Black Cat Chapter 175: The Royal Castle

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 There was another line forming at the gate that entered the royal castle.


 During this time of year, before the “Nest Leaving Ceremony,” dinner parties and balls are held every day, and foodstuffs and liquor are brought in for these events.



“All items brought into the royal castle are inspected. A knight accompanies the ingredients to the warehouse where they are brought, and all boxes and barrels are inspected for abnormalities. Even if it is a gift from a noble, Items brought in by vendors are opened and then repackaged.” (Curtis)


“Are there also items that are neatly packaged?” (Nyango)


“That’s right. Rather, the sender that delivers the gift brings it in without packaging, it is then wrapped neatly here, specifying the delivery address, entrusting it to the knight, receiving a certificate, before returning home.” (Curtis)



 Curtis explained that, with the exception of suppliers who bring in large quantities of foodstuffs, there is almost no entry by ordinary people from the outside.


 For example, if there is a crack in the interior wall of the castle, it is repaired by a craftsman stationed at the castle, and all food, clothing, and shelter for the royal family are provided by the castle’s resident craftsmen.



 The security system is probably perfect since the number of people entering and leaving the castle is extremely restricted, but it is like a “closed royal family,” to use an antiquated system.



 The magic carriage we rode in was decorated with the coat of arms of the Viscount Lagart, and since we were following the sixth prince Fabian’s magic carriage, we were able to enter the castle without being stopped.


 There was a moat inside the big gate, and to get to the castle, we crossed a bridge.



 The bridge was built so that it could be raised, and a further wall was built across the moat.


 Even if the enemy were to enter the first district, the moat and wall would provide additional protection.



 At this rate, there might be a secret tunnel to escape from the castle.


 After crossing the drawbridge and going under the last wall, it was like a different world.



“Eh… Sheep?” (Nyango)



 Inside the castle walls was a spacious meadow with wooly sheep grazing.


 Inside it was a farm, and after passing through a tree line, we finally entered the garden.



“Master Curtis, is preparation for a siege?” (Nyango)


“Indeed it is. Has Nyango ever visited our castle?” (Curtis)


“Yes… there were fruit trees planted inside the castle.” (Nyango)


“The royal castle is even more advanced than that, and even if it were cut off from the outside world, it would not be a problem.” (Curtis)



 This may be the correct provision for a castle, but it somehow made them look like a self-sufficient shut-in.


 The castle that stood at the end of the garden was also exceptionally large and luxurious from the other noble residences.



 I had seen several noble residences on the way here, but this one was truly of a different class.


 The size, the height, and the exquisiteness of the decorations… I thought that Count Grobrus’ gilded mansion cost a lot of money, but you can tell that everything that forms the Royal Castle has been carefully selected.



 I was also overwhelmed by the majesty of Milligraham Cathedral, which I just saw a while ago, but it was even more impressive.


 It is better not to defy the reigning authorities and religion.



 The entrance to the castle is an elaborately constructed blockade, but if you look at it from a different angle, you can see that it is an ingenious way of increasing the distance to the entrance hall.


 If they tried to attack en masse from where they had parked their carriages and wagons, they would have been stopped by the knights who lined the passageway.



 Fabian gets out of the carriage first and enters the castle.


 After the royal family’s carriage moved off, Viscount Lagart’s carriage stopped, and first the escort knights, followed by me, got off and lined up by the door, bowing their heads.



 I didn’t feel it when the knight got off first, but when I walked out the door, the atmosphere around me obviously changed.


 Even without using detection magic, I could tell that all eyes were on me.



 Well, I suppose it was inevitable that they would react this way if I, a catkin, showed up in my normal clothes.


 Curtis got off first, followed by Aida, who was escorted down.



 When I glanced at Curtis, I saw that he looked normal, but Aida’s expression seemed a little tense.


 Well, I think my face is more drawn than Aida’s, but my shoulders relax a little when I think that even the nobility can be nervous.



“Nyango…” (Curtis)



 Curtis beckons me over. The knights of the Lagart family will not accompany us from here on.


 I was appointed by Fabian to come to the castle, so I had no choice but to go inside.



 Thinking that I would have to continue receiving piercing and wary gazes from here on out, my legs felt heavy as I approached Curtis.



“Huh?” (Nyango)


“There’s going to be a lot of trouble from now on… Oh, you’re lighter than I thought.” (Curtis)



 When I walked up to follow him, Curtis suddenly lifted me up.


 It’s not like I was in a princess carry, but his arms are wrapped around my torso and I was being held under his arm.



