༺ The First Letter (50) ༻
Delphine’s bare body was illuminated by the moonlight spilling in through the windows.
Her skin was unstained, lacking even a single blemish. Her flawless figure with her beautiful curves was like a statue carved by one of the greatest artisans. Her elastic breasts seemed like they would overflow if held in one hand. Her hidden features shone like priceless jewels.
Everything had been revealed, though it was Ian who was more flustered than Delphine.
Unlike Delphine, who froze due to the unforeseen situation, Ian dazedly admired Delphine’s naked body before stepping back in hesitation.
He naturally sheathed the sword before he shook both hands in denial.
“Oh, no… U… uh… Senior Delphine, this is….. Not what it-”
Suddenly, a knock on the door rang out as a woman’s voice could be heard on the other side.
“Lady Delphine Yurdina, I hear that you have visitors, are you alright in there? Would you mind if I enter?”
Delphine trembled in shock, a clear contrast from her usual calm demeanor. She instinctively lowered her hand holding the dagger and attempted to decline frantically.
“N-No… I’m fi-fine… arghh?!”
The issue was however, that the location where her gown had slid off was also a location of injury.
Although the wound on her shoulder was minor, it was still a wound. The fabric brushed against the wound as slid down, she involuntarily emitted a faint groan when her wound came into contact with the chilly air.
She had forgotten about it because of the unexpected circumstances, but her senses returned as she uttered her words in a stutter.
Hearing the audible groan, the servant on the other side of the door immediately barged in.
“La-Lady Yurdina! What happe…….”
The maid who opened the door froze on the spot.
A woman who had her pure white body exposed, and a man standing opposite of her. Lastly, there was the sweet aroma of alcohol lingering in the air that assaulted her nostrils.
Ian’s hand, which had been dripping with her blood, was now nowhere in sight. A vague exclamation escaped from the maid’s mouth.
Delphine hastily attempted to deny it. She raised her voice, her face glowing crimson with embarrassment.
“Oh, no… thi…this is… !”
“E… excuse me. Please forgive my transgression……”
However, the maid believed that she had interrupted the holy communion of a young man and woman without prior notice. She simply bowed her head and left after leaving behind those final words.
Delphine’s eyes shifted to the floor. Her face was reddened. She chewed on her lips, trying to hold back the shame.
The atmosphere had long become awkward. Likewise, Ian, whose face had also furiously flushed, averted her gaze with an uneasy cough.
“Well… l… let’s say I lost. Alright, well, next time then…”
He retrieved his hatchet which had fallen to the ground and fled, as if escaping a crime scene.
That was the whole recount of the story.
And the rumor swiftly spread throughout the academy.
* * *
Lately, I’ve been feeling the injustice of rumors. At least until now.
Every time I walked down the street, I was accompanied by whispers that quickly became commonplace in the background. Still, it was tolerable since I had long since become accustomed to it.
The issue was the contents of the rumours they were discussing. Ever since I had lost my memory, my heightened senses have allowed me to even perceive their faint whispers.
“Delphine was unarmed and he threatened her with his hatchet?”
“Apparently it was to humiliate her. Does he despise high-ranking nobles that much?”
“Ughh, I’m scared… I shouldn’t talk to him from now on unless absolutely necessary.”
It was an absurd rumor. Senior Delphine was the one who made the provocation, and the only thing I did was reciprocate. However, rumors spread as if the incident occurred due to my hostility towards high-ranking aristocrats.
Why would I ever abhor high-ranking nobles?
The conflicts I’ve encountered regarding high-ranking nobles thus far include beating Seria until a near-death state, defeating Thean’s gang, defeating Senior Elsie in a duel, and now, coming to a clash with Senior Delphine.
Come to think of it, my conflicts with high-ranking aristocrats were numerous. Even so, I could placate the feelings of injustice within my heart.
It’s because they all provided me with reasons to act in such a manner. How was it my fault that all of my opponents were high-ranking nobles?
Rumors spread like wildfire, and now people have even started arguing over the contents of said rumors.
“At least, because she was Senior Delphine, she was able to end the duel by pointing her dagger at his throat…”
“Hey, what kind of Hatchet Lord would use a sword? If so he would’ve been named ‘Sword Lord’.”
Overhearing the whispers of passersby, my only reaction was to smirk.
My main weapon was a sword, but before I knew it, I had become famed for my use of the hatchet. Thanks to that, Senior Delphine inadvertently forgot about the existence of my sword until yesterday.
Still, the fact that my secondary armament was receiving more attention than the weapon I had been using my whole life hurt me. I couldn’t stop my shoulders from sagging.
I wanted to become a Swordsman Lord, not a Hatchet Lord.
Yesterday’s battle with Delphine provided me with valuable insight. She was top of the class in the Knight’s Division for the academy’s fourth-year students. Her abilities were genuine.
Yesterday, Delphine was unarmed and only used a dagger, a weapon that she was not as familiar with. She even drank and I had ambushed her.
Nevertheless, it was a battle that would almost certainly have ended in my defeat. I only managed to secure a draw at the final moment with my surprise attack. If we were to battle again however, my probability of losing was certain.
