The Legend of Sun Knight Side Stories
Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Unbeatable Part 4: We are Unbeatable – translated by dahlys
When they were outside the town, Aldrizzt suddenly stopped walking. He first put on his cloak and pulled the hood down to his chin. Next, he donned gloves. After he had wrapped himself up tightly, he asked Neo a little anxiously, “How do I look?”
Since I wrapped myself up like this, no one should be able to tell that I’m a dark elf, right?
Neo scrutinized him, and then commented, “I think that…”
What do you think? Aldrizzt waited for Neo’s opinion nervously.
“I think that you look extremely suspicious.”
“…” Aldrizzt was speechless for a while. He snapped unhappily, “That goes without saying! I mean, can you tell that I am a dark elf?”
Neo raised an eyebrow and said carelessly, “So what if you’re recognized?”
Aldrizzt shook his head and said, “If the humans discover that I am a dark elf, they will definitely chase us out. We can no longer hunt in the forest, so if we also cannot enter the city to buy food, won’t we starve to death?”
Neo frowned and stopped protesting against Aldrizzt’s disguise.
After that, they entered the town. Neo wasn’t very interested in this small town, but Aldrizzt could not stop looking around. Although he had been on the surface for quite some time, he had never entered any towns before. Now that he was in a town, he would obviously be fascinated.
Surprisingly, this small town near the forest was actually very lively. However, many people were wearing adventuring gear and even carrying luggage. Since they did not look like locals, they were probably traveling adventurers.
Also, because the travelers were very diverse, no one came up asking for trouble despite Aldrizzt’s outfit attracting quite a lot of suspicious glances. Aldrizzt heaved a huge sigh of relief, and at the same time, he no longer feared coming into contact with humans.
Neo walked confidently to a brick building with a signboard labeled “Mainland Adventurers’ Guild” hanging on the door. This was also a place that Aldrizzt had never been to before. It was not too crowded inside as there were only slightly more than ten people. They stood in front of the walls on both sides in twos and threes, all looking up at the notices stuck onto the walls.
Can this be the Adventurers’ Guild that I’ve read about in books? Curious, Aldrizzt asked his companion, “Have you been here before? You seemed very familiar with the route.”
Neo pointed at the roof and said, “The Adventurers’ Guild loves to stick a flag on its roof. If this were a large city, I might not have been able to see that flag. But this town is not very big, so I saw it the moment we entered.”
Once he finished speaking, he walked into the guild building. Aldrizzt quickly followed after him.
When they were inside, Neo said, “You should first look around and see if there are any missions for us to undertake. I’m going to register our party and take care of some minor issues.”
Aldrizzt nodded. He then walked in front of the wall and looked at the notices curiously.
Neo walked to the reception counter alone. He first registered their party, and then prepared to send a message back to Leaf Bud City. This was one of the things that Chasel had said he must do no matter what. Whenever any of the twelve of them traveled outside, they must send a message back to Leaf Bud City every month.
Although, Neo deeply felt that this rule was pretty much created for his sake, as among his generation of the Twelve Holy Knights, most of them had either stayed in Leaf Bud City or had returned to their homelands. Besides himself, no one else seemed to be wandering about.
Am I really so worrying? See, I’ve been adventuring for a while now, and am I not alive and well? What is there to be worried about? Sigh!
Still, he should just obediently do this trivial thing as he was told. Although he wasn’t afraid of Chasel, it would be troublesome if Chasel really got angry, especially since everyone seemed to agree wholeheartedly when Chasel suggested this rule. If he did not comply, eleven people could come looking for trouble.
He got a pen and some paper from the Guild employees and began to write down the things that Chasel demanded he must write — his location, companions, what he was going to do next…
Regarding his companion, Neo hesitated for a bit before writing that Aldrizzt was a dark elf. After that, he briefly mentioned being hunted to death. Of course, he just mentioned it in passing and even specified that this was just a small problem that he would solve very quickly.
As for his location, he wrote “I don’t know.” For what he was going to do next, he carelessly wrote “go around exploring.” He planned to write the same things in the future.
When he had finished writing, Neo passed the message to the Guild employee who smiled and said automatically, “The total cost for sending the message and registering a party is thirty-five silver ducats.”
Neo dug in his pockets and finally managed to fish out one gold ducat and more than ten silver ducats to pay the bill with.
Suddenly hearing a scream, Neo turned around reflexively. Someone was looking at Aldrizzt in horror. When Aldrizzt took a step closer to him, that person actually hastily retreated many steps and even staggered, nearly falling to the ground.
Regarding this, Aldrizzt didn’t seem to know what to do. He even unconsciously pulled his hood down lower.
At this point, the people around seemed to smell something fishy. One after another, they all looked at Aldrizzt warily.
