The Legend of Sun Knight Volume 2: The Daily Duties of a Knight
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Sun Knight’s Daily Duty #1: “Eat Breakfast!” – translated by Evangeline
“Knight-Captain Sun, Knight-Captain Sun…”
“Hmm…” I flopped over onto the other side of my bed, burying my head under the pillow in the process. Now I won’t have to hear any more of that ‘knight’ business…
Wait, I can still hear it. I slowly pulled my head from under the pillow and sat up. Even though my eyes were open, I could only see blurry images and I couldn’t focus on anything. Thus, I could tell right away that this was not the normal time for me to wake up!
Who is the bastard that dares to disturb my sleep?!
I called out in a voice that was an octave lower than my normal one, “May I ask if the fellow knight outside was inspired by the God of Light to come forth and knock on Sun’s door to share a discourse on the benevolence of the God of Light?”
Someone gave a sigh of relief from outside, but that sigh then turned into a hasty and urging call, “Knight-Captain Sun! I’m Adair! Have you forgotten? Today’s Sunday.”
“Sunday…is a holiday!” I flopped back into bed, pulled up the bedspread, and curled into a ball.
“No! Knight-Captain Sun, today is your turn to conduct the church worship service. Did you forget? Knight-Captain, Knight-Captain…”
The volume of the yelling gradually decreased. This was very satisfying to me. Even though I can sleep through an intense uproar, I sleep even better without noise. If it’s Sunday, then I will just sleep until noon and get up to eat…lunch…
I shot up from the bed. What, what? What exactly happened?
“Knight-Captain Judgment, please don’t be so rude…”
I turned just in time to see Judgment slamming my door closed, and this time he almost slammed it into Adair’s nose. If I were to be the judge, then I would say that Adair was the one being rude. I couldn’t believe that he would dare speak to Judgment in such a manner. Even I wouldn’t dare to!
“Your vice-captain is as obstinate as ever. He couldn’t wake you up outside, yet refused to come inside to try.”
Once he closed the door, Judgment’s aloof face managed to soften a little bit. He shook his head and said, “Having a vice-captain with that kind of personality, it’s no wonder that your Sun Knight Platoon has been causing trouble nonstop. Three days ago they ganged up on the third son of Baron Gerland in a fight, which made the baron so furious that he even complained to the crown prince.”
“Urgh… That incident gave me a headache too.” I sighed. “But what could be done? As you know, Adair just has that kind of stubborn personality!”
Judgment’s deep black eyes stared at me in a skeptical way, and he said, “This business baffles me a bit, though. Baron Gerland’s third son is a very orthodox knight; he doesn’t seem to be the type to deliberately infuriate the Sun Knight Platoon. Although he was the one responsible for throwing away the corpse in the death knight incident earlier, that was simply him following the king’s orders.”
“I really don’t know. Maybe he stepped on Adair or something? As you know, I rarely take part in the affairs of the Sun Knight Platoon; I let Adair handle everything!” I shrugged, wearing an oblivious-looking face.
Hearing that, Judgment creased his brow a little but didn’t say anything. “What’s done is done,” he added mildly. “Just tell them to stop bothering the third son of Baron Gerland, or else His Highness the Prince will be very troubled as well.”
I replied innocuously, “Fine, I will pass your warning on.”
Judgment looked at me again and reminded me, “You should get ready. The worship service will be starting soon, and you only have thirty minutes to get prepared.”
I froze. Conduct the worship service…ah! Don’t tell me that it’s my turn to conduct the worship service for this Sunday?!
The Church of the God of Light holds weekly “worship services” for the God of Light. The program is as follows: The priest recites a long string of declarations, praising the love of the God of Light and talking about the deeds of the previous generations of the Twelve Holy Knights. Then everyone sings some hymns and lastly—and most importantly—there is a request for donations… Ahem!
So, in conclusion, the Twelve Holy Knights take turns conducting the worship service, and it’s probably me this time around.
Judgment saw my alarmed expression and knew that I was finally awake. He continued, “Now that you remember, get prepared quickly. There is still thirty minutes left, which should be more than enough…”
“What?! Only thirty minutes?” I shrieked. “How is thirty minutes enough time for me to comb my hair, apply my facial mask, boil water to iron my shirt, shine my shoes—”
Judgment winced and said, “If that’s the case, then I will take my leave.” And then he promptly left. I guessed the reason he ran away so quickly was probably because last time he saw me slathering on my green facial mask, I just happened to be standing in the dark. He got so freaked out that he drew out his sword and almost cleaved me in half.
Sheesh, what’s to be scared of?
Nowadays, I only use pink facial masks.
