13-4. New Year Special Training
Satou's here. I sometimes wish to go back to my school days when I'm busy with works, but I feel like I'll give up if I really get back to my school days since I'd be running out of money then.
"Welcome back Master."
Returning from the Kingdom Conference, I'm welcomed by the butler and the maids who are lined up on the entrance way as I got off the carriage.
It's like I'm a royalty or a noble--wait, I am a noble.
"Master, Marientail-sama and her friends have come to visit you."
"Okay. Are they in the parlor?"
"Then I guess I'll go greet them before changing my clothes."
When I said so, one of the maids went to the parlor as a herald.
These commuting employees are all strangely capable. It might be good to call several loli maids in the labyrinth city to let them learn here.
I enter the door that's been opened by the butler, and go toward the parlor where Zena-san and the others are waiting.
As expected, the room feels cramped with 15 people inside.
I briefly greet back with "I'm back" to our girls who welcome me.
It seems they had some fun in the Royal Academy, they all look gleaming.
"I'm sorry for disturbing you. Satou-san.... umm, I have to call you Viscount-sama now don't I."
"Please call me Satou like always when we're not in public."
I tell so to Zena-san who looks a bit lonely.
Even though it's only natural to differentiate between public and private matters, I don't really like to be treated distantly by a friend.
"--Is it alright?"
"Yes, please call me like you've always been."
Zena-san replied with a smile that was like the sun.
As ever, Zena-san's expression when she's like this is quite nice.
"I'll change my clothes immediately, so let's have a meal together. Zena-san and her friends are eating with us right?"
"Um, that is..."
I thought that Zena-san and the others would naturally dine with us, but it seems they've been invited to a dinner with Earl Seryuu.
Looks like it's also for them to report their progress in Labyrinth City.
"That's unfortunate. You're going to stay in the royal capital for a while right? Then there will another chance. Tomorrow I'll make royal court dishes using a whole sakura salmon okay."
"Ro-royal court dishes! Please! I'm looking forward to it."
While having such conversations, I see Zena-san and the others off as they are going back to the Earl's mansion.
Lilio got some kind of parcel from Lulu. It seems to be an assortment of new year dish which the girls like.
As for the dinner of that day, the royal court dishes which have been taught to Lulu in the royal castle are lined up on the dining table.
They're all luxurious dishes. There are some new year dishes leftover so it's kind of wasteful, but we can just eat them for breakfast tomorrow.
"--Pochi plucked it, then Pochi threw it, Pochi plucked it then Pochi threw it, it was a great success nodesu!"
"Tama too had great successes~?"
I'm listening to Pochi and Tama who are reporting about their peerless matches against their classmates of the knight school.
I asked Arisa with my eyes, "Did you let them hurt anyone?"
"Don't look at me with those eyes please. I had told to the two to only attack the weapons, so it was alright. There should be less challengers tomorrow, and the two understand how to hold back from their training with Pendora guys, so it's alright I said."
"That's right nanodesu. Master (teacher) taught Pochi to go easy on weak people nodesu."
Oops, that's a problematic remark.
"Pochi, you must not say that your friends are 『Weak people』 okay."
"Pochi can't nanodesu? Master (teacher) often said it nodesu."
U~n, I guess that's because it's natural for the elven master teachers to look down in regards of martial art.
"Then why don't we imagine it."
I look at the two with "let me see" face.
"Imagine if a martial artist whom Pochi and Tama don't know look down on you before you even fight, 'You guys are weak. You're worthless', what do you think?"
"Pochi is not weak nodesu!"
"Tama too is strong~?"
The two who obediently imagined what I said and became angry.
"However, if the martial artist said, 'Hmph, weak people bark the loudest' without even listening to you two, what will you do?"
"Pochi will challenge him to a match nodesu."
Yup, I'm glad that the two react as I've led them to.
"That's right. If you two said 『Weak』 to your friends, don't you think they will get angry like with the imagined martial artist earlier?"
The two cross their arms and imagine it hard with difficult faces.
"They will absolutely get angry nodesu!"
