Chapter 30 – Patrol and an Annoyance
It had been a few weeks since the qualifiers.
I came to the Market District to work.
“Would you like a crepe?”
“Hey, you guys! Wanna try your luck at the lottery?”
The streets were filled with stalls.
It was three days before the Three Country Martial Arts Tournament.
Tourists, royalty, and delegates from each country gathered in the capital.
As the district that served as the entryway to the capital, the market district was holding a festival to welcome guests. We of the Imperial Army were on peacekeeping duty.
The soldiers would eventually patrol in groups of two or three people, but I was currently alone.
The main reason was that the other soldiers couldn’t be deployed quickly enough when the commotion started.
Celes and the Stupid Swordsman were patrolling together, but the other Commanders and Vice-commanders, like Conrad, were busy acting as bodyguards at the castle.
In the end, I ended up alone.
However, that was actually good for me.
Anyway, I was wearing a robe and moving incognito.
In order to disguise my voice, I only wore the jaw part of my armet.
I would be more or less silent as I moved, but if it came down to it and I used a female voice, it would be a pain to deal with.
Just in case.
I chose not to wear my armor because it stood out and I would be swarmed by shopkeepers.
I wouldn’t be able to work.
“Haah,” I sighed as I looked around.
Stalls lined the sides of the street. In one area, a clown was entertaining an audience. However, the middle of the street was clear.
The street was clear because royalty from various countries, their guards, and the tournament participants would soon parade through it.
The Kingdom’s first prince and the Holy Kingdom’s holy prince were studying abroad in the Empire.
They were actually Prince Chris’ classmates.
That was why only the Kings and Queens would be in the carriages.
The other day, I heard from Alice that the Kingdom and the Holy Kingdom both had about ten concubines.
With that many concubines, there had to be a lot of children. They wouldn’t all come, right?
Speaking of which, the servants had seemed strangely restless and weary as they worked this morning.
I was told that they were watching out for the patrolling soldiers.
That made me feel a bit restless as well.
I heard the gate creak open and turned around.
I didn’t have a good view, but I could see gorgeous ornaments.
When I looked around, I saw that people had gathered on the side of the road.
It seemed like the guests from the other countries had arrived.
I watched the main road while remaining vigilant of my surroundings.
A few knights on horseback rode in front of the carriages. Foot soldiers marched alongside the carriages behind them.
The soldiers carried flags that depicted a dragon.
That meant that the carriages were from the Kingdom.
That was all fine, but…
“What? How many carriages are going to come?”
Somebody near me muttered.
There seemed to be an abnormal amount of carriages.
Two or three carriages would have made sense.
A carriage for the royal family and one or two more for the tournament participants and the prime minister.
So, why were there about ten more carriages behind that?!
I had heard that other nobles weren’t joining this parade.
Their servants should have already been stationed within the gates.
I had a bad feeling about this.
I watched the next group of carriages move down the road.
They came with a similar group of soldiers and knights escorting them.
The flags showed a griffin, the symbol of the Holy Kingdom.
They also had an abnormal number of carriages.
Hahah, now I understood why the servants looked so troubled.
At least they hadn’t collapsed from the stress.
‘How come I didn’t know we would have this many guests? Could this be the norm?! I know that it’s unusual that the Emperor doesn’t have any wives apart from the Empress, but even so, is it normal to bring all of them along?! The other countries have hosted the tournament before. Shouldn’t they know not to make so much trouble?! Did they host that many people during previous tournaments, or is it only this time?! Are they bullying us?! I have to find out later.’
My face cramped as thoughts raced through my head, one after another.
Once the procession had passed, I saw that some of the other soldiers on duty were sighing.
I understood how they felt. I could sympathize.
However, I was probably much more tired.
I would have to meet that whole group later.
Host countries had it hard, didn’t they.
Maybe it was easier than it was in my original world?
They all spoke the same language, so at least it would be easier to understand each other.
Unlike the Olympics or the World Cup, the tournament would end after a day.
Okay, if I thought about it like that, I could bear it.
It was already busy normally. I had to think like that, or I couldn’t do it.
I forced myself into this mindset and resumed patrolling.
Two Hours Later
After the parade, I continued patrolling, but there were no disturbances.
No one wanted a problem on the first day.
