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Okami wa Nemuranai 50.6

 6





Chubby came back just as Lecan and Eda finished having dinner.

"Welcome back, Chubby-san."

"It's Gwislan. I have returned."

Chubby took the gold coin bag Lecan gave him.

"I ended up using 25 gold coins. Here is the rest."

"Keep it with you. No telling when you're gonna need them."

"I understand. Now then, for the report. The impetus for all this was Lady Rubianafale."

"What?"

"On Kingdom Year 116, Lady Rubianafale was married to House of Shadrest, awoke to <Purification> and then was named as <Maiden of Solace>. Chief, how much do you know about <Maiden of Solace>?"

"It's like a saint recognized by temple or something. Dunno the detail."

"Then allow me to explain. The history of <Maiden of Solace> was a history of Yufu Kingdom itself since time immemorial, those maidens led Holy Yufu Kingdom to prosperity through their prayers. Whenever the previous maiden was nearing her death, the next maiden would emerge. The succession was not through bloodline, one maiden of the temple would simply awoke to <Purification>."

"Hou. That's curious."

"But then, around the founding of Zaka Kingdom, <Maiden of Solace>'s succession ceased to be. The Holy Kingdom immediately experienced a long bout of famine that brought it down to its knee. Submitting to Zaka Kingdom was what afforded the Holy Yufu Kingdom to survive."

"Hmm?"

Could they have been bringing food from outside? However, even with <Boxes> around, could you really bring enough amount to support the entirety of this vast land. And were there really territory lords who could offer that much food back then.

"As such, Yufu's citizens had always harbored a desire to revive Holy Kingdom of Yufu deep in their heart. Radical factions of nobles who would work toward independence were always around to a degree. That was when Lady Rubianafale showed up and named as <Maiden of Solace>. She then performed the first complete form of <Rite of Harvest> in more than 100 years, after which Yufu experienced a grand harvest the same year. Yields from the forest and the lake were unlike anything before it as well. Then the next year surpassed even that and the year after that broke the record once again. This was fall last year. People began raising voices, saying they don't need to submit under Zaka Kingdom anymore."

"I see. And."

"On the 22nd of month nine, Dungeon Knights began their expedition into Dungeon Yufu."

Dungeon Knights would go into Dungeon Yufu after the harvest period, then they would come back out around the end of month four or the beginning of month five. Bringing back heaps upon heaps of items. That is their duty as Dungeon Knights.

"Immediately following that, Viscount Hokkori Bono passed away. Do you know who Viscount Bono is?"
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Nah."

"There are three viscounts serving the Marquis House here, House of Viscount Rukka is in charge of dungeons, House of Viscount Bono takes cares of administration, and House of Viscount Waido deals with public order.  Hokkori Bono was a moderate, he was the person who had been keeping radical factions in check."

"I see."

"Viscount Waido is the forerunner of the radical factions. He also holds the command on Peacekeeping Knights. After the death of Viscount Hokkori Bono, he started mobilizing the Peacekeeping Knights. They gathered en masse at District Makana, District Holt, and District Galila, occupied the place where the townlord was staying and urged him to declare independence. Several members of Yufonia upper echelons were in on it too."

"So Peacekeeping Knights worked under Viscount Waido."

"Of course. Viscount Waido was the person who pressed the townlord for independence."

"Did Viscount Bono not have a successor."

"Naturally he had one. Viscount Rukkori Bono. The strangest thing with this heir is that he has declared his full support of Viscount Waido."

"Hou. Guessing he's a debauchery son then."

"No, apparently that's the weirdest part. According to another source of mine, Viscount Rukkori Bono respected his late father a great deal, he wasn't the type of person who would put shame on his father's name."

"That's just humans, they backstab when they can. Especially when the person keeping you in line is gone."

"I suppose that's true. Now then, the Peacekeeping Knights might have occupied the townlord's palace, but the situation had not escalated into armed conflicts yet at this point. Peacekeeping Knights dispatched their members in all of Yufonia, asking sympathizers among the populace to beg the townlord to declare their independence. Drumming, 'Now is the time for the return of Holy Yufu Kingdom.' all over the place"

"I see. And then?"

"Lord Knights only consist of 30 individuals, at the time they were protecting the townlord. But Peacekeeping Knights have 500 knights, 1000 squires and 50 mages under them. Various nobles dispatched their knights to help but this was when the unforeseen happened. The Southern House declared their support for radical faction."

"Southern House?"

"Yes, Southern House of the south tower. It's a branch family headed by the older brother of Yufu's current lord, Parkuglein Shadrest-sama. They are known as Southern House."

"The older brother is a branch family?"

"He has a weak constitution, see. It's said that he wouldn't have had his first birthday had he not born in House of Yufu's lord. Thus the branch family was established, but he was also granted the <Southern Tower>, signifying his higher standing. He's married. The pair couldn't conceive children, thus they adopted a son from a relative. This adopted son is the current head of Southern House, Geitglein Shadrest-sama."

"Sounds like a bigshot with lots of authority."

"Geitglein-sama is the leader of Assembly of Elders."

Assembly of Elders is a congregation that makes a careful deliberation on all proposals the three viscounts put forward toward the townlord. An assembly formed by 20 present heads of most upper ranking nobles in Yufu.

"Led by the Southern House, the majority of noble houses ended up allying themselves with the radical faction and the townlord was cornered in all directions. But this was when Knight Estfarin Umber showed up."

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 50.5

 5





They were led to a drug store that sells potions.

Red Potions, Blue Potions and Gold Potions were unavailable. Red and Blue Potions aren't sold to the public. As for Gold Potions, it's customary for the knight who obtained one to use it themselves. Naturally God Cure is not for sale either. The townlord owns the right to decide the usage of all God Cure.

All other types of potions were available. Even the usually rare Silver Potions.

"I see lots of Silver Potions."

"Ah, they are leftovers from the Knights."

"Knights make use of Silver Potions huh?"

"Oh not the knights themselves. Dungeon Knights' squires. New conscripts. Regularly taking these potions when they first start out their training will make them grow very strong later on. Silver Potions' growth promotant effects don't work that well once you've reached a certain point of strength."

"I see."

Lecan was surprised to witness Mana Restoratives and Stamina Restoratives being sold like it's normal. He tried taking one each.

Lecan checked up on other medicines' quality too. He was astonished at the great variety available here. The herbs were in good condition too. It's clear that they were processed well.

They went to a grocery store, all the vegetables sold were in pristine condition. Leafy vegetables were fresh and juicy, while root crops were well nourished. They bought a ton.

Eda is in charge of vegetables. She's also in charge of picking and preserving them. Her <Free Box> is home to many kinds of <Boxes> where different categories of items are put. She took those <Boxes> out and put the bought vegetables in them.

Knight Futsla opened his eyes in wonder.

"What is up with that <Box>? There is not even a bulge despite taking in so much."

"Ah, that's a <Free Box>, a new invention at Palcimo. These <Free Boxes> can hold big objects despite their small size. And this one's special even for a <Free Box>. As you can see, it can also hold several other <Boxes> inside. It's a nest-type <Free Box>."

"Small <Boxes> that can hold big objects. And a nest-type <Box>. And you're saying they are available at Palcimo?"

"And the <Free Box> Eda has on her also got this function to slow food rot."

"Eh. C-can you purchase one if you go to Palcimo?"

"Nah, probably not. We got ours from Guide Jiza Morfes of Palcimo Magic Research Institute, I don't think they're ready for sale yet."

During their conversation, the effects of Mana and Stamina Restoratives expired. Their effects don't last anywhere near as long as Shira-made ones. But it's still far better than the Mana Restorative made by something something apothecary Lecan bought at Tsubolt. And far cheaper.

After lunch time, Lecan went and bought up Mana and Stamina Restoratives. As their effects will degrade in five year, Lecan decides to prioritize using them before his homemade ones.

That reminds him, wonder how long Mana and Stamina Restoratives he learned to make from Shira can hold their efficacy. He never asked.

They went around buying more foodstuff in an attempt to buy time. They bought too much vegetables. The two of them can't possibly eat it all. They already stocked up a lot at Mashajain and Sopdemoa to begin with.

He gotta find a way to consume them. Lecan loathes to let food rot or waste them.

They came across stores that sold daily necessities and farming tools made from magic beast materials. All of good quality and cheap.

(They got lots of food.)

(And good quality stuff for daily lives.)

(Yufu is a bountiful place.)

"Oh yeah, Knight Futsla."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"How can I help you."

"Anywhere I can buy dungeon maps."

"They are not for sale. Dungeon interiors are kept confidential, and only Dungeon Knights' top people are allowed to have dungeon maps on them."

Yufu has three orders of knight. Dungeon Knights, Peacekeeping Knights, and Lord Knights.

Dungeon Knights consist of a group of 100 knights and a unit known as Colossus. Dungeon Knights are fully made up of elite. Items they procured from Dungeon Yufu helps sustain Yufu's bountifulness.

On the other hand, Peacekeeping Knights consist of 500 knights, 1000 squires and 50 mages. They mainly deal with regular culling of magic beasts in the vicinity and maintaining peace between the populace.

Lord Knights are far small in number than either groups of knights. They work at Yufu Castle.

There are other knights that serve under Noble Households besides these three, but their numbers aren't enough to form a chivalric order.

"Are there lots of magic beast types in the dungeons."

"Yes, so many you can't imagine. Almost all magic beasts that spawn in other Grand Dungeons, besides unique ones like <Magic Eating Birds (Iguaboafi)> of Dungeon Wado, <Salt Orbs (Wilij)> of Dungeon Eigis and such, can also be found in Dungeon Yufu. Not to mention magic beasts that have only been confirmed in Dungeon Yufu."

"Hou. Dungeon Yufu's unique magic beasts huh. What are those."

"There should be many types of unique magic beasts, but the specific one that spawns deep inside the dungeon has been confirmed to never spawn in any other dungeon."

"What's its name."

"It's strictly confidential to outsiders."

This unique magic beast is probably the magic beast that drops God Cure, and likely won't show up unless one goes deep inside Dungeon Yufu. Though Lecan is more interested in Great Flame Dragons.

