This chapter is late because me (Elsten) got some vacation time, decided to come back and edit a chapter… then got stupidly sick and missed the deadline completely. Sorry about that… and thank Jun for stabbing me until I got this done 😀
Jun: You’re welcome.
And so, here’s another chapter!
~~Enjoy the chapter!
ED: Elsten, Jun, Speedphoenix
Chapter 49 Report to the Prince and the Second Base
When we used the transfer stones to return to the capital’s dungeon entrance, there were more than 30 soldiers guarding it. The number of people must be for capturing the Hero in the off-chance that he returned to this entrance.
Since the Hero’s gift has a time limit, overwhelming him with numbers is a reasonable strategy. This may have come from the prince, as the king had fainted and was currently useless.
We caught one of the soldiers and told him that the Hero had been subjugated.
[I-I will report to His Majesty immediately. Please head to the castle as you are now!]
With that, the soldier we spoke to immediately ran to the castle.
Looks like the soldier was too flustered about the Hero subjugation to notice that Cattleya’s injuries had been healed…
Right now, Cattleya is not hiding her face, showing the beautiful appearance she had before the burns and injuries she suffered. I asked if she shouldn’t continue hiding her face because there will no doubt be an uproar, but she insisted that “I don’t want to hide my face anymore!” with a very angry look, so I let her be as is since it can’t be helped.
We’re heading to the castle at our own pace like we were told, but excessively stood out due to Cattleya not hiding her face. Regardless of whether they recognize the princess’ face or not, everyone’s gaze is attracted to her beauty. The attention of the entire city has been monopolized, although in a different sense compared to Elinsia…
By the way, I’ve decided to have only the twins return to Lilia’s side this time. Putting people back to Lilia’s side is starting to become troublesome too…
<<Master. Not even half a day has passed since we accepted the King’s request. How do we intend to reply if His majesty the king asks for the reason for that?>>
Kate asked while we are walking towards the castle.
That’s true, isn’t it. The deadline was 1 week and yet it isn’t normal to be finished in just half a day. I haven’t thought about this at all. Of course, it’s not like I have to answer even if they ask…
As I am thinking about what to do, Mio raises her hand and speaks.
[Oh, here here. I don’t see anything wrong with just answering honestly. ]
[I mean, the Hero ran to the 18th floor safety zone, didn’t he? We made that kind of prediction and when we actually went there he was really there. And so we fought him as is and defeated him. The topic will be over if you say that I think.]
[Oh right. Sure, if I think about Kusakabe’s character, I can’t imagine him going to a lower floor alone. If there was a safe zone nearby, the possibility of him going there is not low. Or maybe I should say it would probably be his first choice.]
<<I can’t understand why in the world he would hide in such an easy to understand location, seeing as he was being chased…>>
[That’s so true. I believe it would have been better to at least take more distance since he has high speed movement. Then again, that would just be wasted effort against Master…]
Sera agrees with Kate’s muttering.
Considering that Cattleya returned from the 19th floor, wouldn’t Kusakabe have considered that a search party would start from there? Or was he thinking that he could steal a transfer stone from another explorer before the search began? Since he’s dead now, we won’t ever know the answer. Not that I particularly care to know…
[Let’s use Mio’s idea for now. Please make sure to match the story if you are asked.]
After walking for a while, we arrive in front of the castle gate. The guards were stunned for a while by Cattleya’s face before they remembered to let us pass. They must have been surprised that her burns have healed.
The soldier guiding us said that the King’s group is already waiting for us in the audience hall.
[Ohh! Cattleya! To think your burns truly have healed!]
[Otousama! It hurts!]
As soon as we enter the audience hall, the King rushes towards Cattleya and envelopes her in a bear hug. This King sure likes to actively move around the audience hall, I thought to myself. Normally, isn’t he supposed to just sit still on the throne?
[Just what in the world happened -noda? What happened to the Hero -noda? Where is he -noda? You’ve returned quite quickly haven’t you? Why are your burns and your arm healed -noda?] (ED: the King turned into a -noda character all of a sudden…)
[P-Please hold on a moment. A-At least, please ask one question at a time…]
Cattleya was fainting and staggering from the King’s raging billows of question rush+hug.
As Mio enters the King’s field of view, he releases Cattleya and tries to hug Mio instead.
[Ohh, Mio-san has also returned safely -noda!]
Obviously, I won’t allow such reckless action. However, I don’t need to do anything this time, because…
The Prince approaches from the side and strikes the King’s temple with a thrusting attack. The strike was very skillful, knocking the King unconscious in a single hit. The King’s HP decreased by about 1/5 as well. He must’ve held back, but he had no mercy.
