Invitation to the Royal Capital


  「……I’m bored」


  I muttered idly in a horse carriage that was heading to the royal capital.


  There isn’t much room inside the carriage, so my voice was probably heard by everyone that’s traveling with me.
As proof, Lunamaria, who was sitting across from me, responded to me in a puzzled tone. 


  「We had just left Ishka not too long ago (2 hours), you know? We still have a while before we get to the capital」


  「I know…but when I’m so used to traveling on a wyvern, I just can’t get used to traveling on the ground.
Also, this horse carriage feels strangely uncomfortable for some reason…」


  The seats of this carriage are unexpectedly soft; maybe it’s because there are feathers inside.


  Since the horse carriage is always shaking, softer seats are obviously better than harder seats.
It’s just that I can’t get comfortable with this fluffy feeling on my bum no matter how I tried.


  Ciel, who was sitting next to Lunamaria, agreed with me as her triangular ears moved restlessly.


  「I know.
This feels very uncomfortable for some reason.
It’s like…I can’t relax? What about you, Suzume?」


  「I…umm…this vehicle called the horse carriage…I can’t get used to it」


  The young kijin girl looked around inside the horse carriage with a worried look.


  One of her hands was tightly tugging onto the sleeve of my clothes.


  According to what Lunamaria and Ciel secretly told me, Suzume was really anxious while I was at the village of Melte.


  While Suzume is relatively talkative with me, she is really cautious towards other people.
The reason why she opened up to me probably largely has to do with the fact that I saved her from both the king of flies and the king of snakes.  


 That was why I didn’t bring her to the village of Melte with me.


  Although I asked Lunamaria to take care of her while I was gone, it can’t be helped if she were to blame me for my lack of care for her.


  As I thought about those things, Suzume asked a question while she still had an uneasy look on her face.


  「……Um, so the royal capital…it’s bigger than Ishka, right?」


  「Yeahh, if we’re only talking about the size, it’s like 3 times the size of Ishka」


  「……I can’t imagine it…so, um, the place called the royal palace…how much bigger is it when compared to your house…?」


  「Let’s see…my house would be like a lizard and the royal palace would be like a wyvern, I guess?」


  「*Gasp*…Um, do-do we really have to go there?」


  「Yeahh, we should do this if we think about the future.
Fedor went out of his way to arrange this for us after all」


  That’s right.
We’re going to the royal capital this time because of the slave merchant Fedor’s scheme.


  A scheme makes it sound kind of bad, but I can only call it that when he pretty much made the decision for me without asking for my consent first.


  Well, since it’s an invitation to appreciate achievements, they are only going to thank us, not complain about us.


  In short, this was an invitation to award the people who defeated the basilisk and stopped the spread of the blight.
That’s why there is another horse carriage that had the remaining 4 survivors of the clan 『Scythe of the Grim Reaper』 on it.


  I’ve mentioned this before, but the biggest contributor to the basilisk’s defeat is supposed to be Perry, the leader of the 『Scythe of the Grim Reaper』.


  That is the private deal I had with Fedor in order to protect Suzume, so my role in the award ceremony this time is just as one of the contributors.


  However, since I played a role in dealing with the blight afterward, I wasn’t in a completely minor role.  


  And I have Clau Soras too.
According to Fedor, he was pretty certain that the king or some upper-class nobles are going to try to get me to work for them. 


   That stuff is just nothing but a hassle for me because I have no desire to work under anyone…but after I heard what he said next, I couldn’t just tell him “I’m not going”.  


  What he talked about next was about none other than Suzume.

  Currently, no one in Ishka is trying to harm her.


  It’s the result of the 『Union』 making Suzume’s achievements well known.
People think that Suzume took part in the fight against the basilisk and it was she who provided the materials to make the special medicine for the poison.


  This situation was what I was aiming for, but Fedor said that if we want to make sure that Suzume is safe, we should get the king’s direct approval.


  His logic was that if the king officially accepts Suzume, the nobles would not go after her.


  …Honestly, when I first heard that, I wasn’t sure if that’s really possible.


  However, Fedor told me that he had already acquired assistance from the greatest noble in the kingdom, Duke Dragunaut.


  Fedor is way too skilled.


  Apparently, it’s the result of him bringing the jiraiaooks tree’s fruit to the Duke’s residence and improving the health situation of the duke’s daughter who was suffering from an illness.


  Now that I think about it, I feel like I heard about a rumor like that while I was an adventurer.
It was something like the duke’s daughter got a curse illness that couldn’t be removed by Bishop-class miracles or by using full healing elixirs, but since it had nothing to do with a 10th tier adventurer like me at the time, I forgot about it right after. 


  Anyway, with Fedor’s remarkable ability to take action, he has gotten us invited to the royal capital this time.


  I’m grateful to him, but I feel uneasy owing more and more things to that slit-eyed slave merchant.


  …Well, he is also deepening his connection with the royal family and other nobles with the antidotes made from the jiraiaooks tree’s fruits as bait, so I probably don’t need to feel indebted to him so one-sidedly like that, yeah.


  To me, that’s how I see the trip to the royal capital this time.


  But if I look at Suzume who just stepped out into the human world on the other hand, she probably feels like a small boat in the middle of a storm since she was being taken here and there at the convenience of others.


  It would be impossible for her to not worry.


  In order to ease her heart, I will try to smile cheerfully as much as possible.


  「Don’t worry, I’ll stay close to you the whole time in the capital」


  After I said that, she nodded her head.


