The Unicorn Legion Chapter 18
Hero of the Past
“I remember where I’ve heard the name ‘Rowenna’ before. This world isn’t so large as to have two half-elves with the same name that both happen to be familiar with the Queen, right?”
After Cain and Ellen left the Cavendish’s house, the knight suddenly spoke.
“Rowenna Silva must actually be Princess Rowenna Grecia. The only daughter of the late king and his first wife, and the current queen’s half-sister.”
“No wonder she seemed familiar,” Ellen nodded thoughtfully. “However, did King Allen really marry an elf?”
“I heard she was an adventurer from another continent,” Cain replied. “It wasn’t a political marriage, either. Apparently, they were deeply in love; it was quite the scandal. I hadn’t been born yet, so all this is only what I’ve heard.”
“You said she was the ‘first’ queen-”
“Yes,” said the knight. “The first queen died many years ago. The king remained a widower for half a year before marrying the second queen, who gave birth to the present queen.”
“… that couldn’t have been a good atmosphere to grow up in,” the elf sighed.
“That was probably when she realized that she was different from the humans around her, and it must’ve soured her relationship with her father. She even changed her surname to break away from him. I didn’t expect that the ‘Jagged Princess’ was actually living anonymously in the Mage’s Academy.”
“Yeah, that nickname of hers became really well-known a few years ago,” Cain explained. “At that time, the king was seriously ill, and the neighboring country of Keaigen took the opportunity to annex land along the western border of Sistare. They put forth many demands in return for the land, one of which was for the princess to marry the king of Keaigen.
“The court was quickly divided against itself, and as the different factions fought one another, the princess took the initiative to agree to the marriage, and soon departed for Keaigen. Proud of their easy victory, the soldiers of Keaigen let down their guard. When they realized that the princess was accompanied not by an honor guard, but by elite troops, it was too late.
“At that time, she couldn’t have been more than twenty, but she accomplished what veteran generals couldn’t, cleanly and swiftly recovering Sistare’s western border. Of course, she was widely criticized for being too reckless; after all, if her plan had been exposed, the consequences would have been disastrous.”(1)
“Yes, but with little effort on Sistare’s part, and without sacrificing the people, the princess solved the problem quite efficiently,” Ellen laughed. “Actually, I think that Keaigen wouldn’t have retreated either way, and would have just kept her as a hostage.”
“After that incident, Sistare remained at peace for more than a decade. Even during the recent civil war, none of the neighboring countries took the opportunity to invade. The impression left behind by the Jagged Princess definitely played a part in that,” Cain said. “But since that incident, she’s disappeared from the public eye. Rumor has it that she died, because the late king appointed the younger princess, Aemelian, as his heir.
“So, that’s where the confidence to rebel came from,” Ellen nodded. “As long as the queen had her sister backing her, Archduke Crane wouldn’t dare act rashly.”
“Not necessarily,” Cain shook his head. “Archduke Crane had been trying to draw the church to his side, but I don’t know why they refused … ah, I know why Rowenna hates paladins. All those years ago, when Keaigen invaded, the Pope was aligned with the lords of another faction.
“That is, the church intended to sell her in exchange for national peace.
“At that time, I hadn’t even been alive, much less a part of the church, and now I’m no longer affiliated with them. In the end, the result is the same, and I look like a villain in her eyes.”
“Don’t cry, Cain,” Ellen glanced at Cain, who looked more depressed than ever.
“I didn’t actually feel like crying until you said that,” the knight sighed.
“Uh … should I lend you my shoulder?” Ellen asked with a very serious expression.
“Don’t take my words so seriously! I’m not a child, remember?”
“As expected, even after taking a hit like that, you’ve got adaptability and resilience. Truly, that’s the advantage of mankind.”
The elf smiled and reached up to pat the knight’s head.
“Ellen,” Cain grabbed his wrist. “Have you been pulling my leg this whole time?”
“Oops, you figured it out,” The elf grinned, his eyes narrowing happily.
“ … Give back my pure and straightforward captain.”
“Well, I should go practice archery for a bit- see you later, Cain!”
The elf gazed at him seriously, and walked off, leaving the knight standing alone. Cain wasn’t sure how to react.
For a 300-year-old elf from the ancient Legendary Age, wasn’t he adapting a little too fast? … Then again, there was nothing wrong with that.
Looking at the elf who was briskly walking away, Cain couldn’t help but smile.
Please persevere, Captain.
Someday you will regain what should have been yours all along.
At that time, you’ll feel like a part of this world, and you won’t show a sad expression again.
The Mage’s Academy had no archery range, but there was a range for mid-level mages. This was so that they could fire various ranged spells, some of which required a certain degree of precision. The Academy had arranged a dedicated area for these spells, surrounded by a strong enchantment. Inside the range, damage was reduced so that those who were hit accidentally would be safe- or at least not dead.
When the elf entered the range, there were only a few young mages already there. Upon seeing Ellen in his archery gear, they looked a little surprised, but they were soon immersed in their own practise again.
Ellen selected a remote corner of the range and took a moment to observe the surroundings.
In addition to several humanoid targets propped up on one end of the range, the ground itself was painted with a variety of markings. Similar to an archery range, a mage stood at the opposite end with a spell at the ready. When fired, the spell is just a burst of magical energy, that will take effect after a period of time. They practise to refine their aim and strength to ensure the spell is at its most effective upon reaching the target. But looking at the range, it appeared that several of the mages couldn’t aim all too well, and most of their spells landed far from the designated target.
Once, a spell fired by the nearest mage nearly hit the elf, who shouted and scrambled out of the way to avoid getting his face burned off.
The mage who had fired the overpowered spell quickly ran over with his friend, both of them apologizing profusely. Ellen could only nod his head helplessly.
The two mages continued to apologize, obviously a little disheartened. To express their repentance, the two enthusiastically invited the elf to take a break and chat with them.
… It seems like coming here was really a waste of time.
The elf sighed.
“Although I am not a mage, in this regard,” he nocked an arrow and fired it upwards at a steep angle, “It’s not magic that’s the problem.”
The arrow hit the first target in the distance.(2)
“It’s a physical issue.”
Another arrow landed deeply in the second target.
The elf tucked his bow away and turned to the two mages.
“This is called a recurve bow. Most spells are actually slower than this, so that they’re easier to aim. You may want to consider studying the basics of archery.”
After speaking, Ellen turned and left the range, leaving the two mages gaping at the targets.
According to the sundial in the garden, it was about ten in the morning, and far too early to take a break.
What to do … maybe he could run around the perimeter of the Academy as exercise?
The elf strolled patiently while looking around, but as he glanced towards a copse of trees, he saw light glinting off a metal blade.
- ………This……..doesn’t actually explain why she’s called the Jagged Princess, Cain………
- Damn!! Ellen, you’re so cool!!
We haven’t seen Ellen’s cool, commanding side in a while … I’m glad he’s making a comeback!
~ ~ ~ Chapter 19 >>