The Dark King – Chapter 411
“Did you ignite the fireplace?” Dudian’s body shrank as he tightly clenched the blanket and asked Kroen who was by his side.
Kroen felt strange at the site: “Master, the fireplace has been ignited. Would you like to sit by it?”
Dudian frowned but slightly nodded. He held the book and sat on the sofa by the side of the fireplace. Kroen put a blanket made out of animal skin on the sofa and paved it before Dudian sat down.
The fire warmed his face. However Dudian still felt his body cold. There was a trace of anxiety in his heart.
Black snow fell down outside the window. The wind whistled as it accumulated thick black snow by the windows.
Door was pushed open and Artemis came in. She looked at Kroen and had more courage than usual because of his existence in the room: “Master, did you call for me?” Although she was four or five years old but she was more sensible than the most of the kids the same age as her. Moreover she learned more in the last few days as she studied under Dudian’s care.
Dudian nodded and waved her over.
Artemis slowly came to stop in front of Dudian.
Dudian looked at her green hair. He had never seen such a hair color in the outer wall area. Most of the civilians had either brown or black hair. Nobles had blonde or pale gold colored hair. The green was an extremely rare color. Dudian whispered: “Did you finish your homework?”
“Yes.” Artemis replied.
Dudian nodded and grabbed her to sit on his lap: “What do you want to hear today?”
Artemis blinked her eyes as her tense heart was relaxed a bit. She knew that Dudian was the most gentle when he told her stories. At the story telling time her mind was in peace: “I would like to listen to the ‘ugly duckling’ story that you told me last time.”
Dudian smiled: “The ugly duckling story is finished. I’ll tell you the story of ‘Snow White’ this time. Do you want to hear it?”
“Snow White?” Artemis blinked. Snow was black. How could there be white snow?
Kroen was standing by their side but his ears were erected. He was very fond of the stories that Dudian told. Moreover he admired his peer who was much more knowledgeable that himself.
“In a very distant place…” Dudian continued: “snow is white. The story began in that place. There was a… ”
Black snow fell down the sky. The wood cracked as the fire burned in the fireplace. Dudian’s soft voice echoed in the room. Artemis sat in a very well-behaved manner and never intervened. She wasn’t like other little girls which would interrupt to ask questions because of curiosity.
Kroen was still immersed in the story when it was finished.
Artemis’s eyes flashed: “The dwarfs are pitiful.”
Dudian laughed as he silently put her back on the floor: “Time to train with the sword.”
Artemis nodded: “Yes, young master.”
Kroen quietly watched her leave then looked at Dudian: “Master your time is valuable. Why are you wasting it as you are telling her these stories?”
“If we blindly train her then we will have nurtured nothing but a monster.” Dudian continued: “The time will come when the cocoon will break up and the butterfly will fly into the sky.”
Kroen didn’t understand the last part.
Dudian sighed as he looked at the accumulated black snow by the window.
Nicholas pushed the door and respectfully said: “Young master a representative from the Knight’s Hall has come over. They are here for the ceremony.”
Dudian opened up the blanket and put down the book. He got up and left the room. The air seemed colder. The pores on his body slightly shrank as he shivered.
Dudian went downstairs.
Dudian saw a man who was about thirty years old and dressed in armor of a gold knight. The man had a imposing aura and thick eyebrows. He got up as he saw Dudian appear: “Greetings master Dean. I’m Alva.”
Dudian nodded: “Please site down.. You have been waiting for a long time.”
“I’m here to give you this letter.” Alva respectfully handed out the envelope.
Dudian nodded and replied “I’ll go to the Knight’s Hall with you.”
Alva was rejoiced because of Dudian’s answer: “Alright.”
Dudian commanded Kroen to prepare horses. They were about to leave the castle when a team of people came from the distance. They were led by Redmayne who dismounted. He reached out and held his chest to salute Dudian. He nodded towards Alva. Redmayne looked at Dudian: “Master, George Mel from the Mel family has admitted that he was the mastermind of the assassination attempt. He has been arrested and is detained by the military. He has been imprisoned for life!”
Dudian’s eyes lit up: “What was the reason behind his actions?”
“According to the investigation of the magistrate it should be because of commercial competition. He had planned that if you died then the New World consortium couldn’t rely on you to suppress the Mellon consortium…”
Dudian nodded: “I know. It’s been hard on you.”
“Master the weather is bad. Where are you planning to go?” Redmayne looked at Alva as he speculated about the man.
Alva responded: ” The master has to receive his knight medal! ”
Redmayne admired the path Dudian had taken: “It is admirable to see that master is not only involved in inventions and research but he has the spirit of the knight too!”
Dudian bid farewell to Redmayne and rode together with Alva. They were wearing raincoats. After an hour of travel they reached the Knight’s Hall.
“Master, please.” Alva took the lead and showed the way.
Dudian followed after him.
They passed through a huge square which had a tall dome. There were luxurious crystal lamps lighting the place.
“This is the place.” Alva led Dudian to a hall.
In the middle of the hall there was a roundtable. At the moment twelve figures who were wearing knight armors and medals were standing by the end of the table. Three people sat by the table. One of them wore a golden uniform which was a bit different than the other two who sat by his left and right. The man was old and had white beard.
“Recipient Dean. Please come over.” White bearded old man’s majestic voice spread throughout the hall.
Dudian walked along the narrow aisle and came to stop in the middle of the roundtable.
The white bearded old man deeply looked at Dudian: “I am the oath!
“I make oath!”
The twelve knights shouted in unison after the old man.
“Humble, upright … ” Everyone said what the old man chanted. Their voices reverberated in the hall and stirred the walls.
The white bearded man finished and stood up from his seat. He pulled out his sword and walked to stand in front of Dudian: “Are you willing to accept the knighthood?”
Dudian knelt on one knee and bowed in accordance with the etiquette: “I accept!
The old man put the sword on his shoulder: “Swear!”
Dudian took a deep breath as he solemnly said: “I, Dean make the oath, that I will purse the principles of knighthood all my life – humilitary, integrity, compassion, justice, heroism, sacrifice, glory and spirit!”
“These are my criteria of the knighthood!”
“I swear that I will be kind to the weak!”
“I swear, I will be brave enough to fight.”
“I swear, I will go against the injustice!”
“I swear that I will fight for unarmed people!”
“I swear to help anyone who calls for me!”
(only valuable ones.)
“I swear, I won’t hurt any woman!”
(Unless they provoke me.)
“I swear to help my knight brothers!”
“I swear, I will treat my friend sincerely!”
(on the surface)
“I swear, I’ll love until I die!”
His words echoed throughout the hall. Moments later the ceremony finished. The old man recovered his sword and stretched out his hand.
Dudian reached out to grab his hand to stand up. It was not meant for help but symbolized the inheritance.
Two golden knights brought a new set of armor and sword for gold knight and submitted to Dudian. The white bearded old man took out a medal and handed it out to him. This medal was not meant for golden knights but it was a bright gold colored one with crystal diamonds on its edge. It was meant for Crystal Knight who was the highest level of knight that could be reached.
“You will be a Gold Knight from today on!” The old man said in a serious tone as he looked at Dudian: “But because of your excellent performance we deliberately will give the medal of a Crystal Knight. You will have the treatment and resources of a Crystal Knight. I hope that we will replace your armor when the day will come and you become a real Crystal Knight!”
Dudian nodded: “Thanks.”
The old man nodded and gave the medal to Dudian.
1st October. Year 308 of Silvian Calender. Dudian was appointed as a gold knight and was given a medal of a Crystal knight. He had become the youngest golden knight in the history of the Hall.