Son-con – Vol. 8 Ch. 13

‘The Royal Capital I’d been hearing of gave me an oddly familiar feeling. Perhaps the warm spring breeze that finally came brought life back, thereby returning the markets inside the city to the way they were when I first came. I don’t know when the most prosperous period is, but it’s not as bleak as it was in winter now.’

‘Warmth had finally arrived to the content, waking the city up again. Looking at the market in front of me gave me a feeling of familiarity and nostalgia, since Nier and I went through this area for many reasons in the past. This is where I bought Luna from, as well. What was relatively interesting was that when we went through the market and everybody saluted me, I saw the host look at Luna, who was next to me smiling, with shock.’             

‘My guess is he never expected Luna to attain such a high status. Even if she wasn’t the Princess, to be able to walk side-by-side with the Prince was an extremely high honour.’

‘At least it was certain that a single word from her could have him depart from this world.’

‘Luna, however, had never brought up the topic of revenge with me so they don’t need to worry. Luna kept a tight lid on her past.’          

“Your Majesty!”

The palace with “Long Live Your Majesty” written on it had its doors open for me. I entered the palace and the Valkyries took my horse. I led Luna and Freya to the outer court. Honestly, the palace feels as though it’s a foreign place without Elizabeth and Castell present. Despite the people in the most important posts being absent, the palace continued to maintain operations as per usual.

“Onii-sama, the earliest-to-arrive representative group might arrive in the next two days. The representative groups cannot stay in the palace. As such, we must organise where they will unload their stuff, and where they will reside. Although they will not be staying in the city for long, we still need to provide them with acceptable accommodation.”

I nodded then asked, “Which vassal state representative groups will be arriving first? Is there anybody we’re familiar with?”

Freya contemplated it, and then replied, “None that I am familiar with, but you should be familiar with them, right, Onii-sama…? If you and Nara Sobros Bufena got along well in the desert, she could be considered someone you are familiar with I guess. There is also the lord of Socina, Karana Dominique Von Testersmill. I would say we are both very familiar with her. We have not met her yet, but she has frustrated us for a long time.”

I chuckled.

‘Karana and Nara share the common trait of being ambitious lords of their cities. I feel that this world is really strange. By that I mean that all of the strong individuals are women. There’s Vyvyan and Elizabeth. And then there’s Karana and Nara.’

‘The two with big ambitions both made the most correct choice. And that is to be the first to arrive as a means of displaying their loyalty. Additionally, being the earliest to arrive meant that they could spend more time with the Empress, thereby allowing them to speak to her the most. In other words, they might be able to obtain something for their city.’

Freya looked at me with her head titled. She snickered and said, “I assume that you must have gotten ideas for Nara Sobros Bufena, Onii-sama. Wait, sorry, Onii-sama, that is not the type of person you are. It would be more prudent to say that you and Nara Sobros Bufena lit the flames for a romantic story in the desert, right? She might even be one of the female lords you have conquered. After all, you are akin to a river of love, making love flow wherever you go.”

“Is that how you see me?”

I looked at her feeling hopeless.

‘Maybe something really could happen between us, except… I think I might be buried in the desert right now if I couldn’t control myself that night. Moreover, my negotiations with Nara would’ve crumbled. No, no, no, I’m not regretting it. It’s just that… how shall I put it? Strange things happen whenever I’m with these women… Is that part and parcel of being popular with the ladies?’                     

‘Who knows, Troy’s face might be considered handsome thanks to his elven nature and the genes he inherited from his two moms…’

‘That guess of mine was later confirmed… When I asked all the girls around me what their first impression was, their first impression of Troy’s face was “he looks good”. But there were two exceptions. One was Nier, who had no interest in men, and two, was Lucia who grew up with me.’   

‘But they’re both my wives.’

I looked at Freya and proudly responded, “There is absolutely nothing between Nara and I. You would be better off saying I helped her with her marriage… I have to go and be her marriage witness when I have time, you know?”

Freya then looked at me with suspicion and asked, “Is that so? Based on the information I have, Nara Sobros Bufena is a very pretty woman. How surprising for you to not seduce her. But it makes things easier since you two are acquainted. Do you remember what taboos or diet restrictions she has?”

“… I don’t really know there. I’d say normal food and drinks consumed in the desert should suffice, right?”

“Really…? It will be easy to look after her then… However, you should go and see them after the two of them arrive. You should see every lord once and at set times. Do not have private conversations with them. You must speak with your doors open and have others present. Oh, right, leave that to Miss Luna.”

“Me?” Luna paused. She looked at Freya blankly and stuttered, “I… Do not… I… I do not have any idea what to do…”

“You do not need to do anything. You just need to sit next to Onii-sama. Of course, I will be coming along. The thing is that I cannot reveal myself as Onii-sama’s strategist. However, if you are also present, then we need not worry even if somebody tries to pry information out of us, as Onii-sama would not bring along his personal servant if he was going to discuss some agreement with a lord. If he is taking his personal servant along, that means that their conversation is not about anything important, but merely a simple conversation.”

‘I understand what Freya means now. Freya intends to make my schedule apparent to prevent other lords from suspecting that I favour particular ones just as Castell described, a balance. I won’t say any more to one person than the other which means that if they want to ingratiate themself with me, then come have at it.’

“In short, the situation this time can be considered complex, but not difficult I guess. As long as you do not spark any flames causing other female lords to fall head over heels for you, then we should be fine.”

‘Just how does Freya see me…?’

I smiled helplessly and asked, “Of course I won’t… But about how many people will be coming?”

“Sixteen lords. About sixteen female lords.”

“Freya, could you stop emphasising ‘female lord’?”

“Did you want me to emphasise ‘male lord’ then?!”

“… Freya, are you in a bad mood today…?”

Freya poked her tongue at me. She mischievously giggled then with a cheerful smile, said, “I shall stop with the jokes. Onii-sama, it is just as I said. Please meet each of them properly. Do not be biased and do not neglect anyone. All of them have their own agenda. What you must do is balance out their agendas.”


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