He has quite a promising future since he could thrust so skillfully at this age. He seems to be quite intelligent as well; he should become a king who’s great at both literary and military arts. No, that’s not what I should be saying…
[I’m sorry. You finished the request so quickly that I haven’t finished remedying my father yet. I would appreciate it if you could pretend today’s matter never happened.]
[Oh, about the reward of a location for a base, I made the search for it the highest priority, so please choose from the candidate locations later.]
I’m repeating this, but it’s been less than half a day since we accepted the request. Isn’t it a little too early for them to have finished preparing the list of locations?
[Yes, I have thought of the possibility that you would end it within half a day depending on the situation, so I had sped up the preparation… the Hero was in the 18th floor safe zone, was he not?]
[That’s right… could it be that you had predicted this from the start?]
[Yes. Considering his character, I thought that the chance of him being there was quite likely.]
The Prince answered casually as if it were nothing.
[I’m not father, but there are a few things that I want to ask. Would that be alright?]
[If I am able to answer them.]
It is natural to have questions. By the way, my reply is my kind of declaration of intention saying “I won’t answer” questions I can’t answer.
[Yes, of course. It is alright to say so in the case it’s a topic you don’t want others to hear it.]
It seems he does not intend to force me to answer. Elinsia is also like that, but it is easier to associate with people who won’t pry deeply about the other party’s secrets. Especially people with many secrets like me must feel like this.
[First, it is about the Hero. Of course, I am also curious about my sister’s matter, but as the royal family I must give priority to the matter about the Hero.]
Although he hasn’t had much reaction yet, the prince is still curious about Cattleya’s situation… isn’t that natural?
[So then, what happened to the Hero? I heard that you had subjugated him, but could you explain it in as much detail as possible?]
[Sure. First, as soon as we transferred into the dungeon, we headed towards the 18th floor safe zone as Your Highness predicted. We found the Hero sitting near the fountain in 18th floor safe zone. When we approached him with princess Cattleya concealing herself, he asked us where we had entered from. He suddenly attacked us when we answered that we were from Lilia city so we turned the tables on him.]
I speak at a slower pace while explaining what had happened. There is a clerk-like person who is recording my words as I speak, so it would be pitiful if I speak too quickly.
[Ah, your companions seem to be in Lilia city aren’t they. It certainly means they possess transfer stones to Lilia city.]
He must have heard this from Elinsia before. The Prince is convinced.
[Sister, do you have anything to add to the current story?]
[No, it is exactly as Jin-sama said.]
[Understood. Thank you very much. Then, I’m sorry, but could you show us the Hero’s corpse?]
[Won’t it be a problem if I bring it out here?]
I wonder if it is acceptable to bring out his corpse inside the audience hall.
[I don’t mind.]
[In that case, I won’t hesitate to.]
I take out Kusakabe’s corpse from the “Storage”-like <Inventory>. The bleeding has already stopped, but I still took out a sheet along with it and placed them on the floor together.
Two soldiers approach to confirm corpse’s identity.
[This is the Hero, without a doubt.]
[He is certainly dead.]
The Prince nods as he hears the soldiers’ words.
[It is confirmed, then. Please carry the remains to the morgue.]
[[Yes, Your Highness!]]
The soldiers replied as they carry the corpse out along with the sheet. That belongs to me though…
[The matter with the Hero is done. Next… why are my sister’s burns healed?]
[Is it not good for my burns to be healed?]
Cattleya answered a little angrily at the way the Prince phrased the question.
[No, I didn’t mean that. I’m glad of the fact you have recovered, but… I didn’t think burns of that degree could be healed by recovery magic.]
[Yeah, it was Jin-sama that healed them.]
Everyone in the hall besides us are dumbfounded by Cattelya’s words.
[Jin-san… What sort of means did you use to heal my sister’s burns?]
Prince timidly asked. He did say I don’t have to answer what I don’t want to answer in the beginning so it doesn’t matter even if I end the talk here, but I already took the time to think of an excuse so I guess I’ll use it.
[Can you make sure what I say here is kept secret?]
[Understood. Everyone here does not mind, correct?]
The Prince receives confirmation from his surrounding vassals. If the conversation is easily leaked with this, then I can just finish my stay in this country and capture the dungeon via “Portal” I guess…
[I used “ divine medicine Soma”.]
[D-Don’t tell me, the divine medicine can be found on the 18th floor!?]
