Chapter 138 : Stupid Reason?
The next morning, Rio-tachi departed from Almond by riding on Liselotte’s privately owned magic ship towards the capital of marquis Rodan’s territory, Rodania.
They arrived at their destination in the afternoon and their ship landed on a lake adjacent to the city. They arrived at the city’s port using the magic ship to move on the water’s surface. On their arrival at the port the sailors quickly finished the necessary preparations for going ashore.
When it was time for them to leave, Vanessa as the royal guard descended first from the ship by using the ramp as she escorted Christina. At the end of the ramp the high ranking nobles belonging to Restoration stood in a line. Liselotte had sent her advance party yesterday to give them the news regarding Christina’s arrival. When the nobles confirmed the figure of Christina behind Vanessa, all of them placed their right hand over their left chest and bowed, showing their respect.
「It is my greatest pleasure to see you. Your highness princess Christina.」
Duke Euguno came out from the group of welcoming nobles and gave her a warm welcome.
「It’s also my honor to meet you. Duke Euguno.」
Christina replied back to duke Euguno’s greeting with a cool voice.
Her figure wearing an orchid colored dress that matched with her hair color was truly enchanting. It was beautiful and brilliant befitting that of royalty. Though her appearance did not enchant everyone in that place, a majority of the young male nobles couldn’t take their eyes off her.
But then, that also applied to Kouta and Rei who were standing ten metres behind her. They should have been used to seeing Christina during the course of their journey but her appearance now in public was truly that of a princess and she had an overwhelming charisma befitting of a princess.
「This one is unworthy of such words. We who were waiting here eagerly for your arrival. Your highness princess Flora will be extremely delighted too once she hears about your arrival.」
Thus duke Euguno’s saying so with smile plastered on his face.
「Lady Liselotte has already sent her messenger to inform Flora about my arrival. She might arrive here in a few days at the earliest.」
「That would be the most fortunate event for us. We’re going to send a magic ship to welcome her. ……….. Well, it hurts my heart to keep you standing here, your highness. Let’s move to another place first. We have prepared a warm welcome for you.」
「Yes. I’ve explained the general situation in the letter that I sent before my departure from Almond. I’ve brought along an important guest in order to entertain them with our hospitality. And, some prisoners.」
Duke Euguno nodded slightly and looked towards Alfred and Charles who were following behind Christina.
Their names were famous in Bertram kingdom. Much less to say about Alfred who was acknowledged as the strongest knight in the kingdom, many of the nobles at that place wondered why such a person was being restrained like that.
But, Alfred stood there, brazenly ignoring all of their inquisitive gazes. On the other hand――,
Charles averted his eyes from the nobles in an awkward manner.
「Take them away.」
Duke Euguno looked at them with a faint sneer on his face and told the knights who were standing in waiting behind him to take them away.
Few knights moved towards Charles and Alfred. And t took them from Rio and Aria who were escorting one each.
「Thank you for looking after me, young man. Aria-kun.」
Alfred muttered so to Aria and Rio before being taken away by the soldiers.
「………… It was nothing.」
Rio and Aria shook their heads while saying so almost at the same time. ――、
「………. OOOH, Liselotte-kun. Moreover, lord Amakawa. Two big shots have come along huh. Though it’s an insignificant reception, we have prepared a warm welcome for you. Please, feel free to enjoy yourselves first.」
As if he had been waiting for this opportunity, duke Euguno greeted Liselotte and Rio, the foreign nobles. He had been looking around at the arriving members since the very beginning to confirm their identities.
「I have come to this place in place of his majesty and am nothing more than a temporary liaison. The one who played the greatest role until the arrival in Almond was lord Amakawa. Thus if there’s someone who deserves words of gratitude, that person is lord Amakawa.」
Liselotte was being humble while showing her courtesy smile. ――、
「I see. Her highness princess Flora was saved by lord Amakawa during the course of events in the evening party and yet, you have also gone out of your way to save her highness princess Christina………. Such a miraculous hand of fate.」
Duke Euguno tried to exaggerate a little.
「It was just a coincident.」
Rio was being humble while showing a wry smile.
「………….. Is that so? Flora was saved by you, lord Amakawa? 」
Christina asked Rio with a shocked face.
「Yeah, well. There was a trifling commotion during the evening party.」
Which reminded him that the detail of that situation hadn’t been explained in detail and just generalized by Rio. ――、
「There were several intruders in that party. And those intruders were aiming for her highness princess Flora’s life.」
Duke Euguno supplemented his explanation without leaving any gaps.
Christina’s eyes opened wide in astonishment and when she understood the weight of the situation of that time――,
「……….I see. So that was what happened. Thank you very much, lord Amakawa. My deepest gratitude to you……..」
She said so to Rio with an extremely grateful expression.
