13-13. Evening Party at the Royal Capital
Satou's here. I got fed up of long meetings without reaching any conclusion when I first entered the company, but I was able to calmly participate after knowing the effect of letting out the steam by grumbling.
"--With that, the Kingdom Conference this time comes to an end. Anyone who has any objection can stand up."
The prime minister who's acting as the speaker declares so as a formality.
There hadn't been anyone who objected at this point for 300 years.
The reason why I used past tense was because I saw a young lord stood up among the seats for territory lords in the front.
"Young master, please take your seat."
"Let me go, do you intend to force misery upon our people."
The young lord violently shakes off his close-aide who urged him to sit down in low voice, and scowls at the prime minister.
"Earl Lesseu huh. State it if you have an objection."
Earl Lesseu's shoulders shake from the deep voice of the prime minister that has intimidating pressure.
"T-then, I'll state it. I want you to reconsider the share of magic cores supplied to our territory!"
Earl Lesseu appealed clearly, but since his voice was trembling, it didn't have that much of a force.
"That should have come to an agreement during the morning conference--"
The prime minister tells Earl Lesseu in an easy-to-understand manner.
The earl seems to be dissatisfied, he looks down while shutting his mouth.
By the way, as for the main problem, the magic cores themselves, although they're needed in mines, as fuel for the mobile base's magic furnace, and production of magic tools, it's hard to say that they're indispensable in people's life.
The magic power needed in cities are supplied by the City Core, pulled from the Source. A large number of magic cores shouldn't be needed inside the city as long as there isn't a magic tool that can guzzle down magic power like nothing like the Mithril magic furnace in the self-governing dominion of Bolhart.
Furthermore, the distribution of the magic cores that's controlled is only the ones from the labyrinth city, the ones gotten from the monsters inside the lords' territories are left to the lords' own discretion.
If it's insufficient, then he can just hunt the monsters in his territory.
Of course that's if he has enough force in his territory.
"--The thing your territory needs is the restoration of public order right? The share of magic cores that should have been for your territory are diverted for the magic furnaces of the mobile bases that will carry the kingdom knights marching toward Bishtal Dukedom, in exchange, the kingdom knights will exterminate rampant monsters in your territory to secure the highways. You too agreed to that plan did you not?"
I see, I can read the prime minister's motive a bit.
The prime minister probably wants to prioritize securing the highways of Lesseu Earldom.
Moreover, Earl Lesseu pays the expense himself.
Considering the location, it'll be difficult to secure the supply line for the forces that are going to quell the rebellion in Bisthal Dukedom if the highways in Lesseu Earldom aren't safe.
Furthermore, it would have disturbed the circulation of money and goods from the various northern territories, especially from Marquis Eluett's territory to Royal Capital.
It's only seen from economical and military point of views, but it's probably not wrong.
And, apparently, it's only Earl Lesseu who doesn't seem to notice that.
Eearl Lesseu probably wants the magic core supply for the sake of restarting the precious metal mines in his territory.
He must be wanting to prioritize the profit gains of the earl's house and his retainers which will help him seize the authority among the nobles of his territory.
"I've said many times, the knights exterminating the monsters in the highways should be more effective in restoring the territory more than the supply of magic cores. What is the point of the magic cores for the magic furnaces in the mines and the forts if the safety of the people cannot be guaranteed."
The prime minister talks to Earl Lesseu like admonishing him.
His gentleness is like slowly strangling with a silk rope.
"Then I will yield the share of magic cores for our territory to you--"
Earl Lesseu raises his face that's full of expectation after hearing that, but his expression clouds over once again when he sees the speaker.
That is because the other party is Duke Bishtal.
"--In exchange, the knights will pass through Lesseu Earldom without stopping, and prioritize suppressing the rebellion in my territory."
"You wish for the supply of magic cores, so what are you dissatisfied about!"
Earl Lesseu shudders from the angry voice of Duke Bisthal.
Furthermore, the retainers of Duke Bishtal and nobles of pedigree send jeers as if backing him.
"Please wait, Duke Bishtal--"
The prime minister interrupts them to stop Duke Bisthal and the others who have lost their tempers.
Apparently, the Kingdom Conference is getting an extension.
In the end, the Conference extended for four hours, and the evening party that should have started tonight got postponed to tomorrow.
In addition, about the treatment of Lesseu Earldom, it was settled before it could objected.
There were many nobles of pedigree who looked disappointed, it seemed they were expecting either the king to take away the young Earl Lesseu's territorial lordship after incurring his displeasure, or for the earl to rebel.
The position of a viceroy that can freely control the City Core seems to be that attractive for many nobles.
It seems the neighboring nobles, particularly Earl Zettsu and Earl Kuhanou whose territories adjoin Lesseu Earldom want to loan magic cores for him.
While feeling slightly fed up by the scheming nobles, I walk on the corridor.
I head toward the parking lot to meet our girls who were going to attend the evening party.
I catch sights of several ladies who have gathered for the evening party boarding their carriages away while fuming and complaining.
Moreover, it seems the fact that the cause of the evening party's suspension is Earl Lesseu has been spread, so it'll likely become a severe handicap for the earl who needs to find a bride after his engagement with the princess was canceled.
This is somebody else's problem, but I think Earl Lesseu should have prioritized increasing his allies rather than resources.
I look at the source of the voice calling me and see Toruma waving his hands beyond the crowd.
It seems he was going to attend the evening party too, he's dressed more stylishly than usual.
"After this, there will be an evening party by the nobles of the duchy capital and Cousin-dono in a noble's residence, why don't Satou-dono come too?"
[Cousin-dono] whom Toruma mentioned is probably Earl Muno.
