So after thinking long and hard about the meaning of life the week following April 1st, I decided that MTLing was too hard… Happy April to all of you! sorry I couldn’t get this done sooner…
TN: Terminology change: if anybody has been paying close attention, the social classes in the world are:
- Royalty (lol)
- Knightly families → Chevaliers
- Chevaliers related to cavalier or cavalry. an entomology tidbit.(xkcd)
Camp (Part 2)
AN:This chapter is shorter, since it is the continuation of the previous chapter.(TN: or something like that)
After five days, the Imperial Army’s advance party of 500 knights arrived at the area where the enemy was reported to have appeared.
Much less than coming into contact with the enemy, they weren’t even able to find any trace of them.
Rather, every time the small scouting platoon discovered traces of the enemy, when they rode their horses to the place, no trace of the enemy remained.
No matter how quickly they moved after receiving the scouts’ reports, they never found anything.They repeated this day and night, but no matter how high the morale was and their zeal, weariness inevitably spread throughout the army.
Originally, the advance party was made up of knights taken from the Knight Order’s main force. Compared to the main body, their morale was already a problem to begin with.
“…Hey, this time, signs were found to the east.”
“Wasn’t it to the west last time? What the heck are those scouts doing?”
“Could they have made some sort of mistake again?”
Each time a mobilization order was passed down, people started to complain.
However, they couldn’t disobey the mobilization order.
Leaving the transportation corps to pack up their tents, they set off on horseback immediately. However, unsurprisingly, when they arrived at the location, there was no enemy army to be found, only what seemed to be traces of an army there.
They blamed the scouting unit who had discovered the traces, but since they did actually found traces of the enemy, the scouting unit sent a messenger back to the main unit to report their findings.
“…The army’s tension has decreased significantly.”
Royce and Kelvin were in their tent.
Kelvin had come back from inspecting the whole camp, while Royce pored over the papers strewn all over his simple work desk, not touching his food.
“It must have been hard for you to quell the commotion last night.”
Kelvin shook his head, shrugging off Royce’s words of appreciation, and set his sword on the wall of the tent.
“If the expeditions keep coming to nothing, it probably can’t be helped.”
As the war-weariness spread, the discipline within the army slackened.
No matter whether they set off day or night, it all ended in a miss, so they began grumbling in discontent, and the knights of noble or chevalier status began to criticize the commoners again.
Within the army, they began bullying the weaker commoner students and knights, and quarrels broke out. Members of Royce’s platoon were also involved in one such incident the previous night, but Kelvin, like before, had intervened.
“As you had feared, the morale has lowered. And their discontent becomes targeted at the weak link. The reason is the deep divide between the nobles and chevaliers, and the commoners.”
“Especially since all of the officers of this advance party, from the Commander to us lieutenants, are not mainstream nobles. It’s full of weak nobles with inflated egos. Well, I had expected this, but…”
Royce offered Kelvin a seat, then wiped the sweat on his forehead with a handkerchief while arranging the papers strewn all over his desk, and took out a small piece of crystal from his breast-pocket.
“Were you in the middle of a call?”
“It’s fine. I just finished the call.”
Magical Communication Crystals were crystals imbued with magic, then broken into two pieces. People who held the corresponding pieces would be able to speak to each other. It was a top secret item, but was also very expensive, so it wasn’t widely circulated. Normally, only the commanders of armies and the country’s VIPs would be allowed to possess such tools.
“The negotiations went well. To the other party, this discussion must have been a windfall for them.”
“I see. With this, You have obtained a trump card.”
“I will use whatever I can use. It is natural to aim for their weaknesses.”
Royce took a sip from the cup of tea that Kelvin offered him, and then took a bite of the piece of bread that was his dinner, which had gone cold.
“This is unpalatable. Military rations aren’t meant to taste good, but this is disgusting.”
Grimacing, Royce soaked his rock-hard bread into his cold soup, then chewed into it.
Seated in front of him, Kelvin smiled bitterly, and ate a spoonful of his bowl of cold soup.
The soup was made of chicken and beans, but it was only lightly seasoned.
“It seems that the military supplies are being traded illicitly. There is no way that there aren’t injustices in the current Capital.”
It was also doubtful whether even the amount of rationed food met the army’s standards.
Royce and Kelvin sat there, eating in silence, when suddenly, an angry shout was heard outside the tent. Yet another quarrel had probably broken out.