That was a display of true skill. Even if you rely on surprise factors, even if you are in a disadvantageous position, even if you are ambushed, your true skills will never lie.
Extensive training is necessary. Fortunately, after that exchange from last night, I felt my combat abilities were developing steadily.
It was like that every time I experienced a battle. At first, my senses became more tactful and I learned how to handle the hatchet. Subsequently, I became proficient at throwing. Now, I felt like my swordsmanship as well as my judgment in a situation of crisis had improved to some extent.
It was as if I was rediscovering lost powers.
Yet, the rise in my skills did not even begin to compare to my rise in magic power. Swordsmanship improved in many forms, but the basics were still insufficient. Eventually, it would be discovered that these factors in my combat abilities were inadequate.
The only way to improve was persistent training. I made up my mind. I felt a reignited motivation that scorched within me for the first time in a long time.
It was time for my evening training session with Seria. I didn’t get the chance to see her today since I visited the temple in the morning. I thought I should at least have a conversation with her regarding the incident with Senior Delphine last night.
It would be nice if we could prolong the training time. My talents would greatly improve if I continued to abide by Seria’s brutal training regimen.
My steps abruptly came to a half in front of a bulletin board.
A leaflet was attached to it. As always, it was promoting a school event.
The title immediately drew my attention. After hesitating for a moment, I finally stepped closer to the bulletin board and examined the details of the leaflet.
I was well aware of most of the details. This event was the most beloved festival of the great conquistador, Majesty Aedalos, and the person who hunts the strongest creature within the forest is victorious. There is also a special prize for the person who hunted the most game, and so on.
There was another piece of information my eyes were drawn to. Despite only being a single line, it had all the information I needed.
The Hunting festival… I’ll have to participate.
First of all, according to the contents of the letter, I needed to participate. Not to mention, I also had no choice but to win, but I never thought of such an outcome as a possibility.
I even felt cowardice. However, I planned to coax Professor Derek to entice him into allowing us to handle a higher ranking deadly beast.
There was a ranking for every named Demonic Beast. Professor Derek was among the most powerful individuals, having twice captured the dreaded Demonic Beast that made the entire nation shudder.
If it weren’t obvious already, the Demonic Beasts lurking in the forest were not of high ranking amongst the named beasts. Without the inclusion of the higher ranking beast, the future of myself and other students hunting for named monsters could not be envisioned.
Even so, it was at a level where it was impossible to measure whether defeating it would be possible or not. Such was the case even if we knew the future, when it would appear, and even its weaknesses in advance.
A sigh escaped from between my lips. To be honest, I didn’t even know if I should blindly follow the contents of the letter.
It states that if I didn’t, the world would come to an end. But what on earth does winning the hunting festival have to do with the conclusion of the world? It was an issue that didn’t seem realistic to me.
Wouldn’t it be enough to prevent human casualties from the imminent crisis, that is to say, the beasts from within the forest? Despite my feelings of uncertainty and weakness, there were still two people who left a lasting effect on my heart.
Seria and Senior Delphine.
Seria wants to prove herself to her family. She mentioned that this year’s hunt is her final chance. Meanwhile, it was Senior Delphine who dug Seria’s deepest wound, in order to suppress the variable called Seria as much as possible.
The discussion last night was overshadowed by an unfortunate incident, but it was clear that Delphine had done something unforgivable.
Seria’s past incidents of sobbing and staggering as if she was about to collapse.
I sincerely wanted to help Seria, who hid her fragile inner self behind a strong, confident outer veil. My troubles and sorrows would inevitably have to increase in burden.
Will I take the risk and assist Seria, or will I choose the safe route?
The choice between the two has always been arduous.
* * *
As always, Seria was waiting at the glade in the woods.
The sunlight shimmered through her ashen hair. Her sapphire eyes were accentuated by her immaculate, fair skin.
Her appearance was breathtaking, regardless of how many times I had seen her. As she sensed my presence, she immediately shifted her gaze towards me.
I raised my hand and greeted her.
“Seria, I’m here…..?”
I was about to wave my hand in delight until I had to halt my words.
It was because Seria ignored my greeting and instead approached me in silence. Before I knew it, she was right in front of me.
I couldn’t comprehend the reason why, so I responded by displaying a puzzled look on my face.
What is Seria thinking right now?
Seria’s delicate hands grabbed my collar before I could answer my own inquiry. Without any warning, she pulled me towards her with great force.
My torso tilted, and Seria’s face came closer in proximity. That precarious distance, where our breaths seemed to blend together.
Seria’s body smelled fragrant. If Delphine’s scent was that of a sweet rose, Seria’s scent resembled that of a delicate flower.
That distinction was the only thought that ran through my mind as of right now. As for the situation I found myself in, Seria’s actions were abrupt and I was clueless as to why she did it.
I just listened intently to the words that flowed out of her mouth.
The voice that leaked out was somewhat quieter than usual. A voice that lacked warmth, containing unknown emotions.
My bewildered gaze met Seria’s pupils. Her sapphire eyes were always serene and lucid. They were proof of her warm heart, even though she seemed to have a cold exterior.
Yes, it was those kinds of eyes…
“What did you do with Senior Delphine last night?”
Please check chapter 55.5
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