Chapter 14

***

 

I could see the bewilderment on the face of the knight who asked me. The rest of the knights had the same expression on their faces. Now I became a little suspicious and asked them.

 

“Why? Don’t you like it here? Then let’s go to another store.”

 

 “No, it’s not like that ….”

 

In response to my question, the knights’ expressions became even stranger.

 

“If it’s not like that then let’s go.”

 

As soon as I finished, I grabbed the handle of the door and pulled it open before they could stop me. As soon as we stepped inside, I could smell the steaks cooking in the kitchen inside.

 

I looked around the restaurant and saw that the seats were half occupied.

 

I sat down in the most secluded corner. The knights hesitantly followed me and stood beside me instead of taking a seat.

 

“What are you doing not sitting down?”

 

“…?”

 

At my words, the last knight’s eyes went wide as if they were about to pop out. He reacted as if he had heard something unbelievable. I could see the shock and astonishment on the faces of the others.

 

“My Lady…”

 

The knight standing in front of me said.

 

“By the rules of etiquette, we are not allowed to eat with you.”

 

“Even if I consent?”

 

“Yes, no.”

 

“Why not?”

 

My question caused his face to turn puzzled.

 

“Because it’s the etiquette. ……?”

 

He said in a voice that was much quieter than the first.

 

On the one hand, I didn’t understand.

 

At the same time, I felt a little irritated.

 

As I sat there alone and they just stood there, the eyes of the people in the store began to turn to me.

 

Wearing a robe was commonplace, but it was certainly noticeable that I was wearing a robe and even a mask in the building.

 

“I’ll keep today a secret, well, I’ll swear on my last name.”

 

“…!”

 

All I wanted to do was to settle the matter quickly. However, seeing them hesitate until the end, I felt my patience was running out. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to move the servants while being a Princess…

 

“If you don’t sit down and keep being stubborn, people will think it’s weird, and maybe you’ll get someone’s attention.”

 

I suppressed my anger and let it out in a cold voice.

 

“Why do you think I’m wearing shabby clothes and even a stuffy mask at the expense of inconvenience?”

 

The knights gave me a look of bewilderment.

 

But they still didn’t move an inch, and no one was listening to me.

 

I said, still with a cold look on my face.

 

“If you don’t want to, that’s fine. But if you mess up my work, I’ll go home and tell Lord Lorenz that you made me suffer.”

 

“…!”

 

All four knights turned pale at my words.

 

Lord Lorenz was the name of the vice commander of the knight order belonging to the Lillian family.

 

He was in charge of the duties on behalf of the chief knight who followed the Duke down to the periphery, and was also the boss of all standing in front of me.

 

He was one of the few people in the duke’s mansion who behaved favorably towards Roxana, though they rarely bumped into each other as he spent most of his time only in the training hall.

 

Roxanna also followed him a lot until she reached puberty, as he was bold and had a delightful personality.

 

But there was one fact she did not know.

 

His compassionate face was something she could only see when he was in front of her.

 

He was stern, honest, passionate, and never allowed his knights to slack off.

 

I would usually take a walk and quietly watch him from a distance as he led the training of the knights.

 

The training lasted a very long time.

 

The training went on until the sun went down and I got tired of sitting and watching first. By the time I thought the training was over, the knights’ clothes were soaked in sweat.

 

Their faces were so gaunt that it was a pity to look at them. However, due to Lord Lorenz’s unquenchable enthusiasm, the training continued.

 

In the end, I was too tired to watch them practice to the end and had to get up first.

 

During my training, I found my Lord Lorenz to be of a very calm nature and extremely ruthless to his men.

 

Seeing the knights take their seats as soon as I finished my words made me realize once again how big Sir Lorenz was in their hearts.

 

But I really didn’t mean to threaten them.

 

I felt a little bad when I saw them fidgeting and looking at me even after we were seated. I found a menu in a corner of the table and held it out in front of them.

 

“I’ll buy, so if there’s something you want to eat, feel free to order it, no matter the price. Do you prefer beer or wine? Or you can order both.”

 

The knights were still looking at me, but they were cheerful when they heard me. They were all adults and would need a lot of physical strength to train normally. How many people would hate free food and alcohol?

 

“We can’t have alcohol while on duty…”

 

One of the knights said with a troubled look on his face.

 

The other knights seemed to agree with him as well. In response, I did not coerce them any further and called a server. We skipped the alcohol and ordered different kinds of food.

 

There was an awkward silence between us as the server disappeared with the menu in his hands.

 

“…”

 

The knights looked at me uncomfortably, and I was not friendly either.

 

Luckily the food didn’t take long to come out.

 

On the table were breads, salads, soups and various kinds of meat dishes, including beef, pork, chicken and duck.

 

I cut some of it up first and tried it, it tasted good.

 

“!”

 

Instantly, the expressions of the knights looking at me went crazy.

 

“It’s delicious.”

 

I smiled awkwardly at them as they looked at me.

 

“What’s the matter?’

 

“I didn’t think the young lady would actually eat such food.”

 

“I’m sure the food from a place like this is not as good or as high quality as what you usually eat…”

 

I frowned, wondering what he meant, and the knight hurried to say sorry.

 

I accepted what he said. Considering Roxana’s usual image, it was not strange for the knights to look at me with curious eyes.

 

Normally, when Roxana came into town, she didn’t look at the cheap stuff or food that was sold randomly on the street.

 

If it wasn’t her, it would probably have been the same if it was a daughter of another family. After all, in this world, the disparity in status was clear, and each person’s domain was distinct. An arrogant aristocrat would rarely visit a restaurant or clothing store where commoners would visit.

