21st Century Archmage - Volume 2 - Chapter 19

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Chapter 19 – Apostle of the Azure Skies, Count Irene

“Anyone who moves without permission from this point onwards will be terminated,” quietly warned a man with indigo blue hair . He was standing behind the woman on her right side, his hand resting lightly on the sword at his hip .

“… . . ”

In a single breath, the inn became silent as a mouse . A single sentence from the Skyknight brought total peace to the battlefield .

‘The pressure is insane!’

These weren’t just regular Skyknights, but the masters of the continent’s strongest Black Wyverns; they were Skyknights of the Bajran Empire Imperial Guard .

“Ey, we came to drink some beer after our training… You guys are causing a fuss within the capital without any fear? And you’re all so young, too . ”

“W-what are you saying so crudely! I am the heir who will be the next lord of Lyphon Viscounty!”

At the cynical words of the man on the woman’s left, Alfonso forcefully played his “heir” card .

“So what?” retorted the strawberry blond man . His gaze was as if he were looking at a neighborhood mutt .

‘Hoo, he knows how to handle people . ’

With just a smattering of words, the man made Alfonso’s face go beet red . It was pretty cool .

“What, what do you mean ‘So what?’ I’m an aristocrat of heritage! Even if you’re a Knight of the Imperial Guard, I’m not someone you can treat lightly!” said Alfonso, emphasizing the word ‘aristocrat . ’

“Puhahaha! Well, aren’t you droll?” the man drawled, looking at Alfonso mockingly . “Did you think this was the backwards territory where you played king? Heir? A mere heir who hasn’t yet received a noble peerage dares to bare his blade in the capital? You didn’t know that the Imperial Knights can kill you without trial for drawing your blade and committing violent acts or murder, did you?” 

He was really so dynamic that I wanted to chat about life with him over a beer .

“Knight Rothello, stop . ”

“As you wish!”

At the fairy-like woman with silver hair’s command, the man named Rothello smartly came to attention and shut his mouth .

‘Wow!’ I thought in utter admiration .

Though she was an absolutely stunning woman exuding innocence and looking as weak as a bug, the aura she was emanating was no joke .

“Did you say your name was Alfonso?”

“Huh? I-indeed,” replied Alfonso cautiously, his face white after hearing Rothello’s threat that he could be killed .

Even a brick would know that the woman standing before us held a remarkable status .

“I am a Skyknight of the Empire Imperial Guard, Countess Irene . ”

“A-apostle of the Azure Skies, Countess Irene!”

From somebody’s mouth came a surprised exclamation .

‘Apostle of the Azure Skies? It really suits her!’

The woman named Irene gave off such a strong air of purity that I could believe it if someone told me she was a priestess . It wouldn’t be unfair to call this woman wearing a red mantle a goddess .

“If you are an heir of nobility, then you should know this much . The rule in all places that fall under His Imperial Majesty’s jurisdiction is that Imperial Law takes precedence over the common law managed by nobles . And this is the capital, where the Emperor and the Imperial Family reside . No matter who it is, anyone who disdains His Imperial Majesty or the Imperial Family will die by my hands, for I am a Skyknight of the Great Bajran Empire Imperial Guard, who lives by the Emperor’s command . Even if that person is a noble . ”

Countess Irene’s each and every word was quiet but firmly spoken .

‘So cool!’

I couldn’t help but cheer inside .

“Now speak . Why have you taken arms and fought on the sacred land of His Majesty?”

‘Maybe… I’m looking forward to it . ’ I began to hope that she could show impartiality and be on my side .

“That, that is… that man…”

Crushed by Irene’s sharp aura, Alfonso began to give his testimony . He really didn’t seem to be able to come up with any excuses . With his aristocrat heir position, he was a man who had lived his whole life with a silver spoon in his mouth . There was no way he could give a valid reason .

“I am Luciella of Barony Tymon . I am oh so grateful for this opportunity to see the sword and shield guarding the empire, the Imperial Guard’s Skyknights . ” The cheap bitch who started the whole incident bowed slightly and wagged her fox tail .

“You seem to be a mage . Are you a Skyknight applicant?”

“Yes, Countess Irene,” said the evil woman, smiling wide at Irene’s interest .

“You may report if you know about this incident . Only, you must take responsibility for it . ”

“Of course . How could I possibly lie to people of such nobility?”

Even as a noble herself, Luciella was careful with her words in front of the Skyknights . It was a scene that revealed the status of the capital’s Imperial Guard Skyknights .

“To be honest, my fault in the matter is quite large . For the sake of the Skyknight Selection Exam starting tomorrow, I departed from my territory early, but we were attacked on the way to the capital and delayed for a moment . In my moment of crisis, the heir of Lyphon Viscounty, Sir Alfonso, and his attending knights appeared and slayed the monsters, allowing me to safely arrive in the capital . However, my poor luck continued and I was unable to find luxury accommodations suitable for a person of noble heritage . It was then that we found this place . ”

‘I’m dumbfounded . ’

This fox, Luciella, began telling lies from the very beginning, not even stopping to breathe . I had definitely heard her say that she was able to acquire a room thanks to meeting Alfonso, but somehow, the cheap-ass Alfonso was painted as a cool knight .

