“I welcome you, my future husband. First off, I offer you my apologies for my impolite behaviour of bringing you here into this world, into this palace of mine without any notice. I ask you to forgive me.”
The captivating beautiful woman with red hair and light brown skin called out to him with a sweet smile.
The man the woman called out to— Yamai Zenjirou raised a dumbfounded voice without comprehending the situation at all.
Just what was going on?
If Zenjirou’s memory proved him right, today should be Saturday, the first holiday after half a year, where he didn’t have to work.
Since he could rarely enjoy two consecutive holidays after becoming a working adult, he knowingly woke up at the same time like during the week and took a drive with his bicycle to the nearby convenience store to fetch some breakfast. He properly remembered it up to this point.
And as a matter of fact, Zenjirou’s bottom was placed on the saddle of the bicycle even now and his hands were holding the handle.
Stuffed into the front basket were the heated up “Fried Chicken Lunchbox” and a 500ml pet bottle with green tea.
To confirm his sanity, Zenjirou, still sitting on the bicycle, reached out his right hand and tried touching the lunch box and tea in the basket.
The lunch box was warm and the tea cold. This actual sensation made this unlikely to be a dream. While on the topic, the lunch box hadn’t cooled down and the tea hadn’t become lukewarm, so it was unlikely too that he lost consciousness and was taken somewhere far away without knowing it.
However, if that was the case, then why did he have to be smiled at by a stunning beauty in a dim and stony room like this when he was pedalling his bicycle through the Kantou area in Japan just a moment ago?
Zenjirou inadvertently peered hard at the beautiful woman standing in front of him.
She must be the in the middle of her 20s? Though for that she showed an unusual appeal and composure, so she might be a bit older than that. At least she didn’t look younger than the twenty-four old Zenjirou.
She wore a slinky red dress with a V-neck around her chest, but her figure was in no way inferior to this elegant dress.
The cleavage peeking out from the V-neck prided itself with a size that was worth being called enormous, one size above huge, and her slender waist was inversely proportional to it. A long skirt covered the line down from her waist, so he couldn’t see it, but at this rate there was much to anticipate.
Her figure with broad and somewhat square shoulders would turn off some men with certain tastes, but at least to Zenjirou, she had plenty of womanly charm.
In fact, her beauty was so perfect for Zenjirou’s liking that he would scream “I have loved you ever since I was born!” if he had the assurance that the current situation was a dream.
“Your Highness, we do not have much time. The ‘summoning’ succeeded, so you should start explaining as soon as possible.”
While Zenjirou was captivated by the red-haired beauty, a young man in a leather armour standing to the right of the woman, advised her so with a monotone voice.
On this remark, Zenjirou realized for the first time that other people were in this stony room besides him and the beautiful woman.
When he hastily looked around, he could see a total of four men that held spears and were clad in the same leather armour like the man, who spoke, standing st
* * *
Passing through a long hallway with stony walls and floor, Zenjirou was guided to a broad room into which the bright sun rays shone. Two long leather couches were set up across each other with a big wooden table in-between.
Prompted by the woman, Zenjirou sat down on the couch.
After waiting for him to sit down, the woman sat down across of him and slowly opened her mouth.
“Let us start with a self-introduction. My name is Aura Carpa. I want you to call me Aura.”
“Ah, okay, Aura-san it is. I’m, no, my name is Yamai Zenjirou. Yamai is my last name and Zenjirou my first name.”
“Okay. Then my I call you Zenjirou-dono?”
“Yes, by all means.”
Hearing his affirmation, the woman— Aura smiled happily.
“Thank you, Zenjirou-dono. Well then, I will now simply explain the chain of events of what happened to you. To you it might sound like an absurd action that you cannot agree with, but do know that is not impossible to undo the current situation.
Should it go against your will, I will make everything like before. That I promise you. So could you please listen to my whole story in silence for now?”
Aura made a rather unsettling prologue with a sudden serious expression, whereupon Zenjirou got a bad feeling, but after pondering for a bit, he nodded in the end.
At any rate, he had no clue in what kind of situation he was right now anyway. Altogether, before showing any anger like Aura had mentioned, he could not get angry over a situation he didn’t understand.
One filed a complaint after hearing the whole standpoint from the other party.
“I understand. Please let me hear it.”
On Zenjirou’s answer, Aura made a sigh of relief and after a deep breath, she started to talk.
“Thank you. Then I will start explaining from the fundamentally question of what this place is. We are in the Carpa Kingdom, which is located in the west of the Landlion continent— also known as the ‘South Continent’. And this is a room in the palace, which is the center of the capital of Carpa. I am sure all these names do not mean anything to you.
Well, naturally, since this is a different world from the one you were born and lived in. A so called ‘Parallel Universe’.”
“…Huh? Parallel universe…?”
Still not comprehending the situation, Zenjirou tilted his head, whereas Aura gave him a wry look and continued to explain.
