A short while after the dragonoid’s hero went back to his country, the peaceful days resumed.
There wasn’t any news coming from the beastmen, and neither was there a reply or inquiry regarding the letter sent by the elves.
As for confirming the existence of the demon king, even the Trident Principality moved in an attempt to validate its existence while investing quite a bit of time and labor, but with the demon country being on the other side of the Miasma Forest, which had an unimaginable size if using Renya’s former world as standard, and moreover because the demon king would stay in their own castle, located in the center of the demon country, assuming they actually made an appearance, it’s almost impossible to simply confirm them by sight.
“How are you going to confirm the existence of someone like that?” (Renya)
Renya asks while scooping up a pure white, syrupy liquid from a metallic container.
Inside the container was milk. He let it rest for one night while being cooled with a clump of ice he had requested the sorcerers in Klinge to make.
By doing that, the milk separated and fresh cream could be obtained.
Renya skillfully transferred that separated fresh cream into another container and furthermore added more milk to it.
He also added egg yolks and sugar, which he managed to officially receive from the beastmen, and stirred all of it well.
“Normally there should be an oracle from god, saying that the demon king has appeared.” (Shion)
Shion replies while watching very attentively what Renya is doing.
Kurz, who was next to her while resting his chin in his hands, seemingly enjoyed something about Renya’s work and thus watched it while smiling brightly.
Renya had received a request from Frau and Emil that they would like him to spend as much time as possible with Kurz.
It seems that they finished putting various information regarding combat techniques and dignified behavior into his head, but as experience was apparently preferred over plain knowledge in regards to the emotional aspect, Kurz’ current emotional level seems to be mostly below that of an average baby between 3 and 5 years.
Due to Renya considering even that to not be much of an issue, Emil passionately pointed out the problems with that.
The biggest problem can be summarized with Kurz being unable to control himself like a child, compared to the crazy power he possesses.
Even if a child threw a tantrum, the level of damage would be obviously low, but that changes if it’s Kurz throwing a tantrum.
Jokes aside, he’s quite capable of destroying one block of the city.
If he was a normal homunculus, such problem wouldn’t crop up.
That’s because they are absolutely obedient to their creator.
But as for Kurz; although he has been created using the production method of homunculi, his interior is based on the black something which filled that armor.
According to Frau, evil spirits and similar, which she had controlled in Renya’s home in Kukrika, that were adequately and tightly stuffed together are the true identity of that black, misty something. Due to it partaking in the war against the Holy Kingdom, the number of spirits inside grew rapidly, and apparently because of that, the personalities of those spirits disappeared. However, Kurz, who was configured as a synthetic personality, apparently can’t draw out any human traits no matter what he does.
“Right now the national power of the Holy Kingdom has declined…and even the priests seemingly haven’t been given an oracle as they appear to be lacking. But, since the hero summoning took place, there’s no doubt that the demon king will appear sooner or later.” (Shion)
According to Shion, the fact that there’s an oracle and a period of time until the demon king appears after the hero summoning follows the gods’ intention to allow the hero to be raised into an adult, but in Renya’s eyes, who knows that the chain of events is nothing more than the supervisors, who call themselves gods, killing time, it doesn’t look as anything but a mere period of time to raise levels and a chance to form close ties with royalty and friends.
However, so far as it goes, Renya is a man as well.
There’s no way that he won’t feel some envy over a romantic relationship with a princess.
However, if one properly assesses things, even Shion, who is intently staring at Renya’s work, should be a woman in a position that forces others to nod while saying “Certainly, you’re right there” if one insisted that she was a princess.
And yet, no matter how long he looks at Shion’s face, the word romance (lol) simply doesn’t pop up.
While sighing slightly as he thinks, Even though the base should be at quite a high level, what a disappointing child, Renya taps Shion’s head to caress it gently. Shion, whose expression became blank in an instant, smiled happily with her expression becoming all slack for some reason.
While feeling slightly startled due to that smile, Renya hermetically seals the container that contained all the prepared ingredients and puts it into a far bigger cask filled with crushed ice. After he finished cramming it inside, he shuts the cask’s lid.
The cask is a special-made cask that has been tightly reinforced with metallic sheets. As test Renya tried kicking it with quite a bit of strength, but it was so sturdy that it didn’t even budge.
Of course the weight of the cask itself has become considerably high. Moreover, with it having been filled with a large amount of ice, it had become impossible to move it easily.
