Chapter 181.1 : Rio Vs Hiroaki
TN : Ill Be Away for Pilgrimage From 15-28 February, So There’ll be No Release During That Time. Meaning that This Release is the last for this month, I’ll be back again at the beginning of march.
If you miss my release, please take a look at my others projects in the link below too XD
After promising to win against Hiroaki in the upcoming duel, Christina and Rio left the room together. Outside, they found Celia and Flora waiting for them along with Vanessa right outside of the door.
「You came…. Together.」
While Rio greeted them, he was perplexed by them waiting together. Christina herself only sighed when she looked at Flora’s face.
「…. Flora. I thought I told you to go to sleep before me today,」
「B-But, I’m worried about Haruto-sama, so….」
Flora said with a slightly embarrassed face. However, Celia only nodded along with Flora’s words and actions, sharing the same sentiment as her.
「I am honoured. Nevertheless, be at ease as there is nothing to worry about.」
Helplessly shaking his head, he smiled as he reassured Celia and Flora. ―、
「Lord Amakawa, You’re going to have a match against hero-sama tomorrow. Let’s break up for now as it’s quite late . Just in case, I’ve prepared a room for you, Lord Amakawa but……. Did you come here to pick him up, Celia-sensei? 」
Suggesting that they end their meeting there, Christina questioned Celia as if she had expected her to come pick Rio up.
「…. Uhm, yes. I mean Haruto should sleep in the mansion. It’s his after all.」
Celia said firmly, looking at Rio. However, hearing those words, Flora’s eyes opened wide, looking at both Rio and Celia simultaneously.
「Indeed, but then again, I’ve offered lodging in my place. You can of course decide on which one you’re going to stay in? 」
Christina asked, smiling at Rio.
「Uhm, even if you ask me that…」
Rio looked troubled in how to reply.
「……. I understand and agree with your worries, Lord Amakawa. Nevertheless, choosing one shouldn’t be a problem right? You two being very close is well known among the nobles of Restoration. If you were to act distant now by not staying with sensei at the mansion, that would be very strange instead. And most of all, Celia-sensei wished for it herself. 」
Christina said as she glanced at Celia.
Celia nodded in agreement with Christina.
「…… I understand. If Celia doesn’t mind it.」
「Uhm, it’s decided! 」
At Rio’s defeated agreement to stay in his own mansion, Celia looked extremely delighted.
「Best regards then.」
「I guess it’s time to go back. We shouldn’t waste more of her highness’ time. She needs to prepare for tomorrow’s upcoming match after all.」
Rio spoke, smiling slightly.
「Yes, let’s go back, Flora.」
Christina smiled as she watched Celia and Rio’s interaction with each other, calling out for Flora as she did so. However, Flora didn’t seem to register her big sister’s call. Her attention was focused on Celia and Rio as envy shone in her eyes.
So, when Christina called her again――、
「… EH!? Y-Yes! 」
Flora was flustered when she replied, like a naughty child caught red-handed with hands in the cookies jar.
「We’re leaving you know.」
Said Christina as she heaved a sigh in seeing her little sister.
Flora replied while still looking at Celia and Rio.
「I wish you at least look a little bit happier since we will be sleeping together after a long time. Could it be that you’re not happy about it? 」
「T_That’s impossible! I’m really happy.」
Christina let out a wry smile seeing the flustered Flora.
「Right. Then, I guess there’s so much that I want to ask you.」
It was Flora’s turn to nod at her words.
「Well then, Christina-sama, Flora-sama. I’ll excuse myself for a while then.」
Smiling at the sisters’ conversation, Celia excused herself.
「Yes. I will send a messenger to call you by noon tomorrow, so best regards till then, Lord Amakawa.」
Rio nodded at Christina after she told him the necessary matter. Then, they went their separate ways.
◇ ◇ ◇
On the way back. Rio rode a coach headed towards the mansion.
Though there was no one else apart from Celia and Rio present, it was silent inside. Celia kept looking up at Rio’s face, seemingly wanting to say something. ―、
「I’ll be in your care tonight.」
「…. Not just tonight. You’ll stay with me whenever you come to visit Rodania, I mean, the mansion is yours after all.」
Celia replied with a slight sulking tone.
「I see, but….」
Rio smiled wryly, seemingly reluctant to do so. Him staying with Celia will affect her future prospects in marriage.. No marriage proposal would come to an unmarried noble woman staying under the same roof with a man.
「…. That’s fine. By this point, I ‘ve got fed up with political marriage.」
Celia said as she saw through Rio’s concern towards her. That was a problematic statement for a noble woman. Nevertheless, he understood her feelings after almost being forced to marry Charles Arbor.
「It feels like that Celia’s life will be that of a bachelor but….」
Celia’s still young after all. So, Rio asked with his eyes whether Celia really wanted to remain unmarried for life. But, Celia shook her head in panic.
「A-As if. It’s not as if I don’t want to marry. I also don’t wish to remain single for life. Just…I want to marry for love, not for some political reason. B-But then, I think it’s impossible for me to marry an unknown man….a-anyway, enough about me! Will you tell me about your discussion with Christina-sama? 」
Maybe because she was too embarassed to continue this topic, she tried to change the topic towards Rio and Christin’s discussion with a flushed red face.
「We discussed tomorrow’s match. Don’t worry, I mean there’s nothing to worry about it either.」
Rio teased Celia who was looking at him with a pout.
「I see…. So, what are you going to do? 」
Celia asked another question, with a serious tone this time.
