A sword that stretched out like a whip due to magic power entangled a sword held by a knight, pulling it away. The next moment, the knight realised that his sword had disappeared from his hand. But by then, his opponent’s sword, that had extended like a whip, had turned back into a long sword and its tip thrust at his eyes.
「What’s wrong? Do you want to continue? I’m willing to keep going if you can.」
「I, I……give, up……」
Reluctantly, the knight said those words while clenching his teeth. At the same time, explosive cheers erupted from the surrounding knights and soldiers who were watching the battle between them.
The knight, who heard the cheers, was so humiliated that he wasn’t taken seriously by the onlookers. His face, which couldn’t not be called handsome, was dyed a deep red.
The man tried to glare at his opponent who shamed him……but was overwhelmed by the presence of the woman before him, unintentionally dropping his gaze to the ground.
(That was. ……Just now, what happened? Certainly, her appearance was good enough to be a match for me. But, that’s something I’ve known for a long time. But now, aside from her appearance, there’s this indescribable aura around her……it’s as if she’s a completely different existence……no, that’s not right! I shouldn’t be overwhelmed! Even if my opponent is the General Princess!)
The man murmured to himself and forcibly turned his eyes, which had been looking down, back up towards his opponent’s face……but the next moment, he was caught in the aura that she released and ended up falling backwards to the ground. The moment he looked straight at his beautiful opponent standing before him, his legs gave out and he couldn’t stand up.
「In that case, I’ll ask you to follow the decisions of the Kerebel Knights rather than your own judgement, is that acceptable?」
The man’s voice already showed his defeat and none of his proud atmosphere that he had before the fight started remained.
「Elena-sama, you must be tired.」
Ara gave her a towel, but because the fight had been finished with a single attack by Elena, she wasn’t out of breath, let alone sweating.
「Mm. There probably won’t be any more unnecessary fights after this.」
A small dragon, Yellow, flew out of nowhere and landed on Elena’s shoulder, giving a cry.
Ara looked at it with a smile before turning to look a the man sitting on the ground with a complicated expression.
Right now, in preparation for the war against the Bestir Empire, which was definitely going to happen next spring, the different knight orders belonging to the nobles had gathered in the Kerebel duchy to conduct intense training to enhance their discipline.
However, as the number of knights serving the various nobles increased, some naturally wore their status with an arrogant attitude. This was an inevitability within the nobles faction, and of course, Elena couldn’t just stand and watch it happen. One of the people working for the Kerebel Knights had stopped another knight who had drawn their sword just because he had blocked their way. But the other party was the heir of a marquis and was a knight commander in his knight order, which led to a dispute he couldn’t get out of.
In fact, the whole issue was set up by the marquis’s heir in order to get Elena, who was famed as the General Princess. Whether he had thought it through or not, he set up a duel with Elena where she would become his wife if he won and he would have absolute obedience to the orders of the Kerebel Knights if he lost……the result was that he lost without swinging his sword a single time.
「Such a thing, why……I am……」
The man spoke to himself while looking at the ground without standing up.
Of course, even without his father’s influence as a marquis, he had the ability to be a knight commander. In fact, he was a knight commander because among the marquis’s knights, he was the strongest. But, in this case, his opponent was a bad match for him.
Elena Kerebel. Most widely known as the General Princess, after performing the inheritance ritual to inherit the power of an ancient dragon, her ability was now such that she could even treat a top class knight as nothing.
An ancient dragon’s physical strength resided in her body, magic power was passed on as well. Of course, not all of that power had been mastered yet. But nonetheless, due to her original skill, her strength was still a class apart from the others. In addition, although the spells she could use were limited, she had also mastered Dragon Language, which originally could only be used by intelligent dragons.
「Your skill wasn’t bad. But I was better. The nickname of the General Princess isn’t something I like, but I won’t lose it in a place such as this.」
The man didn’t have time to reply to Elena’s words as he left the training ground as if he were running away without even looking at Elena’s face.
Seeing him leave, Elena gave a small sigh.
(Indeed, it will be impossible to win the war next spring unless the nobles strength is increased. But is this really okay as it is? Perhaps the upcoming war will be bigger than ever. There are also the Bestir Empire’s Demon Soldiers. Nevertheless, with the way things are……no, I’m the General Princess who serves as a symbol for the nobles. What would happen if I showed weakness now? That was why I held the inheritance ritual and gained the power of the ancient dragon.)
「Elena-sama? What’s wrong?」
「No, it’s nothing.」
Elena shook her head at her long time friend’s question. Because Ara was a long time friend, there were some weaknesses she couldn’t show.
At that time, the face of a boy with bright red hair came to her mind.
The thinking of his face, a warm feeling sprung up in Elena’s chest.
From information from Duke Kerebel and letters from Rei, she knew that the Bestir Empire had intruded into Gilm several times. Elena wanted to go to Gilm herself right away. But when she thought of her current position, it wasn’t possible for her to do such a thing.
「Elena-sama, in an hour, there will be a mock battle with the knights. Do you want to rest until then?」
Ara asked Elena with a worried expression.
