Section 2: Audience
In front of a ginormously huge door. I stood up straight, staring at the lavish gold decorations adorning it.
This appears to be a waiting room for people who have come to the castle for an audience with His Majesty. Noelia-san dropped us off here, and we’ve been patiently waiting ever since.
We are the only ones here, so I’m guessing nobody else is scheduled for an audience today.
(My heart feels like it’s going to pop out of my mouth.)
In just a little bit, we’ll be entering the throne room.
We will be greeting the king of an entire country. I just went to the bathroom, but I’m so nervous I think I might have to go again.
[Carol]: “Are you feeling all right Iris?”
Carol was the one who ended up calling out to me and convinced me to take a deep breath.
She had changed out of her usual dark black adventurer equipment and into a pretty pink dress complete with poofy ruffles and intricate lace.
As a beastman with fluffy ears and a tail, Carol was especially loved by the seamstresses.
There were about fifty of them. This right here is the end result when those women get serious.
[Iris]: “I-I’m okay. But I’m not used to stuff like this, so it’s hard for me to settle down……”
[Carol]: “I know what you mean. I’ve been taking deep breaths this entire time to try and keep the edge off.”
[Rose]: “Fufu, yet you look absolutely wonderful. The both of you. Don’t you think so as well Sally-oneesama?”
Rose-san had returned to her usual appearance compared to yesterday. Armor firmly wrapped around her upper body draped over a priestess robe. She doesn’t have any weapons with her though since none are allowed in the throne room.
[Saluena]: “Of course. I knew frills would match well with their childish frames. My eyes are never wrong with things like this.”
Not even just petite, but going straight for child-like. A massive shock ran through my brain.
Sure we might have a bit less mass compared to Saluena and the others, but…… Putting Carol aside, I wouldn’t say I……
I blankly stared down at my own meager chest out of shock when Toslin spoke up.
[Toslin]: “It looks like it might start soon…….what are you doing Iris?”
[Iris]: “No, just……trying to hang on to what little self-confidence I have left.”
I almost forgot, Sarah’s were bigger than mine in the bath…… Maybe Saluena is perfectly justified here?
[Toslin]: “Hah? You’re cute, so don’t worry about it.”
Toslin flicked my forehead with her finger.
[Carol]: “Eh? What about me? Am I cute too?”
[Toslin]: “Huh? Hmm……well, I guess you’re cute?”
[Carol]: “Hooray~! Hey hey, did you hear did you hear? Toslin thinks I’m cute. Ehehe♪”
[Rose]: “Yes, I did hear. Good for you Carol-san♪”
[Carol]: “Mhmm♪ Maybe I should keep wearing this dress from now.”
Carol had been cut off completely from the earlier tension that had hung over us, breaking into a wide smile as she spun around in her dress. The skirt spread out like a blossoming flower, showing off the craftsmen’s powerful sense of commitment.
[Toslin]: “Are you stupid? If an adventurer went out wearing something like that, you’d get laughed out of the guild.”
Toslin is wearing her usual suit of armor, just as she said she would. I thought Saluena was supposed to wear a dress like us as well, but instead she was given a waistcoat with a pair of tight-fitting breeches.
She looks so good I almost mistook her for a prince the first time I saw her like that.
[Toslin]: “However you two look like sisters when you stand next to each other like that.”
By the way, as I was saying and as you may have guessed from Toslin’s words, Carol and I are wearing the same dress.
A childish dress with plenty of frills.
It’s white, but otherwise the design is completely the same. According to the seamstresses, the concept they were going for was ‘sisters’……..
So the fact that Toslin would say that at all means the dresses are doing exactly as the seamstresses as intended. Pros are amazing. And kind of scary.
[Noelia]: “Calvafon-sama. His Majesty will see you shortly. Once the door opens, there will be a knight who will lead you inside.”
Noelia-san materialized from the door we were to be entering and handed out instructions.
So, it’s finally almost time? Mom, Dad. Sarah……are you watching me through Plushie Unicorn’s eyes right now? Today I will be meeting with a king.
I doubt I’ll ever be graced with an honor like this ever again, so I will etch everything said in there into my mind for when I return home.
I shut my eyes tight, making a promise to my parents in my heart before opening them again.
