TDL&TH Side Story I: Who is Artem Lockwood?

The normal route would be to head straight towards Akashic Records Academy and then towards the castle, but unfortunate circumstances had the route to be diverted.

“Your highness must have some sort of hunch, no?” inquires my carriage driver.

“Yeah.”

“Anything we should be careful about?”

“A very likely chance of being attacked… can’t really say with certainty by who.”

The carriage driver relays the information to the others, yet this feeling of unease still swirls within my spirit…

I tried to calm down for a couple minutes, but the attack happened when I finally calmed down.

Tch. They had set up a quadruple layer spell – stamina draining, ally avoidance, entrapment, and magic sealing.

The effects of such a thing is far too great for our side…

Several minutes passed by and the situation already looks terrible as it is. My regalia is materialized through magic, which is prevented by the accursed barrier.

Not everyone awakens some sort of special ability just because the challenge is greater than one expected. Even if I were to have a weapon – which I do not – what sort of chance would I have against 10 professional mercenaries? There is a fine line between realism and idealism, but this situation has the odds severely stacked against me.

I do not have the same level of experience as the opponents, unable to cast magic due to the barrier, not enough stamina to even run to get a weapon, dizziness, vertigo, and fatigue… what sort of chance do I have? I would like to know.

I was unable to resist getting taken out of the carriage by the enemy – unless you can tell me you know a person who can punch through 12 inches steel armor with their bare hands. Their armor was of the specialized “titan” armor that used magic and enchantments to increase the power of the armor – essentially becoming as tough as a golem.

“Hey boss, the target is secured,” spoke the person carrying me, although the rest of the words was hard to make out.

But all of sudden, I saw something of pure white – it is best to describe it as a white blob, as whoever it was had been too far for me to see in my current state.

In the very next moment, the barrier had been taken out and all the mercenaries had all been killed except one. The mercenary leader.

“I… I surrender!” he yells and throws down his weapon.

In a mere second, his head was lobbed off with the unknown swordsman’s cold response being the last thing the mercenary leader would hear –

No.

After the fight ended, I could not help but fall out of sheer relief of such an unlikely event.

“… Apologies for having you see such bloodshed,” he said as he walked over to me, extending his hand as an offer to help me stand.

What surprised me was the fact his white cloak and armor did not have a single drop of blood or speck of dirt of combat – such a warrior capable of doing so while striking down enemies so effortlessly is one not to anger. Yet, his eyes seemed so emotionless, as if he did not have a soul.

“Thank you for your assistance. I am princess Harmonia Sylvein of the Elesian Kingdom,” I spoke as I take his hand, “you are…?”

Lifting me up, he says, “I am Artem Lockwood. Soon to be student at Akashic Records Academy.”

A fellow classmate? But with his skill, why is he even attending school? Sure he sounds about as expressive as a single color vase, the air of a corpse, and about as hormonal driven as a tree, but he is indeed unmatched as far as I have seen. In fact, I would say that he is a person who is empty of common, hormone-driven, teenage male actions.

“This one shall accompany your highness’ escort unit, for our destination is the same,” Artem says rather casually – so he isn’t dead inside…

“Please do so,” I reply and head back into the carriage.

Artem chants in an unknown language and created large magic circle on the ground, to which orbs of light floated up from the magic circle and cleaned everything.

While on the trip back to the castle, I decided to ask him a couple questions.

Artem is not of noble lineage, lived in a cabin in a nearby forest with a relative, is 18 years of age, and managed to craft the gear he wears.

Could he be a second hero? Amaterasu Miyamoto is the confirmed hero…

Arriving at Moonlight Castle, I head to the throne room where my father is and explained to him what had happened.

After several minutes, it is time for Artem to speak to my father. Stepping into the throne room, Artem kneels before the king.

“Artem Lockwood, I presume?” my father spoke.

… Did Artem just shiver?

“Yes, your highness,” Artem responded.

“Please, do raise your head. There is no need for formalities here.”

“As you wish.”

“I have heard that you alone defeated a unit of the Blood Eagle. Certainly, it is quite a feat for someone who is going to be a first year at Akashic Records Academy.”

“You give too much praise on someone like me, your highness.”

The door behind Artem opens, revealing Anastasia Jaeger, the white wolf beastman who had been my caretaker when I was a child.

“Apologies for interrupting, my liege, but there is some urgent information that has arrived, namely the mercenaries… the mercenaries are part of the Blood Eagle’s upper echelon, their leader being the second-in-command.”

“Well, Artem Lockwood, not even a day since you arrived in Elesia and you have already achieved quite the prestige.”

“I only happened upon the situation by mere chance, your highness.”

“If you were one of my kingdom’s top brass, I would have given you my daughter’s hand in marriage,” he responds with a grin, “though from what my daughter told me, you should have been more like a dashing hero, carrying her in your arms like a newlywed bride.”

“Father, please don’t say something like that again!” I whisper with a reddened face.

“Y-your highness… I would not do such a thing,” Artem responds with a surprised face.

He definitely did not expect father to say something like that… well it is typical when someone who looks as tough as dad gets surprised at what he says…

“Well, I should give you some kind of reward. I cannot let someone who does such a noble act leave empty,” the king paused for a moment before continuing his words, “would you like to become this kingdom’s knight?”

“I must refuse your offer, your highness.”

Eh? Usually, people are rather happy to be offered the job of being this kingdom’s knight..

“Oh? And why is that?”

“I… have no doubt that one day my association with this kingdom may do more harm than good.”

“Then you can be my knight,” I say without thinking about it.

What am I doing?! I haven’t even thought of what else to say after that!

“… May I ask why, your highness?” He asks.

I would like to know as well! Ah… I have to think of something… come on, Harmonia… you’re supposed to be a princess… surely I can think of an answer, right?!

“If you become my knight, I can take responsibility as a third party,” I with a grin on my face, trying to pass it off as something I had planned.

“So be it, my princess.”

Yes! I am quite the quick thinker! Well… time do my best… hopefully I don’t trip and fall down the stairs…

Walking down the curved stairs from my father’s side while the prime minister stands at an appropriate spot near father. As she stand before him, he kneels.

I summon forth the four regalia and then summon my own – the Masamune.

“I bestow upon thee a part of my regalia, the Masamune,” I say as I dub him my knight. Once I finished, I say, “arise sir Artem Lockwood, knight of Harmonia Sylvein.”

My sword then turns into tendrils of light that fly into his body.

Copy of Masamune transferred
Title Bestowed to [Artem Lockwood]: Knight of Harmonia Sylvein
Copy of Muramasa obtained

What is this feeling of chaos? Such negative emotion… was it from the thing called Muramasa? He has a regalia…

He stands up and asked me with a smile, “what is your command, my princess?”

Smiling back, I say respond with, “make sure you settle down at Akashic Records Academy, sir Lockwood.”

Artem Lockwood… just what are you hiding? Just who exactly are you to begin with?

[Author’s Note]

 I hope you enjoyed this chapter as much as I enjoyed working on it!

Feel free to comment on all my chapters and talk about what you think about the characters so far!

Next chapter will be starting with the Narrator’s point of view!

Also, please do note that there is a reason why this has different information.

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