I briefly explained things to Quiche as my very first deed after coming back to Cydale.
“I understand Red Tiger Storm and the dwarven professor, but orcs…?”
“While training Saraten, I spotted a unit that looked like it’d be annihilated while fighting the Tree King’s forces. Taking that opportunity, I captured two of that orc unit.”
“You’re saying all of this as if it was a walk in the park…”
“You won’t put them on trial or anything like that, right?”
“No. Though it might become necessary to do so in the future…”
“That in itself sounds like a real hassle…”
“Yeah…they could become like those sham trials held in kingdoms with widespread corruption.”
Though I believe government offices responsible for justice exist at such places… Then again, they might be embroiled in power struggles over posts and interests.
Oh well, I guess that’s life for you.
“But, we’ve already processed a part of the orcs into food, you know? You think your two prisoners won’t act up if they see that?”
Quiche looked worried.
“…I doubt they’ll be fine with it. I’d be grateful if you could stop turning orcs into food for the time being. I’ll also do my best to compensate you accordingly.”
“…I don’t think that you have a duty to help them to such an extent…”
At that moment, as if having realized something, Quiche’s expression suddenly changed.
“Ah, no, I guess you’re doing it for my sake…” Her cheeks blushed.
At the same time, I felt passion flicker in her eyes.
“Who knows. Just, orc personnel seems like it’d be quite useful.”
“Hehe…indeed. But, thank you.”
“I told you to not mind such things. But, I forgot to ask them whether they can speak Common.”
“The language, huh? The ancient wolfmen can talk with us, but we’re talking about orcs here, so…”
“Maybe Quema can speak Common as leader of a small clan.”
“…You say so, but to be honest, there’s many uncertain elements. Then again, learning of the orcs’ internal state in addition to the wolfmen we befriended is a huge gain for us. I feel like this time’s matter is going to become a crucial turning point. If there’s a chance for another orc attack, I’d like to talk to them in advance by all means.”
Looking thoughtful, Quiche rolled a quill around on her palm.
A crucial turning point, eh? But sure, the value of knowing the enemy’s main strategic plans, the locations of the underground passages used by the orcs, information about infighting among the orcs, and intelligence on the enemy forces’ weaknesses in regards to things like equipment would be immeasurable. It might also allow Cydale to stop being on the defensive, and instead go on the offensive. And it’s probably closely related to the village’s growth.
“…If you’re worried, I’ll take care of the orcs from my side and won’t allow them to leave my house for the time being. I obtained some information from those orcs. Quema’s group was a commando unit with the name 【Fierce God’s Squad】. The main force of the orcs, who attacked Cydale, belonged to the orc clan of Hexa Ghul Gungh. He apparently commanded the army. And the orc clans seem to have complicated political situations as political power is divided among their clans.”
I informed Quiche about what I heard from Quema.
“…I understand. The Eight Great Gods worshiped by the orcs, huh? Many people have commonly referred to them as one orcish empire, but for them to be split into many clans… And Hexa of the Gunghclan has attacked this village…still, for him to desire Hardelende’s treasure 【Tool of Bee Style】…I wonder where he obtained the information about its existence. I didn’t know about it until just recently either.”
“I’ve told you earlier, but there are many underground cities. There should exist dozens of people with foresight and prediction skills.”
“Hmm.” Quiche nodded deeply while brooding.
“Is it okay for me to assume that you’ll accept the two orcs, including the matter with the food?”
“Pfft, you don’t really need to ask the obvious, do you? We’ll stop with the orc meat. Besides, you having brought them here means you felt some kind of connection or sympathy with them.”
As expected of Quiche. She’s read my mind, huh?
Also, she gave her go on the food matter as well. Even though she should actually hate the orcs enough to keep using them as food.
Just as I thought, she’s a kind woman.
“Hehe, I should be the one thanking you. Friend, I feel deep gratitude towards you…” Quiche puts down her pen, and bows.
“Don’t mind it. You’re just embarrassing me. Please raise your head.”
She smiled at me, but then said, “To be frank with you, I’m not all that happy about it. I think the children will also reject the idea. But, we’re in the Sea of Trees. Besides, I can understand your idea behind having brought the orcs here.”
She stared at me as if to probe my heart. I smiled faintly.
“Hooh, should I give you a present, if you’re correct?”
“You got a deal! You estimate that we’ll be able to leave out hatred behind without discriminating against the orcs, if we can perceive their side as a race and not just some monsters, right? At the same time, that’ll be connected to the development of Cydale…it’ll make it very likely that the orcs are going to become powerful neighbors of Cydale and not just pests. That’s the idea behind it, isn’t it?”
“――You’re spot on. Nothing less of a Commander-in-Chief.”
I reflexively did the Ra Kelada upon Quiche’s keen discernment.
“The reward is going to follow later.”
“Haha, I’ll look forward to it then.”
Afterwards, I kept talking about various things with Quiche. Beginning from ascertaining that it’d be bad to always rely on Catiza as gatekeeper, she told me that she’d like to negotiate the village’s defense with Red Tiger Storm since they got excellent range fighters, seeing how I made a new gate just recently.
“…I’ll talk to them from my side as well. But, Red Tiger Storm is an adventurer clan. I think it’d be tough to get them to permanently stay in the village.”
“…Although it’s different from her hometown, Bellize Marphon is an elf like me. She’s a superb archer, waking the wish in me to let her form a new archer unit as core part of Cydale’s defense.”
Just like I turned down Red Tiger’s invitation, I think it’ll be hard to headhunt Bellize from Red Tiger Storm. Things might change though if Quiche hires her alongside Red Tiger Storm.
