“Hero Makoto.” (Sofia)
Princess Sofia had brought me into her room, and she called my name.
Her gaze is colder than usual.
Princess Sofia is the fiance of the Water Country’s Hero, Takatsuki Makoto.
Just recently, she had gone to the Great Keith Castle, and was gathering information from the leaders of the Fire Country.
Compared to that, last night I went out with Sa-san, and we came back the next morning.
Just a while ago, I was flirting with Lucy on the bed while she was in risque clothing.
In other words, a deplorable human being.
“I will tell you the information I got in the Great Keith Castle.” (Sofia)
I thought she was going to scold me, but what came out from Princess Sofia were serious words.
“The higher-ups of Great Keith have accepted the explanation of the Rozes Hero and his comrade warrior having defeated the Sand Dragons… They didn’t seem that convinced though.” (Sofia)
“Wait a moment. I didn’t do anything though.” (Makoto)
I was just running around.
Sa-san alone was the one who defeated the Sand Dragons.
Wouldn’t that be a fake report?
“Of course, I believe what you say, but this and that are two different matters. Would you be able to report the fact that the Country Designated Hero of Rozes had her female comrade fight a nest of monsters on her own, while the Hero himself didn’t do anything?” (Sofia)
“…Sorry. My mistake.” (Makoto)
That certainly would be the lowest kind of hero.
I was an actual dead weight there.
“I have also told them about the matter you heard from a slave merchant regarding the Snake Church purchasing a large amount of slaves. When I told General Tariska, he said that ‘The Water Hero hasn’t gone to the slave market though?’, and got a bit suspicious there. Looks like he has been following your movements.” (Sofia)
“It was the right choice to disguise ourselves.” (Makoto)
Not going there as it is was for the better.
“Even so, infiltrating the slave market late at night was dangerous. Please try to restrain yourself next time.” (Sofia)
Was that too rash?
It looks like the Fire Country hasn’t noticed it, so that’s good, but I shouldn’t try that again.
“But I am worried about your friend that has become a slave. I tried negotiating with them as well, but…” (Sofia)
“How was it?” (Makoto)
I waited for her answer in anticipation, but Princess Sofia’s tone was heavy.
“The noble that is trying to buy your friend Keiko-san seems to have taken quite a liking to her, and doesn’t seem to have any intentions of letting her go…” (Sofia)
“Is that…so.” (Makoto)
“It seems like the third son of the Bunnahabhain household has the hobby of collecting strong women warriors and female mages to create an army of only women.” (Sofia)
“What an unbelievable guy!” (Makoto)
Collecting strong women!
Princess Sofia looked over here with an apathetic expression.
Did I say something weird there?
(Makoto, your party is pretty similar to that.) (Noah)
I feel like it has been a while.
(Sorry about that. I was helping out Eir a bit in her request.) (Noah)
Now that you mention it, I haven’t heard the voice of Eir-sama either lately.
(Huh? Are you saying you are dissatisfied with just my voice alone?!) (Noah)
It is just that you two have been together all the time recently.
You are my only one, Noah-sama.
The trust of the Goddess has been restored.
“Hero Makoto?” (Sofia)
“No, it is nothing. Then, it will be tough to free Kawakita-san.” (Makoto)
No good, I am still talking with Princess Sofia.
“Yeah…you are right. The Rozes royal family will continue trying to negotiate.” (Sofia)
“That would help out greatly.” (Makoto)
The conversation stopped.
‘What’s the matter?’ is what I thought…and then my hand was pulled.
I was made to sit on the sofa deep in the room.
Princess Sofia sits by my side, at a distance that is close to touching shoulders.
A sweet scent wafted from the hair of Princess Sofia.
“Hero Makoto.” (Sofia)
She called my name just like the time when we entered the room.
What’s different from that time is that Princess Sofia’s face was around 1 meter distance from mine, and this time, it is at a distance of only 15 centimeters.
Princess Sofia was looking intently at my eyes with her deep blue eyes.
Silence continued for a while, and then she spoke.
“By the way, you returned the next morning with Aya, right?” (Sofia)
“You were getting along with Lucy-san just a few moments ago, right?” (Sofia)
Figures it wasn’t going to be just talk about work.
There really is going to be some rough punishment—.
“As I thought, maybe I really should always be closeby.” (Sofia)
The voice of Princess Sofia wasn’t that of someone angry.
With a dangerously close distance between us, Princess Sofia leaned on me just like that, and placed her head on my shoulder.
“Even in the Wood Country, it seemed like you were being approached by the little sister of the Lightning Hero” (Sofia)
“She didn’t though? Who was the one spreading that fake information?” (Makoto)
To Princess Sofia of all people.
“The Water Goddess Eir-sama told me.” (Sofia)
What is that Goddess saying?!
“Eir-sama said this: ‘Mako-ku—Takatsuki Makoto is weak against aggressive approaches, so push him down’.” (Sofia)
“That’s wrong in a lot of meanings, Sofia.” (Makoto)
What is that Goddess even saying to me and her own Oracle?
By the time I noticed, I was pushed down the sofa with her leaning body.
I lied facing up, and Princess Sofia entrusted her body on top of me.
She was right in front of me at a distance where her breathing reached me, and her perfectly sculpted face was there.
No, her face is slightly red, so it isn’t her sculpture-like expressionless face.
With an upward glance and a slight glare, she said.
“I was lonely, you know?” (Sofia)
Her eyes were slightly damp and that mutter of hers was so cute it made me dizzy.
(This is…) (Makoto)
An urge to hug her attacked me, and I wrapped my arms around the back of Princess Sofia’s shoulder, but…
“Mako-kun, this is bad!”
Princess Sofia’s eyes shone golden, and her tone suddenly changed.
