Chapter 113: Because I Can’t Accept It
… … …
The place is the royal castle training ground of Galwark kingdom.
Rio who is holding onto the wooden spear for training was facing against Satsuki.
「Uhm, why do you want to have a match with me？」
Rio’s asking with a wry smile as he is checking the feeling of the short spear in his hand.
「Because I can’t take it anymore of course」
Satsuki suddenly replied like that.
Her simple answer isn’t relevant to the situation.
So Rio decided to ask another question.
「Uhm, about what？」
Satsuki is pointing at Rio while answering his question.
Rio who is taken aback by her reply was showing a cramped smile on his face.
Satsuki’s squinting her eyes and,
「Haruto-kun, I know how much you love Miharu-chan but, I can’t just stomach your attitude which is giving up on her from the very beginning. I just can’t stomach such a person who is trying to appease themself by saying “If it’s no good, then it’s no good”. I know you have your own circumstances but, even if I can agree with your reason, my feelings won’t allow me to do that！ 」
Maybe because she was extremely displeased by his attitude, she told him all of those words in one go while pursing her lips.
「…………… So, that brings us to this match？」
「Right. Too much of thinking won’t free me from this gloomy feeling. I’m not very good in holding back my own feelings, even so, this gloomy feeling won’t be cleared up without something acting as a trigger and most likely that you won’t answer it. ……… That’s why, let’s have a match. ……BRING IT ON！
Maybe because she feels a bit refreshed after vomitting her feelings, Satsuki then took a deep breath.
In reality, it’s an inadequate reason.
But, Rio quickly guessed the motive behind Satsuki wanting to have a match against him.
Rio’s nodding while a thin smile is forming on his lips.
「I tried to think about it in my own way but, You’re saying what I want to say without giving me the chance. It made me even more furious. That’s why I want to feel refreshed after moving my body. That’s good enough reason to have a match right? 」
「That’s enough. But, Is it really alright？ Doing something like this on your own convenience」
Satsuki is the hero.
Though it doesn’t mean that they’re assigned by rank, it’s not strange if the heroes authority are on par with the king.
Seeing above the situation, the match has to be stopped even if it’s just a wound.
Nevertheless, some degree of wound can be healed with healing magic.
「I don’t mind. I don’t think that they’ll try to restrict every one of my actions as long as I’m inside the royal castle」
Satsuki is readily saying those words.
Though Rio’s a little surprised by it, it shouldn’t be a problem as long as Satsuki herself, a hero, allowed it. The people in their vicinity aren’t showing any sign of stopping them.
On the contrary, a crowd of them is already in the vicinity because they heard about the match.
Satsuki, the legendary existence which was recorded in the history of the God-Demon war which happened more than a thousand years ago, against Rio ,『The Black Knight』whose popularity is skyrocketing―― It was impossible for the crowds to not gather in hearing such a match.
Some non-officer nobles were even included amongst the crowd.
「Ah, you’re using a spear？ I heard from Miharu-chan that you taught pole-arts to them」
「Yeah, more or less」
「In that case, there’s no problem right. Let me to say this, don’t go easy on me just because I’m a woman, I mean I’m a hero too, Throwing the match isn’t accepted」
Satsuki sternly warned him.
「Yeah, I know that」
Rio nodded while smiling wryly.
「Then, the referee is……………」
Saying so, Satsuki’s surveying the surrounding and her eyes landed upon one knight.
「Uhm, you must be Kyle-san right. May I ask you to act as the referee？ 」
Kyle was the one who was nominated by Satsuki as the referee.
With the raid of the assassin during the evening party, he had become an acquaintance of Rio.
「Yes, with pleasure！ Are you okay with using the rule used during the practice matches of fellow knights？ 」
Kyle is asking for their consent in high spirit.
「I don’t mind but. Haruto-kun, can you let me explain the rules？ 」
「Well then, I will give you the explanation about it」
Kyle is volunteering to do the job when Rio asked him.
「No time restriction. The best of one match. As for how to bring the final situation to stop the match, it’s when the victor side landed a clear blow on their opponent except the face. Please do notice that you’re not a victor just by disarming your opponent. Those are the basic rules」
Rio nodded as he carved Kyle’s explanation into his head.
「In addition, the usage of magic tools and magic are approved as long as it’s within the category of physical reinforcement…….」
「Ah, is that okay with you」
Satsuki’s asking while confirming Rio’s reaction.
「I don’t mind. But, since I can’t use physical reinforcement magic, I’ll be grateful if you lend me a magic tool for it」
Since he wants to avoid using spirit arts in front of so many people, Rio decided to ask for them to lend a magic tool that can reinforce his physical ability.