"Where do Great Flame Dragons spawn?"

"I believe they appear in the direction of Rocky Mountains, but as I have never stepped foot inside the dungeon myself, I cannot say for sure."

"Really. That aside, I heard you can't use magic in Dungeon Yufu."

Knight Futsla smiled. An amicable smile.

"Yes."

"This one's not a secret huh."

"You will find out right away once you are inside anyway."

It's said that magic is unusable inside Dungeon Yufu. That appears to be the truth.

"What about magic tools?"

"Who knows. Some are usable or so I heard."

"So there are some that aren't?"

"No. That's not it. I'm not really informed on this topic myself."

Dungeon Yufu is said to be unbelievably vast. Randomly searching around likely won't get him to Great Flame Dragons.

(Rocky Mountain huh.)

(Not sure how much of that is trustworthy.)

(But it's a clue nonetheless.)

"You look like you're having fun."

"Hm?"

"It looks to me you're having so much fun when it comes to dungeons."

Lecan grinned.

"Yeah. It's fun."

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 50.4

 4





Chubby came back before they even finished dinner.

"That was fast. That's your dinner over there."

"Thank you. I took the opportunity to eat outside though."

"Then I'll have them."

"No. I will take it of course. My, this is quite a feast."

Chubby chowed down the meal and then washed it all down with water diluted roast liquor.

"That was great. This inn really has got some good food."

"So, Chubby-san, how was the town?"

"It's Gwislan, Mistress. About that you see, this was the most difficult it has been in my spy career. After all, everywhere I went, people would always go 'Haven't seen you around these parts.'"

"Well yeah, sounds right."

"No you see, it's not like they never had outsiders in. But the townsfolk know who and where those outsiders are from."

"They must ask your identity. What did you tell them?"

"I'm an attendant of a whimsical adventurer couple related to Marquis of Mashajain, I go around eating good food in all kinds of places and report it back to the Marquis House."

"I see. So have you found out what's going on?"

"It's independence."

"What?"

"They're trying to revive Holy Kingdom of Yufonia. All the townsfolk were ecstatic, saying that the time has finally come and the likes."

"Isn't that pretty much a revolt to the Royal Family?"

"Theoretically, yes it is."

"The three God Cures Yufu presents to the royal palace every year are important commodity to the royal family. Same can be said to materials from Great Flame Dragons, Eight-legged Great Fish, and Five-headed Serpents. And Yufu is way spacious. Them going independence will have a large ripple effect. I don't think they'd let them gain independence that easily, no?"

"Hee? Chief, you sure know a lot about that stuff. I'm not too well informed on political matters and such myself."

"I just learned about the gist of Yufu's history, geography and system at Wazrof. Dunno the details. Hold it. You said there were outsiders?"

"Yep. They would be merchants. They're here to stock up on medicines and herbs. Those stuff are apparently on a whole other level of good here. Those merchants are currently waiting until the checkpoint is open again."

"Ah. So they're not letting anyone inside out to prevent independence stuff leaking out huh."

"That is pretty much it. A manner of doing things that wouldn't have been possible anywhere else."

"Guess they're gonna keep us confined too then."

"Yep, they likely will."

(Still.)
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
(Is going independence.)

(Something you can do so openly?)

(Something's not right.)

"Fumu. So, Chubby. Did you find out why couldn't the royal envoy meet the marquis? And is Lady Rubianafale safe?"

"I have yet to find any trail regarding that matter. Chief."

"Hm?"

"This is just my gut feeling speaking. But I don't believe we can afford to take it slow here."

"Really. That makes two of us."

"May I have a hundred, no two hundred gold coins as fund?"

"Yea."

Lecan took a small <Box> bag full of gold coins from <Storage>.

"Here, take it."

"Thank you very much. I shall spare no expense. Okay then, I'll be off now. Can I count on you to stay in this inn tomorrow night?"

"Got it."

Chubby left from the window, vanishing into the night.

Knight Futsla came to fetch them the following morning.

He noticed that there were only Lecan and Eda, and asked a question.

"May I ask where your attendant is?"

"He hasn't come back since yesterday."

"Eh?"

"That guy's helpless. He'd tell you he's our attendant yet never attended to our need. He goes everywhere looking for good food. Hence, Chubby."

"O-okay."

"He'll record any good food he found and report it back to Wazrof. Wazrof keeps such records around as part of their research, see."

"Is that right. Then your attendant and the dungeon."

"He's never entering a dungeon. Woulda keeled over and died the second he did."

"Well then, I shall lead you two to the dungeon. I have your horses prepared."

"No, today's a shopping day."

"Wha?"

"The dungeon's entrance is on the hillside of Mount Yufu, yeah? Heard it takes two days to get there from here."

"Yes."

"Besides, the plan may be to leave once we've taken a good look inside the dungeon, but there's still chances we stay longer. Gotta buy up food first."

"Ah, yes indeed. You need to be in a big group of knights to go deeper inside, but exploring areas around the entrance may be better with a small group instead, as you won't attract the magic beasts that way. Please do take your time."

(That's one bare faced lie.)

(This guy wants us dead in the dungeon.)

In Dungeon Yufu, even weak magic beasts form a crowd of hundreds. To top it off, more magic beasts will keep coming while you're engaged with a group. Entering in a small group is akin to death wish.

"And besides, we've come all the way to Yufu. Can't pass up this chance to stock up on potions and medicines."

"I see. Well then, allow me to take you to good stores."

And thus, Lecan and Eda spent the entire day shopping around with knight Futsla as their guide.

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 50.3

 3





"Ooh. That's impressive. I can see where it got its impregnable reputation from."

There is a narrow slit on a huge cliff where the Spirit Spring Gate lies. It's a huge construct not unlike a castle more than a checkpoint. Behind it is a valley one must traverse through to get to Yufu.

The gate was closed, a guardsman opened a projected window and tried to shoo Lecan's group away. Lecan showed the Dylan Silver Steel-made Wazrof Medal, called himself a member of Wazrof and demanded for the gate to be opened.

Before long the side gate was opened, and from there a high ranking-looking knight came out.

"Ah yes. This is indeed House of Wazrof's coat of arms. Dare I presume you are an envoy of Marquis of Mashajain-sama?"

"No. I'm an adventurer. I go around exploring dungeons all over. Came here to take a look at Dungeon Yufu."

"Yufu is presently being ravaged by an epidemic. I cannot possibly expose Wazrof gentleman such as yourself to such danger."

"This Eda here is a <Purification> user. Eda."

"Un. <Purification>."

Eda lit up <Purification> on her fingertip and poured it on the knight.

"That's! I see indeed that is <Purification>."

"So yeah, we'll be fine. We've got all kinds of potions on us as well."

"H-however, Dungeon Yufu is impossible to traverse with just one or two people. You must be at least a group of 100 people. Just three of you going is a death wish. I must implore you to reconsider."

"I've conquered Dungeon Tsubolt and Dungeon Palcimo."

"Eh!"

"This Eda here has conquered Dungeon Palcimo as well."

"M-My goodness."

"Besides, we're not here to conquer Dungeon Yufu. Just wanna take a quick look in the dungeon."

"H-however."

The knight made his decision after some hesitation.

"I understand. You may pass. We will issue your pass now, please wait a moment."

After a while, the group was given this pass thing and told to hand it to the sentry at Yufonia Checkpoint.

Lecan, Eda and Chubby left Spirit Spring Gate into the valley path.

"Are you sure, Chief. Leaving that horse rider run off."

"It's out of range by now. Besides, killing or knocking them out will only spell trouble later."

"So it will."

During the time Lecan's group was made to wait for this pass, someone on a fast horse left the checkpoint. Lecan could hazard a guess as to what it was for.

"Well, no point in fussing over stuff. Let's just take it easy."

As they walked forward, Eda suddenly said something surprising.

"Lecan, you had such an impressive aura earlier on you."

"Aura?"

"Un. There would always be this oppressive aura whenever you were glaring even way back then, but you had this aura like, how do I put it, an upper ranking noble when you were talking with that knight earlier. I think that's why the knight let us pass."

"That's only cause I got Wazrof Medal on me."

"Yes, but that's not all. Knights tasked to guard places like that are super good at judging people you know."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Hmph."

After climbing up the southwestern path they proceeded northwest and on the third day of leaving Spirit Spring Gate, they came across the second checkpoint. Yufu Castle and Mount Ron behind it are visible from the checkpoint. And at this elevation, you have the grand spectacle of the entire Yufu Mountain System to your left.

"Fumu. It's gotten cooler here."

"Look at that, Lecan. That's snow, isn't it. I've never seen a snow covered mountain before."

The checkpoint is small and not to tall on both sides, but it's deep and solidly built. Beyond this checkpoint is the Walled City Yufonia. Once the capital of Holy Kingdom Yufonia.

Yufonia sits atop a steep plateau. The roads leading there are small and narrow, protected by solidly built barriers.

A vast basin beyond Mount Ron is where District Makana, District Holt and Disctrict Galila are located. They're full fledged cities in their own right. It's pretty much impossible to sneak into the three districts from outside. Simply put, the path Lecan's group is taking right now is the sole access point to Yufu.

Lecan's group got in the checkpoint.

"Lecan-dono from House of Wazrof. I am knight Futsla Vunto. I shall be your guide during your stay here."

"Really. For now, we'd like to get some rest. Can you lead us to our inn."

"Yes. We have your room prepared."

Once they were at the inn, Knight Futsla left them saying he would come fetch them again tomorrow.

The inn is small yet quite high class. As they can have their food delivered to their room, they did just that after taking a bath.

Lecan asked Chubby once they settled down in the room.

"Surely they've left some watchdogs."

"Yes, Chief. They have kindly prepared three surveillance in this inn."

"Hmph. Now then, Chubby. A young lady of Zaidmahl, Rubianafale, was married off to House of Yufu. Lady Rubianafale awoke to <Purification> at Yufu and became known as <Maiden of Solace>. I owe this young lady a great deal of debt. Hence I'm here. I just need to confirm her well being. Go investigate what's going on in this town right now."

