8-12. Tea Party Days
Satou's here. Tea party was frequently drawn in shoujo manga that I read in my childhood, but I had never seen it even once in reality. The modern tea party might be the drink bar in the family restaurant.
The busy days begins the next day after the ball.
While I keep the visits to the workshops as scheduled, I'm also visiting the noble women whom the invitations for tea parties I've accepted.
Of course, I'm not aiming for the the noble girls in their early teens. I wouldn't let Arisa accompany me if that was really the case.
I can sort of feel some petty grudges from that prince, I have a hunch that I'll get involved with him from now on.
Therefore, I'm following Arisa's suggestion to increase my personal connections with the people that are likely to become my allies in preparation for the time when I get entangled in some kind of intricate conspiracy.
I choose not crepes for the tea party, but something that's delicious served cold. I decide to create western style red bean jam rolls by sandwiching fresh cream, coarse and smooth sweet red bean paste with thin pancakes. I announce the bean jam roll to be a new sweets of Muno city. I write the recipe in the letter for baron Muno that I've entrusted to lady Karina. Gelt-san should be able to reproduce what's in the recipe. I've employed merchants to deliver the ingredients that are hard to obtain in Muno city.
Since it's not good to make the same thing every day, Arisa and I write sweets we remember on the memo, trial-make them, and pick ones that look good. Arisa and the others aren't the only ones who sample the food, the previous earl Walgock couple also ask for it, the food are quite popular. I'm a bit worried that Arisa will become plumper since she eats too much of it.
I've thought of taking lady Karina along to the tea parties, but she's training hard with Liza and the others, I can't approach her. I'm thinking of letting lady Karina get some noble friends, but it doesn't seem like it'll go well.
Lady Karina, Liza and the others are training with the help of a military drill instructor, a woman around her thirties, who has been introduced by Toruma. They're probably getting better training than just sparing randomly with wooden swords. I've also been watching them occasionally. Of course I mean the training, not lady Karina's specific parts.
I had gained some things beyond my expectation doing the tea parties like getting permission to visit the workshops that had refused it before, and some rare ingredients the noble women shared.
The workshops visits have been going smoothly too, the only two remaining are the scroll workshop, and the barrier pillar workshop.
I've got silk threads produced by caterpillars the size of a puppy from the visit to the jade silk workshop yesterday. These silk threads reflect green color from the light just like the name suggest, and cloths weaved from them have the same stab-proof performances as iron chain mails.
When I look at the bait of the caterpillar with AR secretly, it seems there's a secret to it. The caterpillars are mainly feed with leaves, but they're also feed with mithril slag--wastes that comes out of mithril refinery. The green parts of the silk might be composed of mithril. Since there are the same kind of caterpillar species living deep in the forest, it might be a good idea to try doing it once.
"Eh~, these are some good seats."
"You're right, compared to the crowded seating of the general audience in this arena, the noble guest room is a paradise."
I feel bad for not using the noble guest room that they've reserved for us, so today is the first time we use it. The arena is wider than my expectation, it's probably about as large as the Tokyo Dome. Since it's usually used for horse-racing matches, these much area are probably necessary.
Originally, there are servants attending the noble guest room, but I refuse since I have my own.
"Master, I've acquired the target for sniping. Please the permission."
Nana looks toward one of the player who has just entered the arena.
Ah, he's the white tigerkin man who seems to be the brother of that guy who's kicked the sea lionkin kid. No, this guy only tried cut me, he didn't do anything to the sea lion kid right?
<TLN: White tiger in japanese = byakko.>
His opponent is a magic warrior who's working as an explorer with delicious sounding name, Tan. He's equipped with a mithril sword like me and a small mithril shield that looks like a buckler. There are only elimination battle for the real match, both their levels are high. Tan-shi is level 42, the white tigerkin is level 37. I'm expecting high level fight too.
"Uu~n, I can't see their status from this distance. Tan who can use magic according to the advance review is probably going to win right."
"Arisa, you can't say that. Don't make light of the range and power of that gigantic great sword in addition to byakko-dono's big body. Tigerkin are war race that possesses both power and speed. You cannot decide the match from whether they can use magic or not."
Oh, Liza is being talkative.
The weapon of Byakko-kun is a great sword made from monsters' parts like Liza's. The offensive power is weaker than Liza's spear. I've had this doubt since a while ago, I feel that Liza's spear is too powerful for a weapon made impromptu. Is it because the materials are rare, or the place is rare, it might even be both.
One of the snacks that Mia holds with both hand enters my mouth.
This is a thin-stick candy, I guess? Sugar are cheap in this duchy capital, they're in the form of brown sugar. Half of them are Ugi sugar that have been brought from earl Kuhano's city. It seems to be cheap since they cultivate the sugar on the great river's downstream. And yet, the price is not at the level where commoners can get their hands on it.
"What's with this?"
"I've bought it."
"A hawker has come to the noble guest room."
Mia only ever uses her pocket money to buy food and drink huh.
Following her, Lulu, Pochi, and Tama have also bought snacks.
"I bought squid skewers too no desu."
The two hold three sticks on both their hands. There are enough for everyone, they distribute it one for each.
The match is about to begin.
