Translators: Frostfire10 and Henet
“What the heck is this food!”
A shrill and hysterical voice was heard, followed by the sound of crashing utensils in the hall.
The eyes of the several people in the dining hall faced the woman that was making a scene.
The face of that girl, to be described by using the word ‘beautiful’ would be an understatement. Her looks rivaled that of the Kingdom’s beloved royalty, whom the people called the [Golden Princess]. Although her face was twisted with fury, the appearance remained beautiful.
The lady was showing her displeasure towards the dishes displayed in front of her. She flipped her long hair, and annoyingly stroked the ribbon tying her hair. Although her cuteness was enhanced by the slightly droopy eyes, her displeasure was obvious at a glance.
The table was fully occupied by dishes of food.
Fresh bread from the oven were lined up nicely on the bread basket. The smell of well-seasoned meat stimulated the appetite. A salad was made from fresh vegetables that retained its crunchy texture. While the salad dressing on top emitted a sweet and sour smell.
Fortress City E-Rantel’s most luxurious inn, The Golden Pavilion, where the cooking was made by ingredients enchanted by the magic <Preservation>. The dishes could only be tasted by royalty and rich merchants. Anyone would be satisfied by it, except for the girl who was highly displeased. While most people were shocked, many were also curious about the dishes that she ate usually.
“It is not delicious at all!”
Hearing this voice, anyone would have a shocked appearance. Only the butler standing behind her did not display any emotions.
Hearing such words in a shop that served the most luxurious dishes, made from the highest class cooks. Several were shaking their heads left and right as if doubting what they heard.
“Ah, I do not want to stay in this town any longer, immediately prepare for us to leave!”
“However, ojou-sama. It is already ni—-”
“Keep quiet! I have said that we are to leave, so we will leave!”
“Hmph! Get to work Sebas!”
The girl threw the fork from her hand which let out a soft clink. She stood up from her table, while maintaining her displeasure. She left the dining hall in footsteps that hinted her anger had not fully subsided.
Quiet returned to the dining hall just like the calm after the storm.
“I deeply apologise, everyone.”
He returned the chair that fell after the lady stood up, back to its original position. The butler slowly bowed his head to everyone in the dining hall. The well mannered apology attracted many sympathetic looks.
“I truly apologise for ojou-sama’s behaviour. And so as an apology, I would like to pay for the meals of everyone here in this dining hall.”
Hearing this, several people were not able to suppress their smiles. People would spend quite a sum to dine in this top class inn. To have their meals paid, many chose to forgive the racket earlier.
On the other hand, the proprietor was not surprised at all. He was used to the same scene unfolding daily since the arrival of this lady and butler pair.
“Sebas-san is in quite a pinch.”
A middle-age man in the middle of his meal, spoke to Sebas. As a response, Sebas could only give a brief smile.
Then, Sebas’s sight moved towards a corner of the dining hall, where a man was wolfing down his food. Noticing the gaze, the man with a poor appearance stood up and walked quickly towards Sebas.
Comparing the man and the patrons of this establishment, his appearance did not match the atmosphere. Firstly, his looks did not give the impression that he was someone that could be trusted. He was like an oddity that stood out in this environment.
The only saving grace was that his uniform matched the clothing of the other patrons. However, he gave out the air of a clown wearing a well made suit.
“What is it, Zack-san?”
The man known as Zack spoke with a false sense of servitude. Hearing this, several other patrons could not help but frown. The speaker was unmistakably trying to curry favor.
However, Sebas’ expression did not change.
“While I have been hired, wouldn’t it be good to rethink leaving now?”
“It is because it is difficult to control the carriage at night?”
“Well, there’s that, and I can’t make preparations as well.”
He scratched his head. It was washed cleanly, but something seemed to fly into the surroundings. Did the people on which it landed on realise it, or did they not? The scratching speed gradually increased.
“I see. However, ojou-sama’s words take precedence, and I do not believe that she will take an interest in my suggestion of leaving in the morning.”
