Chapter #53 – Ep
A few days later.
Zenjirou was once again shaken around inside the carriage drawn by eight dragons. The other passengers were the same as before, too.
His partner for the marriage ceremony Princess Freya and her bodyguard the female warrior Skathi.
His own bodyguard Knight Natalio and the Waiting Maid of the Inner Palace Ines. A total of five people, including Zenjirou himself.
The large carriage was not all that wide, matching the width of the street, but had the length of a single railway carriage, so five people had plenty of space for themselves.
With an attached sleeping quarter, the carriage rather reminded Zenjirou of a large “camping van”.
Although it did look fancy on the outside, it had no suspension, nor rubber tires, so it could hardly be called a comfortable ride, but Zenjirou had gotten used to it on the journey there, so he did not perceive it as all that bad. And not to forget the soft cushions.
At least it was comfortable enough to allow for some casual chit-chat.
But precisely because of that, Zenjirou felt worse than on the outbound trip, which had still been a bit rough back then.
As for the reason:
“I am most interested in the sea, I guess. As long as Her Majesty Aura allows it, I wish to travel further to the south of the South Continent with the ‘Yellow Leaves’ at some point.”
Princess Freya was actively striking up a conversation with him now that they had obviously gotten closer after the latest incident.
“That sounds most fascinating. Our country lies in the centre of the western part of the South Continent. There are various countries further south and when you take the boat east from there, you can apparently get around to the southern end of the central part of the continent.”
“Oh my. I imagine it would be quite the adventure to go around the whole South Continent once someday.”
“Haha, adventurous as ever, I see. But I reckon it would be quite difficult. The northern area of the South Continent is one big lifeless desert. Even if you pass by there with the ‘Yellow Leaves‘, you need to stock up on everything plentiful beforehand. It seems there are almost no chances to restock on the way.”
“Oh, that reminds me, my vice-captain told me the same thing before.”
While conversing with Princess Freya, Zenjirou was shaking his head distressed at heart.
Not because the conversation with Princess Freya caused him a headache, but quite the contrary: He noticed that he was unwittingly drawn into the conversation with her.
Zenjirou was not so dense to miss such an obvious approach from a girl, neither was he so emotionless to be unaffected by the smile of such a beautiful princess.
It would still be a bit of an exaggeration to call it a seduction, but her physical contact had gotten a good ten centimetre more intimate, and Zenjirou was certainly stirred up by it.
(So friggin’ close!)
As a matter of fact, hardly anyone would be bothered, when he actually accepted Princess Freya, but the man in question could not abandon his monogamy values that easily.
Already married to his beloved wife Aura, he instinctively felt guilty, when another woman captivated him.
“Speaking of, Your Majesty Zenjirou, the ‘Yellow Leaves’ should finish its repairs soon. We intend to return to Valentia once to conduct a shakedown cruise, but would you like to accompany us?
It is really great to feel the sea breeze on your skin on the open sea.”
But for all that, he could not afford to cut the conversation short.
“Oh, that sounds fun. I sure would love to, when it is just a cruise near the coast. Just spare me of any surprises like suddenly heading to the North Continent, please. I would not be able to go home. Ahaha.”
“Ehm, Princess Freya? Did you hear me? Why are you suddenly falling silent?”
“Ah, no, please do not mind me. I was just thinking about something.”
“Is that so. Well, I need to check my schedule, though, if we are going to Valentia. Her Majesty might be able to ‘leap’ us there, but it will take a few days to get back after all.”
Whilst replying like that, Zenjirou reminded himself to learn to use “Teleport” by himself in the future.
As a matter of fact, he had succeeded in pronouncing the chant for “Teleport” correctly once during this trip.
Of course he still had a long way to go, but it certainly was a big step forward towards mastering “Teleport”.
(Without ‘teleport’, I can’t go to the Twin Kingdom after all. And I really need to be able to bring a healer over from there, when Aura gives birth again.)
At this point, he recalled a certain fact.
(Oh, right. Before giving birth, we need to make a baby first. The abstinence finally ended, but then I had to go on a business trip for over a month. I’m gonna get busy with my waifu once I’m home!)
As expected, Zenjirou was pretty devoted to Aura.
Deep in thought about sex fantasies with Aura, Zenjirou did not noticed how the silver-haired princess sitting next to him heaved a small sigh as though she suffered a defeat.
* * *
Around the same time in the Royal Palace, the Queen of the Carpa Kingdom and beloved wife of Zenjirou: Aura I. exposed an unbecoming appearance by baring her bosoms to the man in front of her.
Having said this, the Queen was not having an affair or anything.