Ah, our eyes met.
The white tigerkin on the arena turns his great sword toward me while glaring. He still remembers huh. Since there doesn't seem to be any demi-human who participates in the real match, please do your best.
There's a 50 meters wide circle drawn on the center of the arena, and the signal to start the match begin when both competitors enter it. There's no limitation in using magic, but since this is an [Armed Battle] after all, it's a foul if you do something like defeating your opponent with magic from afar.
When the two enter the circle, the official sounds the horn to signal the start of the match.
"The white person is attacking nano desu!"
"Tama-chan, speak after you've finished eating alright."
Pochi commented after she had finished eating while swinging the skewer, Tama said something while her mouth is full, and Lulu scolded her.
"It seems that the human fights after strengthening himself with buff magic."
"Nnn~, won't he cut it with just a thrust of that great if diversion is poor~."
"I'm doubtful it can stop that body weight and speed."
It looks like Arisa and Mia are giving opinions from the viewpoints of magicians.
Oh, it looks like the magic warrior use physical reinforcement from water magic. The casting has been completed in 3 seconds, but that spell should have taken twice that, it seems that he's arranged the spell to make it shorter than the standard one. The rest is probably thanks to [Chanting Shortening] skill.
"Master, it comes with a BOOM, and hit with a BANG."
"Liza can win~?"
"I don't intend to go down easily, but I don't feel like I can win in a straight fight."
Pochi and Tama are too excited, so Liza are carrying them on both her hands like they're stuffed dolls. The two aren't minding it, and watch the match with sparkling faces. Their tails and arms are flailing too much I'm afraid that it'll break.
"Uu~n, he's amazing, while handling the attacks from that great sword, he hasn't failed in casting spells even once."
"Calm and composed."
The two are observing the magic warrior's way of fighting while chewing on the snacks that Mia's bought. Lulu politely sweeps the scraps that have fallen from the snacks.
"Master, am I able to move like that?"
"You might be able to if you can use physical reinforcement well, I think. Even Karina-sama has done movements similar to that right?"
"Tama can do it~."
"Pochi will do her best nodesu!"
As for the fight, at a glimpse, byakko-san seems to have the upper hand, but his attacks have all been blocked. The magic warrior has been doing a defensive battle, but he's steadily increasing his buffs. He just has to use Stick Mist next to slow the byakko's movement down, and the match will probably be decided.
It's developing just as I've expected, and the match end with the magic warrior's victory. However, he slowed down the byakko's movement not by water magic, but by using lightning magic to [Enchant] his weapon and paralyzed him with one blow.
Three more matches were held afterwards, but since they were plain matches between two warriors, Mia and Arisa quickly dozed off. It seemed to be favorites of experts, bold cheering could be heard from the elderly on the audience seats.
"Was that a Hakama? That equipment is splendid isn't it. I didn't think that it could conceal footworks to that degree."
Liza eagerly praised the beautiful woman in Japanese clothing that had appeared just now.
Pochi and Tama who have been dropped to the ground are trying to mimic the haorihakama warrior, but they're not doing so well. The haorihakama person has black eyes and hair, but she's not particularly a Japanese it seems.
I take off my shoes to demonstrate the footwork. I know it from a manga that I've read back then, so I don't have any confidence if it's right.
"Like a slug~?"
"It's slimy and closing in nodesu! I'm the slug degozaru~."
<TLN: Pochi uses "Sessha" to refer herself here.>
When Pochi can't do the footwork well, she sprawls on the floor, and moves like an inchworm. I wonder if it's right to retort, "That's not a slug." here?
"Pochi-chan, who's the bad girl who lies on the ground after wearing her best clothes with much effort!"
"A, au, it's not like that nodesu. Lulu, it's not like that nodesu."
"What's not like that? When you do bad things?"
"I'm sorry nano desu."
Oops, it was the time to scold her huh. Pochi is doing a pose of remorse and apologizes.
Tama shrewdly take this chance to turn around Lulu who's angry. Wasn't she squatting just now? When our views meet, Tama takes the [Remorse] pose like Pochi in a panic.
"Master, the airship is producing a young organism. Arisa, urgently, create a cushion in the shape of that!"
"Eh~, again~. I'm already tired~, I'll teach you how to do it, so make it yourself okay."
"That's an excellent plan. Arisa, I implore you for the instructions."
Nana was pointing at a small airship that were anchored. It's an express ship that's come from the royal capital. The one riding it is the king--not, it's the king's shadow. The two ministers that have come together with him are the real ones.
I have a hunch that the wagon will be full of stuffed dolls when Nana has learned sewing.
I'm making leather armors and boots from the armored newt's leather and green silk beside Arisa who's teaching Nana how to sew. I'm thinking of copying the magic warrior's armor that's made from monsters' materials, and with shock and stab resistances better than normal iron armor. I got the [Sewing Skill] from making linings with the green silk. Let's maximize the skill and create inners for everyone.
Come to think of it, I've gotten a hold of a cloth called Yuriha fiber from the thieves' hideout. I'll process this and make robes for Arisa and Mia.
Evening of that day, I work at night to create equipment for everyone, and new shoes for Pochi and the others.
It feels like I've become the fairy from fairytale.