It's been almost two years after that day. Time sure do fly fast.
I yawned to myself wanting to get the oath already and be on my way.
"Welcome to the Royal Knight's 267th year of graduates."
One of our instructors told us that was holding a magic tool that was similar to a microphone. All the other knights held their chin up with pride, smiling like there's no tomorrow.
Well, except for me.
I was one of the few who wanted this event to be over with. Father is already waiting for me at home to personally take care of the work piled up now that I can inherit the Hills family legacy in a few weeks time.
I held the two swords that accompanied my time in the Royal Academy feeling at ease.
"We shall call on the three ranks that would graduate as captains. Having their own battalion and troops for their high achievements through their work. Please give your salute to our General Commander who will be accompanying us today." (Instructor)
He turns his gaze behind him, a familiar figure stood up from his seat with his light blue hair standing out and always that serious face of him. "Salute!"
Everyone plants their hands on their chest fist clenched in a swift motion including me, and yelled, "Salute to the General Commander!"
"I am Vincent von Wolford. Son of Duke Tristan Wolford. If I call your name step up to claim your position and rank." (Vincent) yells onto the crowd as everyone falls silent by his serious aura.
I smiled sheepishly seeing Vincent all grown up into a fine gentleman that he is. He's still the same as ever honestly.
At the time I was lost and full of edge, when neither Cecilia or Rose could explain what happened to me.
He was there for me.
Vincent told me everything, I needed to know.
I have heard that the second princess is going to marry the [Winshern Prince] by due time. They are only engaged for now and... for some reason that makes me happy to know.
"Lucas Yulien. Come forward for your position as the second rank you are awarded to be the second commander of the Phantom Brigade."
Lucas Yulien. Lenard's little brother of a twin. I have heard that he also wanted to be a Royal Knight but I didn't expect that we would be in the same class.
He was a couple of rows behind me, he walked into the front and 'accidentally' bumps into my shoulder. Lucas scoffs feeling accomplished from just purposely bumping into me.
I glared at him rolling my eyes waiting for Vincent to call my name. He's not worth dealing shit that's for sure.
I look up into the stage seeing Vincent eyeing on me with a faint smile, "Kein Hills please come forward to accept your rank as the Commander of the Lion Brigade. Congratulations for ranking first in your class." (Vincent)
As expected. All that years of training with father my skills as a Knight has surely improved.
I walked there my armor reflecting the light of the sun. My golden hair smelling like flowers the moment I passed by all of them, leaving the audience entranced and enchanted.
"Wow... she's the rank one in our whole batch..."
"Yeah, I'm in the same class as her and let me tell you she has the whole class either feeling envious and hate on her or everyone is literally having a crush on her."
"Which one are you?"
"I-I uh... you know what let's listen in on the ceremony..."
"I heard a rumor she's only interested in girls."
"Eh- that's kinda... a waste..."
"She's so tall..."
I could literally hear these people talk behind my back.
When I arrived I could see my old friend waiting for me, holding my badge of honor. Vincent pins over my badge at my chest. "Good work, Commander Hills."
I gave Vincent a salute and a grin, "Thanks boss."
He rolls his eyes patting me in the back. "I told you for all these eight years to stop calling me that, Lady Kein."
I shrugged enjoying giving him a hard time. "And you know I won't so why bother scolding me for it. I wanna get the ceremony over so I can go home."
Vincent sighs rubbing his temples looking at the expectant crowd, "You still need to give a speech being the the first rank of your class please do not embarrass yourself. Baron Hills, your father will not hear the end of it I'm sure."
"Fine, fine I'll give it a go." I told him. He worry too much like Lenard and speaking of which! Lenard should be with his parents waiting for Lucas.
I should pull Lenard aside for a bit later to talk. Its been a while since we've last seen each other.
I went up to the magic tool that doubles as a microphone suddenly feeling nervous. "Thank you all for coming into the ceremony. I'll keep my speech short for I do not want to delay, I will do my best as a knight into protecting every cute ladies in this kingdom-"
Vincent runs besides me holds my mouth for a moment in a chokehold shutting me up, "LADY KEIN! Ahem! Don't you mean everyone in this kingdom?" (Vincent) tightens his hold on me not leaving any mercy.
Everyone in the audience was shocked and speechless. Vincent pinches my ear so hard not removing his glare- ow! ow! Okay! I'll stop jeez! You asked me to give you a speech so I'm giving you a non-boring one.
