Translated by Tianic
An editable copy of this chapter, click here.
Characters in this chapter:
- Cohen Kheda: The main character.
- Marfa, Jack, Wilder, Moya: Cohen’s childhood friends and firm supports.
- Fischer Summers: Cohen’s friend and the prince of the Swabia Empire.
- Charlotte Knarch: The Protoss younger princess.
- Micha’el Knarch: The Protoss elder princess.
The moment we stepped into the magic field, we were instantly transported back to the Heaven Island temple.
Before we left, the three cardinals acted garrulously mostly about loyalty and traditions and stuff, which made me came up to the eager to smack them. But soon after they had the knowledge of me being a Protoss Knight, their attitude towards me became more inclined to courtesy, far from the asquint look they had on me earlier.
The four bureaucrats from Symbia and Tansey were treated and scolded harshly due to their action of sabotaging the God’s garden on the Light Mountain and improper dressing. Thus their original planned titlings were laid aside for the time being.
Soon we were out of the Heaven Island, the three princes merely exchanged a few words out of courtesy, then the three group of people went their separate ways. It was for the better nevertheless, to avoid the inevitable conflicts.
A few days ago when we were rushing towards the Heaven Island, we never had the chance to enjoy the views throughout the journey, nowadays, as the assignments were done, us soldiers and lord and the prince gain leisure to appreciate what was on the side of the roads.
On the third day after the temple, while my bros and I were chit chatting in the carriage, Fischer, as usually, talked with us calmly, however, I caught a glimpse of his load on the mind that was hidden deeply but revealed on his expression.
“Ah! Watch.” I had a sudden idea then pointed outside of the carriage, “It’s snowing, who wants to take a walk with me?”
“Sure, why not! I want…” I prevent Jack the joyful rabbit’s intention to come along by glaring him, then on second thought, he said, “… to stay here.”
“Hey!” I tapped Fischer’s shoulder, “They all stay, let’s hit the ground!”
Fischer nodded and got off the carriage with me.
An elf warlock hurried to salute us and prepare to bless us with a cold resistant spell but prevented by Fischer.
“Let’s just walk like this!” Fischer said to me, “Cold might help with my ideas.”
“Sure!” I told my valet, “Tell the fleet to slow down. Keep those priests away from us.”
“Yes, sir!” My valet kick his horse and left.
The wind was not so thick as a sky full of snowflakes came down gently sideling onto our thick robes. Some of the naughty ones fell on our faces that gave the hint of coldness.
“What a good weather! Walk with me!” Fischer pulled on his gloves and tightened the leathered robe the temple offered and led the way.
I caught up a few steps and walked with him side by side in the field. The ground that was covered with snow creaked as we walked. Fischer kept his silence.
I rushed to speak, “My beloved highness, what’s on your mind?”
“You know it.”
“I do, that’s why I gave you three days.” I said with a smile, “And I suppose you’re ready to talk.”
“Okay, since you want to know.” Fischer turned to me and said, “The Protoss has surprised me. Have you noticed it? They’re far from how we’ve fantasized about them.”
“Yeah, I did.” I nodded, “Although Princess Charlotte wasn’t so nice with me, Princess Micha’el and War God were pretty solid.”
“Princess Charlotte?” Fischer was a little stunned, “You don’t like her?”
“Not per se, I just wasn’t so fond of her forcing you to do the flowers.” I said with caution to care for Fischer’s feeling.
“Don’t take it too hard.” Fischer said, “Actually, during the banquet later on, Princess Charlotte praised highly of you. Giving you the Knight title was unexpected. When the hell did you meet Princess Micha’el? Since she thought highly of you, I assume she must’ve evaluated you.”
I chuckled and blinked several times to Fischer, “I cannot tell you anything, but if you’re smart enough…”
“Knew it.” Fischer’s eye whirled, “Our new friend.”
“Hehhe, I said nothing!” I nodded, “How do you think about Princess Charlotte?”
“Beat me.” Fischer shook his head, “I don’t now, really.”
