☆☆ ★★★ ☆☆
There’s a change in plans.
The man with strands of gray hair, who had received this notification, placed his elbows on the desk and pondered for a bit.
“…I feel like things are different from usual.”
The elderly man that was sitting at the sofa with a cup of tea in hand was talking to the man at the desk in a casual manner.
“Right… But that person won’t make a mistake at a turning-point. Also they have a reliable backing. There’s no possible way for it to reach an unexpected situation.”
“That’s true… By the way, Okyuro-dono.”
“What is it?” (Okyuro)
The man at the desk -Okyuro- directs his gaze at the elderly man.
“Is Gomon-dono doing well? He showed splendid swordsmanship at the duel.”
“Yeah. If it is him, he is currently working a sweat in the knight division as always as he betters himself daily.” (Okyuro)
“That’s good to hear. He will be becoming a lieutenant in the near future. Also, your wife is beautiful and you two get along so well. It makes me jealous.”
“Thanks for the compliment. Is Kirob-dono not going to marry again?” (Okyuro)
“No. The bachelor life actually fits me better, you see… Well, if I do find a good match, I will think about it though.” (Kirob)
Okyuro who is famous for having a loving wife was showing great delight for having her complimented, but the conversation with the elderly man -Kirob- had the scent of probing wafting from it, and the mood of the room was slowly changing to a risky one.
Both of them hold important positions in the Motoyasu Kingdom -cabinet ministers- but they are also famous for their strong selfishness.
The head of the Bellkurt household, Okyuro, was born in a knight household, and yet, didn’t have talent in battle and had climbed through many difficulties from civil official to cabinet minister. On the other hand, the head of the Yoshrant household, Kirob, had been born in a family that produced cabinet ministers every generation, so he climbed the stairs of life without much difficulties as he became a cabinet minister.
They were the very definition of water and oil -the people that know the two of them describe them in that way. It feels so out of place how the two of them are joining hands under the same objective.
“Now that I think about it, Kirob-dono, Elburd-dono is going to become an assistant of the financial affairs cabinet minister, right?” (Okyuro)
“Okyuro-dono, that’s a thing of the future.” (Kirob-dono)
The elderly called Kirob rebukes Okyuro, but his face was showing a wide smile, and Okyuro was hiding his anger and furrowed his eyebrows slightly as he flatters him with decorated words.
“However, I heard that you had the recommendation of Erac-sama. I am truly jealous.” (Okyuro)
“I don’t think Eburd is fit to be an assistant, but this is a learning experience…” (Kirob)
“We can’t go losing to our sons just yet.” (Okyuro)
“True. Let’s both do our best.” (Kirob)
Ferocious smiles were exchanged, and the both of them laugh.
The owner of the room, Okyuro Bellkurt, was directing vexing eyes towards Kirob, but Kirob lightly brushed that away and sipped on his tea.
Deceiving contests. Even when, at the surface, the two of them are in a cooperative relationship, in the inside, the two of them were looking for ways to one-up each other with their greed seeping out as they wait in anticipation for the moment to be released.
☆☆ ★ ☆☆
Five days after setting barriers for the previous king Jii-san and the apprentice priestess Almina as well as the storeroom at the former inner palace.
It wouldn’t be fun to only place a simple barrier, so I have set up a variety of magic tools to intercept intruders without telling Niva-san. Of course, it only deals the minimum amount of damage to the body, and it doesn’t bring problems to their mental health; it is safe stuff.
Well, there’s the chance that they will be on the brink of madness when they see that thing, but…that’s the fault of the intruders, not mine.
“Be careful.” (Makoto)
And so, today…
“The weapons of the heroes, huh… There’s romance to it.” (Makoto)
“As for me, I am a bit—no, incredibly scared though.”
The ceremony where the heroes select their weapons, the Selection Ceremony. Seeing off the heroes that will be departing for this, I am at the gate of the royal castle.
The Selection Ceremony will be performed in the Selection Forest, and it is around 50 km at the east of the Motoyasu Kingdom’s royal capital. At the depths of it, there’s a small shrine that deifies the weapons, apparently.
It takes around half a day to arrive at the forest. Experiencing the transportation by carriage, camping, and also fighting monsters for two or three days is apparently a training of sorts said Niva-san. Taking a few days is just how it is scheduled, but there’s the chance for extensions.
In the deep parts of that forest, the shrine has a sturdy seal, and in order to lift it, there’s the need to use the Holy Gem that the royal family is in charge of. The personal knight of the princess, the captain of the Blue Wings knight division, Miyuna, will be going with them as the one in charge of lifting the seal.
