Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
After the sun sets, the red light district is full of light and lively.
The food stalls lining up on the street purposely blew the smoke out of their cooking to attract customers with its smell.
One of them was a place that serves gyoza-like dumplings, and now I was enjoying a meal in that place with my best friend after a long time.
He was the only person I can call a best friend to this moment.
Yes, he’s one of the knight order’s lower-class pilots and a pervert macho known as the Skewering Whirlwind, Corneal.
「Iyaa….. It’s really been a long time isn’t it? I heard that you’ve been pretty busy lately but, is your body okay?」
Just the other day, the knight order was annihilated by the heavy lancers in a battle in the northwestern part of the capital, losing one-third of their strength.
And the knight order has been in the middle of dealing with the aftermath and rebuilding their strength since then.
Of course, Corneal also has been living the past days busy with works that can’t be described with just the word exhausting.
「I’m okay. There’s always that time that I will be particularly busy once every year after all」
As he said that, he opened his mouth widely and put in a food that looks like a crossbreed of gyoza and manju.
A hint of tiredness could be seen under his eyes but other than that he looks totally healthy.
“Just leave early at least for the weekend”. The new knight commander who looks over everyone’s hard work had issued such a command, apparently.
「There are still lots of things I have to do, though」
According to Corneal, the pilots who heard that command smiled wryly while looking at each other’s faces.
But even if it was a wry smile, it still worked as a mood changer. And this kind of break is needed especially when you’re in the middle of exhausting work.
「The ones who struggled the most are those middle and upper class bunch. They don’t have a proper working experience so they got yelled at a lot. It was a good feeling, I tell you」
He showed an evil smile on his face. He seems to be really happy about it.
As I watched him, I recalled the talk about these pilots he told me.
「Low class pilots do the all work, middle class pilots deliver it, and the upper class pilots do the unnecessary things, was it?」
Corneal swallowed the remaining buns and deeply nodded.
Then, he spoke while exhaling the smell of onion and the ingredients inside the bun.
「Especially those upper class pilots, they really love doing whatever they wants」
He frowned in displeasure as he reached for another one.
「If you choose such a place, they will come and sit on the honor seat as if it was a matter of course. Then they will increase your work all the while speaking arrogantly to you」
When he finished talking, he opened his mouth widely and swallowed it.
While listening to him, I also took one of the garlic chive bun-like thing and split it into two pieces, soak them in chili oil and vinegar soy sauce, and carry it to my mouth. The strong sourness it has was pretty good.
Corneal kept talking in a good mood.
「There is no longer classification like upper, middle, or lower class pilots in the knight order now. Everything is in horizontal line. The A-class Knights has also been taken up and is waiting for reallocation in the hangar」
I doubted my ears for a moment when I heard that. That could be said as a complete reformation. This is definitely what the new commander intends to do from the beginning.
He’s a person that has been left idle for so long because of his rebelling attitude towards the knight order’s higher-ups, despite his position as the leader of lower class pilots.
Now, with the support of the prime minister, he achieved a great leap in his career by jumping over middle and upper class pilots.
(He actually did something to change the knight order huh)
It reminded me of when I first saw him at the special practical exam in the pilot school.
A middle-aged gentleman with a thick body, equipped with a Kaiser beard pointed upwards.
I could sense a strong willpower from his face outline.
「Wasn’t there any big revolt?」
As I know the inside of the Knights to some extent, that’s something I wanted to shout in cheers about. However there’s something I’m worried about.
There’s now way there was no resistance when there’s a major reformation like this.
To my words, Corneal closed one of his eyes while saying “Well, of course”.
「However, there’s a strong backup from the prime minister after all. Those bunch who have been abusing their authority, are mostly people who don’t have any actual political power. They did make some fuss but in the end, there’s nothing they can do about it」
He giggled after recalling that moment.
「Well well, isn’t that good then」
I nodded as I grabbed the spicy & sweet seasoned bun filled with minced meat and a lot of chopped green onion. The juicy taste of the meat overflowing in my mouth boosted my appetite even further.
「……Well, he’s a good person to work together with」
Corneal said in a small tone.
When I looked at him, smile already disappeared from his face as he folded his arms and pouted.
「Is there anything concerning you?」
After pondering a bit, he spoke.
「Tauro-san, have you seen the new knight commander?」
I nodded. I saw him at the special practical exam in the pilot school just the other day.
「Do you recognize him?」
I shook my head because I totally don’t have any recollection of meeting a person like him before.
