07-11 Side Story 6: The Melancholy of King Egelia
The king of Egelia Kingdom, Harold Ruan Autocracy=Egelia was melancholic.
“King, what shall we do now?”
The Minister of Financial Affairs, Baloroot, asked while casting his tired eyes on some documents he had in his hands.
“The national budget of about three years disappeared, huh.”
Finally the settlement of affairs after the incident of the golem party from some days ago was over.
The restoration of the broken castle, replacement of the destroyed golems (mostly by Reiko), the countermeasures for the new golems, the consolation money for domestic and foreign guests… No matter how much gold you had it wasn’t enough for the situation.
And on top of that,
“Father, good morning.”
“Your Highness, good morning.”
The business with the third prince Ernest. Today too he was accompanied by his favorite maid golem, Lotte.
The third prince of Egelia Kingdom, Ernest, was not the child of King Egelia’s princess consort, but one born of a mistress. Therefore his right of succession to the throne was after the uncle who was the King’s younger brother.
However, the prince in question absolutely did not care about it, and grew up wild and uncontrolled. As a father, seeing that was sweet, but as a king that was honestly speaking a headache.
“Mmh, morning. Ernest, do you have any plans for today?”
“Yes, Father. Studies of science and good manners in the morning, and practice of horseriding and fencing in the afternoon.”
“Is that so, keep it up.”
The busy king exchanged few short words with his beloved son, and then went back to his official duties.
“There was also Lotte and the business with that carriage, wasn’t there.”
The king once again remembered the cause of his headache.
They had begun compensating for the labor shortage by means of golems 12 years ago. After Prince Ernest was born, in practically no time all of his retainers except for his wet nurse had been replaced with golems.
It was the most important necessity that the people who took care of the members of royal family could be trusted. People like that were few, so the other princes, the king, and the queen took precedence.
You could say that it was just inevitable that Prince Ernest who was fourth in line for the throne was put on the back burner.
As a consequence, Prince Ernest turned out to be fond of golems.
“But he’s still the best-qualified of them all.”
The first prince was too soft-hearted and couldn’t be depended on, the second prince was quick to fight, and not suitable for politics. His younger brother would make for a decent king, he thought, but as a parent the current king wanted to have one of his own children who shared his blood to inherit the throne, that was simply human nature.
Prince Ernest’s intelligence and personality both were good. He was also liked by the knights and soldiers around him.
Currently, because of his lineage and age he could only be bestowed the right of succession, not chosen as the crown prince. When Prince Ernest turned 15, the King was planning to ascertain the talents of all of his children and then name the crown prince.
“…If he just wasn’t too attached to that golem.”
A king’s foremost responsibility was the preservation of the family line. The thing most to be avoided was internal squabbles over succession. Although Prince Ernest was of the king’s own seed, right now he was worried about the prince’s future.
“I’ve heard that there is a woman who was the model for Lotte, but even though she’s a commoner, she’s the fiancee of Earl Kuzuma.”
As the prince was 13 years old, there was no end to guessing how serious he was, but the King had heard Prince Ernest had suddenly proposed to the girl called Beana.
“Should I just be relieved that he doesn’t seem to lack an interest in human women?”
King Egelia who had thought it through that far shook his head and returned his focus back to the official documents in front of him.
＊ ＊ ＊
“Ahh, I’m tired.”
“Good work, Your Highness.”
After his private tutor’s lessons Prince Ernest was relaxing and drinking the Teee Lotte had brewed for him.
“There’s still the etiquette teacher who will come after this.”
“That’s right. Please study diligently.”
＊ ＊ ＊
“What? You can’t?”
“Yes, my apologies.”
The breath of Minister of Magic Kelhidore was taken away after he heard the report of his subordinates.
It informed him of the fact that they were unable to copy the horse golems Jin had built for the carriage he had gifted to Prince Ernest.
“Even though the golems in question are right in front of you?”
The golem horses Jin had built and left behind. Their size and shape were exactly that of normal horses. That much was just moderately good. The number one wonder was their movements.
Four-legged walking wasn’t something like just moving the left and right legs alternatively and it working out fine. On modern Earth using high-speed cameras their movements could be analyzed, but in this world magi neither knights nor Magi Craftsmen could accomplish it.
