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Chapter 21 – There’s No Doubt That He’s The Scariest of The Four Executives
“Are we going to build the walls this afternoon?”
“Ngggg… Yeah, we probably have gathered enough brick blocks. If we don’t have enough, we’ll have to go back and get more.”
I swallowed what was in my mouth and replied to Sylphy. Today, Sylphy and I had the same lunch menu as the refugees. Today it was some kind of beast’s internal organs, fried sweet and spicy with some vegetables, sandwiched between two pieces of bread like a hamburger. It was apparently something that Sylphy and the refugee volunteers had hunted in the morning. The meat tastes better if it’s been processed for a while, so they are planning to eat it tonight or tomorrow.
“Your Highness, there’s something I want you to hear.”
“Yes? What is it?”
Sylphy tilted her head at Isla’s sudden request. I’ve been depressed and munching on the motsu sandwich for some time now, but what happened so suddenly? Sylphy must be wondering that. That’s what I’m thinking, too.
“I’ve come up with a simple and straightforward way to prove to everyone that Kosuke is not from this world.”
Sylphy raised her one eyebrow and looked interested, but I was like, “What?” I’m not sure what to say. Well, it will undoubtedly take time to get everyone to believe it, and if it can be proven simply and clearly, so much the better. If I can prove that I’m not from this world, the animosity towards me will calm down a lot.
“Just let him remove the slave’s collar with his own hands.”
Sylphy was speechless. Danan and Melty both look surprised, and Qubi also… No, Qubi looked dumbfounded, right? It’s a little different from the other three.
“What’s the point in trying to do that if you’re going to get stuck and choked to death?”
“No problem. Kosuke has no magic power. It’s not that he has a little; it’s that he has none at all. So the slave collar should not work whatsoever.”
“? What do you mean? He’s wearing the collar right now, you see.”
Qubi pointed at my neck. I indeed have the collar around my neck. It’s made of leather and metal and looked very sturdy.
“It’s on, but it’s not working. The slave’s collar sucks up the wearer’s magic power and creates a kind of magical circuit. When the collar is activated, the commands from the head are no longer transmitted to the body below the collar, and it stops moving. At the same time, the neck is strangled by the sucked up magic power. But Kosuke doesn’t have any magic power, to begin with. From the moment he put it on, the slave collar was nothing more than a sturdy collar for him.”
“…Is that so? Kosuke.”
“No, I don’t know.”
I don’t even know what they call magic power or magic circuits.
“Your highness should try to command something.”
“Fumu… Kosuke, as your master, I command you. Take off your clothes, all of them.”
“Why did you choose that? No, if you really want me to take my clothes off, I will, but do it more gently!”
If I take my clothes off here, my nakedness will be fully exposed to the four executives and the refugees! I don’t have a habit of exposing myself!
“This is surprising, isn’t it?”
Isla has a smug look on her face, Qubi and Melty have expressions of surprise on their faces, and Danan and Sylphy are speechless. What is it… I mean, from the way the story goes, isn’t it strange that when I refused, my body got stuck, and the collar got strangled? When I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever had a clear-cut command like this before. And even if I did, I don’t remember refusing them. That’s probably why Sylphy didn’t notice it.
“I’m surprised. Kosuke, are you sure it didn’t work?”
“Yeah. Well, at least this collar hasn’t strangled on its own.”
I don’t remember Sylphy ever telling me to do anything that was too unreasonable, so I just obeyed, and I don’t remember her telling me to do much in the first place.
“So you can remove the collar by yourself?”
“Eh? Well, I think I can…”
Answering Melty’s question, I looked at Sylphy and nodded, so I toyed with the collar around my neck and tried to remove it. I’m not sure how it’s structured… Oh, just take this belt and do this.
With some difficulty, I remove the collar. It’s been a while since my neck has been exposed to the air, and it’s a little refreshing. It’s a good thing that this collar wasn’t really uncomfortable to wear. If it had been itchy, I would have found out about it much earlier.
“If the slave collar wasn’t working, why didn’t you do anything to Her Highness?”
Danan speaks to me curiously. I’m not sure why he asked that. I did “that” to her, though.