「Please don’t mind about it. Because that one event was also the cue for me to receive the investiture of an honorary knight.」
「I see……………… So that was what happened. I’ll keep that in my mind.」
Christina heaved a sigh with an understanding expression.
「Huhm, though there are a lot of things you might want to talk about, let’s change our place for the time being.」
Duke Euguno urged them to move from that place. And so, everyone finally began to move.
◇ ◇ ◇
After that, Rio-tachi received an extremely warm welcome in the reception room of a guest house built right next to marquis Rodan’s main house.
There was no formal dinner in considerations for Christina-tachi who had surely accumulated a lot of fatigue from their journey. The number of participants was also extremely limited to duke Euguno and marquis Rodan as the top people of Restoration and a few of the nobles.
And that didn’t make the spacious dining hall feel deserted either as there were musicians, maids and chefs so the atmosphere was more like the peaceful standing-up party.
Nevertheless, in one corner of the hall, duke Euguno involved in a conversation with both Celia and Christina while being fully alert about their surroundings.
「Dear me, I never expecting that even Celia-kun will appear. Moreover, you even appeared alongside that Charles Arbeau. I heard that you were forced to marry him in a political marriage and yet…….」
Duke Euguno inquired directly to Celia. Thereupon――、
「I brought her along in secret. Because sensei would waste away if she were to marry that kind of man. 」
Christina took the initiative to answering his question. She implied that with vague words as it be too troublesome if she were to give an honest reply but, it seemed her worry was for nothing.
「Hahaha. Certainly, a talented woman like Celia-kun is wasted on him.」
Duke Euguno agreed while sneering at Charles in his heart. As expected of duke Euguno, he had no choice but to follow along with Christina’s script.
「Since we don’t want to keep causing trouble for count Claire who is still part of the government, we will keep the detailed matter a secret and just say that Restoration summoned sensei to this place in the form of kidnapping to all who ask. Is that clear? 」
Such was the exchange between them.
On the other hand, in stark contrast to them, Rio and Liselotte were being approached by the nobles of Bertram kingdom in the name of hospitality.
The noble daughters swarmed Rio while the exact opposite was happening to Liselotte. Liselotte’s style and appearance naturally towered above the noble girls of the neighbouring kingdoms and there was Rio whose name had risen due to him receiving an honorary knight title for saving Flora’s life and so was also well known amongst the nobles, despite the unwillingness of the said person.
And now, because Rio who for some was reason working as the escort of Christina――and had beaten the kingdom’s strongest knight, Alfred ―― he was the center of attention of the nobles of Bertram kingdom. And since a dinner party like this was an event for nobles to form connections, everyone of them kept going after Liselotte and Rio one after another.
Furthermore, the parents of those nobles were obviously close by and yet they kept a moderate distance from Rio and Liselotte or should one say that they allowed it to happen. Putting Liselotte who was already used to these kinds of situations aside, Rio was overwhelmed in a matter of minutes. Naturally he kept a perfect facade on the surface.
And yet in another place of the hall, Rei and Kouta were reaching their hands towards a gorgeous dish.
「Uhm, so delicious. But, there’s so much disparity with this place. Kouta.」
Rei said so while looking at Rio who was being besieged by the noble ladies.
「Well…………. it seems that Haruto-kun is an incredible noble. He’s so attractive even from our point of view and extremely powerful too due to the fact that he defeated that awesome knight who made us faint.」
Kouta replied with a wry smile on his face.
「Stop, that will make us even more miserable .」
「Eh, you’re the one who brought up this topic though……..」
「That aside, now that we came along all the way to this place, what shall we do now? 」
Rei asked as stuffed his mouth with a the neatly sliced steak.
Hearing that, Kouta’s face became slightly gloomy――,
「To be honest, as it is…………I felt that nothing has changed ever since we left the castle. Yeah, I know that it’s better to follow Haruto-kuns advice and work in this place for a while but…」
So he told Rei.
「………….. Well, maybe because we almost failed in leaving that eerie castle without them, working for them isn’t a bad choice either right? I mean we can’t escape from the castle without making any sacrifices if not for their help.」
「Well, I know what you mean, but still………….」
「Well, we still have some leeway, I mean we can still give our answer as long as they don’t throw us out. Nevertheless, let’s fill our stomach first.」
Rei shrugged lightly and put the already licked clean plate on top of the desk. ――、
「You guys, may I have a minute with you? 」
The person who appeared called out to them. The one who called them were two young nobles who had brought along two cute noble girls making a pair each.
「Ah, Yeah. What’s the matter? 」
Rei replied while straightening his posture by reflex.
「What’s with that, I wanted to have a conversation with you two. My name is Dierk Dandi of baron house. And his name is Gilbert Belmont of baron house. He’s a relative of mine.」
「Uhm, my name is Rei Saiki. And his name is Kouta Murakumo, my junior. It’s a pleasure to meet you.」
After baron Dandi introduced himself and his friend, Rei also introduced himself in a slightly awkward Strahl region introduction. Kouta who was standing behind him bowed timidly as he said 「It’s a pleasure to meet you.」.
