The Legend of Sun Knight Volume 8: Ending the Demon King, Part Two
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Prologue: Crusading Against the Demon King – translated by lucathia
“I’m so sorry. It’s all because of me that Sun, he… he became the Demon King.”
After speaking, Roland looked at the other person. Right across from him was Lesus Judgment, whose tightly-knitted eyebrows made Roland even more apprehensive. For him, this was quite an uncommon emotion. Ever since he had “died,” it had been a long time since he had had any strong fluctuations in his emotions.
When Roland finished speaking, other than scrunching his eyebrows together, Lesus did not make any other kind of move. This made Roland a little unclear about what he was thinking. Although he had his eyebrows knitted together, Knight-Captain Judgment usually had his eyebrows knitted together all day long anyway, so this matter could not be used as a basis for interpretation.
Roland could only sneak a glance at the other people. All of the Twelve Holy Knights were present… Except for the Sun Knight.
However, all of them were also looking at Lesus, and most had on an expression of expectation or complete loss. They were waiting for Lesus’s response and decision, just like Roland.
The pressure of being stared at by everyone in this kind of desperate situation must be incomparably immense, right?
Roland could not help but be impressed by Lesus, but immediately after, he remembered that the person who was always stared at like this by everyone was the leader of the Twelve Holy Knights – the Sun Knight, none other than Grisia.
Grisia would always silently ponder for awhile. Then, he would lift his head and, with a smile, say things like, “These are but occasional dark clouds that have drifted across the clear skies. When the time passes, the dark clouds can naturally be parted for light to emerge” that made it hard for people to understand.
If the situation were very severe, he might also give a serious order to everyone, making them fall over themselves in their haste while he himself seemed like he was not doing a single thing. Even though everyone complained out loud incessantly, they would be resigned as they did whatever was ordered of them.
As long as Grisia gave a serious order, no matter how absurd the order was, they would still complete it. And, whenever he seriously gave an order, he would always unconsciously…
“I understand what happened now.”
Roland returned from his musings. He turned to look at Lesus who had spoken. The other person was also staring straight at him—In fact, everyone was staring at him. This made Roland start to feel nervous. The feeling of having everyone stare at him was making him short of breath!
“Were you off in another world?” Lesus was unexpectedly intrigued as he asked, “What were you thinking of?”
Yet Lesus was uncharacteristically persistent. “Tell me. This is an order!”
Roland was taken aback, but when he saw Lesus’s insistent expression, he felt a bit awkward as he replied, “I was just thinking of Grisia’s small habit when he seriously gives an order.”
“Oh, that habit!” Hearing this, everyone smiled.
“Actually, it’s quite easy to figure out.” Ceo smiled as he said, “But I didn’t think you would discover it so quickly.”
“Don’t tell Sun!” Laica warned, “Even if he whips you, you’re not allowed to tell!”
“Oh please, the only person Sun would whip is you!”
After they joked around a bit, they slowly quieted down. Without opening their mouths to speak, they all knew what the others were inwardly thinking—the Sun they were speaking of might never ever return.
At that moment, Lesus finally gave a command. “Knight-Captain Hell, please write down in utmost detail everything that happened after you left the Holy Temple, and pass it to me, so that I can refer to it at any moment. Perhaps while you are writing it, you will remember more details. No matter how small the detail, you must write it down. No matter how unrelated it seems, you must record it!”
Roland was taken aback again. That’s it? No punishment at all? There was no blame like he had thought, no anger or lack of understanding as to why he had let Sun become the Demon King while he returned to the Holy Temple…
“But aren’t we going to think of some way to get Sun to return?” Roland hurriedly said, “We can go interrogate Awaitsun. He is in the Shadow Cathedral. Once I learn of where the Shadow Cathedral is and find him, we can probably find a method to let me take Sun’s place as the Demon King—”
“Knight-Captain Hell!” Lesus suddenly bellowed.
Roland jumped, shut his mouth, and looked helplessly at Lesus. He didn’t understand what he had said wrong.
“What you should do isn’t becoming the Demon King, but rather returning to your station!”
Returning to my station… Once he heard this, Roland felt a rare surge of emotions and even his eyes became warm, but he repressed it. After all, the sight of a death knight shedding tears is not a pretty one because their tear glands have long since “died” along with their bodies. The only “tears” that would flow would be thick dark element.
