"Good afternoon, Sir Arthur. I am glad to see you here."

Just right after I teleported to the designated room, Queen Eve greeted me with a friendly smile.

She was wearing a tidy and elegant blue dress with her hair tied into a crown braid, decorated with a silver tiara with a blue gem.

It was just a few minutes since I contacted her, and she already made herself proper again even after she did that just earlier.

'Is this what to be expected from a Royalty?'

Also, I had changed to my Paladin uniform as greeting guests from the foreign area was a formal occasion. I shouldn't appear improper.

I smiled back at her and put my hand on my chest.

"Good afternoon, Queen Eve. This is quite a good day to greet the guests."

"Indeed. The weather outside is comfortable. The wind felt soft on the skin, and the sun wasn't that hot due to the cloud."

"Precisely." I nodded at her, straightening my posture. "Now, my Queen. When will the guests arrive, if I may know? And is there anything I should remember while greeting them?"

"There is just one thing, Sir Arthur." Queen Eve answered as she turned around, gesturing for me to follow her.

The door was opened by Garland from the outside. The giant bowed at us deeply and followed us a few steps behind. I walked right beside Queen Eve.

"There is a custom in the Virtue Kingdom." Queen Eve started, and I listened quietly.

"The host would show their sincerity by warmly welcoming the guests. In high society, we showed it by inviting them to a Ball or a banquet. But because their visit is close to the coronation ceremony tomorrow, we can't hold them."

Indeed. Preparing for a party before an important ceremony wouldn't be advised. I believed they had the manpower to prepare them. There were many people in the Royal Castle alone, not to mention they could hire people from the city.

But, I doubted the banquet or the Ball would be satisfying. At least it wouldn't be up to the standard of Royalty.

"So, Sir Arthur, we asked them what they would like to do once they arrived." She continued and smiled at me as if that was something they just thought of for the first time.

"Duke Blacktomb would like to have a drinking party, a simple one. As for the ambassador from the Elf Village, he just wanted a simple meal with the host if possible. Those were unexpectedly easy requests, and we could grant them easily."

I knew that Duke Blacktomb loved liquor. He even asked Alesia to bring him to a tavern when the restaurant we were in that night was full of people.

As for the ambassador from the Elf Village, I also understood that they didn't want some fancy dinner or a big welcome from what I saw in their village. They lived in simplicity to the point they even planted their food themselves.

'I am still curious who the ambassador is. Is it the elder himself? Or is it Cleric? I can understand if he's the ambassador, as he has the position to do so as the first Paladin's older brother. Though I don't really mind if another Elf I don't recognize is chosen.'

"That's an interesting and heartwarming way to welcome someone, Queen Eve. The guests will feel welcomed and not threatened. That's a pretty clever way to make them feel at home."

"It's not that clever, Sir Arthur. It's just a basic courtesy." She corrected, narrowing her eyes slightly.

"I was just joking." I shrugged my shoulders in defeat, "I know that it's basic courtesy and a good thing to do as a normal human."

Hearing my answer, her expression eased, and her smile widened, "Fufufu, I know about it. I was just trying to tease you, Sir Arthur."

"You got me."

Our conversation was pretty chill, just like an exchange between friends. I still didn't know how Queen Eve felt about me or what she thought of me as more than an ally, but this was good progress in our relationship if I said it myself.

We arrived in front of a door with two maids standing in front of it. They immediately opened it and revealed a rather vast room with a large window.

In the corner of a room was a massive hearth to control the room's temperature. Above it, magnificent swords were crossed on top of a silver shield.

The centerpiece of the room was a large, rectangular oak table. Its surface was inlaid with a checkerboard pattern for games of strategy. Exquisitely carved chess pieces, each representing characters of the games, lined up on both sides.

Nearby the table, a leather-bound book, which probably contained the rules of the game, rested on a smaller table.

In the corner, a wooden table was set with cards piling on top. Each deck had an intricate, hand-painted symbol.

Many things that I couldn't explain at once lay inside this large room.