Speaking of masks, it was fortunate that I had prepared a fresh tub of it last night, or else there would be no way for me to finish getting ready in thirty minutes. First I had to boil the water, and then wash my face. Next came putting on the facial mask, and after that, I used my left hand to comb my hair and my right hand to shine my shoes. When the water boiled, it would be time to iron the shirt…
With only five minutes left, I was finally prepared, and I opened the door slowly and gracefully. Once the door was open, I saw Adair standing outside waiting for me.
“Adair.” I greeted him with a smile.
“Yes, Knight-Captain Sun.” Adair promptly saluted me respectfully.
I gestured to him that we could go.
“Sun has heard that you guys were using physical force against the third son of Baron Gerland…” As we walked I showed a grieved expression and sighed. “Showing violence is not behavior that the benevolent God of Light would approve of.”
“But, in the hut at the execution ground, he stabbed you, and wounded you terribly. That’s an unforgivable crime…” Adair said agitatedly.
“Adair!” I interrupted him with a denouncing tone. “The God of Light has taught us that, no matter how serious the sins may be, as long as the sinner is repentant, we must forgive and accept him with a merciful heart. This is the way of the benevolent God of Light. Do you understand, Adair?”
“Understood.” Adair nodded, and muttered in a low voice, “I will beat him up until he repents.”
I sighed elegantly and said, “Adair, you still don’t understand. The Sun Knight Platoon must act in accordance with the benevolence of the God of Light. You can’t bring violence upon others as you wish.”
“Understood.” Adair nodded and muttered again, “We will put a sack over his head first, so that he won’t know it’s the Sun Knight Platoon.”
Oh Adair, Adair, why are you so smart? No wonder I picked you as my vice-captain. I nodded, feeling very satisfied.
When we were about to arrive at the huge Hall of Praise, I stopped, turned, and said to Adair with a smile, “Under the watchful eye of the God of Light, with His benevolence illuminating the land, I believe that blueberries will surely grow more abundant, and that wheat will also flourish. Even the milk would taste as sweet as honey! I give thanks to the God of Light for giving His people food to eat and warm clothes to wear.”
Adair answered politely, “Yes, I will go and prepare breakfast: a blueberry jam sandwich and milk, and perhaps you’d also like some honey biscuits?”
I nodded with utmost satisfaction, and watched Adair fetch my breakfast. On his way, he met another knight from the Sun Knight Platoon and stopped to give an order, “Go and put a sack over that accursed knight from last time, and beat him up until he can’t utter a word of repentance even if he wanted to!”
Ah! Even I can’t completely express my intentions in such simple words, Adair! With a vice-captain like you, what more could a captain like me wish for? …Except maybe just a blueberry sandwich and milk. After keeping busy for the past half an hour, I’ve gotten hungry!
Hmm… Should I finish breakfast first, and then go conduct the assembly? Well, I am the conductor in name only; I am really just an accessory. The real conductors are the priests.
“Yo! Isn’t this our most esteemed and most radiant Sun Knight? Why hasn’t he gone inside already, and is instead standing out here, like an obstructing pillar? Tsk, tsk! And it’s a shining pillar to boot, so sparkly and pretty!”
That kind of language… I hesitated, and then turned to see who it was. Of course, it was Knight-Captain Metal from the “cruel, cold-hearted” faction.
Everyone on the continent knows that Knight-Captain Metal has an infamous poisonous barbed tongue. He could probably kill someone with his words. I heard that if you were to speak with him for ten minutes, your lifespan will shorten by a year.
Despite what they say, I really don’t know how you can consider his words poisonous. Sometimes I even think that he is praising me. For example, take what he said just now, “So sparkly and pretty!” Does that really count as poisonous?
He should have said, “Your hair is as yellow as frog feces. Are you sure you didn’t mistake frog feces for hair gel? No wonder I always thought you smelled weird—if you smell closely, it’s coming from your hair!”
Now that is what I’d call a barbed tongue!
So, I suspect that Metal’s true personality is not really poisonous at all. The truth is, because I don’t know him very well, I’m not very sure about what he’s really like. Every time I broach the subject with Judgment, he seems unwilling to say anything more, and if Judgment is not willing to say something, then probably the only one who could make him speak out is the God of Light.
Behind Metal was another knight from the “cruel cold-hearted” faction with whom I was more familiar. Knight-Captain Moon is known across the continent as the famous loner… Ahem! I meant that he is the famous narcissist. With his haughty personality, he won’t be on familiar terms with just anyone and loves turning up his nose very high, as if nobody were good enough to be in his sight.
That move made me detest him at first sight. After all, nobody likes to be looked down upon.
That lasted until one day, when I spied him squatting on the floor searching the ground with his hands, but with his head still raised up very high.
