After returning from downstairs, Sairitz separated from her escorts and returned to the noble visitor’s room.
A soft black rug is spread out in the room and the guests from various countries are divided in groups and amusing themselves with chats or in the balcony at the far back watching the events of the hall. Sairitz who came from Lorel Union, is one of the people in the highest positions. Before leaving the event, she returned to her assigned sit and a number of hyumans came to talk to her. While dealing with them in a skilled manner, she suddenly noticed something and turns her head to a certain direction.
Sairitz’ eyes narrowed. In the place she felt a gaze, there was an unexpected person.
(The Empire’s second princess Lily Front Gritonia. The being that backups the Empire’s hero. After the appearance of the hero, she has left all her political power as if running away from it, and has been serving under him. Just that, as a person that has seen how she acted before, this was a turnover that brought suspicions. The vigilance around her surroundings has actually grown tighter than before the hero appeared, and investigating her current status is giving us a hard time. It can be said that it is an abnormal vigilance. For now, there’s practically no interaction between me and her though. We haven’t made any unnecessary contact with the hero at their side, and currently there’s no plans to do so) (Sairitz)
After finishing one round of chats, Sairitz apologizes to the people around her and approaches Lily who is close to the balcony. Lily wasn’t looking at Sairitz anymore, she was looking at the situation of the lower floor.
(They came huh, Lorel. I was thinking of ignoring them for a while since Tomoki’s power didn’t work on their priestess, and yet, they are unnecessarily increasing my work load. To think that they would come in contact with the Kuzunoha Company. Don’t joke around. Since the warning of that woman named Tomoe, even if she is just an employee of the company, it didn’t sound like a joke. Tomoki who is preparing to invade, is infatuated with that woman, so I can’t just ignore Kuzunoha Company completely. That unsightly man seems to be the owner Raidou, but there’s the possibility that he is also the master of Tomoe. It is actually a time where I have to be acting together with Tomoki and the others, but if they are doing business so close by, I can’t help but be interested. It would have been good if they just obediently stayed in Tsige. On top of that, you are telling me they have connections with the secrecy-filled Lorel? Geez, they are truly in the way. Such a hindrance, hindrance, hindrance, hindrance!!) (Lily)
On the other side, Lily knew of Sairitz approach. The reason she is looking at the lower floor is not a feint to Sairitz. She was checking out the state of Raidou who had returned to the hall.
For Lily, the Kuzunoha Company and the owner Raidou are a part of the reason she came to Academy Town. Tomoe, the strong swordswoman they met close to Limia Kingdom. That existence, not only became a big crack in the heart of the hero who is the strongest pawn of the Empire, but also on Princess Lily. For him, that was the first time he was treated in a cruel manner, on top of that, she possesses a sword he cannot unsheathe, even when he is able to use any magic tools. Lily took Tomoe’s warning to heart, so she kept down the investigation of Kuzunoha Company to the minimum and has not interfered in any way. She has been able to control the attachment of Tomoki to Tomoe, and the reason why he has not gone to action is also because of her. Tomoe’s existence is currently Lily’s seed of distress, and she couldn’t help worrying about the reason why the subject of that trouble is coming all the way to Academy Town.
“Lily-sama. How’s it going looking at the hall? Did you find someone that picks your interest?”
“Oh, this is, Kahara-sama” (Lily)
“Using –sama, I don’t mind if you call me without any honorifics. You are the princess of the Empire that’s fighting with the demon race at the frontlines after all” (Saritz)
“I have already resigned to my rights for the throne. Also, I am just a libertine person that has come to this kind of festival in this kind of time” (Lily)
“Just by supporting the hero you have enough dedication. I, no, we Lorel want to be lady’s-” (Saritz)
“… Let’s enter the real issue, Kahara-sama. Why did you, one of the authorities of Lorel Union, go through the trouble of going down and meet that man? I am interested” (Lily)
Lily’s words stopped Sairitz flattery. The folding fan was hiding the lower half of Lily’s face and her eyes were gently smiling. But Sairitz was able to sense that it was because she was unhappy that she said something like that.
