Chapter 22:

Righteous Cause


So it was ultimately just one reason. Was it really a matter of simple dislike that guided her motivation?

Ceylica was in a position of leadership. As one of the Three Crowns of Althaiez Academy, the half-demon ruled not only the second and first floor of the main building, but the gymnasium too.

Jaiga may not have been perfect, but she still thought herself merciful, offering assistance to all those in need. Her duty reigned above personal sentiments, so she didn’t understand why that girl was any different.

Confronted with Ceylica’s unbelievably selfish display of pride, Jaiga spoke again.

"You don't like them, so you think they should stay out in the freezing cold where they may very well get struck by lightning.”

"Yep. The more wet and charred they are, the better."

"You also find the fact that they may be mauled by monsters and demons to be fine."


With an inhale of breath, Jaiga decided on another approach.

“This need not be a long-term arrangement, you understand. It may very well be that they stay inside your territory for one night and set up residence outside later.”

“Yeahhhhh, still no.”

"And you find this act fitting to your moral conscience."

"As fitting as eggs for breakfast."

Ceylica was eyeing Jaiga with the same old grin as before, only now revelling in the paladin's perceived pain.

"Look, if ye want space for em' to sleep or somethin', just ask Kło; I'm sure she'll be more than open to yer offer."

The paladin stopped herself short of replying with the obvious answer, choosing instead to remain silent at Ceylica's mockery.

Because the sheer instability and wickedness of Kło’s character removed her from any modern sensibility whatsoever, the idea of working with the third crown was a joke if anything else.


Was Jaiga to just silently falter, returning without so much as something gained?

After all, within her personal territory in school, the space offered would at best hold maybe 1/5th of those of The Tower. Far from the ideal solution, Jaiga thought, far from the righteous path a paladin should strive for.

"Very well then, Ceylica, if this is the path you choose, then so be it."

In a fitting moment of calm, Jaiga walked off. Duty insisted no time be wasted. Where the paladin saw only a harsh reality, the half-demon saw a game, choosing to shout something along the lines of "You shouldn't feel bad for these losers anyway!”


The metal door shut once more. Closing the curtains on a future of cooperation. Concerned with only the possibility of action, the paladin shed all semblance of emotional barriers or concern.

Eventually, while strolling down the stairs, Jaiga arrived at her section of the school. Two classrooms on third floor, that is. A clear distinction made through an evident sign and shift in decor.

While Jaiga never so much as 'barred' others from trespassing, the aide of a visual flair still signalled potential deference to those of ill merit.

Jaiga seized the key in her pocket. With a click, she then opened the entrance.

Confined to that space, a regular-sized classroom, stood a single girl. Average of height, capability, and power, she posed only a formidable existence through raw exertion of will alone.

Standing steadfast even on the break of midnight.

"Lady Heilewis." She said. "How was your meeting with that girl?"

"Enlightening, I've never felt more determined as a result, Charlotte," Jaiga replied, sending her friend a compassionate look. "I simply feel awash with clarity."

"Ah, would it be right to assume that things went to plan then?"

The paladin sighed. "I'm afraid not."

"So, what comes next?"

"What I should have done a long time ago."

Her friend had begun to understand her meaning, replying with an enthusiastic nod in turn. Hurrying to the side, before Jaiga could so much as say anything, Charlotte went about carrying her duty.

Jingles of clashing metal, accompanied then by quickened footsteps, echoed.

"Would you like to change out of your clothes, Lady Heilewis?"

"No, my gambeson will suffice for the time being."

"Forgive my query, but wouldn't you be hot under that many layers of padding?"

Charlotte referred to Jaiga's gambeson, a padded armour of twenty-two layers of differently unique wool. Under such conditions, it was understandable that Charlotte posed the question. Given the insulation that came with the padded jacket and plate alike.

Jaiga, who recognized Charlotte's want for her own comfort, replied with a positive response.

"Perhaps so, but I would not forsake my defensive capabilities for anything less."

The paladin made reference to the aketon that hung on a wooden dummy. A similar albeit, only once padded alternative to her current jacket.

"Besides," Jaiga said, serious in tone. "This pasquinade will be over soon enough."

"Right!" Charlotte replied, enthusiastic at her friends' sudden provocation. "Though I admit I have no idea what pasquinade entails, I shall nonetheless dutifully follow you to the very end!"

Jaiga gave her friend a long grateful look, grinning from her supposed fortune. "You have my sincerest token of thanks for that, Charlotte." ."

Politeness brought another line to Charlotte's lips.

"It is I who has to be thankful to be your friend, Jaiga."

Earnest to the very end, Charlotte then set about fixing any pieces of clothing to the paladin. Obsolete as the duty must seem, it must be noted that it was a conscious choice that had brought it about.

To those of an era where machines and other artificial creations existed, such a thing might seem meaningless.

Why force upon yourself a duty easily neglected by tools?

Certainly, most would not reject the steam engine, electricity, or magic in favour of manpower.

It was with this mindset that Rainee proposed the creation of an automated golem, one that would fulfil the mundane task of putting on armour.

However, to his surprise, Charlotte rejected the offer.

From the very beginning, the grand mage had operated under a false sense of ideals. Contrary to Rainee's expectations, Charlotte actually enjoyed the process. Going as far as to see it as anything but mundane.

To her, friendship and pride alike were conceived with assisting her friend. So, to that end, having a golem or android do the job would only ruin it.

Of course, Jaiga didn't mind either. Despite the drop in efficiency, she still felt a sense of nostalgic pride over Charlotte's devotion. Some sort of quaint reminder that someone out there still confided faith in her ability.

"Is it too tight, Lady Heilewis?"

Jaiga shook her head.

"It's perfect."

The two were now preparing for battle.

In doing so, it was necessary to equip additional padded pieces of armour, chainmail, greaves, belts, a cuirass, and a multitude of other accessories.

Only then, upon maybe ten or so articles of equipment, did Jaiga finally adorn her full plate. Almost finished, the paladin reached out with her arms. Grasping a helmet, she fastened it to her head.

The girl next to Jaiga stared wide-eyed, relishing in a not-so-uncommon sight for her with usual vigour.

"Wow, you really look like a fairy tale knight..." Charlotte let out in an astonished voice. The fantasies of an extraordinary world tugged at the girl's loose heartstrings.

Shining brilliantly in the moonlight, adorned in red and black fabric, stood a paladin of yore. Once tasked to defend the lands, punishing any evil-doer in the name of justice and honour. Now present before a supposed 'normal' girl.

"Ah, one sec!"

With quickened speed, Charlotte went to collect the final addition.

Returning within a few seconds, she offered a nod and knelt.

Presented within the palm of her two unfolded hands was Jaiga's weapon of choice. The Spear of Jangsgrude, a relic from her old past as a paladin.

Constructed from a hollow metal tube and tipped off with a spearhead with protrusions on each side, it served as an all-purpose tool against monsters and blades.

A weapon that defied the boundaries of scientific logic and stretched to the realm of conceptual power. Revered as the conception of one of the twenty sacred alloys in the world. Meant to defy and surpass the innate resistances demons held against man-made weapons.

How pure you are.

Just holding it alone bolstered her confidence. Exiled as the paladin may be, the weapon still served as a reminder that she could do the right thing. That above all else, remnants of heroism remained in her.

Her conviction propelled her to move forward.

Convinced of her righteousness, the paladin continued, walking towards a crowd she had little relation or understanding of.

Steward McOy
Kya Hon
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