Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
There was no training for the entrance exam. This is because Ain has been training in a way that the crown prince does not usually do. He swings his sword early in the morning, studies in the afternoon, and at night, he does a short training session and studies before going to bed.
“Ain-sama. Would you like to go outside for some refreshment?”
Chris said to Ain on his day off a few days after he had decided to take the entrance exam.
“…Outside? Sure, I’d like a change of scenery, but… where?”
It was a beautiful day and the morning sun was pleasant. Chris walked over to Ain, who was reading a book in the courtyard of the castle. They seemed to have gotten to know each other quite well, and slowly, Chris’s tone was changing to softer.
“Since there’s still the matter of the announcement, I thought we could go to the beach behind the castle.”
“Oh. Was there such a place?”
He heard that there is a small sandy beach behind the castle that serves as an emergency escape route. It was a short distance away, but it didn’t seem like a bad change of pace.
Ain got up from the lawn and walked behind Chris to the beach.
A hard thumping sound of two people echoed through the hall of the castle. The surface of the stone was polished to a glossy shine, creating a somewhat sacred atmosphere today. Occasionally, He would pass by servants and knights and be bowed to.
Chris, a beautiful elf woman, walks in front of him. As he was watching her dignified walk, she suddenly stumbled.
The tip of her shoe bumped against the ground, and one of her feet lost its balance. She didn’t fall. But there is definitely a momentary crack.
“…Now, this way, Ain-sama.”
“I understand. Also, is your leg okay?”
He was going to smile and get it over with, but then he felt the urge to point it out. Chris stiffened at Ain’s words and fell silent with a tight smile on her face.
“Your leg, is it okay?”
This was getting a little amusing. Instead of trying to divert, Ain asked with genuine concern.
“U… Ugh… You know what you are asking, don’t you…?”
Naturally, for all intents and purposes, he knows.
“Huh? Have I been found out?”
“A-as expected from Olivia-sama’s child… Sheesh, Ain-sama.”
That’s natural. We’re a parent and child, so we’ll inevitably have similarities. At last, Ain smiled and laughed at the success of the prank.
“Geez… Well, we finally arrived.”
Eventually, she stopped at the far… end of the corridor, where the sunlight was less intense.
“The door to the beach is surprisingly modest, isn’t it?”
“Yes. It’s not used very often… but it’s a nice place.”
The door is made of wood, not old-fashioned, but it’s plain compared to the other castle doors. When opening the door with a light squeaking sound, a cool breeze flows in.
“──It’s true, it’s a nice place.”
Several steps brought him to a modest but magnificent sandy beach. He walked down a slope made of stone bricks and landed on the white sand. The pale blue sea was crystal clear, and the scenery against the surrounding rocks was beautiful.
“It’s already cold, but you can swim in the warm season.”
“By the way, Chris-san, can you swim?”
“Let’s see… Ah! Let’s get a little closer to the beach!”
You can’t swim, can you? But Ain didn’t ask because Chris had just ignored it earlier.
He walked with Chris and stepped on the silky sand.
“Ain-sama, how are your preparations for the entrance exam going?”
“Hmm… Actually, I think my regular training will be enough.”
On the contrary, he would like to ask if there is any further training.
“Well, yes. I’m saying this, but if you can beat the knight in the castle, you’ve already passed the test.”
“If you say so… it is probably right.”
They sat down on a nearby rock and talked to each other while listening to the waves’ sound. The sea breeze shook Chris’s hair, and the string of the hair clip that held it in a ponytail came undone.
“Oh… I’m sorry. Please let me put it back on.”
She stretched out her shapely fingers, picked up the string, placed it in her mouth, and combed her hair. Ain noticed that her hair, which was as shiny as gold thread, was now gathered without tangling under her fingers, exposing the nape of her fair skin.
(I-it was very stimulating…)
The gesture alone is lustrous. If it were a woman like Chris, it would be impossible for a man not to admire her. The scent of the flowers that came with each flick of her hair also burned his brain, and Ain’s heart rate increased. Eventually, when she had finished tying up her hair, Ain managed to calm down.
“H-hmm? Ain-sama, your face is red… Are you feeling sick?”
Without knowing how he was feeling, Chris asked him with a nonchalant look on her face. This was somewhat frustrating, and Ain smiled bitterly.
“No, I just thought that Chris-san was surprisingly unfair.”
“I’m unfair? E-eeh… I’m not really sure about it, but is there something unreasonable…?”
It is certainly unreasonable, but it is also her fault for tickling the man’s feelings.
Yes, Ain said with a smile and listened to the sound of the waves as before.
Her voice was muffled, and she let out a cow-like* sound for the umpteenth time today.
[T/n: Moo/Mou (もう).]
But it’s only for a short while.
“That said… the examiner is a pretty famous guy, you know.”
“You mean he’s strong?”
“He’s stronger than a knight of the castle. He used to be a famous adventurer who was recruited out of retirement.”
The fact that it seemed to be the most challenging academy to get into lifted Ain’s spirits. The word “famous adventurer” was also an exciting factor for him.
“Even if you don’t win, you will pass if you show your ability, so please don’t worry──.”
“No, I’ll aim to win. I can’t be so pathetic as to give up now.”
Ain’s eyes, staring at the waves, were much more robust than before. Chris, who was taken aback, saw this and put her hand on her moist lips and smiled.
“Fufu… I will guide you on the day, so I will be waiting for your victory, Ain-sama.”
