Yello Keith Coloflare 13 ~ Ladies’ Tea Party~
A little while after Chloe Sereknight’s condemnation, that is to say, after the graduation ceremony of the academy, I enrolled as a freshman. Still, because I have switched places with John a couple of times before, I’m already well acquainted with the academy premises.
The royalties are guaranteed to join the academy’s student council in their first year unless they are incredibly inept. For two years, my brother and Lady Chloe led the student council respectively. Originally, Momo was supposed to be elected as a president in the all-friendship route where she doesn’t pick anyone so this change in development was surprising. Still, knowing Lady Chloe, she will just likely use her authority within the academy out of convenience in her harassment of Lady Momo.
While I was thinking that within the student council room, the club president of the newspaper club, Chaco Brown, came to interview me. Beside her was her assistant, John, who is also her cameraman.
‘His highness, the 2nd prince, congratulations on your admission. Thank you for allowing our interview.’
‘Thanks. I’m in your care.’
I greeted them while I and John pretended to not know each other. Then the innocuous question-and-answer commenced. Some were about the admiration of the male students towards me for having a dragon as a pet. Then there was that about how my popularity amongst the female student was so huge that they already made their fan clubs. Then we talked about the graduation of the entire capture targets, as well as Dai’s consistent skipping of school.
As we calmly talked about such things, Lady Chaco’s ambiance suddenly changed.
‘By the way, Prince Yello. My camera right there is John Brian, who has been my partner since my academy admission… This may come off as presumptuous, but doesn’t his highness also think that you both look alike?’
‘Yeah, I know about him. House Brian belongs to the 2nd prince faction after all. His introduction to society has led to such rumors. Some say that with such uncanny similarities, he should pose as a body double.’
There’s a considerable gap when it comes to height now though. Although I am just about to grow from here, I cannot possibly continue to pretend to be two years older, so I stopped infiltrating the academy after a while.
‘I wonder about that, sir. During our first year, he stands close to me watching my friend’s love story unfold but he forgets about it the next day. I believe he has a bad memory.’
‘Huh? Is that tr…?’
Speaking of Chaco’s friend, she likely refers to Lady Momo. I was particularly careful when it comes to her relationship developments, and I always made sure to tell John what happened so that he wouldn’t be suspected strangely. I was about to ask John about it out of reflex who was then became flustered, only muttering ‘your highness’ in response. I was taken aback. She got me. Lady Chaco calmly drank the tea as if to hide the complacent smile that she had underneath while observing me the entire time.
‘We’ve been accompanying each other for two years, highness. Even if you try not to stand out, I will still notice the difference, whether I like it or not. I still have a lot of questions sir, may I continue. I’m particularly interested in covering his highness’ pet dragon.’
‘Haa… alright, then. We’re already at it anyway, and you came with perfect timing. I’ll prepare a tea time inside the castle.’
Alright!—or so Lady Chaco stood with sparkles in her eyes. Looks like she’s been waiting for my admission just for this moment. The other members of the student council had vacant looks on their faces, having no idea what just happened. Lady Chaco must have understood the special circumstances behind it and did not pursue the topic anymore. I’m really grateful for her consideration. If possible, I’d like to make her my ally too.
◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆
Now, the “Dragon’s Forest” inside the castle courtyard, (that’s what they’ve started calling it since my twelfth birthday), was where we had our tea party. There was a magic circle drawn at the ground in front of the cage and the table set was situated above it. Seeing the tea party attendees, Citrin snorted and howled at me.
‘Oi, Keith, you cur. You already have someone as adorable as Canaria and yet you had the audacity to dally with other females in front of me.’
‘That’s not it at all! Also, I already reported this to Canaria.’
The tea party participants were respectively, Lady Missouri, Shiela, and Dai’s elder sister, Rinji, who is also known as Viscountess Apple. Excluding Lady Chaco, all of them are the rival characters of each capture target. Lady Momo chose the hidden route so I was left with patching things up with others too, not just House Moonlight, which is why I called them all here.
‘So this was the rumored dragon… Although it’s rather strange to do tea parties in front of his cage, it’s surprisingly much more sanitary than I expected. There’s hardly any smell too.’
‘Well, Dragon’s waste products are something that our country desperately needs too. They are always immediately retrieved by our biologist and magic scholars before it even gets dirty.’
‘I heard that the cultivation of the medicinal plants we used before is proceeding well. Although we had no choice but to rely on importing at first, looks like we would be producing them domestically in no time!’
After our peaceful idle talks continued for a while, Lady Chaco formally introduces herself.
‘I am greatly honored as a commoner to have been invited to a tea party gathering of higher nobles such as yourselves. If you would allow me to go straight to the point, I wish to ask his highness, Keith for the reason why he had to infiltrate the academy two years ago.
