|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2580 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1170 words|
“Why didn’t you help me back there?!”
My angry voice resounded through the room while Grom peacefully drank a cup of tea. The knights guarding him got a bit shaken in an attempt to protect him, but they were also afraid of my skills so they just lingered around hesitantly. After the audience somehow ended with the preparation of a mock battle, Grom’s group, myself included, were led back to the empty room we first visited. Even though the palace’s maids brought fragrant tea and cookies, I would not even look at them.
“What are you saying? I did all I could so things would go smoothly.”
“How so?! If I fight all of those men, the king will definitely try to cage me somewhere! I’ll never get a chance to even mention anything I might want in return!”
“…Calm down a bit. Let’s talk about it in smaller steps.”
With a slight clink, he returned the teacup to the saucer. Feeling his silent and composed gaze on me, the blood receded from my head and I regained my calm. When he saw that change, Grom nodded before slowly starting to talk again.
“…I also prioritized your conditions when I said that. I’m planning on showing how important your strength would be for the training school and the protection of Surfour, so I’ll try to use that as a way to persuade them into letting you remain there.”
I was glad he complimented me like that, but I was a bit shocked he did not even mention my work as a receptionist. Was I not as good of a receptionist as I thought?
“But I didn’t think Prince Stied would influence such a large group, so I had to change my strategy entirely. If you show them you have so much power you could easily overthrow the King, everyone should acknowledge you as someone important. Afterwards he probably would hesitate to force you to stay here, considering you could easily refuse by force.”
“Hm… Well…you do have a point…”
But would it really go that way? Never in my life had I ever thought about using my power to willfully do something… But wait, that just gave me an idea for something much better. I could just go ahead with the mock battle, but then lose on purpose and disappoint the King. Everything would end like that… That was it, I simply had to lose.
Having thought of such a good plan, I naturally began smiling.
“…I have no idea what you’re thinking, but you can’t lose in this mock battle, alright? If you were to lose in an unsightly manner, then it would affect my own credibility after vouching for you so much. Losing on purpose is completely out of the question.”
My plan had been seen through entirely and got warned about it. I really could not measure up to his experience dealing with people after so many years of being the governor. I had no other choice but to obediently do as I was told…
§ § §
We went out through the drawbridge, towards some buildings between the castle walls and the city. Those were the living quarters of soldiers and the offices for civil officials, as well as the stables for horses and pegasuses. There was also a parade ground there, a place where the soldiers trained. That place was also free to be used by knights and magicians, or basically anyone who underwent combat training. It was not as big as the training grounds in the school where I taught, but it still had ample space so it would be possible for a large number of people to train at the same time.
(Or well, I guess that’s the reason why they built it so large?)
As I looked around, I saw temporary seats for the nobles brought around the parade ground, knights standing in front of them as guards. The soldiers that were training just moments before were also standing around, surrounding the entire area. Because of the sudden appearance of the king and high nobility, everyone was completely silent as opposed to the liveliness that usually permeated that area.
In the center of the large parade ground, I stood together with roughly twenty knights and soldiers. All of them held their weapons of choice, swords or spears, all pointed towards me. They made no attempts to conceal their scorn for me on their expressions, obviously grossly underestimating me.
“…And so, all of you will now perform a mock battle against Lapis. If what she said is true, then she should be able to easily overpower you, there’s no need to hold back against her.”
“Even if you say that, sir, if everything they said is a lie, we’ll be bullying a weak child one-sidedly. What are we supposed to do in such a case?”
The man referred to as their general, a bearded man with stern eyes, received that complaint from a middle-aged knight that appeared to have a bad temper. From his attitude, I could guess he was the knight with the highest rank out of those assembled there. And he was undoubtedly the strongest as well, I could tell he was a step or two ahead from the rest.
“…Those were His Majesty’s orders. You fight with all your power, and not one-on-one like a duel, but all at the same time just like you would fight a monster. Of course, magicians will support you as well.”
“Seriously? The knights and soldiers here would be strong enough to easily take over the capital. And if you add magic support… You there, I don’t know what you did, girlie, but it’s best if you surrender now. Hopefully you’ll only get hurt, but you could easily end up dying.”
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I was caught off-guard when the conversation turned to me while I was just observing the situation. That he worried about my wellbeing told me he probably was a good person after all.
“Ah…err, it’s fine. The governor told me not to lose, so I can’t really pull out now. But thanks for worrying.”
“…Is that so. Then I guess we just have to do it.”
When they saw I didn’t even flinch, their gazes changed. They probably thought I was taking them lightly, so their gazes changed to borderline bloodlust.
“…It seems everyone is ready. Then, the mock battle starts now! Feel free to show His Majesty the fruits of your hard training!”
As soon as the general said that, the men formed a circle around me. They were all used to fighting in organized groups, so they quickly took a circular formation. That was a major difference from the way adventurers fought monsters with few members. They all held their weapons ready, not getting distracted by anything. I thought they were waiting for me to make the first move, but I was quickly proven wrong.
“Agility enhancer, Haste!”
“Strength enhancer, Blade!”
“Defense enhancer, Shield!”
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