Xant: Sorry about the delay, this was done almost a week ago but I got caught up in a lot of stuff.
Let’s see here, for one, we recruited.
Katshu is now one of our proofers, awesome.
Gamings5 is a new translator on the team who is working on a thing that we won’t discuss till later.
Unrelated, but Blastaf is translating Astarte into French, so if you’re a baguette eater, head over to his French version.
We had expected Sneak to be done his secret new thing, but real life things happened in his family so it’s delayed and I ain’t gonna budge nor harass.
Effectively consider ID dropped, I spoke to Senna recently and she’s swamped with working on her portfolio and a couple other things that have her full attention IRL. I am sorry about that, but School, Work, and Real Life are all priorities over this stuff. It may be picked up later when her shit gets sorted out, but expect nothing.
In other news, we are still looking for another editor. We’ve had a bunch of people submit proofreading tests which is darn awesome, but since we are sitting at 4 proofers now, I need another editor for all these series we have. Badly. Srs, we have 3 running and 2 in the works. I can only do so much, and I don’t want to burn Draco out.
Chapter 11 – Mastermind Contact & Statement
“Mage Corps! Put more spirit into it!” [Chie]
It’s been two weeks now since coming to this world.
These past two weeks have been terribly busy.
Things like the kidnapping investigation, bodyguard missions for the princess, and military training. I now oversee all of these things.
I also oversee all the training methods, though there was some reluctance from the stupid swordsman.
“Got it? I still don’t recognize you! Until then I will oversee the Swordsmen training!” [Adelbert]
And, like a child, he drove me away.
It goes without saying that the stupid swordsman would look quite foolish if anyone looked at him right now.
Though I heard it from Conrad, is this guy really 23-years old?
In the end, the stupid swordsman was booed by everyone in the Swordsmen Corps and he was forced to accept the training change.
And now putting my attention into training the Mage Corps…..
—Ze~e, Ze~e, Ze~e
Shortness of breath at 50 meito (meters).
They start to become unsteady at 100 meito.
Somehow, they all managed to run 500 meito, but fall to the ground afterwards.
“…..” [Amy & Chie]
Amy and I were so amazed that we didn’t say anything.
I spoke with Amy next to me, who is calm and breathing normally unlike the other mages.
“Amy, you seem to be fine.” [Chie]
“Yes….I….trained….a lot….with….Celes.” [Amy]
“I see.” [Chie]
Amy and Celes are certainly on good terms.
I have also witnessed them training together often.
For Celes, the Captain of the Spearmen, physical strength was required.
If Amy trained together with someone like her, then it was inevitable she would become strong.
“As expected of the Captain.” [Chie]
I gave praise and Amy laughed joyfully.
Looking at such a smile was really soothing~.
Chie’s Bedroom & Workroom
“Commander, I have brought the documents.” [Conrad]
“Thank you.” [Chie]
The morning training ends with field exercises, and at that time I retreated to my room and began filing papers, including the one Conrad had just brought me.
Because I could be called by His Majesty at any moment, I kept my armor equipped, but the helmet was currently sitting on the corner of the desk.
Taking a moment to change into plain clothes might be good, but working is more important.
I also think that wearing the armor is more comfortable.
As of 10 days ago, Conrad finished the registration papers, and became the Knight Vice-Commander, and did my secretary work.
Filing all of the documents, Conrad, Alice, and I spent our time in this room.
It had become our daily routine.
“Black Knight-sama, Brother. Why not take a small break?” [Alice]
Alice said as she brought out a tray of coffee cups, placing one on my workdesk, followed by one on Conrad’s.
Conrad was actually using the table and chair I used for breakfast and dinner rather than an actual work desk.
This living area was equipped with a small kitchen and had a toilet and dressing area next door, so there’s no need to go out.
“That’s fine. Let’s take a 10-minute break, Commander.” [Conrad]
“Understood. Hmmmm~~” [Chie]
Acknowledging the words of Conrad, I stretched.
Well, I never would have thought paperwork would be so tiring.
When in school, I wouldn’t get tired listening to the teacher and taking notes.
