Final Chapter: Reincarnated Prince and the Knight of Twilight
A few days after the tournament, Herscherik and Oran left the castle town together and arrived at a hill with a sweeping view of the imperial capital.
The imperial capital was bathed in the light of the evening sun, the same color as Oran’s hair.
Hersche was helped off the horse by Oran, and he let slip these words of admiration at the scenery.
“Oran, thanks for taking me here!”
Herscherik beamed as the twilight light illuminated him from behind. Oran squinted at the light.
‘Octa, thank you for taking me here.’
The image of his smiling fiancée overlapped Herscherik.
“I often brought her here… Prince, thanks for what you did for the orphanage.”
The reason he took Herscherik to this precious and special place was to say thanks.
With Baron Armin’s death, the orphanage’s management became an issue. No one showed any interest in rescuing this baggage of an orphanage.
Then, Herscherik requested Marquess Ordis, Oran’s father, for help.
“It’s fine. I didn’t do anything that big.”
Herscherik left Oran’s view and looked down on the imperial capital.
“I’m glad that Oran won. With this, the orphanage should be fine for the time being.”
All the winnings he made when he secretly betted on Oran were poured into the orphanage as operation funds. Even without that money, Herscherik had planned to… wring out those who diverted the aid money allocated to the orphanage, but luckily for them, he didn’t have to go that far. Incidentally, the money he had borrowed from Marcus was turned into a donation as Marcus claimed he had no other use for it anyway.
Because the one managing the orphanage would be Marquess Ordis, no one would dare lay their hands on it as there was no one who would pick a fight with the Blazing General. If anyone carelessly laid their hand on the orphanage, they would be in for a world of pain.
General Ordis had too much free time on his hands after retirement and signed the contract, declaring, “I’ll raise some outstanding knights for you! My wife will also be teaching them, so please leave it to us.”
It was a little different from what Herscherik imagined, but he was glad that they accepted. With someone taking care of the orphanage, the future of the orphans should be secure. Even if they don’t become knights, that knowledge should be helpful in the future.
—Many years later, the orphanage would be named “Armin Private School,” a school known to produce many excellent knights, government officials, and the like.
While gazing at the imperial capital bathed in the evening sunlight, Herscherik continued to speak.
“Although not forever, we have to make sure enough aid goes around until the kingdom’s structure changes. …Hey, Oran.”
Kuro wasn’t here with them right now. He said that he would come, but Herscherik stopped him since he had something he wanted to talk to alone with Oran.
“Before, you asked me why I made you my personal knight, right?”
“Yeah, you didn’t give me an answer then.”
Herscherik continued with his back to the knight.
“Oranju, I don’t need a knight who just listens to my orders.”
That was why Herscherik chose Oran.
“I need a knight who would stop me if I made the wrong decision.”
He remembered the interview. Oran wasn’t the one chosen but the one who chose.
He was a knight who chose his own master—a knight who served a master who deserved his loyalty.
In a distant memory from Herscherik’s past life, there was a male coworker who had joined the company around the same time as Ryouko, yet got the best promotion.
His personality garnered the trust of not only the customers, but also his coworkers, juniors, and superiors. Among those who joined at the same time, he was their trust-worthy leader who became a senior staff member before being promoted to a branch manager, all at a record pace.
But since becoming the branch manager, he changed. When Ryouko met him after all that time, he had lost his warm feeling and his eyes had become sharp. His reputation at the branch office had worsened, and his performance dropped. Worried about him, Ryouko sneakily contacted the workers at the branch.
A senior worker there explained the situation. His change has begun after becoming a branch manager. His serious personality brought disaster as he tried to do everything perfectly. That in itself wasn’t bad, but he demanded perfection from his branch workers as well.
Even the smallest mistake wouldn’t be easily forgiven. When that happened, he would raise his voice. This created discord between him and the office workers which was in turn conveyed to the customers, leading to a decrease in sales.
Even though Ryouko called him out of concern, he didn’t answer since it was already too late. In the end, his health deteriorated, he was demoted from his position, and he retired.
The senior worker said that no one admonished him and no one would ask about him. And if someone did ask sincerely about him, the office workers would act as an intermediary and speak in his defense.
People are transformed by the changes in their circumstances, experience, and positions, even if it was an undesirable change.
In the history and fiction books he read in his past life and after he reincarnated, there were many politicians who had a change of heart upon gaining power, which affected the entire country. He knew he was no exception.
“I know I’m not perfect. That’s why when I mess up, I need someone to stop me.”
“…You have the black dog, don’t you?”
Oran’s words made Herscherik think of Kuro.
“Kuro will stay beside me. And I want him to. But, Kuro will never stop me.”
Kuro was a former hired spy. The reason why he stood by Herscherik’s side wasn’t for the sake of the kingdom.
