It had been a couple of minutes since Yamai Zenjirou safely transferred over to the different world.
Dressed as he was, Zenjirou was escorted to the inner palace.
All the luggage he bought with him would apparently be carried to the inner palace later by the reliable castle guards.
That meant not only everything on top of the magic carpet, but also the backpack he had shouldered.
It was too obvious what they intended to do, but as Zenjirou understood that it was only natural from their point of view, he entrusted his luggage to the guards without complaining.
Needless to say, he still reminded them explicitly about being extra careful with the electrical appliances such as the hydropower generator on the hand barrow, the refrigerator, the air conditioning or the floor lamps, telling them that were fragile and pointing at each of them.
“Of course they want to check if there’s anything dangerous when I suddenly bring a lot of strange stuff into the palace.”
Zenjirou muttered, then slumped into the beautifully woven wooden chair.
In the worst case, they would judge the appliance as dangerous and dispose of them, but Zenjirou remained optimistic. After all he somehow or another had Aura’s, the Queen’s permission to bring these goods with him.
Even if they should identify one of the goods to be dangerous by mistake, he surely would be given a chance to explain it in person.
“I think I refrained from bringing anything they would mistaken as something dangerous or strange, but you never know, it’s a different world after all…”
All said and done, he was still worried as he sighed, temporarily stood up from the chair, took off his jacket as if he was remembering something and hung it over the backrest of the chair.
Then he pulled on the knot of his necktie with his index finger, liberating his throat with a jerk, and undid the top button of his white shirt.
Now he felt a bit better.
This world was indeed hot. In Japan it had already been the beginning of summer, so the temperatures now and then raised above thirty degree in the noon, but here it felt more like Japan’s midsummer— temperatures of thirty-five and above.
“I can still stand this heat, but if it gets any hotter, I’m not so confident any more.”
Zenjirou told himself that it was necessary to find counter-measures against this heat at once after all. At that very moment, a knock resounded on the door and a voice followed afterwards.
“Excuse me, Zenjirou-sama.”
Zenjirou was surprised for a moment as it was the calm voice of an unfamiliar woman, but he somehow managed to reply without showing any of his surprise.
“I would like to introduce the waiting maids of the inner palace. May I ask a bit of your time, Zenjirou-sama?”
For a moment, Zenjirou was stumped for an answer, but there obviously was no reason to decline right now.
Whilst his actions were restricted right now, he wasn’t all that concerned about it due to the nervousness from having transferred to a different world, and hadn’t anything to do anyway, leaving him incredible bored.
“Yes, come in.”
He reflexively sprung up form his chair, then invited the waiting maids on the other side of the door in.
After his consent, more than ten waiting maids entered the room one after another.
All the waiting maids basically wore the same style of clothing, albeit for small differences.
Their clothes with white and ruby as its predominant colours, could be passed off as unique maid clothes, but it might be easier to understand to describe them as an arrangement of a half-sleeved top from India or Middle East with a miniskirt. Especially the shawl-like cloth around their heads reminded one of the typical Indian garment, the sari.
At least the wardrobe was so refined that even Zenjirou, knowing nothing about fashion, was charmed by them at once.
The waiting maids single-minded formed three rows in front of Zenjirou as if they had decided on the order beforehand, and stood still.
Nine young waiting maids lined up next to each other in the rear row, whereas four waiting maids in their 30s and 40s made up the middle row.
And at the very front stood a single slender waiting maid, near her 40s, like a representative of them and spoke.
“Then allow me to introduce all of the waiting maids that will take care of you from now on, Zenjirou-sama.
First of all, I am Amanda, the supervisory maid in charge of all the attendants in the inner palace. I am responsible for everyone in your residence, the inner palace, so please come to me when there is anything troubling you.”
Saying so, the frontmost waiting maid— the supervisory maid Amanda bowed politely.
Her tone and brisk behaviour gave her the aura of a “capable woman”.
Needless to say, it wasn’t just an aura. All the women serving in the inner palace had to be competent.
(Man, I bet rectangle glasses would look quite good on her.)
Zenjirou automatically harboured this impolite impression.
He pictured her like the strict “dormitory superintendent” of a female boarding school he had read about in a girl’s manga long ago.
“Amanda-san, okay. Nice to meet you.”
Upon his answer, the supervisory maid Amanda contorted her face for a moment as if she wanted to say something, but immediately looked serious again, bowing politely.
In the world of business, Zenjirou had learned to read his opponent’s mental state from their expression to a certain extent, so he noticed superiority maid Amanda’s reaction.
(Mh? Was I a bit too polite? I’m technically the master here and Amanda-san an attendant.)
To humble himself when meeting someone without an accurate grasp of their relationship, was a Japanese’s principle, but now that he thought about it, here in the different world, in this kingdom, he was royalty.
When he was too polite, it could lead to confusion instead.
On a closer look, even the other waiting maids, standing behind the supervisory maid, showed more or less expressions of surprise and bewilderment.
Seemingly his manner of speaking had been a poor choice indeed.
The reason they hesitated to rebuke him with “You do not need to address us like that, Zenjirou-sama” was because of their different standings as royalty and attendants?
If so, then it was troubling for him. As someone from a different world, he didn’t know left from right here, so if no one pointed out his mistakes to him, he would always remain ignorant to affairs in this world.
(…Guess I’ll consult with Aura-san later.)
While such thoughts crossed his mind, the supervisory maid Amanda continued the introductions.
“Next up I will introduce the heads of each department. First off, the one in charge of cleaning, Ines.”
“My name is Ines.”
A waiting maid on the right in the second row stepped forward and bowed deeply.
“The next in line is Vanessa, in charge of cooking.”
“My name is Vanessa. Please leave the kitchen to me.”
“Going on, we have Emilia, in charge of gardening.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Zenjirou-sama.”
“Lastly, there is Olsha, in charge of bathing.”
“My name is Olsha. Please feel free to call out to me whenever you are taking a bath, Zenjirou-sama.”
“These four are the important responsible parties in the inner palace.”
“At your service.”
On supervisory maid Amanda’s words, the introduced four lowered their heads in unison.
“O- Okay. Likewi… no, I mean… I am looking forwa… no, I’m expecting you to work hard.”
Zenjirou unconsciously was about to reply polite again, but corrected his tone stammering to sound as exalted as possible.
To him it seemed unnecessary haughty and would make him laugh out loud, but apparently it was the correct attitude.
The waiting maids bowed with “Understood”, obviously relieved.
Seeing them like that, Zenjirou felt like holding his head in his hands.
(Uwah, seems this kind of tone is appropriate after all. I’ve to consult Aura-san later on about how to correctly deal with the attendants.)
Ignorant to Zenjirou’s inner conflict, the supervisory maid Amanda proceeded with the introductions.
“Now we have the nine waiting maids in the back. They will be responsible for any other immediate jobs. Please order them directly for any minor issues instead of involving the department heads or me. There are various others maids for miscellaneous tasks, but these nine will always be available for your summoning.
Girls, introduce yourselves.”
Upon her urging, the nine waiting maids in the third row started to introduce themselves one after another.
“My name is Karina. Please order me anything, Zenjirou-sama.”
“I am Keyshia.”
“Kristel is my name.”
“I am Kate…”
At this point, Zenjirou’s only average memory power reached its limit.
The supervisory maid plus the four department heads. For a total of five people, he somehow kept up his will-power to remember their names and faces, but had he known that there would be nine more, he would’ve raised the white flag from the start.
“…My name is Dolores. I will do my best to serve you whole-heartedly, Zenjirou-sama.”
By the time the nine waiting maids finished their simple self-introduction, Zenjirou had abandoned any plans to remember the names and faces of everyone present.
(Oh well. I’ll get to remember them anyway while we’re together in the inner palace. For now I’ll just keep the names of the important ones in mind, like the supervisory maid and the department heads.)
Zenjirou had his fare share of visiting companies for business, so he wasn’t exactly bad at remembering faces or names, but thirteen people at once was certainly impossible.
He had only vague recollections for everyone but the supervisory maid and the department heads.
(At any rate…)
Watching the thirteen waiting maids, Zenjirou thought to himself.
(They perfectly fit into two categories. Maybe there are two acceptance criteria? Capable and good-looking.)
