The place where I was called to was an unpopulated room.
It seemed that it was normally a place that boys could borrow to hold tea ceremonies.
“I said that I wanted to use this place to hold a discussion with you, so they gladly lent it to me. I’m on good terms with the teachers.”
Could it be that teacher’s, no, mentor’s doing? If it were that instructor, who was the embodiment of a gentleman, then he certainly would be this considerate towards her.
The pleasantry of it, makes me shed a tear.
“…Baltfault, you will withdraw from this duel.”
Anjelica had a slightly haggard face while telling me to drop out of the duel.
“Even if I back down now, I won’t be able to save face anymore.”
I don’t really care about honor. I was participating because I wanted to.
Anjelica made a feeble smile.
“You don’t want to do it anymore, right? They turned your room into a mess. It seems that they’re planning to thoroughly threaten you like this until the time of the duel.”
It appeared as if they were trying hard not to give her even the one in a million chance of winning.
It seemed that Julian and the others weren’t aware of this.
This was a move made by the followers surrounding the prince.
What wonderful loyalty!
However, I won’t forgive them for picking on me.
I’m a small guy. A mob, furthermore.
So, I’d like things to return to normal if possible.
I usually wait for turmoil to calm down, but I decided not to give in to the pressure this time.
“I have no power anymore. I can’t do anything you expect me to do.”
“Did your household say something to you?”
Anjelica strongly clutched her arms, as if hugging herself.
“…They said that it was imprudent of me to propose a duel. But, but…I had to do something. Anything. I wanted that woman to stay away from his Highness! My thoughts turned fuzzy because of that. When I wrote back to them saying that, they told me to be docile. It’s over for me. I’m being sent to a remote region under house arrest. In the worst case scenario──”
──It seemed that it was an internal decision. It appeared that she had to make up for her mistake with her livelihood.
I didn’t think that such a thing will happen, though.
“You’ve got it wrong. To be honest, I don’t really care about a duke household.”
Anjelica lifted her head and made a surprised expression.
“Th, then why did you come forward at that time? Are you an idiot? You’re definitely an idiot! Listen, it’ll be over for you whether you lose or win in the upcoming duel. To start with, your opponents are his Highness the crown prince and other prestigious nobles. What do you plan on doing in the future now that you’ve picked a fight with them?!”
In response to Anjelica, who kept talking until she was out of breath, I made small, meaningful smile.
“I don’t care. I have no need for noble status or honor. Do you know how people in the lower caste are treated in the advanced class? Each day, they’re working their hardest to be self-sufficient, trying to earn the favor of girls. I’m sick of it already. So in that case, I thought that I’d rather beat up all of the guys I hate.”
“You’re going to get your family involved in this trouble as well!”
“Though things may appear that way, I’m an independent knight. It’s just temporary, though. Well, it’s the kind of thing where I’m considered separate from my parents’ household.”
I planned on being independent. When I said that it was temporarily, Anjelica made a awkward face. However, it seemed that my point got through.
Well, I was implying that it was to vent out my stress, but…just like Anjelica, I wasn’t fond of that Marie girl.
“So, you want Marie to stay away from his Highness. I want to beat all those guys up. You see, I think this calls for us to join forces.”
Anjelica hesitated while taking several steps back.
“Are you mad? They’re powerful people at the top of the year.”
That wasn’t a problem.
It may have been tough if this duel happened in the third──no, second year, but at this grade, anything could still happen.
“It’ll be fine. Though I may not look like it, I’m quite strong.”
“Are you even trustworthy?! C, come to think of it, I did hear that many of the adventurers who capture dungeons have a few screws loose in their head. Are you one of those types of people?!”
“How rude! I stepped in because I have a chance of winning. In the first place, you were the one that initiated the duel!”
“L, like I said, that was my mistake. I’m taking responsibility for it. You can stay at the academy. You don’t need to get involved…well, coming forward at that time was plenty enough.”
