It was morning when Enri woke up. She quietly left the bed, so as not to wake her husband who was still asleep beside her. The air outside was very cold, and it made her want to get back into the bed that was still warm from their two bodies.
The bed creaked as she rose, but her husband of half a year was too tired to react. He slept like a puppet whose strings had been cut.
Now that Enri managed his life for him, he kept a more regular schedule. Thus, his deep slumber was simply because that was the way he was.
…Although it didn’t use to be like this.
When they had just gotten married, he had not slept this soundly.
Maybe he was nervous… But now he’s used to it, so that’s good.
Enri yawned and stretched.
Her bare breasts jiggled.
Enri’s face flushed pink, and she reached for a piece of discarded clothing.
Granted, only Enri and her husband lived in this house, but this was hardly presentable.
If her little sister Nemu were here, she would definitely not be dressed like this. However, Nemu would not wake up here — in the Emmott house — but in the Bareare house.
Let’s not disturb the newlyweds, her mother-in-law Lizzie had said. Nemu had listened because they had decided not to rebuild the Emmott or Bareare houses. And so, this had happened.
It had been two years since the incident where they had lost both their parents. That said, Nemu was still scarred by the incident and was unwilling to leave her big sister at night. It was only by the grace of some unknowable instinct that she had managed to accept the new arrangement.
Since Enri lived in a farming village, she often saw animals engaging in those activities. She might also have heard about what young couples did when they vanished into the forest after leaving the dancing circle on harvest festival nights. Before she realised it, she had also learned what husbands and wives did at night.
However, nobody had explained it to her in detail before. Enri and Nemu were not old enough to have heard such things. Still, someone needed to teach her what to do, but knowledge was as much a poison as a cure.
Lupusregina-san does say a lot of weird things…
Everyone in the village treated the aide of the nation’s ruler with respect. Enri was one of them as well. However, they could not fully accept every aspect of her personality. Over the long time they had known each other, Enri had realised one thing: Lupusregina was a criminal who delighted in people’s reactions to her crimes, and she was the type who could watch someone fall into a trap with a smile on her face.
Enri had the feeling if she did not go out and say, “Please teach me”, Lupusregina would not teach her anything concrete.
On the other hand, if she did not keep an eye on Nemu before she spoke to Lupusregina, Enri had the feeling that Lupusregina would describe all sorts of things to Nemu in exacting and loving detail.
I can teach you all sorts of adult things any time you like. Enri had not forgotten those words from Lupusregina.
After making up her mind to find Lupusregina, Enri picked up her clothes which had fallen to the floor, and put them on.
After that, she headed for the kitchen, and turned the tap on.
She collected the water which flowed out in a small container. She turned the faucet in the opposite direction once it was full, and the water stopped flowing.
In the past, she had woken up early to draw water from the well. Now, she could use this magic item to obtain fresh water. Its temperature stayed the same even in freezing or warm seasons.
This magic item, the Faucet of Spring Water, could make 200 litres of water a day. Apparently, it had been designed by the sage of a certain country.
This was not a common item, even in big cities. She had heard that there were certain places where gigantic versions of this item served as a city’s water supply.
Enri wiped herself down with a moist towel.
“Uuuu, it’s cold.”
While the water’s temperature was fixed, one would still lose a lot of heat from wet skin if the air was cold. However, Enri grit her teeth and bore with it, then rubbed herself down with the towel. She had done so before she slept, but still she did it again.
Enri still remembered that incident — when Lupusregina had called out to her while humming, a playful grin on her face — and vowed that she would never drop her guard.
Still, magic items were really great.
Enri had thought that countless times.
Carne Village had a lot of residents now.
Over 90% of them belonged to the Goblin Army Enri had summoned, and this village could not support all of them.
The first problem was accommodation.
The Goblins had solved that by chopping down logs from the Great Forest of Tob and building simple housing. However, the problems of insufficient food and water were harder to deal with.
Their initial solution to the lack of food was the produce of the forest, but they could not forage enough to support all the Goblins. Therefore, they had asked Lupusregina for help, and in return they had received food aid. Of course, that food was only borrowed and would have to be paid back, though fortunately there was no deadline attached.
The next problem was a lack of water. In the past, the village well had been sufficient, given that there had not been that many people. But now that the amount of people in the village had increased so drastically, they had to set up a roster to draw water all day long.
Even then, they could not collect enough water, so they had to dig new wells very far away. If they dug them nearby, they would be tapping the same water source, and there was no telling if the wells would dry up.
Fortunately, the Dwarves who had moved to this village had solved that problem.
They had come in the summer, and during the course of fall and winter, they had become close friends.
