The Legend of Sun Knight Volume 1: An Introduction to Knight Theory
Original novel in Chinese by: 御我 (Yu Wo)
Ninth Rule of Sun Knights: “If you want to know a secret, ask a woman” – translated by Raylight
The sound of a wooden door creaking open came from a small, rundown house that looked as though it would fall apart when the wind blew. Under the door handle a little girl’s pink face appeared, her mouth sucking on a strawberry lollipop that was even bigger than her head.
“Pink, I agree to be your apprentice from now on, and I will learn necromancy,” I said seriously.
Pink was stunned for a moment, then she beckoned me with her finger, signaling for me to squat down.
What? Is it possible that to become her apprentice, one still has to go through a ceremony? I squatted down with suspicion. Then Pink beckoned me with her finger again, telling me to come closer. I obliged, moving my face nearer.
After that, she placed her palm horizontally against my forehead, exclaiming, “Oh no! Sun, your forehead feels really hot! Burning up like this, it’s no wonder you were speaking nonsense just now!”
“Your hands are icy because you’re a corpse…”
Pink withdrew her hand and, after looking at it for a while, she said in realization, “That’s true, I nearly forgot that I’m a dead person. But then…”
She glanced at me doubtfully. “Are you sure that you don’t have a fever?”
I rolled my eyes and said sullenly, “Under the protection of the God of Light, I haven’t had a fever since I was ten years old.”
“Oh!” Pink nodded. With much understanding, she said, “Then there is something that you want me to help you with? This time your determination is certainly strong, if you intend to sell even your ‘living self’.”
I hurried to explain the details of the contract. “I only said that I wanted to learn necromancy from you! I still want to continue being the Sun Knight!”
“A Sun Knight who is a part-time apprentice to a necromancer?” Pink shook her head, sighing. “You’re the only one who dares to do these sorts of things. You’re not scared that your God of Light will send thunder to strike you down?”
“I believe that the God of Light will understand my pains!” I said soberly. Then I added to my explanation, “Besides, no one has seen Him for several hundred years, and I believe that he would not descend to Earth simply for this small matter.”
Pink licked her lollipop and didn’t express her opinions on this, sending a shiver down my spine. In that instant, I seriously considered how high the probability was of the God of Light striking me with thunder…
I shouldn’t be so unlucky! I shook my head and asked Pink, “So? Do you accept it or not?”
“Tell me, what do you want me to do?”
“I would like you to—”
After telling Pink my request, I walked back to the Church. Of course, I had already pulled off the hood of my cloak. If another fellow came along and mistook me for the Death Knight again, I would definitely be so angry that I would turn that fellow into a “dead knight.”
Continuing on, I still had to request something of someone. Comparatively, this person was easier to deal with than Pink, so I wasn’t too troubled.
I smiled at one of the holy knights in the corridor. “My holy knight brother, the God of Light hangs high in the universe’s center, his smile overlooking everyone. What a day filled with brilliant radiance. I hope that you can also feel the God of Light’s warmth.”
The holy knight that was stopped by me was extremely excited, and with a tone of respect and admiration, he returned the greeting. “I also hope that you can feel the God of Light’s warmth. Knight-Captain Sun, the weather today really is very good. I hope that we can successfully catch the Death Knight today.”
I nodded my head. “My brother, I was wondering if you know where brother Knight-Captain Storm is currently bathing in the God of Light’s kindness?”
The holy knight started to get nervous, and asked with uncertainty, “Er… May I ask if you are asking where the Storm Knight is?”
The holy knight answered in relief, “Knight-Captain Storm has been in his room for the past three days, reviewing documents.”
“My holy knight brother, Sun is extremely grateful for your words filled with goodwill and kindheartedness. I hope that you’ll feel the God of Light’s warmth throughout your days,” I thanked him politely, and immediately turned to leave.
“Knight-Captain Sun, you’re really too polite!” The holy knight sent me off with a worshipping gaze.