"Understood. But it doesn't feel like the town is going through a rough time or anything."

"Yeah."

They were led straight to this inn from the checkpoint, but the town seemed peaceful on the way here. It was filled with vigor and laughter even. Akin to the merry atmosphere often seen before a festival.

"Doesn't look like there's an epidemic either."

"Right. And yet they barred outsiders from coming in."

"An envoy who came here last year couldn't see the marquis. They never sent back a return call or messenger either. Nor did they do a new year greeting to the royal family. Also, Rubianafale's father never received a response to letters he sent her."

"Hee? Then I guess there's something after all. I shall carry out some investigations."

"Hold it. Take a look at this."

Lecan took two maps from <Storage>.

The first map had Yufu Mountain System, Sopdemoa, Yufonia, Mount Ron, Mount Yufu, District Makana, District Holt, and District Galila drawn on it.

The other map had Yufonia city map, and Castle Yufu in the north bank, i.e. the 12 towers and four castles drawn as well as Mount Ron towering to the north of Yufonia. At the foot of Mount Ron is Lake Guen, then there's the temple to the northeast and Shadrest Mausoleum to the northwest.

Chubby glanced at the first map and took his time staring at the second map.

"I have them memorized. Thank you very much."

Chubby disappeared somewhere after returning the maps to Lecan.

Lecan and Eda took time enjoying bath and meals.

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 50.2

 2





After leaving Dungeon City Wado, they arrived at Sopdemoa in just three days time.

Sopdemoa is the biggest commercial city in the southern part of the kingdom. Goods from Gido and Smarc are brought to Sopdemoa first before they get distributed to the capital and other parts of the kingdom.

"Lecan. Did you know?"

"Know what."

"They say Sopdemoa's jewel craft is the best in Zaka Kingdom. And that some of the top jewelry stores in the kingdom are here in this town."

"Hou."

Lecan looked for a guard, showed him the Dylan Silver Steel-made Wazrof Medal, and asked him where the best inn in the town.

Then at that inn, he showed Wazrof medal again to get rooms and referral to the best jewelry store.

He was going to the store right away at first but Eda stopped him. She said she's not going there until after taking a bath and changing her attire.

The following morning, they got the inn transport them to the jewelry store on a wagon. Eda was wearing a noble lady attire. She said Heles gave it to her when Lecan asked.

At the store, Lecan showed Wazrof medal once again and handed over one platinum coin to the manager.

"Bring some jewelry that look good on this woman with this."

"Understood."

The manager brought back a luxurious-looking circlet and a ring that exuded an overwhelming presence.

"They are truly beautiful indeed. However, manager. I wish to wear gift from this person on me always. Will you show me a ring that doesn't look out of place on casual clothes, unwieldy and easy to move around with?"

"Acknowledged."

"Hold it. Ring is fine and all, but bring back one for casual clothes and another for special occasions."

"Acknowledged."

"Lecan..."

After quite some time, they decided on the two rings. The casual ring is a Grace Gear, it grants moisture to the wearer's skin, and heals dry skin. As Eda has <Purification>, such Grace Gear is unnecessary, but Lecan kept that thought to himself.

Eda insisted that he should buy rings for Norma as well. Another platinum coin and Eda chose a casual ring and a special occasion ring.

Eda's casual ring automatically fits its wearer but the three others would need refitting. In addition, Eda's casual ring couldn't have engraving added, but the rest got names and years engraved to signify them being presents from Lecan.

Eda's finger could be sized up in the store, but it wasn't possible with Norma. However, as Mashajain has a jewelry store connected to this store, the sizing would be done there instead.

"Well then, we'll take Eda's casual ring here. Send the rest to Mashajain and contact Wazrof Household."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Acknowledged."

They got back to their inn on their wagon and had late lunch. Afterward, Eda took Lecan out to go shopping for foodstuff.

"No. Wazrof stocked up a lot for us already."

"We don't get many chances to buy fresh vegetables, we'd better stock up some while we can. Also we're entering some mountains after this, and we might even head straight into Dungeon Yufu right?"

"Well yeah, I guess."

Eda received a specially made <Free Box> from Great Guide Jiza Morfes during Palcimo's escapade. It looks like a small bag but it can hold a lot of stuff and even other <Boxes>. On top of that, food don't rot as easily inside.

That night they enjoyed a grand feast at the inn and had a good sleep.

The following day, the two left Sopdemoa through the west gate toward Yufu.

Yufu is enclosed by four mountain ranges. Mountain Sherat in the north, Mountain Napa in the east, Mountain Holl in the south and Mountain Lampra in the west. These four are known as Yufu Mountain System, and only a narrow path between Mountain Sherat and Mountain Napa exists.

This narrow highway is known as Yufu Highway, and while it's part of the Dungeon Highway, the path is nigh impassable by wagons. A winding narrow path that's awfully hard to walk on, as if it's rejecting interactions with outside world.

They traversed through a mountain for the whole day, then at their camp in the next morning, Chubby showed up.

"Chief. Crossing the mountains is out of question after all. I need to go pass the Spirit Spring Gate to get in."

Spirit Spring Gate is a checkpoint situated between Sopdemoa and Yufu. It's said to be impregnable.

One must go pass through this gate if they wish to enter Yufu, no exception.

Hence, no lords or countries dared to invade Yufu.

"And also, Chief. They wouldn't let me when I tried to go through Spirit Spring Gate by myself."

"Hou."

"They said there's an epidemic going on inside, so merchants, messengers and travelers from outside are barred from entry for the time being."

"Hou?"

He heard from Ezak that merchants were not allowed to pass through Yufu Checkpoint. On the other hand, the royal envoy couldn't meet Marquis of Yufu, not that they couldn't enter.

In other word, you can probably get in as long as you're of a certain standing.

(Showing them Manfrey's letter will definitely get us in.)

(But they'd likely take us to the lord's castle then, limiting our freedom.)

"Alright. Let's show 'em Wazrof Medal. You come with us, Chubby. You'll be our attendant. Forget about staying incognito."

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 50.1

 1





Lecan was surprised when he saw the splendid <Dungeon Highway> during the time he traveled from the capital to Tsubolt, but he was left in awe at the first sight of <Great Highway> connecting the capital to the south.

It's a road of stone.

Rocks smoothed, shaved and spread to be made into a road.

This road is made from cleverly put together rocks, with powdered rocks filling the gap and it's perfectly leveled.

Very wide as well.

You can easily pass by a small wagon coming from the opposite direction.

Or even a large wagon if you squeeze to the graveled sides of the road.

As this road extends to Sopdemoa far out in the south, then again from there far to the east until Gido and Smarc, the labor and money poured into it is unimaginable.

Horses, wagons, carts, and people readily tread on this <Great Highway>. There were many caravans of 5-10 carts joined together and carts pulled by Stout Dragons.

The highway from Vantaroy to Mashajain was especially impressive for a highway in the northern part of the kingdom, but it's not completely level, there are points where it gets narrow or uneven, you need to be careful with your horses in those parts. There's no need for such worry on the <Great Highway>.

(I see. With this.)

(They can transport a huge amount of loads between capital, Gido and Smarc far in the south just fine.)

(I get it now.)

Lecan and Eda proceeded faster than expected despite them not especially in a hurry.

They departed Mashajain on the 29th of month one.

They arrived near the capital on the afternoon the next day. They didn't enter the capital and proceeded through the southwest route, entering the <Great Highway> on the 31st. Then they reached Wado on the 37th.

As a matter of fact, the capital to Wado would have taken them six days as well on a stagecoach. However, stagecoaches would keep running all the way during daytime except for a short lunch break. In contrast, Lecan and Eda would take their times preparing campsites or learning ways to master <Leg Bands of White Devil> and <Sword of Toron>, so their actual running speed is quite fast. Other travelers who passed by them would put on a look of surprise every time.

Wado is a marquisdom, a metropolis that houses Dungeon Wado known as <Dungeon of Wisdom>. Gotta explore this dungeon one of these days too.

During mealtime at their inn, Eda spoke in whisper.

"Lecan. I feel like I've seen the person sitting on that table over there somewhere."

"Ah, you mean Chubby. Guy's been following us since we departed Mashajain. Flaunting it all the while. Oy, Chubby!"

Chubby walked to their table with all smiles.

"Hehe, Chief. Is it my turn to shine?"

"Yea, lend me your power."

"Eh."

"Why the shocked look."

"I never thought you'd admit to it so readily."

"You were that person who told us about that ambush on our way back from Tsubolt, right?"

"Truly an honor you remember me, Mistress."

"M-mistress?"
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"My name is Gwislan. Pleasure to make your acquaintance."

"Chubby. We're heading for Yufu. Have you been there?"

"I have not."

"We're gonna enter Yufu through the checkpoint. Can you get in Yufu without getting through the checkpoint?"

"I cannot say until I have gone there myself."

"You're unexpectedly useless."

"Chief. I'm a covert operative specializing in city roving. I am ill-equipped with ways to go through a checkpoint without being detected nor skills to gallivant through steep mountains."

"Something's going down at Yufu. And I got an acquaintance there. I plan to check up on her. I'd like to keep you hidden as my trump card, don't talk to me in public after this."

"Understood."

"This is your fund for now."

Lecan took a big gold coin and handed it over to Chubby.

"I shall take it."

Chubby went back to his own table.

"Lecan."

"Hm?"

"What's Rubianafale-san like?"

"Just like I told you. She was one of the first people I met after I got to this world and invited me to Zaidmahl mansion. I learned this world's language spending a year there."

"From Rubianafale-san's point of view, Lecan must look like a hero who was destined to come to her rescue."

"Hm? What hero?"

"I mean. You showed up out of nowhere in the most desperate time and defeated the dangerous magic beast, saving her and people important to her too."

"Speaking of, I took care of some assassins aiming for her life too."

"Assassins?"

"Yea. Some assassins went for Ruby once her marriage was decided."

"Eeeh?"

"Apparently some noble didn't think well of Ruby or wanted to supplant her position or something."

"Nobles are scary. So then you beat those assassin?"

"Yea. All four attempts."

