17-2. Garden Party (1)
※[Garden Party] has been split into two parts as it exceeded 8000 characters
Satou here. During my parents generation, it was apparently normal to hold a wedding in a wedding hall with extravagant full course meal.
I had a chance to attend a friend's wedding where we had a stand up buffet in a garden party after the ceremony in a wedding chapel was held. Maybe it can't be compared to an extravagant full course meal, but I remember very much enjoying the freedom to chat with both my friends and their relatives.
"--Phew, finally got a breather."
I'm finally done with greeting people.
Once we were done with the parade which came after the formation of private knights, we were invited to a huge garden separate from the ceremony venue, to be the main guests of honor of a garden party sponsored by the royal family.
I thought that a garden party would mean pleasant chats, sumptuous snacks, and a time to enjoy all kinds of games--.
But I was given no time to enjoy any of that as I got swarmed by an awful amount of nobles trying to greet me.
"Ahaha, that's just how it is for the guests of honor."
"I couldn't have managed it all if Mito didn't took over half of them, you really saved me there."
The greeting probably would have continued until dark if Hikaru didn't take it upon herself to deal with half.
"Satou-san, Mito-san, would you like some fruit water."
"Thank you, Zena-san."
I drenched my throat with the fine grape water Zena-san brought us.
"We secured meat from the whole roast for Master's portion nodesuyo."
"Thanks, you two."
I had to suddenly deal with the nobles while I was enjoying the whole roast Oumi cow with Pochi and Tama earlier, hence the two secured some for me.
After patting Tama's and Pochi's head, I accepted the roasted meat on a plate.
The well done roasted meat is already delicious in itself, yet the salty-sweet sauce topping on it brings forth the meat's savoriness multiple folds. It's really good.
This time, Mia brought skewers of colorful mushrooms with her.
They look pretty poisonous but apparently they're all just normal mushrooms despite the colors.
"This is good, Mia."
Mia nodded satisfyingly.
When I handed over the plate to a nearby maid after I was done with the meal, someone called for me from behind.
"Congratulations for the formation of your private knights, Sa--Earl Pendragon-sama."
As I turned around while thinking 'there's more?'--the daughter of Viscount Emlin, Rina Emlin, who had been working as a governor rep of Brighton City, and also a member of the private knights stood there.
She was still a kid when we first met, but now she looks more grown up than her age would suggest.
"For someone of my standing to be included in the glorious Bridal Knights--it's, um, the greatest honor!"
Looks like Miss Rina is feeling nervous, she's stuttering her words.
"What are you saying! It's all thanks to Rina-chi managing Brighton that Master could go around freely. Stop belittling yourself with 『Someone of my standing』."
Arisa who slyly hugged my arm chided Miss Rina.
"Nn, good girl."
Mia took my other free arm.
When they're taking the same pose like this, Arisa's growth becomes evident. Arisa who was about the age of an upper grade elementary school student is now about middle school--or not quite, but she's gotten bigger for sure.
Pochi and Tama are gradually growing up as well, but their growth seems slower than ordinary beastkin, perhaps it's a side effect from having too much strength points from level ups.
Whoops, more importantly, I've gotta say my thanks to Miss Rina first--.
"These two are right. It's thanks to Rina-san's effort that Brighton City is seeing better progress than I and Marquis Muno expected."
"Oh not at all! I didn't do much! It's all thanks to everyone at Echigoya Firm and officials."
"And they only come together so well due to the governor rep! Just take pride in your amazing work!"
Arisa whacked the sheepish Miss Rina's back like some encouraging Osaka-borne grandma.
Since Miss Rina asked for my opinion on the matter, "Is that really true?" with upward glances, I smiled and nodded back at her, "Quite so."
Then Miss Rina smiled proudly with a tinge of red on her cheeks.
"Satou-sama, give us your praises too, see we're in our finest attires here."
The pink haired Princess Menea came bringing along Elina and newbie-chan, lady Karina's escort maids with her.
This is the first I've seen Princess Menea in armor, it looks unexpectedly well on her.
There were many opinions about including her as a member, but after considering the fact that she's one of the few people who see eye to eye with Lady Karina, that she has a Gift of summoning magic worth to nurture, and that she's a royalty of Rumooku Kingdom where the Shadow Castle resides, her entry was decided.
Since the Shadow Castle seems like to be a place deeply connected to Demon God, there's a good chance I'm gonna pay it some visits in the future.
"Yes, it really suits you well. You too Elina and Totona, you look fantastic as well."
"Thank you, Satou-sama."
"Ehehe~, yer' making me blush."
"T-thank you so much! I'm really happy!"
Each had their reaction when I praised them as requested.
Seeing that, all members of the golden and silver knights gathered here.
"Master, I too wish for your praise so I inform."
"Masita, me too~"
"Masita... If you could give me as well."
I praised the girls' gallantly cute figures in their armor one by one and enjoyed the garden party together.
Looks like the host knew about their preference, there were lots of meat and sweets dishes.
Most of the dishes Liza recommended me, "This is good", were good. Since this party is attended by nobles, it appears that they're not serving meat tough enough to feel like it'd break your teeth, which is Liza's favorite.
