13-23. Outcome of the Tea Party
Satou's here. Anyone can fail. I think the real question is if you can recover from that failure.
After telling Shistina that Nectar is an item that can't be obtained anymore, I tell her to keep it a secret to prevent some ugly contests for it.
In addition, she was probably unstable since Hisui turning back into a bird had just happened, so she accepted the made-up story easily.
I show her an extravagant knuckle duster that I've made from Orichalcum as a joke, telling that it's a magic weapon for dispersing magic power, adding the credibility to the made-up story.
I felt it was not enough with just that, so I cited a famous book as a reference for the basis of canceling monster-fication as another fabricated story.
"--Or so it's written in the ancient document."
"Satou-sama is really knowledgeable."
Princess Shistina is nodding to anything I said with heartmarks on her eyes like Princess Menea, maybe because I had actually materialized her goal before her eyes.
Princess Shistina's first lady's maid seems to notice the irregularity of the situation, but it seems she's going to respect her master's wish, she doesn't question me at all.
Most of the aides were crouching in the corner of the room while closing their eyes during the monster's rampage earlier, so the only people who saw the spectacle earlier were these two, the little Princess Doris, and her wet nurse.
"Hisuii. Thank godd."
"Doris, thank Satou-sama too."
"Yes, onee-sama. Thank you, Satou."
Princess Doris is focused to the fact that Hisui is saved so there's no problem with her, but she's probably going to be the epicenter after this.
I'm expecting Princess Shistina to handle her well.
"Princess, we don't know if Hisui will turn into a monster again. Please let me look after it."
Princess Doris's wet nurse tried to keep Hisui, which had turned into a monster once, away from Princess Doris, but Princess Doris obstinately refused her.
Hugged by Princess Doris, the songbird chirps, 'piru piru', for help in agony.
>Unit name [Hisui] wishes to join you. Do you approve? (YES/NO)
A pop up window over Hisui appeared.
--What the heck is this?
For now I'll choose no since it looks dangerous.
Refused by me, Hisui looks sad with tears on its eyes, but I'll harden my heart.
I mean, my hunch is tingling with trouble.
"Hey, loli princess. The bird that's just been saved will die if you hug it that strong you know?"
Warned by Arisa and Mia, the princess who notices Hisui's condition loosen her hug.
Using that chance, Hisui slips out of the princess's arms and flies out of the window.
"Aaa, Hisui flew away."
The princess weeps bitterly to her failure.
I put a marker on Hisui so I can catch it later.
It should stop flying in midnight, I can just catch it then.
Princess Doris's wet nurse is worried about it, but Hisui probably won't change into a monster again. I've taken out that much magic essence after all, so it should be fine as long as the bird don't get artificially manipulated.
"Zadou, catch Hisui"
Princess Doris grasps my sleeves while wailing.
"Princess, even if it's the viscount, catching a bird flying in the sky is impossible."
Then a new visitor shows up.
"What's wrong, Doris. Did Hisui escape?"
"Soltrick-niisama, please catch Hisui."
The one that appeared is the 32 year-old first prince of Shiga Kingdom.
He's the older brother of Princess Shistina from the same mother.
"Sure thing. You guys, catch the bird with some nets. Take a skilled wind magician with you too."
The prince ordered one of his aide, making an arrangement to catch Hisui.
Unlike the third prince Sharlick who looked like a playboy, the first prince looks like a honest military man. I wonder if it's because of his powerful eyebrows?
He looks around wonderingly at the room that's been wasted by the monster-sified Hisui.
"Tina. What on earth happened to this room?"
"Nii-sama, actually a monster had appeared in this room."
Princess Shistina plainly replied the prince's question.
As it is now, Hisui who's been saved will be killed.
Princess Shistina probably realizes that too.
She hurriedly tries to change the story's direction.
"H-however! With Viscount Pendragon's effort, the monster has been suppressed and disappeared like a mist."
--Forced! That's too forced, Princess Shistina!
"The defeated monster disappeared like a mist?"
The prince turns to me with suspicious eyes.
I know. I know that feel well.
Can't be helped, I'll ask Deception skill-sensei to do the work again.
"Please allow me to explain. I think it was most likely a monster with mist body called 『Mirage』. 『Mirage』 can read people's minds and change its shape. It probably changed into Princess Doris's loved bird since that would make us hesitant to strike it."
