Volume 4 Chapter 16
We earned quite a lot, so we decided to finally head for the royal castle.
It was our first time at the castle.
Honestly, my heart was pounding and I felt my heartbeats were quite loud. Probably just me.
The more I tell it to calm down, the more it increases.
Even thinking of not thinking about it is actually thinking about it. I have no choice now that it has come to this. I will just be a bumpkin all the way.
“Uwaa, it’s huge~”
“Yea, it’s huge~”
In front of us, stood a wall of about 5 meters. I don’t know the thickness but from the looks of it, I was sure my tackles won’t do much.
We came as guests so I had decided to properly enter through the main gate but now that I am here, I kinda feel like I was wrong.
The main gate, which was full of designs, really had a presence.
And the castle, which could be seen at the back, seemed like one straight out of a fairytale, made out of chalk…. It looked like a castle which would take us to a dream world.
It tickles my adventure-loving heart, it kinda makes me a little jealous that the princes live here, and I feel embarrassed feeling so out of place…. Ah, my head is spinning.
Iris and I were staring at the castle deep within, raising our heads by standing on tiptoes. It completely exposes our bumpkin-ness but we can’t help it. Especially the topmost part of the castle.
“What are you doing staring like that?! You suspicious two!”
There were quite a few people walking in and out of the castle but we were the only ones staring at the castle for so long.
And so the gatekeeper pointed his long spear at us but, isn’t that just being too quick-tempered?
What would you do if we were guests? Wait, we are guests.
Moreover, it is not a nice response towards country bumpkins who come to sightsee. Just looking should be fine, right? Or is it that this quick-tempered or sensitiveness is required for a gatekeeper?
“Hey, we are not anyone suspicious. We actually have business here.”
“Business? You really think you can fool me with that appearance?”
We finally noticed after he pointed it out.
We actually had quite a bit of dirt on our clothes here and there.
We came here directly after getting out of the forest.
Well, we did get rid of the blatant dirt, you know? Maybe we became a little carefree after that hunt.
And, now that he pointed it out, it is even more embarrassing. I didn’t even think the castle would be so majestic, it was totally a miss on our part.
And thus, we were under suspicion of whether we were really guests or not.
And now that I look around a bit, since the main gate is so huge, the amount of guests on foot is extremely low. My face got hot. I feel like it will burn up out of embarrassment.
“We are Prince Arc’s school friends and we also received an invitation to come today. We may be a little dirty but… that’s because we fell down along the way.”
“That’s completely suspicious. There were many people in the past who came saying similar lies just to meet the prince. If you were really invited, then let me see the invitation card.”
Invitation card?!….. We don’t have that, do we?
“…….We don’t have one.”
“Well, it’s settled then. I could capture you both right here but, the king is a very generous person. He says to properly respect even youngsters like you. I don’t mean you harm so just leave already.”
Said the guard shooing us away with his hands.
He had lowered his spear which probably meant that he won’t do anything so we should just leave.
This is troubling. I didn’t think we would be turned away at the main gate.
I thought Rahsa had properly made the arrangements. I wonder if the outcome would have changed if we came wearing clean clothes.
No, there is still a chance if I introduce myself.
“Kururi Helan and Iris Balala. Were you not told anything about letting these two pass if they come?”
“….Certainly, I was told to let Miss Iris pass if they were to come. But I heard nothing about a Kururi Helan.”
That’s the opposite! I was the one who was invited as a guest!
“However, she differs quite a lot from the information I received from the prince. He said Miss Iris was beautiful like an angel, fleeting like a sakura petal, and has a smile as bright as the sun which could lighten up everyone’s mood and bring happiness. To be honest….. that girl over there is pretty but she is quite different from what the prince told me. She also has dirt on her clothes….”
We have to deal with this annoyance just because the prince exaggerated way too much?!
So Iris looked like that to the prince, huh?
I kinda want and not want to know what he thinks of me at the same time…..
The situation didn’t seem to be changing for the better so I decided to use some underhanded tactics.
Drawing near the gatekeeper, I whispered in his ears.
“I didn’t really want to say this but, guard-san, do you not realize you’re making quite a big mistake here?”
“Nn? Are you trying to persuade me or something?”
“Yes. Not only are you not letting the could-be queen pass, but you also called her dirty. Imagine what might happen if the prince hears about this. Even as it is, the prince has told you to let Iris pass if she comes. Aa-ahh, promotion looks quite distant, doesn’t it?”
“Gguu…. that’s not fair. But, certainly, if that is the case then I will be in an extremely bad position.”
“Right? You can still recover from this.”
“Ri-right. Alright, I will confirm it. You better be prepared if you are lying.”
The guard I just talked to hurried over to the small entrance in the wall.
The gaze of the remaining guards were sharp.
I wonder what they would do to us if it really was a lie. It is not though! Hmm? It isn’t, right? I was properly invited, right?! Oh no, I am getting anxious.
After a while, the guard came back.
He was out of breath so he must have ran back. Or perhaps, did he get scolded by the prince?
