New Year in the Kingdom of Elgrand
Happy New Year
We will continue to work hard this year as we did last year, and we look forward to your continued support.
And now…… please take a look at the New Year short story by Arian Rose volunteer writer, “Each New Year” in the case of the Elgrand Kingdom!
“Diana, you’re back?”
As she walked out of the stable and took off her hood, Diana was called from behind and looked back.
Standing there was her elder brother Edward, pulling a horse in a rugged appearance. Aside from being a scoundrel whose face makes women cry, he now wears the atmosphere of a complete ruffian. Each year, he makes a solo inspection of the Advent Festival, and travels almost halfway around the kingdom as a drifter who travels from job to job. His face is a beautiful elder brother, but what’s inside doesn’t match the outside at all.
Diana smiled back at her older brother, who hadn’t seen her since the Lord’s Day, when he approached her with a smile.
“Yes, I’m back. Is brother going home now?”
“Oh, I was just in time… tch, I had to be in such a hurry for a Royal Palace Night Party.”
“It can’t be helped. Our family is a member of the nobility, after all.”
“You should really think about how long that noble rank will last. If that blue-blooded young man carries on like this, the “Elgrand Kingdom” may end in our generation.”
“Yes, yes. Please keep such ominous words to yourself.”
Diana giggles unnoticed as she taunts Edward. Her brother seems simple, but he has a troublesome personality that keeps his true feelings tucked inside. If you’re really worried about the demise of the kingdom, you wouldn’t say it out loud, and the fact that you’re making it the subject of a light-hearted conversation like this means that you don’t really believe in such a future, nor do you want it to come.
In a different direction from their father, her brother is also a perverse person… when talking to himself, her brother would lightly pout his lips.
“It’s important as a responsible person to be prepared for the worst, you know?”
“If the ‘worst’ was really in sight, there would be no reason for brother to be in such a good mood after his inspection. When a country is sinking, it gradually grows sick from the edge. If brother, who had traveled all the way to the peninsula, could not find any abnormalities, then the first year of His Majesty’s reign was not so bad, was it?”
The inspection of the Advent Festival was secretly conducted not only in one’s own territory but also in other adjacent territories. Because of the special nature of the festival, the state of the land that cannot be understood only by passing as usual comes to light.
When Edward returned home after his inspection, he was in a good mood despite his words, so the people would have been laughing happily not only in the Crester territory but also in other lands. Giving thanks for this year’s blessings and praying for a good harvest next year.
As the previous King Oster had been a wise king who listened to the people, the people felt uneasy about the young king who was crowned when he was just over 20 years old. ――It’s been a year since he ascended to the throne, and even after touring the lands in Diana’s charge, there was more anticipation than dissatisfaction with the king.
She has only seen him from a distance and doesn’t even know his personal information, but at least he doesn’t seem to be so bad as a “king”……. miraculously.
Switching tones, Diana laughed cheerfully.
“I was worried when I heard Uncle Aus’ story. But for the biased education I heard about, his judgment is not bad. In particular, his quick response to the Soir region was especially well done.”
“That, well. I didn’t think he’d save a land that wasn’t a part of the royal domain without hesitation.”
This year’s water month, the Soir region, which is one of the rainiest regions in the Kingdom, had unusually heavy rainfall in recent years. Rivers collapsed, bridges were washed away, and the houses were submerged. The worst of it was that the lord, who had rushed to the area when he found out that his territory was in trouble, was caught in a landslide caused by the loose ground and died. He was still young, and his son is a toddler. There was no way he could cope with such a catastrophe.
The King, who was apparently told of the devastation in the Soir region in a quick “disaster report,” immediately embarked on a support mission. First he ordered relief for the people, provided temporary housing to those whose homes were washed away, compensation to those who lost their fields, and sympathy and condolences to those who lost their families. He then solicited a plan to repair the bridges that were washed away and strengthen the rivers that had collapsed. His willingness to stand by the people was probably enough to blow away the “anxiety for the new king” that had been felt by the people. The damage to Soir was enormous, but the hearts of the territorial people, including the lord’s family and clan, were united, saying, “rebuild as soon as possible in order to give gratitude to His Majesty”.
