Chapter 2 Prince, The Black Dog, and The Delinquent Knight Part 1
On that day, it was a red sunset evening. Almost as if everything was burning.
He turned his back to the sun and headed on the road dyed vermillion towards a certain location form the Academy. The Academy was located in an area where a large portion of nobility lived, and although he too was from a house of nobility, as he came from a family of knights, those ‘pure-blooded’ noblemen looked down on him.
They only saw members of the Ordis family as those incompetent in everything besides wielding a sword. In fact, the Ordis family truly could only swing swords. Regardless, they were proud of the fact that they protected the country with this strength and did not care about what others said. The Ordis family is the sword of the country, the shield of defense. Once they advanced on the battlefield, defeat was not permitted. Because that was their reason for being.
He stepped into the familiar mansion. Although he was breaking the rules of the house, he ran up the stairs and headed straight for a particular room.
Upon opening the door, he saw several people with sorrowful expressions on their faces. But the person whom he sought for was resting on the bed with a tranquil face.
No one responded. He also did not want them to.
To his fiancée, who seems to be asleep on the bed, he could only repeat the same words.
“Why did you!?!?!”
Regardless of Octavian’s scream , his fiancée never answered or woke up again.
Octavian looked up at the familiar ceiling. The room was hot and humid, the simple clothing substituting his sleepwear was soaked with sweat. It gave an unpleasant feeling.
Octavian sat up and covered his eyes with his hand, using it to brush up the hair covering his forehead.
He always saw that dream on hot, sleepless nights. It was probably because that day was also hot.
Even now, those scenes from two years ago remained vividly clear and had not faded even after all these months and years. Rather, they had further imprinted themselves on his mind and, after all this time, had even become more vibrant, refusing to leave. Moreover, the emotions he felt at the time pained him every time he dreamt about it, like a brand was being burned onto him, everytime.
He got off his bed and opened a window. The sun had just appeared so it was still quite dim outside.
Starting from today, he would be relocated to the royal castle. The cause was a formal appointment notice that had arrived the other day.
‘We hereby officially appoint Octavian Ordis as the Personal Knight of the Seventh Prince of Greisis Kingdom, Herscherik Greisis.
Signed by the 23rd King of Greisis Kingdom, Soleil Greisis’
Those elegant words were penned on high-quality paper with a special ink by the King himself. Words written with this ink will not fade, regardless of the passage of time. Same went for the king’s seal pressed on top of his signature.
“Am I a Personal Knight?”
Octavian had unconsciously checked the appointment notice twice, but his eyes were not mistaken.
The letter was left on the same spot on the desk as before he went to sleep last night.
Octavian glanced at the paper for a moment, reminded of yesterday’s events, and clicked his tongue.
He did not particularly want to be a knight, and a Personal Knight for a royal to boot. In the past, he yearned to be one and set it as his objective, but now he felt like hitting his past self.
However, if he were to throw a tantrum right now, this responsibility would also fall upon his whole clan. It was alright for his father, as he had already retired, but, it would cut off the path to success for his elder brothers, who aimed to reach the top. Although his brothers themselves would not pay mind to such a thing, he still didn’t want to bother his family.
Octavian took off his sweat-soaked clothes and discarded them. He would be starting his daily training now. The training exercises that he had been doing ever since he could remember had already become a part of his life. Rather, if he skipped them, he would feel as if his physical condition had worsen for the whole day.
He finished changing his clothes and left the room holding his favorite sword.
“Can I even be a knight for royalty…”
No one heard the words he spat out, and of course, no one would find fault with them as the words had disappeared into the morning air.
Octavian finished his daily training routine, took a shower in his room, changed his clothes, and went to the dining room. Except for the older sister who had left on a journey of training, all the family members were already seated.
When he got to his seat, breakfast was brought to the table all at once. Unless there was some special circumstance, there was a rule in this house that breakfast had to be eaten with the entire family.
“Octa nii-sama, will you be going to the King’s Castle starting today?”
The one who started the conversation was his 16-year-old sister, the youngest one. Ever since she saw some of the gentlemen of the royal family at a social gathering, she had become obsessed with royalty.
Octavian was a little bitter at how pure the admiration his younger sister had for them was, but his little sister had nothing to do with his own thoughts on them, so he did not show it on his face.
“Yeah, today I will be going through the formal procedures and in the afternoon, I will be going to His Highness’ place.”
The sister closed her eyes at Octavian’s words,making it look like she was in love.
“I heard that Herscherik resembles Mother with his wonderful blond hair. Although he is still not that popular at the Academy…”
“Is that so?”
Octavian carelessly replied.
The appearance of the members of the royal family, without any exceptions, were excellent. King Soleil of Greisis was at the top. He would be 40 years old this year, but he could easily pass for someone in his twenties.
His looks, combined with the blue eyes and the platinum blonde hair that looked like silken moonbeams, would undoubtedly make you spellbound, regardless of whether you were a woman or not. His sons and daughters were all undoubtedly beautiful men and women of wide varieties. Those royal family members were admired by all the young gentlemen and ladies of the nobility.
(Certainly their popularity was amazing.)
When Octavian first registered at the Academy, everyone from the First Prince to the Sixth Prince were also enrolled there.
