Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
The city of Landbarn, that has recently incorporated into one of the Empire’s territory. It was a core city in the western part of the Kingdom until just a few days ago.
The economy in this place has become more prosperous than in recent years.
「They accepted us more easily than I expected」
At the top floor of the government office that has been taken over.
The Margrave spoke while looking at the town square below.
Landbarn was under the direct control of the royal family, so there is no lord’s mansion.
Hence, this government office on the north side of the square in the center of the city became the center of administration.
「It was probably because Your Excellency declared that he would move his base here」
Thin facial features and a fine mustache shaped like a bicycle handle. A man with sleepy eyes replied to the margrave.
「And, as declared, a lot of funds was put in for maintenance」
As what handlebar mustache has said, Landbarn was currently undergoing a lot of renovation works on the streets, buildings, ramparts, and everywhere else.
「It is decided that their city will be the new capital of a margraviate territory, and there would be plenty of jobs」
He continued while pointing his palm at the residents who were busy going through the plaza.
「There’s no longer the fear that their city will be destroyed. And because they’re busy, setting aside money, they don’t have the time to complain about it」
The margrave nodded.
Far from being occupied and robbed of its wealth, it is instead filled with fortunes.
Even though it is a margraviate territory, a capital city is better than the local city of the Kingdom. Their self-esteem won’t be hurt.
Some people even started to say that it was better than when they were with the Kingdom.
「Though I think all of it was your idea」
「But it was Your Excellency who made the final decision」
He bowed down respectfully to the margrave who smiled wryly.
That exaggerated playful act was a joke of the handle mustache. He was probably only trying to play a clown here.
The two laughed at each other.
「But still, this place is blessed with sunlight. I think everything will end up better now」
The margrave squinted his eyes and looked at the sky.
There, was a blue sky and some clouds, also the sun that was high in the sky pouring down its bright light on the city.
The place that became his base up until now was a military base where cold wind blew and often covered with lead-colored clouds.
Compared to that, the climate here was much more friendly for the mind and body.
「We definitely cannot lose this place. Hurry up the road maintenance that connects to our motherland」
He put some power in his words. He must have liked this place very much.
As proof of that, he was investing so much money that he could see the bottom of his treasury.
The handle mustache smiled and gently bows.
There, suddenly a knock could be heard.
「Pardon my intrusion」
When the margrave gave permission to enter, a soldier carrying a letter appeared.
「A letter had arrived from the Imperial mansion」
Hearing these words, the handlebar mustache receives the letter and breaks the sealing wax.
The imperial mansion is a mansion in the Imperial capital owned by the margrave.
Over there, the subordinates of handlebar mustache gathered vital information around the Empire and sent it here regularly.
After reading it through, the handlebar mustache conveyed the contents to the margrave.
「It seems the negotiations with northern countries regarding the ransom of POW have been concluded. That Viscountess will also return soon」
The margrave snorted indifferently.
「The “Sheltered girl” we presented was brought to the Imperial blacksmith guild for analysis. His Majesty is very pleased with this and he might give a reward for Your Excellency」
His face turned happy at that report.
“Sheltered girl” is an A-class Knight that the former knight commander of the kingdom was riding. It was considered as the flag unit of the Kingdom.
The fact that the Kingdom lost it to the Empire was a great diplomatic value.
With the capture of Landbarn, the margrave’s faction has gained a lot of attention. It was surely a great leap forward in his career.
「Also, expeditionary forces will soon be organized to invade Kingdom’s territories beyond Landbarn」
The margrave frowned.
The one who leads expeditionary forces will undoubtedly be the rival of the margrave.
Now that the border, which was the hardest shell has been cracked, they have come together to eat the soft meat inside.
These bunches are what count Rosehip called as『Hyenas』.
「They are probably in a hurry. For us, all of them are hyenas, but there should be competition even among hyenas」
He drew such conclusions himself.
The emperor always has his subjects compete with each other.
Therefore, even if he had the troops to advance into the kingdom which was in a weakened state, the margrave wouldn’t be granted permission to invade.
This opportunity would be granted to another person.
「The second seat sure has it nice in this situation. They made the first ones doing the hard work and then have the good parts for themselves after」
Those are the real feelings of the margrave.
Even that was how he himself accumulated achievements so far, by kicking off others from his way.
