Chapter 34 Planning and Clothing Purchase
At a luxurious dining room that looks like that of a hotel.
I called the waiter as I sat on the bar counter after the meal.
I took out a silver flat palm-sized 【Hero Emblem】.
"I'd like to ask something, are you free?"
"Yes, what is it. Hero-sama."
"I've heard that this town is having troubles with an increase of monsters in the sea, yet it looks prosperous to me. Do you know why is that?"
The waiter sighed lightly while polishing a glass.
"People often asked me about that. The monsters appeared around a year ago and started to attack ships."
"Since there's a demon king, I guess that's only natural."
"However, the way they did it is horrible. Each time, they caught about five ships and only destroyed one. And they let people who boarded those ships to decide that one ship."
The bartender puts the glass down. A cold sound reverberated.
Minya is eating silently indifferently.
I clicked my tongue in my mind.
It's really like that cunning demon king.
Letting people to choose their colleagues who will be killed, giving them mental fear.
Sense of guilt for having to choose. Fear of getting to be the sacrifices next if they're caught again. Fear. Distrust.
Losing their trust on humans.
"I see. The people aren't scared of having ships destroyed but of being chosen as sacrifices. --That's why the festival for Hero Lazan is being held this grandly as people cling to the memories of Hero Lazan the sea guardian."
"That's right, Hero-sama."
The waiter begins to polish another glass. He seems a bit listless.
I speak after thinking a bit.
"However. If the monsters are that organized, they must have a commander."
"According the rumors, one of the Four Devas, the gigantic squid--Evil Squid has come here."
"Four Devas huh..."
I fell silent.
Of course I probably could easily win against it.
However, up until now it was, "The hero isn't of Light elemental so they can't defeat the demon king."
I don't know whether the demon king has noticed me or not, but he probably hasn't.
However, that would change if the hero killed a Four Deva.
I'd probably get inside the demon king's [People to Watch Out For] list.
--Maybe I should just go and kill the demon king and become the hero at the right time after the fact.
No, the guy managed to seal a god of this world and turned her into a vengeful spirit.
It won't be strange if he has a power to limit a god's ability.
It'd be safer to fight him after I've learned the 【Demon King Destroying Slash <<Ultimate Slash>>】.
--For now I've got no choice but to hide my identity as a god and pretend to be a hero.
The bartender speaks while I'm thinking about that.
"Apparently, Evil Squid cannot be harmed by swords."
"Well, that won't be a problem. I can kill it."
"W-what amazing confidence. However, hero-sama. Arrogance will lead to negligence. Please be careful."
"I know. I'll keep it in mind--do you know where that Evil Squid appeared?"
"I have no idea of the exact place."
"There should be records about where ships were attacked and their owner."
"The Sailor Guild, the mayor, and the consulate should have the correct info regarding that."
I turned around and looked inside the restaurant.
I ask while looking at the sitting merchants here and there.
"Is there anyone who belongs to Sailor Guild among the people here?"
"Yes, that person and that person are sailors, so they should be affiliated with the guild."
I stand up from my seat.
I talked to the two main merchants and other merchants, getting to hear various things.
The places and number of ships that got attacked by monsters. The owner of ships and goods that got carried away.
They always got attacked no matter how many times they changed routes.
The merchants talked about the monsters in fear. They looked to be completely in despair.
But I've got a different theory than the general one.
--Isn't there someone who leaks the info?
When a ship departs the port, it has to report its destination. If it's going to another country, it needs to get a permission from the consulate.
That info is leaked.
There is a cooperator in this town. You can gain a huge profit by sinking your rivals' ships.
However, people would be suspicious if only that someone's ships never got attacked.
They let people to choose in order to conceal that fact. They let their ship gets chosen when it's carrying cheap freight.
I also asked where the Sinners were.
Looks like they're being kept in the mayor's residence.
Apparently they will be scarified to the monsters in the first day of the festival.
I also asked if there was a sandy beach around here.
The answer is the same as Celica's, no one swims in the sea where monsters loiter around.
But they told me about an inlet that has changed into a nest of monsters.
Plans are getting solidified in my head.
Plans to defeat the monsters, save the sinners, and have the name of 『Hero Keika』 take root.
However, I only have six days before the festival begins.
I don't have enough time to prepare at all.
What to do.
Celica came when I was lost in thought. White shirt, red skirt.
Holding hands with Lapisia who's wearing a white dress.
"Morning Lapisia--Celica let's go shopping once you've had your breakfast."
"Yes. I'm looking forward to it."