Yet Renya lifts that without any difficulty and addresses Kurz who is chasing the cask with his eyes as if being lured by it,
“Alright, Kurz. You want to play with me a bit inside the castle’s courtyard?” (Renya)
“Shion, you want to join as well?” (Renya)
“If it’s a game I can join.” (Shion)
While thinking that it might be slightly unreasonable, Renya takes Kurz and Shion along and heads to the castle’s courtyard.
Having arrived at the courtyard, the three take up positions with a distance of around 10 m from each other while being instructed by Renya, forming a triangle.
“The rules are simple. We just have to toss this cask to each other without breaking it. The person, who breaks or drops it, loses. I don’t intend to impose a penalty even if you break it, but there will be a reward for those who persist all the way to the end.” (Renya)
Kurz raises his arm with a cheerful smile.
Contrary to that, Shion mutters with a quite troubled expression,
“You make it sound simple, but…that’s quite a chore.” (Shion)
One can easily imagine what will happen if one starts throwing that casket, which is mostly just a lump of metal, which weighs a considerable amount, making it look difficult to even lift up.
“As a handicap, I will allow you to use tools, Shion. And, as long as it doesn’t break, you can drop it to the ground.” (Renya)
“In that case, well, I guess I will manage somehow?” (Shion)
Upon the terms provided by Renya, Shion nods even while pondering.
Just her nodding at this point in time is already an act disconnected from common sense, but Shion doesn’t realize that.
“It’s fine to throw it back to whomever. Since they might die if they are unlucky, make sure to take your target into account.” (Renya)
“Ah, it’s possible to die…then this is not playing around anymore, is it? Oh well, whatever…Renya, I’d like to borrow the pole sword I used in the mock battle the other day.” (Shion)
“Here you go.” (Renya)
Renya temporarily places the cask on the ground, takes out one pole from his inventory and tosses it in Shion’s direction. Safely catching it, Shion prepares herself while holding the pole in both hands.
Making sure that Shion had apparently finished getting ready, Renya picks up the cask and casually throws it in Shion’s direction with a curved trajectory.
Due to having it suddenly thrown towards herself, Shion frowned. But she puts power in the pole sword in her hands and swings it downwards towards the cask’s side while stepping in sharply.
A shrill sound of metal clashing resounded.
The struck cask falls down right were it was after having lost its momentum, but Shion launched the falling cask upwards with a single blow of her pole as if scooping the cask up from below.
The flying cask falls down right above Kurz’ head who’s looking up.
For an instant Shion thought that Kurz might be unable to catch that cask, but the black, misty something, which gushed out from behind Kurz, catches the falling cask and revolves it around Kurz while turning the cask around once. After that it threw the cask towards Renya with a speed similar to that of a bullet.
The cask with a speed that would cause unfortunate consequences no matter which part of Renya’s body it hit was caught by Renya’s <Manipulation> spell.
The cask that passed to the back next to Renya with its staggering momentum easily stops there for a moment and then, after being given a spiraling rotation, it attacked Kurz, passing from behind Renya while buzzing.
Kurz tried to stop it once again with the black mist, but the cask, which received a rotation that raised its penetration power, pierces the expanded mist and approaches Kurz.
Slight surprise clouded Kurz’ expression, but without even getting flustered, countless fists growing out from the black mist, which was behind the cask, beat the airborne cask to a stop.
At the moment when the black mist caught the cask, which had its momentum killed by the continuous impacts, once again, Renya threw a fleeting glance in Shion’s direction.
As if following that look, Kurz’ face turns towards Shion and Shion grasped that she had become the next target.
While deciding in her heart that she would try to escape with all her might if the cask came flying at the same speed as it had been exchanged between Renya and Kurz, Shion closely observes the whereabouts of the cask.
Aware or not of Shion’s thoughts, Kurz let the cask, which had lost its speed, circulate around him several times and then flung the cask in Shion’s direction with a curved trajectory just like Renya did at the very beginning.
The cask, which was thrown while going quite easy on her, slowly flies towards Shion, but in Shion’s eyes just the fact of a mass of metal flying in her direction is a view that makes her innards freeze.
While watching Shion intercepting the casket as she raised a loud, encouraging yell, Renya breathed a slight sigh in relief.
The cask, which was struck, sent around and thrown by the three for almost an hour in the end, somehow managed to stay in one piece even while being treated in such way, finishing its job without being broken.
“Remarkable, you two. You did very well.” (Renya)
Although it hadn’t been destroyed, the cask had become full of dents due to Shion’s pole sword and Kurz’ black fists, resulting in its shape changing quite a bit. While calling out to the two of them, Renya takes out tools from his inventory and starts to disassemble the cask.
