12-1. Journey to the Royal Capital
Satou's here. There was a time when I shut myself in my room after I had a fight with my parents during my middle-school days, but it only lasted for three days. I think you need serious resolution and aptitude in order to do that.
"I am very honored to be in the presence of Lord Duke Bishtal."
"Umu, I'm glad to see Sir Jeril is in good health."
With the [Crimson Nobleman] Jeril first on the list, only the people who are of nobility are summoned to this royal suite.
Despite the fact that other people besides us who have received the Mithril plate cannot be called commoners even though they're going to be bestowed the peerage in the royal capital.
Although besides Sir Jeril who is a baronet, we're all either only honorary nobles or children of nobles.
Duke Bishtal who has summoned us is a middle-aged man with stern face and a hook nose like General Eltal, his uncle.
I stole a glance at his face while kneeling down like everyone else.
The other party is not a royalty so there should be no need to kneel down, but perhaps it was because his lineage as a cousin of the king, or due to his influence, everyone had kneeled down once they entered the room and waited for him, so I followed them out of courtesy like a Japanese man would.
After he's done talking with Jeril, he begins to congratulate the children of nobles who have defeated the [Floormasters] in turns.
Then, he congratulates the honorary nobles somewhat more plainly than with the noble children before, and then it's my turn as the last one.
Judging from his glare, it feels like he's harboring ill will toward me.
"I enjoyed your acrobatic show earlier. Aren't you looking more like a street performer than an explorer today?"
Lady Karina would have gone into a rage if he heard him saying it an 'acrobatic'.
However, doing it with Mia's performance in the background while Pochi and Tama are dancing, touring around the country like that sounds very fun.
It's probably because I thought that--
"That sounds fun indeed. Allow us to hold a tour in Lord Duke's castle town if we cease the explorer business."
--that I involuntarily said so, making the Duke's face became sullen.
He might have perceived my honest thought as a snark since he most likely had said his words with sarcasm.
The cliche here should be him grandly sneering, "You low life upstart, blah, blah, blah", but...
"It seems Oyugock Dukedom intends to nominate you to be a Shiga Eight Swords, but they are not existences that should be taken lightly by someone without real ability to back him up."
The Duke glances to Sir Jeril and nods seriously.
I see, he's going to recommend Sir Jeril to become a Shiga Eight Swords to oppose Duke Oyugock huh.
If I were to become a Shiga Eight Swords by mistake, let alone tour, it would even hinder me from raising the girls' level.
And also, please stop treating me as a piece in your power struggle.
It'd be troubling if I say some careless remark and he deemed me as an enemy.
For the time being, in order to cover my remark earlier, I responded neutrally with, "Thank you very much for Lord Duke's warning."
If sparks seem like it's going to fly, it might be good to make a master swordsman called [Musashi] or maybe [Lancelot] appear and forcefully take the seat of Shiga Eight Swords.
If it goes well, I can just make the mysterious master swordsman go challenge a dragon and die tragically.
Then Jeril can take the seat peacefully afterward.
Still, even if he's saying it because I'm a piece of his political opponent, I think arbitrarily deciding a Mithril explorer to be [of without real ability] is a bit unreasonable....
"Eh~, why don't you seriously become a Shiga Eight Swords?"
"Why should I."
I told the circumstances at the royal suite to Arisa.
Lulu is in the kitchen, Pochi and Tama have gone to Lady Karina's room, they're not here.
Just in case, I've instructed them to contact me if some strange guy approached them.
"What are you saying. You'd be treated as an Earl equaling prime ministers if you became a Shiga Eight Swords you know?"
"I'm not interested in such position."
If I really wanted the peerage, I could have asked the king as Nanashi, and, even though Duchy is impossible, he's probably going to easily grant Earldom at least.
In the first place, there's no merit for me even if I become an upper noble.
"Kah~~. Mou! Why are you so not-greedy like that! If you're a man, you should have aimed to become successful in life after coming to another world and obtaining cheat right? If you became an earl, you could make as many noble girls as you like become your brides you know?"
"Calm down, Arisa."
Arisa presses on me while insisting on something incomprehensible.
Arisa tends to run wild when it has to do with the [Promise]. She usually says that she likes me, but I wonder if she's fine with other girls becoming my brides?
It was Mia who got upset from that Arisa's remark.
"Affair is no good you know. Absolutely you know? There are already enough brides anyway. It's at full capacity you know?"
