13-11. Local Hero
Satou's here. When I became a working adult, there were many times when I was forced to fight for 24 hours. When you lack of sleep, you become short-tempered and tend to fail, so I desperately defended for three-hour sleep privilege at the time I hadn't got a cheat body.
"Sorry, I have something to ask you--"
I moved to the abandoned fortress in Muno territory, and asked Hikaru at the mountaintop using Telephone.
『Hero? Maybe he's not a hero summoned by god Parion's secret art, but a local hero?』
Local.... They're not vegetables.
『There were only a few of them during my era. Like the lizardkin or dogkin heroes.』
When I think about it, I'm also similar to a local hero.
I got the title [Hero] after defeating Wagahai-kun after all--that's right, I remember now.
--The title Hero is obtained after you've passed beyond the point of life and death
Zen the [No Life King] said such things before.
That guy wanted me to gain the title Hero by driving me to the wall.
Shin boy might have passed a certain experience that was enough to make his hair white and became a Hero.
That might be the cause of his memory loss too.
Next, I tell the thing I've heard from Shin boy to Hikaru.
『Sacrifices huh.... Perhaps the demons might be thinking of using that Shin boy to make the demon lord into a [True Demon Lord].』
『Umm you see. When a hero defeats a demon lord, their title becomes [True Hero] right. If a demon lord defeats a hero, its title won't change, but it'll get abruptly stronger. The orc demon lord that I talked to you about back then was like that too~. Every time it defeated a hero, its power increased and the demon lord erosion got worse.』
Fumu, there's no way you'd level up from defeating just one opponent with the same level as yours, so heroes and demon lords probably have special growth element to each other.
The gods might have set it like that.
『Okay. Ichirou-nii seems busy and all, so I'll indirectly guard him once I get back to the Royal Capital.』
"I'm sorry, thanks."
I'm thankful to Hikaru's suggestion.
There's no particular problem even if a demon lord becomes [True Demon Lord] and relatively powers up, but I don't feel like abandoning someone who's going to be sacrificed by the demons.
However, it'll be sometime before Hikaru returns to the Royal Capital, so I'll have to deploy people to protect Shin boy until then.
I thank Hikaru, and then tell her about the green demon.
『Geh, that green fellow hasn't been destroyed? Aww~, that's some troublesome guy that survives.』
"Can it create mock body in arbitrary places?"
『The demon should only be able to create it in the place where the real body is. The resourceful kid in my hero party said so.』
Then it's possible to intercept the demon before it attacks by searching the demon's level regularly.
"Do you know where the demon's base is?"
『Back then it was hiding in Biroho Kingdom, but it was destroyed along with the city by Ten-chan's breath, so it should be in another place right now maybe?』
"The present location of that?"
『Umm, I don't have a map now so I don't know. It's around the west-northwest area from the Labyrinth city.』
Around the western part of Marquis Eluet's territory--the tip of the desert huh.
After checking various things, I cut the call with Hikaru.
I've decided to go to the demon's former base I heard from Hikaru earlier before returning to Boruenan village.
I move to the prepared teleport base in the vast desert, and search for the demon's level.
I couldn't find the green demon with search even though I went out of my way here.
Using this opportunity, I stop by the labyrinth's villa, stock some tomatoes for breakfast, and teleport to Boruenan village.
I was thinking of telling Arisa and Liza my real name and the matter about the Dragon Valley after the breakfast, but the chase took more time than I had though, so I decided to postpone it until evening.
It's not something that needs to be told in a hurry anyway.
We went back to the Royal Capital's mansion from the Boruenan Village, and then I sent the children to the school.
When I was preparing to go out with the carriage after changing my clothes, Zena-san and her friends visited.
They're slower than usual today.
Usually they would have come over before the children went to school after breakfast.
"Welcome, Zena-san. It seems you were called by Earl Seryuu yesterday--"
"I'm sorry, Viscount-sama!"
When I was talking, Lilio who was behind Zena-san apologized.
Since it seems there's something, I guide them to the living room and listen to their story.
"--I see. In short, the Earl misunderstood the relationship between me and Zena-san?"