The terrified person stared at Aldrizzt and stammered, “D-Dark…”
“Aldrizzt! Let’s go. I’m positively starving to death, so let’s find somewhere to eat,” Neo shouted. He then walked up to Aldrizzt, grabbed his companion’s arm in one movement and dragged him out without seeming to care about the people they left behind.
“He saw my face,” Aldrizzt said anxiously after he had been dragged out of the Guild.
“What about it?” Unworried, Neo said, “You have nothing to be embarrassed about. Although you’re not as handsome as me, your looks are still passable, if a bit dark.”
“If I weren’t dark, I would be called an elf!” Aldrizzt barked. He continued nervously, “Still, he found out that I am a dark elf. I’m afraid that…”
Neo spun around forcefully, grabbed Aldrizzt’s shoulders, and said seriously, “Aldrizzt, you want to move around the surface and go on adventures with me. Did you think no one would ever find out that you are a dark elf?”
“I know that’s impossible, but we are currently being hunted by my people. We have also been chased out of the forest by the elves…”
Neo interrupted him by saying impatiently, “Don’t be such a nag! There are only fifty dark elves, so if worse comes to worst, we will just fight them.”
Aldrizzt shook his head. He believed that Neo also knew the meaning of “fifty dark elves.” Not only was every member of his race good at fighting, they were also experts at ambushing and using hidden weapons. To sum it up, even though Neo was the Sun Knight, it would be absolutely impossible for merely two people to defeat fifty dark elves!
Neo looked around him. Even though this small town was not very large, there were quite a number of inns. This definitely had something to do with all the adventurers around, so he could not help but mutter, “Is there a good adventuring place around here? Why are there so many adventurers?”
“It’s right behind you!” Aldrizzt barked, “That huge forest is definitely a good place to have an adventure.”
“Really?” Suspicious, Neo said, “How come I don’t get the feeling that there is anything in there dangerous enough to be worth an adventure?”
Aldrizzt sighed and explained, “It’s not dangerous only because it’s you and me who were in there. I am a dark elf mage who is over a hundred years old, and you are the Sun Knight. Of course we don’t think it’s dangerous! I’m afraid there aren’t many adventures in this world that we can’t handle.”
“Oh, really? Aren’t we being hunted by fifty dark elves right now?” Neo said casually as he eyed the most luxurious inn and walked in without hesitation.
The moment Aldrizzt saw this clean and neat inn with furnishings that looked rather lavish, he felt insecure. He quickly whispered, “Neo, do you have money?”
“Yes.” Neo wasn’t lying; even after paying the Guild, he still had about seventy or eighty silver ducats left.
When Aldrizzt heard Neo’s reply, he calmed down. Although he had never seen where Neo kept his money, if Neo said that he had money, then he probably did.
The moment they walked into the inn, someone immediately came forward to meet them. Neo demanded very naturally, “Prepare a room for two, but first serve us some food and wine. I want grape wine that is at least ten years old, soup for appetizers, your chef’s specialty for the main course — but it must have meat — and some local fruits to try.”
From Neo’s handsome and elegant bearing, the waiter had already known that he could not disregard him. Once he received Neo’s order, it was even more obvious that Neo was a distinguished guest. He nodded his head eagerly while smiling from ear to ear.
As Neo was ordering the food, Aldrizzt looked at his surroundings. There were few customers around, and most of them looked like merchants instead of adventurers. It seemed that adventurers did not often stay in such high-class inns. The merchants did not appear to be interested in the mummy-wrapped Aldrizzt, but they were extremely curious about Neo, whose actions were very refined. Aldrizzt sighed in relief at this.
After they sat down, Aldrizzt observed Neo before he sighed and said, “If you hadn’t said that you were a holy knight, I would have thought that you were a prince. You really act like an aristocrat, and an extremely highly-ranking one at that.”
“Oh.” Neo shrugged and said, “I have a good relationship with the royal family, and go to the palace often. Also, I always travel with the prince and princess.”
What he didn’t say was that every time they went traveling, people thought that he was the prince and treated the real prince as his attendant.
“Enough said, let’s eat! It’s impolite to eat and talk at the same time.”
You weren’t so particular while we were in the forest, so why suddenly talk about manners when we come to the inn? Aldrizzt was suspicious, but he did not argue back and simply started to eat quietly.
For the next few days, under the pretext of going to the Guild to check whether there were any suitable missions they could undertake, Neo would spend all day shopping around, until he had actually explored the entire town. On the other hand, Aldrizzt did not dare to go outside because he was afraid people would find out that he was a dark elf.
