The sun has risen and it is morning. I am supposed to fight Sophia with a sword this evening. But the chances of winning are slim to none. The old Eric had a great talent for verbal abuse, but he showed little interest in swordsmanship or martial arts, and didn’t know how to hold a sword. Of course, when I was dealing with monster complainers in Japan, I also did not enjoy sports such as kendo or karate, and in short, I was super-pinching. I was in the camping club, so I know a lot about the outdoors. ……
“Eric-sama, …… are you okay?”
“Y-yeah,…… I’m fine. Haha …….”
“Your mouth is smiling, but your eyes are not smiling at all!”
I was eating breakfast brought by the royal palace maid (Safina) in the familiar noble room, but I couldn’t taste it at all.
I was about to leave here with the wagon in tow when Safina-san, perhaps wondering about the situation, tilted her head slightly and spoke to me.
“What’s the matter? You don’t look well.”
“Haha…… I’m totally fine! The food is very delicious, and I’m a lowly aristocrat, but you’ve given me so much …… I’d rather say I’m overflowing with gratitude.”
Safina stares at my flustered face and thinks about it. The purple hair and the well-defined nose and eyes are impressive, and her jewel-like purple eyes seem to be able to read my mind.
“Don’t be so nervous. I don’t know what kind of intention Sophia-sama had in challenging Eric san to a match, but Eric san is a kind person, so I’m sure it will be a good match.”
“What? Safina-san, did you know about ……?”
“Yes, I did. This morning, Sophia-sama asked me to be the referee.”
“Oh, …… I see. ……”
Did you know all about ……
“What? A match? Eric-sama? What do you mean by a match?”
Sera, not understanding the flow of the conversation at all, leans her upper body toward me in a forward motion.
“Later, I’ll explain …….”
I can’t say it now because Safina-san is there, so I pat her head and calm her down as she asks me with her eyes wide open.
I really don’t know what’s ahead of me. ……
After breakfast, I explained the whole story to Sera. Of course, she was extremely anxious when she heard what I had to say. But I encouraged her by saying, [I’ll make it up to her no matter what]. But I was scared. But I couldn’t let her see me weakening at this point.
I managed to suppress my nervousness, and I racked my brains to think of what tactics would be best for me. However, there was no way I could come up with a strategy to beat her, the strongest swordsman on the Orient Continent, and before I knew it, it was evening.
When I arrived at the dojo with Sera, Safina and Sophia were already there, waiting for us.
“You didn’t run away.”
“Pick your favorite sword. They’re both as good as the one I’m wearing.”
Sophia pointed to the floor in front of me. There were several swords on it, all real swords. I lifted something that looked light and pretended it was a real sword.
“If you play a match with such a thing, …… it’s not safe after all. ……”
“Are you scared?”
“I knew you were just talk.”
“No, ……, I’ll do it!”
“But I’ll tell you one thing.”
“Sophia chan, you’re the best swordsman I know, so maybe it’s none of my business, but I don’t want to fight you. I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to get into a fight with a beautiful girl over something as dangerous as this. ……”
“Hm! You’re talking nonsense again …….”
Sophia expresses her displeasure at my plea.
“What’s that? Sophia chan? Hmm?”
Safina-san, standing in the middle of the dojo, twisted her head and wondered about our exchange. Sera was trembling, fearing that our identities would be discovered.
I sighed and walked over to the other side of the field where Sophia was standing.
Sophia was not wearing an armor-type weapon. She was wearing a dress that was easy to move around in, and she was just staring at me. I felt uncomfortable about this, so I spoke to her.
”Don’t you have to wear anything?”
“Just mind your own business.”
By the way, I was wearing the armor that Safina, the royal palace maid, had prepared for me in advance for my training. But the opponent is a professional among professionals. What exactly is Sophia trying to ascertain through this match?
To be honest, there could be a situation where Sophia kills me here. The thought of it makes my skin crawl, but the “blessing of non-assassassination” has my back.
So I believe in Sophia. Of course, I don’t think I can win the match, but I have to show her something in the game.
With this in mind, Sophia and I faced each other and pointed our swords at each other.
Sophia approached me almost at the same time as Safina’s voice rang out, announcing the start of the match. She uses the hilt of her sword to strike me in the abdomen, and then pushes me away.
I was thrown several meters by the impact.
She was so strong that she didn’t look like a slender and beautiful girl. The gap between the two was enough to put me under pressure. However, if I just admit defeat without doing anything, everything will be ruined.
I was so exhausted that I got up with all my might.
“I knew it,……Sophia chan is strong,…….”
“Well,……, I’ll give you a chance this time. I’m going to concentrate on defense, so come at me.”
I didn’t want to go. Of course, Sophia would have lost all of my attacks. I didn’t want to fight with an angry Safina, who had already turned on me.
But now we are in the middle of a match. I had no choice but to do it. With that in mind, I managed to move my heavy legs and jumped on Sophia.
Gakiiiiinnn! The sound of two metal objects colliding hit my ears hard. I am probably wearing a very sad expression on my face right now.
Just as I had expected, Sophia lightly parried my attack. I’m sure she is laughing at me for my poor appearance.
At this rate, we would never be able to reconcile. However, I still want to take good care of Sophia.
I looked up with a somber expression on my face and checked Sophia’s face. But contrary to my expectations, Sophia’s eyes widened and she looked upset.
‘You ……, what the hell was that attack just now!”
“What? The attack just now?”
“I thought you were going to attack me by cowardly and insidiously playing tricks on me …….”
“I don’t see the slightest hint of malice in this. !!!!”
She blushed and shouted at the top of her voice.
“I told you ……. I told you I want to take good care of you, Sophia chan……”
“This is a lie,……, of course it’s a lie! You! I’ll never forgive you! I’ll break all your thick masks. !!”
“What? Hey! Hey, hey! Sophia-chan!?”
Her eyes moistened, and she beat me unilaterally. When I got up, she kicked me, and when I got up again, she used her harelip to strike me in the solar plexus. But I was undaunted and got up again. I was wearing training gear, but it was useless in the face of her overwhelming power.
Sophia provokes me to come at her again, and I attack her again. But every time my desire not to hurt Sophia is conveyed to her through the sword, she becomes enraged again and punches me in the face.
“You! Enough! Show your true colors!”
“Are you satisfied now?”
“Hm! Shut up. …… Shut up, shut up, shut up!!!”
“Why are you so angry? You’re ruining your pretty face, aren’t you?”
Sophia’s high-pitched voice comes out as I remain lying down.
“I can’t believe Sophia-sama is so distraught……Eric, I knew this match had to be called off once and for all……”
“No, I’m fine.”
“This is the path I have to take.”
“I understand. Eric sama”
Sera looked at me anxiously, but I smiled and waved to her.
And then I stood up again. My whole body ached, but strangely enough, I felt as light as a feather.
“You’re still fighting!”
“I told you. I don’t want to fight you, Sophia chan.”
“Then why do you keep getting up?”
“I’ve been telling you all along. I’ve always said I want to make up with you.”
“I’m not going to take it easy on you anymore, ……. You may be deeply wounded if you do,……, so surrender quickly.”
“I’m afraid of that,…… but I won’t surrender.”
“I don’t know what’s going to happen now!”
Sophia comes over to where I am, her eyes misting up as if she is about to cry.
Facing her, I threw away the sword in my hand, threw away my protective gear, and opened my arms.
Sophia’s eyes were filled with tears as she came toward me.
“You! What a stupid thing to do!”
I hugged her as she ran.
And at the same time, blood was running down my side.
“Sophia-chan……, you finally called me by my name.”
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