My god, so much text…and the wording is weird in some places. Meh.
I guess I should also formally announce that we’re working together with Re:Translations. See Rei? I did it.
In other news, HTG is officially dropped by Sneak and myself, Sneak has chosen a new series and will begin working on it asap (tomorrow, so he said). 9 may pursue this in the future, but with the Kansu chapters as of current…
Anyhow, enjoy this chapter. It’s actually the longest chapter I’ve worked on so far for Lazy9.
Military Exercise Area
Presently, I am in the castle exercise grounds watching the soldiers train with the other captains.
“What of it, Conrad?” [Adolf]
With long blue hair bundled at the bottom and standing at 180 «kaumeito» (cm) tall was a man named Adolf Addinsell.
His blue eyes looked upon me.
He was wearing white padded armor, which was under brown leather armor. He wore black leather pants with short black boots.
(ED: This is a Gambeson, a padded defensive jacket)
He wore a dark green cloak on his back.
He has a nice and well-groomed face, judging by his popularity with the maidservants and young ladies of the city.
He is the Captain of the Archer Corps and the same age as I am, 24.
“Well, what do you think of it?” [Conrad]
I put the question to Adolf, even though I can roughly guess the answer.
“This Black Knight is such a mysterious person, to be appointed Knight Commander and also a direct knight to the Royal Family, so I’ve been told!” [Celestia]
So says Celestia Avary.
She is junior nobility, as well as the eldest daughter of the Avary family and Captain of the Spear Corps.
Her short and wavy golden hair paired with her pale face could classify her as a beautiful woman.
She glared at me with her purple eyes.
She wore silver scale armor and gauntlets with a brown leather skirt, on her feet were high-heel iron boots that reached up to her knees.
Her cloak was a dark blue.
She doesn’t show it with her proud personality and well-toned body, but she’s only 19 years old.
I was slightly annoyed with her way of talking just now.
You don’t insult people, lest it becomes a habit.
“Insults to the Commander will not be forgiven, even for you Celestia.” [Conrad]
I give a stern warning in which all eyes present give an expression of surprise.
Even from what I said about the Commander, they still seem confused.
“It’s exactly as His Majesty said yesterday. That person is the benefactor of the royal family and I. That’s why Kyle and I petitioned His Majesty about the Commander.” [Conrad]
“But that’s it! For someone so mysterious to receive Red, the position closest to the imperial family…! Even if he was chosen by the legendary black unicorn, I still need proof to be convinced he is worthy of such a position!” [Celestia]
I am shocked to still be unable to convince her.
“So much shouting for such a beautiful woman.” [Adelbert]
The one with an affectionate tone is Adelbert Abercrombie, Captain of the Swordsmen Corps.
Short golden hair with blue eyes. A real dandy boy.
He is 23 years old with a height of 175 «kaumeito» (cm), and has a mole under the corner of his left eye.
Wearing silver plate mail with a purple cloak, he is the eldest son of the Abercrombie house and the next family head.
He’s a childhood friend of Celestia, as unnatural as that seems for their positions.
His prowess with the sword certainly makes him suitable for the Captain of the Swordsmen but, this guy’s character is rather…
Upon our first meeting I was met with some unrestrained and rude words. A typical aristocratic boy.
For the men that belong to the Imperial Army I don’t think there is one that doesn’t want to punch this guy.
In private he is always surrounded by beautiful women, he is good at smooth talking women.
Although most of the men envy him, I don’t particularly care for it.
Someone who only knows to play around…
“It’s as Adel says. Calm down little Celes.” [Brandon]
The one who tries to soothe Celestia, Brandon Adams.
Captain of the Fighter Corps and oldest amongst us.
A large, rippling man with a height of 190 «kaumeito»(cm).
Brown, wolf-like hair that reaches the back of his neck.
Mean looking brown eyes, tanned brown skin, and a brown cloak to match.
He wore dark green padded armor under a black segmented breastplate, coupled with brown leather pants and black knee high boots.
