Satou here. In my programming days, I was able to pull through the overtime hell while enduring myself from flipping out by the jostling waves of frequent spec change by the whims of my superior and clients.
However, just because I went through it, coercing my subordinates to also go through it like it's only natural when I'm the one on top feels wrong somehow.
"Ja ja ja~n, nanodesu."
Tama and Pochi who are wearing backpacks make a shutan pose and look at me.
"You two look cute."
"Pochi is getting embarrassed nodesu."
They partly closed their eyes pleasantly when I patted their heads furnished with yellow hats.
Pochi's tail is wagging so hard it looks about to fly off.
When I was going to separate my hands, Tama stretched herself and pushed her head on it, so I lightly clapped my hands to tell them it was over.
And then, Nana who was leading Shiro and Crow by hands came.
"Good morning, masita."
"Master, we're all here so I report."
Nana lifts up a yellow clutch bag with a chick embroidery on it.
This was made in a hurry in order to persuade Nana to equip a school bag.
I've put a private space storage on it like with the fairy bag, it's a lesser version that can hold about half a tatami wide of content.
"Master, good morning zamasu."
It was Arisa and Mia in female teacher cosplay.
Today, these girls have cleavage.
Through the fake breast camisole that Arisa and Mia petitioned me to make.
"You two are going to teach in a magic school special lecture today right?"
Mia nodded to affirm me.
"If it's Arisa and Mia's lecture, could I perhaps attend it too?"
Princess Sistina asked Arisa and Mia.
"The content is the same as the thing we've always talked about with Tina-sama you know?"
"That might be so.... But I still want to ask things I want to ask."
When the two told her that there would be no point in asking now, Princess Sistina pouted a bit.
"Isn't it fine, you two."
Since I've got to see a rare expression of her, I'll give her a hand.
"But if Sistina-sama attends the lecture, someone might shrink away from it. Therefore--"
I took out a disguise set and told them that she could just go with them as their assistant.
"Just what I'd expect from Satou. You're fine with that right, Arisa? Mia-sama?"
"No choice then. Let's go together Tina-sama."
The two approved while smiling wryly when they saw Princess Sistina who were beaming to obtain the disguise set.
"Master, the lady of house of Marquis Kelten has arrived."
"China-sama came, Masita."
A maid told me that a carriage that carried Marquis Kelten's daughter, China Kelten had arrived.
She has always stopped by this mansion and let Shiro and Crow joined the ride ever since their enrollment.
"Good morning! Shiro, Crow!"
"Good morning, China-sama."
Shiro and Crow ran up to the carriage and greeted the little girl--China Kelten.
China who opened the door and showed herself up got caught by a shadow.
Needless to say, it's Nana.
Her knight guards have their hands on their swords, looking tense, but China herself looks at Nana, who's rubbing their cheeks together, in confusion.
"W-w-w-what? W-who are you?"
"--I'm sorry. You must be surprised."
I got close to the confused China with Ground Shrink and lightly whacked Nana's head.
"Master, young organisms are to be protected so I inform."
"China-dono is shocked, see? If you want to hug her, ask for her permission first."
Nana lowered China reluctantly.
Miss China runs up to behind Shiro and Crow with small-animal like movements.
Shiro and Crow themselves covered for Nana, saying, "Nana-sama", "Don't be scared."
"Nana? By Nana, you mean Nana Nagasaki-sama who's accompanying that Earl Pendragon-sama the 『Demon Lord Slayer』?"
"Affirmative so I inform."
Miss China asked Shiro and Crow, and Nana affirmed it after matching her line of sight with China.
"T-then, that black haired gentleman is!"
The excited miss China asked Shiro who was at her usual pace.
That's not an answer.
"Un, Nana-sama's master (dannasama), masita. Earl Satou Pendragon the 『Demon Lord Slayer』."
"E-e-e-e-earl, earl earl earl, earl-sama?"
When Crow told that to Miss China who asked with her head tilted to the side, Miss China chewed her words like a broken record.
"My name is China Kelten. Granddaughter of Marquis Kelten--"
Miss China twirled and bowed like a lady.
