Satou's here. There are people who want to settle everything by force anywhere. There's not many of them in modern Japan, however it might be unavoidable for that ratio to increase in another world.
"This hallway is gorgeous isn't it."
"It's just a bad taste of the riches."
Zena-san let out a sigh of admiration while we were walking on the luxurious hallway of the Imperial Castle.
The hallway is full of carefully placed decorations made of gold, silver and ivory, it's truly showy.
Liza thinks that it's a bad taste since the culture in Shiga Kingdom is different, but I think these ornaments are quite tasteful if they're set up accordingly.
The ones here are just us three, Lady Liedill and a maid who's guiding us.
Zakuga the bodyguard got into a quarrel with Lady Liedill's comrades, the Temple Knights, and was dismissed when we arrived at the castle.
He was treated quite badly, but since he didn't particularly ask for support, I left him alone.
I was talking with Zena-san while walking between the ornamental pillars and statues when the maid suddenly made a sudden turn.
"Oy, where are you going. The audience hall is straight ahead isn't it?"
"I'm very sorry. The passage ahead is currently under renovation... therefore we cannot use it."
The maid seemed to be scared of the threatening attitude of Lady Liedill, she averted her eyes when she said that.
I glanced at the map since I was bored and saw that there was no renovation going on the hallway ahead.
I couldn't see anything like renovation even after spinning the 3D map, so I checked the hallway with space magic [Clairvoyance].
As the result I confirmed that the maid was lying, so I told that fact to Zena-san and Liza with [Tactic Talk] magic.
"Renovation huh.... Must be because the idiots, Gilzem and Dazlim, fought inside the castle. Good grief, those idiots are just."
Lady Liedill seemed to believe the maid's lie.
Maybe the maid averted her eyes to prevent Lady Liedill's [Dragon Eyes] from seeing through it.
I found a suspicious person behind a pillar as I was walking while being on guard.
"Yo, long ears."
A giant weaselkin carrying a 3-meter long thin sword appeared.
He's the number 2 of the Temple Knights at level 70.
If we're only looking at level, he's about as strong as the current Liza.
"Gwalba-dono.... I'm sorry, but I'm acting under the imperial command of His Majesty. Leave it for later if you want a bout."
"My business isn't with ya."
He sneered and told Lady Liedill off.
"This great me's business is with the hero's follower over there."
"Are you going to point your sword at His Majesty's guest?"
"Whaaat? Ya afraid of me, hero's follower? What a big coward ya are."
"Gwalba-dono! Kuro-dono is a guest of His Majesty!"
"So what! Ya think I can miss this chance to fight someone strong."
Lady Liedill's restraint was brushed off by Gwalba's fighting race's reasoning.
The people here can probably manage even if this kind of problem arise since the country is isolated.
I can see how he ends up with his personality if he grows up in such an environment.
"Ain't it better if yer' master be called 『Sissy』 rather than 『Hero』?"
"Is that a provocation?"
Liza on the back would snap if I let this go on, so I looked down at him with cold eyes.
"Hahn! A follower who doesn't fight back at insults for his master 's just garbage."
The tip of a magic spear wrapped in red light appeared before the eyes of Gwalba who seemed bored.
"W-whaaat! Just when."
Gwalba stepped backward using Flickering Movement in a panic.
I wonder if the shiny hair on his forehead from cold sweat?
"Excuse me, Master. This small fish will be dealt with quickly, please wait a minute."
Liza apologized for her indiscretion while keeping her line of sight at Gwalba.
I should have kicked Gwalba and made him faint when I sensed that she was about to snap.
"Okay. I allow you to engage. You can seriously injure him, but try not to kill him."
Lady Liedill seems to find my permission unexpected, she tries to stop us in a hurry.
"Wait, Kuro-dono! Gwalba-dono's personality and conducts are the lowest but there's no one but Captain who could match him in a fight among Temple Knights."
"Long ears! Don't say it like the great me's weaker than Captain."
Irritated by the two's quarrel, Liza shot a very small Magic Edge Canon between them.
