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Chapter 22

A Knight who Eternally Regresses

WE TRIED TRANSLATIONS

Translator: Ryuu

Editor: Abstract

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A KNIGHT WHO ETERNALLY REGRESSES

Chapter 22: Temporary Reassignment

The 4th platoon leader made a trivial comment.

Enkrid half-listened, recognizing that the man had something to say.

“If you have something to say, just say it.”

He was enjoying the cool breeze after being drenched in sweat. It was the perfect moment of relaxation and unwinding. He wanted the platoon leader to get on with it and leave.

"...I'd like you to transfer to the recon team and carry out a mission."

The 4th platoon leader crossed his arms, displaying a defensive rather than commanding posture.

Enkrid thought it over. The recon team.

It wasn’t a common reassignment. Moreover, he was aware of his ambiguous position. The only reason he could remain a squad leader was because this was the Fourth-Fourth Squad.

And they wanted to take him out for reconnaissance?

“Is it okay to take our squad leader?”

Rem suddenly poked his head in from behind, resting his chin on Enkrid’s shoulder. Since they weren’t much different in height, it was a comfortable position.

“Are you serious?”

Half-smiling, he seemed to be protesting the idea.

“It’s an order, Rem.”

The 4th platoon leader glared, but it was all show. Enkrid saw through it instantly. Rem was a troublemaker, a maniac who would swing his axe if things didn’t go his way. Everyone including the 4th platoon leader, Enkrid, and Rem knew that waving authority at such a maniac was meaningless.

“Rem.”

Enkrid called his name, nudging him back before he could say anything more.

“Fine, do as you please.”

Rem grumbled as he stepped back.

“I can go instead.”

Ragna, who had been watching silently, spoke up nonchalantly.

“...Was being lost your dream?”

Rem snickered. Ragna nearly exploded in anger but held it in. It wasn’t a lie. Ragna had no talent for finding his way. Even with a map and directions, he would end up somewhere else. He didn’t work well with others and had been transferred here for fighting however he pleased. He wasn’t fit to be a scout.

“Anyone but you.”

The 4th platoon leader had no choice but to shake his head at Ragna. Enkrid sensed this situation wasn’t a good sign.

‘Considering everything, I am the best fit.’

His ambiguous position only held meaning within the 444 Squad. He had caused quite a stir just by being absent for a week.

And now, they were specifically calling for him?

It suggested there was no one else available. The talk of curses had quieted down, but the effects lingered. Bon, Jack, and Rot were all part of the recon team. They were short-handed.

“Sigh, it’s a headache. One platoon leader has food poisoning and can’t even move.”

It was almost believable as a curse. All this trouble specifically hit the recon platoon. The platoon leader looked exhausted. He didn’t seem eager to call for Enkrid either.

‘This feels off.’

As Enkrid stared, the platoon leader sighed heavily.

“Don’t look at me like that. I’ll explain everything.”

“Yes?”

“Don’t look at me like that.”

‘What did I do?’

He had just been staring, but the 4th platoon leader was overreacting with a deep sigh.

“What’s with the eye language? Sometimes, you have to think about how the person on the receiving end feels. Especially if it’s a superior.”

Rem laughed. Reacting to that joke would lead nowhere. Enkrid looked back at the platoon leader.

“To temporarily increase the number of recon members, we promoted a squad leader to platoon leader. But we’re still short-staffed. So, we were ordered to recruit capable individuals from each unit. And you were suggested from above. So here we are.”

“From above?”

“The new company commander. You’re not in trouble, are you?”

To silence him by sending him to the recon team where he might die unnoticed? No, there was no need for that. They could kill him secretly without such measures. Even if he wouldn’t die easily, from their perspective, it seemed like a random suggestion.

Enkrid concluded it was probably just a casual remark.

“It’s an order from above. So, let’s go.”

Rem glared at him from the side. Behind him, Ragna offered to go again. In front of the tent, the devout soldier, large as a bear, prayed to the sky.

“O most holy Lord, do not take our small and precious squad leader. Do not test this weak servant.”

The 4th platoon leader couldn’t hide his astonishment. Who was taking anyone? And who was small and weak? The praying soldier’s bulging muscles were weapon-like. If that devout soldier was considered weak, there were few normal people in the world.

“It’s just this one time. Winter will come soon, and this campaign will end.”

They would reorganize the recon team for the next campaign. They wouldn’t leave the Troublemaker Squad leader in the recon team. Enkrid understood the platoon leader’s point.

Continuing war in winter was foolish. So this war would likely stop after autumn. There was no need to worry. Such things happened often.

Being called to fill in for various tasks wasn’t uncommon. While lacking combat talent, he was more than capable in other areas. Recon missions were no exception.

Despite his recent absence due to injury, his squad didn’t want to see him leave.

‘I am the best fit.’

It wasn’t baseless confidence. If he got lost, he could repeat the day. This mission was favorable for him. Avoiding danger was his specialty.

“It’s an order, 4th squad leader.”

The platoon leader’s voice sounded like a plea for rescue. Enkrid turned around. Rem was sharpening his axe. Ragna reiterated he could go. The praying soldier muttered about trials.

‘What a mood.’

It felt like they might revolt if he came back beaten. Were they always like this?

No, they weren’t.

When he first joined, they weren’t this involved with each other. When did this change?

‘Did they struggle without me?’

Even big eyes shook his head. But what could he do against orders from above? While his squad members were troublemakers, Enkrid wasn’t.

