Xant: This was tl’d by Elephant No.5 yet again.
Chapter 21 – Qualifying Day 1, Swordsman Corps
General Audience Area (Chie POV)
I was now watching the Swordsman Corps matches with Claude, Alice, and her three friends.
“Oh, that blonde swordswoman is quite good.”
“Did you know? I heard that she enlisted sometime this year, but she had talent and was quickly promoted to a squad captain.”
“Certainly, she is quite agile. It seems like she does not have any wasted movements, but there is still a ways to go.”
)(TL:not sure about this line. 「確かに、中々の身のこなし。変なクセも無いようですし、まだまだ伸びますね」)
Claude, Alice, and I complimented the swordswoman while watching the match.
Next to us, Alice’s three friends continued to watch in silence.
After I greeted the girls, they recovered from their shock, but continued to stay silent.
“But Black, seeing you hold a pastry in one hand while in your Black Knight appearance is extremely weird.”
Claude commented on my situation.
He just called me ‘Black’ when we were outside.
Certainly, I also thought that I looked weird when I ate sweet fruit crepes with this appearance.
“Isn’t it fine? I wanted to eat something sweet after exercising.”
When tired, eat sweet things.
“Also, I don’t want to hear that from you, Claude.”
The fact that he was munching showed that he was conscious of it.
“You…so defiant…Anyways, I didn’t know that you like sweet things.”
Claude said while amazed.
“Fufu, I know Black Knight-sama goes to the city two to three times a month to buy sweets.”
Claude and I were both surprised, in different ways.
“Wait?! Why do you know that, Alice?”
“Ha? That’s what you do on your holidays?”
Alice smiled on seeing our reactions.
No, wait a minute.
On my holidays, I would leave the castle alone while wearing my armor, enter a street with no people, release my armor while wearing a robe underneath, and then enter the café like that!
“Black Knight-sama, you will not be able to fool me with just that level of disguise, you know.”
I felt cold sweat appear as Alice told me that with a smile.
As expected, this castle’s employees were scary!
“You…wanted to eat sweets so much that you wore a disguise?”
Claude’s shoulders shook as he tried to stifle his laughter.
…I hit the back of Claude’s head with an open hand.
“Black, what are you doing!”
“Shut up! Don’t laugh at my secret pleasure!”
“Secret or not, why does a Knight Captain like you need to be shady about it?”
“It can’t be helped, right? If I wear armor, the other guests won’t be able to settle down!”
“Wait! Even if you kept your armor on, did you think you could enter quietly if you posed as a normal customer?”
“Of course! If possible, I want to chat with as many people as I can while I eat cake.
“I definitely didn’t want to know that.”
Claude and I continued arguing, without noticing that Alice and the other spectators were gathering around us.
“Oh this again? Master Black and Claude.”
“Haha! As usual, they have a good relationship!”
“Ah, I have seen this before, while shopping around the Fountain Square.”
“This won’t stop for at least 30 minutes.”
The peanut gallery watched the exchange between the Black Knight and Claude, like it was an everyday thing.
For them, it was a familiar sight.
“Huh? No one is surprised to see this?”
Karen asked with hesitation.
Lorna and Ashe had the same reaction as Karen.
“Oya~, did you guys not know?”
A plump and kind auntie near the girls spoke up.
She had brown hair, a brown shawl, a dark green shirt, and a long brown skirt.
The three people turned to face the woman in response.
“After Master Black defeated Fafnir, we occasionally saw this kind of scene. At first, I was surprised and thought that something important was about to happen, but nothing happened, and they reconciled and got along again.”
She said while remembering the scene with a wry smile.
“Now the people on the shopping street always watch it.”
The three girls just listened to her while feeling amazement.
“What about that blonde person? Do you all know him?”
Ashe asked the auntie.
“Yeah, that person is quite a spectacular swordsman.”
After about 30 minutes of bickering, the two people went back to watching the tournament as if nothing had happened.
Three people were looking at them.
The peanut gallery returned to their original seats to watch the match, after making sure that the bickering had stopped.
As usual, one side started cheering.
“You see, there is nothing to worry about.”
“!? What is it, Alice?”
The Black Knight heard me.
“No, I was just worried about the exchange between the two of you.”
The Black Knight nodded after hearing those words.
“Sorry, please don’t mind it. It’s just the usual.”
The Black Knight told me that it was nothing.
However, that wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t normal.
“Ku, Black Knight-sama is really close to the commoners, isn’t he?”
“Oh, I was originally a commoner. Protecting the country and getting along with the people is just normal.”
Karen was surprised to hear this reply and asked another question.
