraced the dragon.
「Rinos, can I count on you to not spoil her too much?」
Rico made an exasperated expression.
「I don’t understand her circumstances. However, you can’t treat this dragon as pitiful」
Just what on earth is happening? For now, let’s appraise this fairy dragon.
حب الملوك (Fairy Dragon, 7 years old) LV10
Wind Magic LV1
Recovery Magic LV1
MP Recovery LV3
Presence Detection LV3
Mana Detection LV3
Body Strengthening LV1
Dragon Magic LV1
Covert Action LV4
Wind and Thunder
Wind and Thunder………Flight LV5
She has a name but I can’t read the letters.  Why is it? That being said, such skills in just 7 years. MP is abnormal. Flight skill also reached counter-stop, which explains her speed.
However, without being able to communicate with this dragon, I can’t do anything.
「Oi, Ferris, how does one use telepathy?」
「…….Just talk to the other person inside your head. 『Rinos-san, Rinos-san』or something like that」
Let’s try talking to Ferris inside my head. There was no reaction at all. She said that telepathy is a type of dragon magic if I remember correctly. Since it’s magic, let’s use some MP. In other words, should I use mana to carry my words? For now, I concentrated my mana in Ferris’ direction. I concentrated. I concentrated.
『Ferris has hair growing on her ***』
「Eh! Really? 」
……..It seems that I’ve succeeded. Ferris didn’t realize that it was telepathy, turned her butt towards Rico, and tried to confirm. While she’s at it, let’s try again.
『Oi, fairy dragon, can you hear me?』
『Eh? This voice, could it be? 』
『Yeah, it’s me, Rinos』
『Un, I was told to use it as the Goddess』
『Un. Once I become bigger, I’d have to be the Goddess』
『And why was such a dragon in that place?』
『Emm. I got bored with studying every day. I’ve come out to play』
『Aren’t you going to go back home?』
『Un, I don’t want to go back. Then I got hungry and went searching for food, found a place with delicious water and flowers, and stayed there』
『Then why were you so injured?』
『I got hurt when I tried to leave my home. I couldn’t fly that well, it was such a disaster』
A dragon nurtured to be the Goddess……I can feel myself getting involved in something troublesome.
「Oi, Ferris! This dragon says something about the Goddess」
「So you’ve found out…….Wait, telepathy? 」
「Yeah, I’ve grasped it」
「As expected of Rinos-san…….Yes, she is qualified to serve the Dragon King. I heard that a child with such qualities is born once every 1000 years. Once he grows up, he becomes the head of a tribe and serves the Dragon King’s as a messenger」
「Is it alright for her to be here?」
「It’s not. Because she escaped, fairy dragons might be abandoned by the Dragon King. She is truly stupid. She abandoned the future of her tribe to escape herself. Even though serving the Dragon King is a guarantee of a tribe’s prosperity……Indeed, the training is hard. Even my own training was hard, forget about those like her. However, she ran away. She will definitely be killed, even if she came back. In that case, being eaten would be a good ending, as far as the tribe goes, her existence would be shameful」
「I see…..Un, I wasn’t that diligent myself, after all. It’s not like I can’t relate to her」
「Do not joke. In order to gain such skills, Rinos-san must have definitely trained hard」
「U~n. In my case, I didn’t have a choice in order to survive. People are often like that. Won’t learn until they feel a sense of crisis」
「Sense of crisis……It’s true that she doesn’t have one. Besides, despite my objections, she wanted to stay at Rinos-san’s place forever, quite an impudent fellow. She even dared to pick a fight with me. She doesn’t know how high the sky is」
「Was she hurt because she was attacked by some monster?」
「Since she was an existence of utmost importance, she most likely lived inside a protective barrier. I think that she lost her horns and a wing trying to break out. It’s a heavenly punishment. Still, she survived through that. It’s said that a dragon that lost its wings and horns usually loses its sense of direction……..」
『Oi, dragon, you did well living through that』
『It was such a disaster. I had no idea where I was』
『What did you do about your meals?』
『Emm, I lured the food by producing its favorite scent』
『Producing smell? Can you make any kind of scent? 』
『Yes, I can. I can imitate anything』
『Can you make this powder?』
At the fairy dragon flapped her wings, black powder appeared on top of the desk. When I tried to smell it, it had a scent just like vanilla. Let’s try the taste……Tastes like vanilla. Apparently, this dragon is capable of producing vanilla beans.
『What other kinds of scent can you make?』
『A lot of them. The water and flowers around here are delicious, so, if it’s something that smells nice, I can make it』
……She might be unexpectedly useful. However, it wasn’t like I had no concerns. Let’s confirm with Ferris.
「Won’t the Dragon King become enraged if someone kills her?」
「I don’t think he will. After all, she is a runaway」
「Will he come here to kill her?」
「I don’t think he will. Probably, he won’t have any interest」
「Then is it okay to let her stay?」
「Are going to let this coward be your friend?」
「More like a pet」
「Pet……You mean, she will be even lower than a slave? Rinos-san is, of course, the owner but, in general, she is everyone’s property, right? If it’s like that then I won’t object」
「What do you think, Rico? It seems that this dragon can produce a good-smelling powder from her wings. Ah, if that were to happen, I might love Rico even stronger. This would be Rico’s……. 」
「Let’s keep her!」
An immediate answer. Rico’s eyes are scary.
『Do you want to stay in my place?』
『Un, you gave me some incredibly delicious food, fixed my wings, this place seems safe, and I can eat delicious things』
『My home is not a place where you can stay idle. You will have the lowest position amongst all of us. If you listen to my comrades and, of course, me, I don’t mind letting you stay』
『Un, I understand, I’ll listen』
『From now on you should call me Master and you can’t be selfish anymore. If you won’t listen to big sisters, I’m going to eat you, got it? 』
『Not「Got it」! I understand! 』
Ferris glared at the dragon with an intense face. Ferris, stay! Stay!
「Let’s give her a name for now. Let’s see……your name is Fairy」
『Thank you very much!』
『Thank you very muuuch』
Ferris seems to be a good choice for a teacher, so let’s leave it as it is. However, with Ferris being angry while naked, it was quite a surreal sight.
「How about wearing some clothes, Ferris? That being said, your transformed body is truly well made. Smooth skin like that of Rico’s and, although the chest is small, a well-proportioned body」
「…….big sister Rico, can I remove your clothes? 」
「No. Not in this place」
「Then when you take a bath」
「I-I won’t show my figure to anyone but Rinos!」
「But you are bathing with big sister Mei!」
「Me-Mei is okay!」
「Why am I not okay? Let’s enter together」
「No! I’m not going to show you! 」
Apparently, the female team went in a weird direction. However, the blushing Rico was so cute that I pledged my heart to her once again at night.
「It’s been a while since we leisurely walked in the forest like that」
「Hey, we are not here to play around. You should keep looking too」
Gon, as well as Irimo, and I calmly moved through the Kurumfar forest.
Indeed, when was the last time we walked around like that? In addition, it also feels like it’s been a while since I spent some time with Gon.
Even after the harvest, we were still as busy as before. The supermarket that I left with Willis ended up being quite prosperous. At first, I thought that this sudden rush of customers should end after a week, however, even three months later there was no shortage of customers, on the contrary, their numbers kept increasing.
Every day, Willis’ trio was barely capable of withstanding the rush. Thus, Mei, Gon, Ferris, Luara, and I took care of the cash register as Willis and Shera handled the customers, while Yuriel, who was capable of calculation, joined us at the cash register too, which was finally enough to handle the customers.
Not just that, the hotel in the capital also purchased large amounts of kelps and vegetables and busied us with the transportation. Depending on the circumstances, I asked Sonya and Ange, who at that time finished with their work and the barrier stones store, to help at the cash register as I worked on the deliveries.
