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Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 13-35

13-35. Escort


Satou's here. In foreign dramas, there's often a scene where young people go to a dance party. In Japan, I only ever saw it in school festivals, but I really liked the simple feeling of extraordinary days.

"Duchess Mito Mitsukuni is, it?"
"That's right."
"Please take care of me~"

The Manager and Tifaliza were awfully surprised when I introduced Hikaru to them.
Tifaliza didn't raise her voice, but I know that she's surprised from the subtle change in her expression.

"Ku-Kuro-sama! D-did you get married to Nanashi-sama?!"

The Manager changed her expression and inched closer, but I don't understand what she means.
How'd it end up in Kuro marrying Nanashi--.

After thinking that, I somehow understand her misunderstanding.
She probably misunderstood that Nanashi is a woman after seeing Hikaru.

"Calm down, Manager. I have not married anyone. For an unspecified reason, Mito has become Duchess Mitsukuni, but in a way, she's also Nanashi."
"What does that mean?"

I explain it in simpler term to the Manager who seems puzzled with my explanation.

"Nanashi's body double--she's assumed the position of Duchess Mitsukuni in Nanashi's place, and will be in charge of socializing with the upper nobles and the king."
"Then she's one of the golden knights is she."
"Something like that."

I have to make Orichalcum armor for Hikaru soon.

"Then, from now on, Mito-sama will manage Echigoya Firm--"

I hold back the manager who's jumped to conclusion with one hand.

"I entrust Echigoya Firm to Manager from now on. Mito is only going to carry out the socialization duty with the king and the prime minister."

I don't think that Mito who's more careless than me can manage a firm, so the management of the firm should be left to the Manager from now on.

"I'm counting on you."
"Yes! I will meet Kuro-sama's expectation!"

While feeling overawed by the manager who declared so in high tension, I called the other executives and introduced Mito.
It seems the executives have misunderstood like the Manager too, but I'll leave it to the manager to clear things up.

In addition, we're planning to hold a celebration party for the auction tomorrow evening.
I've been making them work hard everyday, so today they'll get plenty of rest and tomorrow we'll have a party in perfect conditions.

Mito had finished her introduction, so I was going to go back to Pendragon Mansion with her so that she could change to the party dress, but I was called by the Manager.

"Kuro-sama, there is pressing matter that I want to talk about before you go back."
"Let's hear it--"

I send Mito ahead with Unit Arrangement, and then listen to the Manager's talk.

"The prime minister has requested a remodeling of a newly made small airship."
"To Echigoya Firm?"
"Yes, the firm's workshop doesn't have the facilities to remodel an airship even if it's a small one, so I had refused the request at my own discretion, however, the prime minister ordered us to have Kuro-sama and Trismegistus-sama examine it...."

I receive a resume from the apologetic Manager, flipping it to see the content.
By the way, Trismegistus is my alias for when I'm making magic tools.

"Adding defensive shields, crash prevention mechanism, and guest seats with shock absorber huh. No matter how you look at it, the output from the magic furnace is--they're offering a Philosopher's Stone?"

Looking at the words written at the end of the letter, I almost rub my eyes thinking that it's a mistake.
In my case, I have a lot of Philosopher's Stones I got from the elves and the Crimson Treasure from the [Dragon Valley], but it's generally an item that's hardly ever appeared.

Even for a large country like Shiga Kingdom, it's treated as a national treasure class [Artifact].

"The purpose isn't written, but I wonder if they're making a pleasure boat for the royalty?"
"The prime minister didn't say anything about it."

It might be an escape ship for the royal family in case of emergency.
Since we're talking about that king, I think it's probably not for himself, but his children and grandchildren.

I'm thinking of making small airships for Echigoya Firm use anyway, I'll make two or three with similar specs.
Now that I'm able to use magic, there's no need for me to ask Arisa and Mia to learn new magic, so I should be able to make the airships quick.

"Inform the prime minister that we will accept the matter about the airship."


"Is the professor's aerodynamic engine development going well?"
"Y-yes. The professor had come to ask for the budget, materials and the place for the experiment since the design has been finished."

Oops, he's finished the design already huh. He's awfully fast.
Tifaliza who guessed my surprise supplements with a cold voice.

"It should have been in the documents that I had given Kuro-sama the other day."
"Sorry. I haven't look at them yet. I'll prepare the budget and the material. As for the experiment's place, cooperate with the counterintelligence to get the prime minister prepare it."
"Understood. There is the matter of remodeling too, they should be able to prepare it immediately."

I left some monstrous fish's fins and bags of gold coins in the underground vault and then returned to Pendragon Mansion.