Although Roland still wanted to say that he should take Sun’s place as the Demon King, Lesus’s expression did not look like there was any room for debate, so he could only look at the others.
When they had not received any commands about what they should do, they were all a bit at a loss, but in regard to Lesus telling Roland to return to his station, no one showed any strange expressions.
Seeing this, the words that he had been about to say, that he would replace Sun as the Demon King, were ones he could no longer say. Perhaps he was not truly a part of the group at the moment, but in the future, could he genuinely become a true part of the Twelve Holy Knights?
If it were one of the Twelve Holy Knights who had received the command to return to his station, what kind of response would he have?
“Understood!” Roland replied without the slightest hesitation.
“Hell still seems very remorseful.”
Ceo followed alongside the Judgment Knight. The fact that it was something dark and murky walking beside him instead of a sparkling entity bright enough to blind him truly made him feel a little strange.
Aivis also spoke up. “Yeah, his expression looked like he wasn’t relieved at all.”
“Talk it out with him.” Lesus could only reply in such a way to the two people.
Ceo helplessly said, “That might be difficult. Hell’s personality is truly obstinate. On our entire way back, I tried to convince him more than a hundred times that Sun personally decided to become the Demon King to solve the matter of his blindness, so it had nothing to do with him. However, throughout the entire journey, he had this guilty face, and it never changed at all.”
Lesus nodded, but he didn’t actually give any further command. It was because he didn’t know at all how to talk someone around. That was not his duty.
Compared to talking someone around, he was more skilled at handling the matter of forcing someone to admit their guilt.
Moreover, he already had enough of a headache dealing with the current matter which he was not good at. He really didn’t have any extra leisure to handle other matters he was not good at—right now, Lesus intended to demand money from the king.
This was something he had never done before, so he brought along Storm and Stone who were the most experienced at diplomacy. He only hoped to successfully persuade the king; otherwise, if they did not have the funds, what he needed to do after this would just be a moot point.
However, Lesus was not very sure how to deal with the current king. He hadn’t had a lot of contact with him before. He was actually more familiar with the previous king.
In the past, whenever the previous king did anything that overstepped his boundaries too much, Lesus would follow Grisia to the palace, but he didn’t have to do anything. He didn’t even have to open his mouth to speak. All he had to do was stand silently by Sun’s side, letting Sun use him to openly yet secretly warn the previous king, as if the Judgment Knight really could capture a king and drag him off to the Judge’s Complex for interrogation.
Even though the previous king made people want to strangle him to get rid of him once and for all, he was not hard to deal with. He could be casually deceived. On the other hand, the current king, not to mention deceiving him, you couldn’t even be unclear in your delivery! Grisia often lamented so.
Once they walked up to the entrance of the great hall, the guards on both sides crossed their weapons to block them like usual. Lesus coldly looked at the guards on either side, waiting for them to finish their routine examination and let them pass.
Facing the Judgment Knight, the two guards showed reverence yet did not show any hint of cowardice.
Lesus still remembered that when the previous king had been in power, these guards didn’t even dare to meet his eyes. They would always evade his gaze, and could barely lift their heads. After all, every time he came, it was always when the previous king committed yet another mistake. When knights loyal to the royal family see the object of their loyalty act in such a way, of course they would not be able to lift their heads.
I didn’t expect that so soon after the current king came into power, they would already be proud enough to lift their heads to face me?
“Judgment Knight, Storm Knight, Stone Knight, please enter.”
The guards let them pass. Although it was currently an extraordinary time, the Twelve Holy Knights were still the Twelve Holy Knights. They would not dare to touch them, let alone search them. They only took measure of them with their eyes and let them pass.
Once they walked into the great hall, Lesus immediately saw an additional large table in front of the king. Files of all kinds and sorts were piled on top of it. The two sides of the great hall were also filled with chancellors. Some were engrossed with the files, some were yelling and shouting at their subordinates. From what Lesus knew, the great hall of the palace had never been so busy and noisy before.
Behind him came Ceo’s intake of breath and murmurings, “First he had to evacuate the entire capital, now he has to call all the citizens back… Thankfully I’m not responsible for any of this!”
