BBYW Vol. 3 Interlude Part 10 (WN)
Interlude – Royal Martial Tournament
Part 10 – A Bewitching Flower
That day, I had a battle scheduled for the morning. The opponent in my second bout in the tournament was a student in the same year at the academy.
“There! It’s my win!”
“…! I admit defeat!”
My strike blew away my opponent’s sword. He frowned in frustration, then raised his hands to admit his loss.
The audience cheered: I put my sword back in the sheath and extended my right hand to the opponent, who had fallen down on the ground.
“It was a good battle, I enjoyed it.”
“Tch, spare me your compliments. Anyone could tell you were holding back!”
My opponent grimaced, as if pouting, and grabbed my hand to stand up.
“You better win in the finals. Teach Valon Sphinx what’s what!”
“Leave it to me. You go take a rest now.”
We left amicably, praising each other’s battle with a smile.
The opponent was a friend in my same year this time, so I naturally spared him the beating I gave to my first-round’s rival.
Both the loser and the winner can finish with a smile on their face: it was a pleasant duel from start to finish.
“It’s going well for now. It all depends on what House Saverne is planning…”
I went to look at the tournament’s brackets.
There were 32 participants in the tournament: the 5th round would be the finals.
Valon too was keeping up his winning streak, so we would probably face each other in the final round.
I looked for a name that could belong to the heir of House Saverne, and apparently he was still in the tournament too. The young man named Benamis Saverne was set to face Valon Sphinx in the semifinals.
Normally, Valon would definitely win, but Marquis Saverne would never accept such an outcome. It was easy to imagine that they were still plotting something.
“Let’s see what scheme they have in mind, then. They better come up with something entertaining.”
I turned away from the brackets and headed out of the arena.
Some of the spectators called to me, so I waved back at them, feeling like a famous actor for a few moments, as I left to the main avenue.
“Well then…I got nothing planned for this afternoon. What should I…”
Echidna didn’t come to cheer for me today. Selena, my fiancée, was absent too, just as expected.
I started walking down the avenue, looking at the street stands, with no particular destination in mind.
The royal martial tournament was one of the year’s biggest events: the main avenue was packed with people. There were shops of the kind you normally rarely see, and even street performers pulling doves out of their hats in the square, to the surrounding people’s delight.
“Festivals are always good stuff, in the east or here in the capital. You can feel the people’s energy and will to live, in a way that doesn’t normally come out.”
Attracted by the pleasant smell, I bought chicken skewers from a stall and started biting at the juicy meat.
The spicy seasonings and aromatic flavor filled my mouth, so I found myself smiling.
“Hmm, this is good. The thick sauce is just heavenly. But…!”
A man was sneaking closer to me, so I thrust the skewer at him. The tip stopped just inches before his eyeballs: understandably, the man let out a shriek.
“I’m in a pretty good mood right now. Get lost while I let you.”
The man was holding a blade the size of a fruit knife. There was some red and black liquid dripping from it: the eerie, ominous substance was definitely not chicken skewer sauce.
Intimidated by my warning, the man disappeared into the crowd.
“If you really want to assassinate me, at the very least you need to erase your presence as well as Sakuya…”
I spun the skewer and licked the remaining sauce.
The fruit knife man was likely an assassin sent by Marquis Saverne.
From his footwork, I could tell he had some martial training, but the way he concealed his presence was like a beginner’s.
After the experience of being targeted by the “Fangs of Steel”, such an assassination attempt felt like child’s play to me.
“If that’s all they can do, there’s no way they can kill me before the finals. So, what are they going to try next?”
I was going to mingle with the crowd too, when I noticed a commotion on the other side of the avenue.
It was different from the typical hustle and bustle of a festival: it was like the cheering of a crowd when a famous person appeared as a surprise guest in a show.
(Let’s see, maybe there’s a beauty that…wait, for real…?)
I found the reason for the commotion and my feet stopped.
What I saw was an exotic beauty, as breathtaking as a goddess from foreign legends.
Black hair cascading down her back like delicate jewels and a dancer-like attire that amply exposed her auburn skin.
She seemed to be in her early 20s. Well developed breasts and hips and, in comparison, an incredibly thin waist accentuated her mystical charm.
Every time she moved her slender legs, the gems adorning her waist produced lively jangling sounds. It was like that, following the sounds, a honey-like sweet scent of seduction emanated from her.
When the woman passed next to me, she noticed my gaze and winked. The alluring smile on her lips swept me away, and I stayed standing as if I was frozen.
Only about 10 seconds after she left did I manage to move one step.
“Phew…now that is someone I feel like I’ll have dreams about…I don’t think I’ve ever been that taken in by a woman before…”
I was captivated so much by her beauty that I almost forgot how to breathe. I shook my head and lightly slapped my cheeks.
Despite all the experience I had with women, her seductive charms were powerful enough to stop me in my tracks.
And on top of that, it looked like she managed to fascinate men and women alike.
“She’s about as well endowed as Eliza, but from her you can almost smell the eros in the air…hm?”
I looked at the woman leaving the main avenue, and noticed a group of suspicious men tailing her.
There were sleazy smiles on their lips: it was clear enough that they had filthy ideas in mind.
“I can see how you’d get such thoughts…but to let scum like you lay your hands on a beauty like her…yeah, that feels just wrong.”
I put the chicken skewer in my pocket and went after the sleazy bunch.