15-19. Weasel Empire, at the Imperial Capital
Satou's here. It's said that news of bad deed travel quickly, but the true bad deed is concealed deeply and progressed quietly.
"Mast--Kuro-sama, the city has come into view."
As Liza is reporting in, I lean my body at the window to check.
I'm heading to Rete city in Weasel Empire as Kuro, accompanied by Liza, Zena-san and a female executive cadet of Echigoya Firm.
Liza and Zena-san are wearing Echigoya Firm's uniforms, and equipped with mirror geass to cope with the emperor's geass.
Further, the reason why the cadet is with us is to take on a certain dangerous task.
Originally, I should have been the one who would be doing that, but since the executives of Echigoya Firm and the girls in the solitary island palace were against it, this girl who volunteered first undertook the job instead.
Even though I've prepared more than enough safety measures, I can't say for certain that it'll be safe, so I'm thinking of fulfilling one of the girl's wishes once this job is over.
"Quite a big city."
"Hmph, you Shiga Kingdom lot might not believe it, but that's not our Imperial Capital. Every city of our empire is as big and populous as the capital of Shiga Kingdom."
The one who quickly picked up my muttering and boasted was the owner of this airship, Lady Liedill, the temple knight of Weasel Empire.
In accordance to the crown prince's scheme, it seems that she didn't know that the demon lord had been defeated until recently and kept loitering around the labyrinth after her treatment, until today.
Due to that, her level has increased by one, and her escort knights have also leveled up although there are slightly fewer of them now.
She's currently acting as my guard and carrying a letter from the crown prince to the emperor.
"Are we descending?"
"We're changing our ride in that Rete city."
When I sensed the floating feeling and muttered, Lady Liedill kindly told me the reason.
She's probably bored with the air travel too.
"Sorry, we needed to prepare for a bit."
After finishing the preparation, we got out of the waiting room in Rete city, and made Lady Liedill who got tired of waiting angry.
"The immigration check room is over here."
"It's emptier than I expected."
"Our country has been closed. Normally there are only several people, 10 at most."
We followed Lady Liedill and met a purple-haired girl surrounded by many guards.
There's a transparent magic wall between her and us, I think it can easily defends against normal mid-level magic.
The girl is a reincarnated person, her name is Louise. It's an unusual name for a Japanese, but it's not like a reincarnated person must always be Japanese--or maybe her parents simply loved light novels.
Her skills are hidden, I can't see it. Her level is 34, she's a cat ear-kin.
The twitching ears are cute.
"Please sit down on that chair."
The girl who said that with downcast eyes looked at me with upturned eyes and opened them wide.
『A-Alex that actor? But, but, his hair is white, I guess not?』
The muttering girl is staring at and appraising me.
I don't know the name Alex but he must be a foreign actor whose face is similar to Kuro.
"I don't mind if it's your job, but appraising people out of curiosity is not a good manner you know."
When I said that while playing innocent of my own doing, the girl cowered as if she was scolded and muttered, "I'm sorry".
It looks like this girl is a honest type.
"Leaving that aside, finish the immigration check thing."
The girl's guards are frowning in displeasure at my arrogant attitude, but I'm not going to bother myself with background characters.
"If you don't have any objection to my words, please say 『I swear』."
After saying that, the girl is wrapped in purple phosphoresce.
She probably used a Unique Skill.
"Your memories in Weasel Empire, starting from the moment you enter this room, will be lost once you leave Weasel Empire."
After the girl said that in a tone like she was used to it, she fell silent.
She's probably waiting for us to say, "I swear".
When the executive cadet said that clearly, a coronet made of purple light appeared on her head for an instant and then disappeared.
That was probably the mark of the Unique Skill's activation.
Now then, let's inspect it.
I move the executive cadet away from the room to Echigoya Firm with Unit Arrangement.
The girl was surprised to see the executive cadet disappeared, and reacting to that, her guards and Lady Liedill touched their sword's handles.
