For the first time in a while,
I participated in training at the Lockhart family home.
Normally, village patrol training
is the main focus, but I was definitely the star of the show today. It was
because my grandfather wanted to see the results of a year of training, and all
the squires, including my father, were very interested in seeing the results.
The opponents were Mel, my
father, and Byron–the newest squire to use a hard sword, Byron Seedorf–followed.
As expected, I couldn’t pick up a win against Byron, but I still felt that I
had become stronger over the past year. However, when I took on Nicholas, I was
made painfully aware of my inexperience.
Well, that’s as far as it
But training against my
grandfather makes me wonder what I’m training for.
At least I could become more
resistant to pain and fatigue, but with such a difference in skill, I feel that
he could have been a little kinder, or I would not be able to improve his
Comparing Byron, a 40-year-old
hard sword fighter with my 56-year-old grandfather, my grandfather’s blows do
more damage than Byron’s. I don’t know what to say.
I don’t know how to describe
it, but I feel that my grandfather’s slashes resonate directly into my internal
After the training, or rather
the test of my skill, was over, I found Beatrice beside me, looking worried,
and Liddy, smiling as usual. I wanted to talk to them, but I was too lazy to
open my mouth right after the training.
After resting for about five
minutes, I managed to find the energy to speak, so I called out to Beatrice,
who looked worried for the moment.
Beatrice looked relieved when
I opened my mouth.
It’s strange because this kind
of expression makes her look cute all at once since she usually looks so
dignified and older sister-like.
After that, Beatrice and Walt,
the head squire–Walt Vassell, a master spearman–had hand-to-hand combat.
As expected, Walt’s skill was
so great that Beatrice couldn’t even touch him.
I don’t know exactly what
Walt’s level is, but eight years ago he was over 60, so he may already be close
Perhaps under his
grandfather’s direction, Walt was fighting well to appear as evenly matched as
possible. Nicholas–squire in charge of internal affairs, Nicholas Garland–and
Hector–squire Hector Marlon, Mel’s father–The patrol members were aware of
Beatrice’s presence, as I’m sure Guy–Squire Guy Jakes, Dan, and Sharon’s
father-and others were aware of. I’m sure the vigilantes thought that Beatrice
had a fair fight with “Sergeant Devil,” Walt.
In fact, immediately after
Beatrice’s defeat, Grandfather declared that they were evenly matched, so this
story would soon be circulated throughout the village.
Naturally, Beatrice herself
knew this, and although she looked quite frustrated during the fight, she
looked refreshed at the end.
She then had a mock battle
with Nicholas and Byron.
Nicholas was also fighting
well looking kind and soft, but he looked serious many times during the fight.
Perhaps there was not such a big difference in skill.
The fight with Byron, however,
was a spectacle to watch.
Beatrice and Byron are about
evenly sized, and although Beatrice has a spear with a slightly longer range
than Byron, Byron has a huge sword about my height, so there really isn’t much
of a difference in reach.
At first, it seemed difficult
for both of them to fight, perhaps because they had only faced smaller
opponents, but the clash between Beatrice, the speedy one, and Byron, the
powerful one, was worth watching.
Beatrice’s sharp thrust was
parried by Byron with his huge sword, and he counterattacked with a crushing
blow with his sword. Beatrice dodged just in time, and then, just after
swinging her sword, she drove her spear into Byron’s unprotected torso. Byron
catches the spear in a place where it is not fatal, a place where the armor is
thicker, and returns a counterattack.
Such an attack and defense
continued, but it seems that Byron, a former captain of the guards and a former
mercenary, had the upper hand when it came to fighting against the enemy.
He pinned the spear at his
side and blocked her movement, then let go of the spear and fired a sharp
thrust at Beatrice, who was trying to run away. She narrowly avoided it, but
Byron was declared the victor when Beatrice’s weapon was taken from her.
Beatrice had been quite
annoyed with Byron’s merciless blow to her during the mock battle, but this
battle seemed to have put her mind at ease.
