Weekly chapters (1/2)
It’s very long chapter.
I saw several readers asked about Sigurd, the Author-sama might anticipated it and so here is your explanation.
Sigurd Dragonia’s Story of the Past
My name is Sigurd. I serve Ares-sama as his guard. But to be honest, even without such a title, I could still pridefully consider myself as his servant.
Now then, what should I talk about? Should I tell you about my first meeting with Ares-sama?
I was told that my parents abandoned me in the forest of evil before I had any understanding or knowledge about the world. It was the ancient dragon, Zephyr, who had kept me from becoming the food of the magic beasts and raised me afterward.
Why the strongest of the draconic creatures, an ancient dragon, considered as a divine beast, was willing to help and even raised me is still a mystery for me. I did ask about it several times, but they were futile attempts.
[It’s just the wayward nature of a dragon]
I only received such an explanation.
But Zephyr is not only a father to me; he’s also a brother, a mentor, and a partner. He taught me magic, the basics of the arts of combat, the language of humans and various other knowledge. He’s an irreplaceable existence for me.
Thanks to Zephyr’s teaching, I was able to interact with nearby village….and begin my own life. And I was able to continue living without much trouble.
I arrived at a turning point when I was 18. It was the day when Zephyr had to leave to meet up with another dragon. A short moment after Zephyr left, the forest of evil started to become noisy. It was both the noise of humans and magic beasts alike. Apparently, the troops from the capital actually had bothered to come here, and were here for magic beast subjugation. I just happened to encounter these people, be considered as a [Monster’s child], and was captured by them. Then I was taken to the capital, at first as some sort of attraction for others to see, then sold as a battle slave afterward.
The basic of the arts of combat that Zephyr taught to me had greatly benefitted me during my stay in the arena, as I soon became one of the top gladiators. Three years after my capture, I became famous as the undefeated gladiator.
And again, during those days, I made yet another friend.
His name was Arnold.
As a gladiator, his name was worth more money than mine did. He was in his late twenties. About the same height as me, bulging muscles, and a horizontal scar crossing his nose, further emphasizing his fearsome look. Although he was older than me, we got along pretty well, and we used to cook and eat together.
[But you are really strong….I’m really surprised]
Arnold told me while picking at some meat.
[I’ve never seen anyone beating that fire dragon salamander before.]
My previous fight was against a fire dragon salamander. The more victories I earned, the harder the next fight would become. And since neither any human nor demihuman opponent could defeat me thus far, they started to pit magic beasts against me.
[That fire dragon salamander, was nothing compared to an ancient dragon.] (Sigurd)
[Ha! As if there is someone who could survive a meeting with an ancient dragon.] (Arnold)
When I laughed at that, Arnold carefully whispered something to me.
[Hey, you know what to do, right? We can’t afford to fail now. If we do, we’ll be bound here forever. It’ll be a problem if you do something too noticeable.]
I could tell from Arnold’s eyes that his determination was faltering.
[I know. I will not endanger your life.]
I nodded as I said that.
Arnold was both a magnificent gladiator and someone with good brotherly sense. He speaks kindly to others, encourages them, and his smile had influence over….basically almost all gladiators on the capital.
Arnold was planning something.
It was to escape the royal capital.
That part, I’ll tell you later about it as it was
[The Gladiator Insurgence]
Or so they call that particular event as.
[Gladiators are human beings too. Entities that want to enjoy freedom. Sold without permission, turned into attractions for the citizens of the empire…….isn’t that just strange!?]
Arnold said that when he was starting to get drunk.
[Hell, even those demi-humans…..beastmen and long-eared elves. They also have the right to feel freedom!!]
There were many gladiators sharing similar thoughts with Arnold. Especially those who were beastmen themselves…. They were, after all, subject of prejudice and discrimination in the empire.
[Yosh, we are sure to succeed. The plan must go on flawlessly. And this time we have…. Some powerful ally.]
Arnold showed a refreshing smile as he drank more liquor.
Then two days later…..it began.
The insurgency began with nearly every single gladiator on the first stadium revolting and escaping all at once.
[Next is the second stadium, then the third stadium, after that we’ll escape through the royal capital’s south gate!! Anyone who wants to escape can follow us!!]
Many gladiators responded to Arnold’s voice.
As for me, I was merely focusing on defeating the enemy before me at my front.
Using the magic that was forbidden for the gladiators and took down my opponents one after another.
The soldiers patrolling the royal capital were in a panic.
[Buy some time until the regular army arrives!!]
[Even if you say that…some of them are actually using the forbidden magic….]
[You fool! There is only one who uses magic the….guheee!!]
[Uwaaaa, the captain is killed!!]
After cutting down the guard captain, I shouted out loud.
[Your captain has been killed. Do you all want to follow suit?]
[Wwwaaaaaaaa, he’s a monster! !]