While I am perfectly aware that it is related to the royal succession, it looked to me as though his highness did it in his individual capacity without borrowing the power of his political faction.’
‘…I am also curious about that as well. I feel as though his highness is particularly especially vigilant when it comes to the empire.’
She was then followed by Lady Missouri. I wanted to keep pretending to be an obedient younger brother to brother Leddorio, but they probably found my behavior suspicious, considering it was not entirely unrelated to them.
‘I called everyone precisely because there’s something I need to ask in regards to that. Although, you might find it hard to believe. Ah, by the way, you will not be able to record this so that would be fruitless.’
Lady Chaco who was about to operate her magic tool sighed in resignation.
I talked to them about Canaria’s confession about her past life and everything that happened afterward. The entire story sounds way too out of this world, so I don’t expect them to believe me entirely. However, unexpectedly, the party of girls listened to me until the end.
‘I see… a “game” world huh. And we’re supposedly its villainesses?’
‘Bu-ahahahah! That foolish brother of mine, is a love interest, much like his highness Leddorio!? Oh, that is way too strange!’
‘Countess Apple, Sir Dai was popular enough to have established fan clubs in the academy, you know?’
In the midst of their varied reactions, only Lady Chaco kept her silence. I told them that if things are left as is, my brother and the others will discard their engagement, which will eventually lead to the country losing its saintess and all the things that will follow suit. I added that in order to prevent that from happening, I need them to promptly sober up their fiancées and restore things back to the way they should be.
‘This is the game information regarding each of the capture targets. I believe this would be a helpful reference in how to take their hearts back from the heroine, Lady Momo Palette.’
‘Let us take a look.’
The first one to reach for my documents was Lady Missouri. Mistress Rinji initially looked at Dai’s data in amusement, but her facial expression slowly turned to a serious one. It looks like she realized that not only did the document see-through Dai’s speech-and-conduct, but even her own, which was what likely convinced her to take it seriously.
‘Highness, this document has information on the level of national secrecy. Frankly speaking, I believe this to be beyond my capacity, so please dispose of the papers down to the last page after we’re done reading it.’
‘Yeah, that’s what I was planning to do. Even so, I didn’t expect that Lady Chaco would believe me. You are a daughter of a newspaper company president; I was convinced that you’d treat such an unrealistic story as mere delusions.’
After thanking her for having taken this matter more seriously than expected, Lady Chaco was flustered, and only waved her hand in denial.’
‘I mean, his highness, Yello had it investigated for several years to verify Lady Canaria’s words, right? I was also already aware that his highness is carrying something severe in his back when I saw through John’s identity.
…Besides, there’s that with Momo too. That girl…, when she had just enrolled, she seemed like a country bumpkin with no confidence in herself… She looked so considerably happy in having made friends with me, but now she doesn’t even look me in the eye whenever we come across one another. Now, having realized that it was because I’m that “game’s” supporting character, everything started to make sense.’
Lady Chaco smiled with her eyes cast down, but there was no strength behind her eyes. She must’ve felt considerably shocked in how the person she thought of as a friend only used her as a disposable chess piece.
When I handed the papers to Shiela, she only stared at them for a moment and refused to read the contents.
‘I am fine, highness. I’m not so simple enough to believe that such papers can decide what lies inside a person’s heart. If I get too fixated with that, my sincerity will not come across.’
‘Do you have the leisure to say that? I heard that Dai was considering breaking off your engagement.’
I was really surprised when I heard about that from my mother. Margrave Whitey sent us a letter of complaint. This is an act of having illicit love towards the fiancée of the first prince who was also designated as a saintess, it’s a kind of development that differs even from the game too. I know that Darck is not the kind to make this kind of foolish move, so I could only wonder as to what has made him impatient.
‘Darck has currently let blood rise up to his head. Once he regains his composure, he will likely be able to reflect on his actions reasonably. We had the talks about the cancellation of engagement stalled until then, so there is no need to worry.’
Saying so, Shiela elegantly drinks her tea. However, perhaps because she can no longer calm her nerves, her ambiance is different from before. It felt so stern and prickly; it reminded me of the same pressure I felt when I stood in front of my mother.
‘By the way, your highness, I now understand the importance of House Moonlight’s position in regards to protecting the authority of the Sacred Church. However, if his highness intends to welcome the duke in his faction, there is something I need his highness to keep in mind.’
‘Huh? What is it?’
‘The truth is, they placed an order of miasma-resistant magical robes to our house. The Sacred Church has a particularly negative view on the manufacturing and development of magic tools, so the urgency must’ve have forced them to make compromises.
While that is fine on their own, the production of magic robes requires the wool of plant sheep, “Barometz1Some kind of weird plant monster with a sheep growing on the top. You be the judge.
