“Milord, how about a refill of tea?” (Amalie)
“Amalie-san, we are inside the mansion, so feel free to call me as usual.” (Wendelin)
“That’s no good since I’m in front of Elise-sama and the others.” (Amalie)
“I’m telling you it’s fine. Now, go on.” (Wendelin)
“What’s the need in holding back? I’m Earl Baumeister, the most important person in this house. That very person is telling you to call him as usual. In other words, this is also an order. Come on now.” (Wendelin)
“Then, without reservation…Wend-kun.” (Amalie)
“Yes. Please give me another serving of tea.” (Wendelin)
Thanks to the information provided by Arnest, we succeeded in discovering the tunnel running through the Greater League Mountain Range.
However, because the entrance on the other side is part of an insignificant territory called Eulenberg, and not the Breithilde Margraviate, we ended up returning home for now, burdened with the problem of what to do about the tunnel’s management.
That’s because the rest requires a decision by His Majesty and the ministers.
On the way back home I took Amalie-san with us from Paul-niisan’s territory.
The reason is that she needs my 『Teleportation』 to regularly meet with her children as it has been decided that my nephews, Karl and Oskar, will be given into the custody of the Meinbach household, which is located far away, for the sake of education.
Even for me that’s quite convenient. Since Elise and the others gave their permission, she has returned to the mansion together with us.
The next morning I was served upon by Amalie-san in a maid uniform.
Essentially she’s treated as my concubine, but her official social position is that of our Head Maid. Because she said that she has to be at least slightly useful, her focus became taking care of me.
“The tea isn’t too strong, is it?” (Amalie)
“It’s fine. This isn’t our old home.” (Wendelin)
“That’s right, isn’t it? In the past we used the tea leaves until they lost their color in the hot water.” (Amalie)
“Even when they still had color, it was tasteless tea.” (Wendelin)
“How very true.” (Amalie)
It sure is nice with Amalie-san here as we can wallow in old stories.
The old Knight Baumeister household was stingy. We reused mate tea leaves to the very limit.
Usually the leaves had barely any color and absolutely no flavor left during their last use. We nostalgically remembered those times.
“Once they finally lost all color, we scattered them on the floor during cleaning or removed the stench by throwing them into the sink.” (Amalie)
“Really? You did something like that?” (Wendelin)
Cleaning with the washed-out leaves or removing the stench in the kitchen with them, I suppose that the so-called practical housework knowledge.
I think the biggest reason was economizing, but I think not being able to obtain detergent and deodorant in the former Knight Baumeister territory played a big role, too.
“Of course now I won’t go as far anymore, however.” (Amalie)
“Makes sense.” (Wendelin)
After all even the Knight Baumeister household succeeded by Hermann-niisan and Paul-niisan’s household have become normal noble households nowadays.
That means such poverty is a good memory ─ though I don’t know whether it’s truly good ─ of the past.
“I have to pay attention since I often end up making the tea too thinly out of habit.” (Amalie)
Once I’m told that, it might be slightly weaker than the tea prepared by Elise, but it’s not like it’s so thin that she has to feel anxious about it.
Since I was sweaty after the morning training, there’s absolutely no problem with it being on the slightly weaker side. Rather, it’s just right to down it in one go.
“As I was sweaty, the tea might be just right with this intensity.” (Wendelin)
While saying so, I drained the tea which had been brewed by Amalie-san.
Just when I was thinking that I might have had enough tea by now, Elise arrived while bringing a pot.
“Dear, you have to intake plenty of water after sweating.” (Elise)
I admired that such knowledge exists in the church as well, but right now I’d like to refrain since my stomach is somewhat full.
“Thank you, Elise. But I will drink it later, okay?” (Wendelin)
But, things seldom go as one wishes.
“Dear, please don’t hesitate.” (Elise)
While saying that, Elise pours mate tea into my empty cup.
It was her usual, calmly smiling expression, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes.
“(Eh? Why is Elise so unhappy?)” (Wendelin)
Did I do something to make her angry?
I casually looked for help from Erw, who was eating breakfast at the same table, but at such crucial time he was happily chatting with Haruka while eating, not noticing my plead for help at all.
And, in addition to Elise, even Ina, Luise, Wilma and Katharina turned up next to me while holding tea pots.
“Wend, it’s no good if you don’t drink more as you sweat a lot during your morning training.” (Ina)
“Yeah, yeah, drink it down in one gulp without any reservations.” (Luise)
“If it’s you, Wend-sama, you can still go for a while until you’re full.” (Wilma)
“Certainly you’re not going to say that you can’t drink anymore, now are you?” (Katharina)
I succumb to their pressure. Due to me drinking plenty of mate tea in the morning, my stomach swelled up like a balloon.
“Why did something like that happen?” (Wendelin)
My stomach was still full to the limit, but since I was bothered why it had turned out like that, I decided to consult with the experienced-looking Therese.
At such times it’s really convenient that her mansion is close-by.
“As usual thou are somewhat slow. Elise and the others put the conflicts in their hearts behind them for now and accepted Amalie. And yet thou can’t possibly expect that it will be fine with thou only getting happily along with Amalie.” (Therese)
“But you know, I have to make sure that Amalie-san, who just came to the mansion, won’t become isolated there.” (Wendelin)
After all it’s painful to be a loner.
I know that as someone who experienced it.
