Chapter 101: The Princess Arrives
It was one week after receiving the Request from the Governor.
I was waiting at the Governor’s mansion’s meeting room, and bided my time there.
Princess Eileen had already arrived at Flowtier, and currently, she’s speaking g with the Governor. She rode on a carriage straight to the Governor’s mansion, and we came after she arived, so we haven’t seen Her Royal Highness’ face as of yet.
And after we are done greeting, we are just making introductions today, and starting tomorrow, we will begin the tour of the city.
Henry: “........I know it’s too late now, but wouldn’t it have been better if Ferris was the only one who accepted the Request?” Cyril: “They also wanted to meet Miss Ferris’ Party members too.”
Cyril added what she knew to my question.
Ah, okay. I wonder what they want with us?
But regardless of what the Princess is scheming, as long as we are tasked as her guards, I will perform that job accordingly.
Jend, Teo, and I are currently standing apart to make sure that there are no intruders or suspicious people coming near. Ferris, who knows the Princess, and Cyril, who doesn’t have much skill in scouting, are remaining near the center.
I have done a couple of guard duties for Nobles who came to observe Ligaleo, so I know how it’s basically done. ……...but the biggest difference is that over there, we’re not weary of assassins as much as Demonic Creatures busting through the walls.
We also simulated guard situations with Cyril acting as the Princess, so it may not be perfect, but we should be okay. I mean, Flowtier is an incredibly peaceful area, and the Princess’ personal guard is incredibly strong.
Ferris: “HーHey, Jend. How do I look? Do you see any stray hairs or wrinkles in my clothes?” And Ferris seemed to be the most restless out of all of us, and she has been checking and re-checking her clothes and asking Jend for his input.
Jend: “You look great. ……..and besides, I’ve lost count how many times you asked me the same question already.” Ferris: “They are people I owe a great debt to. I haven’t seen the Princess and Captain in so long. I can’t risk making some sort of mistake and offend them at this point.”
Jend: “I think it’s more rude to be so nervous and fidgety. C’mon. Just sit down here.”
Ferris: “FーFine.” Being strongly nudged by Jend, Ferris begrudgingly complies.
Teo pulled out something from her backpack and spoke to Ferris. ……...is that a bottle? Teo: “Miss Ferris, please use this if you like.” Ferris: “? Teo, what is this?” Teo: “It’s a perfume that helps calm the nerves. It’s usually used after a battle to calm down your senses, but it can also help when you’re nervous.”
……..Teo really has a lot of little tools under her belt. But setting aside Ageha who is purely combat focused, the Cloudy Plains Style must have originally been a very versatile Martial Arts form.
Ferris: “OーOhhh, thank you. Yes, I will gratefully give it a try.”
Teo: “The aroma will be too strong to sniff directly out of the bottle, so please open the lid and waft it towards your nose.”
Ferris followed Teo’s directions, and opened the perfume bottle. Even from a distance, I caught a slight, refreshing scent.
Ferris: “.......what a nice smell. I really like this.”
Cyril: “I prefer a slightly sweeter smell, but this isn’t bad eitherー Teo, this isn’t used as regular perfume?” Teo: “It has a slightly addictive property, so I can’t recommend it. But just using it a few times in a day will be fine.”
AーAddiction? A not-so-pleasant word popped into the conversation. …….I mean, I do have one medication dubbed as “for use when under unbearable, excruciating pain. Those without certified licenses must not handle this dangerous substance,” and the paperwork was unbelievably tiresome to get approval, and if I was to distribute this illegally, I could be instantly detained.
An Adventurer’s life is constantly under threat while on the job, so it’s not uncommon for them to handle dangerous substances for that reason.
Ferris: “..........ahhh, I feel a little calmer now. Thank you, Teo.”
Teo: “Of course.”
With the perfume’s effects, Ferris seemed to go back to her usual self. She continued to do some deep breathing exercises, but she should be fine now.
Jend: “But isn’t Lady Eileen a little late? Did she have that much to discuss with Sir Alvare?”
Henry: “Yeah, I agree.”
As Jend mentioned, it’s been about an hour since we were brought to this waiting room because the Princess and the Governor were currently meeting. If anyone approached the room, I would know, but I only sense the maids going up and down the hallways and no oneーー
Henry: “Everyone, be on the alert!”
Someone’s presence suddenly appeared behind the door.