Edward should know that, but his discontented expression remains unchanged. For the time being, Diana enters the stable to rest her beloved horse Joy, and sets out for the back door of the mansion with her brother, who had returned alone.
Beside Diana, Edward sighed.
“I’ve been in and out of the palace for a while now, and I can see a lot of things about him that have come off the plating. Certainly, he may not miss the most important part, but he usually brings down the policies and proposals that are left out, without so much as reading them.”
“That’s the downside of a biased education. You can’t ascertain the problem, right?”
“He seems to be incapable of thinking. I can tell just by the way he hangs out with the outer court.”
“It’s not bad to make a quick decision, so if he learns to use his head with this, I think he’s definitely going to be a great success…”
“Diana, don’t let yourself be fooled. Just because you’re Uncle Aus’ son doesn’t mean you get a free pass.”
“It doesn’t matter if I’m lenient or not, father is the one who makes the final decision.”
It is the brother who cautions her in this way, and thinks she is too eager not to patronize him, which makes his point about the new king harder than it needs to be. Edward has always loved Uncle Aus, and can’t help but want a special bond with the new king, who is a remnant of him. …… the stubborn opposition is the reverse of a growing longing.
(That said, we can’t just contact him on our end…… that His Majesty has to recognize us all.)
The miraculous friendship between the Elgrand royal family and the Count of Crester. As was the case with the former King Oster and the sibling’s father Dualis, if it were to come true, the current king and brother should be each other’s unique existence. Hopefully, one day His Majesty the New King will notice the entanglement of Count Crester, the “Evil Lord”.
While chatting with Edward, who was mumbling about the new king’s “laziness”, the back door suddenly opened. At the same time, Rita, the reliable handmaid, stands there with an angry smile.
“—how long have you both been talking to each other? There is no time left before the soiree. Take a bath and change your clothes immediately!”
The Crester siblings immediately obeyed the irrefutable thunder, while making their respective “evil faces” wrinkle.
The Advent Festival period ended yesterday, and today is the last day of the Forest Month. ―― That means the end of the year, the beginning of a new year.
After the ten days of festivities during the Advent Festival, the people of the kingdom are quiet on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. On the last day of the Forest Month, they spend the night cleaning up the festival and the evening enjoying the New Year’s meal with their family. On New Year’s Eve, some villages gather together, but the basic rule is to relax with family and neighbors. Devout Armenian believers go to the temple to thank god for the New Year, but there is no doubt that they are a minority in this country.
However, that is only the case of ordinary people. The way the nobility welcomes the New Year is a night party that continues until the morning at the Royal Palace. There is a slight contradiction in the words, but it is still a “night party” because it starts in the evening and continues throughout the night.
And since it was a social event for the nobility, for the Cresters, it was more of a “job” than a pleasure. Diana was going from place to place at the soiree tonight as the “Rose Princess of Ice and Fire”, heavily armed with a fancy dress. This is her second “New Year’s Night Party”, but last year it was during the mourning period for the previous king, so the decorations were minimal and low-key. She remembers thinking that if it was so quiet, they should refrain from holding the night party itself.
…… Actually, the “New Year’s Night Party” has a ritual in which the King shares the grace of the god Amenos to his subjects, so it cannot be canceled due to mourning. It would be a year before Deanna learned of this.
(The usual “New Year’s Night Party” is so gorgeous.)
The Royal Palace and the Hall are beautifully but elegantly decorated. The food is also sumptuous and delicious, and the drinks served are of the highest quality. The musicians were numerous and their skills were impeccable. As expected of the Royal Palace, that is all that can be said.
She danced as she was invited, sometimes kicking aside insolent offers for “encounters”. While posing as a young lady enjoying the night party, what Diana is doing is unmistakably intelligence gathering. What is the truth about the person who invites the infamous “Ice Flame Rose” that has taken hold over the last year? While casually exploring them from conversation and attitude, it is a good idea to grasp the entire hall and discern the current state of kingdom nobility……. however, Diana, who is only in her second year, can read the surface layer at best.
