Tensei Saki de Suterareta no de, Mofumofu Tachi to Oryouri Shimasu ~Okazari Ouhi wa my Pace ni Saikyou Desu~
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14. The Royal Villa’s Forest and Wolves
After bidding His Majesty adieu, I boarded the carriage and left the main palace. I was destined for the royal villa that he had given me. Even though it was located in the same royal palace, the land was vast. A whole medium-sized town could fit in the space within the royal palace’s outer wall.
The carriage jolted me around while I listened to the clopping of the horse’s hooves…
…I’ve been shaking for a while now. Haven’t we arrived yet?
“It seems to be a considerable distance from the main castle…”
Dark evergreen trees were growing thickly right outside the window.
It looked as if I had been thrown into the middle of a forest, but this place was also inside the historic royal palace.
We seemed headed for a corner of the spacious grounds, where there was a small forest. The carriage slowed down and stopped gently as we arrived.
I took Lucian’s hand and stepped outside.
“That’s my royal villa…”
Yes, right in front of me was the royal villa that was mine as Queen. My first impression was that it looked more like a mansion in the middle of the forest than a royal villa. Furthermore, it felt like “deserted” was plastered all over its façade.
A reddish-brown roof sat atop walls made of black wood and white plaster. It was a simple two-story building with a lovely appearance, but far from the image of a royal villa.
Probably the only thing that gave it the feel of a royal villa was the fountain at the front. The front yard was in order, but the forest loomed too close at the back of the residence. The size of the building itself was less than half that of the ducal house in whichI had been born and raised.
It was, of course, large enough compared to my parents’ house from my previous life and the homes of commoners in this world, but it was two or three times smaller than I had imagined.
“We’re pleased that you have come, Lady Leticia. All the servants are present and would like to cordially welcome you.”
The servants were waiting in the front yard. The person who seemed to be the representative bowed deeply and greeted me. On top of his lowered head were two ears covered with soft fur.
Some of the servants lined up in a row were beastkin with big ears on their heads. Among them was a girl with cat-like triangular ears and a long slender tail, wearing a maid’s outfit.
The cat-eared maid that some otakus in my previous life were in love with, actually existed here.
“This way, please. I’ll guide you through the residence.”
The canine-looking representative guided me into the villa. He was a middle-aged man, well-dressed in a servant’s uniform with a carefully trimmed dark brown moustache, and an overflowing dandy vibe…with drooping dog ears sitting above his head and a swaying bushy tail.
…Honestly, that gap is amazing.
Mr. Vogan’s—Mr. Dandy Dog Ears’—explanation of the house was very easy to understand. He taught me the location and role of each room at an even pace, without being too hurried or too slow.
As one could tell from its exterior, it looked like a cosy building without many rooms. If it had been unnecessarily spacious, it would have been hard to manage, so I was grateful for that.
When told that I would be given a royal villa, I had expected to see a grand estate, so I was a bit relieved. Perhaps it was the influence of my previous life, but a large residence like the duke’s mansion made me uncomfortable.
After going around the estate briefly, I had some free time.
With the consideration for the fact that, “You must be tired from your long journey and your audience with His Majesty,” it was decided that we would fully tour the estate and meet the servants, among other things, tomorrow.
“Ahhhhhh…I’m worn out…”
Taking advantage of being alone, I let out a weak sigh as I tucked myself into bed. It has been a while since I had time for myself. There had always been someone nearby during the journey.
The soft texture and elasticity embracing my body were just right, making me feel comfortable. One could see that the sheets were smooth and well-organized without any stains. The building itself looked old, but the interior and personal belongings seemed to have been prepared properly.
I was a bit surprised with His Majesty Glenreed’s unapproachable attitude earlier, but I was relieved that he seemed willing to maintain a certain level of courtesy even if he kept away from me. It could be said that it was a natural treatment as I’m but a temporary Queen, but…
The first royalty that I met after regaining my previous life’s memories was my ex-fiancé, my country’s foolish Crown Prince. That was why I was a bit wary.
“His Majesty Glenreed, huh…”
I could see his striking appearance so vividly when I closed my eyes: his icy blue eyes like a lake in winter; dazzling silver hair that shone brightly; lips muttering, “What a strange scent.”
“…I wonder what that meant?”
If I didn’t mishear, it was quite a puzzling remark.
I smelled my body just in case, but of course, I didn’t smell of spices. Rather, I appreciated the faint flora fragrance, confirming the abilities of the maids who had been in charge of dressing me. I didn’t think that I had any particularly strong body odour, and if His Majesty’s words didn’t refer to direct odour, then…
“Could it possibly be that—He couldn’t physiologically accept me, so he’s trying to keep me in check?”
…I know I’m the one saying this, but it is still a bit disheartening…
It was not like I wanted His Majesty to like me, but I was a young lady of marriageable age in this world, so it was inevitable that I got bummed out…
Was I giving off weird reverse pheromones or something?
It couldn’t be helped anymore if His Majesty refused to accept me physiologically. Even though I was only a figurehead Queen, that might still have been quite difficult for him to accept.
“…But there’s no use thinking about it now.”
I pushed myself off my stomach and stood up.
Today was precious as I had free time. Although I was just a figurehead, I was still a Queen, so I might start to get busier from now on. I was tempted to idle in bed the whole time, but it was sunny outside.
I decided to go out after checking the surroundings of the estate. I brought Lucian, who had been staying in the next room, with me. It was a perfect day for a walk in the early spring sunlight.
I was enjoying a relaxing time walking in the front yard with beautiful, blooming flowers. Suddenly, one of the surrounding shrubs made a rustling noise, and a shadow popped out.
Sharp pricked ears. Grey fur. Straightened tail.
A wolf with shining, dark, reddish-brown eyes appeared before me.
“Milady, please stand back just in case—”
Several shadows rolled out of the forest, interrupting Lucian. Their bodies were about as large as a big dog and they had sharp claws, looking just like grey wolves.
“What is this?”
The wolves didn’t attack us; instead, they formed a circle at a distance and stared. Their eyes were sharp, perhaps they were being cautious, but…
Those lovely pricked ears and snout reminded me of my dog from my past life, Jiro. I was surrounded by a siege of fluff.
“They don’t seem to be hostile…What shall we do, milady?”
“Yes. These pups are probably—”
“Hey! You guys! You shouldn’t run all of a sudden! It’s dangerous—Eek!”
A shouting young man ran up to us from the same place the wolves had. At his cry, the wolves straightened their posture.
The young man with curly white hair looked like a beastkin. While shaking his thick beast ears, he saw us, and our eyes met—
And shrieked at us.
I wondered if the figure who was bravely calling out to the wolves a few minutes ago had just been my imagination.
His pitiful appearance made me involuntarily doubt him.
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