"Un, I spoke a bit too much--"
Fumu, there's nothing between us that would have led to misunderstanding though....
I heard that magic soldiers are precious, so perhaps the Earl thought that I was seducing his retainer to be mine?
"Viscount-sama, please take this."
Miss Iona submits a letter from beside Lilio who's apologizing on her knees.
Looking at the seal of the sealing wax, it seems to be from Earl Seryuu.
"--It seems to be an invitation for a luncheon."
I show the letter to the members of Zena Squad, write a letter for my consent and pass it to Zena-san.
The date written in the letter is tomorrow.
Being sudden has its limit too.
I write the luncheon in the schedule book of the menu, narrowly fitting it into the fourth day of the Kingdom Conference.
This conference is over tomorrow. Three days after the day after tomorrow is the long-awaited auction.
--Let's get through it quickly!
I meet Consul Nina and Earl Muno during the short morning break that day, and tell them about the lunch with Earl Seryuu tomorrow.
According to Consul Nina, it's most likely going to be about the newly created Labyrinth of Seryuu City.
"Specifically, he probably wants you, who have several Mithril explorers as your retainers, and a group of excellent explorers as the lower branch in the Labyrinth City."
I didn't understand the meaning of lower branch for an instant, but it's probably about the Explorer Training School and the graduates.
I don't actually have the authority to order the Pendora guys, but it seems the surrounding people see it like that.
"He's probably giving you that magic soldier as your mistress to buy your favor."
The fact that it's 'mistress' not 'wife' seems to be the problem with her peerage.
Ms Nina warned me not to make some strange promise with Earl Seryuu, but they fundamentally leave it to my will.
The short break is over, so I thank Ms Nina and the others and then go back to the conference.
It's not like I'm against helping the Earl with the labyrinth management, but I want to avoid turning Zena-san into a political piece.
During the lunch, I order Echigoya Firm's Manager to employ several watchers for Shin boy.
Though they're called watchers, they're not some high level spies, but they're just some non-combatants detective-like people.
I told her to only make them watch Shin boy.
They're not going at it directly, they're only going to report back if there's anyone suspicious contacting or monitoring the boy.
Even if the boy is abducted for sacrifice, it's possible to rescue him as long as they report fast.
Or rather, if the mastermind kidnaps him, I could arrest them all and finish the case.
....It might be slightly heartless of me, but he's not a friend right now after all.
Evening after I came back to the mansion from the conference, the butler reported that there were many thieves caught in the courtyard's trap.
It seems they're unrelated to Ropo, but after the meal I'll change into Kuro and round them all up in their hideout.
The sole healing time is when I listen to the children's story about the school during our meal.
"Master, listen! Nanodesu."
Pochi who's waiting for the second helping of the thick steak appeals in high tension.
"What is it? Say it."
"Today we had a training with the teacher of teacher, the great teacher!"
"He was strong~?"
Tama who's eating shrimps wholly with their shells earnestly nods.
Someone whom these two refer as strong huh....
"What's the name of this great teacher?"
"Great teacher Heim nanodesu."
--As I thought.
It's probably Shiga Eight Sword Heim the [Weed].
If I'm not mistaken his seat was raised to be the second seat of Shiga Eight Swords recently.
"Pochi went like 'zushat' then 'kyuit' but then he blocked like 'pon' nodesu."
"When Tama went from behind, he blocked by turning the sword behind~?"
He's someone whose level equals the two's without power-leveling, so he must have various experiences.
"Did he tell you something?"
"Come to the knight order's training center when you're free, it'll be a good practice, he said nodesu."
So he really was soliciting them.
Unlike Liza, these two are minor with peerage, so they can't be employed in the military of Shiga Kingdom without my permission as their guardian.
Yet, I'm a bit worried, so--
"You can go to the training center, but you have to go with Liza. Okay?"
"Aye aye Sir~"
I told them so.
I did it without asking Liza's approval, but it should be a good training for her since she'll be against Shiga Eight Swords whose power are on par with her.
"How about Mia and Arisa, what were you doing today?"
"U~n, I helped Mia's lecture, and also--"
Mia interrupted Arisa who was groaning with folded arms, and muttered.