Pochi is trembling while looking shocked.
"Tama won't say weak~"
"Pochi too won't say it nodesu!"
I affirm the honest words of the two with "That's right", and pat their heads.
Now they won't hurt anyone nor get into some strange troubles.
Liza is also nodding for some reason, but I think there's a merit to provoking your opponent in actual battles you know?
I had Arisa to report about people and nobles in the knight school whom we should be careful with.
There are a lot of interesting capable people, doesn't seem like you'll get bored in that school.
"Then, was it fun too for you Mia?"
Mia nods, and then puts a peeled orange into her mouth.
Huh? That's all?
....Geez, it's very like taciturn Mia.
Tomorrow Arisa is going to the magic school where Mia is anyway, I guess I can just hear it from Arisa.
"There wasn't any problem in the royal castle's kitchen right?"
"Y-yes. It was unfortunate that we weren't with Master, but I was able to learn various things like techniques, the way to see through ingredients, and knacks."
Seeing through ingredients is probably needless once she gets the Item Appraisal skill, but the orb will be granted the day after the auction is over.
I'm glad that Lulu wasn't being bullied or something, I'll be learning those techniques from Lulu later myself.
"Lulu was taken good care of so I report."
"Thank you Nana."
Lulu might have been bullied if she was alone, but since Nana said it frankly, she was probably really taken good care of.
Lastly I asked Liza where she guided Zena-san and the others to.
"I mainly guided them to places for eating out and arms shops."
"....It's really like Liza-san."
Just as Arisa has muttered, it's very like Liza.
But since it's Zena-san and the others, they might be happy about it instead.
"Then you should show them around the shopping street where we went together. There are many pretty accessories and clothes there."
I would have bought them accessories if I went with them, but please treat it as a preview for now.
I sure want to show Zena-san and her friends around the city at least once during their stay here.
"Oh right, the pink princess from before was there too."
The person Arisa said while grinning is probably the princess of Rumooku Kingdom who has anime-like pink hair, Princess Menea.
"That should be the case considering Princess Menea is a student of the Royal Academy. However, don't use 'pink princess', call her Princess Menea normally."
As I chide her, Arisa replies back like a child.
"And then, and then, Princess Menea was being contested by two handsome boys just like in shoujo manga."
'Gehehe', so Arisa laughed, but even when that girl met me, she said some flowery words like "Fated person" or something, so I can't necessarily deny it.
"Hee, she sure is popular."
"What's with that disinterested reaction."
What kind of reaction did you expect coming from me.
"Then you see, the real issue is after that."
Arisa changes her posture and leans forward on the kotetsu.
"One of them, the plump handsome boy was called 『His Highness』."
--His Highness huh. It's the same word as the demon lord spirit-dweller whom the [Light of Liberty] executives were saying, but....
"Was he not a normal noble? What's his name?"
"Err, he was called Souya."
Fumu, it's a Japanese-like name.
I found him immediately when I searched the map.
He lives in a wealthy area but it's not in the noble street.
I check his birthplace in the note column while also comparing it with the people directory I got from the royal castle as Nanashi.
"Apparently, he's really a descendant of the royal family. He seems to be the bastard son of the previous king and a merchant's daughter."
The mansion where Souya-kun lives is of his merchant mother.
Just in case, I checked various documents from the Prime Minister and found a hit on the firm's name.
It's a merchant family who secures their livelihood by doing trades with foreign countries, they own several sea-faring ships in the foreign trade city. It seems their main customers are the countries on the western part of the continent, and the weaselkin empire on the eastern part of the continent.
The reason why they're recorded in the document is because they had a deal with the earl house that was executed due to treason from the case before, and supplied imported goods--such as accessories and books from Holy Kingdom Parion to the house of nobles that idolized the easy-going occult group, [Wind of Liberty].
It seems they also supplied stuffed goods and artworks from foreign countries to the house of Marquis Kelten.
Though the prime minister's subordinates have probably investigated them, I mark Souya-kun and the higher-ups of the merchant house since they seem slightly suspicious.