Contrary to his appearance, he has a good-natured personality.
Though he was born a commoner, Celestia and Adelbert treat him as an older brother.
Many have followed and relied upon this man in times of need.
I as well have relied upon him.
Amy Arnold said bashfully while fidgeting.
Middle nobility and youngest of three daughters to the Arnold family.
She was wearing an archer hat with a bowed front with red hair that passes in front of the left and right shoulders, along with a light blue robe with a string of embroidered flowers.
She also has glasses on, behind which were red eyes and a plain face.
Short brown boots covered her feet, and an orange cloak flowed from her back.
She is incredibly shy but her magic prowess is the best in the empire.
She is the type that, when needed, has the responsibility to get things done.
“…I’m sorry.” [Celestia]
After it being pointed out, Celestia cools her head.
“Regardless, just as Celes said, the fact that we know nothing of this man is something we cannot accept.” [Adelbert]
The other Captains nod at the words stated by Adelbert.
It looks as if they all have the same opinion of the new captain.
I would have felt the same had I not seen it.
“Conrad, I also do not trust him. Why do you go so far as to follow him?” [Adolf]
I hear from Adolf.
As friends, we have climbed the ladder to the top together.
However, he is misunderstanding.
“Adolf, I’m not the best knight. I may be better than an ordinary soldier but that is only because of training.”
I’m just a commoner trained to be a knight.
Certainly, I was called the strongest so far, but now I question why I was called so.
I’m only an ordinary person who is slightly stronger than most.
It was even clearer yesterday.
“Everyone, listen to me. I am an ordinary human that can be found anywhere.” [Conrad]
“For…that…to be…no…such…thing.” [Amy]
Amy desperately denies with a face that disapproves of such thoughts.
“It is just as Amy says. An enemy that can match you does not exist!” [Celestia]
So she says.
I return Celestia’s words.
“No. If I am against that person I would surely lose.” [Conrad]
“I have no reason to believe in that!” [Adolf]
I was at a loss for words.
It seems that no matter what I say they are bound to their belief.
I involuntarily yelled.
My shout surprises the Captains and the surrounding men suspend their training.
So I say to them.
“I’m glad you think so highly of me but to say ‘There is no enemy that can match me’ is like saying it’s ‘a waste to become stronger’ and I will hear no such words!”
These thoughts have always been on my mind.
“I have put much thought into it. I want to protect the people of this country and so I trained hard, but I am not the only person who put in such effort. Yet, before I knew it, I was called the strongest in the Empire. I am but a commoner yet so much responsibility was placed onto me…. To say I am deserving of such a title, I will not accept it!” [Conrad]
Adolf’s small voice leaks out.
Honestly, I never told anyone until now.
It is no wonder they would be surprised.
“The evidence of this was yesterday. When His Majesty and I were attacked by 5 ogres, I used all my strength to protect them but it was not enough.” [Conrad]
Everyone went silent and listened to me with surprised expressions.
“It’s a lie” and “Unbelievable” was written all over their faces.
“When my despair reached its peak for failing to protect His Majesty, I begged for anyone to save His Majesty. That was when ‘He’ appeared.” [Conrad]
I remember that moment and I noticed I had begun to relax again.
At that time I was staring, puzzled at the scene that lay before me.
The Black Knight who seemed to dance across the battlefield while fighting an ogre.
“I thought I had entered a dream when ‘He’ appeared. The black armor that popped out of the forest and saved His Majesty… That person gave us hope when it had been lost.” [Conrad]
I remember the fight between the ogre and the knight at that time.
The knight deliberately provoked the ogre to attack, and then I watched in awe as the knight overwhelmed the ogre with a single arm and a sword.
Even I would not be able to compete with an ogre unless I use both hands.
The knight finally beheaded the ogre with a single move.
Somewhere, at that time, in my heart I already knew.
That person is not an enemy.
