Chapter 95 [Princess-maiden] Making-up After a Late-night Visit - Part 1

 In the end, Jerome is staying at Fort Rohka for a while.
 After assigning the guest room to Jerome and his knight for the time being, Alexis leaves the command center.
 Fransisca hurriedly followed Alexis down the corridor.
 Fransisca quickly caught up and pulled Alexis' hand.
「Why didn't you say anything? Isn't it not a good idea for Jerome to stay here...?」
 Alexis stopped and turned around to look at Fransisca.
「No, I was trying to measure how much I could tell him. I was listening to what he had to say. And in some cases... it seems that Sagrado was not completely destroyed the day Avalon swallowed it, and that there are still towns and countries of Sagrado in the dungeon. I was thinking of telling that much. —But I've made up my mind after hearing your story. I'm not going to say anything. I'm not going to report anything.」
「Why not? Besides, it's not like they'll know... about our relationship.」
「You thought my father's proposal was kind, didn't you? To a princess who's never held a sword before, asking her to win a duel against a vice knight. And you thought that was kind.」
 Fransisca blinks her eyes in confusion.
 It's not her fault—never.
 She just doesn't know everything. Maybe she just believes in the goodness of human nature.
 She never dreamed in her wildest dreams that just because they are allies, it does not mean that they are connected only by friendship and goodwill, but that there are hidden selfishness and cunning in how to outwit the other side.
「...You're not strong enough to carry a country on your back...」
 With that, Alexis waved his arms and shook Fransisca's hands away.
 He turned her head and slid out of the room.
 However, Alexis was frustrated. He was annoyed with Jerome, with his father, with the idiot Fransisca, and—with his own thoughts.
 He was so frustrated that he couldn't help it.
* * *
 It was that night.
 Alexis was lying on his back on his bed, thinking in a daze, when a knocking sound reached his ears.
「...Who is it?」
 He replies while looking at the ceiling, and then he hears a familiar voice through the door, "...Um...".
「I-Is now a good time?」
 It was Fransisca's voice, and Alexis woke up with a start.
「What do you want?」
 Fransisca opened the door and came into the room.
 She was wearing only a gown over a thin one-piece nightgown, so Alexis raised an eyebrow.
「Hey you. What are you doing in a man's room at this hour...?」
「Eh? I-Isn't it always the usual?」
 To Fransisca's puzzled look, Alexis replies, "It's not good because it's usual".
「What are you going to say if Jerome sees you?」
「Eh... Well... it's just something I did before I went to bed.」
「You see, I mean, your unprotected visit before you went to bed... it usually looks like a man-woman thing, but... whatever.」
 After a sigh, Alexis beckoned Fransisca, who was either shy or motionless at the door.
「You came here to talk, didn't you? Come on, I'm here to listen.」
 Then Fransisca's cheeks turned slightly red and she walked up to him with a somewhat happy look on her face and climbed on the bed where Alexis was sitting.
「...Oh, um... Alexis-sama...」
 Her voice sounded as if she was about to disappear, and she looked at him shyly.
 And then, too close for mere conversation, Fransisca discreetly rubs her shoulder against Alexis'.
「Oh, um... Are you still angry...?」
 The scared, colorful look on her face confuses Alexis.
「What are you talking about? I've never been angry with you from the beginning...」
「R-Really? But I said such terrible things the day before yesterday...」
 Alexis wants to say that Fransisca is the one who is angry.
 But it seems that this is still in her mind.
「Well, you don't want to get married, do you? Even you refused to marry Jerome.」
「No. It's not that I insist...」
「What do you mean?」
 Fransisca sounded like she had something stuck in her teeth, and Alexis looked doubtful because of this.
 After a while, Fransisca looked away from him and said "...I mean, Alexis-sama is different" she says in a whisper.
 He asked, and Fransisca sighs, "I said...".
「About me. You are not thinking seriously about me... Are you? Surely, you have an idea. A thought... a purpose, to fulfill. You said I'm going to join the Sagrado royal family... That's... umm... that's hard. It's hard, that kind of thing...」
 Fransisca turns her head and clasps her hands in her lap.
 Her voice was slightly tearful, which made Alexis upset.
 —Oh, well. She was not angry. Instead, she was sad.
「Well, don't be so hard on yourself. Isn't that how royal marriages are supposed to be?」
「Yes. Of course... I know that. But you see... I, I seriously like you, Alexis-sama...」
 Fransisca's hand slowly moves to Alexis' back.
「This may not be right, but... But I don't want to join the royal family of Sagrado. Is that wrong? Should I not be your bride?」
 Fransisca hugged Alexis tightly and brought her face close to his.
 Her amethyst eyes were fixed on him from a close distance, and Alexis gulped.
「Oh, you know...」
 In the end, she did not intend to dump Alexis.
 Realizing this, he chokes up in agitation.
「Well, it's not that I don't like you... but what's the point? After all, you haven't mentioned Avalon yet.」
 Inadvertently, his true feelings are leaked out.
 Immediately, Fransisca's expression changed to a sad one.
「...I knew it. That's what Alexis-sama is trying to do, isn't it...」
 Fransisca sighs at the tip of her nose, and Alexis is miffed.
 At this, he tries to say, "Unless you do, we won't even be able to conquer Avalon".
「Oh, you—mhh...」
 Alexis was interrupted mid-sentence. His lips were sealed by Fransisca's lips.
 When they parted, Fransisca whispered, "...I understand," and then she said.
「Then will you marry me? But there is one condition...」
「W-What is that...?」
 When Alexis gulped, wondering what kind of crazy thing she was going to say to him, and Fransisca said this.
「Please love me. Love me with all your heart... above all others. Love me first...」
 Alexis was taken aback, but Fransisca continued.
「...Then I won't have to feel so guilty about... involving you, and this is my condition... for you to marry me.」
 Alexis gulped.
 He thought, "Isn't this enough involvement as it is? Or is there more?" He's about to say so.
 But Fransisca probably thought this conversation was relatively off-limits.
「...I'm just kidding. Don't think too much about it, okay?」
 She laughed in a deceptive way and leaned closer to Alexis' body.

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Edited Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.
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