Following that, Crow-san treated Fii at a crêpe store, and they looked at things in a furniture store. After doing various things, it was night by the time they arrived at their real destination.
Where the two of them had come to was a place filled with expensive stores. Even though the night had blanketed the sky, the glow from the shop windows and oil street lamps made the street seem almost dazzling.
Fii couldn’t help herself.
She was technically a princess who had lived in a palace, so she had lived with lights during the night.
But she had never seen such a brightly lit street like this.
Even in Orstoll, the oil street lamps were only present in certain parts of the city. There were none at all in the places that Fii visited with her dorm mates.
In other words, this was an expensive street even in this city.
The light coming from the many shop windows lit up the stone-paved roads and well-painted walls as they overlapped upon them, and combined with the light of the street lamps, they created all kinds of patterns.
Fii stared on dumbfounded at this new and stunning sight. Seeing her reaction, Crow began to chuckle.
“Is this your first time in a place like this?”
“Yes. My wages as an apprentice knight aren’t enough. But you don’t come here often do you, Crow-san?”
“Well, I prefer places that are a bit more relaxed, you see. More importantly, don’t get lost. The public safety is good here, but it’d be annoying if you got lost, okay?”
With that, Crow grabbed her hand again to escort her.
Fii obediently went along with it.
As they walked side by side, they eventually stopped before a certain shop.
There were hanging lanterns at its front, and illuminated by their lights was a board with its name on it. In fact, it was a famous store that even Fii had heard of.
Upon passing through the door, a polite waiter greeted them.
Fii was feeling a little nervous.
It was hard to relax in high class stores, after all.
Having gotten along with the members from the lower city, their commoner’s nature had ended up seeping into her. Thanks to that, she worried that they would drive her out of the store and clenched harder as her heart pounded.
Perhaps understanding her reaction, Crow gave an astounded smile but didn’t stop her squeezing.
“Would you happen to have room for the two of us?”
“Yes. Would a seat with a view of the night sky be acceptable?”
“Well then, please allow me to show you to your seats.”
Crow pulled her into the shop with its calm atmosphere.
When she first arrived in Orstoll, Fii would never have imagined that she would experience something like this.
(No, even when I was in Déman…)
Although it was just training, and although it was with Crow-san, she would never have imagined coming to a restaurant like this.
Everything was a first experience, and she did feel a little nervous.
It was only after she was shown to a seat with a view of the outside and the waiter left after she took a seat, did she finally stop feeling so self-conscious.
Fii let out a sigh of relief.
Crow made a gentle expression and spoke to her.
“Sorry for making you come with me.”
“No, you’ve taken care of me a lot, Crow-san. And also―――”
Back to the normal Fii, she opened the menu and licked her lips.
“I’ll get to eat all sorts of yummy food.”
Dinner at a famous and high class restaurant. It was truly something to look forward to.
(Hmmm, should I go with a filet steak? The mutton poêlé looks good too. And there are heaps of menu items that I’ve never seen before. Caviar… It’s expensive, but I sure wanna try it. Should I ask Crow-san to buy me some?)
When Fii peeked at the other tables, there were tasty looking dishes all around. Fii looked at her menu, drooling.
Glancing at Crow, he seemed to be glaring seriously at the menu for some reason.
“Hmmm. A hamburg steak…? No, but she said that she liked gratin…”
Fii inclined her head in wonder.
She recalled that Crow liked seafood. She was sure that he had said so during one of their chats.
“Could it be that you’re going to try the food that your date likes?”
“Yeah, basically,” he answered with a light nod.
Fii closed the menu and smiled at him.
“Then I’ll cooperate. Please get me the other dishes that she likes.”
If he was going out of the way to try the dishes she liked, then she must have been important to him. In that case, how could Fii not cooperate?
“Are you sure?”
In the end, Fii ordered a hamburg steak and a pie stew while Crow went with a gratin.
After waiting for a while, the food arrived.
A hamburg steak covered in demi-glace and a fluffy pie stew sat in front of her. As for Crow, it was a gratin with fragrant cooked cheese.
“Wah, it looks yummy!” she claimed with glittering eyes.
“Sorry you couldn’t eat what you wanted.”
“Not at all. I love hamburgs and pie stews too!” she answered with a smile.
Seeing this, Crow thought again that she really was just Heath.