“Thou got it backwards. Because your sister-in-law is the newcomer, thou should actually display a stance of prioritizing Elise and the others while allowing Amalie to only act as thy waitress in the beginning, right?” (Therese)
“Now that you mention it, it makes sense.” (Wendelin)
She has devoted herself to being my caretaker. Come to think of it, she called me 『Milord』 while staying discrete, but it was me who made her change it to the usual 『Wend-kun』.
“Even Amalie has no choice to call thou like that if ordered by thou, has she? Listen, Wendelin. Since thou are the family head, thou can freely order the people of thy household around, but there are also times where thou will cause harm with thy orders like today morning. Make sure to remember that.” (Therese)
I think that the majority of people believe it to be enviable to have multiple wives, but it’s also a fact that there are many situations where you must pay attention to balance or hierarchy.
“Aren’t Elise and the others good wives? It’s exactly because they thought that thou would be sad if they lashed out at Amalie that they glossed it over by making thou drink plenty of tea, Wendelin.” (Therese)
I suppose they gave me a warning by openly showing their jealousy.
“I wonder, do I have too many wives?” (Wendelin)
“If thou think so, pay attention from now on.” (Therese)
“I will reflect on it.” (Wendelin)
“Good that thou understand. An obedient Wendelin who reflects on his mistakes, huh? Isn’t that cute?” (Therese)
Somehow Therese lately often behaves like an elder sister…
Leaving aside her inner workings, she’s actually older than me, so it’s no problem, but isn’t my mental age that of a grown-up?
“Uuh…you’re older, all the same…” (Wendelin)
“There are many nobles that have several wives, but it’s rare that all of them get along like at thy place, Wendelin. There are also many cases where they form factions and oppose each other. Thou better appreciate such thing not happening.” (Therese)
“Got it.” (Wendelin)
I’m really grateful that I immediately get an answer if I consult with Therese at such times.
There were issues on the first day, but Amalie-san was accepted properly in the Earl Baumeister household, and the cases where I consulted with Therese increased, too.
＊ ＊ ＊
“So, I just have to carry out public works? Or is it the usual and boring aristocratic tasks?” (Wendelin)
“As a matter of fact an emergency task has arisen that’s very suited for you, Milord, and your friends as it’s quite close to adventurer work.” (Roderich)
The next day after we returned to the mansion, we listened to Roderich about today’s schedule.
Just when I thought that it would be the usual public work within the earldom, he mentions another job.
Moreover he says that it’s a job with a strong component of adventuring, huh?
“An adventurer-like work? You mean monster subjugation or such?” (Luise)
“Plainly said, it’s just as you say, Luise-sama. The wyverns and flying dragons inhabiting the Greater League Mountain Range have suddenly increased their activity at various places lately. It’s necessary to quickly thin out their numbers to some extent.” (Roderich)
“I wonder, did they maybe get provoked by the frequent flight traffic of the magic airships?” (Ina)
“Since I can’t believe that dragons, even if they are lower-ranked ones, propagate so easily, it might be mostly as you say, Ina-sama.” (Roderich)
Because the Baumeister Earldom has made progress with its development, it reached the point of several magic airships regularly traveling the skies over the Greater League Mountain Range. I guess the increased activity of the wyverns and flying dragons is owed to that.
“Wyverns and flying dragons don’t possess such high reproduction rate. But, even if few of them are being born, there’s always a considerable number of them around, given that they have no other natural enemies besides humans in contrast to animals and other monsters. Their surroundings becoming noisy seems to be the most probable reason for them being agitated.” (Roderich)
“It could be that they believe their territory to be invaded.” (Luise)
Is Luise’s thought correct?
The monsters’ mode of life isn’t that different from wild animals after all.
“Let me add further to that. Plenty of humans, potential prey, are moving around.” (Erwin)
Erw, I think that you’re right there, but your remark was a bit imprudent.
“Once the tunnel is opened, they might become even more active.”
“Even until finding the tunnel’s entrance, we took on quite the number of them.”
Back then Wilma and the others fought back the wyverns and flying dragons which came flying from the mountains over and over again.
Won’t people get attacked by them if we proceed with the development even further from now on?
“That’s something we can’t let slide. Wyverns and flying dragons are powerful monsters. There’s probably few people who can deal with them, so it’s our turn, just like the other day.” (Katharina)
“There it is! Katharina’s certain death technique of 『A noble’s duty』!” (Erwin)
“Certain death…haven’t you been born into a noble family as well, Erwin-san?” (Katharina)
Having been teased by Erw, Katharina rebutted with that question.
“Right now I’m a retainer of the Earl Baumeister household as I have lost my nobility when I became an adult, you know? If milord orders so, I will go.” (Erwin)
“Please show a bit more motivation!” (Katharina)
These two seem to have a really questionable compatibility. I often catch sight of Katharina flaring up at Erw.
However, in most cases Erw dodges her skillfully.
Given that Erw’s communication skills are high, he might be hard to deal with for Katharina who has a loner disposition instead.
“It’s the same for me and Haruka-san, but it’s a very pragmatic reason: It’s the general rule to face wyverns and flying dragons in a group.” (Erwin)
“That’s right. We are swordsmen, so we mainly face opponents in interpersonal combat or monsters that live on the ground. Once it comes to facing an enemy that can fly like wyverns, the most we can do is to deliver a single blow while at the same time avoiding an incoming attack.” (Haruka)
“As Haruka-san and I can’t use magic, we are unable to fly, too. This is your time to shine, Katharina.” (Erwin)
“If you cut the wyverns’ wings, causing them to fall to the ground, we will be able to deal with them as well.” (Haruka)
“I see. If it’s like that, it sure is my domain as someone who’s strong at wind magic.” (Katharina)
Nothing less of those two who will be married soon. They cleverly matched their arguments and restored Katharina’s mood.
