Translator: Saitamsensei Editor:Ryunakama
43. Vesteria Kingdom and Elite Guard 
Claude-san\'s face was dyed bright red.
She cried out while crossing both hands in front of her chest.
I came to my senses and immediately turned around.
At the same time she rushed into the bathroom and closed the curtain violently.
(Claude-san is… a woman…?!)
I mistook her for a man because of her appearance and tone.
As I calmed down my beating heart with a deep breath, I heard her quivering voice from behind the curtain.
「Ki-Ki-Kisama…! Why are you in my room…!? Creeping at night into a woman\'s bedroom!? I see, is that how you broke Risama!?」
「N-No! That\'s not true!」
That misunderstanding is really bad.
I hurriedly denied it immediately.
「Why were you in my room!? Depending on the reason, I\'ll hand you over to the Holy Knight!」
「Well, I\'m going to go practice-swing, so I thought I\'d call out to Claude-san! But no matter how many times I knocked, there was no answer, and when I turned the k.n.o.b, it just opened.」
「-So you entered a woman\'s room without permission?」
…It\'s too rude to say to a woman『I thought you were a man.』
Even I know that much.
In order not to hurt her feelings, I decided to apologize.
Claude-san said no more, and an awkward silence filled the room.
The sound of drops of water dripping from the bathroom, echoed loudly.
Then a little while later, she slowly spoke.
「You saw a woman naked… There is only one way to take responsibility as a man…」
「D-Do you mean…!?」
「Aa, if you\'re a man, accept your fate…」Claude-san said, and threw something out from behind the curtain.
It came in contact with the floor and produced a metallic noise.
「It\'s a self-defense dagger. Now, commit seppuku.」1
I\'m really sorry about seeing her naked.
But, isn\'t committing seppuku going too far?
「Y-You saw a virgin girl naked! It\'s only obvious right! Well, make up for it with your life! Then I\'ll forgive you!」
「N-No, err… atoning with my life is a little…」
「There\'s no use in arguing ! Come on, cut your belly! I\'m going to catch a cold!」
She shouted with a high-pitched voice.
(…This time, it\'s my fault that I mistook Claude-san for a man.)
I am completely at fault for humiliating her.
However, I can\'t possibly afford to die in this place.
And I rushed out of the room.
「Wha!? Oi, wait!」
After that, I returned to my room directly opposite, and barricaded the door with a chair and a small cabinet.
Tomorrow will be a very important duel for me and Ria.
I can\'t go all night without a wink of sleep.
「Yos.h.i.+… With this much of a barrier, Claude-san will not be able to enter silently…」
If she tries to open the door by force, it will definitely create a loud noise and I can wake up instantly.
In other words, it is almost impossible to attack me in my sleep.
(With this… I should be able to sleep a little calmly.)
So I laid down on the bed, focusing my nerves towards the door.
「Good morning, Allen… Are you alright? You\'ve got bags under your eyes.」
Ria, who came all this way to wake me up, said so while looking at my face.
「Aa. Good morning, Ria …I had some trouble falling asleep last night.」
In the end, I was worried about Claude-san\'s night attack, and I could not get even a wink of sleep..
「But well, staying up all night for one day doesn\'t really affect me much. So don\'t worry.」
My longest streak of sleeplessness record is 35 days.
The last loop in the prison of time – a record achieved when I was single-mindedly swinging to cut that world.
So, in fact, staying up all night for one day, is no big deal.
「Is that so? It\'s alright then, but… don\'t push yourself too hard.」
「Aa, thank you.」
As we were having such a conversation in the hallway, the door across from my room slowly opened, and Claude-san appeared.
「…Good morning, Risama.」
「Good morning, Claude …Eh? You didn\'t sleep too?」
Looking closer, there were bags under her eyes.
「Yes. I was a little worked up and couldn\'t fall asleep.」
…She probably couldn\'t sleep due to rage.
「Rather than that, it\'s already time for breakfast, Risama. Please come this way. You too. Follow me, filthy pervert worm.」
Saying so, Claude-san glared at me and started walking.
(Filthy pervert worm…)
Apparently, due to the case yesterday, I seem to have gone down one rank from『worm』to『pervert worm』.
Afterwards, we had breakfast at the cafeteria and headed for the Great Arena in a carriage.
「Oo, this is amazing…」
One of the Vesteria\'s attractions that I heard a little from Ria while we were on the plane - the Great Arena.
It was a huge, stone-built, circular arena.
Although the building is somewhat degraded by wind and rain, it gave of a sense of history and strength.
「There isn\'t much time until the commencement of the duel. Quickly come with me.」
As I followed Claude-san, who was walking with quick-steps, we arrived at the contestants\' waiting room.
In the room – there were a variety of weapons, such as a sword, a hatchet, a spear, and a large a.r.s.enal of other weapons.
「By rule, weapons are prohibited to be brought into the arena. Therefore, you will have to fight with these weapons prepared by the arena.」
It seems to be taken into consideration so that the victory or defeat is not influenced by the quality of the weapon.
「Yos.h.i.+! I\'m going to look for the ideal sword for Allen!」
Thus Ria went to the section where a lot of swords were lined up.
