13-5. At The Royal Castle
Satou's here. Just when you think troublesome things and problems are going to end, more of them come.
I think saying, "I took care of the bugs", during the final stage of development is a flag.
"By the way, has Sir Pendragon decided on your first wife?"
It's Toruma who brought that subject up when we're in the middle of the Kingdom Conference recess.
Since he said some inappropriate things, nobles who are into little girls are glaring at me with murderous eyes from a distant table, and even the gluttonous nobles of Duchy Capital are looking complicated.
By the way, the reason why a honorary baronet like him is in this place is because he came to deliver a message for Viscount Shimen.
"I don't intend to get married for the time being."
I tell him honestly.
I do really want to make Aze-san my wife, but since elves are fundamentally very patient, I feel that she won't take me seriously unless I persist at it for at least 10 years.
"You can't do that do you? You're a permanent noble now, not a generation-long honorary noble, so by the kingdom's law, if you don't have a child within a year, you have to marry another woman if I'm not mistaken. My older brother has even got to his fourth wife after all."
--Are you serious?!
What's with that bad law.
It might be needed in this world where death comes easy, but I'd like to have free will in regards to marriage at least.
Toruma's story still continues, it seems it's normal for upper nobles to have three wives, and besides the legal ones, most of them have around five mistresses.
There are only a handful of upper nobles who only have a wife, including Earl Muno.
Real world harem huh....
I'm amazed that they can keep their stamina--ah I see, so that's the reason why Echigoya's vitality supplements are selling that well.
Even though I've set the price to be such a rip-off, the supply in the Royal Capital have all ben sold out.
"If the Royal Family don't ask you to take a wife from them or something, then take Karina as your wife please. I know that Sir Pendragon likes younger girls, but I think it's better for the first wife to be older."
"Wait Baronet Shimen. Do not be forceful."
Marquis Lloyd stopped Toruma who had started to promote Lady Karina.
As expected of old man's wisdom. He's not just a glutton nobl--
"By the way, Sir Pendragon, the girls of our house are famous for their fertility you see."
--I take it all back.
You're going to act like Toruma too huh.
"Toruma oji-sama, please don't trouble Satou-san so much."
Sera who's attending to Duke Oyugock came to help me while smiling gracefully.
Even though she was just having a chat with the female officials, she's a good child who takes care of her friend.
Sera sits right next to me.
....Isn't she a bit too close?
It's the precious life boat after all. Let's ride on the stream.
"Yes, I never thought that I would become a permanent noble in the first place, so I haven't though of marriage yet."
As urged by Sera, I told so to everyone.
Toruma seemed to understand that, he stopped trying to be a matchmaker.
I wonder if Sera is happy that her mediation gone well, she's sipping her tea while smiling broadly.
Now then, after thinking this calmly, the thing that's needed is having a heir.
Then there's no need for it to be a biological child in particular. I can just adopt a suitable child to succeed the house of Pendragon.
Since I felt better now, I start to listen carefully to the topic of discussion of the Kingdom Conference that I had been ignoring.
In order to secure the material needed for the royal castle's reconstruction, the nobles are debating whether to confiscate the material from merchants who are buying up goods, or to import them from the neighboring territories.
--Oops, that reminds me, I haven't said anything about the material matter to the Manager.
At the start of the lunch recess, I contact Echigoya Firm with [Telephone], and tell her to select several executive staff that will be dispatched to secure material.
While I was doing so, the morning section of the Kingdom Conference ended, and it became the time for the lunch break.
I'm invited to have a lunch together with the nobles of Duchy Capital, but I have to refuse them since I've been invited by the prime minister beforehand.
It's said that the prime minister will always dine together with anyone who's become an upper noble, and then decide whether that person has the social aptitude or not.
"Viscount Pendragon-sama, please follow me."
The prime minister's chamberlain whom I remember seeing has come to pick me up so I follow him.
We met when I was acting as Kuro though, so I can't exactly talk familiarly with him.
