*Disclaimer note: This is merely a translation of the original Chinese version. I do not claim any part in the creation of the original story.
"Captain Sun Knight, Captain Sun Knight……"
Mmm…… hmm…? I flipped to my other side and buried my head under my pillow. 'There… shouldn't be able… to hear… anything now……'
"Captain Sun Knight!"
I could still hear something. I slowly pulled my head from under the pillow, and slowly sat up. My eyes may be open, but everything was still a blur to me. I was completely unable to focus on anything…… I can therefore conclude that this is NOT my usual waking time!
'Which bastard dared to interrupt my beauty sleep?!'
In a voice lower than my usual one by a whole octave I called out, "May I ask if the holy knight brother outside had been enlightened by the God of Light, and thus come a knocking on this Sun's door to exchange words of Her love and benevolence?"
The person outside sighed in relief, before swiftly changing back to the previous urgent tone. "Captain Sun Knight! It is Adair! Have you forgotten? Today is Sunday."
"Sunday…… is a public holiday!" Once I had figured that out, I fell back onto my bed, pulled up the covers and wrap myself in it.
"No, Captain. Today is your turn to preside over the worship service, have you forgotten? Captain? Captain……"
The calls became softer and softer. I was very satisfied with this. I may still be able to continue on sleeping in completely chaos, but I'd sleep better if there was no one bothering me. Since it's a Sunday I'll sleep till noon before getting up to eat my lunch……
I jumped up from bed in a panic. 'What is it? What's happened?'
"Captain Judge Knight, please don't be so rude……"
I turned to see Judge Knight slamming the door close on Adair, nearly taking out his nose. I have to say, that Adair is not very tactful to dare to talk to Judge in that tone. Even I dare not talk to him that way!
"That vice-captain of your still isn't very flexible. He should have just come in and wake you up instead of calling from outside your door."
The moment the door was closed, the harsh lines of Judge's stern face relaxed a little. He shook his head saying, "With that kind of person as your vice-captain, it is no wonder your Sun Division is always stirring up trouble. Just three days ago they had ambushed the Duke of Ceylan's third son. The Duke was furious and had brought this matter up with the Crown Prince."
"Err…… I'm also very troubled about this matter!" I said. I then sighed, "But it can't be helped, you know how he is, he's just one of those obstinate types!"
I'm not sure if I'm just imagining it, but Judge's deep black eyes seemed to be looking at me meaningfully as he said, "However something about this strikes me as strange. The Duke's third son is a good and honourable knight; he couldn't have done anything to anger the Sun Division. He may have been involved in the earlier case as the person who had disposed of the body, but he was just following the King's orders."
"I don't know. Maybe he accidently stepped on Adair's foot or something? I'm sure you're aware that I rarely interfere in the Sun Division's matter and leave everything to Adair." I shrugged my shoulders, bemused.
Judge frowned at that but did not rebut me, only saying, "It's all in the past anyway. Ask them not to keep picking fights with the third son, or the Crown Prince would be in a difficult position."
I nodded my head obediently and said, "Okay, I'll give them a warning."
Judge then gave me another glance and reminded, "You should start getting ready. The ceremony is starting soon. You only have 30 minutes to spare."
I stared blankly at him. 'The ceremony…? Ah! Is it my turn already to preside over the worship service?'
Every Sunday, the Church of Light will hold a worship service to pay tribute to the God of Light. Its itinerary mainly consists of the priests giving a long sermon on the God of Light's benevolence, as well as recounts of some of the tales of the past Twelve Holy Knights, before everyone sing some songs praising the God of Light. And lastly is the most important event—donations!
Anyway, the Twelve Holy Knights all take turns to preside over the ceremonies, and this Sunday must be my turn again.
Judging from my surprised expression, Judge understood that I had just fully awakened and had finally realised the situation. He said calmly, "Now that you know, hurry up and get ready. You still have 30 minutes, should be plenty of time to spare-"
"What?! Only 30 minutes!" I yelped. "30 minutes is definitely not enough time for me to comb my hair, put on my facial mask, get the steaming iron hot enough to iron my clothes, shine my shoes……"
Judge's eye twitched at this and said, "If that's so then I'll leave you to it," before quickly leaving. He had probably left in such a hurry because he had previously accidently seen me with my green face mask on. Unfortunately, I had been standing in the shadows at that time and had startled him into drawing his sword, nearly slicing me in two.
'Honestly. What's there to be scared of? I now only make pink face masks.'
Speaking of face masks… Thank goodness I had the foresight to make a new batch last night, or else I would never be ready with just 30 minutes. Now, first I'll start heating the iron, then I'll wash my face before putting on the mask, and following that I'll comb my hair with my left hand while I shine my shoes with my right. By then the iron should be ready and I can then start ironing my clothes……
With five minutes left to spare I was at last ready, and I elegantly walked out my room. Standing just outside my door was Adair, waiting for me.
