I struggled a bit with the next chapter and couldn't finish it in time, so I'm posting a slightly modified version of a rejected chapter.
In this world, the Adventurers' Guild is a very important entity and has a certain status in society.
In terms of simple strength, the knights belonging to a country are superior to them. However, the Adventurer Guild has the freedom that the knight order does not have.
In contrast to knights, many adventurers work as a pair or trio, which makes them more useful for tasks that require a quick response.
In the capital of the Archlesia Empire, there stands a branch of the Adventurers' Guild. Today, many adventurers gathered at the guild, which also acts as a tavern in itself, to exchange information and engage in other activities.
At one of the many tables, there was a pair consisting of a man and a woman.
[Unnn What is it]
The girl named Nicole, who was about 150cm and dressed in a mage's robe, stopped eating and turned to the red-haired young man seated in front of her.
[……Ummm, if…… errr, if I say that I'm actually a "prince"…… What would you do]
[……"Request compensation for damages", I guess]
[No, I mean, Leo claiming to be a prince is something akin to swindling. I think you should be liable for damages you did by saying such things.]
Nicole lightheartedly replied to the swordsman-like young man named Leo, with a smile. It was a smile that showed through her emotion that she didn't believe Leo's words at all.
[……Unnn, well, I guess you're right. It would be great…… if that really was the case though……]
[…….Eh Just in case…… Are you actually for real]
[For the sake of our friendship as long-time partners, do you mind if I consult with you for something]
[That will be one copper coin.]
[How expensive, I'll buy it.]
[Thank you for the patronage~~]
They were adventurers who had been working together for a long time, and they know each other very well. However, even Nicole, who has known him for a long time, didn't know that Leo was a member of the royal family.
[……So, you being a prince, is it for real]
[Yeah, Leonhard Dia Archlesia…… That's my real name.]
[……It doesn't sound like you're drunk and just saying strange things. Then, putting aside if you're telling the truth or not…… Why are you telling me this now Does that have something to do with why this consultation]
[……Going straight to the point, my sister…… well, the current Emperor…… I haven't seen her in years. And yet, she suddenly told me that she wants to give me the throne.]
[……Huh W- What do you mean]
When Nicole heard the pale Leo's words, Nicole looked at him in a daze, as if her mind hadn't caught up with what she heard.
[That's what I want to ask! I certainly am a prince, but I'm only the "fourteenth" in line of the succession to the throne, you know The lowest of the low. Well, that's also why I was able to be an adventurer……]
[N- Now, now, let's calm down for a bit…… I mean, Her Majesty, the Emperor Chris is abdicating her throne Eh Why Emperor Chris is very popular with the public, isn't she She's solved the food problem in the north, and she's also amended the employment system of Archlesia……]
[Well, to be honest, I have no idea why Esteemed Sister wants to step down her throne either. Heck, I don't even know why she's naming me as the next Emperor.]
[……Hmmm, can't you just refuse]
Hearing that Chris is stepping down her throne as the Emperor, something which isn't known to the public yet, Nicole became surprised and asked about the first topic of discussion, Leo's accession to the throne.
When she heard her question though, Leo's face turned paler than before, and shivering, he muttered.
[……It's impossible. Going against Esteemed Sister Chris' words…… J- Just thinking about her terrifying eyes that would look at me when I say such words……]
[Eh Y- You're that afraid of her]
[I mean, Esteemed Sister Chris was originally the "eighth in line of the succession to the throne", you know She normally wouldn't have been able to succeed the throne. And yet, for some reason, all my Esteemed Elder Brothers and Sisters…… As if something I don't know occurred, they had suddenly lost their positions or renounced their rights to the throne, making her the one to succeed the throne.]
[……I'm kind of imagining something really scary happened though……]
[No, I'm sure Esteemed Sister did something to them. After all, Esteemed Sister is the type of person who doesn't hesitate to use any means to achieve her goals……]
[S- Scary…… I feel like I've caught a glimpse of the dark side of the noble society. Errr, I guess that means Leo is forced to become the Emperor because your scary sister told you to]
In response to Nicole's question, Leo became silent, looking as if he's thinking about something. Seeing this, Nicole slightly smiled and continued.
[……Putting that aside, are you up for it]
[……Honestly, I'm feeling shaken. I didn't use to feel this way, but as I became more and more active as an adventurer…… I guess you could say that I've come to appreciate this country Anyway, I've come to like the Archlesia Empire more than before. I've come to like the people who live here now…… So, if there's anything I can do for the people living in this country, I also want to do my best.]
[Fumufumu, isn't that great That's just like you…… I think that Leo would make a good Emperor.]
Hearing her partner's calm words, Leo nodded once, as if he had made his mind. Then, looking straight into Nicole's eyes, he continued.
