The first thing Renya did – while watching how Kilie, who looked like a wet rat, crouched on top of that mysterious something – was to take Shion and Rona away from the scene. Renya himself was completely fine even after looking at that, but going by the state of the surrounding soldiers, Renya had no guarantee that Shion and Rona would remain okay.
If it’s something I’m not absolutely sure about, I just have to deal with it as carefully as a coward would, Renya judged. Leaving myself aside, I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if Shion and Rona were to break down.
Renya didn’t realize that he naturally excluded Emil from consideration, but Emil did, and as a result she donned a very unhappy expression. However, she thought that she might be wrong since it wasn’t clear whether the reason she slipped Renya’s mind was because he forgot about her, or because he believed that Emil would be alright.
Either way, Renya kicked Baron Gordonal’s butt, the person accustomed to commanding a large number of people in this place, who had frozen on the spot while clenching his teeth and perspiring so much that the sweat dripped down from his chin, in order to pull him back to reality.
Renya quickly instructed the baron, who somehow came back to his senses from the impact and pain, to gather the soldiers and return to his mansion while making absolutely sure not to look towards the sea.
“A pretense, is it?”
“Don’t look. Definitely don’t look over there. Or rather, aren’t you quite calm about this, baron? Even I don’t know what will happen if we don’t put a stop to it.”
Although only faintly, Renya felt respect towards the baron for making a joke even at a time like this despite having a completely pale face. Renya entrusted Shion and Rona to the baron, telling them to go back with him, but Shion opposed this to some degree.
Renya revealed a troubled smile towards Shion who insisted that he shouldn’t stay back by himself while being fully aware that it was a dangerous situation.
Originally, Shion often adopted such speech and conduct when the topic was related to the people of the Trident Principality.
I remember that I considered her quite disappointing and dim-witted as far as understanding the situation goes, but whatever the circumstances might be, having someone truly worry about me makes me somehow happy and embarrassed, at any rate, it doesn’t really feel that bad despite it being a bit questionable, Renya ended up feeling.
“We’re friends, aren’t we?” Shion argued while showing on her face that she didn’t feel daunted, or rather that she didn’t want to feel daunted.
Renya persuaded her with a warning tone, “That’s true. But, if you guys stay here, I won’t be able to do anything. I’d like you to understand that, and go back with the baron.”
“So you’re saying we can’t act together with you at a time like this…because we’re weak?”
If he didn’t mince his words, it would be just as she said. A little while ago he might have actually said those words, which he now considered slightly difficult to voice out, without hesitation. Renya searched for a way to express himself while wondering how he should answer her.
Shion spoke up before Renya could come up with another way to phrase it, “Got it, I will pull back here. But Renya, I want to act together with you even in dangerous situations. That’s why…I want you to do something about it.”
“You’re pushing all of it on me!?”
Renya and Rona thought that Shion was saying something quite admirable until the later half of her statement, but once they considered it very carefully, they noticed at almost the same time that it was rare for Shion to speak up after having completely considered her situation. Due to the fact that Shion was a girl who couldn’t bring a story to its conclusion despite there being no doubt about her praiseworthy enthusiasm, Renya and Rona sighed almost simultaneously. However, not understanding the meaning behind their sighs, Shion stared at Renya while feeling that she might have said something weird again.
“Okay, I got it. After all I have to get the heroes in shape as well. While at it, I will do something about you too.”
Rona reacted by lightly glaring at Renya for saying “while at it,” but Shion apparently didn’t mind that part at all. For her the fact that Renya had consented was far more important.
“It’s a promise, right? You gave me your word, okay!?”
“Yes, I did. I’m a person who keeps his promises. That’s why I’d like you to withdraw for now.”
With Renya insisting to such a degree, Shion agreed to retreat with the baron to his mansion, albeit still reluctant to go.
“You’re being loved, aren’t you Renya?”
As the only one not instructed to withdraw, Emil approached Renya, who saw Shion and the others off, while grinning.
