Chapter 140 – Distance from the Queen
“Even I thought that I was dead at the time. But I had to protect my loyal subjects, Estelle and Synthia, didn’t I? Also, I have even played with you yet, Noelle. And so I could not die there.”
After the fight had ended and things had calmed down, Ms. Evangeline explained to me how she came to be here.
“With grit and determination, I pretended to be dead, and then managed to survive while carrying those two. But I had no mana left and was weak. That is when I was visited by someone from the Ardenfeld Kingdom.”
“That is good to hear. But what a coincidence.”
“It was not a coincidence, as they had been searching for me. Apparently, they had prior information that there might be an attack. It was the crown prince’s order. It all seemed rather annoying, and I was going to turn them down. But then I remembered that you are from Ardenfeld. So it was my chance to come here and play, while pretending I am here on business. Pretty clever, isn’t it?”
“That is why you are in Ardenfeld?”
“It would not be an exaggeration to say that, yes.”
“By the way, they say that this is the first time that one of the three top non-human magicians have visited. The diplomats were thrilled, and so I told them to thank you.”
Ms. Evangeline said without interest.
I had a feeling that things were really getting out of hand, but I was too tired to think deeply about it.
It was important to protect yourself from a stressful society.
“Still, once I arrived, I started to hear about how my attackers also entered the country. And they were going to use you as bait to lure them out. So I frantically agreed to cooperate. They did insist that it would be fine, since the Holy Blade would be there. But I knew it would still be dangerous.”
“…Ah. Now that you mention it…”
The route we had taken did seem like we were inviting the enemy to attack.
“I am sorry to have deceived you like this.”
The knight who accompanied me bowed his head.
“No, it is fine. If anything, it is an honor to be of use.”
“You really did help us. The enemy was faster than expected, and I was not able to react. It’s because of you that I was safe, Ms. Noelle.”
I smiled at the praise.
“You can leave the rest to the others. Please go home, Ms. Noelle.”
As a precaution, the two knights would continue to accompany me.
But as I started to leave, Ms. Evangeline ran after me.
“Oh, uh, Noelle. I thought that…”
She began to say, but then looked away.
And after a moment of silence, she said,
“Ne-nevermind! I will see you later!”
I could tell that she wanted to say something.
But I was not able to stop her after she turned around.
Ms. Evangeline was the great elf queen of the forest. She probably had problems that I could not even imagine.
And I should respect her decision.
I couldn’t stop her just because it seemed like she wanted to be with me for a little longer.
After all, she was a queen and I was a commoner.
Still, it left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth.
“Ms. Noelle, I must speak with you”.
It was the voice of a different elf woman.
Ms. Evangeline’s attendant, Synthia.
“I am sorry to take up your time. The truth is, I have a request to make, Ms. Noelle.”
In spite of being above me in rank and position, she talked very politely.
And her expression was serious.
I have a vague idea of what she could be asking about.
“Please do not get involved with Ms. Evangeline. Is that it?”
After a moment of silence, Ms. Synthia spoke.
“I just thought that as her attendants, you would not like it that the queen is being friendly towards a human.”
I had experienced similar things in the past.
‘My papa said I can’t be associated with commoners like you.’
I had been quite sad when students at the magic academy would say such things, as they were mostly nobles.
If it was like that amongst humans, then it would surely be stricter with other races.
However, that was why my mind was made up from the beginning.
“I refuse. After all, I actually want to be friends with Ms. Evangeline.”
Since she was the queen, I would have to tread carefully in some aspects. But it would be wrong to keep my distance, just because of what people around her said.
“I understand how you feel.”
Synthia said without changing her facial expression.
“And so I have a request.”
“How tedious. I will not accept it.”
“I want you to let Queen Evangeline stay at your house.”
“As I said… What?”
Things were suddenly going in a different direction.
“Uh, what did you say?”
“I want you to let Queen Evangeline stay at your house. Ever since we entered Ardenfeld, she will not stop talking about you. How she wants to stay at your house, go shopping, eating, etcetera. Estelle had to cover her ears in the corner of the carriage in order to sleep.”
“And yet when the time came, she suddenly backed down. I suppose she thought she would be rejected, or it would be too much trouble. While it might sound cute, it is a serious matter for us. After all, it means she will stay up all night and complain about how she wanted to stay with you. Estelle already looks like she is on the brink of death. But I will not give up. Please help us, Ms. Noelle.”
The direction of the quest was the complete opposite of what I was thinking.
“…When I said that I refused, what did you think?”
“She misunderstood, but is saying something that sounds impressive.”
Well, this was rather embarrassing, and the result of getting ahead of myself.
I was an unfortunate person.
“…Now I want to cry.”
“I’m the one who wants to cry! Please let her stay with you!”
It was then that I noticed that the two knights were smiling gently, and I felt my face grow hot. And so I turned around and went back up the street towards Ms. Evangeline.
“Estelle, listen! I was really looking forward to it, but then I suddenly didn’t have the courage! It would probably be an inconvenience to suddenly ask such a thing. But I don’t know how to get closer to a friend. There was just so much to think about and…”
Ms. Evangeline spoke angrily to Ms. Estelle, who had a dead expression.
Then she noticed me and her green eyes widened.
I felt a little embarrassed and scratched my cheek.
“Um, I was wondering if you would like to stay at my house?”
Ms. Evangeline looked like she could not believe her ears.
“Do you really mean it!? I can stay with you!?”
She said with flushed cheeks.
Ms. Estelle looked like she had just been saved.
It was an expression that left a lasting impression on me.