Chapter 175

 In the end, Maria agreed to go with Alexis to the Krangal Kingdom, a journey that would take several days, albeit reluctantly. And...
「...Why me too?」
 It was Lily who muttered to herself as she stared up at the carriage headed to Krangal.
「I don't know that either」
 Next to Alexis, there was Eden in full body armor.
 Eden, however, was the only one who was fully armed. Lily was in plain clothes, and even Alexis was in plain clothes with a sword belt.
 At any rate, the destination was not a dangerous place—in fact, it was a safe one, in the direction of the Krangal home country.
「I will protect Master. So, I'll go with you」
 Alexis decided to take her along because Eden said so, but he wondered why Eden was wearing full body armor.
 She had never dressed in anything other than full body armor.
 Nevertheless, Alexis thought Eden was enough for a visit to Krangal.
 But the day before he left for Krangal, he met Sara in the fort, and when he told her that he was going to his home country, she smiled at him and said, "Ah, it was just right."
 "Can you help me while you are there? There are good material shops in the castle town, right—?" Sara starts to mention the ingredients of the medicine, and Alexis replies, "Wait a minute."
「I don't know much about that kind of thing. Why don't you send a medical officer to do it?」
「Eh, is that so? But this is an ingredient of a special medicine... I don't think many medical officers know it」
 Sara scratches her hair in annoyance.
 But Alexis doesn't know it either.
 As he thinks so, she smiles and says, "Ah, right!" She then claps her hands with a smile.
「There is one candidate. Take her with you! For the rest, please!」
「...Well, I wouldn't mind having one more...」
 As Alexis replied, Lily arrived.
 Lily herself seemed to be confused at being asked to do something so soon.
 And when Lily's eyes met Alexis's, she smiled wryly and bowed her head, saying, "It's an honor to be asked to accompany the Prince. I look forward to working with you."
「Ah, yeah...」
 Lily's unreserved attitude made Alexis uncomfortable.
 However, after saying, "Me too," he decided to get into the carriage with the three women, including Maria, who had arrived.
 There was also Fransisca, who saw the carriage off.
 Alexis told her it was not good for both of them to be gone for a few days unless they went to Avalon.
 Fransisca let out a small sigh as she watched the carriage drive away.
 She has not spoken a word, but her anxious gaze expresses her own state of mind.
「...Your Highness」
 Fatima, who was standing by, called out to Fransisca.
「Don't worry about him... Alex is very busy right now」
「Yes, I know it」
 Fransisca smiled.
「I have to do my best... I must take care of the fortress. The relationship that Alexis-sama rebuilt for us. I will not let him destroy it again, this time...」
「...Your Highness」
 Fatima was at a loss as to what to say.
 And Fransisca herself did not think she was fit to be a commander.
 That is understandable. As a matter of fact, she had a history of not being able to run things well before Alexis arrived.
 But there was a reason for that. It is not Fransisca's fault.
「It's all right. The soldiers have changed a lot. And it's only a week or so」
「Yes, that's right. It's too soon to say anything after only a week」
 Fransisca laughed, and Fatima felt relieved.
* * *
 The carriage in which Alexis and the others had boarded had a coachman.
 It was because some people had come from Krangal earlier in the day and boarded the carriage.
 That people were returning to the fort from Krangal, but Alexis and the others were the only ones going to Krangal today.
 Therefore, Alexis and the others were the only ones sitting on the couches inside the carriage.
「It's been a long time since we've been back to Krangal, hasn't it?」
 Lily spoke with a smiling face.
 She was dressed in a tunic, shorts, and striped knee socks instead of the medical officer's uniform.
「Indeed. I haven't been here in months...」
 Maria responds in that way.
 She is also dressed in casual clothes, wearing a long-sleeved one-piece dress with a cardigan.
 But Eden, who is sitting beside Alexis, looks like an ornament.