“I have to go.”

He exhaled deeply and spoke. It was a decision from above. Disobeying wasn’t an option. He could escape by any means, but there was no need. With Enkrid’s words, the mood settled. It was natural. Even if it was just a title, he was the leader of this six-man squad.

“Do as you wish.”

Rem snorted.

“I can still go.”

Ragna persisted, but it wouldn’t work. A scout who got lost even inside the camp? Impossible. Enkrid wondered how Ragna had survived his wandering.

Had he really traveled to the eastern sea?

Or had he just gotten lost and ended up there? A reasonable question.

But he didn’t ask. Enkrid always kept a reasonable distance from his squad. If they didn’t want to talk, he didn’t ask. That was squad leader Enkrid.

“Alright, fine.”

The 4th platoon leader turned away. He walked lighter than when he came, as if a burden was lifted from his shoulders. As the platoon leader left and he cleaned up, a minor commotion began in the tent.

“Are you practicing what you learned?”

Jaxon, leaning on his cot, started the conversation. Jaxon’s cot was in the farthest corner. Enkrid’s was at the front. Everyone heard Jaxon’s voice. Enkrid nodded reflexively. He had learned to train his hearing from Jaxon and surpassed the repeated days, so it made sense to ask. But Rem’s reaction was sour.

“What did you learn?”

Enkrid had learned various things from his squad members. From Rem, Ragna, and the devout soldier, he had picked up survival skills for the battlefield. He diligently learned but didn’t master them all, using them roughly. Perfect mastery was difficult.

The Heart of the Beast was the only skill he fully integrated, but he had never learned from Jaxon.

“What did you teach him?”

Rem sat up and asked.

“Keep it up. It’ll help.”

Jaxon ignored Rem completely. Rem’s eyes burned with anger.

“This bastard?”

“Don’t.”

Enkrid grabbed Rem’s shoulder.

“What did you learn from that sneaky guy? Learning anything might give you bad habits.”

“Hmph.”

Jaxon chuckled.

“Oh, right. It’s your time. Today’s the day. Want to become monster food on the plains?”

Jaxon ignored Rem’s threats. Enkrid sighed and pulled Rem back.

“Take it easy. It’s not like we’re fighting to the death.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll survive.”

That wasn’t the point.

“Who’s surviving?”

“O Lord, may I send this faithless soul to you? If you permit.”

Ragna and the devout soldier responded to Rem’s words.

“Stop, stop, stop. I’ll stop you every time you fight. Don’t waste your strength on pointless things.”

Enkrid wondered if taking the recon mission was the right choice. Was it right to leave these guys?

“Don’t worry too much. They usually don’t go all out. Just clash weapons a few times and stop.”

Kraiss said, counting silver coins from his pocket. That was the problem. Even those few clashes. To outsiders, it looked like they were killing each other. Despite being troublemakers, the commanders didn’t discharge them.

Why? Because of their exceptional skills. In battle, they were superior warriors. That’s why it made sense for Enkrid to join the recon team.

‘I’m not a loss to their strength.’

But these guys weren’t. This realization hit Enkrid again.

‘I have no talent.’

He had lost to a twelve-year-old. Even if the kid was a prodigy. An adult couldn’t handle the weight of a sword and lost to a child wielding it.

It wasn’t about pride.

It wasn’t a reason to be frustrated.

It just made him reflect. Did he give up?

No.

He just acknowledged his limits and kept going.

Was this the end?

No.

If he had no talent.

‘Someday.’

If he couldn’t take one step, he would take half steps.

If he didn’t stop moving forward.

Enkrid never stopped moving forward.

Feeling restless, he grabbed his sword and went outside.

He needed to swing his sword and sweat to sleep.

Ragna followed him.

“Let’s see your stance.”

“I’m here too.”

Rem joined them. Their eyes met, and the tension was palpable. It felt like a storm would erupt between them.

“Practice consistently. It’s better than sloppy swordsmanship.”

Jaxon’s voice came from his bed. Rem and Ragna glared at him.

“Sloppy?”

Rem said.

“Swordsmanship?”

Ragna continued.

“Didn’t you both say you’d watch my stance?”

Enkrid stepped between them. After calming them down, Enkrid went outside the tent. He swung his sword, taking their advice and criticism into account. Another day passed, drenched in sweat. At dawn, he would temporarily join the recon platoon.

He wasn’t worried. He didn’t think it would be difficult. After sweating, the mood had lightened. Enkrid, after washing by the stream, slept soundly.

“Company commander, why specifically send that guy to the recon team?”

The elf company commander noticed the 1st platoon leader standing by the torch stand.

“Move away from the torch stand. If it falls, there could be a fire.”

“Pardon?”

“Step aside.”

“Yes.”

The 1st platoon leader stepped aside. The company commander’s tent was larger and taller than regular tents. There was a torch stand in the center for light. There was also a rough table for meetings. They decided on the company’s recon routes there. It was during one of these meetings that the 1st platoon leader asked.

It was a reasonable question. The 1st platoon leader was also the company commander’s adjutant, a long-standing tradition in the Cyprus Brigade.

“He’s a perceptive soldier who knows how to find his way. He seemed suitable.”

“Yes, I see.”

It wasn’t a heavily weighted decision. It was an intuitive assignment. There wasn’t a specific reason. If asked, she would simply say it felt right. The company commander’s judgment was correct.

Elven intuition was often sharper than a prophet’s words.

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