Thank you to graceful Rin for editing
I get ready and put on my dress. I will be heading to the royal palace today. As with my previous speech, I choose to wear clothes that are not decorative or gaudy and go with a simple outfit.
The reason I am going to the capital is because an inquiry meeting will be held to explain the reason behind my excommunication to my father. This is a very serious matter, as this meeting will decide my fate. The reason my father will be hearing the explanation is because he is the head of the household. If I were to use office terms, my father would be my boss in this department, and the CEO or upper management is calling my boss to explain the situation.
They will also be deciding on the appropriate punishment… At best, they will acknowledge the excommunication as a mistake and retract it. At worst, I will be imprisoned or receive the death penalty. This meeting requires the presence of the culprit, their family, an inquiry committee, and spectators. Since this concerns the nobility and a high member of the nobility, at that, there will be many nobles who are expected to participate in and watch the proceedings.
My escorts for this, as usual, are Ryle and Dida
People are already gathered for the proceeding… In truth, this time, I was not invited; my excommunication stripped me of my noble status, but, with special permission from the queen, I was permitted into the royal palace.
We advanced through a pre-set route that the queen informed us about and tried to avoid the gazes of people. Ahh… I feel unwelcome… Well, I guess I am an intruder, since no else knew I would be attending.
“Duke of Armelia, as a father who could not supervise his own daughter and prevent her foolishness, are you even capable of properly managing the country?” (Ellia)
That voice… Is that the second wife of the King, Lady Ellia? From what she said, it seems she wants my father to quit being the prime minister… Is she blaming my father for what happened?
“Can you imagine the shame our country bears having its own prime minister’s daughter excommunicated as a sinner? Are you incapable of properly raising your daughter?” (Noble 1)
“First, he is an incompetent prime minister, but now we see he’s failed as a father as well… Haaaaa…” (Noble 2)
The nobles supporting Lady Ellia started to voice their complaints against Father. Soon, murmurs of agreement began to go around the room. The air was so corrupted that I could see its filth.
“I have never told my daughter what to do.” (Louis)
My father’s low voice silenced the audience.
“So, are you saying that because you were not the one who told her to demolish the church, you bear no responsibility? How pathetic.” (Ellia)
Lady Ellia laughed haughtily and raised her voice.
“Everyone, did you hear that? Listen here. Before you are the prime minister, you are the Duke of Armelia. Any actions and operations that are carried out in your fief become your responsibility and your sin. Do not fall under the illusion that you can escape.” (Ellia)
Her statement held various meanings: She wanted him to abdicate his role as prime minister and relinquish the fief. The nobility seemed completely supportive of this, as our fief is the most prosperous in the kingdom and rich with resources. If they were to split it amongst the neighboring fiefs, there is no doubt that they would profit greatly.
Lady Ellia’s words caused an incredible stir. My father turned to give the audience a cold stare and they immediately fell silent. As expected of Father.
“I am not denying my culpability. I have never guided my daughter’s actions for one reason: I trust her wholeheartedly. I have sent her to act as lord of the fief and, as her father, I am proud to have seen her accomplish so much. Yes, I am the prime minister. Yes, I am the Duke of Armelia. However, before that, I am first and foremost a father. Thus, I placed my trust in my daughter and saw no need to supervise her actions.” (Louis)
“… Thank you, Father.” (Iris)
I thanked Father, even though I was sure he did not hear them. His words filled me with courage – the courage I needed to enter that room.
My hands trembled from fear and anxiety, but, after hearing that, my apprehension disappeared in an instant. Although his words reached me, I am not physically present in the audience room, nor am I peeking through a doorway; I am in a hidden room within the castle which leads to the audience room via a complicated pathway.
The guard who was in front of the door noticed me and became flustered. However, he calmed after I showed him the queen’s letter and obediently let me into the room.
As they opened the door to the audience room, I walked into the greatest challenge of my life.