Joseph the Saintly Knight was leading his subordinates searching in the dark. It was never a wise decision to raid the Demons at night, for their golden armors would glitter under the moon, rendering them a perfect target for the archers. Frontal assaults were more suitable for heavy cavalry units like them. However, the Cardinal of the Holy Temple emphasized that the raid was a secret operation, not only to the Demons, but also the other brigades of the Saintly Knights.
Joseph caressed the emblems engraved on his armor. He had all the emblems but the one signified “glory”. In order to obtain the last emblem, he must strive for the recognition of the Holy Temple, acting in accordance with the Cardinal’s command...
Cowardly Soldier: ...How come this operation must be kept secret even to the other Saintly Knights?
Rude Soldier: How would I know? Just follow the orders!
Cowardly Soldier: I heard that the brigades stationed at this place would go postal at night...
Rude Soldier: Shut up! Stop with the nonsense!
The knight told his brigade to put on black robes so that no moonlight would be reflected, but he was unaware that a Demon Sorcerer who possessed the ability to control evil spirits was able to see them in the dark. Not realizing about the danger, they were crawling on the ground with their swords on their back. The soldiers identified their directions using the moonlight, whispering to each other worriedly. As the wind slammed them in the face, they could hardly tell who was talking, not to mention whether someone was talking.
Demon Sorcerer: So here’s some other knights! Good. I consume those of the holy light!
Joseph: Did you hear someone talking?
The knight asked his companions, yet no one replied. He turned back to see the shadows at his back, so he proceeded.
Demon Sorcerer: How come people from Holylight City never learn from their failures?
This time the knight heard the sorcerer clearly. Knowing his opponent won’t be too far away, he decided to hide no more.
Joseph: Get into formation, guys. The enemies are here.
The knight told the others at his back, that he just saw soldiers dressed in shadow black, under which were golden armors. He had no choice but to kill his enemy promptly, yet his companions then pointed their swords at him.
Twilight Paladin: What are you doing? Put down your swords!
Soldier: I can’t stop!
Twilight Paladin: Calm down!
Soldier: I really just can’t!
Soldier: Die! I’ll stripe glory off knights!
Twilight Paladin: So you’ve already lost your mind. May your sacrifice not end up in vain.
Twilight Paladin: Don’t worry. You will live in my sword, always.
As Joseph thrust his sword into his companions, it’s like he could see their souls being liberated by the holy light. After the incident, he dedicated his sword as an offering to honor his former companions. Since then, he fought with a lance...
Knight: You have completed your mission. Hand him over.
Joseph: No, it’s an everlasting mission.
Trapped in a dead end, the Saintly Knight sheltered the boy with his body. There were scars all over the two of them. The boy, covered in blood, was tired with his heart in his mouth.
Knight: Are you trying to violate orders from the Holy Temple?
Joseph: I trust my judgement!
Knight: You are aware you are going on a path of no return?
According to the traditions of the Holy Temple, the Saintly Knight who collected all the emblems would become the Saintly General, and would be in charge of all the Saintly Knights. Years after Joseph had become a Saintly Knight, he was not yet able to collect all the emblems. Though demonstrated outstanding service from time to time, Joseph was always told by the Bishop that his glory was far from enough.
The Emblem of Glory was then the last target for many Saintly Knights. The Bishop had made the Saintly General vacant with his authority, and every year he would send out Saintly Knights to look for the Demon Sorcerers, telling them that it was a secret task. Later, the Cardinal awarded the Emblem of Glory to his son, announcing that he had already completed the task, yet all the other knights who had been sent out never returned.
In the end, Joseph chose a path to gain glory in another way. He never returned to Holylight City then. Instead, he became a Paladin in the realms. Twilight Paladin could not stop the Holy Temple from sending the Saintly Knights to death, but he was able to save his old comrades who had already lost their mind...
Though still wearing the golden armor of the Saintly Knights, Twilight Paladin no longer fought with a sword. Time after time he would go to the land of darkness, where he would kill the insane Saintly Knights. Those liberated by Joseph would attach their soul to his armor. As a return, they helped Joseph in battles by transforming into swords.
Knight: This is the son of a deceased Saintly Knight.
Knight: The Cardinal ordered his upbringing at the Holy Temple.
Joseph: Isn’t it because he witnessed his father’s death?
Paladin King of Light: I know the Cardinal’s approach.
Knight: This is the order of the Cardinal. We Saintly Knights follow his decrees.
Joseph: Why don’t you ask what his father wants?
Swords of holy light were flickering at the Paladin’s back, for spirits of the deceased were demonstrating their hatred towards the Saintly Knight.
Knight: What a pity. You were a Saintly Knight like I am.
Joseph: I am always a faithful servant of the holy light!
