Log Horizon: Volume 5 Chapter 1
Great 8-pronged Rake
Lucky Dragon Hat
Maryona's Saddle Bags
Chapter 1: Everyday Life of Shiroe
God created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day he rested. This meant that even God needed a vacation. Shiroe thought humans should follow God in this respect.
Taking a break after work.
Otherwise humans would have problems.
This was common sense.
There was no need to break away from this truth just because they were Adventurers, or because of the Catastrophe.
Shiroe was sulking because he had been too busy lately.
It was not that his guildmates in Log Horizon were bullying him. In fact, Nyanta, Naotsugu, Akatsuki, and even the new members Minori, Tohya, Isuzu, and Rundelhous all wanted to help Shiroe. But the amount of work from the Round Table Council was just too much.
(No, this way of thinking is despicable.)
These tasks were not the result of insidious harassment or abuse of authority.
But the answer lies within Shiroe himself.
Shiroe was seen by the Round Table Council as the 'battle tactician with incredible foresight', and he admitted that it was a proper description. But even if Shiroe acknowledged this, it was not as if he had a genius-level intellect or extraordinary talents. Shiroe gauged that he was only average in terms of abilities.
Shiroe saw himself as a typical preparation-type. He thought his talent lay in collecting information before events, analyzing and making observations, and then writing a proper scenario by taking into account any changes during its execution.
These types were not rare. Roughly all players who checked a game's walkthrough before starting belonged to this type. This was just a timid way of doing things, but Shiroe had a unique characteristic. He was not content with reading a game walkthrough——he had to write one himself. This characteristic should be driven more by curiosity than timidity.
Because he's not confident, he would put in effort to prepare. If someone requested something from him, he would make further preparations. Shiroe was the type who got chosen for important positions unwittingly, even though he didn't like helping others.
Timidity was often seen as a weakness, but that was not the case for Shiroe. When he played a battle tactician, being cautious to the extreme was not a weakness, but a strength.
Although, that only held true when they had enough manpower. Right now, Shiroe, who was struggling alone, was unable to breathe due to the pressure of his workload.
This alternate world was an over-sized research subject for Shiroe.
It was better to have more information, and the range of information he wanted to gather was very wide. The amount of walkthrough information the world of Elder Tales had accumulated over twenty years was enormous. And there was ten times more after changing into this alternate world. Moreover, this was not a stationary world, but it was a world that evolved every second as things interacted with each other.
Shiroe tried to prioritize and investigate the necessary data. He lacked manpower and finances, but he could garner public information through the Round Table Council. He even had a set budget. His efficiency in gathering intelligence was much better now than right after the Catastrophe.
Even so, the data he wanted or needed was too colossal, he was unable to shake off his feeling of unease.
Shiroe did not start collating data of this world purely out of his own curiosity. Whether to go back to the original world or to give up, he would still need to live on in this world first. This was the consensus of all the Adventurers in Akiba.
Information could be a lifeline in many situations.
Just as one would need a map to navigate the oceans, the Round Table Council needed information about this world. If you were not clear with what was happening, you wouldn't be able to make the correct decision.
Hence, Shiroe considered gathering and analyzing data to be official business.
As one of the 11 guildmasters in the Round Table Council, he needed to spend a lot of time just doing daily communications and tasks. Reviewing documents also took a lot of time. If it were a major guild like D.D.D or Oceanic Systems, there would be a lot of talented personnel to assist and support the guildmaster.
In a sense, this was the same as having a team of secretaries supporting Michitaka or Krusty in their administrative duties. Even if it were not at the level of secretary, having reliable companions to help you review and give feedback would be invaluable.
But Log Horizon had only eight members, including the two new members, so Shiroe didn't expect to have someone around at all times to assist him in his administrative duties. The most proficient person at administrative matters apart from Shiroe was Minori, but Minori was still in training. If she helped Shiroe, her level gap with Tohya, Isuzu, and Rundelhous would get wider, so he couldn't ask for her help too often.
So the end result was Shiroe being crushed by mountains of administrative forms and documents.
"Woo wah, there is no way I can finish this!"
Shiroe sighed at the paper peaks. It might be in his nature to bear responsibility for everything, but that didn't mean he doesn't get discouraged. Staying indoors all this time had made him depressed.
Shiroe looked out the window.
This window was just a square opening in the wall a few days ago, but window frames and canvas curtains had now been installed.
The time was noon, and it was raining outside.
The autumn rain that descended on the city was as fine as silver threads. Falling on every leaf of the ancient trees of Akiba, it was directly wetting the ground and making a peaceful sound.
This scene was serene, gentle and beautiful.
When Elder Tales was just a game, the weather in different zones would change randomly according to the game mechanics. It was very pretty compared to other games, but juxtaposed to the shiny silver threads now falling in Akiba, it was merely pretty in gaming standards.
Shiroe felt the scenes in this world were better than old Japan's in all aspects.
Although they were all rain, they each had their own style, such as the lightning rains in the summer afternoons, or the mist-like rain in autumn.
Living in Japan, with its developed transportation system where all delivery services could show off their speeds, Shiroe could only see such seasonal scenery from the NHK. So to him, just the weather alone was like an epic drama series that had finished airing.
He opened the canvas curtain and saw the city that seemed to be covered with white lines that went unbroken all the way from the ground to the sky. It was October, so it was not too cold yet but the chill would slowly start to set in. He could see people all over the city ignoring the rain and Adventurers who were using this chance to clean their buildings.
It had been two months since the War of Sand Leaf, but the mopping up campaign was progressing slowly.
No, the clean up stage had already passed. They should now consider how to reinforce their relationship with the League of Freedom Towns Eastal, an organization made up of the People of the Land. This had been confirmed in reports Shiroe received. According to the intelligence, the number of minor skirmishes had decreased and issues related to resource transportation and trade were gradually increasing. At this stage, it should fall under the jurisdiction of the merchant guilds.
The grand preparations for the Libra Festival was the evidence.
Shiroe finally felt the burden on his shoulders when he thought about this.
... But that was only one of his burdens.
What worried Shiroe now was the news from other regions. He did not have energy to spare just dealing with Akiba, so he had been ignoring them deliberately for a while, but they were reaching a stage where he couldn't ignore them any longer. The data from his sources was collated and countermeasures executed. But after gathering further information, he realized that there had been major changes. No, it could be said that the changes were too extreme.
(I thought this might happen, but it just had to turn out this way, the other areas are really...)
Shiroe relaxed and leaned against his wicker chair while gazing at the ceiling.
Maps, figures and reports flashed through his mind.
