Burgund Haneiyuutan:Volume 1 Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: The knight, the princess, and leaving school

There is a continent called Burgund.

It is an expansive continent located in the center of a vast ocean. At the southern tip of the continent is a country whose name is the Kingdom of Juvren. Also known as the "Kingdom of Knights", just as the name suggests, it is a country that harbors many excellent knights. And one of the policies which it lends the most strength to is the rearing of knights.

Knights are people in possession of fighting prowess far in excess of the average human; to express it in one word, they are superhuman beings. They have become the main weapon in wars on the continent, and a country's strength is directly proportionate to the number of knights on its side.

The Juvren Royal Knight Cadet Academy — the Knight Academy for short. It is a facility located in the forest to the east of the kingdom's capital, and as its name suggests, is a school for rearing future knights.

Knights are not only soldiers, but are also involved in national government. It is a job that every boy and girl in the land aspires to. However, although there is a rush of tens of thousands of hopefuls wishing to enroll every year, only a handful of students will be able to become knights.

Continental History 795, the 4th month — There's not a trace left of the winter snow, and green shoots have begun to sprout between the withered shrubbery. Our story takes place in such a season.

In the school building of the Knight Academy, there is the Student Guidance Office; as the name implies, this is where the students can receive guidance. It's also the room where Shun, a problem child, is regularly called to. Today, he has been called again by his teacher, Ms. Muska, and threatened with expulsion if he keeps this up. Thanks to Muska, Shun is to take a resit instead, and he leaves the room with an "I'll do my best".

Shun's full name is Shunavran Norve Harvest. Being quite a long name, those close to him just call him "Shun". A 15-year-old third year student at the Knight Academy, he wore the indigo blue sports jacket that comprised the Academy's uniform. His build was slightly smaller than average, and although he worked out a lot, he still looked very slender. With a messy crop of black hair, inherited from his father, he often had a gentle smile on his face. In an academy full of active students, his calm demeanor was his only unique feature. To put it nicely, he had a positive outlook, but to put it more bluntly, he was blindly optimistic. That's the boy called Shun. Being an important facility for the Kingdom of Juvren, there were also many students who were nobles or royals.

This is why the school building was so unimaginably gorgeous in Shun's eyes. The corridor that he was walking down at the moment was so large it could host a track race, the arched ceiling was high, and was constantly brightly lit by "magic fire". "Magic fire" was a technique born from "sorcery". The system of using the "element of magic" as power to induce light creates "magic fire". But it was barely a hundred years ago that it was commonplace to use lighting consisting of lamps that burned oil.

"Magic fire" could only be used by a handful of people called "sorcerers" who had the "element of magic". Things were different nowadays though. It was a time where "the element of magic" could be mass-refined artificially in factories. The benefit of sorcery”, what should have been a trademark of “sorcerers”, was now widely available to common folk. Therefore, what used to be called “sorcery” has been renamed to “magic engineering”, and “sorcerers” ply their trade as technicians. Shun walked the corridor lit with “magic fire”. The walls on both sides were made of white stone, and were polished so carefully that you could see your face in it. Beside the wall sat an array of works of art, with no expense spared, a painting framed in gold here, a suit of armor complete with sword there. On a whim, Shun stopped in front of a single painting. The painting was many times Shun’s height, and depicted a giant dark shadow and a shining golden knight, two contrasting figures in a violent struggle.

It was titled “The holy battle of Godot Rue”.

Several decades ago, there was a great war on the continent of Burgund. To the north of Burgund, across the sea, lies another continent. Its name, the “Dark Continent”. As a land filled with demonic beings and creatures, Burgund had long avoided any contact with it. But one day, the ruler of the “Dark Continent”, the “Demon Lord” brought a tremendous force of demons to bear upon Burgund. An all-out war broke out between mankind and demonkind. And mankind, due to the overwhelming strength of the demons and their “Demon Lord”, stood upon a precipice. Many knights waged battle on the “Demon Lord”, leading from the front of his army, but all were vanquished. This is because the “Demon Lord” was in possession of a “God Slayer”. “God Slayers” were arms of legend, said to have killed the very gods that created this world. Though its story was passed on as a dubious existence on Burgund, the “Demon Lord” bore the real thing.

