14-19. Muno Earldom (4)
Satou's here. A senpai told me that trust is like falling dominoes. Apparently how you endure the stress that pile up little by little and how easy it can be broken by a single misstep resemble them.
"Airships really are fast aren't they."
"Father, for both the viceroy and his heir to go to the danger zone, isn't that too reckless!"
The people who are participating in the recapture plan of [Tagenkoumi Town] occupied by monsters are the members of team Pendragon, Earl Muno, Orion-kun, Sir Zotor who's made a comeback as a knight, and the Kobold siblings.
<TLN: It should be town instead of city, previous chapter has been corrected.>
That's good and all, but Orion-kun has been disputing seriously with Earl Muno since awhile ago.
"It's not recklessness. We're with Satou-kun and his companions, we'll be safe anywhere we go."
"Leave it to me~?"
"That's right nanodesu! Pochi will defeat things like dangers like 'zumbararin' nodesu!"
Tama and Pochi replied Earl Muno's fully trusting speech by taking shutan poses.
After looking at his father frustratingly, Orion-kun went to the deck with heavy steps.
From his point of view, if I were ambitious, I'd make it so that the two died by monsters' hands and took control of the territory, he was probably trying to warn his father about that.
It sounds rude, but being cautious like Orion-kun is normal.
I like people who are trusting, without being vigilant, like Earl Muno though.
"Master, flying-type monsters are approaching from the front."
"Master, permission to intercept!"
Liza reported, Nana bent herself forward and asked for my permission.
Looking at the map, I understand that there are countless monsters aiming for the airship from afar.
"Alright, permission granted. Arisa, please take the initiative with fire magic."
"Lulu, please help sniping using the normal bullets."
"Mia, please prepare the Garuda."
"Nn, leave it to me."
I stop the two Muno from following everyone to the viewing deck.
We have special seats for watching spectacles over the windshield in this cockpit.
Like a cloud, swarming monsters are dyeing the sky black.
It's merely a show since they're all small fries, but it's quite the visual effect. Like in a dream.
"S-so many of them...."
The kobold siblings are getting frightened by the approaching monster swarm.
With so many of them, they look like a swarm of fly or locust, it looks gross.
"T-this is impossible. Sir Pendragon! What are you doing looking so flippant! Turn back the ship immediately! We can't possibly win against such a swarm!"
--'Flippant', how rude.
There was a time when Orion-kun seemed to be scared of me after the Behemoth matter, but it seemed the terror before his eyes had overwritten that, he snarled at me desperately.
"It's alright. We have Arisa here."
"What can a little girl who's only good with her mouth--"
Orion-kun stopped his words halfway through.
He's probably surprised with the hellfire like flash that can be seen through the window.
The wide-ranged advanced level fire magic that Arisa used incinerated the monster swarm.
It's exactly a real life act of "Sterilize the garbage!"
<TLN: Fist of North Star's reference.>
It's a bit showy, but since it's a magic that the Selbira's Guildmaster can also easily use, it should be fine.
As expected, she didn't use the forbidden spells of the space magic and fire magic that she recently learned.
『Master, did you see? Arisa-chan's coolness!』
"Yeah, of course I did. Don't monopolize them too much okay."
I replied Arisa's [Praise me] call from the speaking tube, and reminded her not to cut loose.
Orion-kun who saw it from the side has hardened with his mouth open, but Earl Muno simply praises, "Arisa-kun's magic is amazing", while looking like usual.
The vast majority of the small fries had been burned by Arisa's magic earlier, while most of the remaining ones had gone back to the town.
Some of the monsters that did try to approach us were all shot down by Lulu's sniping and the beastkin girls' Magic Edge Cannon.
The battle ended after a while and everyone got back here from the deck.
Only Mia who has just finished summoning the Garuda remains on the deck.
I received Arisa who was in good mood after playing an active part, jumping to me while shouting like Pochi.
"....W-with such talent for magic...w-why are you merely a Viscount's retainer...You should have aimed to become the head of Shiga 33 Wands carrying an army directly under His Majesty."
Orion-kun who stiffened with a dumbfounded face until a while ago asked Arisa with a trembling voice.
