Chapter 83 – Sightseeing in Earl Mizuho Country


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“Speaking of which, what have you requested there all of a sudden? Though it’s great it was accepted.”

“You know, the permit doesn’t cost us anything, and there are benefits as well.” (Wendelin)

◆◇◆◇◆

With Therese’s request for reinforcements from Earl Mizuho Country granted, we decide to leave Mizuho Castle and sightsee in Mizuho.
As it seems we have been provided a reservation in a high-class hot-spring hotel which has open air baths available at night, I look forward to this as well.
To the spa and delicious Japanese cuisine, that is.
Just how much luxury is that, I wonder?
Given that we are only staying for one night, I have to start the sightseeing and the selection of souvenirs in a hurry.
As it’s no good if I don’t eat delicious food, I don’t even have a second to lose now.
I rush to the money exchanger to change my Helmut Kingdom currency into that of Mizuho.
The copper coins are square with a round hole in them. The silver coins are oblong resembling a silver quarter ryou from the Edo period. With the gold coin being a koban* itself, ten gold coins are a large koban which is called 『Ten Ryou』 ooban. (T/N: A ryou was a gold currency unit in pre-Meiji Japan Shakkanhou system. It was eventually replaced with a system based on the yen. The Tokugawa shogunate attempted to create a central currency, based on gold, silver and copper units all exchangeable at fixed rates. Oblong gold coins, called koban, were minted with one koban containing about one ryō of gold, so that koban carried a face value of one ryō. The official rate was set in 1609 at one ryō equal to 50 monme (approx 187 grams) of silver, or 4000 brass coins. However, in reality the relative values between gold, silver and brass currencies fluctuates almost on a daily basis throughout the Edo period. (source wiki))

There are differences in their shape, unit system and names, but it’s not overly complex as there’s no difference in the quantity of gold, silver and copper used.
Well then, as I’m walking in the city wondering what to buy, Ina came asking about the reward some time ago.

“It won’t be fulfilled if we don’t win anyway. Even if we get the reward, there won’t be any loss to the empire.”

The condition, which I set, is a permission to have direct trade between Baumeister Earldom and Earl Mizuho Country.
As there’s also the matter of distance and the number of magic airships, I will probably just come to buy things with 『Teleportation』, but it means that I’m lawfully allowed to do so.
Of course High Earl Mizuho has accepted that unconditionally.
But that’s only natural as an increase in sales is a cause for celebrations after all.

“You want the products of Earl Mizuho Country that much?” (Ina)

“Yes! If possible I want to buy up all of it!” (Wendelin)

Getting all psyched up, I exchanged an amount of 100 million cents, but upon reflection I came to the conclusion that it’s not good to buy up a large quantity of goods and food since we will head into battle after this.
Instead it’s probably necessary keep the quantity down as much as possible while increasing the variety.

“First is the tea house I failed to visit.” (Wendelin)

“You are quite fixated on that one, aren’t you?” (Katharina)

“I haven’t eaten anything since this morning after all. Are you not going to eat, Katharina?” (Wendelin)

“I will, but…” (Katharina)

Because we cannot visit the tea house at the ridge, we enter one in the city, but the city’s appearance and the tea house’s interior completely looked like a scene from a historical drama.
Commoners and peddlers are eating dango‘s and such while drinking tea.

“Welcome to our shop!”

A pretty poster girl*, who wore an apron and a Mizuho uniform, which resembles a kimono quite well, shows up. (T/N: kanbanmusume … a pretty girl to attract customers)
Her age probably isn’t that different from ours.
Her black hair, which extended down to her hips, was tied up in a bundle in the back. She was an orthodox, Japanese-styled beauty.
That’s a pretty poster girl for you.

“What’s your order?”

“Your love, please.” (Erwin)

“Err…”

“Humph!”

“Ouuch!”

As the other party is a beautiful girl, Erw immediately tries to pick her up, but mine and Burkhart-san’s fists drop on his head making him sit down on his seat forcibly.

“Don’t make me lose face!” (Wendelin)

“But, I want to be loved…” (Erwin)

“Did something happen with that man?” (Therese)

“He had his heart broken a little while ago.” (Wendelin)

“I see.” (Therese)

Therese faced the playboying Erw with a slightly sympathetic look.

“Even though his face is nice, a woman will pull back since he’s too greedy.” (Therese)

Therese’s analysis was 120% correct.
However, I do believe that she shouldn’t talk about someone else’s matters.

“Excuse me, what’s your order?”

It seems that the poster girl is used to handling such guests.
Without any care, she asks us about our order.

“Tea for everyone! And the entire menu!” (Armstrong)

“All of it?”

“Indeed! Everything!” (Armstrong)

Doushi was a free spirit in a different meaning.
He orders the shop’s entire menu.
As it appears that even the poster girl didn’t anticipate such a development, she’s quite surprised.

“Doushi, can you eat that much?” (Burkhart)

“No worries!” (Armstrong)

“It’s alright.” (Wilma)

Burkhart-san asks while looking worried, but in addition to Doushi there’s Wilma here as well.
There’s probably no need to worry if it’s at the level of a tea houses’ menu.

“I will start from the dango‘s.”

Simple white dango‘s, herb dango‘s with anko in it, and skewered dango‘s in a sweet soy glaze; the sweetness of eating them after a long time drags me into a maelstrom of deep emotions.

“They are delicious, aren’t they, dear?” (Elise)

“I’m inferior to a professional after all, huh?” (Wendelin)

“Next time we will challenge it, too. Let’s go back after buying the ingredients. It’s said that if the climate and soil quality is different, even the same crops taste differently.” (Elise)

Certainly, the taste of rice and adzuki beans might be nice in Earl Mizuho country where the winters are cold.
As expected of Elise who is an expert in cooking.
She pointed that fact out quickly.

“The things you occasionally make, Wend, they were dishes from Mizuho. How did you know about those?” (Ina)

“From the library in Breitburg.” (Wendelin)

Ina asks a perceptive question, but the library of Breitburg has the feudal lord’s support and boasts of a scale in the number of books collected that ranks second to only the royal capital Stadtburg.
As expected, since even Ina hasn’t seen through all the books in the library, she didn’t realize that I’m lying.

“Wendelin, thee are interested in books and food? It seems like we will get along.” (Therese)

“Therese-dono, are you skilled at cooking?” (Wendelin)

“Somewhat. I can’t make too many dishes, but what I can do isn’t limited to trivial dishes either.” (Therese)

That’s what Therese says, but since I don’t know her cooking ability there wasn’t anything I could reply to it.
If I actually have her make me something, it’s possible that she will make me eat something outrageous.
Currently I don’t even have time for such things. Ignoring it here is probably the intelligent solution.

“The sweet red-bean soup is delicious, but I wonder how they are getting their hands on sugar?” (Luise)

“The sugar is harvested from sugar beets.”

Poster girl-san answers Luise’s question.
Given that the sugar coming from sugar canes has a high price as an imported spice, it seems to be normal to obtain sugar from sugar beets in Earl Mizuho Country.
It seems that the remains of the squeezed beets are used as fodder for the cattle.

“That’s not different from the sugar from the sugar cane.”

“Since its similarly sweet, I will end up getting fat again.” (Katharina)

“Though you are often saying that, Katharina, you actually appear to not weigh much…”

When we eat sweets, Katharina always says that she will become fat if she doesn’t diet.
It’s really strange since she isn’t gaining weight like the bourgeois wives of the capital.

“Is that so?”

“Mostly the feeling of her cheeks when embracing her.” (Wendelin)

“Wendelin-san…”

Katharina ends up being astonished, but this is also a point I won’t concede on.
Although being overweight isn’t good, it’s also a fact that I’m not attracted to overly thin women.
However it’s often said that women are fussy if many of them gather in one place.
I ate delicious-looking food while talking with Elise and the others, but among them there were two people who were creating an odd scenery.

