6-34. End of Turmoil (2)
Satou's here. In my childhood, the word "fiancee" was present in many stories. It has become obsolete before I know it, but I've realized that it's not actually that fun when it befalls me, Satou.
"You're Nee-san's master huh?"
"It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Satou, a merchant."
The young knight with three scars on his face talked to me. He's the captain of the 17th knight squadron of the dukedom that have followed Liza. Even though they're knight of the dukedom, the captain doesn't hide his social status, the vice-captain introduces themselves. Both of them are commoners. Maybe because of that, they feel more like mercenaries than knights. I've thought that a knight would be a ranked noble, but it doesn't appear to be so.
The vice-captain beside him is wearing helmet, so his face can't be seen, but his tribe is the rare panther-headed clan. Of course, I'm not going to deliberately touch upon it.
"Hoo, she wasn't the guard of a noble but a merchant huh. At any rate, you've hired someone really capable, she can even use magic blade. You're probably a heir to a very large merchant family right."
"No, far from being large, I'm a merchant who doesn't even have a store on his own. This time we've just had chance to meet with baron-sama."
"Sorry, the captain is the type who speaks first before thinking."
The vice-captain covered the last part of the captain's talk, but I heard it. The vice-captain covered for the captain, but I think it wasn't something to hide at all.
While we were chatting around, the maid earlier came back and guided us toward the stronghold.
"Aah! How dare you deceive me back then!"
When we were dismounting the horses inside the stronghold, a high-pitched voice resounded. It's the second daughter of the baron (Karina) from earlier.
"She comes out, that oppai lady."
"That is enemy."
Arisa and Mia spoke abusively in low voice. Since there's something like lese majeste, do speak in quietly okay?
Swoosh, along with the sound of wind tearing the empty air, the lady's fist has penetrated through the place where my face has just been.
Huh~? Suddenly battling huh. Is there any reason for me to get twisted in like this?
I try to hear her reason while avoiding.
I avoid a jab.
I turn over her hook.
I handled the barrage of attacks from the lady who moved as if she was a fighting game character.
I couldn't help but always got my awareness robbed by the shaking mountains that shook whenever she moved, but I tried to look desperate in avoiding her as much as possible. However, isn't it painful when those things move that much?
I caught a sight of Liza and Pochi who are going to jump on her. Looks like the other three had controlled themselves from jumping in. I wave my hand when my eyes meet theirs.
"What's with that composure desuno."
After a slight lag, she tries to sweep my leg and I jump to avoid it.
Oops, we were in the middle of battle.
"I'm just good at avoiding."
Come to think of it, since I've only been looking at her breasts, I don't realize it before, she's not wearing dress but some kind of horse-riding pants. Her hair has a lot of braids too, if it's only by look, she's like an elegant young lady from horse-riding club who's enjoying her holiday.
"Mou, how capricious! Fight fairly if you're a hero."
"The hero-sama is over there. He's standing next to Soruna-sama right?"
I talk while avoiding her attacks, this could make me bite my tongue.
Her older sister, lady Soruna is coming here together with the fake hero. Rather than looking surprised with your hands on your mouth, I'd like you to stop this wild horse instead.
"It's not that! You were the one who annihilated the demon right!"
That was dangerous, if I didn't have poker face skill, it would have appeared on my face.
Even if she had witnessed the demon's destruction, the distance between us was several kilometers, even though the magic organism (Raka) had see-through skill, I couldn't believe that he could see me.
However, based on their conversation with Arisa earlier, it might have way to judge truth from lie. I have to be careful as to not have my wit overtaken.
"I remember that it's said that no normal human could defeat a high-ranking demon though?"
"That's right desuwa, that's why you're hero-sama. If that's not true, then say it."
I confirm the title on my status. Yup, I've taken off the title of hero. Of course, the title column on the exchange menu is alright too. Right now, I'm not a hero.
"I am not."
After receiving my answer, the tiara on lady Karina's forehead blinks. So the silver ornaments she's wearing like that tiara are the true form of the magic organism (Raka) huh. They look like reinforced arms.
The lady is shocked after hearing the voice from the tiara.
"There is no mistake Karina-dono, he is not the hero."
"Then, just where has that true hero with golden sword gone to!"
Since she's throwing a tantrum, I'm moving away.
Looks like she's not so well educated. Considering it's that baron, she probably has been brought up indulgently.
"Karina, the silver masked person with golden sword appeared from the mansion's top floor and disappeared in the direction of the city you know?"
"Is that true, onee-sama?"
"It's true Karina-sama, I've seen it too."
"I didn't ask you."
She frankly believes the words of her older sister, lady Soruna. She's cold against the fake hero. Live strong.
It doesn't seem like lady Karina is going to go after it to the city.
She apologizes for attacking me by mistake, even though it's partly because the older sister has reprimanded her. Her gesture is so ladylike to the point that I'm thinking if the battle-junkie manner earlier is an illusion.
Since I've enjoyed the wonderful shaking in close proximity, and the peanut gallery around us should have been too, I accept the apology without complaining.
We're being guided to the audience hall inside the stronghold by lady Soruna. Somehow, lady Karina who has sulky looks on her face is also following us. Of course, the duke's knight captain also follows.
It's fine that they do but--
"Even sir Zotol wasn't able to defend half of my attack, I couldn't believe that he could even avoid my surprise attack."
"However, he's not a hero, no mistake 'bout it."
"But, those moves didn't look like a beginner."
