In the evening, bright red lights have been turned on in one of the dining halls in the army’s facilities, and 100 soldiers were causing an uproar.
It was the victory celebration party for the sham battle that took place during the day.
The losses of war horses on the side of the noble’s private army was close to complete annihilation, though the detailed count is unknown.
As for the soldiers, 380 of the 900 soldiers have been injured seriously and lost their ability to move.
Of the remaining soldiers, the results were that a minority escaped unscathed thanks to them running away at full steam, while the majority made the right decision by escaping, only receiving minor injuries.
“Say, Renya, you helped them out a bit, didn’t you?”
“What’s this about?” (Renya)
“You coerced them, no? The commander’s surroundings, with all your might. Because of that they were late in giving orders and it turned into a melee, right?”
“Well, I wouldn’t know what you’re talking about.” (Renya)
Did such a conversation take place or not?
In any case, with their loss ratio exceeding 40%, it’s an outcome you might as well call a crushing defeat.
By the way, Lord Baltan’s aides were apparently safe as they had escaped early on, but Renya doesn’t know what kind of fate awaited Lord Baltan himself, who remained till the end while giving out orders.
Renya feels like he saw the spectacle of a mass of mud that had an imposing moustache being eagerly kicked and stepped on by the soldiers of the national army under Keith’s command, but Renya believes I’m pretty sure that was just my imagination.
Unfortunate accidents can happen anywhere.
That’s true, all the more if it’s an area where 1000 people engage in combat activities, even if it’s just a mock battle.
Such being the case, Renya’s group, who obtained victory against the nobles’ army, decided to hold a victory celebration upon Keith’s suggestion.
The number of those participating in the celebration party is 105.
The unit of soldiers, of whom Renya was in charge of training, participates without even a single one missing, and Renya, Shion, Rona, Emil and Frau have joined in as well.
Originally they should have carried it out after reserving one of the bars in the city, but since they wouldn’t have been able to do so, as there were just too many of them together, the location was hurriedly changed to the army facility’s dining hall and the party was held there.
Renya worried whether there would be any problems with using an army facility, but Mayria, who watched the mock battle until the end with a somewhat blank gaze, overheard their talk and brought up the issue with the manager of the army facility.
“Didn’t you do well to come to an agreement despite missing the necessary authority?” (Renya)
“That’s because those around me cause a fuss for some reason just because I’m the archduchess’ daughter.” (Mayria)
Renya tried to get Mayria to join the party, since he got her to make the effort of getting them the venue for better or worse, but he was gently turned down.
Even if it’s tolerated to provide a bit support to Renya as his employer, it doesn’t seem to be advisable for Mayria to support a specific part of the army’s soldiers, who are serving the country, too much.
“Though, if that’s the case, it creates the question whether Shion isn’t allowed to do so either?” Once Renya asked that, Mayria answered while smiling bitterly,
“Ane-sama likely won’t make an appearance on the political stage anymore.” (Mayria)
It seems that Shion’s existence has almost completely dropped out of the realm of actual politics and had apparently entered the state where it won’t be a problem no matter what she does at this point in time.
Renya didn’t know whether it’s okay to call that an easygoing and nice position or a lonely position in a certain meaning, but he stops this train of thought by showing an ambiguous smile.
Tables overflowing with drinks and food have been lined up in the spacious dining hall.
An exclusive cook works at the dining hall which is a military establishment to begin with, but since there was the opinion that it would be poor manners to force the cook into working overtime, the cooking was entrusted to Renya for some reason.
The soldiers, who devoured the food made by Renya earnestly in the Miasma Forest, apparently learned that the food prepared by Renya is delicious, resulting in them constantly demanding Renya to cook for them.
Unable to bear the situation where he was repeatedly coaxed and pressed on by a group of filthy middle-aged men, Renya took up the task reluctantly, but as it was also impossible to create food for all 100 soldiers by himself, he gave up quickly and asked Frau for help.
