Chapter 64:

Doing Small Steps

Royal Princess of Blood

Don’t you just love it sometimes that you just do nothing but sit amidst the fresh gentle wind. Nothing to bother you at all. Incredible! Just watching everything around you, gazing up at the blue sky and white clouds.

Really, I’m starting to like this, so peaceful. Was this what introverts felt? The ones that mostly just stay in their rooms. The peace and quiet!


Yup, now I’m feeling rolling on the bed for now.

Actually, I have been sitting on this bench in the garden for about an hour now. As for my servants that have been standing all that time? They’re doing fine. They’re used to it anyway.

The thought of inviting them to sit with me did cross my mind, but I didn’t in the end. I want to have space. I’m being mean? Dunno what you’re talking about.

I stood up from my seat before facing my servants who were behind me.

“What a good weather today.”

I said with a smile. Mera and Vernon glanced at each other for a moment, as though they were curious by my remark. Well, I was quietly sitting on the bench then suddenly speaking about the weather. But it was truly a good weather today.

“Is something bothering you, milady?” Mera asked.

“Nope. Let’s take a walk.”

Better to walk after an hour of sitting down. Promote proper blood flow. Plus, it was a good chance to do some scouting. I was planning to do that anyway.

Well, I just want to have a walk mostly.

Followed by my servants, we left the garden. I don’t particularly have a destination in mind. So I was just blindly walking around where my legs take me. Eventually I arrived around the front of the palace by going through the paths by the side of the palace building.

Around these parts, there were knights guarding the pathway. They upgraded the security it seems, sending knights to guard the perimeter.

The knights stood attention when I passed by, of course I gave them a proper greeting. As we went on, I began to see a few commoner soldiers going about. Then by a corner, I saw a few gathering.

I narrowed my eyes as I looked at the center of that small crowd. It was a knight wearing lavish armor, then a spear in his hand.

“Hahaha! You see! This one was this monster that sent me flying. And trust me, I got blown away hard. Damn that thing was massive. Like a mutated gorilla.”

He appears to be telling stories to those soldiers. Looks of anticipation on their faces as they listened.

“Really thought I was going to die at that moment when other monsters came charging. Wew, thankfully the other knights helped me. Monsters are nasty stuff I tell you that!”

Interesting, a noble talking with commoners like they were friends. No, it also felt like he was bragging and boasting. But, it was not self centered thought. Only telling stories in his perspective.

This noble was familiar. He was the one who fought intensely using a spear against someone who wielded two swords.

You know, I do think there might be infiltrators in the knights, but I think it was at the lowest possible chance. But not zero. A man casually interacting with commoners could be a cover, and in actuality, they were sending information through that common soldier without others of importance realizing.

Of course there’s a chance that this guy was just pretty friendly. But nobles to commoners, I’m not so certain.

I read some papers when I was with my brother helping him with his work one time. With those descriptions, I think I know who this was.

If I’m not mistaken, his name was Rogan Dorien. One of the elites in the knights order.

He was around in his pretty early twenties. Quite a looker.

When I approached closer, they stopped their conversation and they all turned towards me. Dumbfounded expressions were all over the common soldiers, no one expected to encounter the beautiful princess.

Rogan on the other hand was pretty composed and merely grinned as he stood straight.

Then with his spear on one hand, he genuflected as he placed his other hand on his chest. He bowed his head so deep as though he was showing great reverence towards me. But of course I’m sure this was just for show.

“Your highness, it is an honor to bask in your presence.”

He said solemnly with a bit of energy mixed into it. He then turned his head towards the soldiers.

“What are you doing? Pay your respects to the royal princess.”

His voice lacked any trace of sterness, he was surprisingly… well, kind towards them.

Following his words, the common soldiers stiffly followed his example.

It was definitely amusing.

“You may all rise.”

They all followed my words.

“You look like you're having a good time.”

I said with a smile, although the common soldiers seemed a bit uneasy. Well, I suppose it was to be expected since the princess was talking to them.

How great of a person I am.

“You could say that, your highness… So, to what do I owe the pleasure?” Rogan asked.

“Oh. Just want to talk with you.”

“With me, huh,” he grinned widely. “In that case…” he turned to look at the common soldiers. “It’s a wrap, people! Story time’s over, so time to fill up your stations!”

I don’t even think it was recommended to leave your stations! Was this incompetence, or negligence? Though I highly doubt it. Perhaps there must also be a lot others stationed around, and likely it was break time for these guys.

With Rogan’s words, the soldiers dispersed and left our proximity.

“Is it much better, your highness?”

“Definitely! Though I have no important reason to speak with you, so I’m sorry if I ruin your time with them.”

