79.1 The Twin Princesses
The day of the tea party comes. I go to Ristia’s house in the morning and a servant helps me get changed. Ristia and Slatton also groom themselves and we wait for the girls to finish getting ready.
Slatton, this is my first time seeing you with straightened hair.
The girls finish their preparations just before noon. While Cerias-sama is wearing a formal dress just like the last time I was invited to the royal castle, this is my first time seeing Celisio and Neimie with such extravagant appearances.
As expected, I can hardly recognize them with makeup on.
With our preparations completed, we all board a carriage from Ristia’s house and depart.
This is incredible. Having a horse and carriage for personal use along with an actual coachman, just how much money does Ristia have?
As we head to the venue, we have a light lunch within the carriage. I’m calling it light, but it’s more extravagant than the end of the year dinner we had at my house. Before we reach the venue, I sense an atmosphere of being out of place.
Then, just as expected, my expression twists upon reaching the venue. I immediately feel like I want to go home.
The tea party is being held in the banquet hall of the royal family’s royal villa. The place is warm, making the cold winter outside feel like another world. Furthermore, inside the banquet hall are crowds of men and women well dressed for the occasion.
This is different from what I heard. I thought this tea party was going to be a debut for those participating in the hunt for flying dragons. Instead, half the people in the venue are women. Of course, there are a lot of women in military uniform too, but it’s pretty obvious that a lot of the girls here give the impression of being daughter-san from respectable families.
Aren’t there probably more than one hundred people gathered here? The number is way more than I expected and the atmosphere here is brilliant. It’s over whelming.
“Looks like this is also meant to serve as a large scale match making interview.”
Ristia doesn’t seem to have been told details either.
We exchange glances and share bitter smiles.
As the banquet hall is at the royal villa and I’m together with Ristia, I’m able to enter without showing my invitation. However, my real hardship starts there.
The second Ristia and the Yuusha-sama’s esteemed party enter the hall, they are surrounded by crowds of men and women. As for me, I am immediately recognized as not being part of the Yuusha-sama’s esteemed party and am expelled. Slatton is the only man within the Yuusha-sama’s esteemed party, so anyone can instantly tell I am an outsider.
Although, I’m more or less Ristia’s friend too. Did I really need to be singled out and tossed aside so quickly?
I think that, but when I look closely, I notice that most of the people surrounding Ristia and the others have the emblems of the Kingdom of Jortenitost attached to the chests of their clothes.
Right, looks like I am hated by the people of the Kingdom of Jortenitost.
I look around the banquet hall. Turns out that everyone participating in the tea party has either the emblem for the Armand Kingdom or for the Kingdom of Jortenitost somewhere on their clothes.
That is when I notice that I too have the emblem of the Armand Kingdom on my chest.
There are also people without emblems from either country here. Judging from their clothing and how they are bustling around the banquet hall, they are probably servants.
“Fufun, surely I don’t believe someone like you could have been invited here. Did you talk the Yuusha into bringing you along? How impudent.”
While I’m looking around the banquet hall, I suddenly hear the voice of the number one person I didn’t want to meet.
“Ah, your Highness Grave. Go- good afternoon.”
I turn around in a fluster and give a deep bow to Grave-sama, the one who spoke to me.
Somehow, the brilliant venue becomes unpleasant. This person really does hate me. Or does he just have a bad personality? Whatever the reason, I bow without reacting.
Prince Grave, donning armor above clothing just as blue and beautiful, looks down at me with scorn in his eyes. Honestly though, I don’t care if I get a cold look from someone I already know hates me.
“If you feel even the slightest bit of gratitude for being here, then you’ll stand in a corner to refrain from being a nuisance.”
“Ye- yes, you are right. Being able to once more meet your Highness, it was worth coming today.”
Grave-sama directs a sharp glare at me at my small act of defiance, but he doesn’t make another nasty remark.
There are many eyes here. I get the feeling it’s something like not being able to say anything more despite wanting to because it will affect his dignity.
As Grave-sama told me, I hurry to a corner in the banquet hall and erase my presence. To begin with, I didn’t even want to come. I also want to avoid intentionally standing in opposition to Grave-sama at the venue. Therefore, if he gives an order like stand in the corner, I will comply without a word.
If an unimportant lower middle class person like me stays quiet in the corner, no one should notice me. That’s what I think, but these are soldier-san chosen from both countries who strive to hunt flying dragons. I, who erased my presence, am more conspicuous as I get a lot of glances from people wondering who I am.
Mumumu, I should have only gone the corner. I shouldn’t have erased my presence.
I stop erasing my presence and switch to quietly standing in the corner with a drink in hand. Still, as standing around is giving me some free time, I observe the people gathered at the venue.
Ristia and his party are very popular. Being surrounded by crowds of men and women at all times looks difficult. The princess Ceries-sama also has a large crowd around her. I wonder if most of them are men? Everyone should know that Ceries-sama is Ristia’s bride, but I doubt there is no one who wouldn’t want to become acquainted with that cuteness.
Slatton is who surprises me. Seeing him surrounded by women and having trouble is rare. He is also tall and unexpectedly handsome, so when he straightens up his hair and dresses in formal wear, he comes off as a good looker.
T/N: It’s okay Ernea. Stay strong. Don’t forget, you are a Dragon King!