A boy who saved her but then suddenly disappeared.
Charlotte seemed to think that he became a beggar. That was why she asked me who also was a beggar to find the boy, because a beggar would know a beggar best.
A student from a beggar organization that entered Temple. To Charlotte, I seemed to be the best option to look for that boy for her.
But while Charlotte seemed rational, she wasn’t. The emotions that flashed in her eyes when she told me to find him showed that Charlotte wasn’t calm at all.
She looked like she was about to lose her reason. Charlotte, who threatened me and insisted on me finding myself somehow, seemed unable to control her emotions.
Charlotte carried out a meticulous background check on me in mere days, however she seemed unable to think rationally.
I thought she’d obviously think I was suspicious while listening to Dyrus recount, but she didn’t seem like that at all right at that moment. She only felt desperate to find someone who was very dear to her.
In some cases, there were people who never doubted anyone.
Charlotte didn’t seem to think that I was suspicious at all. Maybe she thought that I simply ran away or was kidnapped and killed.
That was what I believed went through her mind.
If she had even the slightest inkling that I was a demon in disguise, Charlotte should have doubted me.
If she checked my origin as a beggar, the date my ID was issued, and interrogated the beggars personally, Charlotte would have noticed that I just appeared out of nowhere one day.
However, Charlotte was so obsessed with finding Valier, that she just wanted to use me as a tool to find him for her, but didn’t go around asking about me herself.
I felt a little good, but on the other hand I didn’t. I was now in a position where I had to deceive this kid who was looking for me so desperately.
I had been given this bizarre order of finding and bringing myself to Charlotte. Appearing in front of her with the appearance of Valier would solve everything, but she wouldn’t let me go. She’d somehow try to keep me by her side.
What should I do?
One of my assistants, Sarkegaar, was the one who kidnapped the Imperial Princess. It would be absurd to reveal my true identity to her and standing in front of her in the form of Valier would be very dangerous.
This was never a matter I could simply decide on my own.
I had to discuss this matter with Loyar, Eleris and Sarkegaar.
Anyway, I was now completely trapped between Bertus and Charlotte.
Depending on my actions, it would be decided if the decision to come to Temple was the worst possible one we could have made.
The one closest to my body was Bertus, and the one closest to my heart was Charlotte.
To be honest, I felt very sorry. I wasn’t in a situation where I could just show up in front of her who was so desperately looking for me, and I actually had to help Charlotte’s sworn enemy.
And the gang was now on the Princess’ radar. I didn’t know about Bertus, but the princess would absolutely wipe out the Rotary Gang if I were to pull some crap. She’d probably bring up my connection to the Thieves’ Guild to the teachers and might even get me kicked out of Temple.
It was useless feigning ignorance as well. Charlotte had everything figured out already.
She didn’t know the most important details, but she did know all the facts that would be bothersome to me.
I couldn’t tell Bertus what Charlotte instructed me to do. Just telling him would leave me with a servered head. If he asked me later, what I talked about with Charlotte, what should I tell him?
Both Bertus and Charlotte were looking for me. Bertus for retaliation and Charlotte for protection.
Things had become twisted.
Anyway, what happened to Dyrus? I couldn’t even ask Charlotte, but I was curious. If Duke Salerian retaliated against him, he wouldn’t be in this world anymore. I could only hope that Charlotte was protecting him well.
Who was I worried about now?
Both heirs to the Imperial Throne wanted me to do something for them. It would have been better if I only had something to do with one side, but I was vaguely intertwined with both of them. What a dog like situation.
That’s what it was.
Charlotte’s matter needed to be discussed separately. And it wasn’t just that.
I also had to prepare for the duel with Art later this week. It was clear that he would beat me into a bloody pulp when that time came, but after that he wouldn’t be able to do it so easily anymore.
I went back to the dorm, when someone called out to me.
“Hey, you beggar.”
It was Harriet de Saint-Owan. When I reacted she covered her mouth and laughed.
“Huh? I didn’t call you though? I just said a word. Are you a beggar?”
Was she trying to get back at me using the same method I used on her?
“Huh, I am, right?”
When I said yes, that girl’s expression turned into a puzzled one as if this wasn’t the reaction she was looking for. I never set her up as that kind of character, so why was she so cute?
She was like a little kid that thought she was smart. She was so damn cute, I couldn’t even get mad at her.
“I’m a beggar, you’re right. So what is it?”
“Huh, uhm…. Ah….”
What she expected me to say was: “Don’t call me a beggar!”, however what she got was a: “You’re right”. So, when I asked her what she wanted she seemed flustered, as she probably didn’t have anything to say to me.
“I heard. That. I heard, you’re going to have a duel?”
Why was she pretending to have heard it from somewhere when she was right there when it happened? No matter how one looked at it, this was just a question she came up with on the spot.
“That senior is a very scary person. You’re going to be beaten up pretty badly, you know?”
“Where you’re right, you’re right. I wonder if he’ll kill me.”
She seemed taken aback by my nonchalant response.
“……Aren’t you scared?”
“Am I scared? To the point where I’m about to pee myself.”
She seemed even more confused when I casually told her that I was, in fact, scared. She knew I was a troublemaker, but it seemed like my evaluation was being revised as a completely incomprehensible person.
“Then why did you accept the challenge if you’re scared?”
“I know, right? Maybe I’ll just happen to turn it around somehow.”
I didn’t say anything like: “I’m trying to awaken my supernatural abilities by putting myself into extremely psychologically pressuring situations”.
