13-14. Evening Party at the Royal Capital (2)
Satou's here. Speaking of nobles, it's all about luxurious dance party. It's an important even for young nobles to have a wonderful meeting with the opposite sex, and broaden their personal connection.
There's no participant fees in Shiga Kingdom though, so it's a troubling event for the person who holds it, being forced to pay the large expense themselves.
After a short time, a pink-colored shadow emerges from the balcony of the venue
Ninja Tama who appeared in shutan pose reported [Mission Complete] with hand signals.
Looks like she's arrested the friend of the thieves outside without any problem.
I send the finger signals, [Good work, return to base.]
After doing a shupin pose, Tama disappears as if melting into the shadow.
I feel that Tama's ninja skill has been taken to the extreme after getting the [Ninjutsu] skill from the level up after the fight with sakuramochi demon back then.
It looks quite useful, I should ask her to teach me Ninjutsu skill when I have some free time.
"Good work. You've done well."
"Welcome back nanodesu."
Liza and Pochi who've come to get the whole roasted cow presents the meat on a large plate to Tama.
I'd like to challenge the whole roasted cow too, but I'm in a difficult situation since I've been caught by the elderly wives who are trying to promote their daughters and granddaughters.
Even though I ended up refusing it, I would have liked it if the other parties for the marriage meeting to be adult women at least.
No matter how you look at it, the first half of the single digit numbers are just too early.
By the way, Marquis Lloyd and Earl Haku have been called by Duke Oyugock due to the uproar earlier, so the tempura party has been dissolved.
The other nobles were still eager to eat more, but Marquis Lloyd and Earl Haku declared that they didn't want it if they couldn't eat.
They were a bit narrow-minded, but I'm not complaining myself since I got off the tempura duty thanks to it.
By accident, I see a girl who's fidgeting around like she's trying to call me, behind the wives.
I can't remember her name but her face looks familiar, so I call her after checking her name on AR reading.
"Excuse me, a friend of mine has come, so I'll be greeting her. Let's talk about the tea party later--"
I smoothly pass through the wives who look disappointed, toward the daughter of Viscount Emlin.
Her father, Viscount Emlin, is someone who's running a Lulu fruit orchard in the outskirts of the Duchy capital. It seems he's established the orchard in one part of Muno city too recently.
"Good evening, Lina-sama. Did Viscount Emlin cannot come?"
"V-viscount Pendragon-sama! Y-you remember my name?!"
You don't have to be that surprised--in fact, I did forgot.
I thought she looked childish when we met before, but maybe because she left her home to become a lady attendant apprentice at Muno city, she looks more grown up than her 13 year old age suggests.
"Have you got used to the work of a lady attendant?"
"Y-yes. Although I still fail a lot, I'm taught various things by Soruna-sama and Pina-senpai, and I've become able to do more things little by little."
I almost wanted to pat the bashful girl's head, but I endure it since being too familiar to a young lady is not good.
"U-um, Viscount-sama. I-if you'd like--"
An energetic voice flew as if drowning out Viscount Emlin's daughter who was going to say something.
When I look to the source of the voice, there's a young lady swinging her arms around while standing.
After she sensed that I had noticed her voice, she runs toward me with a smile on her whole face while lifting the edge of her dress.
"Ririna-sama, you're being vulgar!"
"Wait for me, Ririna."
"Mou, you'll be scolded by mother again."
The circle of friends of the energetic lady--Ririna, the daughter of Gururian City's viceroy, follow her from behind while complaining.
Along with the energetic voice unsuited for the calm evening party, a soft sensation jumped to between my arms.
"It's been awhile Ririna-sama."
"Good evening, Viscount-sama. Even though we often passed each other ever since I came to the Royal Capital, we never met even once. So I came here since I couldn't wait any longer."
Like a kitten, she nestles her cheeks on my chest with closed eyes.
Even though she's a year older than the daughter of Viscount Emlin earlier, she looks younger due to her short shoulder-length hair and cheerful gestures.
Even though they're not related, the name of the two--Lina and Ririna are confusing.
I have to be careful not to call them wrong.
"Dammit, a mere upstart Viscount... So enviableee"
I heard some shrieks and jealousy from the surrounding kids, so I gently put my hands on her shoulders and separate us.
Why is she this emotionally attached--that reminds me, I did defeat a lesser demon before their eyes and lectured them about magic back then.
"A lady shouldn't cling to a man besides your family in public okay?"
"Ara! Did you say I'm a lady? So happy!"
"Ririna-sama, that's enough."
She was going to hug me again, but her personal attendant held her back.
No, I mistook it due to her plain clothes, but she's also a noble--a baroness it seems.
"Viscount-sama, please forgive the young lady's rudeness."
"No no, please don't mind it--"
When I was greeting and doing some harmless lip services, a blue luminous point got reflected on the radar.
Blue dot--in other words, a friend.
"How do you do, Satou-san."
The customers are flooding in today--wait, no, that's not the right expression. I'm the one being invited after all.