Sitting in the chair, silently looking over the documents left to sign, I think I took paperwork too lightly.
Recalling that common anime and manga scene where the main character runs to escape from paperwork…I now understand why.
The papers were simple to complete, so there’s nothing really difficult about it.
However, the mountain of documents made my eyes hurt.
Just looking at the amount that I needed to put my seal on gave me anxiety.
At such a time, Alice brought us coffee.
“Fuu~~” [Conrad & Chie]
Conrad and I relaxed.
Alice’s coffee was seriously delicious.
It’s pitch black, yet tastes so delicious.
During the short break, Conrad and I drink the coffee Alice made us.
This space only has 3 people, but I like it.
Oh~ The Peace~
Filling out and stamping the documents resumed….after a 30 minute break.
A knock made me stop.
“Shall I get that, Black Knight-sama?” [Alice]
I put on my helmet.
Alice opened the door and checks.
“!?…Praetor Ackroyd. May I help you?” [Alice]
“!” [Conrad & Chie]
Praetor Brattle Ackroyd!
Conrad and I locked eyes through my helmet.
“I didn’t come here to talk to a mere maid!” [Ackroyd]
A fat man’s voice was heard.
Really, it was just like the dialogue of a foolish noble.
While I was thinking about the various things I would like to do to the Praetor, Alice looks towards me.
She seemed to want to know if he should be let in.
I permitted it with a nod and she lead the Praetor into the room.
A short, fat man who looked to be about 50 with a shaved head and a bad face barged into the room, wearing expensive looking clothes.
The man gave off a bad impression.
I stand up from the chair and Conrad stood behind me, to my right.
“Praetor Ackroyd, do you have business with me?” [Chie]
While being wary, I entered “work mode”.
“Hmph! Recently some unexpected things had been done!” [Ackroyd]
“Unexpected things?” [Chie]
I asked in return while studying him.
“Don’t play dumb! Selfishly using the city guards to replace the soldiers that were assigned to the villages and towns without permission from the Parliament or myself is beyond your jurisdiction!!” [Ackroyd]
Praetor Ackroyd cried out loud while displaying a distorted, ugly face.
Huh? What was this old man saying?
At first, I was too amazed at the silly remarks of the Praetor to say anything.
Looking at Conrad and Alice, they both wear an amazed face as well.
Well, I’m actually smiling faintly.
As he said those words, the feelings of anger I had while looking at this guy just faded away.
Having no means to compete with Praetor Ackroyd meant that the Imperial Family was effectively a victim. Until now, that is.
Didn’t this old man ever notice that the situation had changed?
“You think I am your subordinate or something?” [Chie]
I lash out.
“And for that matter, why must I seek permission from the Parliament in order to take military action?” [Chie]
“Such a thing is natural! Since ancient times the ‘Word of Law’ was….” [Ackroyd]
“It seems you were not informed, Praetor Ackroyd.” [Chie]
His face distorted with my words.
“That may have been the case previously, but the situation has changed now that I’m here.” [Chie]
“What did you say!?” [Ackroyd]
Praetor Ackroyd slammed his hands on my desk as he shouted.
Good grief, this man still doesn’t understand his position.
This guy, how did he become a member of Parliament?
“Did you forget the position that was given to me?” [Chie]
“Duke? Such a thing holds no power in the Parliament!” [Ackroyd]
Praetor Ackroyd continues into a tantrum.
Hoh~ It can be seen simply by looking you know?
This Praetor only sees the status that was bestowed upon him. A foolish nobleman.
This guy, he has forgotten the most important part.
“Haa~, to be this much of a fool.” [Chie]
I say while I sigh.
“You wretch! To say such a thing towards me!” [Ackroyd]
Praetor Ackroyd screams ungracefully.
I speak while looking down on him through the helmet.
“It’s as I said Praetor. You have forgotten the most important part.” [Chie]
“Ah, what the….” [Ackroyd]
The Praetor is confused by the sudden change in atmosphere.
I continued while ignoring him.