To be able to take a graceful conduct in this situation, she must have been taught about it regularly.
I introduced myself and replied back like an adult noble would.
"China-sama, can Nana-sama go with us today?"
"Yes, of course she can."
Nana followed into the carriage after Shiro and Crow.
"Young organisms can sit on my knee so I advise."
"Nana-sama, you can't that's dangerous ."
Nana who was going to act upon her desire was scolded by Crow and fell dejected.
"Then, we'll be going too."
The carriage that carried princess Sistina, Arisa and Mia departed after Kelten house's carriage.
I went back into the mansion after seeing the carriages off.
"Satou, can I go with you inspecting military installations?"
"Yes, I don't mind."
Lady Karina asked for my permission to which I approved.
By the first prince Soltrick's invitation, I'm going to inspect military installations with Liza, starting from the Royal Knights'.
"Zena-san, could you also go with us?"
"Y-yes! If I'm allowed to!"
I'll be counting on Zena-san to be Lady Karina's chaperon.
"How about you two, Mito and Sera-san?"
"I don't think I'm that fond of military installations."
"I would like to decline too."
Then only Liza, lady Karina, Zena-san, and I will be coming to the inspection.
"Satou, you're going to attend the completion celebration ceremony of the new airship model right?"
"Yeah, of course."
It's a warship whose frame is created by the kingdom's workshop installed with an aerodynamic engine sold by Echigoya Firm.
It seems to be a warship for transporting land troops which also has the capability to perform support bombardments for cleaning up monsters.
It appears to be equipped with an ancient weapon called [Magic Ordnance] that was excavated in a ruin in a territory under direct control of the king.
I'm intrigued by the ancient weapon keyword, and looking forward to the ceremony.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka.com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"Good morning, Kuro-sama."
"Morning, Tifaliza. I've got some time until noon, so I'm here to inspect the workshop and each departments. Is there any department I should go see to?"
"Yes, I'm going to make a listing, please wait a minute."
When I came to Echigoya Firm office, Tifaliza who was buried in documents welcomed me.
Right after I took a glance at the list Tifaliza gave me, the manager's luminous point rushed up to the office along with the noisy footsteps.
The sound stopped dead on track, then after a bit, knocking sounds resounded.
The manager came in with a composed expression on her face.
Her graceful conducts belie even the footsteps earlier.
It's always been in my mind, does she seriously think that I didn't hear her footsteps earlier?
Well, I'm not gonna pursue it though.
"I'm going for an inspection now. Come with me."
"Yes! I understand."
The manager promptly answered.
Tifaliza who's carrying a binder is standing beside the manager with a face that says it's only natural. Saving me the trouble of inviting her.
First, to a nearby place, let's go to the Aoi and Professor Jahad's office.
"--Prof! You ate my pudding again didn't you!"
"Oh shut it! Sugar is necessary for inventing stuff!"
I heard gluttonous voices the moment I opened the door.
Aoi boy who looked like nothing but a beautiful girl when I first met him has grown taller and had slight voice change, gradually looking less and less like a girl.
"Ah! Kuro-sama and Elterina-sama, hello!"
"What, I haven't completed my invention yet y'know?"
In contrast to Aoi boy who greeted us when he noticed, Prof. Jahad only snorted grumpily. Guess there's a reason he's famous as an odd person.
Prof. Jahad is currently researching a [Magic tool that can reciprocally produce mana and electricity.]
He successfully made a magic tool that could produce electricity from mana right away, but he's having a hard time making the opposite.
"That's cause Prof is always playing with the motor isn't it?"
"Fool! I'm trying to find out the principle and trait of 『Motor』 to investigate the connection between it and magic tools with similar effect."
Prof Jahad replied back Aoi boy with a plausible explanation, but his sweat streaming down his cheeks and averted line of sights snatched away the credibility of his words.
Electric motors probably look very fascinating for a rotation maniac like him.
"I don't mind. The mechanism that alters a part of aerodynamic engine's buoyancy to propulsion is enough for the present term. Turn your current invention for the next term."