The Japan that had been recreated at half of its original size using the Half-Gaia project... This place known as the Crescent Archipelago, Yamato, contained five player cities. Akiba, which Shiroe and the others resided in, Shibuya, Minami, Susukino, and Nakasu were known as the 5 major cities and were the base cities for players in Elder Tales.
When Elder Tales was still an MMO game, these cities were connected by devices called the inter-city transport gates that allowed instantaneous travel between the cities. This made it feel like the cities were close to one another, but as the gates weren't currently operational, the time needed to travel between cities had increased. In this world where monsters roamed free, traveling had become risky, resulting in a decline in the interactions between cities.
It had been 5 months since the Catastrophe.
Akiba, where Shiroe and the others resided, had undergone major changes. It looked the same from the outside, but the Adventurers' way of life, and relationships with others, had both undergone a decisive makeover. With their interactions with the People of the Land as well as the League of Freedom Towns Eastal, there should be no one left who thought that this was just a game.
Everyone in this world have had the equal chance of experiencing these 5 months of time, so Shiroe thought that the other places would have changed just like Akiba did.
But the change in Akiba was influenced by Shiroe. Shiroe was aware of the efforts needed to change this city. If that were the case, other cities could have also been influenced by the will of 'someone' as well, right? Shiroe felt his heart getting heavy as he thought about this 'will'.
Shibuya changed the least.
Shibuya held a special place among the 5 player cities.
To put it simply, Shibuya was the newest city to be set up. It was added to disperse the massive number of players in Akiba. Shibuya, which was made with this purpose in mind, was dependent on the inter-city transport gate. With the gate not functioning, the city was all but paralyzed.
Hence, almost all Adventurers based in Shibuya had moved to Akiba. Shibuya was used by very few players, akin to the villas of Akiba in the neighboring rural areas.
Susukino was evolving just as Shiroe expected. The city's security had been deteriorating since the Catastrophe, to the point of no return. It had become a lawless city because of this. The Adventurers who wanted to leave had mostly succeeded in these past few months.
Serara was a beginner Adventurer, but she still managed to hide her tracks and escape successfully. This was thanks to Shiroe's rescue operation. Shortly after, the Round Table Council sent out several expedition teams over a period of time to evacuate all those who wished to leave Susukino.
Susukino, which seemed set to fail as a player city, still had more than 200 Adventurers left. They were not left behind by the expedition teams, but instead chose to stay in the dangerous environment of Susukino by their own will. Not only this, Akiba and Minami also had a few Adventurers who willingly migrated to Susukino.
In the Elder Tales world that had changed into reality, there seemed to be some demand for 'lawlessness'. Susukino had evolved into a city where the minority Adventurers ruled over the majority People of the Land...
Shiroe did not sense any evil from this. No, to not feel any evil at all was wrong, it was just not obvious. Shiroe sensed fear.
Shiroe championed the rights of the People of the Land at the Round Table Council for two reasons.
First, it was a problem of survival. The number of People of the Land was ten times that of the Adventurers. Almost all consumables ingredients, the resources of this world, were made by the People of the Land. If they governed the People of the Land with an iron fist, friction and conflict would arise with the People of the Land. Whether they won or lost, they would have to bear a heavy price. Protecting the rights of the People of the Land was a way of protecting their own rights. It was not based on the ideals of human rights, but was built on the idea of benefits versus losses.
The second reason was fear.
Shiroe still remembered clearly the People of the Land at the village he visited on his way back from Susukino. Shiroe had felt for the first time that the People of the Land were humans in that village. He could feel their warmth, history, personality and intentions, and saw them as 'humans' for the first time.
To enslave an intelligent human was terrifying for Shiroe, who received a standard Japanese education. This was too much of a taboo, overlooking the reasons for justice——evil and morality——and linked directly to the emotion of fear. He feared becoming a slave himself, but the thought of owning slaves and ordering them around was just repulsive.
The chill Shiroe felt from Susukino was cut of the same cloth.
But there were only a couple hundred Adventurers in Susukino, such small scale activities could still be salvaged.
(But the problem lies over there instead...)
Minami's situation was...
Far beyond Shiroe's expectation and developing at an incredible speed.
Shiroe who was lost in thought heard a moving voice that seemed reproachful with a hint of gratitude.
"Please pull yourself together. Are you eating your meals right? What about sleep? Eh, seems like you spent the whole day sitting again."
"I am eating right and sleeping well, I went to the dining room just 2 hours ago."
Shiroe replied casually as he stood up to take the box of files from Henrietta.
The strong physical abilities of Adventurers were based on the game stats, so there wasn't much of a strength difference between the 2 genders. No, compared to Shiroe from the mage class, Henrietta from the weapon-based class was probably twice as strong.
But seeing Henrietta wearing a secretary-style miniskirt and jacket with a corsage, Shiroe was unable to bear seeing her carry so many stacks of boxes.
Shiroe turned around after leaving the box on his desk.
"There is no need to trouble you with this, I will come over if you contact me by telepathy."
"Eh... I guess you are right... But I heard Shiroe-sama has been working so hard, so I thought about dropping by to visit... about that..."
"If you are looking for Akatsuki, she should be coming back soon."
"Ah, fu fu fu fu, it's not what you think."
Shiroe breathed a sigh of relief as Henrietta blushed.
The famed accountant that was the pride of Crescent Moon Alliance, Henrietta who was in charge of finance visited Shiroe like this often. The guild master of Crescent Moon Alliance was Maryele, but the operations were all handled by Henrietta, her administrative abilities were beyond praise. Instead of Shiroe who wasted his time on research and curiosity, Henrietta's contribution to the Round Table Council was much more significant.
"Eh, this is..."
"The Libra Festival."
Shiroe picked up a file as Henrietta explained from the side.
October. The air was becoming more chilly every time it rained, but the liveliness of Akiba remained warm. With the normalization of the relations with League of Freedom Towns Eastal, there had been more commercial exchanges stimulating the prosperity of the production guilds.
Food, clothes, machines, medicine, organic materials, and types of items were imported and exported at an astonishing rate. Akiba was now a city that focused on re-exporting after processing materials. Adventurers could gather basic items like food ingredients and minerals, but it was easier to get them in bulk by purchasing them from the People of the Land.
People of the Land, especially nobles and merchants, had a strong demand for goods made by Adventurers. They were very interested in finding out the secrets of their production and were very active in all kinds of trade.
As the production guilds became more lively, the battle guilds also reaped its share of the benefits. The 'Fairy Ring Analysis Project' that started last month resulted in tons of quests being given out, increasing the number of players going out of town for missions.
In this situation, the unexpected project that started was the Libra Festival. This event that the Adventurers of Akiba were looking forward to was a festival celebrated by the entire city.
When Elder Tales was a game, apart from events set by the developers, there were also plenty of unofficial activities organized by the players themselves.