"Adair," I greeted him with a smile.
"Yes, Captain Sun Knight," Adair immediately saluted me.
I gestured at him, signalling to him for us to set off.
"This Sun has heard that you and the rest of the division had ambushed the Duke of Ceylan's third son, and beaten him up…… "
As we walked to our destination, my face turned sorrowful, and I gave a sigh. "Violence is not something the benevolent God of Light approves of."
But Adair interrupted agitatedly, "But he had stabbed you back at the execution grounds. It is unforgivable for him to have injured you so badly……"
"Adair!" I cut him off. I reprimanded him, "The Church of Light's teachings tell us that no matter how serious the crime, as long as the offender truly repents his actions, we have to forgive them and accept them with a kind and merciful heart. This is the God of Light's merciful teachings. Do you understand, Adair?"
"Yes," nodded Adair. "I will beat him up until he repents his actions," he then muttered.
I sighed elegantly and said, "Adair, you still do not understand. The Sun Division's conduct should reflect the God of Light's kindness and goodwill, instead of inflicting violence upon others."
"Understood," Adair nodded once more before mumbling softly, "We will cover his head first with a bag so he won't know that it was us."
'Ah-ha! Adair, oh Adair. You are so smart! As can only be expected of my-personally hand selected-vice-captain.'
I nodded my head in satisfaction.
As we neared the great hall where the service was held I stopped and turned to smile at Adair. "With Her Holiness the God of Light's love shining down upon the earth, I believe the blueberries must be growing in great abundance, the wheat plants bursting with her love, and even milk would taste as sweet as honey! I am grateful indeed for Her caring love, for Her providing such food to Her people."
Adair respectfully noted it all down, "Yes, I will prepare your breakfast. One blueberry jam sandwich and milk, and perhaps some honey oat biscuits to go with?"
I nodded my head, extremely satisfied as I watched Adair leave to prepare my breakfast. When he met one of the Sun Division's holy knights on his way, he stopped and ordered them, "Go cover that bastard knight's head with a bag and beat him up till he can't even open his mouth to repent!"
'Ah. Adair, you managed to so succinctly put the words to my meaning. With a vice-captain such as you, what more could I ask for? ...... except perhaps a blueberry sandwich and a glass of milk?' After rushing for half an hour I'm beginning to feel a little hungry!
'Hmmm… should I wait to eat my breakfast before going over to the service?' Even though I'm supposed to be presiding over the service, I'm actually just there as decoration. The ones who actually preside over the service are the priests from the Hall of Light.
"Oh my? Is this not our most brilliant Sun Knight? Why has he not entered the hall yet, instead of standing around here like a pillar blocking our way? Ha! And a glowing pillar to boot. How pretty this pillar looks with all the light shining on him!"
These remarks…… I blinked and turned around. 'Yup, it's Cold Blood Faction's Metal Knight.'
The whole continent knows that the Metal Knight is famous-or rather, infamous-for his razor sharp tongue and venomous words, capable of infuriating even the most patient of saints. It is said that talking with him for ten minutes will shorten one's life by a year.
However, I don't really see why people say so about him. His words don't sound that insulting to me. In fact, it sometimes sounds as if he were actually complimenting me. Just take that last sentence of his for example. '… how pretty…… with all the light shining on him…' Is this really all that venomous?
He should instead say: 'Your hair looks really yellow like frog shit. You sure you hadn't mistaken frog shit for your hair serum and mistakenly applied it to your hair instead? No wonder I'd always thought you smelled a little funny. Now that I take a closer sniff, the smell is coming from your hair!'
Now that's venomous!
This is why I often suspect that Metal's real personality must not be venomous at all. Of course, I don't know what he really is like because I'm not that close with him. Every time I tried asking Judge he would clam up and refuse to answer me; and if Judge doesn't want to say something, no one can force him-not even the God of Light Herself.
Following behind Metal is another of the Cold Blood Faction's knights. This one however is one I'm more familiar with. He is the Moon Knight, the whole continent knows that he's autistic…… cough! I mean, he's famous for being narcissistic and arrogant and a completely antisocial person. His nose is forever in the air as he looks down his nose at others and being a total condescending bastard.
Because of this, I had had a very poor impression of him at first. After all, no one likes being looked down upon with disdain.
However one day, I had chanced upon him bent over on the ground feeling around for something. The thing is, his head was still lifted high in the air and he was not looking at the ground at all! How can anyone find anything like this?!
He eyes were obviously in good working condition, yet he was feeling around for something on the ground like a blind. And the object he was looking for was plainly beside him at his feet, yet he could not seem to find it. The scene was absolutely hilarious!
After watching him for half an hour and having laughed at him to my satisfaction, I lazily gave a yawn and walked over to pick up a very beautiful and intricately designed silver bookmark, before handing it to him.
