16-3. Imperial Princess Marriage
Satou here. In my elementary school days, I was taught that rain in a a fine weather was the [Fox's Wedding]. I remember finding it mysterious and having an image about it in my mind. For some reason, it was a girl with fox ears in kimono though.
"It has been a while Earl Pendragon."
"Excuse me for my long silence, countess Litton."
The day after the ball, I was invited to a tea party by a friend of Marchioness Ashinen, the wife of Labyrinth City's viceroy--Countess Litton, one of the influential nobles in the royal capital.
"You were a chevalier when we first met, but we're of equal standing now. Maybe you'll climb past me by next year."
The countess spoke in a tone that could be either joking or serious.
"That won't be happening. My peerage won't go up further than now."
"My? Does that mean you really won't become his majesty's or prince Soltrick's retainer?"
The countess was surprised with rounded eyes to hear me.
With her intelligence network, she should have known about it already, she's probably confirming it now.
And my choice still managed to surprise the countess who had prior knowledge about it.
I was led to the center of the countess's tea party.
To the seats where her close high ranking noble friends are sitting.
The first half of the topic was mainly about Hero Hayato and demon lord slayer thing.
It was the same thing I narrated in the first prince's salon yesterday, recomposed to put emphasis in things the ladies would like.
Since it was popular with them, I deemed it good.
"Satou-sama was visiting the south sea when the Divine Punishment happened right? Were the sea monsters coming to attack too there?"
"Yes, I beheld a fight between a kraken that was as big as a small island and the local army."
"Did Sir Pendragon participate in the fight?"
"I only helped a little. Since the ship I was riding on had cannons on board."
I didn't use them though.
"My, so there were heroic tales over there too."
"Hero Nanashi-sama and his Golden Knights were also playing an active role in the mid southern of Shiga Kingdom you see."
"Is that right, I would love to see it for myself."
I could see it to a degree using distant view magic, but only the outlines.
The brownies who accompanied the girls had recording machines with them.
"The smaller countries at the western part of the continent are apparently still in confusion by the monster stampedes from the Divine Punishment."
"There aren't many rumors about Saga Empire at the northern part of the continent are there."
"I mean, that country has a lot of warships and strong knights at their disposal."
"And it's said that they also house many holy swords and holy relics left behind by heroes-sama of the olden."
I see, the popular belief is that, besides at the western part of the continent, the situation is stabilizing.
Additionally, people believe that the weasel empire at the eastern part of the continent has been annihilated, and only Dejima Island remains.
In fact, the parishes on the edge of Weasel Empire are still going strong, but that doesn't seem to be known.
"Let us leave all the exaggerated talk to the men."
The countess changed the topic when it was the time for the cakes to come.
I'm also a man, but for some reason, I was included in her frame.
"Sir Pendragon, you were quite popular last night weren't you?"
The countess who attended the ball yesterday touched upon that topic.
So cruel, even though she knew that I was covered in little girls besides my family.
"I heard that his excellency Bishtal gathered the best of beauties among his relatives, was there anyone who caught Sir Pendragon's eyes?"
The countess asked with a smile on her face.
Looks like she also knew about the harassment yesterday.
"There was a lot of unique ladies."
To the point I want to interrogate Duke Bishtal just from where did he gather them.
"One of my lovers told me this--"
A voluptuous lady sitting on the same table as me started to talk in sexy voices.
"--The rumor about Holy Mobile Armor is spreading again."
<TLN: Changed Living to Mobile as it's more correct, might change again depending on the context.>
The lady winked at me.
I'm sure she knows about the bet I did in the first prince's salon.
"Isn't it right, Sir Pendragon."
She urged me with sexy voice when I tried to ignore her, so I stated what happened yesterday.
I told them about how I bet a diamond key with a joke circuit inside for the fact that Holy Mobile Armor does exist, while the other nobles bet their rights, mines and things like that.
"My, even if they knew they were winning, everyone acted like a child."
One of the ladies got angry at the nobles who participated in the bet.
These ladies also seemingly think that there's no chance of the Holy Mobile Armor getting found.