"Ooh! Well--you look great."

I almost said, "Clothes do make the man", to Hikaru whose charm value has increased by 1200% after dressing up and putting some make-up and accessories, but I somehow succeeded adjusting it.

"Wait.... I'd have liked you to praise me in different wording."
"No well, you are beautiful enough that I couldn't recognize you."

The impression from the last time I saw her in Japan remained in me somehow, so I was surprised to see her looking like a real princess.
At that time, on top of not using make-up, her outfit was also shabby, so it might be rude to compare it with this expensive clothes.

"Ja, ja~n!"
"Ja ja ja, ja~n, nanodesu."
"Praise me."

The four dressed-up youth troupe appeared.
The four of them are turning around to show off their dresses, really cute.
Mia straight up asked for a praise, so I said some standard praise, "Everyone looks pretty."

There were many more cancellations of the evening parties than expected, so everyone's dress today is a new work.

"I think such good clothes don't suit me...."
"It's alright, it suits you well, so I praise Liza. Master, requesting evaluation of the evening party's equipment."
"Nana is right. It suits you well, Liza. Of course, Nana's dress is pretty too."

I praised the chic Liza and the sexy Nana.
The valley of Nana's breasts is too wonderful, so I order her to guard it with her laced shawl. Some strange bugs would come if she's too sexy.

In addition, I've put a touch of gimmick to Liza's dress so that the sleeves won't get dirtied when she's eating meat dish.

Shiro and Crow aren't here since they're staying at their schoolmate's house.
Come to think of it, I can now use [Contract] skill thanks to the chant, if Nana agrees with it, it might be a good idea to release them from the slavery and change it to a non-disclosure contract.
If it goes well with the two, I should change the contract with Tifaliza and Nell too.


Lulu who's peeking with half her face from the dressing room's door let out a voice bashfully.

"Mou! I've been saying that it looks good on you since awhile ago! Believe in Arisa-chan's sense!"
"A-Arisa, don't pull me so much."

Pulled by Arisa, Lulu entered the room while entangling her leg.
With her body wrapped in a white dress, that figure is truly--.

"--An angel."

Hearing my honest appraise, Lulu's face reddened too much, she got a nosebleed.
Fortunately, I was able to quickly guard it with a handkerchief, so Lulu's dress is safe.

While nursing her, I noticed something bold for Lulu who looks docile.
On top of the cut from the area on her armpit to her waist, the dress part on her back is also cut. The smooth line on her scapula and her velvety white back are bewitching.

"You're staring too much!"

I couldn't take my eyes of Lulu's back until Arisa and Mia's impregnable guard blocked me from it.

--Lulu, what a fearful girl.

Now then, putting aside the joke, I sent Hikaru, who had finished her preparation, to the king's office, and then we went to the entranceway to get on board a carriage that goes to the evening party.
It seems there's going to be a special dish in the evening party tonight, so I'm glad that it's not been called off.

Worried about Zena-san, I check her location, the four people of Zena Squad are moving frantically in Earl Seryuu's mansion.
They're probably meeting Earl Seryuu's excessive demand.

Do your best, Zena-san.

Before going to the evening party's venue in the royal capital, I visited the guest house where Earl Muno is staying.
I'm going to see if anyone is feeling unwell due to anxiety from the meteorite uproar at the day time.

When I entered the guest house, I found some unfamiliar young nobles who are relaxing like they own the place in the salon in the first floor.
Their levels and skills are low, but all of them have good faces.
Their looks are of the type that was popular in shoujo manga long ago.

"Oy, that--"
"Viscount Pendragon huh...."
"So it's not just the princess and the noblewomen, Karina-sama too--"

I'm being scrutinized with unfavorable glances.
They're talking in low voices that can't be heard here, but I've heard it all with Attentive Ears skill.

There are some plants and distance between the salon where they are located and the entrance where I am, it's a bit too far to greet them.

"Viscount-sama, please pardon me for not meeting you sooner."
"Good evening, Lina-sama. I'd like to have an audience with the Earl, is it alright?"
"Yes, I was ordered to immediately guide Viscount-sama when you've come."

The apprentice maid, the daughter of Viscount Emlin who has appeared to meet me, leads me to the Earl's room.
It seems she's going to the evening party with Lady Karina, she's wearing a lovely dress that I haven't seen before.

After praising her dress, I ask her about the young noblemen in the salon.

"Was it alright for me not to greet the people in the salon?"
"Yes, please don't mind it. Every one of them is the second son or lower from the houses of unranked associate barons, or associate chevaliers. They're all people who only think of either trying to curry the favor of Karina-sama in order to become a retainer, or marrying Karina-sama and obtain the status of Baron or Viscount."

