This is Yukkuri demasu!
Sorry for the lateness. I can only say September is a busy month.
I will be transferred to a district hospital next month, so this month is kinda annoying as I need to finish all the workload piled up before I transfer… My procrastination strikes back……
DISCLAIMER: There is no guarantee that my translation is 100% correct. Please correct me if I was wrong.
Chapter 3: The Negotiation A
There was a training ground inside Van’s Castle. In that open air room, that was similar to a Japanese archery range, I was facing the fully equipped Aisha. The red armored Aisha bared her great sword toward my direction, while opposing her were me and the five medium-sized Musashi Boy-kun dolls (It was in the middle between the small size, that was as big as a stuffed toy, and the large size, that was as big as a human).
「Then…… I will move, Your Majesty!」(Aisha)
The referee, Liscia at the corner of my field of view, raised her hand. At that moment, Aisha’s great sword slashed down. In an instant, a visible shockwave flew towards me. I then moved Musashi Boy-kun (equipped with Shields in both of its hands) to the front and braced the shields. When the shockwave hit, it produced a loud banging noise, but Musashi Boy-kun A (Dual Shield) somehow managed to hold its ground.
「It’s not over!」(Aisha)
However, without even a moment to feel relieved, Aisha pointed her great sword towards my direction and set the sword at her side, before thrusting it forward with all of her might. Even though, Musashi Boy-kun A piled its shields to guard against this attack, that battering ram-like attack penetrated both the piled up shields and Musashi Boy-kun.
(For real…… It pierced through those two bulky shields……) (Souma)
I was taken aback by the unreasonable power, but currently, Aisha’s feet were stopped. Using this chance, I sent Musashi Boy-kun B (Dual Sword) and Musashi Boy-kun C (Spear) from both of her flanks and attacked from both right and left at the same time. But Aisha stabbed the great sword, that had pierced through Musashi Boy-kun A to the ground, and then, as if using the great sword as a pivot, she did a cartwheel and evaded the attack by moving her body towards the air. Aisha ended up in a position similar to a handstand by using the great sword.
「There, 【Precision Shooting】!」(Souma)
The remaining Musashi Boy-kun D and E (Bow) aimed and shot at Aisha, whose feet had left the ground and could not move. Two arrows quickly flew towards Aisha.
On top of the stabbed down great sword, Aisha rotated her feet and did something like a capoera handstand roundhouse kick (I don’t know the proper name) and then kicked down the two arrows. Then, she stepped down and immediately took out something from inside her pocket before flicking it towards me with her thumb.
There was a ‘pacch’ sound from my forehead, so I was greatly taken aback. In the middle of my forehead, there was a ten yen coin sized piece of clay. If perhaps, this was a knife or a stone from a slingshot, then perhaps I would already be dead. Well, since it was only a “practice” match, I won’t die, but as expected, it’s depressing to be defeated one-sidedly…… I then sat down on the spot.
「Ah, really…… I can’t even put up a proper fight.」(Souma)
「Aisha, I think it is important for the battle analysis, so just say it honestly.」(Liscia)
Liscia stopped Aisha, who was hurriedly approaching me, and, just like what Liscia had said, I was currently verifying my battle capability.
「Just like what Liscia said. Speak honestly.」(Souma)
「T-then…… How should I say this, I didn’t feel any difficulty facing the ‘Party’ of dolls. But I think the previous 『Everyone carries swords in both hands and swarms』 tactic is more difficult to deal with.」(Aisha)
「Ah, the 『Pikmin Tactic』…… But then, didn’t you just blow them all away together?」(Souma)
「So in other words, it’s below the standard.」(Liscia)
I hung my head when Liscia pointed this out. Since the Pikmin Tactic wasn’t effective, then this time, I tried to use the combination tactic that was used by the adventurer party, that Musashi Boy-kun participate together with in the quest before, as a reference (if I have to name it, it will be called 『World Tree Labyrinth Tactic』, but in the end, this tactic failed
「Since an adventurer party will have a magician, after all. A shield that has been strengthened using magic would be difficult to pierce and, rather than arrows, elemental magic would also be difficult to deal with.」(Aisha)
Aisha said this sketchily. Also, rather than “impossible”, it’s “difficult”, so Aisha’s “above the norm” standard was really obvious……
「Even if you mention a magician. I can’t use elemental magic or support magic……」(Souma)
To say nothing of me, even if the 『Living Poltergeist』 dolls that I control could use 【Whirlwind Slash】 or 【Precision Shooting】, they couldn’t use magic to put elemental effects on their weapon or to shoot out flames or ice.