Even though Neo scolded him, Neo could not do anything about Aldrizzt and it didn’t make sense to drag him outdoors. In the end, Neo let Aldrizzt do whatever he wanted and instead spent every day enjoying himself greatly by visiting the Adventurers’ Guild, taverns, and wandering around town.
“Neo! Neo!” Aldrizzt shouted in panic.
Neo grunted, stretched lazily, and sat up on the bed. He answered lazily, “What’s up? Did I oversleep?” Neo was rather surprised as he usually woke up at a fixed time.
“No, it is the middle of the night.”
“Then why did you wake me up?” Unhappy, Neo opened his eyes only to see Aldrizzt’s horrified-to-the-maximum face. He paused for a moment before asking, “What’s wrong?”
Aldrizzt stood next to the window, head turned to look at Neo. When he saw that Neo had woken up, he gestured outside the window and said in a trembling voice, “Look…”
Neo stood up nonchalantly and glanced out the window. He immediately noticed many torches shining brightly, and they were even surrounding the exterior of the inn. From the light of the torches, Neo could even see that the people outside were fully armed, their expressions tense but dwarfed by murderous intent.
Since both he and Aldrizzt had not done anything bad in the town, the only reason for this situation would be because Aldrizzt was a dark elf.
Amazed, Neo made several “tsk tsk” sounds. He said, “The people of this town sure know how to keep things under wraps. I have been wandering around outdoors for the past few days, yet have never felt them raise their guard against me. Is this because they are all adventurers?”
Maybe it’s because you’re too dense? Aldrizzt thought silently. However, he was not in the mood to argue with his companion in this kind of situation. Worried, he asked, “Neo, what should we do now?”
With regard to Aldrizzt’s question, Neo only raised an eyebrow. He did not have any definite ideas in mind as he thought, I am already being hunted by dark elves and elves, are humans also going to join the fray now? My adventure is really dangerous and exciting!
Because he didn’t receive Neo’s reply after waiting for a long time, Aldrizzt turned to gaze at the gathered humans. In his heart, he had already made his decision. He said plainly, “Neo, you should leave.”
At this moment, Neo unexpectedly answered naturally, “Of course I’m leaving! Are you implying that I should stay and let people chop me down?”
Upon hearing this, Aldrizzt smiled bitterly in his heart. Neo was always so straightforward. He didn’t even bother to decorate his words by saying things like, “he really couldn’t bear to leave his companion behind, but neither could he oppose his own race, so he had no choice.”
Neo actually said he is going to leave so bluntly… Although he had many complaints, Aldrizzt did not voice any of them out loud. He only mumbled, “Then, goodbye.”
“Finished saying your goodbyes?”
“Then let’s get going!”
Eh? Before Aldrizzt could react, Neo had already picked him up by the waist with one arm, grabbed the windowsill with the other arm, swung himself outside, and jumped onto the roof. While looking around desperately for any other roofs he could jump onto, Neo complained to his companion, “Have you learnt the Spell of Flight yet? If you have, we can just fly away!”
“I can’t learn it that quickly. The Spell of Flight is not easy to learn, and I’m not very familiar with gathering the wind element,” Aldrizzt grumbled. But he immediately remembered something more important and asked, “Neo, weren’t you going to leave?”
“Of course,” Neo said as if the answer was obvious. “I have already been surrounded. If I don’t leave, won’t I just be asking to be chopped into mincemeat?”
…What I meant was, weren’t you going to leave such a troublesome companion like me behind and leave by yourself? But seeing Neo’s actions now, that didn’t seem to be the case at all. Aldrizzt suddenly felt that the conversation between his companion and himself was comparable to one between chickens and ducks.1
Neo leapt across several rooftops. He looked down and saw that the crowd below had followed him. Some of them were even copying him and had climbed onto the rooftops. However, those people were mostly agile thieves and other similar classes, so even though they climbed up onto the rooftops, they did not dare approach him rashly. Instead, they kept their distance and matched his speed while continually shouting and reporting their position to the people below, “The dark elf is here!”
“Don’t let them get away!”
Besides the noise from the people following Neo and Aldrizzt, the rest of the town was as quiet as a ghost city. At the same time, there were no lights from the streets, which made following them all the easier. As long as one person found the duo, all he had to do was shout in order to attract a bunch of troops.
Did they evacuate the townspeople first? They are really well prepared! Aldrizzt didn’t know whether to clap for the thoughtful humans or to sigh at his inevitable fate of being captured. But no matter what happened, the only thing he could be sure of was that he was indeed a burden. If he had not entered the town, then those townspeople would not have had to evacuate during the night.
On the other hand, Neo was getting rather annoyed at being unable to shrug off the pursuers.
