8-11. To the Duke's Castle (2)
Satou's here. There are a lot of women who are light eaters, but it's said that that there are even more women who have another stomach for snacks. And then, that doesn't change even in the parallel world.
"Prince, he's the favorite of my father. My father and me are also fans of his cookings."
When I was thinking how to deal with the prince who had come to pick a quarrel, the next duke threw the lifeboat.
It seems that the prince has only seen lady Ringrande and me, he looks surprised when he sees the next duke after he calls out to the prince.
As expected, the opponent is too bad, the prince looks troubled. I can see Arisa's smirking face and eyes behind the table. She's giving a peace sign with her small hand. How nostalgic.
"My, your highness Sharlick, so you're here. Please let us hear about the royal capital over here by all mean."
A woman with a somewhat thick make-up appears after she pushes her way through the crowd and invites the prince.
The prince takes advantage of this, says his farewell noncommittally and goes toward those women.
"Fumu, it'll be good if that man mellows a bit more."
"That's impossible. He hasn't changed in 10 years."
"If we're talking about swordsmanship, he's among the best in Shiga kingdom, but..."
"Father, a person's personality isn't proportional to his strength. If it is, then even Masaki will be, more."
Lady Ringrande was about to complain about the hero, but she put her hand on her mouth and lamented her verbal slip.
"Is the Shiga Eight Swords famous?"
"Are you really a noble of this kingdom?"
"Pardon me, it's because I come from the countryside."
As I'm told, the Eight Shiga Swords are titles given to the eight top swordsmen in the holy knight which is the strongest in the kingdom. The prince seems to be a candidate of being one, but he has been given a permission by the king to wear the kingdom's treasure, the holy sword Claiomh Solais.
By the way, the favorite cane of the ancestor king Yamato is to be used by the top imperial court magician in successive generations. It seems the reason why the king doesn't use the holy sword and the cane himself is because Yamato-san has implemented a system where they can only be used by the right person.
After the next duke, and lady Ringrande leave, the young nobles that have been watching us from a distance gather with great interest, they eat the dishes with great relish.
They ask about my relationship with lady Ringrande, but I honestly tell them that I've just been coached in the way of sword by her.
Even though the amount of food should have been quite a lot, they're completely gone before 30 minutes has elapsed. It seems to be the victory of the appeal of deep fried food, and curious-looking dish.
"Sir Pendragon, can I have your time for a bit?"
Lady Karina came with a man companion.
Although I've said 'man companion', it's not something erotic, he's the little brother of lady Karina, and the eldest son of baron Muno, Orion-kun. He's a 14 years old young man who's studying in the duchy capital. I've been wanting to meet him ever since we arrive in the duchy capital, and I've sent letters many times, but it's always been refused due to various reasons, so this is our first meeting.
"If it isn't, Karina-sama. I presume the one there is the next baron-sama. I am Satou Pendragon. Hereafter, Pleased to make your acquaintance."
"Umu, I'm Orion Muno. Chevalier Satou, please be at ease."
Orion-kun introduces himself while nodding coolly. He might be in the age where he wants to be seen as someone's important with all his might. He only speaks in low voice when he's saying his name, the name given by the hero-loving baron is probably to blame. It's unfortunate.
They go toward the dance hall after we chat for a bit. Just in case, I advise them to be careful of the prince.
Right at that time, the dance party finally begins at the center hall. I don't have any intention of making passes on women since it looks like it'll become rumors in the upper society. After all, the unmarried women are all 13-18 years old, they feel somewhat too young so the fact that I don't feel any urge toward them becomes my reason.
Since the guests who are young women have increased, I decide to announce the third dish.
It's milk crepes, Mia's favorite. I've also added strawberry slices in addition to the fresh cream on the crepe since Arisa's found strawberries in the food storehouse.
"My, it smells good desuwa."
"It'll be done soon, so please wait for a bit."
I interpose the fresh cream and the strawberry in the crepes after it's done. Lulu put the finished crepes on the plate. Grabbing them by hands seem to be NG according to the head chef, so I place small fork and knife on it, and pass it to the young noble woman.
The girl's face is beaming after she bites the crepes once. Her face is full of make-up, but only at that time does it looks innocent and appropriate of her age.
The young noble men who've seen that try to invite the girl for a dance when she's finished eating. Go for it, boys and girls.
"Hey wait, don't show me that old man face."
Arisa said so while eating a small crepe below me.
Isn't it fine, I'm just cheering on them.
I continue frying the ordered crepes from the girls while having no time to reply Arisa.
There was no one who mistook me for an employee, maybe due to the expensive-looking clothes I was wearing. Thanks to that, we introduced each other whenever I took order for the crepe, and I memorized more than 100 girl's names. This was the first time that I began to think I should had used a shorter family name.
