The Legend of Sun Knight Volume 1: An Introduction to Knight Theory
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Eighth Rule of Sun Knights: “Don’t act suspiciously while wearing a cloak” – translated by Evangeline and Amgine
Grisia, if you aren’t chosen as the Sun Knight, then being a cleric wouldn’t be too bad either! Then you’d be able to help heal my injuries in the future.
I sat up in bed abruptly. Just now I’d had a dream, one that brought back memories buried a long time ago. I even saw a serious-looking face that had not shown itself for quite a while.
Roland had always been a very serious guy, wearing a serious expression even while cheering others up. He had observed my abilities very carefully and then suggested an alternative career path for me. And I had really taken his words to heart, getting ready to go to the Church and put myself in the running for a priest, in case I didn’t get picked as the Sun Knight.
Even if I couldn’t become the Sun Knight, being a priest by his side wouldn’t be too bad. If Roland were chosen as the Sun Knight, then all the better.
Roland and I met each other at the Holy Temple during the examinations for selecting the next Sun Knight. When there were only ten candidates left, everyone hated one another like bitter enemies, but I was on very good terms with Roland.
Roland was very strong and was the most promising candidate, and I was well aware that my own swordsmanship was the worst amongst all of us. I probably could only wish for a miracle to happen in order for me to be chosen as the Sun Knight!
In such a competitive environment filled with hatred all around, only the most probable and the least probable candidates could ever hope to become good friends.
Though our bonds of friendship were severed on that last day when the Sun Knight who later became my teacher announced that he had picked me to be his successor….
“Why was I chosen?” The childhood me walked forward quite dazedly to face the then-current Sun Knight, as the possibility of my being chosen had never even crossed my mind.
“Well, perhaps it was because of your beautiful blond hair,” laughed my teacher somewhat facetiously. Hearing this response, my heart practically froze, stilled by the feeling that I had somehow won through dishonest means. Even so, I just couldn’t bring myself to say that I would relinquish the position and that I would like Roland to take my place instead.
I had also wanted to become the Sun Knight myself, and very very much so!
When I finally turned my head around to look, Roland had already turned to leave before I even had a chance to see his expression. He was walking away very quickly, leaving without a hint of reluctance and showing no intention to come back and congratulate me. Granted, given the situation at that time, I was already infinitely fortunate that he didn’t come up here to cut me to bits. The other candidates all looked like they were trying to turn me into Swiss cheese with their penetrating stares.
“Do you hate me, Roland?” I buried my face between my hands, muttering. “Did you come back to haunt me because of your hatred? But how in the world did you die? I mean, you’re Roland, the very same Roland that could defeat an adult in battle at the age of ten.”
Then I thought about Baron Gerland’s third son, and the possibility that the crown prince was behind it all, and finally got a gist of what’s going on. No matter how strong he may be, there was no way Roland could singlehandedly go against the ruler of an entire country. Even the Sun Knight couldn’t simply overthrow a country’s ruler unless that country were to oppose the entire Church of the God of Light and start an all-out war between the country and the Church.
But didn’t I just declare it my goal to avenge Roland…? Hmm! I had better investigate things more thoroughly before starting any talk of seeking revenge, I thought with a bit of the mentality of an ostrich burying its head in the sand.
As for investigating the royal family, consulting with Knight-Captain Storm is a must, since he spends all day throwing flirtatious glances at aristocratic women and waxing poetic romance with the sons of noblemen. He definitely knows many of their secrets.
Actions speak louder than words and thoughts! I spent the next minute combing my hair, washing my face and tidying up my appearance before rushing out my bedroom door and searching the entire Holy Temple for Storm Knight. Finally, in the middle of some corridor, I intercepted Storm Knight who was carrying a large stack of documents.
I asked without hesitation, “Brother Storm, could you lend Sun a hand?”
“May I refuse?” Storm Knight asked with dark circles under his eyes. Looking at the height of the stack of papers in his hand, I deduced that most likely, for the sake of upholding his reputation as the carefree Storm Knight, he had no choice but to skip out on another meeting. Following previous examples, the backlog of work that had accumulated during my vacation must have all been passed down onto his shoulders.
“This is a command from the leader of the Twelve Holy Knights.”
