Translator: Saitama-sensei Editor:Ryunakama
137. Invitation and Demonkind 
After the tumultuous Christmas party, Thousand Blade Academy entered a short winter holiday period.
I immersed myself in training with Ria, Rose, and Claude-san on the days leading up to the end of the year.
And on December 31st, I spent time relaxing with Ria in the dorm… Or at least, I was supposed to.
On New Year’s Eve.
When we went out shopping, Ria said something ridiculous.
「If you eat as many New Year’s soba noodles equal to your age, you’ll be promised sound health next year!」
…Fifteen bowls was impossible in common sense.
Even if it’s a request from Ria, there are things I can and can’t do.
「Let’s eat together, Allen!」
To refuse an invitation from Ria, as she smiled innocently, was very difficult
After further repeated discussions, we somewhat settled on an idea which didn’t make much sense, where I have to eat 8 bowls of New Year’s soba noodles, and Ria 22 bowls.
A total of 30 bowls for two people, which originally should have been 15 bowls per person.
Does that really make sense? …To be honest, I don’t know.
But Ria looked happy at that time.
She said,「I hope we can be together next year too!」, laughing happily.
Therefore, the eight bowls of soba noodles which I ate to the point of passing out was definitely not pointless.
Which means, me majestically lying on my stomach and suffering from stomach pain, is also definitely not pointless… I hope.
And then, January 1st came.
Early into the new year, I ended up taking a stomach medicine.
Needless to say, the reason was the New Year’s soba noodles I ate last night.
(Fuu… Feels like the medicine has worked a little.)
I took a deep breath, calmed my stomach and intestines, and put on my ceremonial outfit I bought just the other day.
Black suit and striped pants. So-called『Director’s Suit』.
I and Ria bought it in a big hurry before the end of the year.
(Even so, I never imagined something like this would happen…)
It all started with a『written invitation』.
The day after the Christmas party, Ria and I received one copy each of a written invitation.
It was an invitation to『Keishinkai』held annually at Ringard Palace on January 1st every year. [1. TL Note:”Keishinkai” is “New Year’s Fortune Ceremony”.]
The Keishinkai is a large ceremony to celebrate the nation’s stepping into a new year, and the ruler of the Ringard Imperial Kingdom, Tenshi-sama will also be attending. [1. TL Note: “Tenshi” means “Heavenly Ruler”. “Heavenly Ruler-sama” sounds off, so it will remain “Tenshi-sama”.]
(But… Why am I invited to such a large ceremony?)
I checked the invitation many times over, thinking that there might be some sort of mistake, but my name was clearly written on it.
(…Ria is the princess of Vesteria Kingdom, so it’s nothing strange for her to be invited to attend the Keishinkai.)
But I’m an everyday ordinary civilian.
A ceremony which is attended by ambassadors from foreign countries and higher ups from the government, to put it bluntly, I am unsuitable to be there.
(Aaa… My stomach is getting sore again.)
Apparently, mental distress can also add to the pain.
(Haa… Why is this happening?)
As I sighed loudly, there was a knock on my door.
「Allen, have you finished changing yet?」
「Aa, just done.」
When I replied, the door slowly opened, and Ria, wearing a long-sleeved kimono, stepped in.
「Yes, that’s perfect. It looks great on you!」she laughed, looking at my ceremonial suit from top to bottom.
「……A-Aa, thank you.」
I was enamoured by Ria’s figure in the long-sleeved kimono, so I was a second late to reply.
An elegant red-kimono.
Golden sash tied around her slender waist.
Beautiful floral embroidery around the shoulders.
An ornate hairpin of a wine red flower pinned onto her braided, lustrous hair.
She was so captivating that my mind went blank.
「…Fufu, are you enchanted perhaps?」
When she jokingly said so,
「…Aa, you are very beautiful.」
I inadvertently put my thoughts into words.
「I-I, I see… T-Thank you.」
The conversation became awkward, and our faces were flushed.
We fleetingly glanced at each other, and whenever our eyes met, we immediately looked away. It was an indescribable atmosphere.
Taking a look at the clock, the time was nine o’clock in the morning.
Because the start of the Keishinkai was at ten o’clock, there was no longer any room to dally.
「I-It’s about time, let’s go!」
「Y-Yes, let’s do that!」
Then, we went to the Ringard Palace with some fleeting tension.
After leaving the dormitory of Thousand Blade Academy, we walked for a while, and arrived at our destination surprisingly soon.
After a brief reception at the entrance, we stepped into Ringard Palace.
A gorgeous ceremony hall spread before us. It almost looked like another world.
The venue was far larger than the gymnasium of Thousand Blade Academy.
