Develop 156

Chapter 156 The Throne and the Swing

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 Leaving the mansion, I, under the guise of inspection, decided to tour the settlement with my escort Anzak. While I had a general idea about the situation of the settlement from Dirac’s reports, the information reaching me consisted of summaries compiled by Dirac from the Count Atmiras’ coachman’s observations during inspection and Neil’s reports. Detailed aspects were omitted.

 Speaking of Neil, he had a tendency to omit reports with his arbitrary judgment of “there’s no need to report such things.”

 There must be something Neil didn’t report about this settlement. Walking forward with that expectation, a building that appeared to be a shop with goods displayed on the front came into view.

 Perhaps it was the branch of the Harvest Hoe mentioned in the reports.

 I peeked inside the shop, but there were no people. So, I began searching for items on my own.

 ”Nothing particularly unusual here.”

 ”This shop seems to deal with products not limited to the settlement, but rather goods for those who live in the settlement. It might be why there are many daily necessities.”

 ”The prices are not much different from what’s sold elsewhere. Given this situation, there’s probably nothing noteworthy—hmm?”

 Suddenly, I felt the presence of someone approaching the shop and turned my attention in that direction. Eventually, a young girl appeared.

 ”Oh? A customer, right?”

 ”Yes, that’s right. Who might you be?”

 ”I’m Lianna, entrusted with this shop! You don’t look like someone we see often around here. What brings you to the settlement?”

 ”We’re travelers on a business journey. We heard rumors about crops cultivated in this settlement recently and came to see, but our trade was declined. Despite coming this far, we can’t return empty-handed, so we were looking for something.”

 ”Hmm, travelers, you say? So you’re searching for something rare. But aside from crops, there’s not much… Ah! I know!”

 The girl who introduced herself as Lianna seemed to recall something, then rushed to the back of the shop and returned holding a wooden box with bottles.

 ”How about this? It’s a beauty elixir made by Mei-san! Oh, Mei-san is someone who lives in the settlement, a remarkable person as both a researcher and an alchemist!”

 Meisy Novack, huh? I had heard that she continued her days of research just as fervently in the settlement, but a beauty elixir? It seemed quite different from her preference for magic-related studies. Could Neil be involved in this, I wondered?

 ”What is this elixir? Being something rare, it must differ from ordinary cosmetics, right?”

 ”Yes! It’s not something that just enhances appearance temporarily like makeup; it truly improves hair and skin! Though it’s not the sort of dramatic effect you’d get from a typical secret potion. At first, it’s more like ‘do I feel a bit better?’ But by the third day, it brings out a shine, and by the end of a week, your hair and skin change remarkably!”

 Watching Lianna’s slightly excited explanation, I understood. Lianna’s hair and skin were undoubtedly beautiful even at first glance, and that alone, combined with the fact that a commoner’s daughter with less wealth managed to attain this level of beauty, even rivaled the nobles who spent vast amounts to enhance and maintain their appearances.

 This not-instant yet remarkable effect of the elixir was clear. At the same time, while I wasn’t sure if Neil had cooperated in developing this elixir, it was undeniable that he had influenced it to some extent.

 Neil tended to come up with outlandish things more easily when he was being his natural self rather than when he was poised to do something. This tendency of his had an impact that extended to those around him without him realizing it, affecting their actions significantly. Unpredictable due to his unreadable actions, it was entertaining, and this was precisely why I couldn’t stop observing Neil.

 ”Even Meisy-san’s appearance changed remarkably after creating the elixir. It’s truly remarkable! However…”


 ”It’s because I know how she used to look that I can truly appreciate its effects. If I were to tell strangers, ‘This elixir is amazing!’ they wouldn’t easily believe me. Initially, the seniors at Harvest Hoe, who witnessed my transformation, were eager to get their hands on it, and sales were soaring. But despite it being a daily-use elixir, it’s not the kind of thing that disappears in a matter of days. Moreover, the people who know about this elixir already have it, including the extra stock, so there’s quite a bit of inventory left.”

 ”Is that so?”

 Even without knowing the previous appearance, just showing the current one should be convincing enough. However, the Harvest Hoe, specializing in crops, probably doesn’t have distribution channels to sell this elixir. But a beauty elixir… Yes, I’ve come up with a good idea.

 ”All right, I’ll buy this elixir. Also, you mentioned there’s some remaining stock earlier. How much of it is there?”

 ”Huh? Um, about five boxes in the same wooden box as this one.”

 ”Then, I’ll take three boxes.”

 ”Th-three boxes!? Oh, thank you very much! I’ll go get them from the back then!”

 As Lianna rushed into the back of the shop, Anzak, who had been silent until now, whispered a question to me, audible only to me.

