“Wendelin, sorry for last night.”
“Don’t worry, it’s better than the situation developing into a battle once again.” (Wendelin)
The coup d’etat by Therese’s elder brothers and the empress, who is Peter’s mother-in-law, ended in failure.
The ringleader, the empress, Marquis Areil, several high-ranking nobles and Therese’s brothers killed themselves after being made to drink poisoned wine. The empress apparently kicked up a fuss as she didn’t want to drink the poison, but it ended with her having forced it down her throat. It has been decided that it will officially announced as death due to illness, but after the Marquis Areil household lost its rank and the other high-ranking nobles were told in detail about their fate by Peter, their successors inherited the peerage after being dropped one rank in peerage.
The Duke Philip household had Alfons succeed and Therese retire as Duchess. The liberation army led by Therese was dissolved, and all of them were in the middle of being reorganized into the imperial army under Gilbert’s command.
There were already no northern lords left who expressed their discontent over Peter becoming the next emperor.
After all they actually experienced just how dangerous reckless ambitions could become after learning about the big number of people suddenly dying due to illness.
As I had an audience with Peter after waking up slightly late on the next morning, Therese was happily linking her arms with me.
“Yeeeeeah, that’s no punishment at all, is it?” (Peter)
To me it looks like a punishment though. Please don’t link arms with me in such a place. The stares from Emera, Mark and the other nobles are painful.
“As expected of my friend, Wendelin. I’m envious to the limit as you apparently obtained a lovely flower.” (Lanzberg)
Only Earl Lanzberg praised me for some reason. This person, well, he has been like this from the start. He’s considering me linking arms with a beauty such as Therese to be envious from the bottom of his heart.
But you know, it’s not really as if I have such relationship with Therese yet…
“I only pray that the Empire will be guided towards a good direction by His Highness Peter from now on. As I have retired, I can’t contribute anything to it, but I will at least pray for it whenever I remember it.” (Therese)
“Why yes, thank you…” (Peter)
Peter showed an expression making it apparent that he wasn’t fully satisfied with the current situation. He sends his look towards Emera who’s next to him, but it’s unthinkable for her to link her arms with Peter in public.
“Your Highness, it’s about Therese-sama, but…” (Emera)
Being urged on by Emera, Peter continued speaking.
“At this point I won’t tediously explain the circumstances. I will consider Therese-dono’s achievements until now and provide you an annuity, albeit a modest one.” (Peter)
“That’s very welcome.” (Therese)
So that means he’s telling her to stay obedient while living in happiness. If she schemes the restoration of her powers, she will suffer the same fate as the empress and her two brothers.
Though I don’t think there’s anything to worry about since we are talking about Therese here.
“I earnestly wanted to fight against Duke Nürnberg in my own way. In the end it resulted in me exiting the stage, but it’s probably a stroke of luck to simply stay alive. For the Empire’s restoration…no, for its rebirth, you were necessary, Peter-dono. In that case there’s nothing left but me stepping down without having a turn of my own.” (Therese)
Therese boldly declared that she would never again get involved in the Empire’s politics.
“I’d like to give the highest praise to your determination, Therese-dono, but…can’t you stop linking arms with Wendelin already?” (Peter)
“The current me is a free woman.” (Therese)
I also wondered whether she would remove her arm, but as Therese’s breasts are soft, I give up. A free mind is something frightening.
“I see. I’m also a free man, so link arms with me, Emera.” (Peter)
“No, thanks.” (Emera)
Being treated coldly by Emera as usual, Peter became teary eyed.
Once we left the Imperial Palace after the audience ended, we were suddenly called out by Ebbo, Therese’s faithful dog. Come to think of it, I wonder what this guy is going to do from now on?
“Ebbo, I won’t return to the Philip Dukedom anymore. You have to serve Alfons.” (Therese)
“No way! I am!” (Ebbo)
“You shouldn’t follow me. It will only result in unhappiness for the both of us.” (Therese)
It’s quite likely that it will trigger suspicions that Therese is aiming to retake the title of Duchess Philip with Ebbo serving as contact point. The two of them staying together is risky.
“Thanks for always being my ally. That gave me a lot of reassurance.” (Therese)
“I’m indebted to you. I’m looking forward to your future service as retainer of the Duke Philip household. Please accept this.” (Therese)
Therese handed the sword hanging at her waist to Ebbo as reward. Since she gave the exclusive sword of the Duke Philip household’s head to Alfons, it’s her personal sword.
