“Poppycock! What is the meaning of all this!?”
… A wide room.
It was the wide workroom of the head of the Trēs Trading Company, 【Fidel Trēs】. Light poured in from a large window, and many extravagant furnishings were displayed about.
Dabbling in maritime trade, and other such transactions, the Trēs Trading Company was one of the prominent mercantile houses of Beim. Fidel was a representative in the city’s merchant council, and one of the most influential traders in the city.
Such a man crushed a report in his hand, as he glared at the thirty-year-old man before his eyes.
The man gave an excuse.
“I-I apologize! But thinking guards would be essential, I appointed them of my own accord. And in all actuality, according to those who’ve come from Cartaffs, the Trident Serpent was subjugated, and milady’s cargo was intact, so…”
“I didn’t ask for your excuses! Just what sort of man did you put aboard Vera’s ship!? Just look at this! That princess of Lorphys has completely lost her backbone, has she not!? And then Zayin! The Holy Maiden, and former Holy Maiden… relations with not one, but both of them!”
The reason for Fidel’s rage was quite simple. On his daughter Vera’s ship rode an adventurer, while whose skill was assured, was a known womanizer.
He wanted to get this time’s transaction to succeed no matter what.
And that’s why he had sent his daughter, but up to that point, the only thing he had heard from his men, was that they had hired a talented adventurer for the job.
After they encountered the Trident Serpent, and the stories of its defeat spread through Beim, he became interested in that adventurer’s identity.
It would be a good idea to make a long-term contract with them, and more importantly, he was the savior of his beloved daughter’s life. As busy as he was, Fidel couldn’t see his daughters too often, but he did still treasure them quite a bit.
And upon investigating that savior, he was definitely amazing.
To an extent it could be called a blessing they were able to hire them.
But to Fidel, an unbelievable truth had come to light in those documents.
He had ended up letting a shady adventurer he shouldn’t have on his daughter’s ship. He was filled with regret.
“T-this man, isn’t it likely he has a dubious Skill to ensnare women!? My daughter… what are you going to do if he ends up laying hands on Vera!?”
On Fidel’s rage, the man who’d hired Lyle’s party looked confused.
“S-still, he has a high evaluation from the Guild, and when it came to the job…”
“Like I care about that! He’s a damn womanizer! Without digging deeper into the Guild, how can you say for sure!? Kuh… Vera’s body is in danger, is it not!?”
The man looked at Fidel, a little fed-up. He could be respected when it came to work, but when his daughter was involved, he couldn’t help but be prone to excessive worrying.
For that sake, he had properly put assigned guards to Vera, and his other daughter, 【Gina Trēs】.
The man recalled that fact.
“Please calm down, Fidel-sama. Around Lady Vera are those robust sailors. To them, she is a goddess of fortune. They would never let a man get close to her so easily. And above the sea is their domain.”
Even so, Fidel looked anxious.
He rustled up his black swept-back hair, spread out the document he had crumpled, and reconfirmed the details.
“I-it’s true that Vera is adored by the sailors. Our luck was off this time, but she’s my adorable daughter, loved by the sea… a single adventurer whelp would never be able to ensnare her…”
But Fidel thought.
(Since he came to Beim, he’s had a high request completion rate, and he’s even gotten involved in Labyrinth Subjugation. There’s no doubt he’s proficient. I did hear he played mercenary in Zayin, but the result was the best he could have hoped for. Still, the amount of beauts waiting on him… as I thought, should I should I get the Guild to look into this? Someone with this sort of troublesome Skill should be extinguished and confined at an early stage. Right. This isn’t because Vera is in danger. It’s for the sake of the world!)
Giving an excuse to himself, Fidel decided to move around a few pieces before Vera’s return.
Beim’s Guild was under the management of the merchants.
If a merchant of his level called out, there were many who would move.
Straightening out his hair, Fidel crushed the report into a ball, and tossed it into a trash can. He lightly traced a finger down his prided moustache.
“… We’ll go out to meet them when they arrive at the port. And prepare some skilled folks. I’ve got to prepare another reward too.”
This time’s results held a large meaning to the man. The Vera Trēs couldn’t even be sunken by the Trident Serpent.
He couldn’t say it was the ship’s contribution that defeated it, but you never knew what would happen as sea. Make others believe in your luck, and that was enough to increase the number of those that would leave their cargo to you.
When the goods arrived safely, more people would use the service.
The man nodded with a serious face, and left the room.
Before restarting his work, Fidel wrote up a letter to the Guild.
“Hmmph! Famous noble son or not, get close to my Vera, and I’ll have you disappear. If you’ve laid a hand on her, then…”
With a dark smile on his face, he finished the letter, and returned to his work…
… Tanya received a summons from the Guild management under her Tahnia name.