The time passed quickly while doing social intelligence that she was not accustomed to, with a lot of room for bluffing.
“Diana, there you are.”
As she was taking a break with a drink in her hand, she met up with Edward. He got himself a drink from the waiter, and Edward stood beside Diana.
“Are you tired? “
“…… a little. It’s been a while since we had such a grand party.”
“Oh, we haven’t had a regular royal soiree since last year’s debutante.”
“I’m afraid I’ve been remiss, yes.”
King Oster passed away last fall. The mourning period for a king usually lasts a year, during which time every gathering must be kept simple. Of the three night parties held in the royal palace, the only ‘normal’ one Diana had experienced was her Debutante. The “New Year’s Night Party” has a different level of flamboyance from the “Season Opening Soiree”, and as a Debutante, she was overwhelmed by the useless luxury.
As she watched the people circling around in the center of the hall, she heard a unique sound from a distance. One of them became a call to arms, and they overlapped and echoed each other, and soon the bell which heralded the New Year rang out throughout the royal capital.
Smiling, Diana faced her brother.
“–congratulations on the arrival of the New Year, may the grace of God Amenos be with you again this year.”
“Thank you. I pray that you will have the utmost happiness.”
The New Year’s greeting is said to be exchanged with the nearest person when the sound of the twelve bells is finished. This was the only time the music stopped in the hall, and everyone was greeting each other.
Diana loves this moment of wishing each other a happy new year, regardless of whether it is a close friend or a person you met for the first time. Even if it’s just a formalized phrase, she feels that the words wishing for someone’s happiness are very beautiful.
Diana tilted her head in disbelief as she watched the young people, mostly those who had finished their greetings, leave the hall.
“…… that’s odd, isn’t it? I think it’s usually the elderly who cut the night party at the royal palace short and go home.”
“Hmm? …… Oh, that. They’re breaking away from the hall, but judging by the looks on their faces, I don’t think they’re going home.”
“Then, they’re going to get together in another room and spend time with their friends?”
“I’m sure some of them will, but…”
Her brother’s tone was very sharp. It is human nature to be curious about things when they are so extravagant.
Leaving the troubled Edward behind, Diana walked away. A beat later, she hears her brother’s panicked voice.
“Wai, wait, Diana. Where do you think you’re going?”
“Where? Don’t we have to give New Year’s greetings to father, mother, and aunt?”
“Oh, that’s it.”
“—and then, I’m going to take a peek at where and what the missing people are up to.”
“Put that curiosity away!”
“Please don’t ask for the impossible. If you take away our ‘curiosity’, all that’ll be left is something rather distorted.”
“…… It hurts that I can’t deny it. Diana, wait!”
There are no people in all ages or countries who wait when they are told to wait.
Edward chased Diana as she walked, and after meeting her family safely along the way to exchange New Year’s greetings, Diana jumped out of the hall. First of all, she was wondering where to go to see it.
“I’ve always wanted to hit you!”
“What!? Making a fuss over having your woman taken!?”
“She’s my destiny!”
“Is it ‘destiny’ to be flattered by money and tribute? How cheap!”
…… Needless to say, just beyond the hall, a fistfight had broken out. It’s very easy to understand because the fists are flying around without hesitation while shouting the circumstances.
In the end, Diana murmured blankly at two strange men, who were fist fighting while ‘boasting how much tribute they gave to her’.
“I mean, I think that a woman who can’t be moved unless you give money and gifts is pretty bad property, based on common sense, but is that okay with you?”
“Don’t go into it, because the people beating each other up don’t care. For a man, the quality of a gift that satisfies a woman is a kind of class.”
