12-17. Someone who Squirms Behind the Incident
Satou's here. I've read in some book that when two people meet, dispute will happen. If the dispute can't be avoided, I hope they'll choose the way that won't cause casualty.
"Good evening, Your Majesty. Royal Capital seems busy, has anything happened?"
When the night has grown darker, I visit the royal castle as Nanashi.
"If it isn't Nanashi-sama, so you have noticed it already. It's an embarrassing thing, a rebellion has occured in Duke Bishtal's territory--"
Ah, I forgot about that matter.
Come to think of it, the one who attacked the airship was the relative of the duke.
According to the king, they immediately contacted Bishtal Dukedom in emergency once the airship was attacked, but they never got any reply at all.
And so, when the neighboring nobles went to the dukedom to investigate, the eldest son of Duke Bishtal declared that he had established Bishtal Kingdom, and sent away the investigating nobles.
It's quite quick considering it hasn't even been several days.
They probably used birdkin people or flying-type tamed monsters to investigate.
And so, Duke Bishtal who was told that appealed to the king to deploy the national military, and then among the standing army, the three knight orders that had been scheduled for practice were deployed.
It seems the third knight regiment of the knight order that are famous for their swift marching speed are going to depart tomorrow, while the second and the sixth regiments will depart five days later.
The advance units, birdkins and wyvern riders, have already departed ahead of time.
"Fuhn, sounds rough."
I replied indifferently.
I'm sorry but, I don't intend to participate in a dispute between humans.
"Having conflict between humans during the 『Demon Lord Season』 like this is due to my lack of virtue."
That reminds me, it's said that conflict between humans during this season mostly don't exist.
The western part of the continent seems to be going to war too, looks like other world humans love war too.
The king lowers his head apologetically for his failure.
There's no need for him to apologize to me, but I guess it can't be helped since he's mistaken me for the ancient king.
I saw the blue marker of the prime minister on my radar, so I made the king raise his head.
I receive the analysis report of the slimes' parts I gathered from before from the prime minister.
The result is already out even though it hasn't even been half a day huh.
--The Royal Research Institute people are capable.
I take a look at the document lightly.
According to the summary, the slimes seem to act as the concentrate and the carrier of the fiend drug.
However, just as the director had said, they concluded that even though normal creatures that eat these slimes might die under the influence of the fiend drug, the possibility is low for them to change into monsters.
For the sake of proving test, it looks like they will catch some slimes and rats from the underground tunnel nearby and let them predate each other like kodoku in the suburb experiment building. <TLN: Kodoku https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodoku>
Several holy knights will be standing guard during the experiment, so it should be safe.
Since the investigation report about the director and the secretary has been put together with the analysis report, I peek at it out of curiosity.
I was dumbfounded with the secretary's carelessness when she said that she got the document wrong, but apparently, there was something behind it.
The prime minister added the thing that isn't in the document.
"It seems there are demon lord believers behind the case."
Looks like the boyfriend of the secretary, a knight, is related to the organization that's similar to the [Wings of Liberty] from before, he has manipulated the documents in order to earn money by selling them through the illegal channel.
Quite a large amount of the fiend drug were taken away from the Royal Research Institute before they were disposed, falling to the organization's hand.
There's a high possibility that the fiend drug that was discovered in the trade city were taken from the Royal Research Institute.
From the story I've heard in the Labyrinth City back then, the [Wind of Liberty] that's hiding in the Royal Capital differs from the [Wings of Liberty] from the Duchy Capital, rather than demon lord worshipers, they should be a [carefree occult association].
Then, the suspicious one is either the remnant of the [Wings of Liberty] that have come from the Duchy Capital, or the operatives of the [Light of Liberty] which holds influence in the western part of the continent.
I check both of their location on the map and tell it to the prime minister.
"....Locations, is it?"
"Yeah, I had my subordinates check on it you see."
He probably wouldn't believe it if I said that I had just checked it now, so I made it like so.
