16. Dream Is Beautiful
On the battlefield where the main characters, Faust von Polidoro and Caroline, had left.
The Second Princess Guard began to hit a kill score.
The militia that Faust had pulled behind went to the back, with the other militias to rest.
Instead, 20 Polidoro citizens and 15 Royal Guards stood on the front line.
Less than 20 of the elite of Caroline’s people remained.
Although the citizens of the Caroline territory were elite, they were the last ones, and now fell into a situation where each person had to deal with two people.
The citizens of Polidoro were doing well in supporting the Royal Guards under Helga’s command.
To be honest, the battlefield began to see the end.
However, despite grasping the situation, Caroline’s people were still fighting desperately.
“Immediately, go around to support from the flanks! Not a single knight will die!”
Shouted Zabine, the commander of the Second Princess Guard.
After scoring only a single kill, Zabine went to the back and took command of the other royal guards.
At Valliere’s side, there was only one other royal guard that went to guard her after scoring a kill.
“Princess, you don’t seem well.”
The royal guard, Hannah, muttered while looking at Valliere’s complexion.
“… A number of militia have died. Perhaps, more than ten. Even after Faust worked so hard.”
“It couldn’t be helped. This is a battlefield.”
Murmured Hannah in a voice that could be called cold.
Valliere herself had understood that since she had seen a headless corpse in the small village that had been mercilessly tortured.
What she didn’t understand was Faust, who was called the Knight of Wrath, how could his strength be like something out of this world.
And how could one get used to the battlefield melody, which was a mixture of death cries, roars of victory, and clashing of swords?
These two things confused her.
To be honest, she was scared.
Her cowardice, the timid thin skin that covered her, hadn’t yet peeled off even on this battlefield.
She kept wondering if someone would target her.
If someone would go to attack her to take her life.
Even in the rear, a little far from the front line, the fear didn’t disappear.
“The Guards―― My Guards, no one died, right?”
“We’re not that weak. We’re still those of blue blood. We’re different in skill and armament than those of the commoners.”
Murmured Hannah, trying to reassure Valliere.
Indeed, not a single knight was missing.
The Second Princess Guard was much stronger than Valliere thought.
Although they struggled at first because it was their first fight, once they scored a kill, they regained their usual training moves.
…I wish it would end like this.
The moment Valliere thought that, a woman jumped out of the enemy formation even after being surrounded by the guards and the Polidoro people.
What weapon did the woman have?
Right. A powerful weapon that Faust brought, regardless of the church’s complaints.
“――I found you! You must be the commander-in-chief!”
The woman with the crossbow must have been severely hit in the head since it was bleeding. Her eyes were filled with madness.
Valliere was frightened and could only stand still.
「”…Just when you think you’re in a safe zone, behind you, the enemy’s elite suddenly appear…”」
The words Valliere’s elder sister had spoken ran through her mind.
“That life of yours, I’ll take it!!”
A crossbow shot. Valliere was the target. The bad news, she couldn’t bring herself to move. At this rate, she would be killed.
Hannah, who was nearby, stood in the arrow trajectory to shield Valliere. At the same time, Valliere heard the sound of a heavy trigger pull. Shortly after, the sound of Hannah becoming a meat shield and her chainmail being pierced could be heard.
In front of Valliere, Hannah’s body was pierced by a crossbow arrow and fell to the ground.
Screamed Valliere, as she immediately ran to Hannah, but there was no response. Hannah had lost consciousness completely.
“How dare you!”
Valliere glared at the woman with the crossbow. The woman gave her a disgusting smile. Then, the woman muttered while spreading both hands.
“This is it huh? Just kill me already!”
“You don’t have to tell me!!”
Valliere drew her sword and ran towards the woman with the crossbow. With a feeling— a feeling of anger at the defeat of her guard, Hannah. She was furious.
“You. Hannah. You bastard. HOW DARE YOU!!!”
It was Valliere’s first rage since she was born.
