Chapter 42 – Welcome Feast (2)
In addition to the knights who had accompanied them on their trip, new and strange faces were present. In the middle of the long table, young knights were talking and drinking exuberantly as two older knights in their forties chatted with Riftan, even going as far as to challenge him to a drinking contest.
Max continued to sip her wine, her lack of conversing partner, making her unwittingly eavesdrop on their stories. Training progress of the apprentice knights, crop yields, amount of minerals mined, the latest and most effective weapons… and of course, lurid accounts of their latest exploits.
Subjects she had never encountered were bantered about, and she didn’t even understand the vocabulary they used. Suddenly the youngest knight in the group stood up and cried.out
“Sir Calypse, is it really true that in the final battle of the Lexos Mountains, you stopped Dragon Breath with your sword?”
All the knights who had been chatting and drinking now focused their attention on the boy. He was an apprentice knight with shiny white-blonde hair, who had until then just became one of the many other energetic young knights-to-be.
“I heard that Dragon Breath is the most powerful magic in the whole world! How did you stop the huge flames that can blow up a whole mountain?”
The over-excited boy’s questions visibly annoyed Riftan.
“My sword has unique qualities.”
“The captain’s sword has a unique attribute that absorbs external magic and turns it into own. The stronger the opponent’s power, the stronger is the captain’s power,” explained Hebaron, whom Max distinguished as one of the knights that had accompanied them on their trip.
“Well, even if we ignore the fact that he was born ridiculously strong, our captain is the best swordsman! He wasn’t given the highest position amongst Oshira’s divine knights for nothing!”
“…It’s not ‘captain’, but leader.”
The blonde knight Uslin Rykaido, who had been quietly drinking, pointed out.
“Whether it’s captain or leader… it doesn’t matter. How long until you quit being a mercenary anyway?” Hebaron laughed loudly.
The white-blonde apprentice knight continued with his questions, “Is it true that Sir Calypse competed with Leon Quahel of the Divine Knights? Isn’t that something to be boasted to the apprentice knights? I would be proud of the fact that I knew two of the greatest knights had had a duel.”
The blonde knight Rikaido said poignantly. “They kept the confrontation a secret. A lot of fights happen among knights. But we were there to slay a dragon—not to point our swords at one another.”
“Still! It’s such a waste that no one knows about the duel between the two most famous knights on the continent! It must have been a sight to see!”
“It was enough that the dragon was defeated.” Riftan, who was still listening to the conversation, finally said in a dry tone.
“And the confrontation at that time was not even a duel. Because we were amid the subjugation of the dragon, neither of us could show our skills… For the dragon to be subdued—the sole reason for the success was because of my mana absorption, not my swordsmanship.”
“Why are you acting so humble?” A young knight, who sat near the fireplace, said with some irritancy.
“Winning is winning. The terms were the same, and it was a duel done in a constrained scenario from the very beginning. It was fair, no matter how you look at it.”
“Lord Raxion! I want to hear more about the duel!” The apprentices all looked at him with glistening eyes, filled with excitement.
Gabel shrugged, “Are you more excited about this fight than the battle with the dragon?”
“Of course, we should also listen to the story of the expedition! The story of the dragon slayer!”
The boys’ enthusiastic attitude made the knight grin with a pleased look on his face. Max also got swept up in all the exhilaration. She had overheard minstrels singing the great stories of knights, but she had never heard of their adventures first hand.
The young knight moistened his lips with the golden ale from his cup and began to explain in great detail what had happened. Gabel was an excellent storyteller. From the day Riftan had subdued a group of ogres and trolls, to the story of him entering the Lexos Mountains, the struggle with the three Basilisks, Max’s eyes were shining as brightly as those of the young boys.
But when Max actually saw the monsters, she had been terrified.
So why was it all so exciting now? Perhaps it was Gabel’s eloquence on weaving the story. As she quietly admired his vivid descriptions and enjoyed the words that seemed to come to life, a fluttering touch was suddenly at the back of her neck.
Quite startled, she turned her head to the source, the man who had gone quiet beside her.
Prepare yourselves… only smut chapters starting this friday to next week.