Part 19 – Advanced to the semifinals
There was a one day break, and it is now day 2 of the tournament. The number of contestants have been reduced to only four players, leaving only two semi-finals matches and the final match. Older Brother naturally is one of the remaining players. Everything is going as our family had planned, for Older Brother to get the spotlight and people’s awareness for me to reduce.
There was a huge fuss in the venus when a first grader advanced to the semifinals, and the high dividend popping up in the betting booths all around is also exciting.
Grandmother has obtained that information, and me,
I handed over 10,000 gold. The odds means that the first-year, my Older Brother winning will allow me to gain ten times the amount! If this Imouto of yours couldn’t avoid the Villainess route in the future, she will need cash for her fleeing lifestyle! So Big Bro, please win!
“You had already been noticed, so why do you have to be in such a modest dress?”
Grandmother asks me while moving to the same audience seat as last time.
My dress today is white tops while my collar, cuffs and skirt are black. My hair is tied with a black and white striped ribbon. Pastel coloured dresses are a tortured for me, who is a woman around 30 inside.
“I wanted my dresses to be the same as Lu, so I tailored it.”
Lu has bright and clean fur. I really like it!
「Sera! That’s right! We’re siblings!」
“Yes! We’re not just friends anymore , we’re siblings!”
「Sera, the kanji you used is wrong!」
(TN: Lu used 兄妹 which is older brother and younger sister, while Sera used 姉弟 which us older sister and younger brother, both of which are used to say siblings)
“But this distribution of black and white is a first… so it seems like Serafiona has stood out the most in the end.”
“Everything you wear is adorable, so there’s no helping it. Look.”
? Papa, why do you keep sighing? The wait is over? It’s already starting?
Older Brother appeared with the sounds of a trumpet echoing, followed by loud cheers. I’ll do my best, his lip-syncing from the field seems to say so.
『Thank you, Serafiona!』
This is, the scene of a farewell between lovers over the shinkansen (commuter train)… It’s such an embarrassing thing…
So who is his opponent today? The color of his uniform robe says he’s a fourth grader. He is taller. His silver hair is quite unusual~, ah, I finally see his face.
It is a face I know. Although he is young, he already has a face that implies that he is quite cruel. Sharp deep blue eyes that make you freeze when you see them. The smile makes him look very shameless.
The Galle Empire, His Majesty Ghilane.
The only one who accepted me after being abandoned by the Second Prince Gardner… the In-combat Emperor.
『You are excellent. Submit to me. I’ll make a place for you, not here in Judor.』
There was nothing sweet, loving, or affectionate in his invitation. His Majesty Ghilane was cruelly honest. ‘I’ knew that ‘I’ was only needed as a weapon. Nevertheless, the novel ‘Me’ was saved. And in the end, ‘I’ was thrown away completely and became a prisoner of my homeland, but ‘I’ still have no regrets for taking ‘His’ hand.
“A Prince of Ghilane! Did he come abroad to study?”
“Oh, the royal family are too soft. What do they think they are doing, letting a man of Ghilane walking around freely in the center of the magic of Judor? Their sense of crisis is too weak.”
That’s right, he was one of many princes before he succeeded the throne. Ghilane is a meritocracy. From now on, His Majesty Ghilane will oust his brothers and sisters and climb to the seat of the emperor. He is just 10 years older than me, right now, despite being just a 16-year-old, he studied abroad to prepare for war, and is sniffing out information about this country.
『Studying in Judor was like immersing myself in lukewarm water.』
I remember him saying that. The novel ‘Me’, as well as my novel reader self, unexpectedly liked his bitter irony.
………But whatever the case, I now walk a different path. I won’t go to the Magic Academy. I will not go to war. I won’t even meet Her Majesty Ghilane.
「Sera, your heartbeat is getting faster.」
Lu made me face his blue eyes with apprehension as he raised my face.
Why was ‘He’ so indifferent even though they have the same blue eyes?
“Lu, will you really go on a journey with me?”
He licks my brows.
“Sera, what are you scared of? I and Sera literally share one heart, surpassing even siblings. Won’t we always be together? If Sera goes on a trip, I will follow. If Sera falls, I will fall. The suffering of Sera is also transmitted to me. It’s heavy, Sera… Relaxed?』
He rubs my head, my ears and my cheeks. I want to cry.
“Sorry, Lu. I said something to doubt Lu. Lu and I are together. I’m glad.”
Lu gave me a play-bite on my neck.
His magic enters my body. Majestic but beautifully refreshing like the frigid snowy mountain. My anxious and dark thoughts vanished. Like being hugged by the Snow Goddess…
「I always get the delicious magic of Sera, occasionally as a reward.」
Transferring magic power that is a part of one’s life is proof of the highest form of friendship. My counterpart is one of the Four Celestial Divine Beasts, a target of awe.
…How shameful, for the first time, at this time, I realized that Lu treated me very specially.
Lu… Ludarilfina never runs to the heroine.
“Thank you, I love you, Lu.”
I cried and hugged Lu.
“Serafiona, are you all right?”
Father looked at me anxiously.
“I’m fine… I was a bit depressed, feeling that he is terribly strong.”
“I see… Serafi, I apologize first.”
He then made a thin needle of magic with his forefinger and threw it at Older Brother’s neck. Father nodded at Older Brother who looked back. Older Brother then winked. This exchange lasts only a moment. Nobody should notice.
It is a signal for a change of plans. I and Grandmother are expressionless, but we understood Father’s intentions.
There is nothing to gain from beating the opponent who is a royalty from another country. If he does it poorly, he will be on the blacklist of Ghilane.
After looking at each other for a while, His Majesty makes a grin and summons a thunder net to surround Older Brother. Of course, no chanting. An easy to understand show of power.
Older Brother instantly creates a mud wall against the net and guards. He then shoots flame bullets from the gaps, but a barrier meets it and the bullet is repelled.
This is a barrier technique… I see it for the first time in this world. What’s going on with Ghilane’s magic? Is it only His Majesty’s magic?
Older Brother coats his knife with lightning and throws it. Can a physical plus similar magic break through the barrier? Missed! The knife points to His Majesty’s hand which is not out of the robe. Yes, His Majesty is left-handed. He is casting his magic with his left hand.
-dan!- His Majesty responded instantly, knocking Older Brother’s knife down with a kick, and returning his gaze, squeezing the thunder net, and destroying the clay wall. Older Brother is caught in the golden net.
It is the best match in the tournament!
“Wasn’t that a reasonable way to lose?”
“Grandmother, laughing like that is suspicious!”
“Ohohoho, everyone celebrates Larousa’s good work. I’m thankful but, they’re misdirected.”
“Grandmother, are you going to mess things up now?”
Older Brother literally flew in front of me.
“Serafiona, I’m sorry, even though I promised.”
I replied to the gallery that was listening.
“Older Brother was very cool, but you lost… Please give me back the rest next holiday?”
I’ll have you pay with your body for the 10,000 gold! Big Bro!
“I can’t help it then, Serafiona.”
Older Brother took me with Lu from Papa and lifted me up, and we both smiled.
Oh, the schoolgirls behind are having nosebleeds! They should definitely go to the doctor’s office!
Older Brother and I have fulfilled our mission as actors… a huge magical wind blew.
Father, and Grandmother with her arms under her clothes too stood up, and when I glanced up, His Majesty Ghilane appeared.