*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.
As the saying goes, 'Think about the owner before kicking the dog'.
And Adair is one of my-the Sun Knight's-dogs…… no, I mean-subordinate. In fact, he's my top dog even… top subordinate!
You bastard asshole actually dared to attack him! I don't care if you're the great Son of War, in my eyes if you've harmed one of mine, you're the Son of a Whore!
But revenge is a dish best served cold. It'll take lots of time and planning, and then when he least expects it--wham! He won't even know what-or most importantly, who-hit him. Therefore, I've decided…… to settle the problem with the Hell Knight first.
Following the method of contacting the Hell Knight as given by the Pope, I arranged a time and place for our meeting. While waiting at our meeting place, I practiced all kinds of sincere and honest expressions on my face, so that during our meeting when faced with my various 'sincere' expressions, the guy would not have the heart to bother me with his problems. Hopefully.
It wasn't long before I spied someone approaching. I smiled at him as I covertly studied him. He was wearing the typical royal knight's uniform, but instead of the usual issued royal knight's sword, he was carrying a sword of a much better quality.
His face and body are not bad either; he had the 'versatile' type of good looks…… What? You ask what I mean by versatile good looks?
The so called versatile good looks refers to a guy with a rather handsome face, but not so handsome as to incite the hatred and jealousy of other guys (to eliminate one more rival for any future affections).
For if you were to take a closer look, you would actually see quite a few flaws, such as his too thin eyebrows, or that his nose wasn't quite so straight. You would then feel that he wasn't that handsome after all and feel guilty for previously feeling such animosity towards him, and to make up for that you would make the effort to be extra friendly with him.
On the other hand, while guys might think that his looks weren't all that, his good looks are versatile enough for girls to dream about. If the ladies loved fawning over the cute guy type, they would think that his eyes were big and adorable; if they preferred a more mature and serious guy, they would dream of lying in his strong arms, sheltered by his broad shoulders; and if the ladies leaned more towards the bad boys, they would definitely fall for that jaded and cynical smirk of his.
Huh? But what about those flaws- too thin eyebrows and the not-so-straight nose?
Bro, you really have a lot to learn about women. Haven't you heard? 'Guys pick at women's flaws, whilst women love their men's assets?' As long as a woman can find one thing about a guy that she likes, all his other flaws would become assets as well to her; the thin eyebrows frames his eyes better, or a slightly crooked nose gives him character, and other such nonsense!
Therefore, the versatile good looks are also called the 'universally effective' good looks. Its best selling point being that they are well-liked by all, men and women. Even dogs would feel drawn by his charms.
These people are well suited to any kind of career, with more notably jobs in the selling industry, or the scamming and conning career. Of course, being an undercover spy is also an excellent alternative for these types of people.
I couldn't help being impressed with the previous Hell Knight's eye for potential, for he had managed to choose the one child who would grow up into a guy with the versatile good looks from all the other ten year olds.
By now, the guy had reached me, and I immediately smiled brightly at him as I greeted him. "With blessings from the God of Light, this Sun is finally able to meet you, my brother Hell."
"Sun Knight? Why are you here?" He seemed quite surprised.
I smiled softly and explained, "His Eminence the Pope has informed this Sun that my brother the Hell Knight has met with some problems. From one holy knight to another, perhaps this Sun could better understand your problems, so this Sun has volunteered to come and meet with you."
"Sorry, but can you please stop calling me Hell Knight?"
The Hell Knight took a deep breath and announced determinedly, "I am not the Hell Knight. I am only a royal knight."
'Damn that old geezer! I knew it had to be a difficult dilemma for you to have so completely given up on him……'
I gave him a soft and sad look as I asked hesitatingly, "Hell Knight, why would you say such a thing? Could it be that the Church of Light has offended you in some way for you to reject the position of the Hell Knight?"
'If I find out that that bastard Pope has been mistreating you and thus forcing you to desert us, he's dead!'
"No, please don't misunderstand, it's just that……"
At this point, the Hell Knight took another deep breath and said slowly, "when I was first selected to be the next Hell Knight, I was only under the instruction of my teacher at the Holy Temple for a year, but I've been a royal knight in the palace for twelve years. In this life of mine I have two teachers. One is my holy knight teacher; he taught me for only a year, and since then we hardly see each other again. The second one is my royal knight teacher; he had trained me for ten years and had been my mentor until just recently when he retired.
