「Does anything come to mind with regards to Miss Gratina?」
Jemma raised an eyebrow. Most likely he was thinking about something…… That’s what I thought when he replied immediately after.
「Well, I just remembered some old times when some important information was leaked. It did not result in much of a loss, but it did not feel good. I can accept it, but…… Well, I suppose too much suspicion is not a good thing either.」
It wasn’t a clear response, but most likely he had come to a few conclusions about events in his past. Because of that, he’s suspecting that I may have sent Gratina as a trap.
Still, the one thing I knew was that there was a fair chance that even in Jemma Co., there were people being controlled, perhaps just like what I had done to the maid of House Lambert. The fact that the person in question isn’t necessarily self-aware can be troublesome.
「Well then, let’s talk about something else. Do you have any interest in Rodania’s produce, such as incense and cosmetics?」
Saying that, he took out a large map from the back shelf, as well as some books with drawings of various craftwork, agricultural products, and the like. He then took out a small block of incense and a burner made of metal and stone, left it on the table, and carefully lit the incense.
I had heard that Rodania had a developed culture for incense, but it was precisely because of the difference in quality that gave rise to the production of Rodanian incense in this country as well. I had wondered for a moment why he changed topics so suddenly…… when I saw a small piece of paper between his fingers that was clearly irrelevant to the topic. A secret message, perhaps?
He had been so meticulous and careful with his words…… That probably meant that I should burn the message after reading it.
「Rodania, you say? I don’t know much beyond factual knowledge, but I have heard that it is a powerful country. It has the backing of the Church, for one……」
I peered at the map and quietly received the piece of paper before taking a piece of craftwork into my hand. While resuming the conversation, I took a few short glances at the paper. It was an advertisement for a small restaurant in the Old Town, with a password of some sort written on it…… I see. This would be the unofficial route of communication from now on. This had nothing to do with what we were talking about today.
That meant that the most important part of the conversation had already been over. Layla was probably just about to get tired. All that remained was to discuss our business front, then head home.
I dropped the piece of paper onto the burning incense. It quickly turned into ashes.
「If you are able to mass-produce your magical items, you could certainly make a profit. Perhaps Rodania is out of the question, but the school district Palmira and the capital city Istren would be fine……」
「Well, I doubt I could expand that far……」
The name of a location on the map caught my attention. It wasn’t part of this country, but a mountain town called Wistaria in the outskirts of the Rodania kingdom in the East.
It was a name I had seen…… no, heard somewhere. I would’ve remembered right away if Daria was with me. Or perhaps the knowledgeable Sara or Astarte…… hm?
That’s right, it was Astarte. It was so long ago, on the night we first met. She had called my deceased mother「Amurosa of Wistaria」.
Excluding relatively old families, only nobles would have family names. In most small villages and towns, simply having a name is more than enough. Even if people had the same name, they would be working in different places, so it doesn’t pose a problem.
When I traveled to faraway lands, it was common for people to call themselves by the names of their hometowns. Amurosa of Wistaria was probably the name my mother had given herself. And the name of that place was on this very map.
「……Rodania is a mountainous country, isn’t it?」
「Well, even though the rivers surrounding it act as its borders, it’s still connected by land. It’s only natural there would be mountains here and there. And…… well, I hear that there are many monsters in that country. Even though it claims a large area, its strength is about the same as ours…… I think that’s fair to say.」
Oh, I see. There are many monsters there. I hope my facial expression didn’t seem odd. I tried to steady my breath, and sounded as cheerful as possible.
「I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but there truly are few monsters in this country. I hope it isn’t too much for them…… Fighting against monsters, I mean.」
It seemed that Jemma took my background into consideration and took it as a light joke. He gave a wry smile and replied just as I expected.
「It is said that over ten years ago, the whole of Rodania went on a monster hunt. I do not know if it really happened, and in fact, it may have been more of a witch hunt. Does it pique your interest?」
「……Well, I’m just not sure if I can bargain with demons.」
「Hmm, you seem to be a rather greedy one. To strike bargains with demons, not to mention other countries…… No, you of all people may be able to think of something.」
Our conversation was more or less finished. We briefly discussed the present head of House Roland, which was the opponent of House Lambert, as well as the parade to introduce Olivia as Uncle Abram’s successor, which was scheduled at the end of the month. That was the end of our conversation.
