Just a quick notice guys, there was an error in the previous release. Not a translation error, but I forgot to copy over the text after the illustration. I've inserted the text that's meant to be there so head back to the chapter before and read the content after the illustration if you haven't done so already.
On another note, we are still looking for an experienced editor for this series. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you're able to help.
Big shoutout to Kokopuff for the translation!
“Where the heck were you this entire time!?”
Ignis had stood waiting at the entrance as Bard finally returned home in the evening.
Seeing Ignis wearing a very elegant outfit with a scent of perfume, Bard leaks a little ‘oops’.
“I forgot...We have a night party tonight.”
“Don’t ‘I forgot’ me! Hurry up and get changed! Jeez...You’re the main host tonight!”
“I’m sorry, I’ll be quick.”
Bard completely forgot about the party since morning training proceeded as usual.
What would Magotte have done if Bard received a bad bruise or something?
She would most likely say, ‘that’s an injury of honor, just get out to the party like that!’
It was easily to imagine Ignis having a stomach ache just from that.
Although it was completely Ignis’ fault for falling in love with a woman like her, Bard could not help but feel a little pity towards him.
“(Alright now, let’s get ready so I don’t give Ignis some damage on his stomach. )”
As Bard returned to his room, he found Seirun with a very dark, expression on her face.
“A rather early return isn’t it Young-Master Bard?”
Now this is awkward.
Bard lowered his head while feeling as if an ice pillar were stabbed in his back.
“Do you know how miserable it is for me to not be able to explain your whereabouts to my masters?”
As if to say, ‘curse you’ Seirun looked down on Bard as he could only lower his head and apologize.
Although she is lucky Ignis is not a tyrant, if this were a different family, the maid would most likely be fired immediately.
Bard finally realizes at this point that he was being too reliant on Seirun.
In the end, Seirun was not an ordinary maid for Bard, but an important sister, and also a childhood friend.
Bard may not have been able to live with his multiple personality disorder without Seirun’s help.
With his head lowered, Bard apologized from the bottom of his heart.
“---I’m very sorry. I will explain things to you from now on.”
Realistically, it was difficult to proceed the merchant deal without letting Seirun know.
So it would be a much smarter idea to let her know about the deal, and then get her to help things out.
With no modesty, from Bard’s eyes, Seirun was an excellent maid and at the same time, an excellent assistant.
“You promise to never do these kinds of things again? Then, please, get changed quickly.”
With the cute little brother lowering his head, Seirun could not continue to scold.
Reconfirming that she is very soft towards Bard, Seirun pulls his hands to help him get changed for the outfits for the party.
For the first son of Count Cornelius Family---Bard Cornelius to show in public, this would be the first night.
Normally, the debut of the first son would be done at the age of five.
For that to be postponed to the age of eleven were rumored to be because of Bard’s ‘weak body’.
Whether one likes it or not, the potential of the next leader of the Cornelius Family was very important to other nobles.
Unlike the nobles in the imperial city, the head of the domain of Count Cornelius would not be something to be unseen for those living in the geopolitical areas.
Located in the borderline with the Kingdom of Haurelia, is the domain of Count Cornelius.
Although the peace treaty has been agreed, Count Cornelius still has a huge part for dealing with the defense army.
With that being said, it is also a fact that the reputation of Ignis has falling to rock bottom due to his decision to bring a foreign blood from a mercenary into a noble family.
For that reason, there were very few invites for the party tonight considering the family’s fortune.
“Long time no see, Ignis.”
“I’m glad you haven’t changed a bit, Matisse.”
Locking their hands with a strong handshake, the two men held each other's shoulders.
For the very much unpopular Ignis, Matisse Bloodford were one of the few friends, who Ignis has known since the war times as a war buddy.
Currently, he took over and lives in a viscount family located northwest of the kingdom but, during the war times, he was in the Knights of Blue Flame within the army of the kingdom.
Although not as great, the Bloodford family was well known as a family with strong militarism, and its strengths are not to be underestimated.
Ignis turns his attention towards the little girl who seemed to have been looking up towards him.
“You have grown so much, Lady Theresa”
“I’m glad you seem to be doing fine sir. Anyways, do you know where Bard is? I haven’t seen him in a while so I want to greet him.”
“He is changing right now, he should be coming shortly.”
The crimson-haired Lady Theresa laughs, her looks gives aways a somewhat boyish impression.
“I will have to wait until tomorrow, but I will definitely take a point from Bard the next time we fight. So be prepared for it Sir! I’ve gotten much stronger than before!”
As to say, ‘what is going on?’ Ignis looks towards Matisse, of whom shakes his head with an expression of capitulation.
Unlike the very fine looks of Theresa, she seemed to have grown in the past few years and became a rather---bluntly put---a manly person.