"The Crown Prince might not really like me, but he's never done anything to me, and he had even entrusted me with important missions several times, while the Queen (King's wife)is very fond of me. I grew up together with the princess as playmates and the Crown Princess (Crown Prince's wife) has often helped me out.
And not to mention all my royal knight comrades. We grew up together, trained together, and even risked our lives for each other…… In contrast to that, the Holy Temple and the Twelve Holy Knights are complete strangers to me; I don't even know a single one of them.
He smiled wryly and looked at me. "You-you understand what I'm saying? Sun Knight, I don't know the God of Light, I don't know the Holy Temple, and I don't know the Twelve Holy Knights. Instead, the royal palace is where I really belong, and the royal knights are my true friends and comrades."
After hearing this, I couldn't help frowning. No wonder the Pope had wanted to kill him. A spy in the enemy's camp who's turned coats on us is a great threat. If he were to confide everything to the Crown Prince, we would be in deep trouble.
I had been quiet for some time now when the Hell Knight suddenly began inching away from me as he said in a low voice, "I never told the Crown Prince anything, but the princess knows about all of this. She has promised not to tell a soul, but on the condition that I remain unharmed. If something, anything, were to happen to me, she'll put all the blame on the Church of Light."
'Dear God!' I quickly raised my head and smiled my most sincere smile as I reassured him, "Please do not worry. You should know that I am not very skilled with the sword. Even if I were to attack you, you wouldn't lose. And as you can see, I had not brought along anyone else."
"Er-oh! Sorry!" After hearing my explanation, the Hell Knight stopped backing away and his face turned red. He then apologised to me embarrassedly, "I didn't mean to suspect you of anything, but-but the princess said that the Holy Temple might come after me, ahahah…… Now that I think about it, how could the Sun Knight possibly do something like that as to kill me? I should have realised from the start when I saw that it was you who had approached me, that the Holy Temple meant no ill will to me. I'm really sorry."
What an intelligent princess! Looks like the princess is no naive sheltered girl, to emphasize that if anything were to happen to him, she would look to the Holy Temple for revenge. Seems like she is well aware that many so-called accidents are not really as innocent as they appear.
"Please give this Sun some time to think this matter over, and to try to find a solution to this problem," I said with a hundred percent sincerity. "And please don't let this out to anyone else. If the Crown Prince were to catch wind of any of this, the Church and the royal family would be on very bad terms. I believe that as both the Hell Knight and a royal knight, you would not wish to see this happening."
The Hell Knight nodded his head in agreement. "Yes, it may not have been for long, but my holy knight teacher had always treated me kindly. Even though I've now decided to swear loyalty to the royal family, I would never do anything to endanger the Church."
I nodded, believing him. Not because of his promise, but because if this whole thing were to get exposed, it would not benefit him at all. After all, it's hard to gain people's trust if they were to know about your past spying days.
But if we were to just release this Hell Knight into the wild (serving the royal family can be a really rough life), it would be akin to a ticking time bomb under the Holy Temple. You never know when the Crown Prince might find out about this while we are kept unawares.
But if it is decided not let him go, we can't really force him to take the position of the Hell Knight, can we? So what then?
And if it is decided that the best way to go is to eliminate him, there's still an intelligent princess backing him up and protecting him.
'Damn you old geezer! You actually expect me to deal with this mess you've created?! Just you wait, you're going to pay for all the troubles you've pushed onto me!'
All the way as I walked back to the Holy Temple and into my room, and as I mixed up my facial mask and slapped it on, I was constantly turning this problem over, trying to think of a way to resolve it. I lied on my bed with the mask on, planning to think it over as I wait for the mask to take its effect……
Knock knock knock!
'…… I'd nearly forgotten that curse of mine that activates every time I apply my facial mask.'
I pushed myself up and called out, "May this Sun ask which brother of mine has heard the gentle whisperings of the God of Light and decided to seek out this Sun?"
From outside came Judge's deep voice, "It's me."
"Oh, then please come right in," I said as I lazily lied back on my bed. It doesn't matter if it's Judge, as he's already been startled by my mask several times now.
He came in and closed the door. Upon turning around and seeing me, he froze.
