Chapter 178 : The Party Begin
My Apologies for the delay, you can blame the new server for this.
「Well I shall excuse myself then, Amakawa-dono and Celia-sensei. Adieu」
Having said so, Christina left the room along with marquiss Rodan. Rio, Celia, Rei, and Rosa nodded respectfully as they saw Christina’s off.
「Well, shall we go on our way? The other students don’t look like they will be able to go back if we stay here.」
Celia said as she turned around, eyeing the students who were still sitting in their chairs with no intention to move even when Christina had left the classroom. Though that might be because they missed the proper timing and thought that it would be rude of them to leave right now.
「Right. Shall we go to another place to continue our conversation, Rei-san? 」
Smiling as he agreed to Celia, Rio then asked Rei.
Unable to give an immediate reply, Rei looked at Rosa.
「We’ve no plans after this, Rei-sama.」
Rosa replied immediately to reassure Rei.
「Since it seems to be okay, then please do so.」
Rei replied with an extremely curious look on his face.
「Then, let’s go to my house. It’s close to the capital mansion.」
Rio was smiling wryly as he replied to Celia. Their group proceeded to the mansion where Celia lived.
◇ ◇ ◇
When they arrived at the mansion gate, Rei couldn’t hold back his admiring gaze.
「This is the residence of Amakawa-dono and Celia-sensei? ………..So huge!」
「I……… Am not sure whether to call this mansion my residence Since I lent it to Celia for the moment.」
Rio shrugged his shoulders as he looked at Celia.
「……. It’s hard to maintain a mansion as big as this since there are few residents, even when we include the employees. Well, let’s enter.」
Celia seemed to want to say more, but she decided against further holding everybody up.
「Welcome back, Haruto-sama, Celia-sama.」
The female gatekeeper greeted Rio and co.
「Yeah, thank you for the hard work. These two are our guests.」
Having said so, Celia looked at Rosa and Rei who stood behind her.
The female gatekeeper nodded in recognition of the two of the guests. As they entered the mansion site they met Angela, the maid, in the garden.
「Welcome back, Celia-sama, Haruto-sama. Are they your guest? 」
Angela greeted Celia, the owner of the mansion, and then looked at Rei and Rosa while she asked that question.
「Yeah, may I ask you to prepare tea for us? 」
「Understood. Do allow me to guide you to the parlor first. This way please.」
Said Angela and then proceeded to guide them towards the mansion. After guiding them to the parlor she left to prepare the tea.
「By the way, where are you living right now, Rei-san? 」
After they sat beside Celia on the sofa of the parlor, Rio asked that question of Rei.
「Currently, I’m living in a house lent by Christina-sama located close to Rosa’s home.」
Rei replied, as he looked at Rosa who sat beside him.
「So that’s the case. I think Kouta-san would be surprised if he heard about this.」
Rio said, as he let out a smile.
「Ahaha, well, he did say that it’ll turn out like this before we parted our ways. Has he become a proper adventurer? 」
「Yeah. He registered at Almond, so he should be active around that location as long as he doesn’t change his area of activity.」
「Is that so? I guess he can’t leave for the time being. But, well I guess he’ll be alright.」
A melancholic look appeared for a moment on Rei’s face when he talked about Kouta.
「I’ll check on his situation when I visit Almond next time. It isn’t that far from here and I already have plans to visit Almond too.」
「Really? Thank you very much!」
Rei seemed to be delighted when Rio told him that he would check out Kouta’s situation. A few minutes later, as they were enjoying their friendly conversation, Angela returned to the room along with the tea and Sofie, her daughter.
「Excuse me. We brought tea and sweets.」
Angela said as she entered the room. Sofie helped Angela place the sweets and tea on the table.
「……… You two look very much alike, may I ask if you’re sisters? 」
Rei suddenly asked when he looked at Angela and Sofie.
「Oh my, Thank you for your praise.」
Delighted, Angela bowed to show Rei her gratitude.
Tilting his head, Rei wondered why she bowed to him.
