Weekly chapters (1/2)
Sorry for the late releases. I was busy with IRL stuffs and barely can open my PC.
Well, enough from me~ Here is a new chapter for you.
Episode 40 – ~I finally found that~
[So, you are the hero of Karendil Kingdom, Taichi-dono?]
[That’s right. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not working for Karendil Kingdom. I’m here not because Karendil kingdom ordered me to do so, but because of my own intention.]
With the bonded sword still in hand as I landed back on the ground, I talked to the Miscronia Kingdom’s military general――Edward.
He’s probably how a blue eyed blonde ikemen would look once they matured, which made me wonder if I’ll look as handsome as him when I get old. Even in the midst of this battlefield, he still looked charming with his well-maintained moustache.
I felt like a certain Torn should try to learn a few things from this man.
[Allow me to express my sincere gratitude. Thanks to you, the casualties can be minimized.]
Edward then bowed to me, followed by the soldiers around us. What was this? Such a thick amount of respect, I could almost taste it.
I wonder if it’s because there’s a difference of culture between Miscronia kingdom and Karendil Kingdom. The latter did not have a hero among them for a very long period after all.
[Actually I have heard rumours regarding Taichi-dono before this. About how Taichi-dono single handedly stopped the flooding in Karendil Kingdom. Initially, I had my doubt… but now I realized that all the rumours were true. Though I wouldn’t dare to say all this if Her Highness Princess Mariel is also here with us]
[Why is it?]
Edward laughed shortly after saying that.
Political matters, he said? Well, despite the fact that I’m based on Karendil Kingdom, I’ve been going around slaying monsters left and right at my own free will. Their first princess actually managed to bring this wild hero to slay monsters for their country, so I guess she naturally had better popularity here.
Now that I think about it, I suppose we can use it to our benefit?
[Ah…then should I bring princess Marl along?]
When I made such a proposal to Edward, he understandably got suspicious.
[Is Her Highness not in the Karendil Kingdom at the moment?]
[I can also use Transfer magic, so it won’t take too long to bring her here. If it’s not a bother, I can bring her here while you do the post-war processing.]
Post war processing such as rescuing the wounded, dealing with the corpses of the monsters, etc, can take a few hours. In the meantime, I could go to retrieve Marl.
[Pardon me, but can you please do so?]
[Sure, but you’ll owe me one]
[Haha, borrowing the power of a hero will of course be expensive]
Leaving Edward who laughed cheerfully, I transferred back to my mansion at the capital Alfen.
[Welcome back. Returning very early today?]
When I entered the mansion through the entrance gate, Fram, in her usual maid outfit, greeted me. That tall body and long silky black hair. Marl was certainly beautiful, but Fram had a more womanly charm.
To be in relationship with such a beautiful woman, that kind of thought would never cross my mind back when I was still in my original world.
『A simple thank you would do though？』
Shaddap you one existence who I can barely name that popping out of nowhere.
I mean, I was unprepared here, so don’t appear out of the blue like that.
『Some bees might still get in even if you’ve prepared for them, yes？Come on now, is calling me ‘God’ that hard?』
So now God was taking the initiative to speak with me? What’s going on here?
『I suddenly felt the need to pay some respect to you.』
Thank you, I appreciate it. Now would you scram? I’m a bit busy now.
『How heartless can you be?』
[Ah, don’t mind me. I was just fascinated by your beauty]
[Eh? Is, is that so…?]
Scarlet color bloomed on Fram’s cheeks as she responded bashfully. How can someone be this cute? Perhaps she’s not used to being praised.
I want to play around with her a little bit more, but I don’t want to make Edward wait for too long.
[Sorry, but do you know where Marl is?]
[I think Marl-sama should be in the workshop at the moment.]
[I see, thanks]
I entered the mansion and immediately went right, passing the smithy then headed to the alchemist workshop.
I hadn’t really used the smithy recently. I certainly have something I want to make, but there are too many of them.
It certainly felt like I’m in a huge hurry if I didn’t even have time to spare for hobbies. However, there were many things that need to be done. The sooner it’s being dealt with, the better.
Don’t tell me that I’d have to slave my life away like I did in my previous secular world. In the end I might not even have any time to have sex..
[Marl, do you have time to spare?]
