Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
It has been about four months since I was summoned to the fantasy world.
Finally, I was free to act alone within the royal capital.
Up until now, someone from the Knights, mostly Gilliam or Farangis, had been accompanying me all the time.
It seemed that the reason for this was to both be considerate of my unfamiliarity with this world, and to show others that I was a person associated with the Knights.
I figured that meant no one would be stupid enough to pick a fight with the country’s best warrior group head-on.
Outside of the people associated with the royal castle, it wasn’t widely known that I was the one who messed up the summoning of Sakura-chan.
Rather than an otherworlder, I took on the persona of a quirky and naive character.
Yeah, well, it was better than being treated like a rare animal…
Even the color of my eyes was not something that could be discerned from a distance.
Although I had been living with my bare face, I wasn’t a pretty maiden warrior, so the fact that my eyes were black seemed to get easily overlooked.
Bard gave his approval that I would be fine with this, so from this point on I could act without a guardian.
I ignored the gaze of the rugged red-haired man who was smirking with the utmost effort.
It would be okay, it was just a date.
Yes, it was a date.
It was simply a case of a boss at work buying his subordinate lunch, but surely this could probably be considered a date.
It was a date in my mind, so it was a date no matter what anyone else says!1
(I’ll turn a blind eye to inconvenient truths like two men and such…!)
We were to meet at the square in front of the gate of the royal castle just before lunch.
A lion statue was placed in front of the castle gate.
In this fantasy world, I heard that lions were imaginary animals.
Therefore, it was easy to guess that this statue must have been built by Sakura-chan.
I figured that was the case, because no matter how I looked at it, this meeting spot was exactly like the one in Ginza…cough cough.
It seemed that some of the past Sakura-chan lived in the Kanto region.
No, because across the square from the lion statue was Shibuya’s loyal dog, staring at the castle…cough cough.
Yeah, the place in front of a bronze statue was a classic rendezvous spot!
While I was absentmindedly watching the people who gathered in the square, a carriage approached.
It was a one-horse, two-wheeled carriage without a roof. It could only seat two people.
In a world without automobiles, naturally horse-drawn carriages were a common means of transportation.
I was also a man.
I didn’t dislike vehicles in general, although not as much as those who were called enthusiasts or geeks.
As I gazed at it excitedly, I recognized the person holding the reins.
Or more precisely, he was my boss.
“Keigo, can you get on?”
His gloved hand was offered to me.
I indulgently took his hand and put my feet on the step ladder and I got on the two-wheeled carriage.
I sat down in the empty space next to Walter.
“This is my first time on a two-wheeled carriage…!”
“Good for you.”
He lightly steered the reins and the carriage began to move slowly.
“Is this Walter’s carriage?”
“Unfortunately, no. It doesn’t have the family crest on it, right? The horse is mine, but the carriage is borrowed. The adult second or later sons of nobility leave the family home and live in housing complexes. The stables and carriages are under joint control there.”
His intelligent blue eyes were fixed on me from behind his glasses.
“You still don’t know how such things work in this world, do you, Keigo? Excuse my small home, but would you like to experience it?”
I decided to take Walter up on his offer without a second thought.
Thanks to Gilliam’s guidance on our Saturday excursions, I had a general understanding of the living environment in the commoner district of the royal capital.
First of all, buildings in this world were two-story buildings.
Married families lived in a single home or lived on the first floor of an apartment complex.
When boys reached adulthood, they moved out of their homes and lived on the second floor of the building.
It was a boarding house system with one person per room. There were also cases where two lovers (both men, of course) lived together.
The royal capital was surrounded by walls and was small, so this was how it worked, but I heard that this was not the case in the countryside.
Once again, the aristocratic district was different from the commoner district.
Married families lived in single-family mansions.
When boys reached adulthood, they moved out of their homes and lived in tenement-style, two-story apartment buildings.
Several of the houses were linked together to form a single building, each with its own entrance.
After thinking for a while I thought, “…Ahh,” as I finally understood the layout.
I thought I remembered some old buildings in England were like that.
Walter’s residence was an apartment building with white exterior walls with ivy climbing up to the roof.
The width of the residence seemed to vary from building to building, but he seemed to be living in a decent-sized house.
To my amazement, there was a live-in butler.
He was a gentle-looking old man with white hair.
Apparently, Walter had told him, the man taking care of him, a lot about me.
The butler had prepared a delicious stew for lunch.
Walter made an excuse with a somewhat embarrassed look.
“…I planned to take you to a restaurant somewhere, but his cooking is more delicious.”
“I heard that you suffered from the summer heat. The young master said it would be better to have a home-cooked meal that is easy on the stomach, so I prepared this dish.”
“…His cooking is the essence of perfection.”
“No problem.” I smiled. “I’m happy with home cooking. Thank you for your thoughtfulness.”
I bowed to both Walter and the butler.
Judging from my experience of buying and eating sweets & trying the food at various restaurants every weekend, the cuisine of this world was basically Western style.
The food at the royal castle was also delicious, but they took into consideration that I was Japanese, so they mainly served Japanese food.
I liked them both, but meals at the royal castle were basically lonely meals…
Food was definitely more delicious when you eat with someone, as opposed to eating alone.
It was nice to visit someone’s home and be welcomed by their family with homemade food.
Thank you very much, Walter. And butler-san.
―Yeah, that was why I decided to just ignore the fact that my scary-looking, sanpaku-eyed boss was just called “young master.”
However, I was a little curious about the relationship between them.
I wondered if he’s known Walter since he was little.
They felt like a family.
There was a sense of mutual consideration and gentleness.
I was wondering about things like that, when Walter smiled at me the same way he smiled at the butler.
Subconsciously, my heart beat a bit faster.
I was immediately guided to the dining room where I was served a hot lunch.
As expected, the butler-san’s homemade stew made from chicken was very tasty.
It proved to be a delicious meal!!
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