The Emperor’s Daughter Chapter 93
93 My Close Friend And New Knigh
Regaleon and I entered the ball room hall together, arm in arm. After the herald announces our arrival, all the noble guests' eyes were upon us.
I tensed up looking at so many guests. I squeezed Regaleon's arm unknowingly.
"Nervous?" Regaleon asked. I nodded silently. "Don't worry. I am right here by your side. There is nothing to be nervous about."
Regaleon held my hand and squeezed it to reassure me. I look at him and smiled.
"Thank you." I said. I am sure that Regaleon is always beside me to help.
I inhale and exhale to calm my self. After this evening, I would be officially engaged to Regaleon. I would be the crown princess of Grandcrest. Tonight I have to hold my head high with confidence. Confidence that I am worthy to stand beside Regaleon, the crown prince and the future king of Grandcrest.
"Ready?" Regaleon asked with encouragement.
"Yes." I replied with a smile. And we walked inside the ball room.
The nobles started to swarm around us one by one. People started to congratulate and compliment us from left to right.
"Your highness, crown prince. Congratulations in your engagement."
"You look dashing your highness crown prince."
"Princess Alicia, you look so beautiful."
"Congratulation princess Alicia, with your engagement."
"The two of you look good together your highnesses, prince Regaleon and princess Alicia."
All well wishes are being given around us.
"Thank you very much." Regaleon said neutrally. It looks like he is used to dealing with nobles like these.
"Thank you." I follow Regaleon's lead thanking the nobles around us.
After looking around, I see a familiar looking face in the crowd.
'It's William.' I thought.
I has been two years since I last saw him. He has grown into a fine and handsome young man.
"Will." I called him.
William was looking at me in a daze, so I call him again.
"Will. William." I called. But he was just standing in his place looking at us.
"Leon, can we go there and greet Will?" I asked. "It's been a while since I last saw him."
Regaelon looked at me and at where William was standing and looked at me again.
"Alright, let's greet him." Regaleon said. I smiled at him in return.
We walked towards Will, hand in hand.
"William, it's been a while. How have you been?" I asked him excitedly.
"Crown prince Regaelon, princess Alicia." William greeted us.
I was taken back for a while. William was a bit formal just now. He has been my close friend when I debuted in society and we have been casual with greeting each other.
"Sir William Cunningham." Regaleon answered him back with a nod.
"Answering the princess' question, I have been well." William looked at me with a warm smile.
"That's good to hear." I said.
William seems a bit distant. I can't blame him, with what is happening now. As I heard, he has requested my hand in marriage. I never thought that he has such feelings for me.
"I am happy to see you well Alicia." William said. "Is your illness cured?"
I can feel his sincere worry.
"I am all cured now, no need to worry Will." I replied.
"That's good to hear." William smiled. His gaze towards me has something that I never noticed before. But now I know his feelings, I can see it clearly.
'He really may have feelings for me.' I thought. I was just an ignorant child back then, that I didn't notice. My heart aches for him because I cannot answer his feelings in return. William is a great man, it's just I only have Leon in my heart.
"Oh yes, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the both of you in your engagement. Your highness crown prince Regaleon and princess Alicia." William said. He smiled at us but I can see the sadness behind them.
"Thank you sir William." Regaleon replied.
"Thank you Will." I replied as well.
"So here you are." I voice came from behind us.
The nobles around us started to bow. Then I see my father the king walking towards us.
"Your majesty." Regaleon nodded.
"Greetings your majesty, king Edward." William bowed.
"King father, greetings." I gave my curtsy.
"Rise." Father said. "Let's resume the festivities."
The nobles started to disperse.
"Let's talk first before the official announcement begins." Father said.
King father lead us towards the royal lounge area.
"Please sit." Father said to the three of us
Regaleon and I took the seat in front of father and William took the single seat on the side.
I was curious what does father need with the three of us. When I look at Regaleon and William, they looked calm.
'Aren't they curious?' I thought.
"Prince Regaleon, you remember one of my conditions before marrying Alicia, correct?" Father asked.
"Yes." Regaleon nodded.
"I will be assigning a personal knight that I trust to Alicia." Father said. "Alicia will be going to a country she isn't familiar with. And so I want someone that I can trust to personally guard her."
"Do you not trust my abilities to protect Alicia?" Regaleon said with a cold voice.
"I don't have any doubts, prince Regaleon." Father said with equal coldness. "But I will be more at ease with someone I can trust to be with her."
"I understand." Regaleon sighed. "Then I guess the one you selected is sir William."
"William?!" I was surprised. I looked at Regaleon, father and last William. Their faces all looked serious. "But why? You are going to inherit the title of duke from your father?"
"I have thought about this long and hard Alicia. And I have decided to give the duke's title to my younger brother." William said.
"But you have worked hard for it." I said.
I know how hard William worked to be a good duke for his dukedom. So why?
"This is my decision Alicia, and I am happy with it." William said to assure me of his decision.
But doing such thing for me. I can't imagine how hard this will be for him.
"I trust William to protect my daughter." Father said. "I am sure that you too feel that way, correct?" This question was directed at me.
I was speechless. I am sure that William can protect me, I can trust him with my life. But what about his feelings.
"I..." I was about to decline this proposition. I don't want him to hurt any further than he has.
But Regaleon stopped me. He squeezed my hand gently so I looked at him. His gaze told me 'leave this to me' so I nodded.
"Sir William, are you sure about your decision?" Regaleon asked. "Are you sure you will protect Alicia what ever happens?"
"Yes, your highness." William answered. "This is my resolve."
"Then I accept, your majesty." Regaleon said to my father.
"Hmm, then it is settled." King father nodded in agreement.
I looked at Regaleon once again and he squeezed my hand with assurance.
'Knock knock knock'
A steward came opened the door and came inside. He bowed in front of us.
"Your majesty, your highnesses. It's time." The steward said.