Sixtieth Episode~ Precious Clue
The old soldier glares at me as he begins to speak.
“Then, monsters started to suddenly appear in the city in large numbers. Many rare monsters were seen. While the monsters were being suppressed, one of the major dark guilds was destroyed, then a territorial dispute between the dark guild intensified. Thus, mixing in with the adventurer crowd, the ‘Spearman’ disappeared…”
The Marquess nods at the old soldier’s words.
I let the monsters escape from the underground cages I found after exploring Kuna’s home, it seems I invited even more confusion.
“-Ahuh. Ma, I understand. In addition to the dragon attack on the Vallaida Insect Shrine, he was involved with the Evil Dragon King subjugation. And, the sudden appearance of numerous monsters was a surprise. The office of the Present magic beast company was also the location of the dark guild, 【Thorny Tail】, so surely it was a clash between dark guilds. Furthermore, Kuna, an executive of Thorny Tail, died in the labyrinth. Still, as for utility value…therefore, Shark should be busy?”
The Marquess opens and closes the white feather fan in her hand.
Again, she points with the tip of the folding fan.
Does she not know that Kuna was in the labyrinth with me?
Unless they aren’t in communication with the Guild Master…
“Hai. Behind the scene, the 【Shadow Wing Brigade】was affected too…”
“That’s so. Also, there was news of trouble between the dark guilds in the entertainment district… the disparity in this information is inevitable. Shark will have to work hard in the future.”
“Ha, thank you.”
Surprisingly open. They are telling me this information on purpose?
“Nevertheless… you are called Shuya-san?”
She is asking now.
“That’s correct. But, this is Marquess-sama.”
“Be careful how you speak, human. Your attitude toward ojo-sama is too insolent.”
Kiki glares at me some more.
Again, she points those claw weapons at me.
“Kiki. You shouldn’t get angry. I’m not bothered by it. Shuya-san is that ‘Spearman’ from back then, those were the ‘Top Three of Nebulous’ who Hewso raised from a young age, he has that much strength.”
The beastwoman calms down and bows to the Marquess, lowering her voice.
“Therefore, as a precaution against attacking ojo-sama…”
Chardonnay gives Kiki a sidelong glance and sigh before talking again.
“Mou, it’s already understood. However, he avoided Kiki’s attacks easily, this person’s strength is genuine. Besides, if what Cecily said about the Evil Dragon King subjugation is true, he is 【Hector’s】 benefactor. Thus, as the Marquess of Osberia and the head of the Anaheim household, is he, not my benefactor as well? Therefore, you aren’t allowed to point weapons at him.”
Chardonnay makes a flamboyant gesture.
She looks good when she scolds her subordinate.
Finally, placing both hands on her chest.
Kiki says to her master and her ears flop.
You said I’m your benefactor?
It feels like this is being forced on me…
Ma, however, I was also immature.
“Wait. I was also rude. Sorry. If etiquette is necessary on this occasion, then I will act accordingly. However, is it alright now?”
“Fufufu, certainly, this is a private room. However, to protect Kiki after she pointed her weapon at you, you are kind?”
Chardonnay laughs happily.
“Not at all. Thus, I want to be straightforward, are you trying to silence me?”
“No, no, I have no such plan. I already understand that it isn’t possible. The pursuit by Hewso’s 【Shadow’s Right Hand】 didn’t seem to work… if possible, I would like you to be discreet about Fadyke, I want to remain silent, however… apart from that, as for me, Shuya-san. I want your ability.”
Keep the princess thing a secret. Jargon? This is easy to understand.
I will keep quiet, as requested.
However, she wants to scout me? That’s impossible.
“Ah, that secret, I’ve already forgotten about it, so rest assured. And then, becoming your subordinate is impossible.”
“Na, ojo-sama is inviting you.”
Hearing me decline, the beastwoman gets angry again. She seems to have a low boiling point.
Again, her voice has a Haidalla like note to it.
“…That was fast. You need no time to consider it?”
Chardonnay exchanged a meaningful look with the beastwoman and says so.
“Ah, I also decline the invitation to join an adventurer clan. Right now, I have a goal in mind.”
“Really…might I ask about your goal?”
Nnn, is talking about it fine? I guess I’ll try asking about it.
“Fine. Have you heard of Genju’s Sake Ball of Light, or the Orb of Wisdom?”
“I don’t think I have. Kiki, Shark. Tell us if you know.”
“Ha, I don’t know.”
The beastwoman responds immediately.
The white-haired old soldier is nodding.
He seems to know something.