「I wonder if you can learn how to use them from something like a magic academy?」(Souma)
「It will be impossible. I have never heard a Dark Attribute user that can use magic from other attributes.」(Liscia)
Liscia immediately vetoed it. According to her, the four great attributes: Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind, created the phenomenon by manipulating mana in the air, while the Light attribute meddled with mana inside the body to increase the healing rate or to enhance the body. However, a Dark attribute didn’t have any ability to do this. In other words, no matter how much I learn or study, I won’t become a Magician or a Healer…… How should I say this? This is disappointing. I dropped my shoulders and Liscia began to speak with a surprised expression.
「What are you talking about? A Dark attribute is rare, you know? Even until now, I only have seen three person possessing it.」(Liscia)
「Three people? It’s me and Tomoe, right? …… Who is the other one?」(Souma)
「It’s my Mother. But she never told me what her power is.」(Liscia)
Really……The previous Queen, right? I met with her a bit when I was summoned. I’m certain the right to succeed the throne was originally the previous Queen’s (so strictly speaking, the previous Queen Regnant) and that the Queen was just entrusting the kingdom’s governance to her husband, the previous King Albert? She was hidden behind the King’s shadow, so I don’t really remember her, but whenever I see her, she was always smiling, so I feel that she is a nice person.
「However, it seems that my power is not enough to protect myself……」(Souma)
「Please be relieved, Your Majesty! I will always guard Your Majesty’s life the entire time!」(Aisha)
Aisha hit her chest with a puff. In front of her reliability, I feel pathetic.
「A hero that is protected by a girl, as expected, is not cool……」(Souma)
「What are you saying right now? Souma hasn’t been hero-like since the very beginning, you know.」(Liscia)
Liscia slashed me down with a single stroke. I agree with her…… But could she not use such a coarse and indirect expression? While I was thinking this,
「Isn’t it Souma’s way to entrust things that you can’t do to people who can? Since you couldn’t do it with your own power, then we will be the ones who will always protect you.」(Liscia)
Liscia said this while blushing. Aisha also followed her.
「Just like what the Princess said! Your Majesty is the one who has protected the country where we live, so please let us protect Your Majesty’s safety!」(Liscia)
「…… I see.」(Souma)
To have two beautiful girls saying this to me, although it is pathetic, I am also happy. I am a frail Hero(?), but I will protect the girls in my own way……
No, I want to protect them. It’s from the deepest part of my heart.
When I turned my head at the sudden call, I saw Juna-san in her Marine uniform making a bow with her hand on her chest.
「Hakuya-dono is searching for you, he wanted to talk about the city planning.」(Juna)
「I understand. I will go to meet him right now.」(Souma)
I stood up and brushed away the dirt. I asked the soldiers to tidy the training ground, as I and the girls headed towards the government affairs office. I will do what I can do.
◇ ◇ ◇
When we arrived at the government affairs office, Hakuya and Ludwin were already waiting inside. I sat at the desk, while Liscia, who had been in the secretary position since some time ago, and Juna-san, who was also in the secretary position due to the labor shortage, were sitting at both of my sides. Aisha was standing close to the door in her bodyguard stance. Recently, this has become the standard formation for this room. After confirming that everyone was in position, Hakuya then showed a map of Van’s city planning that he had prepared on the table.
「Please take a look at the city planning scheme.」(Hakuya)
Just like what he had suggested, I took a look at the map. There were four highways to each cardinal point from the Duke’s Castle at the center towards the square outer walls, then, small roads branched out perpendicularly from the main road, which made the map look like a Go board. It was as if I was seeing the map of Ancient Nara and Ancient Kyoto depicted in a history textbook. The nobles’ quarters would be integrated on the northeast section, while the workshops would be on the southwest section. Facilities, such as garrison military stations, are dispersed in an earth-staggeringly efficient manner. I let out a sigh while resting my chin on my hands.
「Yes, Your Majesty.」(Hakuya)
「This is overkill.」(Souma)
After all, this was a city planning that was really taking efficiency into serious consideration. “Ane-san-rokkaku-tako-nishiki”…… Why are you turning the streets into a mysterious unrecitable spell? In the first place, for such a large scale reconstruction, won’t it be quicker if we just burned down the entire city? Do I need to become a Nero emperor?
「I am sorry. After looking at that disordered city planning, I had this sudden impetus to make it more efficient……」(Hakuya)
Perhaps Hakuya understood this, so he made a wry smile as he pointed at the main street.
