Chapter 139: Role of a Leader
If your companion asks for healing, you would probably do your best to help.
Then, if it is between the retainers of a big shot and your companion, which would you prioritize to treat first?
When I arrived at the large training ground, almost all of the members of the Knight Corps had collapsed on the ground.
I saw that Lionel and the others had not collapsed but they were on their knees.
“It looks like you guys are fine.”
When I approached while feeling relieved, I noticed that Catherine-san had collapsed in front of Lionel and Lumina-san had collapsed in front of Cathy and Kefin.
“Lionel! What’s the meaning of this?”
Lionel reacted and looked back to my voice and gave a relieved expression.
“Thank god. Luciel-sama, you’ve returned. You could please treat these people first?”
Lionel postponed explaining about the matter and urged me to treat both Catherine-san and Lumina-san who were covered in blood first.
Naturally, I would have treated them even if he didn’t say anything but looking closely, even Lionel and the others were quite beaten up as well.
“You all come into range as well, is just a 「Area High Heal」 enough?”
” … Catherine-dono has multiple broken bones.”
I could infer that the equipment he borrowed wasn’t good enough so he couldn’t defeat her immediately.
If that wasn’t the case, I find it unlikely that Catherine-san would be able to cause Lionel who has great combat compatibility against her to be so beaten up.
” … To be safe, I’ll use 「Extra Heal」 too. For Lionel and you guys too.”
Cathy and Kefin didn’t say anything and I understood that they were in a condition where they could barely stand so after I applied 「Area High Heal」, I subsequently applied 「Extra Heal」 too.
“I don’t know what happened but everyone has lost too much blood so rest for awhile. I’ll be helping the Healers heal the Knight Corps members who you guys most likely sent flying. Incidentally, was there anyone who lost a body part?”
“Nothing like that happened.”
“We’re not that weak nya.”
“There wasn’t a need to do so.”
I could almost see the scorn the 3 of them had for the Knight Corps.
Even I have not been looked at with such eyes.
From the situation, I couldn’t judge if it was because of just how far their skills have rusted or if they’ve been having easy training that can only look like they are playing around.
Indeed, half of the members of the Knight Corps have been sent flying and the Valkyrie Paladin Corps were not an exception.
“Is the reason why Lionel and the others are looking at them with scorn because of this weakness? Or because of their laid back attitude towards their job … I’ll definitely ask later.”
I continued treating them.
Including the Valkyrie Paladin Corps, they thanked me but none of them told me when I asked them about what happened.
After finishing all the healing, I returned to the center and Estia was greeting Lionel and the others.
“Were you introducing yourself?”
“Ah, Luciel-sama. Erm, why am I here? I should have been at the labyrinth up until earlier?”
While feeling irritated at her for saying the no-go word out of the blue, I decided to complain to the Darkness Spirit the next time she comes out.
“What labyrinth are you talking about? Leaving that aside, were you greeting Lionel and the others?”
“Ah, yes. I don’t know about the plan for the future but I did inform them about the plan for me to follow along to Meratoni as well.”
I let the talk about the labyrinth slide and continued the conversation.
” … I see. Lionel, Cathy, Kefin. I apologize but this is a request from Pope-sama. Estia will be following us to Meratoni.”
“Well, I should be able to look forward to it more than the Knight Corps who pretend to be friendly with each other.”
“Estia is quite strong so we’ll be able to train properly nya.”
“She’s stronger than I am … maybe, but in situations like these I have better situation assessment capabilities.”
They didn’t forget to show contempt for the Knight Corps. It’s rare for the 3 of them to show this much emotion.
“Most probably Estia is stronger that you nya, Kefin.”
“Now you’ve gone and said it.”
“You want to go nya?”
“No, I’ll get you back someday so remember this.”
“I’ll look forward to it nya.”
I smiled while remembering that the 2 of them have been hitting it off well lately but I can’t just observe Cathy and Kefin joke with each other all day so I called out to the 2 people who were still on the ground.
Since I’ve noticed that they’ve woken up since a while ago.
“Catherine-san, Lumina-san. My retainers have been discourteous. I don’t know why such a thing happened in the large training ground and why I happened to not be present but I apologize.”
” … Was this matter under Luciel’s orders?”
Lumina-san was the first to reply.
Even so, orders?
“I didn’t give any orders in particular? Did something happen?”
” … It’s fine if you don’t know about it.”
Lumina-san hung her head down and kept silent.
Even though I looked at Lionel and the others, they didn’t say anything.
