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Chapter 43

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“Prince Cyril…?”

I felt like I had passed someone I would never see again.
That’s impossible. He’s the Crown Prince of the Ansanse Kingdom, there’s no way he would be here.
But even though I knew it wasn’t His Highness Cyril, I couldn’t take my eyes off the hooded figure entering the town of Meil.

“Elle? Is something wrong?”

As the person I was looking at disappeared into the crowd, I was surprised by Mr. Jed who called out to me.

“The person that just passed by looked a lot like someone I used to know, so…”

I explained to Mr. Jed with a wry smile.

“If it’s someone you know, shouldn’t you go meet them?”
“No, it’s fine.”

Even if the person I had just met was His Highness Cyril, there was no need to meet him, nor would I want to.
I remembered the scene of the conviction that took place about a month ago, and my heart ached.
I don’t know what kind of face I should make when I see him now.

“Are you okay, Elle? You look like you got scared by something.”
“I’m fine.”

I fooled him with a fake smile that I had imbibed during my time as a young lady, and Mr. Jed smiled back at me.
We got on our horses again and rode off together.

 

 

“You are a strange one, you know that, Elle?”

In the evening, when we entered a small village, Mr. Jed said that to me and I tilted my head in response.

“What is it, all of sudden?”
“No, women usually don’t travel by themselves, right?”
“Indeed.”

I stuttered at being suddenly told that I was strange, but it is true that it’s unusual for women to travel alone.
That’s something I have been told a lot. After some hesitation, I spoke up.

“I wanted to become an adventurer since I was little.”

It was a dream that no noble could speak about.
The only person I told was my fiancé, His Highness Cyril.
When I told him, he said, “That’s so Elle-like dream,” but I could never tell anyone else.
But no more. I’m a commoner called Elle now, so it doesn’t matter what kind of dreams I have.

“That’s one unexpected dream.”
“I had to give up because of some circumstances, though. Now that I’m free, I’m traveling instead of adventuring.”

When I smiled while shrugging my shoulders, Mr. Jed said “I see. I’m glad for you.” and laughed.

“Is there something you have aspired to become Mr. Jed?”

I asked, and he stared at me.
I wondered if it was something I shouldn’t ask.

“You can call me Jed.”
“Huh?”
“No need for the Mr. I don’t like rigid stuff.”

Even though he said it out of the blue, I was hesitant to call an older man by his name.
When I was wondering what I should do, he tapped me on the shoulder and laughed and said, “Don’t think too hard about it.”
If he says it’s okay, it’s probably okay.

“Ermm… Jed?”
“Why did it become a question?”
“S, sorry. I’m not used to calling men by their names…”

I haven’t called a man by his name since my brother. Or rather, I have never called anyone by their name other than my brother.
It’s not surprising since I was a noble, though.

“You can just get used to it slowly then.”
“I will do my best.”
“You will do your best, you say. You are a serious person, I see.”

Haha, he laughed at me.
Serious, huh.
That is a word I have been hearing a lot since I quit being a tomboy.
I don’t feel that I’m that serious, though.

“Oh, by the way, you were asking me if there’s something I had aspired to become.”

When I was abruptly brought back to the subject, I hurriedly replied, “Oh, yes.”
Jed scratched his cheek in embarrassment and replied,

“I wanted to be a knight.”
“A knight?”
“Yeah.”

Jed had told me before that he was from the Fall Empire.
There is a famous order of knights in the Empire: the Vanqour, the most powerful and unbeatable Knights Order.
It’s said that every man from the Empire had dreamed of joining them at one point in their lives or another, and I’m sure Jed is no exception.

“Did you perhaps want to become a part of the Vanqour?”
“Yeah, that’s right. You know them.”
“They are the most famous Knights Order on this continent, after all.”
“That’s true. Well, it wasn’t possible for me, though.”

Aspiration is an aspiration, and dreams are dreams.
It’s hard to make them come true.
It was a moment when I felt a kinship with Jed, who had a similar experience.

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