The Human Saint is Bored, so I was Summoned to Another World Vol. 4
There were things I needed to make clear before we could proceed with what we’re doing.
Maddie was absolutely pissed with the crown prince because of his forceful decisions, and yes, I thought we’re getting to where we finally realized the true reason behind the nobility’s sentiments against him. I guess we couldn’t continue with the negotiations once you pissed off one party at it.
That’s why it’s been quite ‘early’ when I asked the kitchen head maid, Jessica, to take me to his brother to iron out that matter about this engagement thing.
Of course, Jessica was quite annoyed to see my face when I disturbed her in her sleep. Yep, she went with us—rather than stay at the royal castle, since she’s in charge of the Saint’s food, and she takes pride in it.
On a side note, I also thought that it’s because of her ‘rebellious’ phase. I mean, though their time-reckoning may be messed-up, these girls around me look like their teenagers.
“Well, I dropped by to ask for your help.”
“About your brother. I guess I need to talk to him about his sudden decision before regarding your marriage to me.”
“Oh, that?” the pissed expression had already vanished from her face. But, I took great care not to offend Jessica further, or I might lose the chance to talk to the crown prince before Maddie woke up, “Right…I also think I need to drop by the royal castle to get some ingredients to cook for Her Holiness.”
“Well then, shall we go?”
“Ah yes…just…” Jessica let out a yawn before me, “Oh, sorry about that. It’s a bad habit of mine.”
“Nah, no worries.”
“I’ll just change into my maid uniform, then we head out.”
Good thing Jessica knew how to ride a horse, and we sped off to the royal castle in haste. She didn’t want Maddie to wake up without breakfast, nor do I want her to know what I was about to do, at least until after I’m done talking with the prince. I needed to fix this myself so that it won’t affect the second round of talks later.
“Hey! Watch where you put your hands!” the kitchen head maid protested.
“Sorry, I just don’t know how to ride a horse!”
“Figures. Anyway, just put your arms around my waist and I’ll make our horse do a gallop.”
Well, compared to the time I got to know her, Princess Jessica was much more amiable now than she was before. I mean, back then, she’s such a bitch that I always suspected everything that she did as a plan against me.
I guess she really learned her lesson after that bullying episode with Eris, eh?
“Okay, so let me just tell you…you’ve seen how my brother acts before.” I heard her tell me while we’re on the road, “But let me tell you, David is a good guy. He’s not some monster as what daughter of the Braunhauer duke says.”
“Well, he is. However, don’t you think his way of forcing his decisions on everyone around him is the problem?”
“Ah yes. It’s one of David’s flaws…despite that, I can see his dedication in trying to improve the state of our kingdom’s finances. You know, in line with Her Holiness’ policy of helping the common folk?”
“Hmm…you really look up to your brother, huh?”
“Of course! He’s the smartest person I’ve known…well, aside from you, and that Braunhauer brat, that is.”
“Nah, I’m nothing compared to him. I simply offered solutions being done in my country.” I countered, “But hey, you’re still angry with Eris Braunhauer?”
“Well, she pisses me off. That brat acts so carefree and naïve, as if the world is a kind and forgiving place. It’s not! And it annoys me!”
If she sees the world as what you’ve said, then what can you do about it? To each his/her own opinion. But alright, bitch, I’ll just keep silent about your sentiments.
“So, why do you want to talk about our engagement?” Jessica asked
“Don’t ask me that! You don’t like me, right? I mean, as a husband.”
“Hah? Did I say that?”
Well, your expressions do.
“Hm…I think you’re the one who doesn’t like me. I did something bad to you and the Braunhauer brat, after all.”
“Honestly, it’s not that. I don’t keep grudges, but I remember what a person did to me so that I know how to deal with him or her in the future.”
“Well, if you say that, and still coming over to talk to David, then you don’t want to get married?”
“Haha…I’m Maddie’s fiancée, you know that already. I love her, and I swore to remain faithful to her, that’s why I’ll fix this.”