"Thanks," He let out a sigh of relief as he took back the bookmark, and-completely opposite to his usual arrogant expression-gave a small but sweet smile.
As I bit into the pie Frost had thrown at me earlier I asked him, "A gift from your lover?"
"How did you know?"
Moon turned to me, startled. When he realised who I was his face went blank. I was pretty sure that when he had taken back the bookmark earlier he had had no idea that it was I, the Sun Knight, who had given it to him.
With his true colours exposed, he looked rather lost and unsure. "Sun Knight……"
I casually took out a second piece of pie and asked him, "Frost made this blueberry pie, do you want one? No need to be shy, I had already given a piece to Judge earlier."
Then, as he ate the pie he complained to me of the hardships of having to keep up the Moon Knight's image. Because he had to lift his nose in the air all the time, the muscles in his neck had stiffened until he was no longer able to bend his head down anymore……
How terrible can not bending down one's head be, I asked.
Moon gave a long sigh as he looked at the ceiling above us before explaining it to me. "If I were to drop anything, it could take me more than half an hour to locate it."
I nodded at this, for I had already seen proof of this earlier.
He could not make use of his considerable height to look down the female priests' top…… cough!
And lastly-and perhaps worst of all-is that he could not bend down to kiss his girlfriend, for how to kiss one's shorter girlfriend when one's head is lifted up?
"Then what do you do? Do you locate a ladder for your lover to climb up?" I asked anxiously. After hearing of his sorrowful plight, I felt closer to him now that I could relate to his problems.
"I can't always look for a ladder, now can I? Besides, ladders are usually located around places where people are sure to walk by, it's not very private." Moon answered me openly. "So I had no choice but to look for a girlfriend even taller than me."
"Hey, you must be at least 180 cm……"
"My girlfriend's 182 cm, and every time she comes out on a date with me she would put on high heels that are at least four-inches high. This way she could bend down her head to kiss me."
I sigh sadly for Moon's tragic plight before telling him of the tragic spot my position as the Sun Knight had placed me into. "The Sun Knight can only love the God of Light, but not women……"
I had only spoken one sentence, but Moon had immediately looked horrified, exclaiming, "Awful! How awful. That's just too tragic!"
Anyway since then, I have another 'friend who is not a friend' among the Cold Blood Faction.
Now back to reality. I smiled at Metal Knight and said, "This must be one of the God of Light's blessings, letting this Sun meet my two brothers on such a lovely morning. This is a really beautiful start to my day. However, this Sun has to leave to preside over the service and cannot stay to talk with my brothers. This Sun is extremely apologetic about this, but after this Sun has paid tribute to the God of Light's wonderfulness this Sun will definitely seek out my brothers, so that we may continue our exchange of the God of Light's benevolence."
'Of course, it won't be my fault if I am unable to find you guys.' I thought internally.
Upon hearing this, both Metal Knight and Moon Knight were taken aback. Metal was so surprised that he even forgot to be his venomous self and blurted out, "Sun Knight, did you not know that today is the tribute ceremony for the King's coronation?"
Moon Knight on the other hand was looking down at me at a rather condescending angle. But he cannot be blamed for this, because for someone who cannot bend his head down this is the only way he can look at people.
He too added, "All the Twelve Holy Knights are required to come, even I am here."
The tribute ceremony for the future King's coronation…… Why is it that I had heard nothing about it?!
"Morning, Sun Knight." Storm had arrived as I stood there blankly, walking up to me in a relaxed manner and patted me on the shoulder as he said, "Good luck with today's solo."
I slowly turned my head to look at him and asked carefully, "Solo?"
Storm slowly withdrew the hand on my shoulder, and slowly backed away before asking me warily, "Yeah? According to tradition when a new King is crowned the Twelve Holy Knights would all perform a tribute song together, and both you and Judge Knight would each sing a solo to show your blessings for the new king's rule. And hadn't you picked the most difficult song-the God of Light's Melody? Everyone is looking forward to hearing you as it has not been performed in over twenty years."
God of Light's Melody?! That incredibly high pitch song-so high you could even reach the God of Light Herself in the sky; a song so long that it takes half an hour to sing; its verses so long and complicated that you could even call it a book; the song known as the Church of Light's most nonsense-filled tribute song? That song?!
Someone must be trying to set me up!
Judging from my frozen smile and twitching eye, Storm finally realised that I knew nothing about choosing the God of Light's Melody. He hesitantly stepped closer and whispered, "I heard from one of the royal maids that ever since the Duke of Ceylan's son was beaten up by your Sun Division, he's been looking for a way to get revenge on you. Seeing as the Crown Prince had not stopped him, he too, probably wants you to make a fool of yourself to decrease your popularity among the people."
'I see. Like I said, someone's trying to set me up!'
