Chapter 106


             Translator: “Hakou”                             Editor: “Weasalopes”                


Several days after I knew that Ponytail was quitting Uniform store, an invitation came from the guild master.

「The pilot school practical exam is about to be held but… would you like to come with me?」

It looks like the special practical exam was about to be held at my alma mater, the pilot school.

(As I thought, the knight order seems to be in a shortage of pilots huh)

I nodded to myself.
Looks like the knight order has been collecting C-class Knights to fill in the Knights they’ve lost.
They’re planning to make up the numbers with those Knights for the time being, then remodel their appearance later and call them a B-class Knight.

(The quality aside, as long as they have the numbers, it can work as a deterrent)

The fact that those were actually C-class knights will be discovered eventually. But even so, it could be used to buy some time.
Because the Kingdom’s knight order needs now, is time.
I’m impressed after understanding that.

「It’s really regrettable to keep such prime minister as a noble」

The guild master voiced his thoughts while grinning.
After all, the prime minister has been going around to visit every high-ranking nobles every day, asking them to contribute their Knights to the Kingdom.
And it seems that he used money, personal connections, threats, and every other possible means to do that.
The words guild master said earlier was to praise him for his skills.

If they’re going that far, then there might be quite a number of Knights. So the next one is to look for pilots to ride them)

They must be thinking that it will be too long if they wait for the next fixed term practical exam.

(But still… a special test huh. I surely thought that they would recruit those who failed the previous exam instead)

That was surprising for me.
The knight order wasn’t particularly busy at the moment.
If it was me, I would look at the past training participants list and recruit those who has enough capability. Because it will require less labor if we do it that way.
And the role to excavate the yet unseen force and to give the chance for those who wanted to join the knight order should be left to the fixed term practical test like before.

(Still, practical exam, huh)

The sound of that word is a bit bitter for me.
Knight pilot schools regularly conduct practical tests several times a year.
The top four students on that exam will be given the chance to join the knight order training and if they do well in that training, they will be recruited.

(I couldn’t participate even though I was in the third place, though)

The way I fight by avoiding close combat and taking advantage of shooting magic attacks from long distances, was severely criticized by the instructors.
And in the end, the school didn’t give me the recommendation letter needed to participate in that training. This is the first time since this school was built, that a winner couldn’t participate in the training.

(However, thanks to that, I was able to become the pilot of merchant guild)

Because I wasn’t allowed to participate in the knight order training, I decided to dropped out from pilot school.
And the one who picked me up at that time was the merchant guild.
Thinking back on it, even if I got recruited by the knight order, I would’ve quit immediately since I wouldn’t fit there.
Not being able to get that recommendation was probably for the best.

「But wouldn’t it be bad if I come along?」

I asked the guild master.
My reputation at my alma mater was pretty bad. They even refer to me as a coward.

「Bad? What is?」

He replied calmly and I was stuck for an answer.

(Now that I think about it, that’s true huh)

I quit that school a long time ago and I already got a decent job as a pilot. There shouldn’t be anything bad from it.
Well, if I had to say, it would be to meet someone that hated me and made me recall some bad memories.

(I want to see how Ponytail and Busty-chan fight)

All of that wasn’t a big deal if I can see them fight.

「No, there’s nothing. Please let me come along」

Hearing my answer, the guild master nodded in satisfaction.

***

The next day, the guild master and I passed through the pilot school gate and walked through the long corridor leading to the auditorium.
There were only two invitations for the merchant guild so the vice guild master was holding the fort.

「Umm…. isn’t this too flashy?」

I said while looking at the clothes I wore.
My usual attire was dark clothing similar to a tank soldier’s attire, but today it has some accessories and shoulder strap on it.

「It’s a pilot’s formal attire. Don’t worry, it looks good on you」

Just for a moment, I thought “is it?” at guild master words and looked at my figure on the corridor’s window reflection.

(Uwaa….)

I unintentionally looked away.
Then I realized. That you would only look disgraceful when you wore a soldier attire without straightening your back.

