“Your Highness, we’ve arrived…”
Being gently woken up by Ninim, Franya’s consciousness begins to return. If she looked out of the carriage, she should be able to saw the mansion where she stayed.
“It seems your highness is very tired huh? I’ll prepare the bedroom immediately…”
She already started to return to sleep. Even though she thought only Ninim was by her side, she was indeed too relaxed.
When she saw Ninim left the carriage, she tried to sit and fixes her hair and clothes… But when her eyes begin to gain its focus, she saw Nanaki sit in front of her.
Nanaki tilted his head in response to Franya surprised voice.
If you think about it, it would be natural for him to be there, since he was her escort. But then, that means she had exposed her sleeping face in front of a boy. For a girl, at her age, such a thing was a big failure.
Nanaki was deeply confused by the fact that Franya covered her face.
“N-No, N-Nothing at all…!”
It was also possible for Nanaki to look out of the carriage all the time. As a maiden, she should confirm it. However, it was difficult for a girl to ask a boy whether or not they saw her sleeping face.
“Ah, N-Nanaki… Did you see anything weird on the way?”
Looking at Nanaki from the gap between her fingers, Franya asked the question…
Hearing the question he thought for a while…
“No, there’s nothing.”
As he said, he tried to laugh to reassure her.
As for Franya, she decided to look in the mirror the moment she arrived in her room.
“— What did you say?”
Dimetrio raised his voice after hearing the report from his subordinates.
“Did you say you guys failed?”
Dimetrio was like a thundercloud that was about to burst. His subordinates were praying that they won’t be killed by the thunder.
“It has been confirmed that the five people that attacked princess Franya had died and that princess Franya was saved.”
Here was how they found them. The comrades that had stayed as a trap found it suspicious that the team that was chasing the carriage didn’t return, and when they search for them, they found a dead body on a different road. They immediately collected the dead body before the city guard found them.
“… In other words, five of you guys couldn’t even scare a little girl, and decided to return back?”
His subordinates didn’t confirm that and only showed a bitter expression.
“… Fortunately, the city guard didn’t notice us… Also, since we’ve already collected the corpses, it should not cause a scandal… So—…”
A cold and angry voice comes out of Dimetrio’s mouth.
“Do it again. No, threatening her won’t be enough… I want you to kill that little girl using your men!”
His subordinates opened his eyes wide.
“W-Wait! Now that we had attacked them once, the security around princess Franya would be tighter! The difficulty to achieve our objective and the danger of being exposed are not something that we can compare to the previous one! Even if everything goes well, the prestige of the Empire would be greatly damaged by the scandal, that a royal family of an allied nation died in the imperial territory!”
“So what?! If something like that could bring the nations go to the edge, then I’ll just destroy everything after becoming the Emperor!”
“Then how about this! Please listen! If the invited dignitaries die, the continuation of the princes’ talk would be in jeopardy! And the day your highness could become the Emperor would be far away!”
Dimetrio gritted his teeth.
Why… Why his plan didn’t work. He was the first prince of the Empire. He was a man that soon would become the Emperor. Why he have to bother with such dust and dirt?
Had he could forget those worries, Dimetrio would’ve become the Emperor already.
However, he couldn’t do that. He can’t even forgive a small stone near his feet, he had to crush them, just to prove his own superiority. Dimetrio was such a person.
That was why he thought… Was there anything he could do? He wondered how to hurt the little girl.
“… Isn’t there one?”
Dimetrio’s maliciousness appeared on his smile.
“Attack on the carriage huh?”
The day after Nanaki killed the five assassins.
Louwellmina and Ninim were facing each other in a room in a residence where Franya was staying.
It was officially called the second tea party. The first one was Louwellmina who invited Franya, and now Franya had invited Louwellmina.
And while waiting for Franya to be ready in a few minutes, Ninim was chatting with Louwellmina in the name of reception.
“Let me be blunt, who do you think had sent them?”
“Well, I believe it was one of the princes? If that is the truth then…”
Louwellmina herself couldn’t believe that there was an attack. It was also possible that Ninim tried to use misinformation to mess around. Therefore, she said ‘If it is the truth…’
“The motivation for that would be because Natra is in my faction huh? Or at least that is how they saw it…”
“Well, that is the only reasonable reason I guess…?”
Ninim also had considered some personal grudge but, considering who would profit the most by hurting Franya, as expected, it would be the princes. It was normal for them to use forces to prevent Louwellmina to gain more momentum.
“Which one among the three I wonder?”
“There’s not enough proof to identify which one. The first prince could do that because of his lack of imagination, the second prince was because of his natural courage, and the third prince because he has confidence in himself.”
“What a troublesome fellow eh?”
So far, they had not reported the incident to Franya yet. It was because they didn’t want to scare her. However, if they could solve this matter now, the story would be different.
“Do you think there would be the second or third attack?”
“If you think about it normally, there won’t be another attack. The first attack should’ve been considered very dangerous already, and you’ve killed all the assassins, right? To kill five of them. It is hard to gather people to work behind the scene, thus this failure should be quite costly for them… That is what I would do…”
“Of course, that is only me talking about a ‘what if’. I honestly don’t know what my brothers thought…”
If another attack could happen, they need to consider an early return. Sure they want to stay until the princes’ talk was over but, Franya safety comes first.
“… The moment the princes’ talk is over, we will return as soon as possible.”
She sent a sharp glance at Louwellmina. The princes’ talk had been held many times but they haven’t yet shown any result. Everyone in the city knew that it was a rough process.
“Fufufu, are you worried about what’s going on with the talk? You’re curious right? You’re worried, right? No, sorry, if only you accept the previous deal, I would be able to tell you what happened in the talk now! How about it? Join my faction! W-Wait, eh?! W-Wait, not a joint lock, please! I’m an imperial princess you know? An IMPERIAL PRINCESS?!”
“I just want to express our thanks for your kindness and courtesy.”
“You think such a word could work when you’re trying to perform joint lock, Ninim?!”
At any rate, there was no choice but to attentively watch for any change.
They need to balance the benefits and risks of staying in the city. Always watch the balance, and if it was leaning toward danger, choose to return home immediately. That was what Ninim had decided.
At that time, the door of the room was knocked.
“Excuse me, Ninim-sama.”
It was a female officer. She was wondering if Princess Franya was ready but, Ninim stopped from asking when she noticed the officer expression that looked confused…
“What’s wrong? Something happens?”
“Y-Yes, about that…”
The officer whispered…
When she heard what was being told, Ninim opened her eyes in surprise…
“Prince Dimetrio visited the mansion?!”