Aura’s explanation went on for a long time. Or more precisely he couldn’t tell at all, but when he looked at his wristwatch midway once, it was half past seven and right now with the explanation all done with, the needle of the clock had turned to the eight.
Somehow gleaning Aura’s explanation that had lasted for at least thirty minutes, but more likely one hour, into his head, Zenjirou said in a dazed tone.
“Ehm… In other words, this is a country called the Carpa Kingdom in a different world and you, Aura-sama, are the Queen of it, correct? Furthermore, magic exists in this world and you used a ‘Space-time magic’ that’s only practicable by the royal family, to summon me into this world.”
“Yes, that is correct. It seems you finally understand. Ah, also, you do not need to use respective speech with me. Just casually call me Aura.
Certainly, I am the Queen of this country, but you are not a citizen of my country. Or rather, I dragged you into this world without any notice, so you are nothing but a victim. At the present time there stands no reason for you to accord me your courtesy.”
Saying so, Aura remorsefully lowered her head a bit.
“O- Okay, I understand, Aura…-san.”
Zenjirou hastily averted his eyes from Aura’s voluminous cleavage he got a deep insight on due to her bow.
The reason that this simple explanation took nearly one hour was that Zenjirou hadn’t really tried to understand her words.
Well, understandable. There was no way that a typical Japanese from the modern age would take a strange occurrence like “being summoned to a different world” as reality.
Aura persistently kept explaining to Zenjirou, who was quite doubtful about this being a different world, without getting irritated. As a result, Zenjirou finally admitted the fact that he was in a different world right now.
The deciding factor was the “Raptorial Dragon” ridden by a “Knight” that came to the window on Aura’s order.
This ridiculously large lizard with twice the size of a horse, had stuck his long neck through the window from the garden and licked Zenjirou’s cheek.
That lukewarm and real sensation ridded Zenjirou of any possibilities that this was a dream or some large-scaled prank.
Zenjirou spoke out a question while wiping the “Raptorial Dragon’s” grass-stinking saliva from his wet cheek with the sleeve of his T-shirt.
“What I don’t get is why you would summon something like me.”
Zenjirou had no special skills and was just your average Japanese male. At least he didn’t consider himself valuable enough to purposefully be summoned by a Queen to a different world through magic.
“You’re going to make me do something, right? Not to brag about it, but I can’t swing a sword, nor can I use any magic.”
To discourage her from it, Zenjirou said so with a timid tone, whereas Aura smiled sweetly and shook her head.
“No, I have not the slightest intentions to make you do something so dangerous. This western part of the South Continent was engulfed in a long war for generations, but now it has relatively calmed down. What I want to ask of you is just one thing: To become my ’spouse’.”
Zenjirou didn’t understand the meaning behind Aura’s words right away, so he tilted his head and asked back.
“Yes, my spouse. Or husband, if you prefer it that way. I am asking you to marry me.”
Spouse, husband, marry. After being told that much, even Zenjirou’s currently slow brain comprehended it.
“Ueeeh!? M- Ma- Marry!? Why!?”
Understanding Aura’s request, Zenjirou jumped up from the couch.
As she predicted his reaction to some extent, Aura laughed a bit, then continued to explain with a calm voice.
“This will take a while, but please hear me out first. Like I said before, my country fought a long war. Fortunately our country managed to be on the winning side in this war, but the price was high.
We lost citizens, the aristocrats were displeased and the royal family died out, except for me.
Blessedly there is hope for rehabilitation in some way thanks to the support the citizens and aristocrats gave the country afterwards, but the problem is the royal family. With me as the last member of the royal family, our bloodline could end any time, so you could call my marriage an absolute duty.
However, the ‘Carpa’ lineage inherits the unique ‘Space-time’ magic in it’s blood. Not just anyone will do for a marriage partner. To bequeath the magic onto the next generation, a companion that inherited the same Carpa blood would be most desirable.”
“Hah, I see…”
Not quite comprehending it, Zenjirou gave an agreeable response on reflex.
The custom of taking a partner with a blood-relation as close as possible to keep the royal lineage pure-blooded was often practised on earth in the past too.
All the more was it natural to value a pure-bred in this world, where it came with the practical benefit of an inherited “bloodline magic”.
However, he understood the current situation even less then.
“But if that’s the case, why me? I’m just an earthling that doesn’t even know the runes for magic.”
Aura smiled meaningful upon Zenjirou’s frank question and answered.
“The reason is quite simple: Because you clearly inherited the blood of the ‘Carpa’ family.”
This time for sure Zenjirou didn’t understand the meaning behind Aura’s words for a while. “You inherited the blood of the Carpa family.” It took him more than ten seconds to comprehend the meaning behind these words. Zenjirou flapped his hand in front of his face like a broken doll and denied Aura’s words.
“No, no. What’s up with that!? Not possible, never!”
Zenjirou denied it with all his might, but Aura continued her speech without paying mind to it.
“It dates back to five generations before me, roughly 150 years ago.
