Gooood Morning! Welcome to The Delicious Roast! I am your hostess, the beautiful barmaid Felicia. Would you like a breakfast, a bath, or.... me?
Because of the incident a few days ago, Lili and I had to work here to pay our debts. In case you don't remember, I was robbed on my way to dinner and we ended up eating without paying for it. So now we're something like bonded slaves for a week, since we're not actually paid to work here. All we get are two meals, three mugs of cider and a bed to sleep in every day. We can drink fresh water as much as we want, though.
Not that I'm complaining. It may look humiliating, but this has been a very valuable experience. Do you still remember that I said some time ago how I planned on opening my own fast food restaurant, the one that will go by the name of Felicious? The experience I earn here will be of much help in setting it up. Besides, I'm swimming in silver!
That's right, silver! It may not be gold, but 15 silver still equals 1 gold. You ask why I'm swimming in silver when I'm not even being paid? Fufufu, the answer is... TIPS! Just by calling someone 'daddy' or 'big brother' someone would give me money. How awesome is that? Since I'm not paying anything for food and lodging, all of it is mine to keep. Muhahahahah!
The same is true for Lili. She's not raking in the cash like me, but her timid and shy personality invokes a protective instinct among our patrons. The moment she said 'big brother' or even 'thank you' with that shy demeanor, someone would slip a big copper into her hand. For some reason, everyone kind of think that she's an orphan. Every time someone proposed to take her into his or her family, she would say that she was in love with someone and that she’s only working here so that she can return home together with that person. I know you're talking about me, Lili, but you shouldn't use that sob story to make money. Jeez, girls are scary.
Ah, I forgot to mention that we're still in Lytis. I don't know how the ransom negotiation has been going, but I would have known if it's already concluded. After all, I am working at a tavern, and taverns are a great source of gossip. People will definitely talk if the negotiation has ended and if they see a lot of unarmed soldiers leaving the prince's castle. So far, there has been no such rumour.
I may have mentioned this earlier, but working at a tavern is apparently a very lucrative job. It had only been four days since I started working here, but already I had a total of 83 silver coins from tips alone. Fufufu, and I'm not even being paid to work here.
Come come, come visit me, barmaid Felicia at The Delicious Roast. Bring your purse, lots of silver and get ready to lose them quickly. My personal services are very expensive. So please, daddies, mommies and big brothers, spare some silver for this cute and absolutely adorable barmaid Felicia. Please oh please, make me rich. Muhahahahaha!
It was a little after noon, we were just done serving a large number of patrons. Surprisingly, this small, dirty restaurant that used to have just a small number of loyal customers became something like a prime meal spot since a few days ago. Nara was baffled at how fast the food stocks disappeared but Nira always seemed to be grinning at Nara's confusion.
"Felicia, come here," my boss Nara called. In case you forgot, this is the big sister waitress.
"Yeess! Anything you want me to do, boss?"
"Don't get cheeky with me!" she did a light karate chop on my head, "I'm giving you some time off until dinner, hurry and get out of the restaurant."
"Don't 'eh' me! You've been flirting left and right. I don't want the restaurant to have that kind of reputation, especially since you're just a temporary worker. Unless you plan on continuing to work here long after your trial period is up, I'm having you cool yourself off."
"But... where would I go?"
"Why are you asking me? Have a nap, go for a walk, bet on a horse, I don't care," then she took out 5 big coppers and handed it to me, "Here, take this as your spending money."
I accepted it gratefully and was about to put it into my barmaid's apron pocket when Nara said, "On second thought, give it back."
"Ah? What's this noise I hear?" (lol)
"No, give it back, Felicia. You're already making a lot of money."
"Oh, what is this? Why is the noise getting louder?"
"Felicia, don't ignore me. Give it back."
"Jeez I can't hear a single thing! (lol) See you later, Ms. Nara. Thanks for the money."
"FELICIA, COME BACK HERE!"
"Eeyaaaa, it's nice to have a break once in awhile. Too bad Lili can't be here," I said to myself as I spent some time watching a street theatre at Lunar Plaza. I caught the performance by surprise, really. I was just minding my own business when I saw a lot of people crowding. So naturally, I went to take a look as well and stayed for the rest of the performance.
