The Forgotten Princess - Chapter 405 - Side Story (William)(4)(unedited)[Updated at: 2021-09-10 11:02:00]
Chapter 405 - Side Story (William)(4)(unedited)
Time passed by quickly and many things changed. People have come and go here in the Grandcrest palace, but everything seems to be heading towards a better future.
Everyone had found their respective partners in life and I am happy for them. Tricia had also married Theon, the now imperial butler of the Grandcrest palace. The two had grown close after my rejection of Tricia\'s feelings, and I am happy that she had moved on from her one sided love for me.
I on the other hand stayed here in the Grandcrest palace as the captain of the imperial knights. I am still being tasked as the empress\'s personal knight for special occasions where Emperor Regaleon could not escort Empress Alicia himself. One occasion was when the empress was at the summer villa very heavily pregnant with their third child.
The imperial couple were blessed with three children, and the twins have grown fond of me, especially Alphonse who is always sticking next to me if I was around.
"Uncle William!" the voice of a little boy called out to me.
\'Well speaking of the devil.\' I smiled as I was just thinking about the imperial twins.
The little Alphonse was running towards me while the little Aerith was walking hand in hand with Philip.
"Good morning, little highnesses." I greeted. "What brings you here in the training grounds so early in the morning?"
The sun was just about to rise here at the imperial knight\'s training grounds. Today is a special day for the imperial family and I was about to meet the imperial knights here to make a last minute briefing before the day starts.
"We woke up earlier than usual, so we accompanied brother Philip here." Alphonse replied with a huge grin.
"I see that you and Aerith are both excited for today." I patted Alphonse\'s head lovingly.
"Yes, yes." Aerith replied with her melodious voice. "Our cousins will be coming here later to celebrate our little brother Leonhart\'s birthday." She giggled.
"I am sure that you are excited to play with them." I replied to the little princess and pinched her rosy cheeks gently. "But you would need to let go of Philip first because he needs to get into formation. He is still an apprentice knight under me."
"Ohh…" Aerith pouted her lips in dismay.
"You and Alphonse can sit by the side and watch, like you always do." I told them.
"Hmmm… okay." Aerith replied. "Then carry me there, brother Phil." She stretched her cute arms towards Philip.
"Of course, princess." Philip replied and carried the little girl.
I smiled seeing how Aerith loves being with Philip so much, and Philip in the other hand spoils the little princess dearly.
"Here your highness, let me carry you as well." I told Alphonse.
Alphonse also reached up to me and I carried the little prince towards the bench on the side. The twins often come here in the training grounds whenever they wake up early in the morning to watch the imperial knights practice their swords. I can see that Alphonse is very much interested and will surely learn the sword when he grows a little more in the future.
"Seat here and wait patiently like you both always do, okay?" I asked the twins.
"Yes, Uncle William!" The twins replied in unison.
Philp and I walked back to the training grounds. Looking at this apprentice knight, he has grown up considerably fast in a blink of an eye. As an adopted son of Dimitri, he went with them to South Atlantia when Dimitri became the grand duke. But when he turned ten years old, he came back here to be a knight\'s apprentice. He has grown up quickly in the span of a few years, and now that he was learning the sword from both me and his majesty Emperor Regaleon, I can see he has great potential and will be a great sword master in the future.
"Princess Aerith is so fond of you, and that is good." I said to Philip. "Once you became a full-fledged knight and become their personal knight, your good relationship with them can became a great foundation for the future."
"I am very thankful that the imperial couple took me in. Without them, I do not know what would have happened to me when I lost my big brother." Philip replied. "It may be small compared to what his and her majesty had given to me, but I promise that I will stay by the imperial twins side and protect them with my life."
"That is a good conviction Philip." I said. "Like me, I have devoted my life to the imperial couple as well. I cannot see myself anywhere but here, protecting them."
"Me too." Philip replied with a smile.
I may have tweaked what I have said to Philip a little, having my heart selfishly wanting to be close to Alicia. But it is true that I have now devoted my life to the couple. Regaleon had been such a good person to me and I consider him as a good friend after all the we had gone thru. I am also thankful that he had let me stay here in Grandcrest Palace rather than go back to my homeland in the duchy of Alvannia after the war ended.