"Four? Ooh, you really are her hero or like guardian deity for real. So, what do you think of Rubianfale-san yourself, Lecan?"

"Not sure how to answer that, but I'd like to lend a hand if she needs it. That's the least I could do to repay the debt I owe her."

"Debt huh. Hmmm."

(I'd like to ask about the jewel too.)

(Got a feeling I probably shouldn't mention the exchange of jewels to Eda.)

Eda launched a bean out of her plate. The bean hit Lecan's forehead. He grabbed it and put it in his mouth.

"Don't hurl food you."

Eda launched another bean without replying back.

The bean flew to the right of Lecan's face, Lecan moved his head and opened his mouth to get it inside.

Eda launched another bean, looking unrepentant.

Lecan silently took the bean with his mouth.

After hurling the tenth bean, Eda quickly finished her meal and went back to her room after whispering thanks for the meal.

As he chewed the bean while seeing Eda's back off, Lecan ordered additional booze.

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai Intermission 3

Maiden of Solace






Yufu is a beautiful town.

Surrounded by towering mountains, hugged by a forest and a lake, its serenity is almost otherwordly.

Overlooking the castle town, Mountain Yufu where the dungeon lies is wrapped in ice and snow, hence despite how far in the south Yufu is, it has a chilly climate.

Yufu Castle has 12 towers and four castles, whereas the vast castle town of Yufonia is a home to more than 20,000 people. Then to the north is a fertile basin split into three districts with a population of more than 800,000 people, coupled with nine villages in the circumference, the total population is close to one million.

As one lord can only rule over one city under Kingdom Law, the whole Yufu Territory is formally seen as one city. A special privilege in all but name.

Marquis of Yufu, House of Shadrest has three viscountcies under them. Each of these viscounts own assets that surpass many earl households, yet none of them is regarded as independent entities, all of them serves House of Shadrest. This is another special privilege compared to other territories.

And while other territories are obliged to send their army in times of emergency in accordance to their court rank, there's no such obligation to House of Shadrest.

In other word, despite being a marquisdom in Zaka Kingdom, Yufu is a near independent state in practice. Naturally there's a specific circumstance that brought that about.

In the past, this land was where Holy Kingdom of Yufu stood. Yufonia was its metropolis with three district cities. The nine villages had a near city level scale as well. Nothing ever put Holy Kingdom of Yufu's peace in peril even during the height of Wapud Kingdom's prosperity in the center of the continent and the warring period between lords that followed.

One day, a young man who would later become the Founder King of Zaka Kingdom visited Holy Kingdom of Yufu. Yufu lent their army to him in the founding war of Zaka Kingdom in accordance to a covenant they agreed upon.

When the young man left Yufu, with him fled a young woman yearning for the young man.

The young woman was called Orie, she was the <Maiden of Solace> to Raikores Temple of Holy Kingdom of Yufu.

The kingdom worshiped god Raikores and prospered under her blessing. Long in the past even before the founding of Holy Kingdom of Yufu, a <Maiden of Prophecy> emerged in the temple, bringing with her a blessing of prophecy from god Raikores. The final prophecy the maiden left was as such, [The kingdom shall prosper for as long as you revere the maiden blessed by god Raikores.]

After the death of <Maiden of Prophecy>, a maiden in the temple awoke to <Purification>. The temple head believing that maiden was the prophesied maiden revered her as <Maiden of Solace>. <Maiden of Solace> would perform the <Rite of Harvest> every year, bringing the kingdom to prosperity. Afterward, every time a <Maiden of Solace> was nearing her life span, another Maiden would emerge to take her place, this cycle would continue.

The temple head and the king at the time were aware of the young Orie awakening to <Purification> while the present <Maiden of Solace> was nearing her end of life. However, as signs of <Purification> could even escape the user themselves, Orie deserted her country while being unaware that she was the <Maiden of Solace>.

The king and the temple head took light of the gravity of the situation. They believed another maiden would awake to <Purification> soon anyway.

But no new maiden would emerge, and once the elderly maiden passed away after several years, Holy Kingdom of Yufu suffered famine. The poor crops continued on for many years and epidemics broke out, laying waste to the kingdom.

The temple head risked his life fasting praying to god. Then on the verge of  death, he received a prophecy, 'Peace and prosperity lie in the new kingdom. Protect the lineage of maiden.'

The only new kingdom then was Zaka Kingdom. The king of Holy Kingdom of Yufu abdicated his throne and submitted to Zaka King.

During the early years of Zaka Kingdom, Holy Kingdom of Yufu was an independent and rich country, they never had to ask help from other kingdoms so there was no reason for them to submit. That continued on for years but then they wanted to submit all of a sudden. Naturally they would be given special privileges.

By this point, Kingdom Law had been established in Zaka Kingdom, following the law would mean either splitting Yufu or turning them into a barondom. Barondom is a self-governing territory, permitted to govern several cities yet they don't have to bring tributes to the king but in exchange they cannot ask Zaka Kingdom for help in time of emergency.

Naturally, Yufu declined to split.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
But Zaka Kingdom was eager to have Yufu under their flag. The objects they could get from Yufu starting from God Cure was to good to pass up, and most importantly having Yufu submit would bolster the king's authority. Thus it was decided that the whole of Yufu was to be regarded as one territory as a marquisdom. It was the birth of Marquis of Yufu, House of Shadrest.

The famine and epidemic ended, and with it came good harvest.

By this point, Orie was no longer alive. She always had a frail body, she left the world giving birth to her daughter. She left behind a Guardian Jewel in her death bed

The existence of this daughter was kept secret. They were likely worried, Yufu would come to take her back. The daughter was named Zana, and awakened to <Purification> once she grew up. Lady Zana would hide her origin and helped to pacify the chaos post kingdom founding from behind the scene.

On the other hand, the Guardian Jewel left by Orie was a great help to the founder king, but he would give it to Lady Zana when she got married. The founder king must have believed that the guardian jewel came to be for the sake of protecting Zana. Even Yufu was in the dark on this Guardian Jewel's existence, and neither Founder King's aides were aware the jewel's significance.

At Yufu, the existence of Lady Zana was known. And they believed the [Lineage of Maide] refers to Lady Zana's female descendants. As men cannot be maidens.

There were some rumbles on taking Lady Zana and her daughters back to Yufu, but they ultimately decided to just watch over them. Her descendants would gradually lose <Recovery> and <Purification> yet Yufu's prosperity never ceased. There were times when the female descendants numbered in five, but this started diminishing at one point, and finally down to one. Lady Rubianafale.

Zaidmahl is a backwater territory. It was hard for Yufu to check on Lady Rubianafale's life. But despite Lady Rubianafale's frail constitution, the townlord Zanjikael managed his territory well, and the climate there was nice and warm. There was no sign of any disturbances in the surrounding area either.

That was when the father of Lady Rubianafale, Zanjikael sent a letter addressed to Marquis of Yufu, Parkugrein Shadrest.

"My daughter, Rubianafale has just turned 13 this year, she is a wise and good daughter who awoke to <Recovery> at the age of five. We have been receiving many marriage proposals as of late, yet as her father, I would like for her to live a peaceful and plentiful life. I am aware it is shameless of me to cling to your excellency seeing as I am but a lowly noble with no relation, but it is my dearest wish if you could lend me an aid."

Parkugrein and the temple head believed this was the time to bring the lineage of maiden back to Yufu. Thus Lady Rubianafale was decided to be the legal wife of the next Marquis of Yufu, Ashidgrein.

Once Lady Rubianafale turned 14, Yufu's envoy would come to fetch her, and their engagement would become official.

Right after the decision, an assassin came for her life. An adventurer who happened to stay at Zaidmahl at the time defeated this assassin, but then another assassin came again the next day. Parkugrein who was notified of this by Zanjikael immediately launched an investigation. Ashidgrein had four fiancees, and one of the noble daughter among these four sent these assassins in an attempt to become his legal wife. Parkugrein reprimanded the head of that noble house. The assassination attempt stopped with the fourth one.

By this point, the <Maiden of Solace> was nothing but an old legend in Yufu, only a very few select citizens even knew about it and the prophecy. The secret of Lady Rubianafale being a descendant of <Maiden of Solace> was only known to the townnlord and temple head.

Afterward, at the time of the wedding, they performed <Holy Rite of Solace> under the pretext of <Maiden of Solace> legend. She would cast <Recovery> on the townlord, Parkugrein, while the citizens watched over them. This ritual proved Rubianafale as having been blessed with <Recovery>, reinforcing her position as the legal wife.

Then on the fifth of month two, kingdom year 116, their wedding ceremony was held, Rubianafale was given the southern room on the fifth floor of northern tower, becoming the <Lady of Northern God>. Northern God here refers to Goddess Raikores. She's the god of mountains, earth, forest and medicine, the guardian deity of Yufu. Lady Rubianafale's room overlooks the <White Phoenix Palace> where the townlord manages the town, in short, she's regarded as the protector of the kingdom by living there.

Raikores was originally a god of Yufu, and her addition to Zaka Kingdom's god hierarchy established the Nine Temple System. The main Raikores Temple is located in Zaka Kingdom's capital with many sub temples in other territories, but Yufu's Raikores Temple is a wholly different structure with different doctrines.

During the ritual, the temple head saw through the fact that there was a hint of <Purification> in Lady Rubianafale's <Recovery>. The temple head would guide her until she could freely cast <Purification> and got named the <Maiden of Solace>. This was on the tenth of month six, kingdom year 116.

The same year, they performed the complete form of <Rite of Harvest>.

Afterward, the crops yield was abundance beyond belief, and the game hunted from the forest exceeded the average year.

All the while, Ashidgrein and Lady Rubianafale gradually grew closer until they became a harmonious couple. Ashidgrein was 18 while Lady Rubianafale was 14 at the time.

Ashidgrein would attend at White Phoenix Palace twice a day and would even stay overnight during meeting, but he lived in Northern Tower and spent most time there. Ashidgrein would sleep at the northern tower when subordinates came by as a precaution.

Meals, furniture and servants in the northern tower are all managed by Lady Rubianafale.

