An Important Visitor
Several days after the Leona countermeasures were added to the dungeon.
It was a peaceful, normal day with still no signs of Leona—yet I was called over by Suira, the head sister, after the day’s Beddhist mass.
“Excuse me, Founder-sama. Do you have a moment?”
“Hmm? Oh, Suira-san. What’s up?”
She wore a strange expression; her pink hair was swaying and her red eyes were strangely charming.
Ah, have to stop looking at her like that or I’ll just get myself charmed. Let’s finish whatever she wants quickly.
“… Well, I’ve received a message.”
“Yes. From Leona: [Heeeya! I’m gonna play around in Daido this time, you should come check it out.]”
… I guess Leona won’t be coming to the dungeon. Wao. Go me!
Come to think of it, wasn’t Suira once one of Leona’s succubus underlings? Is that how she got in contact…? Rather, where the heck’s Daido? I mean, not knowing where means I couldn’t possibly go though.
“Errr. Why’d she want to tell me?”
“Oh… well, umm. Because you were the person talking through Euma-sama, she said.”
“She also said that since you’ll definitely abide her instructions, she looks forward to seeing you.”
“She has the wrong person.”
“… Really now?”
She’s taking Leona’s word over mine? Obviously. Yeah, I mean it is true… dangit, Leona. Why’d you have to spill the beans!? Don’t you know the famous phrase Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain? 1
But eh, alright. At least Leona isn’t planning on making a move on the dungeon for now… She isn’t, right? She isn’t planning on kidnapping me, right…?
Well, that all happened. It was a bit of a letdown, but the Leona menace suddenly went away without me having a hand in it.
Phew, maybe now I can finally get some rest…
There was a time where I actually thought that.
“Rokuko-chan, I came over to play.”
“Haku Ane-sama! Welcome!”
Yeah. Haku-san decided to pay a visit.
Haku-san, the person believed to be a white goddess so fervently she’s treated as divine. For her to come to see Rokuko so soon after our recent Dungeon Battle… did she want to see her that much?
Whatever, let’s go with treating it as a first in a long time thing. The suite was ready to go as always, we kept it prepared for situations like this… Still though, her attendant wasn’t the person she usually came with, Chloe-san.
“… Didn’t we see each other in the imperial capital just the other day?”
“I’m incognito, incognito… Besides, I have other business here, too.”
“… Does it have anything to do with that woman behind you?”
“Yes, very much so.”
The red-haired girl who’d been standing behind Haku-san was giving Rokuko an intense stare down.
… The magic sword-type Dungeon Core, No. 666—Aidi was accompanying her.
“You came too, Aidi? Welcome!”
“Yes. Thank you for the reception. Shall we go play a game right away?”
“Hmm, why do I get the feeling that something’s off with the way you said that?”
Rokuko welcomed her, but Aidi’s immediate comeback was weird. Let’s ignore that.
There seemed to be some villagers seeing Haku-san for the first time, so let’s hurry up and bring her into the inn’s parlor. I’m sure she has some kind of story to tell, judging by whatever business she has here.
“So, what’s with Aidi coming with you?”
“How do I put it…? Right, to put it bluntly, she’s studying abroad.”
“Studying abroad? In the capital?”
“No. In Golen.”
Did I mishear her? She didn’t just say Golen, right?
Yeah, that must be it. She must have been talking about Draco, the village next to us. I must’ve made a mistake because… because.
“I see, so she will be studying in Draco, is she?”
“What are you talking about? Golen. This village. Kehma-san’s village. She will be studying here. In Golen.”
“… So I didn’t mishear you.”
Smiling, Haku-san asserted it a number of times to leave me with no escape route.
… What’s she supposed to be learning? In our village, no less?
“By the way, this is something of an exchange, so I’ll be taking both you, Kehma-san, and Rokuko-chan to the Demonlands in the future.”
What… did I… just hear…?