Against those dark elves that attacked the moment they approached, he could kill them without hesitation, but these were all humans. Besides the adventurers, there were people who looked like commoners among them, so he was reluctant to attack carelessly.
After thinking about it, Neo could only say irritably, “Let’s hide in the forest first. Most of these people can’t follow us in there.”
“But the elves forbade us from going into the forest,” said Aldrizzt, shocked.
“Just ignore them. Anyway, elves are not as vicious as humans. I don’t believe that they will kill us if we don’t resist! Humans, on the other hand, will be happy to tie us to stakes and burn us to death if we don’t resist them.”
On hearing this, Aldrizzt was rendered somewhat speechless. Does Neo know that he is also a human?
Once Neo had made his decision, he did not care whether Aldrizzt agreed or not. He immediately ran toward the edge of the small town. Because the town did not have any large gates, Neo simply kicked the fence down and announced that he was leaving town.
Aldrizzt looked behind them, and his heart instantly sank. He pointed out, “They are still following us.”
Neo made an “mm” sound and quickened his stride as he ran toward the forest. When he was about one hundred meters away from entering the forest, he suddenly stopped.
Puzzled, Aldrizzt asked, “Neo?”
Neo did not answer, but he had no need to answer. Aldrizzt had already seen the reason why Neo had stopped running.
A whole row of elves stood at the edge of the forest with their bows ready and arrows nocked, as if waiting for the two of them to take a step closer… Aldrizzt turned around, only to see that the groups of humans had already caught up with them. Although they seemed afraid to approach for now, once more humans gathered, they would undoubtedly attack.
Humans in front of them, and elves in the forest behind them…
Neo frowned at the elves, and then turned around to look at the humans. He felt that the current situation was indeed getting rather tricky. Whether or not they could win was one thing, but a bigger problem was whether they should attack at all. The humans in front of him consisted merely of frightened townspeople and hired adventurers, while the elves in the forest were known to be a kind race. Hence, unless he was pushed to the edge, he did not want to hurt or end up killing them.
But seeing the current situation, if he did not hurt them, they were most likely going to hurt both Aldrizzt and him…
“Put me down, Neo.” Aldrizzt crawled down from Neo’s back and said calmly to him, “Neo, Leave! We just met by chance and are not even close friends…”
“Then you shouldn’t have helped me wash my clothes, cook the food, make the beds, and hunt!” Furious, Neo cut him off and growled in a low voice, “You did so many good things for me, if I turned my back and left now, wouldn’t I become a shameless and ungrateful bastard? Now, you should just shut up and pay attention to the members of your own race. Have you noticed them hiding in the bushes on both sides of us?”
Aldrizzt nodded. Of course he had noticed them. He had asked Neo to run away by himself because he had found out that in addition to the humans and the elves, his people were hiding in the bushes to either side, reducing their chances of escape to zero.
Neo looked at the elves who had their bows raised, thinking that there probably wasn’t much room for negotiation with them. Thus, he had no choice but to turn around and face the humans. To the humans who were about to charge forward and attack anytime now, he said, “I am the former Sun Knight, Neo Sun. In the name of the Twelve Holy Knights of the Church of the God of Light, I swear to you that this dark elf has already forsaken the darkness, and has chosen to follow the path of light…”
Before he could even finish speaking, the human crowd had already begun to yell angrily.
“Rubbish! How can you possibly be the Sun Knight!”
“The Sun Knight would never help a dark elf!”
“He is a dark elf who will stop at no evil. By helping a dark elf, you have betrayed your fellow humans!”
“Traitors should die… KILL HIM!”
The moment someone said the word “kill,” the human crowd became roused and started to shout about killing and attacking. Some of them even brandished their weapons with bloodshot eyes.
“You want to kill me, the traitor of humans, is that right?” Neo was so livid he laughed instead. “You fellows should know your place! Although there are quite a few of you, I don’t think much of you people at all. If you weren’t humans, I would have killed all of you with a slash each a long time ago!”
After saying this, he really pulled his sword out. Cruel rays of moonlight reflected off the sword…
Aldrizzt quickly hugged the fuming Neo and shouted, “You can’t do this! Neo, you cannot hurt them, they are your people!”
Outraged, Neo bellowed, “Let go of me, I have to slay these idiots who don’t know what’s good for them! They can’t even defeat you, yet they still dare to say that they want to kill me? Kill me, Neo Sun? Let me slaughter them and clear the way for us!”
“No! You mustn’t be reckless!” Aldrizzt clung to him as tightly as he could. He would never let Neo kill humans.
Not only were the humans unafraid of seeing Neo draw his sword, they even raised their own weapons higher and started to condemn him loudly. The contents of their insults were so horrible that not even Aldrizzt could stand hearing them, much less Neo.
