“I hope you are in splendid health, Your Majesty, the Queen.” (Origa)
“Such stiff greeting is unnecessary, Origa-san.” (Imeraria)
The dress of Origa, who brought several chamberlains along to the royal castle, was different from the time she accompanied Hifumi as chamberlain while also serving as combat personnel. It resembled a dress worn by noble women. It had a bit leeway in regards to the size of the sleeves and was a blue costume, which used high-priced fabric.
Holding the iron-ribbed fan in her hand, Origa, who keeps her head high and engenders a graceful ambience, was the centre of attention even within the ruler’s castle.
There also was a noble, who tried to praise her beauty, but he turned pale after his colleague informed him of her status.
And currently she is attending a meeting with Queen Imeraria in her office.
Originally Origa, who is no more than a commoner that only became the wife of a noble, isn’t permitted to attend in this situation, but with her husband being far too special and, on top, it being unknown what her purpose is, it was chosen to carry out a private meeting rather than a formal audience, where she very likely would have been seen by other nobles.
“First off, congratulations on your marriage. Did you get used to life as a noble? Because you were working as adventurer originally, it’s probably a different environment from before.” (Imeraria)
“Let me see. Since there isn’t much difference whether you are a commoner or noble in Fokalore, I don’t even particularly have such feelings. If pushed to say, then it’s harder to “deal” with snuggling up to my husband.” (Origa)
“Ara. Currently Hifumi-sama is the sole large noble boasting high fame and leading in vastness of territory within Orsongrande. Surrounding yourself with excellent personnel is also an important matter.” (Imeraria)
“That’s right, isn’t it? Since I’m also welcoming ladies coming to meddle as if they are sister-in-laws, it’s essential to have personnel in order to support me. If I handled each and every party, my nerves will end up getting worn down.” (Origa)
Origa deliberately intends to put Imeraria at distance. Even though Imeraria uses words of assistance, Origa has recognised her as the woman being the most intimate with Hifumi, if she excludes herself. Thus biting words rushed out of her mouth towards Imeraria, although not intentional. Origa is aware of her own anxiety whether she is really a good wife, however she can’t reach a conclusion whether that’s in regards to “the person called Hifumi” or “the domestic nobles.”
After having verbal attacks for a while, both of them taste some black tea.
Given that Origa and Imeraria are showing smiles, it might look like a harmonious tea party from the perspective of an outsider.
Prime Minister Adol, who is present, didn’t even savour the black tea’s taste he drank as he has recollections similar to having his stomach pierced with worries from all directions.
“S-So, Mrs. Tohno, this time you not only requested Imeraria-sama’s presence but mine as well in your message. But, what sort of important business is it?” (Adol)
Wholeheartedly wanting to be freed from being at this place, Adol quickly cut at the real issue at hand.
“… Adol-sama, it seems that you have investigated various things in the reference room recently.” (Origa)
“Wh-What are…” (Adol)
“Given that I have attached the investigation, there’s no meaning in denying it. … Accordingly, it appears you have been searching for documents about ancient magic, right? What’s the purpose of that?” (Origa)
While Origa indifferently talks about it, Adol is drenched in sweat. Clenching his fists placed on top his knees, he wrecks his brain over whether there is a good excuse, but as nothing comes to mind, he gets even more flustered.
“Prime Minister, you…” (Imeraria)
Even Imeraria considered his state as suspicious.
“I was aware that you were enthusiastically investigating some matters. You were burdened with more troubles than before, Prime Minister. It’s not only once or twice I relied on your knowledge and experience either. But, what’s this about you investigating ancient magic? Though I heard that you aren’t able to use magic, Prime Minister?” (Imeraria)
As the questions poured on even from Imeraria’s side, Adol, who had an idea, frankly talked about the “return spell” for returning Hifumi to his former world.
Given that it has already been proven that Hifumi has military power, which is difficult to handle even with sneak attacks and large numbers, he has been considering to propose it as apology, if there is a way to return him to his previous world, is what the prime minister decided to begin to explain to people about his own plan.
“Hifumi-sama to his previous world… such a thing is possible?” (Imeraria)
The instant she hears about it as method of apology, Imeraria displayed a cheerful expression, however she asked with a slightly gloomy face after she apparently has thought about something.
Adol, who is worried about that matter as well, wasn’t able to take back the words, which left his mouth next.
“… As a matter of fact I discovered records of that magic. Since there are many parts, which are incomprehensible if you aren’t a magician, I can’t really say if the analysis will proceed in the future from now on.” (Adol)
“Is that so? Then let me help you with that as well. Although there are various parts to consider with Hifumi, having him return is the best…” (Imeraria)
Imeraria was startled looking at Origa’s face.
Since Imeraria has known about her fanatic love towards Hifumi, she belatedly realized that her remark likely would infuriate Origa.