As his disciple was sitting opposite, the swords had been flickering at his back dully. When he mentioned a certain event or person, they emitted a golden light, as if the spirits living inside were brought to the old days by his words.
His disciple had been trying to disturb him, yet the Paladin was an old man yearning for his past. As he began to reminisce, his other senses would be rendered irrelevant and disregarded. With his coarse fingers he caressed the dents on the armor. Each was his glory manifested. Recalling his memories, Twilight Paladin told the stories behind every scratch...
Since he was a child, Joseph was attracted by the emblems of the Saintly Knights. One by one, the gleaming emblems were engraved on their armors as records of their bravery on the battlefield. Joseph’s mother once warned him, ‘My boy, glory is the cheapest reward you can ever obtain. Countless knights died on the battlefield for a single emblem. There’s nothing else that could drive so many to death.’
Soldier: The sun is going down. It’s time to move.
In his memory, once again Joseph the Saintly Knight led his brigade to the dark -
Demon Sorcerer: I thought you would be able to see through the vanities of Holylight City.
Joseph: Shameless demon! You don’t even know what glory is!
Demon Sorcerer: Of course I do!
Demon Sorcerer: Glory is the debt owed by the world,
Demon Sorcerer: and the praise from the weak comes because they never want to pay!
Joseph: Stop jabbering! A fight to the death, you courtier of evil!
Joseph: In the armor of the Holy Temple, I fight for the sake of all!
Demon Sorcerer: All? Including those greedy merchants, useless cowards and selfish peasants?
Demon Sorcerer: They’re just using you! You enjoy the glory they gave you. Isn’t it the case?
Joseph: Yes! Glory is the only thing that can nourish my life.
“In the end I finally defeated the demon sorcerer, yet I also killed all of my companions.” On his death bed, Twilight Paladin pushed his armor to his disciple. He was staring at the empty grid on the armor, for it was yet to be filled by the Emblem of Glory.
Staying beside his mentor in silence, the disciple fit himself into the golden armor to his mentor’s request. In the holy light he witnessed the final breath of his mentor, as he recalled his father being controlled by the evil spirits, and the moment his mentor had killed his father to save him.
Werewolf Leader: Why have you stopped? Keep moving!
The werewolf howled at his subordinates, and they hastily gave way. He led his troops’ advance in the dark to collect protection rackets from villagers. However, the way was blocked with trunks and garbages. Looking between the roadblock’s gaps, the werewolf could see the villagers with farming tools in hand and a warrior wearing golden armor was standing at the front. The werewolf’s eyes met the warriors’, who was gripping at his lance tightly.
With the way blocked behind him to hinder the werewolf, the warrior was standing alone in the wilderness. Gazing at the cloudy sky, he recalled the words of Joseph, his mentor. “The reason why a great man is praised throughout all ages, is that we owe him too much that we can only praise him in order to repay the debt...”
Werewolf Leader: Humph! Shouldn’t a dog of Holylight City like you go to fight the Demons?
Werewolf Leader: What are you doin’ here?
Villager: He’s here to stop you, you jerk!
Villager: Sir, please get rid of them for us! These little pests know nothing but plundering!
Werewolf Leader: Shut up! If it wasn’t for us, you’ll have to pay more to Holylight City!
Werewolf Leader: I give you enough time to recover every time I come.
Paladin King of Light: I never knew that Holylight City taxes them for the army.
Werewolf Leader: I expected a punitive raid; but why does Holylight City only send one man?
Paladin King of Light: I wasn’t sent here.
Werewolf Leader: Then, this can be easily resolved.
Werewolf Leader: How much they paid you? I’ll give you double!
Paladin King of Light: Pay? I am here to collect my Emblem of Glory. Do you know what glory is?
Standing in front of the werewolf while holding his lance, the warrior pointed his finger at the villagers and told the thieves.
Paladin King of Light: Glory is the debt people owe me.
Paladin King of Light: I have sacrificed more than they could ever return;
Paladin King of Light: thus, they repay me with glory.
Werewolf Leader: So, that’s a no. Guys, take care of them! Teach them a lesson.
The leader unsheathed his blade as the warrior prepared himself for the battle silently. The swords of holy light emerged, forming a ring of swords.
Werewolf Leader: Aha! Aren’t these swords of holy light?
Werewolf Leader: How dare you deny you’re a dog of Holylight City?
Paladin King of Light: Swords are no more than weapons.
Paladin King of Light: They never are symbols of one’s identity.
Werewolf Leader: I can share half of the money with you. How about that?
Paladin King of Light: Money? My glory can’t be purchased.
The disciple of Joseph had been collecting his Emblems of Glory in the realms. After protecting the villagers from the thieves, he invited them to fill in the grid on his armor. The empty grid full of colourful symbols symbolized an Emblem of Glory treasured by every Twilight Paladin.