A solemn space shrouded in silence.
This calm mood was soaking in poison to the point of being refreshing, and it was the battle stage for the influential people.
The audience room.
I feel like all worlds give me the same impression though. At both sides there’s the cabinet ministers, nobles, and knights lined up, and the appraising gazes always manage to make me wanna puke.
The audience was proceeding smoothly with the lead of Erac.
I say that, but it is not as if I know the procedure of the audiences in this world, since common sense changes with the world. That’s why, I could only watch over the ceremony-like actions that were advancing.
And then, maybe the last event of the ceremony had been done with, Erac made a bow towards the throne, and stands back to the side.
“I am the queen of the Motoyasu Kingdom, Caril Dilba Motoyasu.” (Caril)
A voice that felt as if it could purify the air of its surroundings and could ring gently into the heart had reverberated in the audience room.
“In reality, the king Tortemi should have been the one to receive you, but he is currently in sickbed. Ah, he is okay. It is not anything big. Fufu. Ah, right…actually…” (Caril)
This Queen-sama has thrown us quite the bomb right from the get-go.
Moreover, she seems to have begun casual talk with a commoner-like way of speaking, but it looks like the surroundings are used to this kind of attitude, there wasn’t much reaction from it, and the ones surprised were the hero group.
By the way, I am also surprised -by how frank this woman is.
Just that, that gentle smiling figure of hers may look like a saint, but she is an individual that shows max levels of deceitfulness. You can’t allow yourself to be deceived by her looks.
Even if she looks like an air-headed type of beauty, and even if she has high-class weapon-like breasts.
Even within the breasts I have seen, those are quite big.
All the women in the royal castle -the maids and knights- had big breasts, but even within those, she is a whole level higher.
“Ohi-sama <Queen>, please keep the joking to a minimum.” (Erac)
And Erac reprimands the queen for her way of acting.
“Geez, you are so straightlaced… That’s why you are balding, you know?” (Caril)
But the queen was not losing the push.
Maybe because the counterattack was unexpected, Erac faltered, and a short laughter rang in the place.
Women are scary. No matter how good she looks, this person is no good. As expected of the queen, her words carry her personality.
“Also, I still haven’t received the explanation of why the report was late even when the hero summoning had succeeded. What’s with that?” (Caril)
“Ara, sorry. That’s not something to speak of in this place, right. Hero-samas, sorry for that.” (Caril)
Erac tried to stop the Queen from lowering her head apologetically, but the Queen didn’t listen.
What a fox she is.
There was no need to reveal the background circumstances in this place.
Yesterday, Erac and the others left the place immediately after confirming the ‘Hero’ status. After that, we had our rooms assigned to us, but the heroes got the noble guest rooms, and I got the storehouse janitor room. Honestly speaking, being so blatant surpasses the amazement part and instead makes me want to praise them.
The problem is the time between when Erac’s group left and when they guided us to our room.
This blank space of time was easily around 5 hours.
By the time the sun had sunk into the horizon and the curtains of the night were about to fall, we were surrounded by the priestess and female knights, and were imprisoned with them for a while before being guided to our respective rooms.
I didn’t really mind it since I am a regular guest of parallel worlds, but the hero group must have had a really stressing time. The color of their faces was slightly bad.
Well, I was following the movements of Erac’s group with ‘Tracking’, so I know what they were doing, but there’s no need to speak about it here.
I suddenly felt a gaze, and when I directed only my eyes to where it came, I saw that the queen was looking my way and had smiled.
Yeah, that’s the smile of the devil. It oozes out the scent of problems, captain.
“W-Well then, I would like to ask the Hero-samas to introduce themselves.” (Erac)
After wiping off his sweat with a handkerchief, Erac glanced at the queen and then the self-introductions of the heroes began.
“Ah, yes. I <ore> -I mean, I<watakushi> am called Takahashi Yuichi. I am still a novice, but I will definitely defeat the Demon Lord.” (Yuichi)
Oi oi, don’t say such unnecessary things here. They will take it as a pledge. They will make it a commitment, you know?