“The instant we entered this inn with our tired bodies, I requested the top suite, in accordance with the teaching that states nobles should always seek the very best formalities that suit their status . However, someone was already occupying the top suite, and we, being in a tight spot, asked the person to yield the room to us . But… that ignorant commoner put faith in his abilities and sowed discord, so to uphold our noble honor, we were forced to draw swords . And so, the situation became like this . ”

‘Does she want to be some kind of author in the future?’

Anyone who heard this without knowing the truth would believe it; that’s how sincere Luciella appeared as she spouted her 100% fantasy . Even I was immersed in her story .

“Please allow me to once again apologize for drawing our swords and causing a fuss in the capital . However, according to common law, if a noble incurs an affront, one is permitted to draw one’s swords for the sake of one’s honor, no matter who or what the other party is . Sir Alfonso and his attending knights simply did their utmost in order to preserve their noble’s honor . ”

Her viciousness was deeply rooted in her words . I didn’t know where she received her education, but this evil woman, Luciella, was spitting out lies with great fluency .

I made sure to engrave her face into my memory .

‘The next time we meet, know you’re dead meat! Shit!’ I locked my deep resentment towards her in my long-term memory .

“Hm, noble’s honor, you say… Is what she says the truth?”

Countess Irene turned to me, her thoughts indiscernible . The sight of her lively, beautiful eyes put a light smile on my face .

“Haha, those words of hers, I would rather believe that an Orc prefers to eat grass over meat,” I said, adapting the phrase to Kallian standards .

“So you’re saying it’s a lie, right? Do you have a way to prove your words?”

Countess Irene was rather rational . Her intelligent and mysterious appearance warmed my heart .

“I wonder . I am telling the truth, but who here would take my side over the nobles’ and corroborate me?”

Even I wouldn’t do so; by taking the nobles’ side, you wouldn’t be living in moral wealth and prosperity, but at least you would preserve your life .

“Are you also a Skyknight applicant?” asked Countess Irene, suddenly changing the subject .

“I am . Because I heard that Bajran Empire values one’s ability over exterior appearances, I came to offer my support . ” 

“Offer your support?”

As if shocked by my speech and behavior, which were shaped by a world where even the president could be cursed at, Countess Irene’s eyes widened slightly and she repeated my words . I couldn’t help but think that her slightly furrowed brows were cute .

“But now, I’m really thinking about changing my mind . Seriously, what kind of person barges into the room of someone taking a bath in broad daylight? The law is there to protect, not to tyrannize, right? Just because they are nobles, they committed the crime of trespassing, they verbally assaulted me, and even gave an order to have me killed; how can I believe that such a place is one that truly upholds the law? To think that the imperial city where His Majesty of the Great Bajran Empire resides is a LAWLESS area!”

I put great emphasis on ‘His Majesty’ and ‘lawless area . ’

“Y-you…”

At my words, Alfonso and Luciella’s faces became frighteningly pale . They obviously didn’t expect me to speak out like this .

‘You shitheads, a commoner has his own way of fighting! Hah! How dare you!’

How could I, someone who received higher education in the 21st century, be the same as these subdued commoners? I straightened my shoulders and looked at Irene’s blue eyes with a confident expression .

‘Silver hair with pale blue eyes! She’s totally my type!’

Even I had to admit that my ‘ideal type’ was a fickle creature . But what can you do? I was a free spirit that wasn’t tied to anyone yet .

“Can you take responsibility for your words just now?”

“A man’s words are as heavy as gold . How could I spew a mouthful of lies like a certain someone else?”

“Hoho, you are an interesting young man . ”

For the first time, Irene showed off a set of white teeth as she laughed . The mere sight of it refreshed my mood .

“He, he’s lying . Don’t believe his words!” Sensing that the mood was turning strange, Alfonso screamed with panic .

‘You dense brick . You panic, you lose . Kuku . ’

Irene looked as if she had made her judgement .

“Heir Alfonso, and Lady Luciella . ”

Irene’s clear voice rang out quietly in the inn .

“Yes…” spoke the wolf and fox, their eyes carefully scanning Irene’s .

“Do you wish to pursue the truth of this matter by interrogating these people here?” said Irene, her finger pointing towards the people watching on in curiosity .

“… . . ”

In an instant, the two were trapped in a pot of sticky honey .

“Looks like all three of you seek to pass the Skyknight Selections . Instead of entrusting me with a quarrel, prove your innocence by passing the exam with your skills . ”

‘She’s even smart! She is perfection! Perfection!’

