Chapter 1: You Are Trapped With Me
I was reincarnated in a fantasy world.
A serene ceiling.
Instead of LED bulbs, oil lamps illuminated the room.
Silk and fur clothes. Looking at the dull wooden tableware, it was clear that this place was far behind Earth’s civilization.
But well… it’s a fantasy world, so this should be considered a wealthy household, right? It’s a decent reincarnation for a poor orphan who died from overwork.
Above all, there was one thing that convinced me I was a noble. It was the beauty of my mother.
The dazzling smile of my birth mother looking at me. Can a face like that not belong to a noble? I guess there won’t be any problems with my future love life.
When I turned 3, I witnessed the world beyond the cradle, outside the room. Even considering that I was still a child, it was too big and grand.
The nanny, Mona, hurriedly picked me up. My first adventure ended like just that.
I should have never dreamed of such an adventure at that time.
If I had known that a real adventure was a 100% muddy swamp of reality, I wouldn’t have gone through that hardship.
It seems that the house I was reincarnated into was a famous duke family in the kingdom.
Duke Dragonia. The legendary knight who defeated the evil dragons and used its blood to rebuild the family. It seems they even produced four kings throughout history.
By the way, this kingdom follows an elective monarchy.
As a future knight of the kingdom, I had to learn swordsmanship.
My heart raced. A fantasy knight! Could I also use a sword and aura like them as well?
The person who was supposed to teach me was Sir Gordic, a Holy Knight dispatched from the royal palace. I wonder what kind of person he is?
Huh? A Holy Knight?
It hurts. It feels like my whole body is about to break.
Having chosen the path of a knight, every day I was being beaten up by that Gordic b*****d.
It was great that I became the successor of the duke family, even if it was a deficit. But every day, without fail, I trained with the sword and learned how to ride a horse.
Holy Knights… Yes, in fantasy terms, they are like Sword Masters or something.
The knights in this world were quite different from the fantasy knights I had in mind, but Holy Knights are truly monstrous beings, detached from humans.
However, to become a Holy Knight, you have to complete quests through training, become a knight of the kingdom, gain experience and honor, and then receive the selection of the Holy Grail, drinking its holy water.
Of course, you have to be strong, possess honor, and faithfulness to become a Holy Knight, the Sword Master of this world.
Damn it… I don’t believe in religion.
Every day is agony.
Let’s set aside the bone-chilling training. I felt myself getting stronger as the days went by, so there was a sense of accomplishment. I could endure it.
The problem was etiquette and studying.
I was the heir to the duke. Naturally, I had to learn everything necessary to become a duke.
How to govern the people wisely, how to administer the law, philosophical debates between justice and law, and even studying scriptures and how to treat ladies.
In this world, there are numerous gods, and they say people offer sacrifices at temples and follow the words of the gods.
Gods… It sounds quite fantastical.
But me… I have to be recognized by some kind of goddess of justice to receive the Holy Grail’s selection?
I’m wandering around the world.
What? You’re saying I should be in middle school at the age of sixteen? Interestingly enough, in this world, that age is considered an adult.
To fulfill the first condition in becoming a Holy Knight, I had to go beyond training and protect the kingdom’s citizens while completing honorable quests.
And to receive these quests, I had to find an incarnation of the goddess.
How do I find her? Well, they simply told me to travel around the entire kingdom, raise my honor diligently, and she would come to me. It’s maddening.
Today, I fought against a group of orcs. Those despicable war-loving creatures. They invaded the kingdom’s borders, killing its people. If not for them, the kingdom would be peaceful.
During the battle, I fought alongside Sir Gildus, a skilled swordsman, and Sir Antoine, the guardian of the forest, who took the form of a moving tree-like creature.
“Thank you, Sir knight! Thank you!”
“Tend to the wounded and establish order. May the kingdom’s sword and the grace of the goddess be with you.”
I worry. Despite their annual tax contributions that enriched the kingdom during bountiful harvests, there were too many enemies in this country.
There were too many non-human creatures surrounding us. These days, even cultists are gaining popularity.
I met the Goddess.
It’s not a joke. It’s real. The Goddess truly exists.
Wasn’t religion originally a means to enlighten and unite the ignorant?
Heaven? Hall of Fame? Banquets of gods? Weren’t they all fabricated myths?
Sure, the current king has been ruling the kingdom for 110 years, but I thought he was a Holy Knight who used some kind of life extending method.
Even my mentor, Sir Gordic, was a 90-year-old Holy Knight.
“[Son of Duke Wolfrick Dragonia, Leon Dragonia. I shall bestow upon you a quest to prove your honor and faith.]”
“I humbly accept the Goddess’s command!”
In my fourth year of knighthood, I finally met the incarnation of the goddess. Ariana truly exists!
I slayed orcs. I tore apart goblins. I vanquished wicked cultist groups and protected the kingdom’s territories.
It wasn’t bad. It was, in fact, good. Each time my honor soared, the ringing of my name, praise, admiration, and respect filled me with exhilaration.
Sir Gordic, son of Knight Galbat, Sir Anthok, the guardian of the mines, and Sir Greynar, the treeman who was merely 2 meters tall when I first met him, has now grown into a towering 5-meter tree giant.
I was acknowledged by the Holy Grail and became a Holy Knight.
I became the youngest War Knight.
It seems my accomplishment of slaying the Orc Warlord and wiping out the savage nomadic tribes was noteworthy.
Those damned orcs, they always manage to gather armies of 100,000, 200,000, and attack us.
As a War Knight with the authority to make decisions about war and recruit knights, my first action was to conquer the orcs.
