Once More at the Imperial Capital (1)
We finally arrived at the capital.
It was such a long trip… in vain.
We saw a long road made of stone bricks after passing through the capital’s gates. Shops and wooden buildings lined the road on both sides. It was overwhelmingly showy compared to the towns we’d passed through until now. To go with the alchemist groups and Heroes Workshop, the capital also sported a huge number of super European-esque buildings that just felt woah.
There were tons of people and carriages moving about on road, fitting for its status as the capital’s main street. A good tenth of them had aristocratic crests on them, even.
“This is the capital!”
Wataru stated grandly in the coach, the street a backdrop to his statement.
We couldn’t really see that well since he was standing in the way and all, but I was able to make out someone embarrassed at the country bumpkin. Yep.
The city-elf, Shikina, just looked at him with lukewarm eyes that seemed to say: [People like him come to the capital every so often, so people go about not minding them.]
“Yeah, it’s the capital alright.”
“Huh, you’re not surprised? It’s like you’ve seen a town like this before.”
“Setting aside Mikhan, Tsuia, Donsama, and Corky were pretty big towns though?”
“… I’d say their scales are very different.”
“Oh come on. One, two, three, more, more, more, more. At some point it just stops making a difference and all you feel is like [Oh hey, this is a big town]. Compared to Golen, they’re all huge, that’s all.”
“How half-assed! But I’d expect nothing less of you, Kehma-san.”
Well, I’ve been here before, too. I didn’t say that though. And what do you mean you expected me to be half-assed?
As an aside, our coach made it through the capital’s gates without a check as well. The effect of being summoned’s amazing.
“Well, how about we head to the closest adventurer guild first? There are several here, just like in Corky. One in the center and another at each cardinal direction, making five in all.”
“One for each gate, huh. Let’s head to the east guild then.”
By the way, Misha was at the central adventurer guild. I didn’t feel like heading all the way together… I didn’t, really. I don’t think I’m supposed to know Misha at this point either, after all.
“More importantly, Kehma. Food! Ichika, what’s good to eat here in the capital?”
“There’re ranches all around, so there’s a ton of dairy products and stews.”
“Rokuko, the cheese here is delicious, too. It might be a bit much for newbies, but their fragrances are distinctive and entirely irresistible to cheese enthusiasts!”
“Heeh, so that’s your recommendation, Roppy? Alright, let’s eat some cheese, too! I’ll deal with it when the time comes if I don’t like it!”
… Rokuko. You’ve totally been influenced by Ichika… it’s not like I don’t understand you, though.
“Come to think of it, Rokuko, do you remember why you’re here?”
“Huh? Wasn’t it to go on a food journey?”
“Oh you poor thing, that’s entirely off~. You were called here after the dragon’s defeat, remember?”
“Oh yeah, that was a thing, huh!”
“There are a few things we have to do here, unlike the towns so far. Wataru, what’s our schedule looking like?”
“Right. I showed them the letter at the gate, so they’ll definitely get in contact with us soon. They’ll probably do it once we make our way to the guild, we can just go with the flow after that.”
Maybe they’re waiting for us to turn in at some inn. Why’s he so sure they’re waiting for us at the guild?
When we dropped off the packages at the guild and decided to look around a bit in the guild’s dining hall, she appeared.
“Nyoho~! I’m here to pick ya all up~!”
“Oh, Misha-san. Thank you.”
“Oooh, Wataru. Guess you’re out and abyout as always, huuuh? I’ll practice with ya anytime, just come at me nya~!”
Bleh, so it turned out to be Misha. The pink-haired idiot of an A-Rank cat beastkin-cum-guild master, that is. But huh. She sounded stressed, wonder what’s up?
Let’s pretend I don’t know her at all.
“So Wataru, is this Misha someone you know? Could you introduce us?”
“Nya? What’re you talking about, Kehma-san, why would he have to—oh, right! Nyof course he needs to introduce us! Yeah, yep, nyuh-huh! I am pleased to meet ya for the first time.”
She couldn’t act for shit, but yeah. Misha and I shouldn’t know each other. I mean, I’m always hanging out at Golen and Misha’s always at the capita’s guild headquarters.
In other words, Misha and I are two people who definitely should never have crossed each other’s paths. Although we do know each other due to dungeon-related things, us knowing each other makes no sense outside of that.
“… Eh? Misha-san, Kehma-san, do you two know each other?”
“Nope, this is the first time we’ve met. I’ve never met her before but she seems nice~. I hope we can get along, Misha!”
“Yep! It’s the first time we’ve met, but it feels like I’ve knyown ya for a long time! I bet we’ll get along great!”
“Yeah, I can tell we’ll get along just by looking at you, we’ll be best friends, best friends! Yaaaay.”
I went for the whole overplay it till you make it strategy. Did it work? I hope so. Even if not, I’ll just keep this train a’ going and not let them follow up!
“Alright, let me introduce myself. I’m Kehma. Golen’s Village Chief. This girl here’s Rokuko. These two are my slaves, Kuro and Ichika.”
“You don’t need to introduce me, though these two are my party members, Gozoh-san and Roppu-san.”
“My name is Shikina Kukkoro!”
“Yep yep! I’m Misha. The imperial capital adventurer guild’s guild master, good to meet nya!”
Good, now there shouldn’t be any issues with us knowing each other from here on.
But Wataru was still tilting his head to the side in thought, so I whispered something into his ear.
“Wataru. Don’t tell anyone, but Misha came to me a while back. She was undercover, though. So please don’t say anything strange.”
“Oooh, I see. So that’s how it is?”
Convinced, Wataru nodded. I guess Misha overheard, since she gave me a thumbs up.
Alright. Perfect. Now I can use that as an excuse next time I see one of Haku-san’s party members. I can also just pretend I’d never met them, too. I can also also pretend that I was just pretending to not know them because of reasons. It’s perfect.
“Okay, let’s go! I’ll guide ya there with my mount, so please follow me with your coach nya~”
With that, Misha straddled her lion (that had feathered wings and a snake for a tail). We would follow behind in the coach.
“Okay, Rokuko-sama, come here please.”
And then Misha reached her arm out for just Rokuko as if the rest of us were chopped liver.
“Misha. Right now, I’m just Rokuko, you don’t need to be so polite.”
“… Ah. Sorry, I’m nyot worth your concern.”
Seeing that, let alone Wataru, even Gozoh and Roppu looked like they wanted to say [Oooh… yep, got it] or something, but also looked like they figured it was best they didn’t. Shikina tilted her head at Misha’s response, like she even added -sama to Rokuko’s name. She was entirely giving preference to Rokuko.
“Let’s try this again—let’s go to the castle. Please follow me and don’t get lyost~”
Misha started to lead the way again. Misha’s mount really was rare, though. It kept drawing everyone’s eyes… and she tried to get Rokuko to ride it? Heeeh~.
Still though, is it really alright for you to show it off, Misha? Isn’t that like your ace in the hole?
… No, maybe Haku-san ordered her to show it off to keep anyone from wanting to make a move against Rokuko?
No way. It’s Misha, after all.