“This time it’s not a job where you will be done after hunting one or two of them. It’s necessary to hunt them efficiently as a group. That means you will thin out their numbers drastically in one go. Well, it might be unreasonable, but I’d like you to hold back on making them go extinct.” (Roderich)
“It’s an economical issue.” (Roderich)
“I suppose there are people who make a living out of circulating the raw materials of wyverns and flying dragons on the market by regularly hunting them.” (Elise)
“It’s as you say, Elise-sama.” (Roderich)
A long time ago it was rare to hunt wyverns and flying dragon in the Greater League Mountains.
But nowadays many adventurer groups specializing on dragon hunting are permanently staying in the Knight Baumeister territory.
There are also plans to establish such hunter bases along the Greater League Mountain Range outside the Knight Baumeister territory.
Accordingly goods such as the hunted dragons’ dismantled meat and other materials will begin to widely spread on other markets.
In other words, if the dragons were to be annihilated just when they might turn into a source of livelihood for many people, those people would lose that very livelihood.
“We have to hunt the wyverns and flying dragons without damaging the dragon hunt as industry while thinning out their numbers enough so that they won’t cause damage to the people. A sophisticated ability to judge is indispensable.” (Roderich)
A bit of political judgment might be necessary as well, but different from the public work so far, it’s a job that’s quite close to that of an adventurer.
Grasping how many of them we can hunt in total is Roderich’s domain. It’s nothing we can judge while on-site.
“Please leave it to us, Roderich-san. One who is a noble has to wield their power when it comes to protecting the livelihood of the common people.” (Katharina)
That’s exactly the time when a noble has the duty to save their people with their power.
Something like that was called noblesse oblige, wasn’t it?
It’s not like Katharina will decide how many dragons are to be hunted, but she seems to regard this as a job appropriate for a noble, causing her to be in a really good mood.
“As expected of you, Katharina-sama.” (Roderich)
“Oh───ho ho. Even though I might look like this, I’m still a noble after all.” (Katharina)
“If we don’t do at least that much, we won’t be able to demand taxes either.” (Wilma)
“That’s certainly true, but…isn’t that a bit too blunt, Wilma-san?” (Katharina)
She states that it’s a noble’s task to proactively carry out such work. Moreover, being praised by Roderich for her attitude, Katharina’s tension was boosted, but once Wilma bluntly pointed out the simple facts, she became quiet right away.
“Wilma-san, you’re a noble too, aren’t you…? Since you’re the adopted daughter of that Minister Edgar, giving it your all…” (Katharina)
“I’m his adopted daughter. Also, the higher ranking the nobility with a long history, the more disillusioned you become, unexpectedly. Besides…” (Wilma)
“Besides, what, Wilma-san?” (Katharina)
“This is work. We just have to carry it out efficiently and calmly.” (Wilma)
I suppose that means there’s a big difference in the way of perception regarding work between Katharina and Wilma.
I think it’s not like either is correct, though.
“So, Roderich-san, where are we going to carry out the extermination of wyverns and flying dragons? Or, aren’t we actually lacking manpower with just our group?” (Elise)
At that point Elise asked Roderich about the details.
“Of course it’s not just your group. There are several places where wyverns and flying dragons appear in the Baumeister Earldom. Many veteran adventurers and dragon-hunting specialists have been deployed.” (Roderich)
As expected of Roderich. He’s not going to entrust this job solely to us.
He mentioned that he already arranged the deployment of personnel besides us.
“Until the assigned number has been hunted, we will give an incentive by paying extra for the raw materials.” (Roderich)
I guess he wants to make sure of quickly finishing the hunt of the scheduled number of dragons by paying extra until the norm is reached.
Once the extra payment for the raw material comes to an end, the veteran adventurers will likely discontinue hunting the dragons as it will be more efficient to return to the Demon Forest.
Since returning to their home base won’t result in any costs for the dragon-hunting specialists either, it will be possible to prevent over-hunting.
“That’s all fine, but is it really alright with having groups of dragon-hunting specialist around?” (Erwin)
“Yeah. What if they start a dispute again?” (Ina)
Erw and Ina not having a good impression of the dragon-hunting specialists is probably owed to the group of the Margrave Browig household ─ the matter with Thomas and his men ─ having caused a rebellion in the Knight Baumeister territory before.
They pretended to be a dragon-hunting specialist party and infiltrated the Knight Baumeister territory.
“Erwin, Ina-sama, those were fakes that called themselves dragon-hunting specialists. The real specialists won’t do something that likely brings them no profit, but only risks. The dragon-hunting specialists are an assembly of strict folks.” (Roderich)
They hunt dragons as efficiently as possible in a group, and share the reward in order to not squabble.
Certainly, the real dragon-hunting specialists probably won’t assist in crimes.
“Roderich-san, you’re quite well-informed, aren’t you?” (Luise)
“Luise-sama, despite my appearance I belonged to a famous group of dragon-hunting specialists in the past, albeit only for a short time.” (Roderich)
“Roderich-san, you’ve really gotten around quite a bit.” (Luise)
Surely we didn’t expect him to have experience in having worked in such field.
