28.2 A Child with a Knife
Sharina stopped Riol on the walk back to the classroom. He was acting as if nothing had happened. After parting with Tobias a while ago, no one was in the hallway beside them.
“What is it?”
As he turned around, Riol answered gently. Sharina became speechless.
“If you were to call me with such a worried tone, I’d end up getting worried, too. Don’t worry, I know what you’re about to say.”
“Eh? I haven’t said anything, yet…”
Class would start soon. They had no time to be confused.
“You don’t want me to get injured, you believe that I will win, and that I shouldn’t overdo it, …at the same time, you also feel it’s your fault, right?”
“Precisely—! Riol, can you read minds—!?”
Sharina cried out in surprise when Riol said all the lines she was about to say. It was as if he came up with them on his own.
“Well, a bit.”
“Can you try reading my mind again!?”
“’Amazing, as expected of Riol’.”
“Amazing—! As expected of Ri… oh…”
She realized she said the same thing as Riol—which meant, Riol truly could read mind…
“No, don’t take it seriously, it was mean to be a joke.”
“Eh? But, just now…”
“I already expected what you are going to say.”
‘Who would’ve though, my guesses are correct.’ Riol remarked in an amused tone. She noticed a faint movement at the corners of his mouth. His mouth, which usually didn’t move much, was curved.
“Don’t worry, I don’t feel like getting injured or losing. Therefore, just sit back and relax in the audience seats.”
“Of course, I will reserve a front seat, even if it requires me to stay up all night! But… the magic of His Highness Roland…”
Riol had defeated Leonardo, whom was renown for his extraordinary amount of magic. She knew they weren’t utterly at a loss over what to do, but still.
“If His Highness Roland were to shoot his spear faster…”
She recalled his water spear. She remembered the moment when a dozen spears were formed and assailed them all at once.
Riol’s handmade amulets which hindered spell activation had a time lag. While conventional amulets cancelled spells before they were cast, Rio’s amulets cancelled them a few seconds after they were cast. Those few seconds could be proven fatal.
“Not to mention, there’s nothing to be gained…”
Back when Sharina was being targeted by Leonardo, Riol decided it would problematic if she were to be stolen by prince, hence he helped her. However, Roland wasn’t specifically targeting her—no, that shouldn’t be the concern right now.
“…Could it be, you are trying to get revenge for me?”
If so, Sharina felt embarrassed about what she said and did just a few minutes ago—that plan of hers was far from a perfect crime!
At the same time, she felt that Riol was angrier than her. Being honest, she was happy with that sentiment of his—although she wasn’t proud about it.
But still, Riol would gain nothing from that tournament—especially when there was a risk of getting injured.
“Well, there’s that. But it’s also His Highness’ decision to fight me. Rather than letting go of such an unaware and irresponsible guy, who committed attempted murder, it’ll be safer to respond to him in a straightforward manner.”
Riol’s plain and calm words reminded Sharina of the fact that she barely escaped death at that time.
Probably due to Roland’s antics, the realization failed to set in.
However, had Riol and Tobias been delayed by just a few seconds, she might not be there now. Such a fact was as plain as day.
The cause of all that was His Highness Roland. For better or worse, whether or not he bore any malicious intent, did he even have any awareness regarding the sort of disasters his actions could cause?
Roland was like a child who innocently swung a knife, trying to play.
She recognized that although he may be different from Leonardo, he was still as bad as him.
“Forgive me for not having enough of a sense of crisis, Riol… but, but then, you’re the only one who’s in danger, Riol!”
“It’s okay, calm down. As I said, there are many ways to deal with rules-based matches that have referees. I’m thinking about how to win without getting injured.”
With a bitter smile, Riol told her to calm down, and that he’d figure something out.
Those words of his were neither a lie nor bravado—Sharina knew that best.
In any desperate situation, he’d always be able to overcome it—
—after all, he was the most reliable person in the world.
“…Besides, it’s not like there’s nothing to gain…”
Riol, who had been talking with a collected face until then, muttered to Sharina. After reconfirming her trust in Riol, the emotions from the past were slowly rising—
—after that, was a few seconds of silence.
“…I want to show you my cool side.”
He lowered his line of sight towards the floor—despite so, his words didn’t fail to reach Sharina’s ears.
“But, to me, you’re always cool, Riol!”
She must secure a front seat of the magic tournament no matter what!!!
Right, even if these hands are to be dyed with blood…
Sharina clenched her hands tightly in front of her chest. Her determination wasn’t that of someone who was merely trying to secure a seat for a school event.
***T/N: Geez, go get a room, you two.
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