“If I asked him, I’m sure Kuro would do unspeakable evils. Even if I was wrong, he wouldn’t hesitate.”
There was no reason for it. To Kuro, it didn’t matter if it was just or not; what mattered was that his master desired it.
“Oranju, sometimes I’m scared of myself.”
Herscherik knew that there were dark emotions in him. Cold emotions that could freeze his very soul. He knew very well that they existed in him.
It was possible that he would stray like Baron Armin. Just like Rick at the orphanage, he would hate the one who stole that which was precious to him. At that moment, he would forget his position, ideals, and his own will, opting rather to have Kuro kill their enemy.
“That’s why I need someone stronger than Kuro. A knight who could stop Kuro.”
A knight who could stop a serious Kuro and his own master was necessary.
“Oranju, I have high expectations for you. My ideal knight can only be you.”
Herscherik turned around and looked directly at Oran.
“Oranju, I won’t reprimand you for declining, but…would you become my knight?”
Oran met Herscherik’s direct gaze with his own.
The prince had apprehensions about the future that would unfold. Since he understood fully well that he wasn’t perfect, he needed to plan out his moves with that in mind.
With this statement, the prince declared his absolute trust in Oran. Thinking back, the prince had believed in him from the very bottom of his heart, since the first time they had ever met.
Even if he shook his head here, the prince would keep his word and not reprimand him.
The prince could order him to obey, using the authority given to him, but he chose not to. That was not Herscherik’s way of doing things, as he understood that a command could not sway a person’s feelings.
Suddenly, Oran noticed that the option to decline didn’t exist in his heart.
Oran approached Herscherik and presented him with his sword still sheathed.
This was the first time Oran was called by the prince by his name, and it caused Herscherik’s eyes to widen. He accepted the sword.
(I had always been searching…)
Oran knelt on one knee, placed his hand on his chest, and lowered his head.
(For a master I can offer my allegiance and life to.)
It felt like the gaping hole in his chest had finally been filled. That was why he could say these words so naturally.
“My body is the sword that tears your enemies to pieces, the shield that protects you from assassins’ daggers, and the cane that supports you.”
Oran raised his head and looked straight at his master, Herscherik.
“If my master desires, I shall follow your will even if I must bear dishonor, even if I will be cursed at by others, even if I must exchange my life to do so. …Please grant me this.”
Herscherik closed his eyes after Oran’s oath of allegiance. He opened them again and fixed them on Oran.
“Oranju, I will allow it. Do not ever go back on your words. When the time comes, please use this sword to cut me down.”
Herscherik presented the sword. Oran reverently accepted it.
“…My lord, that would be difficult.”
The personal knight’s words caused a question mark to appear on top of Herscherik’s head. Oran grinned at the confused Herscherik.
“The black dog and I wouldn’t let you fall into such a situation.”
Herscherik was taken aback for a moment. But when he processed the words, the finest smile appeared on his face.
In the future, of the most popular tales sung by the bards, the one about the seventh prince of the Gresis Kingdom is the most beloved. As such, there were also stories the children adored, about the ones who served the prince.
Among them was a story favored by many young boys: “The Knight of Twilight.”
The Knight of Twilight, called so for his hair the color of the vibrant evening sky, was the strongest of all. He raced into numerous battles and was the star of many heroic moments.
But the reason for the Knight of Twilight’s popularity wasn’t just because of his strength. It was because he chose his master. The children of the royal family were instructed to be people worthy of being chosen by the Knight of Twilight, and the children who dreamed of being knights were told to become knights heroic enough to be able to choose their master, like the Knight of Twilight.
At first glance, this could be heard as praise to the Knight of Twilight. But, in his whole life, he only served just one master, and all his honorable deeds were done for that master.
The Knight of Twilight had but one master: the seventh prince of the Greisis Kingdom Herscherik Greisis.
This marks the end of the Knight of Twilight Arc.
Thank you very much for sticking with us this far.
Thank you for the repeated likes and reviews.
Although this is the end of the Knight of Twilight Arc, Herscherik’s story will continue.
This time, another group separate from the minister’s faction was operating in the shadows. I appreciate those who are waiting in excitement to watch the story of Herscherik, Kuro, Oran, and those around them unfold.
There’s a lot going on with regards to the next volume, so I’m not sure what will happen, but I’ll write out my expectations as I go.
I plan to work on corrections and revisions for this and the Kingdom of Sorrow Arc when I have time. Please kindly ignore if there are any mistypes.
I hope to see you all in the next volume,
Everyone who’s cheered me up till now and everyone who’s enjoyed it, thank you very much.
PS: I decided to accept comments on completed works. Those who wish to write their comments, I ask to first take a look at my page.
2014/3/21 Kusunoki Nobiru
2014/9/1 PS written