Chapter 10: As a Knight
TLC: Agni, Kriz
First published on Ainushi
The Tenth Story: As a Knight
When the bell for lunch break went off, the training session was suspended for that period.
Bernard told Lazare that he wanted to speak to him before lunch. Both of them had moved to the office.
“So, what’s the matter?”
“The thing is—-”
He took out, from amongst his valuables, a leather bag which contained the gold coins and documents that Ernesto had entrusted him with.
“What is that?”
“It’s a mission request from one of the second prince’s guards, Ernesto Barthelemon-dono..”
Lazare took the documents with a doubtful expression. As he began reading the documents, , his brows furrowed deeper.
“What the heck does he mean by this?”
Lazare, who was always calm, looked irritated for the first time. Still, it was understandable why he would inevitably react that way.
“To make the lady from the Le Verges house his mistress, preposterous. ” Does he not have any chivalry in him to take her as his wife??
In the first place, it’s not that uncommon for nobles to keep a mistress. Still, for Lazare who grew up in a strict household, such act was scorned upon. Bernard, of course, thought the same.
“If things were going to turn out this way, I should have assisted her much sooner. ”
“Well, it’s not like you could have done anything.”
Agnes’ father had incurred the king’s wrath. Helping her would worsen one’s social standing in the noble’s society.
“So, how do you want to handle this?”
“I’m going to speak to Lord Barthelemon now about this. What about you, Orlellian?
“No, I’m good.”
It goes without saying he would have the urge to beat him up in the middle of the discussion.
“I’ll be going then.”
“What is it?”
“How about you go after having lunch?”
“No, I will head off now. …I don’t have that much patience.”
“You are, indeed”
Without detaining him any further, Bernard silently saw him off.
After the afternoon training had ended, he headed to the office to do his work.
There was a letter from captain on top of his desk which stated that he had left first . While thinking how unusual of him, he took it and put it in the pile with the unnecessary documents.
All the administrative work had also been settled.
Bernard decided to head home as well.
As the construction repairs for the mansion had begun, the materials were brought into the garden. Since the repair works was over for the day, , the materials were covered with a cloth.
Gigille welcomes him as he entered the house.
“Welcome home, Master.”
“You seem tired.”
He ordered her to prepare the bath as he took off his coat and handed it to her, intending to head to his room.
“What is it?”
“Miss Agnes said she wanted to talk to you.”
“Has she recovered from her cold?”
“Then tell her to come to my room”, he ordered.
Sitting on the couch in his room, he sighed. He was relieved that he could finally enquire about her situation..
A few minutes later, Agnes showed up. She meekly knocked on the door, before coming in as requested.
Agnes came wearing a blue one-piece dress which seems to have been brought along from her house. Prompting her to sit on the chair, she deeply bowed her head before she sat directly facing him this time.
“I know you are busy, thank you for making ti—-”
“It’s fine. What’s the matter?
“Ah,yes.That, I want to extend my gratitude.”
Just as she started to talk, there was a knock on the door. Gigille had came by and brought the tea.
“Gigille-san, I’ll serve the tea.”
“Is that alright?”
“Yes, -please leave it to me”
Agnes took the silver tray.
The tray was slightly wobbling, Gigille startled and promptly supported the tray from the bottom.
“Wait, are you alright!?”
“Umm, I am fine.”
On the silver tray were teacups for the black tea inside the teapot, saucers, sugar and milk jars, and a plate of cookies. She moved unsteadily while holding the tray in her hands. What a helpless lady, Bernard watched her in bewilderment.
“Miss Agnes, add one cup of milk and three lumps of sugar for master’s black tea.”
“Yes, I understand.”
Bernard was embarrassed. His sweet tooth had been exposed.
In the interval as he grimaced from embarrassment, the tea set was placed on the table.
Agnes pour the black tea into the teacup with a serious expression.
Then, she added in the milk and sugar. Lifting up a small jar, Agnes suddenly squinted her eyes.
That expression, it was the exact same expression Bernard had seen five years ago at the party.
Bernard knocked the table hard as he stood up.
Agnes was startled and dropped the jar she held in her hand.
Fortunately, there was only sugar in the jar, and it simply spilled onto the plate with the cookies.
Agnes looked down and squinted her eyes at the mess on the desk. Her intense stare, it was as if she held a person in disdain.
Her line of sight wasn’t on Bernard, but on the sugar which scattered on top of the desk. When she checked that all of the sugar had spilled out, lowering ends of her eyebrow, she looked up at Bernard with an apologetic face.
“… That’s of inconsequential. Answer my question.”
He asked her with a tense expression.
“――You, do you perhaps have a bad eyesight?”
Agnes widened her eyes. Then, she awkwardly looked down and slowly nodded her head.
