Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 14-27


14-27. Journey Across the Eastern Countries

 

Satou's here. I feel that time passes faster when you're immersing yourself in your hobby. Even in my work, I can quickly come up and create difficult routines, while squashing bugs and working out the changes in specification are long and hard.





It has already been one and a half month since we departed the snow country--Kiwolk Kingdom.

We visited various countries and small tribe villages in relaxed pace while working hard in leveling up and practices during the airship cruise.
Of course there were recreations led by Arisa inserted appropriately between them.

Today I've come to Boruenan Forest alone to play and show my new work to Aze-san.

"Amazing, Satou! You've finally succeeded!"
"Yes, the magic power consumption is still too large though, so there's still some time until it's completed."

I look up at the airship that appeared in the sky above the tree house in Boruenan Forest.

Even though it's inferior compared to the elf's Light Ships and Hero Hayato's Jules Verne, I'm finally able to make my own airship fitted with the dimensional-cruise function to fly.
It's thanks to the technology provided by the elf's Beriunan Clan and Burainan Clan.

"It's really amazing. Light Ships are produced and maintained by the world trees, so there are only a few who understand the dimensional-cruise function, in fact, only high elves-sama of Beriunan Clan and Burainan Clan can make them."

Lua-san who's looking at me with respectful eyes from the side praised.
Right after I made a good atmosphere with Aze-san, the craftsman elves came one after another after seeing the new type of airship.

"Yo, Satou. Did you finally make a Light Ship too?"
"I can't believe we are overtaken by a human who had just learned the basic of airships."
"Right, I made an automatic ice maker from the Elemental Stones I got from you last time, take it."
"With that many Elemental Stones, we can make everything."

The Elemental Stones mentioned in the latter half are not about the Ice Stones I got from Kiwolk Kingdom.

After leaving that country, we saved the army of the third prince of Kogeoku Kingdom who were dying from cold in a monster domain, and we got a lot of Wind Stones as thanks.

Just like the the neighboring Kiwolk Kingdom that produced Ice Stones, the country of meadows, Kogeoku is also producing Wind Stones artificially.
Of course, the ones providing the technology are the weaselkins just like in Kiwolk Kingdom.
I'm intrigued as to why they're gathering Elemental Stones, but I have a feeling that it's all about profit.

Due to some twists and turns and Pochi's efforts, I was able to get the wreckage of Kogeku Kingdom's Wind Stone magic facility, and got to comprehend the general method to create Elemental Stones by comparing it to the Ice Stone magic facility I got in Kiwolk Kingdom.

Put simply, by turning spirits into a simple element and giving them a lot of Magic Essence, the Magic Essence will crystalize into Elemental Stones.
This [Turning spirits into a simple element] should be the role of the environmental and magic devices that produce Elemental Stones, but since I can arbitrary change spirits into the element I want using Spirit Magic, I can produce Elemental Stones as long as I can provide a lot of Magic Essence.
Since I know a place with a lot of Magic Essence, right now I'm mass producing Elemental Stones of various elements.
I've also gotten my hands on the high purity Crystal type Elemental Stones too, although in small quantity, I'm planning to use them for my companions.

--The dream is expanding.


In addition, regarding the matter about the apostle--.

During our visits to Kogeoku Kingdom and three other kingdoms, we found two places with traces of a white-robed apostle.
A manager of a mine who employed children slaves and members of crime guild who were making Fiend Drug-kind of drug were turned into salt pillars.
In both cases, only the perpetrators were punished, the mastermind behind the cases were left alone, so the same things occured again.

For the former, I exchanged the children slaves for small-sized doll products of Echigoya Firm, while for the later, I exposed the mastermind, handed him over to the king and completely erased the manufacturing formula of the drug.
I employed the doctors and the alchemists who were forced to create the drug to work in the workshop of Echigoya Firm in Shiga Kingdom's Royal Capital.

Further, I was worried whether the people of Kiwolk Kingdom were turned into salt, so I visited there as Kuro but I couldn't find anyone who seemed to be the apostle.





Today, the late-starter group has gone to the inner part of Selbira's labyrinth upper layer to check their new equipment and level up, and Hikaru has gone to the former depressed demon lord's place to play with the Siberian Husky-like dog.

And, the members of Team Pendragon are--.

"Tama and Pochi who went ahead to be the Seko will return soon. Are you ready?"
"Completed setting the 『Net』 so I report."
"Nn, perfect."
"The preparation for the Spread Cannon Type Three is complete too."
"I've put the space magic's 『Labyrinth』 here too. We can thoroughly beat the ones that escape the shooting."

It seems they're just about to get rid of the small fries when I come to see them.
I can see Pochi and Tama taking along herds of monsters from beyond the ruined city.
I thought being Seko meant you should drive them from behind though.... well I guess it's fine.

This is one of the city in the [Blue Territory] to the southwest of the kingdom.
The hunting ground has been changed here since the monsters in middle layer of Selbira's labyrinth seemed like they'd go extinct when we were leveling up during our journey.

It looked like I'd disturb everyone's concentration if I just showed up, so I'll be watching them from the back for now.

"First~"
"Pochi was one step faster nodesu."

Behind the two who finished together, a light net lifted up.
This is Nana's [Fortress] added with paralyzing adhesive feature to capture targets.

"Shooting start!"

With Liza's signal, Lulu fired her accelerated cannon.
Innumerable rain of shells infringed the small-sized monsters, decreasing the number greatly.

"The big ones are coming. One on the left, two on the right. All of them are of level 50 class."
"Acknowledged. Mia, the Sand Hell."
"Nn, execute."

Receiving Arisa's report, Liza gave the next instruction.
Mia nodded and then sand in the open space forward began to move like a creature.

Right at then, a large Dragon Snake (Huge Naga) that looks like a snake with wings appeared.
Behind it, I could saw a herd of Venom Naga that are at level mid-40s behind it, they seemed to be its followers.

Even though the Naga has 'Snake' on its name, it's a monster that has limbs and ant-like wings, it looks like a skink lizard with elongated body.
I want to press a question to the one who named it.

"A mere snake pretending to be a dragon, how ridiculous so I announce!"

The mid and large sized ones are roused by Nana's provocation.

"Arisa, the wings."
"Okey, here comes the dimensional cut."

Arisa invoked space magic chantlessly, cutting the Huge Naga's wings and minced the Venom Naga that followed behind it.

"Arisa no good no good~"
"That's right nanodesu! If you cut the yummy Naga like that, you can't eat their guts nodesuyo!"

Since the meat of Naga are delicious eaten in kabayaki-style, Tama and Pochi faulted Arisa's barbaric act.

"You two, save the complaint. Take care of the ones on the left side."
"Aye aye~"
"Yes nanodesu."

With Liza's instruction, Tama and Pochi dashed while leaving golden trails behind.

"Eri eri buun, nanodesu!"

Pochi who misspelled the new Aerial Boost feature of the Golden Armor flew toward the Naga literally as quick as the wind.
This Aerial Boost feature uses Wind Stone as its core since I got a lot of them, and since it seems more useful than I thought, I'm planning to add them to the other girls' armors.

Liza used Flickering Movement to assault the Naga to the right.

"Apprehend."

Mia muttered a word, and then the sand on the ground apprehended the Naga's legs and bodies.
It seems she used the Sand Giant that fought the Floor Master in Selbira's upper layer as a trap this time.

"Shadow clone cut~?"

Tama who's in golden armor with a pink mantle divided into 12 bodies and toyed with the Naga.
I've also mastered ninjutsu taught by Tama-sensei, but since I can't use it as good in practice, I can't put it into practical uses as good as Tama.

And, on Tama's side, Pochi cuts the Huge Naga's snake using Magic Edge three times her height.

"Pochi, switch~?"
"Roger nanodesu."

Looks like Pochi who has a powerful offensive ability in a single strike is in charge of the Huge Naga while Tama who can eliminate great number of enemies while toying around is in charge of the Naga's herds.
Tama decapitated the Naga's head one by one while saying, "Nin nin."
Looks like she's being careful not to damage the poison gland properly. She's fully eager to eat them.

"Liza-san, the boss is going to make its move soon."
"Understood."

Arisa who was in charge of enemy search warned Liza who was peerlessly trampling down the enemies with two spears.
The Dragon Spear Heiron that Liza holds is the same as before, but the Magic Spear Douma has been improved to become the Magic Spear Douma Kai.
I plated the tip of the Magic Spear Douma with Adamantite using alchemy.
It's not of even plating, I've made it so that it'll generate drill-shaped blast when she shoots Magic Edge Cannon with it.
Thanks to that, the Magic Edge Cannon's penetration power has been increased by around 20%,

"Golem-san, please take the monsters' bodies while being careful not to damage the meat, two at a time."

--MVA.

Lulu ordered the golem unit to collect the monsters' bodies.
The golems have human-shaped upper bodies and spider-shaped lower bodies as I assumed that they were going to work in a ruined city.

"Meatt"
"Nanodesu!"

Tama whose ears straightened up and Pochi whose tails was swinging around came back bringing the Naga's heads.
According to the two, the meat here are the most delicious.

In such peaceful atmosphere, the boss that Arisa warned earlier showed up, turning the situation around.

