As expected of the Paradise Meat, ingredients as delicious as this was hard to come by.
If there were to be another meat that surpassed this, it would either be another unique meat, or meat of any category that exceeded the Excellent quality, the Special quality.
Special quality meats could only be dropped from monsters in the late level 40s and even then, only a small portion was dropped. Even for me, I’ve only come across it a handful number of times. This time however with Luna, it could be a reasonable goal to strive for as feeding her more delicious meat could be good for her growth.
My skin felt much tighter than usual, due to the effects of the Paradise Bird.
Currently we had already cleared out our campsite and began our exploration for the day.
[Paradise Bird is the best! Luna wants to eat more!] (Luna)
[Uhn uhn. This is addictive… Fufufufu, we’ll have to hunt as much as possible before returning today. We have to get some today!] (Til)
Luna and Til were burning with motivation.
If they are this passionate then I’m looking forward to the results of today’s hunt.
[Luna-chan. Til. The Paradise Meat is delicious but the truth is, there are also other unique meats just like it. At our level, we may come across them if we’re lucky. Instead of hoping to come across the Paradise Meat, it might be better to focus on searching for other delicious meat instead. ] (Phil)
Luna and Til’s eyes began to shimmer at the prospect of Phil’s words.
[Uhn! Definitely will eat more delicious food. We’ve eaten a delicious chicken meat so next time we’ll eat a delicious beef!] (Luna)
[Not just meat, what about delicious vegetables! There should be some that exist right!] (Til)
It seems that Til’s imagination began running wild at the prospects of unknown food.
Several items came to mind at the two girls’ proclamation. For pork, there was the Pearl Pig while there was the Silk Cow for beef. These two were also famous for their unique meat. For fruits there was the Golden Mango. Each and everyone of these ingredients were considered exquisite cuisine.
[There are many of them. For meat, vegetables and fruits. Every single one of them were highly valued on the market and only a small portion of the wealthy were capable of obtaining it. Unless you were one of them, your only option would be to find the item yourself. It might be much more interesting to travel and find them in my opinion.] (Yuuya)
[Luna wants to do it. I’m look forward to it.] (Luna)
[My bow will pierce any prey I see!] (Til)
After completing our errands in the Laluzulu Kingdom, we’ll be heading to a town further north called Dirupusuno(ディルプスノー) to create Luna’s new weapon. That town contains several intermediate and advanced dungeons as well as one possible unique meat drop. However the dungeons were difficult to explore and the drop rate of items there were horrendous. As a result, the unique meat’s existence itself was unknown to the public, making its taste a complete mystery.
Even in my case, I only knew about its existence by looking through the list of items in the game although I had merely glanced across its name. Its taste was still a complete mystery however its name sounded delicious. Since we’re heading towards Dirupusuno, it could be a good target to keep in mind.
[Now let’s end this conversation here. Other adventurers might be able to access this area anytime now. Let’s hunt the monsters until then!] (Yuuya)
Everyone replied energetically.
Hunting monsters in this Bonus Stage will increase our levels quickly.
Let’s do our best.
Afterwards, we continued to hunt Paradise Birds using Luna’s Presence Detection. Although there were various other monsters deeper into the Bonus Stage, there weren’t any monsters which could pose a serious threat to us.
We continued to hunt monsters until day break and as a result, everyone’s level increased by one thanks to the experience gained from the Temple of the Primal Flame and defeating flocks of Paradise Birds.
Normally, it would take a month to get to the next level making our leveling speed extraordinarily quick.
[Big catch, big catch!] (Luna)
[Fu~Fun, this must be a Paradise Bird festival!] (Til)
Thanks to Luna’s Increased Drop Rate, defeating a large number of Paradise Birds would statistically get us a higher than average amount of Paradise Meat. Furthermore, storing the meat into the magic bag prevents the meat’s condition from deteriorating, allowing us to enjoy the Paradise Meat for a long time.
[Phil, although making soup broth with the meat is delicious, it looks like we’ll be able to experiment a lot.] (Yuuya)
[It might be a good idea to make skewers with it and grill it over a bonfire with some salt. The idea of chewing its tender meat filled with juices sounds delicious.] (Phil)
Til stomach began to grumble as she became hungry just from listening to Phil’s recipe. Such was Til as she naturally made everyone laugh by her actions.
[It’s about time for us to return to the town. Beyond this jungle is the magic vortex for us to return.] (Yuuya)
We also came across several treasure chests that spawned at fixed locations.
In the end, there weren’t any other adventurers who came to the Bonus Stage.
It seems that the adventurers in Grannel didn’t know the method to going past the cliff. Until now I’ve had the assumption that the number of people who knew about the gimmicks was not zero however it seems that the gimmick has been left entirely untouched. Otherwise this amazing hunting ground would have been monopolized.
The monsters in this area were weak and unable to attack from the top of the cliff.
Furthermore the item drops from the monster was expensive and provided a large amount of experience. The desire of monopolizing this area couldn’t be light as even though we were planning on leaving this city, I had the intention of leaving the day after the monsters were respawned. Although this wasn’t possible given our short time frame.
[Yuuya, I found a new monster! It’s huge, probably a rhinoceros.] (Luna)
Luna raised her voice as she warned us about our upcoming opponent, the rhinoceros-type monster. In this dungeon, this monster would be the most troublesome opponent to defeat.
I’ll have to sharpen my mind for this battle.
Several days have passed since we arrived at Grannel as it was already time for our departure.
Although we weren’t able to gain any levels since the second day, we did manage to complete several quests, earning us a hefty sum of guild points and a heavy wallet.
Despite extending our stay in Grannel to experience the town entirely while spending luxuriously, our financial gain was still positive.
Aside from the first day, we explorations were only light journeys into the dungeons as I decided on spending more time for Selene’s training.
