“Her royal highness first princess Lupis of the Rozeria Kingdom will be present shortly! Lower your head!”
With the red carpet being spread a woman entered the audience room, and announced that the princess was about to appear.
Ryouma decided to mimic Mikhail who bowed his head with one knee on the floor.
After all, he was a human that came from a world where royalty was regarded and viewed as something obsolete.
Thus he doesn’t know how to show proper respect toward the nobility.
Imitating what Mikhail was doing, was the best he could do.
Since Lione was as confused as Ryouma, doing something like this didn’t seem natural to her, while on the other hand, the Marfisto sisters, although they were slaves until the other day, they used to be lesser nobility, and was performing splendidly.
(Maybe I should ask Laura and Sara to teach me about it later?)
Ryouma waited patiently for the princess to enter while looking at Laura and her sister who bowed gracefully.
Then the audience with the princess began.
The room which Mikhail guided them to was a long room with a golden throne inside.
A red carpet was lined up from the entrance of the room to the throne, with a total of 20 soldiers on both sides of it.
For Ryouma and the others, this was quite a dangerous situation, since they were only four people.
(Well… I guess there’s no other choice huh. It was already great that she was willing to meet us in the first place. Although it would have been perfect if she had been willing to meet with me in secret…)
After entering the castle, Ryouma and the others were put into a room for several hours by Mikhail.
Logically it was kind of natural, after all, they were people whom the princess and the Knights faction had acknowledged as enemies not long ago.
Ryouma didn’t know what kind of report Mikhail had made, because when Mikhail came back, he told them to follow him to the throne room immediately.
Thinking Mikhail’s report could have resulted in them being arrested, for an immediate execution without even being able to meet the princess, however, since the princess have granted them an audience, at least, now they had been given a chance to talk, considering that, one can safely say this is a good omen.
While his head was lowered and he was looking down, the sound of a door being opened from behind the throne could be heard.
Then several footsteps were heard within the audience room.
It must be the Princess Lupis and her close aide’s footsteps.
Ryouma and the others kept waiting for Princess Lupis to speak while bowing their head.
“Raise your heads. ”
The voice of a dignified woman could be heard.
Before Ryouma’s eyes appeared a young woman with silver hair wearing a body armor that was completely white.
“Vice leader of the royal guard, Mikhail. ”
The first words from Princess Lupis were directed toward Mikhail.
Her face looked both dignified and calm.
(Vice leader? Seriously? That guy, did he actually have such a high position? No wonder the princess granted us an audience. But still, isn’t that guy too impulsive for the job?)
Ryouma, now knowing that Mikhail was actually closer to the princess and the leader of the Knights faction, thanked all the Gods he could remember, for his good luck.
“I’ve heard the report from Meltina. I have to say that you being unable to fulfill your mission is very regrettable. And a large number of knight have lost their lives due to this failure. … All of them have lost their lives is a blow to our faction and jeopardizes the future of our kingdom. Despite being the leader, you’ve survived and is now present in front of my eyes. As the princess, I must make you compensate for this failure with your life!… “
The room’s atmosphere turned cold due to Princess’ words.
However, on the princess’ face, a subtle smile could be seen.
“However, you’re a good knight, and your loyalty to the royal family can’t be questioned. It would be a big loss if I were to lose you now when our country faces a crisis. In accordance with your past achievement, and considering that this mission was a trap set by the noble faction, I will extend your punishment until the political strife against the noble faction has come to an end. If your future actions in the conflict have enough merits, I will pardon your failures. ”
A clamor immediately dominated the audience room.
Was her decision outside everyone expectation? Even Mikhail showed a blank expression.
“Your highness princess, is this alright?”
A woman who came in before, asked such a question.
“It’s fine… There’s nothing more stupid than punishing capable people during a national crisis. Besides I just extend his execution time and might pardon him, however, I’ve never stated that he was innocent of his crime. ”
Hearing Princess Lupis words, the clamor within the audience room began to subside.
