A Journey of Nothing but Manly Men
… Inside the Jewel.
Miranda and Shannon were taking Milleia on.
Out of breath, Miranda was wounded all over, while Shannon was sitting on the spot. Together, they weren’t able to lay a hand or foot on Milleia.
Watching over them like that, Milleia changed out the shell of the gun in her hands.
『Oh, you girls give sure up easily. Putting the two of you together, you haven’t even died thirty times yet. It’s something you can’t experience regularly, so have some more fun with it.』
With Miranda’s personality and appearance, alongside the power of Shannon’s demon eyes, it was impossible to land an attack on Milleia Walt.
But harassing wasn’t all she did.
Letting out a sigh, she tucked away her gun, and started talking.
『Now then, let’s put in some break time. There’s no time left until Lyle departs for Cartaffs, but I have to at least pass down the bare minimum.』
As Miranda wiped her sweat, the wounds disappeared, and the sweat retracted as well.
“Minimum? This is?”
Milleia nodded with a smile.
『Of course. I mean, if you carry the blood of the Walt House, you’re far from the minimum bar. And you see, Shannon… if you get serious, you’ll be able to do even more amazing things.』
Shannon grabbed onto Miranda to stand.
『Right. Of all else, if I could do it, there’s no way you wouldn’t be able to. Being able to see the flow of Mana means being able to interfere with it. Oh, that’s right. Are you properly studying how to read and write?』
On Milleia’s question, Shannon averted her eyes. That alone was enough for her to comprehend she had gone against her orders.
In a moment, she closed in on Miranda and Shannon, grabbing Shannon’s head.
『Shannon-chan… I said it, did I not? To learn how to write, did I not? As long as its ink imbued with Mana, you can see the lines outside of this space, can’t you?』
Lifted up with one hand, Shannon wriggled around.
“It hurts! It hurts, great grandmother! That’s wrong! While I was learning letters, I tried doodling some pictures on the side, and that turned out to be more interesting is all!”
Seeing Shannon give an excuse that didn’t improve her predicament, Miranda thought.
(… The flow of Mana… if she perfected its flow within her own body, is this what happens? In that alone, great grandmother rivals Celes. This alone, at least.)
Milleia was also strong. But from the point of view of Miranda, who’d stood against Celes, it was a fact it was still insufficient.
And not being able to defeat that Milleia, she wouldn’t even reach Celes’ feet.
“Hah… great grandmother, could you fight me once more?”
On Miranda’s words, Milleia smiled as she released the hand grabbing Shannon’s cranium.
Falling onto the floor, Shannon landed on her bottom, and began rubbing it.
『Very well. That sort of ambition… I don’t hate it.』
Milleia took a gun from her fluttery sleeves, and took a stance…
At the harbor where the Trēs House’s ship was docked, Me, Maksim-san, and Damien’s… party of four, I guess.
While I shed sweat from the sheer humidity, I looked at Monica, as she stared vexingly at Damien’s three automatons.
“Why am I keeping house, as the mass produced lot accompanies you? I’m… I’m the one who understands the Chicken Dickwad the most!”
I let out a sigh.
“Then try understanding my sentiment. You don’t have to put on a play, just move by the plan. Is the mansion alright?”
Even though Monica had been biting down on her handkerchief, she suddenly made a serious face, corrected her posture, and courteously answered my query.
“Yes. The cleaning was perfect the moment we vacated. But when it came to sales, they drove quite a hard bargain. As we were hurriedly leaving to run away, there was no helping it.”
“That’s nice. We lived there for a while, so I’ve got some attachment. I don’t want to make a battlefield of it.”
Preparations were underway, and the mansion had been sold off. A majority of our luggage was already transported to our new stronghold, and being set up there.
Sitting on a crate, Maksim-san put his spear over his shoulder, and breathed out a sigh.
“Hah… I wonder how milady’s doing.”
Seeing his state, Damien pushed up his glasses with his fingertips.
“You just met her this morning, and you’re already worried? Thinking of the journey to come, you won’t be seeing her for a while. How about trusting in her some? Rather, I’m suddenly doubting whether this man will be useful or not. Lyle, will we really be alright?”
I had never thought Maksim-san would be this depressed, but I counted on the fact he would get out of it some when we got into battle, and nodded.
“We’ll be fine, I think? Well, let’s just watch the waters, and…
As I was saying that, Vera approached. As usual, she was wearing red, but as I’d refused her accompanying this voyage, her skirt was on the longer side.
I got the feeling her hair was glossier than usual. I’m sure she put quite some time into setting it.
