Chapter 2: The Strongest Onmyouji Returns to His Parents Home (Part two)
I stopped in my tracks.
Frowning, I look toward the voice and —- sure enough, there is my second brother.
“You’re finally home! Haha, how long I’ve been waiting for this day!”
Grey, standing in the garden, said with a wide smile.
I replied with a wry smile.
“I didn’t think you’d be so welcoming. You’ve grown a lot in the little time I’ve been away from you.”
Two years ago, he was about the same height as Luft, but now he is completely over the top.
He must have been practicing even now. He had a mock sword in his hand and seemed to be sweating a little.
This one has changed too. ……
“…… glad to see you’re doing well. Are you enjoying life in the military that much?”
“Yeah, it’s fun.”
Surprisingly, Grey affirms it, even though he was supposed to have disliked it so much.
“I never thought I’d be this good at it, It was much more fun to swing a sword and shoot magic without thinking about the theory than to sit at a desk and puke. It was much better than going to school. Seika, I can’t thank you enough. But …… I haven’t forgotten my grudge against you for mocking me!”
Grey points the mock sword in his hand at me.
“Fight me, Seika!”
“I’ve been waiting for this day my whole life! Today is the time to avenge my humiliation!”
When I was stunned, an elderly man standing by Grey’s side admonished him impatiently.
“Bochan! You must not do this to a child who has no military training, even though he is a nobleman who must fight in a national crisis!”
“Don’t call me, ‘bochan!’ I’ve endured hellish training for this day, don’t get in my way!”
I don’t know him, but I wonder who he is. A military official, maybe a subordinate.
In the case of Grey, he’s not just staying home, he’s leading some troops as part of his military affairs.
I had heard from Luft in a letter that Grey was now in charge of one of the platoons.
He was originally assigned to a relative’s unit, so he was probably treated well, but he must have had talent to rise so quickly. It’s not only swords and magic, but also the ability to lead troops, to understand military strategy, to attract and inspire the hearts and minds of rough soldiers.
Come to think of it, when I was in the mansion, he used to hang out with the bad guys in the town. When I think about it, maybe he was suited for it after all…….
And then Amu started poking me again, around the arm with her finger.
“Hey, is that person your second brother?”
“He bullied you and Ifa and beat you up before you came to school?”
“Yes, and I’m now a platoon commander in a regional unit of the Imperial Army.”
“…… military men challenging a student to a sword fight? What are you thinking?”
“Well, it’s insane when you think about it calmly, but …… that’s the kind of guy I am.”
With a rough snort, Amu stepped forward.
Then she looks at Grey and declares.
“Hey, you! You should fight me instead of Seika!”
“Eh, a, Amiyu?”
I was surprised by the suddenness of the situation.
Grey, who was told to do so, also looked at Amiyu with a face like “What?
Then he turns his gaze back to me and says
“Hey, Seika. Who the hell is this girl?”
“She’s a classmate of mine. ……”
“You, a swordsman challenging an amateur to a match, have you no shame?”
Amiyu continues regardless.
“I’ll be your opponent! Isn’t it normal to have a proxy in a duel?”
“Grey, who was told to do so, waved his hand as if to ward off a dog with a painstaking look on his face.”
“I don’t need a student to be my opponent. I didn’t call for you, so get out of my way.”
“Seika is a student too! And I don’t behave the way you nobles do!”
“Well, that’s true but……”
“Ah, ……, give her a match, Grey niisan.”
I was a little lost and said.
Perhaps Grey will be more mature if he loses in the sword.
“By proxy Amiyu, at least with the sword is definitely stronger than me.”
“Why compare me to you who rarely holds a sword?”
“If you beat Amiyu, then I’ll be happy to play with you.”
“Hmm … then the story will be quick.”
Grey says, looking at Amu.
“I’ll take it, kid. Get your sword ready.”
“I’m ready. Give me a mock sword.”
“What a pain in the ass. Get off your high horse.”
Grey points the tip of his mock sword at Amu’s mithril staff sword.
“It’s easier for you to use that, right.”
“You want me to take this seriously?”
“It’s the same thing. But you can come at me with the intent to kill me. In military training, even with a mock sword, sometimes people die.”
Amiyu loosely pulls out the cane sword.
“But I’ve seen that a lot with adventurers.”
“Adventurer …? Well, Lauren! Be a witness, it’s a captain’s order!”
