I was born into this world as the third son of Count Feldra, and since I already had two older brothers, I didn’t have to take over the family, and my parents told me from the time I can remember that I could live my life as I pleased.
That’s why I was interested in swordsmanship from an early age, and I joined the knights order as soon as I came of age.
And I met the leader who I admired so much that I looked up to him as my master there.
He was already in his fifties at that time, but his strength did not show any decline, and I received training from this master as soon as I joined the group.
Thanks to that, I was appointed as a captain at the unusually young age of 18 years old.
But as expected of a young captain, I was lambasted by his subordinates at first because I was still young.
However, believing in the words of the commander, “Such people will naturally follow if they show their strength,” I personally trained them one by one.
Gradually, they began to listen to me and respect me.
One day, after a few years of being recognized by my subordinates and holding the position of captain, I went to find Prince Kaiser, who was waiting for me to lose his temper when he didn’t show up for swordplay practice, at the order of the group leader.
And when I went to the place where I had heard beforehand about the engagement announcement that will be held tomorrow, Prince Kaiser was not already there, but when I asked one of those who remained there, I was told that as soon as the meeting was over, he said he would show his fiancée, Cecilia-sama, around the castle, and then he left.
…He seems to have completely forgotten about his swordplay practice.
When I thought that, I let out a loud sigh and quickly turned on my heel and searched the castle for Prince Kaiser at a fast pace.
Then I finally found Prince Kaiser walking happily down the corridor with his fiancée, Lady Cecilia.
Why are you walking around so carefree!? The Commander should be…
I remembered the commander, who was already on the edge of his seat, and I approached Prince Kaiser’s office, suppressing my irritation.
And when I told Prince Kaiser that the commander was waiting for me, he finally agreed to go to the training grounds with a regretful look on his face.
However, Prince Kaiser ordered me to take his fiancée Cecilia home with him.
I was wondering why it was me, but I couldn’t say no to Prince Kaiser’s order, so I reluctantly agreed to it.
But then Cecilia refused to accompany me, saying that she could go home alone. She even made a statement of concern for me.
I was surprised by her words and looked again at Cecilia-sama, Prince Kaiser’s fiancée, carefully.
…I heard that she just made her debut in society this year, so she must be six years old now. She’s also a little shorter than Prince Kaiser, and very dainty looking. But even though she’s still just a child, even for me, she’s already a very considerate person. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a young lady that cared for others before.
I remembered that, and although I looked at Cecilia with admiration, I assured her that I would be responsible for taking her home, as I had already taken her time away from Prince Kaiser.
Then Cecilia agreed as if resigned to my words, and so we said goodbye to Prince Kaiser on the spot and walked side by side to the place where Cecilia’s carriage was waiting for us.
I had no particular desire to talk to Cecilia, and since she was not of the same rank, I thought it would be better not to speak to her.
The proof of this was that Cecilia-sama was also walking without saying a word.
…After all, many of the noble daughters basically look down upon us knights. Well, I don’t mind it too much since it’s always been the case.
I just thought so and walked in silence towards my destination.
However, I felt something in my eyes and glanced at Cecilia-sama, and for some reason she looked at me and spoke to me with a smile.
“Thank you, Viktor-san.”
“…What is with that?”
I was confused as to why she suddenly thanked me, and asked Cecilia-sama with a puzzled look on her face.
Then, for some reason, Cecilia seemed to be delighted that I was matching my stride to Cecilia’s, and she thanked me.
However, it was a move that I had done naturally to all of the noble daughters, so I was honestly at a loss for words at her gratitude.
When I told her that, Cecilia shook her head and emphasized the excellence of my actions.
I was surprised to see her and told her that I was the first young lady to say such a thing.
But when Cecilia heard my words, she looked at me strangely.
…It seems that this young lady is somehow different from all the young ladies I’ve ever met…I must admit, I like her.
The thought naturally loosened my face, and I, who had only allowed myself to be comfortable with those close to me, felt comfortable in the presence of Lady Cecilia.
“At least none of the young ladies I’ve had the pleasure of walking with…Lady Cecilia, you seem to be a bit different from the other young ladies.”
I told Cecilia just what I thought.
And so Cecilia and I were walking down the corridor, happily chatting with each other, a complete change from the silent time we had just spent together.
However, the warmth in my heart was interrupted by the arrival of my men from across the corridor, who came rushing towards me in a panic.
“Captain! The two examples started to struggle again!”
I couldn’t help but groan in my mind at the content of what my subordinate reported to me in an impatient manner.
…Theo and Douglas again! Damn, what kind of stupid thing did they get in trouble for this time…
Disgusted with the situation, I told my subordinate that I didn’t have time to worry about them right now and that it would go away in time if I left them alone.