The waiting maids in front of him fit so well into two general categories that he inadvertently suspected that.
To put it bluntly: “old and not very pretty waiting maids” and “young and pretty waiting maids”.
Needless to say, supervisory maid Amanda and the four department heads belonged to the “old and not very pretty” category, whereas the other nine lower-ranked waiting maids belonged to the “young and pretty” one.
Supervisory maid Amanda and the cleaning department head Ines were still slender, but the remaining three department heads were all middle-aged women with plenty of flesh on their abdomen, the typical “middle-aged spread”.
On the other hand, amongst the nine waiting maids, introduced as their subordinates, was not a single one that a dwindled style like that.
Zenjirou’s impression of capable and good-looking ones might not necessarily be wrong.
However, the nine of them were all different from each other. Their looks for example: One was suitable to be called “cute”, another one would deserve the description “pretty”.
There were tall ones as there were short ones. Just as some had a big bust, others had a small one.
Only one girl had short hair, maybe due to cultural restrictions, but the hairstyles of the others were extremely varied and wide-ranged.
But it couldn’t be Zenjirou’s imagination that overall, there were more taller girls than short ones and more girls with big busts than ones with small busts. Especially in regards to busts, seven out of nine prided themselves with a size of “huge breasts”.
Amongst them, one exceptional person even boasted of a size bigger than Aura.
(Reminds me, Aura-san too has a rather tall figure and big breasts by Japanese standards. Maybe women in this country tend to be taller and have bigger breasts compared to the Japanese average?)
Zenjirou forced his gaze to fixate upward, so it wouldn’t wander over the waiting maids’ breasts, while he pondered like that, but reality was different.
These young waiting maidens were carefully chosen by Aura as “girls, who Zenjirou could safely put his hands on in the near future”.
There were more tall girls because he had expressed a large interest towards the tall Aura. The majority of big-breasted girls was based on Zenjirou’s staring at Aura’s voluminous breasts when they dined together before.
In other words, Zenjirou’s assumption that the young waiting maids were chosen based on “good looks” was absolutely correct.
Naturally, they were carefully picked from a range of people with skills appropriate for the inner palace through the added criteria “looks”.
Zenjirou, not knowing anything about that, had no time to admire these beautiful maids as he was mostly preoccupied with the nervousness of having arrived in the different world not long ago.
“Okay. I expect all of you to work hard.”
All that was on his mind was to “get this over with safely”.
* * *
While Zenjirou, who had gone ahead to the inner palace, was hard pressed from the unfamiliar interaction with the waiting maids, Carpa’s Queen Aura the First had her subordinates check the “dowry tools” that Zenjirou brought along, one by one in a chamber of the palace.
“Open everything and examine it closely. However, when you cannot open it, do not force it and just put a mark on it. I will enquire of Zenjirou-dono about it personally later on. Bring any dangerous or strange objects to me without exception.”
“Yes, Your Highness!”
The soldiers clad in white leather armours and the waiting maids wearing white aprons over their exotic maid clothes, obeyed the Queen’s order and started to open Zenjirou’s luggage carefully.
One opened the five-door refrigerator from top to bottom and checked the inside by sticking the head in. One tried to look inside the air conditioning with a puzzled look. One opened the half-transparent plastic box with clothes, spread all of Zenjirou’s T-shirts and boxer shorts one by one and folded them again.
The soldiers and waiting maids worked all around the room with pooled forces.
A great amount of “suspicious objects” was suddenly brought into the palace. It had to be checked, but it belonged to the future husband of the Queen.
As to not to damage or dirty the goods by chance, the work was conducted with incredible caution.
Due to that, there were ten people assigned to it, yet there was little progress.
Nevertheless, their task continued and one person, having spotted something of concern, reported to Aura.
“Your Highness, the contents in these transparent containers seem to be alcohol. It has a unique seal, so we do not know how to open it, but we can confirm an alcoholic smell from the broken ones.”
The bottles of alcohol, which Zenjirou brought with him as a present for Aura, must have fallen over from the summoning. One bottle of each the Japanese sake and wine, which had relatively thin bottles, were broken and their contents had soaked into the carpet.
Needless to say, Aura had noticed that there was alcohol amongst Zenjirou’s luggage from the smell, so she nodded short.
“Take the remaining bottles into the wine cellar underground. And bring the broken ones over here. Ah, be careful with the handling. These containers seem so fragile that you cannot even compare them to wooden barrels.”
She ordered the soldiers and waiting maids.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
The soldiers carefully carried each bottle with both hands and left the room with them. Meanwhile the waiting maids picked up the broken bottles and held them out to Aura.
It were the white shaded bottle of Japanese sake and the transparent bottle of dark red wine. Receiving the two broken pieces, Aura looked through them at the sun shining in from the window and raised a surprised voice.
“…Marvelous. It looks like it is made out of crystal. Is such a tool common in the world of my future husband?”
The Carpa Kingdom did not know of glass manufacture.
The set of bottles made on modern Earth seemed more like work of art than tools to the people of this world. Even more so for the bottles of whiskey and brandy, which had an elaborated design.
“Your Highness, this appears to be tableware. The glasses and plates are not made out of wood or silver either, but out of the same transparent material as the alcohol containers and some brilliant stone. A few of them also broke during the summoning.”
The tableware Zenjirou brought along was an average porcelain set from Japan and the wine or whiskey glasses were all out of glass.
Zenjirou especially brought these fragile things with him, since he noticed on his previous dinner here that all the tableware was made out of wood or silver.
It didn’t bother him so much that he would point it out, but as he was used to porcelain and glass tableware, it definitely felt a bit strange to him.
And while he didn’t notice it himself, the main reason for his strange feeling were the jars for water or alcohol.
Silver didn’t rub off on the flavour as much as other metals, but that didn’t mean it was completely tasteless.
Zenjirou didn’t feel as uncomfortable with the forks or spoons, since they were made out of stainless steel in Japan too, but it was different for the jars.
For example, it was the same difference in flavour one experienced when drinking the same tea from either a pet bottle, a can or a glass cup.
When Aura picked up the transparent, colourless wine glass, she clicked her fingers with a snap.
“This is impressive as well. It would make a good present for nobles with a fancy for collecting artefacts.”
Of course these belonged to Zenjirou and Aura, even if she was his wife, had no right to do with them as she pleased. However, her future husband was an understanding and kind person. If she were to ask him, he would surely oblige her.
Aura shook her head as she was already picturing the ensnared face of the nobles, and turned her thoughts back onto the current situation.
“Did you find anything else?”
“Yes, Your Highness. Please look at this. We believe that these might be ‘weapons’.”
Saying so, the soldiers brought over a long, blue rectangle box with metallic sticks, a small pouch with many small, twisted nails and a strange edged object that had an inward blade at the tip.
“Let me see. Mhm… No, that are not weapons. They are most likely some kind of tools. For weapons, they are too impractical.”
Aura replied after looking at the “screwdriver set”, “screws” and “pipe cutter” that she received.
These tools were all needed to assemble the air conditioning. There were a lot of other tools unknown to a resident of this world lined up, like a “percussion drill”, a “vacuum pump” or “vacuum gauge”, and with this complete set, it was possible to set-up the air conditioning.
However, that only applied to professionals.
From his research on the internet, Zenjirou learned that an amateur had hardly any chance to assemble an air conditioning with just a manual, but at that time, he had already bought the large air conditioning.
He had brought a printed version of the whole assembly instruction from the homepage with him and had no intention to give up his “air conditioned lifestyle in the different world”, but considering that he quickly purchased an “electric fan” and a “metal basin big enough for the freezer” afterwards, he hadn’t lost his touch with reality entirely.
Next up, a soldier carrying a device of unknown utilization stepped forward in front of Aura.
“Your Highness, I would say that this is a weapon. Please take a look. On a first glance, it appears to be a simple box, but there are various blades inside and they quickly turn when you spin the bar on the side.”
“Oho, quite intriguing. An interesting mechanism indeed. However, I doubt that it is a weapon. How would you attack someone with it?”
“Spin the bar after you put your opponent’s hand inside… Maybe?”
The soldier’s words fizzled out, as he noticed the incredibility of them midway in his sentence, and Aura gave him a wry smile.