I glanced at him and asked nonchalantly, "The pink coloured mask should be an improvement to the usual green masks, right?"
Judge studied my face seriously before passing judgement (pun intended), "The green was startling at first, but after looking at the pink mask for some time, it looks even grosser than the green one."
"Good to know. Next time I'll put on a green mask on one side and a pink mask on the other, so that you can be both startled and grossed out."
Judge chuckled at that and shaking his head, said, "You should be having quite a lot going on right now, yet you still have time for your facial masks?"
"Why would you say that?" I asked casually as I folded my arms behind my head.
Judge should only be aware of the case regarding Adair, unless the Pope had told him about the Hell Knight's dissent. But according to my knowledge of the Pope, he wouldn't have bothered to repeat the same thing twice, especially when Judge isn't good at dealing with those kinds of situation, and so informing him about it would have been pointless.
"The Church of War is here, and no matter what their reason for coming, it would definitely be related with matters of spreading their beliefs and increasing their followers."
At this, Judge gave me a look, but immediately looked away. 'Hmm… guess the pink mask really is disgusting.'
He then continued to add, "And strengthening the beliefs of our faith is your duty."
"I know. I was just planning to think about it while I apply my whitening mask."
"I think you'd probably fall asleep instead," said Judge dryly.
'Ahh… he who knows me best……'
"Alright, to avoid me falling asleep, let's think about it together!" I said.
Judge shook his head at me before taking out a small white bag embroidered with the insignia of the Sun Knight. "No can do. I still have a number of criminals to interrogate. I only came by to drop this off with you. It's Frost's homemade blueberry chocolates. He said you can keep it on you so you won't go hungry."
'Oh Frost! You're such a good and loving wife/mother. If you had been born a woman I would definitely marry you!'
I quickly grabbed the little bag and opened it. 'Oh! What a lovely smell!' I thought as I sniffed the heavenly scent of chocolates and blueberries.
I then looked up at Judge, only to see him really getting up to leave. I hurriedly threw out a problem at him. "The Church of War wishes to kill Adair. Even the Son of War himself had personally challenged him to a duel, and used me to threatened him into accepting the duel."
I paused for a moment before continuing on, "And even when there was already a clear winner, the Son of War still tried to kill Adair, even to the point of stopping the rest of the Sun Division from helping Adair. In the end, Adair ended up being rescued by a royal knight called Elliot. Can you deduce anything from all of this?"
Upon hearing my words, Judge did stop in his footsteps and thought about it. 'Aha! This is one of his job's bad points-whenever he hears about something suspicious, it has become second nature to stop and think about the motives behind the incidents.'
Seeing that I had successfully stopped him, I popped a few of the chocolates into my mouth as I laid back. 'Ah… Frost's blueberry chocolates, a warm comfy bed, and someone to figure out my problems, what more can I ask for? ……'
Judge finally spoke up, "I think there can be only one possible explanation…… Sun, wake up!"
"Don't bother me……" I mumbled as I flipped over onto my other side, faintly hearing a low voice calling out my name, "Creus Sun". 'Hmmm, this uniquely deep and low voice can only be heard when Judge has been angered……' I hurriedly opened my eyes, only to see Judge's black face. Startled, I immediately leapt out of bed shouting, "I'm awake! I'm really awake!"
Judge eyed me suspiciously as I quietly sat back on my bed, looking bright-eyed and alert.
Finally, he continued on, "I think the reason they would want to kill Adair should be related to your recent mastering of the resurrection arts."
"The resurrection arts?" I asked blankly. "But how did they even know about it?"
"While we might not have widely announced your resurrection skills, it shouldn't be surprising for them to have heard about it from the spies planted in and around the Holy Temple. After all, we've never exactly been on the best of terms with each other and both religions have been fighting to gain influence among the people around here, so it's no surprise that there'll be a few spies in each other's headquarters."
I nodded my head at that. Aren't there even a few of our spies hiding amongst the royal family? If we've even planted spies in our own country's ruling family, there's no reason to let off on our biggest rival, the Church of War. And if even the Church of Light, known for being kind and benevolent, has so many spies planted everywhere, what more the Church of War?
"I believe that the reason they would want to kill Adair should be related to your learning the resurrection arts." At this, Judge gave me a sideways glance before adding, "Although you claim to have mastered them, no one's actually seen you performed it before though."