Any of the girls he’d dated might have sulked about it or become dejected instead. Some girls would become flat-out angry, while others would hide their emotions with a smile. They had all kinds of reactions.
But he could tell that Heath was happy from the bottom of her heart.
None of the other girls had ever shown such a reaction.
It was at that point that he suddenly stopped his thoughts and shook his head.
(No, no, to begin with, this kid is a guy, not a girl, so…)
For some reason he just naturally compared her with the other girls. Perhaps it was because she just appeared so natural in this look.
“Crow-san! Can I start eating?”
“Yeah, go ahead.”
With that, Fii picked up her fork and knife and began eating the hamburg steak.
Cutting them into small pieces, she placed them into her mouth.
It was different to the hamburg steaks from the dining hall. This one smelt fantastic. The meat was soft, and each bite would cause the fine sauce to spread throughout her mouth.
As expected of a famous restaurant, perhaps you could say.
She liked eating the hamburgs in the dining hall too, but this hamburg steak was delicious in a different way.
Perhaps she had eaten even finer foods during those parties and gatherings.
But this was the first time since she had begun paying attention that she had eaten something so high class. Plus, back as a princess, she had always eaten alone.
Right now she had Crow-san with her.
“Is the sauce, or the flavour of the wine too bitter?” asked Crow as he watched the happily eating Fii.
“No, it’s fine.”
The sauce on the hamburg had the alcohol carefully evaporated out of it, and she couldn’t taste any of its flavour or bitterness.
Once Fii finished her hamburg, she began working on the pie stew.
After breaking open the still warm, fluffy pie crust, her fork met with a milky stew.
After she gave it a taste, Crow asked her for her opinion again.
“Are there any capsicums in there?”
“No, not at all?”
“It looks like the carrots are sliced up thinly, so it should be okay.”
“Yes. It’s all been stewed together well, so it’s delicious.”
While Crow asked her about the ingredients in the stew, he went through the stuff in his gratin too.
“Hmm. There are shells in here, so maybe it won’t do…”
It was obvious how much importance Crow was putting on the date just from the way he was carefully examining everything.
But Fii had a small question.
(Aren’t this girl’s tastes a little childish?)
It was generally children that ordered a hamburg or gratin in an expensive place like this. Usually adults would go for something a bit fancier.
Not just that, but having trouble eating capsicums and carrots just sounded rather childish.
After dinner, they had a walk around the high class shopping district for a little bit before heading back to the castle.
The oil street lamps were now far away with only the dim lights from houses and the moon to light their path.
The large castle they were headed to was lit up brightly on the other hand, and from its surroundings it almost looked like stars in the night.
Because it was so dark, in the end Crow continued to escort her.
Their two bodies were huddled together as they strode down the dark path.
By now, Crow was treating Fii just as normal, with no signs of the silence he had earlier.
They simply headed back together hand-in-hand as they chatted about things like her life at the dorms.
But as they were happily talking, they stopped when they noticed people up front.
“They’re waiting to ambush us, aren’t they.”
“Seems like it.”
The two of them exchanged words in a whisper.
Right now they were close to one of the more dangerous blocks in the city.
Although they hadn’t actually taken a step into it, perhaps the darkness of the night encouraged these thugs to wander a little further.
“Heyy, Mister. On a date with your cute little miss? What a lucky guy.”
“Quite a beauty, ain’t she. I was thinkin’ that I’d have some of your money, but maybe I’ll take her too.”
“That’s how it is, so be good and give us your gold and the girl. If you do, we’ll let you go home in one piece.”
Three nasty looking men were standing in their way.
Although Fii was about to transition into a pre-emptive flying kick, Crow held her back in a hug.
Fii’s eyes widened in a little surprise.
Crow just smiled gently in return.
“You stay out of trouble this time. After having this princess accompany me all day, it’d shame my name as a knight to make her fight. Plus, you might trip over if you fight in those heels, yanno.”
Given that she wasn’t used to them yet, it was certainly possible.
Since she couldn’t help it, Fii obeyed.
“Oh? Ya wanna go three versus one, huh?”
“Acting a little too cool is only gunna give you pain, boy.”
Hearing these ruffians caused Fii to let out an astounded sigh.
(The ones in for some pain are you guys…)
It only took an instant for Crow to knock them all out.
The men were sprawled on the ground, unmoving.