“Then it is not a weapon, but an instrument of torture. Well, depending on its utilisation it might prove dangerous, but it surely was not built with the intention to harm. Put it back.”
Zenjirou’s “ice crusher”, nearly labelled as an ignominious instrument of torture or weapon, was safely put back into place.
Even after that, the discoveries of unknown objects, like the supply of soap, the toothbrushes or mosquito coil, continued.
In appearance at least, the various LED floor lamps of the same model resembled the large candle stands of this world, so the usage could vaguely be guessed, but there was no place to put a candle or oil pan, so they remained mysterious objects in the end.
In the meantime, not only the things on the carpet were checked, but a waiting maid also confirmed the contents of the backpack that Zenjirou had shouldered, and she approached Aura with the open backpack in one hand.
“Your Highness, the contents in here mainly consist of water, food, a blanket and a change of clothes.”
“Water and food? …Oh, I see. I guess he prepared it for any kind of emergencies. After all, I missed out on explaining to him what happens when my summoning fails.”
When the summoning failed, the magic itself wouldn’t activate. Therefore Zenjirou’s precaution was completely unnecessary, but if anything, Aura was at fault here.
“Not good. I made my future husband worry unnecessarily. I have to apologize later. …Mh? What is the matter? Is there something else?”
Aura noticed the strange behaviour of the waiting maid, who was pale in the face, with the backpack and asked her.
The waiting maid, still pale, answered “Y- Yes” with a small voice.
“P- Please look at this.”
Saying so, she pulled out two small pouches from the side pocket of the backpack and held it out to Aura.
“Oh, this is…!?”
After casually opening the pouches and looking inside, Aura opened her reddish brown eyes wide and became speechless.
One of the two pouches Aura had opened, was filled with colourful, transparent jewels of the size of a fingertip, the other one had countless small grains, radiating in various colours, with a hole in the middle.
To put simply, it were “marbles” and “beads”.
This too was one of Zenjirou’s “countermeasures against unforeseen happenings”.
For the unlikely event of being transferred to somewhere else in the different world than the palace, Zenjirou had brooded about an item that wasn’t bulky and could easily be traded for money in the other world, resulting in “marbles” and “breads” as his choice.
Zenjirou had chosen them as he remembered that the palace had not a single window with glass or jar out of glass, but it felt to him like he was treating the people here as “natives from a backward region”, which wasn’t all too pleasant.
However, he had no alternatives. If a single marble could bring a room at an inn for a night and a couple of beads could be traded for a meal, he couldn’t ask for more. At the very least, Zenjirou had imagined that, but it has to be stated that the actual value was vastly different.
Even if they were “toys” in modern Japan, these glass pearls with a perfectly round shape that visible air bubbles could hardly ever achieve, had not the value of “some small change” as Zenjirou imagined them to be.
Frankly said, they were treated as “jewels”.
In fact, a kind of glass pearls known as glass beads were traded for over one million yen per piece due to its historical value even on Earth.
Of course the marbles and beads from Zenjirou weren’t that valuable. They were nothing but toys, costing a few hundred yen per bag, but this world didn’t know of glass manufacture, so their value exceeded Zenjirou’s guess by far.
“Carefully put them back.”
Receiving the order, the waiting maid took the two pouches from Aura’s hands and put them back into the pocket of the backpack with a caution like handling explosive.
The long check of Zenjirou’s luggage finally reached the final stage. By the time the number of soldiers and waiting maids standing near the wall as not to disturb the others, exceeded the number of people still working, Aura addressed everyone.
“Do you have nothing to report anymore?”
She had received reports about most of the goods already.
So Aura asked just in case while she was already half-sure that there were no more reports, and shifted her gaze towards a soldier that was opening a clothing case. At that moment.
The watched soldier obviously trembled his body with a shiver and quickly tried to put what he held back into the case.
“Wait! What are you hiding there!? Stay put and slowly take your right hand out of the case!!”
Catching him, Aura raised a sharp voice.
(What was that? Did he sneak in some poison or so into my future husband’s belongings?)
The imperial guards here had gone through very strict selections, but was there a traitor amongst them?
Aura shot the suspicious soldier a fierce and stern look.
“Y- Your Highness! I did nothing wrong…!”
“Keep your excuses for yourself! I am telling you to be quiet and remove your hand.”
The soldier started to explain surprised, whereas Aura shouted at him with a fierce rebuke.
As he figured that it would be in vain to protest in light of Aura’s threatening attitude, the soldier slowly pulled out his right hand from the clothing case.
Just as Aura had suspected, there was a brilliant red cloth in his hand.
“What is that? Turn around and spread the cloth with both your hands.”
“Y- Your Highness, this, uhm…”
Aura ordered the soldier, who tried to oppose even now, with an overwhelming voice.
Preparing for any eventualities, the other soldiers, watching the course of events, took their short shields leaning against the wall, and swords in hand and surrounded the interrogated soldier at a distance.
The waiting maids stopped their work for the moment and retreated towards the wall, hiding behind the embattled soldiers.
A tense atmosphere. A painful silence. Someone could be heard swallowing their saliva with a gulp from all the tension.
With the attention of everyone in the room on him, the soldier made a big sigh like giving up on something precious and widely spread the cloth in his right hand in front of the Queen.
It was a thin, red “negligee”. Needless to say, for a woman.
Aura stared at the averted face of the soldier through that red cloth. Yes, “through the cloth”. The soldier’s expression was visible to Aura through the cloth he held up in front of his face.
The kind of clothes from which you couldn’t expect any protection against the gazes of others.
Remaining silent, Aura kept staring at the transparent negligee for a very long time, then slowly questioned the soldier.
“That was in my future husband’s clothing case?”
As he couldn’t lie to the Queen he had sworn loyalty to, the imperial guard answered short and precise.
The atmosphere slackened, but the silence was still painful. Someone could be heard swallowing their saliva with a gulp from sexual excitement.
Amidst that, Aura had initially cast her eyes down to endure something, but she reached her limit at last and broke the silence with a burst of laughter.
“Kukuku… I see now. Well, forgive me. I falsely suspected you.”
The Queen, having doubted her soldier, admitted her own mistake and gave him an apology.
“No, I am yours to command.”
As a soldier, he could only reply with that. On closer consideration, he had tried to suddenly hide something from the Queen’s eyes. It was only natural that he was doubted.
Anyway, what a disaster.
Lascivious clothes, obviously for a woman, were found in the belongings of the Prince consort.
It didn’t need a genius to figure out to whom the owner of these clothes wanted to give them and for what reason.
“I deeply apologize for behaving so rashly and raising suspicion.”
Still holding the transparent negligee in his right hand, the soldier lowered his head faithful, which only stimulated Aura’s laughter even more.
“It is fine. Do not let it bother you. Like I said before, it was my mistake, so let bygones be bygones. Still, I see, my future husband had such a piece. …Kukuku.”
Aura continued to laugh even now with her shoulders trembling. Tears dwelled up in her eyes from laughing too much and she wiped them away, muttering.
“My future husband is a ‘man’, too after all.”
Despite being in front of her subordinators, Aura kept being convulsed in laughter all over.
* * *
Evening on the same day.
In one chamber of the inner palace, to where all of his belongings were carried, Zenjirou sat on a black leather couch, a paradigm for luxury, across from Aura.
“So all my things are allowed into the inner palace?”
Aura had told him the result of the check, so Zenjirou showed an obvious relief on his face while he confirmed it.
“Yes. There are a few objects that need verification about their utilisation, but everything should be here by tomorrow. Except, I took the liberty to store the alcohol in the wine cellar already.”
Queen Aura, calmly crossing her legs across from him, replied so with a generous nod.
The bright red light of the setting sun shining through the open window dyed the Queen’s red hair even redder.
Captured by her appearance, Zenjirou voiced the question he suddenly thought of.
“Sure, I don’t mind. The alcohol would only spoil if it was kept here. But who ‘brings the goods here’? If I remember correctly, ‘no males are allowed’ in the inner palace besides me, right?”
Things like the clothing box or the computer were no problem, but the two metre tall refrigerator and hydropower generator surely were beyond a woman’s strength. Maybe there was a kind of “power maid” for physical labours?
Aura shook her hand on his question and answered as if it was trifling.
