TWEM Vol. 4 Chapter 13 Part 1
Chapter 13 – You Can Never Be Too Prepared
A week after the opening of the business, I was holding an emergency meeting at the mansion.
Not only the employees, but also Sebas, Lyla, Mia, Zero and other servants of the mansion as well as Tendo and the other heroes had gathered.
“I’m sorry to have you get together all of a sudden. There’s something I need to tell you.”
I told everyone about the incident on the morning of the first day of business, and that the viscount is a troublesome character, and how likely there is to be an attack in retaliation.
“I figured the harassment would begin immediately, but so far nothing has happened. I was in the store for the past week, so I didn’t say anything because I thought I could handle it if something happened, but that won’t be the case from now on. That’s why I am holding this meeting today to give y’all a heads up.”
Naturally, the whole place started buzzing, but I put a stop to it with a wave of my hand.
“I know you are anxious, but who do you think is standing in front of you?”
The room became quiet with those words.
“You don’t have to worry about me getting killed. There may be an attack on the store, but you are strong enough to defend yourselves. I’ve taught you how to defend yourselves.”
After a pause, I continued.
“I have only one thing to say to you—show no mercy to your enemies! That’s all I have to say.”
As I finished, the employees responded with a resounding, “Roger”.
The meeting was then dismissed, and the employees returned to their quarters.
After that, I decided to have a discussion with Finne, Iris, Sebas, Lyla, and Mia.
Sebas is a former S-rank adventurer, and Lyla and Mia are former assassins. They should be familiar with the underground society of this country like assassination organizations and similar, so I thought it prudent to have them involved in this discussion.
“I gotta say, I’m a little disappointed that there has been no movement this past week. The fact that he hasn’t made any moves means that he is probably up to something…Sebas, if they were to say, try to assassinate me, do you have any idea who they would contract?”
“Well…there certainly are a lot of assassins who make a living on their trade, but if there were to be an attack this time around, it would likely be from the assassination group…Cobra!”
“That’s right. It’s a huge organization of assassins, the full extent of which is still unknown in the country, and is marked as the most notorious criminal group. The members at the bottom of the organization are not worth mentioning, but the executives are all very powerful making it a formidable organization.”
Interesting, there’s an organization like that…hmm?
“Have you ever fought the Cobra, Sebas?”
I asked him, since his tone was somewhat regretful.
Sebas answered with a downcast look in his eyes.
“…Yes. When I had just risen to the S rank, there was information that their hideout had been found, so I joined the subjugation team.”
“I see, so that’s when you had a run-in with them.”
“Yes. However it turned out to be a dummy hideout, and the executives were waiting to intercept the subjugation team. After a fierce battle, we defeated them, but in the process, our comrades…”
“Oh, I’m sorry, for making you dredge up such painful memories.”
“Oh please, not at all. But if there’s going to be a clash, may I come with you?”
I answered immediately.
“Sure…still, is Cobra that strong?”
“Yes. It was a few decades ago, and I was a young man who had just become an S rank, but I had a very hard time with them…I don’t know how good they are now, but you can never be too careful.”
“That’s all I need to know. Thank you.”
I see. An executive equivalent to an S rank…I think that’s a bit much for everyone right now, perhaps?
For the actual fight against Cobra, I guess it would be better to have Zero accompany me.
Just as I was thinking this, there was a knock at the door.
“Do you have a minute, Master Haruto?”
“Sure, come on in.”
Zero and Noir opened the door and entered.
“I’m here to tell you that your bath is ready.”
“Thank you, Zero…by the way, Sebas, how would you score Zero’s current capability as a butler?”
“I guess…I would say about ninety points. I could even give him a perfect score.”
Whoa, a high evaluation, how surprising.
“And there you have it, Zero.”
Zero had a look on his face as if to say, “No way!”. Was it that surprising?
“I’m—I mean, I still have a long way to go as a butler.”
He even corrected his wording, he seems very serious about it.
The atmosphere became relaxed due to Zero’s appearance, so I decided to give out a new set of instructions.
“Lyla, Mia, and Noir, I have a job for you. Find out everything you can about Cobra and the piggy Viscount.”
