BBYW Vol. 3 Interlude Part 4 (WN)
Interlude – Royal Martial Tournament
Part 4 – The Black Lion’s Fangs
【POV: Valon Sphinx】
“Gods, how exasperating…!”
After my first match in the royal martial tournament, I walked in the capital, stomping my feet out of irritation.
The match resulted in victory: an absolute, one-sided one at that. Despite that, my chest was stinging with frustration, feelings I couldn’t fully process, making me grit my teeth.
“The gall of…calling me a country noble…! How dare a weakling like that even slander my little Naam…!!”
My opponent was a lance user of a school called Saverne, or something, from a noble family of the central province.
He boasted to no end during the match, but the only impressive things he had were his arrogance and his armor: the man itself was small fry.
On top of that, he even denigrated my House of Sphinx, looking down on the western province nobles as a whole, and even included the name of my little sister Naam in his verbal abuse.
I tossed him around like a rag to make him pay for the humiliation, but it wasn’t enough to cool my temper: I could still feel the fire in my chest.
“At least this happened before Naam came to the capital! If such filthy words reached the ears of such a delicate maiden, I don’t know what I’d have done…!”
Several days from now, my little sister and my fiancée were scheduled to arrive in the capital.
They were coming to cheer for me: the original plan was for them to arrive before the tournament started, but a landslide blocked the road, so their trip was delayed.
“It’s true what they say; third-rate losers bark the loudest! How irritating…!”
The other passersby steered clear of me, probably wary of my fumes. Seeing the fear and apprehension in their eyes, I could calm down a little.
“Hm, this will not do. A true noble must not frighten the common folk for no reason.”
I slapped my cheeks with both hands to fully regain my composure and turned from the main avenue to a back alley.
I would not have to worry about the people around me in such a dark street, which also happened to be a shortcut to my lodging.
After walking for a while, however, I noticed a disturbing presence.
“Who’s there? Show yourself already.”
So I calmly ordered, and several silhouettes emerged from the shadows.
Two in front, three in the rear. The masked men, all armed with swords and spears, glared at me with clear killing intent in their eyes.
“In the flesh.”
The question was more of a declaration of intent than a real confirmation.
I replied curtly. Facing my opponents, I could feel the irritation subside: I had to thank the ruffians on that point.
“You are going to forfeit the royal martial tournament. If you don’t resist, we’ll let you go with just one or two broken bones.”
So I spat out, as my hand reached to the hilt of my sword.
“What kind of warrior would ever go down without a fight?”
“In that case…prepare yourself!”
I felt a surge of killing intent from behind me.
I twisted my body and dodged to the left, and saw the tip of a spear pierce the void right next to me.
I grabbed the spear, pulled it towards me, and unsheathed my sword to cut down the attacker.
Seeing their comrade fall, the remaining ruffians all attacked at the same time.
I neutralized all the blades thrusting and swinging at me, with just my sword.
One single mistake would have resulted in my flesh being carved and bones shattered. One by one, I blocked the enemies’ offensive.
“What the hell…why can’t we hit him!?”
I was on the defensive, but the ruffians were losing their confidence instead.
A single man was blocking the attacks of four people at the same time, with just one sword: from their viewpoint, it was probably like I was using magic.
“The sword of House Sphinx is like the mountain, unmovable and unbreakable! You fools have no hope even to graze it!!”
I suffered defeat at the hands of Dyngir Maxwell before, but the ruffians before me were clearly inferior to him. I wasn’t going to let them lay a single scratch on me!
The ruffians’ attacks were getting increasingly sloppy due to their decreasing morale, so I began my counterattack.
The smallest opening in the enemies’ attacks was pierced by my blade: despite being on the offensive, the assassins were accumulating damage instead, so one of them cried at the absurdity of the situation.
Soon enough, one fell, quickly followed by another. The remaining two turned their backs on me and ran away.
“Hmph! How pathetic.”
I had no intention of chasing them. Cutting down ruffians like them would just desecrate my blade.
I kicked the corpse’s belly up and ripped off the mask covering their faces.
“Hmm…never seen them before…”
I had no recollection of any of them. They were probably hired by someone, or…
(“There are plenty of people who don’t see the victory of countryside nobles like us with favor. Please remember that our battle is not limited to the arena.”)
My underclassman’s words echoed in my head. Could that impudent boy have predicted that something like this would happen?
“I just can’t figure him out…what a nuisance…!”
I clicked my tongue and walked down the alley, ditching the corpses behind me.