There's no way the Duke of Ceylan would have just complained to the Crown Prince and leave it at that. And the Crown Prince must have had an inkling about my involvement in that Death Knight case. Even though my involvement had ultimately allowed him to finally attain the throne-so he won't exactly try to get revenge on me, but the fact that I had dared to set up a king had probably unsettled him; after all, he is the next king.
Storm recommended, "Just change songs. They probably only want you to switch songs at the last moment and embarrass yourself, and not for you to really sing the song. The Crown Prince would not be pleased if you bungled up the song and ruined his tribute ceremony."
My warm smile still remained on my face, but inside, I was giving a cold laugh. 'Heheh… humiliate myself?
'Don't joke around, I'm the Sun Knight! Even when falling down, the Sun Knight still maintains his grace and elegance; how can you say that the Sun Knight would humiliate himself?! If my teacher were to catch wind of me embarrassing myself in front of the whole country……' I shuddered at my bleak prospects should that really happen.
God knows where that teacher of mine is right now. Why, he might even be right outside in the crowd waiting to watch my performance!
"Brother Storm, this Sun believes that with the God of Light's blessings he will be able to perform the God of Light's Melody, and so spread Her Holiness' kind and gentle love to Her treasured people."
"Sun, don't joke around," said Storm urgently, his face had blanched at my words. "The God of Light's Melody is not a song that one can sing without any preparations. Furthermore, you have to constantly exude Holy Light whilst you perform. Not even the head priests can keep that up for 30 minutes continuously…… no!
"Even before that, remember that you have to perform another tribute song with all the other Twelve Holy Knights, and that's another
10 minutes at least."
I was well aware of all these point. To perform a tribute song refers to singing whilst adding the essence of Holy Light into the words as one sings them, with the aim of affecting one's audience. A quick and energetic song could encourage and motivate people; battle songs could give soldiers additional strength; a relaxing lullaby could lull one to sleep; and an upbeat song could cheer people up, etc. etc. It is said that a song performed by a real master of this art is capable of making even the most embittered criminal regret his crimes and repent.
Unfortunately, these masters are a thing of legends, and so no one knows if it really is possible to make criminals repent with just a tribute song. That is why the easiest way to get a criminal to repent is to send them directly to the Judge Knight! I guarantee you that within three hours he would have the criminals confessing to everything bad he had ever done in his life. Even including the incident where he had stolen his neighbour's panties when he was a kid!
What's that? Handing them over to my Sun Knight Division should be as equally effective?
Bro, you've got it all wrong. If criminals were to be handled by my Sun Knight Division, they would not confess to their crimes and repent, but instead they would not be able to speak up to repent at all!
Now that I've explained what all the fuss is about regarding the performing of the tribute songs, everyone should now understand that it is not such a simple matter as singing a song. It's actually all about expending the effort to pour Holy Light into our songs.
With the combined chorus of the Twelve Holy Knights and thirty minutes of the solo, that's forty minutes that I have to radiate Holy Light for. 'Can I do that?'
I thought it over for a while before deciding, 'It's a bit much. A holy knight would never be able to maintain it for so long. But, for a holy knight who could have become the strongest pope in history, there is definitely no problem!'
Storm was about to continue persuading me when a flurry of footsteps drew near, and Leaf Knight came hurrying out from the Great Ceremonial Hall. Upon seeing us standing outside the entrance he stopped and look at us, stumped, before hurriedly saying, "Sun, why are you guys still outside? Come in quickly, everyone's waiting."
"I thank my brother Leaf for his kind reminder. It must be the God of Light's gentle reprimand to this Sun that tardiness is an undesirable habit," I said before entering the hall.
The Great Ceremonial Hall is the Church of Light's largest building, with a raised dais at the very end. The wall behind the dais was an enormous glass window picturing the God of Light's symbol-an elaborate cross. The sunlight from outside shone in through the glass window, lighting up the Hall and shining down on the raised dais, making it the brightest and most noticeable place.
In front of the dais are rows of seats, usually adequate to seat the people who come for the worship services. However as today is such a big event most of the seats have been taken up by the royalty and the nobles. After them come the wealthier families, with the majority of the ordinary citizens left standing in the back.
My eyes swept through the crowd, instantly spotting His Highness the Crown Prince-and the soon-to-be crowned king-sitting in the middle of the first row, his ministers, advisors and the more important nobles sitting to his left and right. The Duke of Ceylan too was sitting in the first row, a royal knight standing on each side.
The old geezer-the Pope-was sitting in his usual seat to the side of the dais, wearing a veil to shroud his face, acting all mysterious.
Up on the dais, the Judge Knight was already standing in the middle and slightly to the left, the rest of the Cold Blood Faction lined up to his left.
My position is obviously in the middle and slightly to the right of the dais. The arrangement was such that Judge and my positions did not block the God of Light's Cross behind us, allowing everyone a clear view of it.
