“Okay then, Maki-chan, see you later.”
“See you later, Senpai.”
“If you find yourself alone and having a major decision being pushed on you, just say you’re tired and put it off. If it comes to it, feign sickness so you may be excused. Maki, you are very important to this country; that much is clear. I think it’s a given that there will be people who will try to get close to you with ulterior motives, so you gotta be careful.”
“I understand, Senpai.”
“Also, don’t just follow along with everything the Crown Prince says. I know that any girl would be smitten by his looks, but if you allow yourself to be charmed, you could controlled fast. Try to picture him as a Tanuki statue whenever you start feeling he is too dreamy.”
“Yes, a Tanuki made of Shigaraki stoneware, I can picture that.”
After sharing some emergency female wisdom with Maki-chan in a low voice, we broke up and were escorted to our rooms.
Unlike Maki-chan, who was scheduled to be summoned in advance, it seems that the Estelia people had prepared my room in a hurry, since I appeared here unexpectedly, by accident. It was a place away from Maki-chan’s room, but since it’s also located within the same royal palace, I think her authority and importance rubbed off a bit on the arrangements made for me.
“Princess Senpai, please come here.”
A maid named Lina (a colorful beauty with orange hair and pink eyes) who picked me up at the audience event took me to my room.
She had picked up the wrong name and title for me though.
Yes, the Estelia people had even assigned a maid for me before I even knew it.
By the way, was this a kind consideration, or did they want to have a lookout checking on what this unknown otherworld stranger may be up to?
But oh well, this Lina is a kind and nice person, so I guess I’ll pass on such misgivings and just take her attention and kindness at face value for the time being. Also, a girl needs another girl to talk to from time to time, too, you know. Especially in this “fish out of water” situation, I find myself in.
Besides, I’m just a third wheel here, so I could be separated from Maki-chan and be confined to a tower, hidden in a dungeon, or just kicked out of the royal palace and be left to my devices.
Yeah, I’ve read novels where such dark turns of events happen, so it was really relieving when I realized that isn’t the scenario prepared for me.
And, if I stay alert and show polite gratitude and cooperation from the beginning, I might not be treated so badly in the future either.
I suddenly pray I don’t run into such misfortune.
I sincerely hope so, as a helpless female college student.
So, the dwelling that the maid took me to was composed of a living room and a bedroom with a bath. The place wasn’t that big, but on the other hand, it felt cozier that way somehow. As a whole, the interior had a very relaxed and calming vibe to it. It’s not as gorgeous as the rooms reserved for royals in the main part of the palace. This is better, since the elegant yet reserved atmosphere of this room really makes me feel at ease and almost like a second home already.
Yeah, I really dig it.
The relaxing atmosphere of the room suddenly made me realize I had been tense all this time, unconsciously worrying about what was going to happen next. So, I plopped down on the fluffy-looking sofa and took a deep breath intently, while Lina made tea for me. Along with the tea, a delicious-looking small cake had been placed on the plate, and I appreciated this considerate detail.
“It must have been hard to cross between worlds with the Priestess. Please rest and regain your strength.”
Lina speaks in a very gentle and graceful tone that tips me off to her probably being a high-ranking aristocratic noble lady. Her demeanor is refined and elegant, and she projects a quiet yet vibrant femininity.
I’m pretty sure that, a true maid has a very different role and standing from that of a regular servant; their purpose is that of learning the manners and proper behavior of nobility through apprenticeship to an upper-class family. Miss Lina clearly is an elite maid given that she is employed directly by the royal family.
“Thank you, I appreciate your kindness.”
The tea she poured had a taste just like that of black tea, so I felt reassured that this world’s food may not be too, unlike mine’s after all.
When I sank my teeth into the cake, I was relieved again to not encounter some sort of unpleasant alien taste. Instead, it also tasted just like a cake would on Earth. This one being just wonderfully delicious, with plenty of dried fruits inside and icing of delicious fresh cream. I had almost finished the cake when I realized that I wasn’t supposed to be working as some kind of ‘alien food taster.’ And that each bite was sure to bump up my calorie count just as would be the case on Earth, even though this one cake was too delicious to put down.
“Ah, by the way, is Maki-chan’s room close to here?”
I inquired as I placed a hand over my plate to refuse the new cake that Lina recommended I try. “Girls who don’t eat don’t grow up, you know,” she said. (Yeah, sure, grow up. But what if you grow up sideways!? I refrained from hitting Lina with this clever riposte). I really wanted to eat it, though. Anyway, my heart broke a little when I saw Lina take away that fattening, yet delicious cake.
“Can I meet with Maki-chan freely? Or are there any restrictions on my behavior that I’m going to have to observe?”
There was no way this Lina was just a randomly chosen noble girl, though. If they took the trouble to assign me a maid, it must mean that she has some knowledge of what happened at the summoning ritual. She must certainly be aware that I am here as nothing but some sort of, let’s say, “bonus” to Maki-chan.
“The Holy Princess’ room is in the center of the royal palace. Should Princess Senpai wish to meet with her, a guard will escort you to her room, so you don’t have to worry.”
Lina, a slightly plump and healing vibe beauty, has such a calm and composed demeanor that she gives me the impression of being older than me.
“If you allow me, I would like to introduce you to the guard that has been assigned to your protection. Would that be alright? From now on, myself and this person will be exclusively dedicated to the service of Princess Senpai.”
Maki-chan always looks fantastic, but I’m still in the same casual jeans and T-shirt that I was wearing back on Earth, so this princess treatment I’m getting is making me feel a bit self-conscious.
And what’s more, being referred to as “Princess Senpai” is, you know, a bit too much.
I surprised myself by turning to face Lina with a sudden motion, and saying with an exasperated attitude:
“Please stop it with this “princess” business. My name is Michiru. Just Michiru is fine, I don’t need to be referred to as princess. With that said, yes, I want to meet this guard person, thank you.”
“Understood, Lady Michiru”
In response to my small rebellion, Lina raised her hand to her mouth with an elegant gesture and tried to conceal an amused giggle. And then she was off to summon this guard, who was on duty by the door outside the room.