After the wedding, Ashidregin was given the important task to manage dungeon resources. He would formulate plans with young aides, but the older aides didn't take kindly upon those plans and would keep asking for reformulations.

Zaka Kingdom itself had been making moves to make Yufu their own. Marriage policy was one of those moves.

The royal family had been trying to deepen their relationship with Yufu.

House of Shadrest would often receive royal family princesses as marriage partners. However, the family head and the heir never married those princesses, the little brothers did, and they never let sisters of the heir to marry into the royal family either. Yufu continues keep their distance to the royal family.

Zaka King had been making moves to make his eldest daughter, Eltoria to marry Ashidgrein but once lady Rubianafale became the legal wife, that movement ceased.

After she was awoken to <Purification>, Lady Rubianafale would often cast it on Parkugrein, Ashidgrein, their aides and even the maids.

Under the temple head's tutelage, Lady Rubianafale's <Purification> reached the zenith.

Kingdom year 117, was a year of prosperity that exceeded any previous year.

Yufu was wrapped in great joy from top to bottom, ensuring Rubianafale's status as the <Maiden of Solace> and <Lady of Northern God>.








[Intermission 3 Maiden of Solace] End/Next [Episode Yufu Upheaval]

 

 

 

 

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Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 18-21

 18-21. Hidden Village of Midgets

 

※ This story takes place a bit before 13-17.

Satou here. If we're talking about flower viewing, the image of securing a spot, putting up a sheet early in the morning and enjoying food and drink together with your affable friends comes up.
But just quietly watching sakura trees during a stroll like your grandparents do sounds like a good time too once in a while.







"Okay then, cheers!"
"""CHEERS""" "Nanodesu!"

At the royal capital's park where sakura trees are blooming profusely, Arisa raised her glass high leading the group to a toast.
Of course, besides me, every one of them is drinking sakura-colored fruit water and carbonated drink.

Zena Unit who's usually around as our bodyguards isn't present this time since they got called to Earl Seryuu's mansion in the capital this morning. And since Lady Karina was forced to take part in an etiquette training in anticipation for a large-scale party being held soon, only the usual members are here today.

"The sakura trees look so pretty."
"Apparently these sakura trees are grafted from the branches of the Giant Sakura Tree in the royal castle."

The Giant Sakura Tree in the castle hasn't fully bloomed yet seen from afar, but the sakura trees in this park are practically all in full bloom already.
Many groups of people are laying down mats and enjoying the views while singing and dancing.

"Pochi will go with Karaage-san nodesu!"
"Pochi, sutoppu~?"

Tama swiftly stopped Pochi as she was about to squeeze lemon on top of the karaage pile.

"Pochi can't nanodesu?"
"Lemon makes it 『Nyu!』 so no no~?"
"But but, sprinkling lemon makes it fresh and tasty nodesuyo?"

Tama and Pochi sounded like they were reliving a conversation from [Karaage Oh Yeah] Tavern.
Tama, or rather Catkin in general, apparently don't take citrus type juice well.

"Pochi, we have a lot of lemon here. Squeeze them on your own karaage plate."
"Yes nanodesu."

Lisa mediated the two, and Pochi proceeded to pile her own plate with karaage and squeezed a lemon on it.
Tama took shelter in the shadow the moment the lemon was squeezed.

"Karaage is nice and all, but onigiri's where it's at~"

Arisa grabbed an onigiri rolled in a big seaweed and plunged it into her mouth in one go.
We've got normal sized ones here, why'd she go for that one.

"Boiled dish, delish."
"Oh, I'm pretty confident with this shiitake here."
"Nn, I'll take it."

Mia extended her chopsticks toward the recommended boiled shiitake.
Lulu-made boiled dish are all good after all.

"Master, the sandwiches are yummy as well so I report."
"There's so many kinds, you just can't decide which to pick."

Nana is choosing her sandwich with a glass of fruit punch in one hand.

"Shrimp nimp~?"
"Reed chilly meat roll is also tasty nodesuyo!"
"No, I can't give up on the depth of yakitori flavor."
"Wings and tulips are yummy too so I report."

This tulip Nana mentioned is not flower, but karaage's drumette.

"Young organism, let us dine together, so I tell."

--Eh?

I thought a kid lost their way here, but that wasn't it.

"Dryad?"
"Yahoo~"

A green skinned little girl waved at us from on top of a sakura tree's branch.

It seems no other groups could see her.

"Welcome. Wanna eat with us?"
"Nn, I don't want human food."

Dryad jumped down the branch and put up an illusion around herself to make her look like an ordinary kid.

"Rather than that--."

Dryad clung on me and stuck out her mouth to look like an octopus's as she drew near my face while saying 'muchuu'.

"Arisa-chan, impregnable guard!"
"Guard."

The impregnable pair, Arisa and Mia came forward to impede Dryad's reckless charge.

"I got shot down~"

Dryad waved at Mia, 'Yahoo, lil' kiddie-chan.'

"Young organism, my lap is open right here so I report."

Nana peeled Dryad off me and put her on her own lap.

"So what's up today?"
"It must be because the party looked fun, so I confirm."
"Nn, that's not it~."

Dryad shook her head to Arisa's question and Nana's guess.

"Seems like I'm gonna need your help boy~."

Dryad spoke like it wasn't her problem.
We might gotta put a pause on the flower viewing depending on the content.







"Your hidden village is facing a huge crisis?"
"That's what they told me~."

Dryad sucked on my finger to absorb my mana.
I could have resisted her, but she's probably gonna need a lot of mana to open the [Alf Road] to the hidden village.

"Didn't get the detail since that Spirit World's got some thin mana~"
"Hee, Spirit World huh. Is it like a certain village of Youkai perhaps?"

Arisa turned around with a curious look. The later part seems to be intended at me.

"What should we do, master?"
"We're going."

I mean I can't count how many times dryad has saved us.

"Tama, Pochi, you've had enough of your fill, I take it."
"Uy uy~?"
"Yes, nanodesu. To live is to meat nanodesu!"

The beastkin girls stood up looking motivated.
Pochi said something weird halfway through, but it's same ever so I let it pass. I'll tell her the correct phrase later.

"Securing provisions is important so I report."
"Ufufu, leave it to me to pack our lunch boxes."
"Nn, will help."

Urged by Nana, Lulu and Mia put away the lunch boxes in their magic bags.

"So like, can I open it now?"
"No wait, not here."

We'd attract attentions here thus I asked dryad to open the Alf Road inside a grove of trees.
Mushrooms abundantly grew from the ground up like poof, poof as glittering particles of light converged.

"Just say the word to the me in the other side when you wanna go home okay~"

We got in the Alf Road toward the hidden village as dryad saw us off waving her hands.

<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >





"It's kind of chilly here."

The entrance to the hidden village was as cold as a late autumn morning.
Looks like we're in a basin, it's mountains everywhere your eyes can see.

"Butterbur."
"Leaf~?"
"Pochi knows about it nodesu! You can eat the stalk nodesuyo!"

As Mia pointed at a clump of giant butterbur, Pochi showed off her gourmand knowledge.

"Ufufu, you can eat butterbur's leaves too, see."

Oh yeah, they're nice as salad dressed with miso or boiled.

"--Master."

Liza called out to me as she was in alert of the surroundings.

"It's okay, they're our welcoming party."

I stopped Liza who was about to ready her spear.

『●●、●●●!』

>[Ancient Chapta Language] Skill Learned.

I got a skill just as a voice could be heard from behind the clump.
I allocated the skill points and found out the word meant, 'Where's our guests!'

What appeared from behind the clump of butterbur were a group of waist-sized midgets.
They're about as tall as Winged Fairies, but their build is a bit more stout.

"Young organism!"
"Hold."

Mia stopped Nana who was about to run out when she saw the owner of the voice.

『Welcome, guests! I'm a warrior of ChaptaKin, Chipitachopeta.』
『Nice to meet you, warrior Chipitachopeta. I am called Satou.』

As befitting of warrior, Chipitachopeta is wearing a leather armor and a spear made from some sort of thorn.
The soldiers standing behind him are wearing a simplified version of his equipment.

『We're going to the village. Come.』

Chipitachopeta seemed to be a hasty type, he walked off after saying that much even before I could introduce the girls.

Walking behind them feel weird, like you've been turned into giants.

"They kinda remind me of Koropokkuru."

Arisa uttered the name of a race of small people told in Hokkaido folklore.
I've seen a statue of them under a giant butterbur leaf used as umbrella.

I got into a heated discussion about Koropokkuru tales with Arisa for a bit afterward, but then I noticed the nervous glances of the soldiers and stopped myself.
Walking next to giants that could trample them down talking in unknown language would worry you for sure.

『I have been told that you're facing a crisis, what happened exactly?』

I asked Chipitachopeta since it seemed we were still far away from the village.

『[Lotus of Life] won't grow anymore.』
"Is it some sort of plant disease?"

Arisa who had an elven Translation Ring on spoke here.

『No. Diviner said it's a curse.』

I guess this Diviner is like their clan's shaman or something?

"What about Dryad?"
『Dryad? Who's that?』

Chipitachopeta looked back dubiously to hear Mia's question.

--Huh?

『We got called here by dryad, weren't you sent by someone to meet us too?』
『By Diviner. That's what the [Unchanging Maiden] in the Sacred Tree told her.』

Here goes some new terms.

That [Unchanging Maiden] must be the local dryad here.

『Is this [Unchanging Maiden] a girl with green skin?』
『No. [Unchanging Maiden] is a pattern of a girl that comes up on the Sacred Tree.』
『Pattern, wrong.』
『Maiden is a great person who watches over us.』

Some of the midget soldiers started protesting when Chipitachopeta said [Pattern].
The soldiers speak in broken words for some reason. Perhaps their everyday language is different from the [Ancient Chaputa Language] used only by leader class like Chipitachopeta.

As a proof, [Dechaputa Language] skill showed up on my Log.

『Yeah yeah, shut up. These deeply faithful folks and Diviner see [Unchanging Maiden] as our village's guardian deity.』

Can't blame anyone for not equaling that jesting dryad as a guardian deity.

