Kenzir's words still echoed in Locke's ears.
Locke couldn't remember how he left the banquet last night. He just knew that his head was still buzzing till the next day.
Had he really become a noble that easily? Although knight was the lowest among the noble ranks, it was very difficult for commoners to even advance to nobility.
Baron Cardoj and Wyr were the only two aristocrats in Cardoj's battalion before this. Was Locke going to be a new addition to it?
The news spread quickly and almost everyone in the battalion knew that Locke was going to be a knight. After all, everyone had witnessed Locke bringing Princess Angelina back safely. No one would've imagined that both of them who appeared like savages in front of the barracks two days ago would be a princess and a soon-to-be bearer of a knighthood.
Yoshk pointed at Locke and didn't know what to say. He was at a loss for words.
Locke knew what Yoshk wanted to say. He grinned.
Karl was not dispirited after he broke his arm. He had always been optimistic and positive. He smiled and said, "The little Locke back then has now become a bigshot!"
"No, no! It couldn't be done without the support from the both of you over the years," said Locke humbly.
The prince led the troops out of Cardoj's camp and left the next day. The frontlines needed Kenzir and protecting the prince wasn't the guards' only responsibility. They were an important military force, so they shouldn't be just staying there.
Of course, Angelina left with Kenzir. Before she left, she gave Locke a look that seemed like she was reluctant to leave and also asked him not to worry. The sixteen-year-old princess seemed to have really come to like this commoner.
The large group of nobles that had followed the prince and princess there had also left. To Locke's surprise, the fat noble, who was a viscount, went up to him before leaving.
He told Locke flattering words and shoved two hundred-gold-thaler bills and a dark-green ring into his hands. Locke couldn't put his finger on Viscount Melson's actions.
"Brother! You can visit me anytime if you happen to visit the royal capital, I'll take care of everything!" Viscount Melson acted as if he was very close to Locke and even promised him lots of benefits. He then rejoined the leaving nobles.
"What just happened?" mumbled Locke. He wasn't able to comprehend it. He thought that Viscount Melson was probably a little mentally abnormal.
At this moment, the 'mentally abnormal' Viscount Melson was in great distress. Two hundred gold coins was not a small amount of money to him, and he even gave away another green onyx ring.
Viscount Melson could socialise well in his circle of friends, but he was famous for being a nitwit in the royal capital. People made friends with him not because he was good at making friends, but because he had a good family background. His family owned most of the entertainment venues in Felor.
Although Viscount Melson was a nitwit, he was still able to become a viscount and was able to hold onto the position quite well. He wasn't completely a fool, and was shrewd in his own way. He didn't know whether he was mistaken, but he always had a feeling that there was something more to the relationship between Princess Angelina and the indignant commoner.
He discarded the notion of them being lovers. A love affair between a princess and a commoner would be ridiculous. Although Melson was an airhead, he wasn't stupid. He felt that the commoner must've done something to please Princess Angelina.
He then decided to fawn over Locke to make up for the mistakes he had made in the past and to also not leave a bad impression on Princess Angelina.
Of course, Locke wouldn't be appointed as a knight right away. The prince promised that it would take place in the royal capital after the war had ended. There were also many others who had accomplished outstanding achievements during this war and had also been appointed.
But, it was definitely rare for commoners to be promoted to become nobles, like in Locke's case. Most of their promotions were similar to Baron Cardoj's, they were only going to be promoted one or two ranks.
At noon, the soldiers ate in Baron Cardoj's tent. There were only a dozen people in the tent.
Everyone ate their bread quietly. If the baron wasn't talking, no one would speak a word.
Solon had never appeared in front of Locke even since Locke had returned to the camp. He was probably too ashamed to meet him or he was afraid that it would be awkward.
Solon and Locke had always gotten along pretty well before this. He didn't parade his status around and they could've become friends if it wasn't for that incident.
But, it was too late now. Locke utterly despised being stabbed in the back, probably because of the personality he had developed from being in the army. It was typical for everybody to have each others' backs in a life-or-death situation, but Solon had really crossed the line when he told Locke to give up his life.
Locke couldn't have said anything if Solon behaved like his superior. They were in a hierarchical society after all. If Locke was still a commoner, he might've even talked to him about the incident and put everything in the past the moment he had returned to the camp.