It was erased from the royal documents, so I am not so sure myself, but I heard that it all started with the first prince of our country at that time, who fell in love with a woman that he originally should not marry.
It is both said that this woman was just a commoner or the princess of a rival country, but the truth is unknown.
Anyway, the prince fell in love with a person that he would never be allowed to marry since he was in line to succeed the throne and he did not even listened to his parents, the King and Queen.
Since they were not allowed to be together in ’this world’, the two lovers decided to go into a ’different world’ and be together there. Quite romantic.”
Being told that much, Zenjirou could guess what Aura wanted to say.
“Do you want to say that… I’m their descendent?”
Zenjirou asked back dumbfounded, whereas Aura affirmed it without breaking her smile.
“I did not used the summoning magic just like that. I specified it, so that it inevitable would summon a man that inherited the blood of the Carpa family. As a result, you appeared, Zenjirou-dono.
Thus there is no doubt that you are their descendent.”
Even while Zenjirou affirmed Aura’s definitely stated words in a part of his brain, he still put out another objection.
“That can’t be. No, even if it’s true, it’s five generations ago, you know!? That means he would be my, ehm… great-great-great-grandfather? So I inherited just a tiny bit?”
Aura nodded shortly to these words from Zenjirou once, then answered with a firm tone.
“Yes and to be honest, I was prepared for that too. However, to my surprise, you have inherited it quite strongly. It is not as strong as a direct descendent, but on the level of a branch family‘s head and so much that we can hope for you to use the ‘Space-time magic’ yourself with some training.”
“Y- You can even tell that?”
Aura declared with a serious expression, whereas Zenjirou inquired while relocating his seating position backwards wincing.
“I can. I might not be able to say if you inherited the ‘royal’ blood or not, but I can confirm the latent magic power in someone on sight. Zenjirou-dono, your magic power is a semi-royal class.
The fact that my summoning magic reacted to you means that you have the blood of the ’Carpa Family’ without doubt, and judging by your magic power, I conjecture that your inherited blood is quite strong too. This must be what they call a lucky surprise.
It is as if they purposefully repeated consanguineous marriages in the other world to preserve the bloodline.”
On Aura’s words, Zenjirou suddenly recalled a certain fact.
“Oh, right! Now that I think about it, it’s related… I guess?”
“Zenjirou-dono? Do you have something in mind?”
Aura asked with her head tilted, whereas Zenjirou answered while pondering a bit.
“Ah, yes. Actually, I come from an isolated rural village with a long history. From way back, only one or two people per generation married someone from outside the village.”
Zenjirou had been tired of the isolated and thus unchanging country side, so he enrolled in an university in the Kantou area, found a job there and started his life in the city.
Come to think of it, most people of the village, starting with his parents, who died in a traffic accident when he was in middle school, had rather dark skin and reddish hair for a Japanese.
As a matter of fact, for a Japanese man, Zenjirou too had rather darkish skin and reddish-brown to black hair.
On his words, Aura placed her hand onto her chin and nodded as to consent.
“Indeed. So as a result, that isolated village prevented the royal blood from thinning down in the other world.”
“Yes, if you take it as that, it fits the story.”
(Seriously? Actually I’m not a genuine Japanese, but are partly a person from a different world? I never heard anything about this!?)
Yes, it fit the story. It matched. Zenjirou mentally fell into a abysmally panic while showing a stiff smile on the surface.
Unexpectedly getting to know his ancestor’s secret, he turned pale, whereas Aura showed a happy smile and drew closer.
“You are indeed the companion I seek. What do you say, Zenjirou-dono? You must be confused by the sudden story, but would you seriously consider choosing the path of marrying me and living in this world?”
Aura put on a serious expression and broached like that, whereas Zenjirou pondered with a wee bit composed expression.
Marrying the woman in front of him. That in itself was by no means a bad thing. As described earlier, Aura’s appearance was a perfect match to Zenjirou’s taste and judging by their conversation, her nature didn’t seem bad either.
That said, she was a Queen and conducting herself accordingly, so he mustn’t forget that it was dangerous to extrapolate her nature from just her behaviour so far.
However, the more pressing problem was that it wasn’t “Aura marrying into his family”, but “him marrying into her family”.
The moment he accepted this proposal, Zenjirou would say good-bye to earth. No matter how much of the ideal woman she was to him, when he had to give up everything like his work, friends or amusements and cuisines, which could only be enjoyed on earth, in exchange for it, then he just couldn’t make a decision.
Also, with his brain slowed down by the thought of “Is this a dream?“, Zenjirou couldn’t reply to this matter right away.
After pondering about all that, he suddenly realized that he left out an important matter.
“Uh- Uhm, I’m already here and all, but what if, and I mean just hypothetically, what happens if I turn down your proposal?”
It was obvious at a first glance what he feared by seeing his face colour while he timidly asked so.
To reassure the pale man in front of her, Aura answered with a diligent smile.
