In the end, Kain could only watch on, and eventually Princess Fii left the villa.
She took the exam, fought desperately, splendidly passed, and began working happily as an apprentice knight. And of course, the person that hired her was none other than His Majesty.
And His Majesty had no idea.
To begin with, it all came down to His Majesty’s bad habit.
The things he had an interest in and the things he felt were important, he would handle by himself as much as possible. Thanks to that, he was always looking for ways to save time.
So much that it became dubious as to whether there was even a point in shaving time away in some of those areas any more.
And as for everything he deemed less important, he bundled them together and had them dealt together without his involvement.
The reports on them would usually also be kept to the bare minimum.
Given that his choice in personnel was perfect as well, and that his arrangements for everything were well considered, this system usually worked well. But this time, it could only be said to have failed.
And the fundamental cause, Kain thought, was that he had completely misread Princess Fii’s personality.
Had Princess Fii been your average, wilful princess, then she would have immediately complained to the guards, and at least have managed to secure her minimum living needs. There would not have been a problem. Well, at least “not a problem” by His Majesty’s values…
Furthermore, even a princess with a normal personality would have reached her limit after a few days, and made a complaint or two.
But Fii was the polar opposite.
She would never say a word of complaint, somehow making do with what she was given, and if she had any problems, she would always try to solve it herself.
Even when he looked at things objectively, the results of his observations forced him to conclude that she was a good, courageous girl, who tried her very best.
And also a very dynamic girl, at that.
The result was that she snuck out of the villa to improve her living circumstances, splendidly passed the apprentice knight exam, and then started living her life in the apprentice knight dorms.
In addition, the only one who had seen His Majesty’s plan go to nothing, and the only one who held the most important information of all, was of all people, a Grass like himself…
It was strange coming from somebody like himself, but Kain felt that a Grass was a very inflexible soldier who could only follow terrible orders, to a terrible end.
And even after this massive failure, far from taking steps to fix things, His Majesty hadn’t even the slightest idea. Thanks to that, Princess Fii was left to her devices as she spent her days working hard and improving as a knight through her failures. As for Kain, he simply continued to observe her.
Although it was too late to be feeling so now, Kain regretted not saying anything.
The King had said that Kain had said more than enough about this though.
(The only thing ‘enough’ about this is my observation! What are you doing about her needs! Aren’t there still matters like fashion and socialising to consider? Shouldn’t she be allowed things like this too? She’s a girl, you know!?)
But unfortunately, Kain only realised how flawed everything was after observing her for a while, so he wasn’t in any position to be criticising others…
That this King was perfect save for his treatment of women, was something that all of his associates knew as common sense, Grass and retainers alike.
Kain knew as well.
He knew that His Majesty had asked for absolutely no reports about this, not even from the guards outside her villa.
That was how little interest he held in Princess Fii.
Even if she turned out to be ‘black’, His Majesty never saw her as a threat. The whole mission was less about determining this, and more about finding her contacts if she actually did turn out to be ‘black’.
His Majesty was presently glaring at a report on water control for the rivers in the south. Kain doubted he even remembered the name ‘Princess Fii’.
A female Grass member, Néna, had occasionally taken observation shifts as well, and was in fact the only female on the team. When she looked at His Majesty these days, her gaze had grown 10℃ frostier, but he probably hadn’t noticed this either.
Kain once again concluded that he had to do something himself.
(It’s simple… ‘Princess Fii is working as your division’s apprentice knight.’ That’s all I have to say…)
Thinking this, he was about to speak to His Majesty who had just picked up his pen.
But that instant-
『If she is ‘black’, report it.』
『Otherwise, no need.』
『The role of a Grass is to follow his orders to the best of his ability.』
『Advising the lord is the role of the retainers. To become his arms and legs is our job.』
various words, flashed through his mind.
(Why…? Why can’t I say something so simple? Why…?)
(Why am I a Grass…!)
It was the very first time in his life that he questioned who he was.
Of course, the reason he was a Grass was because he had been born to Grass parents, and because he was raised from childhood to become a Grass, but that wasn’t the kind of question he was asking here.
Not realising Kain’s troubles, His Majesty Roy began writing as usual. Apparently he had decided on the direction he would be taking this year in regards to water control projects.
(If only he had even a hundredth of this interest in Princess Fii…) Kain couldn’t help but think.
In the end, his role as a Grass won over, and he couldn’t say a thing about Princess Fii.
(I am a Grass… One who accomplishes his missions, and nothing else. I am a Grass… I am a Grass…)
As he repeated this hundreds of times in his mind, he left the King’s study without anybody noticing.
To be honest, it was actually a bit too late to be thinking about these things, but Kain couldn’t let himself think too deeply about it.
That happened yesterday night.
Today, Kain had been observing Princess Fii from a treetop as well.
Just a moment ago, she had been speaking happily to His Majesty Roy.
(Oh crap, oh crap! I spaced out!)
He had been deep in his thoughts, but now realised he hadn’t been observing properly. Looking back towards her in a fluster, he found that neither Princess Fii nor His Highness Roy could be seen.
(Mu. Has she already moved? I need to find her.)
It was a terrible failure for a Grass. By now, he really questioned his qualifications.
Even so, he tried his best to remain faithful to his mission, but before he could make his move, he noticed somebody trying to climb up the tree he was hiding in.
And they had gotten extremely close…!
Not even a second after he noticed, a young girl’s face popped out from between the tree branches.
An adorable girl’s face, framed by a boyish short cut.
In other words, Princess Fii’s face.
After she climbed up here and found his hidden form, she beamed with an amiable smile and greeted him.
“Could it be that you’re Kain-san!? I’m called Heath! Hello!”
(I MADE CONTACT WITH THE OBSERVATION TARGET! WHAT DO I DO, YOUR MAJESTYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!?!)
Kain screamed in his heart.
“Captain York told me where you were, but when I looked, you weren’t there! I tried all the other hiding spots, but it looks like I’ve finally found you!”
(AND YOU EVEN TOLD THE TARGET ALL THE HIDING SPOTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTS!?!?!?!)