Episode 50: The Crimson Knight
The merchant noble Butan had taken Isis hostage.
“Yamato-sama… I’m truly sorry…”
Isis said in a sorrowful voice.
When she finally regained consciousness within the carriage, she was suddenly restrained by Butan and taken hostage.
And after finally grasping the situation she was in, she was aware of the fact that Yamato was being threatened because of her.
“Hey, Butan! Don’t get in the way of my fun! “
“Hmph. His highness Loki should have ordered you to protect me until I’m back at the empire. Sir Barrès! “
“Tch… so that’s how it is.”
Butan ordered the frowning Barrès.
It was possible to tell how both served the same empire, but their statuses were obviously different.
Barrès was furious at the despicable act by Butan of taking a weak girl hostage in front of his opponent.
However, after that person uttered the name of『His Highness Loki』, unwillingly followed his orders.
A man whom the brave Barrès had swear absolute loyalty, that was Loki. From that fact alone, Yamato guessed he must be quite the person.
“Sir Barrès, slay that lowly thief right this moment… Buhihihi.”
Butan instructed the large sword user to slay Yamato, who had dropped both of his knives.
Tch… this isn’t looking so great…
Butan threatened to slit the throat of Isis, while hiding behind her back.
And at their current distance, it was difficult to snipe Butan using the hidden crossbow Yamato had equipped under his cloak.
“Yamato-sama! Don’t worry about me and escape.”
The hostage Isis then raised an even more grieving cry. She asked him to disregard her and escape by himself.
“That’s an unreasonable request.”
“I’ll rescue you for sure… that’s what I promised to everyone.”
To his unexpected words, Isis was at loss for words. To her it was as if Yamato wasn’t worried about what could happen to him in this dire situation.
“Save her!? B-bastard! Do you not care for the life of this girl!? “
At Yamato’s reply to Isis, Butan’s face turned red in anger.
Trembling in rage, it appeared as if at any moment the blade would cut the defenseless throat of Isis.
Damn… It seems like I have no other choice than to use my trump card…
So, he decided after seeing the predicament Isis was in. He would use his trump card despite the presence of the empire’s swordsman Barrès.
If he were to use it on Butan here, Yamato most likely wouldn’t be able to use the same trick against Barrès.
But in order to save Isis from this predicament, he couldn’t help but to do it.
It was then.
’Something’ was running towards them almost like a gale.
Jumping over a meadow hill, someone riding a horse was approaching.
“Lord Butan, that far is enough.”
A beautiful and fearless voice echoed through the grassy meadow.
The owner of that voice was a knight clad in a crimson armor.
It can’t be… for the knights of the empire to arrive so fast…
Yamato felt startled.
The imperial army, which was advancing from the east, should still be at a considerable distance away.
Nevertheless, this crimson knight came rushing with a speed that surpassed Yamato’s predictions.
Those riding skills… and what’s more, this knight seems quite capable…
The crimson knight rode on a horse of splendid fur.
Maybe that horse was similar to the Han horses that could run for hundreds of kilometers a day. That’s why he had arrived sooners than Yamato expected.
In addition to that, one could easily see from his posture and the aura surrounding him that this knight was very skilled.
Yamato though he most likely was as skilled as the bid sword user Barrès… or maybe even more.
“Y-your Majesty Loki… w-why are you in such a remote place…?”
Butan couldn’t find the words to express himself with the appearance of the crimson knight.
His earlier sense of elation was now nowhere to be seen.
On the contrary, his face paled as he looked like he would drop on his knees at any moment.
‘Your Majesty Loki’… that means he’s of imperial descent…
In this case, honorifics like ‘Highness’ were only used for 『Those directly related to the emperor』.
In other words, it was easy to infer that this knight called Loki was a high-ranking person who inherited the blood of the emperor.
It was unusual for a person like that to just rush past his guards and come to Butan all by himself.
“Sir Butan, I have some urgent business with the likes of you. We’ve found you’ve committed several felonies such as stealing from the imperial coffers and forgery of imperial documents. So, in order to enforce the ‘authority to discipline nobility’, I’ve came all the way here.”
“T-that is… that is not true…”
Loki then stopped him from trying to spew excuses.
Taking out some documents, he pointed at the evidence of the crimes committed by this aristocrat merchant, causing Butan to almost fall on his butt.
He called it ‘Infiltrating the city of Orn’ but in truth, he had been working behind the scenes to enrich himself at the expenses of the empire.
