Most of my lessons followed similar suite, the mood always becoming sour after she pulled out the virgin card. Inks was getting frustrating to deal with, especially as her lesbian pervert act ended with almost all of the human staff running at the sight of her, preventing me from engaging with anyone else, let alone have the time to get out of her sight with all the catchup I had to do. Exhausted and isolated, I was having flashbacks to before all this, quietly waiting for something to happen. After all, if I did give up and get away from her then I would instantly lose the advice that I might not come into contact again in this world. My best bet currently was her liege, King Vladimir von Erztein, though nothing had surfaced about that just quite yet.
Knock knock knock…
"Lady Seraien, are you in there?"
I was caught off guard in the middle of study, so I ended jumping up from my seat a little.
I looked around the Golem Forge, having not realized that Inks had slinked off somewhere in the meantime. I opened the door to a well-built, brown haired European man a few years younger than me, garbed in the King's colors of green and white, broken and bordered by a diagonal strip of black, a pink kerchief wrapped around his right arm.
"Oh, might you be the one that some of the servants have been spreading rumors about?"
"How so?" I responded.
"The foreigner with the black hair and the weird face who appeared after the sky turned vermillion."
Weird face… ugh.
"I guess I am."
"Definitely speaks like one too." He laughed.
I really wasn't that amused.
"I pull your leg. I have a summons for Lady Seraien from King Erztein for two days morrow at mid-eve."
What at the what now? I still managed to gather the two days part and I assume if I just said to Inks what he meant then it would all work out fine. This is seriously my first interaction with someone else in an isekai and they are casually racist to me.
"Alright I'll pass on the message." I said, ready to head back to my exam.
"Might you wish to join the tournament?" He suddenly asked.
What. What tournament?
"The King's Guard are organising a tournament as a final bout of sport before the war. Might be the only sort of fun the lads might have for a while, and all the ladies of the court will be watching! Think of how many one might bed by even this evening!"
"I feel that my studies are more important here, considering I was pretty weak when I got here."
Did I kind of want to go? Slightly, but a large tournament was not something I wanted to be introduced at. The playground had always been stuffed with bullies, so forgive me if I refuse this even in an isekai. Hell he said that this is pretty much the only balls to the wall event they'll get until the Rodiens arrive, and that's probably going to be some edgy shonen trash that people are going to declare as the most epic fight ever because big.
This jerk sure as hell put me off the idea for sure.
"Oh uh, alright." He stammered, "Make sure to pass the message onto Lady Seraien."
"I will." I said before closing the door.
My first conversation in a new world and chance at a tournament arc and it had to end up like that.
It was his fault, but still…
"You follow my lead, alright?" Inks said.
The formal clothes she'd feted me out in were still fairly stiff and itchy, so I wasn't entirely sure how well I would actually fare inside. Ironically, Inks hadn't really taught me a whole lot about Vladimir as a person, outside of his infamous title "The Hunter Hunting Hunter" and how much Inks loved to fangirl about his accomplishments as a ruler. I guess the later helped a bit, but I really have no idea what he's going to do. I know what she said about him turning me into a soldier or something, but still…
The King's Guard, garbed in the green and white of their coat of arms, stood to as Inks and I approached and entered through the man-sized door.
The throne room was cramped with all manner of captains, high ranking Castle staff and other figures such as the Druid of the Realm and the Court High Mage, but the actual center of the room before the King and Queen was clear to judge me by every eye in here. Inks had two high ranking positions, Concubine and Golem Overseer, so she naturally had been at odds with many of the people that lurked and quietly gossiped away, such as the Queen, a stalwart blonde, who was currently staring daggers at Inks.
This could turn ugly quick.
King Vladimir von Erztein, the Hunter Hunting Hunter, was about as Castlevania as it got, his long curling jet-black hair making his pale skin seem almost transparent in the light. His gaunt face was lined with a sheen-laden, twirlable mustache and goatee, already inspecting me the moment I walked in the door.
"Ash-" he started before reconsidering how to say my name. I got that a lot when I was abroad, although not many people would be so considerate as to not make a joke out of speaking it. It's not something you do to strangers.
"Satoshi Amai'ishi, m-my Lord." I tried to explain, although my tongue slipped for a fraction of a second trying to address him.
"Thank you," Vladimir said with some strange sort of sincerity, "Frankly, I know nothing of your land, for I am a busy man. Lady Seraien here, however, has slowed things down with your summoning. Seraien must answer for this, and you too must pay the price for her sloth."
Inks had an awkward smile on her face, trying to avoid Vladimir's gaze at all costs out of embarrassment at this. I guess she's pretty lazy after all…
"Lady Seraien, I have little idea as to what you have taught him, but I hear this 'summoning' rendered him a Vampire already. If that is indeed the case, has he yet to draw blood?"
Inks immediately tensed up. "Not yet sir. The reason-"
"Why has he not drawn blood yet! We both know how many despise our kind! To one such as he, an outsider whose gaze not even shows his ignorance, not be taught the curse that shall petrify him in the door?"
"My Lord, if I might continu-"
"Be quick about it!"
Inks cleared her throat.
"The expedition is late by several days, sir. I have also been drafting the primer for him since three weeks ago, trying to figure out the best way for him to understand it all."
Vladimir had slinked back into his throne at this point, his previous anger cooling in his eyes. I think he was done telling us off.
"Very well. The sole question, then, is that of conscription. Ash," His gaze cut into me. "What, in your old world, were you?"
I genuinely do not know an answer that would satisfy him.
It wasn't actually about me. No one cared who I was in the old world, or at least it really didn't matter since I was something of a normal worker trying to do creative work on a dead genre that no one cares about outside of Korea. That shouldn't be the answer, it can't be the answer since it would bore him to death.
"M-my Lord, I fear that such a minor clerk job would not be something you'd approve a fighter for."
Why did I say that? That was not what I meant to say. Why did I say it?
There was a dull groan from about a quarter of the court, as if they'd heard it all before, making me want to slink away to my quarters.
Vladimir simply shrugged as he addressed a well-trimmed dark-bearded knight.
"Captain Herzt, make a soldier out of him, starting tomorrow. If Lady Seraien does not hasten herself then her pleas matter for naught."
"Aye Milord." Captain Herzt stood to before glancing over to me with a 'don't waste my time' smile.
This isn't going to be fun.
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