Since Fii knew how strong he was, it wasn’t a surprise at all. This was simply the natural result.
Fii didn’t think she could win against him even if she had a sword, to say nothing of these three hooligans…
“I’ve kept you waiting, Princess,”
said Crow as he tried to act cool by giving an impish smile under the moonlight.
The thing was when Crow did it, he really did seem like a knight out of a fairytale.
“Well done. As a reward, I allow you to continue serving as my escort, Lord Knight,”
she replied. The two of them looked at each other for a moment before bursting into laughter, holding hands again as they continued making their way.
“Somehow it’s nothing but trouble when it comes to dates with you. At least it wasn’t boring.”
“Was this a date?”
“Nah, I don’t really know. I mean, I was with a guy the whole time,” Crow replied.
“That’s true. It’s not a date with two guys, is it,” said Fii, before giving a teasing smile.
Making their way down the night road, they continued to talk merrily as they headed home.
Three evenings later, Fii found herself on a rooftop with Conrad.
“Peeking is badd, okay? Crow-san will be so mad if he finds us,” said Fii.
But despite her words, she still lay on the roof in wait, careful to stay invisible from below.
Not only that, she even had the pair of binoculars in her hand. It was something she had received a long time ago from Galluzzi-san.
“But aren’t you curious?” asked Conrad, “It’s the first time he’s ever gone so far for a girl.”
Conrad hadn’t even pretended that he wasn’t peeking, even bringing a carpet to lay on.
His hands possessed a pair of binoculars as well.
Nobody with a conscience was around to stop them.
Actually, there was one person with a conscience.
(Princess Fii! I didn’t teach you the skills of a grass to peek on people like this!)
But although he screamed this in his mind, the situation was still not serious enough for him to appear, and thus the man ended up saying nothing.
When Crow had left the 18th Division’s gathering place, he was wearing the full ceremonial dress for a knight. It was the outfit used for official ceremonies and the like.
A bright blue jacket with gold highlights with the same coloured pants to match. His waist even boasted a ceremonial sabre.
This was Crow, who said he hated ceremonial dress.
It was Fii’s first time seeing him wearing it.
It would be stranger if she wasn’t curious.
So she got on board with Conrad’s idea, and thus here they were now, waiting on a roof near the high class shopping district.
“It’s taking a while, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. How boring.”
It was evening now, and Crow had been standing in front of the clocktower the whole time, patiently waiting for his date.
He had hazel eyes and long blonde hair, and in his bright blue ceremonial dress, he attracted the gazes of quite a few passerbys. Young girls in particular would see him by chance and come to a stop in their daze.
But his date still hadn’t arrived yet.
Having staked out for over thirty minutes now, the bored Fii and Conrad had begun using the chalk used for contact purposes to play tic-tac-toe.
The two of them decided that there was no problem since the chalk came off in the rain.
Another twenty minutes later, a horse carriage stopped in front of Crow in the plaza.
Crow began to walk towards it with an unusually gentle smile on his face. His date was definitely riding it.
Fii and Conrad abandoned their 121st match as they raised just their heads to look.
“So we are.”
Now that they weren’t drawing on people’s rooftops any more, Fii and Conrad began silently observing.
When the door to the carriage opened, Crow’s date finally appeared.
Seeing them, the pair suddenly shouted.
“A married womann!?”
The reason was because it wasn’t just one person who appeared.
There was a girl who looked about ten as well as a young woman who seemed to be her mother. Both of them left the carriage together.
The two females met eyes with Crow.
(Which is it…!? Or could it be both of them…!?) shouted the peeking duo in their minds.
They then came to a conclusion.
(Either one would be a problem…!)
The little girl went without saying.
And as for the young woman, perhaps she was a widower, but if she wasn’t, it would be adultery. Adultery!
(W-W-W-, What do we do? We have to stop Crow-san!)
Seeing Crow dressed like the ideal knight, as he strayed from their ideals…
As Fii was panicking, a voice called out from behind her.
“What are you two doing.”
The shock cause Fii to scream in surprise.
And when she realised who the voice belonged to, she was greeted with another shock.
Turning around, Fii was met with York standing behind her, arms crossed.
His blue-grey eyes were tinged with a little doubt behind his usual mask.
“U-U-Umm, Captain, why are you…!?”
