13-15. Royal Capital Sightseeing, Downtown Arc
Satou's here. For some reason [A parade group distributing fliers] that seldom appeared in the last century's manga remains in my memory. I remember the bitter memory of getting severely scolded by the student council when I tried to do the same to invite people to our circle during my college year.
Cleaning the fliers and the confetti was hard....
I slept well after a long time.
The light from the morning sun peeks through the canopy's curtain.
It seems I had a really deep sleep, I haven't noticed Lulu who's opening the curtain, and the little girls who have slipped into the bed clinging to me.
....Or rather, I should have been the only one sleeping in the Royal Capital's mansion to watch over the green demon, why is everyone here?
They shouldn't have been able to teleport to the Royal Capital with Arisa's magic power, so Aze-san probably sent them.
"Good morning, Master."
Lulu who's opening the curtain greets me with refreshing voice when she notices me waking up.
Pochi and Tama who had woken up from the voice, rolled on my stomach, put their chins on my chest and greeted too.
"Master, good morning, so I greet."
"Good morning, Masita."
Nana who's sleeping with Shiro and Crow on the edge of the bed greeted.
Shiro who's half asleep seems to have pulled the sleeve of Nana's shirt, the charm of Nana's pulled shirt is in full effect.
Mia who's pulling my ear makes me resist the charm effect, she lets go of my ear when I turn to her.
"Good morning Mia. And also, Arisa--"
I hit the head of Arisa who's trying to enter my shirt.
"--You'll get no breakfast if you don't stop the sexual harassment now."
"I'm short of Masternium. Please give me replenishment."
Arisa who had woken up did a seiza in front of me and said some stupid thing.
"Tama too, short~"
"Pochi is short of Masternium too nanodesu."
The three youth troupe line up beside Arisa, doing seiza.
"U-um--me too, um... short of Masternium."
Lulu also timidly asked, the four of them appealed while doing seiza.
I haven't cared much for them ever since the new year, so it seems they've been lonely.
I hug everyone in turns to supply the Masternium or something, which also act as an apology.
"The times were different in order of breasts' sizes."
"--It's just your imagination."
To notice the difference of comma seconds, as expected of Mithril explorers.
"Good morning, Satou-sama."
Zena-san who's wearing a neat military uniform greets me in a well-mannered gesture.
The crests of Seryuu Earldom are embroidered on her uniform's chest and shoulder.
Everyone is surprised to see Zena, who was led to the living room by the butler, wearing unusual clothes.
As for me, I'm more bothered with the fact that she called me with honorific.
"Good morning, Zena-san."
Our girls who came after me greeted her unanimously.
"What's wrong with Zena-san?"
Arisa pulled my clothes, and asked close to my ear.
I tell everyone about the luncheon with Earl Seryuu while we're walking toward the dining room.
"So Earl Seryuu is an attacker~. It's like he's trying to pick a fight with Earl Muno."
"He would probably make an agreement to put priority of magic core supply for Muno territory right?"
"Ah, that might be possible. Even in Kubooku Kingdom the prime minister often grumbled that the mine refinery wouldn't work without supply of magic cores."
We arrive at the table while I'm having that conversation with Arisa.
For some reason Zena stands upright near the door looking like she wouldn't sit, so I call to her.
"Is there something wrong?"
"It is nothing, I had a breakfast at Earl Seryuu's mansion already, so I will stand guard here."
Since Earl Seryuu ordered her to act as my attendant, Zena-san replied like a soldier.
I respect her for being faithful to her mission, but to be honest it's awkward when she's this serious.
"Then let's prepare some tea for you."
"It's alright. Even if a demon intrudes this room right here and now, we can counter attack while still sitting."
Back then, Liza intercepted bombardment with a meal knife after all, and the other girls don't lose to Liza in reaction speed, so it should be fine.
"Furthermore, it's hard to talk with you at this distance."
"Yes, then please excuse me."
Zena-san sits on a vacant seat, and then a maid put some tea and tea cakes in front of her. As always, the maids here are skillful.
"I'm thinking of touring the downtown today."
During the breakfast, I told them so, and everyone cheered like the sound of crackers.
"But the auction starts today, is it alright? Don't you need to prepare various things."
"Yeah, my business is only on the third day."
"I see, the male needs is on the third day after all, right."
....What are you saying Arisa?
"Ah! ...That's right nanodesu. There's school nodesu."
"You can take a leave."
They're only temporary students anyway, so there's no problem taking a leave for a day.
"I-is it alright nodesu?!"
"Yeah, I permit is as your guardian so it's fine."
Just in case, I told them that anyone still wanting to go to school could go, but there wasn't anyone who chose that.
"Uwaah, what a crowd~"
After getting off the carriage, Arisa muttered while looking dumbfounded.