Oh, the prince is tough.
"Even if you're telling the truth, there is no monster that can pass through the Ancient King-sama's barrier protecting the royal castle."
"Your highness, red rope pattern was emerging from the monster."
I dropped another information to the prince who was denying.
"What! Was it an advance party of greater demons!"
"It wouldn't be strange for red ropes that could appear anywhere to appear here!"
"Impossible.... So the red ropes haven't disappeared with the defeat of the greater demon."
"Then, does that mean something like that will happen again."
The ones who reacted weren't only the prince, his aides too.
"Quiet, fools. My sisters are worried."
As expected of the next king, he has the nerves of steel.
The prince jerks his chin, urging me to continue.
"Someone probably brought it inside the royal castle in order to overthrow the kingdom."
"What do you think their aim is?"
"By harming the princess, it might be a warning that the incident from the other day isn't over--no, perhaps, they want to plant the seed of anxiety in the royal castle."
It seems the prince is satisfied with my answer, he's contemplating things.
I told it like so in order to make him understand, but in fact, I think this incident was simply one of the trap for the greater demon attack back then that was activated late.
Looking at the circumstantial evidence, normally you'd have judged that the criminal is Marquis Kelten who gave Hisui to Princess Doris.
It's most likely a plot by people who want to keep him, who's been called a patriot, away from military.
There's a possibility that it was done by someone related to this [Highness] from the green demon's secret plot, but I think that possibility is low.
Those guys are looking for orbs in order to [Hatch] the [Highness].
Their actions are too far apart with each other, hence why I think so.
"Seed of anxiety huh--"
After muttering that, the prince survey the people in the room, and nods once.
"--It's certainly effective it seems. In the name of crown prince Soltrick Shiga, I order. I forbid you to disclose the incident that occurred here. Take it in your heart because people who violate it will be punished."
The people in the room kneel and bow to the prince's dignified words.
As expected. Thanks to that my doing won't leak outside.
"Viscount. My sisters life would have been no more if it wasn't for you. If you want, you can marry either of them. How about it?"
Your eyes aren't laughing, Prince!
And also, Princess Shistina, please don't look so happy!
"I am very honored with the offer, but I am merely an upstart noble. Such an honor is beyond my position."
"Then shall I raise your peerage?"
A prince doesn't have that kind of authority right?
"No, my current position as viscount is already too excessive--"
"Then how about government post? The current Kelten's successor is a bit incompetent you see. You should be able to work well right?"
Oy oy, Marquis Kelten's successor is an authority of military right?
To give such position to an upstart noble, that's too unnatural even if it's for raising my position.
"Your highness, you jest. An official position for a fledging lowest seated upper noble does not exist."
"Right.... Then let me hear your wish. I'll grant it with my authority as a crown prince."
There isn't any in particular, but I can't exactly say "none."
Something that can only be granted by a prince, something that's moderately valuable.
Moreover, something that won't burden the kingdom.
....Yup, I just got the right idea for it.
"Then let me take up on that offer--may I have a letter of introduction to Echigoya Firm?"
Arisa and Mia who know the truth probably see it as a charade, but they prudently keep silent.
I think I should ignore them staring at me with mouth half open though.
"I have heard that that company makes very excellent magic swords, but I cannot order it since I don't have a letter of introduction. With a letter of introduction from your highness, Echigoya Firm shouldn't be able to bluntly refuse."
"I can grant you those magic swords myself though?"
"No, the kingdom's magic swords should only be used by the knights of kingdom. Having the letter of introduction is quite enough for me."
I can make 10 of them in parallel if I just have 30 minutes after all.
"Very well. Prime Minister and Duke Oyugock told me about it, you really are unselfish."
"I am honored."
I replied the amazed prince politely.
"I do not praise you. Be more greedy of your want if you are a noble. You'll get used by the fools if you're too unselfish."
"I'll engrave it in my heart."
I reply the prince who kindly advised with the finest retainer bow.
With my Attentive Ears skill, I should be the only one who heard Arisa muttering "Tsundere prince".
I left the princess's room after promising meeting her in the evening party.
Hisui is on the big sakura tree. Since the crown prince's subordinates seem to be working hard for it, it doesn't seem like I'll need to go out at night to catch the bird.
Arisa asks while we're riding the carriage.
