Chapter 267: I’m pretty sure that the mere fact of them being veterans of long long long years of battles already disqualifies them as such, but everyone is too scared to say that out loud.
Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: “ryunakama” Proofreading: “Reader A? Kind of? Maybe?”
Day 65 – Evening, the Souvenir Store, the Capital Outskirts Branch
It has been decided that we are moving. We just settled outside the gates of the Capital, but we are changing locations already. Why does he have to do construction every day? And why is Angelica-san dressed as a bus guide? Could it be a sightseeing bus tour (no bus) through the fake Kyoto?
And Haruka-kun is narrating. Naturally, no one is listening.
「Digging into the depths of the enemy camp and tearing them apart inside out, destroying them from the vulnerable interior, devouring them when they can’t properly attack behind their own lines. Yes, that’s what moving is all about! I guess this is a promotion to The Capital Branch?」
That’s not moving, alright? People who moved to a new place don’t tear apart after digging in or destroy from the inside to devour, ok? Just what on earth is Haruka-kun’s idea of moving? Perhaps I should sit down with him and have a proper talk abou… or rather not?
And so, a going-out-of-business sale was opened just like that.
「And so, with the opening of the Capital Branch Store, we are commencing a liquidation sale for the Capital Outskirts Branch Store! A special offer only for today, how special is it? You will find out tomorrow? However, it’s a special store closure sale, moreover, it’s a time sale with only one hour left before it’s over, it might be super great value? Or sort of like that, everything is 10% off, actually, it’s 10% off after a bit of price hike, but it’s still 10% off, so even though it’s a rip-off, it feels sort of like a good deal! Only feels though?」
At last, maiden wars (bargain sale) have come even to this world! Finally, even still-medieval ladies of this world became prey to the maiden wars (bargain sale). Lured in by the promises of good value and discounts they couldn’t withstand the appeal of『time-limited offer』.
Men and women of all ages are jumbled together, scrambling and fighting for the goods, but for now this is a mere commotion.
It has is yet to reach the scale of a true maiden warfare (bargain sale), still way below the critical point.
But the rumors will definitely spread. In fact, word of mouth should’ve already spread the news. They will come, they will definitely come!
And then, They showed up.
Finally, the True Champions have arrived. The menace and demise of maiden warfare. Veteran maidens of long long long years of battles. The people are calling them『Aunties』, with fear and respect!
The aunties boldly jump into the fray. Freely traversing the bargain’s battlefield that by now utterly transformed into a scene of carnage, they trample the weak, snatching away the spoils of war without care, completely dominating their surroundings in a peerless merchandise plunder spree. Dashing through the battlefield the Aunties capture all that is there for purchase.
That is the true hell, that is onslaught, after all, even the Ex-Dungeon Emperor is afraid! Scared to the point of tears, the Ex-Dungeon Emperor is trembling with teary eyes, witnessing the terrifying image of a bargain sale for the first time. Yup, a mere maiden has no chance of winning against that.
We completely sold out.
「Good job~. We totally sold out, so time to move? Or rather, what do we do with the Capital Outskirts Branch Store? Ah, might as well just give it away to Meripapa-san, he so conveniently arrived after all?」
A lone horseman approaches. Again, riding ahead all alone.
「My, we are late, huh. Regrouping of the royal guards is taking too long, so I ditched them and went ahead on my own. So, why is there a fortress right in front of the Capital’s gates~? Is the royal palace safe? It wasn’t destroyed or demolished, right?」
Once again, Omui-sama arrived without any escort. That person behind, desperately trying to catch up, must be his aide-san. It seems that taking pity on aide-san’s situation, having to constantly deal with Omui-sama’s antics, Haruka-kun couldn’t help but make exclusive equipment for him, but looks like he was unable to keep up even having the『Acceleration』bonus. But come to think of it, Omui-sama’s equipment is also made by Haruka-kun, so Haruka-kun is the reason why aide-san can’t catch up to Omui-sama to begin with! In most cases, when you think carefully about it, Haruka-kun is always the culprit.