I walked up to my spot, and Storm stood to my right, Leaf following and standing to his right, and so on……
Finally the Twelve Holy Knights were in their position. Behind us stood the choir priests, while the Bright Light Priests in charge of directing the choir stood in front of us. The Bright Light Priest is actually not one person but two, consisting of the Bright Priest and the Light Priest. They are the Pope's right and left hand man; their position in the Hall of Light is second only to the Pope's.
Following tradition, the Light Priest is a female who specialises in healing magic and boosting magic; the Bright Priest on the other hand is typically a male who is a master in all kinds of exorcism magic as well as with the art of guiding lost spirits to the after world.
It seems that we really were rather late, for the Light Priest did not say anything to us, but instead immediately announced the start of the first tribute song-the song to be performed by all Twelve Holy Knights.
A holy knight stepped up and handed us our music sheets, and the moment he stepped down from the dais, a choir priest behind us started singing a note. She was soon followed by the rest of the choir. They would go 'la la la la' for up to three minutes before it is our turn to sing.
This piece of tribute song is not difficult for me, because during the yearly celebrations of the day the God of Light had descended to our land, a large tribute ceremony would be held where all Twelve Holy Knights would come together to perform this song. Since taking over the title of Sun Knight from my teacher, I've sung this song no less than three times, so I'm quite familiar with it.
I am even less worried as it is a combined performance by all twelve of us. Even if one of us was weaker at radiating holy light, the difference would be made up by the others.
As holy light was never the Cold Blood Faction's specialty, their holy light essence is weaker, and it has always been the Good Warm Faction who had made up for the difference.
Because we Twelve Holy Knights were quite familiar with this song, we soon finished performing the song without a single mistake. Next, the Judge Knight would perform his solo. He stepped forward and without further ado began singing in his deep baritone voice. The whole song was sung in a deep and low tone, seemingly making the audience feel down and depressed.
Thankfully, Judge had picked the shortest and simplest song; the song was mainly about how the sinners would be punished harshly by the God of Light. Even with the chorus from the choir, the song was less than five minutes long; and in actuality Judge's solo had only been two minutes.
But, this is not because he's lazy or anything. As I said earlier, the Cold Blood Faction's specialty was never holy light, so his holy light is not particularly strong. This is why they are allowed to pick the shortest and simplest tribute songs to perform.
However, as the leader of the Good Warm Faction, I am not given such leniency, especially when it is the king's tribute ceremony before his coronation. If I were to pick too simple a song, it might be viewed as an act of disdain to the king.
This is one of the reasons why I decided not to switch songs. If I were to perform the song perfectly the Crown Prince would probably be pleased and forget about the past incident. So, it is not because I am afraid of my teacher finding out that I had humiliated myself, and consequently sending me to meet the God of Light, that I chose to continue on with this song. Definitely not because of that…… at least, it is not the sole reason for my decision!
Judge finished his song and stepped back to his previous position. It is now my turn.
I had just stepped forward a few steps when the people started cheering loudly. In fact, they were cheering even more loudly than at the yearly tribute ceremony. Looks like everyone had heard of the news of my 'chosen' song and were eagerly anticipating it. Ha! I'm probably the only one who had not heard of the news that the Sun Knight would be performing the famous God of Light's Melody not heard for over twenty years!
The God of Light's Melody did not start with a chorus; I am the one who has to start off the song.
I took a deep breath and checked my reserves to make sure that I had sufficient holy light. Seeing as I have enough holy light to perform two of the God of Light's Melody, I made the decision to draw on more holy light. This way, people shouldn't notice me if I were to sing off key, right?
I released a large amount of holy light-enough to cause my whole body to glow softly with a golden light. I had closed my eyes, but I could still hear the murmurs of surprise and awe from the crowd. I then opened my eyes and sang the first line of the song.
"A bright light appears, piercing through the dark, sending down a ray of light, bringing hope immeasurable to us……"
My voice soared up to the heavens and the whole hall reverberated with the clear notes of the God of Light's Melody. The entire hall was filled with holy light, lighting up the hall and chasing away the shadows from even the furthest corners. It was as if the God of Light Herself had graced us with Her presence in the glowing hall.
The crowd had immediately hushed as everyone raised their heads and focused on me, their gaze captivated by me.
The moment I had started I knew I was in deep trouble. 'I really should have practised the song beforehand,' I thought.
I had started on too high a note. This was a very high-pitched song to begin with, and there are many instances where I would have to go even higher. Now that I had started on such a high note, how am I going to continue on in the song when it goes even higher?!
I could hear the gasps of surprise from the Twelve Holy Knights behind me. They had all had some practice with the song before and were well aware of how high the song could go. Someone muttered, "That first line was impressive! You're really something to dare to start off on such a high note."