A huge, state of the art LCD panel was attached to a pillar.
Huge statues that give off a remarkable presence in each of the four corners of the hall.
Paintings which give off a magnum opus atmosphere, decorated all over.
As if that weren’t enough already, heaps of delicious-looking dishes were arranged on a table.
(How do I put it… it feels『disconnected』…)
There was no unity among any of them. It was simply filled with『extravagance』.
(It is exactly as Ria said….)
A ceremony led by a country, like the Keishinkai, which invites a large number of guests, would be considerably showy to demonstrate the national prestige, Ria said so on the way.
As I was taking in the sight of the hall which felt like another world,
「Ara, it’s been a long time. Ria-san. Allen-san.」
I heard the president’s voice from behind.
Feeling uncomfortable with the way she called me, I turned around, and found the president dressed in a glamorous long-sleeved kimono.
「Happy New Year, president.」
「Happy New Year, president. That kimono is very beautiful!」
When I and Ria said our New Year’s greetings together,
「Happy New Year, Ria-san, Allen-san. Fufu, Ria-san’s kimono is also very beautiful and matches you well.」
The president bowed her head politely, and smiled gently.
(But to meet the president in a place like this… No, rather, this is natural.)
She is from House『Arcstria』.
It is a distinguished family among distinguished families, which has produced the top executives of the Ringard Imperial Kingdom from generation to generation up to now.
I dare say, they are invited to the Keishinkai almost every year.
While I was thinking about that,
「After the Christmas party, I understood something clearly.」
With a soft smile on her face, the president peered into my eyes.
(Yeah… she’s angry.)
It was plain obvious that she was in a bad mood, putting a clear distance between us, and the formal tone.
「Err, um… What did you understood?」
I had a bad feeling, but I asked her just in case.
「Allen-san is a『hentai』who loves to bully girls.」
「I, I see…」
Another troublesome thing as soon as I stepped into the new year…
I sighed a little and listened to the continuation of the story.
「My goodness. Allen-san at that time, had a really mean look and was having so much fun.」
『That time』is probably… the time when I had a pebble and forced the president to make a choice.
「S-Sorry… But I honestly didn’t intend to be mean.」
At that time, I was worried about Ria’s Santa hat, so I had to act a little rough.
It was really just that, and there was zero malice.
「Hmm, I wonder. And this is the second, no, the third time.」
「…The third time?」
「Have you forgotten already? The first time was at Club Budget War, where you disgraced me. The second time was Ikasama Poker, where you cruelly handed out a Full House. Don’t tell me that you forgot?」
Now that I think about it, there was that too.
Recently, there have been so many things happening that I completely forgot about that.
「Anyway, until you firmly reform, onee-san will keep using this tone.」the president said, and turned away her face in a huff.
(W-What a child…)
For someone who self allegedly calls herself『onee-san』, that anger is that of a child’s.
(But, how troubling…)
Once the president is in a bad mood… It gets very troublesome.
It’s hard to get her back into a good mood, and that pompous attitude of hers after getting into a good mood… is also difficult to handle.
As I was smiling bitterly, thinking about how to handle the president,
「Sie, what are you doing?」
A man called out, standing behind the president.
「F-Father, go away!」
(F-Father, so that means…)
It looks like he was the president’s father, Rodis Arcstria.
「…I see. So you are Allen Rodore.」
Rodis-san took a glance at me, slipped through the opposing president and stood in front of me.
「I am Rodis Arcstria. My position is… No, exaggerated titles are inconsequential on this occasion. There is something I have to say to you no matter what.」
「W-What might it be?」
He looked at me for about three seconds, and slowly opened his heavy lips.
「I won’t give you my daughter.」
「There’s no use playing dumb. I’ve known for a long time that you are in an unusually close relationship with my daughter.」
『Unusually close relationship』? What does that mean?
When I was at a loss as to how to respond, Rodis-san grit his teeth and began to tremble.
「My daughter… talks about you every single day… with a really happy look on her face, too!」
「H-Hey, father!? What the hell are you talking about!?」
The president blushed and strongly shook Rodis-san’s shoulder.
But his mouth showed no signs of stopping.
「And the other day, “I’m going to invite him on a date” is–」
「-Waa-, waa-, waa-, waa-!」
The president shouted and blocked Rodis-san’s mouth.
Her face was dyed bright red up to her ears, where it seemed like she could start spitting fire any second now.
「A, AAA, Allen-kun! That’s not the case at all! Father is saying all these things on his own!」
「A-Anyway, that is all! S-See you at the academy! Come, let’s go, father!」
The president said, and pushed Rodis-san’s back and disappeared into the back of the hall.