“…You Excellency, I have heard of them. It’s a nursery-tale concerning the gods. The stories vary… things like the World Tree growing to hide the ‘Glowing Fruit.’ Arotoshu, the god of life, protects the “Liquor of the Sacred Gem,” growing in the tree. Sateyura, the god of plants, has supposedly blessed the ‘Liquor of the Sacred Gem,’ and it is said that power can be obtained by drinking it.
Ooh…this old guy named Shark. (TL: Okay, apparently the old man is the one named Seme/Shark.)
As expected of the leader of the Marquess’ counterespionage organization【Onibun】. (TL: Roughly translates to Ogre’s Ears.”
I learned several things. His worldly appearance isn’t just for show.
His words are heavy.
When I saw him before he was using a two handed sword, but now he only has a one handed sword at his waist.
I look with magic observing eye…
Mana is concentrated in his abdomen as well as in his hands and feet.
He seems capable of using fighting moji, but his true strength is unknown.
“Shark, is that true?”
“It might be. …After all, it is a fairy tale. In the center of 【Mage Steel City Holkerbam】, there is the remain of the magnificent tree said to be entrusted by the Dryad Spirit Holker, who the city is said to be named after. The tree has withered and died now, but there may be some connection.”
Ooh, seriously? The tree died…this is important information.
It’s in Holkerbam, I think that is the next city.
“And then there are many mysterious items exhibited in the ‘underground action’ of 【Labyrinth City Pernette】…”
The underground auction, too?
With this much information appearing, I am becoming interested.
“Holkerbam is an ancient city, as old as the ancient the Great Bephallitsu Empire, and ancient Elven battlefield, marshland, Ishiba (TL: 石場 means “Stone Space” I think this might mean cave, but I’m not sure), mines, forests, plains, all surround the city in zones…ah, I think something happened three years ago?”
“Hai. There was political upheaval, the feudal lord changed.”
“Speaking of Holkerbam, the beautiful milk stones the floor of my mansion is made of comes from Holkerbam. The city’s territory is small, but masonry, carpentry, and iron working are prosperous, there are a lot of cabinet makers, so it really is enviable. Also, the magic steel can only be gathered from the dragonflies around the city. I also want it for my city. Ah, it’s tempting… actually, I think the feudal lord is a strange count who has very few followers. Bullying him…”
The Marquess is letting some of her true intent slip out.
Destroying her furniture like beauty, looking like she swallowed a bug, her undisguised ambition is leaking.
“…Your Excellency, that feudal lord, there is rumor about the ‘white tanuki.'”
“Really huh, then Maccabaeus Trading Company’s chairman Eribolu?”
The Marques nods.
“Such a thing, is it related to the political overthrow? But, the white tanuki, after all, isn’t he just an upstart merchant involved in the maritime trade?”
“Who might it be, not only the leader of the navy faction but also Minister of the Navy, Marquis Langley, he seems to have a connection with multiple noble factions in addition to the Eribolu. His under the table business is on a significant scale too, certainly, although that is how he’s known, he is also recognized by the name Yazu Akira (TL: 八頭輝). Even with your Excellency’s military power fighting with him is like ‘playing with fire.'”
The Marquess is a little shaken by Shark’s words.
“…Hm, nobles connections. Since Shark says so, I’ll give up on meddling. -By the way, Shuya-san. Returning to our conversation, I have some interest in the ‘underground auction.'”
She’s interested in it…
“Well, I am looking…”
“Ara, excuse me. However, it seems a fascinating thing. Don’t you think the auction will be different than something sponsored by the kingdom, in the old days I remember Hewso mentioned that he participated every year…”
Chardonnay says to the old soldier questioningly.
“Yes but, dangerous things are also exhibited, because of that the dark guilds are often related. It is hard to attend in 【Labyrinth City Pernette】. I cannot recommend it.”
“But, with my power isn’t it possible?”
“Hai, however, the auction opens during the harsh winter during new years. There are various events happening in the city during new years, so attending is impossible.”
“…How boring. But, Shuya-san is looking for such an item.”
They say such a thing.
The dwarf I helped, the story about Henkai, the talk with the witch of Sazihali, and this white-haired soldier named Shark, I was able to learn quite a few things.
The underground auction has come up multiple times.
I will remember the 【Magic Steel City Holkerbem】.
So when I search for the sanctuary of Sateyura-kami and the withered great tree…
N? That reminds me…
God, sanctuary, Shisho told me about the places with a lot of child spirits, debonchitchi.
Speaking of the place where the debonchitchi appear…
The place where Shisho trained me, the giant tree in the forest.
