Duke of Theodore's Residence
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Translated by Green Cake
That afternoon, Yuri used transfer magic to visit the capital of the Duchy of Selsia, Dellane.
It was to send a delegation of envoys from the Duchy of Selsia. Even though the Duchy of Selsia and the Yuri Empire share a border, it still takes several days to travel between them.
It was not much of a hassle for Yuri, since she could travel there in an instant using her transfer magic.
The other day, I promised that if Sofia wanted to go back to the duchy, I could use magic to send her there, so if Sofia asked me to send a delegation, I couldn’t say no.
―――However, Sofia herself was not here.
Sofia was the head of the Explorers Guild in the new city, and she is still preparing for the opening of the new business tomorrow.
So the only things Yuri brought to the duchy this time with her transfer magic were Sofia’s knight guards and the carriages and horses the group was using to get around.
“Thank you, Your Majesty. With your help, we will be able to make up for the delay in our return.”
“I’m glad to hear it… By the way, will we be able to see Duke Theodore?”
“If he’s not here, I’m sure he’ll be fine. I will escort you to the villa, and you may take the carriage.”
“Yes, thank you.”
Yuri nodded at Grace’s word, the captain of the guard.
The carriage was equipped with a small window that allows you to see the streets of the official capital, Dellane. Soon, the carriage arrived at a magnificent mansion in the center of the city.
The carriage entered the grounds and stopped in front of the mansion. Immediately, a rather old man dressed like a butler and some servant women came running up to the carriage.
When Yuri got out of the carriage―――they all looked at her in awe.
Yuri’s face was rather well known to the citizens of the capital, as she had once made a broadcast in the capital, Dellane, during an evening party she had attended.
So they were astonished to see Yuri, the Empress of the neighboring country, coming down from the carriage wearing the emblem of the Theodore family, instead of Sofia, the daughter.
“Is it possible to meet Duke Theodore?”
“―――Yes, no problem. I’ll send for my master right away, and please wait in the other room where the maid will show you.”
“Yes, I understand.”
The butler’s reaction to Yuri’s question was delayed for a moment.
But even so, he quickly regained his composure and responded. It’s no wonder he’s been working as a butler until he’s almost old.
Yuri was guided into the reception room of the mansion and sipped the tea served by the maid.
It tasted the same as the tea that Sofia had made for her today at the Explorers Guild.
Perhaps this tea was one of the specialties produced in the cities and villages managed by the Theodore family.
After a few minutes of waiting while enjoying her tea, Yuri noticed the sound of footsteps approaching.
Setting down her cup, Yuri got up from the sofa and greeted the owner of the house.
“I am Cadain Theodore, head of the House of Theodore.”
“I’m Yuri, the head of the Yuri Empire. You met me briefly at the evening party the other day.”
“Yes, I regretted that we were not able to have a proper conversation at that time. I never imagined that you would visit our house in person.”
Yuri responded to Duke Theodore, who greeted her as soon as he entered the room.
Duke Theodore was smiling, and his speech was polite. But behind his words, Yuri caught a glimpse of his intentions: “I don’t want to be bothered by a sudden visit.”
Well, it is not unusual for the head of an enemy country to visit you in person, and if other families find out about it, it could lead to unwanted misunderstandings. From Duke Theodore’s point of view, it would not be a very pleasant thing.
“I heard that Your Majesty, Yuri was riding in our family’s carriage…?”
“This visit was to send off some people from your country.”
Yuri replied to Duke Theodore’s words, and then glanced at the guards waiting in the corner of the room.
He must have understood everything from that glance. Duke Theodore let out an “I see” and nodded as if he understood.
“Oh, Your Majesty is a user of transference magic, isn’t that right? Thank you for taking the trouble to send our people here.”
“It’s not much trouble for me, so don’t worry about it.”
“By the way, where is my daughter?”
Duke Theodore asked Yuri in a quizzical voice.
In the corner of the room are all the knights who served as escorts for the envoy, led by Captain Grace. ―――Nevertheless, Sofia, the main character of the envoy, is not here.
It is not surprising that Duke Theodore has doubts.
“I have a letter from her about that.”
“I’ll take a look… I see, it is indeed my daughter’s handwriting.”
Sofia’s handwriting is very clean when she writes official documents for the Explorers’ Guild. On the other hand, this private letter to her father is written in a very sloppy style.
If you look at it, you can easily tell that it is Sofia’s handwriting.
Sofia’s letter has a good amount of material in it.
The maid poured another cup of tea and Yuri waited for Duke Theodore to finish reading the letter.
When he finished reading, Duke Theodore had a complicated expression on his face.