“For me, it did not matter if that Black Knight was chosen or not. At that moment I strongly felt that I wanted to follow that person.” [Conrad]
I ended up saying and noticed everyone has crowded around.
Silence prevails for a while.
Then suddenly the silence is broken.
It was the voice of my younger sister who became the caretaker of the Commander.
Black armor wearing a red cloak followed her.
I involuntarily raised my voice.
The Captains around me turned their faces toward me in surprise.
I ignored their faces and move quickly to the Captain.
“Commander! What brings you here?” [Conrad]
I ask the newly appointed Commander.
“Oh, I was coming to ask you about something but what happened? I don’t know what was said but I could hear a voice.” [Chie]
The Commander asked in the low voice of a man.
It seems my voice was carried outside.
I am relieved the contents were not known.
I don’t want to seem undignified in front of this person.
I tighten my face.
“Nothing. It was not an issue.” [Conrad]
“My brother is glad that Black Knight-sama has come, isn’t that right?” [Alice]
My sister is quite sharp.
The Commander tilts her head in confusion.
“Then Commander, you wanted…” [Conrad]
“You’re the Black Knight?” [Adelbert]
When I tried to ask the Commander, Adelbert interrupted.
This inconsiderate man.
“Yes, and you are?” [Chie]
The Commander says while watching Adelbert.
“I am Adelbert Abercrombie, Swordsmen Captain.”
Adelbert says while extending his right hand.
Hey, normally you would take the gauntlet off beforehand.
“I’m sorry, but my face and real name will remain hidden.” [Chie]
The Commander says while removing her gauntlet and taking Adelbert’s outstretched hand.
As one would expect of the Commander.
It shows her true personality.
While shaking hands with the Commander, Adelbert laughed through his nose.
To be exact, he was shaking the Commander’s right hand.
“Something the matter?” [Chie]
The Commander asks Adelbert.
“No, I just thought your hands were rather rugged and seedy.” [Adelbert]
What a thing to say to the Commander.
Certainly the hand of the Commander will be a far cry from the soft hand of a city woman. You can tell just by looking.
They are the same hands that a variety of men have, but there are some things that are just bad to say.
The Captains behind Adelbert expressed agreement with what he said.
However the subordinates and I who were with His Majesty yesterday spew murderous intent toward Adelbert.
Alice and I glare at Adelbert, though he doesn’t let go of the hand.
“I never expected that the Black Knight that was chosen would have such a pitiful hand. I’m sorry.” [Adelbert]
The Commander remained silent.
Any more than this and I won’t be able to stand it.
Likewise, Alice is clenching her hands tightly.
I send her a signal with my eyes; “One more rude word and I’m beating him half to death.”
Alice reads it correctly and nods. That’s my sister.
“Wake up Conrad. You’ll end up at the bottom of the knights if you follow this one. Do you no longer know what is right? Aside from being a fool.” [Adelbert]
Time for a beating.
I take a step closer to Adelbert.
However, in the next moment.
“Guafut!” [Adelbert & Brandon]
It happened in an instant.
The Commander removed her hand from Adelbert and punched him in the face. The blow had put Adelbert into a stupor and he fell backward into Brandon.
The Commander let out a breath while putting her gauntlet back on.
I was taken aback.
The Commander appeared calm but was clearly angry.
I couldn’t see her face from the helmet but I understood the atmosphere.
Adelbert, beaten, was set on the ground by Brandon. He then flew toward the Commander in anger.
Rather than panic the Commander kept a cool head and let out a murmur.
Brandon’s right arm and left side collar is grabbed by the Commander. She then quickly changes orientation with her right hand still holding onto the collar. Brandon’s charge is changed and he is thrown to the ground. (ED: typical judo throw)
That was a spectacular move. Was it a skill?
He probably received a significant impact to the back.
Brandon is still lying on his back with a distorted face.
“This bastard?!” [Adolf]
Now Adolf is holding a bow and arrow pointed toward the Commander.
It’s his specialty. Arrows strengthened with ice magic!
