「May I have a moment?」
Several days after the observation of the South’s town of Elgrad.
Having put together the sightseeing plan, Ykslaas appeared at Vermudol’s office.
Although she knocked, seeing that Ykslaas came in without waiting for his answer, Vermudol turned a slightly bitter face towards her.
「Now look here……If you’re going to knock on the door seeking permission, you should at least wait for a reply, right?」
「Ara, what are you saying. If there is anyone that conscientious among your subordinates, by all means, I would like it if you told me of a concrete example.」
Seeing Ykslaas place a hand on Vermudol’s desk and stare at him, Vermudol groaned with a *muー*.
Ichika would be beside him before he knew it, and Nino would come out from below his desk.
Think about how Sancreed would just barge in, Fainell would open the door at the same time she said her first words.
For Raktor, there were times where he would come in from the window. And for Rokuna and Altejio……they would probably come in like Ykslaas did just now.
「……Well, I guess that’s fine.」
「It’s fine even if you don’t make such a distant look……I’ve got it, I’ll do as you said from now on, so mind if I get to the main issue at hand?」
「Ahh, come to think of it, what did you need?」
After Vermudol quickly put his documents away to the side, Ykslaas nimbly sat down on top of that desk.
「You shouldn’t sit down on the desk. That’s bad manners, you know.」
「Ara, didn’t you put all of that aside for my sake?」
「As if that would be the case. Come on, get down.」
Without minding Vermudol who pressed down on his brow, Ykslaas put a finger at her mouth and pondered.
「Let’s see……In that case, could you carry me down?」
Seeing Ykslaas charmingly tilt her head, Vermudol openly displayed his displeasure with a face that looked like he would click his tongue at any moment.
Ykslaas pouted and expressed her discontent.
「Hey, what’s with that face. Isn’t that just rude.」
「Enough of that, so let’s get to the main point. I’m busy.」
「Be more gentlemanly. What are you doing being like that.」
「Sorry, I’m sold out on gentlemanly behavior and it’s on backorder.」
Leaning his body on the back of his chair, Vermudol breathed a deep sigh.
While still on his desk, Ykslaas started rummaging through the documents that were next to her.
「Oi, don’t touch that so much.」
「It’s fine. Erm, this should be it.」
What Ykslaas pulled out from the mountain of documents was the document related to the sightseeing plan for the Central region.
「That’s……the one for the Central region. What about it?」
「Nnー……Ahh, there really aren’t any. Since I didn’t catch sight of anything similar even in the town, I thought that it might be a possibility.」
Vermudol knited his brow at Ykslaas’s words.
Rather than her saying that there was an oversight in the sightseeing plan, it sounded like she was saying that there was something lacking in the town.
「Is there something lacking?」
When Vermudol asked that, Ykslaas hit the document with her hand with a *pan*.
「There aren’t any minstrels.」
Hearing that unexpected answer, Vermudol reflexively repeated after her.
Naturally, Vermudol also knew what minstrels were.
Minstrels were those that would sing various poems, and go around to countries and towns.
Their poems were mainly created from incidents and gossip that they actually saw and heard, and from things like legends.
They would tell stories of far unknown places by singing to their own accompaniment, and narrate famous legends full with ambiance.
When he was infiltrating mankind’s territory with the name of Shion in the past, Vermudol had also seen minstrels several times.
What they sang were mainly about the Hero legend.
And although it is called the Hero legend, it wasn’t like there was only a single poem.
After all, if the legend that the Hero Ryuuya left behind were to include the rumors where the authenticity was unknown, there would be enough material to not run out of things to sing about even if they continued singing for an entire month.
If the minstrel were to belt out with a pleasant and exhilarating tone, the bars would definitely get really roused up.
The Hero legends were just that popular, and if one were a minstrel of mankind’s territory, it was something that they should start singing with.
As a result of them creating their own outrageous fiction in order to increase their repetoire, the Hero that came out in the Hero legends that the minstrels sung made it doubtful if he really was a member of mankind……but let’s put that aside.
「……I don’t think that something like that is necessary though.」
「Ara, looks like you don’t get it. Minstrels are important, you know?」
「……Important, huh. How are they important specifically?」
「Let’s see……Just how do you perceive minstrels?」
「They’re entertainers who noncommittally sing rumors, aren’t they?」
When speaking of Vermudol’s image of minstrels, they were a bunch of entertainers that would noncommittally sing gossip that had questionable authenticity at the top of their voices.
Certainly, if they were around, it might increase the town’s energy, but was that not all there was to it?
