Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 31: I Implemented It
Although some of the miasma in the forest had dissipated due to the Saint’s purification ritual, there was still a subtle heaviness and humidity that lingered in the air. This made the place unbearable for anyone other than the veteran knights and mages with strong enough magical resistance.
That made it all the more eerie to see Seiichirou, who could not even withstand mana on its own, standing in such a place with an amiable smile on his face.
“I thought we would be short of people since the civil servants were unable to join us. If the knights of the Third Knight Order are willing to help us, then we’re all good to go, Mr. East!”
The aforementioned knights of the Third Knight Order frowned. It was highly disturbing that the otherworlder their Commander had been looking out for and taking care of all this time and was now talking to them in an overtly saccharine and cheerful manner. Even the men from the Second Knight Order stoof at a distance with wry expressions.
“Wait a minute!” a boisterous voice shouted. “I didn’t hear anything about this! What are you trying to do, you bastard!”
Surprisingly, the objection had come from the head of the Court’s Magic Department – Director Zoltan – who had raised his voice. Perhaps it was because Zoltan had been a rank holder in the Metabo Reserve Army, but he seemed to have made it this far in his career as the magic department’s director without incident.
“Huh? That’s strange,” Seiichirou intoned, “I spoke to Mr. East, the Deputy Director, the day after I met him at the banquet…”
That was a lie. To be more precise, Seiichirou was unable to talk to East about it because Aresh had unintentionally interfered, so Seiichirou had resorted to talking to East the day before yesterday. As long as the fact that he had talked to East beforehand was true, then telling a little white lie to accomplish this goal was fine.
“Is that true, East!?” Zoltan turned to stare down his deputy director.
“Well~ I wonder~?” East murmured to himself in that same obtuse way he often spoke. And if one were in the magic division, knowing well that this behaviour of East’s was commonplace, one would be willing to accept such an answer because East held a decently high position.
“So, that’s good, isn’t it? This is a job that can only be done by those from the Court’s Magic Department who are skilled in magic and are familiar with magical studies. Therefore, I am also willing to offer you a special reimbursement for your services should you choose to do this task.”
As soon as they heard this, Seiichirou felt all of the mages’ eyes light up. They must have been struggling greatly with their everyday research expenses to warrant such a reaction.
“How can you, a mere deputy director of the accounting department, decide such a thing on your own?” Zoltan challenged, looking suspicious of such a monetary promise.
“Don’t worry. You can find the signatures of both the director of the accounting department and His Excellency, the prime minister, right here.”
In his hand, Seiichirou had pulled out a signed document from his pocket. It was the real deal, so he handed it over to Zoltan willingly without putting on airs.
“Hmm… indeed,” the director of the magic department mumbled while reviewing the piece of paper.
That should handle the magic department.
Seiichirou then asked Zoltan, who insisted that he be placed in charge, to give instructions to the mages and asked East to select someone with exceptionally strong mana resistance.
Seiichirou stopped to wait there again. “Now then, those from the Third Knight Order…” he murmured under his breath.
When he turned around, he caught sight of Yua who still looked a little pale. The silver-haired prince who was supporting her glared at him.
“You!” Prince Julius narrowed his eyes even further. “You’ve been doing whatever you pleased since a while ago! With whose permission, huh?”
Seiichirou had expected the royal to leave with Yua shortly after the ritual finished to look after her, but unfortunately, things did not seem to be going so smoothly.
“His Excellency, the Prime Minister’s permission. I have also received a letter from him saying that he has entrusted me with this matter.”
“I am the commander of this expedition!” the prince snarled.
“Yes, Your Highness, you are. So, the command of the expedition itself has been left to you, Your Highness. I, on the other hand, have been entrusted with a different matter.”
“What did you just say to me?” the crown prince snarled.
“Your Highness, should you not hurry and take the Saint to a place where she can safely rest?”
Seiichirou thought that if he placed emphasis on the Saint’s health first, Julius would take his leave, but now it was Yua’s turn to shake her head in disagreement.