 ”Your Majesty, may I inquire why you’re purchasing such medicine?”

 ”Why, I thought it’d be just right to distribute as souvenirs.”

 ”…Is that so?”

 Certainly, I must be wearing a wicked smile to an observer. Anzak also didn’t seem to take my words at face value, closing his eyes as if giving up. Naturally, I had no intention of leaving it as mere souvenirs. This was an important piece that would influence the future of the settlement. When things started to move, I wondered how Neil would handle it. Just thinking about that made it difficult for me to restrain the corners of my mouth from curling upward.




 After finishing shopping at Harvest Hoe and loading the wooden boxes containing the elixir onto the carriage, we continued exploring the settlement.

 ”Look, Anzak, there’s a brothel in a place like that.”

 ”Why would there be a brothel in such a location? From what I can see, there are only normal residences around. If they were to set up a brothel, wouldn’t it make more sense to place it near an inn where there’s better customer traffic?”

 ”They might tell me if I ask after having some fun there. All right, Anzak, go check it out for me.”

 ”I refuse. You’ll probably come up with another reckless idea during that time. And about the word ‘fun,’ am I mistaken in sensing a different meaning behind it?”

 ”Tch, so it’s a no-go, huh? I was thinking of dropping by Meisy’s place to see just how much she’s changed.”

 ”I suggest against it. Increasing the number of people who know about Your Majesty’s presence here beyond necessity is dangerous.”

 ”I expected you to say that.”

 The presence of the royal guard accompanying me was one of the conditions set by the Prime Minister before leaving the palace. All of my actions would likely be reported to the Prime Minister by Anzak. In other words, if I were to take any reckless actions in Anzak’s presence, the amount of lecturing I would receive from the Prime Minister afterward would increase.

 ”In the first place, there’s no way a guard to stray from the side of the person being guarded.”



 ”Anzak, when did you become strong enough to guard me?”

 I questioned with a stronger tone as I emphasized the word “guard.”

 ”Are you implying that I’ve grown weaker since becoming king? Or perhaps you’ve forgotten why I came to be known as the ‘Rampaging Lion’?”

 ”Of course not. I would never think Your Majesty has grown weaker or entertain any such notion. However, my current role is that of a guard hired by merchants, so…”

 ”Well, never mind. Just carry out your duty as a ‘supervisor’.”

 ”Yes, Your Majesty!”

 Anzak reacted to my jest unexpectedly, breaking into a cold sweat. Seeing him like that, I realized I might have gone a bit too far with the intimidation. Darn it, I’ve been away for quite some time, and it seems that a considerable amount of frustration has accumulated within me without my even realizing it. Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to return now… With such thoughts in mind, I continued to survey the settlement when it happened.

 ”What’s that?”

 In the distance, I spotted an unfamiliar object lined up. A child was sitting on one of them, swaying their body back and forth. The child looked at the object with curiosity, then looked up at me.

 ”Hey? Who are you guys?”

 ”We’re traveling merchants, individuals who sell goods as we journey. May I ask you a question?”


 ”What are these things here? What are they?”

 ”These! These are ‘Yuugu (playground equipment)’ made by Lord Neil and the dwarf uncle!”


 ”Yeah! That’s a jungle gym! And that one is a slide! This is a swing!”

 Hmm, they seemed like scaled-up toys. Most likely, in a settlement where playmates and entertainment were scarce, Neil had come up with these to keep the child from getting bored. There was no mention of such items in the reports, but considering Neil, he probably deemed it unnecessary to report since it was something he made for the children.

 However, the object the child was on, a swing, I believe it’s called. There’s a larger, similar-looking chair next to it, hanging at a slightly higher position, which suggests it might be for adults.

 ”Well, let’s give it a try.”

 I had observed how to ride it from a distance. I kicked the ground forcefully and let myself be carried by the swing, folding my legs.

 ”Oh! This is quite something! The sensation of floating is irresistible!”

 Simply sitting on the suspended chair and swaying back and forth, and yet, why is it so enjoyable?

 ”Hey, mister! This is how you swing! Like this, you can go even faster!”

 ”Like this? I see, swinging your legs to gain more momentum. Hahaha! Look, Anzak! It feels like I might fly off with this much momentum!”

 ”Your Ma… Gra… Your Grace! Be careful!”

 Even though there were only children around, I couldn’t very well be addressed as Your Majesty openly in public. Despite Anzak’s attempt to rephrase it as “Your Grace,” as befitting a guard for traveling merchants, I continued to enjoy the swing with the child.

 But truly, this swing is so delightful. With this, perhaps I can replace the throne with a swing during dull audiences. I wondered how the Prime Minister would react if I ordered to exchange the throne with a swing during an audience. While imagining such mischief, I spent a while enjoying the swing with the child.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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