Xant: This was tl’d by Elephant No.5. Big thanks =3=
Chapter 20 – Preliminaries, Day 1, Knight Corps (Part 2)
General Audience Area (Claude POV)
As Chie went towards the exit, I thought:
She wasn’t being serious at all!
“That is the strength of a knight who slew a dragon…”
“No doubt, that is the knight who was chosen by the black unicorn.”
Karen, Ashe, and Lorna murmured with surprise beside me.
Since Alice was dissatisfied with their earlier comments, she didn’t say anything.
It was natural, since they spoke as if they understood that strength, when they didn’t understand at all.
“Black Knight-sama was not serious at all. Claude-san?”
Alice brought it up with me.
She faced me, seeking my agreement.
It seemed that Alice was angry at the three because their words reflected only that level of understanding.
As I was of the same opinion, I replied to Alice’s question.
“Indeed. He was clearly holding back.”
Alice looked happy with my words, contentedly smiling and nodding.
She’s so cute…
“Oh, that wasn’t being serious?”
When Alice and I turned to look at the three after hearing Lorna’s statement, they were looking at us with shock.
It was natural for them to be surprised, since they had found out that that person was not being serious, which they had previously believed.
However, for their sakes, teaching them the truth immediately would definitely be good in the long run.
Even though I trained every night with that person, there were so many surprising things that my head was constantly filled with panic.
In the recent match, the opponent’s sword skills were decent, and the speed of the sword was also considerably high, enough for me to believe that it would normally be hard to avoid (though I could dodge it with room to spare), but Chie easily and quickly dodged it with minimal movements.
In the eyes of an amateur, it might be understandable to think that that was her true strength.
However, that was before.
“Isn’t it natural? In the first place, the difference in strength between Fafnir and the Imperial Squad Captain is already large, so of course he would be overwhelmed by that guy’s power.”
That’s right. If one thought about it carefully, that person would not need to put in any effort against an ordinary person.
She was totally going easy today, wasn’t she?
When they heard my words, they became speechless.
Alice looked at them with a smug smile, then returned to watching the other squad captains’ fights.
Military Officials’ Dedicated Seating (Conrad POV)
“I understand, but still…”
“He didn’t even show the ‘s’ in serious, that Black Knight…”
(TL: Originally a play on the Japanese word for serious. 本気の『ほ』)
Brandon and Adolf murmured beside me.
“Of course! Against a squad captain, the Black Knight wouldn’t need to put in an ounce of effort!”
Celestia proudly declared.
Amy and I agreed with those words.
It would be unthinkable for the Commander, who felled the Cursed Dragon Fafnir in one blow, to get serious against a squad captain.
“With that, there won’t be any more noteworthy matches, will there?”
Adolf spoke in a disappointed tone.
At those words, a ‘Kachin’ sound was heard.
“Hey, Adolf. You, are you looking down on me and the commander’s knight corps?”
I glared at Adolf and spoke with a threatening voice
Since it was important, I emphasized ‘Commander’.
“Scary! That’s not it! I just meant that the Black Knight’s true strength was seldom seen, so I was looking forward to it, and since I didn’t get to see it, I was disappointed! It’s not like I was saying that the Knight Order was weak or anything! How much do you care about the Black Knight?!”
Adolf raised his voice while denying it.
How much did I care about the Black Knight?
“Always, without fail.”
I declared with a serious expression.
For some reason, Adolf and Brandon’s faces cramped, and they continued to be inattentive to their subordinate’s matches.
Un, due to the Commander’s guidance, all of their attacks were well performed.
“However, it certainly is disappointing to be unable to see Black Knight-dono’s true strength.”
“I…I wanted…to see it.”
Celestia and Amy spoke with disappointment.
For them to earnestly admire the Commander so, I thought it was a little cute.
However, it was too early to be disappointed.
“What are you saying? If the Commander keeps on advancing like this, he will face Kyle in the finals. If it’s him, wouldn’t we see a different match from the ones against the other squad captains?”
At those words, the four of them looked towards me.
“Ah! Certainly, if it’s him, we might see a different match.”
“Indeed! If that person’s true strength…”
Celestia, with both arms crossed, also interjected.
