18.1 The Kidnapped Princess
As the hustle and bustle of the surroundings rapidly deteriorated, only a single voice could be heard.
“Riol, you can’t be planning to accept it—!? No, you absolutely mustn’t—!!”
Since the Glen territory was far away from the Royal Capital, Riol said being antagonized a little by the Prince yielded no effect. Regardless, it was a different story altogether if the Prince challenged him to a duel.
It would surely spread to the entire Kingdom. Even if Riol managed to turn it down, he would be labelled as the coward who ran away from the duel for the rest of his life.
“—isn’t this the same as a death sentence—!?”
The consequence of losing the duel was worse. There was no way Riol could survive eternal banishment all by himself. It wouldn’t be easy to take refuge in another kingdom, either. At best, he would die a slow, painful, death from starvation. At worst, he would simply be devoured by monsters.
“—don’t kill me off so easily? I don’t plan on dying, either.”
To Sharina, who turned blue, Riol’s reply was as simple and calm as usual.
“—answer me, you bastard! Get your filthy hands off her!”
For a moment, she almost forgot where they were. The angry shouting over the microphone suddenly brought her back to reality.
What happened next, a wind magic circle appeared under Riol’s feet.
However, the wind only fluttered before the entire circle crumbled and vanished.
“Guh! You eyesore of a Rat, playing dirty as always!”
Sharina, however, didn’t quite catch what was happening—because nothing happened. As such, she didn’t know what Leonardo was saying.
When Sharina tried searching for the answer, Riol responded by tapping the pocket of his uniform.
—that was when she spotted the corner of a piece of paper. It was Riol’s specialty; the amulet that cancelled magic.
She understood now. The magic that Idiot Prince tried to cast, undoubtedly to attack Riol, had been flawlessly cancelled.
“Well, the duel will decide everything! No matter how many dirty tricks are up your sleeve, you won’t succeed!”
Even though you’re the one doing a dirty surprise attack…?
His blabbering only proved that Riol had brilliantly prevented his attack.
“The showdown is one week from now, at noon! We’ll duel at the stadium! No weapons allowed! Only magical related devices can be brought! This is a fair duel between magicians! All the students here will be the witnesses! Finally, the judge shall be—“
—he continued like nothing ever happened. Leonardo spread his arm gallantly, looking over the entire student body in the hall, before proclaiming—
“—these ‘Scales of Judgement’—!!”
Leonardo proudly lifted the white cloth, revealing what was beneath it.
It appeared to be an antique. It surely was a magical instrument of some sort—she felt like she had seen it somewhere before…
“Wha—!? The ‘Scales of Judgement’—!?”
“The last time it was used was two hundred years ago…”
“So it’s actually real!”
As soon as everyone saw the scale, even the teachers stopped moving. The teachers, especially those in charge of history, were utterly amazed.
“…it’s used in war and also to determine the rightful heir to the throne. At least, that’s what I’ve learned in the history lessons.”
Sharina finally recalled it. It was one of the magical instruments that was created by the ancients! However, because ancient magical instruments often carried dangerous consequences, they were hidden deep within the palace’s treasury. The Scales of Judgment was one of them. She had certainly seen the illustration in a textbook.
“This ends my announcement. Everyone should return to their respective classrooms immediately.”
Leonardo left, but not without swinging his jacket. His footsteps echoed as he left the venue.
“It’ll be fine. I won’t lose.”
When Sharina involuntarily uttered his name, his quiet, but confident voice resounded.
Riol says it’s going to be fine, hence, I believe it’ll be fine!
Suddenly, her trembling had stopped—she didn’t even realize she was trembling.
In the first place, wasn’t it absurd? Riol was the one getting the death sentence, but she was the one feeling an extreme amount of fear instead.
“You’re exactly right, Riol! In the worst case scenario, wherever you get deported, I’ll surely come with you! Don’t worry! I know how to catch wild birds and hares!”
“I said I won’t lose didn’t I—wait, when did you have the opportunity to acquire such skills—!?”
“My maid, Gabriella, taught me.”
Even if he were deported, she shall accompany him to the ends of Earth—no, to hell, even!
With such things in mind, Sharina firmly took the hand of her darling.
“With water, you’ll survive for the time being! Water attribute is my specialty! Going off tangent for a bit, one time, I asked Apollon to carry me to the desert. Once there, I sneaked into one of the caravans suffering from a water shortage and helped them!”
“I said I’m not going to lose, so stop building such a solid foundation of survival.”
Amongst the wild hordes of students, Sharina and Riol were circled by teachers to be guided safely to the classroom. She wondered if she would be able to reach the place safely.
“Ange! Your face is blue, are you okay!?”
“Ms. Kirklight, you needn’t worry about a thing.”
One girl managed to slip through the ring the teachers had created to keep away the masses of students. She stumbled on her last step and fell forward. When she lifted her face, she was close to tears.
“That duel! The nerve of him! Riol-kun belongs to the Research of Written Magic Department! He can hardly use magic! How is he going to win a duel against His Highness!?”
“Exactly! He can neither conjure the smallest magic circle nor the most basic magic!”
After returning to the classroom, they could hear the teachers rising their voice outside.
However, they overlapped with the wild masses—
“—that jerk is done for…” “What is a student from the Written Magic Department capable of?” “Who’s that redhead?” “Could it be… an illicit affair?” “Nah, no way.”
By the way, another scream could also be heard—
“—what’s the meaning of this—!?” “Why does it have to be that country bumpkin—!?”
—the shrill voice was full of objection. However, it also sounded very familiar…
…there was no mistake. It was the same voice she had heard that morning—it belonged to Sub Rose Garden!
“All of you, return to the classrooms immediately.”
“Understood, I’m sorry, Teacher. Ange, are you okay?”
“Ms. Kirklight, can you stand?”
“Yes! I can stand up just fine!”
‘Why am I the one being worried of instead—!?’ Angela leapt up while muttering so.
“Now that I recall—the magical scales were left at the stage. What should we do?”
“Even if it’s a national treasure, it’s still considered as forgotten stuff. It’s better if we don’t touch it. The one who should collect it is the person in charge of it.”
“That’s what you are concerned about—!?”
Afterwards, through teachers’ guidance, everyone returned to their classrooms. The students, of course, were still in shock. In the afternoon, as expected, none of them attended class.
***T/N: Riol and Sharina be like challenged on a duel against Prince of the country that may result in exodus but we chill af.
…and, ‘FAIR DUEL BETWEEN MAGICIANS’ HE SAYS–!??!?!?! //seethe with intense flame//