It wasn't exactly a West End theatre production, but it was pretty good. Especially considering that it was a street performance. Apart from theatre, they also performed songs and musicals. Some of them sang off-key, but that was fine, since it was still pretty enjoyable. So I placed a single big copper into the donation box they set up in appreciation.
Can't give them a silver, they weren't that good.
But this reminded me of something that we've been missing in Mruna - entertainment. Sure, nobody dares to complain about the lack of entertainment and since we have the harvest festival every year, it can be said that the populace is content. However, for a society to grow, it needs an investment in culture. By culture, that means entertainment, art, literature and a social identity. All the great civilizations have them. Greek, Rome, Carthage, Egypt and India all shared the same idea of a culture that defined their civilization. Not only does culture keeps the populace content, it also gives them a common identity, which translates into a more loyal populace.
Even computer games promoted this. I can't believe I've been ignoring something so obvious. Alright, when I get back to Mruna, I'm gonna build a theatre. Everyone gets to watch the performances, so maybe it has to be big enough for 1000 people? No, let's make it small scale first, it will be bad if I can't afford the final result. It's not like everyone in Mruna will be watching anyway. Maybe they can take turns as well. Or maybe have sponsored performances where anyone can watch for free while allowing pay-to-watch performances.
"Hm, yep, that should work," I said to myself as I walked towards Lytis's south park.
Lost in thought, I didn't realize that my foot had stepped on something soft. I looked down and under my feet was a purple-haired little girl, lying face down on the park's walkway. She was very small and just by looking at her from the back, I could guess that she was much, much younger than me.
I poked her with my foot. No response.
I poked her with a stick. No response.
I kicked her lightly with my foot. Still no response.
Ah! It must be a doll or a cushion. I heard a small village north of Lytis made handcrafted human-sized hug pillow. This must be it.
I took hold of both its legs and dragged the doll towards one of the big rocks that functioned as park benches. Then I draped the doll's body over a rock and sat on its back. The doll was soft, it was pretty comfy. Despite the technological backwardness of this world, they can make pretty realistic looking human-shaped cushions. I should get one of these for my workbench.
Ha? I seem to be hearing voices.
There it is again! Oh dear ancestors, am I cursed?
I looked down at my seat and saw the doll looked at me with a dreadful expression. It became a real girl! So I jumped up and wondered what kind of sorcery this was. I had never heard of a magic that could turn a doll into a human in this world. I silently prayed to the ancestors to protect me from evil spirits.
Just then, I heard the sound of a grumbling stomach.
"Eat slowly, would you? You're making me embarrassed," I said as I watched the little girl stuff her cheeks with all the food that I ordered.
Apparently that wasn't a doll or a cushion, it was just a starving beggar.
"REFILL!" she called.
"Oi! Learn moderation!"
"But I'm hungry..."
"You've already eaten five people's share!"
"But I'm still hungry..." the little girl made a pitiful face.
"For your information, I'm running out of money here. I don't want to work for a week here as well."
Let me clarify. After realizing that the doll was in fact a human being and not a cursed doll, I found out that she had collapsed due to hunger. Since there was not a single food stall at the park because of something related to city regulations, I dragged her to the closest restaurant. Of course, I didn't have the strength to carry her. I also didn't want to waste money hiring someone to carry her. So I just dragged her to the restaurant by her feet with her face collecting dust behind me.
If I had known that she would've completely emptied my pocket, I wouldn't have bothered.
"Why didn't you go to Knave's Path if you were so hungry? There's a food kitchen there."
"I went there before but they kicked me out after the first time."
"Kicked you out? Why..." I was about to ask why they had kicked her out of a soup kitchen, but looking at the pile of plates and bowls on the table, I already had a pretty good idea why.
"Fine, just one more refill. After that, we'll go our separate ways," I said after ordering a refill for her chicken soup.
"You're not eating?" she asked cutely, or as cute as she could be with her lower face covered in soup, gravy and apple juice.
"No thanks. I've already lost my appetite."
"Oh? That's too bad," the little girl said as she stuffed her face with more food.
"How are you able to eat all that stuff with your small body?"
She answered between munches. "Umm, this... because it's hard to get food... so I eat a lot... and then I can sleep for the whole week."
"Are you a bear?!"
I was walking back towards The Delicious Roast after spending all my money on that gluttonous beggar when I turned around and said, "So why are you still following me?"