Incidentally, I also tried searching for people, demons, or people possessed by demons with [Unknown Skill], but I got no hit.
"Ku-Kuro-sama, we have been waisting for you."
The manager who looks tense unusually fumbled her words of greeting.
However, I, who had teleported to Echigoya Firm with [Unit Arrangement], stopped my train of thought due to the unexpected scene.
The executives of Echigoya Firm are lined up before me.
That's fine and all. I was the one who called them in the first place.
--However, why are they all half-naked?
The Manager is wearing laced nightgown with exposed skin, her important parts are barely covered by the laces, but they all would be exposed if she just moved.
The noble daughters behind her too, although theirs are more docile, they're wearing sensational clothes that don't differ much with the manager's.
Porina is wearing somewhat calmer clothes, but the soft-looking dress shows her body line clearly, it doesn't look like clothes you're wearing for work.
Nell has night clothes that are separated on top and the bottom. Normally these kind of clothes aren't sexy, but they produce peculiar eroticism in this group.
Tifaliza can't look at me directly. Her icy beauty is dyed in vermilion color, her embarrassed gestures trying to hide her body is too dangerous. If the two of us were alone, I could have involuntarily push her down.
Good grief, it's "What kind of Eroge is this?" world.
I coughed once to clear my throat.
....Calm down Satou. No wait, I'm Kuro right now.
"Manager, today you sure are wearing some wonderful clothes."
"Y-yes. We were all called by Kuro-sama, so everyone did their best to show off."
--『Tomorrow night, I'm giving you a special duty after the night time.』
--『It'll be over in a moment, but there's a high possibility that you won't be able to work afterward.』
They misunderstood those lines huh?!
They interpreted special duty as night attendant, and the latter line as not being able to move afterward eh....
I'm slightly attracted to leave the misunderstanding and do a group one, but let's not.
Even if I hide behind the rationale of failing as a proprietor were I put my hands on my important employees, carelessly doing it could drown me in carnal desire turning me into a degenerate.
I'm limiting the venting of these hands toward the professional onee-sans that won't turn into degenerate later on.
If I have a girlfriend, I'd flirt with her instead though.
Now then, let's end these girls' anxiety here.
"It seems you have misunderstood. I do not intend to force myself upon you girls. Special duty is about another thing. Change into your work clothes since it's going to take some time. Wear shoes that are easy to move around."
Leaving the Manager and the other who subtly look like they feel like running away, I move to my second villa in the underground labyrinth.
Waiting idly is wasteful, so I head toward the live-box for the power-leveling today.
I run to the area where the live-box is located, and arrive at the hall where it is.
Monsters are crawling out from the [Gushing Holes] on the walls nearby the live-box, so I clean them up for the sake of safe power-leveling.
I put log huts on the corners of the hall from my storage in order to prevent [Gushing Holes] structurally.
I activate the holy monument magic tools I've installed on the huts to create small barriers.
Red magic circles are invoked, the area about 10 meters from the holy monuments become safe areas where monsters can't get close.
They're not physical barriers, so they can't completely shut out the monsters, but monsters can't get close to it if they're just normal monsters.
After checking the entry of [Unit Arrangement] on the menu, I register this place as a home ground.
I'll do this method on various places in preparation of moving ahead of time.
I connect the holy monuments to magic furnace and start it. The output is only second-rate, but it's more than enough for supplying the holy monument with magic power.
I'll make it like the barrier pillars on villages when I create other home grounds next time.
Since that type don't need magic furnace.
"T-this place is?! --Labyrinth?"
"That's right. It's Area 277 of the middle-layer of the labyrinth."
Everyone's expression is hardened when I simply reply the manager's question.
I guess they would be scared considering these girls have one-digit levels and are wearing everyday clothings.
"Do not worry. I have removed dangerous monsters."
When I gently told so, everyone fell down on the ground.
Apparently they've lost their strengths.
Looks like I'd better stop doing this kind of surprise.
"Follow me. I will make you girls hunt the preserved live-box monsters ahead and get your levels raised."