Without even looking at the ground, how could he hope to find anything? Although his eyesight was perfectly fine, it seemed as if he were blind. The item he was looking for was right beside his foot, but he couldn’t find it at all. The scene was as hilarious as it could be.
After watching him for half an hour, I had secretly gotten a good laugh out of him and was getting tired of it. I stifled a huge yawn, walked over, picked up the beautifully made silver bookmark and gave it back to him.
“Thank you.” He took the bookmark, gave a sigh of relief and smiled sweetly, contrary to his usual arrogant look.
I bit into the blueberry pie that Ice had just made for me and asked, “Token of love from your sweetheart?”
“How did you know?” Startled, Moon turned to look at me, and then froze up when he saw me. I could guarantee that he was shocked to find out that it was me, the Sun Knight, who had picked it up for him.
With his true self revealed, he was at a complete loss and stammered uneasily, “Knight-Captain Sun…”
I took out another piece of pie and asked him, “Want some? It’s Ice’s blueberry pie. Don’t hesitate; I gave Judgment some too.”
While he was eating the pie, he complained to me that because he had to keep his chin up all the time it had caused the muscles in his neck to stiffen up until he couldn’t even look down at all…
How miserable it must be not be able to lower your head! Moon looked at the ceiling and sighed. He started to describe the tragedy of not being able to lower his head, “If something fell on the floor, I probably wouldn’t find it even after half an hour.”
I nodded, since I just saw that myself.
Also, you wouldn’t be able to use your height advantage to peep down at a female priest’s cleavage… Ahem!
And lastly, and probably the most tragic of all, when he wanted to kiss his girlfriend, he couldn’t lower his head to do so. How could he kiss a girlfriend that is shorter than him with his chin up?
“So what do you do? Have your lover stand on stairs?” After hearing his description, I asked with empathy.
“I can’t find stairs every time, and anyways, stairs are usually found in places where people pass by, so it’s not private enough,” Moon said honestly, “So, I must find a lover who is taller than me.”
“Hey! You are at least a hundred and eighty centimeters tall, aren’t you?”
“My lover is a hundred and eighty-two centimeters tall, and every time she goes out with me, she wears ten centimeter high platform shoes, making her just tall enough to kiss me.”
Such…such a tragedy!
I sighed at Moon’s misfortune of not being able to lower his head and started to tell my own tragic tale of being the Sun Knight, “The Sun Knight can only love the God of Light, not women…”
I had only said that one sentence when Moon gasped in horror. “Tragic! Too tragic! What a tragedy!”
Well, from that day on, I had another friend who is not a friend in the “cruel, cold-hearted” faction.
Back to the present, I smiled at Metal, and said, “This must be the blessing of the God of Light, to let Sun meet his two brothers on such a lovely morning. This is a perfect start, but Sun must go conduct the worship service, so Sun cannot linger and socialize for too long with his brothers. It’s a shame. After Sun has praised the miracles of the holy God of Light, Sun will definitely find his brothers to exchange words on the benevolence of the God of Light.”
Of course, if I can’t find you, then it’s none of my business.
Hearing that, Metal Knight and Moon Knight both froze, and Metal was so surprised that he even forgot his usual barbed words. He blurted out, “Sun Knight, don’t you know that today is the day of worship before the coronation of the new king?”
Moon Knight looked at me in that arrogant way with his chin raised up high, but, he couldn’t be blamed. For a person who can’t lower his head, that’s the only way he can look at people!
He added, “All Twelve Holy Knights have to be here, so even I have to come.”
The worship service before the coronation of the new king? How come I don’t know about this?
“Good morning, Knight-Captain Sun.”
While I was standing there, stunned, the Storm Knight leisurely strode over and patted me on the shoulder. “Well, today’s solo performance is up to you! Good luck!”
I slowly turned to face him, and repeated one syllable at a time, “Solo performance?”
Storm very slowly removed his hand on my shoulder, and very slowly took a step away and finally asked, very puzzled, “That’s right! Customarily, on the coronation of the new king, the Twelve Holy Knights must sing a hymn together, and then you and Judgment each have to perform a solo. Didn’t you pick the most difficult ‘Hymn of the God of Light’ to perform? Everyone is looking forward to it, because this song hasn’t been sung for twenty years.”
Hymn of the God of Light? Isn’t that the song with a pitch high enough to reach the residence of the God of Light, lasting for an entire thirty minutes, with lyrics as long as an entire book, and is otherwise considered to be the Church of the God of Light’s hymn with the most bombastic words?
Someone must have set me up!
