Volume 2, Chapter 10: Heading out For Tea, Part 2
Since we were late to the tea party, the cute Shelly had a teary face. Apologize, Rick.
“Yurushia-sama, I am the second daughter of Marquis Manchi, Beatrice, um, I hope to get along with you.”
Beatrice-chan, age eight. A girl with beautiful black hair and azure eyes. Though her ladylike elements ended there…
“Yeah, good to meet you, Betty-sama.”
“Did you shorten my name? I’m older than you, you know… then may I call you Yuru-sama?”
“It’s alright with me, Betty.”
Yup, as I though, she’s a cute if airheaded child. We’re becoming fast friends.
“Wow… Yuru has a flower in each hand.”
“ … Yup.”
Shelly is similar to Betty in that it’s also her first tea party here; I’m currently hamstrung between the embraces of the two people. I’m so firmly stuck that I can’t even drink my tea, which amused Grandmother and Elea-sama as I tried to bring tea or sweets to my mouth.
What kind of harem is this?
“Hey you three, have you been to any other tea parties?”
Elea-sama asked in a carefree tone. My loose speaking manner is definitely from the influence of the presence of Mother and Elea-sama.
“I’ve been to Aunt-sama’s tea party, yup!”
You’re hopelessly lively, Betty.
“I-I’ve gone with Aunt-sama, to Yuru-sama’s mother’s tea party.”
“Mmm, mm, yeah, I was invited to Shelly’s mother’s tea party.”
Although the first tea party was compulsory, participation in others was a matter of choice.
“After that, Shelly and I had tea together.”
“Yeah, together with Yuru-sama.”
“!? Yuru, Shelly, how sneaky! Invite me, invite me!”
“Y-yes, I’ll be in your care, Betty-sama.”
Hopelessly lively indeed… Betty.
“So, anyways… do you know about the [Moonlit Tea Party]?”
While Shelly inclined her neck in confusion, Betty who was a second year at the academy, thought of it.
“That thing, My Elder sister’s friend spoke about it, it’s a secret tea party that can’t be talked about until after it’s done.”
“Yeah, yeah, that thing. Do you know of anyone who has been to it and come back?”
“A friend of a friend of mine has participated, it seems to have been wonderful, so I heard.”
When she mentioned the story from her sister, Betty had a dreamy expression filled with yearning on her face.
Elea-sama knitted her eyebrows ever-so-slightly.
“If you ask me, I’d rather have none of you three participate…”
“ ! ? ”
I didn’t think anything of it since Shelly and I had no longing to go, but Betty, who desired deeply to join in, looked aghast.
“Why is it bad, Eleanor-sama.”
“I don’t mean that it’s necessarily bad or anything… But you can’t even tell if the letter of invitation is really from the Oberu household. Has anyone ever actually seen the guests with the invitation? Since the invitations don’t remain after you participate, what happens can’t be verified at all.”
That’s certainly true. Even if there are no problems with the [Moonlight Tea Party], some perverse copycat trickster might use it to kidnap people.
“… Have there been any people missing recently?”
When I remember the remarks of Rick, Elea-sama shows a surprised face, and patted my head with a complacent smile.
It certainly seems shady…
“I understand, Elea-sama. Allow me to give you something good.”
“What is it?”
I struggle to bring out my arm that was squashed, and take something out of my pocket.
“Just an invitation to the [Moonlit Tea Party].”
At my words, everyone’s eyes went wide. Well, Shelly is still eating cake.
“Is that … real?”
“Wh-wh-wh-wh-what are you doing, Yuru, it can’t be shown to anyone else!”
“It’s nothing much… this one is the third one to arrive since this morning.”
When it was one per day, I sent them back. After a week, two a day started coming. Those went into the trash without me reading them. Now it’s already been three since this morning.
“… As expected of Yuru. Will you be participating?”
I don’t know what Elea-sama expected, she seems amazed.
“Of course not. If I didn’t give this to Elea-sama, it would have been burned.”
It’s fine if you stop being so surprised, Betty. Also, Shelly, even if you understand and are not interested, please stop with your fourth slice of cake.