“What’s the point of harming Sylphy? Well, that’s because I had no reason to. She saved my life, you know. There’s no way I’m going to get revenge on her when she’s protecting me. In the first place, what’s the use of me to harming her while she’s sleeping?”
I can’t just kill my protector; no matter how I think about it, the only future I have is a dead-end, common sense tells me that. Or rather, if I approach Sylphy with such harmful intentions to kill her while she’s sleeping, she will probably twist my neck before I can even get my hands on her.
When Danan heard my reply, he fell silent as if he was thinking about something. I don’t know what it is, but I guess he’s got his own ideas.
“If that’s the case, it seems that Kosuke-san can be believed to be a person who has no connection with the Holy Kingdom… Kosuke-san, when is the wall going to be built?”
“Eh? I won’t know until I try, but if we have enough brick blocks, I think we can finish it before the light gets too bright. I think it will take about two or three hours.”
Since we had already procured the materials, all we had to do was to place the blocks. The walls need to be built over a relatively large area, but even so, it should be done in that amount of time.
“I see. Then at about that time, let’s make a big announcement that Kosuke is a marebito who cannot be restrained by a slave collar. After the wall is built, we can claim that he is using his power for us of his own free will.”
“Fumu… that’s true. When the wall is completed, we can gather everyone together and give a speech.”
“Yes, I think that would be a good idea. I’ll make the arrangements.”
Somehow, things were being decided at a brisk pace. I’m not sure what to say, but I’m sure it will help keep me safe. By all means, please do it.
“Well, then. Now that we’ve finished eating, let’s get on with building the wall. I want to check the area, so can you send me someone who can help me?”
“I’ll go with you.”
When I stood up and said that, Danan offered himself as a candidate. I looked at Sylphy, and she nodded, so I nodded too.
“Ah then, Danan-san? I’m looking forward to working with you.”
“Danan is fine. I’ll call you Kosuke too. Just use your usual language.”
“…Is that so? Then I’ll do that.”
Danan’s attitude softened suddenly as if he had something on his mind. Well, that’s good for me. Danan seems to have the most influence among the four executives, which is better than being bitter.
I left with Danan and headed for the place where we had set up the brick blocks yesterday.
“What’s that weird music thing?”
“It’s a working BGM, you know? Well, it’s kind of stylistic, isn’t it?”
“I don’t understand…”
Right, I understand. It’s just a strange behavior if you don’t understand the song. It’s sad. However, the work itself was going well, probably because I was replaying His Highness'(*) theme in my mind. I guess background music is essential for monotonous work.
[T/n (*): I’m not sure about this, but it’s probably this one Click.]
“But still, that was fast.”
“My ability is good for this kind of work. I don’t think I’m very good at direct combat, though.”
I don’t know; I haven’t actually done any real combat. Suppose I combine my natural movements with command actions. In that case, I can make some pretty tricky moves, so if I practice handling the weapon, I might be able to make my first kill.
If I slide forward while attacking, the attack will be more “stretchy” than it looks, and if I slide forward without moving my legs, it will be hard to get in time for the attack. But that’s another thing.
“It’s almost done. The gate is… Is this enough?”
・Large Door Reinforced With Metal――Materials: wood x 40, mechanical parts x 6, iron ingots x 8.
I found a building material that looked good in the blacksmithing facility, so I quickly made it. It seems that the size can be adjusted to some extent by setting it to installation mode. The iron bolt is also included in the set, making it a very economical item.
“It’s amazing. With your abilities, you could build a fort overnight, couldn’t you?”
“I think I could, as long as I secure enough materials in advance. It’s not like I am creating something out of nothing, so there is always the issue of supply.”
“Still, with your abilities, you can carry a lot of supplies, right?”
“Well, yes. I’m a very useful guy from a tactical and strategic point of view. So, protect me with all your might.”
“Hmm… Indeed, you’re right.”
Oh, did Danan have come into his dere dere period? Although it’s a bit of a surprise to see a muscular macho man getting dere dere, it’s great to see someone who looked so strong recognized my usefulness. My survival rate will increase.