I walked without halting to Storm’s door, and knocked.
After a while, the door opened as slowly as it possibly could. A grayish-white face about the same shade as a Death Knight’s appeared. If I wasn’t certain that Death Knights don’t form black rings around their eyes, I really would’ve believed that Storm had become the second Death Knight inside Leaf Bud City.
I was about to open my mouth to speak, but was stopped by a wave of Storm’s hand. He said feebly, “Sun, please speak in the simplest terms that you can find. If not, I guarantee that I will fall asleep within three seconds.”
I pondered for a while, and said only two words: “Help me.”
“Can I reject?” Storm asked with trembling lips that were completely pale from successive all-nighters.
I thought it over again, and shortened my thoughts to one word. “Order.”
“…Definitely simple enough.”
Once I had briefed Storm on the matter, I left to do my next task, extremely assured even though Storm looked as though he would keel over and die any second.
However, there was no need to worry. For even if he really did keel over and die, he would become a Death Knight, then climb back up to finish the work. This fellow is just that earnest of a worker, which doesn’t match the carefree image of the Storm Knight in the least.
Just as I was about to find a place to sneakily change into “Supreme Dragon”, the sound of uniform footsteps came from the other end of the corridor, as well as some whispering. Such a disciplined platoon could only be Knight-Captain Judgment’s.
Sure enough, Knight-Captain Judgment walked over not long after, leading twenty or so holy knights. As usual, he said to me, “May you soon comprehend the harsh ways of the God of Light, Knight-Captain Sun.”
“Tonight, the Death Knight will go to the palace for revenge,” I whispered.
Hearing this, Knight-Captain Judgment stopped in his footsteps. It was such an abrupt halt, but the twenty or so holy knights behind him actually also stopped uniformly, without a hint of disorder or expressions of shock.
Judgment waved his hand once, and his platoon immediately departed, passing around us without any objections.
After waiting until everyone was gone, Judgment instantly asked me, “Are you certain?”
“Yes!” I nodded quickly, for that fellow Roland had never dragged things on. If he said that he was going to do it, it was guaranteed that he really would do it right away.
Judgment looked at me a bit skeptically and asked, “Are you determined to catch him?”
“I am the Sun Knight, Knight-Captain Judgment,” I calmly told him. “A Sun Knight absolutely will not permit those who are already dead to interfere with those who are living, even if the living has sinned beyond pardon.”
Judgment Knight coolly replied, “Tonight, I will send some knights to lay in ambush in the palace to protect that person and catch the Death Knight at the same time.”
I threw him a quick glance. “How remarkable. Have you already discovered who killed Roland?”
“Yes. I caught the execution groundskeeper and asked about the specific condition of the corpse.” Judgment briefly explained. “Once I knew that he was tortured to death, I let Storm go and investigate the aristocrats who have connections with the third son of Baron Gerland and an evil habit of torturing people to death. There are only three suspects: His Majesty the king, the crown prince, and Baron Gerland.”
Poor Storm. Not only did he get bombarded with work from me, but he also got bombarded with work from Judgment. No wonder he looks more dead than alive.
“Then how did you detemine who it is?” I asked, a little curious.
“Actually, based on recent happenings, I already had an idea of who it might be. Nevertheless, for the sake of certainty, I let Ice, who had seen the Death Knight, pick from the holy knights someone who looked the most similar. After disguising the selected person’s face to be a bit paler, we brought him to visit the three people, and even made him act suspiciously.”
Judgment shook his head, sighing. “Although this method of deceiving people is not very proper, it is very effective. It was really easy to determine who the murderer was, for the murderer was so afraid that his whole body trembled.”
“How formidable!” I praised with heartfelt admiration, for I only found out who the murderer was after talking to Roland face to face.
“Since you have already made up your mind, tonight we’ll have the Sun Knight platoon and the Judgment Knight platoon lie in wait at the palace together,” Judgment said, cautiously making his decision. “After all, though that person’s sins cannot be pardoned, he still cannot be the least bit injured, otherwise it will incur a storm.”