Today Arisa is in plain town girl clothing.
Mia who's depressed has matching clothes with Arisa, just different colored.
"A lot of tasty smell nanodesu."
"There's a lot of soba smell isn't it."
Tama and Pochi who are wearing shirts and culottes sniff around while closing their eyes and being carried under the arms of Liza who's wearing military uniform.
"It smells slightly savory, so it seems there are some stalls with gallete too."
The town girl fashion suits Lulu very well.
Her cuteness would have kept the flashes on until the end if she was in a cosplay show.
"Looking forward to it so I report."
"It smells nice isn't it Crow."
"Shiro, don't separate your hand from Nana-sama's, okay."
Nana who's in young wife clothing has her hands holding Shiro's and Crow's who are in shirts and cullottes like Pochi and Tama.
Per Arisa's suggestion, today we're all in commoner clothing.
By the way I'm wearing commoner tunic and trousers.
Only four people of Zena Squad who are accompanying us are armed, Liza only has a bronze baton she's put on her waist, and everyone else is empty-handed.
The four people of Zena Squad are looking around at the surrounding vigilantly.
"The big building you can see beyond is the second hall of the auction you see."
"Eh~, so that's where the spoils from the floormasters are being displayed?
"No, the expensive articles are in the first hall inside the royal castle. The ones in here should be things that are displayed for commoners."
There are a little less than 1000 stalls aiming for the guests going to the auction hall in the street where we are.
The majority of the stalls are just sheets spread with junks on them, but there are also some who sell magic potions, salves, and even equipment made of monster parts.
It's truly rich of variations, I don't get tired seeing them.
"This oyaki is tasty nodesu. Pochi will share with Master a bite too nodesu."
"This katayaki is tasty too~"
"Ooh, this fake gallete is quite good."
"The skewers in the Royal Capital are soft aren't they. The chewiness isn't enough."
"Master, do you know the secret ingredients for the flavor of this Tsutsumi-Yaki? It seems like soy sauce, but it's slightly hot, and yet there's a faint sweet taste too."
"There is a possibility that that young organism is a lost child. I deem it fit to be protected. Master, permission to collect."
Our girls prioritize to buy and eat, they buy various snacks they carry on both their arms, striding around the crowded stalls.
Of course I rejected Nana's request.
"It's amazing nodesu. Flame is coming out of the mouth nanodesu."
There are some people who are doing street performances between the stalls, so I throw some money for the people who amuse us.
"There's a Rabbit Rotation over there."
"Nn, heroic tale."
Rabbit Rotation is where a rabbitkin riding a horse-sized tamed rabbit monster does some techniques.
They're enclosed within fences since it'll be dangerous if the monster rampages.
"There's no snake person nodesu."
"Come to think of it, even though we saw a lot of them during our new year tour, there's not even one now."
"The employed snakes might have been eaten by monsters during the disturbance back then, so I guess."
Nana tells her guess to Arisa who looks around wondering.
Ah, the snake charmers huh--
I tried searching on the map, but I couldn't find even one [Snake Charmer].
I wonder if they're seasonal attractions like the lion dance?
Mia and Arisa seem to be tired from walking, so we find some open space to take a short break.
"Zena-san and the others too, you should get some rest."
"No, we're on duty."
--They're quite stubborn.
It's understandable though since there have been red luminous points regularly showing up on the radar.
I'd feel bad if I forcefully stop them, so I distribute cool beverages of apple water with honey to the four of them.
In addition, as soon as I find anyone who has malicious intent toward us, I seize them with always-on [Magic Hands] and throw them away to the back alley, so there's no real harm.
Arisa screams while also crushing the dried persimmon she got from Mia on her hand.
"Arisa. Stop shouting suddenly."
"That! Look at that."
Arisa who ignored my scolding catches my shoulder and leaps around.
--What is it?
I lower my waist and match her line of sight, she talks to me in low voice without doing any sexual harassment unusually enough.
"That gray hair! Look at that kid's title."
I see the place where Arisa points at.
As I've expected somehow, Shin boy who's working to collect garbages is there.
"Ah, didn't I tell you."
"Y-you knew? --Or rather, the title wasn't there when I met him in the school back then you know? I-is he maybe a reincarnated person?"
"His hair color should be not that if he was one right?"
"Ah, that's right. That's right isn't it."
I lightly tell Arisa who's slightly calmed about Hero Shin.
We're talking in low voice among the noisy crowd and the music from the street performers, so there's no worry of getting heard by Zena-san and her friends.
"Hm~m, a local hero who's lost his memory huh..."
After pondering while crossing her arms for a bit, Arisa asks with her violet eyes gleaming at me.
"Hey, are you going to raise that kid enough to fight demon lords?"