"Do not panic."
I wave one of my hands, and while maintaining that posture, I cut off the remote possession mode from the Kuro doll which had changed place with me in the waiting room earlier and return my consciousness to my real body at Echigoya Firm.
The scene changes from the immigration check room I saw as Kuro doll earlier to the Echigoya Room which I'm seeing as myself.
"How is your memories?"
I check the executive cadet whose consciousness has gone back from the executive cadet doll to her real body.
"The information on the log shows that it's interrupted on the arrival at Rete city."
"I-I can remember the time when I entered the immigration room."
I see, in remote possession mode, the effect is only valid for the doll.
"Thank you for your cooperation. I'll be getting back to my mission, for your achievement this time you'll get paid vacations and special bonus so you should take some rest today."
When I rewarded her, the executive cadet saluted upright.
She seems to be quite nervous so I lightly wave my hand to prompt her to leave and I get back to the remote possession mode of the Kuro doll in Weasel Empire.
And then, after a slight time lag, my view returned back to the immigration room in Rete city.
I show the magic tool furnished with green and red gems in my hand.
"The green one is shining. Looks like my subordinate who has gone back to our country is fine."
"Wha! Are you doubting me?!"
After I said that, Miss Louise stood up and got outraged as if it was unthinkable.
"You think I will unconditionally believe someone I just met."
"T-that's true but...."
Miss Louise faltered to hear me.
Her guards unanimously reproached me, but dealing with them will be troublesome so I ignore them.
"Kuro-dono, please hand over that magic tool. If you have any other communication magic tools, please leave them here."
"This is an antenna only tool for receiving signal--though you won't believe that. I swear that I don't have any other communication magic tool with me."
A man who seems to be Miss Louise's aide enters the room and takes the magic tool away from me.
He checks whether I'm lying with his colleagues on the other side of the wall and then goes back to his room.
"By the way, is the vow still in effect? If it is, do we take one now?"
"Y-yes. Please do."
After Miss Louise nodded, we said, "I swear" and finished the ritual.
Needless to say, since Liza and Zena-san are equipped with substitute dolls too, there's no problem.
"What is it? Is there another ritual?"
Miss Louise called me hesitatingly when I was about to go out of the room as urged by Lady Liedill.
"...Your name, um."
The girl seems to like this foreign actor's face.
"Ku-Kuro? Are you Japanese--"
"I was named by the master of the Black Dragon Mountains. My lord, Nanashi-sama also asked the same question when he heard the name."
"Is, that so."
The girl who muttered weakly as I told her the history behind the name seemed disappointed for some reason.
I wonder what did she expect?
"--Are you living happily here?"
"Y-yes. Not only that there's zero overtime, half of the month are even holidays, and the people around me care for me kindly."
The girl who was speechless by my question answered honestly.
Looking at her condition, looks like it's just as she's said.
Then I don't have to go out of my way to take care of her.
"I see, if you're ever troubled with works, go visit Echigoya Firm in Dejima Island."
Nevertheless, I think I'm allowed to say that much.
"We're taking an airplane heading to the imperial capital's airport from here."
"Is it not an airships?"
Zena-san asked back Lady Liedill.
Zena-san and Liza are wearing the translation rings, so they can perfectly understand the people of the Weasel Empire mutually.
"That's right. Airplanes are faster."
Lady Liedill boasted with a child-like expression.
A small 20-seater propeller plane is waiting at the airport we're guided to.
Its shape is similar to the airplane I know.
Inside the plane, each seat is wide, so each side of the plane only holds eight seats.
The seat looks luxurious, this seems to be an airplane for VIPs.
Liza and Zena-san screamed weakly when the airplane took off.
I thought the two were afraid of flying in the sky, but it seemed they had their own reasons.
"It is similar to when I got on the back of the dragon, the sudden floating sensation is unpleasant isn't it."