“…Go on and say it then.”
“Please help Sun investigate who amongst the nobility has a penchant for torturing others – may the God of Light forgive these lambs that have lost their way.”
“If it’s only that, I can tell you without even needing to investigate. Around 80% of the nobility have this kind of hobby,” Storm Knight said while giving me several disdainful looks.
“That many?” I was somewhat startled by this. Could it be that torturing others is a fundamental skill for nobles?
“Of course, they are aristocrats after all.”
“Then… Are there any that have lost their way even more so, who not only have embraced the path of torture, but indulge even further in the kind of activities that the God of Light would not tolerate, such as torturing others to death?”
Upon hearing this question, Storm gave me a weird look, but he still responded earnestly, “Nobody would actually admit that they have a pastime of torturing others to death. But Sun, if you really want to know, there’s actually a good number of unconfirmed rumors…”
“Then do tell!” I egged him on. I originally thought there would only be a few people. Instead, Storm rattled off ten or so names, and even though I consider myself to have a fairly decent memory, I could only memorize a small handful of those names.
“…Baron Gerland and the king also seem to have such rumors about them.”
I hesitated a little, but asked anyway. “What about the crown prince?”
“No, I actually haven’t heard anything about the crown prince having this kind of hobby. Amongst the nobility, the crown prince is even considered to be fairly honest and clean-living.” Storm shrugged his shoulders and added, “Of course, it could also be that he’s been doing a particularly good job of keeping it a secret. Although on the surface it looks like the crown prince is someone who can be easily taken advantage of, he could actually be one of those classical wolf in sheep’s clothing type of characters. How else would it be possible for him to keep the king under control?”
I pressed on with my interrogation. “In that case, you wouldn’t be surprised if the crown prince really did torture someone to death?” Storm gave me an even more bizarre look, but nevertheless nodded in response.
I nodded a little in dismay. “That’s all I need to know. May the God of Light bless you with his presence, brother Storm.”
Storm nodded and as he left, I overheard him muttering to himself, “How unusual for Sun to be speaking so plainly today that he could be understood as soon as the words leave his mouth. I didn’t have to waste any brain power deciphering what he was trying to say. Inconceivable!”
While pacing about idly, I contemplated to myself. There’s ten or so people on the list of suspects, but since the situation is related to Baron Gerland’s third son who swore fealty to the crown prince, the suspects can be narrowed down to Baron Gerland, the crown prince, and His Majesty the king. Although the one he had sworn fealty to was the crown prince, if the king were to give him an order, then it should still be enforceable.
The reason I haven’t suspected Baron Gerland’s third son himself was that he brought along two other knights to help dispose of the corpse. All knights put great value on reputation, so if he really did do it himself, then he would just quietly dispose of the corpse alone, and would not let the other two knights know about his torturing somebody to death.
But then again, is it possible that these three did it together?
“No!” I immediately pushed aside this line of thought. “Roland is too strong. He couldn’t possibly be taken down by those three knights alone.”
“It looks like you’ve made some progress on your investigation.” I jumped in alarm. When I turned around, I saw that the voice belonged to Knight-Captain Judgment.
“So Roland is the name of the Death Knight?” Judgment stared at me intently, as if he could divine the answer from my facial expression.
I’m beginning to realize how he’s able to coerce criminals to speak the truth now. He’s really deserving of the title of Judgment, to be able to deduce that Roland is the Death Knight just from that one sentence.
“You’re acquainted with that Death Knight? But I’ve never heard you mention that name before. Is it someone you knew a long time ago?” Err… I haven’t said anything yet, right? Why do I get the feeling that Judgment knows every single detail? How scary!
“Yesterday, Blaze met the Death Knight and someone who was wearing clothes that were all black.” Upon saying this, Judgment glanced at me casually and said, “You don’t seem to be surprised. Did you know this already, then? But the meeting amongst the Twelve Holy Knights has just ended, and Blaze left after me, so you shouldn’t have heard it from him yet.”
“…” I guess I don’t even need to respond for Judgment to deduce all the answers on his own within a minute.