“In that case, I will naturally take responsibility and return you to your own world with the ‘Deport Magic’. I told you at the beginning, remember? ‘Should it go against your will, I will make everything like before.’
As things stand, I already dragged you into this world without any notice. I have the discretion to reverse everything in case that you decline. Please be at ease and come up with an answer as your heart dictates you.”
“Ah, i- is that so…”
On Aura’s answers, Zenjirou made a deflated sigh of relief.
When he leaned back into the sofa, his T-shirt stuck to his back nastily. Apparently his back had become drenched by a cold sweat without his notice.
In a lot of cases of “summoning to a different world” in novels or manga, you could be summoned, but not returned, so the summoned person was forced to live in the different world against his will, but seemingly the reality Zenjirou confronted here wasn’t that unreasonable.
At any rate, it was fortunate that he could be returned. Upon hearing that, Zenjirou, who was about to blow up, regained a bit of his composure.
“At any rate, I plan to return you to your world once too if you should accept my offer. When you are going to part with your original world, I am sure you have people you want to say farewell to. The usage of the summoning and deport magic depends on the constellation of the stars, so I cannot use it freely, but much to our luck, the current constellation will last till tomorrow.
Moreover, the stars will be in position for a summoning again in one month’s time.
In other words, if you decline my offer, I will send you back home and everything will be over. If you accept it, I will let you return temporarily tomorrow and summon you again in month.”
“Hoh, it can be used that frequently?”
Zenjirou made an easy-going observation, whereas Aura shook her head with a wry smile.
“No, we are just blessed with a special star constellation. In fact, if we let the chance next month go by, we will have to wait thirty years for the next. There is no need to be overly worried, but we cannot take it too optimistic.”
“Geh, no way, thirty years?”
On Aura’s answer, Zenjirou inadvertently forgot his respective speech and leaked his natural voice.
Thirty years was certainly too long. If he were to accept this marriage proposal, he would have to say good-bye to earth for good without doubt.
But knowing that he would be returned to his world tomorrow if he declined, Zenjirou’s mental condition made a considerable change for the better compared to before.
A person’s mentality was a mysterious thing, since it thought “I want to go home at all cost” if told “You can never go back”, yet when told “You can go back if you want”, it thought “I don’t really need to go back, do I?”.
(If everything Aura-san says is actually true, then it’s quite the attractive story. To begin with, I don’t have started an own family, nor do I have a lover. As for my job… Well, I was doing fine in it, but I’m not really attached to a job with around 150 work hours plus overtime on a monthly average.)
Thinking back on it, today was his first day off on a Saturday after half a year.
Coming home after midnight on a weekday was the norm. Saturday was in principle a workday. He even worked on three Sundays per month. It was a salvation that he was at least compensated the exact hours of overtime without deception, but he had no free time in his days to spend that money.
Even when he came home, he had not even the energy left to cook himself and his dinner on a weekday was always either a lunchbox from the convenience store or a meal at a restaurant. Now that he was thinking about it, hadn’t it been half a year, since he talked to a woman outside of work or shopping?
(After some thought, I’m really not attached to my life on earth…)
His original world. No lover and every day full of work.
This world. Marriage with a hot babe.
When he compared it over again, wasn’t this proposal a so-called “godsend” for Zenjirou?
He thought about that for a moment, but his mentality, out of control from his original timidity, put a stop to it.
(No, no, wait. Even if everything so far is true, I still haven’t heard about one factor. Aura-san’s a Queen, right? There’s no way I would get to sit back and do nothing after marrying a Queen.)
The royal family members were born to be politicians. In novel or manga, Princes often lived a rosy life, but they were nothing but an exception and those that took their royal obligations serious were so busy all the time that you pitied them.
Instead of such a lifestyle, it would be easier to be a black suit salary man in his original world.
Zenjirou took a few short deep breathes covertly, calming down his own heart that hastened to a conclusion.
“Ehm, then let’s assume for now I accept, what kind of obligations would I have in this world? The husband of the Queen is part of the royal family too, right?”
Aura smiled gently on Zenjirou’s question, as she took it as a positive sign.
“There are no arrangements for that. I am the 32rd person to ascend the throne in our country, but I am only the third woman to do so in the history of Carpa.
Moreover, my two antecessors remained single and either adopted a child from a branch family with a strong kinship as her successor or let the younger brother, who was still a baby at the time of her enthronement, take the throne.
In other words, you are the first one to become a Queen’s husband here in Carpa, Zenjirou-dono.”
Aura spoke as if it was already decided that he would become her “husband”, but Zenjirou couldn’t afford to concern himself with that, because in her sentence was a part that drew all his attention.
“P- Please wait a moment! Do you mean that this country does not legally fix the rights and obligations for the prince consort?”
Prince consort was referring to the Queen’s husband. Since no Queen married in this country so far, this term might not actually exist.
The Queen nodded calmly to the flustered Zenjirou.