“Isn’t this your own sword, Therese-sama!?” (Ebbo)
“I won’t need it any longer. Please put it to good use. Farewell, Ebbo.” (Therese)
Therese left as Ebbo fell to his knees and started sobbing in front of the Imperial Palace.
“I guess I feel slightly pathetic.” (Therese)
Because an adult man at an advanced age was wailing in front of the Imperial Palace, it was noticed by many people. I felt slightly embarrassed, but it wasn’t the proper time to mention that, and thus I kept my thoughts secret.
“Someone who will take care of me and a place to live will be provided by Peter-dono.” (Therese)
That’s as if she’s being monitored, isn’t it…?
“Peter-dono can’t make a mistake. Therefore it’s inevitable. For me there’s nothing to feel guilty of.” (Therese)
If Ebbo stayed at her side, she would be suspected without just cause. I think that’s why she will keep him at distance.
“Well then, right now I’m free, so please take me somewhere.” (Therese)
“Is there anyone else here?” (Therese)
Well, there’s no one besides Therese and me present.
“Ah, that’s right! Earl Lanzberg told me where to find a good establishment.” (Therese)
As a matter of fact that person is writing guiding books for recommended dating spots as hobby. I guess that means that he’s making use of his special skill as love hunter to earn some money on the side.
“I wonder what kind of store it is? How about we go and have a look?” (Wendelin)
“Aren’t you awfully obedient this time?” (Therese)
“Well, yeah.” (Wendelin)
Therese isn’t Duchess Philip anymore after all. I can treat her normally without having to pay attention to weird things.
“Let’s go then?” (Therese)
We arrived at our destination by foot within a few minutes without distancing ourselves from the Imperial Palace overly much. Appropriate to an establishment introduced by Earl Lanzberg, it looks as if it’s suited for a date with its stylish design.
“Oddly, this is our first date, isn’t it Wendelin?” (Therese)
“(Does a man and a woman drinking tea together already count as a date?)” (Wendelin)
Therese got excited by herself, but once we entered, Elise and the others were already sitting there.
Looks like they have seen through Therese’s plans a long time ago.
“Your wives have sharp intuitions, Wendelin.” (Therese)
“Last night Wilma managed to steal the achievement, but I’m also skilled at searching for the presences of others.” (Luise)
I see, even if I hide myself and try to have an affair, it will immediately get exposed by Luise.
“For today I will yield the seat next to Wend to you, Therese-sama.” (Elise)
“That kindness of yours moves me to tears.” (Therese)
Therese and I sit down at the table, where Elise and the others are sitting, next to each other.
“I mean, there’s no point in forcefully hindering you any longer. Right, Elise?”
“That’s true. Therese-sama is no longer Duchess Philip.” (Elise)
The current Therese has lost all her political influence. Does that mean that Elise and my other wives can’t say anything even if she approaches me as it depends on what I want to do?
“Wendelin-san rescued Therese-sama after all.” (Katharina)
I see. I had the option to abandon Therese at that time. It wouldn’t have been strange in any way even if I chose that option.
Huh? It’s certainly true that I saved her with quite the spirit, but are the surroundings misunderstanding that as Therese and me already being an item?
“Wendelin, it looks like this store has a peculiar menu.” (Therese)
“Peculiar menu?” (Wendelin)
Once I survey the inside, there are many couples, despite it having been just the other day when the battle over the capital took place. There appear to be people eating and drinking anywhere…no, now that I look closely, they held up glasses with two straw-like objects.
“(What a cliched development…)”
The couples hold a single glass with two straws and drink from it together.
In the Japan of recent years straws have disappeared and become a rare view even in the media, but they seem to normally exist in this world.
“Straws, huh…?” (Wendelin)
“I guess it became a fashion slightly before the civil war started. But, you are well-informed to know about it. It’s a luxury item since it can’t be created by anyone but skilled craftsmen.” (Therese)
As there isn’t anything like plastic in this world, the straws were made out of wood.
Moreover, these straws also have a rickrack part, allowing them to properly bend.
It seems that raw materials from monsters are used for that part.
If you consider that the wooden parts and the bending part have to be connected as well, a far more sophisticated technique than what I have been expecting seems to be used here.
“So they aren’t throwaway items.”
“I suppose there’s no way for them to be able to throw away an item that costs more than 150 cents per straw.”