“Man… Ah, that was a personal affair of mine. I heard from my subordinates that there’s a store in this town that sells well-working medicine and peculiar fruits. ‘He is an incredibly characteristic shopkeeper, so you will be able to tell it is him at a glance’ is what they told me half-jokingly, but when I saw him a while ago, I was surprised. It was truly at a glance, moreover, from afar. That’s why I unconsciously went to talk to him without thinking about my own position. I probably did something troublesome for him” (Sairitz)
“Fufufu, true. Even from here you can tell in an instant that’s him, Raidou-dono” (Lily)
Lily’s eyes perceive Raidou. And then, after ascertaining Raidou, this time Sairitz was the one who showed interest.
“… Lily-sama also knows about Raidou-dono?” (Sairitz)
“Yeah. On my side it is mostly from rumors though. Things like, their employees being almost all demi-humans, and that he is working as a temporary teacher in the academy. It seems he is quite the interesting one. I would also like to talk with him” (Lily)
“… I see, talk. So he is a temporary teacher too huh. Also, he is close with demi-humans…” (Sairitz)
(… She doesn’t know much about him? Is this a bluff?) (Lily)
Seeing her face as if it’s her first time hearing about his relationship with the demi-humans and that he is a temporary teacher, Lily ponders.
(For now, the Kuzunoha Company doesn’t have traces of being in any other place aside from Tsige and Rotsgard. And this woman leaving her country is something that rarely happens. In that case, Lorel and Kuzunoha Company have enough connection to have her leave the country? Within that factor of uncertainty, the Kuzunoha Company currently doesn’t hold much antagonism towards us. Investigating about the other uncertain factor, the Devil, might be better. The Devil, possessing quite the battle power and on top of that, holds connection with the Goddess. Moreover, no matter if it’s hyuman or demon, it will kill them without distinction. Compared to that, the Kuzunoha Company is more of a neutral existence. Let’s go with using a random country to investigate them thoroughly. If the Empire stands at the front, it might turn bad when Tomoe comes out) (Lily)
“If their medicine is really as good as they say, I was thinking about buying some as presents” (Lily)
“Ara, that’s a good idea. If you want, can I ready Lily-sama’s share too?” (Sairitz)
“There’s no need to do so much” (Lily)
“There’s no position as public as Lily-sama’s after all. Also, I can’t let a princess wait in that massive line” (Sairitz)
“… Understood. I will take your good will” (Lily)
(Is it because she doesn’t want me to make contact with Raidou? Let’s concede here for now. There’s still things I want to hear from her) (Lily)
“Leave it to me. I will have it delivered to you in a few days” (Sairitz)
“I will be waiting. Changing the subject, can I please depend on that good will once more? Actually, there’s something I want to ask Kahara-sama about by all means” (Lily)
“To me? Because of my position, there are many things I can’t answer about my country, so if you are fine with that” (Sairitz)
(What does she want to ask? She already has several information gatherers infiltrated and all) (Sairitz)
“Of course. I know that your country has developed strong characteristic techniques. Actually, our country has recently been interested in gunpowder. I was wondering if I could ask you about Lorel’s management of gunpowder and its way of use” (Lily)
“Gunpowder huh. This is my first time hearing that your country is interested in such a thing though. If it’s that, I can tell you as much as I know” (Sairitz)
(Gunpowder. How unexpected. There are dangerous ways to use it, but that’s something that is far inferior to magicians. Well, it does give the impression of being unnecessarily dangerous though, but why… Let’s teach her things that will not be an obstacle. Things that she most likely already heard that is. I will probably have to warn the people in charge of that to be careful) (Sairitz)
“Yes. As you see fit” (Lily)
(The interest of the Empire in gunpowder, if they learn of it, of course they will be cautious. In times, cautiousness actually exposes the place for information. Don’t underestimate our intelligence force. I will have you fall to the eyes of Tomoki and make you devoted like our girls) (Lily)
While listening to the gunpowder’s use and value that she already knows of, Lily and Sairitz’ smiling confrontation continued.
“Rembrandt, so you were here”
“Well well, if it isn’t the shogun. If I knew you came, I would have come to greet you. If I remember correctly, the ones that should have come to Rotsgard are the Ryujin household though?” (Rembrandt)
“Umu, I didn’t have plans of coming here. There’s a campaign regarding Stella Fort’s strategy you see. In our way, it was just right in the time of the school festival, so as a rest for the march, we are stopping here. And well, I saw you. Today the butler is not here?”