“Be careful not to injure the young lady. And young lady, you have a cane sword, but magic is forbidden in this match. Both of you get ready.”
An elderly man stands in between and the two face each other.
I couldn’t help but make a reluctant face. Even though I was only on Amiyu’s side, I had to be present for the seriousness of the situation.
But well … it should be okay.
Amiyu would surely win by a comfortable margin, even if he had to be tricked. Grey is no match for a hero.
And if he were to suffer a mortal injury, I wouldn’t have any choice but to heal him then.
“Well, let’s get started!”
The man called Lauren signals the start of the event with a surprisingly taut voice.
Amiyu kicked the ground and closed the distance in one breath.
And just like that, she swung her cane sword down from the top.
A heavy metallic sound echoes.
Following the standard swordsmanship technique, Amiyu’s blow was struck close to the hilt, and Grey’s eyes widened slightly as he slid his left hand behind the mock sword. He could not have received the blow otherwise.
But he took it.
It’s the superiority of Amu, who outmatched a Lesser Demon in physical strength. I thought he would just be knocked down and the game would be decided. ……
Mabel had also withstood Amiyu’s swing before, but that was with gravity magic. I don’t feel any flow of power from Grey’s side. He is resisting that monstrous power with physical reinforcement by magic and pure technique.
From the brink, Amu pushes in.
However, Grey was able to withstand the heaviness of the attack while successfully deflecting the force, leaving no opening.
In fact, his expression is calm and even shows some composure.
As if Amu became impatient, she forcefully opened the gap between them and resumed with a fierce attack.
However, it was a bit unreasonable. The sword is carrying both weight and speed, but Grey is calmly taking it all in stride.
And then, Grey suddenly lost his balance.
Did he step on a pebble? Although he did not fall over, a big gap was created.
Naturally, Amiyu did not miss it, and entered a posture to pursue.
From that position, Grey could only hit two moves at most. That was the end.
It’s a somewhat anticlimactic ending, but it’s a good thing that ……
“Burning red! The flame of heat and sulfur are born. —-“
At that moment, Grey suddenly shouted.
Amiyu stopped running forward, drew her sword, and stiffened for a moment as if to brace herself.
The sudden disappearance of her offensive spirit from her pursuit stance created an untenable gap.
And that was the end.
Grey instantly regained his stance as if he had lied, and swung his sword.
The mithril cane sword flew out of Amiyu’s hand.
Then, the tip of the —- mock sword was thrust at the girl swordsman who had fallen on her buttocks.
“Yes, I win.”
Grey, looking down at Amiyu, declares languidly.
The place is quiet, and Amiyu, coming back to herself, exclaims
“What? That’s not fair! You said no magic!”
“When did I use magic?”
Amu’s eyes widen as she is told.
“You cheated me? Haah, you still call yourself a swordsman?”
“There’s no such thing as a good-behaved match on the battlefield. You’re an adventurer, aren’t you?, Would you demand fairplay from monsters?”
“Amiyu looked as if she was about to grit her teeth as Grey lowered his mock sword.”
“I’m going to lose if we do it again”
The elderly man called Lauren said, holding out his hand to Amiyu.
“The young master stumbled and tripped on purpose.”
“I was also surprised. You are very strong, young lady. That must be why bochan had a hard time deciding who would win. It would not do to settle a rough fight with a guest on such an occasion.”
“Bochan is still the best under the command of General Petrus. Both in magic and sword. He has become so in these two years. But he still needs to learn a little more about military strategy.”
“Shut up, Lauren! Don’t talk nonsense!”
Oh, that’s classified military intelligence, isn’t it?
Watching the exchange between Grey and Lauren, I thought to myself, I guess Grey has changed.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Seika! Let’s have a match as promised, shall we?”
Grey, with his hands on his hips, tells me.
He didn’t seem to be out of breath. I guess it’s true that he had enough leeway to spare.
I sighed and answered.
“Give me a break, Grey niisan. There is no way I can beat you with a sword right now.”
“Who told you to fight with a sword. Anything … You can use anything, even that strange magic. I’ll take you on.”
Grey threw down his mock sword and pulled out the sword at his waist.
It looked like a staff sword. It was a simple sword, but its careful preparation indicated that it was of high quality.
“You can’t do this, bochan!”