Sitting on a chair, Aura was revealing her chest to a bearded elderly man with white hair: The Royal Physician Doctor Michelle.
Needless to say, the aged physician showed not the slightest reaction to the ample bust of the Queen, but rather palpated her belly with a serious look.
“How is it, Your Majesty? Do you feel something, when I press down here?”
“…No, nothing out of the ordinary, really.”
“Hmm, I see. Thank you, Your Majesty. You may put your clothes back on now.”
In light of his words, Aura fixed her dress, covering her exposed front again.
After adjusting the crimson red dress skilfully, she asked the trustworthy doctor right away.
“So, let me hear your opinion. Am I carrying a ‘second child’?”
Just like she had said, the doctor had been checking, whether Queen Aura was pregnant with a second child or not.
Her menstruation had been late this month. Normally, it should have come roughly ten days ago. Since it did not, she had wondered: “Could it be?”
So with these expectations, she had asked Doctor Michelle for a check-up, but the old physician shook his head with a pensive face.
“Hard to say. To be honest, I could not find any symptoms of a pregnancy.”
The Queen displayed an obvious disappointment to the words from Doctor Michelle.
“I see. Well, I am not having any aversions or cravings like before. Then it is just an irregularity in my monthly cycle, I guess.”
With these words, the Queen tried to stand up from her chair, but the aged doctor stopped her with a wave of his hand.
“No, Your Majesty, it is too early to say that. It saddens me as a doctor to say this, but even seasoned doctors have trouble to diagnose a pregnancy in its early stage.
It is entirely possible that you are pregnant, when you are having coitus and your menstruation fails to appear.”
“Is that so? But I am not going through the food aversions or cravings like I did with Carlos.”
Although nurturing a hope again, the Queen was still doubtful, whereas the elderly physician explained in a soft tone.
“Most women certainly show such signs during a pregnancy, but they do not necessarily go through the same every single time.
It is not unheard of that a woman craves for some sour food on her first pregnancy, but wishes for some sweet food on her second pregnancy.”
“Oh? Then we cannot rule out the possibility?”
The Queen exhibited a glint in her two brown eyes, which could be mistaken as red on a glance.
“Indeed. So for at least half a month, I want you to act on the assumption that you are pregnant. That means drinking alcohol as always is out of the question.”
Even the Monarch of a country was weak against the prescription of a doctor.
“Ugh… So be it. Ah, does that mean I should refrain from night-time activities until the results are out, too? My husband is supposed to return in a few days…”
“That goes without saying.”
When the Queen asked him the question she suddenly thought of, Doctor Michelle immediately replied like that.
On Modern Earth, sexual intercourse during pregnancy was not prohibited per se as long as you were mindful of contraception and position, but unfortunately, the medical science had not advanced that far in this world.
So the prescription from Doctor Michelle was only natural.
But it was a somewhat troubling matter for Aura.
“Hmm, so my husband will have to endure it again for at least half a month, or possibly a year, even when he gets home.”
Aura knew from a matter of fact, not out of conceit, that Zenjirou only had eyes for her.
The best way to console a grumpy Zenjirou for the concubine matter had been sleeping with him. And now he was returning while that option was no longer viable.
“Sheesh, what am I going to do…”
The Queen actually bothered her head about the supposedly happy news of a possible pregnancy.
Extra Stories about the Waiting Maids and their Master: Game Device Maintenance
After their Master Zenjirou had departed for the March of Guzzle, the Inner Palace was engulfed in a hectic atmosphere.
One of the waiting maids had already left the Inner Palace, because of her engagement, whereas two other waiting maids were still remaining here, even though their engagement had been decided as well. In exchange, three new waiting maids had come in.
The change in the staff alone was already pretty demanding, but the existence of Princess Freya from the Uppsala Kingdom came on board, at that.
Her chances as a “concubine” candidate were so high it was practically set in stone already.
Needless to say, it would still be far off into the future until Princess Freya moved into the Inner Palace, even if she was set to become a concubine, but the attending waiting maids were obviously confronted with various changes long way before that.
They had to clean the currently closed off annex, so it was ready to welcome a resident at any time, and needed to adjust their workload for cleaning and filling the bath, since there would be one more preferential person using it.
On top of that, Zenjirou had suggested building a sauna in according with the culture of Princess Freya’s home country, so Supervisory Maid Amanda also had to wrack her brain about its location and fuel as well as water supply.
Whilst the Inner Palace was caught up in turmoil like that, the “Three Troublemakers” Fay, Dolores and Rethe were troubled by something entirely different.
