A pile of incapacitated students had been built in the corner of the training ground. Roka, who crossed her arms, had dissatisfied-looking on her face.
“Hmm…. It’s better than Mildiana’s students, but honestly, they’re both the same.”
As Roka, who had made a pile, looked around, those who had not yet fought her averted their gazes and quickly fled the scene.
While Roka was boringly saying that, a fierce battle was going on nearby.
“You can’t beat me if you keep on defensive posture!”
Shaula is continuing her attack on Keith.
Keith continued to prevent attacks with his fists and footsteps that were unstoppable.
But something’s wrong. Keith was mostly on the defensive. Occasionally he tries to grab onto Shaula, but he is too slow to deal with the quick beastkin.
He was easily dodged and had to take another hit.
“What are you doing, Keith Lermit! Try to go on the offensive a little!”
Clarice scolded him, but the red-haired young man was not moving well.
Keith’s strike is slower than the beastkin girl. But, as prophet, his attack is still able to get through to Roka and Shaula, who are also prophets.
Maybe if he had been ‘serious’ he could have given Shaula a heavy blow.
Even though Shaula was also not in full swing, I thought that Keith would probably have the advantage if they both went all out.
The white wolf girl is trying to act like she can afford it, but I can feel her frustration at not being able to deliver the decisive blow.
But it was time for that stalemate to end.
“Haa~…. Haa~….I don’t know how many times I have to beat you up. I don’t know what you’re thinking if you don’t even attack me.”
As Keith finally collapsed to the ground, Shaula quickly left the scene to take a break, although I was not sure if she was satisfied or not.
There have been a few times when these two have fought in the physical skill like this, but the results so far have been all wins for Shaula.
At first, I thought he was having trouble getting a feel for a physical fight with an unfamiliar beast, but this didn’t seem to be such a simple problem.
“Theo? What’s the matter with you, you look like you’re in trouble.”
“No, I just… I was just wondering what happened to Keith.”
“You’re right, it’s gutless. To be honest, I was expecting a little more from him.”
As she approached me cassualy, I caught Roka’s suprise spinning kick with my left hand, kicking her in the axle.
Roca fell down and quickly used his tail to catch herself.
“…… You look totally careless, but you’re still as seamless as ever…”
“Well, if it wasn’t me, I might fall for it.”
“Hmmm. I’d like to win this duel in a straightforward manner, but …… is a difficult one. All I can do is approach you casually and launch a surprise attack.”
In spite of the fox girl’s resignation, I said to Clarice.
“What about you Clarice? Do you want to play with me?”
“…… I don’t have to fight to understand. I am no match for you in physical skills.”
“Is it just physical? Don’t you think you can beat me in swordplay or magic?”
“I’m not going to take that cheap provocation…… I really want to try it out, but I have to be on military duty for a while from today. I can’t afford any unnecessary injuries.”
All of Mildiana’s special students, with the exception of Liz, fell for this kind of provocation. It’s funny because they do, but Clarice seems to honestly admit she’s not good at it.
“What’s up with the military service?”
“Yes. Actually, in a nearby temple, I recently …… no, my mouth slipped. Forget it.”
“So you’re going to stop teaching for a while?”
“Well, that’s the way it is. But don’t skip class just because I’m not here. The instructor will be reporting on your behavior later.”
“I’ll telling the others. I don’t know if anyone but Keith will take it seriously.”
Cowering her shoulders, Clarice made a pretense of being lost, then said.
“Theodore. You know, Keith Lermit. ……”
I could tell that Clarice was a little concerned about Keith.
I knew he felt uncomfortable after fighting in person and seeing the current match with Shaula
“I wonder if you and Keith know each other?”
“I don’t think I know him well enough to call him a friend, because I only met him a few times when I was a child through exchanges between noble families. I don’t even remember talking to him much. ……”
I guess she doesn’t feel confident enough to go into Keith’s problems. If that’s the case, it might be faster if I talk to him directly.
“I’ll see what I can do. Maybe it’s not a matter of guidance.”
“…… I understand. It may be easier for you, who are of the same sex, to talk to him. I’ll leave it to you.”
Clarice murmured in detail, then signaled to everyone in the drill hall that class was over.
At the same time, the bell rang for the end of the school day.
Keith left the scene with an indescribable expression as the other students left the scene with dead faces.
I think it’s just an uncontrollable resentment. I don’t think it’s a good idea to just let it go.
After all the classes were over, it was evening.
I see Keith standing on the terrace of the school, gazing blankly at the bleak landscape.
“What’s the matter, Keith?”
“Oh, Theodore? No, it’s not really anything, but…
My gaze swims a little.
It was unlike his usual resolute attitude.
I threw a wooden sword at him. He gave me a distracted look.
Keith, who was also there, received the message and looked at me to see what was going on.
“Do you want to practice for the first time in a while? I won’t force you if you don’t want to.”
“…… well, …… can you hang out with me for a bit?”
We went straight to a nearby training ground, faced each other, and then – cutting with wooden swords.
It was a powerful blow. It’s the first time I’ve seen him use a sword with such folly.
I quickly shed Keith’s sword, and with the return blade, I cut at his sword with my own wooden sword.
The sound of wooden swords striking each other echoed through the training ground as we looked at each other for a while.
Keith’s expression, which had been a little distracted until then, tightened. That’s exactly what I was aiming for.
