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After I promised Noa to give her a copy of the picture books, she began to read the books on the table again. Fina also gave up and sat down to read them with her. Now, I was only left with the problem of finding a way to add Noa to the story…
Deciding to put that aside for now, I turned towards Tilia since I remembered I had another reason for visiting the castle.
「Tilia, would it be possible to meet His Majesty today?」
I asked her as she continued to ride on Hugging Bear’s back. It would be a pain to meet him, but I had promised to give him some cotton candy… It would be best if I did it today and be done with it.
「Yeah I want to see him before I head home. If it’s not possible, then could you at least give him a message?」
When I came to see Tilia today, the soldier that let us in hadn’t dashed straight off to report our arrival to the king, which could have only been due to Eleanora-san telling him not to.
「I planned on giving him some cotton candy before I left, but if I can’t meet with him today, I’ll bring him some next time. So, could you tell him that?」
Since I had cotton candy machines in my Bear Box, I could make some at any time. If he was unavailable today, I could just make it for him the next time I came around
「Hmm… Could you wait just a moment?」
Tilia gave it some thought before responding as such, climbing off of Hugging Bear, and leaving the room. She returned rather quickly, however.
「I just asked him to come, so I think he should be here in a little bit.」
So, basically, she went to call him over? Did she mention I was here, or…?
「I can go find him myself if that’s better.」
「No, it’s fine. If he can’t come, he will just send someone to tell us.」
This most certainly wasn’t something that should be normally done. Calling the king over for some cotton candy… There was no way that was how it worked, right?
Yet, to my disbelief, the king soon waltzed into the room as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
「You’re in Tilia’s room today, huh?」
「Tilia helped me out a lot during the school festival, so I decided to pay her a visit to thank her.」
「I see. Still, what exactly is going on here?」
Tilia, Flora-sama, and Shuri were playing with the Bears, while Noa and Fina enjoyed reading the picture books. This was definitely not what a princess’s room should normally look like.
「I wanted to see Yuna’s summoned beasts, so I asked her to call them out.」
Tilia, who was riding Hugging Bear again, backed me up about the situation. The king gave up the issue after giving her another glance before turning to me instead.
「So, what is it, then? I heard that you wanted to give me something.」
「I promised you some cotton candy the other day. Would you like it now?」
「Ahh, that! I’ll have it now, yes.」
The king had only recalled it when I mentioned it. If he had forgotten it altogether, I would have just left the issue behind me. Well, doing it this way was still better than ignoring it and having him pester me about it at a later date.
I quickly began preparing all the things needed to make the cotton candy: I placed a cotton candy machine and some sugar on the table. When I took out the machine, the king looked at it with some curiosity.
「It’s the machine that makes the candy.」
I turned on the machine and started making cotton candy, with the king intently watching me. After some time, thin threads began to billow out of the machine, which I quickly began wrapping around a stick. It didn’t take long for the first cotton candy to be complete.
「Is this made from granulated sugar only?」
「Yes. It is sweet, so here, something to drink as well.」
I said and took out some tea from the Bear Box.
「You item bag can fit so many things inside…」
My Bear Box wasn’t like a certain unnamed robot cat’s multi-dimensional pouch, so it only contained things I had put inside. Well, sometimes God put some items inside without telling me first. Luckily, he didn’t do it that often.
「Anyway, you sure do know how to make some strange things. I haven’t ever heard of candy being made from just sugar before.」
Well, he was the king, so I found it perfectly normal for him not to know about things like that. It was best that his chefs learned about all the new foods, so the king could focus on his own tasks.
As I pondered that, the king bit into the cotton candy.
「It’s quite sweet.」
「It is made of only sugar, so of course it’s sweet.」
「It’s interesting how it melts in your mouth: such a strange feeling.」
「Father, I want some too.」
The king gave some to Flora-sama as well, and she ate it happily. With this, I had fulfilled my promise, so hopefully he wouldn’t bother me with it at a later date.
「That reminds me, Eleanora isn’t here. Where did that woman go?」
「Eleanora-san went home to pick up some documents for work.」
I had completely forgotten about that and decided to keep the fact that she had started chatting with Shia a secret. After all, it had been my fault for suggesting that specific shop to them.
At this point, Flora-sama had fallen asleep after playing so much. In order not to wake her, we decided to leave the castle as I had already given Tilia my thanks and fulfilled my promise to the king.
「Yuna, please come again. Make sure to come when I’m home, though.」
That largely depended on when I came around next time, but I also hoped that we would be able to meet again. However, thinking back on all my visits up till now, it should be quite unlikely unless we arranged to meet.
Back at the mansion, Eleanora-san returned in the evening and complained to us that the king had scolded her again.
「I just talked with Shia and her friends and discussed their dinner plans with Zelef before going back to work. Nothing he should get mad over.」
Didn’t that mean she wasn’t working most of the time? Part of that was my fault, but I still thought that an adult should be able to manage their time themselves.
「Obviously, my daughters are more important to me.」
Of course she would say that… Eleanora-san’s way of responding without thinking first was just like my parents, just the other way around, in this case. I kind of wanted to tell her that those issues weren’t of life and death, and her job should come first, but who was I to tell her that?