However, thinking back to yesterday … I have a feeling that quite some scolding is in order.
” … If they did something, it would all be for my sake. Since the 3 of them are not people who would move for the sake of their own benefit … While looking at yesterday’s combined drill, for a combined drill by the Church Headquarters in the Holy Capital, I was also made to think if the knights would actually be able to defend the church given such a lukewarm performance.”
While feeling surprised at my own astonishingly sharp tongue, the 2 of them also did not imagine such words from me and their bodies flinched.
Maybe having me say that was that shocking or that the same exact words were said by my 3 retainers as well, the 2 of them remained gloomy.
” … Luciel-kun, wouldn’t it be better if you just led the Knight Corps instead?”
Just when I thought that the silent Catherine-san spoke, she really proposed for her to relinquish the captain seat of the Knight Corps.
Lumina-san was looking at Catherine-san with an unbelieving expression.
“Of course there’s no way I can do that. I have my own mission and the Paladins and Priest Knights were gathered as the church’s Knight Corps to protect the church right? Then who will protect Pope-sama?”
The 2 of them didn’t answer … or to be precise, Lumina-san was peeking at Catherine-san’s reaction.
Individually, Lumina-san was already the stronger among the 2 and with regard to commanding ability, she has also become better than Catherine-san in leading.
For the Catherine-san who has lost herself, Lumina-san allowed her to win even to the extent of holding back in hopes that she would regain her self-confidence?
However, that does not help anybody and only causes adverse effects.
I told Catherine-san the little take home I got from Ienith.
“I believe that it is wrong to think that if a person is strong individually, he will not have the ability to lead a group. If a person doesn’t have leadership ability, then he can think of other ways to contribute while polishing his leadership ability. If not, he would not be able to have subordinates and retainers.”
” … By any chance are those words pointed at me?”
I sensed intense anger.
Her feeling angry means that she’s mortified right?
If that’s the case, it means that she actually wants to remain as the Captain of the Knight Corps right?
“It’s my opinion but if Catherine-san can’t be the Captain of the Knight Corps, it is fine to resign. Once that happens, the chain of command will become a mess and a rift will form between the Paladin Corps and Priest Knight Corps once again.”
“That won’t happen. It won’t change that Lumina and the other squad captains are at the top. This couple of years, at least once a month, we’ve been doing drills so the relationship is not as bad compared to the past.”
Catherine-san gave a sad expression but I’ve fallen into the same trap before.
For example, when I was in Ienith, when the honey factory was discovered and in regards to the school as well, I thought that as long as the form was there, I won’t be needed to be on the top.
However, whenever I think back about it, Haniru from the Hacchi tribe’s words would float in my mind.
I was giving them strength because I was at the top.
I arbitrarily thought to myself that Catherine-san is definitely the same too.
Which is why, for Catherine-san and Lumina-san who have been helping me, I’ll try to lend a hand so that they don’t need to suffer anymore.
“Is that really so? As far as I can see, everyone from the Knight Corps is concerned about Catherine-san.”
“What are you saying? General Lionel said the same thing too but what do you know from just a few days?”
Beside her astounded expression, there was a face giving me support.
I weaved my words with the help of the support from that expression.
“It’s not just a few days, I’m saying from the stance of knowing about this church Knight Corps since the time it was revived. Lionel may know about it because he is knowledgeable about real battlefields but … even if Catherine-san’s individual combat ability is not the best, even if your leading ability is not the best, there is a reason why Catherine-san is the Captain of the Knight Corps.”
” … What’s that?”
“I can’t put it into words well but if I must choose, it is popularity. As long as you are standing on top, it will be okay to just follow your instructions. You make it possible for them to think that way.”
“That’s not the case. Anyone can do it if they do it long enough. Even during the drill, didn’t Lumina-chan lead the Paladin Corps well too?”
It sure is troublesome when elites get hurt.
She’s completely stubborn on her opinion.
Originally, even in an elite organization, at least one person would always shine and possess the gravitational force to pull in the weed souls but … I can’t demand for something that is not there and … it is a waste of time if it is useless even after I tell the truth.
“That’s how it seems right. But in actual fact, they lost to the Priest Knight Corps led by Catherine-san right? That’s your answer.”
” … I can’t understand what you are trying to say.”
“The whole drill proceeded in a way such that Catherine-san would not lose.”
“For what reason? Lumina, answer me.”
The scene where Catherine-san was outraged and Lumina-san cowered ended up happening.
