“Ha ha ha ha! The Princess did that!”
“No no no, that’s nothing to laugh at you know… ku ku ku”
When I told the guard knights the story, they rolled in laughter.
“No, seriously, it’s not something to laugh at. Thinking about the mood that time, I didn’t feel like I was alive”
“Ha ha ha, careful when you go out at night”
Their names were Koji and Kars.
The guard knights we met the first time.
When Arina and I protected Princess to the end in the Isky residence, these two opened up to us.
A whole day after the incident passed.
We rested our bodies in the Isky residence, and the next day a coach came to pick Princess up.
We were then given a room and we stayed there from then on.
We were now in a nearby bar.
It was called a ‘cheap restaurant’ in this world, but basically, it was a ‘bar-room’.
The city was wrapped in an air of enthusiasm since noon, there were hawking voices, haggling voices, the voices of street performers, hyaho–is, and the sounds of musical instruments that look like bagpipes and accordions. This bar is no exception, it’s noisy with the sound of people ordering sausages and drink refills.
There was me, Arina, Koji, and Kars sitting around the round table sharing an extra-large portion of pasta and eating. Though it’s called pasta it’s a strange dish that had small cuts like Soba, and you put it in your personal plate and eat it with salty soup.
“I’ve bought juice refills”
Mist came along.
She’s now changed from wearing maid clothes to some linen commoner clothes.
She decided to leave the Isky residence and come together with us.
……. well, I do have to take some kind of responsibility for her body, so I can’t exactly say no.
“Nah, it’s alright”
Since this is a bar, you have to go right to the counter if you want to order something other than alcohol.
If you want alcohol, the waitresses always carry some on their trays so they can quickly offer some, but drinks other than that take some time so they don’t really like it.
“You don’t drink booze? What are you, a kid?”
“I am a kid”
“But you’re fifteen already, aren’t you?”
“In my country, fifteen still counts as a kid!”
You yourselves, what are you doing drinking since noon!
“Anyway, why wasn’t Mist called to the ceremony, too? After all the things you went through together with us…” I said, to which Mist replied with her own guess.
“I dunno. Maybe if they did they feel like they have to invite all the residence’s maids?”
Though the other maids have slightly different circumstances.
“I’m sure princess didn’t call her because of a grudge”
Suddenly Arina said something like that.
“Even if Arina is stupid you can’t look down on Arina’s womanly intuition. Fu fu fu”
I don’t get what she’s saying at all.
Is she drunk?
“… but seriously, it was a terrifying thing, huh”
Koji said while pouring his drink.
“Even though Glenn was her fiancé, but for him to even cast a spell on her and try to hijack the country is…”
“Yeah, it’s good that it ended up just as an attempt. Not only the Princess herself was put in danger, but even the whole country could also go under”
――though it actually didn’t end as an attempt.
The fact that the Princess came this close to being raped by Glenn was of course a secret of the state.
Not even these two were told the details of how the incident went.
The Princess discovered the bugs, a frenzied Glenn released a monster, and we protected the Princess from it.
That’s roughly what they were told.
If those parasites entered the Princess even once, she wouldn’t be able to wear that dress of chastity.
She’s really having it hard.
“But here’s where it starts, you know. There’s no way Marquis Isky doesn’t get the blame for this”
… The Marquis is probably having it the hardest.
His son became a traitor, he himself is paralysed from the waist down, and Madam Welsh and Tris was killed by his own fake, even the maids left one after the other, saying that the house is cursed.
He was so totally depressed he wouldn’t leave his room.
“Which leaves us with who to defend the Cidre border?”
“The castle officials could take on the job for a while, but…”
“They’re in way over their heads, they can’t hold it for long”
“You can say that again. Also, there’s the fact that the Princess has no fiancé now”
“What happens now that she doesn’t have a fiancé?”
“Actually, His Majesty the King is in a bad physical condition right now”
“He didn’t appear at your ceremony either, didn’t he?”
Ah, now that you mention it.
If they went so far as doing something flashy like that the King would normally be there.
“His Majesty had long been bedridden”
“I don’t mean to jinx it, but in the one in a million chance that it happens, the country might have no King”
“But there’s Princess Rosé so it’s not like you’re going to be out all of a sudden, right?”
As I said that, the knights looked away as if they had something difficult to say.
“……. it’s impossible for the Princess”
Mist then continued from there.
“This country, even us commoners knew that even though we’re not at a direct war with our neighbors, we’re at a confrontation with them. If the King died and we’re only left with the Princess, everyone would feel uneasy”
” ‘Will Cidre come and invade’, ‘Will the Princess be alright if that happens’, ‘If we’re going to lose, wouldn’t we be better off surrendering from the start’ …. things like that”
“By saying things like that, the morale of the country will affect our fighting strength”
“Not just war. We also risk famine because farmers leave their fields and fishermen run away”
“Before that happens, Princess Rosé needs a strong fiancé”
—— which is how Glenn came into the picture.
If what Tris so proudly said was right, Marquis Isky was a military family.
Professionals that had been on watch against Cidre and protecting the country for a long time.
If you ignore what’s inside, they had a name worthy of being the next King.
“But if Princess Rosé’s fiancé was decided with that kind of reason, she wouldn’t like it”
“As the ones who are always next to her, we know that better than anyone”
“We can only give up and say it can’t be helped”
I’ve learnt things like that when studying history, but when it happens to a girl I know it’s….
“It’s …. a story that makes me sick”
“—— Yuuki, you’re a good guy, huh”
Kars suddenly said.
“Worrying about other people sounds like a simple thing, but that distinguishes character. If Glenn had kindness like you, none of this would’ve happened”
Even if you say that, I can only smile bitterly.
“I’m not planning to, but even so, there’s nothing I can do for her right now”
“No, well, I wonder about that”
“From the way things are going, I think there’s soon going to be a time we have to borrow your strength”
I thought for a while, then…
I asked Arina.
“…… I don’t mean to forget all about it, but the reason we came”
We were rolled up in the Isky incident and lazed around for several days, but the real reason we went on this journey was for the Hero Arina to defeat the Demon Lord.
The real protagonist should be Arina.
“But right now we don’t know where we should go …., um”
“—— If Yuu-kun says so, then Arina is fine with it”
I wanted to stay here until Princess’ troubles calmed down.
That was what I was going to say, but Arina answered before I could.
“Then we should first prepare the things we’ll need for daily life”
Mist stood up.
“Yuu-kun, you don’t know how we buy things here in this country, do you? Come with me”
This is reassuring. I had trouble back in the first village.
“You’re a lifesaver”
I thanked Mist.
“A, A, Arina goes too!”
Arina hurriedly stood up.
“At least to carry the things…”
“Arina-chan should go back and sweep the room”
“The room hasn’t been used for a while so it’s quite dusty. If you don’t sweep it while it’s light out we can’t use it to sleep in you know?”
“Okay, so Arina can go shopping, can you do it?”
“……. uuu, …….. auuuu, okay, Arina, will go back, and sweep…”
Arina sank back to her seat dejectedly.
“All right. Yuu-kun…. let’s go!”
I’m sure I misheard Mist mumble ‘I won’ there somewhere.
“A woman’s will is trully terrifying, huh”
“Well, it’s fun for those of us watching by the sidelines”
Koji and Kars muttered something, but I pretended not to hear and left the bar-room with Mist.