A snake monster as huge as the heavenly dragon showed itself while scattering the wreckage of the castle in the center of the ruined city.
It doesn't have wings like the Naga, but it's floating above the ground, gliding toward us.

"Uwaaah, level 90 you serious. I think we really have to call Master here."

We haven't meet a powerful enemy for a long time.

"Level 90 is it.... It is a fitting opponent."
"Don't worry be happy~?"
"I-it's alright nanodesu. Pochi is fine against that much nanodesu."

Liza puts the Magic Spear Douma Kai into the magic bag and grasps the Dragon Spear Heiron while looking grim.
Tama seems carefree, but Pochi looks to be anxious enough to hide her tail between her legs.

Certainly, it's an opponent that these girls likely won't be able to beat with their current levels.

By the way, everyone here besides Mia is level 60.
Only Mia is level 58 since she needs a lot of exp.

『Master, it's an emergency. Some level 90 snake came out.』
『Roger, I'm going now.』

Arisa asked for reinforcement through [Telephone].
I pretend to have just teleported in, appearing behind Arisa and the others.

"I'm here."
"Fast"

Well that's because I've been watching from behind since awhile ago.
The meat and the material will be injured if I fight it normally, so I paralyze the snake with an advanced water magic spell.

While everyone is attacking the snake once, I call Hikaru who's visiting the former depressed demon lord Shizuka with [Telephone] to come here.

"Kept you waiting, what's with that snake."
"That seems to be the boss here. The level is just right for you I called you to strike it with a Force Spear once."
"Ehehe, thank you, Satouuu."

It seems Hikaru has gotten used to calling me Satou.
Hikaru's level has increased to 91 since I usually call her when we fight a powerful enemy like this.

She chantlessly produces a Force Spear and hits the snake.
Next, I just need to lift the snake's head with [Magic Arm] and cut it with the advanced light magic spell [Photon Laser], finished.

"Your strength is absurd like always...."
"As expected of my Satou."

Astonished Arisa and delighted Hikaru said.
However, the "my" part was unnecessary.

The other girls seem to be full of appetite, they rush to gather the meat.
I pat the two's heads and go to where everyone is to collect the snake's body into my Storage.





"Are you going to attract emigrants once you've ruled the City Core?"
"No, I don't have such plan. I'll cover the city with space magic and forest magic barrier to prevent monster coming in though."
"Then you're not going to use it for anything?"
"Since the climate is of southern countries and all, I'm thinking of preparing the soil and let the golems to make an orchard or rice field inside the rampart."

If I link the golems with the City Core, even golems without magic cores will have no need of magic power from the user.
It's the same structure as the golems inside labyrinths.

"And so, Mito. How's Shizuka's condition?"
"Nn~, how do I say it, she's enjoying her lonely life to the full you see."

--What the heck's that?

"It's like an embodiment of a life of a single woman of around thirty. She's growing vegetables and herbs on the field, she makes teas and pot-pourri from the herbs, she makes jam and sweets from the fruits and honey gathered by the Living Dolls in the forest. She also said that she went for a stroll with her Siberian Husky, Wanfu, in the morning until the river, fishing and collecting pretty stones there."

It's like a normal rural life, but as long a she's happy then all is good.

She's self-sufficient with the Living Dolls working for the necessities, I also deliver flavoring and books through the brownies or Hikaru who also look her condition once in a while.
According to Hikaru, it seems Shizuka loves literary, she's drawn various things in small books.
She didn't want to show it to me for some reason, but forcing her would not be good so I didn't press it further.

I collect the meat while only leaving the share for today's lunch.

Since Arisa and the others are going to explore the city to search for any remnant of monsters, I've decided to join the exploration once I go to the Selbira Labyrinth.
Looks like Hikaru is not going back to Shizuka's place as she's accompanying Arisa.
Further, as there are archives and treasures hidden by magic in this city, I'm looking forward to it already.





It seems the late-starter group is fighting Blast Corns and a Marionette Rafflesia that's manipulating demi goblins and demi ogres in the plant area.

Their pace is slower than the forerunner group, but all members of the late-starter group have broken through level 40, Zena-san is level 41, Sera is level 42.
Further, as the members of Echigoya Firm are busy with their main occupation, their levels are still at the first-half of 30 with no change.
I've power-leveled Aoi boy and the new manager candidates to level 15.

"....■■■■■ Laser"

Wielding a light wand, Sera who is now able to use mid level light magic sliced the gigantic demi ogres all at once.
Since humanoid monsters can only be used to become fodders for monsters raised for power-leveling usage, there's no problem in handling them carelessly.

The current Sera is able to use most holy magic including prayer magic, I don't know whether it's because she healed a lot of people who suffered from epidemic disease in a country we visited or because she simply leveled up.
Since she can easily heal lost limbs, ruptured internal organs or other fatal wounds, my magic potion hasn't got its turn lately.

Sera safely flings away a Demi Goblin Assassin that jumped out of a nearby thicket.
It's the result of learning the art of self-defense under Lulu.

Not only Sera, the princess and Zena-san also learned the self-defense art.
It seems they're also interested in staff-fighting art recently.

"Imperial Golem Guard third!"

The princess ordered the golem to receive the flung demi goblin to kill it.
The princess turns her line of sight to Zena-san who's flying in the sky.

"Zena! You must not go forward alone!"
"I'm sorry Tina-sama."

The princess warned Zena-san who was flying with flight magic to look for the Marionette Rafflesia that was manipulating the demi ogres.
I saw a Blast Corn beyond the thicket shooting at Zena-san with exploding bullets.

"--Kya"

Zena-san screamed shortly, but Sera's defensive magic protected her from the bullet exploding near her.

"Let me go and defeat that corn."
『Karina-dono, there's a monster to the left!』

Lady Karina who's dual wielding heavy maces on both hands swings the one on her left hand to strike a slime-shaped Metal Eater that Raka warned.

"Raka-san!"
『Understood.』

Lady Karina who's bad at Magic Operation relies on Raka to activate the electric discharge circuit in the Heavy Mace to thoroughly burn the Metal Eater, and then she jumps into the thicket.
The sound of Lady Karina's heavy mace hitting the Blast Corn beyond the thicket reverberates.

Since the clumsy Lady Karina wasn't able to use her old hammer main weapon, she's shifted to using the heavy mace simplistically like batting.
Since Raka's grapple and equipment boost's reach is short, she only uses that one reservedly.

"....■■■■ Divine Sonic"

Wielding a wind wand, Zena-san supported Lady Karina who was seemingly about to be surrounded by a herd of Blast Corns with magic.
The power of the advanced spell of wind magic is magnificent, every one of the monsters besides the one in front of Lady Karina has been neutralized.

The monsters that had resistance against wind were eliminated by Zena-san's newly learned magic and rifle-type magic gun.
In addition to the advanced spells of wind magic, Zena-san is also now able to use lightning magic and ice magic until elementary level.
It seems she's unable to decide which one she's going to use as her sub.

"Everyone! 『Droon』 golem has found the main body of Marionette Rafflesia. Heavyweight golem one to six, charges toward 3 o'clock direction!"

Sera, Zena-san and Lady Karina gather with the princess's report.
The automatic flight [Drone] golem is something that she made herself with her own alchemy and magic.

Due to the influence of having in charge of operating the golems and her interest in magic tools creation with her alchemy skill she had from the beginning, now her position is like my pupil in the creation of magic tools and golems.
Since she's not suited to direct battles despite learning the self-defense art, she doesn't have any special weapon, instead small animal-shaped golems with stun functions are always by her side as her guards.

"Zena!"
"Yes, Karina-sama!"

Zena-san carrying Lady Karina dances in the air, they head toward the Marionette Rafflesia while almost touching the ceiling, and then they do a nose dive.

"Here I go!"

Zena-san and Lady Karina put their sole of feet to each other and then kick reciprocally to accelerate even more.

"Rapid start Karina Ki--"

Before Lady Karina could speak until the end, her kick pierced through the Marionette Rafflesia's petal.

--FUWANNNNNNNNA.

While scattering some suspicious pollens, the Marionette Rafflesia stops moving.
Lady Karina crawled out of the body while coughing violently.

Sera rushed to her in a hurry and used detoxification magic on Lady Karina.

.....Do assaults in moderation okay.





After retrieving the late-starter group from the labyrinth, we met up with Arisa, Hikaru and the others to enjoy the exploration.

"I never thought that I would safely set my foot in the Blue Territory."
"Th-this is the Haunt of Blue is it...."

Sera and the princess look around the ruin while stuttering their words.
It seems Lady Karina and Zena-san have never heard of the Blue Territory.

I'll guide them to the treasury for the occasion.

"Here is strange~?"
"There's no smell of meat nodesuyo?"

Tama tilted her head in confusion before the hidden magic circle.
Pochi sniffed with her nose but it seems there was no smell that was of interest for her.

"There are traces of someone doing a consecration ceremony. I can't feel any miasma."

Sera commented while touching the magic circle.
When the magic power was put into the magic circle, some words appeared.

"It seems there are Command Words written in ancient language. Umm, 『Even if the city is destroyed by the tsunami, people will not perish. We will give rewards to those who liberate the city.』 is written, the Command Word is--Baalus?"
"It's safe since there's one character difference huh."
<TLN: reference to Castle in the Sky, should be 'Balus'.>

Arisa was shocked when she heard the word of destruction from a famous anime coming out of Hikaru's mouth, but she muttered in relief when she noticed her mistake.
Everyone besides me doesn't understand the meaning, they look wondering.

