* will indicate a s.h.i.+ft in the point of view.
“Well then, I’m counting on you Matthias.”
When I got the confirmation from the King to leave the room, I lifted my head and stood up from my kneeling position on the expensive carpet. My eyes met those of my father’s, who was standing to my right. “Do well,” his eyes seem to say. Showing my acknowledgement with a slight nod of my head, I opened the heavy doors of the room in order to leave.
Today’s meeting was merely for formality’s sake. Since long ago, the King and Father sometimes let me listen in on their discussions.
“Matthias von Westvern, I appoint you as the First Retainer of Prince Elmer de Almerti, Third Prince of Almerti Kingdom.”
A thick parchment was handed over and I examined it to see the declaration of my promotion, the words containing a heavy weight. This may perhaps control how my life goes. It was just natural to think so. I rolled it neatly and turned towards the Green Water Palace.
The Green Water Palace is a imperial villa where young princes and princesses live. The King’s children are therefore raised there, or if the mother takes custody of them and requests to transfer to a different imperial villa, their retainers have to hand them over.
I showed the appointment doc.u.ment to the gatekeeper and the huge gates were opened. This is the only entrance and exit.
This is a fortress where princes and princesses are taken care of, it’s that kind of place.
I made my way through garden which has a variety of flowers in full bloom and went to a building among them. Once again, I presented the official doc.u.ments to the soldier standing guard. I then proceed towards Elmer-sama‘s room.
Nevertheless, how long was I going to walk to arrive at my destination? Why can’t the prince’s room be found?! Right now, my anger was starting to reach its climax.
This is the place where the prince will have to spend his childhood. In other words, I will eventually reach my destination if I searched for the biggest room.
Beginning from the center hall, I was able find the biggest room. However, it was the Prince Sveri’s room.
“Excuse me for a moment.”
Deciding that it would be a waste of time to just walk around aimlessly, I called out to the maid pa.s.sing nearby.
“C-could you be referring to m-me?”
She dropped the clothes she was holding, probably for laundry, as she panicked. It was because it was rare to be addressed by an important aristocrat who has high social status.
“I have something I want to ask…”
Her face flushed bright red. Really, using this kind of method was not a good idea.
“Could you please tell me where the prince’s room is?”
“If you walk straight from here, it’s the room at the far end…”
“That is Sveri-sama‘s room. What I want to know is Elmer-sama‘s room…”
“E- Elmer, was it…? I-I don’t have an idea where his room is… it’s the truth! I’m really very sorry!
I turned to left as soon as I uttered that cold single-word reply. Though some words seemed to be uttered from my back, they were completely ignored.
She doesn’t know where the prince’s room is? Did that maid just arrive here? She had the expression that showed she completely does not understand the meaning of hearing Elmer-sama‘s name.
It did not help one bit, only piling up more irritation. Walking a bit more, I called out to a different maid. I wasn’t able to hear the room’s location from that maid, too. The same happened with everyone I asked afterwards.
The tenth person. The tenth person finally understood me. The woman seemed to be one of Elmer-sama’s attendant. If I remembered correctly, the maid’s hair seemed darker compared to the other maids just now. However, she kept looking my way from time to time while in the midst of guiding me so I didn’t have a very good impression of her.
“Elmer-sama‘s room is this way.”
After having walked quite a long distance from the central hall, the woman stopped and indicated a certain door.
This must be a lie. The door was much simpler than the door of the room a while ago.
I entered the room to ascertain the truth. I straightened my back and arranged my posture into a more proper one. This encounter today will have a big influence in my life from now on.
“Please excuse me.”
I knocked and then entered the room. Normally, without the Master’s permission to enter, it is absolutely forbidden to do so. However, this doesn’t apply in the case where he is still in the age when he cannot respond, is what I concluded.
I entered the room, then bowed deeply.
“Allow me to humbly introduce myself, I am called Matthias von Westvern, second son of the West Vern House. As it has been decided, from now on I am to be your First Retainer and will endeavor to serve you.”
I raised my head slowly.
Surely… this couldn’t be possible…
I heard an explanation from the King. However, it was worse than I expected.
“The prince who was born this time… is cursed.” Half a year ago, this rumor spread in the imperial court.
“Elmer is a failure.” These were the King’s words.
The King only went to see the Prince once after his birth, he never once saw him again.
Pale white skin which was so clear it seemed to be almost transparent and hair that was entirely silver in color. Children of the royal family are expected to have deep blue hair which makes one remember the sea.
The odd thing isn’t only that. I can’t seem to see his two pupils anywhere. I didn’t even see him immediately when I came to the room.
He is not a normal baby… It was as if he was… a doll.
It was a detestable thought.
First Retainer. The one who is constantly by the Master’s side, the servant who pledged his absolute devotion to his Master. The person Master has placed absolute confidence on, this is in account of all princes and princesses.
I devoted my whole life to this – a person who would have absolute power in this world, I thought I wanted to such serve a strong person. A companion I can respect from the bottom of my heart.
Almerti Royal Family can manipulate water. Fire was for Westvern House, water for Northteres House, earth for Eastcartier House, air for Southtina House. The Four-Color Houses, among them a retainer will be chosen, someone who is close in age as much as possible. Usually, a contest of strength is held among them, since many want to get the position. Above anything else, my house also wanted to send someone to be the First Retainer of the Prince who will eventually become a King.
This time it has been decided that I will go considering the age balance. To be frank, I was not interested in the expectations of my House. In the first place, it was doubtful Father had even expectations.
He is a timid man. Still, he was able to retain his position in a world of conspiracy, it was possible he was doing something behind their backs… but there was even a time when I thought that he was just born under a lucky star.
When I was a child, I was told that I am expected to have a Master from the Royal Family, serving that kind of person will surely give extraordinary prestige.
However, the rumor that Elmer-sama was an eerie child who never expressed any will seems to be true. A while ago, the maid said that he was similar to a child without a soul.
Disappointed, I presented a book to Elmer-sama. I intended to read the book and brought it. When I read it to my little sister, she was very happy. After that, she kept on pestering me several times until I reached my limit.
I asked him which book he was interested to hear, his reponse was… nothing. It can’t be helped, I’ll just pick a book of my choice. No matter how many books I read, Elmer-sama didn’t laughed or cry, there wasn’t a time when his facial expression changed.
The important prince who was cursed… Prince Elmer de Almerti, I am his First Retainer. At the same time, the one to stand guard while simultaneously receiving a secret order from the King.
The spy sent to determine whether or not the Prince should be killed.