Perhaps, is it related?
But, there was no precious orb on the great tree…
Nn~I don’t know.
“…Shuya-san. Is something wrong?”
“No, I just heard something helpful from Shark-san. I was lost in thought.”
“Is that so, I’m glad it could be useful.”
Yosh, with this information I was able to get a lead. Hopefully I will be able to unravel this clue.
“Un. Well then, is that all the business you have with me? Is it okay for me to return now? I haven’t had my fill of delicious food yet.”
“Ah, that’s no good. I need to give you this reward.”
Chardonnay picks up a drawstring bag and a white ring, then approaches.
“-You Excellency, you are going to deliver it personally?”
“It’s fine. This one has no hostility with me. Right?”
Chardonnay looks up at me with a charming smile.
Her hand extends from sleeves edged with enticing embroidery, handing the drawstring bag and ring to me.
This reward, is it the one she announced would be handed to everyone earlier?
I receive to ring and pouch.
There is a white gold coin in the bag. The inside of the bag is soft.
A small amount of luxurious cloth has been used.
Honestly, I am grateful for the money.
I am unsure of where I can sell the evil dragon king’s materials at a high price.
Also, to be polite, even I with my perverse nature must bow in gratitude.
To this beauty, I show thanks for my reward.
Ma, this may also be the Marquess’ way of apologizing.
She gave me a valuable lead, and I also received money. I will obediently change my behavior.
Nevertheless, this ring is well made.
It is shaped like a purple dragon.
A pair of blue eyes is depicted accurately.
I really am wonderfully made.
I stand up straight and with politeness in mind, I speak.
“…Surely, thank you. However, this is brilliant made.”
“It should be. I had a magic Goldsmith make it personally.”
Happy at being praised, the Marquess shows a smile.
“My goodness… it may be presumptuous, but I will use this ring habitually.”
“Eeh, making such a thing is expensive. However, after receiving it, you humbled yourself so suddenly. May I ask why?”
Upon seeing the sudden change in my attitude, Chardonnay asks worriedly.
“It’s to show my thanks for the reward.”
“Are? The way you speak to me has become pleasant?”
“Ojo-sama? Is that okay…”
“Mou, Kiki. I understand. But you know, the man who speaks in such a curt way is suddenly gone.”
“That’s a matter of course. Your Excellence.”
The white haired old soldier has a somewhat angry expression, rebuking Chardonnay.
“Mou, the two of you are nagging me. Shuya-san, let’s return to the hall with the food. There is also the reward for Cecily. Also I will personally show you some delicious dishes.”
I lower my head obediently.
“Ha, I understand.”
After Chardonnay says so, she guides me to the hall.
Turning back, Kiki and Shark are showing me scary faces.
I return a slight smile.
Chardonnay who has returned to the hall calls for Cecily and claps her hands.
Thereupon, a large cage is carried in.
Uha, Ah…that is Cecily’s reward.
Everyone is looking at what is in the cage, causing a stir.
Inside the cage is a young golden griffon.
Is that the griffon from before? It might be.
It must be the Griffon that was amongst the monsters I released.
Did the mother griffon escape?
“Well then, Cecily, I award you this Griffon, Hector territory, and the Flame Medal.”
A maid in a calico apron carries an important looking medal.
The medal is handed to Cecily.
“A little while I ago I happened to acquire this rare species. Cecily? Would you receive this rare species of golden griffon?”
Cecily floats a troubled face, looking at the Marquess.
The Marquess… she has had a gentle expression until now, but suddenly her expression becomes slightly angry.
“I-I understand. I accept them.”
Oh, Cecily seems to have lost to the pressure of the Marquess.
In the battle of Marquess VS Female Knight, the Marquess has been declared the victor.
Everyone sees this. This could be considered as saving the Marquess’ face.
“Good, fufu, sasa, well then, please carry it-”
Then, again, the cage is grasped and carried away.
After that, the Marquess’ mood becomes high and speaks to me.
She seems to want to brag about the cooking.
She points out various dishes.
There is a large baked mountain bird that smells good. Like that, from the labyrinth, the culinary academy, the Kingdom’s gourmet food part has various items. Because of the cooperation with suppliers, the ingredients are fresh… people chatter with one another.
Aside from the Marquess, some Ojo-samas are talking about the happily.
Or should I say, I, from such an introduction, want to eat?
I cannot say that to the Marquess, so I force a smile and accompany her properly.
At such a time, a noble with an icy mustache speaks to the Marquess.
“Oh my, oh my, Chardonnay-sama, you are quite vigorous today.”
