I stepped into the King's Chamber.
From the door to the back of the room, a luxurious carpet was laid out, and on either side were knights with swords and spears.
Among them was the leader of the knights, Gregor.
At the back of the room were two thrones, one next to the other, with the king and a young woman, possibly a princess, sitting on them.
"Well done. Gentlemen of the 5th squad.
The king's voice rang out with dignity.
We kneeled down on the spot.
"Mr. Spinoza! "Mr. Spinoza! In the presence of the king, kneel. ......!
"Hmm? Hmm?" "Oh, yes.
Spinoza knelt a little later. His movements were faltering.
"It seems you did a great job in the battle against the demons the other day. Thanks to your efforts, the city is safe and sound. I thank you.
That's very kind of you. I'm extremely grateful.
Good. So far, I've managed to do it without getting ripped off. ...... If I can keep this up and receive my medal without incident.
And that's when I had this vision.
The knights around me were suddenly buzzing.
--What? What is it?
...... Hey. What's that smell of alcohol?
That's true. I can smell it coming from those guys.
...... Are you telling me you've been drinking? I'm about to be awarded a medal. That's an insult to the king. ......!
Spinoza has figured out that I've been drinking.
He has had dozens of drinks, not just one, but dozens, but the number is irrelevant at this point. It is not good to be here in a drunken state.
He must have sensed the buzz of the knights.
The king looked at us with a sharp gaze.
"Boys. Is it true what the knights were saying? They were drinking in the middle of the day, despite their duties as guards.
No, no! I was dealing with a dispute in a tavern a while ago! No, I was dealing with a dispute in a tavern a while ago, and that's when I got drunk!
She looked at Spinoza and asked him to agree.
"Right? Ms. Spinoza.
"Hmm? Oh, yeah.
I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that.
...... I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm sure you'll be able to figure it out.
...... I hope you don't mind. If I'm going to be purged, I want it to be Spinoza. I don't want to be the one to take the blame.
Fam muttered to himself.
"By the way, Fumm. Why are you hiding behind my back?
We were all kneeling side by side in the 5th squad, but for some reason only Fam was kneeling behind my back.
She was unreliably clutching the hem of my dress.
"Mm-hmm. I told you. I told you I'm a very shy person. It's a little too embarrassing to be the center of attention in a crowd like this.
He had a pompous tone and said something petty.
"Hey, you! It's not polite to hide yourself in front of the king!
Gregor, the Knight Commander, shouted at Pham.
There's nothing hostile or malicious about this guy. He's simply shy and uncomfortable in public. I ask you to be lenient with him.
"Don't be silly! You can't talk to me like that!
Gregor. It's a big day. Let's overlook a little rudeness. And it's no wonder guards like them don't know manners.
The king said.
"They live in a different world than we do.
...... I had my doubts about that statement, but I was glad that the matter was dropped. It looks like we won't have to go through a purge.
Just when I was feeling relieved.
"Ugh. Oh no. I'm starting to feel sick from the sudden change in position. ......
I was surprised when Spinoza, who was standing next to me, started to hold his mouth.
I'm not sure what to say. Mr. Spinoza, ......?
You. You look really pale.
Hey. You're not .......
The next thing we knew, we were in a panic.
The liquor he had been drinking poured out of Spinoza's mouth. For a moment, she almost thought she was in the bathroom of a tavern.
But this was unmistakably the King's Chamber.
Naturally, the knights were in a state of excitement.
"Whoa! He threw up!
"How dare he do that in front of the king!
"Disrespect! This is nothing but disrespect!
The King's Chamber was filled with screaming and shouting.
It was a hellish scene.
When she looked next to her, Seira was looking up at the sky as if she had lost her mind.
Femme is holding her forehead as if she has no more words.
The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by knights. All of them had hostility in their eyes, and all of them were pointing the tips of their swords and spears at her at once.
"This outrageous behavior. This will not be tolerated. We, the Knights, will purge you.
That's what Gregor the Knight Commander told us.
That's true, I suppose.
Vomiting in a drunken state in front of the king is now far beyond the level of a little rudeness.
This is completely over now. .......
