A Story of a Knight In A Ruined Fantasy World - Chapter 23
“… First, report the damage situation.”
In the upper seat of the conference room, Lord Nutt sat with a tired face.
In addition, all vassals leading the territory, including administrators, knights, secretaries, and squire chief, were gathered at one place.
All of them had stayed up all night because of the tragedy during the festival last night.
At the command of the lord, the chief administrator emerged unfolding a paper to list the damage, and everyone in the conference hall shook their heads at the horror.
For now, the squires and soldiers who were in charge of night security were almost wiped out, and the victims list even included the knights who were fighting hard with poor equipment.
It was a loss that would take years to recover if they added up the broken walls, damage to buildings, and civilian losses.
Fortunately, during the fierce battle, two squires were awakened into knights, and the count for knights itself was preserved.
“Sir Luden, did you investigate last night’s unidentified comet?”
“After I went through the collected old books and old stories that were handed down, there were some guesses.”
Arsene could see Luden come out of the tower for the first time.
Unlike his usual shabby appearance, he was washed neatly and dressed up, perhaps because it was an official occasion.
He didn’t shave his beard though.
“There is a legend that stated the existence of a light that awakened the beast in the night a hundred years ago, or even earlier. It’s too old to be confirmed, but I think it’s the same as this one.”
“What is that comet? Specifically, when will the next one arrive?”
“I’m not sure. There are no people left who saw the previous comet in person, and the elderly just heard it as a passing story from their grandparents. It’s definitely not until decades, at least.”
Lord Natt tapped the armrest with a dissatisfied expression.
“Maybe the last cycle wasn’t a festival period, but an ordinary day. Since the fire was hardly lit, there would have been no large-scale attacks by the demonic beasts. So, the story of ‘beasts awakening in the night’ seems to have been passed down only as bluffs or tales.”
“Then, there isn’t any guarantee that it will arrive in decades or even a hundred years from now?”
“Administrator, record it. From now on, it is forbidden to light a light larger than a small torch at night unless there is a special reason. All large events, including the Harvest Festival, are to be held during the day. Make sure to write down the reason why this law was enacted.”
“I understand. My Lord.”
Everyone was bowing silently, with the sound of scratching against a paper covering the quiet conference room.
This time, it was the lord who broke the silence.
“Let’s talk about the mysterious beast that invaded the town. Have any of the knights ever met such a beast?”
“We’ve discussed this with ourselves in advance, but I dare say that none of us have ever seen such a strange beast, My Lord.”
When Ramun answered on behalf of the knights, the lord twisted his mustache with an uncomfortable expression.
Then, in a more polite and respectful manner than before, he posed a question to the elderly on the other side of the conference room.
“How about the elders?”
One of the elders opened his mouth to the lord’s polite question.
Senior knights who retired from active duty due to old age had no special authority but were recognized for their dedication and experience protecting the territory for many years. Even the lord couldn’t treat them lightly.
However, they also had no answer, so they only spoke softly with a lack of confidence.
“Likewise, it is a beast we have never seen before. Its strengths and habits were unprecedented, and his weaknesses are…”
Luden added to the remark.
“Exactly, they seem vulnerable to all kinds of alcohol. It was the same when I poured beer.”
Arsene was quite surprised to see the lord having a conversation with Luden.
Perhaps as a leader, he was the most natural person Arsene had ever seen to converse with a wizard.
To the extent that Arsene wondered if it was possible that he had a peculiar constitution that did not have a negative reaction towards wizards.
He had a respectable degree of self-control.
“How can we make use of the corpse?”
“If you let me keep the body, I’ll study it.”
“I see, it would be better to leave that entirely to a wizard.”
After such a brief conversation, the lord turned his head to look at Arsene.
“Come to think of it, Sir Arsene made a big contribution this time. I didn’t know that having you as a knight would be such a blessing.”
“It is thanks to the grace My Lord has bestowed upon me.”
“The wise young warrior has shown his wits. I will repay you accordingly.”
Arsene bowed his head, expressing humility as much as possible.
It was a great honor as a knight to be recognized in a battle, but it would be foolish to express joy in the midst of the tragic incident from the day before.
Perhaps he liked Arsene’s modesty, the lord’s face had a faint smile on his face.
It was only for a moment before the lord returned to his shady expression again, coughing in vain and calling attention.
“Anyway. In the end, nothing has been revealed yet. Why did the comet do such a thing? What is the identity of the beast?”
The lord, who had clenched his tongue in a distasteful tone, clapped his hands and organized the situation.
“This situation cannot be regarded as the fault of anyone in particular. The disaster that came was hard for anyone to predict, and those with swords gave their lives to protect others, and even the knights fought hard to prevent sacrifices despite insufficient equipment. An honorable funeral will be held for the dead. Then, let’s focus on the restoration work.”
* * *
Tears continued in the process of retrieving the rubbles from the buildings that were destroyed and polluted by the assault of the vines, and the bodies of ordinary people who were poisoned and crushed after failing to evacuate.
Temporary tents were set up for those who lost their homes when buildings collapsed.
Under such a scene, Arsene was acting as an escort for Luden and Elise, who came down from the tower to aid in recovery.
On the way down to the village, Luden asked Arsene.
“So, what kind of reward did the lord give you? I was told to stay in a separate room.”
When Arsene lifted his left arm and rolled up his sleeves, a metal bracelet was revealed.
