27 – Tourney (3)
Physis skillfully knocked the opponent off his horse.
In an instant, a thunderous shout erupted from all sides, and I too shouted for his victory.
I was really happy that I jumped up from my seat and looked at him.
This match was overwhelming enough to forget the aftermath of all the previous matches.
The speed at which their horses ran towards each other was much faster than anyone else, and the speed of lightning-like spears at each other was incomparable to the previous one, so it seemed that the opponent was also a fairly well-known knight, but Physis was nonetheless thorough.
And he defeated that knight even though it was his first time participating in jousting.
The audience went crazy with it, and so did I.
When he won and removed the helmet that protected his face and held his lance high, it was really hard to believe that he was not used to jousting.
Tournaments are usually relayed through magic to the entire arena, so many women blushed when they saw Physis reveal his face.
But to be honest, it was so cool that no one could help but fall in love with him.
“Are you alright?”
Anyway, as I watched him all the time, I couldn’t help but nod my head at the voice of Prince Huian Ortaire who spoke to me quietly from behind.
“By the way, Prince Huian Ortaire, was Physis really bad at jousting?”
“When that guy was messing around, I often looked after him.”
“So, everything he did was out of my sight.
Despite all the mishaps, he had little interest in the jousting.
It’s a strange thing.
According to the personality of the guy I’ve seen so far, even though jousting matches are perfect for his hobbies…”
As I said, he’s never really had proper training before.
He just pretended to practice jousting to pass the time, then quit when he lost interest, and just watched the game once or twice and that was it.”
“But how can that be? Of course, I don’t know too much about jousting, but… … Looking at what just happened, it seemed like his level is quite high.”
“That is not the realm of mastery in jousting.
He must have known even the moment the other knight threw his spear.”
He must be overwhelmingly talented in using his own body.
It’s a judgment I made after watching him for the past three months, so I’m sure that he can imitate any movement he has seen once.
I really don't know just how talented this guy really is.
It’s a pity that he rotted his talent.”
“I don’t understand.”
“What do you mean?”
“With such a talent, why did he stay that way?”
“I don’t know either.
Only he knows that.
However, I feel relieved because he seems to have come to his senses recently.”
Ah, I-I mean that is true..”
Actually, I was a bit worried.
I thought that if he made a mistake, while we were trying to form an alliance, because of him a war would break out in reverse… …But it's fortunate that nothing like this happened.”
In fact, I was worried too.”
“Anyway, I also apologize for the behavior he showed to you.”
“I will not take it.
That apology was already given to me by Physis.”
Even though it's rare, at least, he does some things well.”
“I haven’t completely forgiven him yet… …But if he continues to be like this and respect me, later I will have no choice but to believe in him completely.”
“I sincerely hope that day will come very soon.”
“Okay then, let’s take a look at how far Physis goes up.”
“Well, even if we don’t see it, it’s obvious that he will win… …Still, it will be fun to see the process.”
“But why did you bet all your money on Physis even though you were not sure about his jousting skill?”
“As I said before, it is purely because of his talent.
I know his jousting skills will improve with each match.
And all of the above I don’t bet unless I’m fully sure about something.
But when I'm sure I can bet anything I can.”
“Now that it’s like this, would you like to make a bet? It will make the tournament more exciting.”
Hearing my laughter, Prince Huian subtly invited me to place a bet.
“I will decline.
And I have already made a bet.”
“Yes? What do you mean?”
Just like the hunting contest, but the handkerchief in the jousting game has a bigger meaning.
Maybe if he wins… …The facial expressions of the other princesses will be quite nice to see.”
“This is it, the princess is quite evil too.”
“I am not that naive.
You have to give back what you received.
Maybe I’ll take away what they want so much.”
It will be good to see how Physis will do later.”
Huh? What is he talking about all of a sudden?
“What do you mean?”
At my question, Prince Huian merely smiled wickedly as usual.
It was like the mischievous smile I see when he plays tricks on his troublesome brother.
* * *
The stadium where the hot sunlight was shining gradually became darker, and the brilliant sunlight turned into the soft yellowish glow of the sunset.
Today’s match ended with the last knight finally being knocked off his horse.
So, all the knights who participated in the tournament today gathered in the arena and left after listening to the praises of His Majesty, the Emperor.