"Just come at me. I will teach you your place."
"Fine by meeee, you lizard!"
Gwalba's unsheathed sword is clad in blue light.
Zena-san was surprised.
She has her own holy dagger inside her bag, yet she still gets honestly surprised, it's very like Zena-san.
Zena-san's honest cutesy really is her nice point.
"This is the holy sword granted by the emperor to great me, Monofoshi Zao. An imitation magic spear made from low class monsters can't hope to rival it!"
"Close that dirty mouth. You're polluting Magic Spear Douma which Master has created."
The red pattern on the magic spear receives Liza's quiet anger, pulsing profusely.
"Here's a greeting, Slashing Steel Flash! For now, die!"
Gwalba used physical reinforcement on his body in an instant and swung down his long sword while using the Flickering Movement.
The sharp slash that looked as if it could cut air molecules sliced Liza's figure, the after wave of the attack broke the paving stone behind her.
Cloud of dust and roaring sound came flowing here from the depth of the hallway.
The expression of Gwalba who was grinning, sure of his victory, froze.
"--You're fit to be a street performer."
"I-impossible, you evaded the great me's Slashing Steel Flash?"
Liza's magic spear, clad in Magic Edge, is thrust before the neck of the groaning Gwalba, his adamantite neck guard fell down in half.
Looks like Gwalba couldn't see Liza's Flickering Movement and Ground Shrink.
"Merely leaving a decoy afterimage, every one of my companions can do that."
She pulled the magic spear while saying that and readied her stance.
"Take your stance. I will teach you how the strong fight."
Liza declared without feeling triumphant.
"Thank you for waiting."
"Good work. Shall we go then. The emperor is probably tired of waiting too."
Leaving Gwalba who has been sunk into the wall behind, we urge the maid to press forward.
His pride seems to have been crushed by Liza, but it's not like he's injured enough to die, there should be no problem leaving that weasel alone.
The maid who had an expression like her soul had came out seemed to remember her duty, she straightened herself and replied and then guided us while looking frightened.
"W-with that Gwalba-dono, to be so one sided...."
"He had probably never fought an opponent who is of the same strength or stronger than him. There were too many opening and wasteful moves."
Liza said that calmly at Lady Liedill who muttered in disbelief.
Well, on top of training with opponents of different types, Pochi and Tama everyday, Liza also sparred with me, Hikaru and even Black Dragon sometimes, so there's no surprise that she's become strong.
Being able to instantly fully recover by going back to the solitary island palace and drinking advanced magic potion and elixir no matter how injured she got might have a big effect too.
"Please wait in front of this door."
When we arrived before a door made of unknown alloy, the maid ran up to the Imperial Knights who stood guard in front of it at a quick pace.
These knights seem to be of a different affiliation than Lady Liedill's Temple Knights.
I operate the menu to obtain information about the emperor.
He's around level 40, not too high, his skills are mostly composed of governmental and negotiation type ones, the only thing we need to be wary of is the [Geass] skill which we knew already.
--No there's still more.
I found a [Special Ability] column on the emperor's status.
He has two Unique Skills, [Lucky Star] and [《Reflect Unlucky》]."
Looks like the weasel emperor is a reincarnated person.
I'm intrigued why he doesn't hide his info.
Maybe there's no point in hiding it since his Geass skill is famous.
Just in case, I put several layer of mind magic [<<Enchant Spirit Protection>>] on Liza and Zena-san.
They already have the automatic defensive items made by analyzing Raka, but I feel that this magic is stronger as a countermeasure against the emperor's [Geass].
"We will be holding your weapons custody here."
I hand over the magic gun on my waist to the Imperial Knights.
Zena-san and Liza are going to wait in the waiting room next to the audience hall so they get to keep their weapons.
"Shiga Kingdom emissary Kuro-dono, step forward before the presence of His Majesty the emperor."
I step into the audience hall that's deeper than Shiga Kingdom's.
There is a huge throne in the room's depth, as if showing the emperor's authority.
The weasel emperor with purple fur who's sitting in that throne is also huge.
