17-3. Garden Party (2)
Satou here. The original works of famous picture book stories sometimes have grotesque part in them. Though the gore, bad environment and unfortunate ending may have a point for moral lessons, I'd prefer pointless bad ends that only serve to worsen your overall impression of the work to stop.
"Oh I know that one!"
Someone reacted to the ominous-sounding term, "End of the World", uttered by princess Maryest.
"It's a line the Demon God said to hero in the 『Hero Bridegroom』 desuwa!"
Lady Karina who was competing for jerky with Pochi and Tama walked here with eyes sparkling.
She must be eager to join in a conversation about heroes topic she loves so much.
"Yes, that's correct."
Princess Maryest gave a confirmation.
"I expected no less from the daughter of Marquis Leon Muno, the leading expert of hero research. The line was only written in the first edition, as such only a few know it."
"Our family has the first edition of the book granted to us by His Majesty! 『Hero Bridegroom』 story is my favorite, I can recite all the scenes I love just from memory!"
This [Hero Bridegroom] the girls are talking about is apparently a fairy tale featuring the first generation Hero who founded Saga Empire as the protagonist.
The story is divided by first and later parts, the first part depicts the hero working together with God Parion who made her advent into a mortal body to clash against the demon god who was leading seven demon lords, and then banishing them to the moon beyond the void. The ominous sounding line earlier is said by the losing demon god to the hero during the climax.
The latter part plays exactly like the title suggests, it's about the hero clearing trials of the gods until he got invited to the Realm of Gods as a demi god, in order to marry God Parion.
Perhaps the black haired man who stopped the revival of Demon God at Saga Empire was the first generation hero--naw, no way. Mixing fiction and reality wouldn't even be a good joke.
That reminds me, I once read Pochi and Tama a picture book with similar story but the content differed a bit. At the very least, no dangerous sounding words like [End of the World] came up.
That picture book probably underwent a lot of revisions to make it suitable for children.
"So, just what's this 『End of the World』 really anyway?"
Arisa urged impatiently.
"Demon god said this to hero--"
Lady Karina adjusts her tone and recites the demon god's line by memory.
『Such futile attempts. No matter how many times you are reborn, your wish shan't ever be granted.』
--Just getting reborn is a no no. The lifespan of gods is just different from mortals, you see.
Overlapping with Lady Karina's voice, someone's else voice resurfaced in my mind.
『No, that can't be! I will definitely make it happen! Even God wills it!』
『It matters not what the little goddess desires, human cannot be as god.』
--Gods aren't omnipotent enough to hand out divinity whenever they want, you see.
I can't remember just when did I hear those words.
『Be it hundreds, thousands together, tis' a feat unattainable by a plebeian such as you.』
--If one portion of soul is not enough, you've just gotta piece together a whole lot of them.
The young sounding voice made a refrain in my mind.
Tama suddenly twined herself around my neck.
Tama is looking up at me with clear eyes.
The lines of sight of other girls have gathered at me as well.
Looks like I got lost in thought and missed Lady Karina's narration.
"Thanks, Tama. It's nothing."
The latter was for the girls who were looking at me anxiously.
"Sorry, I missed it halfway through. So what is this 『End of the World』 anyway?"
"It can't be helped. I'll go through it once again for you."
Without looking offended in the least, Lady Karina recited back the story.
Looks like I was lost there for quite a while from the [hundreds, thousands] part.
The problematic words turned up when the demon god was getting banished to the moon by a jet black holy sword created by the dragon god.
『O Hero, fearsome hero who surpasses even me, demon god. Powerful you may be, end of the world shall cometh as a fate unaltered withal.』
『End of the world? As long as I'm alive, I won't let you guys do as you please to this world God cherishes!』
『Listen well, o my nemesis. In the distant future, there be three great demon lords who attempt to lay waste upon the world. Take heed for that is the bell tolling the end of the world.』
『This world won't end! As I will become god's familiar and protect the world!』
『Then you shall prove those words. I shall rise again at the eve of the [End of the World]. Let us meet again hath you truly succeeded ascending to God's Throne.』
I see, an omen for the [End of the World] is supposed to be the appearances of the three great demon lords, the [Golden Wild Boar King], the [Dog-head Ancient King], and [Goblin Demon Lord].
"Then perhaps that black-haired man was..."
Arisa put on a look on her face like she was going to take the fiction seriously and claim that the black-haired man who stopped the demon god's revival was the first generation hero.
"It's just a fiction, Arisa."
If the first gen. hero really managed to become a demi-god, Aze-san would have cited him as a successful example when I asked her about god's ascension.
Hikaru points at herself.