“I understood what was going on, but I couldn’t understand it.” It was as if such feelings were floating in his face.
“If you don’t mind, Your Majesty, would you like to read it?”
“Oh, you don’t mind if I read it?”
“There was nothing in the book that was particularly troubling.”
Duke Theodore recommended it to me, and I thanked him for letting me read it.
The letter was written in very good handwriting, but Yuri, who wore a magic tool with the effect of translation, could read it without any difficulty.
In the letter―――surprisingly, there was no mention of the sequence of events・・・・・.
The first and most important thing is that the messenger, Sofia, was attacked by the people of the Yuri Empire and had her wits blocked.
On the contrary, she said, “Many things have happened since we came here, but if I were to write down the details, it might give your father an unnecessary preconception of the Yuri Empire, so I will omit it. I have strictly ordered my guards not to talk about this either, so please do not question.”
Duke Theodore would naturally be furious if he knew that his daughter had been attacked.
Perhaps Sofia had decided that this was not a good idea for the sake of peace between the two countries.
The letter seemed to contain more information about the Yuri Empire than about Sofia herself.
How highly developed the cities of the Yuri Empire are, and how hopeful the citizens are. How she had fallen in love with the unique culture of this country. How foolish it would be to quarrel with this country. The text goes on and on about these things.
She also said that she wanted to test her talent in this country. Sofia’s own feelings were also written in the letter.
As the daughter of a duke, she would have to fulfill the role of a noblewoman if she stayed in the duchy.
She won’t know if she will be married off to another nobleman in the country, or a prince or nobleman in another country―――.
The last thing she wants to do is get married. In the house where she was married, she was required to “know her place” and could not develop something, start a business association, or fight demons as she had done before.―――The letter said that such freedom could no longer be granted.
“I understand the debt of gratitude I have received from your father and the people of the principality, but I do not want to live as a noblewoman and lose my freedom in the future”, she wrote, clearly denying the rails laid out for her future.
That’s why… she wants to decide how to use her own body for her own will.
After thinking about it, Sofia demanded Yuri to ‘take her’.
(…… I see)
Sofia, who had the experience of being attacked and deprived of her wisdom at the sole discretion of Yuri’s vassals, the children <Kuroyuri>. However, it is said that this experience made her realize how much freedom is given to the subjects of the Yuri Empire and made her feel good about Yuri, the Empress.
That’s why she wanted to become Yuri’s vassal, or wife, or concubine, or even a slave. She hoped that if she was allowed to stay in Yuri’s hands, she would be allowed to live without the fetters of the nobility in the future.
The letter also said that this was in the best interest of the principality.
Sofia explained that “Her Majesty Yuri himself does not seem to have much desire to invade the Principality, but on the other hand, many of her vassals seem to want to actively destroy the Principality to cleanse themselves of the insults that have been committed against their lord”. It also says, “The wishes of the vassals are the most important thing.”
Furthermore, Her Majesty Yuri seems to think that what her subjects want is what she wants. So even if you can make peace with the Yuri Empire, there is no guarantee that the Principality will be safe and sound five or ten years after the ceasefire period ends if the current situation remains unchanged.
To avoid future wars, it is not enough to negotiate from the outside. Therefore, I would like my father to negotiate with Your Majesty Yuri, who brought this letter, right here and now, and win a ten-year ceasefire period at all costs. If you do, I will become Her Majesty’s favored vassal during the ten years.
As I mentioned before, Her Majesty Yuri would never disregard the wishes of her subjects. If I can show my absolute loyalty to Yuri-sama, win the favor of Yuri-sama, who loves the same sex more than men, and even achieve sufficient achievements. Then I will be able to beg for mercy from the Principality and avert future wars.
I believe that helping to do so will be a way to repay my debt to the Principality and your father, as well as for my own desire for freedom.
The end of the letter concluded with that.
After reading it, Yuri felt a complicated expression on her face.
She wanted to know what kind of decision Sofia had made when she asked Yuri to take her. The whole story in the letter was much bigger than she expected, and Yuri could not easily understand it.
“Please take care… my daughter.”
As Duke Theodore bowed his head, though he still had a somewhat complicated expression on his face. Yuri also bowed her head in response, with a similar expression on her face.
It seems that Duke Theodore also doesn’t have a good grasp of the full extent of his daughter’s thoughts.
When she thought about it, Yuri felt a little sympathy for Duke Theodore.
I don’t know what’s going on here, but for now, Sofia wants to make a name for herself as the ‘favorite vassal’ of the Yuri Empire.
If that’s the case, I’ll gratefully use her.
The Yuri Empire, which is developing rapidly, cannot afford to lose a surplus of talented people.
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