Chapter 11: Side Story – The Melancholy of the Knight Captain
Wilhelm Aibringer is the Flarekista Kingdom’s strongest general.
Originally born as the Aibringer House of the Earl’s third son, as long as the eldest son and the second son is alive, he will not inherit the patrimony of the House of the Earl, so he was able to live comparatively freely. Because of that, although he was obligated to go to school as the son from the House of an Earl, he entered the order of knights after graduating.
After entering the order of knights, Wilhelm gradually stood out, and on his fifth year, he became a commander that led a corps.
To Wilhelm that originally have a bear-like stature, the strength that matched it, and a scary face that intimidated enemy soldiers, to him that had all those three characteristics, the battlefield was exactly the stage where he could completely show his talents.
The skirmishes that had continued from long before, during wars with the neighboring country Ainz Empire, Wilhelm had taken the head of the enemy generals for many times.
And from his way of fighting, he was even called『Impregnable Wilhelm』by the enemy army.
When he was thirty-five, he was entrusted by his predecessor as the Captain of the Knights.
He had no reason to refuse, and to Wilhelm’s appointment who was called the strongest in the Flarekista Kingdom undisputedly, there was no one who objected. And even after becoming the Captain of the Knights, he continued to fight on the front lines, and even now when he is sixty-two, his body is still robust, he was the best example of a man who lived in battlefields.
Butーーbecause of that, Wilhelm was a bachelor.
The dispute with the Ainz Empire is still continuing, but it can be said that it is currently a lull. Wilhelm killed the Empire’s famous general, so they are currently lacking for excellent commanders. Even so, the Empire had more power as a country than Flarekista, so they could not use brute force to go to an offense in this chance.
Because of that, they could only create a treaty that was slightly favorable to Flarekista, and makes it a lull.
Even this situation, it is unknown for how long it would continue. But, for such a balance could be broken anytime, Wilhelm was always reinforcing himself, and the knights that follow him.
That is why, for also today, Wilhelm, to the order of knights’ garrisonーーto the training grounds, he came.
A room filled with useless things, called the Captain’s Chamber. To Wilhelm who prefers modesty, it was not furnished to his liking, but because it was the room passed through generations, he is doing his basic office work here.
But, for Wilhelm today, he does not have work originally.
But stillーーalthough Wilhelm did not have something to do, he was in the order of knights.
「What should I do……」
The thing that worries Wilhelm’s mindーーthat was, the girl that continues to disrupts Wilhelm’s heart since yesterday.
Entering the school as the third son of the House of an Earl, the friend that he had been close at that time, Dukeridd Ambrose. The heir of the Ambrose House of the Duke, which was being said has the largest power in Flarekista.
There was a gap between Wilhelm and Dukeridd’s status, but they were close as school friends. Wilhelm was saying it was more than what he deserves, but even so, Dukeridd had treated him very equally. That is why, Wilhelm also opened his heart towards Dukeridd, and got close to him that he could call him as his best friend.
Even after graduating from school, he cannot count how many times Dukeridd invited him to home parties. And to Wilhelm who would not stop being a bachelor, he could not could how many times he was told to “settle down”.
But, Wilhelm did not have the appearance of which women would like.
His bear-like body frightened women, his strong face scared women, and his rough personality that came from his continuous stay on battlefields, did not let women approach him. And the result of not being involved with women because of that, he had given up his own marriage.
Even if many marriage proposals had come he had no will to accept, and there was even one time when he came to say a word of refusal to the marriage partner at least, but the woman cried the instance she saw his appearance. “No, being married to something like a bear!”, when his partner shouted that, he had even felt distrust in women seriously.
That is why, to Wilhelm, Dukeridd’s family, he had even thought of them as his own family.
Because they are already acquainted since she was young, Dukeridd’s daughter that he got along with, Elizabeth. Even though she was still a child, but because they met since she was young, she did not fear Wilhelm especially. Instead, she even liked him for playing with her. Unfortunately for Dukeridd, he did not have another child other than Elizabeth, but if a boy had been born, he might have thought of him as his own son.
For about twenty years ago, with a twelve years older Marquis’s son, when he heard Elizabeth’s engagement with Gilliam, he had truly got delighted as if his own daughter’s marriage was decided. In the wedding ceremony, as if his own daughter got married, he even felt a deep loneliness.
And, the son and daughter that Elizabeth gave birth to, Albert and Carol.
Even when Dukeridd had his grandchildren, he still continued to invite Wilhelm to parties. Because he was around over 50 years old, he stopped telling him to go get married, but instead when he brought out about an adoption relationships, it is new to his memories how he thought what he should do with it.
And Wilhelm, Albert and Carol, he treated both of them as his own grandchildren. He even has an impossible delusion that if he had built his own happy family, his grand child might have been like this.
With that much, both Albert and Carol, liked him.
And the intermingling with the Ambrose House of the Duke, four years agoーーwhen Dukeridd had collapsed of sickness, it had completely stopped. He had gone to visit him many times, but to open a party when Dukeridd was in his sick bed, Elizabeth was not that out of her common sense.
And while that happened, the war with the Empire got more fierce, Wilhelm also could not return to the royal capital, and he continued to fight on the front lines. “Dukeridd had passed away”, when he heard that too, it was inside his tent on the battlefield.