'What's there to be impressed about? I hadn't meant to start off so high! I'm close to tears here!'
Furthermore, the God of Light's Melody is extremely long winded. I had very nearly run out of breath several times before I finally reached the next interval where I could take my next breath.
To other holy knights, the difficulty of performing this song would be the impossible challenge of releasing so much holy light. But releasing such large amounts of holy light does not faze me at all. It is the fact that the song is so difficult to sing in the first place that makes it so taxing for me!
'Oh no! This next line is pretty long, and I have to hold the final note really, really long!'
I elegantly placed my hands on my diaphragm, and pressed the shit out of it. I pressed down with all my might to squeeze out the very last breaths of air I had in my lungs……
"Famine, disease, natural disasters, and evil…… all disappear with the shine of Her li-…… (I pressed down)…… (and continue pressing)…… (and pressed down even harder!)…… -ight!"
At this point, I had tears in my eyes as I finally finished that very long line. Thank the God for Her blessings, I finally finished-- the first part. At the end there I was just about out of breath and could not squeeze out any more, causing my note to waver heavily, but I didn't have time to fret over it. Next comes the choir; they would sing for about a minute. I have to make full use of that one minute and try to recuperate.
I relaxed a little and released my hands from their position on my diaphragm before realising……. how hungry I am!
I had been hungry even before the ceremony had started, and after the huge effort I had exerted singing just now, plus the desperate pressing of my stomach, everything had led to my becoming even hungrier. My stomach is so empty right now that I could swear that my front is touching my back!
At this moment, the dazed crowd finally awoken from their stupor, and the Great Ceremonial Hall was filled with thunderous applause. Even the voices of the choir were drowned out in the sea of applause as the crowd exclaimed:
"What a marvel! What a beautiful voice! I never knew that the Sun Knight was such an impressive tenor."
"Look, look! There're even tears in his eyes! He must have truly felt the presence of the God of Light in Her song and was moved to tears!"
"That wavering note at the end was wonderful! He'd managed to fully express the deep passions and feelings in the song in his voice!"
From behind me came Leaf's low voice, "Sun, you sung that part really well. However, are you sure that you can continue on? Do you need me to step in and finish it for you?"
Upon hearing this I was extremely glad. 'Leaf, I love you, you're such a great guy!'
I was about to agree to the exchange when Storm suddenly spoke up, "No."
He then continued on to explain, "The middle part of the God of Light's Melody is the longest one, with up to twenty minutes of singing. Continuously expending holy light for twenty minutes would be too much. Among the Twelve Holy Knights only you are able to pull that off. Sun, finish singing this middle part, and me and Leaf will sing the last part for you."
After hearing Storm's explanation, even Leaf the nice guy, stepped back.
At this, my gaze turned to look at Earth Knight. Earth's holy light should be the second strongest among the twelve of us. After all, his specialty-Earth Shield-is the result of adding holy light to his frenzy, resulting in such a strong defensive shield. It should be no problem for him to release holy light for twenty minutes.
"Heheh… s-sorry Sun, my voice is too deep, it's impossible for me to sing the God of Light's Melody," said Earth apologetically. However, I could see his unholy delight at my situation shining from his eyes; he did not look apologetic at all!
Unfortunately, what he said was true. His voice is almost as deep as Judge's. It's just not possible for him to sing such a song as high-pitched as the God of Light's Melody. Besides, I had made it even worse for myself by starting off on such a high note…… but that expression of his just makes me extremely irritated!
In addition, when I glanced at His Highness the Crown Prince and the Duke of Ceylan, the former was still smiling harmlessly as usual, while the latter had an extremely sour expression as he glared at me. I bet he hadn't believed that I would really be able to perform the song.
Those two bastards!
They were the reason I was forced to sing such a difficult song without any practise beforehand! I could have forgiven them for that, but the fact that they had made me perform the song whilst hungry is inexcusable!
Don't they know that when I'm feeling hungry it means that my blood sugar level is dangerously low? For someone like me who can eat sugar in the stead of their main meals to have such a low blood sugar level, it will only result in making me extremely cranky. And only God knows what I would do when in such a cantankerous mood!
"I'm going to sing the whole song," I announced.
"What?" Storm was shocked at my announcement. Even the other Twelve Holy Knights had turned to look at me, various expressions of admiration, disapproval and worry in their eyes.
And just then, the one minute of chorus was over and it was my turn to sing the second part of the God of Light's Melody. I ignored Storm and Leaf's worried objections, took a deep breath, and began singing the second part.
"O' Sinners, lower your heads and repent,
For no matter where you cover in the dark,
You cannot hide your crimes from the Judge.
O' virtuous people, lift your heads and look up,
For as long as the Sun still shines upon the land,
The light will never be vanquished."