And the timid thin skin was peeling off.
No, it was as if such a thing didn’t cover her at all.
As soon as Valliere reached the woman.
First, she gouged out the woman’s eyes.
And with the next blow, she cut off the woman’s ear.
Then Valliere stepped on the woman’s face, breaking out the woman’s teeth.
It wasn’t long before the woman stopped moving.
But Valliere didn’t stop, she stabbed the woman hard in the chest as a final blow.
“How dare you―― Because of you, Hannah is…”
Eventually, Valliere regained her composure and realized that she had killed someone, a human. Her kill scores? 1. But that didn’t matter to her.
With a bloody sword in her hand, Valliere ran toward the place where Hannah had collapsed.
Only now did her legs begin to tremble, as if she had finally recovered from her anger, at thinking she had just killed someone.
There was a woman.
She was dreaming
“Why not a boy…”
These words were thrown at her many times.
From her father, from her mother, from her sisters.
Even though they all knew, they lived in a world where boys were rarely born.
To be precise, only 1 in 10.
Her family was of moderate blue blood. A hereditary aristocratic family.
She was the fourth child of such a family ―― in other words, she was an unwanted child.
The spare of spare of spare.
She was an unwanted child that no one wanted.
Therefore, she was treated roughly.
Although she received knight training, if she made even one mistake, she was often reprimanded that she was a stupid child. And they would immediately give up on her.
Therefore, it became a half-hearted knight education.
However, her swordsmanship and spearmanship were surprisingly good. Compared to her sisters, even with the age difference, she was better.
Unfortunately, that only brought jealousy.
At the dinner table, she always had one less meal than her sisters.
Not that she particularly cared.
In any case, she did not have good memories of her childhood.
And when she turned 14, they threw her out of the house.
“From now on, you will become the bodyguards of the Second Princess Valliere.”
She was thankful.
With this, she wouldn’t have to face her hateful family.
There was no love left in her family.
They were like her hated enemy.
Then, she made her way to the royal palace where she underwent a knighthood ceremony.
The Second Princess Valliere, whom she met for the first time, was 4 years younger than her.
However, that also meant, that a 14-year-old who received a half-hearted knight education, would be a knight.
She couldn’t help but wonder if she could do well at the knighting ceremony.
To be honest, she was worried.
“To be a protector and guardian of the church, widows, orphans, or anyone who serves God against the tyranny of the heathen.”
Congratulatory words from the Second Princess Valliere.
Then a sword was placed on her shoulder.
She was at a loss for words.
No, just that she couldn’t remember. Of what she was supposed to say.
Honestly, her intelligence wasn’t that high.
While she was silent, the Second Princess Valliere laughed.
“It’s okay, to not say anything. I’m a spare, you’re a spare. So, let’s do our best together.”
The Second Princess smiled quietly at her, who couldn’t do her knightly oath properly.
And since then… ―― It was fun.
All she could say was that, it was fun.
The past 14 years, those indescribable, nightmarish 14 years, fade away.
All the guards were idiots. They were all idiots. More or less, the same as her.
For the first time in the Second Princess Guard, she understood what it meant to have companions and friends.
At the same time, she had mixed feelings about the fact that there were so many idiots like her.
Zabine, the Commander, was especially bad. Really bad.
The same as others, the lowest rank of a first-generation knight. Even so, Zabine, saying “I’m the one best at public speaking, so I’m the Commander,”, didn’t listen to what the Second Princess said.
What kind of brain did Zabine have? In any case, Zabine was too unwilling to listen, and would act violently if anyone tried to deny it, so the Second Princess burst into tears.
“I, really, really wanted you, Hannah, to be the commander, you know?”
The Second Princess’s words made her happy.
There were no compliments thrown at her at home.
That being said, Zabine was really bad.
By the time she noticed, Zabine brought up a plan to go see the male attendants changing clothes.
Of course, that was what she should and wanted to do.
But she couldn’t.