Come on, Jessica, don’t make a sad expression. We hate each other’s guts before, right?
“Well, I don’t hate you anymore…Kuro.” I heard her say, “But I guess, it’s also for the best. I mean, though I don’t dislike the idea, my brother was also aiming to have you included in his court, for personal and economic reasons.”
I couldn’t say anything to that. It’s what Maddie told me before. However, I think they’ve been overestimating me. I’m just some otherworlder, and Jessica’s got a lot of potential partners greater than myself. I mean, look, her face was pretty, her figure was outstanding, and she had the ‘connections’ she needed to land herself a good person should she choose to do it.
That’s an honest opinion after putting aside our poor start…
Compared to the girls back in the Holy Palatial Gardens, I’m just a piece of trash. In fact, I sometimes felt the same doubt about my relationships with Maddie and Lily.
This world is not devoid of men, and sometime later, they’ll meet someone better than me. It’s just that I’ve been very visible to them, that they think I’m the best.
“Come on, Your Highness! Cheer up, at least, you’ve got another chance to search for a better guy.”
“Nah. My family’s always been like that.” Jessica discreetly laughed, “My father the king, and my mothers think I’m not that intelligent like my brother, and so I’m the ‘deal-sealer’. The one that they could send away to marry some other guy to cement an alliance, or gain favors.”
Whoa. That’s…pretty heavy stuff.
“Hey, mind you. It’s not that I hate it; I mean, I wanted to be of use to my father, so even if I’m an idiot, at least I could help in the affairs of our kingdom. At least the Braunhauer brat got some use to her family compared to me; her mind’s exceptional.”
I was silent the whole time, trying to listen and thinking of words to comfort this person before me. Hey, it’s not a good feeling, knowing that you’re a spare tire and the only thing that you could be useful was to throw away yourself…
Honestly, I’ve encountered stories like this from my own students as well. Parents would often shower favors and praises to the ‘intelligent’ child, all the while neglecting the others. As a result, those who were treated less would bore resentment towards the favored one, as well as their parents.
Jessica’s been kind to her family, actually. Children of less-importance are prone to rebel after all.
Not only that, those who were neglected would think of themselves as someone of less value their entire lives, even in the adult stage. What’s worse is that they’d also pass this to their own kids, continuing the ugly cycle.
For Jessica, I didn’t believe she’s an idiot the way she said she was. It’s more like she’d been treated like an ‘idiot’, so she believed she was one. This girl even concocted a complex plot to oust me from the Holy Palatial Gardens before! So, in what part was she an idiot?
Well, the kitchen head maid is indeed an idiot, but in another aspect, that is.
“Haa…I guess I’m doomed to be passed on to someone else who’d accept me, huh?” Jessica sighed, “I envy the Braunhauer brat; at least, she’s got people who’d protect her. She had it easy, actually.”
Hmm…I’m understanding the circumstances what led her to bully Eris. I mean, bullying was a despicable deed, but the one who’s doing it was also a victim of circumstances and people around him/her.
The kitchen princess sighed once again.
“Don’t say that.” Aside from pity—which I inevitably felt, what I just thought about was an honest opinion of mine. Jessica wasn’t just an ordinary princess, she worked as the Saint’s kitchen maid. And Maddie’s got a delicate taste for everything around her, including the food. That was a statement of how talented this girl was, “I’m sure you’ll find the man of your dreams, eventually.”
“I found him already. But he acts like an elf, and would only take one wife.”
“Pssh…come on! It’s not that I’m the only guy here!”
“Well, you’re the man Her Holiness trusts.”
“Really. Just because someone else has a high opinion of me doesn’t mean I’m a good person.”
“But you are. Not only Her Holiness loves you, it is not a secret among the servants that the Head Maid is also longing for you. She keeps on telling others how reliable and responsible you are…”
Of course, I bet those stories were embellished. I’m just doing what I believe I should do as a decent friend and human being; there’s nothing else to it.