“Ahaha, Yuru is so interesting. May I have this? I’d like to have a look.”
“Sure, go ahead.”
As I tried to shuffle forward in my dress, my awkward position finally kicked in and the letter fell off the table, Betty jumped at it like a puppy.
“Princess Yuru-sama, about those kids…”
“Y-yeah… let’s talk.”
Even though she said so in a calm tone, Vio had a serious face and her forehead was twitching, I urged her to go ahead.
It’s been more than half a year since I’ve talked with the four children.
I don’t take them with me. I don’t want them to take care of me. But, their salary keeps being paid and they’re shopping using my name, the cases of entering the mansion’s important facilities are also not down, it’s the same thing as a parasite.
“Those four people don’t do anything. Really, they do nothing. In the present situation, they should be impatient to improve, seeking work on their own, or at least have resigned from serving the duke and returned home or something…”
“Wh-what did they do?”
“Every day… every single day, they laze about and haven’t done any work in the mansion for months. Not just that,”
Vio keeps going on, it won’t ever end.
“To others, people who do not work, do not eat, but these are the personal servants of Princess Yuru-sama. Giving meals is part of my authority, but they’ve gone over my head and tried to negotiate with the dinner staff within the first year. And as soon as they were told it’s unacceptable, they started going out to eat daily.
They’re amazing. Since they’re paid so well, they’re eating out all the time, but I didn’t stop them…
“Yes, every day. And at a high class restaurant at that… Princess Yuru-sama, have you seen this?”
Vio brought out a box with several things in it. A one-handed sword that was tinged with magic which looked familiar. A pocket watch made of gold and silver. Several of Father’s treasured books from the library. Several of my accessories from the parties…
“These were found by a contact of mine, this is what we managed to repurchase after those four people sold them off.”
They’ve really done it, these guys.
The twins are for sure guilty. The book was what Christina was reading. But, Fontaine is not fully confirmed as guilty.
“Princess Yuru-sama… this is something I found in the depths of the storeroom Fontaine has been using as her playground…”
“ … … What…?”
Looking at the unusually pained expression that Vio has, I timidly peered into the offered box.
My shoes were torn to tatters. My dress was muddy and frayed. The picture book was torn from reading, and ruined with crayon to the extent where no words could be read.
It wasn’t done in hatred. All of them were destroyed through play.
The silver comb that I received as a third birthday present from Mother had missing and bent teeth…
The stuffed animal I received from Father on the same day, that I hugged to sleep every night, had been torn and thrown in the back of the shed, the rabbit ears torn and its limbs mangled…
“ … … ”
I lifted them with trembling hands, embracing them tightly to my chest.
I don’t understand. I can’t understand. As I muttered, tears began to overflow from my eyes, spilling onto the broken stuffed animal.
Why am I crying… even though I’m a Demon…
The moment my tears showed, Vio’s cup of water bubbled and overflowed due to her magic.
“Wait… Please wait a moment, Yuru-sama… I’ll settle them soon.”
Even though she had a calm face, Vio’s eyes look like they’re about to leave her head, I hurriedly grabbed the maid to hold her back.
“Why, may I ask? They have…”
“Vio should not do that.”
Hearing my voice that wasn’t childlike, Vio stopped and pat my head and hugged me until the tears stopped.
“I am Ria-sama’s junior… she helped me so much.”
Vio was talking in short bursts while hugging me.
“Though I was a commoner, she cherished me, when my parents’ store was about to fall, rather than rely on another house, I had to work as a salesgirl despite never having done it before. Ria-sama tutored me as I began to fall behind on my studies as I was helping out at home.”
“ … … ”
“When I graduated, Ria-sama was already pregnant with Princess Yuru-sama, and I became a maid in order to return the favor to Ria-sama. Ria-sama is my treasure. And Princess Yuru-sama is also my treasure; no… the treasure of everyone who lived in Ria-sama’s… that house. Me and… Fer and Min as well, we loved you as her daughter and as a sister. The Master brought us out, and now this is the house we love with Yuru-sama. Please never forget that…”
“ … … … Yeah.”
Okay… All done crying.
Now that my heart is full of [Human Feelings], it’s time for my daring personality swap.
