Having become a knight officially, there were a number of people I had to show my face to.
“Let me say this first.”
One of those was the founder of the Light Church, Yorishiro.
“If there’s a situation where one had to die between Haine-san and the Knight Commander, I will have the Knight Commander die without a second thought.” (Yorishiro)
“Founder-sama?!” (Who was this guy again?)
“Please talk to him with that in mind.” (Yorishiro)
Not only was it a preemptive punch, it was an ultimate attack that hit the Knight Commander Dobbe.
While looking daunted, the eyes that were directed at me were dyed in hatred.
“No matter what’s said, I won’t consent! Creating a post that is estranged from the line of command inside the knight corps is just something that will disturb the order!” (Dobbe)
Since he is the Knight Commander, he must be the highest person in the knight corps.
This is not the first time we meet. This guy was the one who was unfavorably blaming Karen-san the moment she just returned from her monster subjugation.
He really is the top at complaining about what others do.
That’s why, I just respond with the feeling of throwing a ball.
“Then, is this thing called ‘order’ properly serving in some way to the knight corps? From what I have seen, it has only been of use for a really limited number of people inside the knight corps.” (Haine)
“What did you say?!”
“If the reason for having incompetent people at the top is ‘order’, it would be better to just dispose of it.” (Haine)
The Knight Commander looked as if he would unsheathe his sword at any moment.
“Founder-sama! As I thought, I am completely against having this garbage enter the proud Aurora Knight corps!! It would disturb the order of the knight corps!”
“Knight Commander, this is a settled matter.” (Yorishiro)
Even when the Founder asserted it, the Knight Commander didn’t step back.
“Listen here! In the recent years, the hands of us Aurora Knight corps have been completely filled with this way too wild and free hero! Just how much time do you think it took to teach that whimful girl the ABC’s of order and to obey her superiors?! In this time when she is finally beginning to show the results of her lessons, if we were to accept a fool like this, it would all go down the drain!”
“Hey, you—!!” (Haine)
“But, Haine-san has shown results.” (Yorishiro)
Yorishiro interrupted me as I was about to object on the abusive words the Knight Commander was throwing on Karen-san.
“There’s the sweeping of the Pythonflies at the Trixia Forest, of course, and there’s also the gigantic monster that has been troubling the Fire Church for a long time, the fire cow Phalaris. It is a fact that Haine-san served as a force in that joint subjugation.” (Yorishiro)
“That’s not true! That was an individual subjugation by us Aurora Knight corps!”
Hey hey, you…
“No doubt about it! The gigantic monster was brought down by the light hero Karen alone! The fire hero was only going in circles around the place, and then acted as if she also deserved the merit in this!”
This man…can he only interpret all things in a way that’s convenient for him?
Now that I think about it, in the matter with the Pythonflies, he was throwing a racket by saying it was a ‘BIG failure!’, but wasn’t he just happy he was able to obtain material to attack Karen-san?
“Then, are you saying this matter of the fire cow Phalaris was an achievement from the hero Karen-san?” (Haine)
“No. Whatever the case, she acted without the orders of the knight corps, an inexcusable act by a hero. I am on the intend to properly press the responsibility of this! From here on, no matter what is to be done, the hero will have to follow the orders of the knight corp—!”
“Just stop it already.” (Haine)
I pin down the voice of the Knight Commander that had become sharp and sour.
That must have worked. The person in question stiffened his face and looked back at me.
“I became a hero assistant exactly to stop those kind of things. I will clearly say this. Now that I am here, I will not let Karen-san be ordered around on your own convenience. I won’t let Karen-san become your puppet. Remember that.” (Haine)
“What did you say, you impudent brat?!”
Knight Commander Dobbe finally unsheathed his sword and points it towards me.
“Right this instant, I will have you apologize for the many disrespectful actions you have committed, and have you relinquish your seat as a knight! If you do that, I will at least spare your life!!”
“Ah? What are you saying? After unsheathing your sword, what comes next is attacking me, right? Come at me.” (Haine)
Was he thinking I would be scared after getting threatened with a weapon?
Seeing me prepared to go at it, the Knight Commander was bewildered since he didn’t expect this.
“D-Do you think this is just a threat? How stupid. By the time I slice you in two, it will be too late!”