"How stupid, of course that's because I'm madly in love with Master."
After speaking her love in Showa's way of talking, she cutely kissed my cheek lightly.
Furthermore, with doya face, she poked her own cheek requesting a kiss for her too, so I lightly kiss her like in Western drama to show affection.
<TLN: Search "doya-gao" or ドヤ顔 .>
Arisa who got her kiss reward looks flustered.
She's weak against surprise attacks as usual.
After kissing Tama and Pochi who looked envious in turns, Nana came before me with a serious expression.
Maybe Nana also wants a kiss? So I thought, but it seems to be a bit different.
"Master, wishing for the mean to do long-range attacks."
"Okay. I'll take proper measures."
It seems all of the monsters have been shot down before they entered Nana's [Javelin]'s range.
Nana seemed to be convinced with my sincere answer.
The revived Arisa retorted, "Are you a politician!", but since Nana didn't mind it, I ignored her.
The airship lowers its altitude as it approaches the town.
The monsters inside the town seem to be frightened with Arisa's magic earlier, they're hiding behind the building without a sound.
It seems the shrewd monsters have ran away from the town by scaling the wall and the exit.
When we have crossed the outer wall, there's a sudden movement from the castle ruin in the distant.
"Master, look at that! Nanodesu."
Tama and Pochi who found the Hydra that showed its heads on the castle ruin made a racket.
"What is that big thing!"
"Looks like that's the boss here."
I told the surprised Orion-kun.
"I-if we just use the fire magic from earlier!"
I tell Orion-kun who's sending hopeful glances to Arisa that we can't accept that plan.
"Magic is forbidden with hydra nanodesu."
"Master, please give us the permission to subjugate it in close combat."
"Master, permission to sortie!"
The vanguards agreed with my opinion and made a suggestion.
This is not because Hydra is resistant against fire magic.
"R-ridiculous. Why don't you fight by safely attacking it from a distance?"
The beastkin girls who are heading to the sortie catapult answer Orion-kun who's shaking his head finding it incomprehensible.
"Because, it's no good~?"
"That's right nanodesu. The meat will go bad nodesu."
"Hydra's meat is delicious. We cannot get the meat if we attack it carelessly."
"....What'd you say."
Looks like it's hard for Orion-kun to accept beastkin girls' explanations that are overflowing with appetite.
Nana has already sortied through acceleration magic circle from the catapult, she's not here now.
We have a lot of spectators today, so I let the ship to move close to the ground, making it going up and down.
Mia's Garuda that has gone ahead of everyone pins the Hydra to the ground.
And then the vanguards rush in one after another.
"It's a decisive battle of kaijuu."
"Pochi-chan and Tama-chan look like they're having fun."
Arisa and Lulu are in complete spectator mode.
"Umu, Pochi-kun and Tama-kun are strong on top of being cute aren't they."
Earl Muno also stands in a line with the two, enjoying the vanguards' actions.
For the fight this time, the one that has done the most is Pochi.
She cut down the Hydra's head one after another by using Magic Edge that she extended from her blade.
I'll give the right for the first fork stab of the Hydra's head grill to Pochi.
Leaving the people who were watching the battle while holding their breath, I moved to the ground ahead with teleport magic.
"I guess it's around here?"
There are a lot of underground cavities from the treasure vaults and dungeons in the site of the castle ruin.
I pick a cavity that isn't close to the City Core and decide to make a tunnel hole with earth magic.
"I guess it'll look unnatural if there's a tunnel here suddenly."
While muttering to myself, I pick and use architecture magic from the Magic Column.
I installed a room and a bulk door with seal-like carving on the entrance of this underground tunnel.
In addition, I made them to look old using the [Weathering] magic I used on the document back then.
"Now then, I can finally start on the tunnel."
I've lost around five minute time, so let's do this quickly.
I dig a hole of around three meter big in diameter, and then I install a two meter spiral stair on the hole's side.
Of course I've included the hand rail to prevent falls.
I'm thinking of installing an elevator for transporting things on the center, so I've left it hollow.
As a precaution, I make an open space every 100 meters, moving pits out of the way.
