7-1. To the Hometown of the Dwarves
Satou's here. When I was on business trip, I sometimes caught sight of people who was transferring for job getting sent off on the platform for the bullet train.
I wonder how does it feel to get sent off like that? I've thought of such thing, but when I actually experience it, it doesn't feel bad at all.
"Are you leaving no matter what?"
Viscount Nina who has come to see us off tries to detain me.
Behind her, more than 20 servants and maids have also come.
The maids aren't wearing the plain uniforms they've worn two weeks ago, but frilly maids clothes that one usually sees in Akihabara. Even though the skirt cover down to the ankle, it's still incomparably cuter than before.
Of course the mastermind is Arisa. Somehow the budget for it hasn't come from the baron but from my pocket instead, but if this is the result then I can consent.
However, even though I've heard that it would be completed in spring, it's done already. It might have touched the heartsrings of the tailor. Cute is justice they say.
By the way, it's early morning right now, the sun has just risen on the horizon.
To be honest, I didn't expect that they would come for the farewell like this.
I could see Pochi and Tama receiving something from lady Soruna at the edge of my view. Looks like the thing that entered their small purses are sweets.
As for the other, the men like the Baron, Hauto, and Zotol have also come.
Lady Karina isn't here.
I've asked the maid who's attending her room not to wake her up. Since she's always attacking me every day during the past two weeks here, I want to avoid troublesome thing when we're departing.
More than that, the maids that have been creeping up on me since awhile ago are scary.
Everyone folds their arms and stare at me with teary eyes.
No one is going to start a fight right?
"Chevalier-sama, please don't go."
Without hesitation, a slender red-haired maid steps up and shouts while clinging to me.
I'd love a bit more volume, regrettable.
Starting with that girl, the maids begin to cling on me in turns.
Kuh, the maids with loli bodies are too fast, I've lost my chance to get in contact with the maids with superb volumes.
Arisa kicks me from behind while saying, "Stop grinning.", but I ignore her.
"Chevalier-sama, please stay here forever."
"That's right, if chevalier-sama is gone, who would make crepes."
"Rather than crepes, I want karaage again!"
"Leave only Pochi-chan here~."
"What are you saying, Tama-chan is cuter right."
"Better yet, become my husband and make meals for me forever please."
Even though I don't think it's because I'm popular, everyone are aiming for foods, or Pochi's and Tama's cuteness huh.
Since I feel familiar sensations on my legs, I drop my line of sight--
It's Pochi and Tama. What are they doing hugging my legs?
The twos look up with sparkling eyes. I wonder if they're thinking some new play like Oshikura Manju?
"Everyone! I understand your reluctance, but don't trouble chevalier-sama."
"That's right, we have pound cakes made by chevalier-sama in the dining room. You can eat it after you've done your morning works."
The head maid claps her hands, and the maids step back.
Then after the chef's remark, they fall back as if pulling tides. It's a bit lonely.
"You haven't eaten breakfast right? It can't be compared to chevalier-sama's creation, but please eat this if it's fine with you."
"Thank you very much. I gratefully accept."
I pass the bento I've received from Chef-san to Lulu on the wagon.
"Really, won't you at least leave Arisa-dono here."
"No can do~ I can't live if I'm not beside darling."
I ignore Arisa's careless remark, and say may farewell to Nina-san and the baron. I've received letters of introduction for nobles on various cities from Nina-san. I've also been asked to deliver several letters for influential nobles from Nina-san.
"I'll come back here after 1-2 years of training in the labyrinth city."
"Yes, we'll be waiting. At that time, we'll get territory rebuilt so we can return the money we've borrowed from you even for a little."
"Yes, I'm expecting it."
"I sincerely ask you to take care of Pochi-kun and Tama-kun."
The baron is giving off atmosphere as if he's sending his daughters for wedding. He's way too entranced by the cuteness of the two.
The debt that Nina-san talks about is 250 gold ingots that I've lent for rebuilding the territory. It's not enough to completely rebuild it with this, but it'd be usable for operating funds. The reason why I use ingots is because it'd look like hidden assets. I made it by crushing large quantity of gold coins. Since they were doubting where it came from, I showed them the magic bag <<Holding Bag>> and explained it. I told Nina-san that I was heading to the labyrinth city for the sake of Liza's and the others' training.
Liza and the others are already riding the horses, so I get in the wagon.
We leave the Muno castle behind while waving back to the people who keep on waving here.
Now then, even though there have been various things happening during this two weeks, the one that's immediately apparent is this wagon.
