Chapter 05 Bewildered Knight Commander

 Confused Knight Commander

 In response to a rare personal call from the king, Knight Commander Eugen Bachelder heads for his office in formal attire without armor.

 His wife, Brünnhilde Bachelder, has carefully selected one of the orders, which is too heavy for him to wear.

 The medal, in the shape of a majestic lion, is the highest honor given to those who have minimized the damage caused by the plague.

 Brünnhilde was the only person who had ever expressed the unwarlike sentiment that a medal for saving someone was more valuable than a medal for killing them.

"Eugen Bachelder. I have come at your request!"

 If you raise your voice in front of the door, you will receive a dignified, low-pitched permission to enter.

The gatekeeper reverently opened the richly decorated door and I stepped inside.

 As the door closes behind him, he kneels and waits for instructions.

"...Come closer."


 He raises his head and holds his chest out.

 He looked at the woman sitting next to the king and yelped.

 It was an abomination unbecoming of a warrior.


"...Do I look so much like my mother?"

 Her voice was like hers, but slightly darker.

Her smile seemed to be more forlorn than the one she remembered.

"...Can I be the First Princess Alexandra-sama?"

 It was the first time I had seen her without the veil that she had been wearing under the king's orders, covering even the hair on her head.

 In the face of Eleonora, who was said to be a beautiful princess with the ultimate in loveliness, as seen in several portraits, she had inherited the king's absolutely cold supremacy in a different form.

 That's how I see it.

"Yes. Yes. This is the first time we've spoken face to face. Thank you for guarding me at all times."

 The smile deepened.

 A benevolent, penetrating smile.

"It is my pleasure, sir."

 Eugen hung his head deeply, admiring the smile.

 Eugen was in charge of all the guards for the annual festival and the few other occasions when he appeared on the stage.

 While I understand that the king has his own agenda, I feel sorry for his suffocating appearance and the unsuitable environment for an imperial princess, and I have tried to make all possible arrangements.

 I was merely expressing my respect for the royal family, but it may have been a rare response for Alexandra.

"...Eugen. I have a question for you."

"Yes! Anything, my king."

"The man who is supposed to be my second son... is he your seed?"

"Yes! My king's orders, sir!"

 The loss of his beloved queen, and the shock of having to send his beloved daughter away for some reason, left him incapacitated.

 He is unable to fulfill his duty to have more children and keep the royal family alive.

 I am thinking of retiring, but it is difficult at present.

 Therefore, I would at least like to achieve the continuation of the royal family in secret with the sons of my trusted subordinates.

 Can you ask Eugen Bachelder to help me?

 I received a letter from him.

 I do not know the King's handwriting.

 However, I did not doubt it because the letter was completely sealed with wax and the Imperial Seal was stamped at the end.

 I guessed that he chose the letter on purpose because of its delicate contents and the need to preserve it as evidence for later use.

 He felt an unbearable resentment towards himself for embracing a woman other than Brunnhilde, but he did it in the hope that it would comfort the king.

 He was mentally grateful that he was able to bear a child after only one intercourse.

 For a while, his side chambers were annoying, but if I continued to ignore them, they stopped bothering me, and I have done my best to educate Edeltraut, who is officially the king's second son, to serve the next generation and to prepare him for the eventuality of becoming king.

"Did you leave a letter for him?"

"Of course, sir."

"'ve been a loyal man after all. It's been a long time since I've been clear."

 When he stood up and hung his head deeply, Eugen was simply bewildered.

"Father. I need to explain this to Herr Bachelder. He's in a lot of trouble because he doesn't know what's going on."

"That's true. Eugen, have a seat."

"Excuse me."

 He sits down briefly in the seat indicated.

 Alexandra poured the tea with an elegant hand.

"Please, enjoy your tea."

"Thank you! Yes! It's delicious!"

 Eugen was reflexively moved by the incomparable taste of the tea, which was completely different from the tea brewed by Brunnhilde, who had thoughtfully arranged for Eugen's health.

"I'm glad to hear you say that."

 This time he smiled gaily.

 A part of Eugen's heart was relieved to see the happy smile on Eleonora's face.

"Actually, Eugen. The letter you received is not the one I sent you."