Even Brandon and Amy nodded in agreement.
Since we knew Kyle’s true strength, I understood.
We watched the matches of the Knight Order while looking forward to the finals.
The match between the Commander and his Excellency the Imperial Prime Minister Reiz Strauss’s son, the former Knight Order’s Vice-Commander Kyle Strauss.
– After a while, the finals, in the arena
After advancing smoothly from the first round, it was now the finals of the Knight Corps Tournament.
My opponent was the former Knight Order’s Vice-Commander, now Squad Captain Kyle Strauss.
I met him on my first day in this world, and he was one of the few people who knew my appearance and gender. He was a green-haired knight-san.
“Commander, please treat me well.”
Unlike the other squad captains, he bowed calmly.
As a Japanese person, upon seeing a 45 degree bow, I thought that it was very polite.
“Here as well, please treat me well.”
While saying this, I returned the bow fully.
That was basic etiquette.
After straightening up, I looked at Green-haired Knight-san…Kyle.
He had a calm expression, a well-featured nose and mouth, and a smiling face. He was like an ikemen-san.
I felt like this image was common in the western style world.
He wore a suit of plate armor painted the same shade of green as his hair.
His hair was cut short and even, and he seemed to be about 180 kuameito tall.
Due to his true ability being that of a former vice-commander, he stood out in comparison to the other squad captains.
Moreover, in the imperial family’s dedicated seating, the whole imperial family was watching while seated side-by-side, but to the left, His Excellency the Prime Minister Reiz Strauss was glaring at me! Scary!
It would soon be half a year since I had joined, but I was still hated by the Prime Minister.
Our first impression was certainly poor, but other than that, I don’t remember doing anything to make him hate me?
Puzzled at my sigh, Kyle looked in the direction I had been looking just now.
He seemed to understand the reason why I sighed.
“…I’m very sorry about my father.”
The father and son have such different dispositions.
“I, what did I do to His Excellency?”
“Well, Father is only being stubborn.”
While telling me not to worry about it, Kyle apologized again.
This father and son weren’t similar on the inside at all.
If you looked at their outward appearances, the father, the Prime Minister, showed a stubborn and harsh disposition, while the son exuded a calm disposition.
Kyle was surely more similar to his mother.
“Well then, both participants, get ready!”
While I was still deep in thought, the referee told us to get ready.
Come on, I must focus on the match.
When Kyle and I were about five meters apart, I took a midsection stance, while Kyle held the wooden sword in one hand with a natural stance.
I took a deep breath, then calmed my heart as I exhaled.
As soon as the signal was given, I leapt forward.
Although I had planned to make a light step, I instantly ended up right beside Kyle.
Kyle reacted late, but he still almost blocked my bokuto’s downward swing with his wooden sword.
Un, his reaction really was faster than that of the other squad captains.
Either way though, I thought that it couldn’t be helped that he moved late.
As I exerted a strength substantially stronger than I had against the other squad captains, Kyle retaliated.
To be honest, for the matches up until now, rather than a match, they should be called spars.
In the previous matches against the squad captains, I had given advice like usual.
That’s why, at least when facing Kyle in the finals, I decided to have a match, not a spar.
It may have been because I was concentrating on the match, but the sounds of the bokuto and the wooden sword clashing didn’t enter my ears.
At times, Kyle undauntedly counterattacked and warded off my bokuto.
While recalling an image from a showdown in a period drama, I wielded the bokuto and mimicked it.
This continued for five minutes.
I forced Kyle, who was driving in and stabbing with the wooden sword in one hand, back.
I planned to silently dodge to the right.
It was no good.
Although I had the strength, if I dodged the stab, a gap would emerge.
I raised the bokuto from below.
Kyle’s wooden sword went flying into the sky with a loud sound, and while he was surprised, I kicked the ground, moving towards him with the bokuto in my right hand.
The point of the bokuto, which was in my right hand, faced left, instantly crossing the surprised Kyle, who couldn’t avoid it. Its edge struck him in the abdomen. With just a little strength, Kyle was blown away.
He landed ten meters away and slid for five more meters.
