The treatment was done in an instant thanks to the fact that Kiryu had arranged for a priest immediately.
“That’s a relief.
He would’ve been in big trouble if it had been my nerves.”
Judith looked at the bandage wrapped around her neck.
“Can you move your neck?”
“Yes, but it’s hard right now.
At this rate…”
It was a wound that should have been sewn up in the first place.
The place where the sword grazed was about the size of half of a finger.
“You should rest for a week.
Leader Kiryu will take good care of it, but no training or exercising for you or else the wound will reopen.”
The priest handed her a mirror and left the room saying that he would bring Kiryu in.
Judith looked at herself in the mirror with a confused face.
She couldn’t believe she lost her focus.
It was rare and she felt embarrassed.
If Black Knight Judith had seen her now, she would have kicked her while saying she deserved to die.
In that sense, the woman in the mirror felt like a stranger.
Just looking at it made her confused.
“Half of my hair is gone…”
The unevenness made her look ridiculous.
‘It’s such a waste.’
She should’ve sold it for a moderate price before, but it was too late.
Then, Kiryu opened the door and came in.
When he walked in, he had a stiff expression on his face.
Now that he was involved in such an accident, he may not be able to go everywhere with a smile, but his expression was stiff enough to make Judith think it was too much.
“…How’s the wound?”
“Thanks to the quick treatment, it’s fine.”
“Don’t lower your head or else it’ll hurt more.”
When Judith twisted and staggered while trying to move, Kiryu quickly blocked her.
“I don’t trust the patient.”
Kiryu looked around and pulled up a chair.
Then, he sat down three or four steps away from the bed.
After a while he apologized.
It was a mistake, and it could have been really bad.”
Judith couldn’t remember ever receiving an apology from others.
She closed her mouth for a moment.
It turned out that the blood was smudged on Kiryu’s uniform.
“I know you did that thinking I would defend it.”
“…Well, that was the case.”
Kiryu responded with a small voice.
“Like Knight Feon Grande, it was not intentional.
Don’t worry too much about the accidents caused by my inexperience.”
“Rather, I am grateful for the quick treatment.”
It felt refreshing, and Kiryu was briefly taken aback.
He knew it was hard for a new knight to openly blame the leader, but he saw that she felt no need to make a big deal out of it.
“It was my fault that the tip of my sword shook.”
Judith’s attitude of declaring herself to be blamed for was a little strange even before Kiryu could cover the situation.
However, he couldn’t talk about it one by one, so he decided to let it go for now.
He sighed and looked at Judith’s bandaged neck.
“I’ll let you rest for two weeks.
You can send the charge for treatment to Count Lwalchmei.”
Judith nodded obediently this time.
Even after the conversation, Kiryu did not leave, instead, he just looked at her.
Judith was perplexed.
He was a man who she barely entangled with before her regression.
She met him once on a mission, and it was an encounter she didn’t forget.
But it was amazing how things changed like this.
Breaking the silence, Kiryu then asked.
“Was it the lack of competence that caused the sword to collapse?”
“…Why do you think so?”
Kiryu asked as his face wrinkled.
The freshness Judith felt soon turned into a sense of burden.
Kiryu’s eyes, which were looking at her, were careful.
It was like a beast watching its prey.
“Did you think I would not notice during the match with Feon?”
“I’ll admit I didn’t go all out at that time.”
“Why did you do that?”
Judith replied while rubbing the wound.
“There’s nothing good about revealing my skills.”
“Even when the prince was present?”
Right, come think of it, Judith recalled the fourth prince whom she had completely forgotten.
The highest success of an imperial knight is to become an imperial bodyguard.
Being visible to members of the imperial family is like approaching the heart of power.
In fact, many knights flocked like clouds around the 1st and 2nd princes, who are currently competing for the throne.
That would’ve been the case for the 3rd prince too if he were healthy.
After losing power, he moved away from the throne.
That was six years ago, but there are still many people supporting him now.
“It was the fourth prince, and it would be normal to want to look good.”
In fact, Judith had climbed quite high, for there was a time she personally received a proposal from the second prince.
