After Sebasu and Ryouma left the inn, Remilie asked.
“Reinbach-chan, how strong is that kid?” [Remilie]
“Honestly, I have no idea. I’ve seen him train and use magic many times, but I’ve never seen him fight in person. Though by the time we met, he’s already killed bandits. I hear he’s also killed the assassins sent by the Dark Guild in the last incident. He’s definitely capable, but I don’t know to what extent. That’s why I want Schieber to test him.” [Reinbach]
“I see… By the way, Remilie.” [Schieber]
“What is it?” [Remilie]
“About what you were talking about earlier regarding magic. Did he notice you on his own? You didn’t let him?” [Remilie]
A questionable smile appeared on Remilie.
“Of course, I am. You’ve always messed around with the
“I wasn’t messing around. Those were unannounced security drills. Erias-chan gave the order too.” [Remilie]
“That’s true, but it was a huge headache for the people in charge of the security. The Royal Court Mage Chief, the elite knights and guards, and me… Because of you we always had to rack our heads. It’s true that your efforts contributed to the strengthening of the security, but it makes me want to grumble every time I think back to those days.” [Schieber]
“Well, it’s water under the bridge, so just forget it already. I didn’t think I’d be noticed either. I sneaked up behind him and was just about to hug him when he suddenly noticed me. With how wary he was afterwards, it wouldn’t be wrong to call him paranoid. He was much more relaxed once he met Sebasu-chan and spoke with Reinbach-chan. Perhaps, deep down inside, he’s distrustful of people.” [Remilie]
“Your eyes are as sharp as usual… I didn’t hear about the details, but it seems he didn’t have a good childhood. When we first met, he was hidden in the depths of the forest away from human civilization. He had conduct and speech unbefitting his age, and he gave the impression that he was tired of life. He seems more cheerful now than before, though.” [Reinbach]
“Hmm… He must have had his share of troubles too. I shouldn’t see him as a child then. As for the rest, I’ll figure that out while fighting.” [Schieber]
Schieber quickly went to his room and started preparing for the duel.
His loadout included the halberd that he’s been using since his days in service and a heavy armor set purchased after his retirement. The set was heavy and difficult to equip, but he was able to quickly put everything on, then he reached out for his halberd and confirmed the sensation in his hand, he muttered to himself.
“Or so I said, but… I really hate how old this body has gotten.” [Schieber]
He could swing his favorite spear as though it were an extension of his body, but as he aged, it gradually grew heavier and heavier. Before long, he couldn’t swing it like before without the assistance of ki, and even his techniques gradually lost their brilliance.
The people around him would frequently tell him that he wasn’t old yet and that he could still do a respectable job, but there was no stopping the aging of his body. Even with the support of the expectations people held for him, his sense of duty, and his will, he knew that his body was fast approaching its limits. That’s why he resolved himself to raise a suitable successor, then resigned from his position as knight commander.
Afterwards, he continued to struggle as much as he could against his aging body and keep his skills polished, but aging was not something that could be fought with just will. Even last night, he had to throw up when he drank.
Remilie listened to his grumblings from the side and spoke.
“That’s just how time is. Whether it’s you or me… We just have to accept that. Though I do think your frame of mind will allow you to age more slowly. Let your guard down, and you’ll deteriorate even faster.” [Remilie]
As expected of the long-lived dark elf, Remilie had a rather philosophical view. Schieber might have remembered that she was a dark elf though because he wryly smiled.
“You, a dark elf whose age is difficult to tell even for a dark elf, is telling me that? Though I don’t know your exact age, I’m fairly sure you’re almost twice my age, yet you haven’t changed one bit since the day we met. You move the same too. Even if you tell me you’re aging, I don’t think I can agree. I asked you before what your secret was, and you just told me that you’re young at heart. Sigh… This isn’t really the time to be talking about this. I need to focus on my spar.” [Schieber]
After ridding himself of his depressing thoughts, they went back. Sebasu had already returned by then, so they could teleport right away.
After passing through the gates, they teleported again and arrived at that rocky area. For some reason, a part of that place had been cleanly evened out. Ryouma approached while surrounded by many slimes.
“Thank you for this opportunity, Schieber-san.” [Ryouma]
“I’ll be in your care as well. By the way, what’s with the slimes and this even ground?” [Schieber]
“The slimes are my familiars, while the ground, I made level with my magic to make it suitable for a spar. I thought it would be easier for the both of us if I made the place akin to a training ground.” [Ryouma]
“I’m grateful for that, but will your mana be alright?” [Schieber]
“Yes, I relied on the earth slimes for it.” [Ryouma]
“I see. Will you be fine with the rules of the knight order ceremony for this spar?” [Schieber]
“Umm, can you explain how that goes?” [Ryouma]
“We’re fighting one on one, so magic up till the intermediate spell will be permitted. We can fight with either weapon or magic, and we will fight until a victor is decided or one of us is knocked out. I’m not fond of dirty tricks, but those that don’t know about those won’t be useful in real combat. Intentionally trying to kill your opponent is forbidden, of course, but anything else goes. This would be dangerous without a good healer, but fortunately, Remilie is around.” [Schieber]
“I can use healing magic up till the advanced level. That means I can reconnect your limbs even if you lose them, so you can be at ease. Oh, I’ll also be putting up a simple barrier, so you don’t have to worry about hurting those around you.” [Remilie]
Ryouma was surprised but came to terms nonetheless and asked a question.
“About the weapon…” [Ryouma]
The weapon he held twisted once before reassuming the shape of a blade.
“I’m using a transformed slime for my weapon, is that against the rules?” [Ryouma]
“A slime for a weapon, huh… The goal of this spar is to see your ability, so we’ll consider it a foul if you make your slime attack. It’s fine if you just use it as a weapon.” [Schieber]
“Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
After deciding on the rules like that, Ryouma and Schieber wielded their weapons and faced each other on the stage. Sebasu stood between them and served as the referee.