Therefore, Aldrizzt hugged Neo even tighter to prevent him from charging forward and killing people.
However, Neo no longer had the intention of breaking free from Aldrizzt’s grip. He went silent for a while. Then, without any warning, he let out an arc-shaped battle aura with one swing of his sword, calmly and sensibly aiming it in front of the humans.
Seeing this, Aldrizzt heaved a huge sigh of relief. He had thought that Neo would directly cleave the people who had insulted him in two.
At that moment, the scene went completely still and silent, except for the cloud of dust that filled the sky, rising from the deep horizontal trench carved into the ground. A few people who looked like common folk were so frightened that their legs had turned to jelly, causing them to collapse to the ground. However, there were also some experienced adventurers who immediately shouted, “Everyone, do not be afraid! Help is coming, and there are only two of them. Also, the elves in the forest will help us.”
The presence of the elves with their longbows appeared to give the humans more courage. Then again, they did not know that the elves would not make a move to attack as long as Neo and Aldrizzt did not enter the forest.
Elves… Aldrizzt finally understood what he should do! He let go of Neo, turned around and sprinted toward the forest… For a moment, Neo was taken aback. He then instantly spun around, dashed quickly, and caught the mage’s arm without any effort.
After that, Neo glared at Aldrizzt coldly. Feeling guilty after being stared at by the former’s stern eyes, Aldrizzt looked away.
As he looked at Aldrizzt, Neo stated with the utmost confidence, “You were thinking of putting an end to everything by running into the forest and letting the elves shoot you to death, weren’t you?”
Although he asked a question, he did not need to receive a reply. Aldrizzt’s body suddenly going rigid was already enough of an answer.
Neo snorted coldly, then growled, “Don’t even think about it. I, Neo Sun, have never let a companion die right before my very eyes! Let me tell you, I will not let any of those here — including humans, elves, and dark elves — kill my companion!”
Panicking, Aldrizzt immediately said, “You cannot possibly kill all of them, and neither do I want you to do that.”
Neo said plainly, “I will try my best not to kill them. It’s not that hard.”
“Even if you don’t want to kill them, my people are hiding to the side. They will definitely not sit still and watch. When the time comes, perhaps you, I, the humans, and even those elves will all die by their hands!”
Aldrizzt begged sincerely, “Please, Neo! Even if you don’t let me enter the forest, at least let my people take me back! They might not kill me, since we belong to the same race…” As he spoke, his voice became softer and softer because he could not convince even himself with his words.
Neo snorted coldly. He did not at all believe that the dark elves would ever let Aldrizzt go. There was a possibility that they would not kill him on the spot, but that would only be because they wanted to torture him cruelly first!
“Neo…” When Aldrizzt saw Neo’s expression, he immediately understood that Neo had no intention of doing as he said at all.
Neo said icily, “Deal with the humans first, then take care of those dark elves. Either start preparing magic spells to help me now, or just stand to the side quietly!”
Naturally, Aldrizzt could not let Neo fight alone. The only thing he could do was to think hard about which magic spells would minimize damage the most.
As long as he had his sword in hand, Neo was prepared for battle. At this point, the humans also started to get fired up. Any moment now, the fight was going to begin…
“Stop this at once, all of you.”
In the silence, a simple command telling people to stop rang out. The tone was very plain, but it was also so imposing that no one could ignore it.
Quite a few people turned their heads around. Only then did they see the row of people standing behind them. There were not many of them, just eleven. The armors that the knights wore were all different colors, and the weapons they held were also different — there were swords, a bow, and even a large shield — but they all had one thing in common; a solemn bearing that was so great no one could turn their eyes away.
No matter if it was their weapons or their clothing, these people did not seem to be normal adventurers. They were just standing in a relaxed manner, yet they still gave off an aura which made people feel that they were not to be underestimated. This made everyone at the scene understand that these people were not to be trifled with.
Standing in the middle, leading these people was a person who was completely black. Not only were his hair and eyes black, even the clothes he wore were all black. His whole body gave off an intimidating vibe, especially his eyes that were as sharp as razors, which caused the people he gazed at to feel like they were being interrogated.
This leader led the others though the crowd of humans. Wherever they went, the humans actually automatically moved away to let them pass through… In the end, they stood between the humans and the duo.
In the meantime, Aldrizzt was truly baffled. He could not understand why so many people had suddenly appeared, and at the same time, he reflexively raised his guard because they seemed very strong.
On the other hand, Neo’s gaze started to wander. He looked everywhere — at the sky, the ground, the grass, and the elves — except at that row of people, especially the leader wearing all black.
The leader threw a glance at Neo, and then turned around to face the crowd. He said plainly, “We are the Twelve Holy Knights of the Church of the God of Light. I am the Judgment Knight. Now, can anyone tell me why you are surrounding our Sun Knight?”