Of course, I paid the mother-daughter pair for their overtime work. Daquet Company is operating according to the Japanese Labor Law!
At the beginning, it was open every day but, closer to the New Year, I established a regular day-off. Willis was opposed to it as well as the customers but without it, our bodies won’t last. Willis and the customers had no choice but to reluctantly agree. However, thanks to that some customers became aware of our troubles and became our part-time workers. That helped us greatly. Thanks to that, the supermarket is able to function even without our help.
And once the calm returned to our lives I headed towards the lake, which I used for irrigational purposes. Apparently, there are trees that smell like vanilla near the lake.
Where there is vanilla there are sweet. I can’t let go of this opportunity.
I owe that hint to the harpies. I coincidentally smelled vanilla emanating from their wings when they came to make a report. According to them, they took a break to rest near the lake. I had a faint memory of that tree. There was indeed a giant tree near the lake. Just like that, there was a notion to go looking for it and that’s how we arrived at this situation.
That big tree wasn’t that far, only 30 minutes of flying on Irimo away. However, I didn’t use this method but chose to walk instead.
One hour after we entered the forest. There were monsters in this forest but they didn’t even try to attack us. Apparently. I’m rather hated by them.
「Ah, I can see it. It’s that tree」
We’ve finally arrived near the giant tree. Indeed, there is a faint smell of vanilla. I tried appraising it but it didn’t seem to be a vanilla tree.
「Strange. This is just a normal tree. Even I have no idea why it smells like that. How about we let Mei-dono take a look at it? 」
Yes, we should, I answered as I put some branches into my infinite storage.
「Come to think of it, are you hungry?」
「Let’s see, it about time for lunch already」
「Then I’ll make one」
「Right here? With Irimo-dono’s help, it won’t be difficult to return to the mansion」
「No, eating in the middle of the forest from time to time doesn’t sound that bad, right? Nice weather, beautiful forest, and lake. Isn’t eating in such an environment quite luxurious? 」
「That makes sense. I didn’t taste Master’s personally made food for quite a while」
I immediately took out rice from the infinite storage and started cooking using the water from the lake. The water here was of a good quality and, more than anything, drinkable. For a side dish, I took out slices of mackerel and cooked them using charcoal. It produced a lot of smoke and smell in the process but, since we were outdoors, I chose not to mind. Like that, the salt-grilled mackerel was completed.
Cooked rice and salt-grilled mackerel. There was no need for anything else. Gon and I ate with great energy. 
「Right? Salt-grilled mackerel is all that you need. As long as you have some tasty rice you don’t need anything else」
Hearing weird sounds from behind I turned around and saw some strange creature hiding in a shade of a tree.
Its color was light blue and its body resembled that of a small dragon. It had beautiful butterfly-like wings on its back and it observed from the shade of the big tree
「Is it……..fairy dragon? 」
「It’s a subspecies of dragons, it’s not that strong. Although it’s strong, it doesn’t have a breath attack, if I’m to list its strengths that would only be its flight speed. It’s famous for eating flowers」
「Mm, is it dangerous?」
「It’s cowardly in general, there are no cases of them attacking humans」
It kept watching us with fascinated eyes. It seemed to be hungry.
「Could it be, are you hungry? You can have this mackerel if you don’t mind」
I threw a piece of salt-grilled mackerel its way. The fairy dragon stared at it for a while before eventually taking it inside its mouth,
「Akya, kiyua, kiyua!」
「Did you like it? Don’t hold back, eat as much as you like」
I baked more mackerel as I made some onigiri and threw them. The fairy dragon seemed to like it.
「Here, ohagi as a dessert, you can eat while you’re at it」
「Kiyua! Kiyua! 」
It seemed pretty happy. If it’s that happy, it was worth making it. However, looking closely, there was only one wing on the back of the fairy dragon.
「Huh? There is only one wing on its back」
「It won’t be able to fly this way. How unusual」
「I see, let’s heal it then」
I put a barrier on the fairy dragon and moved it in my direction. As expected, the fairy dragon tried to escape but was ultimately hindered by my barrier and couldn’t move.
I didn’t mind its fear as I cast Extra Heal. Then, the lost wing was restored, together with two horns on its head, which it apparently lost before.
「I suffered a lot. With this, it should be alright…….Come to think of it, this guy is ridiculously cute」
Looking closely, it had very beautiful eyes and charming face.
「Here we go. It’s about time we go back, be careful out there」
I dispelled the barrier. Since the fairy dragon was making a bewildered face, I pinched its restored wing. The dragon trembled as it subconsciously turned its head back. And, once it confirmed the existence of its wing, its eyes turned round.
When it cautiously flapped its wings, its body took off the ground. It looked around in a fluster trying to confirm that it was indeed flying. Then, with a bewildered face, it confirmed the existence of horns on its head.
It shed tears. I guess it was just that happy. However, since the beginning, this dragon didn’t speak at all. Is it supposed to talk in the first place?
「It’s considered a norm for the dragons to be able to use telepathy. Kukulkans, like Ferris-dono, and other highly intelligent subspecies are capable of speech but, apparently, this dragon didn’t achieve that yet」
「I see. Well, we are going back so you should return to your flock. Don’t get into trouble this time」
Having said that, we went back to our mansion.
「What’s wrong, Rinos?」
「Un, how should I explain?」
When we came back to the Kurumfar mansion Rico, who went outside to greet us, was greatly surprised. That wasn’t surprising. After all, there was a small dragon with beautiful wings hanging on my chest.
Soon after we separated, I felt myself getting heavier. Looking down I saw the fairy dragon hanging on my chest. It appeared after completely bypassing my presence detection. Very frightening, from a certain perspective.
I could have confined it in a barrier but, anyway, this fairy dragon is cute. We looked into each other’s eyes, each other’s eyes, each other’s eyes, each other’s eyes, each other’s eyes, each other’s eyes, each other’s eyes, each other’s eyes……..and that’s how we arrived at this point.
With it being a dragon, it clung to with tremendous power and refused to separate. I could have separated it by sacrificing my clothes but, by doing that, I would have enraged Rico, which brings us to this conversation.
The dragon clung to me with a pleasant expression, as it lightly flapped its wings. However, when she saw this scene
「Gyauaaa! Kiyuaaaaaaa! 」
Itora, the Mansion’s Princess, became angry. She flapped her wings as she flew around me trying to intimidate the dragon. I won’t lose, agya! Agya! She screamed aggressively. Apparently, they argued due to the rights to be in my embrace.
「Yes yes yes, stop it, you two」
Rico came close as clapped her hands. Then, she embraced the fairy dragon from behind separated it from me and put it on the table.
「Since that’s the case, let me tell you this」
Rico stood next to me and linked hands.
「Rinos belongs to me only」
The three’s eyes produced sparks. Hey~, everyone, can you stop please? I’m scared.
Right now, I’m sweating bullets and Peris is making ohagi in front of me.
「Peris, are you okay?」
「Anko is about to be ready!」
「All right, please wait for a moment」
We continued the work that we started at five in the morning for 6 hours already. When I looked outside the window, I saw a lot of people there. We still need to make much more. After renewing my determination, I joined the anko-making efforts.
It is a nice autumn day. It was time for a harvest in the Kurumfar territory. Especially the rice grown in the paddy fields. It shined in golden color and showed a magnificent growth.
「Oi, we have enough of those. You should go get lunch! When Pius-san and the rest finish over there, let’s all have a meal! 」
Kunogen, the former member of the imperial knights, gave his instructions in a powerful voice, unfitting of a person that only recently woke up. Right now, he was in charge of the mercenaries’ training.