Though there’s 『Hyper Physical Ability』 magic for physical reinforcement, it doesn’t mean that anyone can use this magic as long as they are a knight.
Though one needs to carve the system contract into their own body to use magic, there’s still the degree of difficulty and aptitude of the individual.
In short, the system contract will fail if one has poor control of magical power and aptitude.
Thus, a magic tool with that kind of magic sealed inside of it is developed for those kinds of people.
But, while the output can be adjusted by the user, the demerit is that one can’t adjust the output save for the time frame when they’re invoking the magic with magic tools.
「Then, please use this one」
Maybe because he already foresaw this situation beforehand, Kyle gave a ring to Rio.
「Thank you very much. 『Hyper Physical Ability』」
Rio’s telling his gratitude and then fixing the ring on his finger.
After chanting the aria, the system contract is arising from the ring and wrapped Rio body.
「You’re done with your preparation right. I want to start the match right away but, let me to say one thing」
「Yes, may I know what it is？」
「It seems the physical reinforcement of the so called divine raiment is even better than a mere magic tool. It seems that it’ll strengthen my body according to my own will. I more or less can suppress it consciously but, it’s rather difficult to control when I’m at the heat of the moment」
「No problem. Because there’s nothing like perfectly equal ground in real combat」
「…………. He~, As expected, the words of someone with real combat experience truly is different」
Satsuki’s eye opened wide in admiration in hearing Rio easily brushing off her remark.
「That kind of experience isn’t great at all. ………….. Shall we start then, Kyle-san」
After shaking his head in denial while showing a gloomy smile on his face, Rio urged to start the match.
「Yes. I’ll start the match has Satsuki-sama also finished her preparation」
After Satsuki is giving her consent, Kyle opened his mouth.
「Well then, both fighters, please take some distance between each other and set your weapon」
Following Kyle’s direction, Rio and Satsuki is taking about 10 metres distance between each other.
Both of them set their short spear in middle stance with their left feet one step ahead of the right feet. [TL : LANCER!!???][ED: If both are Lancers which one would die?]
It was a stance that makes one easier to both offense and defense and easier range of mobility to all direction.
Kyle is raising one of his hands high to the sky.
Few seconds later,
Kyle swung his hand down as he signaled the start of the match with a loud voice.
Satsuki’s kicking the ground along with the signal to start the match and created an explosive acceleration to get closer to Rio.
And then a rain of thrusts fast approached Rio as she entered the spear range.
But, Rio calmly entwined their spear and by doing so parrying her thrust.
The resounding voice is arising from one place along with the surprise on Satsuki’s face.
「As expected, and here I’m planning to win in one strike」
Satsuki said so after retreating with a back step.
「It’ll end the match right away you know. Even so, you didn’t have any intention to land a hit right？ 」
Rio’s replying at her with a calm voice.
「Eh, it’s because it’ll be dangerous if you really got hit by my attack right. Since I don’t even know how far I can go, I thought that I can’t be so careless but………….. It seems my worries aren’t necessary right」
Satsuki’s chuckling at him.
「Yeah, come at me so that you won’t regret it」
Rio’s telling her that with a light smile on his face.
「Is that so？ Then, Here, I, GO！」
Though the two of them were chatting freely while keeping the distance of where the tip of their spear is about to meet, Satsuki flipped Rio’s spear and moved one step in front of him.
The battle resumes.
The two of them exchanged free blows with their spear with their reinforced physical ability.
（Though she is raising her physical ability, her movement isn’t sloppy. Such skillful spear handling）
So, Rio is admiring Satsuki’s skill in using her spear.
Satsuki has said before that she was training in the lesson to use naginata.
She won’t be able to exhibit such perfect coordination in her movement even if she was strengthening her physical ability with magic or spirit arts unless she mastered the basics.
For that reason there’s “testing the water” phase in a battle between the users of reinforcement magic, though there’s a situation where mastering the basics is not always how to move one’s feet, that is basically the common of all basics.
Maybe it’s thanks to the glaive form that is resembling a naginata that she can exhibit such prowess.
At times she’s mowing down with her spear, another time thrusting it, parrying by using it, or moving it around.
Even the spectators was watching attentively to the fiery exchange between the two of them, moreover the two of them are moving at high speed.
「Not bad！ 」
Satsuki said so with her ever increasing voice.
「Thank you very much. You’re quite skilled too」
Rio is replying without even losing his momentum.
Satsuki is smiling at him and then,
「It seems you have yet to go all out haven’t you！ 」
She replied his inquiry with consecutive thrusts.