There were all kinds of activities that spanned from an entire city to mega events that spanned the entire server. Unfortunately, there had been no news of such activities after the Catastrophe as no one had the energy to spare. But as life stabilized after 5 months, everyone should be anticipating this lively activity and letting go of the feelings of uneasiness after a while. Shiroe understood this point.
But instead of preparing for the Libra Festival, Shiroe was swamped with all sorts of administrative work, so he didn't know the details. He only took a glimpse through the memo that was sent to all the guild masters and had a very rough idea.
This was a trading activity that would be held in Akiba a few days later, that was what he thought.
"How is the liaison committee?"
"Charasin-san is working hard, I really take my hat off to him, the preparations are going smoothly."
Henrietta, who was arranging the files with her back to Shiroe, replied.
"As expected of the advertisement agency."
This project was directed by the production guilds and the 'Production Guild Liaison Committee'.
With the formation of the Round Table Council, there was a slew of new inventions bringing a boom to the economy of Akiba. The Round Table discussed issues regarding these new inventions but had finally reached their limits. The Round Table Council was the governing organization that decided the general direction Akiba should take, it couldn't keep handling trade disputes or complaints.
Practical problems related to items and delivery didn't need to be strictly handled by the 11 guild masters, so they decided to set up a dedicated department.
That was the 'Production Guild Liaison Committee'.
The Production Guild Liaison Committee was situated 2 levels below the Round Table Council's conference room in the guild building and operated 24/7. It was manned by Adventurers who had nothing better to do and it was a laid back and kind committee. The liaison committee had the atmosphere between a conference room and an office, anyone could visit any time.
With their policy of revitalizing the small guilds, this place became the hang out for guilds with small guild halls. Michitaka from Oceanic Systems and Rodrick from The Rodrick Firm treated this place as the training ground for future leaders.
A big notice board was full of all sort of requests such as buying resources, trading items or information exchange. They could also source for new items and business partners, a noisy and lively urban community center. It was just a liaison committee and lacked the seriousness of the Round Table Council.
The Production Guild Liaison Committee was the organizer of the Libra Festival.
Crescent Moon Alliance was one of the small guilds that was part of the Round Table Council and should have plenty to work to do. Henrietta had had more work at the Production Guild Liaison Committee than she had at the Round Table Council recently.
"Will Crescent Moon Alliance be participating?"
"Of course we are. Our blacksmith will be selling short swords at the flea market, Crescent☪Moon will also be making a comeback. Serara is also working hard on this as the new kids didn't have a chance to eat it. But the main event will be the fashion show."
"Yes, you didn't know?"
"No, I did hear about it..."
The idea of the Libra Festival started out by someone suggesting 'Let's hold a merchandise exhibition event alright?' at the Production Guild Liaison Committee.
The first thing the Adventurers who came to this alternate world desired was normal food and drinks. With this settled, the next was the increase in demand for a better living environment and fashionable clothes...
In the past when this was a game, your residence was just a place you used to log out. The furniture were just toys to decorate your personal space that had wonderful variety but lacked functionality.
It was the same with dressing. Among the corporations that took part in Elder Tales development, F.O.E (Fujimi Network Entertainment) was a development agency reputable in design (Suitable for Otaku culture of Japan), but they did not consider functionality when they came up with their designs. They didn't even include underwear as part of the items that could be crafted in the game by Adventurers.
But such inconvenience had been solved recently. The Adventurers had been creative and came up with more inventions everyday.
But the citizens of Akiba might miss the information about unpopular items. The only way to get information about new inventions was by chance, word of mouth or the periodic advertisement fliers.
The proposal to host a merchandise exhibition event was started this way, and after much discussion, they would be holding a fashion show, underwear exhibition, food market, and an exhibition warehouse for new inventions. There had been increasing demand to include more items for the exhibition.
Most guilds had at least one product they would say "We're the best at!" and recommend strongly and wanted to exhibit to a wider audience.
'Since that's the case, let's hold a festival centered around exhibitions!' That was what they decided 2 weeks ago.
These discussions were held in the Production Guild Liaison Committee, but half the citizens of Akiba belonged to production guilds so the news spread like wildfire all over the city.
The production guild members were all participants, so pure tourists belonged to the minority. To be precise, only visitors from outside the city would meet this criteria.
And so, the exhibitors were also the customers, akin to a school cultural festival.
Shiroe had been focusing on using the Round Table Council as a way to gather information from the outside and had been neglecting the news within the city. "Neglecting" was based on Shiroe's standard, his knowledge of what was happening in the city was much higher than normal Akiba citizens'. Simply put, the knowledge he had did not meet his tactician level of standards.
Shiroe knew the story of how the festival started out, and understood that the exhibition would energize the economy (they just wanted to have fun under the pretext of work).
The organizer of the festival was not the Round Table Council, but the liaison committee working under it. Charasin of the 8th District Shopping Center was the reliable director of this activity.
This was the reason Shiroe decided not to be involved directly and left them alone.
Henrietta said as Shiroe arranged the files neatly.
"How is Isuzu-chan doing?"
"Ah ah, ermm.... I have been meaning to talk to her properly one of these days, but I have been busy and it slipped my mind."
"Shiroe-sama is a good friend of Crescent Moon Alliance, so please don't hold back. But Serara has been worried about how she is doing."
"Yeah, she is doing well and keeping up with her daily training. She got a tan in the summer, since the only good thing about this place is that it's spacious."
The subject of the topic Isuzu was a young female Bard who transferred from Crescent Moon Alliance to Log Horizon. This young girl with freckles joined Log Horizon together with Rundelhous.
The Sorcerer Rundelhous and the Bard Isuzu, they were the 2 newest additions to Log Horizon since Tohya and Minori entered the guild. The transfer proceeded smoothly after a peaceful discussion between the 2 guild masters. Isuzu was also a beginner confined by the nasty guild Hamelin just like Minori. Her time in Crescent Moon Alliance was short and there wasn't much of a problem with the transfer.
Log Horizon and Crescent Moon Alliance had always acted like sister guilds, often holding beginner training session or forming raiding parties together. Even though Serara worried about Isuzu, they had still been meeting once every 3 days.
"Shiroe-sama hasn't gone out the entire summer."
Henrietta said reproachfully. This was the truth so Shiroe couldn't say anything to defend himself. Henrietta was a core member of Crescent Moon Alliance, had similar roles as adviser like Shiroe and was also handling the accounts for Crescent Moon Alliance. She must be busy, but Minori and the others said that she would occasionally show her face during beginner training sessions and participate actively. Henrietta's words were rather harsh to Shiroe's ears.
"... I am reflecting on that."
"Very well, please take a look at this."
