Chapter 2: A little while after that incident.
This spring, Baron Clausel’s domain was hit by a crisis unlike any in its history.
The reason was that Viscount Givens, who was entrusted by the emperor with an adjoining territory, had made Baron Clausel the target of a factional war.
The village of the Ashton family, located on the frontier, was particularly hit hard, and the only daughter of Baron Clausel, Licia, the saint was there.
Licia was kidnapped by Viscount Givens.
She was on the verge of dying due to an illness, but she miraculously survived.
—- All because of the efforts of a boy named Ren Ashton.
Sometimes he used his resourcefulness, sometimes his innate strength, to single-handedly protect Licia.
Ren, however, suffered a great wound in return.
As a reward for protecting his daughter, the Baron promised to let him stay at his mansion to rest and recover.
Thanks to his efforts, after two months and a few days, Ren was confident that he would make a full recovery.
“I think I’m all right now.”
Ren muttered to himself on the bed, his black and brown hair blowing in the breeze coming in through the window, a smile on his neutrally shaped face.
He stands up with a satisfied look on his face and approaches the guest room window.
From there, he looks out and sees Licia working on her morning training.
(I have a promise to keep.)
To have a duel with Licia.
Ren cannot return to his village until he has dueled with her several times, as promised.
Even if it was already past June and Ren’s birthday had passed before he knew it, he didn’t want to be a liar.
(Thank God for potions and magic tools.)
Thanks to this, muscle weakness was kept to a minimum, and it didn’t take too long before he could walk on his own.
This has allowed Ren to walk around the mansion as part of his rehabilitation and he has also visited the gardens with Licia’s guidance.
“Let’s do something.”
After getting dressed, Ren left the guest room alone and proceeded down the corridor, which he had recently become accustomed to walking down.
Unlike the mansion where he lived, the floors in this mansion are soft and comfortable to walk on.
The thick carpeting was soft on Ren’s injured feet.
A voice came from behind Ren.
It was Weiss, who was walking from the other side of the corridor.
Weiss, who is also the leader of the Clausel family’s knighthood, was busy with his daily duties, but he was helping Ren with his rehabilitation every day.
“Weiss-sama. Good morning.”
“Good morning….. But boy, are you feeling better already?”
“Apparently so. I’ve been diagnosed as being close to a full recovery since the other day and I’m already as light as I used to be.”
Weiss nodded, looking deeply relieved.
He still regretted the day of the attack on Ren’s village and wanted severe punishment even though Ren and Licia made it back alive.
However, Weiss had left Licia’s side that day at her behest.
Licia had spoken out and made it clear that there was no way he’d be punished.
“Did you have breakfast already?”
“Yes, I had it in my room as usual. I’m going outside to exercise now.”
“By exercise, you mean…”
“I’m afraid I’m going to look like an ugly person if I’m too lazy.”
Weiss said, “Hmm?”
He soon realized that Ren’s attention was focused outside the window.
“I see. So you’re dueling with the young lady. But don’t overdo it. The master also said so.”
“I’ll be fine. I won’t push myself too hard.”
“I hope so…”
“Besides, I don’t want to keep Licia waiting any longer.”
In fact, I watched Licia train every day.
Looking down from the guest room window, there’s a square where she does her daily training every morning.
Watching her, Ren’s gaze would lock with hers every day, and they would wave to each other.
“—- Before I go home, I promise I will duel with you again.”
Licia noticed Ren muttering this, and she waved her hand at him when the training was over.
As he exited the mansion and approached the plaza, Licia approached with light footsteps.
The skirt of the white dress she wears when she trains is slightly swaying in the wind.
It seems that those clothes were the only ones that miraculously survived the burning of the Ashtons’ mansion.
When Roy and Mireille came to Clausel the other day, they were returned to Licia for those reasons..
She was very happy, because the clothes were a keepsake from her mother.
Licia’s legs immediately stop and she moves away from Ren.
When Ren wondered why, she picked up a towel she had left on a nearby bench and began wiping off her sweat.
The knights who were dueling with her were teasing her, and they laughed slightly.
“Hmmm, that’s a look for the young lady we haven’t seen before.”
Weiss said, while smiling.
(I shouldn’t worry about that.)
Ren, with a smile on his face, took in the fresh air outside with his whole body.
The garden in this mansion is lush and green, and just taking a deep breath is pleasant.
It’d be nice to train here because the greenery would be a feast for the eyes.
Licia, who had just finished wiping off her sweat, came running up to me.
Her hair, which looked like pure silver woven with purple crystal amethyst, had regained its silky luster, unlike when we were on the run.
