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Chapter 142: Returning Home for a Short Time
“Prime minister-dono…….At such an important time, a very interesting rumor is spreading.”
“Yes, that is…….”
“Men love, huh?……Being too concerned about this rumor, nobles don’t come visiting anymore, right?…….Our plan will precede unhindered, right?”
“……..Yes, but, urm…….”
“As a counter-measure against this rumor, would it be a little better if I become a lustful and lewd archduke? The focus might more or less stray from you.”
“Ar-archduke Zest, thank you very much, truly……..”
“Hahaha, I never thought that my friends will end up dragging me down…….How comes it is always me?”
“I’m really sorry!!”
A few days passed since that okama corps incident.
I finally returned to my senses……
‘Such beautiful women were in fact men’ – the shock was just too big.
“So, don’t tell me, prime minister-dono, …….that you actually believe that I truly desire women and that was in fact the reason I asked for those girls?”
“Of course I don’t believe that! I am being saved by archduke Zest’s consideration after all!”
Prime minister Heinz visited my private quarters and he was very apologetic.
At first, he wanted to let the people know that ‘The archduke has a lewd heart, so I summoned the reception girls for him again’……..
However, unexpectedly, the elves had a keen interest in the ‘Prime minister loves men’ rumor.
“I see. So you do get that. Then, again, why didn’t you prepare your subordinates to act against this rumor……What’s the meaning of this?”
“I can’t even give you a proper answer.”
Heinz lowered his head, cold sweat pouring down his face.
That book was much more offensive than I thought, so we have to decentralize this rumor by spreading another one about ‘Archduke Zest, loving women too much!’….
……..Otherwise, Heinz’ fall would be too quick.
“Sh-shall we call this an unexpected issue…….?”
“The only ones to make use of this ‘unexpected issue’ thing are the nobles. It is precisely the leader of the country who must cope with unexpected issues……..If you were a noble of the empire, all that would be left of you by now would be your head, you know?”
“It’s as you said, my foresight was a bit too optimistic.”
“You don’t get a second change. For the time being, I’ll be playing around with those girls, so I’ll leave the wedding ceremony arrangements to you, all right? If I am to make a move, you’re the one who’s gonna fall.”
“I am truly extremely sorry!!”
The blue-faced prime minister Heinz, bowed many times before leaving the room.
Suu entered afterwards, like she just changed places with him, and informed me while grinning.
“You got yourself caught in his trap, and now you absorbed yourself in sarcasm…..As expected from my master. This Suu admires you greatly.”
“Actually, that was only a play……..”
“Moreover, you can now welcome those girls with your arms wide open…….Master, you can’t exploit them, all right?”
“As I said, it was only a play…….”
“If it was only a play, then I will report this to the madam.”
I’m sorry, all right…….I just wanted to vent a little……But, it’s not like I want women or something!
“I was a bit distracted, but those girls are different. I simply want them as my citizens, as my subordinates, nothing more.”
“Fufufu, I understand, master. However, the girls are definitely a reason for concern. You should return home for now and talk to the madam.”
Yeah…..it’s true that I’m free now and there’s still time until the wedding ceremony…..I’ll go back for a little while then.
I also want to see Wis!
“You’re right, I’ll do just that! Will you be able to handle everything if I go home for two days?”
“We don’t have any matters that must be dealt with urgently, so you can take your time.”
Suu, you truly are excellent……
You do break occasionally, but I can’t believe you’re actually related to Albert.
“Lord Media is here as well, so the mongrel……I mean, Albert, you can take him with you. Of course, you can take Toto-sama with you as well!”
“Call him brother, all right……Are you two still fighting?”
Because of that okama corps incident, Suu got extremely mad at Albert.
Still, the reason she got angry was very Suu-like…..
‘You brought master to such a shop…….He’s an archduke, so you should’ve brought the entire shop here!!’
It’s all right to drink with women, and it’s also all right if they’re okamas, since she’s used to Media.
Occasionally, it is also all right to fool around with the guys.
However, going out is prohibited! Summon everyone here!! Or so was the argument.
Because of my noble status, I can’t go out as freely as before.
“I feel like crying when I think that Albert is my brother. I can only call him a mongrel. Anyway, leaving this aside, I’ll go prepare your departure.”
Suu made a beautiful bow and left the room.
She probably went to prepare my stuff which were in the neighboring room.
Well, I’ll try consoling her later…….She’s a little too pitiful.
“For the time being, don’t look outside the window. If Suu sees you, she’ll flip, all right?”