Sun Knight? At first, everyone was at a loss, but then they immediately remembered what “the whole continent knew” about the Sun Knight — golden hair, blue eyes, plus a handsome and graceful poise.
Besides the elves, only one person present fit this description, and it was precisely the one standing next to the dark elf.
At this point, Aldrizzt looked at Neo in utter astonishment. Embarrassed and unable to continue acting like he did not know these people, the latter asked, “Chasel, everyone… Why have you come here?”
The moment the group of holy knights heard this, all of them turned around and rolled their eyes at their Sun Knight. After all, the only reason they had appeared here was to help him. Otherwise, was it possible for these eleven people to pass by together coincidentally?
“The Twelve Holy Knights?” The crowd was starting to get excited.
“Could they be fakes?”
“No, they’re real!” Somebody recognized them and shouted excitedly, “I’ve been to Leaf Bud City before. They’re the real Twelve Holy Knights!”
“The Twelve Holy Knights actually appeared in this small town! Oh my God of Light!”
“But the dark elf…”
The crowd fell silent.
Chasel Judgment waited until everybody had stopped fussing before beginning to explain, “Inspired by the God of Light, that dark elf has forsaken evil and embraced kindness. Although I find this suspicious and think that criminals should be put on trial, the Sun Knight is determined to accept him with a benevolent and open mind. Also, to let him experience more of the benevolence of the God of Light, as well as feel more of the God of Light’s love for everything, the Sun Knight has specially let him travel by his side and is preaching to him about the teachings of the God of Light.”
“I see.” As if they had a great realization, everyone started praising, “The Sun Knight is really benevolent! He is even willing to forgive a dark elf.”
This was the first time Neo realized just how good Chasel’s ability to spout nonsense was!
Aldrizzt looked at Neo with 10000% suspicion, thinking, This fellow even thought of killing humans to solve his problem! In what way is he benevolent?
At this point, most of the humans had put down their weapons. No matter how brave they were, they did not dare to swing their swords at the Twelve Holy Knights.
Neo walked to the Twelve Holy Knights’ side and first greeted them with his eyes. He then turned around, but instead of facing the humans or the forest, he looked at the bushes… He said sternly, “Listen up, dark elves hidden in the shadows. The brilliance of the God of Light now shines on Aldrizzt. If you ever dare to contaminate him with darkness again, the Church of the God of Light will never forgive you!”
When they heard that there were hidden dark elves, all of the humans gasped. Quite a few of them started to move closer to the Twelve Holy Knights.
Also, the elves who had been keeping quiet suddenly exclaimed mildly in shock before beginning to whisper among themselves. This time, the elves reached a decision much more quickly than previously. They fired several arrows at the bushes tentatively, and a few muffled groans were heard from the bushes.
Now, the elves’ bows were no longer aimed at Neo and Aldrizzt, but instead were all aimed at the bushes. Even their eyes had become very sharp and alert.
Compared to a lone dark elf, they obviously hated a group of dark elves much more.
“Neo, should we fight?” Chasel asked.
Neo frowned as he gave it some thought. He then said, “No, those dark elves are at a disadvantage. They will not choose to retaliate, but will run away. There’s no need to hunt them down and kill them all.”
Chasel nodded. He had also seen the movement in the bushes, but the direction of movement appeared to be away from them rather than toward them. Also, the elves did not seem very willing to start a massacre, judging by the way they had fired their arrows. Their aim seemed to be to drive the dark elves away, instead of slaughtering them.
At this moment, an elf stepped forward. It was the female elf named Evaclair. She did not carry any weapons; instead, she walked in front of Neo and said, “I apologize for my rudeness, Sun Knight of the Church of the God of Light. Since even the Church of the God of Light, which hates darkness the most, has accepted this dark elf, surely he must have embraced the light. We, the elves, are also delighted to hear of this.”
Having said all that, Evaclair actually turned her head to smile at Aldrizzt. She told him, “We are truly sorry for the unreasonable request we demanded of you. Please don’t take it to heart. Henceforth, you may enter and leave the forest freely.”
Aldrizzt opened his mouth, but no words came out. His heart was filled with so much gratitude he nearly couldn’t keep his eyes from brimming with tears.
Neo patted Aldrizzt’s shoulder and reminded the elves, “His name is Aldrizzt. Remember his looks and name well. If you ever attack him in the future, we will bring you to justice even if you are elves!”
Evaclair nodded, and then walked back into the forest.
