The Holy Knight Cleon’s True Objective
Cleon, the vice-captain of The Knights of Saint Sophia, sighed deeply. He was inside the vice captain’s office in The Knights’ headquarter, where you could see bookshelves filled with numerous books along the walls. It was the kind of room that was simple, yet tasteless. The appearance of the room reflected the character of his previous occupant, Solon. Cleon remembered Solon’s words. Solon said that a gorgeous interior would be such a waste of money, a desk and a chair were enough.
In exchange, Solon bought a lot of books, such as books about the investigation of the underground ruins in various places and encyclopedias about demons’ traits. Certainly, those were useful for conquering the underground ruins. Not only that, but there were also specialized books on medicine and pharmacy, imperial laws, society and culture from each region in the empire, and cooking recipes. “Would they be useful?” Cleon wondered initially, but Solon laughed and said, “Everything is useful. There’s not any doubt about that.”
And it was exactly as Solon said.
Knowledge of medicine and pharmacy was needed for first-aids and wounds that couldn’t be healed by recovery magic. The books of law were useful for negotiating with the government officials to obtain permissions for conquering the underground ruins in various places, hiring people, and selling treasures. Since the empire was vast, the customs of the outskirts and remote regions of the empire were very different from those in the Imperial Capital. If you didn’t know about those customs, it would be difficult to get the locals’ cooperation.
Solon, with the knowledge he’s got from the books, did all the miscellaneous tasks skillfully. Cleon thought he was really versatile. However, Solon didn’t have a special talent nor did he have an extraordinary power. Cleon thought Solon was not suitable as an adventurer, a magician, and a hero. Rather. he was more fit to become a businessman or a pastor who guided people.
Even now, Cleon still remembered clearly the day he first met Solon. At that time, Cleon was a first-year at the magic school. He was twelve years old and Solon, who entered the school later than the standard admission age, was two years older. Although he came from a good family background, he was weak and had no power at that time. So he was bullied by his classmates.
On that day, Solon appeared in front of Cleon, who had been punched, kicked, and looked down upon. Solon was a plain-looking boy and he didn’t stand out, but he had a mysterious power. When Solon said something to those who were violent to Cleon, they suddenly turned pale and ran away. Solon then reached out to Cleon.
“What kind of magic did you use?” Cleon asked, and Solon smiled.
“It wasn’t magic. It was just a negotiation. Every human has their weakness. And as for magic, well, I’m not as talented as you.”
“Yeah, that’s right. I can gauge people’s talents.”
“I don’t have a talent.”
“No, you only don’t know your talent. Cleon-kun could even be the strongest holy knight in the empire,” Solon jokingly said. At the time, Cleon didn’t know how serious Solon was. However, Cleon answered, “If I could really be the strongest knight in the empire, what would you be?”
“I’m a magic swordsman who would become a hero saving the holy knight and the saint,” Solon smiled a little.
Since that day, Cleon had followed Solon all the time. Also, the fact that he was older made Cleon rely on him. When he stayed by Solon’s side, he didn’t get bullied anymore and he was taught about various things. Solon taught Cleon how to study, how to use magic efficiently, how to interact with people. Solon always said that Cleon was more talented than himself. However, Cleon couldn’t imagine the day when he would surpass Solon. His dependence and inferiority towards Solon made him somber.
But it was different now. When Cleon saw this room where there was no Solon, a dark joy crept up in his heart.
Finally, he has surpassed Solon. The weak boy who followed Solon everywhere was not here anymore. Now, Cleon has become the strongest holy knight in the empire, as Solon had predicted.
But, even so, the reason why Cleon exiled Solon wasn’t because of his hostility towards him. It wasn’t originally a good idea to exile him because Solon was still useful. After all, he was incredibly versatile. He knew that without Solon, all the chores would face setbacks and it would become troublesome. It should be okay to give Solon the position of secretary. He would quit his work as an adventurer and become an office worker instead.
Yes, if Cleon asked, Solon wouldn’t refuse, because Solon always regarded Cleon. The feeling of guilt pricked his heart, but Cleon tried to ignore it.
No, the main reason for Solon’s exile was because, without him, Cleon could take control of the knight order. It would be possible to use the knight order for his own purposes.
Solon, with his good intuitions, would eventually realize what Cleon was trying to do. When he’d notice, he would certainly oppose Cleon. Therefore, it was necessary to exile him before that happened. Cleon thought, ‘There was no weak Cleon anymore.’ On the contrary, there was only the Cleon who was admired by countless members of the knight order.
However, Cleon wasn’t satisfied, because that girl wasn’t beside him anymore. Even when Cleon wasn’t the strongest holy knight, the girl said, “It’s fine even if you’re weak.” She also said that she liked the gentle Cleon. But then, that girl had died.
“Shea,” Cleon muttered the name of a girl once lost. Solon and Cleon shared the bitter feeling of not being able to revive the dead. However, unlike Solon, Cleon couldn’t accept that feeling.
There was magic in this world. So why were they saying there was no way to revive the dead?
Then there was a knocking sound.
“You may enter,” Cleon said. The door of the vice-captain’s office opened, and three members appeared before him. The vanguard, Notora, and the samurai.
“Do you need something from me, our new vice-captain?”
“I don’t like how you call me. I know you’re trying to bring Solon back.”
“Did you call me because of that?” Notora pushed his round glasses up and stared at Cleon as if to confirm. Cleon shook his head.
“No, I do not intend to interfere with what the members think. Anyway, Notora, you are a capable man.
“My comrade, what purpose did you praise me for?”
“You are a former soldier who had a hard time graduating from the military academy. It’s a rare experience among our members. Honestly, rather than Arte, you know better how the world works, so I think you are more suitable becoming the vice-captain substitute.”
“Heh,” Notora smiled without a sign of annoyance. Notora had personal problems with Arte, so he felt good to be told he was more capable than her. To occupy the position of the vice-captain meant that one had to understand the members’ circumstances.
Cleon smiled, “I have something to ask of you. I want you to bring that monkey back from the Imperial Capital. It’s also fine to use forceful methods.”
“Did that woman escape?”
Cleon nodded to Notora’s frivolous talk.
“That’s right. I want you to bring back Saint Sophia, my fiance, and our leader.”
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