Enka and Ben didn’t show it like Tainy, but they knew that their Captain was interested in Vivian. When Enka saw her for the first time, she noticed that Roger wasn’t acting normal, while Ben ignored her and was scolded.
Despite knowing that, the only thing that came out was that this incident was childish.
“Does the Captain know why the Lady is angry?”
As Ben pondered how to deal with their childish spat, he inquired. Roger crossed his arms and shook his head.
“Maybe she doesn’t. Just like how I don’t.”
“Then why is the Lady angry?”
Enka rubbed her chin. Unable to come up with a reason, Ben bit his lip. Roger looked lost in his thoughts.
“Was there a woman around the Captain by any chance?”
Roger asked slowly, then nodded his head. There were women. He didn’t care that Vivian was talking to Albert, and she didn’t care either.
“There were women… Is that why Vivian is angry? She doesn’t even care about me.”
“You’re not her, so how would you know that? Maybe that’s what made her angry.”
Roger was silent for a moment. A past conversation replayed in his mind.
–Sir, you are very popular. Especially with women.
Vivian had said, her eyes full of anger.
‘Really? Is she mad because other women were around me?’
The thought that Vivian had acted out of jealousy made Roger feel strange.
“Though I can understand what the Captain is saying.”
“The Lady is so beautiful… The Captain must be jealous.”
This was very familiar to Roger. Vivian’s unusual beauty heightened his anxiety. Even him, who had never thought he would be interested in a woman’s appearance, was dazed when she smiled brightly.
How could she, who looked so pretty, be interested in him? She surely wouldn’t like an ugly thing such as himself. So Roger prevented other men from giving her a glance, let alone approach her. Sometimes, when his cruel side came out, he barely resisted the urge to poke out their eyes.
So, when he saw her smiling openly at another man’s praise, the blood in his body cooled. And unintentionally, a sharp voice came out, he made a bitter expression, and he ran wild. This was something he deeply regretted.
“Anyway, make up quickly.”
Ben, who had been quietly listening to the conversation, squinted his eyes as if it was the easiest solution in the world.
Roger also wanted to make things right with her quickly, but he had no idea how to deal with her anger.
Around that time, their carriage stopped. It had arrived in the village.
As they got off the carriage, the three of them noticed the atmosphere of the village a little different than usual, and eventually stopped when they saw that there were rows of tents set up on the street.
* * *
“What is all this?”
Tainy stared with his mouth wide open. In front of him were five or six waist-high kegs. Enka, who had a hard time getting them out of the carriage, massaged her stiff shoulders and explained.
“There is a small festival in the village today.”
“A festival? Under these conditions?”
“Well, isn’t this the best time for a festival? It’s best to raise morale with a festival during hard times rather than good. Anyway, he refused to let us look around, so he bought us drinks instead.”
Tainy asked, his mouth still wide open. If he drank everything, he would die. But he grinned at the thought of getting drunk for the first time in a long time. Out of all the knights, Tainy liked to drink the most.
“Captain. Can I drink this?”
However, they had to ask for permission. When he asked Roger, who was standing in front of the luggage compartment, he glared at Tainy with troubled eyes.
“… Drink in the evening. Unload these things now.”
There was still half a day left before dinner, but Tainy continued to whistle with excitement. Several kegs were moved into the mansion under Roger’s command. Vivian, who came down from the wall just in time, spotted a keg the knights were carrying and inquired further.
At first she thought something was wrong, but she quickly figured it out. As she got closer, the strong smell of alcohol pierced her nostrils.
Enka, who was giving instructions to the knights, answered on behalf of the others.
“We got it because there was a festival in the village. I’d like to have a drink with you tonight, would you come along?”
“Isn’t that dangerous?”
Enka knew immediately what ‘danger’ Vivian was referring to. There was a risk that cracks would appear while everyone was hopelessly drunk.
“The situation here is under control, and above all else, the Captain will be there, so we won’t drink to the point where everyone becomes intoxicated. It’s just a little bit more lively than usual.”