“Naturally some trustworthy members of my imperial guard will handle it. While it is certainly true that ’males are banned’ from entering the inner palace, a certain flexibility of the rule is possible for temporary entry.
Otherwise we would need to employ ‘female masons’ and ‘female carpenter’ in the palace. After all, the building of the inner palace and the water fountain in the garden are not built for eternity.”
Zenjirou obediently consented with “Oh, right” to the Queen’s slightly teasing words.
No matter how the world worked, there were still matters a woman’s strength couldn’t solve by itself. If one still inflexible insisted on “no males allowed” at such a time, the inner palace would become a ridiculous and uncomfortable place.
Still, it were good news for Zenjirou. If he could get the help of other men, there was something he wanted to do as soon as possible.
“In that case, could I borrow the help of a few men on this occasion? Actually, I brought over a thing called ‘Hydropower Generator’. I want to set it up in the garden somehow and get water to…”
As the sun started to set, the palace was dimly lit and Zenjirou told Aura his undertaking while leaning forward on the couch.
* * *
The reason Yamai Zenjirou was summoned to this world was to marry Queen Aura.
For that sake, he safely transferred over to the other world and spent a night in the ridiculous huge bed in the unfamiliar inner palace. What welcomed him on the next morning was his inescapable fate of endless days with preparations for the marriage ceremony.
The ceremony was scheduled to begin in fifteen days and last for five days, all night long.
For a royal wedding, the period for both the planning and the ceremony itself were abnormally short.
The preparations had probably already started one month ago, when Zenjirou had accepted Aura’s proposal, but still, that month and fifteen days only made a total of forty-four days.
It was an exceptional short period to prepare for the “marriage ceremony” of the ruling Queen.
In a kingdom as big as the Carpa Kingdom, the preparation period alone would usually be at least one year when it concerned the marriage of a direct descendent of the royal family. Royalty and nobility from home and abroad would get notified with enough time to spare and a schedule would be written out so that as much important people as possible could attend, putting up the most luxury ceremony to show off the country’s prestige.
A royal wedding was more than a simple celebration. It was a suitable occasion to gather influential people from near and far, doing diplomacy behind the scenes.
However, with only one and a half month to prepare, the best they could do was to gather the influential nobility from the own country, but the royalty and nobility from other countries probably wouldn’t find the time to attend. It was expected that most of them would send representatives with far lower status at best. In other words, this marriage ceremony wouldn’t give a chance for secret deals. To be honest, a “wasted” opportunity.
The reason Aura tried to push through the marriage in such a short time despite knowing this, was that she feared someone would intervene if they took their sweet time.
After all, it was the first marriage ever of a Queen from the Carpa Kingdom.
As there were no precedent, they could come up with as much faults as they wanted.
It was an undeniable fact that the Queen’s marriage would complicate the hierarchy and even worse, Zenjirou had inherited the royal blood strong enough so that he could pass on the “Space-Time Magic” onto the next generation even if he made a child with someone other than Aura.
If Aura’s judgement was correct, Zenjirou had the potential to use the basic “Space-Time Magic” if he learned magic by the book, so his lineage was quite close to a direct descendent.
If news about Zenjirou’s blood spread to the influential nobles in the country, one or two would surely come up with the audacious scheme of keeping Aura as an unpaired ruler for a while longer and putting the child between Zenjirou and their daughter next on the throne.
Aura didn’t consider her political skills as so weak that she would get outmanoeuvred by such strenuous politics, but preventing any trouble from occurring to begin with was the best choice.
These speculations lead to the conclusion that their marriage ceremony had an abnormally short preparation period for a royal wedding and was inevitably “small-scale”.
“…This is ‘small-scale’, huh.”
Having heard these circumstances from Aura last night, Yamai Zenjirou unconsciously leaked that utterance.
“Mh? Did you say anything, Zenjirou-sama?”
Zenjirou sat on a chair woven from ivy and a couple of waiting maids scuttled around him, happily puzzling over colourful fabrics and dazzling jewellery that they brought over with “Not this, not this either”.
As he could already tell from Aura’s evening dress and the waiting maids’ uniform, the Carpa Kingdom had a western-style fashion too, but apparently this culture was introduced by another country only in the recent years and public events like marriage ceremonies called for their traditional garments.
Currently, the maids were choosing the cloth for Zenjirou’s turban that he would wear at the ceremony, along with a stick pin for it.
The five-day ceremony included a parade through the streets of the capital in an imperial carriage together with Aura. It was typical for noblemen of this country to wear a turban around their head when outside.
Thinking back on it, he had already run out of luck when he asked supervisory maid Amanda “What clothes would be suitable?” as he had no idea about this world’s fashion and she promised “Leave everything to me”.
The enthusiastic waiting maids, a lunatic look in the eyes that said “Please leave it to us”, kept Zenjirou busy forever afterwards.
“No, nothing. Go on.”
It had already been a little over an hour since he sat down on the chair. There was not the slightest indication that the turban selection would end any time soon. Moreover, in the back, the waiting maids in charge of the accessories he would wear on the appointed days, a “decorative bronze sword“ and a “marvellous sash“, were already waiting eagerly.
Most likely, he would spent all of today on this.
(Aura-san allowed me to borrow some soldiers, so I want to set-up the hydropower generator as soon as possible and get back to my life with electricity…)
Zenjirou sat motionless in his chair to let the maids work freely and sighed innerly.
He had only spent a single day in the inner palace so far, but this inconvenient lifestyle cut off from modern culture already threw his heart into a clear turmoil.
However, the waiting maids, unable to hear their master’s inner voice, wanted to meet his expectation as he entrusted them with everything, and selected the turban and stick pin with all their might.
Their efforts seemed to say that their master’s shame was their own, so he just couldn’t bring himself to say “I have other things to do, so don’t take so long and choose whatever works”.
“The pin of the flying dragon with rubies as eyes seems to be the best choice after all. And in my opinion, a white turban will then keep a good balance with the other wearing apparel of the day.”
They finally seemed to settle on something. Zenjirou suppressed a sigh of relief and replied with “Okay, let’s try that”.
He still didn’t feel comfortable in this atmosphere, but it was slighter better now as he didn’t have to use a forced exaggerated tone like yesterday.
After consulting with Aura last night, she approved that he, public occasions aside, may speak in a casual way inside the inner palace, but addressing the attendants with respectful speech was certainly going too far.
According to Aura, the inner palace was the private chamber of royalty and it would be putting the cart before the horse if the master exhausted himself from being considerate to the attendants.
Zenjirou was quite grateful about her Highness’ decree.
At once, he started to speak normally, mindful not to use respectful speech. The waiting maids were perplexed at first, but over time, they got used to his manner of speaking and started to talk to him in a relaxed way.
“Yes, very well. Excuse me.”
The waiting maid revealed her joy about having her idea accepted and wreathed the cloth around Zenjirou’s head with a practiced hand.
(Wow. It’s almost like magic.)
Zenjirou got that impression as he saw how the simply wide cloth was wrapped around his head in no time through the mirror on top of the table.
The waiting maid finished wreathing the turban very easily and lastly stitched it together by sticking the golden stick pin into the central part above the forehead. Then she said proudly.
“How do you like it, Zenjirou-sama?”
On her question, Zenjirou turned his head left and right numerous times in front of the mirror and affirmed the position of the turban from various angles.
The rectangular mirror, vividly showing Zenjirou’s reflection, also reflected how the young waiting maids were rebuffed by the older maids for curiously sneaking a peek.
“…Yeah, looks good.”
Having witnessed that scene in the mirror, Zenjirou suppressed a burst of laughter and answered unaffected.
Speaking of mirrors, this world only knew of metallic mirrors such as polished silver or bronze plates and a metal jar filled with water, so the glass mirror Zenjirou brought with him must have greatly impressed them.
He had intentionally bought the mirror for shaving and tooth-brushing, so it easily reflected his face whole.
It was hard to imagine how much it would cost to make a bronze mirror as big as this, let alone a silver one. A metallic mirror didn’t allow any distortions or scratches, so the price skyrocket by just increasing the size a little bit.
And above all, the reflectance of metallic and glass mirrors were in different leagues. To people, who were used to the vague reflection of a metallic mirror, it must seem like there was another world beyond the glass mirror.
