36: Empire Guards
Feeling a little hungry, I bought lunch from a nearby stall.
I bought a sandwich made from wheat flour that had germ, stuffed with a lot of minced meat and leafy vegetables. The sauce made by mixing sour tomatoes and spicy green capsicum was delicious. Although it was slightly big, I ate another one because it made me feel better.
I asked the uncle, who was managing the stall, about where the guards were situated.
He told me that it was on the outskirts of the north side of town.
For now, I finished eating and then began walking towards the north.
There was a big, wide road which ran through the city, from north to south. It had to be wide as logs cut from the forest were often carried through here by wagons. There were many side streets leading off to the east and west; which all led to lumber mills and woodwork manufacturing places.
An empty wagon pulled by a horse was heading north as well and passed by me. I called out to the coachman.
“Excuse me, but would you give me a ride if you are heading to the north?”
The man wearing a hat with earmuffs said, “It shakes,” but gladly listened to my request. I easily lifted my black bag onto the wagon and also tried to get onto the wagon on all fours, “Oof!”
“I want to go to the guards’ building,” I informed him and the man prompted the horse to run with me on the wagon.
“…Th… Thin… Thank you… Very much.”
The man chuckled and took my bag off the wagon. Then, he quickly picked up the reigns and left.
… My whole body was stiff and I couldn’t move very well. I finally gave my thanks for the ride. I was aware that I was making myself look ridiculous.
A person had sat where the logs were kept on the wagon. I desperately held onto my bag so that it wouldn’t fall off the wagon. It shook so much, that I could have bitten my tongue if I spoke. I hadn’t even ridden it for an hour, yet my whole body was shaking as if I’d just received a massage.
Somehow, I felt like I was still shaking.
Still, I couldn’t help but laugh.
(I experienced something that I didn’t know about again.)
I was simply happy that I could experience things like this.
Somehow, I managed to stand on the ground.
In front of me was a place that looked like it belonged to the guards. A sturdy fence surrounded both sides of the building and there was a large gate made out of stone at the entrance. I could see a large lawn inside of the fence, it seemed that they used a breed that could be maintained all year around. At the back, I could see a three-storey building made out of bricks.
The combination of reddish-brown on green was certainly lovely. They even holstered a triangular flag on top of the building.
The gate was opened, but there were two muscular men with frowns on their faces standing on both sides, and I knew that they were looking at me.
“There’s a dining hall inside of the guards’ building, isn’t there?”
I wonder if this is the first hurdle.
I walked to the entrance of the building, and sure enough, the men crossed their spears together.
Eek, I’ve never seen anything like this at the Royal Capital. I know they’re just doing their jobs, but I don’t look like someone who would cause trouble here, now do I?
A man, who was a head taller than me, called out to me while I was frightened.
“Do you want to meet with the guards’ dining room head?”
Their spears were no longer crossed together.
“Do you have an appointment?”
“Please present your ID papers.”
I shook my head sideways, took the ID papers out of the bag on my back and showed it to him.
I was relieved that the guards spoke more courteous than they looked.
The right guard led me into the building.
He opened the entrance which had been carved in zigzags and we entered the hall. When the door opened, it made a thick clanging sound.
Then, the guard rang the bell placed on a stand next to the door. There was no one in this hall.
(So the door opens with a clang and the bell is to signal that a visitor had come. I wonder if everyone’s working in their rooms.)
There were almost no decorations in this spacious wall and I was guided to a room on the left side of the hall.
“You didn’t make an appointment, so please wait here. I will call people here. It might take a little bit of time, but please don’t leave this room.”
The right guard said and left me in this small room.
I waited for a while.
I came without warning, so it can’t be helped.
I sat on the beige, cloth covered sofa and waited.
… They’re not coming. I was told not to leave. I was fine with just sitting here silently while I wait, but I still have things to do so I wish they would come quicker.
The door opened quietly.
The person who appeared wasn’t an old man, but a young man. He had grey eyes and hair was a lighter brown than my golden brown hair. He was really good-looking, so I couldn’t help but think he was a noble. I recalled the noble almanac… Three people resembled him from the almanac.
“Oh, you haven’t been to the dining hall yet?”
He had a tray of tea in his hands.
He put the tray on the table and stared at me.
“I wouldn’t mind keeping you company until he comes, but it seems like you’ve waited for quite a long time, haven’t you? I’ll go call him again, so please wait a little longer.”
He said and went out again.
I was left alone and poured tea for myself.
Lately, I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to slowly enjoy tea.
They used better tea leaves than I thought they would.
The door opened once again when I tasted the tea.