If the Fourth were here, he’d definitely be loud on telling me to praise her.
While Vera delightedly waved her hand my way, Monica looked down a bit.
“Keh, angel wings, huh? Properly decide if you’re making the twin tail commitment or not. What do you plan by taking all the gook parts? Black haired twin tails… damn, she’s precisely aiming to gouge a man’s heart.”
Or so she said, but I ignored her and headed for Vera. On my approach, she held out her arm, and drew me close.
It looked as if we were flirting on the pier, and that’s precisely what we were doing, so surrounding eyes gathered.
As I noticed it, I picked out Vera’s younger sister Gina watching us from behind. Roland was by her side.
But by my Skill… Search… while Vera and Roland were displayed blue, Gina’s indicator was red.
“Vera, thank you for seeing me off. Even so, your hair is exceptionally glossy today. And your atmosphere is somewhat different from usual.”
“H-hey! You normally wouldn’t say something like that. And rather, haven’t you gotten better with words as of late?”
Watching over her delight, I played it off with a laugh. There, Gina came and struck up a conversation with a smile.
“Vera, you should leave it at that. And Lyle-san?”
“Something the matter?”
The smiling Gina was displayed bright red. While she held blatant hostility, it was surely difficult to discern that from her expression.
“I heard it was a request from the guild, but make sure you properly return. Or else my sister will grieve.”
… Seriously, if it weren’t for the Skill, I doubt I’d be able to discern her intent. I guess all I have to say is, as expected a daughter of the Trēs House.
Roland also spoke in regards to me.
“Originally, the head planned to come see you off as well, but these days, he’s been busy with the port rights in Galleria and Rusworth.”
Hearing those words, the Third muttered a little sorrowfully in the Jewel.
『… Fidel-kun. I’m sure he’s enjoying himself right around now.』
It’s because he can say something like that knowing all the details, that I was certain he was a considerable villain.
Embracing Vera as a greeting, I whispered into her ear.
“Vera, be wary of Gina.”
There, perhaps sensing my meaning, she showed me a smile and nodded. Since she didn’t show any signs of an urge to press further, I assume she sensed something as an elder sister.
From a little away, Monica addressed us.
“When he’s not even in a fever time, the Chicken Dickwad is handling a woman so… give me back my pure Chicken! Give him back!”
Thinking she was a loud one as usual, I noticed a group observing us.
It was Erhart’s party.
A party of five, their equipment was in order, and they carried all the tools that looked necessary. Seeing me embrace Vera, Erhart smiled.
“Hey, looks like I do hate you after all.”
… Fidel heard the report from his men at the mansion.
He was pleased to a degree, because the port construction was going favorably. But while Galleria was doing well, Rusworth was a little behind.
Even so, it was within the scope of the plan.
“Fidel-sama, in Galleria, the future Grand Duke Leold-sama has taken command, pressing development along favorably. The port and the maintenance of surrounding roads is all going smoothly, so it looked like the port will be in usable condition ahead of schedule.”
His other subordinate explained Rusworth’s situation with a little anxiety.
“Rusworth is lacking someone to take command at the site. They have a sense of rivalry with Galleria, so there’s a worry they’ll push themselves to complete it… so, um…”
Fidel turned his face to his nervous subordinate.
“Did something happen?”
There, the man began voicing objection to this matter.
“Fidel-sama, Even if you may be head of the house, the support to develop two ports, on top of preparing another state-of-the-art vessel, if something happens, the situation will incline. Galleria and Rusworth; in this case, you should abandon the interests of one of the two, and work with the other merchants to…”
Make it a joint project, and split the profits. On that statement, Fidel flew into a rage.
“Just how much do you think the Trēs House has invested in that whelp!? Did the others invest in him? Hell no they didn’t! For those that invested, I’ll let them use it at a fair rate, and I’ve prepared some collateral. But I’ve no need to offer salvation to those without any foresight! And also… recently, those folks have been earning too much off of war. If we don’t revise it a bit, Beim will be rejected around as the city of death. It’s because they don’t understand that, that they’re no good. If a four-country alliance is formed, war will go down. But they’re not even thinking how to profit in such a situation…”
His own house had sold weapons, and profited off of war, and yet Fidel let out a sigh.
But it seems he understood that it would be bad for Beim at the rate things were going. For that sake, he dealt with goods apart from weaponry.
“… Anyways. It isn’t the time to keep looking inwards. Called the number one city on the continent, our habit of turning our eyes to nothing but ourselves is something that calls for improvement. If we do not, then Beim will…”
After he said that much, the other subordinate opened his mouth.
