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I’m quite happy that she’s into steamed egg custard.
“Aside from the magic eye, I’m not sure about what…. ‘unique magic’ is.”
“Same as the magic eye. It’s a mystery why it happens, but it’s a unique type of magic that is instilled in a person from birth.”
She’s a sweet girl. It feels like she’s a sister of mine.
“The famous ones are the Scarlet Crystal, which is said to cover the land with burning crystals that looked like they were from fairy tales, and the Ten Thousand Chains, which is said to have been used by the companion of the first heroe. But the bearers of the magic eye are far more numerous. The unique magic is rare due to it’s immense power.”
She told us proudly.
“There are not many powerful magic eyes, but there are many types of them, so some of them might be related to curses.”
“Juan speculated properly. Well, we have to investigate this.”
At Lizlit’s explanation, Princess Erika began to speak uneasily.
“…haven’t you learned your lesson?”
“It’s terrible, the way you talk… Don’t worry. I’ve been lectured a lot and I’ve been prohibited from investigating.”
She tugged at my sleeve.
“It’d be a disaster if it’s a magic eye…”
“From what you just said, it sounded like unique magic is stronger than the magic eye…. is it not?”
I had no idea because I couldn’t use a magic eye or unique magic.
My only skill was my deceitful way of speaking.
“Unique magic is stronger… but the magic eye can be exercised immediately without building a magic circle.”
“Don’t tell me you can use it just by looking at the target…?”
“It uses a lot of magic, but you only need to look at the target”
My pets can have magic eyes, right?
I’m glad Lilia and Lerga didn’t run into Hisahide while arriving to my castle.
“Oh well, I guess I can’t go out until the runaways are caught…”
“Did I mention them? The culprit helped three people escape in total. Two of them are one of the reasons why Madame was suspected…. I’ve been thinking about it, and I think Glass might bear a grudge on her.”
With great energy, he drew his sword.
The sword was slashed with great force, white magic power gushing out of it.
But the cloth wasn’t cut into shreds, it didn’t even get cut completely.
“….Would you like to take a break? Even if you have magic power, it won’t restore your mental energy and spirit, will it?”
Shannon, an elf, the second sister of ‘The Bonds Of The Three Sisters’ who was sitting at the edge of the tree snag and watching over them, suggested Hakuto to take a rest as he was getting frustrated.
“No, no, I can continue. Sorry…. if I made you worry.”
“It’s okay, I’m just…. worrying for no reason. I’m… a little scared that you’re going to do something reckless these days.”
Her eyes below her glasses showed a hint of uneasiness.
“I think that’s something I’ll get used to if I just keep using magic….”
“I think it’s fine though.”
Oswald, who had been practicing with his bow at a distance from Hakuto, walked up to them and showed his understanding.
“Erika told me earlier to relax my shoulders and not to put too much magic power, but in the end it is just words after all, so it’s hard to understand and use the advice. Wouldn’t it be better to learn it with your body by working hard by yourself?”
“Yes, that’s right…. Okay!”
He shook off his hesitation at his friend’s words and got up.
But the conversation did not end there.
“-But you know what?”
Oswald’s face was the most serious he had ever seen.
“I’ve been meaning to tell you,” he said, “but I haven’t been able to get around to it until today…The other day made me think about it again.”
Oswald said with firm determination to Hakuto, who felt a bad feeling looking at his seriouslness.
“…Hakuto… you, Erika, and I should not get involved in this case.”
It was a familiar comment, one that several people had stopped him from making.
“Not this case, but all cases. The Black Demon King, the Angel Cult, Kujaro, everything and everyone.”
Why would he say such a thing?
Naturally, I wondered, but Oswald’s eyes, which weren’t wavering in the slightest, stopped me from saying it.
“It’s not for ever, is it?“
“Of course not. I can’t forgive the bad guys, and I want to save people, too.”
Trying to make his words clear to Hakuto, Oswald chose them carefully and cut to the point.
“What I’m trying to say is that we should fight only when we are capable enough. Nothing more.“
“…Capable enough? How good do we have to be to be capable enough? I don’t mean to be rude… but Erika and I can fight much better than most soldier.“
“That’s not good enough.”
Oswald’s definition of being capable enough had clear criteria.
“The Black Knight was an ally. He helped Harmal (1). His immense power and the threat he could pose to us if he had been an enemy is being ignored. Kujaro and Juan were warded of by Glass-sama… To be frank, everything so far went well because of sheer luck and others.”
It was impossible to deny it.
It was a fact.