"It must have been orchestrated by the chamberlain, the chancellor, or the temple chief. Until recently, I was the only one who knew this, but this country is built on the blessings of the gods. That blessing has passed through Eleonora and now resides in Alexandra. Until now, Alexandra has been my king by divine permission because she was too young. No one but Alexandra can be king of this land. The last thing you want is for the kingdom to fall apart. The blessing is only for Alexandra. My own father is the only one who can do it."

 Eugen's fists clenched tightly at the burden of being told the most secret of royal matters.

 The generally known laws of the royal family of the Imperial Kingdom are as follows.

 The next heir must be of the king's blood.

 He must be the eldest son.

 If there is no eldest son, it must be the eldest daughter.

 If there is no eldest son, the eldest daughter must be the eldest son of the side family.

 If the above does not apply, the second son and second daughter should be added to the list.

 The law should be obeyed, but in Eugen's mind, the king's words are more important than the law.

 He vaguely thought that the best way would be for Alexandra to succeed to the throne and for her half-breed brothers and sisters to support her with absolute loyalty.

"Then, then, I..."

 I'm not sure what to say, but I'm sure you'll understand.

 You've even brought about the end of the country!

"It's not your fault! It's those fools who planned it! I know your unshakable loyalty better than you do yourself!"

 The king shouts louder to quiet Eugen.

 His wrists were clenched as if they would break.

 I could feel the heat of his concern for Eugen, and my tear glands loosened in shame.

"It's only you, Lord Bachelder. The only one who has not betrayed me by giving a child to my wife."

You mean...?"

 Tipping back the teacup that Alexandra had filled for him, Eugen gulped down the contents.

"The second son is yours, though. The eldest son is the son of the Prime Minister, the third son and the second daughter are the sons of the Temple Chief, and the eldest daughter is the son of the Chief Court Mage."

"What? Huh-uh?"

 Because she believed the king's letter, she knew that none of them were the king's children except Alexandra.

 So he assumed that she was the child of someone else who was as absolutely loyal to the king as he was.

 He had no doubt in his mind that when the time came, they would gather together under the king's command, and solemnly and sincerely serve for the survival of the royal family with firm unity and renewed spirit.

"Except for Lady Bachelder, all of you carried out this action of your own volition, not on the king's orders."

"Damn it! Those scum!"

 The Vizier is a man who is overconfident in his connections and bloodline, and is often disrespectful to the King.

 The head of the temple is a man who deserves to be punished for his position as the king's younger brother, but he always talks about how his own abilities are more suitable for the king.

 The chief mage of the court is a foolish man who believes in magic and dislikes the king who does not respect magic as much as the previous king.

 All three of them have little loyalty to the king.

 None of them is even close.

 The king is a meritocrat and values loyalty to himself, though it is possible from the standpoint of his position.

 Even if the king's orders are genuine, the day when they will be selected will never come.

" Alexandra is to be married as the rightful wife of the Volturnine Empire."


"My former fiancée was unfaithful to me and had a child. It's been arranged at short notice."

"Dietfried! Dietfried impregnated a woman other than the Princess-sama! He impregnated her!

 Three generations of my family have been loyal to the king.

 My grandfather was also a respected officer.

 My father was a colleague I could trust with my back on the battlefield.

 My son, despite his arrogance, was a man of great personal ability and commanding ability.

 Above all, a young man needs momentum.

 Diethfried had that.

 Above all, he never doubted his loyalty to the king, to the royal family, and to Alexandra, and that was why he advised the king to promote him to the rank of First Knight Commander.

"...That makes me a true fool..."

 The result of his blind faith in the goodness of his actions was a disrespect for his beloved king that no amount of death could atone for.

"I will accept any execution or torture, so please be lenient with my wife and children..."

 He gets off the sofa and kneels down, biting back sobs of pity.

"That's not it. It's not that, Eugen. When Alexandra married, I was finally ready to make everything right. If it were true, I should have consulted you earlier and rewarded you for your unearned loyalty! You can thank me, you can apologize. There is no such thing as condemnation!"

"Your Majesty... my father, only to keep me safe, gave up what he had to do. If you're talking about the evil one, Mr. Bachelder. I am the one..."

"That's not true, Alexandra!"