The mood of just a while ago was gone.
Everything about Princess Sofia in front of me is the same aside from the color of her eyes and the mana she releases.
Overflowing mana that pricked my skin.
Pressure that could overshadow a Demon Lord and even the Great Sage-sama.
Moreover, only the Water Goddess-sama calls me ‘Mako-kun’.
“Oh my?” (Eir)
It looks like she noticed that I am lying down, and Princess Sofia was on top of me.
“Could it be that I got in the way?” (Eir)
“Most likely.” (Makoto)
Eir-sama made an ‘achaa’ face.
“I have done it now. Even though Sofia-chan braved herself to do it…” (Eir)
You put too many weird things in people’s heads, Eir-sama.” (Makoto)
“But she is a late bloomer, so you gotta give her a push.” (Eir)
But pushing someone down is too much, don’t you think?
Well, it was certainly effective though.
The advice of the Goddesses is way too accurate!
“More importantly, didn’t you have urgent business?” (Makoto)
Let’s return to the main topic.
“Right right! This is bad. There’s actual danger approaching the Fire Country!” (Eir)
“Is it the one Furiae-san was talking about?” (Makoto)
(Eir~, it looks like Makoto and the others already know about something through the Moon Oracle.) (Noah)
Even Noah-sama joined the conversation.
“Eeh~, my chance to have Mako-kun owe me one!” (Eir)
“We are also investigating the reason why. Do you know something?” (Makoto)
(About that, it seems like the church this time around is making sure not to leak the information to the Holy God side. Thanks to that, even my Spirits were made to help out.) (Noah)
And here I was wondering why Eir-sama and Noah-sama were not responding. So they were doing something like that, huh.
“So, in the end, you don’t know the reason?” (Makoto)
(You could say that.) (Noah)
That was my lifeline though.
Eir-sama (Princess Sofia) puts a hand on her chin and falls into thought.
It doesn’t suit her.
“The underground is suspicious.” (Eir)
“Isn’t that way too vague?” (Makoto)
Eir-sama suddenly said this.
(Makoto, the Snake Church worships Typhon. Not only that, they should be hiding their temple somewhere that they use to pray to their god. They most likely made it somewhere underground where the eye doesn’t reach.) (Noah)
The added explanation of Noah-sama made sense.
“I see. Then, it is okay to just search for the Snake Church’s underground temple then?” (Makoto)
That’s easy to understand.
“The capital of Gamuran is pretty big.” (Makoto)
The second most influential country after the Sun Country of Highland, its scale is impressive.
There’s also a lot of merchants from other countries that have prosperous trading coming to the Fire Country.
There’s a lot of cultures mixed, making it chaotic.
It is different from the Sun Country that had its dwellings divided by social standing.
The information gathering is going to be tough.
(Hey, Eir, are you not going to ask the Fire Goddess?) (Noah)
We are in the Fire Country, so asking their Goddess should be the best choice.
Then, it should be best to ask the Goddess of the place.
“Sol-chan, huh~….” (Eir)
Eir-sama in Princess Sofia’s body was making a face as if not too into the idea.
(The Water Goddess Eir and the Fire Goddess Sol don’t get along after all.) (Noah)
Noah-sama said in a teasing tone.
“Eh? Really?” (Makoto)
I was taught in the temple that all Six Great Goddesses got along really well.
“T-That’s not it! We Goddesses are all buddy-buddy! …If rumors about that were to spread, Althena-neesama will kill me.” (Eir)
Eir-sama denied that statement with a seriously scared tone.
Let’s not question her too deeply about this.
“W-Well, let’s leave asking Sol-chan as a last resort. Hmm, but you see…we have bad compatibility, you know.” (Eir)
She is even saying they are not compatible.
They really don’t get along.
I got more unnecessary information.
“You can go ahead and forget that ‘unnecessary information’ right this instant, Mako-kun.” (Eir)
(Leave aside the talk about Eir. Well, if you were to use the connections of your friend Fujiyan-kun and Sofia-chan, you could find the underground temple. The problem is, what is it they are plotting? They are trying to do something big that they go as far as cheating the eyes of the Goddesses… Be careful.) (Noah)
I appreciate the warning.
“Understood, Noah-sama.” (Makoto)
(See ya, Makoto.) (Noah)
I now don’t hear the voice of Noah-sama anymore.
“Well then, I will be poofing out as well, so get along with Sofia-chan, okay~?” (Eir)
Princess Sofia collapses limply.
“Woah there.” (Makoto)
I hurriedly catch the body of Princess Sofia.
Sofia opened her eyes.
“My? …What happened to me?” (Sofia)
“You must have been tired. You fell asleep.” (Makoto)
“There’s no way that’s… Could it be…Eir-sama…?” (Sofia)
Ah, she got it.
Leaving that aside, we are back to the same position as before.
While I was wondering what to do…
Someone knocked on the door.
Princess Sofia and I take distance in an instant.
“Who is it?” (Sofia)
“It is me, Sofia-sama. I have a message.”
Princess Sofia fixes her hair and clothes in an instant, and responds in her usual tone.
As expected of a princess.
The one who entered was the Guardian Knight Old Man.
“I apologize for interrupting your time alone.”
“…That’s okay, so state your business.” (Sofia)
The old man glanced at me and apologized.
Having it pointed out makes it more awkward, you know.
Princess Sofia as well seems to be forcing herself to maintain her expressionless face.
The Guardian Knight Old Man maintained his serious expression as he introduced the main topic.
“It seems General Tariska wants to talk with the Country Designated Hero of Rozes.”
The eyes of Sofia grew sharper at that.
Looks like I have been called by the higher ups of the Fire Country as I was told before.