Henrietta handed over something like a venue brochure. The copies of such printed materials could be duplicated using Shiroe's Scribe subclass. The original must have been hand written, but it was easy to make copies.
Shiroe browsed through it roughly, Akiba seemed to have several exhibition areas set up all over the city.
The content was mostly fashion and dining but there were also armor, weapons and furniture made from steel or wood. The festival eve events started the day after tomorrow while the actual festival would last for 2 days.
(The dinner party and the after-festival party...)
Shiroe confirmed the event dates and it overlapped with the return of the spy. The spy should be able to sneak in easily with the crowd during the festival, but it would take some effort to secure their reports.
(We can't make any reckless movements during the festival, guess we have to wait...)
Even if he wanted to gather more data, the intelligence they could collate during the festival would not be reliable.
"Really, why are you making such a face... Since Shiroe-sama is reflecting on his actions, you should say something right?"
"For instance, use this festival as a chance to deepen your relationships with your friends in Log Horizon"
Shiroe was stunned by her words for a moment, but she did have a point and it was a good idea. He should be fine doing this once in a while.
Henrietta shook her slender finger. Her actions together with her thin frame spectacles gave her an alluring air of mischief akin to an elder sister.
"Log Horizon is one of the representatives of the Round Table Council, please do your part to make this event lively."
"Ah... I will handle this appropriately."
"And that's a promise okay?"
Henrietta informed with a smile.
"Both Akatsuki-chan and Minori-chan are very cute, I am looking forward to it. Heavens, really... Just imagining it can let me go on without food. As the saying goes, 'People can't go on with only bread, but they can endure most hardships with bread and imagination'. My god..."
Henrietta who was twisting her body with her hands on her cheeks looked horrifying. Shiroe could not send his precious guild members to uncertain death, so he needed to find out the details of this 'promise'.
"What can they do to help?"
"It's very simple, they just need to help with the sales of winter clothes exhibition."
Being a salesgirl should have nothing to do with being very cute correct?
Shiroe saw through the blueprints of Henrietta's future plan and apologized to his guild members in his heart, thinking of how he could make it up for them.
Raynesia was wearing comfortable casual clothes and sitting on the couch, enjoying her small lunchbox with pretty designs. This was a common take away lunchbox in Akiba.
The vacation she was looking forward to.
Even as Raynesia immersed herself in this feeling of sweetness, her supple feminine body still trembled when she recollected her recent crushing work load. Raynesia sighed heavily and drooped her shoulders. Yes, she had been conned. Conned by Krusty.
She was baited by the sweet talk of '3 meals provided with afternoon nap included'. She was remorseful of her rash actions.
It was obvious if you thought about it.
The Adventurers were the key to influencing the world. The nobles of the League of Freedom Towns Eastal' which her grandfather chaired also knew this, and was attempting to recruit and use them in political and military terms. The reason Raynesia gave her speech in the nobles conference was because she could not stand their attitude and behavior.
Back then, she worked so hard as she wanted to protect her homeland and not force the Adventurers to accept their willful and rude demands at the same time.
In a sense, Raynesia's effort had borne fruits. With the kindness of the Round Table Council and the sense of justice of the Adventurers, her homeland Maihama and the League of Freedom Towns Eastal was saved.
After the war in Sand Leaf ended, the situation reverted back to the way it was. No, with the Adventurers showing their might to the aristocrats, the development that follows was much more concrete.
Adventurers didn't only show their military prowess, but also their advanced technology, economy, and unity as well. With their display of force, no nobles held any ambition of conquering Akiba and worked towards deepening their relationship with the Adventurers in order to increase their gain through taxes.
Raynesia had seen so many examples this month that it irritated her.
Raynesia took on the role of ambassador in Akiba under her grandfather's orders... her position was something between confinement and martial arts training. She was also the first residential ambassador from the League of Freedom Towns Eastal to coordinate relationships between the two groups.
She often received invitations from the Round Table Council to attend events like ceremonies, and would also participate in balls as a noblewoman. Thanks to her perfect lady education, these gatherings were nothing to her (even though they were troublesome), but the problems lay elsewhere.
For example, clans who focused on business, which the Adventurers called 'production guilds', would visit her and ask her opinion on business matters. On the other hand, the merchants and nobles from the League of Freedom Towns Eastal would also ask her to introduce influential people in Akiba to them.
She needed to investigate the details thoroughly before handling such requests, or there would be trouble if she lost her reputation.
There would be no failures if she declined them all, but there were some request she could not reject in the social world. Even if she came from the most influential Dukedom in northeast Yamato, she was not the head of the family, just a granddaughter, so not everything went the way she wanted.
At the same time, she was amazed at the lack of schemes in the actions of the Adventurers. In their eyes, Raynesia was a direct descendant of one of the two Dukedoms in Yamato. Even if they were curious and treated her with respect, they didn't think they had to grovel at her feet.
They approached Raynesia as a Person of the Land to understand how a People of the Land might understand or feel about things, not to take advantage of her position for their own benefit.
They probably saw themselves as powerful Adventurers, and even if Raynesia was a noblewoman, she was just a Person of the Land in the end. That was what Raynesia felt.
From Raynesia's angle, this made her sad.
She was happy that the crowd didn't treat her like an aristocrat and saw her as another human being, but this joy and the pain were both sides of the same coin.
She was happy to be a common Person of the Land, but it pained her that she was a powerless noble.
(But, let's ignore this for now...)
This type of emotion was like a trap.
To fulfill the request, dignity and restriction of the nobles, she needed to learn more about the Adventurers and Akiba. Not only her, the People of the Land as a whole did not know much about the Adventurers, even the nobles. They assumed they understood each other because they shared a common language, but their lifestyle and culture had a major gap. In the process of trading or helping, there would be conflicts if they didn't have the minimum amount of knowledge, which had happened numerous time.
If she didn't advise the aristocrats and merchants this way and only help with introducing Adventurers and production guilds to them, it would cause major problems one day.
On the flip side, the problems with the Adventurers made Raynesia feel gloomy. Adventurers were very practical and wanted practical information. All the Adventurers were intelligent and educated, talking to them made her feel she and her country were ignorant of so much.
(Because I am not with the military, because I am not a bureaucrat, because I am not a man...)
Raynesia had not come into contact with the diplomatic issues facing her Dukedom clan for various reasons, and she thought this was obvious. But her conversations with the Adventurers made her realize she didn't even know what the citizens on the street or the farmers were eating, where they were living. What would interest them, what made them happy or sad.
It was acceptable if she didn't know about the Adventurers, but she didn't know the lives and hearts of her citizens either, making Raynesia realize what a shameful excuse of a noble she was.
