TL: I’ve been wanting to ask whether the readers want to see a change in how the female knights are addressed. The current word I’m using is “Ser”, a loanword from Game of Thrones/Dragon age, and supposed to be a gender-neutral title for knights and fighters of standing in this series.
However, this might not be as tasteful and perhaps you would like to see female knights called “Lady XYZ” instead of “Ser XYZ”.
Chapter 84 – Freya’s letter
=============== Tirste’s POV ============
Time seemed to slow down.
The young viscount felt cold perspiration all over his body, and he had to use every bit of effort to squeeze out a question: “What…… exactly do you want?”
The Emerald Knight pointed at the bundle of cloth tightly wrapped around an object. His meaning was clear; ‘I want the sword’.
“You allowed that sword to be brought out! Why do you want it back now!” Tirste roared, panting greatly.
This was the first time he felt he was toyed with in his whole life, and felt that the humiliation he received was similar to a little girl being played with. He wanted the monster cut him down rather than to continue this game, yet when he glanced at the statues, he subconsciously shivered—
The Emerald Knight did not react to his anger, nor was any emotion shown because of the helmet covering his head. He pointed at the sword again, then at his chest.
‘I want the sword.’
[How am I supposed to explain myself to the members and elders of the Unifying Guild if I hand the sword over? They even sent a group of elite knights to protect me, and I got them all killed. I even lost the Lionheart! I’ll definitely be punished heavily—]
Tirste was recognized by the upper echelons of the Unifying Guild, but his awarded position would be shaken for failing this task. While it was true that he was a ‘Blessed’, he was not the only one.
He glared with at the Emerald Knight with bloodshot eyes, but the only expression that he saw was his own from the reflection of the helmet. He was certain that he would be turned into a statue if he refused.
[Why hasn’t this monster turned me into a statue? There’s no reason for him to leave me alive. He could easily take over the Lionheart instead of giving me a choice to choose. Merely to toy with me? But that’s a senseless reason.]
He hesitated for a long time and finally made a difficult decision. He undid the knots to the bag and tossed it over to him.
“Why haven’t you killed me?” Tirste asked at the same time.
The Emerald Knight received the sword with his hand. He did not seem to be concerned if he was attacked by letting his guard down when he did so. Tirste’s hand almost went to his sword when he saw the opportunity but pushed down the thoughts to do so.
Leaving the matter of the magic armor aside, the monster’s skill in the sword was beyond imagination and he had personally experienced it for himself.
“You refused to bow down to fate, but you’re willing to do so for your masters?” The Emerald Knight asked as his gaze behind the helmet penetrating through Tirste.
It was the first time Tirste heard him speak. The voice was affected by the helmet and it was difficult to the discern the age of the knight, but it was certainly a man.
“Who exactly do you mean? The king and the nobles? Or the Unifying Guild?” Tirste was frowning out of dissatisfaction.
He resigned himself and stopped thinking about the Unifying Guild’s punishment. Even if he had to die, he wanted to find out why the monster was torturing him for the past month.
“There is no blame for wanting to go against the rules of society, but it is foolishness to be used by others because of that—”
“Then the Unifying Guild? I’m just using them.”
The Emerald Knight threw out his final word and turned around to leave. Tirste watched him walked to the bridge in a matter of seconds before the latter threw the Lionheart into the icy waters of the lake.
Tirste yelled in his mind as his eyes followed the sword, but he quickly calmed down.
It had nothing to do with him whether the monster was insane or not. But the word ‘weak’ resounded within him. He smiled bitterly to himself as he wondered how he was going to receive the punishment from the Unifying Guild.
His eyes sought the Emerald Knight again, but the latter was nowhere to be found and seemingly vanished into thin air.
================ Freya’s POV ==============
Freya, who had come from the Bucce village, felt that the days in the Royal Knights Academy were passing faster than the places she had been in. It only seemed like yesterday when the withered leaves on the ground below the bald trees dyed the academy’s scenery in a hue of gold and red.