He paused for a moment, then added regretfully, "If you had mastered them earlier, perhaps you could have cast them on your old friend Roland."
Upon hearing that I was taken aback and rebutted him immediately, "That's impossible! The resurrection arts have many limitations to them, with one of them being the time limit of eight hours in which I can cast the spells on a dead person. If I were to cast the spell eight hours after the person has died, there will be terrible consequences."
"Terrible consequences? Such as?"
I was silent for a moment as I considered my words carefully. "After being resurrected…… no! You can't actually call it being resurrected…… What I mean to say is that, that person's body will continue rotting on, but the person would still be alive and breathing. At least, until their bodies have rotten away, or until they've been decapitated."
Judge was shocked by my words and exclaimed, "Isn't-isn't that almost the same as an undead creature?!"
I kept quiet, and after Judge had calmed down a little, I continued explaining, "Yes, the resurrection arts is actually quite similar to the arts for raising the undead, the only difference being one is cast within eight hours of the person's death, while the other is done 'eight hours after'. The necromancers would then do something to prevent further rotting to extend the 'life' of the undead creatures, as well as control the minds of the undead, commanding them to do their bidding obediently……"
"Then does that mean that every necromancer is well-versed in the arts of resurrection?" asked Judge, frowning heavily.
"No." I shook my head and explained, "It is a relatively simple thing to turn a corpse into an obedient puppet, but to really resurrect him is much harder. The eight hours time limit is actually one of the simplest conditions. Another condition necessary would be the strong ability for gathering holy light. Just this one condition is impossible for necromancers to achieve.
"Other than that, one has to also consider the low chances of completely resurrecting a dead person, the price one has to pay for resurrecting someone, etc. etc.. In short, I can only give you this warning, you better not rely on me to come back after dying, for I cannot guarantee that I can successfully revive you, and without any important parts missing, or even worse……"
Judge paled and asked hoarsely, "Even worse? Is there something even worse than becoming an undead?"
I answered him frankly, "Well, not to that extent, for as long as you are revived within eight hours you won't turn into an undead, but you might be missing a certain part, or perhaps even have something additional. For example, you could have two horns growing out of your forehead, or a tail growing out your butt, a man could suddenly gain a pair of breasts, or a woman could gain a dick……"
"Enough!" Judge took a deep breath and shook his head, saying "This resurrection art doesn't sound very stable."
I nodded in agreement. "Of course. If resurrecting someone were to be easy, who would want to remain dead? Furthermore, it is said that the Pope does not know the resurrection arts, but this isn't true. He does know it, but his chances of completely resurrecting someone is so low that he dares not use it, for fear of whatever side effects the person might have……"
"Completely resurrecting?"Judge questioned.
"It means to completely resurrect a dead person without them suffering any side effects."
I gave a sigh and added, "I have about a one-in-four chance of completely resurrecting someone, yet this is already enough for the Pope to be envious. According to him, this is the highest chance for complete resurrection anyone has ever achieved in over five hundred years."
Judge nodded in understanding and continued our previous topic. "So the Church of War is probably worried that now that you've mastered the resurrection arts, the faiths of the various countries' rulers would switch to the religion of the Light God, for with you having mastered the resurrection arts, they would no longer have to fear dying."
I shook my head and said, "They are misunderstanding something. The resurrection arts are useless to those who have died of old age or illness. Those who had died of old age would immediately die again upon being resurrected, for their time is already up. The same goes for those who have died of some illness or another. Once revived their illness is not cured, and if it were not treated, they would just die a second time. For those afraid of being assassinated or dying from illnesses, it would be better to just hire more knights and bodyguards, priests and physicians. That way their chances of protecting themselves would be much higher."
"You're right," Judge nodded, but he then reminded me, "But even I was unaware of the various limitations and possible consequences of being resurrected, what more the Church of War?"
At that I became quiet. One of the mysteries has finally been solved-the Church of War's aim of killing Adair is to determine if I had really mastered the resurrection arts. But it seems that even after realising that, I still haven't solved the problem. No, instead I seem to have gained another problem.
How to let the public know of the scary risks and consequences of being resurrected? Otherwise should some VIP die one day, people would be hounding me to resurrect them and generally messing up my peaceful life.