After that, we continued to build the wall and finally completed the brick wall surrounding the magic field and refugee area. Although it’s finished, it’s still just a (temporary) work of art. It’s still just a two-meter high, thick wall that covers the whole area. From now on, we have to build a defense system on top of the wall.
“That being said, I want your opinion.”
“Opinion, huh? Well, if you say so, I don’t know what you can do, you know.”
“Oh, yeah, that’s right. Anyway, my image is that there are these things on top of the walls.”
So I used a wooden stick to draw a simple image of the wall on the ground. You see, the top of the wall is uneven, and people hide themselves there and shoot arrows, right? I drew a picture of such a thing and explained it.
“I see, a narrow crenel. Well, if you’re going to attack with a bow, you need the crenel to hide behind.”
“So you call it narrow crenels, huh?”
“A crenel is a low wall placed on a castle wall to protect the soldiers defending it. The part of the wall that is indented so that arrows can be shot through it is called a narrow space, and a crenel with a narrow space is called a narrow space crenel.”
“Oh, I see.”
It was a straightforward explanation. Danan is a macho man with lots of muscles, but he also seems to be well educated. I remember he said he was an imperial guard. The imperial guards, who serve the royal family, should be educated as well, I guess.
“So, is this how it should be?”
“Yes, it is. If you’re going to build one, just make it on the outer side of the wall. Otherwise, if you build it on the inner side, the enemy might use it against you if they take over the walls.”
“Yes. We also need a staircase to get up to the wall, right?”
The stairs were built, and the narrow crenel was installed. However, if it is occupied… I don’t think Gizma will occupy it, but we must be thinking about what will happen when the Holy Kingdom’s people come to this village.
After that, I continued to put the finishing touches on the defensive wall with Danan’s advice. The area where we made the most changes based on Danan’s advice was the gate. The gate is structurally the most fragile part of the building, so we built towers or turrets on both sides of the gate to protect it. These towers can hold more men than the walls, and they can be used to launch a fierce attack against the enemies attacking the gate.
After the wall was built, refugees and elves who had been out since noon for hunting or something would come back and look at the wall and be amazed.
I built this in about two hours. I didn’t even have to think about it, I just piled it up, so it was a piece of cake. Before I knew it, the number of refugee spectators had increased considerably. The children were following Danan and me around. I guess it’s an excellent way to pass the time.
“Yes… I think each part needs to be inspected, but it’s mostly done.”
If there were any holes in the wall, it would be useless. I don’t think the part I built is a problem, but I’m not sure about the already built part. Worst case scenario, I might have to replace them with brick blocks that I made.
Danan instructed his subordinates and ordered them to inspect each part. Yeah, this kind of work is best done by human resources, isn’t it? I don’t think Danan and I will be going around alone. If there is a report, we can head there.
While we were waiting for the inspection report, Sylphy appeared, accompanied by Melty. Isla’s not here. Since lunch, she hasn’t stuck to me and made any absurd calls… I wonder if she got bored? I’m feeling a little lonely.
“It looks like it’s done?”
“Yeah, I think it’s pretty good.”
The walls are thick and should be able to withstand Gizma’s attacks without any problems.
“Now, let’s start the speech.”
Sylphy laughed. Yeah, that grin is really something that Sylphy is known for.
The refugees were gathered here. I could also see a few elves from the village scattered around. Aside from the refugees, the elves are complete onlookers. Well, whatever.
Standing on top of the freshly built wall, Sylphy turned her head to look around at the refugees. I’m standing right behind her. I told her that it would be a bad idea to stand in a place where I could look down on the refugees, but she told me just to stand here. I wondered if they would be okay.
While I was worried about this, it seemed that the refugees had mostly gathered. At the back of the refugees, Melty gave us a signal. Sylphy, seeing that, muttered something, then waved her arm, the one wearing the bracelet with the spirit stone, and began to speak.
“The wall was completed with the help of all of you. This wall is thick and strong. Even if Gizma comes, we will have nothing to worry about. I can assure you of that.”
Sylphy’s voice, which was supposed to be speaking normally, sounded strangely clear. It seems that she has done something with her spirit magic. Is it magic that makes the voice sound clearer and farther away?
“Many of you may have seen it with your own eyes, but it was only through the power of this man, Kosuke, that we were able to build such a defensive wall in such a short time. I’m sure you’re all wondering, who is this man?”
