“If you refuse, you will be arrested and locked up for disrespect, and my proxy will have to accept the appointment in your place.”
“Are you saying that if I refuse, someone other than me will have to accept the appointment in my place!?”
That’s right. I will have to find someone to attend me in Alicia’s place due to her “health condition”. I won’t let her make any escape route. I’m going to keep her by my side for the rest of her life.
“So you don’t want to be with me, Alicia… you hate me…”
“No, I love you. However, I can’t accept this.”
“But my Father, Mother, and the Prime Minister already gave their permission. My strategy won. There is already no one to interfere. If there is, I will ask my Father to do something about it. Because he’s the one who gave permission.”
Ehhem. If you want to resent someone, resent my Father for stamping the document without checking it out of sheer joy. I only acted on the assumption that this might happen because of his character.
Furthermore, I heard that the Prime Minister was very angry about this matter and Father was going to be re-educated by the Prime Minister himself. It certainly is not alright to stamp your signature of permission without checking the documents first.
“What a neatly put together scheme!! That was wrong of you, no matter how you look at it.”
In the end, Alicia was panicky until the day of the ceremony.
Alicia, who has been away from the knightly life for seven years, said that her martial arts skills have not declined, but she had already gotten used to living as a maid, far removed from the aristocratic life.
So she launched a small resistance, saying that she did not have the kind of clothes that a Senior Knight would wear for their investiture ceremony, but an 80-year-old man named Mr. Perl, the best dressmaker in the Capital, was an acquaintance of mine! We became friends when I gave him a Healing pendant, the predecessor of the Refresh band, because he used to rest in town when he was tired. He was delighted when I exchanged the pendant for the band later. The pendant had a more subtle effect than the band, after all.
Mr. Perl, who made Alicia’s ceremonial dress in no time without having to worry about his age, praised it as the best work he had done recently. As a thank you, I arranged for him a room on the second floor at Alicia’s investiture ceremony. When I asked Father for permission, he readily agreed because he was a trustworthy person.
“I really feel out of place.”
“I have bestowed this to you officially, so please take good care of it. It is worth about 100 gold coins by itself.”
When I said that, Alicia was absolutely mortified. Well, it was a formal gift from me… in other words, it was the first gift that the newly appointed Viceroy has officially given.
I spurted out on this because it also shows how much I trust Alicia. To be precise, I just sold my Father, who has been working so much that he had insomnia, a blueprint for a magic tool that allowed him to relax and sleep well. His work is going to get calmer soon as well.
And then, the investiture ceremony began. Alicia was already half-crying from the jealous stares of those around her, but as per rule, she handed me a sword. I placed the sword sideways on Alicia’s shoulder and asked her if she will pledge allegiance to me.
“I devote my entire life to you, Princess.”
I don’t know if I can be called Princess already, but everyone calls me that. Some of the people were giggling, so I guess it is different from what it should be.
I handed her a brooch in the shape of a feather, the sign of a Senior Knight. Alicia received it, put it on her chest, and turned around to show it to the people around her.
Surprisingly, there was a lot of applause. The female knights in particular were rather congratulatory. This set a precedent, which means that these women now have the possibility of becoming Senior Knights themselves. By the way, as for the Senior Knights, as long as there are not too many of them, I can appoint as many as I want, but for me, just Alicia is enough. I heard that my elite guards will be formed with Alicia at the top, but I will not be involved in that. Alicia will decide on her own. I hope it will not be a group of black-clad suspicious people, though…
“Congratulations on being named a Senior Knight. Now you can’t commit any wrongdoing against me, right, Alicia? Let’s continue to do this together as accomplices so that my Mother will never find out.”
The investiture ceremony was over, and Alicia was lying in my room. I gave her the blueprints for the underground laboratory and Father’s secret consent form.
“Something like this… yeah, I can’t disobey Princess anymore, right!! Fine, I will obey you. Let’s get scolded together.”
Even if Father had approved of a major remodel of the underground of the castle, my Mother would not. If she found out, she would tell me to bury it or something. So if I complete it and get it to a stage where there is nothing more I can do about it, I win. I created the best situation, since if I’m with Alicia, she will be angry at both of us later, and I will only take half the damage.
Well, since Father and Big brother are also involved, I should be able to reduce the damage to less than half. Now the obstacles to my high road have been removed.
Alicia, who was languished from the unfamiliar aristocratic activities as I was, got burnt even more from the bombastically shocking revelation, however, she pledged to cooperate with me with tears in her eyes. Alicia’s character is not one for betrayal, so I had a super reliable ally and assistant.
The stage was set. Shall I show my true colors then? I already have all the cards in my hand. From now on, I’m going to be serious.
“However, there’s something I have to report to you first.”
“What is it?”
Alicia suddenly spoke to me with a serious face as I was thinking about the future development.
“Your life is in danger, Princess.”
………… I don’t need enemies I have no knowledge of…