“I am truly sorry! Miss Iris, after I conveyed your features to the prince, he said you were the one. I have been terribly impolite with my words but, please forgive me!”
“It’s okay, it’s okay. I didn’t really mind.”
Iris forgave the guard with a smile. As expected of Iris. I wonder if he will apologize to me as well.
“Aah, you are as kind as an angel. Please, come, Miss Iris. The prince is waiting.”
Making a 180-degree change in personality, the guard lowered himself and invited Iris to the gate.
The huge gate was opened. Opening such a huge gate, it would take quite the effort.
I feel like the guard gate would have been enough for two people though.
As she passed through the gate, I smiled at the guard.
Fuh, we are proper guests, you see!
“Wa-wait a minute, please!”
I was also going to follow Iris through the gate but was stopped by that guard.
“Ah, Miss Iris, don’t mind and please go through.”
A female attendant waiting on the other side of the gate escorted Iris.
Iris went in ahead.
“Wait, what about me?”
“About that, after asking the prince, he said that Kururi Helan was not his guest. I am sorry but, I request you to leave.”
That prince!! Now it’s an all-out war! Oi!
Let’s do it here and now! Come out, you!
1 vs 1! Don’t you dare use the guards!
I got surrounded by guards and thrown out of the gate. Then the gate was closed.
It is manual labour so, I appreciate their efforts.
Not! Why can I not get in!? Am I a guest? I am actually a guest!!
“Really? They are really not letting me in?”
“Yes, we can’t let a suspicious person enter, after all.”
What should I do? I feel like I might get adrift in the streets. Well, I do have money so there’s that.
“Let me stay over at your place, guard-san!!”
“Obviously, I would not!”
“It was a joke. Ah, right. I was invited by the second prince Rahsa. Come on, confirm it with Rahsa.”
“Oi, add ‘sama’! Rahsa-sama has not said anything about you. But, you were together with Miss Iris so I will check, for what it’s worth.”
Ah, now that I think about it, I haven’t written back to Rahsa.
Of course, I did not even tell him that I was coming.
I wanted to surprise him by coming suddenly.
Thanks to that, I am the one being surprised.
“What is your relation to Rahsa-sama?”
“We are the best of friends, of course!”
“Oi, don’t talk so crudely in front of Rahsa-sama. Rahsa-sama is just and upright, so he might forgive you but don’t be impolite. Ah, in the first place, it isn’t even decided if you actually know him or not.”
“Come on, I will let you in the hot springs at Helan territory for free so let me in already. I am tired too, you know.”
“We still have not confirmed. Wait a bit more. So you are from Helan territory, eh? Ah, your last name is Helan too.”
“Right? See, I am not anyone suspicious. Really, let me in. I will also add a manju to that offer.”
“A manjuu too? Well, that’s not the problem here. I will come by soon. And if you are really an acquaintance of the prince then we will officially let you in as well. More importantly, why don’t you have an invitation card?”
“Who even brings invitation card when going over to their friend’s place?”
“Friend’s place… this is the royal castle, you know?”
“I also thought that! I also thought about it at the school! But a lot happened and, in short, I was being naive!”
“I-Is that so? Well, wait just a bit longer, he will come soon.”
Ahh, I don’t like this. I don’t want to wait anymore.
This is not fair, only letting Iris in.
That Arch prince! You better remember this!
I will take revenge for this one day!
Ahh, I am tired. I was fighting with monsters just a while ago, you know?
I just found out right now that the fatigue kicks in like a surge after fighting with monsters if you are not used to it.
…… I decided to wait while lying down.
To also express my feelings of protest, I lied down with my face up. My clothes are dirty anyway. I can’t be caring about a little dirt at this point.
“What are you doing?! Why are you lying down?!”
“…..Protest…. Fatigue….. Sulking…..”
“So easy to understand! Okay, I understand! I clearly understand!”
It looks like he understood.
While I was throwing a tantrum, the main gate started moving again.
The grandiose stone gate opened up.
On the other side of the gate was the one who called me over, Rahsa.
He was wearing a smile but it soon disappeared.
Ah, this is bad. I wonder if it was bad to wait like this.
“You fools! Did you use violence against Aniki?!”
“N-no, we would never….”
“Then why is he collapsed over there?!!”
Ooops, it seems like my waiting position gave him a wrong impression.
Sorry, guard-san. They were properly doing their job.
“Rahsa, you got it wrong. A lot happened and I just happened to lie there.”
“What happened that made you collapse?! There is no way something like that happened! You bastards, I won’t forgive you for using violence to take advantage of kind Aniki!!”
“Ah, no, Rahsa? Really, nothing happened.”
“I like that side of you, Aniki. But, there are times when you should get angry. And that time is now! You bastards, I hope you’re prepared!!”
Rahsa drew his sword and was pretty serious so I tried with my utmost effort to explain.
I desperately tried stopping Rahsa as he was chasing the guard around. And this continued for a while.
Even entering the royal castle was hard. My fatigue reached its peak and now this….
Should I just leave now?