Chapter 28 – Blanc Acacia (2)

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After Acacia became a knight, he never went to the Blanc family.

As soon as he was appointed as a knight, Asteron issued a resignation letter.
Thus, he became the only Blanc family knight in the Imperial Palace.
At first, Acacia liked it, thinking that he would never meet Asteron at the Imperial Palace.

After the next knight exam was over, he was puzzled.
Acacia had never heard of Blanc knights being produced even though there were many such children who would have passed the knight exam if they had outstanding skills to fight on an equal footing with him.

Acacia thought for a moment.
And, although he tried to ignore it, he came up with a hypothesis… He thought they were all dead from the process of becoming a knight.

After several knight exams passed, he despaired once again.
However, not one — not a single one appeared from Blanc.

…What did he learn the sword for? He despaired of meaninglessness.

He himself was different from Asteron.
He unintentionally killed others to turn away from Asteron.
He didn’t know that if he had stopped by the house, the children would not have died.
It wasn’t his fault.

Still, Acacia thought that his life was a sin.
It wasn’t because he turned away that the children died.
He felt guilty, even though he knew it wasn’t his fault.

The weight of life weighing down on him.

The strong survive, and the weak die.

If the one who learns the sword to protect the weak died because he was weak.
It was…

One day in winter, barbarians came down.
They robbed, killed, and trampled women.
Acacia grabbed the chieftain of those who had come down, put her in the torture chamber, and took a rest.

The breath he exhaled in the cold season spreads white.
As he was still the low-level knight, the supplies provided were insignificant.
He put on his sloppy knitted hat and headed to the torture chamber.

“Crazy people.
This is all because our land has been taken away! You will receive the karma of your ancestors.”

In the torture chamber, several knights were already surrounding and watching the barbarian chieftain.
The barbarian chieftain glared at the knights with venomous eyes.
Acacia stood at a distance and watched their actions without a word.

A knight gently stroked the barbarian’s cheek.

“I heard you have a daughter.”

The barbarian chieftain’s face turned white.
At the same time, Acacia’s face turned white as well.
A knight who respected chivalry took the chieftain’s daughter as a hostage, the child who did not know the world was smiling while biting the sugar cookie the knight had given her.

Acacia felt like he was watching a play.

A knight.
A knight…

A demon in the disguise of a knight.
A person who valued ​​honor and cause and carried a sword to protect the weak… was threatening the weakness as an excuse.
In order to protect the weak of the Carwen Empire, was it right to intimidate others?

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“Mom! These people are good…”

“You…! You—!”

“Tell me your base.”

The chieftain’s lips were firmly shut.
In the chilly atmosphere of the room, the child stepped backwards, and a knight grabbed her arm.
The child screamed as one of her fingers was cut off.

Acacia stared blankly at the scene before moving on.
Blanc was the sword that protected the Imperial family from generation to generation.

…He was the sword that protected the Imperial family and the sword that protected the weak.

Acacia took his steps once more.

The girl’s scream was heard again in his ear.
He shut his eyes.
He constantly walked forward, thinking that he had entered the torture chamber for nothing.

The priority of the knights was the safety of the empire, and it was right to deal with those who threatened it.
Nonetheless, even if it was true, he remembered the despair of the dying and the weak that had cooled and turned into the light of death, and he remembered himself, who pretended not to know their death.

At that time, he remembered the day he chose the reason he was learning the sword.

He would be different from Asteron.
He was different from him… Taking advantage of his life, he did not trample the weak.

Now… His present self.

Acacia laughed bitterly.
He was just like Asteron, and he thought he must have walked up the same path as Asteron.

He visited the torture chamber the next day.
The child’s body had become rags and smashed to such an extent that the shape was unknown.
The barbarian chieftain was in a similar state.
However, she was still alive and dying.
It felt indescribable.

Even while her daughter was being tortured, she did not reveal her base.
She thought of the cause rather than her own private feelings.
She thought of others left behind.
Perhaps, it was a more knightly act than the knights who persecuted her.

Acacia knelt down on one of his knees and bowed.

‘You, you… You are an honorable person.’

He murmured inside, and he mocked himself.

It was Acacia himself who ended her life.



* * *

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A year after he became the commander of the 15th Knights, he was twenty-five.

The Fourth Prince came.
Distria stared at Acacia without a word.
He raised the corners of his lips and smiled.

“You didn’t look like him.”

He stared at him with cool eyes.
Acacia stiffened his body at the unexpected words.

Even though he was not Asteron’s son, he was now Asteron’s only son.
If the Emperor took issue with his birth as not being Asteron’s biological son, then again… Asteron was taking children and training them, and many children died.

Acacia lied.

“I resemble my mother a lot.”

It was the first lie he had ever told.
He spoke of the Mistress of Blanc, whom he had never seen before… He spoke of a mother he had never seen before.

“Will you be my escort?”