『Regenerate (Baalus)』

>[Ancient Language] Skill Acquired.

The magic circle lits up when Hikaru recited the Command Word in Ancient Language, then a door appeared out of nowhere.

Golden brightness jumped into our eyes when the door was opened.
The inside is wide, the inner wall seems like something made from the space magic's [Garage].

Everyone rushes happily into the golden brightness.
Lady Karina and Zena-san seem to be nervous with the large amount of treasures.

"Gold silver~"
"There is a bar too nodesu."

The bar-like thing that Pochi picked up appears to be a magic tool called [Illusion Smash (Dispel Bar)]
It appears to be an artifact.

"These are the lost handicrafts from the era of Furu Empire."
"How nostalgic, I hated the nobles of that country, but their buildings like the royal castle one were very excellent."

It seems Sera is interested with the picture and works of art on the wall.
For Hikaru, it seems they're things she knew before going into the sleep.

From the opposite side of the beastkin girls who are examining the weapons, and Nana and Lulu who are looking for cute things, someone calls me.

"Satou! It seems there's a library inside."
"Yay, I wonder if there's any magic book?"
"Expectation."

Arisa and Mia gleefully run toward the library that the princess found.


After picking the loot, we went to the solitary island palace and enjoyed the Naga kabayaki and pop-corns made of the Blast Corns.

"Yummaye~"
"Lulu's boxes really are delicious nodesu."

We're eating the Naga kabayaki while listening to the sound of wind bells.
The thick meat with fat is truly delicious.

Thus, in contrary to our peaceful days, the hero is currently struggling in the underground labyrinth located in a remote region of the Weaselkin Empire.
I'm worried to hear that they get serious injuries sometimes, but according to the communication, it seems they're closing in the demon lord's main body while defeating the split bodies.
Apparently the magic tool provided by the weaselkin empire is doing its job.

I thought they're taking a bit too long in defeating the demon lord, but according to Hikaru it's normal to take several months to subjugate a demon lord.
She said that it even took several years in her case.

--Do your best, Hero.

While I was cheering for Hero Hayato in my mind, the airship entered the territory of the pink haired princess Menea's kingdom, Rumooku Kingdom for the tour.

It'll be nice if I can read the documents regarding people of another world in Rumooku Kigndom--.























Previous Chapter

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 14-26

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."
"Thank you~?"
"Wa~i, nanodesu."
"Nn, thanks."

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.

"Mwu."
"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.


◆Extra◆


"Kuro-dono, are you telling that you will build a bulwark on the national border to Kogeoku?"
"That's right."

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!"
"Yay!"

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?"
"--What?"

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.

"Wooooow."
"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!
























Previous Chapter

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 14-25


14-25. Snow Kingdom (6)

 

Satou's here. There was a time when I kept a pet cat in my lodging house during my college days. Many times, I woke up with corpses of G lined up before my eyes like they were offering and my cat looking triumphant, perhaps it was because the dwelling was run-down. That was troublesome.
<TLN: G=gokiburi=cockroachs>





As the Winter General and the official went to the general staff room together, I opened the map and checked the situation while sipping the sweet potato liquor.
It seems the Kogeoku Kingdom army has invaded the mountain region to the south-east.
It's quite to the south of the regular highway.

--Centaurs kin?

Looks like Kogeoku Kingdom is not a human kingdom.

Real life centaurs huh... Maybe we should go sightsee them?

While thinking that and looking at the map's information, the movement of a small unit that's seemingly attacking a nearby village looks strange.
It's as if they're running away from something, heading toward the main troop.

Wonder if they encountered Rock Wolves?

Yet, there's no dead person in Kogeoku Kingdom army.
Only people in fainted and frostbite states.

I invoke [Clairvoyance] and [Clairhearing] magic to confirm the actual site.

『I-it's a demon! A snow demon is attacking.』
『Run away! You'll get stepped on!』

I saw centaurs wearing warm-looking fur armor desperately scampering in the snow.
Their language seems to be of the East Nation language.

『Uwaaaaaaa』
『Tommy!』
『That guy's finished. Quick run!』

--Oh?

The white object walking with thud thud sounds looks familiar.
It's the snowman golem we used to transport food.

They were a disposable type that didn't use Magic Core so I had set them to protect the village after they had finished transporting to the last village.
They should be only in three places, those centaurs sure are unlucky to draw the loser ticket by chance.

『I am the third prince of Kogeoku Kingdom, Retaromi! Demon! Become the rust of my treasured lance!』

--Oh, amazing.

He performed an accelerated Lance Charge as if he was flying in the sky, though it was probably due to the power of the wind stone on the tip of the lance.

With a dull sound, the snow golem's stomach was pierced through.

"Did you see that! The strongest of Kogeoku--"

During the middle of the prince's victory shout, the snow golem dropped its fist from above, burying Prince Retaromi deep into the snow.
The hole in the golem's stomach was restored to the original state like reversing a film, and it restarted to attack the other centaurs energetically.

It looks comical looking at them from the image in my mind, but the escaping centaurs are serious.
I've set it to be non-lethal for everything but monsters, so there's no one dying for now.

『Save the prince! Bring the flame beasts!』

A slightly arrogant-looking commander swung a short whip with tuft attached, and then eight monsters that looked like anteaters that spew fire from their mouth came from the troop's vanguard position.

Apparently they're tamed monsters.
They're probably using those monsters to move the army in the snow.

『BURN IT DOOOOWN!』

The snow is lit red, and the snow golem is covered in flame, melting.

However, the snow golem can't be melted that easily.

--MVA.

From the snow golem's charcoal briquette mouth that opened, it emits blizzard breath mixed with icicles after roaring once.

--KUGYWEEEEEE.
--KYSHUUUUUUW.
--MVA.

The flame and the blizzard jumbled together, the image is covered in white mist.

"Hoooooot"
"Co-cold. I'm numbiiiiing."

Apparently, the hot steam and the cold blizzard did a number to the surrounding centaurs.
It'll be nice if they come to dislike war a bit after this.

Some unknown top people of Kiwolk Kingdom will probably goes through a sleepless night without knowing that the military forces of Kogeoku Kingdom were chased away by a golem.

Before going to sleep, I stealthily saved the weaselkin people in the dungeon and the paralyzing poison maid who was on the verge of being frozen to death and left them in some appropriate stable.
They won't die from cold there, and they'll probably run away themselves.
In addition, I confirmed that the weaselkin people in the dungeon were falsely accused from the conversation of the guard and the torture officer.

After coming back to my room, I slept while feeling slightly troubled with the perfume fragrance and the warm temperature of human body in the bed.





"Looks like you can walk on top of the frozen lake surface."
"Yes, but since the snow flake bears can't walk on it, everyone has to get down."

The next morning after the army of Kogeoku Kingdom scurried back to their home land.
Together with Light Snow Princess, I rode polar bear-like passenger animals to the Amethyst Tower on the middle of the lake.
There are several house-sized domes made of ice near the tower, they're probably the magic facilities the weaselkin engineers are using to produce Ice Stones.

This place looks like a good tourist attraction if only the demon weren't sealed in the Amethyst Tower.
Direct subordinates of Light Snow Princess, the White Lily Squad that's encompassed of 15 female knights have followed us here.
Their average level is 8, so they're probably just a decoration squad.

"I heard that a neighboring country has attacked, is it alright for you to guide me?"
"Yes, I don't mind. Kogeoku army seemed to have been defeated by an unknown demon and retreated back. Right now general Ganunu should be going to investigate the demon."

Light Snow Princess answered me with a light tone.
The snow golem should have crumbled after losing all its magic power yesterday, the red-haired general's search will go in vain.

Apparently, the information about the the withdrawal of Kogeoku army arrived this morning through the messenger tower whom Winter General had built.
There's only one facility on the direction of Kogeuku Kingdom that exists, but the high-speed information is quite a thing.

--MUWOOOOWN.

The yell of the monsters below the ice was transmitted here.

The squirming Murder Kelps under the ice look gross.
Even though I know they can't get through the thick ice, it's still physiologically revolting.

"That's, right."

Light Snow Princess points at a suspicious altar where a seal-type magic circle is engraved.
There are six of this altar placed around the Amethyst Tower.

Today is just a preliminary inspection. The sealed demon's extermination will be in two weeks.
We're going to bring the mithril explorers team [Pendragon] from the Labyrinth City with the airship.

"By the way, Your Highness."
"What is it?"
"I wonder what are the imposing Ice Wands that the guards are carrying and the cannon on the sled behind us for?"
"Ufufu--"

Light Snow Princess dodged my question by laughing.

"--What do you think they're for? If you guessed right, I'll give you the right to do anything you want with me."

Light Snow Princess who walked up to the altar looked at me with a feminine smile.
The huge War Hammer she's shouldering looks extremely ill-matched with her.

Don't tell me, she won't destroy the seal right here and now will she?

"<<BREAK>> Castle Destroyer War Hammer!"

After the princess recited the scripture while smiling, the war hammer--Castle Destroyer War Hammer glowed red.
Boom, tearing the cold air, the princess's hammer smashes the sealing magic circle.