While feeling slightly awkward, I was led to a dining room with good lighting.
The prime minister and his cohorts will come afterward, so I'm watching the scenery from the window to kill the time.
I can see the big sakura tree from here well.
"--It appears you like sakura trees."
"Yes, I quite like them."
It was the prime minister that call out to me, followed by some officials.
When did he come.
Still, the atmosphere feels like some kind of interview even though we're supposed to have a meal.
"Sit down. The dishes today are made by chefs whom we have invited from other countries. I do not mind if you don't finish it if it doesn't suit your taste."
--Hohou, that sounds fun.
The appetizer is salad with boiled shrimps as the topping.
I thought it was just some plain salad, but the moment it entered my mouth, I got done in by the out-of-ordinary dressing.
Just when I thought it was dressing, turned out it's sauce with honey as the base.
It's quite delicious if I just forget my prejudice, but it has quite an impact.
The prime minister is eating calmly, but I know from my experiences of meeting him many times as Nanashi.
He must be absolutely enjoying my surprised reaction.
Next, some clear white silky soup come out.
The aroma makes it seem like corn soup, but I can't let my guard down.
Considering my experience just now, I put the soup slightly to my mouth--sour!
The aftertaste isn't bad, but it's hard for people who aren't good with sour things.
"Do the foreign dishes suit your taste?"
"Yes, they taste quite titillatingly tasty."
This isn't lip service, but what I truly think.
I'll go see the chefs after the meal and ask them to tell whose country dishes are these.
Like so, the gap between the appearance and the taste of the prime minister surprise menu were all present, but on the whole, they were delicious so I don't have any complain.
I enjoy various dishes while replying the prime minister's questions with inoffensive answers.
And then the main menu that comes out is a green caterpillar the size of a piglet.
It smells like a pork teriyaki.
The waiter cuts the crust of the caterpillar and serves it on a plate.
Lastly, the viscous gel-like body of the caterpillar is spread on pieces of the crust like sauce.
....Wait, wouldn't it have been better if you did this before you take it out?
Well, this must be delicious too.
If it was the previous me who hadn't been living in the labyrinth city, I would have absolutely refused it, but now that I've eaten various monster meat in the labyrinth, this much is within my tolerance level--probably.
Let's believe the prime minister's tongue.
I make up my mind and put the crust wrapped in the sauce as instructed by the waiter.
Despite the crunchy texture of the crust, the inside is juicy, it's a relatively interesting food texture.
The salty-sweet sauce matches it well too.
The prime minister who seems to be in good mood said so to the officials on his sides, but I heard it.
Oh no, so this was some kind of test?
I should have frowned in the middle of the way, and not eaten the last dish.
I got absorbed enjoying eating the delicious dishes, I had involuntarily eaten them all.
I can't call Marquis Lloyd and Earl Haku gluttonous nobles like this.
After the lunch with the prime minister, I have about 30 minutes before the Kingdom Conference start in the noon, so I stealthily go to Echigoya Firm.
"Kuro-sama, I have selected these three for the dispatch."
There three girls with their belongings ready near the Manager.
These girls have reliable skills such as [Market Price] and [Negotiation]. They shouldn't have it before, so it must be because of the power-leveling yesterday.
I thank the Manager who has arranged this in short time, and instruct them their objectives from now on.
"Your mission is to purchase building materials and secure temporary branches of Echigoya Firm. Buy the building material cheaply with local delivery. You do not have to think about the transportation. I do not mind even if the buildings of the temporary branches aren't that great, pick one that can be turned over by the end of the month."
I take the girls who replied energetically, and move to the Duchy Capital with Unit Arrangement.
I drop off one of them here, and then I go to Muno City with Unit Arrangement once again, and drop off another girl here.
We moved to the last location, Kuhanou City by return teleporting twice.
"Ku-Kuro-sama, please let me rest for a bit, I feel dizzy."
Apparently, Return teleport feels more nauseating than Unit Arrangement.