"Lord Pendragon, please show us the diamond key you're betting."
"Yes, I don't mind."
I readily consented to a young lady's request, took the diamond key out of my breast pocket and put it on the table.
"What a big diamond."
"Moreover, it's so beautifully crafted."
"The delicate craft is wonderful indeed, but there's something resembling a magic circuit inside it too."
"This must be an artifact from the age of gods."
The ladies all were staring at the key while exchanging words in excitement.
The breast area of the lady sitting in front of me is getting dangerous, so I slightly avert my line of sight.
"Satou-sama, what kind of power does this artifact hold?"
"As far as my investigation goes, it's 『It has no effect by itself. It's possible that there is another magic device to pair it with.』"
Possibility is infinite after all.
I smile at the lady who looks befuddled, and put my mana onto the magic circuit made from blue liquid inside the key to show off its beautiful pattern.
"I wonder if it's a holy relic?"
"Oh how wonderful isn't it?"
"No wonder the men went wild with their bet."
The ladies are watching blue light coming from the key in rapture.
You can make one with colored glass and light stone if you only prepare an earth magician and a magic tool engineer though.
The countess gave me an info in a low voice on my way back from the tea party.
The third prince, Sharlick has escaped from the northern monastery and is currently missing.
Feels like it's been a while since I heard someone with Sharlick name besides the second king.
"We came to school nodesu!"
"Sensing the presence of young organisms so I report."
The day after the tea party, I've come to the royal academy child school along with Tama, Pochi and Nana in their disguise sets.
I tried to invite the other girls, but Lulu didn't seem to have good memories about school and had a sorrowful look on her face, Liza obstinately objected with, "It is unnecessary for me."
Lady Karina who needed the education the most declined, "I don't wanna go to school at this age desuwa", and when I consulted princess Sistina, she told me that she's going to participate in a training for homemaking associate along with Sera and Zena-san.
I indirectly told her that my feeling was directed solely to Aze-san, but princess Sistina and Sera said to me, "We know", while smiling nicely.
I wanted to ask them what kind of meaning did that "We know" contain, but since I felt like that would be stirring a hornet's nest, I kept my silence.
"It's smaller than knight school nodesu."
"Small things are good so I inform."
I head to the headmaster room while taking the three who are looking around restlessly.
The last time I came here was during Shiro and Crow's enrollment.
"Welcome to our school, your excellency Earl Pendragon."
"It's been awhile, headmaster-dono."
I put down my hood and bowed like a noble to the headmaster.
Tama and Pochi mimicked me.
"I thought they were Kishreshgalza sisters, but it appears I was mistaken."
Today, Tama and Pochi are using transformation sets to turn into different catkin and dogkin from their usual selves.
At first, Arisa insisted that they should disguise into cat earkin and dog earkin, but since the two said that they didn't like having their fur repressed, I prioritized their wish.
Nana is using a normal disguise mask and a red wig.
"To tell you the truth, headmaster--"
I told him about the three's identities and that they were in disguises to not hinder their education.
"I see--your excellency is right in his judgment. I swear that I will keep quiet about their secret for the sake of their study."
"I'm grateful for your understanding."
I said my thank for the headmaster's goodwill.
Afterward, a female teacher explained to us about the study method and our business was over.
Holding Nana back from barging into the classrooms was the slightly difficult part.
Since they're going to enter Shiro and Crow's class starting tomorrow, I should tell Shiro and Crow and ask them to rein on Nana.
"Mabudachi is there too nodesu!"
Tama and Pochi found their friends from the knight school.
Tama's tail stood straight up, Pochi's tail wagged so hard it looked like it would flew off.
I caught the belts of the two who were about to jump, stopping them.
"Bullying is bad nanodesuyo?"
I'm at a loss as to how to explain to the two who were tilting their heads.
"You two are in disguise right now--"
I hesitated to say 'so you can't go'.
"Nyu nyu nyu~?"
"Getting found out is no good nanodesu?"
Tama and Pochi lowered their eyebrows sorrowfully.
Eh isn't it fine?