“Yes, document-wise that is the case. However, be at ease, Zenjirou-dono. As you can see from our history with three female rulers amongst thirty-two, our society is patriarchic. Naturally at business, but the head of the family is also always a man too. It is a women’s virtue to be compliant.
I promise that once we marry, I will do everything in my might to meet your wishes, whatever it might be”
She uttered incredible sweet words like that.
The conversation had totally gone over Zenjirou’s head and he answered with a silly reply and a blank facial expression.
If he could trust all of Aura’s story, then he would have no special obligations to fulfil when marrying her, and she even would be compliant, trying her best to please him.
…That sounded way too convenient. Not even Zenjirou, whose brain gears were still working slowly, could accept this so easily. It was obviously too good to be true.
(Wait, just think about it. There has to be something behind it.)
Faced with conditions so good that he inadvertently wanted to swallow them without judging too strictly, Zenjirou desperately wracked his brain.
(To begin with, what does Aura-san gain from this marriage? Preserving the royal blood line? Just that?)
Zenjirou strongly inherited the royal blood, so his existence was incredible appealing for sure, considering that the royal family died out except for Aura.
However, would one offer such sweet conditions just for that? A husband that did nothing but making a child. The world called them “spongers”.
(Going so far as to make her husband a sponger, maybe Aura-san has a high craving for good-for-nothings? Can’t be…)
If that wasn’t the case, there should be some huge merit for her somewhere. Otherwise she wouldn’t have offered such “sweet conditions” to begin with, no matter how suitable to the lineage Zenjirou was.
(It’s no use. I don’t know enough.)
“Push through a deal without reading the small print and it’ll come back to haunt you later.” Zenjirou recalled the bitter words of his senior at work and asked Aura a question afterwards.
“Excuse me. Getting back on topic, what will you do when I reject your offer, Aura-san? You will still have to marry, right?”
“Yes. In that case, I will most likely have to accept an aristocrat with relatively strong royal blood from within the country as my husband. Though while I say strong, it is not all that noteworthy.
That is precisely the reason I went through all the trouble to call you here, Zenjirou-dono, albeit knowing what troubles it causes you.”
Aura showed a self-deprecating smile.
(I see. She technically has groom candidates in the country too. Well, figures. …Mh? Wait, could it be… I’ll try a leading question.)
Zenjirou suddenly came up with a certain possibility, swallowed his saliva unknown to Aura, then asked the next question with a voice that feigned composure as much as possible
“I take that these candidates had their great-grandfather or great-grandmother in the royal family?”
Aura, not seeing through his leading question, shook her head with a wry smile.
“Not at all. There is no one left with such thick kinship. They are people, whose great-grandfather’s grandfather or at best, great-grandfather’s mother was part of the royal family.”
(! I knew it. Bingo!)
Zenjirou hid his inner surprise on Aura’s answer and somehow kept a poker face.
His superior at work once said: “In business let your reason control your expression, not your emotion.” That teaching came to be useful in a different world.
Aura’s answer just now was obviously strange. To express it in numbers, the aforementioned were people with royal blood in the fifth generation in case of the great-grandfather’s grandfather or in the fourth generation in case of the great-grandfather’s mother.
In turn, Zenjirou’s ancestor that came to earth, lived five generations ago. If there were people around with blood in the fourth generation like Aura said, then there was no reason to summon Zenjirou, whose blood was only in the fifth generation.
Zenjirou had a rather thick kinship due to the isolated rural village he was raised in, but Aura shouldn’t have known about that until she summoned him. In fact, she called it a “lucky surprise”.
In other words, the very explanation about summoning a groom from a different world to have a child with someone that strongly inherited the royal blood, was a lie.
(Then why did she summon me? Maybe even the stuff about marrying me was a lie? No, don’t go there. If I doubt that, there’s no end to it.)
Zenjirou himself had basically no way to return home by his own strength. Going by that, Aura had no need to deceive him with an appealing offer, because she could just lie to him with “There is no way to return you to your original world”.
Most likely Aura was trying to have a discussion as sincere as possible.
(So it should be safe to assume that both her desire to marry me and the favourable conditions are true. And it makes more sense that way. But then why? Why did Aura-san dare to summon a descendent, whose kinship was weaker than the aristocrats in this country, from the royal family that fled to a different world and even give such favourable conditions?)
“Zenjirou-dono? What is the matter?”
“Ah, nothing. Sorry. I was a bit preoccupied in thoughts. So, when I marry you, what do you expect me to do? And I don’t mean on the official front, but your personal aspiration.”
Aura shrugged her shoulders a bit on Zenjirou’s question, then answered pleasantly straightforward.
“Nothing in particular. If you accept my proposal, it means that you will throw away everything, your home, your family and your life so far for my sake. I am not so shameless to ask anything more of you.
I just would like to have your cooperation in making a child for preserving the royal bloodline.”
Apparently his only obligation would really be to make a child with the hot babe in front of him. At least it to his eyes it looked like Aura was saying that in good earnest.
