Good job for those of you that caught the hint in the previous chapter! Also, Duke Aurelia is a KlausxErica shipper but alas… Also, what do you think actually happened about the grave robbery cases?
ED: clover, eristol
The banquet is being held in a hall called Lion Hall.
The royal castle itself is vast and the hall is at least as big as a gymnasium.
On the pillars and walls of the hall, there are many lion sculptures as its name suggests.
Although I thought it is strange since it is a country of dragons, it seems that a lion is also an auspicious beast of Ignitia.
Between the lion decorations, a lot of big tables were put in, and the party was ready.
The lighting was done with a huge chandelier with dozens of candles.
Perhaps they are beeswax candles, the entire room smells a bit sweet.
Under the orange flickering light, nobles invited from all over this continent are arrayed.
The royal aristocrats of Ignitia have a small dragon on their shoulder or on their feet.
It is a living accessory but they also serve as a security guard.
The nobility of Lucanrant have a sheathed large ceremonial sword on their waist, and the aristocracy from Hafan are wearing robes and holding a staff.
As expected, the appearance seem to be quite different depending on the place of birth.
By the way, the nobility of Aurelia are modestly carrying several wands, which is quite plain.
……I removed a lot of accessories that were attached on my body in large quantity meant for showing off.
Somehow, the vacant seats for Hafan nobility are standing out.
The noble women are still here, but I can’t see the appearances of most of the noble men.
I wonder what happened?
I pulled my father’s sleeve and asked.
“Do you know what happened to the Hafan’s people, Otou-sama?”
“Oh, it seems that there were grave robberies in several places at the same time. Apparently, every excellent mage is on hand for the investigation and post-treatment.”
“……Grave robbery, huh?”
“Don’t worry, Erica. Hafan’s aristocrats are experts in this kind of thing. They will solve it soon.”
My father gently stroked my head.
Certainly, Hafan’s people are experts on such things like evil spirits, so that gives me more peace of mind rather than entrusting that task to somebody else.
But, recently there have been too many grave robbery cases.
Even in my ears, who is ignorant of the situation, every now and then stories of the grave robbery cases jump in.
“This time, is it the cemetery tomb of Casketia?”
“I don’t know about that……Erica, you had better not say that word on the party’s seat.”
“Ah, yes. I apologize, Otou-sama.”
I quickly held my tongue.
I carelessly spoke with the conviction of the people of Aurelia.
However, for people from other countries, the story related to Casketia is a rather delicate topic.
People of the other former kingdoms – especially those from Hafan and Lucanrant– seriously don’t like Casketia almost to the point of vampire phobia.
Even now they are subjected to thorough anti-vampire training up to the low level workers.
It is not unreasonable.
When Casketia existed on this continent, Hafan and Lucanrant were forced into slavery for a long time.
The slavery status continued until Ignitia came and the three countries combined forces and exterminated Casketia.
The current Federal Kingdom has a strong aspect as ‘an alliance to oppose Gigantia who oppresses slave ranks, uses giants and dishonors the dignity of human beings,’ but the purpose of the alliance’s formation at that time was different.
It was ‘an alliance to annihilate Casketia and vampires who oppress slave ranks, play games with life and dishonor the dignity of human beings.’
Regarding this point, Aurelia, the Visitor’s Clan who came after Casketia ceased to exist, seems to be an outsider.
Assuming that it is related to Casketia, even if there is no particular trouble, the Duke will be investigating it straight away.
Klaus and the Duke of Hafan won’t be able to come to the banquet until the tomb cases are resolved.
I can see the figure of the Duchess of Hafan at a distance, but the walls of people are thick and I can’t see the figure of Ann.
I’d be happy if I can meet Ann if possible, but I will be in trouble if I meet Klaus and he applies for a duel.
I wonder what that was, that letter of challenge……
I wonder if Klaus is keeping track of his strength properly.
Even if I or someone else compete with him, I can only see the future where I will lose in a moment.
“Do you feel lonely when you think that you cannot meet Klaus-kun?”
“Eh? There is no such a thing……ah, it’s alright. I will greet the Duchess and Ann-sama later.”
“……I see. Hm. I seem to have gotten ahead of myself. Forget it.”
Why did only the name of Klaus come out just now?
For some reason, my father has a somewhat dejected facial expression.
Perhaps, because we seem to be on good terms, he was thinking of engagement or something.
But, for Klaus, I am a rival.
I want to be at least an ordinary friend to Klaus.
While thinking about that, the court musicians’ orchestra began playing music.
Matching the timing, maids and cooks came bringing a silver dish on which the cuisine was served.
Looking at the dishes with variety of sweets, the children of nobility from each country gave a childish cheer.
“It has started, huh?”
“Ah, no, Erica, the banquet for the Advent Festival is not a formal thing. Drink as you like and enjoy eating as you like. You can enjoy a conversation, you can sing, you can dance. Only the custom of welcoming guests for the festival was a bit elegant.”
“Is that so?”
“It will be just right for practice before entering the society. You should get used to it gradually while enjoying yourself without putting burden on your shoulders.”
While answering, I was already mindful about it.
A confectionery craftsman carried in a pure white sugar confection on a big silver dish which might be one meter in diameter.
