When she finished her shift at reception and went to the lord’s manor, fortunately or not, Hector was there.
Hector, who had met her in the parlor with a warm welcome, smiled at Ilya’s proposal.
“It looks like you’ve planned something fun again.”
When he placed the proposal back onto the table and took a sip of tea, Hector resumed speaking.
“Could I also participate in this one?”
He spoke as though he said something preposterous.
Although Ilya hesitated for a moment from the unexpected question, she came to a conclusion at once and gave her consent.
“Yes. As long as it doesn’t hinder your official obligations.”
“Of course! Ah, I’ll be financing this one too.”
“… Yes. Thank you very much.”
There was the precedent of the snow festival, so Ilya promptly gave up the thought of persuading him otherwise. This caused Hector to feel rather surprised at how at how fast she agreed.
Setting aside talks concerning the project, they moved onto another matter.
“An expected disaster huh… should I place watchmen in that area?”
“How about how reinforcing this first?”
“Reinforce? Then this one’s is the priority?”
“Yes. First of all, this one is the most dangerous—“
Unfurling a map, they spent several hours on working out countermeasures.
After finishing their discussion, Ilya looked up at the cloud-covered sky while walking down the rainy main street with Haku.
At first glance, the thick clouds drifting through the sky looked as though they were moving normally.
However, her [Clairvoyance] told her that the wind flowed in an arc from a certain point in all directions… a typhoon-like phenomenon.
This world’s weather, be it rain or fog, was dictated by the elements.
However, when it came to natural phenomenons like typhoons, the crystal pillars of wind that produce the wind elements that exist in this world was very often the cause.
It was no exception this time either, the crystal pillar of wind hung in the far-away center of the typhoon.
Even so, the scale of this was too large for a typhoon produced by a single crystal pillar of wind.
Ilya’s eyes and knowledge perceived the existence frolicking about the surroundings of the crystal pillar of wind, magnifying its scale.
That existence was the great spirit of wind, Sylph.
Disliking being bound by anything, not making a contract with anyone since its birth, it was a troublesome child that couldn’t stand being alone so it would do what it pleases to involve other people. That was the Sylph that Ilya knew.
It was good until it started to play rough, but because its actions had started gradually damaging its surroundings enough to catch Ilya’s attention, she had spanked and scolded it.
It had behaved itself for a while after that, but it appears to have found a new playmate.
Ilya silently prayed for the birdkin youth that it looked pleased with.
(Let’s make a guess.)
Happening upon the crystal pillar of air while playing with him, Sylph started a resonance phenomena by approaching it. As a result, the giant typhoon began, making Sylph all the more excited.
Ilya’s guess of something like that happening was remarkably on point.
Even so, she didn’t intend to move and resolve the cause. Judging it as so, the girl tried to stop thinking about the typhoon, but she suddenly felt like she recognized that birdkin.
Was that person someone that had used the Lunéville branch?
While Ilya, who generally didn’t even try to remember males, attempted to recall him, her thoughts were interrupted by raindrops moving about in unnatural movements.
The real nature of the raindrops was magic from Haku manipulating the water.
The dragon god responded to rain-making rituals, moving the heavenly palace to bring more rain. Haku would also be able to call upon a storm sooner or later, gaining the power to rouse thunderbolts. Therefore, she couldn’t treat the damage caused by the typhoon as someone else’s affairs.
There were people saying that the dragon god was the source of the long rain recently, but that was the dragon god paying for his previous offense of causing mayhem for everyone by getting involved with children that just liked to pray for rain.
Like that, people could invite ill-placed suspicious through their own actions.
“Haku, don’t become like Jean alright?”
It was an unexpectedly good response.
As usual, the rain hadn’t let up by the following day.
To hold the event, she had everyone gather in the dining hall to have them memorize the rules first.
“Ilya, what’s this?”
The thing the man held up was a round, flat white stone.
On the tables were four-cornered boards with nineteen horizontal and vertical lines on them.
On either sides of them all were two containers, each filled with identically shaped white and black stones. They were for a board game that people would exchange blows through the use of black and white stones, struggling for position—
“They are called Go Stones, used in a game called Go.”
