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Chapter 132 – The Young Lady Named Sophie Linier ~ The Awe of Luca Forsell ~
Luca ran down a long corridor with sweat flowing from his forehead.
For Luca, who had been living in “The King’s Sword” for four years, running on the cobblestones lined with round stones was something he usually did. But today, he thought this corridor felt exceptionally long.
Luca already informed Sophie yesterday that he would be late due to a practice match among the copper stars, but it actually took longer than he expected.
I guess Gerald-sama already took over being the escort by now…
Originally, Gerald was the main person in charge of escorting the purple star. It seemed that Gerald was executing the order of the first prince at the moment, but Luca had no idea what that order was. Although he didn’t know how long Gerald would take to accomplish said order, considering how capable Gerald was, Luca was sure it was about time for Gerald to complete it.
Once that happened, Luca’s opportunities to escort Sophie would be greatly reduced. Although it was an obvious thing, Luca couldn’t help but feel his body become heavier at the thought.
If not for the match, I could serve as her escort all day.
The fact it was a match where everyone participated today felt painful.
The reason the match was prolonged was because Luca had to face Marcus in the final match. However, it usually wouldn’t take this long.
But because Marcus said, “If I win, I’ll be the one who escorts the ojou-san this time,” Luca ended up irritated.
Marcus was also one of the copper stars who were chosen to be Sophie’s escort. There was nothing wrong with him volunteering to be Sophie’s escort.
In the beginning, Marcus pushed all that to Luca while saying, “There’s no way I could escort an aristocrat,” but things changed because of their recent interaction. Now, Marcus would gladly serve as her escort if she requested.
Betting anything at competitions among students wasn’t allowed. Marcus also said it with his casual tone. However, Luca could feel that Marcus really meant what he said.
…That’s definitely not a casual remark.
Things would really be decided by the outcome of their battle.
Marcus always said he fought with his all, but the time when Marcus actually attacked with his all was rare. He always considered the strength of his opponent, calculated how serious he could go, and whether it was a battle that he could afford to lose.
Marcus would consider what could be earned in the battle rather than the result of the battle itself.
It was something that Luca learned recently, but he couldn’t help but be terrified when he first did. Although Marcus had the same number of stars as he did, their abilities were so different.
For Luca, who had to fight with his all to win, Marcus’ method of making such calculations with each fight wasn’t something Luca could do, or rather, something he ever thought of doing.
And that Marcus actually fought with all he had this time. The atmosphere became lively as the copper stars around them cheered to guess which would acheive victory.
After fighting for a long time, Luca managed to earn the victory this time.
Marcus was superior in terms of endurance and strength, but Luca was superior in speed. It was practically a stroke of luck that Luca managed to attack at the momentary gap and win.
When Luca was out of breath after the battle, Marcus, who still had enough stamina, said, “Too bad…” with a slightly regrettable expression while smiling.
That smile made Luca think again.
Was that battle really something Luca truly won through a stroke of luck, or did Marcus just let him win…?
I wonder if a day when I can truly win against him will come…?
They had a two year difference. But there was no way Luca could consider that as something that couldn’t be helped due to the difference in age.
Even Sophie could evaluate Marcus from the beginning.
The wise purple star evaluated everything that made a person, not their status or social pedigree.
Considering that Sophie didn’t consider Keith Dudley, who earned one black star, and Instructor Vincent, who earned three silver stars, as people with value, the fact that Marcus actually earned her recognition was something Luca was purely envious of.
Luca always respected Marcus for his talent and charisma, but this was the first time he felt jealous of him. Luca was disgusted by his feelings as he arrived at the gold star’s classroom.
Even before he entered the room, he could already hear the lively voices of debate echoing in the corridor.
It was something about the price of wheat or things that should be properly checked individually rather than its total.
When Luca put his hand on the door and opened it, he saw Sophie, who watched over the gold stars, in the back. Sophie, dressed in a gorgeous light blue dress that was easy on the eyes, laughed softly.
“Thank you for your hard work, Luca… Oh my, you’re sweating a lot.”
With that said, she passed a handkerchief with a floral scent to Luca.
When Luca refused in a panic, Sophie instead said, “I guess it can’t be helped,” as she laughed and wiped the sweat on Luca’s forehead with the handkerchief herself.
As Luca was bewildered by that and immediately took a step back to avoid it, Sophie asked, “Oh, you want to wipe it yourself?” as if there was nothing wrong.
Luca suddenly realized.
He had heard that Sophie had a younger brother, so perhaps he was being treated like one… Although their hair colors were different, Luca had the same eye color as Sophie’s younger brother.
The moment Luca realized he was totally being treated like a younger brother, he subtly felt depressed.
But there was no way Luca could let such a feeling appear on his face, so he moved his gaze above and met eyes with the paladin standing by behind her that Luca failed to notice earlier because he was distracted by Sophie. Said paladin was smiling with a gentle expression.
Luca felt an indescribable feeling as the redness of his cheeks deepened and he moved his gaze down.
Q: “Is that a love element? (゜-゜)”
Ａ: “No, that’s a mirage (=゜ω゜)ノ”
- Like things written in middle school English textbooks.
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