Act 05: The Capital
Six months have passed since I’ve been summoned.
I knocked on the director’s office door and waited for a reply before entering.
I placed the tea set, plated sandwiches and sweets on the serving cart.
The Director and Captain were sitting on the lounge suite sofas, waiting for me.
“It looks delicious.”
The Director and Captain laughed happily when they looked at the dishes arranged on the table.
Today was my day off. But when I heard that the Captain had business with the Director and came to the Medicinal Herb Research Institute, I decided to prepare some finger food.
The image was afternoon tea.
The research institute didn’t have any tiered trays, so it was served on an ordinary dish. However, when there was a tea party at the Royal Palace, it seemed that the sweets were placed on a standing bowl.
The source of the information was Liz.
I poured tea into the tea cups and placed them in front of the Director and Captain. Lastly, I held onto the tea cup I had prepared for myself and sat next to the Director.
I had a feeling that the Captain lowered his eyebrows slightly but I ignored it.
Sitting next to the Captain was too nerve wracking, yup.
“I’m sorry, even though it’s your day off.”
“No, it is not a problem. I did it because I wanted to.”
The Captain apologised, but I wished he didn’t care so much about it.
Even though it was my day off, I did the same things that I usually did.
Besides, the Captain brought some sweets with him today. So I was happy that I could have a tea party like this.
Even so these sweet were very beautiful and colourful.
I thought that these sweets were made from fruits.
Because they were covered in sugar, it was really sweet. But since coming here, I’ve hardly had any sweets so I was kind of looking forward to it.
The Director and Captain had already finished their business, so right now the three of us were talking about various things.
“But you work really well.”
“Even on your days off you never go out. You’re always doing something at the research institute, right?”
“Because I live here. I also want to do housework on my days off.”
It’s no different from when I did housework on my days off in Japan.
There were a lot of things I needed to do on my days off like laundry and tidying up my room.
Even so, I finished everything in the morning.
Laundry, the most time-consuming thing, was usually done by servants.
Most of the researchers living here were aristocrats and a lot of them didn’t know how to do their own laundry.
So servants were hired to do housework, such as laundry and cleaning.
I didn’t like it when other people entered my room while I wasn’t there so I cleaned it myself.
Most people seemed to have other people do their cleaning for them.
Well, if they didn’t then it’ll be like Syvash1)She’s saying that it’ll be really trashy. Syvash is also known as the Rotten Sea., surely.
“Other than housework, you also research or go to the library, right? Isn’t that the same as working?”
“But I don’t work as much as I did in Japan.”
Both the Director and the Captain had a proper position within the Royal Palace so they knew that I was summoned by the 【Saint Summoning Ceremony】.
They were probably worried about me. They didn’t ask about Japan much, but did speak about it from time to time.
Therefore, they knew that the country that I was from was called 【Japan】.
“Before, I worked every day from three bells in the morning until the midnight bell.”
The Director raised a rare voice in confusion and his eyes bulged open.
The Captain didn’t say anything, but he stopped moving the teacup that he was holding to his mouth and stared at me wide-eyed.
It was inevitable.
Three bells in the morning was 9 am and the midnight bell was the bell that indicated that it was midnight.
If I added the time I took to get ready and commute, I woke up at 6 am every morning and slept at 2 am.
Although I had two days off on the weekends, I went to work every Saturday……
I wanted to do housework on Sunday but since I had physical health problems all I did was rest.
Compared to people living in Japan, they basically lived when the sun sets and rises. I thought it varied between occupations, but the working hours of the research institute were also based on that.
Since coming here, I’ve been working from 7am until 5pm every day.
Moreover, the people from the research institute and 3rd Knight Order drank tea casually sometimes.
No one got angry when they drank tea.
Other people may have been different, but I felt that my lifestyle now is a lot freer than when I was in Japan.
If you looked at the basics of my free lifestyle, then no matter how you look at it, I overworked before.
“That…… Did you attend evening parties at work……?”
“No. I was a commoner.”
Yes, like the Director and Captain, there were also jobs where aristocrats attended evening parties.
Those parties may have been held in Japan, but I was in no position to attend such celebrity gatherings.
“That kind of commoner is as busy as our Prime Minister.”
“Everyone around me was like that?”