Mankind was crushed by the tremendous strength of the “God Slayer”. At one point, more than half of Burgund had been seized by the demons. When all had given up hope against the might of the “Demon Lord” and the “God Slayer”, a miracle occurred. Suddenly, from the heavens, a knight wrapped in golden armor appeared, carrying none other than another “God Slayer”. The “Demon Lord”, angered by the appearance of another beside himself with a “God slayer”, challenged the golden knight in battle. The “Demon Lord” and the golden knight clashed viciously; such was the force of their clash that they destroyed each other along with their “God Slayers”, and disappeared. Having lost their leader, the “Demon Lord”, the demon forces broke down into disarray; it was thus that mankind was able to vanquish them in following battles. This battle was one that really occurred, known now as the Northern Invasion, and left its mark on human history as an odious memory. And the picture that Shun gazed upon, “The Holy War of Godot Rue” was a depiction of that most famous scene during the Northern Invasion, when the “Demon Lord” and the “Heavenly Knight” faced off.

Even now, no one really knows the identity of golden knight who appeared so suddenly. Some call him a messenger of the gods, a savior, but in time, he became known as the legendary warrior who saved mankind, the “Heavenly Knight”. The “Heavenly Knight” drawn in the picture showed him just as the story told, wrapped in golden, shining armor with a golden helmet that covered his face. In his hand was a golden sword as his valiant figure rose to the sky on golden wings. The dark shadow that stood against him was the “Demon Lord”. Though it still retained a humanoid form, the drawing reflected its grotesque and evil appearance. Its jet black form, like an aggregate of shadow, could appear like a devil or an apparition. His long hands splits off into numerous branches, each one brandishing a vast number of weapons. According to legend, the “Demon Lord” had collected a number of “God Slayers”; the fact that he had mastery of them was also reflected in the drawing. Every time that Shun passed it, he always looked at it and thought, “Did the guy who drew this really believe that it existed? A monster that looked like that?” As Shun muttered, deep in thought , there was a voice. “Hey Shun, you done?” “Hmm? Oh hey Bui.” The voice belonged to a male student. The boy in the same Academy uniform as Shun had brown, spiky hair, and gave the impression of being more active than Shun. “Hey, were you waiting for me?” ”Yeah sure, so what did Muska say?” ”Well, if I don’t pass next week’s resit, I’m going to be expelled.” ”Oh, woah, expulsion huh. Haha…I mean, not a laughing matter, is it!” quipped Bui, and Shun couldn’t hide a chuckle. This guy really was a loud one. His name was Bui I Banze, in the third year like Shun. In the same class since admission, they were also roommates in their dormitory, probably his closest friend in the Academy. “That’s risky, Shun. I mean, will you really be expelled?” “Sure, if I fail.” “How can you be so relaxed! Study! I’ll do everything I can, you have to pass that resit! I ain’t letting you get expelled!” ”Bui…”

Shun couldn’t help letting out a voice, he was moved by his friend’s kindness. “You’re bottom the class! If you get expelled, it’ll be me that goes to the bottom of the pile! That’s not going to happen!” …what a selfish excuse. Shouldn’t have been so grateful. “Well, I’ll study, but things will only go as they go, you know.” “Are you giving up?” “I won’t give up. Promised my folks I’ll definitely become a knight.” “I hear you…back in my hometown as well, it was carnival chaos just for me getting into the Academy. Everyone just expects what they want.” It’s a tough life for the both of us, Shun muttered, unworried.

Bui looked out the window, and pointed a finger. “Hey look, Shun, the princess is outside.” Underneath the window, a girl walked a street lined with pear trees, a beautiful girl. Moving her slender, long legs, there was no hurry in her gait. Just in the act of walking, one could feel the refinement of her elegant movements. Dazzling blonde hair, pale, almost transparent white skin. Not a soul would pass by without looking back at her beauty. The sight of her walking with her female classmates in tow even gave off a sense of majesty.

Wearing a flowery, colorful girls' uniform, her features stood out even when surrounded by her classmates. Shun knew her. She was also quite a celebrity in the Academy. Lulithia Leshott Chambre — that was her name. She was positively radiant. She naturally emitted a powerful aura that attracted people’s eyes. It’s to be expected; after all, she was the daughter of Sharm IV, reigning king of the Kingdom of Juvren. She also happened to be an elite student, sitting in first place above all third year students at the Knight Academy. Same year as Shun, even the same class. But unfortunately, he had nearly never spoken to her.