“All of them are delicious!” (Armstrong)

“It’s time for another round.” (Wilma)

“Certainly, it is as you say! Onee-san! Get us the entire menu once more!” (Armstrong)

“Once more!?”

While piling up a large amounts of plates, Doushi and Wilma were devouring heaps of sweets and even demanded a second serving in the end.
Even the poster girl ends up reflexively raising her voice at Doushi who ordered the entire menu twice.

“You two, are you alright?”

Cutting a single sweet bean jelly into small pieces and eating those, Burkhart-san was truly worried about those two while showing an expression as if he had a sour stomach.

“No problem!” (Armstrong)

“Plenty of room left.” (Wilma)

“If you say so…” (Burkhart)

Burkhart-san, who finished eating the sweet bean jelly, was amazed by the appetite of those two.
It’s probably supported by his feeling of wanting to drink alcohol soon though.

“There were many things I ate for the first time, and they were very delicious, too!” (Armstrong)

“Satisfied.” (Wilma)

“That is, if you eat that much…”

Having savoured sweetness at the tea house, we move towards the next shop.
Burkhart-san was astonished at Doushi and Wilma who ate a dreadful amount of sweets, but even I want to tell them various things.

“There’s still plenty of food ahead of us, but…”

Certainly, the sweets, which were served in the tea house, were delicious if compared to the things I created with my low cooking skill.
Now that I think about it, those were dishes I created by using trial and error while suffering hardships in the Savage Lands during my loner childhood, but one should go to specialists for the best results after all.
This means it might be necessary to hire a cook from the Mizuho people.
I decided that I will consult about this later with High Earl Mizuho.

“Don’t fret! My stomach is only filled by less than half!” (Armstrong)

“Lots of room left here as well.” (Wilma)

“Then it’s fine.” (Wendelin)

“Is it really!?” (Erwin)

Erw, who failed to pick up the poster girl, retorts at me, but since we are still going to get other food, it will be problematic if I tell them that they can’t eat it.
As it’s impolite to not order anything after entering a store, there’s no problem as long as they can eat.
The bill won’t be that large either.

“Next is… Found it!” (Wendelin)

 

『Soba』 is written on a sign curtain hung at the shop’s entrance.
I’m finally able to eat soba after coming to this world.
Since it would kick up too much of a fuss and as I would be considered weird, I enter the store’s inside while pretending to have found this store spontaneously.

“They serve both, chilled and hot soba.”

I enjoy both options, but Elise’s group didn’t order anything but one type.

“Get us the entire menu.” (Armstrong)

“Looking forward to it.” (Wilma)

“All of it, dear customer?”

“Don’t worry since we can eat it without any problems!” (Armstrong)

“As you wish…”

These two once again surprised the soba restaurant’s onee-san, who came to take our orders.

“It’s delicious, you know?”

Since there was soba in the south as well, I tried to obtain and make them, but with my skill they ended up becoming thick pasta noodles.
I tried to experiment with noodle sauces as well, but the taste was lacking. Soba is food you can’t make successfully unless you have a certain degree of knowledge.
Despite that, it can be normally eaten in this Earl Mizuho Country.
Going by the current situation, I should be able to greatly look forward to other Japanese food, too.
However, there’s a single problem.

“Even though it’s the long-awaited Mizuho cooking, we can only eat it until tomorrow morning.”

Since dinner will be served at the high-class hot-spring hotel High Earl Mizuho prepared for us, I should be able to expect a lot from the alcohol and the food.
But, there’s also the trap called dinner and breakfast being at fixed times.
I want to eat various dishes until we have to return if possible, but if I overeat too much, dinner won’t fit in my stomach anymore.
That’s a seriously troubling matter.

“As I have a limited stomach size, the problem is what I shall eat, I guess.” (Wendelin)

“Why are you seriously worrying about such stuff…?” (Erwin)

Erw looked at me with an expression showing that he doesn’t comprehend.

“If only I could eat as much as Doushi and Wilma.” (Wendelin)

“Imitating those two is dangerous.” (Erwin)

I end up being considered a strange fellow by Erw, but I didn’t want to be told that by someone whose pick-up attempt was ignored by the waitress-san even in this soba restaurant.

“Then, you try to pick her up, Wend! You will definitely fail!” (Erw)

It’s impossible for me to do that.
Even though I have come here to eat, why do I have to do something like picking up girls?
One thing has nothing to do with the other, I believe.
And, Erw has forgotten the most important fact.

“What kind of stupid stuff are you saying…?”

Though I stopped while thinking Damn it, it was already too late.

“Erw, what will you do if he really gets deceived by someone because of that?”

“I don’t wish to increase the quarrel over household affairs.”

“Useless retainer. You can’t even pick up any girls.” (Wilma)

“I believe that many women would swarm him if Wendelin-san did something like acting like a playboy, but…” (Katharina)

“Damn it! Just where can I find my own looove~~~!?” (Erwin)

Erw, who was called worthless by Elise and the other women, began to stress eat soba.

“If they are selling noodle sauce and dried noodles, we will be able to eat soba at any time.”

“Are you that pleased with it?”

“Yes. How about the alcohol, Burkhart-san?”

“This cold alcohol, it’s delicious. Let’s buy it and go back.” (Burkhart)

Rather than the soba, Burkhart-san apparently liked the Japanese sake-like alcohol which he had ordered as supplement.
He had another cup of the cold alcohol while eating soba dumplings as a side dish.

“(I saw those kinds of old men in soba restaurants on my days off.)” (Wendelin)

Of course that’s an event which happened in Japan.

“Earl-sama, you didn’t think about something rude just now, did you?” (Burkhart)

“No (isn’t he a perceptive one…). Onee-san, about this alcohol.” (Wendelin)

Once I ask the young waitress-san about the alcohol in order to dodge the question, it seems to be called Mizuho Sake which uses rice as an ingredient.

“(I guess it’s Japanese rice wine after all.)” (Wendelin)

I try to sample it and the taste was the one of Japanese sake.

“Now then, I’m greatly satisfied.” (Armstrong)

“Thanks for the treat. Since I’ve heard that it’s healthy to eat moderately, I will stop around here.” (Wilma)

Wilma said something dreadful, but I decided that I didn’t hear it.
Once we finished our meal at the soba restaurant and left the store, Wilma and Doushi, who ate a large quantity in this place as well, revealed satisfied expressions while stroking their bellies.

“I think that’s only natural considering how much you have eaten though.” (Erwin)

On this topic, Erw is right with what he’s saying.

“Next is shopping, I suppose.”

Clothes will be first since there are many women, but this is Earl Mizuho Country.
As those clothes are basically items which are called Mizuho clothes and use the same way of wearing as kimonos, it’s futile if I don’t recall how to fit kimonos.
Elise’s group is happily checking ornate hairpins, which had expensive jewels attached to them, and Mizuho clothes with beautiful patterns in a high-class-looking store which had 『Dry Goods』 written on its signboard, but they decided to buy them on the next occasion.

“It’s regrettable, isn’t it? Let’s hire a maid who is capable of helping with the dressing.”

“I think that’s too extravagant.”

“I do have money after all.”

I will negotiate with High Earl Mizuho about a maid, who can help with the dressing, later as well, I guess.

“Earl-sama, you usually don’t live very luxuriously, do you?” (Burkhart)

As Burkhart-san says, our usual livelihood isn’t that extravagant.
Since we belong to an Earl household, we keep up the minimum of outwards appearance, but the inside isn’t like that at all.
Given that we are also working as adventurers, there isn’t any great difference to other adventurers when we are camping. Even the ingredients such as choco, the native fruits of the Demon Forest and the monster meat weren’t paid with money since we are actually getting them ourselves.
Import and purchase of food is probably the entry in the account book with the highest expenses.