Wherever they went, the female students would always be following behind them like chicks behind mother hens. Moreover, factions of those who favored certain princes were formed, and the fights between these factions were quite impressive.
Once however, a fight became quite ugly, causing the First Prince to show an expression of sorrow while the Second Prince dealt the incident with a cold indifference, making the female students reflect on their actions. Afterwards, if any confrontation were to occur, they would dispute and ask, “Well, how lovely is your prince?” to avoid hurting anyone. However, this probably caused the princes severe mental damage instead and they resisted this.
Even now, the factions were still present in the Academy. It seemed that his little sister was in the First Prince’s group.
“Is His Highness Herscherik not popular?”
He suddenly remembered the prince’s appearance during the time of the interview. With silky, blond hair and the same blue eyes as his father, he was a perfect example of an orthodox prince, who’s appearance that girls would like.
“That is, well, His Highness Herscherik is still young… And compared to the others…”
He could understand it a bit. The Seventh Prince was certainly a pretty boy when compared to the general public. However, when lined up against members of the royal family, he was quite disappointing.
The Seventh Prince’s level would naturally be lower in comparison to his high level team mates, but to say that he lacked beauty caused Octavian to feel a little sympathetic towards the prince.
“You guys, stop talking and finish your meal. Besides, you are being disrespectful towards His Highness.”
Octavian resumed eating his meal in haste after his father’s reprimand. His parents and two older brothers had already finished their meal.
“But Father, there are certainly rumors spreading inside the castle that the Seventh Prince is somewhat unimpressive.”
It was the eldest son who said that. There were three other older brothers between Octavian and this one, and he had already become a commanding officer in the Order of Knights.
“I’ve heard that His Highness’ appearance is not that outstanding, his physical strength is not all that, and his magic skills are also not good.”
“Ah, I think I’ve heard of that too.”
The second eldest son spoke while savouring his after breakfast tea. There was one older brother between Octavian and this one, and a few days ago he had been given a military award for excellence in a monster suppression mission.
“Even though it is that demonic instructor who is teaching him directly. He too lamented about this nonexistent talent.”
Octavian suspected that the demon instructor his older brother was talking about was the one at the interview. He certainly heard the prince call him ‘Teacher’.
“Could it be because he was a prince without talent that the King got worried and immediately assigned a Personal Knight for him?”
Normally, it was quite rare to assign a Personal Knight for someone as young as Herscherik. Having ‘chief’ or ‘personal’ attached to your title was the same as being a confidant of royalty. The fact that there was a Personal Knight on top of a Chief Butler for the too-young Herscherik was strange.
“Well, His Majesty dotes on His Highness Herscherik the most, so it’s probably preferential treatment. Look, they say that the youngest child is the cutest. Isn’t that right, Father?”
“Is that true, Father?”
The sister halted her meal and looked at their father. Her eyes were full of expectation.
“Your father says that all of you are cute. Now hurry up and finish your meal.”
Their mother threw a lifeline to their father who was worrying about how to reply. The sister hurriedly resumed her meal.
“So, back to the story; no one expected the Chief Butler of the lackluster Seventh Prince to be that strong.”
A strong person will seek other strong person. Among the continuing generations of kings till now, all of their numerous confidants without any exceptions, were great men. Many of their stories are also talked about alongside tales of the kings’ heroic deeds.
“I know, right? It’s been a while since I last saw Octa getting serious against his opponent. He won’t even fight seriously against me.”
Octavian glared at his second older brother, who averted his gaze and focused on his tea.
“That’s why we would like to have a go against that Chief Butler. I’ll leave it to you to get that done.”
“What kind of request is that? I don’t want to do it.”
(Even though this family is quite ordinary when it comes to the norm, they pull out all the stops when it comes to fighting.)
His father looked restless and uncomfortable, moving his eyes all over the place. It appeared he also wanted to fight after hearing his brothers talk. What a battle-crazy bunch.
This, of course, also included himself. Even though it was a simulated fight, he played nicely into his opponent’s hands.
“Well, I need to be leaving soon…”
His mother said when he stood up from his seat.
“Octavian, are you planning to go out like that?”
“Yes. That is correct.”
His mother was a kind person. But for some reason, everyone in the family including Octavian, would talk to her politely.
Octavian reviewed his outfit. He did not really think there was a problem with it. Saying that, it was not that much different from what his older brothers wore to work.
His mother stood from her seat slowly and smiled sweetly.
“Listen well. You are already the Personal Knight of His Highness Herscherik. To put it bluntly, it’s a position higher than what your retired father and your older brothers in the Order of Knights have. That is, you are bearing the face of our Ordis family.”
Octavian looked to his father and older brothers after his mother spoke. Everyone hurriedly nodded their heads. Was it alright that even the eldest son, who was supposed to inherit the family, agreed with this?
“Wearing such clothes on the first day is something that I will not forgive.”
His mother declared, forcefully dragging Octavian back to his own room. After 30 minutes, Octavian, who hadn’t even departed yet, left the house exhausted.
His outfit made those who passed him turned back for a second glance, thinking he was some noble’s son. But the person himself, who hadn’t worn such an outfit in a long time, could not conceal the weariness on his face.