I could have stopped the princess's rampage if I had used Ground Shrink and chantless [Magic Hand], but as expected, using those would have exposed me.
If I could use those, it'd show that I'd have no problem fighting against a mid demon in a close combat.

Using [Telephone] magic, I ordered my companions in the airship to do an emergency takeoff and to deploy the gargoyle unit here.
They should arrive in several minutes at this distance.

--Crackle.

"Now then, Satou-sama. Let us fight together."

Light Snow Princess stretches one hand toward me  with a nice smile.
How do I say this, she's a battle junkie at the same level of the black dragon.

--Crackle crackle crackle.

The Amethyst Tower is cracking.
The weaselkin engineers who were working in the ice dome nearby ran away while fumbling on the ice lake surface.

The young ladies of White Lily Squad seem to have taken some distance away and finished preparing the Ice Wands.
It seems setting the cannon on the sled is met with some difficulty, the female engineers are operating in panic. Do your best, I cheered for them in my mind.

The Amethyst Tower breaks while leaking white mist.
The thing that appears is a mid demon with the lower half of an octopus and upper half of a rotted tree. There's a bird nest-like structure on the part that should be its head.
It seems the tentacle lower half is under the ice until the middle part.

--TWAKWUUUUUUUOW.
<TLN: Written in romaji on the raw. FYI, 'tako' means octopus.>

The mid demon roared, the ice below cracked and then tentacles appeared from the cracked ice.
Somehow, it feels like when your feet get tangled on roots of sweet potatoes.
I thought it was freed at a glance, but only the outer tentacles had appeared from the ice.

I said that the tentacles looks like an octopus's, but there are branches grown on the middle of the tentacles, the way they're wriggling look gross.
Before the demon could got its freedom, Light Snow Princess who was the closest jumped forward.

"Dwoseeeeeeeeeeeeeeei!"

With an unladylike yell, she struck the mid-demon's body with the Castle Destroyer War Hammer.
Due to the Body Reinforcement and Strength Increase skills, Light Snow Princess's swinging speed was quite a thing.

--DWAGWWWUUUUOWN.

The demon's roar seemed to be a spell, an ashen barrier appeared to block the Light Snow Princess's hammer.
The scattered ashen powder seem to bring bad status, the princess's armor that's bathed in the powder begins to deteriorate.

Taking the Fairy Sword from behind the mantle, I cut the tentacle that tried to sweep down the princess.
The tentacle tried to attack me by scattering ashen blood by wriggling about, but it stopped moving when I trampled it with my foot.

"Satou-sama, my thanks desuwa."

The demon's bird nest-like head has begun to produce ashen mist.

"Ice Wand unit! Fire at the head!"
"""YES!"""

By the vice-captain's order, the young ladies of the White Lily Squad use the Ice Wands.
The shower of white hail freezes the ashen mist above the demon, blowing it away.

It seemed the demon didn't like it, it took out the tentacles below the ice without caring the tentacles that got torn-off.

--DWAGWWWUUUUOWN.

The demon seemed like it was going to invoke a ranged magic, so I kicked the tentacle that was going to attack the princess toward the main body, stopping its chant.

Meanwhile, the demon's thin tentacles stretched toward the White Lily Squad, binding them.
Screams, stretched limbs, broken chest armor, they were like in eroge, but unlike a game, the girls were not being disgraced, but slaughtered here.
The demon tries to attack with its tentacles, aiming at the hearts under their bare skin.

"I won't let you!"

To save her subordinates, Light Snow Princess aims her war hammer at the root of the demon's tentacles, she has too many gaps since she's wielding a heavy weapon.
The tentacle coming from behind her caught her leg, raising her body up in the air.
While screaming, the princess is raised upside down.

I don't like splatters, so I stop the sharp demon's tentacle with [Magic Arm].
The young ladies of White Lily Squad who saw the sharp tentacles before their eyes had cold sweat while looking pale.
I'm sorry for the young ladies, but help is coming soon, so please bear with it.

"....■■■ Air Slasher!"

Clear voice echoed in the sky, and then invisible blades cut the tentacles.

The aftermath of the blades that cut the tentacles also tore the ice field, covering the surrounding area in white ice and snow mist.
Being invisible is a good thing, I take out some pebbles from Storage and throws them at the root of the demon's tentacles.
The wind magic earlier only cut the surface of the tentacles, it didn't sever them.

Flying in the sky with a shining emerald staff on her hand is Zena-san.

"I-I can't stooooooop"

I catch Zena-san who was going to crash to the ice with [Magic Arm].

I thought she was strangely fast, turned out she used the catapult in the airship to gain the velocity.
Imitating Pochi and Tama is dangerous, please be more discreet okay.

"T-thank you Satou-san."
"Are you hurt anywhere?"
"No, I'm alright."

Behind the heartwarming exchange, the tumbling demon struggled to get up and slid along the ice.
The gargoyles that came flying seemed to have rescued the young ladies of the White Lily Squad.

Light Snow Princess is squirming to get out of the tentacle that's coiling the lower part of her body.
The tentacle is strangely active even though it's been separated from the main body.

"Ah, Her Highness Princess is!"
"Can I ask you to help her?"
"Yes! I'm going."

Zena-san who saw Light Snow Princess pulled her stiletto and went to rescue her.
I'll support Zena-san with [Magic Arm].

"FIREEEEE!"

While sinking into the breaking ice field, the cannon on top of the sled fired off blizzard mixed with white icicles.
However, due to the unstable ground, the attack vainly disappeared beyond the horizon without hitting the target.

Looks like the shooter young ladies have managed to escape the sinking sled.
When I look closer, the magic facilities where the weaselkin were using to produce Ice Stones are sinking into the lake together with the broken domes.
I stealthily extend [Magic Hand] to one of them and collect it.
I'll put it back into the lake once I've finished making the copy.

"Satou-san I've successfully rescued the princess."
"T-thank you for your cooperation desuwa."

Light Snow Princess who's borrowing Zena-san's shoulder has wounds all over her body.
Her white steel armor is crumbling, but compared to her subordinates whose skins even got exposed, she's still better.

I looked up when I heard an engine sound and saw the airship approaching the lake.

I could see the princess, Sera and Hikaru on the bow canopy.
Looks like Hikaru has come to help since I talked to her about the demon when I went to the solitary island palace.

The catapult gate on the approaching airship is opening.

--It can't be.

"Karina kiiiiiiiiick!"

Lady Karina who mimicked Zena-san flew from the airship's catapult.
Doing that despite not having any way to fly, she's too reckless.

Lady Karina who's wrapped in Raka's white light protection runs into the demon body like a bullet.
The demon's ashen barrier and Raka's protection is clashing, scattering sparks around.

Kaboom, with heavy sounds, the ashen barrier got broken through.

--DWAGWWWUUUUOWN.

The demon's roar that's both a chant and a scream echoes.
I saw the ashen blood splash eroding Lady Karina's trousers' cuff.

"Raka! Expand the protection!"
『Umu, this is bad.』

With my call, Lady Karina's [Intelligent Item], Raka, expands the light protection.
Unlike the young ladies of White Lily Squad, it ended with just Lady Karina's ankle getting exposed.

Thanks to Lady Karina's reckless courage, the demon's health is on the verge of exhaustion.
I kept the fact that the demon's HP had been cut down by 90% from the pebble attack before her assault a secret.

The demon screamed like it was its death agony, the tentacles that remained on the ice field writhed about.
It seemed Lady Karina's feet were damaged badly and she couldn't move, so I made her move using [Magic Hand], evacuating her here.

『Shistina-sama, the bombardment.』
『Yes! Understood.』

The two magic cannons of the airship burns down the demon with red heat rays.

These magic cannons are the same model used in Seryuu city to fight wyverns and installed in large airships.
It's not usable with a normal airship since the ship's magic power won't be not enough, but it's a different story with my airship since mine has a magic furnace that makes use of a Philosopher's Stone.
The fact that the small fire bullet from my Magic Column has higher attack power than the cannon is a secret.

Thus, the mid demon that was sealed in Kiwolk Kingdom was destroyed and became black dust.














Previous Chapter

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 14-24

14-24. Snow Kingdom (5)

 

Satou's here. In the past, during the time when the anime about galaxy war was popular, there was a time when drinking black tea mixed with brandy among friends was popular. It quickly ended up with people drinking only the brandy though.





"Are you always wearing that boorish hood?"
"Please pardon me. This is because there are a lot of nobles who find our beast faces unpleasant."

When I was halfway walking outside of the party venue with the weaselkin merchant, I asked about his hood and got that answer.

He was speaking strangely eloquently so I was getting cautious, but looking closer the reason seems to be because of the translation ring he's wearing.
It's probably the same item they gave to the summoned Japanese people in Rumooku Kingdom.

Unlike the warm party venue, this stone corridor with its penetrating cold likely would even make a healthy person catch a cold in half an hour.
There are some movements of suspicious shadow beyond the corridor.
Waiting in a place like this huh, assassins have it hard too.

"Please look at that."

The weaselkin merchant stopped in the middle of the corridor and pointed outside a small glass window.

I see snowy landscapes outside the window.
The Kiwolk Kingdom buried under the snow and a lake covered in ice.

On the middle of the lake an amethyst-like rock--no, tower-like thing has sprouted, emitting faint light.
I can see them thanks to [Distant View] skill but normal people probably can only see a very faint purple light.

