Yoshi! New chapter of SH! Are things (finally) moving in a different direction now? oO
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Chapter 108: Arriving at the Imperial Capital
“Zest, I’m sorry to have made you come to the imperial capital together with pregnant Beatrice.”
“Thank you for your kind words, your Majesty. I have to meet the guy. He’s Tsubaki’s marriage partner, after all.”
Once we arrived at the imperial capital, a secret meeting with his Majesty was already waiting for me.
I left Bea in our room.
The plan was to bring her along but…….
“Madam is tired. A meeting with his Majesty? Master alone is enough for that. His Majesty and the madam…….There’s no even a need to think about it, I will prioritize madam’s physical condition.”
Suu resolutely declared, so I went to the secret meeting by myself.
………Well, she did say those words precisely because she worried about Bea.
“Is Beatrice all right? I won’t mind it if she can’t come to the audience either. She’s a pregnant duchess, no one will complain about it.”
“Thank you for saying this. It’s really helpful. As I thought, she really is tired.”
It’s useless…….I’m afraid I’ll burst out laughing if I keep thinking about his Majesty’s wig……..
I pinched my leg in a desperate attempt to fight this urge.
“Of course. Then, the audience tomorrow will be with you alone. Afterwards………Right, in about two days that guy from the country of elves will arrive. She doesn’t need to show up at the ball, but she should be present when I introduce him to the relatives.”
“A ball?…….I should be escorting Tsubaki, shouldn’t I?”
A ball, really?……..Oh well, it is an important event for this country.
It must be done in a grand manner, in order for his Majesty to save face……..
“You must be present there. You also must be careful for that stupid prince.”
“…….Stupid prince……..you say?”
His Majesty frowned.
What? Is he that stupid? Give me a break, will you?
“I beg of you, don’t kill him, all right? He’s supposed to have escorts, but beware that last time when he visited, the Minister of Foreign Affairs who attended to him got so worn out that he ended up losing a lot of weight……”
“…….I’m amazed that prince……..is still alive.”
“He’s part of the elven royal family after all. Since they have long lifespans, they treat him like a child even though he’s 20. Besides, it is very rare for elves to conceive…….so, you know.”
“He’s a long-awaited child……you say?…….”
“Well, the elves always isolated themselves from the others. This time too, they came to visit our empire because of the spiritification.”
“I see…….That Ministry of Foreign Affairs was really unfortunate.”
“ “ *sigh*………” “
Without thinking about it, my sigh and his Majesty’s synchronized.
This conversation had many hidden meanings.
First, the stupid prince.
Regardless of the secret meeting, for his Majesty to clearly call him a stupid prince, he must really be stupid.
Moreover, he asked me not to kill him?
This means that he’s such a fool that no one will complain if he gets killed.
Next, the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
An isolated country like the country of elves has a Ministry of Foreign Affairs? This is such a laughing matter.
A useless employee, a messenger with the fake title of minister……
It was his duty to inform the world that the elves celebrated the spiritification.
But it all ended up with a marriage proposal…….
That minister either got demoted or……the capital punishment, if he were unlucky.
In short, as a counter-plan, this time quite an elf will accompany the prince.
This looks rather troublesome…….
“ “ *sigh*…… “ “
His Majesty and I exchanged glances and sighed again…..
“However, their higher ups agree to this marriage, right?”
“Precisely because of this. That stupid prince forcibly made a definitive offer, so they couldn’t possibly have said something to stop him, could they?”
“……..Yeah, it’s impossible.”
“In this case, they’ll make us refuse the offer…….or, they’ll make it look like there was a fault on our end…….”
“I’m afraid so. That’s why I entrusted you with Tsubaki’s training.”
“Education, your Majesty.”
“It’s all right. It was harsh training after all. It’s our responsibility that she became like that……..I do owe you one, Zest. Accept that the imperial family owes you.”
The Emperor stared at me with a serious look.
I never imagined that he would declare something like this……Was the wig incident too effective?
I’ll give Toto some sweets later.
“I do understand. And I also think it was the right thing to do.”
“I can’t see you as an enemy. I am more or less selfish, but I do want you in my empire.”
The Emperor smiled, then he started to laugh wholeheartedly.
