Intermission 1 : The Queen’s confidential Meeting
In the night of the day Yamai Zenjirou was summoned, Carpa’s Queen Aura the First assembled several of her trusted retainers in her private chamber and had an informal meeting.
The flames from the candleholder on the table bathed the broad room in a feeble light.
Aura sat on a chair that was woven from southern vines with her legs crossed, looked at the retainers assembled before her and opened her mouth.
“So, what about my future husband?”
She first spoke to a young waiting maid with long blonde hair, who stood at the very back.
“Very well. It appears he has turned in for the night a short while ago.”
The blonde waiting maid reported plainly with a high and clear voice.
“I see, good. Still, it seems he is quite the night person. We might have to prepare an extra budget for illumination in the Inner Palace from now on.”
Absorbed in thoughts, Aura rested her chin on one palm of her crossed arms and muttered.
If Zenjirou had heard that, he surely would have been disinclined about that evaluation. The current time was around ten at night at best. Zenjirou was used to return home around midnight on a weekday, so this was probably an early retire for him.
Even though he hadn’t been all that sleepy, he willingly had erased the lights and gone to bed in consideration to the waiting maids, who had to stay on duty until he went to sleep.
Calling that “Staying up late” or “Night person” would leave him in a bind.
Well, no surprise. In modern Japan he could have plenty of light through electricity all day long if he wanted to, whereas in this world the only light source was generally “fire” itself, used on torches, candles or lamps. The perception of a night’s timeframe was fundamentally different.
There were very few shops in this world that had opened during the night. Even the extremely busy mainstay of the Palace truthfully perceived “the night as the time to sleep”.
A middle-aged man with a slender face, who stood at the front and seemed to be a civil officer, remarked upon hearing Aura’s words.
“At any rate, congratulation on obtaining a groom, Your Highness. Now, as what kind of person did Zenjirou-dono appear to you?”
That middle-aged man— Fabio Debache was Aura’s private secretary.
Originally the private secretary was a position without much authority, but at the present time, Aura hadn’t appointed a Prime Minister, nor an Admiral, and lead the government and army by herself. So his authority has the “Queen’s right hand” was unimaginable vast.
The Queen lightly shrugged her shoulders on the question of her trusted retainer, then
“He is far more keen than I had imagined. Moreover, he possesses a coolly judgement and a fair amount of audacity. I say it is an ‘unlucky surprise’.”
she answered flatly.
Determining her evaluation, which only sounded like a praise, as an “unlucky surprise” was proof that the Queen wasn’t seeking a capable husband.
The ideal husband for Aura was a man that drowned himself in the offered luxury, was satisfied by simply having practical desires like money, woman and delicacies fulfilled and showed not the slightest interest in political power.
“Especially that last question from him. Zenjirou-dono most likely realized my intentions. And he still accepted my marriage proposal.”
Aura remembered the conversation from during the day and snickered. After all, he went as far as asking “How would you take it if I were to shut in myself in the Inner Palace, avoid contact with the outside as much as possible, concern myself only with you and just spent my days by hanging around sloppily after I married you?” outright.
It was quite apparent that he fully understood what she wanted from her husband, or to be more precise “what she didn’t want”.
“At first I assumed that he was of humble upbringing, but judging by his intelligence, he might belong to an aristocrat class in the other world.”
“That cannot be ruled out.”
“His behaviour and manners leave a bit to be desired, but it is a fact that it would be somewhat strange to consider him an uneducated commoner.”
All of the assembled retainers nodded in agreement to Aura’s failed expectations.
At this point, Aura and the others unwittingly ended up applying the common sense of their own world to the other world. In their world only the royal family, the aristocrats and a few rich families had the right for education.
For the better or worse, the great majority of the commoners were nothing but illiterate and unrefined people to them. Taking the whole south continent into consideration, there were education institutes open even for commoners, but a country like modern Japan, where every citizen went through a mandatory education of nine years was completely unfathomable for Aura and the others.
“However, if that is the case, it is not unthinkable that Zenjirou-sama has some kind of ulterior motive for accepting this marriage. If you wish to annul the engagement with him, we can give up on re-summoning him a month later.”
The man, who said that, was the elder in the purple robe that had stood on the left of Aura when Zenjirou came to this world.
In reply to the words of Carpa’s royal archmage Espaldion, Aura turned up her nose at him and shook her hand vehemently.
“Stop jesting, old geezer. Are you suggesting I should take the ‘Insatiable Wolf’ of the Guillén Family or the ‘Marionette’ of the Márquez Family as my groom? If I were to do that, Carpa would fall to ruin from civil strife after we finally lived through the war.”