After seeing my stiff smile and the twitching corners of my mouth, Storm finally understood that the picking Hymn of the God of Light was not my decision. He stepped towards me slowly, and whispered beside my ear, “I heard rumors from the palace maids that Baron Gerland has been secretly looking for a chance to get back at you ever since your Sun Knight Platoon mobbed his son. The crown prince didn’t seem to forbid him either, as he probably wants you to make a fool of yourself so that your popularity doesn’t become too high in everyone’s books.”
So that’s how it is! I knew something was up!
There is no way that Baron Gerland would wail about his story to the crown prince and just leave it at that. Of course, the crown prince should have also known more or less about the death knight incident and the part I played in it. My scheme did lead him to the throne, so he probably wouldn’t take revenge on me for that alone. But the fact that I dared to ensnare the king as part of my scheme probably alarmed him a bit, since he is, after all, the future king.
Storm suggested, “You probably should just change the song. They probably just want to make a bit of a fool out of you by forcing you change the song at the last minute, rather than actually having you sing it. If the song were sung badly and messed up the entire worship service, the crown prince wouldn’t be happy.”
Even though I still wore a warm smile on my face, I sneered underneath. Make a fool out of me?
You have got to be kidding. I am the Sun Knight. The Sun Knight even has to fall gracefully; how can he be made a fool? If my teacher knew that I was made a fool in front of the entire country… Well, the consequences are severe enough to make me shake with fear!
Moreover, nobody knows where the hell that teacher of mine (who goes around stealing others’ jobs) is right now. He may even be right there in the audience watching me sing the hymn!
“Brother Storm, with the blessings of the God of Light, Sun believes that he can successfully perform the Hymn of the God of Light, to spread the benevolence and unconditional love of the God of Light.”
“Sun! Don’t fool around!”
Storm’s expression changed, and he hastily added, “The Hymn of the God of Light is not something you can carry out without practice, and hymns need to be sung with the power of Holy Light added to them. Even most of the priests can’t handle an entire thirty minutes of continuous outpouring of Holy Light… No! You also have to sing a chorus hymn with the Twelve Holy Knights, and the chorus will take around ten minutes to finish.”
Of course I knew that. A so-called hymn is just injecting the power of Holy Light into the song to achieve various goals. Inspiring songs can stir up the crowd, battle odes can multiply the strength of soldiers, lullabies can make people relax, and lively tunes can make people happy. Rumors goes that a true master of hymns can even make criminals look back and repent on their sins just by singing.
Of course, real masters of hymns have already become legends. There is no way to confirm that it’s possible to make criminals feel remorse for their sins. So, if you want to make a criminal regret what they have done, the best way is to cart him off to Judgment. I guarantee that within three hours, he will be remorseful even for stealing guavas from his neighbors when he was young.
What? You say sending the criminal to my Sun Knight Platoon would work too?
You are dead wrong, pal. If you sent the criminal to my Sun Knight Platoon, it wouldn’t be to make him repent, but to make him unable to repent!
After my explanation of how hymns work, everyone should know by now that the hymn is not merely a song, but a competition of one’s ability to use Holy Light.
A chorus for ten minutes and then a thirty minute solo makes it a total of forty minutes worth of Holy Light expenditure. I thought it over. Even though this is indeed a very significant amount, which a normal holy knight could never produce, for a holy knight who could have become the most powerful pope in history, it’s not a problem at all!
Storm was still trying to convince me to change the song when, after a series of urgent footsteps, the Leaf Knight burst out from the Hall of Praise. Upon seeing that we were right outside, so he paused a little but then quickly warned us, “Sun, why are you guys still outside? Come in, everyone is waiting.”
“Brother Leaf, thank you for the reminder. Sun believes that it must be the God of Light borrowing your lips to tell Sun that arriving late would be the wrong course of action.”
After saying that, I led the way into the hall.
The Hall of Praise is the Church of the God of Light’s biggest building. It is built in the shape of a fan with the sharpest point of the fan as the stage. The wall behind the stage is made of stained glass, and is arranged in a huge symbol of the God of Light. Sunshine permeates through the glass from outside, making the stage the brightest area of the hall.
Beyond that, there are obviously rows and rows of seats by the tens of dozens. Usually, these seats are enough for the crowd that attends the worship service. However, for such a large event like today’s, the seats were mostly filled by the royalty. Second priority is given to the rich people and lastly, the crowd of normal citizens. The citizens basically were all standing in the open area at the back.
I scanned the audience with my eyes and easily spotted the prince, who was soon to be crowned king. He was sitting in the center of the first row of seats, and to his sides were his chancellor and important nobilities. Baron Gerland was seated in the first row as well, and two royal knights were standing by at each end of the first row.
