A Vice-Captain’s Tale
by Lucathia
The vice-captains of the Twelve Holy Knights never thought that their jobs would differ so vastly from their expectations. Tyler has really been missing out.

Prologue: Behind Every Great Captain…

A group of men sat around a table, drinking wine. These men were the vice-captains of the Twelve Holy Knights. As they drank, they counted the number present.

“…Eight, nine, ten, eleven… Looks like that’s everyone,” someone commented.

Adair lowered his drink and shook his head. “No, we should be twelve in number. Tyler isn’t here.”

“But he never comes anyway,” came the immediate reply.

Frowning, Adair said, “He should join us, especially since Knight-Captain Hell is back with us.” Like them, Tyler was a vice-captain.

“Ah, that’s right, Knight-Captain Hell is back.”

The vice-captains all looked at each other, similar thoughts on their minds. Tyler had always acted as the Hell Knight because of Knight-Captain Hell’s absence. Now that the real Hell Knight was back, Tyler wasn’t the acting captain anymore even though he had always been the one taking care of the Hell Knight’s duties.

“Is he still angry about Knight-Captain Hell’s return?” one of them asked, recalling how Tyler had vehemently refused to call Knight-Captain Hell by his title and had instead called him Knight Supreme Dragon.

“No,” Adair replied, “they’ve sorted things out.”

And by “sorted things out,” Adair meant that Hell Knight and Tyler had dueled over and over again until Tyler couldn’t help but end up admiring his captain’s skill. Those watching soon figured out that Hell Knight’s swordsmanship was even better than Judgment Knight’s and Ice Knight’s, and that was quite something.

“But do you think he even knows how to act as a vice-captain?” another person asked, voicing what was on everyone’s minds. Tyler, despite being a vice-captain like all of them, had never had a captain to serve before Hell Knight’s return. For many years, Tyler had been more like a captain than a vice-captain, having had to lead the Hell Knight Platoon and attend meetings as the Hell Knight.

“I bet not! Surely he has never before had to empty out his pockets to the last ducat for his captain!”

Most of the table laughed heartily. Some groaned.

“Why did you have to remind me of that…” one of them said, head buried in his hands as he lamented over his penniless state.

“I know what you mean. I had to do that just last week because of all those broken doors…”

Another said, “I had to buy baking ingredients.”

“Seasonings for me,” added someone else. “My captain says he’ll pay me back, but… Considering how he has to buy paper and ink now as well, I’m not too optimistic about that.”

“Blueberry pies,” said the next person who was of course Adair, since no one had a captain with such a sweet tooth.

Everyone had something to say except Vidar who held his hands up in defense once it became evident that he was the only one who hadn’t spoken. “Don’t look at me. Captain Judgment never asks for anything.”

They gave him a look that clearly said they didn’t believe that Vidar never spent money for his captain.

He caved. “Okay, he never asks for anything, but I still buy tea for him…”

Satisfied, they directed the conversation back to Tyler’s situation.

“See? Surely Tyler has never had to pay repair fees or buy any number of things for his captain’s sake.”

Many shook their heads in disbelief. “He is so missing out. What kind of vice-captain is he?”

“Exactly, right? So missing out on what it means to be a vice-captain.”

“Poor Tyler. He’s never known our joy.” The speaker wiped at his eyes dramatically.

“Guess that means we’ve just got to show him.”

They raised their drinks and clinked them together, sharing a smile as they downed them. Oh boy did they have a lot to show Tyler.

“So, who wants to go get Tyler?”

After the question was asked, the Storm Knight Vice-Captain tucked his hair behind his ears and stood up, his chair scraping across the floor.

“I might as well start us off,” he declared. “Wish me luck. My girlfriend will be exasperated.”

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