Though they became classmates this year, it goes without saying that there were not many points of contact between a princess, nearly certain to become the next queen, and a poor student close to being expelled. For Shun, she was too awesome to behold, let alone talk to. “Colorful as usual…she really stands out, that princess.” said Bui, giving his opinion. Lulithia was his classmate, but for Shun, she was too radiant a being. With high status, high scores, and beautiful to boot, one could only shoot straight past jealousy and sigh. “Dammit, with the princess in the same class, I thought I could make friends with her and become a knight by her mercy…”

Bui began muttering his ulterior motives. So that’s what he was thinking, this buddy of mine. “Are you on friendly terms?” “Haven’t even talked to her. There’s always that scary looking guard beside her.” The one Bui referred to was the tall girl walking behind Lulithia. Always obedient to Lulithia, the girl had her long hair knotted above her head. She was another one of Shun’s classmates, by the name of Ange Petty. Apparently Lulithia’s guard and servant, she always bore a sword sheathed in a scabbard at her waist. Students, as knights in training, were usually not around to carry a sword around at all times, but she seemed to have special permission. “Myself, I prefer ones like Lady Sophie”. A tapping echo was heard. It was the sound of the shoes of a figure approaching from in front of them. As Shun saw who it was, he gasped. It was a beautiful girl. Her knight’s uniform tightly adhered to her slender form, and the feminine lines of her body were clearly visible. She let her shining black hair make waves on her back as she walked; her thin, deeply colored eyes, shapely nose and the sharp line of her chin, everything was so beautiful that onlookers could but sigh.

Lulithia, the princess they saw before, was indeed a beautiful girl. But the girl in front of them possessed a different beauty. For example, if Lulithia was a radiantly shining sun, this girl was a beautiful moon floating mysteriously in the darkness. Shun and Bui hurriedly moved to the wall and let the girl pass. Her deep ruby uniform was glamorously embroidered with golden thread, and stood out for its brilliance. It was the uniform of qualified knights, senior ones at that; it was a symbol of the elite that only they were allowed to wear. The girl’s name was Sophie a Blanc Silver. She was also in the same year as Shun. More accurately, she used to be. As seen from her senior knights uniform, she was no longer a student of the Academy. Sophie, to put it bluntly, was a genius. Though admitted at the same time as Shun, having set new records in all subjects at the Academy, she skipped grades and graduated after only eleven months. Though Lulithia was top of the class now, it was Sophie while she was a student. Shun didn’t know why Sophie, now an active senior knight serving at the frontlines, was back in her old stomping grounds. But all he could do was give way, salute her and see her on her way.

Having the path cleared, Sophie greeted them with a faint movement of her well-formed cheeks, and continued on her way with the tapping of her shoes…or so it seemed. For suddenly, she stopped in front of them.

“It’s Mr. Harvest, isn’t it?” The echo of her voice resonated the freshness of a soft, gentle breeze. Shun took a beat before realizing he had been spoken to by Sophie. “Yes, that’s right…” As with Lulithia, he had never spoken to Sophie. Inside the Academy, anyhow. Shun chose his words carefully and continued. “Why do you know my name?” “I was enrolled at this academy until two years ago. I at least remember the faces and names of my cohort. You’re Mr Banze, is that right?” she said, also mentioning Bui’s name. Even her memory was stunning. “So, what business might bring you to us, Lady Sophie?” asked Shun.

It was customary for Academy students to address full knights as Lady or Sir. “It’s not business as such, just that I met Count Muska and you came up in conversation. That you were going to do a resit,” said Sophie. Shun only found out about it a little while ago, why did she know already?

“Yes, I will resit it next week…” “Is that right? Study at the academy can be very stressful, I wish you all the best. I look forward to the day that you become a full knight, and we can work together.” Sophie bade them farewell, and left amidst the echo of her shoes. After Shun and Bui watched Sophie’s back as she departed, they looked at each other. “That’s amazing, that’s the first time I actually talked to Lady Sophie.” No wait, Bui was so happy that his beloved Sophie had spoken to him that he seemed to be only flapping his gums, not making conversation. “And boy, did you hear? Lady Sophie said to me, ‘I want to work with you'! That’s basically a confession of love!” It was clear that my friend was bending the truth to what suited him. “Don’t think she meant that she wants to work with you, just that it might be nice, ok?”

“You idiot, you don’t get it. I mean, she was the one who spoke to us! That means, she’s definitely interested in me. It means Lady Sophie’s into me! ” …there were so many holes in his story, but Shun decided to let him off. Correcting him was going to be a hassle.

“Goddammit though, she was chatting with you the whole time! You, I’m so jealous!” Bui swung his arm around Shun’s neck and began to squeeze. Pulled by the strong force, Shun began to lose his balance. Bui was fairly strong. Frankly, though they were apprentices, as Academy students chosen for their talent as knights, they were all in possession of abnormally strong arms. “Hey wait, that hurts Bui!” “Shut up, this is for hogging all the fun!” As he continued to spout selfish nonsense, he put more strength into his arms. Can’t breathe… Of course Shun resisted. The two of them wobbled down the corridor as they messed about. Then suddenly, as they both put in the wrong amount of force, they lost their balance. They fell to the floor. That’s when tragedy struck.

