"Hmm, the civil servants usually don't attend the banquet."
Duke Asteria contemplated and asked, "Do you want to attend?"
I immediately answered, "No."
"Puhaha! Think a little before you answer."
I shrugged a little when the duke laughed. "I did think it through before I answered. I thought about it in front of the refrigerator."
"Huhuhu, I see."
The duke, chuckling playfully, hinted, "Well, what do you say? You should attend. There's nothing to do even if you're alone, is there?”
"Nothing to do? I have to attend the central ceremony department’s meeting.”
The duke laughed. "Hahaha, you don’t want to attend the banquet that much? I can't believe you would rather go to that boring and awkward meeting. Well, I guess it would be a large hassle with all the unnecessary squabbling."
Rather than avoiding some squabbles, the problem was that there were going to be people from my village present. In addition, as the sun was slowly setting now, I had to leave the palace to meet my aunt for her request.
"Hmm, then do as you please, but let’s at least go to the banquet hall together. You have to eat dinner too, right? Just eat dinner and rest easy. Well, although it won't be so relaxing since it’s the palace."
I nodded softly at Duke Asteria’s suggestion. "Thank you for your consideration."
In fact, Duke Asteria was being so considerate that one would not even think he was dealing with a civil servant. Originally, I had to be a ‘Yes Man’ and follow the duke around.
"And moreover, you’ll be able to see a rare sight at this banquet.” The duke smiled deeply.
The rare sight was probably the gathering of representatives from the three battle race tribes allied with the empire. It was a rare sight I wanted to see at least once, but at the same time, it was also a sight I never wanted to see.
If something were to go wrong, I could be surrounded by three battle race tribes. I wanted to avoid that.
“Now, let's get ready to head out for the banquet." Duke Asteria rose from his seat with a smile on his face, and I followed him to the banquet hall.
* * *
Hestia hummed and prepared to go to the banquet as she said, "It's my first time at an imperial banquet, so I’m looking forward to it. Come to think of it, how many times have you been to an imperial banquet, Elder Weger?"
Weger answered Hestia's question with a gentle smile. "Yes, it wasn’t my intention, but I had a few opportunities to attend."
Hestia’s eyes glistened. "How is the imperial banquet? I know of it from books, but they wouldn’t be as descriptive compared to what you've experienced in person."
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