Chapter 10 The Knight Who Feared

 The Knight Who Feared

 All the knights' equipment has been taken.

 No lair.

 You can't get in.

 What does Diethfried have now that he's a commoner?

 He slowly looks around the house, which is crude for a nobleman but adequate for a commoner, and stops at the closet.

 The pain didn't run through me as I started to sit up.

 As long as he focused his nerves and didn't make any unreasonable movements, the pain didn't seem to be severe.

 However, the languidness that dominated her whole body would not go away.

 In such cases, she would have recovered quickly by drowning herself in Claudia's body, but that was not an option now.

 He must not mistake his first priority any longer.

 He must not be afraid of what Dietfried did not know.

 Closing his eyes and letting out a deep breath, Diethfried pulls out a set of nobleman's clothes from his closet.

 It was only kept as a backup and he rarely wore it, so it was still appropriate for the royal court.

 The overly ornate sword, with its low killing power and far too much ornamentation for Dietfried's taste, would also serve to disguise his status as a non-nobleman.

"We should be able to get into the castle now. Now we just need to find him and we'll be fine."

 Diethfried left the house, thinking of his companion who would be able to enter the palace and even see Alexandra.

 The main and back gates of the castle were heavily guarded.

 The gates are guarded by the second and third sons of the barons, who are also moderately skilled.

 The hidden gates, however, are less guarded.

 The gate Diethfried chose was only guarded by a commoner, who opened the door with a salute when Diethfried looked at him.

"Well, so far, so good... now we just have to figure out where he is..."

 Without lowering his eyes, Diethfried proceeded through the gates with an arrogant gait.

 He could not be blamed for approaching the castle.

 The man guarding the gate closest to Alexandra's room glared at Diethfried with an intimidating air.

 When he had used it before, his gaze had been respectful but not hostile, so it seemed that he had been properly notified of his deprivation.

"I'm pretty sure he's around here somewhere..."

 As he sashayed along, he spotted the person he was looking for.

"Hey! Boniface!"

 A man whose reputation is sharply divided between the nobility and the people, he calls out to Boniface, who is considered to be the next king, in a friendly manner.

 Boniface, who had been burying his face in the ample chest of a woman dressed in a royal maid's uniform, looked up gracefully.

 He stared at me with a sense of intimidation that momentarily scared the spine.

 The woman who had been holding Boniface's head in her arms quickly released her embrace, and the maid, who seemed to have a taste for combat, dropped to her haunches and sheltered Boniface behind her back.

"...I hope you won't interrupt our fun, Dietfried."

 He shrugged his shoulders in exaggeration and said, "Oh, dear... Sama is the usual Boniface.

 She's not as intimidating as before.

 The maid watches Boniface's reaction and prepares for battle.

"I'm sorry, another time. Take some time for me, will you?"

 The maid looked down at Dietfried with a cold stare, and then, with a lovely smile on her face, she picked up the maid's dress and folded her back.

 Boniface's smile deepened as he stared at the back of the maid, who straightened up and walked away as if nothing had happened.

"She is. She's the maid who's allowed in and out of Alexandra-sama's room, you know?"

"I see. She seems like a pretty good battle maid."

"Not so good, huh? At least she's stronger and more powerful than you. A commoner, Dietfried-kun."

 Boniface made eye contact with Diethfried, though he wore his royal highness quietly. Diethfried breathed a sigh of relief in his chest at the reality that he could meet him.

"I want to see Alexandra. Please!"

"...Why do you want to see her?"

"Because... there's something I want to say."

Something you want to say, huh?

 Boniface continues to say meaningful words, but I don't ask him what he really means.

 He knew from experience that Diethfried's wish would not be granted.

 Despite the rumors, he is a very smart man.

"Well, okay. I'm happy to meet Alexandra-sama too."

"You don't like Alexandra, do you?"

 Boniface didn't start talking about Alexandra, at least not unless Diethfried asked him to.

"It's impossible to dislike her. It's just that I was afraid to even call her by her name."


"...I wonder if you still respect me and Alexandra-sama beyond disgust when you're here, kun?"

 Boniface's eyes were cold and puzzled, with a hint of pity in them, but he continued to lead Diethfried to his room.