She was currently sitting on the stone steps during the training’s break.
The girl rested her chin on her sword with both arms around it, and she stared out at the dark green silhouette of the distant mountains in a daze. She finally realized that winter had come, and it had been half a year since she arrived at this place.
Because of the great difficulty to adjust to the new environment, she hardly paid attention to her surroundings. The trees’ leaves grew vigorously in summer, before they turned to form a sea of red in autumn, and finally withered as winter approached.
The year ended in such a manner.
She lived each day as blandly as a devout priest. In order to become stronger, she had to give up on pastimes. Every day was alternated between training and breaks as she desperately tried to reach her goal of becoming stronger—
Was it for the sake of everyone in Bucce? Or to answer to that youth’s expectations of her?
Every time she recalled Brendel’s warm and concerned gaze, she could not help but feel her heart beating a little faster, becoming tense enough to be breathless.
She felt ashamed for feeling that way from time to time, but she could not shake his image off.
She muttered his name, not noticing that there was someone before her. She immediately raised her head up to meet a woman’s solemn gaze with black hair that reached her shoulders— Her face immediately flushed red and she stood up with her hands moving about in a fluster.
“What’s wrong?” Maynild tilted her head and asked.
“N-nothing……” Freya lowered her head and denied subconsciously, feeling that even she would not believe that answer.
[You idiot! Why can’t you make up a lie like that scoundrel who’s capable of doing it all the time!]
But the serious female knight in front of Freya did not admonish and order her to be alert like she usually did.
Instead, she patted Freya’s head, causing the latter to nearly turn around and flee in fright.
“Are you missing home?” Maynild took away her hand and asked in a low voice, her face expressionless but her eyes caring.
“N…..” Freya started to shake her head but suddenly nodded. If she did not pretend that it was so, she could hardly what she was really thinking about.
Maynild sighed at the weak lie and felt that she was able to guess what Freya was really thinking about, but she did not question her and instead reached into the bag on her belt.
“There’s a letter for you,” she said.
“Brendel’s letter?” Freya blurted out, then blinked several times, before she cupped her lips with her hand when she realized her mistake.
Maynild’s lips twisted upwards slightly. It was the first time Freya ever saw her smile.
“So that lucky person is called Brendel, hmm—”
“L…… what do you mean by lucky……” Freya’s head was lowered again, feeling her ears burst into flames. Her voice was so small that she could hardly hear herself, but she received the letter carefully with both hands.
The sounds of horses could suddenly be heard as they traveled through the main entrance. It was rare for people to come into the academy during winter, and the two women turned their attention toward the unexpected visitors.
A white horse carriage parted through the light morning mist and slowly entered the academy. It passed by both of them and went deeper into the academy.
[That’s the direction of the princess’s residence. Not anyone can enter that place, and it’s tightly guarded by the royal knights—]
“Who would these people be……” Freya asked when she realized where the carriage was going.
Maynild’s eyes paid attention to the symbol; it was a shield with vivid purple gillyflowers on it.
“Someone from the Lantonrand’s family, probably another person who can be considered lucky,” she said after a moment, but her tone was a little unfriendly.
“Nothing,” Maynild shook her head, causing her black hair to shimmer against the light, “you should focus on yourself, Freya. But you’re improving very quickly so there’s no need to worry too much.”
“…… Oh, and did that worthless man come to trouble you?”
Freya looked back puzzledly before realizing Maynild was talking about Sangany, the second son of an Earl from somewhere.
Sangany had gathered a group of men to go after Freya with malicious intentions, but somehow Maynild found out and personally went out to teach them a lesson. He was almost expelled because of this incident.
However, the matter was ultimately put aside without any punishment on his side. While Freya did not understand much about the nobles’ affairs, she knew there was political interference in regards to this matter. Still, she was grateful to Maynild because she was just a commoner.
“No, there isn’t any trouble from him,” Freya said.
[Is there something that I should be worried about?]
She did not know why Maynild suddenly talked about him.