Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
A herd of giant double axe mantis occupying a small town. Fighting against those beasts was the Knight Order of the Kingdom.
From the mountains behind the town, there were Knights observing them.
There are four of them. All of them are painted in brown, and there is no emblem indicating their affiliation.
The chest hatches of all the Knights were open, and the pilots inside exchanged words with their own voices while looking through their Knight’s eyes.
「To think it was the Knight Order who came instead, it was a miscalculation on our part.」
Says one of them with a bitter look.
「With the pattern so far, the Merchant Guild should’ve showed up first.」
Another guy replied with a heavy voice.
Usually they only hunted big things in the past. That’s why the Knight Order won’t take action unless something big like a herd of heavy lancers appeared.
「However, if the Knight Order defeats them here, after the time and effort we spent, we won’t get any results.」
They will also surely find the female giant double axe mantis used to lure their kin here.
That’s going to be very unfortunate.
「Albeit C-class Knights, it’s still the Knights of the Kingdom. If we crush all four of them, it would make a good excuse for us.」
They nodded together.
「Alright, we’ll go all at once after the giant double axe mantis is defeated. While I don’t think it’s possible, don’t lose to the likes of them, you hear?」
His subordinates nod with a bitter smile.
As the Knight Order of the Kingdom continues to fight hard, there is a figure of a B-class Knight approaching this town from the north side.
The crest on its chest shows that it belongs to the leading nation of the northern countries.
(Our people. I came to their rescue, but it looks like they have evacuated.)
Looking into the town with no presence of humans from a distance, the pilot strokes his chest.
This town is close to the Black Locust country.
Albeit only a few, there are some of their people staying in that town.
The king who worried about their safety after being informed of the invasion of the giant double axe mantis, immediately called Lightning over and dispatched him.
(Looks like I wouldn’t need this too then.)
A letter of explanation written by the king himself which he put inside a small bag.
It is written that the Knight wants to cross the border to rescue his people.
(But still… what strange Knights they are. They look like a B-class but also seem like C-class Knights.)
It looks like a general B-class Knight, but when he saw them fighting, he felt that they didn’t have the performance that matched their appearance.
(There sure are various things in this world.)
Lightning has little experience as a pilot and has little knowledge of Knights.
He can’t think of anything else to say regarding the matter than that.
(Those are their prey. I think I shouldn’t do unnecessary meddling.)
They don’t look like they’re in any trouble.
Let’s just help if they ask for help. With that in mind, he watched over their battle.
A mountain slope to the south of the town.
There was a beige colored Knight kneeling and looking into the distance.
(That Knight… Lightning, huh? It’s been a long time.)
It’s the Knight which the Mature Viscountess was riding. There’s no doubt about it.
A figure of Ponytail and the others skillfully defeating demon beasts. When I was looking at them with admiration, I recognized a familiar Knight in the distance.
(I think everything will be alright since Lightning is here.)
That man is a terrifying sword user.
The speed and accuracy of his sword attack is just extraordinary.
He keeps accurately piercing stone golem’s weak points while moving around with his rapier. Moreover, using a C-class Knight.
(If Lightning rides on a B-class Knight, an A-class Knight won’t be a problem for him.)
Probably, his close quarters combat ability isn’t that far from A-class ones.
I lowered the cane rifle I was holding, turned my head and made a rattling noise.
A Knight from Black Locust country that arrived on the north side of the town and stood with his arms crossed.
His eyes were staring at the Knights of the Kingdom who had finished the battle.
In the cockpit, Lightning expressed his impression.
With Knights whose performance isn’t that high at all, they finished defeating the demon beast while coordinating with ingenuity.
The skeleton of giant double axe mantis fell down. Some of them move their legs as if to struggle, but they soon stop moving.
(Let’s say hello to them.)
He won’t get in the way if it’s now.
It is also necessary to justify that he has crossed the border without permission.
Just as his Knight stepped forward, the other side seemed to notice him too.
They also begin to sheath their swords as they approach the Knights of allied nations with their swords in their scabbards.
Lightning’s sense of smell caught onto something.
It’s not an odor-like smell. But a presence, and it’s from a swordsman.
(Did they wait until the demon beasts were defeated?)
Looking closely, he could see that the Knights of the Kingdom are quite exhausted.
(Bandit Knights? Are they going to defeat them and take all the results of their hard work?)
The number of bandits with Knights has been increasing near the border as of late. That’s what’s inside Lightning’s head.