“I agree, but I would like to bring Blaze and Earth along.”
Judgment seemed to be puzzled as he asked, “I can comprehend the reason for bringing Earth together, as his protective abilities can ensure that that person does not get injured. However, Blaze’s specialty is against spirits, not undead creatures.”
I shook my head. “Judgment, I’m afraid that I saw Roland face to face earlier and he was already on the verge of becoming a Death Lord. If he becomes a Death Lord on the spot due to his lingering obsession, and summons creatures of darkness such as spirits, there will be a lot of trouble for us.”
“True; you’re still more familiar with undead creatures than me. Doing it this way is more thorough.” Judgment nodded his head as he added, “I am also very happy that you finally set your mind to eliminate a former friend, which must not have been easy.”
“It was difficult,” I answered tranquilly. “Extremely difficult, especially since it is Roland.”
“After this matter is resolved, I will be more than happy to hear you talk about Roland’s deeds when he was still alive.” Judgment nodded again and then bid farewell to me. “May your friend rest in peace soon.”
With that, he left.
After watching Judgment’s departure, I turned my head to look outside the window. Good, the sunlight outside is still bright! It was still early enough for me to finish my business and come back again to convene with my Sun Knight platoon.
After settling things with Storm and Judgment, I was left with only one more thing to do, which was to sneak into the palace to find the place where Roland was tortured.
Since Roland said that the person was a criminal accustomed to torturing people to death, there would definitely be a place used specifically for torturing them. If I were able to find this place and obtain proof, then I would be able to expose that person’s crimes.
The palace was heavily guarded, but nevertheless, I had been there countless times.
That fat pig of a king keeps stirring up trouble from time to time, and every time I have to be dispatched there to preach to him until he get fed up with it, then it’ll be the turn for one of the Twelve Holy Knights who had accompanied me to threaten him. Most of the time, the person accompanying me there was Storm Knight, but when matters are grave enough, it would be Judgment Knight.
Apart from advising the fat pig, I also frequently come here to facilitate good communication between the Church and the palace. The queen’s birthday, the baron’s daughter’s coming of age ball, the prince’s first hunt, and many more random happenings are all within the scope of my job.
In conclusion, the Sun Knight is the Church of the God of Light’s living, walking billboard.
Not to mention that the queen is my teacher’s adoptive mother, and at that time my teacher called the crown prince his brother. Therefore, my teacher often brought me to the palace for leisure activities, under the pretext of helping to facilitate good communication between the Church of the God of Light and the palace. In reality, he was drinking afternoon tea with the beautiful queen, the princess, and a bunch of ladies….
Ahem! Hence, having lived in this world for twenty-three years, the place most familiar to me, except for the Church of the God of Light, is this palace.
Therefore, the palace’s defenses are not a problem to me whatsoever, for I can openly and legitimately walk in from the main gate. The palace guards on both sides even salute me respectfully!
“Dragon’s Saint Brigandine, in the name of the descendants of the Dragons, I command thee, activate!”
After finding a dark corner within the palace, and wearing the blood-sucking, silver and black shirt, I intended to sneak around the palace secretly and find the torture chamber…
My lord, your servant’s name is Dragon’s Saint Brigandine, not Blood-sucking Shirt.
“Ugh! You scared me to death.” I patted my chest, over my heart. Don’t be afraid! I thought to myself. I scolded it, “If there’s nothing wrong, don’t speak so suddenly. I nearly thought that I had been discovered.”
Yes, my lord.
Although wearing a body of black clothes in the daytime is not a very wise move, at least it was better than wearing the Sun Knight’s attire and being discovered conducting dishonorable behavior by others.
Moreover, even if it were daytime now, the palace corridors still had a whole bunch of bizarre, gigantic decorations that I could use to hide myself. Some examples are vases taller than people (Can you even put flowers inside?), extremely heavy armor that knights couldn’t walk around in even if they wanted to (What were they made for in the first place?), and a huge collection of sculptures.