The rush of surging waves in the form of five thrusts in one breath is coming toward Rio.
But, Rio parried all of those thrusts while calmly retreating. When he warded every thrust down to the last strike, he’s thrusting his spear till the butt end of the spear right before reaching his left hand.
Though Satsuki’s balance is slightly crumbling to avoid the spear, she dodged by jumping.
Rio’s spear passed the empty air but. Just when she think that he stopped moving and turning around to face him, he had already closed the distance between them.
She set her spear right away and barely parried Rio sweep that came from below.
But, her body was blown lightly due to the force of his strike and she landed on the ground with the remaining force.
Thus she was performing a back step to kill the momentum and to open the gap between them.
But, once again Rio is closing the distance between them and then sending consecutive thrusts toward Satsuki.
Satsuki is looking into Rio’s eye who was wielding his spear with both hands and coming to attack her. And then, one way or another she managed to regain her footing while warding countless thrusts that was coming after her.
Thereupon, Rio is pretending to pull his spear and then swept his spear with that feint.
Satsuki easily avoided the sweep that was coming from the side by lowering her stance. And then launching a counter thrust from that stance.
Rio is moving his body with flexible footwork and avoiding that thrust with paper thin margin.
Passionate gazes can be seen in the eyes of the spectators who are watching those two’s fierce exchange without even daring to blink their own eyes.
「What splendid spear handling」
「It’s not just Satsuki-sama, lord Haruto is also equally amazing in that regard. Isn’t this a battle of equals」
「No, it seems Satsuki-sama is being overwhelmed」
Thus, the spectators in the surroundings is giving their own review.
「It seems our match is turning into some kind of exhibition isn’t it！ 」
Saying so, Satsuki is swinging her spear from a upper stance.
But, Rio skillfully received Satsuki’s spear with a upper stance and then directed it’s force to the side.
The remaining force of Satsuki’s spear is colliding with the ground.
「Do you still have the composure to chat idly？ 」
「Oops, just let me to do it！ 」
Satsuki is hurriedly swinging her spear above in her attempt to land a hit on Rio’s body.
But, Rio jumped lightly to the back to avoid Satsuki’s spear and then doing a backflip which is closer to acrobatic movement.
Virtually within the moment before he landed on the ground, his spear is thrusted toward Satsuki’s abdomen which is practically defenseless. It was a splendid strike that was incorporating between body movement and spear movement.
Satsuki leaped back as her instinct sensed the impending crisis that is coming at her.
In that moment, Rio’s spear grazed the portion of the armor on Satsuki’s body.
When Satsuki is landing on the ground again after opening the distance between them,
「What is this, having composure you say」
After taking a short breath, she said so with a slightly joking tone.
「I have no such things you know」
Rio is shaking his head in denial while showing a wry smile as he set his stance again.
「No, I don’t mean in a way that you’re going easy on me but, I can feel that you can do more than that」
Satsuki glared at Rio.
「I mean, aren’t you holding back yourself?」
「That is true but, I can feel a big gap in our experience and basic ability. To be honest, I don’t think that I can win against you in a normal situation if our physical reinforcement is at the same level」
「I’m surprised. So Satsuki-san is also the kind of person who gave up victory from the very beginning？ 」
Saying so, Rio was gazing at Satsuki while showing a bold smile.
「I-It’s just a prediction, EVERYTHING THAT I SAY IS JUST MY PREDICTION！ DON’T MISUNDERSTAND IT SINCE I’M GONNA SEND YOU FLYING！ 」
Satsuki is setting her stance with zealous passion.
「Well then, let’s continue the match」
Saying so, Rio was stepping forward.
Satsuki is tightly grasping the spear in her hand.. Her every pore was focused on Rio so that she can respond with any kind of strike.
「TOO NAIVE！ 」
Shouting like that, Satsuki is thrusting her spear to the front after entering the gap between her and Rio.
It was a superb strike that will land a clean hit on Rio’s body the moment her thrust comes to an end.
But, Rio is moving his spear like his own limbs to change the trajectory of her thrust.
But, Satsuki’s strike also won’t be faltered with only that much.
She is mixing a combo of mowing down and thrust within that short interval, and managed to gain an upper hand against Rio within a few seconds.
Once, Satsuki is making a somewhat large swing with her spear.
Rio is avoiding that sweep by lowering his posture.
But, Satsuki who may be expecting this move beforehand is calmly changing the trajectory of her spear to sweep it again toward Rio who just lowered his posture.
But, Rio lightly kicking the ground and hopping on the tip of Satsuki spear and just like that using his own weight to pushing the tip of the spear to the ground.