And this time too, he had ‘advised’ to ‘kidnap the consul regent girl’, which was a crime that would leave a terrible stain in the imperial foreign policy.
“Hmph, and I thought that was a strange order. Truly a pig bastard.”
The big sword user Barrès stared down at Butan with a glare of a demon.
According to the evidence, it was a forged document from Butan the one that summoned Barrès to the city of Orn.
“Butan, surrender yourself. That was the order I had to deliver you from father… from the Emperor.”
“No… no… that can’t be…”
From their exchange, Yamato now knew for sure that this young man named Loki was actually a child from the Emperor of the Hisan Empire.
Unsheathing his sword from his waist, Loki pointed it towards the frightened Butan.
It obviously meant that if he refused to surrender, his head would be separated from his neck in but a moment.
This was the special right called ‘authority to discipline nobility’.
“Orn… If I deliver Orn… then my sins will… if only this girl disappeared…”
The cornered Butan then started to speak nonsense, and a small grin appeared on his face.
He directed his blood-shot eyes towards the girl he had taken hostage and the blade he had on her neck.
“Have you lost your mind? Butan! “
Loki shouted at Butan, whom aimed at the defenseless girl.
One more crime wasn’t the answer.
Barrès who kept Yamato in place with his sword clicked his tongue and turned his attention away.
Alright… now is the time!
Aiming at the perfect timing, Yamato took action.
He took the small whistle that hung from his neck and blew on it.
A low sound, one that couldn’t be heard by a person echoed across the meadow.
“Yamato, what did you…!? “
The response from Barrès who had turned from facing Yamato was delayed.
He couldn’t react because he was a moment too late since he had turned his attention to the deranged Butan.
“Regal Wind! “
Running towards the direction of Butan and Isis, Yamato called that name. The name of the ‘trump card’ he had kept hidden so far.
In response to the whistle, a huge, jet-black shadow flew in.
Trying to escape being trampled by the huge horse, Butan screamed and pulled back.
“A Han horse!? …This one is one hell of an amazing horse! “
The swordsman Barrès smiled at the appearance of the Ouba, Regal Wind. He was impressed so see such an untarnished horse, one like he had never seen before.
“Let’s go, Regal Wind! “
Just as Barrès swung at him, Yamato jumped on Regal Wind.
He was a prideful horse, the king horse, and as such, he disliked being saddle, but its back was truly wide.
At top speed, Yamato rushed towards Isis who was free.
She was in a position where the two empire’s knights would not reach in time, it was the perfect timing. After grabbing her, he then would retreat in the direction of the city of Orn.
“Buhyahya! I won’t let you, that girl will…! “
The deranged Butan with a blade in hand then tried to pierce Isis.
If he were to be brought back to the empire as it was, his life and position as an aristocrat merchant would all be gone. Yamato was ready to dirty his hands to prevent that.
“Isis, bent down! “
After he yelled, he pulled the trigger on the Urd-type crossbow he had equipped.()
The bolt fired from the strengthened crossbow flew and impacted into a vital point of Butan.
Embracing the freed Isis and keeping the momentum, she was pulled up and rode on Regal Wind too.
Good… seems like the ‘trump card’ properly worked…
The distance between the two knights of the empire was enough. Yamato rode at full speed as he retreated towards the city of Orn.
Although two persons were riding it, there was not a change they could catch up to Regal Wind.
“My name is Loki Hisan. What is yours?”
The knight wearing crimson armor… the Emperor’s child Loki stated his name with a serious look on his face.
Despite being noble in appearance, he also had an unparalleled aura.
“I’m Yamato. A simple thug.”
“Yamato, huh? I’ll remember it.”
“Hey, Loki! That guy is my prey. Don’t go stealing him! “
“There are some things I can’t back down from, like back in the academy, Barrès.”
The two knights of the Empire starting to argue with each other, almost as if trying to decide who would be the one who would defeat Yamato first.
They both were owners of incredible skill.
One was an opponent who had tried to take his life before, but they both had some mysterious charm.
“Sorry, but I’m just a normal person. There’s no way I’ll meet you again… Ha!”
After replying, he commanded Regal Wind and retreated.
If he delayed his retreat, several hundreds of knights would arrive from the east.
“Yamato, until we meet again…”
The rescuing of Isis succeeded safely.
But on his back, Yamato could hear the imperial prince’s dangerous reunion promise.
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