She wants me to stay with her until she feels better, but the noon conference is going to start in about 20 minutes.
I carry the noble daughter to a nearby teahouse, borrow a private room and let her sleep there.
"Rest for a while here. I will come here in the night, so finish your duty until then."
I tell so as business-like as possible to the girl who's looking up while speaking in curious sexy voice.
Your reason gets dangerous when you're approached by a twenty-year old beautiful woman in a room you know.
『Like I said! The [Dragon's Eye] have been stolen!』
"Please calm down His Highness."
When I was heading toward the afternoon conference, I heard some interesting words from the voice coming from the other side of the corridor, so I stopped on the way.
....[His Highness] again huh. I feel a bit sick with it.
There are a Leprechaun boy who's using fairy language to speak, and an official who's speaking fairy language in broken language, seemingly barely able to.
The Leprechaun boy is wearing gaudy white clothes, and over the top ornaments as if matching the clothes.
As said by the official, the leprechaun is a royalty of the leprechaun kingdom on the western part of the continent. His actual age is 365 year old, so he's not as young as he looks.
In addition since the fairy language is the common language of fairykin, which is also called the low-rank version of elf language, I can understand it without problem. It feels like unsophisticated words of the graceful elf language.
『Is there any problem?』
『Oh! You seem to know fairy language. The [Dragon's Eye] in my room has been stolen!』
『Is it some kind of jewel?』
『It's not! [Dragon's Eye] is an orb that's been passed down in our kingdom. It grants the user the appraisal eyes the dragons have that can see through all things in universe.』
--It's orb this time huh.
Lately I've been reading too much into anything that's related to demons.
If this keeps up, I could end up burning any whithered silver grass I see with Laser.
I pull myself together, and convey his words to the official.
"It's another case of thievery!"
I incline my head in puzzlement hearing the official.
"Are there many thievery in the royal castle?"
As I ask so to the official, I search the [Dragon's Eye] on the map, but it doesn't exist anywhere.
I wonder if it's either teleported away or kept in Item Box.
"...N-no, it's nothing like that."
The official tries to gloss over it disorderly.
『What are you speaking about! It's the treasure of our kingdom! Dispatch the search party immediately!』
The leprechaun boy appeals desperately, so I postpone the thing about the other thievery, and tell the official the boy's request.
The [Dragon's Eye] is an artifact that grants temporary [Item Appraisal] skill to the user, when the user is under the effect of this artifact, his eyes will be split vertically, and turn yellow as the name implies.
From talking with the boy, I understand that the user can use the skill three times during a day, and the effect can last for one hour for each use.
After finishing various arrangements, I asked the official who said the remark earlier, and got to know that there had been three cases of thievery in the past two days in the royal castle.
The damages are all items that looked like Orbs.
--Orb-like items huh.
Before, the sakuramochi demon or the scout of [Light of Liberty] said that they needed Orbs for the hatching of [His Highness].
I wonder if it's the handiworks of people related to [His Highness].
The orbs that were in the royal castle's treasury are being kept by me until the start of the Auction.
I wonder if the bunch who don't know that are picking orb-like things?
Still, just who is this [His Highness]?
As one expect of a large kingdom, the people who can be called [His Highness] number in more than 100, so putting markers and tracking them is a bit too much works.
There was nothing suspicious when I searched the map yesterday after my talk with Arisa.
Currently, there is no remnant of [Wings of Liberty] and [Light of Liberty] that revere demon lords in the royal capital.
If this were manga or light novel, you can probably wring it out from people who get in contact with the main character, but such a rule can't be applied to reality.
If it is, the bastard child prince with Japanese face called Souya whom Arisa came across to should be [His Highness].
I've told about the remarks of the Sakuramochi demon and the [Light of Liberty] to the king and the prime minister, so I'll leave it to them find out who [His Highness] is. I'll try to set up a trap and see if I can catch the culprit.
While pondering about the best trap to use for it, I slip into the second division of the noon Kingdom Conference barely in time.