Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
After teaching Manta a harsh lesson, I set off with a heavy load of crafted blades forged by Grandmaster.
Good thing that I had Manta dwarf find me a couple of fine horses that I could make do with. To think Manta’s look when he led me the horses, oh, poor Manta, never try to piss me off again.
I was pleased to meet my friends again finally. They greeted me with all sorts of questions and whooped when they were shown the black steel swords I gifted.
“Meow… meow” Jack sounded, when did he learn that habit? “Was it really in black steel?”
“Em…” Tennessee examined one of the blades and said, “It is real.”
“Holy Divine.” Marfa whistled, “Now I’ve got one in hand too!”
“Seemed like a lucrative journey.” Webster said, “How about your magic?”
“Spells?” I said, smiling, “Made progress.”
“These swords look gorgeous, why the difference?” Carey and Flynn have been growing prettier, their cheeks rosy and skins fair, figures… hot.
“This is for my father, the other two are for Rick and Swift!” I explained, “Because they are ceremonial swords, thus the gorgeousness, they are also made of black steel.
“Scrape!” Wilder chopped his sword onto a piece of timber, which split instantly into two parts.
“Impressive!” Moya stroke his sword, “How about yours?”
“Mine is the same as yours.” I held my Machete in hand, “I’ll fight my future with it!”
June in Divine City was hot. Dazzling sunray made everyone low on spirits. The roaring cicadas and windless afternoon have done a restless me.
We moved into the hotel which the king had arranged for us. Fischer came as soon as we were there, to cheer me up. This guy couldn’t be less severe, though I was pleased to see him.
“You need to watch out.” Fischer said, “Laika was the top among anyone who graduated from Royal Academy this year.”
“Does he specialize in anything?” I asked, “Spells? Combat?”
“It’s combating! I’ve seen him swinging.” Fischer was absent-minded with a goblet between his fingers, “I’ve got to say, he’s good.”
“By the way, I have a gift for you!” I recollected the sword that I had the master forged, “Wicked stuff.”
“No can do, bro.” Fischer faced my confused look, smiling, “I am a prince, remember? I’m not obliged to receive any forms of presents. If you still want to offer a gift, then wait for my crowning.”
“Huh, okay.” I said, “But don’t you expect me to call you Your Grace or anything to do with kneeling.”
“No?” Fischer grinned, “Be cautious on your hair, I’ll pull them all!”
“Yeah? Try me!” I wasn’t stepping back, “See who’s gonna be a bare head!”
“Let’s focus on your duel with Laika tomorrow!” Fischer said, “I’m a little worried at the moment.”
“I’m not. What’s the point?” I answered, “You gotta do what you gotta do.”
“You mustn’t fail!” Fischer came closer, “If you can earn a good region to rule then it’s our dreams we’ll realize.”
“Off you go get ready to celebrate!” I pushed him away, “I’ll win.”
So to speak, I wasn’t confident at all.
“Never mind.” I said to myself, “It’ll work out.”
Then that day had come.
I dressed up in ceremonial garments and a saber on the waist. Neither humble nor pushy, I stepped into the royal palace for the first time.
The palace was huge and beautiful, also depressing.
“Your Excellency, Visual Kheda, the Duke, and your son, please follow me.” The chief eunuch said.
I came into a luxuriously-decorated hall. What I saw were large painting and decorations that were either gold or silver; what I was standing on was scarlet carpet with delicate patterns, all simply were neat and tidy.
“Presenting His Imperial Majestyyyyyy!” The eunuch’s long last sound was annoying especially when I was half on my knees.
“At ease.” His Majesty declared, “Greetings.”
“Brilliant day today,” His Majesty wore a full set of imperial suit, which made him majestic and dignified, “We are adding two more fine men to the emperor nobleman list.”
I stepped forward and quartered my chest without any intention to look less mightier than the boy beside me.
“Cohen Kheda!” I put my left hand on the right chest, “At your service, Your Grace.”
“You look well,” The king smiled, “and very alive, how did your schooling go on?”
“Allow me, Your Majesty.” I roared, “I am well-trained.”
“Good.” The king stood up, “Worthy of your name; I hope you won’t let your family down.”
He walked nearer while holding a piece of conferring document.
I, then lowered myself on one knee, right hand drew my sword and leveled it ahead of my face.