Harriet stared at me as if I was crazy. Eventually, she shook her head.
She even had a wicked smile on her lips.
“Then I guess I’ll have to watch if you really get beat up.”
I headed to the gym
And it seemed like our conversation was surprisingly calm just now.
My physical abilities weren’t that far behind my classmates, they weren’t comparable to those with combat talents, obviously.
Of course, people like Erich Lafaeri who had a combat talent but didn’t put in any effort was out of that equation.
The Class A dormitory’s gym, there were two students holding training swords and beating scarecrows alone or practicing their posture.
2, Ellen Artorius and 5 Cliffman, only those two. Those two practiced every day according to their own routine. They didn’t go out to play on the weekends and just practiced all day long.
However, the two of them were training separately while still being in the same space and there was a 100% chance that they haven’t even held a single conversation with each other up until now.
For now I just picked up a training sword.
But how was I supposed to practice swordsmanship? They were just swinging around their sword by themselves.
I usually described it as “They did swordsmanship training” in my novel without going into detail. Leveling up was roughly the same, I’d just say they ranked up or leveled up. Or it would just be as blunt as saying, they’ve gotten better at this or that.
I asked neither of them to teach me, so they didn’t. I just started swinging my sword.
Of course, it wasn’t all random. I tried recalling the swordsmanship moves I learned last week and traced it while replaying that memory in my mind. I trained techniques and swordsmanship moves while looking at the provided manual. There was just too much work to be done to condense it in just a single word.
I realized that the strength of my wrist and forearm muscles had to be supported, the foot work was important as well.
I couldn’t believe those two were doing this on their own every day.
The two silently wielding their sword started to look incredible to me again.
After dinner, Ellen continued to wield her sword, and even after Cliffman returned to the dormitory, she continued to train alone.
Of course, she didn’t just swing her sword, she seemed to be doing other things like going somewhere and coming back after. Eventually, after some time passed, I was the only one left training and wielding the sword.
Would this even make a difference?
I only did this for one day, but I already felt exhausted and tired. I had to get used to training in itself, not just because of the duel next week. I can’t believe in my mad dog act forever.
That’s what I realized.
The third graders didn’t come even after it grew dark. In the end, as I expected, they didn’t want to touch the Prince directly. And those guys forced the second graders to do such a thing for them.
The third graders didn’t come. However, an unexpected person entered the gym.
“Junior. I heard you were here.”
It was Adriana, the second year senior with a calm demeanor.
She furrowed her brows as she looked at me sprawled out with the training sword beside me, sweating profusely.
“What are you doing here?”
“…Redina requested me to come.”
What did she ask her that for?
“Yes, Art seems to be looking forward to this a lot, so he might beat you half to death. She tried to stop him.”
She was such a good girl, to the point that I felt really sorry for being so harsh to her. Adriana sighed when she saw how exhausted I was.
“But looking at you now, it seems that you’re trying to do something at least.”
“Well…. More or less.”
“Just because you do this for around 2 weeks doesn’t mean you’ll be able to beat Art. You know that much, right?”
Adriana didn’t seem to understand what I was doing.
‘Why the hell are you accepting a duel that you’re obviously going to lose and wield your sword in the training hall until the point of nearly killing yourself? There’s no chance of winning.’
That’s what she was trying to tell me.
“I have to do something.”
“You will lose. Miserably at that.”
“…Just apologize now, before you have to suffer through greater humiliation. You certainly realize that you’re going a bit too far. Art isn’t as bad a kid as you think.”
“I don’t think he’s a bad guy.”
I could fully understand why he threw the glove after being subjected to something like that. He was humiliated by his junior. Adriana slightly bit her lip.
“You know you will lose and you also don’t think that Art is a bad person, so why do you want to go on with this duel and not apologize?”
I got up again with my training sword and started practicing my posture.
“I, have to get hit.”
It’s not that I want to get hit, just to get hit.
I had to get hit to overcome this difficult situation. Adriana stared at me for a long time, then sighed.
Adriana slowly approached me as if she wanted to stop me and took the sword from my hand.
Then she lightly performed the moves I had been trying to do up until now. Looking in the mirror, it was not comparable to the clumsy moves I displayed. They were nearly perfect moves, like a sword dance.
“…Why are you showing me things I can’t even imitate….”
Adriana sighed as if she herself couldn’t understand what she was doing and returned the training sword to me.
I then tried to demonstrate the exact same movements Adriana just showed me using the scarecrow.
We both looked at each other silently. She approached me, grabbed my arm and shook it around. It was definitely limp because I felt rather exhausted at the moment.
“It won’t do you any good if you try to do this while you’re all out of energy. You’ll just hurt your wrist.”
Adriana looked at me with pity, and then suddenly closed her eyes. A bunch of white lights appeared from her hands and began to tickle my body.
“Thi, this is….”
“…Ah, you don’t know.”
Then Adriana opened her eyes again.
“I want to be a Paladin.”
She seemed to have talents in both divine power and swordsmanship. Second year, 2, Adriana. If she was Class A’s number 2, I was assuming that she had even more talents.
She certainly was incredible, as she was able to use divine spells at her age.
She restored my vitality with a divine spell just now. All my muscle aches and fatigue certainly had been completely relieved.
“Now, try again.”
My strength should have been restored. While carrying gratitude in my heart, I tried to trace Adriana’s movements again.
Nothing had changed.