6. The Knight Leader, a Ghost, and My Amulet
“Tina—!!! There’s a grain of dust on your twelve o’ clock—!!! Clean it up right away—!!!”
“Sir Ranbic, if you double the lights during the day, you’ll exceed your budget. Let’s settle with increasing it to just 1.2 times, we can back it up by devising an arrangement.”
“But, can it ensure the brightness?”
“It’s impossible with just some candles, however, we can make use of mirrors. Another dust, at your nine o’ clock.”
Then, Mr. Herez laughed.
Looking at our way of communication, Captain Ranbic seemed confused.
That day, when Herez started referring to me as ‘Comrade’, it looked like he had approved of me to some extent.
As usual, he was as keen and severe, but I wasn’t as annoyed as before—
—thus, as the result of working me to the bone, his stress was released and his work efficiency had increased.
“What’ve gotten in to you….?”
During my break time, someone said so from behind.
When I turned back, I found Vice Captain Dortmund.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s too easy to perceive, you suddenly become so obedient to him. Everyone can see that.”
—well, that explained why everyone was giving me plenty of food during dinner.
I was happy with everyone’s kindness, but recently, I was afraid of gaining weight due to eating so much at night.
“It’s because I’m determined to do my best, so please, you have to do your best as well.”
“That’s only natural. Who do you think I am?” Saying so, he laughed confidently.
The feelings of the girls who were passionate about him—I could understand them a little.
With me as his powerful comrade, Herez’s work speed increased tremendously. After all, he no longer had to be afraid of neither ghost nor dust.
Even though Herez was the one doing the job, I was proud to say that I contributed as well.
It was akin to a mother that did her best to support her son…
“Tina, the crumbs from the time you ate cookies are still there.”
…No. It was probably akin to a daughter-in-law who got scolded by her mother-in-law.
Captain Ranbic, who stood watching, had a complicated expression—does he think the same?
Finally, it was the night before the Star Festival.
“Thank you so much, Ms. Walter.”
When I was escorting the Captain back as usual, he suddenly thanked me.
“Captain…? You needn’t thank me for anything. Or more like, I’ve received plenty of your thanks…”
I had seen it myself—all the knights, especially Captain Ranbic, were working hard for the festival. Rather, I should be the one thanking them. However, he shook his head.
“No, it’s not about the ghost, but about Herez.”
Dortmund had indeed said—“everyone can see that.”
So it turned out, that the Captain wasn’t an exception.
“That’s because he’s not just all talk. I’ve seen the way he works, it make me want to work hard alongside him, too, and not just be a camouflaging maid.”
Because he was truly competent.
At first, I felt annoyed because my camouflaging partner is him, the Devil of the Ministry of Accounting, however—
—when I saw his work, I could see it right away. It made me realize how much of an amateur I was; his work was efficient and also accurate.
“However, it’s just that… although he never shows it, he truly cares about cleanliness—to the point that it can affect his job.”
Tidiness influenced his work output, hence, he was bestowed some special privileges at work. That was why he had a personal cleaning maid.
Herez, whom wanted the best result, worked hard. Since it affected his job, he became stricter to the cleaning maids.
The cleaning maids that knew nothing of his circumstances became frustrated—hence, his nickname.
Such a negative chain arose.
Captain Ranbic continued. “To be honest with you, I deliberately appointed Herez.”
He needed someone to keep his workplace tidy, coincidentally, there was one cleaning maid at hand. Said cleaning maid needed a proper cover up so she could stay here. It was killing two birds with one stone.
Not only would Captain Ranbic acquire his astounding work, the ghost would also be repelled.
As long as it’s beneficial, it doesn’t matter to me.
“I’m so sorry if he’s giving you a hard time. It must’ve been hard for you.” Captain Ranbic deeply bowed his head.
“Y-you mustn’t bow your head to me…!”
“You’ve done more than you could’ve imagined.”
At the baffled me, Captain Ranbic only smiled gently.
“You said that you’ll support him until the Star Festival?”
—how does Captain know?
“He was truly delighted when he heard that from you… the person himself told me so. His boss told me that he would always refuse to speak his mind, preferring to keep everything to himself. Even though I see him every day, I’ve never noticed his true feelings.”
