Redemption of the Blue Rose Princess - Chapter 8.9
I need to be stronger.
With that, Alicia’s stout heart was loosened as she sunk in the warmth provided by her aide.
“…I… couldn’t even do anything…”
As the vexation she felt when she had to directly face Lloyd crept back up to her mind, Alicia proceeded to clear her throat.
“Back then, when I stood in front of the Privy Council… My legs were trembling… I was so scared, I wish I could run away… But, I… can’t just do that, can I? I still have to live up to the expectations of those who supported me after all… and yet…”
“Please don’t belittle yourself like that.”
The strength of the arm that was embracing Alicia slightly increased. Afraid of staining her aide’s fine clothes with her tears, the Princess tried to pull away, but, her aide didn’t let her leave his side.
“I was able to stand there without wavering because I know that you put your trust in me. Do you know, Alicia-sama? I couldn’t sleep well last night because I was so nervous about the matter with Privy Council.”
Alicia looked up at her aide after hearing his unexpected confession. The sight of Clovis’ beautiful face, basked in his embarrassment came into Alicia’s view.
“This is also another embarrassing story, but… when I got into the room, I noticed Riddhe was there too, and it made me feel even worse than I previously did. I’m not that good at handling that man.”
Clovis sighed lightly as he closed his eyelids. After a moment, he opened his gentle amethyst-colored eyes.
“But then I thought about how hard you had worked for this day, and for that reason, my insecurities stopped mattering anymore. That’s why… Don’t blame yourself just because you don’t feel strong enough.”
You’ve done your best, right? That was all that mattered.
Alicia hit her limit once more as those gentle words came to her ears. Her tears wet the chest of her aide, who was embracing her with a gentle hold.
For a while, the Princess continued to cry, shaking her shoulders as she clung to the aide’s arms. Clovis silently stroked her back. Eventually, the crying girl fell asleep, leaning against her aide.
* * *
As expected, you are this tired.
Clovis gently stroked his master’s hair as the latter slept peacefully in his embrace. A gentle smile crept on his lips. She was always acting so mature, so, it was only when she slept like this that he realized that his master was really just a child.
The aide felt a little ache in his heart after he noticed how red the girl’s eyes were after she let out such a huge amount of tears.
What a cruel person I am, thought Clovis.
She was the only daughter of the current king, the only heir to the Chester family. Normally, she could have chosen to be loved by everyone, it should be easily accomplished since her natural charm was strong enough for that. Yet, she still chose to go through this painful experience.
If she really just wanted to avoid war, (efficiency and correct choices be damned), she could surround herself with capable subordinates and let them keep a close eye on the situation so that they could act accordingly when the sparks started to appear.
And then, she could look for a capable husband, capable enough to realize her other dream, ensuring the future of the Kingdom.
Still, Clovis wished he could see it. The future where the cheerful girl was able to change this country. The future where Princess Alicia would be revered as the savior of the Kingdom.
There was also the matter of Alicia’s previous life, she was dead set to not go through the path she previously trod once again. That was why, no matter how much Clovis wished to take his master away from this thorny path, he couldn’t do so.
But, at least I can stay by your side and support you, I hope that could ease your suffering, even if it’s only a little.
Feeling his master’s warmth in his arm, Clovis gently closed his eyes.
There was a lot of work to be done after all.
Through today’s meeting, they had successfully identified which nobles were part of which factions. In preparation for the second meeting in a week, Clovis decided that he should first seek more cooperation from both Dreyfus and Otto.
There were also other Marquises such as Daniel Bain and Mac Grant who had clearly stated their support during the course of the meeting. Some of those nobles might be on their side, so he decided that he should try to contact them before they got drawn into the opposing party’s side.
…And then… Clovis’ thoughts were halted as he remembered Lloyd Sutherland’s piercing gaze.
Lloyd’s stance in urging the postponement of the vote, even at the risk of denouncing the beloved daughter of the King in front of the King’s face, was unnatural. You could say it was so that he could show off the authority of the Privy Council, but it was still a reckless action. He decided that they should work on trying to figure out what was happening behind the scenes.
““Loooord Clooooviiiis ~ ?””
Clovis, who was lost in his thought as he stroked his master’s blue hair was pulled back into reality as he felt up disturbing presences creeping up behind him.
“Is something wrong?”
“It’s not ‘is something wrong?’, isn’t it, Lord Clovis?”
When Clovis turned back with a smile plastered on his face, Anna groaned with her head in her hands.
“Can you please be quieter? You’ll wake Alicia-sama up.”
“What are you doing embracing the Princess like that?!”
“Embracing the Princess… I’m jealous…”
When Clovis said that while holding out a finger in front of his lips, Annie couldn’t help but obey him and lowered the volume of her voice. Though, that didn’t stop her from stomping on the ground and questioning the aide’s action. Next to her, Martha was murmuring something while glaring toward the aide.
“I just wanted to soften the stout-hearted Alicia-sama for a little bit, is that not allowed?”
“Ugh! I understand that you don’t have any ulterior motives or evil intentions. I understand that, but still…!”
“Embrace… I want to embrace her like that too…”
Clovis couldn’t help but blurt out his words to the two maids as they could actually accomplish the feat of making a quiet noise.
It seemed that no matter what his future plans were, the first thing he needed to do was to appease the two overprotective maids first.
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