“I am Kusuhara Miki.” (Miki)
While I was thinking that, the self-introductions of the heroes continued.
After the ponytail girl Kusuhara finished…
“My name’s Katsuragi Shiori. I am honestly confused though.” (Shiori)
The bowl cut girl continues.
“Asagi Kaede. For now, I will do my best.” (Kaede)
After the bowl cut Asagi finished, it came my turn.
“Kamiuchi Makoto. I am an ordinary citizen that was caught up in the hero summoning, so I can’t do anything at all, but for now, I will be in your care.” (Makoto)
When I shamelessly say this without any manners, the nobles and knights began to make a ruckus.
Most were directing animosity towards me, but there were some that were directing deep interest in me as if they were licking me with their eyes.
This is the usual, but seeing the reactions towards an outside factor truly shows the real side of humans.
The female knight that was at the back of the Priestess and the knight that was close to me are also here, but in terms of position, they are at a location far from the throne.
They may be royal knights, or some sort of knights close to that, but being at this place must mean that they have a somewhat decent social standing.
The noisiness was silenced with a single word of the queen.
The amiableness from just a few moments ago was not there anymore, instead, she was brimming with the dignity of royalty.
“I am sorry, Kamiuchi-dono.” (Caril)
“No, I should be the one apologizing. I don’t know how to speak in this kind of places, you see.” (Makoto)
The queen lowered her head, and I also ‘hurriedly’ lowered my head as well.
“Please don’t worry. You were caught in the hero summoning. In other words, a victim. Also, we don’t have a custom of looking down on people based on their authority. Isn’t that right, Prime Minister Erac?” (Caril)
“T-That’s right. It is just as you say.” (Erac)
This woman really is foxy.
“Then…why is it that Kamiuchi-dono is sleeping in the janitor room at the storehouse?” (Caril)
“T-That’s…sadly to say, we couldn’t prepare a room in time, so we had to guide him there yesterday.” (Erac)
“In that case, there shouldn’t be any problems today, right?” (Caril)
“Y-Yes. We are currently preparing it, so…there shouldn’t be any problems.” (Erac)
This Queen-sama truly knows everything.
On the other hand, Erac was wiping his sweat and had his eyes swimming. It was plain to the eye that he was lying.
“Kamiuchi-dono, I am truly sorry for our many shortcomings.” (Caril)
“No, please don’t worry. I have been living in a room just like that before I was brought here, so it was pretty relaxing.” (Makoto)
The room in my homeland is also six tatami mats, so in terms of size, it is relaxing. Also, in the parallel worlds I have been until now, I would be inside a prison cell, sleeping outdoors, or in pretty terrible environments, so this is like paradise.
That’s why I didn’t mind it much yesterday and was able to accept it.
“Now then, Hero-samas, we would like you to head to the meeting room in order to talk about the plans from here on. Erac, I will entrust it to you.” (Caril)
Looks like we are done with the audience.
“Also, Kamiuchi-dono, can I have a bit of your time after?” (Caril)
And then, she made another explosive statement.
“O-Ohi-sama, what are you thinking?” (Erac)
“Is there a problem?” (Caril)
“He is from another world. Who knows what he would do—” (Erac)
“Are you saying a normal person that’s not a hero would pose a threat? Also, you haven’t prepared his room yet, right? Then, he doesn’t have a place to go to, so it might be a good idea to have lunch together too. I would like to talk about his world.” (Caril)
Those are effective words towards those type of people. Or more like, wasn’t the last part your real intentions?
“U-Understood. But please be careful.” (Erac)
Saying this, Erac, who had his head lowered, glanced at me once and then raises his head.
When he glanced at me, he had hostility oozing out.
I complain inside my head about how unnecessarily I have been marked.
“With this, I declare the audience over.” (Erac)
With the announcement of Erac, the exhausting audience had safely(?) finished.