"Good evening, Sera-sama."
"You're popular like always aren't you."
I turn back and see Sera as expected, who's together with other ladies.
I don't remember ever seeing the ladies around her, but according to the AR and the memo note, they seem to be the daughters of Marquis Lloyd and Earl Houen.
Not granddaughters, but daughters huh.... As expected of a different world. No wonder the night medicines are selling well.
"Do you fancy a dance?"
"Yes, I'd be glad to."
Sera who heard a cheerful tune of the playing music invited me, so I willingly consent.
There, the daughter of Viscount Emlin leaked out a small scream, and I saw her hand reaching out slightly.
I didn't notice since she was pushed to the background ever since the daughter of Gururian Viceroy, Ririna, came, but it seems she's been beside me all along.
"Ara? Perhaps you've already made a promise for a dance earlier?"
The daughter of Viscount Emlin sheepishly denied Sera's question.
I feel sorry to see her looking dejected, so I decide to follow up.
It's probably alright since Sera also made an eye signal.
"--I forgot that I made a promise with her at the duchy capital back then. It was, 'I'll accompany you to a tune when we meet again in an evening party'."
"It cannot be helped if it's a promise. I will concede my turn."
I take the hand of the daughter of Viscount Emlin who lifts her face in full bloom, and head toward the center of the dance hall.
We've danced for three tunes even though I said one.
"You've really improved."
"T-thank you very much. I did my very best since I wanted to dance with Viscount-sama once again!"
I smile back to the daughter of Viscount Emlin who's looking proud.
It's not a lip service of course. She's remarkably improved compared to when we danced in the duchy capital castle back then.
The line of sights of the surrounding young nobles are gathered to the daughter of Viscount Emlin, so I tell her that.
"Your loveliness and elegance have monopolized the gazes of the young noblemen here."
"I-I am.... I-if just that one person sees me, then..."
I feel I'll misunderstand that the daughter of Viscount Emlin is in love with me when she stares at me while blushing and answering like so.
"It'd be nice if that person praises you."
"...I-I've already gotten the praise, it's already alright."
"Is that so, I'm glad for you."
The daughter of Viscount Emlin smiles slightly shyly.
My protective tendency is stimulated seeing her innocence. While praying for her love to go well, I do my part as the partner of her dance while exchanging silly talks with her.
I part with the daughter of Viscount Emlin who's short of breath, and this time I bring Sera to the dance hall.
"What is it? Sera-san."
Come to think of it, I haven't danced with Sera after the duchy capital.
As always she's good even though she should have entered the shrine since she was small.
It's unusual for Sera to fumble her words.
"Is it true that you're in love with the princess?"
The rumor spreads far considering it's Toruma, I wonder if she heard something among the young ladies?
"It's a baseless rumor."
Even though I flatly denied, Sera's expression is still clouded.
Let's add a bit more.
"Yes, Princess Mitia of Nooroku Kingdom and Princess Menea of Rumooku Kingdom are simply acquaintances, and the sixth princess, Shistina-sama is on friendly terms with only Mia and Arisa, I haven't directly met her."
"....Satou-san sure has a lot of princess acquaintances don't you."
I should have excluded Noja Princess Mitia and Pink-haired Princess Menea.
"Then--Who is the foreign princess in your heart?"
I tilt my head in puzzlement after hearing Sera.
There's no mistake that she means Aze-san, but I feel that I've only told that to Lady Karina.
Then, when I look at Lady Karina who's not participating in the performance, our eyes perfectly match. Apparently, she's been watching here, but even before her eyes meet mine, she turns her face away vigorously.
Apparently, I'm now hated by Lady Karina due to the matter back then.
I change position with Sera due to the dance, so I lost sight of Lady Karina, but I saw the young noble women and men of Duchy Capital trying to talk to her for an instant.
It'd be good if she made even one friend with the chance in this evening party....
It seems Sera perceives the slight silence, she asks in a slightly stiff voice.
"--Is it, a secret?"
"No, it's nothing like a secret."
In fact, I do not intend to hide it.
"She's a High Elf called Aialize-sama."
Sera lifts her surprised face.
Looks like she really didn't expect that she was from another race.
When I assented, for some reason Sera leaks out breath of relief.
--Hmm? An adolescent girl really is difficult.
As if my doubt reaches her, Sera speaks.
"In other words, Satou-san used it as a mean to escape from marriages?"
"No, it's not like that."
--Why does it become like that.
"I think Satou-san probably truly likes that High Elf, but.... A child can't be born between a human and a High Elf you know?"
"Yes, of course I'm aware of that."
"Then, I think you should carefully keep that love in your heart, and marry a girl from the same race in order to make a heir."
--Brutus, you too huh.
I can understand that looking from the sense of value of Sera and the others.
It's normal in this world to push a marriage partner whom you don't love to the head of the house.
However, right now I don't feel like conforming my marriage mindset to this world.
