Chapter 15: Respect
「Let’s evaluate your loyalty. 」
Barberridge Burdnick turned back and he stared strictly at the silver-haired Caria Burdnick and I. His choice of words made it very clear. I opened my mouth and I spoke in a very polite manner to her father.
「I apologize if I insulted you, sir. My heart displays utmost loyalty. However…There’s no need to verify my faithfulness. I shall pay with my life if I’m lying.」
I stood up to profess my loyalty even though I didn’t have the permission to do so. I found this talk unnecessary and ridiculous. This was getting out of hand. This man was trying to test my true commitment. Right now, I was being submissive to those who had the power to control others.
「If you understand, then prove it. Get on your knees. If you act with prudence, you will be forgiven and your allegiance will be recognized. 」
I wondered if his words really meant respect for me. For example, to find a way to prove that I was capable and loyal to him and to his daughter. On the other hand, he could be trying to find a way to ridicule her failures by using me. Barberridge was gritting as he breathed heavily. I couldn’t see his true intentions.
The only thing I understood was that he wanted to show everyone that he was a tolerant man.
But I misunderstood. Not tolerant actually. Loyalty was the only thing he had in mind. Why should I be part of this little show? I had enough of this absurd talk.
「I’m not a squire of Caria Burdnick. I don’t have anything to do with her. To show loyalty to her, sir? I don’t like her. Sir, you’re misunderstanding the situation here. That’s it. There is no way I would be her follower. Never. 」
Caria Burdnick’s face turned pale. She wasn’t allowed to move yet, but she was visually upset.
But it was already too late Caria Burdnick. All the words were spilled from my mouth.
「I stand for myself. Not for you sir Burdnick, neither for Caria Burdnick. But for myself.」
Yes, there were people chained to others of greater importance. But I had my pride and interests. I had my own life. That’s why I couldn’t be bound be this allegiance. I only had myself and only myself to take care of.
「My heart feels dejection and hatred. Sir Barberridge Burdnick. You only care about yourself and loyalty. But you trampled on my respect for you. You stepped on me as if I were nothing! I had enough of this! 」
I got up and put some chewing tobacco on my mouth. I felt a unique scent that drifted into my nose. Ah, indeed. This was a very refreshing feeling. I was ready. I had nothing but my resolution. My heart was prepared to die. On the top of that, I said what was on my mind. That’s why it felt so good and refreshing.
「…I see. You are a fool to speak like that to your superior. 」
He spoke as if he was declaring my last moments. I’ll be the one to die because of my actions.
「That’s why I said you misunderstood, sir. You are an arrogant person, unable to care for other people. You don’t give a damn when you trample on the weak. Ah, yes, I dislike that woman who is unable to put up a front against you. But…」
…Her sword’ skills were unquestionably authentic.
I gritted my teeth and garnered the courage to speak further before the guards came to get me.
It was not enough. I had to spill all the resentment that I felt on my heart. I spilled all in one go. I felt anxiety, but I continued speaking.
「I can guess just by looking at you. It’s humiliating to be treated like that when her sword’s skills are commendable. I am astonished for the fact that you trampled on her efforts without mercy or recognition. 」
Ah, such humiliation. Such resentment. She suffered a lot to wield her sword well. She must have been “thrown in the mud” many times. I had respect for her. I had a sincere respect for Caria Burdnick’s determination to improve herself. I knew that her swordsmanship was not only talent but also hard work.
But, what’s up with this guy? He insulted her and the dignity of a sword. He trampled on her accomplishments. Furthermore…
「Besides that, sir…How can a father treat his daughter like that! My insides are boiling hot…You really crushed the respect I had for you! 」
I continued spitting words from my mouth. My throat became boiling hot. I didn’t stop. I couldn’t stop. The truth was…I was in a rage. I didn’t understand the reason why. I should’ve been happy deep in my heart if that disgusting woman was abused like that. Even so, I had completely different feelings.
「…This is enough. Remember your words boy. Guards. 」
Many guards rushed to the scene while I breathed heavily. I had an irritable expression.
However, it didn’t matter. Such things were trivial for me now. Not yet. It was not enough. My anger, my resentment won’t end like this. The hostility against Lord Burdnick will not fade away with such actions.
「Listen well. I don’t care what you do to me…What!? 」
Something was pointed towards my neck. Caria Burdnick took her sword from her scabbard while she bit her teeth. Strangely, it looked like her eyes were overflowing with tears.
My breath was interrupted momentarily. My vision became white. Why Caria Burdnick? Don’t get in my way. Ah, I no wonder why. I truly disliked a woman like her.
My body fell on the floor. My consciousness disappeared as I laid in the cold stone pavement.
「…Guards. Take this man to prison. 」
Caria Burdnick’s cold voice echoed through the surroundings.
The guards rushed in a hurry after they heard a loud voice that resembled a beast. Maybe it was a mistake from her part, because the situation went astray. Her father had two man with ragged green clothes come instead.
「No…Cut his neck on the spot. 」
It was the voice of Barberridge Burdnick, the governor of Fort Colliden.
「Caria. You have to consider what this unlawful person did to us. It will be an insult if you show him pity.」
「…I am aware of that. Thank you for your consideration. 」
Caria Burdnick spoke with her head low on the pavement. It was as if her forehead was touching the cobblestone. She looked unusually like a weakling. However, it was mysterious, because I also felt a strong attitude beneath that submissive stance.
「Certainly, this man is a great sinner who disrespected you, my lord. But this person is indeed my servant. Therefore, it is my responsibility to atone for his sin.」
Caria Burdnick wanted to find a solution.
「…I can’t seem to understand you. Then, at what consequence? You know that I won’t be merciless with you just because of the parentage I share with you.」
It was an unmistakable deal. This deal was not meant to be conducted by a father and daughter. It was as if they were not even related to each other. Both their remarks had some sort of second intentions.
「Yes, my lord. I…no. It’s just as you said, my lord. 」
She spoke with a calm voice while lowering her jaw. In one sense, she looked like she separated from her self. It seemed like the one speaking was an alter ego.
I believed that Caria Burdnick’s heart was conflicted by this situation. What should I do to help her? Why is this man desperately trying to humiliate his daughter? He was a really rude man. He abused its people and treated them as if they were nothing. Extremely rude and ridiculous.
But still…I was sure that she wouldn’t let me die after what she said. Even after we spent years, decades together, she never really abandon me. I did believe so.
「I will punish my servant. Okay, guards. I order you to whip this man. You can’t kill this man. But you can hit him severely. 」
The guards, who were in the middle of two different commands, were extremely confused with the father and daughter fierce exchanges. They finally took action after the commander made a sign to the green clothed men to retreat.
「And Caria. You will… 」
Caria Burdnick seemed to know what her father would profess. Maybe it was what her father truly wanted from her. Until now, she enjoyed the will of freedom and the right for protection that the Knight’s Order provided for her.
「…You will leave the Knight’s Order and return to your territory. 」
I ask you the reader… Are you entertained? ARE YOU ENTERTAINED!?
(psst, next chap it gets worst)
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