Author: lipzoldyck

 

I wanted to ask more about the rite of passage, but Kellerhan didn’t give me a chance to ask a question, and took me and Yuta to the mansion’s vacant lot.

 

The vacant lot was decorated like a training ground, and the weapons lined up along the edge were emitting a brutal energy.

 

Why did he bring me here? What the hell is this rite of passage?

 

I racked my brain with all my might.

 

Maybe it’s a joining ceremony?

 

I heard that the Gottfried Knights had a harsh entrance ceremony.

 

He’s not trying to make me do that, is he?

 

Or they might even ask me to hunt a bear in the forest to prove that I can survive Barmuth.

 

While I panicked, Kellerhan looked around the vacant lot and smiled contentedly.

 

“It’s not as good as the training ground in the territory, but I think we can do the job well enough.”

 

Kellerhan turned towards me.

 

“Isabella.”

 

I swallowed my saliva and approached him.

 

“From now on, all you have to do is…”

 

I was very nervous.

 

Please just don’t about hunting bears. I mean, I’m really not confident about that.

 

That was when I was praying to God in my heart. Kellerhan put his hand on my shoulder and said.

 

“A fitness test.”

 

“Ye… Yes?”

 

I couldn’t understand Kellerhan’s words at once and put on a stupid expression on my face.

 

“I need to know how much stamina you have so that I can plan your training accordingly. Of course, we should start with a physical fitness test.”

 

“Training?”

 

I couldn’t quite figure out what the situation was.

 

Fitness test? training? Why are those words popping up here?

 

“Isabella is now a member of Barmuth.” I was still standing there with a stupid expression on my face, when I heard Yuta whisper next to me. “A member of Barmuth must be strong enough to defend their body.”

 

Do I need to be trained to improve my ability to protect myself, and I need a fitness test to be trained?

 

I finally understood Kellerhan’s words.

 

“O-Of course I will protect Isabella, but…” I don’t know how Yuta interpreted my blank expression as he blushed and said. “But there is a thing such as ‘what if’, and it’s our family tradition…”

 

“Isabella, go over there and stand.”

 

Kellerhan ordered as he removed Yuta from me. Yuta looked up at Kellerhan with his big blue eyes, but he didn’t resist and he was meekly pulled away from me.

 

Bewildered, I went and stood on the spot where Kellerhan was pointing.

 

It’s a fitness test and training, he said.

 

It was unexpected, but I thought it wasn’t bad.

 

If I stay as a member of Barmuth, I will face numerous dangers in the future, as I can’t rely on Yuta or Kellerhan alone every time.

 

Great. It seems like a good opportunity, so let’s work hard.

 

I thought so.

 

Unfortunately, I had no idea what Barmuth’s ‘training’ was like until then.

 

All I could imagine was, at best, how to handle a weapon for self-defense, or the technique of getting out of a dangerous moment.

 

It was revealed as soon as Kellerhan opened his mouth that I was utterly naive.

 

“For now, just run around this vacant lot for ten laps. At full speed.”

 

I tilted my head at Kellerhan’s words.

 

“This… vacant lot?”

 

Although it was a vacant lot attached to the townhouse, this place was large enough for ten knights to swing their spears at once.

 

But you want me to run ten laps around this place?

 

I waited for Kellerhan to say, “Oh, I was mistaken. In fact, it’s actually one lap.”

 

“What are you doing? Not quickly running.”

 

But Kellerhan didn’t say what I wanted. Instead, he pointed his hand at the vacant lot, which now even seemed vast.

 

I really have to run? For real?

 

Yuta and Kellehan were looking at me with serious faces, and I realized later that this was no joke.

 

“…If you fall down, I’ll carry you to your room, don’t worry.” Yuta whispered.

 

Taking his words as a signal, I started running.

 

Of course, I couldn’t even go two laps and I was exhausted. I was short of breath, and my arms and legs were sore.

 

“Huft, huft.”

 

Was my stamina this weak?

 

I’m nine years old now, aren’t children normally physically strong?

 

Later, I remembered the days when I was living with my parents.

 

I used to read books until the end of the study, following my parents who sat in front of the desk and clung to research all day.

 

Since I didn’t move like this, there was no such thing as stamina.

 

On the fifth lap, I couldn’t stand it and put my hands on my knees and breathed out. I was sweating like rain and my heart was pounding.

 

“Five laps.”

 

Kellerhan’s voice was heard.

 

As I struggled to raise my gaze, I saw him with his arms crossed, observing me and carefully weighing something.

 

Don’t tell me… you’re not telling me to finish 10 laps, are you?

 

A terrifying fear engulfed my whole body.

 

I don’t know how Kellerhan trains his men, but he’s certainly not generous.

 

If he decides to train me like his subordinates…

 

Did I come to Barmuth for nothing?

 

As I was struggling with such nonsense, Kellerhan spoke again.

 

“Originally, people of your age can run 15 laps in an open space of this size.”

 

I don’t think so!

 

Denial rose up to my throat, but I didn’t have the strength to spit it out.

 

“First of all, I need to develop basic physical strength. Because that’s the first thing.”

 

Kellerhan looked at me with the eyes as if he were seeing a platypus lying on the side of the road.

 

“Get up. You’re going to start training right away.”

 

Aren’t we just doing a physical fitness test today?