The king and the prime minister are praising, "As expected of--", but I ignore them since I'm in the middle of concentrating, looking for additional information.
The remnants aren't a big deal judging from their levels, but there's a level later-half-of-40s magician with scouting skill among the [Light of Liberty] people, so we need to be cautious.
The [Light of Liberty] also has a magician with [Summoning Magic] and a tamer with taming skill who are all around level 30s.
Looking from their skills, they likely know the truth behind the case.
"--You need to be careful with these three people okay. Especially against the scout, you'd better not sending only common soldiers, but someone with high combat prowess on par with a Shiga Eight Sword I think."
"As you wish."
The prime minister deeply thanks me for my advice.
I can arrest them as Kuro, but the noble mansion they're hiding seems like it has guests staying in it, it looks like it could be troublesome. Let's leave it to the prime minister.
The scout person seems like they'll escape, so I mark them.
The topic was diverted due to the talk about demon lord believers, but there's a little something that piqued me regarding the origin of the knight who smuggled the fiend drug.
He seems to be a distant relative of the supposed mastermind behind the [Illicit Manufacture of the Fiend Drug in Labyrinth City] back then, Marquis Kelten.
According to the prime minister, Marquis Kelten was cross-examined by an inquisitor in order to deny the suspicion of [Rebellion] from the fiend drug illicit manufacturing incident, and was declared innocent, so they didn't pay attention to this piece of info.
The fact that the inquisitor at that time is someone from a house that's involved with the rebellion in Bishtal Dukedom this time worries me a bit, but this isn't a conspiracy theory, not every incident must be related.
When I teleported to Echigoya mansion, I got the regular contact from Hero Hayato in the weasel empire, but the one who did was a woman called Nono who's house-sitting.
"--Then, Hayato and the others have gone deep into the labyrinth chasing after the demon lord?"
"That's right. Hayato will defeat the demon lord this time."
A fleeing demon lord, that's rare.
So far, the demon lords were all battle maniac who revived themselves even after dying after all.
"Is that so, if he has the upper hand then it's okay. I'll install the communication device, so you can get in touch should anything happen to Hayato."
"Thank you, Hero Nanashi."
"Un, later then."
It seems Hayato has a good affinity with this demon lord, Hayato and his companions probably won't let their guard down, so they should be able to subjugate it for sure.
If they still can't defeat the demon lord after the auction after the kingdom conference is over, I'll go help their demon lord search under the pretext of experimenting new magic.
I put the antenna that improves reception of the communication magic device on the roof of Echigoya with [Magic Hand], and install the main part of the communication magic device in the bookshelves of Tifaliza's office.
There's not enough power to keep it operating all day, so I've put an ultra-compact magic furnace powered with a Philosopher's Stone behind the main part.
Tifaliza who's raised her face away from the documents asks me with an unreadable transparent expression.
"Kuro-sama, what is that device?"
"Ah, I'll explain it now. This device is--"
I explain to Tifaliza that it's a magic device for getting in contact with Hero Hayato, and instruct her not to tell it to anyone besides the manager.
I lock the transmission function, and make it so that it can only receive.
"If any communication comes from the other side, push number three on the magic tool for emergency use that I've given you."
The magic tool for emergency use [Signal Rod] is a tool for transmitting short distance signal by making use of Signal magic.
The transmission distance is short unlike the large-type model that I've installed in the labyrinth mansion.
On top of being unable to reach me when I'm not in the Royal Capital, the signal probably won't reach the underground and the forbidden library.
Echigoya mansion has the large-type model like the one in the labyrinth mansion, but recharging it will be troublesome once you use it, so I instruct them to use the phone-sized [Signal Rod] normally.
The next morning, I went to attend breakfast invitation by Duke Oyugock, but for some reason, the location wasn't in the duke's mansion, but in a dining hall in a corner of the royal castle.