The entrance of a concubine was nothing but a concern for the future. But the “Three Troublemakers” were currently facing a problem so acute that they had no time to think ahead. Due to it, the girls were given sleepless nights lately.
A problem so grave it did not let the “Three Troublemakers” sleep at night.
Namely: “Zenjirou took the two portable game consoles with him“ and nothing more.
“Uhh… I’m bored…”
The petite waiting maid Fay lay flat on her bed in their private room and lamented pathetically.
Even speaking generously, the scene of her trashing about her two legs as she lay prone in her nightwear could only be described as a “child throwing a silent tantrum”.
Fortunately enough, the room was wrapped in complete darkness right now.
“Shut up, Fay. I can’t sleep.”
Sleeping neatly on her back in the next bed, the slim and tall waiting maid Dolores raised an angry voice. It was pretty much a false accusation, though.
The one to point that out was their other roommate sleeping in the third bed: Rethe.
“Dolores-chan, I doubt you would be able to sleep, even if she were to be quiet~”
Although not visible in the darkness right now, her characteristic voluptuous breasts could still be identified as “big” at a glance, when she was laying on her back. She rebuked her roommate with a leisurely tone, giving an account of her inborn personality.
“Well, maybe so…”
As a matter of fact, the reason the three of them could not sleep at night was not related to noise in the slightest.
They simply could not sleep, because they usually did not go to bed this early.
Normally, the three girls would indulge themselves in playing with the portable game console in turns at this time.
In that regard, they were the spitting image of a middle or high school student, who had the habit to stay up late to play games.
The game console had been taken away from them and their monthly supply of oil for illumination had a limit, so they could not light it up all that often. As a result, there was nothing else to do but sleep. However, that was easier said than done.
So the “Three Troublemakers” continued to make some contextless conversation until the tiredness would take over.
“Hmm, I wonder what Master Zenjirou is doing right now? He wouldn’t delete our save data by accident, would he?”
“D- Don’t jinx it! I don’t even want to think about it! The games are fun and all, but I definitely wouldn’t want to start games like Gekirin from scratch again.”
Dolores sat up with a shocked expression in reaction to the words from Fay. Well, who could blame her? Even if you liked games, it was not all that fun to slay hundreds of the same monster in order to get a rare drop.
All the more for Dolores, who was especially unlucky. Although an item had a drop rate of two percent, she actually managed to not get a single drop after killing over hundred monsters (even though one was supposed to drop every fifty kills).
Games are a good entertainment, but rare drop farming is a pain in the ass.
That was what Dolores said with her head plunged into her pillow, when she finally obtained the item after one-hundred and thirty kills.
“Haha~ I would hate that, too~ If that happened to me, I might not play that game anymore~”
On the other hand, Rethe was luckier than Dolores, but had a hopeless talent for the controls, so she gave her honest opinion.
But in actual fact, their worries were completely unfounded.
Zenjirou owned a couple of memory cards for the save data of the portable game consoles.
Aside from the beginning, where he “competed” against the waiting maids in the drop-down puzzle game or the go-cart racing game, Zenjirou was now changing the memories cards for when he was playing by himself or lending it to the waiting maids by tagging the console with “free to take”.
Needless to say, the two game consoles he had taken with him on the current trip had his personal memories cards inserted.
The waiting maids obviously did not know about these circumstances. They may be called the “Three Troublemakers”, but they were still proper waiting maids of the Inner Palace. There was no way they would be allowed to freely fiddle around with the borrowed game console of their master.
Accordingly, they only knew how to swap the game software and how to turn the console on and off from the manual translated by Zenjirou.
Well, considering the fact that they took the gaming device of their master to their own room almost every night and played until dropping with exhaustion, they were “Troublemakers” alright, even if it said “free to take”.
“Ugh, now that they’re gone, I start to miss the games even more…”
“Yeah, you can say that again…”
It stood to reason that the Supervisory Maid called them “Troublemakers”, when Fay and the others were chatting away daydreaming, because they could not sleep, but they deserved some pity as well.
After all, the reason they had developed the habit of “staying up late” was Zenjirou’s fault.
With the LED floor lamps from Earth at his side, Zenjirou was staying up late (by the standards of this world) at night. And Queen Aura ended up doing the same, because she was living with him.
Since the waiting maids had to take care of them, some of them were required to do their duties late into the night.
More precisely, the waiting maids on cleaning duty also waited on them, so they had to be on stand-by in the room next to the living room until Zenjirou and Aura went to bed.
All other departments, cooking, gardening and bathing, were going to bed like always. Due to that, the waiting maids had a somewhat erratic work schedule.