Celica smiled and replied with a lively voice. Her blond hair sways happily.
My gloomy heart brightened just from that.
I'm thinking about the shopping already while watching Celica eating elegantly.
Bright sunlight in the morning.
Shining on the white plastered wall.
We walk on the stone paved main street. People are lively in festive mood.
There are street stalls, carts, sword dancer and even suspicious fortunetellers.
Since Minya and Lapisia were quick to stop and watch them, we had a hard time arriving at our destination.
We finally arrived at a clothing store in an alley.
The store sign is written with 『Madam's Store』.
Driad the merchant told me about this store. It doesn't seem to be popular.
The inside is relatively wide. However, clothes and fabric are piled up everywhere.
One woman was sitting inside the dim store.
And elderly madam with heavy makeup. She had round ears on top of her head, her limbs were furnished with black and yellow stripped fur. Looks like she's a beastfolk.
Her body can be seen under one piece of thin silk she's wearing.
"My, welcome. Who would be your referral?"
"I heard about this store from Driad the merchant."
"My, Driad-san's referral. So what are you looking for in particular?"
"First of all, Celica's underwear. And I'd like to order clothes for this girl. --I heard you're good at sewing."
I took off Minya's hat. Ping, her sharp ears stand up.
Minya's thin body was startled. She's hiding while hugging my back.
However, Madam smiled and laughed.
"Your friend eh. ...Let's take care of it one by one for now."
Madam stood up and walked while wriggling her waist.
Celica consulted to Madam while picking up clothes and cloth.
"Blouse to be worn under the armor and also... panties."
"These ones suit you better than those plain ones."
Madam has transparent violet panties on her hands. The flower embroidery gives off a bewitching atmosphere.
Celica waves her hand while blushing.
"I-I can't possibly wear such shameful panties."
"Oh my? You won't be able to temp a late bloomer without this much you know?"
Madam glanced at me for some reason.
Celica groaned like 'Uu'.
"There's no temptation of anything."
"Right now you're his most cherished aren't you. That's why you're so confident. Men are avaricious, once they found a better woman they'd dump you straight, you know?"
"Hau.... I-I'm sure it'll be alright."
Celica looked at me with teary eyes.
With nothing to reply, I kept my silent.
Madam drew Celica close to her.
"You've got nothing to lose just having them~. It'd be too late when that time came, you know?"
Celica seems to think about that time with a red face.
I speak while looking the clothing.
"Y-yes, what's the matter, Keika-sama!?"
"You can buy anything you want."
"...Keika-sama. Thank you."
Celica's blue eyes narrowed as she laughed happily.
After Celica, Minya is next.
I talk to Madam.
"And for this girl's clothes, can you make ones that are similar to the clothes I'm wearing?"
"My? Not catfolk's clothes?"
Madam's round ears twitched.
Minya's sharp ears plopped down even further in fear. However, she speaks out clearly.
"It's fine. Matching with...Keika oniichan."
"You heard her. This is probably the first time you see clothes like mine, I'd like it to be an order-made one."
"I don't mind. I'd make clothes of any tribe. But, right. I'd like to use them as a reference for the lining and sleeves, could you show me your clothes?"
"Alright. Should I took them off?"
"You definitely have to."
I took off my kimono, and changed into a white shirt and brown pants. The 【Hero Emblem】 is hung on my neck. I immediately turned gaudy.
Celica is grinning.
"Fufu. Keika-sama. You look good on it."
"Why are you half laughing."
"Since I'm used to your mystical attires, looking at you wearing normal clothes feels fresh. Fufu."
She put her hand on her lips as she gracefully laughed.
I leave her be since it's not like I don't understand how she feels.
The problem is how to make kimono for girls.
"About that, actually the clothes I'm wearing differ for man and woman...."
I picked up the wafuku on top of the cloth heap and explained to her about it.
However, I asked her to make the hem knee length as a long one would be a hindrance in battle.
Actually I also wanted katana and wakizashi too, but those ones are impossible to get after all.
Since I couldn't get the point across by talking, I touch Madam's head and deliver images directly with magic.
Madam nods in amazement.
"I can't make an exact same one, but a similar one is possible."
"Please do--make it as fast as you can."
"It's a request from Hero-sama. I'll make it my top priority."
"Thanks--but I'd like to ask you another top priority order."
"What would it be?"
I picked up underwear I found when Celica was choosing hers.
As samples, this woman's breast underwear--in short, brassiere and panties.
"Please make these with cloth that won't be transparent when wet."
"What do you want to use them for?"