I heard a faint sound behind the corridor pillars.
The obvious assailant is probably going to attack soon.

"That purple light is the thing you wanted to show me?"
"Yes, the tower emitting that light is--"

I thrust the merchant away when he was still talking, and swat the poisonous daggers that were thrown at us using a muffler circulated with magic power.

"Impossible."
"He repelled all seven of them!"

The assailants show themselves up from behind the pillars.
Lisp speech were revised in my brain like usual.

The five assailants are holding poisonous daggers.

Under the hood, their figures look like weaselkin, but according to the AR reading, they're ratkin men.
Their affiliation is--.

"Sir Pendragon, are you alright! Soldiers! Do not let even one of the thieves escape!"
"""OU"""

From the opposite side of the corridor, the red-haired general and soldiers showed up with an oddly good timing.
The assailants who are in disadvantage seemingly intend to escape through the hole behind the pillar that they used to invade here.

I've put markers on them so there's no point of them escaping, but catching them would be troublesome, so I neutralize one of the assailants by throwing a pebble on him.

"Send this guy to the dungeon and question him."

The soldiers brought by the red-haired general tie the assailant and are going to take him away.
Oops, it'll be bad as is.

"Sir Pendragon, are you injured anywhere?"
"No, I'm alright."

I gave the red-haired general, who was trying to hide the assailant from my line of sight with a barefaced smile, a positive answer.

"Wait, I have some business with that man."
"Sir Pendragon, please don't get close to the thief."

I stepped forward to stop the soldiers who were going to take the assailant away, but the red-haired general obstructed me.

"This kind of assassins has many unknown ways to attack. As you are our country's guest of honor, we cannot let you get injured."
"I see, that's true isn't it--"

I flick half a copper coin I took from my hand away, uncovering the assailant's hood.

"--I thought he was a weaselkin, but it appears he's a ratkin isn't he."

When I told the red-haired general that while putting a refreshing smile, he muttered, "gununu", and said, "that seems to be the case", with a cramped face while squeezing the words, and then he withdrew.

Now then, about this chain of baffling surprise attacks--.

The ratkin people who attacked us belong the demi-human unit of Kiwolk Kingdom who's specialized in dirty works. Common appraisal technique would show their affiliation to be of a crime guild though.
They're disguising their affiliation like the way the people of the [Wings of Liberty] did.

Next when I tried searching on the map, I found several weaselkin people in critical condition in the dungeon.

This is my conjecture, the red-haired general probably was going to execute the weaselkin people in the dungeon after capturing the assailants and push the crime of my assassination to the weaselkin.
The red-haired general would then drive out the weaselkin away from the kingdom, and either sell all the Ice Stones or perhaps end the [Winter] to restart the war.
He also might have tried to help me who should have been weakened from the paralyze poison and then demand something for the favor.

In addition, the maid who gave me the poisoned liquor is being confined in one part of the noble district in fainted state.

Before meddling with things like a softhearted person would, I'll finish the things I should do now.
I turn toward the merchant who still can't get up.

"Now then, let me hear it. What does that tower--"





"You were the one who incited Ganunu to step on the dragon's tail right?"
"I did not give him any order. Besides, I don't think that Viscount would fall for such a child's play."
"Ara, you sure have a high opinion of him don't you?"
"A commoner who has just come of age, getting peerage of a large kingdom, and even becoming the vice minister of its capital. Only fools would underestimate such a person."

When I sneaked into Winter General's room, I could hear a conversation between the person himself and Light Snow Princess.

"I thought you wanted to end the 『Winter』, was I mistaken?"
"It was I who suggested the 『Winter』 to the queen you know? Even though I knew that it would cut off remote villages, I couldn't come up with other plans."

Winter General told Light Snow Princess like he was sneering at himself.

"Our army is weak huh."

Light Snow Princess muttered so and stood up.

"If the 『Winter』 won't stop then I can't fight in this country anymore. Rather than rotting inside this ice cage, maybe I should entice Viscount-sama and get him to take me to countries with battlefields?"
"Are the Snow Leopards and the Rocket Wolf not to your liking?"
"I've grown tired of them. I want to fight demons for the sake of world peace. Even though it's impossible for me to stand beside the hero, I want to be a warrior that can rival the Shiga Eight Swords."

I thought Light Snow Princess was someone who seeks enjoyment more, but she unexpectedly has a clear target.
After the silent Winter General sent a restraining glance, Light Snow Princess shrugged and left the room.
Winter General gulps down the kelp tea mixed with sweet potato liquor with a gloomy face.

"....The 『Winter』 will defend us from the enemies only for several years more. Knowing the Kogeoku King, he will absolutely find a way to make it possible for his army to move on the snow. Gathering Ice Stones and preparing weapons until that happens is...."
"Is it impossible?"
"....Your Majesty."

The queen in black dress came in from a different door than the one Light Snow Princess used to go out.
I expected her to wear some sexy see-through clothes, but she's wearing a business-like dress with subdued chest.

"We can prepare a fixed number of them in five years if we put the portion wasted to the nobles to use, but as it stands now--"
"That's impossible. There are a lot of nobles who reject the 『Winter』 even now. If we stop coaxing them with money and goods, there will be intense dispute to select the next king, there won't even be any development."

The queen pours some sweet potato liquor to the tea cup and sips it elegantly.

"It'd have been simple if the king of Kogeoku would stop the invasion--."
"That's impossible isn't it. The cold wind flowing from this country is killing the meadows of that country. With how the 『Winter』 is accelerating now, Kogeoku King won't yield."

--Hm?

Even if this country keeps temperature above spring all year, the dispute with the neighboring country won't stop?

"Is there really no way?"

Winter General remains silent to the queen's question.
Is his pride preventing him from saying no, or perhaps--.

"There is. However, Sir Pendragon's help is indispensable in this plan."
"Say it. If it's anything that I can do, I will even offer my body."
"We ask him and his retainers to kill the demon sealed in the lake."

--The demon sealed in the lake.

In fact, the merchant told me about that earlier.

In order to keep the seal of this demon, the winter of this country has been prolonged.
The miasma leaking from the demon is changing the lake kelps into monsters, the ice essences gathered on the tower where it's sealed produce Ice Stones.

It seems the reason why the merchant told me that was for the sake of [securing profit].
He has collected enough supply of Ice Stones, so he wants a third party to end it out of fear of a price collapse if the production continues.
It's selfish, but it's really like a weaselkin merchant.

"If the lake demon is killed, then it will not be impossible for this country to keep an everlasting spring."
"Fumu, it's a bit difficult, but simply keeping a warmth temperature enough to prevent cold air blowing to the neighboring country should be possible. There is no guarantee that it will stop Kogeoku Kingdom's attack, but there is a merit in trying."

Looks like the story is advancing while I was deep in thought.

"Very well, I will seduce the viscount with my charm. Wait for the good news!"

The queen went out of the room after leaving a statement that sounded like a preview for the next episode.
I think she'll come across Light Snow Princess who's waiting in the bed of my room, but leaving them be should be fine.

I knock on the door and enter the room without waiting for the general's response.

"Good evening Your Excellency General."
"Welcome, Viscount-dono. Would you be willing to defeat it, the lake demon?"

I thought there would be some long explanation, but it seems Winter General noticed me eavesdropping.

"If you can promise me a promptly end of the 『Winter』 and half of the Ice Stones the country has in stock that is."
"Understood. I promise to get the queen's approval with my life on the line."

He quickly accepted it even though my condition was quite unreasonable.

The demon sealed in the lake is high leveled for a mid demon at level 50. Its skill are [Ashification], [Summon Servants] and more. This [Ashification] seems to be the advanced version of [Petrification].

When I was going to toast the liquor cup offered by Winter General with him, the door opened violently.

"General! We got a report of Kogeoku army breaking through the fort!"
"W-what! I'm going! Viscount-dono, please excuse me."

Winter General left the room in a hurry after hearing the official.

This country sure is full of drama isn't it.

--Do your best, Winter General.
















Previous Chapter

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 14-23


14-23. Snow Kingdom (4)

 

Satou's here. Since using poison in suspense drama had gone out of fashion, a friend told me that they could identify the writing era of the original work by looking at the type of the poison used. In the first place, it's rare for a suspense drama to use poison nowadays.





"Then, we'll be going."
"Houi, we're going to the labyrinth, contact us if anything happen okay."

I exchanged words with Arisa in the bridge of the airship that's circling in the sky above the royal castle of Kiwolk Kingdom.
A lot of nobles and merchants have gathered in the makeshift airfield below.

There are a lot of people welcoming us.
Probably because Princess Shistina is with us.

After seeing off Arisa and the others, the Team Pendragon, I meet up with Team Sightseeing who came from the solitary island palace.
The princess is wearing a golden dress, while Sera is wearing a silver dress.

Zena-san and Lady Karina are wearing sunglasses and SP-style clothing with their hair in bun style.
Both of them are equipped with a thin sword as a decoration, they look quite cool.
It's the result of Arisa's and my bad taste.

"Thank you for waiting, your excellency vice minister."

I smiled back at Sera who teased me a bit and lowered the airship.

"A lot of people are there desuwane."
"They must be welcoming us!"