As I held my lowered stance, with the bokuto in my right hand held straight out, I heard Kyle’s sword fall to the ground.
My surroundings were quiet for some reason.
“…Ha! Winner, Black Knight!! The winner of the Knight Corps Tournament is the Black Knight!”
Since it was silent, didn’t that mean that nobody was cheering?
Why was everybody silent?
It was so noisy before the finals started.
I let go of the bokuto and rushed over to the now face-up Kyle.
“Kyle, are you alright?”
Kyle groaned as he got up while holding his stomach.
I understood why, since his armor was dented.
Oops~, even though I had only put a little bit of strength into the bokuto.
Since all of the match participants wore armor, wasn’t it bad that the magician had cast reinforcement magic that prevented the weapons from breaking?
Even then, Magician, what type of reinforcement magic was cast for even the armor to be dented?
“Sorry, I went too far.”
I apologized while reaching down.
“Nah, thank you for the instruction.”
Kyle said while grabbing my hand to help himself up.
Despite the pain that he should be feeling in his stomach, Kyle showed a refreshing countenance.
It seemed that his condition wasn’t a problem.
“Commander! Please become the representative!”
After responding to Kyle’s support, we both left the arena grounds.
It was now 15:00.
The swordsman corps’ tournament would begin after an hour-long break.
Fuu~, I’m hungry!
Since I had fought consecutive matches, I had not eaten lunch yet.
I had no more plans after this, so I decided to buy lunch at the stall.
It would be troublesome if it was too late, after all.
I hurried through the halls, towards the stalls in the plaza outside the tournament grounds.
Still, who was the magician who cast the reinforcement magic?
Military Officers’ Dedicated Seating
“…It was dented.”
“It was dented, huh.”
“It was actually dented.”
“It is true that it was dented…”
Adolf, Brandon, Celestia, and I spoke one by one while looking at Amy, who had reinforced the weapons used in the match.
Amy reflected in shame.
In the recent match, Kyle’s armor had been dented by the bokuto.
It was just an ordinary piece of wood that the Commander had sharpened.
It wouldn’t have been funny even if it had caused a small dent, but the reinforcement magic dented the armor like the bokuto was a bludgeon.
Even if it had been a woman like Celestia who attacked seriously, the armor would still have been dented like it had with the Commander. That was how strong the reinforcement magic was.
Our faces cramped up.
Even though the Commander was certainly strong, when compared with the reinforcement magic on the swords during the tournament four years ago, this year’s reinforcement was abnormal.
“Even too much has its limits! Just being hit by an ordinary wooden sword hurts, so isn’t that a lethal weapon!?”
Adolf scolded Amy while dripping with cold sweat.
I understood the feeling.
That reinforcement must have been for wooden weapons like bludgeoning weapons and arrows, rather than wooden swords.
“That isn’t ‘reinforcement’, but ‘misfortune’ instead…”
(TL: Pun based on the pronunciation of “reinforcement” and “misfortune”. 『補強』 vs 『凶化』)
Celestia spoke with a cramped smile while breaking out in a cold sweat.
The word felt wrong, but the meaning behind it wasn’t.
If this had happened in the other matches before we noticed, injuries or even deaths may have occurred.
It was truly good that we discovered this now.
“Tell the Commander the circumstances afterwards. Then cast all of the reinforcement magic again.”
Amy was dejected at my words.
To her, who revered the Commander so, it was a disgraceful mistake.
I felt sorry, but this time, it was inevitable.
“Well then, there will be no problems for the matches from tomorrow onward. However, the matches of the swordsman corps today…there is no time.”
Brandon’s face was stiff as he said this.
Certainly, those guys from the swordsman corps had to compete now.
Poor swordsman corps.
Well, my corps had no problems until the finals!
It’ll be fine!
General Seating Area (Alice POV)
Dumbfounded expressions were stuck on the faces of the three people beside me.
Claude-san went to buy food and wasn’t here right now.
He had asked me to save two seats.
Fufu, so that was it.
I understood who the other seat was for.
They truly were close friends.
Still, these three people…How long were they going to show those immodest faces?
Becoming a full-fledged maid was still a long way away.
