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39—Legend of Sun Knight Volume 1
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Chapter 4 Teacher’s… Part 3: Return – translated by lucathia (proofread by Lala Su & Arcedemius)
He carefully tiptoed over the three on the floor, afraid he would step on them. Halfway through, he suddenly stopped, turned around, and gently pulled up the blanket that Shuis had kicked to the side. Since the weather was warm, he only pulled it up to Shuis’s stomach and no higher than that.
When Shuis shifted, Elaro jumped in shock, thinking that the dose of medicine hadn’t been enough—he hadn’t dared to use too heavy a dose, deeply afraid that it would cause lingering harm to Shuis, Valica, and Valkyrs.
Although “she” had guaranteed nonstop that there wouldn’t be any side effects, that after they had slept their fill and woken up they’d be even healthier… she had always had a willful personality. Even Teacher had warned him before not to trust her too much.
Seeing that Shuis was still asleep, and his expression didn’t look like he was suffering, Elaro finally relaxed more.
With his head lowered to look at him, it was as if he had returned to “that time” when Shuis had still been a baby. He had been called over to help look after him. Like now, he had had his head lowered to look at the three babies. During that tense and dangerous time, only with his head lowered to look at the babies had he felt relaxed.
“Shuis, I’ll do everything I can to prevent your father from having to become the Demon King’s subordinate again!”
Hungri abruptly opened his eyes, feeling a bit lost. He slowly got up…
“Ow, my waist!”
Only after sitting up did Hungri realize that he had fallen asleep leaning against his desk again. His teacher had warned him many times not to sleep on his desk for an entire night. It was bad for his health.
However, Hungri still occasionally did so. Taking care of paperwork was taxing. He would fall asleep against the desk without realizing it. It wasn’t something he could control—if he could control it, then he wouldn’t be falling asleep.
Slowly standing up, he glanced at the doc.u.ments. He hadn’t finished going through them, but he still felt extremely sleepy, so Hungri decided to go back to sleep. He slowly moved toward the bed and couldn’t help but berate his own stupidity. If things continued like this, he would probably turn into an old man before he was even thirty!
But there’s also someone who is definitely over forty, yet still looks like a youngster… What kind of ageless monster is he?
Hungri lay on the bed and immediately felt a lot more comfortable. He glanced toward the empty bed next to his, which belonged to Valkyrs. Among the Twelve Holy Knights-in-training, only Elaro had his own room. The rest were all two to a room.
Regarding his roommate Valkyrs, Hungri was quite satisfied… because it was like not having one.
Although he wasn’t on the level of Knight-Captain Cloud, who couldn’t even be seen, Valkyrs was quiet, and he was indifferent to everything. Even when Hungri often worked through the night, or when he blew his top while reading criminal records and stamped with fury in the dead of night, causing even Fey, who slept next door to sigh repeatedly, Valkyrs would still be indifferent and continue to sleep without a twitch.
However, Valkyrs wasn’t addicted to sleeping. Rather, he was especially vigilant. Just how does he distinguish between danger and his companion merely losing it…?
Hungri jumped, all traces of tiredness completely vanishing. He reached for his sword but couldn’t find it, finally realizing that he had placed the sword by the desk. He hadn’t brought it over with him when he had moved to the bed. How careless of me!
“Fey! Luke!” he yelled, trying to get the attention of his neighbors. However, right after he yelled, he saw who had slammed the door open.
Once he saw who it was, Hungri relaxed. Then, Fey and Luke also rushed into the room. The crisp sound of a whip struck through the air—
Hungri immediately shouted, “Stop! It’s Valkyrs!”
At once, Fey twisted his wrist, and the whip stiffly jerked in a completely different direction, striking next to the feet of his target.
Valkyrs had originally wanted to dodge, but after Hungri spoke, he stood absolutely still in his original spot.
Hungri hurriedly said, “Valkyrs, weren’t you supposed to be with Elaro—”
He cut Hungri off. “Elaro disappeared.”
Valkyrs’s tone was chilly. “He drugged us. Shuis and Valica followed behind me, but they’re sluggish because of the medicine’s effects.”
Hungri froze. He muttered in a low voice, “That b.a.s.t.a.r.d, he actually poisoned his companions!” He growled at Fey and Luke, “Wake everyone up!”
Fey had his chin raised, and he adjusted his monocle, looking just like an aristocrat rebuking his subordinate, “Sigh, seeing how loudly you’ve been yelling, everyone is already awake. They’re all standing outside—Ah!”
When Hungri walked past Fey, he grabbed Fey’s monocle and stuffed it into Fey’s mouth. He then said to the crowd by the door, “All of you, come with me. We’re going to the Pope!”
In the middle of the night, the Pope was naturally not in the study. With Hungri in the lead, they arrived at the Pope’s room. Like usual, two holy knights stood guard outside of it. They couldn’t be commanded by the yet-to-be-official Twelve Holy Knights and simply refused to let them through.
Everyone looked at Hungri. He took a deep breath and yelled so loudly, the room shook. “Your Holiness, Elaro has run off to find the Twelve Holy Knight-Captains! If you don’t wake up right now, the Church of the G.o.d of Light will no longer have a Sun Knight!”
