Lorel Union’s east entrance gate, Mizuha.
It seems like more than 80% of the immigration and emigration of Lorel occurs here.
It is about the same size as Naoi and Kannaoi, and the security is also quite strict.
The reason of Root’s inclination is because of Lorel’s location.
When looking at a map, it can be seen immediately at a glance. Lorel Union has a lot of places with tall mountain ranges at the east side, west side, and south side.
There’s some that are even higher than the clouds.
…From what I have heard of Sairitz-san, aside from those, there’s a lot of mountains and forests, and there’s few places that are open fields in the territory.
At the south side, even if you cross over the tall mountains, you will face the sea; at the west, you would be facing Tsige or the wasteland; and at the north, there’s the Golden Highway and the Aion kingdom’s area of influence.
The Dragon Knight unit is structured here, and within them, there’s the flying dragon unit which serves in the fighting force and the transportation aspects as well.
But the land dragons that have a more calm temperament are utilized the most.
It is that, right? Being a Dragon Knight is like a romance.
This place seems to be the home of the Japanese people’s vestiges who are known as Wise.
Honestly speaking, right now, I am pretty nervous.
Since seeing this place called Mizuha, I have been unable to calm down for some reason.
I have two reliable followers accompanying me, so I don’t need to worry about the safety part though.
But the air is kind of…different.
A strange sensation like when you head to the capital of Tokyo and cross the hilly residential parts and arrive at Akihabara for the first time.
Is it the sensation of putting my hands into chaos?
“Waka, the air here is different. Just thinking about how we will finally arrive at Lorel, I am also getting excited.” (Tomoe)
“There’s also the scent of ingredients I have not smelled before. So that’s the place where the Japanese knowledge has taken form. I am looking forward to it.” (Mio)
“I’m kind of scared here though. I feel like I will be witnessing what the Japanese people, who have been released from common sense, have perpetrated.” (Makoto)
“…Is that something Waka can say?” (Tomoe)
“If we were to line up the achievements of the Wise and Waka-sama’s achievements, Waka-sama would probably be first place-desu wa.” (Mio)
Aren’t they placing me too high in the shelves?
I am not aiming to spread my small arms like Tomoki, you know?
It seems like that side isn’t doing well, so at present, I am relieved.
But the princess seems to be interested in gunpowder, and that makes me uneasy.
The Empire is…how to say it, pretty dark.
It felt like they were even darker than the demon race.
“By the way, Waka.” (Tomoe)
“It will soon be our turn.” (Tomoe)
Maybe because we lined up at early morning to avoid congestion, the length of the line wasn’t long and the speed it advanced was pretty good.
We probably have been here for less than 30 minutes.
“You received the promissory note from Sairitz-san, right?” (Tomoe)
“It seems to be quite an incredible one, you know. She said it is a free pass to most places.” (Makoto)
There’s no oversight in what Sairitz-san does. She really readied the promissory note quick.
Actually, I thought that a promissory note with strong efficacy would take a long time to issue, like when issuing a transition pass.
That’s why, even when Sairitz-san spoke as if it was going to take a few days, I thought it would actually take longer.
I underestimated her.
I have been shown that the Empress has an incredible amount of power in her country.
I bring out the promissory note that’s inside a pouch.
It has the shape of a shogi piece, and is made from a dull silver color metal.
Shiki says that it is made from a special alloy.
The craftsmanship at the surface part is probably a counter-measure for forgery.
It has a nostalgic writing on it, assuring the standing of the owner of it, and ‘asking’ to provide the maximum amount of accommodations in the various places inside the country.
Even I can tell that it isn’t simply ‘asking’.
Also, what’s at the surface part is a coat of arms, a family crest.
When I asked, they told me that it is the family crest of Sairitz-san, in other words, the Kahara household.
At the reverse side, there’s only her name and mark engraved on it.
When I received this from Sairitz-san, I tried asking about Izumo casually, but to my surprise, it seems like there’s 3 people in Rotsgard that are named Ikusabe-kun.
She said with a smile that the most connection she has is that she has talked a bit with them.
She easily affirmed the relationship that the Ikusabe household and the Osakabe household have.
It seems like it wasn’t something important enough to hide.
Not only that, she laughed when I told her that Izumo had spilled out a variety of things to me.
Just in case, it was I who told her, so I would feel bad if he were to receive a punishment because of that, that’s why I asked Sairitz-san to not punish Izumo for it.
If that doesn’t work, I am sorry Izumo.
