Chapter 217 Father and Child Part II
“…You’re back for training again.”
Hearing what I said, Merry turned her head in my direction.
“Yes…thanks to everyone, I’m mostly recovered now.”
Behind her were several “casualties”…a few men were still lying on the ground.
Compared to them, she had barely a mark on her. Even her clothes were unscuffed.
The only proof of my daughter’s duels with those men was the sweat on her brow.
“Madam Melrice, it’s my…ah, please excuse me, general.”
The men approached, the urge to fight clear in their body language.
Initially they had been frightened by Merry’s overwhelming strength. Now, however, all negative emotions were gone from their eyes.
Instead it had been replaced by admiration, respect.
She had earned their respect without relying on the title of Duke Anderson’s family.
Recently I heard she had been giving her opponents feedback on their duels like an instructor.
Her advice was incredibly helpful, so more and more were hoping to test their skills against her.
My daughter was really…I couldn’t help but smile an exasperated smile to myself.
“Whatever, heh. Please know your limits.”
That was when a man who looked to be in his fifties or sixties approached me with small, hesitant footsteps from inside the mansion.
“…Master, just now Baron Messi sent a messenger…”
“What? I’ll be over right now.”
Melrice’s sharp eyes trailed between us, paying full attention to our exchange.
Noticing this, I turned to look at her.
“You should come too.”
“Are you sure?”
Just like that, the three of us hastened to the waiting room.
Baron Messi’s messenger had already arrived and was sitting on the couch.
Seeing me enter the room, he stood up.
“Please relax. You’ve already traveled so far.”
I sat across from him. Melrice stood next to me.
“Apologies, this woman is…?”
The messenger glanced at her.
His gaze was filled with confusion.
“No need to worry. Please allow me to get to the point. Why has Baron Messi sent you?”
I interrupted him, urging him to move quickly.
“The Towair Kingdom has made their move.”
“A move on the military front?”
Hearing Baron Messi’s report, neither me nor Melrice were shaken.
It almost seemed like what we had been waiting for was finally here. We were astonishingly calm.
The messenger seemed shocked by our lack of reaction.
Melrice especially, since she seemed like nothing but a delicate woman.
The messenger must have assumed that she might faint from the situation at hand, which is why he wondered at her presence in the first place.
Unlike what he must have imagined, Melrice was incredibly calm.
“Does his majesty already know of this?”
“…Most of it. He learned the news through other venues. My master sent out other messengers as well.”
“Is that so…do we have an estimation of the size and speed of the enemy force?”
“The scale is the same as the ones they sent out during the last war. Their speed is faster than expected…within ten days, they’ll arrive at the borders.”
“I see. I’ll be at the palace as soon as possible to prepare for battle. Please inform Baron Messi to hold out until I’ve arrived.”
“I’m reassured by your words. Thank you so much.”
Relaxing slightly, the messenger lowered his head.
“As you’ve heard, I’m heading to the palace. There’s a possibility that we’ll be moving straight to the battlefront.”
She nodded silently in response.
“You don’t have to fight, but I don’t know what might happen from now on. This is war.”
I gazed at her, my expression heavy with the seriousness of the situation.
She didn’t seem intimidated at all.
Instead she accepted the heaviness of my gaze, looking back at me with the same determination.
“Do you remember your vows?”
Her eyes went wide for a moment in shock…then she smiled.
Those were the words she had sworn when I granted her her sword.
“I swear on my name, that I am proud of the swordsmanship passed to me by my father and other elders. I swear to never raise my sword in humiliation of that pride.”
A long time had passed since she spoke those words. It seemed like she hadn’t forgotten them.
“Of course. But I have a different reason for raising my sword than I did back then.”
“What do you mean?”
“Compared to pride, what I value most right now is the people around me. For them, I’m willing to abandon all of my pride to become nothing but a phantom of what I am now.”
“Is that so…”
I smiled at Merry’s response, but immediately stopped myself short.
“I’m leaving now.”
“Best of luck on the battlefield.”