Atelier Tanaka Volume 3 Chapter 4 part10
Once Ester-chan had calmed down, we left the waiting room. Right now, I think I know what it feels like to be an exotic animal in a zoo. Everyone we pass in the castle is staring at me. I feel like if I stay here much longer I’ll start a riot.
“It’s this way. We’ll make a right at the next corner.”
We maintained a brisk pace as we walked down the hallway.
I followed Ester-chan’s instructions and turned right into the next hall.
We then turned another corner, went down a flight of stairs, turned another corner, and so on and so forth.
I decided to finally acknowledge Christina as we continued moving through the castle.
“W-What!? Aah~!? What is it!?”
She had got used to being annoyed, so when I called out to her she couldn’t hide the surprise in her voice and looked at me suspiciously. It was amusing to see the frustration and humiliation so plain on her face. I really like teasing this girl.
“I want you to make me a promise.”
“I don’t want you to hurt anyone in the future, and if you need something for someone, ask them for help rather than demanding and threatening them. There is no one in the world of humans that can compare to you, so please have a little patience.”
If she won’t return to Mount Pepe, I need to change her personality.
“If you don’t make this promise to me, I’ll continue treating you as if you don’t exist.”
“W-What did you say!?”
Given her age, I’d expect her to act more mature than she does.
But this female dragon is desperate for approval.
I wondered whether or not such a simple plan would have an effect on her but it turns out it was super effective.
“In addition to this, if you refuse and try to use your power to harm people, I will be forced to stand against you. To be honest, I don’t want this to happen. But, with humans – and I’m sure dragons – there are certain things we can’t allow.”
“…g-good. That’s what I’ve been hoping for all along! Let’s do it! Aah~!?”
“If that’s what you want, but you better be prepared. I won’t hold back.”
“I will fight against you with everything I have and when it’s finished, I can promise you this, not even a single scale will remain of you.”
“Ha~, not a single scale you say? You’re underestimating me. Even if you fight me with all of your power –”
“…y-you’re under…estimating me….”
Christina is cute when she’s scared.
When she’s confronted by someone of equal or higher power, she develops a strong desire to fight them. But she knows my abilities and when we fought, as far as she could tell, she couldn’t even harm me. This makes it easy for me to control her. If I didn’t have the ability to instantly heal or recover MP at a tremendous rate, she’d kill me in an instant.
Our relationship consists of constantly threatening each other.
She possesses limitless potential compared to a busamen like me whose only strong point is his INT. Her status is superior to me in every other way. I wonder what will happen if we keep this semi-hostile relationship up.
Which is why I want to reduce any chances of her turning violent. I needed to make her believe I hold the power.
Something like this may also help the noble mage in his pursuit of the loli dragon.
“…did you say something?”
“I-I didn’t say anything! This Tanaka!”
What’s with ‘this Tanaka?’ Well, it doesn’t matter.
“I’m glad that you seem to understand. This will be better for everyone.”
I’m sure things will be fine now.
Still, something is on my mind.
The way the loli dragon looks when she’s trying to act tough while being scared of me is the best.
No, that isn’t true. Pushing her down and forcibly inserting it would be better. I can’t even imagine how amazing that would feel.
Forced sex with a teary-eyed loli. Amazing.
I want to post the uncensored video online.
“A-ah~! W-Why are you looking at me like that!?”
“Oh, no reason.”
I shouldn’t be thinking this. The noble mage has already told me about his feelings for her.
I did something wrong.
Maybe, if he gets bored of her someday, I’ll ask to borrow her for some hard play.
“I don’t want to interrupt but we really shouldn’t be speaking much inside the castle. There are eyes and ears everywhere. The Prime Minister, in particular, possesses a lot of power within these walls. Even if it’s just a casual conversation, it would be best if we waited until we’ve left.”
“I see. Sorry. I’ll refrain from speaking until we’ve left the castle.”
“Y-You don’t have to apologize! In fact, I’m sorry for making you feel like you have to apologize.”
“No, it was good advice. I know you were just worried about me. Right now, you’re my senior and I want to be sure to learn everything I can from you. I’m a foreigner that knows almost nothing about the nobility of this country.”
Ester-chan’s face turned red.
She may not be a virgin. In fact, I’d say she’s the complete opposite.
But she knows about this world.
We passed by several people who I assume are nobles as we made our way through the castle. Even though only a few minutes have passed since we left the great hall, the new baron was the talk of everyone we passed, and they’d all cast a curious eye at the strange foreigner roaming the castle halls. If I were to make some minor mistake, I’m sure everyone within these walls would know about it in minutes and they’d all happily judge me based off that one moment.
But, so far, nobody has tried to talk to me. I think this may be thanks to Ester-chan. With her by my side, nobody will come near me. Even within the royal castle, the FitzClarence name carries significant power.
This doesn’t mean I can rest easy.
In addition to worrying about my own actions giving the nobility a bad impression of me, I also have to worry about the loli dragon’s seemingly random gut punch. She can be short-tempered and if I’m forced to counter her attack in the castle, it would look like a grown man is assaulting a child. I’d be sent to prison before even attempting to succeed as a baron. This is what I was most worried about.
It really seems like it’s taking longer to get out of this castle than usual. This is so stressful. Is that why it seems like it’s taking so long? After some time, we finally arrived at the entrance to the castle. I could see freedom waiting for me outside the gates when I spotted someone I recognized.
He was being led into the castle as we were leaving.
