31.1 The Clown Climbs onto the Stage (Execution Site)
“Where is His Highness Roland? I can’t seem to find him, even though he should be in the first match!”
“Perhaps, he’s still in the waiting room? There’s a bit of time before the match actually starts.”
“You’re right! Since His Highness Roland came all the way here, he deserves some rest!”
On the way to the audience seats. Every time she passed by girls, almost all of them were talking about His Highness Roland.
“Until a while ago, all they ever talked about was His Highness Leonardo…”
Angelica, following behind Sharina, murmured. Recalling her black history, her complexion wasn’t good.
The swooning of the female students continued.
“The fiancée candidate for His Highness Roland will soon be decided! The arrival of the queen on the final day may be part of the selection!”
“Ara ara, but who doesn’t know that? I firmly believe that they’ll also pick a candidate from the girls in the audiences’ seats!”
“Then I’ll have to show them how much I support His Highness Roland! I will not lose to other ladies!”
—To sum up their stories;
Prince Roland, who had become the successor of the throne due to the first prince’s scandal, had no fiancée candidate, yet. The queen was deeply involved in the selection of said fiancée candidates. It had also been decided that the queen would come to watch the magic tournament of the academy Roland was partaking in—though only on the final day.
“How do I say this… girls sure weak… when it comes to a prince… I’m speechless.”
“Oh, right, I seem to recall that before His Highness Roland returned to this kingdom, Ange was fawning over his picture—saying he looks cool and nice!”
“Don’t remind me!”
Finally securing their seats, the three of them sat side by side. While screaming, Angelica was clutching her head. It seemed that she was reminded of something she didn’t want to recall.
“Because… who would’ve thought that it would happen twice in a row? I truly thought he’d be an actual prince…”
“Hmm? Of course, he is. His Highness Roland is an actual prince, isn’t he?”
“That’s not what I mean…”
Roland, the second prince, hadn’t received much attention due to studying abroad. Moreover, he was also overshadowed by the first prince, Leonardo. However, the fall of Leonardo—well, he isn’t dead, yet—caused Roland to become the most sought-after marriage partner.
“Ah! Riol! Rioool—!”
However, to Sharina, it mattered not. The moment she caught a glimpse of that familiar mop of black hair, she stood up from her seat and shouted.
“It hasn’t started, yet. Riol-kun hasn’t done anything, yet, Shari…”
“Riol is always so cool! The sight of him merely standing up is also cool!”
“Sharina, it’s too early to get hyped up…”
Probably because she had shouted with all her might from the front seat, Riol heard her and turned around. That mouth of his formed one word—
“Eh? Just now, what did Riol say?”
“He told me to keep silent.”
The first match of the morning session would begin soon. Not only in the audiences’ seats, the participants were also steadily gathering on the stage.
“I can’t see His Highness Roland…”
“But I can see Riol just fine!”
“Is he planning to appear fashionably late? I feel like that’s something he’d do…”
A teacher, probably acting as the referee, and pairs of students whom were the participants started to climb onto several stages They were lined up at regular intervals. If one set was to fight at a time, the sun would set before they finished. Therefore, they decided to let ten or more pairs fight at once in the first round.
“His Highness hasn’t arrived, yet… if he doesn’t come soon, it’s the same as admitting defeat…”
Most of the stages were already occupied with their two participants whom were about to face each other. However, in front of Riol, stood no one.
“No way… could it be, is His Highness using that magical instrument?!”
When Tobias put his hand on his chin and muttered something, Angelica who sat next to him tilted her head.
“Ah! There he is!”
In front of Riol, on top of one of the many stages, a person suddenly emerged. Just a second ago, that spot was empty.
“What’s with his sudden appearance!? Did he use some kind of magic?! Or perhaps, a magical instrument!?”
“Because no magic circle appeared, it’s safe to assume that it was probably a magical instrument. The light elemental magic instrument that His Highness Roland so loved. When it’s activated, the user’s presence vanishes without a trace.”
“That brooch bearing the royal crest? That’s the one he used in the backyard back then, isn’t it?”
In the tense atmosphere just before all the matches started, Roland had appeared. It caused a buzz among all the other participants.
Riol was the only one whom remained collected—as if he had expected Roland’s appearance.
“Wait a moment, isn’t it prohibited to use magic tools other than ones personally created? Based on the previous story, His Highness didn’t make it from scratch, right?”
“…Indeed, he modified the original one. If the original one is treated as a ‘material’ to create a new model, would that count as being handmade? I also don’t know…”
“Modification… it depends on the extent, but if the amount of modification is immense, is it alright to call it your own?”
However, Sharina’s doubt was drowned by the many voices praising Roland—
“—Your Highness, how amazing!”
“—Such an amazing appearance!”
From Sharina’s perspective, Riol, who didn’t move in the slightest, as if he had seen through everything, was a million times cooler than a man who merely concealed his presence with a tool. But it seemed that she saw a different world altogether.
“The other party is so surprised, he basically turned into a statue! Compared to the appearance of His Highness, how pitiful!”
“As I thought! He defeated His Highness Leonardo by sheer coincidence!”
The world they lived in might be different after all. Hence why, those people lacked common sense. Hearing the mockery coming from behind her, Sharina managed to suppress her right fist’s urge to punch.
“S, Shari, wait, calm down! Violence won’t solve anything!”
Wait, she forgot about her left fist.
“—Now that everyone has gathered, we’ll start the magic tournament! First of all, the greetings from the school directors—!”
While Angelica’s wise persuasion subsided the urge of Sharina’s left fist, the teacher’s voice announcing the start of the tournament echoed from the loudspeakers. Before the match could even start, a brawl had almost happened in the audience seats—what a close call.
“Relax, Shari. They are only saying that because they used to praise His Highness Leonardo to high heaven, as such, they can’t accept his defeat as it is.”
“Yes, I know that. Even if I hit them, it’s likely that my punch will only pass through… it’s useless to hit them, because we live in different worlds…”
“It won’t pass through!? Or is Shari already convinced that they are dead!?”
She mustn’t be misled by those ghosts—she hadn’t even seen Riol’s gallant fight, yet! Even If she were to die—even if she were to turn into a ghost, she had to watch the tournament no matter what!
***T/N: Ugh, I keep feeling that it won’t go well, but I believe in Riolu!!!
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