“W-wait…” (Nyango)


“Well, just be patient for a little while.” (Curtis)


“Yes…” (Nyango)



 It certainly felt like the way people looked at me changed as soon as Curtis held me.


 In fact, as I was led away, I could see that the armor of the knights lining the aisle was trembling.



 That wasn’t a warrior’s wariness; they were definitely laughing at me.


 When I cast a resentful glance at them, their helmets turned to the side, but only slightly.



“Hehehehe… this guy is quite entertaining. You should accompany me next time I go up to the castle.” (Curtis)


“No, no, I’ll definitely not go like this…” (Nyango)



 When we entered the entrance hall while I was being carried, Fabian, who was waiting for us, laughed at me.


 It might be better than being treated with hostility or caution, but it’s a little complicated.



 The interior of the castle was even more luxurious than the exterior.


 Huge chandeliers hung from the ceiling and huge sculptures decorated the walls.



 At the top of the front stairs is a portrait of the current king.


 The canvas alone is about twice the height of an adult.



 The royal castle seems to be composed of two main buildings, with the west side near the entrance for guests and the east side for the royal family’s living quarters.


 We were led to a reception room on the north side near the living quarters.



 Even though it’s called a reception room, it has a bath, toilet, changing room, and even a bedroom for naps, making it feel like a hotel suite (though I’ve never been on one…).


 Curtis sat down with me in his arms on the sofa overlooking the garden.



“Master Curtis, I think it’s better if I stay in the back…” (Nyango)


“That’s too far. Just sit here.” (Nyango)


“Yes…” (Nyango)



 The table placed between the sofas also seemed unnecessarily wide, but I was told that this was to give the knights time to interfere in if a visitor tried to harm them.


 As soon as we took our seats, the maids quickly set up the tea.



 Not only was the tea fragrant, but it was also accompanied by baked goods and fresh pastries.


 Cheesecake, apple pie, and chiffon cake were served with plenty of whipped cream.



 Just looking at them made my mouth salivate and my stomach growl.



“Hahahaha, Fabian will need the report on the cathedral incident. So, I’ll let you have some while you wait.” (Curtis)


“I-Is it okay if I eat some?” (Nyango)


“No problem…” (Curtis)



 Aida’s hard voice came from the other side of Curtis, who answered with a smile.



“Don’t even meow, it’s unbecoming.” (Aida)


“Ugh, I know…” (Nyango)


“I don’t think so…” (Curtis)



 I wonder if she still has some issues, due to the matter of the dinner at the Marquis Escalante family. Isn’t it good because the master, Alvaros, didn’t scold me?


 When I saw Curtis put a cookie into his mouth, I reached for the apple pie.



“Yummeow! The pie crust is crispy, the apples are tart and sweet, yum… meow…” (Nyango)



 Aida was glaring at me…



“Hahahahaha! That’s good, Nyango, it looks really delicious. I’d like to try some of it too.” (Curtis)


“Brother!” (Aida)


“Yes, it’s delicious! The crunchy texture is indeed wonderful, and the balance of sweet and sour taste is also good. What’s the matter, Nyango? Feel free to eat it.” (Curtis)


“Yes, mmm… Yummeow! Crispy, gooey, yummeow!” (Nyango)



 Probably the best flour, butter, and apples available are used.


 It’s hard not to enjoy the taste when a skilled chef prepares it and… only the best is served.



 I couldn’t resist the temptation to react over the cheesecake, and then Fabian returned.



“What is it, what is it, you seem to be enjoying yourself so much, leaving me out?” (Fabian)



 When Fabian appeared to greet us, he was accompanied by a girl who looked about the same age as Aida.



“It’s been a long time, Princess Elmerine.” (Curtis)


“Mr. Curtis, Aida, it’s been a while.” (Elmerine)



 A beautiful lioness with fluffy blonde hair seemed to be the fifth princess who will join the “Nest Leaving Ceremony”.


 That Elmerine was looking at me with a small tilt of her head.



“I-I’m Nyango, a B-rank adventurer from the Ibuoro Guild, Your Highness…” (Nyango)



 Elmerine seems to be unable to suppress her curiosity but does not seem to be offended.


 However, an icy stare pierced through from the female Gazellekin knight standing behind her.



“I thought it would be a long talk if I left him standing behind, so I asked him to sit next to me, but…” (Curtis)


“Ah, it doesn’t matter. I want Nyango to listen to the conversation.” (Elmerine)



 Apparently, I was completely locked by the gazes of the curious royal siblings and the icy female knight.


 Ugh… but it can’t be helped that the apple pie and cheesecake were both so yummy.



 Maybe I shouldn’t eat the chiffon cake… 




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