“I get it.” I said, “So you… do you feel the eager to show off in front of her? Or do you want to know more about her? Or…”
“Creak,” Fischer’s boots stopped in the snow. He gazed at me and nodded seriously, then instantly turned depressed.
“Easy! I got you…” I leaned forward Fischer’s ears and whispered.
“It’s… not possible.” Fischer shook his head, “She’s way out of my reach.”
“See that tree, distant, right?” I tapped him and pointed a dead tree beyond and said, “But if you walked one step towards it, the distant within will shorten. You’ll eventually reach it after steps. The only thing you have to concern is that you can’t let others chop it before you reach that.”
“Screw you!” Fischer scolded, “That’s a terrible metaphor.”
“I am what I am!” I bumped my chest, “Earlier Dior Merlin was so unreachable, right? How’s she turned out to be?”
“That’s different!” Fischer sighed, “This tree is in a different dimension.”
“Hey! What’s so different? Dimension and stuff are just your illusion. In fact, you were once so close to her.” I groped Fischer’s shoulder and said, “Let me tell you a secret.”
“I’m all ears!”
“A female! Whether she’s a human, an elf, or a god, or an unmet Asmodian, makes no difference. As long as she’s an intelligent female, she’ll be born with imprints.” I said, “She will have imprints on protecting small animals, imprints on being playful. There will be multiple imprints, less the imprint you want!”
“This tree has thoughts and emotions, and Princess Charlotte might hide her emotions a bit deeper, but however deep she keeps her feelings, as long as your axe is sharp enough, you will be ablt to scrape her shell and see through her heart!”
“Then? Of course you should give her what she has not: your imprint of love!” I stirred up my eyebrow and said, “I see that she has ruthlessly stamp you with hers, you wouldn’t back out, would you?”
“Where did you learn that theory?” Fischer frowned and gazed at me, “You seem experienced, how many have you imprinted?”
“Get away! Don’t change the subject.” I shoved Fischer, “Do it or not, say it!”
“It’s impossible if you just stand here alone. You need to act!” I said, “Does anything I did is possible as you see them? Doing things that are once deemed impossible, that’s the fun of life.”
“Why are you so eager to push me into making mistakes?” Fischer made a bitter smile, but I knew he was seeking support.
“Nothing is perfect, it’s the same to everybody.” I stood up a finger and swung in front of his eyes, “Beautiful things are beautiful just because the wrong things that accompanied.”
“I’m glad you could say such philosophic words, though you have to give me an example.” Fischer earnestly, “Or I’ll doubt that you’re just talking nonsense.”
“Isn’t the ikebana a perfect example?” I grinned, “If you had not broken that vase, how could you be able to achieve the final work? Although your work was a bit desolate, desolation is a kind of beauty per se…”
“I get it.” Fischer said, “You were saying that I can only be able to create the beauty of desolation.”
“Hell!” I slapped his head, “You still got me. I’ll alter your style.”
“If I let you big trouble to interfere,” I could tell that Fischer was feeling better already, “my future might be even worse!”
“You’ll have to try, it’s a deal! I’ll remind you when to act.” I pulled him and advanced, “Now, to other affairs.”
“It’s a matter that’s going on my mind for a while, about the Protoss and the Asmodian Temples.” Fischer pondered for a moment, “The Protoss seems not care about the daily affairs save for the Protoss/Asmodian War. What we have seen or thought of the terrible things were done by the temple solely. They were of no relationship with the Gods.”
“Yeah!” I watched the snowy sky and said, “I think it might have something to do with managerial methods of the temple itself, then it led to today’s outcome. Or things as making goblet out of human skulls are totally impossible. Have you mentioned it to Princess Micha’el?”
“I didn’t say anything specifically, “Fischer shook his head, “But I have subtly reminded her.”
“What did she say?”
“The most direct outcome is that she made an exception to grant you a Protoss Knight.” Fischer said.
“But, with that title in hand, is it that good?” A Protoss Knight as I was, I still was not having a complete understanding of this title.
“To be precise,” Fischer observed me, “it’s awesome.”