“Wendelin, thee are gentle to thy wives.” (Therese)

“Really?” (Wendelin)

“As I’m a Duchess, I’m getting bored by nothing but strangely servile folks. The ones who praise the clothes I tried on are only the merchants, who want me to buy them, and retainers who will never tell me that they don’t suit me.” (Therese)

At least at the time she wore clothes, she’d like to have a man capable of normally telling her whether those clothes suit her or not.
In Therese’s current position that was also a wish that can’t be granted to begin with though.

“Even if Mizuho clothes are impossible, can we at least buy accessories?”

The shop next door was selling accessory cases and combs which had expensive ornaments embedded as lacquerware.
In addition there are also expensive tea utensils, lacquer work and hanging scrolls.
There’s indeed a great number of Japanese-like goods being sold.

“Elise, how about this comb?” (Wendelin)

“It’s easy to use and enters the hair gently.” (Elise)

Since the merchandise isn’t that expensive, Elise and the others buy the ones they like one after the other.

“By the way, Wendelin, can’t thou buy one for me?” (Therese)

“No… That might be impossible…” (Wendelin)

If I suddenly bought something for a noble from a foreign country and moreover a woman who isn’t my wife or lover, strange rumours would very likely spread.
Besides, currently my position is just that of a magician who was hired by Therese.
It would be preposterous to give a present to a person in such high position.

“Even if it does turn into a rumour, I won’t particularly mind though.” (Therese)

“I will be the one troubled by it!” (Wendelin)

If the nobles of Helmut Kingdom learned of it, there would definitely be some among them starting to say such things as 『Earl Baumeister was ensnared by a prince-elector of Holy Empire Urquhart』 or 『He succumbed to her allure』.

“Next is a magic tools shop, huh…?”

Once we entered another magic tool shop, a lot of articles were lined up inside.
Even though its outward appearance is Japanese-styled, it’s spacious completely like a large consumer electronics shop.

“Welcome!”

After browsing through the displayed items, many of them are general-purpose items and all of them are smaller and their price is around twice as expensive as the the ones in Helmut Kingdom.
But, as it seems that their mana consumption efficiency is great according to the clerk’s explanation, many of them run for around 30% longer than the ones in Helmut Kingdom if they are charged with the same amount of mana.
They excel at miniaturization and mana conservation techniques.
Surely the items were similar to those made in Japan.

“The magic tools created by Earl Mizuho Country have a higher efficiency and power than those made by the empire.”

There isn’t that much of a difference in performance between the magic tools produced by the empire and the kingdom.
In other words, it was no exaggeration to call Earl Mizuho Country the best on the continent at the current point in time.
However, we didn’t buy any.
The magic tool types, which we discovered in the underground storehouse in the Demon Forest, were highly efficient after all.

“(However, the shapes and the arrangement of the switches is quite similar, isn’t it…?)” (Wendelin)

Apparently Earl Mizuho Country has existed since the time when the empire was a small kingdom in the south.
Though it’s only a small portion of the Mizuho clan members who seem to know about their roots, they might have moved here from the area around the Demon Forest.
If that was the case it would explain them possessing a unique, advanced magic tool production technology.
What might have caused the technological level to drop in comparison to the past possibly was the matter of losing a lot of skills during their nomadic period.

“You aren’t buying, Wend?”

“The performance of the items from the underground storehouse, we found in the Demon Forest, is good.” (Wendelin)

“Now that you mention it, that’s certainly true.”

“Aah! But let’s buy some.”

“Perhaps for selling them to the magic tool guild?”

According to Ina’s thinking, we should be able to make some profit by selling the tools to them.
The magic tool guild has bought a large quantity of the items, we discovered in the underground storehouse in the Demon Forest, and all the remains of the Rock Gigant Golem by relying fully on their too excessive assets.
All of it was for the sake of new technological development for magic tools, but frankly, the results are questionable.
With them being repeatedly told by their surroundings that they have no results to show, they should buy the magic tools of Earl Mizuho Country as examples for a high price all the more.

“It looks like it’s pretty much prohibited to take them along to a foreign country.”

“Is that okay?”

“The items are circulated into the empire. I think there are also some among the kingdom’s nobles who possess some.”

Since those are items which can be bought in the empire if you pay money, it’s impossible that not a single magic tool has made its way out to the kingdom as well.
Besides, even the empire hasn’t caught up to the performance of the magic tools produced by Earl Mizuho Country.
That was also evidence for the production technology being hidden.

“That bunch from the magic tool guild. They will likely buy it since they have the money. It would be no more than earning some extra money.”

Even if they aren’t able to buy them, it will likely yield a good profit if we sell them to someone else.
The share, which isn’t affected by import taxes, can be sold cheaply within Baumeister Earldom.

“All types.”

“Umm, customer-sama?”

“As I said, give me all types.”

“Err… Are you really sure?”

“Yes, really.”

“As a matter of fact, there are also items I recommend except those on display.”

Once I placed a large amount of oobans in front of the clerk, he received me while having a face full of smiles.
He brings out the items which weren’t lined up at the storefront and explains their uses politely.

“I look forward to you visiting our store once again.”

Having bought all types of the magic tool shop’s merchandise, we head straight to the grocer.
In reality the magic tools don’t matter.
This place is Earl Mizuho Country which owns a Japanese-styled culture. In that case there’s only one item I want.

“I have been defeated after all, haven’t I…?” (Wendelin)

“Ah, they have the 『Miso』 and 『Soy Sauce』 that you created, Wend.”

Luise was surprised by the miso and soy sauce of which there are many varieties.

“Say Wend, you reproduced the flavouring of Earl Mizuho Country, didn’t you?”

“I guess those were created by Earl Mizuho Country. I didn’t realize since it was written in a worn-out book in the library.”

Though I’m repeating myself here, but that’s of course a lie.
Since Luise hasn’t the hobby of going to the library to read books, she probably won’t ever realize it.

“『Strong Flavour』, 『Light Flavour』 and 『Tamari*』; they have a wide range, don’t they?” (T/N: variety of rich soy sauce)

That applies to soy sauce but there is even miso resembling Hacchou Miso* and light-brown miso ranging from sweet to salty flavour. Of course I bought all types. (T/N: a special miso produced in Okazaki City in the Aichi Prefecture)

“The qualities of kombu, katsuobushi, the noodle sauces, ponzu, tsukemono, nori and rice is great, isn’t it…” (Wendelin) (T/N: Google them if interested, can’t be bothered any more with all that food stuff…)

This place is a goldmine.
Although I can’t buy too much since we will go to war soon, it will probably be alright for a while if it’s just the share we use up by ourselves.

“They have dried noodles as well, don’t they!?”

Since they were also selling dried soba and udon noodles, I bought these to some extent, too.

“Oops! Forgetting mirin is no good!”

Alcohol and Mizuho Sake was also sold. A large quantity of shochus made out of rice, wheat and potatoes.
These can be used for cooking as well, and not just for drinking.
It’s a place where I want to buy as much as possible.

“Shishou-sama, why is Wendelin-san that happy?” (Katharina) (T/N: Shishou = teacher/master as in teaching martial arts)

“He’s been such a man for a long time. It’s not like he’s enticing women, so, isn’t it fine?” (Burkhart)

“I guess so. I think it’s cute, but…” (Katharina)

It appears that Burkhart-san and Katharina are talking about something behind me, but deciding to not mind it, I bought up large amounts of ingredients and seasoning made in Earl Mizuho Country from then on.