Hurried footsteps sounded from within the room. Right after that, the door was yanked open, and a fifteen year old boy rushed out wearing pure white pajamas. They all stared at him in shock—the kid wasn’t even wearing shoes.
They had known that the Pope’s true ident.i.ty was strange. However, it was still bizarre to see that the current Pope of the Church of the G.o.d of Light, who had been the Pope for a long time, was a boy who looked around their age, maybe even younger.
For a moment, Hungri couldn’t react either. After freezing for a few seconds, he clenched his teeth and said, “Your Holiness! Elaro has gone off to find the Twelve Holy Knight-Captains. We need to know the location of the teachers’ mission—”
“The second tower to the left; white, with a golden roof,” the Pope interrupted.
Hungri blinked. “I’m asking about the location of the mission.” The mission can’t be at one of the Church of the G.o.d of Light’s towers, can it?
“Just go there already!” The Pope shrieked like a kid who was throwing a tantrum.
Hungri ground his teeth. “Understood!” Then, he turned and left, with everyone following him.
The Pope gazed at his back and couldn’t help complaining about the two Knight-Captains.
“Grisia, Lesus, just what is going on with the personalities of your students? Hungri feels more like he was taught by Grisia, while Elaro feels more like Lesus’s student.
“Even though their personalities are switched, the fact that Elaro likes to endanger himself is quite like Grisia. And Hungri leading everyone to chase after him is quite like Lesus. Even though their personalities are different, their actions aren’t. Is that good or bad?
“But even with the personalities and the positions of the next generation switched, they still give me a huge headache. Sigh, I think I really should finish instructing Ludia… Ah! Oh no, I forgot to tell them where inside the tower…”
“The second tower, tower…”
“There!” Snow ran to the left, past Hungri.
Hungri followed after Snow without hesitation. If they were to talk about the person who was the most familiar with the buildings of the Church of the G.o.d of Light, that person would have to be Snow. That was because Snow was nearly always looking for where his teacher was hiding every single day.
They reached the bottom of a tall tower but were stopped at the door. Snow, who was at the front, shoved at the door but couldn’t budge it. It was evidently locked.
Hungri followed over and immediately growled, “Leo! Smash it in!”
Leo rushed forward, his broadsword slashing at the door mercilessly. Wood splintered, a large hole opening in the middle of the two doors. They entered the tower un.o.bstructed. The decorations inside were rather simple. Gigantic paintings that reached the floors hung on the walls. On the left was a winding staircase. They immediately began to climb upwards…
Hungri stopped and turned his head to look at the person who had spoken.
Youg crouched on the ground, both hands touching the surface. He said, “Something’s not right below. I can feel the dark element. Valica, what do you think?”
Brows furrowed, Valica nodded and said, “I feel it too. Youg is right.”
Hungri looked at both of them. Youg’s job was to banish evil spirits. He was sensitive to the dark element. Valica was the Leaf Knight’s successor. His sensing was stronger than everyone else’s.
“This way.” Absenplum stood in front of one of the large paintings. “There’s a hidden pa.s.sage!”
Hungri didn’t hesitate. “Let’s go!”
They gave up on the obvious path up and pushed aside the large painting. A dark, winding staircase led below. They actually couldn’t see how far down it went.
Hungri took the lead and rushed down. Within the circular tower, the sound of their footsteps resounded loud and clear, fast but orderly.
“…Elaro?” Hungri yelled downwards.
“Hungri?” A cry for help from Elaro actually came from below. “Quick, help!”
Hungri stilled but growled, “Judge, jump down!”
At the same time as he spoke, he grabbed Fey and threw him down the s.p.a.ce between the stairs. At the same time, Judge jumped down as well.
“This is obviously unfair treatment~~”
As Fey complained, he took out his whip. He grabbed Judge with one hand and used his whip to strike the railings around them with his other hand. From time to time, he would wrap his whip around the railings before letting go, and thus slow down the speed at which they fell.
Judge had the Shield of Earth, the strongest defensive shield, and Fey could ensure that they would land safely. It was too bad that the s.p.a.ce between the stairs was too narrow and could only allow two people to drop between them at the same time. Hungri had his head lowered to watch the two of them fall safely.
After those two had been thrown down, Valica and Shuis immediately understood the reasoning behind Hungri’s actions, so they also jumped down. They were both agile. Occasionally, they grabbed the railings around them or kicked with their feet, ensuring that they too would land safely.
Hungri continued to lead the others down. Just how long are these stairs? I hope we make it in time…
The moment Judge and Fey landed, they discovered a long corridor before them. It was too dark to see the end of it. They had no choice but to break into a run.
Fey’s feet never stopped, just like his complaints. “How come the Church of the G.o.d of Light has such a strange place like this? This bas.e.m.e.nt is really too deep. How was it dug? To actually waste money on this kind of place, no wonder our food has always been so disgusting—”
Fey ran past a dark curtain and abruptly felt rather uneasy. Was that some kind of magic array—? Eek!
