The Best Plan to Protect Clarice and Others
That night, I talked with Clarice about the future.
The attack of the July Party had destroyed a part of the Imperial Palace, and about half of my room with Philia was destroyed in the explosion.
So Philia and Sophia had to wait in the guest room for the time being. While I was talking with Clarice in the hallway of the servants’ living area.
By the way, Lucy was called by a high-ranking imperial official, so she wasn’t there.
Fortunately, Clarice was scheduled to go out during the July Party attack, so she was away from the Imperial Palace. She wasn’t involved in the incident. She was depressed, however, because some of the maids she knew were missing.
“I always believed the Imperial Palace is sacred and indestructible, the safest place in the entire empire,” Clarice muttered.
The Imperial Palace wasn’t a safe place anymore.
There has been a series of attacks, as was done by the July Party extremists. Even before then, there was an attempted kidnapping of Philia by the Natural Alliance.
The empire’s prestige would undoubtedly weaken, and this would become a problem we would have to face in the future.
After explaining everything to Clarice, I asked her whether Sophia’s room could be prepared right away. Because Sophia was Philia’s servant, it was natural for her to live here as well.
However, Clarice returned after asking a high-ranking court lady, but things didn’t seem to go as planned.
“Sophia’s room, I don’t think they can prepare it now,” Clarice said, unfortunately.
It was understandable. There wouldn’t be any room to welcome new people into the Imperial Palace, as a considerable part of it had been destroyed.
The chaos in the Imperial Palace ensued. Setting aside matters about Sophia’s room, even my room with Philia seemed like it wasn’t going to be ready anytime soon.
Furthermore, Philia wasn’t an influential person among the imperial princesses, and with Philia’s mother’s background, it didn’t seem like her wishes would be granted easily.
Besides, Sophia’s father, Marquis Gorgias, might pressure the imperial family. Even if you couldn’t attack the princess in public, you could use your political influence behind the scenes to prevent Sophia from becoming Philia’s servant. Marquis Gorgias was a powerful aristocrat with both political and financial power. In essence, his power was way above Princess Philia’s.
There were still many obstacles for Sophia to quit the knight order.
However, right now, we had to manage matters regarding Sophia’s room. If Sophia didn’t want to be taken away by the knight order, it would be best if she were by Princess Philia’s side.
Holding my head, I said, “Hmm. Let’s say, how about we let Sophia live in my room with Philia…”
“No, no. Do you want to live with two beautiful girls and make a harem, Solon-sama?”
“No, I didn’t mean that….”
Well, the room was too small in the first place. What’s more, the pressure from political figures might prohibit Sophia from staying in the Imperial Palace.
“Wouldn’t she be the third girl?”
“So one of them is me?”
Did you just imply that you’re a beautiful girl yourself? My words weren’t meant to sound like that, but Clarice seemed to have taken it differently. She had a slightly sad look.
“What, you’re terrible… You’re saying that I’m not beautiful, right?”
“No, I think Clarice is cute…” I hurriedly added. It was true that Clarice was pretty cute. When she heard my words, her expression brightened and she laughed.
“Do you really think I’m cute?”
“I do, really.”
“If it’s so, then please try to put it into words, specifically.”
‘I came here to talk about Sophia, how did it come to this, praising Clarice’s cuteness?’ I wondered. But it wasn’t helpful to think too deeply about it, so I stopped.
I looked at Clarice all over. She blushed, perhaps because she noticed my gaze.
“Solon-sama, why are you looking at me with those nasty eyes?”
“I didn’t look at you with that kind of eyes… Clarice-san was always so full of energy, it’s a delight seeing you. Besides, you’re honest and kind.”
“As expected, Solon-sama! You understand me well! But please also praise my appearance.”
I looked at Clarice again. Certainly, she was a beautiful girl.
Her face wasn’t as noticeable as Philia’s or Sophia’s, but she was also beautiful. She also had an air of cuteness around her that made you want to protect her. Also…
“I think your flaxen hair is very beautiful.”
When I said that, Clarice laughed. Philia also said that Clarice was beautiful, and Clarice seemed to be proudest of her hair. She approached me, her face filled with happiness.
“Solon-sama, my hair, Please stroke it.”
“Solon-sama thinks that my hair is beautiful, so wouldn’t you want to stroke it?” Clarice asked me in a spoiled way.
It was hard to say, “I’m not that interested,” at this time. Besides, I was close with Clarice and it wasn’t like we were doing something bad. Checking to see if nobody was around, I put my hand on Clarice’s head and gently stroked her hair.
She put her face downward as if telling me, ‘please continue’.
“Solon-sama’s hands are big and comfortable.”
“Solon-sama, are you embarrassed?”
“Aren’t you the one who’s embarrassed?”
Clarice’s face was getting redder and I was probably blushing, too.
I was able to help her during the time she encountered the bandits and was kidnapped by the Natural Alliance. However, there was always a possibility that the Imperial Palace and Philia would be attacked in the future. And at that time, Clarice might get into trouble too.
The Imperial Palace was big, so I couldn’t always be by her side.
“I’m worried. I’ve dealt with terrible things twice, and now, the Imperial Palace has become like this.”
While I was stroking her head, Clarice hugged my body tightly. The danger of death didn’t exist only in the ruins, so it was natural for her to be worried. She looked up at me.
“Solon-sama, will you protect Philia and I from now on?”
“If you two are in danger, I will do my best to save both of you.”
I couldn’t say, ‘I will certainly protect you.’ Because I didn’t know when something would happen and who the enemy would be. Therefore, I couldn’t promise that I would surely rescue Philia and Clarice.
But I would try my best to save them. And right now, what was the best way to protect Philia, Clarice, and Sophia?
“Clarice-san, do you hate living outside the Imperial Palace?”
“What do you mean? Are you saying that I will live with Solon?”
She jokingly said. But this wasn’t a joke. I nodded.
“That’s right. I want you to live with me.”
Clarice was surprised.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that,” I added hurriedly as I realized what I was saying, but it didn’t seem to reach her ears. She looked incredibly flustered.
“I-I’m happy to hear that, bu-but I couldn’t leave Philia-sama.”
“Then, what if we also take Philia-sama?”
Clarice stiffened. I had decided that it was the best way to solve the housing problems while also protecting Philia and the others.
“Philia, Sophia, Clarice and I. These people are going to live together at my place.”
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