“Fidel-sama, it’s almost the appointed time.”
“Hmm? I see. Come to think of it, Vera went to see that kid off. ‘Lend me your precious ship.’ Even after he had the gall to say something like that… but actually lending it, I guess Vera is Vera. It’s true that’s her personal property, but…”
Mumbling complaints as he stood, Fidel led his two subordinates, and left the room.
Among them, in the anxious man’s eyes towards Fidel seemed there seemed to dwell a hardening light of resolution…
Aboard the deck of the Vera Trēs.
We went out on deck to discuss the contents of this time’s request. On the surface, defeating Larc and saving the queen was our main objective.
I hired Erhart’s party as support, but if they didn’t have work to do, they’d suspect something. And protecting their lives was also a request I accepted.
Marianne-san properly paid the request reward in information already, so I had to fulfill it no matter what.
And despite this and that, I couldn’t bear to abandon them.
Erhart pointed at us.
“Isn’t it strange!? Normally, it’s be more… you know!”
Not fathoming what was going on, he turned his head to his four comrades, and they nodded as well.
This all started when we were discussing, and talks came down to Larc’s Skill. A Skill with an effect on women… hearing that, he joked, ‘if I had something like that, you think I’d be a bit more popular with the ladies?’
But hearing that joke, our reactions wasn’t something he could forgive.
In my case.
“No, don’t need a Skill for that.”
“I’m going to create the one and only woman for me, so to be honest, I’ve no interest.”
Maksim-san, with a cool expression…
“Adele-sama is the alpha and the omega. I’ve no interest in anyone else!”
… He declared.
While everyone had been sitting in a circle, Erhart stood, and used all sorts of gestures and a wrung out voice to make his point.
“Do none of you have any lust!? What do you normally do!? Ah, Lyle can stay out of this. Not like he’s a virgin, after all.”
Hearing that statement, I couldn’t stay silent, so I rose to my feet. There were sailors around as well, listening to our conversation. And if that matter was one Vera came to know of, it would become something terrible.
“Revise that! I’m a virgin, you hear! What’s more, in my case, it’s quite a delicate problem! I have to be a virgin no matter what! So revise it, dammittt!!”
When I grasped Erhart, perhaps my seriousness got across, as he revised it at once.
“Eh? Ah… m-my apologies.”
And Damien looked at me with a fed-up expression. He boldly declared. That expression of his hadn’t a single cloud across it.
“Good grief, I cannot understand it. You save your precious for the one and only existence for you. What’s wrong with being a virgin? Ah, I’m a virgin by the way. What of it?”
Maksim-san also nodded.
“Right, right. Precisely my point. More so, then you guys aren’t? If you had a lover, then that’s all and well, but…”
On Maksim-san’s doubtful eyes, Erhart averted his own.
“W-what’s wrong with that? It’s the money we earned ourselves. We properly prepared it to play around. And we aren’t in debt. So what’s so wrong with going to the brothel!?”
It does seem Erhart’s party had gone to the brothel to discard their virginities. By the goddesses… why didn’t I think of that.
I collapsed at the knees, and pressed both my hands into the ground.
“S-so such a method existed. If I did that, no one would bring up strange things like who got to my… when we get back, I’ll be right off to the brothel to get rid of it!”
When I went with that as a joke, Erhart’s party looked at me with dubious faces. They didn’t seem to be too impressed.
Or rather, hearing it would be a journey of just men, I thought it would be sordid, but it was surprisingly fun. No, this was more liberating than I had anticipated.
“Come to think of it, I’ve never observed a woman’s form. I see, the brothels, huh… you think a small-breasted woman there will model for me?”
There, the Automatons No. 1, 2, and 3 on standby near him vexingly bit into their handkerchiefs.
“When you have us, the ultimate existences by your side…”
“It’s breasts. These damn breasts are… for me to come to envy washboards…”
“I think back to how I scoffed at Valkyrie Unit One’s brick wall of a body.”
Within all that, Maksim-san alone was unshaken.
“Hah, Lyle-dono, it isn’t a problem soft enough to be solved by something like that. And wait, they won’t forgive it if you’re alright with anyone. It’ll just create a large list of new problems henceforth. Please cease and desist… Because the entanglements of blind love leading to a knife in the back is the worst end there is.”
Of course, I was well aware of that. From the Jewel, I could hear the giggling voice of Milleia-san.
『Fufufu, I heard it all. Wait ’til Miranda gets a load of this! Lyle’s going to throw his first to some other woman.』
… Oh right. There was that person in the Jewel. Our fun journey of men, coming this far, I suddenly recalled I was under surveillance.