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Read at Watas.h.i.+ wa Sugoi Desu!
Part 2 of Hasr's Birthday release~
Chapter Four: Gloomy Prospects (05)
The weather was great.
The skies were clear as if the downpour the day before had been but a lie, and Flora laughed cheerfully as she walked around the garden.
The combination of the flowers in a myriad of shades and the cute little girl walking among them was the best panacea.
Vio gazed at Flora through the window of his study as he drank tea, and lost all strength.
"It's great that Lady Flora has regained her spirits."
Seeing Lil grin and say so, Vio nodded.
Sooner or later, Flora too would come to know the Lesserhain house's wrongdoings. However, until then, he wished for her to smile brightly, oblivious to all of it.
"By the way, Lil, Legi seems to be acting strange. Do you know the reason for it?"
Vio glanced at Lil.
Since morning, Legion's face had turned red every time his eyes met Vio's, and he'd always run off somewhere. He seemed to be doing the odd jobs properly, so there wasn't a problem, but it felt incomprehensible seeing him repeatedly act like that.
Lil giggled and gave a sharp-tongued jibe.
"Well, perhaps he hit his head somewhere?"
"……Do you, by any chance, hate Legi?"
"I don't like him, that's for sure."
Seeing Lil's smile, Vio guessed Legi was disliked, and did not question her any further. It was best to let sleeping dogs lie.
"Lil, could you bring me another cup?"
"Yes. My, we seem to have run out of hot water. I shall go make arrangements for it at once. Please wait a moment."
Lil gave a bow and left the study, tea set in hand.
Vio placed his empty cup back in the saucer and gave a slight yawn. Although he had slept with the lights on the night before, his nightmares meant that he didn't feel as if he had slept at all.
Seeing the tranquil scene unfold, his taut nerves relaxed and he felt drowsy.
He stretched as he yawned.
Beside the flower garden, Flora looked at him and waved her hand with a smile.
Vio returned the wave as he approached the window. Flora laughed all the more happily.
(Ahh, how cute……)
While he was blindly fawning over how cute his sister was, the surroundings suddenly darkened. The moment he looked up to see if a cloud was pa.s.sing by, it fell down.
A dull thud boomed across the grounds, blowing away the flowers and soil.
As he dumbfoundedly opened his eyes wide, it let out a roar.
It was a small dragon with metallic blue scales—the Kiryuu.
Flora let out a shriek and cowered in fear, and Karia swiftly drew her sword and took a stance to protect her.
"Why are the Kiryuu here!?"
For a moment, the thought that it might be an urgent message from his father crossed his mind, but none of the knights riding on their backs paid their respects. They were all clad in iron armor and their faces were hidden by helmets.
"Who are you!? You dare tread here knowing that this is the mansion of the Lesserhain house!?"
Karia gave a bold challenge, but the knights paid her no heed. Instead, the Kiryuu moved. They shook their head wildly and sent Karia flying.
Between man and dragon, the advantage was overwhelmingly on the dragon's side.
Karia, who was suddenly sent flying, rolled to the corner of the garden.
While crouched in the same place, Flora screamed out Karia's name. But Karia did not move.
As if ridiculing her, the Kiryuu opened its mouth. And then, it bared its fangs as if to swallow Flora in one gulp.
Flora cradled her head as she crouched and shrieked.
Vio pointed in front of Flora and chanted an incantation.
"Heed my wishes, o' invincible s.h.i.+eld. Rise!"
At that moment the magic particles around Flora transformed into a s.h.i.+eld. The defensive magic would resist the Kiryuu's attacks.
At that moment, Vio's head was filled with thoughts of Flora.
Placing his feet on the window frame, he leapt out.
As he frantically ran, time seemed to still for a few moments.
The Kiryuu's second attack shattered the magic s.h.i.+eld and fragments of light scattered all over.
"Heed my wishes-"
Vio pointed his right hand towards the Kiryuu, and invoked the defensive magic a second time as he rushed to catch Flora.
The Kiryuu's jaws drew near.
"–o' invincible s.h.i.+eld. Rise!"
The moment he shouted out the Trigger Spell, the magic once again grew to form a s.h.i.+eld and repelled the Kiryuu's attack in a blink of an eye.
Bang!' A deafening sound reverberated through the air.
"Haah, haah. Flora, Flora, are you all right?!?"
