Well then, the time has elapsed, and it’s almost evening soon. After asking Finia-chan and Lulu-chan to wake the sleeping Rishe-chan up, I’m currently waiting for uncle’s arrival at inn’s dining hall.
While Rishe-chan was sleeping, I spent my time by going to the guild, eating at the neighboring stalls, bowing my head to various person, and took a nap. Yup, I was really doing my best there! A youth who would do that many acts secretly just for a single girl, as expected without a doubt he sure would be popular, right, or so I thought.
I asked Ayla-san and the other to make my dinner meal a bit earlier than usual, and right now the usually crowded dining hall is amusingly quiet right now. Ayla-san and the other also aren’t here. Without a doubt, this first floor is reserved only for me.
“Kitsune-san! I’ve wake Rishe-chan up!”
“…Kitsune, is it really gonna be okay? I was just sleeping, though….”
“Who know? Perhaps it would work somehow or another, that is what I believe.”
“Isn’t that mean it’s hopeless!!”
Rishe-chan drops her sword to the floor, and starts looking at a faraway place with a grim expression. Well, uncle is also hasn’t arrived here yet, it indeed feels as if there won’t be any tomorrow if we just left this desperate situation as it is, and it may lead us into a great pinch. Or probably not.
Lulu-chan and Finia-chan are also just watching over and let everything to the flow of development, and start eating their dinners which have been prepared in advance by Ayla-san’s husband.
“Sorry for the wait, I come as promised.”
“Hello esteemed uncle, as you can see we’ve reserved this place. How about having a cup of tea first?”
Uncle finally come. Carrying a splendid sword at his waist, and with a similar dignified appearance as yesterday. As expected no matter how many times you look at them, a strong person’s bearing sure is something. How scary.
“I don’t need it, my business here is only one. Let’s finish it quickly.”
“How impatient… well, fine then.”
Perhaps Rishe-chan also has overcame her emotion at uncle’s arrival, she stand up after took a deep breath. Since she has slept plentifully, I can’t see any abnormality or bad feeling at her expression. Then I also slowly stand up, and stand facing uncle.
“Firstly, how about we reconfirm the situation?”
“According to Rishe-chan, seems like esteemed uncle is serving as knight leader, right. Also, everyone at your family lineage were always became a strong knight from olden generations, even many of them become a great knight who were recorded at this country’s histories… am I right?”
“…yes, if you’ve heard that much then you must also already know about 『Demon eye of foresight』, right?”
“Demon eye… then, according to what I heard from Rishe-chan, she who was also born at that lineage, still unable to become a knight even after practicing for almost two years. She was even labeled as someone with no talent. That’s why, as a knight leader you can’t keep Rishe-chan at your family lineage… am I right?”
I must confirm it first. If I remember it correctly, I only had heard about it from Rishe-chan. So if I could hear it from uncle then perhaps it may be wrong, perhaps there was another reason, perhaps it was an unavoidable circumstance. That is, I must confirm it.
“…yes, you’re right… to be frank, personally I also think that Trisha has no talent. Even when she practiced to fight against a magical beast, even when she had a mock battle with her instructor, she would always shows a miserable movement as if a total amateur… even though those weren’t a life stacking battle.”
“At first I thought she was scared to fight, since even though she was a knight apprentice, she was a girl after all… but, by watching her endeavor at the next trainings I understood that that wasn’t the case. Then, perhaps she was nervous, but by continuing practicing for two years she should be got used to it … but that also wasn’t the case. That means it’s fundamentally because of Trisha herself, she has no talent to become a knight!”
She has no talent, that is an inevitable matter. Human, aren’t necessarily would always have the suitable talent at the things they want to do. That’s why, human always preserve their best to discover and choose their talent.
But, sometimes there were a times when you would be criticized because you don’t have a certain talent. And that exactly what’s currently happening to Rishe-chan. Realistically Rishe-chan hasn’t done anything bad, she just wanted to live up to his expectation. Even since she was born, this development has bound to happen.
“We’re one of the great knight family lineage. That’s why, Trisha must also wield her sword as a knight.”
Perhaps he thinks that Rishe-chan doesn’t want to become a knight, I want to object at that matter which he arbitrarily decided by himself, but if we show him that she’s really wants to become a knight then would he gives her a tolerance?