Normally, the King would be the one appointing that position…but this time around, the Queen was the one who did it, thus, Miyuna was appointed. However, it seems that this decision was something the knights couldn’t comply with. Well, there’s no precedent of a female knight being appointed—is the kind of reason they are giving. Looks like the gender bias is present no matter the world.
“I heard that monsters will be appearing. If you feel like you can’t make it, run away, got it?” (Makoto)
“That’s something General Gallahard told me sternly as well. ‘Don’t mistake courage with recklessness’, he said.”
That old man says some nice stuff.
“He also taught me a variety of other things, but I am not sure whether I will be able to put them to use…”
“If there’s someone that could put everything to practice instantly, I would like to meet them.” (Makoto)
I have heard from the Queen that they are being educated in how to stand as heroes.
This world’s history, the history of the other nations, diplomatic relations, and even the basics of daily life; they are being taught all those things including their training.
“I didn’t think I would be studying even here.”
“Well, there’s things you gotta know or it would cause trouble. Just learn them little by little.” (Makoto)
“But when the Selection Ceremony ends, I heard there will be a public debut. We have the right to choose what to do after that, so the country can’t freely step in, they said…”
So they have been told that, huh. It is true that it does sound irresponsible if put in that way, but heroes are perceived as assets that should be shared with the world, so the Motoyasu Kingdom can’t be an exception to this.
“Everything is an experience. Don’t look solely at the surface, read between the lines as well. Watch their faces and face things while doubting… If you think that you can’t decide something on your own, rely on your comrades.” (Makoto)
“You are not alone. Don’t forget that you have reliable companions.” (Makoto)
I pat his shoulders and calm down Yuichi who was showing confusion in his face. There’s no need to understand it all right now.
Trust is a virtue, but not knowing doubt is the quality of an idiot. Someone like that can’t save the world or defeat the Demon Lord.
“For now, just don’t cry when injured, don’t panic, don’t falter.” (Makoto)
“It is important, you know? When you get injured, your attention gets hazy, and it dulls your movement in sudden moments.” (Makoto)
This truly is important.
If your attention gets hazy, wasteful movements will grow more frequent; with more wasted movement, more openings are created; with more openings, the chances of fatal wounds are born. It is a splendid vicious cycle.
“Did you learn that from manga as well?” (Yuichi)
“Of course. But don’t you think it isn’t wrong?” (Makoto)
“True… My instructor also told me something similar to that after all.” (Yuichi)
“Ye gotta read some in case you go to a parallel world again.” (Makoto)
“…If possible, I would prefer not having a second time.” (Yuichi)
I am on my seventh here, you know? Don’t underestimate a professional.
The next day after I finished practically fortifying the inner palace secretly, Erac had announced that the day for the heroes to do the Selection Ceremony was decided, or so I heard from Niva-san.
In these five days, both Erac and Makirus didn’t show any noteworthy moves. Erac has been doing round trips from his residence to the royal castle, and Makirus continued to distribute candy in the slums. In terms of bad vibes, I would say Makirus is in the lead, but it would prove a lot of problems if Erac were to move, so I am keeping them in check.
“A second time would truly be a pain, indeed.” (Miki)
“That’s a flag statement, Miki.” (Shiori)
“Eh? Flag?” (Miki)
Kusuhara mutters along with a sigh, and Katsuragi gives a proper back-slap retort. Kusuhara was showing a confused face at this, but the enemy was right by her side.
“Don’t worry, Yuichi won’t stand for that… Or maybe you will be making something else of him stand?” (Kaede)
“W-W-W-What are you saying, Kaede?” (Miki)
Asagi makes a dirty joke with a nonchalant face, and Kusuhara responds with a bright red face. And for some reason, the harem normie that’s close by can’t hear anything. As deaf as a harem protagonist.
“Well, you four, be careful out there.” (Makoto)
Now then, the time to depart is approaching, so they have to prepare already.
“Yes. Makoto-san as well. Uhm…” (Yuichi)
“There’s no need to worry about me. I will be shutting myself in after all.” (Makoto)
I slice the worry of Yuichi in half with one stroke, and the four make dry smiles at that.
“Yuichi-dono, we will be departing soon.”
When the mood had become a weird one, a knight had come to speak to us.
“Ah, yes… I will be going now!” (Yuichi)
Yuichi hurriedly answers, and the other three were returned to reality; their faces tensed up slightly. Even though I was making silly talk to soften them up, it has all gone to waste.
That bastard… Now that I look carefully, this dark green haired knight, isn’t he the third knight division captain, Kirzam? He glanced at us and saw me, and when he did, his mouth warped slightly in irritation. Why is it that I am being hated even though I haven’t done anything? It makes me sad, ya know.
The other knights… I can see the dark purple haired female knight.
