14-26. Snow Kingdom (7)
Satou's here. Cleaning up afterwards is unexpectedly hard isn't it. When I think back upon it, the reason why I stopped cooking my own food when I was living alone was because cleaning up afterward was troublesome.
"Sir Satou Pendragon, extolling your achievement, we reward you with the Medal of Kiwolk Blue Ice Lake."
"I respectfully accept."
I was also offered the peerage of Kiwolk Kingdom's marquis as a reward.
According to Princess Shistina, there are many cases of Shiga Kingdom nobles receiving peerage of other countries, but since there's no merit in getting the peerage, I declined the offer.
As an extra prize, I was also offered Light Snow Princess and her sisters' hand in marriage, but I also politely declined that.
Light Snow Princess kept elegantly complaining how she wanted to go together with us as a guest, but I persuaded her to stay here since this country would need her power now that the winter is over.
In addition she was reproached by the queen and Princess Shistina for forcibly attacking the demon arbitrary. I didn't back her up since it was her own fault.
For this incident, Sera and Princess Shistina got the permission to read the royal castle's library, so I'm thinking of reading many things there.
I legitimately got the Ice Stones promised by Winter General.
There were a lot more than I thought, but I brought it to the solitary island palace through the airship's passage so there's no problem.
It was a bit inconsistent with the airship's hangar capacity, but I explained that I had a high-performing [Magic Bag] to people who were doubtful.
"Sir Pendragon, thank you very much for your assistance."
"I practically did nothing, it was all thanks to my companions."
"My fiancee who was in Light Snow Princess's White Lily Squad wouldn't have gone unscathed if it wasn't for you."
After I was done talking with Winter General, an intellectual beauty with short blond hair who was standing beside him bowed once and said her thanks with a dignified voice.
If I'm not mistaken she was one of the girls who were operating the cannon on the back.
A few days later, I left the party in the royal castle to Sera and Satou doll to take care of, while I, the princess and Hikaru who acted as the guard replacing Lady K went to the royal castle's library to hunt information.
Further, I let Lady K aka Lady Karina to watch footages of traffic accident-like videos to make her realize the rashness of the catapult takeoff she did.
She was trembling together with Pochi and Tama beside her, so she's probably going to take care of herself better from now on.
Right now, she's currently together with Pochi and Tama, experimenting with practical uses of catapult takeoff equipment.
Now then, back to the topic about the library.
There weren't many books, but the documents about the abandoned festivals and local cultures were quite interesting.
"There's a lot of unusual method of ice and fire magic, but most of them aren't that different from the ones in Shiga Kingdom's documents."
"Satou-sama, Ancestor King-sama, please look at these documents relating about magic tools."
"Is this weaselkin language?"
"There is a dictionary for eastern nation language here."
The things the princess found were documents about the general concept of the magic equipment I got during the battle with the demon recently and its operation manual. I'll be copying the content.
Other than that, there wasn't any big discovery and we finished the investigation.
There wasn't any suspicious ancient document or something that I expected.
Further, Light Snow Princess tried to stow away before we departed, but the guard golems caught her, rolled her up in bamboo mat and delivered her to the royal castle's soldiers.
Winter General implied that she was going to forcefully do it before we went, so it was easy to uncover her plan to stow away among the Ice Stone containers.
With a bit of such problems, we, who had settled all the cases, departed for the journey while being sent off by the people of the Royal Capital.
"Satou-sama! I won't give uuuuuuuup!"
Since the stubborn princess shout out loud from the royal castle's spire, I waved back to her with a smile.
What an interesting person. I have no intention of going on the journey with her, but I'll keep her company if we come here again.
Thus, we officially left but--.
We disguised ourselves and then went back to the Royal Capital to treat ourselves with some sightseeing.
"It sure is lively isn't it~"
"That's because Queen-sama announced that the 『Winter』 is ending. Here, take these young ladies."
A stall shopkeeper who's in high tension gave green manjuu wrapped in kelp to the girls.
"I like something a bit harder, but this reminds of the weed dango in Seryuu city."
"Suited for vegetarians, so I evaluate."
"It tastes unusual isn't it."
Liza ate the manjuu and squinted, Nana and Lady Karina carried the manjuu into their mouth with complicated expressions.
Sera and the princess knew that the cuisine in this country tasted bad so they declined the manjuu with a smile and laugh.
"Ugee, yuck. ...Satou."
"Okay okay, I'll eat the leftover, so don't make that face."
"Wa~i, thank you~"
I got the manjuu from Hikaru who had given up from just one bite.
"I-I want to make the guilty verdict."
For some reason, Mia and Arisa are looking at me like they want to say something.
I lightly pat their heads and advance the street.
While chewing the peculiar tasting manjuu in my hand that by no means were tasty, and watching the people who were excited with the [Arrival of Spring], I fully enjoyed the famous places and specialty products of Kiwolk Kingdom.
As I thought, sightseeing is better when the place is merry isn't it.
"Kuro-dono, are you telling that you will build a bulwark on the national border to Kogeoku?"
As Kuro of Echigoya Firm, I visited Kiwolk Kingdom and suggested such a plan to the queen.
As the compensation, I demand the permission to build a branch office in the Royal Capital and amnesty for the people of Kiwolk's remote villages who had left the country and became nomadic tribes.
"People leaving the country is an undesirable state brought about by my lack of virtue. I do not mind giving them amnesty, but what does Kuro-dono seek for desiring such a thing?"
"It is the will of my master, Hero Nanashi-sama."
