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「That was amazing.」
「Yes! The last part where they spun the swords and then sheathed them was so cool.」
Shuri spun her arms around, imitating the performers.
The girls were all very excited seeing such a performance. I had been quite enthralled myself. I had always wanted to see something like this that just screamed ‘fantasy world’.
「Yuna, do you think you could do something like that?」
Tilia carried Shuri’s question over to me.
「Such a performance is a result of hard work and practice, so not really. I might be able to do the last part where they arc their swords and then place it in into the scabbard, though.」
When I had played the game, I really enjoyed using the sword and would practice drawing and sheathing it quite often. I also recalled quite a few embarrassing moments where I would do a victory dance with my sword after defeating a monster.
It was kind of similar to what the performers had done, so I might be able to pull it off here.
「I would love to see that.」
「Maybe if there is an opportunity for me to try.」
I used the typical Japanese way of refusing. It was comparable to the “I will go if I have time.” excuse. Players had often invited me to join their party in the game, and I used to tell them I would go if I had the time but then never showed up. If they had later asked me about it, I could have excused myself with 「I said I would go if I had time, didn’t I?」. It was a good, indirect way of refusing things.
「You can try it here, can’t you?」
It looked like it didn’t work this time, though.
To make it more obvious, I told her that I couldn’t really brandish a weapon out here.
Tilia looked a bit disappointed, but I really shouldn’t be doing anything to stand out, especially now that I was wearing a uniform. It would be a big problem if one of the teachers from the academy saw me do so. Tilia was with me to get me out of trouble, but just explaining ourselves would probably take a long time. Our time at the school festival was limited, so we had to treat it with care.
「So, what do you want to do next?」
We took a break at the area where the sword dance had been held and saw that they were going to perform again. It would be nice to watch it again, but Tilia had other ideas.
「It looks like everyone enjoyed the dance, so how about we go see something else that’s just as impressive? We should make it if we leave now.」
Tilia took Noa and Misa’s hands and rushed off.
「Come on everyone, let’s go.」
Tilia ignored Noa’s cries and continued to make her way through the crowd, so we ran after her. Eventually, we reached a large, circular building.
I wasn’t sure what purpose it served. It looked kind of like a gymnasium but larger, so maybe it was something similar to those churches from Europe?
I took a look inside and could see both students and other festival attendees.
「You’ll know when you enter. I think you’ll enjoy it quite a bit.」
Tilia still didn’t want to tell us what we were going to see. Since there were other attendees inside, it should be fine, but I felt a bit uncomfortable nonetheless.
Tilia led us inside, and there was this large door to enter the main hall. The other attendees all headed through the door, but just as we were about to follow them, Tilia headed down a side corridor instead.
She beckoned and led us up a flight of stairs. There were many doors lined up at the top, and Tilia walked past them without a care, only stopping in front of one of the doors in the middle of the corridor. As I noticed it was a bit bigger than the other ones,Tilia touched what looked like a magic stone next to the door, and we heard something unlock. Then, the door opened.
「Alright then, let’s head inside.」
Shuri followed her into the room first and trotted to what looked like a balcony. Fina hurried after her, while Noa and Misa carefully followed behind.
This place seemed to be like a theatre, and the balcony we were at should be one of the seating areas. It was in the middle of the top floor, so all the rooms that we passed by on this floor must be viewing rooms similar to this one, right?
「Tilia, what is this place?」
「This is the room reserved for the royal family, I guess? It’s rarely used, though. We only come here when there are good shows.」
In other words, we were in an exclusive room of the royal family.
Looking over the balcony into the vast hall, we could see a stage on the other side. Below us were rows of chairs facing the stage, with many people already seated, waiting for the show to start.
「Is it okay for us to come in here with you?」
When I asked that, Noa and Misa also nodded in agreement to the question. Nobles, Noa and Misa, seemed to realize the importance of this room while the commoner, Shuri, only looked at the huge hall in awe.