In order to seriously deal with the requests of the nobles and the Adventurers, she would need to amass a wealth of knowledge and investigate them thoroughly. This made her so busy that the words '3 meals provided with afternoon nap included' had disappeared without a trace.
"Woo wah... This is never ending."
The worse fact was there were no limits to this type of knowledge. Even if thinking of a brilliant plan, advice or coordination, there was no guarantee that it was the best way.
If she considered it, or investigated it even more, there might be an even better idea. Or if planned more carefully, she might be able to avoid the worse outcome. These doubts lingered on in the corner of her mind 24 hours a day, even Raynesia who admitted she was lazy by nature was unable to cut corners.
Elissa lectured her when she collapsed with a fever after studying the books too hard. She did not remember the content of her preachings, but it was nice to have 3 days to recuperate.
"That's it, I'm not going to do anything!"
Raynesia enjoyed her lunch elegantly with her petite mouth.
Stewed vegetables, cold dishes and the brown object known as mini hamburger steak. This was a lunch that mixed western and Japanese styles.
From the perspective of aristocrats, the dishes packed inside the small box were vulgar and shabby, but Raynesia liked it a lot. Even if the dining table was full of roasted meat, stew meat and fried meat, she couldn't finish them and preferred her bread and fruits as she smiled. Her appearance, like this, had been described as delicate and ethereal which gave her a headache.
Comparatively, this small takeaway lunch box was a calming meal for her. The dishes after the revolution could not be compared to before, she couldn't remember her pre-revolution diet anymore.
Pickles and the rice, which Adventurers liked to eat, intrigued her, and the sweet omelette she loved were amazing. Raynesia carefully replaced the cover on the box after finishing and placed the fork on top. She was still trying to learn how to use the utensil chopsticks.
"May I have some tea Elissa?"
The room was cool and quiet.
Staying in this room like a bird in a nest and enjoying a meal without anyone disturbing, what more extravagant things could she ask for? Raynesia felt that there was nothing that could match this.
Maybe Raynesia thought she was enjoying a depraved moment. Having been trained from youth, even though she was not wearing a 2-piece velvet dress, she still could wear her clothes beautifully with a feeling of class and grace. She might think she was showing the lazy side of herself, but her casual dress made with linen and chiffon was still suitable for going out in the eyes of the Adventurers.
Her beautiful looks, reputed as the winter rose of Eastal, were the same as usual. Her casual clothes and her drowsy smile, as she ate, looked cute and fit her age.
A certain naggy maid might say 'your dress and attitude are outrageous', but Raynesia was determined not to let this 3 day recuperating period go to waste.
She must do her best to be lazy, to make up for the lazing around she had not done recently.
This was all the fault of the brain eating monster Krusty. She ended up like this because the lying knight with slits for eyes conned her.
Raynesia picked up the tea placed in front of her table and felt the steam with her face, thinking about how busy she had been. All her joints were numbed from comfort, a deep sense of fulfillment from eating and sleeping all she wanted.
Her sleep time had dropped recently and could only be described as cruel torture.
"Really, I have been so busy all because of that mischievous monster... I need to let him realize the difference in our power relationship some day."
Just as Raynesia sighed happily after enjoying the fragrance of her tea, a voice that shouldn't be there sounded out.
"I am very aware of this relationship, so there is no need to trouble the princess to teach me."
Krusty who was seated on the couch to Raynesia's right replied without missing a beat.
His tunic that was dyed in layers of brown just like the autumn leaves matched his black edged coat. His dressing was suitable for taking a stroll with the feeling of autumn giving Krusty a refreshing image.
The burly knight with a broad and strong upper body akin to a giant warrior, his strong limbs were long and well proportion. So if he walked on the streets in casual clothes, it wouldn't give off the impression of a giant, the contours of his face had the academic look of a scholar or researcher. His appearance maintained a feeling of neatness and cleanliness with absolutely no weak points to speak of. You couldn't find any even if you tried.
The ominous atmosphere he gave off in the battle field made him look like a giant warrior, but he looked so gentle and quiet on the streets, this was definitely foul play.
Krusty appearing at an impossible timing made Raynesia repeatedly open and close her mouth in objection.
"Ah, ah, ahah!"
"It's fine if you want to scream or fidget around, but you probably should put this down."
Krusty said calmly as he took the ceramic tea cup from Raynesia's hands. His calm attitude made Raynesia's blood rush to her head and her unable to think properly.
She was unable to collect her thoughts. (Why are you here? Who gave you permission? Isn't barging into a lady's personal room (this was an office, so this description was a bit wrong) outrageous?) The questions that came along with her anger rose and disappeared repeatedly.
Raynesia escaped by crawling to the edge of her couch. She moved at most a meter away. Considering the length of Krusty's arms, this was not enough, but she would fall off if she went any further.
"What... What is the..."
"If you are asking about the time, it should be 10 soon."
"Elissa-san let me in without saying a word."
"Why, why, why did..."
"I heard you were recuperating, so I came here to harass you."
Raynesia was speechless.
(He said harass. This monster said he came here to harass me with a straight face!)
"You say this is a prank?"
"Forgive my insolence. There were no other nobles around, so I bit my tongue by mistake. I am here to visit princess Raynesia, who is busy with work, and cheer you on."
Krusty was enjoying tea, from a similar teacup just like Raynesia's, as he replied in a leisurely and calm way. These words seemed to be decorated with lies and could not be trusted.
Raynesia maintained a defensive posture as she trembled (psychologically) at the corner of the couch. She could hear Elissa warning her in her mind, 'The princess of Maihama that is the pride of Eastal cannot act so indecently', but even if Elissa said that to her face now, she wouldn't know what to do.
"Anyway, the joke ends here."
"... How is the Libra Festival?"
Krusty casually asked and Raynesia realized this was the real topic for today.
Libra Festival was a festival that involved the whole Akiba city. Raynesia knew this was a celebration of peace and prosperity for the city. They would be displaying all kinds of items in the event to trade or sell. There wouldn't be any religious rites for the spirits or gods. No matter how you looked at it, it was just a normal city fair, much different from the festival Raynesia knew about. But the common thing would be people congregating together to have fun, at least that was what the report said.
The Libra Festival, where many Adventurers gathered to do business, should attract a lot of People of the Land businessmen to visit. Raynesia had already received such letters requesting Raynesia to introduce Adventurers to them.
"Yes, it is fine."
"So busy, so exhausting, so much responsibility."
He read minds again. Raynesia was scared, but was gradually getting used to it. She plead in her heart 'please don't do that' which was definitely conveyed to him, but he didn't show any mercy.
But despite the feeling of fear, she enjoyed her time conversing with Krusty. He was able to see through things that Raynesia found hard to say or wished he would notice.