“Hey, even though you are all classmates, maids shouldn’t show that kind of face!”
The three of them finally came to their senses.
Well, well. I could tell that it would be hard for them.
“Good grief, even though Claude-san told you to be prepared beforehand.”
I said with amazement.
“No way! I knew that it would be abnormally fast, but that was so amazing that I can’t think straight!”
I understood that they were this confused because they had not learned martial arts from Head Maid-sama and Head Butler-sama.
A servant must always be calm.
At every moment, they had to be able to carry out tasks for the master, as a support.
Even on a battlefield!
That was the mission of us castle servants!
That´s what I was taught when it was decided that I would work in the castle.
Though it was technically unnecessary for one to attend the servant school, according to the Head Maid-sama, it was recommended for one to attend and graduate.
Thanks to my friends, I was able to do many things.
However, I had always thought this.
If the butlers had a martial arts course, then the maids should also have one!
I, who had served in the castle since I was 12 years old, was also taught martial arts.
Compared to this, other aristocratic graduates of the servant school immediately served in estates without studying martial arts.
In that condition, could they support their master?
We servants were manual laborers.
I often saw the dirty sides of the nobles.
Some seemed to be mentally unstable.
For all those reasons, martial arts was indispensable!
Even Black Knight-sama has said that by training one’s body, one strengthens their mind.
I completely agreed.
That was the difference between these three and me right now.
“A maid aims to always be calm! That’s why I recommended that you study martial arts, but since you all said ‘I don’t want to,’ you are now confused like this! That is proof that your minds are lax!”
It was a good chance to advise them.
By no means was it because I disliked them.
As a good friend, I had to advise them when they were wrong.
“It’s not too late. Learn martial arts and temper your mind. It will be a step towards becoming a full-fledged maid.”
“…Could it be that all of the servants in the castle know martial arts?”
Ashe asked nervously.
“Of course. We who work in the castle must be able to deal with anything anytime, so of course we know martial arts.”
Since we never know what will happen in these times.
“E-even the duties of normal soldiers?”
Rona asked with a cramped face.
Was learning martial arts so disagreeable?
However, it wasn’t like that!
“The ones closer than the soldiers are us servants! When an assassin or demon attacks, it is obviously the duty of the closest people to deal with it!”
In fact, the imperial family could be targeted.
At that time, we servants would struggle to protect the royals.
One may have to fight against a group of assassins.
“It is not that I hate you three. Rather, it is because you are my beloved friends that I say this. It does not have to be now, but take your time and think about it.”
The three of them fell completely silent.
It was slightly harsh, but there was no other way to put it.
Previously, when I used calm words, they had not understood it.
“Well then, that’s it for the lecture. Since Claude-san should almost be back with delicious things for us, let’s enjoy the swordsman corps matches.”
I said this with my usual smile.
As a servant, a smile was also an indispensable part of the job.
“…Now that I think about it, it has been a while.”
Karen looked around as she said that.
Although it had been a while, I hadn’t noticed it.
“The other person, the friend of Claude-san who was supposed to come…it seems that he hasn’t arrived yet.”
It had been 40 minutes since the matches of the Knight Corps ended, but that person had not shown up.
Since she said that she had a break after this, she was certain to come.
“Eh? Another person will come?”
“Is it one of Alice’s acquaintances?”
Lorna and Ashe asked.
“Well, I know that amazing person well.”
I answered with a smile.
Somehow, that voice seemed to bounce.
“Heeh, for you to go that far…”
Karen said with an interested expression.
It was an uneasy way of speaking, but I didn’t mind it.
――――”Aren’t you being too lax?”
――――”Hmm? I don’t think so… ”
Two familiar voices sounded.
“Ah, it seems that he has returned.”
“It seems that the first person is the barbarian.”
“And the other?”
Karen, Lorna, and Ashe spoke.
It seemed that they only recognized the first voice.
However, the second voice…
It can’t be!
“Eh? Alice is fast!”
I heard Karen’s voice behind me, but I didn’t mind it!
It can’t be! It can’t be!
When I looked towards the entrance, I immediately spotted them.
The figure of one of the people was just as I had feared.
“Ah, Alice, why are you so flustered?”