Aldrizzt watched her leave. At the same time, he also looked toward the elves in the forest. Most of the elves smiled at him when they discovered him watching them. This made him feel extremely touched…
Neo turned around to face Chasel. He raised an eyebrow and asked, “Is it really okay to use the names of the Church of the God of Light and the Twelve Holy Knights? We have already retired, right?”
“You actually worry about these kinds of things?” Chasel teased. After receiving a glare from Neo, he smiled and explained, “Before we came here, I sent a courier to Grisia with a verbal message. I briefly explained that you were in trouble, and also added that I might use the name of the Twelve Holy Knights if there was a need. I believe that he will come up with a method to keep this issue quiet. Although your student’s swordplay is terrible, his ability to deal with problems is way better than yours.”
On hearing this, Neo snorted. He said, “You guys should mind your own business. Even if you hadn’t come, I could have solved this problem by myself!”
“Yes, yes,” Chasel said casually and half-heartedly. He turned to face the dark elf and asked, “Are you Aldrizzt?”
“Yes…” Aldrizzt jumped in shock.
Compared to Neo, the previous head of the Holy Temple, Aldrizzt was much more afraid of the former Judgment Knight. After all, Aldrizzt had been associating with Neo for some time now. It was simply impossible to be afraid of a fellow who knew nothing besides swordplay.
On the other hand, Chasel looked very strict. Also, the Judgment Knight was not known to be kind.
Chasel sized up Aldrizzt. With a hint of a smile on his face, he said, “Other than having good looks and superb swordsmanship, Neo is useless. Thus, I will have to burden you with the responsibility for everything else.”
“Hey, hey! What do you mean by that, Chasel?” Neo protested loudly.
Aldrizzt smiled. As he looked at the dispersing crowd and the friendly elves, he said gratefully, “I never imagined that things could be resolved like this. There was absolutely no need for violence, and no innocents were hurt in the process.”
“Of course,” Chasel said confidently. “We are the Twelve Holy Knights, and our word is more convincing than violence. Do you understand that now, Neo?”
Neo only snorted coldly. As he sheathed his sword, he said, “I thought that I could have an enjoyable fight! You guys are such busybodies.”
“From the beginning to end, did you ever strike first?” Chasel asked, a little astounded.
“No,” Neo shook his head while saying.
“That is indeed very surprising! I thought that you would start a massacre in order to solve all your problems!” After saying that, Chasel noticed Aldrizzt’s doubt-filled expression. He smiled and asked, “Did you think that Neo could not defeat fifty dark elves? He is a person who singlehandedly challenged more than one hundred and fifty fully armed bandits, which included archers and mages. In the end, he exterminated all of them… However, at the time, he still had the favor of the God of Light. That is no longer so.”
Aldrizzt froze in shock. One man against more than a hundred and fifty fully armed bandits?
“Even without the favor of the God of Light, I am still equally strong!” Neo instantly emphasized.
At this point, a knight with a row of throwing knives hanging at his waist laughed loudly and said, “You may be equally strong, but you are not equally unkillable! Neo, back then weren’t you slashed more than ten times and nearly killed?”
“Eight slashes! How many times must I repeat that, Metal? I only received eight slashes. Moreover, I walked back to the Holy Temple by myself, so I definitely didn’t almost get killed!” Neo turned his head and began to argue endlessly with Metal.
In a mocking tone, Metal Knight said, “Oh? I remember that someone collapsed on the staircase of the Holy Temple and couldn’t get up. The good guy Leaf even had to carry you into the Holy Temple.”
“If you hadn’t said anything, I would have forgotten all about it…” Neo turned his head to face another knight who was carrying a bow. He said angrily, “Leaf! That time, you took the opportunity to punch me so many times! You totally ignored the fact that I was seriously injured!”
Leaf Knight, who had been carrying his bow on his back, now immediately shifted his bow to his hands and made preparations to shoot before answering, “Eh? Didn’t you only have minor injuries? Do you admit that you were seriously injured back then?”
“Of course not…”
With a little hesitation, Aldrizzt said, “More than a hundred and fifty fully armed bandits… If he’s that strong, then the two of us could really kill fifty of my people. However, when we were being hunted, Neo never took the initiative to attack.”
Chasel smiled plainly and said, “I suppose that was probably because he didn’t want to massacre your people right in front of you? Neo’s temper has always been bad and he solves everything with his sword. Only when he reached forty did he start keeping his lousy temper in check, sigh…”
“Neo said that he is only thirty years old,” Aldrizzt interrupted expressionlessly.
Chasel paused for a moment before whispering, “Don’t ever tell him that I exposed his lie. That fellow absolutely hates being called old.”
On hearing this, Aldrizzt decided to confirm some of his guesses about Neo. He asked, “And he is very vain?”
“Exactly!” Chasel immediately nodded.
“Likes to push himself for the sake of maintaining his image?”
