It’s the calm before storm. I hope the action parts are understandable. Enjoy the chapter!
The jousting tournament was divided into three classes.
A 5-meters class, that was a dragon whose body length was 3 meters – including the tail – with wing length 5 meters.
A dragon with a wing length 10 meters and a total body length of 6 meters was called a 10-meters class.
A dragon with a wing length of 20 meters and a total body length of 12 meters was called a 20-meters class.
Excluding the tail, the 5-meters class was about the size of a pony, the 10-meters class was a little bigger than a horse.
The 20-meters class was……about the size of a small airplane?
If it was that big, I couldn’t see the people on board when I looked from afar.
Right now the 5-meters class and 10-meters class matches were finishing smoothly.
The rider of the 10-meters class winner, the knight who was on the bronze dragon, was proudly holding his left arm facing the audience seating with the cheers of the audience and the flowers thrown in.
Several ribbons were wrapped around his left hand’s armor.
This knight also pledged his dedication to several ladies.
A lot of flowers were thrown to the bronze dragon leaving the arena.
Several flower wreaths were caught around the horns or the thorns.
During the Advent Festival, the winning knight was praised as a hero, and the dragon was adorned with more flowers and loves from the people.
We at the noble guests’ seats also threw in the prepared wreaths.
At that time, my eyes met with Ann’s who was sitting on the opposite side across the people of the Ignitia royal family.
We waved at each other.
Well, after that, was Klaus alright?
Let’s ask Ann later.
Straining my ears, the Queen Consort and the mother-daughter of Harvan who were dressing to show an elegant dress style of Ignitia, seemed to be excited with a girly topic about coming up with an idea on how to protect their skin from the southern sunrays.
On the contrary, over here was a lecture about dragons from the King who seemed to have becoming child-like.
I learned a lot, but where did Ann and I differ?
Next would be the match of 20-meters class.
Although I wasn’t participating, somehow I was feeling nervous.
This was the first game of that Black Knight who might be Auguste.
A black knight on a black dragon, and a knight who rode on a brass dragon who was his opponent, went down to the arena.
Just because the dragons were flapping their wings, my vertical roll, which was quite far away from them, was fluttering in the wind.
I felt the strong wind that seemed to be blown off by a dragon flying around nearby.
It would be like a typhoon when the 20-meters class did it.
Around the audience seat, Protective Circle that the mages had set up, and the Wand of Protective Shield that the alchemists had prepared were on standby.
It was prepared for an emergency accident, but I was a bit worried whether the dragons that would come in could really be stopped.
When the match started, both Otou-sama and His Majesty the King were using a wand.
His Majesty the King also wore alchemists’ leather gloves properly to prevent the reaction.
It looked like the wand they were using was Raptor Sight.
The top of the wand was a hawk’s eye stone, the material for the shaft was a type of maple called a clairvoyant tree.
On its surface woven-bamboo pattern were carved, and at the bottom of the shaft a sculpture of a hawk’s head was added.
For the core materials, ten types of bones of birds of prey were used.
The effect of this wand, which could be made relatively cheap, was to enhance our eyesight.
It could be said that it was a perfect wand for watching this match.
“Hou, that blue ribbon, it seems that golden threads are slightly embroidered into it. Guessing from the matching colors, is that guy’s lady from Aurelia? Hmm, that black knight is quite small. It is regrettable that his face cannot be seen……it’s concerning……”
“Your Majesty, please moderate your unjust suspicion.”
The King who had reinforced his eyes were muttering while observing the Black Knight carefully.
My heart felt like it was going to leap out of my ribcage.
It became more and more resembling the ribbon I gave to Auguste.
“Oh, if you don’t mind Erica-ojousan, then you should use this wand. The price of this wand will be my treat.”
“Would that be alright?”
“Your Majesty, if my daughter is spoiled too much……”
“Isn’t it fine? Because she is interested in the dragons. I’m just glad that children like the tournament.”
The King gave his wand while smiling.
While I felt somewhat guilty, I still took the wand.
If this was the case, let’s use it to find out whether that black knight is Auguste or not, since that was the point.
“Pardon me, Your Majesty. I’m sorry to interrupt you, but may I swing this wand twice?”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. You can use it continuously.”
Apologizing to Otou-sama internally, I accepted the offer.
After equipping the alchemist’s silk gloves my older brother gave me as a present last time, I swung the Raptor Sight twice.
Although my vision was enhanced sufficiently for watching just by swinging it once, if I swung it twice I gained visual capability that exceeded that.
As soon as the effect was applied, I focused my eyes on the ribbon which the Black Knight put around his arm.
(Wow! That’s my ribbon…!!)
The magically enhanced visual acuity enlarged the ribbon wrapped around the Black Knight’s arm like a camera’s zoom function.
There was an embroidery with golden thread on the blue fabric.
The design also matched and there was no mistake because it was a hand-sewn embroidery.
That means the Black Knight who hid his identity was confirmed to be Auguste.
What should I do?
The situations were developing steadily towards my death flag.
If this was the case, there was nothing that I could do except to pray that Auguste wouldn’t fall, and thought about words that could be a good follow-up that wouldn’t seem to be insulting if he fell.
The horn that marked the start of the match rang.
The dragon knights, who were facing each other, held a long spear before them and bowed.
This dragons jousting tournament competed for superiority by having three matches on a one-on-one basis.
The first one was with a spear, then with an axe or hammer, finally a match with a sword.