"Umm, I want to repay the favour."
"If you're looking for more food, find someone else. I'm broke."
"No, no, not looking for more food. But if you want to give me..."
"I'll do anything!"
"I said go away!" I started running.
"Ahh!!! Annoying!" I cried as I ran as fast as I could through the crowd.
It took me more than half an hour of zigzagging across busy streets, crawling under tables and leaving through the back door of houses before I finally arrived at The Delicious Roast.
"Huff huff... finally lost... the pest." I said with ragged breath once I arrived at The Delicious Roast.
"Oh, welcome back, Felicia. You're back early. I thought big sis told you to take a break until dinner time?" Nira who was carrying several mugs in her hand said while delivering drinks.
"Huff huff... there was... a glutton."
"By the way, who's the cutie?"
"The one holding on to your skirt?"
I suddenly had a bad feeling. Slowly, I turned my head to the right and just slightly behind me, holding on to the hem of my barmaid skirt, was the little girl from earlier.
"You're so cruel. It was hard to run while holding your skirt, big sister. I almost lost my grip several times."
"It's a ghost!!!"
"How rude. I'm not a ghost. I'm a loli."
"How is that better?!!!"
"Aha? Could you be looking for work, little girl?"
"Work? Can I?"
"You sure can. Someone so cute and small like you is always welcomed. Uhehehehe," Nira said with drool dripping from her wide grin.
"Good work, everyone," Ms. Nara said as we closed shop.
Technically we didn't close anything, we simply propped the chairs up on the tables and snuffed the lanterns in the kitchen. Anyone could still enter since we shared the same entrance as the inn. I heard from Nira that the inn was originally owned by their family, but after their parents were cheated of their money, they lost everything. They were about to be kicked out to the streets when one of the patrons who had been in love with Nara proposed to her. The patron turned out to be the second son of a merchant family and used his savings to buy the restaurant and attic part of the inn so that both Nara and Nira wouldn't be sleeping on the streets. Eventually both Nara and Nira went to stay with him in his own home.
Tonight though, we didn't snuff the lanterns. After we were done closing the restaurant, Nira told me to call the little girl, Sul, for her waitressing lesson. Yes, it was decided that the gluttonous little girl was going to be working here as well. Nara refused, of course. But a liberal use of the words 'Please, big sister" and "I love you", Nira eventually managed to get her to agree. Ms. Nara was surprisingly weak in front of her little sister.
I entered the attic that I shared with Lili to see Sul sleeping peacefully on our bed. She looked so adorable with her light purple hair, her cute face, her slightly puckered lips and that slightly flipped skirt showing - what the hell was that?
No, it wasn't a penis. Jeez!
I went closer to her sleeping form. Noticing something drawn in the inner side of her left thigh, I became a little curious. Was it a tattoo, a birthmark or a bruise? Was she abused or beaten before I met her? I flipped her skirt up and pulled her thighs apart, seeing a tattoo-like symbol drawn on the inside of her left thigh. Taking a lantern and holding it close, I saw that it was a tattoo of a cat-like animal in front of an eight-sided star. The whole tattoo was framed by a circle.
Curious, I examined it closer. Upon closer examination, with my face mere inches from the tattoo, I could see that the circle wasn't actually a circle. It was actually a continuous set of runic characters, which I couldn't identify. It probably wasn't Imperial.
It was at this point that Lili entered the room. I looked up from my examination to see her face of shock. I looked back to the tattoo that I was examining earlier and looked back at her shocked face.
I tried imagining this view from her eyes. Me spreading a little girl's legs, her skirt flipped, with my face between her thighs. This looks like...
"My lady!" Lili wept as she ran away.
Wait, Lili. You got it all wrong! I'm not a molester! I'm not a molester!
That night, Lili slept as far away from me as possible. All attempts to talk with her were received with silence. Meanwhile, that pest Sul slept between us. I had wanted to persuade Lili with a bit of whispering and touching. This is all your fault, you damned gluttonous loli!
The next day came and Lili still wouldn't talk to me. I was very sad.
Is this punishment for looking up another girl's skirt? Ancestors, are you punishing me for a moment of weakness?
"Felicia, which card do you think I should take?" one of my patrons said as he shifted me on his lap.
"Jeez, big bro Meul, I said no touching, remember?" I said, referring to his right hand on my waist.
