Chapter 35: A story from the Night
The student who interrupted Ren and Fiona’s conversation had a certain concern.
It was the result of this final exam.
It’s no exaggeration to say that for these students, their future is at stake.
Many of them were very anxious about being evacuated to this fortress and being helped by the adventurers and knights of the Clausel family who had come to their rescue.
(Is that against the rules?)
Later in the evening, Ren who heard the story secretly thought in a corner of the fort.
He listens to the continuation from the knight sitting beside him while having an early dinner of meat grilled outside.
“The students have to prove their worth by themselves. But I can’t help feeling uncomfortable about it.”
After all, their lives are more important.
Ren tilted his head as he thought about this.
“You feel uncomfortable?”
“Yes. The place used for the test of the special class, as I recall, is always communicated to the lord of the area. In that case, the area is sealed off so that no third party can intervene.”
However, there was no indication that this had been done. In fact, there were even adventurers in the area before the test began. At this point, it was a strange situation.
“The possibility of an accident is almost nil.”
“It’s certainly a suspicious situation, but how can you be so sure?”
“Because the test is so well managed. Therefore, it’s more likely that a third party has done something to the test.”
“What? The control system is such that an accident is impossible, but the intervention of a third party is conceivable….?”
“There are plenty of powerful nobles, regardless of faction.”
The knight showed an indescribable wry smile.
Then another knight said.
“Or is it the royal family?”
“Haha! Even though the daughter of Marquis Ignat is here? What for?”
“As expected, the involvement of the royal family is ridiculous. It’s hard to believe that they are picking a fight with Marquis Ignat. Even if they wanted to set up Clausel, I don’t think so because the cost would be too great.”
For a moment, Ren mended his smile at the disquieting conversation.
Although he had just stopped Marquis Ignat from falling into the darkness, he definitely didn’t want to get into any trouble here.
“It was said that the dean has left Leomel, it might be possible that it was an accident. It’s not hard to see how they could have taken advantage of the situation somewhere.”
Ren had never heard of Klonoa’s departure from Leomel, but he dismissed it as someone he would have nothing to do with anyway.
“In any case, our escort schedule will not change.”
The knight who had been explaining the concerns of the students said.
“Whatever the circumstances, we can’t ignore the students here, it’ll cause trouble for our master. Even if some of the students refuse to comply, we must force them to go down the mountain.”
Especially since Fiona Ignat is also present this time, we have to be as careful as possible.
While everyone’s cheeks tightened with tension and a sense of mission, one knight turned to Ren with a smile.
“Even so, I was surprised, Ren-dono.”
“You mean because of Fiona-sama?”
“I was surprised, too.”
“I’d never have thought that you would meet the person whose life you saved on such an occasion.”
Ren, who was forced to agree with all of the above, chuckled as he bit into his meat.
“I was seen getting tangled up with female adventurers, what do you guys think about this?”
“….. Ren-dono, the meat here is also delicious.”
“I recommend you to try this one.”
He was comforted without explicitly saying so, and a tear slipped into Ren’s heart.
It was never mistaken that Ren had a woman in attendance, but thanks to that, he had missed some good timing.
“I thought I should introduce myself, but because of that, I missed my chance.”
“Maybe you can do it after we get down the mountain. I thought it might be better for both of you to have a more relaxed exchange of words.”
“Do you really think so?”
“Yes, I do. Fortunately, Fiona-sama seems to have mistaken Ren-dono for an adventurer. I have seen the irreverence of these adventurers, and I doubt that she’ll ever ask you for your name because of it.”
“Oh…. it’s also created a wall between the adventurers and the students.”
The effect of this will be that tomorrow he’ll be basically irrelevant.
Ren continued, asking the knights to avoid using his name and calling him a hero. It’s not my intention to surprise Fiona under the circumstances.
If it would cause unnecessary confusion, it’d be best to avoid introducing himself at this time.
At the very least, it’d be better to wait until after we had finished descending the mountain.
And, on top of that, Ren wasn’t ready for it either.
“However, when we’re asked for Ren-dono’s name, we’ll not be able to remain silent.”
The likelihood of that happening, however, seems infinitesimally small.
Eventually, they finish their meal.
The conversation continued as they cleaned up.
One of the knights shared his plans for the future.
“I’ve just discussed this with the adventurers, and we’ll be assisting those in the fort to dismount tomorrow morning. Of course, we’ll be accompanied by the students.”
But there are so many of them.
Because of the large number of people stuck in the fort, it’s not possible to evacuate everyone at once.
So it’ll take two round trips to get everyone down the mountain.
“Therefore, we’ll ask Ren-dono to dismount immediately tomorrow morning.”
“Are you sure…?”
“As a matter of fact, it is not so good. I’m sure that Ren-dono’s help will be of great importance to us.”
“But we can’t let anything happen to Ren-dono.”
“If Ren-dono were to be injured, the young lady waiting for him in Clausel would be saddened.”
The last knight said this half-jokingly.
On the other hand, from Ren’s point of view, he thought that it could make Licia sad, but at the same time, there was a possibility that she’d be angry with him.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
—- However, things didn’t go as the knight thought.
As night fell, the knight told Fiona on behalf of the students exactly what he had told Ren about his plans for tomorrow morning.
Naturally, Fiona added that she’d be the first one to go down the mountain because of her position.
However, they came to the conclusion that this would be difficult.
A knight who visited Ren who was resting in a room of the fort at night said.
“Among the adventurers, there are a few who are very ill.”
Their condition was expected to settle down in a few days, but until then, it’d be safer not to force them to move.
It wasn’t advisable to take them out into the extreme cold outside.
It seemed they could lose their lives if they weren’t careful.
“They are using Fiona-sama’s skills to take care of them. Because of this, I heard that she cannot be the first one to go down the mountain …….”
“…… It’d be difficult to take those who are seriously ill first and bring Fiona-sama along.”
“Yes. After all, it is not good for an adventurer to be in such bad shape.”
Ren smiled at this.
He concluded that he should stay at the fort as well.
“I’ll stay, too. I’m certain I’ll be of help in various ways, so I think it’s safer to protect Fiona-sama.”
What I mean by “various” is mainly about the troublesome nature of the nobility.
“I’m sorry. I’ll leave more knights behind.”
“So, will the evacuation be all right?”
“Don’t worry. As soon as we descend the mountain, we’ll bring the knights we left behind down here with us.”
Once that’s decided, I can rest be assured.
In fact, not only Fiona, there are many boys and girls who are associated with nobility at home and abroad, so people other than Fiona also need to be treated with respect.
In light of this, Ren was really glad he had come.
The knights of the Clausel family felt the same way.
“The food supply seems to be depleted, so I’ll be waiting for them while I do some light hunting.”
We killed some monsters during the day, but a lot of them weren’t fit to eat.
Just in case, I decided to hunt monsters tomorrow so as not to waste time.
“I’m really sorry …….”
“No, this is very important to me, so please let me help you.”
Or rather, I would definitely even like him to let me stay at the fort.
For Ren, who was just involved in a factional conflict this spring, this issue has a similar sense of urgency and hassle.
Rather, he was grateful that it happened in his own immediate area.
Because he can do everything in his power to protect the place where he lives.