Even if I were telling the truth, a noble was a noble . Even a Skyknight of the Imperial Guard couldn’t just do whatever to a noble . In such a situation, Irene stated that we should prove our innocence ourselves . She enlightened my eyes once again .

“U-understood . We will do it like that . I will definitely become a Skyknight; the matter today…” A clear threat hung at the end of Alfonso’s words . He cast his eyes full of hatred towards me .

Unlike Alfonso, who was showing his hatred like a kid while stuttering, Luciella was looking at Irene with slightly more spiteful eyes . “I will never forget you, Countess Irene, Envoy of the Azure Skies, for as long as I live . Then, good bye . ”

“Let’s go . ”

“As you command!”

“Oi, friends . Are ya forgetting something?”

“F-friends? Argh…” A ravine appeared on Alfonso’s forehead at my flippancy .

“Shouldn’t you collect the hunting dogs in my room? And seriously, put some better armor on them . How can so-called knights who are venerated throughout the territory be wearing such crap? Even a free knight would have something better . They’re no beggars… Tsk tsk . ”

I didn’t bother worrying about something I had already said; it didn’t seem like the Skyknights would stop me . I nonchalantly spoke to Alfonso as if preaching to a kid .

Instead of a reply, Alfonso ground his teeth loudly together .

‘You watch out . Until all your teeth are knocked out . ’

This place didn’t even have a dentist . If all your teeth were knocked out, you’d have to live with a stupid face for the rest of eternity .

After Alfonso signaled a few knights with his eyes, they went up, and after a while, they brought the still-electrified squids with them and left .

“Puhahaha! My friend, aren’t you something? You’re not even a noble and you go up to bat without any fear . ” After the Alfonso party disappeared, the knight named Rothello burst out with a vigorous laugh .

“If you’ve got no skills, you will have to take responsibility for your own actions . ”

“Kuku, you’ve really got guts . You should be grateful . If you hadn’t met our flight leader today, who doesn’t discriminate due to one’s origins, your life would have been over today . ” Giving me some advice, Rothello made a cutting motion at his neck .

‘Her face looks great and her figure looks great, and she’s got a great personality despite being a countess, she’s smart! Waaa, is there anyone alive with better conditions than her?’

Only, we probably had a big age gap . She looked at least 25, but her skin was as fair as a baby’s .

“If it doesn’t inconvenience you, I would like to buy you dinner . Is that alright with you?”

“Truly a fearless person . You dare to ask for a meal with a noble of the empire, and a countess at that; do you wish to die?” The indigo-haired man who had uttered the threat of termination at the beginning sent waves of bloodthirst towards me .

‘What’s with him?’ It was true I was a commoner, but I had offered the meal with the greatest politeness I could muster . But the sharp-chinned man who looked to be in his late twenties was now emitting bloodthirst .

“Stop, it’s fine . Knight Rothello, it’s a shame but I will honor your request next time . ”

“Oh well, it can’t be helped . It’s my fault for suddenly offering to buy a high-ranking noble some beer . Isn’t that right, Sir Adolf?”

“Knight… Rothello, don’t speak my name carelessly . If you don’t want to receive a duel request . ”

‘Would ya look at that? Their relationship isn’t so good, huh?’

The man named Adolf quickly switched his target from me to Rothello . It seemed he had some kind of relationship to Irene, the flight leader .

‘Rothello, right? I will return the favor I received today back tenfold . ’

I liked this Rothello fellow at first sight . He gave me the strong impression that he was someone with a spirit as free as my own .

“Oh, surely you jest . How could I, a lowly person with commoner origins, dare to take a blade from Sir Adolf, a great noble from the Polaron family? If I have offended you, please forgive me with a big heart . Hehe . ”

Though his words were technically polite, it came off as a provocation . Cold energy flew from Adolf’s eyes .

‘Aha, so he’s got commoner roots, too . ’

Rothello looked to be in his mid-twenties . Even though I didn’t know how he managed to become a Skyknight of the Imperial Guard, his eloquence was certainly something to admire .

“What are you two doing! Did you forget that there are public eyes here!” hissed Irene, exuding a displeased air .

Considering that even her frowning face was beautiful, it was true that a beauty is really something else .

“What is your name?” asked Irene with an inscrutable expression .

“I am called Kyre . ”

This was the second time today that I gave out my name .

“Kyre, you say…” Irene rolled my name around in her mouth . “I will see for myself if your skills are as outstanding as your mouth . ”

‘I will definitely be accepted, Lady Irene . ’

Besides the Skyknights, the events of today had seriously touched my pride . Like Irene said, I was going to pass, no matter what, with skills alone .

“Young man, do your best . If you pass, I’ll buy you a drink . ” Rothello’s eyes narrowed into a smile as he encouraged me . Then, the three Skyknights turned around, opened the door, and left, like a mirage in the desert .

‘So this is an Imperial Guard Skyknight…’

These were the best Skyknights with the best wyverns on the continent . A flame was lit inside my chest .

And then, a light smile rose to my lips .

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