“Very well. Then we will make use of this turban and stick pin for the ceremony.”
The waiting maid, recovering from the rebuff, said so and the waiting maids standing in the back smiled brilliantly as to agree. When the beautiful waiting maids, except for a few, smiled in unison, it relaxed the atmosphere as much.
“Now then, I would like to move on to the selection of the sash and sword you will be wearing on your waist during the ceremony. Is that alright with you?”
“….Sure. Go ahead.”
Thanks to their smiles, Zenjirou somehow managed to nod with a smile to the verdict of “being a dress-up doll for another hour”.
* * *
Just like during the month before his transfer, the busy time went by in a flash.
It had been fifteen days, since Zenjirou came to the other world.
Before he knew it, he faced the very day of his marriage ceremony.
The Carpa Kingdom had a special banquet hall in the palace that was only used for “marriage ceremonies” of royalty or relative high-ranked nobles. Its name: Room of the Dragon King.
The whole floor was covered with a single carpet that showed an ancient dragon drawn in mainly red colours. Its fibers were so long that you would sink in up till your angle if you were to stand on it barefooted. A relict of the past, when people were still sitting directly on the ground.
Nowadays, after the cultural introduction of chairs and tables from the northern continent, the custom of sitting directly on the floor had vanished nearly completely, but the “seating comfort” carpets, remnants of the old times, had become an easy criterion for wealth and power.
Going by that, such a ridiculous large carpet with long fibers made the “Room of the Dragon King” more than a suitable place for holding the royal wedding ceremony.
Needless to say, only chosen nobles from houses with a certain status were allowed to set foot into this impressively vast hall.
Various round tables stood in this large hall and the nobles sat at them in their own cliques.
There didn’t seem to be a strict etiquette and while the food wasn’t served yet, all kinds of drinks were prepared and the nobles at their tables enjoyed some with idle talk.
The topic of their chatting was of course the stars of today’s wedding ceremony: Queen Aura and the mysterious Prince Consort to-be Zenjirou.
“I must say, Her Highness is pretty daring. To think she would take a man summoned from a different world as her husband.”
“Yes, indeed. I wonder what kind of man he is.”
“There is no collateral royalty left in the Carpa Kingdom, so no one will oppose the marriage anyway…”
“The question is, how much magical power does he possess?”
“Rumours says, it is so much that it would not put the royal family to shame.”
“Oho!? If that is true, he is a wonderful catch.”
“Yes. Should the circumstances allow it, it is also possible that in order to spread the royal blood, other women besides Her Highness will be welcomed into the inner palace later on…”
While the nobles engaged in such talk, a young man clad in a full dress of a civil officer, appeared from the adjacent room.
The young civil officer approached the large bronze gong in the corner of the hall, took the wooden drumstick that hung next to it and swung it powerful at the center of the gong.
The loud noise silenced the people and gained their attention. The civil officer then said with a loud and clear voice.
“We will now conduct the wedding ceremony between the absolute Ruler of the ever so strong Carpa Kingdom, our compassionate and wise Queen Her Highness Aura I and His Highness Zenjirou Yamai.
Here comes the pai~r!”
These words declared Aura’s and Zenjirou’s entry.
In response, all present nobles wordless shifted their gazes to the entrance with a diligent expressions.
Now then, what kind of person would the rumoured “Queen’s husband” be?
The high nobles with their evaluating eyes and the rest with curious eyes, eagerly awaited the arrival of that very person.
Before long, a man and woman appeared in the entrance. The sunlight from the windows illuminated the path from the entrance to the altar like a walkway not by chance.
The “Room of the Dragon King” was a room optimized for marriage ceremonies by nature and the schedule too was adjusted in the way that the bridal pair would enter exactly when the sunlight shone onto the walkway.
Zenjirou took one step into the bright sunlight, resisted closing his eyes reflexively and slowly walked down the illuminated path.
(Uwah, not good. If I look around, I’ll just turn crazy from nervousness…!)
Zenjirou felt the gazes of all the dressed up nobles in the hall on him and deliberately kept his gaze only on the path in front of him.
He felt rather grateful to the bright sunlight. Thanks to it, he couldn’t see the nobles well.
Under the strong sunlight of the south continent, Aura and Zenjirou approached the altar step by step with linked arms.
Aura was dressed in a bridal gown and Zenjirou wore a black formal dress with a sash and a decorative bronze sword at his waist.
A keen observer would notice that the bridal pair paid careful attention that none of them would take the lead and advanced in perfect synchronisation.
If Aura were to take the lead, it would give the bad impression that she was a “woman holding the reins” and if Zenjirou were to take the lead, it would create the image that he was a “man taking control of the Queen”.
Royalty even had to mind to the way they walk.
However, if you didn’t pay so much attention, Aura only looked like a happy woman in a beautiful bridal gown right now.
As the bride, Aura wore a sleeveless, white dress.
Her skirt wasn’t long enough to draggle a train, even if it had a flared cuff, and had freshly-picked white flowers sewn onto it instead of lace. Some details were different, but it would pass as a “wedding dress” from Earth.
(Reminds me, the colour is always white whether it’s a Japanese wedding kimono or western wedding dress)
Was it a common sense transcending even worlds, not just country borders, that made the colour white esteemed for a bridal gown? Zenjirou thought about such things to distract himself from the curious and piercing gazes from all sides at least a bit. A dressed up Aura had her right hand attached to his left arm.
As the groom, Zenjirou’s attire was the traditional black ceremonial dress he brought with him just in case.
Standing next to Aura, who wore an extravagant wedding dress along with a crown as a regalia, Zenjirou looked slightly shabby, but there was a good reason for it.
The awareness that “a man was the head of the family” was deeply engraved into the people of this country and the marriage of the currently ruling Queen had no precedent.
A variety of opinions regarding Zenjirou’s, the husband-to-be’s attire and behaviour at the ceremony literally fluttered about and to be precise, there weren’t any regulations.
Carpa’s customs demanded that Zenjirou, the groom, wore more dignified clothes than Aura, the bride. However, as the current Queen, Aura had to attend the ceremony with a crown to show her sovereign right.
Although Zenjirou was the husband, if he were to dress in more dignified clothes than the Queen, it would raise question to the absoluteness of her claim of power. That said, if the groom attended in less dignified clothes than the bride, people would blame royalty for ignoring the traditions of the country.
In the end, Aura covered up the problem by making use of Zenjirou’s birth in the other world, reasoning that “in respect to her husband”, she allowed “the groom to dress in the appropriate clothes of his world”.
The formal black clothes Zenjirou brought with him from his world would have been appropriate if he attended the ceremony as a normal guest, but weren’t originally meant for the “groom” to wear. That said, only Zenjirou himself knew this, so as long as he concealed it, their story was watertight.
What weighted on his mind instead was the perfumed oil that coated his short hair and stickily parted it to one side.
The ceremony today would be held indoors the entire time, so he didn’t need to wear a turban, but it actually annoyed him that his hair was waxed with the particular smelling perfumed oil in exchange for it.
(Argh, it itches and stinks. I want to wash it off in the bath as fast as possible…)
As his nervousness faded, that discomfort started to gradually eat away at his entire consciousness, beginning with the corner of his head.
While resisting the urge to scratch his head or close his eyes to the dazzling sunlight, he slowly, but steadily walked down the walkway.
The attending nobles from all over didn’t focus their attention onto the acquainted Queen Aura, but onto her future husband, whom they were seeing for the first time.
(Oho, that’s him)
(He certainly has a lot of magical potential)
(Seems the “bloodline magic” will be passed on just fine)
(Not only that, we can also hope for a child that inherits the “bloodline magic” from a woman besides Her Highness)
(In that case, the inner palace will really turn into…)
(No, no, it is still too early to say that. The problem is his character)
(I heard that in the half of a month he has been here, he shut himself in the inner palace and rarely showed himself)
(You mean, he is an utilitarian husband for Aura-sama?)
(If we at least knew his preferences, we would have a lead to make his acquaintance)
(This is but a rumour, but the groom seems to like a red, seen-through…)
Zenjirou concentrated his mind solely on the body warmth from Aura on his left arm as to ignore the stares from those around him, and move forward with stiff steps. The further he got, the closer the distance to the nobles got.