Sebas’ steel will could be seen to have a chink in it, and he showed a strong smile.
“And so, I truly apologise, but we have to make our departure.”
Zack’s’ eyes moved left and right, unable to think of what to say next. His face began to twist with frustration.
“Of course, it is not immediately. Time is necessary for some level of preparations, and I believe you need it as well?”
Sebas ignored the cunning gleam in Zack’s eyes. The seedy-looking man’s resistance appeared to be merely a front. A front to cover the fact that the departure fitted neatly into his plans.
“Then when should we leave?”
“That is true. Shall we place it roughly in two hours time? Anymore and the town would be hidden in darkness. I believe that is our limit.”
Once again, the man’s eyes were hinting his terrible thoughts about his scheme. Sebas tried hard to ignore it. After using his tongue to lick his lips, Zack once again opened his mouth.
“Hehe, then there might be no problem.”
“That is fine. Then shall we begin the preparations?”
“Hehe, understood. I will immediately prepare, so please wait a bit.”
After seeing Zack leave the spot, Sebas performed a brief gesture as if to discard the air surrounding his skin. This was because he felt the lingering sticky sensation from a filthy presence.
While keeping his unchanging smile on his face, he repressed the desire to sigh.
Honestly, he could not like lower existences. The type of people like the Guardians Demiurge and Shalltear, could enjoy turning such people into toys, but Sebas desired no such thing.
Although he disapproved of this particular hobby of Demiurge, he did not particularly pick on it to preserve Nazarick’s unity.
Anything that did not belonged to Nazarick was a lesser being. That was the consensus of those that dwelled there.
Sebas had his own opinion on this matter but seeing a wretched creature like Zack, he could not help but agree with that way of thinking.
Of course, it would be foolish to generalise everything. Furthermore, there were no interactions that were able to get Sebas to develop a sense of respect so far.
Sebas used one of his hand to stroke his neatly trimmed goatee. His thoughts moved on to the next event that was to come.
The plan was proceeding well.
Still, there was a need to confirm the progress.
“That’s quite the pinch.”
When Sebas was in his thoughts, a single well dressed man talked to him.
His age was estimated to be around the late forties. His beard was trimmed neatly. His hair remained black although there were a few strands of white hair mixed in.
His belly bore unmistakable the cumulative signs of age and prosperity. His polite manners, and luxurious clothes gave the impression that he was a noble.
“This is Bardo-sama.”
Sebas lowered his head slightly. The man—-Bardo quickly stopped him.
“Ah, no no. There is no need to be that humble.”
He was the merchant that controlled most of the food trade in this particular region.
In this walled city that served as a rallying point during times of war, he was someone that held a strong influence among all the numerous food traders within the city.
When the number of soldiers reached ten of thousands, a large amount of time must be spent on replenishing the food supply of the soldiers and also the complicated bureaucratic procedures. Thus, hence it was a simple strategy for the Kingdom’s soldiers to bring minimal supplies during their marches as they were able to replenish their food when they reached the city.
Henceforth unlike the other regions in the Kingdom, food and weapons merchants held considerable influence here.
For someone like this, it was unlikely that he started the conversation for the reason of being in the same restaurant. In this highly unusual circumstance, it was likely that there was a reason to it.
Sebas thought that such an interaction did not stem from that person’s altruistic belief, since they never met before, but instead from their piqued interest towards an unknown rich traveler.
Another reason for this could be the attractiveness of the lady under his care.
“Sebas-san, that is not good.”
For the first time, Sebas changed his expression to a smile.
He replied calmly with a tone that understood the meaning that was conveyed.
“That person is not someone that one can trust. Why did Sebas-san hire someone like him? I cannot understand.”
Sebas brain worked at fast speeds. He was trying to find the most suitable answer.
There was no way he could say the reason for hiring him.
However, if he said that he did not know why, he would look bad in Bardo’s eyes and his evaluation of Sebas would drop.
