30 – The Things Drawn Out by the Spreading Rumors
“W-What!? The <<Holy Maiden>>’s….Calcedonia’s fiancé!?”
After hearing that from his subordinate, the youth’s face twisted in surprise and raging fury.
He looked to be in his twenties. He had quite a well-polished appearance with his tall figure and carefully combed fuming blonde hair.
You could tell at one glance that the things he was wearing were all of superior grade. In other words, this signified he was one of the members of the ruling class, the aristocratic society.
“C-Calcedonia’s fiancé…? A-Are you sure there has not been a mistake…?”
“Y-Yes… It’s a growing rumor recently at the Savaiv temple and the streets but it has high credibility.”
While carefully taking note his master’s expressions, the man who brought the news continued,
“A-And also….According to the rumors, Lady Calcedonia is already living together with that fiancé under the same roof.”
The youth’s eyes opened wide.
Till now he has proposed marriage over and over again to that woman, the one called the <<Holy Maiden>> of the temple of Savaiv, Calcedonia Chrysophrase.
And not only did that Calcedonia reject his marriage proposals time and time again, she even got engaged with another man and was already living together with him!
Because of his anger, the youth’s field of vision momentarily turned red.
“W-Who the hell is it…? Who the hell stole Calcedonia from me?!”
“Yes….A-According to the rumors….It appears to be a commoner hailing from another country…”
“A-A Commoner!? After rejecting the marriage proposal of me, Lalaic Gargadon, the next heir to the ancient and prestigious house of Gargadon, the partner she chose was a mere commoner!!”
Bamm! A loud noise resounded. The youth, Lalaic Gargadon kicked up a small table near him in rage.
The table which was flung up hit the ceiling loudly as it was smashed into small pieces.
Lalaic was breathing in and out hard in fury as he didn’t even try to dodge the wooden fragments that were raining down.
“E-Erm, Lord Lalaic…? E-Even if that boy is a commoner, the rumors say the he is being personally groomed by the supreme pontiff. They say in the future he will be his holiness’s successor…By no means is he an ordinary commoner…”
Though the subordinate continued on with the report, Lalaic gave no heed to him.
“Damn!! Just when I thought that eyesore of a <<Freedom Knight>> got lost for good and the <<Holy Maiden>> would finally be mine… A commoner? A mere commoner is trying to snatch away MY Calcedonia…?”
Lalaic shot his bloodshot eyes towards his subordinate.
“Investigate!! Find more about that commoner, ASAP!! And no matter what it takes, get him to leave the <<Holy Maiden>>!! I don’t care the methods, whether you utilize his weakness or use violence, or even entice him with money, just do it!!”
After receiving the order from Lalaic, the subordinate couldn’t be any happier as he left the room immediately afterwards. If he continued to stay in the room then no one knows what kind of things he would have to suffer.
Lalaic’s rage didn’t go down even after his servant left, and he continued to destroy anything he could get his hands on in the room starting from furniture to decorations.
His room was quite a lavish one indeed.
The furniture were all high class items. And even the ornaments and crafts were personally made by various famed craftsmen and artists.
To buy all the things in his room would take a huge sum of gold, enough to run a commoner’s family for a few odd decades.
But these high class items which were once lined up in his room were now all but gone.
The expensive vase on the table was smashed onto the floor, the varied paintings of the floor were scrapped with his blade, and the monster fur carpet on the floor was completely stomped flat.
The servants of the Gargadon house were all too afraid to get close to the young master’s room as they were afraid to get caught up in the outburst, but then Lalaic left the room himself in rage.
In the end, the wonderful room that was once full of art and design turned into an aftermath of a violent storm.
The one standing before Tatsumi was Captain Odin, his training instructor.
Currently, the two of them were in the training grounds the knights used every day. They were both clad in their respective armors as they confronted each other.
Tatsumi was wearing the leather armor meant for recruits, and in his hands were the sword and shield he completely became familiar with after using them for so long.
