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After everyone’s assessments were completed, we separated just like when we first visited the audience chamber.
The difference from the beginning is that everyone is avoiding me. Ignoring my classmates because I don’t care about them, and the kingdom’s side probably plans to leave me alone since they can’t directly interfere.
“This summoning was meaningful not only for the heroes but also because there are three attendants. It’s regrettable that the last person couldn’t be found… Given the sudden summons, you all must be tired. We have prepared rooms for each of you, so rest well today.”
Following the king’s words, a legion of maids in long skirts appeared. One maid for each person. Without a chance for classmates to converse among themselves, they were each taken by the hand and guided to their individual rooms.
It’s quite impressive how each of the 25 of us got our own rooms, a true testament to the king or rather, to the castle.
The maid assigned to me is a quiet-looking girl about my age. Even though she seems reserved, she moves briskly, which is expected from a castle maid. She probably can’t make any moves that would harm me, but that doesn’t mean she’s not plotting something.
“Makoto-sama, starting today, you will be resting in this room. I, Alcus, will be your dedicated maid to assist you. If you need anything, please feel free to ask for anything at all.”
I respond with a polite gesture, and Alcus opens the door. As soon as I enter, the door closes behind me. Alcus doesn’t come inside, and finally, I am alone.
With a sigh of relief, all the tiredness seems to drain from my body. Lying down on the luxurious bed, I feel like I could fall asleep any moment now.
I want to just sleep like this and never wake up again.
But tomorrow morning, Alcus will come to wake me up. So, I have to think about what I should do from now on, and I have to think about it today.
What to do starting from tomorrow. What to do from now on.
The contract I made with this country guarantees our safety, our livelihood, and the bare minimum of freedom. In return, we will undergo combat training.
So, there’s no need to be overly cautious about the kingdom.
The only ones who can currently harm me are my classmates.
Hiring an assassin from another country could be a possibility, but it’s unlikely. We’re within the castle. The place where the country’s secrets gather. It’s inconceivable to bring outsiders in here.
So, I need to build trust with my classmates.
After one night, maybe they’ll be willing to listen to me. After all, there are only 25 of us in this world, and we are classmates.
If I convey my intentions, they should understand.
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Now, all I need to do is get stronger as much as possible. Even if my combat ability is low, my skills should be useful for something. At the very least, I should be able to protect myself.
The next morning, I woke up to Alcus shaking me.
“Good morning. You have some time until breakfast, so please take a bath first.”
Being told that, I remembered I hadn’t taken a bath yesterday. Well, there’s a bath here. Surely, the past heroes must have desired it. And when I wondered where the bath was, it was provided in the room.
“In this world, is it common to take a bath every day?”
“For noble individuals, yes.”
“Are we allowed to use it?”
“You are the heroes, so there’s no problem.”
Alcus’s confident words made her look somewhat adorable, but setting that aside, I decided to take a bath. I think assigning a maid to each of us is probably a trap by the kingdom. It should be safer to keep the interaction to a minimum.
I undressed in the changing room I was guided to, then entered the bathroom. The tiles under my feet and the material of the bathtub gave off a somewhat expensive vibe, but visually it was just a normal bath. Neither particularly spacious nor too small.
I intended to finish up quickly, but I heard the sound of the door opening from behind.
“Let me assist you.”
“Wait, wait a second.”
It’s not like I hadn’t harbored any expectations. As a healthy young man, the situation of bathing with a woman is an admired fantasy. However, if I don’t let reason prevail here, things will likely take a bad turn.
Checking cautiously behind me, I saw Alcus still in her maid outfit.
Well, that’s to be expected. If she’s a castle maid, she might even come from a good family. People like that wouldn’t expose their skin so easily. In that case, being the only one naked becomes incredibly embarrassing.
“Um, well… I think I can manage by myself.”
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“However, do you understand how to use it?”
Being told that, I realized. There’s a shower, but no faucet. There’s no towel provided, and I don’t even know how to wash my body.
Without shampoo or body soap, I have no idea how to clean myself.
“Please help me…”
“Of course. Leave it to me.”
So, reluctantly, I sat down on the prepared chair, lowered my head, and closed my eyes.