Lady Karina who sounds intrigued, and Zena-san who has an innocent impression.

"Since an airship is quite unusual, maybe we should put some strict guards inside."
"Ara? If there's anything happen with the airship, they'll be picking a fight with Shiga Kingdom right?"
"You shouldn't let your guard down, Tina-sama. Every country has fools who don't understand the self-evident truth after all."

To respond Sera's and the princess's conversation, I summon guard golems from the solitary island palace here.
Three winged gargoyles type on the viewing deck, one exclusive guardian that can use every type of barrier, and eight knight type living dolls to guard the ramp.
Every golem is only around level 30, but these should be enough to prevent simple thievery and smuggling.





I see that the queen is in the center of the people welcoming us when I look around.
Kiwolk queen is a beauty that doesn't look like she's at her forties, her breasts area is particularly intense and she's wearing a black dress.

The right etiquette here is for me to immediately meet her, but since it seems like I'd be looked down if I were to much in a hurry, I should do it after several beats.

This is troublesome--.

"So that's Viscount Pendragon, he's quite young huh...."
"Your excellency, your voice is a bit too loud."

I could hear such whispers from among the kneeling people.
The only one that could hear it was probably me with my [Attentive Ears] skill.

"Good grief, why should I, the eldest son of a duke, kneel before a mere viscount even if he's a noble of a foreign kingdom."
"Viscount Pendragon is a retainer of the viceroy of the large Muno territory, moreover he's been recognized to receive such a precious item as an airship, once he's married to the princess of Shiga Kingdom, there's no doubt that he'll become an influential man in the capital. That influence equals Her Majesty the Queen, or perhaps more."

Hee, so vice ministers and viceroys have that much power huh....

"That youngster is?"
"Indeed. If by any chance, we incurred his wrath and got armies sent to us, our kingdom would eventually perish and our heads would probably be displayed before the castle gate."

Oy oy, what kind of warring state of period talk is that.

"However, our kingdom has the 『Forest of Snow』. No matter how many army attacking--"
"Please do not underestimate a major power. They have the 『Crimson Ogre』-dono protecting the kingdom's west, and a group of abnormal people called Shiga Eight Swords."
"However, our kingdom also has the generals and Light Snow Princess."
"Unfortunately, they are no match against them. They are mighty warriors who can fight demons on equal ground."
"Against de-demons...."

I don't know who's this Crimson Ogre, but it seems the 'equaling demons' part is a highly-valued point.
I think even Zena-san and Lady Karina, not just our girls, can easily fight against a lesser demon now.

--Now then, it should be alright now.

Even though the content of the chat was interesting, I took more time than planned. I feel that the queen's smile has begun to cramp.
As I stepped forward while minding to keep refined conduct, I saw the queen slowly took a breath.
Apparently, I had accidentally given some unnecessary pressure to them.

Once I've stepped forward enough, I greet the queen.

"I am the vice minister of Shiga Kingdom's Tourism Ministry, Satou Pendragon."
"I'm Kiwolk Queen, Heitana. I will allow Viscount Pendragon to call me Heitana."
"It is my honor, Your Majesty Heitana."

I lightly kiss the hand of the queen that's wrapped in a white glove.
It feels like the surrounding people who took a glance at that looked relieved and eased their tension.

According to the Tourism Book, it seems to be an etiquette shown to a noble who's above you in the eastern countries, so they're probably relieved to see me deeming the queen to be positioned above.
This seem to be an obsolete custom in Shiga Kingdom.

I introduced my entourages, the princess and Sera to the queen and we changed the location to inside the castle.





"--Amazing."

One of the queen's maids who saw the tribute had her breath taken away.

This place is not the audience hall but the queen's private room.
Two officials, one noble, and one girl with flowing hair near the queen have gathered here.

Glassworks, jade silk and Shiga pongee fabric, work of art and paintings I got a lot in the Royal Capital, I also brought some unusual ingredients for a mountainous country like dried saltwater fish and abalones. There is no arms.

Among the glassworks I've also put engraved seals on them to make them into pseudo magic tools.
They're just items that can prevent slight injuries, and protect against microorganisms and weak germs.

They look like toys compared to the goods my companions have that can even protect against Hydra's deadly poison, but this should be no problem since they're just something to add values to the accessories.

In addition, I asked Sera and Princess Shistina to pick these selection of gifts.

"To bring such gifts for a courtesy call.... as expected of a retainer of the lord of the large Muno territory. Does Viscount Pendragon have a duty as a governor besides being a vice minister?"

The queen who was in good mood due to the tribute asked so.
Even though I'm a governor in name only, she sure knows her information fast.

--I forgot the name of the abandoned mine city, so I checked the name on the map.

"Yes, just the other day, I was appointed to be the governor of Blaiton City by Earl Muno."

The people beside the queen were surprised when they heard the [Governor] part.

"To be a vice minister of the capital, governor, moreover, a warrior who defeated a mighty monster of Selbira Labyrinth, the 『Floormaster』 at such young age, perchance, Viscount Pendragon is related to Shiga Royalty?"
"No, I am a commoner-born upstart."

A middle-aged noble with handlebar mustache beside the queen--he seems to be the prime minister of this country--asked me, but I promptly denied it.
Even though I said the truth, he said, "you jest", while smiling wryly. What a mystery.

And then, maids came into the room pushing wagons with tea utensils.

"My, what a wonderful fragrance."
"It's the blue tea from Rumooku. It's a first class good that can even compare to product of Zetsu Earldom of Shiga Kingdom."

The one who reacted to Princess Shistina was the girl with wavy hair.

She's the second princess of Kiwolk, her name is Cruu. She's unmarried despite being a 21 year old royalty, a child-faced beauty with huge breasts. The breasts in her white dress are probably about the same size as Nana's.

And also, in contrast to her calm demeanor, she's a level 37 magic warrior who possesses Two-handed Hammer, Ice Magic, and Horseback-riding skills.
If you're deceived by her appearance, she might use that chance to beat you.

"Her Highness Light Snow favors Rumooku. Shouldn't you welcome the guest from other country with our own country's tea?"
"General Ganun--"

The prime minister rebuked the muscular read-haired general.

Apparently, Princess Cruu is the Light Snow Princess.
She's the person whom the Shiga Kingdom's secret agent warned me to be careful with.

The other military personnel keeps observing us without saying a word.
He's probably the so-called [Winter General].
He's a black haired man who looks like an unmotivated soldier, a 29 year old man, having a beret looks like it'll suit him.

He's observing the surrounding while sipping the tea.

The tea was good, but the tea-cake was too sweet with gritty sugar.
It seems there are a lot of sweet-tooth in this country, the prime minister and the red-haired general are eating them with relish.

"Do sweet things not to Viscount Pendragon liking?"
"No, it's really delicious."
"However, you look like you don't have an appetite."
"I was admiring the beautiful cake that looks like the new snow of this kingdom."
"Hohoho, Viscount has a way with words."

I made some suitable excuses for the queen.

Using Poker Face skill's help, I put up a business smile and put the too-sweet cake into my mouth.
Ah, it's gritty. I don't dislike sweet things, but this is hard.

"Although the snow is beautiful for us travelers, isn't it hard for the people living here?"
"The continuing snow should make it hard for the people living in the mountain to look after cattle, let alone going on a hunt."

Sera-san got on my the topic I brought up.

"O-our country's people have gotten used to snow, please don't worry."
"I have heard rumor that the winter is unusually long--"

Sera jumped on the prime minister's excuse.

"Fufufu, Sera-dono is kind. I am aware of the continuing winter, thus I have ordered the prime minister to exempt all taxes and forced labors."
"Y-yes, Your Majesty. We will provide food supply if there really are such villages."

The prime minister let out a sigh of relief for the queen's backing.
Fumu, I didn't ask about taxes and forced labors, but I didn't see any food aid at least.

"Your Majesty and prime minister-dono are too soft! There is not enough self-support effort! No matter how long you exempt tax and labor, the war won't ever finish. Once we've assembled our force, even without relying on the winter, we will drive away those annoying Kogeoku Kingdom's savages!"
"--General Ganunu!"

The prime minister chided the red-haired general's verbal slip.
Looks like I can really consider the [Winter] of this country to be man-made.

Black haired Winter General-shi looked bitter, but he turned away when he noticed my line of sight.
Looks like the red-haired general does not like using the [Winter] to prevent the invasion even though his reason seems to be different.





"Satou-sama, please tell me about Shiga Kingdom."
"What kind of dresses are in fashion in the Royal Capital?"
"I was given the chance to see the Jade Silk presented to Her Majesty, it was really wonderful."
"Has Satou-sama seen the thing called sea?"
"I saw in the book that there are seas of sand called deserts, is that true?"

In the dance party we were invited to after the talk with the queen, I was surrounded by the noble daughters.

Every girl is wearing an expensive dress and fine ornaments.
Compared to the suffering populace, the nobles seem to be prosperous.

Sera and the princess volunteered to take care of the girls, so I was finally able to enjoy the party.
Still, it's a gaudy party that's unbelievable for a rural kingdom.
Delicacies that I've never seen in downtowns are lined up on the buffet table.

I tried eating several, the galette with yogurt that seemed to be made of local ingredients, and the greater burdock and carrot wrapped in bird meat with the sweet sauce were tasty.
The others were like inferior version of Shiga Kingdom's dishes, they were not quite there.
It's not a problem with the freshness of the ingredients, it feels like the chefs are just not accustomed to the ingredients.