“But… I-I want to stay here with you, Kondou-san,” she murmured pitifully in Julius’ arms.
“Yua…?” the prince turned to stare at her in wide-eyed disbelief.
Seiichirou could only narrow his eyes at the young girl, who looked up at him with an imploring expression on her fair face.
After all this time, Seiichirou had known about the dangers of this world and his own position in it. Regardless, he did not allow those things to get in the way of his work often, and there was little to nothing Seiichirou could do for Yua right now.
“The Saint must be very tired,” he tried again. “Please take her back to town and make sure she gets some rest.”
“So, what will you have us do?”
“Hmm…?” Seiichirou turned around to look at the owner of that voice.
Just when Seiichirou had finally thought that Yua, Julius, and the knights from the Second Knight Order who protected the royals and their guests had left, the prince and two of his escorts returned.
“I told you, I’m the commander of this expedition. The damage caused by the miasma is the most pressing issue for our country. There’s no way we can entrust something like that to an otherworlder who knows nothing about it.”
As the crown prince of this country, Seiichirou could understand Julius’ strong desire to do something about the noxious miasma himself. Still, that did not mean that an outsider from another world, who had been abducted by a summoning technique at the behest of the royal family, might not be able to offer some insight to the situation.
“Then, Your Highness, I would like you and your guards to stand back and watch for a moment.”
“Seiichirou,” Aresh called out. “What should the knights do?”
Now that the prince had quieted down, they could finally begin. Seiichirou gave the final instructions while trying not to stare at the knights who gave him varying expressions of disbelief, as if to say, ‘Are we really going to do this, too?’
“Yes, I would like you to escort the mages from the magic department and record the ‘warding’ that they will be applying.”
“Warding…?” The prince raised an eyebrow in confusion. “What are you trying to protect?”
“We’re going to protect this country,” Seiichirou explained.
Both the mages and the knights flashed clear looks of contempt as the royal official answered directly without hesitation.
“That is nonsense! Warding magic is a highly complex art that few people can use,” the prince argued. “I’m sure you’re thinking this is the best course of action to protect the people of this country from the horrible effects of miasma, but no matter how many mages we have here, we’ll never have enough to cast a protective barrier big enough to cover the entire country!”
Julius let out a sigh in frustration, as if Seiichirou was completely ignorant of the situation. In fact, of all the mages present, only eight were capable of casting this type of magic. But in Seiichirou’s opinion, that was more than enough.
“You could think of this from another way, you know,” the royal official reasoned.
Seiichirou had directed the eight mages to position themselves around the tree at even intervals and asked Aresh to ensure his knights guard them as they measured and recorded the distance to the miasma core… the giant deadwood tree itself.
East and the other mages, with strong mana resistance and sensing abilities, would then further discern and document as they got closer to the center.
The tree itself, which appeared to be the source of miasma, would be the object protected by magical wards.
“Since we know the main source of the miasma, we could use a different approach to stop it besides the Saint’s power. We can seal it up ourselves,” Seiichirou explained to Aresh.
As usual, the knight was sitting on Seiichirou’s bed in the room at the inn where they had departed from earlier that morning. Seiichirou held a document in his hand that showed the written measurements the mages had detected from the miasma concentration inside the Forest of Magic. It was approximately a three-meter area around the tree where a “ward” needed to be placed.
“Even so, reinforcement of the barrier will be required regularly once the miasma fully fills it; this is not a permanent type of magic.”
Seiichirou had already experienced that with his own body, as Aresh had been the one reapplying wards on him daily to ensure Seiichirou made it through his expedition in one piece. To test how long a single barrier could last, he had taken the time to plant some vegetation around a tree inside the village and asked one knight and one mage to stay behind in town to record how long it took for the magical ward to weaken.
“Ultimately, we’ll have Shiraishi-san complete the purification process before we apply the barrier and station a watchman in that forest to reinforce it periodically to prevent miasma from spilling out again.”
