Satou's here. Getting a position means having more responsibilities, and with that position, things that you could do for the first time also increase. In case of the modern Japan, there are some situations where a section chief has no subordinate in order to cut overtime pay.
"Some business came up, so please enjoy yourself in the hall ahead of me."
"Satou! Are you going to leave your escort pa-partner?"
"I'm sorry. I've been summoned by the prime minister. Lina-sama, I'm sorry, but please take care of Karina-sama."
"Yes, please leave it to me!"
Lady Karina complained because I was leaving her behind, but I'll leave the rest to Viscount Emlin's daughter.
"Liza, and Lulu, please watch over the girls so they won't make any mistake."
"Yes, I'll do my best!"
"Waait, you should've asked Arisa-chan there."
After deceiving Arisa and Mia, who showed their dissatisfaction, by patting their head, I followed the gentleman who had been waiting for me to the prime minister's office.
"I'm appointing you to be the vice minister of the Tourism Ministry."
The matter for my summoning to the prime minister's office could be summarized in those words.
"With all due respect, it is far beyond my ability."
Of course, I rejected immediately.
The 'tourism' word is attractive, but in actuality it's just a nice way of saying the prime minister's secret service activity.
Moreover, I remember they wanted Satou to protect the royal capital when I was talking with them as Nanashi, I wonder what's happened with that?
"Rather than someone like me, the people of noble birth with more experiences are--"
"You're fit for it."
Interrupting me, the prime minister declared.
No, I understand you're declaring and all, but please stop taking a strange pose while emphasizing your muscles.
"The Tourism Ministry is nice y'know. I am stuck in office works as a cabinet minister myself right now, but His Majesty will lend a small airship for the tourism activities."
I see, a provision to get around the tourist spots huh.
I have my own airship, but being able to move freely with a high-performance airship might be convenient.
The next lines is mixed with discrepancy from the conversation with Nanashi.
"This airship boasts the highest speed in the kingdom, and is equipped with the long-distance true magic artifact."
I see, so it's an equipment that enables us to save the kingdom from outside if anything happens.
I'm planning to clean up the obstacles ahead of time as Nanashi though, so it's not really relevant.
"Furthermore, by making use of Shiga Kingdom's prestige as a major power, you can tour facilities and events that aren't possible for a commoner, and taste the special dishes that are only served in the royal court in each country."
Mumumu, that's a bit tempting.
I can stealthily intrude off-limit places with Unit Arrangement and space magic, but that's a kill-joy right.
"And, I don't mind if you use the current 1000 gold coins fiscal budget of the Tourism Ministry like they grow on a tree. Of course, you'll have to report the spending, but that's simply a formality."
I don't care about money since I already have an income that far exceeds my consumption.
However, with these many baits, what is the prime minister trying to catch?
"--Of course, obligations goes hand in hand with those rights."
The prime minister switches the talk as if he's read my mind.
Now then, now's the real issue.
He's probably going to talk about secret intelligence.
Before it got too deep, I should skillfully change the subject and run away.
"Every time you visit a foreign country and a city, you have to make a report regarding their famous places and specialty. Especially in securing sample of the famous specialty products for the preservation, you have to absolutely make sure to bring them back--"
"In addition, make sure to either get the recipe of the local famous or special product, or guess the recipe by yourself or your chef and put it on the appendix of the report. In case of ingredients not being available in Shiga Kingdom, you have to consider the replacement too. If they're plants, then secure the seeds in order to grow them here."
Wait a minute--.
Prime Minister (you), since you can't freely travel outside the kingdom yourself, you want me to go in your stead?
Looks like my thought was perceived, the prime minister coughed once, and said his official stance as if he was trying to varnish over it.
"This is for the sake of protecting the cultures nurtured by each country from disappearing because of the 『Age of Great Disturbance』. By no means this is for fulfilling my hobby and appetite."
You said appetite out loud.
The prime minister is probably serious, but it's possible that he's merely acting too, let's confirm it a bit more.
"Then, there is no need for me to gather intelligence in each country?"
"But of course. We have already dispatched spies dozens or even hundreds of years ago in countries that need them. There is no need in sending a hastily trained noble now. Moreover, it'd be a great loss to have the precious airship stolen under the pretext of you doing espionage activity."
I see, there are people who have fitted in the actual places just like Ninja's [Grass].
"I'm giving this position to you because you have the ability to efficiently collect cuisines and also the prowess to defend the airship from monsters and other countries."
As the prime minister has said, with me and my companions, the airship probably won't even get a single scratch as long as we aren't hit by a surprise attack from a demon lord or a greater demon.
Even if it gets broken, that means I just need repair it.
Right, I need to ask one more thing.
"What happen in case of monsters or a demon lord attacking the country that we were visiting?"
"Escape immediately if the opponent is a demon lord or a dragon. For any other opponent that you can win against, you can help them in order to demand gratitude, or you can abandon them."
The prime minister said it like that, but his way of speaking sounded like he believed that I would save them without fail.
That's true and all, but it feels like he's seen through me, it doesn't feel good.
"In case of cross-national war, you're forbidden to take side as a representative of Shiga Kingdom."