He probably saw that I had no intention of responding, so Judgment stopped his questioning and just explained. “According to Blaze’s account of the events, that Death Knight seems to be on the verge of becoming a Death Lord, so I’m planning to dispatch half of the Holy Temple’s forces to search for him within the city. The Pope also agreed to send half of the Church’s priests to assist in the search. We absolutely cannot allow a Death Lord to be born.”
Then Roland’s only fate would be to end up being burnt at stake! I forcibly suppressed my anxiety and brought forth my dignity as the Sun Knight which I had not shown in ages. I said curtly, “Taking care of undead creatures falls under the responsibility of the Sun Knight. Knight-Captain Judgment, you seemed to have overstepped your jurisdiction.”
“I’m extremely sorry, Knight-Captain Sun. I was under the impression that you’re on vacation, and this situation with the Death Knight absolutely cannot be dragged on, so I had to act on your behalf. If you would like to take back the reigns, then please cancel your vacation. As a reminder, you still have two days left for your investigation,” Judgment responded in a completely calm manner as well.
When he finished speaking, he turned to leave, but as he passed me, he said in a low voice, “Ever since our childhood, how many times have you forced me to overstep my jurisdiction for you? Help me in battle, help me investigate, help me beat up my bullies – who’s the one that has been making all these requests?”
Err…that does sound like something that the “young and immature me” had said.
“Regardless of who Roland might be, preventing a Death Lord from being born by all means ought to be one of your guiding principles right, Sun Knight?”
“Yes, that is one of the Sun Knight’s guiding principles,” I admitted with a nod. It’s just that Grisia has his own principles as well.
Hearing my reply, Judgment gave a final nod and left.
There’s not much time left now. At their highest level of efficiency, the Church and the Holy Temple would still need about half a day to assemble half their forces and group them into platoons to be sent to investigate each district. Within this half day window, I must find Roland’s whereabouts and hide him at Pink’s place. I have great confidence that Pink would be able to hide Roland away properly and securely.
Being highly attuned to dark auras, finding Roland within half a day should not be a difficult task as long as that guy isn’t hiding anywhere too unusual.
I went back to my room to get my Divine Sun Sword and put on my stealthy cloak, and arrived not too long afterwards in the center of the city, which also happens to be the city’s largest plaza. Then, pretending to be a worn-out traveler, I sat down by the edge of the central fountain.
Under the shadow of the cloak, I held onto the Divine Sun Sword. The pure holy element of the Divine Sun Sword makes me even more sensitive to dark auras.
With both eyes closed, I sensed for any dark auras in Leaf Bud City. Just as how every city is sure to have places of darkness, every person is bound to have traces of darkness in their being. But that amount is very minimal for cities and normal citizens alike. Generally, they are brimming with all sorts of elements, perhaps some fire element here and some water element there. Only those who cultivate a particular skill would have a high concentration of that particular element. For example, magicians who study fire-type magic are bound to have an abnormally high amount of fire element in their bodies.
By examining their internal composition of elements, I can pretty much deduce someone’s occupation the first time I meet them.
Fortunately, my ability to sense elements is not a common one, to the point that it could be considered a rare innate gift. Although those not born with it can still learn to do this, the results generally aren’t that great.
The fact that I possess this ability is something only my teacher knows, and my teacher had warned me very harshly not to divulge this secret to anyone. I was also forbidden to use this skill unless absolutely necessary.
That is because this ability is just too frightening, since everyone’s composition of elements is unique and cannot be changed significantly in the short term. As such, as soon as I recognize someone’s makeup of elements I would be able to track their whereabouts. Also, as mentioned previously, I could tell which elements someone possesses the first time we meet, to the point that I could even know whether they were carrying any enchanted accessories, and the approximate power of those accessories as well.
If others were to find out that I am able to clearly see their abilities, it really wouldn’t be to my advantage.
Moreover, ever since I became the Sun Knight, my ability to sense elements has dulled, since my own holy element has become so prevalent and always interferes with my ability to sense other elements. It is only toward one particular element that my sensing ability has actually gotten stronger, and that is precisely the element that is the opposite of holy: darkness!
I indeed felt a good amount of dark element around the city, though the amount wasn’t especially high. Leaf Bud City is comparatively fresh and clean relative to other cities.
