Wortenia Senki (LN) - Volume 3 - Chapter Pr

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Thrust by the young man’s hands, the tip of the spear cut through the air upward towards the heavens. Labored breaths leaked from his lips. Beads of sweat streamed down his well-formed face, with his usually well-maintained, prided golden hair disheveled and clinging to his skin. 

His appearance after a bout of training was quite unlike his usual demeanor, which drew the gazes of both young ladies and the wives of the noblemen whenever he appeared in Pireas’s social gatherings. 

Still, this young fellow was a warrior at heart. His natural inclination was to crush his opponent’s windpipe and quench his cravings with their very lifeblood. His sociable, attractive appearance and cultivated, amicable attitude overflowing with rationality were simply products of the wisdom this young man had built up to live among others. 

For a moment, the visage of a man’s face flashed in his mind. That was likely since he’d accidentally passed him by in the corridor the other day. 

Damn, the tip wavered... 

To the eyes of an amateur, this last thrust he made followed exactly the same trajectory as the countless ones he’d performed before, but the young man could clearly feel he’d missed his intended mark. It was truly the faintest of slips possible, one of less than a few millimeters. Well within the margin of error for most people. 

After all, this young man had been practicing his swings and thrusts from the moment the sun rose above the horizon until now, when it stood at its zenith, and not with a wooden spear for training, but a steel one made for true combat— one heavy enough for an average adult to handle. 

The fact the young man carried it without any martial thaumaturgy stood as proof of the absurd strength he possessed, even in the standards of this world inhabited by monsters that far exceeded what humans were capable of. 

And yet, his heart was governed by impatience and irritation. He may not have let it show, but pitch-black darkness seethed in his heart like magma. 

Calm down. Catch your breath. Maintain a will as clear as a mirror’s surface. 

The young man breathed deeply and banished the image of the man’s face from his mind. 

Anger, hatred, anxiety, and limitless bloodlust. Stifling those dark emotions, the boy thrust his spear once again. He operated his body with the perfection of movement acquired through endless repetition. A strike that edged into the realm of godspeed, made possible by shedding anything and everything that was unnecessary. A technique formed purely for fighting other human beings. 

Faster. Ever faster. The lance technique that served his honored grandfather. 

This family technique which stressed speed required constant, thorough training of the most basic of thrusts and sweeps. It looked nothing like the flashy techniques the masses taught in the streets. It was completely monotonous and dull. 

Speaking truthfully, if he were to attempt to gather students and open a training hall at town, he likely would have failed greatly over this technique. But for how inconspicuous and plain it was, it was all the more lethal when mastered. 

In fact, the boy wouldn’t need more than one hand to count the number of knights currently living in the Kingdom of Rhoadseria who were capable of blocking his thrust. Indeed, Mikhail Vanash, lauded as the number one swordsman in the kingdom, was the first to come to mind, followed only by the likes of Princess Lupis’s aide, Meltina Lecter. 

Such was his agility. And normally, one would assume such a talented young knight would be appointed as company commander for the royal guard. Had the blood of some high-ranking knight family been running through his veins, he would probably have been put in command of a battalion or a brigade. 

But sadly, he wasn’t the child of such a noble family. 

Well, one couldn’t exactly say his family wasn’t a noble one, either. He was the grandchild of a man who had served as the closest of aides to Helena Steiner, Rhoadseria’s Ivory Goddess of War and a dear friend to him since her days as a rank and file soldier, who had remained by her side through thick and thin. 

So, if one were to define a noble household as the descendants of a man who had made great accomplishments, this young man was unmistakably of noble roots. Starting with his grandfather, who’d begun life a commoner, his father and now this young man— Chris— this house had produced three generations of knights loyal to the Kingdom of Rhoadseria. 

But if one were to define nobility as belonging to a privileged social caste, then Chris indeed couldn’t be called a child of nobility. 

Despite having been elevated to the rank of knight just recently, Chris Morgan was still merely a low-ranking knight. Perhaps if one of his blood relatives were still an influential knight in active duty, things would be different. But his father had passed away several years ago, and his much-lauded grandfather was bedridden, his career as a knight dead and buried. 

Worse yet, the man standing as the leader of the knights of Rhoadseria, General Hodram Albrecht, still held a deep grudge for his grandfather’s involvement with Helena Steiner. 

