Translator: “Ashita” Editor: “Weasalopes”
The beige-colored Knight that saved him and Barrel Doll skidded closer and closer.
(So movement is possible even without using legs?!)
Those movements are different from any of the Knights he has seen in his vicinity recently.
As that beige Knight got nearer, it decreased its speed and stopped.
It is an armored Knight.
Although it looked strong, it is definitely not vicious, he felt that there is some form of feminine elegance somewhere within it.
The dignified air that enveloped that Knight is like a refreshing breeze that calms the hearts of all who lay their eyes on it.
Lightning, with his heart pierced, stared in awe.
The Knight’s external speakers resonated.
Lightning became red after realizing that he had forgotten his manners.
Originally, he was in a position where he should be expressing his gratitude right away. By remaining silent, he had caused the other party to become worried and call out to him first.
The external speakers connected after pushing a specific Knife Switch at Barrel Doll’s pilot seat upwards.
He proceeded to apologize for his rudeness and to express his sincere gratitude.
(……The sound quality is bad)
He did not pay it any heed when he gave out instructions to the soldiers but he was forced to realize it after hearing the clear sound let out by the elegant beige-colored Knight
He wished he could have said his words of gratitude without much screeches in his speaker.
After hearing Lightning’s words, the elegant Knight nodded once and turned back. It clearly wanted to leave the scene.
Shocked and panicked, Lightning used the external speaker and Barrel Doll’s gestures to quickly stop it.
His values did not allow him to simply repay the favor owed his savior with a single word of thanks.
(The most I am able to offer is Lesser Tigers. I could also help to carry this Stone Golem)
He thought as such. But the elegant Knight said something Lightning did not even think about.
『That Stone Golem is your game』
It said as such.
It is true that he fought the Stone Golem. But he did not defeat it. On the contrary, he was on the verge of defeat.
(There is no way that is my game)
Something he had not even thought about.
He asserted this point but the other party only shook its head.
『Do not mind me, take it with you』
It said that to put an end to this conversation.
(It is saying it wants to hand over such a highly valued thing?!)
He could not believe this right away.
Stone Golems are a precious mass of mineral resources. Selling it would most probably yield an unimaginably high price.
To hand this over without any strings attached is beyond generosity.
He was flustered as he hesitated.
The elegant Knight then went beyond his wildest imaginations.
『I already have my fair share. There is no need to mind me』
Using its right hand to salute, it then left from whence it came from just like the whimsical wind.
Lightning who went from shock to being mind-blank finally came to when the cloud of dust raised by the elegant Knight fell.
(He has enough he says?)
To have secured such a fearful large magical beast? And from the wording, it does not sound like he secured only one.
Such an enemy is an existence that would bring ruin to Pseudo-Acacia’s town if it were to attack.
To secure multiples of such an enemy and alone at that.
(……No, if its that elegant Knight then it might be possible)
He thought it over once again.
He did not know the details but it was able to defeat the golem with a single long-range attack. If it has such a power then he is not able to ascertain that it is impossible.
(What an elegant Knight, the same goes for its pilot)
He was deeply impressed by that combat prowess, dignity and gentlemanliness.
And he yearned to someday do the same for others as well.
(Let’s return to town)
After being immersed in these moving feelings, he changed his pace.*
He then looked at the remains of the Stone Golem and the soldiers who were staring at him.
(Since it is his generosity. I will gratefully take it with me)
He then used Barrel Doll to carry the remains of the Stone Golem and its fragments to the wagon pulled by the horse golem.
The soldiers earnestly went about their task of securing the golem and collecting and placing its fragments into a bag.
That is because a single fragment of such a precious resource cannot be left behind.
After confirming that they have finished their task, they headed out.
The return journey took time but they were able to get out of the forest and arrive at the town two days later.
(That is quite the welcome)
His mouth formed a bitter smile.
As a soldier was dispatched as a messenger, the fact that the Stone Golem remains were approaching town has been relayed.
Due to this, a large number of people have gathered at the entrance of the town.
「Wonderful! Just wonderful Lightning!」
Confronted by the mountain of drop items not seen since as long as the founding of the nation, the King himself jumped out in front of Barre Doll and excitedly sang praises about Lightning.
