And with this, we have caught up with the lost chapters. Huzzah!
I took a few liberties with a couple of sentences to fit the context, just to inform everyone. I hope people are still looking out for any mistakes. Thank you~
Chapter 32: Order of the Snow
In the morning, I went to the tailor with my mother.
Yesterday, I was confident I could pass. Yet I was still nervous, so I was not able to sleep much. In such a state, would I be alright in the afternoon?
We gathered clothes as my mother had said.
Mother was not much taller than I am, so I also would not grow much from now on. Thus, I believe the clothes which I bought today could be used for the rest of my life.
Afterwards, we ate a light meal in town.
Then, I took Natalia with me and arrived at the women’s Order with my mother.
While the men’s Order was located at the royal capital’s border, this place seemed to be at outskirts of the residential area. The building itself was not much different.
My mother went in first, and then Natalia and I followed.
Here as well, there was a reception desk upon entering, and seated behind it was a woman.
「Welcome to the Order of the Snow」
Come to think of it, it had such a name.
Order and women’s Order, they were generally recognized as that. But their names were different. The men’s Order was called “Order of the Black Iron”.
On that note, the Snow Order was a subordinate organization of the Black Iron Order. Thus, Wilhelm-sama, the knight captain, was higher in rank than the captain of the Snow Order.
「How may I help you? 」
「I am Elizabeth, Duchess of Ambrose. Please call for Captain Anastasia」
「—!? I-Is an appointment……? 」
「A messenger was sent out last night, I believe, so she should be aware」
「I understand! Please wait a moment! 」
The lady receptionist rushed inside the building.
It seemed the knights take turns manning the reception desk here too. Although, I think it would be better if they hire someone as a regular receptionist.
Another woman came out. And, with a smile, she offered my mother and me a chair.
「We are currently calling for her, so would it be alright for you to wait right here? 」
I nodded at the woman’s words and sat next to my mother.
By “her”, she must have meant the captain of the Snow Order.
That alone made me nervous. And it seemed I would be personally tested by the captain.
「Have you properly thought about what Mother said last night? 」
After much deliberation, I am here.
For some reason, the lady receptionist was surprised and said 「Eh, parent and child!? 」. It was usually this kind of reaction whenever I go out with my mother.
My mother looked too young.
「Then, that is good. Do not waste this chance」
「I know, Mother」
Soon after, a woman emerged from the building.
She was probably in her late thirties. She still seemed to be in her youth, but the air around her made her appear intimidating.
The moment she appeared, I understood.
This person was the captain of the Snow Knight Order—.
「I apologize for making you wait, Duchess of Ambrose」
「I do not mind. The messenger I sent out last night should have told you the details」
「I have heard. There are also some things I would like to ask you on that matter, so if you could please follow me」
Invited by the lady captain, we headed inside.
As far as the garrison’s structure goes, not much seemed to be different from the other side. The path we walked on hardly differed from when I went to Wilhelm-sama’s office.
And, beyond that path, was an extravagant door.
The captain’s office.
「Please, come in」
The door was opened, and we were invited in.
My mother went in first, followed by Natalia and me.
Facing us was a large sofa, and mother sat on it without any hesitation. How aggressive.
I sat down beside her and Natalia stood behind me.
The captain closed the door and promptly sat down in front of us.
「Pardon the late introduction. I am the captain of the Order of the Snow, Anastasia Aibringer」
「Elizabeth, Duchess of Ambrose. This is my daughter, Carol, and her maid, Natalia」
「I am Carol Ambrose. It is a pleasure to meet you」
Captain of the Order of the Snow, Anastasia Aibringer-sama.
「Although I have heard the story beforehand……the daughter of the Duchess of Ambrose wishes to join the Order? 」
「Yes, that is correct」
「It may be rude to ask this, but…… are you serious? 」
Anastasia-sama looked at my figure and said so.
She was probably thinking, “This tiny and thin girl?”
「Ah……I am sorry. It is as you said. I would like to join the Order」
As she pondered, Anastasia-sama placed a hand on her chin.
The gesture was in some way similar to Wilhelm-sama.
「Only women can belong in the Order of the Snow, so there is always a shortage of people. Usually, as one grows as a knight, they would soon get married, become pregnant and leave the Order. So, wanting to join the Order like this is greatly welcomed. But……」
「Is there any problem? 」
「Ambrose……um, Lady Carol, are you truly sure? The Order is a place focused in battles. Hence, you have to undergo harsh training, and you must also go to war in case of emergencies. And you may very well lose your life there. Once you join the Order, your life is not guaranteed」
My elder brother had said something similar.
But I am aware of those. Even so, my resolve would not waver.
「I am prepared for it」
「I will not be responsible for this matter」
As I said so, Anastasia-sama scratched her head.
I wonder why?
「Lady Elizabeth, I would like to ask you」
「Suppose your daughter joined the Order and was accidentally killed during training, what would you do? 」
「If I judge it to be unavoidable after investigating the cause of the accident, then I will not blame you」
My mother answered in a resolute manner.
However, Anastasia gave a heavy sigh.
「Lady Elizabeth may think so. But what would other people think? Would that incident not speak of the Order of the Snow’s lack of responsibility? Any unfortunate incident that happens to your daughter, a member of the Ambrose Ducal House, can become a trigger for factions to rebel against the royal family. For that, we cannot take responsibility」
「Then, Captain Anastasia is saying that Carol should not enter the Order」
「Frankly speaking, yes. Concerning the entry test, as it is a rule, I will do it. However, the standard for passing does not rely on how well one does in the test. There are many parts left to the examiner’s discretion. This is because cases vary. Such as, if one has any problem with humanity, they will not pass no matter how excellent they are. But if we feel they have potential, even if they presently do not have the ability, they will be able to pass. And, for Lady Carol’s test, I will be in charge」
In other words, Anastasia-sama would…I gulped.
「It is within my discretion whether to pass or fail, regardless of how good her marks will be. From the factors I’ve mentioned, is it now clear? 」
「Are you saying Carol will not pass no matter how well she does? 」
「As a person concerned over the future of this country, it is a natural consideration」
Who would have thought?
My road to joining the Order was closed from the very beginning.
「Indeed, I understand」
And then, my mother nodded.
「Do you see now? If you still would like to take the test despite that, then I will not stop you. Though, the result is already clear」
「Please let us take the test. Moreover, please look at Carol’s qualities and judge without thinking about the status of our House. And if something happens to Carol, I will not hold the Order responsible in the name of this Elizabeth, Duchess of Ambrose. When Captain Anastasia decides, I hope she will make a decision with Carol’s qualities and my words in mind」
「……I understand. Well then, Lady Carol, do take the test」
The thin thread my mother managed to connect.
I have to pull it in and secure it somehow.
I knew this was only for my selfishness.
Outwardly, I thought Captain Anastasia’s perspective was correct. It was natural to be concerned.
I would have to show my worth beyond that—.
「Then, let us head to the training ground. The test is a measure of your overall physical capability」
「Before that, a moment please」
I stopped Anastasia-sama who was about to stand up.
I cannot show my value in the physical ability test.
Thus, I must show my value through the knowledge I had acquired.
「I heard the Order of the Snow is recruiting swordswomen, archers, and medical knights」
「……Yes, that is correct」
「And for the swordswomen, the quality required is athletic capability. In the case of archers, it is experience with a bow. And…」
The knowledge I possessed.
This was the only way to make use of it.
「The qualities necessary for medical knights are outstanding knowledge of medicine and pharmacy—what was written on the signboard is not a mistake, right? 」
The education I received as future queen.
As a part of that.
More than a poor doctor, I have great confidence about my knowledge—.