Mikhail then bowed his head while expressing his sincere gratitude toward the princess’ leniency.
“Certainly, I will meet your highness expectation without fail!”
(I see, so that’s how it is… I respect her judgment. After all, she doesn’t want to weaken her faction more than it already is intentionally… Furthermore, she just extended the time until his punishment rather than proclaim him as innocent. This also means, if Mikhail doesn’t achieve any achievement in the future, it will be the end for him. … Uhuh, Not bad at all… Not simply being lenient, but she’s also able to make a correct judgment by looking at the current situation. )
If she simply spares Mikhail’s life, the bereaved families of those people who participated in the surprise attack under his command won’t be able to consent.
While that might be true, however, pushing all the responsibility to one person when all of the top leaders have fallen to the enemy trick is in itself a problem.
Thus, choosing a compromise where she will offset the failure with future achievement can be said to be a politically right decision.
(Not bad at all… No, rather, I might have been lucky… If it’s like this, she might be able to understand my proposal properly… It’s just… there’s a problem.)
Ryouma saw the reaction of the people around them when Princess Lupis made her decision regarding Mikhail’s future.
And there he noticed, a vexed expression from an elderly man standing, one step lower than princess Lupis. Apparently, he didn’t agree with her decision to spared Mikhail’s life.
Of course, it wasn’t obvious to everyone else, as the expression only appeared for a split second.
(This guy, I guess we can’t just simply call all this, as a mere dispute between the three factions huh?…)
Whether Mikhail is a competent person or not, there’s someone who actually wished for his death, despite being from the same faction.
Usually, no one wishes their colleague or friends to die. But if someone wishes for their colleagues or friends deaths, then that’s means…
(That means, not all of the people from Knight faction, is loyal to Princess Lupis? No, if I consider everything, with that in mind then, this all begins to make sense…If that the case then, I might be able to find an opening when I try to curry favor to the princess. )
Ryouma frantically tried not to laugh, after all, the information he desperately needed, actually convenient appeared in front of him, all by itself.
Ryouma had to compel himself, because if he showed a smiling expression now in this place, it might end up being fatal for him.
(Not yet… I need to be patient… I’ve not yet passed the predicament. The game has just begun. … I might end up dead if I were getting doubted by the princess or that woman… )
Ryouma line of sight turned toward the woman who previously asked a question to the princess.
She’s had a large build for a woman with black hair.
In addition to that, the two swords on her waist look to be quite used.
Furthermore, she must have earned princess Lupis trust, after all, even after being questioned, Princess Lupis didn’t show a dissatisfied expression.
“Mikhail’s judgment ends here. Now then, let’s move to other subjects. ”
Saying that princess Lupis gaze immediately turned toward the four people, that bowed down, one of them being Ryouma.
“I see. There’s indeed a teenage girl with silver hair… Are you really not the illegitimate child of the previous Rozeria’s king, King Farst the second)
Princess Lupis immediately asked the biggest problematic issue.
“No, my name is Laura. Laura Marfisto. The elder sister of Sara Marfisto that’s also present here. ”
Sara nodded her head hearing Laura’s answer.
“I see… Looking closely, you both indeed look similar. If not for the hair color, you would be like two peas in a pod.)
Her gaze is focused on the sisters.
Certainly, since they are twins, everything except their hair color was similar.
“Your highness… There’s no information that the illegitimate child have a sister.”
The black haired woman talked to the Princess quietly.
“Marfisto, I’m familiar with that family name… If I’m not wrong, it was a family name of a Knight house from the central continent, is it not?”
“Yes. If I’m not mistaken, it should be a considerably famous family name… and their skin color and features are indeed from the central continent too…”
They both looked intensely at Laura and her sister.
For a moment, their line of sight intertwined with each other.
“I see now… Indeed, they certainly different from what we know about the illegitimate child based on the information about her that we received the other day.”
Princess Lupis muttered those words as if giving up on something.
That is natural.