I wasn’t expecting to know the unexpected. I knew it wasn’t the best time to think about such things, but I was distracted nevertheless. I would be lying if I said that I never expected it at all, so I had Diana secretly investigate the other matters. However, this confirmed my suspicions more or less.
The chaos in the Underground Waterway that made me fall from grace; Wistaria; One of my mother’s peers who traveled to the Demon Realm with her as a companion……. Astarte was a Rodanian noble, although she may have lost her status already.
「You look like you were tricked by the old man at Jemma Co.」
Layla said to me on our way home after lunch, as if I looked a little tired. I wonder if I really did seem exhausted. I couldn’t stop thinking about Astarte. Maybe that gave it away.
What exactly was Astarte’s reason for coming to me? She may have been serious about making me king, but she may have had other motives as well. Either way, there should have been no reason for Astarte to make a move at that time.
「Do I seem that tired, Miss Layla? ……Well, dealing with that old man does make me really nervous.」
「And I thought you had a little more respect for your elders……」
From her point of view, it may have seemed completely natural. Well, that was somewhat true, but my thoughts about him were different.
「Well…… that old man is a difficult one. I respect him as a fellow merchant, but it’s really scary when I’m dealing with him…… *sigh*, I really am exhausted.」
I became aware of how nervous I really was. The muscles in my shoulders were stiff. I didn’t know how to feel about my own timidity.
「Hmm, I see. I don’t think he bore any ill will towards you, but I’m sure it would have been terrifying if he had challenged you in earnest.」
Only people who were quick-witted or were knowledgeable about business and government would have figured out that Jemma Co. saw House Lambert as a danger, or that Gratina had spies in Jemma Co., but I couldn’t tell any of that to Layla.
「By the way, how did go on your end?」
「Well…… Everyone has been kind to me. The madam told me many things, but… how should I say this…… I’m not good at entertaining people, but I’m worse at being entertained. It felt like I was putting on a show, if that makes sense……」
It was as I predicted, but it seems that she tried her best. Even though she was dealing with the family member of a merchant, it’s only natural that one would prefer listening to stories about brave and gallant knights rather than those of merchants. Also, even though Layla isn’t excellent with words, her honesty and kindness simply makes her well-liked.
The timing was perfect. We were close to the restaurant Jemma told me about. I planned on going inside to take a look, on the pretense of taking a break.
「Since we’re both tired…… should we get some rest?」
「Yeah, that’s…… Wait, Elliot, why are we doing this right here and now?!」
Layla suddenly shouted in surprise. I wondered if I had said something disturbing…… Oh, that’s what it was.
「Well, I wouldn’t take you to a room so openly. I just wanted to have a quick drink this time. Did you actually……」
I whispered teasingly at the last part.
「Y-y-you fool! I thought you were going to……!」
She scolded me in a low voice, but her face was red. She’s normally serious, but her embarrassed reaction at times like this is still refreshing, and even stimulating. I hurried inside and bought some drinks while saying the password. I received the change as well as the goods in a small envelope, then returned to the shop with Layla. It wasn’t the time to confirm the contents because Layla was still awake……
Once we returned, Layla checked the shop for any assassins while I locked the front door behind her. When she finished her search and came back to me, I went behind her and stuck my waist to her butts. I had already been excited.
She knew right away what I was trying to do. She sounded panicked. I whispered into her ears.
「You made me get into the mood because you said something like that. I wanna do it now.」
「E-Elliot?! W-What are you saying? It’s still daytime, you know?!」
Her face tinged red in embarrassment again. She was rejecting me through her words, but not in her actions. I grabbed her huge butts before she could say anything else.
As I thought, she didn’t try to get away. I squeezed her butts a little, and pushed her toward the counter in the shop. No one was going to come in since I had locked the door, but Layla had no way of knowing that. I moved my hands slowly and stripped the bottom half of her clothes. However, she was also wearing a dress inside. I raised it until it reached above her waist.