But she is always smiling, so I can’t tell if she intends to forgive him or intends to give no mercy.
“What is it you want to say, Tomoe-san?” (Mio)
Mio asks Tomoe who has a pondering expression.
It is certainly strange for her to look like that only because she wants to confirm the effectivity of the promissory note.
In the first place, it isn’t something to be troubled about.
“Umu, that’s the exaggerated promissory note that was given to Waka?” (Tomoe)
“I was thinking that maybe there was no need for us to line up here. No well, we followed Waka and lined up as well, and it was fun to wait here though.” (Tomoe)
Mine and Mio’s voice overlap.
There was no need to line up.
With this, we can go to Yaso-Katsui without any problems.
From how she said it, it seems to be quite the strong promissory note.
The commerce permission I received from the demon race before had an effectiveness that surpassed my expectations after all.
I remember that previous ‘event’.
Showing that permission proof to the villages of the demons made them give an intense warm reception for our peddlers.
They cooked the livestock in the village that they have only a few of, and offer it just like that.
Even though we are heading there to sell food and necessities, I really have to question those actions of theirs.
While at it, I also remembered the attire of the Forest Onis and the Gorgons that are going around the demon race territory.
If they wore a beard and a winter cap, they would look like the celebrity that goes around giving presents to all the kids in the world at christmas.
That’s how much clothes they wear.
Well, it can’t be helped. The demon race territory is pretty cold after all.
“…Tomoe, tell me that sooner.” (Makoto)
“Speaking leisurely with Waka and trying to imagine how it is inside, was fun in its own way.” (Tomoe)
“It is a time of little significance anyways. Having times like this isn’t so bad once in awhile.” (Mio)
Since there seems to be no problems, we decide to receive the entry inspection in line.
“The next one, show me your permission.”
“Kuzunoha company, the representative Raidou and my subordinates: Tomoe and Mio.” (Makoto)
From the pouch, I take out the shogi piece -I mean, the promissory note, and show it to the scary-looking government official.
He has black hair.
His skin is slightly yellowish and a bit dark.
The darkish tone seems to be from suntan.
Sairitz-san’s skin was pretty white, so…she probably has different kind of occupations in her country.
“Kuzunoha? So you are returning to the country. No wait, you are entering it? Hah?!”
If we hadn’t received a promissory note and were able to enter and leave from wherever we wanted, we wouldn’t have tried to enter from Mizuha.
Because crossing the mountains would have been easier for us.
Now that I think about it, Sairitz-san would be able to tell where this promissory note has been used, so she would be able to tell our movements in the country.
It is nothing to be troubled about, and in the first place, it guarantees our standing, so this much is a matter of course.
If we wanted to do something in secret, we just have to do it without using the promissory note, and I am also prepared to have a certain amount of people on the look out for us.
Maybe people from the Ikusabe household will be tailing us in secret.
Even if we find people doing that, I intend to just leave them be.
Later, I will have to tell Tomoe and Mio to not mind them.
“As expected, it wasn’t a normal article-ja no. That woman, it seems like she splurged quite a lot-ja.” (Tomoe)
“Of course-desu wa. Because for that person, this is a chance to invite Waka-sama -a new Wise- into her country after all.” (Mio)
“Wise huh. It seems like there’s not a single one at present, but I am quite interested in what they have left behind. Maybe I can find one or two people that have the same hobbies as Waka.” (Tomoe)
“The family crest of the Kahara…and the mark of Sairitz-sama?! On top of that, a W-W-Wise-sama?!”
For some reason, this government official looked at Tomoe, Mio, and me, and has arbitrarily judged that I am a Wise-sama.
If Mio hadn’t said Wise, he wouldn’t have said that last part.
Moreover, those weren’t the pitying eyes or the disappointed eyes that are normally directed at me, but eyes filled with reverence.
This really does get me.
I feel like even a dust-cloth with the name Misumi Makoto written on it could get framed in an art museum of Lorel.
People are gathering, and gathering, and gathering?!!!
“Hahaha, how pleasant. It is quite the reception, Waka!” (Tomoe)
“It is admirable that they have gathered spontaneously-desu wa ne.” (Mio)
The two are laughing.
Not only the officials here, even the people lining at our back are gathering as well.
With this…my face has definitely been remembered.
“Raidou-sama! Please go ahead and pass!”
He lowered his head deeply…
He didn’t ask me anything at all.
And yet, I have been allowed entrance.
Moreover, he used -sama.