But, Origa’s smile hasn’t crumbled.
“Origa-san, this matter is…” (Imeraria)
“I will also help you with that project.” (Origa)
Due to Imeraria calling out to her in panic, Origa clearly declared,
“Rescuing Orsongrande, the hero-sama from another world, who not only advanced the combat but also the craftsmanship of this world in one go, finished his duty and went back to his own world… It’s a splendid, complete epic, right?” (Origa)
“I-Is that alright with you?” (Imeraria)
Towards Imeraria, asking with a trembling voice, Origa, drinking a sip of black tea, replied “Of course.”
“Hifumi-sama, who is my husband, isn’t a small existence, that will be done with only this world. As I’m also able to use magic, I will give my maximum cooperation for that research. However…” (Origa)
Imeraria, who put down her cup, gazes at Adol.
“If you were to look like you are pretending the return of Hifumi-sama, Fokalore will immediately announce its independence and begin a war with all of Orsongrande.” (Origa)
“T-That is a remark that can even be interpreted as threat directed at Her Majesty, the Queen! Besides, no matter how powerful the soldiers of Fokalore might be, something like challenging the soldiers of the entire nation is…” (Adol)
“There’s isn’t any necessity or such to take on all soldiers. For us something like getting rid of only the important people crawling in the castle is a simple matter.” (Origa)
“But, Hifumi-sama is…” (Imeraria)
“Your Majesty, it isn’t a nice feeling for you to call my husband’s name in an overly personal manner.” (Origa)
“Aren’t those words to merely interrupt the words of the sovereign?” As one would expect, even Imeraria had lost her patience.
“Hifumi-sama won’t attack us, if we don’t oppose him. Please cooperate with us without fail. So, Origa-san, why is it acceptable for you to cooperate with us?” (Imeraria)
Due to Imeraria deliberately not changing her way of calling him, Origa opened her eyes widely. Imeraria’s feelings towards Hifumi might be stronger than I thought, causing Origa to raise up Imeraria’s rank as target to be cautious about within her mind.
“What I’m desiring is to be together with him even at the time he is sent away from this world. Therefore, I’m even ready to help you at the time of return.” (Origa)
“Hey, I will probably be useful”, is what Origa said.
“I want to try seeing a human country.” (Reni)
Is what Reni suddenly blurted out during the time of them having breakfast.
“W-What are you saying?” (Helen)
Helen, who chewed an after-meal dessert bodan, was surprised and spilled bright red fruit juice from her mouth.
Hifumi is silently listening to their talk.
“In yesterday’s story of Hifumi-san, humans weren’t people, who only wage war. I wondered, if there are people living a different life. Besides, we aren’t as strong as Hifumi-san. Since I don’t have the experience and skill like you, Helen, who can hear various sounds, I think it’s wrong if I don’t get to know a lot more different things.” (Reni)
Reni’s facial expression is serious. She said it was the result of carefully thinking before sleep and wished for Helen to understand it as she bowed to her.
“Hifumi-san, forgive me for being a burden ahead of time. Although we will enter a human city, would you take me along as well?” (Reni)
“You are unreasonable, Reni! If a beastman is discovered in a human country, they will be killed or turned into slaves!” (Helen)
“It will be fine as long as I’m together with Hifumi-san. Therefore I believe that this is the first and last chance.” (Reni)
Hifumi, who remained mute while having his arms folded, expressionlessly turned towards Reni and bluntly said,
“So, what do you plan to do after seeing the life of humans?” (Hifumi)
“That is, even I still don’t know that. … But, rather than living secretly, without knowing anything, in the wastelands, where I don’t know when I might get killed, I wondered whether there isn’t something a lot more different.” (Reni)
“I don’t know anything about the destination country. I’m unable to show you around. There is also the possibility of you getting involved in strife.” (Hifumi)
“So far I lived by hiding and running away in the wastelands. At the time of battle I will be able to preserve by hiding in order to somehow not get killed. You don’t have to show me around the country. I thought I want to see how humans are living their lives.” (Reni)
Hifumi and Reni locked their gazes onto each other for a short while.
In front of Helen, who looked as if worrying with her heart going pit-a-pat, Hifumi placed his hand on Reni’s head.
“Got you. It’s a good thing for a child to study by observing various things. Moreover, it’s fine if you have decided that you want to do so by yourself. However, in Swordland you will let me treat you as my slave.” (Hifumi)
“Understood. Please treat me well.” (Reni)
“W-Wait a bit! Treat as slave, you say…” (Helen)
“Don’t worry”, Hifumi proudly says facing Helen.
“If it’s the treatment of slaves, that’s something I’m familiar with. Besides, it’s merely a pretence.” (Hifumi)
“It’s fine.” (Reni)
Reni gently hugged Helen.