Bui fell directly onto the floor, but in Shun’s direction was a flight of stairs. As they were messing about, they had moved to the entrance of the stairwell. Oh no! thought Shun, but it was too late. Having lost his balance, he fell down onto the long stairs stretching all the way to the lower floor, and rolled down with the momentum.

Roll, roll, roll, bang! “Eeek!” Crash…doink… he collided with something, and his fall finally came to a stop. He was saved as he collided with something soft at the end. Thank god…but what was it? He clung to it out of panic, it came out of nowhere, but it was so soft, so warm…boink…boink…”Wh..w, w, w, what do you think you’re doing!” A metallic screech leapt into his yar. As Shun raised his face, he saw the face of a beautiful young girl in front of him. Radiant blonde hair, blue eyes, almost transparent white skin. As those slightly twitching eyes glared at Shun from point blank range, the sweet aroma of flowers caught in Shun’s nostrils. ”What the hell are you doing?”

“Eh? Oh, umm… Ms. Lulithia?” The person Shun had collided with as he rolled down the stairs was, of all people, the princess of this nation, Lulithia. Shun belatedly realized that as Lulithia herself fell onto the floor, he had in fact fallen on top of her. The rather soft matter that felt so good was therefore the swelling of Lulithia’s lush chest…”Umm, I’m, I’m sorry Ms. Lulithia! This was an accident…” “Of course it was! How the hell could this happen otherwise!” Beneath Shun, Lulithia had gone a bright red. Her blushing face was kind of cute…as he tried to put this in words, he was attacked by a shrill voice and a sharp sense of danger. ”You beast!” Shun had a bad feeling about this, and promptly leaned all the way backwards. By chance, this turned out to be the right answer, as a lightning flash of silver flew past the tip of Shun’s nose. “That’s enough, get away from Mistress Lily!” Thus spoke a tall female student, the princess’s servant Ange. She was normally quiet in the classroom and didn’t show much emotion, but here, she burnt with a fury so fierce her hair might have stood on end, poised to strike with her sword drawn in one hand.

That silver flash was light reflected off the blade. “Woah, hang on Ms. Ange, that’s a real blade!” “Of course it is! Now kneel, you insolent brute! You will pay for this savagery against Mistress Lily with your life!” said Ange, as she took the sword in both hands. This was not good, her eyes meant business. Is she really going to kill me? Shun quickly stood up and waved his arms. “It’s a mistake, that was an accident, I didn’t mean any harm…” “No excuses!” spat Ange as she swung her sword at Shun. This was useless, I can’t get through to her! Shun instinctively rolled on the floor and evaded Ange’s attack. “Wait, that’s dangerous…” “How dare you try to escape!” “I’ll die if I don’t!” Shun was frantic. No matter how he looked at it, Ange intended to kill him. He could feel the deadly menace emanating from her. “It’s time you accepted your fate! You coward!” “That’s ridiculous!”

ILLUSTRATION

Trying to get away, Shun tripped over his feet and collapsed on the spot. Ange saw her chance, raising her sword high above her head.

This is bad, I'll get killed if I don't do something! Shun thought and reached out his hand. His hand brushed against a large vase standing on a table. The vase had a glassy surface emblazoned with an intricate painting. At this point anything goes. Shun pulled the vase towards himself, and raised it up as if it were a shield to take the blow from Ange's sword. “Hey!” looking shocked, Ange and her sword came to a sudden halt.

"Are you out of your mind!" Ange screams. She looked absolutely flustered. I wonder what happened to her, Shun thought and cocked his head in puzzlement, still holding out the vase.

"What are you doing!" It was Lulithia's voice, resembling half a scream. "That vase in your hands! It's an important vase donated to the Academy by His Majesty the Emperor of the neighboring country as a token of friendship! Scratch it, and they'll cut your head off!"

So it was such a precious vase! Come to think of it, in order to keep students from touching the vase, there was a fence around the table that the vase had been standing on. Desperately trying to get away from Ange, Shun had climbed over that fence.

"Aahahaha, I wasn't, you know, going to scratch this or anything..." "Whatever, just put it back! Before you drop it!" “As you say.” flustered, Shun turned to face the table to put the vase back. However.

"What is this ruckus that I hear! When did the corridor become an amusement center!" A rough voice resounds in the corridor. When Shun saw the face to whom it belonged, he was about to drop the vase he was clutching in his hands - though he didn't actually drop it, thank goodness. It is a man. Dressed in the gaudy uniform of a high-ranking knight, the man has gray eyes and light brown hair, and on his waist he is carrying a sword in a gorgeous scabbard. The man is quite old, but his large build, broad shoulders and well-defined muscles make him look younger than his age. Shun knew the knight. His name is Perde Dan Saint Bris. He is the captain of "Order of the Apocalypse", the strongest chivalric order in the kingdom that only comprises the pick of the knights. In other words, he is the strongest knight in the Kingdom of Jevren, holding the highest position of a knight. An elite knight, Perde is like a god to Shun. Now that celebrated knight was glaring at Shun without even trying to hide is anger and unhappiness.