“Since nobody was in the meeting place, I talked to the gate guards. They told me that you three left the castle. After searching for a little, I found you two moving about suspiciously on this rooftop.”
Searching for a little was enough to find them in their hiding spot? Just how good was his vision? Fii felt sweat running down her cheek.
And next to Fii, Conrad was trying to sneak away.
“Conrad-san! Please don’t run away by yourself!”
“Ah-, hey, Heath-chan!”
Fii was holding on tightly to his sleeves.
‘We all die together!’ or rather, Fii had not the slightest plan of being scolded by herself. After all, the one who invited her was Conrad-san! Well, the one who asked Galluzzi even earlier for the binoculars was her though.
York simply watched the two, a little astounded.
“What on earth are you two… Mn?”
But his words stopped when he saw Crow far into the background.
“That’s Perciore’s wife and daughter, isn’t it…” he muttered as he looked at the smiling young woman talking to Crow.
“Perciore… you say?” asked Fii.
“A knight in the 5th Division. He was heavily injured during a mission, admitted into hospital for treatment. Thankfully it’s nothing permanent and he should be able to work again with rehabilitation, but I heard that his daughter has been depressed.”
Fii looked through her binoculars again and found the little girl with a gloomy expression.
After saying something to the wife, Crow knelt and spoke to the girl.
And then, handing over a plush toy that he had been hiding, he gave a knight’s greatest bow.
『Little Princess, your father’s injuries will definitely heal. So please cheer up. Today, I, Crow, shall keep you company instead.』
Even though he was too far to hear, Fii’s ears heard him without a problem.
Seeing this knight from out of a fairytale, the girl’s face immediately brightened.
After saying goodbye to Perciore’s wife, he gently took the girl’s hand and headed towards the restaurant. The wife bowed to Crow as well, before heading towards the hospital.
(So that’s why he wanted to check the restaurant…)
The places that Crow preferred were not dangerous exactly, but definitely not safe from trouble at night.
The well-lit high class shopping street were safe to bring a child to, even at night.
But the stores there were more catered towards adults.
The sauces had wine in them, and they also often had flavourings that children weren’t good with. That’s why he wanted to try the food first.
A little princess was being escorted by hand by a knight as they headed towards a sparkling and gorgeous restaurant.
The girl’s expression was bright as she looked up at the gently speaking Crow.
“Hmmm, it’s a bit different to what I expected.”
Conrad had a complex expression on. It was kind of a let-down to him, but not something bad either.
“Crow-san really is cool.”
As for Fii, her expression was filled with respect for him.
She was once again sure that Crow-san was like the ideal knight. Since he did nothing but pick up women all day, she had gotten a little disappointed in him, but now his impression had shot up again.
“He’s good with sorting these things out. He’s helped me too. By the way, what were you two doing exactly?”
Once the focus returned to them, they averted their eyes in silence.
But by coincidence, Fii noticed a certain thing.
“What is it, what is it?”
And Conrad got on board.
Fii was pointing at a group of roughly 15 hooligans, watching Crow from the shadows.
You would never see their sort in a place like this, so they were particularly out of place.
“Those guys are the ones that picked a fight with us during my training! It’s definitely them!”
Fii spotted the three men from that night.
“Three people weren’t enough against you two, so they went and gathered more?” mused Conrad, “Sounds like something a hooligan would do. Well, what are we going to do?”
Crow would be fine even against those fifteen. He even had a sabre this time, so this group was no match for him. But right now there was the little princess next to him.
It would spoil the princess’ date with her knight.
Would it be fine to let her be frightened? The three of them were knights.
Thus, Fii’s answer was natural.
“The three of us will take care of them!”
The thugs had gathered their buddies for revenge before searching for the target.
It was some pretty boy with long hair.
It didn’t take long to find him. They were scared when they saw him in his knight’s outfit, but it wasn’t a problem.
After all, there were fifteen of them.
They found an alleyway nearby to hide in and waited for their revenge. Although they stood out quite a bit, none of that mattered as long as the guy himself didn’t see.
He ended up bringing a little girl along, but that was convenient too. As long as they could hold her hostage, they had as good as won.
“When are we doing it?”
“Soon. I’ll give the signal, and we’ll do it.”
Once that guy passed by their alleyway, all fifteen of them would rush him at once.
With their numbers he’d have the shit beaten out of him no matter how strong he was.