The glutton nobles of Oyugock Dukedom eh, I haven't had many chances to talk with them after coming to the Royal Capital, so this is just right.
Arisa who's being carried by Nana under her arm is calling from the opposite side.
Beside the two, there are Pochi and Tama who are being carried under Liza's arms, and Lulu who's leading Mia by hand.
"We're invited by Her Highness for a tea party, won't Master come?"
"Huh? Wasn't the promise for the day after tomorrow?"
I check the schedule book in Menu while feeling puzzled in my mind.
Yup, there's no mistake, it's the day tomorrow--during the daytime of the second day of the auction.
"That's different from this. We got an invitation letter from her highness's lady's attendant since she was free after the evening party's cancellation."
"Then, Arisa and the others can go themselves."
If an upper nobleman comes to an unmarried princess's place in evening, it'll likely become a scandal in the royal palace.
"Arisa-dono, who is this highness? Don't tell me, one of her highness princesses is calling Sir Pendragon?"
Toruma who was left behind in my conversation with Arisa raises voice of surprise.
Looks like he's too surprised, he can't speak.
"Oh my, isn't that Viscount Pendragon."
"By princess, is it either the 9th princess or the 11th princess?"
"Or it might be the Forbidden Library's master."
"That reminds me, she gave up the declining Earl Lesseu right...."
Unexpectedly, Toruma's voice was too loud, the whispers of the surrounding nobles are spreading like ripples on water.
....Read the mood Toruma.
"It's just that Arisa and Mia are on friendly terms with her. I have not even met her."
"....W-what, is that it."
I looked at Toruma, but the claim that I had not met the princess was directed toward the nobles who were peeking at us.
I'd be glad if the scandalous rumor would decrease with this.
"Arisa and Mia should go to Her Highness's tea party, it won't be good if it's just children, so would Lulu accompany them?"
"Yes, I understand."
Lulu was originally a maid working in Rumooku Kingdom's castle, so she should know well the etiquette for this king of things.
"Of course I know. I mean that other people wouldn't know that you're an adult from appearance."
I soothe Mia who's insisting that she's an adult by patting her head.
If we go by the inside, Arisa is probably the most adult, but I didn't touch that subject.
In this world, there are many things that are better left unsaid.
I forgot to tell Arisa that the prototype spell for separating liquid had been completed in the meeting just now, but I can just tell her later.
It might be fun to surprise Arisa since the spell is not only using water magic but also lightning magic for the separation part.
Nana went back to the mansion since she was worried about Shiro and Crow, so I participate in the evening party of Duke Oyugock with the beastkin girls.
"Pochi-dono, and Tama-dono are truly adorable."
"Pochi is shy if you praise her that much nodesu."
The ones who are praising Tama and Pochi who are dressed in cute party dresses are Earl Muno and his animal-lover noble friends.
"This roast beef dish comes from our ranch. Please eat it to your heart's content."
"What's this now, this duck dish won't lose to it."
"It's verry delicious nodesu! Pochi can't have Master and Liza not eat this nodesu!"
The two are eating the recommended dishes that come one after another with relish.
By the way, Liza has been caught by duchy capital's knights and military officers, they currently are having a heated discussions about martial arts.
Her eyes are locked-on to the whole roasted cow on the table though, so I think I should help her out when the time is right.
And, as for me--.
"This is tempura!"
"I am sorry for making Sir Pendragon who's become a viscount to serve the table, but there's no one who can create this taste besides you sir."
I was caught by the upper nobles of Duchy Capital starting with Marquis Lloyd, and Earl Houen, and made to fry tempura.
Dear me, I'm glad I didn't bring Lulu.
If I did, her special dress would be spoiled by the oil.
"This tentsuyu is also wonderful."
"When this tender shrimp in this crispy coating are entangled in the tentsuyu sauce, indescribable harmony comes into play."
--Are you some kind of food reporter.
It seems an incident was progressing while I was retorting like that in my mind.
Screams come from among the ladies at the same time red luminous points appear on the radar.
"Stealing is bad nodesuyo?"
When I look there, a handsome butler and a gorgeous-looking maid are being held down by Tama and Pochi.
Apparently, they saw them stealing and then arrested them.
It seems the ladies screamed because they were surprised to see the two suddenly appeared with Flickering Movement.
I leave the tempura pot to the veteran maid and head there.
"We caught bad children nodesu."
"You two did well."
I hand over the caught thieves to the guards and praise the two.
As I pat their heads, Pochi's tail is buzzing left and right over her dress, and Tama's stretched tail can be seen behind her head.
I didn't have any turn since the other thieves who were going to casually escape from the room were caught by the secret agents of the duke who dressed as maids and butlers.
"Thank you young ladies. Thanks to you, we didn't lose our heirloom jewel."
"Don't worry be happy~"
"This much is nothing nodesu."
"Viscount Pendragon, your retainers are truly capable."
I'm thanked by the nobles who almost lost their jewelries, while the nobles and military officers who were talking to Liza are praising the two.
Still, it seems the jewelries are the objective here too.
Looks like there are still thieves remaining in the Royal Capital even after they've been culled that much. They might have gathered from the neighboring cities too.
Removing the parting gift of Mirage is quite hard.
A smiling maid quietly steps up, and points at Pochi's dress that's been dirtied.
It seems the sauce from the dish were spilled on it during the arrest.
"I'm sorry, but can I borrow a room?"
"Yes, we will prepare it. We will remove the stain ourselves, so please keep enjoying your chat Viscount-Sama."
"Thank you. I'll do just that."
I give Pochi to the smiling maid, and put my hand on the shoulder of Tama who was going to follow them from behind to stop her.
"There's a job for Ninja Tama--"