Now, to the Royal City
“…Why was something like this sent to me…”
The thing I presently held in my hand was an invitation. …It is an invitation to a party held in the Royal Castle to celebrate the founding of the Kingdom.
Because it is an official event, it is usually attended by everyone, especially those who are making a debut. That’s right, if it is the usual.
However, I have been banished from society, and ever since I have been expelled from the academy, I have never received an invitation. Nevertheless, that is only natural, or rather, it is bizarre for me to even receive one.
“…However, young mistress. The invitation to this party came from the royal family. You cannot turn it down so bluntly.”
Although Sebastian said that, he was also looking at the invitation with suspicious eyes.
“You’re right. …I should prepare myself for the worst.”
“You don’t have to worry about the fief. It’s just nice that Dean will be here, and if anything happens, I will immediately dispatch a messenger.”
“Yes. Sebastian, I’m counting on you.”
* * *
Several days after that, I left the fief for the first time in a long while and headed towards the house in the Royal City. It’s been almost three years since I left the Royal City, and because it’s has been so long, I don’t have any deep impressions of it.
“Welcome home, young mistress.”
All the servants gathered and greeted me at the same time. And the person at the very front was the head maid, Rimé.
“It’s been a long time, Rimé”
“Yes. To finally be able to meet the young mistress again, there is no greater joy than this.”
“You’re being too exaggerated.”
Then, I walked passed the servants who had lined up and headed further inside.
“…It’s been a long time.”
“Welcome home, Iris-chan.”
Inside, my parents and my younger brother were waiting.
“It’s been a long time. Father, mother, Berne.”
“Above all, it’s good that you’re in good health. It’ll be good if you spend your time here leisurely.”
My normally strict father unexpectedly displayed a soft expression. With just that alone, I felt slightly pleased.
“Yes, please allow me to do so.”
“More than anything, I heard from Sei that there will be another new product? I’m looking forward to it.”
“The preparation to commercialize it is not yet completed. However, I will be doing a trial run of the product during the upcoming party, so please look forward to it.”
“Weellll~ Later please show it to me in secret? Can you?”
“Please look forward to seeing it tomorrow.”
When I said that, she sported a slightly disappointed expression and consented anyway.
“Older sister… Will you really be attending tomorrow’s party?”
“It can’t be helped. Since I received an invitation from the royal family.”
“…However, Ed-sama and Yuri-sama will be attending for sure.”
I was surprised when I heard Berne’s words, and my eyes unintentionally widened in wonder.
“…I was surprised.”
“The fact that you’re actually worrying about me.”
After I said what I was thinking, Berne’s face darkens a little.
“That is… It is certainly normal for you to think that it’s a little late for me to worry about you, but…”
“Not at all. Thank you.”
After that, I went to my room to relax. The last time I was here, I was really nervous thinking about how my negotiations with father will turn out, and after the meeting with him, I was so busy with various preparations that I do not have much memory of this room. That’s why it feels a little nostalgic.
While I was relaxing like that, Rimé came to the room.
“…Young mistress, the Master is calling for you.”
“Hmmm, father is… I will go to him immediately.”
When I entered the room, father was sitting on a chair surrounded by lots of documents. …Somehow, I see my own appearance in him.
“…So you came.”
“Yes. Please excuse me.”
“…It seems like the fief has been doing well lately.”
“It’s doing passably.”
“Don’t be too modest. …Well, I guess that’s fine. That aside, I’m really sorry about this time.”
“When you said ‘this time,’ are you talking about the party?”
“Yeah. Although Melly and I tried to investigate it… the insiders insisted that the invitation came from a member of the royal family.”
“I wonder what they are intending in making me attend? It’s not as though there’s any merit.”
“Or rather, it’s because it will be difficult for you. The aristocrats will be strict on someone who has once been banished from society.”
“Well, if it’s about that, I’ve already prepared myself. It is a situation which I cannot run away from, so there’s no helping it.”
“On that appointed day, there’s a high chance that the King will not make an appearance.”
“Although it’s the party to celebrate the founding of the Kingdom, the King might not attend? Did something happen?”
I mean, it’s the party to celebrate the founding of the Kingdom, right? So unless something compelling happened, the King will definitely be there.
“…About half a year ago, the King collapsed.”
After feeling like I was hit by a massive weight, I instinctively heaved a sigh. With this timing, and for the King to be absent. No matter how one looks at it, the chaos in this Kingdom will intensify.
“Although he collapsed, I can’t say that his illness was serious. However, as of now, if one just looks at him, one can immediately tell that his health is gradually deteriorating. The party tomorrow will most likely be the trigger to set this Kingdom off.”
Well, that’s probably how it’ll be. If the King is absent, no matter who it is, they’ll find it suspicious. And in no time at all, rumors will start to spread.
“Since that is the case, a daughter of a Duke will probably become one of the main topics. During tomorrow’s party, my existence will probably be in the limelight. As for me, I really want to quickly return to the fief and resume my normal life.”
“Ah, that’s right…”
“Father, although you probably have a lot of work left to do before tomorrow’s party, but please take care of your body.”
“You as well. I also heard about. Didn’t you already collapse once?”
“Only for one day. But after that, I’ve always remembered to relax.”
“Is that so. When it comes to work, the body is the basis. …You as well, make sure you don’t overwork yourself.”
“Yes. Thank you very much.”
* * *
…The next day, because the weather was beautiful, I decided to do yoga in the garden. Although it seems like Tanya has given up on the idea of asking me to stop wearing linen T-shirts and tights early in the morning, she probably didn’t think that I would wear it outside. And when she saw me, she panicked.
…I’m so sorry, Tanya. However, it is warm in the Royal City, and the weather is fine, so I instinctively did it.
Mother found with at the same time as Tanya. When she saw me, she seemed to have gotten interested in yoga and made me promise to teach her tomorrow morning.
Since the party will take place tonight, I should probably start making my preparations.
I took a shower and began my preparation. After I got dressed with help from Tanya, she also took responsibility to do my hair and make-up.
By the way… The trial product, this time, is a dress. This dress has been tailored with the recently discovered silk. As expected, silk… has splendid luster. Earlier, Tanya was also looking at the dress absentmindedly.
…Now then, preparation is perfect. Spirit is also adequate. Thus, shall we head off to the battlefield?
* * *