"Oh? You rejected the Konoe's offer and the Medal of Honor is no longer on the table?
The next day.
The next day, when I told him what had happened, Bolton gave me a dumbfounded look. The cigarette in his mouth fell to his lap.
Bolton hurriedly brushed the ash from his lap.
You've got me all flustered, you know.
"I'm sorry," he said.
I'm sure you're not the only one. ...... Are you stupid? If you become a member of the Praetorian Guard, you will be treated and honored far better than you are now. There's no reason to refuse.
I'm a member of this city's guard. I want to protect not only Her Royal Highness, but also the people of the city, my colleagues, and all the people of King's Landing.
"I feel exactly the same as you do, Zeke.
Seira agreed with my words.
I thought it wasn't so bad, to be honest. The money. Besides, I get paid. I get paid and I get to drink all the booze I want every day without worrying about the bill.
Why didn't you just go?
No. I don't like formalities.
...... Well, your lifestyle and attitude is only tolerated because you're in the Guard, and the moment you become a member of the Kingsguard, you'll be purged.
I'm sure you're right.
It's like a fish accustomed to dirty water can't survive in fresh water.
"....... A strange sense of justice and obsession is the most destructive thing you can do to yourself. It's easier to bend your core and go with the flow.
But then you'd be as good as dead.
"Ha. So I'm a dead man by your standards," Bolton said with a self-mocking smile.
I can't cover for you guys.
"I'm prepared for that.
Bolton clicks his tongue briefly before putting out his cigarette in the ashtray. I'm about to put the next one in my mouth.
His expression twisted into one of displeasure.
"......, what the f*ck are you doing here?
Gregor was standing at the end of the piercing gaze. I'm not sure why the leader of the Knights went all the way to the guards' barracks.
"Bolton. Don't look so scared. Don't worry, I have no use for you. I'm here for the guys from the 5th squad.
...... No, I'm not exactly here for you. You guys... Master Sonia has sent us to the castle.
"Her Highness is ......?
I thought the medal deal was off the table.
What do you want with me now?
Mmm-hmm. You were disrespectful to Miss Sonia yesterday. I'm sure you'll be dealt with.
Gregor's mouth twisted in amusement.
"...... Hey. If that's the case, take me with you to the castle. I'm the boss of these guys, and I'm the Commander, and I'm responsible for them.
"Hmm. Don't butt in. You little worm. You're an insult to Her Royal Highness. This is not a matter for you to handle alone.
I'm fine. Commander. I'll take care of myself.
I said this with the knowledge that I would be punished.
I can't bring the Boltons into this because of one person's words.
"Let's head for the castle. --Whoa. There's no point in trying to escape. There'll be knights around the barracks.
"That's very thoughtful of you.
Don't you have better things to do with your time than to devote to this? I guess the Knights have more time on their hands than I thought.
"You're taunting the Order, ......!
This is a great way to make sure that you will be able to get the most out of your vacation.
I'd cut you off right here, but... Well, okay. I'm enjoying this. I'd love to see you all destroyed.
The knights took us back to the castle.
"Gentlemen. You've come a long way.
The light maiden, Princess Sonia, greeted us as we sat on her throne. This time, there was no king on the throne next to her.
"Thank you, Gregor. You may step back.
Gregor and the other knights left us, grinning. He had the look of a hyena.
Sonia glared at us as she knelt down.
What the hell will she say?
She spoke to us, who were on guard.
"Do you know what the role of a priestess of light is?
I don't know. ...... Yes. I'm not sure if you've heard of it or not, but I'm sure you've heard of it.
Good. I'm not sure what to make of that.
I'm a priestess of light," she continued.
I am a priestess of light, and in order to maintain the sealing power I grant to the orb, I go to the sacred spring on the night of the full moon, the Goddess' day, to purify myself.
I've never heard that information before.
But the sacred spring is far away from the royal capital. Naturally, the demons will try to get there on their way.
It would certainly be a golden opportunity for the demons.
The priestess of light, who is usually closely guarded in the royal capital, will be out in the open. They would want to kill her there at all costs.
"The reason I called you here today is none other than you. You, the fifth squad, will accompany me as my bodyguards on the journey to the spring.
Her words were completely unexpected for those of us who had thought that we would be punished for our previous behavior.
It must have been the same for the Knights.
Gregor couldn't help but raise his voice as if he couldn't stand it any longer.
'Master Sonia! We have never heard of such a thing. ......!
Of course not. Of course not. I didn't say that. Why should I bother to ask you in advance?
I'm not sure what to say, but I'm sure you'll understand.
"Your Highness. But we are ......
I'm not asking you to be my Kingsguard. You can leave your seat in the guard and accompany me on my journey.
I didn't think they'd offer any concessions.
"Well, that's certainly fine with us. --But why did they give us ...... this time, after all our rudeness?
The short answer is that we like you guys.
Sonia's mouth slackened.
You'll be able to find a lot of people who've been in the business for a long time, and you'll find a lot of people who've been in the business for a long time. Besides, you've already proven your abilities in the last battle.
Her gaze caught me straight in the eye.
I haven't heard your names yet, by the way.
I'm Zeke. This is Seira, Spinoza, and Fam. All of them have their quirks, but all of them are competent guards.
"Zeke and Seira, Spinoza and Fam. I'm sure I've heard those names before.
Sonia then asked in a solemn tone.
"Now, Zeke. Would you like to accompany me as my bodyguard? --In order to protect the world, and by extension, the people of this city.
If that's the case, I will respectfully accept.
Wait! You can't send a bunch of guards on a sacred journey to ......! It's unheard of! Besides, we have our own guards to protect us!
"Traditions and customs are unnecessary. They're relics of a bygone era. There's no need to follow them. Or do you disagree with my decision?
No, no. That's not why I'm here. ......
That's good. This has already been decided. No matter what you say, I'm going to appoint them as my guards.
Sonia pushed her way through, and broke her gaze from Gregor. She left the King's Chamber as if the conversation was over.
Gregor had a look of disapproval on his face. He struck a nearby column. The cracks in his fist seemed to show his pride.
It looks like we're not doomed.
"At least I was prepared to run. I was ready to run, but it was a bad idea.
Hey. That's too bad. Too bad you didn't get to see us get destroyed. In fact, you're the one who's embarrassing yourself.
"I'm sorry you didn't see our demise.
This guy ......!
Gregor was pleasantly pissed off. You'll be able to find a lot more information on the web.
"Mr. Spinoza. You can't do this. Don't provoke Mr. Gregor. I'm sorry. I'll make sure he knows what he's doing.
Seira apologized to Gregor as if she were Spinoza's guardian.
I'm sorry, I'll make sure he knows that. This is a great honor for us. ......!
He expressed his excitement.
But I didn't think it would come to this.
The fate of the entire human race depended on the protection of the priestess of light. We must not lose heart. We must protect her with all our might.