While it was confirmed that they were leaving this city, he wanted to avoid such a thing if possible. He might have some use in the future.
“That may be so. However, there were no others selling himself like he was. His evaluation may be devalued to many people, but ojou-sama evaluated him and liked his earnest personality.”
The merchant smiled bitterly. His evaluation of her probably dropped even further.
Well, he came here because of personal concern regarding the situation, a sense of helplessness developed on the merchant’s side.
“This may be disrespectful and overstepping my bounds, but would it not be best to remonstrate your master?”
“It may be as you say. However, when I think of my gratitude to my master……”
“I believe that loyalty is important……”
The merchant mumbled, and prevaricated his previous words.
“If so then I can lend you some trustworthy people from my side?”
“We cannot accept that.”
Behind those gentle words was a strong will of rejection. As if understanding the will behind those words. Bardo put on another suggestion from a different angle.
“Really? But I think that it’s better to have recognised bodyguards. It’s quite a distance from the capital. And the public safety is nowhere near good.”
“I can also give you some guards with a certain level of trust?”
The administration of highway patrols fell under the jurisdiction of the nobles, who controlled the land wherever the highway passed through. They had the right to collect road tax on those highways under their control. In reality, they were in it for the money only, as security in many stretches of those roads remained lax.
And so there were often cases of mercenaries becoming bandits or thieves, attacking travellers on the highway.
To solve this problem, the ‘Golden Princess’ proposed to set up highway patrols at the lands directly under the King’s control. However, their numbers were too few and yielded little results. This was mainly due to the interference of those nobles who feared that their interest might be severely affected.
There were no lack of guards that could be hired in the cities. Only a small number were genuine adventurers while a large portion were bandits masquerading as bodyguards, which led to the occurrence of bodyguards turning on their employers. These incidences were not uncommon.
Hence many travelling merchants hired adventurers or trustable mercenaries to serve as their guards.
Among these merchants like Bardo, who held significant influence, would know experienced and reliable mercenary groups. Unfortunately, his goodwill had to be turned down.
“Possibly. However, ojou-sama does not like to be surrounded by people. I cannot do anything that would gain her displeasure.”
Bardo’s face frowned with concern. The look of worry on his face was akin to the expression of an adult that was unable to handle the tantrum of a child anymore.
“I apologise for rejecting your kind offer.”
“Please don’t mind. To tell you the true, I want to buy favour. Well, if I can’t go that far, I want to at least sell my face.”
Bardo laughed cheerily. Sebas responded with a smile.
“No, I will definitely convey your kindness to my master.”
A weak sparkle appeared in Bardo’s pupils. But was hidden immediately, and normal people would not be able to detect the minute changes. However, it was more than enough for Sebas.
“Then, I apologise, but ojou-sama is waiting, and so I will make my move.”
Aiming for the moment when Bardo opened his mouth, Sebas moved first.
The empty Bardo looked at Sebas’ face like he was investigating him, he opened his mouth that was mixed with a sigh.
“—-Hmph. Then there’s no helping it. Sebas-san, if you come to this town again, come meet me. I’ll welcome you.”
“Yes. Then I’m looking forward to you at that time.”
Knocking several times, Sebas entered the room bowing his head and saying “excuse me”.
Meeting Sebas who had closed the door and entered, was a woman with her head deeply bowed. If there were people from the dining room here, they would be be wonderstruck. The woman who was bowing and welcoming him was the woman making a ruckus.
An expression that would make one think if the earlier hysteric display was a lie. And that behaviour that would be suitable for meeting one’s superior. However, the strange thing was that one eye—-Her left eye was closed. When she was in the dining hall, it was not closed at all.
“Hmph. There is no need to lower your head, it was a result of work after all.”
Sebas looked at the extravagant and wide room.
The best rooms of this inn were separated into three, this room was made for bodyguards and was made with simple materials. Naturally, it was a room for large nobles to stay in. It was a room that normal people would not see and was extravagantly made.