The king’s complexion was terrible, but the complexion of Elijah who was next to him was even worse. The eye bags below his two eyes were even darker than Ceo’s. Even though the Judgment Knight had walked in, Elijah merely raised his head to take a glance, and then returned to being buried under the files.
But the king reacted differently. Once he saw the Judgment Knight, he immediately stopped what he was doing. He asked, “Grisi… Where is the Sun Knight?”
Lesus bowed and then bluntly said, “Your Majesty, the Sun Knight has been abducted by the Demon King.”
The king was stunned. Of course he would react this way. The royalty of each kingdom knew who the Demon King was. They just didn’t plan on falling out with the Church of the God of Light, so no one cut through this paper-thin lie… Moreover, if they revealed the truth, who knew how the “Demon King” would react?
The Demon King had only just surfaced. He was currently at his strongest. No one would dare to provoke him.
What the king had just asked was merely a routine inquiry. After all, the entire city knew that the Sun Knight had disappeared “again.”
Logically and emotionally, he should ask after him. He originally thought he would receive a bunch of half-hearted excuses. He never thought… This excuse is way too absurd!
The king furrowed his brows deeply. He stared at the Judgment Knight but discovered that the other didn’t seem to have any intention of withdrawing his remarks. At this time, he finally thought this to be strange. If Grisia were to use such an absurd excuse, he might not feel it to be very strange, but the person involved was the Judgment Knight. According to the king’s understanding of him, this person was not someone who would act that way.
The king glanced to the side. His elderly knight-confidant immediately understood his intentions. He jumped out and declared, “His Majesty is exhausted. Official matters will end here for today. Everyone must leave immediately!”
This was of course an excuse. The Judgment Knight and his people were still standing there, so how could the king go off and rest? However, everyone who could stand in the great hall of the palace was all very discreet. No matter what they had been doing, they all got up to leave without exception.
Even the two knight-confidants left, yet Lesus was somewhat startled to find that Elijah was still seated in his original position. So the king already trusts and relies on him that much?
With a tired tone, the king said, “Speak. Everyone here is in the know.” After saying this, his tone grew serious. “What I mean is, ‘speak the truth.’ Don’t speak more nonsense with me. I don’t have time to waste on lies!”
This suited Lesus very well. Having to speak just one sentence of nonsense, “The Sun Knight has been abducted by the Demon King,” was already enough to make him feel incomparably awkward. Having to speak even more lies would also be very difficult. Being able to speak the truth was exactly to his liking.
Lesus held his hands together in supplication and said, “Your Majesty, the Sun Knight has already become the Demon King. I wish to acquire military funds from you to crusade against the Demon King!”
The king was stunned. Unable to believe his ears, he asked, “Who do you want to crusade against?”
“The Demon King,” Lesus firmly said again.
When he heard this, the king was so angry that he instead smiled and stressed, “You and I both know that the Sun Knight has already become the Demon King. This point is already absurd to the extreme, yet you still want to demand military funds from me to crusade against him?”
“Then does Your Majesty think it is right to let a death monarch become the demon king?”
Lesus didn’t know why he was suddenly angry. He even shouted at the king, “The deceased should never be involved with the living. Letting one of the deceased become the Demon King would end up as the world’s largest crisis. Because of this, the Sun Knight had no choice but to become the Demon King himself. This is nothing absurd!”
“Judgment Knight!” Elijah stood up and stood in front of the king, taking on the stance of a guard to confront the Judgment Knight. He even reprimanded, “You are being too rude!”
Lesus looked at Elijah, his heart indescribably agitated. He knew that he was being too rude, and an apology was already at the tip of his tongue, but when he saw Elijah stand up, he didn’t feel like giving the apology at all.
Sun had spent so much effort to let Elijah escape his identity of a spy. This way he could be at ease and become a true royal knight, and he could even marry a princess. Yet now that Sun was in trouble, the other was standing in opposition of him and not helping. How could Lesus stand this?
The king indifferently said, “Elijah, stand down.”
Elijah froze. He was very unwilling, but since the king had given an order, he could not go against it. He could only return to his seat, but he did not sit down. Instead, he stood ramrod straight and had his eyes trained on Lesus.