"No! Alexandra-sama is not to blame, even if the world were turned upside down. Neither is the king. What parent in the world doesn't care for their child! As a vassal I'd have a hard time with a king who weighed his daughter against his country and took her. As a parent, I agree with you wholeheartedly and sympathize with your feelings!"


"...Father. We're very, very lucky."

"Yes... we are so blissful that we forget the pain of having to defend the throne..."

 A single tear drops from the King's tightly closed eyes.

 This alone made Eugen feel that he had been accepted for his foolish loyalty, and that he had been forgiven for his sins, which he had to atone for with death.

 I couldn't hold back my tears.

 I couldn't hold back my emotions.

 As if all the joy and sorrow inside her had come out, she shed tears in a disgusting manner.

"...Eugen. There are few vassals I can trust. Of those few, you are the second highest."

"The highest is Lord Randolph Wurzner."

 Randolph Wurzner was Dietfried's grandfather who committed the great crime.

 He trained Eugen hard and took care of him in every detail.

 Although he is no longer active, he held the honorary position of advisor to the Commander-in-Chief of Knights, which is above the Commander-in-Chief of Knights.

"He is just like me. He's loyal to the royal family, isn't he?"

"Mm. No doubt. Randolph was loyal to me even in the loss of his son. He'll be loyal to me when he loses his grandson. Such is the man."

 I'll never forget what Randolph said to his son when he met him after he died defending the king.

"You did well! It's a knight's honor to die defending his king! I'm proud of you, my son!

 Without letting out a single tear, he spoke to his son with a big smile on his face.

 He then placed the holy sword in the coffin, which had been given to him by his predecessor and had been his beloved sword through many battles.

'I will never forget your smile of satisfaction even in death!

 The corpse was so cruel that even the fiercest warrior, who was used to death, would have been surprised.

 But there was one part of her that remained clean, and her lips were gently curved.

 It was a smile so proud that I wanted to die like that if I had to, seeing the proof of the pride that had protected the king.

"When I told Randolph about this, he said he would settle things..."

"I managed to persuade him to come with me as one of my knights in marriage."

 The end would be the death of himself and his grandson, of course.

 Besides that, Randolph would not only give up his title assets, but also the lives of all his blood relatives.

 As a knight, he would have given up his title and wealth and sworn to be loyal to Alexandra.

 He thought of the determination of the one who had true loyalty, the opposite of his grandson.

 Eugen, too, made his own decision.

"My king. Will you allow my family to become knights of Alexandra-sama?"

Not just you, but your whole family as well?

"Yes. I would be grateful if you could arrange for me to be Randolph's man."

Your loyalty would be appreciated but Randolph will not allow it.

"I'll persuade him!"

 I'm sure he'll allow it if we tell him all about Eugen's disrespect.

 Of course, he would have to be prepared for a fist bump that would knock him out of consciousness for his disrespect.

"...I am very pleased with your feelings, Lord Bachelder. But the country I'm marrying into sits in the far north. Isn't it a harsh land for your wife and children?"

"Haha! My family. We don't train every day to be discouraged by differences in climate!"

 Brünnhilde now acts modestly as the wife of a nobleman, but when she was young, she was a first-rate swordswoman who was secretly whispered to be a fierce sword princess, and even now she does not neglect her training.

 Her children, three sons and two daughters, have grown up strong in mind and body because Eugen and Brunnhilde have trained them thoroughly.

 Of course, their loyalty to the royal family was unshakable.

"Please, Alexandra-sama, allow my family to serve you as your knights."


"This land will be ruined if you marry into another land. It would be foolish to leave a loyal subordinate in such a desolate land. Am I right?"

 Alexandra tightened her grip on the beautiful rippling fabric of her dress.

 You've endured so much misfortune.

She must have felt the weight of Eugen and the others' lives on her shoulders.

"When your family gives their unanimous consent, then please do. As a knight like Lord Randolph, please be by my side."

"Yes, you'll give up your current title but you'll take all your property. Anything you can't take with you, such as your house or your furnishings, will be purchased by the government, so don't worry. The cost will be borne by the government as well."

"All right, sir. I will report the results of my persuasion to you in the morning."

 The family Eugen is referring to is his own family.