"You, what do you think you're doing! That vase is not something a scoundrel like you should be touching!"

His angry voice resounds like thunder. Amazing force. It's like the roar of a beast. The vase was about to crack by the sheer force of that voice. First Sophie and now Perde, why were high-ranking knights loitering around the Academy today of all days, that Shun did not know, but all he could do was bow his head.

"I'm so-sorry. You see, this was, how should I put it, a state of emergency..." "Don't mess with me! That vase is a token of our friendship with the neighboring country! You scoundrel think you can just lay your hands on a vase that's more valuable than your sorry life!?"

Shun remembered the words Muska had said to him earlier that day. "Your current situation is quite delicate. Studying is of course important, but get yourself into trouble again, and you'll be expelled before the resit."

To have caused such a scene in front of the strongest knight in the kingdom... It's hopeless, this is definitely the end. I'll be expelled. "You rascal, you're a 3rd year student, huh. Give me your name and your class, now!" shouts Perde.

Shun had understandably half given up. However. "Pardon me, Sir Perde," Lulithia opened her mouth. That's when Shun noticed that Ange, who was supposed to be pointing her sword at Shun, had managed to sheathe her sword and was now standing behind Lulithia, looking unconcerned. She only saved her own skin, how sneaky!

"Uh, are you her Highness Princess Lulithia? Is something wrong, your Highness?" Perde turned around with a slightly bewildered look on his face.

Not even the highest-ranking knight could ignore the words of a princess, it seems. "I would prefer if you wouldn't shout like that. It's ungraceful."

"Pardon my impoliteness, your Highness. However, the actions of this man were far too unpardonable, so I unintentionally raised my voice," Perde said, giving Shun a stern, pointed glare.

However, the words Lulithia next spoke in a calm tone in fromt of Perde were surprising. "It seems you are mistaken. That classmate of mine has done nothing wrong." "What do you mean?"

"I saw it. That vase that he is holding. Perhaps because the table is wobbly, the vase suddenly tumbled over. He happened to pass by and caught the vase before it dropped to the floor. Isn't that right, Ange?"

”Yes, it is as Mistress Lily says,” Ange nodded quietly to Lulithia who had calmly uttered those words.

Shun could not help but be surprised. Needless to say, Lulithia’s words had all been utter lies. Why would she lie like this?

“Is, is that true?” “Yes, I saw it. There is no doubt… Or are you suggesting that I am lying?” “No, not at all…” Perde muttered in a quiet voice, as if shrunk by the words of the princess.

Shun did not know why Lulithia was covering up for him, but he felt like it had gotten him out of trouble now.

“That’s how it is. If anything, his actions ought to be praised, not punished.” “That is indeed true but… just how long are you going to be clutching that vase!” Perde raised his voice at Shun again.

He was right. Stunned by Perde’s appearance, Shun was still holding the vase in his arms. “Ah, I’m sorry. I’ll put it right back!” Shun bows his head to Perde with a forced smile on his face. As he glanced at Lulithia, her proud faced seemed to be saying , “Be grateful, you fool.”

Well, Shun did not actually know how the princess felt about him, so he was only trying to guess her intentions. Maybe because of those unnecessary thoughts, Shun’s hand slipped. The vase tipped over, falling off the table and straight to the floor.

“Hey!”

“Oh!”

Their screams piled on top of each other.

This is bad, this is seriously bad. A miracle won’t happen twice. The vase breaking now would place Shun in a desperate situation. Shun reflexively put his toes under the vase just as it was about to hit the floor, and kicked. Naturally he did not put too much power into his kick, only enough to fling the vase up without breaking it.

“You rascal, what do you think you’re doing, kicking it!” Perde shouts, his face red like he was about to faint.

However, he should save his sermons for later. The vase Shun had flung up was spinning, about to fall again. Shun stepped onto the table in front of him and jumped. As he was leaping through the air, he reached out his hands and tightly caught the vase about to fall with his both hands. All right, I made it. I won’t fail again. I won’t let go of this vase no matter what. Even if it means protecting the vase with my own body, then so be it!

Swoosh.

”Hey, you…”

Crash.