Even though we are just Adventurers, we brainstormed a number of situations that may occur. If anyone wanted to harm the Princess, they might first crush the guards before they try their direct assault……..and this is one of possible option. But I never thought an actual assassin would come this way.
ーーA hairbreadth of a moment later after my warning, the door swung open with a <SLAM!> and someone kicked it open.
I was the first to be able to respond, so I directly met the oncoming shadow that blurred into the room.
Before the shadow reached its top speed, I sent a kick in its direction. The shadow tried to sneak from a low position, but it dodged my foot, and like a cat, it tried to reposition its body to regain its balance butーーyou’re too slow!
But before I could step in for a follow-up attack, a chill ran straight down my spine.
Half-panicked, I pull out my Nyoiten Spear, and change it into a one-handed sword for indoor combat.
“A good reaction, Adventurer.”
………..I turn towards the source of the hair-raising danger, and there, a beautiful, strict-looking woman in white armor had a hand on her sword.
…...even from afar, I recognized her.
Henry: “Sir Heinvent……”
The person who answered was Beatriz Heinvent. She is the renowned Blue Sky Knight.
Henry: “That means…...that other person is…..”
I turn to the other figure who entered the room, and she looked disappointed as she stood up. She was a beautiful woman……..or girl? Well, she was somewhere in between.
I can’t believe she moved like that with such an extravagant dress. And I don’t recognize her face, but if she’s with Ms. Beatriz…..
Ferris: “Your Highness, Eileen!”
Eileen: “It’s been too long, Ferris. And call me Eileen when we’re not in public.”
Ferris: “That, um. As children, it would have been fine, but now, that would be difficult.”
Eileen: “We are here confidentially, so I would hate for someone to catch on by how you’re addressing me.”
And the woman Ferris is speaking to familiarly is…..I knew it. It’s Princess Eileen herself.
I felt the blood drain from my face.
……...it was a surprise attack, but I just kicked a Royalty. In the end, I missed, but regardless, what I did could be taken as an attack against the crown.
The status that separates the Alvenia Nobles and common citizens is not that high, but it’s still enough for my head to fly off.
Eileen: “Well, I would like to continue celebrating my reunion with Ferris, but…...Mr. Adventurer over there.”
Henry: “YーYes! PーPlease pardon my insolent actions!”
Craーーーpーーー....I don’t think the other Party members can be held responsible, but what should I do…..
From what I observed a moment ago, if it was just Princess Eileen, I might be able to escape her, but Ms. Beatriz is here too….. Is it about 50/50 for my escape? Or maybe a little better odds than that?
Maybe I’ll chance it, bow and grovel for my life, they might forgive me?
Eileen: “I’ll give you my utmost compliment for easily blocking my surprise attack!”
Henry: “Whー.......oh, yes. Thank you….so much?”
She already forgave me. Or rather, she isn’t mad at all.
Ferris: “Your Highness, Eileen……”
Eileen: “Ferris, just address me as Eileen.”
Ferris: “Oh, yes, Eileen. Why did you attack us in the first place?”
Eileen: “Of course, to surprise you! I had no intention of attacking at the beginning, and I just wanted to jump up onto stage and see your shocked expressions!”
A Princess………? What is a Princess……..or maybe this is actually an impersonating decoy and the real Princess is elsewhere? But wouldn’t a decoy like this get fired immediately after a stunt like that? I look towards Ms. Beatriz for an explanation, and she lets out a deep sigh as she speaks to the Princess.
Beatriz: “Your Highness. As soon as your hand was on the door knob, you emitted a high, enthusiastic energy. That is why he was able to block it. If you are going to erase your presence, you need to commit to doing so from beginning to the very end.”
Eileen: “Ugh……..I’ll make a stronger effort next time.”
Nevermind. This Knight is no good. Now that I think about it, she’s in the same league as Sir Ezeal, and it shows.
…...and seriously, what’s up with all the Alvenian Knights? The Knights of my former country, the Fezard Kingdom, they were……...wait, now that I try to remember the senior Knights words and actions…...they’re not that different……
Beatriz: “But with all things considered, you still matched your movements to her Highness’. That was very impressive. You were also quick to respond to me as well. You must be Henry that Captain Ezeal had mentioned.”
Henry: “YーYes. It’s an honor to have Sir Heinvent know my name.”
Beatriz: “Just call me Beatriz. I’m currently off duty and here on vacation.”
I do feel some intimidating air of authority from her, but she doesn’t seem to be too difficult to speak to…….maybe.