◆◇◆◇◆

“It looks like you are pleased with Earl Mizuho Country, Earl Baumeister-dono.” (Toyomune)

“Yes, thus please make sure that I can come here freely.” (Wendelin)

“I have to coordinate it with Duchess Philip-dono and the empire as well, but the part of you spending money while shopping is very welcome.” (Toyomune)

“I’m sure you want to protect the citizen’s livelihood by improving the economic activity.” (Wendelin)

“It helps that you understand quickly, Earl Baumeister-dono.” (Toyomune)

Once we headed to the high-class inn, which was assigned to us, as it became evening, a banquet sponsored by High Earl Mizuho was held there.
Since it’s a hot-spring hotel, we are also wearing the yukata which were provided by the inn.
As the bath is a naturally circulating hot spring that’s fed by a source, it’s effective against nerve pain and rheumatism.
With it apparently having the legend of improving childbirth in addition, Elise and the other girls told me that they want to enter it quickly.
There’s an open air bath, too. It looks like mixed bathing is possible today.
But first comes the meal. Once we enter the tatami-matted banquet hall, numerous dishes, which appeared usually at obon, were lined up.
Sashimi, tempura, high-priced cow and pig meat that was roasted with miso and nabe with small seafood.
It’s a deluxe edition of the menu I ate at the time when I went on the company outing at a hot-spring hotel in my previous life.

“I want a cook as well…” (Wendelin)

“The people’s migration belongs in the sphere of the empire’s government’s field of duty. I can’t tell them anything in that regard.” (Toyomune)

“Therese-dono?”

“Wendelin, the parts thou fuss about are unusual for a noble.” (Therese)

Even if I’m told that, it’s necessary to employ Mizuho people from now on to have them help Elise and the others putting on kimonos and yukatas as well as to have a skilled cook make Mizuho food.
That’s something I won’t yield on.
No, it’s for that reason that I will once again kill people.
If others learn of that fact, I will doubtlessly be treated as savage.
At least officially I’m moving for the sake of both countries’ stability.

“Let’s go with a toast then?”

It seems that they don’t hold overly formal banquets in Earl Mizuho Country.
I hear that they hold a banquet in such format, no matter who visits them.

“I like it, but there are many folks panicking about His Majesty the Emperor being forced to sit on the floor.” (Therese)

Although there are flat floor cushions, tatami are treated as floor in the empire’s centre.
Though I don’t think so since shoes aren’t allowed.

“As they will only be stiff even if they visit. It’s convenient in reverse if they don’t come because of that.” (Toyomune)

High Earl Mizuho reveals his true thoughts without hiding anything.
As a result of that, the emperor had never made an imperial visit to Earl Mizuho Country.
Since they are half independent, the guarding is troublesome. Each time they made plans for it, it ended up vanishing in the end.

“It’s the same with the prince-elector lords. It’s probably only me who ever came here.” (Therese)

Therese continues to talk while drinking hot Mizuho Sake.

“As for sightseeing, there are many interesting locations for the empire here.” (Therese)

The empire is a multiethnic nation, but there are unexpectedly few cultural differences.
The cultures ended up being absorbed over the last 2.000 years.
The only one among them who maintained its uniqueness, Earl Mizuho Country, was regarded as a popular tourist spot by the common people and the nobles besides the prince-elector lords.

“Even though tourism is our main industry, the visitors are visibly staying away due to the current disturbances. Good grief, that duke-dono, who hails from a young, ambitious household, can’t read the mood at all.” (Toyomune)

High Earl Mizuho complained about the lowered income.
Even this hot-spring hotel which became our lodging place today, apparently suffers from wealthy guests not coming due to the coup d’etat uproar.
Under these circumstances, sightseeing being out of question for people at such level was only natural.

“If the disturbances drag on, the empire will decay, won’t it?”

“Seen on short-term it will decline no matter in what direction the situation moves. It looks like Duke Nürnberg has a sophisticated, detailed, long-term plan though.”

Therese was bitter towards Duke Nürnberg, too.
It shouldn’t be possible to create an empire, that gathers under one strong, centralized authoritarian rule, that easily.
The more unreasonable Duke Nürnberg gets, the higher the possibility for the empire to decline.

“He’s a troublesome person.”

“He has too many high aspirations, I guess.”

Although it’s a banquet, the coup d’etat and Duke Nürnberg, who is its ringleader, end up becoming a popular topic in the conversations.
However, before long the matters to talk about lessen and the banquet finishes slowly.

“Tomorrow will be an early start. Shall we enter the bath earlier than usual and go sleep afterwards?”

It’s the first time since my previous life for me to get into a hot spring and moreover even an open air bath.
I did have baths by digging up rocks, filling them with water and heating it in the Savage Lands during my childhood, but strictly spoken, those weren’t open air baths.
I decide to exclude those since they were mere outdoor baths.

“Erw, let’s go take a bath.” (Wendelin)

“Y-Yea…” (Erwin)

I try to head quickly to the open air bath after being able to have my fill of dinner, but the gaze of Erw, whom I invited, was absent-minded.
Once I look ahead to the place he’s staring at, I see a single woman standing there.

“Erw, she is?” (Wendelin)

“Yea.” (Erwin)

With him only saything that much, there’s no need to tell me any further.
In other words Erw fell in love at first sight with a woman he met at a new place once again.

“(That guy shouldn’t fall in love with women at any place he goes to.)”

“(It’s probably because he’s young.)”

Burkhart-san and Doushi whispered among each other, but without a doubt they are thinking that he will be rejected once again.
Certainly, if you look at her properly, she’s quite the beautiful girl.
Her height is around 160 cm. She is standing in a corner of the room with a proper posture while wearing a haori and light blue long underpants.
Her black hair, which is hanging down to her waist, is bound into a ponytail. She doesn’t seem to be that different in age compared to us.
A Japanese-styled beautiful girl with the air of a swordsman. Seeing her face, I was reminded of Karla.
It’s not like they are that similar, but her atmosphere resembled that of Karla well.

“Her?”

“Is she a guard?”

“They have many women in their ranks as well. She is connected to High Earl Mizuho. Look, she has three katanas, I think.” (Therese)

Her possessing a 『Magic Katana』 means that she belongs to the Battou Unit. Her skill should be quite high.
Yes, she was a beautiful swordgirl-sama.

“Basically the 『Battou Unit』 is an all-male unit. I have heard that there are only three women among them. Among those three, she is apparently overwhelmingly powerful” (Therese)

According to Therese’s explanation, she will accompany us from tomorrow onwards for the sake of guarding 『Duchess Philip-sama’s esteemed party』.
Well, I guess it’s about us.

“That girl is called Haruka Fujibayashi and seems to be 16 years old. Once she reaches my age, she will become quite the beauty.” (Therese)

Since she’s a beautiful Japanese-styled swordgirl whose atmosphere resembles Karla, it might be inevitable for Erw to fall in love with her.

“Rather than thou, Wendelin, Erwin fell in love?” (Therese)

“Possibly.” (Wendelin)

“It’s not a bad combination. Both of them use the sword. Haruka Fujibayashi’s home seems to be a lower retainer household. She was selected for her sword skills which are unparalleled.” (Therese)

The instant he heard Therese-sama’s words, Erw’s entire body was filled with fighting spirit.
There shouldn’t be any hindrance in her case for her to become his wife.
Understanding that much, a fire of determination dwells once again in Erw’s eyes.

 

 

“Nice to meet you. I’m called Erwin von Armin and I serve as bodyguard of Earl Baumeister.” (Erwin)

The minute he understood that it’s not all hopeless, Erw rushed over at lightning speed to Haruka’s position and introduced himself.
Even though he should act as my guard, I don’t even enter his eyes anymore.

“Let’s have a preparatory meeting for a bit as fellow guards who will cooperate together.” (Erwin)

“Preparatory meeting, he says, eh…” (Luise)

Of course he does it properly, but there are also parts that are seen as happy-go-lucky by the female camp. Going by what Luise said, she doesn’t see it as anything but picking up girls in the disguise of a preparatory meeting as objective.