He’d been so lucky that he’s beginning to think he’s been protected by some kind of divine force.
“What I mean by ‘worthy’ is when we graduate from… the academy and can at least ‘save’ our life from these powerful enemies.”
He had no counter argument.
Even in his head, he understood that this was a sound argument.
How can a man who can’t even save his own life save others from a Demon King or a powerful enemy?
“…No, but… Most of them happened unexpectedly, you know? We didn’t plan to-”
“Run away. From the unexpected… Hakuto, you’ll not run away no matter how strong the enemy is, will you?”
It’s true that there were incidents happening all around us, but there was no need for them to get involved.
Oswald, for once… no, if he thought about it, had often suggested retreat before.
“Even if the weak are being oppressed in front of you, if there is even a small chance that you will not be able to defeat them, run away. I promise you. This is a necessary patience to keep. It is a necessary promise to uphold until we become strong.”
Oswald was probably right.
But when Hakuto saw those suffering right in front of him… he couldn’t turn his back on them…
“…We’ve known each other this long, do you really think telling me to leave… them to their fate will work?”
“Yeah, I know that.”
Stubborn but honest, Hakuto was very easy to understand, even with only a few words exchanged.
With a wry smile on his face, Oswald began preparing to increase the force in his persuasion.
“…Oswald. I can’t leave a man to suffer if he’s suffering right in front of me.”
Hakuto thought of the Black Knight.
He didn’t think… that that man would turn his back on the weak and leave, no matter how outnumbered he was.
He didn’t know who he was, even though he had spoken to him a few times.
“It’s not just me. Even Erika would refuse to let people suffer. So-”
After smiling bitterly at Hakuto’s straightforwardness, Oswald recounted his past experiences.
“-I lost my grandfather because of such a reckless sense of justice.
Both Hakuto and Shannon, who had been quietly watching the proceedings, were at a loss for words.
“I had a grandfather whom I respected. But he died to protect me, an idiot who foolishly rode alone to save my kidnapped childhood friend.“
Hakuto couldn’t speak.
He had never experienced a family member dying while defending him, and the mere thought of it brought him unbearable grief.
“That was the result of a person who became conceited because he had access to a few abilities that others didn’t have and pushed ahead with them… I followed your group because you are too reckless.”
I met him in Stout and thought he was just following where the wind took him because of their lively personalities and his easygoing and detached nature.
Or perhaps Oswald himself was not aware of the reason at the time.
“We’ve come too far to lose now. And the possibilities of what we can lose are endless. In fact, the Demon Lord was one step away from taking her from you, wasn’t he?”
Oswald spoke, maintaining his distance to Hakuto.
“Hakuto-sama, do you remember the Black Knight’s words when we first met? ‘Justice without power is no better than evil.’ It’s true. Very true. You risk not only your life, but the lives of your comrades and others. Lives that don’t need to be lost are… scattered.”
He didn’t seem to be lying.
Oswald’s face was filled with grief.
It was clear that he was still suffering.
“But you may not agree. Because you’ve lived that way. You can’t change the principles you follow unless you begin regretting it as much as I do. So let’s… decide by a duel.”
“Isn’t that the custom of the nobility? Of course, in our case it’s not a fight for life, but more like a serious contest. The winner’s principles will be the ones that are right. Why don’t we do that?”
Oswald was ready for battle, equipping himself with a wooden dagger used for training and a bow and arrow with a crushed arrowhead used for mock battles.
“Well, you don’t have to go that far…”
“……You’re serious, aren’t you?”
Shannon tried to stop him, but Oswald’s determination remained unchanged.
Even the naïve Hakuto knew that this duel was inevitable between them, who would never back down from their arguments.
“I’m serious. I consider both you and Erika to be my dear friends.“
“So do we!”
Oswald closed his eyes to calm himself.
“That’s why. I don’t want to lose my loved ones again, neither do I want to see you lose anything. That’s why…“
Oswald opened his eyes, determined to defeat his friend, and a unique magic circle appeared in his eyes.
“Wait, a magic eye?“
Shannon noticed the proof of the magic eye first, and Hakuto stiffened in surprise.
“…I won’t give up on my stance. You won’t either. If neither of you is willing to give up, then let’s fight and decide. If you can’t beat me, then you can’t argue anymore.“
Oswald was strong.
Even in hand to hand combat, he used to be able to stand toe-to-toe (・・・・・) with Hakuto and Erika.
(1) Harmal El:
The former leader of the Order of the Kingsguard. Plotted to kill the king and died.
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