As sending them back home right after accepting the souvenirs would be much too inhumane, Renya decided that simply meeting them was fine and thus entered the parlor. The person, who had been shown in there earlier, stood up and greeted Renya.
Renya, who quickly let his gaze wander from the person’s head to their feet in a way that wouldn’t be considered impolite, felt slightly surprised.
Her clothes had white and red as the basic colors. It’s something far closer to the attire worn by the women referred to as shrine priestess in Renya’s former world than the attire worn by Shion.
If pushed to say, the attire worn by Shion was something like a mix between a shrine priestess garb and a dougi, but the attire worn by the visitor has been made out of thin silk, seemingly putting emphasis on elegance rather than sturdiness. With just a slight stirring, her garb smoothly sways in accordance.
What surprised Renya the most was apparently her attire, but the same could be said for her features.
A white skin that didn’t lose to the white of her shrine priestess garb.
Something like makeup, which Renya had seen for the first time after coming to this world, has been applied to her slender, well-featured cheeks.
A faint shade has been applied around her eyes. The vivid red on her lips is to the degree of being glossy, but since she can make one feel a sense of fascination with only that much, makeup is certainly something mysterious, Renya believes.
Her blonde, silky hair reached down to her shoulders, but the second major reason for Renya to be surprised were the triangular beast ears standing up on top of her head and the tail shaking gently behind her.
Seeing those two features, Renya thought, a fox has arrived here.
“I’m honored to be allowed to meet with thee for the first time. I’m called Kaede, a shrine priestess of the beastmen.”
Even her name caused Renya to be astonished.
It’s the kind of name he hasn’t heard often in this world, but would come up regularly in his former world. Kaede explains to Renya who wonders whether that might be a coincidence,
“This name has been inherited by many generations of beastmen shrine priestesses holding the highest rank. If you trace back its history, it’s a name given to a shrine priestess by a Lost several tens of generations ago.” (Kaede)
“Was that Lost a hero or something like that?” (Renya)
“Hmm, our oral tradition doesn’t tell us that much.” (Kaede)
Renya invites Kaede, who shows a sweet smile, to take a seat opposite to him.
This time Renya stared at Kaede, who sits down as suggested, with a somewhat presumptuous look.
Going by age, she’s probably reasonably older than me.
Judging by her well-mannered attitude, she’s a person who has learned quite a bit of etiquette, Renya assesses.
From the clothes she’s wearing, I can’t grasp her body-line at all, but going by the impression given by her nape and hands, it doesn’t look like her body is one suited for fighting.
“So, what is the business that allows me the honor of your visit today?” (Renya)
With a timing seemingly as if she had waited for the two to sit down, Frau, who entered the parlor, placed brewed black tea on the table between them.
The tea-cake was a cookie garnished with raspberry jam, specially made by a maid.
“Yes, first I believe an apology is in order.” (Kaede)
Due to Kaede bowing her head, Renya, who was about to pick up the tea cup, stopped in his tracks.
Staying in a position where her head is lowered for a short while, Kaede finally raises her head slowly after some time had passed and matched her line of sight with Renya’s who was staring her way.
Renya offers the tea to Kaede, who looks slightly doubtful not understanding the reason why she is being gazed upon, and brings his own teacup to his mouth.
Once he tastes it after enjoying its aroma, the black tea that was brewed in the usual skilled manner, flowed down Renya’s throat.
“Apology, is it?” (Renya)
If I’m told about apologizing by a beastman, the only matter that comes to mind is the hero that suddenly attacked me.
But, the timing in regards to that event is suspicious.
Since Lepard himself had been sent to the medical treatment faculty, it was impossible for the information to have circulated to the beastman country.
Given that he was tossed in there after expressly affixing him with ropes and bandages into a state where he couldn’t move about, the possibility of the hero himself contacting his own country doesn’t really exist.
Even though it’s unlikely that the news spread, the timing of this shrine priestess’ arrival while conveying her words of apology came almost instantly with no time in-between the events.
It’s also a timing that makes it seem as if they had arranged for all this to happen in advance.
‘But, if I assume that all of these events were prearranged, what is the intention lying behind it all?’ Renya doesn’t understand at all.
Kaede answered to Renya, who believes that he’s bad at trying to figuring out the true intentions of the other party,
“It’s about the younger brother of the hero, Lenard1 Panther-sama.” (Kaede)
“… Who’s that?” (Renya)
Renya feels as if he has heard a name similar to that previously, but it’s obviously a different name.
And, Renya had no memory of having met this person called Lenard.
He turns a fleeting glance at Frau, who was on standby behind him after having finished pouring the tea, but Frau tells Renya that she doesn’t know either by quietly shaking her head.
“Lenard-sama is the younger twin brother of the beastman’s hero, Lepard-sama. On this journey we overheard that the human hero-sama was to be found here. As a preliminary investigation before introducing Lepard-sama, he visited this place together with me.” (Kaede)
Renya feels like retorting with “From where did you get that information?” or “Don’t come investigating human territory without permission,” but since he sensed that the conversation wouldn’t make any progress if he said so, he decided to silently urge her to continue.
