14-10. Rumor about the Apostle
Satou's here. Fulfilling the promise exchanged during childhood is the standard of childhood friends, but I think remembering the promise you've made in your childhood is a tall order.
"My! You're all Satou's new wives right?"
Even though I'm aware of Aze-san's real intention now, her innocent words weight down on my heart.
With the matter yesterday, today I've brought the princess, Sera, Lady Karina, Zena-san in addition to the usual members to the tree house in Boruenan.
"I am honored to be graced with your presence, your majesty sacred tree Aialize-sama. I am Satou's fiancee, Shistina the sixth princess of Shiga Kingdom."
"U-um.... You don't need to call me 'your majesty' okay?"
Aze-san is bewildered with the overwhelming princess's greeting.
In contrast, Hikaru is acting like she's been friend with Aze-san for 10 years after she greeted her.
"That's right, Aze looks like she doesn't like such a stiff greeting, be more friendly!"
Right now she's sitting beside Aze-san, joining shoulders while being overly familiar.
--Change with me, Hikaru.
"My name is Sera, granddaughter of Duke Oyugock of Shiga Kingdom."
"I'm Ka-Karina, daughter of Earl Muno desuwa."
"E-err, my name is Zena Marientail, I'm working as Satou-san's escort."
The three girls introduced themselves after the princess, but Zena-san's introduction is too modest.
"Zena-san is the benefactor of Liza and the others, and my first friend in Shiga Kingdom."
Thus, I followed up slightly.
"If she's Satou's friend, then she's also my friend. Let's get along well, Zena."
"Y-yes! I-I'm honored to."
As Aze-san rode on it spontaneously, Zena-san rigidly replied in monotone.
"Mwu, wrong wife."
Arisa is looking at them pleasingly, but Mia began to lightly hit Aze-san with sharp eyes.
It's not like she's serious, but leaving it is not good, so I collect Mia with [Magic Hand] and put her on my lap.
Tama who was originally sitting on my lap read the mood and smoothly slid to my side.
"Do you not like to be on my lap?"
"I don't hate it."
Mia is shaking her head, swinging her twintails making it hit the back of my head, but I'll receive this much contently.
"When I look at this, Aze-tan really does have the authority huh. Everyone is rigid."
Arisa comments on the interaction between Aze-san and the others while giving me a cup of fruit water.
That serious mode will soon collapse--.
"What's wrong Arisa?"
Arisa who's letting out some weird laugh pokes my shoulder with her index finger.
"I mean, I heard about it from Aze-tan."
I can guess what she heard, but it doesn't seem like Arisa is going to say it out loud.
"U-um, I've heard about the 100 wives talk too."
Lulu who showed up beside Arisa said the thing that Arisa couldn't say while smiling.
I see, so that's why she looks calm....
I intend to seek the way to ascend the godhood during the grace period, I don't have any plan to get 100 wives right now.
However, seeing Arisa and Lulu looking so happy, as expected I couldn't say it.
Thus, the first meeting of the princess and the others with Aze-san that was filled with tension ended without any problem.
The princess and the others didn't seem like they could talk familiarly with Aze-san yet, but they're probably going to get used to it after seeing Tama and Pochi talk with her normally.
"--Among the orphanages in the Royal Capital, Echigoya Firm has sent human resources and funds to nine of which aren't being supported by the Welfare Bureau. In addition, we've let the senior orphans to do odd jobs at the nearest Firm's workshops. The details regarding the downtown's [Hello Work] and the widows' home industry project are collected in these documents."
The day after we deepened our friendship at the elf village, I received a bundle of documents from Tifaliza.
It's quite thick. I've asked her about the summary, but I have to at least skim over it.
"Next, it's about the military unit deployed to subjugate the rebellion in Bishtal Dukedom. Three orders of knight from the kingdom military have liberated three cities from the rebel army, however...."
It seems the rebel army launched counteroffensives using monsters in order to drive them out of the cities, and got them to be on the verge of annihilation.
Only the order of knight that were accompanied by Jeril of Shiga Eight Swords and mithril explorers was able to successfully defend the city they were in, it seems they're the holding the war front at bay.
"Thus, Heim-dono of Shiga Eight Swords leading holy knights will be deployed."
"Then we should deliver the magic sword that he ordered."
The magic sword that was requested half a month ago has long been completed, but since we put on the official stance, "Built-to-Order needs time", we suspended delivering it.
Heim's personal magic sword is a great sword type that's like the holy sword Durandal, and has [Eternal Blade] command word that can be used to regain its sharpness.
If the blade was just chipped, then it would work somehow, but as expected, the sword couldn't be restored if it was broken.
It's made from adamantite so I can guarantee the toughness.
Since only that much didn't have enough romance, I also put an abridged version of Lulu arm's acceleration magic circle on it.