Her exquisitely shaped face looked a little more mature after that experience.
The morning sun shines on her, and she smiles a dainty, somewhat angelic smile and says to Ren.
“Are you okay now? Aren’t you pushing yourself too hard?”
“I’m fine. I’ve been able to walk without help recently and I’ve even recovered enough to run.”
“I see, but still—“
Licia’s lips pout with a moody appearance.
“I was just worried—- So, what’s up with coming outside? Are you taking a walk?”
“No, I didn’t want to go for a walk. I just wanted to get some exercise.”
“What kind of exercise?”
“I’m going to duel with you, so I think I need to hold a sword for the first time in a while.”
After saying this, Ren walked beside a stunned Licia and proceeded through the plaza.
In one corner of this place, there is a shelf where several training swords are propped up. Ren looked through the shelves and found a sword that was the right length for his body.
“Ho, you’re really going to duel with me? You’re not joking?”
“I made a promise, you know. ButI have to get my intuition back, right? Otherwise, I’m going to lose easily.”
“If it’s you, that’s enough.”
“Ah , You’re not in a rush, are you?”
“Of course not. I was just stating the difference in our abilities.”
Licia’s words perplexed the knights nearby.
…… Oh, the lady said those words without regret!
…… So you are that strong Ren-dono
……Weiss-sama also approved of him, right?
The knights were also looking forward to seeing Ren wield the sword, just as Licia had done.
They wanted to see firsthand just how powerful Ren Ashton was, as they had heard so much about him.
Ren was standing beside them as they exchanged words, gripping his sword for the first time in a long while.
But it didn’t feel right.
The feel of the sword in his hand was different from that of his wooden or iron sword, and there was something strange about it.
(I guess I don’t have a choice.)
He decides to be patient and rolls up his shirt.
The exposed arm is equipped with a bracelet used in summoning a magic sword.
“Why do you have the same bracelet as before?”
“My parents prepared a similar item for me. It is a fake, though.”
“Hmm. I see.”
The bracelet is a lie, of course, but he can’t equip this bracelet unless he says so.
Incidentally, the dagger that Licia had said she was going to give to Ren wasn’t found in the warehouse of the mansion, so she was determined to order another one soon.
(For now, just a little bit.)
Ren, thinking of swinging the sword, moved away from Licia and lightly waved his arm.
The grip didn’t feel right, but the sensation of swinging the sword was much the same as before.
(I’m fine. I’m really recovering.)
He further stands around as if the opponent is right in front of him.
Conscious of the imaginary Thief Wolfen, he dexterously swung his sword with a mixture of foot judgments.
Then, the sound of splitting the sky echoed through this square.
The lush green grass on the ground of the square swayed in the wind created by the sword pressure.
The knights, realizing that Ren was a stronger man than they had imagined, stared at him speechless.
Licia was looking on in a good mood with her hands folded behind her back.
(Surprisingly, not dull.)
While many were surprised, Ren increased the speed of his sword even more.
The swing of his sword became sharper, and the pressure of the sword pressed down on everyone’s skin.
Licia came to his side and called out to him as his sword settled down.
“How are you feeling?”
“Not much different than I thought it would be before I collapsed. I’m still a little out of shape, but I’m mobile enough.”
“Good. ……I wonder if my sacred magic had some effect.”
Hearing those words, Ren thinks back.
Licia, who was a frequent visitor to the guest room when he was resting on the bed, used her sacred magic to improve his health.
Thanks to that, he recovered quickly thanks to the synergistic effect of the potion and other ingredients.
(And also, physical ability UP (small)
Having moved more than he had thought possible, Ren prefaced his speech with, “Well then, —-“.
“I’d like to have a light duel with you once.”
“But only for rehabilitation, please. I still can’t move as well as I used to.”
When a startled Licia was at a loss for words, Weiss spoke up instead.
“Boy! You’re not ready yet!”
“I can handle a light duel.”
No pressure, he said, and went on to stand with Licia.
Licia, half pleased and half surprised by Ren’s words, smiles.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Well, let’s just do some light rehabilitation today. So this is not a match, but a little exercise. Okay?”
Ren, who had been calmly rebuked, scratched his cheek with an embarrassed look on his face.
But then the situation changed.
The two of them picked up their training swords and just before Weiss gave the first signal, he said.
“Please be gentle.”
Licia looked at Ren as he said this and was surprised to see that he was still the same or even more powerful than before.
She realized that after that battle, he had grown up even more.
And she felt,
She was feeling more tense in front of the pressure that was drifting from him.
“I wondered if it was my line to say, go easy on me.”
His strength that protected me hasn’t changed at all even though it’s been a long time.