Arifureta - Chapter 324
The place Hellina led Hajime and others at was a small garden in the palace.
There was no various flowers blooming profusely or trees that were artistically pruned like the previous garden. It also had no size that was ideal for small children to play hide-and-seek.
However, it was a garden that was vaguely giving a gentle atmosphere that blew refreshing cool breeze that calmed down the heart that was continuously blazing with zeal for the country's restoration.
Hajime and others sat surrounding pure white long table that was placed in the middle of such garden. A bright voice that invited jovialness was resounding with tea and sweets in front of them.
「My, Sumire-sama. If you speak more than that, Hajime-done won't be able to recover anymore.」
The one who was elegantly speaking with a pleasant, high-pitched sound while placing her hand in front of her mouth was Liliana in ten more years......it was a beautiful woman who could be mistaken like that.
Luluaria S B Heiligh――she was Liliana's mother and the current queen dowager of this Heiligh Kingdom.
This year she would become 34 years old, but her figure sitting side by side with Liliana at the head of the long table looked like they were sisters. She was clad in gentle and kind atmosphere that was similar with Liliana.
Although, unlike Liliana, perhaps because she was a queen she was overflowing with grace and dignity that ought to be expressed as the lady among lady.
With the death of the king of the kingdom, her husband Eliheid, the destruction of the capital, and then the matters related to the reconstruction, her heart and body were exhausted from all the hectic situations. She looked thinner compared to before, that was why she was really looking forward to the future of her daughter Liliana.
「What are you saying Luluaria-sama. My son will be your son-in-law, so there are a lot more things that I want you to know about――」
「Kaa-san, just be silent already.」
Hajime's entreating voice interrupted the words of Sumire who was going to continue talking gleefully.
Sumire sent him a dissatisfied looking gaze that said 「Even though it will be the good place from now」. Ahead of her gaze there was the figure of Hajime lying face down on the table with an atmosphere like he was wounded all over for some reason.
「Even if there are things that her majesty the queen should know about, it's not my black history by all means.」
Yes, after they finished with self-introduction and idle talk, Luluaria asked about how Hajime was at his home. Since then until now Sumire kept talking about Hajime's black history――how he tried to fire Kame○meha at the garden while yelling in high spirit when he was a child, how he was feeling that he was being targeted by a mysterious organization when he was in elementary school, how he wouldn't stop playing game until he collapsed forward while sitting down when he was in middle and high school.
In the middle Hajime tried to intercept, but Shuu intercepted the intercept. Furthermore the wive~s who were eager to know about Hajime in the past no matter what it was about blocked Hajime using all the skill that they had, so in the end Sumire kept talking until Hajime's soul was slipping out from his mouth.
Like that, seeing the maids who were desperately holding back their laughter and Hajime who looked like his soul was going to leave his body because of the demon king's unexpectedly, cute (she wouldn't say it was painful no matter what) past that they heard from his mother, Luluaria finally extended a helping hand for Hajime.
Luluaria nonchalantly changed the topic even while smiling joyfully. The demon king-sama sent her a grateful gaze as though he was looking at messiah!
「Nevertheless, it's a relief to know that Sumire-sama and Shuu-sama are kind people. Everyone else are also good people that surpassed my imagination. Now I don't have any doubt about the happiness of my daughter's future.」
「Oh no, that's really exaggerating......not!」
「Ha-ha-ha-, I'll warmly welcome a good child like Lily-chan!」
Sumire-mama and Shuu-papa weren't timid at all even when it was a queen they were talking to.
Even though Tomoichi and the others shrunk back timidly from the overflowing grace and dignity of the queen when she introduced herself, these two were the only one whose eyes brightened right from the start.
An encounter! With the seriously real queen of another world! Thank you lord, thank you!
That was how they were acting. It went without saying that the expression of Luluaria was slightly convulsing seeing that.
Tomoichi opened his mouth a bit reservedly.
「About that......your majesty, you don't feel any dissatisfaction or anything that your daughter's partner has relationship with other women?」
Kaoruko elbowed her husband chidingly. Kaori was looking at her father with her eye pupils contracting into a dot. Tomoichi-san was trickling out sweats like waterfall.
Luluaria perceived the feeling of a father from such Tomoichi and she answered while making a small smile.