Most of them had gotten used to the irregular bed time, but the recently admitted new waiting maids had not gotten used to the late-night work hours yet and were fighting against the tiredness inside the antechamber.
In contrast, the “Three Troublemakers” had adopted to working late hours all too well.
While on cleaning duty, they obviously worked late into the night, but even on the other duties, they took the game console to their room and played until sleep got the better of them.
In other words, the daily rhythm from cleaning duty had become the norm for all other days as well.
They stayed up late on a daily basis. That sounded extremely unhealthy, but “staying up late” in this world would not even be considered as such in Modern Japan. At the very least, they were not staying up past midnight here.
The days also started early, so a direct comparison fell short, but at the very least, they could get enough sleep, when they got used to it while still young.
Precisely because of that, the three girls were facing the problem of sleeplessness right now, though.
“Aw, shut up. You’re so noisy.”
“Hmm…. I feel a bit sleepy~ I think~?”
The hushed, but importunate conversation of the “Three Troublemakers” continued on a for a little while longer.
* * *
Supervisory Maid Amanda was, like the title given to her implied, an extremely capable servant with a lot of skills and work experience.
But even someone like her was serving a “person from a different world” for the first time.
For Zenjirou, it only looked like she was doing her job absolutely flawlessly, but she actually considered him a rather “demanding” master.
After all, her normal common sense did not apply to him.
He hated the smell of aromatic oil and the smell of sweat just as much. Moreover, he was being considerate towards the servants for some reason and never voiced any of these discomforts.
Waiting Maid and high-born nobility alike, Supervisory Maid Amanda was quite adept at reading the expression of others, but she would have never thought she had to use that skill in its entirety for her employing master instead of social gatherings.
But rather than these trivia, Supervisory Maid Amanda viewed Zenjirou to “be a handful”, because he was “going easy on” the waiting maids.
Only the work of the young waiting maids became lighter, when their master went easy on them. Supervisory Maid Amanda had to oversee these young waiting maids, so a lenient master was, if anything, troublesome for her.
The Supervisory Maid had to be strict with the guidance and supervision of the young waiting maids. But when the master in question acted lenient towards the maids, the waiting maids just ended up taking it easy.
And it was even worse in Zenjirou’s case: He was not only lenient with them, he actually preferred it, when the maids released their tension.
Approving a relaxed atmosphere around their lenient master while preventing the skills of the young waiting maids from getting rusty and enforcing the rules, when it matters. Supervisory Maid Amanda was expected to reconcile these two contradictions. It was quite the tall order.
After more than a year, she believed that she had gotten a good idea of his lenience, but what he told her before leaving for his trip boggled even her mind a bit.
“I am fully aware that Master Zenjirou is a lenient person and that he especially took a liking to the ‘Three Troublemakers’… but I am getting the feeling that he is being far too indulgent this time.”
Mumbling to herself, Supervisory Maid Amanda heaved a sigh, but there was no way she could ignore an order from her master.
So she shrugged her shoulders while massaging her temples with her index finger and thumb.
* * *
The sign said Supervisory Maid Office, but it felt more like an interrogation room. Not all the young waiting maids were thinking that, but at least Fay, Dolores and Rethe took that view.
Summoned to that Supervisory Maid Office, the “Three Troublemakers” stood before Supervisory Maid Amanda with meek expressions.
They were used to it by now.
“We have come at your behest.”
“What can we do for you~?”
Supervisory Maid Amanda heaved a sigh, seeing as the “Three Troublemakers” already had resigned themselves to being scolded from the fact alone that they were called to the office at lunch break.
(In other words, they have a guilty conscience. And probably about various things, at that. Sheesh, these girls…)
As though showing them an example, Supervisory Maid Amanda stood neatly and tidily before the three young maids, speaking to them.
“Fay, Dolores, Rethe. I have a special assignment for you.”
For a second, the “Three Troublemakers” reacted with repulsion in unison.
“Please just say the word~”
It really only lasted for a second. In the next moment, they answered loud and clear, but it gave Supervisory Maida Amanda a headache.
(To think a waiting maid of the Inner Palace would actually display displeasure in the face of work… I will have to reeducate them later on.)
Even while harbouring such thoughts, Supervisory Maid Amanda had perfect control over her emotions, so nothing of it could be discerned in her expression, nor her voice.
“Then I shall give you the details. However, know that this assignment is not something you have to undertake at all costs. If you think it goes beyond your abilities, just come out and say so.
You girls know about the personal belongings Master Zenjirou brought along from his homeland, correct?”
