Redemption of the Blue Rose Princess - Chapter 8.7
“Pardon me for not being able to greet you earlier. Good day to you, Alicia-sama.”
As soon as Riddhe saw the gazes of both the Princess and her aide were on him, he greeted the Princess with a theatrical gesture, just like his father. Clovis raised his eyebrows at him.
“It’s an awkward question to ask at this timing, but, you aren’t a member of the Privy Council, why are you even attending the meeting?”
“Shut. Up! I’m not a member yet, but I will be in the future! I have every right to attend the meeting, unlike you, who barely even allowed to be here!”
Riddhe’s mood worsened after Clovis threw him that logical question. Apparently, he was allowed to attend because he was the heir of his family, so he had the special right to observe Privy Council’s meetings.
Riddhe coughed, ashamed that he had unnecessarily lost his temper. As he finally regained his composure, he shrugged his shoulders exaggeratedly.
“Well, my dear Princess Alicia. I hope today’s incident had given you a better idea of who you should have picked on your side.”
“If you have something to say to me, say it clearly.”
As Alicia glared at him with her blue eyes, Riddhe walked into the hall with a satisfied look. Like a bird that was about to take flight, his steps were light.
He stood in front of Alicia, snickered at Clovis who calmly watched him, and then bent down and offered his hand to the Princess.
The Princess raised her eyebrows in confusion as Riddhe spoke up.
“Please take this Riddhe’s hand, Princess.”
“What is this all about?”
The black-haired aide was the one who answered instead of Alicia, and as he did, the corners of Riddhe’s mouth lifted even higher.
“I’m sure you’ve learned your lesson, Cromwell. No matter how capable you are, if you can’t get the Privy Council into your side, you’re as good as nothing! And with Graham’s blood in your veins, you will never get them into your side! Too bad, isn’t it?”
As if he was singing a beautiful melody, Riddhe continued his speech with passion.
“Me, I’m different! I will eventually inherit the dukedom! I can be the bridge between you, Princess, and my father, then eventually the rest of the Privy Council! I’m in a whole different caliber than this man.”
Now, Riddhe continued, as his smile deepened.
“So, please, choose me, choose the Sutherland as your ally. Please make the right choice, so you will never have to go through this utter waste of time ever again.”
Normally, Alicia would have firmly brushed away Riddhe’s nonsense.
However, the current Alicia had already lost her confidence in her ability to convey her words. Rather, she felt a sense of helplessness that she couldn’t control, wondering whether the words that she said would have any meaning at all.
She had already realized how powerless she actually was. But, being rubbed in the face over her defeat like this made her feel that changing the future was merely a fever dream.
Of course, for Alicia, whose ideal was to make a country where the King and his people would be able to share their thoughts and defend their country together as one, the current state of the Privy Council was far from her ideal.
Even among the great nobles, they were divided into two factions, the conservatives, and the moderates, and depending on the region they governed, the gap between the prosperity of their regions divided them even further. In addition, there was always dark, stagnant anxiety and suspicion among them, which could easily be used against them.
Bringing them together was a big hurdle for Alicia currently.
Though, if she were to become a queen, this is a hurdle that she had to clear.
“Please leave us alone.”
That stern voice drowned out Alicia’s lethargic thoughts. Alicia looked up in surprise and at the same time, Clovis shook off Riddhe’s hand.
It seemed like Riddhe was as surprised as Alicia as he stared at the aide blankly. The next moment though, he immediately shot a terrifying look toward Clovis.
“You…! Just who do you think you are talking to!”
“Are you feeling like a big person now? Taunting the Princess like that?”
Alicia turned her head around to see her aide’s beautiful face that was tinged with quiet anger. In between his black hair, his amethyst-colored eyes exuded sharpness that made the man who stood in front of him, Riddhe, feel an overwhelming pressure.
“Who should she choose? That’s not up to you to decide, but Alicia-sama. The role of an aide is to guide her and help her through the decision that she previously made… If you can’t even comprehend that, then you have no right to be by her side.”
“What are you–?!”
Riddhe was seething his anger as he clenched his teeth. Seeing this, Clovis shot him a cold glance as he turned toward Alicia and gently urged her to leave this place.
“We should go back to your room, Alicia-sama. There is no reason for you to stay here any longer.”
As they were about to leave the room, Riddhe’s voice, filled with anger, stopped them. When Alicia turned around, she saw Riddhe’s figure, heavily breathing caused by his rage. When she looked at his eyes, she noticed a hint of envy, in addition to his contempt and anger.
“I… always hated that about you…”
Riddhe groaned, his voice sounded like he was struggling to let a word out, then he let out a twisted chuckle.
“What’s that? You think you’re on the side of justice? You think that you’re always right? Don’t think that you’ll be able to make that kind of smug face forever! My father and the Privy Council will never listen to your pathetic biddings!”
“—Politics is not a matter of winning and losing, do you know that?”
From Alicia’s position, it was impossible to see what kind of gaze did her aide have on his face, as his eyes were covered by his bangs. However, she could sense a deep disappointment in his pleasant voice.
“A question, Lord Riddhe. While Lord Nizel was explaining about the Mercurius Trading Company, you were attentively listening, though you bore an unamused look on your face. Doesn’t that mean that you actually approved the validity of our proposal?”
“You’re not the only one who had that thought.”
As Riddhe stammered in his frustration, Clovis added more to drive in his point even further.
“The majority of those present, whether they agreed with it or not, were beginning to understand the significance of the new trading company for the good of our country. It was your father, and your father only who tried to control their opinion with brute force. Don’t you think it’s strange…? Is his goal actually to gain power for himself through the Privy Council? Think about it.”
At that moment, for the first time, Riddhe’s eyes wavered. He clicked his tongue loudly, trying to hide his feelings. Though his action only confirmed the fact that he actually had a slight suspicion toward his father’s behavior.
“Don’t get caught up in winning and losing, but focus on what’s truly important. —I pray that your eyes will be opened so that you will be able to walk alongside Alicia-sama.
With that, Clovis turned his back on Riddhe.
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