Redemption of the Blue Rose Princess - Chapter 10.2
The first person to notice Alicia was Lloyd Sutherland, who immediately sent her a sharp gaze.
“Is something the matter, Alicia-sama? What can we do for you?”
Lloyd’s low voice echoed in the hall, causing the other members of the Privy Council who was engrossed in a heated debate to shut their mouths and turned their focus to Alicia. Some of them looked surprised to see the young Princess standing up by herself.
After taking a deep breath, Alicia boldly opened her mouth.
Her voice was a pitch higher than usual. The unusual, yet beautiful tone of her voice surprised the nobles, but her father, King James’ reaction was different. He was trying to hold his laughter.
“…Do you need some water?”
“No, I’m fine.”
Alicia coughed as her cheeks reddened. Because of this the tension in the room flew away. Even Lloyd’s expression went softer when he saw her, like a father looking over his daughter. Everyone in the room looked at her warmly, as they were waiting for her to calm down.
‘Get a grip.’ Alicia scolded herself.
She knew it, but she couldn’t help but realize that the man in front of her was neither monster nor specter, but a normal human being like herself. He might look strict and intimidating, but he wasn’t incapable of feeling emotions.
That was why she should work hard to stand on the same stage as this man.
“Before we move on to the main topic of what the Privy Council should do with the Trading Company, there are a few things that we need to address.”
“I see. Please speak out your mind freely, Alicia-sama.”
Hearing that, Lloyd’s gaze once again turned fierce. He stopped his loving father act and turned into the intimidating figure Alicia always knew him for. Alicia straightened her back, trying not to be intimidated by him.
“There is something that’s preventing the establishment of the Trading Company. If we were to get rid of that, we won’t have to worry about it later and we’ll be able to make a decision from a fairer perspective.”
“As expected of Alicia-sama, you are able to see things through from a whole different perspective than us… Since you’re speaking out like this, can I assume that you have a solution to this?”
Alicia answered with a cool face. In response, Lloyd lifted his eyebrows.
“That’s wonderful. If you don’t mind, Alicia-sama, can you enlighten us?”
The nobles gathered inside the room held their breaths. They noticed that the atmosphere between the two was getting tenser as time passed. Aware of the countless gazes gathered on her, Alicia opened her small lips to speak.
“But first, I have to address the problem. There is someone who’s trying to sabotage this meeting and the establishment of the Trading Company by leaking information to Eardall. I believe that the culprit is among us here.”
* * *
The whole room went into an uproar. The words spoken by the Princess turned the whole situation upside down.
Lloyd turned his gaze toward Clovis, Nizel and King James in that order. Realizing the intent of the Princess, for the first time in the meeting, Lloyd’s face turned sour.
“Now, now. Who among the honorable Privy Council would go out their way and leak the Kingdom’s agenda to other countries? With all due respect, Alicia-sama, the statement you made was simply outrageous.”
He seemed to be speaking to Alicia, but she didn’t even enter his field of vision. Instead, he glared at her aide beside her.
“I assume that you have your reason to state something like that, right, Alicia-sama?”
“Alicia-sama, may I?”
Before Alicia could open her mouth, Clovis spoked out while reverently placed his hand on his chest.
“I’ll explain everything from here.”
Alicia nodded at her aide and the latter responded by giving her a confident smile. His smile made her feel rather restless though, as it was the same smile he had shown when he hugged her a while back.
Clovis then stood up, taking over Alicia’s position to explain. Lloyd then turned all his attention on the young aide. His gaze was sharp to the point that even the conservatives who were on his side broke into cold sweat.
“As expected, this is your work, Cromwell. You should be satisfied with getting the honor of serving Her Royal Highness, but it seems that you’re getting carried away. Accusing the Privy Council like this, how preposterous!”
“You don’t need to remind me of my position, Sir. I’m here to support my Master, Alicia-sama as her aide. I have no intention of making an enemy out of the honorable Privy Council. Well, except for one person.”
“Hm… I assume you already have someone in mind?”
The chandelier flickered, enhancing the eeriness of Lloyd’s cynical smile.
“Then, speak up. The fact that you dared to accuse that there is a traitor among us is suspicious already, but if you fail to prove your accusation on top of it, I’ll warn you that you’ll be dealt with accordingly.”
“I’m prepared for that. I promise you if we were to fail to prove our accusation, I’ll resign my position as the aide to the Princess and I’ll offer myself to be banished from the Kingdom.”
Instead of making any noise, Alicia clasped her hands tightly, praying for her aide’s success. She then watched the back of her aide with trust in her gaze. His back stood tall even though Lloyd was trying his hardest to discourage the young man.
Countless gazes were focused on him as he slowly raised his hand. Then he pointed straight at Lloyd’s face.
“The traitor here is you, Duke of Sherford. You are the one who conspired with Ealdar.”
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