Of course, it was not enough for the dragon knights to just go all out, they needed to win according to the game-specific rules.
Shields were attached on three points: the left shoulder of the rider, the left chest of the dragon, and the left rear of the saddle.
If they hit their weapon on one of those shields, they would earn one win.
If they fell from the saddle or dropped their weapon, it would be their opponent’s win.
The first one to score two wins or made their opponent faints would advance to the next round.
After bowing, they gripped the long spear with their whole right arm as if embracing it, and took a charging stance.
The two dragons of black and brass blowed up cloud of dust as they leaped, caught the wind with their huge wings and rose sharply.
“It seems that it has started.”
“Hou. This is……just by looking at his movements above ground, I think that he’s not an ordinary person.”
“What do you mean? Your Majesty?”
I asked the King who was brimming with atmosphere that he wanted to explain it no matter what.
“Yeah. Erica-jousan. Dragon is a creature that is easy to reflect the mental state of their rider. Especially when it comes to fighting.”
“Look at that, the shakiness of the neck of the black dragon is smaller than the brass dragon, right? That Blackcurrant is a dragon with calm temperament, but it is rare that she trusts such first-time rider so much.”
“Is that so……”
Auguste, somehow you were immensely praised by your father.
Or rather, I was wondering how did his riding ability became better this quickly.
No way, had he already fused with the contract beast?
While I was feeling anxious, the match was entering the climax.
The dragons entangled themselves together, crossing several times in the air like a tornado.
Just by chasing the shades of black and brass that changed places quickly, I became dizzy.
Soon, both of them abruptly took a distance from each other.
Both riders threw away their spear, pulled out the second weapon that was attached to the saddle, and took the stance for either axe or hammer and bowed.
A shield that broke into two was falling, I didn’t know whose was it.
Which one of them won?
“I do not think that he is a young boy, he is quite skilled with spear, Your Majesty.”
“Umu. That feint when they clashed their spears for the third time, it is not something that even the regular dragon knight is able to do. Perhaps he is a famous juvenile knight in the field of jousting.”
“It was admirable that the one that broke was the shield of the saddle.”
“That was very thrilling. I thought that the Black Knight was aiming for the dragon’s chest. Instead he turned around and swooped down from that posture and struck the rear.”
Otou-sama and King Ignitia were talking delightfully about their first impressions.
When I looked for the aforementioned saddle that turned up in the conversation, I realized that the shield behind the saddle of the brass dragon was gone.
That means, it was Auguste who took the first win.
“Erica-ojousan. You may wish to take a momentary break and look over the match area as a whole. If you stared too closely, it will be rather difficult to catch the battle flow.”
“Thank you very much, Your Majesty.”
The King who seemed to have read my complexion whispered into my ear.
Although the second match was about to start, I consciously tried to calm my mind and spread my horizons a little.
Certainly, this time it might be easier to see their movements than the first match.
Blackcurrant that Auguste rode on, sometimes as daring as an eagle, sometimes as graceful as a swallow, nimbly flew over the opponent’s dragon despite her large build, barely grazing it in passing.
She was moving in a way that made me nervous.
As if Auguste integrated his whole body into the dragon and became her third front leg, he breathed in sync with her and aimed at the opponent’s rider.
Every time the heavy mace clashed with the big axe, the brass dragon’s rider’s balance would be thrown off.
However, Auguste was stable as if the saddle and his lower body were stuck together.
“It is a bold, aggressive turn from the first match, Your Majesty. He didn’t frighten his dragon, there are not many riders who even come close to have that kind of capability.”
“Is that so, Your Majesty?”
“Umu. That’s because the mental state of the rider is transmitted directly to the dragon. Nothing is more gallant than letting the dragon to feel a sense of absolute security, not to mention his technique to avoid clashing at the very last moment……Oh! Look at that, Erica-ojousan! Now he performs a backward somersault that seems to twine around his opponent!”
King Ignitia kept watching the battle flow with raising exultation like a child.
It seemed that he was fascinated by the battle of the Black Knight Auguste.
It was not unreasonable.
There was an indescribable beauty about his fight.
Even I who was without knowledge, thought that his way of fighting was cool.
Couldn’t bear the fierce attack, the opponent knight finally dropped his axe.
The match was over.
The cheers from the audience praised the Black Knight who was actually Auguste in disguise.
The knight of the brass dragon took off his helmet and raised one hand in surrender.
Auguste made an inverted flight with his dragon and touched the opponent knight’s hand.
That touch was also done by acrobatics flight that almost grazed his opponent.
The brass dragon’s knight, after a moment of shock, fainted with the Black Knight waving his hand while giving a broad smile behind him.
Instead of showing his face, the Black Knight was showing off by standing up on the saddle of the dragon that should be unstable and bowed to the audience.
The audience seats were cheering for the Black Knight again.
King Ignitia unexpectedly stood up and applauded.
Even though it was still the first game, there was a tremendous excitement.
“That’s brilliant! That black knight will definitely be scouted into our Order! It’s regrettable. It’s truly regrettable……I want to show this match to Auguste! He will definitely like this Black Knight!”
Without knowing that it was his son, the King praised the Black Knight.
The combination of Black Knight Auguste and Black Dragon Blackcurrant kept on winning smoothly.
Moreover, every match was a straight two wins.
Auguste advanced to the final match.
On the opposite side was a dragon knight wearing silvery white armor, Louis Ode-Ignitia with the White Dragon Camellia.
I felt that a fateful confrontation was going to start.
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