He lets go of my mouth and everyone looks at each other confused. "I will do my best as a knight to protect everyone in the kingdom. So I hope I'll have your support, that will be all."
I left the magic tool while hearing the audience slowly clap for me.
I know it's a shitty speech and I didn't prepare anything.
Why? Well... the more that I'm seen as an idiot genius is way better, besides after the accident last year everyone knows I'm a lesbian.
Although I know Vincent will kill me after this.
"Kein! Come here!"
I didn't realize I was talking to myself in the ceremony for so long I didn't notice Lenard hugging me from behind. His well kept blond hair that was similar to mine, you could mistake us for being twins too. He still have his adorable glasses being loose almost falling from his stubble nose.
Lenard lets me go after a bit his voice excited, "Congratulations I'm so proud of you!" he yells sniffing while crying.
Lenard still didn't change. He's still the same old crybaby that sends me yuri books every month. I couldn't ask for a better cousin. "Thanks Lenard. Where's my dearest Aunt and Uncle? I'm sure they're here for Lucas."
Lenard laughs nodding while pointing at the side.
I could see that old hag Aunt Haren who's still looking older after eight years but her husband is nowhere to be found.
The funny thing is, she orders A LOT of shampoo that's been made by me.
She flaunts her hair a lot at parties. Yes, after being made heir I've been invited to join the festivities mingling with other nobles and I see her every time.
Everyone was literally complimenting how young she looks because of her glistening healthy hair. She even flaunted it to me once saying, "I know the maker and provider of this exquisite product. A commoner like you would never get in contact with them-"
"Haha..." Ah it still kills me to this day. Ma'am I am the owner and provider of that. That was one party I can never forget.
To think after being heir... I would be invited to a party where Rose could've attended. Where I could see her and speak to her again... but I heard from Vincent she's never set foot outside the castle. He couldn't even visit her so casually and that worried me.
She even cut Vincent off- basically all of my possible contacts to her got cut off.
"Kein hello? Are you still there?" (Lenard) pulls over my knight uniform snapping me back into reality and out of my thoughts. "You're getting distracted again."
I shake my head in apology sighing in reply. "I'm just happy to be a full fledge knight you know? I'm already thinking a lot for the future."
Lenard blinks from the looks of it he didn't believe me being alright but nonetheless he gives me one of his warm smiles when he looks over my badge. "I'm so happy... to see you in that uniform." he mutters wiping his coming tears with his hands.
"I-I'm sorry a tear must've busted my eye- I'm just so proud..." (Lenard)
He cries again sniffing. I couldn't help but hug my dearest cousin, patting him in the back. "I'm so glad to have you as my cousin. You're already like a brother to me, Lenard. I owe you a lot and I wish you knew that."
In that god forsaken mansion he was the only one who didn't treated me like trash and oh- I forgot about Dottie. Yeah, those were the only two people who cared about me and I was thankful.
"Lenard step away from her before I drag you over here myself. You're shaming the family name simply by just talking with this... freak."
I looked towards the voice and saw Lucas with Aunt Haren. I was not surprised that the Viscount was not here though, I always knew he didn't like Lucas much after Vincent saw Lucas harassing me back then that lead to a huge scene. "Lucas how insulting of you. I'm shivering from fear, second place." I made sure to deepen my tone at 'second place'. He needs a reminder, I'm the valedictorian here, bitch.
"Pfft..." (Lenard) laughs a little while I did the same.
"You're supposed to be my twin and yet- you pick her side?!" (Lucas) yells over us as he drags over his brother. "I'll tell father about this and he'll be disappointed in you." he continues but someone stops him from making too much of a scene.
"Lucas my dear, do not fret." This annoying voice and presence could only be that old hag. "Lenard will soon realize his mistake and come running to his real family." (Aunt Haren)
Lucas smiles like he's won after hearing his mother's words he points a finger at me, "Everyone in the academy knows about your disgusting preferences- liking the same gender- how sickening. The church almost had you expelled what a shame. If it weren't for Lord Vincent defending you, you would've been-"
I decided I was just going to ignore them but to my surprise, Lenard stood in front of me protectively. "Shut up. Don't talk to Kein like that. S-She's not disgusting!" (Lenard)
I smiled thankful for my cousin for always being by my side but- I rubbed my temples fearing a headache might come along. I honestly had enough of family drama from the old hag and Lucas.
