The Banquet [Part 2]

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“I was wondering why a Count’s daughter is sitting on that table, but she has such gracious behavior…”
“Oh my, you were not aware? Lady Emma’s mother is from Duke Sullivan House.
If there are talks about engagement with the Second Prince, her family status of a Count rank will be insufficient.
Perhaps they are heading towards the adopted child of a Duke family approach?”
“Now that you mention it, I have heard rumors that His Highness Edward is infatuated with Lady Emma.
I thought it was just empty rumors before, but now I can somehow believe it after seeing her manners.”
“Which means the young people who will lead our kingdom in the future are gathered on that seat.
The Second Prince and the children of the Four Great Duke Houses.
Among them is the Prince’s future spouse…”
(T/N: Four Great Duke Houses, previously translated as the Four Great Noble Families)

What the adults were whispering about didn’t reach Emma’s ears.
Only that her grandmother from afar had the expression of “Well, it’s a pass, I guess,” which made her breathe a sigh of relief.
“Emma, you will get tired if you are too nervous.
Just think that you came here to enjoy the meal.
The royal castle’s chefs have put all of their skill into serving today’s dishes.”

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The Prince gently talked to Emma, who was cautious of Hilda’s gaze.
The Prince, who was already used to formal banquets and the adults’ stares, said, “I will back you up if anything happens, so just relax,” and laughed.
“Thank you very much, Your Highness.
I’m looking forward to the meal.”
Emma, who was three times quieter than usual, replied with a downcast look, an appropriate response to the Prince in a formal setting.
The shadow of her long eyelashes on her white skin and her exposed delicate nape made Emma look ephemeral.
Not only the Prince, but also Arthur, Robert (who let his guard down), and even the watching noble gentlemen had unconsciously gulped.
On her skin under the candlelight was a pitifully glaring scar, but it also added a touch of color to Emma’s fleeting beauty. 
Emma is the “can do it if she tries” type of kid.

The music started playing in the hall.
When Emma lifted her head, the King and Queen made their entrance together with the neighboring country’s prince.
Emma was the one gulping now after the cool old man, the King, arrived in his formal attire.

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The King is still the best out of all cool old men.
“Everyone, thank you for coming here tonight.
Let me introduce you to Imperial Prince Tasuku Hinomoto of Imperial Japan.
Imperial Japan has, as you all may know, just established diplomatic relations with our kingdom.
On this occasion, Imperial Prince Tasuku will be studying abroad in our kingdom’s academy as an effort to deepen the goodwill between the two countries.”
Tasuku Hinomoto… What an amazingly Japanese-sounding name…
Emma, who’s lost in thought on how ‘His Majesty the King, even his voice sounds nice‘ until now, returned to her senses after hearing the Imperial Prince’s name.
“Thank you for your kind introduction.
Although I am still learning the kingdom’s language and am unfamiliar with many things, I hope I can get along well with everyone.
I will be in your care.”
The Imperial Prince made a beautiful Japanese bow that was greeted with applause.
Then, he was guided to his seat.
Imperial Prince Tasuku’s seat was the last empty chair at Emma’s table between Prince Edward and Robert.
…welp, this table… is the main table of this banquet, isn’t it.
It felt like a boy from a public high school’s baseball club was mingling with major league players.
“It’s a pleasure to meet everyone here.”
Well, the bowing Imperial Prince, who looked a little shy before sitting down, gave off a sense of youth just like a baseball club boy.

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“Welcome to the Kingdom.
I am the Second Prince Edward Torse Royal.
Would you allow me to introduce everyone at this table?”
The Prince acted as the host very familiarly.
After getting a nod from Imperial Prince Tasuku, the Prince skillfully introduced everyone at the table, so Emma bowed as before and continued to be silent.
Lady Beatrix, who had been aloof until now, made a perfect bow to the Imperial Prince and even gave him a broad smile.
As expected of a Duke’s daughter.
Robert and Arthur, too, didn’t look any nervous like they are already used to this kind of situation.
Uuhh… it’s hard to be out of place.

Seeing that the members on this seat had introduced themselves to each other, the King made an opening greeting for the banquet.
“Today, we have specially prepared some Imperial Japan’s dishes.
I hope everyone can enjoy a cross-cultural exchange just like Imperial Prince Tasuku.
…Imperial Prince Tasuku? Does Imperial Japan have any customs before eating?”
Being talked to by the King, Imperial Prince Tasuku sat up straight and answered.
We put our hands together and say ‘Itadakimasu.'”

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“Ah, no, it’s ‘Itadakimasu‘.”
“I see, then everyone, put your hands together and say… Itadakimasu.”
Following the King, everyone put their hands together and said,
” ” “Itadakimasu” ” “

While matching her actions with everyone else, Emma silently broke out in cold sweat.
…isn’t this pure Japanese!!!!

Author’s note: Please think of the words in Italic as Japanese (only applies for dialogues).
I wrote the neighboring country’s prince’s character without a plan, and it became like this.
The “how did this happen” in this beginning, I was really shocked there.
Translator’s note: Imperial Japan is just the name of the country.
While it may refer to actual Japan, it is totally unrelated to the country Japan the Tanaka family lived in their previous life.
The original word is 皇国 koukoku which means Empire.
However, there will be another country called 帝国 teikoku later in the story which also means Empire.
Both 皇国 koukoku and 帝国 teikoku in English are ‘Empire’.
The former is more of a Japanese empire, while the latter is more like a western empire.
So, I decided on Imperial Japan for 皇国 koukoku to differentiate the two countries in the future.

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