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Translated by Wook
Edited by Iris Sakura
Leaving behind her confusion, the ceremony proceeded. The 2nd Prince opened a thick book and read it to the knights, and when Knight Commander Starz shouted something out loud, the knights also sang together. Rosaline opened her mouth and pretended to imitate.
Some people who looked like priests brought a wide engraved plate and placed it in front of the altar. They filled the thin, white plate with clear water. The water, which was also called holy water, came from the lake right in front of the laurel tree on which the Idelavhim’s eagle sat. Although the water itself had no effects, it was used whenever important ceremonies were performed.
The inauguration ceremony began with those who were being promoted from apprentice knights to lesser knights. The prince stepped back, and the Knight Commander presided over their oath instead. Many people went up and down the altar. When the ceremony began for those who were being promoted from lesser knights to senior knights, the prince, who had stood back, came forward. Ricardis conducted their inauguration ceremony himself. Everyone looked at the Master of the Knights of White Night with their eyes shining. After waiting for a long time, they called Rosaline’s name.
“Rosaline Esther Radwiell. Come forward.”
She walked as Calyx had taught her. Step by step, her legs should not be too far apart, and her stride should not be too large or too small. ‘Chin up, eyes to the front, with the back straightened…’ She inwardly repeated Calyx’s words. Standing in front of the altar, Rosaline drew her sword, thrust it into the ground, and knelt on one knee to finish her preparations.
In the center of the altar was the 2nd Prince, to his right was Knight Commander Starz, and to his left was the priest. Her eyebrows twitched at the 2nd Prince, who was looking down at her. But she kept her head down, so she didn’t go crazy.
“Lesser knight of the White Night, Rosaline Esther. Swear your oath.”
His low, soft voice hummed overhead. Rosaline raised her head and opened her mouth.
“Rosaline Esther Radwiell swears a sincere oath before the Laurel of the Snowfield.”
“Ricardis Darius Illavenia, the Laurel of the Snowfield, hears the oath of Rosaline Esther Radwiell.”
Their eyes met. The prince’s blue eyes stared into hers unwaveringly. They seemed to be saying, ‘Yeah, that tawdry oath, now say it.’
“Rosaline Radwiell will be the sword of Idelavhim that cuts through the black moon.”
“You shall become the light of Idelavhim that parts the black moon.”
“Rosaline Radwiell will protect the weak and be loyal to the Empire.”
“You shall be a strong fence for the weak, an indestructible shield of Illavenia, and a defender of your honor.”
“Under the splendor of the glorified Idelavhim, I swear to dedicate this life to becoming a knight of the 2nd Laurel.”
“Under the brilliance of the glorified Idelavhim, I appoint Rosaline Radwiell as a senior knight.”
Ricardis dipped his hand in water from the wide plate and smeared it on her forehead. Rosaline closed her eyes for a moment at his cold touch, then opened it. Bright silver hair fluttered in front of her. She lifted her head a little and looked at him. He stared at Rosaline for a moment with his indifferent, emotionless eyes before turning away as if he was not interested. Rosaline returned to her seat after her final salute.
Afterward, there was a brief ceremony in which they appointed Raymond as the deputy commander’s assistant. Everything was finalized with the appointment ceremony of the new deputy commander that followed. As soon as the ceremony was over, Ricardis left the altar without looking back.
The Knight Commander announced the closing. Soon, all the members of the Knights of the White Night in white uniforms dispersed. Rosaline patted her forehead. The wet traces of his fingertips had already dried and disappeared, but strangely, she could still feel the cold temperature.
Surprisingly, the day went smoothly. Although she was a senior knight, it was impossible for Rosaline, who had just been promoted, to be included in the critical task of escorting the prince. In the end, her share of work was only sword training or paperwork, which Raymond naturally piled up on his desk.
Working as an assistant to the strict deputy commander and suffering from a murderous workload, he also stayed up all night working on Rosaline’s paperwork. However, after a day or two, dark traces of tiredness began to fall under Raymond’s eyes. He was like a corpse, barely attached to life. Even Rosaline, who could not distinguish all human expressions, felt he was in terrible condition. She finally truly realized the meaning of feeling sorry.
“Sorry… I don’t know how to do that.”