In other words, if I want to intervene a war between humans, do it stealthily without being known huh.
"Moreover, you're forbidden from visiting countries where there are oracle of demon lords reviving like Parion Holy Kingdom and Weasel Empire."
He did say that we should escape if we met a demon lord after all.
Moreover, I plan to visit those countries as Nanashi, so it doesn't hurt even if they're forbidden.
Oops, before I knew it, my thought worked as if I had taken the job.
As expected of the prime minister of a major power. He's good at negotiation.
"Is there a rule for resignation?"
"If you have written the report of the countries you've visited, then I don't mind if it's arbitrary."
Judging from the answer of this question, it looks like he seriously doesn't intend to make use of me as a secret agent or an agent for diplomacy.
"That is quite.... Doesn't the receiver side get way too much?"
The prime minister laughed off my question.
"His highness Soltrick has said it too, you really are too much of a good man. It's good that you're prudent, but if you don't have the guts to at least make use of your opponent's verbal slip, you'll get taken advantage of by old countries like Saga Empire or Garleon Union y'know."
Indeed. I remember Prince Soltrick saying the same thing when I met him in Princess Shistina's room.
"--Viscount Rottol and Duke Oyugock told me that you'd take actions that will profit the kingdom if I leave you alone without shackles after all."
The prime minister muttered in low voice.
I picked it up with Attentive Ears skill, but you wouldn't have normally heard it.
I can't argue back, since various things flashed in my mind.
"Then, let's hear your answer--"
I contemplate for awhile.
It is attractive, but there's too few advantages for me.
There's mostly no disadvantage in accepting it either though, but....
Let's decline since it's making me hesitate like this.
He probably won't force me to become the vice minister anyway.
The moment I was going to talk, the prime minister, seemingly perceived my disinterest, clapped several books that were placed on top of his office desk.
He presented the top book bound with thread.
"The thing that contains information about products and delicious gourmet food from each country that have been collected during my term."
"For someone who like to travel like you, you should feel like jumping at it right?"
Kuh, to think he took out such a trump card in the end....
Prime minister, you're good!
"If you work as the vice minister, in addition to these books, I'll give you letters of introduction for the influential people in each country. This should save you the trouble even against a cook who's hard to please."
GJ (Good Job)!!
It can't be helped if it's this much.
The prime minister who's making an awfully bright smile is vexing, but I'll let him have his way here.
After contemplating for a bit--.
I answer the prime minister with my affirmation.
We'll leave the details for later, so I follow the prime minister who ought to go to the evening party, leaving his office behind.
It seems the airship needs to be equipped first, so the delivery will be in one month.
During that time, I'll do what I need to be doing as Satou in Shiga Kingdom.
While I was walking and listing things that have to be done, the prime minister suddenly stopped.
Blue marker is reflected on the radar. It's Hikaru.
Looks like Hikaru is currently accompanying the king and the queen to evening party hall.
Looking at their harmony, it seems she's getting along with the queen too.
"If it isn't His Majesty."
I kneel together with the prime minister.
"Ara, Prime Minister. Is the child your son?"
Hikaru asked an artificial question.
"No, he is Viscount Satou Pendragon, one of my subordinates."
"Then, you've decided on the vice minister at last."
"Yes, I'm sorry to make your majesty worry."
It was the king who first reacted to the prime minister.
"Hm~mm. Subordinate of the prime minister huh~"
Hikaru is grinning with a face that looks like she's thought of a mischief.
"Then, I'll have Satou escort me to the hall!"
"I can be Ancestor King, no, Mito-sama's escort...."
"You can't, His Majesty must escort the queen."
Hikaru curtly refused the king's suggestion.
"Then I'll go in His Majesty's place."
"Ara? Didn't you say that your wife was coming to the evening party today? You said that you'd introduce her to me right?"
The prime minister intercepted but he got tragically sunk down by Hikaru's attack.
"Satou, your hand please."
Hikaru's triumphant face is irritating me, but I can't refuse Hikaru who has the higher position.
I should quickly fade-out once I escorted her to the hall.
Escorting Hikaru, a Duchess, sounds like it'll make me stand out, but I've stood out so much from Liza's matter and attaining Viscouncy, so it's too late now.
I took Hikaru's hand, and walked down the corridor after the king couple and the prime minister.
I'll be omitting Hikaru's introduction scene.
Even though it had become a slight chaos, it was settled down by the prime minister's thunderous roar.
Entreated by Hikaru, right now I'm dancing with Hikaru in the center of the hall like we're the leading part of the evening party as the surrounding people get pushed by the atmosphere.
The tune ended before long.
"Hmm, I sure am satisfied to be able to dance with Ichirou-nii to my heart's content."
"What? If you wanted to dance, I would dance with you as much as you like in our mansion's hall."
"Not like that~ it's nice since it's during this kind of party."
I led Hikaru who was sighing in satisfaction away from the dance space.
After this, Hikaru is going to have some chat with the princes and the princess, so I part way with Hikaru and head to where Arisa and the others are.
However, someone appeared and blocked my way.
