6-24. Battle of Muno City (2)
Satou's here. Back then, a friend of mine has said that moe will save the world. Admiring cute things would heal you, that's no different no matter the world.
Moe might would unexpectedly save the world.
I knew that the baron's castle is wide from the map, but after I actually went inside it, it's more vast than I've imagined. There are a forest and a big pond that occupy about three times more area than the castle.
People only occupy a few percents of the whole area, won't the maintenance be hard I wonder?
Hayuna-san and co. had been separated with us since they didn't get involved with the trouble.
We're heading toward a four-story big mansion on the hill of the same area, not the castle. There's no problem since Baron, Hayuna-san and the others are there.
Of course, the fake hero is also near the baron.
The split body of the demon is also there, but it doesn't get close to the baron. The real body is inside the forest like usual. Seems that it doesn't participate in the battle and only let the goblin soldiers to do it. I wonder if it's enjoying them killing each other?
The carriage enters the rotary in front of the mansion while I'm thinking so.
Although there is no red carpet spread, around 20 maids are lined up on the left and right to greet us.
Although I say maids, they're not wearing aprons or white brims, but just plain navy blue dresses. It's probably a uniform since they all wear the same clothing.
I can feel Pochi looking around restlessly behind me even though I can't see her. I leave it to Arisa who has warned her in low voice.
"Welcome, I'm happy to have you here. Magician Satou-sama and the ladies."
A single man in butler uniform greets us. I also say thanks for the grandiose reception.
I want ask him why he called me magician not merchant.
"If you have luggage, let me carry them for you."
Since butler-san said so, I hand him over the bag, knife and short cane from my waist. This knife is an ornamental thing to match my clothes, giving off strong feeling.
Butler-san receives only the bag, and gives me back the knife and the short cane.
"Satou-sama, it is alright to bring the dagger and the cane for self-protection."
"Isn't it rude to bring weapons before the baron?"
I check it for the time being, but butler-san slowly shakes his head denying it.
"There is no need to worry. It's an order from the consul. Furthermore, a truly reliable person is on baron-sama's side. Baron-sama won't be hurt unless it's the demon lord who's attacking."
"Hoo, that's amazing. I want to meet that person by all mean."
"I'm sure that you'll be surprised. Please look forward to it."
The one whom this person talks about is surely the fake hero. However, to even permit people who visit bringing sword, I think they're too trusting to that fake hero.
Or maybe the demon's purpose is to let someone harm them?
We follow butler-san who's leading the way. Two maids are following us. I've thought that they might be knight ladies who are monitoring us, but seeing their levels and skills, they're real maids.
However, I wonder what is this faint incongruity I'm feeling?
We arrive in front of the baron's room guided by butler-san, Arisa tightly clenches her fists. Is she worrying about the dream?
As soon as we enter the room, Arisa sees the baron, and then she relaxes while plainly looking relieved. With this, it seems that she has confirmed that the dream is not prophetic.
Thanks to her relaxing, I've also calmed down a bit. Due to the hit-and-run case a while ago, my mind had been occupied with ominous thought as to how to confront the baron.
Let's confirm the person himself first before making judgment.
"Hey, you're finally here. Cousin-dono, let me introduce them, Satou-dono the magician, and Arisa-dono the merchant. Err, the one over there is Arisa-dono's little sister I guess."
When we get into the room as guided by butler-san, Toruma-shi (ossan) who's in sight, introduces us to the baron.
Come to think of it, I've never said that Arisa is a slave huh. Her collar was hidden by the clothes too, there was no way this KY guy would realize it. Still, from his standpoint, Arisa is a merchant huh...
However, I'd like to praise him for not ignoring Pochi.
"Nice to meet you, I am an inexperienced magician and a merchant, Satou."
I was a bit lost, but I decided to emphasize on the [Merchant].
Arisa bows while holding up her skirt without giving her name. Pochi also bowing imitating Arisa after looking around restlessly.
There are 3 other man and women inside the room aside from Ossan's family. There were two maids at the corners of the room, but they're not counted.
First, the man who looks to be the baron, he's a plump man with black hair and mustache. I was expecting that he was a typical detestable guy who's sitting back with outstretched legs arrogantly, but instead, he's sitting with smiling face.
The second is a black-haired woman who has calming atmosphere, looks like she's the daughter. Although she has black hair, her feature doesn't look Asian, but more like a Greek. If I have to say, she is beautiful, but she doesn't have special characteristic beside a mole on the corner of her eye. I cannot see her figures since I can't see it from our position.
And the last one is a macho man who sit on the sofa while leaning to the woman, he's a handsome young man with black hair and black pupils. This young man is the fake hero of course. You can only see him as a refreshing young man on looks alone. He has a straight sword with blue sheath on his white knight clothes. From outside, he's hero enough alright.
His companions are in different building together with the split body (Splitter).
"I see, so you are the young magician-dono who commands the strong demi-human slaves. Thank you for saving Toruma's life. I can't thank you enough no matter how many times I say it.
This territory is only vast and can't be called prosperous, but I'd like you to peacefully rest your fatigue here. It pains my heart that I cannot give you significant service, but I would welcome your stay however long you want."
The baron expressly stands up and goes near me to say thank you.
This is strange.
Normally, nobles are arrogant, yet he's awfully friendly.
On the contrary, that friendliness is too suspicious. I wonder if this person an impostor too?
I confirm by AR, but he's the real one no doubt. There is no abnormal status too.