I was misunderstood a little. Did he realize there’s a possibility that the divine medicine could be found on the 18th floor because of the plant area? If I said that I found it there, people would flock to the 18th floor in droves. I kind of want to see that a little, but I won’t go so far as to lie just for that.
[No, I used the “Soma” that I had from before I entered the dungeon.]
[Could you tell me how you acquired it?]
[I cannot say.]
The Prince is visibly disappointed. Normally, this would be a huge discovery, and of course there will be many people who want it.
[Your Highness! Why are you stopping here?! You should make him answer, even if it’s by force!]
[Don’t say such a stupid thing!]
The Prince stops one of the nobles who said something dangerous. Fine, I’ll be your opponent if you want.
[In the first place, he doesn’t need to answer if he doesn’t want to. Yet he still told us this much. It would be ungrateful of us to inquire any further.]
[However, this is not just a simple subject! The divine medicine that can cure all wounds and only remain in myths and legends! Surely you must know how much this is worth!]
That noble does not stop even after receiving the Prince’s direct order. Hmm… I guess the impact of this revelation is a little too big?
[Jin-san, do you have any more of that divine medicine?]
[No, I don’t (on hand that is). Only the one that I used for princess Cattleya (and the rest are put in <Inventory>).]
I explained while hiding the important parts.
[So, he says.]
[As long as we know how to obtain it! We may be able to get a second divine medicine! I will do whatever it takes to make him tell…]
[Remove Duke Garfield immediately!]
Judging that he won’t end the subject, the prince forcefully put it to a stop. The noble called duke Garfield was forcefully removed from the audience hall by soldiers, while shouting such cliche lines as “Unhand me! Who do you think I am!?” and “I will absolutely not give up!”
I hope it won’t be a problem later on… sigh, that’s impossible, isn’t it.
[I’m sorry for the commotion. I will put a gag order on the existence of this divine medicine. In the worst case, I will at least make sure nobody knows “who” it came from, so please rest assured.]
So in the end, it will still be leaked out. Well, what I really want to keep secret isn’t the divine medicine, but the “Revival” spell, so I’m not too worried even if the divine medicine is exposed.
[And so, what does nee-san wish to do from now on?]
The Prince asked Cattelya. As we had guessed and discussed beforehand, this was seemingly on the topic of the marriage proposal.
[No, but what about your future…]
As we had decided earlier, Cattleya insists on answering with “No comment” only. The Prince gives up and looks over at me instead.
[Jin-san, there is no problem in seeing this as a proposal to my sister is there?]
The Prince sighs heavily. Seeing how we gave exactly the same answer, he knows it would be futile to continue asking.
[Understood. I won’t inquire any further about this. But I can’t give you any reward for this, as I do not have the details to properly justify it.]
[Sure, I don’t mind.]
[I have many more questions that I want to ask, but I will give up as I doubt that I will get any more answers from you right now.]
Well, I wasn’t intending to answer a lot of questions anyway. My impression of the Prince who knows when to quit rises a little.
[Oh, one last thing. Who dealt the final blow to the Hero? We will publicize it as nee-san, but I’m a little curious…]
It was promised that Cattleya would be announced as the one who subjugated the Hero, and that our involvement would not be revealed.
[Princess Cattleya did. Of course, we provided support, but it was the princess who dealt the killing blow.]
[Yes, I’m the one who ended his life. With onii-sama’s sword as revenge.]
[Nee-san did? Is that not just the public story?]
The Prince is surprised. Well, Cattleya is not a fighter. It’s hard to believe that she could defeat a combat-specialized Hero.
[That’s… really surprising. But, I’m glad. Nee-san should be feeling a bit better as well, right?]
[Yes, my burns were healed, and father is safe… onii-sama and the knights will not come back, but they have been avenged with the life of the Hero. That’s why, yes, my burden has lessened a bit.]
Before the Hero was defeated, Cattleya had worn a dark expression along with her burns, but now with her burden lessened, she has lightened up a bit and sometimes even has a small smile. Quite a few knights have been lost, but they don’t seem to mind. It’s 14 out of 30 people though… will this country be OK?
[Understood. That is all that I wanted to ask. After this, would you like a guide to the potential residences?]
[Yes, please take care of us.]
After that, the Prince dissolved the gathering in the audience hall. The Prince and Cattleya (and the King too) had many things to take care of, so we separated there.
<<Do your best.>>
<<Yes! I am deeply indebted to you! I will be in your care from now on as well.>>
A male civil officer guides us to several residences. However, there aren’t too many differences between them, so in the end we decided on the house with the largest bath.