Personal belongings from Zenjirou. The “Three Troublemakers” flinched in reaction to the words. After all, anything involving these usually entailed either “something yummy” or “something fun”.
Seeing the three of them immediately lean forward with a glint in their eyes, Supervisory Maid Amanda felt vindicated in thinking they needed reeducation.
(It kind of irritates me how their positive to a fault thinking is right this time. Good grief, Master Zenjirou is way too lenient.)
“You see, a certain personal belonging from Master Zenjirou is collecting dust while he is away. He told me that it would be hurtful to leave it untouched for a long time, so if possible, he wants us to put it to use at times.”
Comprehending the meaning of these words at once, the “Three Troublemakers” could no longer withhold their excitement and showed bright smiles.
“Please leave it to us!”
“We will do our best~!”
The personal belonging in question was the stationary game console from Zenjirou.
Needless to say, the “hurtful to leave it untouched for a long time” was nothing but an excuse. Zenjirou was just being generous.
The game console was also an electrical appliance, so of course it was better to run it regularly, but it was nothing so fragile that it would stop functioning just from neglecting it for a mere month.
No matter how you look at it, it was obviously just an excuse to let the “Three Troublemakers” play with the stationary game console.
Zenjirou had remembered how Fay and the other two had watched the screen full of curiosity, when he had played with the console in the living room.
As far as he was concerned, he would have invited them to play together, but considering their standings as master and servants, he could not do that.
If word were to spread that he invited the waiting maids on duty to play with him, it was more than likely that the maids would be considered his concubines. Of course that was quite oversimplifying the matter, but not entirely unthinkable, so he ought to be careful about it.
Hence he used the current business trip as an excuse to let Fay and the others play with the stationary game console.
(Just how much does Master Zenjirou intend to spoil them?)
Heaving a sigh only at heart, Supervisory Maid Amanda declared with a strict expression.
“Having said this, you will be doing this in addition to your normal work and I will not stand for it, when you neglect your assigned tasks, so do it at night after you are done with your usual duties.
Her Majesty Aura has already given her permission. Once she has retreated to her bedchamber, you may use the living room. Of course you are not allowed to make any noises that disturb her slumber and it goes without saying that you will be tidying everything up perfectly afterwards. Also, you only have an hour at the maximum.
Her Majesty Aura is not as lenient as Master Zenjirou after all.”
Supervisory Maid Amanda cautioned them like that, so even the “Three Troublemakers” became anxious, looking meek.
Queen Aura was not an unreasonable master, who vented on her servants, but just like Amanda had said, she was not as tolerant as Zenjirou, either.
When a mere maid dared to cause trouble for her master, she was sure to get punished. Even more so while Zenjirou, who usually smoothed things over, was away.
“Yes, we will be careful.”
“We shall cause no trouble for Her Majesty.”
“We will play quietly~”
Straightening their backs, the three young waiting maids spoke determined.
“I do hope so.”
Answering them expressionless, Supervisory Maid Amanda heaved the biggest sigh at heart today.
(When I mentioned Her Majesty Aura, they admittedly pulled themselves together, but neither did they back down. Especially Rethe.)
“And Rethe, this is a work assignment, not ‘playing around’.”
“Yes, my apologies~”
Supervisory Maid Amanda remarked with her eyes narrowed to slits, whereupon Rethe widened her tension-free slitted eyes and lowered her head with attitude.
* * *
On the night of the same day, the living room of the Inner Palace accommodated three people.
One petite figure like a child. One slim and tall figure like a model. And one glamorous figure with breasts so enormous you could tell by its silhouette alone.
It were Fay, Dolores and Rethe.
Zenjirou would describe the living room right now as “pitch-black”, but the people of this world were used to seeing in the dark, so the room was still bright enough for them to move around as long as they paid attention.
The control device of the hydropower generator and the panel of the large refrigerator were continuously emitting light after all.
This sparse illumination was enough to discern the positions of the furniture. But it only prevented you from bumping your foot into stuff like the couch, at best. Any more demanding movements required a proper light.
After slowly getting to the couch by walking on tiptoe like a thief, Fay turned on the LED floor lamp standing near the couch.
“Uwah, so bright.”
(Idiot, not so loud! Her Majesty Aura will hear us in the bedchamber!)
Fay apologized sincerely, when Dolores scolded her with a glare.
For better or worse, even the optimistic and carefree Fay was afraid of Queen Aura. Not only because she wielded a factual authority and physical strength, but because of her overwhelming aura that made you bow as a reflex, when she glared at you.
(Hmm, I guess we better do not turn on any more lights~?)
