Evade the Hero and Flee! 220 A princess’s memory (27)
I sighed and looked at Rea.
“Did I make the right choice?”
“It could not be helped.”
While I wanted to put Ast to prison, doing so would reveal that a high elf had picked off a branch from the World Tree. As the elves were silent, I wanted o keep it that way.
I only told Rea what had happened. Ast took some time off with the branch, saying he had to contact someone to create something.
“He’s not going to sell it, right?”
“Sir Ast would not do such a thing if he was sane.”
“He is not sane!”
Rea became silent. I was worried about Ast selling the branch; the rest could be managed. I kept worrying for ten days.
“Your highness, I have returned.”
I could not bring up the question. Had he sold it? I never hesitated like this, but Ast was an exception.
“What happened to the branch?”
“The dwarves are keeping it.”
I was surprised at the answer.
“Yes, I have known them for a while…”
Even the Imperial Family could not easily meet dwarves, as there was a history between humans and dwarves. If elves were hunted for their beauty, dwarves were sold for their skills. There were plausible rumors that they were still enslaved in other countries.
“I had helped them escape from slave traders…”
However, I believed Ast could do such things.
“What are you going to make with the branch?”
Even the Imperial Family did not have an item made with such a freshly picked branch.
“It is something necessary to complete your tasks.”
“Tasks. You mean training?”
The tasks I had given him these days were mainly training soldiers.
“Yes, your highness.”
“Is that so?”
I had to think, as I had given Ast the worst soldiers in the country. It had been difficult to gather the worst of the worst without criminal records. Their history showed that they would never submit to their superiors.
The Empire would have thrown such soldiers out except for the fact that they were strong. If they were rash enough to risk their lives for their temper, they would go into fights for the same reason.
“I thought they needed special training.”
Ast seemed to like my present, as he clenched his teeth while speaking.
“It took time to gather them from all over the Empire.”
“I am forever grateful for your goodwill.”
As usual, Ast covered his emotions with words. Days passed by like that, and now two weeks had gone from this talk.
I frowned as I watched Ast stay right by my side every day.
“How is your training going?”
Even Rea took her often leave for training her elite soldiers. However, Ast worked in my room every hour.
“I must wait until my weapon returns from the dwarves.”
“I gave you three months. It has been nearly a month. What will you do if it doesn’t come within the deadline?”
“I will admit my defeat.”
I watched Ast smile like someone who had given up on life.
“Will you marry me if you lose?”
“The dwarves will finish within the deadline!”
It seemed that fate had taken pity on Ast as the weapon returned a few days later.
#38 Other circumstances: A military officer’s circumstance.
I thought of giving up my military career, as no one listened to me. I wanted to shout to the world the truth about my troops, but I had to remain silent. If I told the truth, I would be denouncing the Imperial troops.
“When will Sir Ast come…?”
He was my only hope, but I had not seen him for nearly a month. Should I transfer now?
“Is the leader here?”
I was in a temporary tent and therefore could hear the voice I was waiting for from outside.
“Your name was…Aderu, right?”
It seemed Ast had not given up. Well, he would be busy as the exclusive butler for her highness. She only had one guard and one butler, which meant they were trusted with almost all her secrets.
“You have done well.”
“It was nothing!”
I almost cried. I had tried my best from the first day, but they would not listen and took their punishment with glee. Punishing them with force did not work. Also, they thought of suspensions as rest. I was on the verge of giving up, as the least experienced soldier had seven years and tens of battles under his belt.
They all knew how to act under the radar, and the only choice I had left was to behead one by claiming that they had denounced a superior. However, I could not face the consequences.
However, now Sir Ast had come like a miracle. He could manage this situation.
“Prepare them for physical punishment.”
However, he seemed to follow the military rules, which I knew to be useless.
“I will perform the punishment myself.”
Ast was firm and would perform it on Bekella, their leader. He had lived for twenty-five years on the battlefield from age fifteen. He had enlisted to protect his family, but his entire village was burnt when he fainted from his first battle.
Despite his social status, he would have gone up the ladder, but his battle tactics that ignored all plans stopped him. He was known as a soldier ready to die and was a legend among military men.
Bekella had yawned at my attack enhanced with magic and acted the same with Ast.
“Let’s take three hits.”
I saw that Ast was holding only a wooden stick and believed that stick would break first.
Ast had lightly hit Bekella’s behind with a stick.
It was then I heard Bekella’s shout. It was flabbergasting.
“You said to hurry.”
Bekella was now screaming like a pig.
“What is going on?”
I was not the only one astonished, as the soldiers were even more askance.
However, Ast was merciless as he took the final shot.
It was a day remembered by everyone who learned their lessons.