Kunogen, who departed to the imperial capital together with Oshe, appeared before us five days later and
「Can you hire me to work in the Kurumfar territory? Oh, here is a letter of recommendation from Commander Rafaiens」
There was「as an apology for that day, I will give you this man」 written in it. I immediately hired Kunogen and delegated him to work under Pius. Kunogen’s talent surfaced in no time as he began training the mercenaries and teaching them about the strategy. Even at today’s harvest, he displayed his splendid leadership as the mercenaries harvested the rice without any wasteful movements.
The fields were harvested by the farmer aunties with Ferris and Luara in their center. The males of the sea tribe came to help out, so the harvest was proceeding at a decent rate.
Gon and Mei were in charge of managing the quality of the harvested crops. The two thoroughly scrutinized the ingredients. And Rico commanded the harpies and geryons to drive away all the monsters that tried to interfere with the harvest. As expected, there were no foolish monsters that decided to go against S-rank monsters, geryons, and the harpies. If there is something they can’t handle, like a dragon, I’m going to step in myself.
The princess of Kurumfar, Itora tasted ohagi and zenzai made by us. It seems that she liked it as she cried out kiyukiyu in joy.
In the afternoon, we’ve finally met our goal and me, Peris, and Rico, who was hugging Itora, teleported to the harvest area with ohagi and zenzai that we made.
「Oi, let’s have a meal! Ohagi and zenzai are the desserts! 」
About 1000 people on the scene made a grand ovation.
I took out some tables and put out onigiri, sandwiches, salads, soup, pasta, vegetables that we prepared since three days ago. I also put ohagi and zenzai together with them. The plates were cleaned out in no time. At that time, all I did was to refill it.
I also handed lunch for the geryons and harpies, who were in charge of security. They ended up taking a meal in turns so I made their portions twice as big.
Everyone ate with a great vigor. I could hear happy voices from all over the place. Such a peaceful scene.
「…….For everyone to become like this」
Suddenly muttered Rico.
「What’s happened, Rico?」
「Behold, Rinos. Men and women, old and young, beastmen and adventurers, monsters and humans, everyone is working together, eating together, and laughs together. To be able to witness such a scene…….is a miracle」
「Even I don’t know how this happened……」
「……It would be nice to see such a scene many more different places」
I gently embraced Rico.
After a while, Gon and Mei came back.
「Good work out there! It’s time for a meal! 」
「Master, I’ve checked the harvest with Gon-sensei. There is no problem! It’s all good! 」
「I see! That’s great. Oi, someone, call Willis. Also, call Marcel too」
After a while, the two arrived.
「Willis, it seems that the harvested goods are all good in quality. Open the supermarket tomorrow as planned. After you finish your meal, carry the ingredients. I will the arrangements to you. Tomorrow is going to be busy, so go to bed early」
「Understood! Please leave it to me! The customers kept asking when the store is going to open. I will definitely have it open by tomorrow」
「And Marcel, good work but you’ll have to deliver dried kelps and katsuobushi to the supermarket too. Bring it by tomorrow morning」
「Understood, Leave everything to me」
During these three months, I spend some effort in developing katsuobushi and dried kelp. In the end, I managed to produce a satisfactory result. I tried selling them at Willis stall and they obtained great popularity. Even now, it is being swept from the counter the moment it is brought out. Thanks to that, our household’s menu became even better. This time would be a long-awaited sale.
While I was settling the matters, Mei was surrounded by a lot of people and had an embarrassed expression.
「Ano……everyone, is something the matter? 」
Mei’s eyes became round at their excessively loud voices.
「Ah, eh? What is h-happening? 」
「We thought that this land was beyond saving. However, Mei-chan made our land so great. Thank you」
「When the lands became white, I was at a loss what to do. Never did I expect for the land to become like this. Everything was brought by your efforts, Mei-chan」
「The tools made by Mei-sama are truly useful. The harvest has ended so fast……it was truly a lifesaver」
「Thank you for saving us」
「Thank you, Mei-chan」「Thanks」「You’ve saved us」「Tell us more sometime later」
Mei stood amongst a myriad of smiles. She was talking with the villagers with an extremely embarrassed but happy face.
「All right, after the meal we are going to harvest the remaining crops! Tonight, we will make a party using the things we harvested! 」
We finished harvesting before the evening and prepared the party. Drinking and eating sashimi prepared by the sea tribe was especially pleasant as we watched the red sun sinking into the sea. And, as a matter of course, the harvested rice and vegetables were quite delicious. I took out the remaining meat of Curse Charole and the golden birds to add to festivities.
I wonder how long did it last. Some distance away from the noisy party, Mei was quietly looking at the land of the Kurumfar from the top of a small hill.
「What’s wrong, Mei?」
「……..No, it’s nothing」
「if you stay here too long you may catch a cold. Nights and mornings became much colder recently. It’s about the time to close the party. We are going to help Willis out with the opening tomorrow, so it’s better to rest now. I’m going to return to the mansion soon, let’s go back together」
「Am I…….allowed to go to Master’s place? 」
「I killed a lot of people. But this me has also received the gratitude from so many people. Is this truly how it should be……」
「Of course, it is. Mei, to live in this world, it’s enough to remember only two things. You didn’t do anything wrong, it’s okay」
「Only two things?」
「Right. First, don’t be a nuisance to other people. Second, you need to do things that help people. Right now you do not bother anyone and do work that helps people. That’s enough」 
「The people of Kurumfar are all grateful to you, or did you find their gratitude annoying?」
「There is no way this is true! I was just hesitant. Is this really okay…….」
「Mei, how do you want to live your life? Are you against doing research that helps people? 」
「I…..want to save all kinds of people. If my skills, my technology can be of use to people then I will be satisfied. No matter what. No matter the job」
「That’s how the job works. No matter how small, it can make some people happier. Mei did a job that saved a lot of people. Can you continue with it from now on? 」
「…….Yes. Please let me do it! 」
「Oh, Mei……look at the sky. It’s incredibly beautiful」
The sky was full of stars. The cold atmosphere made the picture even clearer.
「Let’s go back, Mei」
「Mei, what’s wrong!?」
Mei clutched her head and crouched in pain. I gathered everyone in a hurry and moved to the mansion. Then, I let Mei sleep in her room. I ordered the rest to sleep since we had things to do on the next day. However, Gon and Rico insisted on watching over her, so we did it together.
Mei suffered from high fever. Occasionally, she mumbled「I’m sorry」「forgive me」in her sleep. Closer to the morning, Mei finally regained her calm breath.
「How about some rest, Rinos? I can take care of the rest」
「She doesn’t have the fever now, it should be all right」
「No, we should soon head to Willis’ place. There is no need」
As we had such a conversation, Mei slowly opened her eyes.
「Mei, are you all right?」
「Yes, my head feels so light. My mind was never so clear. A heard something breaking inside of my head and I suddenly felt good. Was this Master’s magic or maybe Gon-sensei’s………」
Heard something breaking? Mind became clear?……I felt the same when I was released from being a slave. I panicked and appraised Mei.
Merias (Slave Sage, 19 years old) LV57
MP Recovery LV4
Grandmaster, Country’s Finest Doctor
Grandmaster: Alchemy LV5 Blacksmith LV5
Country’s Finest Doctor: Pharmacist LV5 Education LV5
「Self-loathing」title is no more. Not just that, most of the skills increased in level and four of them even hit a counter-stop. Apparently, the skills that were suppressed until now were suddenly released provoking such a reaction. She even received two additional titles. Just what is this……?
Later, she was acknowledged as「Holy Maiden」for saving lives and educated many talents earning recognition as「Great Sage Merias」but both, Rinos and Merias, didn’t know that yet.
Feeling something soft on my lips, I woke up. Not willing to part with this feeling, I kept my eyes closed and enjoyed it. A soft something slowly entered my mouth. Enjoying it with my everything, I opened my eyes. I was greeted with Mei’s beautiful face.
「It’s morning, Master」
Mei’s body is warm. It’s just perfect since the temperature became colder recently. Only after hugging Mei and tasting her lips once again did I got up from the bed. Mei too stood up and dressed.