But Elena shook her head slightly and refused as she started to walk.
「No, there’s not much time left until the war. As much as possible, I want everyone to come back alive and go home. All I can do is to teach them how to survive in a war, and for that I want to use every little bit of time I have.」
「But Elena-sama, Elena-sama is an essential person and we can’t afford for you to fall ill in a critical situation!」
Elena listened to Ara’s reply with a smile. She looked back while shaking her head, swinging her golden hair.
「Don’t worry. Who do you think I am? What happened in the dungeon……the power that I inherited. You know what happened best, don’t you?」
Despite her vague words, it was obvious what Elena wanted to say.
The matter of the inheritance ritual was something only the upper echelons of the nobles knew, not even the royalists knew.
It was, however, known to Margrave Rowlocks, a member of the neutral faction.
But, Ara didn’t step away even after hearing Elena’s words.
「I believe that Elena-sama’s strength has never been greater. But, that’s only because your body has been getting stronger. Elena-sama’s mental strength hasn’t changed. And although there’s been no adverse effect up until now……even if there aren’t any negative effects on your body, what about your mind?」
Elena fell silent at Ara’s words.
In fact, these days, she had been training the knights that served as her escort. She had also trained with the Kerebel Knights and even the knights of other nobles that had gathered in Duke Kerebel’s territory.
And, like the marquis’s heir from before, she had to deal with those that were dazzled by her beauty. Although she was physically sound, her stress had steadily accumulated.
However, there were also some people who didn’t understand their position and tried to visit Elena at night, and in various ways ended up miserably as Elena’s stress relief sandbag.
After all, she was the only daughter of Duke Kerebel, a central figure among the nobility. Anyone who did such a thing would owe a debt to Duke Kerebel, no matter how physically battered they ended up. Not the nobles who tried to visit Elena at night, but the head of that noble’s house.
「……You’re right. Then I’ll have some tea and take a break. Ara, prepare some tea and something sweet to have here.」
Looking away from Ara, Elena replied with a happy smile.
「Yes! I’ll bring some to you right away!」
Ara then left the training ground while carrying the Power Axe, a magic item and her favourite weapon, with a happy smile.
After seeing her off, Elena also left the training ground, slowly following behind Ara.
Many eyes belonging to the knights gathered in the training ground watched her leave.
Some who loved Elena’s beauty, some who renewed their determination to make Elena their wife, some who looked at the elegant curves of her back with vulgar eyes and some with worship at her overwhelming power she had shown in the previous duel. A wide range of eyes swarmed Elena from behind, all of which were fascinated by the unique appearance of Elena, a war goddess with overwhelming strength.
A city in the Mireana Kingdom. Despite being winter, the people in the city were walking around without wearing any coats.
As expected, no one was wearing short sleeves, but most only had long sleeves.
It was a southern port city in the Mireana Kingdom which had a mild climate throughout the year.
In this port city, a man and woman were walking while eating fish skewers.
One was carrying a huge battle axe while the other was wearing a robe and holding a cane. They appeared to be an adventurer combination of a warrior and mage.
「Hmm, it was the right decision to get here before winter started for real. It should be snowing in Gilm now shouldn’t it? 」
「You’re probably right. To be honest, I wished we had stayed in Gilm. I could have slowly enjoyed reading magic books.」
「But then Rhodes and me would get out of shape. Rhodes has finally gained enough skill as a rank C adventurer and it would be a waste for his skills to dull.」
A man explained as he chewed on a 30cm large roasted fish on a skewer. The man was Elk, who was the leader of Axe of the Thunder God from Gilm, the most famous adventurer party in the city. The woman wearing a robe was Min, Elk’s wife, who put the Thunder in Axe of the Thunder God.
And behind them was Rhodes, their son, who was chasing after them with a lot of luggage in his hands.
「Dad, mum, slow down a bit. Right now, with the amount of luggage I’m carrying, you’ll be out of my sight soon.」
「……Haa, I guess I’ve got no choice. Here, give me some. I’ll carry some as well. Earlier, you said to leave the luggage to you, so I left it to you, right? Seriously, you have to train harder.」
Elk took about half of the luggage that Rhodes had been carrying.
「I don’t have as much strength as you dad, so I can’t help it. Basically, I’m training my body with speed in mind.」
「Even if you say that, just look at Rei. He’s more of a speed oriented fighter, but he’s still pretty strong, isn’t he? He might even be stronger that me……」
「Don’t compare me with someone so far out the norm!」
Rhodes gave a shout without thinking, remembering the time he had taken on a subjugation request with Rei.
At that moment.
Elk suddenly looked around. Min did the same as she tightly grasped the cane in her hand.
「Was that just my imagination?」
「No, both you and I felt those eyes. It’s not just your imagination. It’s possible that it was just a skilled adventurer who looked over because he was surprised by Rhodes’ voice.」
「I hope that is the case.」
Min looked around and shook her head lightly as the gaze on them disappeared.
It was a long awaited vacation. They thought that they should enjoy themselves……but Elk and Min would regret their decision at a later time.
And, they would learn of the meaning behind the gazes that had looked at them from nowhere.