Even though leaving successors is a duty of any creature, there's no need for everyone to follow the rule right.
I will live for love.
I can't possibly say it since I do go to the brothels occasionally after losing from my desire though....
"If it's about heir--"
I faltered when I was going to say that I'd adopt a child.
It's possible that there would be nobles who would obstruct it if I said it ahead of time.
"You're right. I have to think about heir."
Sera replies with more cheerful tone compared to earlier after successfully persuaded me.
For some reason, Sera dances even closer to me than before.
I can't calm down since Sera's breasts that are bigger for her age are hitting me since a while ago.
"I'm glad that Satou-san isn't like the hero-sama in the tale."
I can't follow Sera who abruptly changed the topic.
How did it become hero from the flow of conversation earlier?
"Ara? Does a retainer of Earl Muno-sama not know about it? It's a tale of 『The Hero of Fairy Village』, the scene where he pledges eternal love to the queen of fairy is famous."
I'll likely get along well with that hero.
When I search on the map, the book is in the royal castle's library, I'll borrow it before long.
After the dance with Sera-san, I enjoyed dancing with the ladies who were waiting in line.
Of course, with the beastkin girls too.
The dances with Pochi and Tama were like street performance, but since it was received well by animal lover nobles and little ladies, I consider it a good thing.
Liza's dance was more like a combat performance, but thanks to the quick-witted band which quickly changed to speedy tune, the surrounding received it as if it was prearranged from the beginning.
After the evening party, we met with Arisa and the others who came back from the princess's tea party and we all went to Boruenan Village.
Before going to sleep, I call Arisa and Liza to talk about my real name and the matter about god-slaying.
"Arisa, Liza, can I have your time for a bit?"
"Wfhat? Are you att-tracted, worn-out, to Arisa-chan's charm?"
What do you want me be worn-out for.
"A-Arisa, don't sleep on the floor."
"I'm fai~ne, I'm not sleeping. I'm awaje. I'm not sless~ing."
Lulu lifts the sleepy Arisa who's crumbled her posture, in her arms.
It seems she really enjoyed discussing about magic with the princess, she's tottering while looking really sleepy.
"Master, Arisa seems to have fallen asleep, so I will accept any order myself."
"No, it's not really urgent, I'll talk about it tomorrow night."
Arisa would likely sulk if I talked to Liza first after all.
After making sure that the children have slept, I went to Echigoya Firm.
"Kuro-sama, we've been waiting for you."
Behind the Manager, there are 10 unfamiliar young girls, and 12 young men in addition to the executives.
The room feels narrow when there are this many people.
"As I've reported to Kuro-sama. These 22 people are the slaves as additional staff that I've talked about the other day."
The slaves respectfully bow and greet me with the Manager's signal.
I took no notice of it since it's troublesome, but these slaves have good manners.
"They seem to be quite educated slaves don't they?"
"Yes, that is because they previously worked in nobles' mansions."
According to AR reading, it seems they're the former employees of the nobles who were charged of treason during the matter of the sakuramochi demon earlier.
The retainers who were nobles were executed along with their masters, so these slaves are all commoners.
"I plan to make the men work at the stores, warehouses and management in the downtown, and the women to work in the mansion."
"I'll leave that matter to the Manager."
After the slaves went away, I receive the report about Shin boy's monitoring from the executives.
"He came in contact with two suspicious individuals. One of them is a black-haired boy, and the other one is a pink-haired girl--"
Souya boy picked a quarrel with him and then princess Menea lent him a hand, like that.
It was similar to what Arisa told me before.
"Was that all?"
"Yes, if we exclude the people of the orphanage, those two were the only people who got in contact with him. However, in regard to the orphanage, the director has a bit of problem--"
According to the executive girl, in summary, despite the director accepting orphans that far exceeded the scale of the orphanage, the number of the orphan children didn't change.
There was a rumor saying that the orphans were sold to the slave traders regularly, but an investigation from the authorities found nothing suspicious, and it was concluded that the children simply occasionally escaped.
During the story, I search for the orphanage director's name.
There's nothing particularly suspicious. I thought he was connected to [Light of Liberty], but I didn't find anything like that.
Just in case, I give more orders to the executive girls.
"Investigate the orphanage director's background and people who come in contact with him."
"And also, check the tracks of the escaped children. I don't mind if you increase the personnels if you're short on it."
"Yes! I understand!!"
The executive girl who looks happy even though her workload has increased must be a workaholic, no doubt.
"From tomorrow on, the auction sponsored by the kingdom will be open for three days. We will stop going to the labyrinth for the period of the auction. Squeeze the money out of the auction's participants without mercy. Do not hold back."
I nod back to the executive girls who reply with powerful voice.
Except for the final day, entrusting the auction to these girls should be alright.
I've been working without sleep lately after all, I'll take some rest before the real thing.
I'll let the kids take some break from school, and then we should go enjoy the local dishes of the royal capital in commoner's clothings together with everyone.
Looks like I can sleep well tonight after a long time not--.