“Ugh, how expensive!” (Wendelin)
Due to the straws costing around 15,000 Japanese Yen per item, I unintentionally end up raising my voice.
It appears this is the price for each and every single straw being handmade by a craftsman as mass production in fabrics isn’t possible…
“Come on, you will drink juice together with me.” (Therese)
“So that’s why this store, huh…?” (Wendelin)
In other words, Therese wanted to drink juice from the same glass together with me.
“Thank you for waiting.”
“Dear, let’s drink it together.” (Elise)
However, Elise and the others have ordered their juices in advance already, resulting in Therese having a late start.
“Elise-dono, isn’t that slightly unfair?” (Therese)
“We are not excluding you, Therese-sama. I believe it will depend on your own charm whether you will be able to receive an invitation. Dear, the juice looks delicious, let’s have a sip together.” (Elise)
Actually I wanted to try doing something like this. It’s also one of the keys to a happy marriage.
“It’s tasty, isn’t it?” (Elise)
“You’re right.” (Wendelin)
I realized one thing. In my previous life I thought 『Stupid couple, go and die!』 when seeing such scene, but this is something very nice after all.
Being closely observed by Elise’s cute face makes the juice even more delicious.
But, there was an unexpected pitfall in this.
“Next is my turn.” (Ina)
“Afterwards, me.” (Luise)
It would be great if we were a couple of two people, but I have five wives.
Because I have vowed to stay fair, I ended up drinking juice from the same glasses with all of them.
“Wend, all of us chose different juices.” (Ina)
“It was Ina-chan’s idea.” (Luise)
I see, in order for me to not get tired by having various flavours…time to binge drink!
“Wilma-san, isn’t that container too big?”
“Is it? For me it’s rather on the small side.” (Wilma)
I don’t know why this store has something like that on the menu, but Wilma had ordered a huge glass of juice.
“Wendelin-san, it will be problematic if you only drink cold juice, right? Accordingly I ordered warm coffee. Ouch, it’s hot!” (Katharina)
Katharina burns herself by drinking the hot coffee through the straw.
“Yaaaaay, I want to drink juice together with you as well, Therese.” (Wendelin)
Since Therese, who was beaten to the punch by Elise and the others albeit being the one who invited me, looked like an abandoned kitten, I agreed to drink juice together with her against my better judgment.
Because she’s smiling happily from the depths of her heart – something she hasn’t shown to me so far – I believed that I could regard that as good outcome, but…
“Your belly is flabby.”
That only makes sense.
Drinking the half of each of the six beverages…my stomach ended up being full since it’s normal for the man to drink the bigger share in such case, although it was different for Wilma.
Once we came back home, I lie down on the sofa in the guest house.
“Hoo, such stores are currently trendy in the capital? Haruka-san, let’s go together next time.” (Erwin)
“Yes, by all means.” (Haruka)
Hearing me talking about that store, Erw perceived this as good opportunity and invited Haruka.
“I see…won’t you let me accompany you as well, Erwin? How about drinking tea together?” (Takeomi)
“… No, thanks.” (Erwin)
And yet, Takeomi-san immediately came interrupting. This person should finally stop and give up.
“Something like that is popular between the youths of the capital? What to say, I guess I belong in the group of old people?” (Burkhart)
“I would have also gone if I were twenty years younger!” (Armstrong)
When the chat turned in the direction of Burkhart-san and Doushi joining in as well, a visitor appeared.
It was Earl Lanzberg who introduced himself as 『Love Hunter』.
“Therese-dono, how was that establishment?” (Lanzberg)
“It was a cafe with an interesting idea. There were also many customers.” (Therese)
“That’s wonderful. The distance between lovers will shorten and even I will also get some income. Everyone will become happy.” (Lanzberg)
“That’s your cafe!?” (Burkhart)
“For my activity as love hunter I need a reasonable amount of money after all.” (Lanzberg)
Earl Lanzberg answered Burkhart-san’s retort without any shyness.
“It was quite troublesome to have those straws bend at the tip. If the straws are straight, the faces will be too close. Those who think that it’s better for the faces to be close don’t really understand love. An appropriate distance is necessary for lovers. That distance will turn into a spice of them craving for each other.” (Lanzberg)
He’s capable, but because of the rules of his family, he can only work as manager of the Imperial Palace. Enjoying love in his free time, he’s earning some money for his funds on the side by making use of his special skills.
I wondered, whether his way isn’t actually the smartest way to live your life.
Oh well, it’s nothing I can imitate though…