17. I Don’t Care, So Let Me Go Home!

Idle Talk: It Doesn’t Matter, but The Knight Wishes for a Bride

“Hey! Are you awake yet?”

I can see a white ceilin’. That’s right… I was workin’ security at the arena… I remember now, durin’ the fight between the Commander and the Archmagister, I must have been knocked out…

“…Urgh, well it doesn’t look like there are any issues. I should hurry up and return to my post.”

I may have just woken up… but everythin’ seems to be in order…

I grabbed my equipment that was next to a pile of groaning magisters. They seemed to have taken more damage than I did.

I know the feelin’ guys… ah man, do I have to go back?

I’m tremblin’ all over, but hey, that’s the duty of a knight… Duty, eh?

I grasped the locket that had a beautiful picture of my loving wife and my two children and headed towards the plaza grounds.

“Oh, you’re back.”

I gave a one-handed wave to greet my fellow knight.

…I wonder why they always have to wreck the arena so badly. Just once, maybe they could try not to rack up the most collateral damage.

By the time I went back to the venue, the Martial Combat Exhibition was already over, and the crowds had mostly dispersed. The only people that remained at the ruined arena, which looked like it had been destroyed by monsters, were some crying Financial Affairs clerks.

It doesn’t matter how many times you count it… The number of broken wardin’ stones is gonna stay the same, ya know. Man, those things must be expensive. I can only imagine what their drinkin’ buddies will say when all they hear is these guys cryin’ over those stones for the next few weeks. Somethin’ like “Oh no? How many are left this year?”, and “If I was in your position I’d want to kill ’em!” I’d bet.

Because they both started crying, I thought about offering them a drink. But they’d probably ask for the stuff on the top shelf. And if I spent all my money then my wife would cut my allowance.

The Commander and the Archmagister… Are those guys really humans?

The Commander was said to be the best in his village. But when he joined, that boast was handily tested.

Yep, that’s the Knight Commander for ya.

Commoners can take on a knight apprenticeship at any time really, but for the nobles and aristocrats, they usually got to go through their academy first. That means he must have been around sixteen years old. Since he grew up a pampered noble with a clean face, he was pretty much looked down upon when he first joined. Well, can’t be helped really, it’s pretty uncommon for nobles to become knights. That’s probably why his apprenticeship was so harsh. Lots of envy. It seemed like he was gettin’ special treatment just because he was highborn.

At that time, I was just so happy to have met my now wife. I remember lendin’ a towel to the future Knight Commander. How nostalgic. No matter what happened to him, no matter how sad or frustratin’ the situation was, he never changed his expression. I used to think he was so strange.

Even though he was highborn, he became a knight. “You will spend your life in harsh servitude to His Highness!” his old man had said. I think he was upset that the Commander was throwin’ away the life of a noble. “I’ll change things,” the Commander replied with a straight face.

Well,l feel whatever, if it’s gonna happen then its gonna happen. But I don’t think anythin’ will change, old man.

Then at the end of his knight apprenticeship, at his trial by combat, it was him versus the whole knight battalion. It’s supposed to be a pretty one-sided fight, and it was, just not in the direction we thought it would be. He beat all of us until no one was left standin’. Even before he had beaten every last one of us, we all had already decided. We already knew.

“That’s our next Knight Commander!” we shouted.

“Hey, hurry up and get to your next post!”

Eh? Oh, I was too caught up in memories. Now let’s see, what’s my next post? … That Lady’s escort duty… Right?

I left the arena grounds and quickly headed towards the noble’s section.

The first time I laid eyes on this years’ “Flower-Scale Maiden” was at the Knights Training Field. She had the look of a young noblewoman to her and didn’t seem like she had any talent. “What’s someone like her doing here?” I had thought to myself at the time. I wasn’t the only one either. A lot of my fellow knights felt like she was just there because she had a thing for the Knight Commander. It made a lot of people upset. Especially the single guys.

But then that little girl stood up to the Commander’s fierce killer intent.

But then the way she stood up to the Commander in front of everybody! No one saw that comin’. Even if she was just a little girl, nobody seemed to mind her after that. Without thinkin’, I even asked out loud “Is that the Commander’s wife?”

I couldn’t help but feel bad for her. Maybe I’m soft since I’m a family man, but I had to try and help if I could.

Hey, Hey, Commander, don’t you think you’re bein’ a bit harsh on her? Watchin’ her fall over and over again, getting’ all bruised up… Maybe I got a little ahead of myself back then. “The Commander’s wife”… if that was the case, I might have been in some real trouble, hehe.

I wanted to help her if I could, so I tried all I could think of. “You got this!” I yelled. Heh, I even thought about sayin’ “If you marry the Knight Commander then surely, he’d take it easy on you!”

When I saw the Commander and Lady Rururia riding on top of that dragon, I teared up a bit.

Ah! I’m so glad that the seeds of the Commander’s love are blossomin’!! Such a grandiose display is a little off puttin’, however, but that kind of detail ain’t really for a man to worry about.

“Hey, that girl the Knight Commander is holding, who is she?” someone in the crowd had asked.

The “Flower-Scales” that had spilled out of her basket was an absolutely amazing sight with all of the glittering and glinting scales reflecting the sunlight. That excitement lingered for quite a bit. I caught one of those scales, and gripped it in my hand as I asked, “Ah, her? Is that the Commander’s future wife?”

Then next to me I heard some town’s people say things like, “Is that the Knight Commander’s Wife?” and “The Dragon Knight!!!!” and “Does that mean that’s the bride of the Dragon Knight!?!” I didn’t mind all these swirling rumors.

Commander… I… You did a great job!!!