258 – Troublesome Stuff and More Troublesome Stuff
Editor: Thor’s Stone
“I’m really sorry about earlier, Hiro-dono. I deeply apologize for his behavior.”
A few moments after the earlier confrontation, I found myself face to face with the leader of the Grado clan himself, Zesh, performing a splendid dogeza in apology. What happened to the elf who came at me earlier? Well, Zesh appeared while I was desperately holding Mei back from bludgeoning the guy and used his sword, which was still in its scabbard, to knock the other elf out by hitting him in the back of the head. He was then taken away by Zesh’s attendants who came to accompany them.
“I was really surprised earlier, but I guess I’ll let it slide. So, who the heck was that guy anyway?”
“He’s the leader of a family that’s especially adept in the spirit arts and magic even within the Grado clan. In other words, he’s the head of those among us who hate science and technology to a very high degree.”
Zesh raised his head to reply to me while still kneeling in seiza on the ship’s floor. Hm? So the Grado clan isn’t actually a united monolith? Well, I guess no faction, no matter how big or small, can actually be perfectly united. It’s not really that unusual.
“……So why did he come here in the first place? With that kind of attitude too.”
“He’s the leader of those who opposed the Rose clan’s proposed rescue plan. In other words, he was part of those who vehemently opposed the Rose clan sending in starships to rescue you and your companions. It’s also because of their strong insistence that we ended up providing you with our own magical vehicle as a ride instead of letting you travel here via starship. And as a result, you and your companions were subjected to great danger, Hiro-dono. That’s why I brought him over to apologize to you himself. But, well……”
“That’s how it turned out, huh? Seriously? That’s really what happened?”
That guy was definitely raring to get into an argument with us. At the very least, he didn’t seem to be willing to apologize.
“He had agreed to provide an apology when I talked to him last night, but that was how things turned out when we arrived on your ship. He blocked us with magic, so we were late to respond. I am deeply ashamed.”
After saying so, Zesh deeply bowed on the floor again.
Well, I’ve felt his sincerity, and it was him who dealt with the guy in the end anyway. Of course, maybe all of this was just an elaborate play, but even so, he did hit his own clansman, got down on the floor, and didn’t hesitate to bow low in apology. I feel like I can forgive them anyway, regardless of whether or not everything that’s happened was actually fake.
“Regarding the guy who flared up at me earlier…… I guess I can forgive and forget if the Grado clan takes responsibility for what happened and follows up accordingly. As for the accident…… It would have been difficult to predict something like that would happen, but it was possible that we could have died with just one misstep, and it’s a fact that the elves delayed our rescue due to being preoccupied with your internal conflicts. Since that’s the case, I expect you to show some level of sincerity going forward.”
“That’s only reasonable. I would have expected the same if I was in your position. No, I think you are already being far too forgiving, considering what had happened.”
“Did you think we would ask for something a lot more unreasonable?”
“Honestly, yes, I did.”
Zesh nodded honestly. He was still kneeling in seiza on the floor. I was sitting on a sofa though.
“You immediately bowed down without caring for your face, and even if there was a bit of unexpected trouble in the beginning, you dealt with it yourself. I’m sure you’d do the necessary follow-ups as well, right?”
“Of course. It is outrageous for someone who came to offer an apology to flare up at the one he is supposed to apologize to. I will make sure he gets punished severely for this slight.”
“Okay. Well, actually, there are several reasons why I am not asking for any further compensation. First of all, I don’t think you’d be able to hand me the compensation I’d ask for normally. You guys don’t have the most advanced starship technology on hand here, right? Besides, even if I asked you for money instead, I’m not exactly strapped for Enels for the time being. And considering what happened, you’d have to pay me at least a few million in compensation. Right, Mei?”
“Yes. They would have to pay between 1.5 million and 2.5 million Enels in compensation.”
When Zesh heard he’d have to pay 1.5 to 2.5 million Enels, the color of his complexion paled. Yeah, it’s quite a large amount huh. Perhaps the Grado clan, who rely on living together with nature, would find that amount to be an exceedingly heavy price.
“Those might seem like huge amounts of money to you guys, but for us, it’s actually not impossible to earn that much in less than a month. So, if I asked you for monetary compensation, you guys probably won’t be able to pay up anyway, and there are also legal procedures to consider as well. Those might take a number of days to process, and we’d be forced to stay on this planet until everything’s settled. I think it’s a huge waste of time for us to sit on our thumbs here while waiting for compensation to be handed over.”
