Two updates this week, because I wanted to get some new content out asap.
Enjoy jii-sama’s chapter XD
Chapter 33: Idle Talk: The Knight Captain’s Confusion
On this day as well, Wilhelm Aibringer, as the hours grew late, was handling the remaining work in the Order’s office.
The members of the Chivalric Order already went home, and only Wilhelm remained. Arrive earlier than anyone, and go home later than anyone else. That was Wilhelm’s daily life.
There was a patrol of the local Order today (though, not too far), so he came back a little late and work had piled up. Although tasks were assigned to young knights, there were still a lot of documents that Wilhelm, the captain of the knights, must look through.
The document which piled up like a mountain on the desk was carefully checked one by one.
「……I have done a terrible thing」
Something weighed deep in his heart.
“Do not mind it, do not mind it”, he kept telling himself. But, like a cut which ran along the fingertips, the more you try not to mind it, the more you think about it.
And that was—yesterday afternoon.
The conversation with Carol.
It was Wilhelm’s intention to refuse the marriage proposal with Carol.
Marrying to an old bone with no more future was as good as closing off Carol’s future. For Carol to marry a man of the same age if possible, and build a happy family. That was Wilhelm’s wish, and the wish of his friend, Dukeridd.
While it would certainly feel lonely as if his own granddaughter got married, Wilhelm wanted that. There was no mistaking that.
He had never regarded Carol as a woman. He even thought of her as his granddaughter. And if it were to ever turn into a serious thought, he would not know how to cope with it.
That was why, he pushed it aside.
It was strange he had himself worry about Carol like this.
He wants for Carol to have a happy marriage. And Wilhelm would bless it from the bottom of his heart. There was nothing wrong with that.
Yes—there was nothing wrong.
Despite that, why was his heart troubled?
Ha~a, he gave a small sigh.
The document’s contents did not enter his mind, pressing the seal to several sheets by way of habit—hah! and he was brought out of his thoughts. He saw the document which was already marked was stamped once again, which meant he had done the same to the others until now.
Good grief, he felt a little angry with his absent-mindedness. But because it was his problem which cost him his concentration, Wilhelm did not know who to be angry at.
Why was his heart affected this much?
He knew why. Carol was still a sixteen-year-old girl. And he was an old man of sixty-two years.
With such a difference in their age, marriage was out of the question.
Therefore, Wilhelm had carefully explained in detail what kind of duties he had and what his position entailed.
He told Carol she would not become happy if she was married to him.
But still, Carol did not give up.
Thus, the result.
「……She longs for me so much as to choose death? 」
Carol’s happiness was not by Wilhelm’s side.
Still, Carol would not give up.
But this was born because—Wilhelm was too indecisive.
If he had really thought about Carol, he should have broken it up from the start.
If he had really thought about Carol, he should have refused from the start.
And yet, Wilhelm did not.
He simply persuaded her with kind words.
He chose his words so as not to hurt Carol.
That was all.
Because Wilhelm did not want to hurt Carol.
“Go home”, he had bluntly dismissed her.
He had thought that was the quickest way, to make her believe there was no use being involved with him.
Carol, beyond the door—had been crying.
If he could, he had wanted to apologize by leaving the door open.
But Wilhelm had also been hurt.
He had convinced himself that everything was for Carol. He had forced Zack, who had been resting in the infirmary, to follow Carol.
「……Not good, not good」
His thoughts had diverged once again.
How many papers had already passed while he had been lost in thought? He had to check again.
He wondered why his heart was troubled like this.
He heard footsteps from the other side of the door.
By this time, all the knights should have already gone home. The date was also about to change, so only Wilhelm was left.
And since the last person to leave was required to lock up, it would not be a suspicious person. If it was an intruder, it should not sound as brazen as these footsteps.
Therefore, Wilhelm waited, as he somehow identified the person.
Knock knock, the door to the captain’s office was beaten twice.
It was who he had expected.