Knowing how beautiful she looks, Matisse could only feel sad for such reality.
At this rate, Theresa might even begin to see Magotte as a role model.
From Matisse’s perspective, he is hoping for Bard to completely break her warrior spirit by defeating her, then possibly take her as Bard’s wife in the future.
If Theresa were to marry into the Cornelius family, it would be very convenient in terms of both rank and social perspective.
But such hope became slim from the day Theresa saw Bard who was younger than her go through a harsh training every day from Magotte.
Since that day, Bard became Theresa’s goal.
Not knowing why, Theresa had a strong will to not want to lose against Bard.
“Sir Ignis, Sir Matisse, I’m glad to see you both doing fine. Your son seems to have grown proudly, it surely makes this old man happy.”
For the appearance of a very happy man, Ignis and Matisse immediately stood straight and then bowed.
“Well, General Ramillies! Welcome, I’m glad you came!”
Although he did not stand on a high social rank, he won the greatest war honor that no existing man had reached, and he was also a Matisse's former direct leader back in his active days.
Already at the age of 60, this man still owns strong and widespread shoulders, as well as a thick, muscular chest.
His white hair seemed to show his becoming of age, but his glare and the tanned skin showed clearly that he was still working as a warrior.
“It was an unfortunate news for Lord Matisse to take over your land. I was hoping you would stay in the Knights of Blue Flame and become the next leader to work for few more years.”
“I am not worthy of your honor sir. ”
Matisse bowed as he speaks his modesty.
As a normal civilian, Ramillies is purposely speaking in a formal manner, but he was once known as a demon-like leader.
Furthermore, if Ramillies fought his best, even considering the age difference, Matisse would most likely lose.
Knowing how Ramillies-- ‘The Demon God’ fought in the war times, like Matisse, Ignis could not stand against him.
“Hey! Old man! I guess you haven’t died yet!”
“Haha. I was hoping the Silver Flash could became more lady-like by now.”
“Hey, I’ve been acting quite calmly today. But I shouldn’t worry about social etiquette at this point with you.”
“...I honestly still can’t believe it. That Tomboy is now Sir Ignis’ Countess...”
“For that, I completely agree with you.”
Magotte laughs loudly as she hits Ignis whose body was completely erect.
“What are you doing? Show this old man around the place.”
Ignis knew that Magotte, from the days that she was a mercenary, knew Ramillies in some way.
Ignis suspected that Ramillies may have been the one to bring the king to the wedding between Ignis and Magotte when they were having difficulty against the will of others.
That may sound like a foolish story, considering Ramillies did not accept titles and stayed as a civilian, which should indicate that he would not have any power.
However, no man would be able to stand against him if Ramillies were to bring his own army into a movement.
Maybe such an important person as this guy would be enough to make the king stand.
“By the way old man, could you take a look at my son later? He has the potential to become a stronger soldier than myself in a close future.”
“If this came from a different person, I would definitely think you are drunk in love.”
As he makes a light response to Magotte, Ramillies eyes turned quite serious.
As far as he knew, there were only a few people who could be strong enough to equal Magotte’s level, such as Ignis or Matisse.
Furthermore, considering the intuition level gained through real war experience, Magotte was the strongest warrior on land.
For someone to be as strong as Magotte, is something cannot be ignored on many different perspectives.
“Spear skills aside, I specialize in magic and swords. I want to hear your opinion.”
“I would be more than happy to.”
Once again, it must be known that Bard’s potential as a warrior has a huge impact to the entire kingdom.
Although it is not publicly known, the Kingdom of Haurelia has not yet ceased their advancement towards the Kingdom of Mauricia
The Kingdom of Haurelia were very covetous to invade Mauricia, with abundant resources and with access to the upper areas of most rivers that flowed into Haurelia.
Even with the huge forest area within the domain of Count Cornelius that can be effectively used as a defending area, they have always targeted aggressively.
It is also true that Ramillies has also received a secret order from the King to take a good look, and inspect the identity of Bard.
It is not expected to have an immediate problem however, depending on the circumstances, the king may interpose with the direct heir of the Cornelius family.
Of course, the domestic nobles would strongly disagree, but that is just how important the domain of Count Cornelius is.
Needless to say, if Bard has sufficient ability to take over the domain, then there would not be any problems.
And if, Bard really has enough skills to surpass his parents, then there would be another possibility.
Magotte seemed to be satisfied from surprising the old Ramillies, she turned her elegant crimson dress, then walked back towards Ignis.
Seirun, in a beautiful blue dress, looked as if she were one of the nobles.
Ignis noticed her and assumed Bard had finished getting changed.