The old Pope was sitting in his usual spot at the side of the stage, and was even wearing a mysterious veil.
Judgment Knight was already standing on the left side of the stage, and the knights of the “cruel, cold-hearted” faction stood side by side to the left of him.
My place was of course on the right side of the stage. Judgment and I must stand in such a way that we do not obstruct the symbol of the God of Light behind us. I walked to my spot, Storm took his place to the right of me, and Leaf to the right of Storm.
Finally we Twelve Holy Knights were all standing in our proper places, as were the priests behind us who were responsible for singing the accompaniments. At the front was the Cardinal of Light, who was taking charge. However, the Cardinal of Light is not one person, but two. One is the Priest of Radiance and another, the Priest of Brilliance1. They serve as the left and right hands of the Pope. Within the Sanctuary of Light, their positions are second only to the Pope.
According to tradition, the Priest of Radiance is female and specializes in healing and support magic. In contrast, the Priest of Brilliance is male and specializes in things like exorcising demons and guiding souls to the God of Light.
It seemed that we really were a fair bit late, as the Cardinal of Light didn’t say anything and just announced the start of the chorus. A holy knight then came up to hand us our hymnbooks. When he stepped off the stage, one of the priests behind us began with a long note, and then all the priests started singing. They would sing “la la la” for about three minutes before we had to start.
This hymn is not difficult for me because every year to celebrate the coming of the God of Light there is always a big worship session and the Twelve Holy Knights sing this particular song together. I’ve sung it three times since I took my place as Sun Knight, so it’s about as familiar to me as the back of my own hand.
It’s even easier since it’s a twelve person chorus, so even if someone’s Holy Light is weak, the others can just make up for it.
Furthermore, the members of the “cruel, cold-hearted” faction do not specialize in Holy Light. Thus, their Holy Light is usually not that strong, so it’s up to the “good, warm-hearted” faction to fill in the gaps.
Because all of us Twelve Holy Knights knew this hymn inside out, we completed the entire hymn without a single mistake not too long afterwards. Next, it was time for Judgment’s solo. He stepped forward and started to sing in that super deep bass voice of his. The pitch of this song is so low that it even made everyone’s hearts sink down with it.
Luckily, Judgment had picked a short and simple hymn to sing. The song was basically talking about how criminals will be judged by the harsh God of Light. The whole song, even with the priests’ chorus in the middle, was at most five minutes long. Judgment’s solo was probably around two minutes.
But, this was not because he is lazy. As mentioned before, the members of the “cruel, cold-hearted” faction are not famous for their Holy Light skills. Because their Holy Light is so weak, they are permitted to pick the easiest hymns to sing.
On the contrary, since I am the leader of the “good, warm-hearted” faction, I am not allowed to choose an easy hymn. This is especially true today, as this is the worship ceremony before the king‘s coronation. If I picked an easy hymn to sing, it might even be seen as being disrespectful to the king.
That’s also one of the reasons why I chose not to change the song. If I really do sing the Hymn of the God of Light, the crown prince will be very pleased, and he won’t give me any more trouble for what I had done. After all, I definitely was not singing this hymn just because I was afraid that if I were made to be a fool, my teacher would send me to see the God of Light. Absolutely not… Well, at least not entirely.
Judgment finished his hymn and returned back to his original position. Then it was my turn. I had only stepped forward a few steps when the crowd started cheering, and the cheering was even louder than it would have been at the annual grand worship ceremonies. It looks like they already knew that I would be singing the Hymn of the God of Light this time. So, the news had spread that the Sun Knight is singing the Hymn of the God of Light, which nobody has sung for twenty years, and only the Sun Knight himself didn’t know.
There was no accompaniment at the beginning of the Hymn of the God of Light, so I had to start all by myself.
I took a deep breath and confirmed that I had enough Holy Light for two rounds of the Hymn of the God of Light. Since that was the case, I decided that I might as well use a little extra Holy Light, so that even if I went off-pitch, no one would notice.
I released a large amount of Holy Light, so much so that even my body glowed faintly. I closed my eyes and could still hear the awed gasps of the crowd. I opened my eyes and sang the opening lines:
Light was born, bursting through darkness, shooting out a ray of brilliance, bringing forth infinite hope…
My voice pierced the heavens, and the Hall of Praise reverberated with the sound of its echoes and with Holy Light. It was as if the God of Light really was present. In an instant, everyone was quiet, just staring up at me.
I’m done for…
As soon as I sang the first line I knew that I was done for. It just won’t do without practice. I started out too high, and this hymn has a really high pitch to it, with a lot of sliding up from a high note to an even higher note in the middle. Now that I have started this high, how am I going to get up there?