Like it or not, his nervousness increased from the curious gaze at point-blank range.
(Shit, I’m so nervous, I don’t feel my feet anymore…!)
He couldn’t even tell if he was walking on a carpet or marble floor.
Never would he’ve imagined that just walking straight ahead was such a difficult task.
(Damn, I’ll trip! I’m royally tripping!)
Zenjirou screwed up his face and broke out in a cold sweat, but the crisis was averted by his wife-to-be next to him.
Aura noticed that he had lost his balance and pretended to hold onto his left arm with her right hand, but actually she was supporting his arm from below and kept him in balance so that he wouldn’t trip.
(C- Close call…)
Aura was the current Queen, who had been exposed to public attention as a direct descendent from royalty by birth. Whereas Zenjirou on the other hand was a mere salary man with an all-too-common life up till now.
It was natural that Aura was used to such situations and he not, but it certainly felt a bit pathetic to have his bride help him with walking straight ahead.
Still, it apparently succeeded in engrossing his thoughts.
Zenjirou temporarily forgot about the gaze around him as he was preoccupied in thoughts and in some way or other, he regained the minimum balance necessary to keep walking.
The religion on the south continent was “animistic” in pretty much all countries.
Since “spirits”, giving blessings in form of “magic”, actually existed, there was no room for other religions.
Some people put their faith in the “ancient dragon race” that supposedly existed long ago, but they were a minority in the Carpa Kingdom at least.
Still, the influence of the “Animism” was hardly worth mentioning as there was no large-scale religious organisation at a supraregional level.
The main role of the priests was to held important ceremonies like this one.
“May the blessing of the spirits always be with them. Even if there should come times of hardships, listen to the voice of the ancestral spirits. The husband will protect the wife in such circumstances and the wife will support the husband in such circumstances…”
At the altar, the priest’s kind words continued forever.
These kind of “blessing speeches” didn’t seem to differ much in the different world.
Zenjirou tried listening to the “blessing”, since he thought it actually might have an effect, considering that this world knew of magic, but that wasn’t the case.
Due to his nervousness, he couldn’t follow the priest’s words well, but the “marriage ceremony” progressed smoothly even without that.
* * *
Night of the same day.
“Fuh, finally over…”
“Fufu, you certainly look exhausted. Well, same goes for me too.”
Zenjirou and Aura were sitting on couches confronting each other with a table in-between in one room of the inner palace and comforted each other’s fatigue.
After the three-hour marriage ceremony ended, they took part in another rite called “coming-out ceremony” for over two hours as the main attraction.
The marriage ceremony aimed at making their debut to the high-toned upper-class nobles, whereas the “coming-out ceremony” aimed at the middle and lower-class nobles, who couldn’t attend the former.
They simply had to wave from the balcony of the palace at the assembly in the front yard, which was conducted in form of a stand-up meal party, but doing so for two hours certainly took its toll on their stamina and willpower.
Needless to say, Zenjirou was completely exhausted right now as he wasn’t used to such festivities, but Aura was as well, since she additionally had to cover up his shortcomings.
Zenjirou had been so exhausted that he no longer had the energy left to decline the offer from the waiting maid to “help him in the bath”, which he normally would reject by all means. Or rather, it was more accurate to say that the maid in charge of baths didn’t allow him to take one by himself when she saw the drained face of her master.
While the bath in the inner palace was spacious and luxurious, it wasn’t the kind of refined place like in modern Japan.
It had no shower, nor a mirror. The marble floor looked indeed beautiful, but it was extremely slippy when wet from foam.
It was dangerous to take a bath all alone when completely exhausted.
Anyway, after somehow finishing their bath safely, Zenjirou and Aura leaned back into the couches in casual clothes, freed from the formal attire they had worn for half a day.
Aura was dressed in a red night dress with a deep slit up till her waist, whereas Zenjirou wore a white-blue striped pyjama from his world.
It were extremely affable outfits, but they had already entered into the bond of marriage.
The pair would now welcome their first night together, so there was no problem with exposing such an appearance to each other.
That said, every time Aura across from him re-crossed her legs that peeked out from the slit, Zenjirou couldn’t help but get conscious of it.
Tonight, he would finally embrace this glamorous, voluptuous and beautiful woman in front of him in his arms.
(Damn. I can’t tell anymore if I’m aroused or nervous)
“I- It’s quite hot. Do you want to drink anything, Aura-san?”
He said so to hide his nervousness and stood up.
“Yeah, I will take a glass, since you already offered it.”
“Okay. Then I’ll open a wine. The red wine sadly broke in the summoning, but the white and rose wine is safe and sound.”
Zenjirou headed over to the refrigerator in the corner of the room that emitted a quiet thrum. During the period of time from his transfer to this world up till now, the micro hydropower generator was set-up safely in the courtyard of the inner palace.
As expected, the generator’s output was somewhat lesser compared to the time when professional assembled it in Japan, but even so, it provided enough electricity to run all the important appliances at the same time.
The refrigerator in the corner. The TV alongside the wall. And the six LED floor lamps that currently illuminated the room. At the moment, all of them functioned without any problems at the same time.
He took out a bottle of wine from the refrigerator, then fetched two vitreous glasses from the sideboard next to it and went back to the couch, where his new wife waited.
(Oh god, it’s nothing to be proud of, but I haven’t had a girlfriend since my second year in university. I’ve not the slightest clue how to create a good mood)
More precisely, his experience with women was limited to a single woman that he dated for one year, from his second year in university to his third year. Thanks to that, his age no longer equalled his time without a girlfriend and he lost his virginity, but it was an undeniable fact that he had insufficient experience with women.
After pouring the white wine into the glasses, Zenjirou placed one in front of Aura.
Then he was about to go back to the other couch while holding the other glass, but Aura called out to him.
“Zenjirou-dono, if you do not mind, would you sit down here instead?”
Saying so, Aura tapped besides her on the couch she was sitting on.
The surprised Zenjirou answered flustered with the glass of white wine still in his hand.
“Eh? W- Well, but, that…”
“Why the hesitation? From today on, we are a genuine married couple. There is no need to be bashful about huddling together.”
It felt wrong to hesitate after she said all that.
“Okay. Then excuse me.”
Telling so in advance, he sat down next to Aura.
Their thighs touched each other.
(Oh shit, this is definitely too close)
He had sat down on the couch that provided enough space for five grown-up people, in the way that their legs stuck together. It was a bit awkward, but if he dared to move now, it would seem like he was strangely sensitive to it and that would be even more awkward instead.
Like Aura had said just now, they were already a married couple. This was their private space and no reason to avoid physical contact.
(What now, I should say something…!)
While sipping on his wine, he impatiently searched for a topic, whereas Aura spoke to him in her usual relaxed manner.
“I must say, these ‘electrical appliances’ you brought along are truly fascinating. This light and this cooling, I feel like I am in the Twin Kingdom of Sharrow and Jilbell.”
Aura looked at the LED floor lamps that lightened up the room while saying that.
The floor lamps used LED light bulbs and were as tall as a person.
Zenjirou brought over eight floor lamps in total, which used three LED light bulbs each, to the different world.
At present, six were placed in the living room and two in the bedroom.
If all eighteen light bulbs were turned on, even the broad room of the inner palace could be lightened up as brightly as the night in modern Japan. Of course the light didn’t come from above and as it came from multiple sources, the covering wasn’t equal.
Right now, only two lamps near the sofa were on for creating the mood.
While Zenjirou smiled wryly about Aura’s consideration to start a topic,
“Yes, I worked hard for it. Apart from the preparations for the ceremony, I used up all my time to set-up the electrical appliances.”
he said that a bit proudly.
In reality, it was more accurate to say that all he did since he came here was just assembling the hydropower generator in the inner court and running the power cable to the room.
Needless to say, it had been Aura’s soldiers, who actually carried the generator, diverted the water from the fountain in the court to the water tank, moved away the stones in the wall and opened a hole for the cable.
However, Zenjirou had drawn a plan for transporting the generator safely, explained it and instructed the workers amidst temperatures of over 30°C every day (measured by an actual thermometer he brought with him, not by sense), which was midsummer by Japanese standards.
Considering the reason why Aura chose him as her partner, he knew that he ought to abstain from getting in touch and commanding a large group like that, but he had no choice this time. It was not something he could entrust to others.