With that said, all other soldiers escaped like scattering spiders. Good, that’s fine. That way there will be no need for me to throw away their precious lives.
[We have the『Undefeated Gladiator』Sigurd on our side! Follow him!]
That was Arnold shouting while pointing at me. To be honest I didn’t really like that name…..but the gladiators’ morale rose up due to that shout.
Then, at that moment. One boy appeared on the deserted road
When did he get there?
He was probably still in his early teens and was younger than me. His attire was that of the Imperial Academy. But as soon as I’m able to see the boy clearly…..I felt like I was struck by lightning.
(What the, this pressure….my legs!)
He was unprotected. Standing there with his sword full of openings. However, my instinct screamed like an alarm in my head.
That’s the real monster.
He’s someone you shouldn’t fight.
Seeing the unmoving me, the boy smiled nicely and suddenly attacked me!
I rushed into my stance at the unspeakable speed of the swinging sword.
I hurriedly blocked it. However, at the end of that speedy swing was a very heavy attack that I’d never imagine coming from his kind of stature, and it wasn’t only one attack, as he quickly followed up with yet another swing.
I was forced into a defensive posture. After our weapons met for several more exchanges, the boy softly whispered something to me after we complimented each other.
[The regular soldiers are already at the South Gate…the heavy infantry is also coming. Proceed as is, but to the east, and escape through the East Gate.]
After telling me that, the boy separated himself from me, and threw away his sword. He then slowly walked away.
What was that just now……Even so, I immediately turned around and cried at the others behind me.
[Give up the south gate, and proceed to the east gate. Follow me!!]
Why did I believe that guy so easily….that question lingered in my mind.
Will Arnold complain about my sudden decision….? That’s what I thought at first.
[To the East! We will head to the East Gate!! Follow Sigurd!!]
He’s already shouting at the other gladiators. He didn’t seem surprised at the boy’s appearance, unlike what I had thought.
Perhaps Arnold knew about that boy?
When this matter is over…..I’m going to hear the story from him…..thus I headed east while thinking as such.
We passed through the east gate and successfully escaped the capital.
But I couldn’t rest assured yet. There was still a possibility that the army will switch from heavy armor for city battle into cavalry for pursuit.
[We’ll head north now]
It was Arnold who decided the direction.
[There is a way to get through if we head north. Trust me.]
Of course, there is the forest of evil where I was from if we head north. So I had little to no objection.
The others also didn’t show any objection, as they followed Arnold’s words.
[I’m sorry, Sigurd.]
That night, Arnold tapped my shoulder while we sat around a bonfire.
[If you weren’t with us, I don’t know if we’d ever make it. Thanks.]
[No, isn’t it because of your strategy that we ended up here?]
[That’s not it, indeed, there was that too….but that’s not the only factor.]
Arnold threw in a piece of wood to stoke the bonfire. Then he continued talking.
[I haven’t told these guys where we are heading to….but they silently followed…because you are here with us.]
He looked at me with a grin on his face.
[『Undefeated Gladiator』……that rumor about you has spread throughout the whole capital. Moreover, you were able to show them your valor. People naturally follow a hero. I could bring people together for sure. But, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish such a big thing on my own.」
[No, I don’t think that I’ve done something like that….]
[Even if you do not think so……the fact, is right in front of your eyes now. Everyone here including me followed you. So…..]
Arnold’s face turned serious, then he continued
[You are our leader. And, we are willing to move according to your will.]
He turned to stare at the bonfire after he finished saying so.
On the other hand when I tried to open my mouth
A strong pressure hit me.
[Hi there, I finally found you]
That pressure came from the boy who appeared from the darkness of the night. Yes, he was the boy I crossed swords with earlier today.
I quickly drew my sword and entered a battle stance. But a voice came from an unexpected direction
[Wait, hold on! Sigurd!!]
Saying that, Arnold who was just next to me held my arm back.
[This person is not an enemy! Not an enemy!!]
[……would you tell me who he is then, Arnold?]
The thought of Arnold betraying me never crossed my mind. Although, there was indeed strange things with how the plan worked. I stared at Arnold as I put my sword back on my waist.
[You might end up dying if you are careless.]
I already knew after exchanging swords with him once. There is a huge difference in ability between myself and that boy. But…I couldn’t simply keep silent and obey in this situation.
If there is something weird….I’ll resist with full power. That’s what I learned during my stay in the capital.
Seeing my resolved look, the boy sighed before starting to explain.
[Arnold, it’s fine. You can tell this person everything. I also have something important to say to him.]
[I didn’t expect him to react excessively…..so it’s my fault. I should’ve contacted you in a different situation….but it can’t be helped.]
At the boy’s words, Arnold nodded as he turned toward me.
Then Arnold started to explain. The story behind this insurgency.
[It began, with a chance meeting between me and this Ares-sama.]
