Chapter 40: Watching the Games
After completing the opening ceremony, we delegates scattered to go to the preliminary rounds or to watch the games.
I, who was competing in the seventh round, and His Highness Grayson, who was competing in the fourth round, had plenty of time to spare, so we came to cheer on Emilia-sama.
The sun was shining brightly, and we sat in the spectator seats that had been prepared for the students.
The venue for the horse riding section was one of the training grounds that had been converted into a racetrack, similar to a horse race track.
The contractor in charge of the renovation seemed to have worked very hard, and the facilities were well equipped.
How did they make it this far in a month and a half?
The foundations were already laid for the Sword and Magicisions, which were held in a rented hall, but it must have been difficult to turn an almost empty training ground into a racetrack.
I was impressed by the hard work of the vendors, and ──── suddenly there was a lot of noise around me.
"Please do your best!"
"I am rooting for you!"
It was the students of class C who waved their hands loudly and cheered for Emilia-sama.
The ponytail girl, who entered with her beloved horse, smiled slightly at those who rushed to support her.
Dressed in a riding suit provided by the school, she wore a green cape and raised the brim of her helmet slightly.
The other rider was a representative of the first-year A class, I believe?
I'm not saying it's because we're in the same class, but I think Emilia-sama is going to win.
I've been watching Emilia-sama ride every day for the past month, and her skills are on par with the pros.
It's hard to believe that she's the same age as me.
"I hope one day I can ride a horse as beautifully as Emilia-sama."
I muttered with longing, the beautiful young man with black hair sitting next to me glanced at me.
"If that's the case, you need to work on your fitness first. You are not a bad athlete, but you are just too weak. Also, don't rely too much on magic."
His Highness Grayson was relentless in cutting down my laxity.
I turned away from the problem of insufficient physical strength that I had once again faced.
Thanks to the patrol of the disciplinary committee and the special training after school, I'm getting stronger little by little, but I'm still not strong enough.
It's because I immediately resort to magic! I think I need to fix this habit, but it's not that easy.
"Ma, ma ... let's talk about that later! Now we have to support Emilia-sama!"
His Highness Grayson squints at me, as I desperately diverted the story while cold sweat dripped.
My cheeks tensed up despite his suspicious gaze, but ... His Highness gently spoke.
"... that's right. For now, let's concentrate on cheering."
He deflected his gaze as if to say "I'll let this go for now" and turned his lapis lazuli's eyes to the race field.
There, Emilia-sama and the representative of Group A had already arrived at the starting position.
Elizabeth-chan, Emilia-sama's beloved horse, is full of motivation, snorting and snorting.
I remembered Elizabeth's fur, which I had stroked many times during the after-school training, and "Go for it! Elizabeth-chan!" I silently cheered her on.
"──── We will now begin the preliminary match between Phoebe Sienna Burton, Class A, Year 1, and Emilia Candace Dursley, Class C, Year 1."
The man who is the moderator of the riding section adjusts the magic circle for loudspeakers and looks at the racecourse from the management tent.
The two riders, holding riding whips and reins, are ready to go.
"Please start at my signal. Let the match ──── begin!"
As the MC announced the start of the game, the two horses galloped out of the starting machine.
The two horses made a splendid start, and the speed increased rapidly as they ran down the course.
After making a splendid start dash, the two heads speed up and run through the course.
Both horses ran brilliantly, but Elizabeth was faster, perhaps because of her talent.
The pony-tailed woman holding the reins shouted.
"Emilia-sama, keep going!"
"You're almost at the finish line!"
"Keep running like that!"
Everyone was enthusiastic about Emilia-sama and Elizabeth-chan's running and gave them a cheer.
While the racetrack was filled with excitement, especially among the students of Class C, ──── Elizabeth-chan reached the goal in no time.
There were cheers for Emilia-sama and Elizabeth-chan, who had won by more than fifteen meters.
"It was a wonderful run!"
"I am impressed!"
"As expected, Emilia-sama!"
They clapped their hands excitedly, and Emilia-sama, who had calmed her horse down, gave a small wave.
Elizabeth was also waving her tail in a good mood.
"Well, the result is as expected."
"Yes, it is. But it's hard to contain the elation you feel when you see victory."
In contrast to his classmates, who were rejoicing hand in hand, His Highness Grayson, who had little reaction, kept a clear face.
I was smiling at the way he didn't move an eyebrow when he suddenly stood up from his seat.
"I'm on my way to the waiting room. If I'm late, I'll be in trouble."
"If that's the case, I'll join you on the way."
The destination is almost the same, so when I offered to do so, His Highness Grayson arched his eyebrows.
He looked at me and asked, "Why?" I let out a chuckle at his questioning gaze.
"I'd like to go to watch His Highness play, no, I'd like to cheer you on... Fortunately, there's still time for me to see it. Can't I?"
Looking up at the lapis lazuli's eyes from below and tilting my head, he opened his eyes slightly.
However, he immediately returned to the poker face, and his eyes diverted.
"You'll probably find my match boring…"
"Oh, that's not the case. Your Highness's sword technique is wonderful. I don't think it will be boring."
His Highness showed us during the after-school training that his sword techniques were very specific to combat and there was no wasted movement.
It's not beautiful, but it's a practical way of fighting that I can learn a lot from.
So, it was impossible for His Highness' fights to be boring.
Well, there might be times when you feel bored because he finished too quickly, but…
"If that's what Miss Charlotte says, then fine. I will take you to the venue of the swordsmanship section."
The beautiful young man with dark hair and a somewhat softened atmosphere held out his large white hand to me.
I thought I don't need to be escorted, but I couldn't ignore His Highness' concern, so I took his hand.
"Thank you, Your Highness Grayson."
"No, I'll walk you to the audience."
"What? No, you don't have to go that far!"
Although he still has some time to spare, I'm reluctant to spend it going to the audience seats.
When I lowered my eyebrows in hesitation, His Highness Grayson simply said, "I just want to do that."
I can't argue with that, so with a bitter smile, I stand up.
"Then I'll be happy with your words."
The beautiful young man with black hair, nodded with satisfaction as he pulled my hand and started walking.
I followed him, passing through the warm gazes that pierced my surroundings, and moved forward.
There's no deep meaning to this escort, but it's kind of embarrassing to be the focus of so much attention.
Anyway, why did His Highness say that he was going to walk me to the audience seats?
Did he think that ──── I'll get lost again?
Is it because I got lost and ended up in the men's dormitory on my first day of school?
If that's the case, I want to protest with all my might right now that it was just a fluke!
I was tempted to ask the escort what he meant, but I would be shocked if he affirmed that he did, so I kept my mouth shut.
In the end, I told myself that ignorance is bliss, and I turned away from the truth.