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After that, while I was putting my eagle under the caretaker’s custody, a person ran from the castle.
“Haa, haa… please excuse me for interrupting your conversation. Are you Yuri Hou-sama?” (??)
“Yes, I am.” (Yuri)
‘It seems this person looks like a civil officer. It looks like he hasn’t trained his body and has left the Liberal Arts school to work at the royal castle.’
“I will guide you to the royal castle.” (??)
‘It seems he came here to guide me.’
“Thank you very much for your hard work.” (Yuri)
He bowed his head.
‘I wonder if someone mentioned the fuss earlier. I’ve done something bad. He doesn’t have to run though.’
“Well then, please excuse me.” (Yuri)
I said to the caretaker who had been talking to me earlier.
“Yes. I’ll take care of the eagle properly.” (Caretaker)
I waved my hand lightly and parted. Then, I followed the guide and began to walk with my luggage. There wasn’t much in it because it was a reasonable weight for Stardust.
We entered the royal castle as it was.
The royal castle of Reform was much calmer than then outside of the castle, where everyone seemed to be busy. There were some people who were busy, but not that intense.
Apparently, they were bringing in materials for the castle from outside.
“Please have a rest in this room.” (??)
It was a fairly very good guest room.
‘Yeah. I stopped by Reform because I felt the need to take a quick tour of the geography of the royal capital. I also wanted to have a proper meal after a long time. In other words, I wanted a place where I could safely leave Stardust with peace of mind.’
‘I didn’t want to have luxury in such a luxurious room. Certainly, I thought about my eagle and a bed, but I think it would bother a busy country that is on the brink of war.
However, it would be rude to say ‘I don’t need to stay in this room, so I will definitely refuse the hospitality’.’
“Uhm, about the dinner…” (Yuri)
“Yes, of course, we will prepare it here.” (??)
‘Uh… It’s fine if I can eat in the capital city. I wanted to say that. Well, since I was led into such a nice room, I guess they are preparing for dinner. After all, I intended to collect information at bars.
“We’ll take care of the batch and change of clothes before meals.” (??)
‘Well, I guess I have to accept. I haven’t taken a bath for five days, so I’m in a bad condition overall.’
‘I don’t look like a vagrant because I took a bath in a river, but it’s unseemly. Aside from underwear, I didn’t wash my outerwear or pants. From the standpoint of an attendant, he may want to say that I shouldn’t sit on the bed or sofa before taking a bath.’
“I really appreciate it. Thank you very much.” (Yuri)
I bowed my head lightly. I also felt reluctant to use this room with these clothes.
“Well then, let me guide you to the bathroom.” (??)
It was probably the bathhouse which seemed to be for general purposes. Even when I looked at the dressing room that was separated from the bathhouse, it was clean enough to think that it wasn’t used for people such as low rank soldiers.
As I took off my clothes at the dressing room, the person who guided me left. I got naked and went into the bathhouse.
Inside the steam-filled bathhouse, there was a bathtub about the same size as the one in the dormitory. It was like the large bath of the dormitory, but there was a cast of block in one corner of the stone bath that was structurally the same as the Goemon bath, and there was a burning fire underneath of it.
The material of the casting might be iron or copper, copper seemed to be excellent for its high thermal conductivity.
The one in the bathroom was made of iron. It didn’t get hot as the one made of copper. Two people would sit back to back in a block of the hot water, heated the hips, and it was better to give the heat first. Every night, there was a ritual that I had never seen like a stupid chicken race.
I poured the hot water on my head by using a nearby bucket and took a bath.
I took a breath of warm, breathing air to fill my lungs.
‘Aah, this is it. I have to try it myself.’
‘Even camping where you can’t take a bath, it may not be a bad thing if it suits your preference, but it’s still nice to take such a luxurious bath.
About five minutes after soaking in the bath, when the heat finally began to seep against the bone…
There was a person who called from the other side of the steam bath. I was aware that there was a guest, but I didn’t think I would talk to him.
‘I don’t mind answering a little bit. I don’t think we will get along, so it’s fine even if it seems rude.’
“Aren’t you Yuri Hou-kun?” (??)
‘Why do you know my name…? Scary…’
“Yes, I am, but who…” (Yuri)
“It seems that my man was rude earlier.” (??)