I see, in Liza's case, she probably didn't feel the floating sensation since she jumped when we took off.
"I was anxious, I thought the airplane might fall."
It's very like Zena-san to worry about that.
She was probably anxious since we could see the airplane's wings rocking from the windows.
Even if the airplane falls, it should only end with a scratch with Zena-san's equipment, so it's a needless anxiety.
"Is that line a railroad?"
"That seems to be the case."
"That's the smoke car's road (ensharl) that connect cities which our Weasel Empire is proud of."
Lady Liedill boastfully corrected Liza's question.
I think the part where she doesn't question why we know about railroads makes her fail cute.
And then, Liza found that as we got close to the Imperial Capital.
"I wonder what is that?"
"It's big for a barrier pillar. Is it some kind of tower?"
"It's reflecting light like it's made from metal isn't it."
The thing that Liza found and made Zena-san puzzled is--.
"That's... The white tower of 『Brains』. It's been isolated away from the Imperial Capital since it's making some loud rumbling noises."
Lady Liedill said that with a displeased expression.
It's too big to be a ballistic missile, or are they going to launch a man-made satellite?
It might really be a rocket tower though.
The airplane lowered its altitude during our conversation, and landed at an airport in the suburb of the Imperial Capital.
Unfortunately, I couldn't see the Imperial Capital due to the cloudy sky, but we're going to it anyway.
Liza and Zena-san crushing their seats' handrails during the descent were impressive.
I probably should use defensive magic when we're sitting on two or three seater.
"This is the capital city of our empire!"
The moment the smoke car we rode on came out of a tunnel to a high place that overlooked the Imperial Capital, Lady Liedill boasted again.
"T-this is Imperial Capital."
"T-there's a lot of very big buildings."
Liza and Zena-san were surprised.
There, I saw a majestic looking dome-shaped structure in the center of the crowded skyscrapers.
"What do you think! Our empire is great isn't it?"
"Is that dome the emperor's castle?"
Lady Liedill answered my question.
"The shape looks strange."
"Fufuhn, that shape was chosen not out of whim or sophism you know?"
Lady Liedill are looking down at us with an air of superiority.
She's probably waiting for me to ask her.
I inadvertently want to tease her after she's showing this much dumb cute behaviors.
"It's a precaution against attacks from the sky right? Or perhaps, it's also a solar generator?"
It seems both of my statements were correct, Lady Liedill fell silent while looking dissatisfied.
I might have been a bit childish.
The smoke car we rode on passed through the huge Imperial Capital gate and arrived at an imposing station.
Now then, as for the information of the Weasel Empire's Capital from the [All Map Exploration]--
The population is more than 300.000 people, the most numerous ones were not the weaselkin, but the ratkin and the rabbitkin, the weaselkin is only a third of the population. There are also humans but ratio is not so high.
Special mention for the fact that there's no slave.
Since the citizens are separated by class, from first to third class, there's a possibility that the third class citizens are treated like slaves though.
The average levels of the empire's citizens are 3 just like Shiga Kingdom's citizens, but the soldiers' average is high at 10 and the knights' at nearly 30.
Just as the rumor suggests, Temple Knights where Lady Liedill belongs to have 107 people that are higher than level 50. Ten of them are more than level 60, the knight leader and number two have reached level 70.
If every one of them were deployed in the war against Makiwa Kingdom, it would probably have been over before we could intervene.
On the other hand, the court magicians' levels are not that high, the average is 40 besides two level 50.
Since half of the Temple Knights have magic skills, the court magicians' duty might be something other than battle.
Unfortunately, the emperor and the tactician Touya were not caught on the map.
They're probably lurking at a different map somewhere.
"Huh? Doesn't that face look familiar?"
"U~n, it looks like Alex, but isn't he a bit shorter?"
I could hear a conversation between a purple haired and a black haired women who were eating parfait in a parlor inside the station building.
They seem to belong to the Weasel Empire's research institution, [Brains].