 On the way, as he approached Alexandra's room, a look of hatred pierced his whole body.

"What the hell is wrong with them?"

"Hmm? -Kun's terrible attitude towards Alexandra-sama was well known. Although the annulment of the engagement has not been officially notified, no one in the castle knows the fact that -kun has lost his title and is no longer even a knight. His Majesty dotes on Alexandra-sama without a care in the world... because of the situation. -I think he's decided that there's no need to pay even the minimum courtesy to kun."


"Even if I'm the child of the Prime Minister and his wife, you'd still call me that, wouldn't you?"


 It was an unpleasant thing to hear, but it was so out of the blue that it made me shout in disgust from the bottom of my heart.

"...-kun, you really don't know anything, do you? I think you've got too many flowers in your head..."

"What are you talking about?"

Alexandra-sama, this is Boniface. May I come in, please?"

 Before I knew it, I was at the front of the room.

 Boniface's voice sounded somewhat bouncy.

 He wasn't in the mood for questions.

"Come in. Come in?"

 An uncharacteristically pretentious tone.

 I wonder if His Majesty told her to be a little more like a princess.

 I can't believe there's a hint of pleasure in her voice.

 It sounds as if she is truly happy to see Boniface, whom she had never known.

 Was Dietfried not the only one that Alexandra adored?

"Oh. Annemarie. -You're here too?"

What do you want, Boniface?

"I was jealous when I heard that you and Edeltraut are friends with Alexandra-sama. I was wondering if I could join you. And..."

 Boniface looks at her and enters the room.

 Annemarie draws her sword quickly, followed by Wolfgang.

"You, Alexandra?"

 The person who seemed to be Alexandra had a gentle smile on her face without changing her expression at all.

 I had seen her face a long time ago as a fiancée, and I had the impression that she was very young.

 The current Alexandra, with her veil removed, was so beautiful that once you saw her, you would never forget her.

 She has a face very similar to that of the late Empress Eleonora, who was called the greatest treasure of the Myssian Empire and is displayed here and there in the castle.

 While Eleonora's beauty was conspicuous, Alexandra's face was tinged with a melancholy that could not help but attract men.

 They were indeed a mother and son, and everyone would admire their beauty.

"Stand back! You are rude! Why are you here? !"

 I had heard that he was standing by Alexandra's side, but I didn't expect Wolfgang to point his sword at Diethfried as a musician.

 The sword he was holding was too good a sword for a musician to be holding.

"I'm sorry to startle you, Wolfgang. Diethfried has something to say to Alexandra-sama, so I brought him here. I thought it would be a good idea since Wolfgang-kun is here too."

"...You don't have to bring him! This garbage is bound to make my sister uncomfortable!"

"I appreciate your concern, Boniface-sama, but I don't think it's necessary or worthwhile to talk to him directly either!"

"Well, I thought so, didn't I? I was just curious. I was wondering how much this scum knows about his position, you know?"

 "Scum," was the only thing he spat out with such coldness that my whole body instantly froze.

"Boni! ...A man who uses his brother-sama as a shield can't possibly understand his position."

"Oh... I didn't expect you to call me big brother-sama."

"Because it would make my sister happy..."

 These were not the words of a tormented Annemarie.

 The end of the word is snatched shyly and whispered in a small voice.

 Even her ears were flushed red.

"The mercy of Alexandra-sama is such that I can only hang my head. May I take your hand?"

"Sir Boniface..."

 Alexandra reaches out a delicate hand to Boniface, who bends his knees in front of her.

 Her hands, roughened by a hard life, are nowhere to be seen.

 Boniface reverently takes both of her lavishly dressed, elegant hands and presses them gently against his forehead.

"To Alexandra-sama, who has been merciful even to her unfaithful children, I offer my heartfelt respect and my unwavering loyalty."

 I don't think royalty does that.

 In fact, I'm shocked at the behavior I shouldn't have.

 Alexandra too, as if in a panic, put her hands on both cheeks of Boniface.

"Don't call me an illegitimate child! You are His Majesty's son! You're my brother!"

"...may I call you sama?"

"Yes, of course. I'm so happy!