“Nobody is better at that than him. He even raised a student who likes pushing himself just as much.”
“Rather die than admit he’s wrong?”
“It’s harder to make him admit he’s wrong than to kill him!” Extremely pleased, Chasel nodded and said, “Aldrizzt, it appears that you understand him very well. Thus, in the future, I will have to burden you with the big burden called Neo.”
“Can I refuse?” Aldrizzt instead asked expressionlessly.
“You can, but if you refuse, the Church of the God of Light will not protect you. Therefore, if you want to walk safely on the surface, you have to be responsible for taking care of him.”
“Is that a threat?” Although he said that, Aldrizzt had a smile on his face. He was no longer afraid of the Judgment Knight.
Chasel said warmly, “Please don’t misunderstand, the God of Light would never employ such a lowly method as to threaten someone…”
Aldrizzt looked at Chasel with great suspicion.
“…But the Church of the God of Light would.”
Although it hadn’t been very long since the Twelve Holy Knights had retired and gone their separate ways, in the past they had rarely been apart for such a lengthy period of time. Therefore, once the situation had been resolved, they all returned to the tavern and had a drinking party… but the only person who could not drink was Neo himself.
This was because the “whole continent knows” that the Sun Knight cannot drink alcohol! In a tavern where he was surrounded by peeping townspeople, Neo definitely couldn’t drink alcohol.
As he watched everyone else drink bottle after bottle, Neo nearly lost his temper. With one holler of “SCRAM!” he chased everyone else away and dragged Aldrizzt to the counter to foot the bill, planning to rush to a town where no one knew he was the Sun Knight to drink as much as he wanted.
“Three gold ducats?”
The moment he heard the bill, Neo froze. He turned around to look… OH NO! Everyone really had scrammed, so he couldn’t ask them for money. “I see… Urk! I think that it’s still early, and the sun hasn’t even risen yet, so I guess I should wait for sunrise before leaving.”
After hearing Neo’s reply, the innkeeper was stupefied. Smiling widely, he said, “T-This… You do have the money to pay the bill, right?”
At this point, never mind the innkeeper, even Aldrizzt was looking at Neo with 10000% suspicion. Neo immediately flashed the Sun Knight’s trademark smile and said politely, “Hmm? What did you just say? My sincere apologies, I, Neo Sun, actually did not hear you clearly.”
The innkeeper froze for a moment. Only then did he remember that the person in front of him was not an ordinary commoner, but rather the Sun Knight! Just remembering how he had actually implied that “the Sun Knight wants to escape payment” sent him into a cold sweat. Thinking that it was never too late to make reparations, he said, “I mean, do you want to eat anything before returning to your room?”
“I might as well do that.” Neo said elegantly and naturally, “In that case, please serve us some food!”
After they had eaten their fill, they returned to the room. Aldrizzt was just planning to make up for some lost sleep when he noticed Neo starting to pack his clothes. Before Aldrizzt could get a hold of the situation, Neo had already finished packing. Neo turned around and said, “Let’s go, Aldrizzt!”
“What?” Aldrizzt stared into space for a moment before asking in confusion, “The sun hasn’t even risen yet, where do you want to go?”
Neo was silent for a while. He then replied, “…To the forest to invite Evaclair to join our party?”
Aldrizzt was puzzled when he heard Neo’s words. He wondered, Why did he not invite Evaclair just now when we were in the forest? Why do so now, in the middle of the night? And why does Neo’s answer sound like a question, not a statement?
“Hurry, hurry!” Neo insisted, “If we don’t catch up with them quickly, the elves will be very far away!”
Aldrizzt narrowed his eyes and said in a dangerous tone, “Neo?”
“Hmm? Is there a problem?” Neo used the Sun Knight’s ultimate technique — the dazzling smile. However, this had absolutely no effect on Aldrizzt, who knew all about Neo’s personality. Aldrizzt’s eyes narrowed further as he became a thousand times more suspicious than before.
Neo had no choice but to give up smiling and say honestly, “I only have seventy silver ducats.”
“…Neo, let’s split up, okay?”
“Split up? You just promised Chasel that you’d look after me! And with you gone, who’s going to help me wash clothes, hunt, cook food, and make the bed?”
“Don’t talk rubbish, his cooking is so bad even slimes would run away.”
“That refers to your cooking, right?”
As they climbed out of the window, the two did not forget to wage a war of words. They ran further and further away…
The next day, an epic adventure for a legendary adventuring party officially kicked off when the innkeeper howled in despair, “AHH! The Sun Knight ran away without paying!”
Their story officially begins here.
– The End –
1 “…chickens and ducks…”: A conversation between chickens and ducks is one where nobody understands what the other person is saying.