The Struggle of Her Majesty the Queen
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Carol returned at the same time as the maid with tea utensils. She entered the room without permission, and she sat in the chair just before.
“Oh my… Yuri, sorry about that.” (Carol)
I was worried, but Carol apparently wasn’t angry. It seemed that she stopped being silent.
“I’m fine, but you’ve been silent for a long time.” (Yuri)
“Carya will get angry if I talk to you. It’s going to be troublesome, so I kept silent.” (Carol)
“I thought she wanted to preach if I opened my mouth.” (Carol)
“Hmm… Well, there’s that too. I don’t want you to see them quarrelling.” (Queen)
‘Is there a quarrel between Carol and Carya? It’s likely to be a serious battle between sound argument and sentimental argument.’
“Carya-chan seems to love Yuri-kun, which is a problem.” (Queen)
‘Well, that would be the case. If she doesn’t like me, she wouldn’t ask me out.’
“It’s troubling. I have no idea what the cause is.” (Yuri)
‘No matter what Carya thinks, it doesn’t matter, but it’s troubling if the Queen sees it as me trying to court Carya.’
“How do you usually deal with it?” (Carol)
‘It’s hard to say it in front of Her Majesty the Queen. However, if she misunderstands, it will be a problem.’
“It’s considerably crude. It’s kind of a joke because I’ve never been so kind to her.” (Yuri)
‘I mean, seriously. Rather than being crude, I was running away from her. So, I wonder which part of me she falls in love with. Is it my face?’
“I’m not sure whether that is a good thing or not.” (Queen)
Her Majesty the Queen said.
‘Is she a masochist?’
“Mother, I also agree.” (Carol)
“There are few people who treat Carya on an equal footing. She doesn’t have a similar personality as me… Well, she might have been strongly attracted to you because of that reason.” (Carol)
Carol explained to me.
“Aah… is that so?” (Yuri)
‘What the… I thought she was a masochist. What does it mean to be someone who treats you on an equal footing? I am on an equal footing with Carol. Other than Carol, there must be some friends beyond the difference of status.
Even Shamu should have a fairly high social status in public terms, but she is on an equal footing with Lily-senpai. The fact that it doesn’t exist in Carya is probably not a characteristic of the Silver Birch dormitory. Is it her personality?’
“As for me, it’s fine if you stay with Carya.” (Queen)
Her Majesty the Queen said something ridiculous.
“No matter how I look at her, I have no interest.” (Yuri)
There, someone said it arbitrarily.
“He has none.” (Carol)
Carol answered it arbitrarily.
‘Why did you answer?’
“I see. It’s impossible.” (Queen)
‘Well, it’s fine because it’s actually impossible. I don’t like strange people who are difficult to communicate with. That girl is really… a hassle.’
“Well, shall I brew the tea?” (Queen)
Her Majesty the Queen said to break the conversation.
She got up from her chair and began to brew tea. It was strange that I was sitting in a chair while the Queen was standing. So, I reflexively felt that I should also stand, but it was also abnormal to do so. After all, Carol was sitting as usual, and she remained seated.
Her Majesty the Queen selected several types of tea leaves little by little from the small tea leaves brewed in the tea set and put them in a large pot. She took the kettle, and she began pouring hot water from a high position. Looking at the place where the kettle was placed, there was something like a wooden potholder with an elegant caring. It wasn’t valuable but I felt that it had a sense of value as an antique for daily life.
After pouring hot water into the pot, covering it and entering the steaming process, Her Majesty the Queen sat down on her chair again.
As always, it was a vivid skill. She hadn’t done anything special, but there was a smoothness of the action like a tea ceremony.
“Well, how about Carol-chan?” (Queen)
And, the Queen said as if to continue the conversation before.
While I became nervous inwardly, I looked at Her Majesty the Queen. Her eyes weren’t joking. Unlike before, she was looking for something.
‘So, I can’t pretend here.’
“If it were Carol… well…” (Yuri)
Carol looked surprised. She seemed happy.
“But I haven’t thought about getting married yet.” (Yuri)
Her Majesty the Queen was spinning the pot in a circular motion.
“Are you concerned about becoming the Queen’s husband?” (Queen)
With that said, Her Majesty the Queen put the teacup down, and began brewing tea from the pot. It seemed that the steaming time wasn’t necessary so much.
I kept my mouth shut while looking at her actions.
‘Well, I have a heavy feeling about it.’
When she finished pouring tea into three teacups, she picked up a dark, wet leaf-like thing from another vial and put about a small amount into the tea… It was a mysterious ingredient.
“Here you go.” (Queen)
A cup was placed on a tea saucer.
“Thank you very much.” (Yuri)
When I looked at it closely, the object seemed to be some kind of pickled sprout. It was scattered beyond the transparent reddish-brown tea and gave a dark color.
‘Is it something similar to pickled cherry leaves?’
When the cup was given to everyone…
“I’ll be having this.” (Yuri)
“Go ahead.” (Queen)
After the usual conversation, I poured it into my mouth.