Apparently, Viscount Emlin's daughter hates them.
Muno Earldom is lacking human resources, so I feel that Ms. Nina would employ anyone as long as they're educated enough.

When we're in front of the Earl's room, the door opens, and then Lady Karina appears.
The demonic breasts that I haven't seen for a while are spreading impressive force and charm like always. Truly a sight for sore eyes.

"Ara, Sa--Viscount Pendragon. P-perchance, have you come to be my escort?"

Lady Karina's accent is strange.
Since it's been awhile since we've meet, maybe her shyness of stranger is activated even with me?

"No, I was only visiting as a courtesy to see whether Earl Muno is feeling unwell due to the disturbance at the noon."

I tell Lady Karina so, and then walk into Earl Muno's room.
Of course with everyone who's come with me here.

"Arisa, I want to talk for a bit."
"W-wait. I'll listen to you, so don't pull me with that stupid strength."

Lady Karina detained Arisa while Raka was glowing.
I'm a bit worried but it'll be boorish of me to interrupt a conversation between girls.

"--This is different from what you said."
"That's strange~, even though it was written that 『A man who escapes when you woo him will chase after you if you take some distance away from him』 in the 『Love Master~ You too Can Get a Lover with This!』.... I guess there's really no choice but to creep in?"

From the voices on the other side of the door, I confirmed that Lady Karina was under the influence of the knowledge from Arisa's previous life. Best of all, looks like I am not hated.

Now then, leaving these two aside, Earl Muno and Ms. Nina are waiting in the room.

"It's been awhile nanodesu."
"Umu, good to see Tama-kun and Pochi-kun are energetic like always."

Tama and Pochi greeted the Earl with shutan poses.

The others and me also greeted and asked for his condition afterward.
Looks like there isn't anyone who's hurt or collapsed from anxiety from the uproar.

"Earl Muno and I are going back to the territory after the ceremony tomorrow."

Substituting Earl Muno's place who's playing around with Tama and Pochi, Ms. Nina told me about their plan.

"It seems the airships that are going to be distributed to the territory lords are given in turns from the most distant land first, our turn is in half a year. We're going to send some people from the territory in order to learn the way to operate an airship in the month after the next, if the situation allows, you should take the training too."

I already know how to operate an airship, but I don't know the airship driving rule in Shiga Kingdom, so I'd like to take the training.

"And then, Karina-sama was throwing a tantrum asking to train in the Labyrinth City."

Ms. Nina shakes her head as if no way around it.

"Can I leave her to Satou-kun?"
"Yes, certainly."

I have promised Lady Karina to help her get back to Labyrinth City, so I readily consent Ms. Nina and Earl Muno's requests.
Still, is it alright for him to send his daughter to a place like the Labyrinth where monsters are running rampant?

"To tell you the truth, I was called by His Majesty earlier and told about the 『Great Disturbance』."
"Do you know what the 『Age of the Great Disturbance』 is?"
"No, I do not."

I was told about it by the king yesterday afternoon, but it's an information that's unknown to me as Satou, so Ms. Nina explains it to me.

"In other words, dangerous time will happen in this world whenever you go. If it's all dangerous, then isn't it safer to be with you guys in the labyrinth?"

Just as Ms. Nina has said, as long as it's within my arms' reach, there's no danger even inside the labyrinth.
Moreover, Zena-san and her friends are going to raise their levels anyway, preferably, meeting them as Kuro and doing power-leveling with the Manager and the others should be less laborious.

--Well, I won't do it though.

"I'll prioritize her safety scrutinizingly in order to meet your trust."
"I'm counting on you, Satou-kun."
"It's fine, Earl. Satou would accept Karina-dono if she got damaged."

I told the grinning Nina-san, "It's alright, Raka is with her too", her safety which had a double meaning. Of course, it's about physical injury and chastity.

"And, did the scouting for talented personnels in the Royal Capital went well?"

It was troublesome, so I didn't touch it, but under Nina-san's leadership, they should have scouted officials and former officials.

"Yeah, thanks to you and Liza-dono, we could choose as many as we liked."

Apparently, commoners and demi-humans were flooding for the application for the chance of becoming Liza's apprentices.
Moreover, since I, who was a commoner with foreigner's face, was able to become a Viscount in one generation, there were a lot of officials and honor students of the Royal Academy who saw the chance to rise up higher showed up, so many that they couldn't all be interviewed.

"That must have been difficult."
"Not really. We reduced their number with a test before the interview."

Wait--that means the young nobles in the salon are my future colleagues?
Thinking so, I asked Ms. Nina.

