Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
At the Royal castle.
The place where the Royal meeting was held in a hurry was surrounded in heavy air.
The king, high-nobles, high-officials, and guild masters of each guild, can only groan and sighed at the reports that were being read one after another.
It was a report about the heavy lancer extermination operation.
To sum it up in one word, it was disastrous.
Six out of eight advanced-class pilots and sixteen of intermediate-class pilots, including the vice-commander, were killed in action.
The remaining two advanced-class pilots and ten intermediate-class pilots were also seriously injured. The damage to the Knights was terrible.
It was expected that there would be a lot of total loss, that is the unrepairable Knights at the repairing dock.
Even the barely scraped Knights would require a lot of time, magic power and resources to repair.
「This is not something that should be let known to the public at all, isn’t it?」
Said the marquis after he finished listening to the reporter.
He is a middle-aged man with considerable height and drooping eyes.
There was no one opposed to what he just said.
The Knights of knight order have a total of 75 knights, 15 A-class ones and 60 B-class ones. About 24 units or about one-third of the whole units have lost their ability to fight in this incident. However, eight of them were an A-class Knights and considering its great fighting ability, the loss couldn’t be compared as a one-third anymore.
So of course, this isn’t the kind of information that should be known to the public or foreign country.
(Now then, onto the main topic)
The Prime Minister glanced at the knight commander for a moment.
The truth is, there was a request from the knight commander before this meeting started. It was about the disposal.
To be more specific, it was the following three.
Firstly, the vice-commander should be the one who holds the most responsibility, but he lost his life on the battlefield.
Secondly, the captain of the low-class pilots, who didn’t provide adequate support, is to be held in custody and sent to the court.
Lastly, the knight commander himself will give up the position of a commander and become a high-class pilot instead.
(His intention to push the responsibility to the low-class pilots and his plan to eventually take back his position as the commander is as clear as day it makes me want to vomit)
The prime minister frowned as he recalled it. He called it a request, but it was actually a threat as if saying,「Keep the responsibility of the knight order had to bear with this much」.
The knight order has a great influence. No matter whether you are a prime minister with a thick noble blood or whatever, you have to be considerate of them or the politics in the country will stop..
(Well, until now, that is)
The prime minister’s drooping eyes are now shining.
The source of the knight order’s strong influence was from its great strength and the peculiarity of their pilots.
Pilots who have high magical control skills couldn’t be easily replaced.
And because of that, the knight order had the largest authority over human resources.
(Nobles are born from their lineage and pilots are born from power, was it?)
Those are the words pilots would say among themselves. As expected they won’t say that in front of a noble or the King though.
But were those people who had such a way of thinking would be truly loyal to the King who was chosen by lineage? The prime minister always had a doubt regarding this matter.
(Using their title as the one who protects the Kingdom as a shield, they’ve been doing whatever they like all this time)
The Prime Minister bends the corner of his mouth in displeasure.
(But now, the only decent fighting potential they had left were the low-class pilots)
And the low-class pilots were dissatisfied with the cold treatment the upper echelon of knight order gave them.
(The necessary arrangement has already been made)
They were all already aware that the knight commander wants to push the responsibilities to low-class pilots.
And they agreed to cooperate on the condition that they won’t be held responsible and that they won’t be forced to do unreasonable work anymore.
The prime minister then glanced at the cabinet ministers who had the same opinion as him and said with a loud voice.
「I’m proposing to strip the knight commander of his knighthood as someone who should be held responsible for the loss in the battlefield」
The knight commander was making a confused face for a moment.
And after a few seconds, the meaning of that proposal finally penetrated into his brain.
He unintentionally leaked such a voice.
His expression is turned into an utter shock right now. His mouth was wide open.
To be deprived of his knighthood means that he would lose everything that comes with it.
Of course, that includes his Knight and his rights as a pilot.
A few seconds had passed but no one said a thing.
「I see no objection here… well then, let’s end this topic here–」
The knight commander interrupted the prime minister who was about to continue with the discussion as he kicked his chair and stood up.
Every high official except the prime minister frowned.
He was in the presence of His Majesty the King. This is an act that clearly shows disrespect. If you’re not the knight commander, that is.
「There was certainly no objection from anyone now, was it?」
The prime minister once again confirmed with the secretary beside him.
The secretary nodded and started moving his pen.
「Don’t joke with me!」
「This is a royal meeting, you know? Behave yourself」
Of course, even the prime minister would remonstrate him for what he just said, but the knight commander just disregarded it.
