I didn't wait before kneeling on the floor.
And it's just in time to receive the opening of the door.
Not daring to lift my head, I just look at the carpet, wondering if I'll get a right moment to ask for going home. I now know that the boy I saved is the Crown Prince, but seeing that they brought me to the palace instead of going to the nearest estate after I lost my consciousness, it seems they didn't know who I was.
I'd like to keep it that way too, but it's too much hassle to try to lie to the king. A king like him, what can't he find out with one flick of his hand? It's safer to think that everything about me is already reported to him by a capable spy or something like that.
And what kind of king he is anyway?
"Rise, Benefactor," a smooth gentlemanly voice comes to my ears.
I rise my head and slowly stand up.
"Actually, I didn't expect you to be able to leave your bed already."
The king offers a smile, and for the first time, I can see his face clearly.
It's a well sculpted face that can be mistaken as an angel. He has a long pale blonde hair, falling straight to his waist. It's akin to the color of full moon. His eyes are shining in turquoise color, but the blue seems too warm to be real. The beauty is almost androgynous, but there's no mistake that he's a man from the well sculpted jaw and the outline of his swan white neck. They only make him even more attractive.
...Huh, did I just describe a man as attractive? But he's too unreal to be 3D, seriously. Did they choose the new king based on his looks around here?
"On the behalf of the whole kingdom of Rozenier, and as a father, I thank you for saving my son," he says before bowing.
He shouldn't be allowed to bow to stranger! What is his advisor doing?!
But I look at those people behind him and only see guards, not advisors.
This kind of conduct isn't kingly at all.
Hurriedly, I lower my head deeper than him and say, "Please, Your Majesty. It is my honor to have the opportunity to lend the mysterious hand of the heavens through this humble self."
I'm not used to this kind of formal exchange. I can't find the right word to say so I just say the most sincere thing that I can figure out in panic.
"Raise your head, halfling," the King says, and I obey. He looks a bit troubled while he offers another smile. It seems that responding to his bow with another one of mine isn't really a standard procedure.
But what he does isn't even the norm in the first place. Come on, otherworldly king. I was just an ordinary salaryman back in Japan. It's too much for me to receive a bow from someone of your stature! Sobs.
Actually, the fact that I can read some of his emotions make me doubt that he's actually the king of Rozenier, the largest kingdom in the continent. He looks too... open to handle all the intrigues and plotting that I associate with politics. I also think that he looks too young, but who knows if he has an elven blood a few generations before him? That will explain his youthful look that probably miss his real age by a decade or more.
"Then, for your meritorious deed, what would you like to receive in exchange?" he says.
I bow again, shallow this time, and says, "It's not my place, Your Majesty. Through the mysterious hand of the heavens, I also received his help."
I clearly remember that I was unconscious after we got to the riverbank. "A life exchange" or something like that seemed to pass my mind. That was a bit scary. I didn't want to die again, not when I haven't done anything meaningful here.
Not while I'm still a virgin...!
Yes, to be honest, that was what I had in mind. A little shameful, really. But I don't want any rewards and whatever it might entail. I'm not slow, but my Arata self is clearly hindering me from thinking what will be the most beneficial to get. Or if doing him a favor without making it returned as tangible reward is better.
There's too many things going on at the same time in my head.
"You saved him from the river, shielded him from harm, and brought him back to life. That was all three deeds that we couldn't afford to let go, halfling," the king said again. "But first, may I know what to call you?"
For a moment I hesitate. The name that almost rolls out of my tongue is Arata Yoshida, but... Clearly, I have to pretend that I'm still the same half elf that has been living here for more than two decades.
"...Alovera, Your Majesty," I say after than short pause.
"Then, Alovera. Tell us what you wish for. Not much are out of our power to give to you." His voice is still so warm. Too warm for a king.
What I wish for...
I wish for information.
About this world.
About the Saintess, the game's heroine.
About the dimension gate, and how to be able to gain permission to access that.
How to go home.