I have a bad feeling about this, so I check the duke's current position on the map.
--Just as I thought.
After a short while, a castle's attendant informed me that the duke would be arriving, so I waited near the door to welcome him.
"Sorry for making you waiting, Sir Pendragon."
"No, I have just arrived too."
Is this a conversation between lovers! So I wanted to retort, but I turn my awareness to the person behind the duke.
"So you're Sir Pendragon, really young."
I fall down to my knees in accordance to the etiquette for meeting a king.
I just met the king as Nanashi last night, so it feels strange meeting him normally as a king.
That reminds me, the duke also said [young] when we first met.
The chamberlains who entered after the king put a white box on top of the table and left.
The people left in this room are only me, the king and the duke.
"Open that box."
I follow the king's order, open the box and take out the [Fake Holy Sword Claiomh Solais].
I inactivate [Poker Face] skill and put out a normal shocked expression.
"T-this is, perhaps--"
He probably doesn't think that me and Nanashi are the same person, but since he's bringing this, that means...
"Sir Pendragon, don't you want to use this holy sword?"
Toward the king's words that I've anticipated, I reply after a short pause.
"Th-this sword, to me..... No, it's a sword that is way over me."
I make a regretting expression and shake my head.
There's probably no one that can see through it as a fake if I use it indeed, but I'll end up automatically getting entered into Shiga Eight Swords for sure.
"It is presumptuous of me, but I am sure that Heim-sama or Bauen-sama of Shiga Eight Swords can perfectly wield this holy sword's power."
The king shifts his gaze toward the duke after my reply.
"How boring, a reply that's just as you've predicted huh."
"Youths these days lack ambition, but it should be appropriate in this matter."
"Umu, even Nina and Leon recommended him after all."
Leon, it's Baron Muno's first name isn't it.
Good grief, I wish they told me ahead of time if they schemed something.
When the breakfast starts, the talk finally touches the [This matter].
"Does Shiga Eight Swords not sound fascinating to you?"
"No, that is not the case--"
I can't exactly answer yes to that question.
"Nina said that your purpose is sightseeing around the world is it?"
"Yes, the world is vast after all."
Unlike the earth, there are a lot of unknown places, and there's no [Coogle Map] or Road View which could make you feel like you've explored the world.
Above all, thanks to being level 311, I can have a safe trip.
The king and the duke nod seriously after staring at me dazzlingly somehow.
"I've understood that you do not wish to become a Shiga Eight Sword. I will tell them to take you off the candidate list."
I don't really understand, but since it seems I've escaped from troublesome things, I'm glad.
He asks an even stranger question in the end.
"Did you enjoy the air travel from the labyrinth city?"
"Yes, it was a bit stormy and dramatic, but I was able to enjoy various scenery that wasn't possible from the ground."
The king seems to be satisfied with my answer, he nods deeply and permit me to leave.
In the end, they never said anything about [this matter], and only said, "Enjoy the kingdom conference" that made me anxious.
Judging from the flow of the conversation, it doesn't seem to be anything bad, I guess I'll wait until the kingdom conference....
If it's something that doesn't bode well with me, I guess I can make use of Satou's personal connections or Nanashi's influence.
By the way, the breakfast menu were fluffy bread rolls, half-cooked sunny-side-up fried eggs, fresh salad, and a thick grilled bacon. There wasn't any soup, but there were some fresh juice from citrus-type fruits.
Every dish was superb even though they looked plain like they were from some hotel. As expected of the king's chefs.
I'll reproduce them and let everyone have them when I get back.
After the breakfast, I heard from Echigoya that the smuggling knight had died from poisoning in the jail.
Still, I can't grasp the purpose of the people who cause these series of events.
If they're trying to overturn the kingdom, they're doing a poor job, if they're doing terror, the places they're aiming for are incomprehensible.
In the prison, at the water fountain, in the downtown, and in the noble street.
I wonder if there's something I've overlooked....