Afterward, I asked a few more questions but Chipitachopeta seemed to loathe talking, he told me 'Go ask Diviner the rest.'

The village is located behind a giant tree where a group of knee-tall big mushrooms grow around the base of the tree. There are some bamboo shoot-looking objects too, but according to AR reading those are mushrooms too.

"So many."
"Mushroom supremacy~?"
"Bamboo shoot persons won't lose nodesuyo!"

Mia brightened up when she saw the mushroom colony, while Tama and Pochi started some sort of proxy war, but there's something that's bothering me more.

"Master, aren't those windows and doors on those mushrooms?"

Lulu is right, there are windows on doors on the mushrooms.
Those must be children's dwellings.

"Master! Young organisms, there are so so many young organisms, so I report."

Nana flapped her arms in a direction where midget children were peeking at us from behind grass.

Then, one of them staggered their way to our spot.
It's an emaciated looking woman. She's got a plump figure though.

『Chipitachopeta-sama, have you seen my Toputo?』
『No.』

Chipitachopeta brushed the woman aside as he walked away.

"No violence against the weak so I tell."

Chipitachopeta paid no heed to Nana's protest and just as we were about to help the woman, other midgets wearing servant-like clothing took the woman back into the crowd.

『Toputotapeta the coward.』
『Vanished.』
『One month ago.』
『Must have died in a ditch.』

My Attentive Ears skill picked up the soldiers' chatters.
Even these easygoing-looking village of midgets has its own dramas huh.

『Come. The shrine is over here.』

Chipitachopeta called us to start walking again.
I pulled Nana who was about to run off toward the midgets and followed him, then we arrived at a place with mushroom steps growing out of the giant tree trunk.

This seems to be the Diviner's Shrine.

"Satou."

I picked up and held Mia in my arm since she made a pick me up pose.

"Ah! That's unfair Mia, nodesu! Pochi too, Pochi too master, Pochi wants to be carried too nodesuyo!"
"Tama too~"

Pochi started jumping around, while Tama slid up and took position on the other shoulder Mia didn't take.
As Liza grabbed Pochi who was trying to climb up me and told her, 'Wait for your turn', Mia spoke to my ear.

"That."
"The trunk?"
"Yes."

I stared at it for a while before I started seeing a rough figure of a woman on the tree's bark.

"Is that dryad?"
"Nn."

Mia nodded with silver pupils.
I activated my Spirit Sight and saw a sleeping dryad more clearly than with naked eyes.

"Is she sleeping?"
"Nn."

Mia nodded to affirm Arisa.

I'd like to touch the trunk and give her mana, but I can't reach it with my height. The colony of mushrooms growing in front of it is in the way.

"Moles! Moles sighted."
"""Moles?!"""
"To arms, folks! It's time for a mole hunt!"

Chipitachopeta gave the command which was met with a vigorous roar from the soldiers.
Tama and Pochi are restlessly fidgeting around, looks like they want to participate in the hunt.

『I cannot believe they would leave our guests behind, those men are such children.』

I turned around and saw a midget woman wearing thin shaman-like clothing coming out of the shrine.

『Pleasure to make your acquaintances, big humans. I am Diviner Tsurirufururi. As well as one who delivers the voices of [Unchanging Maiden].』

The small beauty Tsurirufururi-san gracefully bowed. Due to her loose clothing her cleavage got emphasized as she did that.

『[Unchanging Maiden] had sent forward people who will undo the curse on [Lotus of Life]. We shall entrust the fate of our village to you.』

So they shall.

"That's fine and all, but an explanation is in order first."

Arisa came forward with the look of a negotiator.
She took a chin up pose at the shrine, trying to look like a tough negotiator.

"Is it really a curse?"
『Yes, that is what [Unchanging Maiden] refer it as.』
"Whose curse?"
『We do not know.』
"What's the curse like?"
『[Lotus of Life] turned black and stopped growing.』
"Have you checked if it's not a plant disease?"
『What does that mean? Diseases come from curses too, do they not?』

Tsurirufururi-san asked back quizzically.
Looks like [Disease] and [Curses] are one and the same to them.

"Won't know until we see it."
"Let's go take a look at the real thing for now."
"Yup, but before that--when did this curse start?"
『The symptoms first showed in early summer, about a month ago. The [Lotus Officers] were worried when [Lotus of Life] wouldn't grow right, then black spots started appearing on the leaves.』

After getting all the information we needed, we followed the elderly [Lotus Officers] to the lotus pond.

"It's black."
"Yes Mia, pitch black so I say."
"Black Lotus huh. Gonna get a lot of black mana from these."

Arisa made a reference to a super famous rare card from a popular card game, but since this is no time to joke around, I ignored her.

"For now let's see if magic potion would work and then check if there's any abnormalities with space magic."
"No, Arisa. We must take a sample first before we start our investigation, so I insist."

Arisa and Nana started discussing with serious looks on their faces. Nana has her usual expressionless face though.

"Satou."

Mia pulled my sleeve.

"Miasma."
"--You're right."

With Miasma Seer on, I could see [Lotus of Life] engulfed black in miasma.
It seems this is really no disease. Or maybe it's diseased due to the miasma.

"It turned clean and pretty."

As requested by Mia, I opened my usually suppressed Spirit Light in full throttle.

"Wonderho~?"
"Tore bien nanodesu!"

The [Lotus of Life] returned to their original green form once the miasma thinned down from getting basked in Spirit Light.
What a fantastical reaction.

"Uwoo, are you for real!"
"That's a drastic transformation so I report."

Arisa and Nana were shocked.

『The lotus! Lotus of Life have been revived!』
『O maiden! O messengers of maiden! We are grateful, grateful.』

The elderly officials started kneeling around the pond while tearing up hard.
I get that you're getting emotional. But please take it easy considering your ages.

Well, I'm just glad it's over in a jiffy.

"As expected of master."
"Yes yes, so awesomesauce. That's some cheat as always."

Arisa, that's so cruel.







"Nyu?"
"Master, there's something weird going on."

Tama and Lulu surveyed the pond where the lotus float.

"Master, the farthest end lotus at one o'clock appears to be odd, so I report."

The green lotus turned back to black like ink dropped in water.

『No... the lotus...』

Pochi and Tama ran up and supported the falling officials.

"Mwu."
"Looks like this won't end unless we take care the root of the problem."

It appears this [Lotus of Life] quest isn't quite over yet.

 

 

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 49.16

 16





The day after, Lecan went to ask something from Ezak again. Something that's been bothering him.

"Ezak. Gaskoel-dono mentioned how all contacts to Yufu are lost, what did he mean by that."

"Not sure myself either, but a royal envoy sent by the royal family wasn't able to meet Marquis of Yufu last year, neither did they send an envoy back. And this year, Marquis of Yufu never turned up at the capital for the new year greeting."

"Hmph?"

"Letters sent by Gaskoel-sama addressed to Rubianafale-sama never received a reply either. And according to merchants who went to Yufu recently, the checkpoint there has been closed down."

"Weird stuff."

For some reason, something strongly compelled Lecan to go to Yufu at this point.

Thinking back, he got to stay at Zaidmahl because Rubianafale invited him. He learned how to speak and common knowledge in this world by spending a year there. As well as securing funds. He obtained the foundation that allowed him to live in this world at Zaidmahl House, he owed a great deal of debt to Rubianafale.

And now the same Rubianafale might be in trouble. He should go and check it out. So he thought.

"We will be heading to Yufu after this. We have been entrusted with a message from our lord. Once we have all the presents we ordered here ready, we shall go pay Marquis of Yufu-sama a visit."

"I'm going to Yufu too."

"Eh? But, then."

"No, I'm not going with you guys. Gonna go my own way."

"W-will you? But they won't let you in without some pass or ID, you know."

"I'll manage. I wanna get mats from Great Flame Dragons in Grand Dungeon Yufu. If I could see Rubianafale in good health from afar while I'm at it, all the better."

As he'll be getting Argent Flame Wolf pelt armor, the Great Flame Dragon's leather armor isn't actually an absolute necessity. But there's no harm in having one around. And he's always intended to go to Grand Dungeon Yufu one of these days anyway.

"Well I guess the young lady's quite taken on you after all. Lecan."

"Hm?"

"I'll be frank with you since you'll find out anyway once you get to Yufu, Lady Rubianafale has awoken to <Purification> during her stay at Yufu."

"What."

"And she has been named the <Maiden of Solace> by Raikos Temple."

(Well damn.)

(She's definitely been dragged into a mess.)

"Ezak. I owe you one. I pray for your safe travel. Let's meet again at Yufu if possible."

"I'm glad I could see you again, Lecan. Thanks for your treat last night. And for the gift. Let me treat you next time, count on it."

"Can't wait."

"Still, that was a lot of money... No, I guess you are a conqueror of two Grand Dungeons. I'll be sure to make good use of it."

"Yea."

"See you again, Lecan."

"Yea."


<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >


Lecan parted ways with Ezak and headed straight to Mashajain.

Norma and Eda were back at Wazrof Mansion already.

"Lecan! Are you alright?"

Eda forgot her polite tone due to excessive worry.

Though since she's let loose of her ample red hair to shoulder length and wearing casual clothes, she may just be in relaxation mode around family.

"Yea. Managed to escape the capital with my life somehow."

"What has gone down exactly. For you to phrase it like that."

"Ah, right, tell you what."

Lecan explained the circumstances to Manfrey, Eda and Norma.

Manfrey was indignant.

"That was well and beyond absurdity. Lord Tomato has truly gone off the rail this time. I shall send another reminder to Lord Tomato that you are an individual who will soon be wed to a lady of Wazrof."

"That's not someone you can reason with. You'd better off staying clear of her."

"It matters not. I shan't stand idly if there is even a sliver of chance for next time."

"Really. Your sentiment is appreciated."

Norma spoke with a worried look.

"Lecan. I have to go and see priest Amamir."

"Ah. Think it'll be fine. But bring some skilled knights with you around. Never be by yourself."

"I understand."

"Now then, just as you've heard, something's going on at Yufu. I plan to go and take a look. Also gonna go hunt some Great Flame Dragons in the meantime."

