|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2923 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1228 words|
|Editor(s): Hydra, Liomad|
「Look, Lahti! This is proof of my continued efforts to hone my powers for our motherland! This is my resolve to bear this country! What did you get while I was earning this Rune?! Damn you to hell if all you’ve ever done is to become a bootlicking puppet for the invaders!! You have lost my support to make you the next king! I won’t take your life, no, but you will never, ever step on the land of this country again! You and your invaders from Charalia! And for the blood of the high traitor, the gallows await her!」
「Kgh…! You might’ve made some solid points there, but… I’m not backing down! I ain’t running away from this country no more! I will bear this country all by my own will! I made my decision! Some things won’t ever return, but there are things we can do starting now!」
「Hah! Don’t waste your breath, you’re a helpless Runeless who can’t do anything without relying on these young girls! You give each other lip services and sweet nothings, while in the end, it’s true strength that talks! You think I fell for your trap, but no, this works much better for me! I can crush and wring the lot of you all I want without hurting the refugees in Lekrea!」
Saying so, Weinsel took a stance, fully ready for a fight.
「Don’t look down on me! Even I have—!」
As the two brothers shouted at each other, Leone interrupted.
「Lahti! Back down!」
「Leave the rest to us!」
「S-, sorry ‘bout this! Please do!」
Lahti stepped back, frustration dyed his face. Seeing this, Weinsel sighed once more.
「It’s not in my nature to kill women, but you leave me no choice!」
Neither Leone nor Liselotte had been told such a thing before, so it felt weird to be treated as such.
「Be our guest then!」
「Knights of Charalia have no need for such reserve!」
Charalia had a long history with two Hyrule Menaces who were deeply respected and revered. Knights of Charalia were used to the Hyrule Menaces, if not comfortable with women being strong and having power in battle. Therefore, they weren’t careless or reserved when it came to fighting women. Weinsel saying those words was probably due to cultural differences. After all, Alucard didn’t have a Hyrule Menace historically.
「How gallant! On the battlefield, a knight is a knight, regardless of gender! I like it, and likewise, don’t be reserved just because I am royalty. Feel free to come and take my life, if you can, that is!」
That being said, Weinsell still had no Artifact at the ready, and Leone was at a loss as to how to proceed. If she knew what weapon she would be facing, like a sword, a spear, or a bow… then Leone could figure out how to measure the distance to take.
It wasn’t like Weinsel had a Hyrule Menace accompanying him, so at most, it would be a High-Grade Artifact. However, Weinsel himself was an owner of a Special Grade Rune. In a way, he was like Raphael or Leon when they were on a lone mission. He was higher in rank than Leone and Liselotte.
Leone herself had trained hard and worked herself to the bones to catch up with Leon, and yet he was still a far-away goal in Leone’s mind. The thought of having to exceed that goal right here, right now, made her nervous.
「It’s all right! You are not fighting alone! You have me, I have you… and we both have new powers that we obtained here. I’m sure we have a pretty good chance!」
Liselotte encouraged. Leone had publicly stated that she wanted to clear her family name by capturing her brother Leon with her own hands.
However, watching up close… It was clear that deep down she still had great respect and admiration for Leon, even though she might not want to admit it. Therefore, Leone’s goal to catch up with Leon seemed much higher and more distant than it actually was.
Much like Leon, Weinsel had a Special Grade Rune. This made fighting him a special occasion for Leone. She perhaps had thought too highly of her opponent, making her tense, and giving birth to anxiety, which was not a good thing. She wouldn’t be able to perform her best that way.
And to get rid of it, Liselotte purposefully made that overstatement.
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And, to be fair, nothing that she said was wrong. Inglis herself had said so.
When Inglis was asked how good they were now, she replied that they were strong enough to contend with two, or even three Special Grade Rune-bearing Knights barring the involvement of Hyrule Menaces.
Liselotte, Rafinha, and Leone had all trained well and fought numerous real battles, and now armed with Artifacts that possessed multiple Gifts and even contained Dragon Roar, they were the best among High-Grade Rune level Knights.
Rafinha had always been close with Inglis as if they were real sisters, so she never really asked Inglis to value her for her strength. Perhaps she could grasp just how strong she was in comparison. She might simply assume that Inglis would always be by her side and thus never really worried about strength.
It was a testament to how absolute Inglis’ pampering over Rafinha was.
Leone was the type of person who would be tormented by her own thoughts, so she didn’t fancy the idea of asking Inglis how strong she was, perhaps in fear of Inglis telling Leone she lacked the strength to fight alongside her. In terms of training itself, Leone was in fact keeping up with Inglis very well.
Liselotte, however, wasn’t as perceptive as Rafinha or as brooding as Leone, so she had been asking Inglis for such evaluations quite casually from time to time. The last time she asked, Inglis’ evaluation was the one just mentioned before.
When it came to combat, Liselotte didn’t know anyone more enthusiastic, highly conscious, and constantly producing results than Inglis.
Which was why she was interested in her assessment and had complete confidence in her judgment. Inglis, too, also answered with the full truth without gloating.
Once, Liselotte asked Inglis who was the second strongest after her in their year at the Knight Academy, and after making sure Liselotte promised her that she would never, ever disclose it to Rafinha, Inglis answered that she thought that it could be Leone.
That being said, she’s almost equal to Rafinha and Liselotte. Leone’s about half a step ahead, it seemed. Asking Inglis’ evaluation again to know how it had changed since then might be a good idea, thought Liselotte.
After they returned to Charalia safely, that is! Fortunately, Liselotte’s encouragement seemed to have lifted Leone’s anxiety.
「You’re right! With the two of us together…!」
「Yes, that’s what I mean!」
They looked at each other and nodded…
「Then, I shall take the first move!」
Liselotte moved through the air, circling Weinsel. She and Leone sandwiched him. And, while maintaining the distance, she blew a fierce snowstorm from the tip of her halberd.
They still had no idea what Weinsel’s Artifact was. The safest way would be to attack him from a distance in the air.
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