Going back in time a little…
“We’ve been expecting you. Ah, no, I’m not the person you’re looking for. I’m here just to guide you to that person. Pardon, but I’m going to have to ask you to follow me to another location.”
Princess Darinea and her guard Marihsa had arrived at the place they were told to go.
There, the person waiting for them guided them somewhere else. More specifically, that person guided them to the governor’s castle.
“This is the governor’s castle, isn’t it? I see, this is where the spy…”
“Please head this way. As you might imagine, having you enter from the main entrance draws too much attention.”
Despite their suspicions, the two entered through the rear entrance. Eventually, they arrived at a drawing room.
“Ah, hello there. Thank you for travelling all this way, your highness.”
The man waiting in that room stood up and bowed.
“I am Mitchell, the North’s governor. It’s an absolute pleasure to meet you.”
Not expecting the person before them at all, the two immediately put their guard up.
“Huh, what? Why?”
“…why is an Albert governor here…no, it can’t be…has our plan been leaked to the enemy…”
A governor ruled over towns and cities as the reigning lord’s representative.
It was only prudent for the two to be wary of a person who likely had Lord Albert’s favor.
“Hahaha, I get it now. It’s only reasonable to be taken aback, I suppose, but there’s no need to worry. I am genuinely your ally, your highness. I am from the outskirts of the Albert territory, true enough, but more than that, I am part of your highness’s mother’s noble house. It is by orders of His Majesty the King more than a decade ago that I infiltrated my way through the ranks of House Albert. Between you and me though, I didn’t imagine I’d ever become a governor.”
When Princess Darinea relaxed a little, the governor began telling her stories about her mother’s birthplace. His stay there was mostly only during his youth, but his fond recounting could convince just about everyone that he did in fact lived in the area.
“I have been there a few times, so I understand what you’re saying. It truly is a beautiful and wonderful place.”
“Thank you for believing me. You’re quite perceptive, your highness. Though you are His Majesty’s daughter, so I suppose that’s only to be expected.”
In an ideal world, King Darios III could have accomplished much as king.
Just the fact that he recognized early on that Lord Albert would soon become a threat and sent a spy to infiltrate should say a lot about the king’s competence.
“It should be said though that, in order to avoid anything unexpected, I’m not the only one deployed by the king. But of course, I have no clue of the others’ identities or locations.”
“How smart of father.”
And then, while keeping her eagerness in check, Darinea nervously asked a question.
“So, about the thing that’ll overturn this dire situation…”
◇ ◇ ◇
“T-there’s a city this big in this kind of place…”
“Surprising, isn’t it? More surprising is that just about a year ago, this place was nothing but a wasteland.”
“Just a year ago!?”
Along with Mitchell, the two traveled to the north of Riesen.
What awaited the princess in the vast wasteland there was a great city not at all inferior to the royal capital.
“And the person who made all of these possible, is in conflict with Lord Albert…?”
“He’s not exactly in conflict with Lord Albert, but he has been exiled by Lord Albert after his rite of blessing.”
“Then, what a fool Lord Albert must be…”
“Haha. That might indeed be the greatest mistake of Lord Albert’s life, but in all fairness to him, no one but a god could have foreseen this.”
Towering over the other buildings in the center of the city was a large structure that was more than a hundred meters tall.
“…A-apparently, that’s the village chief’s current residence.”
“The village chief’s residence, you say…but it exceeds what you would expect of a royal palace of any country…”
With a face that said ‘he’s gone and built another ridiculous thing in the short time I didn’t see him’, Mitchell declared something to the two women.
“I fully believe Luke Albert-sama is the key toward turning things around and even winning against Lord Albert.”