"What do you think, Viscount-dono. About our country's cuisines."

The eldest son of a duke who was gossiping about me earlier came to talk to me while holding a wine cup in one hand.

"They're very luxurious. The cuisine over here is especially splendid."
"Kiwolk bird wrapped greater burdock is it, you seem to prefer quite a rustic dish."

I praised this kingdom's cuisine since I had a favorable impression, but he treated it as [Rustic dish] instead.
Looks like he dislikes his own country's cuisine.

"Yes, it's simple but truly delicious. Enough to make me wanting to thank the chef later."
"I-is that so...."

If possible I'd like to get the chef to teach me the recipe and the secret to it, that'd be swell.

The young nobleman was taken aback with my reply.
Perhaps he was trying to provoke me?

"Here you are, Viscount-dono!"

The one who called me with a bold voice was the red-haired general, holding a curved sword in one hand.
His face looks a bit red, he reeks of liquor. Looks like he's drunk.

"I heard that Viscount-dono has many valorous acts to be proud of! Please show us your valor by doing a sword dance with me."

The red-haired general throws a sheathed curved sword to me.

As if matching the timing, the people who were dancing around moved aside to clear the stage for the sword dance.
Courteously, the red-haired's and my sword dance is officially announced to the surrounding people.

Looks like it's impossible to decline the sword dance invitation.

I look around the venue to collect information.
The queen is expressionless like a noh mask so I can't read her emotion, the prime minister, the Winter General and some capable looking nobles are looking like it's unpleasant, Light Snow Princess and most of the nobles look like they're looking forward to it.
Judging from the cheering, it seems the red haired general is popular among the military and the wealthy nobles.

Zena-san and Lady Karina who are peeking from behind the venue's pillars are looking here with excited faces.
Sera and the princess's faces look like they're saying, "Get him!"

--This is not a duel but a sword dance you know?

Starting with a strumming sound, heroic tune from the orchestra begins.
I somehow feels that it sounds crude, perhaps because I've gotten used to Mia's music.

"Here I go, Viscount."
"Please go easy on me."

He pulls the curved sword and holds the sheath in the other hand.
The red-haired general seems to be a dual-wielder, so he's using the sheath for the other one instead.

--Zazan.

I block the two swords swinging down on me with the curved sword while matching the tune.
Due to the thin curved blade, it made a peculiar sound when I blocked.

I glide my feet on the carpet, revolving once while still blocking the two swords to the red-haired general's side, and then I strongly fling away both of his swords.

Matching the time when he fixes his posture, I hit my sword against his to make za, zan sounds rhythmically.

"Y-you little!"

Since this was a sword dance, I got out of the swordsmanship's standard and attempted to do some exaggerated movements, but it seems the red-haired general doesn't like it.
I'm imagining the battle dance from the [Returning King] anime, I'll ask Arisa to score it once we get back.

It was popular with the girls and the maids in the venue at least.
In the middle of the sword dance, since I saw the queen getting excited, not only the princess, it was worth the effort.

When the music is over, the red-haired general is gasping for breath.
Looks like the stress is a bit too much for him since it was at the level of simulative blows with the beastkin girls.

Please stop looking at me with those eyes, this was a sword dance you proposed yourself.

"It was quite a wonderful entertainment. Both General Ganunu and Viscount Pendragon are representatives of brave warriors from each country. I shall give you these presents."

The queen praised us both and gave us bracelets with ice stones on it.
They're not magic tools but they look quite expensive.

It seems General Ganunu is a queen devotee, his face looks like he's forgotten about me and is greatly moved with the bracelet he got.

Without a sound, a maid came to me and presented a wine goblet on a tray.

I drank the honey wine and returned the empty goblet to her.
Since it seems there was a paralyzing poison with delayed effect inside the honey wine, I put a mark on the maid.
In addition, although I can cure myself from paralyze state using magic from Magic Column, this kind of abnormal status drug won't work due to my Resistance, so it's not a threat.

"Viscount-sama, could I have a bit of your time?"
"But of course."

I replied to the hooded weaselkin merchant who called out to me with a smile.
















Previous Chapter

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 14-22


14-22. Snow Kingdom (3)

 

Satou's here. There are many cases where a deed that appears eccentric seen from outside has its reason when you go inside. Nevertheless, whether that is valid or not is another question.





"....Is dis heavn'?"

The girl woke up in the bed and muttered.

>[Eastern Country Language] Skill Acquired.

I got a new skill, but since it sounded like a dialect of Shiga Kingdom, I could understand the meaning properly.
I don't intend to activate the skill but I'll use Translation magic to correct the nuance.

"...Um?"

The girl looks at me while looking puzzled.

This girl is the village girl who was saved by Pochi when she was attacked by a large monster in Kiwolk Mountain, Rocket Wolf.
Since her woolen clothes got dirtied by the Rocket Wolf's blood, she's wearing a cotton dress right now.

I wonder if she was stranded in the mountain, she was in Starvation on top of Weakening state, so I made her drink nourishment magic potion and let her sleep in the mountain lodge.
She was enjoying the bed with half-asleep eyes until awhile ago, but it seems she's finally woken up.

"You're mistaken. This is a lodge near your village."
"--Lodge?"

It seems she has realized her misunderstanding, the girl hurriedly gets up from the bed but then she gets an anemia.
I quickly support her and put some cushion behind the girl.

"For now drink this and calm down."
"Delicious... It's like the summer honey water."

The girl is slowly enjoying the citron tea I gave her.

This is a sweet tea made by boiling citron marmalade.
I picked this one since Zenzai would be a bit hard to swallow for her.

"We've brought the milk porridge that Lulu's especially made!"
"Ankake Hamburg Steak too~?"
"Meat is necessary after all nanodesu!"
"Nn, white bread."

The youth troupe brought the meal when the girl was drinking the citron tea.
Even though her stomach should be good now after drinking the nourishment medicine, meat is probably still hard for her.

That worry seemed to be unnecessary, the girl quickly ate up the milk porridge and put the small Ankake hamburg steak intriguingly into her mouth while looking surprised with the softness of the white bread.

The meat used for this hamburg steak comes from Rocket Wolf that tried to kill the girl.
It didn't have gamey smell even though it was carnivorous and tasted like beef, everyone starting from the beastkin girls highly praised it.
I'm thinking of hunting them later, just enough not to make them go extinct.

After filling her stomach, the girl seemed to recall something, said her thanks to me and Pochi, and then she apologized.

"U-um, I'm sorry for eating greedily without saying my thanks. My name is Pipine of Nadare village."
"I'm Satou of Shiga Kingdom."

I probably won't meet her again once we send her to her village, so I didn't tell her my house name and peerage.

"Eh~, you should have said that you're a retired crêpe merchant from Echigo there~"
"Dried sardines~?"
"Pochi likes people who appreciate dried meat more than fish nanodesu."
"Perilla sprinkled."
<TLN: crêpe=chirimen, dried sardines=chirimenjako. Mito Komon reference.>

The youth troupe mistook Arisa's words, derailing it to a strange direction.

"U-um. Is Onii-san a slave trader?"
"No, I'm not. I'm just a traveler."

After I denied it, Pipine looks dejected.
I don't think she's selling herself--feeling intrigued, I try searching her village.

--What is this, 90% of the village are in Starvation state.

Apparently, it'll be dangerous if she can't get food by selling herself.

Moreover, I wonder what this mean, many villages in this country are in similar states.
It makes me remember the old Muno territory.

"Why don't you tell us if you have something troubling you? I might be able to help you, you see?"

The girl hesitated for a bit, but it seemed she was at her wit's end, she talked about the village's distress and appealed for some food even for a little.

"Please! We don't have any money in our village, but there are nine unmarried girls including me. If you sell us as slaves in Shiga Kingdom, then the money for the food will--"
"Calm down. For now, let's go to your village as we have some extra supply of food."

I persuaded the girl and we decided to go to the village with the youth troupe.
We're using a snow boat I've made for the noon play. The main body looks like a canoe made of ice, the jib sail receives the wind to make it move.

"Fast~"
"Pochi has become one with the wind nodesu!"
"Uhhya~, scary."
"Nn, intense."

Our girls seem to like it very much, but the girl's having a face cramp and keeps silent due to the unexpected speed.

A Snow Leopard attacked us in the middle of the way, but it misread the snow boat's speed and landed behind.
It'd be troublesome if it chased us, so Tama brought the Snow Leopard down with an icicle shuriken.

Before long we saw houses between the snow.

Looking from the distant, Nadare village is a small village built on a mountain slope with only around 70 people.
There are big joint barns along the one-story houses buried in the snow, but not even one has any livestock inside.
Mysteriously, there are only a few men, the women consist of the 80% of the villagers.

Snow had begun to fall from the sky when we arrived at the elder's house.





"Satou-sama, I give you my gratitude on behalf of the villagers."

The village elder and the villagers fall prostrate in front of me.
The villagers have escaped danger by taking nourishment magic potions and liquid food, people who can move have gathered in the elder's house.
I've given them enough food and salt so they should be fine until spring.
Mia has also cured the sick people with her magic.