「Is something wrong?」
「I’m not able to see your beautiful body anymore」
She showed a smile on her face and silently became naked once again. Her appearance in the rays of the morning sun was like that of a piece of art. I couldn’t help but become mesmerized.
「Master……too, it’s morning…….」
Assumed a troubled expression Mei. I came back to myself, wore some clothes, and came down to the dining room with Mei.
After eating breakfast prepared by Peris, I rode on Irimo to the imperial palace. When I arrived, I saw about 100 knights lined up before the palace gates. Besides them, there was also an old general on the horse. It was Rafaiens.
「Sorry for the trouble. Shall we depart? 」
The knights moved without disrupting their formation. I had Irimo run next to Rafaiens.
「You are good at handling horses」
「No, this horse is just excellent」
「It seems to have a rather short stature, I see, it’s indeed a smart horse」
He couldn’t see her horn and wings but even like that, this general was able to feel her splendor.
「Can I ask you something?」
「What could it be?」
「How did Oshe and his men lose?」
「Why are you interested?」
「No, you can’t learn much from a victory but you can learn a lot from a defeat. You can think that I ask it for the sake of the future」
「Well. I don’t really mind…..」
I told him about the fight yesterday. Regarding the geryons, I told that it was a coincidence.
「…..I see. First time entering the forest and even with an unstable footing. A suicidal act. Most likely, they were shaken by an unexpected ambush from your troops. The vanguard retreated but the earth turned into a mess because of the horses. At that point, they were attacked by the geryons from the side. Oshe did well surviving that」
「Eh, I didn’t hear much about the retreat but I think they did well」
「Did Oshe say something?」
「…..No, nothing important. His face was pale, his breathing was rough, and he couldn’t say a complete sentence. A man named Kunogen currently acts as his substitute」
「Kunogen, huh. If it’s him, he can handle the troops. I see, so it was Kunogen, who ordered the retreat. A fortune amongst the misfortune」
The general looked into the distance with a lonely expression as he nodded to himself.
「Rinos-dono, I wish to increase our speed. Are you okay with this? 」
「Yes, no problem」
Rafaiens rode his horse with an incredible speed. The knights were able to match his speed without any problem. Both Irimo and I followed after the general in a hurry.
It takes 1 day to reach the Kurumfar mansion from the imperial palace on foot. It takes half a day on a horse but, with our speed, we arrived in just three hours.
Rafaiens’ speed finally dropped. Despite running for so long, his breathing didn’t change much. This uncle and his men are surprisingly competent.
Upon arrival to the hotel, Rafaiens immediately headed toward the room where Oshe and the others were detained. According to Kuena, except for having a bit of soup yesterday, they neither ate nor slept.
The suite room was tightly guarded. I told Pius about the general’s arrival and had him open the door. As I entered, I saw the three sitting in the same places they were before with Kunogen silently sitting to the side. And around them, there was a circle of Pius’ mercenaries.
As he looked around the room, Rafaiens discovered Kunogen, nodded at him, and quietly sat before across Oshe.
His body trembled and he slowly raised his head. His face looked terrible. And, once he saw the old general, his eyes opened wide and he started trembling.
「You don’t have to talk. I heard about yesterday from Rinos-dono. You did something utterly stupid. Do you know why did you lose that fight? 」
Oshe’s head dropped down.
「Kunogen, are you aware?」
「…….Without taking the situation into account, he irresponsibly moved his troops, I guess」
「Well, you aren’t wrong but that’s not what I want to hear」
「Oshe, you lost this fight because you were supposed to lose. The reason being, you moved the troops without my permission. You defeat was predetermined the moment you lied to me and moved the troops at your own convenience」
He spoke gently but his every word had a tremendous weight behind it. Oshe was about to cry.
「Your Excellency…….this failure was brought by me……..I have no excuses」
「That’s right, Kunogen. You, who didn’t stop Oshe, have to share the responsibility too. However. You did well ordering that retreat. Most likely, at that point, you have already assumed command of the retreating troops. It wasn’t an appropriate conduct but considering Oshe’s state at that moment you didn’t have much choice. You did a good job. You can praise the retreating squad」
Kunogen’s voice was hoarse and Oshe’s head still hung low.
「Oshe, Kunogen, let’s go back to the capital. We need to return the soldiers to the capital too. As for you, you can do what you want. Prime Minister Guremont wanted your execution or exile but I don’t think so. It happens that I’m in charge of your treatment. I’m thinking about pardoning you. Rinos-dono, you may not be convinced with just this but can you agree with me? 」
Rafaiens stood up and turned towards me, who was standing in the back.
「That’s how it is」
The commander of the northern army lowered his head.
「From my subordinates’ misconduct, I want so offer my sincere apologies」
「……….Understood. Please raise your face」
「I’m grateful, Rinos-dono. In the future, I’ll make sure to make amends. If something ever happens, please make sure to tell this Rafaiens. I’ll do as much as I can to help you」
「Likewise. Even though I had no choice, I did inflict serious casualties on the Northern Army. I express my condolences for the victims」
Oshe and Kunogen cried. They cried a lot. Jiono and Gragoleir watched it happen with pale faces.
「Well then, Baron Jiono and Baron Gragoleir. You are the nobles of the empire, not my subordinates. However, a sin in a sin. When you reach the capital, I will personally watch over you. This morning, when I departed from the imperial capital, I received a direct order from His Majesty. It seems that His Majesty wishes to speak with you personally」
As if all the power left their bodies, Jiono’s and Gragoleir’s heads hung low.
The captured four were detained by the general. As always, Oshe couldn’t walk by himself and relied on Kunogen.
Meanwhile, I ordered for Tohotsu and Kairiku to release the captives and prepare to hand them to Rafaiens. And once the general mounted his horse once again,
「Well then, I shall return to the imperial capital immediately. Rinos-dono, let us see each other again there」
he said and departed. As I saw him off with my eyes, I ordered the harpies to watch over them. I don’t think that Rafaiens will try to launch another attack on me but just to make sure, I tracked them with the harpies and on the「Map」.
However, I was concerned for no reason. Rafaiens expressed his gratitude to the people of Kairiku and Tohotsu, gathered the captives, and departed just like that. At the same time, he efficiently gathered the bodies of the dead.
「Impressive. That’s how a soldier should be」
「General Rafaiens in a famous individual. Indeed, when you look at him up close, you can understand why he is revered by the people so much」
「Manipulating people with emotion. We should learn from him」
I spoke to Pius as the general left.
A week later, Rafaiens stood before the throne of the emperor of the Hideta Empire, Hideta Shua Hito, with his head lowered.
「So, how did you settle those two?」
「I had Oshe retire. He can’t talk and walk properly, any further military service is impossible for him. I sent him in Kesherina for his retirement」
「Fumu, Kesherina, is it? It’s a warm land in the south. This place is perfect for recuperation」
「Yes. Most likely, it isn’t something that can be easily fixed but I still hope that he will be able to spend his life there peacefully」
「So, what about the other one?」
「I had Kunogen retire too. However, letting go of his talent will threaten the empire……..」
「Are you saying that you restricted him just like Jiono and Gragoleir?」
「Well, something like that. I sent him to work under a trustworthy person」
「I see. You can just expel a soldier and that’s the end of the story but that won’t work against the nobility. It will be a pain to decide on the next successors of their respective families」
「Your words are full of wisdom」
「That being said, Honorary Marquis Versam’s skill is superb. Hearing the story from you, I had my heart racing first time in a long while. I will hear the story from him personally at a later date but that would be the same as asking him to brag」
「Yes. One should never be hostile with that person. From this perspective, I deeply admire His Majesty for having Ricolette-sama marry him so fast」
「No, I just made this proposition because I thought that he suits Ricolette」
「That person is loved by the gods」
「By the gods, huh」
「『God of War』 if I’m to put it into words. I sincerely don’t wish to be his enemy」
「『God of War』. How reliable. Even though it’s only on paper but Honorary Marquis Versam is something like my brother. Let’s not think about this too deeply」
Autumn was encroaching on both, the imperial capital and the Kurumfar territory.
