Dust of History - Chapter 1
After listening to Aza telling how his army was wiped out on the top of the mountain, the knight took a long sigh and lowered his head in deep thought.
Aza sat on the soft velvet chair, rubbing the soft, smooth texture between his fingers. He had merely seen this type of material before. The box that the old pedant in the village used to keep holy books had one of these thin layers inside. When he was three years old, he saw an older kid just slightly pinching it with his fingers, and then that hand was beaten until he couldn’t hold a spoon for three days.
Such a noble, mysterious and dangerous existence is now laying under his buttocks, which makes him feel a little weird and intoxicated.
Duke Murak went to the Imperial City for a military meeting and Aza was instead welcomed by a young knight who claimed to be the Duke’s assistant.
The knight’s armor and matching sword are of the highest quality, and the badge of the Holy Knights on the armor was seen on Aza’s old squad’s captain as well. Young, handsome, mighty, imposing, with a noble identity, and a temperament that goes perfectly with it, he seems to be the protagonist of a story often heard in the mouths of bards as a child.
It’s still a bit strange and enjoyable for such a character to sit down with him and contemplate what he reported. It’s the same as the chair, but it’s way more impactful this time.
“Then you are the only one who broke out of the siege and is hunted down, resisting the pursuer in the Lizard Swamp…” The knight repeated Aza’s story. Articulation is clear, slow, and methodical. As if for fear that others might not hear him or misunderstand him.
Aza nodded: “That’s what happened.” The running around made him very thirsty. He picked up the jug on the table and poured himself a cup, and found out that it was milk tea.
“Are you sure you are the only one who escaped?” The knight frowned, looked at him seriously with deep and canny eyes, and asked slowly, word by word. As if this is a very consequential question.
Although he was already sure of it, Aza recollected his memory carefully and then nodded: “Yes. I am the only one.” This milk tea tasted very good, but the cup was too small. Aza kept drinking and pouring it repeatedly. In fact, he originally wanted to drink from the mouth of the jug, but the splendour of the duke’s mansion and the gaze of the knight on the opposite side discouraged him from doing so.
The knight stretched his brows slightly, then frowned harder, and asked more seriously, “So, did you tell anyone else about this?”
“No.” Aza was quite sure. He has been moving nonstop until he reached here coming out of the swamp. There’s even still a bandage on his left wrist now.
Thanks to a few healing runes and potions in their luggage, they were able to walk out of the river to find a dead tree and float to Brakada. When the magistrate knew that it was Duke Mulak’s daughter who was injured, they immediately called for all priests and doctors in a radius of fifty miles. Several ribs on Aza’s chest have been connected, and it is not a big problem under the action of the treatment, but it is a little fragile. The left wrist was broken so badly that it took a whole day, and several butchers and butchers were brought in to find the bone fragments mixed with the meat. Aza even fainted due to pain three times, and finally managed to get his body back to its original state. After using an astonishing number of treatments and medicines, the pain was eliminated, but there was still the possibility of him being disabled. Now Aza pinned his hopes on the wealth and power of Duke Mulak and the level of the priest in the capital.
“Then why didn’t you report this matter to the commander of your unit?” The knight asked patiently and carefully, wanting to keep the details down to his heart. His focused expression was like that of a child, and there was a hint of caution in his careful gaze as if he was afraid everything in front of him would suddenly fly away.
“Because I don’t know who my troops belong to. I just saw temporary soldiers being recruited in Bracada, so I went to participate.” Aza actually wanted to ask him about his salary of about ten copper coins. But when he looked at the silver cup in his hand, he was too embarrassed to say it. “I asked Xiaoyi… Young Lady about who I should report this to, and she said that the Duke is the military minister of the empire. So I thought it would be faster to report directly.”
“Oh, so that’s the case. Good, that’s great.” The knight’s brows suddenly brightened, and he was relieved and relaxed, looking very happy. His smile was as dazzling as his blond hair, and it was very contagious. This is probably the ideal man most girls dreamed about.
The knight seemed to suddenly remember it and asked, “So Miss Xiaoyi…”
“It’s okay, the mayor of Brakada used a convoy to escort her, and she will be in the capital in about 20 days.” Xiaoyi’s cervical vertebrae cracked under the werewolf’s grip. During the process of walking out of the swamp, due to the reason of moving the body, the injury worsened, and the bones were slightly deformed. The priests of Bracada did not dare to do anything, so they can only slightly heal it a little, fixed it with a splint, and slowly returned to the capital with a carriage to seek greater healers.
“Yes.” The knight nodded. “On behalf of the Duke, I would like to express my gratitude to you for your heroic saving of Miss Xiaoyi.” After a pause, he looked directly at Aza and said in his slow and clear voice: “Also, It’s a very correct choice to report the matter directly to the Duke’s Mansion. I think Lord Mullak will be very happy to know about it.” His blue eyes showed an overjoyed expression. “Your luck is very good, really good.” These words were said with great force as if he were really glad for Aza’s luck.
