12-9. Under the Sakura Tree (2)
Satou's here. Similar with the tale about snow woman, they say Dryads charm men into tree's trunk while letting them see happy dreams.
It might have been dangerous if the Dryad I saw back then wasn't a little girl.
I'm moving to base of the giant sakura tree while princess-carrying Mia and hiding using Spy skill with Ground Shrink skill.
We arrive under the sakura tree without anyone noticing.
There were some fences and barrier that protected the sakura tree in the middle of the way, but it couldn't become a hindrance.
There's a girl with ephemeral body sitting on the base of the sakura tree.
She has pink blonde hair.
This girl must be the sakura spirit who called Mia.
I carelessly showed myself up in front of that girl without even checking the AR reading.
"Who are you?! You dare to approach the 『Holy Sakura Tree』 without permission from 『Sakura Protector』!"
The girl completely changed from her ephemeral appearance that almost looked she was melting into the darkness and asked our identities with the force of raging fire.
Let's reply with some theatrical gesture.
"Pardon us, we have come as called by the sakura tree."
"What suspicious things are--"
A beautiful woman who appeared from the tree's trunk stopped the girl who was going to deny my word.
Geh, the sakura tree spirit really shows up....
"I'm sorry 『Sakura Protector』-chan. Sleep for a while okay."
The woman who suddenly appeared from the trunk touches the girl, making her sleep in an instant.
The sakura spirit catches the listless falling girl and gently lies her down on the root of the sakura tree.
And then, after gently tidying the girl's hair, she lifts her head and faces us.
I feel like I've seen that face--
"Ara! Isn't it the bo~y. You've even come to visit the sakura me!"
As if affirming that, the AR reading even says [Dryad].
Although, this one is a sensually attractive beautiful woman that's unlike the little girl dryad I know.
The Dryad beauty tried to stretch her arms in order to embrace me, but Mia stopped it.
"Ara? Boruenan Baby-chan was here too? To think you're being jealous, you're a woman after all despite being a baby."
Apparently, Mia wanted to meet this Dryad beauty.
The conversation continues while Mia is taking a posture that prevents Dryad getting closer to me. Dryad's given many reasons to persuade Mia, but her business is always the same.
"Boy, sorry for always asking you this. Can you give me magic power?"
--as I thought.
She puts Ban the vampire to shame.
But well, with such voluptuous beauty as the partner, one or two kisses are no trouble at all.
Dryad hugs my head and then kisses me.
It seems Mia is also clear that this is magic supplying, she's not saying [Guilty]. She seems dissatisfied though, her cheeks are inflated like balloons that are going to burst.
After sucking the largest amount of magic power she's done so far, around 2000 points, Dryad parts her lips from mine with a lewd sound.
Mia pulls Dryad away from me as soon as the magic supplying is over.
"Un, satisfying~. Ya~, I'm saved. The flow of mana in the royal capital has been strange for awhile now. I was really troubled since I couldn't absorb mana from the Royal Capital's Source. Baby-chan and Boy really saved me."
I inquired her since I heard some questionable words, but I couldn't obtain any other information besides the fact that the flow of mana became amiss only recently. 'Recently' is also seen from Dryad's out-of-order sensation of time, so just when was it is also questionable.
"Boy, this is a thank for the magic power. Ask Aialize-sama for the way to use it. She must know how."
After giving me a sakura-colored orb, Dryad disappears into the sakura's trunk.
According to AR appraisal, it's called Sakura Drop. It seems to be a crystallized power of spirits. I've been getting a lot of rare materials recently.
I was going to leave the place after seeing off Dryad who disappeared into the sakura's trunk, but the [Sakura Protector] girl would probably catch a cold if we leave her alone like this, so I decided to wake her up.
Another reason is because leaving off just like that would make us be treated like a suspicious people. She saw our faces after all.
Oh right, as for the information about the Royal Capital's Earth's Vein getting strange, I'll go inform the king or the prime minster about it before long.
After using [Break Magic] on the girl and calling her, her eyes are opening.
"You'll catch a cold if you sleep at a place like this you know?"
"....Nn, the sakura spirit."
Did she see Sakura Dryad just before she went asleep?
It's still within my expectation. Let's play fools.
"The figure of you taking a nap on the sakura's root is as beautiful as the sakura spirit."
"....No way, someone like me--"
Even while sleeping, she wriggles from my praise and then she notices the situation halfway through and gets up.
She doesn't seem to have low blood pressure.
"--Who are you! This place is the prohibited 『Holy Sakura Tree』 enclosure!"
"We stumbled here when we lost our way during a sakura night watching. I am sorry to bother you, but would yo please tell me the way to the state guesthouse?"
The girl become nervous in different direction from my word.
She probably knows that state guests in this season are all either lords or ambassadors of foreign nations.
"Would you be so kind as to tell me your name? I am called Athena the 『Sakura Protector』, one of the Shiga 33 Wands."
The girl introduces herself while showing the crest drawn on her robe.
The girl has the name taken from Greek myth, but there is nothing about her that indicates she's a reincarnated or a teleported person. The name is probably a coincidence.
Shiga 33 Wands should be the title of the royal court magicians.
"I am a retainer of Baron Muno, my name is Chevalier Pendragon."
Ms. Athena breaks off her courteous attitude once she hears our introductions.
"The heck, I thought you were some stupid son of upper noble, what a waste of effort."