Eileen: “So you’re Henry! Sir Grandezeal did speak about you. It’s my first time meeting someone around my age that’s stronger than me! While I’m here, would you care to do some practice sparring?”
Henry: “YーYes. Of course. If there’s an opportunity….”
That old man…..what kind of rumors did he spread about me! I’m going to write him an official letter of complaint!
Eileen: “Ferris, could you introduce me to the others?”
Ferris: “Yes, of course. …...c’mon, everyone. Stop staring and greet her Highne…..come greet Eileen and introduce yourself.”
The 3 stared blankly as the most recent events unfolded, and they finally came to their senses. Ferris recovered faster than anyone because…...well, she’s probably used to it judging by her reaction.
Jend: “My name is Jend. I serve as the Party’s Vanguard and use a large broadsword. I am one of the sons of the Carousel Merchant Group of this city, and……...well, I have been courting Ferris.”
Eileen: “Oh～.....you look well trained too. Let’s also plan on doing a practice match while I am here.”
Jend: “I will be honored to do so.”
Jend introduces himself. As someone from a merchant’s family, he must be used to meeting people in high statuses. Once he recovered, he spoke very clearly and confidently.
Beatriz: “Ah, you must be the swordsman who declared his intentions to be with Ferris at our headquarters…...I’ve heard that my men welcomed you with open arms. I am also interested in seeing how much you have improved since then.”
Jend: “YーYes, please relay my gratitude when you get a chance.”
I remember that. Jend came back completely beaten up, but he said that it was good training.
Teo: “I am Teo. I serve as the Party’s scout.”
Eileen: “......you’re quite adorable. I sense something exotic from you.” Teo: “Um, it may be because of my Rishu heritage.”
Eileen: “Do you mind if we try out a few outfits? I love dressing up girls like you.”
Teo: “I prefer clothes I can easily maneuver in.”
Eileen: “Oh, don’t be shy. What do you say?”
This Princess seems pretty eager. Teo doesn’t change her expression often, but she looks troubled at the moment. I think Eileen is offering in good faith (sort of), so she’s having a hard time refusing.
…….but Princess Eileen means no harm, and she might buy Teo expensive clothes, so there’s no problems there.
Cyril: “My turn! I’m Cyril. I am a Magician! You’ll be quite impressed with my Magic!”
Eileen: “Oh my! Is that so! I would love to see it!”
Cyril: “If it’s a request from her Royal Highness, it cannot be helped! Just leave it all to Miss Cyril!!”
And Cyril and Princess Eileen hit it off immediately. I half expected that this might happen though.
Eileen: “Yes, I am looking forward to it. ……….hm? But wait….”
Cyril: “Is something the matter?” Eileen: “Miss……….Cyril?”
Cyril: “Yes, I’m Miss Cyril, but is something the matter?” ? I wonder what’s wrong. Princess Eileen is thinking really hard right now.
Eileen: “I feel something tugging at the back of my mind, but maybe it’s just my imagination? Well, now that introductions are done, why don’t we have some tea and chat for a bit?”
Beatriz: “Then I will excuse myself and stand guard at the door.”
Eileen: “Ms. Beatriz, why don’t you come join us? Aren’t you off duty?”
Beatriz: “......ah yes. Then I would like to hear from Ferris about recent events.”
And with that….
We and the Princess had some delicious tea together as we talked. Although she has some interesting quirks, I’m glad that it looks like we’ll get along just fine.
CHONKY Notes LiT (Lost in Translation)
Seeing someone get on their hands and knees and bowing their head in apology is such a regular part of Japanese culture in anime, movies, and tv shows now, that I never thought twice about it. The word itself is (dirt・below・seat) ー basically sitting on ground level to show that you are humbling yourself at the lowest level possible to show that your apology is genuine and sincere. Now, this position of prostration (kowtow) is not unique to Japanese culture, but for some reason, it’s become extremely prolific and deeply ingrained in Asian cultures to the point where people do not think twice about it. If you’re truly sorry, you do a do-ge-za. They say it probably originated from commoners using the same position when a Noble is passing by, and this position of showing deference gradually shifted from “honoring” someone’s presence to an “apology” in modern Japanese culture. The theory is that the cultural shift came about with the dawn of television media after World War II as people saw historic Edo Period samurai shows where commoners bowed down to nobles, and with the samurai class eradicated, people still found opportunities to incorporate the prostration from showing deference to nobles in modern culture to showing deference to the economically wealthy and politically powerful.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 8: The Flame Swordsman