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After defeating all the enemies, Crow and York turned to Fii.
Moved, Fii moved to rush over to the two of them.
But when she did, Crow’s fist slammed down on her head.
“Heath! I told you not to leave the ceiling!”
Crow was really angry now. When a face as handsome as his was warped in anger, it seemed all the scarier.
“I’, I’m sorry… But this kid was in danger, and I had to save him…”
“Don’t bully Oniichan! He saved me!”
The boy came to her aid.
But Crow’s anger wouldn’t settle.
“A violation of orders, is a violation of orders! Do you even know how much danger you were in! The basis of being in a unit is obeying commands from above! Didn’t you learn this from your instructor!”
Crow was right, of course. Fii’s voice grew quiet.
Now that she was calm, she realised she endangered not only herself, but the three who came to save her as well. When she came to that realisation, it felt like her body was paralysed.
But even so, she didn’t think that she would have been able to abandon the child…
Fii’s heart was filled with questions.
Orbull walked up to the enraged Crow and tapped him on the shoulder, shaking his head.
The paper that he held up read, “Beginners do this all the time. You’re too angry. Heath is listening to you already.”
But even so, Crow was still angry.
“If we didn’t come here, this guy would have been killed, you know!”
In the end, Crow was angry because he was worried for her.
It really was dangerous, after all.
Had they been late in their raid, Heath might have been killed.
At this point, York took a step forward.
Everybody’s gazes settled on him.
“When one moves as a unit, there are times when the “right thing” is not the “right course of action”. If you don’t have enough power, there are times when you need to abandon your righteousness. And I recall telling you earlier that to gain that power, you need time.”
Fii nodded at his words.
“I’m sure you’re still at a loss as to what you should have done.”
To be honest, that was exactly what was in her heart.
She wanted to save the child. But despite that, she didn’t have the strength to do so on her own. Instead, she got everybody else involved, and brought them into a crisis.
“To find an answer to that, you first need to know your own strength. With your current strength, you won’t have the option of saving them.
“You risked your life. You risked your comrades. You saved the child. And you saved the captives. All of these are the results of your actions today. Do not forget a single one.
“You’re still growing. There’s no need to find an answer today. Become a fine knight, so that you’ll find the answer one day. Until then, we’ll try and follow up on your mistakes as best we can.”
The problem that Fii met with today, was one that every knight had gone through before.
Crow, York, Orbull. None of them were exceptions. Each one of them had thought and agonised about it, and they had come up with their own answers from the strength they had today.
You could even say that this answer was what made them knights.
Fii nodded seriously at York’s words, and swore never to forget them.
As for Crow, it seemed like he had finally calmed down.
But the Captain’s words didn’t end there.
“But a violation of orders, is a violation of orders. You will be punished.”
Fii had no problem with the punishment itself, but because she had thought that York was done talking, a cry escaped her due to the surprise.
Next to York, Crow could be seen nodding in satisfaction.
“Incidentally, the punishment extends to all of us.”
This time was Crow’s turn to be surprised.
“We made a huge mistake this time in underrating Heath’s abilities. Neither did we teach him the right attitude and resolution needed for a rescue mission. All members are responsible.”
Crow couldn’t argue back.
Because today had just been a test, he hadn’t thought much about it.
Thinking back, he was lax in his explanations as well.
It was the job of the knights to teach the apprentices the mental state and resolution they required.
The plan had been to call it off if it seemed like things would be dangerous. But it went unexpectedly well, and because Crow just left Heath to her own devices, they ended up with this result.
What’s more, the reason the mistake got even bigger was because Heath’s abilities had far exceeded their expectations.
Crow roughly scratched at his head, and apologised to Fii.
“It’s true that I was too naive. Sorry for being angry without seeing my own faults, Heath.”
“No, not at all. You didn’t do anything wrong.”
Fii shook her head.
“Well then, the punishment is as follows――――”
Fii thought she was prepared for any manner of harsh punishments, but when York gave the announcement, a scream escaped her lips.
That night, Fii was collapsed over her table as she wept.
“Oh? Heath, you aren’t eating?” asked Remié, as he came over with a tray.
Heath probably enjoyed eating more than any of them, so it was strange to see her without food.
“Apparently he violated some orders, and has to go without dinner for three nights as punishment…”
Since Fii didn’t even have the will to talk any more, Geith answered in her stead.
The punishment that York announced was to go without dinner for three nights. To Fii, who liked eating more than any of the recruits in the Northern Dormitory, it was a terribly harsh punishment.
“All members are forbidden to eat dinner for three nights. In exchange, make sure to eat properly at breakfast.” the Captain had said.
Fii started to stare enviously at the stew Remié was eating.
“W-, Want some…? I don’t think anybody will know if it’s just a bite…”
As he broke into a cold sweat at Fii’s intense gaze, he offered a spoon to her.
But Fii shook her head.
“No, it’s fine.”
She wouldn’t break a promise with the Captain.
But once Slad arrived and began eating his hamburg steak, Fii once again shedding tears of envy.
“Uuuuuu, I’m so hungryyyyy, guys… I’m so jealoussss, guys…”
(You could have just not come to the dining hall…)
Everybody in the room seemed to share that thought.
In a night life district, Crow placed his hands together and apologised to a wilful-looking woman.
“Soz. I can’t go have dinner anymore!”
“Hahh!? You promised me that you would take me to a delicious dinner! You had time to come here, didn’t you! Explain to me why!”
The woman’s face flushed red in anger.
“Ahh, well, I just don’t have much appetite right now. I’ve already a reservation, so if you want, could you go by yourself?”
The woman immediately exploded into a slap.
“Don’t mess with me! I won’t ever accept a date with you again!”
Her heels clicked against the ground as she stormed away.
Because she was strong-willed, Crow found her enjoyable to talk to, so he quite liked her as a dating partner. But she was also proud. It was likely that she wouldn’t accept another invitation from him.
“Well, can’t be helped, huh…”
Watching her leave, Crow sighed, and for a moment flashed a bitter smile.
In the 18th Division’s meeting place, Orbull watered a pot plant.
The flowers were blooming beautifully, and he seemed to be enjoying himself today as well.
That night, Roy continued to work at his desk.
“Your Majesty. It is about time to leave for your dinner with Her Highness, Queen Fiiru,” asked an official.
As though suddenly remembering, Roy replied,
“Aah, sorry. I forgot to mention. Please let them know that I’m not having dinner tonight.”
In his disbelief, the official asked again.
After thinking for a little, Roy replied once more.
“Please just give my portion tonight to the chefs or somebody. And send my apologies to Queen Fiiru as well. For the next two days also, there is no need to make me dinner.”
Although he didn’t understand the point of it, the official nodded.
Saying nothing further, Roy began to move his pen again.