Princess and Commander of Knights of the Guard
At dusk, above the corridor of the Royal Castle a man was walking in a good mood.
Although her appearance was a lovely awe-inspiring expression, her heart was unusually excited at the moment.
“Your Highness Celestia.”
From behind the slender figure, a thick voice shouted.
In the long corridor, which had been empty, the atmosphere had become colder because of the tension.
“Are you back from the school?”
“Yes, I went to talk to my sister after a long absence. …… It’s rare for Harmal to call me. What can I do for you?”
She was wondering whose voice it was, but it turned out to be Harmal.
She knew what the other party was about, but she still showed a gentle smile to suppress her inner anxiety.
“I heard that you will be His Majesty’s escort during the Imperial Competition, is it right?”
“Eh, there is indeed such a plan.”
“… Can we not be trusted?”
The King’s escort is under the jurisdiction of the Knights of the Guard.
Even if she is the strongest princess in the kingdom, if she were to bypass the Knights of Guard to serve as the king’s guard, then the members of the Knights of Guard, who are proud of their work, would lose face.
“I hate to say it, but it’s true.”
The eyes of Harmal, who was facing her head-on, sharpened as Celestia laughed bitterly and spoke clearly.
“…… is it because of our misbehavior in the incident three years ago?”
“That’s one of the reasons.”
That kind of statement is like saying that there are many more problems.
“About that incident, all the suspects involved have-”
“Please get to the point directly.”
Although Celestia seemed to be able to read his mind as if it was a matter of course, people would just think it was natural, “Because she is that Celestia Light”.
“The reason for that …… is that I am a member of the Angel Cult?”
“It’s really a very straight ball of your style to say it.”
If the king wants to resist the Angel Cult, then it must be related to this Celestia, Harmal was so sure.
Because the king used to be quite cautious about the issue of religion. However, although he recognized the freedom of religion, if he found any bad behavior, he would punish it according to the law after a thorough investigation.
If he wanted to take action against a religion like the Angel Cult, which had penetrated deeply into the country, there could be no other reason than Celestia, who had more influence than the king.
If we consider Celestia’s desire to exclude the Angel Cult from the Kingdom of Light as a premise, then the issue of guarding that suddenly appeared this time is not difficult to understand.
Although he couldn’t accept such a result no matter what, but…
“But, there is nothing else I can say to you as a knight. ”
Harmal felt a sharp pain in his chest and naturally closed his eyes.
It was as if she was conveying that they were already planning something related to the Angel Cult.
“….I still can’t accept it even if you say I’m not strong enough.”
“That’s not wrong either. I am indeed stronger compared to you.”
These words ignited Harmal’s pride and the fire that was stirring in his heart.
♢ ♢ ♢
Royal Castle, indoor training ground.
There were two figures in the midst of the sunset.
Normally at this time of day, the Knights would still be training hard, but at this time they had been forbidden to enter the area by Harmal.
“Are you sure you want to play only once? If I win, His Majesty will return the guarding to the Knights of Guard.”
“Eh, no problem. Please come anytime.”
The smile of Celestia, who was absolutely beautiful and could make everyone fall in love with her, was also completely unmatched to Harmal now.
He looked down at the sword that he had been using since he was a child under the tutelage of Lionel, and reminded himself that the Angel Cult, which now supports the hearts of not only himself but also many people, was facing a crisis.
If I, as a member of the Angel Cult, could perform better than Celestia, the wise king would definitely change his stupid idea of expulsion the Angel Cult.
Therefore, this time, more than any other battle in the past, I could not lose.
Sparks burst out.
Even the knights of the Light Kingdom, who are known to be elite and powerful, could not see the staggering blades at this moment.
The sparks from the high speed slash were accompanied by a sharp metallic sound that continued to erupt between the two.
“…Sure enough, ordinary methods are still not possible.”
Harmal took a heavy step and closed the distance between him and Celestia.
“So, what are you going to do?”
Celestia, who maintained that calm posture, said refreshingly.
Although the exchange of swords might have seemed evenly matched to a normal person, Celestia did surpass Harmal in every single blow.
Speed, skill, and even strength.
“… Let me give you some advice.”
“By you, to me?”
Harmal continues his words, regardless of Celestia, who tilts her neck in confusion.
“There is a difference between a match and a real battle. I’d lost to you and made me licking my wounds, but I’m not going to lose in a real battle.”
“I don’t think so, though.”
Looking at Celestia who didn’t seem to think about the possibility of losing, Harmal felt for the first time that she was acting like a student.
“That is because there is no actual battle …… no experience of warfare. Although the war is now greatly reduced because of His Majesty’s means, but in the past we have had several conflicts with the Empire and the Republic. I also experienced when I was young, I was also amazed at the gap between training and actual combat.”
He couldn’t help but remember the chilling experiences he had experienced in the past on the battlefield.
Killing the enemy, bathed in blood, whoever was struggling to survive ……
“…… If you can kill, you kill, if you can beat, you beat, if you have lost your weapon and your arm is broken, you can bite your opponent’s throat with your teeth. …… For you, who only have experience in competition, this kind of greed – -”
“Do you want to go on? That lecture of yours.”
That somewhat untimely voice like a bird’s soft cry interrupted Harmal’s passionate speech.
“Maybe it’s too early for you to understand now.”
A large amount of blue magic power rose from Harmal’s body.
The pupils of his eyes shone with the light of death, making it possible to feel a kind of obsession to hold victory in one’s hands even if one loses an arm, even if one is on the verge of death, even if one is pierced.
“Already, are you satisfied?”
“Yes,……, there is no point in saying anything more than that,……!”
Harmal stepped out with a beastly, ugly and dangerous expression on his face and put his sword–
The sword flew in the air.
It was bathed in the glow of the setting sun and just stabbed into the far wall.
“…… indeed the competition is different from the actual battle.”
Celestia said, maintaining her posture of swinging the sword out.
Then, she slowly placed the sharp blade that had knocked away Harmal’s sword at his throat.
“The competition is for people to see. It is necessary to start the competition while paying attention to the performance while considering the spectacle. But in a real fight there is no need for that.”
She did not think the same as Harmal did.
In the competition, she was just casually performing an exceptionally good fight. However, in reality, she possessed the strength to easily render himself powerless like this.
Even the strength of Celestia that he had previously learned was just a disguise she had made on the surface, which Harmal had already understood through the opponent’s words and his own personal experience.
“Although I don’t intend to deny your idea of “If you work hard, you can win”, I also have my own considerations.”
She put down her sword and gracefully put it back into its sheath.
“In my opinion, the so-called strength is a pretty pure thing. It’s just that the stronger side will win. Isn’t that all? Please don’t say things that are too difficult to understand.”
With a gentle smile on her face, she shattered the conceited heart that Harmal had cultivated over the years.
Harmal didn’t know that.
There was a time when Celestia had seen insurmountable heights in the true sense of the word.
“…… Angel Cult is something that is enough to be called the state religion. And you actually let try to take it ……”
In such a situation where he was crushed, he poured out the feelings that he could not say even if he wanted to say words of defiance.
“This is not a state religion. It’s a mistake for you as the leader of the Knights of the Guard.”
Celestia admonished Harmal, who was hanging his head, seriously.
“After all, a knight who interferes in government affairs is already overstepping his authority, right?”
“If you prioritize religion, you should be withdrawn from the position of a knight.”
Celestia’s words ended as if she was admonishing a child or as if she was a king making a ruling, and she left the room with the words “Farewell, then.”
After Celestia left, even after the sun had set, the figure in the training ground remained motionless for a long time.