The property is as large as the one we have in Kastal, but the mansion itself is larger here. Conversely, the garden here is smaller, so it will have a different feel than in Kastal.
I decided to leave the management of the new mansion to Lusia’s maid corps. When I told her that, she immediately brought 13 orphans and pet slave girls from Estia, as well as purchasing additional maids. They were divided into believers and non-believers maid groups.
The Believers are the slaves that Lusia bought when we were at Kastal’s mansion. The Non-believers are the ones who are told that I am their master by Lusia, but have been contracted using Lusia’s blood.
It is possible for slaves to have slaves, but it doesn’t make much difference as they will still become slaves under the original master. You can transfer the ownership using Slave Technique to officially make me the master, but since I thought that would be troublesome when we discussed it before, we decided to keep things as-is with 2 masters.
[Well, I don’t mind increasing the number of subordinates, but there seem to be a lot of unfamiliar maids.]
[Yes. There are 3 from Kastal’s main base, 13 who were bought by master, and then the newest believ- ahem. These 10 slaves are newly purchased.]
Such was Lusia’s explanation. Let’s ignore what she was originally going to say… I don’t think it will be a problem as long as the maids don’t address me as God. There’s no harm for now.
It’s quite a sight to watch 26 maids (excluding Lusia) arranging and cleaning the furnishings in the new mansion. Among them, the 10 new slaves have been looking at me with feverish eyes. Some of them are about my age as well, so it was hard for me to stay calm. One of the senior maids who I’m familiar with cautioned them to focus on their work, but she also takes glances at me from time to time, so I’m not sure if she’s one to talk…
[One question: how many maids do we have right now?]
It would be easier just to ask Alta, but I wanted to hear it from Lusia herself. She averts her eyes a bit as she answers.
[Counting those with maid training, there are about 180 people.]
This is way more than I expected. What’s with the 180 people…
[Are you planning to make an army?]
[If master wishes, should we convert them to military training immediately?]
[…No, I don’t want that.]
Make an army to fight against what, the Demon King? Leave that to the Heroes. Eludia? I alone am enough for that.
[I don’t remember there being 180 people in Kastal’s mansion…]
[I believe I have told Master before, but we have dispatched maids to various places, so there aren’t that many in the mansion.]
[Eh? Did you not mean that you wished to dispatch them to various locations in the future?]
[No, we already had a lot of maids scattered in various places at that time.]
It looks like things were already moving at that point. Some of the maids seem to have traveled around the country as merchants. With this method, “Portals” have been set up at various locations with the goal of making it possible to travel around the world via Portal alone…
Furthermore, as they have found slaves with the required qualities in their travels, the speed at which the number of subordinates is growing is accelerating. In other words, this is how it is:
Dispatch maid → increase area of activity → buy new slaves → train slaves as maids → dispatch maids → repeat.
Well, I had been thinking that the number of subordinates might have increased rapidly. My status had been increasing sharply lately.
It seems that Alta had given the permission to give skills and status to newcomer maids. Some of them registered as adventurers and hunt monsters too.
[Please don’t do something too reckless, okay?]
Even if it’s in a place that I have no knowledge of, I wish to protect my subordinates. I don’t want any of them to die.
[Of course. If those girls must face a difficult fight, they will overwhelm the opponent with their numbers.]
Even if their statuses from <Give & Take> is low, they could make up for it with numbers. If it is too dangerous, either Lusia or I or Alta in the worst case will use “Summon” to rescue them. Finally, in the case where they couldn’t avoid death, we could at least put their corpses into <Inventory> immediately and resurrect them afterwards.
It seems that the maids have finished their work during our conversation.
Since we all have our private rooms in Kastal, we don’t really need to have private rooms here. But considering our current situation, all main members (+explorer team) will also have a private room here.
Although I didn’t fight for it, the largest room is still assigned to me. Sakura and Sera won the rooms next to mine. Mio, who had been defeated, should have taken the room in front of mine, but was challenged by Kate. At the end of their fight (after 10 draws), Kate is the winner, so Kate ended up getting the room in front of mine (Cynthia and twins are living with her).
The reason they want the room right in front of mine is so that “we could be ready for any order from master even when there is a wall there”. From Kate’s words, I think she is really serious in various ways.
Since this mansion doesn’t have an annex building, the maids seemed to have occupied one room in the main building as the staff area. When I saw that they were sharing a room with several people, I told them that they should each have their own rooms, they told me “to have our own rooms is an unexpected happiness!”