“Us included, there is a total of three titling events across history. A Protoss Knight is of high ranking. The temple and the laws of any empires will not affect his act, nor do they have the authority to ask or interfere a Protoss Knight’s business. Even the three cardinals have no right to condemn a Protoss Knight guilty. Save for the Gods.” Fischer explained even thoroughly, “Not including you, all Protoss Knights in the past belonged to the royal family. If a Protoss Knight needs to assume to succeed the heir, that the Gods must revoke his knight title.”
“You mean…” I pondered, “The temple is no longer a threat to us?”
“Indeed, but don’t be overjoyed.” Fischer said as he saw my exciting face, “Vice versa, you’ll have no rights interfering the temple’s daily affairs.”
“And why is that?”
“The two’s rights covers different aspects.” Fischer said, “Although there are overlappings, there’s not much.”
“Be more specific.”
“For example, if the temple sentences a gentile or an Asmodian alignment human, and you were present, and by chance you considered this act to be inappropriate.” Fischer said, “Although you cannot overrule the temple’s judgment, you can still prevent this human from being executed in the name of a Protoss Knight. You could practically stop this matter indefinitely. You also have direct access to report this issue to the Gods. Because, based on the trustworthiness of a Protoss Knight, the Gods usually never make the ruling that contradicts a Protoss Knight.”
“If I have to see the Gods on every affair, would that be too much of trouble?” I scratched my head.
“Anything related to the Gods is the matters of high importance. If they’re small issues, your status will most definitely win the High Priests from other empires’ respect and just let you do as you wish. Because you have access to the Gods, which they have not.” Fischer laughed and said, “I see!” I nodded, “So what’s the most and actual awesomeness about being a Protoss Knight?”
“It’s supposed to lie in the handling of special or contingency events.” Fischer said, “To think there was rebellion or natural hazard happened in a neighbor empire of Swabia, if time doesn’t allow the situation to report to the Gods in time, a Protoss Knight has the right to treat at his discretion.”
“A Protoss Knight is capable of press down a transnational rebellion.” Fischer said, “If three Protoss Knights work together, they are able to order two or more Protoss allied empires that at war to seize the warfare immediately.”
“Remember the June War that happened between Rivalz and Porta when we were young?” Fischer said, “It was stopped by three Protoss Knights’ intervention.”
“Of course I remember that war.” I nodded, “So it seems, that this Knight title is established to contain certain influence.”
“And indeed, I guess that influence being the temple.” Fischer said confirmed, “After years of expansion, the temple has grown to have too much power, which has inevitably bring forth to conflicts with the royal authority. The establishing of Protoss Knight between the two will moderate and contain the relationship within. And because the Knights are always assumed by a royal member, thus his right is limited by only able to discontinue the execution of a resolution instead of altering it.”
“This is more than enough.” I said with a smile, “At least we won’t be contained by the temple from now on.”
“Yeah!” Fischer said, “If the DC High Priest sees you, he will have to salute you now!”
“En!” I said, “And if your daddy wants to smack my ass, what now?”
“What now??” Fischer grinned, “Be a good boy and lie down!”
“I’m a Protoss Knight for God sake!”
“Makes no difference, he has my vote.” Fischer said, “And if that’s not working out, my daddy can always ask your dad to smack you! What now! Haha!”
“Okay! Let’s not talk about your father. Can I smack the Minister?”
“I’m afraid no.” Fischer shook his head, “It’s not that easy to get a short of him to threaten with. And even if you did successfully catch him, just because he’s a temple assigned bureaucrat, he has to be handed over to the temple at their discretion.”
“Is that so?” I said, “Then we could treat it as a contingency event…”
“Hehhe, you’ll need to be very careful with your right.” Fischer did not object, “But eventually, this title merely gives you a platform to display your talent, you need to be at least a bit talented.”
“Yeah, talent.” I nodded, “It’s attractive, how the hell can I gather that much force in the shortest time possible?”
“That’s your problem, not mine.” Fischer said, “Though we do have an opportunity at hand.”