If you stream magic power into the circuit, it's possible to do super-accelerated slashes or stabs with extreme swiftness.
When I let Pochi to try it, it demonstrated enough power to pierce through a shield made from lesser dragon's scales.
The magic sword is hard to handle, but Sir Heim should be able to master it.
The ominous-sounding Command Word which I got from Arisa was suggested to be changed, but it was too late since I had already put the function.
"Deliver it to Sir Heim before he departs."
I take out the magic sword Heim from the item box and lean it against the work desk.
Coming up the name was troublesome, so I named it by the user's name.
And then, the manager asked me when I had finished talking with Tifaliza.
"Kuro-sama, what would you like to do with the plot of land that has been given to Mitsukuni Duke House? For a mansion that's befitting of a duke house, then a request for the suitable architecture magic for a noble is--"
"I'll do that myself. I'll leave it to the manager to prepare the furniture and the garden."
I want to get some feedback of the experience I've learned from building the solitary island.
"Kuro-sama, if possible we'd like you to build the research facility for Ann and the others who have moved from the junction city."
"Okay. I'll make it a bit away from the the professor's research facility."
Ann whom Tifaliza mentioned is the one who managed alchemists in the junction city, they're the female compounders whom I named from ABCDE.
The matter about the fiend drug should be about to cool down soon, so I've made them to join Echigoya Firm.
"If something happens, get in touch with Mito with the information magic device okay."
The airship where Satou should be boarding is going to arrive this noon, so I'm thinking of completing Duke Mitsukuni's mansion until then.
I've already made the blueprint together with Hikaru and Arisa, so I just need to actualize it.
"Ell-sama, today Kuro-sama is going to come here right--Uwah Kuro-sama!"
"Calm down Aoi. Kuro-sama, please excuse us. Aoi would like to suggest a new business, would you be willing to lend us your time?"
I'd like to quickly construct the duke mansion, but I endure it for a bit and accept Aoi's new business presentation.
"--I see, reformable undergarments made of fiber that can contract and expand with magic power huh."
"Yes, please do tell me if Kuro-sama knows any good material with good cost to performance ratio."
There are many material that can expand with magic power, but materials from plant-type monster deteriorate fast, so there are many which need extra cost to preserve them.
If the deterioration can be ignored, there's something like the [Crawling Ivy] that's used in making traps, but you can't use it for undergarments.
If metal is fine, then the material used for the princess and the others' armor can be used, but that one is too costly even for a noble.
After pondering for a bit, I recalled the thing I heard from Arisa before.
"The magic cloth taught in the magic school should have such a property. Ask the manager to arrange the related book."
A large scale facility will be needed for manufacturing magic cloth, but we should be able to do it with the workshop facilities that Echigoya Firm has bought.
I decided to pretend that I didn't hear Aoi boy saying, "Now we can make stockings."
It seems he has quite the profound taste.
"Fumu, this much should be okay I think?"
When I had finished making the exterior of Duke Mitsukuni mansion, the small airship that Satou should have ridden arrived on the neighboring Earl Muno's Mansion.
I wanted to do the interior decoration too, but I can just do it after finishing my official business later.
After changing to noble clothes in the solitary island palace, I enter the gate to the small airship.
"Master! I saw it from the airship, was it alright do such a conspicuous thing like that?"
"Yeah, it doesn't matter. Kuro's and Nanashi's absurdities are widely known in the royal capital after all. That much is no problem."
Arisa asked about the magical construction of Duke Mitsukuni mansion, so I told her my opinion.
Unlike Satou, Nanashi and Kuro who have Shiga Kingdom backing them should have no opposition in wielding overwhelming power.
After showing that much magic, rather than trying to oppose Duke Mitsukuni house, people probably would try to gain their grace instead.
It should go well if I just leave the manager to deal with the aftermath.
"Leaving that aside, I'm going to meet with the prime minister, what's everyone's plan?"
"Mia and I are going to the library in the magic school."
Arisa and Mia answered my question first.
"I'd like to go with Arisa and Mia-sama, is it alright?"
"Yes, I don't mind. I can report to the prime minister alone."
"Then I'll go with them as a guard."
The princess is going with the library group, and Zena-san will be guarding them.
"Pochi wants to play in the knight school."
"Okay. Don't make too much racket okay."
"Then I will accompany the two."
Looks like the beast girls want to meet their friends in the knight school of the royal academy.
I was slightly worried with just Tama and Pochi, so I was glad that Liza offered to accompany them.
"Master, I want to go to the childhood school so I declare."
It seems Nana wants to visit Shiro and Crow's class.
She'll be happy with a lot of the young organisms there.