The hydropower generator converted the energy from the falling water into electricity, so the water tank had to be placed sufficiently higher than the generator.
For that, the water tank was placed on amassed soil, but then the water wouldn’t flow into the tank from the fountain when they connected the hose.
One problem solved, the next arose. After try and errors, when they finally got a sufficient flow of water to generate the needed electricity, Zenjirou had shouted “Hell yeah!” with a guts pose, ignorant his surroundings.
But the effort had paid off and now the refrigerator, the LED lamps and his computer were operating flawless.
“It definitely seemed worth the effort. Yes, having cold alcohol is not all that bad, too.”
Aura emptied her glass with white wine in no time and put the glass back onto the table soundless.
Ignorant to his nervousness or not, she took his right arm with both hands and pinched it between her cleavage, resting her head on his shoulder.
A sensation of her soft breasts enveloping his arm. A warmth on his shoulder and back of the neck from her damp and hot breathing. The sweet citrus fragrance from her red hair was the shampoo he brought over.
The soft sensation and sweet fragrance made Zenjirou dizzy.
“Ah, uh, ah, right, reminds me, what is that ‘Twin Kingdom’ you mentioned earlier? Is it the same as this country?”
Aura raised a chuckle from the back of her throat in reaction to her husband’s flustered stuttering, then answered him sympathetic.
“Oh, the Twin Kingdom of Sharrow and Jilbell. It is a vast country in the middle of the southern continent, where two royal families, the Sharrow family with their ‘Bestowal Magic’ and the Jilbell family with their ‘Healing Magic’, exceptionally rule side by side.
The ‘Bestowal Magic’ makes it the only Kingdom, where ‘Magic Tools’ can be created, and its royal palace is illuminated by ‘Light Jewels’ at night, cooled by ‘Wind Jewels’ when it is hot and warmed by ‘Fire Jewels’ when it is cold.
Well, you will learn about these things in time. Zenjirou-dono? Something has been bothering for a while, you see.”
Aura suddenly grabbed his cheeks with her hands and turned his head into her direction.
“W- Wh- Wha- What is it, Aura-san?”
Zenjirou, unable to properly stand his ground, replied with intense stammering as he looked into Aura’s face at such a close range that the focus of his eyes was off.
“That precisely. You add a san to my name as if I were a stranger. Can you not do something about that? I doubt that you always speak like that. Previously aside, but from today on we are a married couple.
I am aware that it is unreasonable to ask you to change your attitude all of a sudden, but before long, our relationship will become accustomed to such a sense of distance.
So please, would you talk to me with a genuine tone?”
Just like Aura had pointed out, Zenjirou had deliberately used a rather formal manner of speaking. He collected himself a bit and answered.
“Now that you mention it… But I could say the same about you, Aura…-san.”
“This is my usual tone. Nor am I humbling myself. But you have a point. Calling my husband with ’Zenjirou-dono’ every time would certainly be a bit too formal.
May I plainly call you just Zenjirou, too?”
Aura asked him that with a gentle smile.
A gentle smile and earnest eyes. Without averting her gaze for even a moment, Aura silently waited for the answered from her newlywed husband.
“Ah, yes. Wait, I mean… Yeah, sure. Go ahead.”
“Thank you, Zenjirou.”
Upon his answer, Aura brightened her smile happily and called him by his name at once.
“Now you call me by my name too, Zenjirou.”
As expected from a Queen used to negotiations. She stunningly pushed her will through like a bargaining point, even though he hadn’t agreed to anything right.
Overwhelmed by it, Zenjirou answered.
At a range where they could feel each other’s breath, the pair brought their faces closer and called each other by their names.
Both of them were prepared to spend the night together tonight from the start.
Who approached the partner’s lips first?
Either way, their lips overlapped like it was the most natural thing ever. At the same time, Zenjirou’s arms tightly twined around Aura’s back and she put her arms around his neck.
“Mm, Mmm, Mhm…”
“Ah… Mh… Mm.”
In an affectionate embrace, their lips madly joined together.
They ended this long and passionate kiss nearly at the same time, too.
But while the kiss ended, the embrace didn’t.
After separating their lips, Aura placed her chin on Zenjirou’s shoulder, then hugged him more tightly and whispered into his ear with a small voice that it tickled.
“I will head to the bedroom first. Women have a lot to prepare, so follow me after you slowly counted till hundred.”
Leaving these words behind, Aura slipped out of his arms and stood up from the couch.
Zenjirou reflexively reached out his hand, so Aura looked over her shoulder and showed him a bewitching smile.
“Fear not, I will not flee. So count until hundred, okay?”
With these last words, she disappeared in the bedroom next-door.
Aura, going ahead into the bedroom, closed the door behind her and took a deep breath first of all. Then she went straight to the side of the bed and turned on the LED floor lamp there.
Zenjirou had taught her how to do it, but when she turned on the lights by herself, it filled her with admiration once again.
The LED light bulb for the bedroom wasn’t giving off the usual white, but an orange light.
According to Zenjirou, this one “suited the bedroom better”, but Aura couldn’t really tell the difference.
Amidst the orange light, Aura recalled her earlier words and behaviour, blushed her cheeks and wriggled her sinuous body.
“Th- That was rather stimulating. Do all married couples do such embarrassing, yet joyful things every night?”
Aura embraced her own body that was clad in the red nightgown.
Her heart beat fast like an alarm bell and her whole body, from head to toe, felt hot like it was set on fire.
“I, I hope Zenjirou-dono did not notice it. N- No, we shared such a dear embrace, so he must have noticed. …Wh- What do I do?”
She had brought it up herself before, but now she was calling him with a honorific again. That she didn’t notice it showed how agitated she was.
Well, no wonder. Aura admittedly had lived longer and survived more bloodsheds than Zenjirou, but her essential experience with the other sex was even lower than his “one case”. In other words, “zero”. An authentic virgin.
Unlike the males of royal blood, who were expected to widely spread their seed now and then, the females of royal blood were expected only to receive the seed of a better lineage into their stomachs and generally had a strong sense for chastity.
Due to that, unmarried woman of royal blood were equated with inexperienced, which was true for the majority.
In the culture of the Carpa Kingdom it was typical that the man took the lead in the relationship.
So there was no problem with telling Zenjirou the truth and entrusting her body to him, but the reason she still pretended to have to upper hand was either her dignity as the Queen or her pride as the older one.
Anyway, Aura slipped off the red night dress and was naked except for some small shorts. When she tried to get onto the king-sized bed, she suddenly noticed.
“The light… is a bit too bright.”
Even just one LED lamp illuminated the bed considerably. Accustomed to candles and oil pans, Aura couldn’t help but feel embarrassed and hesitant over welcoming her bridal night in such a bright light.
“….Mhm. I, I wonder if this will do?”
She covered the LED lamp with the red nightgown she had taken off just now.
Like she had hoped, the brightness dimmed a bit, but through the red cloth, it gave it a rather obscene atmosphere instead.
“Well, I cannot concern myself with this too much.”
If she kept thinking it over, her husband would appear.
A resolved Aura climbed onto the bed and positioned herself in the middle of it.
“Fuh, Hah… Fuh, Hah.”
Then she took deeps breaths to regulate her breathing and heartbeat, so that she would appear composed at least outwards, continuing that lovable effort for a while.
The silence was broken from a knock on the door.
“Say, can I come in now?”
Hearing her husband’s voice beyond the door, Aura took one more deep breath, then replied with her usual composed voice.
“Yes, you may come in. I am awaiting you, Zenjirou.”
“E- Excuse me then…!”
Zenjirou timidly came in through the opened door like he was sneaking into the bedroom and when he saw Aura illuminated by the orange light, he unconsciously gulped.
Aura was lying sprawled on the bed with her upper body rested on the pillow.
Her lower body was slipped under a thin cloth like a blanket made out of toweling, but he could perceive her bare body line. As for her upper body, except for the peaks of her voluminous breasts, which were barely covered by her red hair, everything was in plain view.
“Oh my, how long do you want to stand there, Zenjirou? No need to be shy. Come here. Let us spend a passionate night together.”
In Aura’s behaviour as she tempted Zenjirou with a bewitching smile, was no longer a shred of the adorable agitation from earlier.