"Father, I know that you're excited in meeting a brave young man, but can you sit at least? I feel sorry for the little ones."
This time it's the baron's daughter chiding the baron. Her tone is as calm as her appearance suggests. Her voice is childish unsuited for her age.
Is this how these people usually acts?
With these down-to-earth people ruling the territory, why are the territory people going through such difficult time?
No, they are nobles after all, this might be an act. There might be skills that could make it happen, although the possibility is low, I'll stay cautious for a bit more.
"Oh my, what adorable girls kashira."
The daughter stands up by borrowing the fake hero's hand, and walks toward Arisa and Pochi.
<TLN: たゆん, probably onomatopoeia for swaying, jiggling. Also a Japanese meme it seems.>
Yes, there is no more appropriate representation for it.
My eyes aren't focusing to the baron who's speaking friendly in front of me, but toward the it that sway at the time when the daughter stands up.
Big--No, it's enormous breasts (Bakunyuu) word represented in real life.
The daughter slowly steps forward, and matching her, it sways and shakes, captivating me.
It's truly an art. Brassieres are not wide-spread in this world, so how do such masses are contained, I wonder. Don't tell me, it's magic? It must be magic!
Arisa kicks my leg while I'm thinking stupid things. Arisa glares from below.
"Hello, little lady. I am called Soruna, can you tell me your name?"
The daughter lower her waist to match Pochi's and Arisa's line of sight, and begin to talk with voice that seemingly has musical notes attached at the end. Arisa obstructs my view on the valley with her whole body.
No well, I think right now, it's more important to prevent the young lady from carelessly touching Pochi.
"Pochi nano desu!"
"Cute! I want this kind of girl!"
Pochi introduces herself with the usual "Swoosh!" pose, maybe unable to endure it, the young lady suddenly hugs Pochi.
Arisa tried to pull Pochi from the side, but she didn't make it in time. I could have blocked it faster, but since it looked like it'd end up in a situation where I would have a hard time making up excuse in different sense, I hesitated. Even if I made it in time, her hand would go through the illusion, exposing it.
Pochi who's being hugged by the young lady tilts her head to the side. Pochi who's hugged, happily hugs back while still wearing the expressionless face of the illusion.
"Ara? She feels different from her looks?"
The young lady's hands have gone through the illusion. Excuse is already impossible. Let's use this opportunity to see the true nature of the baron family.
I ask Arisa to release the illusion on Pochi.
"My, the girl turned into a dog girl-san! How cute kashira, she looks like a stuffed toy desuwa."
The daughter who has seen Pochi's figure hugs her without looking disgusted. Tension falls off me and Arisa, Pochi remains to be hugged by the young lady. No wait, it looks like Pochi finds the pressing breasts curious, she's having fun by repeatedly pushing it from below.
How enviable--No, outrageous!
"Oi oi, Soruna, your valuable dress will be full of hair. Moreover, what would you do if you stink of beast?"
"I hate uncle who says such thing desuwa."
Ossan made a rude remark like usual, but lady Soruna curtly refuses Ossan by "Pun", rather than "Tsun", matching her childish gestures.
Ossan is asking for support from the baron, but...
"This is, what a lovely child. Is the appearance up until now a magic?"
The baron lightly ignores Ossan's word, and asks. There is no blaming tone in his words. Rather, it strangely feels pure. I'll leave Ossan to Hayuna-san, and concentrate on the baron.
"I'm very sorry. I've heard a lot about how nobles find beastkin unpleasant, so I considered to at least make her looks like human."
Even though it's my own excuse, it's extremely noncommittal. Normally, you won't even bring her before thinking of disguising with magic.
"I'm sorry that you had to mind that. However, I didn't know that dogkin girl was this cute. I've only seen them at the royal capital and arena, and they all look fearsome like wild beasts. I'll have to revise my thinking with this."
The baron's eyes are fixed to Pochi who's being cuddled by the daughter.
"By the way, Satou-dono."
"What is it?"
"I too want to pat the head of this dog girl-san, may I?"
Pochi shakes her head down while being hugged by the daughter.
I nod at the baron after getting Pochi's permission.
"Oh, isn't it fluffy! Her hair is so nice."
"Besides, she smells really nice. Is this fruits smell? I don't know such natural perfume like this."
Hmm? Fruits smell?
I asked Arisa who's next to me in low voice.
"Mia made sachets filled with fruits peels, and put it together with our clothes."
I see, I don't know well, but it's something like pot-pourri I guess.
I did know that Mia was collecting fruits peels, but I had surely thought that it was for snacks during midnight when she's hungry. I have to be careful not to say this out loud. I would be made to [Seiza] again.
Our meeting with the baron family has unexpectedly ended with cozy feeling, but at that time, rapid development is occurring in the forest.
Even though the baron army should have been advantageous, suddenly victims from their side greatly increase together with the victims from goblin's side. Furthermore, the people who haven't made contact with the enemy are also falling victim one by one. Did the enemy have set up trap from the beginning?
Speaking of something strange, 10 split body had appeared near the main demon body and then, they flew around aimlessly on top of both forces.
I've thought that it might be using poison, but when I check on their status, I understand the cause.
Great majority of the soldiers are suffering with [Confusion], and [Enraged] condition.
I see, now I understand why Arisa had said, "Despised mind magic" before. It's a standard magic in game, but there's probably few magic that could compare to magic that has no means to be opposed, yet very effective when used against groups.
I'm sure that this method was also used to annihilate the large thieves group.