10-26. Dinner and Personal Connections
Satou's here. I remember the homeroom teacher during my senior high school saying "When you've entered the society, take good care of your connection with other people." The person himself only says a stereotypical line, but I'm reminded of those words when I actually enter the society and put it in motion.
"Nice to meet you, Chevalier Pendragon-sama. I am Ogusho, in charge of a trading business between the royal capital and the labyrinth city."
"Ogusho isn't only dealing with luxury goods, but also books and magazines from the royal capital. You can ask this person if you want to seek things related to ingredients and books."
Viscount Shimen introduces me to several of his noble friends and hired merchants during his banquet. Nobles who are related to duchy capital nobles have reasonable influence in the labyrinth city.
The hired merchant is boasting full of confidence that they can even handle urgent missions since they have multiple employees who have [Item Box], and golem carriages. If I occasionally stock up various goods from him, even if I use some rare things, the people around me would probably guess where I got it from.
From what I've seen in the duchy capital, there are two types of golem carriage, one that has golem horses pulling the carriage, and another where the carriage itself is the golem. His carriages seem to be the latter type.
"Hou, golem carriage huh?"
"Yes, my carriage is the golem itself, so we're unperturbed even if monsters or thieves attack."
"That's amazing. Is there a lot of people who ride on golem carriages in the royal capital?"
Ogushi-shi who's pleased at me showing an interest tells me about various things.
"Let's see, it's not something rare for upper nobles and the wealthy. However, the core part rarely appears in the market since it's something that's made during the era of Ancestor King Yamato."
Looks like automatic carriage that uses the magic power of the rider like I have is uncommon. Magicians seem to have their own private carriage, but they make their pupils operate the carriage since magicians don't like to have their magic power depleted.
For some reason, Ogushi-shi puts an unnatural gap there.
One of the listener, a young man who was either the cousin or the nephew of baron Sokel that was knowledgeable about this matter entered the talk.
"You know that a ruin was discovered five years ago in Kirik Earldom right?"
"As expected of Sir Sokel. You have extensive knowledge. Chevalier Pendragon, as you know, several power engines that are called Golem Hearts were found in the ruin that Sir Sokel mentioned. Earl Kirik has presented those hearts to the royal family, and every year, one of them is bestowed to a noble who has done great meritorious deeds."
Ogushi-shi most likely deliberately didn't talk about the thing in Kirik Earldom so that Sir Sokel could easily join the conversation. I'd like to learn this kind of thing.
Nevertheless, I've heard some good things.
I was going to have Living Armors guard the above ground mansion, I had almost made a commotion.
"That's amazing. Are those kind of ruins often discovered?"
"Ruin discovery is really rare. The ruin that was discovered before that is the one in the mountains of Zettsu Earldom, but that's a story from 30 years ago."
Looks like I'd better keep the undersea ruin I've found recently a secret.
It seems the aerodynamic engine that was sold at the dark auction back then was found from the wreckage of an airship with unknown affiliation. Since he was being evasive with the 'unknown affiliation' part, it doesn't seem to really be unknown.
The banquet was over without any disaster, but I was called by butler-san when I was going to ride the carriage, and then I went to parlor of Viscount Shimen. I'm sorry for Lulu, but she'll have to wait in the carriage for a little bit more. I'm slightly worried, but there doesn't seem to be anyone who'll make a stupid pass at Lulu. Ms. Miteruna told me that Lulu was famous among noble servants as the armed maid who had defeated a big man in the west guild.
"Chevalier Pendragon, I'm sorry for calling you back."
The Viscount gets to the main point after that few words of apology.
"Are you acquainted with the viceroy of this labyrinth city?"
"Yes, we've had a bit in the trade city."
"Judging from the way you speak about it, it seems that there was some problem. That man was originally the heir of a Baronage house that was the branch family of Marquis Ashinen house--"
I already had the information that the Viscount told me from Toruma Memo. However, I added several annotations on the well-known parts. It seems the viceroy succeeded as the Marquis by marrying the Marchioness who had the right.
Thus, he couldn't keep a mistress, and turned toward males and drowned in gambling.
His recent favorite seems to be waging in the underground arena of the trade city. Looks like he's making people kill each other illegally with swords. Moreover I'm surprised to hear that he even expressively prepares the stage director to enliven the killing.
"As such, Marquis Ashinen starves for money to do as he pleases. The one who's providing him that cash is his follower, Baronet Dyukeri."
I see, that's why he likes bribe huh.
As the compensation of providing him with the fund, looks like Marquis Ashinen has let Baronet Dyukeri to have monopoly of magic medicines and magic tools sales in the labyrinth city. Excepting the explorer guild of course.