Odin, on the other hand, was wearing a full body metal plate armor with the Holy crest engraved, and he was wielding a two handed battle axe as a weapon.
“Then, let’s begin. Are you ready Tatsumi? Remember what I just said, first concentrate on defending.”
Tatsumi enthusiastically replied to Odin. Around them, there was a huge crowd of people which included Verse, Niez and the lot, and even senior knights as they held their breath in anticipation.
Of course, Calcedonia was also among them.
Her face showed clear anxiety as she looked at Tatsumi with her quivering ruby red pupils.
“Al’right, then…… Here I come!!”
As soon as he said then, Odin rushed towards Tatsumi like a fired arrow and close the distance in an instant.
Odin, who closed the gap in an instant swung down his battle axe at Tatsumi from above.
Right now, Odin was also using a training use equipment with its edges dulled. But even though it had no sharpness, its weight was no different from a real one. So if the axe were to squarely hit someone then without a doubt just the weight would cause a huge injury.
But Tatsumi calmly grasped the trajectory of the incoming axe.
And he thrust the shield in his left hand in the axe’s trajectory. While properly stancing the shield, his eyes never left the battle axe coming from above.
In the next moment, a huge bang was heard in the training ground. It source? Odin’s huge battle axe clashed with Tatsumi’s shield—-was supposed to be it. But no, it didn’t hit the shield but the ground at Tatsumi’s feet.
Realizing that his strike was a miss, Odin immediately jumped backward.
And then he started to glare at Tatsumi who was holding his shield up as usual.
Certainly he was holding back, but Tatsumi perfectly dodged that hit of Odin’s.
No, what Tatsumi did wasn’t dodging. He warded it off.
The moment the battle axe touched the shield, Tatsumi slanted it causing the axe to slip off horizontally.
That’s why the axe did not hit Tatsumi, but hit the ground horizontally near his feet.
If this was a real battleground, then a sword would have probably been pierced through Odin’s then open flank.
While imagining that scene, Odin subconsciously shivered a bit.
Not because of fear, but because of delight!
—-I’ve noticed this when he was training but, this kid’s shield techniques are nothing to scoff at.
Seems like Tatsumi was more suited to defend then attack.
Solidly defending from the enemy’s offence, and within that looking for any opening to exploit and giving a decisive blow. This counterattack style was Tatsumi’s most favoured battle style.
Right now, Tatsumi was in a stance where the shield was hiding his lower face till his abdomen.
By doing this he was limiting the area he had to clash with Odin even just a by a small bit. Holding the shield in his left hand, it was as if he was hiding his body in the shield’s shadow. And furthermore, he was holding the sword in his right hand, which was hiding in his body’s shadow.
From Odin’s position, Tatsumi’s sword wasn’t visible at all. That’s why he had a hard time reading Tatsumi’s movement.
Of course, this counter attack style and even Tatsumi’s current posture was taught to him by Odin. But now as Odin was facing Tatsumi directly, he could keenly feel just how dangerous it was.
Moreover, Odin’s weapon was a double handed battle axe. No matter what it made wide movements. And because of that, his attack pattern became easy to read.
And it had to be mentioned that the only places Odin could aim directly at were Tatsumi’s upper head and his legs. But Tatsumi also knew that. So when he sees a strike coming aiming for those, he could just simple sidestep and parry to create an opening.
——–Tsk, a guy who is skillful with a shield going full defensive, damn pain in the backside! But well, I know I was the one who taught him these but to think he could integrate them into himself so well…
Muttering that in his heart, Odin started to grin.
For a teacher, a student’s improvement was a happy thing. And Tatsumi himself was a very obedient student at that. No matter what Odin said, Tatsumi didn’t show any dissatisfaction and concentrated on his training.
Their (The five who completed the training) fundamental and weapon training had been going on for quite a long while now, and finally some solid results were beginning to show.
As Odin’s grin slowly turned into a battle crazed laughter, he sent away a series of tornado like strikes at Tatsumi.
