The Sword Demon’s True Power
After leaving the house, I found myself in the courtyard of the Victaire family mansion
After taking off my jacket so that I could move more freely, I faced the violent instructor the Victaire family had hired. And, watching from the seats, was the Marquis whose brow was matted with nervous sweat, along with his son who had regained consciousness.
If you ask me just how I ended up in this sort of predicament…? Well, I guess it’s because I just couldn’t help but meddle.
So… after I offered to take over Masque’s swordsmanship training, the teacher that Marquis Victaire had hired vehemently interjected. Well, I could have silenced him in a moment by letting him know I was a knight, but… I wanted to give a man who can hurt a child and laugh about it his own medicine at least once, so I offered him a duel.
That teacher immediately accepted my offer, and even when Marquis Victaire tried to calm things down he completely ignored him and began to walk towards the courtyard.
Well, Marquis Victaire might have been saying that for my sake, being from a ministerial family he might not think a nobleman could stand a chance against a trained soldier, but… even if I doubt I can measure up to his true potential, I have faith in this body that Callis had honed over the years.
Well, that being said, it has been quite a while since Callis was in a real fight, and I didn’t bring the sword I typically practiced with either instead borrowing one that Marquis Victaire provided, so I was a little worried… but, well, it should be fine.
As I was warming up before the duel, the Marquis’ son, Masque, suddenly called out to me from close behind.
“…Why are you going so far?”
Masque spoke to me in a quiet tone of voice, so that the Marquis sitting a little while away wouldn’t hear him.
“I… I’m… not really a child of this house… That’s why no one really cares about me… but why are you helping me…?”
Well, originally… if I had heard that Masque was adopted before all this happened, I would have been surprised, but I managed to figure it out after seeing the scene from earlier.
“Let’s see… I suppose if you twisted my hand, this is repentance of sorts?”
As he looked confused, I tussled my hand through the boy’s green hair.
“Well, it’s fair to say that part of the situation you find yourself in is my fault, I guess? So, what I want to say is that I’m trying to take some responsibility for that.”
The green-haired boy wouldn’t understand what I meant, but that’s fine. In a way, I guess this is for the sake of my own ego as well.
Well, at first I wanted to do this because I couldn’t bear to see a young child suffer the same way Laurier had, but when I saw this boy wake up I suddenly realized it myself.
Not just that he was only an adopted son to Marquis Victaire, but he is, in fact, a boy who would have been taken into my home in the original otome game… simply put, I realized that the Masque in the game was the adoptive brother of Laurier, the villainess, as well as one of the capture targets himself.
Well, it’s not as if that was the first thing I was thinking of, but after the incident with the Prince I’ve been trying my best to recall the other capture targets from the game, or something like that…? Yeah, well, simply put, it’s my responsibility that this child is in this situation because I never sought to adopt him like in the original game, so I feel like I have to take responsibility here.
“Well, don’t worry about it so much, it’ll all be fine.”
As the child looked nervous, I gave him a reassuring smile.
“Now then… You ready over there? Mister Duuuuke?”
After limbering up, the swordsmanship instructor asked me that. Is it because he’s so cock-sure of himself? He had an awfully lopsided grin on his face, but… I nodded curtly and answered him.
“Ready. But, first of all… if you want to save yourself the trouble of nursing your wounds later, it would be in your best interests to give up early on.”
“Oh… you sure are confident, ain’t ya?”
I tried to give him some honest advice, but the man’s cocky smirk seemed to only intensify.
Oh, well, I gave him a fair warning, so I guess all that remains is to trust in Callis’ body?
“Now then, the signal to start… Marquis Victaire? May I leave it in your hands?”
“Y-yes. However, Duke Fall… Please don’t push yourself too hard…”
As I turned, I saw that Masque still had a worried look on his face, so I afforded him a quick smile before refocusing my attention on the man in front of me.
The battle commenced with Marquis Victaire’s words.
As the instructor walked towards me, slowly raising his blade like he was winding up for a swing… I ignored his attempt at intimidation and plunged straight toward him, knocking away the blade he loosely held out in front of him.
Marquis Victaire and the instructor both had a delayed reaction of shock, as the man’s sword clattered to the ground a few metres away. The man was agape in confusion as he stared at me, like he didn’t know what just happened, but I spoke coldly as I held the tip of my sword at his throat.
“If you wish to continue, I can let you regather your weapon, but… just so you’re aware, if this were a true fight, your head would have already departed your shoulders.”
“…Tch! Don’t get cocky over some dumb luck!”
The now defenseless man suddenly came to his senses and cursed me, but I allowed him to back up and collect his blade again.
After picking his sword back up, the man didn’t make any attempt at hiding his intentions, as he ran straight towards me with a vicious swing that could have cut me in two.
Sidestepping, I managed to easily avoid it. Honestly, I’m pretty sure that if I were in my old body, that would’ve killed me, but… Callis’ physical ability was so high that I was able to agilely avoid it without a problem.
“Shit! Come here, you…!”
The man’s skill with a blade didn’t seem bad, but… was it just purely an inherent difference in physical talent? There was something about Callis’ body that just rendered everything he did completely harmless, even a little pathetic.
I avoided his attacks over and over again, sometimes using Callis’ speed to disarm him before letting him collect his blade again.
Eventually, the man’s breathing became hoarse and haggard, but with barely a drop of sweat on my brow I spoke out to him again.
“Are you ready to give up yet?”
“…Fuck!! This is bullshit! There’s no way in hell I’m losing to some dainty noble!!”
I wasn’t really trying to provoke him, but… at any rate, it seems like I stoked his fighting spirit back up.
I don’t really get anything out of extending this fight anymore, so… should I get serious?
After disarming him one more time with ease, this time I thrust my blade forward, stopping its glinting point an inch away from his eyeball.
“If you don’t give up now, are you willing to continue with only one eye?”
The man twisted his head away from my blade and tried to strike at me with his fist, but with a flick of the sword, I stopped his strike with its edge.
“Guaaah!? M-My hand!!!?”
…And, as a result, after punching straight into the edge of the blade, the man doubled over in pain, clutching his hand.
Since I didn’t swing, or perhaps it’s because his punch wasn’t that hard, he didn’t lose a finger, but I could still see the blood flowing down his arm.
Well, just that much won’t be enough to kill him, but… I’m getting tired of this, so I held my sword high above the man who was doubled over on the ground, and…
“Well then… so long.”
…brought my blade down in the dirt, right in front of his face.
As his life must have flashed before his eyes, the man collapsed into unconsciousness, but… I didn’t care about that since my eyes were on Marquis Victaire, who looked at us in astonishment.
“Now then… you should have no objections to me teaching your son, correct?”
It should go without saying that, next to his completely pale-looking adoptive father, that green-haired boy was standing up as he looked my way, something sparkling in those eyes of his.