Although it's not usable for large airships, this mechanism can greatly lower the cost of small airships if installed.
Presently, it's only equipped in airships made by Echigoya Firm, but since I've released the theory behind it to the Royal Academy, other factories should make use of it too before long.
I turn to Aoi boy next.
"I heard from the report that you've made a prototype?"
"Yes! Please wait. I will try it on."
--Try it on?
I was going to stop him due to a bad feeling I got from that, but I missed that timing since Prof. Jahad had begun to explain about the inventions he made for his hobby.
"Kuro-sama! Please have a look!"
Aoi boy who had changed into short pants showed his invention with a face that looked like it was accompanied by "Jaja~n" sound effect.
"How is it?"
Aoi boy asked worryingly asked that to me who had no reaction.
....The product itself is fine.
"At least ask a woman to try those on."
I'm not advanced enough to get a throbbing from looking at a boy wearing stockings.
"Is that all the thickness and color you have?"
"I have prepared from 20 denier to 50 in 10 increments, I also have the best 25 denier but the color is only black and white. The natural skin color one is not yet done and currently under research."
No no, I don't understand what's this denier thing.
I would love to see Lady Karina and Lady Ringrande in bunny girl costumes, but the impregnable fortress pair will definitely drop down the [Guilty] card if I actually attempt to.
"Do you think these will sell to female nobles?"
"Yes, I think they will."
The manager promptly replied.
Since these make your legs look thinner, even commoners probably will end up wanting them too besides the noble girls.
"I'll leave the marketing strategy to manager. Ideally it should be accessible to people other than nobles in five years."
The manager affirmed.
Her face looks fully eager to wring out the ladies.
If we overcharge them, we can probably recoup the cost of the workshop and product development in five years.
Because there's a lot of nobles who like [Something Special] even if it's expensive.
"Aoi, you've showed better results than expectation. We will give you vacation time and extra bonus. You can rest your body at the recreational facility of Echigoya firm."
"Thank you very much! But since I've already started with the next research, please postpone the vacation until after that."
Looks like Aoi boy has been caught in the workaholic demon's grasp.
"Just don't overwork yourself."
While giving him a warning, I put a bag with salty grape candy inside.
They're for replenishing calorie and salt.
"Hold it Prof! Don't monopolize them all. Half of them are mine okay."
I turned my back on the two who had begun to quarrel over the candy and went out of the lab.
Afterward, I visit the other laboratories in turn.
Research about Aoi boy's idea, the instant food, is split with several researchers and progressing even now. Producing it is possible but it needs magicians and expensive magic tools, so the current objective is to reduce them.
At the magic tool development research department, many are developing consumer goods, and the most popular one is development of golem carriages for nobles.
It'd be disastrous if traffic accidents were to happen, so I've put a limitation that prevents golem carriages from going faster than a normal carriage.
People who wanted to promote their research came and asked for a competition to be held regularly.
The remaining time to inspect the workshop has been considerably reduced because so many researchers were like that.
To save time, I teleported to the workshop.
"My bad. I'm pressed on time."
I apologized to the surprised Porina and went in to inspect the workshop.
"Looks like there's less exhausted-looking people compared to the last inspection."
"Yes, just as Kuro-sama has instructed, we have prohibited the workers from coming to work three days straight and given bonus to people who take more than four days off a month, working hours per person has greatly decreased."
When I came here before and looked at the time table, I noticed that there were a lot of people who had excessive work hours like 28-day and 37-day nonstop service, so I ordered her to reduce the workshop's operation time and regulate continuous labor.
"I couldn't believe my ears when Kuro-sama told me to give bonus to people who take days off instead of those who don't, but I was made to admire Kuro-sama's keen insight once again when I saw the workers had regained their energy."
It kinda doesn't feel like a compliment somehow.
Well, guess it's ok. Let's just be satisfied with the success of preventing people dying from overworking in my own workshop.
"Kuro-sama, the portion lost from the reduced production has been outsourced to another workshop with excess labor, so Echigoya Firm's earnings haven't dropped."
I nod to the manager's words.
Our earnings are already abnormal anyway, I would have been fine if she didn't try too hard to maintain it.