 

On the other hand, it would be difficult for a poor commoner to step into the aristocrat’s domain. It was a world where noblemen ignore and disregard each other while questioning each other’s status. But I wasn’t Roxana, and I wasn’t a true noblewoman. I didn’t want to be picky about the feast in front of me.

 

‘Because some say good is better.’

 

I said in an even gentler voice, relaxed my stiffened expression.

 

“It’s good to have something like this once in a while.”

 

The awkward atmosphere loosened up a bit as I concentrated on my meal. The knights’ eyes on me also seemed to have changed a little.

 

I don’t know why, but they seemed to have taken a liking to me.

 

I only remembered making enemies of people after I fell into this world, so the favorable looks they were showing me now felt good.

 

The dialogue continued in a lighter atmosphere than before, and I could see that they were paying attention to me.

 

At that moment, I heard a frivolous laugh from the opposite table.

 

“Princess? The one who rose to become Crown Princess relying only on her house?”

 

Said one of the drunken guests.

 

A man in a hat sitting next to him warned him.

 

“Shh! Keep your voice down.”

 

But the man didn’t care.

 

“What? It’s no secret, the whole capital is talking about her right now. And she wouldn’t be in a place like this…”

 

The air at our table became cold in an instant at the man’s words.

 

The expressions of the knights who had been laughing and talking earlier all froze at once. The knights immediately stood up from their seats with furious faces. I opened my mouth before it was too late, as the fierce knights were about to take out their swords.

 

“Stop right now.”

 

The knight, who was about to jump out of his seat, paused for a moment. I was worried that he might not listen to me and cause an accident, but surprisingly, they were obedient.

 

“Sit down.”

 

“But they……!”

 

One knight spoke in a frustrated voice.

 

“It’s a big deal. Those lowlings have insulted the princess. But why are you telling us to stay still?”

 

The lady knight sitting beside me also looked at me with a look of incomprehension as she heard my words. I asked her back.

 

“If you don’t sit still, what will you do?”

 

 “Of course….”

 

While she was lost, another knight answered.

 

 “We must execute them to set an example.”

 

He was the one whose expression was the least agitated as he listened to the conversation of the men on the other side. He was the one who had just uttered the word ‘execute’ with a face that seemed so casual and unconcerned. It made my body shudder.

 

I know in my head that any number of things can happen in this world, but I’m not adapted enough to understand and accept it with my heart.

 

“Stay still. There is no need to step forward.”

 

The knight’s face scrunched up as I spoke. But I continued without concern.

 

“If anyone tries to defame me with profane words, of course they should be punished. But it’s different now.”

 

“Why is that?”

 

He asked with an indifferent look on his face, as if he didn’t understand.

 

“What kind of rumors would start tomorrow if it became known that the Princess who was said to be lying on her sickbed had appeared at a tavern where commoners would come and go at a late hour and caused a ruckus?”

 

 “…!”

 

My words finally calmed the momentum of the knights. However, one of them was excluded.

 

“I’ll handle this quietly so it won’t cause any problems.”

 

The knight with an expressionless face was still the biggest hurdle.

 

The other knights hesitated as he showed no signs of backing down.

 

I faced him with a stiff look on my face.

 

Despite the quietness of his face, there was a chill in his gaze and a stubbornness in his tightly closed lips.

 

How in the world could they do something like that when I, the person in question, was fine… Were they crazy for murder? As for me, I thought it was strange.

 

With a frown on my face, I asked in a cold voice.

 

“It’s the festival season now, and there are a lot of people walking the streets. If the commotion gets bigger, many people will witness it, what are you going to do then?”

 

“…”

 

Finally, his mouth closed.

 

I didn’t want to give him any more time to think, so I quickly continued to ask.

 

“Are you going to hurt innocent people to keep their mouths shut?”

 

“…!”

 

He looked a little perplexed, as if he didn’t think that far.

 

“Don’t be the first to say that you’ll handle this quietly to prevent such a thing from happening. Will you be able to take all the risks?”

 

I was still squeamish about their conversation, but I guess I was also a little shady at best. By my standards, it was not a serious enough offense to get him fired.

 

Would it make me feel any better to execute them for something they said or did that was offensive?

 

No, it would make it worse, but it would never make it better. It was unfair to just sit still and get criticized, but I didn’t want to see blood instead of the joyous festival.

 

I was not a noble or a knight who was used to seeing blood, and if I thought someone would die because of me, I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep for several days.

 

“Then sit down. The employees are going to look at you funny.”

 

I tried to keep my voice as low as I could, but I couldn’t hide my mood.

 

One of the employees had been glancing at us since earlier. She seemed to be worried that there would be a commotion in the bar.

 

I gave her a small nod of apology, and then sat down again. The rest of the knights, however, remained standing.

 

“Let’s call it a day.”

 

“There’s no need to be nervous. It’s not like this will happen again…”

 

“…”

 

I said, meaning that it was fine, but the look on the knights’ faces was still strange.

 

“Then let’s at least move on to another restaurant. You don’t need to listen to those words.”

 

“There is no need. I would like to know what my story was among the commoners, so let’s use this opportunity to hear what they are talking about.”

 

I sat down again and looked at the table where the men had been chatting earlier.

 

While I was calming the knights down, some of the people sitting at the opposite table glanced at us, as if they had noticed something strange. As they did so, they hurriedly looked away when their eyes met those of the knights at our table.

 

After a while, however, I saw them laughing and fussing again, and tipping their cups.

 

They didn’t seem to have noticed anything, just frightened by the terrible energy of the knights.

 

There were about ten people sitting at the table on the other side, but they were all loud because there were drunk people. I was annoyed, but I was glad that nothing major happened.

 

 

“It’s a disgrace. I’d probably be hanging my head in shame if I were her.”

 

At that moment, another loud laugh came from the opposite table.