Chapter 41: Exploring the Royal Capital
The next day after they arrived at the royal capital, under the dazzling blue sky, Rio was walking in the downtown area of the royal capital, along with Sayo.
They were asked to purchase luxury goods by the villagers, while the other villagers were going to sell trade goods, both of them were going to buy large amounts of daily necessities for the village.
「As expected of royal capital, there are so many people here, right」
Having come to the royal capital for the first time it somehow left a deep impression on her, thus Sayo voiced her admiration.
To Sayo’s words, Rio too looked at the scenery of the royal capital, that was spread before him.
This is also the first time Rio arrived at the royal capital of the kingdom.
There were many wooden buildings and houses covered with mortar in the Karasuki kingdom; the buildings that stood in rows were somehow exuding a similar atmosphere to that of oriental architecture. [TL : Japanese traditional house]
As both were some sort of country bumpkins, they hardly knew where the stores that sold luxury goods were.
Though they were asking the other villagers whether it was fine for them to shop alone, they just said that it was due to insufficient personnel and Rio being able to do the calculations.
Thus it came to the situation where he’s shopping along with Sayo, though he was a little unsatisfied with the other reason.
They were walking in a business district, as they were going around many shop, without finding the goods they wanted.
Their purpose on the first day was to sightsee the royal capital along with shopping; they were going around to various shop at a slow pace.
「Sayo-san, this is really the first time you’ve left the village, right？」
「Yes. I always wanted to go to this place, ever since I heard various stories about royal capital from oniichan who went to this place once before」
「That wish finally come true, right」
「Yes! This is really just like a dream！ Furthermore, I can even go sightseeing like this」
「That’s right, since it’s our first time coming to royal capital, it must be due to everyone’s consideration right」 [TL : Duh]
「Ye-Yeah. I think so」
She somehow stuttered at the end, even her face was blushing a little.
Though Rio was paying attention so that he wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the ordinary surroundings, so there was no way he would notice her state.
「E-Even so, viewing the royal capital from below is really amazing, right！」
Said Sayo with a somehow flustered voice.
「That’s right. Though I visited many countries in my journey, I’ve never seen a castle of that scale」
The capital of Karasuki kingdom was build as if to surround a small hill, at the center of that was the royal castle, on top of the hill.
Looking at the royal castle, by looking up from the urban area was surely the best part.
And then, walking around the whole town while enjoying that scenery—-.
「Oy, the two young bird over there, are you in the middle of a date？」
Then they were being called out to by a female shopkeeper that was managing her stall.
It seemed she was selling small accessories which were geared toward women.
「Ah, no, we’re……」
Her face was blushing on hearing the female shopkeeper, and flustered when she answered.
「We came to royal capital from our village, and currently shopping while doing the usual trade」
Just before her train of thought short circuited, Rio replaced Sayo, who was stuttering with her words, to explaining their circumtances.
「Ara, is that so？ Hee」
Said the female shopkeeper, who was turning her line of sight to Sayo, who’s curling herself with flushed face.
To her line of sight, that was seemingly seeing through her, Sayo blushing even more.
「Onii-san, since it’s the long awaited coming to royal capital, how about buying something for the girl as a celebration？」
“Grin”, and along with her bussiness smile, she made a suggestion to buy an item.
Though he knew that it would come to business talk from the very beginning, it was not the kind talk that could be easily refused.
If he refusing her here, it would made the others think that Rio is a bit to oblivious to the atmosphere. [PR: He isn’t?] [TL : Yeah unfortunately he isn’t]
「……Ah, You’re right. Sayo-san. Is there something you want? 」
Smiling wryly, Rio asked Sayo.
Rio had enough travelling expenses to use, even in this country.
Buying one present for Sayo wouldn’t even put a dent in his pocket.
Since he also felt awkward refusing a call in that situation, Rio could only hop on board the sales talk of the female shopkeeper.
「Fuee！ ？ I-I don’t need that! 」
As if be confused, Sayo was trying to refuse Rio’s offer.
Rio laughed amusingly at her, who was pushing both of her hands in front of her and making an over reaction, by vigorously shaking her neck to left and right.
「It’s alright, there’s no need to hold yourself back」
「That’s right！ After great troubles in making a man say that he’ll buy a gift, here you must show your manners by choosing the present carefully, as a girl.」
When Rio gave an ok for Ruri to not hold herself, the female shopkeeper took advantage of that.
「As she says, feel free」
「Eh ……. Ah, The-Then ………..」
Being urged by those two, even while bewildered, Sayo looked at the items that were being displayed.
Though she seemed to be timid at first, Sayo instantly showed a serious expression.
Rio was waiting silently as she stared intently at the items, while hearing the female shopkeeper explanation.
Finally Sayo picked a beautiful hairpin in the form of a flower.
「Haha. You have a keen eyes. You have a nice sense. This is the best item」
「Erm, is it expensive？」
Sayo asked that as if being reserved.
「Nn~, How about 60 copper？ 」
It doesn’t mean that it was expensive to the point that it was unreachable, even for a general commoner, but living in the village, that was considerably expensive for Sayo, who had never held even a scrap of money.
「Is this to your fancy？ Sayo-san」
「Eh, Ah, but………」
Rio confirmed Sayo’s choice in a way that wouldn’t made her get worked up.