I kept expanding and expanding the area of my search, starting from the streets of the plaza and extending out in all directions. I searched through shady alley corners, rickety old shacks, and horse stables filled with rations and fodder, but still could find no traces of Roland.
Where did he hide himself? His dark element is exceedingly strong, so there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to find him.
Could it be…I looked doubtfully behind my back. Not too far away stood the most important site in the entire country, the imperial palace.
The palace could be considered the darkest place ever. Although within its walls are many loyal knights, there are even more aristocrats with hearts darker than black. Just from Storm’s words that over 80% of the nobility have a hobby of torturing others, one can tell that the imperial palace is definitely the most sordid place in all of Leaf Bud City.
I could sense that the entire palace was shrouded in a cloud of darkness. If Roland really were to hide in there, I definitely would not have noticed.
I really don’t want to extend my senses inside that mass of darkness… I grieved in my heart. But, I could not find Roland anywhere else, and that was the only place left to look.
Once again I closed my eyes, and reluctantly extended my senses inside the imperial palace.
Soon after, I opened my eyes again. How is it that he doesn’t seem to be in there either?
Could it be that he left the city? I thought idly. This is good news. Judgment wouldn’t be able to find him like this.
“Don’t tell me it’s the Sun Knight’s duty to be daydreaming in the middle of the plaza?”
“Of course not. Normally, I would be quite busy!” I countered automatically, but when I raised my head I became dumbfounded. Right in front of me stood the very guy whom I searched for all over but just couldn’t find… Roland!
Roland stood by me, practically unchanged since childhood, only taller and sturdier than before. He had a slender build, a bright and handsome face, and an ever so serious expression. Just by standing there, he gave an impression of being a tough guy. Even his smiles gave off an indescribably oppressive feeling, but very few people would object to the oppressive feeling that Roland emitted. He was just one of those natural-born leaders who could make people do his bidding happily and willingly.
However, what surprised me most was that Roland looked like a…normal human being!
He looked completely different from that ghastly color-faded appearance of his from before. Had he appeared before my eyes looking like this the last time we met, I would have been able to tell from one glance that he was Roland.
I asked blankly, “You…were resurrected?” But I wanted to slap myself as soon as the words left my mouth. How could he be resurrected after dying and even having become a Death Knight!
“No, I obviously didn’t get resurrected,” Roland answered me, completely serious like always. Then, politely as ever, he asked, “May I sit down?”
“Uh, sure.” Now, my mind was in complete disarray, frantically wondering why Roland looked so human despite not being resurrected. It couldn’t be that this Roland was only some sort of strange figment of my imagination?
Roland sat down by my side and said to me with a smile, “Grisia, you’re the same as ever. Whenever a difficult problem comes your way, you would sit down in a plaza or something, lost in thought.”
That’s because I was using my element sensing abilities, not because I was lost in thought!
“Why do you look like this?” I couldn’t resist asking.
Roland raised his left hand, and I immediately noticed the ring on his middle finger. Roland never wore jewelry, especially not this kind of pink, heart-shaped ring that anyone could tell from one look was some kind of cheap counterfeit. I believe that this ring must have some kind of special apocalyptic-inducing ability in order for Roland to wear it willingly.
Roland gave a soft sigh. “This is the Ring of Life that Pink gave me, which allows me to assume the artificial appearance of a human. But using Holy Light is enough to easily sweep away this illusion.”
“I can tell that the ring belongs to Pink… Did she give you that sword as well?” Who would have thought that this living appearance was all created by the effects of a ring that looks like it might have been used by little girls to play house?
Next time I go to Pink’s house, I probably should pay attention to that teddy bear in the corner. Who knows, perhaps that teddy bear has the ability to summon forth a demon king or something?
“No, this sword is a family heirloom. I thought I would never use a wicked sword such as this.” Roland smiled somewhat grudgingly. “I never imagined that I would be using this sword as a Death Knight, and actually be aligned with the forces of evil…”
“Hold on!” I waved my hand around to interrupt Roland, as I felt the presence of roughly five holy knights and two priests entering the plaza. Although they probably wouldn’t predict that the Death Knight would appear in the largest, most populated plaza, Judgment would always do everything carefully without overlooking even a single hair. He obviously wouldn’t just let such a big plaza go uninvestigated.
This was bad; the Death Knight was sitting right next to me!