A humongous shadow darted toward him. He started to dodge without thinking, but realized that the thing flying his way was extremely familiar—it’s Elaro!
Unable to dodge, he could only block him. However, the strength of the collision against his arms was so strong that he spat blood. He couldn’t block it at all, and skidded back all the way until he smashed up against something.
“A-Are you guys okay?” Judge was the one who had stopped them. He was so frightened that his inquiries about their health tumbled out of his mouth.
Elaro turned his head. Both Fey and Judge jumped in shock. Half of his forehead was bruised purple, and there were traces of blood by the corner of his mouth. Fey and Judge were both speechless. Elaro had been the subst.i.tute swordsmanship teacher for many years already.When has he ever appeared so beaten up?
He glanced at them but didn’t have time to pay attention to them. He stood back up and ran forward, bellowing, “Scarlet, you can’t let them go!”
Fey and Judge stood up. Before them was a completely empty temple hall. There was only a magic circle that had been drawn on the floor. It was so large that more than ten people could stand inside of it. They didn’t have a clue what its purpose was.
Standing in the center of the magic circle were people both of them knew—Charlotte and Charsia.
Elaro walked toward them with deliberate steps. At the same time, he tried to persuade her, “Auntie Charlotte, you can’t go over there, and you must not take Charsia! Aren’t you worried for her safety?”
When she heard him, Charlotte smiled instead. “Look who’s talking! The truth is, you actually wish to go, too, right? Otherwise, why are you here?”
Seeing that Charlotte was still able to smile, Elaro felt deeply powerless. “Auntie, this isn’t a joke!”
“Stop it right there! Elaro, if you take even one more step, I won’t hold back anymore!”
Where did that voice come from? Fey and Judge looked up simultaneously and were both surprised. A tiny little person floated in the air. It was probably only the size of a hand and was made out of ice crystals. No matter how one looked at it, it didn’t look like something that could talk, but she had indeed spoken, and her voice was even that of a little girl’s!
Elaro glared at the little crystal person in the air. “Scarlet, you can’t let them go over there. Otherwise, Teacher won’t ever forgive you!”
Scarlet said, aggrieved, “It doesn’t matter if he never forgives me. I just don’t want to see that child’s efforts go to waste. He is almost free! He’s so close. Charlotte and Charsia are the people with the biggest chance of bringing him back!”
She’s right… No! Elaro clenched his teeth. “Teacher would never let them be endangered!”
Shuis and Valica arrived on the scene as well, but the sight before them confused them. After exchanging a glance, they decided to stand quietly by the side of the door where it was dark and not bring attention to themselves.
Hungri rushed onto the scene. When he saw that Elaro was still there, he breathed a sigh of relief. However, when he unexpectedly saw Charlotte and Charsia too, he was very bewildered, unable to make heads or tails of the current situation.
He could only glance at Fey and Judge, who had arrived a bit earlier, hoping he could receive an explanation, but the two of them were also confused. It was only natural that Hungri then looked toward Valica and Shuis who were standing by the door, but he immediately averted his gaze, not wanting to draw attention to them.
Everyone’s here! Elaro gratefully said, “Hungri, you did well!”
Well, my a.s.s! If he could, Hungri really wanted to kill his own Sun Knight, but he squashed that desire and only asked, “What do we need to do now?”
Elaro looked toward Charlotte and Charsia. He commanded sternly, “Do everything you can to stop Auntie Charlotte and Charsia from leaving—”
“Big Brother, I’m going to bring Papa back,” Charsia said resolutely.
Elaro’s words died. He nearly couldn’t speak anymore.
Charlotte hugged her young daughter, tears in her eyes. She said with a smile, “I’m sorry for having you take this risk, Charsia, but your papa loves you so much. You’ll definitely be able to bring him back—”
Hungri started to understand the situation. Charlotte had planned on taking Charsia over to have the “Demon King” regain his state of mind. Coincidentally, Elaro, who had also planned on heading over from this place, had run into them. And then… that strange gla.s.s person was probably the key person who could send them over.
According to his understanding, letting Charlotte and Charsia head over could provide a chance for the current Sun Knight to return, but it could also result in them getting taken away or something even worse. But if they weren’t allowed to go, then with the current turn of events, the Sun Knight was most likely already “gone.” All that was left was the return of the Demon King!
After Hungri made sense of the situation, he felt that this choice was extremely difficult, but he wasn’t worried about it. He wasn’t the person who should give the final command. That was why, along with everyone else, he merely looked toward Elaro, waiting for him to command them.
Scarlet said in distress, “Elaro! Even you are giving up on Grisia?”
Elaro’s expression didn’t change, but he tightened his fists without thinking.
Agitated, Scarlet said, “As long as they head over, there’s a possibility that your teacher can come back. It won’t take much longer for the dark element to be returned to a balanced state, and then he will be able to happily spend his time with his wife and daughter! If we give up now, then all his efforts and struggles will go to waste, and the Demon King will once again resurface. Is that what you want? Elaro!”