The sprout that seemed to have been pickled with salt had a strong taste, and there was a difference in concentration just because it wasn’t blending in. It made me feel like enjoying the meal. The fragrance of the tea mixed with it made the tongue didn’t want to be disturbed, and the refreshing fragrance washes the inside of the mouth that was enjoying the food.
‘It’s tasty. Somehow, it’s tasty even though it doesn’t blend with the tea. It gives a soothing feeling.’
“It’s really tasty.” (Yuri)
“Really? That’s good.” (Queen)
She looked purely happy when I praised the tea.
“By the way, Yuri-kun. What are you going to do in the future?” (Queen)
I got a question that I didn’t understand.
“I feel very complicated right now. That’s because good and bad things happened.” (Queen)
‘I wonder what makes her feel complicated. There was a slight tension in the voice of Her Majesty the Queen, and I could feel her heart relaxed with the tea. It was an unpleasant feeling as if rubbing the wrong feather.’
“The bad thing is that Kilghina has perished. To be honest, I was thinking that I might be able to do something this time. This is really a problem.” (Queen)
It seemed she started the conversation on her own.
‘Well, she’s right. When I think about it, Her Majesty the Queen Simone holds the toughest role among all Shaalta queens.’
‘She looks calm, but her mind is probably full of anxiety. Even in the reign of successive queens, there were times when the General households rebelled, and reinforcements were sent to help going against the Crusade, but most of them lived in the time when they didn’t feel threatened by war. Given that most have managed to rule a very peaceful country, the role she has been given may be the worst in history.’
‘Even if it’s unfortunate, there is an extent to it. She has to carry the burden. How would a queen feel at that time? However, when I was invited for a tea ceremony before, she started talking about history while saying the tearoom is for chatting. The flow of the conversation is a bit deep, and I think she is in a rush. I wonder if her mind is unstable even if she pretends to be calm because Kilghina has perished.’
“The good thing is Yuri-kun is back.” (Queen)
‘Aah… I see.’
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“I’m really grateful. If Yuri-kun and Carol-chan had died, I might have gone crazy. It’s just that things are already got out of hand.” (Queen)
‘As expected, Her Majesty the Queen is really straightforward today. Can she do that? I feel a bit anxious.’
“But Yuri-kun came back with a glorious war achievement. With this, everyone will expect Yuri-kun.” (Queen)
‘Uwaah. That’s not good. What kind of expectation is that?’
“You’ve killed a dragon, protected Carol alone, defeated the enemy, led the people, who were going to be killed, and brought Telor-san here. In the end, you didn’t abandon the people, led a hundred soldiers to fight against a thousand armies, and even won. It’s more than enough.” (Queen)
‘Somehow, I have a bad feeling. Certainly, if I get rid of all the things that are called failures, it will beautify everything that I have done. If anyone put those into words, it would be such words. However, in reality, it’s just that I tried to leverage the failures I made myself.’
“This is true even if I don’t force the publicity. The people will surely see you as a hero.” (Queen)
“I’m not a hero. It was all a failure.” (Yuri)
“It doesn’t matter how you feel. People always ask for what they can hold on to if they become anxious. And the subject will be you.” (Queen)
‘I don’t understand. Why is she talking like this? What does it mean to be looked upon? It’s not what they do.’
‘They do it on their own, and if i don’t respond to them, will they get revenge? They will be betrayed. They will be disappointed. It’s not selfish to think of that. I’m not living for someone who I don’t know their face. It’s a nuisance.’
I was getting irritated, so I drank tea. As always, the tea was tasty.
“I think and act on my own. But that’s because of what I want to do. I’m not going to make moves to fulfill the wishes of the people.” (Yuri)
“But if you don’t leave this country, they will not lose interest. That’s because it’s the only way to win the war.” (Queen)
‘Well, of course, that’s the way of thinking. I’ve already heard about the discovery of the new continent, so I have another option, but if I hadn’t even thought of it, I would have thought that I would win the war.’
‘As for Her Majesty the Queen’s idea, it would be ideal for me to play an active role, become a super general, and crush the Crusader. Even if she wants me to do that, it’s troublesome to be honest.’
“It’s easy to say so.” (Yuri)
“I know it’s not easy.” (Queen)
‘Do you really understand that?’
“In my opinion, to win a war, you need a big sacrifice.” (Yuri)
“There is always sacrifice in battle.” (Queen)
‘She doesn’t seem to understand it.’
“No, the sacrifice is a civil war.” (Yuri)
“Civil war?” (Queen)
She looked at me as if I was making a joke. It seemed that she hadn’t thought about such a possibility.
“The five General households have military rights, so it can’t be helped. Even though it is disadvantageous in terms of numbers, there are groups of disorderly crowds.” (Yuri)
“Are you going to fight allies before you fight your enemies?” (Queen)
‘I can’t believe it. What are you thinking about?’
