#To the Imperial Palace


 

Each of the children took a favourite item and climbed into the wagon.
Originally, I wanted to take more, but Lucerne prevented me from taking it, saying that there was “everything in the imperial palace.”

Geo brought a handkerchief that Astia made, Marley a toy wooden knife, Rie an old rabbit doll, and Seti a baby rabbit doll.
I was the only one with empty hands.

Lucerne and I sat side by side, and the children sat across from us.
Dipeume, who could not sit side by side with Lucerne, sat outside with the coachman.
Watching the coachman and Dipeume, who were courteous as if it were natural, I realised that Lucerne was the Emperor.

The eyes of the children on the carriage shone brighter than jewels.
The carriage, beautifully decorated with gold and silver, iron, and jewels, was a spectacle for children.

The eyes of the children on the carriage shone brighter than jewels.
The carriage, beautifully decorated with gold and silver, iron, and jewels, was a spectacle for children.
The children lowered their voices and whispered.
Yes, I could hear everything they were talking about because it was inside the narrow carriage.

“Hey, shit.
Look at that.
Amazing, Great.
“It looks like a real gem!”

“Stupid, it’s a gem.” “Don’t you know when you pretend?”

“Wow, is it a jewel?” “Is this the jewel from the picture book “Jewel Warrior Julia Robot”?”

“If you pretend, you pretend!” “This is ruby, this is topaz, and this is opal.”

“It’s because you only see the part where Julia Robot comes out!”

Marley and Rie pointed to the colourful jewels inside the carriage and chatted about “Jewel Warrior Julia Robot” for a long time.
It’s a picture book for children in this world, but it seemed to be the story of a jewel warrior who protects a princess from villains.

Marley listed the names of the jewel warriors and skill names one by one and tapped Lie on the shoulder, and Lie thought she was a princess.
Help me, Julia Robot! She chuckled.

Beside her, Seti salivated.

“Can we eat this?”

“Yeah, it looks like candy, doesn’t it?” What Geo and the boys ate before “But this isn’t candy; it’s a gem, so you should be hungry if you eat it.”

“No, I shouldn’t have candy, but this isn’t candy… You can’t eat it.

In the end, Seti pursed her lips and made a crying sound, and Geo showed off the handkerchief magic with a familiar touch.
Seti quickly forgot the candy and screamed.

She was worried that the growing voices of the children would make Lucerne uncomfortable, but he just stared out the window with his chin resting on his hands as if he were not interested in them.

As the waggon started, the children screamed at each other.
I thought I was going on a picnic, so my face was full of laughter.
The children’s voices grew louder.

“Wow! In action! It moves!”


“This is a carriage.
Whoa, that’s really fast.
“Wow…… “

Before the children’s admiration had died down, the waggon rattled.
It seemed that the wheel was caught on a rock.

“Kyahak!”

“Wow! Wow, what a surprise!

At first, the children, who held onto the chairs, backs, and decorations, gradually began to enjoy the shaking as if they were riding a ride.

“Ha, ha, ha!” Go again, go again! brother! What are you doing?

“Hey, I am braver than you.” “Can you raise your hand this much?”

I had kept my mouth shut because I was looking at Lucerne, but when he didn’t say anything, I sneaked in among the children and we screamed together.

“Uh! Guys, another big stone is coming! Get ready!”

“Mom, please hold my hand too!”

“Cowards.
“I’m going to live, yahoo!”

“Marley, sit down! Ugh, when Mom gets up, Seti gets up too! “Hurry up, whoops!”

Geo, who was in a hurry to stop us from getting up, was the first to hit his butt on the carriage floor.
Marley and Lie chuckled.

“Haha, brother, you idiot!”

“Kyakyakya! “My brother is an idiot, an idiot!”

Geo’s face was red, and I held back my laughter and raised him up and hugged him tightly in my arms.

“I’m sorry, Geo.
Mom, I won’t get up anymore.
Is your butt okay? “Did it hurt?”

“It’s all right.
Because my mom and younger siblings didn’t fall.”

“I’ll take care of you.” Whoo, whoo.”

“Oh, is it time to whoosh?”

Geo and I held out our palms to Marley, who laughed mischievously in surprise.


“Marley, you can’t!”

“I’m in a carriage now, so don’t ever blow! My butt doesn’t hurt at all! “I’m all better!”

Marley laughed as she moved her hips up and down.

“That’s too bad.”

Geo and I sighed deeply, and Rie laughed.

