AIWTRO Chapter Ten

AIWTRO Chapter 10

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“…Pardon?”

Keira couldn’t help but blush when she saw the look on Joseph’s face.

“To be honest, I wanted to be a respected leader like you. I only got the position because of my blood. I took it out on you because I was insecure for being just a lady without any achievements and qualifications.”

If she were in the past, she would never have brought it up even if she died. 

I wanted to be a perfect person, so I couldn’t admit that I wasn’t good enough. I would hide it.

In the past, she was a person who would never admit she felt jealous and inferior to her subordinates.

But Keira no longer needed to be a ‘perfect person.’ There was no need to hide her imperfections or make excuses to make up for her shortcomings. 

So there was no reason to be jealous of her subordinates anymore.

She acknowledged the dark feelings she had in the past, and felt free.

“No matter what the reason was, what I did was wrong. I apologize for saying this so suddenly, but I thought it was something I had to say one day, and took the opportunity to apologize.”

“M-my lady?”

“From now on, I won’t argue or nitpick every single thing. Take care of the work related to the Order of the Knights. You don’t have to ask for my opinion.”

She was planning to resign soon from her position of the Knight Captain. It was better to resign now than wait for Cosette to find a way to make her step down. 

In addition, there was no special reason for her to keep the position. As a member of the Grand Duchy, it was something she had to do, so she didn’t want to disappoint her father. 

But now Keira knew it was useless.

Since it was all useless, there was no need to make other people feel inconvenienced. She decided to return her position to the original owner.

“Then, I’ll see you after lunch,” she said, embarrassed, and left Joseph with his mouth agape.

The fact that she didn’t have to be perfect made her feel so free. Strangely, she felt good. Her feet felt so light that it seemed she could fly. 


The Knighthood tests did not end until late in the afternoon. Everyone who passed jumped around and celebrated.

Watching the new recruits, Keira asked, “There’s a reception tonight, isn’t there?”

“Yes, but it’s more of a drinking party than a reception.”

“Eat and drink to your heart’s content and put it under my name.”

“YAY!”

The recruits cheered and rejoiced.

“Ah–”

On the other hand, the expressions of the knights changed subtly. It was because it meant the Knight Captain would attend the reception herself. 

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I can’t believe the Captain will be there when we’re supposed to be enjoying a meal and drinking!

The knights knew she’s the eldest daughter of the Duke and was predicted to manifest the powers of the Saintess.

The new recruits, who were ignorant of their Captain’s importance, were anticipating a fun drinking celebration, but it won’t take long for them to find out that it would be too hard to drink in front of the esteemed lady.

Keira coughed as she saw the expressions of the knights, having a good guess at what has caused it.

The Keira in the past had no ill intentions. 

The temporary appointment of the Grand Duke’s eldest children as Knight Captain was meant to help them make connections with high-ranking nobles, so Keira utilized it.

If there was a drinking party, she attended every time for a chance to get close to the knights. But as a member of one of the most prestigious families, Keira thought she should not be seen drunk, so she ended up only drinking a few sips of the weakest alcohol.

The stern Captain was there, so the drinking party could not have been fun.

It was too late when she realized it would be best if she didn’t attend. 

“I won’t be joining you today but please put the bill under my name.”

The declaration brightened the faces of the knights who were looked uncomfortable. The change was so drastic that she almost wanted to laugh.

“I’m sorry.”

“…”

“…”

The excitement didn’t last long. It was surreal to hear an apology from the esteemed Captain. 

‘What the hell is going on? What are you sorry about?’

Their hearts sank.

“I attended past drinking parties without considering it would affect the atmosphere. It won’t happen again, so please enjoy it with your colleagues.”

The excitement of drinking to their heart’s content was all but extinguished.

“…?”

Keira tilted her head in confusion at seeing an even more despondent atmosphere from the knights.

Wondering if she had made a mistake, she continued to speak, “I meant no offense. I just attended because I wanted to get close to everyone. I didn’t know you wouldn’t be able to drink comfortably if I was there. I’m sorry I didn’t notice it sooner.”

Even though she spoke in a soft voice, the atmosphere became even more strange. The knights looked more bothered than ever.

‘Oh no, what did I do wrong this time?’

She was pretending to be calm but could not control the embarrassed flush crawling up her face. She thought everyone would be happy if she said what she said, but instead the atmosphere became colder? Why?

She was about to resign as the Knight Captain. She wanted to at least leave a good memory for the last time…

“Um… That’s all, then. Goodbye.”

Keira hurriedly left the post because she thought she would be more embarrassed if she stayed longer. 

Only cold silence remained where she left. 

What the knights understood from what their Captain said:

I now know that you guys dread it when I join the drinking parties. I’m sorry I’ve been thoughtless. I’m sorry, so I’ll pay for all the drinks.

I joined you because I wanted to get close to you, but I didn’t know you’d feel uncomfortable. Sorry…

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“W-what do we do?” Arthur, one of the youngest knights, muttered.

“I think she heard us complaining about it…”

“I wished she didn’t come… That wasn’t an insult, right??”

“That’s true, but I’m not sure she thought the same.”

“Aack!”

The knights’ faces looked pale. Their Captain, the lady of the duchy, heard them talking behind her back!

Besides…

“I meant no offense. I just attended because I wanted to get close to everyone. I didn’t know you wouldn’t be able to drink comfortably if I was there. I’m sorry I didn’t notice it sooner.”

She just wanted to be friends.

Unlike the knights, ladies like Keira didn’t share a training camp with them nor did they have the same daily routine. Truly, the position of the Grand Duke’s children in the Order of the Knights was in name only. 

Furthermore, unlike the knights who were mostly men, Keira was a woman. 

Her only chance to get close to them was to go to the drinking party.

“But, if she really wanted to be close to us, why was she so cold? I thought it meant we should drink responsibly and end the party early.”

“Wasn’t she there to make sure we didn’t drink too much and went back to our quarters before we could bring shame to their family?”

The knights threw similar complaints.

They believed that Keira, who quietly sat at the drinking parties with a stoic look, wasn’t there to make friends.

In a speculative tone, a new recruit said, “The lady is known to be a studious person. Maybe she didn’t know how to play.”