Frau had an expression showing that she was excessively unwilling to do it, but as she was apparently unable to deny Renya after having been asked earnestly, she agreed unenthusiastically.
Renya didn’t have any intention to force her, but having said that, the penance of struggling to make food for 100 people by himself would await him, if she turned him down here.
He has resigned himself to such a thing being unavoidable, as long as it was during the training, but it’s a task difficult to accept in the present situation.
Due to Renya bowing his head as he begs while being all apologetic about it, Frau, who realized that her emotions apparently were completely visible on her face, slaps her own cheeks with both hands.
“Do you hate it this much?” (Renya)
“I can’t get motivated for it ~no. This will be nothing but labor ~no.” (Frau)
Once he wondered what kind of reason she would bring forth, it seemed that the reason for her being unwilling was the lack of a reward for her toil.
Frau scratches her head due to Renya being unable to hide his surprise over the slightly harsh reason.
“I will compromise by thinking of it as service that will bring about a large amount of monetary reward ~no.” (Frau)
“Yeah… I will rely on you.” (Renya)
Renya couldn’t say anything more than that as he lacked any further words.
With Frau’s help they were able to prepare the food without a hitch, although it was a reasonably hard job.
Renya made other-world tonjiru and while wondering whether he won’t be pestered in the middle of the cooking, he simply prepared a huge amount of grilled miso and soy sauce onigiri.
Frau arranges the various food they created skillfully on dishes and lines them up on top of the tables one after the other.
With there being an abundance of various dishes lined up, it was a sight clearly showing that Frau easily surpassed Renya in the number of dishes in her repertoire, but Renya cannot help feeling mystified that it’s the onigiri, which he continues to make with all his heart, that are decreasing at an alarming rate for some reason.
“You guys… that’s definitely odd.” (Renya)
While appeasing his thirst with a cooled ale, Renya feels a kind of eeriness as soon as he sees the 100 soldiers grabbing the grilled onigiri that were piled up into a mountain and greedily devouring them by stuffing their mouths full of them.
Even if the quality of the rice is average, Renya had some confidence in his way of cooking the rice and that his grilling skill is appropriate.
However, the mountain of onigiri created by Renya was something he made from rice, which he brought with him in a huge amount, while planning to tell the soldiers that he definitely won’t forgive any of them if there was some food left over.
And yet, before it reached the point of him wondering whether there would be any leftovers or not, he feels like the onigiri are vanishing too quickly.
Even Frau, who finished making dishes to some extent, seemingly judged that it would probably be better if she helped Renya with the onigiri, and once she took up her position next to Renya, she started to fiercely shape onigiri after wetting her hands with salt water.
“Somehow this is amazing, isn’t it?”
Unable to put her hands on the mountain of grilled onigiri, Rona watches Shion, who savagely gulps down the onigiri, in a daze. And it’s none other than Emil who secures her own slightly larger share of various dishes of Frau’s cooking while floating a broad smile after seeing the spectacle taking place as she drinks wine and pecks at her food.
While looking at the cluster of rice that has been consumed in large quantities in front of her eyes, Emil mutters as if giving her praise,
“Well, it’s a dish they won’t be able to eat anymore once Renya stops working as their instructor, so it’s not like I don’t understand their feelings either.” (Emil)
“That’s certainly true, but… if you like, how about selling it at our shop area?”
Renya mentioned a plan he came up with, but the moment they heard those words, the soldiers’ gazes concentrated on Renya.
The soldiers speak up all together towards Renya, who unintentionally stops his hand that is holding an onigiri.
“””” We’d like to request that by all means, instructor-dono!””””
“Don’t shout all at once. … I will take it into consideration.” (Renya)
‘The army has many people.
If something like a fanbase takes root there, I can expect large amount of sales even if it starts out with small profits.
Thanks to rising in the adventurer ranks, Renya has obtained the right to use the guild’s distribution network. He began to calculate that he should try commercializing rice in various ways, since he’s buying it up anyway.