Also, I feel like I have had a similar conversation recently.
(Oh, right…. The guild master also said something similar at the special exam venue didn’t he?)
Corneal continued his talk to me who was trying to recollect my memories.
「He’s one of the peerless two of the red-light district in the Royal Capital you know? Do you really don’t know about him?」
Even if you say so, I really have no idea who he is.
Or rather, I’m curious about what “The peerless two of red-light district” is.
「Peerless two, is it? If there are two of them, who was the other one?」
When I said that, Corneal showed a mixture of surprised and exasperated expressions.
「The other person is you, Tauro-san!」
Confused feelings that surpassed my surprise made me knitted my eyebrow tightly.
I don’t remember ever becoming such a big shot.
「What are you even surprised for! Speaking of Dr.Slime, he is a famous celebrity that could even make naughty children melt in pleasure」
I unintentionally made an unpleasant face after hearing that.
And Corneal continued without even minding it.
「They would close the shop and lock the door if you two were walking side by side in the red light district. That is just how dangerous figure you both are to them. To think you are not aware of it….」
I felt kinda depressed by that explanation.
However, it was certainly careless of me not to know that he was such a famous person.
With a sheer power of curiosity, I forced myself who was slowly descend into depression to ask a question.
「Does the new knight commander have a nickname like “Dr.Slime”?」
He nodded while keeping his arms crossed.
「Dr.Slime and Gourmet of Gold. These two people are well-known for being banned from entering the Flower town」
I don’t want to be famous for being banned. I drank the herb tea while having such a thought.
At the same time, I searched the name I just heard through my brain, and–
I spurted the tea in my mouth.
The droplets greatly flew at Corneal, but he seems to be expecting them and twists himself to avoid it splendidly.
「……Gourmet of gold!?」
Corneal greatly nodded to me who was uttering that name exaggeratedly.
Then I continued talking with a loud voice like I was screaming.
「That’s ridiculous! Is it really okay to make such a person the new knight commander!?」
Corneal only shook his head and shrugged.
But my words doesn’t stop there.
「Besides, even though it is said that we’re both banned, mine and his reasons for it are completely different. It’s really troubling if you put us together like that!」
Corneal kept shaking his head and put his palm in front of my face as if telling me to give up.
He said something like “average people won’t be able tell the difference”, and that’s why it really troubled me. I can’t protect my dignity.
Gourmet of gold. He’s like a problem child that seeks supremacy and ultimate gold by wandering to one brothel after another.
Basically, he’s banned from entering any brothel.
Unless there’s any good reason for it, no woman will ever accept his demand.
「…..If it’s just about work, he’s not that bad of a person」
Corneal said in a powerless tone.
It was only one of the troublesome things for me, but for him, he was his direct superior. The level of bitterness was incomparable.
To that sorry state of him, my raising blood pressure gradually calmed down.
「He’s a troublesome person, but he managed to be a knight commander」
Corneal sighed while showing a pitiful face.
「Well, he’s a person that can properly separate his private and public life so, I don’t mind with him being my superior」
Just spare me from having a meal together with him. The way he shrugged his shoulders and shook his head was two times smaller than before.
I’m really thankful that my superior, guild master is a kind person, and sympathized deeply with Corneal.
Red light district at the Royal Capital. In the first-class district further inside it.
There is a large building built up of white marble facing the main street.
It is the oldest brothel within the Royal capital three families and store with a long standing, Casabel.
Jayanne, that rapidly gaining strength and Shione, that has the best sideline. Although these two stores have been catching up lately, there are many fans from old times, thus its position as the one that leads the three families is unwavering.
In a room on the top floor of the building.
It is wider than your everyday playroom and has the best furniture available. This is a suite room that will cost you an additional charge.
Right now in this suite a room, a man was waiting for his meal that could be said as late.
There is a big plate on the table, and at both of its sides, a fork and a knife that was made of pure silver are lined up.
The man put on a napkin over his chest, and stretched his thick, muscular arms forward.
「Waiting and looking forward to your meal is one of the fun parts but, isn’t it about time that it’s ready?」
The man gently spoke to the woman in front of him.
He’s a gentleman around fifty years old that have a muscular body and a kaiser mustache that’s pointed upwards as his characteristic.
The woman he spoke to was about twenty years old and could be said as a mature beauty.
She was kneeling on the table, facing the man who was her customer.
What she wore is the same thin silk dress as when she sat on the hinadan. From top of that clothes, both of her sides were grabbed and had been gently rubbed for some time.
