While I was having a lunch, I had a visitor, Seono of the imperial Knight’s Order. It was about the prime minister’s invitation to a meal at tomorrow night. I had no reason to refuse, so I agreed. By the way, I was eating the beef stew. The meat melted in my mouth, it had a very refined taste. Is there a curry or demiglas sause in the Hideta Empire? After that, I was eating that beef stew almost every day.
「We sure have too much free time」
Muttered Gon while yawning. Agreed, so bored. Since I’m here, I thought of loitering around the imperial capital, but I’m still under surveillance. I have no idea whether I’m allowed to freely move around. Well, let’s try something.
「Such a magnificent capital. Oh, how I want to explore it once」
Although I wasn’t that good at acting, for now, I tried to say it loud enough for guards to hear. Ah, one of the guards moved. After a while, Seono arrived once again.
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「Do you have any plans for today? If you are free, I can show you around the capital….」
Fast! While thinking that there was no way for me to have any plans, I gratefully accepted his offer.
The imperial capital was more prosperous than I thought. The districts in the Juka kingdom were clearly separated from each other, but there were no such signs in the imperial capital. Just when I saw a dense cluster of shops and though it to be a commercial district, I saw residential building behind them. It is a functional city in a good sense. There were a lot of stone buildings in the kingdom’s capital, but here people reside mostly in the wooden houses, especially commoners. Somehow, it reminded me of Japan of the past.
There was a pleasant discovery. They were selling rice! Of course, it was a glutinous rice. Even here, in the imperial capital, rice and beans were considered the livestock’s feed. Maybe I would finally able to taste rice again. I was told that the gold from the kingdom was usable in the transactions in the empire, I would buy it once I have some free time.
Also, I found out the secret of a shower. They used mana crystals, which are the result of crystallization of mana. They have attributes of either fire, water, earth, wind or lightning and could be combined in a variety of ways. As expected, Seono wasn’t adept at craftsmanship so he wasn’t able to tell me the details, but it was still a good harvest.
Since they were watching me in the name of escort, I didn’t buy much, only the clothes for everyday life and the clothes for the dinner party. It seems that the official clothes need to be custom-made, so they told me to pick it up tomorrow. I appreciated their service and ordered a shirt and a necktie.
The next day was dedicated for sightseeing. He guided me to the theater, university, and even the army’s headquarters. Even though they say that they put an emphasis on the army, the capital has considerably advanced culture and education.
I picked up the ordered clothes and headed towards the prime minister’s mansion. Gon, as usual, was staying in the hotel.
「It’s a private dinner party. You didn’t need to be so formal」
Laughed the prime minister, but he is properly wearing the formal attire, I’m glad I spent some time to dress up.
Next to His Excellence, was a beautiful woman, his wife. It seems Isara is her name. As for her age…..as expected, it is difficult to call her a lady. The word madam suited her elegant and slightly aged appearance much more.
After a short introduction, the dinner party started. The prime minister told his wife about the Versam family’s plans to adopt me, about the audience with the emperor. Meanwhile, I enjoyed the dishes with a bitter smile.
「I’m sorry for being late」
After those words, a young man appeared. He is wearing a pretty fashionable attire. He also has a nice sword with him. Let’s appraise him right away.
Hideta Shua Viras (Royal, 21 years old) LV19
Sword Arts LV2
Body Strengthening LV1
Recovery Magic LV1
A royal appeared. Who on earth is this guy? Why did he come? I smell trouble. Well, having arrived at this stage, I was prepared to a certain extent.
「This gentleman here is His Highness, Viras. He is the second son of the emperor and second in line of succession」
I stood up and kneeled.
「Relax, relax. Discard your stiff attitude. Just wanted to talk with everyone a little. Please, enjoy yourself」
From the first impression, he tried to look intelligent and wise. Unlike the regent prince, whose eyes didn’t laugh. An amusing person. However, why did the emperor’s second son even come here? His relationship with the prime minister? As I was speculating
「As a matter of fact, His highness is also our grandchild. Don’t be surprised, our daughter, Sheri, was working in the palace, you see. There, with His Majesty…..you know. Well, we are quite close with His Highness」
Grandson! Haha, that’s why you are the prime minister.