“I’m called Haruka Fujibayashi, Armin-sama.” (Haruka)

“As fellow escorts who will guard Duchess Philip-sama together, please don’t add “-sama” to my name. Also, those close to me call me Erw.” (Erwin)

“Erw-san, it is?” (Haruka)

“Yes! I look forward to working with you, Haruka-san. Although it’s quite abrupt, but let’s make arrangements regarding the guarding. The guarding inside this inn is perfect, but it will be necessary to strengthen our vigilance once we leave Earl Mizuho Country.” (Erwin)

“Yes.” (Haruka)

The beautiful swordgirl Haruka seems to basically have a serious character.
She doesn’t mind at all when Erw starts to talk about the job and also not being called by her name all of a sudden.
Once being told that it’s a meeting under the pretext of work, she began to honestly arrange things together with Erw.

“Such serious Erw, that’s the first time I see that.” (Ina)

“Me too.” (Wendelin)

I agree with Ina’s comment.
Noticing that the girl called Haruka is seriously trying to do her best after being chosen for such an important mission, he probably schemes to have her fall in love by him following up with her endeavour.
I believe he has a splendid observation and strategy, but until now that has never led to the realization of love.

“By the way, are you the eldest daughter of the Fujibayashi household, Haruka-san?” (Erwin)

“No. I have an elder sister who’s married already, and I also have an an elder brother who’s going to inherit the household.” (Haruka)

“Is that so?” (Erwin)

At once Erw’s face becomes all smiles.
He’s probably thinking that he can marry her without any kind of problems.
Well, I do understand his feelings.
Even from my viewpoint, she is a beautiful girl you don’t meet that often.

“(However, a beautiful swordgirl in this place, huh…?)”

Moreover she has a great style for no special reason.
Her stance is good since she’s accustomed to the sword. The Mizuho clothes, she’s wearing, are accentuating her breasts quite a bit.
She might have slightly smaller breasts than Katharina, I think?

“Do you have any hobbies, Haruka-san?” (Erwin)

“Eh? Is that related to guarding in some way?” (Haruka)

“It has no direct relation. But, it’s not like you can stay tense forever just because you are on guard duty. It’s important to communicate with the people with whom you are guarding during the breaks.” (Erwin)

“I see. Is that how it is? I cook during my holidays…” (Haruka)

“So you are not only a swordsman, but also know of the manners as woman, Haruka-san.” (Erwin)

“I’m not that skilfull, but…” (Haruka)

Haruka reveals an expression showing that she’s not as dissatisfied being praised by Erw.
Maybe she doesn’t have much immunity against men.

“His experience in making passes at women has increased.” (Katharina)

Katharina, who recognizes his skill in swordsmanship albeit thinking that he’s a playboy, has an amazed expression.
However, his remark regarding guarding duty isn’t wrong either.
Besides, until now Erw accomplished his guard duty without there being any kind of attack against me.

“Wend. Let’s go take a bath.”

“Wend-sama. Bath.” (Wilma)

“Yeah, right.” (Wendelin)

I think it’s the best to leave the matters of Erw and Haruka to the people concerned.
Given that I was led by Luise’s and Wilma’s hands, we move to the open air bath right away.

“There’s a man’s bath, woman’s bath and mixed bath.”

“Man’s…” (Wendelin)

“To the mixed bath!”

“Mixed bath!”

“Mixed bath, it is!”

“Mixed bath.”

“It’s the mixed bath.” (Katharina)

Elise and the others overrule me, who tried to say man’s bath, by saying mixed bath.
I didn’t have a speck of interest in Doushi’s and Burkhart-san’s naked bodies, but I thought it would be more comfortable to enter alongside fellow men.

“If it’s your esteemed companions, they went into the direction of the man’s bath just now.”

According to the middle-aged, female employee, both of them apparently hurried into the man’s bath.

“Isn’t mixed bathing fine? I will also…” (Therese)

“Therese-sama, from now on it’s the period of married couples. Please restrain yourself.”

Therese, who hears about the mixed bathing, tries to wedge herself in there too, but Elise gave her a warning without leaving a single opening.
Without doubt Doushi and Burkhart-san foresaw this development and escaped ahead of time.

“It’s not like it has been reserved by the Baumeister household. There won’t be any problem with me entering, right?” (Therese)

“That is…”

“There is, isn’t there? The empire’s Duchess Philip and the kingdom’s Earl Baumeister entering the same bath while naked will turn into a major incident if leaked to the surroundings, won’t it?”

What Katharina said was a sound argument.
It’s not only bad for our reputation, but also it’s possible that Duke Nürnberg will announce that Therese and I are trying to steal the empire after forming an alliance, if things go badly.

“(Mixed bathing with Therese has a charm, but…)” (Wendelin)

If we are careless, it’s not unlikely that even the kingdom’s side will harbour worries.
I didn’t believe that this had an appeal for Therese to the degree of closing her eyes to the possible issues.
Though I considered it to be quite regrettable in my mind.

“Since it’s before an important greater cause, please refrain from causing any problems, Therese-sama.” (Katharina)

Being flatly told so by Katharina, Therese gave up and headed to the woman’s bath while we went into the mixed bath.

“Therese-sama is persistent.”

Luise sighs while soaking in the open air bath.
The open air bath had a luxurious, spacious structure as one would expect of a high-class inn.
Even when soaking in the open air bath, which was surrounded by rocks, with six people, it still had plenty of space left.
The surroundings were concealed by a bamboo fence, but the full moon above and the visible ridgeline of the mountains made for a beautiful scenery.
Sounds of bamboo regularly hitting on the shishiodoshi* echo from the adjoining Japanese-styled garden. (T/N: Water-filled bamboo tube clacking on stone when emptied, common sight in old Japanese gardens)

“Maybe Therese-sama is targeting the mana increase…” (Luise)

“Luise, sshhh!” (Ina)

Ina hinders Luise to speak any further in panic.
The mana of five people, who should have already hit the limit of their mana capacity, increasing and moreover the possibility of their night activities with me being the reason for that was a secret.
As Amelie-sister-in-law-san, with whom I was doing the same, didn’t have the basic aptitude of a magician to begin with, her mana hasn’t increased at all.
However, the mana of Ina and Wilma, who are unconsciously using mana while swinging their spear and battle axe even if it’s below elementary magic, is increasing.
According to Burkhart-san’s prediction, the number of magicians, which has been known to be 1 in 1000 until now, has the potential to become 1 in several hundreds now.

『However, that’s only in case they have sex with you, Earl-sama.』 (Burkhart)

The mana capacity of Elise, Luise and Katharina, who should have hit the limit through training and vessel unification, has increased as well.
If society learns of that, my location will be swarmed by large quantities of women.

『Hehehe! It’s a rendezvous with a gentleman after 50 years, but since my mana will increase with this, it’s a reward.』

『I’m actually looking forward to it.』

Old magicians who have passed the age of 80 will advance on me to embrace me.
I can’t consider this as anything but a nightmare.
Even so, it’s still fine as long as it’s just women.

『Ussu! I’d like you to raise my mana ~ssu!』

I will definitely go mad on the day when a man presents his ass to me.
It’s considered to be a taboo by the church, but in front of the charm of increasing the number of magicians and raising the mana capacity beyond its limit, it’s quite possible for the church to tolerate it by treating it as ceremony.
I think it was a nice timing for Ina to stop what Luise was trying to say.

“Luise, you have a loose tongue. The walls have eyes and ears here.”

“It’s certainly a verbal slip.”

For Earl Mizuho Country it will probably be troublesome if something happens to us.
Once I probe with 『Detection』, I can see the response of people who are serving as guards in the surroundings.

“(Are they possibly called 『ninja』 or such?)” (Wendelin)

“Peepers?” (Wilma)

Even if their objective is to guard us, did they maybe see our naked bodies?
Having sensed that, Wilma put herself on guard.

“It’s alright, Wilma. All of them are women.”

