I -Kuromiya Haine- have appeared before the Aurora Knight General in order to check his mood.
“Knight General-sama, glad to see you are doing great today.” (Haine)
“This Kuromiya Haine has come to check on your condition. This person of humble upbringing is truly honored to be in your presence. From today on, I will have a change of heart, and pledge eternal loyalty to the Aurora Knight corp’s General-sama.” (Haine)
“A pleasure to hear that.”
“If Knight General says so, I will jump into danger without second-guessing, and if Knight General-sama were to order me to fly, I will fly. I am the loyal servant of Knight General-sama. Please give me orders at any time and at any place. Knight General-sama is an existence akin to a God for me, and blah blah blah…” (Haine)
“Uhm…can you give it a break already?”
Well then, let’s spill the beans now.
The one in front of me is the new Aurora Knight General, Dillon Grades-san —the bald old man.
The first time we met was when he was a vice-captain and was in charge of the entrance exams for newcomers. After that, he brought a high-quality element measurement device –which is something that won’t be coming out to light–.
He has also treated me food a number of times and has helped me out a lot.
And now that Grades-san has been promoted.
He has mega-evolved from Vice-Captain into Knight General.
“Well, in reality, I have skipped several steps and am now standing at the top after all. It is not on the level of just being upgraded two classes.” (Grades)
It looks like Grades vice-captain –I mean, knight general– is actually happy about his promotion. His expression can’t lie.
Well, I don’t think there’s any need to explain it now that it has come to this point, but the reason of this big promotion was of course because of the fall of the previous Knight General, Zeberphon Dobbe.
At the new and old heroes match that occurred before where the whole world had divided in two sides -the pro-reconciliation side and the contra-reconciliation side- the former Knight General Dobbe was in the contra side.
He tried to make the previous heroes team win by using a variety of means, but it in return became the proof of their injustice, and inevitably fell.
In normal circumstances, they would be discreet about this type of matters in order to wrap it up in a peaceful manner, but in Dobbe-san’s case, his usual behavior bit him back, and also, he picked on the wrong opponent.
A punishment that was harsher than the crimes he commited was placed upon him in a very natural manner, and was dismissed from his position as the Knight General on that very same day.
Well, in regards to Dobbe, it wasn’t only the foul plays at the previous and current heroes match, but there was also irrefutable evidence of embezzlement in the funds of the Aurora Knight corps, and had come to a point where he couldn’t even give excuses anymore.
Dobbe has blamed Karen-san in matters of her light hero duties since long ago.
The reason why he was so persistent in having Karen-san under his own supervision was because, after Karen-san had become the hero, the surveillance became tougher, making it hard to embezzle the funds, and so he wanted to break this deadlock.
But that truth was also made clear, thus, it not only made Dobbe be shot down from his position as a knight general, it also marked the downfall of the distinguished Zeberphon family.
This rich boy, that had done whatever he wanted due to his family status, is now wandering at the roadside.
“Well, the Zeberphon household is a distinguished family that would enter the top ten in the Light Church. If there’s an attempt to bring it down, there will for sure be a ‘Hold it!’ somewhere.” (Grades)
“The so called ‘begging for their life’, right?” (Haine)
“The reason there was none of that and was immediately brought down was because by letting him do whatever he wanted in the previous and current heroes match, the trust of the people was dropped to the pits of hell. Gossips are truly scary. With this invisible power, it instantly shutted the mouth of the political power hungry zombies.” (Grades)
Being told this, it makes me think that the accumulated battles of Karen-san and the other heroes has been worth.
So the pains of that time have now been rewarded.
And now then, the former Aurora Knight General has stepped down from his post in an unsightly manner, and the one who has taken that spot is the one in front of me.
Former vice-captain Dillon Grades-san, 42 years old; a critical age. He is not from a famous household like the Zeberphon household. He is from a normal household, and has climbed up completely from sheer effort.
It is exactly because he knows about hardships that he can be considerate to others, and he does a lot for the newcomers and doesn’t just ignore the people doing gruntworks.
His ability as a light knight is also high, and in reality, he should have plenty enough ability to become a captain of his own platoon, but the reason why he still kept being a vice-captain for long was due to him not being from a special faction. There’s also the fact that Grades hates injustice, and his reputation with the ‘former’ high-ups of the knight corps was bad.
“Well, honestly speaking, I thought I wouldn’t climb up to being a captain anymore. You never know what life has in store for you.” (Grades)
“That’s because it wasn’t only Dobbe, the vice-captains and captains that were in cahoots with him were also fired after all.” (Haine)
In other words, people that were the same as Dobbe; pleasuring in the sweet syrup of their authority and sipping on it like crazy.
And Grades-san is the one that endured the loneliness and didn’t associate with them.