After giving a simple explanation of the basic rules to the game such as Hama, the captured stones, or Kou, the arrangement that allows for constant capture and recapture, she performed an example with Gabriel, who she had taught the rules to before. She explained how victory and defeat worked through the counting system, handing over her chair.”
“You will grow accustomed to it the more you play. Someone, please give it a try.”
Contradicting Ilya’s prediction that there wouldn’t be many people willing, she was relieved to see that people were scrambling to sit in the chairs.
It wasn’t her intention to open a Go school, so when it came to methods and techniques for placing opening moves, everyone started from zero.
“Ilya, what about this one?”
Facing the table Fidel called to her from, it was a board game that used pieces with letters written on them to take away the opponent’s king.
“This one is Shogi, a game where players take turns moving to take the others’ king.”
“It’s different from that Chess you introduced at the start, isn’t it?” 
When she lined up both sides, there were already people here and there getting into it and snapping pieces down.
There were already a few eager people emerging from them as she explained rules like how knights move and their range of action. Once she had explained the limitations of each of the pieces, she had the beginners actually try it out.
They were progressing fairly well at first, but their moves gradually slowed.
Seeing that, Ilya realized that she had forgotten something important.
“There is a time limit established ahead of time for official occasions, so please take note of that.”
“” Eh— “”
It was a step taken so that people wouldn’t do things out of the game like starvation tactics.
While writing down a list of things to bring and distribute, she added a clock to the list. Just this much already made having this briefing worthwhile.
When she left that table to see how the others were doing—
“Eh, no way!? Ugaah!”
—she found staff members crying out.
What they were playing was one of the three items she had prepared for the adults, the board game called Chess that she had explained first. It looked like Shogi but its rules were different, so she attempted to avoid having them confusing the rules by introducing Go between the two.
That aside, the only problem was that staff members were playing.
“Elizah, Bard-san. Please return to your duties.”
Hating to lose, Bard was sulking hard. It was decided that there would be a strict prohibition to real fights added to the rules.
When she went to the second floor after giving the two a strict talking to, the situation was fairly chaotic.
As for what was gathered on the second floor… children and people, where pondering deeply about something wasn’t among their strong points.
The latter was a personal statement from them of course.
They were gathered to learn things that would be easy for people like them to play as well.
On the tables were: Reversi, Jenga, as well as three varieties of playing cards.
Reversi and Jenga aside, there were an excess of cards to use because two of the varieties were for War and Concentration.
Poker and Blackjack were also candidates, but because of its strong gambling nature and there being a definite possibility of them gaining the [Deception] skill, she excluded them. Unlike the [Strategy] skill that could be brought about by the board games on the first floor, she judged that it wouldn’t be good for their intellectual development.
“Ilya Onee-chan, Haku-chan’s eating cards.”
“Eh? Ah, hey, Haku!”
When she confiscated the card, Haku ducked its head down as though frightened.
The card it was holding in its mouth was the queen of hearts. It was filled with magical power because Ilya was the one to draw the designs, so it probably looked delicious to it.
“Even if it has my magical power, eating them without permission is no good. Understand?”
While petting Haku’s meekly nodding head, she saw cards spread out to her again.
“Are these some new magic charms?”
Katie asking that question was probably due to her intuition and knowledge as a mage.
True, although they didn’t have the form of a skill because she made them inside the [God King Barrier], they did leak magical power due to them being made through the [Wildlife Caricature] skill that was a derivation of the [Summon] skill. They were by all means dormant, but there was an actual possibility of knights or queens appearing from them.
Even if it could be said that there was a possibility, they would be impossible to invoke without Ilya herself converting them into the skill, so she shook her head in denial as though to rid herself of the anxiety.
“They are called playing cards, something similar to Tarot.”
There was a similar form of Tarot in this world, so several people that knew it nodded their heads in understanding.
“Then first of all, I will introduce a game called Concentration that uses these cards.”
After demonstrating the rules with a visual aid, she started the explanation for War. However, because it would be imprudent to use that word in particular for a game, she decided to name it Luck Battle, as it was a match decided entirely by fate.
Once she had given the explanations for Reversi and Jenga as well as actually demonstrating them, the card games appeared to be the most popular among the children. This was likely due to the beautiful designs on the cards’ faces.