"I'm sorry, little Felicia. It's just gotten a little uncomfortable, that's all."
"Is it because I'm heavy? Should I get up, big bro?" I said as I tried to get up. I knew very well it wasn't because I was heavy because I could feel that hard thing under my butt. I knew exactly what that hard thing was. I used to have that hard thing too.
"No! Don't get up, it's nothing, don't worry about it. Yes, how about you pick the card for me, Felicia?"
"Is it okay, big bro? I don't know how to play."
"It's fine. It's just a light game. Don't worry."
"Okay, if you insist, big bro."
Let me explain, we are currently playing a card game called Rebellion. It is a combination of the card games Invasion, Assassination and Coup. The gameplay is quite simple. You have your own deck of 20 cards, which you mix together with your opponents' decks and then split into the amount of people playing. So if there are two players, it will be split into two stacks, if four, four stacks. The split stacks will then be placed face down in front of each player. To start playing, the players will take turns taking two cards from the stack in front of them in a clockwise order.
After that, the players will take another card, either from the stack in front of him, to his right or to his left or from the hand of the player before him. In the case of two players, the card may be taken either from his own stack or his opponent's stack but never from his opponent's hand. From sixth round afterwards, the players will either have to increase bets or maintain bets or fold if they want to bail out. There is also another type of Rebellion called Absolute Rebellion, where there is also the option to split a hand.
The objective of the game is to acquire a Campaign card as well as one of the conditions for victory, which is Invasion, Assassination, Coup or Rebellion. Invasion is defeated by Assassination. Assassination is defeated by Coup. Coup is defeated by Invasion. Rebellion is a special one where it beats everything and everyone still in play, but the player holding it must be the one to use the Campaign card. If any other player uses a Campaign card and any victory hand against the owner of Rebellion first, the Rebellion owner loses by default.
Each deck is formed following the rules of 2 kings, 2 queens, 2 generals, 3 soldiers, 3 archers, 3 cavalries, 4 cards of choice (4 cards of any suits except campaign) and 1 campaign card.
Invasion Win consists of 1 king, 1 general, 2 soldiers, 1 archer and 1 cavalry.
Assassination Win consists of 1 queen, 1 general, 2 soldiers and 2 archers.
Coup Win consists of 1 general, 2 soldiers, 2 archers and 1 cavalry.
Rebellion Win consists of 4 soldiers and 2 archers.
"Umm, I want to take a card from big brother Cuzo's hand," I said pointing my finger at the man on my right.
"It's big brother Cuto, dear," he said while holding out his hand.
"Well, anyway, I'm taking this one!"
I picked out a card, which turned out to be a Campaign card.
"Wahahaha! I call Invasion on Yami!" big brother Meul laughed as he put down 1 King, 1 General, 2 Soldiers, 1 Archer and 1 Cavalry alongside the Campaign card. He put aside 1 Queen as it was not necessary.
"Shit!" Yami cursed as he put down 1 General, 2 Soldiers, 1 King and 3 Archers. It was possible he was planning on an Assassination win, but couldn't get the Queen card. Had he gotten a Queen card, the table would've turned and big brother Meul would be the one to lose.
Big brother Meul kissed me on the cheek with his arm around me while saying, "Thanks for the win, baby!" before he scooped up the small pile of silver from Yami's betting pile towards his side of the table.
I openly picked up three silver coins from the pile.
"Eh, why are you taking the silver coins?" big brother Meul asked.
"Shouldn't I get something for that sneak kiss and hug, big bro Meul?" I said with a wink before I got off his lap and resumed my barmaid duties.
Meul then laughed boisterously behind me and resumed the game. Yami excused himself with a polite curse, stating that he had already wagered his entire lunch. Meul instead laughed again and paid for a cheap lunch for Yami.
Meanwhile, that little pest Sul sat on the bar's counter with her thin bare legs dangling and a harp in her hands. It was a harp that Nira found among the storage heap, courtesy of a guest who couldn't pay for his meals some weeks ago. Sul was apparently skilled in the use of a harp and for a small 'donation', would even sing for the patrons. Her voice was surprisingly good and pleasant. Her choice of lyrics and melody was not only cheerful but also uplifting. This little pest might actually be someone talented.
