Categories: Living Safely

LS – Chapter 284: As such, 4 faced

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A few days after Ritial came to visit.

That man’s wounds have recovered to a state that’s not bad. So, we have been invited to a banquet hosted by Prince Washekt.

There were a lot of justifications like thanking us for subjugating Nektohal and deepening our connections, but the number one objective is to meet the royal family.

I would like to see properly who are the enemies here and form a countermeasure for the future, but…

“Don’t be so on edge, Ilias. It will be harder to discern the background of the other party if they are on guard.”

“Muh, okay…” (Ilias)

That man has changed into the ceremonial outfit that Prince Washekt prepared.

The impression he gives changes completely just from his attire being proper.

Mix-sama is looking at him with an expression of ecstasy, but I don’t think it is to that degree though.

“Muuh, Wolfe wanted to go, too…” (Wolfe)

“There were no attires suitable for beast demi-humans. We could have asked Saira if we were in Taizu.”

Serende is a country with a lot of demi-humans, but there’s barely any beast type ones. They are mostly elves and dwarves.

It is not like there’s no clothes that Wolfe could wear despite her tail, but that won’t do for formal clothes that would be suitable for high class events.

“Maybe we can just have Wolfe-chan wear the armor of Lady Ratzel and have Lady Ratzel wear a dress?” (Mix)

“Think of the difference in height, Mix. The outer layer armor is fine, but the inner layer is one size bigger.”

I am glad he rejected it.

Wolfe would have taken the option of wearing it if it allowed her to go together with him, and with the personality of Mix-sama, she really would make me wear a dress.

I have worn a dress in the banquets in Taizu, but it is troubling that if the sword got stuck even a tiny bit when wearing a dress, there’s the fear of the dress tearing.

Frilly clothes really are not suitable for battle.

“Wolfe will be on standby outside… Please make a loud sound if something happens.” (Wolfe)

“We have to pray nothing like that happens.”

Mix-sama and I are his bodyguards.

Mix-sama has changed to an elegant dress, but I could hear the sound of metal hitting each other from inside her clothes when she was walking.

She must have a whole lot of weapons hidden.

I feel conflicted about this being the equipment of Taizu royalty, but Mix-sama’s highest priority as of present is to be that man’s bodyguard.

Let’s just say she is reliable.

Many of the participants directed their gazes at us the moment we entered the residence we were guided to.

Humans stand out, but black hair and black eyes stand out in a bad way no matter what.

He didn’t falter despite that and it seems like he found Prince Washekt after looking around.

“There’s an awful lot of people even for an event hosted by royalty.”

“The other throne candidates have their own connections as well. Just gathering all the princes and princesses in one place like this is already a lot of work.” (Washekt)

“So we can have an idea of whose help they are getting, huh. Thanks.”

Someone from royalty was the one that provided information to Nektohal about the ruins.

But it is not like the royal family was the one who helped them out with their supplies.

There might have been nobles who were influenced as well.

It must be convenient for that man if those people were here, too.

Prince Washekt prepared this occasion with that in mind.

He is extremely reliable as an ally, but…there’s no assurance that he is fully our ally.

I end up being on edge no matter what as someone who can’t tell that apart.

“I will introduce you to the people around here for now, andl introduce you to the other people of the royal family once I see the opportunity.” (Washekt)

“That would be a great help. But is that okay? Hilmera was looking over here.”

“It is not okay. It is not, but if I were to leave you alone, you might end up being dragged away by Yumis. You wouldn’t be able to meet the other royalty if that happens.” (Washekt)

Dragged away… Just what kind of woman is Princess Yumis?

I don’t think he would be deceived by a woman, but…no, would he?

“Being taken away by a princess doesn’t sound bad.”

“Mister Friend, I can take you away-desu zo.” (Mix)

“Sorry.”

It seems like even Mix-sama got angry at his carefree statement.

I would have to follow behind in that trist of his, so I would like him to not do that.

We were introduced to the influential people of Serende, the nobles managing land, and merchants that are involved with the circulation of goods.