“It seems the preparation is complete. Everyone please, gather at the hall and grab a cup.”
Bard nervously looks at himself in the mirror, wearing a white tuxedo-like dress.
Seirun seemed to be very satisfied with how he looked, but he could not stop feeling like he was like an accessory stand.
Sanai, as a samurai preferred more Basara-like clothing, but that was only in the battlefield. Normally, even Sanai preferred plain-looking clothes.
Even for Masaharu, the other personality, Bard’s current outfit looked no different from the cosplayers at the Harumi-futo event hall.
For an ordinary high school student Masaharu, a ‘formal dress’ would be a blazer.
“There’s no other choice, this is the duty of a noble.”
After a huge sigh, Bard walks up towards the stage where everyone turned their attention to.
“I would like to thank everyone here tonight for gathering for our family. The reason for this gathering is for me to introduce to everyone here my son, Bard. We hope to be in your regards for the future.”
Ignis signals Bard as he walks up the stairs to the second-floor balcony.
“...Nice to meet you all. I am the first son of the Cornelius family, the name is Bard Cornelius. I may not be sufficient to serve, but I shall give my foremost in order to protect our family’s honor, and if one day, any conflicts shall arise, I will become the kingdom’s sword and shield and protect our citizens alongside my father. I hereby vow to not give a shameful state of battle.”
Bard noticed Ignis looking at him with his mouth still half open.
“SHIT! I felt so nervous I started speaking like Sanai…!!”
Bard saw Magotte laughing her face off while pointing her finger towards him.
“(Mother, that can’t be the way you act towards your son in this situation!)”
“Hmph, sounds pretty insolent for Bard.”
Theresa murmurs, unamused.
“I won’t tell you to be like him, but that is how a noble should act, Theresa.”
“Even I can do that much now...”
Theresa’s first show was when she was 6 years old.
Even considering that, she didn’t want to admit that her rival appeared so grown up.
Looking at Theresa with her cheeks blown like a balloon, Matisse, at the same time that he thought she was cute, had to admit that in terms of educating the child, Ignis took the upper hand.
For Bard who most people thought to have an extremely frail body, and possibly a congenital disability, his act caused a huge clamor in the party hall.
However, the majority of the invitees suspected his speech was a script, prepared beforehand.
No matter how much awareness and responsibility nobles are expected to have, Bard’s words could not have been even close to that of an 11-year-old boy.
“That was a well-grounded speech.”
“A boy worth expecting a bright future.”
“The Cornelius Family should be at ease now.”
“Hmph, let’s hope this is not just a single bullet gun.”
Although some people still could not wipe away their prejudice towards this family, the majority of the invitees’ first impression of Bard were positive.
Matisse and Ramillies however, noticed that Bard’s were not prepared beforehand.
Especially for Ramillies, who felt a great astonishment towards the one moment when Bard showed a great presence.
It was something only Ramillies, who spent his lifetime in the war could notice, but he impulsively makes a glare at Magotte.
To make such a young child go through it would be so cruel.
In other words, the young Bard Cornelius has already experienced murder.
No matter how childish he may act, and present himself to be the same as usual when one murders another, there is no avoiding having some sort of internal change.
That is just how humans are.
He does not seem like the type of person to murder for fun but, there must be a deep wound inside his heart that will never disappear.
As a warrior, one must eventually overcome the obstacle called murder.
Any skilled warrior would be deemed useless without the ability to overcome such an obstacle.
Thus rose the tradition where some noble families have their son directly partake in the execution of those sentenced to death.
With that being said, making an 11-year-old child do that is absolutely unheard of.
“Let me swear to you, I did not make him do it. Even I don’t know when he lost his virginity(of murder), apparently, it was around 2 years ago.”
Magotte, noticing Ramillies’ glare, laughs in mischief.
2 years ago, would be when the three personalities were still having conflicts with each other.
Magotte assumes that during that time, Sanai’s personality must have taken over when there was a huge life-threatening problem.
As the matter of fact, there was the incident with Serena and her uncle that occurred 2 years ago, so Magotte’s guess was right.
“You are the mother, you should know when and how your son lost his virginity.”
Ramillies sighs and replies towards Magotte who seemed to not have changed a bit from the past.
In what world would a mother disregard a deal about her child’s murder.
The act of murder, especially during childhood, would create a major trauma.
Depending on circumstances, in order to avoid the trauma, one may become a true hunter, devoted to the battlefield, looking for blood.
“Well, I have my reasons. I think I would know if my son’s sword is tainted.”
Magotte laughs without a blink of misery.
Magotte’s training is the real deal, where small tricks could not work, it is unlike the play training.
Magotte knew that Bard’s murder was out of his own reasoning and justice; and that Bard has not drowned in to the darkness by his own ability.