Since we have been working on this mansion all day, we decided to go ahead and stay the night in this mansion.
The best selling point of this mansion is the bath, which was the reason I chose it. But while I was soaking in it, one of the maids decided to forcefully try to “serve” me. Lusia immediately removed her using “Summon”… Forced summoning is amazing. Although it was quite a nice spectacle, trying to do such a thing forcefully was still a bit too much.
According to Lusia, they were told that “unless it was requested, promoting yourself and doing this type of thing will disqualify you as a maid.” I also heard that severe punishment is waiting for them.
The next morning, breakfast was already prepared when I arrived at the dining room. By the way, the dining room is a redecorated room near the kitchen. When I entered, several maids were prostrating there.
[We are really sorry about the maid’s improper behavior yesterday!]
One of the girls about my age apologizes to me as their representative. She frequently touches her own’s bottom while prostrating. It seems like the severe punishment was spanking.
I tell them I don’t mind and to stop prostrating. Lusia seems to want to punish them a little longer, but I tell her to let them off.
Right after that, those maids are looking at me with passionate eyes again.
[So, are we going to resume dungeon exploration today?]
Mio asks me after breakfast, as I’m playing with Dora (dragon form). The main members, Cynthia, and Kate are in the room too. It seems that Lusia has already returned to Kastal.
The other maids are also working today to develop and maintain a base here.
At this moment, the twins are going to the hotel in Lilia city to recover our carriage that we left there. Of course, they will just travel until they are out of sight, then use “Portal” to move there…
[Yeah, that’s right. I want to clear the 20th floor boss by the end of the day.]
[I will do my best -nodesu!]
[Cynthia-chan doing her best is good, but I also want to fight against the boss.]
As Sera said, the main members aren’t allowed to participate in combat. With Kate’s instructions, Cynthia and her team are enough for the fight.
That said, it doesn’t mean we won’t participate in combat at all, since the encounters in a dungeon are unpredictable.
[That’s right. I guess we should let the main members join the fight soon… Though if we all join at once, we will have too much war potential, so I guess we should let at most only 3 members join.]
<<Understood. We will act according to Jin-sama’s instructions.>>
Kate has been giving instructions to the newcomer team until now, but when the main members fully join the fight, she wanted to return the command to me.
[No, it is really hard to give instructions to this many people, so I will instruct main members and you will instruct the newcomers.]
<<Yes, understood. I will cooperate with master for the first time…>>
I decide to ignore the second half of what she said.
Someone knocks on the door. From looking at the map, it seems to be the twins.
I say and the the door opens and the twins enters.
[[We are back~!]]
[Welcome back nanodesu.]
<<Thanks for your hard work>>
Cynthia and Kate thank the twins.
[Thanks for the trouble. How is the carriage?]
[It was taken to the shed outside. Right? Karen-chan.]
[There are already a lot of carriages there. Right? Sora-chan.]
[Yeah, that won’t be a problem.]
We had already bought several carriages with horses and put them in the shed. The maids purchased them as per Lusia’s instructions
yesterday. Apparently they are intended to be the means of transportation for the dispatched maids.
Although my stance is to let them be, as long as they are harmless, I am still both interested and frightened by what Lusia (and Maria) have been doing. I mean, the newer slaves that Lusia bought are already marked as yellow dots in the map. How is she brainwashing them like that…?
A : Do you want to know?
…No, it is okay. It won’t be anything pleasant after all.
[We are going to the dungeon soon, you guys should go and make your preparations.]
As the twins answer, I also start our preparation.
We enter the dungeon from the capital’s entrance and transfer to the 19th floor. After collecting herbs on the 18th floor, we return once again to the 19th floor.
The combat on the 19th floor is still as easy as before, especially since the main members are also joining the fight, even though their statuses are drastically decreased. Even after lowering their statuses, Sera’s slash can still bisect those monsters and Maria’s attacks are striking at their vital points as accurately as ever.
We clear the 19th floor and head down to the 20th floor with surprisingly good speed. We don’t have any fights on the 20th floor since the boss room is near the stairs from the 19th floor. Of course, we only know that because of the <Dungeon Adaptation> skills that we have.
[The next boss… is a weird tree.]
Sakura says after seeing the picture on the door. The 20th floor door has a similar look as the 10th floor door, but the picture of the monster is different.
[Its name is Elder Treant. A treant boss; the plant area’s boss.]
<Mimic LV3> <Tentacle LV3> <Gatekeeper LV2> <Dungeon Adaptation LV3>
Note: Treant boss. It still looks the same, even with the “Elder” title.