Chapter 14.
Give orders, not requests

Line up, line up!”

While she was bewildered, Blan started lining up the crowd of knights.

“Hey! Blan, who are you to order us to line up?”

“BOOOOHH! Get lost, Blan!”

“Humph! If you think it’s unfair, why didn’t you take the basket first?”

After Blan snorted at the protesting knights, he looked at Nadia and smiled.

“Isn’t that right, Madame?”


As she nodded, still stunned by the question for consent, joy broadened Blan’s chest.

“See that! That’s what the Madame said!”

The knights who were fiercely protesting against Blan also began to quietly line up, muttering, ‘Guess it can’t be helped then…’

In the midst of the commotion, Cain, who took the first turn, picked up a sandwich from the basket and greeted Nadia in an extremely polite manner.

“Thank you for your kindness, Madame.”

“Oh-, oh no! This is nothing much.”

Her conscience stung because it was what she had prepared as a bribe with an ulterior motive.

Perhaps it was because of Cain’s grand first greeting, the knights who received the sandwich afterward ceased all the fuss they had made and also politely greeted her.

Unlike the perfect knights she had seen in the capital, they were quite clumsy, but she didn’t think it was funny.

It was nice to see another side of their serious faces, which made her chuckle without realising it.
At that moment, the gathered knights, busy stuffing sandwiches in their mouths, became quiet all at once.

While eating the sandwiches, everyone stopped to stare at Nadia with their mouths hung open as if mesmerised.
Some knights even dropped the sandwich from their hands.

Why is everyone like this all of a sudden? Nadia wondered.
And the answer came to her quickly.

…Could it be that my giggling a while ago was weird? It must be it!

As she was sweating profusely thinking about how to deal with this situation, Cain came to slap on one of the knights’ stiff backs.

“Hey! You dropped the sandwich Madame gave you!”


When the startled knight looked down at the sandwich lying on the ground, the others sitting around encouraged him.

“Hurry and pick it up! Three seconds rule!”

It’s not even 3 seconds yet, so it’s okay! Pick it up and eat it!”

But the sandwich was already covered in dust.

Besides, hasn’t it passed 3 seconds already….?

The young Madame was really worried that the knight would fall for their incitement, so she approached him.

“It has become dirty, if you eat it, you will have a stomachache.”

“What do mean I would get a stomachache just from eating some dirt? It still tastes good!”

However, the knight casually picked up the sandwich that had fallen on the ground, brushed the dirt off, and bit into it deliciously.
It didn’t seem like he was lying seeing how he smiled brightly as he ate.

“When we go on an expedition, we often eat worse than this.
So don’t worry, Madame.”

Blan, with an empty basket, came to her and explained the situation.

But instead of feeling relieved, her heart became heavier.

How often did they have to eat something worse than a dirty sandwich? She’d heard of them making money by hunting monsters, but she didn’t know that the expedition process would be so poor.

The knights of the capital always wore hard-ironed uniforms and often smooth-talked to draw the ladies’ attention.
It was only when they were dueling for the honour of themselves or their masters that they would go into action.

However, the knights of Aylesford were wielding their swords at the forefront for the survival of the territory.

Respect for the knights gradually rose within her.
And her will burned again.

After all, I am Baroness Aylesford, who needs to earn money to free the knights from their struggles and rough work.
These men are all worthy knights of Aylesford.

The hesitation that remained in her mind a while ago had completely disappeared.

“Actually, I have come to you today because there is a request I need to ask of you.”

As she tried to calm her trembling voice and brought up the matter, the knights stared at her with different looks from before.

Did this mean that they wouldn’t listen to the requests of anyone else besides the Lord?

Her worry soon disappeared thanks to Cain, who opened his mouth.

“What do you mean ‘request’, Madame? That’s not it.
You have to give us orders, not requests.
You are the owner of Aylesford.”

Owner of Aylesford.

She thought she had to be faithful to the role herself, but it felt different hearing it from someone else’s mouth.
Somehow, it felt tickling.

“Okay, Madame, just say anything! We’re quite capable.
Though the first countermeasure meeting was a mess… Anyway, we owe you something, so we’ll do our best with this order no matter what!”

The knights coughed and awkwardly avoided her gaze at Blan’s mentioned incident.

What does he mean by ‘the first countermeasure meeting’? 

As she tilted her head in confusion, Blank smiled awkwardly as if telling her to forget that, and knelt down before her.

“So, what order are you going to give us, Madame?”

Her heart was reassured by the brief question.

With a completely different mindset from when she first entered the training ground, she confidently asked the knights, no, she ordered the knights.

“I heard that there is something very valuable hidden in the mountain range.
This is information I found personally, and it is very reliable.
So I want you to help me explore the mountain range.”

Perhaps it was an unexpected command, the knights could not answer easily.
Perhaps they thought of a more ladylike request.

The first person to react was Altair’s representative, Blan, who also served as a leader among the knights.

“What is the exact search target, Madame?”

“It’s a manastone mine.
And until the results come out, I want you to keep this a secret.
Even to the lord.”

At her words, the training ground became silent again.