At that time, I heard awed gasps from the Twelve Holy Knights behind me. They had all practiced the Hymn of the God of Light before, and of course they know how high this song goes. I don’t know who, but someone said quietly, “The first line was absolutely wonderful. You are admirable, starting on such a high note.”
Admirable? I didn’t start this high on purpose. I am already on the verge of tears!
The notes in the Hymn of the God of Light had to be sustained in a single breath for so long that some sentences almost suffocated me until I reached a part where I could take another breath.
To the other holy knights, the hardest part of this song is the vast release of Holy Light that is beyond the normal abilities of a holy knight. But for me, the release of the Holy Light is not a problem; the problem is that this song is super hard to sing!
Shit, this next verse has an incredibly drawn-out ending!
I put my hands gracefully on my diaphragm and pressed down forcefully, pushing the air out with all my strength. Press, press, press…
Famine, disease, natural disasters, evil disappear without a trace under the gracious li—(I press)—(I keep pressing)—(I press super hard)—ight!
At that moment, I closed my mouth with tears in my eyes. Thank the God of Light that I finally safely completed…the first section. Even though at the end when I couldn’t squeeze out any more air, and my voice shook quite a bit, but that’s the least of my worries now. Next, there was one minute of accompaniment, so I better loosen up and relax as much as possible.
As I relaxed, my hands also released their hold on my diaphragm, only to find out that… I was extremely hungry!
I was already pretty hungry before, but just then I was singing so hard and pressing down on my diaphragm with such force that I was hungrier than ever. My empty stomach felt as though it hadn’t had any food for days.
The astonished crowd had finally caught up to the present, and the hall was filled with the sounds of applause. It even overwhelmed the chorus of the priests, and everyone cheered.
“It’s a miracle! Such a wonderful voice, I had never realized that the Sun Knight was such a wonderful male soprano.”
“Look! There are even tears in the Sun Knight’s eyes; he must have felt the presence of the God of Light during the song!”
“The vibrato in the last note was splendid; he expressed the passion in the lyrics so perfectly!”
At this time, Leaf who was behind me whispered, “Sun, that was great just now, but can you continue? Do you want me to take over?”
Hearing that, I thought blissfully, Leaf you are such a great guy, I love you to death!
I was about to say yes to Leaf when Storm cut in, “That won’t work.”
He explained quietly, “The middle section of the Hymn of the God of Light is the longest, clocking in at nearly twenty minutes. To continuously release twenty minutes worth of Holy Light, you are the only one amongst the twelve of us who could do that, Sun. Just finish the middle part, and then Leaf and I will help you sing the last section.”
Hearing Storm’s explanation, even the kindhearted Leaf backed off.
Just then, my eyes drifted to the Earth Knight. Other than me, Earth had the best Holy Light abilities. Well, his specialty shield is made with battle aura and some Holy Light added on, which is why it affords such strong protective qualities. For him, twenty minutes wouldn’t be a problem at all.
“Hehehe, s-so sorry Sun, my voice is too low, so there’s no way I can sing the Hymn of the God of Light.” Sympathy was written on Earth’s face as he apologized, yet his eyes shone with malice at my misfortune, without any hint of sympathy.
Even though Earth was telling the truth about his voice, which is just a little higher than Judgment’s, so he really did have no hope of singing the Hymn of the God of Light, and it was really my own fault that I started on such a high note… But, when I saw that smug look on his face, I was filled with scorn.
Moreover, I spied the crown prince and Baron Gerland in the front row. The former was wearing his usual gentle smile while the latter had a very shitty expression on his face. He was glaring at me as though he couldn’t believe that I was able to sing this hymn.
It’s those two scoundrels!
Forcing me to sing a song as incredibly difficult as the Hymn of the God of Light without knowing about it beforehand is bad enough, but to make me sing it on an empty stomach is just infuriating!
Did they not know that when I get hungry, my glucose levels become abnormally low? For a sweet-tooth like me to have low blood sugar levels, my mood will turn profoundly sour. Even I couldn’t tell you what things I am capable of doing when I get in a bad mood!
“I am finishing this song by myself.”
Hearing my words, Storm and Leaf were both stunned for a second, and all the other holy knights couldn’t help but glance at me, each with a different look in his eyes. Some shone with awe, some had looks of disapproval, but most of them were simply worried.
Just at that moment, the minute of accompaniment was up. I ignored Storm and Leaf’s hushed yet urgent calls, breathed deeply and started to sing the next section.
Ye sinners, lower your heads and repent. Even in the dark cover of shadows, your transgressions will not escape judgment. Righteous ones raise your heads and observe. While the sun still shines over the land, light shall never be vanquished.