The first part may have nearly caused my expiration from lack of breath, but the second part was much easier. Although, this part is often called the 'holy knight killer', for holy knights have to expend twenty minutes worth of holy light at this part, and hardly anyone is able to finish it.
In contrast with the first part, the verses in this second part are much easier to sing, so I did not have any difficulties with it. However, I was hit with another dilemma…… the song is too dull!
It was precisely because the first part was so difficult, that it had taken everything from me just to finish singing it. I had not had any time to spare a thought to my hunger. But now that the second part was so easy and dull, I was completely relaxed and could feel the emptiness of my stomach. I wondered idly if the reason I was able to project my voice so loudly had anything to do with my stomach echoing my voice……?
I slowly and unhurriedly-sort of reminds me of a cow-finished the second part. The crowd immediately gave me an applause, although it was nowhere near the enthusiastic cheering I had received earlier. But I don't blame them, for the fact that they could even remember to clap for me when they were already close to nodding off is quite impressive.
Following this is another minute of chorus by the priest choir, allowing me a minute to rest.
"Sun, are you really sure you don't want us to step in for you?" Leaf asked quietly from behind me. He sounded rather worried.
"Don't be stubborn! You've already expended a lot of holy light. This last part requires you to radiate enough holy light to drown out the priests' holy light. It'll be even harder than the previous part." Storm too advised me to step back.
Expending holy light is not the problem here…… it's my hunger that is worrying!
The third and final part is extremely high-pitched and the verses extremely long. It is said to be the God of Light's Melody's hardest part. So as soon as I start singing this third part, I'll be so nervous that I would forget all about my hunger!
"My brother Storm and brother Leaf, please believe in this Sun. With the blessings of the God of Light, this Sun believes that he will be able to successfully finish Her song."
After hearing this, the objections and persuasions from behind ceased.
The one minute of chorus is almost up, and here comes the final part of the God of Light's Melody. The first note is an extremely high note, loud and piercing, reverberating through the large hall as if symbolizing the light piercing through the darkness…… and at the same time startling awake those who had fallen asleep during the second part.
I must have been pretty good, for more than a few slumping people had immediately jerked awake and straightened themselves. Judging from their expressions they must have received a pretty good shock, for they were now wide awake. Heheh…...
As I sung with all my heart, my eyes turned to glance at the Duke smugly, only to see the guy winking at a knight standing in a quiet corner. The knight was rather ordinary-looking, so I'm disinclined to believe that the Duke was flirting with him. (-.-")
After receiving the signal from the duke, the knight merely nodded and took out a scroll while giving a sinister look in the direction of the raised dais.
That there is definitely a plot aimed at me, or my name is not Creus Sun!
The scroll the knight had taken out looks to be a magic scroll. A magic scroll is a scroll made from a special parchment where a sorcerer had imbued his magic ability into as he writes on it. These scrolls can be used to cast a spell once, and the spell cast would obviously depend on what the sorcerer had written on the scroll. After the spell has been cast, the magic scroll would then just become an ordinary piece of parchment.
There aren't many sorcerers who know how to create a magic scroll, and both the specially made parchment and special ink are very expensive. With limited supply and such a high cost, the end product-the magic scroll is considered to be one of the more expensive products to be sold on the market.
To spend so much money on a magic scroll just to be aimed at me--how wasteful!
If you had given me the money instead, I would have risked inciting my teacher's wrath and humiliated myself for you!
No, rather than let that guy use the scroll on me and waste all that money, I'll just snatch it from him beforehand. 'It'll be my compensation for the harrowing experience I had undergone at the hands of your son.'
I kept a constant eye on the knight as I sung, and it was only when I was close to finishing the song that the knight made a movement and got ready to throw the scroll. But as I watched and waited, he did not throw it out. He seemed to be waiting for something.
I thought about it for a moment before realising his plan. How sly! He must be waiting for me to reach the end of the song when my holy light reserves would be empty! How sneaky and underhanded! I should have expected it from a knight assigned to carry out the duke's dirty deeds.
But no matter how underhanded you are, you cannot match my underhandedness…… Ahem! I mean, no matter how intelligent you are, you cannot match my intelligence!
As I excitedly thought about how the magic scroll would soon be mine, my singing grew even louder and higher-pitched!
It is now the last line of the song. 'Wait for me, my magic scroll, I'm coming for you!'
"Praise…… be…… the…… light……" As I sang the final line, I gave off large amounts of holy light. The holy light exploded out and filled the entire hall with it, and even shone out from the windows. Everyone was instantly blinded. Everyone except me, that is. I could clearly see the knight standing in the corner. He too was blinded by the light.
This is it! While everyone was blinded by the holy light, I'll cast a paralysis spell on the knight and steal 'my' magic scroll! I was in the middle of chanting the paralysis spell when I was suddenly hit by a dizzy spell.
