134 Butterfly Effect
"This man is my guest. I won't tolerate discourteous behavior toward him."
"So you say, your highness, I however cannot believe you would make a mere peasant like this a guest. You even let him wander around in the castle. Me, Goddel expresses his doubts on the royalty's judgment. I say we must expel this fellow from this castle right away for your sake. No, I don't need your permission. It shall be done under my authority."
This must be what they call hubris. His dumbass-ness is so hardcore I feel like I could see it.
To him strength is everything, but he only sees what he wants to see and ignores everything else. So it would seem. There's no understanding this mindset.
"Goddel, you won't listen to me? Then I suppose a directive is in order."
"As your bodyguard 'inside the castle', I am merely saying that there is a problem. Even if you grant your forgiveness, I won't allow a peasant of unknown origin like him stroll around in this castle!"
His opinion seems sound, but it's got this nuance of him looking down upon the royalty.
On top of being a hardcore dumbass, this guy is making light of the 'little girl' royalty. There's not even a hint of respect.
"Or perhaps, you are saying you could fire me from my position in the knights?"
'Kukuku', Goddel laughed as if he was speaking his usual clincher.
But his smirking face turned dubious the next moment.
Due to Reikana's words.
"I can. Right here and now. I will proceed with the formal procedure. As such, I need you to go to the training ground. I formally demand your dismissal effective immediately."
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～～～ ‐－－－ ～～～
"That man is a spy Goldeuro-niisama forcefully planted under the pretext of watching over me."
During our chat while we wait for the formal procedure, I found out that Goddel is a bona fide spy despite being that.
Confident of his own strength, he commands the knights through 'fear', forcing those who go against him to retire, turning the knights into his plaything.
Pure strength being a criterion to take up Knight Commander position was never a thing until this point, it was Goldeuro's handiwork behind the scene.
Goddel took first place in the tournament that decided that.
By the way, the princess scooped out all the 'usable' knights that were fired into her own private army.
Thus the princess spoke while staring at me.
For some reason, I got dragged into this mess. It's as if taking that stroll became an impetus for something much bigger.
I could only sigh. Even the slightest decision you made in life could evolve into such a huge pain like this.
(Butterly effect... was it? I want to believe... this is nothing that grand...)
Lervi is the only neutral party in all this, and his ability to organize the knights was too good for Goddel to kick out.
Thanks to him, the knights haven't been completely taken over yet. It's still so bad it's pretty much just one step away from total loss though.
～～～ －－－－ ～～～～
After such and such, we're currently heading to the training ground. Why? I don't get it.
"We are here to resolve a dispute between her highness who has demanded for knight commander's dismissal, and objection from knight commander Goddel on the matter."
All the knight members have gathered here. They have varying expressions on the 'Duel' that's about to take place.
"The method is extremely simple. The commander this time was decided purely by 'Strength'. Therefore, denying that means showing strength beyond his. Which will be demonstrated in a 'Duel' of Knights. Surrendering, neutralizing, or perhaps even killing, shall decide victory or defeat."
I thought it was way too intense, but there's more.
"If commander Goddel loses, his departure won't be treated as a retirement. There will be no severance pay nor reward from the imperial family. Do you acknowledge that your dismissal will be of a dishonorable one, commander?"
"There's no way I'd lose. Killing this dirty dregs would be nothing to brag about either."
"As for her highness's proxy, do you understand that this does not only concern your honor, but also your 'survival'? You can still back out now."
Being a neutral party and all, the MC, or umpire, Lervi asked me.
"I never agreed to this. Why do I gotta do this..."
Lervi caught my muttering.
"The impetus for this is commander denying your status as a guest. Between Reikana-sama's demand and commander's insistence on maintaining security, you will need to prove yourself. As you are now the focal point in this matter, you must demonstrate yourself otherwise it would put shame on her highness's, commander's and the knights' honor."
"Who gives a shit about honor. How do I end up in this crap when I just want to live a peaceful life? It's really getting to me..."
"I still recognize you as her highness's guest, for now. I shall refrain from reprimanding you as her highness herself remains silent... but allow me to say this much at least. It's profane. Please choose your words. Making a slight on the royalty before us is akin to insulting us all."
"Well my bad. But even I still have some worthless pride I'm not willing to back down from. Just know that I'm not saying that to ridicule you lot."
"Please forgive me for having involved you in this matter when it doesn't concern you. However, please, would you be willing to lend me your strength?"
Reikana herself came over next to me and bowed.
(She really is quick at lowering her head, isn't she. I told her already royalty shouldn't do that often. Wait, maybe she's aware of how 'high' her head is and exploits it to her advantage...?)
My line of thinking is getting dark due to my anger. I know that this princess probably isn't that malicious, but getting thrust in a farce like this makes me feel like it's true.
A rustle began to grow among the knights.
(Ah... What a pain... I don't care anymore...)
My bad habit cropped up again. A man's voice echoed in the venue expediting that further. A stupidly loud voice.
"You bastard! How dare you make a royalty bow! And yet you ignored that!? You stand below beasts! For your crime of lese majeste, I shall cut you clean in two here and now!"
I can only admire this guy for being able to say all that when he doesn't even respect Reikana in the slightest.
Must be an acting to show off before all the knights gathered here.
Thought the guy's nothing but a bonehead, but he might be unexpectedly cunning.
(Makes me care less and less though.)
"Enough is enough! Let's get started! I don't see any reason to let this guy alive! Lervi, give the signal."
Goddel spoke while smirking. Must be a smile after judging that the knights have now recognized me as being discourteous toward a royalty. All for the sake of his own gain.
An appeal to raise his stock among the knights. I'm nothing but a stepping stone to him.
Reikana who seemed to have perceived something after seeing me unresponsive to her request earlier turned pale and swiftly trotted out of the way.
Maybe she realized I was getting fed up? I was trying to act normal, but getting read like this is only adding to the fuel.
The vice commander spiritedly gave the signal regardless.