“Maa, Lord Fleudo Bauken.” (TL: His name is Lord Fleudo Adventure.”
“The other day you purchased ancient Rainbow’s Morning fabric right away for a dress?”
“I made use of it, truly it is a wonderful material, no?”
Chardonnay says so and displays the hem of her dress.
The part she points out shimmers like a rainbow.
Heh, like fabric is like white now, and it reacts to mana…
“Hai, it’s excellent. …Something which experiences the dangerous passage at the southern ocean also pays off.”
“…Excellent, you returned safely. If I am not mistaken, you were accompanied by a large fleet numbering more than fifty, but I heard only five ships returned?”
The old man called Fleudo Bauken’s face turns aside, begins to talk about a painful memory.
“…So then. The monsters and climate are so that it is great for pirates, because we hid the whereabouts of our exploration party, almost all of the ships sinking…it was a truly savage voyage. However, we discover another land called Aesir’s Illusion Dynasty, I am proud to have brought such quality items to Osberia Kingdom.”
“Eh, wonderful, something wonderful was brought to me. However, I heard that in the Royal Capital King Luke greeted Lord Fluedo Bauken personally.”
“Hai. I was extremely moved at that time…”
As the conversation between nobles continued, I was saved.
Time to skedaddle.
“Well then, you Excellence.” I’ll take me leave.”
Speaking briefly, I bow slightly.
Hurrying I leave the seat.
The Marquess said something, but I pretended not to hear.
Immediately, the old noble begins to speak to Chardonnay again, so I easily escape.
Now then, time to relax and eat.
It is my first time having such luxury cuisine.
Let me see, something has had my eye for a while now…
Wait, this, judging by its legs, is it cooked frog legs?
Is it a rare luxury? It might be tasty…
Ma, I’ll try it. I take a piece.
I bring the cooked frog leg to my mouth.
The meat is firm, crunch.
Ooh, the meat is unexpectedly juicy.
It’s a delicacy, bit the flavor is rich and tasty.
The frog’s breast meat is marinated in ginger sauce and has a different dry surface, again, there is a new sensation on my tongue.
It’s hard to hate the frog style.
I want to give some to Rollo, too.
Ah, that’s right. I have the item box.
Taking an empty plate from a table, I pile up tasty looking dishes.
With the plate piled full of food, I quickly move to the edge of the hall.
I touch the bracelet and activate the item box.
I quickly store away the plate full of food.
Yosh. I worked.
Now then, I am satisfied with what I have eaten, I also received my reward.
It is time to go soon.
I leave the party from the edge of the hall.
I walk briskly down the red carpeted corridor. I exit the mansion.
There are dozens of carriages parked around, so I board the front most one and take it to the guild.
When I arrive at the guild, I go directly to the guild master’s room.
“-Ou, that was fast. You’re back.”
Carban is writing at his desk.
The pen is his hand is patterned.
The material looks like ivory.
“Eeh, the party is still going, but I already ate and receive my reward.”
Reacting to my voice, Rollo who was lying on the chest looks up and calls out.
She jumps up and clings to me.
Haha, she licks my face.
Making delighted sounds, this girl is cute.
I say while lifting Rollo.
“Rollo, I brought you a souvenir. Sit down there and wait.”
Understanding what I said, Rollo sits down on the desk with her feet together.
A color of expectation is visible in her crimson eyes.
Haha, appealing with such cute eyes, with a smile on my face I remove the dish from the item box.
“Rollo, you eat this.”
Rollo begins to eat the food from the dinner part with impressive gusto.
“Hou, is that an item box?”
“I have one too. Look.”
Carban-jii shows his item box that has a feeling of not being too rare.
A square of an uneven thick pouch. A staff is stuck in and out of it.
“The pouch, is it from Labyrinth city?”
“I was told it came from Labyrinth city, but I bought it from an acquaintance’s company. Apart from that, did the Marquess have anything to say?”
“She was trying to employ me.”
“Haha, sounds like Chardonnay-sama.”
“What? Ma, there’s an adventurer like that.”
While we’re talking, Rollo has finally finished eating her food.
“Well then, I will go back. Ah, I’ll return these clothes.
I say so and move the change out of the fancy clothes.
“That is my present to you.”
Once I am butt-nekked, I hear those words.
“-Oh? Is that okay?”
He is giving it to me but for now, I put on my new leather clothes.
My armor is tattered, but I put it on.
“Please consider this as a reward from me for the Evil Dragon Subjugation, after all, don’t I also own Shuya?”
N? He owes me?