“I know what you’re thinking.” Jessica told me, “You’re thinking that those stories are made up.”
Right on the spot, huh? Can she also reads minds?
“Don’t worry, I also did some observations about you.” she admitted, “You know how important Her Holiness is for us. And so, we just couldn’t entrust her to some stupid-looking commoner who turned up at her room.”
Hey, she’s the one who summoned me! And isn’t that ‘observation’ stalking?”
“You’re a good person, Kuro. Though with some weird sides too…”
“That’s…one way to put it. But thanks.”
“Haaa…” I heard another sigh from the kitchen princess.
I understand her anxiety, though. Not only does this reeked of failure in the Crown Prince’s plan (which may diminish the kitchen princess’ ‘usefulness’ in the eyes of the royal court), Jessica was also worried about her future, I guess. Based on her words, she would only trust the person whom the Saint and the Head Maid recommended.
And that person is me.
Damn…now I’m at a loss for what to do. I wanted to stand by my words, though I couldn’t help but take pity on her plight. Well, I had a solution in mind…but I guess I shouldn’t use that ’till it was absolutely necessary.
It didn’t take long after we ended our talk that we arrived at the gates of the royal castle. Since it was Jessica, we just passed by the entrance, saluted by the sentries. Then we alighted the horse upon reaching the castle keep’s maid doorway.
“Oh! Hello there, Your Highness!” a maidservant greeted us while she was cleaning the furnishings in the main lobby.
“Tatiana, can I take some ingredients to the kitchen? I wanted Her Holiness’ food to be as fresh as possible.”
“Sure, Your Highness! This way, please!” the maid gladly showed Jessica the direction to take.
“Oh, and uh, while I’m in the kitchen, could you please bring Sir Kuro to my brother? He has something urgent to discuss.”
“Yes, Your Highness! But will you be alright?”
“Hah! I’ve been doing this ever since I got into the Holy Palatial Gardens!” Jessica fixed her apron and continued her way.
The maid, Tatiana, was left with me. And, well, I think she didn’t like me at all.
“Heh, acting all high and mighty, huh?” I heard her murmur before she spoke to me in a prim and proper manner, “Sir Kuro, please, head this way.”
“T-Thank you.” I decided never to take notice of her sentiments.
Miss Tatiana led me to a labyrinth of halls that comprised the interior of the Amaranthine royal castle. It’s confusing, so I didn’t bother to remember which way I came. And then, just as when I was about to wonder if the maid was just trying to make me lose my way, she stopped before a huge, wooden door.
“His Highness is inside. Please pay your respects properly.” she reminded me.
“Thanks, Miss Tatiana.”
The maid then bowed and opened the door for me. Judging from the place where the prince was staying, I think this was his private study.
“Oh! If it isn’t you, Sir Kuro!” the crown prince greeted me with a smile on his face.
“Hello, Your Highness!” I bowed respectfully before continuing, “I came here to discuss something about what we’ve talked about earlier.”
“Ah! Is it my sister’s engagement with you?”
I was unnerved because he knew what I had in mind.
“Don’t worry, I’m not like Her Holiness, who can really read thoughts. I only said that based on my hunches; I mean, we already ironed out the details of your suggestions, so I don’t think we should go over that, once again. So, I thought, you might want to talk about the engagement.” the prince laughed, “Anyway, I stand by my words, Sir Kuro. I’d like to add people of talent and wisdom to my kingdom’s court, and fortunately, you fill the requirements. I’m sure it’s something you can’t refuse.”
Hoh…this was quite bad. I think I should double my guard when talking to the crown prince; he’s not some typical bumbling royal, “Well, Sir, I came here to say that I politely refuse your proposal.”
The crown prince was silent, but there’s nothing unusual on his expression other than indifference.
I could feel the atmosphere between us rapidly became awkward.
“Sir Kuro, you sure surprised me.”
Well, if you’re surprised, then act like one.
“Is there anything you dislike about my sister?”
“Err…it’s not like that, Your Highness.”
