16-1. Effect of Slaying Demon Lord
Satou here. Somehow or other, there are times when you just don't know how to react when people valuate you excessively aren't there.
"We're gonna visit Tenion Temple after greeting the king in the capital."
After breakfast in the Solitary Island Palace, I told everyone the plan while enjoying the tea Lulu made.
I want to ask the previous Tenion head miko to see if there's a way to communicate with gods.
"Then, I think it might be better to have the airship get down at Pendragon mansion once or go around a lap in the capital's sky instead of directly going to the castle."
I asked princess Sistina her reason for saying that.
"It would be better if you see it for yourself."
After pondering a bit, she said that as she stood up.
She told me that I would understand once I go the Pendragon mansion in the royal capital, so I did while feeling puzzled.
"What is this?"
There was a huge crowd in front of our mansion.
Looking closer, there are even stalls.
"Apparently, every one of them came to see Satou."
"Yes, 『Demon Lord Slayer』 is that great of a feat."
I get what princess Sistina is trying to say.
How do I say this, she has a really proud look on her face.
My sense had been numbed recently, but killing a demon lord was sort of a huge feat huh.
I was just trying to help Hero Hayato, but it appears even that has quite an impact.
Her suggestion of not directly landing the airship in the castle is probably for the sake of appealing to these sightseers.
"Thank you for your advice. Looks like I wasn't considerate enough there."
I draw the airship route in my head while thanking her.
--Pipiru! Piru! Piru!
As I was gazing outside the window while thinking, an emerald green feathered bird was chirping with a haughty look before I knew it.
"Hisui, have you told Her Highness in advance?"
--Pi! Pirupi! Piru!
Hisui averted its gaze and chirped as if making excuses.
Hisui was a bird princess Doris, princess Sistina's little sister of the same mother, kept, but it got turned into [God Bird] due to a certain incident and ended up frequently dropping in here.
I'll take Hisui along with me to castle and return it.
"My name is Sisusosu, commander of Royal Capital Air Defense unit. I am extremely delighted to be of service to your excellency Pendragon dearimasu."
A unit of ten birdmen appeared when our airship got around the capital's vicinity.
They told me that they had come to lead us when I asked them on the deck.
"I'd like to head toward the castle after a lap around the capital, is that alright?"
"Yes sir! Of course dearimasu! The people of royal capital have been coming to Pendragon Mansion every day in hope of taking a glance of your excellency Pendragon, they would be delighted if your excellency wave your hands to them from the deck dearimasu."
This person talked really stiff.
And he's sweating profusely even though he's a birdman, maybe he's nervous?
"Got it, we'll do that. Please lead the way."
"Yes sir! This Sisusosu will bet his life to accomplish this mission splendidly!"
No no, you're exaggerating.
You don't have to bet your life just for leading the way.
When our airship was crossing the capital's outer wall, so many soldiers they looked like they were going to fall off had gathered on top of the wall, waving their hands to me.
Since they were shouting Pendragon name, they were probably welcoming us.
And when we have crossed over the military installations--
--I heard the voice of a crowd calling my house name in an ear-deafening volume.
The voice was a bit blurred because a lot of people called, but it was so loud I suspected it shook the entire airship.
The cheers became even louder when I waved my hand.
I saw some people fainting inside the crowd, so I secretly supported them with [Magic Hand].
『Arisa, could you bring everyone who helped with the demon lord subjugation here.』
I used Telephone to call the girls who were waiting in the Solitary Island Palace to come here.
"Amazing nodesu! Everyone called Master's name nodesu!"
Tama and Pochi's eye turned round and they replied back at the crowd's cheers.
Looks like waving hands wasn't enough for them, as they run on top of the handrails while wagging their tails buzzingly.
"This feels somewhat embarrassing."
"Puff out your chest Lulu. This is proof of how great of a feat we have accomplished."
"That's right desuwa! Never before since the founding of Shiga Kingdom, someone other than heroes and their attendants ever slain a demon lord. It's a very great feat desuwayo!"
Weirdly high spirited Lady Karina joined in Lulu's and Liza's conversation.
Wonder if the reason why her tension goes up when it's about heroes is due to the influence of her hero-loving father.
"Master, hoping for a rotation above the orphanage."
Nana pulled my sleeves with an expressionless face.