“Shut up! I won’t let you interfere with this match, Lauren!”
“You’ll get it, Seika! I heard you won the martial arts tournament in the capital. I know, to you, they were all just a bunch of worthless guys. But I’m different now! I have used the humiliation of that day as a springboard to become this strong! Fight me, Seika! It’s a rematch of two years ago!”
“You’re so noisy…… huh, I understand, brother Grey.”
I stepped forward.
I’m sure he’ll be quiet for a while if I let him beat me.
“I’ve made you a promise. What are the rules?”
“The same as in the martial arts tournament. It will be more convenient for you too.”
“I don’t care what the rules are. But since we don’t have the amulet of protection, let’s say …… magic, you lose if you get hit once. However, there are no restrictions. You can use magic of medium or higher level.”
“ Hah……You’re telling me that?”
Grey laughs invincibly and carries his cane sword on his shoulder.
“Lauren, you must decide the winner and the loser, this is the captain’s orders.”
“I understand, bochan,……. he doesn’t look like much, but Seika-dono here is strong enough and willing to challenge you with that much determination, isn’t he? …… If that’s the case, there’s nothing more an outsider can say. I, Lauren, swear to you that I will watch this duel with absolute certainty!”
“Seika, are you sure you want to do this?”
I turned around and saw Amiyu looking at me with anxious eyes.
“I don’t know how it used to be … he’s probably really strong now. Maybe more than anyone in the Imperial City martial arts competition …”
“Haha, that’s unusual. It’s unusual for Amiyu to be concerned about something like this.”
“It’s not funny! There might be a chance that something might happen. ……”
“There is no chance.”
With that said, I turn to Grey.
For Grey to beat me, he needs to go through at least 10,000 trials, which is still not enough.
I just need to remind my brother.
Lauren raised his voice.
“This duel is not for either honor or vengeance, but purely to determine strength. Both of you must hold your swords and avoid using deadly magic. Victory or defeat will be decided by my judgment. Both sides are you ready?”
A voice sounded out of place, like a clear-toned flute.
Everyone looked in that direction at once.
Before we knew it, there is a girl standing in the garden of the mansion.
What a surprise to see my holy knight in a duel. It must be my destiny to witness this.
The girl muttered in a state of euphoria.
The girl has an inhumanly beautiful face, like a statue of a god.
The eyes are a dull shade of yellow, like steel glasses, and the hair is a light blue color. She looked like an incarnation, but the dress she wore was of the highest quality, and the way she spoke indicated that she was of noble birth.
Lauren, Luft, Edith, and the other servants were all knelt in the usual postures.
Grey, who was facing me, had a …… extremely bitter look on his face.
“What …… is it, Your Highness? I told you not to act too much alone.”
“Ufufu, I couldn’t help it? Everyone had gone somewhere … Or maybe I’m the one who went somewhere. Ufufufu”
“Don’t bother my subordinates”
“I don’t care about that. Now, start the duel, Grey.”
The girl’s eyes made me uncertain as to what she was thinking, but her mouth was smiling.
“Even if you don’t get anything out of the fight, it means something to you, doesn’t it? I just don’t understand it.”
Grey’s expression becomes distorted.
“You’re saying I’m going to lose?”
“Well, I can’t be so cruel as to tell you how your fight is going to end,……. But isn’t there a point in defeat? I’m just speaking in general terms. Even if you lose so badly that you can’t even bring out the best in your opponent, doesn’t that give you a sense of closure? I’m just speaking in general terms. Hmmm…”
“…… I see.”
Grey dropped his shoulders and sheathed his staff sword.
“I give up, Seika.”
I couldn’t help but flicker my eyes.
What the ……? I don’t know why he was so open about it.
“If you’re angry, you should have said so in a more normal way.”
“ Well, then, I’m angry.”
“I will not allow my Holy Knight to duel without permission.”
“I guess it isn’t time yet.”
“The same is true if it’s the previous rule. That being said, introduce me to the guest quickly. I’m tired of waiting. I want to finish the role here quickly.”
“I haven’t had a chance to say hello either. ……”
Grey walks over to the girl, faces us, and indicates her figure with his hand.
“Ah, introducing, Fiona Urd Ehrgreif —-.”
Actually, I had an idea who she was.
Such a girl of noble status in this place, there is no other than her that was in the letter from Luft.
It was —- Her Royal Highness.