Title: 首の姫と首なし騎士; Obito no Hime to Kubi nashi Kishi; Head Princess and Headless Knight
Publisher: Kadokawa Beans
- The Fourth Child – Princess Charlotte
- The Headless Knight – Albert Horseman
- Past & Present
- What She Wants
“… Then I bestow upon you the name of “Albert.” We’ll probably stick around for quite awhile, don’t you think?”– Joseph Vollmont.
Fueled by people’s dissatisfaction of the tyranny of the Country of Orland, small nations under it sought for soldiers and arms under General Joseph Vollmont. He formed an alliance between these nations and engaged a final battle with the Orlanders.
Surrounded by piling bloody corpses of Orland ogres and soldiers, stood a young boy. His body was completely covered in blood. The alliance was definitely on the inferior compared to the Orland army, but this one peculiar boy brought victory to the alliance despite the fact that this battle was his first. He rode his enemy’s horse as he slashed down the heads of his enemies – while laughing. Σ (llﾟдﾟﾉ)ﾉ ﾊｧｱ!!?
He turned to Joseph and says in amusement that “this is what he wished for.”
With the boy lining up every decapitated heads of the enemies he took down, this scene in front of him was nothing but a portrait of Hell. Joseph calmly applauded him for doing a splendid job but said that he is the one who issues orders. His duty was only to answer them – other than that he should kept his mouth shut. Even they were to be called as cruel as the Orlanders, they needed to win this battle for freedom and to protect their loved ones. That’s why they shouldn’t hesitate to draw their swords. To hesitate only means to die. His words boosted his soldiers’ morale but of course the boy didn’t need them.
He had no name. His swordsmanship was rough, violent and probably self-taught – something he learned just to survive. Perhaps he had gone through a harsher life than Joseph expected. He then gave him the name “Albert.” He had a feeling he’d be around for quite some time, so it’d be much more convenient if they have a name to call him with. The boy seemed suspicious of Joseph but in the end sighed and told him to do whatever he wants.
Two years after that, the forces won the war and Joseph was crowned as the king. The kingdom’s name was then changed to Vollmont. The person who healed the war ravages and scars in people’s hearts was Joseph, the founder of Vollmont Kingdom. By his side was his loyal knight, Albert Horseman, a marvelous knight who obeys no one but him. People feared and associated him with a folklore spirit who’s wandering around, looking for his own head. He was then known as the “Headless Knight.”
“I see… Of course I wouldn’t mistakenly shoot someone instead. You’re intending to make him to take away my head before I could.”– Princess Charlotte.
Princess Charlotte has never been that charming to the princes his father (King Hendrick – Second King of Vollmont) arranged her to meet. She isn’t a beauty, dislikes jewelry, gowns and social gathering and prefers to lock herself in a dark study room and drowns in her books. The king’s attempts to hook her up with some princes always end in failure, but he hasn’t given up yet.
One morning, he orders his youngest daughter to go hunting. She doesn’t need to be good at it. He just wants her to master the art of “praising guys” to appeal herself to them. She mocks it as a part of a bigger plan of his called “How to Make the Fourth Child a Bride,” and sarcastically tells him that she’ll be careful not to mistakenly shoot a human instead. He tells her that she won’t be alone, however, because “Albert Horseman” is coming with her, much to Charlotte’s surprise. Skeptically, she says of course she wouldn’t because the Headless Knight would take away her head before she could, but the king harshly tells her to be careful of her mouth.
She’s not taking a regular “horseman” (read: knight), but that Albert Horseman – the hero who brought victory to the country at the age of sixteen and also the previous king’s loyal subordinate. However, he is known as a violent, merciless knight who listens to no one but Charlotte’s grandfather.
Unfortunately, previous king has passed away. Three years after Joseph was crowned as the king, he retired because of his worsening health. Albert kept on serving him until he passed away only two years later. Today, two years have passed away ever since the late king’s death. The Headless Knight is now a mere treasured sword turned into an abandoned demon sword nobody knows how to control.
With a few servants and guards, Charlotte departs for the nearby forest. Seeing Albert from up-close makes her realize that he must look really attractive to girls and young. Patrick (Pat), Charlotte’s attendant and a dog breeder apprentice, then whispers that “of course he does – he’s only in his twenties” although she still doesn’t get why such hero would’ve agreed on taking such a petty duty like escorting a little girl. The hunting event is a disaster though – Charlotte misses her shot and almost killed one of her guard instead. ﾌﾟｯ(※థэథ)∵.*.∵ She feels bad for the poor bird and guard she aims at, so she decides to return to the castle. Pat is hesitant at first, but decides it’s for the best because a rumor about “the princess who kills” doesn’t ring so well. LOL.
As they’re leaving, Talo, Pat’s hound dog, suddenly scowls and runs back into the forest with Pat chasing after him. Charlotte then accidentally hears a guard nearby complains about him. She then “apologizes” of her selfishness of taking him along which shuts the guard up. From the guard also she learns that the king has been ordering Albert for useless jobs like patrolling around an empty village where practically nothing but goats and chickens exist – which of course he refuses to obey. ∵ゞ(´ε｀●) ﾌﾞﾊｯ!! So apparently this is the only job he has taken interest in – escorting her. She then starts to think perhaps the king actually fears him because he pledges his loyalty solely to Joseph. If that’s the case, then she feels sorry for him, wonders if she should apologize on behalf of his father and prompts her to question as to why he still stays in this country.
Soon, Charlotte realizes Pat and Talo are still not back yet. She has a bad feeling about it and follows them back into the forest… only to find them with a monster that resembles a person but many times bigger – an ogre. An ogre, now an endangered species, shouldn’t have been able to get past the security and castle gate, but strangely, there it is – aiming his preys – the wounded Pat and Talo. The knights can only stand still in horror except for one: Albert Horseman. His eyes shine in ecstasy and the most graceful but yet sinister smile on Earth ornates his face as he pulls out his sword.
Charlotte refuses to leave Pat and Talo as the knights suggest her to. When her eyes meet Albert’s, suddenly an image of Joseph Vollmont pass through her mind. If it’s “his voice,” then it should be able to reach Pat who’s still unable to move. She gathers the air around her, imagines the throne in her head and shouts—“Patrick Seibel, please come here right now!”—in a voice that nobody expects her to possess—the voice of a king: the honorable and loved Joseph Vollmont’s “voice.” Although surprised, thanks to her Pat finally snaps out of his fear and runs for his life.
The knights then join the battle while Charlotte carries Pat and Talo on her horse back to the castle. Everybody is surprised at first but they manage to call a doctor to treat Pat and Talo’s wounds. But what’s more surprising is that the Headless Knight, who’s known to have disobeyed the current king, volunteers to be Charlotte’s bodyguard.