The people who aren't here, Lulu is currently testing the menu for the cooking contest in the solitary island palace, while Lady Karina is working hard at her battle training against the combat golems in the beach of the solitary island palace.
Exchanging places with us who have arrived in the royal capital, Hikaru has gone to Fujisan mountains where the heavenly dragons and the others are.
I have asked Hikaru to check the library in the heavenly dragon shrine.
"It wouldn't be good for a vice minister if he was without his attendants, so I'd go with Satou-san to the Royal Castle."
Sera whom I thought would be going to the Tenion Temple declared so.
For some reason, the princess and Zena-san who heard that had [Oh no!] expressions on their face, but I'm only going to report the result of the small airship's test flight to the prime minister, so there's no need to regret anything like that.
"Then, let us go Satou-san."
Together with Sera who was strangely cheerful, I got on the called carriage from Pendragon Mansion to the Royal Castle.
"--Threatening mood is spread among the group of small countries to the east. Right now, we cannot confirm whether any demon is rampaging there, but someone wearing white vestment calling themselves [God's Apostle] has been making several incidents in the small countries."
While sipping the tea made from labyrinth-sourced moss, I listen about the situation at the east where I'm planning to go.
Before we got to this story, he had told me about other stories like the destruction of the demon lord and the war between Holy State Parion and its three neighboring countries.
"Is there anything in common between the incident places?"
"There is nothing that suggests it."
In addition to the [Priest massacre incident] that I've heard from the marchioness in the labyrinth city Selbira, the apostle seems to be doing actions with unknown purpose like destroying the royal villas of the small countries, or annihilating the mercenary groups who were wandering on the strife-laden lands of the small countries.
"The royal research institute and theologians of the temples think that the self-proclaimed apostle may be using the earth magic [Stone to Salt] or the ritual holy magic [Divine Retribution] to change people and building into salt."
Either of the magic has a long chant, and I can sense the magic wave from the sign, so it should not be possible to do a surprise attack on me.
There might be other people that can use ritual magic chantlessly like me though, so I should think of the countermeasure as an insurance.
I also asked the prime minister the way to get in touch with the spies who have infiltrated the countries I will be traveling to.
After leaving the royal castle, Sera and I went around to the royal research institute and met the theologians whom the prime minister referred to gather information.
At the royal research institute we found out that the ritual magic needs some prerequisites like offerings, stars lining up and such, and while we were at it, I also got them to show the latest research, permanent defensive magic.
Leaving aside the former, the latter is extremely helpful, so I presented them some scarce materials needed for their research as the compensation.
We didn't get any new information from each temples we visited afterward, but we were referred to a person called heretic theologian when I donated 10 gold coins to the Zaikuon temple.
We were referred to the edge of the slum in the downtown.
The one we meet is an old woman who has the alias of [Heretic Theologian] that doesn't suit her.
"--It might be a skill used by the demon god's apostle called 『Calamity (Clay Merry)』."
The old woman said some disturbing things while snacking on the tea cake I brought.
Please stop with the dangerous words like "demon god's apostle."
"Yes, I've only ever seen it in an ancient Furu empire document, it's said that anything touched by the hand changes into salt pillar."
Just touching means out, the hurdle is too high.
I have to think of the way to defend against it for my companion.
"Is there no way to prevent it?"
"The demon god's apostle excessively fears dragons, so they absolutely won't get near someone who has the presence of a dragon."
I got an unexpected solution when I asked while not expecting anything.
I should not blindly believe it, but we're lucky if it has any effect, I'll create accessories made of the heavenly dragon's and the black dragon Heiron's scales and give it to everyone.
Maybe I should try using the dragon scales to make some dye?
Using the fiber in the scales to create cloth might also be a good idea.
Later, I tried talking to the reincarnated people in the labyrinth's lower layer, but they never met this [Demon God's Apostle].
Corpse had met Urion's apostle, while Yuika had met Garleon's apostle, but they never saw any ritual magic that could change people into salt.
According to Corpse and Yuika, the apostles are only about as strong as a mid demon to less than a greater demon, they don't have Unique Skill, their magic are about the same as the demon and they need to chant to use it, so there should be no need for us to be that nervous.
Late at night that day, I called to Zena-san who was practicing magic in the beach of the solitary island palace.
Her power is far superior than when she was in the Seryuu city back then.
"Satou-san, were the sounds of my magic too noisy?"
"No, not at all."
I hand over a cup of fruit water to Zena-san who's gasping from the excessive magic usage.
Next, I take out a table on the beach.
"I've completed the present for Zena-san, so I've come to deliver it."
I put magic books and several magic tools on the table.
"I-is this possibly the [Book of Wind] of the [Jib Cloud Magic Dictionary]?"
"Yes, it's something that Zena-san will need from now on. This thin book over here has selected spells of the flight magic and the explanation to control them."
