"Princess-. Is it delicious?"
"Yes, it's delicious. The thick tare sauce gives such a rich taste."1
After we finished our greetings, I visited several shops along with Taigsan and the maids. The one I'm eating right now is—to put it simply, a mitarashi dango.2 The taste doesn't differ much from the other world, so I feel relieved. Ah-, I want to drink a green tea.
The matter regarding the stray magician, it was decided that the report made from interrogating the offender and other notable things would be delivered to the Shikino mansion later on. It might be better to immediately return to the mansion, but we've come all the way here, after all. Besides, the magician was already arrested.
And well, the maids are there as my bodyguards. I'm also with Taigsan and Saryuu.
"Seiren-sama, again, please don't go away from our side."
"I understand, Taigsan. By the way, Saryuu, there's some tare sauce on your cheek."
"Eh? Wa, Tokino, handkerchief."
"Yes, Saryuu-sama. If you're like this, you will always be considered as a child no matter how much time passes."
I wonder what's with this heartwarming sensation? No, it's better like this rather than being savage.
I wonder how the others around us view this… It's fine if they view us as just the elder brother, the elder sister, and the younger brother.
"It seems like the young master and the princess are the married couple, and the little master Saryuu is their child."
Apparently, the opinion of the dango store auntie who brought us some tea seemed to represent the others' opinions in general. Regardless of Taigsan's age, Saryuu and me were only 4 years apart.
Incidentally, it has been decided that the people of the Shikino territory would be calling me as "princess"? I'm a daughter from a good house, but it's not that I'm of the royal family, though. It seems that I have the right to inherit the throne, but it isn't a position that will just come by itself during my life.
*Ding*, the clock tower's bell rang. Taigsan who raised his face in a hurry then told us while scratching his hair apologetically.
"…I'm sorry, Seiren-sama. After this, I will have a meeting with the merchants at night."
"Whoa. You seem to be very busy, although it's the harvest festival's time…"
"Well, this is also my endeavor as a feudal lord. Besides, being busy during the harvesting season means that the crops turn out to be either an abundant harvest, or bad harvest. Luckily, it's an abundant harvest this year. That's why, this hectic schedule is a joyous one."
I see. In that case, Taigsan and the other feudal lords must have been working very hard, huh? If that's the case, I also have to send him off with a smile.
"If that's the case, then please do your best and take care."
"Yes. Then, I'm off."
"See you later, Nii-sama."
"Taigsama, take care-."
After we dee-eeply bowed our heads, Taigsan immediately rushed off. Saysan who also rushed off after him might be in charge of helping him around with the meeting's preparations.
The fief population turned towards their young feudal lord who pushed his way through and there were voices here and there, saying, "Young master, you can't make the princess lonely-," or "Please do your best in your job-!" Really, Taigsan is really liked over here.
"Nee-sama, shouldn't we also return quickly? There's another concern we have to think about besides the greeting."
"Eh? Aah, yup."
When Saryuu told me that, I remembered and thought, "That's right." It's all fine up until now since Taigsan was here, but after this… It's already bad enough with us being targeted, but we couldn't afford to involve the fief population in such circumstances.
"That's right. I feel bad for everyone, but shall we go back?"
I said that and everyone stood up. Well, since the whole group stood up like this, we're perfectly standing out right now. In addition, the auntie who quickly noticed it turned up and asked, "Are you going to return?"
"I'm sorry. We will be excusing ourselves for today."
"No problem, thank you very much. Princess, when are you coming here again next time?"
"Uhm… I still have one week here, right? If that's the case, then I'd like to visit again during that time."
"We will definitely be looking forward to your visit!"
Yup, I'd really like to visit again if possible.
While thinking about it, we paid the bill and left the food stand.
The carriages that we took when we went here was parked at the area that seemed to be an exclusive parking lot. When we got there, the horses were still linked to the carriages and remained quiet, but the coachman was waiting for us nervously.
"Eh, ah, uhm, I-I'm sorry!"
With a face that seemed about to cry, the coachman took refuge in the carriage. 'What's up with him?' but soon after I thought of that, there were an army of hooligans that could easily be seen, surrounding our circumference. Ah-, they were lying there in wait to ambush us, huh? Damn it.
When I tried to think about where they appeared from, there was big wagon parked nearby. In addition, I thought that the security was guarding this place tightly, but it seemed that there were several security officers being mixed within the army of hooligans. So they have such kind of accomplices? It's really no joke.
"Princess, let's not return home and play with us!"
"W-w-what kind of a woman would get attracted to the lot of you who tried to pick them up like this?"
"Nobody is trying to pick up a woman here, though?"