After that, Wilhelm had not visited the Ambrose House of the Duke.
He had gone to visit Dukeridd’s grave, but there was no reason for Wilhelm to visit the Ambrose House of the Duke. Even though Dukeridd was his best friend, Wilhelm is only a stranger for the Ambrose House of the Duke. That is why, his feet went away, and he had not met with the people of the Ambrose House of the Duke for a long time.
When Albert entered the order of knights, he was very surprised.
Although he was the heir son, for him to go out on his way to enter the order of knights, he even thought of what he was thinking. Originally, a rookie that had just entered the order, Wilhelm who was the captain had no need to talk to that, but because he has acquaintance with Albert when he was young, he called him and talked.
ーーWhy, did you enter the order of knights. Even if it is the heir-son of the Ambrose House of the Duke, I will not have a distinction with other men in the order of knights. You might lose your life on the battlefield.
ーーI know that very well.
Albert, with eyes that had a very strong will within them, answered that.
To Wilhelm, he could not understand that. If he is the heir-son of the Ambrose House of the Duke, it should be enough for him to receive the education for someone who would receive the noble rank in the future. But, Albert said that during his 18 to 20, his freedom is promised.
That is why, he would spend his time on the order of knights, and make that his own strength, he said.
ーーI am the one who would inherit the Ambrose House of the Duke, but even so, I do not want to think of myself as a special person. “I want to protect this country”, I am one human that have that will. That is why, in the order of knights, the vanguard of this country, I thought that I should at least learn there.
Albert, strongly said that.
That is why, Wilhelm, even though he had felt the feeling that as if his own grandchild had raised up very well, he held the training without distinction. When the time that a war happens, Albert also needs to be sent to the battlefield. And when that time, for him to at least have the strength to come home alive.
Butーーright now, what bothers Wilhelm’s head, is the grandchildren that he had once thought as his own, the other half.
Last night, Wilhelm, together with the leaders of the order of knights, he also participated in the banquet hosted by His Majesty the King.
And there, after a long time, he saw Carol’s appearance.
And even though it is a banquet, for nobles, that banquet is the place where they show their existence. If it was possible, he wanted to talk to her, but because of him approaching her, it is not good for it to be felt that the Ambrose House of the Duke and the order of knights had gotten close, there Wilhelm held back, and did not approach her.
What he was surprised to wasーーthat Wilhelm was also in the presence, when Rayford His Highness, discarded his engagement with Carol one-sidedly.
Carol is a very lovely, bright girl.
In the future, Rayford who would become the King and carry this country. And to be on that Rayford’s side, she is a rare talent who can be a Queen. And for the royalty and the Ambrose House of the Duke having ties, the Kingdom would become more solid. That is why, His Majesty the King, recommended Rayford and Carol’s engagement.
At that time, as he has thought, the had felt the loneliness of his grandchild going to be a bride.
That is why, to Rayford His Highness’s one-sided talk, he was so mad. Carol is bright. For sure, she would not do such a thing.
And, when he had visited the palace, he had often heard that Carol is receiving the education from the Queen herself. Carol who was doing her best to become a Queen that much, there was no way for her to do such a petty harassment.
But Wilhelm, could not have an opinion between His Majesty the King and Duke Ambroseーーthat is right, he tried to just watch carefully.
But when His Highness and His Majesty had an argument, there would be no one who could stop it, so he went to stop them himself.
To stop the argument of royalties, most nobles would not be able to do it. If there was someone who could, it would be only about Duke Ambrose, but Gilliam did not stop them. Then, using the stature not as a noble, but the honorary position from the royal house, he decided and went in between His Majesty the King and Rayford His Highness, what he did was the start in the first place.
ーーWilhelm Aibringer-sama. Carol, please take her as your bride.
In an instant, he even thought that either his ears or his head had gotten crazy.
Carol is, 16 years old. And Wilhelm is, 62 years old.
And the difference between their ages, is 46. For Wilhelm, their age difference was already a different thing from the marriages with age differences that he had heard before.
On what purpose, he doubtedーーbut he could not believe it, Carol’s eyes, no matter how he thought of it, he could only see them as serious.
That is why, Wilhelm was worrying about it seriously.
Carol, if Gilliam told her to do so, if she reluctantly asked him for a marriage, it would have been easy for him to refuse. Joking with this old man, he could easily say that.
But, is it really only for political reasons, or is she really yearning for him.
If it was only that, even Wilhelm could tell if he looks on her eyes.
Repeatedly saying this, but Wilhelm is already 62 years old.
He is still fit, and he does not plan to die that easily. But just like when Dukeridd had died without reaching 60, people cannot tell when they are going to die.
And even if Wilhelm was able to live up to his 80’s, Carol would be still at 34.
It was an age too early for her to be a widow.
It is not like Wilhelm has no money, rather, because he prefers a simple life, there was even too much of them. After he dies, for Carol to at least not got trouble living, he has enough savings.
But, this and that are different stories.
For Carol, if it was possible, she should be tied to a man of her age, and live together with him. This is something that even if it is not Wilhelm, they could think of it.
「……umu, after allーー」
“Un”, he nodded.
He is very happy with Carol’s feelings. But, Wilhelm is too old, and Carol was too young.
And the future of that young girl, there was no way for an old man like him should not steal it.
That is why, Wilhelm, he decided.