I am being treated as a Wise little by little here.
Do I easily enter in the common knowledge of how a Wise would look like?
Well, it is certainly true that I don’t have the face of people like Senpai or Tomoki who you would question if they are actually Japanese.
I probably would enter into the average looks.
“I will return you your promissory note!”
His head was still deeply lowered.
Just like that, he lifts both his hands and the promissory note was there.
“This is the third city of Lorel, Mizuha! We are mostly functioning as the entrance for the country, and we communicate with the central and local areas! Please allow me to guide you to the major establishments of our city, make the arrangements for your lodging, the departure arrangements, and all the other necessary things!!”
No no no!
Don’t joke around.
I don’t want you to do so much.
“I am grateful for your offer, but the guiding and arrangements are not needed. We want to relax ourselves and check things out -I mean, we have come here on the request of Sairitz-sama. There’s some secrecy in it, so we can’t receive your good will-ja.” (Tomoe)
So you want to go around huh.
Your real intentions leaked out for a second there.
“I will tell Sairitz…-sama that the officials were faithful and capable ones-desu wa. That’s why there’s no need for hospitality. Your consideration is plenty enough.” (Mio)
Mio somehow managed to put a -sama there.
Sairitz-san is a lot more important in Lorel than I imagined her to be.
No matter how many times I revise it, it just keeps getting bigger.
Well, in outline, the one that stands at the summit of rituals is the priestess, and the one that works as her assistant in a part of that role is Sairitz-san who is the Empress.
In my personal opinion, I thought that she was a big shot like one of the people in an Imperial Household Agency.
…In other words, uhm…she is not a bureaucrat that comes out often, and I thought she didn’t have that much influence.
I did place her a bit higher than I originally thought, you know.
Even so, she was higher than the higher I thought of her.
At this rate, she is most likely higher than the higher I am already seeing her in. Is she an unbelievable influential figure?
Figures that are specialized in politics and figures that are specialized in rituals should be divided, and yet, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Seems like, without knowing the internal affairs of the place, there’s a lot of things you just can’t simply assume.
“Idiot! Shut up!!”
In short, my two followers were telling the officers to not mind us.
And in response to that, one of the younger officers, who had offered to guide us in the sightseeing, was going to object and cling onto it, but…a bearded man that seems to be the person in charge, grabbed his shoulders and dragged him into the crowd of people.
No questions asked.
“Sorry for the inconvenience! If there’s anything you want from us, don’t hesitate to utilize us!”
“Thanks for the hard work. At that time, we are counting on you guys.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe was not overawed by it and responds to the official in charge.
I also return some words as usual.
While feeling an unpleasant sensation, we stepped into the city of Mizuha.
With this, we have gone to all four major powers.
I hope that the prudent Wise were able to do proper follow-ups for the Wise that had their wild ideas running.
“Thanks for your hard work.”
Thanking the informant, Sairitz has him leave.
A well lighted room, decorated colorfully and attentively.
It is the office room she has in Lorel’s capital, Naoi.
(I had made preparations to welcome them in case they suddenly arrived at Naoi, but they entered from Mizuha huh. Raidou has shown reservation in using the promissory note I have given him and has come from the front.)
Depending on how Raidou used the promissory note she gave to him, she would allow him to have an audience with the priestess. In Lorel, there’s no higher honor than this.
On top of that, she has posted people in the major towns to spread rumors about Raidou being a Wise when they see him.
In other words, no matter where Kuzunoha Company planned to do the negotiation, no matter what Raidou and his companions -Tomoe and Mio- were to do, Sairitz had created a state of affair where no one in this country would be able to act thoughtlessly towards them.
With her influence as the empress, something like a promissory note can be easily issued in the same day.
The reason why she wanted time was because she needed to make preparations to welcome them ‘from the shadows’.
(In that case, they probably won’t be stepping into Naoi this time around. Considering that going through Kannaoi to Yaso-Katsui is the shortest distance…the effect of it would be…)
In reality, inviting Kuzunoha company to Lorel Union is quite the chance for her.
But she already understands plenty well that she can’t get impatient.
Limia and Gritonia had called him too, and yet, they didn’t form any sort of strengthened relationship.
Even if they were to bring out their all from the country and themselves to entertain Raidou, it would probably end up as the other two.
That was her deduction.
That’s why she decided to have the citizens do it instead.
Lorel is the one that best knows how to treat the Wise, and it is not that difficult to induce others into treating Raidou in that way.