「From the beginning, people with high social status are often surrounded with mistress or lover, and when it come to royalty and nobility, it's something natural to accept mistress. My husband――Eliheid didn't have a concubine was a rare case.」
「Ugh......I see, certainly there is an image that royalty and nobility are like that.」
Tomoichi nodded with a bitter expression. It was hard for him to accept. Even though he was thinking that perhaps he could increase his ally with Luluaria, something like 'How can my daughter not be the first wife when she is a princess!'....... It was completely obvious that he was thinking such thing.
Hannya-san stand b~y. A strange aura was rising from Kaori who was staring with her pupils contracting into dot.
The smile of Luluaria who was sensing the habitual quarrel of father and daughter was deepening further, and then she gently caressed the head of Liliana who was sitting beside her.
「Originally, this child has no freedom to marry based on love. A marriage that isn't useful to the country's interest is against the duty as royalty. Such thing cannot be recognized no matter what.」
It was a sense of value that wouldn't be found in the modern age Japan. Tomichi and others unconsciously held their breath hearing Luluaria who was sternly asserting that without dressing it up.
「But, fortunately my daughter fall in love with ’’the godslaying demon king’’, and that feeling is accepted. The love and country interest coexist in this case, and not just that it's a peerlessly good opportunity that cannot be matched by any other. Even if she doesn't become the first wife, there is no reason to object at all. That is just how great an existence Hajime-dono is for this world.」
Hajime who was the godslaying demon king and the savior of the world in the common recognition of Tortus's people had the standing that was above the royalty of any country. Therefore, even if a princess only became his concubine or even just a mistress, that would be an unequalled honor and fortune......that was the thinking of the people in this world.
Putting aside Tomoichi who was making a difficult expression, Luluaria continued 「Besides......」.
「This child went through a lot of hardships because of my worthlessness. As a mother, I want her to go to the side of a gentleman that she love without being concerned of something like the country's interest.」
「O, Okaa-sama isn't worthless. I have never thought that I went through hardships!」
Luluaria looked apologetic from the bottom of her heart. Liliana gripped her hand tightly while responding with words of denial.
Certainly, it was Liliana who was publicly grasping the popularity and the heart of the people. It was also Liliana who was managing the diplomacy with the empire.
However, it was Luluaria who brought together the nobles after the king and top authorities died and the kingdom fell into chaos. She was also shouldering the majority of the burden regarding government affairs. Although Liliana acted as the substitute of the king, but until now it was Luluaria who was playing the role of the unsung hero.
Luluaria directed a loving expression toward her daughter who was vehemently arguing against her while asserting that because of such reason she had no complaint even if Liliana wouldn't become Hajime's first wife.
「Besides, this child is saying things like this but, it's a fact that she is burdened with many things. Perhaps because of her strict upbringing, she become someone who completely prioritized duty above all things......even if she actually entered a political marriage, I'm worried that if it's this child she will keep work and work and won't be able to build a good marriage life.」
Liliana looked at Luluaria with a shocked gaze.
At the same time, the figure of the knight commander who they met just now crossed the mind of Hajime and others. The knight commander Kuzeri who was like a pitiful office lady who was cornered both in body and mind by a black company.
Hajime nodded while speaking.
「I see. Certainly if it's Lily, I feel like her first sentence when waking up her husband in the morning will be 『Now, it's time to work!』.」
「......Nn. Even in the middle of work I think she will say 『Eh? Rest? Didn't you just have it for five seconds just now?』.」
「That's possible. Lily seems like someone who will say something like 『Holiday? I'm sorry for my ignorance. I'll look for the word at dictionary for a bit』 when getting asked about holiday.」
「Rather, even if her husband invite her to a date in holiday, I think she will say something like 『Because it's a holiday shouldn't we do a fun work instead?』 with a serious face desuu.」
「Lily......a work date is, as expected that will be too pitiful for the husband......」
「Liliana-san. Perhaps it's strange to hear this from a teacher like me but, I think it's better to introduce labor standards act in this country.」
「Everyone, is that how all of you are thinking about mee-!?」
As expected Liliana howled in surprise from getting treated as a regrettable wife from the mouths of Hajime and co. She slapped the table repeatedly and fiercely protested that she was a healthy maiden and an exceedingly proper princess.
However, in reality she prioritized her duty as princess and chose to not come with Hajime to earth. Her action thoroughly took away the persuasiveness from her protest.