Magotte actually ordered one of her retainers to spy and inspect the relationship between Bard and Serena.
What do you know, Magotte who seemed to practice laissez-faire was actually a son-loving tsundere.
“Man, this family hearts my ears.”
“(and such a waste of potential. )” Thinks Ramillies.
As the first son of Cornelius Family, Bard would, in the end, have to take over the land located on the frontier.
It was quite a known family in the eastern area however, they were ranked 40th in the kingdom.
They were placed around the middle in the upper-class nobles and did not own strong political power.
Only if Bard were the second child, Ramillies would immediately bring him to the knights, and make him go through loads of education.
After Bard finished the routine greetings, a group of lower-class nobles gathered around Bard.
Now that people noticed the rumor about his ‘frail body’ is false, they would want to make a connection with Bard.
“I would like you to move into our family. We have a daughter around the same age as you...”
“We have a very precious spear we received from our merchant, I would like you to take a look...”
“Would you like to visit our garden in the near future? All the flowers will start blooming beautiful around the next month.”
Even at the 40th rank, for the lower-class nobles it was a very valuable opportunity. Furthermore, Cornelius family seemed to not worry too much on family ranks since they welcomed Magotte---a mercenary.
In other words, it was the best place to send one’s daughter to be betrothed.
Surrounded by many people, Bard seemed to be having trouble, but a beautiful girl appeared laughing as she was enjoying the situation.
She raised her arm and ordered the noblessurrounding Bard.
“I’m sorry but, could you all please move over?”
“This is not the time...wait...oh my, lady of the Bloodford family.”
“I haven’t talked to my best friend in a while, could you please?”
Unable to stand against a lady from a viscount family, the lower-class nobles reluctantly moved over.
“Sigh... I can finally rest. Thank you Theresa.”
“You seemed to have become so grand so quickly.”
“Grand...I’m not really trying to act that way.”
Although their words were somewhat ironic, they looked at each other with a joyful smile.
The first time Theresa and Bard met was when Bard still had a multiple personality disorder, back when he was only six.
Theresa, who were one year older than Bard, were excited to meet Ignis and Magotte, known as the ‘The kingdom’s greatest couple’.
She knew that the Cornelius family had a child younger than her, but hearing that ‘he has a very difficult personality, so I would like you to take care of him’ made her feel disappointed.
Hearing that the hero’s son is like that, Theresa’s fantasy crumbled in her mind.
However, such disappointment only lasted until she saw the training with Magotte and Bard.
“What’s wrong? You’ll die if you don’t do anything!”
“...damn it. What kinda mother is she?”
Bard barely dodges the incoming spear attacks one by one, leaking a few unknown words.
An instance of negligence leads to death--the Silver Flash’s attacks were not to be underestimated.
For Theresa, it seemed as the speed of the spears surpasses Bard’s.
How skilled would Bard have to be in order to dodge such attacks?
“That’s right! It’s suicidal to step back against spears! If you want to live, then move forward!”
“This is such a shitty game! Give me cheat codes!”
To such a child who may not even be able to perform magic yet, Magotte’s attacks continue without delay, as Bard slowly closes his gap between him and Magotte.
As he finally reaches a close enough distance in order to give a strike, Magotte who was only thrusting her spear, suddenly changed her motion and swung the spear sideways, blowing Bard’s body away.
“Alright, that’s it for today!”
Bard sticks up his thumb while almost having a convulsion towards Magotte, who seemed satisfied.
Although she did not know what that action signaled, Bard’s face, full of contentment, irritated Theresa for some reason.
At the same time, it felt as if she, who were told to be stronger and more skillful than men, were struck down by reality.
And this was the time when Theresa began to feel interested in Bard.
For someone around the same age with an exceptional fighting skill to appear was her first time.
“(Interesting. If Bard can do it, there’s no way I can’t.)”
From that point on, Bard became her one and only upper-class noble friend.
However, against Matisse’s wish, their relationship never went beyond friendship.
“Hey Seirun, It seems you have become much more beautiful again. Have you decided to come work at my place?”
“Your words mean great honor to me, Lady Theresa. However, I will always be Young-Master Bard’s maid.”
“You’re no fun...then how about you and I have some fun with me”
“Such playful words...”
After showing an elegant behavior bowing her head, Seirun immediately hid behind Bard.
Even though Bard was just used as a shield, this was the one thing where Bard had to be on Seirun’s side.
“Could you not lay your hands on my cute sister? Theresa.”
The moment she heard that, Seirun hid her blushing face with her golden brown hair.
Theresa charmed by Seirun, opened her arms wide.
“Your blushing face is as beautiful as the goddess! It would be such a waste on Bard!”