Honestly speaking, Chris didn’t hold that many reservations towards the man at first. Of course, his grandfather had warned him of General Albrecht’s nature, and Chris knew of the enmity between the two. In his younger years, he couldn’t deny harboring anger towards Albrecht. 

But in the end, his anger was little more than the words of a man who had lost a power struggle, and Chris grew wiser with age. He was no judge, but he realized well enough from history that the winners tended to be looked upon coldly by those around them. 

Chris didn’t think his grandfather was lying, of course, but he did consider that his own side of the story may have been rife with exaggerations and dramatization. If nothing else, he was more capable of making a distinction than he had been as a child and knew better than to assume things. 

But even if Chris made an effort not to be prejudiced, it all depended on the other side. And General Albrecht’s grudge toward his grandfather ran deeper than Chris knew. 

In fact, Chris had endured repeated harassment from General Albrecht and his aides ever since he was an apprentice, and up to the time of his knighting. Even then, his knighting was only approved several years after those who became apprentices at the same time as he had been given the go-ahead. And presently, he had been given no official appointment and was ordered to remain home on standby. 

A useless man on the payroll. Those words bitterly surfaced in his mind. It was, without a doubt, malicious conduct. And Chris knew full well who ordered it. 

“Tch, again...” Feeling another minute sway in his swing, an annoyed click of the tongue escaped Chris’s peach-colored lips. 

The loyalty to Rhoadseria he’d been groomed to harbor. The ambition nestling in his heart, which cried for him to make his strength known in the world. His confidence in his own skills. And in opposition to them, his mighty will which kept those feelings in check, and his serene eyes that saw the reality of things. 

Even as he carried these traits that made up the ideal warrior, the annoyance flaring up in him was proof of Chris’s humanity. 

I have to keep mum and wait for the best chance right now... But for how long? And will that chance ever come? 

A dark cloud brewed over the Kingdom of Rhoadseria. Lupis and Radine. The two princesses’ struggle for the throne sparked discord that ripened as the nobles and knights spun their plots, and the critical moment was fast approaching. Rhoadseria was like a balloon inflated to its limit, and the smallest of sparks could make the fires of war burst forth. 

But despite clearly seeing the coming catastrophe, Chris could do nothing. Neither for his motherland as it was about to be torn to bits by war, nor for his own ambition... 

“Has something happened?” Sensing the presence behind him, Chris rose from his stance and addressed it. 

Turning around, Chris’s blue eyes fell on an old, white-haired woman clad in a black uniform. 

“Master Chris, the Old Master wishes to speak to you.” 


“Yes. I’ve informed him you are in the middle of training, but he insisted that you meet with him as soon as possible.” 

“All right. Let him know I’ll come as soon as I wash off.” 

He may have been retired, but the master of this house was nonetheless his grandfather, so Chris couldn’t afford to make him wait. Still, meeting him disheveled and drenched with sweat wouldn’t do. 

“No, the Old Master insists you must see him now.” But the old maid shook her head at this obvious, natural reasoning. 

Chris scowled his sweaty face somewhat at the words of his grandfather’s trusted maid, who had served this house for many years. 

“Well, that sounds serious... But I can’t go see him in this state, can I?” 

His sweat drenched shirt clung to his skin, and he certainly didn’t look presentable. While he was focused on his training, he didn’t feel it, but the sensation of the sweat cooling against his skin was quite unpleasant. Before manners even came into the picture, Chris didn’t want to stand before his grandfather looking like this. 

But this old maid hadn’t served the Morgan house so long for nothing. 

“I’ve prepared fresh clothes for you. You can wipe your sweat off with this.” 

With that said, she handed over an unwrinkled silk shirt and a towel. 

“Awfully well-prepared, aren’t you?” Chris turned a probing glance at the maid after rubbing himself down with the towel, which had been dipped in cold water from the well and then wrung out. 

She’d supported the Morgan house since he’d been little and had always fussed over manners and appearances. She’d scolded Chris many times in his childhood. There must have been a reason for her going to this length in order to have him meet his grandfather so urgently. 

She’d sensed the question in his glance, and after looking around quickly to ensure no one was around, leaned in to whisper in his ear. 

“Actually, earlier today...” 

Hearing the old woman’s whispered words, Chris’s eyes gradually filled with an ominous light. Yes... Like the eyes of a carnivorous beast that had finally fixed its gaze on its prey. 

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