(In any case, I should also deal with them here.)
He signaled them with his hand, to get behind him and advance.
He then switched on the external sound system as he headed for the mountains near the town.
『I don’t know who you are, but you better show yourself now! You might be able to hide from my sight, but you can’t hide your presence from me.』
With Lightning’s words, the Knights of the Kingdom also looked around.
(Fumu, no answer huh? I don’t have any choice but to resort to force then.)
He directs the Knights who’ve been exhausted from fighting the demon beasts to get behind him with his hand.
Then he unsheathed his sword and scanned the surroundings warily.
(Here they come.)
At the next moment, brown colored Knights jump out of the forest from the left, right, and front of them.
They have already pulled out their swords and started rushing forward. All three units were heading for Lightning.
Considering the spec difference with C-class Knights, the biggest threat for them is the B-class Knight of Black Locust country. They probably concentrated their force on him in order to eliminate that threat.
(B-Class, you say!? Moreover, three of them!)
Lightning’s face becomes pale because of the unexpected situation.
He expected that there would only be several C-class units.
You would never be able to find something like three units of B-class Knights, even if you look through the entire northern countries. It would be a terrible thing to say that his assumption was too naïve.
(This is bad!)
The fear of death because of the difference in strength gets a hold of his heart.
In Lightning’s head, if we talk about B-class Knight, it should be that person he looked up to as a teacher and the former rider of this Knight he’s currently riding.
He recalls the figure of them fighting against each other. Winning… is something he doesn’t think as possible.
(However, if I don’t fight here… these guys behind me will get killed.)
The Knights behind, who clearly only have C-class performance no matter how you look at it.
They are the ones who rushed to help the people of this town and defeated the demon beasts. I can’t just abandon them and run away, Lightning thought.
Lightning nods quietly in the cockpit.
Fear and hesitation quickly disappeared from his heart.
「Here I come!」
Lightning shouts and at the same time advances forward with godly speed.
A figure who fearlessly leaps forward to attack the enemy. That is the true value of the Lightning school.
The brown Knight in front of him cannot hide his confusion from the unexpected advance.
There was a moment before he was about to swing down his sword.
Lightning thrusts the tip of his sword into the joint of his opponent’s arm and cuts off his elbow along with the sword in it.
(If it’s only this level…)
His first opponent wasn’t a skilled pilot.
His heart relaxed when the worst scenario, which his attack was avoided, didn’t happen.
A Knight that loses one arm and gets his posture crumbled. He passed by its side and took a 90 degree turn.
While making the ground shake with an explosive step, he approaches the side of another Knight like an arrow.
The enemy, noticing the approaching Lightning, hurriedly repositioned his shield.
(There’s an opening below.)
He lowered his body to the ground and snaked under the bottom edge of the shield.
Then he thrusts up his sword sharply from directly below it. The spring-like force accumulated in his leg is released, almost making him jump up.
Its power penetrates the supposedly tough chest armor and reaches the cockpit.
A thin thread of blood was drawn from the tip of the sword that he instantly pulled out.
(Can I do this?)
The second Knight was unable to keep up with his speed too.
If the last one is about the same skill as the other two, I should be able to beat them.
Thinking so, he turned to the other Knight.
But the Knight was already trying to run away.
It seems that he realized Lightning’s strength after he defeated two Knights in rapid succession.
(That direction is..!!)
It seems that he intends to break through the city and escape to the north.
And in the direction he’s heading stand the Knights of the Kingdom. If he attacked them, they wouldn’t be left unharmed.
(Just a moment… if something holds him off for a moment…)
With that, Lightning would be able to catch up to him.
When he bent his legs and began to build up the force needed to plunge forward, something shone at the edge of his field of vision.
The next moment, the brown Knight who had begun rushing towards the Kingdom Knights right leg was suddenly blown off from the root.
The Knight who lost one of its legs flies in the air from inertia and crashes into the ground in front of the Kingdom Knights. It rolled violently.
It tried to get up, but before it could, the Kingdom Knights already surrounded it and started beating it with their swords.
(That was…… )
A small laugh unconsciously leaked from his mouth.
He felt relieved for a moment, but the presence of the enemy from behind him did not allow that.
When he turns around, the figure of a brown Knight with one hand is there. Lightning held the sword in his left hand and swung it down.
Three stroke thrusts that can only be seen as a flash by normal people.
The Knight that can’t stand the blows from the sword that concentrated on its waist made it split in two.
