|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2121 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 945 words|
Once inside the palace, the civil official from earlier guided us to a room for honorary guests. We were treated as state guests during our stay, so the room they gave us was very large and wide, furnished with high-quality items, however…
“Somehow…I can’t sense any cohesion here.”
Diaria and Karin muttered in disbelief. I could understand that as a seaside country getting items from other places was easy, I could also understand that they might want to flaunt that to their guests. But that did not mean they had to just throw in everything randomly. I did not understand what to think of having a potted cactus from a southern country right next to a snowman ornament. Or maybe I just did not understand this country’s sense of beauty.
Some moments later a group of maids arrived with tea and some snacks. There were no other types of drinks around, but I did not really mind as we had no plans of getting drunk.
We were able to rest for around one hour in the room until the civil official came back, saying the queen was ready to meet us. Apparently, they did not have a waitlist and queue system like in Leble, and we were led straight to what looked like a garden in the middle of the palace.
It was a space with no solid roof, just a large curtain fastened atop the walls offering some shade. That way those walking around the garden would be protected from the strong sun and rain. Due to the wide opening, there was plenty of air passing down which ventilated the building, while also making it obvious enough if someone tried to sneak in through the ceiling. In the center of the garden there was a table, and sitting at it was a young woman drinking some tea.
“What’s this place…”
“This is my private garden. Only select people are allowed in here. I hope it is to your liking.”
The person who replied to Lapis’ murmur was the lady sitting there. The civil officer bowed deeply to her and then signaled at us to sit at the table. From what I had gathered, she had to be the queen Titis. All five of us quickly knelt down and bowed deeply to her.
“My apologies. I presume you’re Her Highness Titis, yes? I’m-”
“That’s alright. No need to be so formal, I’m sure you must be tired from the long trip. Stand up and sit here with me.”
“Well, as you wish then…”
Titis interrupted Luvias, who tried to greet her as a representative of an allied country, and instead invited us to take a seat in a friendly manner. Since we had barely met her, refusing to do so would be seen as rude, so we silently went to sit. Then maids appeared out of nowhere and served us tea. They were probably hiding behind the pillars supporting the ceiling.
“So, let me introduce myself properly. I’m Titis, ruler of this country. Thank you for coming all the way here under the invitation of our hero.”
“You’re giving us too much credit. I’m the third princess of Bordaule, as well as their hero, Luvias. And these here are my companions, the warrior Karin, the magician Ciel, priestess Lapis, and our archer and spirit magic user, as well as Zelvis’ hero, Diaria. We’re extremely honored to make your acquaintance.”
“Hmhm, you all look like strong fighters, just like I was told. I’m glad to see that. Still, I didn’t expect Zelvis and Bordaule would merge their parties, is there any specific reason for that?”
As queen, I could assume she had access to a vast array of spies and classified information from other countries, so it would be easy for her to know Diaria was staying with us, though the circumstances leading to that weren’t too clear. Luvias seemed worried as to whether to tell her or not, turning a dubious look at Diaria. But she nodded and began explaining herself.
“There is a reason, actually…”
Diaria told her how she participated in the tournament only for the prize money, but ended up winning first place. After that she was unable to find any companions, nor someone to train her, so she ended up joining us in Bordaule. The queen seemed to enjoy that story, laughing heartily when the story was over. Diaria seemed slightly embarrassed about her own past, but she was not upset by queen Titis’ laughter. She simply looked back at it as a rough time.
“I see, so that’s how you came to join forces. Destiny is a fickle thing.”
During our conversation, I noticed the tense air from the start had been dispelled. It was mainly thanks to Diaria’s attitude, but I did not know if it was intentional. Now that both parties had loosened up, we just kept talking about things that happened during our trip there, or our fights against the Lich and in the Haunted Lands, how our training school operated, and other things, forgetting about the passage of time. Then I noticed multiple people approaching us. I did not feel any enmity from them, but I turned around just in case, and saw a group of people I recognized.
“Yo! Been a while.”
“Heya! How’ve you been since then?”
“Sorry for the lack of communication.”
It was the very people who had invited us to come here, Bandit and his sisters. I thought we were supposed to meet them after our conversation with the queen was over, but something must have happened for them to interrupt like this…
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