That boy….Ares Schwarzer was accompanying the Archduke to see the battle between the alumnus of Imperial Academy at the stadium, that’s when he accidentally met Arnold.
[He helped me when I was trying to cover for the other slaves from a beating.]
There are various people within the ranks of battle slaves. Some of them are weak people waiting to be killed off. Arnold often protected them. At that time, the upper class tends to use violence without any mercy.
[I thought that it’s a chance. It’s rare to see an aristocrat who actually cares. So I told him about the gladiators’ predicament on the stadium. And….he came up with this plan…..]
All the plans seemed to be proposed by this boy Ares. It was just the words of a young boy…..yet it was so convincing. And in fact, the insurgency was a success. We managed to shake off the army’s pursuit, and we were still standing here.
[And by heading north……]
[Yes, everyone has accepted to live at my Schwarzer Territory.]
The story about the land on the north where the Archduke of Schwarzer reigns was also often told about at the capital. It was a story about a place where everyone could live free of discrimination and prejudice….I never thought that such a place truly existed at a time like this.
[I see, that indeed sounds convincing. However, I’ll be taking my leave along the way then. Where I’m heading for is not the Schwarzer Territory.]
[Is it to the『Forest of Evil』at the north?]
[!? How did you know!!?]
That Ares boy didn’t seem to be surprised and showed me an even more amazing thing.
[Thi, this is…….could it be……]
[I knew that you’d recognize it. This is……]
The boy continued to talk with a refreshed smile on his face.
[The scale of an Ancient Dragon.]
[…..How, did you get it?]
Yes, it was really surprising for me since that scale belonged to my father, sibling, mentor, and partner Zephyr. And this
It was infused with magical power.
To see that it’s infused with magical power, and the holder is free of punishment. I thought that it was an impossible thing.
[The forest of evil has been incorporated into Schwarzer Territory]
[What do you mean?]
[That means, that the forest of evil is now part of Schwarzer Territory as well. Well, it was thanks to Viscount Trustar’s deeds. Now the forest has been merged with our territory which is right next to it.]
He then told me that the Viscount Trustar who previously managed the forest of evil was allegedly involved in a massive rebellion that caused unfortunate things to the people. Apparently he wasn’t satisfied with having to manage the forest of evil, and chose to rebel. His family was completely vanquished thanks to that.
[So, in exchange for [suppressing the rebellion] and to [help develop the forest of evil], it was decided to merge the forest of evil with our territory.]
The boy giggled and then laughed.
[It was easy to suppress the rebellion. The other side actually surrendered immediately. The problem is the forest itself. When I went to explore it……who would’ve thought that an ancient dragon actually appeared. I was really surprised by that.]
[You! You’ve met Zephyr!?]
[Ah yes I have. We fought once…..so I guess that can count as having understood with each other, right??]
The boy’s face then turned serious.
[He allowed my family to develop the forest under one condition…..that is his son, and also his disciple….it means that I have to find you first. He already knew that you are in the capital by the trace of your magic power. But Zephyr himself can’t afford to go to the capital. If an ancient dragon appeared on the capital, a fight with the army will be inevitable. If that were to happen, each side will only end up regretting it….. That’s why, he can only ask me. And, with that said…..]
The boy extended his hand as he talked.
[Will you come with me to the Schwarzer Territory?]
After that, in order to blindside the pursuers, we headed north by taking separate paths, and I managed to arrive there.
The revolt of thousands of gladiators had seemingly caused big chaos at the capital. A lot of people were punished, many aristocrats and individuals connected to it were persecuted. Naturally, that also included the merchants who were involved in slavery.
However, it’s strange that the main culprits, Ares Schwarzer and Arnold….were never mentioned.
With this revolt, the stadiums at the capital became unused, but that’s not something I need to worry about.
The most important thing to me right now…..
was that I could return to my hometown. and…
[I still have a lot of things that I want to do in the future. In order to do that, would you be willing to lend your power to me?]
The boy asked me such.
[What you are going to do, I do not know. However, you have helped me. And I do need to repay you. Let this life of mine be your wings and sword in your endeavors. I’ll dedicate my sword to you.]
…..that was the moment when I finally met the lord whom I felt that I could dedicate my sword to.
Among the subordinates of the King of Heroes Ares Schwarzer, there were six generals who came to be his right hand. They were called the [Six Heavenly Generals] and acted as his [Sword] in his many battles.
One of them was
[Heavenly Dragon General] Sigurd Dragonia
The Hero who had continued to serve him from the earliest years, and was one of the most trusted Generals for the King of Heroes.
Sigurd organized a dragon knight brigade, the [Arestia Dragon Knight Brigade] which was known as the strongest active military force of their time. It’s said that their overwhelming power was a valuable game-changer in many situations.
The King of Heroes had prepared a lot of gifts for his meritorious deeds, but he only sought for one thing.
[Until the day I die, I want to remain as a Knight of the King of Heroes]
was what he said.