“Hmm, oh? Is that you Tanaka? What are you doing here…?”
My superior on the battlefield.
He’s a former high-ranking official in the capital and his wife and home are also here. The carriage that left Tricklis must’ve finally arrived.
“I’m sorry that we left you behind. I wanted to give you a proper thank you for all the help you provided while I was in Tricklis.”
“A-Ah, it was no problem. Y-Your words are enough….”
Neumann was sweating heavily in front of Ester-chan. He also refused to make eye contact with her. This is just a guess but I don’t think Neumann is comfortable around nobles.
“Is this the same official that was with us when we left Tricklis?”
Ester-chan asked me this.
They met each other when we were getting in the carriage, but I never introduced them to each other. We also rode in a three-carriage train and he and Ester-chan weren’t in the same carriage. Even if they were on the same carriage, Christina threw a fit and demanded Ester-chan and the others ride on her back anyway.
“Yes, he was my boss.”
Ester-chan looked over Neumann. The longer she looked, the more Neumann sweated.
“I-It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Viscount F-FitzClarence….”
I can tell he didn’t expect to come face-to-face with the ruling lord of the territory he operates in. In addition to that, there’s also an adventurer that he drunkenly confessed all of his problems too.
“You, what is your name?”
“Yes! It’s Neumann! I’ve been working as an official in Tricklis Castle for the past month. Thank you very much for blessing a lowly man like me with your words. I’ve never been more honoured.”
Neumann was acting very humble.
This is how commoners should behave around nobles.
“Is it true that you were in charge of Tanaka in Tricklis?”
“Yes. It was only during the conflict, but I had been given charge of him and a few other adventurers. He was deemed to be quite capable and I received frequent reports about him fighting on the frontlines.”
“His abilities are obvious.”
Neumann’s words seemed to please the loli bitch.
“Of course, Viscount FitzClarence. I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m curious. What kind of business do you have here with Tanaka? There were certain rumours that the lord of Tricklis was desperately trying to get a commoner a high-ranking title….”
This must be the first time he’s been to the castle since arriving in Kalis. Otherwise, I’m sure he would’ve heard everyone talking about a foreigner potentially being given the title of baron.
If I were dressed more like a noble he’d probably have the answer. However, I’m wearing the same clothes I always wear. Nobody would think a man like me could possibly be a nobleman.
“His Majesty just awarded him with the title of baron. From today on, this is Baron Tanaka.”
Neumann’s eyes opened wide in amazement.
I’m sure everyone in the Tricklis castle had heard the rumour. The new lord had become obsessed with an ugly commoner and was determined to get him appointed to a position of equal status in order to be close to him. Well, the rumour is quite accurate in this case.
I’d guess that most everyone that heard about it assumed the loli bitch was just making wild, one-sided claims and there was no real chance of turning a commoner into a noble. I didn’t even think it would happen.
“What was that, Neumann? I won’t allow you to act impolitely in front of the new baron.”
“Wha–!? I-I’m very sorry!”
Neumann straightened his back and gave me a deep bow.
Our positions have completely flipped since last we met.
I’ve seen similar scenarios in movies. A cadet finished his training and his sergeant – who, up until this point, had been gruff and short-tempered – now proudly salutes him with respect.
It’s somewhat nice but also awkward.
I’m not used to someone bowing to me.
“Please, raise your head, Neumann. She’s only told you half of the story.”
“No, I have to pay you proper respect, Baron Tanaka.”
He has no shame.
He bowed deeper and was now bent forward at an acute angle. Why is he acting like this to me?
It must be because of his wife and child. He must feel the need to act respectfully to all nobility, even one that was considered to be lower than him not long ago, in order to, hopefully, be stationed back in the capital with his family. Sacrificing his pride is a small price to pay if it means he can live a happy life with his family in his home.
But what am I supposed to do? How should I act around him? I don’t want our relationship to be that of a noble and commoner.
“Are you friends with this man?”
“Umm, well, we went out drinking together once.”
“And is he good at his job?”
“In the brief time we were together, he always seemed professional. I know he was also positioned here in the capital before moving out to Tricklis.”
What’s the loli bitch thinking now?
Ever since the conflict arrived on her doorsteps, the loli bitch has started taking charge more often.
Though, I’d prefer it if she reined things in a little.
“Neumann, from today until I recall you, you will be temporarily transferred to Baron Tanaka’s territory. You will be stationed there for a year, and I expect for you to conduct yourself with honour and integrity for as long as you remain by his side.”
“Wha–!? W-What do you mean?”
“I mean exactly what I said.”
Ester-chan said this matter-of-factly.
If I plan on holding land I won’t be able to do it alone. I may be the lord but I am just one man and I control a lot of land. Besides, I’m a lord with no people. This offer is greatly appreciated.
I already feel like I’m being taken care of even though I’m a noble.
“If at the end of the year you’ve served sufficiently, you may return to the capital.”
The complexion of Neumann’s face changed.
His eyes opened wide.
“If I ask my father, it would be easy to transfer a single government official back to the capital. What do you say?”
“…a-and it would only be for one year?”
“Yes, that’s all.”
Neumann confirmed Ester-chan’s condition once more.
It seemed like an offer Neumann couldn’t refuse. In this world, the capital seems like an attractive place for anyone to work. It’s like working in Tokyo.
“If that’s the case, then I will accept.”
“I’m glad to hear that, Neumann-san. I’m looking forward to working with you.”
Neumann gave me another deep bow.
First citizen get.