Distria asked Acacia.
He was silent for a moment, unable to grasp his intentions.

He quickly became the commander of the Knights Order as a Blanc, the sword that protected the Imperial Family.
After that, he met the Fourth Prince, who he had never met before.
In addition, he also met the other princes once when he became commander of the Knights Order.

Every time they came, they told him to be their escort, giving him gold and money.
Still, Acacia was a person without worldly desires so he politely declined all of them.

“I heard that your skill is so outstanding.”

Distria whispered softly, looking at Acacia’s face.

“I want to become Emperor.”

Even though his words were no different from the previous princes, Acacia posed a question to him, who came empty-handed, unlike the others.
Unlike other princes, he gave Distria the opportunity to make him his knight.

“…What kind of Emperor do you plan to become?”

He stared at Acacia and laughed as if it was funny.
The corners of his eyes were folded in a half-moon shape.

Acacia was an interesting guy, as Asteron told him.

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He could not feel the slightest sense of guilt towards Acacia, who was about to serve the wrong master.
He calmly, without any emotion, lied to get him as Asteron had told him.

To feel guilty about such a trivial thing.

“I want to build a fence to protect the weak.
I want you to join my plan…”

Distria considered himself dirty.

Pretending not to know of the contempt that grew from within, he calmly acted with an expressionless face.
Life was tiring… Would anything change when he became Emperor and was at the peak of all power…?

Wouldn’t anyone bother him? Can he get everything he wants?

Acacia felt something rising inside him.
He wanted to use his sword for the weak.
But, his convictions faded like a candle before the wind, and he was forced to despise himself.
So, he rationalized himself in the end.

He had no choice but to do so… That was for the best.

…Would it be different if he became Distria’s knight?

Eventually, Acacia slowly fell to his knees and bowed his head.

“I am Blanc Acacia.”

Acacia became his knight.



* * *



The task that Distria gave to Acacia was usually to eradicate the corrupt nobles.
By day, he worked as a knight commander, and by night, he went to kill nobles.

The blade of his sword was constantly dripping with blood, and the tip of the sword drank blood incessantly.
The pure white color of the sword was still shining, but every time he took it out, it smelled fishy.

He felt bliss.
It seemed that he was only now fulfilling his own justice of punishing evil and keeping good.
It seemed that the justice of life he had lived so far was now being realized.

He thought he was a different person from Asteron.
He felt joy.

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Sometimes, he killed the family of the acquaintance and went to the funeral.
It wasn’t to pay tribute to anyone.
Seeing the locals even ignoring such a man’s word, he secretly laughed to himself.
It seemed like he was using the sword properly now.

Acacia looked numbly at those who mourned over those he had killed.
He thought they deserved death.

Distria did not force Acacia to kill.
It was his free will to show the man’s corruption, to show their deeds, and to choose whether to kill them or not.

From a list of corrupt nobles selected by Distria, more than a dozen people had already died by his choice.
The person whom he killed this time was a Lord who collected more taxes than necessary and abused the locals with harsh labor.

However, it was magnificent for a funeral of such a fiend that many locals honored him.
Acacia was enveloped in strange emotions.
He wondered if the person he killed deserved death.

Pretending not to know, he approached a local who was weeping sadly with a chrysanthemum flower.

“Lord East was a good person.”

The local glanced at Acacia and began to speak, wiping away his tears.
He sometimes laughed, cried, and got angry.

The Lord was a good man and a good nobleman.
The reason he collected a lot of tax was that he funded a joint purchase of grain and distributed it equally in proportion to the number of the family members.

He said that he invested about half of the original tax that he had to actually collect and passed it on to the members in abundance.
The harsh labor was said to be done voluntarily by locals who were so grateful.

Acacia was shocked for a moment, unable to continue his words.
Tears welled up from the corners of his aimlessly swaying eyes.

After finishing the story, the local looked at Acacia.
They panicked and handed him a handkerchief.

“The Lord was a very nice person.
So many people cry for him…”

Acacia refused the local’s handkerchief.
He himself didn’t deserve even that little favor.
He killed the man the local respected.
He felt sorry for it and wept incessantly.

As the sun went down, he left the funeral home.
Acacia began to investigate the people he had killed — half deserved death, half didn’t.

Did they ever deserve to die? Since when did he get used to killing people…?

If there were two categories of people who deserve to die and those who deserve to live…

He deserved to die.

Acacia sneered at himself.
While he lived with his sword, the values ​​he wanted were unattainable in this world.
But, he didn’t know whether it was his intention to hold the sword or not.

He believed only the data the Prince gave him and killed people without question, so he couldn’t argue with him.
He gave up thinking.
He gave up on living as a knight.
After all, he was just an ugly demon who felt the joy of killing people for a while…

He faithfully fulfilled his role as Distria’s hunting dog.

Acacia became his sword.

Two more years passed, and Distria became Emperor.

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