Chapter 42 – Reunion With Albert
As expected, within the group of Knights, the ones who were friendly with Chester were the Dragon Knights who shared the same rank as him.
And, most likely, the superior within those Dragon Knights was Vice-Commander Greg. Even amongst the Knights, this man’s evaluation appeared to be divided.
Speaking about it idealistically, he didn’t really show superiority as a commander, but was the type of person who usually handled things with his spirit and gut. Since he talked about things boldly whenever he opened his mouth, I felt that…he was popular with the lower ranks and was hated by the nobles.
Since Chester was appointed under him and was rising up in the world, then he probably got along well with Greg.
Since that was the case, it was either Chester or Greg. Perhaps I should be careful coming into contact with nobles who had a connection with Greg.
After being lost in thought while looking at the Knights and the soldiers at the drilling ground below me, the horns sounded off.
The guests began to quiet down, and the figure of King Melvin appeared from the balcony of the Knights Tower. His age was around 50. He had the image of a stern, great man.
“Everyone, We are sorry for troubling you.”
Melvin spoke to the square in a solemn voice.
“Although this event was originally supposed to be a banquet to help people deepen their friendship, those words aren’t suitable at this hour. As everyone knows, several of Our soldiers gave up their lives for the Kingdom during the Cardiff incident and the appearance of the Demon. We considered not hosting a banquet this evening, thinking about the feelings of the wives, children, and parents who were left behind.”
(TL: Royal we.)
Melvin stopped talking for a moment, before closing his eyes and stretching out both of his arms.
“However, We received a plea from a number of people and therefore acknowledged the opening of tonight’s banquet. This banquet is held so We do not forget their loyalty and bravery to Us. It is so We do not forget the names and faces of our fellow companions. As long as there are brave men like them, the glorious Weldogal assures you that attacks from the likes of Demons will be naught but a trifling matter. Although Our Knights have honor and glory, they have inherited it from the souls and wills of those who fell. Everyone, drink, eat, and enjoy this evening to your heart’s content. This will be our farewell to the brave people who devoted their souls to the Kingdom.”
Melvin lifted a cup and said this:
“To the brave soldiers!”
After saying that, he finished his cup in one gulp. Everyone present followed suit, and then cheers resounded in the square. Melvin nodded calmly, and after looking at his surroundings like he was calming down the cheering, he said:
“And then, the little Hero who confronted the Demon single-handedly and destroyed it. We think that We are happy about the fact that such a person is hidden within our Kingdom, and the fact that he braved the danger, regardless of his own interests, and fearlessly confronted it. We also asked him to come to the banquet this evening.”
Melvin then looked directly towards me and laughed, showing me a large grin on his face.
His expression somehow reminded me of a mischievous child’s. I knew that the invited guests had gathered their attention on me. Hmm.
…King Melvin. If I were to talk about his nature, then he would be a simple and sturdy military man. He probably realized that I got along with Oswald, but in BFO, Players had no contact with his name nor his appearance.
Due to that, it was the same as not knowing Melvin’s nature. One’s reputation and face didn’t always match up with one’s true intentions. Even the King got involved with political situations here, but that shouldn’t determine whether he was trustworthy or not.
The intentions of the Knights were theirs, the intentions of the King were his, and I still didn’t know if Chester understood his surroundings.
After Melvin sat down in the large chair that was prepared for him on the balcony, the musicians began to play majestic music. Although elegant music was flowing for the ordinary, simple speech, the meaning behind it was probably different.
Since the results of the daily training would be shown to the King, the infantry and cavalry formed a line and presented the rearrangement of their formation. A command was issued, and they changed to the next formation. It didn’t mean the skill of the whole army was high, but it was satisfying to see them move in perfect coordination as they were commanded.
After this, the program would surely continue on to a joust or a mounted archery competition.
What they would be doing now was a Tourney, a team jousting battle.
The armored Knights mounted their horses and dragons, faced each other, and then started charging at each other. From the looks of it, they were aiming to knock their opponents off of their mounts by jabbing them with their spears as they passed by each other…Well, it was a competition.
Their spears were made mainly of easily broken processed wood, and even though there were flat caps on the tips of the spears, which lessened its killing power, there was still the danger of being pierced by fragments of wood and falling down from their mounts, so it wasn’t completely safe.
Oswald explained some of the good points to me.
Cheers sounded from the invited guests every time the opposing Knight was knocked off from his mount by a spear.
It appeared that one team wore red-plume helmets and the other wore blue-plume helmets, splitting them into groups of five people each.
As for how a match was carried out, despite the blue team vanguard having defeated three people in a row, they were, in turn, defeated by the red team’s sub-captain.