「What am I going to do? 」
「It’s a match against Hero-sama you know. You should be able to win this fight but…. That doesn’t mean you’re going to win that easily.」
「I guess I’m going to enjoy tomorrow’s match.」
Rio gave a meaningful smile.
Celia was looking at Rio with an upturned gaze. She might be hesitant to delve further into the details of Rio and Christina’s discussion as she did stop pestering him about it. However, that didn’t mean that she wouldn’t worry.
「I’ll repeat till you get bored of it, you’re worrying for nothing, Celia. I can guarantee that.」
Rio was smiling ear to ear to erase her worries..
「…. I see. Understood. I’ll believe in what you say then.」
Heaving a sigh, Celia finally agreed to Rio.
「Thank you very much.」
Rio smiled, delighted. Then, not having another topic to latch on, another awkward silence descended into the coach. Only the rattling sound of the wheels could be heard resounding inside of the coach. ――,
Celia called looking as if she was preparing for something.
「Yes, what’s the matter？ 」
Rio replied without a shred of hestitation.
「…. Uhm. Nevermind. Good luck on tomorrow’s match! 」
Celia hestitated for a moment, unsure whether to say what’s on her mind or not before she gave up, as she tried to gloss over it with a smile and a cheer for Rio.
Rio nodded with a smile on his face while guessing the matter that Celia wanted to ask him a while ago. ―、
It seems Celia’s worrying about your past. Because she only heard the matter about your parents today.
Aisia’s telepathic voice suddenly resounded in his head.
… Thank you, Aisia.
After Rio expressed his gratitude to Aisia with a troubled look on his face――,
「Shall we have a private talk after tomorrow’s match? You must’ve so many question you wanted to ask which was interrupted due to Hero-sama’s sudden intrusion today.」
Rio said to Celia who was sitting in front of him.
Even as she smiled gently at him, Celia couldn’t help but feel like she ended up making him worried about her instead. While she was deep in her thoughts, Rio suddenly looked up at the night sky from the small window of the coach.
「Christina-sama and Flora-sama might be enjoying their time together around about now.」
Rio said as he looked at the scenery outside the window.
「Ah, you’re right.」
Smiling lightly in agreement with Rio, together, they watched the scenery of the starry night outside of the small window.
◇ ◇ ◇
Noon the next day. The appointed time for the match between Rio and Hiroaki was fast approaching. The place chosen as the duel ground was the military drill field next to Marquis’ mansion in the capital of Rodania.
Being a fortress city, the field was massive and normally would have been filled with soldiers and knights doing their daily training.. Today however it was filled to the brim by the enthusiastic nobles and knights, excited to see the match between Rio and Hiroaki. .
In the middle of the circle of nobles and knights stood three people. It was Rio facing off against Hiroki with his Dwarven sword, and Christina who stood between them. .
「Ha~h, somehow there are a lot of spectators. Christina seemed angry about the whole match so I thought she would make it a private event. Nevertheless…」
Hiroaki looked at the spectators around the drill field with a satisfied look on his face as he summoned his Tachi-type divine raiment, 『Yamata no Orochi 』.
「It seems news about this match was spread in one night. Now we cannot hide it since it’ll only lead to complaints from the nobles. Naturally if Hero-sama wishes the match to be made private, I can order them to disperse right away, but…」
Christina said in a crisp tone, she didn’t seem to be angered at all.
「No, let them be. Sending them back would be troublesome after all. Let’s start the match immediately.」
Filled with confidence, Hiroaki shook his head as he urged Christina to start the match. It looked like Hiroaki wanted to defeat Rio in front of the spectators.
「Well, let me explain the rules of this match. Since Hero-sama is using his divine raiment, I assume that you don’t mind Lord Amakawa using his own demon sword in this match. But, you can only use body strengthening magic. Allow me to warn you beforehand that you will be instantly disqualified and lose the match the moment either one of you uses any of the other abilities sealed in the sword. Regarding the issue of deciding a winner, there’ll be a referee who will have the final saying regarding the result of the match. Though a little bit of injury is fine, you can not kill your opponent. Is that clear? 」
Christina explained the rules without a hitch.
Rio agreed immediately. On the other hand――,
「I’ve no problem with the rules but, who will be the referee? 」
「That person is about to arrive.」
Christina said as she looked at a spot that was further away from them. There, they saw two people heading towards them. One of them was Vanessa Aimar, Christina’s exclusive escort. And the other one was Alfred Aimar. Vanessa’s older brother, the person who was famous as the King’s Sword.
「That’s, Lord Alfred.」
「Why did they bring him to this place? Isn’t he a prisoner? 」
The spectators were instantly thrown into confusion as soon as they saw Alfred make his entrance into the drill field. Even Rio was a little surprised by Alfred’s appearance.
Alfred who was defeated by Rio became the prisoner of Restoration, and yet, he was currently walking in the drill field as if nothing had happened. Despite being unarmed, he wore his exclusive noble style cloth armor.
「….. Who? 」
Hiroaki asked with a curious look on his face when he looked at Alfred from afar.
「He will be the referee for this match.」
Christina said in a nonchalant tone.
「Humph, so why did the spectators become restless as soon as they saw him? Is he famous? 」
「Yes. He’s the King’s Sword selected by my father, the most powerful knight in this kingdom.」
「Ah…. Is he the knight guy who became your prisoner? 」
Hiroaki asked with doubt. It seems he at least remembered that Alfred was a prisoner of Restoration.
「I made these special preparations as someone with superficial skill wouldn’t be enough to become a referee for this match of yours.」
Christina said smiling as she looked at the Aimar sibling.