Elaro calmly said, “Too much time has pa.s.sed. For it to take this long, something must have happened, and the other Knight-Captains weren’t able to handle it. That’s why we can’t expect Teacher to retain much of his lucidity. If even his long-time companions can’t stop Teacher, then no matter who heads over, it would likely be useless.”
His reasoning is sound. They secretly thought to themselves. But just who was it that even drugged his own companions for the sake of going over to see Knight-Captain Sun, who doesn’t have much lucidity left? Who is the one doing all those useless things?
Elaro tried to persuade her, “Scarlet, if the Demon King harms them, or does something even worse to them, Teacher will truly fall apart! I mean, truly and utterly!”
Scarlet fell silent for a long time. Then, she finally said, “Truly going completely mad might actually be a bit better than living his whole life suffering with a clear mind.”
When he heard that, Elaro immediately yelled, “Stop them,” but his attention wasn’t on Charlotte and Charsia, but rather on Scarlet, who was in the air!
A whip flashed toward the little crystal person in the air. Fey was close by, so he was the first to respond to Elaro’s command. Following that was an arrow. Valica walked over from the door, shooting arrows as he walked. Valkyrs never stopped throwing his knives…
As everyone worked together to attack, Elaro ignored his own command to attack Scarlet. Instead, he rushed toward the wife and daughter in the middle of the magic circle.
“b.a.s.t.a.r.d—” Hungri cursed, afraid that not only would they not be able to stop Charlotte and Charsia, but even Elaro would be lost as well.
The whip landed against something invisible, unable to touch the little crystal person at all. The arrows and the throwing knives yielded the same result. Scarlet snorted. “My defense was set up by the Demon King himself. Besides, even if you guys managed to kill me, so what? You were too late from the start. Before Elaro had even arrived, the preparations were already done.”
As if confirming her words, rays of light burst out from the magic circle, gradually enveloping the mother and daughter, starting from their feet.
“Elaro, your presence will be beneficial, too.” Scarlet nodded. “His wife, child, and student. That’s definitely enough to bring Grisia back!”
“Elaro, come back!”
Hungri rushed forward, but someone else was even faster than him. Hope burned within him momentarily—but it was Shuis, the next Storm Knight who excelled in speed.
s.h.i.t—All of you might as well hold hands and head over together! Hungri felt that he was about to go crazy. He really wanted to strangle Elaro and his five holy knights! He yelled, “Fey! Valkyrs!”
Fey rushed over, but he was only in time to push down Shuis, who was closer in proximity. He wrapped his whip around him, and both of them fell by the edge of the magic circle. He didn’t have any time to deal with Elaro. Valkyrs’s location was even farther than Hungri’s. Even though he had rushed over the moment he’d heard Hungri’s command, he couldn’t make it in time.
Hungri could only watch Elaro rush into the magic circle, when he had almost reached the edge of the magic circle himself.
Do I head in? Do I stay out?
He stopped. Hungri’s toes were only a centimeter away from the outer edge of the magic circle. He reached a hand out to stop Valkyrs, who had been about to rush inside. Rage boiled within. He yelled, “Elaro, if you don’t return, I won’t ever forgive you!”
Elaro had almost reached the mother and daughter. Charlotte was tightly hugging Charsia. At this time, the rays of light from the magic circle brightened so much that no one could see anything. This included Elaro as well, but he didn’t stop. He followed his memory, sure that he would be able to safely grab Charlotte and Charsia!
Of course, he had heard Hungri’s words. He made a silent promise to him. Right now, he no longer wanted to go find his teacher because…
Teacher wants me to bring Charlotte and Charsia to safety, to a place the Demon King can’t find them. He doesn’t want me to bring them right to the Demon King!
I got them! Elaro managed to hug the two of them and immediately lifted them. He began running out. The moment he stepped over one of the lines, it was like he had crashed against a wall. Losing his balance, he saw that he was falling, so he could only twist himself so that the mother and daughter in his embrace would fall on top of him.
After he crashed to the ground, the rays of light from the magic circle began to diminish. He was gradually able to see the outlines of his surroundings.
Where might we be? Elaro really wasn’t certain. He raised his head and saw a pair of feet nearby. Whose feet are these?
It’s Teacher’s voice… We’re done for!
The voice who had spoken his name this time was completely different but much closer. Elaro lifted his head and blurted, “Hungri!”
What confused him was how wild with joy Hungri looked. Just earlier, he had looked like he was about to murder someone. However, Hungri didn’t pay any attention to him. First, he lifted Charsia up, and then he helped Charlotte stand. After doing so, he kicked Elaro.
Elaro smiled wryly and stood up by himself. He smiled at Hungri. Just as he was about to thank him for not following him in, for keeping him from worrying about the future of the Holy Temple, Hungri pointed behind him with his finger.
“Charlotte? Why are you here?”
Elaro froze. That really was his teacher’s voice. He turned his head to look. Light continued to shroud the magic circle behind him, but more than ten people could faintly be seen through the light. After counting, he could make out fourteen—exactly fourteen!
The Twelve Holy Knights and the two vice-captains had all returned!