Sul also wasn't paid to work here, as Nara offered her the same deal that she offered Lili and me. Most of the time, she would be taking orders and delivering drinks, just like us, though we also delivered food now. With the amount of customers we've been having for the past few days, we really needed another pair of hands. During breakfast and dinner though, she would be sitting on the bar's counter playing her harp. She would only be able to play five songs, as her fingers would hurt if she had played longer, but this was where she got most of her tips. Some would pay even five silvers to hear her angelic voice singing some happy tunes before they went to work and after they returned from work.
The songs that Sul sang were common throughout Lytis, but with her beautiful voice and skilled play of the harp, there was a world of difference. Considering that women bards were seen as women of loose virtue and prostitutes often sang to promote themselves, there were hardly any female singers in Lytis outside of the dark alleys. So that was perhaps Sul's selling point, as not only was she talented, she was also too young to be seen as a woman of loose virtue.
Oh by the way, Lili still wouldn't speak to me. I'm so depressed... (TT^TT)
It was our sixth day of work that Lili finally spoke to me again, but only because of a certain event.
"My lady, we need to hide!"
"Lili, you're finally speaking to me again. I miss you!"
"No, that's not the issue."
"Lili, I zweear, I whuzn na mlezter. You mizundeztooood!"
"Yes yes, now let's go hide."
"Lili, phleaze zay you blieve..." I said with my nose full of snot.
"Yes, I believe you. Let's hide."
"Why?" I asked as I blew my snot on a piece of napkin.
"That pirate captain is here."
"Eh?" I poked my head to the side a little, and at the entrance, a bunch of guys walked into the restaurant.
Leading in front was that pirate captain Keimo, Keiro or Keizo. His name is so confusing. He walked in with a strong, dignified gait suggesting that he was a man of strong character or someone respected. With his bronze breastplate and four henchmen following behind, he looked like someone who was no stranger to battle. Unfortunately, this whole atmosphere was ruined by the presence of my girly Dusk Claw, a beautiful thin steel sword that he hung on the left side of his belt.
At least he hadn’t seen us yet.
"Lili, let's run out from the back door!"
"Felicia! Why are you skulking around like a thief? And you too, Lili, what are you doing?!" Nara scolded when she came around the kitchen with a tray full of lunch.
Aw shit, he saw us. Too late to run now.
"Princess, we've been looking all over the city for you. We were worried something happened to you."
"Err, hi Koizo," I said as I slowly walked to his table.
"Whatever. Anyway, what do you want to eat?"
Koito looked at me, then noticed Lili and looked back at my dress. "Princesssss!!!! What's the meaning of this? Why are you and your attendant dressed as bar wenches?!"
"You're noisy, make an order or get out. You're disturbing the other customers."
"Prinzezzzz, lezz go baaack. You need to go baaack!" he cried while clinging to my hands.
What's with this childish behaviour? This is totally different from the time when he was captured. Is this how he normally acts when he doesn't have to act tough? Is this what is called ‘personality gap’? To tell the truth, it's annoying.
"Lili," I said as I pulled back my hands and folded my arms under my breasts, or under what should be breasts, if I had any.
"Yes." Lili then proceeded to put the pirate captain in an armlock.
"Order. Now," I commanded.
"Today'z zpecial, prinzezz," Koito said wincing with his left arm locked behind him.
"Alright, five of today's special and beer."
"Umm, princess, I'd like roasted lamb if you have it?"
"4 today's special, then."
"Princess, I'd like braised chicken."
"Jeez, if you want different meals, you should've asked earlier! Fine, roasted lamb, braised chicken and today's special for the rest of you."
"Too late! Today's special for you," I said as I delivered the order to Nara.
"I know you're a noblewoman but are you really a princess?" Nara asked.
"Ah no, don't listen to that idiot. He must've been dropped as a child."
"Prinzeeeezz, lez go baaacck..."
"Oi, quiet over there! You're my first knight now, act like one!"
Without my knowing it, my reply reinforced the other patron’s beliefs that I really was a princess. It became annoying very quickly, but I couldn't be bothered to fix the situation. Too many things happened shortly afterwards that were a lot more important than being misunderstood as a princess.
"So talk," I said as I sat on a chair that one of the men politely vacated after their meal.
"Prinzeezzzz, where 'ave you beeeen? We looked all over ze zity!"