But now, Locke was going to be an noble soon. Besides, he had contributed to protecting the princess and had met with Kenzir personally. Even Cardoj spoke more modestly to him nowadays since his meeting with the Prince. Solon was practically still a commoner as he hadn't inherited his father's position, so Locke didn't need to be afraid of him.
Cardoj seemed to know about the incident as he didn't mention his son in front of Locke at all. It was obvious that he didn't want to embarrass Locke.
It was a very simple lunch with only two pieces of bread and a bowl of broth, but Locke really enjoyed it. It was way better than the food at the prince's banquet last night. He had never seen those types of food before and they tasted weird to him.
How long had it been since the last time he had a simple meal like that? A month? A month and a half?
When everyone was almost done eating, Cardoj began to give orders. Firstly, it related to Locke's appointment. 3rd and 4th Platoons were close to being completely wiped out by the bloody battle and were left with only approximately forty soldiers. Based on Locke's current status and contribution, there was no way in letting him go back to being a squad jarl.
"You'll be Herr Wyr's deputy and manage the cavalry platoon," said the baron while wiping his mouth with a napkin.
Locke gasped and replied, "Alright, Herr Baron."
Locke was still surprised at his appointment. He thought he would be a leader of some random platoon and wasn't expecting to be appointed to the cavalry platoon.
The cavalry platoon had always been without a deputy and was managed entirely by Wyr. Now that Locke was appointed to the cavalry platoon, it seemed like it was a gesture of support for Locke. After all, he was going to have someone with such a high rank by his side giving him guidance. He would definitely benefit a lot from this.
After hearing Locke's appointment, the deputy jarl of 1st Platoon heaved a sigh of relief. He was appointed as a jarl at the same time as Hans and Caen not long ago. If it wasn't for his strong family background in the business sector and his satisfactory abilities, he would never have been able to get to this post.
He thought that Locke would definitely replace him as the deputy leader of 1st Platoon when he returned. After all, it was the only appropriate vacancy for Locke in this camp at this moment.
Locke gladly accepted his orders. Just the thought of leading the cavalry platoon was exciting enough. The cavalry platoon came and went like the wind and was the trump card of Cardoj, boasting the strongest combat ability in this battalion. Locke was very satisfied with his post.
After Locke's appointment, the next important matter concerned the upcoming deployment.
Now that Locke had returned safely from protecting Princess Angelina, it was great merit for their battalion. Although their battalion suffered great casualties in the fight to wipe out Shalor, they had Kenzir's approval, so they would definitely be rewarded if they won the war.
Their next mission was to depart for the frontlines, assemble with Falcon and participate in the siege of Audis that would be happening in a month's time.
Locke listened inattentively as the baron delegated the upcoming missions. The cavalry platoon that he led was extremely powerful and relatively unrestrained. Plus, there was the mighty Wyr. There was nothing to worry about. He just had to grab the opportunities that were coming his way.
He was currently thinking about Suzanne. Yoshk told him that the women he and Suzanne had brought back were now busy trading in the town of Giza.
Yoshk had praised Suzanne in front of Locke multiple times. Although she wasn't Faustian, her performance in the past month had been praised by everyone who knew her.
"There is a businessman from the logistics office named Henry. One-third of his trade is now managed by Suzanne." These were the exact words from Uncle Yoshk.
As a woman, it was already very impressive for her to be able to achieve this.
The news of Locke's return had been spread by Yoshk in Giza the night Locke came back. Based on the distance, Suzanne should be able to arrive here in just two or three days.
Locke was looking forward to meeting her again.
Cardoj announced the adjournment of the meeting after he had finished delegating. The platoon jarls left the tent one after another. Meanwhile, Locke, Caen and Hans were discussing what to do in the afternoon to pass time. Not far away, there stood a matured and shapely woman, talking anxiously to the guard soldier.
Caen and Hans saw the lady and smiled at Locke. They then nudged him and he walked awkwardly towards her. The woman had also seen Locke. Her anxious look instantly faded and she seemed surprised. She was now covering her mouth with her eyes full of tears. She ignored the soldier that was in front of her and ran towards Locke.
Locke opened his arms and caught her in a long embrace.
Caen and Hans then pulled the soldier who had just stopped Suzanne from entering to look at the scene. "Look carefully, she is our sister-in-law. Keep an eye out for her in the future!" said Caen while giving a pat on the soldier's shoulder.
This soldier obviously knew who Locke was, and his jaw dropped.