10-27. Dinner and Personal Connections (2)
Satou's here. In a game, you often already have the item needed for the quest you've just taken. Since it takes time to travel in MMOs, I feel that it's better to collect the item before taking the quest.
Just when the tea party was about the end, Marquis Ashinen who was in good mood appeared.
"Hey everyone, I guess the one over there is Chevalier Pendragon-dono isn't it."
"I am honored to meet your countenance, your excellency Marquis."
I intentionally politely greeted the marquis who had hardened for an instant when he saw me.
My trouble with him is trivial.
It originated from a carriage which had cut in to his carriage during the entry into the trade city. I was made to become the umpire for the duel between the old lower ranked noble who cut in and the Marquis. The result was a complete victory of the Marquis' representative, but he didn't pull back his sword even after I had announced the winner, and the old noble was going to be killed if it kept up, so I stopped it. The Marquis had intended to spill the blood of his fellow noble in the first place, and he seemed to hold a grudge against me who had hindered it.
The person who was in such a trouble with him came while bringing the expensive [Golden Nude Woman Statue] as a present. From his point of view, I probably look like a lower ranked noble who came for an apology while trying to curry his favor.
After lightly clearing his throat, he returned to the smiling face like when he entered the room, and returned my greeting.
"I'm sorry for my absence the other day even after you've expressively come. I have certainly received your kindly prepared item. It was quite an article."
"It is an honor."
It might have been better if it was a nude man statue instead of nude woman, but it would probably be turned into money anyway.
"By the way Chevalier. I have a plan to make a stadium for Rat Race outside the Labyrinth City, why don't you invest on it."
"That is quite interesting."
I've never heard of rat race, is it something like horse race? I'm interested not in the sense of investing in one, but I'm afraid that many people will ruin themselves if gambling is spread in a place like this labyrinth city.
Before I could give that advice to the Marquis, the Marchioness scolded him.
"Keep the men's talk for later. Now is the time for enjoying teas, and amusing rumor."
"M-my love Reter, please don't be so angry. Chevalier Pendragon, let's talk about the investment for later"
He left the room without finishing his words. His works must have piled up since he's been skipping his official duty for half a month.
After everyone had left the tea party, I was called by the Marchioness's attendant, and guided to a different salon than the one just now.
The Marchioness and the wife of Baronet Dyukeli are there.
"Hoshes, don't you have something to ask Sir Pendragon?"
The Marchioness pushed the hesitating Hoshes-san--the wife of Baronet Dyukeli. Looks like she's a cousin of the Marchioness. Hoshes-san was really hesitating to speak, but she began to talk little by little as the Marchioness who was beside her pressed her back.
She started and stopped talking, and when she was able to talk smoothly, it was like this.
"Sir Pendragon has been traveling around various regions right? Are you familiar with 『Water of Life』?
"The 『Water of Life』 that I know is a kind of liquor, but what kind of thing are you looking for?"
After widening her eyes from my words, she began to talk about the [Water of Life] with downcast eyes.
"I-it is not a liquor. It is a miraculous medicine which works for all disease."
"We have asked a scholar acquaintance about it, but we only get troubling story like how it's the water drop from a spirit tree that reaches the heaven, or water from melted philosopher's stone. Doesn't the knowledgeable Chevalier know anything about it?"
The Marchioness complemented on the story, maybe she was irritated by Hoshes-san. I searched the materials in the storage, but there was no applicable item. However, I have some ideas about
the [Spirit Tree that Reaches the Heaven], or the [Philosopher's Stone].
I'll ask them to introduce me to their scholar acquaintance next time.
I've found several recipes for medicines that works for all disease, but any one of them needs materials from the world tree and the philosopher's stone. As expected the place of origin is too dangerous if I was to provide them with it.
"I am sorry, but I have never heard such miraculous medicine before. However, I also enjoy doing some compounding myself. Maybe I could offer some advices if I just know what kind of illness it is."
"Have you ever heard of Goblin Disease? It's a mysterious illness that only spreads among nobles and wealthy merchants--"
I look at the books in my storage with the search bar in the menu while listening to the talk. There are some details about the Goblin Disease in the alchemy books I've acquired in the duchy capital. Most are just like how the madam has talked about, it seems to be an incurable diseases that all kinds of curing magic potions are ineffective against. However it doesn't seem to be a fatal disease even though it's incurable. It seems you can't leave the person afflicted alone since they become bedridden.
However there's a certain document which describes that they can be cured if you give them with large quantity of fresh vegetables. It's written that it's just a fake groundless opinion, but if this disease comes from vitamin deficiency, it's possible that the afflicted person may be cured if they eat a lot of fresh vegetables.
The two are being evasive about it, but it's probably the [Sickly Son] of Hoshes-san that's afflicted with the Goblin Disease.
"I had spoken with a great doctor at the duchy capital that--"
With that preface, I talk about eating a lot of vegetables. I can make them the miraculous medicine to get them indebted to me, but I don't like using a sick child, so I tell them the next best solution.
"Would it be cured with such things?"