Luise was surprised by the abundance of Roderich’s work experience.
————— End of Part 1 —————
“For that reason I asked a group of acquaintances to help with this time’s job. There won’t be any need for your group to move all over, milord. The area you are in charge of is here on the map.” (Roderich)
Roderich spread out a map and pointed at a specific area.
“Isn’t it slightly far away from human habitation?”
Location-wise it’s at the halfway point between the Knight Baumeister territory and Paul-niisan’s territory.
It’s an uninhabited place where the development hasn’t started at all yet.
“I don’t know why, but even though this place is deserted, the wyverns’ and flying dragons’ activity around here has increased. I judged that it would be best to exterminate them to some extent. The reason why it has been assigned to your group is because Elise-sama will come with you.” (Roderich)
“Healing magic, huh?”
If it’s an area close to inhabited places, it’s possible to get injured people treated by carrying them there, even if there’s no healing magician with the adventurers, but if it’s a place in the middle of nowhere, it will be difficult to get medical treatment without a healer.
It will cause a big difference in regards to the survival rate of injured people.
“No matter how specialized on dragon hunting they might be, there are few groups with healers. All the more if it’s adventurers that participate temporarily. Accordingly, your group that has Elise-sama is in charge of the area that’s the furthest away from human settlements.” (Roderich)
“I see. As long as His Majesty and Margrave Breithilde don’t say anything, the matter with the tunnel won’t proceed anyway. I guess we will treat ourselves to a dragon extermination for a change of pace.” (Wendelin)
“If the situation makes progress in any way, I will contact you, so please focus on this work for now.” (Roderich)
“Got it. It’s time to depart then, huh?” (Wendelin)
For that reason it was decided that we will participate in the thinning out of wyverns and flying dragons.
The place appointed to us by Roderich is a mountain slope.
Because the dragon-hunting specialists have headed out ahead of us, we first moved to the Knight Baumeister territory with 『Teleportation』, and then decided to move by magic car (T/N: four-wheeler, but I can’t be bothered to type it out anymore) from there.
“Sorry. Today I have no time. These are the presents.” (Wendelin)
“It can’t be helped if you’re busy. Souvenirs from the Empire, huh? Thanks.” (Hermann)
On the way we made a very short visit at the Knight Baumeister territory, and I talked about our current job while passing souvenirs from the Empire to Hermann-niisan.
“Is this place doing fine?” (Wendelin)
“Yeah, since that incident, real dragon-hunting specialists are permanently staying here in turns. Because the wyverns and flying dragons are hunted regularly, it doesn’t feel real to us that they’ve become more active.” (Hermann)
Since the new family head, Hermann-niisan, is making the Knight Baumeister territory grow, the production of honey and honey liquor has increased, the reclamation of farmland is advancing, lodging is offered to the adventurers specialized in dragon hunting, and even dismantling contracts for the hunted dragons have been established. The territory has developed quite significantly compared to before the Empire’s civil war.
Honestly speaking, there’s a world of difference if compared to the past Knight Baumeister territory.
“However, we don’t have the leeway to send people over from our side. If this place becomes short-handed, we won’t be able to cope with their attacks.” (Hermann)
“That makes sense. But, you don’t have to worry about that.”
Since a remarkable group of dragon-hunting specialists had been sent in, it will be an easy victory if they struggle together with us, according to Roderich
If Roderich goes that far in his praise, it should be fine.
“We’re heading on-site then.” (Wendelin)
“Be careful. Come for a visit when you’ve got spare time. The children are looking forward to it as well.” (Hermann)
While receiving Hermann-niisan’s farewell, we headed towards the spot where the wyverns and flying dragons increased their activity, but…
“Bah! Isn’t their car pretty fast?”
It would take time to walk to the location. Thus we decided to use the magic cars, like the time in the tunnel, since I never went to the place with 『Teleportation』 so far.
Everyone should have properly practiced driving, but the speed of the magic car with Erw’s group seems to be oddly high…
Last time everyone practiced it diligently, but did I overlook something?
“Hey, Wend.” (Luise)
“What’s wrong, Luise?” (Wendelin)
“Did Haruka actually practice driving? I don’t remember her having done it, but what about you?” (Luise)
Certainly, if I’m asked like this, Haruka didn’t participate at the time when we headed to the tunnel while practicing with the magic cars as she was busy with her marriage preparations.
That means, she’s driving a magic car for the first time today, isn’t she?
“Isn’t she skillful for it being her first time?” (Wendelin)
“Though she’s terribly fast.”
I’m certain it’s that.
Haruka is usually quiet, but she’s probably one of those people who speed too much, or rather whose personalities change once they grab the wheel.
Even in this world there are people whose character changes after mounting a horse, so it’s not such an odd story either.
“There’s no particular harm in it, is there?” (Wendelin)
As we’re driving across plains, there are hardly any obstacles.
Something like a traffic accident shouldn’t occur that easily.
She’s also skilled at driving. The most relieving element was the fact that it’s not our magic car.
“You know, Wend, don’t you think that it’s slightly strange?”
“Strange? What is?” (Wendelin)
Isn’t the other car with Elise, Ina, Luise and me inside running well, too?
I feel like we are slightly fast as well, but at present that’s nothing particularly weird either.
“Elise is really good at everything.”
Today Elise volunteered to drive for a change.
But, she’s a perfect superwoman after all.
I’m bothered about her being a bit too quiet, but that doesn’t mean that it’s particularly…odd, right?