“In reality this is a really well-made dish, instructor-dono.”
Keith says while precisely securing onigiri with both his hands.
“On top of it being edible with one hand, it’s not bulky. Moreover you can eat it even when it has cooled down, though it’s also delicious after being freshly made. It is tasty even if you warm it up afterwards.” (Keith)
“There’s no persuasiveness in what you are saying if you are holding one in each of your hands.”
“This soup has a nice taste, too. It is using an unusual seasoning, isn’t it?”
“That’s because it has been made out of elven beans… I think you usually can’t obtain those.”
Once I consider it properly, the soy sauce and miso, who are used in making the grilled onigiri, is a special product of the elven country. Those are not ingredients that will normally appear on the markets of the human continent.
Renya has connections allowing him to get his hands on them continuously, but without that, you might as well say that there’s almost no chance to taste them as long as one stays in the human continent.
Guessing that the food they are eating seems to be a high-class item they won’t get hold of that often, the soldiers’ eating speed rises even further.
Predicting that the amount of rice that he currently has remaining won’t be enough to satisfy the soldiers no matter how she thinks about it, Frau went to the hearth in order to cook more rice.
“Oh well… I guess it’s fine… hey, Shion! You can eat as much as you like once go back home with us, right?” (Renya)
“One thing has nothing to do with the other.” (Shion)
“Shion-sama, please hand it over to us, if you can eat it at any time.”
“Right, right! We don’t know when will be able to eat this afterwards if we don’t buy it!”
“In the first place, where do you store such a huge amount in that body of yours, Shion-sama…?”
Shion spared only a glance at the soldiers, who were blaming her and using words that seemed to be criticisms, and then ignored them in a huff.
She carries her right hand to her mouth with two onigiri in between her fingers. Meanwhile she firmly keeps three onigiri in her possession with her left hand.
“In such things it’s always first come, first served.” (Shion)
“You say that!? You are the one telling us that, Shion-sama!?”
“You guys! Show your pride as national army’s soldiers! Even if the one saying it is Her Highness, don’t go easy on her!”
Due to the eating speed accelerating even further, Renya wondered whether it was alright to start messing around with the soldiers soon and took out several jars and bottles from his inventory.
Once he opens one of the jars, there’s slightly gooey and reddish miso inside. Renya smears the onigiri with that red miso and the miso he had used until now, alternating between them.
Moreover, he lined up small bottles on top of a table.
While Renya diligently grills the onigiri with the two types of miso, Keith, who was driven by curiosity, tries to shake one of the small bottles with his hand.
A sound of splashing resounded from within.
“What are those?” (Keith)
“It’s booze. I made it.” (Renya)
While answering, Renya once again piles up the onigiri that had finished grilling.
Those were the two types of onigiri that clearly had clearly a detectable differences in color when they were smeared with the miso, but once they were grilled and had some burn marks on them, everything but a small difference, barely recognizable even if one looked at it really really hard, was gone.
All the soldiers, who only cared that they were freshly made, scramble for those onigiri and stuff them into their mouths.
And then, a part of them suddenly began to suffer in agony.
Keith felt that something was amiss because those that had eaten the onigiri had bright red faces and were shedding tears.
“Instructor-dono!? Certainly, those aren’t…” (Keith)
“Poisoned? No, certainly not. You think I would do something as wasteful as mixing poison in food?” (Renya)
“I smeared them with mustard miso. To be precise, I guess it’s a combination of miso and mustard, which I bought on the market, that I mixed well and fermented. Though it’s very spicy, it’s really tasty. … This time I tried to varnish the onigiri with a strong, hot taste.” (Renya)
Mustard was fairly expensive, but it was something that could be obtained on the market normally. He experimentally tried to create it as a variation of miso and not with the intention of making a joke item, but this time he tried using it as restraint for the soldiers who are devouring an excessively large amount of onigiri.