Since it was almost time to change shifts, I relaxed.
However, that was when something popped up.
“Do you know what the hell you just did?!”
“I’m very sorry!!”
A man shouted angrily, and a frightened woman’s voice apologized.
Shoot, I raised a flag.
I couldn’t leave it alone.
Luckily for me, I immediately saw a crowd gathering, so I wove my way through the crowd.
“Hey, hey! Isn’t that person apologizing? Why are you so angry?”
I saw an angry giant and a mother, who was hugging a child of around five years old. A couple of soldiers were standing protectively between the mother and the giant.
I wondered what had happened.
“The kid only bumped into you, didn’t he?”
“This doesn’t concern small fry like you! Hand over that brat!”
The soldiers tried to pacify the angry man, but it was to no avail.
To get so mad about a kid bumping into him… was this guy an idiot?
I looked closer at the giant.
He was about as large as Mr. Musclehead. Based on the plate armor and his greatsword that was as long as his body, he seemed to be some sort of warrior.
His dark brown mohawk and scary green eyes made him look like a yakuza.
“I’m not gonna hand him over. What are you going to do to the kid anyways?”
The onlookers nodded.
They felt the same way.
They were rather astonished by how the giant was reacting.
“Ya wanna know?! I’m gonna take him back to the kingdom and make him a slave for life!!”
What did this guy say?!
That statement itself would be a crime in the Empire.
The mother paled, and her child burst into tears. The soldiers and onlookers looked shocked.
“Th-that isn’t allowed here! This is the Empire!!”
One of the soldiers rebutted the man’s outrageous statement.
As the soldier said, even if the man was a foreigner, this was the Empire.
Such absurdities would not be allowed here.
Rather, they shouldn’t even be allowed in other countries.
I watched the exchange for a while. Then, suddenly,
The giant lost his patience and struck one of the soldiers, sending him flying.
The soldier’s landing was softened by the crowd of onlookers, but he was still dazed from the impact.
The other soldier readied his spear.
The man had resorted to violence, so the soldier couldn’t just pacify him anymore.
He needed to be arrested for assault and questioned, and they would also need to fill out documents.
The soldiers were allowed to use their weapons when the other person was armed, or to protect the civilians.
“Hmph! What a weakling!!”
The giant grabbed the soldier’s spear and flung him backwards.
His landing was also softened by the crowd, so he wasn’t seriously injured.
This giant wasn’t all bark and no bite.
Now that nobody else was left in his way, he closed in on the mother and her child.
He reached his hand out.
I grabbed his arm.
“Hm? And who the hell are you?”
The giant scowled.
I didn’t respond.
“Tch, let go!”
He shook off my hand.
After taking a few steps back, the man glared at me.
“Who the hell do you take me for!?!”
I thought that he was already yelling, but he got even louder.
I finally broke my silence.
“Well, I don’t know if a nincompoop like you would get it.”
The giant’s face turned red.
The people around us tilted their heads.
Had the soldiers and people of the market district recognized my voice after all?
Appalled, the giant opened his mouth.
“Hmph! Were you born in a barn? I am the Kingdom’s Representative, the great Clive Musgrave!”
The crowd began to murmur.
This guy? The Kingdom’s Representative?
I knew that I had a reason to be here, but why was he here?
I decided to worry about it later.
“Is it fine for you to be causing problems here? You’re going to sully the Kingdom’s reputation, you know.”
Well, it had already been sullied, but never mind that.
I caught a glimpse of the mother and child staring at me in disbelief.
I crouched down.
“Are you alright?”
I asked the mother.
She replied, still shocked.
The boy looked at me with wide eyes.
I patted his head.
“It’s okay, don’t be scared. It’s alright now.”
“W-we don’t deserve such attention!!”
The mother seemed flustered, but I continued patting him.
“You! Not only do you insult me, but you also do something like this?!”
The boy’s eyes went even wider when he saw the giant swing his greatsword at me.
In an instant, I raised my right hand and summoned Sakuya, without its sheathe.
“Any more and I’ll get angry, okay.”
A black haze gathered around me and turned into armor.
“I’m sorry for the late introduction. I am the Black Knight, the Empire’s Representative. My subordinates have received quite the favor from you.”