Their surroundings is letting out an 「OOh」 voice in seeing such superhuman feat.
The next moment, Rio is thrusting his spear toward the left side of Satsuki neck.
No matter how one looked at it, the victor has decided.
Satsuki is only showing a befuddled expression for a moment and then,
「…………. I lost」
She admitted her own defeat.
「Winner, Black knight, lord Haruto！ 」
Kyle is announcing Rio as the winner.
Thereupon, the spectators who fell into silence started to raise cheers for him.
「Thank you very much」
Rio is doing an end of match greeting while lightly bowing at her.
「Thank you very much. …………. Ha~h, I couldn’t win after all」
Satsuki said so with a strangely refreshing voice.
「No, you are terrific you know. I knew that you’ll become even better as time passes」
「Yeah, I noticed that somehow I became stronger with this match. I’m more refreshed now after moving my body」
Satsuki is stretching her body lightly as she said so.
「I’m glad then. And my deepest apologies. Because of me…………」
Rio told her that with a slightly hazy face.
「Well, I definitely was gloomy but, it’s not a reason for you to apologize to me. We can just get along in this way right」
Satsuki is shaking her head in denial while smiling at him.
「Have you calmly considered about those matter？ 」
「Aa, Un. I did so but before that. Will you come for dinner in my room tonight？ Since I have something to say at that time」
「Yeah, I don’t mind」
「Really？ Well, it’s decided then」
Satsuki was smiling at Rio and agreed to his invitation.
「Yes. …………… Then, it’s okay right. Can you come with less articles on your dress？ Around half of the usual.. I’ll be grateful if you come with an empty stomach」
Rio said so after faltering before touching his lips.
「EH? Yup. It’s okay………….. But for what reason？ 」
「Well then, please look forward for the dinner」
Rio showed a happy smile in seeing Satsuki’s puzzled face.
After the match with Satsuki, Rio went toward Duke Kretia’s mansion by foot.
Since he already made an appointment with Liselotte beforehand, the procedure is carried out smoothly.
After following along the guide till the parlor, there wasn’t just Liselotte alone, her parent, Julianne and Cedric is also with her.
After sitting on the sofa facing against the three of them, their meeting begin.
「I have decided to leave the royal capital tomorrow. Though it was just for a short while, I’m truly indebted toward everyone in duke Kretia family. Thank you very much」
So, Rio told them his gratitude while also bidding a farewell.
「It’s nothing, though I didn’t do anything important, I still enjoyed myself for a while you know. If it’s fine with you…… How about I send you back till my territory to see you off with my magic ship」
「My deepest apologies. That is a wonderful offer but I already have a prior engagement」
Rio refused her invitation with a courteous manner.
「I see. Though your rank is different from the other common nobilities, you are the noble of this kingdom. Though You may do as you please as a noble, I’ll be happy as long as I can meet you even after this」
Cedric told him that with a smooth tone.
「It’ll be my honor. In fact, today I also came to report my family name since it’s already decided」
「Hou, that’s good to hear. Would you tell us about your full name then？ 」
Cedric said so with great interest.
「Amakawa, It’s decided that from now on I may use the name Haruto Amakawa」
「Hou, so it’s Amakawa huh. I never heard such a name but, it’s strangely familiar in my ears It’s a good family name」
「Thank you very much. The reason why it sound strange is maybe because I’m using the language used in my parents hometown」
Rio is replying with a blatant lie.
「Ah, your parent was originally come from Yagumo right. So that’s the reason, then no wonder it………….. hn？ 」
The clinking sound of a tea cup hitting the tea saucer is interrupting Cedric words.
And then, everyone gaze was focusing onto the one who made that sound―― Liselotte.
「What’s matter, Liselotte？ How rare of you to make such a mistake」
Making clattering sounds when drinking tea is treated as a breach of manners.
Cedric was looking at Liselotte who never made such a error based on her usual perfect manner and elegance when drinking the tea with a astonished face.
「Ah, it’s nothing………………… My deepest apologies. For me to show this rude manner is…………」
Liselotte is apologizing while showing an awkward smile.
「I don’t mind abot that but, are you currently under weather？ 」
Cedric is worrying about his daughter,
「It’s alright. I just blanked for a moment」
「Fufufu, could it be because you feel nervous in front of Haruto-san？ 」
Julianne is showing an impish smile to Liselotte who is shaking her head.
「AH, Ahahahaha, dear mother that………………」
Liselotte is making a vague statement with a wry smile on her face.
「…………. No way」
Rio didn’t miss the small opening on her lips.