The woman’s face is flushed red as if desperately trying to hold something back.
「How is it? 」
The man continued slowly massaging her sides.
“Knight operating skill and gender skill”
The relevance of these two things is the research theme that Tauro thought about.
The person himself only came up with this idea and haven’t done any verification whether it’s actually true or not. However, looking at the current state of these two people, it seems that they were very aroused to do some research.
His remarkable ability as a pilot have been polished for a completely different purpose than Tauro.
That movement caught her sense sharply and continued to amplify a certain urge inside her.
(No good, I can’t….)
The thoughts of giving up spread inside her.
A cute and gentle woman that Tauro used to call Plain-chan. Tears accumulated in her eyes as she leaked out a muffled voice.
At that moment, Plain-chan was released.
And the face of the man in front of her is filled with the expression of delight, as if he saw the food given by God.
「O God. Thank you very much」
The man bowed deeply to the food given by the god he devotes himself to.
A few minutes later.
Plain-chan acted like a waitress and put the dish on the plate and served it in front of the man.
Then, she took a seat on the opposite of the man.
She has to listen to what the man wants to say for a while. It was such a deal.
(This is for the sake of my little brothers)
Plain-chan said it to herself.
Her younger brothers suffered from influenza.
He would be healed soon as long as he took some nourishment and got enough rest. However, Plain-chan just couldn’t sit still when she saw him groaning in high fever.
(We don’t have enough money)
There is something like high-level healing magic and high grade potion.
However, Plain-chan who used most of her income for her family’s living expenses and his younger brother’s school expenses, did not have enough savings to endure any extra spending.
That’s why she offered herself to the concierge for a job with high rewards.
And this man who sat in front of her was the newly appointed knight commander of the knight order.
A person who is known as the Gourmet of gold.
Along with that voice, the silver knife touched the plate with a light clang.
The gourmet of gold was holding his knife into the main dish in the middle of the plate with a blissful smile.
He cut it into a bite size, stuck it onto the fork and brought it to his mouth.
「Hmmm…. what a nice fragrant」
He enjoyed the steaming, rich and mellow scent for a while with his eyes closed and nostrils wide open.
He then took a small bite of it and held it in his mouth as if to savor it.
Sitting on a chair facing the table, Plain-chan closed her eyes so tight that she can’t see him eating the food she has served.
The gourmet of gold exhaled a satisfied sigh that contained the fragrance of his food.
「This dish… contained the daily activities of the one who cooked it」
With enraptured eyes, he explained it to the one sitting on the opposite side of the table, Plain-chan who was today’s cook.
「It could also be said that I’m tasting the time you spent all day」
He put the rest of the food on the fork into his mouth, chewing it slowly before swallowing it.
And then as he moved his knife once again, he raised a voice of joy.
「This difference in color on the front and back. Look at this… There is no doubt that this is the border between morning and afternoon, no, afternoon and night huh」
He gently pushed the knife right between the noon and night section, and after he lifted it with his fork, he carefully examined this cross section.
「Even though both of it are intertwined with each other, it would never mix」
He placed each of it on the fork and carried it to his mouth.
While he exhaled through his nose, he chewed it several times before letting out a big breath as if he can’t no longer bear the pleasantness.
「…..Ahh, I can see the time gap」
Blissful time flowed around the gourmet of gold who was having an ecstatic expression.
「This fragrance… This taste…. It was as if I’m eating a gold」
After closing his eyes to enjoy the afterglow for a while, he brought back his senses to the table in front of him.
This time, he cut the dish in large pieces, stabbed it with the fork, and brought it to his eye level.
「Vegetables and fruits in daytime, and then rich meat for nighttime…」
He opened his mouth and gobbled it. Then with half closed eyes, he moved his chin greatly as if deeply tasting it.
Suddenly, his eyes opened wide as he made a surprised expression.
「This is!? This garlic flavor… Hmm, yes, a spicy seasoning will go well with it」
He put down the fork and wiped his mouth with the napkin.
After that, he raised the glass that was filled with white wine and asked Plain-chan with a smile and half of his eyes closed.
「Do you fancy a drink?」
Plain-chan was facing down and never looked up.
The voice of gentle laughter of a gentleman echoed in the room. And on the wall, there was a shadow of a man carrying the raised glass to his mouth.
The shadow of that man slightly raised his chin, and his throat moved.
――It was just a calm daily-life scene in the Royal Capital.
People, including them, did not know that a war was approaching.