[Eh? You’re back already?]
When I entered the workshop while calling up to her, I found Marl was in the middle of reading an old looking book.
[Reading an alchemy book?]
[It is the healing scripture lent by the temple! I borrowed it because I think the theory in healing magic might be useful in making advanced healing potions.]
Bringing her to my chest, I stroked Marl’s head gently. Her face was filled with a smug “How’s that?”. So cute.
[I’ve arrived at Miscronia kingdom and helped them as planned. Can you come along to help me keep the conversation going?]
[Is that so…I understand. I shall prepare soon. Can Taichi-san bring the potions lined up over there for me?]
[Yeah, of course.]
After seeing Marl leaving the alchemy workshop, I picked up one of the potions lined up in one corner. When I appraised them, it was shown as an advanced potion. Although I had no idea what it did, being an advanced potion, the effect must be great.
Thinking back, Marl only started learning alchemy after we stayed in this mansion. But in less than three months, she’s capable of concocting advanced level potion already.
And that’s not all.
Her swordsmanship had risen to the point where people started calling her 『Gale Sword Princess』. Her mastery in wind magic also surpassed most mages in general.
When I first met her, she couldn’t even swing her sword properly. But look at her now, dual wielding swords like it’s natural for her.
Seeing her fights was like watching a dance.
[Now that I think about it, isn’t she a bigger cheat than myself…..?]
In my case, I can freely allocate skill points to learn and strengthen any skill I want. But for a normal human like Marl, gaining new skill and raising the level are very difficult.
However, the quantity and quality of Marl’s abilities were comparable to Kusuha who had lived for more than 500 years.
Her speed of acquiring and raising skills was unusual.
Now matter how one looks at it, being able to fight and even defeat a royal guard in a swordfight after just a few months of learning to wield a sword is abnormal.
Well, perhaps one can say that she’s naturally gifted in swordsmanship. However, when it comes to alchemy and wind magic, her mastery could be considered extraordinary.
[I guess this is what it means to have a hero bloodline.]
Miscronia’s royal family was known to carry the bloodline of many heroes. Marl’s talents probably run in the family.
Did that talent surfaced because she’s been spending time with me?
I didn’t really give it any thought before, but now, it sounded like a ridiculous story.
Appraisal eyes could actually see the detailed status of its target, but I never really bothered to display it before. Maybe when I had the opportunity to look next time.
[Taichi-san! I am ready!]
Hearing Marl calling me from the entrance, I hurriedly shoved all the potions into my inventory and left the alchemy workshop.
Passing through the smithy again to the entrance hall, not only I saw Marl decked out in her new mithril battle dress, but also Fram dressed in full black leather armor.
Both of them were armed with swords.
[Fram wants to come too?]
[Yes, unless if I’ll be a hindrance]
[That means increasing the number of people I need to protect, which is in a way, a hindrance, but….]
I turned my eyes to Marl, who in turn replied with a nod. It seemed that Marl was okay with it.
[But that doesn’t mean that I should keep you confined in the mansion. Un, you should also learn what I’m trying to achieve, cause only then you’ll be able to help think about how we should proceed next.]
[Yosh, then both of you, hold on to me tight.]
In response to my words, Marl stuck herself to the right side of my waist, while Fram hugged onto my left arm. The sensation was halved due to her leather armor, but I could say that my left arm is in paradise now――Ouch! Marl, please don’t tighten yourself around my waist that much.
[Alright, don’t let go, okay?]
While enduring the pain on my waist, I once again casted the long-range transfer magic, returning back to Miscronia kingdom.
[Princess Mariel, it has been a while. Due to time constraints we could only welcome you in such a humble place. Please forgive us.]
[It has been a while, lord Edward. In the battlefield, there is no need for that kind of courtesy or concern. Please raise your head.]
Marl smiled as she spoke in a dignified tone to Edward, who immediately kneeled without hesitation. Who is this beautiful and charismatic woman? This isn’t the Marl I knew of.
[Taichi-san, this is Baron Edward Bullslash. He was one of the most prominent warriors and generals in the Miscronia Kingdom’s army.]
[Once again, nice to meet you, Taichi-dono. Even if Her Highness introduced me as someone well proficient in war, I feel humbled after witnessing Taichi-dono’s military might myself.]
