Chapter Eighteen: The City of Spainage and Blackmail (Part I)
Wow, so beautiful!
The day after I met the heroine, we came across a city with a fantastic atmosphere; it seemed that this place was called Spainage. I certainly remembered this city’s atmosphere as it was the one depicted in the game’s background. It was exactly the same style of drawing as depicted for the fairy festival’s main venue.
“Euphemia-jyou, you’ll bump into people if you don’t concentrate while walking.”
Reginald-sama, whose disguise I deemed useless (as usual), grabs my hand. His gesture is so sophisticated and elegant that the women around us sigh in admiration. However, he—for some reason—shot me a dissatisfied stare. Well, too bad for you, having to stand next to a woman like me!
“Reginald-sama, will you really be electing the main venue today?” I ask, keeping my gaze forward.
“It’ll be decided within the week,” he says after some hesitation, “It’s usually decided on the final day, but this time around, there’s only me who’s scouting the venues. In the meantime, I’ve decided to bring the matter home with me and consult with the others. I have to take into account the ministers’ opinions too. Well, the final decision is still up to me, of course…”
I was stunned continuously by Reginald-sama, who was as handsome as the main hero of an otome game could be. Well, you see, I’m thinking this now because… His good looks combined with the beautiful cityscape of Spainage was a great combination. The city was accentuating his beauty! Anyone—from young to old, boys to girls—would be charmed by him, and if the heroine had been standing here next to us, then it would have been an even more impressive sight.
“As today is the last day, let’s get everything done quickly,” he says. “It’s unacceptable to stay out this long with a lady.”
“Reginald-sama, so you really think of me as a lady…”
“Well, yes, I suppose. I mean, you’re already at that age, I guess.”
Yeah, yeah, sure. ‘I guess,’ let’s go ahead and add ‘I guess’ onto that statement…
As we’re returning to the capital today, I know that we have to quickly wrap everything up. Right, now what I should do first is…
“By the way, what’s the specialty of Spainage?”
The one question that I must ask! I’m here with Reginald-sama so that I can eat delicious food, to begin with anyway. If I wasn’t going to, then there was no real reason for me to tag along with him. So far, I’ve had delicious, warm bread and sweet fruit tarts during this trip, so next, I believe that savory delights are in order!
“Well, I believe the specialties here are dishes made with a rare type of mushroom. It’s called matsutake. It’s been recently imported from overseas and is proving to be wildly popular.”
Matsutake was that super expensive ingredient, right? The divine smelling—but average tasting—matsutake…? I’d tried it once in my previous life but that so-called ‘luxury food’ wasn’t to my taste. To be honest, I preferred shimeji or even nameko mushrooms instead. They suited me more…
“Uhm… Apart from the matsutake, what other mushroom dishes do they have here…?”
“A surprise for later; for now, let’s take a tour around the city.”
Mmm, he dodged the subject. I trailed after Reginald-sama as I thought this. As today is the last day, we’ve decided to coordinate our activities. Spainage is one of the safest cities in our kingdom, so there’s not much to worry about in terms of security. Rumor has it that this fantastic atmosphere reduced the crime rate. I’m not entirely sure that’s true though…
An assortment of mushroom dishes was still on my mind when Reginald-sama called out to me in a serious tone. I was brought back to reality after hearing that voice. I turned to him. For some reason, his countenance was quite somber.
“What’s the matter?”
“Well, this is to do with something that happened yesterday, but…I think it’s something you should know,” he said, giving instructions to Roy. We move to a quieter area, and I’m handed a file to examine by Roy. Inside, there were what would have been referred to as photographs in my previous life. This world doesn’t have technology that advanced, though, so they are in monochrome. The photos read like a letter.
“It’s a threatening letter that arrived at the palace yesterday.”
When I hear the word ‘threaten,’ my heart pounded, and I looked up at Reginald-sama.
“Whoever composed this letter has made two requests,” he said, averting his gaze. “The first request is that we remove Ginger George as a prospective ‘maiden’ for the Fairy Festival. The second request is… For the engagement of Reginald Banks-denka and Euphemia Aiden-jyou to be called off.”
When I heard Reginald-sama’s flat tone, my heart pounded harder. The request to end my engagement with Reginald-sama is something that I could deal with, but what I can’t stand for is…
“They want you to remove Ginger-san…?”
…The request to remove the heroine from the running of maiden.