|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library|
I found myself on both knees and palms on the floor. This was the legendary orz posture.
“What’s the matter, lady Jill?”
Mr. Eilmer was understandably shocked, and Ms. Christy, sitting down and putting down her cup, gave me a look of concern. While Regina… was obliterating the cookies with a malicious look on her face as if she was ready to burst into laughter. Yeah, I can tell that someone is enjoying this.
“…no, forgive me. I’ve gotten… a little dizzy from all the, umm… the rich imaginations of these rumors.”
If those rumors were to be taken at face value, Princess Syltianna (aka me) must be an eldritch creation that had to be purged by fire at the first sight.
When I offered them an excuse I said randomly, I saw Mr. Eilmer and Ms. Christy nodding their heads at the same time, looking like they understood painfully well what I was talking about. …I know I’m the one who said it, but when they agreed to that so readily like that, it makes some unreasonable anger that bubbles up in me.
When I glanced, I saw that Regina finally couldn’t hold it back anymore and turned her back on me before she went “Hi hi hi hi, hi hi hi……!” and hysterically laughed until it came out wordless, even her shoulders shaking from it.
“—I’m sorry. Indeed, this isn’t a topic to be had with a young lady.” Said Mr. Eilmer, he bowed his head with a pensive expression.
I turned to him and smiled and… “So what, are the rumors so bad they’re age restricted?! Are they riddled with depictions or descriptions of grotesque or what?!” was the remark that almost jumped out of my mouth had I not kept it down and shook my head stiffly.
“Mentor, are you having some kind of seizure?” Asked Ms. Christy as Regina was clutching her stomach and banging on the armrest of her easy chair, looking sideways at me with a sickening— and slightly grossed-out look. In response to this question, Maya, Regina’s familiar, shook her head at Regina’s feet in place of her master, as if to say not to worry.
“Well… that is enough reason. These rumors are all ridiculous at most, but as a father, I have to tread carefully as it is my son’s future that is at stake.”
“…I understand your worry. —Umm, this is just what I heard from a passing rumor, but didn’t the Ragweed Princess die a few months ago?”
“—Hou? You sure know your news. I thought it was hushed up within the Imperial Kingdom, however. If I may ask, where did you get that news?”
For a split second, a frigid tone was mixed within Mr. Eilmer’s voice.
“Hmph, ridiculous. There’s no such thing as a tightly guarded secret in this world. Perfect secrecy? That’s the stuff from fantasy.” Regina, who seemed to have finally overcome her fits of laughter, butted in curtly.
Mr. Eilmer stared at Regina and me as if trying to gauge out something… before he sighed, then shrugged with his usual carefree manner.
“—Indeed. Confidentiality is but a ‘wishful thinking’ thing.” He then looked around at the people in the living room and lowered his voice before he continued. “What I am about to tell you is confidential… It has been investigated by the empire’s intelligence bureaucrat, and, well, there are those who would be disadvantaged if word got out, so I would like to ask you to keep it to yourselves. —Can I trust you for that?”
“…A safer option is for you to shut up.”
Regina frowned, and while I was of the same opinion, with the nature of the topic, I couldn’t think of myself as an unconcerned party. With a serious look, I nodded to Mr. Eilmer’s question, and so did Ms. Christy in the corner of my eye. While reluctant, Regina spoke “suit yourself” and ultimately agreed, and Bartholomew also replied from under my feet with “Hah! No knight opens his mouth in vain!”
(Says you who keeps opening his big mouth for no good reason…)
Right when I wanted to comment on my not-at-all taciturn self-appointed guardian spirit, I saw Mr. Eilmer nod his head and open his mouth to start speaking, so, for better or worse, I kept the comment to myself.
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I poured everyone two refills of tea halfway through the story, and by the time my familiar Vier began to doze off in front of the fireplace, the “Ragweed Princess’ Abduction, Disappearance, and Eventual Rescue Drama” scandal from the neighboring Livitium Imperial Kingdom that Mr. Eilmer’s telling about finally came to a climax.
“…and the rescued Princess Syltianna was finally tearfully reunited with her family.”
“Hah. I’ve heard this story before,” interjected Regina, dubiously.
“Yeah, well. In fact, adventurers who were involved in the rescue scene happened to drift into the Imperial City area, and we were able to obtain information from them… albeit by somewhat forceful means.”
While he talked about it a bit off-handedly, the scheming and plotting behind the scenes that led up to that point was probably not something that could be easily described in a few words. And much like Ms. Christy, who frowned uncomfortably, my heart ached when I thought of the adventurer who was made to speak “by somewhat forceful means” merely because of their accidental involvement in the incident.
“What’s the matter, lady Jill? Does something concern you?”
“…it’s nothing, I was merely wondering about the fate of the adventurers who just happened to be in the scene, if they were safe or not.”
If I think about it, they are, in a way, benefactors of “Princess Syltianna.” For a split second, Mr. Eilmer made a face as though he was hit off guard when he heard that question… before he lowered his defenses completely and offered me a soft smile.
Hmmm~~~ A good-looking face will look good no matter what, but when he’s being cool like that, it almost feels like a crime.
I kinda wish I could be someone as cool as him when I’m all grown up, but, well……
“Please rest assured. The practitioner of the art already confirmed that these adventurers weren’t aware of their intoxication, since being drunk was all that happened to them.”
“That’s pretty crafty in its own right, Your High… Sir Eilmer.”
When Ms. Christy, who was anguished just like me and represented our protests both with a few words, Mr. Eilmer looked like he had been had and shrugged his shoulders without elaborating further.
…I mean, I understand. I know that this world isn’t all clean and pretty. But, I’d rather not have someone I know to be so involved in the dirty part of the world. I guess it’s just my childish selfishness to wish that this is a… kinder place.
Knowing this, I thanked Regina for her clumsy kindness in keeping silent, Ms. Christy for saying her opinion on my behalf, and Mr. Eilmer for his sincerity in speaking seriously and not speaking down on me even though I was still a kid.
“…so this rumored ‘Princess Slytianna’ and that wee boy of yours, Luke or something his name was, a proposal for a marriage between them came up. What do you think about it?” Despite it being a family matter, Regina looked Mr. Eilmer in the eye and asked, in a dismissive tone, as if she were asking about tomorrow’s weather.
“Well. As his father, I would rather Luke marry the person he chooses, but…” For some reason, he directed a meaningful smile at me.
Huh. I tilted my head.
“…as the current head of our family, this is hardly an arrangement that can be missed.” Mr. Eilmer declared matter-of-factly.
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While looking at me, Regina and Ms. Christy kept an awkward silence, while Mr. Eilmer made a self-deprecating look.
Notice the change from Mrs. to Ms. ? Yeah that’s intentional.