“But, Trisha is unable to accomplish it. That’s why she is family’s disgrace, someone who’s unable to become a knight, I don’t need them at my family.”
“Thank you for explaining it detailedly. That’s enough.”
“Hmm, then? What has changed from Trisha overnight? Does she acquired an ability that would lead her to become a knight?”
“That is, well, perhaps you should ascertain it yourself… a mock battle isn’t something new for a knight, right, so let’s have an one on one mock battle, Rishe-chan against esteemed uncle.”
What? then uncle sharpen his eyes. Rishe-chan is also seems surprised behind me. If we want to measure her prowess, then isn’t it would be easier to just do a match. Isn’t that knight’s way of doings? Isn’t that great knight official’s way of doing, right?
“Without any complain, let’s do it. Or perhaps do you get a cold feet here?”
When I say so, uncle’s eyebrows are wrinkling up and then he draws his sword. There are no unrest at his movement, as expected as a knight leader his experience must be abundant, right.
On the contrary, Rishe-chan is looking at me flustered with a pale expression. Still dropping her sword, she’s standing still there. Well, that is an obvious reaction if you suddenly receive such suggestion.
“…Ki, Kitsune! I’m a knight apprentice, you know! There’s no way I’ll be able to win against my father!”
“You don’t need to win, it’s good as long as he would recognize you that you have a suitable ability as a knight.”
“Listen to me properly, Rishe-chan.”
This is, a gamble. If my expectation is right, if my conjecture is right, this should be work somehow or another. It’s indeed a gamble with a high risk, but in the first place she was placed with a condition with almost no possibility to success, that’s why as long as there’s a possibility then it’s best to just gamble on it.
As long as we still have a chance even by just one percent, I won’t give up!
Or so I say. Didn’t I also have said it before?
“Wha, but… got it, let’s give it a try.”
Seems like Rishe-chan is also agree with it.
“But, well, there’s no way we would do it here, right.”
Inn’s dining hall, doing a mock battle here sure would be a great trouble right.
◇ ◇ ◇
My name is Trisha Rumiela. A seventeen years old girl who is every day practicing as a knight apprentice.
Right now, I come to a place which the person who I’d helped a week ago, Kitsune, said. An underground arena at the adventurer guild, seems like this is the place where adventurers similarly like Kitsune-san do a mock battle. The one here are I… and my father, only both of us.
I’d been practicing as a knight apprentice for almost two years already. I’d been doing my best every day. But, I’m still unable to become a knight. I even was told and mocked as someone with no talent, and as someone who was born at a knight family lineage, I also betrayed their expectation when I was born.
That’s why, I’m going toing to be abandoned by my father.
To be honest, my father’s word when he was talking with Kitsune just now, it was piercing through my heart. That was the feeling as if a very deep bond was severed. I’ve been called as family’s disgrace, defective product, failed product, ordinary person, and so on before. But, the clearest one is.
Unnecessary, this is the first time I’ve been told such directly. I’m aware of it, but it make me realize it again— that I’m 『not』 necessary for the family.
That’s why, this is my last chance. My father give me this last chance because I’m his child. Naturally, my hands which hold the sword is brimming with energy.
“…Yes, honorable father.”
“This is, your last chance. Here, right now— your ability as a knight, show it to me.”
When my father say that, he draws his sword. No matter how many times I see it, that is a beautiful movement. Admiring that, I thought that I wanted to become a knight. My father’s back was a distant and huge one, but even so I was always running while staring at that big back.
I must do it here, I will do it here.
I also, draw my sword.
The intimidating aura from my father is very strong. At the time we draw our respective swords, and pointing it to our enemies…. The emotion that we’re a family, bonds as a friends, and my admiration feeling, everything are gone.
Those here are, a similarly knights, those who’re prideful at their own prowess!
“I won’t use my demon eye… show you(..)r true ability, and come at me!”
My father doesn’t call me as Trisha, but 『you』. Is that mean he recognized me as a knight opponent?
Knight etiquette, we should start it by announcing our name first—!
“Trisha Rumiela— I’m coming!”
“Vaiz Rumiela— come at me!”
Seems like the atmosphere here is strained. Mental strain, and probing each other. My hands are shaking a bit, my feet could only stepping ahead just by a little bit.
I can’t see any opening… knight leader, as the one who wield that title, his appearance is could only described as terrific. I can’t attack him….!