For Judith, it wasn’t desirable for her to be in a position of a close aide to the fourth prince who’s not interested in the throne.
Kiryu stopped asking questions with a loud sigh and spoke with a hint of regret.
“Knight Judith, your skills aren’t meant to be hidden.”
“I know, it’s just…”
“…I want to live the life of a knight, regardless of that.”
Judith chose her words carefully.
She was always after gold, money, coins, and everything that was expensive in life.
But she felt like that was not the right life.
When she was in debt, she was choked by the pressure.
After paying off her debt, she felt impatient because she had too little.
When she came to her senses, she was by Jermel’s side, and when she came to her senses again, she had died with the gold coins scattering around her.
Even though what she said may have sounded like an excuse, it was not a lie.
“I would rather just live as a knight.”
The words that she managed to spit out as if she had made a promise was unfamiliar even to her own ears.
“Not having to suck up to others, not turning a blind eye to justice, and not giving up.
I know it’ll be difficult to live all that to the fullest, but… it would be nice if I could live like a human being and turn away from money and power.”
Judith touched her stinging wound and spoke calmly.
“Just living differently.”
She was finally able to get her mind together for that thought.
Was it because she had done enough to pursue a life of money? Or was it because she knew that there was only misery at the end?
Living in a different way would be difficult, but Judith was determined.
It didn’t matter if it was from coincidence or God’s will, but this return cannot be made in vain.
She didn’t want to ruin the life she found again because of money or power.
She realized when she looked at herself in the mirror in her hand.
Her amber eyes were shining brighter than gold.
Although she looked terrible, she was still beautiful like her amber eyes.
It was like she found life again.
The amber eyes that almost closed forever were now more important than anything else.
“I mean, I’ll just live a good life.
I don’t mind something like that.”
Judith deliberately spoke lightly to change the mood.
“…What did you just say?”
“As a knight, you passed.”
Judith heard the unexpected words.
When she lifted her head in surprise, Kiryu was smiling softly.
He looked at her like she was the cutest idiot in the world.
In the meantime, it was needless to say that he looked more attractive with his outstanding wildness and good looks.
“Come join the Red Knights.”
Judith almost bit her tongue in surprise.
“I don’t want you to be taken away by Jermel, but I also can’t spread flyers around the empire since it’s the imperial knight’s natural monument.
Even though you’re annoying and stuffy, I’ll take care of you as a knight.”
Kiryu seemed genuine when he said that.
Judith, who was going to ask again what kind of joke he was saying, became silent.
Instead of answering, she just stared at him.
The reaction was different from what Kiryu had expected.
It was a scout offer from the leader himself.
He thought she would jump up and be surprised, but she just stared at him and blinked like a newborn puppy.
After a while, what she said was beyond his expectation.
“Why? Is there a problem?”
“No, there’s no problem… but you called me a swordsman.”
Judith was confused.
“I thought you’d think I was a bad person.”
“Huh? What’s wrong with that?”
Judith was speechless from his response.
But Kiryu wasn’t teasing her.
He was asking sincerely.
There’s a fine line between a knight and a swordsman.
A lot of people in the world swing their swords that way.”
“Loyalty and faithfulness can be bought with money.
That’s the reality of the empire.”
Kiryu watched Judith’s facial expression, which began to distort.
He survived many battles, and the line in which joys and sorrows laid were clear each time.
There were many evil people in the world.
Those who flatter others, those who turn away from injustice, those who give up thinking for others, and those who commit themselves to money and get drunk in power.
When he looked at Judith, he could tell she was desperately holding back tears.
It was strange, and he felt a corner of his heart flutter.
He didn’t want to laugh, but Judith, who proudly said in front of him that she would pursue something in vain, looked a little different.
The experienced aether master was gone, leaving just a normal knight presenting herself to the world.
Has he ever seen someone like this?
‘It’s like a sparkling jewel.’
What should he do with this fool who looked so pure as if she didn’t want to be taken away?
Kiryu’s eyes widened at Judith’s statement.
Before he realized it, there was a smile on his face.
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