I Will Quit the Entourage of the Villainess 49
Hushed voices echo in the meeting room.
“This duel… Is it really a good idea to allow these young ladies…”
The man’s expression was severe as he shook his head indecisively.
As if to brush away his doubts, a soft yet persuasive voice answers him.
“It may not be becoming for highborn ladies. However, it is something that His Highness and the sons of judges do every day. His Highness will be able to see the characters of the ladies. That will be important in him choosing a future wife among the girls of the academy. Considering this…”
There was a strong drive in her voice.
“Noblesse oblige. Though it may not apply to this situation… But perhaps these girls will understand the true meaning behind those words through this experience.”
The man seemed to have been swayed by this.
The woman continued to talk as if pressing him further.
“At the very least, it will save one unfortunate man. And myself as well.”
“…Fine then. It is settled, the fight will happen. Well, there is a strong entertainment factor with this current duel. After all, the candidate for queen has practically already been decided. …She won’t challenge anyone, will she?”
“I do not think so. At least, for now.”
“I see. In any case… We must wait and see. Though, I personally hope that it is her.”
“Indeed. …Well then, I have preparations to make. Please excuse me.”
The man closed his tired eyes as the woman quietly left the room.
“And nooooow! The time has arrived! This year’s second one-on-one duel! We have been blessed with good weather, making it a perfect day to fight. Do you not agree, Cosette!”
“Ye-yes… You can never have too much fine weather. Rain would be dangerous as you could slip and fall. Also, this match…”
“Exactly! Now! We will announce just how Lady Angie and Lady Marietta will be competing!”
Sandy’s voice boomed across the blue sky.
“Spring is in full bloom! Now, which of these two can dig faster?! A friendly, exciting match of digging up bamboo shoots!!!!”
A huge round of applause erupted from all of the students who gathered at our bamboo grove.
“What, that’s not right! How can this be the fight between these ladies!!”
“That is not the case! They say that His Highness, the Prince is very fond of digging up bamboo shoots as well! The other young men have also taken to this hobby!”
They were only helping me in digging them up.
Generally speaking, it would be considered an outrage to have His Highness the Prince digging up bamboo shoots, however, he was kind enough to say that it was only a favor between friends.
Still, I avert my gaze with just a small sense of guilt.
“However, this is no mere contest of counting bamboo shoots! You will be able to give away the bamboo shoots that you dig up! And not only that but the judges and students present here shall all participate in the digging!”
The crowds buzzed with commotion.
So that’s how it would be.
In other words, this was really a matter of winning hearts in the guise of digging bamboo shoots.
But then, couldn’t they have chosen something else?
Something that didn’t involve so much dirt and mud…
Was there really nothing else?
I was used to the smell of mud as I dug them up all the time, but that was not the case for the other nobles… Which was unfortunate for them.
“And now I shall explain the detailed rules!”
Sandy began to explain the rules about digging up the bamboo shoots.
According to her, only the participants would be digging.
Every student would be accompanied by an attendant or guard from the academy, however, they will not be allowed to help in the digging. Though, they will be allowed to carry them.
In the event that they steal or forcefully take away someone else’s bamboo shoots, they will be disqualified and have their bamboo shoots confiscated.
The bamboo shoots can be given to anyone.
Bamboo shoots must have a length of twenty centimeters in order to accrue points. It is also forbidden to damage the bamboo shoots in any way, unless by accident while you are removing them from the soil.
Etcetera, etcetera. I was surprised that there were such rules set in place. But in other worse, do not cheat and handle your food with care.
The dug up bamboo shoots were to be bought in bulk by the academy.
Which I was thankful for.
As Sandy finished her explanations, the students were given some work clothes and paired with their attendants.
I too changed into some work clothes.
“Now then, we will introduce the opponents!”
And with that, the two young ladies came forward.
“The first lady is someone we are all familiar with from the last fight! Angie, in the red working clothes!!!”
Angie’s work clothes were a vibrant red that could be seen from far away.
She bowed her head.
“And next is Marietta, who is in yellow! Lady Marietta in the yellow working clothes!!!!”
Marietta’s work clothes were a striking yellow color. As her hair was yellow as well, it was a little harsh on your eyes.
She attempted to give a graceful bow, but she had no skirt to lift, so she made due with the edges of her clothes.
“And of course, the judges will also participate in the digging as well! And now, let the digging of the bamboo shoots BE—–GI—–N!!”
And with that boisterous fanfare out of the way, the bamboo shoot contest commenced.
How did this happen?