“You’re no pigeon! You big idiot!!”
Albert, whose temple was dented by the paperweight I threw at him, dropped to the ground.
Well, he’s sturdy, so he won’t die or anything……
“Oh my, as expected from your excellency. You immediately sensed my presence…….and that attack! If I didn’t have this armor, I would’ve died instantly.”
“I see. If you’re saying this, it might be true.”
(Dad! The mongrel is all red! He’s covered in blood!)
Albert laughed heartily, even though blood still poured out of his head.
…….Was that a joke? I don’t really get the kemonobito people’s jokes.
We were now on top of a dragon, on our way back to my dominion, and we relaxed as we fooled around.
We weren’t worried at all since no one could hear us up in the sky.
We could talk serious matters and we could also talk about our nostalgic time spent together in the Frontier Count’s household.
“Say, Albert. We’ve known each other for a very long time now.”
“You’re right…….Time sure flies.”
“Don’t you have any wish?”
“I am happy with being able to stay by your excellency’s side. You are my master after all.”
“I see……I will make you a marquis and leave the border with the Holy Country of Lilac in your care. Become my shield, all right?”
“Wha!? A marquis?”
Still covered in blood, Albert turned his head with unrestrained vigor.
Hey, are you all right? When you turned your head, blood oozed out again.
“Truth be told, I’d like to make you a duke, but, since we’re not blood related, the marquis title is your limit…….I’m sorry.”
“It’s not that. The marquis status is just too high! If you make a kemonobito like me into a marquis, the nobles in the imperial capital will……..”
“I won’t let them complain about it. This is about my life after all……If the empire attacks me, you’ll be my reinforcement, and if the Holy Country attacks me, you’ll be my wall. Who else can I entrust with such an important duty? You’re the only one. I’m counting on you, all right?”
“………This Albert, no……..my entire family will become your excellency’s shield. I will definitely meet your expectations!”
Good. I’ll feel relieved if Albert, whom I’ve known for a long time, will protect my border.
Even if I die, he will definitely help my children.
Among the kemonobito folk……the dog kemonobito are particularly loyal.
“Yeah, I leave it to you. ……….By the way, you……”
“Yes, your excellency.”
“That blood is dangerous, you know? Should I heal you?”
“Hahaha, such a good joke. For a knight, a wound of this level should heal just by fighting spirit alone!”
With unclear eyes, Albert answered me, his eyes looking in the wrong direction.
You…….You can’t see anything, can you…….?
He laughed once again, then the mongrel lost his senses……Maybe I should’ve told him that blood loss is a dangerous thing…….
(Dad, as I thought, you should perhaps choose a more capable person for this job.)
Dad also thinks so…….
As I brushed Toto’s hair, I really thought that from the bottom of my heart.
We finally had an interesting conversation, but the mongrel’s personality traits were hard to beat.
When I’m together with him, something will definitely happen…….Or so I feel.
We arrived at my dominion and descended in my courtyard.
We left the country of elves first thing in the afternoon and arrived here in the evening.
This way I can take my time and show my affection to Wis, and I can also make out with Bea…….
With such thoughts in mind, I opened the door to my office.
There, I saw Katalina and Bea doing paperwork together.
Aah, they are still working…….Does Bea feel better now?
I was about to say ‘I’m home!’, but Bea was faster, and told me, not moving from her chair.
“Oh my? You came back? It would’ve been much better to stay there in the country of elves. Besides, you came home without sending us a notice beforehand……And you call yourself a noble?”
There she was, with that nostalgic cold look, her frowned face and that dark magical power surrounding her……The witch was here again.
…………….Eh? What’s this?? What’s with this reaction?
“We-welcome back-nya, your excellency the archduke! Madam was waiting for you as well-nya!”
“Katalina, I didn’t really wait for him. Shut up and continue working. I will be leaving my seat for a bit……Zest-sama came back after all. Good grief, my entire schedule is going amiss!”
Katalina nodded right away, feeling pressured by Bea’s full use of dark magic power.
There’s no way she could go against that thing……..I was once subdued by it too.
Bea threw the documents in her hand on top of the desk quite violently, she walked towards me with determined steps and took out her iron fan.
“Zest-sama, we should have a little talk. I am busy so I don’t need your reply. Follow me quietly.”
(Ah, Toto wants to eat some snacks! I must hurry!)
And so, I was taken captive by Bea, who returned to her dark state from during our engagement period.
Will I…….be coming alive out of this?
T/N: I’m curious if you expected this xD