Bluntly put, Theresa showed a very lesbian-like behavior.
As Theresa attempts to take Seirun in her arms, Seirun avoids her using her shield---Bard.
A nonsensical engagement began, with Bard sandwiched in the middle.
“...your shy side is also very wonderful”
“hue...Young-Master Bard! Please help me!”
All Seirun could do was stoop down and try her best to avoid Theresa’s physical contact.
This was the obvious result of Theresa’s sexual harassment in the past towards Seirun which had caused her to be traumatized.
“...she still hasn’t recovered yet? Matisse.”
“Can your son just take her?”
“I think that is kind of impossible right now”
As Matisse makes a difficult expression looking at the kids, Ignis attempts to comfort him while laughing.
It was not as though people with odd hobbies or fetish did not exist but, just like the Cornelius family that brought a mercenary as a wife, those that are bisexual were seen with cold eyes.
Even without that, if Theresa is not sexually attracted to Bard, then putting them together by force would be hard for the parents.
“Man, I feel so jealous for your well-grown Bard.”
Now, is it really correct to say that he grew up without problems?
For Ignis and Matisse to realize Bard’s true identity, it required a much longer time.
The following morning after the party, beside Bard who were out on a daily training, were Theresa wearing a training outfit naturally, and Ramillies, surrounded with a great warrior spirit atmosphere just by wearing a blue shirt and a gauntlet.
Magotte, showing an expression of mischief as to say ‘I got you’ was so bright, it almost made Bard cry.
“...why is the general here?
(He looks like he is about to kill someone...hello? Is this a prank?)”
“Oh, General Ramillies used to be my boss back in the days. The general from the imperial city is here to help you out. Don’t you dare show any behavior lacking grace.”
“I will do my best! Mother!
(We’re already playing on EXHard mode, there is no way I will survive any longer if it gets any harder. I can barely survive each day...am I really part of a noble family??)” [Masaharu]
“You have to fight me first, Bard!”
Theresa walks into the training field, wanting to begin fighting immediately.
A very finely made black colored training outfit fit Theresa with her crimson hair beautifully.
Bard could not help but think it was such a wasted beauty with a sad personality.
“Theresa, you’re going to use that wooden sword?”
“Apparently I’m better at sword skills than spears, according to my master.”
“Alright then, I guess I will also use a wooden sword.”
“Mm! You sound so audacious!”
On the battlefield, spears were the main weapon but only very few nobles fought on the front line.
That is why for nobles, it was thought that swords were the more elegant.
Needless to say, Bard was exceptional with sword wielding skills as well as spear skills.
It felt odd for Theresa who thought Bard was going easy on her, but she did not whine.
“Are you both ready? Alright, begin!”
With Magotte’s signal, Theresa immediately goes for a strike.
A very powerful rush using the full body weight as a slant, in order to cover the disadvantage of a female body that lacks in power.
Theresa’s master did not lie about her being skilled in swordsmanship.
---but it is too beautiful.
In order to compensate for the skill gap with one’s opponent, they must either catch the opponent off guard, or at least have enough combination of moves to break down the opponent's balance.
If one were to strike without any tricks, they must realize that they would have nothing left if the opponent were to dodge, so they must strike with their absolute full force.
The beautiful, set of moves one learns in a normal training can only work against those who are at the same level or are weaker.
Thus, for Bard who survives through the hellish training everyday from Magotte, the strike was too easy to deal with.
Bard easily dodges Theresa’s strike as he tilts his body, then using the right foot as the axis, he makes a half turn as he strikes Theresa on the side stomach.
Even though Bard went easy, a strike from a wooden sword would give so much pain, it could make breathing difficult.
Even then, Theresa did not lose her spirit, and quickly makes enough space between her and Bard.
“Don’t go easy on me!”
It was a strike strong enough to cause a bruise, yet Theresa did not show any sign of agony, rather roared to the fact that Bard went easy on her.
At the same time, she had to admit that any easy strikes would not even make a scratch on Bard.
The strongest strike she could unleash did not have any effect on Bard.
Theresa was not stupid enough to still believe that she was still on the same level.
While accepting the reality, she still wanted to overcome Bard’s strength.
Then how could one close up the skill gap?
Forget about defending.
Forget about combinations.
Do not worry about saving stamina.
Give a strike without thinking about what would happen after!
On a forward stance, putting her full weight on her sword, she charges at the speed of a fully charged arrow.
A mesmerizing super-speed strike, Bard could not think it came from the same person as before.
It must be due to the skill level Theresa had since birth.
Even then, it was nowhere near the speed of the strike of death from Magotte.
There was no way Bard would receive such attacks.
The moment Theresa thought there was no way for Bard to dodge this attack, shemade a grin on her face. Her vision suddenly turned upside down as she was looking up in the sky.