Aura’s answer was still the sweet temptation that drove a man crazy, but Zenjirou had anticipated that answer this time.
(Maybe my assumption is actually true? These conditions aren’t favourable “to me”, but right from the beginning, they were the most desirable ones “to Aura-san”?)
Zenjirou arranged the information he had gained so far inside his head.
・The Carpa Kingdom had people with a thicker kinship than the descendant from the royal family that fled into a different world.
・Yet, Aura dared to summon that descendant (Zenjirou) as her husband.
・Zenjirou happened to have strongly inherited the royal blood, but that was just a „lucky surprise“.
・Aura told him that he had nothing to do, except making a child.
・This country‘s society was fundamentally patriarchic and the existence of a Queen was rare.
・By the culture of this country, the head of the family was always the husband while the wife had the virtue to be compliant.
・The Queens so far had been single and in the history of this county, this would be the first time a „Prince Consort“ existed.
Going by their conversation so far and the overwhelming charisma coming from her whole body, Aura had more than enough talent as a Queen.
Zenjirou kept asking questions to prove if his assumption was correct.
“Allow me two more questions please. Where would I live if I were to stay here?”
“In the Inner Palace, most likely. Usually the King of our country would take various wives as his Queen or concubines. It is a bit of an irregularity, but the Inner Palace would become the home to our married life.”
As expected. There was nearly no doubt now.
“Then one last question.
How would you take it if I were to shut in myself in the Inner Palace, avoid contact with the outside as much as possible, concern myself only with you and just spent my days by hanging around sloppily after I married you?”
Aura reflexively replied to Zenjirou’s hypothetical question with today’s brightest smile, as she couldn’t hold it back anymore.
“That would be fantastic!”
Zenjirou confirmed that his assumption was completely correct upon that utterance.
(Okay, the puzzle is solved. There’s no doubt. The condition “No need to do anything” isn’t a bait for me, but she genuinely wants a “husband that does nothing”.)
Her first choice of a man was a sponger, in the truest sense of the word.
If you thought about it, it wasn’t actually all that strange.
His days swamped with work in a kind of sweatshop, Zenjirou had tried to measure things with his own values, but that was his mistake.
Since he was tired from work, getting a lifestyle without work and all necessities provided + a beautiful bride was rather appealing to him, but that wasn’t the general value concept in this world.
For the one that became “Prince Consort”, working meant nothing else but exerting the political power.
Surely only a minority of men found it unappealing to make use of a mighty political power.
In this country, a “Prince Consort” could gain a respectable political power, even if his authority wasn’t legally fixed.
After all, the country’s culture itself was modelled around a patriarchic society and the head of a “family” would always be a man, even if he married into the family.
And the woman, who became his wife, was expected to be as compliant as possible to the man she married. So in an extreme case, the “Prince Consort” might even be able to “order around” the “Queen” through the “family” instance.
At least, the “Queen” wouldn’t be able to ignore the “Prince Consort’s” opinion in public.
(Right. A groom from the aristocrats would probably strive for power and if such a person became the “Prince Consort”, Aura-san might get all of her power snatched away from her. Well, even if he doesn’t go that far, he would work out a profit for his parental home for sure.)
A dual power system of a Queen and a Prince Consort. It wouldn’t be strange if it caused a civil war in the worst case.
(Indeed, if you think about it like that, it’s understandable that she wants to specially call a groom from a different world. There is no proof that a groom from a different world has no political ambitions, but at least he won’t pull any strings for his own family. Although it just prevents the groom’s family from abusing their power as the consort clan, it’s a reasonable action.)
Throughout the history of all countries alike, there are quite a lot of cases, where the family of the ruler’s partner— the “Consort Clan” were the reason for the country’s ruin.
Aura had curiously watched over Zenjirou, who had pondered a lot and asked question after question, and opened her mouth once she saw that he had calmed down.
“I am well aware that it is absurd to have you make such a life-changing decision on the spot. However, as I mentioned before, the summoning magic is dependent on the star constellation, so we do not have much time.
You do not need to give me an answer right here, but I would like you to make up your mind until tomorrow morning at the latest.
I am one-sidedly pushing my circumstances onto you. It will cause you no harm if you were to reject it, and if you were to accept it, I promise you that I will conduct myself as your wife as faithfully as possible.
What do you say, Zenjirou-dono?”
Aura explained it to Zenjirou like that with a soft smile and an earnest look. No, “persuaded” might be more appropriate for this.
Zenjirou simply closed his eyes on the Queen’s persuasion and pondered.
If the assumption he came up with earlier was correct, then this was a sweet deal.
However, to say it again, the price for it was his whole life that he spent on earth so far.
Somehow, the man called Yamai Zenjirou had lived up to this very day by supporting himself, adjusting himself and cultivating himself as a single human.
Certainly, his job was tough and he was always considering to quit, but he took pride in managing an independent lifestyle.