That was what she was thinking.
‘However, from my point of view, it would be unreasonable to fight against a large army of the Crusaders and win without uniting the country. Rather than continuing as it is, it’s probably better to break the shape of the country by crushing both General households and Witch households and remake the country. Of course, it doesn’t mean that we can win the war if we do so. However, either way, it’s impossible as it is.’
‘I’m not going to do that either, but if I have to win, I can’t win unless I do so. It is necessary as the minimum necessary preparation. I mean do something like entrust me a fifth of the power, but no matter how good it is, it’s just too good of a wish. Even if I am entrusted with hope, that hope can’t be achieved by the beautiful things that you tend to dream about.’
“I didn’t say that. I mean, the Hou Household’s army hasn’t healed wounds yet, so they can’t fight much.” (Yuri)
‘It has been ten years since my household became tattered due to the war. Actually the wounds already healed, but I had to say that. In any case, fighting against the three General households is an impossible story.’
“…That’s right.” (Queen)
“I would like to say that even if I succeeded the Hou Household, the only arrangement that would work is from the Hou Household. No matter how much I devise and train them, if 100000 Crusaders come in, there’s no chance to win.” (Yuri)
‘The Hou Household has a magnificent secondary residence in the royal capital, and we look like a great lord with remarkable power, but to put it other way around, it’s only about that level. No matter how hard I try, I will not be able to push back against the fact that many countries richer than Shaalta gather and attack.’
“Then, why don’t you marry Carol?” (Queen)
She said unexpectedly.
It consciously put a heavy stone on my heart.
‘It’s not throbbing though.’
“If that happens, you can do whatever you like with the imperial guards. So, isn’t it a matter of great congratulations?” (Queen)
‘Well, that’s true. Even with the imperial guards, there are First Army and Second Army. The Second Army is actually a private army of the Witch households, so when it comes to the First Army alone, it’s not a big deal.’
“Still, Carol-chan, you can’t lie. I’m worried about you.” (Queen)
Her Majesty the Queen was looking at Carol. Carol looked like a child being scolded by her parents. It seemed she couldn’t hide anything at all.
She intuitively thought that was impossible.
“Oh, Mother, that’s a misunderstanding.” (Carol)
‘Unfortunately, it’s not.’
“It’s fine. If men and women who don’t think badly about each other have such an experience, that’s usually the case.” (Queen)
‘Well, certainly. However, there’s no evidence. Everything is a deduction. Will she forgive me?’
“Yuri-kun, since you have crossed over with the Witches, you seem to know how to conceal your feelings.” (Queen)
‘I supposed my poker face didn’t work on her.’
“However, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. You can obtain the imperial guards, and it will be easier to move as a cause.” (Queen)
‘Well, that’s true, but… To begin with, I have found a new continent, so I’m not sticking to winning the war that much. I think that the situation is bad from the beginning, so I want to focus on the company management rather than the other way around. If I become the Prince Consort, it wouldn’t be the case.’
“I don’t want to take that matter seriously.” (Yuri)
‘It is difficult to think that the Hou Household is considering a civil war, so I said that for the time being.’
“I’m not going to marry Yuri.” (Carol)
Carol suddenly opened her mouth and said so.
Her Majesty the Queen looked at Carol as she opened her mouth in astonishment.
“What do you mean?” (Queen)
Emotions appeared on her face as the wrinkles between the eyebrows appeared tighter.
‘After all, it’s probably something unexpected.’
“I’ll decide on my marriage partner at the right time. Please don’t force Yuri to marry me as a pretext for a military campaign.” (Carol)
‘Aah, I see. She was saying something like ‘it’s fine to have a convenient relationship as long as the time is right’. Although it’s her mother’s discretion, using it to force her to get married would be like breaking a promise. She is really an upright woman.’
“Haa… yes…” (Queen)
Her Majesty the Queen seemed to be troubled with her eyes closed.
‘She is probably thinking about various things. It doesn’t seem about love. Even if she blames her weakness, the matter only changes a little. It’s also a problem when her principle is too straightforward.’
“Well, it’s fine.” (Queen)
Her Majesty the Queen said with a small sigh.
“This depends on the motivation of the person herself. I can’t force it.” (Queen)
‘For the time being, she seems to have given up.’
“But Yuri-kun, are you fine with it? Carol-chan is a royal family, so she will get married and have children. This isn’t just about her, you know?” (Queen)
‘It hurts when I’m told that.’
“It’s a good thing to think about it, but indecisiveness makes it all go away. I believe Yuri-kun isn’t such a person but think carefully.” (Queen)
“…I’ll keep that in mind.” (Yuri)
Her Majesty the Queen sighed slightly as if she was tired with the burden put on her thin shoulders.
“The difficult matters are going to continue. Anyhow, the tea has cooled down already, so shall we brew it again?” (Queen)
As if to change the mood of the place, Her Majesty the Queen said so. Then, she called the maid and ordered her to bring a new hot water.
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