Of course, during that time, I would like the magic department to continue their research on eliminating the source of the miasma without purification magic.
“I’ve never bothered to think twice about this until you told me your plan,” the knight said softly after Seiichirou had finished speaking. Aresh appeared somewhat downcast now that Seiichirou looked closer, but he did not blame the knight for overlooking such a simple answer to the kingdom’s problem. It was easy for anyone to miss such an obvious solution if they were not purposefully looking for it.
“That’s likely because of the Saint’s presence,” Seiichirou explained without a hint of blame in his voice. “Not many people would consider another more time-consuming option when there is an easier one more readily available. They just stop thinking altogether.”
Well, except for some intellectually inquisitive people it would seem.
Seiichirou chuckled to himself lightly as he thought of a brightly colored sorcerer with sleepy eyes and a handsome middle-aged man with a head of taupe hair.
“Well, now you won’t have to go through the trouble of summoning a Saint from another world again, will you?”
Seiichirou smiled gently at Aresh, who had an irritable look on his otherwise attractive face.
“So what you’re saying is that it’s time we started cleaning up after our own messes, huh?”
However, Seiichirou had anticipated that this plan would not be so easily accepted by others. The presence of a Saint gave hope to the people and was a great trump card for the country. Zoltan had also been very vocal about that. The fact that his mages were able to summon a Saint was probably a good deterrent to neighbouring countries who were eyeing Romani with less than savoury interests.
Still, there was one more thing Seiichirou needed to do to convince the king that the Saint was no longer needed. In order to get started on that right away, Seiichirou attempted to stand and return to his desk to continue his work, but his arm was pulled from behind. The force was too strong, and he was forced to sink back down onto the bed.
“Sir Aresh…” Seiichirou said in a low, calm voice, “I still have some work to do…”
“Later,” the knight insisted. “You were exposed to the miasma source for far too long today. We need to reinforce your protective barrier.”
It was true that even the best well-trained knights who were more resistant to mana than an average person had left the forest worse for wear. The only reason why Seiichirou, who was undoubtedly the most vulnerable person in this world, had been able to keep such a calm demeanor was because of Aresh’s dedication to Seiichirou’s care.
That was exactly how he had come up with this idea in the first place, and he could not be more grateful to Aresh for having given him the elusive answer to the kingdom’s miasma troubles. All that aside, even this plan would require three more purification expeditions, and Seiichirou was sure he would be sent out again.
Although Seiichirou noticed the change in Aresh’s eyes, now was not the right time.
“Sir Aresh…” Seiichirou cleared his throat to command attention. “Is it really necessary we go to that extent?”
Whenever the protective spell was done being applied, Aresh would jump right onto Seiichirou, raining kisses over his eyes, ears, and neck as he took off their clothes and pressed them close together, skin to skin.
Seiichirou had tried to take his clothes off by himself once before, but Aresh’s hands had stopped him and done the undressing for him.
It’s infinitely more embarrassing to be stripped by someone else… Seiichirou groused.
Aresh’s large hands slowly crept up Seiichirou’s inner thighs, and he could not help but let out a yelp at the teasing contact.
“It’s absolutely necessary.”
That was a lie. Probably.
From what Seiichirou had gathered from their previous encounters, all he really needed to do was touch Aresh, and on rare occasions, ingest some of his bodily fluids, such as saliva or… There was really no need for Seiichirou to feel pleasure during the act or even perform such other crude and unpalatable activities.
“No, there’s definitely no need for that—uh! Sir Aresh…! P-please don’t touch me there—ha… Ngh!”
With the strength of a knight commander who could, as expected, render Seiichirou’s feeble resistance futile, Aresh’s hand began to slip below the waistband of the royal official’s pants.
“Wait! With my mouth! I’ll do it with my mouth!!!” Seiichirou sputtered in panic.
Thus Seiichirou’s desperate plea went unanswered by the sudden sound of the door being flung open, and East’s cheerful voice.
“Is Kondoh here~?”