20.1 The Duel
**T/N: Before we start this chapter, I would like to express my utter gratitude to one of my dear reader–Passerby!!! Thanks for the donation *bow it means a lot!!! You’ve brighten my new year! I hope you’ll continue to be my reader, as I too, will strive to offer quality translations! This is for you! Sorry that I can only finish it now!
Was juggling translating and exam I <3 YOU MY DEAR
On the night, which would probably her last day of imprisonment, time passed quietly because no one visited. That was probably because of the confusion that grew from the various speculations.
Finally, tomorrow arrived—
—the first thing she saw was the color pink. The lacey, floral patterned, canopy that hovered over the bed.
“What poor taste…”
Sharina muttered her impression—after a week of residing there, now, it remained the same. Just by looking at it, Sharina grew increasingly tired.
I do like flowers.
However, the floral pattern was too intense, instead of relaxing, it appeared dumb.
I also like pink…
But everything in her field of view was pink—it was just sickening.
How utterly lacking in creativity…
The dawn’s light shone through a gap in the pink, floral patterned curtain.
It was still early in the morning. She still had time to do some activities. Of course, she didn’t want to fall asleep again.
“…Good morning, Riol.”
There was no way it could reach him—Sharina closed her eyes. She missed the morning greeting she never failed to say to him. They already hadn’t met for a week.
—the eighth day of the house arrest. It was the day of the duel.
“…I, I know you’ll absolutely win, Your Highness… but, when I think that said victory will also result in that woman acquiring the seat of the Queen…!!”
“Ssstt, your voice is too loud. No matter how absurd you may think it is, His Highness will do what he deems as necessary.”
“But that’s just—!! By trying to get closer with His Highness, that woman is already stepping over the boundaries of her status—!! She’s just taking advantage of His Highness’ kindness—!!”
The Fala Rubia Gakuen Stadium was usually used for mage and knight training once per year.
Today, all classes had been cancelled. Ever since the morning, the school had been crowded by students. Here and there, girls’ screams of jealousy and anger reverberated.
“That fox girl…!”
Sharina sat alone in the VIP seat. Their claims were too far off mark, Sharina wasn’t bothered at all.
“That scholarship student is also stupid, daring to lay his hands on His Highness’ favorite like that.”
“Well, what do you expect? The title ‘scholarship student’ itself means nothing when we’re talking about his department. After all, the exam for said department only scores the ‘comprehensive point’ of writing and practical skills—you know, that useless stuff. I wasn’t even aware that department existed.”
“Pfft, as what you would expect from the special student of the Written Magic Department—! It’s sarcasm, by the way, haha—!”
Lots of male students were talking ill of Riol.
Of course, none of what they said was close to the truth. But, seeing them jeering at Riol to no end, Sharina gritted her teeth—do you want to be the last generation of your family?
Someone’s voice overlapped with the sound of the school’s bell. Suddenly, the entire audience calmed down like a flame extinguished by water.
All she could hear was the sound of the wind blowing through the arena.
From the audience seats, a boy silently climbed the large marble stage at the center.
It was her beloved— wearing a uniform that was a bit oversized while holding a thick, big, book in one hand.
“Please, be safe…”
Sharina brought her hands close to her chest and closed her eyes tightly.
…If it’s Riol, everything will be alright! Riol can win!
However, no matter how much she believed so, the fact that his opponent—the Prince—was also the best magician in the kingdom, was undeniable.
She wasn’t so optimistic as to think that he would survive without injury.
“—Well, then! We shall commence the duel!”
She opened her eyes right when the teacher was proclaiming so.
The two were facing each other.
In his hand was the magical instrument—the Scales of Judgment.
“The two of you, step forward! Spill a droplet of your bloods on the plates!”
Both Leonardo and Riol dropped their bloods on the plates—immediately afterwards, black mist overflowed from the scales before fading.
That would be the sign of activation.
The teacher descended from the stage while the two each went to the other ends of the stage.
As they faced each other, dust danced in the swirling wind.
One dried leaf floating along with sand rolled around and fell of the stage.
All the while the referee teacher shouted in a reverberating voice.
“Fuun… I applaud the fact that you didn’t escape right away, but I wonder how long you’ll stay that way.”
It was first duel she had ever seen in her lifetime.
The ancient magical instrument she thought she would only ever see in textbooks.
It dawned on everyone, that this was a life and death situation. Every student was glued to their seat—it was as if the previous commotion was nothing but a lie.
Hundreds of eyes turned all at once as Leonardo thrust out his right hand.
“Ha—! As I thought—! You pulled such a childish trick again—! But that’s all you’ve got—!”
The large magic circle that emerged under Riol’s feet crumbled, causing but a small ripple of wind that fluttered his uniform a bit. Riol held out his amulet.
“W, what—!? No way, just now, he prevented that—!?”
“S, speaking of which, last week, the magic circle that appeared under the feet of that loser also disappeared! I thought I saw it incorrectly but now…”
The audience began to clamor.
What was already a common occurrence for Sharina seemed to be an incredible event for everyone else.
“But—! That’s not your own ability you’re using—! You think you can deceive me using the same trick you used with her—!”
Leonardo, whose magic was cancelled, was still acting proud as if he had triumphed.
The amulet that had been used lost its effectiveness and split into two pieces, before slipping onto stage.
Sharina furrowed her eyebrows upon hearing Leonardo’s smug lines.
Four days ago, she recalled That said “That Black Rat …is lying.” While floating outside the window.
“Yes, it is as I said—! That amulet of yours, which destroys magic circles, isn’t handmade at all—! You bought them at a specialty store in the Royal Capital—! Considering how expensive they are and how low your financial power is, soon enough you’ll run out of them—!”
Again, the magic circle appeared. Again, Riol destroyed it—to which Leonardo shrugged his shoulders.
“Judging from that expression of yours, am I correct? Fuun, what a stupid fellow.”
Leonardo spread his arms wide open, shook his head in contempt, and continued.
“It’s simple. To create an amulet that lets you destroy someone’s magic circle, you must also have an equal amount of magic. As such, there’s no way a fellow like you, who can’t even cast a basic spell, can outdo magic from true royalty like me—!”
As the meaning of Leonardo’s words permeated, the impressed tone from the audience seats gradually turned into wave of mockery.
“Wha—? How utterly pathetic.”
“As a scholarship student, isn’t he ashamed of himself?”
“Haha, as he should be.”
The atmosphere in the stadium told of Leonardo’s absolute victory.
Sharina, who was immersed in watching the duel, blinked—pokan.
Those amulets were purchased from a store? Riol is incapable of making them? There’s no way—
—after all, that amulet was…
“…a magic circle is a vessel. While magic is water. Once the vessel is filled with water, the magic will be activated.”
At that time—his black hair, ruffled by the wind, returned to its original state as the magic also faded into nothingness.
Riol, who hadn’t said a single word until now, quietly opened his mouth.
***T/N: Oh fuck y’all! Even if Riol actually buys it, it says something about the extent he’s willing to go to help Sharina despite his financial situation! He’s the coolest third son of a countryside Baron in the world–!!!