In the corners of the room were several luggages that were already lined up, and waiting for their departure. Sebas did not do it, and so the one who collected it could only be one person.
“Even though I was about to do it.”
“What are you saying. Letting Sebas-sama work anymore than this.”
The woman who raised her head—-Solution Epsilon tilted her head.
“Is that so? Although, I have become your butler.”
Sebas’ face warped greatly.
On Sebas’ wrinkled old man face, a childish smile could be seen. The fact that the smile until now, compared with this, was a smile of arrogance could be understood.
Accepting the smile Sebas gave from the bottom of his heart, Solution broke the expression of a troubled smile she had from the start.
“That is true. Sebas-sama is my butler. However, I am Sebas-sama’s subordinate.”
“That is also true. Now, your job is over. As after this is my job, please rest here.”
“Yes. Thank you very much.”
“Now, I will also convey it to Shalltear-sama.”
Sebas lifted up the largest of the assembled luggage lightly.
“By the way, is he working well?”
“Yes. He really is working quite well.”
Solution pushed down onto her closed eyelids.
“What is the situation now?”
“Yes—-He is meeting a man with a filthy appearance.”
“That is excellent.”
“Will you be hearing what they are saying?”
“No, there is no need. I will be transporting the luggage. Please listen in my place. Ah, it will be sufficient for you to tell me the important points later.”
“Yes yes. Can you contact Narberal?” Sebas spoke to the surprised Solution in an admonishing tone. “While it is an undercover operation, it should be difficult to converse, but with your reconnaisse magic I believe there will be no problem to collect information.”
Solution’s cheeks reddened slightly and she hid her mouth with her hands.
“It is fine to not mind. I do not mind if you call her what you usually call her.”
“Yes. Eh, just that Na-chan is carrying out Ainz-sama’s orders. And so I do not want to do something like distract her……”
“Is that so?”
“Within the 41 Supreme Beings, Nishikienrai-sama who made Na-chan has been in hiding for a long time. And so I believe her loyalty is also towards Ainz-sama. And since she received a direct order from Ainz-sama……”
Sebas nodded. That was truly amazing.
However, the figure of Narberal as an existence of Nazarick was extremely proper, when Sebas himself was ordered he did not make any expression but he felt the same joy and pressure.
“What about Solution? You do not seem to be feeling the same pressure that Narberal is feeling.”
“I am Sebas-sama’s support and I am excited. Of course, I will do my best to carry out Ainz-sama’s orders.”
Solution spoke with a clear and strong will.
“The 41 Supreme Beings……Did they go into hiding?”
The existences known as gods in Nazarick, the existences that controlled everything in Nazarick.
The 41 Supreme Beings.
There were currently none but one, but the remaining person—-Ainz received a loyalty of the same standard as all 41 of them, it was already a regime of worship and admiration.
“Sebas-sama—-They are people who will one day return.”
“That is true. I have made a mistake.”
Suddenly, Solution’s face warped slightly.
“—-Anyway Sebas-sama, I will change the subject.”
A killing intent that seemed it would freeze even the atmosphere could be felt. That sort of stiff voice leaked out of Solution’s mouth.
“What is it, Solution?”
“……Once you are finished with that man would it be possible for me to handle him?”
Sebas placed his empty hand on his beard, and pondered while touching it.
“—-That is true. If Shalltear-sama does not mind, I do not mind if you do as you like. In a comforting manner, Sebas spoke to Solution whose eyebrows knitted together in disappointment. “It will be fine. If it is at the level of one person.”
“Really, understood. Please tell that to Shalltear-sama.”
Solution had a satisfied smile on her face. Her earlier expression was nowhere to be seen. It was a smile that was bound to enchant anyone that saw it.
“Understood. By the way, what did you say?”
“I am extremely looking forward to it. And so at least I will enjoy it.”
Solution’s smile became even stronger.
Looking forward to what would happen later, a childish innocence could be found.