It is impressive that he is managing to probe them while improving the trade between them and Taizu.

“How was it, Mister Friend?” (Mix)

“There’s no scent. Even if one of the people we were introduced to were involved, they might have been doing the request as per instructions without being told that they were dealing with a demon.”

“So you are saying there’s no scent of them hiding something? I doubt that’s the case.” (Washekt)

“I know what you are trying to say, Washekt. Merchants have their mouths sealed about their clients by trade. Even the nobles that manage land have one or two secrets at hand. However, there was no sign of them trying to not leak a secret to us.”

“So you did smell the scent of secrets…” (Mix)

Everyone here smells like perfume only even if you ask me about the scent.

I can understand that that’s not what they mean here, but that’s all I can comment about here.

“However, it would be better for you to investigate the 4th noble you introduced us to for a matter separate from ours.”

“Hooh, why is that?” (Washekt)

“He was checking out Ilias and Mix whenever we were looking away. It felt like he was looking at them like good merchandise. He seemed to be a skilled one in that area, so he might be involved in the prostitution of humans.”

I certainly did feel a gaze, but I couldn’t read the intention of it. That man said that this noble seems to be experienced, but that also means he has been in a place where he has gotten used to seeing those kinds of people.

I have heard about his past, but he doesn’t speak about it in detail. I am curious about it, but is it a desire to see something scary?

“I will find an opportunity to investigate it.” (Washekt)

“Also, the 7th merchant, you should have him leave early by creating some sort of random business if you want to get on their good side. I don’t know the exact reason, but he probably still had something he had to do at home. Maybe a family member is ill or someone is close to giving birth?”

“…I shall arrange that.” (Washekt)

What I can say is that that man is currently in perfect condition.

He doesn’t have those eyes, but the precision of his analysis is extremely high.

We are searching for enemies, so it is natural to concentrate though.

“You are at peak performance, Mister Friend.” (Mix)

“I can concentrate on observing as long as it is not a situation where I suddenly get attacked. Mix, if you are worried about the hidden weapons shifting, how about fixing them back in place in the toilet or somewhere like that?”

“…Hahaha, in that case, allow me to pick some flowers for a bit…” (Mix)

I could hear sounds from around her thigh every now and then, but it really was because their positioning was bad.

Mix left the place with a slightly flushed face.

Right now he is directing his attention at me and Mix-sama, too. No, this is most likely because he is also observing Prince Washekt.

His senses are sharpened to a degree where it wouldn’t lose to a martial arts master.

He is hiding that skillfully, you wouldn’t be able to notice if you don’t know his usual self.

But this level of an indifferent attitude is like the one I have seen often before…

We continued talking with nobles and merchants after Mix-sama came back, and a female elf that was fancier than the rest showed up.

I can tell by instinct and that presence of hers that she is without doubt royalty.

“Oh my, Washekt. He is that person, isn’t he? He is, right?”

“…Allow me to introduce you. The 1st princess, Princess Yumis. Yumis-neesan, this person here is the resident of Yugura’s planet.” (Washekt)

She has a gorgeous appearance, but what was most outstanding here was the peculiar atmosphere of a bigshot that she exudes.

She is extremely proud of being royalty and doesn’t try to hide it. She also displays a strong sense of self…is how I tried to analyze her like he does.

“You look younger than I thought. The look in your eyes is bad, but your face is loveable. What’s your name? Do you have plans later?” (Yumis)

“I can’t tell you my name because of circumstances, but I am about this old.”

He was acting as if he was a bit flustered by how aggressively Princess Yumis was closing the distance, and showed his age with his fingers.