 The discussion will be swift and will end the way Eugen wants it to.

 The rest of the family will be told of Eugen's decision.

 The decision is for each family to make.

"Hmm. Give this to Brunnhilde. It's in my handwriting."

"Oh! From me too. Please give her my regards. I've even sealed the wax myself."

"Oh, I'm so honored!"

 If he handed it to me in person and even said a few words, there was no room for doubt.

 I looked at the neatly stamped wax seal and reverently pressed it.

"Then, I'll leave you now. Aha! Alexandra-sama, thank you for the delicious tea."

"I'd be happy to serve it to your wife and children if they'd like, if you're around."

"What an honor! If Alexandra-sama is available, we can come tomorrow."

 Brünnhilde was a good friend of Eleonora.

 It was nothing but luck that she could meet her daughter Alexandra in private.

 I'm sure we'll have a lot to talk about.

"Well, then! I'll send you a letter inviting you to a tea party!"

 The first thing you should do is to look at your eyes.

 The king's eyes fluttered as he looked at Alexandra, who was smiling at him with a smile that Eugen had been secretly hoping for.

"Welcome home, my dear."

"I'm back, my dear."

 Brünnhilde greeted me as I opened the massive door decorated with weapons like a warrior.

 Her soft brown hair was tied up in a high bun, and she wore a hair clip richly decorated with birthstones that Eugen had given her.

 Her dress, perhaps to match the color of the jewels, was a simple young grass color.

"I want to talk to you alone. And then with all the children."

"All right. First, this way..."

 On the way to the room where the two of them would spend the time after the children went to sleep discussing the time until they went to bed, Brünnhilde smiled serenely as she instructed the maid to prepare tea.

"You look refreshed, don't you?"

"Is it?"

 She rubs her carefully groomed beard as she meets the king.

"Yes. You look better than you have in years."

 I wonder what he sees in her.

 If I had consulted Brunnhilde, who could fill in the gaps in Eugen's life, I wouldn't have felt guilty for so long, but now it's too late.

"...Oh, it's clear. Unexpectedly clear, but not bad, I think."

"I'm glad to hear it."

 She sits him on the couch and kneels on the rug.


"Yes. You can put your tea there."

 He instructs the maid, who stiffens as soon as he opens the door.

 Blinking widely, the maid bent deeply, placed the wagon at the entrance, and quietly left.

"First, let me apologize. The important things I've kept from you will hurt you. My beloved wife, Brunnhilde. I was so loyal to the king that I assumed too much and committed an act of disrespect worthy of execution. It was also a terrible act of infidelity that will hurt you. My sincerest apologies. Truly, I am sorry."

 She takes Brünnhilde's slender wrist and presses her forehead against the back of her hand.

"...If you say you have grieved me, you still have something to say. My beloved husband, Eugen-dono."

 Brünnhilde's voice, filled with compassion, is unchanging.

 The gentle tenderness with which she cared for Eugen was painful to her heart.

"You have been unfaithful. The second son of the king's consort is my seed."

"You have your reasons, don't you?"

"Yes. The king instructed me to do so in a letter he gave me and I followed it faithfully. But today. I was told it was a ruse by the Prime Minister. I didn't suspect it because it was sealed with wax and had the Imperial Seal on it. I didn't even dare to ask the king what he really meant. I guess I was so excited that he trusted me that much. It was a stupid, stupid move."

 Without realizing it, her fingers were tightening around Brunnhilde's hand.

 Her head was stroked gently, and she slowly looked up, biting her lip until it bled.

 Brünnhilde was smiling quietly.

 The worst expression I had imagined, no matter how many times I tried to dispel it, was not there.

"You have been in pain for a long time," she said. Perhaps I should have asked you sooner. Perhaps I should have asked you sooner. I'm sorry, too."

 I muttered in shock, "You knew?

 Her smile deepened sadly.


"Let's make some tea. It's going to take a long time."

 Rubbing the back of Eugen's hand, Brunnhilde stood up gracefully, pulled out a wagon and offered Eugen a cup of warm tea.

"Now, would you like to sit down next to me?"

 She sits down on the sofa, accepting the tea saucer.

 Brünnhilde also sits down next to her, holding a tea saucer.