I was about to fall when someone steadied me. I looked up only to see a black figure rushing down the dais towards the knight.
It must be the Judge Knight! In such glaringly bright holy light he couldn't have been able to see anything. The only person who could have possibly been able to see through my holy light would be the Pope. Yet, Judge was not only able to sense my faltering and steady me; he was also able to reach the knight without error. Amazing!
The holy light lasted for about ten seconds before gradually dissipating away. When it was gone, every single person in the hall stared at me stunned, while I stood there on the dais with a serene expression. As I maintained my serene expression, I glanced at the knight and saw him lying beaten up on the ground, the magic scroll shoved into his mouth. The person responsible for his pitiful condition was already back in his place behind me.
'Oh, Judge, my friend, why had you not brought back the scroll to me instead of shoving it in his mouth? That's so wasteful!'
After mourning the loss of 'my' magic scroll for a moment, I then turned and looked at the Duke of Ceylan in glee. Upon seeing that I had successfully finished the song, the latter had immediately turned to the knight in anger, but when he saw the state his knight was in he had paled abruptly.
I gave a cold chuckle inside as I thought, 'You think to ambush me with such a simple underhanded trick? Your grace, you have greatly underestimated the head of the Twelve Holy Knights' underhandedness, intelligence!'
"This Sun sincerely offers His Highness the soon-to-be crowned king this tribute song-the God of Light's Melody. This Sun is confident that under Your Highness' wise and just rule, as well as with the blessings from the God of Light, you will usher in a new age of peace and prosperity."
With that, I elegantly bowed to the Crown Prince before retreating back to take my place among the Twelve Holy Knights.
The Crown Prince let out an extremely pleased smile at my blessings and started to clap while praising, "What a beautiful tribute song, as can only be expected from the perfect Sun Knight."
At this point the rest of the audience finally woke up from their stupor and started cheering. No matter the ordinary citizen, the royal knights or even the people from the Church of Light, everyone was cheering together excitedly as they all shouted something along the lines of, "Long live the Sun Knight, long live the King, long live the God of Light!"
'Yes, yes! That's it! Shout out 'long live the King', and please the Crown Prince even more!' I shouted in my heart as I stole a glance of the Crown Prince's face. Haha! He's smiling even brighter than a Sun Knight's bright smile.
It is in the human nature to be proud of one's reputation after all. After stroking his ego-even if I had once set up his own father-he had still praised me and called me the perfect Sun Knight.
Because the cheering was so loud and enthusiastic, the Light and Bright Priest spent a long time calming down the crowd. They then announced the next event-the new King's tour of the city. To put it simply, the new king will parade on the streets and through the city, thus announcing that said guy is the next king, so watch out and don't offend him should you ever meet him strolling in the streets in the future.
The Crown Prince stood up and two rows of royal knights hurried to clear a path through the crowd for him. They then left the Great Ceremonial Hall and began their grandiose trip out into the city.
The Pope would then be the next to leave.
But you know? That old geezer loves to play at being mysterious and is always seen with a veil hiding his face from everyone else. Who knows if the person currently sitting in his seat is really the Pope or not? The person sitting there might have been a substitute, while the real Pope has gone off for his breakfast!
After the Pope is the Twelve Holy Knights' turn. As the leader of the Twelve Holy Knights, I am, of course, the first to leave. As I passed by Judge, I said quietly to him, "Thanks for earlier."
The moment I stepped down from the dais and was certain that my teacher would not be able to see me, I immediately swayed on my feet as my hunger finally caught up with me. I would have collapsed inelegantly to the floor were it not for Storm and Leaf catching on to my weakened condition and hurriedly supporting me.
"Sun! Sun! Are you alright?" Leaf asked quietly.
I said in an extremely weak voice, "I……"
'I'm going to die from hunger!'
"How could he be alright after expending so much holy light?!" Storm said worriedly. "Stop bothering Sun and just hold him steady."
"Yes, of course." Leaf hurriedly nodded.
I suddenly spotted my vice-captain standing near one of the side entrances carrying a tray with my blueberry jam sandwich and milk. However, he looked rather hesitant, as if unsure if he should approach us or not. Seeing this, I immediately struggled up, trying to dislodge Blaze and Storm so I could get my beloved breakfast to its rightful place-inside my growling stomach.
"There's no need for your vice-captain, we can support you just fine. Don't worry, you can depend on Storm and I!"
Blaze grabbed me once more while waving away Adair, telling him that there was no need to come forward. Adair stared at me hesitatingly, not daring to leave, yet not bold enough to step forward.
"The parade is about to start, let's go," Storm said urgently, and then with Blaze's help he started dragging me away.
'No no no! Let me go!'
'I'm so hungry! Adair, my blueberry jam sandwich, my milk, and my honey oat biscuits! Blaze, Storm, please let me go!'
'Adair-! My breakfast!!!'