“He he he, I dunno if you’re a knight or whatever, but I’ll teach you to regret going against I, the great Kidda-sama.”
“My. Who’s going to be regretting, exactly?”
“What a funny thing to say.”
“None of you lot look strong enough to deal with a knight.”
Three people suddenly jumped down from the rooftops.
One was a peerless, enchanting beauty. One was a tiny boy dressed as an apprentice knight. One was a masked man dressed as a knight.
The three of them were standing around their group in some kind of encirclement.
“W-, Who the f*ck are you guys!” shouted Gidda in agitation.
“We’re from the 5th Knight Division,” began the man.
“Boorish guys who interrupted dates,” continued the woman.
“Will all be eliminated by us!” finished the boy.
Since the 18th Division wasn’t exactly official, they just used some other name.
York’s expression was even as usual, but Fii and Conrad were grinning daringly.
“Even if they’re telling the truth, it’s only three people! Get em!”
“Only the guy looks any strong. After we beat the shit out of him, it’s over.”
At Gidda’s signal, all of them rushed at York together.
It only took one swing of York’s sheathed sword, and five grown men had already tumbled to the ground.
The hooligans began to fear.
“T-, This guy… Strong…”
“We gotta run!”
“Get the woman! Take out the woman!”
The men began running towards the side they thought was easiest.
But the woman was nowhere to be seen.
“Eh? She’s gone?”
“Where’d she go?”
By the time they said that, Conrad was already behind them.
Cornad reached out and grabbed one of the unsuspecting men.
With his slender arms, it looked like a joke when he lifted the man up and smacked him along with two others towards a wall. Not content to stop there, his two arms curved like snakes to constrict around two other necks and stole their consciousness in an instant.
Seeing that, three other men tried to run away, but Conrad promptly dispatched them with a knife hand, a punch, and a palm strike.
In but a moment, another eight men were lying on the ground.
It was only Gidda and one other left.
“The brat! We can break past the brat!”
Fii pulled out some kind of rope. At its centre it split into three, each one with some kind of heavy rubber ball attached. It was a throwing weapon known as bolas.
When Fii noticed the men running towards her, she began swinging the bolas above her head. Even the feeble Fii could grant them incredible kinetic energy by doing this.
And once they were powerful enough, she released them towards their legs.
The three-pronged weight rope spread midair and wrapped tightly, depriving the thugs of their movements.
The ropes wrapped around them, the weights smacked into their bodies, and the thugs ended up falling to the ground.
And like a boxer countering an incoming straight, as the men fell towards her…
She exploded into a merciless kick to the face. Falling to the ground with the whites of his eyes showing was the leader of these thugs.
After that, the three of them handed the thugs to the knights.
Crow’s date with the girl ended without incident, and apparently the girl had cheered up.
It seemed that Perciore was giving his best in rehabilitation as well so that he could make a comeback as a knight.
“I’m so hungry. This is your fault, Conrad-san.”
“I’m hungry too. But it’s not good to blame others for your problems.”
Fii and Conrad had their food taken as punishment.
Watching over Crow’s date had just barely been acceptable, but graffitiing on people’s rooftops was a no go. Well, that really should have been obvious though.
Since sweets and tea were forbidden as well, for a while, the two of them simply spent the time at the gathering place, slouching over a table.
There is no chapter 64~66
They have been scrapped by the author.
Have some pretty pictures instead!
First is the cover of the light novel! Unmarked!
It’s Fii on the left, and Fiiru on the right!
Next are the prototype character design sketches!
First, the apprentice knights of the Northern Dormitory!
Did you enjoy!?
We’re not done yet!
We’ve still got a sneak peek at the light novel illustrations!
One to go!
Wellp, that’s all! Sorry about not having chapters, but I hope that relieved the disappointment a little!
Ever since Fii entered the Knight Order, she would report to York once a month. By now, it had become something of a routine.
Even though York was incredibly busy, always rushing here and there, he never failed to make time for Heath. Each time he would listen to her, give her advice, and praise her.
“Captain, this guy from the Eastern Dormitory called Doug transferred in. We’ve gotten really close!”
“Aah, Kaisar-sensei’s disciple, huh. I’ve heard the rumours. It seems he has a lot of promise as a swordsman.”
“Yes. He really looks up to you, and says he wants to meet you one day.”
“Hmm. Is that so. Maybe I’ll try meeting him if I can find the time.”