"You've done well Manager. Porina too, don't forget to take care of your health too along with the workers."
I gave nutrients with sleep inducing medicine to Porina who had shadows under her eyes.
If the boss is tired, it'll be hard to keep an eye on the subordinates.
"So? What do you think of this royal guard knights?"
"They look tough."
After finishing Echigoya Firm inspection, I turned back to Satou, took a quick lunch and joined the prince who went to inspect military installations.
We're currently watching royal guard knights training that look like a dance performance.
Zena-san is high-strung because we're with the prince and his aides, while Liza and Lady Karina are looking for strong people whom they can fight with.
These two really stay at their own paces.
"--Tough? Are you telling the truth Sir Pendragon?"
"Who is it!"
The first prince asked for the identity of the person who called me from behind.
The crowd is cut apart like a pulling tide, Sir Heim of Shiga Eight Swords showed up from the formed path.
Even though he's wearing first-class knight attires, there's an air of a front line soldier around him somehow.
"Oh, his highness was also here."
His words sounded prickly somehow.
Does Heim-shi not get along well with the first prince?
Is something like that alright between the next king and the head of Shiga Eight Swords, I'm a bit worried now.
"Heim-dono, do you have a problem with the ability of our royal knights?"
Knight commander of the royal knight who were next to the prince to give commentaries stepped forward and glared at Heim-shi.
"Of course. If you think yourself as his majesty's shield, stop that child's play at once, and have them train until they vomit blood."
"Curses, are you saying that our knights is a child's play?"
The knight commander was enraged at Heim-shi's words.
"You know that best don't you?"
"--Cease this at once."
The first prince restrained Heim-shi's further provocation.
Heim-shi didn't seem like he intended to snarl at the first prince as he lightly bowed and closed his mouth.
"This is why upstarts are..."
The knight commander was being a poor loser and let that out.
"Don't hide behind your pedigree and lineage. The ones protecting his majesty is not you, but Julberg-dono and Reilas-dono--"
"--Heim. Did I not tell you to stop?"
Heim-shi smiled ferociously and then turned toward me.
"I see, so that's why it's Sir Pendragon huh."
I don't get what he's "I see"-ing about.
Perhaps, the first prince is trying to make me replace Julberg-shi?
"Hmph, no need to make up some useless plot. The Earl is my friend."
--Yet you've never called me by [Satou] name even once though.
"Well fine. I will have you show this training scenery you're boasting of."
After the first prince said that, we went toward the holy knight training ground.
"Fuhahahahahahahaha, you're gonna die if that's all you got!"
"First division, put your spirit into it!"
"Second division, support with light magic."
"Third division, distract Ryouna-dono with a flash!"
"You shouldn't look away."
"Rebuild the light shield!"
"Bauen-dono's wind blade is coming!"
Holy knights train by fighting Shiga Eight Swords like in an actual combat.
"....■ Light Heal."
Other holy knights are healing the injured in one corner of the training ground.
Even though it has 'holy' on its name, there isn't a single priest in the Holy Knights.
In exchange, it seems most of the members can use light magic.
They can do absurd training because they have healer members.
"At least you can back up your bragging."
The royal knight commander who heard the first prince's compliment had a sour look on his face.
"I'm honored for the praise, however, we have only begun to train this eagerly half a month ago."
The one who said that was the Reilas-shi the holy shield-user, not Heim-shi.
Half a month shouldn't be enough for them to get this coordinated, so it's probably this place's version of 'half a month'.
"And it's all thanks to Sir Pendragon. He taught us that even hero can be reached by a common man if you temper yourself. All of the holy knights are striving with you as their objective."
"Haa, I'm honored."
Reilas-shi bowed to me.
"Satou as an objective?"
Liza and Lady Karina behind me tilt their heads in puzzlement while looking like they want to say something.
Zena-san didn't say anything, but she wryly smiled with cold sweat.
Un, I'll ask them what they want to say later.
"Sir Pendragon, this is a good chance as any, would you like to have a bout with me?"
Heim asked me while flaunting his magic sword.