Before she knew it, Bard’s back was in her sight.
At the moment of the strike, Bard caught Theresa by her hand, who was holding her sword, and used the momentum to throw her behind his back.
Theresa, who put her full force on that strike could not break-fall and ended up hitting the ground.
Her lungs got pressured, and the few air that she had left squeezed out of her throat.
All she could do was give a strong grip on the wielding sword, and could not get up.
Magotte’s arm raised to signal the end of the battle.
Bard helps out Theresa get up, as she gives a regretful bite on her lips.
Although Theresa felt oddly in her heart, she still had the calm to greet.
“I will win next time.”
“Man, you’ve really gotten stronger, it surprised me.”
Her abilities really have grown so much, that Bard would give a praise; it seems she has met a very splendid master.
For a girl brought in a tender care, it would be impossible to make her go through a harsh training like Bard; thus, her abilities were considerably high.
Theresa looks away after she murmurs.
It was a sure fact that Bard was going easy on her, but used to not be able to tell even that.
She finally reached the level enough to realize the skill gap between her and Bard.
But she did not want to admit such truth, possibly because she once met Bard when he had an unstable mental state, Theresa thought of herself as a sister for him.
“...How is he?”
“I would not be able to believe this without looking at it myself.”
Magotte and Ramillies knew more than Theresa the skill difference between the two.
Compared to Theresa, who used a physical enhancement magic, Bard won using only his own pure strength.
There would only be so few even in the Knights to able to pull off the same moves as Bard.
A small chuckle leaked out of Ramillies.
“(How interesting. Such an amazing raw material I have met)”
Ramillies felt blood rushing through his body, closely resembling the feelings he felt during his old days.
“Alright then, since I am nowhere near Magotte with spear-wielding, allow me to use a sword as well, Sir Bard.”
“Please go easy on me...”
After noticing his smile did not show a single bit hint joy, Bard felt something cold rushing up his back.
“(Man...this old man isn’t a joke.)”
Just by seeing Ramillies hold the sword towards Bard, he felt something strong piercing through his skin.
Even at the age of 60, his steel muscles did not seem to know what ‘abate’ meant.
With a rather small stature, his fully trained body and intuition gained through great experience in the war was what made him stay as a top-class warrior.
The two faced each other, pointing their swords to each other's eyes, in order to prevent the opponent from easily grasping the distance between them and the sword.
---Basics for fights using swords.
With no pre-action seen with the shoulders nor the elbows, what seemed as just a point of Ramillies’ sword became much bigger.
---The moment Bard noticed the difference, the sword was already up close to his face.
Bending his neck, with purely just his intuition, Bard avoids the strike.
“Hmph, you dodged this without using any magic”
Ramillies admired his moves.
Whether using swords or spears, there are many methods to which one may use in order prevent the opponent from catching distance.
This requires not only skill, but also enough experience in order read the other’s mind.
To begin with, intuition is not done through a thought process, but with a simple reflection in which one’s experience brings out the answer without conscience.
For Bard to able to pull off such trick, Ramillies could not help but feel something close to sympathy, more than astonishment.
“For such a young child, how cruel must Silver Flash be.”
For a child at the age of 11 to have that much real experience seemed too harsh, even from Ramillies’ perspective.
Needless to say, most of the ‘experience’ was gained through Sanai’s memory.
“Haha...Should I be going serious about this?”
“Please, no more. I’m kind of serious.”
“Don’t worry, an old man’s best will be trivial for you.”
As he spoke, Ramillies stepped in for a strike.
For a widespread body that gave a slow impression, his moves were too swift.
Multiple strikes, too swift to see attacks Bard.
Bard, who should be at a definite disadvantage of power, dodges every single one of the strikes, eluding them, protecting his body.
Bard instantly closes the gap, yet Ramillies felt no panic as for a small statured body, a close range combat was not disadvantageous.
“(Damn it! I screwed up!)”
For Bard who thought there could only be a chance of winning through close ranged battle, Ramillies’ reaction caught him off guard.
He didn’t think he could defeat Ramillies easily, but he hoped it would at least slow him down to some extent.
At this point, Bard’s evasion was mostly dependent on his intuition.
He had no time to think and deal with all of the attacks.
He focused on trying to figure out a way out of the disadvantageous situation.
“(The general is not using any physical enhancement magics yet. He will mostly like not use it even when I do. But that does not mean he will stay that way forever.
Since there are too much difference in both stamina and power, it would be over when he starts using magic.)”
In other words, Bard must finish him off in one blow before Ramillies uses the enhancement magic.
That was the only possible way to survive this hellish training that Magotte has prepared.
“Wow...I didn’t know Bard has grown so strong...”