「It’s fine. I brought you in, and I wasn’t told that I’m not allowed to use this room, either, so you don’t have to worry about it.」
There was no way that would make us feel reassured being with her, though. Fina was already starting to look around nervously while Noa and Misa also looked troubled to be here and didn’t know what to do. Only Shuri was still gazing at the hall in excitement.
Commoners really shouldn’t be allowed to use the room the royal family used, right? It might be okay for the nobles, but these splendid looking chairs were for the king and queen, weren’t they?
Even I could tell that the sofas in the room were high-class.
Yet, Tilia did not pay any mind and simply told us to sit wherever we liked.
None of us dared to sit down though. Well, Shuri was about to take a seat, but Fina had grabbed her hand and refused to let go.
I was sure that the king and the queen most likely wouldn’t really mind, but none of us actually dared to sit on the same chairs the royalty used.
Thus, everybody had politely declined to sit, only accepting the offer of using the room.
「By the way, what’s going to happen here?」
An audience had gathered, and there was a stage, so there should be some sort of a performance, right?
「It’s almost time for the concert. It’s a fantastic one, so I thought all of you should see it.」
Well, I most certainly looked forward to it, then.
We all looked over the balcony and could already see students carrying instruments as they stepped onto the stage.
Once all the students were lined up, they bowed, and the concert began.
The sound of their instruments was very loud and was reverberating throughout the building. Their feelings reached our hearts, and while I didn’t really understand music myself, I could tell that they were excellent performers. Shuri and Fina, who had never experienced a concert before, were watching with their eyes wide open. Of course, Noa and Misa seemed to be enjoying it as well.
The students played song after song, and we kept listening without even thinking of leaving. I had never heard any of these songs before, but they were all very touching.
Once they were done with the last song, the students bowed, and exited the stage. Everybody, including me, sent them off with a big applause. Well, since I was wearing my Bear Hands, I could only make some light clapping noises, but it was the thought that counted, right?
「That was amazing. This was the first time I listened to a concert.」
「I’m glad you enjoyed it.」
Tilia was happy to hear Fina’s praise. I was also glad that the girls got to listen to something good. Even though the concert was made of just students, they had still given us an amazing performance.
「I wonder if Onee-sama can also perform like that?」
Shia playing instruments, huh. It would most likely suit her, but did she learn it? Did noble families make their children play instruments in this world?
「Is the concert over now?」
I wanted to listen for a while longer, but the students didn’t seem like they were coming back.
「The next performance is a theatre play. Do you want to watch it?」
A theatre play, huh? I did want to watch it. If it was like a musical, then I really looked forward to it.
「What do you girls think?」
「I want to watch it!」
「I don’t mind watching another performance.」
Nobody said no, so we stayed to watch the play.
As preparations on the stage were taking place, I served everybody some drinks. Then suddenly, the door behind us opened.
「Now that’s a surprise. Somebody is here already?」
「Oh, Tilia. What are you doing here?」
His Majesty and Flora-sama entered the room. Flora-sama ran up to Tilia and hugged her before I noticed Her Highness also coming through the door.
「Oh my, there are so many guests here.」
Her Highness looked at us and smiled.
「Father, why are you here today?」
「Flora said she wanted to go to the school festival, and while that’s completely fine, we would stand out too much if we simply walked among the crowd. That’s why we came here instead.」
He was right about standing too much. With a princess, a king, and a queen all walking around together, people would surely have made a fuss. They also had bodyguards with them, making them stand out even more.
「Fufu, what are you saying? You just wanted to ditch work and used Flora as an excuse to escape the castle, didn’t you?」
The queen exposed the king’s real intentions, making him visibly panic.
「It was true that Flora wanted to come, though.」
「Yes, but since we have escorts, it would be fine with just Flora and me. You could have stayed at the castle to work.」
The king tried to object but couldn’t. Then, he looked at me for a moment but quickly turned his attention to Noa instead.
