Chapter 36 – The days after
A month had passed since the conclusion of the tournament between the three countries.
I had planned to begin investigating the intruders who had interrupted the ceremony as soon as the bodies of the Behemoth and Chimera were cleaned up. However, by His Majesty’s grace, Conrad and I were granted a short break. We reported the results the following day.
As I had thought, the whole group had merely been a sacrificial pawn.
They were a group of people who resented nobles and came from the Kingdom. When a mysterious person presented them with a plan, they had seen it as a chance to overthrow all nobles.
The man who had fought Claude was long gone by the day of the attack.
The man had delivered everything they needed through agents the day before the attack, as stated in their contract.
That was all they knew.
Sigh, from how well-prepared he was, all I could tell was that he was good at covert activities, which would be a big pain.
Sheesh, I had to be wary of movements from not only demon, humans as well?
What a headache.
Well, there was good news, or at the very least, welcome news.
The other countries had made sure to return every victim of the slave incident.
His Majesty and the Prime Minister had known that such an attack would occur, and had used that to their advantage.
The two kingdoms had previously refused to honor the request to return the subjects.
However, there was a limit to the Empire’s patience.
In the end, our last resort was to show off the Empire’s military strength and threaten to abandon the two kingdoms to their fates once the demon country attacked.
After that, we just had to promise that nothing would happen as long as they returned our subjects.
The two kings knew that they lacked the power to repel the demons, so they were forced to accept.
It felt great when I saw their faces the next day; it looked like they had swallowed a bitter pill.
The Scythes of Disappointment turned out to be third-rate villains, but luckily, the appearance of the Behemoth and Chimera made up for them.
Good job, us~
It was gradual, but soon, both countries had returned all the victims they had.
Not everyone returned, though.
It had been too long, so it wasn’t strange for some to have died.
I had resolved myself, but it still ate at me.
On another note, Aaron, who had given us crucial info, no longer had to hide and could finally have the wine he so loved to drink.
As for where he had been hiding – he had ended up working at an orphanage, taking care of the children there.
It went without saying that he had been a tad reckless, and ended up in a bit of danger.
He had been discovered while he was snooping around, and ended up getting chased.
Fortunately, no one had seen his face, but he hadn’t gotten any useful information either.
After some thought, we decided to let him work at the orphanage to pass the time.
Why the orphanage? The orphanage was tightly guarded, since it was backed by His Majesty himself.
Moreover, an orphanage was probably the last place you would look for an information broker.
Luckily, Aaron was good with kids, so he quickly blended in.
I had stopped by to check on him from time to time, but for some reason, he didn’t look out of place at all.
I was a bit curious as to why he was so good at handling children, but I figured each person had their own mysteries.
He had probably refrained from drinking because he thought it wouldn’t be a good idea to drink around children.
When he was finally able to go to the Wild Breath Tavern, he downed several mugs in delight.
It was an impressive amount, but it didn’t get him drunk.
Recently though, he would stop drinking for a few days whenever he planned on visiting the orphanage.
The kids there had told him, “You reek of alcohol, Uncle Aaron,” while pinching their noses, which had given him quite a shock.
The kids hadn’t mean harm, but it was a sign that he might have been drinking too much.
There was also someone else whose help we couldn’t do without: Claude.
On paper, he was an ordinary civilian who had helped defeat the Behemoth, and His Majesty had rewarded him in that manner.
Everyone in the audience watched as just two people worked together to defeat something that would normally take five to six imperial soldiers.
Well, it would have taken four times the number of people before I appeared, so it looked even more impressive to the audience.
Carl aside, the three of us were still holding back, though.
Both Conrad and I could have probably defeated a monster by ourselves without a problem, but it was a chance to show the strength of ordinary soldiers. In order to demonstrate that it wasn’t just the commanders who were strong, Conrad had let Carl support him.
Carl was one of the few people who knew my true face, so I had given him a bit of special training. That was why he had ended up as the referee.
But I digress.
Obviously, we couldn’t publicly recognize him as the Imperial Covert Investigator, but His Majesty was in such high spirits that he also rewarded Claude.
His Majesty had been worrying about various things before, so he seemed ecstatic to be free of that burden.
The person being rewarded was embarrassed about it, though.
Alice was laughing at how awkward he looked.
Could it be? Would the ship sail soon?
From what I could see, both Alice and Claude fancied one another.
They were just unaware of it.
To his credit, Claude had tried to make a move multiple times, but he always chickened out at key moments, so he had not made any progress.
I felt like it would be a bit awkward to intervene as a third wheel, so I just watched and waited.
Anyway, I had to focus on the present.
Conrad and I were standing before the throne.
We were about to be promoted to the long vacant posts of Marshal and Deputy Marshal.
Why were we the ones being promoted?
It turned out that it was primarily because I was a duke.
The Prime Minister had gotten Conrad to keep tabs on me.
It was mainly about how well I did my work, but it also included stuff about my character and how others saw me.
I was too embarrassed to hear more of the details.
Conrad told me that he did it to help me get promoted to Marshal.
It seemed like everything had just clicked for them when I yelled at His Majesty.
“This person shall be the one to lead the Imperial Army!” they thought.
Conrad was originally slated to receive the position of Marshal, but he had been hesitant.
He had not thought that he could unite the entire army.
That was when they met me.
Conrad had told me about how he had felt that meeting me was just meant to be. Hearing how passionate he was made me want to hide under a rock in embarrassment.