(Well, I get the feeling that would be too overcautious, but this much light is enough, so yeah.)
Fay agreed to Rethe’s suggestion like that.
(Then let’s get started. Do you girls know how to plug it in? I guess not. I’ll do it.)
The one to take the initiative like that was Dolores. The tall woman got down on all fours by putting her hands and feet onto the carpet and took the white stationary game console out of the TV stand.
(Ehm… I think this goes in there? And this is the powah. Rethe, plug this into the outlätt.)
Dolores prepared the console almost without trial-and-error, but through checking every cable carefully one by one, whereupon Fay widened her eyes a bit beside her.
(Dolores, why do you know how to connect this?)
Still on all fours, Dolores turned only her head around in reaction to the question, and smiled proudly.
(Fufu, as a matter of prudence, I paid attention, when Master Zenjirou took out or put away this device. Yes, all for the sake of tonight!)
Dolores threw out her chest ostentatious while on all fours, which could look quite erotic depending on the viewpoint, yet there was not the slightest bit of sex appeal coming from her. Maybe because she was too slender? Or because she had nothing but the game console on her mind?
Anyway, it was very typical of Dolores to remember the connections of the game console in advance.
Amongst the “Three Troublemakers”, Dolores was considered to be a handful least of all not because she was more diligent than Fay or Rethe, but because she was especially “far-seeing”.
Just like this time. Fay and Rethe only looked at the current situation of playing with the game console as a “piece of good fortune”, but Dolores had anticipated it as a “possible scenario in the future”.
Put another way: She was belittling Zenjirou more than anyone.
In any case, they did not have to waste any time preparing the console by trial and error thanks to it, so it was a godsend.
(…And this goes in there… Now I only have to turn it on. Yes, it works!)
When the television displayed the start screen of the game, the three waiting maids could no longer contain their excitement.
(Controller! Where’s the controller!)
(Hey, Fay, I’m first. I set up everything after all.)
(Ahaha, take it easy, Fay-chan. Dolores-chan deserves to have her turn first~)
Lowering their voices as much as possible, the three girls flushed their cheeks with enthusiasm and cautiously wielded the controllers of the game console.
The scene very much resembled a naughty kid playing with the game console in secret after the parents went to sleep.
Having been such a child, Zenjirou might have asked them to let him join on the spur of nostalgia, if he were to see this.
His elementary school days were a cherished memory, as he had often played a RPG in the living room behind his parents’ back.
It would be a heart-warming scene reminiscing the days of childhood for him.
However, Zenjirou was not here. The waiting maids were all by themselves.
With a glint in their eyes from playing with the stationary game console for the first time, the maids operated their controllers.
They could only read the Arabic numerals. Japanese and occasionally displayed English were beyond their capabilities, of course. This being the case, they could only play by a trial-and-error method, but console games were made in such a way that you could figure out the correct controls before long by twiddling with them at random.
All the more so, because they were playing with a game console right now that utilized a so-called “motion controller”, where a game functioned by just swinging the controller around.
The “Three Troublemakers” were abnormally quick learners, when it came to games, to begin with, so it did not take all that long until they were fully immersed in it.
About thirty minutes later.
(Yeah, got it!)
Once the “Three Troublemakers” had mastered the motion controller, they were enjoying the game cheerfully.
At the moment, Fay and Dolores were standing in front of the TV screen, swinging their controllers. Rethe was sitting on the couch behind them and watching over their activities with a smile.
The current software in the console was a game that combined various sport games in one and they were playing a tennis doubles right now.
Fay and Dolores had teamed up and were competing against a computer-controlled doubles team.
On the screen, four characters were running around a tennis court and hitting a yellow tennis ball back and forth.
It was a close match by now, but their debut had been horrible. Their inexperience had yielded so many weird moves that you could expect the view count to skyrocket in no time, if you were to upload a video of it to the internet.
That much was self-evident, though. Let alone the controls, the three of them did not even knew the rules of the sports known as “tennis”.
They tried to return the serve without letting it bounce first. On the other hand, they did not realize they were allowed to return everything else without a bounce, so they tried to return all shots only after they bounced once.
Fay and Dolores suffered one defeat after another before they finally managed a tennis rally worth of the name.
Even without understanding the rules of tennis or the displayed text, they realized that they had “lost” through their own crestfallen characters, the rejoicing opponent characters and the gloomy music, whose volume was turned down to a minimum.
As a result, their inherent competitive spirit was raised and they continued the tennis game until they won.
(Yes, good one, Fay!)
And now, on their memorable first winning streak of five games, both of them were covered in sweat on their forehead.