I hope it will come at that momentum.
I caught the powerful blow and looked at Keith. There was no hesitation in his expression. The weight of the blow was not bad either.
I could feel his growth after his fight with Sky Demons in Mildiana.
“That’s a good blow.”
“With a clear face, accept it. …… it’s my win!”
It was such a good blow that I forgot to act. So I was even more curious about that.
“Keith. Why did you make adjustments when you played a swordsmanship match with Clarice?”
“Even in your physical fight with Shaula, you were clearly sloopy on her. You should have been able to handle her quick movements.”
Feeling Keith’s strength weaken, I flicked his wooden sword away and pointed the tip of the blade right in front of him as I asked him.
“Keith Lermit, of a family recognized by the Holy Flame, I ask you. Why don’t you take it seriously?”
He didn’t want to admit it, but the look on his face said a lot about his inner thoughts.
And the blow I just received. That was undoubtedly a serious blow from him. It was a blow, which one if the quality is bad, the wooden sword could have been broken.
“I know it’s probably uncouth to ask such a question, but I couldn’t help but notice. You once regretted that you had severely injured a nobleman’s child of the same age when you were a child — but that’s not all, is it?”
“You’re very afraid of hurting women. Am I wrong?”
Perhaps the words were decisive, but Keith gave a small nod.
I knew it. I’ve seen him training in physical arts with regular girls before – in addition to Roka and Shaula.
At that time, he just saw through the attack and brushed it off, but there was no attack from Keith at all, as the opponent just got tired and stuck on their own.
I know Keith’s personality well.
He is sincere, honest, and a gentleman. I think he is the epitome of a nobleman.
I saw him talking to female students without any problems. I saw him chatting with Roka…. Shaula rarely talks to men because of her personality. I know he’s careless with girls, but it’s not like he’s bad with them.
“Keith. Are you free from now on today?”
“Hmm, ah … I didn’t have anything special to do, so I was thinking of preparing for a lecture.”
“Why don’t we talk somewhere else?”
With that, I left the school with Keith, found a suitable bar, and went in.
As soon as we sat down at the table, I asked the waitress for two malt liquors.
“Hey, I’m not much of a drinker. ……”
“If you want to drink, just drink. That’s all, I’ll drink first.”
I gulped down a bottle of malt liquor that was immediately brought to me.
Hmmm, that tastes bad. …… I’m going to miss the taste of the wine stocked in the basement of Tenebrae…
Keith looked a little put off, but drank his malt liquor as if he had made up his mind.
We ordered some light food and chatted for a while, and Keith became more and more talkative.
Now we’re just talking about his family history.
“My father’s magic skills were incredible. Even for Lieutenant General Lambert who had to be said to be outside the standard, he was absolutely second to none in the art of karma flame. It is said that even among the generations of Lermit Counts, there was no one who could handle magic as freely as my father.”
“Is it a karmic technique higher than Principal Ludio? I want to see it once.”
“..But the truly amazing thing about my father was his attack with the Holy Flame. I’ve seen the glow of those flames, but I don’t know how powerful they really are, only from hearsay. However, it is a flame that will never be extinguished. It seems that the white flame did not stop its momentum until it had reduced the opponent to ashes.”
Holy Flame? It’s nostalgic.
I once saw a user of it on the battlefield. I don’t know if it belonged to the Count of Lermitt it not, but that flame can penetrate the magic resistance and burn out the “darkness”. It’s like a natural enemy to the demons.
By the time I confronted the wielder, all of the powerful demons had been reduced to ashes.
The wielder of the sacred flame was eventually killed by me.
No matter how powerful the power you use, your vessel is still that of a human. Just because he’s a prophet doesn’t mean he’s a god.
It was an insignificant opponent that didn’t really change anything for me.
It’s been almost 900 years since then. ……
“My father was a stern man who lived up to his name as the Wielder of the Holy Flame. He was the most admired man in …… my life, and the only man my mother could ever truly love.”
“Your father is famous, but I’ve never heard of your mother. What was she like?”
“She is a good mother. She is proud and noble, but she treats everyone with kindness and respect. She had a strict side, but it was for the sake of education. I still admire her to this day.”
Count Lermit, who was extremely close to the five great heroes, and his wife, a woman worthy of the title of nobility. In the meantime, it may be natural for a gem like Keith to be born.
“The couple got along well. Whenever my father, who was busy with his military duties, came back to the mansion, my mother always greeted him with a smile. That was the only time. My father, who always has a stern expression on his face, smiled serenely at me. And then he stroked my head with his warm but strong hand… I was happy for a moment. If possible, I would like the time to stop … Ah … I’m sorry, I’m not a child anymore, it’s weird story.”
“Every human being is a child at first. What do you have to be ashamed of to share your memories?”
Keith looked up at me a little with his drunken eyes. As if to say he’d seen something unexpected.
When I urged him to go on, Keith spoke.
“It was an ideal family, even from my point of view. However, not long after the war with Zenan began, my father went to the front lines of the battlefield. Of course, he didn’t have time to go back to the mansion. My mother and I spent our days worrying about him. …… But one day, several years later, even though the war was not yet over, my father came home. I still can’t forget the look on my father’s face when he came home. ……”
I think we’re getting to the heart of the story.
I waited for Keith’s words without saying anything.