AIWTRO Chapter Fourteen

AIWTRO Chapter 14

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Splash!

The small glass dropped on the pint of beer, and the knights cheered.

It seemed like nothing, but the action to do that needed precision and control. If done wrong, the glasses would certainly shatter.

Clap clap clap clap!

Keira clapped with them even though she didn’t understand what was happening. Everyone was laughing, so she laughed awkwardly.

“This is actually happening,” she heard Sir Joseph sigh beside her. He held his face as if troubled.

“Let’s have a drink, my lady!”

A man with light brown hair, amber eyes and a familiar face handed her a large glass of beer.

It was Sir Arthur Walford.

Keira: “O-oh, yes. Thank you.”

The smell was strong, but she couldn’t reject what was offered to her, so she took a sip.

Arthur: “Hey, that’s not how you drink it!”

“Walford, stop,” Sir Joseph said.

Arthur flinched, but talked again, his demeanor back in good spirits. “But our lady came to the drinking party because she wanted to get to know us! She came all the way here, so she should have a drink.”

Keira: “I’m fine, Sir Joseph.”

“See!” When Keira took his side, Arthur became more energetic. “Then, look carefully. You drink it like this.”

He chugged the beer all at once. The large glass was emptied in a few seconds.

Arthur: “Kuu–!”

He then raised the empty glass over his head.

Keira’s eyes widened. “Sir, is that a ritual of some sort?”

Arthur: “…What?”

Was it a pledge of good faith and friendship?

When she looked at him with sparkling eyes, Arthur said, “It just means, uh… I just emptied my glass. If there’s beer left behind, it’ll spill on my head.”

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Keira: “…Oh.”

That’s what it was.

Her cheeks burned in embarrassment.

Arthur: “Now, let’s have our lady try it.”

All that beer? Wasn’t it too much?

In the past, she was a model student who wouldn’t dare to overindulge.

With that amount of liquor in front of her, it felt like she was committing a crime. Keira felt like an underage student achiever who was tempted by her friends to go to the bar.

What should I do?

Looking around, she realized that everyone was staring at her in anticipation. She didn’t have the heart to tell them she couldn’t drink.

In the end, she closed her eyes and emptied the glass.

Keira: “Kuu–.”

Her throat and stomach felt heavy, but she finished it and even raised the empty glass over her head.

Then the knights cheered.

Clap clap clap clap!

“Woooooh!”

She didn’t know why they were cheering, but she was glad everyone seemed to enjoy it. At least it didn’t feel like they were in a meeting as before.

She put down the empty glass, and another knight gave her a new one.

Again?

The knight must have seen her expression, because he said, “Please hold it for now. It’s not polite to hold an empty glass!”

When all of the knights had their drinks, they raised their glasses and shouted at the same time.

“For our lady!”

“For our lady!”

Keira just followed them and raised her glass.

Soon enough, many snacks were placed in front of her. The salty side dishes were strange, but it wasn’t that bad.

When she was thirsty, she kept drinking and took a bite of the snacks.

When she came to her sense two hours later, she was in the arms of Reina, one of the female knights.

‘Huh…?’

Why was she in her arms?

Nothing came to mind. It was as if the memory in the middle had been erased.

Her cheeks were wet, and when she touched it, she found clear liquid. Did she spill water on herself? Keira tilted her head, unaware that it was tears.

Then, she heard someone sob.

When she turned her head in surprise, Arthur was shedding tears.

Why was he crying?

“This is all because of His Grace!”

“Yeah! Honestly, I’m scared of him because he’s so cold-hearted!”

At such a drinking party, one must not leave out talking about their superior. And so the knights around Keira shared their sentiments.

“Honestly, I’m really scared. I think I’ll get fired if I make a mistake…”

“I can’t lose my job… I have to pay for my younger siblings’ tuition…”

Drunk, Keira cried her eyes out and complained about how upset she was because of her father. Fortunately, she didn’t talk about Cosette.

The knights fully sympathized with her as she told them the story of when she was ten years old, she rolled down the stairs to gain her father’s attention. She didn’t seem to be the only one who agreed that her father was inhumane.

There’s a saying that there was no effective way to get close to others than backstabbing.

The alcohol must have taken effect, and the talks about the Grand Duke moved them, as a sudden sense of camaraderie grew between them.

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“He’s so mean. I got hurt like that. He should have gone to see me.”

Reina patted her on the back and said, “It’s because you’re too nice.”

Someone passed her another glass as the rest of them consoled her. Already intoxicated, she chugged more beer.

Some of the knights passed out and were stacked together in the corner of the bar. A knight was grumbling as one of his boots went missing. Another used said missing boot as a glass.

‘What a mess…’

Keira was so drunk that she was half out of her mind. They were all over the place.

Over Arthur’s shoulder, some knights were singing and drinking. They were singing a song that made them want to drink even more and sway their shoulders.

She thought the song was a complete mess, and wondered why people drink while singing such songs.

She’ll ask them later.

Arthur tapped her cheek and said “My lady? My lady? Are you alright? Oh, did you drink too much?”

Keira: “I’m fine…”

Arthur: “No, it’s not convincing when your eyes are unfocused like that…”

Reina draped a blanket over her shoulder.

Keira was drunk, half-conscious, warm and cozy. Naturally, she was starting to fall asleep.

Reina: “Go to bed if you’re sleepy, my lady.”

Keira: “Yes…”

With her eyes closed, Keira burrowed into Reina’s arms. Suddenly, she remembered what they told her.

“It’s because you’re too nice.”

If she rebelled against her father, it meant she was conscious of the man and acted deliberately to get on his nerves. Keira didn’t want that.

Now that she’s come back from the past, did she still have to care what her father though?

She didn’t like it.

‘Rather than that…’

She wanted to do whatever she wanted without worrying about what the Grand Duke thought.

As she made up her mind, she was overwhelmed by drowsiness.

Soon enough, she fell asleep.