 The first time I saw Alexandra's face full of joy.

 And her voice.

 I've never known her to be so expressive.

 All the time, all the time, all the time!

 I only remember her quiet, dark voice spinning words of condemnation for Dietfried's actions.

"I am aware of my position, but please allow me to be your sister for a short time, until Alexandra-sama marries."

"If possible, always. I would like you to call me..."

"It's too good to be true but please, give me some time."

"Sis-sama." I've got time too. Please, Bo give your brother some time too."

"All right. I'll give you as much time as you want, Boniface. But even if you don't want to, please forgive me for thinking of you as my brother."

"I don't need forgiveness. It's a dream I long for, sister."

 A farce, I think.

 I wonder what they're up to now.

 Apparently, Boniface is the illegitimate son of a concubine and the vizier.

 So is Annemarie, according to the story.

 I wonder why such an important story has not been made public.

 Why do they want to have a friendly brother-sister relationship now?

"...Well. Scum of the earth Dietfried. Why don't you say what you have to say?"

 With a ladylike gesture, Alexandra sits politely on the sofa, while Boniface sits next to her and speaks softly.

 Annemarie, seated opposite Boniface with a sharp look of contempt in her eyes, keeps her sword in her hand.

 Wolfgang tries to stand behind Alexandra, but is urged to sit down on the sofa beside her.

 This one has indeed put his sword back on his hip.

 Diethfried sits down with Wolfgang on his left, facing Alexandra and the others.

 Alexandra is smiling and pouring tea for Boniface.

 There's no tea for Diethfried.

 She would have always brewed a cup of Dietfried's favorite strong tea with the finest tea leaves she had on hand, before anyone else.

"...You don't have any for me?"

"...Did you want to drink it? Tea brewed by a bitter woman?"

 She sounded surprised.

 She was seriously wondering why he wanted the tea she made.

"What's so pungent about my sister?"

"It's no use, Annemarie. Scum are scum because they can't see."

"You're still a vile man, aren't you? I don't need Alexandra-sama to help me. I'll make you a pot."

"Oh. Wolfgang's tea is too good to waste. I'll make it!"

 For a man, Wolfgang was good at making tea.

 He was not as good as Alexandra, but he knew her because he had drunk her tea several times.

 Come to think of it, I've never seen Claudia make tea.

 She always brought in a pot of tea.

"Oh. That's nice."

"...Would you like me to make your brother's tea, too?"

 Annemarie, who had never made tea since she was born, made a pot of tea with a procedure that was much better than she could say, or rather, much more familiar than she could imagine, and placed it roughly in front of Dietfried.

 He must have learned it in the course of his military career.

 The top brass had whispered that he was a good general who was too good to be left as a woman, who always took the initiative and never forgot to take care of his men.

"Don't worry. It's not worth poisoning yourself with!"

 The tea he drank was astringent, but rather to Dietfried's taste.

 Before he could open his mouth, Alexandra interrupted him.

"I'm sorry, sir, but I can't bless Diethfried and Claudia-sama. Please ask someone else to do it."

 I had thrown those words at her, hoping that they would be of some use, but I had forgotten all about them.

 I'm going to ask Gotthold, who should be willing to do the blessing, so I don't care about that.

"Kisama! How dare you taunt my sister!"

 Annemarie sits up, but as Alexandra gently rubs the back of her hand, she sinks back down on the sofa with an annoyed look on her face.

"Sis-sama will soon be married off to Emperor Voltagne, you know. If we wait until the scum and flower garden girl get permission to marry, we'll be invaded."

"The emperor is very fond of Alexandra-sama... I don't know if the marriage license will be granted or not, but I would like to remind you that she and I have already broken off our engagement."

"You! You abandoned Claudia!"

 Wolfgang says, tipping his cup gracefully, and is shocked, but he curses her.

 You have no idea how much Claudia cared for Wolfgang!

 How many times had she made pathetic pleas for him, at least for his body?

"...I think I'm the one who was abandoned, don't you? She conceived a child by a man other than me, her fiancé."

 I can't hide my annoyance with Wolfgang, who is more indifferent than I imagined.

 If he had lost a woman he was deeply in love with, he would have been more frustrated.

