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Chapter 101 Dawson’ s Request
“What’s wrong, what’s wrong! You aren’t mustering up enough strength for the sword!”
Squeak, squeak! The swords ground against each other, making the grating sound of metal on metal.
The good-hearted Ryle was currently instructing the knights on technique in the form of combat.
On the other side, I was dealing with the people from the military.
…how did things come to this!
Yesterday I did carry out a simulated battle against Master…well, more like a depressurizing session for him!
I don’t know why, but the people from the military and the knights were watching us from the distance as we fought.
Unlike when we previously attended the capital’s simulated battles, this time their eyes carried a slight hint of respect and fear.
Well. At the time I thought that being watched was no big deal, so I just ignored it. But today someone ran over and asked me directly whether I’d be willing to compare our skills in a battle.
Master said that it was good to at least humor them, so I accepted with the thought that it would at least be a good way to waste some time.
…but now it’s clear that this isn’t a simulated battle at all. We’re just helping them train.
I don’t know when Ryle started getting invested, but it felt like he wasn’t really fighting a worthy opponent, but more just training the Armenia troops!
For such a rare opportunity, he could have picked way better opponents…I occasionally also wanted to really have a serious joust with people aside from Ryle and Master!
Suddenly, I felt someone’s eyes on me.
Just in time for me to knock the sword out of my opponent’s hand. Let me confirm who was watching me.
Hmm, that person was the son of the knight order’s leader. His name seemed to be Daw…son? Whatever, names didn’t matter. But that asshole was definitely one of the people who treated my lady disrespectfully!
Why, why is he staring down me and Ryle right now, with a look on his face like he wants to say something?
Even as these questions popped up in my mind, that bastard’s existence itself was making me angry. Best to just pretend I didn’t realize it was him and focus on fighting.
“…could you instruct me in a simulated match?”
Just as I concluded my previous match, Dawson ran over to ask me.
His actions seemed to sink the knight order into a strange panic. Seems like they were worried about how I would respond to him!
“Hm, all right.”
I responded casually, planning on extinguishing the concerns of the men. But hearing his response, I could no longer stay calm.
“…If I win, please let me meet the daughter of Duke Armenia.”
What was this guy saying?
“…What did you just say?”
“Exactly what I meant…I just hope that you might allow me to see her once.”
“I’m just a guard. How could I bring something like that up to my lady?”
“I’ve already sent a request to meet to the Duke’s family, but I was rejected…everyone on the outside knows that she trusts you deeply. If you intervened, you could potentially arrange a meeting.”
“…trust and such isn’t a relevant issue here. Why is it that we, who respond to our lady, have any responsibility to do this kind of work for people like you!”
“…That’s why I said, if I win…”
Heh heh. My heart was already filled with anger!
What did he want from my lady?
Did he want to harass her again, or try to get close to her…or is it that only now he remembers to apologize for what he did beforehand!
No matter which it is, now that we’re at this point, how could I allow any of them!
“Ryle won’t do, but you think that you can defeat me, is that it? Huh. Get started! If I win, you’re not allowed to so much as approach the lady!”
The judge seemed confused, but still sent out the signal for the match to begin.
So, how was I going to teach this bastard a lesson now.
Right now my heart was filled with anger for him. Ah, even my body felt restless. How long had it been since I got so angry?
Licking my lips, I focused my thoughts on how to best beat this asshole before me down. Ah, probably in a way that the military and knight order wouldn’t stop me.
…but, it seemed like I was thinking too hard. My body moved reflexively!
In a single moment.
A single moment reflex, and I knocked my opponent’s sword out of his hand.
Che. I was planning on toying with him a little longer before pushing him to the edge. Whatever.
Last time Ryle had gone too soft. This time it was my turn to really beat him up!
Thinking this, I didn’t stop and didn’t soften my blow as it descended upon my opponent. But–
“…What the hell is this, Ryle!”
“Calm down, Dida.”
For some reason, Ryle had stopped my sword.
“I’m very calm, so don’t stop me. If you understand, get out of the way.”
“You don’t understand at all.”
Damn, now I was riled up! This guy who always kept our lady at the top of his priorities was now standing up for this guy who had hurt her. I thought he was a reliable warrior, but what was he thinking now?
“If you keep protecting that guy, I won’t spare even you.”
“…All right. Then come at me.”
As we spoke, I poured more force into the sword in my hand. But even so, Ryle didn’t back down. Instead he responded by increasing the force of his hand as well.
“…Open your eyes and look closely, Dida,” Ryle said as he blocked my sword.
“Huh, what am I supposed to be looking at?”
As I said this, I couldn’t speak anymore, because I saw Dawson, who was sitting behind Ryle on the ground.
That moment, my sword arm dropped.
“…Why did you stop?”
The question came from none other than Dawson himself.
“I should be the one asking here. Why do I have to help you make your wish come true!”
“Take a look at yourself, how pathetic you look. Che, what a disappointment.”
“W-wait a minute…”
Dawson shouted at us, seeing that we were about to leave the battlegrounds.
But I didn’t plan to listen to him, so I didn’t turn around.
“If even you won’t punish me, who should I ask to punish me?!”
What the hell was he saying? I couldn’t help myself and walked back to him.
And then, I pulled out my sword and stabbed downwards. Even though it hadn’t been edged yet, it plummeted straight into the ground.
“Stop playing around here.”
I announced this curtly, staring Dawson down.
“Who you should ask for punishment? Who the hell knows…the cause-and-effects between us are no longer straightforward enough to count out.”
Being able to apologize and have all mistakes forgiven…how could something that ideal happen!
Experience regret with full sincerity, taste that bitterness thoroughly.
Blame yourself deeply, imprint that punishment into your heart.
And then really experience it. Our anger, our lady’s sadness.
After saying this, I left the battlegrounds for good, without looking back.
Ryle didn’t seem to have any issue with what I had done, and left alongside me.
And then, we began our own training anew.