“It’s because of that kind of naive talk that women who think it’s ‘natural’ to want to be treated well by a man will take advantage of them. The reason why I would be happy with the gift from my lover is because it contains that person’s heart, isn’t it? I’d be happy because it’s a gift that the person I liked worked hard to choose for me, so it doesn’t matter whether the price or the items are good or bad. A woman who changes her lover depending on how much money has been paid has a sensitivity that can only measure love in terms of money. Money is everything, so no matter how much you try to be sincere, you will not be rewarded……. what’s good about such a person?”
She inadvertently returned and asked her elder brother who had followed their parents. Diana’s status as a noble damsel has been well established after working hard for a year last year, but when you’re relaxed, it will come undone.
Diana twisted her head seriously, but her brother had a cool face.
“I don’t understand it either, but they can hit each other so hard. I guess there’s something good about it that only they understand.”
“Hmm. Well, they say that people’s tastes vary widely.”
If they are beating each other to their own satisfaction, it is certainly not for the outside world to say anything about it. The siblings crossed the hallway and disappeared toward the garden, talking about gifts for their lovers.
– incidentally, even though Diana’s first retort was a whispered murmur, the conversation of the siblings afterwards was done at a normal volume. Diana’s well-reasoned “criticism of the tribute woman” reached the people who were hitting each other. Their fists stopped in the middle of the conversation, but the siblings, who had no interest in the fight itself, just didn’t care.
“Just now… that was the Crester siblings, right?”
“Yes… but they had a completely different attitude than what I heard. Are they like that when it’s just the two of them?”
“I mean, their voices are as bad as ever, but what they’re saying was very decent… it’s not normal for a woman to turn on you unless you offer that much tribute.”
“Yes, that’s right. I didn’t really care about being asked for expensive presents because her face was beautiful and she lifted me up.”
“…… Hey, I’m breaking up with her.”
“Me, too… I’ll stop chasing her.”
“Let’s both improve our eyes to discern women.”
“Yes. Next time, I’ll find someone who will appreciate the feelings put into the gift, not the price.”
Unbeknownst to them, the casual siblings may have saved the two young men from the clutches of a vicious woman.
Without knowing such a scene, they went down to the courtyard and this time they had to hide in the shadows and whisper to each other.
“If this is the case, say it from the beginning!”
“What could I say? ‘Don’t go down to the garden because men and women flirt more openly than usual in the royal palace at New Year?’ in that elegant hall!?”
Diana knew that lovers would enter the lovey-dovey mode at an evening party hosted by the royal palace. It’s a nobleman’s way of socializing, even if they’re not engaged yet, to let the people around them know that they’re dating. Some lovers who want to flirt with each other are busy, and it is at the Royal Palace’s night party that they can meet openly, so she does not mean to complain about it.
But. Can anyone draw the feelings of the 16-year-old maiden who inadvertently witnessed the scene of the man and woman who are on the verge of kissing in the garden of the royal palace where no one could see it? It’s not that she doesn’t know the man, she just saw them from a distance, so she hid in the shadows and took it out on her brother.
Edward, who was hit, of course, did not remain silent. He returns with the correct argument which seems to be a descendant of ‘the wise man’.
“Generally. It’s common sense that the courtyard on the day of the royal palace night party is the best place for lovers to meet. Because of the intricate hedges, each space is like a private room.”
“I know that, but I thought it was about talking at most.”
“…… Well, you’re not wrong about the start and end of the night parties. But the New Year’s Night Parties are, how should I say it, more exciting than usual.”
“That’s why they’re doing it outdoors?”
“Diana, people have different tastes and preferences.”
Edward hadn’t told her that there was such a thing as outdoor play in the world. Diana, who has minimal knowledge of the relationship between men and women, was highly stimulated, but her brother didn’t realize that she became ignorant of the field as a result of his over-protection of such information.
Diana, who is basically straightforward, is convinced by her brother’s assertion, “that’s right”. But apart from that, she sighs.
“You know. If you like that kind of thing, I think you should do it in a more secluded place with a lot of blind spots, taking into consideration that someone might witness the scene without being prepared.”
“Personally, I totally agree with that opinion, but…”
There is no end to the discussion of outdoor play. Edward urged Diana.