“Oh my, do you have elf blood mixed… Doesn’t seem to be the case. It would be weird for there to not be any traits of it anywhere after all. But you still look adult enough. Then, does that mean there’s no need for me to lead that much?” (Yumis)

“Yumis-neesan, I won’t say it is bad that you are energetic as royalty, but I would like you to at least not do that when there’s the eyes of your little brother.” (Washekt)

“It is not bad to proactively approach someone from the opposite gender in a public space, you know? The people below have to choose how to act accordingly after seeing who has received the love of royalty.” (Yumis)

“I am well aware of that. What I am saying here is to please refrain from showing me a sight that will take away my appetite.” (Washekt)

I could feel poison within the words of Prince Washekt, but Princess Yumis wrapped her arms around that man regardless.

I can smell the slight scent of alcohol, but this feels a bit different from being drunk. If I had to describe it, it would be that she is drunk of herself.

“It seems like you found one of my spies. Are you simply benevolent for letting him be, or…maybe you are not careful enough?” (Yumis)

“I just don’t like the faces of the people around me changing often. Also, it would be pitiful for the person that went as far as injuring his own back to get fired just like that.”

“Meaning that there’s nothing you would be troubled about if others were to learn about it. Nice. Can you tell me more about yourself?” (Yumis)

“We can do that when this current matter is solved.”

He doesn’t seem to be shaken by the seduction of Princess Yumis aside from the fact that Mix-sama seems to be somewhat in a bad mood here.

It is far better compared to the Purple Demon Lord… Don’t know if that’s a fair comparison though.

“Someone within the royal family was working together with a demon…was it? I will help you with what I can! That would mean one less person to compete against after all.” (Yumis)

“Yumis-neesan, feel free to look at me when you say that, but you are objectively more suspicious than me.” (Washekt)

“Oh my, you have the most knowledge about ruins though, Prince Washekt. You would be able to provide them with information even without stealing the documents of the ruins, right?” (Yumis)

That was a point that man was worried about, too.

The files for the ruins can only be freely checked by royalty, but Prince Washekt alone can provide information of the ruins without the need of such files.

Prince Washekt would be the prime suspect if we can’t find clear proof.

“It is possible. But I could have prepared even better ruins to serve as a hideout. I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to introduce ruins that are right by the side of Serende’s capital.” (Washekt)

“Isn’t that the same for all of the royal family? There’s no prince who isn’t afraid of being noticed by Father. That counter argument is bottom tier.” (Yumis)

“That’s great to hear. It means I can face this with the desire to improve.” (Washekt)

All the knights of Taizu would be biting their nails if His Majesty and Mix-sama were to have a conversation like this one.

But it seems like an interaction like this one is normal for these two. There doesn’t seem to be any anger in it.

If I had to say anything about it, it would be that I like the exasperated expression of that man who is caught in between this.

“The mood goes to die when there’s Washekt complaining the whole time. Let’s meet again, resident of Yugura’s planet.” (Yumis)

Princess Yumis brushed his cheek gently and left with an alluring smile.

I even feel as if the temperature has lowered a bit after she left.

“Resident of Yugura’s planet, you seem to have caught the eye of a troublesome woman.” (Washekt)

“I am grateful for your complaining.”

“I got my throat ready for today after all. Be grateful.” (Washekt)

We continued greeting the nobles and merchants for a while, and it seems like Prince Washekt found someone at the corner of the room, and he guided us there.

There was one man there.

He gave off a peculiar atmosphere, and his skin is whiter than even that of Princess Yumis. No, it would be better to describe it as pale.

It is as if he hasn’t been in contact with the light of the sun for a long time.

“This one here is the 1st prince, Prince Nuphsa. Nuphsa-niisan, this person here is the resident of Yugura’s planet.” (Washekt)

“…He seems somewhat good at observing the faces of people, but ordinary everywhere else.” (Nuphsa)

“I am also ordinary when it comes to observing the faces of people though. I am a lucky one, you know.”

Prince Nuphsa is directing a slimy gaze at that man contrary to Princess Yumis.

He gives me the impression that he isn’t trying to show the elegance of royalty at all and is purely acting as himself.

This is the 1st prince…? Even Prince Washekt is more of a prince.