But, Sayo was looking alternately between Rio and the hairpin with a bewildered expression.
「Onee-san. Give me that please」
After looking at Sayo’s state, he knew that Sayo wanted that, so Rio told the female shopkeeper that he wanted to buy the hairpin.
Sayo was befuddled when she looked at Rio, who was giving one silver coin to the female shopkeeper.
「Thank you for your patronage！ Not haggling when buying a present for a girl will give you a favourable impression, you know! 」
Hearing that they came from a village, though the female shopkeeper somehow predicted that they would be bargaining a bit more, she was dumbfounded when Rio readily handed over the money.
Then, the female shopkeeper showed a full blown business smile as she receiving the silver coin and handed back the 40 copper coins.
When Rio receiving that, the female shopkeeper approached Sayo carrying the hairpin.
「Well then, here it is, will you put it on immediately？」
「Eh, Ah, Yes」
Thus, the female shopkeeper put the hairpin on Sayo with trained movements.
Sayo accepted that in a dreamy state.
The pink coloured flower hairpin was shining brightly in contrast with Sayo’s white skin and her shoulder length black hair, that was stretching to her shoulders.
「That really suits you！」
「Yeah, it’s lovely」
「T-Thank you very much！」
The female shopkeeper told her impression while smiling sociably.
Rio added his impression too and Sayo said her gratitude with a blushing red face.
「You must do your best, you know. Because there’ll be high competition for this boy」
The female shopkeeper whispered so that only Sayo could hear it and winking lightly to her.
Sayo lowered her head to her body on hearing those words.
「Then, should we go again? Sayo-san」
「I’ll be waiting for your next patronage～！」
The two of them then left to continuing their shopping.
The female shopkeeper said that to the back’s of them, who were leaving.
By the way, after walking for a while, Sayo said 「Thank you very much!」 while smiling ear to ear and bowing vigorously at Rio; She looked at it pleasantly.
After that, they were wandering around the royal capital for a while, and they were returning to the public lodging.
And then, the sharp villagers found the hairpin that was put in Sayo hair, after many questions, Sayo told them with a flushed red face.
It seemed the trading group could sell all of the trading items; it was decided that they would go back to the village two days later.
Even after returning to the village, she would be always be questioned by the village women regarding the hairpin given by Rio, which Sayo always put in her hair.
Several days after they left the royal capital.
In the house of Saga, a high ranking samurai family, Saga Gouki, the current family head, was facing his own son, Hayate.
「A letter from Yuba-dono？」
Gouki asked that, in a low but powerful voice.
「Yes. Look like this is an important letter, as she wanted me to deliver this without fail」
「Uhm, I see ……….. Then, where’s that letter? 」
「Here it is」
When Hayate took out the letter and delivered it, Gouki teared the seal in a polite manner, which was unsuited with his build.
Though it didn’t mean that he was in a sullen mood, Gouki was someone who was strict and hard to please.
He’s not someone who’s easily agitated, and someone who have a bulky and massive build and minding about everything.
With his nickname, “Kishin Gouki[Gouki The Fierce God]”, which once made the soldiers of Rokuren, their neighbouring kingdom, tremble in fear.
That was Hayate’s image of Gouki, Hayate and his siblings respected that kind of father.
Especially his younger by eight years sister, who made a declaration that she won’t marry someone unless it was a man who was stronger than Gouki.
Even though they couldn’t expect there to be a man who was stronger than Gouki in the kingdom.
Back to the topic, Gouki was staring intently at the letter with a somewhat gloomy expression.
「!!!!! ？ 」
But, just once, that Gouki let out a shocked expression, shown on his face.
Having guessed that expression, even Hayate was surprised by that.
（It must be something unusual for father to let it show on his face. Is it really that important information？）
Though he guessed that, he wouldn’t ask his father, who was still in the middle of reading the letter.
Hayate just stared at Gouki, who was reading that letter intently.
Somehow Gouki’s eyes were moving at an alarming speed, as if chasing after the sentences in that letter.
He was somehow showing a sad expression, then smiling as if being pleased by something.
Even after he finished reading it once, he read it again, so many times, as if he didn’t want to miss anything in it.
「Please tell me detailed information about the boy called Rio」
After reading the letter so many times, Gouki asked about Rio, to confirm whether it was true or not.
Why was Rio’s name suddenly popping in this place.
Gouki’s voice was trembling.
Whether that was due to sorrow, joy, or delight.
Though Hayate was unable to grasp those facts, he decided to tell his father about Rio.
「Haa, he said that his age was around 14 years old. He’s polite and has an extremely excellent personality; he’s someone who’s a cut above the rest, which I feel can’t be found in an ordinary soldier」
「I see ……」
Gouki was grinning with fierce smile, as he was giving a full score to Rio’s personality.
「I can’t hold this any longer. I’ll visit his majesty immediately. Hayate, you did a good job on bringing that letter to me. That surely was troublesome」
Gouki quickly rose from his seat after saying that.
「Ayame-sama has passed away, huh. Zen ……. No, I must immediately notify his majesty about Rio-sama ……… 」
When he left while muttering to himself, with various emotion in his chest, Gouki gallantly left the room.
Hayate just looking dumbfoundedly at the retreating figure of his father.
「What was that, that just happen……」
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