Editor: Thor’s Stone
“……Just what is going on here?”
“I am truly sorry, My Lord. I am not sure why the poisoning failed. I definitely laced the wine served to Lord Corinth in poison and witnessed him drinking it directly with my own two eyes.”
“If so, then why isn’t he dead yet?”
“……Perhaps he already drank an antidote of some sort in advance.”
“Is it a type of medicine that I am unaware of?”
“Lord Corinth has sold quite a large number of panaceas. Perhaps he still has a considerable supply in his possession. He might have drunk one such vial beforehand.”
“…………A panacea, is it? Tsk. If I knew this was going to be the case, I wouldn’t have recommended him for the position of Lord Protector! What a damned blunder!”
“My Lord, perhaps it was still fortunate that the man didn’t die of poison at this time.”
“……You mean the dragon? Are you saying the dragon might show up again?”
“That I do not know. But before we can be clear regarding the situation, I think that leaving that man alive would be better.”
“However, didn’t he say that he wasn’t sure if that blasted dragon would actually listen to him the next time he encounters it? So doesn’t that mean it doesn’t matter if he’s alive or dead?”
“But Lord Corinth has managed to encounter dragons multiple times and survived every one of those encounters so far. In other words, he now has a solid reputation. Why not keep him alive, at least while he is still in the royal capital?
……Most likely, the only one brave and foolish enough to confront a rampaging dragon like that is Lord Corinth alone.”
“Tsk, how vexing!”
“Leaving that aside, why not deal with him using another method? The bandit subjugation he promised the king is a great opportunity. He even promised to capture five hundred bandits and criminals to present to His Majesty. And then you can simply place all blame on him if there is no meaningful progress made despite the royal order.”
“……Fumu. Since I have praised and elevated him so much in front of so many, it is difficult for me to put him down myself, but I can just borrow the hand of someone else instead. Not bad. Not bad at all.”
The rescued people along with Satellite Team 10 divided themselves into several groups and went out of the royal capital’s gates as planned in advance. They all managed to escape from the royal capital with no trouble in the end.
Afterward, they’ll have to rush straight back to Gantz just in case the royal castle sends men out in pursuit. As an additional precaution, I also sent one drone to accompany and guard them.
By the time we made it back to the inn, it was already dinnertime, and preparations for it were already underway. Unsurprisingly, everyone who stayed behind wanted to hear the details about what happened during the ceremony and banquet at the royal castle, so I decided to share it with them over dinner.
Since more than ninety people were now packed inside a dining hall that usually only houses forty people at most, it was understandably cramped, and some Clan members didn’t have any more places to sit on and eat, so they just stood at the sides and listened while waiting for the others to finish their meals.
First, Selena and the others related what happened during their rescue operation. The operation seems to have progressed relatively smoothly in the beginning, without that many problems until they freed the prisoners from the cells.
They only encountered a sticky situation while they were heading back to the carriage from the castle dungeon. Unfortunately, they nearly encountered some guards and chamberlains and were caught in between two groups from both the front and behind.
It seems Selena and Sharon decided to proceed with Route G rather than risk exposing themselves to the castle guards. That’s was the correct move. Even I would choose to do so if I were in their shoes.
According to Cleria and the others, the moment Gloria appeared from the sky, there was a lot of commotion in the areas surrounding the castle.
“……Alan, Gloria didn’t come over by mere coincidence, correct?”
Yeah, she latched on to that point, as expected. Gloria came to the castle at the perfect timing after all. There’s no way I can brush something like that off as mere coincidence.
“That’s right. It looks like Gloria was able to hear my call through my thoughts. It’s not like she can hear everything though. My thoughts only came through to her after numerous attempts.”
“………So that really was the case. When Gloria arrived at the castle, it looked like she was looking for someone. So she came here in response to Alan’s call. Can you also hear Gloria’s thoughts, Alan?”
“I can somewhat sense what she’s thinking, I suppose. It’s not like I can understand her perfectly though……”
I think I need to make it sound as vague as possible to maintain the status quo.
“Perhaps it’s the work of the spirits mediating between you and Gloria.”
That’s a perfect way of putting it. It seems Cleria hasn’t forgotten the existence of nanoms, which I conveniently told her were spirits back then. The others also seemed to be agreeing to what Cleria said and nodded.
Hm? So they aren’t gonna inquire any further? Yeah, this development was more than welcome, but it just felt like everyone else easily accepted it when Cleria mentioned it was the work of spirits.
Uh, don’t get me wrong. I’m glad they got convinced even though my story sounded ridiculous, but it still kind of feels weird y’know.
After Selena and the others finished relating their side of the events, it was now my turn. First, I gave them a brief rundown of how I learned noble etiquette and a territory’s taxation system.
“According to what the Chief Accountant told me, the story about me getting conferred a noble title has already begun to spread all around the royal capital. He also said that if I received a normal territory instead, there would have been a flood of people applying for positions as stewards and such at our doors. What do you think, everyone?”
“There’s certainly a good chance of that happening. Serving a newly rising noble house is quite a rare opportunity after all. The problem is that the territory we requested was the Great Demon Forest.”
Dalshim seems to have the same opinion as the Chief Accountant. It’s true that no one in this country will probably be thrilled at the prospect of living within the Great Demon Forest. I hope that some adventurers who are up to the challenge will come over, at least.
“I personally think it’s better to hire as many talented people as we can……”
“But of course. If we find truly talented individuals, then there’s nothing wrong with proactively trying to recruit them. If it’s alright with you, we can be in charge of the selection, and if there aren’t any problems, we’ll move on to introduce them to Alan-sama and Ria-sama.”
That’s a nice suggestion. Everyone would better know just what kind of people we required compared to me, and I think it’s important for everyone to approve of the potential new hires as well. After all, I wouldn’t want the new hires getting into conflict with the rest of the Clan.
“That would really help. Alright then. If a person trying to apply for a position as my vassal comes, I’ll leave them to you first, Dalshim.”
The discussion proceeded to the events during the conferment ceremony. I talked about receiving the title of baron without any problems, and the king’s royal order to subdue the bandits and criminals residing in the capital.
“It seems that the king is worried that there are too many bandits lurking around the capital. He then asked us to subdue them, owing to the fact that we have built a reputation as the Bandit Hunters.
I agreed and promised him we will surely wipe out all the bandits in the capital.”
“If the king has issued a royal order, then you’ll have no choice but to acquiesce after all. But as for wiping all the bandits out……”
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. In any case, we just have to capture five hundred bandits to accomplish the royal order.”
“”Five hundred bandits!?””
“But Alan-sama, do you not think five hundred bandits is a little too much……?”
“It’s fine. I have already confirmed the likely lairs of the bandits. Oh, and by the way, I got appointed as a Lord Protector or something as well.”
“Ria-sama, please take a look at this.”
Elna put down the Lord Protector’s shield she was carrying on top of the table we were gathered around on. It looks like she’s been carrying it all this time.