In truth, even Emil felt as something, which could be either her emotional strength or her sanity, was whittled down when in front of the something summoned by Kilie. Because she had a lot more leeway when compared to a human, no damage was visible in her case, but Emil still had to strain herself in order to keep herself calm in front of Renya.
“You think so?”
“You don’t? And yet you didn’t even worry about someone like me.”
“Not worried? I just believe in you.”
After revealing a befuddled expression for an instant after hearing what Renya said without a hint of hesitation, Emil donned an indescribable expression full of mixed feelings. Emil couldn’t decide whether to be happy, poke fun at Renya as she usually does or to feel shy about it and as a result every option could be seen on her face, plain as day.
“I’m sorry to interrupt your flirting, but is it okay if we start talking soon? Puchidagon-kun below my feet appears to be tired of waiting.”
“What’s with that name, I feel like having heard it somewhere before!? In two meanings.” 1
Renya stared at Kilie as if looking at someone suspicious. Meanwhile Emil glared at her with such force that any weaker being would have been killed by her gaze alone.
“Oh my? Even though you’re so good at making fun of others, you hate being made fun of?”
“You…just who the hell are you?”
There was no one else around them. Even if there had been, they would have been transformed into cripples or fallen into a state of stupefaction in an instant thanks to the thing Kilie summoned.
Seeing as no one was watching them and with the presence of the thing below Kilie even if it was a somewhat weird presence, Emil had no reason to suppress her powers. Emil released her power into the surroundings with such force that space itself warped and made creaking sounds, but due to Kilie’s question, who warded Emil’s pressure off as if it was nothing, Emil’s expression froze.
“Isn’t that something I could ask you as well? Just what are you?”
Emil couldn’t answer immediately.
Kilie continued speaking while somehow getting an answer from Emil’s face, “Right now, this child below my feet is something that would cause people to fall into a state of stupefaction, even if they were to have a reasonable amount of nerve. And yet you’re completely enduring it even while getting damaged. I wonder, just who might you be?”
“E-Even if you say that, it’s you summoned such a being and is currently using it, no? If you call me weird, then you’d be the very definition of weirdness, wouldn’t you?”
Kilie took a daunting pose atop the something due to Emil being evasive for a change. While throwing out her chest in arrogance, she declared as if boasting about something, “I’m not odd. After all I am…”
“A peddler, you said, didn’t you?” Renya interrupted Kilie indifferently and dispassionately.
Kilie, who had the words taken out of her mouth in the middle of her speech, froze with her mouth slightly open.
Emil, who was next to Renya, retorted with a fed-up tone while somewhat softening her aura, “You really think that such omnipotent peddlers exist?”
“Since she’s in front of us, it can’t be helped. I don’t really know, but such peddlers exist as well, don’t they? Either way, I’m not interested in her true identity… As long as she’s harmless.”
“If such peddlers really existed, this world wouldn’t need heroes, y’know? Even assuming that it’s of no consequence to you, it seems that the peddler over there hasn’t moved since you stole her spotlight scene.”
Once Renya looked back at Kilie after being told so, Kilie had switched from her arrogant attitude to feeling down-hearted with her shoulders slumped while repeatedly muttering something with a downcast face.
Even while having strong feelings of guilt believing that he might have done something evil to her, Renya raised his voice and addressed Kilie, “Idiot, don’t lose your nerve over something like that.”
“I didn’t expect you to deliver the finishing blow here.” Emil, who had already stopped releasing her power, chuckled.
Being told so, Kilie energetically lifted her face, and firmly stomped once on the head of the something she was standing on. With only that, the thing, which had been waiting underwater, sank down a bit, causing Kilie to sink underwater up to her ankles.
Spraying a large sheet of water, even the wharf where Renya and Emil stood became soaking wet, but because Emil deployed a barrier in front of Renya and herself, they avoided getting wet.
“You’re terrible, Renya! Even though it was my line!”