“What’s up? You won’t attack?”
At my father’s words, the flustered me is unconsciously running. What a blunder, I think that stopping here is a foolish option so I increase my speed further.
Activating 『Body Reinforcement Lv.2』 and 『Swift』 skills, I shorten my distance with my father till just one step short before him— just a single step, accelerate!
My sword which I swing downward from my overhead is parried by my father’s sword which he placed it diagonally. My stance is crumbled, there are so many opening. And then, my father’s sword is mercilessly rushing sideway toward me.
The sword which I swing downward is stabbed at the ground, and my body is lying on the ground. The sword which swung sideway is passing barely right in front of my face. Looking the somewhat surprised father, I take some gap by rolling in the ground. Whether it was because I was a low ranker, my father isn’t come at me. Well, because of that I’m able to reorganize my stance, though.
“…I see, I don’t know the reason but you indeed become able to move… what kind of magic did he use?”
“Who know… I was, only sleeping overnight. Or more precisely, trying to sleep.”
“Hmm…that man, whether it his attitude or his speech and conducts are very transcendental… what a mysterious man.”
“You’re right, I also… think so!”
Now it isn’t because I’m flustered, I step my feet forward. Reactivate my skill from earlier, and similarly accelerating. My father is predicting my movement, he seems like somewhat perturbed, but when my father’s eyes are activating its demon eye, he could easily grasp my movement.
“I can see it!”
My father’s sword is swung upward, drawing a semicircle traces. But, I evade it by slanting my body forward. And then, with that I’m able to pass through my father side, and then I immediately turn my body around. I get his back!
When I turn my body around, I swung my sword cylindrically similar like my movement. But, my father is suddenly has already looking my way. His switchover is too fast!
The raised overhead sword is swung to his backward using his flexibly and trained shoulder, its pommel is precisely knocking my elbow. My hand is warped, my power to swing my swing sword is gone.
It’s bad, even when I lost my strength to swing my sword, my body is turned around, I can’t escape from him—!
“It’s the end.”
Vigorously rotating I show my back similarly like my father just did, and my father isn’t someone who would let that opening away. Quietly, the cold sword is trusted right beside my neck from my back. My lose, a complete lose.
When I declare my lost, my father is pulling his sword back at put it at its scabbard. Even that movement is very beautiful, realized me just how great the person who I admired is. I’m indeed feeling frustrated, but as I thought, I think I’m very proud for having such a strong father.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Kitsune-san, what would happen to Rishe-chan?”
“Most certainly she would lose, right, whether it level wise or ability wise, their statuses values are too distant apart after all.”
“Eh? Then what should we do?”
After Rishe-chan and his father left, we returned and relaxing in our room. I was also just humming while lying around at my bed after all. Hahaha, we didn’t need to do anything.
And then, Finia-chan came asking me while folding her hands, and so I told her the most natural and probable conclusion.
“Well, even if she lose as long as she is able to show him her true ability then it’s all good after all, with that condition… there’s a possibility that he would give her a passing mark.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m curious, too.”
At Finia-chan’s inquiring, seems like Lulu-chan is also curious about it since she is also drawing near me. It can’t be helped, since at that time these children were sleeping, after all. Then let’s tell them, about what I discussed with Rishe-chan at that time.
“Listen, Rishe-chan is….”
“Rishe-chan, could it be your knight practices were focused on a certain pattern?”
“Eh, hmm, well… let’s see. Knights are existed at every kingdom, but roughly it was divided into three form.”
When I ask her about it, seems like there are three technique of how knight use their sword.
First is, an offensive sword technique which is utilizing sword and their own body— martial sword style.
Second is, defensive sword techniques which is combining sword and magic— shining water style.
Third is, counterattack sword techniques which is parrying every attack with their sword, and aiming for an instant opening— flowing mirror style.
From that three styles, every knights are practicing the most suitable sword style for them. And seems like the fast one would be able to be promoted into a knight at around half year. At first they were practicing these three styles, and by gradually combining his specialty style with the other styles, seems like they would be able to make their own original sword style.
Seems like Rishe-chan is using the martial sword style, and seems like she was always practicing it from the very beginning.
“Why did you choose martial sword style?”
“Because the majority of my lineage from olden generations were using it, even my father is also so, and so I thought that I should use it, too. Not just I was unable to use my demon eye, I also wasn’t too skilled at countering, I can’t use magic since my magical energy is too scarce, you could say that it was inevitable.”