But Tatsumi handle all those raging bellows like consecutive strikes calmly.
Of course, Tatsumi knew Odin was holding back. If Odin wishes so, he could easily without dropping a sweat smash Tatsumi’s shield along with his left hand into bits and pieces.
And because Tatsumi understood that, he could be so calm when dealing with the strikes.
Odin, as Tatsumi’s instructor, would not do anything unreasonable while attacking. Well maybe he might deal some unorthodox blows but they definitely won’t be something that will Cause Tatsumi a huge injury.
This was training, not a life and death battle. And in this training Odin wanted to clearly ascertain Tatsumi’s ability.
Tatsumi continued to deal with the incoming flurry of attacks with his shield.
He parried the attacks coming from above by slanting his shield in an angle.
He dodged the attacks coming from below by moving backwards.
As he was calmly handling each attack with acute judgment, he could see that on Odin’s face there was a really happy smile.
—So I see you’ve come a long way kiddo.
Tatsumi felt that Odin was silently telling him that, so he too smiled.
As if Odin acknowledged that, he stopped his attacks. And then he said,
“Okay, then this time you attack me. If ya want it, you can also use magic.”
Tatsumi was a bit startled after Odin said that. Seems like Odin already knew about his magic.
Probably Giuseppe told him about it.
After being called by Tatsumi, Calcedonia who was watching the battle approached him.
Currently, there was a magic seal device on Tatsumi’s arm, the one Giuseppe lent him.
Originally, this seal device was used one Criminals who could use magic.
And that’s why unless a specialized key was used, the seal could not be removed. Currently, Calcedonia was in possession of that key.
“Try your best okay?”
Calcedonia encouraged Tatsumi happily as she removed the seal from Tasumi’s arm.
“Yup. But hey, if I get hurt I’ll be in your care.”
“Yes, leave it to me!”
It was a short exchange. But there was no one present in that place who could not perceive the depth of feeling the words spoken had.
While smiling at each other which contained absolute trust in their partner, they separated.
Tatsumi, like before, postured himself with his shield in front of him, and Calcedonia returned to the spectating place as she continued to watch over him.
“Then, instructor….Let’s go!”
Just as Tatsumi loudly said that after a deep breath, his figure instantly vanished from that place.
And in the next moment, he appeared before Odin’s eyes.
Tatsumi didn’t pause as he raised his sword overhead, but just as he was about to swing it down Odin stepped backwards.
“S-So this is the <<Instant Transmission>> his holiness was talking about…?”
Odin wavered as he muttered, but by the time he finished he lost track of Tatsumi.
Realizing that, Odin once again retreated backwards, and Tatsumi too appeared before him just like the first time.
Tatsumi swung his sword at the place Odin was just a moment ago, and before he even completed the strike he vanished once again.
Like this, Tatsumi continued his offence by vanishing and appearing again and again.
At times he appeared in front of Odin, at times he was behind him. Sometimes he appeared directly horizontal, or directly diagonal to him. There were also cases where he appeared at a hair’s length away from Odin’s body at any direction.
As expected, even for Odin he was pushed into a completely defensive stance.
Odin’s rotated his weapon which was a huge battle axe, hard move while precisely controlling. On the other hand Tatsumi’s weapon was a short sword suitable for fast mobility.
For Tatsumi, he could easily transfer into the gaps created by moving that huge battle axe and attack. So Odin really was a suitable opponent for him.
But even so, Odin continued to skillfully handle his battle axe to deal with Tatsumi’s attacks.
Though it could be said that Tatsumi’s techniques still hadn’t matured much, Odin who could calmly block all of Tatsumi’s offenses even in the midst of all these blinking and teleport sneak attacks was by no means a pushover.
But little by little, Odin’s face lost its composure.
Because Tatsumi sword strikes were getting faster and faster by the second.
Odin was completely flustered at Tatsumi’s apparition like sword flashes.
And Tatsumi, who was clad in a golden light like a magus further increased his speed while he was on a complete offensive.