Its upper body including the cockpit falls to the hard ground. After bouncing a little once, it made a half turn and stopped.
(So you were watching over us, huh?)
After kicking away the sword that fell off, he glanced at the mountains to the south. And muttered so in his heart.
Lightning was sure about it.
The white light he saw coming from the mountains earlier.
Immediately after that light shone, one leg of the enemy Knight was blown away.
It was in the defense battle near the Black Locust country. That light was similar to what he saw there.
(I also became stronger than that time)
And because he did, he only used his special move after he pushed the exhaustion of his magical power.
It was Lightning’s own way of greeting the person he respects.
(But this time the range is even farther. Not only that, the power also increased.)
The Kingdom Knights that were beating up the Knight who lost one of its legs. While keeping them in the corner of his field of view, he looked at the mountains to the south. And then he sighed deeply.
(I can’t catch up to him really.)
That back looks even farther away from him.
It was too far away, he felt dizzy just from thinking about it.
At that time, he saw a reflection of sunlight in the corner of his field of vision and turned to the side.
(There’s still one of them!?)
On the other side across the valley. There was a figure of a Brown Knight climbing the slope.
Obviously, he’s trying his best to escape.
And unfortunately Lightning has no way to attack him at this distance.
(Well, I think it’ll be okay since that person is here. There’s no way he will let that guy escape)
Just as he said that, the brown Knight suddenly leans back and rolls down the slope.
Of course, just before that, a white light was running from the forest to the south.
After a considerable amount of time, a quite loud shooting sound echoes and reaches his ears.
It was so vivid he became speechless, he can only watch the Knight’s figure disappearing from the slope.
『Umm… Thank you very much for helping us.』
The one that breaks the silence is a slightly cracking external sound system.
When he looked back, a Knight of the Kingdom stepped forward.
Behind him is the brown Knight who barely holds its appearance. Looks like they had finished him off.
『It’s good that everyone is okay.』
Lightning then explained why he came here.
That is the rescue of people from Black Locust country who were staying in this town. The Kingdom Knights seems to be convinced of his story. Then he nodded.
However, after that, he seems to have something to say.
When Lightning urged him silently, he spoke with an apologetic voice.
『That… Originally, we would like to thank you and all, but… we need to collect the evidence and so on…』
Apparently, he’s troubled because he’s stuck between customs and work.
Looking at him, a smile appeared on Lightning’s face.
It’s because he remembered the time when he was helped by the Old Lady.
(Ah, I bet Tauro-san also felt this way that time.)
He didn’t need thanks even though he defeated the stone golem.
And now Lightning stood in the same position as him at that time.
The words, No need to thank me that came out of his mouth. It wasn’t like he acted reserved or anything, but it was his true feeling.
(Let’s follow that example here.)
『It’s okay, don’t worry about it.』
He then holds his right hand over the side of his face and salutes.
He turned around and started moving toward Black Locust country.
Behind him, the Kingdom Knights with a slightly stunned expression remained still.
『What a smart ass bastard.』
The old man said, after confirming that the distance between them is far enough.
The girls then immediately snapped at him.
『What the hell are you saying after getting helped, huh!?』
『He was so cool back there! Why’d you say something like that!?』
The old man took a step back because of their sudden anger.
While the other man felt relieved he didn’t say something unnecessary.
『Really, what is wrong with you…』
Ponytail who keeps yelling at him for a moment looks back on her best friend.
Her Knight, who stopped snapping midway, absentmindedly stared north.
Such a voice was carried by the wind.
(Well, it’s not like I don’t understand her feeling.)
Ponytail shrugged after thinking so.
We were in such a situation. It can’t be helped that her best friend is interested in him.
She switched her feelings and said to the old man.
『But still… B-class sure is amazing as you said, huh?』
『Eh? Y-Yeah… sure is』
The ones he defeated were also B-classes though, is what he decided not to say out loud.
(That guy is just out of standard. I’ve never seen something like that before)
He joined the Knight Order and made a fuss about not getting a B-class Knight but his confidence began to crumble after seeing that.
There, Ponytail asked him to act like how a person with responsibilities should act.
『Come on, you’re the squad leader, aren’t you? I want to start the clean up so give the instructions already!』
The old man who was hit in the ass shakes his head to chase away his anxiety.
Confirming the death of giant double ax mantis, investigation of the cause they gathered here, and the handling of these unknown Knights.
There was a lot to do.
The four separated and resumed work.