Afterwards, we discussed contacting Sherry about the trade with Hekatrail through Hino, the request of Professor Domidon and his assistant Mie-san, ranking up at the adventurer guild since it was similar to having pioneered a part of the unexplored areas in the Sea of Trees, and her wish to negotiate with Duchess Chardonnay of Oseberia…
Although she has reclaimed some land, the current situation, where all kinds of monsters with different quantities and qualities vie for supremacy, won’t allow for this Sea of Trees to function as a single nation, so I don’t really think she needs to talk with Chardonnay.
I told her so, but Quiche said that it’s a step she ought to do just in case for the sake of future developments. It’s a view very befitting of a village chief and Commander-in-Chief.
“It’s a bit hard to say with negotiations with the wolfmen around the corner, but…”
Quiche timidly asked me whether I could be present during the negotiations with Hekatrail.
Once I get back to Hekatrail, I’m going to meet up with the 【Wind of Bloody Long Ears】 Ledond. Additionally, I’d like to investigate Kuna’s store as well. I’d also love to meet the booby receptionist.
That’s why I agreed to Quiche’s request.
Then Quiche told Kisara and Rotalz to go train somewhere else because they were being too loud. I should have a word with them later on.
At the end, I snuggled up to Quiche who seemed exhausted after writing many documents. After making sure that no one would disturb us, I gently massaged Quiche’s shoulders.
“…This is your reward? Thanks.” Quiche placed her fingertips on the back of my hand.
“How about taking a little break?”
While stroking Quiche’s fingers after turning my hand around…I clasp her hand with a lover’s grip.
“I’ll finish up with this. Then I’ll eat some sweets Gramps Ton made for me.”
A big amount of sweets was placed on her work desk.
Are those also sweets made by the children? Arry’s sweets…those seem like they’d spoil one’s stomach.
“There’s quite a lot of them.”
“…Usually I pay attention to my diet, but Gramps Ton’s skills are terrific.”
If I remember correctly, Gramps Ton’s handmade sweets are… You can tell at a glance that they’re special. They contain faint traces of mana.
“…The results of the cooking class, huh?”
“You’re right. I wonder just what ingredients Gramp Ton’s sweets use.”
“They look quite tasty, and for them to even contain mana…I’ve eaten high-class dishes in Pelneet and Holkerbaum, but…Gramps Ton’s sweets give me a completely different impression.”
“He’s not only good at baking, but also a trove of knowledge. He’s a truly weird gramps. He originates from the depths of the Sea of Trees, an area at the bottom of the bottoms. A place with lots of differences in elevation. He apparently lived in a small village inhabited by demonoids, but…”
“Hee, a demonoid settlement, eh?”
“You didn’t hear? Not just Gramps Ton, but all the people you rescued and brought with you have some kind of redeeming feature. They’ve got cheerful characters, and although they’re of different races, they’re all wonderful people.”
Since Quiche was so lovely as she explained all this with a smile, I answered, “That’s great to hear. Then, before I go home――”, and stole her lips.
“I have two rewards for you. Gentleness, and your beloved…”
Quiche asked with a smile, her eyes filled with nothing but love.
“Haha…you got it.”
After finishing my flirting with Quiche, I used <Magic Hand guided by Thought> to dash through the village in order to go back to my home. I could see Helme, Rollo, and the two orcs standing at the entranceway. Alray and Hueremy were laying sprawled at their feet.
Helme was pointing a finger at the Wave Gourd that’s decorating the foyer. I’m sure she’s exaggeratedly explaining the gourd to the orcs.
“Shuuya-sama! Welcome back!”
“Did you make out with someone?” Kisara’s tone was oddly shrill.
I’ve got no doubt that me flirting with Quiche weighs on her mind. Rotalz was being poked by Kisara.
“…Indeed. So, what have you been up to, Kisara, Rotalz?”
“Using <Magic Breath>, I’ve been helping Muu-chan downstairs with her training.”
She’s right. I can see Muu moving her body on the training ground in front of my house. In the end, she stayed here without joining up with the other kids, I suppose.
However, despite the short period of time, she’s become quite good at using her artificial limbs. Is it because Kisara helped her with the training?
Hmm? Small origami humanoids are dancing around Muu. The origami people are assisting Muu with her movements. They’ve been supporting her body. The origami people have all kinds of shapes. They look quite mysterious.
They remind me of Rasheena’s Bracelet which Viine uses. In the past I called the darkness spirits from that bracelet tiny old men and urban legends.
The origami people over here seem more humanoid than the darkness spirits, which used to be no more than arms. Originally they’re humanoids made out square pieces of decorative paper. I can also see cutouts.
The possibilities of origami are infinite.
“…Oh, magic based on your grimoire, Kisara? Incredible. I didn’t expect such a training method to exist. You might say this and that, but in the end, you’re a kind woman as well.”
“――Thank you very much.”
“In reality she’s――”
Rotalz tries to provide some additional information about Kisara, but that settles his fate. Thanks to a heel drop by Kisara. The mid-kick strengthened by her twisting her body cleanly lands on his belly.
His huge torso bends. He falls while revolving around his own axis like a shot airplane, finally crashing into a rock.
The cliff’s rocks are being scraped off. The cliff located on Cydale’s right side might have become even more rugged thanks to Rotalz.
“Kisara, surprise attacks are unfair!” Rotalz’s energetic voice can be heard from further away.
His durability is truly terrifying.
Muu points in the direction of where Rotalz’s voice came from. Once his voice fades away…Muu looks my way with a broad smile.
I stare at her artificial arm. A wooden spear has been inserted into its tip. Apparently relying on her string magic, she compensates the joint parts connecting the artificial arm and the spear through her own strings. With awkward motions, she lifts the spear up as if thrusting it upwards.
It looks like she wants me to watch her spearmanship. Very well, I guess I’ll take a look for a bit.