“We’re normally catching up with Haruka who is driving too fast, though.”
“It’s because it would be a hassle if we got separated and lost sight of them.” (Wendelin)
This place is no mountain slope, but once we get close to our destination, it’s possible that we will be attacked by wyverns and flying dragons.
Elise is probably taking that point into consideration, too.
Isn’t she driving well while making sure to not lose Haruka?
“Nothing less of Elise. She can deal with it even without being told anything.” (Wendelin)
However, the situation immediately changed after that.
“Wend, somehow Erw’s face is pale as he’s sitting on the passenger’s seat of the magic car over there.”
I can’t see it well from here, but it appears as if Erw is saying something to Haruka…
“Erw, that moron, don’t speak to someone who’s driving. Won’t it be dangerous if she gets distracted?” (Wendelin)
Even if it’s a plain with no obstacles, that’s a rule he has to observe at least.
I think I have to scold him later.
“To me it looks like he’s trying to stop Haruka though…” (Luise)
Immediately after Luise said that, the speed of the magic car driven by Haruka went up a notch all at once.
It’s a velocity as if she’s driving on a German Autobahn.
“The speed meter is completely swinging. It can get even faster! Incredible!” (Wendelin)
I couldn’t hide my surprise towards the magic car that exhibited an performance that wouldn’t lose out to cars on Earth.
“Wend, this is not the time for admiration. Look.” (Ina)
Ahead of where Ina with her good eyesight pointed we could see Wilma, who had hardened like a Jizo statue, and Katharina, who was seeking help by turning our way, on the rear seats.
“This is truly unexpected…” (Wendelin)
For Haruka to be a speed maniac…
“Elise, you don’t have to forcibly match speed with the other car, okay?” (Wendelin)
Katharina should be able to handle it somehow with magic if they have an accident in worst case…otherwise they will surely get injured heavily, but…although I spoke to Elise to drive safely, she stayed silent for some reason.
No, she’s saying something to herself, isn’t she?
“…I can’t catch up…unless I raise the speed a lot more…I can’t yield…more speed should be possible…” (Elise)
Isn’t her vocal tone different from usual?
“It’s alright, we can still go for much more…I’m speeding up!” (Elise)
Once she shouts all of a sudden, Elise pressed down the accelerator to the limit in one go.
Due to the sudden acceleration, Luise, Ina and I were pressed into our seats, but the car driven by Elise has overtaken the car driven by Haruka in one go.
“What are you going to do after overtaking them!?” (Ina)
“Ahaha…Ina-san, since we must not get separated…” (Elise)
Elise answered Ina’s protest, but once I looked properly, Elise’s eyes were completely fixated.
Even her laughter is weird and different from usual.
“Did Elise also love speeding!?” (Wendelin)
No way, for even Elise to be a speed maniac…
An unexpected truth came to light, but changing the driver in this situation is impossible. Furthermore…
“Haruka’s magic car passed us again!”
And when her car passed us, we could see Erw’s ghastly pale face, Wilma who has turned into a Jizo statue after all, and Katharina who seems to mumble something to herself while holding her wand.
As expected of a speed maniac. Moreover, Haruka seems to be the type that hates to be overtaken by someone else.
“Luise, clicking your tongue is vulgar.” (Wendelin)
“Wend, it wasn’t me. It was Elise.” (Luise)
“Haa? No way.” (Wendelin)
While thinking that there’s no way for Elise, who was strictly raised as a lady of a high-ranking noble, to click her tongue, I look at here as she clutches the wheel once more, and…
“To overtake me…you’ve got guts. But…” (Elise)
“…We completely failed at our selection of drivers. I guess I will pay attention next time…”
“Wend! As if that’s the issue here!”
“I will somehow manage if we have an accident.” (Wendelin)
Just like Katharina, I take out my wand and prepare for the worst case.
In my case a wand is unnecessary to cast magic, but it might spare us injuries if I can invoke my magic as quickly as possible.
Besides…it can’t be helped that I feel anxious if I don’t hold onto my wand.
“Wend, you’re calmer than at the time with that roller coaster, aren’t you?”
“It looks like I got used to it…though it’s a nasty way to get used to it…” (Wendelin)
The roller coaster in that amusement part was a really bad experience.
But, as I can somehow cope with Elise’s reckless driving thanks to that, it hasn’t been such a bad thing, I think?
“I can’t pass them…” (Elise)
“Elise! It’s fine even if you don’t pass them!”
“No. Our husband is on this magic car, thus…what are we going to do if the family head of the Earl Baumeister household is not the one in the lead?” (Elise)
I guess she thinks that it’s wrong for the retainer’s car to drive ahead of the car with the lord on it.
So far as it goes, it follows a certain logic…
“No way…since Erw’s my guard, there are many situations where he steps in front of me.” (Wendelin)
I’m sure Elise just wants to overtake the magic car driven by Haruka.
“Say, Wend. It wasn’t that difficult at the amusement park, was it?”
I’m sure it’s that.
Elise has a character where she won’t rest unless she’s the fastest when grabbing the wheel.
Until now I didn’t notice because Elise only drove during practice.
“For Elise, who usually has a gentle character, to have such a side to her, eh?”
Also, Haruka is the same, huh?
Is it easy for normally gentle people to become like this?