“Washekt, we have finished greeting each other. You don’t mind me going back now, right? Good grief, you could have just brought him to my room instead of introducing me in a place like this.” (Nuphsa)

“You always try to act like you are away. I don’t want to bring a guest to your room and have them lie in wait.” (Washekt)

“Hm… But well, it is true that he has a rare appearance. Black hair and black eyes…it is like the Black Demon Lord I hear of in legends. To think a person with such an ominous appearance is being praised to high heavens.” (Nuphsa)

Princess Yumis had civility, but I can’t feel that at all from Prince Nuphsa.

I did hear that he was someone with no courtesy, but to think it would be to this degree…

But that man is not showing any displeasure in his face. On the contrary, it feels like he is having an easier time interacting with him compared to Princess Yumis.

“So you won’t point out the bad look in my eyes.”

“It is not that different from me. I have no intention of pointing the blade back at me. You can cause problems as you want, but I am the one that has to deal with it. Make sure you move in a way that the aftermath will be easier to clean.” (Nuphsa)

“So it is okay to cause problems.”

“Be it Yumis, Chisante, or Washekt over there, there’s no member of the royal family that would reflect honestly just by obtaining proof. I personally would like you to bring retribution to Yumis or someone around there. Every time she shows up, I have to ventilate the place in order to remove the stench of her perfume. The sun burns me every time I open the window to do that.” (Nuphsa)

It is not that he is taking a cold attitude towards that man, he acts the same way towards anyone?

I feel like he is speaking from the heart when he is complaining about Princess Yumis.

“You might as well just live underground.”

“If I were to do something like that, I would simply be sunk by Chisante and Washekt, and they would wrap it up as a construction accident. Chisante would be burying me alive; Washekt would be drowning me.” (Nuphsa)

“It is true that my choice would be something like that if it is on the premise that I am trying to eliminate Nuphsa-niisan. But I am too busy with ruins.” (Washekt)

“You ruin idiot. It is because you are like that that Chisante pushes all the odd jobs to you… Tch, speaking of the devil, the noisy one has come.” (Nuphsa)

A man was walking our way in the direction where Prince Nuphsa looked.

There were a number of people that look like bodyguards around him, and the person himself has a sword hanging at his waist even if he is wearing a ceremonial outfit.

He must be someone who wears armor on a daily basis judging from the way he walks.

His physique is also awfully burly compared to the people around.

“Ooh, isn’t that Nuphsa-niisan and Washekt?! It is rare to see Nuphsa-niisan in a place like this. Did you get called out by Washekt or something? Dahaha!” (Chisante)

“It was the 2nd prince, Prince Chisante, just like I imagined. Chisante-niisan, he is the one I spoke of before.” (Washekt)

This prince doesn’t even want to make proper introductions anymore.

Prince Chisante’s pressure as royalty doesn’t lose to that of Princess Yumis. I could feel some sort of pressure just from being close to him.

A hearty smile suits him, but that’s most likely not all there is to him.

“Aah, that person, huh! You are awfully thin! You should exercise more! Strength won’t solve everything, but it can open up a lot of avenues!” (Chisante)

“Your brain will turn all smooth if you hang out with this muscle idiot. I have done what was required of me, so I am leaving.” (Nuphsa)

Muh, I thought this would be my rare opportunity to have a drink with Nuphsa-niisan, but you really wouldn’t be into it in such a place, huh.” (Chisante)

“I prefer a private room where the fire of candles sways silently, but with you present, even the fire of the candles will feel noisy. I will accompany you in drinking if it is on different days and places.” (Nuphsa)

That can’t be called drinking together anymore.

No, this is probably his way of joking, but…is it a joke?

Prince Nuphsa leaves just like that.

I could see a number of people moving at the time with Princess Yumis as well, but are people matching the actions of the royal family?

Those people must be his bodyguards.

He doesn’t have them near him like Prince Chisante, but it seems like he is still careful as a prince in his own way.

“Nuphsa-niisan is a poet as usual! Resident of Yugura’s planet, are you the same as him?” (Chisante)

“I am not much of a poet myself.”