I want to avoid lethal accidents from happening.
After continuing my work for about 10 minutes, I've finally penetrated to the silver vein and the pulsing Mithril ore area, and even connected to the place where there are Blue Crystal, our objective.
Just in case, I install a bulky door that leads to the Blue Crystal.
Just for appearance, let's put a powerful lock on the door.
Since I could set conditions with locking magic, I made a blue sapphire key for it, and put a condition where only the one that held it could go in. It should be fine as long as I have the duplicate.
I leave this key in the first room.
After finishing all the work in fifteen minute time after the start of the battle, I stealthily teleported back to the airship.
It was just right after the Hydra was defeated, so I directed the airship toward the castle ruin.
"Master, completed the removal of debris in front of the barrier, so I report."
As a thanks for Nana who did the labor, I promise her to do the magic power supplement for her before we go to sleep later.
The beastkin girls and the Garuda are currently eliminating the monsters that are lurking in the castle ruin.
"The barrier is holding up huh."
The barrier that prevents intrusion to the City Core seems to be functioning.
I feel that the barrier will be broken if I touch it, so I make sure not to get close to it.
"What should we do? Should we go ahead to check if there's any danger?"
"You can't! Only the viceroy and the next viceroy can enter here."
When I asked Earl Muno, Orion-kun cut himself between us and replied.
"It's alright Satou-kun. There are many things protecting me with the viceroy's power. Orion, you wait here with Satou-kun."
"This is an order."
After saying so, Earl Muno walked to the other side of the barrier alone.
Orion-kun tried to follow after him, but it seemed he was stopped by the barrier, he couldn't go inside.
Earl Muno probably used the City Core's power dwelling in the terminal to enter the barrier.
After a while, the crest of Earl Muno flashed on the barrier's surface for an instant.
He's probably seized the City Core of this town.
We wait for the Earl Muno while calming down the Kobold siblings who are pestering about the location of the Mithril vein.
"Heya, thanks for waiting. I have to decide on the proxy--governor of this town."
Earl Muno who came back said so and looked around.
"Liza-kun, can I ask you?"
"Me, is it? Isn't it more suitable for Master?"
"I've discussed this with Nina, Satou-kun has to be the lord of the abandoned mine city. I want to appoint you to be the governor of this town."
"As I am Master's attendant, I can't do the duties--"
"The actual rule will be entrusted to a chief administrator, there's no problem."
Liza is looking at me with an anxious expression, so give her my consent.
"Understood. I accept the duty as a governor."
"Is that so! Good. Then let's start the ceremony right away."
It seems there's no need to be close to the City Core to appoint the proxy.
Liza's governor appointment ceremony was finished with a simple spell.
It was similar to the [Conferring Peerage] ceremony that I went through.
"So this a place for ceremony, I wonder if there's something here?"
"Found, a key~?"
"Master! There's a stairway here nodesu!"
The beastkin girls found the room that went to the Mithril tunnel, Tama also quickly found the key to the Blue Crystal room.
"It's quite deep."
The people who are going to go down with me are the beastkin girls, the Kobold siblings and Orion-kun, seven of us.
Mia and Arisa were interested, but they gave up after hearing about the long stairs.
I'll show the video recording to the girls later.
"Silver? Isn't this a silver vein!"
The exposed silver vein was glittering halfway through the stairs, the tension of Orion-kun who looked tired went up.
"If there's a silver vein, that means--"
"Yes! There might really be a Mithril vein close by!"
The Kobold siblings look happy.
Apparently, the two didn't believe about the Blue Crystal matter.
Approximately 600 meter deep, the exposed vein slightly changes to green color from the silver.
"It's Mithril! If we dig here, the Blue Crystal might be here too!"
"There must be! I'll go back to the top immediately and bring a pickaxe."
I'm sorry for the two who are ecstatic, but they won't find the Blue Crystal no matter how long they dig here.
"Wait. According to the document, they found the Blue Crystal in the innermost bed. Bring the pickaxe after we've checked that."
With my persuasion, the two stepped ahead as if hurrying us.
There's still about 400 meter more, but I can't say that.
