Chapter 76

 It was late in the evening when they returned to the fort.
 And with the intention of leaving again tomorrow, Alexis went back to his room planning to take a rest after supper that day.
 If it were the case, he would have liked to take a bath right away, but he could not do so until just before bedtime because of the problem between his legs.
 So, Alexis changed his clothes and lay down on the bed, intending to take a nap.
(...But I guess it's lonely to sleep alone these days, since I have someone to keep me company every day. Should I call Fransisca? ...But she is stubbornly refusing to stay in my room)
 Just as he was thinking about this, he heard a knock at his room.
 He asked, and he immediately answered.
「Is this the room of Alexis Sheridan Krangal-sama?」
 The crisp voice was unfamiliar to Alexis, but somehow familiar.
「Yes, definitely. By the way, who is it?」
 As he could not remember who the person was, he asked the voice, and soon a voice came back, which he could clearly hear even through the door.
「I apologize for the inconvenience. My name is Valencia Contesti. Do you have a few minutes to talk?」
「Oh, it's you.」
 He should have felt a sense of déjà vu. After all, Valencia's voice sounds like Fatima's.
 Maybe she had come to say hello again. So, Alexis got up from the bed and responded.
「It's okay. Come in.」
「Excuse me.」
 Valencia entered the room.
 She had apparently cleaned herself up, freshened up, and changed her clothes. She looked different.
 Her golden hair and blue eyes, shimmering in the light, resembled those of Fatima.
 He has heard that many Sagrado women are beautiful, but is it really true for all of them? Valencia is as beautiful as her sister. However, unlike her sister who has a cold impression, Valencia's face has a knightly look.
 Instead of the white armor she wore when she was in the dungeon, she seems to have changed her clothes to light clothes, wearing only a white breastplate and leg armors over a tight high-necked shirt and a mini-skirt. As expected of a knight, she seems to have not neglected to wear a sword belt.
 Her hair, which had grown long when he saw her in the dungeon, seemed to have been trimmed. She had changed her hair to a short bob, just above her shoulders.
 And now, she walked into Alexis' room with a sharp and tight expression on her face, and then she suddenly kneeled down in front of Alexis with one knee on the ground.
 Then she straightens her back, puts her right arm on her chest, and turns her eyes straight to Alexis.
「I have heard from Her Highness the Princess-maiden that you are the true lord. Alexis Sheridan Krangal-sama. I apologize for my insolence and for not knowing that you are the sixth prince of Krangal.」
 Alexis was upset because Valencia's first words of apology, delivered with a crisp face, seemed more formal than necessary.
「No, it's not like you've done anything that I should be concerned about, you know. I don't like formalities to begin with. Can't you just be normal?」
「Not so fast. If you're the lord of my lord, then you're the lord for me to serve.」
「Is that so...?」
 "I wonder if this formality is basically common among Sagrado people," Alexis thought to himself.
「From now on, you can use me as your knight. Her Highness asked me to do so as well.」
 Hearing Valencia's words, Alexis wondered what Fransisca had told her. Alexis wondered and decided to ask.
「...Hey. W-What the hell did Fransica ask you?」
 As expected, Valencia answered seriously.
「Her Highness told me to follow Alexis-sama if he needs someone to serve him. I have also been told that Alexis-sama is the one to thank. I have heard that Alexis-sama has been cooperating for Sagrado Kingdom with all his might, regardless of his status as a prince of a foreign country.」
「I see, so that's what she told you. But there's one thing you're wrong about. I'm not cooperating with your country for nothing in return.」
「...Is that so?」
 Valencia blinks her eyes.
 Surely Fransisca had told her that Alexis was a saint or something.
 So, not wanting to be bought off too much, Alexis decided to tell the truth.
「I'm only helping you because I have a purpose in that dungeon. Besides, your lord has been taking care of me a lot, you know, with my lower half.」
 Valencia is stunned by these unexpected words.
 Alexis let out a sigh, realizing that Fransisca had not told her anything.
「That's what I mean. So, your lord is enough for you, isn't she?」
 Valencia goes silent for a moment. She must be clearing her head.
 Eventually she comes to this conclusion.
「—No. But I know that the whole progress of the conquest of Avalon is due to Alexis-sama's contribution... so there is no doubt that my kingdom is greatly indebted to you!」
 Valencia stood up.
「I've made up my mind. When I come here, I will take Alexis-sama as my lord, and together I will use my lives to conquer Avalon!」
 Her determined blue eyes look straight into Alexis.
 They are pure and unadulterated.
「Hey, Valencia?」
 Alexis was confused.
「You should stay with Fransisca.」
「...Because she's weak.」
 Alexis was very clear.
「You see, I've been an adventurer so far, even though I'm royalty. So, I'm good enough on my own. But your lord, what is that? Is there anyone else as unreliable? Do you know what it means to follow me? It means you're going to help Krangal. And what are you? You're a knight of Sagrado, right? Then don't try to establish any unnecessary ties. Just be an ally of Sagrado.」
 Seeing the serious face of Alexis, Valencia was taken aback and immediately burst into laughter.
 Alexis can't hide his confusion as the knight begins to giggle.
「...Well, it's just Her Highness is right...」
 Valencia says with a laugh.
 Alexis is puzzled, but Valencia looks at him brightly.
「Apparently, you seem to be a respectable and honorable prince, merciful and generous.」
 "I don't understand what she just said". As Alexis thinking that, Valencia's gaze sharpens, "—but".
「I can't overlook what you just said. —Her Highness has taken good care of you, right?」
「I... ah...」
 He had intended to tell her that he had done nothing honorable and make her give up. But is this going to be a problem? Alexis thinks.
「What do you think you're doing with Her Highness the Princess-maiden?」
 As expected, she is Fatima's sister, so she must be a stiff.
 That's what Alexis thinks.
「...However, this is the situation. I heard from Her Highness that our Kingdom is now a dependency of yours...」
 Looking at Valencia who sighs, Alexis thinks, "Sagrado really has someone to talk politics with".
 Well, as a knight defender of her country, Valencia has probably learned more or less about such things.
「Although the kingdom still has the status of an independent state, the reality of the situation is not what it should be. I think the present situation is a miracle. No land has been absorbed by any country. If this is done by satisfying your body, then perhaps Her Highness's situation is unavoidable.」
 Valencia conveyed an unexpectedly flexible opinion, which Alexis thought was different.
「...It's not my intention to absorb it, but rather my father. That's why I have to show that I can handle it on my own. But the reality is this. To tell you the truth, your princess is incompetent as royalty.」
「Ugh... you really say that clearly.」
 Alexis then tells Valencia, who looks more or less hurt, "That's why I told you to stay on her side".
「Because of her incompetence, she needs a lot of allies. There is no guarantee that my country will always be your ally. Besides, at the moment, your princess has almost no subjects. But you managed to survive and come back to your lord. Then, if you have time to worry, be on her side.」
「—I see. I understand.」
 Valencia seemed to have lost a lot of her initial stiffness as she responded in this way.
 In return, she relaxed her shoulders and began to smile at Alexis.
「But, isn't it a little late for me to be on Her Highness side? She already seems to have the most reliable ally.」
「I'm talking about you, Alexis-sama.」
 After saying this, Valencia says, "Well, I'll leave fro now," and leaves the room.
 Alexis let out a sigh, and then he rolled over onto the bed.

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Edited Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.
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