“Hey… Why do you have no haki since morning?”
“Yeah… I’m just a little short of sleep…”
I answered Nick’s question while I laid prone at my desk.
I did not sleep last night. In front of me were the eyes of the Sacred Beast, who was looking at the sight of his beloved cake disappearing again and again into the mouths of the girls. It is easy to tell that he was very mad.
I was just like a pitiful servant, going out in the middle of the night while wearing a stealth costume, jumping around amidst the dark night, using body strengthening, returning home, and barging into Matsuki and Martha.
They make chocolate cake, cheesecake, and tea cake in the oven nonstop with ingredients all around. Whipping fresh cream took 3 hours as well. I jumped out of the house and returned without helping them clean up, and barely returned before the arrival of dawn.
「Sera, make sure this mistake never happen again, -mogu- -mogu-」
Was his only reply. Yeah, I would most definitely not. From now on, there will always be stocks on cake for Lu. I left for school to let him eat in peace.
“O―ii, for the first period, it has been changed to a hand-to-hand combat practise in the arena―! Change your clothes and pair up―!”
Kodak-san’s voice is loud and clear. I get up.
“S-Serafi―, let’s go to, the changing room?”
I heard Alma-chan’s voice and I felt a little better…… My mood rose a little as well.
So, to the arena it is. The hand-to-hand combat practice is compulsory for everyone. In times of emergencies, there would be no point in it if we can’t fight without weapons. Other martial arts are optional. In other words, hand-to-hand martial arts is the only discipline where everyone could be ranked.
Each martial arts class requires us to wear comfortable clothes. The country provides gym clothes for those who need them. The boys are supposed to be in short-sleeves and shorts, but they are too big for some of them, and it feels like they are in long-sleeves and long pants instead. Nick seems to fit his clothes well enough to move around. While Alma-chan is in khaki-colored training clothes that young aristocrats often wear.
And naturally, I am not a stealth costume… I wear black long-sleeves and trousers, both made of cotton material. The focus is on their ease of washing. It looks like the regular clothes sold around here and there, but Older Brother’s defense magic is applied to them.
“Being girls around the marriageable-age, you both shouldn’t have a single scratch on yourselves!”
I just remembered.
“Nick, this is my sweetheart, Alma-chan. Alma-chan, this is Nick, the sun man!”
“Nice to meet you. Serafi, please stop saying that.”
“N-nice to meet you too. Please call me Alma. And please, pardon Serafi’s rudeness.”
“Eh… you and her… seem to be very friendly?”
Is that strange?
“Why ask that?”
“Oh, don’t you know… It isn’t something relevant in Trundle’s territories? Alma… san is from the prestigious Marquis McGregor’s family, who produced the head of the Imperial Knights for generations.”
“T-that doesn’t matter! Besides, it’s too embarrassing to call me with honorifics when you didn’t do the same to Serafi, who is way stronger than me.”
“Hmm, it’s like that?”
The Imperial Knights… McGregor… Older Brother… Marquis…
I look at Alma-chan carefully.
Bright green hair… Slim stature… Caramel-brown eyes…
“Alma-chan, do you have a brother with the same hair colour as you? Who also uses the spear and, probably, has a favourable attitude towards the second prince Gardner?”
“I have 3 Older Brothers who are prideful-bastards, spear-users, and royal-loving fanatics. The one who has any sort of affection for the second Prince Gardner and has hair that is like mine is just one of them… over there.”
Looking at the direction of her gaze… she made an obviously loathing glare, and there… I saw a face I knew.
“Haa―, we’re twins. Sorry. You may get involved in something nasty if you stay together with me.”
At last…… We met for the first time in seven years.
I desperately check my memories. Cecil is the son of the leader of the Imperial Knights, and being around the age of the second prince, he has been with him since he was young. Thanks to being a child of the Marquis family, his ability is so and so, but he has a very high pride in his ability.
