Chapter 14.2 — The Captain of the Royal Knights is supposed to have a fiancée…7
Ruth thought that Maxim might be offended by being told off by a junior nearly 10 years younger than him, but he surprisingly took it seriously. He looked like a stern person, but that open-mindedness that made him seriously listen to a youngster was probably the reason why his subordinates liked him.
“Lady Ruth is very perceptive, you have such an incredible developed awareness for someone so young.”
“Ah, yeah. Um…I do work at an inn, and we accommodate all sorts of people. So just based on something like the people’s atmosphere, I quickly get a feel on what their relationship is like.”
Adventurers in groups strictly based on obeying under authority are always on edge and not a single smile could be seen on their faces. On the contrary, it’s as clear as day that members in groups that have no trust between them have no interest in each other.
The members of the Royal Knights fit in neither of those groups. If Ruth had to say, they seem like a close-knit group of adventurers having fun.
“Ah…but I apologize. Somehow, I ended up saying some disrespectful things.”
“Not at all, I don’t think that way at the slightest. In fact, it feels like receiving advice from an elder.”
Ruth felt a bit awkward thinking about the fact he has memories of his previous life, but Maxim turned pale.
“Hah! M-My apologies. Excuse me for calling you such things like ‘elder’! I-I don’t mean it that way!”
“Ah, no, it’s fine.”
“I-It’s truly not what you think! Lady Ruth is young and beautiful and has a very lovely smile. You are also considerate of others and your enchanting noble strength is in no way inferior to the goddess Zenobia herself, surely the person who will become your husband will be the most fortunate person, and well–”
“M-Maxim! I-It’s okay, so please that’s enough!”
It looks like Maxim misunderstood Ruth’s reaction as “being angry because he implied she was old-fashioned”, and so he desperately piled up absurd compliments after another to clear up the misunderstanding. Even though Ruth understood that Maxim was trying to gloss over the fact he said something rude, Ruth became embarrassed at the increasing amount of compliments he was getting and after desperately stopping him from saying any more, Maxim finally shut his mouth.
Then, Maxim with a bright red face said, “My apologies, I tend to say too much…” and hung his head. Perhaps he made the same mistake in the past.
Ruth, who felt awkward looking at Maxim in low spirits, purposefully cleared his throat and searched for a different topic to talk about.
“Leaving that aside, umm, have you been with the current knights for long?”
“Not at all, they were originally the previous Captain’s direct subordinates. Therefore, I first met them face-to-face half a year ago…in fact, by the time I was promoted, they all could have risen in ranks and be given their own command unit. Yet, for some reason, they still became my subordinates.”
“They’re a good group of people.”
“Indeed. They always supported me when I had yet to fully grasp my duties as Captain, and for that, I am very thankful to them. But…in the beginning, they heavily praised me when I had won championships at the Royal Capital’s swordsmanship tournament, so surely they decided to accept me because of that matter…”
Tournaments are frequently held as part of the various events found at the Royal Capital. From what he heard, the swordsmanship tournament has been a long-established competition that has already been held more than 30 times. Apparently, there was one held just half a month ago.
“But I don’t think that’s the only reason. Though…becoming the champion in a tournament at the Royal Capital, that’s amazing. How many people were participating?”
“I heard nearly a thousand people registered for it. I won the championship last year as well, so I had a seed spot, but I heard that if one advances their way up from the beginning, they have to go through nearly 10 matches.”
“…A thousand…that’s ten times the amount of people in Hashi Village…quite a different scale.”
“However, because it is generally the same group of competitors who participate in the championships, there have been no new challengers…but an amazing new competitor appeared this year. The Royal Capital was in an uproar about it.”
“He was newly registered, barely 20 years of age, and was truly strong as he advanced from the first round to the finals by defeating battle veterans without bearing a single injury. Everyone was greatly excited over his overwhelming strength, it was the talk of the town no matter where one went… it’s someone Lady Ruth also knows.”
Maxim had a soft smile on his face. Considering Maxim’s smile and words, a certain person appeared in Ruth’s mind.
“Could it be…is it Alec?”
“Fufu… he’s an astounding young man. As expected of a h….a young man whose strength has been recognized and has come to study at the Royal Capital.”
As the word ‘hero’ was about to slip out’, Maxim ambiguously covered it up. Since Maxim went to the village chief’s house yesterday, he was probably told to not let the villagers know.
(More importantly, it’s Alec. Even though he’s a hero, he showed up at a swordsmanship tournament!)
Ruth bitterly smiled at the thought of Alec participating in such a shrewd event. He said he wanted to quickly come back home in his letters, but it looks like he was having fun in his own way. Maybe Alec wrote about the event in a letter that Ruth hasn’t opened yet.