"Ah, those are idiots who follow Karina-dono around even though they failed the test. They're teaching materials to make Karina-dono learn how to deal with shameless men."

That's why you can drive them away if you find them annoying, so said Ms. Nina.
I feel sorry for them after hearing that much.

"Right, you'll be staying in the Royal Capital for awhile right? The Earl Muno's house has received a site in the Royal Capital from His Majesty. There's a plot for your new home too, so you should go see it when you're still in the Royal Capital."

I thought it was quite sudden, turned out that the bestowal was decided this morning.
The manager of the plot of land is Ms. Nina, but it was Earl Muno who decided the breakdown of the land.

Looking at the diagram, it seems half of the plot of land that was emptied during the sakuramochi demon's rampage from the other day, has been given to Earl Muno.
It might sound small since it's an area cut in half, but it's big enough to have three domes on it, it's quite wide.

Around half of the given land will be for Earl Muno's mansion, and the other half will be distributed to his retainers.
Looks like I'll be given one of the lands for the retainers.

The current Pendragon Mansion is a small mansion for lower noble use, I can't invite noble guests or host a party in it, so I gratefully accept the offer.
I feel bad if I just receive it as is, so I'll be paying the cost for building a small lodging house for the supervisor.
The discussion ends fast with Ms. Nina as the other party.

"Sa-Satou, escort me."

Behind Lady Karina who ordered me while behaving suspiciously, I see Arisa begging me with a face that looks like it's saying, "Please."
It can't be helped, it's the guardian's responsibility to clean up his ward's mess.

"Yes, by Karina-sama's command."

After Lady Karina thanked pompously, I put out my elbow so Lady Karina can easily grab it.
At first Lady Karina didn't understand, but it seems she's grasped it after the daughter of Viscount Emlin whispered something into her ear.

With a reddened face, Lady Karina timidly reaches her hand to my elbow.
When our arms are linked complicatedly, with our arms like they're touching or not touching, I'm feeling nostalgic like I've gone back to my middle-school day.

"Then, shall we go."

Being Lady Karina's escort, we head to the evening party's venue followed by the other girls.
I'm looking forward to it since it seems that there are going to be some unusual feast today.

"O-oy, that!"
"W-why is Viscount Pendragon escorting Karina-sama?!"
"For even Lina-sama to be with him.... Damn you!"
"Having our goddess and lovely angel in both arms?!"

When we got to the entrance hall, the young men who were waiting for Lady Karina glared at me while looking like they were going to shed tears of blood.
There doesn't seem to be any fool who's going to pick a quarrel with me, so I'll just ignore those glares.
Looks like some of them are aiming for the daughter of Viscount Emlin too.

We head toward the hall that's exclusively for evening party inside the royal castle.
There are several halls for evening party in the royal castle, but this is the first time I'm entering this one.

It's not far, but we moved to the parking lot of the hall with a carriage.

From the parking lot, we're going to move to the hall with floating boards made from Force magic.
The magicians who are mobilized to pick-up the guests and then return here seem to have it hard.

"The flowers are shining nodesu."

We pass above a flower garden on the floating board's course.
The flower of this flower garden are emitting faint light like fireflies from the inside, they're extremely beautiful.

"It's wonderful desuwa."

Lady Karina and Viscount Emlin's daughter let out a sigh from being deeply moved.
For such an occasion, I tell the two, who are captivated by the flower, the standard praise, "You two are more beautiful."

Arisa and Mia were saying, "Guilty", but it's not like I'm seducing them, this much lip service is fine isn't it.

The floating boards stop, and then we get down to the blue carpet extending on the corridor.
After advancing the corridor for a bit, we came to a huge entrance hall of the evening party hall.

The hall is split in three; the one for upper grade nobles, the one for lower grade nobles, and the center hall where both sides can interact with each other.

"Nice smell~?"
"There's a wonderful smell nanodesu."
"It does smell nice, but the smell of meat is mixed among it."
"As expected of Liza nanodesu!"

Looks like the beastfolk girls quickly picked up the scent of the dishes drifting from beyond the perfume scent of the nobles.
....Rather, Liza could discern the scent from this mash-up scent better than Tama and Pochi huh. She's amazing.

"Master, um, that person over there is--"

Lulu pulled my sleeves, and told me that a gentleman in butler clothes had called me.

He looks familiar.
If I'm not mistaken, I've seen him several times inside the prime minister's room.

"Sir Pendragon, I have been entrusted with a letter from my master to you."

Rather than a letter, it's a message card, I open and read it.
He has some business with me, so I have to go to the prime minister's office, so was the content.

Well now, what kind of business is it.

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