「How should I put it, what great timing? This fortress just became vacant, so I was looking for someone to hand it over to, wanna garrison it? I mean, I just put it up, if I had to tear it down now, it would totally ruin the nice feeling from recent profits, but since I got the business permit from the Second Division’s old man we are moving inside the walls? Or rather, there is a super good property that comes with free commercial space and dirt-cheap live-in workers, almost literally dying to have us move in, so I must show the true power of a magnate and properly educate them, so yeah, you can have it? Like, it’s free real estate? Kind of? I mean, I have no use for it?」
Looks like Omui-sama is going to garrison it. Of course, Omui-sama couldn’t fully understand the situation, but he seems to be quite used to this by now, and he understood that he is being given a fortress. Is this really alright? I can clearly tell that comprehension of Haruka-kun’s words comes at the price of one’s own word concepts crumbling down, in fact, everyone has reached a pretty dangerous point already? It’s like an infection. At this rate, it will soon get Omui-sama too… sort of?
The frontier troops and the royal guards are gradually gathering, and to match that, the building is also getting rapidly expanded. Librarian-chan is standing on the rooftop of the old Souvenir Store, that’s why no one in the Capital is aware of the troops flocking in, no one can see them.
An entire army remains unnoticed despite being under the very gates of the Capital. This is the power of『Ring of Absence – Forced Concealment, Block Identification, Deflect Perception』, the magic tool from the Church that hid the thousand troops that attacked Haruka-kun and the Royal Prince. And it’s further boosted by 『Ripple』and anti-resist effects from『Ripple Necklace』. It’s Librarian-chan’s exclusive equipment, that Haruka-kun even said will become the trump card of this war. The ultimate strategic (stealth) weapon.
Now, we are done here, it’s time to get moving. The children at the orphanage are waiting. For some strange reason, Haruka-kun is well liked by kids as usual? This makes me worry about the possible bad influence he might have on them. Even though he is the deluxe ultimate educational example of what one shouldn’t do, all-in-one, full and complete version, and yet, he for some reason is very popular with children.
We have to tell them that they shouldn’t act like that when we get back! A town with lots of children like Haruka-kun is way too dangerous of a place. No matter how one looks at it, a battlefield or a dungeon would be way more peaceful!
But surely, no matter how much they like him, they won’t be able to imitate that. Surely, that must be impossible to imitate for anyone, so let’s believe that it’s going to be okay. And if not, just quarantine the problem!
Led by the Bus Guide we head to the orphanage, on foot.
With everyone in mute amazement at the sights of pseudo-historical buildings, we walk towards the orphanage. As the common mood of 『You retort – you lose』gripped the party, we somewhat nervously enjoy the sightseeing tour of the mini-school trip.thenー
「「「「Why Byodoin’s Phoenix Hall!」」」」 
Thank goodness, everyone retorted to that.
The members that came here at noon grew too tired of retorting to have any strength to react left. Everyone felt actually exhausted after retorting so much. After all, we used up all our strength in attempts to stop the rampage of the person, who says stuff like『Kiyomizu Temple doesn’t suit level ground』or『There isn’t enough space to put Eastern Grand Temple』, repeatedly retorting and retorting and retorting until we couldn’t retort anymore. It was just too much. Merely stopping his『Alright, I’m building the star fort and burning down the noblemen’s district』 was the best we could do. That’s why it can’t be helped that the orphanage is Byodoin’s Phoenix Hall, no lake however. After all, we wanted to give those children food and a place to live as soon as possible. That’s why we couldn’t care less if it was the Phoenix Hall or Edo Castle or Izumo Oyashiro  or Horyuji  as long as it was a safe, warm, and nice place where they could feel at home.
Well, looking at it once again, it might not be okay at all, but back then, it somehow felt fine? Yeah, the sign 『Souvenir Store, Sort of Orphanage Branch? Kind of?』hanging from the roof of the Phoenix Hall, which is said to be built in the image of Sukhavati,  probably wasn’t a great touch. I mean… It’s neon? It looks kind of indecent?
A welcome from the children and the group that stayed back.
The children changed beyond recognition, clean and lovely they shine with angel-like smiles. There are still hints of exhaustion, malnourishment, and illness that can be noticed… But everyone is smiling. Happily, delightfully, they are waving hands, calling us.
They no longer have those utterly exhausted expressionless faces of despaired resignation. They are beaming with smiles.
The children are smiling like angels.
「「「We are back.」」」
Everyone reunited with smiles. Except just one person.
Only one person was unable to smile.
Upon reaching the orphanage, the princess, Shari-sama, kneeled, bowing down. Almost slamming into the floor she lowered her head, crying.