There was also the possibility that their preferences were different due to the different cultures, so Ilya was slightly relieved that they were well-received.
After that was just to have the town’s industry guild workshop reprint them. When she went down the stairs while thinking about that, she found the branch vice manager scolding Elizah.
“If you want to play, then you can just go and quit!”
For Elizah, there wasn’t any persuasive strength in being told that by the branch vice manager.
She just kept with her expression of pretending to not know what was happening in response to the branch vice manager’s threatening attitude.
As for Ilya, she didn’t intend to defend her since she had already told her about playing once. She had decided to use her off time to head to the workshop and commission for the games to be reproduced immediately.
To Ilya, who was trying to pass by with a bow—
The two raised their voice.
“… Is there something I can help with?”
When she turned around, the branch vice manager, with a sour expression, and Elizah, with a sulky-looking gaze, had turned straight towards Ilya.
“Obviously! This girl was abandoning her duties with those games you brought!”
“I did not abandon them. I just interrupted a conversation.”
Having not seen it in actuality, Ilya couldn’t make a judgement.
Accordingly, she decided to ask a third party.
“I am sorry, but as I did not see it happen—“
“You… what did you just…!”
“Ilya, you don’t believe me?”
Seeing the branch vice manager grow increasingly upset, Elizah looked away, dejected.
However, what was essential in remonstrations and warnings was understanding what should be improved upon rather than relying on trust.
“Whether I believe you or not, it is not possible to make a judgement on the concerned party’s statements alone. It isn’t a position to take with opinions and personal views.”
Did they understand her intention?
They both stopped talking.
When she looked away to those who heard what was going on, several people volunteered to explain. Luckily, it appeared that one of them was a newcomer from the commerce guild.
With people that came to the branch often, there was a possibility that they would hold ill intent towards the branch vice manager and therefore lack objectivity.
“… I see. So it appears that it was simply multiple coincidences.”
The truth wasn’t a particularly complex story either. Someone asked for advice from Elizah, who was delivering a beverage to them, and the branch vice manager only saw her answering them.
“You intend to close the matter as a mere coincidence?”
“Yes. As for what Elizah did, it was the same as teaching a customer that doesn’t understand how to eat their dish how to do so. If I condemned that as playing, it would be me that needed the scolding.”
The instant that the branch vice manager attempted to say something to rebuke her, voices popped up from the onlookers in Ilya’s defense.
With a bitter smile, the branch vice manager once again stopped talking and turned away.
Someone would normally be overawed by the ‘away feeling’, but as expected, he simply put on a vulgar smile.
“Hmph. As expected of our branch’s goddess. You seem to win the masses over easily.”
His voice filled with cynicism and malice, the dining hall’s atmosphere was filled with a dangerous feeling—not.
If anything, there were a lot of people that couldn’t help themselves but laugh at the situation, going, “What’s it this time?”
A lot of people even went back to their games.
Elizah smiled with a look as though to say she was sorry in a place that the branch vice manager couldn’t see, but in truth, the damage that Ilya received was large.
Of course, the damage wasn’t the branch vice manager’s words themselves, but more so from the fact that people accepted his words as natural things.
“—What was his aim this time?”
She never felt like she wanted to be worshiped or revered. Being treated as a goddess was unreasonable.
She’d thought about destroying this world about the same amount. That is to say, not at all.
(At any rate—)
“Are you listening, you…!!”
(Alright alright, forget it.)
She forcibly changed her train of thought.
He went out of his way to ask the same question again, so she should probably answer it.
However, remembering that this time’s commission and project design is from the lord with the contents entrusted to her, Ilya amended the words she had planned to say.
“Yes. Concerning the aim of this event—“
When she looked around the dining hall, she saw a lot of people enjoying games and felt the gazes of a not so small number of people.
Although she wasn’t exactly in a tough spot, she might buy futile animosity by saying something imprudently.
Thinking about that, Ilya further amended her words.
“It will be the same as the snow festival’s. Not letting out stress is bad for the body, after all.”
The branch vice manager, who started to say something, shut up and left the branch. That should have been it, but it felt as though the dining hall’s atmosphere softened somewhat.
For some reason, it felt like she was bullying the weak recently.
(I just answered what I’m doing, though…)
- It appears that she explained it before this scene began. Return