"No, there's already Hayato and the like, summoned heroes for that job, I'm thinking of letting Sir Julberg raise Shin boy."
"I see, he's not a girl after all~"
Arisa nods like she understands.
....No no, I didn't decide whether to raise him or not by gender you know?
"Let me go--"
I picked up the voice of a little child with Attentive Ears skill just when I was feeling exhausted from Arisa's reckless remark.
Looks like the source of the scream is from the rucksack of a suspicious man who's going to disappear into the back alley.
When I move my line of sight, I see Pochi and Tama are already taking the postures to dash out.
The two's bodies are turned toward the screaming child, only their eyes are locked on to me.
Apparently, they're waiting for my order.
In an instant, Pochi and Tama disappear with Flickering Movement.
The two appear in front of the man like an anime with dropped frames.
Tama who has noticed that I ordered only Pochi returns back to where she was before in an instant, politely retakes her posture to ready-to-dash position, and turns her face toward me.
"--. Tama is unneeded~?"
"Nothing like that at all."
I point my finger to another crime spot toward Tama who's looking at me with moist eyes.
There were two crime spots.
"Tama goes over there."
"Aye aye sir~, nyan"
While leaving an afterimage and cheerful voice, Tama goes to seize the other kidnapper.
I also ask Liza and Nana to go as their supports.
"E-eh? Um, just what is happening?"
Lilio points Zena, who's confused because she can't understand the situation, at the man Pochi has arrested.
The other two of Zena squad--Miss Iona and Ruu seem to be on alert against bad people who are going to take the chance during the uproar.
"It's kidnapping. Zena-san, I'm sorry, but could you get the sentry here?"
"I will go with Ruu. Zena-san and Lilio, please guard Viscount-sama."
After stopping Zena-san who was going to run, Miss Iona and Ruu run toward the temporary guard station in front of the stall street.
"Caught the bad guy nodesu."
"Tama too caught one~?"
"Master, I safeguarded the victim, so I report."
"I've safeguarded them too."
Pochi and Tama brought the fainted men and rolled them below my feet.
Nana and Liza brought the child victims each.
The ones saved from the rucksacks are little girls of around elementary school age who don't seem to be rich, looking at their clothes.
Both of the children have white cloth wrapped on their arms, I don't know if it's trending or something.
"Oy, you! Let go of Sina and Olna!"
Looks like they're acquainted with Shin boy.
The little girls who have noticed the boy jump at Shin boy while crying.
Checking on the AR readings, I understand that the little girls are from the same orphanage as Shin boy.
"Do you know these children?"
"Yes, that's right."
Shin boy stands before me to protect the children.
"Then I'll leave these children to you. I'm going to question these guys."
"D-did you save these kids?"
"That's right nanodesu."
"T-thank you. Sorry for doubting you. Oy, you too, thank them."
"Thank you for saving me."
Urged by Shin boy, the children said their thanks to Pochi and Tama.
"Didn't I say not to come since the crowd is dangerous?"
I question the men while Shin boy is scolding the children who were almost kidnapped as the BGM.
"However, director-sensei said we could go."
"The director did?"
"Un, the director wrapped this white cloth to us."
"He said that it was so we could be found even if we got lost in the festival."
"That stingy director did?"
Come to think of it, the director of Shin boy orphanage was suspected of slave trading huh.
"Now then, criminal-kun. There are two things I want to ask you--"
The two aren't people of criminal guild, but the poor from the slums, so they confess easily after I threatened them slightly.
"I-it's true. We were only told to kidnap the children with white cloth wrapped on their arms."
Looks like the orphanage director is the mastermind, or maybe he takes part in the mastermind's plan.
"They said they will give us one big copper coin if we brought the children to the man's place beyond the back alley...."
To kidnap children for such a small change--wait, it's not for the people of the slums huh.
I got a lot of easy money from the matter related to auction this time, so maybe I'll establish a public employment office or something.
Planning the detail is annoying though, I'll leave that to the executives of Echigoya firm.
Two people will be free once the auction is over, so it's just right.
I correct my slightly astray thought, and continue questioning the men.
"Do you know the man who ordered you to do the kidnapping?"
"Yeah. I couldn't see the face since he wore black hood, but the voice was that of a young man."
Fumu, I guess this is as much as I can hear from people hired with money.
"Master, arrested the bad guys in the place this man testified, and safeguarded the young organism so I report."
Nana, holding a young boy whose arm is wrapped in yellow cloth under her arm, comes back while dragging a dirtied kidnapper.
As expected, the public attentions gather here, it's uncomfortable.
Looks like this boy belongs to a different orphanage than the Shin boy's.
Apparently, there isn't only one evil director colluding with the kidnappers.
Now then, I'll have to send invitations to the prison to those evil directors--