Are those people still making new magic items?
Until about two months ago, the sound of explosions and flashes of light had been a common occurrence, but now everything had settled down. At most, some of them would drink outside and get into fights, but that was all.
The existence of the Dwarves was now an integral part of the village’s functioning.
In the past, there had been no blacksmiths in Enri’s village. Thus, she had to go to the city to buy tools, or beg the very rare travelling blacksmiths to make them for her.
There had been a blacksmith in the Goblin Army she had summoned, but having him bear the heavy burden of the village’s repair work would surely lead to problems. And then, the Dwarves had appeared, and they had taken up that job.
The most important thing was that their loyalty to the Sorcerer King rivalled that of the humans from Carne Village. This village had been saved several times by the magic caster who became the Sorcerer King, Ainz Ooal Gown. Anyone who heard someone badmouthing His Majesty would immediately go up and beat the offender into a pulp.
The Dwarves seemed to feel the same way, and they often said things like, “That celebration made me feel proud of myself again” “Did you see how jealous they were?” “Drinking time!” and so on while they imbibed. Enri did not quite understand what they were talking about, but they could feel their gratitude to the Sorcerer King in their words, so the villagers opened their hearts to them.
After she was finished, Enri put on her clothes.
Her husband did not seem to have woken up yet, so she decided to get the chores done.
Until recently, her husband had been handling the task of potion-making. But recently, he had stopped working on such tasks. Instead, he was involved in the storage and preservation of herbs, which would be important in the future now that the village’s population had increased. In addition, he also helped with Enri’s work as village chief. He worked hard for the village, so she had to work hard for him too.
After stepping outside, the familiar scenery — that of the ever-growing Carne Village — came into view. Carne was now larger than an ordinary village because the Goblins Enri had summoned had added their own living quarters to it.
Enri clenched her fist.
In order to make breakfast, she had to draw the ingredients from the food store.
“Good morning, General-kakka.”
The form of a black-clad Goblin emerged from a murky shadow.
This was something she saw every morning, so Enri replied without any surprise:
“Good morning. Nice weather we’re having.”
“It is as you say, General-kakka. According to the Goblin Weather Forecaster, it seems it will be sunny all day long.”
Enri had long since abandoned any resistance to being called General.
She had told them countless times that she was not a General, but the message had not gotten through. At this point, being the Village Chief was pretty much the same as being the General, so she had decided to accept it.
Incidentally, there was a unit called the Goblin Rear Echelon Support Unit. It was populated by people with rare vocations. Apart from the Goblin Weather Forecaster, there was also the Goblin Strategist, Goblin Blacksmith and so on, for a total of 12 jobs.
“Oh, General-kakka, it seems your bodyguard has arrived. Your servant shall now excuse himself.”
The black-clad Goblin faded back into the Shadows, and the familiar Redcap took his place by Enri’s side.
Personally, Enri did not like the Redcaps. They had an evil look on their faces; in short, they were very scary.
In the past, Jugem had accompanied her, but as the former troop leader, he was now one of the many managers of the greatly-expanded Goblin force.
In truth, the duty of escorting her should have fallen to the silver-armored Goblins after his departure, but for various reasons, the Redcaps had ended up filling that role.
Frankly speaking, there’s no need for escorts or whatnot.
She did not think anyone could evade the Goblins’ eyes and reach the heart of the village, but she could not completely ignore their worries.
Trailed by the Redcap, she headed toward the larder that adjoined her house.
She opened the door and saw a cramped place packed with barrels and bottles, with many glass flasks lining the shelves. In its depths was a small mountain of grain, and hanging from the rafters were bales of sweetgrass and jerky.
The reason why they had so much food was because the Goblins had put a lot of effort into breaking ground and opening up new fields.
Currently, there were a lot of new crop fields surrounding the village in a large radius. While repaying the food they had borrowed would be difficult, they were at least self-sufficient for this year. In addition, they had captured chicken-like monsters and tried breeding them. If all went well, they would be able to fully repay the food they had borrowed.
After selecting the ingredients for today’s meal, Enri headed back outside.
There was a massive wall in the corner of her vision.
It might have been within the village, but the wall was not made of wood. It protected the Dwarven workshops, and standing sentry within it was the Death Knight who had slaughtered the knights that had terrorized Carne Village in the past.
The wall which enclosed the Dwarven ateliers had been personally raised by the ruler of this nation and the savior of this village, the Sorcerer King Ainz Ooal Gown. “Its purpose is to minimize the damage caused to the surrounding village when their experiments fail,” he had said.
She had wondered if they could not simply build it outside the village, but obviously she could not say such a thing to His Majesty.