The sound of the waves and her voice. Although it was different from a music box, it sounded similarly gentle. This change of pace was just right. It helped with the fatigue that had been building up lately, and it cleared Ain’s head.
──Then, Ain had a question.
“Can Chris-san and Lloyd-san defeat fat… Logas?”
“Ah… ahaha… are you asking me that?”
She tilted her head as if troubled.
“Should I not have asked?”
“No, no. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it, but… well, okay. I’ll show you the answer.”
She clears her throat lightly and stands up. Taking her sword from her waist and sheathing it, she distances herself a little from Ain and speaks out.
“I’m going to drop this on the beach now, so from the moment it falls, don’t lose sight of me, okay?”
“…..? Yes, I understand.”
He nodded curiously, though it wasn’t an answer.
In the end, she let go of the sword as she had said, and within a few seconds, it fell to the beach.
Even though he was told not to lose sight of her, he blinked, and the next moment, he lost sight of Chris. Where did she go? Ain hurriedly looked around.
“Over here, Ain-sama.”
A finger poked him on the shoulder, and when he turned around, he saw Chris. Chris crouched down on her knees, looked at Ain, and then he asked.
“W-when did you get to that place…?”
“It was the moment the sword fell to the ground. Logas-dono should have lost sight of me, as Ain-sama did. …So that means I am stronger than him.”
It was gratifying to know that she had put the answer into practice, and he was grateful that she had taught him firsthand.
“Also, Lloyd-sama should be able to beat him in a contest of pure strength.”
“… I suppose.”
The other day, he had a mock battle with Lloyd. It is true that since he can do such a thing with just a wooden sword. It seems like he could win with just his arm strength alone.
“But it’s okay. Ain-sama should eventually be able to detect my movements.”
She said with a jewel-like smile, crossing her hands on her knees as she crouched down and attached them together.
“How many years do you think it will be, then?”
“…About ten years, I guess?”
“I see… That’s quite a long time.”
It can’t be helped, but it looks like there’s still a long way to go.
“Fufu… Don’t worry, it’s just the beginning.”
Mmm… Chris smiles happily at Ain, who is now pondering.
(I was thinking that I want to be as strong as His Majesty the First, but I have to surpass Lloyd-san and Chris-san, too.)
The wall is high. No, it’s too high. Although he knew he had to get over it, it seemed like he would have a lot of trouble.
“There’s no one stronger than Chris-san and Lloyd-san in Ishtalika, is there?”
“…No, there is.”
She sat back down right beside Ain and answered in a slightly serious tone of voice.
“When we go to the forest, Lloyd-sama said that there is a huge dragon, right?”
“Yes, he did, but…”
“──It’s a monster called the Sea Dragon, and it’s classified as a national disaster. It has been a hundred or two hundred years since it came, and it has taken a lot of lives.”
Lloyd said that it was bigger than a battleship in size. It is certainly not a monster that one person can take on alone.
“Also, the Demon King’s close aide is still alive. I’ve felt his presence before, but…”
It was said that she felt such overwhelming strength that she could not compete from the beginning.
…There were several threats lurking in Ishtarika, which was thought to be a peaceful country. Ain was nervous, but after a short pause, he nodded strongly.
“I’ll become strong enough to defeat them. Otherwise, I won’t be able to achieve my goal.”
“I believe your goal is… His Majesty the First, right?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
She brought her fingertips to her mouth and looked at Ain with a puzzled expression.
“Come to think of it, why is His Majesty the First your goal? I’ve never heard about it…”
“Huh, haven’t I told you that?”
She nodded in approval.
When he thought about it, he certainly had never mentioned the core of the matter.
“──At first, I wanted to get back at Heim.”
“You don’t care about Heim anymore, and yet you want to…?”
“I was still frustrated. But the underlying reason was that even mother was despised.”
Recalling the anecdotes of the Demon King and the First King, Ain said further.
“When I longed for it, I had just become the crown prince. I didn’t know what to do, but I still had that regret.”
“So that’s how you came to know about His Majesty the First?”
That’s a reason Chris could not help but understand. She nodded, meaningfully but in sympathy with Ain.
“I found out that the best way to solve all my problems at once was to become like the First King.”
“H-huh? Excuse me, but it seems like we’ve gone off on a tangent…”
Troubles? Solution? Chris was puzzled.
“If I’m strong enough, I can look back at Heim and get rid of my mother’s despised past. As the crown prince, it would be great if I could become someone like His Majesty the First… That’s why I chose His Majesty the First.”
“T-that’s why you’ve set your goal on a person who has defeated the Demon King…?”
She wondered about his sanity, whether he was trying to achieve that goal just because it was the best way. But Ain nodded with a very carefree smile.
“Right? It may be that I was overly cocky after absorbing Dullahan’s magic stone, but I still believe that my choice was the right one.”
It was a thought that he had been reluctant to express, but now that he had the power, he had the confidence to realize it. That’s why Ain was able to make it his goal.
“Would it be disrespectful to give this reason? To His Majesty the First, whom everyone respects.”
“…No, His Majesty the First would be pleased. No, I’m sure he’ll be pleased to hear that someone with his blood in their veins is willing to follow in his footsteps.”
Some people might think of him as a fool or a big shot. But Chris thought. He’s a great kid, and he’s going to show everyone something great.
“I’m glad to hear that. I hope you will continue to train me.”
The two of them spent the next hour or so talking on the beach. At lunchtime, Ain was hungry, so they left the secret beach.