Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Chapter 2 – Social Studies Field Trip
In the basement of the castle, Katima opened her mouth with a big smile on her face.
“Thank you-nya! Ain is the best nephew I’ve ever had-nya!”
“Haha. No problem, take your time then!”
After completing the primary mission of the day, Ain left the lab with a happy expression on his face. Now that the biggest threat was gone, he had the smile of a victor on his face.
“There should be nothing more to fear now… Yeah.”
The sound of walking up the stairs echoed around him. The kicking sound of his boots on the ground was like a victory march now. The schoolbag in his hand was also shaking as if to express his excitement.
Now, he had done what he had to do. He ran up the stairs to the ground floor and called out her name.
“Krone! Where’s Krone!”
Shortly after Ain’s call, a reply came from behind a pillar.
“Yes, yes, Krone is here.”
Recently, it had become much warmer as spring was coming to an end.
Today, Krone is dressed in a light blue sleeveless shirt that is close to her hair color. She wore a white knee-length skirt underneath, and her neat and elegant appearance naturally attracted Ain’s gaze as always.
“The mission was a success. It’s perfect.”
“I’m glad to hear that. So what did you do with Katima-sama?”
“I gave her some dry food that she likes. I brought her a whole box of them, so they’ll last her a few hours.”
He had used the bait to keep Katima, his own aunt and the first princess, contained. To Ain, who chose that method without hesitation, Krone let out a sigh of exasperation.
“If Katima-sama is happy, then I guess it’s… okay.”
They naturally stopped in front of the door to the outside.
“I’m going to go now.”
“Have a good day. Be careful.”
“I’ll be fine. I’ll see you later!”
As soon as he opened the door, Dill, who had been waiting for him, approached Ain.
◇ ◇ ◇
About an hour later, Ain was walking outside the White Rose station with three of his classmates and Dill.
“Now, I’ll explain the instructions right away.”
Dill said, straightening up his posture.
“But you must not go anywhere other than where I lead you. …As long as you follow this, you won’t have a big problem. Next, don’t touch anything that is placed there. Today we will be visiting a training center, so there are some areas that may be a bit dangerous. Therefore, for your own safety, please observe these rules.”
The three of them, except for Ain, nodded in return.
“One last thing. I know that everyone has always been very kind to Ain-sama. However, there are many people in the castle who are strict about etiquette. In the castle, please refer to him as Your Highness.”
It was different from Warren and Dill calling him Ain-sama. From the perspective of the civil servants and knights in the castle, it is no wonder that some of them complain about calling Ain by his first name.
“Of course, Guard Dill. I’ll make sure that Batz is properly secured as well.”
“Huh… Hey, Leonard! Even I know my place!”
Dill must have enjoyed watching them interact. In the past, Lloyd had called Dill a stiff man, but now he smiles with a cheerfulness befitting his age.
“The lodging room and facilities are next to the gate. We’re going to take a look at those details as well. Next, we will see the training center and the adjacent armory. Finally, we’ll have lunch in the dining hall.”
The expressions on the three of them showed that they were looking forward to it. Ain was unhappy with the idea of a home visit, but looking at the faces of the three of them, he didn’t feel so bad.
──In front of the castle gate, Roland looked up at the castle and said,
“It’s really big…”
The only reason he said ‘really big’ was because he was genuinely surprised and couldn’t find the words. He looked up blankly, tracking the height of the walls with his eyes.
“Please follow me as I go inside.”
It was a familiar place for Ain but not for the other three.
This was the first time for Roland in particular. Unlike Leonard and Batz, who were noblemen, he was a commoner and would not normally have the opportunity to set foot in the castle.
There were magnificent gardens and waterways spreading out inside the castle gates, and everywhere they looked there were huge buildings. The three of them were simply overwhelmed by the sight that they had never had a chance to look at closely.
Dill’s walking speed was a little slower than usual.
“Is it possible that you’re paying attention to us?”
“Well, may I ask what you mean?”
He replied to his lord’s voice in a calm voice, but the corners of his mouth were gently rising, as Ain had imagined.
“Well, I guess I should keep this to myself, but thanks for taking care of everyone.”
No words of affirmation came back. But the corners of Dill’s mouth lifted even higher.
