Mightiest Melee Magician
[ Translator - Jreaming ]
[ Proofreader - Artethrax ]
Soon after I returned from Eight-Lake, a lot of things started to change in Ardell.
The first thing that changed was the atmosphere.
The once quiet and peaceful town had started to become energetic.
“Have you heard? There’s a subjugation decree! They’re trying to reclaim the Red Plains where the mudmen took over.”
“What, you only heard of it now? You’re slow as always.”
“Those rotten mudmen bastards. I was waiting for the day I could thrust my spear into their skulls...... That day has finally come.”
“You were waiting? Haiya, you can’t even hit a fly. It’ll be a blessing if you don’t get your own skull crushed by their stone axes.”
“What did you say?!”
This was definitely a fearsome word......
But if one needed to protect a loved one, or if they were missing someone…
It could turn into a driving force that motivates one to act.
The citizens of Ardell all remembered the nightmare of 10 years ago, and were all ready to act.
Just like Cecilia Baltraze, they were ready to face their trauma head on.
However, now wasn’t the time.
“That’s why, if you don’t want to die, gather in the Lord’s backyard. Everyone’s promised to do spearmanship training together.”
Since Ardell was quite small, there weren’t enough people to muster suitable military might to start the subjugation.
That was why we needed to train all the ordinary citizens, from farmers to workers.
Since I also needed to graduate and the weapons from Eight-Lake would take some months before arriving, we were doing some small preliminary preparations.
This wasn’t the only reason the territory’s atmosphere was aflame.
“Spearmanship? Does that mean the captain himself is going to train us?”
“Of course. Who else in Ardell could teach us if not him?”
“Oohoo, Sir Flash Knight! We’ll see his skills for the first time in a while. But from what I heard, he only handles fishing rods these days...... It should be fine, right?”
“Kekek. Does a tiger become a kitten because it plays with a ball of yarn for a bit? His flashy skills should still be the same.”
A great shift occurred in the peaceful territory of Ardell, and the news started to slowly spread outside this tiger’s den.
A ‘tiger’ lived in Ardell as well.
Even though there were only 15 members, we had a knight order, and there was also a knight captain who led this order.
The Flash Knight, Sir Bolvar.
He was already older than 50 and part of the veterans among the knights, but back in the days, he was famed for his brilliant spearmanship with which he earned the nickname of ‘The Flash Knight’. He was also part of the Golden Light Knight Order that guarded the king.
Of course, this was a story from a time before I was even born.
The Sir Bolvar I knew was a kind neighborly uncle who used the fishing rod more than the spear.
His main job amounted to taking me and Ruina for picnics in and around the Ardell territory.
However, our faith in Sir Bolvar was deeply rooted.
10 years ago, when the mudmen invaded our territory, if not for Sir Bolvar, we would’ve lost more people.
The scene of him piercing right through 5 mudmen heads in a single blow was still stuck in my head.
He was the most respected knight in Ardell.
While the people of the territory were talking about this, Irene spoke up after having been quietly listening for a while.
“Ruin, who’s the ‘Tiger of Ardell’?”
“Ah, they’re talking about the knight captain of our territory, Sir Bolvar Patten.”
“Sir Bolvar Patten.”
Irene’s expression shifted.
Her face was telling me that it was a name she had heard before.
“I feel like I’ve heard of him before. Spear Saint Bolvar… I probably heard it during my studies, but maybe only in passing because I’m not certain.”
“Studies? Do you learn something like that in the Empire’s magic schools?”
“No. However, the Eleven Children learn about the Record of Knights. We need to know a lot about them since knights are the most common enemy one would face on the battlefield.”
So they learned something like that as well.
The Eleven Children…
They still felt quite incredible.
But she heard about Sir Bolvar in the Record of Knights?
Eh, probably not.
Didn’t the Record of Knights record only the greatest knights of the continent?
I brushed away the thought.
“I don’t know that much about knighthood...... but that’s probably not right. It’s true that Sir Bolvar is strong, but in the Record of Knights? It’s the first time I’m hearing about this.”
“Yes. And his nickname is ‘The Flash Knight’ not ‘Spear Saint’. You’re probably thinking of someone else.”
Of course, I was talking without knowing everything either.
The only thing I knew was that, for a knight’s name to be recorded in the Record of Knights, they would’ve needed to accomplish an incredible deed or attain unbelievable strength.
Knowing that, I had come to the conclusion that there was no chance such a great knight would exist in Ardell.
Preconceptions like this were always dangerous.
“I’m pretty sure it’s right.”
“That half-moon spear and swift spearmanship. I’m certain. Spear Saint Bolvar Patten, the sole spear knight of the Radian Kingdom. At the young age of 30, he suddenly retired and vanished......”
Her eyes lit up with confidence.
The Bolvar that Irene deemed a legend…
“Haha! Let’s finish here for today. Now that I’m old, even holding a spear is difficult. Back in the day, I would’ve swung this spear around like I would a spoon.”
He had a relaxed smile and wiped off the sweat after finishing the first spearmanship lesson opened for the citizens of the territory.
Was it really true?