In the event that I still couldn’t dodge the guards, that’s alright too.
My teacher often said, “Child, don’t think that the palace is really some impenetrable fortress. Perhaps when it was first constructed, it might have been. However, every king would want to open a secret passage in the palace that only he knows for escaping. Conveniently, he would also want to open another secret chamber that he could use to do private stuff…. After ten or so generations of kings, there are ten or so secret tunnels and ten or so secret chambers. Although both the secret passages and the secret chambers are “secret” in name, you shouldn’t think that those are actually secret. Believe me, even the current king doesn’t know as much as the people by his side, the queen and the princess.”
“Then teacher, why would you know that?” I was totally baffled.
“The princess told me, of course.”
“Why would the princess tell you, teacher?”
“If she didn’t tell me, then how could I sneak into the palace and have a secret love affair with her? …Hush! Little kids don’t need to know so much; just memorize the locations of the entrances of the secret passages and secret chambers clearly.”
Now that I think about it, my teacher really wasn’t a normal person. Why?
That is because at that time, there were only two princesses in the palace. One’s age was close to fifty, and was the king’s unmarried younger sister. The other was fifteen years old, and was the king’s daughter. At that time, my teacher was about thirty years old. I really wonder if he was a cradle-robber1 or if he was the one being cradle-robbed… Ahem! But I digress. Anyway, I guess the location of the torture chamber should be a secret chamber that isn’t too far from the perpetrator’s bedroom.
First I intended to try my luck and look in the existing secret chambers, for that person would probably make use of the existing secret chambers, instead of opening another one.
After all, according to the number of secret tunnels and secret chambers that my teacher told me about, the foundation under this entire palace is already almost completely hollow. Perhaps even the palace architect wouldn’t dare to dig a hole thoughtlessly, to avoid accidently making the whole palace collapse.
I went about sneakily through the corridor, and darted into the entrance of a secret passage when the coast was clear. Then I darted out and into another secret passageway. On the way, I even nearly ran into a couple that were hugging and kissing. Luckily they were too engrossed with kissing, and didn’t notice that there was an extra person around, namely me. I hurriedly turned away into another fork in the tunnel….
Wait a second! I frowned as I thought. The couple just now who were having a secret affair… was one of them Her Highness the princess?
This was that princess who was fifteen back then, and may or may not have had an affair with my teacher. This year she was already over twenty-five years old, yet still brazenly refused to marry princes from other countries. So it’s because she already has someone that she loves… More than likely, the other party’s status isn’t high and thus it’s utterly impossible for the king to allow the princess to marry him, so they can only have an affair in a secret passage.
Looks like these secret passageways and secret chambers really are, as my teacher said, not a big secret at all. They’re practically a scenic spot for affairs.
As I advanced further, I considered the positions of the many secret chambers that my teacher told me about. The perpetrator’s room has many secret chambers surrounding it, but only three have passages to the bedroom. Of the three, two of them can be accessed from the secret passages outside. The other one is sealed off, and only has one passage to the bedroom.
I plan to check out the two secret chambers that can be entered from other secret passages first.
Inside the secret passages, I prowled around for quite a while. Thankfully, my memory was extraordinary, and I could even find my way out of such a confusing passageway. Not long later, I stepped into an empty, deserted chamber. According to my memory, this should be one of the places I wanted to go.
Then again, seeing that the spider webs here were even more solid than the material of my cape, I had a feeling that this wasn’t the place.
My next plan was to enter the bedroom from here, and then get into the two other chambers from there. Still, looking at all these layers of spider webs before my eyes and thinking that I would have to worm through them, I really just wanted to set them on fire and burn them all to ashes.
However, the palace has mages. If a mage sensed the magic I cast, I would have problems. Thus, I could only reluctantly use my hand to tear apart the spider webs. I went through much effort and pain, with my whole body covered with spider webs, before I finally managed to get to the other side of the chamber. I squatted down to check the hidden door….