 This is the first time this group to travel together. In fact, this is the first time that only Krangals are present.
(Will we get along, even if only for a week?)
 Alexis had doubts about that, but he thought, "Well, I guess I can handle it."
 Lily seemed to be friendly to everyone, and Maria could communicate with other women without any difficulty, except for Alexis.
 In this case, the biggest problem might be Eden. However, she doesn't seem to have any particular problem without being in the circle of others.
 And so, the carriage carrying the group drives through the forest toward the Krangal capital.
* * *
 On that day, they decided to stay at an inn along the way.
 Since they are already in Krangal and Alexis is the Sixth Prince, they can stay, eat, and drink for free if he shows his family crest. Moreover, since this is the road between Krangal and Sagrado, there are few pedestrians, and there seem to be enough rooms.
 On the inn's first floor is a restaurant and bar, and a well-dressed old man in an apron at the counter seemed to be the owner.
 Alexis does not like to be treated like a prince. Besides, people have their own way of life. From his days as an adventurer, he knew he could simply show his family crest, but he did not like to exercise that privilege.
 When Alexis goes to the counter with his three companions, he attracts the attention of the sparse crowd already in the restaurant.
 Maria and Lily are good-looking, not to mention the unidentified Eden in his ostentatious full-body armor. Moreover, it is rare to see women entering this area. They must attract a lot of attention.
「Old man, is there enough for the four people? —And there's a man outside, so that's for him too. How much for the stay?」
 As he asked, Alexis took out a leather money bag.
「For a room—」
 The old man was about to say, but before he could say anything else, Lily said in surprise, "Prince!"
「It's outrageous that the Sixth Prince is paying us!」
 —Oh, yes, that's right. There was one person here who treated him more like a prince than necessary. Alexis noticed this and had a bitter look on his face.
「Lily, this is...」
「I don't want to bother the Prince. So, I'll pay for it...!」
 Lily rushes to Alexis' side.
 Watching their exchange, the owner widens his eyes and says, "The sixth prince!?"
 "Shit," Alexis thought and wanted to hold his head.
「What are you talking about, idiot? What kind of royalty would rather have their vassals take care of their money...!」
 He said to Lily in a hushed voice, but his voice seemed to have reached the owner.
「Well, well, if it isn't the Prince. If you had told me, I wouldn't be so rude...!」
 Seeing the bowing attitude of the owner, "No, this is..." Alexis stammered.
「May I check your family crest if you are a prince?」
 Alexis tried to refuse the owner's question, but Alexis was afraid that he might say that he was tricking using the royal family, and that would cause a lot of trouble. So, he had no choice but to show the owner a gold badge with his family crest on it that he had been concealing.
「...I have checked it. I apologize for such a cheap inn, but please let me prepare the best room for you and your attendants tonight. We'll also provide you with the finest meals. I'm sorry for my mistake earlier」
 "No need," Alexis replied, annoyed by all accounts.
 The puzzled owner replied, and Alexis said, "No need!"
「I'll pay for it. I don't need a nice room, I don't need food, I just need to be treated like everyone else」
「Whaat...? No, no, but...! I'll lose my head if I don't show good hospitality knowing that the royal family is here... I understand you're saying that you don't need the hospitality of a third-rate inn like ours. But that would ruin our reputation...!」
 The owner's flustered appearance made Alexis want to let out a sigh.
「That's not it. I said enough is enough. I don't want to be treated like royalty!」
「But then, how can I show my face to my ancestors...!」
 Alexis growled at the owner's insistence.
 At last, he answered, "...okay, thank you for your concern," and then he glared at Lily.
 Lily was shocked, and then she slumped her shoulders down.
 Alexis wondered if he had overdone it. But if he doesn't show her his dislike now, she will treat him like a prince in public next time and the next time after that.
 He had to be very specific.
 Alexis thought so as he was being guided by the owner. He then told Lily to come back to his room later.

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Edited Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.
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