It was in the form of the Island of Messenger.
It is such a waste to eat.
Someone suddenly tapped my leg lightly.
Tirnanog, hiding under the table cloth, looked at the castle of sugar candy with his face peeping through the gap.
『Erica, what is that? Even though it’s a building, it has a delicious smell?』
“It’s a sweet made of sugar for the festival. It seems to be made for a special celebration day.”
『Ooh, I want to try it too.』
“Well, I’ll take a look if there is a chance.”
I want to give him not only candy, but also meat.
Today he has carried heavy bags for me, so I need to compensate him.
Ignitia is closely related to Karkinos continent in the South, so the cooking is a southern continent style.
Wine with high alcohol concentration diluted with water.
Savory fragrance of meat baked with plenty of spices.
It is a slumping season for oysters since it is already a bit past the season, so now is the last time to eat them.
Fruits with gorgeous hues typical of the southern countries are lined up.
From tea, coffee and cocoa all are present, but I wanted to drink alcohol.
As expected, drinking is not permitted for eight years olds~ How regretful!
“Please wait, Erica, we have to say hello to His Majesty before meals.”
“Fugah!? Y-yes? I understand, Otou-sama.”
Uwaah~ pardon me~ I just got my hands on an appetizer carpaccio~
Made with freshly baked meat and oysters with plenty of plumpness, I haven’t eaten a bite~
While listening to my gluttonous heart’s voice with a noble maiden’s mask, I drew my attention back to the table with my back hair fluttering.
Tirnanog waved his hand from under the table while balancing a lobster bigger than himself.
Please, leave a portion for me too?
Then my father brought me to the King of Ignitia.
This time it seems that not only the Queen is here, but the Prince is also here.
Ooh, finally I can confirm the face of Prince Auguste!
The prince is wearing a decorated clothing with red gold thread, which is the signature color of Ignitia and has a small golden dragon on his shoulder.
Silky blonde hair with a deeper hue compared to the other royalty of Ignitia.
His skin which sooner or later will become tanned due to sunburn, is still white as if transparent at present.
His face is like the Queen’s; similar to a doll.
I can’t believe that he would become a gaudy prince in six years.
There, the figure of a boy who looks like a beautiful girl—
Somehow, isn’t he similar to that self-proclaimed Angel-san?
—Are they one and the same?
That golden dragon resembles the dragon of Angel-san who was called Goldberry.
Prince Auguste didn’t try to adjust his eyes even when my father and I greeted him.
He didn’t even move an eyebrow, he just kept looking far away outside the window.
The impression was different from the friendly, expressive, self-proclaimed Angel-san I met during the day.
Right now, he looks like a statue made of alabaster.
Because I was staring at him too intensely, Prince Auguste glanced over here coldly.
(Hii, I carelessly stared at him. I wonder if this can be condemned as rude.)
But when the Prince glanced at me silently, he returned his line of sight outside the window once again.
Indeed, his mannerism has the sense of being apathetic, as if everything is insignificant to him.
But, only the golden dragon sitting on his shoulder, who looked like Goldberry, stared at me.
She narrowed her eyes as if smiling and then tried to pull Prince Auguste’s hair.
Still, Prince Auguste continued to look outside the window, with a look similar to a statue.
It is worrisome, after all.
I couldn’t stand it, so I finally raised my voice to the Prince.
“Prince Auguste. Pardon me, by any chance, might you be Angel-sama?”
I noticed it after I said it out loud, but what was that poem!
But, how else should I say it—!
Both my father and King Ignitia who were drinking wine together, choked over their drinks simultaneously.
Why were you eavesdropping?
Please stop it!
Uwaaaah. I can die out of embarrassment.
Even during the chunnibyou phase in my previous life, I had never written such a thing!
Oh, I should have asked ‘Are you the boy who became my sightseeing guide in the cathedral?’
The greatest blunder of my life……
“Well, she said you’re an angel, Auguste.”
The Queen was smiling brightly.
I felt that her atmosphere was somewhat gentle.
Prince Auguste who was urged by the Queen, finally turned around.
Still, the face of Prince Auguste remained as still as an alabaster statue.
“Oh, you seem to have misunderstood me as an angel because of my beauty, Erica-jou. But I am an ordinary person. Please be relieved. I will not fly away somewhere.”
As he said those words, he stood up and bowed.
“However, since human beings are troubled by the flesh, I cannot always be healthy or stay as I was. I feel unwell, so I will withdraw from this evening banquet. Erica-jou, please excuse my rudeness.”
“Do not worry about me, please continue enjoying the party.”
Without moving an eyebrow while saying all of that, Prince Auguste went away.
It was the same voice as the self-proclaimed Angel-san after all.
But the attitude was different as if they were a different person.
Isn’t that too much?
Or, does he have multiple personality or something?
While being apologized to by the Queen, the questions that couldn’t be answered continued turning around in my mind.
Chuunibyou (中二病; Chūnibyō) is a derogative colloquial term in the Japanese language used to describe a person who manifests delusional behavior, particularly thinking that one has special powers that no other person has. Originally a term used to pertain to children in the second year of middle school who act like adults, the term eventually evolved into a term generally used to describe delusional behavior in general.