It must be called a “man’s pride”.
Accepting Aura’s proposal meant to throw away that “pride” and accept a lifestyle where he depended on a woman.
Now, was that acceptable? Was Yamai Zenjirou’s “pride” something so trivial that it could be thrown away so easily?
(If I think about it a bit calmly, it’s nothing to be troubled over.”
It wasn’t a matter to idly delay until tomorrow morning. Because he had already come to a conclusion.
When Zenjirou opened his eyes with his mind made up, he looked straight into Aura’s reddish brown eyes, leaned over the table and said flatly.
“Let’s get married, Aura-san!”
Yamai Zenjirou’s “pride as a man” counted indeed for nothing.
Intermission 1: The Queen’s confidential Meeting
In the night of the day Yamai Zenjirou was summoned, Carpa’s Queen Aura the First assembled several of her trusted retainers in her private chamber and had an informal meeting.
The flames from the candleholder on the table bathed the broad room in a feeble light.
Aura sat on a chair that was woven from southern vines with her legs crossed, looked at the retainers assembled before her and opened her mouth.
“So, what about my future husband?”
She first spoke to a young waiting maid with long blonde hair, who stood at the very back.
“Very well. It appears he has turned in for the night a short while ago.”
The blonde waiting maid reported plainly with a high and clear voice.
“I see, good. Still, it seems he is quite the night person. We might have to prepare an extra budget for illumination in the Inner Palace from now on.”
Absorbed in thoughts, Aura rested her chin on one palm of her crossed arms and muttered.
If Zenjirou had heard that, he surely would have been disinclined about that evaluation. The current time was around ten at night at best. Zenjirou was used to return home around midnight on a weekday, so this was probably an early retire for him.
Even though he hadn’t been all that sleepy, he willingly had erased the lights and gone to bed in consideration to the waiting maids, who had to stay on duty until he went to sleep.
Calling that “Staying up late” or “Night person” would leave him in a bind.
Well, no surprise. In modern Japan he could have plenty of light through electricity all day long if he wanted to, whereas in this world the only light source was generally “fire” itself, used on torches, candles or lamps. The perception of a night’s timeframe was fundamentally different.
There were very few shops in this world that had opened during the night. Even the extremely busy mainstay of the Palace truthfully perceived “the night as the time to sleep”.
A middle-aged man with a slender face, who stood at the front and seemed to be a civil officer, remarked upon hearing Aura’s words.
“At any rate, congratulation on obtaining a groom, Your Highness. Now, as what kind of person did Zenjirou-dono appear to you?”
That middle-aged man— Fabio Debache was Aura’s private secretary.
Originally the private secretary was a position without much authority, but at the present time, Aura hadn’t appointed a Prime Minister, nor an Admiral, and lead the government and army by herself. So his authority has the “Queen’s right hand” was unimaginable vast.
The Queen lightly shrugged her shoulders on the question of her trusted retainer, then
“He is far more keen than I had imagined. Moreover, he possesses a coolly judgement and a fair amount of audacity. I say it is an ‘unlucky surprise’.”
she answered flatly.
Determining her evaluation, which only sounded like a praise, as an “unlucky surprise” was proof that the Queen wasn’t seeking a capable husband.
The ideal husband for Aura was a man that drowned himself in the offered luxury, was satisfied by simply having practical desires like money, woman and delicacies fulfilled and showed not the slightest interest in political power.
“Especially that last question from him. Zenjirou-dono most likely realized my intentions. And he still accepted my marriage proposal.”
Aura remembered the conversation from during the day and snickered. After all, he went as far as asking “How would you take it if I were to shut in myself in the Inner Palace, avoid contact with the outside as much as possible, concern myself only with you and just spent my days by hanging around sloppily after I married you?” outright.
It was quite apparent that he fully understood what she wanted from her husband, or to be more precise “what she didn’t want”.
“At first I assumed that he was of humble upbringing, but judging by his intelligence, he might belong to an aristocrat class in the other world.”
“That cannot be ruled out.”
“His behaviour and manners leave a bit to be desired, but it is a fact that it would be somewhat strange to consider him an uneducated commoner.”
All of the assembled retainers nodded in agreement to Aura’s failed expectations.
At this point, Aura and the others unwittingly ended up applying the common sense of their own world to the other world. In their world only the royal family, the aristocrats and a few rich families had the right for education.
For the better or worse, the great majority of the commoners were nothing but illiterate and unrefined people to them. Taking the whole south continent into consideration, there were education institutes open even for commoners, but a country like modern Japan, where every citizen went through a mandatory education of nine years was completely unfathomable for Aura and the others.
“However, if that is the case, it is not unthinkable that Zenjirou-sama has some kind of ulterior motive for accepting this marriage. If you wish to annul the engagement with him, we can give up on re-summoning him a month later.”
The man, who said that, was the elder in the purple robe that had stood on the left of Aura when Zenjirou came to this world.