"As to Elliot saving Adair, that Elliot guy has a pretty good reputation, and I believe that he had lent a helping hand purely out of righteousness."
"You know of Elliot?" I asked a little curiously. 'How come so many people know this guy? Is he really that famous?'
Judge nodded as he said, "Elliot's quite popular among the royal knights, and he is friends with a lot of people, he even knows quite a lot of our holy knights. I've never met with him personally, but there are a number of my Judge Knight Division members who know him quite well. However……"
At this point he paused and glanced at me as he continued, "come to think of it, your Sun Knight Division seem to be on pretty good terms with Elliot too, so it's not that strange for him to help save Adair."
"Why would my Sun Division be so close with a royal knight?" I asked, annoyed. 'Don't they know that their leader-moi-and the royal knights' leader-the Crown Prince- are on very poor terms? And yet they have been running off and making friends with the enemy.'
Judge answered my question with another. "Shouldn't I be the one asking you this? Sun Knight Division's Captain?"
I couldn't say anything to that, and so hurriedly said, "I'll just go and ask Adair……"
Judge interrupted me and scolded me, "Adair is following your orders to rest in bed. That being the case, as his captain you should at least allow him this brief period to rest uninterrupted and start carrying out your duties that you've been pushing onto him all this time!"
'Ah! I was scolded by Judge! This grudge will be paid by……I'll just add it onto the Church of War's tab!'
"Alright, alright! Then I'll go ask someone else." I said sulkily. I immediately got out of bed, straightened my clothes and prepared to open the door……
"What is it?" I asked annoyed as I turned around. "I already promised not to bother Adair."
"You haven't washed off your facial mask……"
Once upon a time, I had a super-capable vice-captain working for me, yet I never knew to treasure him. Now that I've lost him, I finally realised his priceless worth…… without Adair, I can't even find ferret out a single one of my Sun Division knights!
After finally getting word from Storm that they might be at the Sprouting Leaf Pub and Inn in the East City, I immediately headed there in a cloud of irritation.
'Those idiots! Had I not just warned them not to simply leave the Holy Temple? My warning had just went in one ear and out the other, it seems! Looks like it's been a long time since I last threw someone down the cliff!'
Not too long later, I arrived at the street and saw all the Sun Division knights there, each of them out of their uniforms and strolling along the streets lazily. When they caught sight of me they even had the nerve to smile and wave at me!
I gave a wide smile and crooked my finger at them, leading them down a nearby alley. They followed me happily like lambs to a slaughter.
"Captain! Are we going to beat up someone?" Ed asked excitedly.
I ignored him and smiled at all the Sun Division knights. "This Sun seems to remember warning my fellow brothers to avoid leaving the Holy Temple?"
'You dare to ignore my orders? It seems like you've all forgotten the reason why I made you jump off a cliff when we first met!'
As can be expected from my Sun Knight Division, they immediately sensed the impending danger from my blindingly bright smile and paled, instantly straightening up from their previous hooligan slouch to stand stiffly as an upright and responsible knight.
I dropped my smile and glared coldly at the lucky knight standing closest to me-Ed. Ed stuttered nervously as he tried to explain, "C-captain, we-we didn't wear our uniforms and-and are in casual clothing, you s-see……"
"And then all twenty-four of you came out in one big group?" I asked at them, smiling. "Oh, I see. Yes, yes, nothing to be worried about, the Church of War's warriors are only skilled in fighting and are totally blind, they won't be able to pick you all out from the crowd," I said sarcastically.
Ed hurriedly explained, "Captain, w-we really had listened to your orders. This is the first time in days that we've left the Holy Temple. B-but you see, we had invited Elliot to the pub to treat him to a drink in th-thanks for saving Adair."
"I see!" I nodded my head in understanding, and when I saw them all let out the breath they'd been holding, I grabbed Ed by his clothes and growled, "This reminds me of another thing. I've been hearing that you all were already acquainted with Elliot? I had been troubled by that piggy king not too long ago, (and now the Crown Prince is trying his hand at hassling me too) and now I find that you've been going behind my back and consorting with the enemy?!"
"We aren't consorting with the enemy! Captain," Ed was close to tears now. "We knew him because we had ganged up on him and beaten him up before."
"Why the hell would you guys go and beat him up for?"