If it was in the meaning of playing the simple role of rousing people, there was no need to be a minstrel.
There were many Mazoku that possessed quick tricks, and if alcohol were added to the equation, their mood would go up even more.
Even for music, it was said that places that looked like stores selling musical instruments were made recently, and although there were still only a few of them, there were people who could play musical instruments.
「You’re wrong. Honestly……」
Slowly getting onto all fours on top of the desk, Ykslaas thrust her finger in front of Vermudol.
「Listen up. The thing about minstrels, they were originally information sellers.」
Minstrels would turn rumors and legends, and then, the things that they saw themselves of various places into poems.
In a certain sense, it could be said that the ones most informed on the circumstances of other places were the minstrels.
After all, they would go anywhere if it was for the sake of creating new songs.
Displaying interest in trivial rumors, if they were to sense a hint of a large event or incident, they would head there without paying any attention to the danger.
Even during the parade that Vermudol’s group held in the Jiol Forest Kingdom, there were many minstrels mixed in amongst the crowds.
Like that, there would be royalty and nobles that would invite them to their residences in order to obtain the information they gathered, and there were even spies that would dress up as minstrels and head to various places.
Conversely, there were also cases where genuine minstrels would be employed by influential people and become spies.
Hearing Ykslaas’s explanation, Vermudol silently nodded.
「Fumu……However, we already have spies. There’s not reason to have them go out of their way to pretend to be minstrels but……Uーmu. I guess I’ll run it by Rokuna just in case.」
「Well, I’ll leave the secret information stuff to you. So, even regarding the sightseeing plan, the minstrels really are necessary, you know?」
For minstrels, aside from being information sellers and spies, they also have the aspect of being a source of gossip.
The stories of various countries and lands that the minstrels sung are also one of the few sources of news for the general public.
Speaking of other outside information, seeing as how there was no other way other than talk circulated from travelers and merchants that went around the countries, one could really understand their importance.
In some cases, the minstrels’ poems would also create large currents that had the name of public opinion.
「Minstrels are also people who decide various impressions. Depending on how they sing about things, even the way that people dance will change.」
「……I don’t really like the way you’re saying that.」
「Ara, it’s the truth, and it’s common knowledge in any country. To begin with, this country is strange in all sorts of ways. As for what’s strange, shall I tell you about each one?」
When Vermudol waved his hand with a fed up face, Ykslaas puffed up her cheeks.
「I understand the importance of minstrels. I say this upon knowing that, but I still don’t think that they are necessary in this country.」
Seeing Vermudol declare that, Ykslaas lied down on top of the desk as if she lost all of her strength.
When Vermudol extended a hand to try and move the documents out of the way, Ykslaas grabbed that hand.
「Listen up, Vermudol. For what reason did you accept tourists from mankind’s territory?」
「That’s obvious. It’s for the sake of friendship with mankind.」
「And why did sightseeing turn into being for the sake of friendship with mankind.」
「It was in order to overturn the prejudice towards Mazoku. Honestly, it’s troubling for them to continue keeping their image of the Mazoku of mankind’s territory.」
Hearing that much, Ykslaas nodded.
「That’s right. In that case, you should at least understand the way to use minstrels.」
Vermudol thought about it.
In other words, have them sing poems that would better the image that Mazoku had, that is what Ykslaas was saying.
「……There’s no way it would go that well. It should be better to show them as we are.」
If their image was poorly manipulated, there was the fear of conversely creating distrust from there.
It would be even worse if they were thought to be trying to brainwash the people.
「No one said anything about having them sing songs of praises about the Demon King. It’s possible for them to sing about how happy everyday life here is, you know?」
「I really do get that you don’t like minstrels. But, you should use the things that you can use. They are also people that form culture, you know?」
He didn’t really have any good memories about the minstrels of mankind’s territory, but if it was within the Dark Continent, a different form of minstrels might be created.
In that case, value in attempting it……might, be there.
「Got it. I will seriously take it into consideration.」
「Is that so. Then that’s fine.」
Seeing Ykslaas smile looking satisfied, Vermudol made a surprised face.
「Is it? It’s not like I said I would implement it though?」
「It’s fine. If you say that you’ll seriously take it into consideration, then it’s exactly as you say. If you thought that it was unnecessary on top of that, then it can’t be helped.」
Vermudol and Ykslaas expressed smiles at each other.
「Now then, this talk has reached a stopping point……but.」
「Ara, what is it.」
「……Would you get down already.」
「No way. I’ve come to like this for some reason.」
Seeing Ysklaas start to roll about on top of his desk, Vermudol once again breathed a deep sigh.