Silence fell over them. Shun could not believe what had just happened before his very eyes. Shun had indeed kicked the vase while up in the air. He had held it tightly in his both hands as not to drop it again. The problem was Perde, who had moved straight below Shun while trying to catch the vase Shun had flung up. Perde was standing right below Shun as he fell to the ground with the vase. Obviously unable to change his course in the air, Shun fell on top of Perde. To make matters worse, the vase that Shun had tightly held in his arms hit Perde right on the head. It was as if Shun had been aiming at Perde’s head and mad a dunk shot with the vase. After landing right before Perde’s eyes, Shun looked up timidly. Perde was still standing before Shun without moving an inch. Maybe he’s stupefied, Shun thought hopeful, but it was naïve. Perde opened his eyes wide and stared at Shun. Broken pieces of the shattered vase kept falling off from Perde’s head and shoulders.

“You rascal, do you have something to say? Perde’s voice had changed completely from his angry shout and it was now astonishingly flat. That made it all the more scary.

Shun replied with a forced laughter, ”Well um, you see, Sir Perde, maybe if your head had been softer, the vase wouldn’t have broken, maybe.” “Is my head that hard?

“Yes, for you to be completely fine even after getting hit on the head by a vase, I’d think that your head needs to be pretty strong.”

“Muahahahaha, hahahahahahahha,” upon hearing Shun’s words, Perde suddenly left out a laugh he could no longer contain.

“Did you hear that, Princess Lulithia? This man is surprisingly funny. He has some courage to speak such words with a straight face in this situation.”

“…Indeed,” Lulithia muttered, looking troubled as if wanting to say, “You idiot.” Perde laughed, asking what is so weird. Shun also tried to summon a fake laugh. However. “Hahahahaha hahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahaha, this imbecile! You’re out! Have your petition for withdrawal ready by tomorrow unless you want to meet the guillotine!!”

…No kidding.

-The following day ”…and Mr. Harvest. Do you have something to say?”

“Ms. Muska, you look unwell, is everything all right?”

“I thought I warned you yesterday, yet you keep causing trouble, so my gastritis got worse! After yelling at Shun with a pale face, Muska swallowed stomach medicine while holding her chest. Maybe it was Shun’s imagination doing things, but her face seemed wearier than yesterday even though it had only been a day.

“Um, Ms. Muska. I… What will happen to me now?”

“You’ll be expelled.”

“For real?”

“If you resist, your only option is beheading by the guillotine.” Muska made a motion with her hand as if cutting her neck.

“I don’t really want to say this, but have you any idea, how many people I’ve had to beg since yesterday? Bowing my head to teachers of the Academy, reaching out to old classmates, going down on my knees to beg the Principal, even using tears in the end, trying to get to speak to Sir Perde, but I couldn’t even meet him, let alone apologize… It’s over, not even I can protect you this time.”

“I see…”

“As your supervisor, I should also be writing my letter of resignation…” Muska buries her head in her hands. Does taking responsibility really have to go that far, Shun thought shocked.

“You might not understand it yet, but Sir Perde is so great a knight that someone like me can’t even compare.”

“I often see him sitting next to His Majesty the King during ceremonies…”

“Having survived the Northern War and won the title of a Sword Champion thrice, the man is a living legend and the strongest knight in the kingdom. He is said to have even more power than His Majesty the King himself in matters regarding the knights.”

Shun again realized what a great man Perde was. So that means he had hit such a man on the head with a vase… He should probably be grateful that he still had his life intact.

“What are you going to do? If you get expelled like this, you won’t even be entitled to your pension as a knight, what should I say to your parents in the countryside?”

”Um, Ms. Muska, I’m sorry. It was me who screwed up, yet I got even you involved…”

“Will you take responsibility and take me as your wife?”

“What?”

Muska said something preposterous.

“Managing to become a knight only to get sacked, and on the top of it nonchalantly going back to the countryside, that is too pathetic. I’ll have no social standing if I don’t at least find a marriage partner in the capital before going back home. I don’t ask for much in this situation, so you’ll do.”

“Um, I’m sorry. I’ll do anything but that, so could you please let me go?” “I was only joking, but to get seriously turned down hurts…” It was a joke? For a joke it felt pretty real…

“In any case, unfortunately this is goodbye. Pack your belongings and leave before the day is over… I will probably do the same in a matter of days.” “I’m really sorry, Ms. Muska.”

Just go, said Muska and again took her stomach medicine with a pale face. Shun bowed his head and left the office.

“Hey, Shun, how’d it go!” Bui seemed to have been waiting outside and was now rushing over to Shun. Shun faced his friend and shrugged his shoulders.

“Expulsion. This time it seems to be for sure.” “Are you serious, hey?” Bui’s face was pale as he put his hands on Shun’s shoulders. “Sorry, Shun. It’s my fault…”

“Huh? You haven’t done anything, right?”