If by any chance Laura was the illegitimate child of the previous king, King Farst the second, then the reason for the civil war could be removed, and the conflict could be resolved just by killing her.
“With that being the case, it seems like I won’t be able to condemn any of you for retaliating against my knight.”
Princess Lupis muttered those words as if she was in trouble.
“I beg your pardon. To receive your highness tolerant words, I’m unable to express anything other than feeling gratitude. ”
Ryouma graciously lowered his head when saying those words.
Actually, Ryouma and the others are the victims who got rolled up in this mess; thus He wanted to be a bit more aggressive.
However, if he has to think about the future, it would be not thoughtful of him if he took a heavy-handed attitude when it wasn’t necessary.
Looking at Ryouma’s admirable attitude, a smile appeared on the princess’ face.
“I’m not that stiff after all. In fact, we’re the one who troubled you people… Is there anything you want?”
Ryouma pretended to be lost in thought for a while after hearing Princess Lupis words.
While in fact, Ryouma had already decided on the answer.
“I won’t ask of anything your highness; however, by all means, I hope your Highness would give our suggestion some thoughts as your highness assistance would be greatly appreciated.”
Ryouma said that, with a tone indicating he was in deep regret.
“Is this about the suggestion you had proposed to Mikhail?”
“Yes. That is correct. ”
Listening to Ryouma’s words, princess Lupis showed a troubled expression.
If one looked at it from her viewpoint, it would be better for her to no longer concern herself with Ryouma here.
If possible, she wanted to just give them some money, and get rid of them from this place quickly. After all, Ryouma and the others were the reason for all the men they had lost in the operation. Making them literally one of the Knight’s factions enemies.
“… That is something I can’t give a final answer right away… You understand why, right?”
Princess Lupis looked at Ryouma.
In other words, Princess Lupis didn’t mind joining forces; however, it would only gather dissatisfaction from her subordinate if they joined forces just like that, not to mention, Ryouma had said in his proposal to Mikhail that the knight faction would be destroyed even before the decisive battle against the noble group…
“Of course, I understand. However, if your highness only maintains the status quo like this, I’m afraid your highness won’t be able to win. ”
“””You insolent bastard! You low life dares to say that!”””
Angry voices came from the throne room.
However, the princess and the black-haired woman standing beside her did not change their expression.
The one who raised their voices were the men standing under the throne.
“Your majesty! Please let me execute this rude person immediately!”
The man who had an adverse reaction when Mikhail’s’ life was spared, offered to execute Ryouma to the princess.
“Please wait. General. Shouldn’t we ask the princess what she wants first?”
“What are you saying, Meltina! Do you want us to keep silent when insulted!? What do you think a Knights pride is?”
(I see… She is Meltina huh?… As expected of the princess’ aide…)
Ryouma listened to the argument between Meltina and the man whom she called general in order to get more information, even if it’s just a little.
“Please wait! This person has never insulted us in particular! He merely spoke about his personal prediction!”
“What kind of stupid thing are you spouting about! This guy said that we’re clearly going to be defeated you know? If that is not an insult then what is the meaning of that!?”
Logically what Meltina had said was right; however, she was unable to quell his anger. When one’s emotions prevail, it clouds logical thinking.
It was Princess Lupis who had thought about Ryouma’s words who put their argument to end.
“That’s enough. You are all in front of a guest, do you know that!?”
There’s no mistake that the guest she mentioned here was Ryouma.
Comrades who was arguing in front of the person they both looked down upon as a person of low birth.
Maybe due to realizing how funny they looked, Meltina and the general shut their mouth while lowered their heads in shame.
“We’ve shown you such an unsightly appearance… … For me, even for a little, I want to decrease the amount of victim in this war, and at the same time, I also wish to win the war against the noble faction. … Do you think you will be able to accomplish it?”
The princess finally told Ryouma the words that he wanted to hear.
“Of course… I will answer your highness expectation without fail. ”
Saying that, Ryouma bowed his head down toward the princess.