The queen's question is reasonable, but the goal of this interference is to secure a gain.
As for the gain, since I noticed some people from Kiwolk Kingdom's remote villages had left the country and become wandering people, I'm going to send ones among those people who wish to emigrate to Muno Earldom to the city that will be governed by Satou and the surrounding villages with Unit Arrangement stealthily.
It'd be an international problem if I did it while they were still nomadic tribes, so I've come to ask the amnesty ahead of time.
With this, the wool product and yogurt dish should spread in Muno Earldom.
I've brought enough wild yaks already to produce the materials. Taming them seems like it'll require a considerable effort, but I'll let the emigrated people to work hard on it.
For the meddling, I'm going to make a workshop that produces rations made from Murder Kelp in order to give works to the widows and the orphans.
It's in conflict with their occupation so far, but they should be stopping being reliant with the kelp once the spring comes so it should be good to kill the time until that happens.
The taste is lacking after all, but a portion of the production will be bought by the Kingdom as emergency food reserves. I'll be expecting the new branch manager to expand the market.
I hope that warm spring will come to Kiwolk Kingdom--.
◆Pipine's Point of View: Survivors of Nadare Village◆
"Uwaa! The snow stopped!"
"Look, look onee-chan! Water drop is dripping from the icicle!"
"It's spring! Spring is coming!"
At the scene that conveyed the arrival of spring after 2 years, my little sister and I rally together loudly.
My little sister took the snow shovel and jumped into the house.
I am Pipine of Nadare village to the northwest of Kiwolk Kingdom.
The village that was on the verge of destruction 10 days has become lively beyond recognition.
This and that are all thanks to Satou-san for sharing us food and salt.
"Onee-chan, the person who collapsed on the road woke up!"
My little sister called, I rushed into the house.
The beauty-san who got up from the fur bed looks at us with sleepy eyes.
She was going to say something, but I stop her with my hand.
Her throat would get hurt if she tried to talk since she was sleeping for a long time.
"I'll boil hot water quickly, please wait okay."
The beauty-san with light blue hair that looks like the sky across the icicles lightly nods.
"So you have saved me.... My gratitude."
After drinking the hot water, she took a light breath and said her thanks.
While feeling embarrassed, I warm up the yesterday evening soup and grill some saltwater fish and dried fish I got from Satou-san.
"This is good. I heard that the people of this country suffered from famine...."
Beauty-san tilted her head, shaking her light blue hair.
What an unusual color. The peddler Pon-san told me that there's a king with pink hair in the kingdom to the south.
Maybe this person is a royalty.
"Un, that's right. There might have been no one who survived in this village if Satou-san didn't give us food."
"Is that so.... So it was the truth."
Beauty-san's complexion clouded over with a complicated expression.
The tasty soup will be spoiled if you make that face.
"--Wait, 『Sato』 you said?"
"No that's wrong. It's Satou-san you see?"
"I-I see, it appears I misheard."
It seems she mistook Satou-san's name with her acquaintance.
I received the emptied soup bowl and gave Beauty-san well grilled dried fish.
"Then, to return the favor, I will bring the divine punishment as the proxy to the people who have made this terrible 『Winter』 continue, even to the statesmen."
Beauty-san said some difficult things while biting the dried fish in relish.
I don't really understand, but she misunderstood one thing.
"The winter is over you know?"
I open the window and show here the dripping icicles.
Slightly warm wind flows from the window.
"Spring is coming soon!"
When I told her that with a smile, Beauty-san stood up while muttering, "I see, there was no need for the divine punishment."
It seems she can already move well even though she collapsed on the road and slept for days.
"Girl. Bring one firewood and an empty pot."
I gave her the things she asked, then she said, "This is my thanks", and changed the firewood into salt.
"Onee-chan, it's amazing. She turned a firewood to salt!"
It seems this person is a magician.
My little sister and I joined our hands seeing the miracle before our eyes and screamed in surprise.
We still have salt from Satou-san, but we can never have enough salt, so I received it obediently.
Salt is more useful than money in this Nadare village.
"Then, I'll be going, girl."
"You're going already?"
"Umu, I cannot be in tranquil in order to increase believers of God Zaikuon."
I gave spare snow-shoes and a basket filled with food for several days to the beauty-san who wore a white robe and a white mantle.
"Are you sure?"
"Un, we got a lot salt from you."
"Then I will gratefully accept them. May your life be blessed with fortune--"
Beauty-san who happily took them left after saying some priest-sama like words.
"Oy, Pipine! Is the collapsed person still sleeping."
"Elder-san! Un, she left energetically after drinking the soup."
--Rather than that!
"Elder-san, what are those yaks?"
"Ou, these are borrowed things from Echigoya Firm of Shiga Kingdom. They lend the village around 100 yaks. I'm distributing these two to your place. Raise them carefully since they're borrowed okay."
"Un! Leave it to me!"
I take the yaks' leash from elder-san and lightly scratch the chin of the yak that's leaking white breaths.
My smile naturally leaks when I see the yak snorting happily.
My father and brother who went to the war didn't come back, but the yaks did.
From now on I will raise the yaks, squeeze the milk, shear the wool and live.
And then I will teach my children the way to weave the wool--.
Before that I have to find a husband.
Satou-san's kind smile flashes in my mind.
"Onee-chan, your face is red you know? Did you get a cold?"
"It's nothing! Nothing I said!"
I shake off my little sister's pressing and roll my sleeves to take down the snow piled on the roof.
Now, today is going to be a busy day too!