“Not bad, not bad.”
Shusia wiped her sweat on her forehead. She looked at Gerald, who stood in front of her and was in the midst of pulling his sword back. She continued with satisfaction, “Though you’re not a top-tier fighter, you could be considered a skilled fighter among the guards in the Royal Capital.”
Gerald chuckled awkwardly. They sparred for over ten rounds, but he was defeated by Shusia every single time. As a guy, he should’ve been going easy on her, but when they sparred, he discovered that he, at best, could only defend against her attacks despite his utmost efforts. After over ten rounds of sparring, Shusia was just breaking a sweat.
Gerald honestly admitted, “I never thought you were so formidable.”
Shusia hesitated for a moment before laughing with pleasure. She responded, “I am the Valkyries’ sword instructor, after all, and N(ier)-, our Princess’s favoured pupil. There’s no way I’d be poor with a sword.”
“Is the Princess… very skilled with a long-sword?”
Although he was in the Prince’s employ, Gerald didn’t know about the Prince or even the people around him. The only impression of the Princess was that she was an elf in an emerald dress by the Prince’s side. He recalled her from memory. He couldn’t see how the elf Princess was skilled with a sword.
“The Princess was the Valkyries’ sword instructor before she married His Majesty, and she was also Her Majesty’s favourite Valkyrie. There’s no way she could be poor with a sword now, is there?”
“What?! There was an elf amongst the Valkyries?!”
Gerald shouted at the top of his lungs. Shusia looked at him feeling stupefied. She asked with puzzlement, “How could there be an elf among the Valkyries? What are you on about?”
Gerald was completely confused as he stuttered, “But… did you not just say that the Princess was once a Valkyrie? Is the Princess not an elf? Her… her ears…”
Shusia titled her head after she heard him explain himself. She then laughed and replied, “Oh, you’re talking about Princess Lucia. Princess Lucia is, indeed, an elf and also a Princess. However, His Majesty has another Princess in addition to Princess Lucia. His Majesty’s other Princess is Royal Princess Nier. Princess Nier was once a Valkyrie team captain. She’s a human. You could say that her marriage to His Majesty shook the hearts of all of the Valkyries. We’re all very jealous that she got to become Her Majesty’s daughter.”
Despite saying that, Shusia revealed a shy smile and went on, “But I have Philes now. I’m very happy, too. Philes is a very gentle man. I can feel the warmth of being valued when I’m with him. I truly like him very much…”
Gerald looked blankly at Shusia, who was shimmering with a shy and blissful expression.
Their romance truly came out of the blue. He never expected that a sparring match could trigger a romantic reaction out of her.
‘Speaking of which… if Captain Philes dressed up and put on makeup, he would probably be prettier than Shusia…’
‘Are they really going to be okay? Is it okay for her husband to be prettier than her…?’
Gerald is, actually, quite attracted to romance. He once had a childhood friend. The two of them grew up together. It’s just that she liked another guy… Not only did silly Gerald not win the heart of his affection, but he even became their letter delivery boy. In the end, he became the witness for their marriage… Of course, Gerald doesn’t hate them or feel sad about it. To the contrary, he was genuinely happy for them. It’s just that he can’t help, but sigh when he thinks about it.
After arriving in the Royal Capital and holding a respectable job Gerald changed his views. He decided to find a girl that was similar to him in terms of finance and standing. Of course, he had to like her, as well, and he’d like to get married with her. When he arrived at Troy City, Philes who caught his eyes, turned out to be a man, hurting the pure young man’s fragile soul. He now felt another blow to his heart after seeing Shusia flaunt her romance.
‘It’s fine. It’s fine. There are plenty of maids in the palace.’
He just had to take a stroll and he’d find beautiful young girls with smiles as pretty as flowers. He was definitely going to be able to find an ordinary, yet gentle wife.
“I think that your swordplay is all right. You meet the basic expectations for a bodyguard. Learning swordplay is something you will need to persist with. Go and report to Miss Freya for now. Come to me every afternoon, and I’ll teach you swordplay. Miss Freya is usually in the office in the afternoon, so she’ll be safe for sure during that time.”
Shusia tossed her sword aside then looked at Gerald with a smile, “Princess Nier fell in love with His Majesty when she worked as his bodyguard, which then led to them becoming a couple. The two of them are now very happy with each other. Gerald, Miss Freya is His Majesty’s adopted sister, so she is a royal family member at the end of the day. You must do your best to protect her, understood?”
“Of course. I will do my best to protect Miss Freya! I cannot let His Majesty down when he trusts me so much!”
Gerald proudly puffed his chest and raised his head. Shusia gave him the “idiot” look, as well as a look of sympathy and confusion. She let out a heavy sigh, “Forget it. It looks as though your pureness is lethal. Maybe that’s why His Majesty trusted you with protecting Miss Freya…”
“Sorry… I honestly do not understand what you mean…”
Gerald looked at Shusia with puzzlement. He replayed what Shusia said to him in his head covered underneath his blonde hair. But try as he may, he couldn’t figure out what Shusia was trying to suggest. He thought that maybe she was encouraging him.
Shusia waved her hand and in an irritated manner, responded, “There’s no need for you to get it then. Go and see Miss Freya. She should be in the office at this time.”
‘What in the…’
Gerald went to the hall of the office while still utterly perplexed. This was his second time here at the office. He went to see Freya the first time he came, as well, except she shooed him out.
Gerald knocked on the door, and that caused the door to gently swing open. It didn’t appear to be closed. However, he didn’t get any response from inside. It was silent. Gerald hesitated for a moment before gently pushing the door open. Freya was lying there on the table, opposite where the sun shone. She resembled a kitten curled up under the sun. Gerald walked up to Freya with gentle steps. Freya’s fatigue on her forehead caused one’s heart to ache, because that sort of fatigue shouldn’t appear on the face of a kid.
‘How much had the Prince’s adopted sister given up for him? She almost lost her life and spent her youth and energy for him every day. She was at the age where kids act wilful and spoilt, yet she had the fatigue and steady character that didn’t fit her age.’
‘Is she really… doing all this voluntarily?’
He saw Freya pressing down on a picture frame. She pressed down on it hard as though she was hugging the individual in the picture. It was as though holding the picture was the equivalent of holding her entire world. She wore a blissful smile even while sleeping. Gerald took a glance out of curiosity. The drawing was relatively childish and poor. Despite that, though, His Majesty’s gentle smile was still lifelike, nonetheless…