I'm pretty sure that I had never given them that order. I had never even heard of his name before this, so how could I have ordered the Sun Knight Division to go beat Elliot up?
"Th-that was 'cause we had mistaken him for someone else…… it was only after we had beaten him up that we realised that he was the wrong person, so we had no choice but to heal him and treat him to a drink as an apology."
Is this what they mean when they say 'No discord, no concord' and 'After fighting, comes friendship'? Although, those sayings usually refer to two people fighting each other, and not a whole group ganging up and beating someone up.
After hearing his explanation, I was speechless. I then scolded them, "How could you guys even bungle up something like beating up the wrong person?? How is it that you guys were even chosen to be in the Sun Division?!"
"But captain, that was our first time beating someone up! We should be given some leniency for our first time……"Ed protested in a quiet voice.
I coldly rebutted him, "If the one you had mistakenly beaten up was me, then no worries, it would have been your last chance to do so, ever!"
Ed hastily smiled and tried to appease me saying, "Captain, how could we ever mistakenly beat you up? You are such a blessed and well-guarded talented person, your holy aura and princely bearing is apparent to all who behold you (added Sun Division Member 1), your lips are cherry red and your teeth gleam like white pearls when you smile (added Sun Division Member 2), your skin is as pale and beautiful as the first fallen snow and soft as silk (added Sun Division Member 3), your smile is so beauteous you can charm the socks of anyone (added Sun Division Member 4)……"
"Shut up!" I rolled my eyes at them. 'The next time I see Adair I better mention it to him to step up on their literature. Just look at them and all that crap they were spewing, what kind of flattery are those?! How sloppy!'
"Captain," Ed inquired delicately as he watched my face carefully, his voice so soft I could barely hear him. "Then, can we leave to meet with Elliot? It's already past the agreed meeting time……"
I stood there considering. 'From what I've heard, that Elliot fellow seems to have been sincere when rescuing Adair and not plotting anything. If that is so, then as Adair's captain I should go and thank him personally.'
After all if it weren't for him, Adair would probably have died, forcing me to resurrect him. Who knows what body part Adair might have been missing after being resurrected, or worse, some extra body part had grown out?
I wouldn't mind if he grew horns or a tail. In fact, he might even look cool with them!
But if he were to gain a pair of boobs, I would lose a very capable vice-captain…… no matter how capable he is, if he came running towards me with a pair of bouncing breasts, I would still kick him down a cliff!
After imagining Adair with a pair of breasts, I shuddered and suddenly felt like I should get down on my knees in gratitude to Elliot, so I quickly said to my knights, "What are you all still standing around for? Hurry up and let's go. You've already missed the appointed time, so don't let him wait any longer."
I followed the Sun Knight Division to the Sprouting Leaf Pub and Inn. Pubs and bars are rather foreign to me, for as the Sun Knight-known to pass out after only three shots of alcohol, I can never come to a bar to drink. I have only ever entered one when looking for someone (I was looking for Storm to confirm some news and had been looking for him all over the city, when I finally found him passed out in a bar and had to slap him more than ten times to wake him up-that was the seventh time I had angered him), or when I was passing by (whilst fighting with an undead on the streets I was knocked flying into a pub).
As the captain, I was the first to enter. At first, the people in the pub paid the newcomers no notice, but when a few glanced in my direction in curiosity, their stunned eyes became glued to my person.
I looked around the pub; it seemed to be a busy time for the pub as there were plenty of customers. It wasn't as dirty as I expected, but I wouldn't call it clean. It was pretty spacious, and other than the bar area, there was a second floor above, as well as several private rooms around.
As my eyes swept around the bar, a guy sitting at the bar with his back to me caught my attention. His back seemed so familiar. I was certain that I had seen that back before!
As I could not place a face to his back, I'm pretty sure that I had only ever seen his back and never his front. But this struck me strange, for why would I remember a person's back?
Just then, someone shouted, pulling me from my thoughts. "I'm a good person, please don't arrest me!"
And then as if he had broken the spell that had fallen over the crowd, everyone started shouting out all sorts of things:
"I have never stolen my neighbour's panties; it was the wind that blew it away!"
"I always pay my tabs after drinking, and I've never peed in public before!"
"I've never drawn graffiti on the walls of the Church of Light……"
Ed and the rest of the Sun Knight Division quickly shouted over them, explaining, "Everyone please calm down, we're not here to arrest anyone. We're only here to have a few drinks!"
