BBYW Vol. 2 Chapter 34 (WN)
Chapter 34 – Woes of a Knight Captain — and a Father
【POV: Rajang Salazar】
The First and Second Imperial Armies were fighting fiercely — against each other. The Maxwell forces then joined the fray, plunging the battlefield into complete chaos.
Watching it all unfold from a distance, I sighed.
“How…how utterly foolish. Those are the Imperial Princes, supposed to shoulder the future of our empire…?”
I, Rajang Salazar, had the position of Captain of the Imperial Knights.
The late emperor Perbiar Baal was an old friend of mine: I was his first retainer. After joining the imperial army, I fought with all I had for the sake of the Baal empire, competing in military achievements with warriors such as Bjorc Zagann, the man who would be later hailed as hero.
I was at Perbiar’s side in his last moments: before he passed, my good friend gave me a final message — or should I say, his will.
“Please protect my daughter Rossellia…and assist the son who will inherit the throne.”
(In the end, I could not fulfill either promise. Rossellia is in enemy hands and the two heirs ended up like that…what was my life as a knight for…?)
“You seem to be terribly downhearted, dear father.”
As I was watching the chaotic battlefield, Shana Salazar approached me. My daughter, who had quit the knights and disappeared somewhere several years ago.
She had grown past my memories of her, now resembling her late mother more and more. Her bellicose spirit, however, was as bright as ever: the thirst for battle in her eyes and the hand that clenched her lance was clear, as she looked at the fighting soldiers.
“Father, are you not going to assist Lars and Grett? At this rate, Maxwell is going to trample all over both of them.”
“…after receiving something like this, how could I?”
I had a letter in my hands, delivered a short while ago by my daughter. A letter of accusation, penned by Princess Rossellia.
The accusation stated that Dyngir Maxwell had saved her life from assassins sent by Lars Baal. That Grett Baal had coveted her body ever since she was a child.
After learning such things, how could I ever assist either of them?
“Shana. Is Princess Rossellia truly safe? Do not tell me that House Maxwell has…”
I sincerely wished that she had been threatened by Maxwell, forced to write a letter of lies. Shana, however, dashed all such hopes.
“She is, Father. I swear on my lance. Dyngir Maxwell has not laid a finger on her.”
“I see…if you say you swear on your lance, that has to be the truth.”
I abandoned all hope and my shoulders dropped.
The shadows looming over Princess Rossellia — the one person I had to protect — were cast by her brothers, Lars and Grett. In addition, she was now in the protection of an enemy of the empire, Dyngir Maxwell. How could I fight against House Maxwell while knowing this?
“…we Imperial Knights will now withdraw. Should either Lars or Grett survive, and become the next emperor? Or will Sloth inherit the throne? I cannot tell anymore. May the heavens decide their fate.”
“I believe that is a wise decision, Father. I shall take my leave, then.”
“Wait. You too are going to fight against the empire?”
Shana headed for the battlefield, but I stopped her. She was born and raised in the empire, how could she turn against her homeland? Without a shred of hesitation?
“Do you truly need to ask? I am Dyngir Maxwell’s bodyguard, nothing more than a lance in his arsenal. Does a lance choose the target it will pierce?”
“…You have no doubts, I see. I envy you, my child.”
I truly did, from the bottom of my heart. How wonderful would it be to be able to fight the enemy without a second thought, just like my daughter.
I was a mere warrior before — since when have I been plagued by these unnecessary grievances?
“I suppose it is not possible once you start leading others. I always hated that kind of thing, that’s why I decided to become an adventurer.”
“That might be true…Shana, please watch over Lady Rossellia. And come back home every once in a while…at least to visit your mother’s grave.”
“Yes, in the near future…I might be able to introduce you to your grandchild then, I trust that is fine with you.”
“Naturally, I’ll be looking forward to…wait, what!?”
I couldn’t help but shout after my daughter’s shocking revelation. Did she really say what I think she did!?
“Stay healthy, Father!”
“W-Wait!! Waitwaitwait!! Explain, now!! Who is the man!? Is it Dyngir Maxwell?? Or someone else!? Explain before you goooooo!!!”
Despite my desperate pleas, Shana rushed to the battlefield without looking back.
It would be one whole year before my daughter would finally return home — one whole year of apprehension and wringing hands.