I buried 700,000 of those green-skinned bastards, regardless of age or gender. It feels satisfying.
The honorable 14th Emperor, the living saint and demigod, Argent Majesty Lionheart passed away. It happened while he was battling an archdemon summoned by the empire.
Dealing with orcs is troublesome enough, and now demons are causing havoc. Those damned imperial mages. Their damn obsession with dark magic made me sick.
That’s why humans should believe in gods and live a faithful life.
When people engage in pointless activities like pursuing their own desires and truths, it’s no wonder that demons feast on hundreds of thousands of human lives.
Apart from that, we must select a new Holy Knight to succeed the Lionhearted Saint, who nearly perished while helping the empire.
“[Holy Knight Leon Dragonia.]”
The goddess herself descended and pointed at me. It seems to be the first time in the kingdom’s history that the goddess directly appointed someone instead of the Holy Grail’s selection.
It must be due to my honorable feat of slaying the archdemon.
It was an honorable and challenging path, but I couldn’t disappoint the knights and the kingdom’s people who followed me.
That is how I became the Grand Duke Dragonia and the King of the Lionheart Kingdom.
With the blessing of the goddess, I received the sacred artifact, the Lion’s Heart, and vowed to protect the Holy Grail. Armed with the Holy Sword and Holy Lance, I defeated the enemies of the kingdom.
Many things happened during this time.
I fought three major wars against the orcs, and there was an incident where a peculiar Goblin turned into a formidable archdemon.
I could have torn that b*****d’s throat apart, but unfortunately, he escaped through a demon gate.
“Your Majesty, the Imperial Dark Magic faction is conducting experiments again!”
Are these damn empire bastards insane? What’s wrong with them these days?
Lately, the empire has reached the height of debauchery and distrust.
They didn’t even participate in the annual temple pilgrimage anymore, claiming independence from the gods like foolish advocates of divine separatism.
It’s all because they’ve gathered those northern heretics. They were lacking soldiers, so they accepted those barbarians and even embraced their faith.
In our Lionheart Kingdom, they’re nothing but lowly peasants destined to live and die like pigs. It’s embarrassing to treat them like human beings.
Should we just conquer them for good? It feels like dealing with a teammate in a group project who constantly plays pranks.
Those empire bastards have really stirred up trouble!
The Emperor, who didn’t want to die, summoned the Lord of Chaos in the imperial capital during a secretive cult ritual!
A young brat not even in his seventies, craving immortality, led the capital’s three million imperial citizens in a mass suicide!
With the Holy Sword, barely recovered from the orc battle last year, I gathered the knights.
The world is falling apart. I truly did my best.
In place of the Goddess of Justice, Ariana, I slaughtered demons and dispatched the priests of the Goddess of Abundance, Demera, to rebuild the farmlands.
The God of Iron and Blacksmithing, Heto, provided armor and swords for the Holy Knights, and the God of War and Flames, Phetos, descended upon me, igniting the fires of the battlefield.
This marks the 23rd year of the Divine-Demonic War. Starting as a damn ball of shit from the empire, this war has led to the destruction of the entire world.
The son of my comrade, Antoine. He still possessed the appearance of his youthful enemies. Speaking of this, I had the same appearance as a hundred years ago, thanks to the grace of the goddess.
“Take pride, Sir Aren. Your father died honorably, and is now heading to the Banquet of Gods.”
I comfort the son of my fallen comrade and look at the soldiers and knights who gaze at me. The final battle… No, it was our last stand.
The sound of the enemy’s advance resonates through the land, along with the overwhelming emotions filling their eyes.
Fear, dread, helplessness, despair.
Grant this feeble creature the heart of a lion and bestow radiant light upon the Holy Sword, O’ owner of the shining Holy Grail.
Here, your lambs tremble in fear.
The women soothe crying children, swallowing their tears.
The young men tightly hold onto the dwindling spark of resistance.
The knights strive to leave seeds of hope in the blood-soaked wasteland.
But my goddess, owner of the Holy Sword, the Holy Lance, and the Holy Grail.
Your first knight knows that he cannot stop the extending evil beyond the horizon.
My goddess. What should this foolish knight do?
“[Do as thou wilt.]”
“[My knight, my honorable knight. Your goddess will be with you until the end.]”
The goddess is with me.
We will ultimately face our true end, and that end shall be glorious.
“For the goddess, for honor, for Lionheart!”
That winter we clashed with millions of demons that filled the earth.
The barbaric peasant farmers valiantly sacrificed themselves as meat shields, while the armed freemen and glorious knights with spears and shields fell honorably.
The Holy Knights who annihilated the demons until the very last moment ascended one by one.
As the sole representative chosen by all the gods in the temple, I alone slaughtered the demons until the end.
I tore apart numerous demon lords and archdemons, revealing the sanctity of the Holy Knights to them.
Winter has not yet ended.
I destroyed the last remaining demon gate. Tens of thousands of demons, with despair in their hollow eyes, looked at me.
“You wretched and despicable creatures! You are now trapped in this world with me! I will annihilate every last one of you!”
I am not the one trapped!
You are the ones trapped with me, you bastards!
“Holy shit, I’ve never seen a gate like this before, where the hell are we?”
“Stay alert, Hariya. It’s been 13 years since the last immeasurable gate. We don’t know what will come out.”
“I know… But why is this gate not even ranked?”
“I don’t know… maybe there’s some kind of high-level demon inside?”
“Don’t say such horrible things.”
It has been exactly 300 years since I last encountered the Earthlings.