Saturday, June 25, 2022 @

Chapter 146 Reward and Punishment

 After taking a short rest in the rest room at the 20th floor, we decided to continue to the 21st floor.
 The speed of progress is much faster than I expected. At least today, we still have enough energy and magic power to continue to the 30th floor.
 "Hey, don't forget to tell me if there are any traps! I'll stab you if you miss any trap, especially a naughty one!"
 "Okay, okay... you're really a sensitive princess."
 The erotic traps must have been too much for Shakuna to bear. Fed up with Shakuna's repeated complaints, I wave my hand and lead the party.
 The difficulty level had increased after the 20th floor... but there was still plenty of room left in the party.
 Both Shakuna and Hadiss were able to defeat the monsters without any danger, and Ryuna was able to support them without any panic.
 In fact, I felt that they have become more refined in their movements as they have become more familiar with each other's role and their coordination is getting stronger.
 "Your Highness Shakuna! Finish it off!"
 "I already know—[Sword Dance]!"
 While Hadiss, the tank, held off the enemy's attack, Shakuna quickly used her martial art to finish the enemy off.
 Thanks to the coordinated attacks, the two-legged lizard monster is knocked down and disappears.
 At the timing when the battle was over, Ryuna, who was in the last row, opened her mouth as if she remembered something.
 "Speaking of which... isn't it about time to think of a way to thank Baskerville-sama for his support?"
 "Oh my, what's the matter, Ryuna? You suddenly started talking like that."
 "You know, Onee-sama... Baskerville-sama is a nobleman from an unrelated neighboring country, but yet he lends us a helping hand. I thought a proper thank-you would be deserved."
 Come to think of it... I was hired as a mercenary, but the compensation was not decided properly.
 I didn't really care about it, since it would be beneficial for me too in defeating the purpose of the guru or whatever he was.
 "...Does this guy need a reward? Didn't he deserve it after peeping on me and Ryuna naked? Rather, he's lucky enough not to be executed as a criminal."
 "That's not the way it works, Shakuna-oneesama. If it weren't for Baskerville-sama we wouldn't be able to conquer this dungeon in such a short time. We should be thankful to him."
 "Ryuna has a very disciplined character. She is very different than any other fake princess."
 Shakuna gave me a sharp look when I made fun of her.
 Anyway, I shrug my shoulders and laugh, clearing my throat.
 "However, it's true, isn't it? It's the duty of those who are in charge to pay the righteous reward to those who have done well. If you act like you deserve it, you'll soon have no one left to follow you."
 "...As if you know anything. Even though you're not the same age as me."
 "We may not be the same age, but we have different experiences. I'm the head of the Baskerville family."
 In fact, ever since I took over the Baskerville family I've made it a rule to give reward and punishment.
 I give ample rewards to those who have done well and strictly judge those who should be punished. If I fail to do so, the order of the organization will be loosened and it will collapse.
 I knew this from the history I had learned in my previous life.
 And even if I don't bring up such a big thing as history, I have learned it as a social order from my experience of working as an office worker.
 For example, a colleague with a good sales performance was not evaluated fairly by his boss or the company, resulting in a painful situation where he was hired by a rival company. At other times, there were employees whose mistakes were overlooked because they were relatives of executives, causing the atmosphere in the entire workplace to deteriorate and depressing the sales performance of the company.
 So, if those who are in charge ignore the reward and punishment, that is the beginning of the collapse of the organization.
 "...It can't be helped. So, what do you want?"
 Shakuna said reluctantly with an unconvinced expression on her face.
 "Money? Or a medal? If I give lands and titles to the nobles of other countries, it would be troublesome, so I can't give them those... but if my father can be freed from the control of the guru, I think most of that wish can be fulfilled."
 "Well, let's see..."
 I don't need money or medals. After all, I don't need them and I've got enough of them.
 Or maybe, I could try to ask for Shakuna's or Ryuna's body and see their hilarious reactions...? Well, it would be a poor joke. They might stab me seriously, so I'll be careful about that.
 "Hmm... How about you help me fight against the revived Demon King?"
 "The Demon King... Well, I heard he's back. I've heard that monsters (Mamono) have been strengthened in various areas, though they haven't caused much damage in our country."
 "Still, I need your help in defeating the Demon King or fighting the Demon King's army, when needed. So how is it?"
 In the battle against the Demon King's army, there was a scene where a large number of monsters appeared and a large-scale battle unfolded like a war between countries.
 If I can use the armies of other countries as reserve forces, such battles will become easier.
 Shakuna thought about my proposal and nodded deeply.
 "...Okay. I promise. In the name of the Princess of Maafern Kingdom, I promise to help the Slayers Kingdom if you can defeat the guru's ambitions. And I will get my father's permission."
 "Very well. That should be enough to pay me."
 It's an unexpected blessing.
 Without my intention, I got a card that will give me an advantage in the battle against the Demon King's army.
 While I nod my head in agreement with the unexpected result, Ryuna comes out from behind Shakuna's back.
 "Of course, I'll give you the reward as well. This is like a bonus."
 "Bonus...? Did we have an agreement?"
 "Who knows... by then I'll be ready for it. I hope you'll be ready too, Baskerville-sama?"
 Ryuna says mischievously to me, and I'm once again left with an unsettled feeling.
 Maybe... maybe I'm not a good match for this blind Priestess.
 I feel as if I've been pushed around ever since we met.
 "...The problem is that it's not that uncomfortable. Still, all the women around me are pretty hard to deal with."
 I think of the faces of some of the women with whom I've had relationships... and let out a deep sigh.

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