The ingredients that I've prepared have all exhausted up, so I ask Lulu and Arisa to bring the pre-made fresh cream and strawberries that are being cooled in the kitchen here.
"It smells nice, doesn't it."
"I'm sorry, we've used up all the ingredients, so please wait for half an hour for your turn."
"My, it's quite popular, isn't it."
When I look up, there's the head-miko of Tenion temple.
"It's been a while, Satou-sama."
Lady Sera has come with her. There are two arrogant-looking priests of Parion and Garleon temples behind the head-miko. Both of them are thin men with white hair. There are miko girls who have been kidnapped with Sera beside her.
We're chatting while waiting for Lulu and Arisa to come back, it seems that the other two miko are also blood relatives of the duke. They're from branch families, unlike Sera who's a direct descendant. The two are alike since they're relatives, but I can distinguish them easily due to their different black and brown hairs.
Looks like the girls have come here to congratulate Sera's big brother, Tisrad, for his marriage. Since they want to meet him before the wedding day, it's a good opportunity today.
Lulu and Arisa have returned, so I resume the crepe-making. When the crepes enter miko girls' mouths, just like with the noble girl earlier, the composed faces of the miko changes into delighted faces of normal girls.
Sera notices the noble girls who are holding back on ordering the crepes due to the miko girls, and suggests to them to move away for a bit.
The crepe's batter is gone halfway through, so I use Freeze Water on the long and narrow melons that Arisa's brought to make sherbets. I've practiced doing this with citrus fruits in order to raise my proficiency in adjusting magic power, so the result is quite good even if the fruit used is different. Since Arisa and Mia who have eaten all the failed products got stomachaches before, this time I only make a few before ending it.
"Chevalier-sama, would you be fine to dance with me?"
I wonder if my face looks like it's easy to invite. I've been invited by girls who seem to have just debuted in the upper society since a while ago. I can dance with no problem thanks to Society skill. Incidentally, I got [Dance] skill.
Several of the girls that I was dancing with invited me to drop by their houses. Apparently it's not because I've become popular, Arisa reminds me that it's because they expect me to bring snacks as presents for visiting their houses.
I don't have any misunderstanding okay?
"You're quite popular aren't you, Satou-sama."
"That's not the case at all. I was invited to dance as thanks for the snacks."
"That's not the case at all."
It was Sera that stepped up.
Even though her words contained some pricks when she first called me out, she began to giggle later.
"Would you dance with me as well?"
"Yes, I'd be happy to."
Lady Ringrande would probably become noisy again, but I couldn't decline her invitation.
"Satou-sama is quite skilled."
"Sera-sama is also quite skilled."
"The [Sama] is unnecessary. I am not a noble anymore, so please call me [Sera]."
As expected, calling her by name would be bad. I feel like Lulu's and Arisa's gazes are stabbing me, even though I can't see them from here.
"Sera-sama, miko is also quite deservedly enough to be called with [Sama]."
"Satou-sama looks so kind, yet also unexpectedly mean."
Pochi said that to me too the other day. I should note it.
The dance ends safely even while I'm being bewildered by Sera who's acting uncannily intimate to me. It's been decided for me to help the Tenion temple distributing food during our stay due to Sera who's surprisingly good at negotiating.
"Thank you for the delicious snacks today. Please get along well with Sera, alright."
The head-miko drops a bomb in a low voice while leaving.
"I will keep the matter of that night a secret, so please don't worry. You look cute behind the mask."
Why is it blown.
"Must be because of your voice."
Arisa said so while looking astonished.
Dang, I had neglected getting strange voice skill. Let's practice it tonight.
But well, the level and the name are completely different, it's probably going to be fine even if I keep feigning ignorance. The head-miko seemed like she was just baiting me too.
"Thank you for waiting, master, Arisa."
Lulu who had been called by the head-chef returned.
It seems she's been invited to work there. Head-hunting like that, I can't let my guard down toward that old man.
We're allowed to leave as the duke's family has left, but the dance party is still continuing, and we can hear the music from here.
"Young lady, how about a song?"
"Y, yes, I'd be happy to."
I dance together with Lulu among the lights from the mansion. I had been dancing with Arisa before Lulu came, but since it was received better than I had thought, I also invited Lulu.
"Ah, this is like a dream."
"I'm glad to hear that."
Lulu and me together continue to dance round and round forever.
"H, hey wait, how long are you two going to dance, please change with me~."
"Ufufu, oh Arisa, you're cute."
I thought that Lulu would stop when she became tired, but since it didn't, the dance continued until Arisa who was jealous intruded.
The three of us continues dancing together while alternating before the eyes of the maids who occasionally pass through the corridor as if they see something heartwarming.
A day like this is good once in a while.