Translator: “Karaage” Editor: “Weasalopes”
West of Royal Capital, near the border.
The shrubbery shadow stretches as it is shined red by the setting sun.
The sound of birds returning to their nest, and the sound of insects vibrates the surrounding, inviting a feeling of nostalgia. Is what one would normally think, but.
Now, in this land, only striking sound can be heard repeatedly.
The large sound of metal colliding makes the birds escape and insects silent.
The large mass kicks the earth shaking the ground, driving the animals away from the forest.
At the heart of the sound and vibration was two humanoids figure.
Although they possess a humanoid figure, they were not humankind. There’s a difference in size.
Seeing from the surrounding trees, its height is 10 times of a human, around 17 to 18m.
With a huge human-shaped body clad in full-body armor and holding huge swords which commensurate their height, the fight has continued for over one hour.
Cornier click his tongue in the pilot’s seat.
Thinking that it was going to be easy since he was a knight belonging to the National Chivalric Order, and his opponent was just a normal knight belonging to the criminal organization. But the opponent was more formidable than expected.
A knight is a humanoid Golem.
Having a total height around 18m, it’s figure is similar to a heavily armored infantry.
Then, a pilot would sit in the cockpit, which is located in the inner part of the chest, controlling it and going into battle.
They are controlled by using the pilot’s magic power as the energy source, and move according to the pilot’s skills, and it is the strongest military asset of the human race.
No matter how skilled in magic one is, there are many weaknesses for a human who fights with just their living flesh.
First, the defense.
In the case of living flesh, one is not able to continuously keep up a magic barrier, and would faint when hit by a stone.
And in the case of a Knight, the pilot is sitting inside the Golem of the Knight, so they will not be hurt if the opponent is not capable of dealing damage that could destroy the Golem.
Next is offense.
As long as magic is not used, there won’t be much damage with just relying on physical attacks.
But a Knight’s physical attacks are powerful.
If you wield a huge hammer, you can destroy a stone tower in one strike, and if you wield a long and large sword, a large tree can be easily cut.
Furthermore, if you were to have a magic circle which activates magic inside the cockpit, the pilot would just have to pour magic into it and will be able to use spells without chanting.
And depending on the type of magic circle that has been built-in, each triggered circle would have a different spell. In other words, just by switching the circles, it is possible to use different spells.
Ans also magic efficiency.
Usually, magic that is cast outside by magicians the strength of the spell would only be about 30% of the mana used in casting it. Most of it has been dispersed to the surroundings.
However, in the case of a Knight, the shell that surrounds the pilot in the cockpit is capable of trapping the mana that has been dispersed into the surroundings.
Therefore the magic efficiency is able to reach 80%. Which is three times when used with just living flesh.
For that reason, even when you have to move the Golem using magic, you are still able to cast spells like a real magician.
Housed in the cockpit of a robust Golem, possessing huge physical strength, able to freely attack using magic.
Accumulating knowledge and technology, the human race is able to make full use of their strength using this humanoid Golem, and extinguishing the weaknesses of a magician with just living flesh.
In the presence of a Knight which combines a first-class pilot and a first-class fuselage, it is possible to confront even a large beast in a single combat. It is an existence that possess this much power.
However, even this seemingly omnipotent Knight has a weakness. There are mainly two.
One is that it is extremely expensive and takes a lot of time to construct.
The shell that covers the cockpit is made by superimposing multiple layers of highly complex magic circles on a thin plate of Mithril silver.
By the way, in order to trap the various mana released by the magician, every layer of magic circle drawn is different from the others.
And the other is that there are only a few that are capable of piloting it.
This is because of the amount of mana possessed by each individual. In addition, not just the skill of operating the Knight, but other high-leveled skills are also needed.
No matter how high one’s magic efficiency is, there are cases where the Knight is needed to be piloted for a long period of time and activating spells in between. The larger the mana pool the pilot possesses the better.
Specifically, the amount of mana equivalent to that of a middle-class magician is required.
And magic manipulation.
This is an ability which links the pilot’s perception with the Knight and manipulate it at will.
With this, you can see what the Knight sees, and move the Knight’s body as if it were your own.
But, the truth about magic manipulation has not yet been clarified.
You can link your senses with the Knight and control it.
However, the mechanism of how this happens has not been elucidated.