☆☆ ★★ ★★ ★★ ☆☆
After the heroes audience was over, Erac hid his anger as he headed towards his office.
He gave the order to a maid on standby to prepare the room of Kamiuchi Makoto, and after that, he was remembering the exchange he had with the queen not that long ago, and he wanted to burst in anger, but desperately held it in.
He can’t give himself away here. It is not the time.
“What do you plan on doing?”
“Nothing I can do. That damn woman, getting ahead of herself.” (Erac)
The young woman walking at his side -Makirus- shrugged her shoulders lightly, and matched her pace with Erac. They had knights at their backs following them as well, but none of them spoke back.
Even when knowing plenty well who he was referring to as ‘that damn woman’.
“Well, that’s fine. The hero summoning ended up succeeding, but an unnecessary element is mixed in, so there’s a number of moves we can pull. Also, ‘that part’ is reaching its last preparations.” (Erac)
That’s why Erac didn’t talk back.
A fool that only deludes himself with the bright future waiting for him. Foolish people that don’t care about who they hurt and who suffers.
“We should first eliminate the priestess.”
Showing a dark smile, Erac lets out a subdued laugh, and this time, he was walking in a calm manner.
That back figure of his was distorted to the point that you wouldn’t imagine you were looking at a human.
☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆
At around the same time…
The heroes were heading to the meeting room with a maid guiding them.
“I wonder what will happen from now on…” (Miki)
She lets out a low and weak mutter that would be hard to imagine judging from her usual self.
“Will we…be able to return?” (Miki)
Everyone was thinking that, but no one said it. A topic that they wanted to avoid.
Miki’s ponytail swayed as she hung her head down, but Yuichi couldn’t answer her and averted his gaze in pain. Because he couldn’t see the most crucial of problems and felt pathetic.
“It is okay. I am sure senpai will do something about it.” (Shiori)
“By ‘senpai’, are you talking about Kamiuchi-san?” (Miki)
Seeing the state of those two, Shiori whispers to them, and after Miki asked for a confirmation, she answered with a light mood.
Only Shiori and Kaede are acquainted with Kamiuchi Makoto. And when talking about ‘acquainted’, it doesn’t mean personally, but more like, they watch over him from the shadows.
People might call this a ‘stalker’, but the two themselves don’t care about that. Because what they have are pure feelings.
“But that person…” (Miki)
“It is true that he is not a hero, but…but there’s one rumour about Senpai.” (Shiori)
Recalling the events in the audience room and remembering the arrogant attitude he took towards the queen, Miki giggled.
She said to herself ‘he is the type that unnecessarily creates enemies’.
“Rumors say that Senpai has been summoned to a parallel world in the past.” (Shiori)
When Shiori whispered those words to Miki in her ears, she lets out a dumbfounded voice.
“Just a rumor though. But I don’t think Senpai is the type to say a joke like that, and if it is Senpai, I feel like it might be possible.” (Shiori)
“That’s why, he might know a way to return.” (Kaede)
Normally, this would be idle gossip that one wouldn’t pay much mind to, but since they are facing the unbelievable reality of being summoned to a parallel world, they were able to feel that that gossip might not have been just gossip.
Shiori was smiling as if having fun as well as showing a tint of embarrassment, and as if being caught by that, Kaede also laughed lightly.
“Because…he is our hero. Right, Ka-chan?” (Shiori)
“Yeah…Mako-chan is our hero, Shi-chan.” (Kaede)
A past of a long time ago.
Within the fading memories of the past, the event of that day remained vividly in their minds.
“Just that…Mako-chan is scary when he gets angry.” (Kaede)
“Right. I feel like Senpai would get angry if we were to rely on him all the time, so we have to do our best too.” (Shiori)
Miki looked dumbfounded at the fun conversation of Shiori and Kaede, but in time, the two laughed out loud and the three ended up laughing together.
Looking at those three like that, Yuichi was feeling slightly jealous at the compatriot that’s not with them right now.