“You’re doing well. As
expected of a squire who serves the Lockhart family.” (Beatrice)
When Beatrice held out her
right hand while saying that, Byron’s stern expression crumbled.
“As expected of Master Zack’s
prospects. If you’re this young and this good, I can entrust Master Zack-sama
to you with peace of mind.” (Byron)
Beatrice looked at him
curiously, but before she could say anything, another voice interrupted her.
“Ms. Beatrice! Please let us
test our skills!” (Mel)
Mel was shouting from behind
her, wooden sword in hand.
Beatrice looks at me,
wondering what to do.
(Is she the person she was talking
about yesterday, asking if they are ready? But by a mock battle, do you mean by
asking using your body…) (Zack)
When I was silent, Liddy, who
was Sharon’s partner, joined the conversation.
She said to Beatrice,
“Why don’t you go and deal with her?” She then turned to Mel and
asked, “You want to make it clear which one of you deserves to be next to
Mel’s face lit up as she
nodded her head.
Beatrice seemed to be still
hesitating, but seeing Mel’s motivation, she accepted it and gave a small shake
of her head before answering, “I understand.”
The two female warriors face
off in the square on the west side of the compound.
The village patrol training
seemed to have taken a break, and about 20 spectators, including the squires,
were watching them.
No one tried to come between
them as if Grandfather also sensed something or thought that a referee was
Beatrice quietly held up her
wooden spear and Mel her wooden sword.
The mock battle began very
naturally, without a signal from the referee or from either of them.
It was Mel who moved first.
She held her wooden sword low
and took a sharp step to get into the range of Beatrice, who was nearly two
Beatrice’s eyes widened
slightly at the move, but she held her spear low as well and took a stance to
However, Mel continued to
charge forward with the same momentum.
Naturally, Beatrice thrust her
spear out sharply, striking Mel in the shoulder.
Mel fell down, spinning like a
spinning top, but she quickly got up and stared at Beatrice while holding his
I questioned the move.
(Did she just run into
Beatrice without a plan? I was sure that Beatrice’s skill level was evident
from the mock battle with Walt and Byron. Mel’s skill level is over 30. I’m
sure she’s well aware of the skill gap. …Or is this a prelude to some kind of
But Mel foolishly insisted on
a frontal attack.
She rolled to the ground
several times because of Beatrice’s spear, but she quickly got up and slashed
Beatrice seemed to be just as
bewildered as I was.
She would occasionally look at
me and ask with her eyes, “What should I do?”
(Even if you ask me what to
do… I guess this will go on until Mel feels better…) (Zack)
Whether I can make a call or
not, more than enough time had already passed since their mock battle began.
In that time, Mel has been blown
up countless times and is breathing on his shoulders, covered in mud all over.
Beatrice, on the other hand,
hardly changed her place, just matching her spear to Mel’s reckless charge, not
even breathing, not even breaking a sweat.
The vigilantes are buzzing
with pity for Mel, but are quickly silenced by their grandfather’s exhortation,
“Be quiet! I didn’t understand what Mel was trying to do.”
I didn’t understand what Mel
was trying to do.
Because I thought she was
going to hit Beatrice with everything she had, even if she couldn’t beat her.
(Even I am no match for
Beatrice. Even if I used Magical Combat skills. Naturally, there was no way I
could beat Mel. But this is training. It’s not training if you just go charging
into it in the dark. What are you thinking about, Mel?) (Zack)
While I was thinking about
this, Liddy, who was standing next to me, was muttering to herself.
“That girl… I wonder when
Beatrice will realize…” (Liddy)
I asked her what she meant by
that muttering. I asked, and Liddy only gave a small shake of her head and
refused to answer.
Sharon seems to be sensing something
too, but she didn’t respond to my gaze.
The question in my mind was
getting bigger and bigger, but I couldn’t come up with an answer.
Meanwhile, Mel’s reckless
After another five minutes or
so, I noticed that Beatrice’s expression had changed from puzzled to serious.
Then, instead of light attacks
as at first, she began to unleash heavy attacks that did not seem like a mock
Mel was blown even farther, so
much so that she had to use her sword as a cane to stand up.
