Nira tried to experiment with his ability.
His special ability could create any color or texture as long as there was dough made from certain ingredients. It was extremely advantageous and worked quite differently from elemental abilities.
He disguised Rick and his men so that they looked like completely different people. If anyone saw them, they would think that they were a group of mercenaries who had been rolling around on the streets for twenty years. He even turned Rick’s sharp impression into that of a full-fledged middle-aged man.
“…Wow, it’s even more amazing to see it in person.”
Nira bowed his head as I muttered.
“You flatter me.”
However, there was one thing that could not be hidden.
“It’s as if I’ve become a new person. Artifacts that change our appearance usually make it difficult to use because of the strange magical power flowing through our body, but this is…”
It was the look on Rick’s face as he clenched and unclenched his hand with such admiration.
“…If he doesn’t smile, Sir Rick’s disguise would be perfect.”
‘…He has such a strange smile.’
Well, I guessed they couldn’t hide their smile just because they were in disguise.
Vielle seemed to nod at my words.
The group of middle-aged men behind Rick, no, his intelligence agents and executors, seemed to be holding back their laughter. I was sure he was smiling a moment ago. However, Rick, whose smile had disappeared as if it wasn’t there just moments ago, looked back at them.
“Are you laughing in front of the Lord and Madam?”
At the low voice, the executors, whose discipline had immediately returned, stared blankly ahead with stiff expressions. Then, Rick became a cheerful middle-aged man again.
The Lord he mentioned, Diello, just looked at them curiously and said nothing.
Of course, I was the same.
“…The disguise is done. If you lightly bake it in the fire, it will last longer, but if you use too much heat, you may get burned, so use dying embers to―”
Just as Nira was explaining that Rick raised his hand—
—A flame briefly flashed and disappeared on Rick’s face.
He then cheerfully smiled while setting his face on fire. Even though it was just for a moment, I unconsciously held Diello’s hand tightly.
Even though he gazed back at me with a puzzled expression, he seemed unconcerned.
…This guy was strangely bold in unusual situations. Was it because he was used to it?
“…I was a little surprised.”
At my words, Diello took a step forward in front of me as if to protect me from Rick.
“It’s okay, Diello.”
“If Krua is uncomfortable, then it can’t be helped.”
Diello whispered and looked back at Rick.
But Rick, who met his gaze, froze like a herbivore who had encountered a predator. Before I had time to wonder, Rick bowed neatly.
“I will be careful from now on, Madam.”
When his attitude suddenly changed as if he were a different person, it was unfamiliar.
I took a step forward and glanced back at Diello. He had his usual gentle expression.
He didn’t seem to be stiff, judging from his expression.
“Did you just make a scary face?”
At my words, Diello blinked before he narrowed his eyes and looked at me.
“Are you talking about this expression?”
This was the expression he had when he was dissatisfied with the food.
I waved my hand. What mattered now wasn’t how Diello had scared Rick.
“Use fire on each disguise so that it lasts as long as possible, and be careful not to take it off on the day of the event.”
Rick nodded at my words.
“I will keep that in mind.”
Then, the people behind him simultaneously…
…Set their faces on fire.
As I couldn’t help but flinch again, I could clearly see Diello’s eyes narrow at that moment.
‘…So that was the expression Rick saw.’
It certainly looked angry, but it was still Diello.
“…I was just a little surprised. Calm down.”
I seemed to be the only one surprised by this situation, so it was my fault, not theirs.
Diello smiled wryly at my words.
“If you are this merciful, I’m afraid people will take Krua lightly.”
I couldn’t possibly talk back in front of the servants. In addition, shouldn’t he be the one worrying about that?
Just then, someone muttered beside me.
“…They’re setting their faces on fire.”
Nira was the one who was surprised, not me, as he had an absurd expression on his face. It must have been strange, even for an assassin who had experienced all sorts of things.
“Oh, does this get stronger the more you burn it?”
In front of him, Rick began setting his face on fire, saying he wanted to test its limits. Even though he turned away from me, perhaps because he was conscious of Diello, I could clearly see his hands trembling.