「Hahaha, no need to be so formal. Ah right, let me to introduce the two girl who are with us. Girls, it’s your turn now.」
Saying so, baron Dandi urged the girls. Thereupon, the two cute girls who were waiting behind stepped forward.
「My name is Rosa Dandi.」
「My name is Mikaela Belmont.」
Rosa and Mikaela bowed gracefully befitting of their status as noble ladies.
The two of them seemed just a bit younger than Rei and Kouta. Though due to their difference in upbringing their appearance was in fact quite stunning and each of them had a calm and tidy air about them.
「Me too, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Please call me Rei.」
Rei put on an air while trying to look as gentlemanly as possible. But, maybe due to his instinct as a man, his line of sight was drawn towards their breasts. Especially Rosa, whose size betrayed her young age――。
（Ooh, Kouta! Our time has come!）
Rei had a delighted face while still bowing down and sent a glance at Kouta.
（Geez, senpai, please stop doing something that will embarrass us. ）
Maybe because Kouta felt too embarassed about Rei’s sudden change in attitude, he did his best to maintain the cramped smile on his face.
But, maybe because they felt that Rei’s attitude was kind of interesting, Rosa and Mikaela couldn’t help but chuckle at him.
「Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you too, Rei-sama. Please feel free to call us by our first name.」
「Yes, with pleasure. Rosa-san, Mikaela-san.」
When Rosa told him that with a smile on her face, Rei nodded with a composed look on his face.
「May I call you Murakumo-sama then? 」
Mikaela asked Kouta.
「Ah, Yeah. Please do so…………..」
Kouta replied with a slightly awkward tone.
「Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Kouta-sama
「Y-Yes, me too………..」
Kouta was slightly flustered when he talked to the smiling Mikaela.
They chatted for a while after that. As expected of a noble, the baron and the noble ladies who were more skilled in the art of conversation managed to bring the flustered Kouta to become especially intimate with Mikaela.
And then, at that time――、
「Come to think of it, is it really okay for you guys to only be talking with us? To be honest, we’re not important people you know.」
Rei suddenly said so as if just noticing that fact.
「Hahaha. We don’t mind even if you’re not an important person you know. I mean you seem like you guys are really enjoying the meal. That should be why it’s hard to start a conversation with you. In fact, we kept looking for a chance to have a conversation with your side you know? 」
Baron Dandi said so while smiling lightly.
「I-I see……… How embarrassing.」
Rei agreed with an embarassed look on his face. Because they were aware that the matter of them not being greeted by nobles also had something to do with their own actions. Kouta also looked down with embarrassed..
「But, having accompanied you here and there, it’s also a fact that you guys are wonderful. It’s kind of natural for her highness princess Christina and miss Celia of earl Claire house, you even brought along the honorary knight, lord Amakawa and Liselotte-dono of duke Cretia house who are the bigs shot of Galwark kingdom. We have only been hearing about their names until today.」
When baron Dandi said so――,
「Eh, so even a baron can’t just meet her highness? 」
Kouta asked so while looking at Rio and Christina.
「We are barely qualified as a noble. Even if we’re being called as a noble, we can’t be so careless when talking to them who have a social position above us you know. Though it seems like a peaceful and pleasant conversation from the side, there are some manners and minute details about things such as etiquette or the order of conversation in this kind of social gathering.」
Baron Belmont replied so with a wry smile. Though he seemed humble, it was the truth that nothing but the ones gathered here were barely qualified as a noble. Baron Dandi and Belmont had quite a remarkable character for being able to climb up in rank despite their low social positions and even managed to get themselves chosen to come to this place.
「…… I see. It must be hard on you.」
「Because we’re not a noble in that peculiar matter you see. So feel free to be relaxed when you’re conversing with us.」
After Kouta calmly said so, Rei followed up with a lighter tone.
「Rei-sama is such an odd person.」
Rosa chuckled in hearing what Rei said. At that time ――,
「It seems you guys are really into your conversation.」
A nobleman greeted them. The Japanese duo aside, the barons quickly straightened themselves.
「Uhm, who might you be? 」
When Rei asked for that unknown man’s name――,
「Rei-dono. This personage is the lord who governs this territory, marquis Rodan.」
Baron Dandi introduced marquis Rodan with a slightly anxious voice. Because properly speaking, these two were quite careless for not recognizing such a big shot, much less to say the one who governed this land.
But, marquis Rodan who seemed to not mind about such things――,
「Ah, it’s okay everyone, I don’t mind them not knowing about me. Or rather, I’m not in a position to mind about such things. Though you just heard about my name, yes, my name is George Rodan. It’s a pleasure to meet the two of you.」
He introduced himself to Rei and Kouta with an amicable smile.