The daughter of his elder brother, Wilhelm’s niece, the captain of the Snow Order—Anastasia Aibringer.
Though related to Wilhelm, this connection had nothing to do with her being the captain of the women’s Order—the Order of the Snow. She was a woman who pushed her way to the top through her own ability. Most of all, because she knew him since she was young, she was also someone Wilhelm could easily work with.
「It has been a while, Anastasia 」
「I apologize for stopping by so late, Uncle. I had thought of going home, but I saw the lights to your office when I passed by, so I came over here」
「I do not mind. I was simply a little stuck with my work」
The biggest reason Wilhelm was stuck was because he was troubled and had been idling away his time. But he would not say that.
「So, what did you need? 」
「There is something I would like to report. Today, at the Order of the Snow, two people took part in the entry test」
「There is no need to come to report such a thing. I leave the affairs of the Order of the Snow in your care」
「But I felt it necessary to let you know」
At Anastasia’s words, Wilhelm’s brow creased.
Just because a newcomer joined the Order, Anastasia did not need to come and verbally report to him. It must be something important to warrant a visit in the middle of the night.
「Let us hear it」
「Thank you very much. One was tested as a sword knight. I have nothing in particular to say about it. But the other one is the matter」
「What do you mean? 」
「She is a medical knight」
Wilhelm’s voice was filled with joy.
Medical knights were valuable. First as its condition was an excellent knowledge of medicine and pharmacy. One must graduate in both medicine and pharmacy from a school, where only the nobility could enter and further learn specialized knowledge.
Thus, with regards to the common sword and bow knights, the age limit for new entrants was set at thirty-five. But for medical knights, there was no age restriction.
The Black Iron Order supervised by Wilhelm had only two medical knights, both of whom run a clinic. And they had come because they had bequeathed their positions to their children. Wilhelm and their age were not much different.
On the other hand, there was no medical knight in the Snow Order.
There were few opportunities for women to learn medicine or pharmacology. And even if they were studying, women would often be more inclined to enter a household.
Therefore, it was necessary to dispatch one of the medical knights of the Black Iron Order to the Snow Order.
「However, there is a little problem with her background……」
「What kind of problem? 」
「There is no particular issue with the person, but……her House’s status is too high」
「If they studied medicine and pharmacy, it most likely would be. But this is a rare occurrence」
From the start, a medical knight was an unpopular occupation.
While it was a job which required specialized knowledge in medicine and pharmacy, the salary was only a little higher than an average knight. Moreover, one must not only perform medical treatments, but also participate in training.
Although it was basically a rear support in case of emergencies, it was still mandatory to be trained in the event where one would be involved in a battle.
In other words, options such as opening a clinic in the imperial capital or becoming a doctor were clearly much easier work, and the salary was also higher.
If such a medical knight had joined, then it was more than a cause for celebration.
「At first, I intended to refuse because the House’s status is too high. But……」
「Since the entry test was outside my area of expertise, I sent for the medical knight Julius who was dispatched from Black Iron. And, as a result……I realized she was someone who studied far more advanced medicine than Julius. I would like an outstanding talent in the division if possible. But, considering the status of her House, I cannot pass her so easily either, so I had put it on hold for the moment. If any unfortunate incident occurs during battle or in training, it will become a political issue, so I thought to consult with Uncle……」
「I see……medical knights are basically rear support. If an escort is assigned as needed, the risk can be avoided as much as possible. Also, during training where that medical knight participates, accidents can be greatly reduced if Anastasia takes charge」
「I understand……Here is the document. Uncle, please decide whether to pass or fail」
Wilhelm accepted the document from Anastasia.
What was written there was the newcomer’s personal history. No face was shown, but Anastasia had indeed summarized all the details.
「Hmm, sixteen years old is quite young. There is much to be expected in the future……」
Sixteen years old.
The name written under it was.
For an action that was too unexpected of the Duke’s daughter, Wilhelm could only cry out.