Grail smiled at the back of the grumbling little white fox.
It wasn’t possible to dislike a cute fox desperately clinging to your leg.
“I feel bad for Mil, but that was really funny.”
“That was cute.”
Kix and Tina said while laughing.
“Let’s go before we lose sight of her. Is the Captain here yet?”
“–If you’re talking about your Captain, he’s right here.”
The one who responded to Kix was a huge man who appeared from behind the building.
He was in his mid-50s and looked dignified with short, sandy hair.
He also had a beard of the same colour and had wrinkles matching his age. However, he didn’t look that old due to his thick muscles.
He was the Commander of the Knights.
“Commander, are you coming with the Captain?”
Grail asked back.
Cromwell, the captain of the fort, was being carried over Gauss’ shoulder.
The difference in strength was obvious between the slender Cromwell and the bear-like Gauss.
But even if you ignored the difference, Cromwell wasn’t resisting anyways. If you closed your eyes and imagined Mil wearing her rabbit backpack, Gauss had Cromwell in almost the exact same position.
Grail, Kix, and Tina pretended to see Cromwell like that.
“Was that the child of the Snow Spirit? I’ve heard about it from His Majesty, but it’s pretty cute.”
Gauss laughed loudly. If Mil was there, it would have scared her that the bear was roaring.
“So, your talk is over. Did anything change from last night?”
Hearing this, Gauss shook his thick neck lightly.
“So, Cromwell wants to continue working here, and I also think that the relationship between humans and the environment here are doing better, thanks to the fox cub, than when he was in the capital city… it’s doing well, but we can’t ignore his Highness’s will, and it will not be easy to dissuade Sarrell.
After making it clear where he stood, Gauss unfolded a piece of paper.
“I’ve already told Grail, this is a letter from his Highness. His Highness wants to talk directly to Cromwell. Therefore, I will have Cromwell return to the capital at once with me.”
Gauss stamped the royal seal onto the letter and slapped Cromwell’s shoulder.
“When we return to the capital city, I will talk to both his Highness and Sarrell. I want to get through this efficiently so I don’t have to explain twice.”
“Commander, you just don’t want to see Sarrell’s face for a long time.”
Cromwell said, exasperated.
Sarrell was not the Commander’s favourite subordinate to deal with.
He liked Cromwell as a subordinate much more, so he supported him staying at the fort, but it was proving tiresome to argue with Sarrell.
“He’s as stubborn as a horse…”
Gauss looked bitter when Kix told him about Sarrell’s plan to get Mil.
Gauss worked his way up to Commander by beating people up, so he was a muscle brain who wasn’t good at scheming.
However, Sarrell used the Commander’s weakness against him. Sarrell was viciously intelligent, so it couldn’t be helped that the two clashed often.
Although Sarrell did not publicly fight the Commander, the leader of the knights, Gauss often pushed work onto Sarrell during meetings.
“It’s the same as usual.”
Grail laughed at Gauss, wearing a child-like grin.
Grail had barely interacted with Sarrell, so it was a bit confusing.
However, when they met in the past, Sarrell acted as if Grail didn’t exist.
Grail was similar to Gauss, strong and rough, so perhaps this was the reason.
Gauss looked at Grail and said,
“If nothing that would change his personality happens, he’ll remain stubborn, don’t you think?”
His childish tone didn’t match the serious face he was making. While Grail secretly agreed, he couldn’t do so publicly, so he could only shake his head.
“Anyways, that fox, it’s fine if it goes to the capital to deliver a letter from Snowlea?”
“Yes, Snowlea didn’t really give us the details yesterday, but it matches Mil’s story from just now. However, I don’t know what the letter says…”
Grail answered, and thought of the events that happened yesterday.
After Mil, who came over to play at lunchtime left, Snowlea appeared quietly in a small boat on the lake.
She asked them to guard Mil, who was going to go to the capital.
“I’m worried about Milfiria being alone. If my lovely child went alone, wouldn’t she be in danger? I would like you to follow Milfiria to the capital. Please protect her in my stead.”
The beautiful snow spirit suddenly made a request, disregarding Grail.
However, Grail, who was used to the selfishness of the spirits, immediately agreed and said, “I understand.”
“Even if you’re available, it should be done officially. Before I came here, I went to your king and got permission.”
“Since you are a knight, you have to have permission to give priority to Milfiria rather than any current missions. If you get permission from the king, you will be able to move freely? That’s what I know. The king told me it would be good to take a few other knights with you. “
Grail felt a little surprise that Snowlea was going so far.
“What on earth are you planning? The capital city is too far for Mil. She’ll have to go through a city with crowds of people, and you hate exposing Mil’s existence to strangers.”
When Grail asked, Snowlea lightly covered her mouth with her sleeves and stared at the ground, expressionless.
“…If I try to send her somewhere closeby, she’ll be back too soon.”
“Did you say something? “
“It doesn’t have anything to do with humans. I asked Milfiria to leave tomorrow morning. I’m trusting you with her.”
And Snowlea finally went back to the mountain after saying:
“Oh, yes. Don’t climb the mountain after tomorrow. It would be for the best not to come to the altar either. If you do not listen, I cannot guarantee your lives. Tell the people of the town I won’t need any offerings for a while.”
He didn’t know what Snowlea was thinking, but he couldn’t find out if she didn’t want to talk about it. If he forcefully asked and ruined her mood, there might be an off season snowstorm.
Although Snowlea would only attack Grail in rare circumstances, he still had to be more careful talking to spirits, who think differently than humans, than talking to the royal family.
“So, you and two others are heading to the royal capital?”
Gauss suddenly asked Grail, who was lost in thought.
“Yes, with Kix and Tina. Since you and the Chief are also travelling to the capital, we should go together.”
Grail glanced at Cromwell, who looked worried. He also cared deeply about Mill.
Anyways, going with a cute baby fox to the capital would be much more fun than just the bear-like Gauss and 2 other people.
“So that’s why we’re escorting Mil, but who will take over with both of you gone?”
Grail answered as Kix put his hands behind his head.
“Don’t worry, I’ve appointed Vista and Orpheus. Even a young guy like you has probably heard of him. He’s a noble old knight who has experience and ability.
“I see. That’s good! The knights here wouldn’t know what to do without a captain and vice captain.”
“Even Kix is saying this? He seems very capable, then.”
While Tina was getting ready, Cromwell took Ailux’s reins.
“You ready? We’re leaving soon.”
Grail, Kicks, and Tina wore similar cloaks as Cromwell: a plain-coloured cloak over a scarlet knight coat, in order to remain unnoticed.
Gauss was already prepared to return to the capital city.
“Let’s catch up before we lose sight of Mil.”
Grail said, mounting his horse.
Thus, the four knights of the Northern Fort head out, along with their commander Gauss.