Hoshes-san seemed to have decided to try it while still half-convinced. I also made a promise to ask my acquaintances at the duchy capital if they could get a hold of the miraculous medicine.
The son will probably be cured just with the diet, but let's make use of this lead up in the unlikely possibility.
A maid-san broke into the room when I was deciding the timing to leave my seat after the talk was over. Of course it was not because she had gone mad.
"It's terrible. Her highness princess isn't anywhere!"
"She's not visiting Geritz's room?"
Even though the Marchioness looked displeased she only asked back after lightly chiding her, maybe because she didn't want to scold a servant in front of a guest.
"T, that is, Geritz-sama is also not in his room."
"That can't be, for Geritz to be not in his room!"
I think there's something wrong with that surprise. Acknowledging her own son to be a hikikomori, that's a bit cruel. I open the map, and try to search the princess and the plump-kun, but they don't seem to be in the labyrinth city.
"Her highness princess was yearning to be an explorer. Perhaps she has entered the labyrinth?"
While replying my words with "That can't be", the Marchioness seemed to have come to the same conclusion, she instructed the servant to go to the explorer guild.
I thought of searching the two in the labyrinth with the map, but unfortunately I couldn't track them since I had not marked them.
The map is good enough to be almost almighty, but in truth it has some limitations. Once a person has appeared in the map list, their information will be updated in real time as long as they don't go outside the map. This will be automatically performed whenever I browse the map even if I'm not in that map. However, when I'm in the same map, if someone goes out and then return, they will be displayed on the list again, but when I'm not in the map when that happens, they will not be displayed on the list.
The only exception is with marking. I can pinpoint the position of people who are marked as long as they are in the map that I've known.
During the initial state of the game, you can only mark one person, and it can be added endlessly by buying premium items. It seems to be in debug mode in my case as the marking numbers is not limited--it's not and all, but checking the map will be hard if I thoughtlessly mark too many people, so I only mark important people and close friends.
That's why the present locations of the two people are unknown.
I don't know if they're in the labyrinth or outside the city, but I don't think the two have any reason to go outside, so they're most probably in the labyrinth.
The Marchioness had asked me if I could check the vicinity around the labyrinth entrance before I could even begin to talk. I undertook it willingly since that was just what I want.
Right at that time, I receive an urgent communication from Arisa who's in an excursion in the labyrinth. After some replies like we were in telephone like always, she got down to the business.
『We've saved some younger nobles who were attacked by a group of lost thieves-like people, but they can't get up due to the shock from the attack see, so can you bring some soldiers and pick us up if you're still in the Marchioness' mansion?』
Ending right when you just accepted it, this job is too fast. It seems that the princess and the second son of the Marquis are among the young nobles.
I cut the communication after telling Arisa that we would meet them.
According to Arisa, there were seven young nobles including the princess and plump-kun, so I borrowed 10 viceroy soldiers from the Marchioness and went to the labyrinth. Originally, we should have asked permission from the Marquis, but they can't contact him as it seems he's gone somewhere.
When I search the map, he's in a mansion that's located in the pleasure quarter, so he must be going there to give some souvenir to his lover.
"C-chevalier-sama, o-our main duty is guarding the city, so, w-we rarely ever go into the labyrinth."
"It's alright, leave the fight to me and this maid here, so don't worry."
The captain stutters on his words since the soldiers, including him, are running after the carriage. We're not really going fast, they must be lacking exercise.
Even though there was a little problem in the labyrinth entrance, the soldiers were able to enter the labyrinth despite not having explorer certificates due to the Red Iron Plates that Lulu and I had.
I immediately update the map once we enter the labyrinth. Arisa and the others seem to be in Area 11. I contacted Arisa with Telephone magic. They're not only with the young nobles whom they've saved, but also with the 20 lost thieves they've apprehended. They're currently being attacked by 50 lost thieves who are trying to release those captives, so they're holding in a small room ahead of a passage.
I use a small hand mirror that Lulu has taken from her (Magic Pouch) and invoke the [Signal] magic as a dummy. Other people probably look at it as a communication-type magic item. After talking to Lulu in whispers, I talk to the captain-san.
"I've received a contact from our companions. They've seen a woman with princess-like clothes in Area 11. They have immediately gone to the place of discovery, we should also go there."
One of the soldier shouted, "That knight-killer area!", but the captain-san persuaded them in low voice to become silent, so we began to move. I feel that he looks pale, wonder if he's alright?
I'm advancing the corridor while swiftly dealing with the monsters we encounter using the pebbles on the ground and my fairy sword. I'm only moving at jogging speed, but the soldiers are lagging behind. As even Lulu follows along properly, they should be ashamed as soldiers.
When we've passed through the first division, I announce an information to fire them up after pretending to use the the communication magic item.
"Captain-san, I've received a communication from my companions. They seemed to have safely protected the princess. However, they're under heavy attacks from the lost thieves."
"That's horrible! Let's hurry."
I let the soldiers who have ran out of breath to drink stamina recovery magic medicines, and then we resume our advance.