Red Knight – Chapter 14

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“Sorry for being mean.
I just said it because I thought it was a waste.
Calipa is right.
As long as you’re fine with it, it’s fine.”

“…..”

“Hnng heyy are you angry?”

“I’m not angry.”

Judith burst into laughter at Violet’s aegyo.1

Yeah.
What’s there to be angry about?

Judith was just as curious as every day was new.

It was surprising that Violet was still alive, and it was surprising that Calipa, who committed suicide, had such a carefree expression on her face.

But the most interesting of them all was herself.

She turned down an expensive tiara.

It was even a whole-hearted refusal.

But…..

‘I have no regrets.’

What regret, she even felt remorseful.

Of course, Judith still liked money.

It’s not like the 26 years of life when she’d been craving for the things she wanted to have suddenly disappeared one day, nor did her desires disappear like dust.

But she was sure of her choice.

‘I’m glad you refused.
It’s much better than getting it and then regretting it.’

It was a joy she hadn’t experienced in a long time.

Yes, good job.

Then, suddenly, Judith wondered how long it had been since she had encouraged herself like this.

When was the last time she praised herself?

The day she passed the Imperial Knights Enlistment Test?

‘…….No, because it was a given.’2

Come to think of it, it was a really long time ago.

Poverty makes people humble.

It makes them struggle, forcing them to push themselves harder.

So Judith never praised herself for anything she had done.

She had to do better, she was just wondering why she could only do this.

When she didn’t have money, it was hard to be generous with herself.

This was even more so after becoming an imperial knight who frequently encountered noble people, including Princess Isepina.

And that was the end of it.

She compared people with herself and measured what they had.

When she wore the princess’s tiara, was she happy?

‘Let’s not compare.’

Her heart was still heavy when she thought of the blood-stained stairs and the pure white tiara.

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So Judith relieved her greed.

She couldn’t give up all her greed.

Still, she was able to encourage herself and choose a different path.

She did not want to compare herself with others.

She didn’t know if that was the right choice.

But it was not a choice she regretted.

***

“Dame Judith, you say you go to the blacksmith a lot these days?”

“Yes.”

“What are you doing there?”

“It’s nothing special.
I work on the blade and learn how to sharpen the sword from Orion.”

Giryu, who had put down the seal, glanced at her sideways.

He’s not from the Knights, so why Orion?

“…Have you become close friends?”

“It’s about re-learning how to sharpen a blade.”

“Isn’t that how you get close?”

Judith blinked.

After all, Orion wasn’t free enough to teach anyone how to sharpen a sword.

After meeting each other, she often brought something to drink, so they had more time to talk.

She thought learning how to sharpen the blade was an extension…

“I see… I didn’t think about it like that.”

A smile spread across Judith’s lips.

It’s been a while, but the thought crossed her mind that she should visit today.

Giryu seems to have had similar thoughts.

“Are you going to the blacksmith’s smithy after work today?”

“No.
I’m busy today.”

“You’re busy?

“Yes, I decided to train with Dame Violet.
I set the time on purpose…”

Recently, Violet finally said she wanted to improve her skills.

Judith didn’t give her a chance to refuse, and said she would teach her.

She had to think about how to train a friend who hates the word grit and effort, but right now, she had to save Violet, who would die in two years.

Giryu’s face brightened as if he liked Judith’s unique answer.

“Practice is important.
Skills are taught and improved.”

“My neck is almost healed.
I think I can return to training next week.”

“Okay.”

Giryu shook his head at Judith’s answer and suddenly remembered the fact he had forgotten.

“Come to think of it, I’ve never seen you use Aether.
I need to see it before I go.”

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“Are you going to watch it yourself?””

“Yes, of course.”

“……”

Giryu spoke without hesitation, but Judith was quite surprised.

Not everyone can learn Aether.

Some considered it the realm of talent.

Unlike swordsmanship, it is not standardized or handed down as a science, and there were very few people who learned it enough to share their opinions.

Even those who awoke their Aether eventually gave up teaching it.

Judith was shocked by the fact that she could share the Aether she had learned and learned by herself with someone else.

Her eyes lit up.

“It’s always an honor.”

“Really? Then right now…”

Giryu changed his words at the bloody gaze that was coming from Deschamps.

“……It’s going to be difficult, and I’ll go when I’m done.
Wait at the 1st gymnasium.
The barrier is the strongest there.”

“I’m with a friend, is that okay?”

“Of course it’s fine.
Both of you are my subordinates.”

My subordinates.

Judith’s face darkened with a rather pleasant tone.

‘He’s charismatic even though he’s nice to people.’

Basically, he has a cool personality.

One should say that we can go beyond trivial things.

“Then I’ll wait for you.”

Judith, who smiled coolly, said in a delighted voice.

“I’ll wait until you come, captain.”

“Yes.
You worked hard today.”

Judith left the room.

Thus, the tiara, which only occupied a seat on the desk, showed off her lost owner today.3

Deschamps put down a pile of documents and patted the box containing the tiara while frowning.

He meant to clean that up.

Giryu sighed deeply.

“How do I do this?”

“It’s no big deal.
You have no choice but to give it to Princess Isepina.”

“I went to the Imperial Palace and came to give this to you, Princess Isepina.
You want me to say that?” 