“You understand why I was stammering. Let’s go back to the hall. In a sense, the hall is the safest in the royal palace for the New Year.”
“I want to get out of the courtyard as fast as I can, but there are still many places I haven’t seen, like the garden square.”
“More than that, brother. If you have time to spare, why not be in a place where lovers can flirt with each other? Why not invite sister-in-law?”
Edward, who made a big fuss and finally got engaged to her sister-in-law Christel, has yet to publicly announce his engagement until he manages to deal with each other’s special circumstances. Or rather, the Crester family is just treating Chris as his future wife.
Even so, he hasn’t been able to see her at the advent festival, when they would normally be able to flirt with her to their heart’s content. Diana knows that even at the Royal Palace Night Party, they only confirmed each other’s presence from a distance so that no one would be aware of their relationship.
Edward’s face turned sour at the suggestion of the meddling Diana.
“No, I can see her whenever I want to.”
“Sister-in-law was beautiful tonight. She’s always dignified, but when she is dressed like a young lady, she quickly changed into a neat and cute woman……. she’s of marriageable age, and only a few people know about her relationship with brother, so I’m sure they’ll be calling for her here and there.”
“…What do you mean?”
“Even for a little girl in her second year from her social debut, there are a lot of people who offer a ‘one night stand’. Maybe some men are seriously approaching her instead of just playing with fire.”
“You think Chris is gonna fall for that?”
“No way. I was just thinking that brother might not like the idea of sister-in-law becoming popular without his knowledge.”
For Diana, who hasn’t had her first love yet, her knowledge of romance is exclusively acquired through love stories in her library. No matter what book she reads, there will almost always be a development in which the hero explodes with jealousy over a man who is courting the heroine. When she asked Rita about it once, she was told, “That’s called a ‘promise’.”
In accordance with the ‘promise’, the hero can’t help but move after saying it like this.
“…… All right? Let’s go back to the hall. The New Year’s royal palace is a danger zone for young women!”
“Yes, I understand.”
The good child’s reply was given, and the elder brother who hastily left from the courtyard was seen off. Diana didn’t mention when she would return to the hall, but it’s scary that someone like Edward would miss such a rudimentary hole, a romance novel “Promise”.
“Well, let’s see. Next is the Fountain Square.”
Left alone, with a light step, Diana left the courtyard. ――The eccentricities of the nobles she encountered here and there were so enormous that she could spend the night just counting them, so we’ll skip that for now.
― yes, the New Year’s Royal Palace is just a chaotic place.
Let’s just say that Diana’s impressions were rather blunt after looking around the place.
This is the first and last time Diana enjoyed a leisurely ‘normal’ New Year’s Night Party. There was no way for her to know what the future held, and for now she could only look forward to the New Year with hope.
† † † † †
As she washed the dishes in the kitchen, Sheila heard the twelve bells ringing out the new year, and stopped to think about the new year.
(Something will change when the year is new… how? I’m just hopeful, though it’s vain.)
Her father was always busy, but he always took good care of her. Even her social debut to the nobility was arranged without excess or deficiency, and he was delighted with tears, saying, “She looks just like her mother when she was younger”……. she hadn’t doubted that happiness would last forever until a few months ago.
As usual, her father set out to sea to buy goods, but without Sheila’s knowledge, he was no longer a man of this world. While stunned by the sudden news, her uncle, who was supposed to have been disowned by her grandfather, came back and became the head of the Caliard family. Without any hesitation, he sold off the business that her father and grandfather had worked so hard to build up. Sheila, who has spent time with the family members she has been close to since birth, and adopted her as a daughter in the family register, is a servant who does not need a salary. She is used from morning till night, and is not allowed to eat or sleep satisfactorily.
She cries over the loss of her father and the sudden change in her reality. However, she realized that no matter how much she cried, the days would go on, so she thought she had to stand on her own two feet while crying……. she was also seriously engaged in cleaning and washing, which had nothing to do with Sheila, who had been carefully raised as the daughter of the Caliard family.