Breathing heavily, Vio strongly gripped Flora's shoulders. Flora clung to him with tear-stained eyes. She was trembling, but she seemed fine.
Vio hugged Flora tightly.
"It's all right, Flora. I'll protect you!"
Vio glared at the Kiryuu sharply.
As he did so, the Kiryuu ceased its attack and corrected its posture. A knight rose from its back and gave a pleasant smile.
"It's been a while, Lord Violant. To say that you'll protect her…you seemed to have grown up quite admirably."
Vio knitted his eyebrows tightly.
"Been a while, you say? Just who are you!?"
The Knight lifted up the visor of his helmet, which had a slit. Vio could see nothing but his eyes, but he remembered those blue-grey eyes quite vividly.
His heart thumped loudly.
The name that feebly escaped Vio's lips was a nostalgic one.
He couldn't believe that that man was right in front of him. It was as if he was witnessing the continuation of the dream he saw in the morning.
"My my, you look as if you've seen a ghost."
Erik let out a m.u.f.fled laugh.
Lil ran up to him, holding a broom.
"—It's no use, Lil. Get down!"
Vio raised his voice to hold her back. Erik signalled with light footsteps, and the Kiryuu turned to face Lil.
As expected, Lil paused her steps.
The Kiryuu brought its fangs mercilessly towards Lil. —At that moment. A single shadow leapt out from the side.
Legion shouted the Trigger spell for the offensive fire magic, and taking advantage of the impact the small scale explosion had on the Kiryuu's head, resulting in it being pushed it back, he drove the truncheon onto the tip of its nose.
The Kiryuu let out a screech. Erik yelled at the rampaging Kiryuu in an attempt to calm it down, but the Kiryuu heard nothing due to the pain.
"Are you all right, Lil? Any injuries?"
Legion sent a quick glance towards Lil, who lay limp, her knees having given way.
"Hi-Hic, I'm fine."
Perhaps it was due to the shock, but Lil replied as if a cat got her tongue. Legion entrusted Lil to Jill, who caught up a tad bit later.
"Mr. Butler, she'll get in the way, so please take her away."
Legion left no room for arguments in his tone, and drove Jill and Lil towards the mansion. Once they withdrew, Legion moved in front of Vio as he cast a sidelong glance at the rampaging Kiryuu.
"Lord Violant, are you all right?"
"Ahh…I'm fine, but what can you do? Your opponent's a dragon."
Vio concealed his unrest and pretended to ask as calmly as possible. Legion turned back just a bit, a faint smile playing on his lips.
"Rest a.s.sured, Lord Violant. Attack any animal on its nose, and it'll turn into that. If it's against one, just a truncheon is enough."
Legion spoke eloquently, but Vio was confused. He obviously understood that the other was saying outrageous things calmly.
"Animal, you say…"
He did not believe that there were people who would lump together a small dragon that even five knights having mastery of spirit magic would have difficulty fighting with an animal.
Not minding the dumbfounded Vio, Legion turned towards the Kiryuu.
"You seem to be a knight from another nation. To show such disregard to the Lesserhain house, the cornerstone of the kingdom of Istia, is akin to a declaration of war against our territory, no, our kingdom. Just what are your intentions?"
"I'm just an ordinary scout. I just came to give my regards after seeing a familiar face after a long time."
Erik, who had succeeded at calming the Kiryuu down, replied clearly, sneering.
"I never expected a knight like you to serve such a vile master. Perhaps I should ask your name."
"Your insolence has no bounds! How about you introduce yourself first before asking my name!?"
Legion retorted, losing his patience.
He usually had a mild temperament; it was rare for him to lay his emotions bare like this. Vio gazed at the knights' exchange on tenterhooks as he hugged Flora.
Erik let out a chuckle. He sat on the Kiryuu's back and politely bowed himself out.
"Then, pardon me. I am Erik Kahland."
Legion's voice turned lower. Erik nodded in a flippant manner.
"That's right. Oh, do you know my name? Well, but then, I did serve as that young master's knight up till two years ago. You can be said to be my junior."
"Who's the junior!? I do not acknowledge a traitor as my senior!"
Legion gripped his truncheon.
"I am Legion Salt, Lord Violant's Guardian Knight. It was foolish of you to betray such a wonderful person. Envy me as much as you'd like and die!"
Legion took a huge stride on finis.h.i.+ng his introduction.
"How foolish of you to attack upfront!"