Although the first section almost suffocated me, the second section was much easier, despite being called the “Holy Knight Killer.” Because it needed a full twenty minutes worth of outpouring of Holy Light, almost no holy knight can finish it. However, the song itself was pretty easy to sing, thus this section was a piece of cake for me, who was practically overflowing with Holy Light. I had another problem though… It was too dull!
Because the first section was so hard, I had only concentrated on singing and didn’t have any time to reflect on how hungry I was. But now, with the dull second section putting no stress on me, I constantly felt the emptiness in my stomach. I was so hungry that I think my voice was so loud and clear due to an empty stomach having an echoing effect.
I slowly and leisurely dragged myself through the second section, and there was applause at the end, but it was nowhere close to the reception after the first section. That’s not their fault though; it’s no simple feat to remember to clap at all in this kind of sleepy situation. Next was another minute of accompaniment, giving me a bit of time to rest.
“Sun, you really don’t need us to take over?” Leaf asked again, this time in a much more urgent tone.
“Don’t force yourself to continue! You already released a huge amount of Holy Light, and you would have to overpower the Holy Light of the priests in the last section, so it would be even more difficult than before,” Storm implored me.
The release of Holy Light is not the problem… The problem is that I am super hungry!
The third section has an unbelievably high pitch and lyrics that are extremely long, and can be considered the most difficult part of the entire song. Once I start singing, it will put so much stress on me that I will momentarily forget the pain of hunger!
“Brother Storm, Brother Leaf, please have faith that Sun, with the blessings of the God of Light, can definitely complete the Hymn of the God of Light.”
After I said that, there were no more protests from behind me.
The one minute of accompaniment was almost over, and then the final section of the Hymn of the God of Light officially started. The first line was very resounding and sonorous, symbolizing light cutting through darkness… which also acts as a way to wake up the dozing crowd after the second section.
I seemed to have done that job quite well, as a lot of the slouching crowd instantly straightened up, and by the expressions on their faces, I could see that they had gotten quite a scare and had completely sobered up now.
While I was really getting myself into the song, I wanted to look haughtily down at Baron Gerland. Instead, I caught him turning around and winking at something in a corner. There was only a little ordinary looking knight standing there, so Baron Gerland probably wasn’t flirting with him.
After the knight received Baron Gerland’s glance, he nodded and then took out a scroll, even glaring at the stage sinisterly while doing so.
If he’s not trying to do something shady to me, then my name isn’t Grisia!
The tome that the knight took out looked like a magic scroll. A magic scroll is created when a magician transcribes his powers onto a special parchment, producing a scroll that can be sold to others. This kind of magic scroll can release a spell only once, and the type of magic released depends on what the magician inscribed on it. After the spell is discharged, it becomes nothing more than a useless sheet of paper.
There are very few magicians who can transcribe their spells onto scrolls; plus the scroll requires the use of a special type of parchment and ink. Consequently, its exorbitant price is not only a result of the costs of the actual product itself, but also upon various other expenses incurred during its manufacture. As such, magic scrolls are considered to be one of the most expensive consumables available.
Something as valuable as this definitely has to be an item that Baron Gerland gave to the knight for the express purpose of shaming me. This is the very definition of being wasteful!
Had you instead given me the money you used for the scroll then maybe I would have made a fool of myself for you even under the risk of being seen by my teacher!
I’ll just conveniently take that scroll as I stop that guy from doing his shady business as my compensation for the mental stress!
While I was singing the hymn, I observed the knight through the corners of my eyes. When I was almost finished with the song, that guy finally made a move. He raised his arm, yet he didn’t cast the spell. It was as though he was still waiting for something.
I pondered about it…oh right! He must be waiting for the finale when I should have exhausted nearly all of my Holy Light. Thus, I would have expended all that energy and yet would still fail to complete the Hymn of the God of Light. How despicable! No wonder Baron Gerland sent him to do his dirty work.
But, as despicable as you may be, could you be as despicable as me… Ahem! I mean, as clever as me? Thinking about the magic scroll that was about to become mine, I couldn’t help but sing even higher and louder than before!
There’s only the final verse left, so wait for me, my magic scroll!
Praise be to the light. When I sang that verse, I released a large amount of Holy Light. The light swept around the hall like a storm, even gushing out through the doors and windows, blinding everyone. However, it’s not possible for the light to block my own line of sight, and I clearly saw that Baron Gerland’s knight was also stunned by the sudden influx of Holy Light.
Now! While nobody could see clearly, I wanted to use a Spell of Paralysis to bind that knight, but when I was only halfway through the spell, I felt a sudden wave of dizziness. Forget chanting the spell, I couldn’t even prevent my legs from going soft.