Instead of a difference in rank, it’s due to match fixing, or rather due to holding back, it was probably hard for Lumina-san to speak.
“It’s because she wants Catherine-san to remain as the Captain of the Knight Corps. I also think that it is better if Catherine-san continues to take on the job of the Captain of the Knight Corps.”
” … The Captain of the Knight Corps job?”
Her expression changed from a glaring look to a quizzical one.
“The job of organizing the 8 squad captains. To talk with each of the squad’s squad captains and summarize them. You will be fulfilling your responsibility as the Captain of the Knight Corps just by doing that.”
When I was in Ienith, I only talked with the top management and my interaction with the employees were to the extent of greetings only.
Even so, it went along well because the captains and tribal chiefs that I gave orders brought together the people below them.
When I have thought up to that point, Lionel spoke.
“Indeed. After that, those respective squad captains just need to instruct their platoon leaders or squad members and the organization will be able to function. Not everything is your job.”
The things that Lionel has noticed should be more than what I have but he may once again be testing me here.
I ended up having such a thought.
“If it’s during a drill, I think that it is Catherine’s job to observe from above and correct anything you notice. Of course, nobody will feel troubled if you raise your individual combat ability as well.”
“Was I too eager?”
“Yes. Since you are one of the few who has the trust of Pope-sama, please pull yourself together.”
If the role of the Captain of the Knight Corps unexpectedly drops on me here, I’ll definitely be overworked to death.
Furthermore, since I ran away from the bloody battles in Ienith so that I won’t be involved and returned here, I’d like to spend my life with slightly more leeway.
” … My role huh … Lumina … sorry. I may not be reliable but please support me.”
“Yes! Please continue to lead everyone as the Captain of the Knight Corps from now on as well.”
Smiles floated on both their faces.
It helped that Catherine-san was obedient.
Now that I think about it, Catherine-san may be an elite but she has descended from the role of Captain of the Knight Corps once in the past and she may have experienced plenty of setbacks before.
Perhaps I should actually thank her for not vacating the seat of the Captain of the Knight Corps this time.
“After having talks once more, I’ll rethink the method we hold the drill. Luciel-kun, this time, I’ve been helped by you once again.”
“I’m happy I could be of use but I only conveyed the feeling I got from watching that drill. Moreover, I’m sorry for saying such conceited words.”
“Luciel-kun’s feelings reached me perfectly.”
I felt relieved as the clouded expression she had until before was no longer there.
“I think Catherine-san can have slightly more confidence in yourself.”
” … Thank you, Luciel-kun.”
Catherine-san walked closer to me with a smile and I felt a soft kiss on my cheek.
Without getting flustered, I thanked her with a smile.
I’ve just drunk Object X so the effect has not kicked in yet.
In my previous life, I would never be able to be so calm.
“Ara, you weren’t shaken at all.”
“But I am delighted to be kissed by a beautiful person like Catherine-san.”
As if a person like me about the age of 40 after rounding up if including my previous life would be soaring over the sky over receiving a kiss on the cheek.
“Ooo~ Lumina, come here.”
“Yes. What is it?”
“Could you perhaps give Luciel-kun a thank you kiss? Since it didn’t look like he’s amazed when I was the one doing it.”
Why did she compel her to express her gratitude?
Furthermore, that shouldn’t be something you order someone to do.
“No, there’s no way she can do such a thing even if you tell her to. Right? Lumi … ?!”
“This is to thank you for your help this time, it’s definitely not because Catherine-sama told me to …”
Lumina-san with her faintly dyed cheek was extremely cute.
The sweet smell that tickled my nasal cavity and the sensation that her lips left behind caused butterflies in my stomach for the first time since I came to this world.
If this was a honey trap, I’ve definitely fallen for it.
While having such thoughts, I lowered my head and thanked her.
“Thank you very much. Gochisousamadesu.” (TL: Gochisousamadesu = Something Japanese say after a meal, roughly translating to: Thank you for the wonderful meal/feast.)
All the members of the Knight Corps witnessed this and I was laughed at from the shadows for the next couple of days.
Especially how the Valkyrie Paladin Corps excluding Lumina-san took it as their material to tease me with and how it should have been where Lionel and the others came to my aid but instead hopped on to the evil practices, these would all be a talk for another day.
Thank you for reading.
Saying thanks is also how a gentleman acts.
I ended up writing after thinking maybe it would be good if these kind of good luck happens to Luciel sometimes.