Chapter 125: (Gossip) The Royal Palace after Sword Left
Everyone who was present stared at the big hole now adorning the hallway, dumbstruck.
It was said that during the wall’s construction the strongest soil was used after additionally enhancing it with spells, resulting in a wall that couldn’t be damaged by mighty soldiers or great mages.
And yet, that wall had been destroyed easily.
During the demon attack, the wall got destroyed as well, although temporarily withstanding the dragon’s attacks.
As everyone was stunned, it was the king who came back to his senses first.
“…Shadow, arrange everything for the repairs.
――All of you, listen well to me.
You’re forbidden to mention this to anyone else.
Make sure to never reveal any of it.
That’s an order.
The knights nodded in panic, but the knight leader pulled a sour face.
“…Very well, then we’ll sortie to arrest the criminal…”
“Didn’t you hear what His Majesty said, Knight Leader His Majesty forbade us to reveal anything about this to others, didn’t he So what are you planning to use as material for accusing Sword after arresting him” Shadow interrupted the knight leader’s words, casting a frosty glare at him.
Annoyance spread on the knight leader’s face.
In reality, the knight leader was quite upset.
He hated Shadow.
He also was dissatisfied with the king, but Shadow throwing his weight around as the king’s aide displeased him to no end.
In secret, he’d actually been planning to purge all those who didn’t like him seizing the power, and Shadow stood in his way.
“…But, we cannot let a criminal go scot-free, can we! That guy planned to destroy the royal castle from the very start! Hah, what hero! He is just a measly scam…”
“Are you jealous” Shadow interrupted him once more, accompanied by a scornful laugh.
In response, the knight leader’s face became bright red, and he barked, “What was that! Watch what you are saying, bastard! If you don’t want to lose your head thanks to your impertinent comments…”
He continued until the end but lowered his voice gradually before fading it out altogether.
He was smart enough to know that saying any more in the presence of the king would be a bad idea.
“Hoh So you’re going to lop off my head because I’m impertinent towards you”
Naturally Shadow was agitating the knight leader on purpose.
He knew that his guy would head out to arrest Sword anyway, even if ordered to not do it.
Shadow was well aware that the knight leader’s loyalty towards the royal family was flimsy at best, and that he’d act on his own as he prioritized his own pride and honor above all else.
The knight leader doesn’t understand.
Even if the entire knight order, and not just the knight leader himself, fought against Sword, they wouldn’t be able to win.
It’d have been different in the past, but it’s unthinkable that Sword would obediently allow himself to be arrested nowadays, so it’s a foregone conclusion that it’d develop into a battle.
Moreover, that arrogant partner of Sword is around as well.
If she learned about an arrest attempt on Sword without any charges to back it, she might destroy the palace for real.
All of this was clear to Shadow.
For this reason, he instigated and tempted the hot-blooded, prideful knight leader so as to make him blurt out something imprudent.
“Knight Leader, you allowed intruders to enter the palace, went against His Majesty’s orders, and made some improper comments.
Your authority as a knight leader will be stripped off you for a set amount of time, and you are ordered into house arrest.
You are forbidden to leave your home for ten days.
The other knights also failed at preventing the intruders from entering the palace, so you will be punished with a pay reduction and a strengthening of the palace’s guard protocol.
A document with detailed instructions will soon be delivered to you by a civil official.
Until then you are to wait in your own rooms.”
As soon as Shadow made that announcement, the knight leader stomped away, his whole body trembling with mortification and rage.
The other knights quickly saluted at the king, before chasing after him.
“…What an ill-mannered and rude behavior in the presence of the king.
Unbelievable, that man,” Shadow stabbed the knight leader with a sharp glare as he was leaving.
“Don’t be so hard on him.
…Still, you were a big help.
Obviously it’d have been a bad idea to arrest Sword.
There’s the matter with the public opinion, but above that, I want to avoid turning him into an enemy,” the king breathed out in relief.
And then he faced Shadow with a smile, continuing impishly, “If it’s ten days, Sword will probably have left this area.
Even if the knight leader searches the capital after his house arrest and learns of him having left, it’ll be impossible for him to catch up with Sword.
…But, I thought you’d side with the knight leader and vie for Sword’s arrest, you know”
Shadow cleared his throat, and then answered, “I have comprehended that it would be a bad idea to have Sword as an enemy.
However, since his abilities and popularity are boundless and extremely dangerous, I will keep a close eye on him.
This country does not need a hero who threatens its king.”
“Sword is a man who knows his own place.
You’re aware of that as well, aren’t you”
Shadow stayed silent.
…Yep, Sword is that kind of a man.
I’ve been cautious of him for a long time now, but he’s a lot more humble than the worthless leeches around the king.
“I know as much.
I have been acquainted with him for a long time as well.”
…Indra, the girl who became the partner of the loner Sword.
He has changed after getting involved with her.
When he knelt in front of the king during the palace, rage and discontent towards the nobles oozed out of his body.
For an instant, Shadow felt a shiver travel down his spine as he thought Sword might slaughter everyone in the audience hall then and there, regretting their decision to have forced him to visit.
Previously, such a threatening aura would have been unimaginable for Sword.
Him having become like this was definitely rooted in his acquaintance with her.
――In the past he’d have never laughed off the golems coming to his rescue while destroying the palace with a shrug.
The new Sword is scary.
After the king had left with his guards, leaving Shadow all alone in the hallway, he muttered to himself, “Now then, what would be the best thing to do about this”