Section 3: Everyone Together
Seeing the castle from the outside was amazing, but seeing it from the inside was spectacular.
The floor was inlaid with red velvet carpet that reached up to your ankles, and the walls were decorated with a countless number of paintings stretching from one end to the other.
Glancing upwards, there were a number of huge chandeliers hanging down at equal intervals, making the whole ceiling resemble a star-studded night sky.
[Iris]: “Somehow, I can’t come up with any words to describe this.”
[Carol]: “Me either”
[Lapris]: “Why do you need such a grandiose place if all you’re going to do is eat and sleep in here? You humans make no sense.”
Riding on the plush toy Unicorn’s back, Lapris scoffed at what she saw as Carol and I absentmindedly looked all around us with our mouths hanging wide open.
[Toslin]: “It’s all to save face. Otherwise diplomats from other countries would look down on them. If they’re giving off this much wealth and strength, only an idiot would want to pick a fight with them right?”
[Lapris]: “Hmm, so it’s that kind of thing?”
[Toslin]: “It’s that kind of thing.”
It’s all because of the wonderfully luxurious castle interior that Toslin and Lapris could come to an agreement without starting an argument for once.
If the day ever comes that they start a quarrel, go wild, and smash up some of these paintings and vases, we’re probably going to end up with a bill we’d have no hope of ever paying off.
(Just one of these paintings would surely cost all of the gems I received……)
I have no artistic sense nor any knowledge on the finer arts, but these paintings are giving off such a powerful opulent aura that even someone as uneducated as I could feel it.
[Toslin]: “Got it Carol? You’re not allowed to run around so long as we’re here.”
[Carol]: “I got it. I’m not an idiot you know.”
[Noelia]: “And over here, shall be your room for the duration of your stay.”
With that as an introduction, the maid Noelia-san walked aside a huge door and pushed it open to show us what laid inside.
[Carol]: “Uuooooh! This room’s huge!!”
[Toslin]: “Dang it, I just told you not to run around anywhere!! You really are an idiot!”
Carol completely forgot the promise she had made just a moment ago and leapt into the room.
[Lapris]: “Wow, what’s with this? This room alone is about the size of Iris’s house.”
Toslin went chasing after Carol while Lapris leisurely looked around as plush toy Unicorn trotted behind them.
Noelia-san silently watched their backs without showing any sign of emotion on her face.
[Yuhanna]: “Well then, if you’ll excuse us, we must report our return to His Majesty.”
[Iris]: “Oh, okay. Thank you for seeing us all the way.”
[Yuhanna]: “Think nothing of it. I only wished to know where you and Rosalith were staying……. And Rosalith”
Rose-san turned towards her aunt puzzled after her name had been called.
[Yuhanna]: “If you ever need anything, you can always ask me for help. Okay?”
[Rose]: “Yes. Thank you for your concern Aun…….Yuhanna-sama”
[Yuhanna]: “…….all right, that’s better. ‘Auntie’ is off limits when we’re around other people.”
Yuhanna-sama carefully made sure that last point was properly conveyed.
[Litzreich]: “I’ll slip into your bed later tonight. I know you’ll be lonely without me until then, but please wait patiently Iris.”
While my attention was focused on Yuhanna-sama, Litzreich grabbed my hand and started on with sweet words.
[Iris]: “Eh, m-my bed…….!?”
[Salunea]: “If you even try it, you’ll quickly find your head parted from your neck. As long as you’re fine with the consequences, then please stop by.”
[Litzreich]: “Grr, how sly of you Saluena. Are you just saying that because you want the other half of Iris’s pillow all for yourself?”
[Saluena]: “I must be able to serve and protect her no matter what time of day it is. That is the duty of a knight.”
[Litzreich]: “Then the answer is simple. I’ll leave the Shirayuri Knights and join up with your knight order instead.”
[Yuhanna]: “What kind of idiotic things are you prattling on about now!? Do you think there’s any chance I would allow that!? Come on, get over here.”
[Litzreich]: “But I don’t wanna! I want to sleep with Iris too!”
[Yuhanna]: “Noelia. I shall leave the hero’s well-being to you while she stays here. Prioritize her care over any other orders you may receive. Understood?”
[Noelia]: “Certainly yes, Yuhanna-sama”
[Yuhanna]: “Good. In that case, pardon us for now. Farewell.”
Contrary to the elegance of her words, Yuhanna-sama left us with her hand wrapped firmly around Litzreich’s neck like a vice as she dragged her second-in-command behind her. Noelia-san watched the both of them go, but her expression had still yet to change.
Is she one of those taciturn maids who feel it’s poor manners to show any more emotion than necessary?
[Noelia]: “Come on in then if you’d please Calvafon-sama”
[Iris]: “Oh, um……..o-okay……..”
I’m still not used to people using sama with my name, so my reply came out more forced than I meant it to.
But Noelia-san didn’t laugh at my anxiousness. She didn’t look like she was interested in me to begin with. She simply remained standing where she was, blankly staring at me while waiting for me to come in.
[Iris]: “Wow…….it really is big in here…….”
Lapris said before that this room was bigger than my whole house, and for once she wasn’t exaggerating.
