Once More at the Imperial Capital (2)
While we were being led by Misha, everyone in Team Bacchus were secretly talking to Rokuko (though it wasn’t exactly secretly since they were just doing it inside the coach).
“Hey Jou-chan. Should I start n’ use -sama fer ye?”
“Eh? Why would you?”
“Rokuko-sama~… yep, Ichika and Kuro are always addressing you like that, so it doesn’t even feel too out of place.”
“Not you too, Roppu!”
“I’ll just keep calling you Rokuko-san as always!”
“Oh, Wataru, you can go ahead and use -sama.”
The reason she was only treating Wataru like that was probably due to my influence on her… She is my partner, after all. Well, it’s not like we dislike him or anything so it’s k.
And that’s how we passed the time on the way to the castle. Unlike Haku-san’s villa, it had a stone rampart that emphasized practicality. Most striking was that it didn’t seem like there’d ever be a force enough to actually stress the defenses.
As Misha was leading us, we were easily let inside.
… Come to think of it, we’re still using the coach with the Tsuia family crest on it, is that alright?
It feels like it’ll make people start correlating us, but I guess that’s actually the truth?
With that, we’d just passed through the second gate on the way in and Misha stopped. Our coach stopped alongside her.
“Oookay, please leave the coach right here nya~. Leeet’s see, I gotta leave my mount too… oh! Sally, you’re just in time. Please bring him back to his stable~”
“Misha, please don’t just dump him on me… Oh, Kehma-san. It’s been a while.”
Ah, it’s Sally-san, the knight commander and living armor, one of Haku-san’s party members. Though uh, is it fine to walk about in your armor like that? … I guess it is.
… Oh, I guess Sally-san doesn’t have any reason to hide. I mean, she came all the way to our inn without hiding at all.
“Yeah, it has. Shikina’s here too.”
“I-It has been a very long time, Sally-sama!”
“Well if it isn’t Shikina, I see you’re back. Have you already greeted your father?”
“N-no, I’ve just recently arrived! I will see him eventually!”
Shikina saluted as she spoke. Wataru joined the conversation and bowed.
“Sally-san, did you enjoy your vacation?”
“Oh, Wataru, you’re here too?”
I figured that he knew Misha, but I guess he knows all of Haku-san’s party members since she’s been having him do all of those commissions for her.
“Yeah, my vacation was pretty good. Let’s go practice for a bit.”
“… Sally-san, you’d seriously kill me, could we not…?”
“Isn’t it more effective that way? A hero like you should do things like that! What’s wrong with that?”
Sally-san struck her chest as she spoke. Wataru… you’ve gone through some hellish training… what a main character-like thing to do.
“Hey, Sally~. Could you please hurry up and run that errand for me nya~”
“Hah? How bold of you to try and use me, the knight commander, as an errand runner.”
“Eeeh? What’s that have to do with me? Gehnyan–!?”
Just then, Sally-san pulled Misha—who’d started rubbing against her—off of her by the head.
“I have a message from Haku-sama. She told me to tell you to not do anything unnecessary and to not ignore what you need to do. Now please, return to your guild master duties… It’s been piling up, right? Your work.”
“Ugu—I-I knooooow. Alright Kehma-san, let’s have that match next time! I won’t lose nya!”
Misha waved as she said that and hopped onto her mount.
… Could she just not?
“Kehma-san, you beat Misha-san too? Even I’m only at a fifty-fifty win-loss ratio with her.”
“It’s basically the same as with you.”
“As I’d expect, Kehma-san!”
“… Hmm. You can use -sama for me like with Rokuko as well.”
“As I’d expect, Kehma-sama!”
“Sorry, please don’t. That just gave me goosebumps.”
“That’s horrible! Hahaha”
Next to the now-laughing Wataru, Sally-san took the initiative to lead us into the castle.
… Guess it’s finally time. I mean, what’s going to happen? It’s a bit late, but like… can’t I just stay an ordinary, every-day adventurer?
Just as I thought that, what we were guided to wasn’t the audience chamber but an ordinary-feeling guest room.
“You’ll be staying in the guest rooms meant for barons for now. We’ve prepared a room for each person, so please use them for today. The peerage elevation will happen the day after tomorrow.”
“Huh, it’s not going to be today?”
“Kehma-san… the Emperor isn’t so free as to rush things like that. You arrived much sooner than expected and the schedule readjustment has been a serious issue, you know? Even so, you’ve been given quite the priority.”
Come to think of it, we did finish up at Corky well ahead of scheduled… uhh… sorry.
“Yes. The Emperor, he who is supposedly Haku-sama’s descendant. Haku-sama will also be attending, of course, but it is best does with the Emperor’s authority.”
Oh really? Now that she says it, Haku-san definitely gives off the feeling of a recluse that lazes around in her villa. So then although she herself is the most powerful, she gave the lead position a figurehead status. Like how I’m just a figurehead of a village chief.
… It’s just one-sided, but I’m starting to feel some kinship here. But well, being village chief and being the leader of an empire are very different things.
“Besides, you will need to choose outfits for your audience, so please use tomorrow to do so. Feel free to rest for today, though.”
I guess rehearsing and preparing is important. Though rather, is it day after tomorrow entirely because of that?
“Would you like to eat in the dining room? Or have them brought to you?”
“Oh, then brought to us.”
“Understood. I’ll let the staff know. A maid will arrive in a little while, so make sure to let her know if you need anything… Also, don’t walk about carelessly. You will be arrested as a spy if you do, after all.”
Saying that, Sally-san bowed her head and trotted off in her clanky armor.
“… I fer one am happy we’ll have some time teh prepare. Roppu, ye goin’ te wear a dress?”
“Oooh, maybe I should? Gozoh, you will be wearing formal clothes too, right…?”
“Meh, it’ll work out even if I don’t! It’s not like I’d be executed even if I sneeze in the middle of the Emperor’ speech.”
“You wouldn’t be executed, but imprisoned maybe?”
Wataru interrupted their conversation with some lightheartedness.
Well, we tentatively decided to each head to whichever room we wanted. There were four rooms per side of the hallway, making eight in total. The rooms were all the same, each with a bed, desk, and vase. Pretty simple, honestly.
I’m thankful for the beddings to be a futon.
“Still though, even Rokuko was given the same room as us. Guess Haku-san can’t have everything her way?”
“Maybe she’ll be called for tonight?”
At any rate, we’d rest today in anticipation for tomorrow, then have the audience the day after that.
… I have to make sure I don’t forget the reason we’re here!
I mean, I do remember. Really, I do.