“Well, I am aware of little Jessica’s flaws. She’s got a bad-mouth, and she’s quite lacking in brai—”
“Your Highness!” I couldn’t help myself but slam my hands on the table before him, “I believe I said nothing bad about your sister. The princess is a faithful servant of Her Holiness the Saint, and her talents lie in her cooking! Have you ever tasted her food?”
For the first time since I entered his study, the prince was taken aback by my actions. He quickly diverted the direction of our conversation.
“I-I’m sorry for my rash actions, Your Highness.”
“Apology accepted.” the prince then went back on his business-like mode, “So, what made you refuse my offer?”
“Your Highness, I believe Her Holiness the Saint has told you I came from a faraway country. And in my land, our values there resemble that of the elves; we only take one woman as our wife.”
“So, you refuse based on your values, or do you have a person you fancy?”
“I’m single, Your Highness.” I purposefully told him that lie since we agreed before that we’d keep my relationship with Maddie a secret, for now, to avoid jeopardizing negotiations, “I humbly admit that your sister is beautiful, and her talents could make any man fall for her. But I sincerely believe that she has more potential than herself for now, and she could be a good wife for a great man. That man is not me.”
“The way you say it makes you look like a weak, irresponsible person.”
“That’s the real me, Your Highness. I don’t deny my weaknesses.”
“Well, I beg to differ.” there was a nasty smirk on the crown prince’s face, “Do you think I have done no research on you before you came back here? You sure surprised us with your words back then, a lot of my supporters became interested in you.”
Hearing that from him was giving me the shivers. It’s not that nice to know that people were watching your every move…
“Sir Kuro, the more you devalue yourself, the more value we see in you. You see, you really are telling the truth when you say you’re from a faraway country…Chersea’s men filled their hearts and lips with false humility after all, if you get what I mean.”
Damn…why am I the one being forced into a corner in this talk? I need to counter him.
“And, hearing your sentiments towards my sister makes me want more to wed her to you. Let it be known to you; you’re the only man I’ve seen to have refused such an offer, no less than from a royal person such as myself. So, in contrast to your admirable modesty, I’ll be bold. I know she’ll be in excellent hands, for you’ll be a great man in the future.”
And now, he’s attacking with praises.
“Okay, Your Highness. I get your point.” I agreed with him, “You wanted your sister to have a good life as a married woman, while having someone of wisdom in your court as well.”
“Yep. Though I may be the crown prince, I’m still my sister’s brother, and as a man, I wouldn’t want her to end up with a bad husband.”
You’re pretty calculating as well, Your Highness. I couldn’t lose to him! “Then how about this? Since you won’t be willing to give up your proposal, while I won’t also back down in my beliefs, let’s agree on a middle ground.”
“What do you suggest then?”
“Why don’t I safe-keep your sister for now while she hasn’t met someone who catches her eye? And I mean, her own eyes.” I further explained, “You see, Your Highness, I’m not in favor of political marriages, so if possible since you’re aiming for me at your court, I’d want her to live her life as free as possible.”
“Are you telling me to let Jessica be the one who’d determine her own future?”
“Precisely, Your Highness. It’s not that I hate the princess. Like you, I only want what’s best for her, that’s why I’m talking here before you. And as a return for that leniency, you could always ask me for advice anytime; I’d be more than glad to help.”
“Well, that’s a good proposal worthy of consideration. Personally, I’d like that to happen to Jessica as well, but our parents, the King and his First Queen were traditionalists who believe ‘less-worthy’ children are good for political marriages.” the prince finally agreed, “But I’d like to add another condition in your plan. If my little sister didn’t find a man who’s better than you, then you’ll marry her.”
Heh, I’d like to see that happen though. I didn’t hate the kitchen princess now, unlike before when we first met, but now that she had free-rein, she could choose a better person. And I am Maddie’s lover; my priority was my fiancée.