"Sorry Mia! I, I'm sorry okay, I'm reflecting on itt~~"
Arisa is getting flinched from Mia's menacing look.
I didn't ask who the brides are since it'd only be a boomerang for me.
By the way, Nana who was in the same room didn't hear my story since she was absorbed in playing [Ayatori] with Shiro and Crow.
When I entered the room, Shiro and Crow were already inside like it was natural.
I've decided to let them go with us since the Airship has embarked already.
Even though they have wings, it seems flying from an airship requires special training, so it was difficult for me to say [Return them].
In case of Nana, punishment should mean banning the once-in-a-week magic power supplement, but the loss is too big for me myself so I'll think about other ways.
Oops, my thought has deviated for a bit.
Liza didn't state any particular opinion, but it seems she wants me to become a Shiga Eight Swords like Arisa.
Rather, I think Liza is more suited to become a Shiga Eight Swords. She should be stronger than the third prince who was a Shiga Eight Swords at least.
Pochi and Tama have also become stronger than the third prince, but these two are still young, such position is probably too early for them.
"I'm back, nanoresu."
Pochi and Tama came back while looking tired.
"How was Karina-sama?"
"She doesn't want to get out of the room nodesu!"
I put the reserved whale jerky to Pochi and Tama who have plopped themselves on the sofa as thanks.
These are the last from the 100-kilo jerky I've made before, I should make sure to make more.
"Whale Jer~ ky~"
"Energy times 100 nanodesu!"
The two jump up while having the jerkies on their mouths, and then take the 'shupin' pose.
This kinda pose doesn't go well with the formal dresses they're wearing.
--It's cute though.
"Are you going to Oppai-san's place?"
--No, I don't intend to though?
I almost said so, but I wisely did not.
I guess leaving Lady Karina alone while she's being like that is cruel.
I had thought of socializing with the other Mithril explorers together with everyone on this occasion, but let's postpone that.
"You're right. After giving her a bit more time, I'll go see her condition."
Liza stood up when some guests knocked the door.
The two people who have come are Lady Karina's attendants, maid Erina and Newbie-chan.
For some reason, Newbie-chan is an unfortunate girl whom no one calls with her name, but since the person herself doesn't seem to mind, I'll call her so until Erina refers her with her name.
"Chevalier-sama, please help~"
The two bow their heads and beg me to do something about Lady Karina who's shut herself in her room. I don't think that we should be that worried, but according to these girls, this seems to be an abnormal situation.
"She didn't come out of her room even after we put the plate with Karages that Lulu-san had made in front of the room you know?"
Erina, you're the only one who would come out with that.
I ignore the presences of Pochi, Tama, and in addition, Liza, who are nodding.
By the way, Liza, and Pochi who were in chaos during the blimp travel are in their usual states, maybe they're not afraid because the airship doesn't shake that much.
Or it might be because they've experienced various acrobatic battles in the labyrinth.
Well, our current girls probably would come out alive even if they fell from the airship by utilizing Magic Edge Cannon or magic somehow.
"I mean, after getting scolded by Consul Nina, and soundly beaten by Captain Zotor, she became lively again from the smell of karages made by Head-chef Gelt! Yet now~"
Erina presses on me while looking desperate.
I understand that you're worried about Lady Karina, but please stop pressing your flat chest on my arm that you've been doing since awhile ago. Even Newbie-chan's ended up imitating you, see.
"Hey now, there's no need to stick so much right."
Arisa and Mia tear the two from my arms.
We're going to Lady Karina's room as invited by the two, postponing the plan to listen to the interesting episodes of the other Mithril explorers.
"Karina-sama, I have heard that you lie sick on your bed, how are you feeling?"
I knock on the door of the room where Lady Karina is shutting herself.
There's no answer of course.
Now then, what should I do.
"Let's go with the Amano-iwato operation!"
"That's right! There's a myth about a shut-in Goddess in the world of Hero-sama! Let's perform the same operation that lured that Goddess out!"
Arisa took an imposing stance while breathing wildly on top of the table, but then she became small after Liza scolded her for bad manner.
In order to prepare the banquet, Arisa took everyone along to the kitchen where Lulu was.
However, doing a banquet in front of the room of someone who's seriously feeling down seems like it'll only make her become an obstinate shut-in...
I've gotten myself lost in thought in front of Lady Karina's bedroom door.