In the final sprint before her ceremony, it seems that Selene had managed to overcome a wall as she had become significantly stronger.
The date for her inheritance ceremony was only three days away as I hurriedly received my Raptors from the stables and connected them to the carriage.
[Everyone please get on the carriage.] (Yuuya)
Luna and Til who were desperately cherishing their final memories of Grannel by stuffing their mouths full of onigiris, climbed onto the carriage followed by the smiling Phil and Selene who were looking tenderly over the eating duo.
[Is everyone ready?] (Yuuya)
[Uhn. Completely ready.] (Luna)
[Me too.] (Til)
[I don’t have any issues departing right away.] (Selene)
[Everything is prepared here as well. Let’s depart immediately.] (Phil)
I pulled onto Raptor’s reins as we finally departed from Grannel.
Although our stay here was short, we had accomplished many things here.
I can confidently raise my head high, knowing that I’ve done all I can before the inheritance ceremony.
We managed to arrive at the Laluzulu Royal Capital before sundown.
Since it was the Royal Capital, the security was naturally tight as the tall outer wall even bordered around the outer city. Not only does the wall look sturdy, it was enhanced by magic as well. There were also sentries armed with bows keeping watch on top of the wall.
I got off the carriage, heading towards the gatekeeper to perform the procedure to gain entry into the city.
[Could you show me your entry permit please.] (Guard)
[Is this sufficient?] (Yuuya)
I displayed my status as a silver-grade adventurer.
[A silver-grade adventurer? I apologise. Normally we would have granted you entry however the day of our kingdom’s inheritance ceremony is nearing. In this period, you will need an official permit to enter the city.] (Guard)
The guard shook his head as he failed to grant me entry into the city. I hadn’t account for the fact that the security would be tightened as the ceremony date was approaching.
As I turned back to the carriage, I saw Selene who began to approach the gate. At the same time, a second gatekeeper appeared behind the first.
It was a man who seemed significantly older as he was out of breath just from running over.
[Wait a moment. That man, is the person that holds the title of the weakest strongest knight. One of the heroes who saved the kingdom from danger and Princess Lutra’s knight, Yuuya-sama! You have to stop him from leaving!] (Old guard)
This voice sounds familiar..
[Miruno is that you?] (Yuuya)
[Ouhh I can’t believe you actually remembered my name ] (Miruno)
[There’s no way I would forget a brother-in-arms.] (Yuuya)
Although us adventurers played a major party in saving the kingdom, the soldiers and knights of the kingdom had contributed to the battle greatly as well. And this man was one of them.
[Thank you for your kind words. Although you were a brilliant forerunner on the battlefield, your feats on the stage were considered a legend. Especially in the finals! Until this day, people including I boast about having fought by your side.] (Miruno)
Roused by the commotion, several knights at the rear began to notice us and started to gather as they started to mutter, ‘The weakest strongest knight?’, ‘ the man who taught the hero Leonard?’, ‘the man whose sword surpasses that of heroes?’.
Things along those lines were being said which was supposed to be flattery felt a lot more like harassment as I became uncomfortable with the situation.
[… In any case, would I be able to cross the gate?] (Yuuya)
[Of course you can! Is what I want to say but I lack the authority to do so. Could you please wait a moment while I go ahead to receive permission from my superiors.Having Yuuya-sama return to the capital brings tears to my eyes. There is no greater shame as the one who waited the most eagerly for your return, Princess Lutra isn’t here with us anymore.] (Marino)
[What happened to Princess Lutra?] (Yuuya)
[She entered a dungeon in another city together with her personal bodyguard. However she went missing as well as her bodyguard. A search team was sent out but to no avail.] (Marino)
As expected, Selene’s whereabouts were unknown to the capital however I was extremely curious about the aforementioned knight. It sounded like the knight was forcefully eliminated to prevent any information from leaking. For the time being, I decided to wait patiently for the decision from the guards as Selene walked to my side and pulled onto my sleeve. She spoke at a volume where only I could hear it.
[Are you fine with that Selene?] (Yuuya)
[Yes I am. Regardless I was planning on making contact once we entered the city. In that case, wouldn’t it be better to do it here?] (Selene)
Selene’s words were definitely correct as it would be much easier for us to do it here since it’ll make the higher up’s decision much smoother.
Selene walked to the front as some whispers could be heard. As expected of the royal capital, even without her signature hair there were many people who recognised Selene’s… I mean Princess Lutra’s face.
[Is it possible, could you be?]
[She was supposed to be missing.]
[But the hair colour isn’t right. Princess Lutra’s hair was supposed to be the same as Renoir-sama’s.]
Selene let out a smile befitting of a princess that she didn’t show around us. A soft and beautiful smile which radiated gentleness to everyone around her. This forcefully reminded me that Selene was truly a princess. While smiling, Selene gracefully removed her hair ornament responsible of changing her hair colour, revealing her beautiful silver hair. Even though she was a bonafide beauty with her black hair, her natural silver hair suited her much more.
[Tell my father and my elder brother. With her personal knight, Princess Lutra has returned. With the intention of participating in the succession ceremony.] (Lutra)
Selene had completely shed her disguise, returning to her original role as Princess Lutra.
The gatekeepers’ reactions were all over the place as some of them were crying tears of joy knowing that she was safe and sound, several had their bodies turning stiff from shock and there were those who nodded in response and began running to fulfill their princess’s orders.
The die has been cast with this as the battle for the inheritance has begun. From this point on, there will be obstacles appearing in her way as her enemies attempt to prevent her from standing on the stage.
And I’ll be there to prevent that from happening.
I am her knight after all.
<End of Chapter>
This chapter was completed during my free time in work so please do let me know if it could be improved on.