The purple haired girl is a reincarnated person, and the black haired girl has an obviously Japanese face.
I searched again since I forgot to check it. There are more than 10 reincarnated people at various ages inside the Imperial Capital, and there's a lot of people with Japanese names yet without Unique Skill like the black haired girl in front of me who belong to [Brains].
It appears the [Japanese Summoning] experiment performed by Princess Menea's home country, Rumooku Kingdom, is continued by the Weasel Empire.
It looks like my job in Weasel Empire has increased by one.
It helps that the women in the parlor look happy.
--Guhehehe, I'm not Arisa-chan if I miss a good opportunity like this.
Walking on tiptoe, I go from Solitary Island Palance to Echigoya Firm.
"Tifa please. Let go of that hand."
When I got to Echigoya Firm, a yuri-yuri conversation was happening in front of Master.
Tifaliza, the transcendental western-style beauty is tightly grasping the manager Elterina's hand that's reaching toward Master's cheek, holding her back.
Come to think of it, currently, Tifaliza is the only one that remains a slave of Master.
It feels like she has a special treatment somehow, vexing.
"I just want to touch those soft cheeks a little bit."
Yep yep, I can sympathize with El-cchi.
Poking those cheeks feels really good.
Master displeasedly brushing my hand is very cute, my delusion goes wild just by that reaction alone.
"Doing such a thing when the other party is unconscious is cowardly."
Tifaliza is too serious.
But but, you can't deceive Arisa-chan's eyes.
That's the face of her persuading herself while admonishing El-cchi.
Alright then, Arisa the evangelist will show her true ability here.
"I've heard it! You two!"
"Another problem child...."
Oh you Tifaliza, you're so cold to me.
And she was really obedient when I taught her to do double-entry bookkeeping in three days.
"Tifaliza's right, poking Master's cheeks is the best when he's conscious!"
Tifaliza looks confused to hear me somehow.
"When he's unconscious, it's this!"
After saying that, I put my head on the lap of Master who's sitting on the sofa.
I'd like for those slender fingers to gently brush my hair if possible, but I'll bear with it.
I want to caress his lap, but I restrain myself since the two's coiling stares are heavy.
"A-Arisa-san, me to...."
After having thoroughly enjoyed myself enough, I change place with Elterina who entreated.
Tifaliza is only looking with wistful expression, she doesn't stop or ask for it.
She sure is a child with disadvantageous nature.
Let Arisa-chan pitch in and help you here!
"Time to change."
"That's right, look at the line, the line!"
Saying that, I push aside the reluctant Elterina from Master's lap.
Tifaliza whose whole face is red looks down while fidgeting.
What is this cute creature.
"What are you saying now, after overlooking me and Elterina, you're already an accomplice you know?"
Hearing me, Tifaliza looks shocked.
"Eat poison till the plate, so they say, right."
I whisper so in Tifaliza's ear.
My face must totally look like a villain right now.
"Come on come on, this la~p is so~ft y'know~"
Succumbing to the temptation, Tifaliza lies down on Master's lap.
"How is it?"
"Err, um.... It feels nice."
Awright! I got me [Feels nice]!!
Tifaliza's silver hair is gently brushed as I laugh guhehe.
There, Master who's opened his eyes is kindly looking at Tifaliza.
"U-um, Kuro-sama, t-this is."
"Un, I understand, it's alright."
Master tenderly spoke to Tifaliza who was in fluster on his lap.
"The culprit is Arisa right?"
--Not good, I'm exposed.
I told so in my heart and tried to teleport away but my magic was neutralized.
I also tried to escape by running but the gate to the Solitary Island Palace had been closed.
"You understand right, Arisa?"
"I-it's my first time. Be gentle okay?"
Master ignored me trying to soften the mood, and flicked my forehead to hard lump as the penalty.
It was super painful, but since I got to satisfy myself with lap pillow after a long time, this day was a good day.