Her polite speech has suddenly changed to be rough.
I thought she was a commoner, but it turns out she's a viscount's daughter. Daughters of upper nobles should have been more trained to keep their manner though....
She's become a royal court magician at her age after all, I guess she was studying magic too much?
"Normally, I'd have to bring people who broke the ban to the garrison but since it's annoying just go away--"
Ms. Athena who's speaking down on us stops halfway.
She's looking at Mia.
Mia who doesn't understand the reason why she's being stared tilts her head.
"Y-you're an elf right! Which clan are you?"
Mia sulks from the rude way she's questioning her.
It can't be helped, I tell her [Boruenan Clan] in Mia's place.
"Bo-Boruenan Clan, don't tell me, the Boruenan Clan where the Elf Sage Trazayuya from?"
Mia answered briefly to Ms. Athena who was asking with trembling voice.
"I knew it! Don't think you're great just because you're elf like the great Sage! My ancestor might lost, but I will absolutely leave behind achievements that surpass the Sage!"
The girl points her finger to Mia with a snap while declaring so. However, Mia looks perplexed since she can't follow the sudden story.
Apparently, her ancestor seemed to have some sort of discord with Trazayuya-shi.
"I hate elves who are acting arrogant just because of their birth. I won the status of royal court magician with my unrelenting effort and talent. I'm currently a Red Belt in Shiga 33 Wands. But I'll show you that I'll become the elite Silver Belt who leads the royal court magician!"
Ms. Athena keeps talking to Mia without catching a breath.
Mia seems slightly panicked from too many unknown words.
Still, there's Shiga Eight Swords and then this, the people of this kingdom really like to attach number on titles.
It's probably why there's the Four Devas too.
Ms. Athena reflexively retorted to Mia, but then Mia shows her the Mithril Plate from her chest.
Mia is probably trying to say that she's acquired it with her own effort.
"T-that's a Mithril Plate! Come to think of it, they said the Mithril Plates this time defeated the upper and middle layer floormasters.... No, then I'll defeat the floormaster"
"Why! I will absolutely defeat it!"
"It's impossible because it's impossible."
"We humans have progressed when you elves are shutting themselves in the forest! Come to the practice area of the royal court magician next time. We'll show you the real worth of us humans. Don't complain to me if you become weak at the knees after watching Synchronous Magic!"
Mia was trying to say that magician alone won't be able to defeat the floormaster, but her words were too short, it couldn't get transmitted.
I don't want to intervene a quarrel between kids, but I guess I can at least be the interpreter.
"Calm down. Mia isn't looking down on you, she's saying that magicians alone can't defeat the floormaster."
"Is that so?"
Ms. Athena was dumbfounded from my explanation, and then Mia confirmed it.
It seems she's embarrassed for getting too excited, she's stumbling her next words while her white cheeks are turning sakura-colored.
"U-umm. For now, I apologize for my gaffe. I'm sorry. But, it's true that humans are amazing! Come see us once. You have to!"
After apologizing, Ms. Athena talked rapidly like she was fudging her embarrassment and then she ran away from the base of the sakura tree.
Oy, is it alright for you to leave the people who intruded on the prohibited place alone?
Even though the girl is only around a middle or high school student age, I think leaving her duty is not a good thing. It's convenient for us this time though.
We got to meet a strange girl, but let's consider it lucky since we got a connection with the royal court magician.
I'm interested with that Synchronous Magic thing too, I'll visit them with Mia when we get some free time.
Still, with a tree this big, cleaning the sakura petals seems like a pain.
Taking Mia whose head and shoulders have been piled with sakura petals like snow, I returned to the mansion with Teleport magic.
The baron and the others didn't come back even when it became midnight.
I carry the children who look sleepy and lie them on the bed.
I've told Lulu to sleep early since she's going to the Duchy Capital with an airship tomorrow morning to enter the cooking contest. Liza and Nana are the guards, Arisa is the cheerleader, that's the plan.
Pochi, Tama, and Mia are staying in the Royal Capital with me.
It seems Mia has stayed in order to keep me from doing affairs, what a scandalous thing to say. Pochi and Tama seem to be the guards for Mia and me.
The two who were at a loss choosing between going to the cooking contest feast or being nearby me looked very cute.
Of course I'm planning to stealthily go with the three to cheer Lulu during the final.
Lady Karina has retreated to her room, seemingly tired with the leveling that she was doing every day.
However, the thing she said, "Don't lose your way okay", with disappearing voice as she went, I wonder if that was an invitation for yobai? If she's inviting me, I'd have liked if she whispered it sexily. I won't get on it though.
I drink some Shiga liquor while admiring the night sakura trees that have been lighted up with magic beyond the window.
Arisa begged, "One cup!", but I rejected it. In place of liquor, I pour handmade ginger ale to a glass for Arisa.
I talk a bit about our future plan while drinking and exchanging Shiga liquor with Liza.
About peerage, about getting ahead in life, and about releasing her from slavery. She's begun talking about her honest thought with the help of alcohol that she couldn't do when she was sober.
"My spear exists for Master's sake. If it's allowed, until the end of this life, my loyalty and soul to be beside Master--"
Liza who can't hold her liquor stops talking after that, and goes to sleep while still holding the cup without hearing my answer.
Good night Liza. Please take care of me from now on.
Of course, you too Arisa.