“You told Dame Judith that you couldn’t say that to the princess.”

Giryu got struck swiftly.

What he couldn’t say to the princess, words he couldn’t even say to his subordinates.

However, he didn’t know that a few days ago, and the tiara he brought with him became an awkward item to dispose of.

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“Don’t think about it strangely, just give it to the prince who has it.
Really, Giryu, if you bring it to the princess, her majesty will try to weave it.”

“I know, I know.”

Even so, someone who secretly brings in Isepina gifts.
What kind of rumors will circulate that the tiara was dedicated to the princess…..

“Isn’t it okay to live as the emperor’s horse?”

“Let’s just do the first thing even if we don’t want to.
You’ve made an appointment with Dame Judith.”

“Yes, I will work like a cow.
Lieutenant.”

With a pale face, Giryu chewed the tip of a quill and then spit it out.

***

From her first training class, Judith realized that teaching people was not easy.

Maybe it’s because of Violet’s distrust of the words hard work and tenacity?

Or is it that teaching a friend is inherently difficult?

Either way, the class ran into early difficulties.

“Why do you start with basic training…”

“Did you expect more?”

“Of course!”

Violet, who shouted from far away, belatedly looked around.

“I thought there’d be a secret to aether that the master teaches you…”

“If you know the trick, you want to try it?”

“Yes.”

Violet, who answered without hesitation, looked at Judith with sparkling eyes.

It was ugly to betray other people’s expectations.

Judith spoke more firmly than usual.

“There’s nothing like that.”

“Why? Why!”

“It’s like an accident to feel the Aether.
The people who deal with the Aether say the same thing.
It comes without notice.”

“What about you, Judith?”

“I’ll let you know when you’ve done three laps.
For your information, there’s nothing good about listening.
It’s gonna be bad.”4

“You’re so cheap….”

While saying that, Violet was carrying a sandbag on her back.

It seems like she wants to become an Aether master while pretending not to.

Aether refers to high-purity mana.

Wizards use mana to cast magic.

The Aether master is like that.

In terms of using mana.

However, the difference is that the mana dissolved in the atmosphere is filtered out of the body and then used.

Mana filtered in the heart’s aether ring becomes Aether, and this Aether boasts destructive power several times more powerful than ordinary mana.

If the wizard uses mana to create something, the Aetheric master makes mana of a more intense energy.

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Of course, not everyone can do it.

Theoretically, everyone has aether in their heart, but it is said that if not used properly, it disappears around the age of 30.

Sometimes lucky people learn how to handle aether even in their fifties, but that was a miracle.

Few people deal with aether.

Of course, there are even rarer ‘Aether masters’ who can use aether for a long time and manifest it out of their bodies.

As far as Judith knew, it was here that the largest number of aetheric masters in the Empire were gathered, the capital of the Veritas Empire.

The Imperial Knights have one custom.

The Imperial Knights Commander is an Aether Master appointed by the Emperor.

Therefore, not only Giryu, the commander of the Red Knights, but also Jermel, the commander of the Black Knights, and the commander of the White Knights, whom she had only seen at a distance, were all Aether Masters.5

So once upon a time Judith also had a dream.

It was a dream to become the leader of the Black Knights after Jermel.

As soon as she became an imperial knight, Judith was met with jealousy and criticism as much as interest.

She was an aether master, who were said to be rare, and because she was a woman, it was easier to look down on her.

The fact that she only went on expensive and difficult missions that would cost money as soon as she entered the Order of the Black Knights must have been a reason enough to make her look like she was picky.

Still, Jermel tolerated her.

The real power of the Knights Order is ultimately the commander.

Even if a new knight dared to choose a mission, no one could say anything if the commander gave permission.

In particular, the Black Knights took the commander’s orders the same as the emperor’s edicts.

At one time, she was flattered by it.

She thought the future was promising.

She was sure Jermel would be keeping an eye on her to raise her as a successor…

‘Let’s forget it.
I’m ashamed to think of it.’

She had a really big dream.

Judith decided not to think about it any further.

The price of mistaking approval for favor has already been heavily paid.

Even Violet, who had made the three laps, was almost there.

“Well done.
Drink water first…”

“I want to hear the story next time.”

“What?”

——————

TL notes ( ´ ▿ ` )

manhwa chapter 11 – 12

Aegyo is to act cute, commonly seen in k-idols and girls.
Violet’s “hiinng” is a cute and whiny sound used for aegyo btw. Clarification: It was natural that she passed the test. 그리하여, 책상 위에서 자리만 차 지하는 티아라는 오늘도 주인 잃 은 자태를 뽐내게 되었다.
I guess the sentence is personificating the tiara but the “showed off” is confusing.
I think it means to state or point out Judith’s “ownership” over the tiara, thus making the tiara sad over Judith leaving? It’s hard to reword. last sentence has a question mark in the raws and i don’t know how to rephrase it: “뒷맛 나쁠걸?”  Better mana/aether explanation from the manhwa: 

Aether.
It refers to mana of high purity.
Users absorb mana from the atmosphere, and refine it using the ring of Aether that is wrapped around their heart, producing a very strong power.

Those with the ability to perfectly control their Aether and display explosive power make up a very small portion or the users who are called “Aether masters.”

In the Veritas Empire, only Aether masters can become a knight commander.

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