There was no one who did not know what a mana stone was.
And there was no one who did not know what a mine was.

But a manastone mine? On their estate?

Blan couldn’t trust it easily.
If such a thing existed in the territory, why didn’t they know until now?


Nadia, who commanded the knights, was confident.
She might have obtained certain information through a really reliable source.

Even if it was vague information, it was worth the gamble.
Was it no other than a manastone mine itself?

But the mountains were dangerous places.
Even the knights of Aylesford could not enter easily because of the infestation of demons and beasts.
Even after making thorough preparations, they could only form groups and move systematically to reduce damage.

Now that I think of it in that way, I can understand why I didn’t know there was a manastone mine until now.

What crazy person would have thought of exploring that dangerous mountain range in the first place?

Even if the Manastone mine was discovered, there would still be a problem.
There must be demons living there, unless they were completely driven out, development was still a long way ahead.

But there is also our lord in the estate.

There were few strong knights who could use Aurors in one generation.
All the talented people left for the capital, so it was even rarer in an eastern area like this.

But currently there was a strong knight in Aylesford.
And it was enough to drive out the beast.

So, if there really is a manastone mine in the mountain range…

The situation in Aylesford would be 180 degrees different.
Just imagining it was exhilarating, but Blan slightly clenched his fist.

However, to keep it a secret from the lord…

Blan had never deceived Altair since becoming a knight of Aylesford.

Sure last time he tried to deceive him as of the results of ‘the first countermeasure meeting’, but… that was a different matter.

Madame said that she did not want to disturb the lord because of something unclear.
She did have a point, but the troops were moving, so it had to be reported to the lord.

It was an act of disobeying the mistress’ orders, but his direct superior was Altair anyway.

“My Lord, um…”

Blan opened his mouth cautiously as he watched Altair concentrating on the paperwork.
However, it was Altair who brought up the matter first.

“I will go to Rembrew to subjugate the dragon.”


At the unexpected, Blan jumped out of his skin, forgetting what he was trying to say.

“Didn’t you say no to that already?”

“I did, but I changed my mind.
Aylesford’s budget for this year is at stake, so I just have to work hard.”

“Why all of a sudden? Of course they would give us a lot of money, but I’m sure there will be a lot of casualties.”

“Which is why I decided to go alone.”

“Wha- what?”

“I was thinking of taking you and Cain, but then there would be no one to take care of the estate’s safety.
If I take you two, it will be such a hassle if you guys get in danger, and if Balhail finds out that there’s a hole in our security, he will make a move again.”

Blan’s mouth was hung open, speechless, and baffled.

Of course, Altair was a strong knight, but there was no way he could defeat the dragon alone.

When Altair slashed the monstrous beasts without much effort, they often joked, ‘That man might be able to kill a dragon by himself!’ At the time he had the same thought, but now that it really came true, it couldn’t seem possible.

“Don’t be silly! Absolutely not!”

“Are you rebelling against your superior now?”

“It’s a rebellion against letting my superior find death! Why do you suddenly want to hunt down a dragon? Do you want to be a hero?”

It went without saying that if he were to catch a dragon, his reputation would greatly increase.

But that’s also why slaying a dragon was such a big deal!

But Altair seemed to have expected Blan to make a ruckus, so he didn’t even look at him, and just focused on the papers.

“After rejecting the request of the Rembrew territory, the quest for hunting monsters was cut off.
Do you think that was a coincidence?”

“…it’s true that requests rarely come…”

“Wasn’t there a time when there was no request for over three months? You wouldn’t have thought that it was coincident, would you?”


He’s not wrong.
Certainly, Blan thought it was strange because the quests for hunting monsters were cut off recently.

Although they often weren’t big requests, small beast hunting requests still came in steadily.
However, recently, because there was no news of the requests for over three months, the situation in the estate had worsened.

“Are you saying that the Rembrew did something? So that we can’t get a quest from our side?”


“Cowardly bastards!”

For a moment, Blan forgot that he was in front of his superior and spit out swear words, but Altair didn’t care too much about it.

“There is no need to raise the heat.
We just have to go along with it for once.
They give us a lot of money, too, there’s no reason to refuse.”

Unable to find anything to say, Blan bit his lip shut.

He couldn’t help but want to stop Altair from going to hunt the dragon.

At that time, an unexpected topic that he had forgotten for a while flashed through his mind.

The Manastone Mine!

If they quickly searched the mountain range with Altair’s permission and found a manastone mine, they wouldn’t have to tolerate Rembrew’s scheme.

Of course, exploring the mountain range was a big gamble, but in this situation, he wondered if there was anything he couldn’t gamble on.

“My Lord, first of all, let’s delay accepting the quest.”


“Well, today, when the Madame came to the training ground and gave us sandwiches she made herself…”


Altair’s gaze, which was on the paperwork, uninterested up until now, suddenly turned to Blan for the first time.

“Sandwiches she made herself?”

“No….My Lord….That’s not the point though…? Why don’t you listen to me a little longer…?”

Blan sweated profusely as he saw Altair glaring at him with fierce eyes.

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