Chapter 1202 - The Royal Family's Shadow
That day, I was at the Royal Castle in the royal capital of Symphonia Kingdom. My purpose was to meet Orchid.
I have a good relationship with Orchid, and we exchange letters because we are the same gender and very close in age.
When we were building our home, I asked Orchid about all kinds of things related to the country first, and I sometimes have a chance to come to the royal castle like this to have tea and exchange some idle chatter with him.
Today too, I had come to the castle to have tea and chat about other things, and since theres an opportunity, I wanted to show off the tea that Nebula had made.
I could have gone straight to Orchids place, but since I came early, I thought I would say hello to Ryze-san and asking if it was convenient for him, I was immediately ushered to his office.
After knocking, I entered the office and saw Ryze-san working at his desk…… and a red-haired, good-looking man.
Short cropped hair and a rather solid figure…… He was a very austere and cool guy in his 40s, giving out the vibe of a general.
[Yaa, Miyama-kun. Im glad you came to visit…… How should I say this…… Im sorry that I was always at work when you came to visit.]
[Ahh, no, Im sorry for visiting at a short notice.]
After exchanging a few words with Ryze-san, who pleasantly welcomed me with a wry smile, the red-haired man looked at me and spoke with a gentle smile.
[Ohh, Miyama-dono. Its been a while, hasnt it]
He spoke to me as if we had met before, but what should I do I have no idea who he is. Ummm, did we meet at Amalie-sans birthday party or an event like that
No, but with Alices great coordination, I shouldnt have talked to the nobles much……
[Oi, oi, “Alfred”…… “With the way you look”, even Miyama-kun wouldnt recognize you.]
[Oops, youre right. Your Majesty, may I reveal it to Miyama-dono]
[Yeah, theres no problem.]
As I was thinking this, Ryze-san chuckled and spoke with some sort of meaning behind them, to which the man named Alfred chuckled too.
Then, after confirming with Ryze-san, Alfred-san took out something that looked like a ring and put it on his finger.
[……Would you remember me if I had this face]
[Eh Eeehhhh! I- If Im not mistaken, youre that guy in front of the temple…… Count Ducas!]
[Im honored that you remembered me.]
The moment Alfred-san put on the ring, he transformed into a bloated, flabby, toad-like figure, an appearance that you will never forget once you see it.
His appearance turned into that of Count Ducas, whom we had encountered when I received a blessing at the temple soon after my arrival in this world. Eh Whats going on here
As I was feeling confused, Ryze-san, who seemed to have sensed my confusion, gave me a light explanation.
[He, Alfred…… so to speak, is a shadow of the royal family. He has served the royal family for generations, taking care of the dirty work…… Hes like a special forces unit for the royal family.]
[My real name is Alfred Dunel, and Im currently a Viscount…… but it was just a provisional title given to me in order to be His Majestys close aide, and Im not a natural-born noble. Count Ducas is just one of the faces I use in my work.]
T- That kinda sounds a little complicated…… Also, its just a guess, but isnt this a state secret Well, Im sure they trusted me since they told me that, so Ill be careful not to reveal it to anyone else.
[In running a large-scale structure like a country, you cant always do things the clean way. The one who handles such tasks is me. Count Ducas is also a means to control hostiles, concentrates the repugnance of people according to the case, daring to complain to the royal family, and would bear the burden in a situation that could disgrace the royal family…… Well, if one had to describe it, Count Ducas is like the lizards tail that can be cut off any time.]
[Alfreds job is the so-called hate control, manipulation of information and schemes. He has served me since I was a child and is officially my assistant…… and my most trusted subordinate.]
[Hahaha, well, from the perspective of Phantasmal King-sama, whom Miyama-dono knows very well, what Im doing is nothing more than childs play, but as the shadow of the royal family, Im allowed to do many things.]
[……I- I see.]
It seems like he has a very special position. Im imagining him as some sort of special forces commander or one of those agents who handle covert missions. Chris-san also mentioned how he was good at schemes, so I guess it really would be tough for royalty if you dont have a hand in such matters.
[Incidentally, unlike the role of a dilettante that he plays as Count Ducas, Alfred himself is a very devoted and loving husband. I mean, even though it was love at first sight, it took him a year before he spoke to her.]
Alfred-san seems to be a really trustworthy partner for Ryze-san, and somehow, I felt like the way Ryze-san was talking to Alfred-san was similar to how Lilia-san talked to Luna-san and Sieg-san.
Serious-senpai : [This is the guy that has been talked about often for a while. As it was expected based on the rule established that all named characters are good people at heart, he was often brought up on Twitter, and so, here he finally makes his appearance.]-