Eda spoke with sparkles in her eyes.

"Lecan. I wanna come with you too."

"What."

"I'm gonna be a huge help to you for sure."

Lecan stared at Eda's face for a while.

A beautiful face shining bright with youth and life.

A face of someone who has her own will and fully comprehends what the words she speaks of entails.

"Alright, come. We'll go together."

"Lecan. I will entrust you with my letter to Marquis of Yufu. I shall issue a pass as well. Use it as you see fit."

"Much obliged."

"Should I prepare a wagon."

"Nah. Thanks but no thanks."

"That was boorish of me. I'll get you a map."

"Thanks."

"Speaking of which, I am thinking of scheduling your wedding day to the 13th of month six. Is that acceptable?"

"13th of month six huh. I'll try to conquer the dungeon and get back here before the date."

"That's unlikely possible. Dungeon Yufu is said to be exploreable only by a huge group of knights and conquering it requires several months of time."

"Hou. Sounds fun. Ah, yeah. Almost forgot. Could you contact Vice Temple Head of Capital Ceres Temple, Marlia Fotos and fill her on Marquis of Smarc's ploy?"

"Marlia Fotos? Ah, right, that person. I see that you are acquainted with her. Indeed that would be most entertaining. Consider it done. And, here take this with you. A gift from the royal family to you."

Manfrey presented a green medal.

"Hm? What's this medal."

"With that, you and your companions are free to enter and explore Dungeon Finkel."

"Ah, I see. Sort of pass huh. But I thought it's been ruled under Kingdom Laws that anyone can enter any dungeon, yet you need a pass from the king for Dungeon Finkel?"

"Dungeon Finkel is a private property of the Royal Family, thus it sits outside Kingdom Laws. One needs permission from the king to explore it. To begin with, the dungeon is situated within a plot of land owned by the royal family, thus you cannot even approach it without the king's tacit approval."

(So the king does not fall under Kingdom Law huh.)

(I see it's not a Rule by Law for sure.)

"In addition, you and your companions are also free to go in the royal palace with this medal."

"Hou?"

"A lower stratum medal would have been sufficient if it's only for entering Dungeon Finkel. This medal is normally something given to territory-less lords, or Royally Appointed knights over a certain rank. His majesty the king has deemed you worthy to stand among middle-ranked members of nobility."

"Hou."

"I suppose this is outside your interest."

"Yea."

"By the way, what shall be done about your house name?"

"House name?"

"You may use that Narum Royalty name, or Wazrof. Or even a new house name."

"Fumu. I don't really care about house names or whatever, but I guess you can't have two legal wives then."

"That is indeed the case. Some may use this point to falsely accuse you like Marquis of Smarc did."

"I'll think about one if I feel like it. For now I'll go with Wazrof."

"Understood."

The following day, Lecan went and stocked up daily necessities like food and stuff in his <Storage>.

He was also detailed on Yufu.

Then the day after, Lecan and Eda stood before the front door of Wazrof Mansion. With several other people seeing them off.

Eda has cut her grown hair short. Her attendants tried to stop her to the point of being in tears.

The two have Petitfire Dragon's leather armor on, with Lecan wearing Overking Bear Overcoat on top and Eda's a mantle dropped on Golbul's last floor.

"We'll be off."

"I'm off."

Norma smiled at them.

"Un. I believe that the two of you can overcome any hurdles coming your way. But please don't ever forget that you have people here praying for your safety every day."





[Episode 49 Duel Before Monarch] End/Next [Intermission 3 Maiden of Solace]

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 49.15

 15





After hearing the story from Ezak, Gaskoel took the most righteous route.

He reported to the top brass of Royal Capital Knights and left it to them to hand down judgment.

This would mean exposing Zaidmahl's blunders to the public thus Ezak was against it at first but Gaskoel's decision was firm.

Royal Capital Knights patrol in every districts in the capital, the organization manages and guards public order from criminal activities, they're responsible for investigating crimes, holding trials, and handing down judgments to a degree. Knight Organo's crimes were laid bare after some harsh interrogation sessions.

Organo always thought himself as someone unfortunate.

He kept on honing his swordsmanship to the point he became a first-rate swordsman by the time he was promoted to knighthood, but let alone being granted the spotlight, he was made to follow a daughter of his master's household to a backwater noble of Zaidmahl instead. Organo's swordsmanship specializes on fighting humans and has no real practical use against magic beasts.

One time, he had a business to attend to at his former master's house and found out about the detail on <Guardian Jewel of Overlord> which was in the possession of Zaidmahl's late madam. The jewel was furnished with a Grace that grants heroes a further height in power, the same Grace that supported the Founder King in his domination. No one has been able to draw out this Grace for an extended period of time.

Organo started believing that he's the chosen hero who shall draw out the latent Grace of the Guardian Jewel.

He managed to gain the position of Gaskoel's attendant as he trained to become a knight at the capital, then his mind gradually grew more and more warped as he enjoyed capital's lifestyle. All while make believing himself that the guardian jewel would fall onto his laps eventually. He embezzled funds sent by Zaidmahl Household and even took loans from mercantile houses to play around.

Before long, he moved onto his next scheme. He instigated Gaskoel to disclose the secret of his little sister being a bearer of <Recovery> magic to multiple noble families. Noble ladies who awoke to <Recovery> are seen as having received special blessings from gods, thus raising the status of the noble house they belong to. Naturally, many houses went on to ask for Lady Rubianafale's hands in marriage. Organo would ask monetary compensations from every single one of those houses. He led them to believe that currying up to him would give them the advantage in the race. Organo thought that once Lady Rubianafale got wed to one of those houses, he could get his hands on the guardian jewel with some trickery.

Yet something that went beyond his plans occurred. Lady Rubianafale got married off to Marquis of Yufu of all houses. And she gave guardian jewel to an adventurer called Lecan just before she went there. He had lost his chance to get guardian jewel forever. Organo resolved himself to a new bout of criminal schemes in his despair.

Under Gaskoel name, he went around borrowing a huge amount of money. Lady Rubianafale is the legal wife of the next Marquis of Yufu. Gaskoel is the brother in law of Yufu heir. Marquis of Yufu would lend their help if it comes down to it. He's also affiliated to Royal Capital Knights. There's absolutely no problem in trusting such a person. Organo managed to amass a huge sum of cash.

He planned to move to either Gido or Smarc once he had enough. Even if his face got plastered on wanted posters at the capital, the search for him won't reach there. And you can live like a dream so long as you have the money at Gido or Smarc.

Just when it was about time for him to flee, knight Ezak made a visit. Wearing an extremely luxurious looking armor, he came to the capital to become a royally appointed knight. It appears Zaidmahl Household has found a new cash cow. He could have made use of that to amass more money but his time was running out. He was awfully envious of Ezak who was trusted enough by the family head to receive the royal knight appointment.

With the money Ezak brought, Gaskoel and Organo rented a house, moving out of their Knights' Quarters. He could move around freely without worrying about peering eyes here. The night before the day Organo planned to make himself scarce with all the money he stole, knight Ezak picked up adventurer Lecan lying unconscious near their house. This chance must be heaven sent to him, so thought Organo.

He was going to look for the guardian jewel while Lecan was out of commission but Ezak was in his way.

The day after, Ezak would receive his knightly appointment. They would definitely take their time exploring the palace since it would be their first.

He fetched Gaskoel and they went home, there Lecan was alone.

Meeting him in person, Organo was shocked. He didn't think the guy would be this skilled. He could likely kill him in an ambush, but he'd risk injuring himself in a counterattack. Hence he chose poisoned tea as the means.

He was frenzied with joy when he saw guardian jewel placed on the desk. It's finally within his reach, thought himself.

Lecan is Gaskoel's guest. If that guest died of poisoning in his house, he would be an unwilling accomplice. And since he's a member of Royal Capital Knights, he's sure to know many ways to dispose of random dead bodies on the street. Organo would leave the body to Gaskoel while Organo himself would depart the capital to deliver the guardian jewel to Zaidmahl House. Afterward, he'd live like a king in Gido or Smarc.

As a matter of fact, it's questionable whether the plan would even work considering Gaskoel's character. However, Organo's decision making ability was twisted by his obsession on <Guardian Jewel of Overlord>. He might have gone mad by this point.

In the end, this obsession of his became his undoing. He could have gone off with a mountain of cash had he not carried out this extraneous crime.

The total sum of all the debts he collected amounted to almost two platinum coins. Gaskoel managed to retrieve quite a lot of them, but he had to beg his father, Zaidmahl family head to cover the minus.

In consideration of Gaskoel's position as the brother-in-law of Marquis of Yufu's heir, the Royal Capital Knights performed a rigorous and thorough search on the matter. The torture they inflicted upon Organo was severe unlike anything.

All this fact was told to Lecan by Manfrey at a much later date.

Royal Capital Knights are under PM Office's direct control. They deemed <Guardian Jewel of Overlord> story as nothing but a tall tale, but they reported it to the PM Office all the same. The Royal Family had records of Founder King sporting a blue jewel on him at all time, so they were quite intrigued by the matter. And thus they sent a request to Wazrof House asking to let them appraise that jewel, but Lecan denied their request.

Organo was executed. This was the natural order of thing since he attempted to poison a relative of a high ranking noble and even bared his sword at him. The Prime Minister saw to it himself and the report was promptly sent to Wazrof.

Gaskoel, being Organo's master, should have shared the responsibility as well but considering the circumstances and the fact that he's a relative of Marquis of Yufu, the Knight Commander only gave him a sermon as his punishment. As Gaskoel immediately asked forgiveness and even offered monetary compensation to Lecan right after the incident, it was seen as a reconciliation between Zaidmahl Household and Wazrof Household. Otherwise, he would have been expunged from Royal Capital Knights, closing his paths toward knighthood. At which point, he would no longer be able to succeed his father. Gaskoel who was informed of this by his superior came to hold a deep trust on Ezak.