That’s probably the biggest reason he was chosen as the new Aurora Knight General.
“But isn’t that bad? Wiping out the higher-ups…isn’t that the basically the same as killing them all, leaving only a few personnel remaining? And due to this, they had no choice but to choose me as the highest post in responsibility?” (Grades)
“Did you think you were made the Knight General to have a fun time?” (Haine)
Our Light Founder-sama doesn’t have such a kind personality, you know.
“Yorishiro not only wants to clean the Aurora Knight corps, but the whole Light Church itself. In preparation for the Lord of the monsters that has recently appeared -the Demon Lords-, she plans on getting rid of the accumulated decay in the human world, and give a rebirth to the Light Church.” (Haine)
This is a preparation for the battle against the Demon Lords, as well as a step into creating a new world.
“So I have been chosen as the standard-bearer for the reformation of the Aurora Knight corps huh. My responsibility is big.” (Grades)
Saying this, the Knight General Grades rubs his trademark bald head.
“‘At my age, I don’t really care about promotions anymore’, is what I thought after all. Because of the friction at the top, I decided on just taking care of the little pups and, if possible, retire without any serious errors. But that plan has been deviated right at the very core.” (Grades)
“There’s only rough waves ahead, Grades-san.” (Haine)
“Can’t be helped. I became a light knight in order to be of use to others anyways. Now that it has come to this, I will do my best till my lights go out!” (Grades)
“Yooh~! A new brave warrior is born! The new light of hope of the Aurora Knight corps!” (Haine)
“Gahahaha! To commemorate this promotion of Knight General, how about we go eat ramen? Founder-sama should be able to forgive at least this amount of conceitedness, right? Haine! Accompany me! I can treat you all the toppings ya want!!” (Grades)
“Thank you very much! I will be enjoying it then!! I will follow the new Knight General!!” (Haine)
It must be because we are both men, hanging out with Grades is different from the grouping of Karen-san and the other heroes and it makes for a fun time everytime we do hang out.
Just like this, the unpleasant former Knight General left and the new fun Knight General has assumed the post. The knight corps are about to head to a new stage.
This is not a matter that is exclusive to the military divisions, but it is currently also the whole Light Church that’s trying to take off its old robes and changing into a new form.
- 217: Reform
When one thing continues for long, a tear will surely appear somewhere.
This is a reality that occurs for anything and nothing can escape it.
Whether it is an individual, an organization, a living being, an object, no matter if they have form or not.
The things that are born in this world, no matter what it is, will not be able to maintain their shape as it originally was in the beginning. Most things will evolve into their own innate potential, and after it has evolved, it will slowly decay.
The organization that is the Light Church is no exception.
It has already been more than a thousand years since the church itself was established. Its time for development has long passed, and its slow stagnation has continued for a hundred to two hundred years already.
With such long stagnation, it is natural that it would rot. And a crooked person like Zeberphon Dobbe to be one of the people in control could be said to be a natural course of events.
There’s two ways to change this flow of things. Destroy everything and begin with a new plate; or change it heavily without destroying everything.
That ‘change it heavily’ has been called ‘reformation’ since olden times. And in a big organization, in order to prolong its lifespan, there will always be an enlightening leader that will bring a big scale reformation.
The bones will scrape off their own rotten meat, and change it into a fresh organization.
And so, at present, the thing that is being done to the Light Church is exactly that.
The Hero Alliance being formed, Karen-san becoming the light hero; if you were to search for the origin of it, you would find many points that led to this.
However, the most direct one was the thing that made everything move.
The new and old heroes match that happened before.
“Squadron Captain Vesage, long time no see.” (Haine)
I once again came to visit a familiar person.
Since coming back from the old and new hero match to Apollon City, I have been doing this all the time.
Because practically all the people I know are being buried in work or have been promoted.
The Vesage-san here is the one who led the recruitment platoon that came to my village. If Karen-san had not stopped me that time, I might have beaten him up hard.
At that time, his rank was Platoon Captain.
Well, it wasn’t that good of a beginning in our relationship, but after that, I also joined the Aurora Knight corps and temporarily worked together with him.
That Vesage-san has also been platoon captain for long, but he has been ranked up to a squadron captain.
“…What is it, assistant Haine?” (Vesage)
But now that I have actually met him in person, that Vesage was unexpectedly unfazed by the situation.
He has been promoted and his pay has gone up, so he should be filled with joy like General Grades.
“If you think that every single one of the people at the knight corps is able to keep up with this terrible shock, you are heavily mistaken. Even if you suddenly tell us ‘there will be a reformation!’, you know…” (Vesage)
Is what he said mixing in a sigh.