After I stopped the greatsword while crouching, I turned around and glared at him through my armet.
The giant looked stunned, but the crowd wasn’t surprised.
I guess they really had recognized my voice.
I pushed against the greatsword, sending the giant stumbling backwards.
I stood up and faced the giant.
“My subordinates tried so hard to settle things peacefully, but you went and ruined it. Sheesh, didn’t I say that you would sully your Kingdom’s reputation? Do you have no sense of responsibility as a Representative?”
“D-don’t just say whatever you like!!”
“It’s the truth, ya know? To the public, you are now a rowdy criminal who tried to kidnap a child. That’s enough to put you in jail.”
He realized that he was losing and stayed silent.
However, I was still angry.
“Well, you’re still a Representative. You should just quietly head to the castle.”
The crowd was surprised that I had told him off.
I just spoke my mind, though.
Suddenly, he broke into laughter.
“Ahahaha! That’s right! That’s exactly it!!”
The person then continued cackling.
Ah, how unpleasant.
It was really unpleasant.
“You have to overlook me! If you don’t, then-”
“I think you misunderstood something.”
He was dumbfounded by my interjection.
I used that opening to point my sword at his throat.
“I can’t swing my sword in a place like this. Luckily, however, since we’re both Representatives, there is a stage specially prepared for us to cross swords. In that place, I’ll pulverize you.”
The giant looked shocked.
My lips curled when I saw his expression.
“I’m sure it’ll become quite the spectacle. Just think about it: a loud-mouth ruffian beaten to a pulp in front of people from all three countries.”
“You bastard! Now you’ve said it!!”
He used his greatsword to swat Sakuya away.
However, he could no longer act violently.
“Or would you rather duke it out in three days? Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll land a hit on me.”
I egged him on, and as expected, he took the bait.
“Fine then! You’ll be slaughtered by the great Clive Musgrave! You had better watch your back!”
With that, he pushed through the crowd and left.
He took the bait quite easily.
“What are you doing, Kuro…”
“Ah, Claude! Yo!”
I turned around to find Claude looking at me incredulously.
I raised a hand and waved at him.
“Don’t ‘yo’ me! Why the heck were you having a dispute with another Representative?”
“Ah, did you just get here? I’ll explain later.”
It was impolite, but I already had enough work as it was right now.
I went back to the dumbfounded mother and child.
“Just in case, those two soldiers will escort you home. I apologize that you had to go through this.”
The mother looked flustered.
Heh, she sure was an honest person.
“It’s my duty to protect the people. Hey, you guys! Are you able to continue working?”
I replied to the mother and then called out to the two soldiers who were sent flying.
Luckily, they didn’t seem to be seriously injured.
The two of them stood up and answered me.
“Yes sir! I’m fine!”
“That’s right! This is nothing compared to our training!!”
They both replied as they got to their feet.
Well, of course they were fine. I trained them every day, after all.
“I see. Then, escort these two home. Also, just in case, escort them for the next five days. I’ll send several more people later and create shifts.”
With that, the soldiers took the bewildered mother and her child home.
Now the mother and child had been taken care of.
Next, I had to fix the bodyguards’ and the night watch’s shifts.
“I think I understand what’s going on now.”
It seemed that Claude had understood what happened from the previous exchange.
“Sorry, your work has increased again.”
I whispered to Claude.
“It’s fine. I was taking a break from my investigations anyways.”
Claude answered while scratching his head.
“Rather than that, will you be fine? Won’t you meet that blockhead over the next five days?”
“That can’t be helped. At least no blood was shed today.”
I looked around as I spoke.
The crowd had dispersed, replaced by the normal hustle and bustle of the festival.
I was relieved.
It would have been a problem if I hadn’t resolved it.
I was lucky that Claude caught on to things so quickly.
“I’ll go over the details later. I need to go meet the guests now.”
“Understood. Good luck!”
I split up with Claude and hurried to the castle.
Sheesh, an annoying issue cropped up so quickly.
‘Why was he there in the first place?’
I wondered as I ran.
To be continued
How was chapter 30?
There was a slight timeskip from the last chapter.
This was the first time Chie interacted with people from another country. How was it?
Chie seems to be becoming more and more masculine, but I think that I showed her feminine side last time.
I hope you continue to read this story.