When she answered that it would be okay, Vivian’s expression became more comfortable. But that expression didn’t last long.
The thought of being with Roger all night made her feel uncomfortable. She hated him for going out to the village early in the morning without paying any attention to how she felt. Besides, her conversation with Tainy did not relieve her anger, but made her more sad.
Enka, who was maintaining a polite distance, leaned forward slightly and whispered in her ear.
“I’m not ordering you, but I think it would be good to join us tonight and have a conversation with the Captain.”
Vivian opened her eyes wide in surprise. Enka didn’t say anything more and just smiled. Vivian was ashamed that everyone seemed to know their situation.
* * *
It was soon dinner.
In that time she had gone up and down the wall a few times, and examined the mysterious library. As she was doing this, the blue sky turned orange, then dusk fell and everything became dark.
The dining hall on the first floor had a lively atmosphere, unlike usual. Even though the food hadn’t come out, kegs had been opened.
Vivian expected the drinking to take place after they finished their meal, so she was planning on eating early and going up. But by the time she came down, there was already a drinking party going on.
“My Lady. You are here?”
Vivian had never seen Tainy so bright since she had met him. He greeted her cheerfully, generously pouring alcohol into a glass. Vivian, who was stepping backwards as if trying to run away, was caught off guard by his loud voice.
The seat she accidentally sat down in was next to Roger. Vivian tried to find another seat, but the table was already full. She looked around to ask someone to switch with her, but the hall was so noisy that she couldn’t even hear her own thoughts. She eventually gave up and sat down, but was very concerned about the man next to her.
“Here. First, a toast to our Captain!”
Tainy slammed down a huge glass in front of Roger. The amount of alcohol made her intoxicated just by looking at it.
“My Lady, would you like a drink?”
Tainy turned and asked Vivian.
“Get lost already. Tell them to bring our food quickly.”
Vivian hadn’t even opened her mouth, but Roger had already refused the drink.
In fact, Vivian was going to refuse. But when he came forward and answered for her, she was infuriated. So, instead of rejecting the drink like she had planned, she said something quite unexpected.
“Give me a drink.”
She felt Roger staring at her, but she tried to ignore it. Tainy smiled and disappeared, saying he would get her a good drink.
“My Lady. Do you drink?”
Vivian turned and made eye contact with him. As his eyes met her cold ones, Roger flinched.
“There’s no reason not to drink.”
Tainy quickly prepared her a drink. As soon as he gave it to her, Vivian gulped it down. The bitter taste passed through her throat and made her stomach ache. She frowned, but quickly managed her expression and lowered her glass.
When she exhaled, the smell of alcohol overwhelmed her. Roger watched her as she recklessly drank her liquor, sighed, and grabbed his glass. Then, without hesitation, he poured liquor into his mouth. Vivian also drank gulp after gulp, so as not to lose to him.
All of a sudden, Tainy sat in front of them with his own glass, smiling broadly. He seemed to really like her new, cool attitude.
“Oh my, my Lady. You’re drinking well! Do you drink a lot?”
Gray, her master, enjoyed drinking to the extent that he became a drunkard, and encouraged Vivian to drink several times. But Vivian didn’t like alcohol at all.
‘Why do people enjoy drinking something so disgusting?’
Vivian hadn’t drank alcohol since she first drank it as an adult.
After she had tilted back her cup over and over again, it was empty. But she felt no relief. That was because Tainy took her glass and said he would bring her more soon.
“… Are you okay?”
Vivian couldn’t answer, her mind slightly blurred. Roger asking her a question like that was very normal. How was it that he drank the same amount of alcohol as her and wasn’t affected? She really couldn’t understand.
She was still fine. Her consciousness was there and pronunciation was not a problem. Vivian felt Roger’s worried gaze follow her every move, but she pretended not to notice and joined the conversations of other knights. They were talking about the Knights of Eckhart.
“It’s already been three years since the Knights of Eckhart were formed.”
A new emotion rippled through the room. Everyone stopped talking, and fell into their own thoughts.