Her name is Morda. She is apparently an adventurer that climbed to knight.
After a light investigation, she is apparently the lieutenant of the sixth knight division that is composed solely of women. The silver haired female knight together with her was the captain, Orfi, but the sixth knight division has a slight problem to it.
The female knights that form the sixth knight division were formerly from the Blue Wings Knights division, and it is composed of adventurer and knights of ordinary households. They are people that failed to enter the Blue Wings, and Erac gave the reason of increasing the military force and created the new solely female composed sixth knight division.
Because of such circumstances of creation, it hasn’t had that big of a good reputation since the beginning. It is not as if the people in the division are problematic, but there’s a lot of brusque ones in the former adventurers, so the sixth knight division is secretly called the ‘group of leftovers within leftovers’.
The gaze of Morda towards Miyuna was filled with clear animosity, but Miyuna is not paying her any attention.
The chosen ones and the ones that weren’t chosen.
I don’t know what other past they have aside from that, but I would prefer if they don’t create any unnecessary strife.
Also, I suppose there’s the need to keep Orfi -who is not here- in check as well. She has a connection with Erac, and my instinct that has seen its fair share of evildoers is telling me something. That girl is a ruffian.
“Now, relax, relax.” (Makoto)
“If you are like that already, by the time you reach there, you will be exhausted.” (Makoto)
“Hngh…wa, Makoto-san.” (Yuichi)
I hit him on the back slightly hard, and checking that Kusuhara has her back turned with her arms crossed, I whisper to him.
“W-What is it?” (Yuichi)
“You are a man.” (Makoto)
“What are you saying?” (Yuichi)
Yuichi makes a face as if saying ‘why are you stating the obvious?’.
“If you are a man, you would want to show your cool side to women, right?” (Makoto)
“I am not telling you to be reckless. Just smile whenever someone is anxious. It works unexpectedly well, you know. And remember, trust your comrades, okay?” (Makoto)
“Is that also from manga?” (Yuichi)
No, this is from experience. But it would be a pain to explain this, so I laugh it away.
“Now then, if you feel like you can’t make it, make sure to run away, got it?” (Makoto)
I slap his back multiple times, and Yuichi makes a short laugh seeing this sight of me and said an ‘understood’.
“I will be going.” (Yuichi)
“Yeah, have a safe trip~.” (Makoto)
Tagging along with Yuichi who had lowered his head, the other three also did the same, and headed to the carriage. I was looking at that back of theirs, and then, look up at the sky.
“Our adventure begins from hereon. Please look forward to the next work of Niva-sensei.” (Makoto)
“…What are you saying? Makoto-sama, is your brain okay? Ah, right, it is already too late.”
Even though I was joking around a bit, cruel words come from my back. Truly a merciless person.
“My brain is working properly. Or like, where did you appear from?” (Makoto)
“This is the basics of a maid.” (Niva)
“There’s no maid who approaches you without making a sound like an assassin.” (Makoto)
“There’s one here. Also, I don’t want to hear that from Makoto-sama who noticed me even though I was erasing my presence.” (Niva)
Now that I think about it, this maid is in the intelligence division.
“So, what’s the matter?” (Makoto)
“I am seeing off the Hero-samas.” (Niva)
“They are already gone though?” (Makoto)
“Watching over from the shadows is the style of maids.” (Niva)
I don’t know of such style. While doing such a pointless exchange, the neigh of the horses was heard, and the carriage began to move.
Now then, please let the heroes safely have their first real step as heroes.
“…I am counting on you. Spirit Invitation, the light that watches over others, [Will-o-Wisp].” (Makoto)
I swing my arm lightly, and a swirl of light softly drifts about. A childlike voice resonates and fades.
“Makoto-sama, what was that…just now?” (Niva)
“A Spirit.” (Makoto)
“A Spirit… I heard that there’s the need for a decent amount of preparation and to follow a number of steps. Common sense truly doesn’t work with Makoto-sama, right.” (Niva)
“What a terrible way of putting it. Yer really making me wanna cry, ya know?” (Makoto)
Niva-san has stopped getting surprised at things of this level. Seeing that she doesn’t question me much about it, probably means that she has noticed how I am summoning them. Getting used to stuff is truly fearsome.
“Now then, I suppose Imma play with Erin.” (Makoto)
“Please don’t teach her any bad games. Also, don’t do anything lewd to her please.” (Niva)
“What do you think I am?” (Makoto)
Please don’t go silent there.
While continuing the pointless exchange, we were watching for a while from the gates the carriage that was growing smaller.
Come back safely.
☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆
A few hours after the heroes had departed to the Selection Forest.
