At the Dinner Party
Yui who received Elise started leading the party to guide them, but the march did not advance at all. As soon as the carriage entered the city, disregarding the worries of Yui and Lute, Elise stopped the carriage a couple of times to observe the buildings inside of town without even a tinge of uneasiness, surprising the townsfolk by their presence. From time to time, she suddenly leaves the horse carriage and heads to the alleyways, dropping by at some street stalls, from the beginning to the end acting as she pleased, causing those who accompany her to run about in confusion.
With circumstances going beyond their expectations, when they arrived at Earl Samuel’s villa greatly behind schedule, at that time, excluding her Highness herself, everyone including the chamberlains and the guards have exhausted all their energy.
Of course, Yui being the guide is not an exception, suddenly being dragged in various places around the town, his willpower and physical strength is deprived by the princess bit by bit, and was thinking of wanting to sleep in the room prepared at the earl’s cottage.
Yui did not want to attend at all, but he could not skip the job, and acknowledged the fact so he accepted with a sigh. He: for the only reason that he can eat dinner for free, convinced himself forcibly, as he placed his luggage in his room and head for the venue. Then when Yui arrived at the hall of the Earl’s detached residence, inside were lots of luxurious cuisines that you will not normally see, lined up in a crammed place.
Yui looked around to look for a face he might recognize, but in addition to the princess’ escort guards in the venue, it is being flooded with Calrin’s bigwigs with the count who is the very first on the list, Yui abandoned his hopes early. Receiving the champagne for toasting for the time being, he leaned against the walls of the entrance of the room, and decided to wait for the party to begin.
“Everyone, I am sorry to have kept you waiting”
Around the time that the bubbles of the champagne becomes difficult to see, wearing a pure white dress, while saying so, Elise showed up scattering cuteness on the spot, that anyone in the place held their breath.
Following after her were her chamberlains and Eins who is representing his father, the archduke of Rhine. As they rose on the platform prepared at the center, the hall was filled with a magnificent applause.
“Everyone, Thank you very much for such a heartfelt welcoming today. As it was also a sudden visit, we would like to apologize for the inconvenience”
She said so, and after a gentle curtsy, Elise suddenly tightened her facial expression.
“Now then, Though I have just come to this town, I have been convinced. And that is…… I don’t like you all”
The room which was in a peaceful welcoming mode until now, became frozen from those unexpected words, in that moment the dinner venue was surrounded by silence as its time stopped all of a sudden. Everyone drank their spit on the princess’ next move.
Seeing the reactions of the people at the venue, Elise floated a smile as if she was satisfied, and her noble lips unleashed the flames again on the spot.
“I’ll say it again. I hate you all. Now then, please excuse myself for today.”
As she declared so, she gave an elegant bow that no one else could imitate. And wearing a smile, as she got off the platform, in order to go out of the room, she began to walk toward the entrance. The people who happened to be present from the spot, while exchanging looks at each other, scattered in all directions, opening a way from her in front. Elise walked calmly on that newly opened road.
Then when she had reached to the front of the entrance, her eyes met with Yui who was leaning on the side of the wall nearby. Elise had a congealing smile until then, but as she put a smile of despise to Yui, he quickly averted his gaze, making her leave the room as it is.
Those who were left weren’t able to show any movement to the sudden situation. But as time went by, the atmosphere which waited eagerly for the opportunity to dispel the binding curse of silence began to wrap the space about.
Then, being responsible for that role on that occasion could only be left to the highest ranking noble left on the spot, to Earl Samuel and Eins representing the archduke who accompanied the princess in the inspection. The people’s eyes focused on them.
Samuel who recovered from the unrest of the unexpected event the earlier, exchanging eye signals with Eins, and Eins who had an expression that it can’t be helped, stood beside Samuel.
“Thank you very much for the hospitality and kind welcome. With the princess being a bit tired from the long trip, I would like to express my gratitude once again”
“Archduke representative Eins, we are truly obliged. Though we do not know her real intentions, we are thinking that the scolding from the princess is her wishing for a better territory management for us, so I intend to remain loyal to the kingdom in the future”
Although some discomposure remained in those words, considering the possibility of future intervention from the royal family, the earl chose to remain cautious and chose his words carefully.
Eins on the other hand, aware of Samuel’s intention, understood that there is no malice in that unique appeal.
“Those words, will surely to my father, and will surely reach his majesty the king”
“We are much grateful. Well then, everyone who is tired of the long trip, and every one of Carlin, today, I would like you to all enjoy the feast to all of your hearts’ contents. Though it’s a bit late, I would like you all to join in chorus. Cheers!”
At that moment, from the mouth of everyone, the toast was recited with an octave lower than intended.
As time advanced in the dinner party, when the alcohol started to take its effects, everyone gradually voiced criticism on the actions of the princess a while ago, and it leaked to the point that it can be overheard by many.
“Just being raised in a higher standing, and look how she turn up her nose around us”
“Hmph, that meddling brat, why must we associate with her? Because Earl Samuel is being nitpick in the first place, the whole Carlin is being involved too!”
“If Count Tarim still has dignity, he should have rejected this inspection in the first place”
Centered around the plump Count Tarim who is in his mid-fifties, are the Tarim faction who are the forerunners of the anti-earl faction, spreading such topics here and there. Let alone the guards, the air is gradually becoming troublesome especially for Yui who arrived from the royal capital.
Yui who thought he had fulfilled the part of his salary deposited the glass in hand to a nearby butler. About to leave the room, at the moment he was about to step his foot outside the entrance, someone grasped his shoulder from behind.
“Lend me your face for a moment”
From there, stumbled the figure of a pitiful archduke substitute grasping the collar of a completely flushed red-faced Lute.
1. (TL NOTE: Earl and Count are the same as well as Hakushaku in Japanese. I Differentiate them in this story for easy understanding of whose faction is whose. Count = Tarim, Earl = Samuel. Anti-count and anti-earl)