"Fine by me, anything you took fancy there?"
"The density of young organisms is thick, it's really cute."
Looks like it's Nana's personal preference.
Since we're not really in a hurry, I let the airship circle around above the orphanage once.
And since Nana looks satisfied, this much service is fine right.
"Mwu, ears hurt."
Mia complained while closing her ears.
Mia pouted for a while, but then she pulled herself together and started to sing a heroic tune.
Even though she doesn't like the noise, looks like she doesn't hate the voices that praises us themselves.
"But really, we're so popular."
--Pipiru! Piru! Piru!
For some reason, Hisui replied while haughtily puffing its chests to the admiring Arisa.
Apparently, Hisui thinks like it's about itself.
Before I knew it, Chuufat and the other sage mice are also waving their hands on top of the handrail.
Just where did they slip into here.
I enjoyed the royal capital sky while smiling wryly.
"Uwaah, that looks amazing."
"Everything's glittery nodesu."
The youth troupe were surprised at the spectacle before their eyes.
After circling the royal capital sky, the birdman unit was replaced with Wyvern Riders en route to the royal castle.
We followed them to a courtyard inside the castle.
Holy Knights and Royal Guard Knights in dazzling armors, and servants and court ladies in ceremonial dresses were standing in rows there.
It's as if they're welcoming a state guest.
When the airship landed and the boarding ramp was lowered down, I heard a live performance from behind the knights.
Looks like there's an orchestra behind them.
I walked with the girls on the spread carpet in the courtyard, then I saw a familiar face when the front gate opened.
"I have returned from duty, your highness Soltrick."
"Umu, good work returning back, Viscount Pendragon."
I was surprised to see first prince Soltrick coming to meet us for some reason.
I already knew that the prime minister, princess Sistina and Shiga Eight Sword's Heim-shi were behind him because I had marked them, but I didn't put a marker on the prince.
Since princess Sistina was supposed to be staying in the royal capital's castle, she had gone back to her private room when our airship entered the capital sky.
Hikaru and the first seat of Shiga Eight Swords, Zeff Julberg the 『Infallible』 are standing by in the audience chamber with the king.
"Great teacher nanodesu."
Pochi and Tama lightly waved their hands to Heim-shi.
Heim had no reaction--no, the corner of his mouth was slightly raised, so he doesn't seem to hate the two at least.
Several of the knights who were in the line were trembling while averting their faces, they apparently didn't know he could make that face.
Un, do your best to endure it.
When prince Soltrick walked beside me in friendly manners, the jealous gazes from some of his close aides were a bit irritating.
I'm not gonna take your prince away, so stop with those gazes.
We walked through the passage and separated from them in front of a thick door leading to the audience chamber.
Two senior royal guard knights wearing ceremonial full armor are standing in front of the shut door, crossing their gaudy halberds.
When a bell-like sound could be heard from inside the door, the two pulled away their halberds and turned to us.
Four pages pushed the door open behind them.
"Vice Minister of Tourism Ministry, Viscount Pendragon, enter."
I replied with a silent bow and stepped inside the audience chamber.
Since the place I was before was a bit dim, the light pouring from the skylight slightly dazzled my eyes.
My view returned to normal in an instant thanks to Light-Adjustment skill.
The king and Hikaru are already sitting on the thrones inside the audience chamber, the three dukes and cabinet ministers are standing on the wayside to the thrones.
The royal family, the prime minister and every one of Shiga Eight Swords are seemingly present too.
Usually, the king would have entered afterward, but for some reason he's already sitting here today.
"Uwah, lotsa big-shots here."
I heard Arisa's low volume muttering.
Since I can't look back, I use space magic [Distant View] to see behind, looks like the girls are all nervous.
I move my hand behind my back to signal them to [Relax].
The girls and I knelt down when we got before the two thrones where the king and Hikaru sat.
Come to think of it, Hikaru who's treated as a Duchess is sitting in a throne, is that okay?
Though since they're not hiding the fact that she's the Ancestor King and the three dukes and other nobles don't seem to mind it, I guess it is.
"Sir Pendragon, raise your face."
I raise my face at the king's order.
The king isn't wearing his usual attire but ceremonial dress that's usually reserved for coronation ceremony.