The edge was plain black, but it was a design that revealed elegance with gold patterns engraved with an inlay technique.
“Is that a relic?”
Among the magical objects, objects that did not have power by themselves, but exerted power by the user’s magical powers, were called relics.
Most of them were excavated from the ruins of the ancient magic era, and it was almost impossible for modern wizards to make them without obtaining ancient recipes and the like.
Typically, Jin, which was activated only by infusing magic power, was one of the relics restored in modern times.
For a lord, not a knight, it was one of the most valuable items, even if it was just an ornament.
“That’s great. I didn’t expect the lord to give such a treasure…”
“The lord didn’t give it to me, it was a loan. He said he might transfer it completely.”
In response, Arsene glanced at Elise.
The implication of the phrase, ‘If you were to become part of our family, there is nothing I can’t give’ was clear.
‘It’s not like I’m being kind to Elise out of greed for money anyway, so there’s nothing to hurt my conscience, but it felt like the lord was going to buy me with money, which was rather unpleasant.’
‘Haha, that’s probably how the lord cares about his daughter in his own way.’
If it wasn’t Arsene, no man would be happy to take Elise as a wife, nor would he be able to make Elise happy.
As he was going down, Arsene heard a muttering voice in his ear.
“There is a wizard passing by.”
“Wizards, wizards brought this disaster.”
“If it’s the magic-wielding wizard…”
When Arsene slightly turned his head to see if she heard it, Elise’s face had already turned white.
Luden didn’t have a very pleasant expression either, but the old wizard was accustomed to contempt and misunderstanding of the people around him, so his reaction was comparable to nothing compared to Elise.
Arsene approached Elise and patted her on the shoulder as he saw tears in her eyes.
“Don’t worry about it. They’re fools who don’t know anything.”
Elise didn’t answer, but only nodded her head with her face down.
In the upper class, they knew, learned, and benefited from magic, so there was relatively less misunderstanding and meaningless contempt for wizards, although physiological disgust could not be helped.
On the other hand, for ignorant and uneducated commoners, wizards were unpleasant and dangerous, so they were the object of most resentment when the unknown happened.
If someone could do anything with the unknown power of magic, others might believe that the wizards were the cause of the disaster.
If it wasn’t for Luden and Elise as vassals and daughter of the lords, they might have already cursed and thrown stones.
No, if they weren’t escorted by a boy armed with a sword and dark blue full-body armor that only knights could wear.
Those who were whispering among themselves looked at the armor and sword Arsene wore and looked away only when Arsene raised his head and stared at them.
If they were actually threatened by magic, they couldn’t even say a word.
Humans became weak and ugly in the face of disaster, to the point that it was hard to believe that they were the same people who laughed and danced cheerfully the night before.
Arsene opened the way by threatening those who were whispering around.
“Get out of the way!”
After walking like that for a while, when they reached the site where the ground and buildings were charred black, Luden lightly shook his head and relaxed his body.
“First, we need to purify the poison from here. Elise, I’ll prepare the magic, so you only apply magic power from behind.”
Luden reached out his hands in front of his chest and gathered them together as if they were wrapped around something.
After a while, a faint pale green light appeared between them, turning into a cloud, and began to caress the poisoned land and buildings.
Elise also placed her hand on the light Luden embodied and provided it with magic power.
The magic effect was incredible.
Lands and buildings that shed ominous smoke a while ago began to regain their original color.
Unfortunately, the corroded or damaged part did not return to its original state, but it was a miracle that the ground, which was not even possible to step on until a little while ago, was purified.
In the place where the green light had passed, full brown land returned.
“If you look at it this way, magic is like a miracle.”
“Instead of disaster. Why did the world become this way?”
In response to Luden’s blunt reply, Arsene looked at the mountain that stretched far beyond the territory.
Unlike the inside of the territory, all kinds of plants were twisted, witches and rogues ran around, and it was a poisonous world that ordinary people could not live in.
“Did the wizard really bring the world to this point?”
If that was possible, how powerful were the ancient wizards!
Modern wizards were also useful, but it was hard to say that they were strong even as a joke.
“Everyone believes so. Then, it doesn’t matter if it’s really the case.”
In those meaningful words, Arsene had the feeling that Luden knew something more, but didn’t want to say it.
“Anyway, it’s okay to go from here to the wall and purify, right?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Arsene thought as he saw Luden and Elise walking again.
How strange a wizard was!
Beings who were not respected even though they played a key role in the maintenance of civilization, doing things that others cannot.
Was a wizard-like this even during the ancient magic age?
As he was thinking about it, the figure of Elise with her head faced down caught his eye.
Elise only responded to Luden’s words with a short answer from earlier, but she kept her gaze fixed as if there was a treasure on the ground.
It seemed that people’s gossip earlier had hurt her a lot.
“Are you worried about those words earlier?”
“No… no, I’m used to it.”
She pretended to be calm, but there was a weeping voice in her answer.
Luden, who saw it, wrinkled his mouth, and said,
“Now that I think about it, it’s time for lunch. I won’t be eating lunch with you and Elise.”
“I want to eat alone while enjoying the scenery outside, so you two eat together. Give me my share.”
As Luden held out his hand after saying that, Arsene handed over Luden’s share of three lunch boxes he brought.
As soon as Luden took the lunch box, he walked somewhere and disappeared.
Arsene, who scratched his chin for a while in such a difficult situation, decided to stick to his original purpose.
“Then, let’s have lunch together. Where would you like to eat?”