Along with her superior, she had been called to the main branch.
Both of them looked perplexed at the executive’s impatient expression.
“From your eyes, what sort of person is this Lyle Walt? You can tell he’s a skilled one just from looking at the reports. But how do you judge his nature?”
In an uneasy main branch, what’s more, in front of its top brass, Tahnia felt lost.
“He is a skilled adventurer, and I can’t say there are any problems with his personality. We’re having him take on as many requests as he can manage, and this time around, he has even gone to subjugate a Land Dragon in…”
“Not that. Next. What do you think?”
The executive sought out her boss’s opinion. Tahnia thought she had conversed with enough people at the counter to be a good judge of character, so she was more fit for the question.
But as outranked as she was here, she kept her mouth closed.
“Even if you ask me… I have nothing more to say than what’s written on the reports. Has there been some sort of problem?”
The executive made a face as if it were something hard to say, and presented a single envelope.
Seeing the name on the cover, Tahnia’s boss opened his eyes wide.
“One of the representatives of Beim… Fidel Trēs’s letter has stated their concern, and called him out by name, so here we are.”
Hearing that name, Tahnia felt like pressing her face to her hand. She endured it, and remained expressionless, but in her head…
(What the hell are you doing, Lyle-kun. That isn’t someone you should be making an enemy of.)
Skilled, but an adventurer with a screw or two blown out. That was the current general evaluation of Lyle.
Because there was no way someone leading a mere hundred men would openly pick a fight with an entire country, small country as it may be. He was becoming something of a living legend, and even in Beim, there were some moved to probe into his situation.
Many were surprised to see he continued on as an adventurer in Beim without entering government in Zayin.
(Is he going to do something again?)
A nervous Tahnia heard some words from the executive’s mouth.
“Have you heard anything of that Lyle-kun using any Skills that effect the psyche? It seems he’s always surrounded by woman, more so, he leads a standard harem party, doesn’t he? If he’s harmless, we won’t view him as a problem, but, well…”
The Guild wasn’t run by fools. They kept tabs on adventurers with such doubts, and this was Beim… their headquarters even known as the Capital of Adventurers.
They had such countermeasures prepared.
Tahnia’s superior spoke with a serious expression.
“It has been confirmed he uses multiple Skills. If I recall correctly, he has a Support Class blue gem on his person. It’s a fact that most mind control Skills are part of Support. Understood, I’ll start looking into it right away.”
“I’m thankful for your understanding. We can’t conclude anything yet. Once he’s done with the Land Dragon, and has returned to port, send someone out. Headquarters will also dispatch some personnel.”
(Psychological Skills are definitely dangerous, but as long as you have a level of resistance… no, with Lyle-kun’s level of ability, half-baked adventurers wouldn’t be able to put up a fight. As a possibility, it’s plenty possible. It is, but… I really don’t think he’s that sort of kid.)
Tahnia felt things were getting a little complicated…
The Vera Trēs departed, and I was invited to Vera-san’s stateroom.
With a reddened face, she cast her eyes down, and grasped both my hands…
“A-as I was ssaying… I admit my defeat.”
Even though I knew she wasn’t looking at my face, I shook my head.
“Nononono! What’s the meaning of this!? What is it supposed to mean!? Didn’t she outright say she wasn’t going to fall!? You… Vera said she had someone she liked, didn’t she!?”
In my confusion, I sought some help from the ancestors in the Jewel.
This time, we had a woman- Milleia-san- with us, so I was sure they would be reliable.
But the Fourth was just as confused.
『Oy! Someone explain this situation to me! I haven’t the slightest clue! Just what sort of magic did you use, Lyle! No, mr. lyle!』
I’m definitely smacking that man someday. Or so I pledged to my heart, as I ignored the useless Fourth’s opinion, and waited for the other ancestors’ take.
The Third was definitely giving a wide grin. That’s what his voice led me to believe.
『Hmhmm, as I thought. You sure play dirty, mr. lyle. I mean, if you tell someone not to think of you, humans end up thinking an excessive amount… and she was relatively accepting, so I saw this development coming a mile away.』
If you saw it coming, couldn’t you have given me some advice beforehand? Just what can I say to reject her? I frantically thought.
There, the Seventh laughed.
『Hahaha, isn’t that nice, Lyle? Now you’ve got your funding in the bag.』
It’s true she may provide support on a monetary front. But what sort of person would that make me? Or so I questioned myself.
(I-it’s no good. Going out with her for her money is… a-and I have everyone! I have to take responsibility for them!)
As Vera looked down, red to her ears, I tried to say something. The moment I was about to turn her down, Milleia-san’s advice came from the Jewel.
『Oh my, these sorts of things really are exhilarating. I wonder what Lyle will say to accept it.』
The Fifth sighed.