Bernard threw himself at the couch. All of her conduct and behavior have been pieced together.
Agnes Le Verges never looked down on Bernard.
He realized that she just couldn’t see people’s faces clearly at a distance.
After many years, he finally knew it was all a misunderstanding.
“I apologize. I had thought about mentioning it someday…….
“No, It’s fine.”
He finally figured out the reason yet his mind was having a hard time catching up. Because of a misunderstanding out of his own convenience, he had hired Agnes as a servant; what a terrible thing he had done to her He was at his wit’s end.
As he thought, he should have handed her over to Lazare, his regret overwhelming him.
Looking at the bitter expression he wore, Agnes came up with a very unexpected move. As if thought of doing something, she suddenly moved and headed to Bernard, facing right in front of where he sat, and fall to her knees.
She joined her hands together in front of her chest, and pleaded to him.
“Please. I beg you, please let me stay here.”
“It’s true that I don’t have good eyesight and I’m also not used to working as a servant, but I will do my utmost best.”
“No, even if you tell me that—”
“I will definitely repay the kindness that Orlellian-sama has given me. B-Besides, other than here, I don’t have anywhere else to go.”
Agnes appealed with a trembling voice, tears gradually welling up in her eyes. Bernard felt like he had became the bad guy.
What should he do? He couldn’t come up with an answer.
“… Let me think about this for a while.”
“Yes, I’m sorry for saying something so selfish ”
Thinking that he shouldn’t give her a prompt reply, he decided to sit on her request for the time being.
Agnes carried the tray, bowed and left the room.
For a good while, Bernard stared at the door that had been shut.
The next morning arrived without him finding an answer.
Like usual, he dressed up, ate breakfast and set out to work.
He was going to inquire about the matter first thing in the morning.
When he opened the office door, there was Lazare holding his chin on top of his joined hands with both elbows propped on the desk. His expression was grim.
He really wanted to ask how things went yesterday but it didn’t seem like the right mood for it. However, when Lazare noted that Bernard had entered the room, he began to speak of the matter arbitrarily.
“I’ll cut to the chase. Yesterday, I’d spoke with Ernesto Barthelemon”
“Regarding the request to search for Agnes Le Verges’, I have decided to accept it.”
Bernard thought without any doubt that he had left to refuse the request, as it turned out otherwise, he was surprised.
Wondering what the heck was going on, he waited for Lazare to continue the discussion.
“To put it short, Sir Barthelemon is is an asshole”
“That is—I agree.”
Lazare perfectly understood what sort of person Ernesto was. Then why did he accept the request. The mystery just deepens further
First of all, why did he put in the request to Lazare, the captain of the 『Third Division Special Assault Corps』. The answer he received was astonishing.
“That guy, he said my unit was just a waste of time, a unit that does nothing but training. “
Among the other numerous Special Assault Corps, he said that he purposely chose Lazare’s corps, a minor unit.
“I’m afraid it will sooner or later be known to the king.”
“So it seems.”
“Well, he doesn’t seemed to have put in the request to any other units besides ours. Of course, ordering knights by using one’s own money is against the rules. But,, if we refuse his request, Lord Barthelemon might ask the other knights.”
“Are you perhaps, accepting the request without the intention to actually search for Agnes Le Verges? “
They will only pretend to accept the request then leave it as is without conducting the search. That was the plan.
It was a relief that Lazare was not swayed by money and power, however he soon realized there was another problem.
“If by any chance the fact that we are involved in this matter is exposed to the the top brass of the Order of the Knights—”
“I’ll be demoted, or worst, stripped of my position as a knight”
Bernard highlighted that if they reported the money and document Ernesto Barthelemon had brought to the upper brass, it would bring the matter to a close.
“That’s true. If we do that, that rotten knight will disappear and the royal guards can also be at peace. However, what are we going to do about Agnes Le Verges’ honor?”
If the Order of the Knights holds a special investigation on the second son of a Marquis, it’s only a matter of time before it causes an uproar.
When that happens, Lazare predicted that rumours of the plan to take Agnes as a mistress and lock her up in the basement will spread out in a flash.
“I won’t be able to help her. That’s why I want to , at least, protect her honor——-“
Bernard listen to Lazare’s speech with mixed feelings.
And so, he opened his mouth to ask his biggest doubt.
“Captain, why would you go that far for other’s sake?”
“Because that’s what it means to be a knight”
—To protect the weak, to show utmost respect, to eliminate the evil.
The doctrines of the Knights left a heavy impact on his chest.
Struck by the fervent beat, Bernard stood firmly rooted on the spot.
Special thanks to the people who worked on this especially to the TLC’s whom I have given headache, and the most adorable editor of the staff that did the edits for this chapter.
This one would probably updated twice or at worst once a month only.
Thank you for reading and enjoy.