「They are parent and child you see.」
「EH? I see… My apologies for the misunderstanding. I mistook the two of you for pair of sisters since you look that young.」
Rei awkwardly laughed as he praised Angela.
Angela bowed again, with a somewhat embarrassed face.
「I mean, you are beautiful. Your daughter is cute too.」
As Rei gave another round of praise to Angela and Sofie, Rosa interjected.
「Rei-sama, please don’t make such careless pass to the maids working for another house.」
“Because you have me”—— Was what Rosa was trying to say as she rebuked Rei with a slightly pouted expression.
「EH? No, I didn’t have any intention to make a pass but, hahaha, I guess it does look like that. It just feels refreshing since no maids live in my house. Ah, come to think of it, Christina-sama said that there’s something that she wanted to announce during tonight’s party, Do you know what the things that she wanted to announce was? 」
Rei tried to make an excuse, but he then looked at Celia and Rio, trying to change the topic before he stepped on a landmine again.
「….. Please wait for tonight’s party since the details are going to be announced at that time. I advise you to return earlier to prepare for today’s party.」
After exchanging a glance with Celia, Rio told Rei with troubled face.
Rei looked at them befuddled, but he didn’t say anything since he understood the situation. They continued to pleasantly chat with each other for nearly an hour before they decided to part ways.
◇ ◇ ◇
After Rei and Rosa left, Rio started preparing for the party along with Celia. When it came to the matter of his attire, he had no choice but to wear the same attire that he wore at the evening party of the Galwark kingdom.
The problem was the girl side, namely Celia. She had to choose whether to wear the dress that she prepared for this kind of occasion, or the dress that matched Rio’s attire.
「What do you think about this one? 」
Celia showed off a dress with a white base and a blue sheen. Doing a quick spin she asked for Rio’s opinion regarding her attire. Right besides Rio, Sofie, who helped her change into her new dress, was completely mesmerized by Celia.
「You’re really beautiful in this dress. Its color harmonizes with your silver hair and the light blue and peach hues compliment it perfectly.」
Rio told her his honest impression.
「Really? Thank you very much! Then, I’ll wear this dress for today’s party. May I ask you to escort me? 」
Celia’s face blushed lightly as she asked Rio.
「Yes. With pleasure.」
Rio happily agreed to her request. But, before the conversation could continue, knocking sound came from the door.
「Yes, come in.」
After Celia responded, the door slowly opened. There stood the female soldiers who were in charge of the protection of Celia’s mansion.
「…… Celia-sama, a messenger from Christina-sama arrived just now. He said Christina-sama will send a coach to get you before the evening so that you have time to prepare for the party. …….. And, you’re lovely in that dress.」
As soon as the female soldiers saw Celia in her dress, they looked at her as if charmed by her loveliness. But, not forgetting their duty, they told her the content of the message on top of praising her. [ED: …yuri? Hope not.] [ED2: Hope YES ┬┴┬┴┤ ͜ʖ ͡°) ├┬┴┬┴]][TL : Girls….]
「Thank you very much. Okay」
She nodded her head as a slightly embarrassed smile bloomed on Celia’s face.
◇ ◇ ◇
The evening slowly came and the time to celebrate Flora’s return was nigh. The coach, which Rio and Celia used, entered the area of the capital mansion.
「Here you go, please be careful as you get down.」
After getting down from the coach beforehand, Rio presented his hand to help Celia get down too, acting as her escort.
「Thank you very much, having you escort me is quite a refreshing experience.」
Celia expressed her gratitude with a slightly embarrassed tone. After all, despite her long time relationship with Rio, this was still the first time they attended a party together.
「Right. I never expected that I would be so lucky as to have the chance to escort you, princess Celia.」
Rio easily agreed with her words. After descending from the coach, a female knight approached them. She was one of Christina’s bodyguards, and Vanessa’s subordinate.
「Welcome, Celia-sama, lord Amakawa. Please follow me, I’ll lead the way.」
The female knight greeted them respectfully.