Acting normal, as if it were nothing, the one who was in front of me…Black Knight-sama asked me a question.
That terrifying visage faced me with both hands full of food and drinks.
“Alice? What’s wrong? Are you alright?”
“…It’s probably because of your appearance.”
Since I couldn’t get the words out, Claude-san spoke for me.
Thank you very much, Claude-san!
Aah, what is this!
For my master to have to go buy food, I am disqualified as a servant!
Right now, in front of us, Alice had unusually lost her composure.
I was positive that it was due to the Black Knight beside me, Chie.
As a maid, Alice seemed to be regretting that her master Chie had bought food and brought it to her.
Chie herself had the status of a duke, but she had the upbringing of a commoner, an unusual noble.
According to Chie:
“Please excuse me from such absurdities, one way or another! These are the principles of the Saitou house!”
So she said.
Sometimes, Chie’s family from her stories seemed powerful, wild, or honestly absurd.
Chie sometimes looked into the distance too.
Possibly because of her family’s upbringing, Chie did not rely on anybody.
After understanding this, I didn’t think that Chie’s everyday actions were surprising, but Alice the maid and Conrad-san were different.
It seemed that it was inevitable that they wanted her to depend on them.
That was why Alice appeared so flustered right now, since her master had taken her job away from her instead of relying on her.
However, it couldn’t be helped.
When I originally met her, Chie had been planning to buy a meal.
Since we coincidentally met up, I bought meals for Alice and the others and walked back with Chie.
In the end, the two of us came back with five people’s meals, a cake, and drinks, which led to the current situation.
It wasn’t Alice’s fault.
Since it was a holiday, one shouldn’t need to work, but the Aiden siblings did not think like that.
I understood this in half a year.
“…Alice, since you have a rest day, it’s okay.”
Chie also seemed to understand why Alice was like this and tried to persuade her.
“Bu-but…Black Knight-sama…to help…”
She was so agitated that her voice shook.
As expected, only Chie could calm the Aiden siblings from this state.
“It’s fine. Alice is only 14 years old, not yet an adult, so for today, please let adults like Claude and I spoil you.”
Chie shrewdly included my name while urging her to act spoiled.
I felt happy when I understood that.
I’m sure that under her helmet, she is grinning!
While calming herself down, Alice reluctantly agreed.
As expected of Chie the tamer.
“Well then, since I’m hungry, I’ll take a seat. It is almost time for the start of the swordsman corps matches. We are keeping the other three waiting.”
“Ah, that’s right! Well, Black Knight-sama, I will take care of your belongings.”
Alice returned to her usual smile and tried to take the food from Chie.
“Didn’t I already say so? Today, Alice can act spoiled and I will hold this. Depend on us, especially Claude!”
I really enjoy this guy.
I was somewhat annoyed with Chie as we returned to our seats.
The three people who noticed that I had returned turned to me while showing faces of displeasure, but upon seeing Chie, their faces instantly froze with foolish expressions, as if cursed.
Even when Chie waved her hand, there was no response.
Since they weren’t cursed and it wasn’t a problem, we left those three alone and started to eat.
I sat between them and clapped my hands together.
We said the greeting from Chie’s hometown and started eating.
The greeting was hard for me to pronounce at first, but I have been able to say “Itadakimasu” recently.
I really liked these words.
I ate the steamed potato with my disposable fork.
Ah, all was well.
The Swordsman Corps Matches will begin in 10 minutes.
To be continued
The 20th chapter has been published.
This time, I pretended that the joke item was completely serious. Did you enjoy it?
I think that I was able to show a rare, flustered Alice.
Since my coughing is better, I want to update a little quicker.
I will fix typos in the future.
Thank you for always reading.
Please enjoy this novel in the future.
T/N: Please don’t expect me to take up regular translations yet! We’ll see after my uni starts. Consider this a not-Christmas gift halfway through the year.
This project is not claimed, and is still up for grabs… Maybe it should become a project that random translators randomly donate chapters when they want to do something different… Considering the update rate of the raws, it is feasible… (Haven’t given up on crowdsourced translations (I don’t mean crowdfunded), I must be a communist or something…)