But they were troubled and complained to me.
And then…this time it was even worse, and they said they were going to fight each other.
At the words of my subordinate, I peeled my eyes away and looked in surprise.
Those two are dueling! In the first place, the rules of the Order forbid dueling, don’t they!? Those idiots!!!
I cursed in my mind as I heard from my subordinates that they had already left for the arena, and I grew impatient.
Not good indeed! Those two are among the best swordsmen in my unit! If two people like that really fight…
The worst of it went through my mind, and I was tempted to run to stop it at once.
But I quickly paused to think about it and took my attention to Lady Cecilia.
“It would be best for me to go and stop them…but I have to take this young lady home now on Prince Kaiser’s orders.”
“Well, I could…”
“But since I took the order directly from the prince…”
That’s what I said, and I turned down my subordinate’s offer.
…I don’t know why, but I don’t want to give this role to anyone else.
I glanced at Cecilia-sama with a puzzled and troubled expression on my face at such a first time emotion.
But my subordinate voiced his impatience and complained about the lack of time.
I was struggling in my mind to decide what to do, when suddenly Cecilia spoke up.
“…Then I’ll go to the arena with Viktor.”
These words startled me, and I immediately stopped myself, but Lady Cecilia, who was aware of the urgency of the situation, said it would be better for both parties.
After all, Lady Cecilia is not at all like the ladies I know!
For some reason, I was surprised by this and also happy.
And so, after being hurried by my subordinates, I took Cecilia’s advice and went to the arena first.
I knew it was rude, but I picked up Cecilia in my arms and started to run, though I knew I had to hurry, because I had to get there in a hurry.
At first Cecilia screamed in surprise, but she soon put her little hands around my neck and grabbed me desperately to keep me from falling off.
I couldn’t help but feel the cuteness of the situation and turned my tender eyes to Cecilia, but I realized that now was not the time and quickly changed my mind and hurried to the arena where they were headed.
When I arrived at the square of the arena, Theo and Douglas were already preparing for battle.
I gave a small cluck of my tongue at their appearance, then carefully lowered Cecilia-sama in my arms and asked my subordinate who had come with me to take care of her, and hurriedly went down to them.
But they didn’t even seem to notice my presence as they each let out a yell and ran off.
Then I lowered my posture and increased my speed and pulled my sword from its scabbard as I ran.
Thus, just before their swords collided, I slipped in between them and caught each sword in my sword and scabbard.
…Just in time, barely, but just in time.
They were relieved to hear that, but finally noticed my presence, and they both shouted in surprise at the same time.
“…You guys, have you forgotten that dueling is against the rules of the Order?”
They became upset when I told them this in a suppressed voice.
But soon they were cursing each other, saying that it was the others’ fault, and the atmosphere became acrimonious again.
I was getting more and more irritated with them, and finally I was at the end of my patience.
I shouted at them in a low voice and flicked their swords, which were still not drawn, back.
Then, as they staggered back from my flicking, I glared at them and said,
“If you want to wield a sword so badly, I’ll be the one to deal with it!”
Theo hurriedly tried to mend his ways at that statement of mine, but when I assured him that I would add some special training, he replied with a gulping nod of approval, as if he had given up.
I quickly turned around and let Douglas, who was trying to escape, reply as well.
Then I let them line up in front of me and let them strike me first, but I let out a loud sigh when I saw them holding their swords at a fearful angle.
…Where’s the fighting spirit from earlier?
I thought to myself, but then I decided to get them both motivated to do it.
“You guys…you know that your punishment for breaking the rules is cleaning the toilets in the boarding house for a month, right? But… if you take a swing at me, I will absolve you of that punishment.”
They were surprised at my statement and gradually became more and more motivated, with a fighting spirit in their eyes.
I couldn’t help but smile at them.
I smiled at the two of them and smiled to myself. I knew I needed to make these two understand once and for all.
So I gave the two men who came at me some training, even though they were easy to handle.
But I was careful not to make any cuts on my body while handling the two swords with my sword.
…Because Cecilia-sama said she didn’t want to see blood. This time, I must be thorough in focusing on bruising attacks.
When I glanced at Cecilia-sama while receiving the two swords so, she was still watching us without turning her eyes away from us.
When I thought of that, I suddenly burst into a small smile, despite the fact that I was in this state.
I’ve been working with them for a while now, and it was obvious that they were reaching the end of their physical strength.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with my physical training in the future.
It’s time to end it, so I kicked Theo in the belly and blew him up, rolling him to the ground and hitting him in the side of Douglas with the handle, making him crouch there.
