Chapter 41: The Start of the Journey to Winshern Kingdom.
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Kein's POV

After the incident at the pleasure bar.

I got to know my other comrades who will be serving under my care for the past week. We talked with our skills and sharing our own stories to why we ended up in the Knight's Academy, of course I was embarrassed to tell them I came to the academy to forget an old flame.

They weren't all that bad at all actually. I might have given the wrong first impression but they've given me a chance after displaying my strength.

The day before we will get to escort the second princess to the [Winshern Kingdom] I have spared with the four of them knowing their true nature when it came to fighting. 

I challenged all of them one by one all ending up in loses and now they don't question why I became commander in the first place. My physical strength is inhumane and my dark magic to which I can absorb any magic that's used on me still stands. 

"Captain I'll follow you no matter what!" 
(Sarah) shouts clinging onto me while dragging on with endless questions on how did I even get that strong to which I was patient with answering. 

Sarah is basically Minerva's friend and translator. They both graduated two years ahead of me. 

The other two men, roughly I remember the one who defended Rose about all the insults his name was Felix and the other one who didn't care just drinking alcohol all the time was Bancho. The both of them was graduates of four years ahead. 

Not going to lie when I first heard Bancho's name I laughed because well... I mean come on Bancho- it reminded me of something back on earth.  

The other knight that has been taken out of my squad for irresponsible drinking and even attacking a commander has apologized for his behavior but still I could hear his insults by the time we both left the knight's headquarters' office.

Slowly on that week that they were under my care. It's not much but I've earned at least some of their respect for me which was enough to start our teamwork routines.


The day that the escort mission would arrive. 

I held the two of my swords that was on my waist making sure they were secure, wearing my light armor and gauntlets. I exited my familiar room where there were still stacks of unfinished work on the table.

Alfred had  packed all of the things I'll need into my [Storage Ring] that includes; a lot of dried food, tent, clothes, extra healing ointments, money, and a lot more than I should actually.

Especially on the dried foods. I have realized that I have developed a fear of running out of food, feeling conscious if I don't have anything to eat in my [Storage Ring]. It all started at Aunt Haren's home where she would never forget to not feed me on some days but when that was settled I went to the stables to grab my Pegasus.

Alfred hands me Vanilla's reigns, he looks at me with a worried gaze similar to an older brother would. He eyes me carefully as I hopped onto Vanilla's back his hoofs trotting away slowly out of the stables. 

Alfred stops me for a moment. "Young miss. Master Hills will not be back from his trip in a few weeks. He told me to tell you to not push yourself on your upcoming mission."

"Ah." I scratched my neck a little feeling flustered about father still treating me like a child. 

Even though Baron Hills has already been my foster father for eight years I'm really not used to other people worrying about me like that. "I'm already eighteen. He's still leaving you those messages huh."

Alfred smiles faintly. "Parents will never stop worrying about their children after all." he says to me before holding out a letter.

I took it in my hands recognizing the seal. It was our house seal, a dove carrying a rose. I opened it seeing it was a letter from Baron Hills telling me to be safe... and that I should come back unharmed or else he'll have another heart attack. 

I tried to cover up my smile before giving back the letter to Alfred. It's what I needed before maybe... I'll get to see Rose again. "Father is such a worrywart. I'll come back safe and sound."

Alfred nodded taking back the letter giving an eccentric bow. "I will handle all your affairs while you are out. Rest assured I will only do my best for the young miss." (Alfred)

"Thank you, Alfred for carrying some of my duties. I'll be back before you know it." I still had a lot of work to do including building a public school for the commoner children where they could study and learn things like how to read and write or properly casting magic.

Vanilla snorted impatiently signaling a sign that we had to go already. My Pegasus was really someone with no patience. "Tsk tsk."

I held on to her reigns and whipping it, Vanilla spreads her wings and flew into the Kingdom's outer gates where a lot of knights and adventurers have gathered just to protect one specific carriage. 

Vanilla found a nice spot to slowly land on, the breeze coming from his wings were gone. 

I glanced around the place noticing there were around fifty or a hundred people in station. They all must be skilled but only three people stood out to me. 