「Right, it looks a lot better after you fix your posture like that」

The guild master smiled at me who’s trying to puff out my chest. What does the word “it looks good” he said earlier mean, I wonder.
The pilot emblem on the left side of my chest stood out more when I puffed out my chest.
This emblem proves that I’m a pilot, but in my case, it is also an accessory showing my role as a Knight commander. Ignoring the constant one, I am certainly the knight commander of the merchant guild’s knight order.
What I wanted to say is that this accessory was more extraordinary than a normal pilot’s emblem.

「Come on, let’s go」

Prompted by the guild leader, I started walking.
When we turned at the corner of the corridor, I was met by a student that has a smirk on his face.

(It’s the grinning lad!)

He’s a classmate I haven’t seen after a long time.
I remembered he always called me out with 「Yo, coward」. Though I beat the crap out of him at the previous practical exam.
He looked surprised at first.
He then moved his gaze to my formal pilot’s attire and to the knight commander emblem on my left chest.
His trademark grin is gone in an instant and instead replaced by a distorted expression that shows hatred and jealousy.

(What is this feeling? It feels good!)

The moment I saw making that face, it sent chills down my spine.
A former classmate dressed in a formal pilot’s attire appeared in front of him. While he himself was still a student.
The feeling of inferiority must be hitting him hard right now. Even if he usually lied that he was not interested in anything other than being the pilot of knight order.
Because reality is very greasy, it penetrates one’s thoughts and beliefs and makes them embrace their primitive emotions.

(I didn’t know that getting back at someone that has always been looking down on you would be this intoxicating)

There, I realized something and looked back at the guild master. After seeing that warm smile, it hit me.

(So this is why he went all the way to dress me up like this!)

Then as though he read my mind, the guild master nodded lightly.
I can only feel an impression towards the guild master’s broad life experience.
To respond to that, I put my gaze at the top of the smirking lad’s head and moved it to his feet in a glance.
Then, I grinned.
His face flushed red. No, rather than red, it was more darkish.
His face temperature raised to the point I can feel the heat that an electric stove emits.

「There’s not much time left, so let’s go to the VIP seat right away」

I purposely ignored grinning lad and emphasized the words “VIP Seat”.
Of course, we’re not actually pressed for time.
At the edge of my sight, I caught him trembling and my pleasure voltage rose further.
After that, I straightened out my back, puffed out my chest, and each time I saw the student who hated me, I would repeatedly appealing the words “Knight commander and VIP seat”.
I didn’t do that to the instructors though. Because all of them are either an active member of knight order or OB’s. They would laugh at me instead if I do that.
It’s only effective on the students who still can’t become a pilot and become mold in this school.
But that was enough.

「It’s good to see that you are happy」

The guild leader burst into a laugh when we arrived at the VIP seat. It looks like he’s been holding his laughter since then.

「Well, yes. This is a rare opportunity after all」

I also answered with a refreshing smile and added.

「Thank you very much. With this, my bad memories of when I was in this school finally erased」

I intended to forget about it and move on, but it seemed to have accumulated somewhere in my heart.
Sometimes, when I remember what happened at the pilot’s school, I would feel my bowels are boiling from anger.

(It feels refreshing like all of the dirt washed down the drain)

Feeling better. I dedicated my heartfelt thanks to the guild master.

***

Large auditorium in the pilot school.
A large space created by a complex combination of many masonry arches. In this place, the practical exam is being held.
On the floor, magic circles with a diameter of about 10 meters were drawn in four places, and on the outer side, simulated cockpits were installed facing each other.

(Maybe the personnel have changed)

The principal gave a greeting on the podium at the back. And the instructors lined up on both sides. There seemed to be many changes.
I buried my butt onto the VIP seat as I looked down at them while thinking.

(The senior instructors aren’t there)

An instructor I owed for inviting me to enter the pilot school. In order to reward him for that, I gave the credits for defeating the elves to him.
I heard he has returned to his hometown because of family circumstances.
I wonder if he is doing well?

(That instructor isn’t here too)

The instructor who used suggestive words “talent and character are different” at me died an honored death in the battle a few days ago.
The Knight of that instructor was crushed when it fell down on the ground. He’s a true pilot who never shows his back to the enemy. It was a splendid way to die that won’t tarnish his name.