This book is my own work.
Hearing me, Zena-san raises her face like it was flicked.
"Yes, the Zena-san right now should be able to use it."
"W-with flight magic I--"
"Yes, once you're able to fly freely in the sky, we have to fulfill our promise don't we."
We exchanged a promise to take an [Aerial Date] once Zena-san has learned flight magic when we were in Seryuu City.
"So you remember it, Satou-san."
Overwhelmed with emotion, Zena-san wraps her delicate hands on mine.
Did she think that I completely forget about it?
After staring at each other for a while, Zena-san comes to her sense, separates her hands and jumps back.
While her cheeks are reddening, she opens the thin book as if varnishing over it.
"There are three spells aren't there."
Zena-san muttered while turning the thin book's pages.
This book has [Practice Fly], [Automatic Fly] and [Fly] spells.
"The written spells have different degree of difficulty, so you should start with the 『Practice Fly』. I'll do it with you together if you need a model."
I recite the [Practice Fly] spell.
"This magic can only do ascending, descending, advancing, and turning left and right. It's a magic to do floating movement rather than for flying like a bird."
If I talked with Arisa, I'd call it a magic that move like a drone, rather, I can immediately imagine it.
"I've mixed in the wind magic 『Air Float』 function so you don't have to worry about falling, please get used to flying with this magic."
"Y-yes! I'll do my best."
Zena-san looks eager while having a posture like she'll fall forward.
"These magic tools are precautions so you won't get hurt during the flying magic practice. Please be sure to wear it during your practice okay."
They're for absorbing impact in case of falls.
I've put the mechanism in Lulu's and Nana's equipment, so it has the stamp of approval.
"W-wearing this, is it...."
Zena-san picks up a magic tool and blushes, perhaps because it looks like a half-transparent leotard.
"I-It's embarrassing, but since it's clothes that Sa-Satou-san has made...."
Apparently, Zena-san has misunderstood.
"It's thin, so please wear it between your underwear and your clothes."
"Th-that's right isn't it. A-ahaha, oh me--"
Zena-san cleared the misunderstanding with my follow up, but she tries to varnish over it with cheeks that are even redder than before.
"I-I'm going for a bit!"
It seems she couldn't bear her embarrassment anymore, Zena-san ran away from the beach after declaring so.
Due to her level up, her physical ability seems to have risen favorably well.
I send the equipment and magic books to Zena-san's room with [Teleport an Object], and leave a message ball for Zena-san in this place.
She'll be embarrassed even if I wait here after all.
"--Hero, how's your situation?"
After separating from Zena-san, I contacted the hero's party with the telecommunication equipment in Echigoya Firm.
This time, it's the hero himself instead of the house-watching attendant after a long while.
『Yo Nanashi, looks like you're doing well there.』
"Well yeah. I'm good at finding enemies you see. Should I go help you if you need help in searching?"
『Ah your timing is bad. The engineers of the Weasel Empire have agreed to provide us a magic tool for tracking the demon lord you see. We asked it from our side, so we can't tell them we don't need it now.』
--Oops, I'm too late huh.
『Sorry 'bout it. When we were fighting, the demon lord itself felt far weaker than the yellow bastard we fought in Oyugock city, so I'll show you that we can defeat it this time.』
Apparently, every time they were about to defeat it, the demon lord escaped by using a dummy as a scapegoat.
"Then I'll be waiting for good news in the next communication."
『Yeah! I'm not worthy of Saga Empire's hero if I can't defeat at least one demon lord!』
He's burdening the dignity of Saga Empire and God Parion's prestige, so it seems he's a bit eager.
"Hero, 『Cherish your life』 okay."
I sent a famous words from a super popular game to the hero.
<TLN: One of Dragon Quest's AI tactics, I think it's localized as "Focus on Healing".>
『I know. Not just me, I'll show you that I'll go back without missing anyone!』
"Un, I believe Hayato can do it."
I returned words of encouragement to Hayato's powerful words, and then we finished the regular communication.
In the middle of the night, I made bracelets for everyone using the beautiful heavenly dragon's scales.
It'd be boring if they all looked the same, so I put different images as the carved seals on the plate part of the bracelets.
These equipment are countermeasures against the [Demon God's Apostle], so I've not put magic circuit on it.
For that, I've completed the simpler version of Raka's automatic defense system which is still under development, and I'm now thinking of putting space magic into it.
The next morning, my small airship departs from the Royal Capital, I choose the course that goes to Oyugock Dukedom through coastlands in marquis Ganika territory.
We're supposed to arrive in marquis Ganika's territory before noon, so we should be able to visit Capital of Ganika in the evening.
It's been awhile since we visit a new city, let's treat ourselves to a sightseeing tour together with everyone!