TL: Note that in Japanese, the only native f-sound (fu) falls into the h-row of mora, so the f- and h- phoneme are considered strongly related. Hii and Fii are, I guess, quite similar to Japanese speakers.
Being led along by the somewhat frivolous, but kind knight, Fii finally managed to pass the castle gates.
“I’m Crow. I guess you already know, but I’m a knight of Orstoll. So what do I call you?”
“My name is Heath,” casually replied Fii.
She had properly thought up an alias over these last two weeks.
(No. It’s not an alias. It’s going to be my new name.)
To be honest she had wanted to try a completely new name, but it wouldn’t do if she couldn’t react to the name properly.
The ‘hea’ in Heath sounded a little bit like ‘Fii’, so she chose that as her name.
Even after passing through the castle gates, the line of applicants still continued on.
Fii felt that she would be fine on her own now that she was outside, but it seemed that Crow intended on escorting her all the way to the end.
They continued to walk side-by-side.
“So why do you want to become a knight, Heath?”
The question sent her into a panic.
Her goal was so clear that she had actually forgotten to form an excuse to use in public.
And it was impossible for her to honestly tell him that she wanted a new identity.
In a fluster, what she managed to come up with was,
“B-, Because knights are cool!”
Quite a stupid reason, if she did say so herself.
She could feel sweat forming at her brow again.
But Crow’s reaction was actually positive.
“Yeah, you’re right. Knights are cool, aren’t they. I’m cool too, right?”
“Yes! I admire you!”
She was sucking up to him a little bit, but it was true that she did find him cool.
With his handsome looks and golden hair, together with his slim but built body, he looked terribly cool in his armour with the sword at his waist.
In the past, Fii too had wanted to become a knight. But she grew older, and the more she was shouldered with the burdens of a woman and a princess, the more she had forgotten this dream.
And Crow’s appearance was exactly the image of knights that Fii had once admired.
“Yep, yep. I knew it. Knights are awesome, right? We’re popular with women too. If you manage to become a knight as well, girls are gunna start flocking to ya. You’ll find yourself a few girlfriends too!”
“I don’t need that sort of thing…”
(He really is frivolous… Even though he looks so cool on the outside…)
Fii glared at him a little coldly.
Seeing her response, Crow just laughed.
“Hahaha, you’re still such a little kid. By the way, I can’t say I’m familiar with your accent. Where you from?”
Having her accent pointed out to her, Fii went stiff.
She had spent two weeks coming up with her new identity.
But being told that she had an accent, Fii suddenly lost a lot of confidence in it.
This knight knew a lot more about Orstoll than she did. She never knew when she might say something that sounded suspicious to him.
Fii couldn’t think of any way to explain it.
“Ummm… Ermm… You see…”
“Ahh, so it’s something you didn’t wanna talk about, huh. Then don’t worry about it. Sorry ’bout that.”
Surprisingly, Crow had very simply dropped the subject after seeing her unrest.
(I guess this kid is an illegal immigrant… His clothes are pretty worn out too…) thought Crow.
It wasn’t uncommon for children like that to aim to become a knight, in order to improve their own lifestyle.
Honestly speaking, illegal immigrants would normally be cracked down on, but so long as they weren’t criminals, the knights would generally overlook them.
And far from turning them away, the apprentice knight exams were open to them as well.
By giving these people a chance, rather than cornering them with a crackdown, it would encourage them to exert themselves in the right way.
It was a policy that the King of Orstoll, Roy, had come up with.