"...When the child was born, my wife told me. This child is your husband's."

"What? !"

 I can't believe she'd expose the royal family's secret.

 You have no common sense.

 Doesn't she even know she's been unfaithful?

 It's the height of stupidity.

 She may have fallen for the intentions of the viziers, and tried to cause a quarrel between Eugen and Brunnhilde to reduce her loyalty to the royal family, but in the case of her side wife, we can be sure that it was simple jealousy.

 In the case of the concubine, however, we could be sure that it was simple jealousy. It was undoubtedly revenge for her refusal to accept the persistent advances of the king, even after she had conceived a child.

"At first I thought it was some kind of harassment, but later I realized that it was true. Edeltraut-sama is very much like you."

"Is that so?"

 Edeltraut, a renowned member of the royal family and a top-notch warrior, has the tight good looks of a concubine.

 He is not an imposing warrior like Eugen, but has a lean and muscular body, and his hair is a different color.

 Only, one of the eye-catching odd-eyes was the same blue as Eugen's.

"Yes. The slightest gesture is astonishing. The rest, you see. Ever since I was a child, the way you looked at me had a unique color that you use when you look at your beloved."

"Edeltraut-sama, you knew..."

 The king was never involved in the education of his children, including Alexandra.

 I wonder how painful it must have been for her to live with her father's resignation and her mother's disdain.

"You have known about this since you were a child, haven't you? It's possible that she was told by her sister."

"Hey, woman!"

 Perhaps that's why she was so intelligent from an early age.

 Since she couldn't rely on anyone, she must have been eager to do everything to stand alone.

"It's disrespectful to a lady's wife," I would say. Disrespect is a synonym for her it's so bad I'd rather make it a proper noun. Your disrespect would not be called disrespect. It's a matter of loyalty, don't you worry? Still, if you should be accused of a crime, the entire clan will be dealt with without defiance."

"I'm sorry but thank you, Brunnhilde. You are too good a wife for me."

"...At the time, I wondered why you did not ask me for help, but if you have such a reason, it is understandable. Do you forgive me for not asking for so long?"

"It is I who must be forgiven. I'm sorry I plotted against you for so long. Will you forgive me?

"Whatever sins you have committed, I will forgive you."

 A kiss falls on his forehead.

 The loving kiss the children received every night instantly wiped away the frustration they had felt for years.

"Yes! I have a letter from the King and Alexandra-sama. It's in their own handwriting and they even sealed it with wax."

 I was relieved, then I remembered something important.

"Oh, my! It's in your handwriting! That's awe-inspiring."

"I'm so grateful."

 Brünnhilde carefully broke the wax seal and read the letters from the king and Alexandra in turn.

"What's in it?"

"That we are the only ones to blame and that you must forgive us. The rest..."

"And then?"

"Edeltraut-sama, as a member of our family, should be taken to his country with Alexandra-sama."


 I read the letter that was offered to me.

 It was written in beautiful handwriting, explaining their fault, forgiving Eugen, apologizing to Brunnhilde, and asking her to give Edeltraut a real family.

"I wonder if Edeltraut-sama will accept me..."

"He is a wise man. Perhaps he will come with us. Let's make a sincere apology and ask him to do so."

"I suppose so. I was planning to go to the king tomorrow to report the results of today's discussion. On that trip, I will ask Edeltraut-sama to make some time for us."

"Yes, yes. Let's do it!"

 It had been a long time since I had seen Brünnhilde's cheeks flushed with excitement.

"But, Brünnhilde. Doesn't it bother you that she's also the child of your mistress?"

"Because, no matter how you look at it, she is your child! She is beautiful and intelligent, and I think she will be a good brother to our children. Besides, I'm sure. I'm sure the guidance you've given them so far has made them think you're someone they can trust!"

"With my sincere apologies and entreaties, I will accept whatever decision Edeltraut-sama makes without any denial."

"Yes. I think that's a good idea. Now, shall we go to the children?"

"Hmm. Yes."

 Eugen held out his arm, and Brunnhilde, with a lustrous smile on her face, twined her arm around him.

 The two of them smiled at each other with just their eyes.

 They walked to the room where the children would be waiting with long necks.