He can't restrict people bringing those things from outside since it's under the imperial command of the king, but since you need the viceroy permission to open magic shops and alchemy shops, he's able to shut business rivals out it seems. He can't restrict small scale sales from stalls and the like, but if those stalls start to have outstanding sales, his wannabe explorer subordinates will come to them with use of forces.
"Be careful of Baronet Dyukeri. He's a man who would do anything to gain money and raise his house."
Looks like he's doing as he pleases in this labyrinth city since he has the backing of Marquis Ashinen.
"I don't even want to imagine that someone talented like you impaired by that kind of man. That man should already know that you're my acquaintance. He probably won't start a fight, but that man is shrewd. Be careful not to be taken by his plot."
I guess I shouldn't try to win the favor by using my cooking skill?
Let's be careful to at least prevent Baronet Dyukeri eating my cooking.
I leave the Viscount's house after promising to meet again in the Spring Kingdom Conference.
I was slightly surprised that there was a man who was in the carriage where Lulu was waiting, but it seems he's the older brother of Ms. Miteruna. Looks like he was asking about the present condition of Ms. Miteruna from Lulu. I gave him thanks since he seemed to have given various things.
"Hoe? Countermeasures for baronet?"
"Yeah, he's a person who likely will get us rolled up in some troublesome things in this city."
"U~n, I think we can just leave such underling alone though?"
I consult to Arisa who's beside me on my bed. Everyone has their own room in this mansion, but for some reason they always gather in my room at night. While talking, I confiscate the candy stick that Arisa has hidden on her back. Even though I've warned her not to snack before sleeping.
Pochi and the others are clinging in tears to Lulu on the other side of the bed. They fervently gripe about how they were returning home while expecting the promised hamburg steak, yet Lulu was not found anywhere, and there was the simplistic menu that Ms. Miteruna prepared instead. I apologized to Pochi and the others together with Lulu since I was the one who made Lulu work as the coachman.
I tell Arisa the content of the conversation I've had with Viscount Shimen.
"Fuh~n, he's the person who's controlling the medicines and magic tools."
"Yeah, he is."
"That person has the worst reputation among explorers you know."
I imagine that would be so. He's the reason why it's hard to get magic medicines that are their lifeline when there are so few magicians.
"Why don't you might as well act secretly as a mysterious merchant in disguise? You'd destroy him if you sell those absurdly good magic tools and magic medicines right?"
What a belligerent guy. What do you mean by destroy.
"Won't that make it bothersome if I'm marked."
"That's why you disguise yourself. Not as Chevalier Pendragon, but like, the mysterious merchant in black clothing, Bottakuru, or something."
That name is wrong.
You're declaring yourself as someone greedy with that name.
<TLN: The name means 'rip someone off'.>
However, it might be a good idea to disguise myself, use Kuro name, and open a magic tool shop. And if I popularize Airships and Self-Propelled Carriage as Kuro, I won't be conspicuous even if have them.
Let's think about this idea for a bit.
I lie down on the bed and make a new memo pad in the menu. I decide to itemize the advantages and disadvantages of that idea, and examine them. I've been covered in little girls when I come to myself, but I ignore it since it's the same thing like always.
Early afternoon, I've come to Marquis Ashinen's mansion to attend the tea party.
Everyone besides Lulu who's in charge of the carriage is currently power leveling with Iruna and Jenna in the labyrinth.
There's the Marchioness as one of the members of the tea party of course, and starting with the wife of the younger brother of Earl Haku whom I met yesterday, there are wifes and daughters of nobles. Most of them are married, only the two daughters of the Marchioness and the daughter of Viscount Gohat who's over 20 years old are unmarried. The Marchioness daughters are the plump and the almost-plump ones. They look like they will need servants to push them into the carriage when they're riding one.
The other noteworthy member is the wife of Baronet Dyukeri. Unlike her husband, the atmosphere of the wife is like an unfortunate girl. If she was not fat and around forty years old, she would have likely been a [Beauty]. Apparently, they have a sickly son as the heir.
For some reason, the drill twin tail princess isn't attending. It seems she's not feeling well, although that doesn't seem like that energetic princess at all. The plump second son of the marquis couple doesn't come too, but whatever about that one.
"My, is this the so-called Castella?"
"It's even more delicious than the hotcake in the royal capital isn't it."
"Mother, I want to eat more."
The Castella is popular. Going as far as preparing the green tea was worthwhile.
And, the one that looks even prouder than me is the Marchioness. She proudly calls herself as the one who first introduces Castella.
This would have been a good tea party if it ended as it was.
It doesn't seem to be going that well.