「You’re Eleanora’s daughter, Noire right?」
He didn’t wait for response, and shifted his gaze to Fina and Shuri.
「These two are Fina-chan and Shuri-chan.」
The queen told him while Princess Flora went over to greet Shuri happily.
「You know them?」
「Shuri-chan is Fina-chan’s little sister. I told you that they came to the castle recently, didn’t I?」
「Ah, right, it was when Eleanora kept it a secret that Yuna came to the castle. She even brought food with her and you still kept me in the dark…」
「Yes, and it was very sweet and delicious.」
「It was sweet and fluffy.」
They were talking about the time we had all visited the castle to sightsee. It hadn’t been my fault the king hadn’t been notified; Eleanora-san had ordered the guard not to let him know.
「Fina, right? If you see Yuna, could you tell her to come to the castle and bring me some of this candy she gave to them?」
Emm, I was right here, so he didn’t need to leave a message with Fina…
Fina seemed troubled and looked at me, but having me come forward would make the situation a bit awkward, wouldn’t it? Tilia wore a slight smile on her face but kept quiet while Noa and Misa didn’t want to be the ones to explain it, either.
With the lack of response, the king turned to Misa. He didn’t seem to know who she was yet, so she introduced herself.
「The daughter of the Faren Gramm family? Interesting. How did you girls all get to know each other?」
「Father, you didn’t introduce Yuna to me, so I got a friend to introduce her instead. That’s how we all met.」
The king took another look around the room. He glanced at me for a short moment before rubbing his chin in thought.
The king had seen my face plenty of times, but maybe he was unable to connect the dots since I wasn’t in my Bear Suit?
「By the way, have we met somewhere before?」
He asked me, looking up at me again.
Yes, we had met many times before…
「Dear, what are you saying? She’s Yuna-chan.」
The queen said with a smile.
Everybody in the room, including me, looked shocked by how simply she put it.
「Ah, no wonder. I knew you looked familiar to me somehow, Yuna.」
Was my face really so easily forgotten…?
「You must have seen my face at least once in all the times I came to the castle, no?」
「It-it’s not like I forgot your face. You are always wearing your bear costume, so I just couldn’t tell for a second.」
Basically, he had only remembered me by my outfit.
「Still, why are you wearing such a weird outfit?」
Did he just say the uniform looked weird on me? Just how could the uniform be considered weird? If both the Bear Outfit and uniform looked weird on me then what could I possibly wear to look normal?
「Shia… I mean, Eleanora-san’s daughter Shia said that the Bear Outfit stands out too much, so she had me change into this.」
I explained to him why I was wearing such a weird outfit, but the king just kept staring at me.
「Nothing, I just thought how you actually look like a regular girl when wearing a normal outfit.」
How rude of him to say that. Even wearing the Bear Outfit, I was still a normal girl on the inside.
I pouted for a bit before Princess Flora came up to me.
I lowered my back and met eyes with her and flapped a Bear Puppet in front of her, hoping it would be enough to convince her, but she showed no real reaction.
Well, she did always call me Bear-san, so had she also only remembered me by my Bear Outfit?
I absentmindedly patted her head, and she suddenly smiled at me so cutely that I could almost see flowers bloom around her face.
「It’s the same patting as Bear-san’s.」
That was how she was able to recognize me?!
「Yuna-oneechan’s way of head patting does feel really kind and soft to the touch.」
「Mhm, Yuna-neechan’s head pats have a really fluffy feeling to them.」
「I get what you mean! Yuna-san’s pats have a lot of love in them!」
Everybody agreed with Princess Flora on the patting front…
I didn’t really have any special way of petting them that could express kindness and love. I just petted their head when I wanted to thank them or when I just found them too cute to resist.
The royal family has all gathered now. (Well, except for the oldest son. lol)
The queen knew it was Yuna right from the beginning. She is a carefree person, but has exceptional observation skills.
Princess Flora could only tell from Yuna’s way of head patting, though. lol
Next chapter, things will carry on normally, maybe?
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