Chapter 18


***

 

It was a beautiful voice with no highs or lows. She could see his eyes staring at her with an expression that made her wonder what he was thinking.

 

The solitary figure made Filina laugh.

 

“I don’t think I remembered telling you my name.”

 

“……………Do you?”

 

His hoarse voice was very annoying.

 

Surely this was the first time today that she had a proper face-to-face meeting with Henry……………

 

“I only heard rumors.  It was my first time seeing him in person.”

 

Suddenly, Laura’s voice echoed in her head.

 

“Lord Argeny wrapped his big hands around the Lady’s waist. He also leaned your head on his shoulder, afraid you might get hurt.”

 

‘D*mn it, why did I just remember that?’

 

Filina turned her face lightly to the side and bit her lip. The fact that he had saved her was a disgrace to her.

 

If she could only turn back time, she would never have agreed to the tea meeting. Then she wouldn’t have fallen down like that at Count Haley’s residence or gotten help from Henry Argeny.

 

From the look on his face, he seemed to remember the day she collapsed. Which made it even more embarrassing.

 

Filina averted her gaze and suddenly realized that he knew her name. Then, she suddenly asked with an absurd face.

 

“Did Laura reveal my name to the lord?”

 

Henry, who was staring at her face, furrowed his brow and recited.

 

“I’m flattered….”

 

He locked eyes with Filina again and gave her a dubious look.

 

“It’s strange. Your maidservant was hoping that I would remember the Young Lady’s name.”

 

At Henry’s words, Filina sighed and clasped her hand to her forehead.

 

‘I knew it…’

 

No wonder he called her name before they even had properly exchanged their first greetings.

 

It was a really embarrassing situation.

 

“Is your body all right?”

 

His elaborate voice brought laughter to Filina’s face.

 

It was ridiculous that the person who brutally murdered her was worried about her.

 

The eyes formally blurted out a question that was both terribly indifferent and not very interesting. 

 

Cecilia had to have a formal engagement ceremony with the Crown Prince before the story could begin in earnest. She felt that it was a little early for Henry to play the role of mastermind properly. 

 

He was one of the first to graduate from the Swordsmanship Academy and was asked by the Imperial Knights to participate in the Cohen War. In the process, he single-handedly defeated hundreds of thousands of enemy troops, and the imperial family bought his “merit” for this so highly that they gave Henry the new title of “Swordmaster”. 

 

After that, Henry set up a dark guild in secret. That was the development of all the events. Henry’s purpose was to completely destroy the family line.

 

 He had an unfortunate family situation, just as there was a reason why Filina had no choice but to become a villain. His father, the Duke of Argeny, was known to be a very violent man. 

 

He was violent with his family as was his habit, and his relationships with women became quite complicated. His wife, unable to overcome the Duke’s violent temper, finally committed suicide. 

 

The first person to discover her death was none other than Henry. The young son witnessed his mother’s suicide firsthand. 

 

It was a traumatic experience for Henry. In the end, that’s what created the mastermind. It was also the reason why Henry kidnapped Cecilia. 

 

He wanted to destroy the house to get revenge on his father, and he wanted to use Cecilia’s ability to see the future for his plan. 

 

“…Lady Debussy?”

 

Henry called her with a strange look on his face. It was because Filina still hadn’t answered his question, “Is your body okay?” Filina said bluntly with a smirk.

 

“Didn’t the lord see me fight the wild boars?”

 

“I did.”

 

“Then why do you ask? As you can see, I’m very well.”

 

Filina shrugged her shoulders and spoke flatly, and he answered shortly.

 

“I see.”

 

Filina was embarrassed by his monotonous voice.There was no more talk between the two.

 

She didn’t approach him to have this carefree conversation in the first place. Especially when they didn’t even have a good relationship.

 

“‘If you have nothing more to say, may I go?” (Henry)

 

She was dumbfounded when she heard the dismay in Henry’s low voice.

 

“Did I hold on to the lord by force?”

 

At Filina’s words, the corners of his mouth, which had never been raised before, moved faintly.

 

Henry’s calm voice echoed through the desolate air.

 

“Because it wasn’t what I wanted to spend time with the Young Lady.”

 

Filina snorted at his absurdity. On the surface, he pretended to be a gentleman, acting politely, but at times like this, he showed his twisted true feelings. All kinds of black shadows hidden behind his beautiful face.

 

Henry bowed his head gently with a noble face and then turned away. His gentle silver hair danced in the wind.

 

Filina stared silently at his back, then quickly turned back.

 

Her feet moved to the performance hall.

 

There were still some competitions left that she hadn’t seen yet.

 

She had been wanting to see Leon hold the sword for a very long time. She missed his agile gesture that moved faster than anyone else.

 

****

 

As Filina walked into the performance hall, she saw the candidates watching the exam outside the bars. 

 

The atmosphere was noticeably unsettled somehow. Every now and then, people’s laughter mixed in. Filina ran through the performance hall with a suspicious look on her face. 

 

She couldn’t understand what would be so funny during a match. She looked through the grand iron bars to the middle of the performance hall and saw an extraordinary sight.