The tears that Charlotte had been holding back the entire time finally burst out. It didn’t matter whether he currently had black hair or golden hair. None of that mattered. What mattered was that he had returned!
“Grisia!” She rushed over, throwing herself right into his embrace. She almost toppled him over, this holy knight who wasn’t very physically strong.
“Why are you crying?”
Charlotte yelled through her tears, “It’s your fault!”
The light from the magic circle gradually dispersed; however, the people within the magic circle were even more eye-catching than the light.
There were fourteen of them. Although their outfits were in tatters, their bearing was undiminished. Each of them had their own distinct qualities. The only similarity they all shared, was that they were all truly striking.
The man in the very center was particularly conspicuous. He had a head of resplendent golden hair, skin that was as white as porcelain, and a pair of eyes that were as blue as the sky. Even though the white knight outfit on his body was a bit ragged and burnt, that did not at all detract from his absolute magnificence.
Charlotte raised her head. It just so happened that the Sun Knight had his head lowered to look at her, and he had on his perpetual, dazzling smile…
“d.a.m.n ageless devil!” She began raging, “Didn’t you say that you wouldn’t use magic to stay young?”
“Eh? You know I haven’t done that!” The Sun Knight didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. He mumbled, “Where would I get the money to use the kind of magic that needs to be cast regularly? It’s really expensive!”
“Liar! Even so close, I don’t see a single wrinkle on you. You don’t even look thirty with that face!”
“Ah… maybe it’s just natural beauty?”
“Are you saying that I’m not naturally beautiful? I want a divorce!”
“We haven’t even gotten married yet…”
Their rapid but quiet quarrel made the Twelve Holy Knights around them glance at the Sun Knight’s face—he really was a devil!
“Could it be that the Demon King doesn’t age?” someone mumbled.
Scarlet floated down and stood on the Sun Knight’s shoulder. “Nothing of the sort. The Demon King is a normal person, too. Of course he ages. Often, he even ages faster. Becoming a vessel of the dark element isn’t an easy task!”
Ages even faster? Everyone glanced through the corner of their eyes at the Sun Knight’s face.
“He’s probably a devil!” Scarlet said with a shrug.
Hearing this shout, a dazzling smile broke out across the Sun Knight’s face. He knelt down to greet the little girl who was running over. “My little darling, why have you come here too?”
Charsia threw herself at her father, and he picked her up.
“Teacher!” At this time, the holy knights-in-training began rushing over to their own teachers’ side. There were those who asked after their teachers…
“T-Teacher! I’m so glad that you h-haven’t died!” Judge looked at his teacher emotionally. Although his teacher’s condition looked rather terrible, and his shield even had several holes in it, he was still standing, so that was a good sign.
“Dead? Your teacher is the dead one… s.h.i.t! I actually cursed myself.” The Earth Knight was very vexed, so he smacked his student on the head.
There was also someone who couldn’t find his teacher…
“T-Teacher? Teacher, where are you? Don’t tell me that you haven’t returned?!” Snow was worried out of his mind.
“I’m here.” Knight-Captain Cloud slowly appeared from behind the Earth Knight’s huge shield.
Snow immediately walked over and held his teacher’s hand. This was one of his perennial habits. If he didn’t do so, he didn’t know where his teacher would disappear to the very next second. Only by holding his teacher’s hand could he ensure that he wouldn’t disappear.
Hungri walked up to his own teacher. He was a bit at a loss. He had never seen… his teacher look so ragged before!
The Judgment Knight’s brows were like always, locked in a deep furrow. The most obvious mark that the years had left on his face was that deep furrow between his brows. Other than that, his face had grown even more mature, and perhaps due to too much stress, his black hair contained a few strands of white.
However, none of that was on Hungri’s mind. His teacher’s face was quite normal. Other than the white strands among his hair, he actually looked a little younger than his years. Compared to the Sun Knight’s ageless, devilish face that made him look like Elaro’s brother when they stood together—you couldn’t even tell who the older brother was—this was much better.
What was strange were the clothes on his teacher. The Judgment Knight had always liked cleanliness. However, at that moment, the black clothing he wore was in shreds. Moreover, the black robes he wore over the top had disappeared altogether.
Hungri glanced beyond the tattered clothes. Looks like there are no injuries. He must have been healed.
“Teacher, you are back.” In front of his teacher, Hungri had never dared to be rash. He greeted him obediently.
“Yes,” the Judgment Knight answered.
Although his teacher hadn’t asked, Hungri knew he was waiting for his report. He hurriedly said, “Teacher, we have learned a lot, including matters regarding the ‘Demon King.’”
The Judgment Knight frowned. After he gave him a nod, he turned his head and called out, “Sun.”
The Sun Knight turned his head. He had heard Hungri’s words. He still had a smile on as he asked, “Elaro, come explain to Teacher!”
Elaro explained everything honestly, “Teacher, because the Twelve Holy Knight-Captains did not return even after a long time, and I also had a strange dream, I really couldn’t help but worry. I told Vice-Captain Adair, and he decided to investigate the situation. When he didn’t return either, the Pope gave a command that if you didn’t return within three days, we would directly succeed the Twelve Holy Knights. Therefore…”
After he explained this, Elaro let his head drop. “I told everyone the truth. They now know that you are ‘that person.’” Since Teacher returned today, I really didn’t need to tell them everything. He felt extremely conflicted.