To be able to dodge attacks that would be fatal in one hit, made her think that Bard was completely out of her league.
Theresa had to reluctantly admit such truth.
“My son has lived much longer than you think...sorry to say, but it would be meaningless if Lady Theresa could catch up to him that easily.”
Magotte admits the skill level of Theresa but, just a finely skilled master is not enough to be on par with Magotte’s training.
90% of normal adults would either lose their mentality or their physical strength by this point.
With the morality problem aside, Magotte was never going to let Theresa catch up to Bard.
However Theresa, makes a grin on her face.
“No, that just makes defeating him more worth it.”
Theresa was the only one outside of the Cornelius Family who knew about Bard’s real identity.
When Bard was younger, he had peerless strengths yet acted so shy he could not talk to others.
Although he never shows this side now, back when his identities still were unstable, he acted as if he felt fear towards the entire world.
The feeling that Theresa felt towards Bard back then may have been the greed of protection, but that is something nobody, not even Theresa, could understand.
Over time, Bard started to take some sword strikes, gaining a crimson mark on his skin.
The unrelenting strikes quickly took an unestimated amount of stamina from Bard.
Bard could not hold his expression of regret as he wanted to learn more about Ramillies’ habits.
“(God damn it...I’m not even allowed to take my time?)”
At this rate, the situation will just become gradually worse.
Bard finally makes up his mind and runs magic throughout his body.
Physical enhancement---a basic magic skill for warriors, with the highest versatility.
Magotte used to specialize with the fighting style using this enhancement ability, for which she earned the alias of ‘Silver Flash’.
“(An exceptional magic skill, but how much of the Silver Flash have you inherited?)”
Ramillies still had enough to measure Bard’s skill level without negligence.
To be able to give Ramillies blood boil is quite exceptional yet, it was still far too short to make him use physical enhancement ability.
However, if Bard were to reach the speed of Magotte’s strikes, even Ramillies would have to use the enhancement.
Ramillies thought if such thing were to actually happen, that would be enough to call it a lose.
“(Let’s see how my son is going to struggle)”
Magotte was watching the two closely.
Bard was Magotte’s proudful son, but not her successor.
Bard was unlike any other in a way that his weaponry and fighting skills were inherited from Sanai, and a unique thought process for usage of magic, that no one else in this world could imagine.
It could only be called the ‘Bard Style’
If Ramillies does not understand that, things will get much more interesting.
Magotte joyfully looks at her son, with flowing sweat like a waterfall, but with an expression of a fully grown man.
It completely indicated that he was about to attack, but in order to not be fully astounded by the opponent, it was a good technique.
Sanai’s memory knew more than anybody else its effectiveness.
Ramillies, who received such an uproar felt a great power within Bard, which made him feel even a sense of fear.
The roar definitely came from a person who knew the sense of the battlefield.
The roar for only those who threw away the fear of death, and clung to live only to kill the enemy could unleash.
Skill level aside, Ramillies knew that those who could unleash such a roar were not to be underestimated.
“(I did not think I could recall my battles after facing a child...)”
Bard lowered his body, close to a four-legged animal, about to leap onto its prey.
Ramillies sensed that just like Theresa earlier on, Bard was about to give a full-force strike.
Towards Ramillies who quickly put himself into position, Bard used his charged force to strike at an explosive speed.
A sword is generally aimed towards the central body, and the enemy would know that.
That is why near the end of the Edo era, a style called the Ryu-gou-ryu which aimed its strike towards the enemy’s shin, were very effective.
However, even with a strike that may catch him off guard, for Ramillies, it was still a straightforward attack.
“(I guess it is a fine attack but...well, should I say it is quite frightful that an 11-year-old has learned this technique? )”
There could only be up to 5 men who could pull off such technique within Ramillies’ retainers.
Considering the growth potential, it is not modest to say Bard’s skill level is quite frightening.
With that being said, it is still too much to say Bard has reached Magotte’s level.
With less than 1% of disappointment in his mind, Ramillies bent his elbows to strike down Bard’s attack.
Suddenly, Ramillies felt an instance of panic when his dominant right foot sunk into the ground.
“(Damn it! Ground-type magic!)”
Bard was actually casting a ground-type magic during his strike, instead of the enhancement.
If this were either a fire or a water bullet type of magic, that could be easily caught in vision, Ramillies would have been able to deal with them easily.
That is precisely why Bard cast magic on the ground and transmitted through the sword.
A simple magic cast to change the ground near Ramillies’ right foot into a soft sand would be possible, with just a single enchantment.
Ramillies quickly tried to gain balance by using his left foot, but Bard had already reached in using his momentum gained after getting the sword struck away.
