Young Girls’ Shyness
What’s the best weapon for a duel between elves and humans? Definitely not stamina. Elves possessed a much shorter and smaller stature compared to humans. Inard, whom Vyvyan thought was big, looked obviously skinny and weak in front of Elizabeth, hence why the essence of elven swordplay lay in nimbleness. Although the elves were a bit thinner, they were substantially faster and nimbler than humans, so what appeared to be strange movements to humans were easily performed by elves.
Elven long swords were a tad superior compared to humanity’s in regards to quality. As such, only the elites among humanity could compete against elves in swordplay, because elves were very confident with their swordplay. Additionally, Lorana, who specifically trained the Galadriel Tribe, was the best among the best. Vyvyan and Inard, who were trained by her, should’ve been the best among the elves. However, Inard couldn’t defeat Elizabeth.
Elizabeth didn’t know why wielding a sword felt so familiar to her, either. The long sword didn’t feel as though it was a long sword to her; it felt as though it was her arm. Lorana was very reluctant to admit it, but sometimes, geniuses appeared, such as Elizabeth, who was currently holding a long sword, appeared.
“I surrender. I surrender!”
Inard sprawled on the ground and raised his hands up to call surrender. Elizabeth pressed her sword onto his neck and looked over to Lorana. Lorana nodded, and then Elizabeth retracted her sword before pulling Inard up. Inard was still wearing a stunned expression, for it was upsetting for the proud elven Prince to be defeated by a human in a sword duel. Nevertheless, the upsetting reality became the norm for Inard. Since improving their swordplay, Inard and Elizabeth duelled daily to test their mettle. Vyvyan was caught in a conundrum when she watched them, since she didn’t want for either of them to get hurt. At the same time, she wouldn’t be happy to see either of them win.
She liked her brother, so she wanted to see him win, but she gradually found herself hoping Elizabeth would win, too. Elizabeth was usually a kind and gentle, polite, noble and graceful girl; however, she couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was missing. Previously, Vyvyan wasn’t sure what was missing, but she felt something was missing from Elizabeth’s eyes. Her eyes didn’t look lively. In battle, though, her gaze immediately became complete. Her eyes filled with spirit were different to how they usually appeared. Her suave posture when she held a sword was surprisingly resembled a warrior more than her brother. She would go as far as to say that she was completely captivated by Elizabeth’s sweaty and suave silhouette, instead of watching her brother.
That was when Vyvyan realised what Elizabeth had been missing. Elizabeth was missing her own will. Elizabeth’s grace and nobility wasn’t her personal trait, but something that she learnt through her family education. However, Elizabeth didn’t have something she liked. It was the first time she found something she liked. Though it wasn’t something that was befitting of a female, there was a saying that went, “Women and blades are a couple.” When Vyvyan saw Elizabeth, her belief in that saying was consolidated. She came to believe that there were women born for the blade.
“Beautiful, Elizabeth. Maybe you should be friends with swords in this lifetime.”
It was rare for Lorana to praise someone, but Lorana praised Elizabeth. Elizabeth shyly sat down to the side and glanced over to Inard feeling somewhat apologetic. Vyvyan jogged over to hand Inard a towell. Inard looked at Elizabeth with a hint of frustration. He let out a heavy sigh before turning to Vyvyan to ask, “Sister, am I no good with a sword…?”
Vyvyan responded honestly: “No! Onii-sama, your swordplay is fabulous. It’s just that you can’t beat Elizabeth.”
Inard rubbed his head in a slightly unhappy fashion. He handed the towel back to Vyvyan and said to himself, “How depressing. Why can’t I beat a girl – not to mention a human…? I should be better suited to this…”
Lorana unhappily rolled her eyes. She then pulled Elizabeth and Vyvyan over. She explained, “This human girl has never slacked. Your Highness, I don’t need to remind you how undedicated you were after beginning swordplay training, right? Your Highness, swordplay has nothing to do with your tribe or your gender. It’s a matter of whether or not you commit yourself to it. Today is the last warm day before we enter autumn. Ladies, let’s go take a bath; else, It’ll be troublesome to take one after. In addition, we need to prepare firewood for winter… Of course, we still need food for winter. Winter is torture to us every year… Life after winter comes in won’t be so comfortable and leisurely.”
Indeed, winter was a very rough season for elves, because they had no means of combatting the cold. The group was also outside the elven forest. In other words, they were where the protection offered by mana was weakest. They might be reluctant to admit it, but the current reigning Elven King didn’t possess sufficient mana, so he couldn’t cover all of the elven forest. Put another way, summer and winter did exist in the elven lands.
The next King in line was Inard. Now, while he was much stronger than the ordinary elf, he was a bit too weak in comparison to Vyvyan. Vyvyan’s birth was basically a miracle in elven history. It was as if it was a god was born not an elf.
Normally speaking, Vyvyan should be the one to succeed the throne. However, she didn’t seem to have any plans to become the ruler; hence, Inard should be the next King. There shouldn’t be a problem with Vyvyan providing mana, though.
Inard looked at the three maidens who were ready to go for a bath. With a blank look, he asked, “Wait, what about me?”
Elizabeth spun her head around and shyly grabbed her chest. In a loud voice, she exclaimed, “What do you want?! You want to bath with us or something?! Do all you always do that?!”
In a serious voice, Lorana explained, “No. Please allow me to apologise. Elizabeth, I guarantee that there’s only ever one idiot Prince among the elves who would have such sick ideas.”
Inard took a hit to his heart. Vyvyan frowned: “Brother, I suggest you find another way to wash or wait for us to return before going. To be honest with you, I won’t bath with somebody of the opposite sex.”
“Not even your brother?!” asked Inard, astonished.
Vyvyan firmly replied, “Not even my son.”
However, Vyvyan didn’t know she’d soon slap herself in the face.
The three went to the creek. The temperature was no longer as warm as before; nonetheless, it was still relatively comfortable. The creek was situated behind the house the three lived in. By the edge was a soft lawn. The three maidens played in the water there every night. However, the water temperature was cold at night around this time of the year. As a human, Elizabeth found it a little discomforting, so she moved her bath time to the afternoon.
Once they got to the creek, Vyvyan stripped down and walked up to the edge of the creek. She turned her head around to wait for Elizabeth. The moment she went to call out to her, she noticed Elizabeth’s slightly wet lower body, which was her sweat from training. Her smooth back shined, as it was covered in sweat. It shined as though it was the glow of an angel. Elizabeth grabbed her long hair to stop it from sticking to her back, thereby revealing the back of her smooth neck. Vyvyan spaced out as she looked at her. Her heart unexpectedly began to race while a strange feeling stirred. An annoyed, yet shy, feeling appeared in the young girl’s mind and stuck there for a long time.
Elizabeth turned around to catch Vyvyan’s expression. She presumably recalled Vyvyan’s sneak attack from behind, so she nervously covered her breasts with her hands: “Hmm? What’s wrong, Vyvyan?”
Vyvyan swiftly spun her head around and, in a nervous tone, replied, “Ah… No… Nothing… Nothing…”