I gave a side glance to the famous 'other worldly summoned heroes' and couldn't help but become curious. Summoned heroes came from other worlds so, of course, I became curious if they also came from earth.

Conversing with people shouldn't be a problem. Is it rude for a stranger like her to ask what world did they live in? Should I also mention that I came from another world? 

If I'm being honest having no one to talk to about home is kind of... lonely. 

I do miss earth and my daughter but... 

I sighed.

I was left to stop my thoughts when a royal blue carriage with gold striped with a seal of a lion drove in front of me. The glass windows had curtains so I... I couldn't take a peak even if I wanted to know how she was doing. 

Vanilla noticed my distress immediately neighing softly looking back at me. I was a little surprised at her actions but I immediately understood her intentions. I patted her mane smiling, "Thank you, Vanilla. I'm fine it's just the weather."

Vanilla didn't believe me, snorting at my direction but there was nothing she could do. "There there, girl. I'm sorry I'm in a little rough mood today."

She nods looking straightforward at the road instead. 

I hopped off from her saddle for a bit and found my squad mates who was on their own Pegasus companions. "Salute." I gave them our salute and they saluted back.

Sarah was the first one to approach me excitedly getting off of her Pegasus running to come meet me. "Captain I can't believe we're going on a S-rank escort mission! There's a lot of people here huh." (Sarah)

"Yes, we're escorting a rather valuable person after all." I told her, she leans towards behind me staring at the carriage.

"The second princess. I wonder what is she like." (Sarah) stares at the carriage seriously but shakes her head at the end continuing to talk. "I've heard rumors of her kindness towards commoners so I wonder if it's true. What do you think captain?" 

Sarah looks at me expectantly as I pursed my lips holding both of my swords for comfort. "Its true. She's too kind for her own good honestly." I answered looking back at the royal carriage.

She was so close yet so far to reach. 

I smiled sadly remembering the nostalgia of our memories together, Sarah stared at me with interest taking in my expression. "You've met her, captain?" (Sarah) asks eyes brimming with a curiosity like a cat's.

I nearly scoffed. Met her? Would it comfort you to know that she confessed to me and kissed me-

I coughed- what was I thinking. I shouldn't have remembered that time when she- ugh- whatever thoughts that I had was improper. I held the back of my neck feeling a little hot, I turned my back to her. "More than once that's for sure."

"Eh! What do you mean-" (Sarah) couldn't finish as I went back to Vanilla who already had someone accompanying her. 

Vanilla leans in a little to someone familiar who pats her mane nervously. I walk forward to see that it was Natasha standing there looking nervous reaching her hand out to Vanilla. Did she came to pet Vanilla again? I decided to watch for a bit.

"Don't bite Natasha. Don't taste good, can Natasha pat you?" (Natasha)

She tries to reach for Vanilla again but she retracts her hand when Vanilla actually tries getting more close to her. I couldn't help myself to find the whole thing adorable and funny to how she wants to pat Vanilla at the same time she's so scared she takes a few steps back.

"She likes you, you know. I thought the two of you already bonded together." 

I walk closer to their direction and Natasha's back stiffened. I haven't seen her since the day she confessed but I'm glad to see she's doing fine. 

"Kein, it is not what it looks like."
 she stares at me her face looking flustered before returning her gaze back at Vanilla. "I was just... I saw a flea on your horse and I wanted to remove it." (Natasha) horribly lies to me. 

Vanilla rolls her eyes at the both of us as if thinking stupid humans I'm being bathed everyday.

"Pfft. She's a Pegasus but alright." A flea? Really? I covered my mouth for a bit seeing Natasha even more flustered. "A flea huh?" I teased her one last time and she glares at me while her whole face was still beet red from the embarrassment. 

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry." I muttered taking in her hands in mind and decided I would help her, after all I know Vanilla won't try anything but I know it would calm Natasha's nerves down.

"W-What are you-"

I ignored her taking her hands to reach for Vanilla's mane who expectantly takes it well. Natasha's eyes gleam patting Vanilla more. "If it's you I think Vanilla will be alright with the patting." 

I let go of her hand, Natasha notices it and frowns but still said nothing of it. "So you're one of the adventurers that was hired for the escort mission too?" 