“If I hadn’t pushed you down the stairs, this wouldn’t have happened, right?”

“Don’t worry. I was the one who got Sir Perde angry.”

Leaving the Academy without becoming a knight is sad, but nothing can be done about it now.

“I’m sorry, Shun… If there’s anything I can do to help, contact me anytime.”

Unexpectedly, Bui was looking at Shun with tears in his eyes. The usually bubbly friend seems to be feeling guilty this time.

“My folks are farmers, so there’s plenty of food. If you have nowhere to go, come to our place in the country. You can eat till you explode.”

“Haha, I’m fine. It’s not like I'm without a place to go.”

“C’mon, don’t be shy. I’ve got a lot of siblings, so having you around wouldn’t change anything.”

“All the more reasons not to go, in that case.” The corners of Shun’s mouth turned down just enough to suggest sadness.

“Even if you have a lot of siblings, all kinds of problems will arise if you have an outsider in the family.”

“What’s that, speaking from experience?”

“Well, stuff happened in the past…”

“You’ve been through a lot, too.”

“But I’m glad of your offer, thanks, Bui.”

After shaking the hand of Bui who was unwilling to say goodbye, Shun left the school building behind. Walking along the tree-lined road to the dorm, Shun thought. Shun was definitely a poor student, and he had known it would be difficult to become a knight if he didn’t improve his grades. Yet having his dream of becoming knight taken away from him like this was sad.

“How should I explain this to my family…”

The reason Shun had entered the Knights Academy in the first place had been that it was a boarding school so his family would not have to take care of him, and he had also believed that after he became a knight, he could be of use to them. After being expelled, he could hardly look them in the eye…

“Yesterday I could hardly imagine that a day later things would turn out like this.”

“What?”

Shun heard a voice speak out of the blue, so instinctively he turned back and saw a figure standing in the shade of the trees.

“How is it even possible to make matters this much worse in the course of just one day, one can’t help but wonder.”

“Lady Sophie...” The figure belonged to Sophie. She emerged from the shadows with her arms crossed.

“Why are you here?”

“I hurried here as soon as I heard what happened yesterday.” As Sophie spoke to Shun, she seemed even friendlier than yesterday. This kind of an attitude felt more natural on her. Shun knew it was because it was closer to her true self. Until yesterday, Shun and Sophie had never conversed at the Academy. Yes, at the Academy. Due to one specific reason, Shun and Sophie are in fact familiar with each another. That is, however, a secret, so at the Academy they had always pretended to be complete strangers.

“A mere student making the captain angry, that is so reckless that it wouldn’t have been odd of them to have killed you on the spot.”

“So I’ve heard.”

The person Sophie was referring to as the captain was of course Perde. Sophie is also a member of the "Order of the Apocalypse", the elite chivalric order whose captain Perde is. “Oh well, I guess something must be done.”

“Huh, can you do something about this?”

“Well, I do have an idea…”

“Oh, here you are, Shunavran.”

Surprised, Shun turned to look behind him. Did someone see him act friendly around Sophie? If so, it would be bad on many levels. When he looked behind, he was greeted with the sight of Lulithia with her lush blond hair fluttering in the wind as she walked. Ange was of course walking close behind her without saying a word. Why would the Princess…? Lulithia approaches Shun ignoring his doubts.

“You weren’t in the classroom, so I came looking… Oh, is this Lady Sophie.”

“Yes, it has been long, your Highness Lulithia.”

Seeming like she just noticed the presence of Sophie, Lulithia made a bow. Sophie bowed her head and gave salutation as if nothing had happened.

“What brings you to a place like this, Lady Sophie?”

“I had work here today… Is my being here really so strange?”

“I think it strange that a person who has graduated many years ago would be here.”

“Even so, I am the same age as you, Princess.

“Yes, that is true. I often forget it, for you look so old…I mean, mature.”

“Your Highness, compared to me you appear very childish…I mean, youthful.

Smiling. Strained atmosphere.

What is this? They are both smiling and having a conversation, yet the mood is becoming heavy. Shun was puzzled, but the two girls continued their conversation ignoring him.

“Having joined the “Order of the Apocalypse”, you must be busy as a bee, Lady Sophie. Having a walk in this boring school grounds, oh how busy you must be.”

“Yes, I am quite busy, seeing as we don’t have enough knights. Perhaps if you used your abundant leisure to become a knight, I would not be quite so busy, your Highness.”

“Hohohoho.”

“Hahahahaha.”

The tone of their conversation was getting more strained, and the air had turned somber. Shun had not known that the two girls seemed to be on such bad terms.

