Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 58 (Part 1)
After a short ride in the carriage, the castle finally came into view. Poking my head out the window, I then look up at the illuminated castle.
“It’s a gorgeous building. Moreover, seeing it up close, it’s quite massive.” (Zagan)
“Yeah, as expected of a castle built in the capital of art. It’s a refined sort of beauty.” (Luca)
“If this is the magnitude for the big city’s castle, then how big is the royal castle supposed to be?” (Zagan)
“Mnn…. Just the height itself, it should be around three times more? And the area around the castle grounds is vast enough that even I could get lost.” (Luca)
“Is that so? I’m looking forward to seeing it up close.” (Zagan)
The tallest and grandest structure in the Soleil Kingdom. The royal castle that looms in the center of the royal capital. When my father held me in his arms and brought me outside, the royal castle seen from the mansion glimmered faintly even at night. Or maybe that was just the effect from the magic tool
It has been 15 years that I’ve been away from the royal capital. The reason I didn’t return was because it would trouble my family and those working in the mansion. However, my original self despised our parents and never returned to the royal capital. Unlike as a child, the grown up version of my original self was a strong person who could have easily invaded the royal capital.
Then why did my original self not try to take revenge? Especially when hating my own father. Yet at the same time my original self respected him and yearned for the strength my father had in banishing the Evil God.
The mother, who didn’t even recognize me, had long since been gravely ill and cursed me for not being able to recover. And after my original self became aware of the existence of my little sister raised in normalcy, the hatred worsened to the point of trying to torment her to death.
There was so much hatred there since my original self did not have an ideal upbringing, but despite that, there was still respect and admiration for my father at the core of my original self. That is why I have enough thought to speak with respect to him.
We arrived in front of the party venue within the castle grounds. Once the door was opened by the coachman, Luca immediately got down and reached out to me. Taking his hand, I also got down from the carriage. Smoothly and like it was the obvious thing to do, my waist was hugged, but since it’s a dance party I guess I’ll just accept it. A part of me believed that just holding hands should have been enough.
Once everyone gathered together, we went through the open double doors and into the building. The entrance had a calming and warm atmosphere despite being spacious. With this, even ladies wearing dresses can be cosy. It’s almost the end of November and so the season grows colder.
“Welcome dear guests. If you have any baggage, you may deposit them at the counter over there.”
“Ah… I, can I entrust you with this bag, please? It has everyone’s clothing in it.”
Bennett reacted to the guide’s words. Because the Magic bag’s design was chosen to match the so-called “lolita dress” that she was wearing, it didn’t feel out of place. But it would be a disturbance while dancing.
“Nobody brought any valuables, right? If not, let’s entrust it to them.” (Miranda)
“Understood. Then I’ll head over there first.” (Bennett)
Bennett jogged over to the counter. We moved aside a little to avoid disrupting the other attendees, but she came back quite quickly. As if he was waiting for that, Marquess Modeste came out of the hall with his cane. He may have sensed our arrival.
“Ho ho ho. I bid you welcome Your Highness Luca. As well as Zagan-dono and the ladies.”
“It has been a while, Marquess Modeste. For hosting this party for us today, we’re really grateful.” (Luca)
“I sincerely thank you for the invitation, Marquess Modeste. For the dresses, as well.” (Noel)
Once Luca and Noel expressed their appreciation, the others followed suit with comments like “Thanks” or “Appreciate it”. It seemed only Bennett properly used polite speech, but Marquess Modeste still nodded happily.
“After all, it is a man’s duty to provide for lovely women. My, how wonderful indeed. If I were more able-bodied, I would be remiss if I didn’t invite you for a dance. What a pity that I’m now old.”
“Ufufu, what a flatterer you are. As expected of the lord who governs the City of Art.” (Cindy)
“Ho ho ho, to praise a lady similarly lies under the duties of a man. Now then, it would be boorish of me to continue delaying such beautiful flowers here. I’ve prepared various kinds of delicacies and there are also rest spots scattered around, so please relax and enjoy yourselves.”
“Thank you again, Marquess. Now then everyone, shall we go?” (Luca)
While bowing and waving to a Marquess Modeste who smilingly saw us off, we finally entered the hall.
The hall was large and dazzling with walls and pillars covered in splendid decorations. When looking up to the second floor, there was an atrium with windows and curtains to add to the overall luxury of the room. Could the balcony be accessed from the windows?
The gigantic chandelier hanging from the ceiling beautifully glittered and shone, almost blindingly so. More importantly, a lot of lights were floating around. Were these due to Light magic?
When I looked back down, a wide path extended from the doors, with musicians playing their instruments situated in the back. In the wide space right in front of them were some guests who had already started dancing.
Lining both sides of the path were a number of tables and sofas, with luxurious looking dishes placed along the walls. Not many people were eating because it was still before 6pm, but there were people chatting while drinking tea.