(Wow, you are both great~)
They were not allowed to make any loud noises, so Rethe said it with a soft voice while giving them a symbolic applause. Reminded of her existence thereby, Dolores turned around with a somewhat guilty expression.
(Ah, sorry. You wanna play, too, right.)
When all is said and done, the “Three Troublemakers” were getting along just fine.
Dolores and Fay were both unwittingly considerate of the somewhat mentally challenged Rethe, in particular.
(Here, Rethe. Do you want to keep playing this hit-the-ball-over-the-net game?)
Fay handed Rethe, who slowly stood up from the couch, her controller.
(Thanks, Fay-chan. I want to play the one Master Zenjirou plays ever so often~ You know, the one, where you have to hit a thrown ball with a round stick~)
(Okay. It should go like this… Yes, I switched it, Rethe!)
(Yay, thank you, Dolores-chan~)
Rethe started playing a baseball game.
This game of baseball was extremely simplified and the player could generally only act as the batter or pitcher. In other words, it was a one-on-one fight between the batter and pitcher, whereby you either threw or hit the ball.
At first, Rethe had faced off against the computer (with devastating results), but now, the three of them were playing against each other on a rotating basis.
The earlier tennis game had team play and the current baseball game had competitive play. Being able to play together with other people was the redeeming feature of the stationary game console.
Of course it was possible to do that with a number of portable game consoles as well, but Zenjirou was not such a game maniac that he would own numerous consoles of the same kind.
If anything, he was a casual gamer to the point that it came at a surprise that he actually owned more than one controller for the stationary game console. The only reason he had more than one was due to the fact that he had bought the console during his university days, a period where his friends would often stay over to play games.
In this sense, the girls were kind of lucky that they could play together now.
(Here I go!)
(Yeah, bring it on~ I, I hit it. I hit it, Fay-chan~)
Holding the controller in her hand, Fay mimicked throwing a ball, whereas Rethe swung the controller in her hand like a bat.
Lacking in the athletic department, Rethe had the worst ranking amongst the three, but she was always showing a happy smile during the game.
In terms of enjoyment, Rethe might be the clear winner here. It would be a different matter, if there was a prize such as snacks on the line like last time, but without that, you were a winner as long as you had fun.
And while the three of them were immersed in the game, the door of the living room was suddenly opened with a quiet clatter sound.
They automatically froze up, because they thought that the Supervisory Maid had come to scold them.
As far as they were concerned, they had obeyed her words and played quietly, but they could not deny it, either, that they let themselves get carried away. Maybe they had been too loud after all? Was the scary Supervisory Maid going to scold them again?
Harbouring these fears, the “Three Troublemakers” faced the door with a tense look, but fortunately enough, an unexpected person entered the room.
“Oh my? Fancy meeting you here.”
All three heaved a sigh of relief, when a waiting maid with unusual glamorous long blonde hair for the South Continent, deep-green eyes and distinctively white skin made an appearance.
“Oh, just Margret.”
“Sheesh, don’t scare us like that.”
“Fuwah~ I was startled~”
Although Margret was a waiting maid of the Inner Palace, she was not working under Zenjirou, but reported directly to Queen Aura. It was a somewhat special position, but she was not their superior, but rather an equated co-worker.
They usually did not deal with her all that much, because she was working directly under Aura, but Margret was sociable and friendly towards everyone on the surface, so Fay and the others paid no mind to her position and viewed her as a friend.
Margret widened her green eyes for a moment, when she saw the “Three Troublemakers” playing the television game, but she recovered her usual soft smile in no time and walked into the living room with smooth footsteps.
“Should you be doing this? If Her Majesty Aura or Mrs. Amanda were to find you here, you would not get away with a simple scolding, you know.”
Cocking her head, the blonde maid cautioned them like that, whereat Fay raised both her hand in protest, so that her short black hair dishevelled.
“No! We properly got permission from Mrs. Amanda!”
“Fay, you’re too loud. But she’s right, Margret. Master Zenjirou assigned us a job. We have to put his personal belongings to use while he’s away.
Apparently it’s bad, when they just sit there collecting dust.”
“…I see now.”
In light of the answer from Dolores, Margret pondered for a moment, then showed understanding.
It did made sense at large, but she also knew how enviously the three of them were normally watching Zenjirou play the games, so she could see through the official pretext all the way to the true intentions from Zenjirou.
Anyway, there was not really any reason to reprimand them, when Zenjirou, the master of the Inner Palace, had given them permission for it.
“Well, if you say so. But please be mindful of the noise. Her Majesty Aura is resting next door after all.”
