“So what will happen to us from now on?”
We asked the old man who seems to be in charge of this place.
“First of all, I would like you to have an audience with the Esteria royal family.”
So, what’s the relationship between this old man who acts so humble, or should I say downright adoring to Maki-chan, and this royal family he speaks of? Is he a relative? Friend? Subordinate? Anyway, led by these people, we moved to another room.
The place where we first appeared in this world was a shrine made of stone connected to the palace, where we are heading to meet the royal family, by a corridor with a side entrance open to the exterior. The weather was nice outside. I observed the surroundings while walking through the corridor that cuts through the place. I saw it had a vast garden, with many flower beds and trees, and all around it was a pretty good environment. And as far as I can tell from the way shadows are cast, I think there is probably only one sun. This world seems to have an atmosphere similar to Earth. The big difference is that magic, or whatever it actually is since I’m obviously no expert, exists in this world.
When we gained entry into the castle, that is, the building that is the royal palace, and walked for a while, we came in front of an enormously tall door where two soldier-like people stood guard. Unlike the temple with its polished white ivory-like surfaces, the interior and exterior here resemble a medieval European castle.
“This room is where audiences with the royal family of Estelia may be held. The royal family is waiting for the Priestess in this room. Are you willing to present yourselves now?”
“Do we have the right to choose? Is it okay to decline if we don’t want to meet?”
“We will not force our will upon you. We could not possibly go against the wishes of the Priestess of Salvation sent by God. However, the people who are at the center of Estelia’s power and decision making are eager to meet you in this room, so please consider gracing them with your presence.”
Ho-ho, Priestess beats King!
Maki-chan looked at me questioningly and said, “Wouldn’t it be better to meet with the top of this country and make some good connections? We don’t know of a way to go home yet.”
We’ve found ourselves in a situation where we literally know nobody in the entire world. Right now, we are being celebrated as the soon-to-be saviors of the world. But what this assumption is based on and how long it will last we have no idea about. So yeah, it would be wise to make some good impressions while this preferential treatment lasts. And I want to get an idea of the personalities and intentions of the rulers of this place.
“We understand. Yes, we shall gladly accede to an audience.”
When she nodded acceptingly to the old sage, the gigantic door made a heavy sound as it opened.
“My Ladies and Lords, the Priestess of Salvation, deigns us with her presence!”
“‘Deigns us,’ he says. This is a bit embarrassing. Wow.”
When we entered the room, everyone inside stood in unison. The magnificence of the scene was greater than I expected, and when they directed their gaze this way, concentrating all of the attention in the room on us, I inevitably felt a bit weak in the knees.
This is probably the royal family of this country. But other than blonde silver hair, everyone is sporting strange, gorgeous hair and eye colors that no human on Earth can naturally produce, such as orange, red, pink, peppermint green. Moreover, I may still be a bit dazzled from our earlier ordeal just now when we arrived, but their hair and eyes sparkle a little, and my eyes can’t help but flicker a bit at the radiance.
What’s going on in this place, genetically speaking? Though maybe genes themselves do not exist here.
The elderly man standing in the middle is probably the king, and next to him is the queen. He has his mouth open with an “O!” expression and is staring intently in our direction.
There is also a princess who looks about ten years old, and three people who look like they are the princes.
Although all of them were also wearing an “O!” facial expression, the one who looks senior among the princes, and thus probably the crown prince, seems to be full of genuine curiosity at Maki-chan. It rubs me the wrong way that, in addition to the “O!” face everyone is making, he is also kinda leering at her.
But at any rate, all of them just have splendid looks with magnificent styles, and I just can’t complain about all the eye candy being served. As expected from a royal family, they really mix with the most beautiful blood in the land, so it stands to reason each and every one of them turns out to be good-looking.
Still, the older prince stands out as the hunkiest amongst them.
According to the old sage’s introduction, he is indeed the crown prince of Estelia, and his name is Aislan. He really looks like my idea of the perfect prince. Yes, at least on the outside, he looks straight out of a fairy tale.
He has shiny blond hair rustling in the breeze and blue eyes like sapphire. Of course, his facial features are totally symmetric without the slightest hint of imperfection. He is slender and tall, and as may be expected from a young aristocrat, he carries a magnificent sword at his side which is not just for show. As can be seen from his outstanding fighter physique, which hints at years of rigorous martial training. Overall I just feel like telling him: “I’m a princess in my world, so hug me tight!” and let myself fall on his manly arms.