That's the Magic Sword Heim I made as Echigoya Firm.
It has the ability to speed up and restore chips.
"No, I'm asking for a match with your excellency the Earl, not with Viscount Kishresgalza."
Not Liza, but me?
"Kishresgalza sisters said this. You're the strongest."
Heim-shi draws his sword.
"We have high magic potion here. As long as you don't die, one or two loss limbs can be restored, no need to worry."
No no, I can't not worry.
Getting your limbs cut in a training is a no no.
Please do such violences with people who share the same interest.
"Satou-san, please do your best!"
Zena-san tightly grasped my hands and cheered.
"It'll be a cinch for Satou desuwa!"
Lady Karina who's equipped with demonic breasts said it like it was about herself.
Liza isn't saying anything, but her tail is beating the ground full of expectations.
"I'm counting on you, Sir Pendragon."
The first prince and his aides don't seem like they're stopping this.
Since Liza won against Julberg-shi, the leader of Shiga Eight Swords, and my title as Demon Lord Slayer had spread wide, there should be no problem putting a good fight against him here.
I'll aim for a draw after exchanging enough blows.
"Please take it easy on me."
Heim-shi's mouth twitched when he saw me receiving Fairy Sword from Zena-san.
"Are you going easy on me?"
--How'd he find out.
"What do you mean?"
"Viscount Kishresgalza told me. That her master's spear is above her."
Liza said that huh.
But it doesn't seem like he read my mind about going easy.
"Sir Pendragon, with a spear?"
"Come to think of it, I've never seen Sir Pendragon fighting with a sword."
"Then a spear was Sir Pendragon's main weapon all along!"
Heim-shi's misunderstanding spreads to the prince and the surrounding people.
Even Lady Karina muttered, "I didn't knew desuwa."
"Let me show you something that will left you wanting to use your serious weapon."
Heim-shi drew his magic sword and stood in the center of the training ground.
His opponent seems to be a 6-meter class golem.
"O Magic Edge, dwell in my sword. Magic sword Heim carved from my name. Bring about raiding speed faster than wind to me--"
I heard lines that reeked of chuunibyou from Heim-shi.
The surrounding holy knights and Lady Karina who heard that are getting terribly excited.
Heim-shi got close to the golem at a speed equaling Pochi and Liza's Flickering Movement, and cut it in two with a slash that rode on his speed.
"As expected desuwane."
"It's rough but quite powerful."
Zena-san, Lady Karina and Liza spoke.
Though, the general people's impressions are different--
"So this is the true strength of a Shiga Eight Sword--"
"As expected of Heim-dono!"
"That was tremendous...."
"Dear me, good thing he's an ally."
--Such were their reactions.
"How was it, Sir Pendragon? Was this not enough for you to be wanting to use a spear?"
Heim-shi asked with a smile on his whole face.
Even though I'd love to see his face if I refused here, the people around would be booing me if I did that, thus I decided to read the air here.
"No. Just as you wish, I will be using a spear."
I said that and all, but I don't actually have that many spears for my use.
Holy Spear and Dragon Spear are bad choices, but he'd think that I'm making light of him if I use a steel spear--I looked at the Storage and found a handy looking one in the Experimental Folder, so I decided to use that.
I take out the spear from the Storage through the storage bag.
"A scarlet spear!"
"What an ominous spear."
"It must be a magic spear with some kind of story behind it."
The peanut gallery is too noisy....
This is a magic spear made from Hihiirogane, Gae Bolg.
It's something I made per Arisa's request, "Something Gae Bolg-like", it has no special trait besides having good mana transmission.
Of course, it doesn't have the ability to always hit its target and perform a genocide like the original.
"It appears you have gotten serious."
Heim-shi drank a mana recovery potion and wiped his mouth with his hand.
That kind of wild gesture suits him well.
"Please don't be too hard on me."
"Hmph, sorry, but I'm not gonna hold back. I'll do my damnedest to challenge 『Demon Lord Slayer』-dono."
Heim-shi showed a ferocious smile.
Let's have a less tense match shall we.
※Next update is planned for 7/30