"Those moves were certainly amazing. I'd like to be taught at least once."
"Someone like you won't even last a match. Stay out of it."
"But, Soruna ane-sama."
Not only was the the lady complaining by while muttering, even the hero asked me to teach him. I'll talk to the fake hero, so the lady won't bother me.
"I'm only good at avoiding. By the way hero-sama, what happen to that face?"
"Ha ha, please stop calling me hero. I was just set up and used by the demon to be one, I wasn't up to the caliber. The bruise on my face is the proof. There were people hired by the consul, no the demon, mixed in with the people who got inside the castle gate. I was hit when I protected baron-sama."
"I see, it's a honorable injury is it."
"That's right, the reason why I wanted to be a hero was to protect someone. The demon made use of that feeling, but my desire to protect hadn't changed."
Fake hero, what the heck are you talking about?
"I'm going to be the knight of Soruna-sama."
"Ufufufu, that's wonderful desuwa. Since the family's peerage will be inherited by my little brother, I could marry anytime you know?"
"Soruna-sama, I will be your knight without fail!"
Since the two have begun to get excited without minding the place, we leave them alone. A maid steps forward as a substitute for the guide.
In the audience hall, there are a woman of around thirty lying on a simple bed and also baron-san, hayuna-san and her family. The woman is Nina Rottol, a viscount. Her cheeks have been drained, but the light of will on her eyes are strong. From the story before, she should have been locked in the gaol for more than a year, she's probably quite a resilient person at heart.
I don't know the reason why the demon didn't kill her, but it was probably nothing decent.
"I'm sorry for this look. I'm the new consul, Nina."
Her voice is powerful and husky.
The duke knight captain and me return the greeting.
"It looked like you were able to see through the true form of the demon."
"Yes, I had got various informations from my fellow merchants, and then I confirmed it with fathoming crystal."
Today, the deception skill is having its field day too.
Raka which can see-through lies is with Karina who's having reunion with the baron, so it's not paying attention here.
"Furthermore, on top of eradicating that demon, you've also exterminated the monsters which have gotten inside the city right."
"It was my companions who did that. Moreover, according to lady Karina's story, the demon's real body was annihilated by a mysterious silver mask."
"Companion? Ah, achievements of your slaves belong to your achievements you know."
What kind of reasoning is that.
In addition, captain-san also praises Liza and the others.
"Nina-dono, his companions also did another deeds. They protected the people who were running away from flocks of demon on the highway outside the city, and no one was hurt. We were also assisting them, but without their leadership, we would have not been able to prevent some deaths."
Since that's the first time I've heard it, I listen to his story carefully.
The three have did wonderfully.
Even baron-san who starts to listen to the story midway lets out exaggerated surprise. It feels like listening to a bard rather than a knight captain.
After the captain has finished telling the success of Liza and the others, Nina-san is whispering something to baron-san. Baron is nodding up and down. Somehow, Nina-san looks to be the superior here.
"Magician Satou-dono, do you have someone whom you serve?"
"No, there is none."
I inadvertently answered frankly, but I had a bad feeling from this flow.
"Then, would you like to serve this territory's baron? You'd be only given honorary knight title at first, but there's no one like that among generation of Muno-sama's vassal. He's surely a baron for now, but he's a respectable lord. It has been determined that he would be promoted to be an earl before he gets a grandchild. Depending on your work, you could advance your rank as you please you know?"
"I'm really sorry but--"
Of course, I refuse Nina-san's offer. My purpose is to go on a sightseeing, not becoming a noble and succeed in life. Afterwards, Nina-san continues to aggressively solicit me for about half an hour.
While evading her, the story about the annihilation of baron's army and the clean-up of the demon outside the city by the giants get mixed in.
"Apparently, you really helped this baron's territory which had been in the brink of ruin to survive. It might be better if you marry with baron-sama's daughter and join the family."
"You're overestimating me."
The second daughter over there comes out with an explosive statement.
"Then it's fine for him to be my fiancee. Then his achievements would become baron's family achievements right?"
This woman! She absolutely spoke that only to harass me.
"How about it? Are you going to be the fiancee of a beauty or a honorary knight, you could also take both you know?"
"Umu, it might be fine to leave Karina to Satou-dono."
Even baron-san is agreeing while nodding. I have a feeling that if I'm to marry lady Karina, he thinks that Pochi and Tama would follow along too.
I like her looks, but judging from her action and speech, I don't think that we'd lead a satisfactory life.
"N, no, something like fiancee."
After hearing the problematic remark of lady Karina, Arisa and Mia who had been grinning and looking as if spectators intruded.
Liza has been spreading intimidating aura on her surrounding behind me since awhile ago.
I don't know since when, but Pochi and Tama are being fed by the maids with baked sweets on the corner of the room.
In the end I lose to their forceful push, and take the route of becoming a honorary knight. I will have no duty but in return, I won't get salary or pension.
Even though I would become a noble, even if it's of the lowest rank, Arisa doesn't assist me as if agreeing with it. Looks like her stance is that of 'as long as he doesn't become lady Karina's fiancee'.
When Liza, Pochi and the others are offered to become the baron's vassal for their achievements, we refuse it but in exchange we ask for the like of Totona and the others and also serfs who have ran away to be promoted to become commoners. We also get the permission for the development of the reclaimed lands to be handed to their villages. Of course, it was Arisa who was negotiating.
In the end, we had to settle various affairs, and we could only leave the baron's territory after two weeks.