9.2 The Decisions of the Two
“Trepov, are you threatening me?”
“No, I’m merely offering you a deal. As long as Your Highness doesn’t accuse me, I also wouldn’t accuse you of anything. It’s a win-win situation, wouldn’t you agree?”
“I may no longer be the crown prince, but I haven’t forgotten of my honor as a prince of the kingdom! I’m not so desperate as to accept such a dirty deal!”
His Highness stated that in a fierce tone. It was completely different from His Highness who usually smiled gently at me.
His Highness’ blue eyes burned with anger and pride. He was staring straight at Trepov.
…So, he can also look like that?
I realized that I still didn’t know much about His Highness. At the same time, I was in awe towards him once again.
Despite being threatened, His Highness wasn’t upset in the slightest. I aspired to be such a person… I was glad I came with him to such a remote area.
However, Trepov smiled and went on.
“As expected of His Highness the First Prince. But, aren’t you missing the larger picture, here? What do you think will happen to your beautiful wife then?”
Who the hell was he talking about?
Thinking about it, I realized that he meant me—His Highness’ fiancée.
Well, we hadn’t been married, yet?
“Your Highness seems to care a lot about his wife. Surely, you don’t want to make her sad? If Your Highness is found guilty, your wife may be captured and tortured. There’s no saying your wife won’t be harmed.”
My cheeks became hot because he kept referring to me as His Highness’ wife.
Despite being distracted by his words, I understood that he was trying to threaten His Highness using my existence.
His Highness… faltered for the first time and turned towards me.
His blue eyes swirled in doubt.
It shouldn’t matter what would happen to me—but His Highness was uneasy.
…That was how important I was to him.
I felt truly, truly, happy…
Unlike the duke and my kingdom, His Highness needed me.
His Highness was an honest person.
While I—… was someone who wanted to support him.
I couldn’t let His Highness go back on his own decision because of me.
When His Highness was lost or worried, I should support him.
Then, I only had one thing to say—
“—Don’t give in to such a threat, Your Highness. I’ll always be right by your side.”
“It’s alright. Your Highness won’t lose to the court officials, and I… believe that Your Highness will protect me.”
I smiled. I was sure it was a very bright one. Back when I was still in the academy, I never smiled like that.
It was because of His Highness.
It was because I had met someone I wanted to show such a smile to.
His Highness’ eyes widened. He laughed happily, but at the same time, looked about to cry.
“…As expected of Alisa, you’re as strong as always. I’m truly glad that Alisa is my fiancée…”
His Highness turned towards Trepov once again.
“I’m already the lord of this land. I’ll confiscate the Iron Crown of the Holy King from Trepov as well as all your other belongings.
“Your Highness, you will regret this…”
“I won’t regret it. I will never let Alisa regret her decision, either. Trepov, this is the order of Arkhangelks’ margrave—Alexander. Would you rather disobey it?”
Trepov looked stunned.
Silence dominated the room for a while. Felix watched while holding his breath.
I was nervous as I waited for Trepov’s next words.
Eventually, he opened his mouth.
“Your Highness Alenxader, first prince and also the margrave of Arkhangelsk, I’ll be happy to oblige…”
Trepov’s head hung downward.
Thus, the Iron Crown of the Holy King was safely returned to the monastery. The people in the monastery seemed to be very pleased.
They decided to fully cooperate with the rule of His Highness Alexander.
The people of the city were compensated using the private property of the former governor-general, which had been unjustly accumulated. Mayor Kokoshkin visited our mansion, crying while repeating words of gratitude.
“Everything is thanks to His Highness and his wife—! I am utterly grateful…”
“I merely did the right thing…”
His Highness answered with dismay. The tears of the mayor, someone much older than me, made me feel awkward.
…Also, I wasn’t his wife. We hadn’t gotten married, yet.
The mayor wiped his tears and bowed deeply to His Highness.
“I will promise you this—I, the mayor, and the rural community, we will do their utmost to cooperate during the reign of His Highness.”
His Highness and I stared at each other and laughed softly.
I was glad because the symbol of the city wasn’t lost, and the property of the people in the city had been partially regained.
Had His Highness made a deal with Trepov, he’d surely have lost the support of the mayor and the monastery, and also his own credibility. Once that happen, there would have been no going back.
His Highness and I had no backing, unlike the former governor-general who wielded the power of the kingdom. Therefore, it was only possible to carry out policies as a lord with the trust of the people.
After the mayor had departed, we were left alone in the reception room of the mansion.
I thought that there were many things that had to be done from then on. Before developing the territory, we needed to create a basic governance system.
Moreover, if Trepov decided to return to the royal capital and conduct a smear campaign, we might be under pressure from the kingdom.
Nevertheless, as of the present, I wanted to be happy that one problem had been solved.
His Highness stared at me with his blue eyes and smiled.
The faint light from outside the window made His Highness’ beautiful golden hair shine, and I stared at it.
“At that time, without Alisa’s words, I might have erred in my judgment. It was all thanks to Alisa, so thank you…”
I thought it was different.
In the end, His Highness was the one who ultimately made the decision. His Highness should be proud of himself.
Regardless, I was truly happy to hear that from His Highness… If I could support His Highness even a little, I’d be glad.
Therefore, in the future, I’d continue to help His Highness. However, I didn’t know how…
…Nevertheless, there must be something I could do.
I nodded softly to His Highness.
Thus, our lives as lords began smoothly.
***T/N: And thus, arc 1 is wrapped! Tune in for short story from Yours Truly Alexander himself~