“You did well to grasp that…”

Rather than the thoughts of 『Then they are kunoichis?*』, I feel bothered by Luise’s super-detection. (T/N: Female Ninjas)

“If it’s men and women, there are subtle differences in their mana.” (Luise)

“I know that, but…” (Wendelin)

I have been taught that by my childhood master, but I was also taught that people, who can actually distinguish that, don’t exist.
Master and Burkhart-san said that it’s impossible.
Both are capable of specifying an individual once they remembered their mana signature, but differentiating whether it’s a man or a woman by just their mana after seeing it for the first time is a special skill that only Luise owns.

“Luise, amazing. Next time, teach me.” (Wilma)

Wilma was honestly impressed.

“Recently you became more and more amazing, you know?”

Due to her ability appearing to be already on equal term with Doushi, I couldn’t hide my surprise.

“However, recently my mana has gone up after all. At the same time I feel like my ability to sense mana has gone up as well.” (Luise)

“If you feel like it, you can obtain your own peerage.” (Katharina)

Katharina also gave her stamp of approval to Luise’s actual ability.

“No need. The management of a territory seems to be annoying. I will popularize the magic combat style in society together with my children as Wend’s wife.” (Luise)

“The children between Wendelin-san and Luise-san, huh…? Combining it with the point that our mana increased…”

Maybe children like Doushi will be born.
Katharina seems to be expecting something like that.

“Let’s return to the topic? It’s a wonderful open air bath.” (Elise)

Certainly, it will get troublesome if others listen in on us.
Just as Elise says, we returned the topic to the open air bath.

“I want to come here regularly.”

“Next time I want to stay here comfortably for several nights.”

It was Elise who started to talk like that while smiling, but as expected of her.
Her breasts are floating in the bath.
I noticed it at the times when we entered the bath together after our marriage, but since breasts consist of fat, they float.

“(It’s a magnificent view.)” (Wendelin)

Katharina’s breasts are floating, too. Once I look at Ina’s and Wilma’s breasts through the hot water, they have a different romance about them compared to looking directly at them.
Certainly this is a reward from god for me who survived by even going as far as killing against my will.
Although it wasn’t without feelings of guilt, I won’t be able to survive in this world if I mind it too much.
I decided to go with this take on the matter.

“Buu~~~! My chest has this much individuality…” (Luise)

Luise, who has the lowest chest size, jumps on my back.
They grew since the time she was 12 years old all the same, but Luise’s breasts were an A-cup after all.

“That’s true. They have individuality. I like them, your breasts, Luise.” (Wendelin)

While feeling the small breasts of Luise on my back, I try saying something similar to a perverted old man.
If I consider my mental age, it’s not that strange though.

“That’s right. My breasts have rarity value. Besides, I won’t talk about anyone in specific, but I’m not a woman who missed her chance to marry due to age.” (Luise)

“Oy oy…” (Wendelin)

If you ask about whom she’s talking, it’s of course about that lady who is still single at an age of 20.

“Hoo, who is a woman who missed her chance to marry due to age? Please do tell me by all means.” (Therese)

However, Luise is quite mean as well.
She is deliberately sarcastic towards Therese who is meddling with me.
Considering Luise’s ability, it’s unthinkable for her to not having noticed Therese approaching close-by.

“(Oy, oy, Luise.)” (Wendelin)

“(I perceived the presence of a woman, but I didn’t think that it was Therese-sama.)” (Luise)

“(Liar.)” (Wendelin)

Although she is giving such an excuse, there’s no doubt that it’s a lie.
She should have already remembered Therese’s mana by now.

“Umm… Therese-sama?” (Elise)

“Don’t worry. I’m wearing bath clothes for the sake of the innocent Wendelin.” (Therese)

As expected of a spa for tourists, they have even prepared bath clothes for tourists although it’s a custom to enter the bath naked with others.
Therese wore white bath clothes.

“We will become fellow comrades in war who will fight while risking our lives. Such socializing is necessary as well, right?” (Therese)

She enters the bath while saying so, but on top of her body line being easily projected through the originally thin bath clothes, her nipples were visible due to the clothes clinging to her body in the bath.
I avert my gaze from Therese in a hurry.

“Therese-sama, I believe that to be improper for a woman in a high social standing though.” (Elise)

“Aren’t thou naked, Elise-dono?” (Therese)

“Is there anything wrong about a married couple entering a bath together?” (Elise)

“Certainly not. Thee might be able to become pregnant soon.” (Therese)

Therese dodged Elise’s attack evasively just like before.
As expected of a prince-elector who’s a candidate for becoming empress.

“It hit me suddenly, but if I marry Wendelin, this unproductive quarrel with you, Elise-dono, will vanish. If that happens, it will become peaceful.” (Therese)

“Well, my position and stomach will always be exposed to war times.”

Doubtlessly I will end up being regarded as a person who requires special attention by both countries.
Only that, please excuse me from bearing that cross.
She is a charming woman, but she isn’t necessary anymore as Amelie-sister-in-law-san covers the mature aspect.

“Therese-sama, it will be wrong if you don’t offer a bait to the nobles you are going to gather from now on.” (Ina)

It’s just as Ina says.
Seeing that we are incapable of confirming the survival of the new emperor Urquhart the 17th and the other prince-electors, Therese, who is trying to defeat the rebel Duke Nürnberg, is the most important person as next emperor candidate.

“I will gather comrades by telling them that they might become my husband. Since it’s an old trick, I will use it of course. But, there will be never any guarantee that someone will become my husband.” (Therese)

“Then, do you intend to stay single, Therese-sama?” (Elise)

“Handling an empress’ husband is troublesome.” (Therese)

Even in the empire the male domination over women is strong. If she is careless, he might become nothing but a hindrance to a rule by an empress.
Up until now there were candidates for becoming empress, but none of them was actually enthroned.
Since they always tripped over this problem, they couldn’t win in the emperor elections, it seems.

“The treatment of the maternal relatives is annoying as well. That’s why.” (Therese)

Therese, who soaked in the hot water next to me, clings to my arm.
The sensation of her voluptuous breasts, which I can feel at my upper arm, is wonderful.
No, stop, I think this is getting bad.

“It’s fine with them just occasionally offering their sperm to me. However since there’s no romance with only that, won’t thou let me enjoy a time as married couple as well?” (Therese)

“No, that is…” (Wendelin)

“Please stop it already! Aren’t you just troubling Wendelin-sama!?” (Elise)

The angry Elise pulls me to her side and Therese gets separated from me.
Now I can feel the sensation of Elise’s breasts pressing against my upper arm.

“Whether he is troubled about it is something that Wendelin himself decides. Isn’t that so, Wendelin?” (Therese)

It’s fine to get angry here and abandon our job as mercenaries, but once Duke Nürnberg’s dangerous ideology becomes gradually official, it will become impossible to get a victory against him.
The empire, which would have destroyed Philip Dukedom and Earl Mizuho Country, would gather under Duke Nürnberg’s reign and it was very likely that it would become hostile towards the kingdom.
In the worst case it’s also possible that he will deliberately keep the empire in a quasi-war-state in order to unify it.
Facing towards the kingdom by making it a common enemy for the dissatisfaction of the nobles and populace whose impoverishment increased in the civil war was an act that was carried out occasionally in any world and country.
Then, once he continuously stations the increased military forces at the national border, it will likely influence the economy of the entire kingdom and the development of the Savage Lands.
As a noble of the kingdom, it will be wrong if I can’t get Therese to win here.
Not only is she anticipating that, but she’s also starting to strengthen her support base in case of her becoming empress.
In order to prevent the meddling by maternal relatives, she’s trying to make a child with me who is a foreign noble she just met.
No matter whether that child becomes the next emperor or not, it will give birth to a faction called the parent’s kingdom faction in the empire.
She might be trying to protect her own descendants by using that.

“If thou desire, I don’t mind taking off these bath clothes either, Wendelin.” (Therese)

“No, it’s fine!”

