*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.
After the tribute ceremony was over, and in accordance with tradition, the future king is to parade around the city, while the Twelve Holy Knights tag along behind.
So after dragging me away from my breakfast, Storm and Blaze helped me up onto my horse, before they themselves get onto their own horses, with Leaf and the rest of the Good Warm Faction following behind.
The only person riding abreast with me was the Judge Knight. And following behind him were the rest of the Cold Blood Faction.
Ahead of us was the Crown Prince-the future king. Riding to his left and right are his most trusted royal knights. Judge and I followed behind, covering his back.
The tribute song God of Light's Melody seem to be having a good effect on the people, as they were very excited and enthusiastic as if the God of Light Herself had descended in front of them. The streets were filled with people, all cheering so loudly that my eardrums were close to bursting.
I think the only time the people were this excited was when the world famous theatrical troupe visited the city to perform one of their plays a few years ago. As for the His Majesty the King's inspection tour…… well, it would be considered successful if it did not degenerate into a vegetable market, with everyone trying to score a hit on His Majesty.
I believe that the last time that fat pig had come out for one of his tours, the tomatoes had been growing particularly well…… In the end, all the royal knights accompanying the King on that particular inspection had sworn off eating tomatoes forever. This is another reason why the King was so unpopular with his own knights-after accompanying the King on several inspection tours, the knights were unable to look at vegetables without puking anymore.
The parade tour had only just begun, but Judge had been giving me several little glances. To the unknowing bystanders, it probably looked like he was glaring at me, but I knew that that was his concerned look. Due to my extreme hunger my face was probably as white as flour.
The Judge Knight sat ramrod straight astride his mount, his eyes focused on the road ahead. The aura he emitted was dark and intimidating, and all in all he looked aloof and distant; but from his mouth came the concerned words, "You doing alright?"
"Not at all! I'm hungry! I'm going to die from hunger! I want to eat blueberry jam sandwich, I want to eat honey oat biscuits, I want to drink milk." I muttered as I smiled and waved at the people all around me. It's not like it matters what I say right now. It's so noisy they can't possibly hear me. They'll probably think that I'm talking about the God of Light's benevolence or shit like that.
The corners of Judge's lips gave a little twitch-looks like he's close to smiling. Luckily after more than ten years of training, his ability to maintain his cool and stern demeanour rivals my own ability to fake my smile. He managed to push down the corners of his lips, giving off the appearance that he was in an extremely bad mood. However, out of the corner of his lips he whispered quietly, "Be patient just a little longer, you'll get to eat your breakfast soon."
Be patient just a little longer? Let me see, at the rate we are going at right now, the time necessary to complete a round of the city would take up…… a whole. Fucking. Day!
Are you kidding?! I'd probably faint from hunger halfway through!
The Sun Knight falling off his horse… can that be considered horse riding?! My horse riding skills may be rather lousy nothing great to speak off, but I must be able to at the very least stay on my horse.
Back then, this was what my teacher had told me:
"Child, even though you are a holy knight, it's alright if your sword skills are poor! That can be overlooked, for at least your self-recovery abilities are extremely good-you don't have to worry about dying even if the enemy were to cut you up a little."
I was thirteen that year and had been learning sword skills from my teacher for three years. All the other future Twelve Holy Knights had successfully passed the intermediate level of swords fighting. Judge had actually passed the advanced level a year
ago, but I was the only one who had yet to even pass the basic elementary level, despite trying and failing three times already.
"Child, even though you are a holy knight, it's alright if you are unable to attain frenzy! At least you know how to cast the priests' special defensive spells-Holy Blessings. After all, its effects are more or less the same as frenzy."
I was sixteen that year and had been learning from my teacher for six years. All the other future Twelve Holy Knights had already successfully attained frenzy. I was the only one unable to do so. I'd like to add that Judge had successfully attained frenzy when he was thirteen.
"But my child! As a holy knight, you cannot not know how to ride a horse! Is there such a thing as a knight who does not know how to ride a horse? Of course not! Why, you might as well you go and create a holy infantry division yourself!"
At that time behind me, Earth just happened to clear the highest hurdle in the horse racetrack, his skill and posture so perfect that even I felt like cheering.
'Hmm… now that I think back on it, perhaps our enmity had started back when I was sixteen years old.'
In the end, my teacher got so angry and frustrated with me that he raised his Holy Sun Blade, held it to my neck and said, "Get on the horse. If you dare to fall off, I will immediately send you off to meet with the God of Light so you can suggest to Her the possibility of creating a holy infantry!"
Because I had been scared stiff and dared not move, as well as because the horse under me had also been frightened by my teacher's wrath that it, too, dared not move-with both man and beast scared stiff, I was thankfully spared the fate of being sent off to meet with the God of Light.
However ever since, I no longer dared to fall off my horse…… at least, not unless I was a hundred percent sure that my teacher was not present. And now at such a huge event, I cannot possibly know for sure if my teacher might just happen to be standing in some corner watching on. If I were to really fall off my horse, next year tomorrow might just become the first anniversary of my death.