They apparently had a meeting on the way back to the capital after meeting me. After leaving me to watch over Prince Chris and Princess Elene, His and Her Majesty and the other guards had unanimously agreed to make me the Marshal.
However, they couldn’t just do that out of the blue. That was why they had made me a commander and given me the status of duke first.
However, there some people had objected.
Namely, Prime Minister Raiz.
“How the heck can we leave the army to someone we barely know!!!” was his reason.
I completely agreed with Raiz.
Even I wouldn’t promote myself.
A hero who had come riding in on the legendary black unicorn and saved the imperial family in their darkest hour certainly deserved the position of Marshal. However, it was simply inconceivable to hand over control the whole army to someone they had just met.
I had asked His Majesty what he was thinking when he had summoned Conrad and me to notify us of our promotion.
“We couldn’t think of anyone better. You were astute enough to understand what was going on from a short conversation. You had the presence of mind to try to glean as much information as you could when the demon appeared. Even after knowing We were the Emperor, you had the courage to point out Our faults. Nobody else had all of these qualities.”
To that think I would be rolled up with that stupid Yuusuke, and be judged by the knowledge that I didn’t really gain on my own merits.
However, there was one point I wanted to correct.
After yelling at the royal family, I had been shaking in my boots!
I, a commoner with no status, had forgotten herself and rebuked royalty.
It wouldn’t have been strange if I was punished.
I had thought that my head would roll.
Instead, they had somehow seen talent in me and wanted me in the army.
They had apparently had a discussion on how to rope me in while I looked after the prince and princess.
When His Majesty revealed this to me, it seemed like the Prime Minister had not known either, given how wide his eyes became.
“So it was like that… So that’s why…” he murmured in acknowledgement.
I didn’t know what he meant by that, but afterwards, he became less hostile towards me, so perhaps he gave in.
He had Conrad’s reports and had also seen the way I worked. It was hard to tell, but Kyle told me that the Prime Minister had been warming up to me.
I had no idea that the preparations had reached the point where I would be immediately promoted as soon as the Prime Minister approved.
There should have been a limit to how much they planned beforehand.
“What is it?”
I let out a deep sigh, so Conrad asked me what was wrong while tilting his head.
“I was just wondering how it all turned out like this. I never even knew you were thinking about promoting me to Marshal. It took me by surprise.”
Conrad smiled awkwardly before looking away.
He was wearing a new uniform that consisted of a black coat, with blue shoulder guards and cuffs.
There was black embroidery running down the sleeves.
I wore a similar uniform under my armor, with red accents instead of blue.
This was my new uniform.
Even my uniform ended up black, like my armor.
The Marshal’s uniform wasn’t a fixed color. His Majesty personally chose a color that fit the person.
As the Marshal’s second-in-command, the Deputy Marshal had a different color accent.
It wasn’t like I disliked black; it was just that it might be too much black.
However, when I recalled how happy Conrad looked with his new uniform, I couldn’t say anything.
Haah, I guess I’ll go with the flow.
Complaining now wouldn’t do anything.
I would be busy working as both the Knight Commander and the Marshal, so I had to get over it.
I decided to put a rest to my musings and let out another sigh.
After a deep breath, I opened the door.
The soldiers, parliamentarians, and ministers all stood on the side of the central aisle.
The Emperor sat smiling on the throne, scepter in hand.
“Let’s go, Marshal!”
I walked forward at Conrad’s joyful urging.
This was now my second time walking up this aisle.
I had been alone the first time, but this time, Conrad was with me.
Everyone looked at me expectantly.
Half a year ago, I would never have thought that I would become so trusted.
Back then, I was just a normal high school girl who got caught up in someone else’s summoning. What a promotion.
I smiled wryly, thinking of all that had happened to me as I observed Conrad’s excited face.
I wondered what else the future had for me.
Winter was coming to Eldoa.
I had just become the leader of the Imperial Army.
Three Country Tournament Arc -END-
Sorry for being so late.
I finally finished the tournament arc.
I started the arc in September 2012, and finally finished May 2017.
I’ll surrender the next chap asap.
I hope you all continue to enjoy this humble author’s work.
Last known news of author on Syosetu: (LINK)
Saturday July 8, 2017
It’s Momoka Akatsuki.
Lately, I’ve been unable to write well, just staring at my PC.
The next chapter will come out Wednesday at the earliest, or the week after next week at the latest.
I am sorry for the delay.
If you all weren’t aware of it, the reason I am going to stop translating this, at least for the time being, is that the author hasn’t updated the story since last year. I don’t see a reason in translating an incomplete arc and leaving everyone including me hanging, so I decided to stop here, where it has a pretty clean ending. I’m a bit sad that the author never actually got around to writing about the Hero, but well, such is life.
I so wanna claim that I’ve “completed” a series…but well, reality says otherwise… There are some terms around that I don’t fully like, but I can’t be bothered to retcon the terms right now. Anyways, I’m going to focus on getting a lot more Master of the Brave chapters finished, and maybe by the time you read this, I’ll have chosen a new series to replace Black Knight. Again, I’ll continue translating as soon as I’m aware of a new update from the author. Feel free to make me aware of it. I haven’t figured out a way to have any sort of automated notifications of syosetu updates… (Raw link)
Thank you all so much for sticking with this series up until now, despite this translator’s turtle pace, and enjoy the rest of your day! (Also, please do check out the release post, where I wrote a farewell to Black Knight as a series.)