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My name is Dorsen Katabelia. The son of Druna Katabelia, the current Captain of the Knight Order. Because of that, I have been practicing martial arts since I was young. He told me that in the future, I will be protecting someone from the royal family. I feel a sense of pride in those words and I was very enthusiastic during training.
Because of the environment I grew up in, I found it troublesome that I had to enroll in the academy. Rather than attending the academy, I would have liked to stay at home and train with the people from the Knight Order who are currently in active service. However, as the eldest son and heir of aristocracy, it was inevitable for me to attend.
After being enrolled, due to my taciturn personality, it was difficult to adapt. Since there was no particular change, I thought that if it continued this way, it was pointless to attend the academy. …One day, I happened to meet a female student. Her name was Yuri Noir.
She was Baron Noir’s daughter. I met her at the training center… Although that place is hardly being used, if a student sends in an application, they can use it anytime they want. That place is where I conduct my self-training almost every day.
That was the first thing she said to me.
“…What is it?”
“Ah, my apologies. I… come to the back of the building every day~ But at the same time… I see you doing something almost every day, and I got curious…”
“…Back of the building?”
If I remember correctly, there were flower beds at the back of this building, but since it is a place no one usually visits, it should be filled with weeds.
“Yes. Since there is a big flower bed, I thought it would be a waste not taking advantage of it, so I decided to plant my favorite flowers there~ Ah, of course, I received permission from the academy to use it.”
“You don’t have to be so flustered. Even if that wasn’t the case, it wasn’t like I was going to report it to the academy.”
“Ah, no… That wasn’t what I was thinking~ Although that line of thought has its possibilities, but you see… Isn’t it eccentric for a lady to be fumbling with soil? That’s why I would like for you not to spread it around~ or something.”
“Ah… Well, it’s not like you are causing trouble to other people, right? In any case, I won’t say anything about it.”
“I am very relieved to hear that~ And so, what have you been doing here every day?~”
“…Can’t you tell just by seeing?”
“Although I know you are training~ …But I was curious what you are training for~ After all, Dorsen-sama is already taking martial arts lessons.”
Martial Arts lessons is an elective class, and many people who are affiliated with the Knight Order attends it. Whether if it’s for self-defense purposes, people who want to be a part of the Knight Order in the future, second and third sons of nobles.
“I’m not particularly training because of my classes.”
“…Is that so~?”
“Yes. I am training in order to devote my sword and protect the royal family.”
The girl who had an expression of puzzlement smiled broadly after hearing my response.
“How wonderful~ With the amount of effort you are putting into your training, no matter who you chooses to guard, they would feel reassured.”
Those words and her smile would forever be embedded in me. …From then on, she would come and visit me from time to time while I was training. Most of the time, we would have a short conversation before she leaves. Although in the beginning, I didn’t feel anything when she visited, but slowly over time, I began to look forward the time when she visits.
Something that I thought was only natural, she repeatedly praised it to be amazing and wonderful. Those words became my encouragement, and I got more passionate about my training. Although I had no doubt that I will offer my sword to the royal family, but I have entertained the thought of dedicating it to her.
By the time I realized it was love, she was already together with the Second Prince, Edward-sama. I felt dejected at first, but the feeling of wanting to protect her and realizing the belief that I have cultivated since young were not contradictory, my feelings slightly calmed down. From here on out, I will be protecting her. That right, I swore it in my heart.
Therefore, when Edward-sama and Lady Yuri confronted the daughter of a duke, Lady Iris, who was oppressing Lady Yuri, I chose to side with Lady Yuri. When Lady Iris was successfully expelled, I thought I was able to protect her… That’s right, this was what I thought for a while.
* * *
“You, what do you think you have done.”
When I was thinking why my Father suddenly called for me, that was the first thing he said. Not knowing what he was referring to, I tilted my head to the side and looked at him in confusion, he then released an exaggerated sigh.
“I’m referring to the incident with the Duke of Armelia’s daughter!”
“… I cannot understand why that matter would warrant such a yell from you.”
“Are you seriously asking me for a reason?”
“Other than the fact that it is permissible for you to raise your hand against a daughter of a duke, for a man who is aiming to be a Knight to actually raise his hand against a woman, how could you still remain defiant? You, I thought that you were proud of the Knight’s teachings.”
“However, the Duke of Armelia’s daughter was oppressing the Baron’s daughter, Lady Yuri.”
“Have you actually seen her being oppressed with your own eyes?”
“N-no… But to dismiss it as a groundless rumor…”
“Did you, yourself, take the time to collaborate it? Or were you at the scene when it happened?”
“I am outraged by you, to say the least! To actually raise a hand against a woman without concrete evidence. In addition, she was the Second Prince’s fiancee. You have dishonored the dignity of the Knights! Although you still a part of this house, you have sullied the Code of the Knights.”
“I do not want to listen to any of your reasons! Stay at home and take some time to cool off your head!”
Before I was able to say anything in response, a butler guided me to a room to be confined. After that, I was placed under house arrest and took leave from the academy. I was not permitted to train, and without anything else to do, I stayed in the room absentmindedly.
I did not understand why I was receiving this kind of treatment. The only thing I wanted to do was to protect her. However, the words my Father said, “You have sullied the Code of the Knights,” ran through my head over and over.