“How enlightening.” (Wendelin)
“This isn’t the time for adoration, now is it!?” (Ina)
“Wend, should I change with her?” (Luise)
“No, if that was possible, I would have done it long ago.” (Wendelin)
It’s inevitable that I’m scared as well, but I keep escaping reality by thinking about various things like this.
Since Haruka’s car passed us once again at that point, Elise’s mood got worse.
Once again stepping on the accelerator with all her power, she overtakes Haruka’s car.
Once I see the faces of Erw, Wilma and Katharina just as we overtake their car, it’s obvious that they have given up.
“(Elise and Haruka will be banned from driving magic cars from now on, I guess?)”
“(Wend, you have to definitely see that through!)”
“Dear, if you look ahead, you will be able to see such a wonderful, blue sky.” (Elise)
“Yeah…you’re right…” (Wendelin)
It’s because she overtook Haruka’s car on this uninhabited plain.
Once Elise can see the sky with nothing in front, her mood brightens up
After that it was a back and forth between Elise and Haruka until we reached our destination. It was a repeatedly, intense dead heat like in a certain street racer manga.
—————- End of Part 2 —————-
“Dear, we arrived at our destination ahead of time, didn’t we?” (Elise)
“You’re right, Elise.” (Wendelin)
We arrived a lot faster at the point, where a large quantity of wyverns and flying dragons appears, than initially planned.
You could even say it’s natural since we traveled while Elise and Haruka competed against each other with all their might.
It’s great that we arrived early, but everyone besides the two was staggering unsteadily due to dizziness as we climbed out of the cars.
The effectiveness of the anti-travel sickness medicine we received from Arnest was a big help, but without it, everyone besides the drivers would have collapsed on the spot.
“(Well, if we had continued driving at such a speed…)”
“(So your side as well? Since Elise’s eyes were glazed as she was grasping the wheel, I guess that means same happened with Haruka…)” (Wendelin)
“(The gap to her usual manner is too much!)”
“(I’m still reeling.)” (Katharina)
In a place, where Elise and Haruka couldn’t listen, Erw and the others talked about their bitter experience.
“Dear, driving a car is very fun.” (Elise)
“So that’s what you think, Elise, I see.” (Wendelin)
“You don’t feel the same, dear?” (Elise)
“Look, cars are just a means for traveling. They are similar to riding a horse.” (Wendelin)
“It’s not like you like horse riding that much. But, that speed is irresistible.” (Elise)
“Fast is sure nice, isn’t it?” (Wendelin)
Elise proved the fact that she’s a speed maniac, but once she came out of the car, she chatted me up with her usual smile, as if an evil spirit had finally left her.
Maybe she reduced her everyday stress by driving.
“I want to drive on the way back, too.” (Elise)
As I was thinking how to refuse without hurting Elise, I felt several looks stabbing my back.
Once I look in the direction from where they come, Erw and the others are urging me to do something.
I’m pretty sure that they want to tell me, 『You must decline by all means!』.
“(Don’t worry, I share the same opinion) Since there might be developments in the Eulenberg territory while we’re subjugating wyverns, we have to reduce the travel time by using 『Teleportation』 on the way back. There will be other opportunities for you to drive, okay?” (Wendelin)
“That makes sense. I of all people had completely forgotten about the matter with the tunnel.” (Elise)
“What if you drove as hobby in your free time, if you like it so much?” (Wendelin)
Given that the cars are precious, excavated items, they should be appropriate as a noble’s pastime.
It’s like horse riding.
Besides, it also means that the more she drives by herself, the less she will drag others into it.
“Is that alright?” (Elise)
“That much should be fine. These are items we excavated to begin with.” (Wendelin)
Parking one car in the mansion’s courtyard and Countess Baumeister driving it as hobby in her free time shouldn’t be a problem at all.
Given that Elise might have accumulated stress since the Empire’s civil war, it’s a cheap price to pay if Elise can get rid of it by driving a car.
“I’m jealous, Elise-sama.” (Haruka)
Having heard that, the second speed maniac, Haruka, donned an expression showing how very jealous she was.
“Won’t it be fine if you simply drive together, Haruka?” (Wendelin)
“Is that okay with you, milord?” (Haruka)
“I don’t mind at all.” (Wendelin)
As long as those two can keep the speed contests between themselves, no harm will befall us.
Rather, it’s very welcome.
“Elise-sama, I’m looking forward to it.” (Haruka)
“Yes. I cannot help but look forward to it from now on, too.” (Elise)
While saying so, the two beauties giggle happily.
However, once they grab the wheel, their characters change completely.
Well, there are no humans that don’t have more than one face. It’s no major issue if they only act like this at times of driving a car.
Besides, I will definitely not get on the car with them.
“A 『Drive』 with just the two of us as couple would be dreamy. Sometime ago I had Arnest-san show me the documents he found in the tunnel.” (Elise)
That shitty demon!
Don’t prattle to Elise, you stupid pointy-ear!
Going on a drive means that I have to keep her company, doesn’t it!?
Take your sponsor into consideration and read the mood!
“『Drive』, you say Elise-sama?” (Haruka)
“Couples and married men and women depart on a journey in a car. It seems that’s a 『Drive』.” (Elise)
“I also want to go on a drive together with Erw-san.” (Haruka)
“That’s really great. That also means we can take off somewhere together in two cars.” (Elise)
A drive with Elise and Haruka behind the wheel…? Won’t that definitely turn into a speed contest!?
Moreover, I’m expected to participate!
Once I accidentally look at Erw, his face has become pale after it was decided that he will join in, too.