Kelvin was about to get up, but Royce held his hand up and stopped him.
He judged that, by where the sounds of the commotion were coming from, their subordinates were not involved.
Not long after, they recognized shouts from other lieutenants, and the uproar gradually subsided.
“Frankly, I am also against commoners becoming knights.”
“Wars should be fought by us nobles and experienced knights, not by the civilians. The people should just work and live happily with their families, spending their time in peace.”
“Are you referring to Knight Cadet Wynn?”
“I am truly happy that the populace admires knights so much. Likewise, he had always admired these knights… but commoners don’t need to be involved in killing people as knights do.”
Putting down the bowl of soup, Royce left the tent, and looked in the direction of his subordinates. Although campfires were lit all over the camp, Royce was unable to see the tents that his subordinates occupied.
He had checked on their tents a few times, and even though he had seen the surrounding knights grumbling in discontent, he had seen no such signs from his subordinates.
They must have endured so much abuse and backbiting from the other knights.
Even though the atmosphere was tense, Wynn and Locke still remained calm. Even at the point Kelvin was forced to step in and defuse the situation, they remained calm.
The other commoner knights and student knights reacted to the knights’ provocations, but since Wynn and Locke had survived battles against other humans in that coup d’état incident, it gave them more composure than the other rookie knights.
“I will end up using him. Even though he should be one of those who just live in peace, since he aspires to be a knight, I will use him.”
When he noticed Wynn’s name in his unit roster, Royce was struck with an idea. He then thought of a plan.
“It is inevitable if you want to achieve success.”
Royce responded to Kelvin with a cynical laugh.
“If the Brave finds out what I’m thinking, then I will be killed by her.”
He recalled the time he met the girl who was the Brave in the palace.
Believing that Royce had unfairly picked a fight with Wynn, her wrath had erupted.
“Success, huh…Only when we manage to protect a country where its people live in happiness, will I consider it a success. That is why I will use all the pieces that are available to me.”
The Empire had not yet realized Wynn’s true value.
Rather, the empire’s nobles and chevaliers, who looked down on commoners, refused to accept his value.
The words the Brave, Leticia van Mavis, had said that day:
“I will return to my Master, Wynn Byrd’s side.”Anybody would be interested in the person who taught her both swordplay and magic.
The name that “Divine Sword Princess” Leticia van Mavis, who was recognized as the Brave of legends, was spread all over the continent by the ambassadors in attendance.
Unlike this country, they were enthusiastic about it.
A fraction of the prominent nobles who controlled the country disliked the fact that a commoner threatened their position, under-evaluated him and never publicized his name.
Despite clearly having played the most significant role during that coup d’état by anybody’s reckoning, because of the precedent, and the emphasis on the Knight School’s grades, he remained a Knight Cadet. The merit-based system had been twisted by that faction of nobles.
However, the other countries were different.
The name Wynn Bryd was well-known.
However, the people of other countries had no influence at all on the nobles of the Empire.
How would he be treated in those other countries? There would probably be nobody who didn’t know of him.
Royce will make use of this fact.
Even if he faces the wrath of the Brave, Leticia van Mavis, in order to achieve success, as a noble who aimed to protect the peace of the people, it was Count Royce van Elstead’s duty to carry it out.
- Credit to Solistia for suggesting the word! Think of it as an honorary noble status for the knight families — back
- This seems really vague… I will have to edit it when I figure out what Royce is plotting — back
- Royce has guts. And has atypical reasons for his opposition. I like him. A complex character… more complex than Wynn? Maybe… orz — back
Hello! Sorry for not getting this chapter out sooner! Anyways… Happy April! I’m not sure why I’m trying to speak in circles here, but I’ll keep circumlocuting what I want to say about April…
Anyways, I have test days and a lot of work to do this coming week… Though the workload subsides at the end of the week. I will try to get a chapter out this weekend (or else my release rate has effectively become 1 chap/2 weeks…)
I have an unfounded conspiracy theory. The telephone crystal Royce has? He’s a spy. He also wants to purge this rotten empire from the outside. That’s why he knows that Leti would kill him if she found out what he was planning. That’s why he spent the end of the chapter talking about how foreign countries recognized Wynn’s worth.
Completely random conspiracy theory. I should set up a paypal account for each and every one of you readers to give me a penny if I somehow get that completely right… (not really)
Good night… I’m feeling drunk on sleep deprivation…