「How is the cultivation going?」
「I have confirmed that the cultivation is progressing smoothly at all the 6 locations. The harvest amount is also roughly as assumed」
「Then, I want to expand it as soon as possible, but……..」
「Regretfully, if we enlarge the scope of it any more than this, we won’t have enough manpower」
「And if it isn’t inspected, farmhouses which selfishly start their own cultivation due to being dazzled by the profits will also appear」
It had been 2 weeks since the start of trial run for the implementation of LP farming, and Kazuki, while confirming the results with Norman and Jake, was discussing about the prospects from here on out with them.
The place was obviously Harold’s room. Recently, he was seldom alone in the room. Anyone out of Norman, Jake and Zen being in the room became numerous.
「I can’t do anything about the deficiency in manpower. Isn’t there anybody else in this mansion we can use?」
「It is difficult in the present condition. If we ask Elias or Saxon to cooperate, it will just be a temporary measure……….」
Norman raised up the names of the 2 soldiers who helped in the plan to rescue Clara.
But asking them to go to the agricultural district for inspection on top of their original work, it wasn’t very realistic. As Norman himself had stated, it would just become a temporary measure.
「Tsk, then how about I hire people from the outside…………?」
「From the outside, is it?」
「For example, if I ask my father that I want personal aides…………No, that’ll be no good. If it’s some guy recommended by father, moving around will become even more harder」
Jake stopped Kazuki (Harold), who seemed to be immersed while murmuring to himself.
「Harold-sama, first I want to continue the report」
「Nn? Ah, the matter about the soil」
「Yes. Regarding the soil of the testing field, no huge changes were observed」
In short, the testing field was the field present in Jake’s house. He had been cultivating nothing but the 3 types of vegetable there.
The thing he had wanted to confirm was whether problems related to the soil would arise when they did this over a long period of time or when they used a large amount of LP. If due to this, the soil withered away and if it couldn’t be used a field for farming anymore, they would need to suspend the use of LP immediately.
「Including this time’s, how many rotations has it been?」
「It’ll be red groot 7 times, bell tubers 6 times and bluna 11 times. I even had the cooks sample them regularly, but there were no differences in the taste」
「The notice isn’t bad, but the number of trials is too less. Continue the cultivation testing and observe the progression. And then………..」
Like this, it became regular for Kazuki to keep them company once in few days and working hard to grasp the current circumstances. Although he did have the sense of fulfillment he hadn’t experienced in his student days, even now his future was full of troubles.
And since he was using his head in a completely different way from how he used it during classes in high school or university, maybe as a recoil, his body started demanding to go rowdy.
And so, after finishing the discussion, holding the sword, Kazuki carried his legs towards the completely familiar opening in the forest expanding behind the mansion, which they had used for the plan to rescue Clara.
It was the only place where he could swing the sword with all of his strength.
As soon as Kazuki arrived, he lightly loosened his body and immediately commenced his normal routine.
The 3 hit combo of slashing downwards diagonally from above, cutting upwards, slicing while rotating.
But the sharpness of the swing and the speed of the sword had reached to a level which couldn’t be compared to when he had just started training. As though it would slice apart the air itself, a swordplay which would overwhelm those who saw it.
But Kazuki’s (Harold’s) sword technique didn’t stop only at that.
Closing his eyes, he calmed his breath and sharpened his nerves.
It became silent and as though to break it, Kazuki started moving.
Within a second, he had unleashed the 3 hit combo, similar to the one before.The difference was in the next part.
The blade which was swung out due to the rotating slash was clad in –Lightning.
As though in concurrence with that word, the instant the blade stabbed the ground, a bright electric current was fired.
With Kazuki at the center, 8 streaks of electricity attacked the surroundings. One gouged the ground out, one scorched a rock, one broke a tree trunk.
The reach of the streak was about 3 meters. Kazuki fired an attack which could strike in all the directions, as though it could ignore a numerical disadvantage. But he muttered as though he was dissatisfied.
「It won’t even be useful at this level」
The attack Kazuki had fired off a moment ago was called 『Raijin』, one of the elementary level skills in 『Brave Hearts』.
It looked to be quite flashy, and when it had succeeded for the first time, Kazuki himself had been frightened, but in the game it was just a weak skill which consumed 5 MP (Magic Points). It could be guessed that since the protagonist would learn it at level 1, it would be no good.
Then the reason why he was dissatisfied was because, mysteriously a feeling that he could “do much better” sprouted out inside him. That feeling wasn’t necessarily wrong since the number of lightning streaks were 4 at the beginning.
Fundamentally, it was possible for Harold to use magic of all attributes, but among them, lightning symbolized him. And since that Harold’s body was shouting “This still isn’t my best”, as though to answer that appeal, Kazuki was single-mindedly swinging his sword to perfect the ideal Raijin that had crossed his mind.
That was why he hadn’t noticed. That the him right now was ascending to heights which couldn’t possibly be reached by a 10 year old child.
That how extremely abnormal it was.
He hadn’t noticed how he would look from another person’s view.
(This is.., I have seen something serious, haven’t I ～?)
As though nothing had changed inside, Juno had a calm expression, but unusually, there was a drop of sweat flowing down her cheek.
After reaching a certain point in investigating the Stokes house, when she had set out to seriously investigate Harold, on the first day itself she encountered a scene which made her doubt her own eyes.
After meeting him, I’ve done nothing but doubt my five senses- she leaked out a faint but wry smile.
But she couldn’t just keep on smiling. No matter how she thought about it, Harold wasn’t normal.
He was easily swinging an iron sword whose length was as tall as himself, and that sword speed also wouldn’t lose out to that of an experienced swordsman’s. Adding onto that, he could also handle swordsmanship which used magic.
That itself wouldn’t become a definitive basis to prove anything, but Juno held the absolute belief that he had a big secret.