Raymond almost burst into tears at Rosaline’s sullen face. He could have done this paperwork for ten thousand years with the power in his heart alone, but that might not be right for Rosaline. Rather than giving a fish to a hungry man, it would be better to teach him how to fish. Sooner or later, she needed to settle in with the Knights of the White Night. Raymond smirked and teased her sullenly.
“It’s okay. If you don’t know, you can learn. You’re smart, so you’ll be able to learn quickly.”
“I will borrow what you need from the library later. The training ground should be empty by now. I’m going to practice swordsmanship. Do you practice every day?”
“Yes. Every day in my room. During every spare time.”
‘Even if she lost her memory, her sincerity didn’t seem to go anywhere.’ Raymond handed her cookies from a famous bakery. Even when he was training the dogs in the Cimmaron mansion, there were always treats for rewards… Raymond suddenly felt miserable. In any case, Rosaline followed Raymond’s instructions and headed to the training ground while enjoying the chocolate chip cookies.
Following Raymond’s advice, Rosaline only practiced swordsmanship in her room. He said it was to minimize encounters with other knights as she was less prepared for such a situation. Her room was spacious, so there’s plenty of room to move around, but it was a pity it lacked the smell of dirt in the training ground, the cool breeze blowing when you sweat, and the sound of stinging grass insects.
The training ground was empty as the other knights had a little break after eating. Rosaline drew her sword. In her mind, she pictured two men, Raymond and Calyx, moving endlessly in her thoughts. A long, heavy sword was dancing as lightly as a butterfly moving. Sometimes it felt weightless, but at other times it came down heavier than a great mountain.
Rosaline moved, breaking the silence that surrounded her. It was the basic sword technique of Illavenia. She drew her sword slowly as she pinpointed each movement of hers. It was slow enough to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but her maneuvers were perfect. Rosaline’s black hair in a high ponytail swayed under the sunlight. She unconsciously smiled slightly. The cool breeze felt good.
An impurity, which had been moving for a while, entered Rosaline’s senses. It was the gritty gaze she had been feeling all along since coming to the Knights of White Night. Rosaline continued her swordsmanship practice and found the source of that gaze. In the distance, several tall men were watching her. From the shape of the epaulets they were wearing, one could tell that they were lesser knights. They looked at Rosaline and then put their mouths together to say something about her. They then snickered and laughed.
Rosaline knew. The formula [Laugh when you feel good] doesn’t hold here. Those men were pouring out their nasty feelings towards Rosaline without even trying to hide it. Her bare instincts and her experiences, some of which she had built up as a human, were telling her they don’t like Rosaline. They wanted to make a dent in her, and they were looking forward to the moment when that dent finally snapped.
[Sister has many enemies. To be precise, Sister entered a place with many enemies. You should be prepared for that when going to the castle.]
Everything Calyx said was absolutely right. Rosaline had many enemies. Humans of the same race, wearing the same clothes, and living together under the same building, were hovering around Rosaline, hoping to bring her down somehow. Her nerves started to go wild. Rosaline’s movements were still slow but became terribly sharp.
The lesser knights who had been watching from afar as she practiced basic swordsmanship approached with heavy steps. Honestly, it looked dignified. Since they were not far away, they quickly arrived in front of Rosaline in the center of the arena. Rosaline felt they were coming, and she had to stop without finishing her practice.
All of them put their fists on top of their hearts and saluted. A young blond man who was smiling while his mouth twisted to one side opened his mouth.
“The glory of Idelavhim who cuts the black moon. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you, Sir Rosaline.”
“The glory of Idelavhim to you.”
[Fortunately, the Knights Orders is a group with a clear hierarchy.]
The voice of the smiling young man drowned out Calyx’s voice.
“Congratulations on being promoted to a senior knight.”
“Would you mind giving me some pointers? You see, when I think of the time we were in the same group before… Well… It was unimaginable for you to get promoted, so I didn’t even think of sending a congratulatory gift.”
[… a group with a clear hierarchy…]
‘I don’t think it’s… I don’t think it’s a group with a clear hierarchy…’ Rosaline’s current situation was at odds with Calyx’s past teachings. The blonde man was arguing with her now. It was blatant enough even for the dull Rosaline to notice.
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