「A have a favor to ask of you. You are free to decline if you don’t like it. I want to ask of you to contribute to the royal family’s protection」
When I asked I learned that the crown prince, although currently healthy, has a frail constitution, he also has withdrawn personality and lives quietly. There is no problem with him, but there is a problem with his younger sister, first princess Ricolette. The princess is strong-willed and ambitious, it seems she wants to give the throne to her older brother and rule the country from the shadows.
Of course, she isn’t able to achieve anything by herself, by there are also nobles. Unexpectedly, a lot of them are eager to stand under her banner, she has an impressive number of supporters.
And that first princess seems to be increasingly active these days. The point is, there is a possibility of her approaching her brothers and sisters. Most likely, she intends to threaten and blackmail them to incorporate them into her faction…..at least that’s a possibility.
However, there is no way to know what those idiots are about to do. Their royal status makes it even more troublesome. The emperor had already lost his previous vigor and ambitions. He doesn’t want his children to be harmed and is looking for a peaceful solution.
「Originally, I was supposed to inherit the title of a duke, but my older brother is like that. I never know when he might collapse. I also have my own matters to attend to」
In reality, this Viras was attacked once already, resulting in casualties.
「I want to ask you to guard the three princesses who are younger that His Highness Viras」
Un? The idiot, who attacked me in the Runo forest, was supposed to be a royal of Hideta, right?? I guess, he died in the forest.
「Is there any chance that something had already happened to the other princes?」
「…..As expected of a servant of the Versam family. It seems that it is futile to hide it any longer. The third son, prince Serias, is currently under house arrest」
Oh, so he somehow escaped.
「As soon as he heard about the abnormalities in the Juka Kingdom, he immediately gathered his subordinate and his tutor, took the emperor’s horse and went to subjugate a Demon King. Rather reckless, if I’m to judge. There were also rumors about him secretly murdering commoners, such a troublesome prince」
He had「Curse」on him if I remember correctly.
「We searched everywhere and finally discovered him in a state of confusion inside the Runo forest. Currently, the healing magicians cast recovery magic on him every day, but I’m not able to say when he would be able to recover. His subordinate said that he battled the Demon King, but there is no danger to his life. This subordinate is also under house arrest. As for the prince’s tutor, I’m not aware of her whereabouts」 
Oh! So Irimo was indeed the emperor’s horse. I’m glad that I concealed her horn and wings. Are those murderers still alive? Well, only I can dispel it anyway, they shouldn’t be able to treat it on their own.
「Let’s return to the previous topic. In short, I want to leave the safety of the royal family to you. At least, until the crown prince produces an heir or Viras inherits the title」
「But my barrier magic is LV2」
「It is okay to protect them only when they go outside. The imperial barrier master will protect them inside the palace. You was able to erect a permanent barrier on the Versam mansion, am I right? Thanks to that, our messenger wasn’t able to enter and returned in shame」
「I understand. Since this is how you put it, I would like to think about it before everything else」
「There is no need to think. You are free to attend to your own matters in your free time. You only need to protect the royal family, as for the other duties, you can choose them on your own, of course, we will pay you. Otherwise, you will be approached by the army. The people with barrier skill are rare after all. If you want to have a career in the military, I’m not against it」
No way. I want to live in peace. In the end, I delayed my answer and arrived at the hotel. When I came out of the mansion and was left alone with His Highness,
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「Grandfather truly wants to hire you. That’s not that hard to understand. After all, he has plenty of enemies. Grandfather pays so much attention to you. I would be happy if you agree」
The prime minister and His Highness, both urged me to accept. Then, I dragged my tired body and returned to my room.
- Why do I feel that we will hear about those guys again? ↩