Commoner-Origin Officer Volume 1 Chapter 2 part 1

Chapter 2 – Yan Lin
 

 
Several hours later, the 8th squad arrived at the village of Kanahal. This was the village closest to the Kumin tribe’s activity zone, but it seemed there had been no damage.
 
While inspecting the village out of curiosity, the villagers gathered upon seeing the Kumin prisoner. Their expressions changed dramatically.
 
“Serves you right!” “You should be roasted alive!” “Soldier, make this one suffer!” “They killed my brother!” “My grandfather too!” “It’s only just punishment.”
 
The villagers broke out in a chorus of curses, their faces twisted with unpleasantness. As Hazen observed their behavior,
 
“Elelel Arsol!”
 
The Kumin sorcerer shouted, seemingly cursing the villagers, though the words were unintelligible.
 
“What are you saying, you savage!”
 
One villager yelled, hurling a stone at the Kumin sorcerer. But Hazen instantly caught the stone in his hand, stopping it.
 
“Why did you stop that?!”
 
“Harming a prisoner is prohibited. If you attempt to harm him again, you will be punished according to military regulations.”
 
“But they killed our parents! Throwing stones is letting them off easy!”
 
“This is in accordance with military regulations.”
 
“We’re not soldiers! We don’t have to follow your rules!”
 
Voices of agreement echoed all around. Hazen surveyed the villagers and let out a deep sigh.
 
“Then let me release this warrior. If you say the military’s involvement is unnecessary, we shall withdraw. He is a sorcerer. He could wipe out all of you villagers in a single night.”
 
” …… “
 
A hush fell over the crowd. They stared at Hazen in stunned silence. Finally, the villager who threw the stone trembled with anger.
 
“Just because you’re an imperial soldier, don’t get the wrong idea. Do you think you can get away with that?”
 
“It is you who are mistaken. Our duty is to protect only the loyal imperial citizens. This is your right, and our obligation. But the reverse is also true. We have no obligation to protect imperial citizens who defy military orders and have forfeit their rights.”
 
“Tch…ugh…”
 
“This time, our imperial army rushed to protect your village from the Kumin attack. But if you say the military’s involvement is unnecessary and you won’t follow our orders, I will report to my superiors that no defense is needed here next time.”
 
Hazen replied with a broad smile.
 
“That’s ridiculous!”
 
“Then you’ll have to endure it. That’s how war is. To have the rights of the protected, one must be qualified.”
 
He turned and walked away, leaving the villagers staring at him with looks of disgust. Sergeant Baz watched this scene with a look of astonishment.
 
“What’s wrong? Is there something on my face?”
 
“No, it’s just…I thought Lieutenant Hazen was the kind of officer who devotes himself to the people.”
 
“Confirming the damage is our duty. And whether they are the people or not is irrelevant to me.”
 
There was a time when Hazen had been intoxicated by such heroic ideals, doing it all for the sake of the common folk. But he had learned just how arrogant and deceptive that mentality was.
 
“There are evil commoners and virtuous nobles. And the reverse is also possible.”
 
“You’re absolutely right.”
 
“In short, you cannot judge a man by his origins. It’s what they do and how they live. That, I think, is the value of a person.”
 
Hazen intended to entrust Baz with leading the 8th squad in his absence, so he wanted to convey his thoughts as much as possible.
 
Just as he was about to resume walking, a slight static passed through his thoughts.
 
“…?”
 
He considered the reason, then let out a sigh.
 
“…I’ll make one correction.”
 
“Huh?”
 
“Just a little. There was a tinge of personal feelings in there. I absolutely loathe those who act arrogantly towards the defenseless.”
 
“…”
 
“If those people say they want to avenge their murdered fathers, they should have acted immediately. To condemn them when the enemy is powerless is cowardly, in my opinion.”
 
Hazen had threatened to report to his superiors, but he had no intention of going to that trouble. That sort of person is sensitive to immediate fear and quickly cowers. Their vengeance is likely superficial.
 
He would never voice it out loud, but Hazen is not truly acting in accordance with military regulations. He is merely using them to justify his own actions. No matter the imperial constitution, the highest-ranking marshal, or even the emperor himself, he has no intention of being bound by any rules, laws, or orders. He exploits his position as a soldier to ravage the vast domain of the empire. This is the sole, true purpose of this man.
 
Hazen sighed softly after pondering the matter.