“Ah, don’t tell me we could be heard in the hallway?”
The blood drained from Dolores’ brown face, whereupon Margret shook her head with a reassuring smile.
“No, fear not. You could not be heard. So please keep it at this sound level.”
To be honest, though, that was a lie. When she had grabbed the doorknob of the living room door, her sensitive ears had picked up some strange noises.
However, Margret had only managed to hear them, because she had undergone a spying training from an early age. From all the people inside the Inner Palace right now, she was the one and only one, who could pick up noises of this level.
“Hmm~? Then why are you here, Margret-chan~?”
Like always, Rethe asked with an unimpassioned tone and Margret replied with a small smile.
“You could say, I am the same as you girls. Master Zenjirou requested me to do a special job as well.”
With these words, she headed straight for the refrigerator standing in one corner of the room.
“Master Zenjirou did?”
Giving the “Three Troublemakers”, who paused the game and cocked their head puzzled, a sideglance, the blonde waiting maid took a silver jug out of the refrigerator and poured its contents into a wooden cup.
The white fluid inside the silver jug was— Goat milk.
Margret downed the drink in one gulp without hesitation, whereupon the “Three Troublemakers” tossed their game controllers onto the couch and approached her.
“Ehm, did Master Zenjirou not say not to drink that?”
“Yeah. What’re you doing, Margret?”
“I- If we are allowed to drink it, I want to drink some, too~”
The blonde waiting maid shrugged her shoulders for a bit, when the “Three Troublemakers” pressed her, and replied.
“I am allowed to, because I am ‘used to’ it.”
Then she gave the cup smeared in white milk a distant look.
Zenjirou had forbidden the waiting maids to drink the goat milk, because the milk was still smelling of animal and grass and hence was hard to swallow.
There was no milk-producing livestock on the South Continent, so almost no one had tasted dairy products before.
It left a lasting impression, when you put unfamiliar food or drink into your mouth for the first time. If they were to drink the smelly goat milk first, it was quite likely they would develop an aversion towards milk products.
So Zenjirou was forbidding the waiting maids of the Inner Palace to drink the goat milk until the taste improved to a “passable” level, but Margret was an exception to that.
The blonde waiting maid was not drinking goat milk for the first time after all. For her, it was a “nostalgic” flavour she had drunken every day, when she was younger.
“Not fair~ So lucky~ You are so lucky, Margret-chan~”
Rethe was being the most jealous of them.
Her smile was normally the personification of kindness, but she liked cooking and was actually aiming to succeed the position of the cooking department head for real, so she had a weakness for unfamiliar ingredients.
Pressed by Rethe to the point that her large breasts were almost hitting her, Margret conveyed comfort while showing a wry smile.
“Still, I believe that Master Zenjirou is right in his decision. It still smells quite a bit and to be honest, I cannot really say that it is all that delicious.”
“But I wanna drink it~”
“Please restrain yourself a little longer. Mr. Nicolai is doing his best to improve it, so it should not take all that long.”
The subordinate of Princess Freya, a young man named Nicolai, was currently allocated to the Carpa Royal Family in order to teach them about the keeping of goats. He was a livestock expert with skills and knowledge transcending his young age.
When they adjusted the environment to the goats and changed their feed according to his instruction, the distasteful smell of the goat milk already started to thin out.
Moreover, Nicolai was apparently quite knowledgeable about making dairy products like cheese, yoghurt, butter and fresh cream as well.
Rethe would not really lose anything by postponing the sampling until then.
“…Okay, I get it. I will restrain myself~”
“Yes, good girl. Master Zenjirou seems to know a couple of deserts made with dairy products. If you drink the bad goat milk now and start to dislike dairy products altogether as a result, you might reject the deserts and not enjoy them anymore.”
“Eh? New deserts? From Master Zenjirou?”
“I can’t wait for that. We’re counting on you then, Rethe.”
Loosing themselves in the topic, the waiting maids were chatting away like always at some point and neglected the still running game console.
And then the time limit of one hour expired.
As a consequence, the door of the living room was knocked merciless.
The “Three Troublemakers” were at a loss for words and faced the door, where unfortunately the very person they expected stood without saying a word.
Supervisory Maid Amanda, the person in charge of the whole Inner Palace, did not even bat an eye, when she saw that living room was not yet tidied up despite the time limit being up, and just declared indifferently.
“Fay, Dolores, Rethe and Margret. Clean up this place at once and then come to my office.”
“Understood, Mrs. Amanda.”
“…I apologize for the inconveniences.”
The “Three Troublemakers” and blonde waiting maid started to clean up with resigned expressions each.