13-22. The Princess's Tea Party (2)
Satou's here. I've seen harps in stories and tv shows, but I've never seen one in person. I have an image of a woman wearing toga playing a harp, but that's quite heavy isn't it.
I'm saved by the announcement that the little sister of Princess Shistina will come.
Stopping the anti-listening device, we clean up the spell documents and get back to a normal tea party state.
While feeling a bit like a secret lover of a married woman somehow, my eyes catch sight of a little girl who appears on the entrance of the room.
The small princess hugs Princess Shistina.
Her name is Doris, born from the same mother as Princess Shistina, she's the twelfth princess who's only 10 years old. She's two years younger than Arisa, but her physique is no different than Arisa's.
Princess Doris is behaving like a spoiled child with her big sister for a while, after that she turns toward Mia and speaks in high tension.
"Mia-sama! I've brought an unusual harp and Hisui today for Mia-sama!"
The 'Hisui' that Princess Doris was talking about isn't a jade but a small songbird with feathers as beautiful as a jade. <TLN: Hisui=jade>
It's singing beautifully from inside a luxurious cage.
--I wonder what is this? I get deja vu like I know this bird.
"Mia-sama, please play this!"
Mia receives the harp, flicks the strings with her finger and confirms the music scale.
The harp looks mystical befitting to be an item of a princess of a large kingdom.
The strings that look like they're made from gold are arranged on the harp's jade-like main body.
In addition, a relief of a long haired woman is carved on its supporting part.
This female statue doesn't seem to be a mere decoration but it also serves as an echo pipe, Mia is doing trial and error with a serious face, trying to grasp the harp's characteristic.
Looks like Princess Doris is bored now that Mia isn't keeping her company, she steps toward me.
"I permit you to give your name."
Princess Doris spoke so as if commanding me who was still sitting.
The way she's trying her best to look dignified is heartwarming.
"Nice to meet you your highness. I am Viscount Satou Pendragon, a retainer of Earl Muno."
After that, I bow stylishly like a young nobleman would.
Normally I would only do this to a lady, but this kind of greeting should make a little girl who's trying hard to look like an adult happy.
"My! What a wonderful greeting, Sir Pendragyon--Viscount-sama. I am the twelfth princess of Shiga Kingdom, Doris Shiga. I'm born from the same mother as Shistina nee-sama's nano--desuwa."
Princess Doris returned the greeting even while fumbling her words and using wrong speech.
After looking restlessly to my sides, she turns toward Arisa.
"Arisa, leave that space."
Arisa rudely refused the order even though it was against a princess of a large kingdom.
It seems the princess didn't think that she would be refused, her line of sight loiters around restlessly.
Mia is sitting on the opposite side of Arisa.
After looking troubled for a while, seemingly unable to tell Mia to leave, she smiles as if she's realized something and then she holds both her hands toward me.
--What does she want me to do?
"Let me sit on your lap, Pendra--Satou."
I see, she wants to sit on my lap huh.
"Doris, you're being impolite."
"Princess, sit beside Princess Shistina."
Princess Shistina and Princess Doris's close aide rebuked her, but she turns her clingy-like line of sight toward me.
"Understood, Princess Doris."
I grab her waist and put her on my lap.
Mia and Arisa seem dissatisfied, but please let me off for just spoiling a cute child.
After Mia has finished adjusting the strings, she begins playing the harp.
It seems the jade colored bird likes Mia's performance, it's chirping with the music.
--Un? I can feel wave of magic power.
According to information from AR reading, the crystal tree which the harp is made from has an effect on the emotion of the audiences.
Simply put, the item has an extra effect of making the listeners get more easily impressed.
In fact, the people here, besides me who've resisted it, are listening to Mia's performance in ecstasy.
By no means it's because my sensitivity has been gotten bad.
Well, it doesn't seem like it causes any harm anyway, I'll just listen to Mia's performance quietly--.
Right at that time, I heard a bird's shriek, and then sound of metal bursting echoes in the room.
It's followed by the servants' screams, throwing the room into chaos.