「You have our deepest gratitude.」
Rio replied accordingly as he looked around at their surroundings and found that, despite there being so many coaches parked at the capital mansion’s site, he had spotted almost no nobles around. Perhaps they were already inside the venue. After all, Rio and Celia were quite late in their arrival.
For someone of lower social status, it’d be considered quite rude should they make a person of higher social status wait for them. As such, they usually opted to come earlier. It’s not uncommon for them to come one hour before the start of any party. It’s only common sense after all. Therefore, during those periods of time, the entrance would usually be jam packed.
Thus, Christina sending a coach to Celia and Rio at such a late time meant to show respect for their position and social status. Thanks to that, Rio and Celia didn’t have to wait in line and could enter through the gate immediately.
Although they were guided inside, they were not guided to the party venue. Instead, they were directed to Flora and Christina’s waiting room. Both of them were there, wearing different colored dress with matching design.
「Welcome, you two.」
「G-Good day. Haruto-sama, Celia-sensei.」
Christina greeted the two of them. At the same time, Flora was gazing at Rio before she bowed to him with awkward movements.
「May I ask what this is all about, Christina-sama, Flora-sama?」]
Celia was staring at the two of them, wrapped in their dresses. She couldn’t understand why they were guided towards the two princess’s waiting room when they should’ve been led towards the party venue.
「It’s simply because I want you two to enter the venue along with us.」
Christina just frankly told her reason for calling them to that room.
Rio was surprised by that news too.
「Naturally I won’t force you if it’s against your will but, lord Amakawa, you were the leading actor who brought Flora back safely.」
Christina said, looking at Rio’s face calmly. Flora was also looking at Rio, but with an expectant look on her face instead of calmness. For Christina and Flora, their behaviour was only natural since they had to treat a leading actor befittingly.
「…… I understand. I might be undeserving of such honor but, I’ll do my best.」[ED: Excessive humility is annoying.][ED2: they are literal royalty, I think he pretty much has to]
Sensing that there would be no way out of this, Rio just replied respectfully, doing as they asked.
「Thank you very much！ 」
Flora expressed her gratitude with a delighted tone. While, Christina unintentionally smiled at them and said her gratitude after Flora.
「In that case, Haruto aside, I don’t think there’s a need for me to be included.」
Celia mentioned with a reserved tone.
「It did though, with sensei coming along, your presence will divert the other’s attention from lord Amakawa. Naturally, that lost attention will be because their attention is gathered on you sensei.」
Christina answered Celia’s doubt with a slight awkward tone in her voice.
「…… I see, then leave it to me. And my apologies, it seems that I was being too frank before.」
Understanding what Christina was trying to do, Celia obeyed the decision with an apology of her own.
「Is it really okay? You don’t actually need to go that far for me you see? 」
Rio said as he looked at Celia. He couldn’t bring himself to tell her that being with him would end up with her truly missing her marriageable age. And it wasn’t something that he could say in front of Christina and Flora. They might need to talk about this matter later.
Celia said as she puffed her pitiable chest. [ED: …author, beware of knifes]
「…… Thank you very much」
Rio hesitated, but still expressed his gratitude, albeit with a troubled expression on his face.
◇ ◇ ◇
On the other hand at that time, in the hall that was used to hold the party, the nobles who belonged to Restoration were gathered en mass. There’s the figure of marquis Rodan, duke Euguno, Rosa, and Rei. Sakata Hiroaki and Roana were amongst them too.
「…… Oi, Roana. Who is that man? 」
Though Hiroaki was looking at the venue with a curt look on his face, he was rather surprised when he saw Rei amongst the participants, so he asked Roana about Rei’s identity.
「He should be lord Rei Saiki. He is the one who escaped from the royal capital along with Christina-sama towards Rodania. He was given the rank of a quasi-baron by Christina-sama.」
Roana who was always worrying about Hiroaki’s mood after the previous meeting with Flora, felt relieved when she heard his question. Now that there was something she could do without worrying so much, she answered the question with a calm tone.