When she investigated personally with the local feudal lords about Kuzunoha company and Raidou, 9 out of 10 deemed him as a Wise.
Sairitz herself was sure that would happen, so this was also a planned result.
On top of that…
(The ghastly mercenary group that’s considered a legendary existence, and yet, has low relations with society, Picnic Rose Garden. This is the ideal chance to bring them to the outside. If they come out, I would be able to gauge their fighting strength accurately, and if matters with the Kuzunoha company turn sour, *even they wouldn’t be able to come out of it unscathed*.)
Picnic Rose Garden is a mercenary group that the citizens have clear faith in, and are said to have first class fighting prowess.
Sairitz doesn’t doubt it.
But even when they possess such a name value, they are not returning allegiance to the country like the Dragon Knights do.
For Sairitz who has strong influence in the domestic affairs of the country, they are not an existence she finds pleasing.
An unknown fighting force that her control can’t reach.
They have been docile inside the labyrinth, so she has been leaving them alone, but Sairitz, who has now obtained the card called Raidou, has decided to put her hands on them and test him while at it.
And there’s one other thing.
(Kannaoi’s malignant tumor, Osakabe. Their confrontation with the Ikusabe has dragged other families into it, and I would want them to turn into a family that’s distinguished around this parts only for its name as an old household. Because you know, the ones that’s the easiest to utilize is the Ikusabe household after all.)
Putting it bluntly, the relationship between Naoi and Kannaoi is bad.
It is not like this is a result that Sairitz fanned.
In her view, the center of politics lies in Naoi, and the history and traditions lie in Kannaoi.
She considers it okay to have those two divided in that way.
For her, things like which is the center of the country, isn’t that big of a problem, and there’s no need to establish those things.
But the confrontation that the Ikusabe household, who has gained power in Naoi with time, and the Osakabe household that has maintained their power with their connection to the labyrinth; that stupid problem has created sparks here and there, and worsening with time.
For anyone that stands in the political stage, this is a problem that troubled many.
(Osakabe has protected the country from the labyrinth, and by exploring the labyrinth deeply, they have discovered power and riches. Then…if I have the newcomer Raidou easily make contact with the legends at the 20th floor underground…)
Several possibilities surfaced in the mind of Sairitz.
(This occasion, it seems like he has his followers that will serve as stoppers, but…it probably won’t turn into that bad of a situation. If the worst happens, as long as there’s an opening for us, we will also be moving to provide assistance. We can also show a cooperative stance as the employer house of Ikusabe. At present, the only miscalculation that has occurred is that Izumo Ikusabe, at most. Three people from the Ikusabe household were send to Rotsgard, but to think that the most promising one had gotten involved with Raidou. No matter how great of a person he has been raised into, if we were to harm the mood of Raidou, it wouldn’t be worth it. The ability of the other two is not comparable, but I will have to begin thinking about how to use the remaining two huh.)
The Ikusabe household had sent three people to Rotsgard in order to have them expand their views and increase their competency.
Within that group, Sairitz had placed Izumo as number one.
She has been in contact with the three of them equally, and hasn’t shown any signs of preferential treatment to any of them.
And that continued even when she learned that Izumo had coincidentally taken the class of Raidou. Even if she were to call him back right this instant and used him as a subordinate under her direct control, there’s no doubt that he has the ability to become her number one pawn.
She secretly had an eye on Izumo.
(My plan was to have the Ikusabe eat the weakened Osakabe, make a new grand household, and have Izumo as the head of that family though. The name would be something like Okusobe…the euphony isn’t that good though. When that time comes, it would be a good idea to have a priest give it a name.)
Sairitz had already reached the last stage of her plan and had a few candidates for Izumo’s betrothal.
There’s also a princess that has nothing to do with her plans, but within those candidates, there’s an influential princess of the Osakabe slipped in it.
For the male side and female side, it would be quite difficult to reject a marriage proposal that had the famous empress Sairitz as the referral.
In other words, it was basically as if Izumo already had wives settled for him.
(There might be unexpected points with Izumo, but…even so, depending on how I involve myself in this occasion, there shouldn’t be any losses for Kuzunoha company, Raidou, or me. The only painful part is that it is unknown how much of the good points they will touch though.)
Sairitz lightly shrugs.
She was tense because she has invited a dangerous medicine to her country, but her face was mostly filled with joy.
While secretly holding a number of schemes, the strange first visit of Raidou, who has gone to seek the mercenary group underground, has lifted its curtain.