“Adolf, stop!” [Conrad]
I yell at Adolf to try and make him stop.
“You idiot! Two Captains were just beaten down! This guy!” [Adolf]
The blood goes straight to his head. He is no longer his usual self.
Just like I was a long time ago, a fool.
In this state he is unstoppable, even by me.
This is bad.
Just as I was going to warn the Commander,
“Tch…you a kid? This guy.” [Chie]
I did not call out to her because the atmosphere of the Commander changed.
My intuition trained through combat is telling me to not talk to this person right now.
Alice sensed this as well.
She evacuated to one of the corners.
I always thought the danger detection of that girl was awesome.
Being around danger when we were younger I would take her quickly to a safe spot.
It seems that it stuck with her.
Being half respecting and half amazed at the reaction speed of my sister, Adolf lets loose an ice arrow.
However, it fails to hit the Commander.
“It’s gone?!” [Adolf]
The ice arrow that Adolf shot is smashed by the sword that was pulled out faster than the eye could see.
Adolf was surprised. His face showed that he did not understand the situation.
Adolf silently looks at the Commander who suddenly kicked off from the ground at a speed that was hard for the eye to follow.
The back part of the blade was pressed against his throat before Adolf could even react to the movement.
“Spectacular..” [Alice & Conrad]
Alice and I involuntarily muttered to ourselves.
Muttering about it and all, it really was great.
“…Are you done?” [Chie]
To the cold voice of the Commander, Adolf gives a nod in silence.
The Commander saw it and returned the sword to its sheath making a metallic sound.
Hearing the sound, Adolf’s legs gave out and he landed on his butt.
There was a look of fear in his face and he looked to be trembling.
The Commander turned her back to Adolf, who was sitting and holding his face, and walked toward Adelbert.
“Don’t come!” [Adelbert]
The sight of the original Swordsmen Captain is nowhere to be found.
For one who looked so noble, he now looks incompetent and run down.
The Commander walked silently up to Adelbert, I didn’t try to stop her.
No, I couldn’t stop her.
The sheer difference in power between the Commander and I was felt in the atmosphere.
Adelbert was completely terrified once the Commander stopped in front of him.
The Commander grabbed Adelbert’s white shirt from under his armor and forced him up.
“…Do you understand the reason why I am angry?” [Chie]
It was a cold voice that crawled across the skin.
Adelbert is trembling with chattering teeth and a blue face.
It’s the situation when you can’t even speak due to fear.
At the appearance of Adelbert the Commander spits out her words.
“I knew you lot did not like me from the start so for good or bad I thought to put up with it in the beginning.” [Chie]
The Commander continued in a cold, deep voice.
“Face and body completely hidden by black armor. Such a suspicious person is given a red cloak, given the position of Duke and then title of Knight Commander by the royal family. It would be obvious to cause frustration. Such a person would never be accepted!” [Chie]
The Commander yelled and Adelbert gave out a shudder.
All the people in this place did the same.
“If it was only your attitude towards me I would have endured it. However, I dare say, what is with you? Is it not common sense to shake hands bare-handed? Then talking about my hand in a condescending way. Certainly my hand is rugged and far from elegant but is it common to look down on someone for such? Know some boundaries!” [Chie]
Adelbert nodded shaking his head like a broken toy.
“The next insult I could not endure. I care not of the things said about me. There are reasons you should feel that way but…” [Chie]
The Commander squeezed her left hand into a fist.
What the Commander said next, I was at a loss for words.
“Conrad is unrelated to the problem between us!” [Chie]
To everyone that heard it their eyes opened wide.
No, only Alice is watching while smiling happily.
“Conrad at the bottom of the knights? To take him for a fool? Such things from a stupid swordsman! Only a fool would agree with you! He is a person who desperately defended everyone from ogres with all that he had! A person who is kind and dependable! I may have just met him and not know him that well but I know this! Compared to you he is by far a better man!” [Chie]
After saying so the Commander releases Adelbert.