Philip lined up with the other apprentice knights in training. I took my post in front of the imperial knights waiting for my briefing for today.
"Good morning imperial knights." I greeted. "As you know, today is the first birthday of the second prince, Prince Leonhart. Today, the imperial couple will have a family only celebration, but later in the evening a grand ball will be held for all the noble persons in the empire to attend. Like always, it is our duty to make sure of the order and security inside the palace. I have already given you your ȧssignments beforehand, just be sure to get to your post and do your job perfectly. Is that clear?"
"YES, CAPTAIN WILLIAM!" The imperial knights replied.
"For the apprentice knights, you will be partnered with senior imperial knights as a part of your training." I said. Some junior knights gave a piece of paper to the apprentice knights. The piece of paper contains the names of the senior knights they are partnered to. "Watch them carefully and learn from them. For the senior imperial knights, do your job as ȧssigned and be a good instructor to the apprentice knights that are partnered to you. Keep in mind that you are their role models and they are the future of our empire."
"YES SIR!" The imperial knights replied once again.
"That is all." I said. "You can now go to your respective designations."
"THANK YOU, SIR!" The imperial knights replied in unison and dispersed.
Philip came to me with the paper he was holding.
"Captain, it is said here that I am partnered to you sir." Philip said.
"Yes, that is correct." I replied. "The twins would want you close to them, and because I am tasked to guard the imperial couple then you can guard the two while they run around and play."
"I understand sir. I will do my duty carefully." Philp said with a salute.
"That is the spirit, young knight." I replied with a salute of my own.
The twins looked like they were getting bored in their seats and so Philip and I walked to them.
"It is a little boring that you do not have sword training now." Alphonse said getting up from his seat.
"Unfortunately, there is no training this morning because it is a special day." I replied. "The imperial knights are tasked with the safety of the palace."
"Then will brother Phil guard us as well?" Aerith had twinkling eyes in joy.
"Yes, that is correct little princess." I patted her head and smiled.
"Yey, that means brother Phil can play with us all day today." Aerith said with joy. "Come brother Phil, let\'s play in the garden." She pulled Philip\'s hand.
"Y-Yes princess…" Philip replied awkwardly and looked at me.
"Go on. You can guard her in disguise of playing." I whispered to him and he nodded. He let Aerith pull him.
"Uncle William." Alphonse had his hands up wanting to be carried and so I picked him up in my arms.
"I cannot play with you my little prince. I am tasked to guard your imperial mother and father." I said. "Let me carry you to the garden so that you can play with Philip and your sister. It will be not long before your cousins arrive."
"I know." Alphonse replied calmly.
Sometimes the little prince acts so mȧturėly from his real age. Maybe it is because he was destined for something great when he grows up.
"When I grow up will you also teach me the sword, Uncle William?" Alphonse asked while we were on the way to the palace gardens.
"I think your father the emperor would be the one teaching you swordsmanship your highness." I replied. "He is a much skilled swordsman than I am."
"Really? But I also want to learn your techniques as well." Alphonse replied. "I can see how you are training brother Philip and he also gets swordsmanship lessons from father as well. I think he would be a great swordsman with both your teachings, so I want to learn from you and father as well."
"Then if his majesty the emperor approves of it, I will teach you my own sword techniques." I replied.
"Yey!" Alphonse clapped with joy. "I will also want to learn from Uncle Dimitri, and Sir Chris and maybe Uncle Gladiolus…" He trailed off with the names of persons that had great sword techniques.
I was looking at the young boy before me being happy about learning the sword, but I also see a glint in his eyes that seems to contain his eagerness to learn. I felt proud as a father would, to see that the little prince has set his goals for the future. I promised to myself that I would do everything I can to help the prince to prepare for his quest in the future.
I may have no family of my own, but I consider everyone in the palace as a family. I am happy being here, and this is what gives me happiness.xa0I may not know what the future holds, but for now being here is where I should be.