After dinner, I asked Eleanora-san if it would be possible to print out some copies of the third volume of my picture book. She could also directly pass all the volumes to Noa, so I wouldn’t have to worry about it any longer.
「Mother, you’re mean! You didn’t tell me about the picture books.」
「I was sure Yuna-chan already told you about them since you both live in Crimonia, so I didn’t bother.」
Noa pouted, not very convinced by Eleanora-san’s reasoning.
「Also, the one who drew the picture books was Yuna-chan.」
Now she was trying to push the responsibility onto me. Yes, we lived in the same town, so I was technically closer to Noa than Eleanora-san. Yes, the artist was me. And…
Hmm… Now that I thought about it, I couldn’t really argue my way out of this.
「When I finish the next volume, I’ll give it to you as a present, okay?」
「That’s a promise!」
Noa made me promise, so now I had to quickly think of some plot for the next picture book…
「Anyway, Yuna-chan, you’re heading home tomorrow, right?」
「Yes, since we can’t stay in the capital for too long.」
I couldn’t drag Fina and Shuri around much longer, so we had already decided to head home tomorrow morning. If I could use the Bear Gate, we could return to Crimonia instantly and could stay a while longer, but certain people were stubbornly against doing so.
「Okay, I’ll prepare a carriage to bring all of you to the gates of the capital at least」
「We’ll go together with Hugging Bear-chan and Swaying Bear-chan. Shuri, let’s ride together.」
「Marcus and the others are coming to see you off in the morning, so make sure you wait for them.」
That seemed rather unnecessary, but I couldn’t just tell them that we didn’t need the carriage or the send off.
Also, since both Noa and Shuri were looking forward to travelling, we couldn’t use the Bear Gate even though I wanted to. I had already given up at this point and decided to ride the Bears home.
「Fina-chan, Shuri-chan, you can come and visit anytime.」
「Noa, listen to Cliff, okay?」
「Yuna-chan, let me know if this girl acts selfishly.」
The next morning, we received many farewells, and I made sure to treat the girls to an extravagant dinner the first night on the road.
Yuna-san had already set of to Crimonia, and the excitement from the festival gradually died down.
Since we had a break from school today, we had decided to invite our friends and classmates that had helped at our shop to a meal. The location was at the brand new shop, courtesy of Eleanora-san’s invitation.
Only Shia knew where the shop was, so we all met up in front of the academy and headed there together.
「We’ve got everyone, right?」
Everybody arrived on time, so we departed without delay.
「Marcus is really looking forward to this.」
「Yeah, I even skipped breakfast today.」
Yuna-san and Eleanora-sama both said that the food they served was delicious, and that was a part of the reason we chose the location they recommended. Still, since I had never actually tried it before, I was a little bit worried about what it was like. Then again, the shop was commissioned on the orders of His Majesty, so there was no way the food was bad, right?
「Tilia-sama will be coming later, right?」
「Yes, she knows where the shop is, so she won’t have trouble finding us.」
Shia was still the only one here who knew where the shop was. Apparently Eleanora-sama had told her all about it, but when we asked her if she could share the information, she just laughed and played it off. Her expression clearly stated that she wanted to hide something, but I had no idea what it was.
Shia led us towards the shop, and despite the large size of the group, literally everyone seemed excited. Once we arrived, our eyes were immediately drawn to a pair of objects at the entrance.
「Shia, is this the place?」
It was a grand, splendid building. Emphasizing the grandness from right in front of the building were two large bear statues. One bear was holding a giant spoon, while the other held a giant fork.
「What is that?」
「Ah, I heard about this shop from my parents.」
「Me too, I heard someone mention bear statues in front of a shop.」
Some of our group already knew about the shop. Well, at least Timor and Cattleya had no idea.
「Shia, could this shop be… 」
「Yeah, I think it’s related to Yuna-san.」
「Related to Yuna-san… 」
「In that case, the food will be fine.」
The food that Yuna-san gave us was always delicious and spot on… but did I imagine that shiver down my spine when I heard Yuna’s name?
「Anyway, let’s head inside.」
We didn’t object and followed Shia into the shop. A female chef came to welcome us.
「Welcome. We’ve been waiting for you, students of the academy.」
「Sorry for keeping you waiting. We might be quite noisy, but please take care of us.」
「Being noisy is fine; I heard about the size of your group from Eleanora-sama. Please come this way and take your seats.」
Although the outside had bears standing guard, the interior of the shop had a high-class feel. I had been worried that the inside would also be bear-themed and was quite relieved that it wasn’t. We all looked around the interior as we followed the chef to our seats. There were many different delicious-looking types of bread lined up on the table.
「We’ll be bringing out other dishes shortly.」
The female chef bowed and left. Only once everybody but me was seated, I looked around the group and spoke up.
「Um, everyone, I know that we our request for help was quite sudden, so we would like to thank you for your support. Because of you, we were able to win third place among the food stands. Please eat to your heart’s content today.」
We each took a cup and toasted just as the female chef returned.