I didn’t understand the point
of this fight.
Finally, I couldn’t take it
anymore and tried to stop them.
But Liddy grabbed my shoulder
and shook her head.
“If they keep going like
that, she’s going to get seriously hurt sooner or later. Besides, just going in
there in the dark isn’t going to help her training.” (Zack)
Liddy, who usually speaks in a
light tone, has an unusually serious expression on her face.
“Does it look like
training to you? It’s just like a serious match. Look closely.” (Liddy)
I heard her words and turned
my gaze back to the two of them.
Mel is gritting his teeth,
using his sword as a cane, and breathing on his shoulder.
Beatrice was holding her spear
at the ready, staring at Mel without caution.
(What’s going on? Even if
Beatrice didn’t make such a serious expression when dealing with children…
did she start to think that she wasn’t dealing with a child?) (Zack)
Little by little I began to
understand the intent of this fight.
And then, during the second or
third attack, Mel struck Beatrice’s spear. That’s when I finally understood the
true meaning of this fight.
Mel was listening to her “determination”.
She will stand up again and
again, to stand beside me.
And what about you?
That’s what she wishes to hear.
Beatrice also answered.
She says she is determined.
That I am prepared to be as
good as you. That’s why I won’t go easy on you.
Perhaps such a conversation
was taking place between the two of them.
I instinctively felt that my
interpretation was correct.
But on the other hand, I
didn’t know how to respond to that feeling or what to do in this situation.
(At this rate, Mel is in
danger. Even though it’s just a wooden stick, she’s been hammered more than a
hundred times. I’m sure I’ll be able to stop them… or I’m the only one who
can in this situation…) (Zack)
I was thinking back to what I
told Dan last night.
I had told him that Mel’s
feelings were nothing more than a longing for love.
But I was wrong. Yes, Dan was
right, Mel’s feelings were not like that.
She stands on willpower alone.
Even a big man could have fainted, and forget trying to stand up, after taking
that much damage.
Her feelings were that strong.
I slowly walked toward them.
This time, neither Liddy nor
Sharon stopped me. They knew I was aware of Mel’s feelings.
I stood in front of Mel,
“Beatrice could tell that Mel
was ‘determined’. I understood too. …It’s enough. I know how you feel.”
I hugged her, and she replied
in a hushed voice, “Yes…” and fainted.
I immediately cast a healing
spell over her entire body.
In the square, no one said
anything, as if rain fell on hot pavement.
Beatrice quietly opened her
“I’m no match for this
girl’s determination… But I don’t intend to lose either. But today, that kid,
Mel wins.” (Beatrice)
I nodded my head and smiled.
I nodded slightly to the
others and headed back to the mansion with Mel in my arms.
~3rd Person Perspective~
In the square west of the
Lockhart mansion, Govan Lockhart and Mathias Lockhart were seeing Zacharias
“But it’s hard on Zack, too.
Mel, Miss Beatrice… Lydia and Sharon are there. They are all very strong
Govan responded to Mathias’
words with a wry smile.
“Oh, yes. It is amazing
to see such determination from a young girl, but I wonder what that clumsy child will do.
…No, on the contrary, I think I may be looking forward to it. Fufufu.”
Mathias frowns slightly at Govan’s
suppressed laughter but soon finds himself chuckling as well.
“Fufufu, yes, I suppose
so. Father is right, what will that clumsy Zack do? What will Ms. Lydia do? At
least by the end of the day, rumors will be spreading throughout the village.
Tonight’s Black Pond Pavilion – the only inn and tavern in the village – will
be full of this story. Hmph… I’m afraid Tanya – my wife – will scold me if I
laugh too much, but no, hahaha!” (Matt)
Govan nodded at Mathias’s
words, laughed once more, and immediately raised his voice at the village
“You people! A
twelve-year-old girl showed that much guts! The men who protect the village
cannot be defeated by a child! Walt! Let’s resume our training!” (Govan)
With those words, the men of
the village patrol prayed to the heavens that since today’s training would be
even more hellish than usual that the next few hours would pass quickly.