  The young girl with two horns still seemed uneasy, but she lowered her head at me with a slightly more relieved expression.


  「Please do, thank you」


  「Leave it to me.
If anything, us four can run away on Clau Soras’ back.
So just take it easy, take it easy~」 


  That Clau Soras should be leisurely flying above the carriage right now.


  By the way, the reason we’re not traveling to the capital with the four of us on Clau Soras’ back is that it’s bad for him if four people were to ride him when it’s not an emergency.


  We can if we want, but normally he’s a single-seater.


  And, the ride will also feel uncomfortable so it will probably be unbearable for the other three.


  Most importantly, I couldn’t just leave the royal palace’s official who came to take us there.


  Yeah, when I think about it again, this isn’t the time to talk about the bad seating or act like a kid.


  Let’s use this time as a good chance for me to deepen my friendship with Suzume.


  「Oh yeah, did anything happen while I was gone?」


  When I tried to start up a conversation, Lunamaria and Ciel looked at each other.


  Apparently something did happen.
It didn’t look like anything serious judging from their expressions, but both of them were strangely having a hard time saying something.


  When I saw the vacant look on Suzume’s face, it didn’t seem like it had anything to do with the kijin.  


  It was later that night when I understood the reason for them acting like that.


  Two tents were set up outside of the horse carriage.
After Suzume went to sleep, Lunamaria came to the men’s tent and told me the reason.

  It was about the unexpected effects of my soul equipment.




  To put it simply, apparently, women who sleep with me become stronger.




  「I think so since me and Ciel both got stronger 」 


  According to Lunamaria, she noticed it around the time I accepted to go on Fedor’s kijin hunt.

  She seems to have realized it herself that her abilities have gone up.
And it wasn’t just her, Ciel’s abilities had gone up as well.
Lunamaria noticed remarkable growth in Ciel when she was training her.

  Then while I was away from Ishka this time, their mana and stamina had dropped back down to what they were previously, and they became sure of it.

  …I see.
This isn’t something they should talk about in front of Suzume.

  I agreed with her on that as well.

  Then, I also learned the reason why she had been keeping quiet until today.


  This is clearly something that’s connected to my secret.

  Before, Lunamaria said that she felt a “dragon” in me.
She noticed my anima because she is an elf and a spirit user.

  But after that, she did not ask about the dragon again.
She probably thought that I wanted to keep the power of the dragon a secret.


   In fact, I have been hiding the dragon- my soul equipment. 

  I only use my soul equipment when there’s nobody around.
Take the duel between me and Larz for example, I didn’t use it because there were other people present. 

  I don’t care if people don’t know that I’m strong.
No one would think that I’m weak when I exterminated a scylla and a gryphon anyway.

  However, how strong I am, how I got strong, and how to fight me, I was extremely careful about not letting people know about those things.  


  The phantom blade style.
Soul equipment.
Those aren’t secrets.

  Adventurers have no borders.
There should be people out there who have come in contact with the phantom blade style from the empire.

  After seeing my soul equipment and kei arts, there might be people who would link me to the demon island.

  If that happens then they would come up with a plan to fight me.
For instance, since kei is a martial art that originates from the mana in my body, if they have mana sealing items or a barrier, it will put me at a big disadvantage.

  In order to keep such danger and disadvantages to the minimum, I hid all information about my soul equipment.
Lunamaria probably thought of that as well so she didn’t want to talk about things that concern my secrets.

  Of course, she brought it up this time because she had a reason to.


  「Since ancient times, the way to recruit capable people had always been with money and women」


  「So you’re saying if I carelessly sleep with women who are offered to me, my secrets might leak out, huh?」


If it’s me or Ciel, we’re not going to tell anyone.
And even if we tried, master could shut us up with the collar」


  After she said that, Lunamaria touched the collar that’s around her slender neck.


  The slave collar prepared by the “Union” has the spells “Location”, “Paralyze” and “Choke” enchanted inside. 

  Needless to say, they are spells to deal with escape, retaliation, and punishment, respectively.

  By the way, this collar is the union’s special technology, so it’s impossible to duplicate or replicate one. 


  Rather, if anyone tried to do that, the union would really go after their lives.
Yeah, even if they are up against a nation.
To them, the slave collar is just that important of an item. 

  Returning to the topic, I understand what Lunamaria is trying to say.
If it’s my slaves, even if they know the secret, I can dispose of them at will.
However, if it’s a noble female then I can’t do that.

  She wants to advise me to not get tempted so easily.


  I will keep her advice in mind.
I don’t know if there will be women approaching me, but even if they do, I have no intention of sleeping with daughters of nobles who pack their face full of makeup.

  As a matter of fact, I have attended many banquets in the past as the heir of the Mitsurugi family.

  In the cases where the people inviting us had a low social standing, I had even been ordered to attend behalf of my family.

  And well, I don’t remember any girls from the upper society ever leaving a nice impression on me.
Naturally, I do not expect anything from the invitation this time either.

  Even though that was the empire and this is the kingdom, there probably isn’t a big difference in how royalty and nobles act.  

  Truthfully, I would rather finish this errand quickly and go to the village of Melte again. 

  Or I’d rather try going on some adventures together with Ciel and Lunamaria.
I have been taking action independently because of my soul equipment, but after hearing what Lunamaria said just now, I don’t think I need to worry about that anymore. 


  While I thought about things like that, I aggressively hugged Lunamaria who was in front of me.

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