Fransisca's sudden announcement that she was leaving the castle for medical treatment came as a shock to the priests.
「Oh no! Such a disaster!」
「What will we do without the queen?」
The upset priests were shouted but Sara shouted back, "Shut up!"
Sara slammed the table down in the morning meeting room.
The girl who looks much younger than her surroundings but has a dignity that silences the people around her, that is Sara.
Now, the table in the conference room is surrounded by priests.
It is their custom to gather here first thing in the morning. When the priests finish their early morning prayers in the chapel, they gather here in groups to discuss and confirm the day's work.
But at that time Sara came and suddenly announced Fransisca's recuperation.
Only the priests thought it was sudden.
「Well, there is no use in opposing it. After all, she has already left. Her Highness...」
Sara smiles wickedly saying so.
「What are you thinking!」
One of the priests shouts, and the others agree with him.
「See, I knew you'd react like that. I knew it was coming, so I asked Her Highness to leave. And I didn't tell anyone. —Well, I told Alex and Fatima-chan」
As Sara confessed, the priests stared at Fatima with grim determination.
Fatima was also present. She was there as a high priestess.
「Why didn't you tell us!」
The priest said. And swallowing such a feeling, Fatima answered quietly.
「...The Priest King told me so. Isn't it the priest's duty to keep it?」
They fell silent.
And after a moment, "But—"
One of them opens his mouth.
「The priest-king has an assistant job that only the queen can do. It will be delayed. If we had been informed in advance, we could have taken countermeasures. Maybe we could have postponed the meeting.」
「So, you all know that, don't you? Sagrado cannot afford to postpone the date right now. We need to keep our operations running while we are busy recovering from the disaster」
Sara's words make the priests fall silent.
Looking around at them, Sara smiles.
「But Sagrado now has a concubine. As long as the blood and the bond of the royal family are sacred...」
Sara's index finger pointed at Fatima.
The priests looked at her and Fatima choked up.
「...Sara... That kind of thing?」
Fatima was troubled.
She had been told about Fransisca's medical treatment and that she should keep quiet about it.
But that was only to protect Fransisca from the priests' attempts to keep her.
At Fatima's silence, someone said, "No way..."
It was Benedict, a high priest, who walked up to her.
「Well, the Contesti family... Umm, Fatima-dono... As a high priest, you have signed a contract with the king to take the role of the royal family, haven't you?」
Fatima looked away from him.
—She couldn't say it. As a model high priestess, she couldn't say that she was already in a contract with Alexis. But it hurts to see his prying eyes on her.
Sara's voice interrupts Fatima's attempt to open her mouth, but Fatima says, "No."
「No. There is no need to say anything. I'm not trying to threaten or replace the position of Her Highness Queen Fransisca, nor am I trying to gain any special favor from the King. I have nothing to do with that.」
After saying this, Fatima tells Benedict, "Let's get on with official business."
And Benedict nodded as if satisfied, and the daily routine began.
* * *
When Fatima left the meeting room, Sara followed her and called out "Fatima-chan!"
「Why did you say that? Why did you say something like that to youself and Alex? What is Fatima-chan's position right now?」
「No, it's okay.」
「I never thought I was good enough for Alex from the beginning. "The mercy" he showed me was enough.」
「Mercy? Fatima-chan, are you really taking the word of those uptight priests?」
Sara was shocked.
But Fatima shakes her head saying "No."
「I don't take them seriously. I just think so.」
In a small voice, she said.
Yes, Fatima also has the same values as the uptight priest.
「Fatima-chan. No. It's not like that?」
Sara shakes her head.
The priest of Sagrado has a bad temper.
「Alex, it's not that he feels sorry for Fatima-chan...」
「It's okay. I know exactly what I'm talking about」
She said, but she didn't know any better.
「Fatima-chan, but your position right now is...」
「I'm fine. I know exactly what I'm doing. Don't worry about it」
Fatima says this and smiles.
She doesn't want to hear it.
Sara sighs inwardly, thinking that I can't help her.
「Hmm... well, never mind. I should get going」
「Yes, yes. You're the queen's personal doctor. I was wondering if you didn't accompany her to the medical treatment」
Sara nodded at Fatima's point.
「Yes. But I'm only staying to explain. I'll be there soon. Lily-chan will take care of the rest」
「Lily, huh? You can count on her.」
Fatima is right, Lily has grown a lot as a medical officer.
She is a person brought from Krangal, but even the uptight priests of Sagrado are impressed by her skill with medicines, second only to Sara's.
「That's the reason I'm going. Ask Alex about the rest」
With a tap, Sara patted Fatima on the shoulder. Sara has grown tall enough to be tapped casually like this.
Fatima's face, which had been cool as usual, changes its color.
「Fufu. The Priest King called you about a business matter. You're not going to refuse him, Fatima-chan, even if it's a business matter, are you?」
Sara waved her hand at Fatima, who lowered her eyebrows in confusion, and walked away.
Then, Fatima, who was left behind, dropped her shoulders.
What should I do? she thinks inwardly.
It is true that she has been avoiding him recently without being pointed out.
In the first place, he would always have Fransisca by his side even if she didn't approach him.
（...I wonder why Her Highness has gone for a medical treatment...）
Now she has to have a face-to-face talk with Alexis for the first time in a long time.
On the one hand, she is happy about it, but on the other hand, she is a little bit nervous about it. It was a complicated feeling.
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Thanks for reading.
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