Thinking about Sebas’ words the other way around, simply means that we should have no problem dealing with anyone other than Cobra, as long as we remain vigilant.
But as for Cobra, it would be prudent to probe for information and exercise the utmost caution.
Even knowing that the government is having a hard time with them, if that’s the case, I might as well do them a favor and quash them.
It’s best to nip dangerous buds like this early on before they become a problem.
At my words, Lyla, Mia, and Noir immediately became expressionless.
“Yes sir. Then, we’ll get right on it and report back by morning.”
Lyla answered on behalf of the others.
“I’m counting on you.”
Former assassins, and former black ops.
All three of them were perfect for espionage work.
“Oh right. Here, take this.”
It suddenly came to my mind and I took a pitch-black outfit out of my storage.
“Haruto, what’s this?”
Finne asked before Lyla and the others, perhaps it piqued her interest.
“It’s a combat maid uniform I made for the three of them. It fits automatically to the size of the body with mana input, and is also equipped with a repair function, it’s also incomparable to the usual maid uniforms with how comfy it is to move in. And it’s impervious to weapons, say like an ordinary iron sword or the like.”
I handed it to the three of them.
“Thank you very much. I, Lyla, swear loyalty to you, Master Haruto, for the rest of my life.”
“Likewise, I, Mia, also swear loyalty to you for the rest of my life.”
The two got on their knees having declared so. Noir, who had already pledged her allegiance, also knelt next to Mia in the same manner.
“I suppose, you can count me in as well.”
Then Sebas followed suit, kneeling and bowing his head.
“I accept your pledges. Keep up the good work.”
Well, while at it, I should give the four of them something…
I thought about what would be most suitable, and then pulled a few weapons out of my storage.
“I shall give these to you.”
I presented them with six short one-handed swords and one long one-handed sword.
They were all weapons I had made in the past.
I gave Lyla, Mia, and Noir two short one-handed swords each, and Sebas the long one-handed sword.
“Lyla, Mia, and Noir, I’m counting on you three, got it?”
The three nodded vigorously and quickly exited the room.
After dinner that day, we were all chillin’ over a cup of tea when I noticed Kusel staring at me.
If I’m to guess…she probably wants to have a mock battle or something like that anyway~.
I was so sure that’s what it was, but I tried asking just in case.
“So, um. Recently, I have been training not only with Sir Tendo and the others, but also with Zero and Sebas. I wanted you to have a mock battle with me to see how strong I have become…I know you are busy with the trading company and all, but I would really appreciate a spar with you, Haruto.”
I was right on point.
Well, I don’t think my presence is needed at the store anymore.
Compared to the first day, all the employees had gotten used to serving customers, and were doing their jobs quite smoothly.
For tomorrow, I think I’ll have just the employees run the store.
“Oh really? Then should we do it tomorrow?”
When I said that, Kusel’s eyes lit up.
“Are you for real?! Definitely!”
“O-Okay. How about Finne and Iris, wanna join?”
While trying to pull away from the enthusiasm, I asked them if they would like to participate in the mock battle.
“Yes! I’d love to!”
“Me too! I’m going to try out my newly developed ace move on you!”
“Count me in, Haruto!”
Finne, Iris, and even Suzuno all seemed interested.
I also tried asking Zero.
“What about you, Zero?”
“With your permission, I’d be happy to try my hand.”
Yeah, I thought as much.
But, there’s a problem.
If Zero and I were to have a mock battle, there was a good chance the yard would become a waste ground.
“…I guess I’ll build an arena or something in the basement.”
I decided that it would be better to build one, since it’d probably come in handy for Tendo and the others, as well as the employees.
Having made up my mind, I quickly got up.
“What? You’re going to make one? Now?”
I nodded in response to Iris’s question.
“I mean a mock battle between me and Zero in the garden. Will probably destroy half of the capital, wouldn’t it? If the barriers were to break inadvertently while we were fighting each other with all our might, it would be a catastrophe.”
“I-I see your point…”
They all agreed with me.
“All right then, while the idea is still fresh in my mind…fellas, I’m off to go remodel the basement. You guys can just go do your thing. And look forward to the outcome tomorrow.”
With that, I left the room.