“You mean the Protoss/Asmodian War…” I pondered, “I could earn some dirty money out of the war chaos, though how the hell could I know what rank the temple’s gonna give me!”
“If I’m right,” Fischer said, “The Minister is definitely scheming you into commanding the slave army.”
“But Grandpa Luther warned me, the slave army commander is an utterly dangerous position!” I gazed Fischer and said, “You want me to take the job and find another way…”
“It is mostly dangerous, what’s worse is that you can’t be reassigned once the order is up. We can only make things easier for the current situation. Thankfully your status has changed, there’s room bargain at whatever you do.” Fischer waved his hand in the midair as his eyes brightened, “Considering you don’t offend the Gods, the Minister can’t do nothing dirty on you as long as he doesn’t blatantly rebel against us. You should put more energy looking out for his secret plot against you.”
“I should.” I said, “However, before that, I need to know what position he’s assigning me in the coming war.”
“By then we’re back to the Divine City,” Fischer said, “the joint announcement of mobilization from the Protoss and the temple should be ready, in it, there’ll be the assignments.”
“You cannot say no to that, right?” I asked.
“No.” Fischer said, “I know you’re always cunning on things, don’t drop the ball during a time like this.”
“Who’s gonna be the chief commander during the war?” I asked, “If the Minister set me up, what should I do?”
“Two most renowned generals will be in complete charge of this war. The average battles are commanded by the sub-generals from each empire. So mostly the Minister will join with his other temple friends and offer you with a bigger opportunity to sacrifice for the greater good.”
“Yeah, the Asmodians won’t recognize me as a Protoss Knight.”
Fischer chuckled and tapped me, then dragged me back.
“I’ve decided.” I said, “Since it’ll be a while on the road before we reach DC, we might as well utilize the time for some activities.”
“Oh? What evil plan do you have in mind?”
“These guys.” I hinted the slowly advancing fleet, “These slob ladies need cardio.”
“I want to know one thing…” Fischer looked at me and asked, “Are there anyone who follow you don’t get unlucky?”
The snow stopped. I ordered my Imperial Guard Troops to setup the camp on the spot then assemble in front of my tent.
Wilder and the others quickly aligned their soldiers, then came running to salute Fischer and I. Fischer nodded then glimpsed me and stayed silent.
Out of option, I had to advance forward and faced these three hundred IGT members standing in the snow. There were tall and mighty orcs; human soldiers were overstuffed with clothes; the elves were… floating.
“These days, you’ve been well fed, well dressed, well entertained.” I gazed at these guys and cannot help to chuckle before I could say anything, “How’s that feel like?”
My playful expression made them chuckle back as their reply.
“Now, we have nearly two months to reaching the Divine City.” I continued, “During these days, how would like to kill some time?”
No one chuckled anymore.
“See, I don’t think you’ve considered. But I have!” I nodded, “You will train your way back!”
“Yes, SIR!” These three hundred soldiers yelled altogether.
“You might think, what good to train in the snow, right? We’re Swabians, there ain’t no snow in Swabia, right?”
“YOU!” I hinted an overstuffed human soldier, “STAND OUT!”
“YES, SIR!” His boots made creak sounds to walk out in front of me.
“Suppose now, your beloved Viceroy, your commander, I, knew there’s a lovely chick three hundred miles away. She’s incredibly cute, she’s so beautiful that I can’t live without!” I roared, “Now I order you to snatch her for me, can you do it?”
“I can!” The human soldier bumped his chest, “I’ve no problem dealing with ten regular soldiers or twenty farmers!”
“Good! Suppose you get that chick,” I smiled, “but you suddenly find that you’ve got only one jacket to keep warm, who do you give it to?”
The soldier thought for a moment and said, “The chick!”
“Good.” I shrugged, “Now you’re killed by the coldness, and my chick’s disappeared!”
The soldier thought once again and said, “I’ll wear it.”
“Sure.” I said, “Now my chick will be killed by the coldness. You’re beheaded for not completing your mission.”
He went mad and asked, “So…”
“Your mother! Release a cold resistant spell!” I kicked his ass, “Back to your team!”