“I, Climos Summers, King of Swabia, by the rights of the Holy Divine, hereby name Cohen Kheda, third of his name, Baron.” King Climos read, “In the hope that Baron Cohen Kheda obeys the Nobility Standard, as…”
The ceremony mostly sounded verbose. I bet all men felt as dull as myself but the poorer I had to act extremely faithful.
Afterward, Laika went through the same procedure. What’s left was to decide land allocation.
“Your Majesty,” Minister rushed to his speech, “We currently have not much to offer within the empire. Which land, I wonder, you’d be giving to the new Barons?”
“I will,” The king sat highly on his throne, “The one beside Darkmoon will be assigned to Baron Cohen Kheda, as for Baron Laika, he will be ruling the one near that of Cohen Kheda.
“Your Majesty, please reconsider.” The Minister said, “The land which closed to Darkmoon was a place full of desperate aliens. Baron Kheda… huh, as far as I know, is probably not capable of ruling it.”
The Prime Minister glanced at me expressionlessly, continued, “As for our new Baron Laika, this fine man has been through our superior education, first in the graduated from the Royal Academy and held an active disposition. Wouldn’t be the best choice to have him rule this land for you, Your Grace.”
I was not disturbed by his speech and squinted at my father; he smiled back.
“So then,” The king asked slowly, “You think that Cohen Kheda isn’t qualified to rule this land?”
“No, I do not deny his ability.” Minister said, “I was suggesting that the second land had a straightforward, peaceful and honest population, as well the perspective commercial background, that would be a perfect place for him to show his talents.”
“Fuck that!” I cursed silently, “If you weren’t into the Dark Forest mines…”
“That occurred to me, didn’t Baron Kheda mention he was trained?” The king said, “He must be good at martial arts I assume.”
“Duly noted, Your Grace.” The Minister was full of smile, “And I’m convinced he does. However… I think Baron Kheda is not as good as Baron Laika.”
What a smiling tiger he was. If I indulge you any longer, even the tiniest land would be taken away from me.
“Your Majesty!” I showed my courtesy, “This humble servant of yours would like to offer his idea.”
“Baron Kheda, I need to warn you.” Minister said, smiling, “You are not allowed to call yourself a king’s servant before tomorrow.”
Shit! This mother fucker set me up again!
“Ah! I am deeply regretful and full of shame, my apologies.” Spoke in such way was killing me, “However, I would like to state my ideas to the king and all.”
“Allowed.” The king nodded.
“As you wish.” I gave my humblest salute then straightened up and gave a Laika a taunting look, “I suggest a fair competition with Baron Laika in the way of his choice. If I fail, I will renounce my land! How does that sound?”
Laika apparently noticed the way I glanced at him, and his veins pumped on his forehead.
“As you wish! You will have a duel!” He said, teeth clenched, “I’ll give up my land should I fail.”
Well well, he was not well cultivated I assumed. Let me add a bit more spice for you.
“Your Grace, Minister, father and all. I’m glad that Baron Laika and I have an agreement. But as for Baron Laika, I have this faintest memory that his leg was hurt.” I said with a smile, “I wonder if that went well… or not.”
“You!” Laika took it, and his angry eyes were trying to melt me.
“Baron Laika, this is the king’s royal hall.” I kept on smiling and taunting, “Please mind your manners, will you?”
Prime Minister glared at Laika furiously, “I have no objection to Baron Kheda’s proposition.”
“Well said! As you all agreed then, you’ll have a deal.” His Majesty said, “I’ll add an extra prize for you. Both lands will be granted to the winner, who will advance as a viscount, as a reward for courage.”
People said emperors are sly foxes, that was indeed the case. Seeing that I have enraged Laika then he increased the price. I loved it.
“This is settled.” The king stood up, “Our two new barons will combat in the west garden, after lunch. Dismissed.
A eunuch assisted me to armor up. It was my first time putting on such things. It’s cumbersome and uncomfortable.
Assumed time was almost up, and I showed up out of the room, Machete in hand. Though I did not intend to use a sword, my father had a servant carried it for me. There was a ‘Fight, kick Laika’s Ass’ engraving on the sheath.
I glanced it and knew it was my friends who share-wrote it, one word from each. A few of those looked beautifully written, and the rest terrible, as I viewed half annoyed, half amused.
Arrived early, Laika’s lowered heads indicated he was on to something. I wondered what he had in mind. Nevertheless, let me stir you up once again.