Chapter 13: Consultation
A week has passed since the spectacular hand-to-hand combat between His Royal Highness Crown Prince Leonardo and His Royal Highness Prince Grayson.
Thanks to His Highness Prince Grayson’s good sense, the practice of magic is over and now they are devoting themselves to their respective studies.
I would like to say that all is well────but there is still one problem left for me…… That is …….
“Haa… I’m tired……”
Straddling a school-owned horse in the riding arena, I take short, repeated breaths and squint against the midsummer sun.
It was ridiculously hot because the horses were in good shape while riding and the magic of the temperature control had been released.
It’s hot……I’m tired……I want to go home……but ────there’s no more time before the test! If I continue to try to take the martial arts test at this point, I’ll end up in a mess! I would like to think that I would indeed not get a red mark…… but I wasn’t even sure if I would reach the average.
I had a tremendous sense of urgency about the martial arts test as I was lacking in physical fitness as a result of thirteen years of neglect.
I was in a terrible crisis for the martial arts test, because I would get tired in the middle of running and lose control of my horse. But fortunately, the horse I borrowed from the school was smart enough not to shake me off. However, the rider’s lack of ability was noticeable.
The test content of the riding course can be summed up in one word: ──── obstacle jumping. The riders jump over the obstacles in the course and run through to the goal. It’s very difficult because it requires a good combination of the rider’s riding skill and the horse’s breath. Moreover, this time it was quite hard because the riders had to make three laps around the course, which was full of obstacles.
I could have managed just two laps, but three laps was absolutely impossible! I’m not strong enough! Don’t make jest of my lack of strength!
I stroked the horse’s mane to unify my spirit.
“Why didn’t I do the physical training properly?” As I was regretting my decision, I saw a familiar figure at the edge of my field of vision.
“────What a coincidence that we should meet here. Are you practicing your riding?”
So saying, it was my classmate, Emilia-sama, who approached me with her beloved horse.
Pulling the reins of Elizabeth, she looked up at me with a soft expression on her face.
It had been a long time since we had seen each other like this, as we had both been busy recently.
“Yes, something like that. Is Emilia-sama training to ride as well?”
“No, I’m just here to take Elizabeth for a walk as a distraction. You looked gloomy. What’s wrong? If it’s okay with you, we can talk about it.”
Emilia-sama was as kind as ever as she offered.
Thank goodness …… those three seem to be keeping their word. To be honest, I was worried that they were going to tell Emilia about it, but I guess I needn’t have worried.
“I’m actually worried about getting a good score on the martial arts test, I’m going to take the horseback riding course, but I don’t think I’m physically strong enough.”
When I confided my concerns while scratching my cheeks, Emilia-sama nodded her head and said, “I see”.
Since my lack of physical fitness had been exposed during the gymnastic practice, she was quick to speak up.
“It’s true that you’re a little short on physical strength. Your riding skills are not bad, but this is a shame. But physical strength is not something that can be increased in a week. ……”
“If we could use body enhancement magic, it would make it a little easier, since less effort would be expended on each movement. ……”
“But unfortunately, the rules forbid any magic that directly affects the rider or the horse. I guess we’ll just have to find another way.”
I was confronted with the reality that I could not rely on magic and I was dismissive.
While the test of riding courses does not prohibit the use of magic altogether, it does place restrictions on it. First, the use of magic that directly affects the rider or horse is completely prohibited. It was also forbidden to make the horse float in the air or break obstacles. The only thing that is officially allowed is to use wind magic to create a tailwind. …… This is practically the same as not being able to use magic.
“Huh…… I can manage until the second lap, but from the third lap it gets a little tougher…… Oh! Yes!!! How about using transfer magic just to run through obstacles!”
I clapped my hands with a pop as if to say I had an idea, and my eyes sparkled.
This is practically the same as running on level ground, so I can reduce my burden! In front of my enthusiastic face, Emilia-sama laughed as if she was troubled.
“I’m sorry, but that’s against the rules. Since last year’s airborne swimming incident, I’ve been told, ‘You must run on the ground properly’. The rule has been added that the ground must never leave the horse’s feet, except when overcoming an obstacle.”
Emilia shrugged her shoulders, “Honestly, transition is a gray line, but it’s probably out,” and I slumped my shoulders.
“No way!” I dismayed by the rules of the riding test with no loopholes, exclaimed.
As I half-cried, Emilia-sama let out a sigh as if to say, “It can’t be helped”.
“The point is, Charlotte-san, as long as your feet are on the ground, you’re good to go.”
“With your feet on the ground, all you have to do is indirectly interfere with the test. You could do that, couldn’t you? Because you have the power to make it possible.”
Emilia-sama, who said so confidently, seemed convinced that ” Charlotte-san can handle it”.
In response to her confidence, I put my hand on my chin and thought seriously.
With my feet on the ground, I indirectly interfere in the match …… keywords are ‘ground’ and ‘indirect’, right? The solution that satisfies these two conditions is …….
“ ────I see! All I have to do is interfere that way!”
With a clap of my hands, I look into her eyes as if to say I had found a blind spot.
My face lit up in a flash as I realized that my change of mind had led me to a way out.
My brain is already running simulations, pondering which magic to use.
Emilia-sama let out a sly smile at me as I was putting my thoughts together, even keeping in mind the cleanup.
“It looks like we have no more problems. Well, I have one last piece of advice for you. Use that magic only on the third lap. It is only your riding skills that will be tested. You will get more points if you do the first and second laps properly.”
“You have a point.”
I nodded my head at Emilia-sama’s advice and assured her, ‘I will run normally until the second lap’.
I had practiced so much and worried about so many things, but ‘I was just barely average’ and was sad indeed.
I’m going to do my best to get into the top ranks! While I was determined, Emilia-sama stepped over Elizabeth-chan with an air of familiarity.
“Good luck with your practice. I’ll leave you here now.”
“Ah, yes! Thank you for discussing this with me!”
I saw Emilia off to the next racetrack and took a break.
My cheeks relaxed as I watched Elizabeth’s wagging tail.
After all, Emilia-sama is so dependable. I’m glad I consulted her.