The Kobold siblings who have run to the lowest layer run back to us.
Tama and Pochi are together with them too.
"There was a door-like thing below. Hand ov--please lend me the key that was found earlier."
The older brother Kobold who was speaking in commandeering tone due to his excitement changed to polite speech with a glare from Liza.
"That key should be able to open it, desu."
<TLN: He added desu as a sort of polite tone.>
The older brother Kobold's deduction was right, but since I went out of my way to put a gimmick in order to see their delighted reactions, I made him to endure it, saying, "Let's go with everyone."
When we arrived before the door, Orion-kun who was staggering after walking too much sat down on the ground.
It looks like he's implying that he can't move anymore.
"--I'm opening it!"
The older brother Kobold who took the key look back at us, asking for confirmation.
Even though he was excited a while ago, it seems he's insecure now that he's actually here.
I gave him my consent, and then the door made an opening sound.
"Yeah, with this our Bolflos will live on."
While being illuminated by the glittering Blue Crystal that spread before their eyes, the Kobold siblings take each other hands, crying full of joy.
While still sitting down, Orion-kun's eyes gleam seeing those glittering.
"It's blue like the color of holy swords nanodesu."
Tama and Pochi are looking at the scene with sparkling eyes that won't lose to the Blue Crystal.
That's while both of them are being carried under Liza's arms though.
The older brother gave a lump of Blue Crystal to the little sister and then he knelt down before me.
"Sir Pendragon, we siblings--no, Bolflos Clan pledge eternal allegiance to you."
No no, you should do that to Earl Muno.
If you said such a misfired thing, Orion-kun would glare at you, you know.
"If you want to pledge your loyalty, please do it to Earl Muno."
"If he didn't give his permission, you guys wouldn't have been able to get the Blue Crystal."
"....Understood. We will follow Sir Pendragon's words."
He somehow looks like he doesn't understand it, but there's no problem as long as he pledges their allegiance to Earl Muno.
The Kobold siblings went back to the ground while bringing the needed amount of the Blue Crystal for now, and then the two pledged their allegiance to Earl Muno.
This time it's only with words, but it seems they'll officially be tied to Earl Muno with [Contract] later.
After taking the two Muno to Muno City, we brought the Kobold siblings to the abandoned mine city, and got the approval for their clan to migrate to Tagenkoumi town.
The aforementioned weaselkin magician didn't exist in the map, let alone the abandoned city, so I didn't get to meet him.
His name, [Black Mole] seems to be an alias that's often used, no one knows his real name.
In addition, since Echigoya Firm has received the project to redevelop [Tagenkoumi Town], the essential utilities, dwellings and administration facilities should be complete by the time the Kobolds arrive at Tagenkoumi town.
--Should be, or rather I think I'll just make them with magic secretly.
I tell Echigoya Firm's Manager to make a contract for getting stable supplies of Mithril ingots from Muno Earldom in exchange of the installation of Mithril refining equipment.
The Manager was awfully enthusiastic, perhaps I should have told her to take it easy.
The Kobold siblings show up bringing tributes the day before we depart.
A Blue Steel pike and sword, silverworks, and sapphires, most are jewelries.
"Oh my! How wonderful!"
"It suits you well, Muse."
Miss Muse who got an extra-large sapphire pendant from Orion-kun gleefully hugs him.
Orion-kun who didn't expect his fiancee's action is blushing.
"Viscount Pendragon, this is the promised 『Blue Fang』 treasured sword and the secret book that details the manufacturing process of Blue Steel."
I received the sword presented by the little sister Kobold and then gave it back to her.
"The treasured sword should be carried by the one who should have it."
I answered her dissatisfaction while looking at the older brother Kobold.
She seemed to understand, she received the sword while saying, "We will follow our lord's decree."
Like I said, your master is Earl Muno.
The next morning, we departed while being sent off by the people of Muno Earldom.
I thought of stopping by to the Seryuu city, but since I don't want to deal with Earl Seryuu's unreasonable demands, we head toward the eastern group of countries as planned.
The first country is Kiwolk--the kingdom of snow and frost-covered trees.
Our first another world winter sports are waiting!