“That’s just bullsh-!!”

Enraged, Andy kicked hard at the stones I had sorted, and I tripped, falling right over another heap of stones.

The sharp piece of rock I landed on made my back throb in pain.
The stones I had sorted all day long were all mixed up and lying randomly on the ground.

Looking at my hard work get ruined so easily was enough to make me cry.

But I didn’t.
I wouldn’t.

Because today is that day.

Tap, Tap, Stomp.

Although it’s faint, in the distance I could hear the clear horse hooves against the harsh dirt roads.

‘It’s about time you came…’

Tap, stomp, clack.

The sound grew louder and louder until everyone could hear it.

“What’s going on?” Andy asked, approaching the window and forgetting all about me and his previous anger.
When he blew the dust from the window and wiped the rest of the residue with his sleeves, he could see a procession of horses across the dim forest road.

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It’s hard for a horse to reach here, a deep mountain valley.
But now there was not only one, but dozens of military horses quickly approaching our cabin, all while protecting an unusually long carriage between them.

“Andy, what do you see?” My adoptive father folded the newspaper and approached the window with him.

“Wait, that’s… that’s the flag of the Knights!”

Andy wiped his eyes with his grubby hands and bumped his face all the way up against the window until his nose was fully crushed.

“I’m pretty sure that symbol was in the book about knighthood that Rudy showed me! They’re coming this way, right? They’re coming straight to our house! Oh my God! What’s going on?” He exclaimed enthusiastically, smitten with joy and overwhelmed with a mirage of emotions, stretching out his hands, and ran to our mother.

“I took the test of knighthood last month! I’m sure I passed it!! They’re coming to get me! Mom, this is my hard work! It’s the beginning of happiness!”

All of his excitement was freaking me out, but I swallowed calmly.
Even though I’ve experienced it many times, I’m still shaking from pure nervousness.

He’s finally coming.

This life was especially hard because it seemed as if time was passing so slowly, but it has finally come to that day.

“Andy! Oh my God! Are you sure? Did you really take the test? Why didn’t you tell me!”

“Well, that’s because if I failed it, it would’ve been embarrassing.
So I was going to tell you if I succeeded and passed! But I didn’t know a group of knights would come to pick me up! Oh my! Do you think I got first place on the test? That’s why they’re coming to pick me up especially? I need to change right now! Don’t I have any decent clothes, Mom?! We can’t greet the knights like this!”

As they were jumping around in excitement, happiness, and pride, the carriage arrived in our front yard.

The man with the biggest, most beautiful, silver horse that was riding in the lead of the procession of Knights jumped down from his horse and walked straight to the cabin.

Boom! Boom!

Andy popped out like a spring at the knock on the door.

“Oh… hello? What business do you have here?”

He greeted the visitor with a bright smile, but he hardened when he saw the man outside the door.

The man was shockingly handsome.
He had dazzling, vivid gold hair that reached to his shoulders.
His smooth and slender face reminded me of those marble statues.
He had perfect features and a noble and holy aura.

But what seemed to make Andy freeze was his icy red eyes.
His eyes looked down on us and made us want to lie down and beg for our lives, even though we didn’t do anything wrong.

Furthermore, his attire was also something to gawk at.
He wore a white cape that was stained with a color similar to the vividness of his eyes.
The smell of blood was not overwhelming, but it was definitely there.
However, the color and the brightness of the red made it seem as if he had just stormed out of a bloody war.

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“Uh…I’m very pleased to meet you.
I-I really am,” Andy stammered after a moment of silence under the intense pressure rising off from the man.

“Is this where the Windmill Family resides?”

“Yes! That’s right! I’m Andy Windmill”

“Where’s the princess?”

“…Princess, you said?”

Andy was dumbfounded by the man’s words, but the strange man brushed past Andy and strode straight into the house and began to look around.
He walked past the dusty thread of cobwebs, worn-out tables and chairs, and headed straight towards me standing in the corner.

I didn’t make a single noise.
But I hoped in my heart.

‘I hope that he sees me like this and feels sorry for me.
I hope that your heart aches in compassion for me.
I hope that you feel guilty for allowing your princess to live here for so long.’

But no emotions were reflected in his red eyes.

“Here you are.”

He came to me, knelt down, and saluted to me.
Even when he knelt he was taller than me.
I lifted my head to look at him in the eyes, and he also studied me.

I had tangled, shaggy white hair, wobbly emerald eyes, a dirty face full of soot, and an overall shabby appearance while wearing a worn-out garment.

I have been waiting all this time for someone who will come to save me.

My heart was pounding so hard that it was stabbing me.

“Princess Anastasia, I’m pleased to meet you.
I am the Commander of the Knights of St.
Veritas, Phaeon Parsiel.”

Phaeon Parsiel is the war hero of Santra.
He’s achieved a lot from the last three years’ war and is a man who has made a reputation in the Great Land of Tranquillum as the strongest knight.

Only in this life would I later find out that he is my real father.

“Your name is Anastasia Entimoss,” he continued.

He turned around to look at my adoptive family who were just staring without comprehending.

“She is the First Princess of Santra.”

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