15-Intermission 4 At Muno Earldom
※It's rather shortish.
"Father, is that a potted--vegetable?"
"This isn't vegetable, Soruna. This is called Bonsai, a culture from hero-sama's country, you see."
I'm currently pruning the Bonsai sent from Echigoya Firm in the family-only living room.
It is said to be a pastime of gentlemen in Hero-sama's world, it is truly profound.
I put the Bonsai on the table so Soruna can see it well.
Enjoying my rare time together with my daughter while viewing the Bonsai.
Noisy footsteps rushed into that peaceful space.
Consul Nina rushed into the room.
There's only a few things that could make her expression change.
I could easily expect what happened.
"Did Satou-kun do something distinguished again?"
"Distinguished? It's nothing as plain as that."
He's the person who defeated a Floormaster in Selbira Labyrinth and liberated this city from powerful monsters in just half a day.
To make Consul Nina shaken when he's such a person already, I'm excited to hear what he did.
"Would you tell me what he did then?"
I readied myself.
After all that has happened, I will listen to it without getting surprised.
"Satou and his companions defeated a demon lord."
Defeated? Demon lord?
Demon lord demon lord, demon l-o-r-d, demon lord....de-demon lord?!
"W-what'd you sayyy!"
I shouted out loud from the depth of my heart.
After Soruna patted my back and I received cold water from the maid, I finally regained my sense.
Even though I had prepared myself, I couldn't help but get surprised by this.
Who would have thought that he would do something that would be recorded in the annals of history--.
"W-what should I do, Nina?"
Looks like Consul Nina isn't able to hide her unrest just like me.
"Sa-Satou-kun said in his letter that he was visiting Hero-sama to support him, wasn't it Hero-sama who defeated the demon lord?"
"We don't know the detail yet. A global notice from the Royal Capital has arrived on the City Core terminal. Haven't you seen it yet?"
"Oh sorry, it seems I've overlooked it."
Come to think of me, I think something sounded when I was pruning the Bonsai's branches.
By the way, Soruna was only lightly surprised, "Oh my."
She might be the biggest shot in the family here.
◇Nina's Point of View◇
Earl Muno who confirmed the City Core terminal said something unexpected.
"--A summon from His Majesty?"
"That's right. His Majesty wants to give words of praises to Satou-kun's exploits."
I got a headache when I saw Earl Muno who didn't comprehend the graveness of the matter.
"Do you understand what it means?"
"Yes, it's quite an honor."
"His Majesty's ulterior motive."
I sighed at the parroting Earl Muno.
This whole family really can't read the underside of things.
"His Majesty is probably going to raise your peerage to Marquis, in exchange he'd ask you to hand over Satou to be his direct retainer."
The Earl shouted in surprises at my prediction.
It's sad, but considering Satou's distinction, it's probably for the best.
"C-can't we decline it, Nina."
What is this blockhead saying?
"I-I mean, I promised Satou when I gave his peerage to protect him and his family."
Oy oy, you're gonna go against the king for Satou's sake?
The opponent is too much no matter how you look at it.
"If you decline this, you won't ever rise to Marquisdom in your generation. It's probably only going to get a reconsideration in your grandchildren generation."
Were Orion capable, it might have been possible in his generation, but it's probably out of question since that kid's not good at socializing.
"Even so, I don't mind. My position as an Earl right now is due to Satou-kun's assistances."
The earl spoke gallantly.
That's certainly true, normally it'd have taken 10 years, and even with my plans, becoming an earl on the next generation would have been most satisfactory.
"Well, you're the one deciding it."
The things I can do is giving advices and implementing what Earl Muno decides.
No matter what predicament we would fall into as a result, I feel that it'd be fun as long as we're with Satou.
My job as a consul should have compelled me to remonstrate the territory lord though.
"Earl, there's a letter."
10 days after that news shook up Shiga Kingdom, a letter arrived through the Griffon Mail.
Of course, the only one who would send a letter with such an expensive service is Satou.
There wasn't any detail regarding demon lord subjugation in the letter addressed to me.
It was full of trivial things like how the banquet with the hero party at Dejima Island was fun and how he had stocked up many interesting souvenirs from Dejima Island so asked me to look forward to it.
Therefore, I'm guessing that if there's anything important, it should be written in the letter for the earl.
I look at the earl's expression as he reads the letter.
The earl who was reading nonchalantly suddenly raised his face in surprises.
"B-big news, Nina!"
"W-what sorta things did that guy do this time!"
I look at the letter from the earl's side in a hurry.
"It's written here that we're going to Saga Empire."
"We can visit the Hero Summoning Room of Parion Temple by Her Imperial Princess's invitation!"
The earl stressed that.
"W-what are you talking about...."
A visit to the Hero Summoning Room?
He used the stupidly expensive Griffon Mail just to report that?
Besides, I can't think of that as more important than the story about the demon lord subjugation.
However, it seems I was the only one who thought that here.
"Father, that's so wonderful!"
Soruna-dono and the earl are both exalted.
Good grief, these parent-child are really alike.
In the end, no details were written in the letter for the earl either.
Satou is probably going to this castle before heading to Saga Empire, I intend to ask him about the details at that time.
Good grief, that guy is too unconcerned about his own exploits.
My mouth formed a smirk when I thought of the time Satou returning to this castle.
I'm going to surprise him back to get even and complain about the troublesome things and political strife Muno Earldom will fall into from now on, and--.
--A grand festival held in Muno Earldom to celebrate Satou's exploits.
A parade would be nice.
I order the maids to prepare for the festival while imagining the troubled look on his face as he's a guy who's not fond of looking showy.
Now then, prepare yourself, Satou!
<TLN: Reminder that the parts after ※ are the author's notes.>
※ Next update is undecided.
※ I planned to write the scene where Satou arrives and they have a get together, but I ran out of time and could only write this much. I'm sorry....