But to control a Knight, this ability is a must.
Until now, there is still no other possible way found to operate a Knight capable of entering battle.
Since the mechanism of how this work has yet to be clarified, there is no other alternative. It is such an ability.
And it is rare to find people that are capable of magic manipulation.
In addition, the method of acquiring magic manipulation has not been discovered so far.
So there’s no choice but to discover and raise inborn holders.
From the above, the difficulty to operate a Knight is at a national level.
And each country are forming a 「Knight Order」as their main military strength.
That’s why Cornier thought that the Knight from a criminal organization near the border made from battlefield scrap would not be much of a threat.
「That guy’s a National Knight class.」
He revises his thoughts and attack.
From the repeated crossing of swords, he judge his opponent’s strength.
Cornier felt that his opponent’s way of fighting has changed.
The unidentified Knight starts retreating while fighting.
But no openings was shown.
When pursued, a sharp counter would be returned.
「This is as far as I go I guess…」
While watching the unidentified Knight withdraw, he sighs.
He’s reluctant, but he has to abandon the pursuit.
He was the only knight belonging to the Kingdom who was here. Even though the opponent is also just one Knight, if by some chance he is defeated the accompanying border guards will be annihilated.
And the opponent is retreating outside the border. Which is the Imperial territory.
Although it is to pursue the criminal organization, he is not allowed to enter unauthorized.
And he is also low on mana. There is no reason for him to continue pursuit.
Cornier watched the surroundings, which the border guards start investigating the criminal organization’s hideout.
A few days later, Cornier is now in the Knight’s Captain room in the Knight’s headquarters in the Royal Capital. He is here for reporting.
「…The inside of the criminal organization hideout was corroded by corrosion magic, so nothing is found huh.」
The Knight Captain sighs after reading the report.
He’s a man in his prime, with an imposing white beard.
「It seems that the unidentified Knight was earning time for the others to obliterate the evidence.」 After the Knight retreated, not one person was found.
The Knight Captain stroke his beard saying fumu.
「But that Knight’s strength doesn’t seem to be that of an irregular Knight. It’s my own opinion, but I think he/she is comparable to the middle-class of the National Chivalric Order.」
「Unidentified, and possess the strength of a National Chivalric Order, …It is possible that it is an Imperial Knight in disguised.」
That Knight wore nothing indicating where it is affiliated. And the appearance felt somewhat unnatural, as if the original ornaments were shaved off.
「Nevertheless, even if it’s true identify is an Imperial Knight, you can’t get caught by the opponent’s provocation. If they were to pursue relentlessly into the Imperial territory, the other party could have used this as an excuse for starting a war. The Kingdom Knight’s have invaded the Empire, and start a defensive war.」
The Empire is powerful. In terms of National power, they are several times higher than the Kingdom.
In this world of the survival of the fittest, one is not allowed to give the other an excuse to start a war.
Both of the nations understood this well.
The Knight Captain glances at Cornier.
「I know it is regrettable to let the criminal organization slip, but your decision to not accept its provocation and pursue it further is correct. The Imperial provocation will still continue hereafter, so please continue to prevent your own and your subordinates’ outbursts.」
You’ve done well, you can go now. Receiving those words, Cornier bowed and left the room.
Returning to the room where his subordinates were waiting, he passed on the contents of the conversation with the Knight Captain.
「But the thought of the Empire being behind it, never crossed my mind at first.」
Cornier says to his men.
The origin of this affair, was the crude potion that was circulating in the capital.
Since quite an amount was circulated around, they work with the merchant guild to investigate the source.
As a result, a large criminal organization rooted in the kingdom was discovered, and Cornier who belongs to the Kingdom Knights, was ordered to investigate.
And, after investigating the criminal organization and capturing people involved in the process, it turns out that the hideout was near the western border.
After mobilizing the border guards to arrest them, it was not expected that the opponent possessed a Knight, giving them room to get away with the evidence.
「Really. It’s different if it’s just within the Kingdom, now that it involves the Empire, future investigation will be difficult.」
The subordinates shrug their shoulders agreeing.
「We have no choice but to thoroughly investigate the traces left in the kingdom and build up the circumstantial evidence from there.」
Imagining the regret of not being able to round up the entire criminal organization and the effort that is needed to put into future work, Cornier sighs deeply.
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