Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Then the Princess and the King sat down on the thrones and the Heroes sat right before them. Just like that, the celebrations of the anniversary of the Demon Lord’s defeat could officially begin. From here on out, everything went smoothly and exactly as planned. The first part of the ceremony was that each ambassador would present their thanks to the Heroes for bringing the peace back to the world. It would depend on the person and was either short and concise or elaborate and long. And the Heroes just sat there, listening to congratulations after congratulations with great interest. However, it was clear to me that even though they knew that what they did was indeed praiseworthy, they would much rather prefer to leave it as a private matter and not make it public. They were putting up polite fronts, but deep down inside of their hearts they must have wished for this part to be over as soon as possible. But despite all that, the congratulations would keep on coming, with foreign ambassadors reading the name of their country, their respective ruler and the content of their messages.
「Representing the Empire of Nerogranto, the ambassador of the Emperor Gabriel Oorina, Juradislav-dono.」
Hearing the name of the country I didn’t know all that much about, I turned to look at the ambassador with utmost curiosity. His formal attire was covering a well-built body, his face was covered with a beard and a mustache, and his voice was cheerful when he recited congratulations on behalf of his lord. His speech was neither too long nor too short, and once he was done talking the next ambassador took his place swiftly and without fail.
Was there something else to the celebrations beside the congratulatory speeches? Not exactly, but contrary to my expectation everyone seemed to be bearing with the congratulations quite well, especially the Princess and that man. At the same time, the expression of the ambassador Juradislav was warm and friendly. For a moment out there he seemed to be talking with the Princess and the King about something, but since I was so far from the altar I couldn’t exactly hear what it was. However, it surely wasn’t anything bad, since the ambassador quickly bowed his head and returned to his seat, making space for another person to come up.
While I went back to looking at the Heroes, I could hear a quiet muttering with my ear.
Hearing Father say something like that I turned towards him. But Father only shook his head with an expression of disbelief on his face, without really saying anything else. I could only guess what it was, with quotation marks flowing above my head in visible confusion.
The ceremony carried on without any major incidents taking place, and before long I was back again in the waiting room with all of the Heroes of today’s festivities. It was regrettable that I had to separate from Father, but I guess it couldn’t be helped. I was supposed to join that man at tonight’s banquet after all, so I had to rejoin him.
Stepping into the waiting room, I could see the Princess and that man casually drinking tea and looking all relaxed, while the other Heroes and Widnicol look exhausted beyond belief. I couldn’t stop thinking that I came at an inappropriate moment and just kind of stood there for a while. It was then that the Knights Commander saw me.
「Ah, Filmina! For a moment I thought it was someone else! I totally forgot that you’ll be with us for tonight’s banquet!」
「To think that you would confuse me with someone else, oh my! And yes, I shall accompany you all tonight.」
It was another duty of the wife of the Court Wizard and one of the Heroes who saved the world. I could hear the others silently giggling and looking towards me with warm looks.
「Everyone, thank you very much for all of your hard work. You did you best out there and for that I am grateful to you all.」
Those were my honest feelings. However, everyone’s faces (except for the two) have gone from the look of exhaustion to the look of even more exhaustion in response to my words. The thought of the banquet must have done this to them.
「Ahh…… I don’t wanna do this, so tired…… I don’t get it. How could the two of you be so calm……?」
Said the Knights Commander, to which the Princess and that man looked at him briefly only to go back to casually sipping on their tea right after.
「I would be a good idea for the two of you to finally be able to get used to things like that, you know?」
「Since I’m a Knights Commander I always have to attend ceremonies like that. That’s just sad, don’t you think!?」
For a Knights Commander to say such a thing, it was truly horrible!
I approached that man and as soon as he saw me he brought his cup back to the table and gently smiled at me, while behind me the Knights Commander sounded as though he was going to start ripping his own hair off out of desperation. That man then urged me to sit beside him and I did just that, having already missed him throughout the ceremony.
「Umm, please forgive me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the ambassador of Nerogranto Empire talking to you during the ceremony?」
What was that all about? When I asked him, that man furrowed his brows and nodded his head, confirming my words. So I wasn’t seeing things.
「Ah, that? He was saying something completely incomprehensible to me.」
「Something you couldn’t understand……?」
What was that supposed to mean? It was rare for that man to not be able to understand something that other people were talking to him about. He took another sip of tea that was already cold, but then the Princess stepped in, saying “Ah, that guy, huh?”
「That guy said that he would like to meet Agedilus in private.」
「Ah, come to think of it, I heard that as well. To say such a thing in a place such as this, he must be a really important person.」
Said Widnicol, also joining in on the conversation. And if more and more people knew what that was about it, only goes to show that the social skills of that man were still severely lacking. But since that man has never left this kingdom, he was never involved with people from other countries. Who knows? Maybe such a meeting would be beneficial to him? Or, by extension, to the whole kingdom? That would be great, if nothing else. Or there was always a possibility that the ambassador didn’t tell that to that man of his own volition, but was only a middle man for someone else? Honestly, I didn’t know what to think of it. But what was that feeling I was having? As if something bad was about to happen? Why would someone be interested in a Hero like that?
Now, I would also like for the celebrations tonight to end without any major incident as well. I smiled and then looked at the Princess, expecting her to smile and laugh as well. But that wasn’t the case. The look on the Princess’s face was quite solemn indeed. It was the same kind of expression that my Father wore not so long ago.
「Princess? Is there something wrong?」
When I asked her that, the Princess reacted just like my Father, gasping a little bit and then slowly shook her head.
「…… No, it’s nothing.」
No, judging from her expression alone it couldn’t possibly be “nothing”, but I couldn’t ask her more about that even if I wanted to. So I only grasped the hand of that man and squeezed it tightly, as if that was going to give me strength. In the background, the Knights Commander kept on lamenting. I was hoping that my premonition wouldn’t come true.
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