A Kiss for The Princess
Julian and I went to the corridor because doing it inside the room would damage the furniture, as you might expect. Fortunately, the corridor was quite big and rarely used by the people here. Julian stared at me with a hostile expression, pointing his sword straight at me.
“If you lose miserably in front of Her Highness, she should be able to understand. However, before we start fighting, I will tell you this. This is a duel, so you might die if you get hit.”
“I know,” I nodded. This was a duel using swords, killing weapons.
Of course, if either of us surrendered, the duel would end. But if we seriously dueled with each other, then it wouldn’t be strange to say that one of us died before someone could give up.
Perhaps realizing that, Philia’s expression became anxious. I smiled at her. “Are you worried that I’d lose?”
“No, I don’t think Solon would lose. But there’s a possibility that Solon could get hurt…”
Although Philia agreed on the duel in the blink of an eye, it seemed that she was anxious now. Well, I was happy that she began to think about it more thoroughly, but it was too late. The fire has been ignited.
I usually had some anxiety before a fight because it was always tense and the situation was frightening. But this time, I was confident I could win without any problem if I did my best. I didn’t even think I would get hurt. But the hard part was, I couldn’t just win. I had to win without killing Julian or injuring him. Even though the princess was the one who acknowledged the duel, I still couldn’t kill the vice-captain of the imperial guards. After all, if I did that, then I wouldn’t be able to enter the Imperial Palace again. The guards and the aristocrats wouldn’t forgive me. But I thought it would be okay, because I have my ways to win without killing Julian.
“Philia-sama, please don’t worry about it. I will definitely show you the victory you wish for.”
I saw Philia nodded, and I looked at the enemy in front of me. Both Julian and I held cheap copper swords.
“Now, it’s a duel!”
“I accept,” I responded quietly to Julian’s shout, signaling the start of the duel.
Julian charged at me and slashed his sword. I stepped back, avoiding his attack. Right now, I should concentrate on the defense, because it was the plan. Then Julian made a second attack and I took one more step back.
“What happened here? Did you get scared?!”Julian shouted while making a powerful sword attack. So that was it, Julian’s sword skill was certainly excellent, it was what I expected of the vice-captain of imperial guards. If I made a mistake, I would be cut in half and sent to another realm. However, there was nothing to be concerned about.
I had to make sure Philia wouldn’t worry too much. It was time to fight back. I blocked Julian’s fourth attack, and jumped back at the next moment. Julian seemed to think I would continue blocking his attack, and because of that, he slashed his sword too fast. But then, his sword flew upwards.
Julian hurriedly fixed his stance. His reflex was fast, as expected. But there was a slight gap in his attack. I stepped forward and slashed from the right. Julian barely managed to block with his sword. Our swords clashed, and sparks were scattered violently. I went even further and put all my strength into the next attack. Julian tried to aim at my torso, but I was faster. My sword removed Julian’s sword from his hand.
“It’s the end…!”
With my words, Julian’s sword fell to the ground. Then I pointed the tip of my sword towards Julian’s throat.
“Do you surrender? Vice-Captain-dono?”
“Surender? I won’t surrender after experiencing such disgrace, it’s better for you to kill me…”
“It’s the vice-captain’s duty to protect this place, right? Are you willing to abandon your duty? I didn’t mean to kill you in the first place.”
Julian had a disappointed look in his face. “I surrender,” he then knelt down. Because he has lost, he would have to fulfill his promise of letting me stay by Philia’s side.
I sheathed my sword and picked up the sword Julian used. The battle was done, there was no need for these dangerous weapons.
I looked back and saw Philia skipped happily while approaching me. “You won, Solon!” Philia said with a lively voice.
“Yes, thanks to Philia’s lucky charm,” I smiled and returned the handkerchief I received from Philia. Philia took it courteously and extended her right hand towards me.
What did that gesture mean? Philia looked into my eyes, smiling softly. “The knight who protects a girl will kiss the girl, right?”
This was also a traditional custom for duelling, the same as the one proving I was fighting for Philia. I didn’t think it was necessary to do it, but Philia may long for this kind of chivalrous exchange.
I hesitated for a moment, then knelt down and politely bowed my head towards Philia. After that, I looked at Philia’s small white hand. Even though I knew it was etiquette, it still felt embarrassing. I steeled myself and kissed her soft hand. Raising my head after a while, I saw her face was red, but she smiled happily.
“From now on, you will stay by my side, right, Solon?”
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