At that time, as a 16-year-old woman, in no way, she wasn’t interested in male bodies.
In terms of knowledge—the Commander, Zabine, had more than her. Really, from where did Zabine get it? But, there was no denying that Zabine’s dirty talk made her heart pound.
In fact, she had never worshiped men’s naked bodies before.
“So, you are interested in this too, huh, Hannah?”
She would be lying if she said she wasn’t interested.
It wasn’t long before the fifteen members of the Second Princess Guard gathered around to see how the male attendants were changing their clothes.
Of course, they were discovered.
First of all, it was unreasonable for a group of fifteen to peep together.
Why didn’t anyone try to stop the madness?
Perhaps because they were all of roughly equal intelligence? As chimpanzees? But, even with this incident, the Second Princess didn’t deprive anyone of their position as the royal guard.
“Because I bowed my head to Mother. That’s it, end of story. Is what I wanted to say…”
“Would you kindly end here?”
“There’s no way I will end it here. You idiots. Chimpanzees! Sit on your knees over there!”
All 15 idiots just had to sit down on the floor and were insulted.
Alas, those were good memories.
It was different from her childhood.
Being scolded by the Second Princess, whom she respected, was like a reward, so it was a good memory.
The days as a royal guard were fun. She was sure that the Second Princess wouldn’t be able to be the Queen.
Being a Queen didn’t suit the gentle Second Princess.
Well, that didn’t bother her.
The Second Princess could always be their only master.
She didn’t need anyone else.
The members of the Second Princess Guard were first generation knights, poor knights of the lowest rank.
But she had a dream.
One day they would rise to the rank of hereditary knights. Then all the members would collect money and buy a barrel of liquor at the usual cheap tavern.
One day they would get a blue-blooded husband.
And one day they would have a child.
One day, one day……
Finally, the woman, Hannah, woke up from her dream.
A man’s voice woke her up.
“There are other seriously injured people. I will command my people to treat them. Princess, please stay beside her for a while. After that, I will take over the role.”
“Hannah is…! She’s the most seriously injured! Faust. Please, Faust! She is…!
“Your Royal Highness Second Princess Valliere…”
Ah, Valliere-sama is crying.
Why are you crying?
The man, Lord Polidoro, looked at Hannah with a pained look and muttered.
“Watching over the death of a retainer is the duty of a Lord.”
After saying this, Lord Polidoro turned and left on his horse.
Am I go I die?
Will my dream end?
Hannah understood the reality from the conversation between Lord Polidoro and the Second Princess.
“Are you awake? Are you awake?! You will live, Hannah.”
“The Second――Princess Guard, protecting the princess, is their job.”
Hannah was having trouble speaking.
And for some reason, she really wanted to sleep.
She just wanted to close her eyes and go back to sleep.
But she had to wake up.
She had to somehow stop the Second Princess from crying.
“What is it? ……Hannah. You’re such an idiot, for you to shield me. Nothing good will come out of it.”
Why won’t Valliere-sama stop crying?
“No, this is an honor. What you have done, is an honor. If I bow to Mother again, I’m sure your rank will be raised and you’ll have a better life. Then, after that……”
I’m at my limit…
I’m sorry, Valliere-sama, for always making you angry.
Maybe when I go to sleep, you’ll get angry again.
So, before that, let me say one thing――
“…I, you know. I really like Valliere-sama.”
At the very least, Hannah wanted to convey this.
That she wasn’t loyal to the royal family.
As a blue-blooded knight, she should be ashamed of that.
But she didn’t care. The one she swore allegiance to was none other than the Second Princess Valliere, who loved and cared for her.
Aaa, so sleepy…
“Hannah! Open your eyes!”
The pleading cry of the Second Princess Valliere, didn’t bring a miracle.
Those eyes would never open again.
――Hannah took one last breath, and then fell into an eternal sleep. She could dream no more.
The Second Princess Valliere’s anger, as if still trying to wake her up――a scream-like cry rippled through the area.
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