|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2458 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1215 words|
After the battle was won, a feast to celebrate the victory began while the people of the city returned from the places they had evacuated to. The castle’s reception hall was normally only accessible to nobles, but now everyone who had contributed to the defense of the city, regardless of status, had received an invitation, which filled the hall with people. There were plenty of tables topped with food and drinks that had been prepared exclusively for that day, delighting the palate of everyone present.
Most of the participants were guards or adventurers, not many nobles could be seen there. Normally a celebration like that started with a dance, but that had been omitted so even peasants could enjoy the banquet. On the tallest spot in the hall, there was a chair placed for the owner of the castle, the governor, who had also taken it upon himself to organize the celebration, but he was not sitting there now.
He was currently walking around the hall, glass in hand, personally greeting every attendee. Most of the people there had never seen a noble like him, so at first they reacted nervously and stiffened up, but as the liquor eased their minds, they began smiling back at him and even joking a bit. For me, I thought that was a really good thing. The people there had literally fought with their lives, so this meeting also served the purpose of showing how brothers in arms grew closer to each other regardless of their status.
Things on my side were not looking all too well though. There were too many people around me, probably more than those following the governor. My memories grew hazy due to how many of them were there, but I remember clearly how they thanked me one after another. Even people I had never seen before approached me, only to be replaced by someone else before I could remember their name or face.
When I thought that barrage of thank yous had started waning, people came once again asking to be my students, or what was the secret of my power, and other things of the same vein. I forced a smile as I replied vaguely and without commitment, but as they went away they mentioned how they looked forward to our next meeting. It was clear they would not give up that easily.
Until then I only had time to drink some sips of wine, without a break to take some solid food. When I thought I had some time to catch a breath and eat, my next assailant made its appearance.
“Lapis! Are you seeing anyone? If you want we can eat together.”
“One of my relatives owns a jewelry store. Wanna go take a look with me? I want to give you something for saving me.”
“My son lives a bit away but is around the same age as you. Would you like to meet him?”
One after another, they all asked me out. From going out with them to marrying me to their sons, I was surprised at how proactive they could be.
“Ahahah… Err…I’m sorry.”
Even with my current appearance, my mind was still that of a man, so I obviously would refuse if another man asked me out. My feelings had gone past being annoyed at being unable to enjoy the food when my saviors finally appeared. It was Karin and Ciel.
They had also performed brilliantly in the battle, so they had also garnered a lot of attention, though not as much as I did. Karin kept getting asked about the mysterious glow of her sword, while Ciel was flooded by questions about how she improved her magic strength so much.
“Ughh I was having such a hard time. People kept asking me to spar with them next time, or where I bought my swords.”
“On my side they kept asking if I had bought a Magic Item, or if I had found some secret sorcery tome. But like hell I could find something like that.”
“So you two are in a similar situation…”
Realizing that I was not the only one having a hard time, I felt all the more closer to both of them. Though I also thought that was a bit selfish of me.
As the three of us continued talking, the people surrounding us only watched from a distance. I had basically refused to reply to any questions or invitations, plus it was hard for a stranger to slip into the conversation of three friends. But one person who did not care for things like that approached us.
“Are you having fun?”
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“Y-yes! Of course. The food and drinks are all splendid…”
Ciel and Karin’s enthusiastic and cheerful expressions vanished in an instant as their bodies stiffened with nervousness. I had interacted with royalty and nobles in the past, so I was nowhere near as nervous as them. The governor looked slightly impressed with my demeanor.
“You’re Lapis, I assume? You’re as beautiful as they say you are.”
“…That’s very kind of you.”
It was hard to imagine a person like the governor hitting on me, so it was best if I took that as a simple formal compliment.
“I heard what you did. Apparently the Lich couldn’t hold a candle to your strength? Seeing just how young you are, I can only imagine how hard you must have trained.”
“That’s one way of putting it. At least I can boast that my training was in no way easy.”
“Hahaha, I’d really like to hear more about that one day.”
His tone was highly elegant and refined, but strangely I did not find it unpleasant. After all, this was the governor that had reacted promptly to employ the guild and guards to protect the city, and now had organized this banquet out of his own pocket. It was rare to find a governor with such a good character out of the many regular nobles I had met before whose attitude tired me.
“And you two must be Karin and Ciel. I also heard how hard you pushed yourselves, when you visit the guild again there’s a reward for you that I left there, so make sure to enjoy it however you please.”
“Th-thank you very much!”
“You have my gratitude, Governor.”
Afterward, he waved at us as he disappeared back into the noisy crowd. He had to talk with the rest of the adventurers and guards, so he could not afford to spend too much time with us. Having long conversations with important people always tired me out, so I was grateful for that as well.
After all the invitations, proposals and even a talk with the governor, nothing else really happened that stood out. It was only the three of us together for the last half of the celebration, so we took that time to enjoy the food. Regular and simple food was good, but the fancy dishes prepared for nobles were always one step above. We all had barely eaten anything that day, so an empty stomach really helped to indulge ourselves in the food. There had been depressing events earlier as well, but the food washed it all away.