12-10. Complicating Negotiation
Satou's here. There are times when you're hit with an idea during unexpected time right. There's also the time when I thought of an algorithm that I couldn't think no matter how much before right when I entered a maid cafe and then I immediately dashed back to the office.
I play with the hair of Arisa who's sleeping on my lap while sipping the Shiga liquor.
I'm hit with an idea for original magic circuit when I see the dancing sakura petals. In case of writing something that needs to be rewritten many times, doing it on the memo pad in the Menu's exchange column is nice.
It was quite a challenging circuit to make, but I've made it somehow. Let's try it with Arisa's and Mia's help tomorrow.
That was when the Baron and Nina-san returned.
I see from the window that the Baron is being carried on a male servant's back. His face looks very pale.
I drop Arisa who's pretending to be sleeping from my lap and go to the entrance hall to give a magic potion to the Baron.
Of course Arisa who's completely opened her eyes after giving up her pretend-sleep follows me along unashamedly.
"Welcome back Nina-san. Pina, give this nutritional supplement to Baron-sama."
"Ou, I'm back. Damn it, you're letting off the smell of nice liquor on you. Give me some too."
Nina-san curses at the smell of alcohol in my breath.
The Baron who's already gasping is getting retired to his bedroom.
I tell them again to make sure that he drinks the supplement before he sleeps. He should be fit again next morning if he does.
"Oh Nina-san is sulking."
"Yeah, though if Arisa-dono assumes the consul-aide position, my workload will decrease by half."
"No~way. I won't be near Master if I do that."
Looks like Consul Nina is also fatigued, there's no strength on her quip to Arisa.
I take out a nutritional supplement from the storage through my pocket and hand it over to Nina-san. It's the special version with a lot of sugar added I've prepared for these two people.
"What's this? It smells really sweet."
"Please drink it in one gulp. It's good for fatigue."
Nina-san gulped the supplement in one go and muttered, "sweet", while looking like she really didn't like it.
Nina-san has recovered her vitality once we reach the living room. As expected of magic medicines.
"It sure is very effective."
"It's a product of an up-and-coming alchemist called Trismegistus."
"Feel like I've heard that name somewhere."
I pour some Shiga liquor that Arisa has fetched to Nina-san who answered haphazardly.
The side dish is some smoked lesser basilisk.
"--That's why, do your things moderately."
"Please don't say something unreasonable."
Nina-san explains the situation mixed with complaints.
I'm told that Nina-san has made the arrangement to make me become a baronet.
There should be no problem with it considering my achievements so far, but a roadblock came from an unexpected direction. It was from the relatives of Duke Oyugock who should have been in the same faction as us.
"Geez, I seriously thought that the Duke had gone senile when he wanted to raise you to become an earl."
"....Earldom is surely absurd indeed."
Earldom is an upper noble rank, there are only 32 of them even in Shiga Kingdom. Of course, dissenting opinions came one after another from other factions, and that proposal was rejected.
--Normally it should have been over with that.
Apparently countless stars flowed in the western sky, and the tremor reached even the Royal Capital.
Looks like Nina-san and the Baron saw it too from the royal castle.
Furthermore, a report came from the temple about the appearance of an oracle informing the revival of the Dog-head Evil God in the western desert.
It seems the royal castle was in panic, things were horrible. Oracle has its good and bad too.
The break-down of the nobles from old lineage was particularly hilarious, so Nina-san laughed while drinking her liquor.
A lot of lives were sacrificed due to the riot and chaos from the panic until a communication from the labyrinth city conveyed that the demon lord--the Dog-head Evil God according to the temple--had been subjugated.
Sacrifices might not have appeared if I didn't use a flashy magic like Meteor Shower, but there's nothing I can do even if I worry about the what-if. Let's make this be a lesson for next time.
Specifically, I need to get the Chant Orb, and become able to use Advanced and Forbidden magic. I must be able to defeat powerful enemies without depending on the Meteor Shower.
Now then, let's get back to the topic.
The King announced that Hero Nanashi was the [Hero of Shiga Kingdom] in order to calm the populace, but the effect was weak.
It's natural since the hero never even did anything in front of the Royal Capital's populace.
It seems the populace even doubted the existence of this Hero Nanashi.
Then, a report about a group led by me as the Raid Leader that defeated the floormaster came to the Royal Capital that was in turbulent state.
Normally the story should have been a rehash of Jeril and the others' and be overshadowed, but due to such circumstance, it pointlessly attracted considerable attention.
The difference in power between a demon lord and a floormaster is completely unthinkable, but from the point of view of normal people, they're both mighty monsters.
And so, since an existence that could oppose such being appeared to be more reliable than a hero that may or may not exist, some strange request, claiming that I should be taken from the Baron and became the direct retainer of the royal family, began to spread among the Royal Capital's nobles.
It's nothing but grasping at straws, but it's really quite an annoying story.
Although in a way, I've had it coming....
And the decisive blow was when Liza won against a Shiga Eight Sword.
Looks like I was on the verge of being stupidly nominated to become an earl, but Nina-san and Baron Muno's fine-play successfully stopped it.
I can't say anything else but GJ (Good Job).
In the end, Nina-san said that I was to be either a honorary viscount or a permanent baron.
"By the way, is it true that the group you led to defeat the 『Floormaster』 was mainly consisted of fairykin mercenaries?"
"Yes, they were people whom I was introduced by an acquaintance during our way to the Labyrinth City."