What I mean by his ability being so and so is…
The Imperial Knights are groups that protect the Royal families first and foremost. An honorary position the sons of nobles would be assigned. None of them really fought on the frontlines. They are supposed to be subordinates of the military organization but, they are virtually an independent division. The army has no time to look after this troublesome group, so they just leave them alone. Which made them feel more and more narcissistic. Mere decorations that only have their pride.
My Older Brother, then the second prince, the third capture target of the Heroine… What a blunder. I thought everyone would go to the Magic Academy. But if one wants to be an Imperial Knight, he would obviously be in a Knight School. What a blunder.
I don’t want to get involved with him… But can I distance myself from Alma-chan? Impossible! Alma-chan is a fellow female classmate, of which there are only two of us. It would be even more so when Seniors graduate. I don’t want to lose my first female friend in this world.
The memories of my previous life instantly flashes in my head.
When I was denounced at the Magic Academy, Cecil grabbed my hair, dragged me around, and pressed my face against the ground.
『A cruel woman like you is not worthy of being near His Highness!』
『If wartime murder is a crime, please go make a case in the military court. I only obeyed His Majesty’s order. Yet here you are, guilty of hurting an innocent woman in this non-battlefield area? I thought the Imperial Knights are made up of the noblest people?』
『Your hands are stained with blood! Shut up!』
I was beaten and trampled on until my face was disfigured.
A cruel, idiotic man.
「Sera! What happened!?」
Lu rushes over with a serious looking face.
Breathe… Deeply… Take a deep breath…
“Hey, you have a really scary aura?”
After a sudden encounter, I could not control my emotions once again. I look up towards the sky.
“Sorry, Nick. I just overreacted at the sight of Alma-chan’s Older Brother. I decided to have a fight without any honour in it. Alma-chan, I may not be able to get along with your Older Brother. Is that okay?”
Alma laughed unexpectedly.
“Serafi, you don’t have to worry because we don’t even get along. Fufu, a girl who hates Cecil, it’s the first time this has happened. I’m a little impressed even.”
Kodak-sensei came and tapped on my head with 1 finger.
“What a tremendous murderous intent! Geez. Blow off a little bit of steam. You are the first shot for sure. Attention everyone! Today is a hand-to-hand combat practice between the 1st year students. Absolutely no weapons. If you give up, tap the ground. Going out of bounds is also an out. I’m not going to teach you today, so try it out yourselves! The first of one of the pair going now is Serafiona! The second, anyone?”
Cecil steps ahead with an air of arrogance.
Lu peeked into my expression,
「A guy on the list?」
“Yeah… but later.”
“Alma-chan, I’m so sleepy today that I can’t help it. Sorry.”
“You don’t have to worry―!”
Alma-chan gave me the best smile ever!
“Little girl… afraid…?”
I stood facing the middle court.
A cheeky boy who seems to be just growing up is laughing with his nose up. Even though they have similar looking faces, his laughter has a very very huge difference from Alma-chan’s cute smile. Why is he wearing better quality clothes than Alma-chan even though they are twins? My innards are churning up more and more. For Alma-chan, let’s make this match end quickly.
I have no resentment for this world’s Cecil.
But, I am going to thoroughly beat him up. So that he will never try to show me his teeth again. And that he will never show me his face again.
It’s for the sake of my protection. So, sorry?
I jumped at the signal to start. I immediately went high above Cecil, who is just 190 cm away from me. I accelerate my fall and swing my right foot hard, unleashing a heel drop right at Cecil’s head.
His face sinks into the ground. As I landed, I grabbed his green hair, which did not move a single bit, and lifted his head and checked for a pulse on his neck.
“End! Relief, take Cecil to the doctor’s office. Serafiona, can you adjust it more properly? Everyone, understood? Let’s keep going at this pace! Next! ………”
「……You put up with it nicely.」
“Well, but… It really was tough to look at his face…”
I stare at my toes.
「Tough…? You have finally started to say your thoughts…? Leave it to me. I’ll do it!」
? Lu smiled gently for some reason. Why?
He kinda looks like a mess… the thing on his face is the make-up cake from a while ago, right?