Adelbert once again fell to the ground.
“Understand?! From now on I dare you to speak ill of others! When you do I’ll remove your head from your torso!”
The Commander stood with her index finger pointing at Adelbert for the reply.
Satisfied the Commander turns her back toward Adelbert and begins walking toward me.
All the anger disappeared and she was back to her original atmosphere.
“I’m sorry Conrad. I seem to have stirred up some trouble.” [Chie]
The Commander apologized in the ordinary low voice of a man.
“It’s understandable for you to be angry! Had you not done so, Alice and I would have beaten him half to death!” [Conrad]
“…Eh? Alice?” [Chie]
From what I said about Alice, was it strange for the Commander?
She tilted her head and gave off a puzzled atmosphere.
This person apparently exhibits her emotions through her atmosphere.
In a way it makes her easy to understand, is it deliberate?
“Yes. Did you think she was just a maidservant of the castle? I am not sure where she learned it but she is a master of unarmed-combat. She is on the same level as the Captain’s you fought earlier.” [Conrad]
Perhaps she is making a cramped face under the helm?
I get afraid whenever my sister makes the same face.
“I thought about it yesterday. Exactly what are the maidservants of the castle?” [Chie]
“Well, um….” [Conrad]
I’m sorry Commander.
That’s a mystery even amongst our men.
Awfully early to work and decent combat ability….
“Oh, what was it you wanted to talk about?” [Conrad]
Thinking about it is scary so I decided to ask about her reason to visit.
“Oh, that’s right. Conrad, I heard about the rumors of a slave auction in the capital and I wanted more information. Do you know anyone I could talk to?” [Chie]
“Eh!? Certainly you were given a day to rest by His Majesty? I didn’t think you would use it to gather information on your own!” [Conrad]
This person, I didn’t think she would already be working.
“Oh, I wanted to buy some clothes and look at the current situation in the capital with my own eyes. In my country there is a saying, ‘Seeing is believing’.” [Chie]
A word I am not familiar with, I give a quizzical look.
What is a ‘saying’?
“Commander, a saying?” [Conrad]
I ask the question to the Commander.
“Saying is a phrase used since ancient times that represents a shrewd observation of daily life. ‘Seeing is believing’ means that rather than listen to others it is better to see for yourself so you can understand.” [Chie]
“It’s a great word isn’t it?” [Chie]
Certainly words to admire.
“Truly is Commander. I understand, I will call some men whom we can trust. Please wait in your room.” [Conrad]
“Thank you very much. Sorry for troubling you.” [Chie]
But I would like to apologize to the Commander who apologized to me.
“No! It is my duty as your subordinate.” [Conrad]
“Oh, Conrad? I think that type of speech is better, don’t you?”
She tilts her head and suddenly says.
“When we first met you talked to me casually but then in the middle of it you switched to formal? I thought that was your own thing but you switched back to casual just now so that means we have become closer for which I am glad.”
What did she say!?
“Well that’s that. From now on you will use casual speech in front of me.” [Chie]
“No, to say such things!?” [Conrad]
“That’s the way it is. Well, I’m going to head back to my room.” [Chie]
So she said then left the training field with Alice.
As I was taken aback looking at where they left I heard Amy from behind.
When I looked back she was holding her reddened cheeks with both hands.
“To see such a thing! To think I doubted that person a little while ago!” [Celestia]
Next to Amy stands Celestia with reddened cheeks and clasped hands.
Both of them seem to be excited.
Apparently the two that watched the performance just now have come to realize the elegance of the Captain.
“…Conrad, that knight.” [Adolf]
Before I realized, Adolf had come beside me and mentions the Commander.
Brandon seems to have come to his senses, Adelbert is still sitting down while Celestia and Amy look toward me.
The gazes of all those present have fallen upon me.
To them I grin and laugh proudly.
“That person is indeed the legendary Black Knight! The person who yelled at His Majesty and I!”