The onigiri seemed slightly too spicy or rather the effect was immediate. A part of the soldiers screamed, demanding water or alcohol while being drenched in sweat.
Even Shion was apparently fully afflicted by these grilled onigiri that used a mix of mustard and miso. She wasn’t in agony like the soldiers, but as expected her face is red and she has teary eyes. Unluckily, she grabs hold of a small bottle that was placed on the table by Renya in her search for a substitute for the ale that had run out just now.
And without giving Renya any time to stop her, she undid the lid and poured the liquid down her throat in one go.
“!? … Buhaaa!?” (Shion)
Tossing away the bottle she held in her hand, Shion exhales deeply.
A strong scent of alcohol was mixed into the breath that Shion exhaled with all her might.
In front of Renya, who has a feeling of “She went and done it”, Emil picks up the bottle that was drained empty by Shion a moment ago and sniffs the scent of the small dose of liquid that was left within.
“This is distilled liquor, isn’t it?” (Emil)
“Distilled liquor, you say?” (Keith)
Keith asks back due to the unfamiliar word he heard.
“It’s booze created with a technique to deepen its alcohol content by gathering only the alcohol from the undistilled booze. He probably used the tools and materials in my possession, but… going by this smell, won’t this level of alcohol concentration usually set your throat on fire?” (Emil)
“Yeah, this burns. I tried testing only a bit, but if it’s a fellow who can’t hold their liquor, they’ll go unconscious with one swig.” (Renya)
“Eh? Why did you you let her drink such strong booze…?” (Rona)
Rona, who heard Renya’s and Emil’s conversation, turns pale.
Shion hung her head while grasping her throat in front of Renya, who’s wondering whether there’s anything wrong with her having drunk the alcohol, and then abruptly lifted her face.
Her eyes are fully glazed.
Renya immediately realized, just by looking into her eyes; that these are the eyes of someone who mustn’t be allowed to drink this alcohol.
“Trident Principality, First Princess, Shion Femme Fatale!”
Getting up with a snap into the military posture of attention, Shion raises her right hand while introducing herself loudly.
The looks of the soldiers gather towards Shion due to her loud voice and strange behavior.
After confirming that their attention has been focused on her, Shion grabbed the neck part of the clothes she’s wearing with her left hand.
“I’m going to undress!” (Shion)
“You must not!!” (Rona)
The soldiers are excited due to Shion’s abrupt announcement.
Within their voices and whistles that seemed to irresponsibly instigate the situation, Rona steps forward to stop Shion in a hurry.
She’s desperately trying to hold Shion back, who’s about to tear her clothes off at any moment with the hand that’s grabbing her clothes’ neck.
“Shion, please consider the location! This place is full of onlookers!” (Rona)
“Shut up! LET ME GO! I said I will undress, so that just what i’ll do!” (Shion)
Rona is desperately clinging onto the struggling Shion.
If it’s only about brute strength, Shion should probably have the upper hand at the current point in time, but apparently, because she’s drunk, she can’t make full use of her strength, and that allows for the power balance between her and Rona to be equal.
“You must not! It’s wrong! I don’t want to know what I willbe told if Her Excellency the Archduchess or Mayria-sama heard of it~!” (Rona)
“Mmh? Mmmmh? Then, Rona, you undress~!” (Shion)
“Eh!? Wai-!? That’s no good, I told you already that it’s wrong, didn’t I!?” (Rona)
Because Shion suddenly changed the aim of her attack, she is now on the verge of stripping Rona of her clothes.
While Rona, who was closely glued to Shion in order to hold her back, is left with no time to escape because of how sudden the situation changed.
Once she has been caught, the rest turned into a contest of pure strength, but compared to Shion’s clothes, Rona’s priestess’ garb has low durability.
If such clothes were to be pulled on from both ends during a power struggle between Rona and Shion, it was very likely that they would end up tearing apart easily.
Between Shion, who doesn’t mind it even if they tear, and Rona, who will be troubled if they do, it’s obvious that the situation is progressing in Shion’s favor.