At that time, Mother suddenly called for me.
* * *
“It has been a while, Dorsen.”
When my Mother said that, I realized that it has been a long time since I have met with my Mother. After taking leave from the academy and placed under house arrest, I have not left the room.
“…It has been a long time.”
Placed in front of me was a cup of tea and brown teacakes which I have never seen before served on a plate.
“That thing, it called chocolate. It has recently been popular in the Royal City… Please try eating some.”
I took one and ate a piece on Mother’s recommendation. …It’s delicious. It’s sweet yet slightly bitter at the same time, what a complicated taste.
“This product is handled by a conglomerate run by the Duke of Armelia’s House.”
“…Duke of Armelia…”
“Rumor has it that it was the duke’s daughter, Iris-sama, who is the head of that conglomerate.”
When Mother mentioned the name of the duke’s daughter, Lady Iris, she looked a little sad.
“Hey, Dorsen. Can you honestly throw your chest out with pride and say you did the ‘right thing?'”
“Did the right thing…?”
“Yes, that’s right. To be honest, your behavior was a big problem for our House both politically and in terms of connections. When taking all of that into consideration, can you still say you did the right thing?”
I do not understand the real meaning in Mother’s words. I did the right thing… or so I thought. After I was placed under house arrest, I seriously considered the meaning of the words Father about sullying the Knight’s Code.
After all that, I reached the conclusion that… Father got mad at me and wanted me to consider the social standing of the Katabelia House as nobles. If that’s the case, there is no reason for me to be ashamed of the actions I took. Because I was able to protect her, and it has nothing to do with my House.
“As for me, Dorsen. Excuse me for being impolite, but regarding this matter, I completely sympathize with the duke’s daughter, Lady Iris.”
“Why is that so, Mother.”
“When you take all things into consideration, the Baron’s daughter, Yuri Noir, looked at a man who is already engaged to someone else… Would his fiancee do nothing to prevent him from being taken away? As a woman, I think what the duke’s daughter, Lady Iris, had done was unavoidable. Another woman approaching someone whom she is engaged to and love. Feelings such as jealousy and grief start to gush forth, and who can blame her for channeling all those feelings at Lady Yuri?”
“The person she loves was taken from her. And because all you people confronted and condemned her in front of a lot of people, she was also driven away from society.”
Suddenly, I remembered the last words she said before leaving the academy.
“I wonder if you are still going to continue to deprive me further. My fiance, my position…”
She said those words while in tears.
“For me, I think of these teacakes as a representation of her resolution. The resolution to not marry anyone, and to prepare to live a life alone. Apart from her engagement being annulled, she was also expelled from society. Certainly, it would be very difficult to be engaged to someone else. Hey, Dorsen. You raised a hand on such a woman, complicating her life to such extent, and beat her while she was already down. …With such actions, can you really say was you did was proper as a Knight?”
I could not refute her. I have never thought about it that way. I have never thought that she might have been suffering or anything of sorts… I thought that it was only natural for her to suffer.
“Are you satisfied protecting your favorite person? Did you polish your sword only for that sake alone? When there was a powerless woman who was suffering right in front of your eyes, and you raised your hand at her, I wonder if you’re completely satisfied.”
Every single word Mother spoke of stab my heart deeper and deeper. The more I thought… the more I think she is right. However, I cannot turn back time.
“Because mother is not a Knight, I cannot understand their oaths and codes. Although I do not understand them, what I do know is that the thing you did to Lady Iris is just pure violence.”
When Father reprimanded me, my rebellious spirit was ignited. However, what exist in my heart now was confusion and regret.
“Please reflect on the actions you’ve taken.”
* * *
After my conversation with Mother, because it would be improper to continue being absent from the academy, I returned to the academy. Although I attended classes, as usual, I immediate head for the training ground afterward. I wanted to clear my head. It might be because of Mother’s words, or maybe Lady Iris’ words, whichever it was, I wanted to run away from it so that it’ll stop tormenting me. While being estranged from Edward-sama and Lady Yuri, I graduated from the academy.
After the graduation, I entered the Knight Order as a Knight Apprentice just as planned. Thereafter, I spent every fulfilling day being crushed by seniors and learning from them.
One day, I received an invitation from the military to participate in a mock battle. To be honest, I wondered why me? Although I had doubts regarding my invitation, I expressed my interest in participating.
And the person who appeared was General Gazelle. Although he is someone from the military, he is also someone who is admired by members of the Knight Order. And the people who stood by his side were his two disciples. When he mentioned disciples, both the Knight Order and Military started to become noisy. To be honest, even if one wants to receive individual training from General Gazelle, it was almost impossible. It is because the person himself is quite popular.
While everyone was watching the three attentively, the match started. It was exciting to watch each and every single match. The score was currently two wins and 2 losses… Because next was my turn, I started to get tense. Right in front of me, was a person from the military. While my tension has reached its highest, and the signal to start the match was about sound, I didn’t expect that I would end up competing with General Gazelle’s two disciples. And to battle with them together with someone from the military.
…Interesting. That’s what I thought. To compete against the two people who received personal training from General Gazelle, whom I admire… I wonder how far I can go with my strength.
* * *
It’s nice to read Dorsen’s perspective. Although in my opinion, he didn’t feel enough regret, at the very least he reflected upon his actions.