"Hey hey, did you use magic to turn back the monster earlier?"
"It was not magic. It's probably not a skill either I think?"
I answered so, and then Arisa and Mia ask together with amazed faces.
"Then what is it?"
"I don't know either. I tried doing since I felt like I could do it somehow, and I did."
"Somehow, you say."
Not satisfied, the two draw closer and I push them back.
"I think it's the same reason why I can grasp and destroy magic and barrier, but I don't know that reason."
It might be the effect from among my many skills, but there's too many of them to inspect.
"Then what about that strange Nectar?"
"It's just an upper grade magic potion."
I take out a small bottle of upper magic potion from the barrel in the storage.
"What's the matter?"
"No, it's nothing. This is the medicine."
"Hee, it looks slightly reddish isn't it."
Arisa opens the small bottle's lid and put a bit of the liquid in her palm.
Right at that moment, Mia opens her eyes wide and raises voices of surprise.
"The spirits have gathered. They've gathered, it's true you know? There's a lot of them."
Surprised with Mia who speaks in long sentences after a long while, I also activate Spirit Seer skill.
Surprisingly, a lot of spirits are gathered on Arisa's palm, enough that I can't see them.
"Hee, wonder if it's this medicine's effect? It's a Nectar after all huh."
Arisa says so and laughs.
However, I don't have the confident to laugh together with her.
I mean, the upper-grade magic potion that's been mixed with my blood is displayed as [Nectar] on the AR reading before I knew it....
Our carriage passes through the Noble street, and then goes back toward the mansion with Zena Squad as guards.
Today we went around tea parties until the evening.
I couldn't exactly bring Arisa and Mia to the tea parties, so I let them join Liza and the others in the labyrinth with Unit Arrangement.
Lulu had cooked some freshly caught ingredients, but since I had to eat various things in the tea parties, I left after only tasting Lulu's superb dishes.
The afternoon tea parties were all with upper nobles, so preparing the gifts for them was troublesome.
I have to alter the gifts in accordance to each of their positions, so balancing it was difficult.
I went around attending tea parties with Zena Squad as the guards, and got to hear various rumor.
The prime minister who also holds the position of minister of the newly established [Tourism Ministry] seems to be having a dispute for the position of vice minister.
Many capable nobles of pedigree are running for it, but it seems the prime minister isn't agreeing.
The ominous word, "Pass", of the prime minister from my luncheon with him floats in my mind hard.
With that many candidates running for it, there should be one who can win the prime minister's favor, no doubt.
As for the other rumor I've heard, it was about the decreasing trend of thievery that started with orbs theft.
I also heard that the noble victims were able to get their family heirlooms back through Echigoya Firm.
It's probably about the connection-making that the Manager talked about.
As always she acts fast, how reliable.
After the tea parties were over, I met the children in the labyrinth, and received countless magic cores and every kind of materials.
"An Ice Stone huh, you got some unusual thing."
"Un? That was from a POP-ed treasure chest. It was in the chest with the 『Bell』 over there."
I check the hand bell that Arisa points at.
This bell is a magic tool called [Magic Sealing Bell], it seems to have the power to repel possessing ghosts.
Although I don't know how effective it is, it's quite an interesting item.
"Body, flank, scatter~ pound~?"
"Pochi did a lot today nodesu!"
Everyone is telling me the events in the labyrinth.
I praise everyone's activity.
"We made a crab nabe today."
"It was great you know. We used the giant crab's shell as the nabe pot, and did all-you-can-eat crab meat!"
"It was delicious, so I report to Master."
Lulu, Arisa, and Nana talk about seafood lunch they had.
At first I only wanted to taste it a bit, but I certainly want to participate too next time.
"The grilled diamond fish's crunchiness were fresh, the taste was transparent."
"Only Liza-san could eat that."
"Teeth can't stand it~?"
"The diamond was hard nodesu."
I don't remember a fish that hard.
Perhaps they found a rare pop monster.
I'll look for it in the labyrinth later.
But before that, let's enjoy a dinner with everyone and Zena Squad who have worked hard.
A former royal chef that the butler has prepared is going to show his skill for today's dinner, so I'm anticipating it even now.
"Really working forward to it, Master."
"Yeah, let's eat many delicious things, and steal the taste."
While conversing with Lulu, I open the door to the dining room.