They all looked at the Sun Knight. Although they had already learned of the truth, they found it difficult to believe when they looked at him. The Sun Knight’s appearance was handsome, his actions graceful. His entire being was as dazzling as holy light. He was the embodiment of the perfect Sun Knight, and he was also the spokesperson of the G.o.d of Light. How could he be the Demon King?
“Oh, so the students all know the truth now?” The Sun Knight wasn’t very bothered. “Your teacher had originally been hesitant over whether he should command his student to tell the truth to his companions, who would hence accompany him in spreading the glory of the G.o.d of Light. However, after considering that you should have your own opinions as the next Sun Knight, your teacher decided that it would suffice for you to personally decide on the right time to tell them.”
So, Teacher has been waiting for me to tell my companions? Elaro was stunned.
“Then, have you also found out?” To the side, the h.e.l.l Knight suddenly asked his student this question.
Luke was puzzled. “Found out what?”
“Knight-Captain h.e.l.l, I did not mention anything about you,” Elaro hurriedly said.
Luke glanced at Elaro in puzzlement. Then, he looked back at his teacher.
The h.e.l.l Knight remained silent for a moment, but then he softly said, “I am not a living person but the final form of a death knight—a death monarch.”
Teacher and student looked at each other speechlessly. Everyone else was also staring with wide eyes. However, since the h.e.l.l Knight had always dressed oddly, it was actually less shocking than learning that the Sun Knight was the Demon King. Although they were surprised, they weren’t very bothered—after all, if their leader was the Demon King, then it did feel rather normal for him to have an undead creature as a subordinate.
Luke had his head bowed for a long time before he suddenly looked up and declared, “Since I have already acknowledged you as my teacher, then no matter what happens, you will always be my teacher!”
The h.e.l.l Knight looked profoundly at his own student and merely nodded without a word.
“T-Teacher…” Judge looked at his teacher, face full of expectation. “T-Then, are you also something?”
“Like h.e.l.l! I’m your teacher!” The Earth Knight smacked his student.
Elaro was shut in confinement.
After the Sun Knight learned of everything that had transpired, he grew so angry that not even the first syllable of “elegance” could be spelled out about him.
“I haven’t even retired, yet you have already returned most of my teachings to me? To think that you discarded your own safety as the next Sun Knight, and even needed Hungri to stop you—you disgraceful b.a.s.t.a.r.d! Scram into the confinement chamber and write ten thousand times, ‘I am the Sun Knight. I cannot randomly throw away my life’!”
Do you have the qualifications to tell him to write that? The 38th generation of the Twelve Holy Knights watched their Sun Knight speechlessly.
The following day, Hungri was also thrown in confinement.
The Judgment Knight’s rage couldn’t be contained.
“You actually dared to torture a criminal nearly to death?! To think that you still can’t even achieve the most basic ‘not allowing your emotions to cloud your judgment’… I really should consider replacing you!”
Hungri began panicking. “Teacher, I’ve learned my mistake! Don’t replace me!”
The Judgment Knight merely looked at his student with a darkened face. Hungri was so panicked, he didn’t know what to do. His teacher had always been a man of his word. If he spoke of it, then he truly did have that intention.
Elaro, who was in the next chamber, immediately yelled, “Knight-Captain Judgment, if you really must replace Hungri, then please ask my teacher to replace me as well! My Judgment Knight will only ever be Hungri. If he isn’t the 39th Judgment Knight, then I won’t be the 39th Sun Knight, either!”
“Are you threatening me?” The Judgment Knight’s face grew even darker.
Elaro’s heart jumped. He tried his best to stay calm as he said, “Nothing of the sort. I am only stating a fact.”
Hungri looked at Elaro in admiration. Hungri nearly couldn’t bring himself to look at his teacher’s face anymore, yet Elaro had actually dared to say that kind of “threat” to his teacher.
“Hmph!” The Judgment Knight turned and said, “Knight-Captain Sun, just how have you taught your student? He actually has the nerve to threaten a teacher!”
Only then did Elaro and Hungri realize that the Sun Knight had arrived at the entrance of the confinement chamber at some unknown point. He was currently leaning against the door with a faint smile.
“Lesus, last time you told me that Elaro was courageous. Now, you feel that he has too much guts, huh?”
The Sun Knight smiled as he walked over.
Hungri was stunned. He had never heard the Sun Knight sound so… easy to understand.
The Judgment Knight snorted. “Such daring shouldn’t be used for disobeying a teacher! What’s more, whether my student is suitable to succeed me or not is my decision. No one else may interfere!”
The Sun Knight burst into laughter, and he even kept laughing nonstop.
“What’s so funny?” The Judgment Knight was a little vexed.
“Have you forgotten the time when I had nearly been replaced too because of my poor swordsmanship? I remember that at the time, there seemed to be ‘someone’ who had led all the other Twelve Holy Knights-in-training to stand behind me. No matter what, none of you were willing to leave the evaluation meeting!”