“Yes, Doug would be very happy!”
The two of them often met in the gathering place, but today they were chatting in a rear garden.
And today, Fii felt a gaze.
Looking to her right, she found a maid about her age, looking over hesitantly.
Fii noticed where that gaze was pointed at.
It would be more accurate to say that the maid was looking at York. Since Fii’s gaze met her by accident, she flashed her a smile.
When the maid saw this, she timidly approached them.
In her hands were some wrapped cookies. Probably home-made.
And her eyes looked at York with some love.
“Umm, York-sama… I made some cookies. If it’s fine with you, please have some!” she exclaimed with her eyes closed, before holding them out with two hands.
Fii watched it all in admiration.
(The Captain really is popular. He’s cool, and strong, and just an amazing person. Of course he’s popular! Crow-san is popular too. I guess knights really are popular. Hu hu hu, one day I’ll be too.)
Fii sat there, imagining herself surrounded by maids offering their cookies to her.
The maid girl stood there looking downwards with flushed cheeks. She was probably too embarrassed to look at him.
Fii watched on warmly.
But York’s frigid words were like cold water poured onto the girl.
The maid looked up too and saw his face. She froze and grew pale before tears gathered in her eyes.
Although she was on the verge of crying, she still spoke with a trembling voice.
“Umm… Do you dislike cookies…? I’m sorry. N-, Next time I’ll bring something else.”
“No need, I said. No matter what you make, I will not eat it, nor will I ever eat it. It’s a waste of time.”
York’s words were like ice as he looked down at her with a cold expression.
The maid stood dazedly.
And eventually she began to truly cry, turning around and running away.
York simply stopped looking at the running maid, as though nothing had even happened.
With a blanched face, Fii’s gaze darted between the girl and her captain.
“What’s the matter, Heath?”
“What do you mean, what’s the matter! What you said was so cruel!”
Hearing her objections, York’s eyes furrowed.
“If I didn’t go that far, she would have come again. Paying attention to these things is a waste of time. Even talking is a waste of time. I try and cut down time on those things as much as possible. I’m busy, after all.”
“How can you call it a waste of time! She went out of her way to make you those cookies!”
“I don’t ever recall asking for that. And it’s true that I would never eat them. It’s for her sake too, that I make things clear,” he declared with folded arms.
This time it was Fii’s brows that furrowed.
She looked towards the maid who was almost out of sight before running off towards her.
From behind, she heard York call out in a little panic.
“Heath, where are you going! You still haven’t finished reporting what happened this month!”
Turning to look at him just once, she shouted,
“Comforting a crying girl is obviously more important! Captain, you idiot!”
With that, Fii continued chasing after the maid, leaving York behind.
York simply stood there in a daze, watching her leave with eyes wide from shock.
“I’m… an idiot…?”
While Fii chased after the running maid girl, the other maids gossiped.
“What a silly girl. This is why none of the other maids ever approach York-sama.”
“Yeah, even though the rest of us can only watch him from afar. Serves her right.”
“She’s a newcomer so I guess she didn’t know. I don’t know if he saved her in the past or whatever, but this is what happens when you try and steal a march on others.”
As Fii was passing by, she ran over to the maids. Placing her left hand on her hip and looking a little angry, she leant in and poked the maid on the nose.
“You girls, it’s not good to talk bad about people like that, you know.”
The maids all looked at her in shock.
A few maids were even a little flushed.
“Anyway, do you know where she went? I lost sight of her.”
“Ummm…. She went that way, but…”
“Thanks! I’ll see you later!”
Flashing the maids a smile, Fii ran off with a wave.
“T-, The smile of an angel…”
The maids stood in a daze as they watched Fii disappear.
After running for a while in the direction the maids indicated, Fii finally found her. The girl was crying as she hugged her knees in the shade of a tree.
Fii down next to her.
“Are you okay? Sorry. Captain said some cruel things.”
The girl seemed to have been crying quite a bit.
She hadn’t even noticed Fii arrive, so there was shock all over her face. While wiping her tears, the maid girl spoke.
“No, it was my fault. I didn’t think about York-sama’s feelings. I got in the way of your conversation too. Of course he’d hate me.”
“I don’t think that’s quite right…” muttered Fii.
Still, she pulled out a handkerchief from her pocket and wiped the girl’s tears.