“Yes. I brought my wife, so I have left the store matters to him” (Rembrandt)
“No guards huh. The Don of Tsige can’t do that”
“No no, as a substitute I have brought someone reliable. It’s the novice merchant from Kuzunoha Company I told you about before. Today I came with him” (Rembrandt)
Without denying that he is the head of Tsige, Rembrandt now understood the reason of why the Shogun made contact with him.
“… Fuh, I was going to advice you about that matter though. I see. You have tamed him well. I have heard that he is the type of guy that made this place his base and didn’t want anything to do with my country after all”
‘Are you holding the reins of Kuzunoha Company?’ Rembrandt, who thought that was the reason why he came so suddenly, seems like he was right.
That’s why he didn’t deny the Shogun’s own image of him being the head of Tsige, and while at it, tell him that he had Raidou come with him so he would misunderstand the power relationship between them.
The success of this can be understood from the answer of the Shogun of Aion.
“In the end he is a youngster. And actually, right now he is renting a space in my company and Kuzunoha Company is also in Tsige, so be relieved. Ah right, Shogun likes alcohol right? There’s a woman there that brings pretty delicious alcohol. Well then, please hang around with me for a while. Come come” (Rembrandt)
“O-oh. Rembrandt, don’t urge that much. Sorry, madam. I will be borrowing your husband for a while”
“Don’t worry. After that, please do accompany me in one tune okay? I will be waiting” (Lisa)
Rembrandt’s wife, Lisa, sees off the two men that disappear into the crowd. With a full smile, she looked at the back of the Aion Shogun as it disappears. From the mouth of that madam, a small sigh leaks out. A small sigh that the people around wouldn’t be able to notice. Her field of view is now only of the other guests, and she doesn’t know anymore where her husband and the man, who called him out, have gone.
(Tamed him well, huh. A stupid one who doesn’t even know who’s the one being tamed. He even acted as if he didn’t notice me. He probably doesn’t even notice that he was dragged away so that he doesn’t point that lecherous gaze to our daughters) (Lisa)
Lisa didn’t exchange a single word with her husband, but she understood the conversation a few moments ago and the reason of her husband’s actions. Even when he is in one of the highest positions of Aion, he is actually an idiot that got his position by heredity. On top of that, he finds women here and there and makes them his wife.
(I am confident in my ability to hide my feelings in my face, but even I showed a dumbfounded face at that time. Seeing his son courting Sif, he also tried courting her and making her his wife after all. So shocked. A father and son fighting over a woman, how disgusting) (Lisa)
Lisa remembers a past memory. In the time when her daughters Sif and Yuno were healthy, there were quite a lot of marriage proposals. When they became students at the academy, the amount increased even more. The son of the man that called out was also one of them. It is one of the memories she wants to forget.
“Eh? Only mama is here? Where’s papa?”
“Yuno, say Oka-sama or mother. Be careful with how you talk. If you are unable to do that, I will have to discipline you at home as well, got it?” (Lisa)
“Ugh! I will be careful, Oka-sama” (Yuno)
“Oka-sama, the one just now, if I remember correctly, that’s Aion’s…”
“That’s right, Sif. The parent and child that proposed marriage to you. It seems he stopped here to rest while in their march to Stella. Right now when he is being kept away its okay, but be careful” (Lisa)
“… Yes. By the way, where’s Raidou-sensei?” (Sif)
“He was led that way by Lorel’s… probably an important person related to the priestess-sama, but he most likely returned already. Even though you did your best dressing up, too bad. It seems Raidou-sama is not used to this kind of places” (Lisa)
“Yeah. It is true that Raidou-sensei hasn’t been taught etiquette and dancing after all” (Yuno)
Yuno says this words with a wry smile. Even she, who is normally vigorous, is wearing a dress, done her hair, showing her nape and having a complete change in her atmosphere. Her light manner of speaking actually gave an out of place sensation instead.
“Fufufu, he did see it, so ask him his impressions later. That’s kind of an advance for those type of men. Also, Yuno and Sif” (Lisa)
“What is it?” (Sif)
“It seems you girls have been playing around in the Academy in quite the flashy way huh? The Rembrandt’s name doesn’t have that much of a good reputation around here you know?” (Lisa)
“?! Y-You investigated?”
“Of course. With just your grades, I can’t tell how you live here after all. It seems that you have become obedient when you returned, but looks like in the past you were quite the pair” (Lisa)
The two who gathered the attention of people, curl up and make themselves small.