Then, the king actually waved Lesus over. The latter froze for a moment, and it wasn’t until he heard Storm’s quiet reminder, “hurry and go over there,” that he was able to react. He walked over to the king until he was only two steps away from him, but even this was not close enough. The king impatiently waved him closer.
Lesus hesitated for a moment before he recalled what Grisia would do in situations like these. So he copied him and walked another step closer. Then he bent down to listen.
The king really did open his mouth. “I won’t give you any money to do something harmful to that child, to Grisia. Not a single ducat. Do you hear me?”
Hearing this, Lesus was stunned. He had never thought the king would say something like this. These words sounded like he was very much trying to protect Grisia, yet Lesus had clearly heard Grisia complain many times that he “had to have another battle of wits with the king” and such. He had never mentioned being on friendly terms with the king.
“And don’t you dare think you can replace the Sun Knight as the leader of the Holy Temple.” The king personally uttered a rare but clear warning, “I would never allow something like that to happen!”
These words rendered Lesus completely helpless. Just as he wanted to explain, the doors to the great hall were suddenly pushed open. The people in the hall froze, but Lesus immediately turned and took guard. Even though he had not drawn his weapon, his hand was already on his sword.
The person who had arrived was full of vigor. His golden hair was a little longer than before and was directly pulled into a ponytail. He appeared even sharper and freer than before, still clad in predominately white even if that was the color most unsuitable for adventuring—but in any case, the person responsible for washing clothes wasn’t him anyway!
The king blurted, “Nee-nee!”
“…I didn’t know you were so eager to die before your prime. What do you call it when the king kicks the bucket? Ah right! Death to the king.”
Neo’s tone was like he would not relent until he shocked someone to death. Upon hearing it, even Elijah didn’t know if he should give a shout of, “How dare you be so rude!”
If he shouted that, he would likely be thrashed by the strongest Sun Knight in history. But if he didn’t shout that, could he truly let hearing “Death to the king” go without making any sort of response?
“I’m so busy that it might even be more relaxing and pleasant to die a king’s death,” Archer said unhappily. Then, he asked curiously, “I haven’t seen you in such a long time, Neo. Won’t you introduce the person behind you?”
A person wearing a cloak had followed behind Neo. Even so, the guards by the doors to the great hall had not stopped either of them. The royal knights responsible for guarding the great hall of the palace were all people with experience and ability—they all clearly knew that Neo was not someone they could obstruct.
Neo shrugged. “He’s Aldrizzt, my companion. Aldrizzt, take off your cloak.”
The latter hesitated for a moment but still removed the cloak. Even though he felt he shouldn’t do this, if he didn’t remove it himself, Neo would probably impatiently reach a hand out to tug off his cloak. Then he couldn’t guarantee that his cloak would remain intact.
Unexpectedly, other than Elijah freezing for a moment, no one had any sort of reaction to his black skin. Even Aldrizzt was starting to get used to this. It seemed that no one by Grisia’s side would make a huge fuss over this.
Archer only curiously glanced at him before returning his gaze to Neo. He said, “Grisia went to be the Demon King.”
“And the Judgment Knight wants to take over!” Archer angrily glared at the Judgment Knight.
“This I didn’t know.” Neo calmly rubbed his chin. He turned to look at Lesus and said, “The king says you want to take over. What do you say?”
Lesus calmly answered, “I want the king to provide funds for us to crusade against the Demon King.”
“Why?” Neo laughed and asked, “Do you want to go and spank Grisia?”
Ceo and Aivis both laughed out loud. Lesus helplessly answered, “It’s for bringing back the Sun Knight.”
Neo raised an eyebrow. He said disapprovingly, “Do you know what you’re saying? Grisia became the Demon King for the sake of not letting the world be destroyed and so that the deceased will not interfere with the living. He has truly carried out the duty of the Sun Knight, yet you want to attack him, rendering his effort meaningless?”
Lesus angrily bellowed, “Sun’s original plan was to become the Demon King and then return to be the Sun Knight. He did not plan on staying there as the Demon King! I am only trying to complete his plan!”
Even though he had been shouted at, Neo was still smiling. He turned to the king and asked, “Did you hear that, Archie?”