By now, there should be a fierce dispute over the ones who will command the expeditionary forces.
「We have to cooperate to the extent of not buying His Majesty’s dissatisfaction」
The handlebar mustache responded in agreement to the margrave who shrugged his shoulders.
The stage moves from Landbarn to the east, passing through Awoke to the Royal capital.
Due to the strong sunshine in the afternoon, the buildings cast a dark shadow on the central square.
There’s a figure of a man walking down the square with a big book under his arm. It was Tauro.
He was on his way home from the merchant guild.
(As expected the guild master scolded me for the incident this time)
Because of the national beauty contest in Cione, herbivore mechanic had to enter a break period once again. There is no prospect of him returning soon.
And since the absence of a mechanic is directly affecting the operation of a Knight, the guild chief scolded me harshly.
「It’s the second time now! Would it hurt you to think before acting!?」
The herbivore mechanic didn’t come to work for a while after I took him to the End of century brothel last time.
And now the same thing happened again.
「The simulation was too strong for him」
He said while knitting his eyebrows when I confessed that I took Herbivore mechanic to Cione.
「It probably not enough to satisfy you, Tauro-kun, but it would be better if you had chosen something more lukewarm」
The guild master sighed as I reflected my action.
Even though I said I wanted to repay Herbivore mechanic, in reality, I was only doing what I wanted to play.
When it comes to entertaining someone, I should’ve thought of the other person first.
「From now on, try to be more careful」
Seeing my gloomy expression, the guild master ended the talk.
I bowed deeply and left the guild master office. After that, I delivered the potions at the counter on the first floor and went outside.
(I messed up this time)
I feel like the weight of the book has increased because I’m depressed.
I borrowed this book from a bookstore before heading to the merchant guild.
(It’s no use regretting it now. I just have to make sure to not make the same mistake again)
I switched my feelings and remembered about the rental bookstore.
(But still, that old man, he became much brighter huh)
I was surprised when I saw him at the store.
The old man I know would just sit on the counter in the back without any care in the world and only have minimal conversations with customers.
And that old man today was graciously responding to customer inquiries with a gentle look while cleaning up books.
I can’t think of them as the same person.
(As I thought, the power of women are terrifying)
I thought so from the bottom of my heart.
The reason that person changed was definitely Cool-san.
The rental bookstore old man, who harbored feelings for the woman in a storybook and kept his purity until that age.
Cool-san cosplayed as his loved ones in that storybook and attacked him while he was asleep.
(He must’ve been surprised)
When he woke up after feeling something strange, the woman that he saw in his dream was there in front of him, and she was raping him.
He must’ve thought of how surreal it was.
According to Cool-san, he seems to have hugged her while thinking it was all just a dream.
Of course, Cool-san enjoys it as it is without solving the misunderstanding.
「It was a passionate yet deeply flavored vintage. It was very delicious」
She told me her impression with moist eyes and a satisfied sigh.
While his regular customers and neighbors are happy about it, but they still feel doubtful towards him.
No matter how much they called out to him, the old man would just smile at them and didn’t open his mouth.
Then those who knew that I gave him a surprise gift didn’t know what the gift was.
(The old man is happy and Cool-san is satisfied. And then I was able to complete my homework)
I don’t know what will happen to him from now on.
But as far as I am concerned, Cool-san wouldn’t pester me about virgins for the time being.
I climbed the stairs of my house in a good mood and entered the entrance.
As usual, I picked up both of my kins that welcomed me and headed to the living room.
There, I opened the book I borrowed and spoke to Imosuke and Dangorou.
「Here, I’ve borrowed it」
The cover of the book says, “The creatures living in the spirit forest.”
It was a large-format book, and it contained pictures of spirit beasts and monsters.
With this, we will study together about the turtle that appeared in our forest garden a few days ago.
Imosuke knew the existence of the turtle. However, he only knew a little about it.
「A lake near the spirit forest. So it came from there huh」
First, let’s find out about this lake.
「Here it is」
The Spirit Lake.
A forest area spread over the northern part of the Ost continent called the Spirit Forest. There is a lake spread over on the northern part of it.
The water’s quality is extremely clear, and even though many fish inhabit it, the bottom of the lake can be seen through.