“Duke-sama is a commoner?”
The Black Knight tilted his head.
“Duke or not, it doesn’t matter, right? To begin with, the aristocracy is supposed to work for the country and the people. That is why I think it is important to have proper communication with both the nobles and the commoners. There is nothing weird about that, right?”
“…Because you say things like that, you became a sworn enemy to part of the aristocracy.”
Claude replied to the Black Knight.
I thought about the Black Knight’s opinions on the way of the nobles.
Brother was also a commoner who rose to the position of a Baron. However, because he originally had a close relationship with the locals, he believed that the commoners were more important than the nobles.
For the Black Knight, though, nobility and commoners were all equals.
Like Claude said, this would attract the hatred of some of the nobility, but I also agreed with this way of thinking.
After hearing this, the three girls stayed silent.
These three were still showing faces of disbelief.
How should I put it? Hardheads?
“Did I say something strange?”
“You are fine like that.”
Claude patted the confused Black Knight’s right shoulder with his left hand.
The Black Knight was still unable to understand.
As I looked at the Black Knight, I had a strong desire to continue following her until the end.
Finals – Arena, Adelbert POV
I, Adelbert Abercrombie, was currently facing the Swordsman Corps Vice Captain in the finals.
A handsome man with red hair and a height of 185 Kuameito stood across from me.
He was dressed in silver plate mail and held a wooden broadsword.
Basically, he was a powerhouse heavy hitter.
As the sky started to turn dark, the mages around began casting ‘Light’.
For a moment, the general audience became noisy in a certain area. I wonder what happened?
“Well then, both participants, get ready!”
On the referee’s cue, both of us got ready.
We both advanced on the cue, and the sound of clashing wooden swords rang out.
It seemed like our blades were sharper, compared to four years ago.
“Dean, it looks like you have improved a bit.”
“I am honored by your compliment.”
The Vice Captain Dean said as he was pushed back a bit.
Just as he was being pressed, he jumped to make some distance.
“It is because I was trained by the Knight Captain. If I do not improve, the Knight Captain will get angry.”
Dean said as he stood up straight.
Six months ago, that Black Knight appeared.
He appeared suddenly, out of nowhere, and became the Knight Captain and Royal Knight.
He was also given the position of Duke, and the aristocratic red cloak. Not only that, his position rose above mine, leaving my pride in shreds.
That was why, the first time I met him directly, I tried to use sarcasm to get him to understand our viewpoint. I was unsuccessful.
The Black Knight pulled back the hand I had been holding, and then punched me in the face at an incredible speed.
I had not understood what had happened.
I mean, it was impossible to believe that this kind of person was the Knight Captain.
I did not want to follow him.
After that, Adolf and Brandon got beaten up as well.
I wanted to believe that it was a nightmare.
The Black Knight who was reflected in my eyes at that time was a monster.
When the Black Knight came closer to me, I raised a pathetic voice.
He grabbed me by the collar and yelled at me.
Honestly, that was my first time experiencing something like that.
I, who had been born into a large noble family and had not lost until then, thought that standing above the people was common sense for human beings.
Esteemed Father and Mother had also taught me that.
However, this Black Knight yelled at that me with an extremely threatening attitude.
It was the first time I had experienced such fear…
…and most of all, surprise.
“Conrad is unrelated to the problem between us!”
I had received those words in shock.
I had not understood the meaning of getting angry for others.
Moreover, attaching that disgraceful nickname, ‘Stupid Swordsman’, had made me hate him even more.
I had thought that it would be great if he disappeared.
However, everyone else was attracted to the Black Knight.
The men listened to his advice and trained every day.
Then there was the kidnapping incident.
The case that went on for two years was resolved in about a month. The dragon, which a country could not be guaranteed to beat despite using their entire military strength, was defeated by this one person.
This was too unreasonable.
At first, I could not accept the Black Knight.
However, I have now accepted him!
I attacked Dean.
The attack forced Dean to try to maintain his balance.
I took advantage of this and continued to attack.
I slashed quickly, from different angles.
Dean had certainly become much stronger, but he was still weaker than me.
Also, if I did not win this, I could not fight the Black Knight.
Even if I admit that he is strong, I still hate him!
I know it is my childish pride, but I still want to beat him!
To do that, I must absolutely win this match!
I passed Dean’s broadsword and thrust at Dean’s torso.
The impact blew Dean backwards.
The sound of the wooden sword falling echoed.
“Winner! Adelbert! The Swordsman Corps champion is Adelbert Abercrombie!”
Cheers rose from the audience at the referee’s declaration.