Although Roland might look like a human, sitting next to him I could still faintly feel the dark aura that he is emitting. It would be hard to guarantee that he wouldn’t be detected by the priests… Uh oh! This is bad—a priest kept darting his eyes in our direction, and even pointed us out to the holy knight next to him. They seemed to be preparing to come over and take a closer look.
“Roland, leave now!” I urged with a low voice.
However, although Roland glanced at that group of holy knights, he still made no motions to leave, and even kept a calm and easygoing attitude.
What a disaster—not only did the holy knights come over, but all seven of them were together, each with grave expressions. It can’t be that we really were found out?
My heart was beating wildly, and I was still wondering how to finagle past my own group of holy knights when the seven of them were already at Roland’s side. …And ignoring his existence, they walked past him and stood in front of me.
The leader of the knights then said to me vigilantly, “Sir, please take off the hood of your cloak.”
I took off the hood expressionlessly, while Roland stood by the side looking away. I could tell from the way his shoulders shook that he was stifling his laughter.
“Ahh, Sun Knight?!” The seven of them were obviously given quite a big shock. Even if they really found the Death Knight, I think they wouldn’t be more shocked than this.
As if filled with grief, I responded, “Could it be that Sun is no longer being blessed by the God of Light, so the holy aura permeating this body is lost to the extent that my fellow holy knights would mistake Sun to be a Death Knight brimming with dark aura?”
“No, no, that’s not how it is!” The seven of them simultaneously shook their heads, a truly dramatic sight to behold!
“Then is it because Sun’s behavior and movements are overly devious and shifty, to the extent that my fellow holy knights would mistake Sun to be a Death Knight lurking about?”
The seven of them again shook their heads simultaneously, gyrating back and forth at 180°.
“Then could it just be a beautiful misunderstanding permitted by the God of Light on occasion?”
The seven of them shook their heads again until they realized what I had just said. After making seven different terrified expressions, they all started to adjust their heads to move up and down.
“Since it’s all just a beautiful misunderstanding permitted by the God of Light, then Sun will disturb his brothers no more. Please continue carrying out the will of the God of Light.”
After the seven of them hastily saluted me and I saluted back slowly and calmly, they scrambled to flee the scene without looking back, as though I, the Sun Knight, was even more frightening than the Death Knight.
It’s probably my initial expressionless face that scared them. For the Sun Knight who has to uphold a principle of smiling even upon death to suddenly stop smiling, it would look pretty scary even without showing an angry expression. It seems like I will need to pay even more attention to my smiles in the future, or else unsavory rumors could easily spread around about the Sun Knight and his unstable temper.
I put back on the hood of my cloak and turned around to see a somewhat surprised look on Roland’s face. He asked, “Grisia, since when did you start speaking in such an erudite manner?”
“…Don’t even ask.”
I told him, “Roland, just hurry and hide at Pink’s place. That priest back there probably really did feel a dark aura, and it’s just that you were sitting there out in the open looking so innocent that they would mistake me by your side for the Death Knight.
Roland fell silent for a while before saying quietly, “I was just saying goodbye to you, Grisia. The next time we meet, we’ll be enemies.”
“Enemies…then you really do hate me.” I lowered my head dejectedly. Originally I still held onto a tiny bit of hope that Roland is not someone who would keep a grudge and perhaps he might even have already forgotten the fact that I had stolen his position as the Sun Knight.
But instead, Roland asked, “Why would I hate you?”
“You don’t hate me?” I lifted my head suddenly and loudly asked, “Then why would you hack me down the minute you showed up?”
Roland revealed an apologetic expression. “That’s because Pink asked me to bring some undead creatures for you to take care of. I only wanted to greet you with a wave, but I only recently became a Death Knight and had forgotten that my speed and strength were both increased, and the result was that I didn’t have enough time to retract my hand and accidently cut through you. I’m really sorry!”
“…” I grudgingly asked, “Then why did you say that you would come back and look for me?”
“I originally was going to come back and look for you so I could say goodbye.” Roland replied matter-of-factly.
Roland, you knucklehead! Don’t you realize that you’re already a Death Knight? I was almost killed by your “greetings” and “goodbyes”.
