Chapter 29 Raised Social Status (3).
Chapter 29 - Raised Social Status (3)
“That is why we are here to appoint Azell Zestringer as a knight. Sir Giles and Sir Boar will be the two witnesses.”
There used to be a rough atmosphere between Giles and Boar, while they had waited, but now they both stared at Azell with dumbfounded expressions. Azell grinned. He stepped forward, and he knelt on one knee in front of Arrieta.
Arrieta unsheathed her white sword, and she spoke as she tapped both his shoulders with it.
“I pronounce this, as the Dragon Demon Princess Arrieta Weil Rulain. From this moment on, Azell Zestringer is a knight.”
“…did you omit a lot of stuff?”
“Do you want me to go through a long and annoying formal procedure? I have it all memorized, so I can do it if you want.”
“I’m awed by princess’ progressive mind, which rejects empty formalities.”
Arrieta snorted when Azell quickly changed his attitude. Then she spoke.
“I will hand down the knight’s emblem.”
As she put forth her hand, a white light rose from her palm. The light made a three-dimensional shape of a white eagle, and it started to fly toward Azell.
Azell’s eyes widened.
“Put forth your hand and receive it.”
“What is this?”
“You don’t know about the knight’s emblem?”
“Mmm. It’s the first time I’ve heard of it.”
Azell tilted his head in confusion, and he slid his hand forward. When he did, the shape made out of light was absorbed into the back of Azell’s hand.
‘Is it a magic that is imprinted into the energy pulse?’
Azell puzzled over it, and he tried inserting his magic into it. This caused a faint shape of a white eagle to appear on the back of his hand.
“It is your proof of identification that you are a knight. It was created, so people cannot impersonate a knight.”
“Huh-uh.” (TLN: sound that signifies wow or whoa)
Azell was impressed. While he was asleep, someone had come up with a way to prevent identity theft.
“Originally, we would have to call over the Crest maker, and he would have to make your crest. However, you haven’t taken the oath of loyalty, so we could do away with that. You can come up with your own crest, and have it made.”
“I will do that. I guess I’ll lose a lot of money.”
Knight have to have their own crest. The crest has to be something that had never existed before. The Crest makers, who create the crest for the knights and noble families, have extensive knowledge about crests that already exists. They had the ability to make a crest that couldn’t be forged, so they were expensive.
Arrieta spoke as she got on her horse.
“Let us depart.”
The party left the Western Border Fortress.
Arrieta spoke to Giles as she opened a map.
“Sir Giles. I heard you’ve visited the capital before.”
“Yes. It was around two years ago…”
“Then could you decide which roads we will take to the capital?”
As soon as Giles answered, Boar butted in with a dissatisfied expression.
“May I say one thing, princess?”
“I came here with princess as a member of your escort. I’ll concede Sir Giles have more knowledge about the geography around here, but once we get close to the capital, it would be better for me to lead.”
Boar clearly balked at the idea of Giles deciding the path of their journey. However, it was widely known that Arrieta had an impartial personality, so he didn’t try to forcefully seize the leadership role away from Giles. Instead, he worked hard to persuade her.
Arrieta nodded her head.
“Your words have some merit. What do you think, Sir Giles?”
“I believe Sir Boar’s opinion is correct. I’ve lived in the capital before, but I’m not too familiar with the geography around that location. I’ll discuss it with Sir Boar before I decide the route we take.”
Giles didn’t resist, and he passively accepted Boar’s interference.
“I’ll entrust it to you.”
They had brought every item they needed for the journey, so they decided to bypass the town close to the Western Border Fortress.
Enora opposed against the decision.
“If we pass by this one then we will arrive at the next town during the night. Then princess won’t be able to have a proper lunch.”
“If you are worrying about the meals, then don’t worry about it. When I was on the battle field, I wasn’t picky on what I ate.”
“Enora. This isn’t the palace. Moreover, I don’t want such problems to delay us. Therefore, we’ll stop only if the situation allows us to, and you’ll have to make do. I’m not going to ask for something that we don’t have.”
Arrieta spoke in an uncompromising manner, so Enora had no choice but to give up. It was an inconceivable situation for the Dragon Demon princess’ personal maid, who served her in the palace. However, Enora’s attitude was relatively flexible, so she didn’t show any signs of discontent. Azell was amused by Enora. As they traveled slowly up an inclined path, he sidled up next to her horse, and he started a conversation.
“Miss Enora, you are pretty decent at riding a horse.”
“At first, I had some difficulties. It has been a long time since I’ve ridden…”
When she traveled from her homeland to the capital, she had ridden a horse instead of riding a carriage. However, once she started working in the palace, she didn’t have the opportunity to ride a horse.
Azell asked a question.
“Do you perhaps know how to fire an arrow?”
“How did you know that?”
Enora’s eyes became wide. Azell smirked.
“I thought it was likely, since you learned to ride at that age.”
He didn’t know what it was like in this era, but in Azell’s time period, daughters of nobles learned how to protect themselves. One didn’t need to be a daughter of a warrior to learn sophisticated martial arts. Amongst all of them, the most typical skill learned was horsemanship and archery.
“How skilled are you with the bow?”
