6-18. People of Baron Muno Territory (9)
Satou's here. It's said that ability to read atmosphere is indispensable, but it's different in parallel world, there are unexpectedly a lot of people who behave as they wish here.
If I forget about the difference in social standing, it seems that I would make various mistakes.
When Nana takes off her hood, her blond hair unfolds. Toruma-shi is dazzled by her, Hayuna-san elbows him. So he's really being kept on a short leash by Hayuna-san.
Nana is holding the baby on her arms after receiving permission from Hayuna-san. She looks completely content. Looking as if she's a holy mother--if she doesn't talk.
"She's so fluffy, and soft nano desu. Master, I want to have a young organism too."
"Let's talk about that after this journey is over."
"It's my nickname."
<TLN: Nana says "Master" in English (Masuta), not "Goshujin-sama" like the other girls.>
Afterwards, the Toruma couple were interested with Nana's eccentric way of speaking, but when I told them that she lived a sheltered life in a distant land which made her poor at Shiga language, they assented. I told them that her meal was only water because her body was weak. Toruma couple seem to be thinking that Nana and I are a married couple. I leave that misunderstand alone since there's no particular harm anyway.
"This is delicious. It's full of rural taste, but the abundant meat is nice, and it even has peppers on top of salt!"
"Thanks to the chopped peppers put in the fried food, my body is warming up."
These two, even though they're saying things as if they're reporters from gourmet program, they're eating intensely. I guess it can't be helped that they're greedy since they probably haven't had good food at the thieves' hideout.
Pochi and Tama are quiet today. They would usually go, "Another please nano desu~". I peek at them, they eat slowly while chewing thoroughly today. They've only eat about half their portions.
Huh? They stand up after finishing half their meal and go toward here. Was it not tasty?
"I'm giving half nodesu."
The two offer their plates to Hayuna-san. I wonder why they're presenting it while having very earnest, if not painful, faces.
"Oi oi, no matter how delicious, we won't eat scrapes from demi-human slaves you know?"
Toruma-shi's jeer aren't exactly loud, but the timing is quite bad making it permeate through them.
Hearing that, Pochi's and Tama's ears fall down.
Toruma-shi's remark might not be as harsh if it didn't contain discrimination against demi-human.
However, I cannot let his jeer toward the two who had good-will pass.
Let's ignore this KY Ossan who can't read the atmosphere around him. I won't call him Toruma-shi anymore, from now on he's Ossan.
<TLN: KY=Kuuki Yomenai=can't read the atmosphere. A Japanese slang, it's written in alphabet. Ossan means middle-aged man.>
Oops, rather than talking about Ossan, it's Pochi and Tama.
"It's for the sake of the breast milk for the baby nodesu."
"If she doesn't eat a lot~ the baby will die~?"
I don't quite understand what they're saying, but the reason why they look gloomy since some times ago is this huh.
"Master, there was a baby of a leopard-head woman at the previous owner's place back then. The mother's milk didn't come out because we rarely got food, so the baby died of starvation. During that time, the demi-human slaves were cooperating together to share half of their food, these two remember it."
"I see, Pochi and Tama are kind. There's no need to worry, we have enough food, so you two go ahead and eat. You can ask for another serving like always too."
I understand after listening to Liza's explanation. Considering how the people from that brown rat guild were, I wouldn't be surprised with that treatment.
After hearing my words, Pochi and Tama look at each other and say, "Yatta", happily, while holding their plates with both of their hands on top of their heads. As expected of them for not dropping the vegetable pieces.
Hayuna-san says, "Thank you for worrying.", to Pochi and Tama, but the KY guy is saying, "Then, I will help myself with another serving too." Of course, not only Liza, Lulu also splendidly ignores him. Ossan is wandering around unsteadily with his plate, but since no one responses, he dejectedly get out of the stage. It's pitiful that even Hayuna-san didn't back him up.
It doesn't seem like he's reflecting on it though, when Hayuna-san asks for another serving, he also puts his plate together, asking for another. I give it to him, not out of sympathy but because it's annoying hearing him grumbling on the sideline.
After the meal I go inside the wagon with Nana since Hayuna-san is going to breastfeed the baby. Nana had wanted to go see the breastfeeding, but since it's embarrassing for me, I take her along.
I'm going to replenish Nana with magic power now.
"What is it?"
"I also want to give breast milk to the young organism."
"It won't come out right?"
I could see Nana touching her own breasts since I'm currently supplying her with magic power from behind. Yu~p, they're big.
The milk should comes out when she has a child, but I don't know if a homonculus like Nana could give birth.
