Chapter 17: The Young Silver Princess (Part one)
The young silver princess──the girl who called herself Liselotte said to Lute and the others who were stunned by the direct reception of the royal family.
“We have boiled water, so let’s wash off the dirt from your trip first. How about a cup of tea afterwards? I know you are tired, but I would appreciate it if you could join me.”
An invitation from the royal family, made in the royal castle, the emperor’s personal residence. It was clear that this was not just an idea, and that it had political significance, although the true meaning was unclear. Because of that, Lute and the others didn’t have the option of refusing the invitation.
So, Lute was taken to the bathhouse for state guests and Heinrich was taken to the bathhouse for attendants.
When they emerged from the bathhouse, they were obviously looking different.
“Heinrich, you’ve become quite elegant. You look like the butler of some noble family.”
“That’s right, Your Highness. You are like a real prince.”
On one hand, he is a true royalty. On the other hand, he is a bodyguard and valet for the royal family. Those who knew their position would have thought that this conversation was a joke mixed with sarcasm. But unfortunately, both of them were very serious about what they had just said. From their point of view, their current appearance is so uncomfortable.
As both had participated in the war, they had naturally been dressed in war gear up to this point. As much as possible during the trip, they even used Lute’s [Freeze State] magic to keep themselves clean, but even so, there was a limit as it was slightly dirty to begin with. That’s probably why Liselotte also proposed they take a bath, but…
“It makes me sad when I compare it to the Land Kingdom…. Everything that was prepared was obviously of the highest quality.”
“This one is too. I wouldn’t say it’s the highest quality, but it was all of the highest quality that a retainer could handle.”
They were uncomfortable because all of the items that accompanied the bath were far superior to those they had handled in the Kingdom of Land.
The bathing supplies, such as scented oil, and the change of clothes that had been prepared in place of battle gear. For the two, who had been dealing with items appropriate for a small country, the quality of the items prepared for the guests by one of the two largest empires on the continent could only be considered excessive.
“No, no, no. I was being sarcastic before, but I’m not kidding, royalty in Land, maybe as high as the standard of living as a well-to-do citizen in the empire?”
“It’s a bit undeniable…..”
The two of them smiled as they checked the texture of the fabric of the clothes on their skin. Even Lute, who is not concerned about his origins, could not help but smile dryly when he was shown the difference in standard of living.
“So, now a tea party awaits us with this quality of clothing as a condition of participation. ……”
“I’m nervous whether I want to be or not.”
“…… you’re just standing back there with a straight face. What’s there to be nervous about?”
“No, no, no, no. I shudder to think of the strange things His Highness might say.”.
“Don’t say anything like that to your master, old man.”
Lute let out a big sigh at Heinrich, who shelved himself. He also let out his inner melancholy and switched his feelings at once.
“──Now then. I think we’re done with the chit chat.”
At the same time, Lute turns his attention to the maids attached to him instead of Azure, who has been relieved of her post, and who had been standing by the wall without making any claim to it.
“Thanks for waiting. Now please show me the way.”
The maids, who showed no emotional disturbance at all when shown the interaction between the two who can’t be thought of as master and servant. They were like servants who are devoted to the background except when necessary, and after bending down to face Lute once, they began to lead the way without making a single sound of rustling of clothes.
After following the maids, I walked for a while through the hallway, where every corner of the space exuded a sense of prestige.
““──This way, please..””
We arrived at a garden where the greenery was in perfect harmony. It was a beautiful garden with flowers in subdued hues and lush foliage that colored the space.
And the silvery-white princess sits on a chair set up in the best part of such a beautiful garden, where the sun shines through the soft trees, and smiles quietly.
Seeing Liselotte’s figure, Lute immediately glanced at Heinrich who was standing behind him, and after that he quickly, but without panicking, walked over to kneel in front of her.
“Thank you very much for inviting me here today. I would also like to express my deepest apologies for not returning a proper greeting earlier. It is a great pleasure for me to have an audience with Her Imperial Highness Liselotte, the daughter of the great Emperor Friedrich.”
Liselotte, perhaps not expecting Lute’s bow to a noble, puts her hand over her mouth and exclaims in surprise. But then, she is a princess of the empire. She immediately hides her confusion and with a graceful smile, speaks to Lute who kneels in front of her .
“Lute-sama, please raise your head. It is true that I am the princess of this country, but compared to you, I am nothing more than a little girl with a title. You, Lute-sama, who is a magician with the status of a demi-god, is far superior to me in terms of “rank”. Therefore, I will be in trouble if you are in awe of me like that. Come on, please sit down.”
“…then excuse me.”
Even Lute, who was aware of how twisted his personality was, had no choice but to give up when a young girl said “I’ll be in trouble”.
Like that, Lute sat down as Liselotte urged him to, and the maid who was standing beside her quickly began to prepare tea utensils.
“How would you like your tea? We have six kinds of tea leaves for you today. If necessary, I can explain them to you.”
“I’m sorry, but I’m not familiar with tea. If you don’t mind, I’d like the same thing as Her Imperial Highness.”
“As you wish. Then I will prepare ‘Reznor’.”
And then, in front of Lute’s eyes was black tea. Lute, who had never been particular about tea, had never heard of it, but it was definitely the finest cup, and in many ways a noble “Tea Party” began.
The first to bring up the topic was Liselotte.
“Even so, I was surprised. I had heard that you and my brother, Klaus-nii-sama, had been talking with each other on an equal footing. And yet you are so gracious to me, his sister.”
“That is because of the battlefield where martial arts are more respected than words. Normally, a man of my stature would have been too awe-struck to even address His Highness Klaus.”
“No, that’s not true. The title of “demi-god” in the empire is extremely important, although it may be difficult for you to imagine this as a person from another country. The awe, or rather faith, in the demi-gods established by Frau Heisenberg, the god of fire, is also applicable to Lute-sama.”
Liselotte solemnly announced. The authority that dwells in the title of “demi-god” in the empire. It is said that it has a status that rivals or surpasses even the [Dukeship], which is the thick pillar that supports the mighty empire. The title of “Demigod” is only “authority” and not “power,” but that is an error when there is a military force that can destroy a nation.
Lute listened quietly to those words. He was neither surprised that he had more authority in the empire than the head of the dukedom, nor did he express his feelings at the fact that he was taking advantage of someone else’s achievement. However, he only nodded, wondering if that was the case.
To that, Liselotte reacted in an unexpected way.