“Hahaha! For the time being, you should get some rest together with Beatrice. This is all the information I have about the elves. Do you have anything to say?”
The Emperor drank up his black tea and I answered him, after I thought about it for a short while.
“Right…….For a stranger like me, my wife Bea is the most important person in my life. If I can provide this wife of mine with happiness, then I will endure anything.”
“……..Understood. I won’t forget these words.”
I bowed to the Emperor who nodded with a serious expression, then I returned to my room.
Considering his reaction, I guess he did understand the meaning behind my words.
I walked with a fast pace towards the room where Bea rested.
It was a room inside the palace, specially prepared for the dukes.
“Welcome back, master.”
“Suu, how’s Bea feeling?”
“She’s resting now. Toto-sama is together with her.”
“I see. In this case, prepare some tea for me.”
I sat down on the sofa and drank some of the tea that Suu prepared.
I can finally calm down.
“Master, how did the meeting with his Majesty go?”
Since Suu is my steward, I must explain things to her up to some degree.
She’s like a private secretary…….She’s making all sorts of adjustments to my schedule too.
“I will go alone to tomorrow’s audience. In about two days the elves will arrive. Bea will only have to be present when introducing the imperial family’s relatives, so it’s all right. I will escort Tsubaki during the ball.”
“Understood. Then, I will make the appropriate arrangements. Master, do you have any other errands to do?”
Now that she asked me, I thought about it, but I didn’t have anything to do in particular.
“No, nothing in particular.”
“In this case, what about buying the madam a present? Did you offer her something lately?”
………Come to think of it, I haven’t given her anything.
“I heard that pregnancy makes one anxious and irritated. I’m sure that if the madam would receive a present from master, she’ll be very happy.”
“You’re right……Summon some merchants. I’ll look for something to give her.”
Suu……She’s wonderfully considerate.
Precisely this……This is what my household was lacking.
“As you wish. As for the merchants, I’ll ask for Tanya’s staff. We could make her a purveyor to the Duke’s Household.”
“I don’t mind. I leave it in your care.”
Suu lowered her head gracefully then left the room.
She’s simply wonderful……Is it really all right for me to feel this relaxed?…..
What did I do up until now?
If I knew that a steward would make things this easy for me, I should’ve gotten one earlier.
I drank some more tea as I admired the amazing and excellent Suu.
Since I can’t go shopping in the town, I must summon the merchants here.
It’s rather bothersome to have a high social status.
I should sometimes go out undercover and have some fun.
I ate some cookies as I thought about this.
I had spare time now that Bea and Toto were asleep.
“Your excellency, duke Zest. I am bringing a message from Lamia-sama.”
My laid-back spare time was over.
Following the nocking, a woman’s voice could be heard.
The maid entered the room, lowered her head, then informed me.
“Lamia-sama entrusted me with a letter for your excellency. Here it is.”
I received the letter from the maid and confirmed the seal on its back.
Without a doubt, this was from my mother-in-law.
“I will look at it right away. Wait outside the room.”
I waited for the maid to leave the room then opened the letter.
I looked at it and its contents made my head hurt.
It’s been a long time. How have you been?
I’m writing this in a hurry so I’ll omit the greetings for now.
There are some nobles who are making secret arrangements to destroy Tsubaki’s marriage, in order to weaken you.
I did destroy some of them, but I can’t get rid of everyone involved.
You must come see me as soon as possible……There’s something I must consult with you about.
Tonight, you should come meet me in my room, alone. You don’t want to worry Bea, do you?
You should come late at night, all right? And be careful not to be seen!
I can trust that maid so you can feel at ease. In case you can’t meet me tonight, tell her that you’ll send me a letter afterwards.
If you can come, then tell her that you understood.
Then, I’m counting on you!
Your kind mother-in-law’
……..Kind? ……I’ll just leave it at that.
I called out to the maid waiting outside and told her my reply.
“Please tell her that I understood.”
“As you wish. Then, please take this.”
What she handed over to me was a key to a room.
……..Mother-in-law, you want me to use this key to sneak inside a woman’s room in the middle of the night?
This situation might cause all sorts of problems…….
I pray that nothing serious happens…………..
God’s gift to mankind: Mockii
T/N: I honestly do hope that something serious will happen…… xD