“The civil officials are like that.”
“Is that so?”
“Ah ~, that’s right.”
Even in another world, the civil officials working at the Royal Palace seemed to be very busy.
However most of the civil officials were aristocrats, not commoners.
“Huh, what is it?”
“No, you’ve become more beautiful compared to the first time you arrived here.”
“Hah? What are you saying so suddenly?”
“When you first came here, I thought that you looked like the guys from Interior when they’re busy.”
The Director placed his hands on my cheeks while saying, “Your eye bags have completely disappeared”, and stroked his thumb under my eyes.
No one other than my family has ever touched me like this and my heart thumped in my chest.
Perhaps, my face was also red.
And the Director amused himself with my reactions.
The Director’s facial expression didn’t change while he was looking at me but his eyes were mixed with joy, so I was sure of it.
He seemed to have noticed that I wasn’t accustomed to such skin ship so he was messing with me like this lately.
Ah ~, enough.
I wanted to escape from the Director’s hands, but it was hard to move from the sofa I was sitting on, so I couldn’t distance myself.
While I was cursing in my mind, I heard someone clearing their throat in front of me.
When I glanced up, the Captain was glaring at the Director in displeasure.
The Director also noticed him clearing his throat and glaring at him so he released his hands from my face.
“What?! Do you also want to touch it too, Al?”
It seemed that the Director’s target had changed to the Captain.
Anyways, I drank my tea and sighed in relief.
It was hot.
It was the peak of summer.
This place was the mainland so it wasn’t as humid as Japan.
But, it was hot in hot weather.
Moreover, there was no wind today.
I would have liked to be in shorts and a camisole, if I was allowed to.
Of course with bare feet.
If I were to dress like that here, the guys at the research institute would have nosebleeds and pass out.
Even though it was summer, I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and an ankle-length skirt.
Camisoles and short pants had less cloth than general underwear here.
Still, at this rate, I would probably have collapsed due to heat stroke. Although my sleeves were rolled up, it was still hot.
I was writing a document to submit to the Director, but my brush had stopped moving for a while because of the hot weather.
I gave up enduring this heat.
I moved to where Jude was sitting and he also seemed to be annoyed by the heat. There were openings on the sleeves of his shirt.
What the, that’s unfair.
I also want to open up my sleeves.
If it was like this then let’s make him work.
“I have a little favour to ask you. Can you come with me?”
I said and brought Jude to the kitchen.
The chef wasn’t there when we entered the kitchen since it was already past noon.
While looking around, I found a bucket used for cleaning on the shelf near the wall.
I took the bucket, put it on the floor and turned to face Jude, who was standing behind me.
Jude could use water attribute magic.
I had a feeling that he told me he could fill a tub full of water with his magic.
“Can you fill this bucket with cold water?”
“I can. But what on earth are you trying to start?”
“I thought that it’d be refreshing if I fill the bucket with water and put my feet in.”
“You’re trying to say it’s improper, right? It’s okay, nobody’s here.”
It seemed that it wasn’t good for women to show their bare feet to the opposite sex in this world.
When I went to the library at the time, it was hot so I was fanning myself with my skirt and Liz got angry when she saw it.
Despite Liz being the same sex as me.
When I said that she replied with, “What if someone saw you?” She had a nice smile on while she was angry.
That was scary.
Because there are such values here, Jude hesitated and his face was unusually red.
“If Jude also had a bucket, you could also soak your feet. It feels good, you know?”
I proposed the same thing to the reluctant Jude.
It was the whisper of the devil.
“You don’t have to worry so much. No one comes to the kitchen at this time and it’s not like I’ll be soaking my feet for that long. Please!”
“……。Fine…… If you insist. Be careful not to get found out.”
Although Jude was reluctant, he filled the bucket with water and left the kitchen.
He cheekily took a different bucket with him when he left so it seemed that he was going to do the same thing at a different place.
Even if he said that, everyone was the same in hot weather.
The kitchen floor was dirty, so it was fine even if water spilt.
I put the bucket in front of the chair and sat down on the chair.
I raised my skirt up to my knees so that it wouldn’t get wet.
I took off my shoes and socks and put my feet into the bucket. The cool, cold water covered my feet.
Ah ~, as I thought it feels good.