「We will now serve the food.」
The food was delicious, just as Eleanora-sama had promised, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
「Marcus, everything tastes so good.」
「What about payment?」
「Don’t worry about it. Feel free to eat as much as you want.」
Everybody listened to my words and ate without holding back. We had managed to give Eleanora-sama some money for the food, even though she had initially refused to take any payment.
「You really don’t need to.」
「No, we want to treat our friends who helped us, so we have to pay. Please accept it. Still, if it’s not enough, then please waive the rest.」
We had paid a sum, but would it be enough to cover the costs? Since this was His Majesty’s shop, it should be quite expensive, right? I was kind of afraid to know the total amount this would have costed us, so I hadn’t even dared ask Eleanora-san about it.
「So many things happened at this year’s school festival…」
「Yeah. To me, the best was the case of the bear completely destroying prize stands.」
「Oh, that’s… 」
「I actually saw the bear hit one of the stands, and it was a girl wearing a bear costume. Every knife she threw hit a target dead in the center.」
「I only caught a glimpse of her, but her costume was really cute.」
「You know her, right, Shia?」
「Yeah, but I’m not allowed to talk about her.」
Eleanora-sama had warned us not to talk about Yuna-san. Well, even if we did talk, would anybody believe us?
「Still, your cotton candy stand became quite a hot topic since you guys were selling such an unusual food.」
「I really thought that you were going to get first place.」
「The problem is that eating it doesn’t fill you up, and you get sick of it quickly. If we had a few different flavors, we might have gotten the first place.」
Yep, Timor was spot on there. When we had practiced making in, we all had to eat quite a lot of cotton candy, and we really did get tired of it quickly. Still, was it possible to add different flavors to it? If so, then we could maybe aim for first place next year.
「I think that Rutum-san’s match with that girl was simply amazing.」
I really wished I could have seen that. This guy sure had been lucky he got to see it. Well, at least I knew who the girl actually was, so I couldn’t complain too much.
「Such a cute girl was able to handle Rutum-sama’s attacks and even answer with attacks of her own. Simply amazing, I tell you.」
「Yeah, I get what you mean. Her fluid movements were also beautiful, especially how her pretty, long hair swung back and forth as she moved.」
Rinea joined in, talking about how elegantly Yuna-san had supposedly moved. Well, Yuna-san did have long hair, so it must have been quite a sight.
「Her first match, the one against the knight, was also pretty amazing.」
「Yeah. She really showed us that girls can be strong, too. I gained a lot of confidence seeing her battle like that.」
The students who had seen the matches were all very moved, so they excitedly talked about them. I wasn’t jealous of those luckers, though. I had made a promise with that very girl to have a match with her, after all. It was much better to take part in a match than simply watch one, obviously.
「Still, we won’t be able to meet with Tilia-sama’s friend again, right?」
According to Shia, Yuna-san actually came to the capital quite often. It was pretty easy for her to do so because of those summoned beasts she had.
Yet, because some people watching the match had supposedly seen her panties, she vowed never to wear the uniform again. Even if she showed up at the academy, it would surely be in her Bear Suit.
As for her panties, I was sure most people had only gotten a glimpse, no more. I didn’t think that it should be such a big deal, but Shia and Cattleya had both scolded me when I mentioned that, saying 「Any girl would be embarrassed even if somebody got only a short glimpse of her panties.」
We continued chatting about the festival as we ate, and after a while longer, the door opened. Tilia-sama stepped through, followed closely by..
「Father! I told you this many times already, but please don’t get in our way.」
「I know. I’ll head back once I‘ve taken a look at your friends.」
The king just walked through the door! Why was he here?
I wasn’t the only one thinking that. Everyone quickly turned to Shia and me, looking for an explanation. Shia simply shook her head, and I, of course, didn’t know about this, either.
「No need to worry yourselves over me. I’m just here to take a look at you all.」
「You just used me as an excuse to escape from work, didn’t you?」
「Don’t say such hurtful things. You will ruin my dignity as a king if you keep saying things that. Ahem! I actually came to check up on the shop as it will be opening soon. So, what do you all think about the food here?」
The king asked us, but no one dared to reply. After his sudden arrival, we all stopped chatting and just quietly ate our food. Talking about the food of his shop with the king didn’t seem a good idea to us, no matter how interested he was in hearing our opinion.
As the meal dragged on, Eleanora-sama appeared out of nowhere and proceeded to have an argument with the king before dragging him away. What an amazing person she was; we all looked at her with respect. However, when we thanked Shia, she simply said, 「She’s not that amazing, you know.」
Because of Eleanora-san’s intervention, our meal ended safely. The chefs asked us for our opinion about the food, but we weren’t really able to recall how the food tasted due to the king’s sudden visit, so we only give vague answers. I was sure all the food was delicious, though.
Before we left, the chefs brought out some pudding, which we were all able to really enjoy. This was yet another dish Yuna-san had created, wasn’t it?
The school festival arc is now over.
The chapter felt a bit short, so I added Marcus’ POV on top of it.
Also, in case you forgot, the king is a great man. lol
We will chill in Crimonia for a little while before heading into the next arc.
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