The old mage showed a wry smile in response to the Queen’s curt words, stroked his long grey beard, then picked up on the groom candidates that the Queen had criticised.
“Your Highness, you are being too harsh. Sir Puyol Guillén is a brilliant general and Sir Raffaello Márquez is an excellent civil official.”
“I am aware of that even without you telling me, old geezer. I myself put them into these positions. However, I am saying that no matter how capable they are, an overly ambitious man or a youngling that does not dare to oppose his parents are not suited to be my husband.”
Aura’s evaluation of them was harsh, but by no means wrong, so the aged magician couldn’t say anything back anymore.
“Then you are going to take Zenjirou-dono as your husband after all?”
The middle-aged man with the slender face— Fabio got back on topic, to which Aura simply nodded in response.
“Yes. I am a bit concerned that he is more intelligent than I expected, but I approve of his personality. At least he is better than the ‘Insatiable Wolf’ and the ‘Parent’s Marionette’. His royal blood is strong as well, so we can hope that he himself will be able to use the ‘Space-Time Magic’ with some training, instead of simply passing on the disposition for it onto our child.
Then not even the aristocrats will be able to complain in public.”
Marriage for the sake of passing on the “Space-Time Magic”, the royal bloodline magic onto the next generation with certainty was a more than enough of a just cause in this world, where the country’s strength was adequate to the number of people that could use the “Space-Time Magic”.
In the not so distant future, when Zenjirou himself learned to use the “Space-Time Magic”, no one would be able to openly oppose their marriage.
“However, not only has he a different social standing, but he is also from a different world. I believe there will be many problems to building a family even after you get married.”
In response to the elder mage, who worried about the future, Aura replied with a meaningful smile.
“Well, these are problems that arise regardless of whom I marry. It is just a matter of my sincerity and effort now. I already told my future husband this noon, this marriage purely arises from my one-sided circumstances. I will grant his wishes as long as they do not interfere with our government.”
The good faith Aura had shown Zenjirou this noon was by no means a farce.
Aura herself had a mental burden of debt towards Zenjirou for dragging him into her circumstances and even rational considered, it was natural to meet your future husband with sincerity.
A husband was not a subordinator, but a family member. If everything went well, he was a close companion she would live with for years until their death, sharing the bed numerous times.
Having a feud would only be exhausting.
“I understand. That is a ‘family’ matter, so we will leave that up to you, Your Highness. However, it is a state matter whether you will have a child or not. In the unlikely case that you are incompatible for the ‘night duties‘, please report to us at once.
Fortunately for us, Zenjirou-sama has inherited the royal blood strong enough that we can hope that he will learn the ’Space-Time magic’. And there are a lot of ‘women’ in our country that have inherited the royal blood as strong as Puyol-dono or Raffaelo-dono.”
It was secretary Fabio, who spoke so extremely frank and blatant.
Indeed. The situation had changed from before, now that a man with strong royal blood in form of Zenjirou had appeared.
Until now, only Aura had been able to use the “Space-Time Magic”, so it had been the utmost priority that Aura gives birth to a child, but now Zenjirou, a man with latent royal blood on a level where he should be able to use the “Space-Time Magic”, had appeared, which set the priorities somewhat anew.
In an extreme case it was also possible that Aura ruled as an unpaired Queen like the other precedents and the child between Zenjirou and a woman with royal blood would succeed her.
To begin with, the marriage of a Queen was a contradiction between the law, “absolute authority of the ruler”, and the culture, “the head of a family is always a man”.
It was more than likely that the aristocrat women with royal blood would use that contradiction as an excuse to call off the Queen’s marriage and aim to marry Zenjirou themselves once his existence became known.
In a way, Zenjirou was a golden egg, but also a landmine at the same time.
However, Queen Aura showed no signs of anger over her retainer’s blatant words and recrossed her legs while sitting on the chair, giving a profound answer.
“Yes, that will be a matter for later, but I have already thought of a way to deal with it. However, I believe your concern is unnecessary. I will properly make a child with my future husband.”
“Hoo? May I inquire where this confidence comes from?”
The elder mage asked curiously, whereas Aura replied with a sweet smile.
“Oh, it is quite simple. Sitting across from him, I had dinner with my future husband tonight and his gaze was painfully fixated on my chest. He himself thought I would not notice, but it was without a doubt a lustful gaze.
It appears my body is stimulating enough for his sexual desire.”
Saying so, Aura threw out her extra-large chest proudly.
What men considered to be just a glance was as good as staring for women.
Somehow or other, Zenjirou’s wicked thoughts were completely exposed to the Queen.