6. Consultation With the Mayor
Mikhail was the only person His Highness considered a friend.
That was surprising to me.
After all, Mikhail robbed His Highness of his throne.
I didn’t know how much Mikhail desired the throne, but he was still the reason why His Highness had been exiled to the frontier.
Moreover, it seemed like His Highness had an inferiority complex with Mikhail due to how charismatic and talented he was.
Why would he consider him his true friend?
His Highness smiled.
“Mikhail is the only one who can think, talks to, and understands me. As we’re both princes, we share the same wavelength. Mikhail is a good person. He has a flawless personality. There’s no way I can dislike someone as good as Mikhail, right…?”
I could imagine what he was about to say next.
If only Mikhail had behaved more like a villain, then His Highness might have been able to hate him properly.
I thought His Highness wanted to say that.
If only Mikhail had acted more hostile, if only Mikhail had treated him with more hate—then His Highness might be able to comfort himself by despising him.
However, Mikhail was a perfect human being who allowed even that.
I recalled my own sister, Elena.
Elena was far better than me. She was beautiful, smart, and popular. She was loved by everyone.
Nevertheless… I couldn’t say that Elena’s personality was excellent.
She was selfish, short-tempered, and also spoiled… but I didn’t hate Elena.
His Highness looked towards the harbor.
There were some small sailing ships floating in the harbor.
They were trading ships that exchanged grains from Russies for fish from the small country of the Republic of Ninorsk on the opposite bank.
While it was a means for each side to acquire their daily necessities, the scale was small. Due to that, it wasn’t exactly a profitable trade.
All large-scale and efficient trades that could bring in wealth took place at the port of the emerging metropolis, Elemeigrat.
I also knew that before the coronation, Mikhail was appointed Duke of Elemeigrat.
His Highness stopped caressing my hair and dropped his gaze to the ground.
“The relationship between the two ports of Arkhangelsk and Elemeigrat is like the relationship between me and Mikhail. Neither Arkhangelsk nor I can beat Elemeigrat or Mikhail.”
His Highness spoke with a somber tone.
Feelings of inferiority towards Mikhail were deeply engraved withn His Highness’ heart.
It was certainly true that Elemeigrat was a big city, while Arkhangelsk was a small port. Furthermore, Mikhail became the crown prince, while His Highness was relegated to a margrave. Still…
“…You can win.”
Towards my words, His Highness raised his face in astonishment. His Highness’ blue, jewel-like, eyes bored straight into me.
“I like Your Highness Alexander more than His Highness Mikhail, the perfect superman. I like Your Highness, who said that he needs me. So, don’t say that you don’t have a chance of winning.”
“Your Highness said yesterday that Arkhangelsk is the best territory. I’m sure it can triumph over even the port of Elemeigrat.”
…After saying that, I was shocked by how resolute I sounded.
His Highness, who was stunned, was still staring at me.
I began to feel embarrassed.
“…Uh, I’m sorry if I said anything offensive…”
“No, it’s as Alisa said.”
His Highness muttered and giggled.
“That’s right. I promised Alisa that I will turn this into the best territory. Those weren’t just words.”
“It’s alright for Your Highness to show his vulnerable side to me. I want to support His Highness. Besides… I also like that part of you…”
After I had said that, I began to regret it. How embarrassing.
However, His Highness smiled as his eyes beamed with joy.
His Highness whispered while gently holding my hand.
My small hand was wrapped in His Highness’ large hand.
As I stared at His Highness, who lovingly gazed at me, my cheeks began to burn.
“Alisa… is much stronger than me.”
“…Is that so?”
I thought that I was a weak person.
Regardless, His Highness said the opposite.
His Highness silently nodded. As he smiled, his grip on my hand strengthened a little.
I didn’t know if I was strong or not.
In any sense, I thought that I was weak. I was different from Elena and the others.
But… the warmth of His Highness’ hands reassured me.
If I was strong, then it was because he was there.
Similarly, I wanted to be that kind of existence for His Highness.
It was then that a shabby carriage entered from the other side of the street in the port town.
The carriage was clearly heading towards us. Then, a man alighted from the carriage.
He was an elderly man, well-dressed, but he looked a little weak.
The person knelt before His Highness and I.
As he faced the elder, His Highness quickly let go of me.
“Who are you…?”
“Please forgive me for how sudden this is, Your Highness Alexander. I’m… my name is Fiodor Kokoshkin, the mayor of this port city.”
It was the mayor.
Even though the territory was governed by the governor-general of the kingdom, there were self-governing groups within port towns and rural areas.
One of them was the mayor of the port town.
Even so, it was strange that he didn’t visit the margrave’s mansion, but instead decided to come to us in such a manner.
There might be a reason—
—and I was correct.
“Actually, I’d like to talk about the former governor’s injustices.”
The mayor stared at us with slanted eyes as he said that.
***T/N: I, I don’t mind if every chapter is this sugary… Is this the start of my sugar addiction?