Nevertheless, I’d conform for now. After all, the keys to a successful negotiation were to make the other side think that you’re also for their interest, while you subtly inject your own terms, “Then I suppose our deal is sealed?”
“Nice.” the prince then offered his hand for a shake which I took, “I look forward to working with you, brother-in-law.”
Well, that conversation with the crown prince proved fruitful. For starters, I think His Highness was some misunderstood person, hated for his ability to push through his demands, no matter what it took. I guess that’s why the nobility of this kingdom was rebelling against his authority.
However, guided by a reasonable person, I guess Prince David had the potential to lead Amaranth into greatness.
But yes, I think we need to solve the dissent first, before moving ahead.
We better hurry back before Maddie woke up. I’m sure Lily was awake by now and was preparing for work.
Fortunately, by the time I went out of the prince’s study, the maid, Tatiana, was waiting for me outside. Perhaps she understood that I’d be lost inside the royal castle’s labyrinth of hallways, thus, she took it upon herself to guide me out after coming in.
“Sir Kuro, this way please.” The servant then led me to another chamber; this time, there was a cup of coffee and some cookies served on a silver plate, “May I ask you to wait for Her Highness, Princess Jessica?”
“Ah, yes…” Compared to her earlier predisposition towards me, Miss Tatiana had considerably mellowed down. I didn’t want to assume, but she’s more amiable now.
“Oh, and just a word, Sir Kuro.”
“We rarely serve commoners with coffee and cookies on a silver plate here.” Miss Tatiana told me in a matter-of-fact manner, “It’s only my judgment to do that since you’re a good person and you put the interest of our little princess over your own ambitions.”
“Oh?” Seriously, are the walls of this castle way too thin to allow others to eavesdrop? Well, no matter. As long as it worked in the end…
The maid then took her leave and disappeared.
With the success of this talk, I created a personal connection with the prince, which might prove useful in the coming rounds of negotiations.
When Jessica finally appeared, she was much happier than she was before we came to the castle. I guess she talked to her brother about our conversation. Well, it’s the best that I could do for her situation, and for mine. The only thing that’s left was to tell Maddie what transpired.
“Thanks for standing up to me, Kuro.” she smiled, “Oh, and I still haven’t thanked you for your help when I was suffering from the bloods.”
“Yeah, it’s fine. So, you better live your life according to your wishes.”
Jessica happily agreed to my advice, “Don’t worry, I’ll give my best to be your third wife in the future!”
I almost spat the coffee I was drinking. Did she understand what I have done and told her?
The kitchen princess immediately jumped into her work routine once we arrived back at the Red Diamond palace, cooking up some dishes to prepare for our breakfast and lunch later. Meanwhile, I went to talk to Maddie about my observations after my conversation with the prince. I told her everything, including how it led to that situation, which I think Her Holiness understood well.
While waiting for the food, Lily asked me a confirmatory question at the breakfast table, “So, you also think that his problems arose from his own stubbornness?”
“Yep. The crown prince has a sound mind and reason about governance. However, the nobility might’ve misinterpreted his stubbornness as something that compels them to do his bidding.”
“I see.” Maddie said, “Then we should make him realize that fault of his before the situation blows up into a full rebellion.”
“I’ve been thinking, Maddie,” Lily interjected.
“Yes, what do you got in mind?”
“Well, if the nobles were indeed spinning up stories to cast the crown prince in an unpleasant light, I don’t think the Duke of Braunhauer would easily believe those men.”
Maddie and I listened intently to Lily’s words.
“As far as I know, the Duke of Braunhauer is a shrewd man. You know how true is that, Maddie; we fought him before in the wars of the past. He’s that other commander who kept on harassing our forces in the Dawson Valley.”
“Really? Isn’t the sub-commander during that battle is a man named Earl Norman?”
“Well, the Duke of Braunhauer is Norman Dyke Braunhauer. He is formerly the Earl of Dawson Valley before he was given the Braunhauer fief as his reward.”