"I am... doing my work properly"
Raynesia retaliated slightly, but he just brushed it off with a sentence.
Seemed like the mind reading monster could not tell how much effort Raynesia put in and how difficult it was.
"What is it?"
Raynesia turned her head away and adopted an ignoring attitude, disregarding the gentleman with a look of boredom on her face. (This is an act of attack. I will not be tempted by Krusty's sweet talk.) Raynesia steeled herself as she averted her sideway gaze at Krusty away in a hurry. Snorting was too rude, so she would not do that (she didn't remember ever doing that).
"The preparation for the dinner party is going smoothly. Don't worry, I am doing it properly."
Raynesia's words surprised Krusty. Seemed like he thought Raynesia was useless. (If you think that, don't throw work at me okay?) Raynesia thought.
"... Ahah, you mean the dinner party hosted by the princess?"
Seemed like he just forgot about it.
This monster was infuriating.
The dinner party on the 2nd night was organized by Raynesia. The 'organize' here meant being the figurehead, Raynesia was unable to help in terms of preparation work and cooking duties.
Raynesia's duty was to attend this dinner party as the host and entertain the guests, running the place as the host. Even this level of dinner party in Akiba was simpler and less formal than many of the dinner parties Raynesia attended before.
Adventurers disliked hypocritical etiquette.
This understanding had slowly changed in the month Raynesia had spent in Akiba.
They didn't really dislike the etiquette, they just couldn't see the point in them. Since there was no point they were unwilling to learn, so they didn't have the knowledge of complicated etiquette.
Adventurers seriously lacked knowledge about this world and the People of the Land society. Raynesia felt they were like babies in this aspect.
(But the feeling must be mutual...)
Raynesia worked closer with the Adventurers than other People of the Land, but when discussing among themselves, Raynesia was unable to keep up with half of their topics. Firstly, she didn't understand their technical terms so she didn't understand half of what they were saying. The part she did understand baffled her as to why they had such outrageous thoughts.
Adventurers did not even know the concept of nobles and peasants.
From the above example you could tell that both sides still had a long way to go.
But they would be able to close this gap in the future.
At least Raynesia thought so.
The reason why it was a dinner party and not a banquet was based on the same reason.
For banquets, the invited guests would be seated according to their status for dinner. The host Raynesia would be in charge of all the activities including dishes to welcome her guests.
The dinner party took a form that was unheard of by the People of the Land, it looked like a banquet but was a different form of dining. There would be all kinds of dishes that would be served to the table and replenished periodically. There was no fixed seating for the guests and they would stand and dine like a dance party.
The Round Table Council was the governing body and was very important, but in order to be accepted by the Adventurers as friends, it was important to interact with all sorts of people. Since the Adventurers did not like to differentiate between nobles and peasants, she would need to treat them all like nobles.
Raynesia requested the Round Table Council for help bearing this thought in mind to organize this grand scale dinner party.
This was her way to show her sincerity, gratitude and appreciation for the War of Sand Leaf.
The War of Sand Leaf 2 months ago still had lingering effects in this world, but the mop up operation had finally concluded. Raynesia welcomed the Libra Festival with this feeling in her heart.
Krusty was probably going to dump more work on her using some excuse, but she would not be conned this time. Raynesia steeled herself as she turned her head away.
She had finally been given some time of peace (as well as the delicious food in Akiba), no matter what she wanted to avoid working or getting involved in troublesome affairs.
But unexpectedly, Krusty did not mention any work (which always seemed easy at a glance) or troublesome issues after a long time and just sipped his tea quietly.
Time passed leisurely in the room.
(What is this monster thinking about...)
As Raynesia worried, the time continued to pass slowly.
The air that seemed to have a yawn mixed in came along with sleepiness. The sound of the festival preparation was like the sound of the tides from far away. The monotonous sound of the clock seemed like some evil magic luring her to sleep.
Raynesia had planned on spending the whole day dazing so this was not a problem. The couch was so soft and comfortable, she wanted to spend half the day just like this. This part was going as planned, but the problem was Krusty.
Even if Raynesia was a noble with an adventurous heart, she could not keep on dazing beside a man.
Raynesia peeked quietly and carefully at Krusty, he had placed the teacup on the table and was looking out the window at the street that seemed to be melting in the autumn sunlight.
Such a handsome profile. The current Krusty didn't have the vicious and murderous air he had while battling the goblins.
(Now that I think about it, he is a monster so he can see through all your thoughts.)
Raynesia felt relaxed as if she had just exorcised a demon possessing her heart.
Just a little.
About the distance of 2 palms.
Raynesia moved herself closer to the center of the couch.
The distance between the 2 closed just a little, but it was still enough for 2 Raynesias to sit between them.
Krusty shrugged without saying a word and continued to enjoy his tea on the couch for a long time.
"I finished stacking them!"
"Yeah, same here."
Cheerful voices sounded out, informing the merchant group they had finished the preparation.
"Are you ready Rudy?"
"Roger Miss Isuzu."
Blond hair, blue eyes and a charming face, the handsome youth Rundelhous replied to Isuzu as he tucked the map and small items into his backpack.
Isuzu had already finished arranging her stuff, she just needed to stand up and brush off the dust on her waist and she'd be done.
In this alternate world, outdoor activities really referred to the great outdoors. 'Just a trip to the convenience shop'... such feelings didn't exist. Even the inside of Akiba city was full of ruins and debris, it was a zone where the ancient trees flourished so much that it was practically a forest. Even more so when you left the city, the untamed nature and the circle of human civilization came together in both conflict and fusion.
The fashion of the Adventurers was usually flashy and elegant, but this was only under the premise of their superhuman stamina and their special ability of automatic cleaning.
Isuzu thought that neat freaks... like the girls who invested lots of effect in fingernail painting, would have a very hard time here.
Fortunately Isuzu was not obsessed with cleanliness to that extent, she was the type who didn't mind getting a bit dirty doing work.
Transporting music instruments was tough work, a long period of performance took a lot of stamina. The wind instrument, which Isuzu was not proficient in, needed a certain level of lung capacity to play, the contrabass that Isuzu concentrated on was over 10kg in weight.
The brass band was a cultural organization, but it was more like a sports group.
(On top of that, I was a country girl.)
She shrugged as she finished her monologue in her heart. There would be toads croaking in the farm surrounding her school when spring arrived.
Isuzu was a Bard with freckles on her face and had a pair of bright eyes. She wore light leather armor and tied her long hair in a braid. She carried a 2 handed spear that was not suitable for Bards on her back, that was her fighting style.
It had been 3 months since she left the guild Hamelin that oppressed beginners. She had grown accustomed to life as an Adventurer and was living everyday peacefully.
