116 Irksome, Match Pump, Grace
I flinched a bit as she put on a serious gaze.
(What do now? Is this the pattern where she'd give up if I kept declining, or one where I have to accept no matter what...)
It still doesn't feel real to me. I see this world like in a game.
Like a 'My second life' flag.
Serena spoke here.
"It appears that these people have awareness on the extent of milord's strength. I presume they carry with them an extraordinary issue. Perhaps it might be best to help people like such?"
Serena butted in here, her last word made me take a step back.
I regret spouting stuff about helping people in need about Tagdes back then.
Thus I made an excuse.
"I don't mind helping when we come across people in need by chance and we're the proactive party. But the stuff this time has utterly nothing to do with us. I'm not about to get dragged into someone's mess. There'd be no end to it. Nothing good will come from poking our nose in this stuff."
The woman rebutted me here.
"This matter is not entirely unrelated to you. Some of things you have done have brought about changes."
"...What do you mean?"
I've got a bad feeling hearing that. This is one I can't escape from, I must have raised the flag somewhere. The mood now compels me to hear her out too.
"I got it. I'll hear you out. But I haven't said yes to helping yet. Is that fine with you?"
"Thank you so much. Then if you'd please come along with us."
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We were led to a tavern. The insides were full of chatters from people drinking even though it's still bright out.
(Ah, I see must be important stuff. Hiding trees in a forest. With so much chatters, our conversation would get drown out.)
A common technique, or so I thought when the glasses woman sent an eye signal to the barkeeper.
"We will hold our discussion in the furthest room beyond this passage. Please."
Got it wrong. No, I knew from the start.
(An organization that can afford to mobilize a huge number of people, that remark about who she is, and this VIP room. High class individual... I see... this woman must be...)
Once we're inside, the woman turned to look at me and introduced herself.
"Pardon my late introduction. My name is Reikana. Daughter of his majesty the emperor, sixth rank on succession right. A certain matter has necessitated me to go and see you in person as well as request your cooperation."
Protagonists in stories would have gone with 'No way' reaction here, but I was unfazed. Cause I had anticipated this.
I never expected I'd be on the receiving end of this super cliche development though.
"Can you tell me what you mean by 'not unrelated to me'?"
After coming this far, I could hazard a guess on where I stepped on this flag, but I still need a concrete answer.
But then the woman called Hanna who had a problem with my attitude earlier butted in here.
"You, how dare you act so impudent even after Reikana-sama introduced herself! Commoner, prostrate before her grace!"
"...Welp, let's go back. Later then. There's no next time though."
I don't really care about listening to their side of story here. Thus, I pretend to get offended by the annoying glasses woman's attitude and attempted to leave.
In fact, I'm still holding on to 'I don't wanna get involved in another mess' mind set even now.
If they let me go, all ok, if they apologize, I'll listen.
It's simply a non starter when the side asking for help looks down on the side they want help from. The one asking must endure lowering themselves.
It's just irksome when someone who doesn't even grasp that much raised their voice, comical even.
Reikana moved ahead of the glasses woman and bowed.
Her movement was smooth and graceful.
"My humblest apologies for Hanna's careless remark. Please I beg your forgiveness."
The glasses woman started panicking, 'Reikana-sama please stop!' when she saw Reikana kept bowing. I winced at her acting like it had nothing to do with her.
But the princess's attitude showed how serious she is. I told her as she bowed in front of the door like she was blocking it.
"Whether I accept your apologies or not hinges on what you're gonna tell that woman there. Raise your head."
We're never getting anywhere if we keep getting interruptions from the sidelines.
Hence, I plan to just walk away if she doesn't give out the correct order.
Even Serena who's sitting next to me looks displeased. But she wasn't so crass as to butt in from that much, she kept to herself.
"Hanna, I forbid you to utter any and all word pertaining to this matter. Understand that this is an order. Breaking it will end in punishment."
"Hmph. Fine, I'll listen. Starting with my question earlier."
I sat down once again half giving up, 'Ugh, I guess I'm in on this ride.'