But if this continues and I have to suffer my hunger for an entire day, I cannot guarantee that I would not fall off my horse, weak from hunger. So I hurriedly turned to Judge for help. "Judge, do you have any blueberry biscuits with you right now?"
Judge gave me a look, and at my terribly pale face he hastily added, "Don't worry, the Crown Prince is busy with a lot of national matters. He has only arranged for the parade to go along the main streets. It should only take half a day."
Upon hearing that I still had half a day to wait, my face turned gloomy…… Ah, no! Wrong. My face always maintains its brilliant smile.
And my left hand was still waving elegantly at the citizens crowding around in the streets. But at the news that I had half a day to go, I immediately adjusted the speed, my waving hand getting slower and slower……
"Child, it is now time to teach you how to wave to the people."
"Teacher, do you even have to teach a person how to wave?"
"Child, at your usual waving speed, how many times do you wave in a minute?"
One minute later…
"Teacher, eighty-eight times."
"Okay. Now tell me this, how long did it take the last time I had accompanied His Majesty the King on his city tour?"
"I think it took about three hours."
"Now the next question is a mathematical one. If you were to wave at a rate of eighty-eight times a minute, and you had to wave for three hours continuously, how many times would you have to wave? "
"This next one is a question regarding one's physical health. If you had to wave your hand continuously 15,840 times, what do you think would happen to your hand and wrist?"
"…… I don't know."
"So, my child, do you want to learn from me how to only wave a thousand times in any parade, or would you rather wave 15,840 times in any and all future parades?"
"Teacher! Please teach me how to wave my hand!"
The longer the parade will take, the slower the speed of waving, and the wider the angle of each wave. At the same time, one's upper arm should remain in a naturally downward sloping position, bending only at the elbow to move one's forearm to wave, thus utilising the most energy efficient way as well as the least number of times possible to wave continuously at any crowd, ensuring that one's arms retain the capability of holding one's lover at night…… ah, no! I mean practising one's sword skills and correcting work documents!
This is the secret to the art of waving, passed down to me from my teacher!
Although I am armed with the art of hand-waving, I still find myself faced with a dilemma. Just now Judge had said that the parade would last up to half a day, which would mean about five hours. If I were to adjust my hand-waving speed to wave only a thousand times in five hours, that would mean that I can only wave two hundred times per hour, 3.33 times each minute, once every twenty seconds.
Twenty seconds to complete one wave?!
This-isn't this is a little too slow?! At such slow speeds people might think that my arm was spasming instead of waving.
While pondering on how to solve my problem, Storm's voice spoke up from behind. "Sun, could I talk with you for a while?"
"Brother Storm, are you yearning to share tales of the God of Light's benevolence or Her mercy?"
'Please do!' I was just thinking of talking with someone to kill some time, so that I can speed up my hand-waving later on, but here Storm was, asking to talk to me before I had even asked.
But it's strange that Storm would take the initiative to chat with me. He always complained that talking with me was an extremely tiring process-even more tiring than having to wink at a hundred women. He said that speaking with me for ten minutes is enough to send him into a deep sleep at night because he would be so tired out from our conversation.
"There's no need to talk about anything in particular, anything is fine. I just want to pretend to talk with someone," explained Storm hastily after the suspicious look I gave him. He then further added, "As you know, there are more than a hundred women on each street, and this parade would pass through quite a number of streets. If I were to wink at every single woman on this city tour, I would become blind! That's why my teacher taught me a technique of winking only a thousand times in a single parade! "
"… …" Why does this sound so familiar? (-.-")
At that moment, Storm winked at another two women in the crowd and smiled flirtatiously, inciting excited shrieks from the crowd of females. He then directed his horse to move ahead and to the side of me as he began 'talking' with me.
"My teacher often told me that for some strange reason, women always like to see two good-looking men standing close to each other. As the Sun Knight is always a beautiful man-even if he were one of the more average-looking ones he would still be far from ugly-so it is always best to talk with the Sun Knight. I would not even have to wink at a single woman during the whole parade, if I were to just place my hand on your shoulder, or to push back a stray lock of your hair, it is enough to send the women into a screaming and fainting frenzy."
Upon hearing this, I entire body went stiff and I unconsciously gave a little kick to my horse's belly. My horse instantly and beautifully leapt to the side. In that one moment, I felt as if the horse and I were one. My revulsion at the thought of being touched by another male was successfully conveyed to my horse, leading it to co-operate with me so well!
'O' horse of mine! You must be a stallion for sure, my good brother! I promise to reward you with the best hay I can find later when we return to the Holy Temple.'
"… … Don't worry. I have no interest in touching a guy either. I'll still wink my thousand winks, but just talk with me for a while so I can kill some time."
I released a breath of relief. Thank goodness I don't have to be touched by Storm. If I had to choose between letting him touch me and having to wave 25,840, I'd rather choose the latter. I mean, it's not like I have any lover to hold at night, so it wouldn't matter if I were to lose my hands or not.