"In light of the great accomplishment you have done--"
Summarizing the long winded speech of the king, apparently, he's raising my peerage and position as a reward for slaying demon lord, and I'm also granted treasures and some privileges.
As for the peerage part, I'm going to become an earl, Earl Muno, my direct superior, will become a marquis, Liza will become a honorary viscount, and Lady Karina and other girls will become honorary baronesses.
Raising our peerage immediately like this without waiting for the Kingdom Conference in two months is a special exception for my distinguished service.
My position went up from Tourism vice minister to minister.
According to the king, countries who are quick with their intel have sent letters welcoming my visits.
The treasures were historical things, but most of them were related to Ancestor King-sama, so they weren't really of value. Hikaru herself is with us anyway.
I've gotten two privileges.
One is trade privilege that's related to foodstuff and spices--mainly tax exemption.
The other one is the right to establish a knight order, dunno what's this good for.
I don't plan to have a private military force, so the later probably won't ever be utilized.
According to marquis Kelten, who has strong connection with the military, knights who had heard about that beforehand replaced their armor with brand new ones in hope of entering into it, the blacksmith workshops in the capital were currently in full throttle.
I should spread news that knight order isn't happening before the blacksmiths die of overworking.
Victims from death march are better off left in my former world.
"Earl Pendragon, his esteemed is calling for you."
After coming out of the mentally fatiguing audience, a young man wearing page attire called out to me.
According to AR display, he seems to be a page of prince Soltrick.
"Who could that be?"
"You'll see for yourself."
What a blunt attitude.
The page began to walk as if it was only natural for me to follow him.
Un, I don't like this type.
"Everyone, go to where her highness Sistina is."
"Wouldn't it better if you're with me or Liza-san?"
"It's okay, it seems the one calling is the first prince."
I told that to the worried Arisa and the others.
"What are you doing! His highness is waiting!"
The page who noticed me not following him ran back and threw a tantrum.
He's terribly running out of breath.
Looks like he had walked off quite far.
"What is with your tone, you a mere servant toward his excellency the earl."
Liza retaliated by strongly hitting the tip of her magic spear on the floor.
The page cowered when he saw her angry look.
"D-demi human lowlife--"
The page seemingly couldn't forgive himself for that, and insulted Liza while bluffing with trembling voice.
"Ara? A mere servant who isn't even a noble dares to insult Viscount Kishresgalza? We should be allowed to give him a punishment here don't we?"
"Let's do it like, zunbararin, nodesu!"
Tama and Pochi extend one-handed sword sized Magic Edge out of their fingers.
Their smiles look evil.
The page turned pale and sweated profusely.
"What are you doing, Quonz!"
A man wearing Holy Knight attire appeared in the passage.
He seems to be one of the first prince followers too.
Tama and Pochi instantly erased the finger Magic Edge.
The page who found an ally recovered and clung to him.
"Don't touch me you fool!"
The holy knight who coldly shook off the page bowed lightly and opened his mouth.
"Your excellency Pendragon, I beg your forgiveness for this person's rudeness. His highness Soltrick is waiting, allow me to accompany you."
He said it like a request, but it really was an order.
I wasn't going to refuse if only they had acted this way from the beginning.
I don't dislike first prince Soltrick after all, and he's princess Sistina's older brother.
"I'll be going then."
I waved my hand to the girls and went with the royal guard knight toward the salon where the first prince was waiting.
"Congratulations, Earl Pendragon."
"Thank you very much, your highness Soltrick."
First prince Soltrick welcomed me full of smiles and invited me to a seat beside him.
The royal guard knight told the prince about the matter earlier and he curtly dismissed Quonz-kun the page.
It's been a while since I last saw a dry dismissal in a feudal society.
I pray that he won't have an unjustified resentment toward me.
"--I never thought you would subjugate Demon Lord together with the hero."
Oops, looks like the conversation advanced while I was reminiscing.
I should listen to him properly since simply throwing random remarks seems like it'll be bad here.
"I was only acting as a support for Hero-sama and his attendants."
"That is enough to be called Demon Lord Slayer. I know that you're friends with the hero, but I do not think that is enough for the imperial princess of Saga Empire to recognize you."
Did I ever tell them that I was Hero Hayato's friend?
--Can't remember ever doing so.
It's not like I'm hiding it though, so I don't mind.
"I had some private talks with his majesty. I will take over the throne in five year time. From this year on, I will gradually take charge of his majesty's work."
