After somehow suppressing the tumult in the adventurers guild, I returned to the residence of the duke’s family. Arone-san called out to me with a frightfully serious face.
“…What’s the matter?” [Ryouma]
“There’s something I would like to talk to you regarding Rurunez’ wedding… I’m sorry to ask this of you when you’ve just returned, but could you spare me some of your time?” [Arone]
“If I can be of help, then sure.” [Ryouma]
I don’t know what happened, but I decided to follow Arone-san for the time being.
Before long, I heard the women coming from across the halls.
“—Ra! —Desu!” [???]
“No! Nez—!” [???]
“? —nez’ hair—” [???]
…It feels like they’re arguing about something…
“I apologize on behalf of the younger maids. This is not proper behavior at all for a maid.” [Arone]
As Arone-san said that she swung opened the door from which the voices were coming from.
“You girls! What foolishness is this!? We can hear your voices all the way from the halls!” [Arone]
Suddenly, the voices froze.
But at the same time, Arone-san’s expression also stiffened.
“Madam! You were here?” [Arone]
Apparently, without her knowing, the madam had joined in on the maids.
Oh, Ryouma-kun! You’re back, I see.” [Elize]
“Thank you for your hard work. I was informed there was something I was needed for regarding the wedding ceremony. Is now a good time?” [Ryouma]
“Of course. Please enter.” [Elize]
“I’ll prepare a seat for you.” [Maid 1]
“I’ll pour you some tea.” [Maid 2]
“And I’ll get some sweets.” [Maid 3]
The maids moved about in a hurry and the atmosphere became vaguely delicate. Before long, the meeting was started once again.
“Arone-san, you said you had something you wanted to talk to me about.” [Ryouma]
“It’s about the venue for the wedding ceremony. Specifically, these things…” [Arone]
What she showed me were five familiar sheets of paper.
They were the designs I drew in the meeting last night.
I myself was never married, but most of my cowokers, who were nearing 40, were.
Invitations and photos of the ceremonies were frequently sent out.
I thought they were relatively appreciative of the designs, but…
“A lot of people have been inspired by those drawings of yours and have started giving out ideas.” [Arone]
Next, I was handed a list on which was written what changes people wanted to implement. Some of the contents on the list read: ‘I want this part done like this’ ‘I think it would be better if we did it more like this’… and so on and so forth.
“As a final check, I would like to get your opinion to know which ones are possible and which ones aren’t.” [Arone]
“I understand!” [Ryouma]
Use a bell tower for the wedding bells… If there’s room, then it should be fine.
Lay a stone pavement for the venue… This is also possible.
Decorations on the walls and pillars… Possible, but depending on what kind of decorations and how many, they might make it hard to see the ceremony.
“…There. I’m done, Arone-san.” [Ryouma]
“Thank you very much. We’ll use this as a reference to finalize the requests for the venue.” [Arone]
There were a lot of questions but the essence was the same.
At this rate, we can start construction as soon as tomorrow.
“Thank you for your efforts, Ryouma-kun.” [Elize]
“Thank you too. …?” [Ryouma]
Checking that list took a lot more time than I expected.
Most of the servants in the room had changed from when I first came in.
The only ones still here from earlier were Arone-san and the madam.
“How much time did I take?” [Ryouma]
“About 2 hours, I think? Want to eat something?” [Elize]
“Thank you very much. But I already had some sweets while I was working on the list.” [Ryouma]
Actually, why is the madam here?
When I asked that, the madam’s smile broke. It was rare to see her not smiling.
“A guest I don’t want to meet suddenly came, so I made myself scarce.” [Elize]
“…So there are people like that too, huh.” [Ryouma]
“That’s right~…” [Elize]
I’m curious what kind of person it is, but the madam seems unhappy, so I’ll just change the topic.
“…That sounds tough. Do you get tired having to deal with so many guests every day?” [Ryouma]
“Yes, but it’s part of my work. It can’t be helped. I sure would love to go to a hot spring, though.” [Elize]
“Do you love hot springs?” [Ryouma]
“Do you know that father-in-law owns a territory in the Fire Dragon Mountains?” [Elize]
“Ah, I heard from Branch Head Taylor… That after forming a contract with a divine beast he gained various rewards and authorities.” [Ryouma]
“That’s right. One of the rewards he received was a territory in the Fire Dragon Mountains, where a Hot Spring Town currently is. We visited it a lot in the past. The hot spring there can wash away one’s fatigue and improve one’s health.” [Elize]
“Wow… I’d love to go once. I wonder how the quality of the water is there.” [Ryouma]
She’s piqued my interest a little. I wonder if there’s some kind of fantasy-element mixed in.
“I don’t know about the quality of the water, but it’s bubbly and hot, and if you take a dip, your body will be warmed up and your skin will turn red.” [Elize]
Bubbly? So a carbonated spring? Doesn’t seem like there’s any magical or special effects.
That’s a bit of a let down, but maybe I can help ease her fatigue if I make her a bath bomb.
…Let’s suggest it.
“You can prepare hot spring water?” [Elize]
The madam was more interested than I’d thought. Her eyes were sparkling.
“I can make a bathing agent that makes the water closer to that of hot spring water, provided I have the ingredients.” [Ryouma]
The necessary ingredients to make a bath bomb are baking soda and citric acid. Add some potato starch or corn starch to it and mix, lightly moisten it with a spray, and then dry in a mold and your done. Perfumed oil can be added too, but just baking soda and citric acid are enough to generate carbon dioxide.
For baking soda, I could make it using salt or the caustic soda that some of the acid slimes waiting for evolution are feeding on. Citric acid can also be extracted from some random fruit with alchemy. (To ensure safety, I’ll limit the ingredients used to just food items.)
“…Right. I should be able to make it as long as I have the ingredients.” [Ryouma]
“Is this ‘bath bomb’ that secret medicine that possesses beautifying effects that you mentioned yesterday?” [Elize]
Secret medicine? Calling a bath bomb a secret medicine sounds nice and all, but I’m afraid what others might think if I actually called it that.
“It’s not that amazing… Although it’s plenty good in its own right.” [Ryouma]
“What do you need? If it’s something I can prepare, I’ll get them ready.” [Elize]
“In that case, can you get a basket full of lamon (lemon-like fruit) brought to the room? As well as ‘mumitou’ used in making bread? If you can also provide a good-quality vegetable oil that won’t cause the skin to break out, then I can make another thing called ‘Sugar Scrub’.” [Ryouma]
“Very well. I’ll get them prepared immediately. Arone.” [Elize]
“Understood. A basket full of lamon, mumitou, and vegetable oil, yes? I should be able to gather everything with a trip to the kitchen. Ryouma-sama, please wait at your room.” [Arone]
“How long will it take to make them?” [Elize]
“Sugar Scrubs are made with a ratio of 1:1, so I’ll be able to make them immediately. But for the bath bombs, I have to test them out first to ensure that they’re safe, but even then it should only take about 30 minutes at most.” [Ryouma]
“Very well. I’ll look forward to it.” [Elize]
And like that, I ended up making bath bombs and sugar scrubs purely out of good will.
“…Hey, did you hear?” [Maid 4]
“Did you hear? Did you hear? Apparently, he’s making a secret medicine that will turn you into a beauty.” [Maid 5]
As soon as I left the room, the maids started gossiping.
It’s really not so big of a deal for it to be called a secret medicine…
Thinking that, I just ignored the gossiping maids. Unbeknownst to me, however, a small uproar started brewing within the residence of the duke’s family.