So she did not feel any pressure even while resting in the forest like this. She was fine with sitting on the tree trunk directly and would not fret about dirtying her buttocks, she thought she was not that type of 'girl'.
Even so, Isuzu's partner still treated her like a 'girl'.
"Miss Isuzu? Here."
Just as Isuzu was about to mount the horse, Rundelhous offered to give a hand and help push Isuzu up the horse. He then mounted his horse agilely with a hearty attitude that was not annoying at all.
"What is it Miss Isuzu?"
The young man turning to look at Isuzu with a surprised expression was Rundelhous Code.
He was a Person of the Land Adventurer. It sounded contradicting, but it made him a special and unique person in this world.
Blond hair, blue eyes with classy facial features, just like the prince that appeared in shoujo manga. With a hint of naive nature unique to the sons of rich families, his eyes were full of pride and strength.
But he was overly classy which made Isuzu see him as 'a puppy youth that looks like a golden retriever'. This youth had a lovable temperament.
"Is this really fine sir and lady Adventurers?"
"Yes, of course it's fine."
The one asking was a Person of the Land leading a merchant caravan towards Akiba. If they left now, they should arrive in the evening.
Isuzu and Rundelhous, who met this merchant caravan while going out in the morning to train and farm monsters, were now escorting them to Akiba.
They were currently at 8 River Channels' High Coast, corresponding to Keihin port near Tamagawa river on earth.
This zone could be reached in 2.5 hours using horses unique to the Adventurers, a place Isuzu and Rundelhous loved to visit, although their reasons differed.
Rundelhous who was uncompromising in training would practice by himself on top of raiding with the members of his guild. Any place was fine if it was meditation or practicing new spells repeatedly. But to increase his control and accuracy, the most suitable sparring partner... were monsters.
Being close to Akiba and having monsters that you could solo made this zone a perfect training ground. For Rundelhous, 8 River Channels' High Coast was a convenient place to do self training.
For Isuzu, she liked this strolling route.
She and her brave dog... Rundelhous would choose all kinds of routes when they went for their walk. But the route for 8 River Channels' High Coast was along the coast line, it had beautiful scenery and you could even see the ocean from here, a truly extravagant venue.
A one-way trip of 2 hours was rather far for a strolling route, but in this period where everyone was busy preparing for the festival and battle training was on hiatus, this was a good place to kill time.
... Isuzu did not forget their goal was to train the battle power of Rundelhous and herself. The best defense in this dangerous world was to level up.
You not only learned new skills when leveling up, your HP and all sort of defenses would also increase.
The damage you took from a monster was not only based on their attack strength, but also affected by its level difference with the player. Usually, the higher the level difference against the monster, the less damage you would take. If you trained through battle and levelled up, it meant you were safer from harm.
Isuzu almost lost Rundelhous once.
She didn't want to experience that again.
So they went out early in the morning and started training (or strolling) for a few hours before meeting this merchant caravan in the afternoon. It was a convoy of 5 horse carriages with 20 People of the Land. They seemed to have come from Izu and were heading to Akiba. The merchant caravan claimed to have heard news about the Libra Festival and were going there to sell their wares and purchase any goods that interested them.
Isuzu and Rundelhous discussed for a while.
In the wild open zone, there was a principle to the monsters they encountered in different terrains. The monsters in deep forest and hills were stronger than those outside, the closer you were to human civilization, there were usually less powerful monsters as well. This zone that was close to Akiba city was relatively safe.
But that was for Adventurers.
For the People of the Land, every journey was a series of dangerous events. Isuzu understood this. She had listened to Rundelhous talk about the People of the Land and knew how helpless their lives were in this world full of monsters.
After a short debate, they decided to escort this caravan to Akiba. The merchant caravan could make it to Akiba even without their escort, but traveling merchants were always extra cautious.
This would only take half a day and they were just slowing their pace on the way back. They could continue with their training while escorting the convoy by taking out any monsters they encountered. Isuzu and Rundelhous offered to help after considering these points.
The People of the Land were hesitant at first but gladly accepted when they found out they just needed to treat them to a meal as reward.
(So they are hesitant about this part.)
Isuzu felt a bit sad, but decided not to brood about it since it couldn't be helped.
In the eyes of the People of the Land, Adventurers were an existence that was so close yet so far away. The People of the Land in Akiba were accustomed to living with Adventurers, but for those living in the rural areas, Adventurers were like alien beings. Rundelhous reminded Isuzu of this point time and again.
The merchant caravan continued their advance along the gently undulating slopes under the bright autumn sun. The noise the carriage made were unexpectedly loud. The wooden carriage lacked cushions or shock absorbents and reflected the uneven surface of the ground with its rattling sound.
Just listening to this sound was enough to make you think it could fall apart anytime, but it seemed to be ruggedly made. The carriage that had been reinforced with steel bracing at all its crucial points moved slowly with its full load of cargo.
"Mr Merchant, may I ask what are you carrying in the carriage?"
Rundelhous asked peacefully on their leisure journey home. The leader sitting on the driver's seat was conversing with a young man in the cargo compartment, but he looked out when he heard Rundelhous.
"Adventurer-san, our goods are mainly fruits such as oranges, kumquats, and olives. We also brought some food seasoning and wine. We are hoping to purchase clothes and utensils for our journey back."
"That explains the fragrance!"
Isuzu nodded repeatedly after hearing the response.
A fresh and sweet fragrance filled the air around the carriage. There were less fresh fruit during this season, so this must be the smell of candied fruits.
Adventurers were basically rich and generous compared to People of the Land, so they were great customers for business.
"Correct, this is the glazed fruit we are proud of, I hope the people of Akiba will enjoy them."
Rundelhous nodded to acknowledge the leader's business smile.
"Speaking of which, I have seen a lot of merchants these few days."
"Of course, it is the autumn festival after all!"
Isuzu thought about it after retorting to Rundelhous. Rundelhous was a young man who was obsessed with improving himself and had been working hard in battle magic training like an obligation. They made this long trip today for training as well, but things could go wrong if Rundelhous kept going on like this... Isuzu was worried. As the guardian of this silly, stubborn, and straightforward young man, stopping his reckless ways was Isuzu's duty.
(Rudy should have a bit of fun too!)
Since this was decided, the rest was simple.
Isuzu listed out some place she wanted to visit. Festival meant music, music meant celebration. There were so many things she wanted to see and so many things she wanted to eat. She wanted to attend the campfire concert even if she had to drag Rundelhous there with a leash on his neck. She heard that the concert also welcomed Bards to join in onsite.
"Do any merchants travel by sea?"
"Yeah there are. Like the merchants of Ninetails recently."
"... Ah ah."
