Author: alyalia

“Even if Lord Edward finds out, he would never blame you.”


“But if he finds out that I’m his opponent, he might not be able to take the match seriously. That’s not what I want, either as his teacher or as his friend.”


“Do you want to keep it a secret?”


“Yes. But I think I need to clear up the misunderstanding…”


As Luize hesitated, Maxion quickly added, “I’ll tell him that you’re not meeting with that man. Because that’s not a lie.”


“That man?”


“From what I gathered, Lord Edward seems to think that Carlo is your lover. I’ve told him it’s best to leave you alone for a month to calm down, so he won’t come looking for you until the tournament is over.”


Luize was startled by his words. A flashy style like Carlo’s was the opposite of her taste, as was a personality more accustomed to using muscles than brains. Judging by his sword, he was definitely the type who spoke with his body first rather than his head.


“Thanks. Please make sure to clear up that misunderstanding. But why did you say it’s best to leave me alone for a month? Come to think of it, you always used to talk to me a month after we fought.”


“That’s because you used to take a month to cool off.”


“No? That’s not true.” Luize replied, puzzled.


“It wasn’t?”


“No. I cooled off quickly. I was just waiting for you to feel better.”


“…I was also waiting until it seemed like you had cooled off.”


They looked at each other with puzzled eyes.


“We’re just realizing this now.”


Their laughter echoed quietly in the alley.


Meanwhile, Edward, having put Maxion’s absence aside, was focused on another matter.


“Leave Miss Luize and meet another woman. This is already the third time this evening alone.”


He was secretly following Carlo. With Maxion away for personal reasons, Edward didn’t need to be discreet. Edward snapped his fingers, making a sharp sound with his thumb and middle finger.


Urgh! What is this! Aaah! Darling, this man is… why are you here again? No, don’t go to Lobelia! I’m sorry. I was wrong!”


“Carlo? Carlo. Who’s Lobelia? Snap out of it!”


Carlo writhed on the ground, clutching his head. Edward had cast a spell to make him see his worst fears.


“Lucky for Miss Luize, I’ve left his appearance intact for her amusement.”


Edward looked coldly down at Carlo, then turned and headed back to his mansion.


Soon after, a new rumor about Carlo circulated. Gossip magazine said, ‘Carlo has become a new person!’ an article titled “Carlo, a loving man who only has eyes for one person!’ was published.


“Lord Edward, did something happen? You seem pleased.”


“Just something. So, Miss Luize has broken up with her lover?”


Ah, yes.”


“Your eyes are shaking like you’re lying.”




“Well, it doesn’t matter.”


Edward leisurely lifted his teacup, as composed as ever.


* * *

The finals consisted of fifteen matches, with one match per day. Edward smoothly advanced through the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and into the finals. His swordsmanship skills had improved, but he didn’t rely solely on them, subtly using magic to avoid detection by tournament officials.


“It’s strange. Why do I feel so heavy today?”


“That’s unfortunate.”


Edward responded leisurely to his puzzled opponent. This tournament was initially set up to trouble Edward, who aimed to reclaim an imperial treasure. The brackets were arranged for Edward and the masked knight, Benny, to meet in the finals.


On days without matches, Edward watched others, studying their movements. Luize, as ‘Benny,’ avoided techniques she had used while training with Edward, ending most matches quickly by breaking swords, hence revealing little of her skill.






“That Benny guy is quite impressive, isn’t he?”


“I think so too.”


“Such a pity. He could have won if not for me. Of course, I couldn’t win without magic.”


“…” Maxion quietly nodded, sweating.


Edward glanced at him and spoke. “So, about what I asked. Were there any female participants with silver hair?”


“None… I think.” Except for Luize, disguised as ‘Benny’. Maxion swallowed the words he couldn’t say.


Hmm. Lensia didn’t come to retrieve her own sword, which was the winning prize. Either she went to some remote countryside where news of the tournament didn’t reach, or something unavoidable came up.”




“I thought it would be easy to keep a promise as simple as blinking, but it turned out to be this hard.”


Maxion looked at the arena, his expression complex, wondering how Edward would react if he knew Luize had come to reclaim her mother’s sword.


Lensia. The weight of that name made his heart sink.


  “The sword of Lensia, symbolizing the empire’s dragon, was evidence that the empire itself had slain a mad dragon and a personal treasure. The former emperor had offered her to stay by his side as a symbol of imperial victory. Lensia chose to leave her sword behind instead of staying.”




“I promised her that if I became the emperor, I’d return her sword.”


“In the future, when my name is forgotten from people’s memories, I would be grateful if you could return my sword.”


“I will proceed with that when I become the emperor.”


“It’s really reassuring. When did you grow up to become the emperor?”


Edward became an adult after the emperor’s death but never ascended the throne.


Watching Benny’s retreating figure, Edward often smiled, but when his smile faded, an inscrutable emptiness remained. Maxion knew that behind most of Edward’s smiles, his heart was empty.


“I should keep my promises, shouldn’t I?”


Was it duty or will that drove the hollow Edward?


* * *

On the day of the finals, it rained. The imperial wizards created a transparent half-dome over the arena to keep it dry before the light drizzle could wet it.


The tournament, a wasteful display of luxury, attracted public attention due to its association with the imperial family and the temple’s announcement after the finals. The imperial treasure offered as a prize was unremarkable, except that Lensia used it to defeat a dragon. Lensia’s sword, given by the imperial family afterward, was far more valuable.


The current emperor and empress dowager attended the finals, taking seats in the center, with a high-ranking temple priest conspicuously near them, likely to show their close relationship with the temple.


The announcer’s magically amplified voice echoed. “Entering now, Grand Duke Edward E. von Lindeman, who returned from a successful patrol in Perils!”


Edward entered with his usual smile, noble stride, and perfectly fitted dark grey uniform, a picture of elegance.


The finals were unusual in many ways. Most knights wore armor for true sword fights, though light ones. Still, Edward and Luize, who were not wearing armor, were exceptions. Those not wearing armor often got injured, with most eliminated in the preliminaries.


The audience watched anxiously, knowing Edward was the former crown prince expected to be emperor.


“This tournament is quite a spectacle.”


“Someone might die right in front of the emperor.”


“And one of them is ‘that’ grand duke.”


It was almost a public execution.


The announcer continued. “And the rising star, the Sword Reaper, Benny!”


Luize walked out slowly, wearing plain dark brown practice clothes, common among young boys, and a commonly available black mask. It seems like they tend to use good swords, but even that wasn’t anything special.


Also, what about the hair? Brown messy hair like that wig – even though it was a real wig – was so common that you would encounter one person every half hour while walking the streets of the capital.


“Contestants, forward!”


Luize and Edward faced each other, maintaining distance. As the announcer began the introductions, Edward saw it clearly.


“…Miss Luize?”


Beneath the black mask, those lavender eyes shone.

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Comments (1)

  1. Thank you for the translation!! This story has been so good so far! I’m excited to see who wins the duel!