Chapter 30: Going Out
The answer sheets for Herbology and History were returned safely, and I scored a perfect score in all subjects.
Later, the ranking list posted in the hallway showed that I was ranked first overall and in all written subjects, attracting even more attention from the people around me.
Although I was concerned about the actions of the teacher who had tried to trick me, my days were relatively peaceful.
There’s only one week left until the closing ceremony. Four months have gone by so fast. So many things have happened that time seems to have flown by so quickly.
“There were hardly any restful days,” I laugh as I put on my butterfly hair ornament.
I also put on a diamond necklace and earrings and twirled around in front of the mirror.
My waist-length purple hair was fluttering, and my purple, almost peach-colored dress swayed softly.
I smiled with satisfaction as I adjusted the position of the accessories.
This way, I won’t be embarrassed when I go to the ──── imperial palace. It was worth sneaking home and pulling out my dress.
I look at the dress and accessories that were given to me for my birthday last year and smile, “It’s beautiful”.
Grateful for my parents’ good taste, I reach for a letter on my desk.
Today I am to dine with the Emperor and Empress. It’s nominally a dinner party, but I’m sure His Majesty the Emperor will do everything in his power to embrace me. I must be on my guard.
“If I let up even a little, he will have me surrounded in no time.”
I let out a sigh as I imagine myself bound by the chains of power.
It’s going to be a long day,” I chuckled as I quietly left my room.
With my pass in hand, I climbed into the carriage that had arrived from the imperial castle to pick me up and peeked out the small window.
The streets of the imperial capital, which I had not seen in several months, had hardly changed at all, but they looked strangely bright.
Listening to the voices calling for customers and the laughter of children, I think to myself, ‘I should take a short stroll on my way home.”
It’s nice to get out once in a while. I always stay indoors on my days off, but I don’t mind this kind of lively atmosphere. Maybe I should try to get out a little more from now on?
──── and thinking of thoughts that will never come true …… or never be implemented, we passed by the buildings.
This carriage, with the imperial coat of arms painted on it, went through the city almost without stopping.
The distance between Flugel Academy and the imperial castle is quite close, so we reach the castle in less than 20 minutes.
Surrounded by high walls, the pure white castle with its shimmering blue roof had an overwhelming presence.
I have been here several times for national events, but this place is as beautiful as ever. Even though it is protected by magic, it must be hard to maintain this beauty. If it were me, I would have just thrown up my hands and said, “It’s too much trouble, let’s just paint it black!” I think I would have just done away with it.
I, who am impressed in the oddest ways, let out an exclamation of admiration as I am rocked by the carriage.
The imperial carriage, painted in white and blue, whirled around the fountain and stopped in front of the castle.
For some reason, there were maids and attendants in front of the main entrance of the imperial castle, lined up in a row on both sides.
Hm ……? What? What’s this?! Isn’t this a little too over the top for a Viscountess’ welcome……! I….?! Besides, this dinner party is unofficial, isn’t it……! I don’t think it’s necessary to go this far……!
While I was left dumbfounded, Two attendants carefully lay the carpet from the front of the carriage to the entranceway.
Then the squire, holding a smaller stand in his hand, placed it in front of the carriage and slowly opened the door.
“Dear Charlotte, we have been waiting for you. Please come this way. Watch your step.”
The squire, with a good-natured smile and an ostentatious demeanor, holds out his hand to me.
I almost closed the door of the carriage involuntarily because of the generous treatment that far exceeded my imagination.
Feeling self-conscious about being treated like a guest of honor, I take the squire’s hand and step down to the ground ……, or rather, onto the carpet.
I almost closed the door of the carriage, as I was put off by the fact that I was being treated far more generously than I had imagined.
“Oh, um, …… I’d like to confirm my invitation …….”
Since invitations and background checks are a common part of the castle visit, I presented the letter to him. But the male squire smiles and shakes his head.
“There is no need for that. You are a special guest, Miss Charlotte. The Emperor has instructed me to escort you to your room as soon as you arrive, so there is no need to go through the trouble.”
“Oh, I see. ……”
I was so excited to hear that the emperor himself had eliminated the troublesome formalities that my cheeks twitched.
I held my eyes and wondered if it was necessary to make such a special appeal, even though it was unofficial.
I was more stunned than surprised, and I no longer had the energy left to make a comment. I told myself, “it was useless to think too much about it”, and somehow I managed to convince myself.
“Well then, let me show you to the dining room. This way, please.”
I walked on the carpet, accompanied by the attendant who beamingly urged me onward.
The guard, who was standing by, opened the front door at the right moment.
Behind the door, the entrance hall with its large chandelier spreads out. There were hardly any people here, probably because they had restricted the number of people coming and going according to the time of my arrival.
Perhaps they did this to keep the nobles serving the castle away. The way they check in and out is so egregious in so many ways. Well, it was a hassle to be stopped on the way, so it was just as well.
Smiling at the deserted entrance hall, I proceeded as the usher urged me to do.
As I ascended the central staircase to the second floor and walked down a long corridor, the man who was to guide me suddenly stopped in his tracks.
He glances at me, “Are you ready?” He asked me with just a glance. When I nodded, he smiled and knocked three times on the double sliding door.
“ His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Oswald, I have brought Lady Charlotte.”
“Send her through ────.”
Immediately after asking, I heard a dignified voice from the other side of the door.
Shaking my shoulders slightly, I look ahead with an intense expression on my face. I was prepared, but I was still nervous
In front of my growing alarm, the squire man slowly opens the door.
“Please come in, Miss Charlotte,” he said. “The Emperor is waiting for you.”
My lips pursed in a tight line, I let out a single breath, “Phew. ……,” and stepped into the room.
The usher quietly closes the door, my heart pounding wildly.
The room prepared as the venue for the dinner party was spacious and decorated with elegant furniture and beautiful furnishings. In the center of the room is a long table, and beyond that, at the end of which is a ──── blonde-haired, green-eyed man and a silver-haired, purple-eyed woman.
The two highest authorities in the Draconian Empire had an overwhelming presence.
“──── Welcome to my castle, Miss Charlotte. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for accepting my invitation.”