"Their situation has calmed down so it is safe to travel by ship. I heard the merchants from the west this time will be coming via sea. With the invention of the fairy ship, their speed is now much faster. But common traders like us have nothing to do with these."
Isuzu concentrated on planning the schedule for the evening and didn't notice the pained expression on Rundelhous' face. But she was not at fault since Rundelhous showed the restraint of adolescence and wiped this expression away in a blink of the eye, even the merchant talking to him didn't feel anything out of place.
The scene of a grand explosion collapsing structures and leaving debris described the south of Akiba perfectly. They would be able to see the greenery of the ancient trees after passing through.
They were still several hours away from Akiba but they could see other caravans or a lone businessman walking with goods strapped to his horse. Everyone seemed to be rushing to Akiba.
Akiba was holding an autumn festival.
The 2 escorts remained alert as the caravan headed towards their home city.
"I have brought your laundry my lord."
The one pushing the door open with her back was Akatsuki.
(I still don't get our lord-ninja relationship.)
Shiroe thought as he helped her place the pile beside a table. Shiroe's room was a spacious 20 tatami wide area. The only good thing about the guild house of Log Horizon was its vast amount of space. After remodeling several times, a third of the space on the east side of the 2nd floor was used by Shiroe.
A computer or even a flash drive amount of information in the old world was equivalent to several cabinets of files in this world. No matter how you organized them it was still inefficient to search for the data you wanted, but this was the only way to collate information.
"You seem to be not well?"
Akatsuki gazed up from below surprising Shiroe. This petite and beautiful girl was unaware of her own charms. She was always looking straight ahead, so when Shiroe saw her big, black, and shiny eyes and lips that sparkled alluringly like pudding face to face, his heart would race and his emotions got awkward.
There had even been signs before, but Akatsuki was getting better at sneaking up on him. Maybe it was her small stature or her Tracker and Assassin abilities, she was always appearing in surprising places when Shiroe was distracted.
Without even stretching his hands, he could already feel her body warmth just by bending a little. This distance made Shiroe uncomfortable, but Akatsuki didn't seem to mind as she showed her concern for Shiroe like some small animal.
"Is that so."
Akatsuki did not continue after responding and started folding the laundry on the sofa. These were casual wear clothing that had dried after airing them on the floor above.
The armors and robes that Adventurers equipped has a set durability. It became dirty and worn out as it suffered damage, but it became as good as new after repair by people with the corresponding subclass, so there was no need to wash them.
But Adventurers and the People of the Land had recently started to manually craft items by hand. These could become dirty and damaged but could not be repaired using the game menu, so it needed to be washed manually.
White shirts fluttering on the laundry line was not a bad sight. Doing laundry was one of the more popular chores among Log Horizon members.
There were very few clothes.
They finished folding a short while later with them working together. Akatsuki poured black rose tea into a glass and took out her snack of the day, seemed like red bean bun. Bread was a staple food in Yamato since wheat was grown everywhere. There was rice in Yamato as well, but bread lasted longer without going bad after baking. With the advent of cooking research, all kinds of bread started to appear in the market.
The new products were expensive at first, but the prices gradually dropped after mass production kicked in. Since the consumers' habits didn't change, this business phenomenon remained the same in this world.
The price of this plain looking red bean bread had fallen a lot, but it was still expensive for a snack. Holding a bun with her left hand, Akatsuki handed the plate with the remaining bun over to Shiroe.
"Is it fine?"
"My treat, I hope my lord will appreciate it."
Akatsuki replied curtly, Shiroe was not sure how to react to her invitation.
Shiroe hadn't been out to the field lately as he was busy with administrative work for the Round Table Council. Akatsuki who had been training with Minori and the other beginners out in the field had money to spare, so Shiroe wasn't worried about the cost. But as a guild master and a young man, letting a little girl (appearance wise) treat him felt awkward.
Shiroe also felt this was a childish pride, but it was an emotional problem so it couldn't be helped that he showed some hesitation. But it would look bad if he declined out of pride so Shiroe accepted the bun with gratitude.
Akatsuki started eating her share as Shiroe took the plate. The 2 of them sat side-by-side on the sofa relaxing their feet and enjoying the sweet red bean paste.
"What is it Akatsuki?"
Akatsuki eyes wandered around the room as she thought about how to say this.
"My lord, do you..."
"Have any plans for the festival?"
Shiroe didn't know how to react to her question.
Henrietta did ask him to help with some things. And his guild members might forget his face if he stayed in his office all the time.
"I will be helping Henrietta-san with some events. I heard it is a fashion show... seems like she needs to visit several places."
"I see... I am not asking about that."
Minori barged into the room, holding a brown paper bag carefully with both hands. When she discovered Akatsuki was present, she braked and stopped immediately.
The stammering Minori was wearing her favorite blouse with a big bow and her knee length denim skirt. The girl wearing fashionable clothes found commonly in the streets, answered Shiroe's questioning gaze after hesitating a moment.
"Shiroe-san, that, regarding the Libra Festival tomorrow, do you want to go out together?"
"Wrong, I mean do you want to eat together?"
Minori handed him a flyer with bright words "All you can eat cakes" printed on it. Shiroe didn't get it and turned to Akatsuki for an explanation. Akatsuki gave a serious expression as she held an identical flyer in front of her chest.
"Do you hate sweet things Shiroe-san?"
"No I don't."
"I can tell from the way you ate the red bean bun."
Shiroe preferred food with just the right amount of sweetness.
"Let's participate my lord, there is no charge for mixed gender pairs that participate."
"Want to join this Shiroe-san? It's free okay? Free!"
According to the flyer, the rules for participating was 1 male and 1 female... meaning mixed gender pairs, time limit was 45 minutes, it was free of charge if you finished 8th place, and the top 2 couples could advance to the official match.
(So 4 for 1 person...)
This amount should be a piece of cake, but Shiroe felt the 2 of them were abnormally passionate about this. He must be imagining things, but there seemed to be a bit of hostility between the 2 of them. Shiroe was concerned about this, but for some reasons, he hesitated about asking them directly.
(Ah, now that I think of it, in the past...)
Correct, it was the same in the past.
He recollected that it was the same in the Debauchery Tea Party. It was always the female players who made willful demands with 'her' being the biggest culprit. Shiroe sighed in his heart when he thought about this. If all the women had the same nature (and that was highly possible), it would not be wise to decline them.
"How about it Shiroe-san..."
"My lord, my lord!"
Shiroe could only raise his white flag and surrender when pressured by these 2 young girls.
Translator's Notes and References
- Its unnecessary to clean Adventurers clothes, their appearance will change according to their durability. see -> Log_Horizon:_Volume_4_Chapter_3#Part_3
- 20 tatami ~ 31 m² ~ 333.4 ft²
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