“Sorry, but I’ve been busy recently and don’t have time to part from the dungeon for long.”
“Does that have anything to do with Leona, I wonder?”
“Yes, she’s managed to infest the nearby village, so I can’t let down my guard.”
“If that’s all, don’t worry about it. She came to me the other day saying that she was heading to Daido.”
Ah, looks like she really did go to Daido.
Why’d she have to go tell Haku-san… she knows me too well.
“Also, please don’t decide on something so important without consulting us…”
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to… however, there is a piece of the Godly Beddings in the Demonlands, the [Godly Pajamas]. This is the information I promised to you for the Dungeon Battle, alright? It’s even going to be the prize of their fighting tournament…”
Come on, no fair. Don’t just twist such important information together like that!
“Even obtaining this information was troubling. In various ways, even. At any rate, the Demonlands is an enemy nation.”
“… Do I need permission to enter the Demonlands?”
“No, anyone can enter. It’s just that their safety is not guaranteed.”
“So do I need a license or something…?”
“It’s a little different… more like due to you going as an envoy of the empire, it’ll be difficult for people to quarrel with you, I suppose.”
According to her, the citizens of the Demonlands were like Aidi and Core No. 564 in that they love fighting.
Therefore, if I weren’t an envoy of the empire and managed to get tangled up in something and were defeated, I could become a slave. It’s that kind of country.
It’s possible for even envoys to get caught up in things, but they won’t be enslaved. The f*ck. Scary nation is scary.
“And so I have purposely arranged for you to go on a short-term study trip to the Demonlands, Kehma-san. Do you find any of this not to your liking?”
“Hahaha! Thank you very much, I will accept your offer!”
I bowed my head to Haku-san.
Moreover, this would allow for me to try my hand at the tournament. To put it another way, this was Haku-san’s way of giving me a chance at the [Godly Pajamas].
She was playing this off as information, but I can’t help but get the feeling that this is me getting a considerable amount of service from her… or is Haku-san profiting from this in some way I don’t understand?
“Alright then, in return for us sending you there, Kehma-san, we had to first accept her studying abroad here.”
“I see… by the way, how long will the trip last?”
“Around one month at most, I suppose. It can end when you’re satisfied, the time doesn’t matter too much.”
In other words, I could return after a single day?
And is there even anything she could learn in our village…?
“I was worried that this wouldn’t work out and I’d have to send her back. There were several unexpected events. For example… when she2 first came to the empire, she said something along the lines of [So humans are free to come and go from your human ranches as they please, they even wear clothes, do they?]”
“… Are you sure you want me to bring Rokuko along to a country that would say something like that?”
“It’ll be fine, the town around my castle is like that as well… but the village—rather, the human ranch… don’t take Rokuko-chan to it, alright?”
Yeah, I’m absolutely never taking her there.
“The cost of No. 666’s studies will be billed to No. 6 as an expense, so exploit that by keeping her in the suite the whole time. You can even double the usual rate.”
“Talk about overcharging…”
“Are you dissatisfied with the prices I set?”
No, not at all! Yes, Your Highness!
“… Sheltering a citizen of an enemy nation shouldn’t be the same cost. Besides, common sense dictates that even fifty gold for staying here for a single night would be acceptable.”
“… You’ve been refining how relaxed it makes you, haven’t you?”
Yeah, so to be honest I’ve been trying to come up with a pleasant and agreeable system for the suite as a hobby, improving it bit by bit as a prototype of sorts. It’s my hobby. Really, it is. Anything to do with sleeping is basically my life’s work.
Because of that, it looks like even our suite’s twenty-five gold per night cost was fairly cheap. Thinking about it another way, is there even another suite that’s on its level? I’m starting to worry about where I’ll be staying abroad…
“Exploit the situation to the utmost limit, as it will counterbalance the costs of your stay abroad.”
“Yes! I will exploit with everything I have!”
Haku-san nodded approvingly.