Erik spoke as if making a fool of him and signaled to the Kiryuu. Bearing a grudge for the blow just now, the Kiryuu thrashed its head to the sides wildly.
Even in front of the Kiryuu that swayed like a huge hammer, Legion remained unfazed and stood his ground.
"You are the foolish one—Blaze!"
The Kiryuu's feet took a great leap from the ground. The moment the Kiryuu broke its balance and bent backwards, Legion used its front feet as a stepping stone and jumped onto the Kiryuu's back.
The second Legion's truncheon pointed right at Erik, another voice was heard.
"Heed my wishes, o' invincible s.h.i.+eld. Rise!"
Legion's truncheon was repelled by the defensive magic. Legion immediately broke away from his position and put a huge distance between himself and the Kiryuu.
In the sky where n.o.body was present up until a moment ago, another Kiryuu appeared, seemingly out of thin air. A man with the upper half of his face covered with a mask, dashed for the garden.
"Erik, that idiot! —Let's run!"
"Oi, wait. I'm still fighting. I still have to destroy the Lesserhain House in a bloodbath!"
"Shut up! If we meddle with their plans any more, we'll be killed!"
Erik clicked his tongue and manoeuvred the Kiryuu to regain its balance.
The other knight who b.u.t.ted in dropped a round ball which spewed smoke, obstructing the view of everything in the area.
By the time their field of vision cleared up, Erik and the other knight were already flying high up in the sky.
"Violant Lesserhain. Let's meet at the battlefield next time. I pray you experience despair then."
Saving the incantation for the last, the two knights flew further up. The moment their figures overlapped with the sun, they disappeared.
"Illusion magic, I see… Is it one of Ruslan's men adept at Water Magic?"
Legion muttered under his breath and stared at the sky for a long time until it was certain that nothing further would occur. He then turned to face Vio.
Legion, who'd become calm again, kneeled in front of Vio.
"Forgive me, Lord Violant. I failed to catch them."
"No, you did enough, Legi…"
He'd be a fool to get angry over just this. Vio replied in a daze.
(He really overwhelmed a dragon with just a truncheon, this man.)
The best swordsman in the kingdom was truly terrifying,
"Isn't it better for you to return to the Royal Knight Order?"
When he inadvertently ended up asking, Legion showed a face of pure shock.
"Y-You're that mad!?"
"It's too much of a waste for you to work here…what's with that skill? It's against the rules!"
"I am truly grateful for your praise!"
Hearing Vio's reply, Legion showed a happy face in a flash. To Vio, it seemed as if he was a dog wagging its tail.
Vio realized that he was still casting the spell and undid the defensive magic. Legion immediately approached him and examined him closely.
"I don't have any injuries, so you don't need to worry —you're quite amazing yourself. It's my first time seeing a man confront a dragon with an iron truncheon."
"That's right, even I haven't seen one. If it's people with a sword, I have seen those though."
"I didn't mean that, but well, never mind."
They were going around in circles.
"More importantly, please check on Miss Karia."
Legion went to the rescue of the collapsed Karia upon replying. When he lightly shook Karia's shoulders, she regained her consciousness at once.
"Where's that s.h.i.+tty dragon!?"
Coming to her senses, she yelled out curses.
"It's not here anymore, Miss Karia. I chased it away."
"What!? Sir Legion, why did you not wake me up!? I would have roasted it to ashes and buried it!"
For being sent flying in such a violent manner, Karia seemed in high spirits. As she got up after letting out an angry shout, she picked up her sword that had fallen beside her.
Flora slipped out of Vio's arms and ran up to her with tear-stained eyes. This time, she jumped into Karia's arms.
"Wha–Lady Flora. My sword–it's dangerous!"
"Isn't it fine already? Ah, it's no good. Stand still. You were sent flying by the dragon after all."
"Ehh, I immediately parried the attack with my sword and braced myself for the fall, so I'm fine. I just hit my head when I fell."
The moment she said that, scarlet blood trickled down from her head. Flora's eyes opened wide and remained so.
"Uwaaan, Karia. Don't die—!"
"It's all right, Lady Flora. If you're like this, I'll be troubled…"
Seeing Flora cry her heart out as she clung onto her, Karia scratched her cheek and gazed up at the sky.
Vio, seeing the state of things, called for Jill, who came running.
"Jill, please treat them."
Jill immediately returned back to the mansion. Just as quickly as he left, Lil came running out.
