Lucia, Worrying about Celes
The day after I bade farewell to Celes-san, the news of Her Holiness embarking on the purification journey managed to reach the ears of us servants.
Together with Her Holiness Maria-sama, His Highness the Crown Prince, the commander of the knight brigade accompanied by his adjutant, the Dragonslayer Hero, and the Academia’s fire-wielding sorcerer would be going on the journey together.
Of course, apart from those mentioned, there’ll be a few common knights like Celes-san, many soldiers, and some maids that would be accompanying them. By the end of the day, a considerably large force had been assembled.
With that, he’ll definitely be able to come back safely.
Thinking about it like that, I was slightly relieved.
Please, please stay safe. Hopefully they won’t meet a dragon or such. That was my only wish.
And so after half a month, the day of Celes-san’s departure had finally arrived.
The streets had been lined since dawn with people seeing off His Highness the Crown Prince and Her Holiness. It was almost like a festival.
However, because I had work, I was unable to see them off.
As I grasped the laundry and looked up into the clear, bright blue skies, my mind wandered over to Celes-san’s travels.
It’s fine to not become a hero.
God, somehow, please allow me to meet that gentle person once again.
Please let him return safely and uninjured.
As the sound of applause floated over with the wind, I allowed my hands to rest for a while as I turned my gaze up towards the blue sky.
It was raining that day.
Whenever it rained, we used the indoor laundry and drying area.
Today, we were washing sheets so everyone was trampling the dirt out of the fabric with their skirts hiked up as they chatted to one another. As usual, only the quiet Rossera-san was doing the washing with a smile and listening passively.
“For washing such large items, it’d be better if the weather was clear.”
“Recently, it has been raining nonstop so it can’t be helped.”
“It stinks when it’s half-dried. I hate it.”
“Right, right! Stinky sheets are the embarrassment of all laundry-women but with Mr. Sun hiding, there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Although the indoor drying area was spacious enough, it was still not enough for all the sheets to dry completely. Although it dried more or less faster with the use of an iron, even that would take a long time.
If I could use “Soap!”, it’d be much faster as it’d remove the stubborn stains. But on Kikka-san’s recommendation, that it’s not good to always depend on my magic, I was washing it the usual way.
“Well then, let’s do our best for one more! By the time it’s finished drying, it’ll be afternoon.”
“Ha~ It’s almost afternoon!”
“I’m so hungry now.”
“What’s on today’s menu? It’s a little chilly so it’d be nice if there was soup. Even though we’re moving about, it’s definitely cold here!”
With Kikka-san’s encouragement, we increased our washing speed. The sheets that have become pretty were rinsed with water, slapped repeatedly with the iron, and hung with a rope. Doing this with nothing but an iron takes a lot of time. Ah, the difficulty of drying indoors.
“It became hot because we used the iron.”
“Thanks to the charcoal fire, it feels like my body’s temperature went up. I think I’ll be fine even without the soup now.”
It seemed like Gino-san had stopped craving for soup. It’s true that the charcoal fire had steamed up the laundry, and made it a little hot in here.
“The window, I’ll open it a little.”
“Thank you, Rossera!”
Rossera-san opened the windows just a little bit to let in the wind, but not enough for the rain to drip in to prevent the sheets from get wet.
“Well then, shall we get some food for now?”
At Kikka-san’s lead, we gathered at the servant’s canteen.
In the Royal Castle, there are a variety of different canteens for the use of officials, knights, soldiers, maids or servants etc. Even though we’re all working at the same place, there’s a difference in social status, and that was reflected in the food. Like whether there’s meat or not.
“Oh, it’s soup today.”
“That’s good for you, Gino.”
“This is really good with the little grains of barley in it.”
“It’s warm. Aah, that’s a nice smell. Eating food after working so hard is really delicious.”
Today’s menu is barley and potato stew. It’s served with hard biscuits and a small piece of cheese.
Taking the tray that lunch was served on, we went over to sit at an empty corner and started eating.
“Come to think of it, have you heard?”
“What’s up? That was sudden.”
When we started eating, the uncle sitting over at the next seat started talking with Kikka-san.
I don’t know him but he’s an acquaintance of Kikka-san, so they started conversing normally.
“The guys who followed Her Holiness seems to have returned. Those other than the commander and his adjutant, the Academia’s sorcerer and the Dragonslayer Hero.”
I gave a gasp at the uncle’s statement unknowingly.
But that means, Celes-san? Celes-san has returned!
Even though I was prepared to not meet for a year, it made me really surprised. But, they only just left on the journey, why?
“Like the little Miss there, I was surprised too.”
Ignoring the me who had let slip a cry in surprise, Kikka-san continued the conversation.
“Why was it so?”
“About that, it’s just rumours around here, but Her Holiness’s maids and the remaining guys were sent back on orders of His Highness.”
“What are they thinking, sending them back? If they were to meet a dragon during the purification journey, what are they going to do with so little people?”
“How would I know? However, from what I heard from one of the soldiers, the maids were sent back due to Her Holiness’s temper. Something about them looking at His Highness and the hero with amorous eyes, and constantly finding faults with them. There was a big uproar.”
“So she has quite a temper, huh. And what about the others from the knights and soldiers brigade?”
“The one who gave the order was His Highness so they didn’t state the reason. But I really don’t understand. What are they hoping to accomplish by sending back their military power?”
“Commander Agrialdi, why did he just allow it to happen? Even if it’s under the orders of His Highness, couldn’t he have refused the decision on behalf of the knights brigade?”
“I really don’t understand what the higher-ups were thinking.”
Saying that, Kikka-san and the uncle frowned at the same time.
“But, that’s good for you, Lucia-chan.”
“Right right, are you going to meet him now? How do you call it, your companion. Even though I think you mentioned he’s from the Third Corps, we’ve never heard his name.”
Hearing the uncle’s words, Gina-san and Gino-san asked me excitedly.
That’s right, although I do have a feeling of wanting to meet him right now……
“No, I won’t go today. It’s raining, after all. Celes-san promised to only meet on clear days.”
“Celes-san is, that person??”
Then it happened.
“Hey, hey! There’s trouble!”
Benedetta-san came flying into the canteen with a twisted expression.
Benedetta-san is a laundry-woman attached to the royal family. As she was also a laundry-woman, we knight brigade laundry-women know her from interacting a few times……although she was a person who liked to gossip, she wasn’t a person who would run around loudly.
“Monsters……closing in in the direction of Al Tado!!”
TN: In the olden days all around the world, one method for washing large articles like sheets and curtains was stepping and trampling on them. There are places who still use this washing method nowadays though, I hear it’s still pretty popular in Korea.
TN: Thanks for reading again! So due to popular opinion in the previous chapter’s comments, I have changed the honorifics form to -san, -chan so as to better reflect their meaning. For those who are bothered by it, I’ll apologise in advance and hope that you’ll get used to it eventually. ><
I would also like to thank and welcome my lovely proofreader and editor aiskaiz, who kindly offered her grammatical expertise to a new translator like me. (❁´▽`❁)*✲ﾟ*
The side stories chapters will be translated by Grawles, which is why I continued onto the main chapter 5. Please look forward to it!
In other irrelevant facts of the day, I really shouldn’t be translating this chapter before lunch because the barley and potato stew with biscuit and cheese sounds really good and I’m hungry.