Hmm, having to bear the fate of a large country at 32 sounds tough.
I'll assist you from the shadow.
"And, capable personnels are needed for the stability of the throne."
Securing capable personnels was the key to victory in the Romance of Three Kingdoms and [The Ambition of Akechi Mitsuhide.]
"The majority of the current ministers and nobles of Duke Bishtal faction have sworn to support me."
The prince stopped there and powerfully stared at me.
His face looks like he wants me too guess something.
"You, after his highness going this far--"
The prince stopped one of his followers who stood up and glared at me.
"Sir Pendragon, become my retainer. Leave Marquis Muno side and be directly under me. Of course, I promise you further fame once you are my direct retainer."
"I am extremely honored, however, my lord is only one, his excellency Muno. I will have to decline your offer."
The earnest prince froze while looking taken back.
I'm sorry for him, but for me personally, Marquiss Muno is the ideal boss.
"A direct invitation from his highness!"
"You intend to rebel against Shiga Kingdom--"
The followers stood up with red faces ahead of the prince.
These young noblemen who are often hot-blooded are even at the point of pulling out their rapiers.
The prince stopped his aides with a firm voice.
He waited for his aides to sheathe their swords and sit down, and turned to me.
"To be honest, I had never thought that you would refuse."
The prince spoke with a shocked face.
From my perspective, his logic of thinking that I'd agree to it is the weird one instead.
"Do you think I am unfit to be the king?"
According to the prime minister and Hikaru, he seems to be much more capable than the current Shiga King right after his enthronement.
"I do not wish for fame."
I'm sure I said this already when I met him for the first time back then.
"Are you really saying that, after becoming an earl at that age and even a minister?"
The prince seemed astounded hearing what I said.
I mean, I didn't wish for neither.
Telling him that seemed like it would only worsen the situation, so I brushed it off with a Japanese-like vague smile.
"I understand. If you don't want to be my subordinate, be my friend instead."
I can finally assent with the prince.
He's princess Sistina's older brother after all, I can give as many OK as he wants if it's just being a friend.
"I will be visiting Duke Oyugock sooner or later. Be present as my friend then."
That wasn't really a way to talk with a friend.
Since he was educated to be the candidate of king of a large kingdom, this might be his usual attitude.
"Well then, Bodan will get in touch with you once the schedule is set."
The prince left his seat after saying that.
The prince was going to walk away with his followers, but then he looked like he remembered something and turned around.
"I will be attending my little sister's wedding ceremony. Tell the date to my head aide."
After saying that unilaterally, he left the salon.
By little sister wedding ceremony, is he talking about me and princess Sistina?
That reminds me, there's only two months before the one year time limit passes.
The king didn't say anything about it too, perhaps the thing about me being the princess's fiance was a joke.
I left the salon while escaping reality as such.
"""Your excellency Pendragon! Let me work under you as a retainer!"""
"Earl-sama! Please come to the dance party in my house!"
Civil and military officials, nobles wearing expensive looking clothes, and ladies-in-waiting and maids who seemed confident about their figures were waiting outside the salon.
Dealing with them seemed like it would be oddly tiring, so I fully opened the Japanese Smile, told them "I have some urgent business to do, do excuse me."
"""Your excellency Pendragon! Let me join your knights!"""
"I-I can use magic edge! Allow me to join your excellency Mithril Knights!"
I took a turn in a passage, and now holy knights and knights of another fiefdom, all men, flooded me.
All of them had bloodshot eyes, they're a bit scary.
There was even someone who arbitrarily decided upon the knight order name among them.
I turned toward the voice on the side and met eyes with Tama who showed up from a shadow on the floor of a narrow passage intended for servant use.
I jumped into Tama's shadow at the same time I went into the narrow passage, moving to my mansion in the royal capital.
I throw myself into the sofa in the private room and sigh.
"You saved me."
"Don't worry be happy~?"
I pat the head of Tama who has curling up on my lap and thank her.
The effect of [Demon Lord Slayer] is quite huge.
I have a feeling that it might take a while before I could visit the capital's Tenion Temple and ask about a way to communicate with the gods.
※ Next update is planned for 7/9
● For people who can't remember first prince Soltrick, please refer to [13-23. Outcome of the Tea Party]