<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >


After the poisonous tea incident, Lecan went back to Wazrof Mansion. The House Aide, Fujisur was present, so Lecan gave him a lowdown of the situation and left again to meet up with Ezak to throw a party in a restaurant at the pleasure quarter. He gave him celebratory gift money. Lecan also paid for the party.

Ezak told him about the matter with Marquis of Smarc during the celebration.

Later on he found out that Marquis of Smarc seems to have sent a messenger to Crimus Ulban, lord of Vouka town, in his quest to investigate Lecan further after the Courtship Duel. Messengers asking about Shira, Eda, Norma and Lecan were common sights after the matter with Herb Saint Visitation, so Crimus held no suspicion but he didn't say any detail regarding Lecan being a descender, thinking it was a secret. He did however tell them about Lecan staying at Zaidmahl Household before going to Vouka.

Thus the investigation reached Zaidmahl. They couldn't find anything of note there as well. Only that Lecan was on good terms with the chief knight, Ezak. Also news of this Ezak going to the royal capital to receive his knighthood appointment after his business at Vouka.

Marquis of Smarc then sent an envoy to PM Office, asking them to notify him when Zaidmahl Knight, Ezak came by.

Before long, Ezak was done getting his armor fitted at Chaney Company, and arrived at the capital where he applied for knighthood at the PM Office. Marquis of Smarc summoned Ezak and inquired him about Lecan.

What was Marquis of Smarc's aim anyway?

Lecan found out about it later from Manfrey.

If the fact that Lecan being a noble in another world were a sham, the courtship duel would be annulled and Marquis of Smarc could claim their heirloom back. That claim could likely go through if he insisted that Lecan had shamed the royal family with that falsehood.

To Lecan who said that doesn't sound like something a high ranking noble would resort to, thus Manfrey replied looking unamused.

"They are pirate nobles. This is how they always do things over there. There are times when they succeed and times when they fail. Gambling is their passion. The matter this time afforded both the royal family and our household a vantage point over Marquis of Smarc. He will likely stay on his lane for the time being. The end results were not at all disagreeable."

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 49.14

 14





Knight Organo looked shocked for a brief moment before he sprung up his gauntlet-equipped right hand from below in an attempt to fling the saucer and tea cup.

Lecan gripped Organo's right wrist with his own right hand.

Knight Organo put his strength into shaking Lecan's hand off, but it wouldn't even budge.

The cup on Lecan's left hand is shaking on its saucer, but the content barely spilled at all.

"<Move><Float>."

Once Lecan recited those spells, the saucer and cup floated away and landed on top of the desk.

"Y-you?"

Knight Organo followed the cup and saucer's trajectory, looking like he couldn't believe what he was seeing all the while. Lecan released Organo's right wrist when he sensed strength completely escaped out of Organo's body.

Then Organo drew his sword and slashed at Lecan while his line of sight was still fixated on the cup.

(What.)

The speed of which he drew his sword was extraordinary.

The sword hanging on knight Organo is a long, wide and broad knight sword. Naturally it's heavy.

Yet he managed to draw such a heavy knight sword at a speed naked eyes cannot follow. With nary a sign of him even going into the offensive.

Ordinary swordsmen, no, even really skilled ones would definitely fail to dodge or even block this attack.

But Lecan's reaction speed was sharpened beyond limit after his encounter against Argent Flame Wolf twice.

He swiftly step in and chopped Organo's right sword wrist with his hand, prompting the hand to undo its grip on the sword.

Then he grabbed Organo's right wrist.

The sword flew and cut at empty air before piercing the wall.

The sound produced didn't match Lecan's expectations.

It's a short, thin and sharp sword.

Only the sheath and the grip are that of a knight sword, the blade itself is that of a short sword.

(I see now. His equipment, techniques and bearings, all of them have been carefully calculated to engage in foul plays.)

(A coward through and through.)

This was the real nature of the odd feeling he had on knight Organo. The real center of gravity didn't match the true thing.

Lecan unleashed a magic spell while still grabbing Organo's right wrist.

"<Lightning>."

<Lightning> magic enveloped Organo's whole body, paralyzing him as he fell on the floor.

Lecan grabbed the tea cup's handle with his right hand, walked up to Organo and crouched down with his left knee pressing on Organo's body while his left hand squeezed Organo's mouth from both sides.

Organo attempted to resist opening his mouth, but his paralyzed body couldn't muster a struggle. His mouth flapped open right away.

"Drink up. If it's poisoned, you're dead. Otherwise, you live on. Have a taste of your own medicine."

Knight Organo's eyes popped open wide in fear as he looked at the cup and tried to shake his neck but Lecan wouldn't allow him the luxury.

The tea cup drew closer to Organo's mouth, Lecan leaned it down.

Gaskoel who couldn't keep up with the event proceeding before his eyes finally spoke up here.

"Wait! Please wait, Lecan-dono!"

Lecan lifted his face up at Gaskoel.

"Are you really speaking the truth about that tea being poisoned?"

"Organo won't die if I'm lying. Just stay there and watch."

"But wouldn't he die if it had poison?!"

"If Organo dies, then it's a clear attempt at my life. Which means poisoning their guests before snatching away their possession is how Zaidmahl House does thing."

"Dare you insult our household?!"

"Then, wanna be the judge?"

Gaskoel looked taken aback before putting on a resolved expression on his face.

Lecan stood up and left the tea cup on the table.

Organo wriggled again in another futile attempt at escaping.

"<Lightning>."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
A very weak <Lightning> was shot to stop Organo's struggle.

Gaskoel brought the cup and leaned it down just above Organo's face.

Organo desperately squirmed with a frightened expression. The tea fell down next to Organo's face.

Organo let out a soundless scream.

"It's, the truth."

Gaskoel was dumbfounded for a while but then he put the tea cup down and bowed at Lecan.

"My apologies, Lecan-dono. Truly I do."

Lecan rained down another weak <Lightning> on Organo. Organo got knocked out.

That was when a rustle could be heard at the front gate.

It's the return of the newly royally appointed knight, Ezak.

Ezak went upstairs and entered the room only to stare in wonder at the knocked out Organo and turned his sight at the sword stuck on the wall. Then once he received an explanation from Gaskoel and be shown the blue jewel by Lecan, he yelled out loud.

"Haaa? <Guardian Jewel of Overlord> Zaidmahl Household's heirloom? Is that some kind of joke?"

"I-Is it not so?"

"Listen here, Gaskoel-sama. My family has served Zaidmahl Household since my great-grandfather's time. I can confidently proclaim that there is no such things as secret heirloom. We'd have long sold it if there were. Or rather, that blue jewel was something the late madam brought with her when she got married into Zaidmahl house."

"What did you say? Is that true, Ezak."

"Besides, as Gaskoel-sama himself should be aware of, Organo was a knight transferred over from late madam's household. I don't think he has much knowledge on Zaidmahl Household's history. Although since that blue jewel was something the late madam brought over from her household, it might have some sort of anecdotes attached to it. At any rate, that was the late madam's personal belonging whom Lady Rubianafale-sama's inherited as her own personal belonging. Zaidmahl Household has no right nor history over it."

"T-Then why would Organo lie about that. He even deceived me."

"I do not know. However, he might be planning to steal that jewel and run away once it becomes Gaskoel-sama's possession."

"Run away? He would abandon his knightly status?"

"Young master. After my royal appointment today, I was let in some intel by the secretary of Prime Minister Office. Zaidmahl Household seems to have incurred a large amount of debts from several noble houses at the capital, you'd better pay them back before the rumors spread further, he said. That was the reason we cut our palatial visit short and hurried back here."

"Debts? I have done no such things. Do you have any idea how careful I've been on money spending all this time."

"The one who went around borrowing them was in a matter of fact, Knight Organo. Not an insignificant amount at that."

"Knight Organo did that? In my name?"

"Yes. I'll give you a rundown after this, but before that, Gaskoel-sama. Have you made a proper apology to Lecan?"

"Yeah. I did."

"Did you stand up, straighten yourself and beg for forgiveness from the bottom of your heart? Have you passed on a token of apology?"

"Why should I lower myself to that. He's just an adventurer."

"Gaskoel-sama."

"W-what."

"There are adventurers that behave no differently from thugs indeed. But so are there adventurers who have gained respects from upper echelons of nobility. Which one is Lecan, do you think?"

"I-I've no clue."

"I told you how I was summoned by Marquis of Smarc-sama when I applied for my knighthood, did I not?"

"You did."

"I must apologize for not telling Gaskoel-sama the subject matter discussed in that summon because our schedules never crossed."

"Yeah."

"As for the subject matter itself, they wanted to ask me about adventurer Lecan."

"Eh?"

"This is what a high ranking knight told me at Marquis of Smarc-sama's mansion. 'Descender Lecan has received a summon from the Royal Palace for his accomplishment in conquering two Grand Dungeon, thus we would like to run a background check on him'."

"W-wha."

"What do you think would go down if news about how 'Lecan almost got himself poisoned and his possession stolen at Zaidmahl Household while he was waiting for his summon to the royal palace' spread?"

"T-that's."

(I'm done with the royal palace though.)

(No plan to ever go back there.)

(Eh, whatever.)

(Still, I get it now.)

(Felt like I did tell Ezak about how I was an orphan one time.)

(So they got it from Ezak.)

(Wasn't Boudo huh.)

"Even if that wasn't the case, Lecan is a man who return kindness with kindness, and violence with violence. Gaskoel-sama. Do you want to be repaid in kindness. Or in violence. And this issue isn't limited to Lecan. I'm asking you your way of life as a member of nobility."

"I-I want to be a noble who get repaid in kindness."

"Well then, I would like to see you apologizing properly to Lecan."

Gaskoel stood up and straightened himself up.

Lecan also stood up.

"Lecan-dono. My household has done you great wrong. Please accept my apologies."

"Apologies accepted."

"This is my token of apology. It would be my greatest pleasure if you could accept it."

Gaskoel took a coin pouch from his bosom pocket and presented it to Lecan.

Lecan took it. He plans to give it back to Ezak later. Would serve well as a gift for his knighthood.

"Now then, Gaskoel-sama. I will now fill you on what I've heard. You will have the final say on what needs to be done after."

 

 

 

 

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