“I wonder what magic items the Dwarf-sans are working on now?”
“Shall we investigate?”
“I’ve told you before, you can’t.”
While nobody had told her what the Dwarves were working on in their workshops, she was confident that it would not harm the village. Enri could accept that.
Should she try to stealthily gather information about them? The Goblins had suggested that several times in the past, but Enri had always shut down those suggestions with ironclad finality.
Carne Village’s savior, Ainz Ooal Gown had said that he wanted the village to accept these Dwarves. At the same time, he had told them that what they were working on was top secret.
Even if he was an undead being who hated the living, he was still the magic caster who had saved the village several times, and so they trusted him more than anyone alive.
Just then, the Redcap slid in front of Enri. They only did that under certain circumstances.
Enri shifted her line of sight and saw the familiar form of a beautiful woman, who was surrounded by four Redcaps.
“Hiya, En-chan. How ya doin’~”
“Ah, good morning, Lupusregina-san.”
Things had been like this ever since the person called Lupusregina met the Goblins. The Redcaps were few in number, but whenever Lupusregina showed up, they appeared in groups. In addition, they wielded weapons that they would not normally carry around.
It was said that there were other Goblins present in the vicinity besides the Redcaps, but Enri had never seen them before.
Even Enri could tell that the reason why they had gone to such lengths was because the Redcaps — no, the Goblins were wary of Lupusregina. That said, Lupusregina might be a mystery, but Enri did not think that she would do anything to a village which hosted a bronze statue of her master. In addition, she had saved Enri and Nfirea’s life in the past.
On the contrary, Enri could not help but worry that this would upset her.
She had spoken to the Goblin Strategist and he had said that he would talk to them about it, but it would seem nothing had come of that thus far.
The sole saving grace was that when she had told Lupusregina about this, she told Enri not to worry about it.
“I’ve only been here a while and already there’s people dashing out. Poor me~”
“There’s no way we wouldn’t be on guard against you when you arrive in that way. You should know that.”
The answer came from one of the Redcaps surrounding Lupusregina.
His voice was calm, but there was a clear sense of wariness in his voice.
“Ah!” Enri raised her voice as she considered that the situation was developing in a bad direction. “How exactly did you come here, anyway?”
“Hm? I took Flatchest Vampire Airlines Frost 05, from Nazarick to Carne~”
“Eh? Flatchest Vampire Airlines?”
“Yup. It’s the name of the person in charge of all outdoor movement~”
“Pettan Ketsuki Koukuu-san, then?”
“Yup. Pretty much, Oh, and if you meet her in person, just tell her I said it. Or rather, I hope you’ll mention my name. Otherwise, who knows what’ll happen to you~”
As she looked on Enri’s puzzled face, Lupusregina broke into a smile.
“En-chan, you’re really funny. Really, you’re quite interesting…” Lupusregina’s eyes narrowed in an instant. “Really~”
Lupusregina’s bright red tongue peeked out from her slightly opened mouth and licked her lips.
It was not a seductive gesture. However, Enri felt something crawl up her lower back.
In that moment, the Redcap standing by her sprang into action.
He pulled Enri back and slid into the gap — in front of Lupusregina — which had appeared.
In this highly tense atmosphere, Lupusregina shrugged, wearing her rarely-seen serious face.
“…I won’t do anything to her~ Is that enough to calm you down? Still, if you don’t believe me, why don’t you all come at once and have a go? That way, I can deal with you without holding back.”
The Redcap lowered his head, and returned to his original position.
“—And that’s that. By the way, Frost refers to Frost Dragons.”
“Frost—Dragons?! By Dragons you mean the Dragons from legend, right? Amazing! Are those Dragons Gown-sama’s servants as well?”
“Yup. Air transport is flourishing in the Sorcerous Kingdom~”
Enri’s eyes were sparkling.
The Dragons in question were incredibly powerful monsters sung about in legends. Anyone who could subjugate them was no ordinary magic caster.
“Gown-sama is really amazing!”
“…Well, that’s true,”
A troubled expression came over Lupusregina’s face.
“A Dragon like that… hm~ someone like me… Well, it’s fine~”
There were some things Enri wanted to ask, but since she seemed to have come to terms with things, it was alright. Probably.
“Ah, why did you come around today?”
“Ah, yes, yes. Hm… I might not be able to come by for a while. I came to tell you that I hope you can take care of yourself.”
They had known each other for over a year, but this was the first time she had said such a thing.
“Hm~ I guess it’s okay to tell you, En-chan. Actually, it seems Ainz-sama was defeated in battle and died.”
Enri pondered the meaning of those words, and then their meaning sank in.
Her response was equally understandable.