 

The wild boars that were lining up at a certain distance from the test takers all stirred up the performance hall in a strange way. 

 

They were circling around the large performance hall with both legs propped up like humans, showing their bulging bellies. 

 

Then suddenly one boar put one foot in the air and bent its thick back backwards. It looked like it was about to fall over, but it got back on its feet easily. It was as if it was dancing. 

 

Filina looked to see who was doing that trick. She saw a man standing alone in a large performance hall. 

 

Even from a distance, she could see his indigo hair disheveled by the wind, his mischievous expression, his narrow, curved red eyes…. his fingers were making a circular motion. 

 

Yes, that hand was the problem.

 

With one small hand gesture of the man, the boars, without any will, wobbled.

 

‘…Is it magic?’

 

Filina frowned and muttered in a low voice.

 

There was nothing that could explain this situation unless it was magic.

 

An empty laugh spilled from between her lips.

 

Did he take the potions too?

 

“Candidate 299, time is running out. Please perform your test properly.”

 

The man who nodded without sincerity at the instructor’s voice lowered his hand.

 

Then he tapped the sand twice with his shoe, and the wild boars, who had been dancing crazily, began to attack each other.

 

The man sat down on the floor of the performance hall and watched them.

 

He was even yawning, wasn’t he?

 

The sight was so ridiculous that Filina couldn’t help but chuckle.

 

“Candidate 299, the time was delayed, and if you do not finish the game within five minutes, you will be rejected.”

 

The instructor’s decisive voice echoed through the performance hall again.

 

“I understand, sir.”

 

The man replied with an annoyed expression and stood up from his seat. 

 

He snapped his thumb and middle finger, and just like that, the three boars exploded simultaneously.

 

“Candidate 299, you have passed the third practical exam!”

 

The instructor who checked the bodies of the boars shouted loudly. The man had already crossed the performance hall and was outside.

 

Filina, who had been following his gaze as she watched him blankly, turned her gaze back to the performance hall. She saw another figure, and held her breath.

 

“Leon….”

 

When she saw the black mask, her feet bounced forward. However, a huge iron bar blocked her movement.

 

Her heart pounded violently. Tears were threatening to come out of her red eyes at any moment.

 

It was a relief to know that he was alive.

 

Leon didn’t die.

 

She forgot how long she had been looking for him to confirm that obvious fact.

 

Now she felt like she was finally able to breathe.

 

Leon entered the performance hall, but the commotion hadn’t died down yet.

 

It was because the match of the man who had tested before was very deeply etched in people’s minds.

 

But Filina couldn’t take her eyes off him, as if she had only seen Leon from the beginning.

 

She could see the longsword that Leon was holding in one hand. It was the sword that he valued more than life itself.

 

“Candidate 082. We will now begin the second practical examination.”

 

With the instructor’s voice, a wild boar was seen running out into the performance hall. The rather excited one slowly circled around Leon and attacked him furiously.

 

Until that moment, Leon hadn’t even grasped his sword properly. Finally, the boar came right up to him, and in a flash, he swung his longsword.

 

There was a sharp sound of wind blowing across the air, and the match ended in an instant.

 

“Candidate 082, you have passed the second practical exam! You will now proceed to the third round exam!” 

 

With the instructor’s voice, three wild boars came swooping up.

 

Unlike the one before, their slow movements made her hold her breaths. The way they hovered around Leon, observing their opponent, evoked a sense of tension.

 

And in no time at all, three boars rushed at him.

 

Leon quickly ducked and swung his sword.

 

A small sandstorm arose, causing a sharp noise. A wild boar, who thought it would be cut off as it was, was seen quickly avoiding his sword.

 

Filina laughed in bewilderment.

 

How could a mere pig avoid Leon’s sword?

 

It was strange.

 

There was an atmosphere that was strangely different from the matches that happened so far. 

 

For example, the slightest movement she saw in the boars disappeared. She could no longer see them slamming their hind legs into the ground. Moreover, it was difficult to easily grasp their movements. They didn’t move at the moment she thought they were going to, they attacked at random moments.

 

Were the pigs originally that fast?

 

The candidates outside the bars started laughing at him when it looked like Leon was being pushed in the fray.

 

Clank!

 

The boar’s sharp fangs hit Leon’s sword along with its fierce squeal.

 

Snap!

 

As Leon swung his sword quickly, the thick fangs that had been attacking him broke right off. The boar groaned in pain.

 

Leon took out the one that was attacking him fearlessly with one shot. There were only two of them left.

 

“Something’s wrong.”

 

Filina, who had been watching Leon’s game, muttered quietly as two wild boars jumped at him at the same time.

 

Perhaps because of the reflection of the sunlight. The white fangs  seemed to glow shallowly.

 

Clank!

 

Leon’s sword swung at them at a rapid pace. But unlike before, the boars’ fangs did not break.

 

Rather, they became as hard and shiny as stone. It was as if its body had been strengthened. When she finished thinking about it, Filina turned around and looked for someone.

 

***

 

*Someone is playing a dirty trick on Leon.

Notes

N/A

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