“Princess, please forgive me if I accidently hurt you in battle.”
Nier paid no attention to the guy opposite her speaking to her. She instead waved the wooden sword in her hand and complained: “This wooden sword is a bit too light… it doesn’t feel right…… Why can’t we use real swords like in the past…? Life or death is decided by one’s blade after all… This can’t be considered a duel……”
“It can… it can… this is a demonstration-type duel. Don’t go killing him!”
I pat Nier on her shoulder and adjusted the leather armour at her chest. This is just a simple duel which serves as a performance for the empress and I to watch, but I have to admit that the empress looked so excited it might actually get to her head, and she might end up getting up there personally…… I also called the dozens of soldiers I recruited to come and see Nier’s swordplay. Nier will be their sword instructor in the future. I can’t have my cavalry only know how to shoot from their steed. They need to be able to stand against the Valkyries on foot as well.
Only soldiers competent in all fields are true soldiers. It’s not like they’ll always be able to ride next to me after all. The gun used on horseback is short by nature, so instead of equipping them with a bayonet, it would make more sense for them to be equipped with swords.
I’ll also equip them with the curved elven-imperial-guard sabre Nier has. Those are very deadly weapons whether we’re talking about its mechanics or materials. The only issue is that only elven imperial guards are allowed to wield them, so I need to get some from Mommy-Vyvyan for my guards.
“Your majesty, as per agreed, we shall do it as many times tonight as the number of people I take out.”
“I think you should just kill me instead. Actually no, I should just kill myself… didn’t you often suggest I do so in the past?”
Nier giggled softly and then hugged me. I hugged her back and softly said: “Go easy on them… don’t beat them to a pulp. They’re nobles after all, so give them a way out that’s not so embarrassing……”
I felt sorry for the guy opposite her. Under normal circumstances, I would be hugging my princess and gently saying: “Honey, be careful. Just surrender if you can’t win. Don’t get hurt.” But instead, I was now gently telling Nier not to let her blood go to her head and go all out. Yes, it’s a wooden sword, but a wooden sword can still cripple someone. Hit hard enough and you could kill!
“Don’t worry, don’t worry dear. I’m your princess now so I wouldn’t be so violent. It’ll be alright if I just knock his sword away, right? Uhm, okay.”
Nier whipped her arm and continued with a smile, “I’m not really used to it, but I’ll try my best to control myself. Your majesty, please watch my brilliant performance.”
I nodded and walked down. I went over to sit next to the empress. The two of them bowed to each other and then raised their wooden swords up. Nier’s movements were up to standard. However, I noticed clear traces of elven swordplay in the mix. It makes sense since the Valkyries were taught by her majesty. The empress was taught by the red-haired lady. The empress combined her experience with the sword on the battlefield as well as the strengths of both races’ styles, and the result is the current Rosvenor sword style.
Of course, I don’t know how to use it… Even though she holds the title of Sword Saint, she and Vyvyan surprisingly maintain the same stance that I am not to learn swordsmanship.
Next to me, the empress chuckled softly and suggested: “Son, let’s have a bet. Let’s bet how fast Nier can finish her opponent off.” I hesitated for a moment. Her opponent was not some random noble. For him to be able to show-off his sword skills before the empress, he must be a skilled descendant of a family of swordsmen who have been around for centuries. I’ve only seen Nier instant-kill fodder. Her opponent this time wasn’t weak. I don’t know how Nier is going to put him away either.
“Alright, how about mommy provides a suggestion.”
Mom looked at me and held up her cup of wine. She then giggled softly and asked: “You should be aware of how fast mommy drinks wine. Nier will have won before mommy can swallow it. Do you believe mommy?”
I paused and then shook my head. I replied: “That… that’s pushing it a little, don’t you think…? I don’t know……”
“You need to have faith in your wife. Mm, you haven’t seen Nier’s sword skills yet. Or rather, you don’t know how hard Nier trains. I presume Nier rarely draws her sword when she’s with you. You will be able to see her true skills this time. Don’t be shocked, son.”
The empress raised her cup of tea up and gently clinked it with mine. Our wine-cups here aren’t big because the empress likes to drink the strong wine from the desert in winter. If she drank it with a red-wine cup, it’d be a little bit too much, so she uses small wine-cups. One drink, from the moment it enters her mouth ’til she swallows it is only around one second, right? If it’s just one second, Nier wouldn’t even get a chance to m-……
Before I could even raise my cup, Nier had already moved. It was like seeing a shadow flash right before my eyes. The sound of Nier’s cape whistling through the air was the only indicator of just how fast she moved. Nier ended the match in that one instant while her opponent looked at his right hand utterly stunned. A sword should’ve been there, yet he released his grip on it without even realising it because Nier struck his wrist in a split second.
Mom placed her cup down and winked at me with satisfaction. I was holding my cup of wine at my mouth completely stunned just like the guy up there who was at a lost for what to do. I turned my head around to look at the soldiers behind me. They too were looking at Nier whip her sword with their jaws on the ground and utter disbelief in their eyes.
“That’s one, your majesty.”
Nier smiled in my direction and extended a finger. I thought they would exchange blows so I could call it quits, saying we ran out of time after one or two opponents. But by the looks of things, I’m going to be completely emptied! If she beats one per drink, I might as well die now!
A chill started from my feet and ran all through my body. Nier’s smile is now particularly terrifying to me. I felt like the next one to get up onto the ring and fight her was me… I stood up and walked up to Nier. I softly said to her: “Nier… didn’t I tell you to go easy? …… It’s not good for you to instantly put your opponents down like this! They’re going to feel humiliated like this!”
Nier looked at me slightly unhappy and said: “I already held back… Look, I hit his wrist. Normally I would go straight for the heart…… Your majesty… you’re not trying to stall for time and then go back on your word are you……? I won’t let you go to her majesty’s place tonight~……”
“Hahahaha… whatever do you mean…? I wouldn’t do that…? Would I be afraid of that sort of thing? Nier… have you seen me afraid before?! It’s just… It’s just……”
“I can continue fighting without worry then……”
Save me… I’m dead… I’m scared… I’m seriously scared… This is not a duel. This is wrapping a rope around my neck…… Can you guys do something? … Please, someone please defeat Nier….. Surely there’s one of you who can fight! Is this wannabe martial arts all you know?!
After she finished, Nier walked up to my side. I turned around to look at the soldiers behind me and asked: “She will be your instructor in the future, Nier Rosv-… she will be soon…… What do you think? Do you have any opinions?”
The stood in place, saluted firmly and replied: “We shall follow your orders, instructor! We are sincerely convinced!”
“Great then. Your training won’t be easy. You will be guarding my husband after all. If my husband gets hurt even with you around……” Nier wiped her smile away and then coldly said: “I’ll be very angry… I will be… very, angry……”
I noticed them shudder……
“Ah, Nier, Nier. Good timing. My hands have gotten eager seeing you enjoy it so much.”
Just as Nier was about to drag me to the guillotine, I mean, bed, the empress called out to Nier from behind. Mom picked up a wooden sword without putting on any armour, warmed up her neck and then said: “Come, come. Come and spar with me.”
Nier looked at me and then looked at the empress. She nodded and replied: “Alright, your majesty. However, please go easy on me. I want to turn in early with his majesty……”
Mom! Hit her viciously!! Knock her out!! Knock her out!!