「So that’s the new knight commander」

As I turned my head, the guild master next to me pointed at the person who was also sitting at the VIP seat.
He’s a muscular gentleman around fifty years old with a kaizer* mustache.
(*TL Note: One piece reference apparently)

「Did the knight commander come to see by himself?」

At my time here, the members of knight order were present but knight commander and the vice-commander were not.

「Originally, this special practical test itself was the idea of the knight commander. He said that he wanted to see it himself whether they’re worth recruiting or not」

At those words, I thought of a possibility.
I was thinking about the reason as to why they held this special exam despite the troubles it has.

(…..He didn’t trust them)

To the evaluation given by the school, that is.
Because the upper class pilots were also serving as an instructor in their free time, and the only one who they recognized was those who were true pilots.
Of course, someone like me wasn’t even considered.
If my assumption is correct then the knight commander this time wasn’t a true pilot.
The significant change in the pilot school instructors must have reflected the intention of the new Knight Commander.

「He looks quite a capable person, isn’t he?」

At my words, the guild master broke into a smile.

「He was a lower class pilot after all. It’s a big leap of promotion」

「He’s a former lower class pilot!?」

I spontaneously said it in a loud voice and closed my mouth panically.
That was an unbelievable thing for me after I saw how strict the ranking system in the knight order is on the battle against heavy lancers.
There are indeed many upper and intermediate classes that died in that battle, but not all of them. There are still some of them in the knight order.
Despite that, is it possible to instantly skip all of them and take over as the top?

「I told you that the prime minister has increased his influence didn’t I?」

I did hear that, but to think that it would change to such extent, it was completely beyond my imagination.

「He’s a person who’s been left idle for a long time because his rebellion act towards the upper ranks of the knight order」

Because of that, he didn’t participate in the battle against heavy lancers. So that’s why I’ve never seen his face before.

「I’m glad that it looks like it will turn for the better」

The defeat of the knight order was a big blow for the Kingdom. However, if the reform succeeds with this opportunity, it might be worth it.
The guild leader nodded greatly to my thoughts.

「Still, to think that Tauro-kun doesn’t know him… It’s unexpected」

「Eh?」

I involuntarily leaked such voice.

「I see… So you didn’t know」

The guild master looked at my face seriously and repeated the same word with the same meaning.
It looks like it was about the new king commander.
Even if he said that, I definitely didn’t know him since I’ve never met him before.
The guild master then said to me who looks confused.

「No, sometimes there are things you better not know of. Let’s end this talk here」

I’m not satisfied with that answer but because the guild master is my superior, it’s not like I can’t nag him either.
I put it behind my mind and looked at the lining up participants.

「There are quite a lot older participants aren’t there?」

I spoke to the guild master.
When I said that, the guild master suddenly stood up from his seat after looking at the lining up participants in surprise.

「Hou… so that person participates too huh」

I followed his gaze.
Over there were 16 players who have won the qualifying match yesterday.
The practical exams have been taking place since yesterday, but it’s opened to the public on the last day.

「That person?」

The guild master eyes are directed at the man in the center front row.
He looks a little older than me. He wore a suit that looks really tight.
The other participants are wearing uniforms so he’s standing out. Is he seriously thinking of riding the simulator cockpit in that clothing?

「He’s the person who became our pilot before you came, Tauro-kun」

I was surprised after hearing those words and leaned forward to take a better look at him.




3 Comments

  1. I think the new General Knight or Commander appointed by the King to lead the Pilot Knights had a massive overhaul in the line, or i can say, massive overhaul in dignity and pride, and how it will carry on in the battle field.

    If the previous commander was delusional, i expected this commander would be tactical. The battle of honor would be an existence of the past, and MC’s way of fighting will be welcomed by this new Commander.

    In the battle, if you are alive and kicking, then there’s a chance of re-arming yourself and chance again. If something happen like the onslaught by those monsters that wipe out the previous knights, a competent commander will surely brings on range capability knights….

  2. Thanks! Liking the changes so far, hopefully it will continue in the right direction. That would also help to compensate for the lack of higher level(rank) golem knights.

  3. Thanks for the sweet…

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