"To swim in the sea."
I replied while breathing roughly.
Celica's blue eyes open wide.
"W-wait a minute Keika-sama!? Are you telling me to swim in underwear!?"
"Of course. Usual clothes will absorb water and hinder your limbs. Have the joints as freely movable as possible--this is the swimsuit of my hometown!"
Celica's pretty face reddens as she objects.
"I cannot do something so embarrassing!"
"...There's also other models of swimsuit--<<Mind Projection>>."
I touch Madam's head and send images directly. Bikini, school swimsuit, pareo.
Madam has gotten used to it, she's nodding 'fumu fumu'.
"I've grasped the general image. They look like underwear, but they need sewing and fabric that won't lose to swimming power. It seems quite interesting."
"Please make them for these three. Ah, mine can be just some random shorts, just prioritize the swimsuits asap."
"I-I won't wear such embarrassing things."
Celica still refuses while blushing.
I look at Minya and Lapisia. Lapisia has panties on her head. Her twin tail went out of the leg holes.
"Would you two wear the swimsuits? Or rather, Lapisia has to."
"If Keika wants me too... I will."
"Lapisia's fine with anything!"
"Good good, you two are great."
I patted the two's heads. Minya partly closed her eyes while looking comfortable, Lapisia's smile bloomed.
Celica bites her lips in vexation.
"I-I too, um, if it's something a bit less shameful...."
"You're just gonna wear them when you swim anyway. They will be hidden once you enter the sea, and you can wear something on top of them on land."
"....L-let me think about it."
I remember one other girl and talks to Madam.
"Ah right, I forgot. Make another swimsuit. She's a Divine beast with woman body as her upper half and snake's as her lower half. Her breasts are this big, as for the lower one--since she can't wear panties, make it a short skirt instead. If possible, make them while considering the defensive power, like from leather or something."
I show the size by hands while recalling Ieturia's body.
Fondling her was for this sake.
However, Celica frowned her thin eyebrows.
"When did you touch them....? Those hands look obscene somehow."
"Don't say that. This is for her sake."
"Well, just leave it to me. And your address is?"
I told her our inn's name.
"How long would it take?"
"Swimsuit trial product will take one day, cat girl's clothes will take two, could you wait three days."
"I'm good with that. You're a great help."
"Of course, I will be taking the fee for them."
"Of course. --Well then, Celica."
I thanked her.
Celica paid her several big gold coins.
And then we left the store.
Hot sunlight pours down as it's almost noon.
We walk in the main street while the people are coming and going in festive mood.
"Now then, time to enjoy the festival. Let's grab some food from various stalls. Talk to me if you want anything else like weapon, armor or accessory."
Lapisia raised both her hands in joy. She starts to hunt for stalls with sparkling golden eyes.
Minya stopped Lapisia who was going to run off and looked after her. They look like sisters. She's a great help.
On the other hand, Celica who's walking next to me seems to be still angry. Her cheeks are slightly puffed up.
"Keika-sama, sometimes you do unbelievable things. Even this time, you used Lapisia as a pretext to do naughty things right? It has nothing to do with hero anymore."
"That's not exactly true."
"What do you mean?"
Celica looked up with her blue eyes shining in doubt.
I speak while looking at the 『Hero Lazan Festival』 posters plastered all over the town.
"Swimsuits are necessary in order to have hero Keika name take root in this town. If I take back the northwest small country from demon king's hand while I'm still unpopular, this kingdom will probably fall under his control next.... Since I'm the hero of this Daphnes Kingdom."
Celica stares at me with her lovely mouth opens. She's at a loss for words.
The northwest small country is Edelstein Kingdom. Celica's hometown.
Celica seems to understand my intention, she links her arms with mine like snuggling up. Her big breasts are pushed on me.
"Keika-sama thinks that far ahead.... Yet I only thought about things before my eyes. You intend to spread your name by creating customs to wear swimsuits, gain the support of people, and raise your right to speak don't you."
"Those aren't all. I've thought up a more decisive method. Well, just leave it to me."
"You're amazing Keika-sama. I'm sorry for my objection earlier. --I will wear the swimsuits proudly."
Celica hugged my arm strongly as she said that. Her wet blue eyes looked up.
I smile and speak.
"Having a beauty like Celica helps me really puts me at ease."
"Beauty you say, oh..."
Celica snuggled her head on my shoulder with a reddened face.
The tips of her long blond hair that touched my body felt ticklish.
We enjoyed the festival on this day. It was already nightfall when we got back at the inn.