“There’s no way a weak posture like that will be able to slice a body in two. Don’t worry, I intend to settle it with just beating you up until your face swells.” (Haine)
“Whatever the case…”
The voice of a beautiful woman stops us both.
Well, it is more like, the Knight Commander felt weak on his knees the moment he heard that voice though.
“In front of this founder of the Light Church, Yorishiro, bloodshed won’t be forgiven. Haine-san, bear this in mind.” (Yorishiro)
“Yeah yeah.” (Haine)
“Knight Commander Dobbe as well, don’t forget what I said a moment ago. If you can’t accept Haine-san no matter what, it just means that you will have to leave the knight corps. The reform plan I had you formulate last time, how is the progress?” (Yorishiro)
Her last words became the finishing blow and made the Knight Commander tremble in silence.
His face was bright red in anger.
Well, in this case, the fact that the highest authority in the Church is standing as my ally serves as a big factor.
Founder Yorishiro; the reincarnation of the Light Goddess, Inflation.
An owner of scary attachment that pursued me by reincarnating the moment she knew I -the Dark God- would be reincarnating. Putting it bluntly, she is scary. Is it really okay to rely on her only in these moments?
“But Haine-san…” (Yorishiro)
“It is also true that Haine-san has become a member of the knight corps. In my opinion, I would like it if you two didn’t fight each other, but instead, acted together in order to make the knight corps a better place.” (Yorishiro)
“And so, I will be giving a personal mission to Haine-san. Please accept it. Karen-san is not the only person you have a duty to follow orders from; you will obviously obey me as well, the top authority of the Light Church, right?” (Yorishiro)
For some reason, an ominous wind is blowing.
- 34: What the knight corp means
And so, the mission that was given to me by Yorishiro was…
Experience a normal mission of the knights.
“That’s great~~! It is truly great that it wasn’t a super unreasonable mission!!” (Haine)
We are talking about that Yorishiro after all; the Light Goddess, Inflation.
Being under a woman that would easily say things like: ‘spend the whole night with me’, might have been a scary mistake from me.
“Well, she is currently a human as well. She can understand the rules of society…..right?!” (Haine)
The mission that was given to me this time is one that is truly logical after all.
“Even if you are the assistant of the hero and only move for the sake of the hero, coordination with the knight corps will be necessary for sure. For that sake, it is important to understand each other. I will have Haine-san work as a member of one platoon in the knight corps and have you experience their work”, is what she said.
On the other hand, the hero Karen-san having an assistant made people think that the ‘authority of the hero has been strengthened’. Having that assistant under the command of the knight corps itself for a period of time also holds the objective of softening the discontent of the Knight Commander and the people in the anti-hero faction.
It is the so called ‘political decision’.
Karen-san, who heard of this later, reluctantly accepted.
The Aurora Knight corps have divided factions between the hero and the knight commander, and antagonism is beginning to surface.
At this rate, our efforts of having an alliance with the fire hero will prove pointless. That alliance they have is currently an individual alliance between the heroes themselves. The churches are still not getting along with each other.
In this reformation that Karen-san is aiming for in order to protect the people from monsters, it would be necessary to reform the knight corps as well.
For the sake of that, it wouldn’t be a bad beginning to learn about them first.
* * *
“And so, I am looking forward to working with you.”
“What’s with that ‘and so’?”
The one who received me the next morning at the knight corps’ station was a person I know.
The person that was recruiting newbies at my village.
“Looks like we meet again. Thanks for last time.” (Haine)
“I thought we wouldn’t meet again though! When I heard you failed the entrance exam and were send to the kitchen, I don’t even know how long I applauded! And yet, in this short amount of time!!! Moreover, a special post that receives the treatment of a vice-captain?!”
“It is so hectic that you just get lost, right?” (Haine)
“Are you making fun of me who took 5 years to become a captain?!”
I don’t know why, but he got pissed.
Really, a person that doesn’t have any self-control.
“But well, since it is a mission, it can’t be helped. Assistant Kuromiya Haine, in these few days, you will enter my knight corp and learn the basics. In that time, you will be under my command. No objections to that, right?”
“Damn it!! Well, fine. First of all, I will explain you the origins of the Aurora Knight corps.”
Eh? We are beginning from there?
Looks like he has more integrity than I expected.
“This is a standard thing to know but, we -Aurora Knight corps- serve as the military force of the Light Church. In the other lands, there’s the: Fire, Water, Earth, and Wind Churches who have a similar military force, and they fight in order to protect the church.”