For some reason, Aza felt a little uneasy from the bright eyes of the knight, which did not seem to be a sign of goodwill, there was a malicious joy flashing inside. Aza asked, “Who are you…?”
“Baron Clavius Erni, the captain of the second division of the Holy Knights, and the assistant of the Duke of Mullak.” The knight’s eyes were withdrawn, and his voice was firm and smooth, fitting for a noble. “Miss Xiaoyi’s fiance.”
“Ah?” Aza was a little surprised by the knight’s last identity.
The knight stood up, his eyebrows raised sharply and within his eyes flashed a gleam akin to a sword. There was no smile on his face at all, and it was so imposing someone would have thought he never smiled. He shouted authoritatively: “Guards! Capture him.”
More than a dozen fully-armed guards appeared at the entrance of the hall as if they had emerged from the ground, and rushed in to surround Aza.
Aza hadn’t recovered from the last surprise and immediately fell into another bigger one. He stood up and said, “Didn’t you misunderstand anything, I said…”
The knight’s sword did not give Aza any time to react and accurately cut the aorta on his neck. Aza immediately dropped to the ground helplessly like an empty sack.
“Bring him into the prison and order the warden to watch him carefully. This is an important spy.” The knight’s voice was more formidable than his eyes, and the guards hurriedly took Aza out. “Prepare the horse and token. I have urgent military information to report to the Duke in the palace.”
For the Duke, this is a dangerous but lucky situation. Of course, the same applies to him. The knight picked up the cup on the table and wanted to take a sip of tea, but found that he had held the cup that Aza had just used. He picked up the jug, only to discover that it is already empty.
The knight dropped the cup carelessly, pointed to the velvet chair Aza had just sat on and instructed: “Throw away this cup, jug, and that chair.” He added as he stepped out of the door. “Don’t let me see them when I come back.”
The duke mansion’s manpower is very efficient, the horses are prepared very soon. It only took more than ten minutes for the knight to come to the military conference hall through the heavy guards and meet the Duke of Mullak.
After listening to the knight’s brief whisper, the Duke smiled very gently, and then said in a very soothing tone to the ministers at the table: “I’m sorry, please allow me to leave. It’s my little girl’s matter, she caused some troubles outside and was injured a little.”
In the garden outside the hall, the knight repeated to the duke every word that Aza had told him.
The Duke squinted and listened carefully. His eyes are not big, so when he shuts his eyes, he seems to be smiling. His neatly groomed mustache is lined with his slightly chubby body and round cheeks, he appeared as a friendly middle-aged merchant.
“Lord Duke, this matter is really risky. Fortunately, this soldier has fallen into our hands. Do you think this means that something is wrong with them? We should…” the knight asked.
The smile on the Duke’s face did not diminish at all, and he asked the knight, “I remember that you met them before as well.”
“What kind of people do you think they are?”
The knight took a deep breath, showing an expression that didn’t quite match him, a look of dissatisfaction but unable to hide his fear, like a stubborn young man who remembered the beast that once terrified him. The knight frowned and insisted on his own opinion: “But this does have a flaw…”
“No one is immune to mistakes and flaws, and no one can grasp everything. As long as you have passed enough rational analysis, you should trust your own feelings and mind. Even if you make a mistake, you don’t need to regret or hesitate.” Like a teacher teaching his students, the Duke carefully explained to the young knight. “Since we believe that they are better than us and far more efficient than us in solving such matters, we only focus on doing things well on our own side. If something goes wrong, there may be some uncontrollable factors, such as luck, those we can’t do anything about. At least, there doesn’t seem to be a problem now. Right?”
“Yes.” The knight listened carefully to the Duke’s words. Following such a boss, the biggest gain is that there are many places to learn.
There was a trace of worry in the Duke’s eyes, and he asked, “How is Xiaoyi’s injury?”
“Probably fine. The magistrate sent a convoy to escort the young lady, who is on her way back.”
The Duke glanced at the knight disappointedly and sighed softly. He then asked: “What did you do with that soldier?”
“Detained in the prison in the city, waiting for your decision.”
The Duke asked: “What do you think I will do to him?”
The duke asked again: “What do you think is the threat this soldier brings?”
“To tell others what he’s been through.”
The Duke guided the knight step by step: “If he is alive and in contact with others for a minute, the danger to us will be greater. Since you know how to deal with him, you should try to minimize his contact with others in life.”
“I wanted to wait for you to make the decision. After all, this matter is very important.”
“Don’t stick to the rules too much. The rules are there to deal with things better. No matter what the situation is, you must put your own judgment and rational analysis first.” The Duke looked at the knight and said word by word, “More importantly, It’s best to have the confidence to trust your own judgment.”
“Yes.” The knight lowered his head and replied forcefully.
When Duke Murak returned to the conference hall with a smile, the ministers all inquired about the injury of the young lady. After thanking everyone for their concern, the Duke suggested that the meeting continue the topic just now: “I agree with the general’s request to increase the financial appropriation for his western army to clean up the various orc tribes. After all, I agree. The safety of the country and the people is the number one priority, and scaling down the other expenses for this is the correct choice.”
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