The residents of the town were also in an uproar.
Preparing a feast, playing instruments they brought out from deep within their sheds and some people even began dancing on the streets. This scenery could only resemble one from a festival.
When the merchants who were staying over saw the wagon piled up with Stone Golem fragments, their eyes sparkled.
They charged into the King’s residence and surrounded the minister. They then asked in unison to hand over the Stone Golem remains and started piling stacks of silver and copper coins on the table.
(I knew that there was a steep price hike for this mineral resource but I did not think it would be like this)
After seeing the stacks of coins, the minister’s small eyes popped wide open.
『I was not the one who defeated it』
He made sure to explain this through the external speaker but the bustling people drowned it out.
On the contrary, the praises of the people became even louder.
In the pilot seat inside the Knight, Lightning became troubled and he hugged his head
The time finally came when he heard such a voice.
That is the chorus of the name-calling he had not heard since the temple of the God of Commerce.
A single flash ran by the back of Lightning’s mind.
His memories then became muddled.
『Are you alright?』
The sound from the external speaker from the Knight earlier.
It resonated clearly unlike Barrel Doll’s external speaker.
『With this, I am alright』
The voice of the person that appears in his dreams, that person wears a golden mask and was the one who healed him.
(……They look alike)
He may be mistaken. But his intuition is telling him that they are the same person.
(Oh golden mask. How could you treat me so well)
That person healed his injured body at the Holy City.
That person now saved his life and is trying to bring enormous wealth to this nation.
(Did I do something that warranted it?)
Or is there some value in this body of mine?
He did not know. He did not have an inkling at all. He also did not think that his body had that value.
In that case, there is only one thinkable reason.
(This is the True Pilot that I have heard about in the story)
He did not receive any formal education with regards to being a Knight pilot.
However, he had heard many stories from the elderly pilot that had became a pillar for Pseudo-Acacia.
From among them, the one regarding 『True Pilot』 moved his heart.
(Not being arrogant even while saving the people. A devoted gentleman who supports the happiness of the people from the shadows)
That is the image of a True Pilot in Lightning’s eyes.
He let out a sigh of admiration after recalling that he had met such a noble person.
(Even though this is selfish of me, I will make you my aim, Golden Mask)
I will also want to become a True Pilot one day. No, I do not think I will be able to become one but I will make progress towards it. Or I would like to continue holding on to that feeling.
Realizing that he has had another aim in his life, Lightning felt his energy maxing out.
In the evening at the outer forest of Pseudo-Acacia, a single Knight is hovering at top speed and heading south.
That is the figure of the Knight belonging to Kingdom’s Merchant Guild, Old Lady.
Old Lady is heading back towards the Royal Capital.
(Whoa, to think that Lightning is a Knight pilot)
I nodded alone in my pilot seat.
This is the first time I learned about it and nothing felt off about that. Oddly enough, the figure of him piloting a Knight and fending off a magical beast really hits home.
(Whatever the case, I am glad he is unharmed)
While thanking my fortune that allowed me to save Lightning, I thought back to the situation at that time.
That time after Old Lady and I spent two days taking down four Stone Golems, the recovery squad that arrived let out cries of joy at the sheer volume.
While watching over them loading the golems, I paid attention to the surroundings. That was when I saw the figure of a Stone Golem from afar.
The reddish-brown giant was not heading over here, it was wandering aimlessly in the forest.
Then, as if it had discovered something, it suddenly accelerated and started heading for it in a straight line.
(Is there something?)
I watched it curiously and found that it had charged straight into battle with another somewhat familiar Knight.
(What a nostalgic Knight)
Looking at that figure that stirred up the nostalgia in me, I subconsciously let out a sigh of admiration.
That Knight had a cylindrical torso, a smaller cylinder-like head, and thin arms and legs.
Just its face having two big round eyes gave its appearance plenty of resemblance to that of a robot.
(It is flavorful)
Although I do not think it is cool, I do not dislike it. Although the direction of its design is different from that of Old Lady’s, it has quite an interesting appearance.
(Do your best)
I spectated the match just like one I would watch from a TV but I realized through the pilot’s movements who the pilot was.
(So it is Lightning!)