“I’m truly sorry for being selfish. Once I’ve seen various things, I will tell you how the humans been, Helen, okay? Perchance I might discover a great breakthrough to change the village.” (Reni)
“Speaking of village, it’s your village, where the sheep and rabbits are gathered, huh…?” (Hifumi)
While tapping his knee with a fingertip, Hifumi was apparently struck by some idea. He organizes it in his head.
“It won’t be strange to encounter something that might change your village, too.” (Hifumi)
Looking at Hifumi broadly grinning, Helen stood up in a fluster.
“I-I will come along as well!” (Helen)
Acknowledging Helen’s request as well, the three changed their plans and it became a situation of them heading towards Swordland without parting from each other.
The name of the current king of the Knight Country, Swordland, was Buell.
He, who is a muscular knight you can even call an exact resemblance of the founding king, devotes himself to training immediately after dealing with the governmental affairs. He is referred as being stronger than any of the knights within the country.
“A Knight, who left to hunt beastmen, hasn’t returned, you say?” (Buell)
Shaking his short-cut blonde hair while practising sword swings in the back yard of the castle, he questioned the report with 「The reason is unknown?」
“Haa! Going by the records of entry and departure, it is believed that he hasn’t gone too far into the wastelands, but at present it is under investigation.”
“Ignore it.” (Buell)
Putting down his sword, Buell wiped of the flowing sweat.
“I told you to ignore it. If that person is a knight, who embraces our country’s pride, it will be fine to receive him at that time, since he will likely return even if he hunts for several days. However, if it looks like he had been done in by the likes of beastmen, this knight won’t be needed in this country.” (Buell)
Without being tolerated to object, the knight, who came to report, was driven away with a mere gesture of the king.
In exchange it was a single chamberlain, who is constantly following the king, that stepped forward close to the king.
The chamberlain accepted the cloth, which the king used to wipe off his sweat, and took out cooled water.
“A beastman can be arranged.”
“If that’s the case, bring it here right away.” (Buell)
“As you wish.”
At the time the chamberlain, who left that place with a bow, returned, there were two soldiers, dragging a leopard beastman, having its hands and feet bound by chains, in his back.
“Hmm. Today the opponent is a leopard, eh?” (Buell)
Grasping the sword, Buell, who stood in front of the leopard beastman, points his sword at it and says,
“Though being a filthy beastman, are you strong?” (Buell)
The leopard beastman, lifting its head, glares at the king in silence.
“My king. Since this thing was persistently shouting, we have crushed and burned its throat. It won’t be able to raise its voice.”
“What, is that so? Oy, beastman. I will have the chains binding you removed now. And, if you are able to cause even a single scratch on me, I will release you in the wastelands.” (Buell)
With the instruction of the king, the soldiers unfastened the clasps and quickly got away from the beastman.
The beastman, who was suddenly liberated from the restraints, looked below his knee for no more than an instant, nimbly leapt back and set up its bare claws.
The king daringly laughs at the leopard beastman, who put more attention into glaring.
“That’s right. It’s good to also do that in order to desperately cling to life like that. But.” (Buell)
He takes a peculiar stance of pushing out the sword, which he held with both hands, diagonally above.
“After all you are a beastman. Consider it a honour to die by a knight’s sword technique.” (Buell)
Soundlessly raising a roar, the leopard approaches fiercely.
The leopard beastman, who slipped underfoot by making sure to crawl on the ground, aimed at the kings neck as it stuck out both arms while at the same time raising its body.
Drawing the sword, he knocks down the fingers sticking out by wielding the hilt and sweeps the blade sideways savagely.
The moment the leopard beastman judged that its narrow evasion was successful by lowering its body once again, the king twists his body and swings the sword once more by rotating as if a spinning top.
With a sound closer to slapping into something rather than slicing something, the leopards head was split open into top and bottom.
Without giving an eye to the leopard beastman, who collapsed and scattered brain matter, the king thrusts out the sword towards the chamberlain for them to wipe the blade.
“It’s first movement was great, but I was able to deal with it in an instant.” (Buell)
“It was magnificent, my king.”
The king expressed his displeasure by snorting due to to the chamberlain’s compliment.
“If I have a hard time with a fellow of this level, I can’t be called the Knight Country’s king. I ought to be as strong as the founder. Go search a stronger beastman at once and bring it here.” (Buell)
“Ha! At your command.”
The soldiers, who brought the beastman, bow to the king and leave while dragging the corpse along.
“My king. It’s time to slowly return to the castle.”
Hearing the words of the chamberlain, the king shook his head.
“I will leave it to someone. I’m off to the female’s* room. It’s welling up after a fight after all.” (Buell) (T/N: mesu = female animal)
The king, who heads towards the room, where the beastwomen are confined, in the castle’s basement, was seen off by the bowing chamberlains.