(…She shouldn\'t be able to hear us from this distance.)
I didn\'t miss this opportunity and spoke to Claude in whispers.
「Umm, Claude-san… About yesterday…」
「…What do you want, pervert worm」
She turned a sharp gaze at me as though actually looking at a worm.
「Well, I am truly sorry.」
「You won\'t get away easy after seeing me naked.」
Saying that, she walked away in a huff.
She didn\'t accept my apology… As expected, the repair of this relations.h.i.+p seemed hopeless.
(And that tone just now…)
Apparently, some sort of attack will be launched after this.
(Haa… Why does this keep happening to me…)
As I heaved a sigh and dropped my shoulders,
「Nee. Allen! What do you think about this one?」
Ria, ran up to me while holding a sword.
「This… is certainly a good sword.」
The edge coat is beautiful and the blade span is just the right length.
And it doesn\'t feel bad in my hand.
「Thanks, Ria. I\'ll go with this.」
「Un! I\'m rooting for you, so do your best!」
As I received the sword from her – the live announcement rang out.
「—Thank you so much for waiting! The Great Arena will start from now on! All scheduled duels will be canceled today - a special match will be held!」
At that moment, the venue erupted into cheers.
I can\'t see the audience from here, but apparently there are a tremendous number of spectators.
「First of all, West Gate! The worst of the worst crook who sunk his poisonous fangs into our Risama! Allen-Rodoreuuuuu!」
When I got the terrible announcement from the commentator, and went from the waiting room to the stage,
「Withdraw! You trash b.a.s.t.a.r.d!」
「How dare you put your hands on our Risama!?」
「A crook who is only good with his mouth! Don\'t think you\'ll be returning home safely!」
Fierce boos and hooting poured down on me like rain.
Looking closely, the audience was mostly comprised of the guards from Vesteria Castle – in other words, a gathering of those who are『under』His Majesty Gris.
(This feeling is kind of nostalgic…)
When I was at Gran Swordsmans.h.i.+p Academy, it was always like this.
Everyone hated me.
Everyone wanted my defeat.
Everyone laughed at my failure.
Such painful and hard days was my daily life.
But – now it is different.
「Do your best! Allen!」
Ria\'s voice, firmly reached my ears.
I – am no longer alone.
「And the East Gate! If you have physical labour, leave it to him! Vesteria\'s best arm— Galius-Lumberduck!」
At the end of the announcement,
A skinhead man, over two meters tall, ran up the stage.
A stubble that covers the chin.
A sword scar that ran along the right cheek.
A muscular body.
On his right hand, a huge metal rod of about 1 meter was held.
(No matter how I look at him, he doesn\'t look to be the same age as me…)
「H-Hey! No matter how you look at him, he doesn\'t look to be of the same age!」
As Ria jumped out onto the stage, she raised her voice and glared at His Majesty Gris, sitting in the special audience seating.
And the man who heard Ria,
「Hehe, certainly I will be 20 years old tomorrow, but… today I\'m still a teenager, Risama.」
Galius-san said with a heinous smile.
Even though its barely, he seemed to be in the same age group as me.
「T-That is a play on words! Unfair!」
「Excuse me, Risama. But His Majesty said no problem – so I\'m going to continue on as such!」
And he rested the huge metal rod on his shoulder.
「That is just…」
I gently laughed to rea.s.sure her.
「It\'s alright, Ria. I will definitely win.」
「Allen… Okay, I believe you.」
She got off the stage, and when I and Galius-san faced each other, the live commentator spoke.
「Now, are both parties ready!? Then, the first match – START!」
At the same time as the announcement, Galius-san closed the distance with a surprisingly fast movement.
「Victory goes to the one who makes the first move! ORAAAAAAAA!」
And he swung down the huge metal rod which he had already raised overhead.
It\'s a great blow combined with speed and weight.
I heard Ria\'s scream from the distance.
(…I like spending every day with Ria.)
I love spending time with her at Thousand Blade Academy.
I won\'t let that end at this place.
So today – today alone, I absolutely cannot afford to lose.
(No matter how strong my opponent is – I will win!)
At that moment, a mysterious power seethed from the depths of my body.
My side sweep, easily cut Galius-san\'s metal rod in half.
The severe side sweep directly hit his torso, and he crashed into the arena wall – and collapsed with his eyes turned to the back of his head.
Before the unprecedented development, everyone at the Great Arena fell silent.
And after a good few seconds, the commentator declared the results.
「Galius-Lumberduck unable to continue! Winner, Allen-Rodore!」
At that moment, the whole venue became noisy.
「That blow, I seriously couldn\'t see it!」
「What does this mean!? His Majesty said he was only good with his mouth…」
「O-OiOiOi… what\'s with that guy… Isn\'t he absurdly strong!?」
When I casually looked up, I met His Majesty Griess\'s gaze, who was clenching his teeth in the special audience seat.
「…Today – I\'m feeling a little stronger.」
In this way, I defeated Galius-san with a single blow, and I got the power that seethed from the depths of my body - and proceeded to the second match.
TL Note:”seppuku” is “ritual suicide by disembowelment”. ↩ 12631