After listening to the declaration, I left the arena without worrying about the fallen Dean.
That was why I didn’t notice.
My thrust had dented Dean’s armor and he fainted, his eyes white.
I only found out the next day.
Military Officials Dedicated Seating (Conrad POV)
“…He was carried away.”
“…He was actually taken away.”
“It is true that he got taken away.”
Brandon, Adolf, Celestia, and I had bitter faces.
Amy was apologizing in tears.
“Finally a victim…”
Celestia murmured, while becoming pale.
We understood the feeling.
We were wondering if a victim would appear or not throughout the match.
At last, in the finals, a victim appeared…the Swordsman Corps Vice Captain.
“Tomorrow is Celestia’s and my turn. Fix that magic reinforcement quickly!”
Adolf drew closer to Amy and begged her in a cold sweat.
I thought to myself:
I’m glad that I’m exempted from the qualifying rounds!
While I thought that it was unfair for the other captains, it was better than hurting the other subordinates with that ridiculous weapon.
In order to ensure that the wooden weapon used in the qualifying rounds was safe, we carefully examined the spell while forgoing sleep.
“I wonder if Dean is alright?”
“Well, he is the vice captain, so he should be okay?”
We journeyed into noble territory to walk Alice’s three friends home.
Apparently, these three were born nobles.
Why did they go to a servant school?
Even now, they wouldn’t speak.
I still don’t think I said anything strange a while ago?
The silent Ashe started to speak.
I answered normally, but she looked down and winced.
Ugh. Was I really that scary?
“Um…why do you think nobles and commoners are the same?”
Ashe asked as she looked downwards.
Her brows seemed to furrow a bit.
Claude and Alice had the same expression.
I thought it was a funny question.
“…Based on what you say, you seem to look down on commoners.”
I said in the usual serious and deep voice of the Black Knight.
The trio’s faces started to pale.
“No, I didn’t mean it like that…I mean that the nobility all have higher positions and identities, so the priority is usually given to nobles…”
As I listened to Ashe, I thought about it again.
Aristocracy looked down on commoners.
“The different way of identifying themselves certainly plays a role. That is true. However, in terms of priorities, I think it changes depending on the situation.”
Ashe looked like she couldn’t understand what I meant.
This was the stereotypical way of thinking until now.
It was especially true for nobles like her.
We are great because we are nobles.
Therefore, commoners are an inferior existence.
Thanks to nobles like these, commoners like Aaron-san started to hate nobles.
However, this way of thinking was wrong.
The demons had begun to move. Humans had to help each other.
Nobles could abandon commoners. However, the reverse was also true.
In order to prevent that from happening, steps had to be taken to change it, one at a time.
That was why I told the girls the value of each and every human being.
“We humans are all equal, except for our being born into different situations. There are also people like Conrad and me, who were born commoners and became nobles. This is one of the reasons I do not treat them as mere ‘commoners’. We nobles are supposed to work for the sake of protecting them. Everyone lives by supporting each other, even if they aren’t aware of it.
That is why I have to respect the commoners. Without them, we can’t live. Don’t you guys go to a servant school? I might not be convincing, but how about looking at the outside world, instead of just the aristocracy. If you look at humans everywhere, I’m sure that you will improve in your jobs.”
They stayed silent after listening to my words.
While it might be difficult, there is no other way to get the girls to believe that.
While it might not be good to impose the values of my original world onto them, as long as I am staying here, I will try to make this a good country.
While I am the only one thinking about it now, I hope there will be others thinking about the future of the country.
It would be difficult.
As difficult as moving the world.
After all, it was something very simple.
Even then, when one person moved forward, everyone else would move to follow.
That was one of the Black Knight’s jobs.
After sending the three girls home, I bid farewell to Chie and the rest. I then returned to a rented apartment in the commoner area.
It was slightly run down, but that suited me just fine.
It was a room with the minimum amount of furniture.
I thought about Chie’s words of wisdom in this room.
I had never thought about commoner and noble equality.
Chie and Conrad were different. Until I heard those words earlier, I thought aristocracy should look down on commoners.
Another possible reason, that was the kind of world I lived in during my time as an assassin.
If I had met Chie earlier, perhaps I would never have done such a crappy job.
When I looked at her, I could only feel embarrassed.
Saying that kind of thing should be reality.
Talking about that kind of future as if it was something so simple.
Seriously, what kind of country did you grow up in?!
I have heard stories about her family, but I had never heard stories of her country.
Ah, whatever. If she wants to change this country, then allow me to help.
It might be something that I have to do.
In order to walk together with my one best friend.
– To be continued