He's been doing his best trying to make my time in the academy a living hell but he failed on all of those attempts because... I'm too strong.
Wanting to finish all of this over, I yanked Lenard and whispered in his ear, "Lenard it's fine. Don't worry about me let's meet up sometime next week at the Hills estate. You're always welcome with your boyfriend."
Lenard gives me a blushing worried look but in the end he gave the most excited nod back and pushed Aunt Haren and Lucas away from me.
The real Kein Rosenguard, wherever you are. Your branch family is shit except for Lenard. He's a sweet cinnamon roll I wanna protect at all costs.
Ah that familiar cold serious voice.
Now it was Vincent who casually walked behind my back.
Seriously what's with people walking behind other people's backs today? Vincent I know we're friends but one of these days I'll mistake you for a monster and cut you in half.
"Yeah, he left." I crossed my arm in annoyance remembering something unpleasant. "You still can't wrap your feelings around my cousin can you?"
He stiffened for a bit before looking at the ground, his serious face full of guilt. I hardly ever see Vincent like this that's how you know how sincere he is when he shows any expression at all. Now I feel bad for pointing it out.
"I'm sorry Vincent, he's already taken and- I was rooting for you two you know?" I placed my hands at the hilt of my swords trying to ease this awkwardness that I'm feeling.
Vincent just smiles sadly while looking at Lenard at the distance longingly while chuckling, "I was too late it seems."
I laughed softly holding his back because I feel his pain.
I let out a huff sound, feeling rather nostalgic. I haven't hanged out with him for a long time. "Wanna go grab a drink at the underground bar? I'll just tell father to hold off work for today."
I was holding my drink in hand shouting shit to Vincent when we arrived at the underground bar.
It's already my fifteen cup of alcohol. No wonder I feel so drunk. I feel like saying shit that I've been keeping inside my heart for so long.
Rose you stupid dummy!
"You know what? Fuck my first love! Who kisses the day they confess and just leave?!" I yelled over the crowd and they gave me a weird look.
Vincent holds his drink in a worry looking around. "Lady Kein- I know we're in a private bar in Madam Prisha's store but do behave-"
I didn't listen to Vincent and yanked his head off. Ugh this day sucks!
"Vincent- you know I don't understand women. Who just does that?! Now she's getting married to some prince! Now she's the first to the throne! I've heard that but instead of putting me to sleep she could've fucking explained!" I sobbed with the effects of the alcohol making me whine and bump my head into the table.
Ugh I'm going to feel like shit in the morning.
Vincent sighs rubbing his temples, "Why did I come to drink with you..." he pats my shoulder gently trying to console me. "There there... don't cry..." (Vincent)
I sniffed one last time holding my drink close to my chest. "How is she? Is she alright? Is she eating well? Do you think Rose is not lonely in that castle? Does she even read my letters? I'm still sending them without expecting for a reply."
I looked at the reflection of myself in my drink.
My eyes were swollen from crying.
It's childish I know, but I guess its the hormones of being a lovestruck teenager. AGAIN.
It's definitely messing with my mind. I can't focus at all.
Vincent sighs looking at me pitifully and I can't blame him. "Lady Kein, she has avoided contact of me. Even if I invited her into many events like a masquerade or a simple ball she sent me a reply of rejection." (Vincent)
Rose is going this far? Just to avoid me? That woman!
I gripped the handle of my cup harder than intended before drinking the whole thing. "I don't wanna go home Vincent. Let me sleep here." I told him my voice growing weak by the minute. I feel at peace after all this venting.
"L-Lady Kein that's improper- think of your image-" (Vincent)
"Ow!" I yelled holding the top of my head. "Who hit me-"
"It was I, you blubbering fool. Natasha cannot believe you're drinking again."
A beautiful woman with light blond hair with shiny emerald eyes glared at me.
Oh hey! It's Natasha! Hi! I feel like there's two of them now- or four- how much is a four-
"Natasha~ hey~ is it just me or are your eyes shining like stars tonight~" I laughed like crazy poking to tease her but she just hit me in the head again, this time even harder.
Is it just me or her face is also red like mine? Did she get drunk as well? Wow! We can be drunk buddies!
"Your words of flattery will not sway me."
I held my head and whined, "You remind me of Sister Gisela- has a strength like a gorilla I swear-"
She hits me in the head again while Vincent did nothing. "A gorilla you say?" she raises her fist closely to my face filling with murder intent- okay! okay!