I was allowed to freely use the workshop left from the marquis era, so I remodeled the wagon as much as I wanted to. I mainly tried to remodel the suspension system by strengthening the shock absorption. Unfortunately, I couldn't make anything fancy for the shock absorption.
The wagon is now pulled by four horses, increased from two before, so I'm expecting speed increase. Especially since the horses that Mia and Tama have ridden have leveled up are now pulling the wagon, it would be more effective.
For the sake of avoiding thieves, Liza and Nana wear armors and ride the horses. The baron has given a horse for Nana from the same species that Liza is riding, Shuberien. The full plate armors that the two wear are my creations. When I was taking Nana's size, there were some lucky situations that arose, but Mia hindered them all. I think Mia's intuition is too good.
Needless to say, the reason why the ones riding the horses are not Pochi and Tama is because they're too short, they'd look like children from afar, and that'd invite thieves rather than repelling them.
Mia is riding a horse.
The reason is the horse that Mia is riding itself. In truth, it's not a horse, it's a unicorn that has been sold illegally on the black market.
Even in this world, unicorns are being sold for their horns since they're effective medicines for all kind of sickness. I saved this unicorn when it was going to to be sold to people with eccentric taste in food after it got its horn cut.
The business of selling unicorns is forbidden in the entire Shiga kingdom, not just in baron Muno territory.
I wanted to return it to the place where other unicorns were with Mia, but since it didn't have horn, it couldn't get accepted into the herds.
The horn is seen as a recovery item by other races, but for unicorn itself, it's an important organ. Without the horn, an unicorn is not only unable to use its race-specific abilities, but it also loses the way to communicate to its friends. According to the indication from AR, unicorns are not monsters but belong to mythical beasts category.
Even the baron administrative was troubled with it, but since the unicorn got attached to our Mia right from the beginning, Mia began to gradually take care of it. We'll take it to Bornean forest together with Mia, and let it live in peace there.
"Lulu, I'll change your place as the coachman."
"Don't do that, master has become a noble, so when we're at the place where other people could see, master should let the servant to be the coachman."
Since I get scolded by Lulu, I give up on being the coachman and sit beside her. It's cute that she's still holding the rein properly even while scolding me.
"The flirting guy is here huh~"
As if estimating the right time, Arisa snuggles on my waist while protesting in monotone voice. Furthermore, she purposely puts her face between me and Lulu.
"Oh Arisa, burned with jealousy are you."
Lulu pats Arisa's hair while smiling.
There, Pochi and Tama climb on Arisa as if flattening her.
"Prohibited nano desu."
The two are probably happy because it's been awhile since it's only us together.
Mia who's riding the horse on the side poke my shoulders while sulking a bit, probably because she's lonely.
The wagon gets out of the Muno city and head toward the highway.
We're speeding up from there. Since we've been going slow in the city, now the wagon advances close to three times faster.
The leveled-up horses speeding up the wagon don't bring only good things. The countermeasure I've made for the vibration goes to waste.
"Au, the vibration is harsh."
"Even though it's quite better than before, it's still too harsh I guess? Lulu I'll take your place, so you can sit on the Float Seat with Arisa."
"You don't have to be reserved, it's alright."
"Yes, I understand."
Float Seat is a chair made with magic circuit that have properties of opposing magnets. On top of having low weight limit, it also needs to be recharged with magic power every 30 minutes, so it couldn't be used on the wagon's body. It still needs some improvements.
If I could downsize it a bit more, I could use it on the coachman's seat.
"Fuh, I'm revived."
"My bottom isn't hurt, but I feel nauseated."
"I'll give you medicine if you feel sick, so say if you are."
In exchange of the two who are sitting on the back seat, Pochi and Tama sit beside me.
"Next to master~?""Nano desu."
Come to think of it, since we were busy with various things when we were in the baron territory, we hadn't been together much beside the time when we were sleeping. I decide to pamper the two until they're satisfied today.
The wagon gets out of the baron territory four days later.
During that time, thieves showed up on the radar, but their scout only loitered around without attacking us even once. So having cavalries outside does help after all.
Our route is not to the capital of Oyugock dukedom, but the slightly off-course self-governing dominion of the dwarves.
The self-governing dominion is inside Oyugock dukedom, about four days away from baron Muno territory.
Of course, our purpose is sightseeing.
It'd wasteful to avoid the live townscape of the dwarves so, might as well.
Incidentally, there's also the matter about the letter that viscount Nina has asked me to deliver.
After advancing through the highway located beside a river with reddish-brown water, we arrive at the hometown of the dwarves.