“I have absolutely no intention of seeing what might be below you, but didn’t you damage it considerably with your stomping just now?”
“It’s fine since he’s a sturdy child!”
“Orly. So, if I speak to that Puchidagon-kun or whatever, my requests will be transmitted to the katurul, right?”
“Please interpret it like that.”
“In that case, I have two requests. First, allow the residents of this town to collect seafood and ores in this area of the ocean within a certain range. Second, I’d like to borrow two of the tentacles owned by the katurul.”
For some reason Kilie and Emil were in harmony in their surprise. Silence dominated the place for a short while. Not understanding the meaning behind such silence, Renya, who had stated his requests, alternated between looking at Kilie and Emil.
“What’s with that reaction?”
“Umm…I’m just asking for reference…I can understand the part about the collection of seafood and ores, but what are you going to use the katurul’s tentacles for after receiving them?”
As for Kilie, she thought that Renya might request the katurul’s tentacles to have it harvested as a part of the marine products. Putting aside whether that might be his demand or not, Renya already identified the tentacles as food.
Although she felt sorry for the katurul, she intended to have it somehow put up with it since it wouldn’t significant damage to the whole body anyways, but Renya’s request didn’t go in that direction.
“I don’t really want to think about it, but Renya…” Emil said with a trembling voice, obviously shuddering. “No matter how much tentacles might go well with Rona, I really wonder what I should think about you wanting to carry out such play to the degree of borrowing tentacles!? I think a play of teasing the cocksure Shion by tying her up with tentacles sounds rather nice, though. Ah, as for me, it’s a bit…I’m bad with slimy stuff, okay? Well, if you insist on it no matter what, I can coope…”
“Shut up, idiot.”
Renya kicked Emil, who had started to draw near, into the sea without asking any questions. Apparently having been kicked quite mercilessly, Emil disappeared into the ocean after raising a grand water column. After a short time she surfaced upside-down without even twitching.
Since Renya apparently had no intention of saving Emil, a tentacle appeared from the sea, softly grabbed Emil’s nape, and laid her down on the wharf before returning into the sea again, seemingly having thought that Emil might die sooner or later given that she was floating with her face underwater.
“I will pass on your requests to the katurul word for word, but…is it fine for me to ask what you plan to use the tentacles for, just for reference?”
“The being called katurul exists below the the continents while being as big as the continents, right?” Renya asked as if to get confirmation.
In response, Kilie nodded.
“In that case it’s not like it’s limited to the ocean, correct?”
“I don’t understand what you’re aiming for, but…probably.”
“I have heard about it before, but there’s a little problem with the ability to transfer large amounts of supplies through transfer gates. Moreover, they say such a transfer system requires the construction of some kind of facility that establishes a path between the gates.”
“Don’t tell me…” Kilie somehow guessed what Renya wanted to say.
“If I can have the path pass through the katurul’s tentacles, or rather, a part of its body, it will be possible to connect this place with Klinge, won’t it? In addition, if it’s possible to collect seafood and ores in this place, it will become possible to transport those to Klinge in one go, right? Of course I have to talk with the baron about the costs, though.”
Even Renya had no problem giving up on the katurul’s tentacles as long as he could prepare an environment that allowed him to continuously procure fresh marine products. Certainly, he considered its tentacles to be an interesting ingredient, but food that resembled jellyfish could simply be replaced with jellyfish.
There was still the issue of whether jellyfish actually existed in this world, but if it didn’t, he just had to come up with something else. However, at present Renya couldn’t come up with a method to secure a distribution channel between Klinge and the ocean besides this one.
In such a case, it was only natural for Renya to give up on the tentacles as food and request the katurul’s help instead.
“Of course, since I’m requesting its help, I will consider paying some kind of compensation if necessary. A deal has to be fair for both sides.”
When Renya requested a deal with the katurul, he had already left the path of common sense, but he told all this to Kilie, who was standing atop the sea with a flabbergasted expression, with a very serious look.