「So it’s them……」
The messenger of the opposite party, Kunogen, delivered the declaration of surrender to Pius, who had the harpies deliver it to me. As I looked at the names on it, I clicked my tongue. I never thought that they would move the army upon seeing the signs of restoration of the territory.
「It seems that we need to have a serious talk with the leaders」
「Right. Normally, they should have all come here but, as expected, it’s a bit too far. As Pius said in his letter, it seems that I have no choice but to go there myself」
I put Gon on my back and rode on Irimo towards them. I concealed our figures with a barrier and made rounds in the air to confirm the situation. The imperial knights are surrounded by Pius’ squad, the geryons, and the sea tribe from all sides. As for the knights themselves, I didn’t see much because the sky was full of the harpies. Not even an ant can slip through. I landed a slight distance away from the battlefield, canceled the barrier, and rode towards them.
「Pius! I’ve kept you waiting! 」
「Rinos-sama, I was waiting for you. Those are the surrendered three」
The trio of Gragoleir, Oshe, and Jiono was tightly restrained in extreme dejection. Especially Oshe, who had a pale face like that of a dead man. I glanced at them from Irimo.
「We won’t be able to talk here. Move those three to the Hotel Kurumfar. Send a message to Kuena and tell her to prepare a room」
Roger! Answered one of Pius’ subordinates and rode away.
「Isn’t the hotel always completely booked?」
「No, considering the possibilities, one or two rooms are always free. If I won’t do that, the staff won’t be able to change shifts」
While I was discussing this with Gon, a man approached me.
「I’m Kunogen of the Imperial Knights’ Order. I’m deeply grateful for showing us your grace. Originally, it should have been the vice-captain Oshe instead of me but you can see the situation. Although it’s presumptuous of me, I would like to ask you for an opportunity to accompany as an adjutant」
「Ku…..noge, n, don’t…..make….arbitrary……decisions」
Muttered Oshe in uneven breath.
「It doesn’t seem like I will be able to have a proper conversation with this metal can. Fine, Kunogen. I shall permit you to accompany me」
「Thank you very much」
「Pius, bring these four with you」
Since Oshe couldn’t walk by himself, Kunogen was forced to lend him a shoulder.
It seems that this scene finally made the soldiers snap out of their dazed state and follow after him while clamoring. I stood before the soldiers.
「Silence! Assume the formation!!」
It took only a moment for them to restore the formation. They’ve been trained well.
「I’m the manager of the Kurumfar territory, Rinos. You’ve launched an attack against my mansion. With that as a reason, we made defensive preparations. I express my condolences to the dead but this is how the battlefield works. The masterminds will be questioned and trialed but I believe that the gentlemen here only followed the orders and don’t bear any hostility against me. Your return to the imperial capital shall be discussed afterwards. You are on standby until further orders」
I split the knights and instructed Marcel and Kars to watch over them. The soldiers proceeded to their respective towns without any complaints.
「Ferris, Luara, job well done」
「Ehehe. It wasn’t a big deal. That being said, Rinos-san is amazing. You were incredibly cool」
「Teacher was as dazzling as a God」
「That’s enough for the flattery. Return to the mansion and protect Rico and the rest. Geki did well too. Return and rest. The harpies are to continue watching from the sky. Please remind the knights to behave is something goes wrong. Let me know is there is something wrong. Good work, everyone! 」
Everyone energetically replied. I called Ferris as she was about to take off.
「Make some zenzai for the harpies and the geryons once you reach the mansion. Make a lot. We will have some too」
「Leave it to me! Well then! 」
「It hurts, big sister! Don’t be so rough! 」
「Noisy! You will fall if you won’t stay put! 」
The two disappeared deep into the forest as they argued. Irimo and I headed towards the Hotel Kurumfar.
「All right then, can anyone tell me how did this situation came into being?」
The meeting in the hotel started with a heavy atmosphere. All three of them stayed silent with pale faces.
Since it is rather troublesome, let’s appraise them.
「……I mostly understood. Did you guys do all of that for the sake of obtaining our harvest? Morons. Did you ever think how many people did you inconvenienced with your stupid ambitions? I don’t have any other words but morons to describe you 」
「…….Like, someone like y-you, can understand us」
Muttered Oshe as if squeezing something out.
「Hey, you over there. Should I remind you about sending your people to a certain death, people, who are either dead now or still live wishing to die?」
Oshe stared at me with killing intent.
「The reason for this battle is your desire for our harvest. Tell me if I’m wrong」
The three silently trembled.
「I shall treat your silence as an affirmation. That being said, you are truly shameless. You immediately wanted to take the harvest of the territory that you yourself abandoned. What kind of logic even led you to this conclusion? The soldiers are too pitiful. Kunogen, what is this army in the first place? You did well gathering this many」
「We are affiliated with the Northern Army, they are the soldiers under vice-captain Oshe」
「How many casualties?」
「About a half is either dead of injured」
「Did you lose so much? You truly are a metal can」
「You better treat us well. If you put my mind into it, I can easily take away your title even with your identity」
「It’s not even a threat, Jiono. I’m not interested in obtaining status in the first. I would be glad to take it easy. Deprive me of my title? Hah, please do! 」
Jiono, turned silent as he bit his lips.
For now, we put the three under house arrest with Pius watching over them. I, on the other hand, headed to the capital to make a report. On the way, I visited Kairiku and Tohotsu to check on the captured knights. There were no particular problems except for the feeling of gloom on their faces.
I tried leaving some food behind to feed them but I was refused by the aunties. Although there are more than 200 of them, we will give them something nice to eat! They said as I headed to the capital with a gratified smile.
At dusk, I arrived at the imperial palace and asked for an audience with the prime minister. After a while, the prime minister and Prince Viras appeared before me. Then, I made a report about the events of today.
「The imperial knights? This is ridiculous」
「Is this…..really true? 」
「It’s true. First thing first, I think that we should return the knights to the capital first」
「Makes sense. Rafaiens-dono is the commander of the Northern Army. It’s better to tell him about it. Someone, summon Rafaiens-dono」
The headquarters of the Northern Army were near the palace so the commander appeared soon enough.
「What?……Oshe did?….I never expected that he was up to something like this」
The commander received quite a shock. He is a silver-haired nice guy but his face now had a shadow on it.
「Understood. Let me, Rafaiens, offer my deepest apologies about this matter. Tomorrow, I will bring Oshe and his men back」
「Even so, I ask to not punish his men in for that」
「Of course. We lost many lives because of Oshe. The soldiers might be the biggest victims here」
Gragoleir and Jiono are going to be detained and it ended up with me and Rafaiens going to the Kurumfar territory in the morning of the next day.
I left the palace, mounted Irimo, and returned to my mansion. I thought that everyone would already be there but I didn’t find anyone. I went straight to the Kurumfar mansion using the teleportation barrier. There, I found Rico, Gon, Ferris, and Luara.
「I made a zenzai. Everyone was pleased」
「Big sister Rico helped us too. Big sister is really skillful」
Only this place is truly peaceful. Then, I explained about the event of today and the plans for the future.
「Seems like a lot of trouble. We would stay overnight in this mansion. I can’t predict what may happen」
「Are going to be all right all alone, Rico?」
「Ferris and Luara are here so I would be fine. If it comes to it, Gon is here too」
「I see, then I’m counting on you」
I hugged Rico and returned to my mansion.