「However, for the fire countermeasures, it is important to establish a boundary. So establishing these main streets is necessary.」
「That’s seems to be so. However, I want to reflect the will of the people who live on the other parts. I want them to think about what kind of city they want to be and what they think about the other people living alongside with them. If we just decided anything and everything here, then it could incite a rebellion.」(Souma)
「Just in case, I have called several architects who lived in this city, but…… Asking the opinion of the people in this city? But with the current atmosphere, the result would be some avant-garde art……」(Hakuya)
「An artistic city, huh? …… That sounds interesting if that’s really the case.」(Souma)
It might be a good idea to also establish art galleries and museums…… What will it be? Since there is a open air market just like Ameyoko, I feel that Van would gradually turn into Ueno. If that’s the case, then let’s also build a Zoo, too. If we borrow Tomoe-chan’s power, then it will easy to make it a reality, since the Pongos (mountain apes) could quickly build it. However, Hakuya shook his head.
「Van will become the front line city against Amidonia. At this point of time, it is impossible to create such pleasant city.」(Hakuya)
「……Ah, that’s true.」(Souma)
After all, you can’t hope much for the defensive capabilities of an Art City. I want to quickly turn it into a city that you can change as you wish. I then looked at Ludwin’s direction.
「What’s the current state of the work for establishing a transportation network?」(Souma)
「Yes, Your Majesty. Presently, the Royal Army’s King’s Guards and the Army had given their entire effort and have connected Van to the highway that leads to the Kingdom’s territory. In addition, we have completed connecting the road to the villages surrounding Van that are under our current possession. We have also constructed eight bridges over the rivers, but……」(Ludwin)
I asked Ludwin, who seemed to be hesitating and then, while showing an uncomprehending expression, he asked.
「Currently, I don’t understand what the meaning of establishing the transportation network is. Of course, I understand that it is necessary to establish roads for the supply line. However, currently the Empire doesn’t recognize Van’s ownership, so if we construct roads and bridges, won’t it just be a worthless endeavor when it gets handed back over?」(Ludwin)
「He’s right…… The Empire, of course, would demand Van’s return. It will also be annoying if Julius uses the bridges that we constructed.」(Liscia)
Liscia also made a pensive expression. However,
「Perhaps that won’t happen.」(Hakuya)
「Yes. Not happening.」(Juna)
Hakuya and Juna-san denied it together.
「With all due respect, the Ducal Prince Julius is not someone who has that kind of personality.」(Hakuya)
「I heard that he has high pride, so he wouldn’t do something like using a bridge that had been constructed by his enemies.」(Juna)
「Hummm…… If it’s me, even if it’s Amidonia’s, as long as it can be used, I will use it.」(Souma)
For example, that husky voiced female general. Ever since that day, Margarita Wanda had done her best as the singing contest’s host. In this country, where a woman is looked down upon by men, a woman who can speak frankly to the male participants is precious. She is also powerful, so the half-hearted men wouldn’t oppose her. Well, leaving that aside.
「If he had such a high pride, then shall we try to do something to harass him?」(Souma)
「We shall bestow names to the bridges. There are eight, right? Then Souma Bridge, Liscia Bridge, Albert Bridge, Hakuya Bridge, Ludwin Bridge, Poncho-Ishidzuka Bridge, Aisha Bridge and Juna Bridge. Engrave each of these names on the respective bridges’ guardrails. Even if they change hands, we could still emphasize the Elfrieden Kingdom’s contribution. In this case, wouldn’t Julius want to destroy them instead?」(Souma)
「Souma…… You really take to such dirty measures so easily…」(Liscia)
Liscia answered in half admiring half amazed tone, but since there were no objections, this plan would be accepted. Incidentally, I requested that the bridge were only sufficiently strong, as it will be alright if the bridges are destroyed. I also confirmed that they didn’t ornament the bridges. After seeing Hakuya and Ludwin going off to carry out the plan that we had decided on just now, Liscia sighed.
「As expected, it is hard since the Empire maintains their demand for Van’s return?」(Liscia)
「Yeah……They have no intentions to change their basic policy, but if that Sister Princess is our enemy, it will be impossible to push things our way. Even if it ended successfully for us, the Empire would lose its face. If that’s the result, it will incur the Empire’s hostility, and it will be a diplomatic failure.」(Souma)
「I heard that Souma met with Jeanne Euphoria. Is it true? About how the Hero Summoning was their consideration for our country?」(Liscia)
Did she heard that from Juna-san? I only nodded in response.