[I have way too many advantages to begin with, so it’s unfair to make the comparison. And I believe you’d still win against the Flood even without my help.]
I was a cheat in one way or another. In other words, there is no need to feel humbled by my power. In fact, you should feel proud of yourself for being able to achieve a similar result even if with a different method.
[However, as I mentioned before, a lot more soldiers will die in the process. Your Highness Mariel, from this point onward it will be quite a journey…]
The army led by Edward was heading to the nearest town of Lumiere, where most supplies were gathered.
He planned to resupply and let the soldiers rest as well as giving the wounded some treatments. Afterward, apparently he’ll head back to the Crown, Miscronia Kingdom’s royal capital.
When I heard the schedule, I unintentionally groaned.
[Is there anything wrong, Hero-dono?]
[Nothing. It’s not like I understand the situation of the battlefield completely, but isn’t it a bit too random?]
It costs money to feed an army.
The size of this army was about 1000 strong, or equal to 1 batalyon. And that number must not starve in order to continue fighting efficiently.
Since they carried heavy equipment, and how physically strenuous marching long distances could be, the amount of food they consumed must have been great even before the battle started.
I don’t know about the monster side, but for humans, it’s too financially burdensome to field an army to move randomly while subjugating any monster they encounter.
And after the great flood, reconstruction costs will skyrocket, not to mention the reward for the soldiers and compensation for the families of the fallen soldiers. Hired mercenaries――and adventurers must be paid for their services. Thinking about it, there should be no room for extra expenses.
[Our country is not that week that Her knees would buckle from this amount of effort]
[It is because the kingdom’s ground forces are a lot greater compared to those on Karendil. It is important for us to protect the people even if the kingdom has to spend a little more.]
Edward explained with a proud smile.
And Marl explained it in an easier to understand
[Fram, do you have anything to add?]
[…….I have no comment. Please don’t ask]
I stayed longer in Karendil, so I knew the situation there. But as it turned out, Miscronia could still afford to splurge their resources even when the great flooding is still ongoing. If this margin is genuine, then the difference in power must be very huge. No wonder Karendil kingdom placed a great importance on Marl, as she is the princess of the other kingdom.
I do understand that there’s a difference in power between the two kingdoms, but I never thought that it’ll be this great.
[Ahー, in that case, do you mind if we tag along?]
[Of course. But please be prepared, for the journey will take a while.]
[Understood. But before that, I could cast wide area healing magic to treat the injured. There are also the advanced potions that Marl concocted.]
[Even if an advanced potion is diluted 100 times, it will still heal an external damage by applying it directly to the wound! When diluted 10 times, the potion can even restore broken bones to normal shape. If it is internal damage, then the undiluted potion will heal it!]
That actually sounded scary for a potion. I wonder what the ingredients are.
It can heal wounds without leaving a scar. That’s some incredible stuff even compared to the medical science of my original world.
[By the way, the main ingredients were the bone marrow and blood that Taichi-san brought yesterday.]
[Ah, those things…]
So she used the materials from Yamata no Orochi. That monster certainly had high vitality.
I hadn’t told Fram yet about how I got the meat for dinner last night, so she was also tilting her head like Edward did.
[Isn’t that poisonous…. It’s poisonous, right?]
[Of course we have processed it properly! Although, since I concocted it in a hurry, the taste might be on the ‘stimulating’ side.]
So it’s minus 100% in taste? Well, I’m never going to use it myself then.
[Then let’s use the potion on the seriously injured. Leave the minor injuries to me.]
After that, while I was healing the soldiers with minor injuries, noises that sounded suspiciously like a human’s death throes could be heard intermittently.
Some soldiers rushed to the scene to investigate, but returned back a short time later. After they found out the reason behind all that death throes-like noises, they could only stay silent.
Well, it’s not that they went completely silent.
[Don’t get seriously injured. Everything will be fine as long as I don’t get seriously injured.]
That minus 100% taste potion really left a huge impression on these poor soldiers. Bless you.
Two days later, we arrived at the nearest town, Lumiere, where the Miscronia army would take a 1 day break.
Lumiere had a different feel compared to Crossroad or Alfen. Here, there seems to be a large amount of water, and most of the houses were made of wood instead of stone. Possibly a measure against moisture and water damage.