[Noelia]: “We had originally prepared everyone their own rooms, but after listening to Calvafon-sama’s request, we quickly threw this together. If you see anything not to your liking, please let me know.”
[Iris]: “N-No no no, no complaints at all!”
What kind of complaints can I come up with for a room several times more gorgeous than what I could have ever expected.
[Rose]: “If I remember correctly, Yuhanna-sama said our audience with His Majesty would be in three days time correct?”
As I took a seat on our room’s cushy couch, my butt and back sinking into the super fluffy cushions, Rose-san continued on with business.
But she’s right. We came all the way to this city to have an audience with the king, so it’s important to confirm that before anything else.
[Noelia]: “Yes, that is correct. We shall prepare your wardrobe for the event, so we would like to take your measurements tomorrow morning.”
[Toslin]: “Ah, there’s no need for me. As a knight, my armor will do for the occasion won’t it?”
Noelia-san calmly turned her gaze towards Toslin and quickly gave the armor she was wearing a once over with her eyes.
[Noelia]: “Yes, it will do. Then Rosalith-sama…….will you be wearing your armor as well?”
[Rose]: “I will. For priestesses, our armor acts as our formal wear, so there is no need to have anything tailored for my sake.”
Formal wear…….formal wear? Of course. I’m going to be meeting the actual king, so I’m going to need to dress up. I……do I though? Is the way I’m dressed discourteous in some way?
I’m wearing a short flared skirt and a button up collared shirt. Lapris said if I put on a mantle I’ll look like a witch which means this is pretty much already the formal wear for witches…….so I’m not entirely sure what more I need.
[Saluena]: “So me, Iris, and then Carol will need to get measured.”
As I was mulling the question over in my head, Saluena spoke up on my behalf. I guess there is something wrong with what I’m wearing after all.
[Noelia]: “Very good. Then we will send someone to pick up the three of you in the morning if you’d please wait for us here.”
[Iris]: “Y-Yes! We’ll leave it to you”
[Noelia]: “……..then, I shall alert you to when dinner is ready, so please enjoy yourselves until then.”
Noelia-san gave us all a deep bow before leaving the room.
And all of my strength suddenly drained from my body when she did. The same thing happened to everyone else as well, and it felt like the tension hanging in the air was broken apart all at once.
[Carol]: “Oh man~, I was so nervous.”
[Toslin]: “Liar. You were the same as always.”
[Carol]: “That’s not true. I was just fooling around to help the rest of you relax.”
[Iris]: “It’s been a long time since we all got to stay together in one room.”
[Rose]: “Indeed. Although, the size of the rooms cannot even be compared.”
[Iris]: “I-I’m sorry. I said I wanted to stay together with everyone, and…….”
[Lapris]: “Haa? You don’t need to apologize for something like that.”
Lapris dove off of plush toy Unicorn’s back, bouncing up and down on top of the bed.
[Carol]: “Yeah, I like being with everyone too. Wouldn’t it just be boring if you had a room all by yourself?”
[Toslin]: “And we are supposed to be your bodyguards after all, so it’s probably better if we all share a room anyway.”
[Carol]: “…….hmph, big words coming from someone who complained about how lonely they were feeling when I was in the hospital with Rose!!”
[Toslin]: “Gah, what are you talking about!?”
Toslin jumped from her seat next to me on the couch and grabbed Carol by the scruff of her neck.
[Carol]: “It’s about that you know? All those things you said when we were in that hotel room alone together?”
[Toslin]: “Y-You don’t really need to remind me about any of that. And I didn’t…….”
[Carol]: “I was just discharged from the hospital, we had the room all to ourselves, and aiya, Toslin came out and said the cutest things…….”
Toslin’s face turned a vibrant shade of red as she threw Carol towards the bed.
[Lapris]: “Auuuuuuuuugh!? That was dangerous you shitty bastards!! You almost killed me!”
Carol safely landed on the bed, but the problem was that Lapris was there first, and she was none too happy about almost becoming a red stain on the bed sheets.
[Carol]: “Don’t look at me. Toslin’s the one who suddenly……”
[Toslin]: “…….it’s your fault for going around spouting nonsense.”
[Carol]: “No no, it’s not nonsense. It really……”
[Lapris]: “I don’t give a shit whose fault it is! Apologize! Prostrate yourselves before the great me!! Right now!! Oi what’s the matter pipsqueak! Orc woman! Can’t you hear me!!!”
As Lapris continued to inflate the value on her own life, Rose-san turned towards me with an expression that said all of that had nothing to do with her.
[Rose]: “Iris-san. For tomorrow afternoon…….”
[Iris]: “Yes? What is it?”
Honestly, those three haven’t changed at all since meeting each other in front of the Swansea Forest. But it feels like it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this noisy atmosphere. It helps calm my nerves, making me feel almost stupid for feeling nervous over our audience with the king in a few days.
[Rose]: “If it is all right with you, I was wondering if you could come with us.”
[Iris]: “Yes, it’s not a problem……”
Not just Rose-san, but Saluena too? I wonder what’s up.
I had a storm of question marks swirling in my head, but with no reason to refuse, I immediately agreed to it.