The red sub-captain let out a shrill cheer every time his opponents were knocked off their mounts.
He faced the audience and waved his hands, becoming increasingly lively.
Although I couldn’t see his face because of the helmet, it appeared that person was Chester.
Oswald did say that it would be natural for the red team to win…and I felt that Chester was definitely superior to the others.
However, Oswald didn’t appear to be that pleased by it. Even though cheers rose from Chester’s victories, he didn’t look interested in it.
“Is there a problem with Chester?”
“Rather than Chester…it’s the Knights as a whole. That guy personally finished this without looking bad, so that isn’t interesting, and even if they can’t engage in close combat with him, the Knights right now are a bunch of cowards. They know this well, which means that they are setting the stage and waiting for the second strongest guy in the blue vanguard.”
So that meant that it was a half-rigged match. It was a match between members of the same organization, but I thought that the excitement from this was necessary, since this was a social event in the end.
Moreover, Oswald made quite the serious complaint.
The way Chester fought was rather normal, making him popular with the crowd, and when taking that into consideration, Oswald’s evaluation of Chester ended up being ‘He is neat and orderly, so it isn’t interesting.’
“That’s why you should go and participate in this. It will serve as a good stimulus for them, you know.”
“What nonsense is that, this guy.”
After I dodged Oswald’s joke, a woman approached us.
“Excuse me for disturbing you during your pleasant chat. Are you Theodore Gartner-sama? My name is Annie Erimson.”
“I’m a member of the Magician’s Unit. I’m here to give my greeting and talk with Theodore-sama. If you’re fine with it, will you please come with me?”
…The Magician’s Unit, huh. Didn’t they oppose the Knights? Perhaps they would ask me about some kind of important information?
Even though this place was for people to mingle with each other, if the partners who had to attend with me became a popular topic of conversation, then it would be natural to narrow down the candidates.
“That would be fine. I’ll accompany you.”
“I’ll go with you too.”
When I stood up, Grace and Ashley did the same. It appeared that the two of them intended to come together with me.
“Will you be fine watching the match?”
“No, please allow me to come.”
“Well, I guess this event is rather boring. Especially with being your equal and fighting alongside you.”
…I had wondered about that.
As we were led by Annie, we made our way to the Knight’s Tower, which was adjacent to the Drilling Grounds.
It was strictly guarded, since it was likely to house the Royal Family on the higher floors, but Annie didn’t hesitate as we proceeded onward.
“Here it is.”
We were giving permission to enter a room.
The person who was there…was someone I already knew, and he came to greet me.
“Yo! It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
In other words, it was Prince Albert putting on a friendly smile.
Today, he was accompanied by his younger sister, Princess Marleen, and his fiance, Ophelia.
Was Marleen shy around strangers? After looking at me, she hid in Prince Albert’s shadow and continued to watch me timidly. Ophelia was more dignified.
“This one here is–”
Although Annie tried to introduce him, Albert interrupted her with his hand.
“That’s fine. I really hate doing formal things after all. I’m sorry for bringing you here halfway through the matches. I wanted to talk with you in private, no matter what.”
“Is that so?”
“I’m Albert, the fourth Prince of this country. This is my little sister, Marleen, and umm…my friend, Ophelia.”
Yeah, I already knew. I had expected to come into contact with him if I came to the Palace.
Prince Albert looked like he wanted to become a Magic Engineer in the future, so I understood how he could create connections with the Magician’s Unit.
I knew that he was a friendly person…Well, this was our first meeting, and as long as he was the Prince, I probably couldn’t deal with him like I did when he was Alfred.
“These are my fiancees, Ashley and Grace.”
Following the proper etiquette, they greeted him and introduced themselves.
“Fiancees…not bad, you.”
Prince Albert looked at me in amazement.
“I’m sure the Prince also has a fiancee, right?”
Ophelia laughed with a ‘Fufufu’ as the shadow on her face darkened.
“Well…um, I’ll admit that Ophelia is my fiancee.”
Prince Albert blushed slightly and rubbed his index finger on his cheek. It appeared that he was embarrassed to introduce his fiancee.
“Well, what should I say? I had you come here since I heard about you from a friend. His name is Talcott.”
Right, he did bring up such a topic.
As for me, who knew that he was a puppet, it would be a bit problematic if I showed a reaction to that. It appeared that he intended to hide the fact that he was Alfred.
“He told me that he wanted to express his gratitude to you.”
“Is that so? I thought that he wouldn’t want to thank me.”
“You’re free to think like that, and Talcott is free to express his gratitude. He definitely wanted to say it.”
Although he probably wanted to relay Talcott’s message to me, I didn’t think it would be to that extent.
Well then…Exactly what did Prince Albert have in mind, I wonder?