“I can’t pull the string of a large bow. I’m lacking in strength….”
Enora answered shyly, and everyone looked at her with surprise in their eyes. However, Azell wasn’t surprised. He just laughed.
“That’s impressive. How about swordsmanship?”
“I didn’t learn that.”
“He(TLN: I’m guessing the father) said a daughter, who’ll marry someday, didn’t need to learn it. The family’s sword technique puts great stress on strength, so he said I’ll become wild…..”
“Ah ha. So that is why. How about Spirit Order?”
“It is a similar story. He said he didn’t need to pass on his mysteries(TLN: secrets) to a daughter, who’ll marry into a different family.”
During the Dragon Demon War, sons and daughters weren’t discriminated. They were all taught Spirit Order in order to grow their military strength. Before the Dragon Demon war broke out, it was unthinkable for such things to happen. After the war, it became a matter of course for the males to succeed the techniques again. (TLN: before=>mostly male succeed, During war=>both male & female, after war=>back to male-centric)
Arrieta spoke to Enora.
“I had no idea you had such talents.”
“These are unnecessary skills for a maid.”
“Does the head maid know about it?”
“Yes. I told her during the interview.”
Arrieta now knew the reason why customs were broken to make Enora her personal maid. Since most of her personal maids didn’t last long, the head maid must have assessed skills not needed by a maid in her evaluation.
Arietta was becoming curious, so she asked a question.
“I heard you have an older sister.”
“Do you have any other siblings?”
“I have an older brother and a younger brother.”
“I see. Everyone is still at home?”
“My older brother went to the capital to study.”
Enora was nervous answering the questions. Until now, Arietta had never been interested in her personal affairs.
Arrieta had never thought Enora would last long. She didn’t ask her anything since she viewed her as someone, who would be swapped out for a different person in the near future. However, after she looked at Enora’s attitude and history, Arietta viewed her as someone she would get along for a long time. This naturally caused her to take interest in Enora.
“Where is the territory of Baron Balray located at?”
“Ah, our territory is in a rural area. It really can’t be compared to the capital…. However, there are large fields, and it is a place where beautiful flowers bloom.”
Enora started telling stories about the sceneries of her homeland with soft eyes. From listening to her stories, one could tell that the territory of Baron Balray was quite rural. The territory would have a hard time financially supporting an heir being sent to the capital to study…..
Enora spoke as if she was homesick, but she suddenly looked at Azell as if she had suddenly thought of something.
“Uncle Azell is…..”
Azell cut her words short. He had been promoted to knighthood, so he wanted to decline being called an uncle.
Enora’s lips pouted.
“You just became a knight.”
“A knight is a knight. If you call me an uncle then I’ll call you little lady.”
“Mmm. Should we do that?”
“…no. No matter how I think about it I seem to come out on the short end, so let’s drop it.”
He didn’t want to be called an uncle, so Azell admitted his defeat.
Enora, while putting on a smile of victory, asked a question.
“Why did you think I learned archery?”
“You knew how to ride a horse. I just connected the two dots.”
Azell spoke as he laughed bitterly. Of course, it was an expression he made to put on an act as an ‘amnesiac person’, but it worked well on Enora.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m starting to remember bits and pieces.”
“Do you remember anything about your homeland?”
Arrieta queried. Those words caused Azell to fall briefly into his thought.
“I’m not sure. My homeland….”
Azell didn’t know where he was born. He had lost his parents during his childhood. He couldn’t remember anything.(TLN: he was too young to remember) He had grown up, while wandering from place to place. However, when he heard the word homeland, he could only conjure up a particular scenery. It was after the Emperor bequeathed him with the title of duke, and he became Duke Karzark.
Between the time the war had ended and up to the moment he had to emulate the Dragon’s Hibernation, he had lived through a painful, but peaceful 2 years. He had fought for the land with his life on the line, so it became a symbol of peace to him.
Azell spoke with softness in his eyes.
“There was a flying dragon.”
“A flying dragon?”
“Yes. When it was about the time for the sun to come up, it would fly towards the east to hunt. When the sun set, it flew back west into the mountain. As I watched the figure of the dragon fly west every night, I would realize that the day had come to an end… This is what I remember.”
Near the Dukedom of Karzark, there used to be three dragons.
He had gone through countless Dragon Slayer’s rituals, and Azell had already completed his Dragon Demon sword.
Humans and Dragons couldn’t converse with each other, but Lord Azell and the dragons held mutual respect for each other inside their heart. Their presence kept the peace in the Dukedom of Karzark. During the time they were restoring the damaged land caused by the Dragon Demon war, they were almost never threatened by monsters. For reasons the humans couldn’t understand, the dragons never caused trouble, and they were able rejoice in peace.
‘I wonder if they are still there?’
Azell suddenly missed that scenery. In this current era, he wondered which country the Dukedom of Karzark belong to? Had the name remained the same?
Azell still didn’t know about these facts. There were too many things he didn’t know about in this era.
“Maybe it’ll become a clue to finding your origin.”
It was rare to find a territory where dragons boldly showed themselves in front of humans. One should be able to pinpoint where that territory is from knowing just that….
“It’ll be great if I could.”
Azell sincerely wanted to believe that.