“You shouldn’t rub like that. Your eyes will go red.”
“Y-, Yes. I’m sorry. But is it okay for you to be here? You were speaking with York-sama.”
Her words caused Fii to remember what happened. It made Fii feel a little down.
“Speaking of which, I went and called him an idiot…”
“I’m so sorry! It’s my fault!”
“No, it wasn’t. I said it because I wanted to.”
The maid girl looked on the verge of tears again.
Even the fight with York and Fii was brought up.
(I came here to comfort her, but it’s not going too well, is it.)
After thinking for a while, Fii turned the girl’s chin with her index finger, and then peered straight into her eyes.
“Tears really don’t suit you. What I want to see is your smile. So please stop crying.”
The girl suddenly froze with wide-open eyes.
And since Fii didn’t know what to say next, she froze as well.
The atmosphere became a little weird.
Folding her arms, Fii tilted her head in wonder.
“That’s weird. I did it just like Crow-san, but it didn’t go too well.”
“Y-, You were copying Crow-sama…?”
“Yeah. He told me to say those things to a girl.”
“I don’t really think it suits you, Heath-kun…”
“I seee. But you stopped crying, so I guess it all worked out.”
With that, the girl noticed that her tears had stopped at some point.
Although it was surprise that stopped her crying, somehow all the sadness from before seemed a little fainter now.
“Well, anyway, I want you to cheer up. That’s all I wanted to say.”
The maid nodded at the brightly smiling Fii.
Although her eyes were still a little red, the maid girl smiled back.
While the two of them smiled at each other, a sudden grumbling sound interrupted.
It was the sound of Fii’s stomach.
Now it was Fii’s turn to turn a little red as she held her stomach, embarrassed.
“Uuu, how embarrassing. We had such a good atmosphere going too.”
The maid girl chuckled at her and presented the cookies she was still holding.
“If you’d like, please eat these.”
“Mn. There’s nobody to give them to now, and I’d be happy if you ate them instead.”
“I see. Then I’ll help myself!”
Fii took them into her hands with a smile.
And then she promptly opened the bag and opened wide.
“Mn! It’s really good!”
She could smell the fragrant butter, and the cookies had been baked perfectly crispy. Although Fii felt that it was lacking a little sweetness, that gave it a refined taste instead.
A natural smile surfaced on her face.
It was a smile that caused the girl to stare a little.
“Althea! Where are you!”
“I’m sorry for being mean! We should have warned you properly!”
“Please come out!”
Suddenly, they could hear voices from around the corner. It was in the direction where Fii came from, and the voices belonged to the maids from before.
Their cries were tinted heavily with both apology and worry for the girl they were looking for.
“Ah-, it’s my senpais,” reacted the maid girl.
She didn’t seem to be unhappy about it.
Although the maids probably bickered and argued with each other, it definitely wasn’t everything.
“I guess they’ve come to apologise. So your name was Althea?”
“It looks like things are alright now. I’m going to go.”
Fii stood up and dusted off her pants before running off somewhere again.
Though, mid-run, she turned and flashed another smile as she waved goodbye to Althea.
“See you later, Althea!”
“Ah-… Thank you…”
But Fii’s actions were prompt, and she had disappeared before Althea could get the words out.
“Altheaa! There you are!”
When her senpais discovered her, Althea was still staring dazedly in the direction that Fii had disappeared in.
Crow was training some young knights.
Although he couldn’t be considered a veteran, perhaps because of his sociable personality, he was often left with these sort of tasks.
“Please take care of me!” challenged a knight, before rushing at Crow with his sword.
Although the knight had slashed downwards with all his power, Crow easily evaded it. Taking the knight’s flank, Crow lightly tapped his sword to the knight’s neck with minimal movement.
“Don’t put so much strength into one hit. It’ll affect your balance, and present an opening to your enemy.”
Because of what had happened, the knight nodded as he broke out in a cold sweat.
“Yes, please take care of me!”
The next knight attacked a few times, but each one was easily parried. And then, when the knight transitioned into a side sweep, his blade was intercepted and the sword flew out of his hands.
“You aren’t composed enough when you strike, and don’t pay attention to your grip. Just because your strikes don’t hit, doesn’t mean you should panic.”
After that, a few other knights fought with him, but none of them could get a strike on Crow.