I have nothing to do and am passing time absentmindedly, but I am not lowering my vigilance on the eye I am keeping on others.
As of now, there’s no movements from Erac and Makirus. The other person to keep a check on is the archbishop, but there’s talk that he won’t be back till the day after tomorrow.
Also, Niva-san said dejectedly that the undiluted solution of the Loroad Virus has not been found yet. In terms of this, there’s not that much leeway in time, so it must be done fast. I have been leaving it in their hands, but I might have to give them a bit of a hand.
“Makoto-sama, the tea has been made.”
“Oh, thanks.” (Makoto)
Erin brings a tray and leaves the teacup on the table, and after a bow, she steps back. Her gestures as a maid are good, and there’s no visible signs that bring about worry. She has grown quite a lot from the time I first met her. I can’t believe this is the same person that hit her head on the door.
“…Yeah, it tastes great.” (Makoto)
“T-Thank you very much.” (Erin)
“The tea of Erin is delicious.” (Makoto)
The tea of Erin has a kind taste to it which I like. The reason why there’s a bitter taste when I use the same tea leaves as her must be because my skill is lacking. Or maybe it is because of my personality. A mystery.
“By the way, what will you be doing today?” (Erin)
“Hmm, today I was thinking about arranging my luggage.” (Makoto)
‘Luggage?’, is what Erin asks while tilting her head and her droopy ears quiver as she directs eyes of wonder.
It is true that I didn’t have luggage when I was summoned. I only had my worn-out jersey and sandals which are in the closet.
“I am talking about arranging the Item Box.” (Makoto)
“Ah, aah… That.” (Erin)
Erin hits her palm as if understanding and wags her tail. She had an expression as if excited. I have explained to her that there’s a variety of things inside, so she is probably in the mindset of a child in front of a toybox.
“Something that Erin would like…” (Makoto)
I search for something in the Item Box wondering if there’s anything like that.
This Item Box, as long as it is a parallel world, normally has no issues in its use. But for some reason, when I return to my original world, I can’t use it anymore. I can use the other abilities, and yet, only the Item Box was not useable no matter what I tried. Probably a regulation like ‘not bringing parallel world items, can’t take them out’. However, I tried thinking of a way to bring them out someway, and the conclusion I arrived was that, if I can’t bring anything from my original world to the parallel worlds and viceversa, isn’t it fine to just make them?
I did it out of curiosity in the time when I was an alchemist, but my comrades soon tried to imitate me and it turned into chaos, which is a nostalgic memory of mine.
I intended to make an othello game, and yet, by the time I noticed, it turned into a life-or-death game where the pieces exploded; the chess and shogi games had turned into a real-time strategy game where the pieces moved through orders; the card games had holographic images of the monsters which fought each other. In the end, until the moment the king asked me to stop the production, the situation was terrible.
It was an event that made me realize just how dangerous deranged researchers can be.
“Oh, this is…” (Makoto)
I continue my search, and I found something that caught my eye.
Something that the lone woman in the alchemist group -a thirty year old single woman with no boyfriend- had made. It might just be the thing for Erin.
“Erin, I will give this to you.” (Makoto)
“This is a magic tool for self-defense. It is an item that can intercept suspicious people.” (Makoto)
“T-This is a…magic tool?” (Erin)
She looks at the given pendant with eyes of wonderment.
“Who knows what might happen. If possible, it would be better if you wear it at all times. That way…you can get used to it.” (Makoto)
Erin puts on the pendant. She holds the pendant in her hand and lets out a smile. She is a girl of age, so she must like this kind of accessories -regardless of race.
Well, Erin would probably be surprised by the effects of the pendant, but I can’t be around her 24/7 after all. It is fine for it to serve as a way to buy time till I arrive.
“Next is…” (Makoto)
While looking for stuff, I bring out things that might be of use, and confirm their state. In the Item Box, the items inside won’t deteriorate or decay, so even if I put food directly as it is, it can be stored in the same state as the time when it was put in, thus it can be warm food that still has steam coming out of it, and the frozen food will stay frozen.
Just that, even if it can store stuff practically without limit, if I do this everyday, I would grow tired of it, and it doesn’t bring good effects both physically and mentally. Keeping the ‘eating food brought out from the Item Box’ to a minimum is what makes it good.
But I am kind of in the mood for pizza…
Maybe I should accompany it with some soda.
There’s movement in the Invisible Window, so I follow it with my eyes.
Looks like Makirus has gone to the slums again.
“It bothers me…” (Makoto)
Makes me uneasy.
In this kind of times, I make it a policy to trust my instincts.
Even if I were to ask the meaning of her actions, I definitely won’t be getting an answer, so there’s only one thing to do.
Home visit! Without permission, of course.