Julian, the vice-captain of the imperial guards, looked around the room with an exasperated expression.
“Your Highness, I would be questioning your sanity if you are going to sleep with a man of no appropriate origin.”
“Solon is someone I trust,” Philia said clearly. “What’s more, he has been vouched for by the duke and the professor at the Imperial Magic School.”
“But he’s not an aristocrat,” Julian said coldly.
Well, Julian did have the background of a high-standing noble family, the oldest aristocratic family in the empire. Furthermore, his mother was from the imperial family. If not, he wouldn’t have been able to become the vice-captain of the imperial guards, since you had to have a good social status in order to occupy that position.
There were various kinds of aristocrats. Ones who didn’t mind whether or not the other was an aristocrat and ones who strongly believed aristocrats were far superior.
There were people who were arrogant of their aristocratic status, and there were also people who thought they had to help the people with their status. And from what I saw, Julian was a man who thought aristocrats were undoubtedly better. Because of that, he was perceptive on the matters of aristocratic and commoner status.
“In the first place, that man, Solon, had been dismissed by The Knights order because of his incompetence.”
“Solon isn’t incompetent.”
“That might be the case, but there could be a problem with dirty money or women. A man who rose to a high position with a commoner background is always greedy.”
“If you say anything bad about Solon anymore–“
But Julian interrupted Philia’s words. “Your Highness should be more careful, unless you want your child to have low origins.”
For a moment, Philia’s face was flustered and her expression was stiff. Then, her face became red. Well, it was fine to say bad things about me. But Julian’s attitude was too rude towards the princess. Even if you weren’t happy with Philia because she was a devil’s daughter, there was no need to go that far.
“Why don’t you stop at that, Vice-Captain?” I said, then Julian responded. “I have no reason to obey your instruction.”
“But I can’t just sit still while Philia was in trouble.”
“You said that, but isn’t it going too far by making Philia your disciple? It indeed was your doing that resolved the incident, but it would be a problem if you keep sticking your nose in the wrong place. The ones who are in charge of protecting the Imperial Palace are us, the imperial guards.”
“I would do it from the beginning if I could report to the guards.”
“I admit there were traitors among us.”
“Then, you should know the reason as to why we couldn’t report to the guards about the kidnapping of a maid?”
“I could understand that, but I couldn’t agree to it. It was our duty to maintain security in the Imperial Palace, so we won’t call on The Knights of Saint Sophia or the hero Solon.
“I didn’t mean to interfere with your work, but it was an emergency situation.”
“You said it was an emergency, but how would you take responsibility if you had failed?”
“But I didn’t fail.”
“Your confidence is pretty high. You were called a magic swordsman, but you’re not excelled in both sword skills and magic, so aren’t you a person who only fights with cheap tricks?”
What Julian said was right to an extent. We, the magic swordsmen, fought by combining multiple skills, but looking at it, our skills might be only half-assed.
“That’s not true! Even in swordsmanship, Solon is much better than you!” Philia exclaimed.
Julian’s expression became distorted. He seemed prideful, so it would definitely be unpleasant to be told by the princess I was stronger than him.
“The one who was chosen as the vice-captain among elites of the imperial guards, is weaker than this man? Then why don’t we give it a test?”
“Take the copper swords there, you and me. Let’s duel without magic and treasure swords, like the princess’s wish.”
“I can’t duel in front of the princess.” That was what I said, but Philia shook her head. She glared at Julian.
“I agree. But if Solon wins, you won’t say anything about him staying by my side.”
“Then let’s do it. In exchange, if I win, you will have to kick this guy out of the Imperial Palace.”
Philia and Julian have decided everything, without any regards to me. It made me a bit perplexed. If it were possible, I would like to avoid the duel because it was a hassle. However, Philia said I would do it, so it couldn’t be helped.
“Are you scared? I don’t know how you were when you were in the strongest knight order in the empire, but it wasn’t something that I, as an imperial guard, should care about,” Julian said, mocking me.
I didn’t say anything back and picked up the cheap copper sword at the corner of the room. Then I readied myself and looked back at Philia.
“I will fight, as Philia-sama wishes.”
“Yes, that’s my wish.”
Philia said, approaching me slowly and handing me a blue handkerchief with beautiful embroidery. It was a traditional custom before a duel. The handkerchief was proof that I fought for Philia and she wished for victory.
“Solon, please bring me victory!” Philia said in a clear voice, looking up at me.
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