Elise and the others restrain Therese’s temptations.
Thanks to that I didn’t enjoy the open air bath overly much. Finally being able to just get a long, leisurely bath, it ended with me suffering from dizziness.

◆◇◆◇◆

“Please save a person struggling through a hard time.” (Wendelin)

When I’m just out of the bath, I complain to Burkhart-san and Doushi for not having saved me.

“I have been certain that you won’t yield to her temptation, Earl-sama.” (Burkhart)

There might be that as well, but it’s likely that Burkhart-san, who met the cute Therese 10 years ago, was unable to strongly tell her off.
Even considering it by age, he might be thinking of her like a daughter.

“For me it doesn’t change the result much no matter how it turns out.” (Armstrong)

If my blood entered the Duke Philip household, it would be the first successful invasion of blood by the kingdom since the empire’s foundation.
It might be exaggerated, but nobles seem to be creatures who consider things in such manner.

“The official nobles of the central government are refusing with 『There’s no precedent』 as long as there’s no precedent, but once you create a precedent, things will advance with 『There’s a precedent』.” (Armstrong)

Therese should advance the political policies of increasing the coming and going of people and trade between both countries as it was happening before the coup d’etat.
Since the empire will be exhausted by the civil war even if she wins against Duke Nürnberg, an enlargement of trade should compensate for that.
If you exclude a part of the populace and nobles, the political thoughts aren’t that fixated about right and left.
If the trade improves the circulation of money even a bit, it might be possible to secure those radicals who woke up from their dream of establishing a new governmental authority in the future.
But then again, the appearance of people who incline towards nationalism and steal employment and concession due to that is something that is born in the world of politics.

“From the standpoint of nobles, an increase of family choices for their daughters to marry into and for their sons to be adopted into isn’t bad!” (Armstrong)

If the number of children with mixed blood from nobles of both countries increases, it might also serve as a deterrence towards war.
Humans are creatures that will find a reason to invade, but there’s no other choice but to leave such matters to the future nobles.

“Even so, please don’t abandon someone in need of help.” (Wendelin)

“But, you know, it’s unexpectedly simple to evade her temptations.” (Burkhart)

“Let me hear the method by all means.” (Wendelin)

I lend my ears to Burkhart-san’s advice.
Once I did so, he mentioned something unforeseen.

◆◇◆◇◆

“I see. Such move existed, eh?”

“Such move means?”

Once I finish talking with the two old men, I return to my room.
The room, which has been assigned to us, is a spacious Japanese-styled room where six people can sleep with leeway. It seems to be the top class room of this inn.
It is a room for important merchants and nobles to enjoy their stay while bringing several wives and lovers along.
For some reason I’m considered as guest of honour by High Earl Mizuho.

“It’s a move to evade Therese’s temptation.” (Wendelin)

“That’s great then.” (Ina)

Ina was immediately attracted to it.
She was probably also fed up with Therese as 『Woman who doesn’t give up』.

“So, what kind of method is it?”

“It’s this kind of move.” (Wendelin)

I swiftly pull the obi of Ina’s yukata.
She doesn’t rotate around like in historic plays and she didn’t say 『A~re~』 either, but the entire front part of the yukata opens and most of her front area ends up being exposed.
Her chest, which seems to be visible though it isn’t, can be considered to have a very splendid angle.

“Wait a moment, Wend!” (Ina)

“The answer is that I have to enjoy the night time with everyone!” (Wendelin)

Therese was a woman who brimmed with sensual sex appeal at an age of 20, but she had a flaw.
Since she’s an inexperienced virgin, she shouldn’t have the experience and courage to boldly join in on such event.
Therefore, to prevent her sneaking in at night, I will play with my wives everyday.
This move was the idea of Burkhart-san who seems to be well-versed in such matters.

“This room is convenient for such matters.” (Wendelin)

Since there are futons on the tatamis and not beds, the preparations are finished right away once the futons are connected with each other.
Furthermore, as the futons are apparently high-class items, they are soft and light to a dreadful degree.

“I think that’s a great idea.” (Luise)

“Isn’t it? Ei!” (Wendelin)

“Aree~~~!” (Luise)

Once I grab the obi of the yukata of Luise, who joined my side in approval right away, she, who is easily influenced into joining some mood, spins around while raising the standard voice.

“What’s that?”

“There are such situations in the Mizuho ceremonies as well.”

“I see. Wend-sama.” (Wilma)

“Ei!” (Wendelin)

“Aree~~~!” (Wilma)

 

She had a slightly low voice, but once I unwrap the obi of Wilma’s yukata, she releases the standard yell as well.
However, I wonder where Luise obtained that information?

“Nyahaha. That’s fun. Well, next is Katharina then.”

“Me? Since I’m shy…” (Katharina)

“No use. After all it has the noble objective of evading Therese-sama by showing it to her.”

“You can’t escape.”

Katharina is caught by the excited Luise and Wilma, and gets dragged in front of me.

“Let’s have you join in properly! Ei! (Wendelin)

“Aree~~~!” (Katharina)

Even while saying that she’s embarrassed, Katharina probably has things bearing in mind about Therese’s lewd temptation.
Having the obi obediently unwrapped, she spins around while raising the agreed yell.

“By the way, what’s this about?”

“Umm, a bad-governor-attacks-young-girl play.” (Wendelin)

I explain that it’s a scene of an evil governor attacking a young geisha who is pouring alcohol at a banquet, which I have seen in a historical play in my childhood together with my grandfather in the countryside.

“Having the obi unwrapped, you spin around often in such arranged manner?”

“This situation is normal to be done with Mizuho clothes after all. Also, it’s an arrangement to rotate often once the obi has been undone?”

“The inner workings are deep, aren’t they?”

Katharina admired the depth of the Mizuho culture at a strange part.

“However, why did you know about it, Luise?”

“Because I bought this.”

There was a shop in the city where you can buy books and such, and among its merchandise was a painting that resembled colour prints of everyday life in the Edo period. Moreover she was apparently searching for paintings prohibited to minors which resemble pornographic woodblock prints in secret.
On a page of an obscene picture book she opened, a pronographic depiction of the governor play was drawn together with a written story.

“I heard about it before from Margrave Breithilde-sama. Men are creatures who lose interest.” (Luise)

Therefore it’s essential to put the man in different situations so he doesn’t get tired of the woman, she was taught.

“If you recall what that person has said…”

“That’s right. You are with someone other than us… oops, that was a verbal slip. You work very hard on your duty as Earl, but we have to do our best until children are born.” (Elise)

Elise is slightly scary.
My relationship with Amelie-sister-in-law-san took the shape of being tolerated, but I guess it’s not that amusing from Elise’s point of view after all.
I have been given a warning.

“The last is me.”

Once I try to pull her obi after being urged on by Elise, Ina, who fixed the knot of her obi, appears next to her.

“Wend, since the last time was a bit lacking, once more…” (Ina)

Requesting that while having her face dyed red, Ina was quite adorable.

“Roger. Ei!”

“Ah~~~re~~~!” (Ina)

Without a doubt, if seen by a third party, they might wonder 『What’s so interesting about this?』, but it’s a win if they can get aroused while I’m enjoying it.
There’s also the just cause of preventing Therese’s interruption. That night I spent a noble-like night with five people.

 

◆◇◆◇◆

 

“Uwaah, that’s amazing.”

“I pity the hostess-san a bit.”

The next morning, Ina and me, who woke up first, were lost for words due to the disastrous scene on top of the futons.
The nightmarish incident, which made Dominique drop the duster in despair in the mansion, ended up being repeated as if one may do anything once a certain line is crossed.
My goodness, 『Vitality Recovery』 is quite the sinful spell.

“Wend, I can’t move…” (Luise)

“Wend-sama, Elise-sama doesn’t open her eyes.” (Wilma)

Being urged on by Luise and Wilma, I cast healing magic on everyone including myself as well.