No matter how hard she tries, her days never change. The company is gone, and although she’s an aristocrat, she was not even allowed to socialize. She sometimes wonders if her life is worth living, when she can’t sleep because she is powerless.
（…… Still, father used to say that the New Year’s bell is a signal of hope.)
She knows it’s a naive hope. However, she still can afford to hear the sound of the bell and have hope.
Last New Year, her father prayed for her happiness. This year, she was alone, but the memory of it supported Sheila.
“Congratulations on the arrival of the New Year…. may the grace of God Amenos be with us again this year.”
Silently muttering, the girl resumes washing dishes.
“I hope something will change in the New Year” – no one knows that her wish will come true, not yet.
† † † † †
Even in the rural temples, which are not necessarily grand, there is a single bell and some priests ring the bell to announce the New Year.
One bell rings twelve times, and the overlapping sounds of the bell due to the effect of the mountainside may be considered quaint.
The father, who had finished listening to the bell with a distant gaze, turned around and opened his mouth.
《Happy New Year》
《Thank you for your continued support this year.》
As it is an annual event, this is probably pronounced as beautifully as the people in his home country would……. besides this, he was not sure if he knew any other words in his father’s native language.
Exhaling a little longer, Kai tilted his head.
“I wonder every time, what does this mean?”
“Hmm? I think the meaning itself is not much different from the greeting of the Kingdom of Elgrand. It’s a word to celebrate the New Year and wish for future happiness.”
“Is that so? Then, why don’t we just greet each other in our own language?”
At his son’s simple question, his father, the Black Lion – Sora, chuckled.
“I can’t translate this sentence, 《Happy New Year》, very well. Translated literally, and it’s very incoherent.”
“I think it’s a lot shorter than Elgrand’s greeting.”
“The New Year’s greetings in this country will involve the god Amenos. I have nothing against this god, but there is another god I believe in. It’s just a greeting, but I feel as if I am betraying my God, so I can’t bring myself to say those words.”
“Father is very religious. I don’t consider myself a believer in the Armenian faith either, but I don’t have any other gods……. are all the people in father’s country devout in their faith?”
Sora laughs and shakes his head.
“There is a state religion, but it is as appropriate for most of the people as it is for this country. It’s rare to find someone like us, who isn’t in the priesthood and is obsessed with it.”
“Oh, so father is a minority. I thought the country would be very formal.”
“I wouldn’t want to go to a country with only people like me.”
“I’m not saying that I don’t want to go, but I think it’s difficult to deal with relentless faith because it’s troublesome.”
Although the number is small, there are also devout Armenian believers in this country. Some are so zealous that they go around setting fire to temples with murals depicting different images from their own interpretation of Amenos. Kai, who was asked to arrest one of them, thought to himself, “It’s a pain in the ass to be so religiously obsessed”.
His father was just a religious man, so he never found it troublesome to talk to him, but he thought that there would be a lot of “fanatics” in a country where the religion was so widely spread to the general public. But his father’s hometown, however, seems to have the same stance toward God as this country.
Kai was a little curious and decided to take a rare step into the country.
“What kind of God does father believe in?”
“…… It’s unusual for you to ask such a thing.”
“If you don’t want to talk, it’s fine. I was a little curious.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it… it’s just complicated.”
Muttering, Sora looked up at the moon floating in the sky. The moon, which emits a soft light, looks down on the father and son as they talk, somewhat smiling.
“…… Let’s see. In a word, he’s like that moon.”
“In the bright light, it’s humble and white. In the darkness of the night, it gently snuggles up tight. If you look up, He is there, always watching over us, always.”
“…… Is that still the case?”
“Ah yes, ――I feel it, all the time. I always feel his heart beside me.”
That’s why he felt apologetic, it’s complicated, but … whispering, Sora laughed.
“Kai, you don’t want to end up like me.”
“…… What do you mean?”
“If you have found something that you really want to protect with all your heart and soul, don’t hesitate no matter what kind of obstacles there are……. it’s too late to only be able to sense the heart of someone you can’t protect after they’ve been separated from you.”