“Are they like the Ignis Militant corps of the Fire Church?” (Haine)
“That’s right. Aside from that, there’s also: the Wind Church’s Whirlwind Raid corps, the Water Church’s Stream Marine corps, and the Earth Church’s Scorched Earth Annihilation corps. Each one was respectively created at the same time the church was established. At a long past before the appearance of monsters, there was a period when these military forces acted in order to maintain the authority of the church, and also had wars with each other.”
“There really was such a period?” (Haine)
“Because of the long warring times, exhaustion came in, and at the same as the discovery of ethereal, monsters began appearing, so the churches entered little by little into an armistice. But the competition of keeping each other in check still continues. Because of the growth of the ethereal machinery, the scramble for the ever decreasing believers is intensifying after all.”
I see. So there was a period like that.
In the 1,600 years that I was sealed, there were also turbulent times.
And at the center of it, there were the 5 churches…can’t help but feel like those five Gods have something to do with it.
I will try asking Yorishiro or that shitty cow later.
“Well, right now, humans are mostly occupied with the monster threat, so there’s practically no fights between humans. If I had to choose, I would say it is peaceful. In that point, we have to be grateful for the monsters, I suppose?”
“So, the knight corps’ job is mainly subjugating monsters?” (Haine)
“No. It is not like monsters appear all day long. Our number one job is to train in case of an emergency. Training your body is a given, but we can’t neglect the mental training to control the light divine power. Even if it’s not on the level of the hero Karen-sama, the ‘Holy Light Bullet’ that us Aurora Knights shoot is a deadly weapon against monsters.”
“Ah, but that didn’t work against me at all…” (Haine)
“Well, excuse me for lacking in training!!” (Vesage) <Okay, you deserve your name parenthesis.>
Monsters are pseudo-living beings that were created by the distorted divine providence of the Gods.
That pseudo-body of theirs that was created by hardening divine power can easily be destroyed by attacking it with divine power.
…It is on a level of ‘easier than punching it’ though.
There’s exceptions as well. The fire cow Phalaris was exactly an example of that. The steel skin that was created by condensing the divine power to its very limits would not be possible to destroy unless it is quite the strong divine power, and trying to do it physically would be even more difficult.
When fighting against something like that, the difference between a normal knight and a hero is shown.
“Then, today we will be training?” (Haine)
“That’s fine as well, but since we have assistant-dono here learning, it would be better to show you a more substantial work.” (Vesage)
Saying this, Captain Vesage showed me his characteristic smile.
“Even in this peaceful times, there’s work that we can do for the sake of peace. Different from the visible dangers like monsters, we are going to pluck out small dangers. It is plain and monotonous, but even so, it is a job that can’t be neglected. That is…!” (Vesage)
“Oooh, that is…?!” (Haine)
“That’s…Idol Hunting!!” (Vesage)
“…Uhm, sorry. Can you repeat that?” (Haine)
“Idol Hunting!!” (Vesage)
- 35: Idol Hunting!
“Nooo~~!! Don’t take it awaaay!! My treasured items, don’t steal my Celes-tan goods!!”
“Shut up, you damn heretic! Posters! Trading cards! Photo collection! Even the debut songs and newest songs…there’s figurines as well?! Isn’t this all highest grade heretic material?!” (Vesage)
I don’t understand this well…
From inside the house that captain Vesage intruded in, there were things that I haven’t seen before being confiscated one by one.
The owner of the house that seems to be a male of around 20 years old was protesting as he cried, but captain Vesage was not paying him any attention.
To summarize…I don’t understand anything at all.
“Captain! Have a look at this!”
A knight that was searching the premises along with Vesage was agitated.
“This is…! A live stage limited printout?! That means, you bastard…you participated in the live?!” (Vesage)
“That’s not it…! This is something I bought from a comrade Celes-tan fan! But it is a treasured item, please give it back!!”
“Not only an heretic but illegal dealings as well?! Looks like there’s even more reason to confiscate it! At this rate, there’s probably more to be found here! Even if you have to rip off the alcove slabs, search every nook and cranny!” (Vesage)
Looks like his subordinates are filled with motivation.