Then what should I do, isn’t martial sword style is a techniques which is only utilizing sword and body? As a woman, even if Rishe-chan keep training I think her distance with her surroundings would keep widening, though. Even if her statuses are raised, that isn’t necessarily means that she would become a talented one.
Personally, from these three style I would prefer 『Flowing mirror style』 one. If you mastered it, even without demon eye, you would be able to more or less predict your opponent’s movement, after all.
“By the way, Rishe-chan, is it easier for you if you to fight by yourself?”
“Eh? Well… indeed, compared with at the times I was together with someone… that is right, perhaps?”
“As I thought, huh.”
After I heard that, more or less now I understand it.
Rishe-chan is also has a somewhat shy part of her at human relations, and that part is mostly appeared when she wield a sword. There are two important parts here.
First is, her self-consciousness which make her always does her best to become a knight which is her dream.
And the second one is, the existence of 『pattern』 and 『form』 of sword style at her knight practice.
Without a doubt these two are the biggest reason which restrict Rishe-chan’s movements.
Like what she just said she also has a little shy (coward) part. That means it was her disposition which is too conscious at someone’s gazes.
At fighting time, when there were someone around her— or more accurately when there was someone’s gazes, she was too conscious about that gazes which made her unable to moves. That was one of the reason why she was unable to show her true ability, and the other one.
The existence of 『patter』 of sword style. Rishe-chan has no talent, therefore she couldn’t put it into practice. Perhaps she was always training those basic techniques at these two years, right.
That was no good.
The existence of 『form』 means you should do it according to the decided pattern. Rishe-chan was considerably conscious about it. At that badmouth and malicious deeds, perhaps she was being told “That’s not it”, “You’re wrong”, “You’re mistaken”, and so on numerous times already. That’s why, Rishe-chan was unconsciously trying to do it according to the decided pattern as accurate as possible.
And by combining both of it, she was conscious about someone’s gaze and become unable to freely moves, she can’t perform her sword art because of her past trauma which is always being told that her 『form』 was wrong again and again.
That’s why, when she was alone she was able to freely move because she didn’t need to worry about her someone’s gaze trauma. That was also the reason why she was able to fight against a magical beast. But it seems like she doesn’t aware about it herself, though.
“Okay, Rishe-chan. Change of strategy.”
“The objective is to somehow make Rishe-chan is able to freely move at your upcoming trial, the rest is you just need to do your best at that trial.”
“Umm, that trial is….”
“I won’t say it, yet. Anyway, for now you just need to lie your body down and rest. So that when you wake up, you won’t be unable to move because lack of sleep.”
Rishe-chan seems like a bit dissatisfied, but she reluctantly lying down at the bed as per I said.
“…I got it, I’ll leave it to you.”
“Then, let’s do it.”
Canceling my skills, I float a faint smile.
◇ ◇ ◇
“—that’s why, Rishe-chan should be able to fight on one-on-one battle if there’s no one at her surroundings.”
“Ooh~, but since her opponent is her father, isn’t that would be pointless?”
What Finia-chan said is indeed right. Even if it is one-on-one battle, her opponent isn’t a magical beast but a knight leader. An existence which is at the peak of sword art, I also thought that fighting against such an existence is impossible.
“That is, well, it is depending on Rishe-chan herself, right?”
“After planning that much, you just neglect her at the most important part, right! As expected from Kitsune-san’s oversight cutting corners style!”
“Well, at least I gave her a little advices, but… a word from someone with a scarce combat experience like me sure is light right.”
At that time, when I concluded what uncle had said, the words I said to Rishe-chan is…
“When you fight him, just think that your opponent isn’t a knight leader, but just an ordinary father.”
Rishe-chan was somehow nodding, but whether in the end she would be able to move or not was depending on Rishe-chan herself.
“Fua… I’m sleepy, since today I’ve did so many things… I’m tired.”
“Yep, you asked everyone at the guild and Ayla-san and the other, also townsfolk to go home earlier than usual, right! 『So that Rishe-chan doesn’t feel any gazes』 ever since she wake up till her trial, right!”
Good grief, you even could say I’ve worked for free here.
But, I’ve been working this hard for a single girl— will I become a bit more popular?
While thinking so, my conscious is abducted by drowsiness.