Even without that, just by struggling, certain parts of Rona sway as if tempting people all over.
The spectacle of Rona’s clothes being peeled off by Shion while Rona is on the verge of tears was plenty enough to bind the soldiers’ gazes.
At the moment, sounds of the soldiers gulping down saliva became awfully clear, Renya gets up thinking that it’s probably time to stop them soon.
However that motion was stopped in the middle due to Shion’s next action.
“Mmh~… how stubborn.” (Shion)
“You must not… really… please forgive me, Shion…” (Rona)
Rona’s steady breathing has changed into gasps.
Shion, who got irritated due to Rona’s frantic resistance, grabs a small bottle from the table and opens its lid.
“If you won’t undress, drink~!!” (Shion)
Rona tried to escape but was firmly grasped by Shion from behind. Shion then thrust the opened small bottle into Rona’s mouth.
At the time he saw Rona’s white throat go up and down while being roughly forced to drink the contents of the small bottle, Renya judged that it would become dangerous if he doesn’t escape from here soon.
Pushing aside the soldiers who are attentively watching the course of events, Renya tries to run away, but Emil clings to his waist as if telling him that she won’t let him go.
“Leave me alone, Emil!” (Renya)
“No way. You have to keep us company until the very end, you know?” (Emil)
“Idiot! To say something like that in this situation… I won’t tell you to let me go, but I will escape, Emil!” (Renya)
Renya tries to run away even while dragging along Emil who still clung to him.
Behind him, the small bottle that had been stuffed into Rona’s mouth fell down and hit the ground producing a shattering sound.
A harmonized laughter.
Everyone present was overwhelmed by the aura that was brought about by the two girls, who stood up with a booming sound while swaying their bodies like plants that swayed in the wind.
“The fun stuff, with everyone…”
“Right… we have to enjoy it with everyone…”
“From now on…”
“”It’s a free-for-all party!!””
“Those who don’t want to die, run away! Don’t look back! All hands, retreat!!” (Renya)
Renya kicked Emil, who was still clinging to his waist, sending her flying, and called out to the soldiers who were unable to move due to being overwhelmed by the atmosphere.
The soldiers try to start running away belatedly.
In the room, that made it seem as if time was moving in slow motion, Shion and Rona outran them, seemingly against any logic, with their mouths warping in the shape of a smile while having glazed eyes.
There are no records related to the military facility left behind about the events after that.
Even Renya doesn’t remember it clearly.
He only recalls Keith having white eyes after having a small bottle forced into his mouth, a soldier being thrown while screaming, Emil’s face as she wildly laughs, the collapsed mountain of onigiri, Rona as she chokes one soldier after the other with brute strength and her chest, Frau who hurriedly slips under cover.
Those are the only things he remembered in fragments.
“Renyaa… Renya, I’m talking to you… I’d like you to be slightly nicer… having my head caressed gently… in b-bed… umm, you know…” (Shion)
“Don’t blush at that point! Let me go, Shion! Don’t be hasty! Or rather, you stink of booze!?” (Renya)
“Welll theeen… let’s kiss, Renyaaa… let’s just do it!” (Shion)
“Stop it, you drunkard! Don’t bring your face close while saying something like “Mmh~”! Shit, this woman… was it a bad move to let her raise her physical strength through the training!?” (Renya)
“Nfufufu… Renyaa… mmh *kiss*.” (Shion)
“Idiot!? Hey, oi!? … mm… uh!? … mmh…” (Renya)
I don’t remember anything.
Later Renya was summoned by Mayria due to the disastrous scene left behind in the venue and he was demanded an explanation, but he kept silent while sticking to that single phrase.
“Can’t you simply tell me whether you actually crossed the line?” (Mayria)
“I defended against that to the last. Though it was a close call, I guess.” (Renya)
It was the first time for Renya to feel danger towards his own body up to the breaking point in this different world.