★★--Inside the Duke's castle in the Shinga City--★★
Note: Not from Nara's POV.
Two men wearing metal armors were walking towards the audience room in the duke's castle. Both of them had longswords on their waist which was unusual because only the castle guards were allowed to carry weapons around this part of the castle. Them being here with weapons means that the duke trusted them enough to let them carry those around.
"Garo, I thought we would be able to take a break after coming back from the monster hunting expedition but, we are here for more work. Do you think the duke is also like all those nobles who care about nothing else except their asses?"
A man in his mid-twenties asked in a casual tone. He had yellow hair and a scar on his forehead. He was wearing an earring on his right ear and looked like a typical street punk. Someone like him being allowed to be here meant that he was with someone whom duke trusted greatly.
"Watch your mouth, or else I will make sure that you won't be able to speak anymore," said a man in his mid-thirties. He also had yellow hair but he looked like a gentleman from every angle, the exact opposite of the man who he was with. Based on what the young man called him, his name must be Garo.
"Duke is a brave man who fought bravely against demons 11 years ago. If it weren't for him and his squad, the city would have been destroyed by the time royal knights came for help. Show some respect towards him, punk," Garo added in a praising tone.
"Hou... But I have heard that he is calling us today for asking us to play with a bunch of academy kids. It looks like he is doing all this for entertaining the nobles. It doesn't sound like a man you always talk about," the young man replied in a casual tone like before without caring about the warning Garo just gave him.
"He must have some reasons for doing this," Garo replied. In truth, he himself wasn't sure why duke was doing this. But he never doubted the man, he believed that there must be a reason behind all this.
As they were talking, they reached the audience room. After they knocked on the door, duke's old trusted butler opened it saying "please come in".
The duke was sitting in his chair behind which the old butler went and stood. It, by no means, looked good to make a thin old man like him stand while sitting in a chair himself. But everyone knew that if they were to exchange places, that wouldn't look good either.
"Welcome back Garo, how was the expedition?" asked the duke when he saw them entering the room.
Garo had a chair in front of him but he didn't seat on it because he wasn't told to. He kept on standing and replied, "It went well, Your Grace. We have successfully thinned the number of monsters in the surrounding villages by working together with the local knights. My squad members are resting at the moment but we will be ready for service any time you need us."
The duke hummed after hearing his answer and jumped straight into the main topic, "I want your squad members to test a bunch of kids for me. You don't need to go easy on them but just don't be too rough with them."
They both already knew that the duke was looking for a squad to fight some academy students. Since they were available, there was a high chance they would be called so it was as they predicted.
It looked like the young man who was with him wanted to say something but before he could open his mouth, Garo said, "It will be as you want Your Grace though I can't guarantee that they won't be hurt since my squad hasn't gone easy on anyone in a while."
"HAHAHA! that will be fine. Injuries on young ones will heal quickly. It will be tomorrow afternoon but bring your party to the castle tomorrow morning, I want you to meet them first," the duke said after a laugh.
"Thank you, Your Grace. if you will excuse me," Garo bowed and so did the young man with him but there was a clear lack of respect and admiration compared to Garo's bow.
As they were about to leave the duke said "wait" and turned his head towards the young man and asked him, "What's your name young man?"
The young man realized whom he was dealing with when their gaze met. He couldn't bring himself to speak casually like he usually does, he just said, "I-I am Fizz sir".
The duke hummed and leaned back in his chair in a relaxed way. It looked as if he has lost all the interest to know more about that man.
The old butler went ahead and opened the door for them after which Garo and the young man named Fizz left.
★★-- Back to the Dorm--★★
"Wake up sleepyhead!"
I opened my eyes after hearing Sistina. She and Arica were the only ones who entered my room without asking me first. I don't mind her doing that but Arica always takes things to the next level so I have to be careful around her.
"I am awake Sistina. Thanks for waking me up," I said while rubbing my eyes after raising myself up. I was a bit tensed about our fight against the knight squad today so it took me a while to fall asleep last night.
"Now get changed and come down quickly, everyone is already in the dining room," she said as she was leaving. It looked like everyone was already at the dining room for breakfast and I was the only one waking up this late.
'Looks like I even beat Arica at waking up late today.'
After I got changed, I went to the dining room. There, everyone else was already having breakfast. I said, "good morning" when I entered to which everyone replied in their own way. Since they said it together, it was a bit hard to understand.
After I joined them, Sam served me breakfast which looked like French toast. Sam's cooking was always perfect so I complimented him with, "it's good, thank you" like always.
As we were eating, we heard someone ringing the handbell on the door outside. Sam went to check who it was and returned after some time. Since no one came inside with him, we all looked towards him to know who it was.
"It was coachmen sent to take you all to the duke's castle. They said they will be waiting outside until you are ready."
It made sense that they wouldn't make the princesses walk to the castle. And, if the carriage was just for princesses they would never agree to go on them leaving us behind.
"Are we leaving for the castle this early?" Nina asked.
It wasn't that early since it would be around 9 am if I were in my previous world but since the match was in the afternoon, it was a little early.
"It looks like the duke wants to introduce us to the other party," Miss Lilith replied.
Usually, that would be done after the battle so doing it before meant they were someone duke personally knew or an attempt to scare us before the fight so that we would quit.
"Well, at least we will be able to know a little more about the enemies we are fighting against," said Ronald who was done eating.
After we finished our breakfast we went to our rooms to be ready. After about half an hour we gathered in the sitting room. Everyone was wearing their academy uniform while Miss Lilith was wearing a red one-piece dress.
When we went outside, there were two carriages standing for us. Princesses, Miss Lilith, and Nina sat on one of them while the rest of us sat on another. We didn't talk much on the way since we all had nothing much to talk about in such a situation. Marina was looking a little overwhelmed by everything so I said, "don't worry. we'll be fine" to console her.
After a while, we reached to the duke's castle. The guard on the gate didn't ask any questions to the coachmen which meant they were already familiar with the carriage and who was coming in it.
When we got inside and got off the carriage, we were greeted by duke's old butler. He bowed a little and said, "It's an honor to be able to welcome princesses. Please come this way."
The princesses replied with a simple "thank you" after which we followed him to a room that looked like a cabinet. It was empty when we reached there so we probably had to wait.
The old man bowed again and said, "Please wait here. Duke and the other party will be here shortly".
'So it is as we expected.'
We sat on the chairs on one side of the long table that was in the room. Each side had 10 chairs so one was left empty.
After a while, we heard the footstep of some men coming and ones who were coming through that door were going to be our opponents.
Next Chapter: Fighting a Knight squad - Part 2