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Shortly after Ain started running, in the arena, the exhibition match where Dill fights finally begins. However, Dill’s condition is not as usual.
“What’s the matter with you ─ why do you keep showing off your powerless sword?”
On the stage, Dill was on the defensive.
Lloyd’s bewilderment and annoyance coexisted at the unexpected turn of events.
“What are you doing… Dill!”
Lloyd said from the audience seats. Sylvird, who sat next to him, felt the same way.
“Fumu… was the opponent Dill’s childhood friend? However, he doesn’t seem like the kind of person who Dill would struggle with.”
“Y-yeah… Your Majesty is right. If Dill can show his usual ability, he should be able to easily defeat even the strongest swordsman in another academy at the same age. As well as training with the royal knights, I’ve also practiced with him for some time now…”
In a word, Dill’s behavior is suspicious. He is restless and looking around unnecessarily.
Then, Krone, who was sitting nearby, asked Warren.
“Warren-sama. Is it possible that Dill-dono is having trouble because Ain is not present?”
“What do you mean?”
“Ain has no sign of coming back since he said he would be back soon. I thought that Dill-dono might be worried that something might have happened to Ain.”
“…Surely, his eyes are glancing toward here.”
However, Ain is not there. Does he feel some kind of disquiet in the absence of his target of protection, Ain?
Dill finally lost one point to his childhood friend, the swordsman.
“If that was the case, then Dill must be starting to open up to Ain-sama.”
That would be wonderful. Therefore, you should come to the arena as soon as possible, Ain. Your guard here is worried about you, Krone muttered in her heart.
◇ ◇ ◇
At that time, Ain finally arrived at the arena and was looking for where the device was. As before, there was a reaction from the magic stone. However, there was nothing he could do if he didn’t know where the device was placed.
“Ain-sama, this is not good. We still have to evacuate quickly…”
“I can’t! We’re almost out of time!”
He ran around the arena, and Chris kept trying to stop him, but he refused. It was because there are several reasons why he cannot give up.
“But there is nothing here! If something were to happen here, it wouldn’t just be grandfather, Lloyd, and the others! Krone, too, Krone will be…!”
Ain gives off a serious look that he has never shown before and supremacy that makes one naturally want to follow him ─ yes, it reminded Chris of the banquet in the castle last year.
The power that pierced her skin made Chris unconsciously feel dismayed.
“And I’m the only one who can absorb the magic stone’s power. If the magic stone is set up in such a way that it cannot be removed, then there is no way to deal with it!”
She didn’t have anything to argue with. Chris said with frustration on her lips.
“I understand. Then I’ll go along with you. I’ll risk my life, too.”
This was the least she could do as a knight. If Sylvird hadn’t been in the arena, Chris might have dragged Ain along by force.
For Chris, it was a conclusion that came from being torn between so many emotions.
“I think today reaffirmed that Ain-sama should not be left alone.”
“…That’s not a compliment, is it?”
“Yes, of course. I can’t help but worry about what you will do if I am not by your side… Olivia-sama was mischievous, but Ain-sama is even more mischievous.”
“I-I don’t think so…? Even mother is doing business between nations by herself…”
“That’s not true. Olivia-sama avoided doing anything dangerous. But Ain-sama will not stop regardless of the danger to his own body.”
Ain couldn’t argue with that and closed his lips with a pouting expression.
“Ahahaha… I don’t want to say it out loud, but I think Ain-sama is very brave.”
She is in a position to stop him from doing this, so she admires him in a way that is hard to describe.
“…Ain-sama is more like Ain-sama rather than Olivia-sama’s child, isn’t he?”
Even at a time like this, Chris gave him a gentle and kind smile.
The way Ain behaved in order to save the people he cared about without considering the danger. His words and actions looked dignified, even though he was young.
“Ain-sama, did Wolf say anything else?”
“…I think he said something like, I want to destroy the current royal government.”
“The current royal government… I see… I think it might be…”
A glimmer of light. Chris notices something.
“There is the statue of His First Majesty near the back entrance of the arena! It is possible that Wolf took out his grudge on the first king as well…”
“T… That’s it!”
They increased their momentum and moved forward.
The reaction of the magic stone increases with each step closer to Ain’s body; the deepest part of his body appeals to it painfully.
Feeling convinced, Ain and Chris looked at each other.
Why is there a statue of the first king in the direction of the back gate of the arena? It’s because there was a time when that was the main gate. With the construction of the water train station and the new growth of the academy district, the main gate somehow changed.
In fact, the back gate is more magnificent, and it would not be surprising if a bronze statue of the first king were placed there.
They could see a large bronze statue, about five meters tall.
Thanking her for her advice, Ain looked right under the statue.
Didn’t anyone else think it was strange? It was a duplicate of the one he had seen at the academy.
It was so imposing that those walking around the area probably didn’t care. The match was now at its peak, and only a few people were walking around, especially near the back gate.
The black monolith leaks a flash of light.
“…We’re not going to make it…”
“Not yet! My power is also…!”
Chris can use magic. Her specialty is wind magic, and she shoots a strong blast of wind at Ain’s back.
“As expected of Chris-san!”
She dexterously supported Ain’s center of gravity and accelerated him with the wind.
The flash of light that leaked out increased the sparkle, and the box almost exploded with a crisp sound.
“This time, it’s over… Wolf!”
Ain put his hand on the furnace adjacent to the black monolith and absorbed the magic power flowing inside.
The louder the pulsating sound, the more it rushed through his body, and gradually the flash of light leaking out weakened the momentum, and in a few seconds, the furnace was filled with empty magic stones.
It’s over… This time.
A radiant feeling enveloped Ain. This time, the day’s turmoil was over. He was exhausted from running over and over again and using his strength so much.
Ain looked up at the sky with Chris’s help and let out a deep breath.