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An Escort Knight’s Internal Conflict

 As I reached the deck, the cold night air stroked my skin.
 I looked around but a thick white smoke blinded my sight. It appeared that a fog had surrounded the ship.
 Not only that. The islands nearby provided the perfect cover, especially at night. It seemed this ship had ran out of luck when it got stuck in this mess.

 As I approached the watchman, I saw a body leaning against the fence. Was he dead or was he just unconscious? I couldn't make it out from this far away.
 Watching out for any arrows, I lowered my body and approached. Then I saw the body moved slightly. So he's not dead yet.
 The moment I breathe a sigh of relief and put my hand on the ship's mast, a loud explosion reverberated. The ship shook greatly and swayed to one side.

 I got hold of the mast immediately and endured the rattle.
 Another deafening explosion roared and a rugged bridge was cast over the hull of the ship.

“Enemy raid!!”

 I stood up and hammer the bucket I grabbed repeatedly as I shouted. After confirming that the downstairs were becoming noisier, I threw it away.

 Inhaling deeply, piercing cold air filled my lungs.
 My thoughts were clear. While listening to the sound of my heartbeat pulsing strongly, I stared at the clouded fog in front of me.

 Beyond the hung bridge, another ship and its crew could be seen. Their quick footsteps were silently heard resonating on the wooden floorboards.

 The uninvited guests had arrived.
 'The imbeciles who dare to defile my Lord's important journey…'

 When I thought that, my palm tightened the grip on my sheathed sword and I gritted my teeth.

 I immediately unsheathed my sword.
 Stepping forward. Next step, next step, just one more step before charging-

“Hey! Get more boats!”

“A ship like this rarely comes by! Don't let a single one escape!”

 As the distance shortened, men with vulgar faces that matched their disgusting behaviour could be seen.

“Out of my way! I'll go first!”

 Pushing down the guy who was in front, the man raised his voice before dropping down onto the deck. The man blinked in surprise as I ran out and grabbed him. Even before his smile could turn into a frown, my sword slashed his throat open.
 Red blood coated the deck. Not knowing what happened, the man stumbled backwards a few steps and fell against the fence. His throat agape. The lifeless body dropped to the floor and a fancy fountain sprayed out from his neck.


 From the top of the bridge, the guy who was pushed away saw me. He pulled out his sword to fight back, but I easily caught his leg and tripped him over.
 I stepped on his back and thrust the tip of my sword through his heart. A high-pitched scream followed.

 The pirates were stirred by the enemy that suddenly attacked. When I kicked one of the bodies into the sea, they suddenly came charging at me. The sound of clashing swords rang in my ears.

“What the fuck did you do! Die!”

“That's my line.”

 To the shouting man, I calmly replied.
 I pushed back his sword that was repeatedly flung down at me. As I swept his sword to the side, the man slightly broke his posture. Immediately closing the gap, I pulled out the dagger from my waist and stabbed his right eye.
 I finished him off as he gave a pitiful cry. As I was about to step forward, something caught my collar and pulled me back. I fell on the ground, dumbfounded. In the next moment, an arrow pierced through the spot my face would have been with a dry sound.
 I was dragged back towards our ship.

 A man stood behind me. His hood thoroughly covering his face.

 However, I recognised his attire. When that maid collapsed, he was the guest that surrendered his room.

“You're rushing in too soon.”

 The figure released my collar and spat out in disgust.
 The voice definitely belonged to a man.

“Sorry, I was saved.”

 I obediently thanked the man, but in return he just gave a sigh as if he was amazed.

“You're not fit to be an escort.”


 I raised my voice to the unexpected words but the man pushed my head down and told me to 'stay down.'

“What do you mean?”

“Exactly as I said. Right now, you're not suited to fight while protecting others.”


 When I tried to retort, the man faced towards me. Even if I couldn't see his face, I could still felt a sharp gaze from him.

“You only know how to kill, not to protect. A beast that only run through enemies can't protect anything it leaves behind.”


 As soon as he said what he wanted to say, the man took his eyes off of me.
 The man reached into his pouch while still crouching down and pulled out three weapons in one hand. Sandwiched between his fingers were three slender knives… No, rather, were they needles?

 The man grabbed a wooden bucket from nearby and flung it up in the air.
 Two sharp arrows flew through the air. One hit the tub and rolled away. It takes a few seconds to knock another arrow. The man raised himself up.

 He whipped his hand as if to strike the sky, then an archer had one of the needles in his throat. The other archer got one stabbed deep between his brows.

“Let’s go.”

 Following the urging man, I got up, but inside my head was a complete mess.

 'I'm not suitable to protect others?'
 Even though I wished to be her sword and shield.

 On the battlefield, any slight distraction was fatal. I know that, but I couldn't think straight. I was feeling uneasy as I slashed the enemies around me.

 I wanted to protect Rosemary.
 I wanted to protect her wishes. I wanted to protect the precious people around her. I wanted to protect them all.

 But I didn't know how to do that.
 I only knew how to kill the enemies in front of me.


 Amidst the turbulent situation, a bitter voice escaped my lips.
 Looking back, a sailor was being overwhelmed by a pirate. I pushed the enemy in front of me away and cut him down.

 I ran over to the pirate and slit his neck.

“Are you okay?”

“O-Oh, thanks.”

 I helped the sailor up.
 I firmly tapped his shoulder as if to say 'pull yourself together!' The sailor soon ran off towards another enemy.

 'I won't let anyone die.'
 I looked over the deck that was a battlefield and swore in my heart.

 Please don't die.
 Don't scar her heart.

 A dead person doesn't bother me in the slightest. But for Rosemary, she will surely be very sad.

 I lamented and blamed myself for not having the skills to protect her.
 This was not a delusion but rather facts and was clearly shown in the past.

 At the time of the kidnapping incident, she was desperate to save the lives of the maids who were at the hands of the enemy. But I focused on only saving Mary's life and ignored her wish.

 Though I didn't outright fail. If you asked if I had saved her, then I would say I had. However, there were also circumstances.

'Do not expose Rosemary-sama to danger no matter the cost.'

 For that goal, one or two maids were deemed a low price to pay.
 And I made a big scar on her heart.

 Even though you knew she's a kind person. And exactly because she's kind, wasn't that why you wanted to protect her in the first place?

 '…I'm really not cut out to be an escort.'



 A clash rang out beside me.
 Realising that a slash towards me had been repelled, I glanced at the direction of the sound. A man dual-wielding a huge knife in each hand stood there with his weapons crossed, receiving a pirate's sword.
 Parrying back with overwhelming force, the man struck his enemy through the heart. After wiping off the blood on his cheeks with the back of his hand, the man glared at me with a sour face.

“Stop fucking around already! Do you want to be laughed at by your sister?”


 It was that one passenger who made friends with Rosemary recently. I remember his name being Wolf?

“My sister?”

“She's doing her best downstairs. I didn't expect she would have the guts to do it.”

 We stood back to back and kept on talking while cutting down enemies.

“That child is also fighting with you. What would she think if she sees you being such a coward?”

 I didn't feel angry nor provoked at those words.
 However, my eyes were glued to the stairs leading down below.

 Actually, I didn't want to avert my eyes from those stairs at all.
 But I knew in my heart that I was not worthy to be by her side.


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