I stopped eating after having enough as to not get myself too full for other dishes, then I tried Chinese-style Yamu Cha Lulu recommended me, and sweets so sweet it felt like my teeth were melting recommended by Mia and Arisa.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"Quite a harem you got there, Satou."
The one that came while spouting a misunderstanding-inviting remark was Lady Ringrande Oyugock, the [Witch of Sky Breaker] and a former attendant of Hero Hayato.
Lady Maryest the great mage of Saga Empire and the little sister of late Saga Empire's emperor followed after her.
Sera who's standing next to me looks hesitant.
It seems like she's still not good at dealing with Lady Ringrande, her elder sister, like always.
Since the elder sister in question loves Sera herself, she hugs and greets her candidly, "I'm back Sera."
"Ringrande-sama, and your highness Maryest. Have things settled down at Saga Empire?"
"Yes, thanks to the high speed airship loaned by you Earl Pendragon, I was able to finally get those provincial governors and personages off their heavy rears."
I'm told that the two got their dress armor as well, but due to the partial destruction of Saga Empire, they had departed together for Saga Empire.
Normally, it wasn't Imperial Princess Maryest's job to take care of since she had distanced herself from Saga Empire, but in a situation where most of the imperial family and important personages of the empire had been lost, she couldn't bear to leave the troubled refugee at the imperial capital alone.
"Oh my, welcome back."
Arisa noticed the two and went to talk to them.
"Maybe we should have delayed the private knights formation if we knew you'd be back this quick."
"We would have taken longer to go back if we went by the plan. It can't be helped. Besides, if I stayed there any longer, it felt like they would make me a new emperor, so I hastily made my way back here."
Due to the sharp decrease of members of royalty and nobles at the capital city, regional nobles who had left the capital are probably trying to amass their influence quick now. The political situation there is probably going to get stormy for a while.
"Won't they try to take you back?"
"There's still a few surviving male members of royalty even if they're positioned low in the succession rights ladder, it should be fine. Some idiots are even trying to make Trimenus a puppet ruler over me, my head hurts."
According to the crown prince Soltrick, the candidate of his eldest son's fiancee, the late Saga Empire emperor's eldest daughter, princess Trimenus has been shutting herself in her room ever since the news about the disaster at the imperial capital perpetrated by Goblin King broke out.
It's understandable considering she has just lost her parents and many of her siblings.
Well, that applies to Princess Maryest as well though.
"Mary, save that for later, don't forget the congratulations."
Lady Ringrande tapped Princess Maryest who was holding her head.
"Satou, congratulations for the formation of your private knights."
"Oh that's right. Congratulations Earl Pendragon."
I bowed back to them.
"Hey hey, so you two have received the dress armor I sent you right, tried changing into it yet?"
"Yes--True, I should change into that as I'd rather the fact be well known. How about you Rin?"
"If Mary is changing, I'm changing too."
The two agreed to Arisa's suggestion.
"If I promote to people here that I'm one of Satou's mistresses, I'm sure to get a lot less marriage proposals."
Lady Ringrande said that jokingly.
"It's not mistresses, it's members of private knights."
I corrected her since this is important.
"Right, right. Members it is."
Please stop putting on that, "Geez, oh you Satou", face.
"Your highness Maryest, how is the situation at Saga Empire currently?"
"There was a chaos, but it had quieted down in all cities besides the capital when the news about present heroes beating the demon lords and 『Goblin Demon Lord』 at the capital became known."
Princess Maryest who had changed into her dress armor replied to Princess Sistina.
"We owe everything to Hero Nanashi and the Golden Knights. You have my gratitude."
Imperial Princess Maryest made a respectful bow in a female royalty fashion after looking at Hikaru and us.
Even though there are only us four around here right now, a rustle erupts from other people who are looking from afar.
Looks like these two have noticed the fact that we're the real identity of Hero Nanashi and the golden knights.
"Then you'd better thank Hero Nanashi and the Golden Knights, not us."
"I suppose that's right. I have to remember to express my gratitude the next time we meet."
Imperial Princess Maryest readily nodded at Hikaru.
"Besides, I heard Hero Seigi and Hero Yuuki played a role in the demon lords' subjugation at the capital."
"Yes, they were working hard helping to remove debris and calming the refugee even while complaining when I arrived there."
That sounds just like those two.
"Was it really that bad at the capital?"
"Yes, it suffered a crippling damage, however since they didn't find any more people squashed under wreckage, and the bigger debris had all been removed, I am sure that it will return to its former state in a few years time."
I helped with that when I dropped by the capital.
It took me half a day, but doing it the normal way would have taken quite a toll after all.
With a glass of red wine in her hand, Lady Ringrande murmured as if she recalled something.
"To think the 『Goblin Demon Lord』 that was defeated by the First Generation Hero was revived."
"Yes... For the three great demon lords to have been resurrected, it's as if the 『End of the World』 has begun, I don't like it."
Princess Maryest uttered some ominous sounding words.
Please stop raising such a dangerous flag that sounds like it could happen for real.
※ Next update is planned for 2/17