The problem was whether that secret had the risk of causing harm to the Sumeragi family and Erika.
According to the plan prepared beforehand, she had thought of contacting him head on, but she felt that it would be better to rework her plan to include some means of feeling around just in case. Thinking that, the instant she turned on her heels, planning to leave without making any sound, that happened.
Behind Juno who had her back towards Harold, ‘Gan’- with a heavy shocking sound, the air shook.
To the abrupt situation, Juno reflexively ducked her body.
The identity of the sound was Harold’s sword. Right now, it had left its owner’s hand and was stabbed deeply into the tree, behind which Juno had hidden her body.
It was a surprise attack which had aimed for the gap in the instant she had switched her consciousness. If the tree hadn’t been there, without a doubt, it would have pierced through her.
To that fact, Juno went pale. Even so, the reason she hadn’t given out any voice was because of the results of the training and experience she had undergone.
But due the surprise being too much, she had magnificently stamped down the thicket, which was a fatal error.
「Who is it? Don’t keep sneakily hiding and show yourself」
Harold’s sharp voice rang out.
Juno thought of planning to make a getaway as it was, but thinking that there was no way she could fool him, who had accurately seen through her covert action, she gave up and appeared in front of Harold.
Thereupon, Harold’s eyes widened by a small amount, and then, his expression changed minutely.
(That just now was relief………was it ～?)
To read that change was the power of Juno’s unique observing eye.
But she didn’t know what it meant.
Compared to that, Kazuki was completely flustered.
Since he had been extremely concentrated on practising Raijin, the sword had slipped out of his right hand and flown towards an unexpected direction, and had stopped after stabbing a tree which was more than 10 meters away.
He was surprised because there was some kind of presence there.
Thinking that maybe it had slammed into a person and injured them, panicking greatly, he called out. On the verge of running off in the direction of the thicket, Juno appeared from the shadow of the tree.
From the looks of it, since she didn’t appear to be injured, Kazuki was relieved. He had almost become a murderer.
「I’m sorry Harold-sama ～, it was unintentional ～」
While Kazuki was worried about wrenching out words of apology even with Harold’s mouth, for some reason Juno lowered her head.
It seemed as though she was apologizing for peeking at Kazuki’s (Harold’s) training. For Kazuki, that didn’t matter at all.
「Hanging around in the shadows, insolent. If you don’t learn of your position, you’ll be injured severely」
If you’re going to watch, stay in a position where I can see you. Since if I don’t know where you are, I might injure you- not even a bit of Kazuki’s concerns were transmitted.
Rather, this was what Juno heard.
(He’s giving a warning huh ～………)
Easily grasping her presence, without even offering any room to resist, without taking any action and suppressing her, it was brilliantly done. He wasn’t someone who she could take on as an opponent, when there was an existence like Erika near her, who needed to be protected.
He must have also warned her like this since he understood that.
— That there wouldn’t be a next time if she went further than this
It wasn’t that she had the intention to relax because Harold was a child. She also wasn’t optimistic.
But still, he had easily surpassed her. As though he had seen through everything from the beginning.
It was her complete defeat. Was she really aware that she had fought Harold? He had shown her the difference in ability to even make her feel that question.
He not only had physical power, but was also resourceful.
「Fuh, Well fine. By the way, what is the sheltered girl doing?」
(TL – He calls her hakoirimusume – literally daughter in a box, which basically means that she has been sheltered her whole life and is very naive)
Harold suddenly asked that to Juno, who wasn’t replying.
At the abrupt change in the topic, even while being confused, Juno answered the question.
「Erika-sama’s body still isn’t in a very good condition ～. She might be a bit bewildered by the unfamiliar environment ～」
(Just for her physical condition being poor, 2 weeks is too long. There shouldn’t have been a setting of her having a weak condition though……….)
After coming back from going around the town, Erika had told that she wasn’t feeling well, and from then on she had confined herself in the room for nearly the whole time and hadn’t appeared. Thanks to that, he was fully devoted to the trial implementation of LP farming, but since it was so long, his concern gradually increased.
Maybe it’s some kind of flag- his crisis perception rang alarm bells. Well, it was already too late though.
「Perhaps, she is homesick. Why don’t you go back quickly?」
「You’re very cold, aren’t you ～? Even though it’s temporary, since she is your fiancee, wouldn’t it be fine to be a little gentler ～?」
If he could do that, he wouldn’t be so troubled. Harold’s mouth was just like cursed equipment.
「Worthless. As you’ve said, the relationship between us is temporary. I have no intentions of being bound by such things」
「What do you mean ～?」
(Ah, crap. I might have talked a bit too much)
He still couldn’t make it known that he had plans to cancel the engagement in future.
The only person who knew about this was Tasuku, who had read the letter. And although it was Kazuki who had written it, even he didn’t think that Tasuku would completely believe in it.
That was why, at this stage, if somebody came to know that Harold Stokes himself had the intention of cancelling the engagement, the risks would be too high.
At the present stage, he didn’t even have any prospects to prepare the plan.
「There is no need for me to explain it to you」
Without even being able to gloss over it decently, spitting out the words of a sore loser, Kazuki went back to the mansion as though running away from Juno.
Although he felt Juno’s gaze falling around the back of his head, Kazuki kept ignoring her.
I think that this kind of development is the classical way of misunderstandings.
Too easy? I don’t hear anything.
Various thoughts and opinions were there, but to be frank, since Juno is a character who appeared only because I wanted to do this in the opening, there’s not much of a deep setting for having her hold the unknown device.
And later, she might not come out normally other than for the role of combat instructor.
And that too, the plan is for her to simply play a connecting role.
Next, I’ll properly write with Erika playing the main part.
Have to make her evaluation of Harold fall even more!