Redemption of the Blue Rose Princess - Chapter 7.2
A few weeks later, Alicia, accompanied by Clovis and a few others, left for the territory of the Marquis of Rozen.
It was only recently that she went out of the castle for the first time, but now, she was going outside the royal capital itself and even planning on staying overnight, driving both her maids and guards to a state of panic, but since King James himself gave his blessings to his daughter’s decision, it wasn’t like there was anything they could do to stop her.
After leaving the royal capital, the group moved slowly through the vast land of Heilland. The group itself consisted of two carriages, one for carrying Alicia and Clovis while the other carrying Annie and Martha, surrounded by the knights of the Order, led by Robert.
“Somehow, our little plan turned into a bigger deal than I thought.”
“Well, considering our objective and destination, it isn’t like we can just sneak out of the castle, Princess.”
Clovis comforted Alicia, who had an apologetic expression on her face.
Why would Alicia personally go to the territory of Marquis of Rozen? Well, there was a good story behind this decision.
After Clovis showed her the proposal, both of them had a discussion about the matter and decided that it would be best to hear the entirety of the matter from the person who wrote it, Jude, himself. At first, she wanted to summon Jude to the castle, but Clovis told her that there was a huge chance that the man wouldn’t even show up.
“The Nicole family is one of the rare cases where they haven’t registered themselves with the Privy Council despite being a Marquis family. The origin of it was their family heads for generations refused to involve themselves with matters concerning nobility. The current head is also keeping the same stance as his predecessors, so, even if Alicia-sama tried to summon him, he will most likely make up excuses to refuse your summons.”
Listening to the advice of her aide, Alicia decided that it would be better to visit him in person to prevent him from making out any excuses. And, as expected, the man himself, Jude, couldn’t find anything in his agenda that he could just prioritize over the Princess’ visit. He replied that he would be waiting for her presence in his territory.
Nevertheless, Alicia was still nervous about the whole affair. After all, she was trying to meet someone that she had never met before and that someone probably didn’t appreciate her barging into his territory like this.
“What if they drive us away as soon as we arrive?”
“That won’t be happening. I’ve notified the other party that we’ll be staying over for a period of a few days… Besides, I won’t let him show his impoliteness toward my master.”
Alicia’s face stiffened as she saw the gaze that came from the young man’s beautiful eyes turn harsh for a second. In her heart, she was fervently praying for the yet-unseen Jude to be a friendly person, for his own safety.
“By the way, Alicia-sama, take a look outside, the view is breathtaking.”
Clovis urged the Princess to look out of the window as he shifted the curtains of the carriage away. He was probably trying to distract his nervous master.
Hearing his voice, Alicia looked at him, and sequentially, outside the window of the carriage. The scene that entered her eyes was a meadow, spread as far as her eyes could see. Beyond the meadow, far ahead of the road her carriage was trotting on, was a majestic looking mountain range, it looked solemn and strong as if it housed the gods who overlooked the whole continent. Alicia let out a loud exclaim at this scenery.
Somehow, this scene reminded her of the beautiful boy that she met in her dream a while back.
* * *
After spending a night in a town along the way to rest their weary bodies, Alicia and her entourage finally arrived at the Nicole family’s resident in the territory of Marquis of Rozen in the early afternoon of the second day after their departure.
The family resident was an old, yet beautiful looking stone castle, located in a forest near the suburbs of the Port City Held. The design of the mansion was a lot different from the ones that Alicia used to see, it surprised her a lot since she was used to seeing more lavishly decorated noble mansions back in the royal capital.
In front of the mansion was the head of the house, along with his wife and retainers, standing in wait for Alicia’s entourage’s arrival. It seemed that someone informed the head when Alicia’s entourage entered his territory since he accurately expected the time of their arrival.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Princess. I’m the head of the Nicole house, Jude.”
Alicia felt relieved when the young lord moved to greet Alicia and even shook Clovis’ hands. The man was much friendlier than she imagined.
Or rather, the impression she got from him was significantly different from what she previously expected.
Alicia expected him to be more severe since he was said to hate nobility and the noble’s social obligation. However, the man standing in front of her, with his blond hair and dimples decorating his cheeks, was an amicable young lord.
The young lord then bent down on his knees to look at the Princess’ face and went into a series of chuckles after he did that, though his retainers rolled their eyes at their lord’s actions, surely this was something they expected the man would do. The gesture shooed away Alicia’s nervousness though.
“Aha. I’ve heard all kinds of rumors about you, Princess, but they seemed to pale in comparison compared to the real article. Your appearance truly fits your nickname, the Blue Rose Princess!”
“…Dear Husband, we need to let them into the mansion first.”
Jude nodded toward his wife’s words. As soon as he stood up to invite the entourage inside, Clovis casually stood in front of Alicia, as if to protect her from any further approach from the lord. The Princess thought that this action her aide took was cute.
“Everyone must be tired after the long journey from the capital, no? So, come this way, let’s go in, let’s go in.”
Jude flashed his white teeth as he invited the entourage to enter his mansion’s ground.
“This should be everyone’s first time visiting a port city, right? Wouldn’t it be a waste if everyone’s first experience with a port city is a boring talk inside the mansion? Why don’t we spend the whole afternoon exploring the city?”
“No, we have to refuse. We have to talk properly about our objectives after all.”
When Clovis politely rejected Jude’s suggestion, the latter sunk his brows in disappointment.
“He’s quite the unique person, isn’t he?”
Annie whispered to Alicia’s ear. She held back the word ‘weird’ from coming out of her mouth.
Lord Jude, huh…? He seems like a ‘my pace’ kind of guy.
The young lord seems to be a bad match for the overly serious Clovis, Alicia thought.
I wish the talk will proceed peacefully. She prayed to the Star Envoy secretly as the marquis proceeded to give her a brief explanation about his mansion.
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