Early the next morning.
Following breakfast at the hospital, Kyle changed into a fresh officer’s uniform sent by Joseph. The uniform featured a Second Lieutenant rank badge.
Lucy was even more concerned about Kyle’s appearance than he was as she meticulously adjusted the collar and sleeves of his uniform, smoothing out every wrinkle with her hands.
“I’m not attending a fancy social gathering. There’s no need to dress so formally,” Kyle joked but Lucy seemed preoccupied and remained silent, not responding to his words.
“What’s wrong? Did something bother you?” Kyle inquired further.
Summoning her courage, Lucy nervously asked, “Kyle, are you going back to the battlefield with that bearded officer?”
“Not to the battlefield just yet. I haven’t been assigned with any mission so we’re simply returning to the training base we were at before,” Kyle reassured her with a smile. “Why the concern? It’s normal for officers to return to the battlefield.”
“Can I come with you?” Lucy lowered her head, her small hands fidgeting and clasping each other as she asked.
Kyle’s expression turned serious as he replied, “Lucy, do you think the battlefield is a fun place? Have you forgotten how you managed to escape from there?”
“But… my family died on the battlefield, and I have no home anymore. If even you leave, then I…” Lucy’s beautiful eyes filled with tears.
“Well, that’s an issue.”
Kyle stroked his chin as he pondered for a moment, and proposed, “I have an idea. My family home is here in New York. My parents died in the previous war, and it’s currently vacant. If you don’t mind, you can stay there for now.”
Having seen his own file at the training base, Kyle knew he was an orphan before joining the military and he resided in a retro mansion left behind by his deceased parents.
The keys to the house were stored in a storage facility in New York, retrievable with proper identification.
“Stay at your place?” Lucy’s eyes widened and a rosy blush spread across her fair and delicate face as she heard Kyle’s words, these words held a different meaning for her.
Wasn’t this like living together in advance, even if the other party wouldn’t often be home?
“You can stay for as long as you like,” Kyle smiled, lovingly tousling Lucy’s golden hair as he spoke.
For now, Kyle had no intentions beyond treating Lucy like a close sister.
“Kyle, you’re so kind to me,” Lucy’s eyes sparkled with joy. She quickly tiptoed and lightly kissed Kyle’s cheek before darting away, blushing like a startled rabbit.
“Uh, that was unexpected…”
A subtle feeling stirred within Kyle as he touched the cheek that had received an unexpected kiss but he swiftly brushed aside these thoughts.
Now was not the time for comfortable romance.
He needed to continue growing stronger, strong enough to face any unforeseen crisis in this world.
Accumulating Military Achievements, rising in rank, building a reputation, gaining power, and even wealth— many things awaited Kyle.
Being thrown into this Marvel world, merely desiring to be an ordinary person would be a waste of the Extracting Card Ability bestowed upon him by fate.
Kyle had his own life blueprint, waiting for him to add vibrant strokes to it.
Around 8 o’clock in the morning.
Joseph arrived in a jeep to personally pick up Kyle and take him to the military airfield.
After bidding farewell to Lucy in New York, Kyle boarded the transport plane with Joseph, returning to the training base he was initially in.
Meanwhile, at the training base. A stage had been set up in the square for a speech, and Steve, as Captain America, was scheduled to address the crowd. However, this had political implications.
The base commander had issued orders for all soldiers in the training camp to attend the speech on the square, and failure to comply would result in discharge. Interestingly, this time, no officers were present alongside the soldiers.
This was because not only the soldiers but also all the officers scoffed at Steve, who claimed to be Captain America but had never set foot on the battlefield.
It could be imagined that when Steve, dressed in tight clothes bearing the American flag symbol, took the stage to deliver his speech, he would face strong resistance from the soldiers.
And indeed, that was the case.
Steve stood on the podium, facing the deafening silence below, attempting to warm up the atmosphere as he addressed the hundreds of soldiers before him. “Alright, who’s ready to volunteer?”
“Cut the crap. We’re here to volunteer, aren’t we?” A soldier in the crowd impatiently shouted, causing laughter to erupt among the seated soldiers on the square.
“We want to see some dancing, not speeches!”
Amidst the soldiers’ uproar, Steve awkwardly responded, “I believe they’ll be performing a song later, so I was thinking of what to do with the extra time.”
“Hey pretty boy, maybe you should dance in those shiny boots of yours!”
The soldiers showed him no respect, becoming rowdier by the minute. Some began hurling fruits and bottles onto the stage.
Agent Carter who was standing behind the stage, clenched her fists, she wanted to intervene and support Steve but felt utterly powerless at this moment.
At this moment.
“What is the meaning of this?” A cold and commanding voice suddenly reverberated from behind the square. Instantly, all eyes in the square turned toward the source, filled with surprise.
There stood a young man in an officer’s uniform, his presence emanating a faint aura of authority. His sharp, icy eyes met the gazes of the soldiers below.
“That’s a Second Lieutenant.” A soldier, who had been on the verge of arguing, noticed the rank insignia on the young man’s chest and, to everyone’s disbelief, swallowed his words.
“A Second Lieutenant? But he is so young? Why haven’t we heard of him before?”
“He can’t be older than us, right?”
Amidst the nervous whispers, some recognized the young officer and exclaimed loudly with mixed expressions, “It’s Second Lieutenant Kyle!”
Second Lieutenant Kyle?
The new recruits were momentarily stunned, their gazes now filled with admiration as they looked upon the young officer.
“Is it really him?!”
“No doubt! Who else but Kyle could be a Second Lieutenant at such a young age?”
“Oh my god! The American hero, he’s my idol.”
“Who isn’t? I joined the military because of his achievements!”
The soldiers on the square became overwhelmed with excitement, struggling to find the right words to express themselves. Finally, someone shouted, “Stand and salute!” In an instant, hundreds of soldiers rose to their feet, turned around, and saluted the young officer. “Good day, sir!”
“Thank you for your service, sir!”
Facing their admiration, Kyle, his expression stern, responded, “No need for salutes. Just two weeks ago, I was one of you. But is this how you treat your fellow soldiers? Is this the extent of your military conduct?!”
The soldiers exchanged glances, their jaws clenched, and swiftly turned around again, bowing apologetically to Steve on the stage. “We’re sorry!”
Steve on the stage remained silent, gazing at the cold and formidable young officer standing behind the soldiers and a mix of excitement and embarrassment stirred within his heart.
Suddenly, he recalled the scene at the training base, as the sun was setting when Kyle had emerged victorious in the shooting competition.
At that time, Kyle had said to him, “Steve, from now on, no one will dare to look down on us.”
(End of chapter)