It was frustration and despair that floated for a moment in his father’s always calm obsidian. What he left behind in his hometown was something that he still desires madly, but he can’t seem to get there.
Although they have never heard the details, he can sense that Sora did not come to the Kingdom of Elgrand because he wanted to, after spending such a long time together. …… there seems to be a ‘reason’ that even Sora can’t do anything about it, even if he wants to return home.
When he asked if there was anything he could do, he knew that his clumsy father would reply, “don’t worry about it, child.” …… still, it’s not that out of line for a son to want to do something for his father, is it?
――for now, at least.
“I wonder. I don’t think I’ll ever have a partner that I can obsess over that much. I’m too busy trying to get by every day.”
“It’s only for a moment that the heart tilts. It is tilting, or rather, or it’s more like a fall.”
“Did father fall into ‘god’ in that way?”
“…… I feel like God has implications, but that’s it.”
Making time to spend with his father after a long absence is cheerful and pleasant.
This was the beginning of a turbulent year for the lion and his son, who talked while being watched over by the moon.
† † † † †
The stage returns to the royal palace again. The young new king of the country, Juke de Leyre Elgrand, was looking from a higher seat at the calm hall where the young people had escaped. Behind him is Alford Swoon, the head of the royal guard, who protects the king.
Alford’s complexion was pale as he watched the people chatting calmly in the New Year.
(Finally, the year has changed… the proclamation of the Inner Palace begins.)
He had used the mourning of the previous king as an excuse to silence the calls for King Juke to choose a proper queen, but once mourning is over, Alford cannot stop it. The king had no intention of taking a queen yet, and the talks with the Ministry of the Interior have remained on a parallel track, but a little while ago they threw a curve ball. ――saying “If you want to marry a woman you love so much, why don’t you open a palace and find someone you are attracted to?”
High-ranking officials in the Ministry of the Interior talked a great deal about recruiting young ladies who would like to become the official queen, but probably only a few of them had such a desire. The king was the one who nodded to the proposal, caught up in the immediate comfort of the idea that if he created a palace, he would not be asked to choose a queen. If the king was not interested in the palace, it was obvious from the way the central figures in the Ministry of the Interior were now working that unmarried girls would be gathered in droves to solve the situation.
The predecessor King Oster and Queen Riffania were close couples in the eyes of their subjects. King Juke, who considers such two people as his ‘ideal’, has said that he wants to be loved by the woman he loves and be married to her, and that is the only thing he will not compromise. …… It is the duty of the Kings guard to protect the king both physically and mentally, and if the king so desires, I would like to help him as much as possible.
（…… Even considering the current political situation in the kingdom, if we play our cards right, the palace may become a source of storms.)
What is the best course of action for the kingdom and the king? Even his best friend Edward, who is usually dependable, will not be able to help with the serious matters involving King Juke. …… The more he thinks about it, the more his head hurts.
“…… who wishes to become a legitimate queen, huh? Nonsense. How can I love a woman who only desires to be a queen?”
After receiving greetings from the nobles, the king, who had been sitting silently in his chair, stood up. I tightened my expression and approached one step closer.
“How may I help, Your Majesty?”
“I’m tired, I need some rest.”
“I understand. The antechamber has been set up, and I will show you the way.”
“That helps… Captain”
He was quietly called, and the head hung down as manners.
“What is it?”
“I wonder what kind of women are coming to the palace.”
“I don’t intend to have a lady who enters the palace with the intention of becoming a queen. Then how can I meet someone to love and will love me?”
“…… I’m sure, eventually. At the right time, the god Amenos will guide you. Don’t be impatient, Your Majesty, and follow your righteous path.”
Suddenly, the king seemed to laugh. After a beat, the words returned.
“Ah. Yes, I see.”
This was the beginning of the “First Year of the Opening of King Juke’s Inner Palace,” a story that would later be written in history books and make its mark on world history.
We hope you enjoyed it, including the lion cub, who is currently not in the main story (laughs).
2016 will be a wonderful year for you!