It’s because we told her everything on the way here, in what state the children were in and in which conditions they lived. Everything. Haruka-kun didn’t say anything. The Princess was unable to say anything.
Having nothing she could say back must’ve been the most bitter part, as she felt like she abandoned them. She made her way here despairing over herself, the kingdom, its nobles and the royal family. The children that no one helped, the children that weren’t offered a helping hand by anyone. She came to atone as a leader of the kingdom that abandoned them.
Apologies are meaningless, and even if she apologized, she won’t be forgiven, that’s why the Princess kept rubbing her forehead on the floor, crying, without saying anything, as if carving this moment into her heart.
She learned the true nature of the kingdom that she tried so hard to protect. Despite the Royal Family’s pledge to protect its people, they didn’t even know how the people were abandoned. There was a pitiful royalty that couldn’t do anything but bow down before those abandoned children.
But in this alone no one can cover her. This alone can’t be forgiven. Because it would mean insulting the Princess herself, who even risked her life to protect her people. Because it would mean mocking the pledge of protecting their people, inherited by each successive generation of the royal family.
That’s why we told her everything as it is. That the orphans were on the verge of death, that sickness was rampant, that they were malnourished and exhausted to the brink of dying. It could’ve turned really bad if not for Haruka-kun’s medical mushroom potions. We told her that the most vulnerable of the people of the kingdom, the orphans, were completely abandoned.
Because not knowing what is going on is a crime by itself for the royal family, for they had sworn to protect its people.
Crying, lamenting, and repenting while groveling on the ground, she has no choice but to stand up on her own. She can’t find pardon for the sins that had been committed, so there is no choice but to deliver from now on. If she can’t stand up and face forward, then even the future will turn unforgivable, you know?
Well, fortunately, the Princess didn’t see Haruka-kun’s face yesterday. She didn’t have to see that tender smile as he was gazing at the Noble district. Such a soft and gentle smile. Such an infinitely kind smile, as if he was seeing off poor souls descending into hellfire as they pleaded for their lives.
 Byōdō-in is a Buddhist temple in the city of Uji in Kyoto Prefecture, built in the late Heian period. Completed in 1052. Has great cultural significance. The Phoenix Hall is recognized as a national treasure and world heritage site, as well as being depicted on coins and banknotes. Not in some commemorative coin fashion, but on the actual issued ones, for decades.A pillar painting of a phoenix from Byōdō-in Temple is featured on 10,000 yen note from 1958-1986, was replaced by a pair of pheasants (Phasianus versicolor), which is Japan’s national bird, only to make a comeback in 2004 with a depiction of the statue of phoenix from the same temple. In fact, out of the 70 years that the 10,000 yen banknote existed, this temple stayed on it for 50. Just to give a sense of scale on which Haruka is operating.
 Eastern Grand Temple or Todai-ji (東大寺) is a Buddhist temple complex that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in the city of Nara, Japan. Founded in the 8th century it underwent a few reconstructions since then, with the last major one finishing in 1709. Absolutely loaded with articles listed as national treasures or important cultural properties.
 I put “the” because considering the theme we have in these chapters, it is likely another reference to a major historical site. This time like Goryōkaku (五稜郭) is a star fort in the Japanese city of Hakodate on the island of Hokkaido, finished in 1866.
 Izumo-taisha or Izumo Ōyashiro is one of the most ancient and important Shinto shrines in Japan. In fact, so ancient that there are no records on the date of its establishment. It is dedicated to the god Ōkuninushi (大国主大神, Ōkuninushi no Ōkami), famous as the Shinto deity of marriage and to Kotoamatsukami, distinguishing heavenly kami. The shrine is believed by many to be the oldest Shinto shrine in Japan, even pre-dating the Ise Grand Shrine.
 Hōryū-ji is a Buddhist temple that was once one of the powerful Seven Great Temples, located in Ikaruga, Nara Prefecture, Japan. Its full name is Hōryū Gakumonji, or Learning Temple of the Flourishing Law, the complex serving as both a seminary and monastery. Founded somewhere in the early 7th century. The main hall is widely recognized as THE world’s oldest wooden building.
 Sukhavati – is a pure land of Amitābha in Mahayana Buddhism. It is also called the Land of Bliss or Western Pure Land, and is the most well-known of Buddhist pure lands, due to the popularity of Pure Land Buddhism in East Asia.
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