Suddenly, someone held and supported me up. I looked, but only saw a black shadow charging down the stage, right where that knight was standing.
That must be Judgment, who in this bright light couldn’t possibly see a thing. The only one who might be able to see anything was the old Pope, yet Judgment could still prop me up and then rush to the exact location of that knight. Sheesh, what ridiculous capability!
The light persisted for ten seconds before gradually fading, and everyone was staring at me, dumbfounded. I kept a solemn face, and looked out the corners of my eyes at the knight who wanted to land a sneak attack on me. The knight was already lying miserably on the ground with the scroll sticking out of his mouth, and the culprit who stuck it there was already standing behind me like he had never left at all.
Judgment, oh Judgment, why didn’t you take the scroll back with you? Such a waste to leave it sticking inside that guy’s mouth!
After mourning for the scroll, I looked at Baron Gerland while smirking at his failure. When he saw that the hymn had ended perfectly, he turned towards his knight with a scowl, but when he saw the miserable fate that had befallen his knight, his face turned pale in fear.
Seeing that, I sneered on the inside. You are just a dirty little knight and you wanted to plot against me? Baron Gerland, you have gravely underestimated how despicable… er, clever the leader of the Twelve Holy Knights can be!
“This song is dedicated to His Highness the crown prince who is about to ascend to the throne. I am certain that the Kingdom of Forgotten Sound shall receive the blessings of the God of Light under your rule, ushering in the dawn of a golden era.” After I finished, I gracefully saluted the crown prince and then stepped back with composure to my place among the holy knights.
Upon hearing that, the Prince smiled happily and even applauded while proclaiming, “What a song! As expected from such a perfect Sun Knight!”
Now, everyone in the hall was finally awake. Everyone, from the ordinary citizens to the royal knights and even the other members of the Church of the God of Light, all started cheering and screaming nonstop, “Long live the Sun Knight! Long live the King! Long live the God of Light!”
That’s right! Cheer more for the king, and make the crown prince even happier, I urged in my mind. I looked at the Prince secretly. Heh! His smile is almost as bright as the Sun Knight’s now.
Sure enough, everyone loves it when people praise them. Given enough praises, the prince would still say that I am perfect despite the fact that I disgraced his father. Because of all the cheering, it took the priests quite a while to calm down the crowd. Finally, they announced the next item on the agenda, “The New King’s Round of Inspections.” To put it simply, the purpose of this event was to go parading around the streets and inform everyone that this is the new king, so imprint him in your mind and don’t ever offend him the next time he goes for a round of inspections.
The crown prince stood up first, and two rows of royal knights hurried to clear a path for him. Then they majestically left the Hall of Praise.
Next to leave was the Pope, but knowing that old geezer who loves to act all mysterious, so much so that he had shrouded himself in a veil, who knows whether or not it’s actually him. For all I know, this one could be just a lookalike and the real Pope was already off to eat his breakfast!
Next, it was time for the Twelve Holy Knights to leave the hall. As the leader, I was, of course, leading the way. When I walked past Judgment, I quickly whispered to him, “Thanks for back there!”
When I stepped off the stage, and made sure that my teacher could not see me, I immediately stumbled, and I almost met the floor gracefully with full body contact. Luckily, Leaf and Storm who were behind me sensed that something was wrong and supported me on both sides.
“Sun, Sun! Are you alright?” Leaf asked, worried.
I said bleakly, “I… I…”
“After releasing such a huge amount of Holy Light, you couldn’t possibly still be doing alright.” Storm said urgently, “Leaf, stop asking questions, and just make sure to help Sun stay up.”
“Yes, yes,” Leaf nodded vigorously.
I suddenly spied my vice-captain standing by the side door, holding a tray with my blueberry sandwich and milk. However, he had hesitation written all over his face, as if he wasn’t sure whether he should come. Seeing that, I started struggling, trying to break free of Leaf and Storm so that I could put my dear breakfast where it belonged—in my poor rumbling stomach.
“No need to call for your vice-captain now, we will support you. Don’t worry, Storm and I will be your crutches for today.”
Blaze grabbed me tightly and waved Adair away, telling him that there’s no need for him to come closer. Adair glanced at me with wide eyes, caught between coming and leaving.
“The parade is starting, so let’s go.” Storm said quickly, and dragged me away with Blaze.
No no no! Let go of me!
I’m so hungry! My blueberry sandwich, my milk, my honey biscuits! Blaze, Storm! Let go of me!
Adair! My breakfast!
1 Priest of Radiance and Priest of Brilliance The original Chinese characters for Priest of Light is 光明祭师 (guāng míng jì shī), where 光(guāng) literally means Radiance and 明(míng) means Brilliance.