“Please your highness, no need to be sorry. It was just some casual talk, no importance whatsoever. I always have the time to speak with you.”

“... I-I see… That said, it is intriguing to see someone of your status to casually speak with commoners. You have no qualms with that?”

“I don’t.”

This was the first I personally saw a knight, and a noble casually hanging out with a group of common soldiers. He didn’t even have any fellow knights with him.

“Interesting, may I ask why?”

He still had that wide grin on his face as he answered.

“To be honest, I don’t see the reason why not. They’re people either way. And… titles are but titles. Status are but status. They hold no absolution, they can be stripped and taken away. And, I see no reason why that should stop me from doing what I want. Humans are humans in the end.”

“I can imagine a few think you are, forgive my words, somewhat weird.”

“Hehehe. I have heard it several times, but I’m not bothered by it. A matter that can be simply shrugged.”

“I see you are a good man… What is your name?”

“Rogan Dorein, your highness.”

So I was right.

“Nice to meet you, Sir Rogan.”

“Talking with you is also nice, princess. But, I must ask, are you alright now? I mean walking around.”

“Hm? Why do you ask?”

“I heard something happened to you. Losing control of your mana.”

“You have heard of it, huh…”

“Knights were present that time, so it reached everyone.”

Quite the gossipers there were.

“I see. Well, I’m fine for now. But I shouldn’t strain myself yet.”

“I understand. Another I also worry about your highness is your safety.”

What was with this guy? Talking about that stuff all of a sudden. And quite sensitive questions at that. Perhaps he was just carrying out his duty.

“What is it about my safety?”

“Knights have been dispatched all around the palace to guard. We are ordered to be alert and vigilant. And thus, here I am now. I guessed it must have something to do with the safety of the royal family.”

Quite a close guess.

“So I’m concerned that you don’t seem to have a guard. A knight as one to be precise.”

I giggled.

“Your concern is appreciated, Sir Rogan. But, I'm fine.”

“... You must be guarded then. In that case…” he looked at Mera first for a moment before turning to Vernon. “Ah yes… Now that I had a closer look, you are one of the king’s close servants.”

I suppose it was only to be expected he recognized Vernon.

“Greetings, sir Knight,” Vernon said like a gentle old man.

“Greetings. You must be strong.”

“Oh? May I ask why you think so?”

“I just guessed it. No way they would leave someone weak to guard the princess.”

“Is that so? But I should correct you, I am only an aging old man.”

Yeah, Vernon is only an old man. Have him carry a big box and he would instant break his back.

“Really? Then could it be the miss maid right there? Looks can be deceiving after all.”


I cleared my throat loudly to get everyone’s attention. This Rogan was getting too observant for my taste. Unnecessarily observant.

“Thinking about trivial things only confuses and tires the mind, so let’s stop it right there. Say, have you been told what you should be guarding against?”

“Nothing specific. Just be on guard for anything suspicious.”

“I see... Where do you think enemies can strike, Sir Rogan?”

He furrowed his brows the moment he heard my question. It was quite sudden after all.

“Um, the front, the back, the sides. Anywhere actually.”

“Then in what direction can enemies mostly come from?”

“Mostly at the front?”

“And where could the strike be most fatal, one you mostly never expect?”

“Princess… being attacked from behind sure would be the worst. You mostly don’t see it coming.”

“Then, a strike from behind can be the most dangerous.”

“... I’m confused. Why do you ask those questions?”

“Enemies can strike at any direction, and can attack at their own discretion. But, I suggest you focus your attention more on where it is most dangerous, where you would mostly lower your guard.”

“Then… I have had my suspicions since the security is tighter inside the palace...”

Of course, anyone that has a brain would have suspicions on where the problem could lie. Security was greater inside, and lower outside, even though the outside must also be intensely guarded. Then this could mean the enemy lies inside.

“Now that you have mentioned it, your highness. Then does this mean —”

“You interpret it the way you like. But, do not lower your guard.”

Now why would I imply as such to this knight? Well, if he was a traitor, he could decide not to share our main conversation here in hopes to lower the alert level of the knights and could tread a bit safer. But even if he still decided to share it, despite being a traitor, the other knights would still become more guarded, having it to be clearer that the enemies could be among them. Then prompting the traitor to act more carefully, but would also become tensed due to the pressure, and being pressured and threatened as an infiltrator is incredibly unpleasant.

Then, even the small changes I get to notice will become my basis.

Of course, if he was not a traitor, he was still likely to tell it to the others since it was a pretty crucial thing. If he doesn’t, then he’s stupid. There is no cure for stupidity, I’m afraid.

All in all, I’m just doing small steps.

“Remember, sir knight. Nothing hurts more than being backstabbed.”

Patreon iconPatreon icon