This is what it means to be thrown from heaven to hell.
This is when I was finally ready to be purged.
"Put down your swords and step back.
Suddenly, a beautiful voice echoed through the King's Chamber.
The source of the voice was a young woman sitting next to the king, a princess who had not uttered a word until then, a priestess of light.
"Master Sonia. But ......!
Gregor tries to bite down.
I'm the one who's saying it's a good idea. --Gregor. What is the purpose of your Order?
...... Our role is to be the hands and feet of royalty, to protect the king and princess.
That's right. Can a limb have a will and move by itself? --Know that you have gone too far.
I'm sorry, .......
Gregor bowed reverently and sent the knights back. The tips of the swords and spears pointed at us receded like the tide.
The princess, Sonia, the priestess of light, quietly looked down at us as we knelt. Her eyes were cold and showed no hint of emotion.
It was then that I first got a good look at her figure.
She was as beautiful as if she had come out of a painting.
She must have been about 20 years old.
She had a dignity that far surpassed her apparent age.
It is as if the years of her spirit are far more engraved than the years of her body.
When I face her, I naturally feel myself tightening up. Every move she made had a gravitational pull that attracted people's attention.
So this is the dignity of a priestess of light who takes on the seal of the Demon Lord.
"So you're the 5th squad of the Guard. Your valor in the last battle is worthy of praise. Manners are meaningless in the face of overwhelming power. What is needed to protect mankind from demons is more refined swordsmanship than well-behaved behavior.
"...... Wow. The princess knows her stuff, doesn't she?
She must have felt better after vomiting.
Spinoza, who was kneeling next to her, said this with a fearless smile.
"...... Mr. Spinoza. Shh! I'm sure you'll agree.
And Seira is trying to keep Spinoza quiet. I guess they decided they couldn't let her say any more than she had to.
"Your Highness. Thank you for your kind words.
I said as I knelt down.
Sonia nodded solemnly and opened her mouth. The words she spoke were unexpected to us.
I've decided. You are to leave the Guard as of today and serve loyally as my Kingsguard.
"What?" Everyone in the room let out a similar sound.
We, the 5th squad, Gregor and the rest of the knights.
And even the king who was sitting next to Sonia.
"Master Sonia. What the hell are you talking about? ......! I've never heard of appointing a guard of honor to the Kingsguard!
Gregor was upset and tried to persuade her.
I've never heard of appointing a guard to the Kingsguard!
Needless to say, this is an unusual situation.
You mean I should only do things I've heard of? I don't want to touch something that's been done by others.
Sonia said solemnly.
"Gregor. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one who's had to deal with this.
"Ugh. ....... That's .......
I think it's a rational decision to keep the stronger and more capable ones by your side. I think it's a rational decision. If you have something to say, say it. I'm not going to listen.
Overwhelmed by Sonia's words, Gregor pulled back. The wrinkles between his eyes deepened. He clenched his fists in humiliation.
Sonia looked back at us and said.
I'll pay you ten times what you're getting in the Guard. You will use your lives only to protect me, the priestess of light. Is that clear?
"Hold on," I said. I know it's an honor. But I can't accept the offer.
Sonia's expression moved there for the first time.
"Can you tell me why ......?
I'm a guard. I want to protect Her Royal Highness and the people of the city. Becoming a Kingsguard would make that impossible.
You've got it all wrong. The lives of the people of the city are replaceable, but mine are not.
Sonia put her hand on his chest and said.
My life is the same as the life of the entire human race. Then you will know which you should prioritize.
"With all due respect, sir. Your Highness is the one who's mistaken.
There is no such thing as an irreplaceable life in this world. The lives of the people of the city and the princess are equally important to me.
Sonia scrutinized her eyes.
And then she looks around at the rest of us and says.
"...... I'm asking everyone but you. Can I take that as the consensus of your fifth squad?
Seira and the others looked at each other as they were asked this question.
They all nodded quietly to each other.
As a representative, Seira returned a determined look.
"...... I understand. Then you can all go now. I'll pretend that there was no mention of a medal for the 5th squad.
Sonia said, cutting the thread of her gaze from us. She got up from her throne and walked back into the back room.