“…Neo Sun hadn’t really wanted to replace you then.”
The Sun Knight chuckled as he said, “True, I also recall that it seemed to be the same ‘someone’ who hurriedly asked my teacher to return as a.s.sistance.”
The Sun Knight sighed. “Lesus, my student is a stubborn person. Since he has said so, he would definitely do so. If you replace Hungri, then the next generation Twelve Holy Knights might not have a Sun Knight. I forgot to choose a back-up. Lesus, it’s not like you don’t know that—”
“Grisia Sun.” The Judgment Knight coldly said, “I won’t accept any threats, not even from you!”
After he spoke, he turned and left immediately.
“Teacher!” Hungri was unwilling to give up as he yelled, “I know I’m wrong. I won’t do it again. Please don’t replace me!”
The Judgment Knight paused momentarily, but then he left.
Hungri watched his teacher leave, all the way until he stepped out of the confinement chamber, and he could no longer see him…
Seeing Hungri’s head droop and how silent he was, Elaro hurriedly tried asking his teacher for help. “Teacher—”
The Sun Knight suddenly asked his student, “Elaro, have you ever seen the entire process of the death penalty carried out after a criminal receives a death sentence?”
Elaro was momentarily confused, unsure why his teacher had suddenly brought this up. He looked at his teacher, who merely smiled at him.
“I have never.” Elaro was certain that there was a point to his teacher’s words. He followed along and asked, “Teacher, have you seen it before?”
“Of course, even if the benevolent G.o.d of Light does not wish for such a scene.” The Sun Knight showed a compa.s.sionate expression.
“The criminal is first forced to stand in the plaza, and Knight-Captain Judgment personally recites all of the criminal’s offenses. After that, the criminal is pushed into a cage and paraded through Leaf Bud City. On the way, if the public accidentally picks up a stone from the ground and throws it, and it accidentally lands on the criminal, since the knights are too busy with guard duty, it often ‘slips by them’ or ‘they don’t see it,’ and thus cannot stop it in time. That is, unless the public picks up a stone that is too large, and it causes too much of a commotion.
“After being brought to the execution ground, the criminal is then taken to the execution stage and a rope is tied around the criminal’s neck. They carefully check to make sure they don’t have the wrong person, and the royal family sends someone to attend the ritual. Only then is the sentence carried out.”
Conflicted, the Sun Knight then said, “However, members of the royal family are always very busy. It’s not rare for them to be late. They’re always one or two hours late before they belatedly arrive. It’s very troublesome.”
After Elaro listened in astonishment, he felt this was quite cruel. However, he then recalled what Hungri had told him of the crimes that the criminals had committed before… He took in a deep breath and decided that this wasn’t where his duty lay. I should just leave it to the Judgment Knights!
The Sun Knight sighed. “Actually, this is all because Lesus protects Hungri too much!”
Elaro didn’t really understand what he meant, and he didn’t fully agree either. “Knight-Captain Judgment is very strict. He has especially high demands of Hungri. He has never pampered him!”
“Strictness and pampering aren’t exclusive. Otherwise, why is it that Hungri is already seventeen, yet he is unwilling to let Hungri see the final fate of the criminals on death row?” The Sun Knight murmured, “If he has ever seen the ‘final fate’ of those criminals, he would definitely understand that only such a punishment would frighten the public enough that they wouldn’t dare to commit a crime, so as to prevent themselves from receiving the same fate. Perhaps then, he would no longer even think of privately judging them?”
Elaro blinked and immediately understood why his teacher had told them this. He looked toward Hungri. Although his posture hadn’t changed—his head was still drooped—his shoulders had begun to shake. It was evident that he had been affected.
“Hungri…” Elaro looked at Hungri, who was still silent and had his head bowed. He immediately tried to plead for him, “Teacher, please, you have to help Hungri! He did really well this time. On the contrary, I was the one who was too impulsive from start to finish. If you don’t plan to replace me, then how can Hungri be replaced?”
“So you know that you were too impulsive this time?”
The Sun Knight’s face darkened, and Elaro’s heart plummeted along with it. However, in the very next second, the Sun Knight turned his head and smiled at Hungri. “Don’t worry. Since Lesus didn’t say that he would replace you immediately, that means he will give you a chance.”
Hungri abruptly raised his head and grabbed at the bars. He shouted, “Really? Teacher isn’t actually planning on replacing me?”
The Sun Knight smiled. “Lesus isn’t that heartless. With his personality, if he really wanted to replace someone, he wouldn’t shut that person in confinement and even verbally warn him. He’d have directly replaced him. I feel that Lesus’s intention to replace you might even be less than my intention to replace Elaro!”
After he finished speaking, he glared at his student.
“Elaro, don’t think that you have any leisure to shield Hungri. This time, you were rotten to the core!” The Sun Knight pointed at his student and scolded, “Stay here and reflect on that!”
After his reprimand, he left angrily, just like the Judgment Knight.