I smiled and asked, "Then does my brother wish to talk of the God of Light's merciful nature or Her benevolence and generosity?"
"Er……" Storm looked like he was having a hard time choosing between the both undesirable topics.
After that to avoid hearing me speak of the God of Light's mercy and benevolence, Storm would chat nonstop, hardly daring to let me cut in with a word. But this suited me just fine-not only did I not have to wave my hand, I did not even have to open my mouth to speak either. If you ignore the fact that I'm extremely famished, I could say that I have no complains whatsoever about my current situation.
'Hungry, hungry, I'm so hungry……'
I turned to considering Storm, looking him up and down. I wonder, if a person could be eaten, which part would taste the best? The breast? Or the thigh? or maybe even the calf……?
The flood of words from Storm slowed down and finally stopped. He asked me strangely, "Did I say something wrong? Sun, why are you looking at me like that?"
I was jerked out of my fantasizing by his question. I just shook my head at him and looked down, deciding not to look at Storm anymore. I don't want him to say that I had been looking at him strangely again. But when I looked down and saw the two perked up ears of my mount, I began drooling once again. Since roasted pig ears taste so good, roasted horse ears shouldn't taste that bad, right?
"Su- Sun?" Storm called out to me hesitatingly, but I was too busy salivating over horse ears to pay him any attention. He then called out in a louder voice, "Sun! Quick, look there, there's some disturbance in the crowd over there."
I raised my head just in time to see a large and juicy tomato up high in the sky. The tomato contrasted rather nicely with the clear blue sky to look deliciously red and ripe…… It looks sooo good!
The thrown tomato in the air curved and started to fall back down as gravity kicked in, creating a beautiful red arc……
……and finally landed on Judge. The whole street instantly became quiet as a grave.
'Yay! This is great! Since we're such good friends, it shouldn't be a hard thing to ask Judge for a tomato!' I thought. I swallowed the saliva pooling in my mouth before opening my mouth to ask, "Judge……" '…please give me the tomato!'
I had not finished my request when Judge calmly flicked the tomato from his uniform. Then in a show of superb horsemanship, he directed the horse to stomp on the tomato.
He said coldly to the culprit who had thrown the tomato, "If something like this occurs again, this is what will happen to you."
The guy gulped nervously as he looked at the completely squashed tomato, his previous bout of courage deserting him. He immediately turned tail and disappeared into the crowd.
'Judge……' I looked at the remaining tomato juices on his uniform, and then turned to look down at the squashed tomato. 'My tomato! You idiot!'
'Why throw it at Judge? Why not throw at me instead?
'I'm already so hungry to the point of thinking of eating horse ears, why didn't you just throw it to me so I can eat it?!'
That tomato was so juicy and smelled so good! Even though it had been completely squashed by Judge's horse, it still smelled just as appetizing. No, in fact it actually smells even better after all its juices had burst out! I really feel like eating tomatoes. I had forgotten to mention to Adair earlier to prepare my dessert. First I'll eat my blueberry jam sandwich, then I'll wash it down with a glass of milk while leisurely dipping my honey oat biscuits in the milk and eat them, and afterwards I'll follow it with a large juicy tomato. Ah… that would be utter bliss.
"Sun Knight, can you please…… Sun Knight? Is that OK?"
'Huh? What? Hmm… my honey oat biscuits, yum…'
I smiled distractedly as I mumbled, "Honey… …"
"Sun Knight, do you really need to think so long on a name? Please hurry up and stop wasting my time."
Upon hearing Judge's cold and deep voice, I was instantly jolted from my daydreaming. As I looked about and took in the scene around me, I could see a couple standing in front of me. From their bearing and demeanour I could tell that they were husband and wife; and held in the arms of the wife was a newly born baby. Thinking back on Judge's words-'think so long on a name', I instantly grasped the situation.
Right away I smiled brilliantly at them and said, "Let's call her-Honey. May she grow up to be as sweet as honey, a sweet and gentle girl who will be well loved by all."
I shouldn't be wrong! They must be asking me to name the baby. I've already experienced this same situation so often now that whenever I see a baby less than a week old, I would have the reflexive impulse to start thinking of a name for them.
"Ah!" The crowd around us cheered and congratulated the couple and their newly named baby. "What a beautiful name! Honey, little Honey!"
I was right! Thank goodness for my fast reaction. I managed to escape a potentially embarrassing situation. I'm actually quite impressed with myself, to be able to turn around the awkward situation……
However… the married couple don't seem to be very pleased with the name I gave? They had some pretty strange expressions on their face…?
Now that's weird. Typically parents only ask me to name their babies as a blessing to their newborn child. So as long as the name isn't too weird or anything they would usually just accept the name happily. The name Honey might be a little unusual, but it's not as if it actually sounds bad…… right? (Could just call her 'Honey, I'm home!' :p)
At this time, Storm came up to me, an awkward expression on his face as he whispered into my ear, "Their baby is a boy, not a girl."