"This may not be much, but they're items that the villagers have assembled. Please take it by all means."

The elder presented various woolen clothing and accessories, wood ornaments and combs, bronze swords, arrowheads etc.
There are some peculiar design carved on the swords and the arrowheads.

"They're peculiar aren't they. Does this have some kind of meaning?"
"This is a groove for varnishing paralyzing poison to hunt snow leopards and bears."

The swords have peculiar design with no guards, and the grips have carving that also act as anti-slip, it looks to me that they'll be popular as a handicraft.

"There are various pattern on these woolen stuff too."
"Ndaaaa. Do you know who made these woven and embroidery ndaaa."

An old woman with wrinkles talks while tracing the embroidery with her finger.
There are patterns handed down for generations in each house, and making a new pattern until you're married seems to be a proof of adulthood.

I'm glad that I've saved the village.
I'd like to preserve these art and culture.

While having sweet potatoes the villagers made, they begin to talk about this country.

"War?"
"Yes, the winter didn't always continue for two years like this, until then, every year, there were always some stirs with the neighboring Kogeoku Kingdom. "

The men of the village decreased every year since they got drafted every time there was a war.
According to the tourism book, wars do happen regularly with the neighboring country.

"It's nice if there's no war, but we can't grow weed to feed the yaks with all this winter."
"Yeah, we can't raise fish on the river and the pond too."
"I sure yearn for spring and summer although they're only two months."

They've done well to survive in such an absurd environment that continues for two years.
The winter most likely continues on because the City Core isn't controlled well.

The reason why the village barns are empty is because they turned the yaks that they could no longer raise into food.

"This village was famous for the yogurt dish even in the Royal Capital y'see."
"I'd like Satou-sama to eat it."
"The yak's milk sake too."

Looking at the map, it seems there are herds of wild yaks in a monster dominion outside of Kiwolk Kingdom.
There's no meaning in the present state, but once the winter somehow has passed on, the yogurt dish and the milk sake might be revived.
I want to assist them as a vice minister of Tourism Ministry.

First, I need to investigate the cause of the prolonged winter--.





"--Snowmen are bringing food?"
"What the hell is that crazy rumor?"

Such rumors were exchanged whisperingly in a bar in the downtown of the sole city of Kiwolk Kingdom which is also its Royal Capital.

This Royal Capital has escaped starvation by eating food made of bodies of a monster called Murder Kelp that live in the lake nearby.
It seems the villages and towns near the Royal Capital and along the main road have received that benefit, but there's not enough to distribute them to every villages.

Moreover, since the Murder Kelp frankly tastes bad, it seems the few wealthy people in the Royal Capital are importing food from foreign countries using a large amount of money.

Murder Kelps seem to be a monster as weak as Demi-Goblins, but there is not insignificant number of people who died after getting dragged into cold water.

"Oy, young man."

When I was listening to rumors and drinking sweet potato liquor with the Murder Kelp jerky as the appetizer, the barkeeper jerked his chin, prompting me to look at the entrance.
A small man who showed up from the entrance sits down beside me.

"Sakura"
"Saku (bloom)"

Hearing the secret word, the small man sighs.
This man is a secret agent of Shiga Kingdom, he's been collecting intelligence in Kiwolk Kingdom.
With the information the prime minister taught me, I got in contact with the barkeeper to call this guy.

"It's not good here, come with me."

Guided by the man, we arrived at a storehouse after advancing through a narrow alley outside the bar's back entrance.
There were some hoodlum-looking men but after a glance from the small man, they returned to their foolish talk without paying any attention to me.
Once we've arrived at the man's hideout under the storehouse, I was finally able to gather information.

"What do you want to know?"
"Do you know the reason why the winter continues on in this country?"
"If we're to believe the talk of the downtown bunch, it's because the 『Blizzard Spirit』 and the 『Grim Ice Ghost』 are having a quarrel in the 『Ghost Valley』."

I want to see that for a bit.

"Oy, don't take the joke seriously. In reality, it's because of the queen."

The king of this kingdom lost his life in the war two years ago, so the first queen has taken the throne.
The prince who should be the heir is still 9 year old.

Still, [Because of the queen], that means it's not that she can't do the job well, but she's lowered the atmospheric temperature using the City Core power on purpose?

"You know the reason right?"
"At first it looked like it was to prevent the invasion of Kogeoku Kingdom, but--"

I see, tremendous snowfall should have made the march impossible.
It's quite a fantasy-like battle.

"--But now it seems the purpose has changed to money-making."

The small man loathsomely drink the water with melted Murder Kelp.

"We haven't finished investigating the how, but it seems they're able to artificially create Ice Stones by making the winter continues on. They've made big profit by exporting those, that's the main rumor."

Apparently, it seems he can't contact the secret agent in charge of the infiltration.

Ice Stones are a material needed for refrigerator magic tools and Ice Wand for battles, Shiga Kingdom can only produce it from Selbira Labyrinth and a few mountains.
On top of having little yield, there is no stable source of supply that can satisfy the demand, so it's always priced high.

"And, the main export destinations of that are our Shiga Kingdom and the Weasel Empire at the eastern end."

I see, stopping the winter unilaterally would be bad huh... This is bothersome.
I'll ask merchants that deal with Ice Stones and the people in question in the royal palace.

"Thank you for the information."

As a replenishment for his fund, I put a small bag with small jewels in place of cash and also several sake bottles, smoked beef and cheese for the appetizers as a bonus.

"Ooh, unlike the contact so far, you know the stuff. I'm sick of Murder Kelp and sweet potato liquor you see."

The small man who's pleased gives an additional information.

"If yer' going to meddle with the royal palace, then you should be more careful with the Light Snow Princess and Winter General than the Ice Queen."
<TLN: Winter General aka Fuyu Shogun in Japan, https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/冬将軍 >

What? What are those chuunibyou-like names....





"Master, we've finished delivering the food to the last village."
"Nn, complete."
"Thank you for your work."

The identity of the snowmen bringing food from the rumor in the bar are the snowmen golems I've made and Arisa and Mia  carried by them.
With this there should be no one who dies of hunger for the time being.

"Prey~?"
"Lots nanodesu!"
"Master, hunted mainly Grey Wolves and Black Fang Bears, so I report."
"Master, we also have a treated fur of snow leopard."

Next, the vanguards who had come back to the lodge reported.

The snow leopard's fur feels very nice, I'll make one for everyone later.
Of course for Aze-san and the others too.

"Master, I've finished the prototype for 『Ration』, would you be willing to sample it?"
"Yeah, I'm going now."

We might meet starved people like this next time, so I asked Lulu to develop preserved food with good nutrition.

Strangely, the main ingredient is Chlorella, the same as Murder Kelp that appear in the Royal Capital.
We made the Giant Kelps that multiplied in the trench near the Underwater City into fine powder and put various dried things and crushed meat of Sea Serpents, making it into a cereal that could be carried.

"Un, it's nice. I won't get tired even if I eat this for a long time."

The degree of completion is such that you wouldn't have thought it only took a few days.

It just needs more flavor variations next.
We might also need to develop a version for allergic people.

After praising Lulu, I go to meet Zena-san, Sera, Lady Karin, and the princess who are leveling up in Selbira Labyrinth.
I've got them to collect ingredients in the Flying Eater (Fish) and Hopping Octopus area while also raising their levels.

I enter the Teleport Gate that goes to the hunting ground in the labyrinth.

"Impertinent, desuwa."
"Ka-Karina-sama! Please don't go too forward."

Lady Karina drops her Pole Mace clad in purple lightning on a giant fish that looks like it could swallow a man whole.

Even though Zena-san warned her, Lady Karina thrust herself into the center of a monster herd.
She's too reckless even though she has Raka's defense and Sera's protective magic.

"Shield Golem, go three steps ahead. Great Sword Golem, stop the monsters attacking Karina-dono!"

The princess covers Lady Karina using 12 golems like they're her limbs.

These golems move by magic supply from a specially made Command Rod.
The efficiency is a bit bad, but experience points collected by the golems will be shared to the Princess, so she can level up from a safe place.

"Bow Golems, time the attack when Lady Karina retreats--shoot!"

The four rear guard golems shot spear-sized stone arrows, skewering the Hopping Octopus into a triple dango.

"Zena!"
".... ■■■■ Multiple Air Cutter"

At the same time as Lady Karina pointed at the ceiling, Zena-san's intermediate wind magic thoroughly uprooted the Crawler Shells that were approaching on the ceiling.

"Gathering group!"
"Yes. Living Doll-san, go."

Answering the princess, the Brownies who are in charge of the dismantling use the Living Doll to gather the monster bodies from the battlefield.

"Satou-san!"
"Good work."

Sera who found me came to me the foremost.

Besides Lady Karina, they were rarely ever wounded, so it seems her turns as a healer rarely appeared.
Normally, she acted as a support using a hand-me-down magic gun from Lulu and light magic she learned from the [Blessing Orb].

Leaving the dismantling group and the golems behind, I take the entourage of Tourism Ministry back to the airship.
Lady Karina is not a member of the Tourism Ministry, but I'll have her act as a guard together with Zena, disguised as [Lady K]. Formally, she's diving into Selbira Labyrinth together with Pendragon Team after all.

Now then, shall we go visit our first foreign country as the vice minister of the Tourism Ministry.















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