“I am not just the Knight Commander, I am the exclusive knight to the Imperial Family, among many other things….” [Chie]
Praetor Ackroyd widened his eyes.
“I only take orders from the Imperial Family. Do you not understand the color of this cloak? I have more authority than your Parliament.” [Chie]
At first, I didn’t understand why such a thing was bestowed to me, but now I get it.
His Majesty was searching.
He was searching for someone capable of changing the current state of the Empire.
Well, even though I don’t know a lot about this position, I think I would like to change the current situation of this country and I believe most of the people of this country are of the same mind.
To make that possible, this position was given to me.
To make that happen, there was one thing I need to do.
To change the essential qualities of His Majesty and the people of this country.
To that end, we must first solve this case.
I cannot afford to lose to this old man.
“Praetor Ackroyd, the replacement of the guards was to strengthen the security of the Empire. Why is it, that even with such frequent kidnappings, the patrols of the surrounding villages and towns were so lax? It is also unnecessary to have so many soldiers on patrol in the city.” [Chie]
Previously, looking at the current guard situation had caused me to be lightheaded.
Each village and town had about 30 guards, while larger towns had around 500.
In addition, most of these guards were young, and had a severe lack of training.
If a group of intermediate level monsters attacked, there would be little resistance.
Indeed, there have been some villages that had been wiped out in recent years.
Then there was the number of guards in the Capital. Roughly 5,000 soldiers were kept within the city walls.
Even if you spread that number city wide, I still thought it was too much.
Even half of that number was too much.
After talking with the Captains, we had selected new soldiers and assigned them to each village and town.
It took about a whole week and had been quite exhausting.
The soldiers who were recalled to the Capital were retrained with the new methods.
However, the replacement and training of the soldiers were not the only reasons.
“Besides that, Praetor Ackroyd. The investigation team that was assigned to Conrad. Is this some kind of joke?” [Chie]
Praetor Ackroyd lets out a moan at my words.
“This issue of people found missing within the Empire…In order to solve this case, a team was quickly formed to investigate the kidnappings. Yet merely 6 people had been assigned to Conrad to assist with his investigation. Can you explain to me why something like this happened? Praetor Ackroyd?” [Chie]
“It, that’s….” [Ackroyd]
Praetor Ackroyd fell into silence as he diverted his eyes.
This is what happens when you come in here and say dumb things without consideration.
“….Well, that is fine. As the Parliament had stated previously, there is not enough evidence to pass judgment upon anyone. Therefore, from now on, the army will move freely according to my command. Please tell the Parliament to focus more on politics.” [Chie]
Praetor Ackroyd clenched his teeth and glared at me.
I glanced at Alice, who understood the meaning of the gesture, and opened the door.
“It’s about time for you to leave. We still have work that needs to be done.” [Chie]
I told Praetor Ackroyd.
“‘Don’t get carried away,’ is that how it is said?” [Chie]
Having interrupted the Praetor, his words fell short.
What a cliché villain.
With his twisted face, Praetor Ackroyd stormed out of the room.
Alice closed the door and I set my helmet on the corner of the desk.
I sat back down on the chair.
“Whew~” [Alice, Conrad & Chie]
We all let out a grand sigh.
“I would have never thought we would come in contact with the other side.” [Conrad]
“You’re right. Well, it just shows that the other side is troubled.” [Chie]
I say while leaning back.
“Right. The soldiers he had paid off are no longer present, which would cause quite a bit of distress.” [Conrad]
Conrad agreed with what I had said.
That was the other reason for replacing the soldiers in the villages and towns.
I thought there was a possibility of a traitor within the guards.
It was weird how barely anything had been reported, and yet the rumors around the capital had all contained very troubling information. So the Captains elected trustworthy subordinates to assign to each location and to communicate directly back to them the status of the area they had been assigned to.
Back in the Capital, all the guards who were brought back were subject to investigation.
As a result, some of the young guards readily confessed.
Upon coming into contact with certain individuals, they agreed to sums of gold in exchange for turning a blind eye to the abductions.
From their confessions, we found that these people all had close connections with Praetor Ackroyd.
After the investigation was complete, the offending soldiers were sent to prison.
