I was instantly forgotten when the actual Hero was summoned.
The nobles and knights were filled to the brim with excitement over his arrival. They were cheering, shaking hands and patting one another’s shoulders in jubilation that hope had been found.
The Princess with pink-kissed cheeks in the midst of all this excitement clasped the hands of the young man, who is said to be the Hero, and cooed,「Hero-sama……」.
The celebration continued for a few minutes and then the noise finally subsided.
The Princess, having forgotten about me, cleared her throat, straightened her posture, and spoke to the Hero.
「I’m going to have an audience with my father, His Majesty. Please come this way so that I can show you around 」
The Princess walked out of the hall with the Hero in tow and the nobles followed suit. The royal knights in their fancy armour also followed, and the rest of the knights began to tidy the hall.
Huh? What about me, what do I do? I called out to one of the remaining knights in a panic.
「Excuse me, what do I do?」
The knight looked troubled and approached one of the maids.
「Show this person to the drawing-room. We’ll be back tomorrow. And–」
The knight whispered in the maid’s ear and she nodded silently, and she had me follow her.
The maid led me through the corridor from the ceremonial hall to one of the rooms in the royal castle. The corridor was heavily decorated with obscure carvings and paintings.
I continued to trail the maid as I observed the building that I have only seen similar pictures of online.
「You may use this room. The restroom is in the door at the back of it. I will bring you your meals 」
The room I was led to was unimaginably too simple in comparison to the lavish corridor we had passed.
The room’s floor was laid with eight tatami mats and had a bed, table and chairs, a small closet and one door at the back, and oddly there was no window.
This is not a guest room from the looks of it.
「This is the guest room? Really? 」
I looked at the maid’s face waiting for confirmation. I mean this room was completely different from what I had expected.
The maid simply nodded.
I entered the room and without warning the maid shut the door behind me.
Huh? Is that the sound of the door getting locked?
I tried to force the door open, but it did not budge at all. I checked for the key in the handle, but this was the kind of room that can only be locked from the outside.
「Damn it! They tricked me! 」
I gave up on the door that did not open regardless of how much I pushed or pulled and decided to lie down on the bed.
「What I don’t get is why I in particular was summoned and why in a different appearance…」
No answers came to me, so I let those thoughts go and went to open the bathroom door.
Inside there was a toilet and a basin… There was also a mirror. It was not a modern mirror like the one from back home but a mirror made of shiny metal.
I looked at my reflection in the mirror, the face looked familiar. It was the priest avatar I used in “Pandemic World”. I looked decent but not as good as the Hero who was summoned earlier.
Even if it’s only for one day, it feels good to be young again. Tomorrow I plan to return to the original company stock.
I lay on the bed with thoughts of what excuse I will use tomorrow to explain my abrupt absence from work.
Time passed without a single knock on the door.
I decided to go to sleep after drinking water from the bathroom to try to fool my hunger.
The next morning, I woke up to the sound of the door being unlocked.
The door was opened and the maid who led me to this room yesterday entered the room while pushing the cart that was probably carrying my meal.
Still half asleep I could not get mad at her as she set the cart next to the table.
「I’ve brought you your meal. I’ll leave the cart here 」
Then the door was closed again after her.
「I want to leave the room, but first I need food. I’m seriously starving…」
I quickly got out of bed and removed the lid of the tray that was on the cart.
What was on the tray was bread and cold vegetable soup, which were obviously leftovers.
But as they say, hunger is the best spice right?
Even though the bread was too hard and the soup only had cold scrap vegetables in it, it was the perfect treat for me in my current situation.
The food was in my stomach in the blink of an eye.
As I was busy drinking water to supplement for the lack of food, the door was opened. An old man in robes and a few knights entered the room.
「We will now begin the repatriation ceremony. The Princess is currently attending to the Hero; that is the reason for me taking her place. Although I am not as talented as Her Highness, as a Court Mage my magic power should be enough for the task 」
So the Princess is busy with the summoned Hero and the repatriation will be handled by the Court Mage, there is no problem with that arrangement on my side. I put on the robe I was wearing when I got summoned here.
The knights were walking beside me as we followed the old man in robes. I could only assume this was to prevent me from escaping. I want to return to my world nothing else and all I have to do is to follow this old man.
We arrived shortly in the hall where the summoning ritual was performed yesterday.
「Stand in the middle of the magic circle. I will use a Repatriation Spell to return you to your world」
I stood in the centre of the magic circle as I was told.
The Court Mage began to chant the spell. As the incantation continued for several minutes, the light glowing from the magic circle I was standing in began to spread through the hall.
「――O lost man who has descended to this land. Return to your world 」
As I heard those words, the magic circle was at the same time covered by a brilliant white light which blinded my eyes.