“Ah, that means…did you fight against each other in the competition?”
“Yes, I fought him in the finals. I was surprised, I could not believe a young man that powerful was hidden from the world. He was incredibly strong.”
Ruth carefully asked, and a slightly proud smile appeared on Maxim’s face.
“It was by a narrow margin, but I had the honor of winning.”
Ruth’s admiration was written all over his face at Maxim announcing his victory. It was because he never thought that there would be someone who could defeat that Alec. Not to mention, Alec even had the title of the Hero, yet, Maxim’s victory was evidence that his strength is by no means ordinary.
“But, we are strictly speaking of one’s swordsmanship skills only. If the use of magic was not prohibited, honestly, whether I would win would have been unclear.”
“Magic was prohibited?”
“It is a swordsmanship tournament after all. Moreover, it was fortunate that he had little combat experience.”
“That’s because there were no other opponents other than demons and beasts in the village.”
As he thought, when it came to duels, Alec practically had no experience. If anything, he would chase out the occasional rowdy adventurers, but usually, Alec would only violently hit the ground with a wooden cypress pole and they would run away in fear. Because of that, they couldn’t be a suitable battling opponent for Alec.
“But after I fought him, I knew that he was a respectable young man. If there is another chance, I hope to have another match with him.”
“Alec is a good guy.”
“Indeed, at any rate, it seems that he participated in the tournament for the village.”
“For the village?”
“Hm? He didn’t tell anyone here?”
Maxim tilted his head to the side with an odd expression on his face. He then mumbled, “It should be okay to say this much, right?”
“I came to Hashi Village this time because Sir Alec directly told me, ‘please participate in the village’s demon subjugation.’”
“Why, after fighting someone as powerful as him for the championship, even I was unable to refuse his request when he lowered his head. It seems that he wanted to ask me a favor and only joined the tournament because he could not meet with me directly. He also considered the second-place trophy to be a hindrance and handed it over to me.”
Ruth’s face stiffened in front of Maxim who let out a refreshing laugh.
I sent a proposal to the nobles. Because there’s the chance of the village being damaged by the demons, they said they’ll send troops over to the village.
(You said you were sending a proposal to the nobles … did you mean bringing it up directly to the Captain of the Royal Knights, Alec!?)
Ruth certainly thought that Alec asked an influential noble in the Royal Knights to dispatch troops to the village, but it looks like he didn’t use such a roundabout way and directly asked the noble (Captain of the Royal Knights) instead. So, there was that sort of situation behind the Captain of the Royal Knights coming to this village himself.
(…It’s just like Alec, doing something that goes beyond my expectations…)
A hero’s way of thinking was something that the ordinary Ruth found it impossible to predict.
“But, to guess from the conversation, Lady Ruth and Sir Alec…er… sure do get along.”
“Well, we are childhood friends and he’s my closest friend.”
“…‘Closest friend’, huh. That’s rare between opposite genders.”
When Ruth heard “opposite genders”, he just remembered that Maxim still thinks he is a woman. Because of how natural those sorts of statements came out of Maxim’s mouth, Ruth grew accustomed to it.
“Ah, um Maxim, yet again, I want to tell you some–”
“Captain! You were here!”
In the moment Ruth was finally going to tell Maxim his gender, the members of the Royal Knights swarmed out from the inn and he was doomed to fail again.
“Geez, please call out your subordinates too if you’re going to do morning training.”
“That’s right. Being able to directly receive guidance from the champion of the swordsmanship tournament is a rare and valuable moment.”
“Have some self-awareness, there are lots of people in the Royal Knights who want to receive Captain’s guidance.”
“It’s because Captain is thorough and he’s good at teaching. He’s more popular than our actual training instructor.”
“When you think of it like that, maybe it would be better if Captain takes his position for a little while. Captain, won’t you think about a little reorganization when we return?”
The members of the Royal Knights that were gathered around Maxim greeted Ruth as a fun sounding conversation spread amongst themselves.
“…Aah, sorry. I’ll definitely call you guys out from now on.”
Maxim smiled at how he was surrounded. It seems like the lonely atmosphere Maxim had earlier was gone. While Ruth didn’t think how his words had an effect on Maxim was anything to brag about, but even if it was just a little, he thought that it was good that he could lighten the weight on Maxim’s shoulders.
As expected, Ruth thought that bringing up the matter about his gender at that moment would be tactless, seeing them happily talking amongst themselves, he quietly returned the greetings and returned to the main building.
Thank you for waiting! Please support the author here, and let me know if y’all see any mistakes!
Alecccc _(:3 」∠)_