From the human mindset, I switch to the [Demon Me].
I’m a half-baked Demon… and a half-baked Human.
That’s why I am both a [Demon] and an [Princess], and that’s my [True Self].
When I rose and called her name, Vio knelt down not to [Ria’s Daughter] nor the [Duke’s Daughter], but the individual [Yurushia] for the first time.
“Is there anything else you know regarding those people and the things they perpetrated?”
“No, I did the investigation alone. Please forgive me as I had limited time.”
“It doesn’t matter. Then, keep this matter an absolute secret.”
“However… other people know of the debauchery of these people, and the amount of money spent redeeming the items they sold was more than could be reasonably concealed.”
“If it’s money, I have some private assets with the Firm in the Royal Capital. Since there is a branch in the city, use my name, and work freely.”
“ … Understood.”
“Now, you can leave it to me. It’s Spartan, but it’s worth less than your heart, you can’t come back here anymore. Tell all the others so.”
“ … Understood.”
“So as to not worry Mother, go to her quietly.”
“Yes sir, Yurushia-sama.”
Since a six-year-old said such things, I thought the mood would be ruined, but Vio obediently listened to me.
Now if only your overprotectiveness would slightly subside.
Now then, what should I do to them? In fact, I’d already decided a little while ago.
Out of my bed, I take out a small box that I wasn’t sure what to do with.
Though it was a jewelry box and had some jewels in it, there was a concealed letter within it.
“I wonder if this will help.”
“Fu…fufufu, I’ve finally done it.”
The girl stared at the jewelry box in front of her eyes, unable to suppress her joy.
Inside was one copy of an invitation. It was the event the noble girls of the Holy Kingdom longed for, and invitation to the [Moonlight Tea Party], it had finally reached her.
With glossy silver hair like moonlight, skin so white that it looked like it shunned the light of day, purple eyes that resembled jewels in the night sky.
Around fifteen years old, the girl had a voluptuous smile and was blessed with frighteningly good looks, almost to the point of being inhuman.
Silver Princess… or so she was called by those who knew her.
Four things like letters were on a plate the size of a jewelry box, they were surrounded by ash.
The [Lilac Invitation] is sent to the girls together with a [Light Blue Invitation], when one is touched by the eyes of a non-sender, the magic would quietly burn the other.
Until four were sent each day, they became ash on the day of delivery.
Surprised at the sight, Millaine ground her teeth.
Originally, only one letter of invitation was sent. The reason why people who do not follow the pledge are not invited to the [Moonlit Tea Party] was that it would be dangerous.
These redundant measures are necessary; it was the minimum precaution so as to not make a blunder.
But… that [Girl] is a different case.
Connected to the blood of the Royal Family, the [Princess of the Holy Kingdom], with virtue high enough to be referred to as a [Saint], and hearing rumors of the [Beautiful Golden Princess], she seemed like a special presence.
With all of her effort resulting in the party becoming highly sought, Millaine did not think a girl who would refuse the invitation to the [Moonlit Tea Party] existed.
Half of the time, she was obstinate, sending her back the invitation, but finally with the help of Count Oberu and the Countess, a small box was sent.
It was filled with large jewelry that was usually not given to children.
If she was uncomfortable coming alone, she could bring 4~5 attendants along with her.
Count Oberu told her to give up if this was not accepted.
The Countess had said there would be no problem by just increasing their people slowly over time.
They’re a cautious group.
This was the wisdom of people who had lived for a long time. But, the factions’ [Forces] were [Equal].
Who are they? Those that knew the old days of Earl Oberu who was holed up for many years would look at the person and say.
“Who are you?”
“But, this bet is my win.”
Millaine laughed fearlessly.
The invitation that was in the small box, not only was it shown to be open, but still only [One Person] had seen it, it seemed that the Golden Princess had finally decided to accept the invitation of the Silver Princess.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow night…”
If they could have the Holy [Princess] that had the royal blood follow them, then the [Force] of Millaine would surpass the other two, and they could destroy the [Armed Nation Taterudo]. They may even destroy the next country.
Quietly… quietly, the Holy Kingdom was approaching a disaster.