Before my view, there's a monster spreading its wing on top of a broken cage.
An emeral green colored bird-type monster opens its bright red eyes.
Red-rope pattern magic circle is emerging from the surface of its jewel-like feathers.
--A red rope monster?
"Y-your highness, please evacuate!"
I throw the three little girls to the corner of the room, and carry Princess Shistina to that corner.
I feel sorry for the maids who look like they'll faint, but I only have two arms.
I put down Princess Shistina to the falling point of the three little girls, and receive the coming little girls one by one.
I think Arisa is a big shot for trying to aim for my lips in this situation.
I felt that the presence of the monster trying to act when I was receiving Arisa, so I kicked one of the heavy sofas toward the monster.
"Why is a red rope pattern in this place?"
"Let's defeat it for now."
Mia's and Arisa's questions are reasonable, but there are too many non-combatants here.
Removing the monster quickly is probably for the best.
"You can't! Don't kill Hisui!"
When I was going to eliminate the monster, Princess Doris stops me with her whole body.
So that's really what remain of Princess Doris's songbird.
"I'm sorry your highness."
I apologize to the small Princess Doris and rush toward the monster.
Unfortunately, I lack preparation.
I block the bird's ultrasonic breath with [Air Curtain] magic chantlessly, and hit the monster's body with my palm.
Princess Doris's desperate scream is beating my back.
Even if it's unreasonable, I shouldn't give up easily.
Having nothing to lose in trying, I rob the monster's magic power with [Mana Drain] through my palm.
The red rope magic circle that protects the monster's body disappears.
So far it's just as planned, I'll leave it to luck from here on.
I search the magic core inside the mosnter's body with map search.
It's really not possible huh....
I consciously use the [Magic Essence Distribution Perception] that I've learned recently.
I can perceive the distribution of magic essence inside the monster's body.
It seems the magic sense is thick around the blood vessel and the body surface.
The thickest one among them is probably the magic core.
I pierce the monster's body with my arm and pull out the magic core inside.
However, my intuition tells me that doing only this much is the same as just killing the monster.
Then what should I do next?
Maybe I should remove the magic essence flowing in its body?
I execute that thinking.
If I can tear magic barrier with my hand, then I should be able to grasp magic essence too.
I grasp the magic essence together with the blood that's coming out from the wound opened from taking the magic core, and then carefully pull it out like pulling a root from the ground.
I feel like several hours have passed, but it's probably only a few seconds in reality.
I pulled around 70% of the magic essence from the monster's body.
The monster's body is shrunk, turning back into a bird.
"Princess, you can't."
"No! Let go!"
--However, the damage is probably to heavy for a small bird to withstand.
The songbird's fire of life is disappearing.
I confirm the stock of magic potions in my storage.
Low-grade medicines are out of question. I think mid-grade medicine should be able to do it, but I don't have the conviction that it'll succeed.
Let's be careful here and use the best one.
I take out a small bottle of upper-grade magic potion from the storage.
It's been mixed with my blood so I can't use it to other people, but there shouldn't be anyone complaining if it's for a bird.
I sprinkle the magic potion on the songbird's wound, and put the rest into its small beak.
--Pi, pi, pu, piru, piru, pipirururuu.
The agonizing voice from the bird gradually turns energetic.
"Hisui! Thank god!"
As expected of upper-grade magic potion.
The effect is outstanding even though it's been mixed with my blood!
"A m-monster got... turned back into the original creature?"
I feel slightly guilty when I hear the feverish voice of Princess Shistina, but since this ended without Princess Doris having some strange trauma, I guess you can call this excellent.
Now then, what kind of excuse should I use.
"Your highness, the medicine that I used just now was called Nectar, an item that was found in the lowest floor of a certain labyrinth--"
Do your best [Deception] skill.
Tomorrow's peace depends on you!
The twelfth princess of Shiga Kingdom. 10 years old. Born from the same mother as Princess Shistina's.
Her pet appeared at a glimpse in [12-18. Tea Party's Intruder].