 

“Now that your maximum is 5 laps, run 5 laps, rest for 10 minutes, run 5 laps, rest for 10 minutes, and so on.”

 

I looked up at Kellerhan with wide eyes.

 

Hey, Father, I don’t think this is right.

 

I definitely came in as a daughter-in-law, didn’t I?

 

Usually, if you get engaged at a young age, your father-in-law will love you… You help your father-in-law and your fiancé to run a business or go out to eat delicious food… But why do I have to run to death…?

 

“Ten minutes have passed.”

 

Kellerhan didn’t give me more time to think.

 

I followed Kellerhan’s instructions for three more laps and, unable to control my trembling legs, fell to my knees on the ground.

 

“D-Duke, I don’t think I can run anymore…”

 

“No, you can.” Kellerhan cut me off like a knife. “Why can’t you do it? I gave you a 10-minute break.”

 

He had a look on his face that showed he really didn’t understand why I couldn’t run.

 

I clenched my teeth and ran one more lap, and this time I lay flat on the ground.

 

“Isabella!”

 

I heard Yuta’s voice calling me over ringing in my ears.

 

Soon he came and lifted me up.

 

I breathed heavily with my head and back leaning against Yuta’s chest.

 

“Father, it’s too much.” At Yuta’s words, Kellerhan checked my pulse. Then he had a surprised look.

 

“It really is her limit.”

 

That’s what I’m saying, I’ve said I can’t run anymore!

 

I barely lifted my eyelids halfway and looked up at Kellerhan.

 

However, his expression was strange.

 

If I have to say it, should I say that he’s puzzled?

 

I laughed out loud even though I didn’t even lift a finger.

 

What do I mean by puzzled? It was a word that never suited Kellerhan.

 

“Isabella? Isabella!”

 

Yuta’s voice was somehow distant.

 

And I just closed my eyes.

 

***

 

I couldn’t remember how I got back to my room.

 

All I knew was that Magda accepted me as she was terrified, washed me up, changed me into pajamas, wrapped me in a blanket, and put me on the bed.

 

As soon as I lay down on the bed, my mind wandered. I’m not sleepy, but I feel like I’m going to lose consciousness. Besides, my limbs were sore. 

 

I closed my eyes and stretched my body.

 

As I was recovering my energy, I heard the door open.

 

I felt three or four people standing by my bed.

 

“Isabella…”

 

Yuta’s voice, which was about to cry, was the first to be heard. And his body temperature carefully touched my fingertips.

 

“Gilbert, answer me. What’s wrong with the kid?”

 

Then Kellerhan’s voice was heard.

 

Gilbert? It’s the first I’ve heard of his name. Who is it?

 

“It looks like she overworked her body. What did she do today?” A man named Gilbert asked.

 

“Training.”

 

Kellerhan answered briefly, and Gilbert took a breath.

 

“Training… you say? Are you talking about the training we do with the knights?”

 

From the story of the knights coming out, Gilbert seemed to be a member of the Gottfried Knights led by Kellerhan.

 

It was my first time meeting a member of the Gottfried Knights, so I was nervous.

 

Yes, I don’t have the strength to move a finger or lift my eyelids, so I wouldn’t be able to talk to Gilbert, but…

 

Still, he’s a member of the Gottfried Knights.

 

I heard that one of the members of the Gottfried Knights boasted tremendous power.

 

In my previous life, Duke Lodgemund tried to convince the Gottfried Knights, yet no matter how hard he tried, not a single one betrayed Kellerhan.

 

“Then do we have any other training?”

 

While remembering past life knowledge about the Gottfried Knights, Kellerhan spoke again.

 

“You didn’t make her go for a walk in full armor, right? Either telling her to swing a sword a thousand times, or cross a high-water valley with a bucket full of water…”

 

“Do you think I’m a fool? I also know the order of the training.”

 

“So, what did she do?”

 

“It wasn’t much. She just sprinted about 10 laps around the vacant lot.”

 

“Gosh, Captain…!”

 

I heard Gilbert groan.

 

“Didn’t the Young Madam say it was hard?”

 

“She looked tired. But I thought it was okay because she didn’t say anything.”

 

“It seems like she’s holding it in. That’s why she looks like that!”

 

Kellerhan said nothing.

 

I don’t know what he was thinking because I couldn’t see his expression, but from the atmosphere, he seemed to be agonizing about something.

 

“You can’t treat the Young Madam who looks weak like you’re dealing with us!”

 

“But it was only 10 laps.”

 

As Gilbert’s voice rose, Kellerhan spoke again.

 

“Isn’t that enough for a kid who just joined the Gottfried Knights?”

 

“A kid who joins the Gottfried Knights isn’t an ordinary kid!” He bewilderedly countered Kellerhan’s words.

 

“Besides, the Young Madam is from Schwires, isn’t she? I know some scholars, and they’re born weak. They can’t even wield a single short sword properly. You should never think of the Gottfried Knights when it comes to them.”

 

“”You mean they can’t hold a single short sword properly? Can such a weakling exist in the world?”

 

“They exist. I’m saying they exist.” Gilbert emphasized it several times.

 

There was silence for a moment.

 

And after a while, Kellerhan’s voice, which was quite different from usual, was heard.

 

“Did I… treat the kid wrong?”

 

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Comments (2)

  1. LOL HE MADE HER RUN UNTIL SHE PASSED OUT 😂 poor isabella omg