Evade the Hero and Flee! 217 A princess’s memory (24)
Unfortunately, I failed to remove Ast, as he was quick on his feet. He somehow managed to run around like the palace was his own home, which reminded me that he had been a thief.
“Where are you, Sir Ast?!”
Rea gave up after a week of chasing after him.
“I cannot do this alone.”
I consoled Rea as she shook.
“It’s all right, Rea. You would have caught him if this wasn’t the palace.”
I told her to kill Ast, but he was an aristocrat, which meant I could not kill him with only my word. Also, one could not attack another human being easily here, which was a handicap for Rea.
“I would have cornered him into a one-on-one…”
Rea’s reddened eyes finally reminded me I had something more important to do.
I saw Ast come out from the doors of my office.
“Let’s stop the chase. I give up.”
A war was going on, and the Empire also supported other allied countries. Also, we had quite a few battles with Merdeia, and an all-out war was looming. That meant people would not have seen Ast and Rea’s chase as something doable.
“So today, work as usual.”
“Yes, your majesty.”
Ast now came into the room and stood near me as usual, as if nothing had happened. He did stand a few steps away from Rea. She was not staring at Ast with fiery eyes.
“Yes, Sir Rea.”
“Can’t you take one hit from me?”
While conversations like this happened, things were not bad until she came.
“Your majesty, may I run away?”
“She is an honored guest, so try to be patient.”
The high elf came in with teary eyes, as she usually had chased after Ast and Rea. However, what was going on? I usually had soldiers protecting my room and maids who attended to visitors. They had standing orders to speak to me who had come and ask whether the visitor could come in. Even Rea had to follow this practice and had done so this morning.
“Anything wrong, your majesty?”
Had I answered unconsciously when talking with Rea? Ast now looked at me as he expertly blocked the elf from jumping towards him.
“How could this elf come in without my guards or maids speaking to me first?”
Even if this elf was a royal among her race, having her come in without anyone notifying me meant consequences.
However, Ast answered me lightly.
“That is because I had them go away beforehand.”
What nonsense was he saying?
“You will know that Sir Rea ambushed me yesterday.”
“That was close.”
Rea sighed like she really regretted it.
“I know that.”
Rea had been waiting by the door to ambush Ast when he came in yesterday morning.
I stared at Ast with shaking eyes.
“Yes, I thought Sir Rea may be waiting for me if the maids announced my coming in, so I came secretly after sending them away.”
Ast seemed almost proud of himself, and I had to stop myself from ordering Rea to attack him. What had he done/
“What reason did you give them to do so?”
“I told him we were going to proceed on a secret mission. Wartime makes such excuses work.”
Did he say excuses?
“They would not have believed you.”
My maids were young noblewomen who had been educated and trained specially to become my maids. My guards could have become soldiers in other lands. They would not have gone away without asking me.
“I told them the chases were a smokescreen for the secret mission. Also…I showed them your letter.”
I vacantly stared at the document Ast showed me.
<This man is undergoing a special mission, so follow his words like they are mine.>
“What is this?”
The document was in my writing, and my seal was pressed onto it.
“I never wrote this.”
“Of course, I forged this one.”
“Prince, what amazing things you do!”
My head turned white at listening to the two of them. He really was crazy!
“Ast, hand that paper over.”
I ripped the letter into shreds. He really was too dangerous to let loose.
“Remember, if something like this happens again…”
I made a motion of slicing my neck, and Ast nodded.
“Your majesty, are you in?”
I heard a voice that did not belong to anyone directly under me.
“The elf delegation is here.”
I finally could take care of that nuisance of an elf. That fact made my headache lessen. But…
“I won’t go! Where would I go without my prince!”
The ache came back again as I saw the elf lying on the floor in front of the delegation.
“He is only my butler and not a prince.”
I explained quickly, lest they really thought of him as a prince.
“Is that so?”
I told them how that high elf came to call Ast her prince, and I had to sigh at the same elf rolling around the floor. While I would have made a formal complaint, I could not say anything as the elves were more embarrassed than I was.
“Ast, catch her and make sure that she goes back.”
“Do you want to talk about the punishment for forging my signature?”
“I will do so immediately!”
I sighed as I saw Ast do what I asked and breathed easier only when she went away with the elves, who were grateful and humiliated.
“Prince! We will meet again soon!”
She was finally going away, and I watched Ast make sure the princess did not return.
“Yes, your majesty.”
“I think my patience is increasing in leaps and bounds these days. Maybe I will become a saint one day.”
It was true that I was more lenient with Ast than anyone else because he amused me. I kept him near to observe him.
“That is why Ast is acting out like that, and I need to train him.”
Ast was an aristocrat, and I could think of one way that I could act around that fact.
“He can go to the army.”