That fencing pose and thrust, it is exactly the same as the fighting style I saw from the Contest before God for the God of Commerce.
The only difference was the position of the sword.
(I see. So Lightning is a Knight pilot)
I nodded twice. I continued spectating that fighting style from afar.
I am actually a fan of Lightning. I cannot help but want to support him for his hardworker aura and three-point thrust. That was also why I went out of my way to go to the inn to heal his back pain.
(There it is! Lightning Sword!)
The three consecutive strikes blew away one of the Stone Golem’s arm from the top of its shoulder.
I subconsciously applauded after seeing him use his killer move.
As expected, his signature move has to be used in order for it to be convincing.
(But as always, what a terrifying cutting technique)
To slice that smoothly through the Stone Golem; he is just like a gem dealer or gem artisan.
Gathering all the knowledge I have, that seems to be a C-rank Knight.
In a contest of strength, Stone Golems are said to be equivalent to B-rank or higher. A C-rank should struggle against it.
This is probably Lightning’s first fight with his technique, facing someone stronger than him.
(Well, the fight will be over with the next blow)
As I was watching, the back of Lightning’s Knight deeply lowered.
(Alright, here comes another)
This will very likely be the finisher.
I chanted in unison with its activation.
I subconsciously let out a weird sound halfway through.
Who would have thought that Lightning’s sword would bend and be blown away in the middle of the activation.
Their positions were reversed in the blink of an eye, I realized that Lightning was heading straight for a dangerous defeat.
「This is bad」
Immediately after that, I subconsciously readied my rifle, adjusting my aim, I allowed my mana to flow into my rifle.
The white light released by the rifle became a Magic Missile, it hit the Stone Golem without missing its aim and broke its body apart.
(That was close)
At the same time, I felt satisfied with my technical skills for being able to accurately take down only the Stone Golem.
(That would have been bad if left as is)
Just then, I had a sudden thought.
Although I had seen as such, I did not know how it actually went down.
After all, I had unexpectedly taken down the prey from the side, some of the fragments may have crashed into him.
(It is not good to feign ignorance. Let’s head down there and greet him)
Deciding as such, I made Old Lady stand up and departed after revving up the hover.
After descending the hill, the rest in the direction of the forest is level ground. There are trees growing but they are scattered so it will not impact my movements.
I soon arrived in front of Lightning’s Knight.
The atmosphere at the scene is not bad.
Although it is not bad, Lightning’s Knight is not saying anything. It seems like he is surprised by the sudden appearance of an unknown Knight.
(Well that is to be expected)
I came here without thinking but after putting in a good thought, that is a given.
It is weird to suddenly introduce myself so I will just ask if he is alright.
(Maybe my manner of speaking is too arrogant?)
Perhaps I have become too prideful as I am mounting a B-rank Knight.
To give an example, it is the same feeling as driving a sports car or a classy car on the expressway. One cannot help but take on a prideful attitude towards those family cars that one drives by on the traffic lanes.
(I think it will be better if I say 『Are you alright?』)
I thought of such things as I reflected. As I did that, Lightning started to express his gratitude
(As expected, it was quite the dangerous situation)
I felt relieved after learning that my actions were not unnecessary.
It seems like there were no further problems so I wanted to leave but Lightning said to take the Stone Golem with me.
He even offered to help carry it if needed.
(Umm, even if he says he will help, how far is he going to help to carry it?)
The recovery squad’s load is already maxed out. Nothing can be done even if we were to carry it to where they were – at the foot of the hill.
『This Stone Golem is your game』
But it seems like Lightning was not convinced. He obstinately tried to decline politely.
(This is troubling)
I do not like to be arrogant but I will emphasize it.
『Do not mind me. Take it with you』
Now he went silent.
He then started talking in a reserved way.
It cannot be helped, I shall tell him honestly.
『I already have enough. There is no need to mind me』
I left quickly in order to prevent him from saying anything else.
After that, following the path back to the Royal Capital, I am now heading South.
My consciousness also returned from reminiscence to reality.
(But to think that the hero of the Contest before God is a Knight pilot)
After learning that fact, I felt joy like one I would feel when I have made more acquaintances. As I whistled, I carried on dashing on the darkening main road leading to the Royal Capital.