Its transparency and biological richness. It is thanks to the blessings of the spirit beast that lives in the center of the lake that balancing these conflicts is possible.
「He sure came from such a faraway place huh」
I noticed a thin reaction from my kin as I said that.
Speaking of which, both Imosuke and Dangorou also came from the spirit forest.
Even if I said that the spirit lake is distant, it probably doesn’t feel right for them.
After that, I looked for the article about “The Spirit Beast Living in the Center of the Lake”.
A spirit beast that lives in the center of the spirit lake.
It was considered as the guardian of the lake.
Long-lived and powerful strength, it is a high-ranked creature among the spirit beasts.
It is unknown since when it was in Spirit Lake.
It rarely moves from the center of the lake, and many people mistook it for an island together with its giant structure.
In fact, it is called the “Forbidden Island” among the elves.
There are various theories about the origin of the stone building on its back, but the exact place is unknown.
「An island, huh…」
When I saw it in the forest garden, it looked like a turtle about 20 cm long. And its length was about the same as Imosuke.
Even though they say it’s huge and have powerful strength, it still doesn’t seem like that to me.
「But the heavy lancer is about the size of a fingertip, was it just a difference in scale?」
I looked at Imosuke while saying so.
Imosuke moved his head up and down as if to affirm what I said.
「Then… That turtle was actually very big huh」
And then, it dawned on me.
「Then, are you guys actually very big yourself?」
Imosuke took a pose like he’s meditating while tilting his head, and Dangorou was curling his body in and out.
The wave of feeling that came from them was telling me that “it’s a little different.”
「You don’t have to try and explain it in detail you know?」
I poked the curled up Dangorou and sent him rolling.
They tried to explain it in detail, but the only thing that conveyed to me was that they’re trying hard to do so. But I don’t understand. I have too little magical knowledge.
「Explosive Onee-san might be able to understand it though」
A sexy dynamite beauty and the top of Jayanne.
That ability of hers was so great she almost defeated the grim reaper in a match before the god in Holy City.
To top it all off, she is a talented woman who attends and studies at the best school of magic, the so-called Royal Magic Academy.
「Meeting her is impossible though」
On top of “No entry for Tauro-sama” still valid in Jayanne, she’s a very busy person.
As a result of her shocking debut in the match before god, she was reserved for until half a year later.
I looked at Dangorou who stopped curling his body and started to crawl on the back of my hand.
Whether they’re big or small, Imosuke and Dangorou are still the same. They’re my important family.
「Is there anything else about that turtle written here, I wonder」
When I flipped the page, there’s a big illustration on it. Moreover, a full-colored one.
「Ohh… This is certainly the turtle from back then」
That figure who glares at its surrounding with the lake as the background was very similar to the turtle that appeared in the forest garden.
Though I feel like it’s a bit more too dignified and majestic.
According to this article, it seems that he is spending time quietly, not moving much from the center of the lake.
A raging ferocious beast that demands a sacrifice at every turn of the season. I was relieved that it wasn’t such an existence.
「Hmm… It didn’t mention anything about the pomelo huh」
I tried searching for something along the lines of “Turtle’s favorite fruit”, but I couldn’t find anything.
Let’s say that “favorite fruit” is pomelo for the time being.
「Well, let’s see what’s written here about you guys next」
I changed the topic and flipped the pages of the book.
I’m sure that Imosuke and Dangorou also want to know about it. I approached the edge of the book as I looked into it.
「Somehow… The pictures are small and there’s nothing much written in it」
This is a large and considerably thick book.
I found it at the very back part of the section, and it was only written like a short summary. It was also not colored, unlike the turtle.
My kins looked disappointed after seeing it.
「The next one after spirit beasts is demon beast section huh」
I flipped the pages again.
And then I found something written about the heavy lancer at relatively front pages. It comes with colored illustrations and detailed descriptions.
「They’re quite famous」
For me, that was interesting, but it seems my kins were unhappy about it. Imosuke turned his butt toward the book, and Dangorou curled into a sphere.
「….You guys are indispensable for supporting the forest, you know? That’s what it says here」
I went back a little to the previous pages and said in a bright tone.
I traced with my finger the part that says『these spirit creatures also play a role in supporting the forest』.
I didn’t say anything wrong.
As I comforted them both, I flipped the pages and looked at the pictures together.