Certainly there’s no way for him to refuse a wish from Haruka.
“(Everyone! Eh…? Why are you looking away?)”
Ina, Luise, Wilma and Katharina averted their eyes from Erw and me.
Relief is showing on their faces as they are probably thinking that it finished without them getting involved.
They don’t want to get on a car driven by Haruka or Elise anymore.
Their opinion seems to match on that.
“It would be great if we could quickly get some time to go on a drive, right Haruka-san?” (Elise)
“Yes, Elise-sama. I’m looking forward to it very much.” (Haruka)
The two looked very happy, but because it was decided that Erw and I would be regularly dragged into their reckless driving in the near future, we felt depressed at what’s awaiting us.
＊ ＊ ＊
“You guys are Earl Baumeister-sama’s party, huh? I’ve heard about you from Roderich…you’re already tired, Earl-sama? Was it such a long journey?”
“There are various reasons…” (Wendelin)
“I guess it’s difficult to be a noble.”
Having gotten off the cars, we walked for a bit and then arrived at the appearance point of the wyverns and flying dragons.
As Roderich said, a party of dragon hunters with several dozen members has put up their tents there. The leader of that group gave us his greetings.
His age is around 50 years. He has a sunburnt skin, a trained, slender body, and wears an eyepatch as he apparently can’t see on his left eye.
“I’m Golf, the leader of 『Dragon Fighters』. I think we are fairly famous as party of dragon hunting experts.” (Golf)
“I’m Wendelin, the leader of the 『Dragon Busters』.” (Wendelin)
“So that’s your official name, Earl Baumeister-sama? My bad, I heard the story from Roderich a long time ago.” (Golf)
Since we’re working as adventurers today, I introduced us with our party name, but it really feels like it’s been quite a while since we last used the name 『Dragon Busters』.
“I actually had forgotten all about that name.” (Erwin)
What’s with the forgetting?
I scolded Erw.
…In reality was starting to forget it as well, though.
“I guess there’s also the work as Lord-sama of this area. Since we’ve heard of your abilities, your help is greatly appreciated. So…you got exhausted from traveling to this remote place, right? We’re taking a rest as well, so come this way.” (Golf)
Given that we were exhausted in mind and body thanks to Elise’s and Haruka’s driving, it was a big help that Golf-san and his group had put up the tents already.
He guided us to a big tent.
Since the 『Dragon Fighters』 is a large-scaled dragon hunter party, several tents had been put up at the site that became the campground.
Smoke was rising at several places as they were preparing food, but the ones cooking are working very efficiently.
“They are a big party, thus they have people specialized on cooking with them, too.” (Elise)
Elise, who cooks the most among us, admired the efficiency of the big party which she sees for the first time.
“Milady, what you focus your eyes on is slightly different from other adventurers, I suppose. Since we’re always traveling with these numbers, the meals are left to cooking experts. They are young, but since they are fellows who want to open a restaurant after saving some money here, I can guarantee their skills.” (Golf)
“What about battle?”
“As expected, they are amateurs at fighting as they wish to become cooks. We have them keep weapons for self-defense just in case, but during the hunt they withdraw.” (Golf)
With these numbers they are rather a small military force than an adventurer party.
I mean, there are even people working as logistical support who don’t participate in the hunts.
Once we entered the big tent, a young apprentice prepared some tea at once.
“In addition there are also guys that maintain our weapons, armors and traps, supply goods such as food, and take care of the accounting. Roderich not only did the accounting, but also joined in on the hunts, however. He’s always been a skilled guy. I thought that it would be fine to make him the next leader of the 『Dragon Fighters』 , but I guess now he’s the household manager of the Earl Baumeister household. He really became someone completely out of our reach.” (Golf)
We immediately talked about Roderich’s time in the 『Dragon Fighters』 , but I ended up admiring him for being able to do anything.
“It looks like Roderich-san can make a living anywhere.”
“I truly think there’s nothing that puts Roderich in a bind.”
Accordingly it may be taken as him being somewhat a Jack of all trades and master of none.
“Wend-sama, you shouldn’t have any trouble to make a living either.” (Wilma)
“Guess so.” (Wendelin)
As Wilma says, I should be able to live quite luxuriously if I work as adventurer as I’m a magician.
“If you say that, same also applies to Katharina, doesn’t it?”
“A magician can continue to live adequately even as solo adventurer. There’s no lack of means to earn income either.”
In addition to this, Katharina seems tougher than me. She has a high loner resistance, too.
“Wendelin-san, did you just think something rude?” (Katharina)
“That’s out of the question. Ah───, the tea is delicious.” (Wendelin)
I drink the tea to dodge Katharina’s questioning.
“Golf-san, it’s no problem for us to take a rest?” (Haruka)
“It’s fine, young lady. Young lady, you’re a person from Mizuho?” (Golf)
“You’re quite knowledgeable, aren’t you?” (Haruka)
Haruka was surprised that Golf-san had noticed that she’s from Mizuho.
That’s because there are unexpectedly many people who don’t know about Mizuho in the Helmut Kingdom.
“Once you become famous as party specialized on dragons, there are many occasions to make connections with nobles thanks to the requests. There are also situations where we receive actual goods such as Mizuho products as reward.” (Golf)
Nobles request dragon subjugations and raw materials of dragons. I guess they will give Mizuho ware as part of the reward.