Anyhow, no one was here so I unbuttoned two buttons from my shirt, opened it and fanned myself.
There was no wind but it was cool when I fanned myself.
I spent a while doing this and when the water in the bucket became lukewarm.
The doorknob turned with a clink and the door behind me opened.
I heard a voice and turned back. The Captain was there.
He looked my way, stopped in the middle of his sentence and froze.
Ah ~, yup.
My appearance is overstimulating, isn’t it?
It’s very awkward.
For the time being I fastened my buttons, pulled my feet out of the bucket, put my shoes on and stood up.
“Hello Hawk-sama. What can I do for you?”
And as if nothing had happened, I called out to the Captain.
The Captain, who was frozen, covered his mouth with his palm and averted his eyes.
As usual he blushed.
“Sorry.” He said in a small voice.
Please don’t be shy.
Please pretend it didn’t happen.
I thought as I cleared my throat. The Captain started speaking awkwardly.
“I heard that you have a day off tomorrow.”
“Come to think of it, yes I do.”
When he said that, I remembered that tomorrow was my day off.
But what’s wrong with that?
I thought and tilted my head. The Captain turned back to face me.
“Tomorrow’s also my day off, so I was wondering if you’d like to go to town together.”
Oh! I can finally go to town!!!
I haven’t been to town yet.
When I replied joyfully the Captain recovered and smiled.
“Johan was worried that you were secluding yourself in the research institute and working on your days off. It is also important to take a breather once in a while, right?”
“Is that so?”
Johan was the Director.
It seemed that the Director was worried about me.
I certainly didn’t have anywhere else to go and because I lived in the research institute, I was also there on my days off so I ended up working.
But I did spend my mornings leisurely.
“Thank you. Please let me join you.”
“Well then, I’ll pick you up here tomorrow morning.”
“Is that alright?”
“Yeah, no problem.”
What kind of place is it?
Of course it’ll be like a European townscape, right?
I wanted to go to Europe at least once but I didn’t end up going because I was summoned.
Like that, there was a time when I was pleased……
I was looking forward to going into town that I completely forgot.
The person who was going with me was the Ice Knight-sama, who wasn’t cold at all.
There was a short distance between the Royal Palace and the town centre, so we rode a carriage from the front gate.
It wasn’t a luxurious carriage from the Margrave but a normal carriage, it seemed that the Captain made arrangements so that it wouldn’t be noticeable.
The clothes that the Captain wore also matched with mine. They were clothes that commoners wore around town.
I thought that the Margrave carriage was better than a normal carriage…
Because, you know, the normal carriage isn’t spacious.
I was in this cramped carriage with the Captain, who had a good physique. Just the two of us.
It’s close! Too close!
Right beside me is a sparkling hunk!
Moreover, we were sitting relatively close……
A trip in a narrow space while sitting relatively close to a hunk……
My level’s too low. I can’t do it!
Stop it! My life is already zero!
“Look! If you look over there you can see Johan’s main residence.”
I was screaming inside when the Captain smiled and pointed towards the other side of me.
Don’t get any closer! Close. Too close!!!
I couldn’t look at the Captain anymore so I looked towards where he was pointing and there was a magnificent residence.
Since it was the capital, the price of the land must be expensive, right? And yet the Director’s house was very big.
Was his family rich?
“It’s very big.”
“Yeah. Johan’s family is really influential.”
I thought that was the case and turned my head back. I really thought my heart was going to stop because the Captain’s face was so close.
I was thankful that he moved when he noticed that blood had rushed to my face. But the inside of the carriage was really narrow.
Despite it being really taxing on my heart, the carriage carried on and gradually reached the town.
It’s amazing! What’s this, it’s so cute!
The landscape looks exactly like Europe!
The rooftops were red. It looked like something that popped out of fairy-tale.
While I was impressed by the townscape, the carriage stopped and the door opened.
The Captain got off first and lent me a hand.
I took his hand and got off. Looking around, this seemed to be close to the centre of town. There are quite a few people.
While I was looking around impressed the Captain said, “The marketplace is that way, shall we go and see?” and took my hand.
Eh? Is he not going to let go of my hand?!
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||She’s saying that it’ll be really trashy. Syvash is also known as the Rotten Sea.|