She might have thought that while everyone was seeing her as the enemy, I was coming to help her without considering gains or losses. Anjelica likely thinks on the inside that I was playing the hero.
For small mobs like me, a hero is something far out of reach.
“No, withdrawing after coming this far is kind of…embarrassing.”
“…Do you realize that your opponents include Greg and Chris? Those guys are seriously strong.”
It was as she said. Not just those two, but the other three also stood out as the strong ones within the grade.
Right, within the grade.
“In addition…just what are you planning to do by betting a large sum on yourself?”
Did I have reason for why I bet a large amount? I did.
I should also mention that I don’t like gambling.
“Would you like to place a bet, then? If you bet on me, you’ll make a profit.”
“I have no need! Does it look like I’m troubled with money?”
It’s things like this that make me remember she’s the daughter of high-class family…well, whatever.
“The harassment will also end soon. There’s only a few days left until the duel.”
I left the room while saying that.
It was the day of the battle.
The area in the academy was very spacious.
The audience were protected by a magic barrier, ensuring perfect safety.
I was in the academy’s arena. When thinking about about how many students came here to duel…well, I didn’t really feel much.
While changing clothes in the waiting room, I looked at my figure.
[It matches you. Well, that’s a given considering that this is an article I prepared for you, master.]
I wore pants and a vest over the dark grey main suit that clung onto my body, which was of a color that matched with an aircraft.
There was a part that guarded the neck.
As expected, these clothes emphasize the outline of my body, which is something I’d rather overlook.
“It’s different from what I had thought. I demand you remake it.”
[I refuse. Even if the color and design aren’t what you expected, that doesn’t change its performance. It’s a bother if you demand me to change it because you don’t like it. Please bear with it.]
Does this thing really think of me as its master?
When I wore a jacket and exited the waiting room, it turned out that Olivia was waiting there.
Perhaps leaning on the wall while waiting, she got into a panic and then moved closer to me. I felt that the distance between us was exceedingly close.
“U, um──I can’t do anything, but I’ll cheer you on! I’ll be rooting for you, Leon!”
It was a strange feeling being cheered on by the protagonist.
Normally, she’d be on the side of Julian and the others.
“Did you place a bet on me? If so, you’ve made the right choice. You’re about to make a large profit.”
When I made a thumbs-up and was about to leave, Olivia denied involvement with the bet.
“Huh? I didn’t place a bet. I don’t think people should gamble.”
Being told that with her pretty, tranquil eyes, I started feeling ashamed about betting a large amount.
Could this be the power of the protagonist?
It was as if a halo was glowing behind Olivia, too dazzling for those of a crooked heart.
Once the two of us headed from the waiting room to the arena, the five opponents were already present there.
They were already wearing the armor they were proud of and made a display of it to the audience.
Rather than calling them armor, they were more like robots, and their sizes spanned almost three meters. They were items akin to a powered suit, wonderful weapons modelled after a human, and could fly in the air.
“Oh~, what flashy coloring.”
A row of armor with flashy ornaments attached were lined up, starting with the crown prince’s white one.
A unified booing erupted once I appeared.
When looking at the audiences’ seats, I could see the figures of both Daniel and Raymond. When I looked over at them, I could see their red tickets that they were hiding from the people around them, meaning that they had placed a bet on me.
Those who were betting on the prince and the others got a blue ticket.
“So they went through with it…well then, I’ll also do my best.”
Once I appeared, Anjelica came rushing over.
“Hey! Why did you come without preparing armor?! Don’t tell me with a confident face that you don’t have any!”
She wasn’t holding back on me.
I looked through the roof-less arena, into the sky.
The blue sky had spread out today.
“It’ll be fine…it’s arriving right now.”
I pointed with my finger towards a black speck in the sky. Luxon, who was hiding inside my jacket, called out in a voice that only I could hear.
[Arroganz is here.]