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Chapter 131: The Last Stop
“Also, we actually had a reason for visiting you in the middle on the night.”
The Empress smiled as she informed us, but our attention was uncontrollably focused on the Emperor sitting next to her.
He was staring in the direction of the day after tomorrow…….His eyes looked like those of a dead fish.
“I came to you, duke Zest, because I thought you could do something about my hair. What do you say?”
“Ha? Not his Majesty the Emperor’s but your Majesty the Empress’ hair?”
“Come to think of it, you’re always covering it with headdresses.”
We both followed the Empress in not paying any attention to the Emperor for now.
Because otherwise our conversation wouldn’t advance at all.
She took off her scarf from her head; her hair was too short for a noble.
Noble women in this world have usually long hair that reaches at least their lower backs, but the Empress’ hair reached only her shoulders.
“Urm, you used your hair for his Majesty’s…….you know, hair thing, right?”
“Aaaah, your Majesty the Empress, you are so kind……”
“Hair thing…….Fufu, you called it hair thing…….”
The Emperor was now sitting down on the floor, his body more and more numb, and his usual dignity nonexistent.
He looked nothing more than an ordinary middle-aged man.
“I asked Lamia about it, since her hair is always glossy and smooth, and she told me that duke Zest did it for her. In this case, I thought maybe you could also make my hair grow longer.”
I see. So this is why the Empress doesn’t usually come out in public!
It was less because of the Emperor’s doting attitude and more because she wanted to hide her short hair……..
“I understand. I will give it a try.”
Just a few days ago I did my best and used much of my magic power for Bea’s sake.
Normally, my magic power should’ve dried up, but luckily my magic power isn’t that weak.
Rather, a short while after I use it, I feel good again.
As I started to feed my magic power to the Empress’ hair, I created a powerful mental image of growing hair.
“Good. It seems to be working…..While we’re at this, I might as well make is glossy too.”
“Right. Ah, how would you like it to be, your Majesty? Zest-sama can make your hair straight or curly and fluffy as well.”
Fufu, it’s not like I practice on my maids’ unit just to put on airs or something.
I can make it look however I want, be it straight or curly.
“Well, in this case, I want it to be long and straight just like duchess Beatrice’s hair. I admired it for such a long time!”
“As you wish. What do you think?”
I stopped infusing magic power and moved a bit to the side.
She checked her hair by looking in the mirror that Bea prepared, and she became exaggeratedly happy.
“This is wonderful! It’s so beautiful and silky…….and perfectly straight! Aah, I yearned for this since I was a child!”
The Empress touched her hair with her hands and frolicked like a young girl.
In this world there’s no such thing as perm treatments……People with frizzy hair can only yearn for straight hair.
“I am more than happy to have pleased you.”
“Your Majesty, this hairstyle looks great on you.”
“Oh my, but doesn’t it make me look too young?”
The two women started to enjoy a conversation about hair ornaments and hair styles.
Suu evacuated the zone in order not the be dragged into their world.
…….She kind of has a sharp intuition.
“……Zest. Can you only make the hair grow longer?”
With bloodshot eyes, the middle-ag…….the Emperor drew near.
He didn’t have dead eyes anymore……He looked very serious now.
“It-it is likely that I can make it grow as well.”
“Do it!! I’ll never ask you for anything else in my lifetime! I’m begging you!!!”
And so, the Emperor’s head returned to its golden days.
I never imagined that he would prostrate himself in front of me…….
Also, I who have saved his head, ended up receiving a new court title.
“I didn’t offer you any lands when you adopted princess Tsubaki. The reason for that was for me to test how you would treat Tsubaki as a foster father and how you would bring this marriage problem to a conclusion. I trusted that you wouldn’t use this as a bait and that you would unmistakably cope with and solve the situation. In response to this, the Zest who splendidly concluded the marriage problem is worthy of becoming an archduke. Objections are not approved. This is an imperial command.”
The Emperor stood up and held a sword in his hand.
The nobles in the audience hall simultaneously placed one knee on the floor and all made a respectful bow.
“You will also be the Crown Prince’s guardian. In case I collapse before handing over the imperial throne, you, archduke Zest, shall give your guidance…….and devotion to the Crown Prince.”
“I humbly accept the heavy responsibilities of a guardian and an archduke.”
I received the sword from his Majesty, then Prime Minister Arc stood up as planned.
“As the retainers’ representative, I, Prime Minister Arc, will give you our answer. We will follow your Majesty’s imperial command, we will assist archduke Zest and we will pledge an everlasting loyalty to the Crown Prince.”
And so, I was made an archduke in this audience hall…….and I realized that this will undeniably make me busier and busier…….
“Really now, right when I’m supposed to leave for the elves’ country…….My work load will unnecessarily increase again.”
“That’s because the war potential master possesses is abnormal. They might have designated you as archduke and the Crown Prince’s guardian with the ulterior motive of binding you to this place.”
As I processed the congratulatory letters I received from nobles in my office, I talked with Suu.
The Emperor’s choice was about 20% backed by gratitude for healing his baldness and about 80% backed by political reasons.
That cunning old man…….I really can’t let my guard down with him.
“But still, master’s influence increased now. We should be pleased with it.”
“You’re right. Besides, those guys will also return very soon…….”
Even as I kept conversing with Suu, my hand didn’t stop.
The returning letters for the nobles must be hand-written, and I must be the one to write all of them.
There were about fifty pages or more, but I wrote them all as I constantly casted healing magic on my hand.
“Your excellency, here’s the report from the intelligence unit.”
About the time I started to get tired of writing letters, I heard a voice from my back.
They finally returned.
“Thank you for your hard work. So, how was the elves’ country?”
“Yes. We made a summary of their war potential and internal administration in these documents. We roughly understood the factions’ organization, so we will be able to protect your excellency when you arrive there.”
I sent the intelligence unit beforehand to investigate the elves’ country.
It would be suicidal to march into an enemy country without any information after all.
I won’t be that negligent.
“How about our plan and its presumed errors?”
“Yes. We might increase our ally side with about ten percent. It is all according to plan, so there are no problems here.”
“We can increase our ally side……Ah, that means there were many opportunists.”
Fufu, is that so?……I previously thought that it could all turn into a trap, but those guys are nothing more than opportunists.
“Good. Then start preparing for our departure. The country of elves shall return to my son-in-law.”
“Yes, certainly, master!”
“Yes sir! We will protect you from the shadows.”
Everything was prepared.
This way, the Prime Minister’s faction in the country of elves is already done for.
I settled it in a cool manner.
With proud feelings in my chest, I sipped some tea.
However, it is an unwritten rule that won’t let it end this easily.
“Your excellency, Prime Minister Arc is here!”
The Prime Minister entered the office accompanied by Albert’s cheerful voice.
What’s the matter? Another problem?
“Archduke Zest……Please…….Please do it for me too!”
With teary eyes, the Prime Minister placed his hands on his head.
And there it was……A shiny, kappa-like 1 head……..
God’s gift to mankind: Mockii
- Kappa = mythical water-dwelling creatures; a yōkai demon or imp found in traditional Japanese folklore; usually, the top of their heads is bald and shiny. Here’s a picture where you can see a kappa: http://www.natsumeyuujinchou.wikia.com/wiki/Kappa ↩