I flicked Koito's forehead with my fingers.
"Talk like normal people."
"Uhh," Koito took a few minutes to compose himself. He wiped the tears in his eyes and blew the snot from his nose before he said, "The ransom negotiation has concluded."
"Oh? That's great news. Took longer than expected, but at least it's done. So is father and brother already on the ship?"
"That's the problem, princess. They left your father and brother behind."
It took a moment to sink in, but when it did, I yelled, "THEY DID WHAT?!!!!"
My yell was accompanied with sounds of shuffling feet and screeching chairs. Through the red haze of my vision I could see that the patrons near our table were listening in on our conversation, but that wasn't my problem at that point. There was an even bigger issue at hand here.
"That's not all, princess. They also wanted to set sail immediately without you. Gani and Mr. Lustri are doing their best to dissuade them, but they can't go against the nobles, princess."
"Those blasted bastards!" I said with gritted teeth.
"Umm, if possible, would you not release your anger on me, princess?"
Ah, I only just realized that I was gripping Koito's upper arms with my iron-like grip.
"They've also taken over your cabin, princess," one of his henchmen added.
"THEY DID WHAT?!!!" I pushed Koito hard, causing him to fall against the chair under him, smashing the chair into splinters.
"You idiot, was it so hard to wait until she let me go?"
"Return to the ship at once!" I ordered.
"Wait, my lady. Change first," Lili suggested.
I looked at my clothes and realized that I couldn't just go rampage in a barmaid's dress.
"Change clothes at once, then return to the ship! Boss, I'm quitting the job!"
"Sure," Nara said from the other side of the bar.
"What the hell were you doing not ransoming anyone from Mruna?!" I yelled once we were back at the ship.
Count Suletrius, in his unchanging, broody face answered with, "The bratty prince raised the ransom. We couldn't afford to ransom anyone from Mruna."
"Prince Hans may be a brat but he is a fair negotiator. He wouldn't raise the ransom amount unless you pissed him off. You pissed him off, didn't you?"
He made a slight frown on that brooding face, which lasted about a second before it turned back into his usual expression. "How would you know that? No, there simply wasn’t enough money to ransom everyone."
"What's going on here, why are you making a fuss here, little girl?" a voice that was a little boyish, not yet a man came out of my cabin. The owner of the voice flamboyantly walked out of my cabin looking fabulously fashionable in his purple velvet tunic and pants with a large peacock feather attached to his equally fashionable hat.
It was our crown prince. The same one who ordered the charge on the muddy battleground of Harrow's Pass and caused the wholesale slaughter of our armies. It was the same prince that our king handed over to Prince Hans as hostage to ensure the safety of the captured soldiers and nobles.
"You bastard!" I grabbed the brooding Count Sulestrius by the fold of his shirt and whispered, "His Majesty specifically stated that he was NOT to be ransomed until everyone else was ransomed as well!"
"The others aren't important. What kind of noble would I be if I let our crown prince stay in that dank dungeon?"
You asshole! You think I'm just a stupid girl, aren't you? He's royalty, a crown prince! They wouldn't keep him in a dank dungeon! He'd be sitting with the prince and the nobles at a feast!
"Little girl, let go of that man! He is my saviour."
"As His Highness said," the brooding man in my hands agreed.
I let go of the worthless noble as ordered and curtsied in front of the crown prince. "Captain Felicia Belphere Metrune greets the Crown Prince, His Highness Prince Ono Rolenus Fevrus and welcomes the crown prince on board The Abundance of Lolipops."
"Yes Your Highness, this ship is under my command-"
"What foolishness! Which idiot would put a little girl fresh from her mother's teats in command of a magnificent warship such as this? Quickly bring the real captain here so we can get home!"
Aren't you the one fresh from his mother's teats, you royal bastard? Whose fault was it that we're here in the first place? Ahhhh! Patience, patience, everything has its time and place.
"Mayhaps Your Highness would like to rest? It will take several days to reach the port. Since Your Highness came on board without a single retainer, may I offer my servant to serve your every needs?" I said while gesturing Lili to come closer.
I clasped Lili's right hand in my own as I said, "Lili here has been taught from birth to serve me unconditionally. She can cook, very obedient and has a pleasing appearance I trust Your Highness will agree. If it satisfies Your Highness, would you like to have her serve you and obey your wishes for the duration of the voyage?"
