Another update! What do you think actually happened to Auguste? Also, good job for those of you who caught the hint in the last chapter!
The banquet was done in a hall called Lion.
The royal castle itself was vast, and the hall was at least as big as a gymnasium.
On the pillars and walls of the hall, there were many lion sculptures as its name suggested.
Although I thought it was strange since it was a country of dragons, it seemed that lion was 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 a huge chandelier with dozens of candles.
Perhaps they were beeswax candles, the entire room smelled a bit sweet.
Under the orange flickering light, nobles invited from all over this continent were arrayed.
The royal aristocrats of Ignitia had put a small dragon on their shoulder or on their feet.
It was a living accessory but also serving as a security guard.
The nobility of Lucanrant had a sheathed large sword for ceremony on their waist, and the aristocracy from Harvan wore robes and held a staff.
As expected the appearances seemed to be quite different depending on the place of birth.
By the way, nobility of Aurelia was modestly carrying several wands, which was quite plain.
……I removed a lot of accessories that was attached on my body in large quantity that was for showing off.
Somehow, the vacant seats for Harvan nobility stood out.
Aristocratic women were still there, but I couldn’t see the appearance of most aristocratic men.
I wondered what happened?
I pulled my father’s sleeve and asked.
“Did Otou-sama know what happened to the Harvan people?”
“Oh, it seems there were grave robberies in several places at the same time. It seems that every excellent mage is on hand for the investigation and post-treatment.”
“……Grave robbery, huh?”
“Don’t worry, Erica. Harvan’s aristocracy are experts in this kind of thing. They will solve it soon.”
My father gently stroked my head.
Certainly, Harvan’s people were experts on such things like evil spirits, so that gave me more peace of mind rather than entrusting that task to somebody else.
But, recently there were too many grave robbery cases.
Even in my ears who were ignorant of the situation, now and then the stories of the grave robbery case jumped in.
“This time, is it the cemetery tomb of Cascadia?”
“I don’t know about that……Erica, you had better not to say that word on the party’s seat.”
“Ah, yes. I apologize, Otou-sama.”
I quickly held my tongue.
I carelessly chatted with the conviction of people of Aurelia.
However, from people in other countries, the story related to Cascadia was a rather delicate topic.
People of other former kingdoms – especially Harvan and Lucanrant people – seriously didn’t like Cascadia almost to the point of vampire phobia.
Even now they had been subjected to thorough anti-vampire training up to the low level worker.
It was not unreasonable.
When Cascadia existed on this continent, Harvan and Lucanrant had been forced into slavery for a long tie.
The slavery status continued until Ignitia came and the three countries combined forces and exterminated Cascadia.
The current Union Kingdom had a strong aspect as ‘an alliance to oppose Gigantia that oppresses slave ranks, uses giants and dishonors the dignity of human beings,’ but the purpose of the alliance formation at that time was different.
It was ‘an alliance to annihilate Cascadia and vampires that oppress slave ranks, play games with life and dishonor the dignity of human beings.’
About this point, Aurelia, the Visitor’s Clan who came after Cascadia ceased to exist, seemed to be an outsider.
Assuming that it was related to Cascadia, even if there was no particular trouble, the Duke would be investigating it straight away.
Klaus and the Duke of Harvan wouldn’t be able to come to the banquet until the tomb cases were resolved.
I could see the figure of the Duchess of Harvan at a distance, but the walls of people were thick and I couldn’t see the figure of Ann.
I’d be happy if I could meet Ann if possible, but I would be in trouble if I met Klaus and he applied for a duel.
I wondered what that was, that letter of challenge……
I wondered if Klaus kept track of his strength properly.
Even if I or someone else competed with him, I could only see the future where I lost in the blink of an eye.
“Do you feel lonely when you think that you cannot meet Klaus?”
“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?
Somehow, Otou-sama had a dejected facial expression for some reason.
Perhaps, because we seemed to be on good terms, he was thinking of engagement or something.
But, for Klaus, I was a rival.
I wanted to be at least an ordinary friend with 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 dish was served.
Looking at the dishes with variety of sweets, the children of aristocratic 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. The custom to welcome guests who came to the festival was a bit elegant.”
“Is that so?”
“It will be just right for practice before entering 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 pure white sugar confectionery on a big silver dish which might be one meter in diameter.
It was in the form of the Island of Messenger.
It was 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 for the festival that was made of sugar. It seems to be made on a special celebration day.”
『Ooh, I want to try it too.』
“Well, I’ll take a look if there is a chance.”
I wanted to give him not only candy, but also meat.
Today he had brought heavy bags for me, so I needed to compensate him.
Ignitia was closely related to Karkinos continent in the South, so the cooking was a southern continent style.
Wine with high alcohol concentration diluted with water.
Savory fragrance of meat baked with plenty of spices.
It was a slumping season for oysters since it was already a bit past the season, so now was the last time to eat them.
Fruits with gorgeous hues typical of the southern countries were lining up.
From tea, coffee, and cocoa all were present, but I wanted to drink alcohol.
As expected, drinking was not permitted for eight years olds~. How regretful!
“Please wait, Erica, I 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~.
Baked freshly made meat and oysters with plenty of plumpness, I hadn’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, okay?
Then my father brought me to King of Ignitia.
This time it seemed that not only the Queen Consort was here, but the Prince was also here.
Ooh, finally I could confirm the face of Prince Auguste!
The prince was wearing a decorated clothing with red gold thread, which was the signature color of Ignitia, and had a small golden dragon on his shoulder.
Silky blonde hair with a deeper color compared to other Ignitia royalty.
His skin which sooner or later would become tanned due to sunburnt, was still white as if transparent at the present time.
His face was like the Queen; similar to a doll.
I couldn’t believe that he would be a gaudy prince in six years.
There, the figure of a boy who looked like a beautiful girl—
Somehow, wasn’t he similar to that self-proclaimed Angel-san?
—Were they one and the same?
That golden dragon resembled 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 move one eyebrow, 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 looked like a statue made of alabaster.
Because I was staring at him too intensely, Prince Auguste glanced over here coldy.
(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 had the sense of being apathetic, as if everything was insignificant to him.
But, only the golden dragon who looked like Goldberry that was on his shoulder 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.
After all, it was worrisome.
I couldn’t stand it, 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 liquor together, choked over their drinks simultaneously.
Why were you eavesdropping?
Please stop it!
Uwaaaah. I could die out of embarrassment.
Even during my 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 Consort 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, Erica-jou seems to have misunderstood me as an angel because of my beauty. 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, because human being is 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.
After all it was the same voice as the self-proclaimed Angel-san.
But the attitude was different as if they were a different person.
Wasn’t that too much?
Or, did he has multiple personality or something?
While being apologized by the Queen, the questions that couldn’t be answered continued turning around in my mind.
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