THSK Vol. 1 Prologue Part 2


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Prologue Part 2


“We will now proceed with the execution of Aldia Graetz by hanging.”

―― Ah, is this how easily my life comes to an end?

I swallowed my saliva while sitting on the gallows, feeling the noise around me.

My dry throat felt like it was being stabbed from the inside by needles, and a feeling of regret overwhelmed me more than fear in my chest.

―― The life that person saved, now ending here.

“The defendant, Aldia Graetz, has been communicating with the princess of the Vulcan Empire, Valtrune von Felsdorf, since before the war and has been leaking information about our kingdom to the empire. Furthermore, he was involved in helping the princess escape after the war. In addition ――”

The Hearing Officer read out my alleged crimes one by one.

All of them were lies. Fabricated and distorted information was read out as if it were true. The many charges against me were just a prelude to stop my heart’s beating, but the pain and sadness I felt had long been numbed and disappeared.

I felt nothing ―― just emptiness. Even the meaning of lamentation was taken away from me.

“―― That is all. With that, it has been concluded that the death penalty is appropriate for Aldia Graetz. We will now proceed with the execution of Aldia Graetz by hanging.”

―― Is it finally starting?

The end of my life was about to come. The executioner appeared right beside me and tied a strong rope around my neck. If the door beneath me opened and I fell, the execution would be completed.

It is truly humiliating. The curious crowd, the gazes of the nobles and royalty that looked at me as if I were mere garbage. All of them are watching me.

“Why was I such a fool…”

―― I really did something stupid.

Princess Valtrune saved my life. And yet I did not choose to wield my sword for her until the very end.

―― Why was that?

Because she and I were enemies… that was the only reason.

When facing the enemy, Princess Valtrune was the only one I did not kill. However, I achieved some results on the battlefield. I killed countless Imperial soldiers. I sacrificed even my rest time and fought tirelessly. Looking back now, I wonder why I was trying so hard to kill them. What was the meaning of doing such a thing… I asked myself.

A knight who fought for the kingdom is ironically killed by the kingdom’s people on charges of treason.

“How could this… how could this happen…? I fought to protect the country, and now everything has been taken away from me, even my life…!?”

No one pays attention to my outburst. They probably only see me as a criminal with a bad attitude.

“Haha, listen to the criminal talking.”

“Does this traitor think he has the right to speak?”

“What a fool.”

“We don’t need someone like you in this country!”

“Just die already, you traitorous scum!”

Amidst the insults being hurled, I simply trembled in place. I controlled my ragged breathing and bit down on my lips. When was the last time I felt this much anger boiling up inside of me?

No matter what I said, my words would not resonate with anyone.

“This is ridiculous… what have I been doing all this time?”

―― Then, I remembered something just as I was about to die.

I saw in my mind the slim and beautiful hand of Princess Valtrune that was offered to me.

‘To be frank… could you join the empire’s side? I don’t want to fight against you… No, that’s not it. I want you.’

During a battle, when I met Princess Valtrune for the third time, she asked me to join her side. However, I did not accept her proposal.

‘…I’m sorry. I have friends and family in the kingdom. That’s why I can’t betray them by siding with the empire…’

‘I see… I’m sorry. You have your own reasons. Let’s forget about this.’

―― In the end, my friends and family disappeared before my very eyes in the midst of the war.

And now, I am also about to disappear.

By choosing to fight for the kingdom, I was left with nothing. The princess of the enemy country who had been kind to me died without fanfare. The friends I had been close to were swallowed up by the repeated ravages of war and never returned.

“…I have nothing left anymore.”

My words were filled with all my feelings.

I even wanted to curse this irrational world.

―― Looking back, I realized that my life had been full of regrets. I had spent several decades wondering what I had been living for. When I was surrounded by malicious looks from those around me, I could not help but feel lost. I felt a vibration in my feet. The door under my feet opened, signaling that I was about to fall. I had done something foolish… I was truly a fool.

―― If I had made a different choice back then, would anything have changed?

‘Could you join the empire’s side?’

If I had accepted that proposal, would my life have been different?

‘I want you.’

If I could have walked through life with the person who sought me out, I wonder what would have become of me.

At the very least, I might not have ended my life filled with so much regret. There could have been a possibility for me to have a happy future.

However, I did not seize that opportunity… I didn’t even try.

That choice at the time was supposed to be the most important turning point in my life ―― but everything that happened after that was brought on by the weakness in my heart. I had listed superficial reasons, such as fighting for the kingdom or having someone important, to avoid thinking about anything.

The outcome of my meaningless words led to an equally meaningless end.

“Pull the lever!”

The executioner pulled the lever of the device on the gallows. With a dull thud, the door beneath the gallows opened, and the rope, now noose, quickly tightened around my neck.


My face was engulfed in heat. Nausea and fading consciousness made me feel like I was about to vomit out the contents of my stomach. It was regrettable to think that I would die like this.

―― It hurts… I can’t breathe. Where did I… go wrong?


It was truly the worst possible end.

I would be exposed in front of the public and continue to be mocked even after death as a ‘fool’.

There was no salvation. Who would want to lead such a pitiful life?

“―――― !”

―― I have killed many and will surely fall into hell.

Without thinking about the meaning of killing, I have simply taken lives. It was war, so there was no other way… I knew it wasn’t something that could be easily justified. And yet, I continued with my inhumane slaughter.

Without stopping my foolish acts, I have accumulated sins. That is why I know that receiving this punishment is inevitable. It is the price I pay for the sins I have accumulated so far, and it is just natural retribution.

“…! …Kugh!”

The sound of the thread of life snapping could be heard.

My shaky vision suddenly turned pitch black.


The knight of the kingdom, Aldia Graetz… This is where my life comes to an end.

The final moments of someone who had secretly been known as the strongest knight in the kingdom, it is such a pitiful end. No matter how strong I was, in the face of power, I was powerless, and because I lived without any purpose, I could not accurately identify what was truly important to me.

At the last moment of my life, I thought of her face and made a wish.

If I could meet her again ―― I want to live by her side this time.

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