「Uu, Okaa-sama! Okaa-sama too please tell them the truth!」
「Let's see. Indeed I think that right now she has become far more girly than before. Fufufu, that day, when you came back from the empire and kept talking endlessly about Hajime-done in the meeting, I got thinking 'My my, so the day that even this child know love finally came!' and got into high spirits that was unbecoming for me.」
Liliana remembered the embarrassing past and she went 「Uh」 in a loss of words. Yue immediately urged Luluaria 「More detail of that story please」 to continue to talk.
Acccording to Luluaria, after the ’’Revolt of Hauria’’ at the empire was over and the business at Fea Belgen was finished, Liliana who returned to the kingdom attended the meeting to give report and consolidated their plan going forward, where she she complained about Hajime endlessly.
But, that too was going on only at the beginning and her complain was gradually changing into a talk that sounded like a maiden in love.
「If I remember correctly, you said that he helped you gallantly when you were in danger right? And then, I think you said in the party after that you pushed away the imperial prince who was your fiancée and asked him for a dance? And you also said that even with the prince glaring, he took your hand while looking really troubled correct?」
The gazes of Hajime and others snapped at Liliana. Liliana averted her gaze quickly.
It was a fact that Hajime took Liliana's hand. It was also a fact that he danced with her while ignoring Prince Bias. However, the fact was subtly shifty. It could be interpreted like Hajime was trying to take away Liliana from the imperial prince.
「I remember she was also talking happily how Hajime-dono praised that she looks good in her dress.」
「Sa, say, Okaa-sama? Let's stop with――」
Liliana pulled at Luluaria's sleeve while sweating from the gaze of Yue and others, but Luluaria continued further with a delighted look.
「Besides, when Lily talked how Hajime-dono said something like he would protect her no matter what happened, geez, she was really-, her face was adorably bright red. I never saw her like that before......that was truly the face of a maiden in love. Even though she is my daughter it made my heart beating fast.」
「Stop it alreadyyy-」
Luluaria blushed remembering what happened at that time. Liliana's cheeks was blushing even redder than her while begging for her to stop.
Certainly, it was also a fact that Hajime said ’’something like’’ he would protect her.
「Oi, Lily. If I remember right, at that time――」
「That's right-, I exaggerated it a bit! Do you have any problem! I'm sorry!」
The princess snapped and then confessed. Her maidenly heart wanted to make her experience to sound a bit more like a moving tale no matter what. It was what people called as a sudden impulse.
Kaori was looking at Liliana with a difficult expression.
「How should I say it, it's that isn't it? She isn't saying any lie but, how she is talking in a way to create misunderstanding is completely similar with Hajime-kun when inciting the people.」
「......Nn. After all they were the draft writer and also the editor of the truth (lol) of the church and god.」
「In a sense, these two are the strongest provocateur couple isn't iit.」
「We, well, any maiden would exaggerate about their love episode.」
The whispering talk of Kaori, Yue, and Shia that wasn't hidden at all made Liliana to fall prostrate on the table.
It was only Shia who at least sent her a consoling word but......most likely that came from her feeling of fellowship with Liliana. Shia too often went into a rant about her start of romance without being aware of it.
――'How did it feel when I first encountered Hajime-san? I felt an impact that shook my brain and a tingling that made my whole body stiffened! I also felt like I was flying in the sky! It was truly a destined meeting!'
Something like that.
Luluaria was looking at Liliana who was writhing in shame looking somewhat amused. It seemed she was making fun of her daughter with full awareness of what actually happened.
「By the way, is it alright if I ask everyone what is your plan from here on? If possible I wish to hold a welcoming parade, and the a party......」
Sumire and others opened their eyes wide hearing things like welcoming parade or party. In their imagination it was something like a parade in Disney ○nd. Their self advancing through the street while waving their hand to the many citizens surrounding them.
Kaoruko whose expression was twitching the very first exchanged glance with Tomoichi beside her while speaking their reservation.
「Tha, that is a bit......yo, you know right, dear.」
「Ye, yeah. Doing something too grandiose is also a bit......too much see.」
It seemed their commoner sensitivity wanted to be spared from being the leading role of such parade. Akiko also nodded up and down in high speed in agreement with the Shirasaki couple.
