Author: Dawn

In the training field during the day, the princess had her long hair tied up in a ponytail as she stretched her body.

Despite wearing simple workout attire for training, she still looked quite elegant, as befitting a royal.

The weather was good. The sky was perfect, except for the lack of winds.

Carlyn, as the princess warmed up, gripped the sword a few times and tested its movements.

The balance was slightly off. It wasn’t bad, but it couldn’t be said to be of high quality.

During the noble training, blunt-edged swords were used, so the weapons weren’t extensively crafted.

Well, it was more of a formality.

When teaching the nobles, there was no need to be constrained by the type of sword. The princess held a real sword.

“This should be sufficient.”

“First, I need to assess how well you handle the sword. Try attacking me comfortably.”

There was no concern about the training. Since Carlyn had learned from Marhan, he knew how to do it.

Learning and teaching were different talents, but for now, mastering the basics was enough.

The princess nodded and struck the ground with determination. Her movements felt unfamiliar to herself.

It had been a while since she held a sword. Even during her trip to the northeast, she hadn’t engaged in direct combat.

She tried to recall her past memories.

Unlike with Emmet, she hadn’t learned things half-heartedly, so her body moved as if on its own, rather than her mind controlling it.

Carlyn parried the thrusting sword by slightly twisting his wrist. Stepping back, the princess attacked again.

The same pattern continued. Carlyn only rotated his wrist to block the attacks.

‘The inherent talent is quite decent.’

Considering it had been a while, her posture was proper. Thanks to Emmet’s thorough teachings.

However, Carlyn felt that the technique was flawed.

Due to her gender, the princess’s sword technique was closer to the style of trading blows within a safe margin.

It involved aiming for the opponent’s openings.

Actually, it was a conventional approach.

Even if she used magic power to enhance her strength, if the opponent had a similar level of magic power, physical advantage usually determined the outcome.

‘It would be okay if it become a bit sharper.’

In Carlyn’s opinion, the current swordsmanship was constraining the princess’s true nature.

Although she could be more aggressive, she had learned to stay within a certain limit.

Carlyn stopped moving back and forth, choosing to defend from a stationary position.

That alone caught the princess off guard. She felt unsure about how to react.

The princess’s foot twitched slightly.

Carlyn’s sword came in for a stab. He pressed down on the princess’s sword, sending it toward the ground.


The sword that wasn’t recovered pointed downwards. Due to momentum, the princess was sent forward, almost falling.

Carlyn caught the princess’s shoulders with his other hand.

Their eyes met at close range. After steadying her, Carlyn promptly stepped back.

“This should be enough. Forgive my rudeness.”

The princess lifted her hand in a gesture of reassurance and took a breath. She began to feel a slight strain in her muscles.

Though she had used magic power, she had moved without regulating her strength, acting as if she were exerting her full power.

“Since you already have the basics, we can move on. However, the direction from here on should be determined by Your Highness.”


“Currently, Your Highness’s swordsmanship emphasizes safety. In my opinion, a more aggressive approach would suit your body better.”

The princess’s eyes widened. She had also felt frustrated at times.

She hadn’t been able to move beyond what she had learned.

“Surprising. It feels like you’ve read my mind.”

“Is that so? But there are pros and cons. I believe that swordsmanship should resonate with the swordbearer’s feelings, but it’s true that it’s a riskier path.”

“Regardless of the reason, I will follow your advice.”

The competition for the imperial throne. In any case, the princess had chosen a path far from safety.

She had to choose a better way.

Carlyn led the princess to a training dummy and began correcting her stance.

“Here, it’s better to pull the opposite shoulder.”

“Like this?”

“Yes, exactly.”

Teaching someone who knew nothing was easier than changing someone who already knew something.

However, the princess had followed along better than expected. This was because the way Carlyn taught her was more suitable for the princess.

“The movements are easy. It feels familiar even though it’s my first time.”

“I’m glad.”

“I wasn’t expecting much. You always manage to surprise me.”

The princess couldn’t believe that the fake knight before her was only eighteen years old.

Carlyn had demonstrated above-average abilities in every aspect that the princess had seen.

“You are too kind. It’s not because of me, but it’s because you did well Your Highness.”

“You’re being too modest.”

“Really, Your Highness’s skills shine. But it’s not just my doing; it’s because you’ve quickly found the optimal posture that suits you.”

Indeed, the princess had talent.

Sweat started to bead on the princess’s arms. Seeing her condition, Carlyn thought he should stop.

The princess wouldn’t speak first due to her dignity.

“We’ll stop here for today.”

After wiping her forehead, the princess sat down in a chair at one corner of the training field. A maid approached with water upon the princess’s signal.

Carlyn stood beside her.

The princess drank the water gracefully. A single drop of sweat trickled down her elegant neck.

‘Well, using Winds here should be alright.’

Soon, a gentle breeze from the mountains wafted in.

The tip of the princess’s braid swayed first, followed by Carlyn’s bangs.

“Good. It seems that the winds that were not blowing earlier are blowing, it’s the right moment.”

Saying so, the princess closed her eyes and felt the wind. The corners of her lips turned up slightly.

After a workout, feeling the gentle winds she hadn’t experienced for a while made the princess’s mind clearer.

A moment of silence passed. Carlyn watched for the right timing and spoke.

“Your Highness.”

“What is it?”

“I wish to persuade Duchess Lyurik to join us. Would that be acceptable?”

“Duchess Lyurik? I’ve heard she’s a good person, but is she willing to corporate under a woman? I’ve heard she didn’t yield to my brothers’ proposal either.”

The princess tilted her head.

The Duchess of Lyurik in the southwestern part of the empire was known for her character and abilities, despite her young age.