We climb the stair on the wall of the live-box, and reach the place where we can see the content of the live box.
Inside the live box are the monsters that have greatly multiplied--[Maze Cockroaches] eating the fodder monsters that are in awful states
To be honest, the spectacle is like in a dream.
"Your pride as an explorer might not allow it, but this is an order. I'll forcefully make you do it even if you don't want to."
I take out weapons from my Storage and give it to the Manager, Nell and Porina.
"This is? Is it a wand?"
"That's right. It's called Spray Gun, but it's the same type as the fire wand and lightning wand."
It looks like a shotgun with a truncated barrel. The place for the cartridge is loaded with Fire stones and Lightning stones, the element can be changed as needed.
When I was making a certain thing with converging ability half-heartedly, it shot out spray-like net lightning and flame instead.
It looks exactly like a gun, but it's classified as a wand.
Its killing power is weak, so it can only be used as a distraction for power-leveling.
"Everyone shoot toward the center of the live-box in turns. Change with the person behind you once you shot."
With unexpectedly good replies, everyone takes the gun and pulls the trigger as instructed.
"Kuro-sama, the lightning is spread, it's not very effective."
"Do not mind it. It's fine."
Manager who looks baffled steps back, changing with the next person.
This time I've prepared three type of cartridges, [Ice], [Wind], and [Lightning]. If things go well, I plan for them to earn the skill for each element.
Just in case, I had let them put their hands into my Item Box before they shot the guns. We're lucky if they get the skill with this, but there's no loss either way.
Furthermore, I make several of them who have experiences studying magic to use Magic Scrolls to invoke attack magic.
"Kuro-sama, everyone has completed their turns."
"Alright, this will be dangerous, so everyone get back to the stairs."
After checking that everyone has stepped back, I exterminate the [Maze Cockroaches] with [Fire Storm].
"W-what great flame...."
"Is that advanced magic?"
"Yet it was done chantlessly--"
Putting aside the surprised executives, I open the map to check everyone's status.
--Oops, I went too far.
The Maze Cockroaches earlier were only level 7 each, so I thought that it would be fine even if there were a bit too many, but it seems they had propagated to more than 1000.
There are a lot of executives, so it's been reduced somewhat, yet all of them have leveled up to 16.
Porina who was originally high-leveled, the Manager and her two adjutants became level 17 with my rash method of leveling up.
"--Huh? Power feels like entering me somehow ssu."
"I feel something too...."
Starting with Nell whose level was the lowest, the executives began to talk about their bad condition one by one.
You'll get level up intoxication if you level up by more than 10 of course.
Using [Magic Hands], I support the executives who look like they would fall down the stairs, and then teleport to Echigoya Firm's strategy meeting room with [Unit Arrangement].
"Good work. The special training for today is over."
"Kuro-sama, my body feels strange you see ssu."
"That's only the symptom of level up. You'll feel like usual once you get some rest."
I answer Nell who seems energetic despite looking tired.
"T-that wasn't a lie of some drunkards was it."
"Then...., maybe I've leveled up to 10?"
"....No way, that can't be true."
Despite looking tired, the executives can't seem to hide their excitement from leveling up.
They should become around level 30 if we continue for about seven days. If their levels get that high, they probably won't get rolled up in a situation like the other day.
Among the girls who have leveled up, five learned magic skills, one learned Item Box skill. It's safe to say that the result is more than anticipated.
None of our girls learned Item Box skill even after they got to level 50, the luck is on our side this time.
I can't leave the girls who can't move their bodies as it is, so I carry them to the nap room and the parlor of the main building, and let them sleep there.
For some reason, everyone wanted it to be princess carry, so I complied, but the executives' tensions were strange.
I wonder if princess carry is that nice?
My business today is over once I carry the lucky Tifaliza who learned Item Box skill to her room far behind.
I let her who's sleep talking like that to sleep, and leave the room.
I heard that faint monologue with Attentive Ears skill, but I pretended not to hear it and went to the night district alone.
The technique of the professional onee-san was wonderful after all.