--Mainly horizontally that is.
I've seen a lot of people fat people before, but he's a far more heavyweight even compared the real sumo wrestlers I saw in the national sumo dome, let alone Mr. Overweight.
He's at least three time the width of a normal man.
"--In other words, Shiga Kingdom is going to be the patron of that guy?"
"Affirmative. Everything is just as what's written in that letter."
After reading the Declaration of Independence, the emperor very lightly sighed in a way that couldn't be noticed by the people around him.
And he muttered in a very small voice my Attentive Ears skill couldn't pick up, "So he really picked that course", I caught from the movement of his lips.
Apparently the emperor had predicted that the crown prince would declare independence.
"What! Shiga Kingdom intends to cut off Dejima Island!"
"Those bastards, now that it's come to this, we should sortie our unrivaled airship force and raid their capital!"
"Aye! Even without utilizing the science, our victory is cemented if we deploy half of the Temple Knights even if the dragon knights that appeared in Makiwa Kingdom were to intervene."
The weasel ministers who was in the audience hall got roused when they heard about Dejima Island's independence.
Apparently, unlike the weasels people outside the country, I feel that the ones inside the empire is short tempered, or rather they're quick to blow their tops.
It's interesting how they went past Dejima Island and straight to Shiga Kingdom.
Perhaps the ministers of Weasel Empire have some complex about Shiga Kingdom.
"Call General Putepo."
With the emperor's command, a chamberlain quickly left the audience hall.
--So we can't avoid the war after all huh.
"Are we going to leave the conquest to an incompetent person who only got his peerage from his house?"
"It might be possible to suppress Dejima Island if they're alone in this...."
Quite a harsh evaluation.
After a while, someone wearing odd disorganized ceremonial clothes who seems to be General Putepo appears.
He's a plump weaselkin who looks like a small fry.
"Your Majesty, I have come at your call."
"Dejima Island has declared independence. Your third army is fit for the subjugation."
"Crown Prince-dono rebelled! I Putepo will burn down all of Dejima Island and make it a hell where no one alive."
"No need of unnecessary killing. Arrest only the crown prince by all means, or if it's not possible--kill him."
"I've certainly accepted Your Majesty's command."
General Putepo accepted the weasel emperor's command with exaggerated gestures that reeked of acts.
""Please wait, Your Majesty!""
A lionkin and a tigerkin wearing Temple Knights ceremonial dress entered the audience hall while speaking in unison.
"Lord Gilzem and Lord Dazlim huh...."
"Those rowdy bunch. They probably come here to protest and ask for their participations."
The ministers spoke ill behind the back of the two who were wrapped in violent aura.
"Your Majesty's authority would be stained if you left it to an incompetent general."
"We will take care of it all with just our platoons if you would leave it to us."
Lionkin Gilzem and tigerkin Dazlim appealed at the emperor while showing off their muscles.
It must be a popular style in Weasel Empire.
Dear me, communication between cultures is difficult isn't it.
The weasel emperor once again muttered in a small voice that couldn't be heard by the people around, my [Attentive Ears] skill picked up, "These fools."
"I've put my trust on General Putepo. I am sure that he will do the job as I wish it to be."
Hearing the emperor, the two made sullen faces, General Putepo had a satisfied smile on his whole face.
However--[As I wish it to be] huh.
I caught a glimpse of the emperor not wanting to win the war.
"Moreover, you Temple Knights have more fitting battles waiting. Work hard to seek strength until that time."
The weasel emperor followed up at the two who looked discontent.
"We've prepared a new area in the artificial labyrinth at the suburb. Capture the labyrinth and improve yourself."
The emperor instructed and then a chamberlain presented a tray with egg-sized jewels on it at the two.
It seems those are an item called [Teleport Stone].
I'd like to learn the way to make them if they're as the name imply.
"I'm itching for a fight."
The two gleefully took the [Teleport Stone], bowed at the emperor and left the audience hall.
Now then, it's about time to talk with the emperor and get down to the business--.
I have to talk about the science and the taboo.