The two of them, who had been scolded one after another, hung their heads and lamented, “As expected, I really can’t compare with Teacher—”
Both of them stopped at the same time. Through the bars, they stared at each other in shock.
Shocked, Hungri said, “Elaro, what are you talking about? You’re a really good Sun Knight!”
Elaro smiled as he said, “Do you think so this time as well?”
“…This time, you were a Sun Knight that really made me want to kill you.”
Elaro’s smile turned wry. He softly said, “Even if the same thing happened again, I really don’t know if I would be able to make a different decision—”
Hungri interrupted him. “I will try my best to become a competent Judgment Knight. Even if the same thing ever happens again, you won’t have to, and you shouldn’t ever have to do everything by yourself! That’s because what we’re succeeding is the ‘Twelve Holy Knights’! Got it?”
The Twelve Holy Knights… Elaro smiled. “Got it, Knight-Captain Judgment.”
In the afternoon, Luke brought a pillow and a blanket and entered the chamber opposite theirs.
“What have you done wrong?”
Elaro and Hungri stared at Luke in surprise as he walked into the chamber across from them. They hadn’t thought that Luke would be shut in here, too. During the incident, he hadn’t done anything wrong. In the end, he had even accepted Knight-Captain h.e.l.l’s “unique ident.i.ty.” No matter how they thought about it, there wasn’t a reason for him to be here.
Luke merely shook his head. He was rather dejected as he said, “I refused to promise Teacher something. He told me that unless I agreed, I won’t be leaving here.”
“You won’t be leaving here? Don’t tell me that h.e.l.l Knight is serious about that?” Hungri’s eyes were wide. “Don’t you and your teacher get along really well? How have things turned so serious all of a sudden?”
“There’s never a time when my teacher isn’t serious,” Luke said faintly.
That’s true. Knight-Captain h.e.l.l was incomparably serious. Never joke around with him. That was something that the entire Holy Temple knew. Even so… Hungri couldn’t believe it. “But it’s not like he can shut you here for your entire life!”
Luke looked away and said, “Of course he can’t. If, after a few months and I still don’t agree, he’ll probably replace me.”
Is it a fad right now for teachers to threaten to replace their students? Hungri was a bit speechless. However, he didn’t plan on getting involved. Even though Luke was technically under his command, he actually followed Elaro’s orders. With such a large matter, it was natural that Elaro was more suited to handle it.
Of course, if Elaro really didn’t plan on doing anything about it, then Hungri wouldn’t stand by and just watch Luke get replaced. However, Hungri didn’t think that something like that would ever happen.
As expected, Elaro asked, “Luke, will you ever agree to Knight-Captain h.e.l.l’s request?”
Luke angrily growled, “Never, not even if my life depended on it!”
Hungri was stunned. He couldn’t help wondering what exactly Knight-Captain h.e.l.l had wanted Luke to promise him. Hungri glanced at Elaro, waiting for him to ask. However, he didn’t think that Elaro would merely nod. Elaro then walked to the confinement chamber’s wall and knocked on a certain brick. Following that, a hole appeared.
After the hole appeared, a bunch of food rolled in, stuffed in cans and bottles, as well as blankets and a whole stack of doc.u.ments waiting to be corrected. When he saw the papers, Elaro quietly spoke to the hole, and then he returned the doc.u.ments.
“I just knew that this confinement chamber was haunted!” Hungri grit his teeth.
By nighttime, all of the Twelve Holy Knights-in-training had been shut in the confinement chamber.
Luke was surprised as he looked at everyone. Hungri wasn’t very shocked, while Elaro was even smiling.
Valica smiled as he said, “Big Bro Elaro is here, Hungri is here, and even Luke can’t leave. Then, what are we staying outside for?”
After he finished speaking, he and Shuis immediately fought over the confinement chamber next to Elaro’s. When they discovered that there weren’t enough chambers for all of them, they decided to claim that chamber together.
Youg walked into one of the chambers. Behind the bars, he said, unruffled, “My teacher told me that if I didn’t come, I wouldn’t be a good comrade.”
Snow followed behind Youg and said in dejection, “How nice, I can’t even find my teacher.”
“We advance and retreat together.” Valkyrs was straight to the point.
Luke looked at everyone, worried. “You’ll anger your teachers. This is bad.”
“D-Don’t worry!” Judge patted Luke’s shoulder. “Elaro said, while in the confinement chamber, we won’t correct any doc.u.ments. If I-I don’t help Teacher correct doc.u.ments, Teacher would d-die in three days! He’ll go and convince your teacher very soon.”
Luke still wanted to persuade them to stay out of it, “But—”
“No need to say anything more!” Elaro interrupted Luke.
“No matter what happens, I won’t let anyone get replaced. That’s because no one from my Twelve Holy Knights is replaceable!”
Although none of them spoke as they quietly listened to Elaro, their resolute expressions expressed everything they wanted to say.
“Sigh…” Fey sighed as he gripped the bars. “Even I’m feeling a bit moved, but when I think about how such a serious declaration was made when we’ve all been confined, I have this feeling that our future might be really bleak…”
“Shut up!” Everyone bellowed.