Incidentally, the [Transfer Info] magic that Jin used often was rather popular before the Great Magic War. Using it the information of the movements could be extracted from real horses, but that magic had been long since lost.
And because of that preconception even Minister of Magic Kelhidore did not realize it in spite of receiving a report from the Royal Secret Maid Rianna herself whom Jin had used exactly that magic on. It was a frightening notion. Although, even Rianna whom the magic had been used on had somewhat muddled the contents of the report so the magic’s true nature wouldn’t be revealed.
“Hmm, I guess we can’t make anything more than a lookalike.”
The King who had seen the horse golems Prince Ernest had had Jin build for himself had given the order to make similar golems to use in the royal carriages.
For the next few days, not only King Egelia but the Minister of Magic Kelhidore too continued being greatly perplexed.
＊ ＊ ＊
“Which reminds me, wasn’t there a Royal Secret Maid who followed Jin?”
While on a break in the middle of his business, the King suddenly remembered it and asked the Minister of Defense Judol who was next to him.
“Yes, you mean Laila Soluz?”
“Ah, so she was called that. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t she the little sister of Airi Soluz from the Imperial Guard’s magi knights team?”
“Yes. Both of the sisters have a great deal of latent Magic Energy. The little sister doesn’t seem to have manifested it yet though.”
Judol explained. But the King waved his hand to interrupt,
“Oh, that’s not what I mean. Would it be possible to have her follow Ernest?”
“Yes, currently she’s not attending as a Royal Secret Maid, um, how should I put it, because Laila doesn’t seem to be cut out for the job.”
“Mh-hm, mh-hm, in that case there shouldn’t be any problems. Alright, at once have that, Laila Soluz did you say, appointed as Ernest’s maid. But have her look like a guard to the outside.”
As he turned 13 his guards were added to. With that as the official cause, Laila was decided to become Prince Ernest’s maid.
“Did you hear, Laila! Congratulatios!”
“Isn’t that a huge promotion!”
Even her fellow Royal Secret Maids were congratulating her.
“Maybe if you’re fitting for the Prince couldn’t you even aim to become his mistress!”
Said the Royal Secret Maid who followed Beana, Lisa.
“I wonder if someone like me is fit for the duty…”
Laila herself was anxious rather than delighted, and bewilderment took precedence over joy.
The squad leader Rianna gently encouraged the doubting Laila.
“It’ll be fine. I’ve heard that the Prince is kind, and in addition, doesn’t this seem like a direct order from the King?”
But that only made her wither even more.
“Eeehhh…From the King, why me?”
“Uh, I don’t know about that.”
While filled with anxiety, Laila headed towards Prince Ernest’s room.
She knocked, and entered the room. There was Lotte waiting upon Prince Ernest..
The Prince noticed Laila and greeted her while smiling,
“Yo, Laila. It’s been a while. Your complexion doesn’t look so good, are you okay?”
Laila was astonished that the Prince remember her and,
“Y-your Highness, how come you happen to remember lowly me?”
She asked with a sensation of being little flustered. As a matter of fact, this was a major lese-majeste. Because she spoke to the Prince without even a greeting.
But the Prince didn’t show to mind it in the slightest and,
“Haha, aren’t you the one who brought clothes to this here Lotte. Since then, right? That’s why I said it’s been a while.”
He said, and Laila finally remembered that someone in her status shouldn’t go without greeting him and,
“E-excuse me! My name is Laila Soluz and I am here today because I’ve been appointed to be Your Highness Ernest’s maid! I may be lacking but I’ll do my best in my efforts to serve you, that being the case it is a pleasure to meet yow-”
Laila frantically spoke out, but maybe because she wasn’t used to talking like this, at the very end she bit her tongue.
Looking at her, Prince Ernest laughed merrily.
“Laila, you don’t have to be so tense. My father told me that I should have you as someone to talk to or consult with without thinking too hard about it. Let’s get along from now on.”
Laila hastily bowed. Simultaneously a dull thump could be heard.
Because she had forgotten about the table in front of her and due to the depth of her bow, she ended up hitting her forehead into it with force.
“La-laila, are you okay? That was a somewhat terrific sound.”
“Hyeah, I’b fime.”
Laila’s life in her new workplace was just beginning.