Accepting money for kidnapping children.
It was only natural that they received punishment.
“That’s what he gets for tempting soldiers and having them turn a blind eye on illegal activities.” [Chie]
“I agree.” [Conrad & Alice]
Two people agreed with my words.
It appears it had greatly stunned the both of them.
There are consequences when bad things are done.
“Even with all that though~ The confinement location and auction venue still hasn’t been found.”
Thanks to the new soldiers, we had made good progress towards reducing the kidnappings, but we still haven’t found the missing people or the auction sites yet.
Well it was only 5 days ago that we had completed the interrogation of the soldiers and the investigation began again in earnest.
I didn’t expect to find leads quickly, but we have yet to even find any clues.
“Yes, the guards did not seem to know any of that information. Or rather, the opposing party knows very well that we are looking for this information, so it won’t be readily handed out.” [Conrad]
Conrad agreed with me.
Of course, if ‘that’ kind of information were easily found, it would be very bad for their operation.
While we were thinking,
Someone came again.
After I once again donned my helmet, Alice opened the door to see who it was.
“Thank you very much.” [Alice]
To see Alice display a smile, it seems that it was not a fool, unlike last time.
Alice shut the door and headed this way.
She carried an envelope in her right hand.
“Black Knight-sama, you have received a letter from Byron-san.” [Alice]
“From Byron?” [Chie]
I remove the helmet before receiving the envelope.
I use a letter opener from the drawer and remove the letter from the envelope.
I spread out the folded letter.
His writing is very poor!
It was like a snake that wriggled around and turned.
To be frank, it’s very hard to read.
I tried to read the letter nonetheless.
“To Sir Knight,
As promised I talked to the various people around the shops.
According to the bank owner, a man named Aaron has some information. Aaron likes to frequent «Wild Breath Tavern».
Aaron was an information broker of sorts, but not someone who gave out information readily.
That’s where drinking comes in.
Until now, many have tried to get information from this guy, but he challenges each person to a drinking game. The guys drink for the information. If you win, he tells you the information you want to know.
In other words, you have to challenge Aaron to a drinking game to get the information you need.
If this man were defeated it would be greatly appreciated.
To that end, we have great expectations of the Sir Knight.
Aaron has already accepted the challenge in order to get to know Sir Knight.
The match with Aaron, I believe Sir Knight can win!
‘Day-to-Day Clothing,’ Shopkeeper Byron.”
I read the contents and remain silent.
“Commander, what’s wrong?” [Conrad]
Conrad called out to the silent me.
Alice also tilted her head and looked this way.
I hand the letter to Conrad and tell him to read it.
As for Conrad who looked at the letter…
“Uwa~ Looks like a kid drew a weird map.” [Conrad]
He looked over the letter for awhile.
Upon finishing, he directed a face full of surprise and joy towards me.
Conrad called out to me with an excited voice.
“With this, you could obtain powerful testimony! Certainly tomorrow you can take time off. Even right away tonight….eh, Commander?” [Conrad]
As Conrad was talking joyfully, he noticed my darkened face.
“Black Knight-sama? Is something the matter?” [Alice]
Alice asked anxiously.
So my complexion was that bad.
“What, you two….” [Chie]
“?” [Conrad & Alice]
The two people looked at me while puzzled.
They didn’t seem to have any clue why I was like this.
It was understandable.
“In this country, you are an adult at the age of 15, right?” [Chie]
“Yes, that is so?” [Alice]
Alice looked to me with a quizzical face.
Conrad was the same.
“In my country you are considered an adult at 20-years of age. You cannot drink until you are at the age of 20…..In other words, I have never drunk alcohol before….” [Chie]
“Hah!?” [Conrad & Alice]
The two of them yelled out in surprise at my words.
Up until now, they have lived in a country where one becomes an adult at 15-years of age.
Conrad had also drunk alcohol since the age of 15.
The Holy Kingdom and surrounding countries were all the same.
“What should I do……” [Chie]
I was greatly troubled and embarrassed.
For the first time since coming to this world, I hit a wall.