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“But don’t get tired out.”
 
“…Huh? What did you just say?”
 
Sergeant Bazz asked, repeating what was said.
 
“I can complain a little too. I’m only human, after all. As a soldier, it’s quite tiring to have to be so mindful of those around me.”
 
“Being mindful…?”
 
He had an expression as if he had just heard a hallucination.
 
“Yes. Of course, I have to be mindful of you, my subordinates, as well as my superiors, colleagues, and the imperial citizens. I was prepared for that. But the position of an officer is quite stressful.”
 
“…I see.”
 
Sergeant Bazz gave a wry smile that was hard to decipher. Hazen tilted his head, wondering why. Was it unbecoming of an officer to complain to his subordinates?
 
Hazen took it that way and steeled himself again.
 
After that, the 8th squad visited a few more neighboring villages, and finally arrived at a small village called Dynasteld.
 
The villagers here also had hostility towards the Kumin tribe, but not as strong as in Kanahar Village. Likely, since it was slightly more remote geographically, the damage was not as great.
 
“Hanra Nor Kura”
 
At that moment, the Kumin tribe’s mage muttered again. Soon, Sergeant Bazz returned.
 
“Did you find them?”
 
“No. They are, after all, a hostile foreign tribe.”
 
“…I see.”
 
They had been looking for someone who could communicate with the Kumin tribe, but there was no one here either. Walking with a half-resigned attitude, they saw a pink-haired girl trying to pour water into a Kumin’s cup.
 
“What are you doing?”
 
Hazen asked the girl.
 
“Um, they said they want [water to drink], so is it okay?”
 
She looked to be around 6 years old. For her age, she spoke remarkably fluently.
 
“Ah, but how do you understand what they are ‘saying’? Can you speak the Kumin language?”
 
“Only a little bit.”
 
“Why is that?”
 
“The magic stones the Kumin tribe makes sell for a high price at the market.”
 
Hazen looked at the girl with a surprised expression.
 
“Are you saying you’re trading with the Kumin tribe?”
 
“It’s not that big of a deal. I just split the profit from the high prices.”
 
“Isn’t that dangerous?”
 
“Basically, they don’t lay a hand on children.”
 
“How can you be sure of that? Surely the Kumin tribe has all kinds of people.”
 
“For them, their law is absolute. Kumin who lay a hand on children are ostracized from the village, so it’s safer than dealing with imperial citizens.”
 
“…I’m even more surprised, for your age.”
 
Hazen inadvertently let slip. Not only could she communicate with the Kumin, but she also understood their civilization and was even conducting business with them.
 
As he looked at her with interest, the girl opened her mouth with a slightly guilty expression.
 
“Actually, I’m 13 years old.”
 
“…Do you have a growth disorder?”
 
By any measure, she looked no more than 6 years old. Her facial features were originally childish, making her appear even younger.
 
“I don’t know. I’m an orphan, so I’ve never seen a doctor.”
 
“Then let me examine you a little.”
 
“Huh? Are you a medical mage?”
 
“No, I’m a soldier, but I’m knowledgeable about medicine.”
 
Saying that, Hazen dismounted from his horse and gazed into the girl’s wide eyes.
 
“……”
 
“Um, is there something wrong with my eyes?”
 
“No.”
 
Hazen recognized the light in this girl’s eyes. Some had hailed her as a rare, revered mage worthy of respect. Others had called her a genius, but her exceptional talent had led her to fall into darkness. And some…had become immortal monsters because of their profound karma.
 
“…What’s your name?”
 
“It’s Yan Lin.”
 
“I see. Yan, can you use magic?”
 
“Magic? No, I can’t. I’m a commoner.”
 
“Even commoners can have the ability to use magic, can they not?”
 
“I can’t use it.”
 
“……”
 
Hazen touched the back of Yan’s head. Then he felt an unstoppable surge of magical power budding within her, like molten magma. Before he knew it, his own forehead was dripping with sweat.
 
“…I see.”
 
“Did you figure something out?”
 
“Yan, your immense magical power is hindering your growth. In a few years, your development will likely start to accelerate explosively.”
 
“Magical power…but I can’t use magic, though.”
 
“Not yet. But eventually, you will be able to. However, there is a condition.”
 
“A condition?”
 
Yan tilted her head.
 
“Staying by my side.”
 
“Huh!? Why?”


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