“Upon reflection, my healing magic, I don’t use it except at such times.” (Wendelin)

Usually I leave it to Elise. Since we rarely get injured to begin with, there weren’t many opportunities to use it.

“Katharina, wake up.”

“Yesh… This disastrous scene is…” (Katharina)

If you say that it’s the usual, it ends there, but Katharina is speechless due to the tragic, disastrous scene caused by us thoughtlessly enjoying the fresh taste of a changed environment.

“I can’t overlook this as a lady.” (Katharina)

It was obvious that the inn’s hostess, who will come to air the futons, will fall into the same condition as Dominique.
From Katharina’s point of view, she considers that as embarrassing for a noble.

“Wendelin-san.” (Katharina)

“I at least remember 『Clean』.” (Wendelin)

“I’m weak at that kind of magic.” (Katharina)

Then don’t throw out your chest and say it proudly while being naked, I thought.
According to Burkhart-san, Katharina was bad at magic related to livelihood.

“Well it’s fine, I guess. Elise, get up.” (Wendelin)

“Yes…” (Elise)

I wake up Elise while casting healing magic. After using the 『Clean』 spell on all futons, we head to the morning bath.
Given that the hostess in charge of our room was there once we left it, I gave her a koban as tip and asked her to clean the room.
Since I tidied it up mostly, she shouldn’t fall in the same state as Dominique.

“Earl-sama, it seems you were vigorous.” (Burkhart)

Once I enter the room, which was used for the banquet last night, to take breakfast after finishing my bath, Burkhart-san was already eating breakfast.
The Mizuho-styled breakfast wasn’t that different from the one of a Japanese hot spring inn after all.
Rice, miso soup, grilled fish, boiled greens in bonito-flavoured soy sauce, pickled vegetables, natto, baked seaweed and such.
All of it was a lineup of dearly missed dishes.

“(Earl Mizuho Country. You are the best!)” (Wendelin)

In a hurry I begin to eat the rice served in a rice bowl.
It was popular to eat rice in the south as well, but the taste of the rice here was exceptionally great.
The Akitsu Basin, where Earl Mizuho Country is located, is hot in summer and cold in winter, it has a large difference in temperature over the seasons.
In other words, there are proper seasons. That improves the taste of the rice.
Since the water here is clean and delicious as well, this place provides conditions where you can harvest good rice.

“I’d like it to be put in a bigger rice bowl!” (Armstrong)

Doushi, who entered at almost the same time as us, ate by wolfing down the served mountain of rice in his bowl.
As usual that man has an amazing appetite.

“As result of you being active, Therese-sama didn’t trespass, right?” (Burkhart)

It was just as Burkhart-san said.
To join in on that requires quite the resolve and experience. Therese had the former but lacked the latter.
Did she consider it to be regretful?
She entered the room, but begins to eat her rice quietly after sitting down in the seat next to me.

“Didn’t you get it done properly despite being younger?”

“Earl Baumeister, it’s the start of your harem legend.”

“Saying it comparatively, the numbers are lacking.” (Therese)

The inexperienced Therese has sex appeal, but talks like a sore loser.
Even so, it was a fact that a noble having five wives can’t be treated as owning a harem, just as Therese says.
At least I hear it won’t be called a harem unless I gather numbers in the two digits.

“It’s plenty if there’s five people.”

“If thou have property at the level of Wendelin, even five wives are already necessary at the very least.” (Therese)

“Then I will search for more in the kingdom.” (Wendelin)

“Thou, thou are unexpectedly mean.” (Therese)

Having finished the preparations for departure after breakfast, we will once again head towards Philip Dukedom in the carriage.

“Duchess Philip-dono, Earl Baumeister-dono, I will prepare the soldiers and wait for you.” (Toyomune)

After receiving High Earl Mizuho’s farewell, the carriage travels towards the north.
Once we leave the mountain road, which is located in the northern part of the Akitsu Basin, we will enter the Philip Dukedom right away.
Even considering it geographically, there shouldn’t be any pursuit party from Duke Nürnberg anymore.

“Even here is no good, huh…?”

I try to float in the air a bit with the 『Flight』 spell, but I end up stopping it right away as a pain stabs my head.
If the effect reaches even until this northern area, it is fine to assume that the influence of the jamming device covers almost the entire empire.
Even if they analyze and mass produce the device while it’s operating in Bardiche unskillfully, our stance won’t be affected.
There was no other choice but to destroy this at all costs.

“However, how did Duke Nürnberg obtain that device?” (Therese)

“From a undiscovered historic ruin, I suppose.” (Wendelin)

Since even we were able to discover them, it’s unlikely that the empire’s side can’t do so as well.
The Ancient Magic Civilization prospered on the entire continent.

“It will turn into a war where many people will die.” (Therese)

“Yes.” (Wendelin)

It’s something unpleasant, but it was possible for the war to spread to the kingdom if we don’t defeat Duke Nürnberg here.
That’s why I decided to take part in a war where I will kill people.

“The social position of Duchess Philip is heavy…” (Therese)

I didn’t say anything to Therese who entrusted her body to my shoulder while saying so.
It looked like Ebbo, who is at the front, wanted to say something, but he’s probably thinking that he will incur Therese’s displeasure if he disturbs her.
He quietly glared at me.
He is Therese’s most faithful dog-kun.

“If there’s a gentleman who is reliable, it will lessen my burden as well.” (Therese)

Therese, who leaned on my shoulder while showing a sad expression, was sexy, but after all I’m brought back into reality right away.
I ended up being pulled over by Elise who sat next to me on the other side.

“Elise-dono, isn’t that heartless? Suffering from the heavy responsibilities here, it’s the important part for me to attract Wendelin’s affection by showing him my grief.” (Therese)

“Such conspicious parts can’t be trusted. Even before that, Wendelin-sama belongs to us.” (Elise)

At the same time of Elise saying that, Luise wedges in between me and Therese and Wilma sits down on my knees.
Moreover, Ina and Katharina, who sat behind me, tightly guarded my back.

“Therese-sama, please freely choose among the nobles from your own country.” (Elise)

“I don’t praise thieving cats.”

“Balance is missing age-wise.”

“I don’t admire someone who makes a move on the possessions of others.” (Katharina)

After Therese appeared, the guard of Elise and the others became excessively hard.
Since there’s also the secret that it’s possible to increase one’s mana by having sex with me, which results the elementary attainments as magician even if it’s microscopic, they probably didn’t want unnecessary women to approach me.

“Thy guard is solid. In that case, I will pretend that there’s something strategic to talk about…” (Therese)

“I will go together with you as his attendant. As the campaign’s priest.” (Elise)

Being strictly warned by Elise, Therese reveals a regretful expression.
Ebbo, who saw this situation, had a relieved expression though.

“(However, he is looking at people with such eyes…)” (Wendelin)

Burkhart-san was on guard at the coachman’s seat. Doushi was sleeping and snoring apparently because of the large amount of food and the morning bath while keeping his eyes open once again. Erw looked happy while talking to Haruka about various matters.

“(I won’t complain, but it’s somewhat absurd…)” (Wendelin)

Therese’s retainers continued to check the surroundings through the carriage’s windows in rotation. There was no problem at all since they had regulated breaks in between.

“There a Demon Forest in the south? I’d like to go there once.” (Haruka)

“I will invite you once this war ends. There are plenty of southern fruits over there.” (Erwin)

“I love sweets.” (Haruka)

“You can even obtain the ingredients for chocolate.” (Erwin)

“I have only heard a rumour about the sweet called 『chocolate』 from the old man at the grocery store.” (Haruka)

“I will give you a bit.” (Erwin)

“Really!? Thank you very much.” (Haruka)

“(Huh? isn’t it going very well for Erw?)” (Wendelin)

While the confrontation between Therese and Elise continued inside, the carriage safely reached Philip Dukedom within a half day.

 


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