『So accepting it is a given? It’s certainly a saving grace financially, but… Lyle, what do you plan to do?』
Hearing that, I shook my head. There, Milleia-san…
『After she’s resolved herself so much to confess, you’d actually think to decline? And you’re the one who confessed first, Lyle!』
(I know! I definitely confessed! But that was something else, right!? The girl herself even said she understood I was just in high spirits at the time!)
And as I took a stance to refuse once more, the Third gave his proposal.
『Lyle, a child this strong-willed wrung out her courage to confess, you know? And do you hate Vera-chan?』
I shook my head to deny that one.
『Then all’s well. Whether it be eight or nine, it’s but a trivial problem at this point. Let’s sacrifice Lyle’s future to get some funds. Once this is all over, you just have to work hard to curry favor with your wife/ves. Max… the Fourth happens to be an expert on the matter.』
The Fourth sounded a little displeased.
『I’m definitely better at it than the other heads. But please don’t make it sound like that’s all I have to me. And Lyle! Haven’t you been treating me terribly lately?』
I wanted to tell him to think of the reason himself, but for now, I didn’t know what to say to Vera-san anymore.
There, raising her face, she…
“I-I like you. I love you.”
From the Jewel, I heard Milleia-san cry out.
『Kyaaaah, it’s fine for the girl to confess too!』
I felt the Fifth was a little taken aback.
『R-really? Personally, this development is so sudden, I’ve no idea what to say… even so, mr. lyle is amazing. If he seriously predicted all this, color me impressed. At the same time, I’d like it if base-state Lyle worked a little bit harder at it.』
I was sure he was just saying whatever he wanted. But such a serious confession deserved a serious response.
“I’m happy. I’m thankful, but…”
As I was about to continue, the door burst open with good momentum, and the sailors flooded in. The things in their hands went ‘Bang!’ ‘Bang!’, with the sound of gunpowder igniting.
They wore pointed hats, and I could smell black powder around. But those weren’t guns. They were crackers… for parties.
Something Monica carried around.
“If it’s Mr. Lyle, we can rest at ease!”
“I’m sure the boss will be delighted as well!”
As the sailors gave their blessings, Vera’s eyes swam, and she clung onto me. And entering after the sailors, were the rest of my party.
Monica wore a pointed hat, and pulled an extra-large cracker. After a large sound, small, slender scraps of paper flew around.
I wanted to complain to Monica, when Novem broke into applause.
“I think she is a wonderful woman. Certainly worthy of Lyle-sama. I’m sure she will help out your cause.”
As Novem’s approval troubled me, I remembered the talk with Septem-san.
(Novem is a goddess… no, an evil god, was it? Is that why she pushes woman onto me like this?)
And while that was happening, Eva and Clara entered the room. They glared at one another.
“And I’m telling you, this happening would make a better story if it came right after defeating Tressy! And the finer details are fine! Even if you try to pass it down, it’s impossible for this sort of thing!”
“No, that’s no good! I cannot accept it! Just how he got her to fall should be properly investigated, and left in records! Making it a story, and leaving a misunderstood legend is unforgivable!”
Aria looked at the strife of the two.
“Those two again… and wait, Lyle. You really are indiscriminate.”
When Aria called me indiscriminate, Miranda offered an amendment.
“He turned down Lorphys’ princess, didn’t he? Does that mean he has some sort of criteria? You know, those Walt House Precepts, or something?”
May looked at me and Vera.
“… Hey, no matter how you look at it, Lyle’s the one being supported here, but is that really alright? In the wild, males make harems because they’re strong, but… when it comes to humans, money is more important, isn’t it?”
Seeing May learning about human society, the Fifth in the Jewel…
『May, you sure are clever. In my time, I tried to keep you out of it as much as I could, but… you’ve grown, May. 』
To a delighted Fifth, Milleia-san spoke with a sigh.
『Father, you’re the same as always.』
Monica left the room, and came back with food. Alongside that, she carried glasses and ale.
Monica was expressionless.
“No matter how many women you get, my master is the Chicken Dickwad alone. Even if I, Monica, may hate it in my heart, there’s no way I can be unprepared! Now, the preparations for a toast are complete!”
With that pointed hat of hers, and all the party goods she had brought along, she hadn’t a fragment of persuasive power.
(She’s definitely enjoying this.)
“Yep, at times like these, you’ve got to drink. Oh, right, if you’ve got work to do after this, keep it to one glass.”
“Okay, I’ll pop open my special wine today! To our goddess of fortune!’
Both me and Vera were bewildered.
And peeking her head through the doorway ever-so-slightly, Shannon offered a word.
“So this woman was also easy.”
She said that, so in my head…
(You’re one to talk, Shanneasy!)
I ended up thinking that.