「That's right. I'm not good at being standing out.」
「Yaegashi live in the shadow――cough-. We are just commoners after all.」
「It will be troubling to have our face getting known by so many people.」
Shuuzou, Koichi, and Kirino were also looking unwilling because of their commoner sensitivity......or something that seemed to be a bit different from that.
Shizuku stared fixedly at her family. It was a gaze that felt like saying 'Right now, you almost blurt out thing like ’’We are a family that live in shadow after all’’ aren't you!?'.
「Everyone, it seems that you all don't really like appearing before the public!? I believe that it will be a great encouragement for the people of this country to catch a glance of everyone here but......」
「H~m, it sounds fun, I'm completely okay with that. Right, dear?」
「Oo. I want to experience that at least once in my life! Something like showing up with impact you know.」
The Nagumo couple was in high spirits. Tomoichi was looking at Shuu with eyes that seemed to say 「This guy, unbelievable!」.
「Now look here, Nagumo Shuu. I've been thinking to say this since some time ago but, an adult at your age sticking your neck at anything just because of curiosity is just isn't right in my opinion.」
「Tomoichi-kun. You are a man with no guts aren't you? It's because you are like that Kaori-chan is closer to me――」
「Don't say thaaat! Let's take it outside-, this bastard!」
Kaoruku admonished Shuu admonished Shuu and Tomoichi who looked like they were going to start quarreling and grappling with each other like usual while she was doing her best to express their intent to refuse with inoffensive words.
「Your majesty. Thank you for your kind words but, about us becoming an encouragement to the people just from seeing us......it will be a different matter if it's my daughter and Hajime-kun and the others, but we are just their family, we really are just commoners in reality.」
「......I see. It looks like there is a bit of difference in our perception here.」
「Difference, is it?」
「Yes, I should have made clear our position respective to each other from the very beginning. It was something that is the norm for us that it became a lapse in my memory.」
Luluaria lightly apologized before she explained to Kaoruko and others who were tilting their head.
「In the first place, if we are speaking about status, then everyone here is above me you know?」
「Eh? You aren't referring to Hajime-kun and my daughter Kaori, aren't you?」
Luluaria nodded silently. Kaoruko and others looked like they didn't really get it.
「Naturally. Sumire-sama, Shuu-sama, Tomoichi-sama, Kaoruko-sama, Shuuzou-sama, Koichi-sama, Kirino-sama, Akiko-sama――everyone, you are the family of the apostles of god you know? From the viewpoint of the people of this world, you all are equal to the residents of heaven.」
「Tha, that's exaggerating......」
「No, I'm saying the truth. Sumire-sama and Shuu-sama who are the parents of the demon king goes without saying but......it's especially even truer for Akiko-sama.」
Akiko whose name was suddenly mentioned looked at Luluaria with a shocked face.
「Yes. Akiko-sama is the mother of Aiko-sama who is the ’’goddess of good harvest’’ as well as the ’’goddess of victory’’ after all. To be the parent who gave birth to a living god......from the viewpoint of the people of the church, you are worthy to even become an object of worship.」
「I'm just a housewife of a farmer though!?」
A housewife in countryside. But in another world she became an existence that was like holy mother Maria.
The holy mother whose specialty was rolled omelette and chopped burdock root. The tough holy mother who rampaged on a granny bike for a round trip of 14 kilometer for the sake special sale, four times a week.
Akiko looked at Aiko looking like she wanted to say 「There is some kind of mistake right?」. Aiko averted her gaze quickly. Akiko feebly staggered. She leaked out a strange voice 「Uboo」 while her eyes rolled until the white of her eyes was showing. 「Okaa-saaaaaan!?」 Aiko yelled while immediately supporting her.
Aiko too, perhaps because she knew about the zealousness of the people, especially the people of the church toward her, she was pleading to Hajime 「Please spare us from the parade, really!」 with teary eyes.
Hajime smiled wryly while speaking to Luluaria.
「Your majesty. I'm sorry but please don't hold any parade. In any case, such thing will put a great burden in the time and also manpower spend for it while this country is in the middle of the reconstruction like this, isn't that right?」
Luluaria smiled with a face that looked slightly troubled.