Among them, the brightest one was Physis, who finished all of today’s matches with victories.
As Prince Huian said, Physis continued to grow more and more as he went through matches.
Even knights with a fairly high reputation in tournaments couldn’t win against him.
No matter what their thoughts were, when they fired their lances, Physis grasped them all and either blocked them, diverted them, or conversely knocked his opponents off their horses.
Even if one hit the chest, it was rare to see an opponent fall from a horse, and because of that, most knights aimed at the opponent’s head rather than knocking the opponent off the horse in one blow.
Rather, one has to aim for the head to get a higher score.
But Physis was different.
He dutifully aimed at the opponent’s chest in every match and knocked the opponent off the horse, and as a result, his name continued to soar.
Physis, who had become the biggest center of attention of this tourney, just spoke to me in a friendly way, as if he had no interest in any of his today's achievements.
“Adilun, are you planning to rest in your room today?”
“Well… ….I don't know?”
“Then would you like to go watch the festival with me?”
According to Physis, the other festivities begin as soon as the first day of the tournament ends.
It was said that the people who are excited through the jousting match and the merchants who want to do business with them, become one heart and create a scene of a lively festival.
“Because there is nothing to do, and since you did so well in a tournament, we might as well celebrate it.”
Then, shall we go?”
We got out of the stadium right away.
And I immediately took out the mask that covered my entire face from my bosom.
It was a mask prepared in case I have to go out.
It was obvious that other people would look at my scaly skin like a monster so It was a way of avoiding getting embroiled in unnecessary situations.
“That’s… … Isn’t that a mask?”
As soon as I took out the mask, Physis looked at me with a depressed expression, perhaps feeling guilty.
But I was rather happy with his expression.
Because It was clear to me that he cared about me.
I think there will be a lot of people who look at me curiously when I go out on the streets as I am.
I had it in case I would run into a lot of spectators.
Fortunately, the tournament hall is divided into areas for nobles and citizens, so there was no need to use it.”
“Don’t make that face.
Because you didn’t do anything wrong this time.
I honestly didn’t expect you to make such a face.
Rather I'm happy.”
“If you ask me to go to the festival without hesitation, then at least my appearance won’t offend you.
We don’t have to worry about anyone else anyway, so let’s go.
It’s a festival.
A lot of good things happened today, so let’s go out on the streets.”
I immediately took Physis’ hand and led him out into the street.
Now, even though the sun has clearly fallen, the streets are bright enough to remind one of daylight due to countless lanterns.
We walked aimlessly.
There was no particular purpose of where to look, we just mixed among the people looking around the festival.
It felt quite new.
It was different from the scenery of Rodenov, where cold winds always blow.
It was warm, boisterous, and overflowing with happiness.
As if to blow away painful memories from the past, people always had a smile on their lips.
In the meantime, Physis and I were able to explore all sorts of interesting sights- Whether it was the technique of a traveling theater company or a play featuring a great hero.
Also, there were many games of all kinds.
All those sights were unfamiliar but enjoyable.
It’s much better than having a fight with princesses for no reason.
As if my joy had passed on to him, he let go of the gloomy expression he had made earlier and smiled with me.
“It’s fun.” I said.
“Is that so? That’s good.”
“Are you having fun?”
I am happy too.
It seems to convey the vitality of the lively people, so it’s fun just to look at them.”
It’s a very different landscape from Rodenov.
Rodenov’s festival is not so lively.
Because it is always cold.”
“The same goes for Ortaire.
Because it is adjacent to the border, the festival cannot be held carelessly.”
Even though we didn’t seem to have anything in common, there were some minor things in common.
Like not knowing the festival.”
“Well then, how should, we who don’t know festivals, enjoy the festivals?”
“If there’s a place that looks interesting, we should stick our head in.”
Answering my mischievous question just as playfully, he pulled me in reverse, and I was led meekly by his hand.
I couldn’t believe this moment because I never dreamed that we would end up like this after we had many fights and despised each other.
It seemed that the promise he would change for me was not a lie.
Suddenly, a promise came to mind.
The promise I made with him last time.
The promise that, if he cared about me for the next nine months, he and I would go back to square one.
If this trend continues, maybe he and I can return to the starting point faster than nine months.
With that thought in mind, I had a small wish.
A wish, that he doesn’t have to be capricious again and go back to the way he used to be.
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