In reply to the words of Carpa’s royal archmage Espaldion, Aura turned up her nose at him and shook her hand vehemently.
“Stop jesting, old geezer. Are you suggesting I should take the ‘Insatiable Wolf’ of the Guillén Family or the ‘Marionette’ of the Márquez Family as my groom? If I were to do that, Carpa would fall to ruin from civil strife after we finally lived through the war.”
The old mage showed a wry smile in response to the Queen’s curt words, stroked his long grey beard, then picked up on the groom candidates that the Queen had criticised.
“Your Highness, you are being too harsh. Sir Puyol Guillén is a brilliant general and Sir Raffaello Márquez is an excellent civil official.”
“I am aware of that even without you telling me, old geezer. I myself put them into these positions. However, I am saying that no matter how capable they are, an overly ambitious man or a youngling that does not dare to oppose his parents are not suited to be my husband.”
Aura’s evaluation of them was harsh, but by no means wrong, so the aged magician couldn’t say anything back anymore.
“Then you are going to take Zenjirou-dono as your husband after all?”
The middle-aged man with the slender face— Fabio got back on topic, to which Aura simply nodded in response.
“Yes. I am a bit concerned that he is more intelligent than I expected, but I approve of his personality. At least he is better than the ‘Insatiable Wolf’ and the ‘Parent’s Marionette’. His royal blood is strong as well, so we can hope that he himself will be able to use the ‘Space-Time Magic’ with some training, instead of simply passing on the disposition for it onto our child.
Then not even the aristocrats will be able to complain in public.”
Marriage for the sake of passing on the “Space-Time Magic”, the royal bloodline magic onto the next generation with certainty was a more than enough of a just cause in this world, where the country’s strength was adequate to the number of people that could use the “Space-Time Magic”.
In the not so distant future, when Zenjirou himself learned to use the “Space-Time Magic”, no one would be able to openly oppose their marriage.
“However, not only has he a different social standing, but he is also from a different world. I believe there will be many problems to building a family even after you get married.”
In response to the elder mage, who worried about the future, Aura replied with a meaningful smile.
“Well, these are problems that arise regardless of whom I marry. It is just a matter of my sincerity and effort now. I already told my future husband this noon, this marriage purely arises from my one-sided circumstances. I will grant his wishes as long as they do not interfere with our government.”
The good faith Aura had shown Zenjirou this noon was by no means a farce.
Aura herself had a mental burden of debt towards Zenjirou for dragging him into her circumstances and even rational considered, it was natural to meet your future husband with sincerity.
A husband was not a subordinator, but a family member. If everything went well, he was a close companion she would live with for years until their death, sharing the bed numerous times.
Having a feud would only be exhausting.
“I understand. That is a ‘family’ matter, so we will leave that up to you, Your Highness. However, it is a state matter whether you will have a child or not. In the unlikely case that you are incompatible for the ‘night duties‘, please report to us at once.
Fortunately for us, Zenjirou-sama has inherited the royal blood strong enough that we can hope that he will learn the ’Space-Time magic’. And there are a lot of ‘women’ in our country that have inherited the royal blood as strong as Puyol-dono or Raffaelo-dono.”
It was secretary Fabio, who spoke so extremely frank and blatant.
Indeed. The situation had changed from before, now that a man with strong royal blood in form of Zenjirou had appeared.
Until now, only Aura had been able to use the “Space-Time Magic”, so it had been the utmost priority that Aura gives birth to a child, but now Zenjirou, a man with latent royal blood on a level where he should be able to use the “Space-Time Magic”, had appeared, which set the priorities somewhat anew.
In an extreme case it was also possible that Aura ruled as an unpaired Queen like the other precedents and the child between Zenjirou and a woman with royal blood would succeed her.
To begin with, the marriage of a Queen was a contradiction between the law, “absolute authority of the ruler”, and the culture, “the head of a family is always a man”.
It was more than likely that the aristocrat women with royal blood would use that contradiction as an excuse to call off the Queen’s marriage and aim to marry Zenjirou themselves once his existence became known.
In a way, Zenjirou was a golden egg, but also a landmine at the same time.
However, Queen Aura showed no signs of anger over her retainer’s blatant words and recrossed her legs while sitting on the chair, giving a profound answer.
“Yes, that will be a matter for later, but I have already thought of a way to deal with it. However, I believe your concern is unnecessary. I will properly make a child with my future husband.”
“Hoo? May I inquire where this confidence comes from?”
The elder mage asked curiously, whereas Aura replied with a sweet smile.
“Oh, it is quite simple. Sitting across from him, I had dinner with my future husband tonight and his gaze was painfully fixated on my chest. He himself thought I would not notice, but it was without a doubt a lustful gaze.
It appears my body is stimulating enough for his sexual desire.”
Saying so, Aura threw out her extra-large chest proudly.
What men considered to be just a glance was as good as staring for women.
Somehow or other, Zenjirou’s wicked thoughts were completely exposed to the Queen.