「If Hajime-dono say that, then it cannot be helped. Although in the first place this is a sightseeing tour for your family in the end.」
「Yes. We are coming here by using the consecutive holiday that is going on at our world. We don't have that much time. We are students, and our parents also have work.」
「I understand. But, in the dawn of the reconstruction's completion, please grace the people with your appearance along with your family too. Everyone surely will be happy with that after all.」
「I'll give it a consideration.」
Somehow the welcoming parade was successfully averted. Kaoruko and others sighed in relieve. They sent thankful gaze toward Hajime. But, at the same time they were in admiration that he was able to exchange conversation with the queen properly unlike his parents. They were sending extremely complicated gaze at Shuu and Sumire who were looking really down that they wouldn't get a parade.
They were chatting for a while after that. And then when everyone was starting to think that it might be the time to break up soon, Sumire spoke a single request.
「Luluaria-sama. I have a request though......」
「My, what could it be? If it's a request from Sumire-sama then I wouldn't say no.」
Luluaria answered with a friendly smile but......
「If possible, can you allow us to give a prayer in front of the grave?」
Luluaria spontaneously held her breath in a loss of words. It was unnecessary to ask who Sumire was referring to.
There could only be one person if Sumire was requesting Luluaria herself in this place.
Yes, it was Luluaria's husband, the dead king――Eliheid S B Heiligh.
「I heard from Lily-chan that the graves for those who died are still not build. But, as expected I don't think that even the king won't have a grave with only his name put on the memorial monument......」
「......Yes. It's just as you said. It's also related to the country's dignity, so there is a graveyard that is exclusive for royalty within the palace's ground. My husband's grave is also there......Sumire-sama, I'm greatly obliged by your consideration.」
Luluaria made a faint smile and nodded slightly.
In respond to that Sumire hid her frivolous attitude and gazed straightforwardly at Luluaria.
「I'm not being considerate.」
「I just want to give a greeting to the person who will become family after this.」
「Yes. Although he has died, a family is still a family. I was wondering whether it will be a rude thinking toward someone who was a royalty but, it seems there is no there is no need to worry about that.」
「That's......of course, Sumire-sama has higher status than me after all.」
Luluaria thinned down the queen dignity that she was wearing from the beginning and showed a slightly perplexed look. Sumire shook her head slightly toward Luluaria's words.
「I heard from Lily-chan that Luluaria-sama was earnestly wishing to meet with us. We are also feeling the same. However, what I want isn't to meet with the queen dowager of this country as the mother of the demon king. I want to come here to meet my new family.」
That was why she was interacting with Luluaria with an attitude that was friendlier compared with other people. She didn't understand about the way Luluaria thought and her sense of value, so she proactively talked to her to probe her and grasped the sense of distance between them.
「From the bottom of my heart I express my condolence, Luluaria-sama.」
「......Thank you very much, Sumire-sama.」
A gentle wind was blowing. The words of Sumire who wanted to interact with her as family made Luluaria's eyes to moisten slightly. Tears weren't flowing from her eyes because she was a noble who mustn't cry in front of other people, but those eyes expressed her feeling more eloquently than anything.
Liliana graped Luluaria's hand with a gentle expression. Luluaria also grasped back with her warmed heart in it.
There, judging that the talk had reached a stopping point, Hellina quietly appeared.
「Luluaria-sama. The lunch time is approaching, what should we do?」
「My? It's already that time?」
It seemed they had talked for quite long. It seemed that Luluaria herself was also enjoying the tea party more than a simple reception. In addition, there was also how Sumire was talking too much. Looking at how a third of the whole conversation consisted of Hajime's black history, in a sense it should be said that she wasstronger than the demon king in this world.
In the end, this tea party became a luncheon meeting, and after that they had even more lively talk. Basically each parent got heated up in exposing the black history of each of their child, the demon king and also his strongest wive~s were looking uncomfortable, or rather they were looking desperate in enduring their shame. The people of the capital would surely doubt their eyes if they could see this.
Although, in exchange of the sacrifice of the children, Sumire and others seemed to manage to deepen their friendship, especially Sumire and Luluaria entered a relationship where they called each other as ’’Sumire’’ and ’’Lulu’’.
Like that, while Hajime, Kaori, Shizuku, Aiko, and Liliana were completely limp due to the mental exhaustion, the whole group went out to take a stroll through the capital.
AN: Thank you very much for reading this every time.
Thank you very much too for the thoughts, opinions, and reports about misspelling and omitted words.
The chapter this time become a story that only consist of conversation due to my poor health on top of the business that I had to do.
Perhaps I will revise this chapter later.
Everyone too, please be careful of the heat wave!
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