Translator: Saitama-sensei Editor:Ryunakama
124. Transfer Student and Christmas 
I, Ria, and Rose, left the Sunny Land, Dagrio, on a small plane, and arrived at the Orest branch Holy Knights Association after about 2 hours of flight.
「…Somehow, it feels like it’s been a long time.」
「Well, it was a major incident, after all.」
In truth, we were only in Dagrio for a very short time, but…
We had a very tense time there, so coming back to Orest felt nostalgic.
「Well, for the time being… Shall we go meet Clown-san?」
「Yes, we have to hear the details from him, after all.」
「Aa, that’s right.」
We needed to have a small discussion with Clown-san regarding this overseas trip.
He said Dagrio was a relatively calm place and not bad as a first trip destination.
(However, that was an outright lie…)
Dagrio was a conflict zone, which was effectively controlled by the Black Organization.
In addition to that, we were sent on the very day of the decisive battle against one of the Thirteen Knights of the Oracle, Rain Glad.
Clown-san, the branch chief of the Orest branch, must have surely known about that.
(He probably had his reasons, but…)
At any rate, it is necessary to hear the details directly from him.
When we got off the small plane, we went straight to the Orest branch, to the branch chief’s office.
We arrived in front of the branch chief’s office after announcing ourselves at the reception desk.
When I coughed once and knocked on the door,
「Please enter.」Clown-san’s short reply returned.
As I slowly opened the door, there was–
「Good job, everyone!」
Clown san, with a gentle smile, and…
「Ara, Allen. It’s been a while.」
Rize Dorahain, Boss of Fox Finance.
Our eyes widened in response to the unexpected person.
「Fufu, I hear you’ve been doing a great job. As expected of my favoured child!」Rize-san said, and laughed with a very gentle expression.
She seems to have already heard about the matter in Dagrio.
「T-Thank you… But why is Rize-san here?」
This is the Holy Knights Association.
A place that does not have much relation to her, who is one of『Five Wealthy Merchants』.
「Ah, Clown is an old friend. I drop by like this once in a while.」
「Ahaha. I am very indebted to Rize-san!」Clown-san said.
「I see… Is that so?」
The world sure is small.
There are connections in unexpected places.
And now that we’ve finished the simple greetings,
「By the way, Clown-san. I have something to talk about with you for a little bit.」
I decided to get down to business right away.
「Ah, aah… I suppose you do…」he scratched his cheek, with a forced smile.
As expected, he seems to have sent us after knowing about the current state of Dagrio.
「About that, I sincerely apologize.」
Clown-san took off his hat and bowed his head deeply.
The usual silly attitude was nowhere to be seen.
It was a sincere apology.
「P-Please raise your head, Clown-san!」
「He suddenly became serious…」
「…Did you have reasons for why you couldn’t say?」
We were a little taken aback by the difference from his usual personality.
「As Rose-san says, there were some difficult circumstances over here as well. It may sound like an excuse, but… Would you mind listening to me for a bit?」
「Yes, of course.」
Then, we listened to Clown-san’s explanation.
「Let’s start with the why. The purpose I sent Allen-san to Dagrio on the day of the decisive battle was to help Ben and the Senior Holy Knights.」
「To help Ben-san and the others…?」
「Yes. The Holy Knights Association headquarters underestimated the Thirteen Knights of the Oracle, Rain Glad. He is fearsomely strong. Ben and the Senior Holy Knights are no match for him. If we really wanted to bring down Rain, we would have to move the Seven Holy Swords.」
Seven Holy Swords… It is a generic term for『The Strongest Seven Swordsmen of Mankind』, who are the pride of the Holy Knights.
「At that time, Ben and I were in sync that『we can’t kill him』. After the date of the decisive battle was decided, I submitted written opinions to the top brass on many occasions -『Lack of fighting strength』and such. But the head of the top brass was really stubborn. And unfortunately, all of it was rejected.」Clown san said, shrugging his shoulders.
「As I kept opposing the top brass in that manner… I was demoted, just the other day. I was transferred from my duty at the headquarters to become branch chief here. And as I was at a loss after losing my position, authority, and power, Allen-san appeared.」
He took a sip from the glass on his desk and continued talking.
「Actually, I’ve known you for quite some time. After all, Rize-san spoke excitedly of you, saying 『I found something amazing』! So, it left a deep impression in my memory.」
When I glanced over at Rize-san, she waved her hand slightly, with a gentle smile on her face.
「So, to take advantage of this miraculous opportunity, I sent Allen-san to Dagrio without telling you about the situation. If it was you, who beat『Prodigy』at the Sword King Festival and even won over the heart of Rize-san, then you can surely bring down Rain Glad – I acted with that conviction.」
Listening to the explanation so far, Clown-san seems to have had various complications, too.
「As a result, thanks to Allen-san, Ben and the Senior Holy Knights were able to return alive without a single casualty. Combat and treatment of villagers in Lao village, solo defeat of Rain, interception of Red Drop – I have received many reports that you played the greatest active part. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.」
Clown-san, who concluded the story as such,
「I have no excuse for deceiving you three. I am sorry.」
He made an earnest apology one last time, with sincerity.
「…I understand the situation.」
He trusted us to help Ben-san and others.
If that’s the case, I have no choice but to accept.
When I turned a sidelong glance towards Ria and Rose, they nodded.
We seem to be of the same mind.
「Clown san. This time, let’s forgive and forget. However, please consult us in advance from now on. 」
「…Thank you very much.」he said, bowing deeply.
「And also… I am very sorry, but could I ask you for a favor?」
Clown-san nervously brought up a new topic.
「Yes… I would like to ask you not to speak a word of this overseas trip. That also includes the director, Leia-san, too.」
「Why… is that?」
「Um, how to say this…? If a matter like this goes public, the『system reception』will suffer greatly.」
「System reception? Aa, that’s what it is…」
The only system he can mean here is the『special trainee system』.
This system we used was newly established this year. Its purpose is to absorb excellent students.
However, if rumors such as『special trainees are flown to dangerous conflict zones』spread, the number of applicants will decrease significantly.
If that happens, the system itself may collapse, and the worst case, it could cause students to lose interest in becoming a Holy Knight.
Clown-san seems to fear that.
「It’s very hard to ask this, being the one who perpetrated it, but… please don’t speak a word regarding Dagrio to anyone.」Clown san said, bowing his head again.
…Since he’s going this far, there’s no helping it.
Also, I don’t think there will be any major problem in keeping Dagrio a secret
That case is an exception among exceptions.
This surely won’t happen again in the future.
「Haa… I understand.」
And when I agreed,
「As expected. Allen san is such a reasonable man! I am truly thankful!」
Clown-san returned to his usual silly tone.
…Yeah, this person is quite fishy, after all.
「Hey, Ria-san, and Rose-san! Since Allen-san accepted, can I please also request the same of you two!?」he asked, putting both hands together.
「Mou… Allen is too naive.」
「Yeah… I have to agree with you on that.」
Ria and Rose sighed in tandem and promised not to mention the case of Dagrio.
After we had finished our discussion with Clown-san, we left the branch chief’s office and headed to the dormitory of Thousand Blade Academy.