Natasha nods refusing to budge away from Vanilla while we wait for the escort mission to start. "That is why you saw Natasha on your Knight's headquarters that day. I do not understand why hire adventurers when the royal family already had knights and three heroes to accompany her highness." (Natasha)

"I'm even confused to why I'm here. I don't think I'm needed around and I already see Vincent in the front. I think he's also in here but he's busy taking care of something." I'm just a newly appointed commander so of course, but if the Head General tells me I'm needed then I must obey.

I look towards the heroes who was laughing among themselves. I could hear some snippets of their conversation but I decided not to pry. Natasha was now hugging Vanilla and I couldn't help smiling at the scene. "You're making me jealous. Even Vanilla won't let me hug her that tight." I grinned expecting Natasha to make a flustered face or something but...

Natasha stops hugging Vanilla then walks forward to me spreading her arms. "Natasha can give you a hug as well. If it will make you feel better do not be jealous." she tells me with a serious face having a hint color of pink in her cheeks.

I nearly choked on my own saliva. I shook my head in reply laughing nervously. Hug an officer while in public? The rumors it'll make and there's a lot of people here- "No, I'm good thank you for the offer though." 

Natasha acted like she didn't hear anything but proceeded to hug me from my waist.

It didn't feel uncomfortable, it was actually warm and soft.

Natasha's chest was pressed into my armor making me panic a little some other knights have started staring at us intently. "Natasha you can let go now actually-"

Natasha buries her head into one of my shoulders hiding her face. "Natasha wishes for time to stop. Natasha is a really greedy person, she apologizes but can we stay like this for a few minutes?" (Natasha) looks up with an embarrassed expression yet again.

I bit the inside of my lower lip. I could already hear the rumors escalating from the other knights-

"A few more seconds but that's it alright-?"

Thump! Thump!

My words was cut off when there was a sudden noise of someone tripping. "Are you alright?!" someone screamed in a worry and it was in the direction of the royal carriage.

"Your highness! Have my hand!" 

"No have mine!"

"Your highness are you hurt?!"

My eyes couldn't help but moving towards the direction of the ruckus. Everyone was all panicking with a girl kneeling on the ground for a moment before collecting herself trying to reassure the others around her that she was fine.

That familiar red shawl... she turned it into a scarf. It was wrapped around her neck neatly no longer wearing it to hide her face. I couldn't believe my eyes.

Her long silver hair ran to her shoulders, her face and figure was more mature the last two years I haven't saw her, those beautiful grey eyes that reminded me of stars when they shone on the night sky. My heart began to thump before I could even realize I was holding my breath.

She was still beautiful as ever.

"Rose..." I muttered softly my voice felt light when she looked to my direction. 

I saw her glare at me turning her head around quickly before entering back at the royal carriage keeping a polite smile. I tilted my head in confusion. Was she unwell that she looked pissed in our direction?

Natasha tightened her hug on me and I realized- 

Oh fuck she saw us hugging- I swear it's not what it looks like but how can I even explain it to her- I need to- 

"Everyone on your positions. We will commence our escort mission for the princess! Move out!" 
I heard Vincent's voice who was in charge. 

Natasha hesitates on letting go of me but I decided to push her away gently. "We have to go now. Go where the other adventurers are, Natasha." I ordered my voice serious because work will be starting soon.

Natasha frowned for a bit but still she nodded in understanding going back to where her other fellow adventurers welcomed her. 

However now I'm worried. I held my hair in frustration thinking for the worst.

D-Did Rose misunderstand? I swear it's not what it looks like but- hold on.

"Oh right. We're not even together so why am I like this-" I scratch my head for a bit clicking my tongue in annoyance. "Work first, feelings later." I told myself deciding to focus on the task at hand.

I was stationed next to Vincent who seemed focused when the gates opened he shouted. "Now we move!" (Vincent)

The other several knights that was on foot marched in unison while the three heroes had their own summoned familiars as their steed. The adventurers casually walked and the ones with horses or Pegasi had to stay either beside the carriage or outside march.

Either way... our mission to [Winshern Kingdom] has started.