Their friends should be able to keep it a secret, and even if they get found out, I'll just have lots of dummy dogkin and catkin children going to the school and slip them into the crowd in new disguises.
And above all, learning from failures is necessary for children.
The two ran straight to their friends when I gave them the permission.
"That's a high speed airship of Saga Empire."
I muttered while looking up at an elegant-looking airship that was descending.
I was summoned to the royal castle the day after Tama and Pochi renewed their old friendship.
According to Hikaru who informed me earlier, a delegation from Saga Empire was coming to visit.
Hero Meiko who got many serious injuries to the point that she almost turned invalid due to Zaikuon War has already returned to Saga Empire.
The delegation's purpose is probably delivering a letter of commendation for the matter about Hero Meiko's recovery.
"That's an airship exclusive to royalty."
First prince Soltrick muttered flatly.
He didn't speak further so his aides also kept their silence.
It's a bit uncomfortable.
I knew from the AR information that the Second Imperial Princess Maryest Saga--the emperor's little sister since she's acting as the emperor's delegation, was on board the airship.
She was probably dispatched because she was related to hero.
After the airship had landed and the wind calmed down, the first prince stepped outside the airport building.
I followed one step behind him.
The side of the airship opened and girl who was around highschooler age showed herself up in a pure white dress.
She's not princess Maryest.
"Nice to meet you, your imperial highness Trimenus. Welcome to Shiga Kingdom."
The first prince greeted the imperial princess.
Looks like she's a niece of princess Maryest.
"Thank you for your reception. Your highness Soltrick. I'm deeply honored to be graced by your presence."
"Let us not talk standing in such a place. This way to the castle."
The first prince brushes off his mantle grandly and walks to lead the imperial princess.
"Ara? Satou is here to greet us too?"
"It's been awhile your highness Maryest."
Ms Maryest who was wearing black dress like she was mourning addressed me candidly
"Has Rin returned to Shiga Kingdom too?"
Lady Ringrande was treated by Echigoya Firm when I took her under my protection along with Hero Meiko, but she went with Hero Meiko to Saga Empire as an escort when I sent the hero back there.
Judging from Ms Maryest's way of talking, Lady Ringrande probably left Saga Empire before she departed on the airship.
I lightly search the map.
Lady Ringrande seems to be in the vicinity of Oyugock Dukedom's Mountain Grapevine.
Her dot isn't moving, she's probably doing something at Mountain Grapevine.
I lightly use [Distant View] magic to look at her, she's looking down at the great river from atop of a boulder.
Is it just my imagination or does she look melancholic.
"I haven't looked into it, but since Oyugock Dukedom party are in the royal capital, I will ask them later."
We followed behind the imperial party while having that conversation.
My Attentive Ears skill picked the secret talk between the imperial princess who turned around and glanced here and her lady-in-waiting.
"This was the first time I saw Aunt Maryest intimately conversed with someone besides Hero-sama."
"That person is Viscount Pendragon-sama who subjugated the demon lord together with Hero Hayato-sama."
"My, that is the one? He's quite young isn't he."
"He's the same age as my lady."
The imperial princess steals a glance here in a different meaning than earlier.
It'd be rude of me to ignore her so I smiled back once.
"Satou, do you prefer a quiet girl like that more than a girl like Rin?"
Ms Maryest asked in whisper.
The imperial princess who seems normal looks preferable compared to the siscon Lady Ringrande who's hard to handle.
"Both of them are beautiful, but I don't fall in love with younger girls."
Ms Maryest is 22, so from my point of view she's also younger.
She feels older than that since she's composed though.
"Really? I heard that men prefer younger girls though?"
"It depends on the person. I personally prefer girls that are older than me."
Specifically about 100 million year old.
Ms Maryest closed the topic after that.
Afterward, they announced their gratitude and conferred medals to me for my contribution in the demon lord subjugation in the royal audience chamber.
Different from the medal I got from the previous Emperor, Rugan, this time I got several kinds of medals from Saga Empire's new emperor and a document acknowledging me as a Saint from Parion Temple.
They offered honorary noble peerage for me, but I refused that one.
