This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat.
Author’s Note: This is the first chapter of a two-part episode.
After staying overnight at one of the towns along the way, we finally reached the Claude territory.
When we stayed over at the town, we encountered some trouble.
A family of heroes and a royal will be staying there. Because a commotion will occur if we stay at a normal hotel, we were forced to stay in a first-rate hotel.
Although the magistrate in charge of the town offered to let us stay at his mansion, but since it was a personal itinerary and not an official royal visit, we declined.
Although we tried to keep the information as tight-lipped as possible, there were a lot of people in front of the inn. I wondered where they heard about it.
Thanks to that, even though we have arrived in another town, we couldn’t get out of the inn at all.
Well, it wasn’t as though the unrelated parties or other inn guests were able to approach us, as expected of the town’s number one inn. Since we have rented the entire top floor of the inn, there were security guards guarding the stairways leading to our floor from other guests.
As expected, we really did receive celebrity treatment while staying at the inn.
Although I’m happy receiving the special treatment, but having no freedom is a little…
After staying there for one night, we reached the territory where Sicily’s father acts as the fief Lord, ‘Claude City.’
Fundamentally, the cities and towns governed by the aristocrats are named after them, which is easy to understand. It was done so, so that aristocrats will bear the pride of governing over those places, and take responsibilities.
Because the town of Claude is a hot spring resort, hot streams will spring up in random places.
When travelers enter the gate leading to the town, they will immediately line up for the public bath, while the local people will wait before lining up.
The fief Lord’s mansion is located in the depths of the town next to a mountain, making it a difficult place to invade.
When we entered the gate, although the local people spread the word that the procession of the royal family, family of heroes, and the fief lord’s daughter was arriving, they were not at all surprised.
Or rather, there was an atmosphere of being relieved that we arrived safely.
It’s only natural since it will be a major incident if something happened. Well, with this combination of people, it’s difficult to think that something will happen…
A messenger was immediately sent to the lord’s mansion. Although the carriage stopped at the carriage terminal, the lord’s mansion sent a service to pick us up.
“Welcome home, young mistress Sicily.” [All the servants.]
The servants who knew of our arrival ahead of time lined up and greeted.
“Young mistress Sicily, welcome home. Prince Augusto, welcome to the place. Also, Magi-sama, Guru-sama, it is my honor to meet you. And to all fellow school mates, welcome. And also the new hero, Shin-sama.”
He is probably the chief administrator in charge of managing the fief on behalf of Sicily’s father. In the end, he stared at me.
Wh-what is it?
“All of the servants and myself were especially sincerely waiting for your arrival. Please accept our best regards.”
“Please accept our best regards.” [All the servants.]
For some reason, all of the servants bowed their heads. What is this?
“Re-really! Everyone is being too exaggerated!”
“But young mistress Sicily, it is natural for us to greet someone who will be related to us sometime in the future…”
“Whaa!~ Whaa!~ What on earth are you saying!~”
Sicily got really panicky. About this, I was once again able to see something unusual.
When I laughed while seeing her like that, Sicily looked towards my direction.
“Wh-what are you laughing for?”
“Nothing really, it’s because it’s unusual for Sicily to raise her voice and get all panicky.”
“Ahh… enough, already!”
“Ahaha, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Now, lift up your spirits.”
When I patted Sicily’s head who had turned bright red and tears threatening to spill from her eyes, she seemed to have calmed down.
“Really… I guess it can’t be helped.”
“It’s because you looked cute when you acted all panicky, I’m sorry?”
Ah, she turned crimson again.
When I looked at the people in the surroundings, not just the members of the research society, even the servants were grinning.
“Wh-what is it.”
“Nothing, I just thought that you guys were flirting as usual.”
“Ahaha, I guess this was what they were doing during the joint training session. This can’t be called anything but being flirty with each other.”
“That right, and because of this, the students from the Knight Academy cried tears of blood.”