"Ah, right right. We had a practice to make magic cloth by embroidering magic circuit on magic cloth using silver thread."
"He~, is it similar to yuriha fiber cloth that the elves and brownies make?"
I asked if it was the same as yuriha fiber that I usually wear, but Arisa shook her head, denying it.
"It's like an inferior version of it I think. They said that after the embroidery is finished, the cloth is then soaked in liquid made by alchemists, then the liquid will be attached."
I guess it's similar to plating?
When I search the documents I have, there are recipes about it among them.
It was the technique which I ignored in the beginning since it needed a large-scale facility. Many expensive materials became usable once I arrived at Boruenan Village so I completely forgot about it. Embroidery is troublesome, but let's try finding something to use it on.
"Arisa, special training."
"Eh~, embroidery is minute and delicate, I can't~"
"Ufufu, I'll teach you too so let's work hard."
Looks like Arisa is bad at embroidery even though she's good at sewing.
With Mia and Lulu teaching you, temper your embroidery skill and girl's power.
In addition, Shiro and Crow spent their time in the childhood school without any mishaps.
Apparently, an upper noble daughter who likes birds is protecting them from people who dislike demi-humans.
"Teena-sama said that she once participated in the Princess's tea party too."
"Un, she said that. Crow, take the bone."
"Shiro, I'll do it, but you have to become independent okay?"
Shiro who likes fish pushes the works of taking the fish bones to Crow.
I found many hit when I searched the name Teena that Kuro mentioned, but the only one who was in the upper noble area was the granddaughter of Marquis Kelten.
While I'm at it, I ask them the name of the princess, turns out it's the little sister of the forbidden library's princess from the same mother. The world seems quite small.
Next, I ask Lulu and Nana about their activities in the royal castle's kitchen.
"Today we made a lot of swe~et snacks."
From tomorrow evening after the Kingdom Conference is over, there will a ball held every day until the closing of the auction, and so she showed them her idea for new snacks, and she was taught the recipes of the royal court.
The children react to the word of sweet snacks.
"I got a lot of them as presents, so let's bring them to Boruenan Village and eat them together with everyone."
I smile at Lulu and reply, "I'm looking forward to it."
Since Zena-san and her friends don't seem like they'll be coming due to the luncheon, Liza is going to train with the elf masters in Boruenan village today.
"Just a bit more and it feels like I'd get an idea for a new technique", so said Liza.
Pochi and Tama looked like they were interested with the new technique too, so we went to Boruenan Village a bit early.
Now then, after reluctantly parting with them, guess I'll start processing the remaining businesses today.
I retrieve Echigoya firm's members who are on business trips for the Royal Capital's revival matter, and also finish constructing the branch offices and sending the permanent members there at once, I also finish up other tasks.
After raiding the thief's hideout, I also carried out the power-leveling of Echigoya Firm.
This one is going better than expected, their levels have been increased to 30 using only the cultivated monsters.
Soon, it might be good to get in touch with Zena and Lady Karina as Kuro to level them up to 30.
....Well, I guess I can do that after the auction and I'm less busy.
I produce scarecrows for sensing demons all-night, preparing them to do the monitoring job for when I'm asleep.
Deploying the scarecrows in the territories under the control of the king is easy with Unit Arrangement, but as expected, I feel that my mental fatigue has piled up.
The Kingdom Conference should be over tomorrow, I have to take a break once Hikaru comes to the Royal Capital.
In the morning of the last day of the Kingdom Conference, the allocation of the magic cores produced by the Labyrinth City for each territories reached the conclusion.
The groundworks seems to have been laid beforehand, so without any problem--
"Isn't it too outrageous for the supply to our territory to be suspended for three years! Our territory won't be able to be restored!"
--Looks like I can't say that.
With a desperate upset face, the young Earl Lesseu protests to the King and the Consul.
I don't know how is he going to use the magic cores for the restoration, but it seems he's dissatisfied that the magic cores that should have been for his territory are diverted to the knights dispatched to Bisthal Dukedom, and the royal capital's restoration.
He was probably left out during the groundwork-making.
I'm not really interested in it, so I change places with Satou doll I used during Nanashi's ennoblement, and take a brief nap.