「Since when did Souma realize this?」(Liscia)
「Ever since I heard that the Empire is led by someone referred to as the 『Holy Maiden』, I have had a vague hint. I believed that a person who was touted as a figurehead called the 『Holy Maiden』 wouldn’t do such a relatively unreasonable action.」(Souma)
「Isn’t that position was just their public face?」(Liscia)
「It is because it is their public face, that it is convenient to be touted.」(Souma)
For the Empire that has a humongous territory and is composed of many races and tribes, a figurehead called the 『Holy Maiden』 is convenient to act as the unifying force. It was all the more important, since the Empire wanted to create a system to manage an united Humanity front to counter the Demon Lord Army. Then, so that they wouldn’t lose this convenience, Maria Euphoria would be someone who will act just how a Holy Maiden would do.
「Because of this, you could interpret the Empire’s request in a favorable light, or something like that.」(Souma)
Well, until my discussion with Jeanne, I didn’t have any positive proof of this. But I had finaly confirmed it in the discussion with Jeanne. Although, the Grand Chaos Empire appears to be something like an『Evil Empire』 in a story, it is not a haughty superpower nation. They are only “a normal strong nation” that endeavors to frantically preserve their country.
「For this reason……we can’t be completely careless in this.」(Souma)
I exchanged looks with Liscia and the other two, and then I made a sigh.
◇ ◇ ◇
On the next day, that Sister Princess, Jeanne Euphoria, accompanied by the claimant, the new Amidonian Duke, Julius, appeared in Van as the envoy for the territory return negotiations.
Curtain of a 8 long part chapter called Negotiation begun…
Now, what a Realist Souma do to counter a Realist Jeanne?
 Great sword大剣 : Two-handed large size sword like a Zweihander. Imagine the Great Sword from the Monster Hunter series.
 Perhaps “Mea lua” or “Bananeira”
 Basically, a Japanese version of Zerg Rush. Pikmin is an RTS game for WiiU
 Originally: Sekaijuu no Meikyuu(世界樹の迷宮). The Japanese name for Etrian Odyssey, a dungeon RPG crawling game for Nintendo DS
 The Japanese language differentiates the Queen Consort (the wife of a reigning King) and Queen Regnant (Queen who reigns). In this sentence Souma refers to the Queen as 王妃 (Queen as in Queen Consort) before correcting it to 女王 (Queen as in Queen Regnant).
 Souma was saying “using starch paper as an oblaat covering”. Oblaat is a thin transparent edible starch that cover some candies in Japan and some parts of Asia.
 Nara and Kyoto, both former Japanese capital cities, had the layout mimicking China’s capital city layout. For example take a look at the map of Chang An (Xi’an) and Nara:
*insert Nara and Xi’an map here*
(the map for Kyoto is on the footnote 9)
Which itself mimicked the city grid for Chengzou, the legendary capital of Zhou. Which Hakuya seems mimicked.
Please read this article for more information: Ancient Chinese urban planning
 Souma is mentioning あねさんろっかくたこにしき (姉三六角蛸錦) or ane san rokkaku tako nishiki section from “Kyoto Road Song” or “Kyou no toori no uta” also known as “Marutake-ebisu”. (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPhZyUj-EkU). If you watched Detective Conan Movie 7 - Crossroad in the Ancient Capital, you will immediately recognize this song.
The lyric itself is meaningless: “The sister with three six horns octopus dress”. But it helps the children as the Mnemonic to remember the road layout in central old Kyoto (see the following map)
The Anesan Rokkaku Tako Nishiki refer to ANEkouji (姉小路) Street, SANjou (三条) Street, ROKKAKU (六角) Street, TAKOyakushi (蛸薬師) Street, and NISHIKIkouji (錦小路) Street. (The street number 14 to 18 from the top of the map).
 For those who are not good in Imperial Roman History: in 18-24 July 64 CE, Rome had a great fire that devastated 10 of 14 districts of Rome, 3 were completely burned to the ground. Most people believe that it was Emperor Nero who ordered the fire to be set, so that after the neighborhoods had been cleared, he could built his new palace Domus Aurea. After the Great Fire, Nero rebuilt Rome with a new urban planning layout. Including wide roads and open spaces to stop fire (what Hakuya also tried to do). For more reading: Read The Annals by Tacitus: HERE
 Ameya-Yokochō (アメヤ横丁 Ameya alley?) is an open-air market in the Taito Ward of Tokyo, Japan, located next to Ueno Station.
 Ueno is a Tokyo district that is famous with its multitude of art galleries and museums and considered as home to some of Tokyo's finest cultural sites. Ueno also the home for Ueno Zoo. As mentioned, Ameya-yoko is located next to Ueno.
 Portmanteau of妹姫Imouto and Hime (princess) = so Sister Princess