“To act this way in front of male students attending an academy with a male to female ratio of 9:1, what a cruel thing to do…”
“Young mistress, as I thought, it won’t do if we don’t properly give our greetings.”
Ah~ ah~ Sicily turned bright red once again and hid behind me.
Because it didn’t look like Sicily will return to normal for a while, the chief administrator resumed the conversation.
“I am currently the chief administrator managing this fief on behalf of Cecil-sama. I am called Camryn Brandry. Because I do not live in this mansion, I have made proper arrangements and will entrust everyone to the servants of this household, please pardon me.”
“Eh? You don’t live here?”
“This is the mansion of Viscount Claude. I only came to this mansion in order to work. I do not go visit the residential area.”
So that’s how it is, I thought that he definitely lives here.
“And also, welcome Prince Augusto.”
“Ah, but the reason I came to this place is to take part in the research society’s training camp, so special hospitality is unnecessary.”
“I will heed your words. It was with good judgment that you were accompanied with Hero-samas as your guardians.”
Probably because I had an expression that said I didn’t understand the situation, Gus explained it to me.
“Because I am part of the royal family, there are a lot of meanings when I visit an aristocrat’s mansion.”
“Although I knew that, but why is it a good judgment to bring grandpa and grandma along?”
“Because the fame of Merlin-dono and Melinda-dono is extensive in this Kingdom, since the two have accompanied us as guardians, the people will not say that ‘The Prince visited a mansion of an aristocrat,’ but rather, ‘Magi-sama and Guru-sama have accompanied their grandson as guardians to the research society’s training camp. And it seems like the Prince is a part of it,’ it’ll have that meaning instead.”
Although it means the same thing, the impressions are different. I wonder if this was in grandpa and grandma calculation and that’s why they volunteered as guardians?
While I was thinking that and looked at the two of them, they both looked away.
…This was, completely coincidental.
After that, the other members did their self-introduction. Because the journey to get to this place was long, everyone was tired. Everyone wanted to enter the hot springs and prepared for the activities that will take place tomorrow.
Although Sicily’s face was still red, she managed to recover and led the girls to their room and the hot springs.
As for us males, a senior maid guided us there.
We were given our respective rooms, and grandpa and grandma were in the same room.
And finally, it was time for the hot springs.
Well, that said, it is not downright uncommon to enter a bath since the concept of public baths exists in this world. However, since this body of mine is still young, there was no need to enter a hot spring because of fatigue.
But since we’re talking about the hot springs, I was happy that grandma and grandpa were able to come.
There was a hot spring in the mansion. The normal bath in this mansion is a hot spring. How luxurious! This is a special privilege of having a hot spring resort.
Because there are often a lot of tourists, the hot spring was separated by genders. It really is a hot spring resort.
And so, when everyone undressed and entered the bath…
Although I knew that the bathhouse was large, it was larger than I expected. In addition, the female bathhouse is separate… Viscount Claude means serious business!
“Oh, this is amazing.”
“This is the first time this one has been to such a large bath!”
“It is bigger than the one I [Sessha] have in my residence degozaru.”
“The one in our house is bigger.”
“You can say that because your house runs a public bathhouse…”
Tony’s family runs a public bathhouse. But it’s if not as if it’s something particularly unusual. Or rather, it would be weirder not to have a bath in a house.
Well, since Mark’s house is a workshop, they probably had a bath built.
And then, the all important grandpa delightedly entered the hot springs.
“This is amazing, I didn’t expect to be able to enter such a hot spring.”
With a face full of smiles, he washed his body and soaked in the bath.
“Ahhh~ I have revived…”
“Phew~ It feels good…”
Because of the long journey inside the carriage, there was an unexpected illusion of the accumulated fatigue evaporating from the body. This was the same for everyone.
“Fuu… This is really good…”
“It feels really good degozaru…”
“This one feels like falling asleep…”
“You’ll die if you fall asleep, you know?”
Everyone seems to be enjoying the hot springs.
