The Sword and The Dress (Volume 4) – Chapter 3
The sound of people talking could be heard. When I opened my eyes and turned my head to the side, I saw Captain Jullius sitting on the bed. He made for an enchanting, sparkling sight since his whole body was bathed in the morning light.
My hand grabbed on to something as I got up and called his name. I looked down and realized that it was the hem of his shirt. Maybe that was the reason why he didn’t leave the bed and remained sitting. Just then, noises of people talking could be heard again on the other side of the door.
“Are there people outside?” I asked as I sat beside him. Captain simply nodded with a face that seemed a bit tired.
“They just talk like that outside without initiating a conversation with me or coming in.”
“What’s wrong with them?”
Who the heck is outside anyway?
“Don’t just stand in front of the door, open it!”
The voices argued with one another again when they heard me before they opened the door. All of them were present except the Saintess. What are they doing here? I frowned. It was Cain who spoke up first. I don’t know what’s wrong with him but the more I stared at him, the more he seemed timid.
“Sir Roel was not in his room so we were wondering if…”
“Then you should’ve just knocked and asked. You didn’t have to loiter near the door.”
Why do their hands and lips keep moving like that? This time, Tess spoke, looking very embarrassed.
“We thought you’d be in a complicated situation if we just barged in…”
“Complicated situation? Why?”
What else would they see besides me sleeping and the Captain awake?
Tess shut his mouth tightly like a clam when I asked. The other guys also simply shared uneasy looks and didn’t move. What’s wrong with them?
“Well, I guess nothing happened, so let’s get ready for our departure!”
Ortzen suddenly announced, breaking the silence.
“Wait, I haven’t had breakfast yet.”
“Oh yes, I know.”
“I’ll bring over your meals right away!”
As if Ortzen’s words were some kind of signal, the guys who crowded together round the door dispersed. They are all acting weird. Did they eat something bad?
“Why were they acting like that?” I asked the Captain. He stood up and rubbed his eyes.
“I think they were talking about us but I didn’t hear them clearly.”
“O-okay, but you look tired. You didn’t sleep well?”
Now that I looked closely, his pale gray eyes were bloodshot.
“Why? Did I move around a lot or did I talk in my sleep?”
“No, no. It’s just… a bit uncomfortable sleeping on the bed.”
Was it because he wasn’t used to sleeping at inns? But he wasn’t like this before.
“But from now, we’ll continue sleeping at inns or camping outside. Is that okay?”
“…I can sleep in the carriage.”
Well, then it’s fine since the Captain could sleep in the carriage, but he’s just so sensitive.
After breakfast, I took a quick shower and changed into the clothes that the Crown Prince had prepared. Of course, it was a man’s outfit, not a dress. Now that I am free from those layers of dresses and skirts, I feel like I can breathe a bit better now. I also brought with me the dagger that the High Priest had given me and a whip. I attached them to my waist. I had thought of bringing a long sword, but I guess I should carry a lighter weapon rather than a heavy one.
‘I should name this dagger too.’
It would be a waste to leave it unnamed since it was a dagger made from the fragment of a holy sword. Though it was just a dagger, its holy power was much stronger than a regular sword’s, so it could easily slay demons and monsters.
When I went out to the backyard of the inn with the Captain, two carriages were already waiting. There aren’t many of us but we have two carriages? Guess we have a lot of money.
“Where’s the Church’s carriage?” I asked Ortzen, who was checking the luggages.
He looked back at me and said, “They have already left for the Church. Their departure had been arranged.”
“Hmm, well the Saintess did tell me to ride a horse for half a day instead of being in a carriage.”
Because Iner hasn’t come out yet, he whispered, “…I didn’t tell the Crown Prince to bring a horse, though. If we get one from around here, then we’ll have to take care of it for the whole journey. Instead, I plan to get one from a city near the Black Desert.”
“Then I guess I have no choice but to ride in the carriage.”
“I can get you one though if that would be more convenient.”
“No need to increase your work for no reason. I’ll just ride the carriage.”
Cain, the Captain, and I were all on the same carriage while Iner, Ortzen, Tess, and the Crown Prince were on the other one. Since we were still close to the Capital, Captain, Iner, and Ortzen were excluded from driving the carriages until we had passed through the Capital’s vicinity. Those three had come out in secret. It would be a problem if somebody recognized them.
“Should I drive the carriage first?”
As I walked towards the carriage, Cain immediately shook his head and waved his hands at the same time in panic. Why does he always overreact whenever I say something?
“No, there’s no need! I’ll do it for the entirety of our journey!”
“But you’ll be tired if we don’t take turns.”
“It’s alright! I love driving carriages! It’s cramped inside so it’s more comfortable to be outside.”
The carriage was indeed small and cramped so it wasn’t pleasant staying inside there for a long time.
“But let me know if you get tired.”
“Will do!” Cain answered with his back straight like he’s some new recruit. He’s an imperial knight and had been one for a very long time at that. Why is he acting like some newly enlisted rookie? So weird. Well, since he’s driving the carriage, Captain and I got on the carriage. The seats were soft so even if we sat for a long time, it wouldn’t hurt our backs.
“Now, sleep. Should I sit on the other side?”
“No, you don’t have to.”
Captain took a seat next to me, then closed the door.
“Isn’t it better to lie down than to sleep while sitting?”
He wouldn’t be able to stretch out his legs but at least his upper body could lie down.
“Or do you want to use my lap as a pillow?”
I forgot to bring a pillow. Hearing my question, the Captain slightly lowered his eyes and nodded shyly.
“If it’s okay… with you.”
“It’s okay. I’ll wake you up if my legs hurt.”
Though I actually have no plans of telling him. I quickly sat close to the end of the carriage and patted my thighs with my palms.
The Captain carefully placed his head on my lap. After stroking his black hair that was scattered over my thighs, I whispered softly, “Good night.”
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