In fact, he shouted even louder.
「What are you thinking, in the middle of a national crisis like this!? Once you reduce the power of knight order for just one bit, the only one who will benefit from it will be the Empire!」
「I merely punishing the incompetent guy who brought said national crisis though?」
The prime minister’s voice when he said that was cold.
Hearing that, the knight commander was stunned.
Until now, no officials, including the prime minister dares to say something like that at him.
He’s used to being respected but he was weak against insults like this.
The knight commander’s face was flushed red and his fists were shaking.
「H-How dare you regarded me, who has been called the white lion of the Kingdom, as incompetent…..」
Listening to those words, the prime minister burst into laughter.
One day, there was someone who started calling him so when he did well in a certain mock battle.
Though, he didn’t now know if that was a pure compliment or not.
However, the knight commander who heard it took a liking to that nickname and frequently used it in various occasions.
「The white lion of the Kingdom」is a phrase that the knight commander loves so much.
「You bastard! Do you intend to turn the knight order into your enemy, huh!?」
The prime minister shrugged.
「I don’t understand how you arrived at such idea even though I’m just giving a verdict to the leader of knight order」
The knight commander couldn’t understand why the prime minister would go this far.
Even though without the knight order they wouldn’t be able to protect their country.
(Fine, I will no longer lift a finger no matter if your territory got attacked by a demon beast, a bandit, or anything)
The knight commander could barely hold the feeling that was about to explode inside of him.
The appearance of a big adult turning his face red while his body was trembling is a strange and humorous figure to see.
After taking a short glance at that figure, as if already bored with it, the prime minister opened his mouth.
He intended to take away the most important thing for the knight commander right now.
「From this moment, the knight commander will be relieved from his knighthood. Now, please return it」
The prime minister said as he stretched out his right hand.
The knight commander’s seat was away from him, but that gesture was implying he wanted it returned immediately.
The knight commander couldn’t understand what the prime minister was saying.
Looking at him like that, the prime minister repeated it once more.
「I was talking about the activation key for the commander’s Knight. Without it, we can’t pass it to the next commander in charge, no?」
The knight commander was making a face as if he quickly understood what those words meant.
And when it finally came to him, he got more furious than before.
「That Knight is mine! There’s no way I would hand it to someone else!」
「Those Knights are the knight order’s. Meaning, it belongs to the Kingdom. It is not your personal property」
「And I’m saying that without me, there’s no meaning in the existence of that Knight! The Kingdom had nothing to do with it!」
The knight commander was barking while hitting the table repeatedly.
However, the prime minister still won’t budge.
「It was the blacksmith guild who built and remodeled it, and the one who paid the cost for that was the Kingdom」
「That Knight isn’t something you can get with just spending some money! That Knight was the fruit of my idea and hard work put into it!」
At those words, the prime minister makes an exasperated expression.
「Such a thing… You only wanted to design and tweak it to suit your liking isn’t it?」
A unit that can only be used by the knight commander.
That is the most precious thing for him. And that’s also why he’s desperately trying to cling to his position as a commander.
It was a Knight that has an artistic white porcelain body with delicate and magnificent gold decoration on it.
And it wasn’t just that. There are lots of elaborate gimmicks the knight commander put in it.
Every year, he would use some portion of the knight order’s budget to continue making changes to it.
It couldn’t be said as a hobby anymore but pure favoritism towards his Knight.
「You just leave it in the middle of the hangar as a decoration instead of actually going out to the battlefield with it. Also, I heard that it seems you’re making it your top priority to polish it every day, did you not? Listen here, Knights aren’t your toys!」
He would hate it if his exclusive Knight would get dirty or damaged, that’s why he didn’t bring it to the battlefield.
The knight commander then refuted the words of the prime minister.
「The commander’s Knight always has to attend several ceremonies in and outside the Kingdom. Are you saying that you’re fine with the populace and foreigners to make light of us because the commander of the knight order is riding a cheap and dirty Knight, huh!?」
「An A-class Knight is NOT a cheap Knight. You’re just using the money you got from the Kingdom to indulge yourself in your hobby while insisting that it was for the sake of the populace」
「You’re wrong! It was for the symbol of the Kingdom’s military might that I spend those–」
At that moment, a dry sound echoed in the room.
It wasn’t that loud of a noise, but it had the power to make everyone in the room quiet.
As expected even the knight commander who was getting agitated and about to lose himself to his emotion, stopped speaking.