Even though she was considered a beauty, she hadn’t married, and the suitors among the noblemen never ceased.

However, she considered all of it a nuisance, and she never attended social gatherings.

“It’s not just about maintaining neutrality. There’s also a possibility that the Three Princes aren’t favored in the eyes of the duchess.”

“Do you have another approach?”

“I’ve considered it, but I can’t be sure if it will succeed.”

An existence solely focused on the empire. That was the image of the duchess in the game that Carlyn remembered.

That’s why he couldn’t be certain.

However, he couldn’t avoid bringing up the topic. The Duchess was the top priority for recruitment.

It would be better to act rather than remain passive. They needed to have a conversation before the war with the West erupted.

“Yeah, it’s better than doing nothing. Give it a try. Do you need any assistance?”

“First, I will meet her. Your Highness taking the first step is not a matter of dignity.”

“With the distance between us, when are you planning to meet her? The Duchess is not known for frequent visits to the capital.”

Carlyn had a question since he, as the princess’s bodyguard, couldn’t easily leave the capital.

“She will be coming to the capital soon. The war with the West is imminent.”

He had already confirmed this through Haisen. In response to the Emperor’s call, the Duchess had already set off for the capital.

Due to the upcoming war with the West, powerful nobles were discreetly gathering in the capital.

* * *

Even on a day of rest, I couldn’t seem to relax at all.

After the princess had made her intentions known, visits from minor nobles had become frequent.

Since most of these nobles had names I was hearing for the first time, I had to examine each one in detail.

To be honest, it was a waste of time.

‘They are the ones who didn’t receive the princes’ favor.’

Even though those who had something to protect weren’t attaching themselves to the princess.

Because there was a significant possibility that if things went wrong, they would suffer the consequences.

In other words, there weren’t many useful people among them.

But I couldn’t completely ignore them either. There were relatively decent individuals among them as well.

‘Even though I know, it’s uncomfortable not being able to move first.’

Even if someone had accumulated merit through past campaigns, objectively speaking, the princess’s potential was quite low.

Even if I wanted to recruit those who were fine in the game, it was clear they wouldn’t come over.

No matter how noble the cause, people rarely exerted effort in places where the potential seemed bleak.

Instead of choosing the princess, I’d rather choose someone among the princes who had potential and aligned with my intentions.

At least a few more times, Erendil had to demonstrate her ability and solidify her position.

Actually, among the candidates I had chosen, many had already sided with the princes.

‘It’s not easy to interfere.’

Even with Haisen’s power, there were limits to restraining the princes’ approaches.

Non-noble talents posed a slightly different problem.

I know their names, but I didn’t know what they were doing right now.

And even if I did know, I couldn’t simply approach them without any evidence.

‘If I were the Chief of Intelligence, I would have gathered information and recruited them already.’

It was regrettable, but there was nothing I could do about it. Still, I managed to identify at least one person I needed to recruit.

They were currently at the imperial capital’s university. It was just difficult to approach them immediately.

It would be good if I had some excuse to invite them, but they hadn’t even published any papers yet.

For now, I intended to keep an eye on them and seize the opportunity when it arises.


Suddenly, I sensed a familiar presence through the Winds’ sense. Phiri had come to the designated location.

“Duchess Lyurik has arrived.”


I had thought she wouldn’t arrive for another three days based on the distance, but she was faster than I imagined.

It was as if she had been running without stopping.

There was no way I could approach her immediately. It was strange that I knew about her arrival already.

The princes’ side wouldn’t give up and would try to approach her as well.

Since I still hadn’t decided how to approach her, I couldn’t know Duchess Lyurik’s schedule.

I intended to observe the situation and find an opportunity to meet her positively. If not, I would have to visit her residence.

The next morning.

As usual, I entered the imperial palace entrance earlier than the changing of the guards. The guards saluted and quickly approached me.

“Sir Carl Schurtafen.”

“What’s the matter?”

“Sir Rudehrn is looking for you. He said to come to the First Training Ground as soon as you arrive.”

The First Training Ground was a space used only by the emperor and his personal guards. It wasn’t likely that the emperor would suddenly summon me.

I wondered if it had to do with our previous sparring. It was a bit bewildering to receive such an unexpected message.

Even though we had faced each other a few times, he had remained silent for quite a while. I had just taken it as idle talk.

I didn’t bother to press him. There was no reason to act impatient and come across as unpleasant.

‘Of all days, it had to be when Duchess Lyurik is here.’

I thought it was a bit ironic. Not that it was bad. After all, it was still before the changing of the guards.

There was more than enough time for a sparring session before lunch.

Sharing a practice session with a Sword Master, especially in dividing the swords, was a first for me, so I felt a mix of anticipation and excitement.

“Schurtafen, it’s been a while.”

Rudehrn greeted me with a smile as he arrived at the training ground. Then he scratched his cheek in an awkward manner.

“It’s been a while since I spoke with you. Sorry about that. I’ve been quite busy, so I haven’t had much rest, even on off days.”

Rudehrn’s words weren’t wrong. There were officially recognized seven Sword Masters on the continent.

Three of them were in the empire, and two were personal guards of the emperor. Being constantly on guard duty left little time for rest.

Of course, even then, the delay was probably due to Rudehrn’s personality.

From my perspective, just being summoned was something to be grateful for. Sharing a practice session with a Sword Master was a tremendous opportunity.

“No, the honor is all mine for you calling me.”

“Right. Well, since time is short, shall we get started quickly?”

Rudehrn drew his sword. The blue blade emerged from its sheath.

The famed sword, Blue Sea, of the Sword Masters in the game. I also gripped the hilt of Moonlight.

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