“Well done, Julius.”
“Thank you, Father, Mother.”
Julius went back to the estate after the ceremony and received a warm welcome from his parents.
It was unusual for his mother to welcome him back so warmly.
“I’m glad that you returned safely.”
“I’m sorry for worrying you.”
Earl Rosenberg and Elizabeth were opposed to Julius’s participation in the war against the Kingdom of Lakshurusu. Earl Rosenberg was opposed to his participation because Julius was the eldest son of the Rosenberg House. Elizabeth, on the other hand, was filled with motherly concern about her son’s wellbeing.
Julius had managed to persuade his parents, but Elizabeth was still worried about him and she had many sleepless nights while he was away.
Elizabeth had many problems, such as her education plans and personality, but she did love Julius as a son from the bottom of her heart.
Elizabeth cared greatly for Julius so she was filled with a sense of relief and joy when Julius returned safely from the battlefield.
Furthermore, she was extremely happy that he had been awarded a prestigious medal in recognition of his great achievements. Tears of happiness appeared in the corner of her eyes, there was nothing happier than this.
“Is that the red cross rose medal? It is indeed a splendid medal.”
Elizabeth noticed the magnificent red cross rose medal on Julius and stared at it. She was overwhelmed by admiration.
“This medal is rarely given out. Julius, you’re the pride of the Rosenberg House.”
“Thank you, father.”
Juilius’ father rarely praised anyone in public so hearing his father speak so highly of him caused him to feel overjoyed and brought a smile to his face.
“Then, shall we have dinner? I told the head chef to make his best dishes in honour of Julius’ returning home…”
“Hm, I see. Let’s eat before the food gets cold.”
“Hehe, I can’t wait.”
Julius received a warm welcome home from his parents and spent time at home for the first time in a very long time.
A few days after he’d returned, Julius spent his days mostly peacefully.
There were, however, some not so peaceful time.
The reason for this was simple.
“I’ve come for a match, Julius Rosenberg!”
“Again? Your Highness…… Won’t His Majesty get angry?”
Julius headed to the plaza at the back of the estate for his daily training. As he arrived a young man, who had been waiting for him, pointed a finger towards him. Needless to say, it was someone who considered themself the rival of Julius, the Crown Prince Dudrick. He was the only one in the Aullène Kingdom who would do such a thing.
Dudrick had intruded on him like this before but recently he had been doing it more frequently. Dudrick had heard the news of Julius’ great achievements and this fanned the flames of his rivalry with him.
“I’ll definitely surpass those sword skills of yours which defeated Lord Hedwig!”
“You weren’t listening to what I was saying, were you?” Julius said and sighed in amazement as Dudrick held his training sword. Julius finally understood from these past few days that it was pointless to try and reason with Dudrick.
The Crown Prince would not go back unless Julius had at least one sparring match with him.
Julius gave up and shook his head gently. He pulled himself together, adjusted his position and pointed his practice sword at Dudrick.
“Ah, alright. I’ll fight you. But only once. I have to train after this.”
“What are you saying? We’re going to keep going until I win!”
Julius said while looking worn-out. Dudrick hadn’t [agreed] to those terms and raised an eyebrow.
Julius saw that and decided to irritate Dudrick. He smiled lightly and shifted it to a verbal battle.
“Until you win, Your Highness? Then there doesn’t seem like there’ll be an end to our battle.”
It was an outright provocation meant to break his opponent. The effect was immediate. Dudrick, who had his eyebrow raised, sharpened his gaze.
“Oh? You sure can talk. Let’s see how long you can keep that attitude for!”
They both fell silent after exchanging a few words.
The tense atmosphere between them was broken when Julius snapped his fingers as the coin hit the ground. The two stepped at the same time and positioned their swords.
Julius, who had just returned from the battlefield, wasn’t just worried about Dudrick. Another person had also completely changed his attitude before going to war and Julius was worried about how to deal with him.
Dudrick had been intruding on him for a long time, the only difference was that he came more often now so the other problem worried him more.
“Can’t I cheer you up, Maxián?”
“What are you talking about? It’s not like I’m in a bad mood, Julius.”
The person he was worried about was his best friend Maxián.
Though he said he wasn’t in a bad mood, he looked sullen Julius looked troubled as he tried to comfort his best friend who was clearly in a bad mood. But Maxián didn’t want to cheer up.
Julius didn’t know the reason for his friend’s bad mood so he found it difficult to cheer him up.
“Why’re you saying that I’m in a bad mood in the first place?”
“I’m troubled because I don’t know why you’re in a bad mood. Did I do something wrong?”
Maxián had been sulking because he was worried about Julius and he even went as far as changing his plan to join in the war. Then Julius suddenly switched platoons at a crucial time and Maxián couldn’t protect him anymore.
Maxián didn’t even know why he had participated in that war anymore.
“If so then I’m glad but……”
However, he couldn’t tell Julius that he had only participated in the war because he was worried about him. That would be an inconvenience for Maxián since he was treating Julius as a male friend.
Therefore, Julius’s contant pestering troubled him and he continued to be in a bad mood. He tried to change the topic, “By the way Julius, a few days have passed since we’ve returned, have you met Lady Emilinne?”
It was obvious that he was trying to change the topic but Julius took the bait.
Julius completely forgot about Maxián’s bad mood as soon as Emilinne’s name was mentioned.
“No, not yet. I received a white horse as a reward so I thought about taming it a bit first before inviting her out for a ride.”
“I see. Indeed, even she’d be happy with a white horse.”
“Ah, I got a good reward. And then, at that time…… I’ll ask her to marry me.”
Maxián also forgot his foul mood when Julius said he was going to propose to Emilinne. He returned to his normal self and was surprised.
He raised his voice and asked Julius in a curious tone.
“Huh? What’s wrong? I told you before that I wanted to ask for her hand in marriage after we got back from the battlefield.”
“W-well, you did tell me that, but…… I was surprised since you’re doing it so soon.”
“Really? I don’t think anyone would be opposed to it since I also received a medal for my achievements. I also planned this from the beginning so there’s no reason for me to hesitate.”
Julius certainly stated that he wanted to marry Emilinne after he’d made a contribution to the war.
He had indeed made a great contribution to the war, so he had already fulfilled his conditions.
This information was unpleasant for Maxián, who had feelings for Julius, but he didn’t have any reason to stop it.
Maxián hung his head down in disappointment because he couldn’t do anything about it.
“Maxián, what’s wrong?” Julius thought he was sulking but was surprised when he looked sad. Julius asked Maxián that question out of curiosity because his emotions kept changing, but Maxián didn’t answer him.
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