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‘What? The information has been… I think it’s been less than an hour since the fuss…’
“No, I don’t really care.” (Yuri)
‘As long as they don’t steal Stardust…’
“I’ve received a lot of reports that you were very angry. Aren’t you?” (??)
‘The one who made the report was foolish higher ups? Did he ask the maid or someone about the situation in advance, and waited ahead of time in the bathroom? What is going on? Well, it’s not strange to know the story in advance since it was the public officer who guided me here.’
“I just saw I didn’t get angry, I wouldn’t give up. After all, if you are too nice, there will be people who take advantage of you.” (Yuri)
“Huhu… that’s difficult.” (??)
‘He laughs bitterly, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. I guess, he is a man who had problems with this behavior.’
“I’m sure it’s uncomfortable. Even if it’s not too angry, I’m still angry. However, if it’s such a thing, I’ll be fine after sleeping one night. I’ll forget it tomorrow, even if I’m not in a good mood.” (Yuri)
‘It doesn’t matter because half of it was just an act of looking angry, but I’m not an important person for some higher ups to come to the bathroom to curry favor. I’m not a head of the country or a royal family.’
“You can’t do that. There is a thing called the face in the country, too. Even if you say that you don’t need an apology, we will bow our head down and request you to accept our apology. That is diplomacy.” (??)
‘Well, what a pain. I understand that it’s for diplomacy, but I don’t need that.’
“There’s a point that theman was saying.” (Yuri)
The mysterious old man reacted with great interest.
“It’s natural to be treated as a hindrance if a young person came to see the battlefield at this time. On top of that, it’s like just coming to disturb. That would be the shame of a Knight.” (Yuri)
‘Is it correct if I say so?’
“Hmm… I see.” (??)
“If it’s a victory celebration, I’ll accept as much as I can.” (Yuri)
‘I mean, even if I get something, I have to load it on Stardust, so it becomes baggage. Even if they send it, the land route is in the middle of the refugee blockage. If they want to pay with money, I probably can accept it, but since it becomes a burden, it feels awkward.’
“Well then, at least we will invite you to dinner.” (??)
‘Heh? What is happening? The higher ups invite me to dinner to apologize for the mistake that the subordinate made. Well, that’s not impossible, isn’t it?’
“Even if you don’t do that, I’m fine.” (Yuri)
He said that the castle would serve the meal.
“This is not something about you getting the benefit or about us losing something. Yuri-kun.” (??)
‘What? What is going on?’
“You want to know the situation of the war even a little. And you don’t want to get in the way. You may think that, but it’s a mistake. It we let you go away as it is, we are being rude to the nephew of Gouk-dono who we’re greatly indebted to. It seems foolish to risk one’s life to protect such a rude people when the reinforcements of Shaalta coming after another to hear the situation. It’s not people who don’t think it, but there are always people in the crowd who think that way.” (??)
‘Ah, is that it?’
“It’s a huge loss for us. However, we would do our best to entertain you. If we don’t do it, it won’t go the way we want. In other words, this is going to benefit us as well.” (??)
‘Apparently, my considerations weren’t enough.’
“Understood. If that’s the case.” (Yuri)
And I agreed.
‘I don’t care but it can’t be helped. That being said, what he says is right. I don’t mind about the hospitality, but as someone who has caused problems, you need to take responsibility. Since I’m more or less the Commanding Officer, the correct answer is to do it here.’
“I have to decline the dinner prepared by the royal castle. After all, I’m not familiar to the geography of Reform. So, who should I ask?” (Yuri)
“What…? Hahaha!” (??)
‘What’s with that sudden laugh?’
“Did I say anything strange?” (Yuri)
“Huhu… No, there’s nothing strange about it. Come to think of it, I haven’t told you my name yet.” (??)
‘Who are you? No, I guess he’s a high-ranking noble.’
“I’m the husband of this country’s Queen.” (??)
‘The husband of the Queen? In other words, he is the prince consort?’
“So, you may wait in your room. I’ll send a messenger later. After all, this is my house.” (??)
‘Aah… I guess so. What the… is this old man the prince consort? That reminds me, Kilghina’s prince consort is still alive. Carol’s father died at a young age, so this is the first time I meet a prince consort.’
‘At any rate, being invited by the prince consort is… I’m fine with it. When it comes to eating with the royal family, he seems to be a man with a connection.’
- Thanks to the provider of the picture. Hopefully it’s the right picture.
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