BBYW Vol. 3 Interlude Part 18 (WN)
Interlude – Royal Martial Tournament
Part 18 – Second Transformation
The next morning, as the sun emerged from the horizon, and the early birds rose from their nests…
A young woman left the Sphinx residence and jumped over the fence.
“…no one saw me…right…?”
After glancing here and there, observing her surroundings, Naam Sphinx started walking down the road.
Just like the previous day, she had used the magic tool that transformed her into her adult form. Her outfit, however, was not as revealing as it was the day before: it was a simple white dress, covered with a gray coat. A rather dull and plain combination, especially in comparison to her previous attire.
The reason why Naam had once again snuck out of the residence at such an early hour was to find the man who kissed her.
“…I can’t just go back home before I give him at least one good whack! That’s… that’s it! That’s all there is to it!!”
Naam had been unable to suppress her turbulent feelings: perhaps appropriately for her still childish self, she impulsively decided to sneak out on her own, again.
Her body had taken its adult form, thanks to the magic tool, but the cool and calm composure from the day before was gone. All Naam could think about was to find the man who disrespected her so callously, and teach him a proper lesson.
In the capital, painted orange by the rising sun, people were starting to trickle down the streets: merchants cleaning their shops, cooks getting their street stands ready, and more.
Naam locked eyes with some of them as she sprinted down the streets, busy looking for her target, but as her outfit hid her body shape, she was not regarded with particular curiosity.
“…maybe I came too early…?”
So Naam whispered to herself, seeing the small number of people around. The main avenue had been teeming with people the day before, but it wasn’t the same, naturally, at the early hours of the morning. Would she be able to find the man like this?
Embarrassed for not realizing earlier something so obvious, Naam grew beet red.
“A-Anyway, he might be out for an early walk! I should go to that place and look for clues!”
So Naam convinced herself, and went into the alley she had visited the day before.
“…she went into the back streets…perfect.”
“We can’t miss this chance.”
Once again, suspicious shadows loomed behind her. Naam however, was too busy looking for her target, and did not notice the silhouettes following her into the alley.
Naam, unsurprisingly, did not find anyone else in the narrow alley, and her shoulders drooped. The alley was littered with trash, tossed by no one knows who, but there were no clues about the man to be found.
Naam kicked one of the pebbles on the ground, which rolled and bumped around for a bit, and eventually stopped.
“…I should have asked for his name…”
Naam regretted not inquiring about the man’s identity, though it was too late.
(Why do I want to see him again so much, anyway? What’s wrong with me…?)
The man was a brute, who forced himself upon her. He was stronger than her, probably as strong as her brother. If asked whether she liked or disliked him, Naam would surely reply that she hated him.
Even so, she wanted to meet him again. She wanted to see his face, hear his voice — her chest tightened and hurt when she thought about him.
Naam had never felt like this before in her life.
“…I should go home for now…maybe if I ask Valon, he’ll know something…”
The mysterious man was around the same age as Valon, and was a master with the sword. From his clothes, he seemed to be of rather high status, probably a noble. Naam’s brother Valon was enrolled in the noble academy, so there was the chance that he knew who the young man was.
Naam nodded to herself and retraced her steps, heading out of the alley to return to the residence.
Only then, did she notice the men blocking her path.
“…who are you?”
Naam nervously addressed the group.
She was pretty confident in her fighting skills, but had painfully learned just the day before that there were men stronger than her.
(Maybe they’re friends of the people I knocked out yesterday? Coming for revenge?)
Naam carefully observed the men.
It was a group of three, all armed with swords — judging from the atmosphere, clearly not street ruffians. They had the advantage of numbers, and Naam was unarmed: her chances of victory were slim.
Naam gathered her courage, and was about to speak, but one of the men beat her to it.
“We know you are the fiancee of Valon Sphinx, noble of the western provinces. Pardon us for this disrespect, but you are coming with us!”
The men’s misunderstanding left Naam speechless and wide-eyed.
The heinous plot looming over the capital had, unexpectedly, cast its shadow over the young maiden.