Right right, the carriage that the army provided for us was groundbreaking.
It could travel on all terrain by making use of earth magic. To be precise, by making use of the ground levelling device that was attached on the back of the carriage.
Miscronia Kingdom’s military heavily uses this device. Of course, the heavy vehicles in charge of carrying their supplies are also equipped with this device.
The exception would be the cavalry, as they travelled atop their own horse. All other personnel, including the infantry, travel around inside a horse-drawn carriage equipped with the ground levelling device.
The movement of Miscronia kingdom’s army is way faster than Karendil Kingdom’s military. In a straight up contest, there is no way Karendil kingdom could win. But operating this device for a long period of time would probably cost a lot of money, so I don’t know what would happen in a long drawn out war.
By the way we’re also staying in Lumiere, but,
[Hafu, hafuhafu! Haahm!]
[Such an amazing speed]
[Taichi-san really loves rice, is he notー]
I was enjoying the food that Edward had arranged for us at the inn. No, I was enjoying it too much.
Rice was nationally used as the main food product in Miscronia. Therefore, since we’re staying in a high class inn, the rice served was naturally also the high quality one.
It may not be Takuwan(pickled daikon/radish), but there was pickled vegetable that looked like chinese cabbage. It’s less sour, but the salty taste fits well with my tongue.
But what I really enjoyed was the meat dish.
5 millimeters thick slices of fang boar meat dipped in sweet sauce, which then sheared with fire.
[This shogayaki is tastyyyyyyyyy!] (tl note: shogayaki=grilled or fried thinly sliced pork with ginger sweet sauce]
The miso soup was also special. It’s not my favorite white miso soup, but this red miso soup was so properly made it almost sent me to tears.
By the way, it used radish-like vegetables.
Since Fram struggled to use chopsticks, by the time she finished her meal, I was already in the middle of enjoying the after-meal tea.
It was a bit embarrassing that I asked for a second and third serving of shogayaki. I ate a bit too much.
[I’d like to know the seasoning for this food, couldn’t I?]
I’m pretty sure that they used soy sauce to make the shogayaki sauce. There is a possibility that they used mirin as well. And ginger too.
[Shall I call the chef later so we can ask directly?]
[Please do so.]
Afterward, with the schedule set, I went to contact the inn’s chef and managed to ask for the recipe and the seasonings used in the cooking.
The soy sauce is called 『Jan』in this world. The red miso is called『Minir』and is also the specialty product of Lumiere.
I heard that it’s available to buy for travellers at the town’s general store, albeit only for a small amount. So like an arrow that no shield could stop, I immediately ran to the general store.
[Give me Jan and Minir. I’ll take all your stock.]
At first the store clerk was puzzled by my sudden appearance and intensity, but his expression quickly changed into that of a greedy smile after I forked out a gold coin.
Turns out the general store also sold my favorite white miso. Apparently if the aging period is short the miso will turn white, but turns red after maturing. They also sold pickles made with Jan and Minir. Of course I bought it in barrels.
As a bonus, the clerk gave me a bottle of sake and mirin. Yahoo.
Once I get my own territory, I will certainly make this town a trade partner. Not only is it the closest town to the forest, it’s also connected to the road towards the capital city Crown. Although it’s probably still a long way to get there.
I walked out of the store very satisfied. The clerk and the employee even went as far as bowing deeply as they saw me off.
Then, as I was on my back to the inn, I saw Fram jogging towards me from the front. Did she follow me for something urgent?
[Sorry sorry, did I make everyone worried for going too long?
[No, I believe that we don’t have to worry at all… Care for a little walk?]
[Sure, small walk is best after a hearty meal after all.]
Marl would not be happy about this, but I’ll make up to it tonight. To the fullest! But what if the soldiers hear us when we’re in action? fuee.
I had no choice but to use the soundproof barrier or transfer us back to Alfen mansion. For the time being, while inside this country, I need to help maintain Marl’s face as this country’s first princess.
Even in a small town like Lumiere, the people enthusiastically welcomed her arrival.
[That’s the face when you’re thinking about something lewd.]