“They were people that weren’t that neck deep into the contra-reconciliation side to be a target of being fired, even so, they are also people that weren’t that displeased with the status quo to raise their hands in approval of a reformation. I fall in that same category. Now, imagine a person like me being thrown into such a radical change. There’s only uneasiness for the future, damn it…” (Vesage)
So there’s people with that way of thinking huh.
In other words, the side that wants to maintain the status quo.
“But wasn’t it a good change for Vesage-san? This is a promotion, you know? From platoon captain to squadron captain, so the money you are given should have increased by quite a lot as well, right?” (Haine)
We were already close enough to talk without any formalities.
“The responsibilities rise up equally though. If it was before the change, where I would only need to be a squadron captain that just had to stick to the customs, it would be a different story, but the knight corps will be having a stronger color of a combat force from now on, right? Honestly speaking, I feel like the pain simply increased. The position of squadron captain is weighing heavily on me!!” (Vesage)
This is not good.
Vesage-san was the type of person that wanted to maintain a stable and safe lifestyle by being in a low post. But because of the change, in this doctrine of prioritizing ability that will surely be coming, there will be the need to have all the members show more than a 100% of their effort.
For him, it would mean that this has become an incredibly hard to live world then?
No, that’s a no go!
I want as many people as possible to be satisfied with the new structure that Karen-san and the others wish to make reality.
There should be something for Vesage to be happy about in this new structure!
“Right, now that I think about it, with the advance in the cooperation of the five Grand Churches, a new agreement was signed!” (Haine)
I decided to bring the conversation to a more harmless topic.
“Hm? Ah, the thing that is the closest related to me would be that the situation of the proselytization movements of the Water Church is in a better state now.” (Vesage)
The thing about the water hero Celestis using her idol activities to take in fans into the Water Church huh.
Originally, within the five Grand Churches, there was an agreement stating that ‘proselytization movements in the territory of another church is prohibited’, and yet, the proselytization movements of the Water Church and the idol activities of Celestis merged, there were raving fans increasing even within Apollon City, and it was difficult to control this for a while.
“But due to the cooperation of the five Grand Churches deepening, the Water Church have been doing well in self-restraining. To be more precise, the privileges that the Celestis fans would receive by joining the Water Church are now completely gone.” (Vesage)
In other words, the Water nation and the Celestis fans have been completely separated.
In the first place, Celestis being marketed in that kind of way was because of the Water God Coacervate who plays with humans like they are toys.
Now that their connection with Coacervate has been severed by me, the Water Founder returning the state to normalcy was a natural thing to occur.
“Thanks to that, the idol activities of Celestis have stopped with only being in the sightseeing city of Hydra Ville and was completely separated from the Water Church. The person herself was happy that her job now has nothing to do with propaganda and is now able to act more freely though…” (Haine)
“And because of this, we can’t confiscate idol goods anymore. Really…DAMN IT!” (Vesage)
Can’t confiscate anymore?
Could it be that the real reason Vesage is so dispirited is because…
“How am I going to gather Celes-tan goods now?” (Vesage)
This guy, he was embezzling idol goods in the guise of confiscation!!!
He has been giving off the aura of a mummy since before, but to think that it was because he had fallen so low into the idol hell! No, the idol brat path?!
“No, wait… From now on, it will be the era of cooperation. We will be getting along better with the Water Church. That means…the contact between Celes-tan and the Light Church will increase?!” (Vesage)
Ah, he is a goner.
Vesage has found new hope to live for.
“I thought it would be impossible until now, but Celes-tan having a live performance in Apollon City might be possible! Celes-tan in the flesh, a handshake in the flesh! It might be possible!” (Vesage)
Or more like, that idol hero has been coming here frequently to hang out since the time she became friends with Karen-san.
Has he not passed by her coincidentally?
“Also, Celes-tan is a hero!” (Vesage)
“Her main job is being a hero…probably.” (Haine)
“And a hero is a position that leads the church’s military force, so if the cooperation continues, the connection they have with the Aurora Knights will naturally increase. In other words, the chances of me meeting Celes-tan in the flesh will increase! Okay! Lights on!” (Vesage)
Is that so.
“Haine! I will do it! In the past, only the famous households had the important posts, but now with the reformation, the more achievements you accumulate, the closer you get to important posts! And if possible, I want a post that is the closest to other churches. Get closer to Celes-tan, and maybe…! Fuhahahahaha!!” (Vesage)
He is having a delusion typical of a fan.
Well, the era is changing, so dreaming things that can’t be reached is nice.
Even if that dream is to climb to the top of the heavens.
So Vesage managed to accept the blessings that the reformation brings.
For now, when I meet Celestis later, I will warn her that: ‘the guy named Vesage is dangerous, so make sure not to get close to him’.