There Were Many Ways
I thought about the meaning of her words.
Sophia was going to quit the knight order with me.
Then, what was she going to do with The Knights of Saint Sophia, that used her name? If she left the knight order, she would lose her power and authority as the leader.
I opened my mouth immediately, “That knight order was made by Sophia, Cleon, and I over the years. To quit the knight order who was called the strongest in the entire empire was…”
“Unthinkable?” Sophia asked me back.
Certainly, I didn’t even think about quitting the knight order until Cleon and the others exiled me. We have already made such a strong organization, and I have even gained fame and power as the vice-captain. I thought if we proceeded as it was, we could conquer various ruins and help more people with the resources obtained from them.
But thinking about it again…
I looked at Philia and the others behind me.
By no longer being an adventurer, there was no more danger of conquering the ruins, and I was exempted from doing the knight order’s menial tasks. They said that I was useless in the first place, that was why I was kicked out. They also said I couldn’t contribute anything in the battle. On the contrary, however, there were people here who needed me.
Even if I weren’t exiled by Cleon, if I thought about it, quitting wasn’t such a bad option.
I briefly told Sophia about what had happened. Cleon and Arte saying I was useless because of me being a jack-of-all-trades. And at the time, I heard from Cleon that Sophia had agreed with my exile. When Sophia heard, she sighed.
“Cleon made a misleading statement.”
“What do you mean?”
“Cleon was implying that Solon should quit the knight, because Solon might die like Shea.”
When she said that, Sophia’s face became slightly darker.
Shea was once our companion. When the knight order was still an unknown small party, she joined us. She was a magician one year younger than Sophia who said that she decided to become an adventurer when her master was gone. She was a bright, good, and honest girl, I thought.
Afterwards, Shea died, killed by an enemy in the ruins. Shea was like a younger sister to Sophia, so bringing up her death must have been an effective way of persuading Sophia.
“So Sophia was afraid that the weak me would get hurt and you agreed to exile me out?”
Sophia had a troubled look.
“Umm, I might be a little stronger than Solon-kun. But it wasn’t only because of that. Solon-kun has protected me all these times, so right now I will be the one protecting Solon-kun.”
“Solon doesn’t have to fight anymore.”
“Yeah, without Solon-kun, I can’t even be the leader of The Knights right now. I want Solon-kun to be with me, so I can protect you. That’s my wish.”
Sophia stopped for a while. She stared at me with her jade-colored eyes. Something that showed me she was afraid was apparent in her eyes.
“I’m scared. It’s very dangerous to fight in the ruins, to have to defeat a lot of demons and go deep into the underground ruins where you can’t easily retreat.”
“It’s certainly a dangerous place, but Sophia and I knew it. When you’ve managed to conquer a ruin, you’ll get resources, land, treasures, and what’s more, you can save a lot of people.”
“I know. But I think I had enough. I have gained money, honor, and power. But I don’t have the thing I wished for, and if I die, nothing will be left. Does Solon remember that promise?”
“A promise between Solon and me.”
Yeah, when we were still a first-grader at the magic school, we made a promise. ‘Let’s become the strongest adventurers in the empire together and create our own place,’ that was our promise.
At that time, Sophia, who was alienated by her classmates and family, didn’t have a place of her own. I wasn’t an aristocrat, but I was able to enroll in the magic school. I also didn’t think I would be this successful in the future. That was why the promise was a deep-rooted desire for Sophia, a young girl, and a thoughtless idea for me who was mediocre.
Sophia smiled gently, “That promise was half-fulfilled.”
“We have created one of the strongest knight order in the empire, but the other half of the promise hasn’t come true.”
The first half of the promise was to become the strongest adventurers in the empire. The second half of the promise was to create a place for ourselves. That was what Sophia meant by the second half.
I shook my head, “You have your own place. That knight order belongs to Sophia.”
“You’re wrong, the promise was to create a place for Solon and me, right?”
Sophia held my hand. After that, she stared straight at me with her jade-colored eyes.
“There are many ways to fulfill my wish, so I quit The Knights.”
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