[Did my thought leak out? You have sharp eyes]
[I’m used to seeing that kind of face, so I’m naturally sensitive to it.]
I see. Fram might’ve been more accustomed to that kind of gaze than Marl in a sense. She had those curves in the right places after all. And judging from her titles, she seemed to be formerly a regular knight.
Karendil kingdom is certainly not without female soldiers or knights. But after working together with the army, I knew full well that their number in the military was never too high. The military was still dominated by male.
People will certainly be curious about a female knight given how rare it is, so I guess it’s not rare for these female knights to be at the receiving end of many gazes.
But how did she end up becoming part of that assassin unit?
[Marl-sama…I mean, Mariel-sama is truly a princess, isn’t she?]
[Yes, she is. I was a little surprised myself too.]
I nodded at Fram’s murmuring.
Certainly, Marl had a lot of misgivings. And she doesn’t usually speak with a dignified tone either.
She always left an impression on other people thanks to her colorful expression, compassion, and smile. Even though she still had that sloppy smile every time I saw her still sleeping in the morning.
[I, is it really alright for me to be with Master and Marl-sama? I’m but a lowly criminal slave after all.]
[Ahー, that’s no good. Don’t worry about it, okay? Because once I get my own territory and build an independent country, I will certainly marry Fram and make you my second wife.]
Somehow Fram was flabbergasted at my proclamation. Well, I guess she didn’t quite get it.
She might’ve thought that she’s just some sort of concubine to me.
[Aa, eh? Second wife? That, I, no way]
[Why are you upset about right now? I mean, it’s Fram who first implied that you want to steal my love away. Or were you just joking back then? I will be the one to negotiate this with Marl, so why are you panicking now?]
Fram-san who is blushing furiously at the moment looked extremely cute. Seeing a cool woman like her blushes feels very stimulating.
Is it just me? No, not just me.
But I’m still unclear. Why was she panicking just now?
[I mean, I originally aimed to kill Master and Marl-sama, only to be bought as a criminal slave…I thought, Marl-sama only wanted me to help take care Master’s――]
While saying that, Fram attempted to hide her blushing face by looking away.
Ehh, now she looked even more adorable and precious. I want to know if there is a man who could hold against this level of attack.
So that’s how it is. Did Fram really think that she was just some sort of a tool for me to appease my sexual urge?
[Now that you mention it, that isn’t really the case. Our relationship is certainly more than that. My standard might be a little too high, but fortunately I have two arms. Marl already claimed the first one, but you can have the other one.
I stretched out my hand.
Fram had a complicated look on her face, but in the end, although hesitantly, she still took my outstretched hand.
I pulled her in, right into my embrace.
Despite her strong body, when I hugged her, she had this peculiar softness in her that felt very womanly.
As I hugged her lithe and curvaceous but trained body, I could feel Fram loosen up considerably, as if she had entrusted herself to me.
[Please take care of me from now on, Fram.]
Her moist jet black eyes stared back at me. Naturally, my face and Fram’s inched closer, then――killing intent?
Leaping forward and drawing my sword while still holding Fram in my embrace. Putting Fram behind me, I confronted the assailant.
[Hello, Taichi-san. It’s Marl here]
What stood before me was Marl, was wide smile decorated her face. But her eyes are clearly not smiling right now. Aieee…why are you angry?
Wasn’t our relationship with Fram already made official!? You’re unfairー!
[Why!? Why is Marl-san angry!?]
[I think that you barely show any respect to me lately! No mercy! Iyaaaah!]
Marl struck me with her sheathed sword.
Oy stop you stupid, magic strengthened attacks are still dangerous even when the sword is still in its scabbard. Please stop, I don’t want to get killed.
By the way that was such a quick step. Did she just use wind magic to accelerate her movement!?
My scream echoed throughout Lumiere’s sky.
At this rate, she’s gonna squeeze me dry.
[The spiritual pressure of Nera-sama’s part has disappeared.]
[Stella, you keep saying things that I don’t understand.]
[Don’t you realize that my part’s spiritual pressure had also diminished at the same time? Unfortunately only Nera-sama’s part disappeared. I see a middle size and maid frame. It’s not hopeless yet for a big boobed princess type like Nera-sama.]
[I’m not sure of what you’re talking about, but why is that I feel angry!?]