“That means Lenard-sama is the younger brother of the hero and he excels in military bravery, but…his character is slightly bad. I guess you might say, he loses all consideration of his surroundings if he catches sight of a person excelling in military bravery, or that he becomes determined not letting his attention stray once he sets his heart on something…?” (Kaede)
Kaede says with a gloomy expression, as if it’s very hard to speak about the subject, while also being evasive with her words.
Somehow the situation took a weird turn, Renya thinks, but unless I let her explain everything, I won’t be able to see the whole picture.
“According to the rumors, the human hero-sama, who is here, is a person who received their qualification after having defeated the original hero-sama summoned by the Holy Kingdom or such. Learning of such military prowess, Lenard-sama apparently couldn’t contain himself and went missing.” (Kaede)
“Just put a rope around his neck or something like that.” (Renya)
“That’s something we ought to consider.” (Kaede)
Renya glares at her scornfully.
Kaede reacts immediately by casting her eyes down.
Even so, I wonder what I should do? Since it’s a matter of the beastmen, Renya doesn’t want to get involved with it too deeply.
“I somehow get the picture. Certainly, I was attacked by a guy calling himself the beastman hero a while ago and merely repelled him, but…that guy clearly introduced himself as hero Lepard, you know?” (Renya)
He’s able to say with confidence that he hadn’t misheard.
Kaede cast her eyes downs while answering Renya, who wanted to ask whether it’s really that easy to win against one with the title of a hero,
“Even if he’s the younger brother, he knows that misrepresenting oneself as the hero is an unforgivable felony.” (Kaede)
“Our territory has rather lax limitations on visiting from another country through the transfer gate. Therefore it isn’t a particular problem that you entered the Margraviate for a preliminary investigation, but that younger brother has attacked a human of the Trident Principality and inflicted injuries on them. This is a crime we can’t overlook.” (Renya)
“The crime of attacking an important person is heavy ~no.” (Frau)
Frau interrupts with a small whisper.
If the person attacked had been an ordinary resident, that would still be a problem in itself, but to a certain extent it couldn’t be used as a vague reason to push for an unreasonable punishment.
However, if the victim is an important person belonging to the country, this turns into a cross-national issue and the situation becomes big.
Frau apparently wants to tackle the issue from that angle. After being told so, Kaede’s face cramps up a bit, but the words that came out of Renya’s mouth were completely unexpected for both of them.
“I haven’t heard any information about an important person having been attacked.” (Renya)
Looking slightly surprised, Frau raises her voice, but Renya ignores her and continues speaking,
“In the first place, at present it’s difficult to imagine that a situation, where an important person unaccompanied by any guards gets attacked by a loitering person in the area, will come to pass.” (Renya)
Frau ends up wondering how Renya can be so barefaced to say something like that himself, but Renya declaration was calm.
Certainly, originally nobles are always accompanied by guards when traveling, even if it they were traveling within a city.
However, in Renya’s case there’s such a difference in ability that there’s a wall between him and the soldiers working as guards, which the soldiers can’t overcome. Going by the soldiers’ words, you might even say that it’s them wanting to be guarded by Renya. The end result was Renya clearly stating there’ll likely be fewer casualties if there are no people around him.
For this world that put emphasis on social standing and formality, either opinion was extremely unconventional. But as Renya, the person who would originally be in danger, doesn’t care about it while saying “Oh well, it’s going to work out somehow,” it has been waved through under the condition that this be limited to Renya’s territory.
“As for posing as a hero, it would be better to judge it in accordance to your laws. However, as for the crimes committed here, I will have him abide to our laws. If it was really a 『noble』 that got attacked, it will result in the judgement being dependent on the Archduchess as it would become a national issue, but if it were an ordinary person, I will keep it to my own discretion as it would be an internal issue of the territory. That will be the basis applied here.” (Renya)
Once Renya glares at Kaede with a sharp, discerning look, Kaede’s body on top of the chair trembles with a start.
Seeing that, Frau shook her head lightly.
There aren’t many people who can play dumb while being glared at by Renya’s eyes, Frau thinks.
Just a while ago he easily made me spit out that I had snatched some of the steamed buns brought along as a present.
“As an official stance is what it is, tell me honestly the truth as I will properly listen.” (Renya)
“Given that I will apologize as much as thee like, can’t thee somehow allow me to take custody of that idiot?” (Kaede)
Due to Kaede’s instant reply lacking any hesitation or faltering, Frau was about to fall over.
Somehow managing to put strength into her knees so that she doesn’t collapse, what Frau, who fixed her posture, saw was Renya with his usual, unchanged expression drinking his tea, seemingly having predicted that it would turn out like this, and Kaede who is apparently expressing the feeling of being dispirited with her whole body by letting her ears and tail hang down dejectedly.