I see, this is indeed a house party. The ambience feels relaxed. However the scale itself is huge. There must be at least 300 people or so attending?
“I don’t know what a formal party is like, but do they do something like announce everyone’s names or have a greeting speech by the host?”
“I don’t think everyone will be called out, since the scale of attendance is about 1000 people. Usually it’s just an introduction of key figures. If it’s a birthday party then it’s just the celebrated person, for victory parties of competitions or games it’s either the winning team or an individual. Meanwhile for a ball it’s just the host’s greeting speech. But if royalty is attending, there’s a higher chance everyone who is present will be made aware of their attendance.”
Ahh, I see. There are various types of official parties. And since it’s a house party today, Luca’s name wouldn’t be called out.
Still, we’re gathering quite some stares. Not to mention it increases the closer we get to the dance floor. Either their aim is the Prince – Luca, or to observe me who has black hair.
I do feel some malice. But rather than hatred, this is… jealousy? I’m not so sure, but… anyway the stares of the young women sting. It would have been better if they only looked at Luca. Tonight, Luca is considerably more handsome than normal so it’s a feast for the eyes, you know?
Standing by the side of the dance floor, we waited for the music to stop. I heard Noel and Nina planning to dance together first, but it seemed my other friends would start dancing with their practice partners first too. So hand-in-hand, Miranda and Cindy as well as Camilla and Bennett stood by as well.
I was looking at the four people standing in front of me when Camilla, who felt my gaze immediately glanced back and grinned broadly.
“If we dance at the same time with you two, then seeing people of the same gender together won’t be so surprising, no? And even if I, who am quite a bit shorter than Bennett danced the male part, no one will realise.” (Camilla)
“U-uhm! I just thought that it would be nice if… I can dance beside Luca-san and Zagan-san, together with everyone…” (Bennett)
“It’s the long awaited big moment after all, of course our first practice partners are the best choice.” (Miranda)
“Ufufu, for this Onee-san to be able to take Miranda-chan’s first time, I’m extremely happy. I’ll gently lead you, okay?” (Cindy)
“…Can’t you do something about your indecent phrasing?” (Miranda)
Hearing Miranda’s worn-out reply, both Noel and Nina tried hard to suppress their giggles. I could feel the exuberance and tension coming from the girls. It seemed everyone was filled with excitement and anticipation.
While I was looking at the girls, suddenly Luca placed a kiss on the top of my head. Moving my line of sight, I saw Luca flashing a radiant smile at me.
“I will also gently lead you, all right? Zagan’s first time, may I have it?
“…I’ve already given it to you, haven’t I?”
My first time, didn’t Luca himself take it from me? Even if it was for the sake of replenishing my mana, I was surprised he’d choose to nurse me by having sex despite me being a guy.
When I stared at him with that thought in mind, Luca started to grow flustered. Not to mention his face was red. Why was he shy?
When I tilted my head up, Luca’s face slowly…. his lips slowly approached. So I closed my eyes, but then suddenly my arms were pulled back. It was Noel who was standing beside me.
“Luca? Not only did you make Zagan-dono say something embarrassing aloud, what do you plan on doing next? Even someone mild-mannered like me will get angry, you know?”
Noel directed a smile at Luca over my head, but her eyes weren’t smiling. So even Noel could get angry like this. And then Luca’s eyebrows inched together in embarrassment.
“You are right, that is not something to do where we’re getting so much attention. I’m sorry, Noel. You too, Zagan.”
Although I was aware that I got carried away too and I should probably have apologised as well, I just nodded my head obediently. I felt like if I did otherwise, I would be adding more fuel to the fire and that would anger Noel. When I did that, I was kissed right on the forehead after being given a soft smile. Since there weren’t any complaints on this action, the head and forehead were acceptable it seemed. I myself had kissed Noel on the head and forehead before, but there were also some bastards who kissed the back of a lady’s hand as a sort of greeting when they met for the first time, so maybe acting like that was forgiven for lovers.
After a while the music stopped. Then Luca let go of my waist and took my hand instead.
“Now then Zagan, shall we dance?”
On his urging, we moved onto the dance floor together. When we did so, all the people who were dancing went off the dance floor one after another and before we knew it, we were the only ones left. ……This situation is unexpected. We will surely stand out from the crowd if we’re the only ones in this huge open space.
Yet when I thought about it, occupying the floor despite knowing the Prince was present and ignoring his presence was also hard to do. Even if it’s a house party.
I was thankful for my friends who willingly wanted to dance alongside Luca and I. No… rather they must have foreseen this happening. Bennett seemed to be nervous, but with Camilla as her partner, she should be fine.
Identical to our practice sessions, my right hand was taken and his other hand supported my back. Once I put my left hand on Luca’s arm, the music restarted. A beautiful waltz melody. Matching my breathing with Luca’s, I took one step backwards.