Dream Life Vol II Chapter 67: “Beatrice vs. Mel”

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 July 10th



 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 goes.


 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 skills.


 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 organs.



 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 to 70.



 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 Zack?”


 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 unnecessary.



 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 meters tall.


 Beatrice’s eyes widened slightly at the move, but she held her spear low as well and took a stance to intercept.



 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 sword.


 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 plan?) (Zack)



 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 at her.



 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 attacks continued.



 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 battle.


 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.” (Zack)



 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 mouth.



“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 off.



“But it’s hard on Zack, too. Mel, Miss Beatrice… Lydia and Sharon are there. They are all very strong women.” (Matt)



 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.” (Govan)



 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 patrol members.



“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.



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