“It’s sealed shut.”
I felt like crying when I discovered this. Sigh! I should have known. How can a dignified royal leave alone a secret passage leading to his own room and not care?
“I hope that the other secret passageway isn’t sealed up.”
Carrying this hope, I backed out of there. Once again, I twisted and turned this way and that, before finally arriving at another secret passage. What I didn’t expect was that this secret passage was a lot smaller than the one before and approximately about half my height. I could only kneel down and crawl through it. Once I had crawled to the end, the secret chamber was basically an empty hole, and neither its height nor width was even two meters. Never mind murdering someone, even squeezing two people inside would be forcing it!
I lifted my head to check the hidden door. The hidden door here was on the ceiling and luckily it wasn’t sealed shut. This secret tunnel is probably better concealed, since even the bedroom’s owner doesn’t know of it. I lightly pushed the hidden door upwards, and opened it a crack. This hidden door sure is heavy! Looking left and right, I thought, Good! There’s not even a single trace of a human being in the bedroom.
Originally, I wanted to lift the whole hidden door upwards lightly. However, I soon realized that the door wouldn’t move at all. Using all the strength I could muster, I lifted the hidden door up about ten centimeters and, with great effort, moved it sideways. At long last, I managed to shift the hidden door aside. I had also just about soaked my clothes through with sweat.
Phewww! I suspect that without the increased strength from wearing the Dragon’s Saint Brigandine, I probably would’ve been unable to open the hidden door.
When I had finished panting for breath and climbed up into the bedroom, I found that there was actually a marble cabinet on top of the hidden door! It was taller than me by a dozen or more centimeters. No wonder it was so heavy!
Still, now was not the time to complain. Since I don’t know when the owner of this bedroom will be returning, I better hurry and get back to business.
Without spending much effort, I found the sealed secret chamber behind the full-length mirror hanging on the wall. Then, I took a step into this last place, hoping that my trip here hadn’t been wasted….
The smell of blood attacked my nose at once. It was dense, strong, and brought with it a rotten smell.
In front of my eyes, a thick, heavy piece of fabric obstructed my view, but it was unable to block out that smell of blood. I knew that I had found the right place.
I walked in front, and lifted the cloth….
I was stunned. Having already found the evidence, leaving as soon as possible was the safest course of action. However, I could only foolishly stare at this place. There was no sign of a corpse, nor was there any gory scene of flesh and blood. Conversely, this place was scrubbed very clean, and the chains and all kinds of torture instruments on the wall were even oiled and polished.
The wooden bed in the center was also gleaming.
It was probably the bloodstains that couldn’t be scrubbed off no matter how hard people tried. The bloodstains were coated layer upon layer, and in the end, the solidified blood on top of the wooden bed became so black that it gleamed.
The surrounding walls and floor seemed to have no marks at first glance. However, the cries of the deceased penetrated through the depths of the walls, as well as the stench of rot and blood that seemed to come from hell itself.
This place that looked ostensibly clean at first glance was actually filled with the most sordid, filthy ideations, and the deceased’s tormented cries permeated the air.
I couldn’t help but use my finger to scratch the layer of black gleaming blood on the wooden bed. The layer was even harder than I thought, for my finger was only stained with a little bit of blackish-red.
Within this bit of blackish-red, Roland’s blood is here too, right?
“Roland, if you died in this kind of place, then I understand why you would become a Death Knight, and why you are so determined to kill him.”
My eyes were a little moist, but I didn’t want to hold back my tears. Both Roland and I were orphans, and he even died for this kind of shady reason. Perhaps I was the only one who felt saddened by his death.
Only I will shed tears for him.
[Sun Knight Volume 1 Chapter 9 End]
1 Cradle-robber: Original saying is 老牛吃嫩草, lit. “Old cow eating young grass.” It means an old person who has a young spouse.