The security officer who answered Alicsan in an exasperated voice had his eyes glaring at us—most likely, he's a fake security officer. Ah- could this probably be…?
To describe it, this might be located in the middle of the town and people should have come here often. These hooligans are bringing various things such as hoes and blunt swords, and that includes the fake security officer who's bringing a baton, perhaps they are bringing such things as a measurement so that they won't get intervened by the other people nearby? In actuality, the fief population felt afraid seeing them like that and there were practically nobody who dared to approach this location.
Well, for the time being, it seems that we've avoided involving Taigsan and the fief population in this situation.
When I thought of that, Saryuu then quietly spoke to me. Oi, where did you take that wooden stick that you're grasping right now?
"It seems that the time for us to use force without having to think of the consequences has come."
"It seems so. But really, what are you thinking?"
Saryuu's breathing roughly in his excitement, but I can tell that his knees are trembling. Nah, to be honest, I also don't know since when have I lost the power in my legs due to the fear?
However, the others seemed to act in contrast to us.
"Then, there's no need for us to restrain ourselves, right?"
"It seems to be the case!"
While looking at the swords and spears that the hooligans had, Orizsan and Kannsan raised their voices in high spirits. They seemed to be full of smiles, but for some reason, the air that their backs emitted seemed scary.
"Seiren-sama, stay behind me. Saryuu-sama, please take care of Seiren-sama."
"Though I think that Saryuu-sama will be enjoying the spectacle after this."
Alicsan took out a long rod from under the carriage that stopped as it was, and handed it over to Maki-san. He then picked out another rod to hold by herself.
"This seems to be more enjoyable than having a goat as your opponent."
"You still haven't settled the match with that goat, Minoa?"
Minosan snorted while seemingly cracking her knuckles. Next to her, Tokino-san lightly loosened her waist as if she was astonished at Minosan's words.
Or rather, Minosan, it seemed pretty dull for you to have Gonzou as your opponent, didn't it? Though you seemed to be enjoying yourself quite well at that time.
"Ou, ou, these girls seemed to be in high spirits!"
One of the hooligans who was near us approached Kannsan unsteadily. At that moment.
The knee that was raised straightly from beneath managed to land a direct hit at the hooligan's lower jaw. Since there was the sound of the impact stricking against his teeth, it seemed that the hit also damaged the top of his head, and then he fell down with just that one hit.
"Please don't come near mee-! Eiiyaah-!"
Orizsan pushed out her palms to the front. The next moment, her hands shone and as I heard the sound of her palms hitting, three men were sent flying. Or rather, so people here also said, "Eiyah!" like that, huh? Ah, well, let's not pay attention to it first.
"Alica, let's compete on who can defeat the most opponents!"
"Then, it's going to be my victory again!"
Maki-san and Alicsan seemed to exchange conversations as if they couldn't read the situation and ran apart from Saryuu. The long rods that they greatly pushed off managed to sink into the men's abdomen areas precisely. Well, the hits occasionally missed and shifted to hit the area under their abdomens, but… let's not see that. It's inevitable that it looks quite painful.
"Compared to Gonzou, they don't have that much power, huh."
"Perhaps it's because they don't have any horn?"
Minosan and Tokino-san managed to smoothly evade the attacks from the swords and the hoes that were just in front of them and wrested their opponents' hands. They were lifed up and then thrown onto the ground, piling up there one after another, and they seemed like a kagami mochi this way.3 The two of them who occasionally hit their mutual opponent from both sides at the same time seemed like they were playing aroung.
While I was thinking about it, several people nimbly slipped through successfully and suddenly appeared in front of us.
"Whoa, don't comee!"
One man got a direct hit from Saryuu's improvised wooden stick just now. Meanwhile, the other person ran towards me. When I dodged him in a panic, he hurled himself at the carriage and injured himself. Ah, to be more precisely, just an inch more and he'd ram himself there.
And at that time, a reinforcement arrived.
"I will help you out."
The person who quickly stepped in while saying that… ah, it was Fubuki-san who was still in her village girl style.
She forcibly took the spear away from the man who fell over and threw her hand at the back of his neck, then she nonchalantly threw the spear at the direction of the carriage that the group of hooligans used. As if she was aiming for a certain point, or rather, perhaps she had aimed at it—it managed to cut down the rope that was tied to the horse.
"Yes, the way to your home is right over there."
*Clap!*, a sound could be heard. It was the sound of Minosan spanking the horse's buttocks with all of her power. "Neiiiigh!" the horse cried out the similar sound that the other world's horses also cry out, and then it raised its crow face and quickly rushed off. Eh, just when did the horse get separated from the carriage?
…Well, that's fine. In other words, this is a threat saying that you lot could no longer escape, right?