「Ah, we were the ones who were rude towards you. Our deepest apologies. My name is Rei Saiki.」
Rei apologized without a moment’s delay and introduced himself.
「I’m Kouta Murakumo. Please take care of me.」
Kouta also introduced himself with a flustered voice.
「I’m honored to be able to meet both of you who were summoned along with hero-sama.」
「Oh no, we’re like a lukewarm tea or should I say, freebies that came along with the hero.」
Rei acted humbly when marquis Rodan tried to praise them.
「Ahahaha, such a humble attitude. I heard about it you know, something about you guys receiving a higher level of education back in your world. Moreover, with your abundant magical power, both of you are blessed with a talent for magic.」
「No, well, if you’re praising us that much……….」
Rei and Kouta is smiled wryly while showing a troubled expression. The fact that the two of them whose abilities were nothing more than on the level of high school students in Japan was known best by themselves. Though they were receiving numerous praises as high as heaven upon coming to this world, it did not mean that their abilities had risen up, it was just that the level of their surroundings was downgraded.
In fact, they only met people who were more brilliant than them and had been moving alongside of them so far. Moreover, even if they were being praised for having a talent suitable for becoming a magician, it was nothing about using magic like Celia, they were instantly KO’ed by Alfred who had only used brute strength, thus they felt that they definitely won’t be able to beat Rio from the front.
「Both of you are being too humble about yourselves. I have great expectations for you guys who have such excellent knowledge but, did I just place too much pressure on you. If that’s the case, please enjoy today’s party. Who knows, there might be a wonderful encounter awaiting you, right? 」
「Hahaha, if it’s a wonderful encounter, then we had one already.」
When marquis Rodan said so in a joking tone, Rei replied pleasantly while glancing at Rosa.
（Senpai is making a quick move towards a cute girl already.）
Kouta heaved a sigh in seeing Rei’s bad habit appearing again. Though it was just his usual attitude, it might prove to be fatal only in this moment.
A sharp glint appeared for a moment in marquis Rodan’s eyes but he maintained his smiling face and――、
「Hou, how fortunate of you. Well, it might be better for you guys to settle down quickly since if you did so, we can prepare a suitable post for you later. How about showing your determination if there’s a girl towords whom you have taken an interest? Well, there’s the case where the girl you fancy already has a fiancee, or a love rival might appear.」
And so he told him.
「Yeah, competition for beauties are definitely a harsh one. That’s also including Rosa-san and Mikaela-san.」
Rei bit on to the topic offered by marquis Rodan and mentioned Rosa and Mikaela. Thereupon――、
「This might sound like something a foolish father would say for their daughter but, they have received many marriage proposals due to their looks. It’s just that I have yet to find any guys who can meet my conditions. I mean this is about my cute daughter, naturally I want her to find an ideal spouse but………」
Without minding Rosa in question, her father, baron Dandi told him that with a somewhat languid tone.
Even if she had a neat appearance, majority of baron daughters usually married to higher ranking noble as the second wife of an old noble or just to become part of a harem. Because marriage as legal wife was commonly known for it’s additional value for the nobles who aspired to climb through the ranks. That thought process won’t change even for baron Dandi and baron Belmont who have settled as the heads of their houses.
「Hu~hm. Ri~ght. She’s so cute after all. When it comes to that, me for example then, already can’t be considered as a spouse candidate for Rosa-san. Oh dear, how unlucky of me.」
Rei said so with an exaggerated action.
The truth was, Rosa’s appearance was to his liking and despite saying 「Unlucky」, he actually didn’t take that much to heart. At any rate, since he had never had any girlfriends up till now, he never expected a beautiful girl like Rosa to like him. In short, he was already satisfied to the point of being elated just by being able to chat normally with her.
「Hahaha, you might be too quick to judge yourself. Right, Rosa. What do you say about Rei-dono? 」
Baron Dandi said so with a smile on his face as he asked Rosa.
「It’ll be my pleasure. Rei-sama is an interesting person after all.」
Rosa’s answer betrayed everyone’s expectations.
「Hou…………. So she says, what do you think. Rei-dono. Will you meet my daughter again later? Since you need to know about each other a bit more first.」
「 ……Eh? Y-Yes. ………………. E-EEEEEH? 」
Rei nodded with a dumbfounded expression after listening to baron Dandi. And then――、
（EH? Is, this……………. A date invitation? Or else, another chance?）
After he understood the situation――,
「Please treat me well after this, Rei-sama.」
Rosa seemed delighted and bowed respectfully.
「E-Eh………… P-Please take care of me too. Rosa-san.」
Rei replied to her greeting with a shrill voice.
（W-Why did things turn out this way……….）
While pondering about such things inside.