* * *
Translator - Jreaming
Proofreader - Artethrax
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* * *
“Haha! You’ve really done it this time, Young Master. I knew you would do something extraordinary since you had those greedy eyes from a young age, but to win the Grand Festival? And a subjugation now?”
“You’re all grown up. I’m proud of you. This old man is truly moved by your achievements. If it was like the old times, I would’ve wanted to put you on my shoulders and go on a hike...... but since you’ve also grown, wouldn’t it be too much for you as well?”
I obviously knew that this kind and down-to-earth face of Sir Bolvar wasn’t everything.
I knew very well that behind his easy going and fun loving face was a fearsome level of skill.
Let’s say that Sir Bolvar Patten was a famous knight, famed enough to be in the Record of Knights, just like what Irene said.
Then, why was he here?
Why would he give up the honor of being the greatest spear knight of the kingdom and just sit in Ardell with a fishing rod in his hand?
Then, Irene bowed her head to Sir Bolvar and said something that would solve my curiosity.
“My name is Irene Prius. I greet the Spear Saint Sir Bolvar Patten.”
Not The Flash Knight that was known by our territory, but the spear amongst spears, the ‘Spear Saint’.
As the words left her mouth, Sir Bolvar’s eyebrows shuddered a bit as he became a little flustered.
“......Where did you hear about that?”
His expression was asking if someone who remembers that name still existed.
Irene very politely replied,
“I’ve heard about your stories in the Record of Knights. I couldn’t confirm it before...... but I became certain after seeing your half-moon spear and swift spearmanship. The tale of you slaying 10 high-ranking magicians from the rebel state of Perna is still legendary. It’s an honor to be able to meet you here.”
He slayed 10 high-ranking magicians?
Our Sir Bolvar?
I looked at Sir Bolvar, shocked out of my wits.
However, Sir Bolvar just scratched the back of his head in embarrassment.
“You’re a smart lass. You even remembered that small story in the corner of the Record of Knights. Well, even then, that’s all in the past. Now, I’m just an old man who struggles to even lift a spear.
Was it all true?
I asked him,
“Sir Bolvar, why did you hide it?”
“I didn’t know. I couldn’t even guess that you were someone famous like this.”
“I’ve never hidden anything, Young Master. You’ve never asked me.”
Hmm… Well, I couldn’t say anything against that.
But, what was this?
How could I explain this feeling......
“I’m a little sad. I thought I knew Sir Bolvar pretty well.”
There was a hint of sadness and regret from ending up hearing more about the knight captain that I’ve known for so long from someone else.
However, Sir Bolvar just shrugged his shoulders.
“Young Master, you know more about me than anyone else.”
“But I’ve only just learnt that you were the Spear Saint, even though I was so close to you.”
“But that’s not everything about me, right?”
“That is only a part of me. I love fishing, I live in the house at the base of this hill, and I like eating meat for breakfast. I treat Ardell and its lord like my brothers, and I’ve spent time with the young master and the young lady...... That’s Bolvar Patten. Isn’t that enough?”
What I felt was hard to explain.
It was like I was just struck in the back of the head.
Sir Bolvar was right.
The fact that he was written in the Record of Knights, completed a legendary deed, and was strong enough to be called the ‘Spear Saint’ was but a part of him.
Just because I didn’t know this, does the Bolvar I know disappear?
Ruin, since when were you so focused on fame?
“Young Master, you’re staying here as the winner of the Grand Festival. Compared to that, what’s odd about me living in Ardell? Haha!”
There was no law that said I, who was born in and inherited the blood of Ardell, was the only one who could love Ardell.
Sir Bolvar would’ve been a foreigner in the beginning, but now, he was family.
There was nothing odd.
Nothing was different either.
“You are right, sir. I know more about you than anyone else.”
“Thank you for understanding, Young Master.”
Sir Bolvar checked the time and became flustered.
“Oh, now I’m late. I promised the young lady I would help her with her swordsmanship.”
“Ruina? Do you look after her swordsmanship personally?”
“Normally, the lord would look after her, but when wooden spars are needed, I help her.”
Sheesh. For the legendary spear knight Bolvar Patten of Radian to personally spar against the juvenile 12-year-old Ruina.
I’m looking forward to this.
As Irene and I showed interest, Sir Bolvar Patten asked us,
“Will you join us, Young Master?”
“In spectating? Of course I would.”
“No, not spectating, but sparring.”
“Sparring? Really? With me?”
“Don’t you remember? I helped you with sparring when you were about 9.”
Of course I would remember.
Even while I was tumbling in the dirt, I would smile as I sparred against Sir Bolvar. It was one of my most cherished childhood memories.
“Would you like to have a go for the first time in a while?”
Against the knight captain of Ardell’s knight order, Bolvar Patten.
Against the legendary Spear Saint. Would this opportunity come to just anyone?
Seeing Sir Bolvar’s competitive spirit through his smile, I clenched my fists.
“I’m not the little kid you remember.”
At that, Sir Bolvar jokingly responded,
“Yes, I know. I’m not the knight you remember either. Now I’m too old to even lift a spear.”
Don’t you look too fired up to be retired?
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