“I see. But I suppose this does not mean you are willing to let things go without any form of compensation, correct?”
“Of course. If you guys actually insisted on not giving us anything because you can’t afford it and expected me to forgive you after that, the mild-mannered me would have resorted to pressuring you using my privilege as an honorary imperial noble.”
“An honorary noble…”
Zesh parroted my words in a daze. Yeah, I suppose that’s how others would react if I suddenly revealed that I was an honorary imperial noble huh.
“That’s right. It’s because of a Gold Star award or something. I’m actually considered as equivalent to an imperial viscount, right?”
“That’s correct. I have looked it up, and even if you and your fellow clan leaders are considered high-ranking officials of the Refill Autonomous Region, you are still considered imperial commoners outside of it. In other words, it’s possible for you to pass down judgment on the clan leaders in your capacity as an imperial noble, Master. You can even choose to cut them down. And I mean literally.”
As expected, they weren’t aware of the fact that I was an honorary imperial noble. Well, it’s not like I go around flaunting it every chance I get anyway. I definitely won’t go out of my way declaring I was imperial noble to every person I meet, and that I’d cut them down if they pissed me off. I mean, that’s just too much, right? It’s troublesome, and I’d come off as some two-bit villain.
“Anyway, forget the matter with me being an honorary imperial viscount. I’d be satisfied if you showed your sincerity reasonably with something other than money. For example, you can provide us free accommodation in your highest-class hotel and resort where we can relax without worries, offer us delicious and rare delicacies that are difficult to find in Theta, give us a ton of tasty foodstuffs that can be stored without spoiling for an extended amount of time, gift our three alcohol lovers rare liquors, or give the ladies with me some beautiful jewelry and clothes. I’d be satisfied with just those. Those are probably a lot better than asking you to directly pay up 1.5 million Enels, right? Anyway, I’ll leave it up to you.”
“That’s still quite a challenge. But I understand. Please allow us to prove our sincerity.”
“Go ahead. Oh, and I might seem like a womanizer since all my companions are ladies, but I don’t really need any compensation of that kind. My hands are full enough as it is.”
Zesh nodded heavily. Great. That cuts down the possibility of increasing the number of female crew members. In case they still insist, I’d just use my agreement with Zesh as a shield.
“I suppose that’s about it for our talks regarding our compensation. I still have something to ask you about though.”
After saying so, I took out the mysterious luminous object from behind the sofa I was sitting on and showed it to Zesh. When he saw the mysterious glowing drill-shaped object held in my hands, the shock was evident on Zesh’s face.
Actually, he looked rather serious. Deadly serious. It was honestly a bit scary.
“Just where did you obtain this?”
Zesh turned his attention back toward me and asked me with a low tone. C’mon, man. You’re scaring me.
“I found this thing while we were walking around the area near the crash site…… You seem to know what exactly this is huh. Just what is it? It just keeps glowing on and off and it even seems like it can understand what we’re saying. It tries to appeal to our emotions whenever we tried to leave it behind, so we ended up bringing it with us in the end.”
“It is beyond ridiculous to throw something like this away!”
I was taken aback by Zesh’s sudden outburst. Apparently, this thing was a pretty big deal here.
“This is a seed of the Sacred Tree. It is the key for reviving the Sacred Tree that was burnt down due to the attack of the pirates.”
“Hee…… I don’t really get it, but it looks like this is very important to you guys. I’ll hand it over to you then.”
It looks like this thing was of immense importance to the elves. If I opted to keep it, I couldn’t really find a use for it other than serving as a funky flashlight, and I’m not really into taking care of plants anyway. It would be better to have the elves take care of it.
After thinking so, I tried to pass it over to Zesh, but unexpectedly, he shook his head and vehemently refused. By the way, the mysterious luminous object, which was apparently a seed of the elven Sacred Tree, also flashed violently, as if to show refusal.
“You cannot do that. It was Hiro-dono who found the seed of the Sacred Tree. Thus, you need to keep it on your person until it is able to germinate.”
As if agreeing, the mysterious object shined brightly in response.
Eh? This has turned into something troublesome again.