Then everyone turned their heads towards the seat of honor.
The sound came from the person sitting there, hitting the floor with his cane.
And then everyone realized.
The sound coming from the cane interrupted the knight commander’s words. In other words, His majesty was on the prime minister’s side.
The prime minister bows deeply towards the seat of honor and turns back to the knight commander. Then he told him once again.
But the knight commander didn’t move a bit.
While keeping his mouth firmly closed.
Almost at the same time as the prime minister said that, the guards surrounded the knight commander from both sides.
Then they took away the activation key that he wore as a decoration pendant on his chest.
Knight commander who resisted with all his might, got silenced by the guards when they twisted his joint. They then dragged him outside the room.
(It went well somehow…)
The prime minister muttered his relief.
He already obtained the other high officials’ agreement in advance. And if His Majesty didn’t show any reaction at all, he would keep pushing his idea to convince him.
However if in the unlikely event that His majesty showed an objection, with that opinion alone, the tables could be turned on him. That was the thing that made him worry the most.
(Fortunately, he didn’t say anything of the sort)
I don’t even need to convince him, he even clearly gave his consent to my proposal. Thanks to that, everything went smoother than I had thought.
(We must reform our knight order to become a dependable organization that could answer our expectations and at the same time, regained our military strength)
This is for the sake of both the country and for himself.
He then stared at the back of the knight commander who was kicked out from the room.
(I will be the next one to be like that if I failed)
There’s no doubt that will happen, or so he believes.
At the merchant guild building at the Kingdom’s town square.
Inside the guild master office on the third floor.
There, I and the vice-guild master asked the guild master on how the Royal meeting goes.
「Iyaa…. That was a masterpiece, really. I never thought that I would see that kind of thing while I’m still alive」
The guild master was in a good mood.
Apparently, it was because the knight commander got fired and the prime minister strengthened his influence in the knight order.
Well, I don’t really understand because I know neither of them.
「With this, things will get better from now on」
The vice-guild master seemed to agree with him.
He was smiling while stroking his beard like Santa Claus.
「Does this means I don’t have to worry about getting backstabbed in a battle again?」
I spoke out my concern.
I don’t want the same thing like when I went to heavy lancers extermination to happen again.
The guild master placed his hand on his chin and thought for a moment.
「That will happen less frequent, probably」
The chances are not zero, but that’s good enough for me.
Then the guild master started talking about what I should do from now on.
「Tauro-kun’s job will be the same as always. But the whereabouts of the heavy lancers was still unknown, so it worried me」
Ever since that day, there has been no report of heavy lancer sightings. The guild master worried that I might accidentally encounter them when I went on a mission.
「I will run away at full speed if I ever encounter them」
A small four-legged creature that became a new resident in the forest garden. And that creature is the so-called heavy lancers.
That’s why I don’t think no one will ever see them again but, there’s no way I can explain it to everyone.
「I’m relieved if Tauro-kun has no unnecessary attached feelings towards them」
The guild master said, satisfied with my reply.
It seems it would be seen as a shame for a true pilot if he retreated without putting up any fight.
Santa explained to me.
「There was a time that a Knight attacked his enemy just to judge its strength. But as a result, not only he ended up half beaten, we also had to post an emergency request at the adventurer guild」
「Ah, certainly something like that did happened huh…」
Two old men were talking about their past excitedly.
While watching that scene, I remembered the “true knight” I saw at the pilot’s school and the knights.
Even if they will retreat in the end, it seems that they will only do so after landing a hit.
However, you will end up getting surrounded if you use that against a herd.
(That really sounds like someone like Ponytail would do)
A scene where Ponytail holding a sword in her hand and rushing into the herd of enemies floated in my mind.
And as she cut the heavy lancers, she got surrounded by them and toyed around with their horns, then she said something like, 「Kuh! Just kill me…」.
(Fumu, that works)
Ponytail looks great in her pilot school uniforms.
I remembered her healthy thigh that stretches from her tight skirt, and it made the area around crotch bulge a bit.
Shortly afterward, they ended their talk and the meeting ended.
When I left the merchant guild building, the day hadn’t gone dark yet. It’s too early in the evening, so it should be fine if I went to play.
(Shall we go to that place today?)
Of course, I was talking about「Uniform specialty store. Any uniform is available. Come, you are in uniform, conquer now!」
(I didn’t confirm the schedule with her yet but… I wonder if she’s available today)
I walked towards the store while thinking about Ponytail.