The eyes of the refugees gathered. It’s not so much because of the height difference, but if there were so many eyes at the same height, it would have reminded me of the time I was surrounded and beaten up. That was scary.
“This man is not from this world. Do any of you know the word “marebito? They are the rare inhabitants of other worlds who wander in from a world different from this one under gods or spirits’ guidance. This man, Kosuke, is one of those marebito. He looks like a person from this world, but he is an otherworlder who has no connection to this world.”
The refugees were stunned by Sylphy’s declaration. Of course, it would be confusing to hear such a thing out of the blue. If you’re familiar with the existence of marebito, you might wonder if such a thing is actually possible. However, it would sound like a crazy story for those who don’t know anything about marebito.
“It’s understandable if you don’t believe me. Kosuke is, for all intents and purposes, a human. However, as a person from a different world, Kosuke does not have any magic power in his body. He has absolutely zero. As you all know, every living thing in this world possesses magic power. Not to mention the human race, including us subhumans, animals, demons, plants, and even the tiniest insects, have magic power. However, Kosuke, a marebito, does not have even a single shred of magic power. This has been confirmed by the magical eye of the court mage Isla.”
When Sylphy looked at her, Isla nodded heavily so that the refugees could see her.
“But it will be hard to believe with just words. So I want you to pay attention to Kosuke’s neck. Yes, the collar around his neck is a slave collar. Once this collar is put on, it is final. You must know that once this collar is put on, no one but the master can take it off.”
Sylphy urged me with her eyes, so I nodded and removed the slave’s collar with my own hands. The refugees gasped again at the sight.
“As you can see. Kosuke has no magic power, so the slave collar does not affect him. In other words, it proves that he is not from this world. It is also said that marebito are beings with some special power. As for the special power that Kosuke possesses, there’s no need to explain it now, is there?”
Many of the refugees nodded. In fact, they had to admit it since I had built the defensive wall in front of them.
“Does anyone want to test whether this collar is real or not? No, I will not punish you for doubting my words. In fact, I would like you to doubt it to convince everyone. Is there anyone who thinks that they are the one?”
At Sylphy’s words, several people stepped forward. There were three of them: a bipedal lizard, a woman with a large snake underneath, and a large woman with cat-like ears and a tail.
“Well, let’s give them all a test.”
Sylphy picked up the collar I had removed and began to prove its effectiveness one by one. After all, the collars were real, and the three who had been fitted with them could no longer resist Sylphy, and when they tried to remove the collar themselves, their bodies seemed to get stuck and strangled.
“Then you try to put the collar on Kosuke.”
“Is that okay?”
“I don’t mind. It won’t work anyway.”
Finally, the large cat lady who had tried the slave collar put it directly on my neck. Hmm, her breasts are more modest than Sylphy’s, and she smells wild. Is it the smell of spices?
“Try ordering him.”
“Yes. Then as your master… I command you to kneel.”
I shook my head with my arms crossed and refused the order. Then I took off the collar myself and handed it to Sylphy.
“Sylphy, who saved my life, is my master.”
“Fufu, you sure are an admirable fellow. Well, I’ll put the collar on you.”
Sylphy smiled, pulled me into her arms, and put the slave collar on me. Well, after all, Sylphy’s boobs are the best. It smells good.
“As you can see, the collar is real. I hope you can believe me now. Kosuke is a guest from a different world with nothing to do with the Holy Kingdom people that we hate. Rather, he is a friend who can help us with his power. From now on, I want you all to treat Kosuke as such.”
The refugees staggered in confusion, but then applause began to ring out everywhere. Melty was applauding with a strangely good smile. From the looks of it, it must have been Melty’s handiwork of cherry-picking that first started the clapping. An incitement, huh! You’re scaring me, Oi!
“I’m glad you all approve of it. Starting tomorrow, we’ll be conducting defense training in preparation for Gizma. Those of you with extra strength should actively participate. That’s all!”
The applause grew even louder, and cheers went up. At any rate, I think the possibility of me being attacked by refugees is now pretty low. All that’s left now is to check how the elves are reacting and to counter Gizma.