Oh right, Hikaru managed to propel herself 600 years into the future from the founding of Shiga Kingdom by means of a magically-induced artificial hibernation.
The first gen. hero is someone from an era twice as far back as that, but surviving this long should be feasible by using rejuvenating medicine multiple times.
"Master! They have a champagne tower set up over there, so I inform."
"Master, it's amazing nodesu! It's super duper amazing nodesu!"
"Master, they are preparing a whole roast of Dragon Snake (Naga) over there. Would you like to go check it together?"
Nana, Pochi and Liza blew away the heavy mood around us with their cheerful voices.
"Lulu is the one adjusting fire on that whole roast, so please if you could!"
"Thank you, well then, let's go check it out everyone."
When I think about it, even if the first generation hero is still alive today, it changes nothing.
Would rather if the demon god doesn't get revived though.
"Master, this roast was sponsored by everyone from Echigoya Firm."
All members of Echigoya Firm are present next to Lulu.
"Lord Pendragon, congratulations for the formation of your private knights."
"Thank you, General Manager Elterina."
When I thanked her, she closed her eyes, looking deeply moved.
"Congratulations, Lord Pendragon. We are truly grateful that you would order Bridal Knights' equipment through us."
Tifaliza who was accompanying the manager thanked me with her usual sagacious eyes.
The wedding dress-fashioned dress armor had its final assembly and decoration finished at Echigoya Firm, probably to hide it from me.
"I never would have thought that those who do not excel in combat prowess could join the private knights as well."
Tifaliza murmured in a voice so low I couldn't have picked it up without the [Attentive Ear] skill.
Her eyes were set at Miss Rina the governor rep of Brighton City.
"Ah, she will be in charge of managing the private knights' stronghold."
Perhaps Tifaliza would like to join the private knights?
"Then, would it be satisfactory if we take upon ourselves to manage the logistics?"
"That's a great idea!"
The manager was completely on board Tifaliza's idea.
Looks like both the manager and Tifaliza wanted to join in the knights.
Though it will likely invite suspicions about my relation with Kuro, people already regard me as either [The other Nanashi], or [Dragon's Avatar aiding Nanashi] or [One of Hero Nanashi's Subordinate] anyway, it's way too late to fuss over that.
Besides, I should reward these girls for always working hard behind the scene as the [Unsung Heroes].
I nod at the two who look up at me anxiously.
"Very well, I'll entrust our logistics and maintenance of equipment to Echigoya Firm."
"Thank you very much!"
"We will exert our very best to serve you."
The manager and Tifaliza's smiles bloomed.
"We will inform the other members as well."
"More importantly, gotta make additional orders for dress armor!"
The two left after saying, "Please excuse us, Ku--Lord Pendragon!"
Don't tell me, they wanted to join Bridal Knights solely because they wanted to wear the dress armor.
"They must be over the moon."
I agree with Arisa who muttered thus as they left.
They even almost referred me as Kuro by mistake after all.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"Haa, that was fun, and tiring~"
Arisa plopped down in the sofa while sighing, "Heave-ho."
"The bath is ready and all, how about soaking our fatigue away in it."
"Master, let's go in together."
"Wash your back~?"
"Pochi will wash to nodesu! Pochi is a pro at washing back nanodesuyo!"
The youth troupe invited me to a bath, but since I wanted to do a bit more light work on the stuff I was doing before the ceremony, I declined their offer.
Looking outside through the window, I saw the full moon clad in a dim purple light.
"It's the purple moon."
I parroted Hikaru's murmur to ask her back.
"I guess it's a kind of good omen? Because it's said that the purple color signifies that the demon god is rampaging around trying to break out of its seal."
"It's trying to break out yet it's a good omen?"
"Un, it is. Since the fact that it's trying to break out means 『The Demon God's seal has not come undone』."
That's one way to look at it--.
Hikaru smiled at me as I nodded and followed after the other girls to the bathroom.
I look at the moon again.
In the first place, is the demon god really sealed?
To the extent of my knowledge, the demon god has partially summoned his hair, and has been handing out his fragments to reincarnated people even now.
"Guess I'm overthinking it..."
If he wasn't sealed, the great weasel demon lord and goblin demon lord wouldn't have attempted to unseal him.
If I had to say, guess it's like the gap on the seal is loosening?
I aborted my thought process which was heading to a weird direction.
Gotta be careful not to raise some unnecessary flag and get the seal broken.
"Master, you have a visitor."
I was woken up by a maid and went to the entrance--not the guest room for some reason--there, Heim of Shiga Eights Swords was waiting for me.
He's already putting on a dire face this early in the morning.
"Earl Pendragon, please pardon me for visiting so early. There is something I would like to show you."
※ Next update is planned for 2/24