* * *
Having finished the bridal night well, Zenjirou lay down his sweaty, naked body on the bed. The copulation in this sultry night left Zenjirou’s body greatly exhausted, but his mind was in high spirits.
He would go for a second round at once if their bodies were to allow it. The sexual intercourse with his new wife was such a captivating experience.
“Hah, Hah, Hah, Hah…”
On the other hand, the Queen was breathing roughly besides him with no composure to look at him.
Normally, sex was more exhausting for the man than for the woman, except for some coital positions, but the tension from her first time must have ruled out that theory.
Aura should have way more stamina than Zenjirou, but she was still groggy.
Zenjirou’s manhood still stood tall, but as expected, his mind had cooled down after ejaculating once.
Even while he was captivated by his wife’s erotic appearance as her extra-large breasts went up and down with every breath she took, he wouldn’t dare to go for a second round right away.
Without getting up, he stretched out his hand, fetching the gauze handkerchief and orange towel he had placed there in advance.
After wiping his genital area with the handkerchief, he wiped Aura’s body with the orange towel while she was still out of breath.
“Hah, Hah, Ah? Oh… Thanks.”
As her sweat was wiped from her body with the fluffy towel from modern Japan, Aura finally opened her eyes a bit and thanked her husband for his devotion.
“No problem. Are you okay? Was I too rough?”
Zenjirou dried her whole body off the sweat pearls while asking that.
When he wiped her soft breasts or the captivating line of her lower parts, he was aware that the blood shot between his legs again, but he endured it for now.
Even if they were married, it would cause a little trouble if he were to challenge his exhausted wife for a second round right after they finished their first time.
Meanwhile, Aura let out sweet “Kuh” or “Hau” moans every time her nipples or private parts were wiped as her body was most likely still sensitive from the just finished act and tickled by the towel.
But by the time Zenjirou had finished wiping her whole body, Aura had recovered enough to somehow face him and talk.
“…Anyway, I guess this is the end of it?”
Turning her head towards him a little bit on the pillow, Aura asked that, whereupon Zenjirou, still reclined, rested his cheek in his hand and answered.
“Yeah, we’re done, for the most part. So, how… was it?”
Zenjirou, aware now that he had been a bit rough earlier, timidly asked Aura.
Amidst the orange light, Aura showed a smile that was a mixture of a smirk and a wry smile.
“Well, what can I say. It certainly was an ‘unknown sensation’. I have been through many battles, be it in war or politics, but this was a first for me.
The first time I considered ‘capitulation’.”
She declared with a slightly accusative tone.
“U- Ugh, ehm… Sorry.”
“No, there is no reason to apologize. I might not look like it, but I had no experience in this. But I would appreciate it if you could hold back a bit.”
“Ah, yes… I’ll do my best.”
He felt ashamed from his wife’s words, but had no confidence that he would keep his own promise.
Even this time, he didn’t have any intentions to get so excited at first. To be honest, it was quite likely he would be just as rough during their next time.
Aura intensified her wry smile as she read his inner thoughts, and shrugged her naked shoulders.
“Fuh… Oh well, this is a duty of a wife as well. Anyway, Zenjirou, you are the only man I have been with, so I cannot compare it with others and thus I am going to speak my subjective opinion.”
“Mh? Wh- What?”
He was anxious about what she would say.
“You are surprisingly ‘pushy’.”
Aura frankly described her husband’s conduct with a tone without spite.
Zenjirou couldn’t deny that when he reviewed the night act.
In the end, he didn’t object and buried his face in the sheets, writhing like an infant for a while.
“Have you calmed down?”
After a while, Zenjirou managed to recover from begin called a “pushy pervert”, raised his head from the sheets and faced Aura again.
While he had been drowning in shame, Aura rested her cheek on her right arm lying as her mental and physical fatigue left her, and watched him very interested.
Most of her sweat had drawn back too. The temperature tonight was around 25-30°C. Sleeping naked posed no problem as long as one wiped away the sweat.
“Then shall we go to sleep? We have an early morning tomorrow.”
Looking her husband, who finally faced her, into the eyes, Aura asked for his opinion.
Their bridal night concluded without problems.
The main event of the marriage ceremony was completed today, but from tomorrow onwards, there were still other things to be done, like the parade in the imperial carriage through the streets of the capital.
They couldn’t afford to cut down on their sleeping time.
He must have remembered these future plans. Even while he gave the voluminous breasts of his wife a regretful look, he nodded, but then he suddenly remembered something important.
“Oh! I totally forgot!!”
Standing up out of the blue, Zenjirou got off the bed, so Aura called out to him surprised.
“Wait a moment, I’ll be back real quick!”
He rushed out of the bedroom with these words into the living room.
“…What was that?”
Aura, still naked, sat up on the bed and tilted her head. Shortly thereafter Zenjirou, naked too, came back from the living room.
Unlike before, he was now holding a small box of blue velvet cloth in his right hand.
Aura suddenly remembered that Zenjirou had asked her to lend him a ring for her left ring finger before he returned to his world once.
“So this is… I see.”
It was easy to guess what was inside that box once she remembered that.
Back in the room, Zenjirou pulled off Aura’s clothes from the LED lamp and the room brightened up again.
“Aura. Can you get off the bed and stand in front of me? It won’t take long.”
She obediently did as he said.
Even if she already knew that she would get something, it was still exciting when it came down to it.
A different kind of excitement from the earlier contact with a man accelerated her heartbeat while she stood in front of him.
The pair, both naked, confronted each other in front of the orange LED lamp.
Zenjirou took the ring with three diamonds in the socket out of the small box.
The rite of exchanging rings.
Normally, the rite was conducted in a wedding dress and tuxedo while a priest oversaw it, but since their marriage ceremony was held in the custom of the Carpa Kingdom, he couldn’t bring it up.
Nevertheless, it would be a waste to do it after the five-day ceremony was over, so he figured that it might be a good timing to hand it over after their first night together.
With that in mind, Zenjirou came up to Aura at a distance of one step with her ring in hand.
“It’s a custom of my world. The groom and bride put rings on each other’s left ring fingers during the ceremony and swear to love each other forever. Aura, give me your left hand.”
“Okay. Like this?”
Aura obediently held out her left hand before her chest, which Zenjirou grasped with his left hand and put the ring on her ring finger with his right.
“I promise to love, respect, comfort and help you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in wealth and in poverty, until death do us part. I take this oath on this ring.”
Along with the oath to love her forever, the ring was put onto the Queen’s left ring finger.
As the yellow-golden ring was colder than she expected, Aura shivered for a moment, but showed no other reaction to the wedding ring on her ring finger.
“Can I ask you to do the same? Here.”
“Y- Yeah, okay.”
Zenjirou now handed Aura a ring one sized bigger, but with the exactly same design as the ring on her finger.
With the ring in hand, she remained silent for a moment as she thought about something, but before long, she put the ring on his left ringer finger in the same way he did.
“Is that alright?”
“Yeah, thank you. Now we’re done.”
Zenjirou held the ring she had put on up high against the LED lamp and smiled happily. For an Earthling, this ring exchange definitely felt more like a “wedding” than the ceremony in the different world.
At any rate, he had done what needed to be done.
“’Wedding rings’ of oath, mhm. An interesting custom. If we spread it well enough, it might become popular here as well.”
“Haha, that would be great. That would make us the first couple ever to exchange rings.”
“Yeah, that sounds sweet.”
They naturally returned to the bed in their birthday suits.
“Good night, Aura.”
“Yeah, good night. Forgive me, but I am really going to sleep. If we do it any more, it will affect tomorrow’s events.”
“I, I won’t, really! I’ll go to sleep, too.”
Aura noticed the slightly disappointed expression of her husband and considered teasing him a bit more, but if she were to do that, it would cut down their sleeping time too, so she kept her mouth shut.
“Okay, I’ll turn off the light.”
When Zenjirou turned off the LED lamp, the bedroom with the wooden door closed fell into absolute darkness.
In the middle of the large bed, the naked pair naturally groped for holding hands.
The room was warm enough to disturb one’s sleep, yet their body warmth only felt strangely comfortable.
Before long, Aura and Zenjirou started to make quiet sleeping sounds in an embrace even if no one in particular snuggled up to the other.