Chapter 113

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The morning after the Prince’s birthday banquet, Charles’s travel preparations were interrupted by a soft knock on her bedroom door.

“Young Lady?”

“Cox?” Charles tilted her head.

“I’m sorry, I know you’ve been busy… but a visitor has arrived.”

“A guest? For me?” No way. Her eyes widened like a rabbit. “Wait… Wait a minute.” Charles’s face lit up with a peculiar sense of expectation. She glanced in the mirror to check her freshly brushed hair and cleared her throat. “Come in.”

“Yes.” Cox gently opened the door, followed by a man and a woman.

Charles’s face was tinged with disappointment when she saw their faces.1

“Oh my word… my god…” Cain, dressed in a knight’s robe, unusually, and hair neatly pulled back, clapped his hand over his mouth and prayed to a god he didn’t believe in. “I heard stories of Young Lady Charles’s famous beauty, but I never expected… this.”

She was so beautiful that, even in the morning, her shine was untouched; it seemed as if time held no sway over her.

“I would like to ask your names—would that be too rude? You are an inspirational, one-of-a-kind knight.”

“Ah,” Icarus began, “we are—”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Lady Charles!” Icarus was shoved to the side as Cain stepped forwards and shot a nasty glare at the knight’s back, but Cain was too busy simping2 to care. “From now on, you are my liege—no, my goddess—agh!”

Cain fell onto his butt clutching his nape. Icarus offered Charles a pleasant smile, despite just smashing a knight.

“It’s such a pleasure to meet you, Young Lady. I’m honored to meet the young lady of the renowned Pontier family. My name is Icarus; like the Young Lady, I come from the Southern province—the Harvest Estate.”

“Ah, ‘Icarus’!” Charles reached out and took Icarus’s hands. “I’ve heard so much about you, Icarus! They say you’re the smartest person in the country! I’ve wanted to meet you for such a long time now—what a pleasure.”

Icarus couldn’t help but laugh at the unexpectedly warm reception.

It was really quite natural, actually. Icarus was the most prestigious graduate of the Imperial Academy; already, the heads of several renowned houses were swooning over this brilliant mind. How excited would Charles be when Icarus came looking for her?”

But… was Icarus a lady? Charles shook her head. It doesn’t matter so long as she’s here. Her estate and ours are neighbors, so… Her eyes filled with anticipation.

“This man is—”

“I am Cain, knight of Duke Agn—Baron Sanders! Young Lady, it is a pleasure to meet you.”

“Baron Sanders? No way…”

“Yes, Joshua Sanders, the second son of Duke Agnus. You are correct, Young Lady.”

“W-wait. Then you are…” Charles looked at Icarus, who nodded back.

“I am in the Baron’s service, albeit not officially yet.”

“Ah, I see…” Charles’s expression fell, to Icarus’s embarrassment.

“I believe you should have a thorough discussion with these two, Princess.”

“What do you mean, Cox?”

“They—”

“Let me explain,” Icarus interrupted.

“Then, please.”

Icarus was now a Count, yet she still stopped to offer Cox a grateful smile and a nod.

“Our lord, um…” Icarus coughed, slightly embarrassed to be calling someone “our lord.” “Well, Baron Joshua told us to look after you. I mean, well, we still need your consent.”

“No doubt Duke Agnus is attempting to assist us through the two of you; he is well aware of our family’s circumstances.”

Charles pouted. “Then what about that person?”

“You never know; it could be Duke Agnus’s order.” Cox smiled bitterly.

“No, that’s not it.”

“No?” Cox frowned suspiciously at Cain.

“My lord, Baron Joshua Sanders, is the sole authority in all of this. No other wills influence the master’s decisions.”

“You mean—”

“Indeed—Not even his father, Duke Aden von Agnus. No one stands above the master.”

Cox’s pupils dilated; even Charles stared blankly, though in a different way than usual. Cain’s conviction had left a strong impression on her.

He seems so lighthearted and yet he has such faith… What the hell did you do?

“UGH—!” Cain folded over, clutching his side.

“Where do you think you’re trying to show off?” Icarus scowled at him.

“Are you implying that I look cool?” Cain immediately jumped to his feet, smiling broadly.

“Stop tooting your own horn.”

Cain’s face fell.

“I’m not sure… but it’s not my type,” Icarus mumbled.

“Huh?”

Icarus’s cheeks flushed under Cain’s gaze and she looked away.

“Wai—You—!”

“To summarize, that man—No, Baron Joshua sent you two to assist my family?”

“For the time being, absolutely,” Cain responded.

“I am very grateful, but honestly, I don’t understand; he must be aware of our family’s position, so why did he issue such an order?”

“The lord has ordered us to assist the Young Lady, and so we shall.” Cain smiled. “That’s all there is to it.”


Imperial Knights Templar headquarters, top floor, office of Rod den Hogg, Master and Commander of Avalon’s most elite knights; he was also known as Master Rod, and his expression was stern.

“A letter of resignation… Among the captains of the Imperial Knights, there has never been a case of someone resigning without a clear reason like you.” The Master eyed the small paper on the table. “Joshua Sanders, captain of the extra battalion… Actually, Valmont just left. It was a pretty good laugh—I haven’t seen him smile like that since he joined the Knights. He rose to captain without even trying. You didn’t hurt his pride, you just ignited his will to train… just by existing.” The Knight-Commander examined Joshua’s face closely. “Let me ask you something.”

“Go ahead.”

“Did you go beyond the wall?”

The office was silent for a while. Joshua didn’t say anything, but Rod didn’t need him to. The answer was already laid bare; to suppress Valmont, at the pinnacle of B-Class, without harming him could only mean one thing. But believing it was another matter.

A Master at fifteen… It’s insane.

There was nothing Rod could do but laugh.

“As I stated, I will not accept your letter of resignation; I don’t want to miss out on a talent just because I already have too many. The decision, thus, is based purely on His Majesty the Emperor’s desire. Are you still confident?”

“Yes.”

“I understand.” His smile widened. “If you’ve made your choice, then go and make the world remembered the name ‘Joshua Sanders.’”

Joshua saluted and left; the door closed behind him with a thud, leaving the Knight-Commander alone in the office.

“I remember the first time I met him. I expected this day would come sooner or later, but…” He raised his face, letting the sunlight from the window play across his face.

“...Master Battle.” He astonished himself with the fiery passion surging from his wizened heart, and he hastily brushed it aside. Soon, his office was once again a place of only pens scratching on paper.

  1. It’s not Joshua, darling. ↩️

  2. TL: Not in the raws but is it safe to say?<br/>Editor: We’ll just say it’s character development. It makes Cain more *relatable*. ↩️

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