I enjoyed the childish play with the children.
I was so happy that my heart was itchy.

The carriage did not rattle as it came out of the main street after passing through the local alleyway.
The children and I talked to each other to soothe our disappointment.
The sky, clouds, trees, people, houses, birds, delicious smells, and pleasant sounds—everything was a story.

After a while, Lucerne, who had been quiet, finally opened his mouth when he saw the wall of a huge palace outside the window.

“Astia.”

All the children and I stopped talking as if we had poured cold water on the wagon.
The children shrank, and I, too, looked him in the eye with nervousness.

“Yes, go ahead.”

“Deal, you didn’t forget.”

“Of course.”

“Yes.”

Why do you ask that out of the blue?

I tried to understand Lucerne’s intentions, but he took his eyes off me and looked at the children.
As a customer-conscious person, I recognised that it meant introducing the children and quickly winked at Geo.

Geo straightened himself in surprise and bowed his head.
Perhaps because of embarrassment, the child’s face turned red.

“Oh, hey, hello.” I’m Eugeot.  “Please call me Geo.”

“Mister, I am Malitia.” “You can call me Marley!”

Lucerne frowned and opened his mouth as if to say something, but Rie was faster.

“Hey, are you stupid?” “Why are you saying hello like that?”


“Why? “Can’t I do this?”

“Of course! He’s an aristocrat.
You have to do it like me! Look carefully.”

Unlike a child, Rie, who coughed in vain, straightened her back, put her hands neatly on her knees, and bowed her head with a coy face that she had never seen before.

“It’s my first time greeting you.” This one is called Rie.
You can call me Rie with ease.”It’s an honour to meet you.”

I, Geo, and Marley opened their eyes wide.

Where in the world did she learn that greeting? Unlike usual, I was surprised by her polite and calm appearance.

Rie smiled triumphantly, as if she liked our eyes.

“This is how the princess in .”

Oh, is this the effect of learning comics?

My eyes, which were in meaningless admiration, grew bigger at Lucerne’s answer.

“Yes.”

Lucerne answers!

It was a trivial answer, but Rie smiled brightly, colouring her face red.

Lucerne, who had indifferently looked away from Rie, looked at Seti for the last time.

Seti matched her clear eyes with Lucerne’s but tilted her head with a face that said she did not understand what was going on.

Lucerne indifferently spat out a word.

“Name.”

“Hm?”

Kindly, I added an explanation.

“Seti, the uncle, is curious about Seti’s name.
Let’s tell him your name.
“Seti, what’s your name?”

Only then did Seti smile with an understanding expression and spread out five of her fingers.


“Three years.”

Lucerne frowned, and Marley and Rie burst into laughter.

“That fool! That’s not a name, it’s an age! “Ha ha ha!”

“Ugh, that’s why I can’t be three years old.”

Geo was embarrassed and asked Seti’s name again.

“Three, Seti.
not that, but the name.
Seti’s name.”

“It’s three years.”

“Ah, me, uncle.
Sorry.
It’s because she’s still young.
Her name is Setis, and we call her Seti for short.
“She is three years old.”

“…I see.
I see.”

Lucerne sighed lightly and looked out the window.
The nonchalant response discouraged both my children and me, but it was difficult to expect more from him.

Lucerne was considerate of many things, just by not getting angry with me and the children who showed interest in asking their names and played loudly.

It would not have been easy to ask for the names of the children the woman he loved had with another man.

The silent carriage ran down the road and approached the palace.
Last night, the entrance to the palace, which seemed so solid, opened wide as if waiting as the waggon approached, and we entered the palace garden so easily as if we were entering another world.

The palace was huge, and after passing through the entrance, it stretched as far as the city.

I circled through a large building where people dressed in luxurious clothes gathered and passed a few more gardens.
The cleanly arranged garden was brilliant with water, and there was a fragrant smell of garden trees.

The sound of horse hoofs and wheels rolling suddenly felt noble.

The carriage stopped in front of a white castle, which was not splendid but difficult to encounter.

The walls of the castle were white and clean, without decoration, as if they were built with snow.
Except for the towers that rose high on the left and right, the rest were three stories high, and uniquely, there were no windows on the first floor, and only one front door and one side door were on the side.

It was also unique if there were no desert plants near the building.

Lucerne, who was beautiful in the dark and in the gloomy house of Astia, shone more like a fish in water when he saw a castle outside the waggon window.
He leaned back on the waggon cushion.

“Welcome to the Imperial Palace, Astia.”

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