“… Maybe I should tell Raidou-sama” (Lisa)
Sif and Yuno’s voice splendidly overlapped. Their grim expression also matched.
“Then that bad reputation, turn it around by the time you graduate. Got it? Turn it around okay? Turn around your bad reputation. This is quite hard to do. People like to look down on others more than they value them after all. This will definitely help you in the future as well, so do it to your utmost. Come on, if you understand, hurry and go back!” (Lisa)
The words of Sif and Yuno’s mother pushed the back of them, and they returned to the brilliant place. The two of them share the same feelings. The first is of course, the embarrassment of having Raidou learn of their past behavior, and then, the fear of Raidou knowing that and doing something incredibly scary to them in order to correct them. For some reason, in their minds, there’s no thoughts of him abandoning them, get scorned by him or things like that. More than that, their fear of him doing something to them might be prove of their trust to him, or maybe his classes have numbed something inside them.
Lisa looks at Raidou who is casually leaning to the wall. As if he were thinking about something, and at the same time not thinking about anything. Seeing the figure of her unpredictable benefactor, the madam unconsciously smiled broadly.
“Thanks for today, Raidou-dono. Thanks to you I was able to bask in the figure of my dressed up daughters”
Rembrandt gives his gratitude to Raidou with a smile.
In the way back, the night was still at its early stages. It can be said that the festival’s night has only just started. About now, the students that were participating are most likely hearing their grades and rejoicing or despairing. That they are able to smilingly return must be a privilege of the invited. About his daughters, they have been given a new task by their parents and have been rendered unable to return with a smile.
[On my side as well, I was able to meet a lot of people. Thank you very much]
“How were my daughters? Were they able to make your eyes rejoice?” (Lisa)
The madam asks Raidou about his evaluation of her daughters’ appearance.
[They were incredibly beautiful. They were totally different compared to the times in my class, and more than rejoice, it surprised me]
“Hahaha! A beauty that surprises. Raidou-dono truly gets it!” (Rembrandt)
Just like an over-doting parent, Rembrandt puts extra meaning to Raidou’s words and praises his daughters.
“Dear… Those girls as well as Raidou-sama would be looking at it, so I seriously selected the outfits. As a mother, I feel relieved” (Lisa)
[Those words are wasted on me, madam]
“By the way, Raidou-dono, I haven’t presented you to him but, actually, the Aion Kingdom’s Shogun came” (Rembrandt)
The smile disappears from Rembrandt’s face and the merriness in his voice is gone as he talks to Raidou who is walking at the front.
[The Shogun-sama of Aion Kingdom is?]
“Yeah, it seems he is in the middle of his march to Stella Fort. He asked me about you, so I told him that I have tamed you well. You are a popular one huh. Looks like Lorel Union has taken an interest in you too” (Rembrandt)
[Thanks. You were watching that. It seems they heard about my popularity with medicine and asked me if I wanted to open a store in Lorel. Right now I have my hands full with Tsige and here, so I declined]
“How impressive. Just the fact that you already have an offer for your next store. But in those cases, be careful of your footing, there might be a pitfall” (Rembrandt)
[Thanks for the advice]
“Dear, Raidou-sama has Tomoe-sama and Mio-sama, and also the one called Shiki-sama as well” (Lisa)
“Oh right. I unconsciously said something unnecessary. Sorry for being so nosy, Raidou-dono” (Rembrandt)
[No, don’t mind it. I am truly happy to see your care]
“… Raidou-dono, you see, lately, I have been witnessing the progress of Tsige every day. What I am going to say isn’t just from my feelings of gratitude. In the future, no matter what kind of enemy you make, I will stand by your side. As our benefactor and as a merchant as well. That is my decision. That’s why, when you are troubled by something, don’t hesitate to say it. I will become your strength” (Rembrandt)
When Rembrandt finished what he said, Raidou who was walking in front of him, stopped his feet.
There’s two reasons. The first is because of the gratitude he felt from the words of Rembrandt. And the other reason is because of what was in front of his vision. Several students in their uniforms. They were clearly showing hostility. And it was precisely directed at Raidou.
Rembrandt also noticed that abnormality and stopped his feet.
[I don’t remember giving any student permission to call me without honorifics. I am certainly Raidou, but are you calling me in that way fully knowing that I am a temporary teacher?]
“Of course. I won’t let you say you have forgotten about me. I, who was almost killed by you”
Raidou tilts his head. Because he is a student he doesn’t remember at all.
