It’s nice to know everyone’s still interested with the story like I am. 🙂
I plan to update weekly. I’m still trying to find my footing with this TL stuff, but I’ll do my best. Thank you for your patience!
Chapter 31: For the Entry Test
After dinner, I returned to my room. It seemed my father was not yet convinced. But with my mother’s support, he did not oppose to it.
Tomorrow, everything would be decided. I must pass the entry test of the Order.
But what were the contents of the entry test, I wonder? For a moment, I thought to ask my elder brother, but I should not do such a cowardly behavior.
Because no matter what trial, I must overcome it myself.
「What does Natalia think of the Order’s entry test? 」
「About this, I do not understand it myself……」
Inference like this should be alright.
At the very least, all conditions must be considered to be able to handle any kind of exam.
「It is an Order, so would it not be a test which measures combat ability? 」
「Do you also think so? 」
「Or it may be one which measures overall athletic ability. Probably, there will be no written test」
I did not know how much athletic ability girls in general had, but my athletic ability in school was extremely low.
My marks for physical fitness were at the bottom of the plane, and I worked hard on my academics to recover some points.
I do not believe I could pass by taking the physical ability test alone.
「Is there any method to get stronger overnight? 」
「……there would be no such thing」
「I think so, too. Such a thing only exists in fairy tales」
It was pointless to talk about dreams. I must face reality.
I am slow at running, my body is clumsy, and my strength is weak. But I would pass the test no matter what.
I thought hard, but the answer would not come.
「Is it impossible after all……? 」
What I told my mother was true; I thought everyone in the Order was cool.
Wilhelm-sama is a dignified person, but it might also be due to being a knight captain.
Though, was it really not possible to enter with only a woman’s admiration?
「What is it? 」
「If the Order’s test is of athletic ability in general, then it would be difficult for Ojou-sama」
「I think so, too」
Even in Natalia’s eyes, it would be impossible with my physical ability.
Then, I would just have to figure out a way to manage.
「It may be presumptuous of me, but……as your servant, I want to grant Ojou-sama’s wish as much as possible. So, for that purpose, I do not mind if you use this body」
Natalia’s words were very roundabout.
What she was saying was,
“I will join the Order”.
Some might wonder what that course of action meant, but it was not an incorrect way of approach.
When I had been educated as the next queen, I had also learned the law of this country. The rules of the Chivalric Order were included then, too. And because I was longing for Wilhelm-sama, I remembered well about the relationships of the Order.
There were two kinds of knights.
A regular knight and a junior knight.
A regular knight referred to someone who passed the entry test of the Order. A junior knight was a person with a role to accompany a regular knight. Also, an entry test was not necessary for a junior knight. It was enough to have a regular knight’s nomination.
Lastly, except for salary, there were no major differences between a regular knight and a junior knight.
Using that means, I would be able to join the Order.
「My mother told me this, “Please pass the test by yourself”. If it is done with Natalia’s help, it will not be approved by my mother」
I was told to do it by myself. I could not borrow Natalia’s help.
Natalia said 「I apologize」and bowed her head.
「No, it is alright. However, I need to pass on my own」
「Then, what do you intend to do? 」
Think. How could I enter the Order?
I desperately searched my mind, mobilizing all knowledge and thinking hard.
The education I received to be the next queen was not necessary in joining the Order. Law was drilled in enough to be recited and etiquette was practiced over and over again. I knew of each country’s customs more than a poor diplomat. I also studied about pharmacy, medicine, literature and chemistry. Learning leads to everything, so I studied almost every day.
Perhaps it was partly due to my lack of physical strength.
An idea came to mind.
The path for me to enter the Order.
My mother had certainly predicted everything.
With my physical ability, I could not pass the Order’s test.
So, my father’s objection was held back with the fact I was faced with extreme requirements.
Had my mother intended to use the Duke’s authority to force the Order to let me join, it would have been strongly opposed by my father.
Therefore, my mother gave me one final advice.
「My mother said, “There is more than one road, so please think it over”」
「Yes……was there something? 」
Perhaps to anyone’s ears, they would hear it as 『Entering the Order is not the only way, so reconsider it well』.
But, thinking carefully, one could interpret it this way:
“Rather than simply taking the test, find another way to pass.”
This was my mother’s way of giving me advice.
「I found it. A way for me to pass」
「But……I must think about it a little more. Natalia, the recruitment of the women’s Order……are they distributing something, like papers? 」
「No……there are no papers, but I think there was a sign at the garrison of the women’s Order」
「It is urgent. Please go investigate its contents」
It was already past evening hours.
I would like to see it for myself if possible, but I would not be allowed to go out. Even if Natalia accompanied me, going out after dinner was prohibited.
So, I would send out Natalia instead.
「Understood. Please wait a moment, Ojou-sama」
Natalia bowed and left.
If my thoughts were correct, they would be recruiting.
And if that was the case, I would be able to pass.
Before long, Natalia came back.
「Ojou-sama, I have confirmed it」
「Then, please tell me」
Natalia had memorized the important points regarding the recruitment of the women’s Order.
She read it over and over to properly remember it.
And its contents.
As I thought—.
「Well, there is no problem then」
「Um, Ojou-sama……what kind of way is it? 」
「You will understand tomorrow. Will Natalia also join the Order? I am suddenly worried I have no acquaintances. I will tell my mother tomorrow, so Natalia can also take the test if I pass」
「Y-Yes. I understand」
Everything would be tomorrow.
I would come to take the test with my mother.
Carol would become a knight, Wilhelm-sama—.