The kingdom of Noir was one of the greatest on the continent. And so it was no surprise that the royal castle in the capital of Belm was of a magnificent size.
And I was standing right in front of that very castle. Well, in front of the castle gates in any case. The tall and solid castle walls and the crowd that had gathered to attend were obstructing my view. I could not see a thing.
“You there, come forward.”
After waiting in line for nearly half an hour, my turn had finally come. The bored looking guard called me forward.
I went through the gates as I was instructed and ended up in front of a reception counter. There was a different guard waiting here. A well dressed but grouchy looking official. He was probably a noble whose office included the management of guests.
“State your name and business.”
“I am Liliana Flohe. I was summoned here today by Lord Sylvester Brail.”
I was suddenly being stared at rather suspiciously. It continued as his gaze brazenly inspected me up and down. Why on earth?
I had worn my best clothing as I was to visit the castle. Even my hair, which was blonde with a slight shade of pink had been combed more thoroughly than usual. It was sparkling even. I should not look like a suspicious person.
“And what business would a commoner like you have with Lord Brail?”
“It was I who was called. So I do not know the purpose…”
“I see no reason why his lordship would ever call for some commoner.”
“But, but even so…”
I myself would have liked to turn around and go home. But there was a reason why I could not do that.
“Oh, the letter! I have a letter from Lord Brail!”
I frantically remove the envelope from my bag, which the official quickly snatched away and inspected. He read it over and over and his eyes widened in surprise.
“…It’s real. This is definitely his seal.”
Serves you right! I don’t go quite so far, but I do feel a sense of relief due to his attitude.
Of course, it was his job to be suspicious of others. After all, it would cause quite the uproar were he to allow an actually dangerous person inside.
After receiving the entry permit, I followed after a guide who was assigned to me.
I wonder what the interior of the castle would be like? Was it really so very extravagant?
It was my first time entering a castle, and my uneasy gaze would constantly fly from one thing to the next.
However, the guide in front of me was now walking in the opposite direction of the castle.
“Um, the castle is down the opposite path?”
“This is the correct path.”
Was all the reply I received. Once I knew I was not to see the inside of the castle, my interest vanished in a blink.
We continued on and on until I began to become worried about just how far we were going. It continued on even further until a single building finally came into view.
It was a grand mansion, made of the same stone material as the castle. Behind the mansion, I could see a dense forest. This really was in the corner of the castle grounds.
We entered the front door after ringing the bell, and a pretty young woman appeared from a side room. She was wearing a light blue dress and had long, flaxen hair that was tied behind her back. The woman was shockingly beautiful.
“I have brought a guest for Lord Brail.”
“Oh, thank you.”
Even her smile was so beautiful that I nearly swooned. However, the voice that came from her mouth was lower than any women’s voice I had ever heard. In fact, it was the voice of a man.
Ahh, I understood it at once. I didn’t know if this was unfortunate or fortunate. It was complicated.
The guide left me with the young miss and left.
“Well, would you please follow me? You adorable young lady. Sylvester is out now. But he should be returning very soon.”
No matter how aware I was that it was only polite flattery, I was unaccustomed to being praised and could not help but feel bashful. Even more so because this person was so beautiful.
However, I was genuinely surprised when I saw the room that she led me to. While it did take the shape of a drawing room, there was baggage scattered all over the place. Numerous books were crudely stacked on top of each other. It did not seem like a room to invite people into.
“Forgive me. It is a little messy here. But this is actually an improvement compared to how it usually is.”