.” However, compared to the cultivated monsters and monster plants, cultivating Baromets in domestic lands would make its magic potency not any different from ordinary wool, furthermore, because of its carnivorous nature, accidents will increase. With that being the case, the only other choice is to directly collect the wool in the dungeon, but that would lead to more labor expenses…’
‘Right, which will make it even more expensive.’
The domestically produced magic robes are high-class items that only nobles can afford. In exchange, their quality and durability are higher and are popular among the mages. If only possible, I would have them mass-produced for the knights and the soldiers too though.
‘And it was, sir! Our territory was previously developing magic bags but, they made us switch to magic robe production instead, instructing us to conquer a dangerous dungeon saying that we both have our fair share of troubles when it comes to miasma.
And yet, the House Moonlight who was entrusted by the church for the selection of magic items a few years ago had suddenly arbitrarily decided to import cheaper products of the empire instead.’
The House Moonlight did that? What on earth, this is the first time I’ve heard of that. No, wait, he did say that the merchants of the empire visit a lot. He said told me back then that he refused their talks of switching sides but… did he still make a magic robe transaction with them?
Lady Missouri who was well-informed when it comes to trade, knitted her eyebrows.
‘That is terrible. I am aware that Coloflare Kingdom has to rely on imports when it comes to magic tools, but for the kingdom itself to cancel the productions that they ordered. That is too unfair. Protecting the country’s domestic industry is also related to national defense. Why on earth would the ducal house do such a deplorable deed?’
‘Indeed, may I offer an opinion from my perspective as a daughter of a newspaper company president?’
Lady Chaco raised her hand and when I urged her to speak, she took out her notes and started explaining as she turned its pages.
‘The sizeable contributions of House Moonlight elevated them to the status of a duke but, they still cannot interfere when it comes to politics. If we base it on Prince Yello’s data, while they also wish to redeem themselves from having a witch ancestry, they are likely in a hurry to solidify their honor outside of Lady Chloe and the first prince’s marriage.
The point is that in the utilization of tax, they seem to want to achieve the merit of pointing out the unprofitability of producing high-class items en mass.’
‘That’s the height of stupidity…, you cannot put profitability in the same place as that of protecting one’s country. Procuring cheaper products doesn’t necessarily equate to a better transaction.’
Shiela’s body unusually trembles in anger. Seeing her eyes open wide gave me some form of discomfort; then it suddenly dawned on me. She may have gained weight but the size of her eyes should remain normal. It’s biologically impossible for her pupils to widen horizontally like this. When Shiela noticed my gaze, she subdued her anger, spread her folding fan, and warned me of the rudeness of staring at a lady’s face for long. It looks like it’s not something for me to meddle with.
Mistress Rinji whose appetite is as strong as Dai, inclined her head while as she reached for the baked sweets in the platter.
‘I am not very familiar with governance but… does this mean that they did not pay the cancellation fee?’
‘No, they paid their first batch of orders but they asked to create a buffer production at the same time saying that the initial batch would still not be enough. It was to cut the production delay. Then all of a sudden, they said that they don’t need it anymore, so a large number of products that were not officially ordered were left rotting in the inventory. When I protested, that foolish…, pardon my words, the young duke said and I quoted, ‘Like we’d spend the national tax on something so expensive! If a woman whose only interest is ornamenting themselves has time to butt in governance, she should just spend such crucial time in polishing herself instead!’
Huh? Even Vlad was involved in the trade with the empire? Not only that, he is placing importance, not on the materials crucial in battling the miasma nor the craftsmanship involved, but rather the noble ladies’ ornamentation? Why would you let such a stupid person roam free, duke!?
I guess I was too hasty in deciding to protect them… while I was lamenting the merits and demerits of my action, Shiela’s eyes narrowed between the gaps of her folding fan and stared me down. I guess her unchanging friendly smile was a means to hide the irregularities of her pupils.
‘Please do not misunderstand, highness. I’m saying that you do need to be fixated on their politics in order to prevent the estrangement of House Moonlight. Their greatest wish is to restore their honor that had been damaged by the ancient witch after all.
I understand the importance that the prince places on the ducal house as a countermeasure against the empire. Hence, I am merely imploring you to only take actions after making certain of different perspectives.’
‘Alright, thank you for the warning. I’ll bear that in mind… also, the kingdom will be buying the stockpile of magical robes.
‘Please do, highness. If we carelessly treat our craftsmen, they might end up refusing to help when the country needs them the most.’
A kingdom’s peace is maintained under the pillars of economics, diplomacy, and national defense. I was so close to forgetting what Sand had told me before. One cannot be too fixated on any of them. Those who stand at the top must consider a lot of things at the same time.
Having concluded that, the thought of having to raise the issue to the duke makes me heavy-spirited. For the time being, I need to tie Vlad up first.
If you wish to support my translation, you can do so through the following links! Thanks!
- 1Some kind of weird plant monster with a sheep growing on the top. You be the judge.