Now then, it is about time to…
“…Captain Vesage…” (Haine)
“Anyways, what an unbelievable amount of material. Looks like this will become the best mountain of things I have confiscated!” (Vesage)
“Captain Vesage…” (Haine)
“Search more! …Wait! This is!! A membership card of the Celes-tan fan club?!” (Vesage)
“Oi, Vesage.” (Haine)
“Hahaha! Finally, undeniable proof has come to light! You damn heretic! Capture him! I will have this guy spit out everything he knows about this fan club!” (Vesage)
I was getting pissed, so I aimed at the knees of Vesage and kicked him.
“Gohoo?! Ouch! What are you doing assistant Haine?! Are you going to interfere with our mission?!” (Vesage)
“What part of this is a mission? To me, it only looks like you are invading the house of an innocent person and messing up his room though?” (Haine)
“What are you saying?! This and that as well! It is filled with idol goods to the point that he can’t make any excuses! Moreover, their preservation state is super high!” (Vesage)
Saying this, he pushes onto me one after the other those unknown things that they have been digging up like crazy for a while now.
“With the growth of ethereal machines, this kind of things are now easy to produce and distribute! Photos, records, printed goods! All of these are heretic items that corrupt humans! By combining the fearsome element called ‘Idol’ into it!!” (Vesage)
“No well, as I have been saying…what in the world is an ‘idol’?” (Haine)
“Hah?” “Hah?” “Hah?”
Every single person in this place went ‘hah?’.
Not only Vesage and his subordinates, even the victim as well.
“Assistant Haine…..you…don’t know about idols?” (Vesage)
“Stop with those pitying eyes.” (Haine)
“W-Well, you are a country bumpkin that just got here a few days ago after all. It can’t be helped that you don’t know. Then, I will personally teach you! You see, idols are…!” (Vesage)
“‘Idols are’?” (Haine)
As I thought, I don’t understand.
“Girls are…idols? Then idols are everywhe—” (Haine)
“You fool! Don’t put Celes-tan in the same standing as those common women out there! You see, Idols are…cute and beautiful girls!!” (Vesage)
“…Even so…aren’t there quite a good amount of them here and there? Karen-san is also on the cute and beautiful side after all…” (Haine)
Vesage suddenly collapsed?!
“Haine, you bastard!” (Vesage)
And then got up?!
“An idol Karen-sama…just how fearsome of a thing have you imagined! I was about to lose consciousness there!” (Vesage)
“For a while now, I have begun wondering if Captain Vesage is a person of a different world though…” (Haine)
“I get it. I admit that my explanation was lacking. With that in consideration…if I had to explain in more detail…idols are…cute girls that dance and sing.” (Vesage)
“Like the dancers at the bars? Or those troupes?” (Haine)
In the time I lived in the village, I have seen it a number of times when I was accompanying father to the neighboring town. And in the villages that have festivals, there was a time when a troupe came.
When I remembered this and tried saying it…
“Don’t put Celes-tan on the same level as those rundown entertainers! I will beat you up!!!” (Vesage)
“Shut uup! Don’t make fun of others’ jobs!” (Haine)
I didn’t understand even more now.
* * *
It took several minutes more to tie up the situation.
“…In other words…idols are young girls that revitalize people with their appeal and do that as their job? And so, as a part of it, they sing and dance?” (Haine)
“…L-Let’s leave it at that. Why is it so tiring to explain just that?” (Vesage)
That’s what I want to say.
The knights and even the owner of the house were collapsed on the floor with the same tired faces.
“…But why are the knight corps supervising this? From what I hear, it is a terribly good job. They revitalize people, right?” (Haine)
“That’s the problem! You see, Celes-tan is…a powerful idol that can revitalize all the people in the world! That’s why she is a scary enemy of us, the Light Church!” (Vesage)
Or more like, Captain Vesage, I feel like for a while now, you have been the one that has been the most passionate about this Celes-tan person.
…Uhm…Is Celes-tan the name of the idol?
For a while now, it has been ‘Celes-tan’ ‘Celes-tan’ and it is getting annoying.
“But, why does revitalizing all the people in the world make her an enemy of the Light Church? Are you afraid she will steal away your believers?” (Haine)
“That’s right. That’s exactly how it is!” (Vesage)
“If Celes-tan was only a normal idol to the very core of the word, there would be no problem! But that’s not the case. Celes-tan -real name, Celestis-chan- has one other face!” (Vesage)
The number one most important truth was announced here.
“Celestis-chan is the water hero!!” (Vesage)