He heard the Judgment Knight’s reply and saw that Neo was obviously standing on the side of the Judgment Knight. Besides, that guy Neo would definitely never do something harmful to Grisia!
Finally, Archer relaxed and no longer opposed the Judgment Knight measure for measure. Instead, he grew curious.
“I thought the Judgment Knight was above all people except for one and would want to get rid of that one person.”
“Why get rid of him? He would end up with a bunch of things to handle for no reason.” Neo shrugged and said, “In any case, it goes without saying that Grisia is scared to death of Lesus, so being ‘below him’ is basically only in theory. Why care about titles?”
The snickers coming from behind grew louder. Lesus became even more helpless.
Seeing that even the Storm Knight was secretly laughing, Archer believed in Neo’s words even more. The Storm Knight had always been Grisia’s loyal subordinate. He asked the Judgment Knight seriously, “You really plan on bringing the Sun Knight back?”
“Yes! We will definitely bring him back!” Lesus answered without any hesitation.
“Then you can start convincing me.” Archer showed a faint smile. “Why should I provide military funds to aid you? How would that benefit me?”
The three of them walked along a corridor of the Holy Temple. Lesus walked in front while Ceo and Aivis looked at his back. Even though they could not see his expression, they clearly knew that Lesus’s mood was a lot better than before they had set out.
The king had agreed to provide military funds, and the previous Knight-Captain Sun Neo had also agreed to stay in the Holy Temple and nominally take charge during the period in which they crusaded against the Demon King. Both made it so that they could crusade against the Demon King without any worries.
Aivis said apprehensively, “Judgment, you promised the king such an absurd thing. When Sun returns, he would probably…”
Lesus coldly said, “It’ll have to wait until he returns!”
Hearing this, Aivis immediately clammed up.
Right then the Pope, while lifting his robes, ran toward them in a hurry. He yelled, “Judgment, Storm, Stone, hurry and come over to try on these clothes. You’re the only ones left.”
“Clothes?” The three of them blinked.
The Pope walked up to them and said matter-of-factly, “You are about to go up against the Demon King, so of course you need to wear decent armor, right?”
“But we already have armor,” Ceo replied in confusion.
The Pope shook his head and said, “That kind of armor is only appropriate for the usual small missions. It doesn’t matter what you wear on those small missions. Even if they break, it wouldn’t matter much. But don’t tell me I can let you wear that kind of flimsy, paper-like armor onto the battlefield in this huge battle against the Demon King?”
After he said this, he murmured, “If Grisia were to find out that I let you wear paper-like armor to battle, when he returns, it would be a miracle if he didn’t torture me to death!”
“There is no need to make new armor. We don’t have enough funds.” Lesus calmly said, “The king did not provide us with a lot of military funds.”
“Don’t worry about the money!” The Pope waved his hand. “I have been saving money for so many years. Don’t tell me I don’t have enough for one war? Then I would be way too useless! Don’t forget, the previous king’s ‘case’ has raised the prestige of the Church quite a lot, so during those years, the citizens were very generous and made a lot of donations.”
Aivis asked in incomprehension, “But I remember that before, when the previous Twelve Holy Knights went to command troops in the crusade against undead creatures, you said that if they continued fighting, there would be no money left for army provisions and that the crusading army would have to hunt for themselves?”
The Pope widened his eyes, tilted his head, and made an innocent expression… But then he immediately remembered that none of the people before him were Grisia, and he also had a veil in front of his face. None of these three people could see his expression, so who was he pretending for?
He put away his innocent expression and embarrassedly said, “Even if we have money, I have to say we don’t have any. Otherwise, no one would be seriously economical!”
Seeing the shock of the three people before him, he suddenly felt a sense of guilt like he had tricked society at large. He could not help but mutter, “If it were Grisia, he would never believe my words. In such a huge battle, if I were to want to save on army funds and let you wear shoddy armor onto the battlefield, no matter who among you gets injured, or how you get injured, he would definitely blame it all on me!”
The Pope resolutely said, “In any case, hurry and try on the armor. Don’t worry about anything else. Just make sure you bring Sun back!”
When he heard this, Lesus displayed his first smile in days. This stiff smile that was even uglier than his solemn face shocked Ceo, Aivis, and the Pope so much that their minds turned blank.