“I see, so that’s how it is.” (Haruka)
“I possess countless pieces of porcelain, too. I like them since they are slightly unusual.” (Golf)
Once you become the leader of a famous dragon hunter party, you probably become smarter than other adventurers, or rather, earn money differently.
He maintains a party that hunts dragons, and properly moves a few dozen non-combatants in addition.
I guess it’s not a job suited for an incompetent person.
“We also only arrived here a few hours ago and set up our camp. I have them prepare for tomorrow’s hunting. That means today we rest to be ready for tomorrow.” (Golf)
“You sure are cautious.” (Ina)
“That’s only natural.” (Golf)
Golf-san answered Ina’s question as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.
“We aren’t that strong after all. Thus we don’t do the unreasonable.” (Golf)
“Are you weak? I mean, you’re a party specialized on dragon hunting…”
“Of course there are several guys, including me, that are stronger than your average veteran adventurer. But, there are also those who are weak. There are always several newcomers with us. What’s necessary for a dragon hunter party is teamwork.” (Golf)
“Aye. A magician at Earl Baumeister-sama’s level can defeat a wyvern by himself, right? We do the same with these numbers. There’s no way that we are strong, is there?” (Golf)
That was Golf-san’s explanation to Ina, but I still think that he’s too modest.
They should be able to hunt other monsters a lot easier.
It’s a group specialized on team combat, apparently allowing them to quite efficiently hunt the monsters called dragons, which are close to being the strongest, without having many casualties.
That’s why they are the 『Dragon Fighters』 .
“Just for caution’s sake we have set up lookouts in shifts, but since the wyverns won’t come here, it would be best to take a proper rest for now. As your party will participate this time as well, Earl Baumeister-sama, I think it will be quite easy, though.” (Golf)
“Golf-san, you previously mentioned that there are people doing the preparations…”
“Milady, we have a system of assigning roles. There are members who are busy with the preparations for tomorrow, but for us, who will do the work tomorrow, it’s important to rest. That’s also part of the job.” (Golf)
“So each member has their own fixed job? By the way, how are you actually defeating wyverns?”
“That is…” (Golf)
How are they going to defeat the wyverns and flying dragons who have gotten more active?
The method seems to consist of luring the dragons by making use of their ferocity.
“Our comrades are in the process of planting traps in a forest close to the Greater League Mountain Range around one kilometer away from here.” (Golf)
“They are spreading a great number of sturdy nets made out of metal between the big trees of the forest,” Golf-san explained.
“The resilience of our metal nets is a secret of our party. Since you naturally can’t catch them with only that much, we attract them with bait.” (Golf)
They employ living wild animals and monsters as bait after having prepared them beforehand.
“It’s slightly cruel, but we leave them half-dead and hang them into the nets while still alive.” (Golf)
I see, if they hang there like that, the animals and monsters will cry loudly while losing a lot of blood. I suppose the wyverns and flying dragons will be lured in by the stench of blood and the crying.
“Since I’ve heard that milady is a person of the church, I feel slightly bad for explaining it, though.” (Golf)
In the church it’s no sin to hunt monsters and animals as food for the sake of survival.
However, it looks like they occasionally receive a sermon from priests who regard it as pitiful to deliberately wound those creatures so that they don’t die, even if it’s for the sake of baiting dragons.
“Certainly, I can’t really welcome it, but seeing as the wyverns and flying dragons might appear in inhabited areas at this rate, it’s probably unavoidable.” (Elise)
“It’s a big help for you to say so, milady.” (Golf)
Golf-san was relieved that he didn’t get scolded by Elise.
“Is scattering prepared monster blood in advance and imitating the crying no good?” (Wilma)
“Indeed, in that way you wouldn’t need to gruesomely kill each and every single monster, right?” (Katharina)
Katharina praised the the alternative plan provided by Wilma.
“Blood is scattered in addition around the bait. However, only scattering the blood won’t work. The dragons might see through that. It’s the same with the crying, I think. If that method had worked, we would have used it long ago already. It’s not like we are doing it like this because we like or prefer it.” (Golf)
Even if they might be wild animals and monsters, they don’t want to make them suffer a slow, gruesome death.
“You catch the monsters while still alive, right?” (Erwin)
“It’s quite laborious.”
“If we weaken the monsters too much or kill them at the time of catching them, they won’t be useful as bait,” Golf-san explained to Erw.
No matter how many they might be, since it needs ability to catch big monsters and animals while still alive, Golf-san and his group shouldn’t be weak after all.
“The preparation of the bait will take place just before tomorrow’s hunt. You can leave the trap placement to us.” (Golf)
That means our job is to finish off the dragons that got caught in the nets after being lured in.
“Otherwise it will be the subjugation of targets that didn’t get caught in the nets despite having been lured into the forest. Since your group has a lot of magicians, Earl Baumeister-sama, I’d like to request that you focus your efforts on those.” (Golf)
Come to think of it, I sensed that there’s no excellent magician in the 『Dragon Fighters』.
There’s just one at elementary level…no, make that two.
Even with just two, that’s already considerable. After all the number of magicians in our party is abnormal.
Even so, I guess what makes the 『Dragon Fighters』 famous as dragon hunting specialists is their teamwork and Golf-san’s leading skills.
“Only two magicians?”
“Two? Ah! I suppose great magicians sense other magicians. Well, in fact we only have one exclusive magician.” (Golf)
It seems to be a young man, but since he’s still a rookie as adventurer, he’s in the middle of being raised.
—————- End of Part 3 —————-