Return of the Female Knight - Chapter 3: I Will Change The Future (2)
After meeting with her brother, Elena went into the armory where swords, bows, arrows, armor and all kinds of weapons were stored. Ordinary people were restricted from entering, but fortunately there was no place in the Blaise Castle where she couldn’t go. Nevertheless, she avoided everyone’s eyes, and passed the neatly displayed weapons and headed for the innermost part of the room. She passed through a dark and narrow corner before arriving at pitch-black suit of armor standing in lofty grandeur.
Elena knew how special that armor was. It was used by her mother when Elena was still a child. The metal used to make the armor was so expensive and so pure that even official knights couldn’t afford it. It was only until she became a swordswoman did she realize its value, but it had been taken away before she could wear it.
As she gently placed a hand the armor her eyes moistened with emotion. The cool, solid touch under her palm stirred her memories. As a child she thought of the armor as her own, but after her mother died her father was against women learning sword fighting. For this reason she had never learned swordsmanship despite being born into a family of knights. In the end she had to learn it it anyway. Perhaps it was fate. After recalling the past, she soon began placing the armor into her large sack.
‘I know that Father misses Mother and cannot bear to use her precious items, but I will use it to save him.’ Furthermore, her body was less physically fit than in her previous life and she needed good armor to protect her.
After finally placing the black helmet in the sack, she selected an unused sword. It was the first one she had held since returning to the past, but to her it was just yesterday. Her soft, un-calloused hand awkwardly gripped the solid handle, but her mind felt a strange sense of perfect understanding. She was fortunate that her training never left her.
Elena unsheathed the sword from the scabbard and saw her face reflected in the sharp blade. The face of the woman was much different than the cold swordswoman of the past, but the determination in her heart burned fiercer than before. Elena brandished the sword in the air a few times and muttered to herself.
“…I’m only half as good.” Her speed and power were limited in this untrained body. However, she had swung a sword thousands or tens of thousands of times, and the battles where she had risked her life was beyond count. No matter how weak and slow she was, she knew exactly where to swing her sword. There were more times where she had fought in dire circumstances than in favorable ones, and she had become resourceful in bad situations.
In one battle their supply unit had been annihilated and they starved for three days and three nights, while others fought crippled and barely able to move. They survived every moment. After persevering like this for so many years, even her untrained body was not diminished in ability. She concluded that while her power was significantly lowered, she could overcome it to some extent with experience and instinct.
Elena finally sheathed the sword and placed it in her sack, tying it with a knot that could not be opened easily. She suddenly realized that carrying a huge sack by herself could attract some attention. It wasn’t easy to shake off the mentality of being a hardened killer who did everything herself, but now she couldn’t forget she part of the aristocracy. After leaving the armory and putting as much distance as possible from it, Elena called out to a passing servant. The servant approached her and Elena pointed to the large sack.
“Take this to my carriage.”
“What are all these large items, My Lady?”
“These are gifts for Glenn when we arrive.”
“That much? When Glenn sees all of this, she will be happy to see you.” Though size and weight of the sack was a little unusual to be a gift to a lady of nobility, the servant didn’t think much of it and did as Elena ordered. Other luggage, such as dresses and other items, were already taken care of by the other servants. When Elena confirmed that everything necessary was loaded, she stepped up to board the carriage.
“Hah, hah. Wait a second.” Mirabelle held on to her skirt with one hand as she ran towards to carriage while with her other hand she held a large picnic basket. Elena paused at the sight of Mirabelle hurrying towards her, then stepped down and hurried in her direction.
“Mirabelle, be careful. You’ll get hurt.” But Mirabelle did not slow down until she was right in front of Elena. She took in deep gulps of air and gave her sister a bright smile.
“I don’t want you to go without eating, so please take this.” Mirabelle gave her the basket and as Elena took it confusion crossed her face. The weight of it was too heavy for her to even contemplate.
“You’ve prepared so much in such a short time. It’s like a feast.”
“Did you forget the person that told me that eating well every day would make me healthier?” Elena became momentarily speechless. That was what she used to say to Mirabelle, who always had grudges about eating.
Mirabelle realized that she was holding her sister up, so she quickly pushed Elena into the carriage and spoke in a cheery voice.
“Go on and come back quickly. And don’t forget my present.” After being pushed inside, Elena wistfully looked through the window at her sister.
“…I’ll be back.”
“Yes. Be careful, sister.” The large wagon set off and Mirabelle waved goodbye. Elena held her head out of the window until and watched until her sister disappeared from view. She almost wanted to cry when she promised that she would be back again. She couldn’t believe she had a place to return to.
Elena suddenly remembered basket on her lap. She placed it on the seat next to her and took out the food items one by one. Inside was a generous salad with fresh lettuce and chicken breasts, a ham sandwich, boiled eggs, cutely decorated rice balls, and finely chopped fruits. They all looked delicious to eat. Mirabelle’s lunch box seemed to be endless feast of all of Elena’s favorite foods.
“…” She neatly spread the food in the carriage, but she couldn’t bear to eat it. Sophie, the maid sitting up front next to the carriage driver, looked at her through the window anxiously.
“My Lady, are you all right?” Elena was holding her face in her hands and appeared like she was crying.
“…It’s okay. I just–I am a happier person than I thought…” She had always missed these moments when her family was still alive in her previous life. Her father, her brother. Mirabelle. How she had wished hundreds and thousands of times that they there were alive. Now she was happier than her imagination could even dream up.
“…How could I eat all of this food?” Sophie replied, not understanding the preciousness of the food to Elena.
“If you like, we can wrap it up again later.” Elena nodded, rubbing her wet eyes with her palm.
“Yes…That will do.” Her whole family was now alive. As long as that was, her happiness would last forever. Now Elena was leaving so she could never lose it again. She would be sure to change the future at all costs.