Welcome to the garden party
“Welcome, everyone. Welcome to my garden-party today.”
The party started with a greeting from Benedict.
The sky is blue, the temperature is mild, and the climate is good for a garden party. Sometimes, the wind blowing strongly feels cold to the skin, but I think it is acceptable.
Eileen doesn’t seem to be particularly uncomfortable either― it’s a different place, so maybe she’s refraining from doing anything.
The garden, which the royal family has a hobby of keeping, is stunning, as are the gardeners. So much so that it would not be embarrassing for them to just join us.
The vine roses are blooming beautifully.
In the midst of the greeting, Benedict’s gaze turned towards us just once, seemingly trying to tell us something with his eyes.
I think he meant to convey the words, I’ll rely on you, or, have fun, I don’t know which one, but it’s probably the former.
The party progresses gently and peacefully while snacks are served and music is played by an orchestra.
We were sitting on the edge of the table, eating small sandwiches and cakes, occasionally watching Benedict chatting with the guests.
“According to my reasoning, it seems the incident is yet to happen.”
“What a wonderful detective. An amazing observation indeed.”
Today’s Eileen is easy to handle. She will be in a good mood as long as I give appropriate comments at appropriate times.
I’ll do some information gathering.
“Eileen, there wasn’t anything suspicious in the house before we came here?”
Do you have even a tiny bit of hint?
I asked with that thought in mind, but Eileen simply put her hand on her chin, and tilted her head.
“I don’t think there was anything out of the ordination. I also don’t find the servants who brought us here behaving strangely.”
“Is that so…?”
“I too don’t find anything suspicious we have to worry about.”
Dominique also puts his hand on his chin in the same way―
That’s not it.
“…Why are you beside us as if it is the most natural thing to do, Gnoneau-senpai?”
There is one extra person here with us.
Dominique then has a really sullen looking expression.
“Does it matter? Isn’t it fine?”
“Aren’t you just an absolute philanderer?”
“Hey, what do you think of me?”
Looking at a girl like that will win you the label of a trashy man, you know?
But I don’t want to talk about it.
Dominique took a sandwich from my dish and threw it into his mouth. And said,
“I mean, I’m not really interested in things like this.”
“What ‘things like this’?”
Why exactly does he point it out like that?
When I asked that, while scratching his ear with his little finger, he said,
“You came to this gathering without really knowing anything? He is about to make his social debut, Beni… Benedict does this to ensure his position for his future social life. Do you at least know that much?”
So it’s like that.
Looking at Eileen, she has a nonchalant look on her face.
In other words, I am the only one who does not know?
I also don’t want to find myself in an awkward position afterwards. So I answered,
“I didn’t know.”
The common senses about social circles in the higher society and such, they are not something someone from a general family like me would know. Right?
I have to be given an explanation about everything and everyone involved with Benedict. Dominique sighed and said, “I’ll give you a brief explanation” on being entrusted with a responsibility like that.
“Okay. First of all, everyone here is from a well known family in this country, including you and me. Being invited to a garden party, and one organised by a member of the royalty on top of that, it has that much status.
Even now, despite having the sovereignty being transferred to the parliament, it still is attractive to have a connection with the royal family, who are the country’s representative.
Also, the members of the royal family want to have some sort of good connection with the country’s influential people. Understood so far? And this kind of gathering is what I meant by ‘things like this’.”
“But we haven’t even have our debutante yet, and His Highness should know that too.”
“So that’s why it’s an ‘informal’ party.”
Thus, the gathering here may not be according to the norms.
He seems to imply that.
“It doesn’t matter if he had made his social debut or not. When considering the future of Benedict ‘His Highness’, it is a gathering to bring together people of the same generation as him, those he should have a connection with, and make deep friendship with.
I have been invited for a variety of reasons, such as, my parents are wealthy, and because I am familiar with Benedict since a long time ago. And at least to the others here, I participated here because ‘I want to get closer with Benedict.’
Of course I’m a friend, but I’m not going to get political or make stakes with him.”
“Oh, you have a strong morality. It simultaneously emphasises your manliness, Senpai.”
I am honestly impressed and praised him.
And when I said it once again, he got shy and said, “shut up” as he turned away.
“Anyway, Benedict’s two older brothers, the First Prince, His Highness Kevin, and the Second Prince, His Highness Robert, had held a similar party.
The number of people attending His Highness Kevin’s meeting is not as low as it is here.”
“Is that related to the right of succession in any way?”
In modern day’s perspective, the first prince almost always ascends the throne unless an extreme upset or an accident happens.
The custom seems to be the same in this country.
However, this guy knows an awful lot about the first and second princes, doesn’t he?
“You seem quite familiar with them, Gonneau-senpai.”
“That’s because I was invited to and attended both of His Highness Kevin and His Highness Robert’s meetings. At both times, everything proceeded gently and smoothly―
However, there is one thing different this time.”
Dominique’s face becomes cloudy.
The meaning seemed to have been transmitted to Eileen as well. She uttered in a low voice,
“Which is the threatening letter.”
“So then, why didn’t His Highness cancel the party? The royal officials as well.
What if something does happened to the third prince?”
Somehow, I felt like I could understand.
So I said this while looking at Dominique,
“You can’t help but be concerned about all these, right?”
Compared to an official gathering, the number of invited guests is fewer.
In other words, it’s a good environment to protect the host and guests.
And at the same time, having fewer people makes it easier to find suspicious individuals― which means it is easier to catch the culprit.
“In the end, it’s due to the ‘royal prestige’.
If they succumb to the threat and cancel the gathering, it will have an adverse effect in their position in the royalty in future.
Also, they have to remind the culprit that they would not succumb to threats in future either.”
I look at Benedict.
He is dressed very formally, with a servant-like man beside him, and chatting with two women he had invited to this party.
They seem to be a little older than us? They have skin that looks pale-pink, very adorable faces, smiles and gestures, and their bodies look soft―
However, their eyes are enthralled as they look at him.
Perhaps the servant next to Benedict is actually his escort?
Now then, is the passionate gaze towards him because they are aiming at his life, or their ambitions for their house?
It needs to be determined very carefully.
Thank you very much to my patrons 『Lan Hoang』 and 『Isabell Zultner』 (ӦｖӦ｡)