[Herald]: “Your attention everyone!! The Hero who slew the dragon!! The mighty witch!! Iris Calvafon-sama!! Now entering!!”
*Bum Bum~~~~~~~~~~!! Bum Bum Bum Bum~~~~~~~~~~~!!*
I could hear the sound of a trumpet blaring behind the door the same way as what I heard at the church.
It was then that the door began to swing open, showing off its weight and the years behind it through the heavy creak it made as it did.
[Saluena]: “Then, shall we go?”
Saluena reached out her hand to me.
I can understand what she’s getting at without having to be told. She means to take my hand.
[Rose]: “Yes. Iris-san. We are all here for you, so there’s no need for worry. If you ever have trouble answering, remain silent. We will handle it for you.”
What a reliable promise.
So with Rose-san at my back and under Saluena’s escort, I took my first step into the throne room, and my audience with the king began.
It’s just like the pictures in my storybooks.
A large velvet red carpet stretches down the middle of a grand hall, leading to a couple of steps where a majestic throne is perched on high.
And on that throne, a single man sat upright.
A person with a golden crown resting atop wavy, shoulder-length hair. This was Olivar-sama, the current king who governs over a country with a thousand year history.
I normally wouldn’t have been able to see his face from this far away, but I now have the glasses Rose-san bought for me.
After putting just a little magic power into them, my field of vision expanded greatly and gave me a clear view of their face.
(An awfully kind-looking face…….and an amazingly prominent beard.)
He looks a lot like Ashel-sama to the point where it’s obvious that they’re blood related.
As we slowly made our way further into the room, I moved my gaze towards the knights standing at attention around the red carpet. Each of their faces were familiar. They were all members of the Shirayuri Knights.
Ashel-sama was standing near the throne with Yuhanna-sama right next to her.
Apart from the orderly knights was a person draped in luxuriously embellished clothing who I could tell right away was a noble.
They were watching us with great interest while whispering something to a person standing beside them.
[Iris]: “Ah, it’s Marie-sama”
Looking further, I found a familiar face standing in a spot opposite of Yuhanna-sama.
Marie Arone-sama, the bishop of the capital’s church who administers every other church on the continent.
Whether she heard my muttering or simply read my lips, Marie-sama rose her hand slightly and gave me a small wave. She might be an unexpectedly playful person when outside of the church.
[Lapris]: “Ridiculous. Is there any reason to make a room this big when it’s only used for greeting people?”
A small little voice chirped in my ear. I didn’t need to look to see who would be saying something like that in a situation like this. It was obviously from Lapris who rode into the room on my shoulder.
[Iris]: “Shh, keep quiet.”
[Lapris]: “Yeah yeah”
Incidentally, Lapris was wearing the same thing she always wears. I thought she should at least put on a ribbon, but it was rejected because she didn’t like the color. So the ribbon was instead tied off around Plushie Unicorn’s neck who is walking directly in front of me.
The distance between me and the king keeps shrinking.
We’ve already hit the halfway point, but the knight leading us in hasn’t stopped walking yet.
Ten steps, and then another ten steps.
The knight didn’t divert to the side until we were so close to the king that I could clearly see his face even without the use of my glasses.
The spot where the throne is situated is several steps higher than anywhere else in the room. I figured I should stop right before those steps, where the red carpet comes to an end.
[Olivar]: “We thank you for coming. The dragon slaying hero, Iris Calvafon-dono.”
And a voice called down from the platform in front of me after my feet came to a stop. It was from Olivar-sama.
(Um, I’m wearing a dress, so this is the part where I curtsy right?)
I didn’t think Olivar-sama himself would be the first one to say anything, so I was a little thrown off. Still, I managed to keep my wits about me just enough to replicate what Rose-san had taught me in advance. I pinched the ends of my skirt with my fingers and bent one leg.
[Iris]: “I am extremely pleased to be granted the great honor of an audience.”
But, after I raised my face and finished my greeting, I heard something I really wasn’t prepared for……another one of Lapris’s bemused mutterings.
[Lapris]: “What the, this one’s a woman too.”
And then in the middle of an audience where everyone in the room’s attention is focused squarely on me, I made a grand fool of myself.