47. Never Again, This Time (Zeke)
Because he decided that person was strong, he was determined to become strong under the command of that person.
But, sometimes, there was a glimpse of a very beautiful woman in that person.
“Are you ready? Okay, let’s go to the training grounds!”
Towards Zeke who had invited her, the ten year old Jill smiled.
“We shall use a training sword to avoid causing any injury.”
“You mustn’t use any kind of magical attack, okay? Especially because I can’t use magic.”
The sound of wooden swords colliding in the training grounds formerly used by the private army of Marquis Veil echoed.
At first, they were light sounds, but gradually, they became heavier, and also faster.
Damn, she’s fast!
It was hard to catch her movement.
He swung his sword—one blow, it didn’t contain much strength, but accurately followed the center of gravity to raise momentum.
In the first place, Zeke’s sword was big, also called a great sword. It wasn’t fast enough to catch up with Jill.
She disappeared from view again!
There was a loud sound, and Zeke’s sword was thrown upward to the sky.
After seeing it fall and roll over the cobblestone ground, Zeke sat down.
“—I admit defeat.”
“That was fast.”
“Well, defeat is defeat.”
The height of the currently sitting down Zeke’s eyes and the winner’s were almost the same.
‘It’s crazy.’—that was what he always thought.
Zeke already accepted the fact that the Emperor was stronger than him.
Even though that guy called himself the ‘Dragon Emperor’, he made a fuss everyday about what kind of cake he should bake for Jill next.
—Despite so, that guy was well trained.
Even when that guy was visibly more relaxed around Jill, he still left no openings. Even when that guy was whipping the whip cream, he never let his guard down.
But, this girl, on the other hand—
—…even though she had magical prowess, shouldn’t she still be a mere ten year old girl?
The word ‘magician’ made Zeke conjure up the image of deep hooded man in his mind. Usually, those so-called magicians would support the soldiers. In short, they weren’t the vanguard, nor did they possess artillery power. As such, they shouldn’t excel in a one-on-one fight.
Yet this girl fought like a trained mercenary—no, soldier was the word.
“Why are you so strong?”
“If it’s physical abilities you’re talking about, I think it’s boosted by my magic. For example, if I’m not serious, I can only fly about this high.”
In response, Jill flew lightly. Now she was as tall as a teen.
“But—remember when I grabbed you and Camilla and proceeded to fly over the roof? I used magic for that.”
“I don’t remember you using any magic in our fight, just now…”
“I would be lying if I say my magic wouldn’t active unconsciously. There’s nothing I can do about that.”
For some reason, he was annoyed by the girl’s bitter laugh.
“Got it. Then how about this? Use your magic power.”
“Eh? But, didn’t you previously say—“
“—forget about that! At that time, that Kratos Prince didn’t even use any magic!”
He stared down at the cobblestones. Even though their eye level was the same, still, he couldn’t match her eyes.
He didn’t understand why he couldn’t stare back at her.
It reminded him of the dread and the wrath which engulfed his heart at that time.
If the Emperor wasn’t present at that time, Jill would had surely been taken away by that Prince.
Both Zeke and Camilla were blown away like garbage.
He said he was a prince, but all Zeke saw was a boy. Later Zeke discovered that the Prince was only fifteen years old.
Defeat was defeat. He could admit that straight away—but still, the humiliation wouldn’t go away.
He ended up having a flashback to that time the Battle Maiden was fighting that Goddess’ spear in the sky. Jill collapsed soon after the fight and yet there was nothing Zeke could do to help her.
Don’t say things like, ‘there’s nothing you can do about it,’ or, ‘don’t worry about it’—
—I, this time—!
‘This time’, what?
The pondering Zeke lifted his face.
In front of him was the smile of his Captain praising his determination.
“I planned to train you on magic later, but I think it would be better to make you adapt to magic now.”
“Rest easy, okay? I’ll adjust my magic so you won’t die.”
Then, Jill visibly enveloped both of her hands with magic—
—I’m going to die.
Zeke instantly forgot what he was frustrated about.
“…Is grilling Zeke part of today’s training regimen?”
The burnt Zeke fell face first to the ground, at the same time, Jill lifted her face.
By the end of her words, Zeke heard the sound of Jill running away.
Conversely, a single set of footsteps was approaching.
“Wait a moment, what are you doing, Zeke~?”
“Noisy as usual…! Obviously, I’m training…!?”
“’Training’, as in, being roasted by magic~?”
It’s the noisy Okama.
He somehow managed to put strength unto his arms and rolled to lie on his back.
As he moved his neck, he saw the girl’s profile as she talked with the Dragon Emperor.
Looking at that scene alone, it was truly heartwarming.
A kind-hearted girl, conversing with a young man. They looked like a couple.
Camilla squatted, his body blocking the view.
“I see~ you’ve procured yet another weird habit~!”
“Weird habit, your ass.”
“There’s a limit to how stupid you can be~ please keep a general account so you wouldn’t end up this way again.”
He found it tempting to agree with Camila—but it wasn’t so at all. He quickly got up.
Jill was embraced by Hadith.
That captain of his looked like a headstrong, ordinary, girl when she was with the Dragon Emperor.
“…Don’t you dare laugh.”
“Aha~ in fact, I’m already laughing.”
“When we spoke, captain looked like she’s sixteen, no, seventeen… she didn’t appear like a little girl at all.”
“The sight of her fighting againsr that Goddess’ spear in the sky must’ve had quite an impact on you, huh~?”
It seemed that without the need of him spelling it out, Camila had already guessed his meaning.
“…Am I hallucinating?”
“Exactly so~ but, if you aren’t, what are you going to do about it?”
“What, you ask…”
What if she is about twenty years old; a so-called adult woman?
When Zeke pondered said question, as if sensing his thought, the Emperor suddenly turned his eyes onto Zeke.
He was showing that childish smile as usual—however, it was as if his golden eyes were bottomless…
“…I’ll still think of her as my captain.”
“Yes, that’ll keep you safe~”
Surrendering, he curled up on the floor.
Never again, this time, I shall protect her properly!
I’ll prove it to her!
Towards the blue skies, such was his oath.
His determination stretched from that kingdom’s sky to the kingdom without dragons’ sky.
***T/N: Now Jill is turning her entire vicinity into semi-pedo… BUT MUSCLEMAN LIKE ZEKE? ME LIKEY.