"Lord Vio, thank goodness! Lil was quite worried!"
"Lil, that just now was quite dangerous. Are you hurt anywhere?"
"It's fine, thanks to Legion."
Lil spoke in a slightly dissatisfied tone and gave a quick bow towards Legion.
"Thank you for saving me before, Sir Legion."
"No need to thank me…."
Legion replied with a smile. Seeing him, Lil sent a piercing gaze towards him.
"Well, the hindrance was annoying, but it can't be helped. He certainly was a hindrance though."
Hearing Lil complain gratingly, Legion gradually distanced himself. Vio chimed in as he laughed.
"Lil, let's leave it at that. He's the one who contributed the most today."
"That's true. I'll excuse his insults for today."
Somehow, it ended up with Lil forgiving Legion, but Legion himself did not seem to mind, so it seemed fine.
As they laughed amicably, Jill returned with the medicine and Vio took notice of him at once.
"More importantly, are you fine, Young Master?"
Vio looked over himself once to ascertain if he was injured or not, but found nothing except being soiled.
"Ah, it's true! Are you all right, Lord Vio?"
Lil too raised her voice.
Flora, who was clinging onto Karia too turned back to look at him out of worry. And then, she blinked her eyes and pointed.
"Older Brother, we're outside."
Vio blinked his eyes in befuddlement.
Vio sat down on the ruined flowerbed. When he looked up, he could see the wide skies. The wind brushed past his cheeks.
"…It's true. We're outside."
He dumbfoundedly felt the earth under his feet and picked up a fallen flower with his fingers. This sensation couldn't be mistaken.
Since that winter two years ago, he had never stepped outside for anything, yet he felt the least bit of suffering now.
"I, saw Flora in danger, and desperately…"
At a distance, Flora trembled. There for the first time she realised that the hem of her pink dress was now soiled.
Breaking into tears once again, Flora leapt into Vio's arms. The crashed into the flowerbed together due to the shock.
"F-for my sake, even though you were scared, you still came out…! Thank you, Older Brother, thank you!"
"…Yeah, Flora, I'm glad… Protecting you, is truly…"
Tears welled up in Vio's eyes too.
The thought of potentially losing Flora, his precious little sister, was enough to drive him crazy.
Vio laid down while hugging Flora and gazed up at the sky.
The clear blue skies sparkled brightly, blurred by his tears.
Young Master: A t.i.tle given to sons of n.o.bles of high standing. (It doesn't mean the son of a Duke. If their standing is high, it is fine to use though)
[Translator's Note: This is about the specifics of j.a.panese, I have localised it in my TLs, so this actually isn't of any concern to the readers. You can ask me on Discord if you wanna know more about what's spoken here.]
Note Regarding Spirit Magic
The plan is to make it composed of
[Starting Spell] [Connecting Phrase] [Trigger Spell]
Depending on the attribute, the [Trigger Spell] changes, but the starting part is always [Heed my Wishes].
Once can invoke magic just by chanting the [Trigger Spell], but it's power decreases.
Adding the Connecting Phrase is necessary for increasing its power, and the stronger the magic, the more complex it becomes, so some sense is needed to create it.
The Magicians weave complex Connecting Phrases, adjusting them so they use as little magic as possible, but writing it is difficult.
The magicians' invoking pattern is to pour in the magical power as lightly as possible and invoke, and starting with "Heed my Wishes", the pattern is for the magic in the ink to be consumed.
Such, is the Essay-like magic fantasy.
[Translator's note: once again, not of much concern plot-wise, even I do not understand the specifics completely. If anyone's read any book/played a game with similar magic styles, then feel free to help me out]
1. The actual thing he's doing is called pandiculation. (Funny story short, jp dictionary did not have a term for it, so I ended up Tling it as stretching. The term pandiculation popped up when I tried searching stretching with the term for it in my mother tongue kek. #TheMoreYouKnow)↩
2. I mistranslated it as dragon knights in the past, but now that we have a proper description, I've sneakily edited it in ch 3.2.↩
3. The word used in the raws was Ukemi. The guys here who practice judo might have heard of it, but it is basically the art of falling safely without injuring yourself. More info here /↩
Liked the chapter? I tried very hard to not break it into two parts because there was so much happening and I didn't want to leave you guys on a cliffie.
Aelen will be back next chappie with some embarra.s.sed Vio!
Also yay for Vio overcoming his fears!