……In the middle of the many happenings around us, almost all of the weapons have been taken away from the hooligan army and they were thoroughly being beaten down. At the vacant area of the parking lot, approximately 10 or more people have collapsed.
The maids who just raged on just now are taking a rest, but there are several people who haven't felt satisfied yet, gathering at this spot.
In other words, they were the people of the fief that were hindered by these hooligans at this harvest festival.
"It's said that quarrel is a festival's flower, but what are you planning with bringing over these weapons?!"
The auntie from the dango store brougnt a bamboo broom and spanked the hooligans who have collapsed without any mercy. Whoa, it looks so painful.
The young lady from the flower store brought out the string that was used to make flower bouquet and tied the hooligans. W-wow, she's so skillful.
E-eh? The hunter didn't bring any weapon here, but he raised up his fist. His bearded face also smiled, and he looks scary.
"Princeeess… it hurts, please heelpp!"
The fake security officer who somehow managed to escape from that situation was crawling towards my feet. Aaaaah, how pitiful… no way, who would even pity you, stupid?
"I'm requesting you to not harm them gravely. Perhaps you can turn him over now?"
Perhaps because she participated midway, Fubuki-san spoke to me calmly and I requested that from her. Once I did so, she said, "…yes," and her lips curved up to form a wicked smile in a sense. I see, I see, so Fubuki-san also understood what I intended to do? That's right, yup.
The fake security officer who was turned over and is facing up right now. He nearly doesn't move at all now. Oh well, regardless of the dango shopkeeper and the flower shopkeeper, the hunter who came here and the other farmers were ready to beat him up, after all.
"Princeeeess… it hurtsss!"
"Is that so? It hurts, right? …You reap what you sow now!"
While smiling sweetly, I trampled down on him with all my mind. Ah, I trampled on a hard lump. Eh-, yup, as expected, it was a man's groin, in other words, his vitals. Die out, all of your genes!
But this kind of sensation really feels bad, huh. But I'd be more disgusted if it is excessively hard, though.
Well-, I understand a little bit of that pain. However, you're really reaping what you sow, okay?
"You aren't holding anything back, huh, Seiren-sama?"
"No-, I'm holding myself back, though things may appear this way. I mean, they were aiming for our lifes here."
"Well, that seems to be the case."
Alicsan nodded as if she was convinced at my answer and continued to tightly tying up the security guard cosplayer.
Around that time, it seems that all of the fief population who gathered here have finished venting their anger for the time being. The dango store auntie was worn-out and carelessly dropped her bamboo brom, then she noticed me.
"Princess, are you alright?!"
"Ah, yes, as you can see, I'm fine. Did you call one of the garrison or someone else?"
"Yes, just now."
The auntie nodded and faced towards the direction where there were several garrisons who ran here, all of them are wearing the same outfits as the security guard cosplayer earlier.
While the subordinates were taking the hooligans away, the one who had a decorated uniform—perhaps the commanding officer—stood in front of me and saluted. Aah, the salutation that the people of this world do, it's the same pose as the other world's. He pulled out his hat—or perhaps I should say—his helmet.
"Princess Shiiya! Excuse us for such a terible discourtesy!"
"Aah no, it's okay. The way they go public with their attacks and how we can deal with them directly afterward is better than having them done it stealthily behind our backs, right?"
"Yes, well, that's right, indeed."
Yes, yes. It will be more troublesome to bring them to surface if they did it stealthily. After all, this was the result of how Touksan seemed to have retired peacefully, when the truth behind it wasn't like that.
"Then, I'll leave it up to you to deal with them. Thank you for your hard work."
"Yes! Then, excuse us. Uhm, how should we inquire the state of affairs from you…?"
"If Taigsan allows it, then can I have it done at the Shikino mansion?"
"Yes, I understand. We will be contacting the head of the Shikino family. For the time being, please prioritize your safety first."
Yes. That's why we wanted to go home earlier. But why did things still turn this way?
The commanding officer and the garrisons saluted us sternly once again and dragged along the hooligans with them.
Good grief! I took a deep breath and turned around. There, Fubuki-san who wasn't wearing her maid uniform stood still. Perhaps she was guarding me against my surroundings.
"Ah. Fubuki-san, thank you for coming. We were saved."
"No. I simply carried out the duty that was ordered by Taigsama."
Fubuki-san showed a slightly troubled expression, but she still happily smiled.Tare sauce is a sweetened, thickened soy sauce for grilling and flavored soy sauce with dashi, vinegar, etc. Mitarashi dango is a skewered rice dumpling in a sweet soy glaze. Mirror rice cake, usually consists of two round mochi with the smaller one placed on top of the larger mochi.