Ramillies, who swung his sword in the opposite direction, could not deal with this.
With the body weight fully on the left foot, it was also impossible to dodge the attack.
Bard put his full weight to hold Ramillies’ left knee.
A close range combat technique---Hiza-karame. A technique developed during the Sengoku era used to pin down the enemy during a close ranged combat, in order to take the enemy’s head.
It was a technique that Sanai specialized in. He learnt it within the Sengoku wars in which battles often turned to become melee combat, and from the fact that one must take the enemy’s head in order to get fame.
Ramillies may have been able to come back if he used his enhancement ability, but he felt it would be shameful to do so at this point.
A body resembling a great tree made a gruesome noise, as Ramillies was flipped and thrown on his backside.
“Woah! You really got me! I did not think you were this strong!”
“No. I couldn’t even force you to use the physical enhancement ability. I’m still immature.”
The two exchange words after the fight.
The ambush caught him off guard this time, but the same trick will never work on him again.
And during the last strike, if Ramillies had not underestimated Bard’s move, it never would have worked in the first place.
Knowing that Bard knew such truth, it only made Ramillies’ impression of Bard to be at a higher level.
“I did not think you could use a ground-type magic like that. I’m the immature one.”
Ramillies felt ashamed of having a fixed prejudice without noticing it.
Even though magic is useful, the era when casters used fireballs and ice pillars to become the star of the battlefield ended long ago.
The biggest reason for that would be because magic itself is separated from the reason of the world, and it would weaken from the moment it leaves the caster's hand.
For a long-ranged, shooting type magic to stay useful on the battlefield, it required an extremely skilled caster.
Needless to say, such existence were very rare.
Another reason was due to the huge spread of canceling magic, obviously used to reduce, or cancel the effect of the magic cast itself.
The canceling magic required a very low amount of power to cast, and were able to destroy spells up to 5 times its power cost.
Furthermore, it was a basic magic, that even normal soldiers that have low magic powers could cast.
For such reasons, the beautiful spotlight of the battlefield dimmed its brightness.
As a replacement, a body enhancement-type magic became popular.
All human beings hold some magic power inside them, and it is used to deflect spells from outside and to protect the body.
The body enhancement-type magic became really popular after the discovery that canceling magic had very little effect on this magic.
Even within the knights from the kingdom, it is essential to learn the physical enhancement ability, and they use the majority of their time training the strength and location to cast this magic.
Magotte, known as the ‘Silver Flash’ was peerless when using her enhancement on her reflection speed as she used it highly efficiently and effectively.
Using a sense-type enhancement, however, required much more sensitive skill level.
There were some who recklessly tried to enhance their senses and ended up not being able to control half of their body.
And thus, the majority of the soldiers only use their ability on physical enhancements to increase their strength and stamina.
At this point, shooting-type magic is practically nonexistent, aside from rare legend-level casters or simple usage for cooking.
Bard’s unique usage of magic, however, may eventually bring back the shooting-type magic’s popularity.
It was thrown away as a useless offense magic, but it’s possibilities are endless.
However, it would require an exceptional skill sense like Bard.
It felt bad for Ramillies but, in order to be used again in the army, it would require researching magic from step one.
“He saved your life there, Bard.”
“Thank you very much! Mother!
(I’m finally saved...in two ways.)”
Bard barely held back the urge to immediately lie down.
Since he was able to prevent showing a shameful self, Bard was allowed survive another day.
Magotte, who seemed to be glaring at Bard with a narrowed eye, was actually happy to see her son’s growth.
For Ramillies, who knew Magritte well, to not be able to tell such difference, would most likely be due to her regular behaviors.
“But you’re still too naive. I’ll praise you for being able to take his knee but, if you go that far, you might as well take out his balls.”
….It had to be due to her regular behaviors.
Even then, Ramillies thinks.
Even for Magotte’s son, there are too many unexplainable things about Bard.
The great roar against a greater enemy is known only for those who experienced war.
For Bard to have already experienced murder is already astonishing enough, but to have been placed in a war is unbelievable.
Well, for Magotte to hide her identity and enter the war near the borderline with her son, is not impossible, but that would be too much even for Magotte.
And that magic...most definitely not even close to the acceleration magic that Magotte knows.
If Bard came up with that on his own, then his level might exceed that of Magotte’s.
During the current unstable, yet peaceful time this would not be a huge problem, but if a war were to happen in the near future, Bard would be crucial enough to determine the destiny of not only the Cornelius family, but the entire kingdom.
Ramillies could not help but feel astonished for Bard’s future and at the same time, excited..
He also felt extremely jealous for Magotte who is allowed to train this amazing raw material daily.
For a warrior, to be able to find a talented pupil, would be as exciting as finding a life-long rival.