Peris and Mei were waiting for me in the dining room. When I looked at them, I finally remembered that I didn’t eat anything for the whole day and the hunger assaulted me in full force. Let’s make something, I heard from Peris and stood in the kitchen for the first time in a long while. Mei also joined us. As we talked about the things that happened during the day, bread, soup, salad, and karaage from the meat of a golden bird were made by us. I don’t have much of these birds’ meat left. If there would be a day when I return to the Juka Kingdom, I want to hunt them by all means.
Stuffing myself until I was full, I entered the bath together with Mei and then went with her all the way to the bed.
In the middle of the night, I woke up because of a loud door banging noise. Apparently, it was a messenger from the Kurumfar.
「What’s wrong, Aga?」
「It’s an enemy attack. The harpies on the night watch spotted an enemy」
「Understood. I’m going right now」
I took Rico, Gon, Ferris, Luara, and Irimo and teleported over. The insides of the mansion were in a mess, Pius gathered the mercenaries to assemble a defensive formation. I saw the harpies gathering outside the window, as well as the Geryon King, Geki. It seems that everyone waited for me.
From the second floor of the mansion, the baby geryon, Itora, flew towards me flapping her small wings. I hugged Itora and went outside. There, the harpies and Geki stood on the watch.
「Master, north of the mansion, right after you pass through the forest, there is a gathering of the enemies」
「We, the geryons, are already on standby in the forest」
「All right. I’ll go and look at these enemies」
I hugged Itora, put Gon on my back, mounted Irimo, and flew into the sky.
The enemies made their camps on the periphery of the forest. They looked like the imperial knights.
「Apparently, their aim is the Master’s mansion」
「It seems so. Most likely, they will march forward while subjugating the nearby monsters. At this rate, it will take them about a few hours to reach the mansion」
「It’s too fast」
「Right, they probably intend to move at the dawn. We need to make our preparations until then. However, why does the knights’ order aim for me? Even though I faithfully fulfill my duties before the emperor」
「It’s a mystery」
「Hey, Gon. I often hear that going against the country is a rebellion. But how do you call it when the country goes against its subject? 」
「It’s clearly not a rebellion. Even I don’t know how to call it」
We returned to the mansion as we discussed it.
Immediately after getting down from Irimo, I created a rain cloud high in the sky and made it rain. This should make the earth muddy and hinder their advance. Preparing for the worst, I cast a barrier with the mansion in its center. With this, Rico and the rest should be safe.
「Pius, lead the mercenaries and prepare an ambush in the forest in front of the mansion. I will cast a monster-repelling barrier of everyone. Towards the invaders, release the arrows, hit them with stone and magic. And Geki, you and the other geryons are to hide on the sides of the mansion. If the monsters come out, clear them out. The harpies will stay on standby inside the forest. Act as a scouting party and inform me of the enemy’s movements. If it goes down to it, you will participate in the attack too」
I turned around and gave instructions to Ferris.
「Ferris. You and Luara will fly towards Kairiku and Tohotsu. Luara to Kars in Tohotsu, Ferris to Marcel in Kairiku, tell them to gather the sea tribe outside and put some pressure on the knights」
「Listen, everyone! When I appeared here, victory has already become ours. All that’s left is to annihilate the enemy. Lure the enemies as close as possible and eliminate them in one strike. I will launch a firework in the sky. With this as a sign, go on the offensive」
Ferris grabbed Luara and disappeared beyond the clouds. I made the rain stop. At the same time, I made sure to make all of the necessary arrangements. When the preparations were complete, the sun was about to rise.
The imperial knights completed their preparations at about the same time.
「The sun has risen」
「A splendid morning sun that symbolizes our brilliant future indeed」
Muttered Jiono to Gragoleir as he faced the rising sun.
「All right, it’s about time for us to depart. Wait for the good news」
Spoke Oshe as he approached them on the horse. The two saw him off with a smile.
「All troops, depart!」
「Please excuse me!」
Something unexpected happened when he was about to march forward. When he looked in the direction of the voice, he saw his subordinate, Kunogen, riding the horse his way.
「What is it, Kunogen?!」
「Please delay the attack for a while longer」
「It’s difficult to traverse the forest right now. The ground became muddy due to the recent rain. Is the advance unit falls, the situation may escalate and there would be a possibility of injuries」
「The advance unit will fall? Why are you so sure? 」
「It’s my intuition that was honed on the battlefields for many years. It’s too convenient for the enemy」
「Kunogen, what is your rank? When did you graduate from the Royal Military School? 」
「….I’m of common birth. I didn’t attend the Royal School」
「There, you will learn about the battlefield even if you don’t want to. I learned much more than you experienced. What is a probability of your intuition being correct? Is it absolute? 」
「No, I can’t say that it’s absolute…..At least, wait until the ground dries. Besides, I can see the sea tribe squads gathering behind our backs. With us stuck between them, we won’t be able to hold for long! 」
「To you, who can only move based on your intuition, let me tell you something. The sea tribe is here to observe us. There is no way the bunch of fishermen has enough guts to attack us. This fight will end before the sun reaches the apex. We will go forward together with the sun. The enemy will be forced to fight facing the sun. Where can you find an idiot, who is willing to let go of such an opportunity? 」
「I’m aware of the circumstances. After all, I run around the battlefield long before the vice captain」
「Shut up! Let me say this! I’m the commander here! I will fight this battle in the way I want! I’m not going to accept your instructions! 」
Saying so, Oshe led the army forward.
Seeing the knights departing, I unconsciously murmured.
「I can see their ending already」
「Advancing inside the unknown forest while treading on unsteady footing is suicidal」
On the other hand, Oshe was completely certain of his victory. The enemy is a small armed force, 100 people at most. It would be easy to prevail against them when struck with full force. Besides, every soldier has a barrier stone purchased from the Daquet Company. Because of that, the soldiers were able to advance through the forest without being hurt by the monsters. To be precise, there are monsters in the front but they are dealt with without any problems. Versam is going to die by the hand of a man equipped with a barrier stone of his own making. Where can you find such an ironic story? Oshe tried his hardest to contain his smile.
He looked at the surrounding forest to distract himself. The insides of his head immediately became filled with the thoughts about his future after this fight.
At that time, his horse suddenly stopped in its tracks. Being pulled into the reality again, he looked towards the front of the army in displeasure. The advance unit and the horses halted their advance. When he was about to order them to press forward again, he heard a sound that he didn’t usually hear.
Looking at the map, it seems that the knights came close to the Pius’ squad. The two armies will encounter watch other in about 5 minutes. Most likely, Pius is able to see the enemy’s army from his current position. I released a scorching bullet in the air. Dogoooon, it exploded in the sky with a tremendous sound. With this as a sign, the geryons on the sides launched an assault.
Pius’ squad was the first to encounter the enemy. They attacked from the front in an imposing manner. The imperial knights were thrown into disorder by the sound of the explosion. The knights had the barrier stones equipped so Pius’ squad’s attacks were repelled. However, their true aim were the horses. Feeling the pain, the horses rampaged, threw the soldiers off, or ran away with soldiers still on them.
The harpies calmly observed the situation from the trees and relayed the information to me. I immediately enveloped the whole forest in a barrier that was able to render the barrier stones ineffective. I took a lot of MP but I still have about 2/3 left. There is no problem.
Meanwhile, the squads of the flanks received an attack from the geryons with some of the soldiers blown away or trampled. With the barrier stones suddenly malfunctioning, the battlefield became a scene from hell. The knights were swiftly losing their numbers and the panic spread amongst their ranks.
Oshe thought that he was dreaming. The advance unit was steadily pushed back and the geryons were closing in from the sides.
「A, aa, aaaaa…….」
Releasing a voice that couldn’t be considered a voice, Oshe heard a scream from Kunogen at this side.
「……Captain! Vice captain! Let’s retreat! Retreat! 」
「Ei! How useless! Withdraw! Keep retreating until you leave the forest! All troops, retreat! 」
Taking the reins of Oshe’s horse, Kunogen ordered a retreat.