Although the young knights had been shocked when they heard they would be training with real swords, considering the difference in strength Crow just displayed, it made sense to them now.
Between his frivolous attitude and all his talks about women, he was more like a close senpai than a respected one. But once he displayed his strength, that impression changed completely.
Thanks to that, Crow won new respect amongst these young knights today, but the man himself was more worried about the gaze he had been feeling.
The young knights hadn’t noticed, but for a long while now, somebody had been staring at Crow from behind. Their gaze was coming from a thick tree behind the training place.
“Well then, think about what I pointed out just now and practice by yourselves.”
After giving the knights their instructions, Crow began walking towards that tree.
“What on earth are you doing, Heath…?”
When he looked up from its base, he found that Heath was lying on a thick branch like a cat. Her brows were creased into a frown.
Although Fii had thought about going back to the meeting place, she felt too awkward to do so. So since she heard about Crow training people, she ended up coming here instead.
“I called Captain an idiot…”
“Hahh, and why’d you do that…?”
Crow scratched his head in confusion at Fii’s moody words.
Fii told him what had happened.
“Is the Captain always like that with girls? Did something happen?”
Since Crow was the closest to the Captain, she decided to try asking why he treated girls that way.
“So even you’ve come to ask me that… When he was fourteen, the daughter of a count from the neighbouring country―――” he began with a serious expression, “―――did nothing to him. That guy’s just always been like that… When he was seven he went to a party. There was a princess from a neighbouring country that fell for him at first sight, and after completely ignoring her all night, she left bawling. It almost caused an international dispute. All I can say is that he was born like that…”
Although Crow mixed a joke into it, he actually seemed a little sad about it.
Even though York was his good friend, Crow could only feel that this part of him was a ridiculous problem.
If he was just like that, then there was nothing they could do.
Fii could only nod.
“I’m sorry, Heath.”
When Fii came back, she found York bowing to her.
The suddenness of it all caused her to panic.
“I-, I’m the one who should be saying sorry! I called you an idiot, Captain,” she cried as she shook her head.
York’s expression was serious.
“Then, you’ll forgive me?”
“Yes! Of course!”
She had been worried that things would be awkward between them, but who would have expected that York would apologise to her.
Feeling relieved, she thought to herself again that the Captain really was magnanimous.
Fii’s mood was great now, having reconciled faster than expected.
“Then from now on you’ll treat girls more nicely, right?”
“Huh? Why would I?”
His expression told that he truly had no idea what she was talking about.
Fii began to sweat.
“C-, Captain, wasn’t your sorry an apology…?”
“Umu. I upset you, after all. I’m quite sure my attitude offended you somehow. I’m also quite thankful for the good relationship we have. That’s why I decided to apologise first. But it looks like you’ve forgiven me. Thank goodness.”
Fii could feel a deep sense of despair welling up inside.
(This guy… is totally hopeless… He didn’t reflect at all…!)
She finally realised it.
York was simply apologising.
It wasn’t that he realised he had done something bad; he simply wanted to continue his relationship with Fii, so he decided to say sorry.
It was terrible.
She needed to have a word with him.
“Captain… The reason I was angry is because you said something cruel to a girl!”
“Didn’t you make that maid girl cry?”
“But it was necessary.”
“Even if it was necessary, couldn’t you have said it in a nicer way?”
“No, I am quite certain that was the best way. There’s proof. After saying it like that, I suspect she will never approach me again.”
Fii’s mouth hung open in shock.
“Y-, You don’t think at all that you should be gentler with girls!?”
“Why. Even if I do that, it won’t help get any jobs done. In fact, by saying it the way I did, I improved efficiency by reducing downtime.”
“If you keep doing things like that, one day a girl is going to make you suffer, you know?”
“You mean if the women stage a rebellion? Bring it on. When they come, I’ll show them just how I suppress them!”
Even though Fii thought they had been talking about how he needed to be gentler to girls, for some reason she could see a weird aura around York and hear the sound of excited rumbling.
Why. Why did it turn into such a weird conversation…
Fii was at her wits’ end.
But, she understood the gist of things. In other words, being kind to women wouldn’t help his job, so he wouldn’t do it. In fact, they got in the way when they approached, so he wanted them to stay away.
Fii hung her head a little sadly.
“Captain, if I was useless to you, would you not treat me kindly like this…?”
‘I don’t want him to nod…’
Those words passed through her heart.