"It's yours! It could have been your child! You can't just assume that!"

"...It seems that neither she nor you knew. The curse of Bausnern's blood is well known among the nobles. It's impossible to get pregnant before a formal marriage."


"...If you were close to Alexandra-sama, would you understand the divine blessing? Think of it as the same thing. Both of these things are done regardless of our intentions."

 Having been around Alexandra for so long, it was true that she had seen many strange things.

 Without God's blessing, Alexandra would have died.

 The harassment by the nobles and temple officials had been terrible, and there had been many times when she had admired Alexandra's -sama-ko, who had not suffered any definite injuries.

"Oh yes, I don't want any money from you. Randolph-sama has apologized to me, and I've severed my ties with the Kantor family."

"I don't want alimony from you either. Randolph-sama has sworn fealty to me, and I have received an apology from House Kantor."

"Me! Don't you want an apology from Claudia? !"

 I don't think I'll be grateful if there's no apology.

 I'm happy if it's a reduction, but if it's not, it means that I'm not even allowed to apologize.

 It's too bad.

"You both don't feel sorry, do you?"

"Such a flimsy apology is just disgusting."

 Alexandra's words, even though they are in the form of a question, have a definite tone.

 Wolfgang's words conveyed intense disgust.

"I do feel bad, you know."

"If you feel bad, why. Why is she not here?"

"If you're going to apologize, the least you can do is apologize together..."

 Alexandra tilted her head, not understanding what he meant at all, and Wolfgang raised his eyebrows in annoyance.

"...You're too stupid to think about the order. You haven't even been able to contact her, have you?"

"Huh! I don't think that's true!"

 Boniface continues to laugh scornfully, followed by a mocking Annemarie.

"...You don't mean that, sir. Didn't you visit her before you came here?"

 Wolfgang's forehead wrinkles even more.

 Diethfried clenched his fists tightly.

"...Even I, who am far from all that, think she's a devil..."

"I'm not in a position to admonish you about your treatment of women, but it's not outrageous to abandon your fiancée for someone you've sworn to love."

 What the hell is wrong with you?

 What's outrageous?

 I'm sure you've heard of it.

"You're the ones who are the devil and the outrageous! Do you hate me and Claudia that much? !"

"...I did hate you, didn't I? Why are you telling me this now? You're an insensitive person, as usual. You cuckolded your fiancée whom you loved very much. I hated my fiancee and her cuckold, you know? I even thought about retaliating thoroughly and punishing both families so that they would not be able to live in this country, let alone in noble society... You will never understand the pain of betrayal, will you?"

"...I... didn't have any hatred. It's just... it's just, yes. If you were abandoned. I thought, if he threw me away as well, there would be no problem."

 She loved Claudia, who was on good terms with Wolfgang.

 A noble fiancée who only denied Dietfried was nothing but a hindrance and I wanted to be light.

 If I couldn't go lightly, I wanted to hold her at least once.

 I held her because I loved her.

 Once I had her, I couldn't stop myself and begged her to hold me again and again.

 I wanted to take responsibility for the child.

 I didn't doubt in the slightest that it was mine.

 I made her check just in case and I was sure.

 I tried to get Alexandra to break off the engagement so I wouldn't be disloyal for choosing Claudia.

 If you can break off the engagement, go and get Claudia with impunity.

 The three of them, including the child, were going to be happy together.

 That would be best for Claudia and Dietfried.

 I hadn't thought about it, but was it best for Wolfgang and Alexandra?

 He hated them for cuckolding his fiancée, whom he loved dearly.

 ...Sure, that's natural.

 I hated my fiancée and I hated the man who cuckolded me.

 You hated her because you loved her so much.

 It's understandable that you hated your fiancee.

 Your hatred must exceed that of your fiancee.

 He wanted to retaliate thoroughly and punish both families so that they would not be able to live in the country, let alone in aristocratic society.

 In aristocratic society, ugly news is fatal.

 Cuckolded men are looked down upon for a long time.

 In many cases the work environment deteriorates.

 Sanctioning someone other than the cuckold is not an exaggeration.

 But even though he was mocked as a musician and a musician, Wolfgang himself was highly regarded.