Oshe was frozen solid. His brain couldn’t catch up. Why am I running away? I have 1000 knights under me. Why are they dying? What about the barrier?
There was a figure of Oshe sitting on the horse that was pulled by Kunogen on the battlefield.
The knights retreated while leaving 1/3 of their numbers behind. Because of all the fighting, the ground was even messier and muddier than before. Everyone retreated in chaos with some of them being trampled by their own comrades.
When Oshe finally left the forest and reached Jiono and Gragoleir, he had only 15 people following behind him.
「What the hell!? What’s happened?!」
「Oi, Oshe! What kind of pathetic display is this!? Explain! 」
Oshe, who had an unbelieving expression, didn’t answer their queries. The soldiers appeared from the side of the forest. As if chasing after them, the geryons came out of the forest with the harpies hovering above them. The soldiers ran away in panic.
「We were met with defeat inside the forest. The Versam Army and the geryons completely routed us」
Answered Kunogen while breathing roughly.
「I didn’t hear anything about these monsters being here!」
「Jiono, look there!」
Looking in the direction pointed by Gragoleir, he saw the sea tribe sealing their escape path.
「We are surrounded」
Calmly analyzed the situation Kunogen.
「Oi, what should we do now?! Gather the troops and charge towards the imperial capital of the Gragoleir territory! 」
「It is impossible to break through. We don’t have any other choice but to surrender」
「You *******, are you still a member of the knights’ order!?」
「Not letting the soldiers die a meaningless death is one of the basics of fighting. If you aren’t willing to surrender, commit suicide. Drink a poisonous bowl is fine, piercing your heart with a dagger also works」
Jiono and Gragoleir looked at each other.
After a while, Jiono, Gragoleir, and Oshe sent Kunogen as a messenger to surrender.
「The Kurumfar territory turned into something incredible」
「What do you mean?」
「The northern grassland turned into a granary. Rice, wheat, and vegetables…….they were growing as far as my eyes could see」
「On this unrecoverable land? You didn’t dream about it, right? 」
「Don’t say stupid things! I saw it with my own eyes right before I came here. There is no doubt」
「So the Kurumfar obtained a new card, which is vegetables, in addition to salt」
「That’s not everything. A lot of people gather in the Kurumfar territory with the former Lord’s mansion, which is now a hotel, in the center of it. The population is gradually increasing too. There are rumors about the mercenaries settling down there. The Kurumfar is not the same as the one in our memory anymore」
「Damn it, how annoying. This is all that Versam’s fault」
The trio of Baron Jiono, Vice Leader of the Northern Knights Oshe, and Baron Gragoleir sat inside a luxurious room in a hotel in the capital. The three were appointed to manage the Kurumfar territory before but, once they learned about its condition, immediately ditched their duties. Actually, the three are fellow classmates from the Royal School, the so-called childhood friends.
They didn’t know yet. The Kurumfar territory now had another card called「fish」.
「It will become rather troublesome if we ignore the Kurumfar territory any longer」
「No, it’s quite troublesome already. There are people, who migrated from my territory to the Kurumfar. If the outflow of people increases any further, it may put me in a predicament」
Lamented Baron Gragoleir. His territory was just north of the Kurumfar but half of it was covered in forests and mountains, the people there lived clustered on a small amount of flat lands.
「True enough, if even more people leave your already small territory it will become much harder to you」
「……I have an idea. There is a way to make Versam fall and take away all of The Kurumfar’s food. Let’s us divide the territory’s salt and vegetables between us」
「As expected of Jiono. So you stayed silent until now because you nurtured something like this! You are as wise as always」
Hahaha! Delightedly laughed Oshe. The three’s strategy meeting took place during the night.
Three days later, Baron Gragoleir asked for a meeting with a leader of the northern knights, Rafaien as Oshe stood behind him.
「It’s unusual for Baron-dono to ask for a meeting」
「No, it’s nothing much, it’s just that three days ago I was ambushed by the bandits when I tried to pass through the forest. Although I managed to somehow escape, I still need to go through that forest to return to my territory on a day after tomorrow. I thought of asking for some escorts from the knights’ order. There is no need to escort me all the way, just until I leave the forest and reach the borders of the Kurumfar territory」
「Bandits?…….I didn’t hear anything about it, though」
「Then do investigate. However, I can’t delay my return. Baron Jiono is going to make a visit to my territory. He is going to travel together with me. Normally, I would have hired some guards but this time I have a guest after all. I can’t rely on luck. That’s why I came to ask for the help from the imperial knights. Can you dispatch some of your people on this occasion? 」
「Leader, I ask of you to let me go. There are more than 100 bandits in the Kurumfar territory. I too was attacked when I was on my way to the capital. They had enough power to give as a great trouble. We can’t be negligent. Most likely, a part of them operated in the forest near the capital. We should use our troops to escort the Baron and investigate the forest」
「……Well, if it’ to escort the Baron and investigate the forest, I can spare some forces. 100 knights should be enough」
「No, captain. If it’s possible, I want to bring about 1000 of my subordinates on this mission. It would be a nice exercise for my men. I think of it as a good training opportunity」
「…..All right. However, do not spend more time than necessary. Three days at the most. After that, you are to come back」
「Thank you for your consideration, captain-dono」
In that way, Oshe received a permission to move his troops.
At the designated time in the afternoon Baron Jiono, Baron Gragoleir, and Oshe’s army departed the imperial capital.
The party steadily advanced and reached the borders of the Kurumfar territory in the evening before stopping. Then, Oshe ordered to settle a camp.
「Just according to keikaku」
「There are no holes in my plan. Tomorrow, Versam’s head will definitely be separated from the rest of his body」
「That rising aristocracy deemed as an incompetent commander. It’s time to erase that stigma. I will show them my way of fighting」
「Oi oi, don’t be so fired up ahead of time」
「I know. I’m always calm」
「I hope so. Then let’s go through our plan once again. We will infiltrate the Kurumfar territory under the cover of the night. Then, we will pass through the forest and raid the mansion before the daybreak.  They should be in the mansion. My scouts witnessed him returning to the mansion yesterday. We are going to kill him. Also….let’s kill everyone else in the mansion. After that, we are going to return to the capital. Versam’s head and the bandits’ heads, for the bandits, we can randomly behead some people from the slums. We will carry them to the Captain Rafaien. We were attacked on the way by the bandits. Then, the bandits run away towards the Versam mansion. When we chased after them, the Marquis assumed their side and attacked us. Without any other choice, we thought and defeated his forces. Actually, the leader of the bandits was Honorary Marquis Versam all this time, or so the story goes.」
「Yeah, I know」
「After the commotion settles down, I will petition to the Emperor to manage the Kurumfar territory together with Baron Gragoleir. And after we get the Kurumfar territory, we will split its harvest and salt between us」
「But will it really go that smoothly? Prince Viras won’t stay silent」
「We are going with this plan. Versam stands out quite a bit thanks to the Emperor. There are plenty of nobles, who hate him. With Versam deemed as a traitor, the influence of Prince Viras and Prime Minister Guremont will weaken. I will aim for that and show him my support」
「If this goes well, we will profit greatly and Oshe will raise enough funds for a promotion. After all, Jiono can get the whole Kurumfar territory」
「I want to succeed by all means. I want to obtain the scenery praised by the Emperor himself when he stayed in that hotel」
「You always wanted to obtain strange things since the childhood」
「What are you saying? You just don’t understand. The value of that hotel, that is」
「Stop quarreling! For some reason, I, the great Oshe-sama, always end up as a mediator between you. It won’t be late to fight after we succeed」
「All right, it’s about the time to gather my men. From now on, it’s my time to shine. I will show you my skills」
「I’m expecting a lot」
「I’m counting on you!」
Late at night, the silence was broken by an emergency signal. The well-trained soldiers immediately lined up. At the same time, Oshe stood before them.