“Everyone. What you see in front of you is the entrance to the knight training center.”
The heat in the air seemed to be palpable. Listening closely, they could hear the sound of swords clashing and the shouts of knights.
The three men walking behind Dill, especially Batz, were thrilled.
“‘Ain-sama, I have instructed them to continue their training today without regard for Ain-sama. Please excuse them.”
“I don’t mind at all. That’s usually fine during training, though.”
“No. It’s only for today.”
As soon as Dill stopped in front of the training center and opened the door, the three of them were pressured by the heat inside.
The knights’ spirit echoed through the room.
“Yeah… As expected of the knights who guard the castle.”
Only one of them, Roland, stopped in surprise, opening his mouth.
“Roland! Roland! Geez… Or rather, Batz, you’re used to seeing knights, and you’re so surprised?”
“Leonard, don’t be silly. Royal knights are the top knights in Ishtalika, you know.”
“W-what is it, Ai… no, Your Highness?”
“No, I mean, what do you mean?”
Dill comes up to Ain, who is having a hard time saying it.
“…Batz-dono, this is not the training scene of the royal knights. This is a normal knight’s training, and the training for the royal knights will be after this.”
When Batz heard this, he was struck by the biggest shock of the day. Batz is one of the best in the Royal Kingsland Academy, which means he is also one of the best in the academy district.
He wasn’t conceited, but he was proud of his strength. But now, even he doesn’t know if he can beat the knights here.
“The royal knights have a duty. Of course, you have to be prepared to give up your life for the royal family, but you also have to be the strongest of all knights.”
So it can’t be compared to the current training.
Dill implied, and Batz swallowed his saliva.
“…Thank you. Now I know where I stand, thanks to that.”
“It’s amazing to see such an auspicious Batz.”
“Hey! Stop messing around, Leonard!”
“Hahaha! By the way, Roland, I think you’d better shut your mouth.”
“H-huh! Why are you talking like that?”
“Good grief. You’ve been dazed since the beginning.”
“…I think you’re right. I’m drooling a little…”
The three of them then sat down on the benches that had been provided and stared at the training scene.
How long had they been watching the training?
They found that the knight who had finished the mock battle had disappeared.
They looked around at the large, empty training grounds, which had changed from when they had first arrived, and wondered if it was time for the next stop. It wasn’t long before the three of them were anticipating the next stop.
Suddenly, Dill opened his mouth.
“From now on, this will be the scene that Batz-dono wanted to see.”
“The scene I’ve been waiting to see…?”
There was no reply to the puzzled Bats, but instead, the door of the training center was opened.
───Nice to see you.
───Welcome to our training center, everyone.
Several knights who stepped into the room greeted Ain as they passed by. The way they behaved, or should one say the dignity they exuded, was like that of a nobleman.
Then Leonard said in a voice of admiration.
“It seems that they are the royal knights.”
“Yes. Their strength is proportional to their dignity.”
“Do they have any training that differs from ordinary knights?”
“Naturally, the training to improve as a knight is extremely intense. In addition, they are trained in manners that are no different from those of a nobleman’s daughter or son, and they are also taught how to brew tea instead of just serving it.”
A royal knight is to serve the royalty. They are trained to be able to stand by the royal family at all times.
“You will soon be able to see more than just the elegance of a knight in shining armor.”
It wasn’t long after Dill’s words.
As soon as the training of the royal knights began, the air they wore changed dramatically.
The moment they pulled out their swords, a strong air of dominance that pierced their skin drifted through the training center. The sound of the swordfight is also different from before; it echoes strongly and shakes the air.
…The royal knights are really strong.
Suddenly, Leonard looked at Ain sitting next to him and was surprised to see that Ain was looking unconcernedly.
Ain looked at the training familiarly, and he also had the air of a strong man.
“Hey, Batz, how long can you withstand this?”
“What? What do you mean, withstand?”
“As I said… How long you can fight against these knights?”
Batz snorted as if he were making a fool of himself.
“I can’t even stand it for ten seconds. That’s about it. As expected of the royal knights, they are very good. Their swordsmanship, footwork, and center of gravity… are all things that I can’t compete with.”
Batz, who had always been fascinated by the royal knights, was staring at the training with shining eyes.