“Dahaha! The other royal family members haven’t thanked you properly yet, right? Allow me to express my thanks for the subjugation of the demon as a representative of Serende.” (Chisante)

“You are acting strong there, ignoring the position of Father, Chisante-niisan.” (Washekt)

“Father wouldn’t be giving out an easy to understand thanks anyways.There’s no point in gratitude unless it reaches directly into their rears!” (Chisante)

I have not felt so sweltered even when I had the knights of Taizu training without tops nearby.

But I don’t feel a hidden side to his personality; a personality that feels like an intense hot wind blowing against you…

Would a person like this one join hands with a demon in the shadows?

“I have already been thanked by Princess Hilmera. It wasn’t here but in the place I am currently staying though.”

“Hoh, Hilmera, huh! It was most likely just an afterthought since Washekt introduced you two, but it looks like the education of Washekt is going well! Dahaha!” (Chisante)

Prince Chisante grabbed the shoulder of that man and laughed.

He is so close to him to a degree that doesn’t lose to Princess Yumis, but his body is on the verge of lifting from the ground because of his strength.

I don’t know if I should make a move as his bodyguard, but I don’t feel any hostility, so let’s just watch for a bit.

“So, any ideas as to who might have been helping out the demon? They are all people with pretty strong personal traits. Pretty hard to catch their tail, right?” (Chisante)

“Yeah, including you, Prince Chisante.”

“Dahaha! I have pride in the fact that I am easy to understand though! But well, I think I can expect much from you with those eyes. Go ahead and get through this without causing any unnecessary trouble!” (Chisante)

Prince Chisante laughed without minding even though he is also being suspected.

Can he laugh here because he isn’t involved in this? Or does he have that much confidence? …I can’t tell.

Nothing noteworthy happened after Prince Chisante left, and the banquet ended safely.

Prince Washekt didn’t eat a single bite, but he is apparently going to have a meal with Princess Hilmera later.

The members of the royal family don’t seem to get along, but it makes me want to protect the relationship between those two.

We regrouped with Wolfe who was on standby outside, and we were on our way back, but he continued walking without saying anything.

He is most likely replaying the memories of the royal family members in his mind and analyzing them.

We talk in a low voice so we don’t get in the way of that.

“Those people…had pretty peculiar personalities.” (Mix)

“Right… But everyone aside from Prince Nuphsa gave me the impression that they were friendly towards him. I think this matter will be wrapped up pretty fast if we can get the cooperation of the other candidates.” (Ilias)

“Hey, Ilias, did this Prince Nuphsa person say something really bad to Shishou?” (Wolfe)

“He was a bit rude, but I don’t think it was something that would bother that man. Is something the matter?” (Ilias)

Wolfe’s gaze was directed at that man and her expression was a bit grim.

It is a face that feels like it has worry and fear mixed in it.

“Shishou seems to be in a really bad mood. He is most likely angry.” (Wolfe)

“What… Lady Ratzel, it is your turn!” (Mix)

Mix-sama pushed my back and got close to him.

Well, I was planning on asking him since I was curious about it even without Mix-sama telling me though.

Now that they mention it, he feels somewhat different from usual.

It is a really small difference.

It is to a degree where I can finally tell that’s the case because of the demi-human instincts of Wolfe.

“What’s the matter? Was there anything that you didn’t like?” (Ilias)

“Hm? Aah, I did think things wouldn’t go so easily when I met Princess Hilmera, but it seems that was the case with the other royal family members as well.”

“I see… I also felt there was something hidden, but… Wolfe said that you were…angry.” (Ilias)

“Angry… Well, I might be feeling something close to that. With that much hostility directed at me…”

Hostility…

Someone from those 3 that we met today were doing that?

The only one I can think of is Prince Nuphsa, but even if he was throwing insults, it wasn’t to a degree that could be called hostile.

“Was it Prince Nuphsa?” (Ilias)

“No, everyone. Prince Nuphsa, Prince Chisante, Princess Yumis; all 3 of them viewed me as an enemy that’s getting in their way.”

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