「We are going to march at night. Everyone is to equip a real sword! We are going for a bandit subjugation. The target is a mansion that serves as their lair. Kill everyone, who is inside! 」
Oshe pulled out his sword, raised his voice, and pointed towards the east.
「The bandits’ leader is Versam! Honorary Marquis Versam of the Empire! Advance! 」
1000 knight begun their march in silence.
The slave market was bustling.
I sat down at the back of the hall and looked at the slaves. This time’s market was full of sex slaves and soldiers, I couldn’t spot anyone suitable for our needs.
After a short break, it was a time for crime slaves to take the stage. I don’t plan to pay a special attention to this section. That being said, it’s not like there is a zero possibility of Mei-level individuals to appear. I shouldn’t overlook him.
A while after the start, the stage turned noisy for some reason. It seems that a female crime slave went on a rampage. After a while, three slaves were dragged out to the stage but once I saw them, I received a great shock.
……The idiot heroes of the cat tribe.
The female cat is always crying. The men had swollen faces as if they just received a beating. All three wore some tattered clothes.
「Well then, number 16. A man of the cat tribe, 16 years old; a woman of the cat tribe, 15 years old; a man of the cat tribe, 17 years old. Let’s start with 5000G! 」
Unexpectedly, there was no response. In this still atmosphere, a certain noble-looking man raised his token.
「Is there anyone else? Anyone? 」
I raised my voice before I noticed.
「10000G! Is there anyone else? Anyone?……Then, the final price is 10000G! 」
We didn’t wait for the end of the event and went outside.
「Rinos, why did you buy those cat tribe people?」
「Don’t you remember, Rico? He is the cat that claimed to be a hero and caused a mess in the palace」
「There was such a thing. Are they truly those people? 」
「I don’t think I’m wrong」
I headed towards the room where people collected their purchases. After a while, we were approached by a strange-looking slave trader.
「Thank you for your purchase. Let’s complete the procedures right away」
The man said so and led us to another room.
In the same way as with Mei, I paid the money and provided my blood. Immediately after, those idiot cats were brought inside. Different from their tattered clothes from before, the men wore shirts and the woman wore one piece. They stood in a row as my blood was put on their arms and legs. Once the trader chanted the spell, my arm glowed.
「With this, the contract has been completed. If those slaves’ performance isn’t to your satisfaction, please do not hesitate to visit us as we can buy them back」
Saying that, the man gave me something like a business card and left the room.
「Thank you for purchasing us this time. We shall perform our duty with utmost effort」
「Aren’t you become quite fluent for an idiot cat」
The cats took a closer look at me.
「Ah! You’re that imprudent person from before! 」
The woman raised her voice.
「You sure have a hobby of bringing trouble upon yourself. Well, me meeting you again can be considered fate. It’s hard to talk here, let’s go outside」
We took the idiot cats, took Sonya and Ange, who were waiting for us outside, and went to the restaurant in the hotel.
「You must be hungry. You can order whatever you want」
However, the slaves seemed to hesitate. Without any other choice, I ordered the same thing that I ordered for myself.
「Still, how did you manage to become crime slaves?」
「i had a dispute with a local lord. At that time, I hurt the Lord and his retainers」
「Uwa~ This is~」
「That’s why they have so many bruises」
Apparently, the idiot cats had a hard time after separating from me. They traveled from one village to another, occasionally being deceived by people, occasionally being attacked by monsters, he said. When they reached a certain city, they were forced to join a massive monster subjugation operation. There, Willis, with his somewhat reliable sword arts, and Shera, with her healing magic, proved to be of a great use. With this as a reason, they decided to settle down in that city, Willis lived working as an escort or a guard for the merchants, Shera opened a healing business, and Yuriel made use of his education to open something like a school to teach kids how to read and write.
Since they weren’t particularly greedy, they earned just enough to sustain the three of them, Shera and Yuriel often helped for nearly nothing. As a result, they were greatly appreciated by the residents and spent their days fulfilled.
However, the Lord of the town had his eyes on Shera and wanted her to become his concubine.  Of course, he was adamantly rejected by all three of them but the Lord was rather persistent. And after they hardened their resolve and tried to leave the town, they were ambushed by the Lord and his people. As a result, Willis hurt the Lord’s retainers as Shera and Yuriel hurt the Lord when he tried to capture them. Following that, they were deemed criminals and were sent to be sold in the capital.
「Working for the sake of people, receiving their gratitude. It was a fulfilling life but we ended up like this. It seems that we don’t have much luck in our lives」
「There is no way that’s true. Being bought by Rinos can be considered you good luck」
「The First Princess of the Hideta Empire, Ricolette」
「Ah, that tyrannical woman from before!」
「Shera! Watch your mouth! 」
Willis shut her mouth before everyone managed to react. Well, isn’t he became a good big brother.
「Judging by the fact that you call Master as Rinos and your attitude towards him…..」
「Yes, Rinos and I had a wedding」
「Ma-Marriage? Eh? Why? I was sure that he became a servant of Princess-sama…….」
After that, I told them about the events that led to our marriage.
「For such things to happen…..That being said, Master is amazing. Taking the First Princess as a wife, becoming an Honorary Marquis, managing the Second Prince’s territory……」
「If you understand this much then it’s enough. You’ve experienced a lot. If something doesn’t work, you can just try again. Still, you have grown quite a bit. It should work out with the current you」
「It was truly hard on us. But we were helped by a lot of people. Master wasn’t wrong when we were told to talk to people more」
And while everyone was enjoying the desserts, I talked about the future
「I want you to manage a store for me. Sonya and Ange will take care of the store that sells barrier magic stones. People from the army often visit that place, you shouldn’t try to take it easy. And Willis’ group will manage an ingredient store. It’s scheduled to open this autumn, so be prepared. Of course, as the fellow storekeepers, you should help each other out when the other side can’t handle it」
Everyone silently nodded.
「You shall live in the stores. However, it will take about two days to prepare a living environment, so you will stay in this hotel until then. Meanwhile, you should gather your daily necessities. Of course, you also need to buy some clothes. I will leave all the money with Gon, tell him if you need something. I’ll leave it to you, Gon」
On the next day, the five slaves went around the capital with Gon to buy all kinds of things.
As a result, I was forced to give up on creating the living quarters in the store that sells barrier magic stones due to its size. On the other hand, the warehouse had a second floor, which we decided to use instead. There is still plenty of space left even with the five of them. However, as I was worried what should I do about the kitchen and the toilet, Willis and the rest ended up buying the material themselves and making one. They might have developed it during their travels. Those guys may be surprisingly dependable.
Soon enough, Sonya and her daughter received the store from Luara and started working. There were no particular problems and it’s still functioning properly. On the contrary, since there were no more times when the store was closed due to my whims, we received an especially positive response from the merchants. In addition, Sonya can be considered a beauty. She obtained a certain popularity amongst some of the army men and merchants.
Although the warehouse was still under construction, the preparations, such as dividing the warehouse into the storage zone and selling zone, were steadily progressing. We are selling the harvested crops and vegetables through the stall that we set up outside the warehouse. This can serve as an advertisement until the store is opened, if people remember the taste, the opening will be destined to succeed, suggested Willis. I accepted his proposal and, starting from Kairiku, set up the teleportation barriers leading to the storage zone. And in the storage zone itself, I set up a refrigerating barrier trying to keep the goods fresh as long as possible.
Although there isn’t much to sell at the moment, Willis’ store is prosperous. Fortunately, there are plenty of people waiting for an official opening. As a consequence of his hardships, Willis developed a certain charm to him, creating a good impression on the customers.
From this point on, I’m going to stop calling them「idiot cats」.