It’s the calm before storm. I hope the action parts are understandable. Enjoy the chapter!
ED: clover, eristol
The tournament is divided into three classes.
A 5-meters class, that is, a dragon whose body length is 3 meters – including the tail – with wing length of 5 meters.
A dragon with a wing length 10 meters and a total body length of 6 meters is called a 10-meters class.
A dragon with a wing length of 20 meters and a total body length of 12 meters is called a 20-meters class.
Excluding the tail, the 5-meters class is about the size of a pony, the 10-meters class is a little bigger than a horse.
The 20-meters class is……about the size of a small airplane?
Since it is 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 are finishing smoothly.
The rider of the 10-meters class winner, the knight who is on the bronze dragon, is proudly holding his left arm facing the audience and being showered with the cheers of the audience and the flowers thrown in.
Several ribbons were wrapped around his left hand’s gauntlet.
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 is praised as a hero, and the dragon is 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, I heard the Queen Consort and the mother-daughter of Hafan who were dressed to show an elegant dressing style of Ignitia, excitedly discussing a girly topic about coming up with an idea on how to protect their skin from the southern sun-rays.
On the contrary, over here is a lecture about dragons from the King who seems to have become child-like.
I learned a lot, but where do Ann and I differ?
Next would be the match of 20-meters class.
Although I am not participating, somehow I am feeling nervous.
This is the first game of that Black Knight who might be Auguste.
A black knight on a black dragon and his opponent, a knight who is riding a brass dragon, went down to the arena.
Just because the dragons were flapping their wings, my vertical rolls, which were quite far away from them, were fluttering in the wind.
I felt the strong wind blown off by a dragon flying around nearby.
It feels like a typhoon when the 20-meters class do it.
Around the audience seat, Protective Circle that the mages have set up, and the wand of Protective Shield that the alchemists have prepared are on standby.
They were prepared for an emergency accident, but I am a bit worried whether or not the dragons that might come crashing can really be stopped.
When the match started, both my father and His Majesty the King were using a wand.
His Majesty the King also wore alchemists’ leather gloves properly to prevent the reaction.
It looks like the wand they are using is 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 can be made relatively cheap, is to enhance our eyesight.
It can be said that it is 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 muttered 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 it, 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.
Since this is the case, let’s use it to find out whether that black knight is Auguste or not, since that is the point.
“Pardon me, Your Majesty. I’m sorry to interrupt you, but may I wave this wand twice?”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. You can use it continuously.”
Apologizing to my father internally, I accepted the offer.
After equipping the alchemist’s silk gloves my older brother gave me as a present last time, I wave the Raptor Sight twice.
Although my vision was enhanced sufficiently for watching just by waving it once, when I waved 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 is hiding his identity is confirmed to be Auguste.
What should I do?
The situations are developing steadily towards my death flag.
As this is the case, there is nothing that I can do except to pray that Auguste won’t fall, and think about words that can be a good follow-up that won’t seem to be insulting if he falls.
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’ tournament competes for superiority by having three matches on a one-on-one basis.
The first one is with a spear, then with an axe or hammer, finally a match with a sword.
Of course, it is not enough for the dragon knights to just go all out, they need to win according to the game-specific rules.
Shields are 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 will earn one win.
If they fall from the saddle or drop their weapon, it would be their opponent’s win.
The first one to score two wins or cause their opponent to faint 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 blew up cloud of dust as they leaped. They 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 the atmosphere that he wanted to explain it no matter what.
“Yeah. Erica-jousan. Dragon is a creature that easily reflects 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 that of the brass dragon’s, right? That Blackcurrant is a dragon with a calm temperament, but it is rare for her to trust such a first-time rider so much.”
“Is that so……”
Auguste, somehow you have been immensely praised by your father.
Or rather, I am wondering how his riding ability became better this quickly.
No way, has 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 shadows of black and brass that were changing 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 don’t know whose it was.
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 a regular dragon knight is able to do. Perhaps he is a famous juvenile knight in the field of jousting.”
“It is admirable that the one he 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 position and struck the rear.”
My father and King Ignitia are 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 is 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 stare too closely, it will be rather difficult to catch the battle flow.”
“Thank you very much, Your Majesty.”
The King who seems to have read my complexion whispered into my ear.
Although the second match is 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 is riding on, nimbly flew over the opponent’s dragon despite her large build, sometimes as daring as an eagle, sometimes as graceful as a swallow, 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 was 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 having 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 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 twining around his opponent!”
King Ignitia kept watching the battle flow with raising exclamations like a child.
It seems that he is fascinated by the battle of the Black Knight Auguste.
It is not unreasonable.
There is an indescribable beauty about his fight.
Even I, who is without knowledge, thought that his way of fighting is cool.
Unable to 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 an 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.