「Ah…… It’s going to get wrinkled.」
「Sorry. You’ll have to fold it later.」
Saying that, I loosened my belt. I was already prepared. I could see that her underwear was already a little wet. Layla didn’t mind living a simple life, but she was wearing clothes suitable for lunch earlier. Her underwear had some embroidery and was nice to touch. Most likely, it was rare and important to her, but I couldn’t hold back any longer. I put my penis between her butts and rubbed them by moving back and forth. She immediately came, and stained her underwear with her cum.
「Wait, this place is a little……」
Even though she said that, she put her hand on the counter. She remained standing as if ready to greet any customers. She’s stronger than me, so she could have stopped me any time, but she didn’t. I grabbed the underwear that stuck to her butts and moved it away. She let out her cum and a little bit of steam.
I put some slight pressure on her hips to keep her steady and to make her butts stick out. I slowly penetrated her with my penis.
「Ah…… You’re inside me, even though it’s still so bright outside. To think you would do this……」
I released my hands from her hips and put them on her shoulder, then turned her around to face me. She looked troubled and enchanted at the same time. Layla bent her body slightly backwards, and I moved forward in turn to kiss her.
「Mm…… Ha… Mmah…… Mmm…」
Our lips and tongues met for a while, and tasted each other slowly. When we finally stopped kissing, I suddenly felt like making fun of her.
「Oh, who’s that coming into the shop?」
Her reaction was intense. She suddenly tightened her vagina and almost twisted my penis.
「O-oh no. If anyone comes in, they’ll see us.」
「Yeah. Should we show them?」
Saying that, I put more strength into my movements. I grabbed her waist again, hitting it with a stroke. Layla finally released her strength and laid on the counter with her hair spread out on the surface.
「Hey, did you hear that? Was that Miss Sara from the castle? Or maybe……」
「S-stop that. Please, Elliot. Hurry, hurry……」
Just then, someone actually came to the front door and tried opening it. It was locked, so there was no way it would open. I had taken precautions to stop the noise from going outside, so no one could have heard or eavesdropped on us either. However, Layla didn’t know that.
「They’re going to see us……!」
Her vaginal movements intensified all at once. Her nervousness made her tighten her grip, and I felt pleasure in it, but she hurriedly reached her climax. There was a voice beyond the door. I had set up some magic tools to allow me to listen clearly to whatever was going on outside.
「Hello, Lord Elliot……? Milady Layla……?」
It was a slightly familiar voice. I think it was Layla’s nanny.
Her embarrassment, nervousness, and fear came to her all at once, but even still, she begged for more pleasure and a quick release. I was almost at my limit as well.
I brought my hand forward and covered her mouth.
「If we go out now, she may find out from the smell…… Can I let it out inside you?」
I had often ejaculated inside her, so it was weird for me to ask. But still, I wanted her consent during the day. Not when I forced her with the power of Gratina at night, but when she was in full control of herself during the day, in my embrace.
She nodded without saying a word. I no longer had to hold it in.
「I’m coming, I’m letting it all out inside you, Layla……!」
Finally, I hit her hips as hard as I could, and ejaculated my semen as far inside as possible. She stretched her back muscles and stopped when she was half standing. I embraced her hips and brought her forward so we wouldn’t fall over. Before I knew it, I had stuck my fingers into her mouth, and was playing with it.
The upper half of my body, which was still clothed, shook and quivered.
「……They did say they were going out for lunch. I wonder if they’re still there……」
She left after saying that. Layla’s house is close by, so she was probably planning on coming back later. I was about to tell Layla, when the strength slowly faded from her body, and she fell to her knees.
Unable to maintain her strength, she slowly lowered her shoulders, then her head, onto the ground. Only her hips were raised as I was still holding onto it. Her slumped body resembled a mountain, with her butts as the peak.
「Sorry, your underwear has become dirty. ……I’ll buy you a new one next time.」
However, I didn’t have the time to buy her a new one on that day. Allowing her to rest with my semen inside her vagina, I let her use Daria’s underwear, which was a little smaller than her size.