When Maki got introduced to the prince by the old sage, the already terrifyingly charming prince produced a smile that was like the finest jewel and kneeled down before Maki. And then he took her hand and brought it to his lips in a very gentlemanly way.
Ah, Maki-chan’s face is bright red.
When the prince raised his face, his blue eyes glittered almost unnaturally bright as they met hers.
It’s a fall-in-love moment!
I suddenly felt a bit lonely as if I had been pushed aside, and I found myself casting my eyes aside and to the ground, and I let out a faint, bitter laugh.
I quickly grew to accept that all eyes were now on Maki-chan and the prince, and the people started to make a circle around her. So, I quietly sneaked to a position away from this place where the first meeting of these two was sucking all of the attention, and just limited myself to be a bystander.
I continued to observe what looked like a scene out of a Hollywood movie, complete with an all-star cast and the set and costume design to rival any blockbuster hit. I looked on almost unblinkingly as the fateful event of an audience between the Priestess of Salvation, and the King’s family unfolded before my eyes, trying to make myself as inconspicuous as possible.
Because I’m pretty much an accessory here.
I was just mixed up into the summoning.
It’s okay, though.
I got a supporting role in this movie as “Lady Senpai” to serve as the mighty Priestess of Salvation’s security blanket.
I’m not letting the lack of attention get me down. I thumb my nose at you, my good sirs!
While I was sulking around getting all dark and stuff, Prince Aislan took Maki-chan’s hand to make a statement.
“I apologize for summoning you without warning, most graceful princess. But dear Priestess, believe me when I say that we were all longing for your return. And we humbly hope that you will find it in your magnanimous heart to assist us in our hour of need.”
“My… return? Do you mean that I am originally from this world?”
“That’s right. Your true hometown is in this country, Priestess. Would you please tell me your name?”
“My name is Maki.”
“Maki. It has a pleasant ring to it. Beautiful Holy Princess, if I may be allowed to call you by that name, my happiness would know no bounds.”
“Ah… it’s ok, I guess, don’t mind.”
“Then Maki, could you also please call me Aislan?”
And the two people staring at each other in rapt attention.
In the eyes of the prince, there was a longing and affection for the Holy Princess, and in Maki’s face, something other than confusion was beginning to show, something resembling a budding affection.
I started to feel that Maki-chan had been born for this role.
Yeah, she’s just perfect.
If it had been me, it’d have been “Princess Zashiki-Warashi” as the main character, and a handsome partner, let alone this wonderful prince, would have been out of the question.
“You are a sacred maiden, a Holy Princess, the Priestess of Salvation who brings stability to the world just by her presence in Estelia. I understand you may be confused at encountering these new things all at once, but from now on, I want you to choose to stay by me. Please think about it, Holy Princess.”
Whoa, was that just now a proposal?
The handsome blonde prince seems to have fallen in love with Maki-chan at first sight. He gets close to her without hesitation and glittering eyes.
“I don’t ask you to decide right away. I want you to get to know me, little by little is ok. My heart is already yours.”
Whoaa, he has added manly sex appeal to his advances on Maki-chan!
He’s really all mature and adult, this Prince Aislan!
Maki-chan had been reduced to a quivering mess under Prince Aislan’s romantic onslaught. She could only stand there as he once again pressed his lips against Maki-chan’s hand, his blue eyes not leaving hers for an instant.
I looked past them to see his parents, the King and Queen, were clearly excited and making gestures as if saying: “YES, GO!” cheering him on from the back.
That made me wonder a bit, would something special happen if the royal family took Maki in as one of their own?
“Oh excuse me, this is all a bit too sudden for me.”
Maki-chan had been pushed right to the edge of a cliff by the prince’s unabashed advances, but she had just managed to dig in her heels and hold her ground at the last moment.
Yes, that’s great, Maki-chan! Don’t give in to sudden proposals that easily, even if they are from a prince!
If you come off as an easy girl, you’ll be taken for granted later on.
Hold onto your cards until you get at least a bit better concessions from the other side; that’s Negotiations 101. Good luck, Maki-chan!
And so, Maki-chan stated that she wanted some time to think and process things because this was just too much to take in, and we were guided to the rooms prepared for our stay.