The praised Kurz was delighted, smiling innocently like a child. Shion breathed roughly, unable to speak due to her exceeding fatigue while supporting her body with the pole sword as a cane.
No matter how easy they might have gone on her, the act of repeatedly blowing back a fairly heavy lump of metal with her pole sword required appropriate strength. Having done that by mobilizing the full power of her whole body, Shion apparently ended up having all her stamina drained.
Just as Renya thought that Shion will likely have difficulties moving in her current state if she didn’t take a good, long rest, Frau suddenly appeared while bringing some maids along. They set up a table in the courtyard, covered it with a tablecloth, prepared tableware and spoons, and lined up jars filled with honey and various jams.
Frau silently stands behind Renya, who gazed at the table being prepared like magic, all without stopping his hands from disassembling the cask with his hands.
“Master, how did it go ~no?” (Frau)
“He has the smarts to go easy on someone. I couldn’t feel any sentiment towards Shion or me. There’s no particular issue with him suppressing his power either. It’s probably necessary to observe further, but it’s not at a level that requires worry. That’s about it, I guess?” (Renya)
Today’s game was something carried out upon Renya’s insistent request to Emil and Frau.
That’s because Renya sensed something that bothered him in Kurz’ tone.
Although it was just vaguely, he felt that the way Kurz talks, or rather his choice of words somehow resembled that Yuuki who’s also a part of the souls that formed the base of Kurz’ body.
If that element had affected Kurz, it would turn into a problem, now that he had likely become a far more powerful existence compared to the time when Yuuki was alive.
As result of that,
“Emil felt offended, saying that she wouldn’t make such trivial mistake ~no.” (Frau)
“Since it might cause damage to the entire city if we make a single mistake here, I believe that it’s natural to be careful to the degree of cowardice though.” (Renya)
“Master, you should put a bit more trust in the pride of an engineer ~nano.” (Frau)
Whispering that into his ear, Frau quietly separates from him.
The ones who approached in exchange are Kurz and Shion.
“Margrave-sama, what’s the reward?” (Kurz)
“I’m curious about that as well. Is it related to the set-up of this table?” (Shion)
“Of course. There’s no way that we would bring out a table if it had absolutely no relation to it.” (Renya)
He takes out the first container with the various ingredients from the disassembled cask and opens its lid.
Once he scrapes out the content on a large platter on top of the table with a spoon provided by Frau and the other maids, a pure-white, soft-looking solid matter appeared from within.
“Renya, just what is this!?” (Shion)
“It’s a sweet and cold snack. It would be great if we could add vanilla as a flavor, but…sadly I didn’t find anything similar to it in this world. Well, even in this state, it’s tasty. Please eat it while adding any jam you like to it.” (Renya)
What Renya had created was handmade ice cream.
Originally it’s something you create by filling a container with the necessary ingredients and ice, and then stir around, but it was a very hard work as it becomes increasingly difficult to stir it as it solidifies.
Renya substituted that process by putting the container in an ice-cooled cask and throwing that cask around continuously for around an hour.
Since the contents won’t turn out properly unless it’s whipped entirely, Renya secretly turned the cask around meaninglessly each time the cask came around to his side.
The ice cream scraped out by Renya and placed on top of a big platter is divided onto small plates by the maids.
Shion and Kurz picked up small plates swiftly, scooped the ice cream with their spoons and put it into their mouths.
“Margrave-sama, this is delicious.” (Kurz)
“It’s a taste that takes time and effort, doesn’t it? … But Renya, do you have to do the same thing each time you make this?” (Shion)
No matter how delicious the finished product might be, being forced to do work that puts one’s life at risk each time one wants to eat it is intolerable.
Renya shook his head towards Shion who apparently wanted to say something like that.
“The next time I make this, I will have the proper tools for doing so at hand. This time it was a game that served as a little test at the same time.” (Renya)
“I see…then it’s fine.” (Shion)
“At any rate, Shion you did well to persevere until the end. I certainly believed that you would give up or go beyond recovery in the middle of it.” (Renya)
Being told that by Renya in a jesting manner, Shion’s cheeks puffed up as she held the plate with the ice cream on it.
“Even I’m making a bit of progress. In the first place, what’s up with calling it a game although there exists the possibility of a player going beyond recovery?” (Shion)
“It was fun! Let’s do it again, okay Margrave-sama!?” (Kurz)
As recommended by Frau, Kurz began to cover the ice with various kinds of jams in large amounts.
While worrying, Hasn’t this already been reduced to a mere object of nothing but sweetness?, Renya nodded towards Kurz while smiling wryly.