 The history of the Bauschnerns is much older than that of the Wurznerns.

 Even if he himself does not dare to impose sanctions, the people around him will do so.

 You cannot understand the pain of betrayal.

 Wolfgang must have felt the pain of being betrayed by Claudia.

 What happens when someone who has been with you since you were a child, someone you are close to, someone you are about to marry, someone who has been blessed by everyone around you, betrays you?

 Did Alexandra feel the pain of Diethfried's betrayal?

 The only friend she had known since childhood, the one who hadn't been blessed by the people around her, but the one who had been betrothed to her by the direct order of His Majesty, what if she had been betrayed?

 I wonder if it was nothing compared to the intense pain I still feel now and then.

 I wonder if the pain in your heart is worse than the pain in your body.

 Is it painful?

 There is no hatred.

 What's beyond hatred is... It's indifference! That's what Wolf-sama taught me! Claudia's words come to mind.

 I thought, if she threw me away, it wouldn't matter if I threw her away.

 But that's not the point, is it?

 But Alexandra came to that conclusion.

 How did she come to that conclusion?

 Because she'd gone beyond hate to indifference towards Dietfried.

 Dietfried is no longer the only thing in Alexandra's life.

 Far from it.

 In Alexandra, perhaps.

 Diethfried doesn't exist.

"...I thought there wouldn't be a problem, but things have turned out to be much bigger than I thought. But, Mr. Dietfried. When you asked me to break off our engagement, my connection with you was broken forever. A broken bond can never be repaired by any means. Why not? I know you're wondering, but I was a princess and you were a knight in the service of my country. Because of that relationship, your actions are reprehensible."

 That was a knowing explanation of Diethfried's thoughts.


 It was very, very clear.

 Alexandra's eyes were fixed on Dietfried, but she was not looking at him.

 There was no Diethfried in those beautiful jet-black eyes that seemed to see through everything.

 There was no emotion in his voice either.

 Not hate, not pity.

 Not even mercy, which should be lavishly given under any circumstances.

"That's it..."

Disassociation is one form of absolution. You probably came to me not for apology or compensation, but for my healing skills, but I cannot treat you as a special case and heal you without following the procedure. And from now on, for your own sake. I think it would be better if you call me Sama."

 So that's what she said.

 There's no limit to the shamelessness!

 I can only be disgusted.

 The voices of the outside world sound distant.

 The shock of not being able to say your name is greater than the shock of not being healed.

 Something you believed in is broken. Fear.

 Her lips move, but her head shakes gently.

 The trembling lips somehow managed to whisper quietly, and I heard Annemarie put away her sword.

 Alexandra, already.

 We are no longer allowed to face each other and call each other names like this.

 This is a form of absolution.

 And a very small one at that.

 I'm sure it's laughable to count it as an absolution.


"That was quite a flower garden, wasn't it?"

 Boniface is asking Alexandra for a new cup of tea.

 Alexandra was making a cup of tea happily, as if she had never been indifferent to Dietfried.

"Thank you, Boniface-sama, she's probably a permanent resident of the flower garden, so it's a relief that he's at least aware of it."

 The wrinkles disappeared from Wolfgang's forehead.

 Alexandra stared painfully at Wolfgang, then took a delicately shaped -sama tea-cake and placed it in front of Wolfgang.

"There is nothing more meaningless than condemning those who are unaware. I wish my wife would be aware of it, but that seems to be difficult."

 Annemarie chuckles and cowers her shoulders.

 Alexandra took the back of Annemarie's hand and rubbed it repeatedly to warm it.

 Wolfgang begins to play the herbs with a sound that is soothing to the ear that she wants to listen to it forever.

 Annemarie took the pastry that she had shouted "Delicious! to Alexandra, and her cheeks flushed as she smiled at how delicious it was.

 Boniface, looking at the two -sama- children with happiness and envy, asks Wolfgang for a song.

 Diethfried's presence is brilliantly ignored, and the friendly tea party between the royal family and their trusted subordinates continues.

 The scent of freshly brewed tea tickles Diethfried's nose, but the cup in front of him remains empty and unfilled.

 Dietfried had made the wrong choice again.

 He had made the wrong choice.