"She'll do. At least someone on this ship knows manners before royalty. Bring me wine, girl, and I don't want anyone else disturbing me until we reach port," the prince said as he walked into my cabin and closed it behind him.
"My lady, I can't-"
"Hush, Lili," I pulled her close by the waist and whispered into her ears so that nobody else would hear, "I want you to keep him asleep. If possible, I want him asleep until we dump him off at the port in Mruna and into a carriage heading straight for the capital. Can you do that?"
"Eh? So you're not giving me to him?"
"Of course not, you're my friend. My family. Why would I give you to that douchebag of a prince?"
Lili hugged me gratefully. "I don't know what a doo-shu-beg means, but thank you, my lady! Yes, I can do it. I won't let him sully my body."
"Good, now off you go!"
"So can we raise anchor and set sail now?" the annoying voice of another annoying douchebag could be heard again.
Right. I forgot about this other douchebag.
"Give me back my 200 gold."
"Impossible, I don't have it. As I said, the prince raised the ransom and we had to use it all to ransom the crown prince."
"What about that promise you made six days ago to bring everyone home?"
"Mruna is just a poor and insignificant barony. By degree of importance, even a thousand of you Mrunas can't compare to the crown prince. We had to sacrifice the others."
"I see, so you broke your promise, squandered my gold and abandoned my people, did you?"
"Now, I did not squander-"
"Mr. Lustri! Do you see Count Suletrius and his entourage?" I pointed at Count Suletrius and four other noblemen.
"Throw them off my ship."
"Wait, you can't do this! We're the kingdom's negotiators, we're envoys of the Duke of Renus and the King himself!" Count Suletrius complained as the crewmen threw the nobles one after one into the water.
"And you've done a fantastically poor job of obeying the king. Be grateful that I let you off here instead of shark infested waters."
I tried to show the nicest smile I could make while watching Mr. Lustri threw Count Suletrius into the water himself. It was very satisfying to see these blue bloods swimming in the blue water, their expensive clothes soaked and the dyes of their robes leaking out into the water. I had Mr. Lustri drop them an empty rowboat as it looked unlikely that they would be able to swim to shore. In case you forgot, we weren't allowed to bring the ship into port, so we had to set anchor outside the port.
"You'll pay for this!" Count Suletrius cried after he climbed into the rowboat in his drenched expensive clothes.
"I've already paid, you bastard! You robbed me of my 200 gold coins!"
"You little bitch! Your money was so little it was completely useless. Compared to the prince your family has no value, utterly worthless! You should be happy that they're being sacrificed for the greater good!"
"I want ten archers on deck now!"
The crewmen immediately opened the arms casket containing bows and arrows. One of the ransomed noblemen, a titled count from some western county approached and asked me to forgive Count Suletrius. I didn't know this guy, and I made it perfectly clear that his opinions wouldn’t count unless I asked for it. I couldn't forgive someone who would leave my family to rot in the enemy's dungeon.
"Fire warning shot!" I ordered as the archers fired into the waters around the rowboat, intentionally missing the five noblemen.
"Do not forget that as captain, my word is law. If you do not start rowing away by the count of five, I will have you executed for the offence of mutiny and insulting my house's honour. It will be an execution by arrows. One!"
I didn't even need to count until five, as they started scrambling to row away the moment I said 'two'. It would've been funny, watching them row in circles, but my anger was still quite intense. So I wasn't able to enjoy the spectacle even as the crewmen laughed at the formerly arrogant noblemen's antics.
Now, what should I do about the Surfesian prince?
Ah before I forget, could someone please remind me once we got back to Mruna to market the toilet paper as Suletrius Paper? I'd really like to hear someone say, "I wipe my butt with Suletrius every day."
Hi again everyone. It's Ai-chan again. Here is part 1 of 2 of chapter 7. Hope you will enjoy it.
In case you're wondering, no, the LN doesn't have all these nonsense about parts. I only cut it into parts for the webnovel because it was apparently too long for casual reading. I've reorganized the chapters for the LN though.
The LN also has better sentence structure and more consistent chapter length. As for why I'm not fixing the webnovel, it's because the LN is already out and I should concentrate on writing the second book from now on.
Thank you for your support thus far.