"Liar! Everyone knows that the Sun Knight doesn't drink!"
"That's right! I heard that he goes red after one shot, gets a headache after two, and faints after the third."
"Such a low alcohol tolerance, what a pansy…… Ah, no! I never said anything!"
Hearing this, Ed got worried and shouted, "The captain is only here to gate-crash on our meeting!"
"Ed," I called out softly.
Ed paled and quickly turned to me, trying to explain, "Captain, that just now wasn't really what I was thinking, really……"
'It would have been more believable if you hadn't added that just now.' I resisted the urge to roll my eyes-for I am now the ever smiling and elegant Sun Knight-and called out to the guy sitting at the bar, "Would the knight at the bar like to join us for a drink or two?"
Ed followed my eyes and glanced at the man before saying, "Oh, captain. I didn't know you knew Elliot too."
'What? That's Elliot?!'
Without waiting for my response, Ed jogged over to the guy and clapped him on the back, saying cheekily, "Hi, Elliot! We're here! You haven't been waiting for long have you?"
The guy said exasperatedly, "Of course not. It's only just been half an hour, much better than the last time where I had to wait for an hour…… Honestly, and you guys claim to want to thank me."
"Hahaha! Let's not nit-pick now." Ed patted the other guy's shoulder and said enthusiastically, "Come! Let me introduce you to someone."
"Who is it?" he asked curiously.
By now, I had already walked up to him, and sensing someone behind him, he turned around……
The smiles on both our faces froze.
"This is our captain, the Sun Knight. Captain, this is Elliot." Ed introduced us cheerfully.
I took a few deep breaths before smiling brightly at him and greeted, "Hello, nice to meet you for the first time. How do you do, Sir Knight Elliot?"
Catching my reminder, he jerked out of his daze and hurriedly replied, "H-How are you? Nice to meet you too, Sun Knight. Terribly sorry about that just now, I was caught surprised by your elegant bearing."
The both of us stood there smiling at each other; one smiling brightly, the other smiling openly, but only the two of us were aware that we were actually smiling in irony. This is the first time I'm meeting Elliot, that is true, but this is the second time that I'm meeting the Hell Knight.
I see, so Elliot is the Hell Knight who wants to quit his job.
But as I thought about it, something wasn't right! I had already seen the Hell Knight's face, so why would I specifically remember his back, but not be able to put his face to his back?
What? You're saying that maybe I remembered wrongly?
I don't mean to brag, but my memory is so good that I could even remember the betting probabilities from 13 years ago, so how can you say that I remembered wrongly! I may have selective memory-like when Storm had reminded me yesterday of a meeting the next day, I somehow seemed to have forgotten it. How strange…… (shifty look)-but I wouldn't mistake something like this.
As I pondered and puzzled over it, the waitress had arrived to take us to our table. We were led to a private room, and as we entered, Ed turned to me and said, "Captain, this room is very secure, even if one were to speak loudly, others would not be able to hear anything from outside."
"Secure?" I mumbled whilst still thinking of the mystery of the familiar back, when something seemed to stir in my memories.
"That's right!" Ed grinned and then added in a whisper in my ear, "There are even secret pathways through which one could leave the room without having to go out the door and through the bar."
'Secret pathways…… I've got it! I remember now!'
It was in a secret pathway that I had seen that back.
Back then during the incident regarding Roland, I had sneaked into the secret pathways in the royal palace and had nearly bumped into the Princess and her secret lover kissing passionately in one of the pathways. Back then, the guy had his back to me, so I had only seen his back!
And that guy was Elliot…… so the Princess' secret lover is Elliot, and Elliot is the Hell Knight!
No wonder the Princess was so protective of the Hell Knight; she was worried for her beloved!
'The Hell Knight and the Princess in a secret affair?' I frowned as I thought it over, wondering if this is a good thing or not……
'Oh! Ahahaha! Of course it's good news! The God of Light must be favouring me! I now have a way to stop the Son of War from marrying the Princess! Hahahaha!'
"Ca-captain?" Ed asked me warily.
I was suddenly in an excellent mood as I smiled radiantly and asked him nicely, "Yes? What is it?"