If he said almost killed, he thought that maybe he was one of the students participating in his class. But when thinking about the students that are currently in his course and the students that have been injured in his class, there wasn’t anyone who had any wrath.
[Sorry. I don’t know you]
“?!! Don’t joke around!”
[I’m not joking. I don’t have a single clue. But, if I did something, let me apologize. I am sorry. As you can see, I am in company right now. If you have complains, I will hear them tomorrow at the store. Well then]
“You!! Do you really not remember me?!”
[Are you a student that came to my class? I don’t think you were there though]
“There’s no way I would go to your class!! I see, class, the class! Your class, right now there’s only seven left right? Also, there’s no petitions to join right? It’s because I am putting pressure, so that’s obvious though!”
Raidou was troubled.
The man in front of him was emphasizing the matter so much to the point he was foaming. If he really was close to dying, there’s no way Raidou wouldn’t remember it. But, it is true that he remembers a bit of him. Actually, he even feels like this isn’t their first time meeting.
Also, about the class, right now he has been receiving a massive amount of petitions. Just that he is not accepting them. He was thinking about letting the seven teach the newcomers when they are a bit stronger, but in a long term perspective it would take time, so he doesn’t intend to increase the number of students right now. And that’s why there are seven. He really didn’t understand this man more and more.
[I told you I will listen to you tomorrow. Let me tell you something. These people are one of the guests of honor. If students put a hand on them, you know what will happen right?]
Exchanging looks with Rembrandt, Raidou passes to his side. Maybe the warning worked, they didn’t show signs of putting their hands on the couple.
“… I can’t forgive you! I will definitely make you regret making an enemy out of me! In the tournament tomorrow, I will first crush the bunch that are taking your classes. No matter the way! It will spread in an instant the fact that you are incompetent!”
[I see. Do whatever you want]
Raidou continues with his back turned, writing to the man that is still clamoring. The jeering continued, but Raidou didn’t listen to him anymore.
“R-Raidou-dono. The students just now, I think they said something about hurting my daughters though” (Rembrandt)
[Yeah, it seems so. Please don’t worry. This is instead going to turn into good training for them. Also, there’s not a one in a million chance they will be hurt]
Calming the couple, Raidou guided them to their lodging.
No matter how hard he thought of it, he couldn’t remember who in the world he was. There’s no doubt he met him in the time he was in Academy Town, so when Raidou returned to the company, he talked to Shiki about it.
In the small space of time Shiki was thinking, he stayed silent.
“Waka, maybe it is that?” (Shiki)
“Did you remember something? I don’t remember at all” (Makoto)
“Yeah. It was something that happened soon after we arrived here. The students that were messing with Ruria from Gotetsu, and we punished them” (Shiki)
“Oh, now that you mention it. I saved her on a whim. But he said he was almost killed you know? I think that was only on the level of scaring them a bit though” (Makoto)
“They were falling at that height and down was stone paving, so there was a slight chance to die. Most importantly, none of them were able to float” (Shiki)
“… Right. So it is that. That is the ‘almost killed him’ huh” (Makoto)
Raidou droops his shoulders heavily and sighs. Because he was exhausted after realizing that guy was making all that racket and calling it ‘almost dying’, how exaggerated. Compared to what he experienced when he came to this world, that was nothing.
“Just in case, I will investigate about those students tomorrow. I did promise Jin to accompany him after all” (Shiki)
“I see. The raffle of the tournament, was it? I will also peek at it with Root. At that time, can you please make some time with Jin and the others? I have to warn them that they might get harassed” (Makoto)
“Warn them?” (Shiki)
“Yes, warn them. If they are unable to deal with those kind of things on their own, they can’t be relied on after all. In the staff room, people have told me several times if I wanted to increase my number of students. I don’t have to abide to that, but it has turned into being stuck between a rock and a hard place, and I feel a bit of pity towards the staff members. When those seven grow to a certain extent, I plan on using them to educate and it would save some trouble” (Makoto)
Shiki nods silently at Raidou’s words.
(Well then, let’s go to the store where Tomoe and Mio, as well as the unnecessary extra, Root, are waiting. I have to ask them what they have done today after all. They must be planning on drinking loads, and tomorrow I will be together with Root. There still much more to go, let’s psyche up!) (Makoto)
It was a long day. Raidou leaves the company while smiling wryly.