“How was it?”
“The idiots told us everything.”
Cedric briefed Kalion on everything he heard while he drank with the Haband knights. The information had been confirmed through talking about it with several knights, who had been intentionally seated apart from each other.
The Haband knights wouldn’t have noticed the fast hand signals the Hessenguard knights exchanged with each other under the table.
“How stupid are they? I know the princess ordered them, but putting their guard down just from a few glasses of wine? Also, how they actually believed we had lost to them is just.…”
Cedric sounded annoyed. Acting like he was worse than the Haband knights to lower their guard had been irritating him.
Kalion smiled at his words and said, “If you happen to find yourself in the opposite position… you know what to do, right?
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll kill myself.”
The half-joking conversation faded away along the night wind. Since then, Kalion acted much nicer to Adelaide and, eventually, allowed her to enter the knights’ base. She believed sending the knights was worthwhile.
The Haband knights, who have regularly been in and out of the Hessengaurd knights’ base, knew that the Hessengaurd knightage’s regular conquest was closing in.
This was an opportunity.
It was difficult for Adelaide to flirt with Kalion inside the castle due to the unpleasant glares she received there. She was also afraid of Erna, of course. Erna and Kalion had split up two weeks ago and also had another big fight. Still, Erna was the duchess of Hessenguard.
A place full of servants under Erna’s command was a big disadvantage to Adelaide.
But things were different outside the castle.
Kalion going to battle was a perfect way to introduce herself as the new duchess to the dumb outlanders. Also, she wanted to build a deeper relationship with Kalion.
Adelaide had been educated to be quiet and gentle, but her greed towards Kalion grew day by day.
I can make a baby with him first.
If she spent the night with him at the battle zone, they might just have one by the time they return. She wondered what face Erna would make when she heard the news.
Adelaide finished getting ready and headed to the knights’ base. What would Kalion say when I tell him I will join him in the battle zone? Kalion would definitely not allow it. He would say it’s no place for a lady. But, on the other hand, he might say that it would be much help to the Haband knights and thank her. On top of that, Erna barely went with him in the past.
Adelaide heard that Erna and Kalion had only gone to the battleground together once, when countless monsters appeared at the lake, or something like that. This meant that the two were never together except for work-related occasions.
Adelaide headed to the knights’ base with excitement. Now the guards did not stop her at the gate. In fact, they guided her to Kalion as he had ordered. Straight to him, without any stops.
“My Grand Duke!”
Adelaide intentionally called Kalion with a brighter tone than usual as she walked towards him.
“Madam, what brings you here…?”
“I heard the knightage is headed to battle. I want to join you.”
“That cannot happen.”
As expected, Kalion made a serious face and refused to let her join.
“I won’t disturb you. Also, you have seen the bravery of the Haband knights under my command. I figured this would be a good chance to show that Haband is a trustworthy ally of the Hessenguard people.”
If the Hessenguard people heard what she had just said, they would’ve stoned her. Nevertheless, Adelaide talked arrogantly as if she was doing them a favor.
Kalion’s face temporarily showed contempt after hearing what she said, but Adelaide did not notice because it was gone in a flash. Kalion smiled and said, “I see. It’s a good idea.”
“Oh my. Then…”
“We will go together.”
Adelaide smiled with joy as Kalion gave permission more easily than she had expected. Her heart pounded by the thought of standing next to Kalion and being treated like a grand duchess.
“But first, I worry that Madam will be surprised when encountering a monster. So would it be okay to go see one as a test?”
The monster would be restrained by the knights anyways. Expecting it to be like a fun tour, Adelaide followed Kalion.
As they approached near the gymnasium the monster’s growl could be heard. Adelaide held on to Kalion’s arm.
She tried to act brave but hearing the growl so close for the first time sent her chills down her spine.
“Are you scared?”
“Not, not at all. I should see it up close.”
She couldn’t look weak because he might not let her join him. Adelaide mustered her courage and walked forward, step by step.
The two entered inside, and there was a monster with six legs chained in the middle of the gymnasium. It looked like a lizard with a color like that of a rotting swamp. Everytime it opened its mouth and growled, a foul smell spread across the gymnasium.
Adelaide felt like turning around and running away. Then, Kalion said, “You’re braver than you look. I like that.”
“You, you think so?”
She could not run away after hearing his compliment. As Adelaide tried to pull herself together, Kalion signaled to the knight standing next to the monster with his eyes. Then, the knight walked towards the monster with his sword and cut off one of its legs. A warm, disgusting green liquid spread all over Adelaide’s head and face.
Adelaide’s scream spread across the knights’ base.