“I hope you can forgive the late introduction. I am Darinea, King Darios III’s eldest daughter.”
Someone from the royal family!?
“Ah, ahm…I’m, ahem, I am Luke Albert, the chief of this village.”
I did worry that they would send someone to protest why I built a palace grander than even the royal palace, but I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.
“Nevertheless, I’m terribly surprised. I’ve never seen such a tall castle before.”
I knew it! She might not be direct about it, but she’s definitely angry!
“The interior is beautiful and very intricate as well. Building something like this would be hard for the royal family, especially with how things are right now.”
“I deeply, deeply apologizeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
“Huh? W-what are you apologizing for?”
I scrambled to apologize, but she just looked confused.
Eh? Can it be that she’s not angry…?
“Well, aren’t you angry at me for building a palace like this?”
“I’m not. If anything, I’m impressed.”
“Oh, I see.”
Thank goodness. But then, if she’s not here to rebuke me, why did she come all this way? There’s quite a distance between the village and the royal capital, so she can’t be here without a specific reason, right? And now that I think about it, my father’s in the midst of overthrowing the royal family. So, visiting me, the son of her enemy, makes a lot less sense. Well, Mitchell-san’s with her, so I guess she knows that I’m not attached to House Albert anymore. Wait, why is an Albert governor with the princess anyway…?
“Luke-sama, I have a favor to ask.”
I had a bad feeling about it. So much so that I wanted to turn around and exit the room.
And then, the princess said something unbelievable to me.
“I’d like to ask for your help in defeating Lord Albert!”
◇ ◇ ◇
“How did this happen!?”
I forgot to speak formally and shouted so.
“Wait, wait, wait. Are you not aware that I’m also an Albert?”
“I am aware, but I’m also aware that you’ve been exiled after you blessing ceremony and that you’re in conflict with Lord Albert.”
We were not in good terms, sure, but we were not at odds either. Probably.
“Everyone in the royal palace, save for a small number of people, is already leaning toward surrendering to Lord Albert. At this rate, he would soon rule over the entire country.”
With a serious look on her face, the princess explained so.
When asked for details, she said that the current plan was for her to be the new ruler and then welcome my father into the royal palace as her husband. However, more likely than not, my father would actually be the one in power and she would be a figurehead whose only real duty was to ensure that her royal bloodline would continue.
“Of course, if Lord Albert were someone who could lead this kingdom toward prosperity, I could somehow tolerate such a fate. However, what likely awaits us all is an age of tyranny through fear and power…moreover, based on his actions thus far, it’s easy to predict that he will soon invade other kingdoms to further expand his domain.”
Hmm, yeah, I won’t argue with that, but…
“But why ask me?”
“According to what I heard, you easily defeated Albert forces led by your younger brother. Given that, you should stand a chance against Lord Albert as well. Mitchell…who is over there thinks so at least.”
Before we noticed it, Mitchell-san was standing behind the princess as though he was hiding.
I for one stared at him with distrustful eyes.
“I think you’re asking a bit too much of me…but in the first place, what’s your role in all this, Mitchell-san?”
“Haha, you see, I’m actually a spy sent by the king himself to infiltrate the Albert territory. Oh, and it really doesn’t matter if you turn us down. Right about now, His Majesty should be telling Lord Albert about this village.”
…you’ve gotta be joking.