And when the two of them did not move from the spot, I turned my back to Douglas to retrieve the scabbard that I had thrown on the ground.
But I felt Douglas’s sharp presence from behind me and, turning my body around, I swung the sword I was holding and looked up at him.
So I shouted as I calm Douglas’s sword, which was about to attack me from behind.
Then, with a violent snap, Douglas’ sword snapped and the tip of the blade flew away in an arc.
I followed the broken blade tip with my eyes and predicted where it would fall, which made my blood run cold.
No! And beyond that is Lady Cecilia! Tsk, why is that guy away from Lady Cecilia!?
A subordinate of mine, who had moved away from Cecilia-sama and was heading this way, looked pale and stunned at the broken edge of the blade.
I immediately threw down the sword I was holding and ran as fast as I could to Cecilia-sama’s side.
Please! Just make it in time!!!
Desperately hoping so, I hurried down to Cecilia, whose head was sheltered by her arms, with her eyes closed in fear.
And just before the tip of the blade hit Cecilia, I embraced her and protected her small body from the falling tip.
But I was one step too late in protecting her and the tip of the blade grazed the back of my left hand.
I couldn’t help but groan as pain shot through the back of my hand, which had been cut by a sharp blade.
Then Cecilia, startled by the sound of my voice, opened her eyes and looked up at me in a panic.
And while she was concerned for her own safety, she immediately became concerned for me.
Furthermore, when she saw that I was injured, she seemed to be in a panic and slipped out of my arms to check on my injuries.
I didn’t want Cecilia to see the blood, so I held her tightly so she wouldn’t let go of my arms, but Cecilia still forced her way out of my arms.
Then Cecilia-sama forcibly grabbed my left hand, which she had been hiding, and pulled it away, and she frowned at the wound.
I still shouldn’t have shown it to you…
I regretted it intensely when I saw Cecilia’s cloudy face, but then she went through her pockets and pulled out a handkerchief with a beautiful white rose embroidered on it and tried to wrap it around my injured hand.
“No, Lady Cecilia! I can’t believe you used such a fine handkerchief!”
“Never mind that, a handkerchief can be used in this way!”
I hurriedly refused to do so to Lady Cecilia, but she stubbornly refused, and wrapped the handkerchief around my hand deftly.
The handkerchief was wrapped so tightly around my hand that it was soon stained with my blood.
I told her that I would certainly give him a new handkerchief when I saw it, but she refused with a puzzled expression on her face.
…A really sweet person. But…I’m glad I made it in time. Because if I hadn’t done that, Cecilia-sama’s face would have been scarred.
When I told Cecilia about this, she felt a renewed sense of fear and her face became tense.
I felt sorry for what I had just done to her.
Then suddenly, Cecilia-sama smiled at me and spoke to me cheerfully.
“I wonder if you would have taken responsibility for the scars on my face?”
“At that time, I’d be ready to take you as my wife, and I’d be ready to take you in as my responsibility! Of course, I’ll have to wait until you come of age.”
I responded immediately to Cecilia’s words.
Cecilia froze in astonishment at my words, but I appealed to Cecilia that I was quite serious.
But Cecilia was upset with me and said,
“Viktor, that…I’m glad to hear you speak so responsibly, but in fact, thanks to Viktor’s help, I wasn’t injured or anything, so please don’t think too much about it! And…maybe in the future you’ll have a girlfriend who is compatible with you, and for that person, you don’t have to worry about me anymore!”
I quickly cooled down at that Cecilia-sama’s words and pondered why I was so serious about appealing to her for something that certainly hadn’t happened.
…Surely Cecilia-sama was right, it was strange to say that I would take responsibility for her, who hadn’t been injured. Well, I don’t care about the matter of a lover…….but for some reason I wanted Cecilia-sama to know my sincerity. So I want to protect this Cecilia-sama from any danger. That’s why I said that I would welcome her as my wife, who could most certainly be close to me, as an excuse for responsibility. But if that’s not possible…I’ll swear an oath to Lady Cecilia—no, to my princess!
Determined to do so, I stared at the princess with a serious expression on my face and told her how I felt.
“I have decided that you are the person I should protect with my life. I have decided to protect you with my own life, so from now on, I will refer to you as the princess.”
At first she was quite upset by my words, but after some persuasion from me, she was finally convinced, though reluctantly.
After that, Douglas came to our side and apologized to me, but the princess forgave me for that with a generous heart and told me the cause of the dispute between Theo and Douglas and instructed me how to deal with it.
I looked at the princess and realized once again that she was worthy of my life to protect her.
“The princess is still a wonderful person.”
So I smiled at the princess to convey my honest feelings.
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