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Felix turned about, hand on the hilt of his sword, in case of an attack, but he soon saw the girl hailing him. 'Silver hair...' He noticed the same detail the defeated bandit had mentioned the night before, but he didn't have time to process that, as she quickly asked him for help with some task.

"Unfortunately time is a bit of a factor. There's an emergency, and a lot of people could be hurt if I don't hurry back to Prima." Felix said. "I'm sure if there's some emergency, you can ask the guard here." He sighed as he began to turn away.
@NobodiesHero No worries. Thanks for letting us know. Do try to get a post in before you go if you have time. Enjoy your trip.
Stefan was silent for a moment. He closed his eyes and sighed deeply. Oddly, he didn't seem to give off any sign of dejection at Katherine's words. He just seemed to sit there, shaking his head with a smile on his face before he shrugged. "Honestly, marrying for 'love'. What an ugly common viewpoint." He tutted. "Of course, what else can be expected? Even if you carry the king's blood, you're still the daughter of a dirty commoner, and were raised as such." He shook his head. "You're naive. With views like that, you will never survive..."

Stefan stood up and looked away from Katherine. "I'm glad I decided to prepare that fake letter to have that filthy common boy sent away... Honestly, that stubborn old Emmerich kept pushing for that rat's promotion... As if a commoner could actually do the world any good." He shook his head and raised a hand. A pair of guards moved to detain Katherine. "Take her back to her room to rethink about her decision." He said. "Girl... You'll be kept safe here until you come to your senses and accept my proposal. The only way you'll survive the upcoming days is by accepting my terms. You'll be kept safe here until that time comes, then we'll allow you to continue your pilgrimage. So please, enjoy your stay."
"Not at all," Stefan spoke, shrugging and shaking his head. "You're the rightful heir to King Alphin's throne," he explained. "To give you any less would be an insult." He crossed his arms. "Now then, I want to discuss a serious matter with you regarding your position.

"I've been told you're going to Mt. Ignis in order to collect one of the Regalia. That will prove your place as the ruler of Iris, but I fear that will not be enough. Many of the noble houses, as well as the people, may not be likely to accept a commoner, and if you'll pardon my wording, a bastard child, to rule this country." He closed his eyes. "Now, with that, I have a proposal. If you are to be partnered with a noble house, then it is much more likely that you would be accepted, thus allowing for a more clean transition."

Stefan opened his eyes, then placed a hand onto the box that had been touching on earlier. "So with that, here is my proposition. Lady Katherine, daughter of Alphin," He stood and opened the box, revealing a pearl colored bangle topped with a clear crystal flower, handing the box to Katherine. "I offer you my heart and the backing of my house, if you would take my hand in marriage."
Katherine was led to a lavish hall, lit by a number of magically enchanted candelabras. On the table were several very fancy looking courses, foods the farm girl was likely to never have even seen before, least not anything so extravagant.

"Ah, Lady Katherine," Stefan spoke, standing from his seat. "I'm glad to see you again. Please, take your seat." He motioned to a place setting across the table from where he sat, before taking a seat himself. His hand came to rest on a velvet covered box, which he drummed with his fingers. "I trust you're finding the room you've been given accommodating?" He asked.
"... I wish... Apparently there was a sudden issue..." Felix sighed. "He suggested I ride the horse back to be there quickly as possible, but..." He shook his head. "Ugh... I hope everything goes well... No, I mean... I know it will. You're going to do great, I know it!" He said, affirming her as he took off with a sigh.

After an hour, a knocking came at Katherine's door. "Lady Katherine," a woman's voice spoke. "Lord Stefan has asked me to show you to the dining room."

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Felix was able to get some bread and meat before setting off, but for some reason the horse was being stubborn about having a rider. He'd been more delayed than he'd thought possible, and it was practically sunset as he was setting off, walking the damndable animal instead of riding it. "Kate... She'll be fine..." He sighed to himself.
Stefan crinkled his nose slightly. "Surely you can understand a bit of adherence to propriety," he sighed. "Still, I am but a humble servant before you, so if it is what you wish, I've little choice but to concede, Lady Katherine." He shook his head as he walked off.

Felix crossed his arms once the man had left. "What an ass..." He mumbled to himself. "I really hope that guy doesn't pull anything funny..." He sighed.

"Oh, before I forget," Stefan's voice came, causing Felix to stand up straight. "Captain?" He asked with an odd tone.

"Yes?" Felix replied.

"This letter arrived for you from Prima." Stefan handed over a rolled up scroll, then left once more.

"... Hmph..." Felix sighed, opening the scroll. "Ah..." He frowned, looking to Katherine. "Hey, Kate... Emmerich wants me back to Prima on the double..."
"Well then, I've a room prepared for you," Stefan explained, leading Katherine in. "You can rest there while my staff prepares a meal to celebrate your safe arrival." He led her through the halls to a side room and had a servant open the door to some luxurious chambers.

'Swanky digs...' Felix thought, about to step into the room and look around, only to find a hand placed on his chest, stopping him. "Huh?" Felix blinked, looking at Stefan, who had a look of dismissive disapproval on his face.

"Don't you know anything? It's rude for a boy to enter a lady's chamber." Stefan sighed. "Honestly... Such uncouth behavior."

Felix swallowed a grimace. He wanted to give the bastard some attitude, but he held his tongue. He couldn't cause a scene, for Kate's sake.
"Hmm..." Stefan said, acknowledging the fact that Felix existed, but not much else. "Well, it seems the commander's lackey did well enough getting you here safely." He said with a smile. "I do understand your sense of urgency, Lady Katherine, however, a rush isn't needed in this case. I've not quite had the time to prepare your supplies yet, nor to have a troop prepared for your escort. Besides, scouts told of some bandit activity on the road here, and I'm guessing there was a high chance you were, if nothing else, inconvenienced by it. Some time to rest may do you some good."

Felix frowned. The guy gave him the creeps.
"You look nice," Felix said, looking off to the side, his face slightly red. "It's just something to get used to, isn't it?" He asked. They sat there for a few minutes, and before long, the gate opened again. A man in richly clothes stepped out with the guard. "Ah, so my guest has arrived. Honestly, I do apologize for my guards' impudence. I'd had to keep your situation a bit quiet, as it were."

The guards looked to the lord slightly uncomfortable.

"Milord," Felix bowed, only to be completely ignored.

"Well, men, I'd like to introduce you to the one who will rightfully ascend to the late King Alphin's throne, Lady Katherine." The lord spoke, bowing to her. "I am Lord Stefan. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance."
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