「Ha~hn, this is the first time I heard about it. Quasi-baron, is it.」
Hiroaki squinted his eyes as he looked at Rei’s figure.
「He should be coming from the same world as Hiroaki-sama, right? 」
Roana asked as she looked at Hiroaki’s expression.
「Uhn, well, his name and appearance is rather rare for a japanese.」
Hiroaki replied with a hint of sarcasm in his tone.
Tilting her head, Roana asked with a confused voice.
「Yeah, meaning that I am a native after all.」
Hiroaki explained the meaning of his remarks with a slightly awkward voice.
「I see now.」
Roana replied with a smile on her face.
…… It’s already annoying enough to call him a Japanese, and here he is neither a hero nor handsome. And yet look at him, bringing along a beauty, but well, whatever. That might be all he can achieve as a quasi-baron. So long as he doesn’t intrude on me.
Maybe because he knew that Rei’s status was lower than his, Hiroaki let out a satisfied smile. While Hiroaki did have a prejudice against people who came from the same world as him, there was another matter that was far more stressful to him right now. So he wouldn’t do much of anything right now.
「ATTENTION! Her highness first princess Christina, her highness second princess Flora. And the leading actor of this party, lord Haruto Amakawa will now enter the venue.」
Vanessa who was acting as the mc of the party announced loudly as she went up to the stage inside the hall. It only took a moment for the nobles to fall silent, all of them looking at the gorgeous door right beside Vanessa. The next moment, the gate slowly opened.
Sound of astonishment reverberated in the party venue. When the gate fully opened up, Christina, followed by Flora, Rio, and then Celia whose name was excluded in the previous announcement came into view.
「She really was safe and sound.」
「As expected of Bertram kingdom two beauties.」
The nobles muttered as soon as they heard the news of Flora’s return. Majority of them were captivated by the beauty of the two sisters. On the other hand——,
「Oh Dear me, what a sight, Celia-kun is also stunning tonight.」 [TL : POLICE!!!] [ED: WHAT THE HECK, what does flora’s return has to do with beauty? Priorities!!! Set your priorities right people!!!][ED2:for once we agree]
「Yeah, as lovely as usual.」
「One misstep and she might be mistaken as someone even younger than Flora-sama.」
The reaction to Celia’s appearance didn’t lose out to both of the princesses. Though they couldn’t blatantly compare Celia’s beauty to the two princesses in the open, the praise for her were still mixed with friendly remarks.
「Honestly, I really am jealous of Lord Amakawa.」
「The place he stands at is a privilege reserved for a true ‘Brave’ afterall.」
Such attention was also gathered on Rio. Receiving envious looks from the others due to him coming up with three stunning beauties was just normal.
And, amongst those praising voice——,
Hiroaki was looking at Rio and Flora on the stage with a displeased expression on his face.
「Hiroaki-sama, while this might sound audacious, it’s not too late now. Shall we go to the stage? 」
Roana asked as soon as she felt the sign of Hiroaki’s mood turning sour. Yes, Hiroaki was supposed to stand there alongside them. However, before the party started, he had refused the offer. So, now he was mixed along with the other nobles.
「No, there’s no need for me to go there. I didn’t do anything at all in this case. The one who saved Flora was that man, right? 」
Hiroaki said with a thorny voice as he shrugged his shoulders.
「But, we actually need to show Hiroaki-sama alongside Christina-sama and Flora-sama on there, on that stage.」
Roana said, as if rebuking him.
So you’re telling me that it was a special treatment for me. I had had enough of my hero status being used to raise the status of the other guy. I’d be doing nothing but counterbalance the reception.
Hiroaki pondered while frowning his eyebrows.
「Too slow, just start the party already.」
Jerking her cheek, Hiroaki pointed out that fact to Christina who stood on top of the stage.
「Everyone, thank you for gathering at my sudden call.」
Christina overlooked everyone present from the stage, before her serene voice was carried around the venue. Thus, the party to celebrate Flora’s return began.