"What should I do?"
After we're finished with the replenishment, Nana turns around while asking that question.
This is, good things.
I inadvertently extend my hand, but I suddenly get swatted from behind and fail to do so.
"W, what are you doing, you two!"
It's Arisa and Mia. Still, when did Arisa make a paper fan anyway.
"'What' you say, I'm just supplying her with magic power."
"That's right, didn't we decide that you'd be doing magic replenishment on her back."
"Of course, I did it on her back. Nana had suddenly turned around."
"Is that so?"
"Is it true?"
"Yes, affirmative. I was requesting master to make me produces breast milk."
W, wait Nana-san? If you said such turbulent words...
I obediently sit in seiza while objecting, but they don't let it pass. It might be because they noticed my gaze to one part of Nana's body midway.
I was almost made to rub Mia and Arisa breasts in order to make them grow big, but I evaded it somehow. That was dangerous. I prefer fighting wagahai-kun to this.
After I've finally been released from Arisa and the girls, I go back to where the couple are. It seems the feeding is over.
Looks like the baby was locked in the cellar since her crying was noisy back in the thieves hideout.
When were chatting, Lulu brought tea for the three of us. It's not the blue tea like usual, but herb tea. Lulu says that the blue tea is not good for the mother, or rather, the mother's milk given to the baby.
Hayuna-san and me say thanks to Lulu while receiving the tea, but Ossan asks "What's this, it's not a sake? Is there no wine? Ale is fine too", instead of thanking her. He looks like a drunken old man who harasses a cabin attendant. When he's told that there's no one who drink here, he looks disappointed.
"Still, there sure are a lot of thieves in this territory."
"You're right, we've met many even before we got caught by those guys. At that time, they were outnumbered so they ran away before they fought."
So it's true that thieves would avoid you if they can see mercenaries' presence.
"Furthermore, I was surprised at how many villagers were trying to sell themselves."
"If the harvest is bad, isn't it normal?"
"They said that they didn't have bad harvest."
I tell him that the cause is the wedding of the baron's daughter, but Ossan says something unexpected.
"Hee~, that day dreaming Soruna is getting married huh. Which noble is her partner? He must be quite manly to take a bride from cousin-dono."
"Her partner is the hero-sama it seems."
Hearing that Ossan bursts into laughter while rolling on the sheet like there's something funny.
Even so, I think there would be many noble who would want to marry a lord's daughter, even if he's just a baron. I want to ask what he means by manly, but it'll be going off topic, so let's ignore it.
Hayuna-san who can read the atmosphere reminds Ossan. I wonder how did she marry this person.
"Dear, what are you finding interesting? We don't understand if you just laugh."
"Ha, ha, no well, cousin-dono is famous for liking hero, but I never expect that he would have his daughter marrying hero. This will be a good tie with Saga empire."
"Is Baron-sama fond hero?"
"Yeah, his hobby is collecting books about heroes' tales. There was even a rumor among merchants that he specially built theater in Muno city just to have theatricals about hero."
I see, so that fondness for hero is used.
"Actually I have a merchant acquaintance close to royalty who has meet the hero directly, and the face, figure and features of the hero that he has told me don't match with the hero who's currently staying with baron-sama."
"Hoo? Then Satou-dono, are you saying that cousin-dono has been deceived by a fraud?"
"I'm not saying that much. I cannot think why would a hero be away from Saga empire beside for subjugating the demon lord in this time nearing the demon lord season. Furthermore, there was even a public disturbance in Seryuu city involving sir silver mask who resembled the hero. I'm worried that baron-sama might receive damage too."
I don't actually have a shred of concern, but it's fine like this.
Next, I should naturally mix the thing about the demon in our talk.
"I've also heard rumors about a demon with bat wings appearing near Muno city. Back when I stayed in Seryuu city, a senior demon attacked there, so the rumor 『Isn't Muno city also being targeted by demon』 is floating around among the merchants."
Mix lies in the truth, even a Russian novelist said so.
"So there was such rumor huh. That explains why we never pass by merchants' carriage as soon as we entered this territory."
Ossan looks convinced while saying so, but I say that's because of the bad public order. On top of that, if you hire people like those at the border, people will avoid this territory which has nothing but bad things. People who don't have urgent business in the dukedom are probably going to avoid passing here right?
I wonder if this talk would reach some influential person, even though it's in the form of rumors. I can't expect anything from this unreliable Ossan, but since Hayuna-san has also heard it, I'm anticipating that it'd flows well through the wifes network.