Episode 54 【Idle talk】: The Young Knights of the Hisan Empire.
A few days had passed after the disposal of the aristocrat merchant Butan, whom had committed a crime.
The order of the Crimson Knights of the Hisan Empire, which were on an expedition, were on their way to return to the Imperial Capital.
These elite knights advanced east on the highway, with Prince Loki, the leader of the Imperial Army, in the center of the formation.
“The negotiations regarding the issue of Orn’s Consul Regent went well, Barrès.”
While perfectly managing the horse he rode, Prince Loki spoke towards the giant knight who was riding parallel to him.
The incident this time was the crime of the arrogant Butan, and to conceal it and maintain the friendly relationship with Orn using a large amount of compensation money.
And since the money was collected from Butan’s shops across the empire, the empire itself suffered relatively nothing.
“Hmph, I see. As usual, you’re good with words, Loki.”
The Knight Barrès, who wasn’t really into diplomatic plots, yawned without showing interest in response.
In contrast to him, Loki, his friend from the Knight’s Academy, was a man who excelled not only at swordsmanship, but also in scheming and trickery.
“Lord Barrès. No matter how much you and His Highness Loki know each other from your student days, please use a more polite way when addressing him.”
An older knight who rode his horse behind Loki admonished Barrès for his crude way of speaking.
Barrès was one of the Knight Captains of the order, but the difference between him and Loki was obvious, since the latter was the child of the emperor.
Disposing of an insolent person who spoke so familiarly towards royalty in public would usually be the norm.
“Its fine, Gramps. Like I always tell you, Barrès is the only I can call a friend.”
“…Understood, Your Highness Loki.”
The Older Knight obediently follows the words of the lord he has served from an early age.
This back and forth between him and Loki was a regular exchange. Barrès meanwhile, listened to this to and fro but chose to ignore it.
“By the way, ‘that man’… Yamato’s figure was nowhere to be seen in the Consul’s conference.”
“What… I see…”
That was the report from the messenger sent to take care of the negotiations a few days ago.
The man named Yamato fought one on one against him, splendidly handled a huge wild horse and killed the criminal Butan.
And without knowing the destination where that mysterious swordsman had gone, Barrès couldn’t help but to sigh.
“But it seems like a similar man was seen in Orn’s bazaar.”
“What!? Is that true, Loki!? “
Upon hearing the new information from Loki, the complexion of Barrès, who’s horse was running in parallel changed.
He was excited to know more about the mysterious man Yamato, who hid his mouth with a cloth and whose origins were unknown.
“Yeah. According to the course of events, it seems like the similar man was apparently a trader or merchant. Although there’s no information about which village he came from.”
The spies from Loki who infiltrated Orn’s bazaar said the “man who seemed to be Yamato” had a strong vigilance and couldn’t get closer.
It was hard to think that even to these masters in covert operations, the vigilance net of the other party was hard to even break.
“That much is enough for me…”
Barrès replied while smiling satisfied.
The person he exchanged sword blows with, Yamato, called he and the other the “Mountain Dog Group”, a group of thieves he had never heard of.
However, how could mere thieves have such leadership and combat abilities. There probably was a reason behind why they posed as such.
“In other words, if I go to the city of Orn, I’ll meet him again.”
Such a roundabout way matter little for Barrès.
He simply felt fortunate to be able to meet Yamato again.
“Barrès… seems like you’re quite happy.”
“Yeah. “Since I’ve become captain, there’s been nothing but troublesome matters… but I’ve finally came across such an interesting man after so long.”
In response to Loki, Barrès answered with a beast-like smile.
He remembered the appearance of the swordsman Yamato, fighting against him while even concealing his “trump card”.
“As you say, he surely is an interesting man. I didn’t get to see his sword skills, but he was quite sharp…”
Loki raised his evaluation of Yamato as a tactician, while remembering the information he received from Barrès.
He broke through the trap laid by the aristocrat merchant Butan using an adequate and precise judgment considering the situation.
And all the while, keeping his allies from being harmed, Loki couldn’t help but to acknowledge Yamato’s abilities as he dashed away.
A knight with such intelligence and determination were not many, even across the whole imperial forces.
Yamato might be a competent commander who hasn’t show all his potential, and possesses a deep charm.
“Hey, Loki! I already said it, but… Yamato is my prey. Don’t go stealing him! “
“I already replied at that time, but… there are some things I can’t back down, like back in the academy, Barrès.”
“Ha! I guess you did! In that case, it’ll have to be first come, first served… about that Yamato.”
“I suppose you’re right…”
Among the imperial forces, these knights jokingly spoke to each other.
It was a momentary encounter, but these two had a high evaluation of Yamato.
“But, before that… something needs to be done about the corruption in the Empire’s military.”
The Hisan Empire, with its politic of territory expansion due to its goal of “continental domination”, had grown too much.
Barrès wondered if it was because his home country grew too rapidly that such crookedness and corruption occurred.
“The Empire’s large reformation will happen without fail… I’ll count on you at that time, Barrès.”
“The only thing I’m good at is swinging my sword… Loki.”
“I know… I’ll count on you at “that time”.”
Loki, the third son of the emperor, does not have a high inheriting rights.
However, his outstanding ability and charm are higher than that of his older brothers, the other princes.
For that reason alone, there are many knights and aristocrats who’ve sworn allegiance directly to Loki, this included Barrès and the Crimson Knights.
“The major reformation will be a difficult path. But, after seeing that man… after seeing Yamato, it feels easy for some reason. Truly strange.”
“I’m sure it is! We might also run into Yamato in the imperial capital.”
“That can’t happen… but, it’s scary to think it might happen.”
The imperial prince Loki and the knight Barrès laughed as they joked.
No matter how great of a man or swordsman Yamato was, he wouldn’t be involved in the major reformation the empire was falling into.
——–There was nobody present who would’ve imagined this foreshadowing would actually come to be. And of course, even Yamato was unaware this.
And like this, living in a secluded frontier village, Yamato would be caught in the middle of the uproar in which was staked the fate of the continent.
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