After various troubles the day passed, it became night, then morning once more.
Today was the birthday of the third prince of Egelia, Ernest Relm Andrew.
Throughout the morning, the nobles outside the castle not participating in the golem party had gathered by the castle entrance, and together with the bodyguards and soldiers it was noisy.
Jin and the others, that is, Jin, Reiko, Elsa, and Beana were gazing at the situation from afar.
Earl Kuzuma and Reinhardt weren’t here because of the formalities associated with attending the birthday party.
“Aah, it’s so boring.”
Elsa was of the same opinion. Jin was also bored, so,
“Should we play some kind of a game?”
Jin thought about it for a bit. What would be a game that was easy to prepare, fun for everyone, and requiring no practice or skills.
Suddenly, sugoroku came to his mind.
“Alright, let’s see, would this table do?”
“What are you planning?”
The room they were in was Elsa’s. Simply because it was the largest one. Similarly, it had the most varied furniture.
In there, Jin decided on a 60-centimeter wide square teee table (a table for tea), then,
He made the surface a smooth white. He then drew squares on a grid on it with ink.
“Whaat? Start? Goal?”
Beana came over and peeked at it. After drawing the basic squares Jin began to explain.
“This is a game I know called sugoroku. The foundation of it is throwing these dice.”
He rolled the dice he had quickly made with Craft Magic to show them.
“It’s a game where you roll the dice and move forward the resulting number of squares, and the first one to reach the goal is the winner.”
Elsa gave her honest impressions. Jin then said,
“Yes, seems simple right? But this is where it gets interesting. Some of these squares have special rules to them.”
Jin began to explain it,
“Skip a turn, for example, or go back three squares, things like that.”
“I see. So it’s a matter of luck.”
“Well, I suppose. Alright, let’s first have a go at it like this.”
And so, the sugoroku board with one out of ten special squares was completed. Jin also quickly made pieces and colored them, and now with each hacing their own piece the game could start.
“Forward three squares, okay.”
“I got it! Six forwar- oh no! ‘Skip a turn’!?”
The first game went on with everyone having fun, and very soon someone would reach the goal.
“Come on four, four… Aww, a two.”
“I need it to be a five… Oh.”
They couldn’t relax because of the possibility of landing on the ‘Go back 20 squares’ tile in front of the goal.
Getting the first placed fired up Jin unsuitably much for his age.
“Aww, I’ve been defeated, huh. Alright, come on two, come on…I did it! I got second!”
“…My loss. Once more.”
The sugoroku meant for killing time turned out to be popular.
The Royal Secret Maids watching from the back, Laila, Lisa, and Kate also looked like they wanted to give it a try, so the girls were also asked to participate.
At first they gave a firm refusal since they were on duty, but Jin persuaded them by reasoning that it’s a maid’s duty to not let the guests be bored, and the girls seemed to agree and eventually participated in the game.
“Eek! Back ten squares!?”
“Aww, skip a tuuuurn!”
“Come on, siiix!”
It was rather noisy. But thanks to it, the maids seemed to become less reserved.
They passed time with suguroku until the evening when Reinhardt and Earl Kuzuma returned.
After playing Jin restored the table back to as normal as he could. Laila and the others looked a little regretful as Jin did it.
＊ ＊ ＊
“Now then, tomorrow will be the golem party at last, however.”
Earl Kuzuma began to go through some important points.
“Of course the dress code is formal. It looks like Jin has his Magi Craftsman’s coat. One’s been prepared for Beana too, so please wear that.”
“Eh, fo-, for me?”
Earl Kuzuma smiled pleasantly and took out a fine dark red coat from the luggage.
“You’ll be fine to attend with this.”
He said, and handed it over to Beana.
“Th- thank you very much!”
Beana held the coat she received close to her chest. The Earl’s expression turned a little happy when he saw it.
“There’s an order for the entry, you know. First are the cabinet ministers, then the nobles working in the castle, invitees, nobles living in the outskirts, and the nobles coming from far away.”
Reinhardt and Elsa seemed to be categorized under invitees.
“Finally, the Magi Craftsmen, Jin and Beana. Since only the nobles have to go greet the king and the prince, it’s fine to just watch.”
That’s good to know, Jin thought. Honestly, he wasn’t very good with flashy parties.
“Since you’ll be far away from Earl Guarana, likely Beana won’t be found by him.”
After he said that, Beana was relieved. However, Elsa was pouting a little.
“And so, since weapons and such are not allowed on the grounds, there’s also restrictions on Magi Tools. Miss Reiko won’t probably be able to enter.”
“That is unacceptable.”
Reiko, who had been quiet until now, began to talk.
“To protect Father is my mission and purpose in life.”
“Hey Reiko, I appreciate your concern, but this time you can’t. We shouldn’t cause trouble for Earl Kuzuma and Reinhardt.”
When chided by Jin, Reiko reluctantly nodded and said,
“Uh, then, the arrangement goes such that each noble will one by one bring golems in front of the king and prince, give their name and rank, and briefly present the golems’ operation, but…”
The Earl then looked at Jin,
“What do you think I should have Lotte do?”,
He asked. He was probably thinking that as a maid golem, Lotte couldn’t give any particularly showy performances.
But Jin said,
“Is there anything in particular you want her to do?”
He returned the question to the Earl.
The Earl didn’t by any means expect to be asked, and he had to completely rethink it,
“Uh, hmm, let’s see, could she do a dance, or a sword dance?”,
The Earl asked.
Jin looked at the Royal Secret Maids one by one. Jin’s line of sight met Laila… and skipped over her, then stopped on Rianna.
“Even so, we’re going to need Rianna-san’s assistance, I suppose.”
“Eh? Are you talking about me? What may I do for you?”
Jin said to Rianna who was entirely out of the loop,
“Well, just think about your work, please.”,
He then commanded Reiko to fetch a small Magi Crystal,
“[Transfer Info] Level 2.”
“It should be fine now.”
“Wha, wha-, what was that just now!?”
Even the leader of the squad two of the Royal Secret Maids was disconcerted.
Jin only copied Rianna’s movement patterns, he explained, but hearing that only served to make her more ‘?’ instead.
Since he couldn’t yet get in touch with the golem safeguarded in the warehouse, he decided to leave it for the maintenance period before the unveiling, and with that everyone returned to their rooms for the day.