Section 5: Excuse Me
Nine women had gathered inside Litzreich’s room.
Isn’t it a little unreasonable to have this many people gathered here when as it is there is almost no floor space because of the tools and research materials scattered all over the place? Well, Lapris is so small you could say there are basically only eight people here, but it’s still a tight fit.
[Ashel]: “Thank you all for gathering. Also, I witnessed your duel Iris. Earl Montifi’s daughter is a well known talent among the nobility, and the fact you were able to overwhelm her is amazing. Just what I would expect from the hero.”
Ashel was already in there when we arrived, and she greeted me right away.
She was dressed as a refreshing young man as she always was and had a bright smile. Meanwhile I was a complete mess after my duel and the subsequent ruffling from everyone else.
[Iris]: “You honor me, Ashel-sama.”
I pinched the edges of my skirt and tried bowing the same way I had seen Grides-san do. With the sheer number of times I’ve repeated this simple movement since I came to the capital, I feel like I’m finally getting used to it. Whether the movement suits me or not.
[Saluena]: “Well then, summoning us here means we will be heading back correct? Down into the dungeon.”
After inviting us all to find some place to sit, Ashel replied to Saluena’s question.
[Ashel]: “It is just as you said Saluena-sama. However this time I would ask that you bring me along.”
[Carol]: “Whoa, partying with the prince? That makes us the brave party. Awesome! We can charge even more for our services!!”
[Toslin]: “Quit being so flirty. You’re heavy.”
Carol had plopped her butt down on Toslin’s lap since there was nowhere else to sit.
[Litzreich]: “On that note, I will be coming as well.”
[Lapris]: “Haa? Why are you following along? You made the quest.”
And Lapris is lying back on my lap. She’s lazing about as if we were back in our own room. If there were any sweets here, she would definitely be nibbling on them while we talk.
[Litzreich]: “If something were to happen, wouldn’t it be better to have someone there who could make an immediate judgement? That is what Ashel and I will be there for.”
Litzreich then turned to Odette-sensei who had been awkwardly standing by the door since she came in.
[Litzreich]: “That is why, although it is sudden, the school will be closed until such time that the investigation is finished. Spread the word Odette. Renovations shall be performed on the main school building to commemorate the anniversary of the school’s founding.”
[Odette]: “Y-Yes! I will see it done, Rinrin-sama.”
Odette-sensei replied nervously like a fresh recruit being stared down by the knight captain, yet she was able to fight against the pressure to turn her eyes towards me.
[Odette]: “U-Um, Calvafon-san…….”
[Odette]: “I was informed of the details on the way here. Something strange is happening inside the dungeon. And you came here for the sake of investigating those happenings.”
[Iris]: “I’m sorry. I couldn’t talk about it………”
Since the suspicious incidents occurring in the dungeon were being kept hush hush, I couldn’t tell anyone about our investigation. It still felt like I was somehow tricking Odette-sensei though, and because of all the help she’s given me, I wanted to apologize.
[Odette]: “There’s no need to apologize. The other students have been enjoying themselves immensely since the day you joined our class. Once your investigation is finished, I hope to see you back in class.”
[Iris]: “Of course.”
It’s thanks to this school I learned that what Grandpa taught me wasn’t all about magic. I would like Odette-sensei to teach me even more.
[Odette]: “Then until our next class.”
My teacher gave a directed bow towards Ashel, the crown prince of this country, before leaving the room.
I’ve met all number of people since coming to the capital, but I am especially grateful to have met Odette-sensei.
If there was ever something I didn’t understand about magic until now, I would have needed to ask Grandpa, but there is no Grandpa all the way out here.
In a way, Odette-sensei became a spiritual pillar for my life in the capital simply by making herself available for any questions or consultations I might have needed.
[Carol]: “Hee, so do you think that teacher is Iris’s favorite from this town?”
What is Carol talking about when I’m just giving my honest, heartfelt thanks?
[Litzreich]: “What the hell!? Even though she already has me…….Iris, for Odette…….”
See Carol? Now Litzreich is getting worked up all because you opened your mouth and started saying strange things.
[Iris]: “There’s nothing of the sort. I am simply thanking my teacher.”
[Litzreich]: “Then who is your favorite?”
[Carol]: “Ah, that must be…….”
[Iris]: “We don’t need to talk about this!!”
[Rose]: “Quite. We are not here to play around. Time is finite. When would you have us re-enter the dungeon? And what is our goal this time? Would you please quickly explain everything?”
Having been silently watching things unfold until now, when Rose-san did finally say something, her tone was blunt as if she had lost her patience for some reason.
[Litzreich]: “S-Sure…… Rosalith is as irritable as always…….”
[Rose]: “I am nothing of the sort. I am as even-tempered as always.”
[Litzreich]: “Then why are you always glaring at me……..”
[Toslin]: “All right, it’s just like Rose said. Tell us when we have to go, and please tell us about the reward this time around as well. since our previous investigation was a rousing success, I assume it’s fine to treat this second dive as its own separate matter?”
[Ashel]: “The request this time will come from the country itself, so there will be no issue on that front.”
[Carol]: “YAHOO~~! First the church through the school, and now the government itself. We’re never going to have to worry about our next meal ever again.”
[Litzreich]: “Although it will be payment in kind for one of you, aye Toslin?”
[Toslin]: “Uuu……..I-I know…….”
Oh yeah. Toslin has her sword with her today, so I guess it must’ve finally been fixed. So I guess Toslin’s portion of the reward went to that then?
[Ashel]: “The plan is to dive into the dungeon early tomorrow morning. The goal is twofold: reach the dungeon’s bottom floor and find out what is going on.”
I sharpened my mind as Ashel-sama explained to us the request.
I’ve gotten a bit lax since the duel ended, but as an adventurer, this is the real deal.
However with Toslin and Carol doing all the work negotiating content and rewards, there isn’t much for me to do at this point.
So in order to not forget that feeling I had from the duel, I spun a thread of magic power from my finger and traced out Lapris’s face into the air.
She got really~ annoyed after I did that though.
Once the meeting was finished, we immediately left the school to prepare for tomorrow.
There were still a couple people who had come to see the duel mingling in the courtyard that we passed by on our way to the carriages. Most of them looked to be nobles, and I recognized a couple of them from the audience I had with the king.
They were having tea and chatting amongst themselves at the eastern pavilions and tables usually used by students, but all of them fell silent and turned their gazes on us as we walked past.
I heard a voice coming from somewhere in the distance. But we just kept walking thinking it had nothing to do with us……
I heard the voice once again, but this time I was able to just barely understand what they were trying to say.
She was surely trying to say the words, “Excuse me.”
I know of only one person with a habit of slurring their words together like that.
I met them only once before, during my audience.
A woman with a plump body wearing an overly gaudy dress and a loud laugh.
The marchioness, one of the highest ranking nobles in the country.
She walked right over to us with a couple maids trailing behind her.
She stopped in front of us and looked down on me with the same grin she wore back then.