[……So, I'd like to ask you regarding the main question I have……]
[Unnn, I'm thinking of becoming an emperor…… but I don't know if I can do it well. I've been away from the noble society for a long time, and you know, I'm an idiot……]
[That's why…… if it's okay with you…… I'd like you to be with me. I need your help.]
[Fine with me~~ That's one gold coin!]
[Too lighthearted! Eh Hey, I may be the one asking this…… but don't you think you agreed too easily!]
Nicole nodded at Leo's words, which sounded like a proposal in a sense, without giving it much thought. Although she did shrewdly demand money……
[How long did you think we have been partners, Leo I'm the only one who can support the idiotic Leo, right If it weren't for me, how many times did you think you would have died by now, Leo]
[Ugghhh…… I- I can't deny that.]
[Ahaha, well, I don't feel like working with anyone but Leo now anyways…… Well, I'll go along with you.]
[I'm glad that you've settled with that. I can be relieved then.]
[ [ Eh ] ]
Finished with their topic, the two stared at each other with a smile. Just as a warm, ticklish atmosphere began to drift between them, the sound of light applause and a voice resounded.
Hearing the voice, they both turned around at the same time…… and Leo's face turned pale again.
[E- E- E- Esteemed Sister Chris…… W- W- W- Why are you here……]
[Well, I just happened to be visiting this place for my inspection. Then, I saw my cute little brother and wanted to talk to him, but I didn't want to interrupt what seemed to be an important conversation, so I waited.]
[……You're lying…… You're definitely lying…… There's no way that an Emperor would go out of her way to personally inspect a place……]
When they saw the deep smile Chris had as she told them this, as if she could see through their everything, Leo and Nicole couldn't help but shudder.
Moreover, not knowing when it happened, they saw that there were no people in the Guild at all.
[Even so, as expected of Leonhard…… As one to be expected from my successor. I see you've already found a "queen". How wonderful.]
[……N- No, no! Your Majesty, The Emperor It's not like I intend to be queen…… I- I'm fine being a concubine…… Or rather, I'm a commoner, so that's impossible, isn't it]
[Ahh, if it's about that, you don't have to worry. I've already "talked to your parents about it". You're treated as "the adopted child of a noble" in name, making you a noble…… "since tomorrow".]
Looking at Chris' smile as she carefreely told them this, Nicole shivered and whispered to the nearby Leo.
[Leo, Leo…… She scares me, she freaking scares me…… How the heck did I become a noble since yesterday Why the heck did it become decided without my knowledge Can I renege on this after all]
[……You can't. Once Esteemed Sister Chris has her eyes on you, there's no escaping.]
Knowing that they were all running around Chris' palm, Leo and Nicole's shoulders drooped down, while their faces turned paler. The thought of being taught the basics of being a member of the royal family by the terrifying Chris sends shivers down their spine.
Thinking that the conversation was over, Chris turned around and was about to leave the Guild. But at that moment, Leo got up from her chair and spoke.
[P- Please wait, Esteemed Sister Chris…… Please allow me to ask you one thing.]
[……What is it]
[Why are you quitting being the Emperor]
A question came out of his mouth. Leo was convinced that his future is set as the Emperor, but he never thought that he would exceed Chris as an Emperor.
She was indeed a terrifying sister in his eyes, but Leo knew that Chris was capable. He also thought that she clearly cared more about her country than anyone else.
That's why he couldn't understand why Chris would quit being the Emperor…… Worried that she might be suffering from a serious illness that requires her to designate a successor, he asked this question.
Hearing Leo's question, Chris was silent for a while, before she suddenly…… let out a smile that Leo had never seen before. A true heartfelt smile.
[……I have an important person waiting for me. That man isn't the kind of person that could be tied down to one country…… And for me to be by his side, the position of Emperor is a bit of a hindrance.]
[That's why, I've decided to pass it on to a successor I could trust.]
[E- Errr…… What does that mean……]
[I wonder You'll have to figure that out by yourself.]
Leaving those words, Chris left the Adventurers' Guild. Being in a public area within the Archlesia Empire, Chris didn't dare use the words "I've found someone more important to me than my country", which she had said to Laguna.
She puts her country first and foremost, and when something comes along that she wants to prioritize over her country, she would step down as Emperor. This was Chris' royal ideology, and she doesn't intend to impose it on Leo.
All she wanted for Leo was to find his own way of being an Emperor, for him to find his own royal ideology…… Hoping for such a future to come, Chris went back to her castle with a smile.
About three years later…… A coronation ceremony was held for the New Emperor of Archlesia Empire. A few days later, the New Emperor's wedding took place.
At their wedding, the former Emperor was seen cuddling with a man with light brown hair……
Reason for disposal: This chapter was originally going to be added in an Extra Chapter dedicated to Chris, but the chapter became too long, so this story was cut out.