I recognized them. Those were games… Or rather, they were part of Sins Paradise's minigame. That meant this room was the game room, an exaggerated one used by people on top, or maybe this room was for Royalty's exclusive use to play with their families or important guests.

Queen Eve stopped and looked at me with a proud smile.

"There are still a few hours before the guests arrive. What do you think of having a game or two against me, Sir Arthur?"

She sounded so confident. While she wasn't adept at fighting like me or Grand Marshal Garland, it seemed like the Queen was quite proud of her intelligence, and that was why she invited me to play these games while waiting.

I had to admit I wasn't a genius or a prodigy who could do anything alone. I was just a normal person with quite a ridiculous strength to bulldoze through everything. That was my biggest point.

Of course, I wasn't a fool who never thought twice before doing anything risky.

However, if there was something I prided myself on, that was a game. I had played Sins Paradise before and tried all the mini-games until I was satisfied with the result.

So, I smiled confidently and looked at Queen Eve.

"That would be great. What should we play? The Checker War or the Card?" I asked, provoking her slightly with my gaze.

"Whatever suits your taste, Sir Arthur." Queen Eve answered, trying to assert her dominance by smiling widely and giving me a chance to choose the game. "I am quite proficient with them as I spent a lot of time here. Fufufu, I was quite free before taking this position."

'So she's a NEET.' I thought as I followed her. I looked around the room and decided on the game.

"Let's play Checker War first. Coincidentally, war is my forte. So I believe I can do better than average in this."

"Fufufu, good choice." She giggled happily as she took a seat on the blue side of the table. "Unfortunately, Sir Arthur. So far, I am undefeated in this game. Not even the Grand Marshal can beat me."

I sat down on the red side and looked at Garland for confirmation. He nodded his head firmly.

"That's indeed correct. This Garland is too lacking to be Her Majesty's opponent in this strategy game. She's like an angel… A truly magnificent mind to trap me in her move."

"You exaggerated it, Grand Marshal." Queen Eve smiled sheepishly but didn't deny that she beat the Grand Marshal, who had already experienced a real war, in this game. "I just won by a hairbreadth in the last game."

"I was just lucky, Your Majesty." The giant answered humbly with a deep bow.

'This might be really difficult.' I thought as I laughed dryly.

The mini-games in Sins Paradise came in levels just like any other game. I used this as a reference to gauge Queen Eve's level in this game.

It started from the lowest to the highest. Obviously, the lowest was against a random civilian in a bar background. The mini-game level would increase in difficulty as the story progressed, unlocking the higher one.

At the highest level of this Checker War mini-game was the former Knight Commander, Rania. And she was hella strong and smart, trapping me a few times.

'I can't get that smart image anymore from her after she showed me her masochistic side…' I thought.

I believed Grand Marshal Garland was better than her, as she once admitted she once lost against him.

If the Queen managed to beat even the person whom the highest-level enemy couldn't beat in the mini-game, how strong was she?

'I bet she's very strong in this game, considering her intelligence.'

But that was what made it exciting. And to add more spice to this game, I decided to propose something.

"Queen Eve, what do you think of having a bet in this game? We will play once, and the loser will owe a favor to the winner. How about it?" I proposed with a smile. "I wanted to make this game a little more exciting."

Queen Eve fell silent for a while after she heard what I said. Grand Marshal Garland looked at her without emotion as he placed his trust in the Queen.

After a while, she smiled and nodded, "That will be an interesting bet, Sir Arthur. But let's limit this favor to something we could do ourselves without involving politics or our ties."

What a cunning woman. This would give her a lot of advantage over me, as I could almost do everything myself while her power lay in the government.

However, I didn't mind. There was something that I planned for the future. Whether I lost or won here wouldn't really matter.

"It can't be helped. I agree with that."

"Fufufu, thank you for understanding."

We played the Checker War after putting all the pieces in place. Grand Marshal Garland even leaked some admiration when he saw our unexpected move.

And then, after a few hours since the start of the game… It ended with the win of Queen Eve.

Indeed… I lost for the first time in this world. It sucks.