“We had tried to detain him before. I had already mobilized the tribal warriors to restrain him. … Shaking free of them with physical strength, that idiot has…it was also a misfortune that the limitations to use the transfer gate over here had been kept loose. I’d like thee to understand that I don’t have the slightest intention to use that as excuse though.” (Kaede)
“Were there any injured?” (Renya)
If her words that the tribal warriors had been mobilized are true, a splendid number of warriors should have moved to stop that hero.
Going by the hero’s character, it was obvious that there would be no way for him to quickly escape with so many opponents in front of him.
It’s almost certain that he forced his way through.
“The injuries were at a degree recoverable with healing arts, but…apparently in order to buy some time until pursuers could follow him, he took all the magic gems, which were stocked for running the transfer gate, while he was at it, causing my arrival here to be slightly delayed.” (Kaede)
“Frau, since there should be magic gems stuffed in that idiot’s trouser pocket, take them away.” (Renya)
“Roger, master ~nano.” (Frau)
Renya rejects Kaede, who stated “Those are the property of our country” with a reproachful look, saying that they would be taken as portion of the reparations.
“If he gets too noisy, confiscate his tekkou and boots as well.” (Renya)
They were sparkling so much, so there will likely be eager collectors, who will try to buy it for quite the sum if I put it up for sale, as it is the equipment of a beastman.
“Please, spare us of that alone. Those are items of the beastman hero. If we lose these, we won’t be able to face our ancestors and descendants.” (Kaede)
Renya’s gaze, who looked down on Kaede after she started rubbing her forehead against the table in panic, somehow included plenty of pity instead of cold-heartedness.
Renya guesses, “Even without you telling me, I can guess that it has probably been hard on you.”
That means an acquittal is impossible.
Considering the injuries he suffered, Renya ponders whether he should pretend that he was fine to create a heartwarming story out of it. Otherwise, the hardships of the troubled person in front of him would only grow in proportions to the painful experience he had.
However, in regards to the broken facilities, Renya would lose face if he didn’t demand a considerable compensation, going by the fact that it had been public property that got demolished, meaning, not being reimbursed for these would spell trouble.
“If you feel like paying 10% more than the actual costs for reimbursements and compensation, I won’t mind turning over that younger brother to you. And send as much sugar and beans for red bean paste as possible over since it will be used to settle matters out of court with the person who received the attack.” (Renya)
The broken things amount to the arena’s door and walls, and although those weren’t cheap, it’s not like they cost a staggering amount of money either.
Adding 10% to the total sum shouldn’t result in a considerable amount of money, but Renya’s true desire lies in the latter part of his words, namely, obtaining the ingredients for the red bean paste.
Since ready-made red bean paste itself isn’t something that keeps long, there’s no point in receiving great quantities of it.
However, if he preserves it by immediately freezing the paste he has made from scratch with sorcery, it will keep for quite a long time.
At the moment Renya can’t use freezing sorcery, but he thinks, If I seize several of the magicians in the city, they will likely be able to accomplish such a task.
“W-Will it be fine with only that much?” (Kaede)
In Kaede’s eyes the terms seemed to be unbelievably light.
Since she looked up at Renya in relief, Renya decided to answer honestly,
“To be frank, I don’t need something like a hero. I have no use for him. If he hadn’t caused any damage at all, there wouldn’t have been any problem with even sending him back as soon as possible. Or rather, he’s a burden.” (Renya)
For just an instant Renya played with the idea of feeding him to that armor which serves as his gatekeeper, but a being that piled up hero powers and retained them shouldn’t have existed even once since the creation of this world. Since he couldn’t fathom what kind of side effects it would trigger if he actually created such a being, he dropped the idea.
With that out of the picture, that beastman hero had absolutely no use and was nothing more than a nuisance.
Immediately upon Renya thinking, I suppose I can forget the matter of having both my arms broken, if the demolished things are reimbursed and if it allows me to get my hands on red bean paste in addition to a little bit of money,
“Then I shall return to my home country at once to get everything ready!” (Kaede)
“Don’t forget about picking up that idiot, okay?” (Renya)
“Y-Yes! So, that is…” (Kaede)
Once Renya faces her with a fed-up look wondering whether there’s still something left to discuss, Kaede starts to fidget around, apparently having difficulties to say it.
“I will at least hear you out, so hurry up and say it.” (Renya)
“As for the demon king subjugation, at the moment it can be summed up with the movements of the demons being under investigation, but since time immemorial heroes are chosen from each continent and it has become a custom for them to gather at the human hero’s location to attack the demon king… Sooner or later I’d like to prepare a proper place and introduce our idiot to the human hero-sama, but…” (Kaede)
“Appoint a messenger and send them over first. If it’s after the date and program have been officially decided, there won’t be any reason to not let them meet.” (Renya)
“Thank thee very much! Margrave Kunugi-dono, please do as thee see fit.” (Kaede)
Due to Kaede bowing her head several time with a suddenly brightened-up expression, Renya pondered, Well then, how am I going to introduce, and on top of it explain, that armor?