“Um…Lulithia, you came to tell me something?” Shun asked nervously, trying to lighten the mood. Lulithia seemed to have been looking for him, but…

“It was nothing important, really,” Lulithia said, putting her hands on her hips. That made Shun remember something. Lulithia had covered up for him yesterday. Although it had turned out to be futile in the end.

“Oh yeah, Lulithia, thanks for yesterday, for covering up for me.”

“That was nothing, really,” Lulithia utters while casually playing with her hair. Perhaps she was embarrassed, as she seemed to be turning her gaze away from Shun for a little bit. “More importantly, I heard the rumor. Of your expulsion.”

“Yeah, well,” Shun nodded, laughing. The word seemed to have gotten to his classmates already.

“What are you laughing at! You are not seriously thinking of obediently leaving the Academy?”

“It’s not that I want to leave, but there’s nothing I can do, right?”

“I cannot have you leave the Academy just yet. The game isn’t over yet.”

“What do you mean, what game?”

“Have you forgotten?”

“Forgotten what?”

After hearing Shun’s response, Lulithia kept staring at him with a complex expression filled with shock, despair and a tint of discouragement. However, Shun did not know the reason behind her expression.

“Um, Lulithia, is something wrong?”

“…Hmm, nothing is wrong. It’s none of my business if a mere classmate is gone.”

She was clearly in a bad mood. Looking angry, she crossed her arms under her breasts and looked away with a “Hmph.” Had Shun maybe done something to anger her?

“My, how disturbing. Is Mr. Harvest getting expelled?” Sophie cut in as if she was only now hearing about it, even though she already knew. Her slightly surprised expression was completely natural, so good it was that it almost got even Shun fooled even though he knew it an act. She was a gifted actress.

“I don’t know the circumstances, but isn’t that that bit hasty.”

“It ought to be none of your business as you have already graduated, Lady Sophie.”

“I may have already graduated, but I can’t simply ignore an old classmate of mine getting expelled… Yes, let me talk to some people.”

“Can you do something like that?”

“Yes, I do have some contacts.”

“Having someone with your standing interfere with the affairs of the Academy is not good,” Lulithia flashed out. My oh my, thought Sophie as she looked at Lulithia.

“In any case, weren’t you also planning on helping him, your Highness?”

ILLUSTRATION

“D-d-don’t be ridiculous. Why would I do something like that!?” For some reason, Lulithia shot Shun a severe glare.

“H-h-however, I, too, am not that narrow-minded. I would not say no if Mr. Shunavran cried and begged me for help.” Shun was puzzled by her sudden words.

“I wasn’t going to ask something like that from you…”

“Are you truly going to say something reckless like not needing Lily’s kindness?” Ange had somehow appeared behind Shun and was now speaking in a cold voice… She was seriously scary. Shun had no idea when she had appeared there, and the click he had heard was probably Ange gripping her sword. It was too disturbing.

“Oh, no, I… I want you to help me if you can, yes.”

“It cannot be helped, then. Well then, seeing as I am not completely unrelated to this incident, I shall help you.”

What an annoying person, Lulithia sighed.

What is it? Why is she putting on such airs when I was forced to say it?

“Surely it is not something her Highness should trouble herself with? I will…” Sophie was trying to insist when something in her breast pocket made a beeping sound.

“Excuse me… Hello? Yes, I see. I understand,” Sophie said into the small board she had pulled out of her pocket. It was a “Magic Mobile”, a tool created by magic engineering that allowed people in possession of the device to talk to each other no matter how far apart they were. She seemed to have received a call from somewhere.

“Something urgent came up, so please excuse me.”

“Oh, is that so. May you have good luck at work.”

Seriously speaking, Sophie was a very busy person, so it was stranger for her to be here than not. Maybe he had come in spite of her duties after hearing about Shun. Shun was happy she had shown care for him, but he didn’t want her to strain herself.

“Come back here today first thing in the afternoon.”

“Huh?"

Sophie whispered to Shun has she walked past her, and then disappeared. Remaining behind, Lilithia was giving orders to Ange.

“Ange, bring me paper and a pen immediately. I shall write a few words to His Majesty the King.”

“Yes, your Highness.”

“Mr. Shunavran, you stay in your room and keep quiet. Do not hit someone in the face with a vase like yesterday.” They don’t trust me, huh… Not that it’s unreasonable.

“But I have to leave the dorm already…”

“It’s just for one day, make something up!” Impossible. However, Lulithia said nothing more, as if making him know that their conversation was done, and quickly disappeared with Ange… Even so, why had Lulithia covered up for Shun yesterday and today too? Shun honestly had no clue.

“Well, whatever. It’s not like I’d figure it out even if I thought about it,” Shun whispered cheerfully and decided to kill time until afternoon.