Ed slowly backed away two steps and gulped before saying warily, "Er, the waitress is ready to take our orders, is there anything you would like to have?"
I smiled and said to the waitress, "Two plates of beef and ten bottles of your strongest alcohol!"
The waitress nodded and left to prepare our dishes.
Ed scratched his head in puzzlement and asked, "Captain, with so many people here do you think two plates of beef are enough for all of us?"
I chuckled, in a good mood, and said, "Who said it's for everyone? I wish to speak with Sir Knight Elliot, so you guys can all go eat somewhere else!"
Upon hearing that, everyone looked at me stunned, while Elliot looked at me with wariness in his eyes.
"Do not worry, I only wish to thank Sir Knight Elliot properly," I said with a smile, before saying in an undertone to my knights, "Well? What are you all waiting for? Or are you guys itching for another trip down the cliffs?"
Ed immediately turned to Elliot and clapped him on the back, saying loudly, "Elliot, why don't you have a nice talk with our captain, get to know him! We'll come back later……"
'We promise to bury your body properly. As your friend, we owe you that at the very least,' said their woeful and mourning expressions.
I watched dispassionately as the Sun Division knights bid Elliot farewell, saying all kinds of goodbyes like 'Farewell, Elliot', 'Sorry to leave you to such a fate' and 'I hope you have a better life next time', just as the waitress arrived with the two plates of beef and ten bottles of alcohol. She gave the scene a strange look and looked at both me and Elliot curiously before leaving.
"Sun Knight……" Elliot watched me carefully.
"Hmmm?" I smiled as I opened up all ten bottles of alcohol.
"You look to be in a good mood?" he asked cautiously, a hint of curiosity mixed in.
I chuckled and said, "Yup!"
He frowned and asked, "Is it something to do with me?"
"Definitely. I've suddenly thought of a way to deal with your other identity," I said in the devil's seducing voice. "If you agree to do one thing, giving me a way to answer to the Pope, you would no longer have to be the Hell Knight."
Elliot was ecstatic, before remembering something and his face sunk as he looked at me suspiciously. "I won't betray the royal family."
"Oh, don't worry! I would never ask you to betray the Princess. In fact, it's something that would benefit both you and the Princess, actually." I grinned at him. The 'but you might have to go against the Crown Prince a little' went unsaid.
Elliot looked at me, not knowing whether to believe me or not. "What is it that you want me to do?" he asked.
I grabbed a bottle of alcohol and said, "Oh, we'll talk business later, but first let's drink a few cups of wine. I'll go first!"
I drank the whole bottle of wine in one go, and as I wiped my mouth, I saw Elliot staring at me in shock. I gave a little smile and giving the empty bottle a shake, said "It's your turn."
Elliot looked at the remaining nine bottles of wine and paled.
About two hours later, I decided that it was getting a little late and so called the waitress to lead Ed and the others back.
Upon entering the room and seeing Elliot slumped over the table unconscious, Ed exclaimed worriedly, "What's wrong with Elliot? Captain, it couldn't be that you really killed him?"
I smiled faintly and explained, "Nonsense. He's only a little drunk. Sir Knight Elliot sure can hold his liquor! He managed to drink all ten bottles of wine."
"All ten bottles?!"
Everyone's mouths were gaping wide open as Ed stammered, "Im-impossible! This is 'Bottled Intoxication'! Known for felling a man with just one bottle of it. Even Elliot would only be able to drink a bottle and a half tops before passing out……"
I frowned at that. So this wine is that strong? No wonder Elliot had slumped unconscious on the table, and nothing I did could wake him up.
'Oh well.' I pretended to sigh remorsefully and said, "Oh, we were having such a great time talking with each other that before we realised it, he had downed all ten bottles. If I had known how strong it was I would have stopped him."
Everyone was still looking at me disbelievingly, so I quickly told them, "I still have some business to attend to and need to leave. Remember to send Elliot back. Don't leave the poor fellow here, or he'll catch a cold."
Ed and the rest of the Sun Knight Division nodded dazedly.
Once my back was turned towards them, I couldn't help licking my lips. That Bottled Intoxication was pretty good. If I had known, I wouldn't have shared that bottle and a half with Elliot! Tsk tsk. Oh well, since I'm going to meet Roland to ask for a favour next, I could always bring him here with me and I can then continue drinking in my Slayer identity!