I snapped my fingers in a flash and went, "Ah! A beautiful gorilla then!"
Natasha sighs giving up to punch me further because no punch can put me down that easily. Natasha tilts her head down in apology to Vincent. Hold on- why are there also four Vincents here?
"Apologies to Lord Wolford for the display." she sits beside me and I chuckle. "Hi~" I waved my hand like a drunk. Ah a beautiful gorilla!
She sits down beside me on a stool, "I am Natasha Alexeyev. An adventurer and a friend of hers. I think."
Vincent almost spills her drink, "Pardon me, but you... think?"
Ah! I know the answer to this one. "I saved Natasha from a huge monster while we were out patrol out in Slima Forest. You know where the huge slimes are at? She felt indebted to me even though I told her its fine~"
I brushed it off while taking another cup of beer. "She told me she can't get married anymore and I have to take responsibility- whatever that means-"
Vincent eyed me in confusion before looking back at Natasha, "Lady Kein, out of this past year we've rarely seen each other- have you been fooling around with other women-" (Vincent)
Hah?! Fooling around with other women! AS IF! "Natasha come and defend me! Tell him I didn't do anything weird to you that day we met!" I waved my arm around while Vincent waited for a reply as well.
Natasha covers her face with her mouth with a red face. Wait what? "As expected of Lady Kein." (Vincent) casually drinks his cup while staring at me in disgust- eh?! I did nothing wrong I swear!
I point at Natasha wanting to clear up the misunderstandings, "Hey are you drunk too?! Come on clean my name-"
"You shut your mouth!" (Natasha) hits my head again while holding out my collar. "I can't believe you didn't remember what happened back then!"
She shakes me furiously while I wanted to puke- agh- stop shaking me- or else I'll throw up my lunch. "I- I- swear I can't remember!" I told her looking more furious than before.
"I, NATASHA WILL DRAG YOU TO THE DEPTS OF HELL FOR WHAT YOU DID!"
What the hell did I do?! Can't a girl drink her beer in peace?! Is this what Valentina feels every time she gets hit by Gisela?! How is she alive?! "Vincent help me!" I reached out to my bestfriend but he just looks away- HEY!
"Lady Kein, if its one thing I learned from being friends with you. Is to never meddle with someone's lady problems. If I recall this is the sixty ninth time a girl has confront you over something." he says shrinking into a corner avoiding me.
"S-Sixty nine times?! I can't even remember them- gahk!"
Natasha's hands were now holding my neck glaring at me with those green jade eyes of hers. "You were fooling with a lot of women- I shall claim revenge for all of us you toyed with."
I swear! Its nothing like that what the hell?! I can't hurt Natasha- I might kill her accidentally!
"N-Natasha may I have one final last words- before you take your revenge-"
"You have ten seconds." she says coldly still not letting her grip go.
This is it. I shall leave these three words to save my ass. "Did you know you're really cute?"
There was a moment of silence... "..."
I could hear Vincent facepalming from over here. I looked at Natasha unmoving- did that get through her- gahk!
"Did you think some cheap compliment would win Natasha over?"
Not going to lie. I thought it would- "Well you're wrong." she throws me back to my seat with force before sitting beside me.
"Ow everything hurts now." I muttered while holding my head a migraine incoming.
Natasha looks over me looking guilty while taking something out of her [Storage Ring]. "I know you would drink today so Natasha has prepared a medicine from my homeland to get rid of hangovers."
Vincent was just watching curious while I happily accepted the hangover medicine. "Thank you. I forgot magic doesn't work on me anymore."
"Natasha simply gave you the medicine expecting to repay you from saving me. Nothing else, so you're welcome." she says crossing her arms looking away from me.
She was worried about me. How adorable! I think I'm still partially drunk though. I smiled looking over the medicine, "Thank you, Natasha. I'm glad someone will be there to save me through my drunk times."
I could see her ears redden before attacking me like a wild cat. "Do not say such shameful things like that. I am here to repay my debt. I do not care about a foolish knight like you."
"This is why I would rather not get into whatever business you have when it comes to women, Lady Kein. They seem to be smitten even if they tell you things like that so I did not need to worry."
Did Vincent say something? Huh... You know what I'm going to go home- I stood up from the stool bar not realizing my footing was shit.
Ah I slipped.
I hit my head onto one of the tables and I fainted.
After that Vincent and Natasha had to carry me home.