Trimenus the imperial princess who's acting as the ambassador seems to be a candidate for the first wife of the eldest son of the next king, First Prince Soltrick.
The imperial princess is 16 so she's come to age, but the eldest son of the first prince is still 10, thus she's treated as his fiancee for the time being.
According to an aide of the first prince, some were clamoring for Ms Maryest to be put forth as a candidate for the first prince's wife, but since the hierarchy of his wives would get complicated then, it was settled with having Trimenus as a candidate for the first wife of the son.
It seems you need a sufficient standing in order to become a spouse of a Saga Empire's royalty.
"Shrimp tempura cooked by Satou-dono are special after all."
"Nein! Satou-dono's red ginger tempura is the supreme one!"
Evening of the day of Saga Empire's reception, we, [Team Pendragon] was invited to a ball held in Duke Oyugock's royal capital mansion.
We were supposed to be the guests of honor, but I'm doing the cooking with Lulu in order to evade marriage proposals in the ball reception.
Marquis Lloyd and Earl Haku have become the barricade.
I could hear clamors from the mansion's entrance.
The ball hall's door opened with a thud and a beauty in knight attires showed up.
Lady Ringrande who was in Mt. Grapevine this noon went around to greet nobles of Oyugock Dukedom while smiling vigorously.
She's fast, even with Flying Horse.
She might have gotten a new kind of ride.
"Grandfather, father, it has been awhile."
"Rin! You're alive!"
Lady Ringrande's father hugs her while shedding tears.
"You've done well to complete your mission. I'm proud of you."
The duke had tears on the corner of his eyes even while announcing that dignifiedly.
It appears Lady Ringrande didn't come home and went straight to support hero Meiko after the demon lord subjugation.
While I was warmly watching that scene full of familial love, the tempura had disappeared into the belly of gourmet nobles of Oyugock Dukedom, and I was taken away to an after party to commemorate, organized by Toruma.
The after party in this world is something like a drinking party, so I've urged the girls go home ahead of me.
"You're really, you never change even after becoming demon lord slayer do you?"
"Humans don't change that easily."
Lady Ringrande who brought an expensive looking wine bottle with her plopped down beside me.
While I was sipping the wine glass, Lady Ringrande told me about what happened to Hero Meiko after she returned to Saga Empire.
"She was a bit unstable emotionally, but she did her job and went around to visit places where many disasters happened due to monsters together with Parion Temple's priests to offer help."
After saying that in normal tone, Lady Ringrande pulled my ear and told me extra info.
"Saga Empire has summoned other heroes besides Meiko. I don't know the exact number but I'm sure it's not only one. They have at least summoned more than two heroes."
Un, I knew.
"Hero summoning requires an enormous amount of mana and prayer to gods. They shouldn't have been able to easily do the summoning like this. Perhaps, the empire meddled in something they shouldn't put their hands on...."
Lady Ringrande muttered while looking anxious.
She looks really sexy, but please at least realize that you're at a distance where I can feel your breath.
The nobles around us have been sending curious glances like crazy here.
"Oh Rin! I have no objection if your marriage partner is Pendragon!"
The drunken duke instigated, and the other nobles were quick to follow suit.
"That's a good idea! Satou's and Rin's child is sure to be a hero that leaves marks in the history!"
Toruma who reeked of alcohol hugged the two us who then got glued together.
"That sounds nice. If Hayato isn't here--"
Lady Ringrande muttered while looking anguished, and then she leaned coquettishly on me.
She looks quite wasted.
The surroundings sent high pitched screams and hoarse booing here.
But you guys were cheering just now, so cruel.
The duke and Lady Ringrande's father look satisfied.
I heard those voices from the hall's entrance.
I saw the impregnable fortress pair and Sera who came to get me coming here at a quick pace with indignant look on their faces.
You girls, this is an act of god you see.
※ Next update is planned for 7/23
※2017/7/18 Revised wrong relationship between Hero Meiko and Satou
※2017/7/18 Since she's acting as the emperor's ambassador Princess⇒Emperor's little sister, Imperial girl⇒ Princess.