"Good evening, Satou-san. Where did you get acquainted with Duchess Mitsukuni at from earlier?"
"G-Good evening Sera-sama."
Sera who's smiling even though her eyes are not is scary.
Why do I feel like a man who's cheated.
"Satou! After leaving me behind like that, why did you become the Duchess's escort?"
"....Satou-sama, I believe in you."
Then, Lady Karina who looks angry and Viscount Emlin's daughter who looks anxious also appeared.
"Oy, look there. It's shuraba."
"That's the new viscount right?"
"That's how you'll end up when you put your hands everywhere."
I could hear some unwilling rumor mixed with envy from the young noblemen.
I didn't put my hand on anyone though, what a cruel talk.
"Satou! I have come noja! Together with Maryann too!"
"Please excuse me for my long silence, Viscount Pendragon-sama."
Turning my head to the energetic voice, I saw Princess Mitia of the small Norooku Kingdom and the daughter of Barone Dyukeli, Maryann, who should have been in the labyrinth city.
I saw Baronet Dyukeli over the crowd too, so I saluted to him.
Maryann has become an adult this year, perhaps she's come her to look for a marriage partner.
"Satou-sama! Please hear me out! I've gone through something really terrible today."
Princess Menea of the small Rumooku Kingdom with her disheveled pink hair is also present.
She has just been attacked by Demon Lord Shin this afternoon, what a tough girl.
I catch sight of noble princess whom I'm acquainted with starting from Ririna, the daughter of Gururian City's viceroy, coming here from a distance.
Somehow or other, the place became chaotic.
Usually, I would be having some pleasant chats while dancing sometimes, so why did it became like this today.
Well, I guess it's fine.
It's probably just my hallucination, but let's taste how it feels to be a popular man once in a while.
The members are mostly loli-loli though, but expecting luxury is not good right.
After dancing with the girls until they were all satisfied, I succeeded running away by saying I wanted to see my companions.
"Pochi's stomach is full and round nanodesu."
"It was truly delicious. I won't ever forget the taste of the whole roasted Ecu."
The beastfolk girls are relaxing with satisfied faces in one section of the buffet space in the center hall.
I was interested in the whole roasted dish that sounded like the name of some currency, but there was nothing left. Truly regretful.
"Master, you're late."
"Welcoming Master's return."
While listening to Arisa and Mia, I drink the fruit juice that Nana gave, quenching my throat.
"Welcome back, Master. Although there's only a few, I've put aside various dishes."
"Thank you, Lulu."
Receiving the plate from Lulu, I enjoy various tastes.
As for the whole roasted Ecu that Liza highly praised, it tasted slightly gamey with rich flavor that was unlike of beef or pork, and there was also the chewiness that she liked.
Since it seems that it was Liza who suggested the dishes on the plate, I also thanked her for it.
Feeling full, I decided to take a walk in the garden to help digest the food.
The dance is nice and all, but I take everyone for a stroll until the shining flowers path.
I saw Zena-san on the radar, having come to the party hall. Let's meet her there after taking a lap back.
Checking on the map, it looks like she's with Miko Auna-san, Earl Seryuu's daughter.
"Hey, isn't that Mito-cchi?"
Where Arisa pointed, Hikaru was standing alone in the flower garden while looking up at the sky, looking like she was enduring not to cry.
When our eyes meet, Hikaru made a forced smile.
"Did something happen?"
Hikaru shakes her head to my words.
"Were the king's family being mean to you?"
"Ahaha, nope. Everyone is a good child."
Hikaru laughed and denied Arisa's question.
However, it seemed her smile was forced, she quickly stopped laughing and looked languid again.
"But, they are all really good children, it makes me remember Sharlick-kun and the others--"
--Hikaru who was able to cry muttered.
I hug Hikaru's head, and let her cry as much as she wants.
Sensing the scene, Liza took the girls besides Arisa to the nearby arbor.
It seems Arisa is on a monitoring duty so that there won't be a strange mood happening between Hikaru and me.
I felt the presence of the wind when I was calming Hikaru.
It was not a poet, it was probably the wind magic [Wind Search].
"Ah, Zena-san and Liza-san."
And then, Zena-san appeared from the arbor when Hikaru had wiped her tears.
"Satou-san... Huh? You're with Mito-san today?"
"Yes, she was feeling unwell from the crowd, so we were just enjoying the night wind for a bit."
Right, I introduced Hikaru as my childhood friend to Zena-san.
It seems Zena-san had left the earl and Auna-san in the hall to search for me alone.
Liza who found Zena-san showed the way here.
And then, Liza wasn't only the one who found Zena-san--.
"Satou?! Yo-you were flirting again in this place."
"Huh, aren't they Karina-tan and Sera-sama."
Lady Karina who's together with Sera is walking here angrily. Sera is smiling, but I feel that her cheeks are twitching.
'There sure is a lot of shuraba-like situations today', perhaps thinking like it was none of my business was bad, even more bomb got thrown into the scene.
『Yamato? Shiga Yamato?!』
That voice came from Raka the <<Intelligent Item>> that was emitting blue light from the direction of Lady Karina's forehead.