“Roland, if humans had two lives, I would be sure to let you die a second time,” I said angrily while gritting my teeth.
It’s bad enough that he slashed at me, but how could he then say something that could be so easily misinterpreted like, “I will come back to find you, Sun Knight”? That caused people to misunderstand me to the point that I was almost ready to become a martyr and slam myself to death against the church pillars.
“You can burn me to death,” Roland answered quite calmly. “After I kill my nemesis, then I’ll let you burn me to death.”
“I was just kidding.” I frowned. I almost forgot, Roland is such a serious guy that you can’t joke with him at all.
“I was being serious. If I didn’t need to kill that person, then I wouldn’t have allowed myself to exist in this world as an evil spirit.”
“Is the person who killed you the crown prince?” Upon hearing my words, Roland stared blankly before nodding his head.
So it really was the crown prince? My mood immediately became heavy.
“You won’t succeed. Judgment Knight, for one, is not as addle-brained…ahem! I mean, not as ‘kind-hearted’ as me. He would definitely set up a net around the crown prince that stretches from the ground up to the heavens, so it’d be impossible for you to succeed.” I said.
Roland turned around and I could see he was so agitated that his eyeballs were starting to deform, as though they were starting to turn back into the vengeful and fiery eyes of a Death Knight.
“It doesn’t matter what’s the chance of success, I will definitely kill him,” Roland answered firmly.
“Roland, vengeance is not an appropriate characteristic for a knight,” I pressed on.
“No Grisia, I’m not doing this out of revenge,” Roland coldly explained. “This isn’t the first time he has committed the crime. I was victimized because I couldn’t stand his transgressions any longer and wanted to expose him for what he is. Letting him live would only result in more innocent victims.”
I was completely dumbstruck and at a loss for words. Is the crown prince really a two-faced person who puts a smiling face forward while hiding the personality of a sadistic killer in the back?
Roland stood up, the dark aura on his body dispersing wildly all around. “I will definitely kill him so that he cannot endanger anyone ever again.”
“Your lingering obsession is to kill him?” If that’s how it is, then this is going to be difficult. There is no compromise for such a lingering obsession.
“Lingering obsession?” Roland stared at me blankly.
“Yes. Last time you almost became a Death Lord. For you to progress this far in such a short amount of time, you must have a lingering obsession that is nearly impossible to accomplish. And if it is about killing him, then it really is a nearly impossible lingering obsession.” I shook my head. Don’t tell me that the only solution is to burn Roland after all?
I looked up and just happened to see Roland giving me a weird look. “What?” I asked, somewhat baffled.
“No, I should leave. The dark aura that I had released a moment ago when I lost control probably has been noticed already. Grisia, next time we meet, I hope you’ll appear before me as the Sun Knight.” As soon as he finished, Roland turned and left without pause.
Dazed, I sat in the plaza, my heart filled with a swirl of emotions. It is already impossible to stop Roland from trying to kill others, so what should I do?
Expose Roland’s plans? That way, no matter how strong he may be, under the careful watch of the imperial palace and the Church of the God of Light, he would have no chance of success and might not even escape. If that were to happen, as the Sun Knight I would have to personally take Roland away to be burnt at the stake and light the match to barbeque him.
On the other hand, I could keep Roland’s plans to myself and wait for him to slice the ruler of the country into two. I hate to admit it, but with his strength and under the guise provided by the Ring of Life, Roland might actually succeed…
Damn you Roland! Why couldn’t you just do the deed quietly on your own and just gossip to me about it later? Why did you have to tell me beforehand about your evil plans, giving me a massive headache as I debate whether or not to put you on a barbeque stand?
Then the sound of disorderly footsteps drew close. When I looked up, it was indeed the tardy group of holy knights. I shook my head. To have come only now, they wouldn’t even be able to find the shadow left behind by the Death Knight!
“Over there!” Ehh? Could it be that Roland came back again? I looked all around but didn’t see any signs of him…
“You! Take off the hood of your cloak!” An entire platoon of holy knights charged at me with all the fanfare of a herd of bulls and shouted at me fiercely.
“…” Exactly how many times are you guys going to mistake me for the Death Knight before you’re satisfied?!
[Sun Knight Volume 1 Chapter 8 End]