If what Captain meant was the reason of his happiness recently, it had nothing to do with me at all. Captain, he just enjoys ordering me around…
In addition, I was just a simple-minded person who only resolved to work hard near the Star Festival.
I was unworthy of receiving Captain’s praise.
However, Captain shook his head again.
“The Star Festival this year is going to be great—I can feel it. It’s because I’ve received some great help from all of you—otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to complete my task. I’m truly indebted. That’s why, thank you.”
Because of Captain’s wholehearted gratitude, a smile naturally formed on my face.
I felt like all my fatigue had been blown away.
—the day of the Star Festival arrived.
That day, star-shaped decorations embellished the entire kingdom.
In the town, colorful stars made of paper and cloth could be seen everywhere. Star-themed stalls were selling foods with stars as motifs.
Girls also wore star accessories and spend the day with their lovers.
Inside the royal palace, stars made of glass glinted because of the candlelight. Everyone who worked in the palace, as well as the nobility, also put on star accessories somewhere on their clothes.
In the evening, a large ball was held at the Royal Palace.
The banquet was lit with small candles and star light. The chandeliers were turned off.
I was so happy because I could spend such a wonderful and romantic night with the person I liked—
—even if I was just following him from behind.
“Captain Ranbic! I want you to check this defensive formation…”
“Yes, I’ll go and check it out soon.”
“Captain Ranbic, His Majesty is calling.”
“Is His Majesty in his chamber? I’ll head there soon.”
“Captain Ranbic! A reinforcement request from the security forces! It seems that there isn’t enough manpower on the south side…”
“The Vice Captain should be in the South Gate. He’ll respond faster, so go to him.”
Even I, who should had been used to walking around as a cleaning maid, found that my legs were on the verge of breaking off.
Every year, even during the Star Festival, I had to work. But, only now that I found out that the knights were actually this busy…
Today, I was exempted from cleaning work. My task for the entirety today consisted of following the Captain. I tried to stay vigilant the whole time.
Eventually, the ball started and it was time for the dance.
“Good job, Ms. Walter. I’m sorry for making you follow me everywhere, today. For a lady such as you, the Star Festival must’ve been a special day…”
Again, Captain lowered his head.
“It’s no problem. All I did was tagging around. Captain too, good job.”
This was my job. If I missed this year’s festival, there was always next year’s.
Even so, I could spend this year’s festival with my special someone, so it should be enough.
“Still, I thank you.”
The security of the venue was still ongoing.
However, the shift had been decided in advance. It could be said that Captain Ranbic’s job was done. The rest was left to the guardian knights—
—well, I still had to escort him through the hall, though.
“The festival is well done, isn’t it?”
The Star Festival was the day when the earth was full of stars. However, today, celestial stars were also shining brightly all over the sky. It was as if I was enclosed by stars from above and below.
Even if the sky lost its shine and decided to rain, the stars on the ground wouldn’t lose their radiance. But, the sunny weather today was a plus.
“Ooh, you can still hear the music from here…”
“Probably because the upper windows are open… —that’s right.”
Captain Ranbic kneeled while extending his hand to me—he teasingly chuckled.
“Ms. Walter, will you dance with me?”
I only understood what he meant after a moment. My cheeks grew hot.
“We both have worked hard today. I think it’s good to take a break. I’m sorry if I’m not the man you favor, though.” He continued. “Every year, during the festival, all I did was work. So, won’t you help this pitiful man make memories, if you don’t mind?”
My head was filled with thoughts instantly. For examples;
—you’re the man I like!!!
—I’m making memories with Captain!!!
—I can’t dance well!!!
I ignored my thoughts and replied in an instant.
It was a dance that lasted for only a few minutes—
—consisted of unpolished steps that were incomparable to those who danced elegantly in the hall.
Although he said he was only fooling around, Captain didn’t lower his vigilance towards his surroundings for even a moment during our dance.
I could tell that he was still trying to protect someone—protect me, as supposed to what his job entailed.
However, in that short moment—
—that short moment where I could dance with the person I cherished under the sky full of stars, became my everlasting treasure.
***T/N: WHY I LOVE KNIGHTS!? THIS IS WHY!!