“Ah…is that so?” Maddie’s face had an expression of dread, “Remembering that time brings me the shivers…”
Hmm…listening to their stories brought that certain aspect of this crisis to light. If the Duke of Braunhauer was crafty enough to make that impression on the Iron Princess, then it must have a certain truth in it. Now if his colleagues were making up stories to make Prince David appear bad, I’m sure he’d take notice of it…
Unless, of course, the Duke of Braunhauer also has a grudge against the prince.
“Well, if it is true, then certainly, the ‘debt’ angle isn’t applicable.” Maddie told me, after reading my thoughts, “The Duke of Braunhauer is the richest noble in Amaranth, with his power and influence here rivaling that of the royal family, that’s why the nobility rallied around him.”
“Don’t you think we should wrap our business here, and head over to the Braunhauer fief as soon as possible?” Lily proposed, looking at me.
However, I’ll leave it to Maddie to decide.
“Hmm…if that’s what you think, then I guess we don’t need to stay here any longer,” Maddie told us.
“Well, we’re here to find out the cause of the simmering tensions between the royals and the nobility. If you finally identified the root of the problem—that is, the prince’s stubbornness in his demands, then it’s time for us to head to the other side to conduct investigations there as well.”
“Alright, I’ll notify the prince about this.”
Lily then left the room for a bit to call a paladin to relay our intent to leave for the Braunhauer lands. That left me alone at the breakfast table with Maddie.
Boy, the atmosphere took a sudden awkward turn.
Now that I noticed it, I could feel the sense of irritation in Maddie’s voice. I don’t know what she’s thinking, but I guess what I did earlier basically superseded her authority as the one ‘in-charge’ of the negotiations.
Yeah, I think I overstepped my bounds on this one…
“Nah. What you did makes our job easier, so don’t think about it too much.” Maddie read my thoughts, “I’m just kind of annoyed that another girl has entered the competition.”
“Oh, that…” Sorry.
“Nope, don’t be! You only did what you think is right, and for that, I thank you for putting my servants’ well-being first.” Maddie elaborated, “However, of all the girls that would join the competition, it has to be that von Albert girl!”
“Huh? Do you have an awful experience with her?”
This time, I didn’t notice that Lily had already returned. Perhaps she heard a bit of our conversation, so she’s the one who answered, “Well…not necessarily. Princess Jessica is actually gifted with cooking, so there’s no way she would lose, especially in a man’s stomach.”
Oh…of all the things they’d have to worry about that?
“No, you don’t understand, Kuro! It’s von Albert we’re talking about! Even Lily’s cooking isn’t worthy of being compared to her dishes.”
Lily’s face was downcast as well, “I guess, we’ll have to settle being the second and third wives, isn’t it Maddie?”
“No! Kuro is mine first!!”
Well, disregarding that stupid talk, yeah, as someone who tasted her food, the kitchen princess’ dishes were indeed something. So, she’s really not an idiot like she thought she was.
But anyway, Maddie’s anxiety was understandable as well. Although, I think they’re underestimating my resolve…
I quickly reached out and pat Maddie and Lily’s head, “Don’t worry, you two. I’m not some weak-willed person who’s easily swayed by what is given to him. And Maddie, I think I’ve been clear to you this whole time; you’re the girl I intend to marry and be faithful with.”
That put Maddie’s tantrums to a halt. However, Lily would never back down as well…
“What about me, Kuro?”
“Well, I, uh…it’s not that I don’t want to take you as my wife, too. But please understand, it’d take me a while before this kind of custom would sink unto me.”
“Alright, I understand.” Lily calmly agreed.
At least that put out the fire…for now.
This was why I don’t get it when my other male friends would try to have two or three, or more, simultaneous relationships; it’s hard to keep up and balance your attention being given to them. Good thing Maddie and Lily were quite reasonable. Most of the girls weren’t—especially those who often spend time on social media. They had unrealistic expectations placed on their partners and would demand attention ALL the time.
Man…though I’ve been living alone for 25 years now, I never thought being popular with the ladies is this stressful.