It wasn’t for nothing that he was nicknamed the Cheerful Lunatic…
While I was coming to a realization, Nira also came to a similar realization.
“…Are all the people of Argenta like that?”
It was Nira who said so.
And next to him, Vielle said, “No.”
She sounded very firm as if she really didn’t want to be lumped together with him.
“Rick is special.”
Saying that, Vielle glanced at me as if she wanted me to believe her.
The Kin Mercenary Guild, which was secretly in charge of Argenta’s supplies, quickly carried out the orders from Argenta.
The new supplies they had prepared were truly large in scale.
The number of wagons mobilized was incomparable to last time. And among them, several executors under Rick, disguised as mercenaries, joined in. They prepared delicious bait for those who would try to interfere with our supplies.
And in addition to that….
“As soon as you deal with the enemies, supply the Argenta with more medicinal herbs right away.”
I gave them a separate order about the medicinal herbs.
This way, we would be able to prevent the problem of the supply increasing too much.
That was what I thought, but a few days later, a problem arose.
“It seems that there was a problem because of the changing seasons in spring.”
An informant came to report with a troubled expression.
“There is someone who had been taking medicine to reduce inflammation, but the inflammation got worse because the medicine was delayed due to the supply problem.”
I frowned at his words.
“They need a stronger herb, but it seems that it’s in the blocked supply…”
He made a troubled expression and avoided eye contact.
Nias, who had visited him in person on Diello’s orders, also had a bad expression on his face.
“The temperature difference between day and night has been large recently, so it seems that it has been hard on the patients.”
He uttered with a troubled expression.
“If they don’t take their medicine on time, the inflammation will spread to other places.”
He mentioned that the inflammation caused by the monster’s magic was particularly vicious and caused great suffering.
Nias said in a calm but heavy voice.
“They might die.”
I looked back at Diello. Diello also had a serious expression.
“Of course, they also understand the situation. They said that they would humbly accept the situation.”
The informant spoke at that moment. In short, they wouldn’t complain even if they died.
I frowned at his words.
When you said it like that, it made me even more worried. Argenta was so loyal that they were willing to defend the zones with their sick bodies in the northwest. Moreover, he even sent a message saying that he was fine, worried that his lord and madam would be worried.
According to Nias, he was in so much pain that he could barely open his mouth.
At that moment, Diello took my hand.
Only then did I realize that I was gripping my hand tightly. He took my hand, which had turned white from my fingernails digging into it.
My hand, which was somewhat cold, was enveloped in warmth.
“I think there’s a way.”
At those words, I looked back at Diello. He was gazing at me with sparkling eyes.
“Krua taught me, so I should make good use of it.”
…What did I?
As I opened my mouth slightly, Diello stood up, and he brought a map before spreading it out in front of me.
Everyone’s eyes turned to the map.
“I heard that the wagon that was supposed to harm the enemy and follow after had the necessary herbs. If we could just deliver those herbs separately, the urgent problem would be solved.”
He pointed to the supply route.
However, it was impossible to deliver the herbs in time without crossing the great swamp, yet it was also impossible to revise the plan to defeat the enemies all at once at this point.
“If only we could freeze the swamp again.”
As I opened my eyes wide, Diello smiled.
“That’s right, Krua.”
His eyes sparkled.
“We can take the artifact from the enemy and use the swamp for ourselves.”
Other than the artifact, I was also crucial in doing it.
Without realizing it, I hugged him for coming up with the perfect solution.
“Have I learned my lesson now?”
He asked with a low chuckle.
The thought of when I had taught such a thing to him crossed my mind briefly. The important thing was that we could prevent a tragedy from happening. We wouldn’t have to watch someone who had pledged loyalty die in vain.
Diello smiled proudly at me. Then, he kissed the back of my hand.
“I’m so glad I have you, Krua.”
He truly meant it.
He whispered in a gentle voice as his lips brushed against my hand again.
It was warm and sweet.
All this time, I could see people trying hard to look away.
…It was then that I realized that I had gotten used to Diello’s skinship. It was also then that I realized my face was already flushed.
‘I shouldn’t be getting used to it…’
I covered my face with both hands.
Diello burst out laughing.