After enjoying the hot springs for a while, grandpa suddenly started talking.
“Everyone, thank you for hanging around with Shin.”
“Because this child has been living in recluse in the mountains, he has never had any friends the same age as him.”
Everyone started perking up their ears, listening to grandpa’s story.
“Ever since he was a child, he has always had abnormally good memory, so I taught him this and that, but before I knew it, he had already matured.”
Eh? That carelessly?
“When I realized that fact, I felt sorry for this child… So I wanted him to attend the academy in hope that he’ll make some friends.”
Is that so? The reason he had taken me to the Royal Capital even though he knew there would be an uproar is because he felt responsible…
“Because of that, when I saw that this child was able to make friends soon after entering the academy, I felt really delighted. Thank you, everyone.”
After grandpa said that, he bowed to everyone.
“Please stop that, Merlin-dono. On the other hand, it should be I who must speak words of gratitude.”
Gus replied so.
“I am this Kingdom’s First Prince. Because of that, I didn’t have a single friend who treated me equally, and I had given up all hope thinking that it was a situation that can’t be helped. However, when Shin told me that I was like his cousin, I felt really pleased. To me, it was an unexpected and joyous event.”
Heeh~ This is the first time I’ve heard what Gus’ real thoughts are.
“And right now, because of the present situation, I am forced to rely on Shin’s goodwill to increase our war potential. Even though I know that it is dangerous, and Shin might get involve in something dangerous. So to Merlin-dono and Melinda-dono who are trying to protect Shin, it would be inexcusable. I am very sorry.”
Although I’m just doing whatever I want. Or rather, I will feel really guilty if I don’t do anything and everyone gets wiped out…
“Hohho, if it’s concerning that, then you don’t have to worry. I have already heard from Diseum about it. It’s not like the war potential will be used for the self-interest of the Kingdom but to be used for the peace of the world.”
Is that so, so he has already spoken to Uncle Dis about it. It has really become a nationwide project.
“Even though I’m thankful that you have considered things up to that point, if possible, I would like for you to to not stop socializing with Shin and continue being his friends.”
“Of course, I will naturally accept. After all, Shin is the first friend I made who treats me as an equal… No, a cousin.”
After hearing those words, everyone nodded in agreement.
“I will continue to be obliged Walford-kun. Likewise, if it’s okay with him, I want him to remain my friend forever!”
“Although I’m often amazed when I’m together with Shin-dono, it’s fun being with him. So I, as well, best regards from today onwards.”
“I am of the same opinion degozaru. While other aristocrats look at and strangely and treats me different degozaru, Shin-dono treats me normally degozaru. Because of this, I am really happy degozaru.”
“That’s right. Shin doesn’t look at me from a bias point of view. And he doesn’t say that I’m a frivolous person either. Although I like girls, I’m happy to be able to make male friends.”
Everyone said so.
“Is that so? Although I did things with good intentions, I feel guilty dragging everyone to something really troublesome…”
“You said it yourself, did you? That you did those things with good intention? If that’s the case, I don’t have any complaints. Or rather, we are grateful that you were able to improve the strength of us normal people, giving us a chance to be of help to people in the world.”
“Eh, is that so?”
“After all, I am also a man. It is my desire to become a hero.”
Everyone nodded in agreement at Thor’s words.
“Well, about Thor being a man, the feeling he gives is more like a boy.”
“Please don’t say that! Because I’m really bothered about it!”
Everyone started laughing. I am really blessed with good friends.
“What is it?”
“I am really grateful to grandpa for having trained me all those time. If it wasn’t for that, if I went out of town, I probably would have died. That why you shouldn’t be bothered about it too much. In addition, thanks to those times, I now have many friends.”
“Thank you, grandpa.”
Ah, grandpa cried again.
* * *
I meant to release this chapter earlier, but I just got home from picking up my puppy, Mika, from the vet. She had a surgery today. Sniff, sniff