I'm not telling any lie, most of them are introduced by Aze-san.
"Moreover, none of your retainers fell, that's quite an absurd achievement."
"It's better when there are few victims right."
In fact, there was zero victim and none suffered any great injury, it was a completely safe hunt.
"In addition, you even established a charity and an explorer training school in the Labryinth City was it?"
"Yes, it's just as I've written in the letter. We should make good use of human resources."
It sounds a bit cold, but if you want to effectively collect resources such as magic cores and materials from the labyrinth, it's better to raise the standard of beginner explorers so there will be more experienced ones.
If there are more people with room to move, there will be people who would raise the next generation.
"Frankly speaking, you're already not at the level of a honorary chevalier."
"You're overestimating me."
It's not humility, I really think so.
The charity and the training school were not because I had some noble ideal or something, it was just a course of events.
"By the way, I've been meaning to ask you this since a little while ago...."
"What is it? Still, this fish sure is delicious. It's fleshy like eels and delicately tasty like Congers."
--Ah, that's the White Horn Snake.
I've added them because the smoked basilisk was gone, but since I carelessly took out meat from monsters, I dodge the question by saying, "Please guess it."
This kabayaki goes well with Shiga liquor.
Incidentally, Shiga Kingdom's Congers are as thick as a baseball bat.
Oops, the story wandered off again.
I forcibly steer the story back to the topic.
"I seem to recall that peerages higher than honorary baronet and permanent baronet can only be conferred by the King himself?"
"Of course it is."
"Then why were the nobles discussing as to whether someone be conferred peerage."
Before answering me, Nina-san waved the emptied liquor bottle demanding more, so I take out the Dragon Spring Liquor from behind the sofa. I choose the best liquor as the compensation for all the trouble.
"What we're doing is the prior negotiation for recommending people with achievements who deserve the peerage to the king. How many thousands nobles do you think are in this large kingdom? Recommending talented people from places that don't reach the King's eyes is the privilege and duty of the upper nobles."
I see, it's like a corporation huh.
It's like section managers or heads recommending their subordinates for promotion to the board of directors, just at nation-wide scale.
"Although, it's only about a half of the recommended people get to be conferred peerages. This time there are many people who are instated at low ranks like you."
I see, so she recommends [honorary viscount or permanent baron] because [honorary baron or permanent baronet] peerages are many.
"I'd like the honorary baronet one please. It looks like the marriage proposals would increase if I chose permanent one."
"Hmph, if you don't like marriage proposals, then just get a wife already. Nana-dono's age is close to yours right. I personally want you to take Karina-sama who's late for marriage for your bride though."
'That way there would be less nobles who scheme on transferring', so Nina-san muttered.
Afterwards, she tells me the recent states of Muno Territory.
I've heard it from the letter too, it seems the reconstruction of Muno Barondom is doing well enough to be called too well.
It's thanks to the nobles from Duchy Capital who offered their technical support--in the name of Support and Technical Exchange.
She's scouted lady attendants and their attendants who come from Duchy Capital to learn manners to become personnel for internal administration, so they've secured enough for now.
Furthermore, as for the public order, on top of the improvement thanks to a mysterious person--it's probably me when I was searching the pickles--capturing large number of thieves, the bronze explorers coming from the labyrinth city and entering into government service also helped reinforcing the army.
Looks like Sir Zotor diligently trains with the former-explorer newcomers too. The ex-fake hero Hauto-kun has also become qualified enough to be an officer.
After the talk has mostly ended, we begin to talk about gossip.
Nina-san, tomorrow will be bad if you don't sleep soon you know?
"Oh right, the daughter of Viscount Emurin is also coming here. She's visiting her home at the Duchy Capital right now, but she should be coming here with the Viscount with an airship."
Who was it again--right, if I remember right, Viscount Emurin is the noble-san who runs [Lulu's fruit] orchard. I've met Rina-chan the daughter in several tea parties. She was a reliable child even though she's only around the age of a first year in middle school.
Oops, rather than that, I forgot to ask the most important thing.
"I have something important to talk with you--"
"What's with the serious face."
I question Nina-san who's pulled back, I'm finally able to ask about dried gourds.
Specifically, about the bottle gourd fruits that will become dried gourds.
"You have interest in some strange things. That thing is not flavorful, and the rind is tough, so no one eats it unless as substitute food."
"That's because you can't eat that as is. It's rich in dietary fiber, so it's good for stomach."
"Fu~hn, it's a kind of medical plant huh."
Nina-san folds her arms, maybe she's thinking that I'm going to commercialize them.
Nina-san found out about the bottle gourds when she was investigating it as to whether it could bear fruits that could be sold in order to finance Muno Barondom reconstruction.
Surprisingly, the plants aren't only in the great forest like True Ancestor Ban has said, they're growing wild everywhere in the northern part of Muno Barondom.
It seems there were even villages that went by with dried gourds when the demon was secretly acting behind the scene, and they suffered in poverty.
Nina-san who's guessed that I want the bottle gourd fruits makes a firm promise that she will send them to my mansion in the Labyrinth City.
If I'm able to make a good recipe out of it I'm going to send it to Gelt-san, the chief of Muno castle.
The drinking bout is over when the large bottle of the Dragon Spring Liquor has been emptied.
I carry Arisa who's asleep and made my arm to be her pillow to the bedroom.
There are only three hours left before morning, but I'll let her sleep even for a bit.