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When I punched Rutum his body flew a couple meters before he landed, twiched, and stopped moving completely.
My sudden action caused the cheering to stop and the audience to go silent.
Umm, he wasn’t dead, right?
Oh, his leg still moved slightly, so he should be fine.
I went up to Rutum and used magic to pour some water over his head.
「What’s going on?!」
I honestly thought it would have been better if he just stayed unconscious, but I had to make him keep his promise to the king.
「What happened, really?」
Rutum scanned the area for a clue before looking at me.
「Were… Were you holding back all along?」
He realized it?
Well, it would have been a problem if they found out that I had won using the power of Bear Hands, so I had held back. Yet, when he had said something so stupid, I had acted before thinking and hit him with all I had.
Could I maybe hit him again to make him forget?
Still, if I hit him too many times, he might even end up forgetting his promise.
「O-of course not.」
I tried to play dumb.
「Fufufufu! So, you were holding back. No wonder Eleanora-dono was willing to stake her own position on this match. It seems that I had made an error in my judgement.」
Rutum said and looked at Eleanora-san who slowly walked over to us.
「I knew you were strong, but this was the first time I’ve actually seen you in action.」
Eleanora-san had only heard about me defeating monsters like the Black Viper, but had never been there to see me do so. She had only watched me fight Shia that one time she had challenged me. Thinking of it like that, she must really trust me, to let me fight in her stead even though she didn’t even know my actual strength.
「I want you to marry my son even more now.」
Hadn’t he been aiming for Shia and Noa to begin with? Well, not like I could say that out loud, and I couldn’t just push them under the bus, as I cared about their futures. It was still quite annoying having to deal with his persistent requests, though. For now, I somehow managed to reject his offer, and we headed to speak with the king.
「That was an excellent match; it caused quite a bit of excitement amongst the students.」
「Even so, that doesn’t rectify the fact that I have embarrassed myself in front of you.」
Rutum said and bowed deeply in front of His Majesty.
「Just as you promised, you shall step down from your position as the commanding officer of the Third Chivalric Order. Following that, I will give you a new position. You are to become an instructor at this academy and focus your efforts into raising new knights.」
「I understand what you believe in. In general, women indeed have less brawn than men. Because of that, it may have been better to only have male knights in the past, but now that we are at peace, I believe it’s fine to train a few female knights as well. Tilia and Flora will need them as their escorts, so I want you to train both men and women to become fine knights to support the royal family. 」
「Still, make sure not to harm any female knights like you did today, and don’t even think about quitting your post.」
It looked like His Majesty had noticed Rutum’s scheme.
「I understand. I will fulfill your wishes.」
Rutum obediently accepted his king’s orders.
「Good. Also, we can’t let the students’ matches against the knights end like that. Please complete the rest of your duties as the commanding officer today.」
「As you command. Please excuse me.」
Rutum glanced at me but left without saying anything else.
His face was all swollen up but it wasn’t my fault. He was the one antagonizing Shia and Noa, so I had to punch him at least once.
Just as I tried to leave as well, His Majesty called out to me.
「I will be returning to the castle. Eleanora, Yuuna, I’ll have you both come with me.」
The last day of the school festival had only just begun. There was still plenty of time to look around. Why did I have to leave together with the king?
「Look behind you.」
I turned around and noticed a bunch of students and observers intently watching us.
「Your Majesty, they’re looking at you, are they not?」
「No, they’re looking at you, Yuuna.」
「If I let you roam free, I can easily see it causing problems. I also have quite a few things to say to you.」
He sounded kind of angry as he said that. I really didn’t want to follow him, but having all these students and festival goers stare at me was quite scary as well.
Even then, I still had my duty to fulfil.
「I need to watch over the girls, though.」
「That’s right. The time spent with my daughters is priceless to me.」
Eleanora-san followed up. Wait, wasn’t this the part where she should have sacrificed herself and gone with the king?
「Eleanora-san, I can watch over Noa, so you are free to go.」
I offered, already taking a step back.
「Thanks, Yuuna-chan, but it’s okay. I can stay and take care of the girls while you accompany His Majesty.」
Eleanora-san said, taking two steps backwards.
His Majesty seemed dumbfounded at our bickering.
「Fufufu. You can both leave; I will watch over the girls for you.」
Tilia, who had kept quiet until now, spoke up.
There were still a lot of people around us, so I had to be careful with my language.
「I will stay with them, so please feel reassured. The two of you can go with Father.」
She didn’t have to cut in like that.
「I’ll say this now, but the two of you have no right to refuse. I will even bring along all the girls if necessary.」
We were at a school festival, and I wanted the girls to keep enjoying themselves here… Well, I knew I could let Tilia take care of the girls so maybe it would be best to entrust them to her? I glanced over at the girls who were looking back at me with worried expressions a short distance away.
「I have to go to the castle with His Majesty for a while, so go enjoy the rest of the festival with Tilia-sama, okay?」
I said and turned to Tilia.
「Tilia-sama, please take care of the girls.」
「I will take responsibility and watch over them carefully, so please do not worry.」
With that, Eleanora-san and I were dragged away by the king.
I almost felt like a calf being herded away.
We got into a nearby carriage and sat down. I could feel the king’s glare burning on my skin as he seated himself across from me.
His Majesty looked between us before letting out a sigh. A short silence enveloped us three, who were the only ones in this large and spacious carriage. Only once the carriage started to move, did the king open his mouth again.
「What on earth were the two of you trying to do?! Especially you, Eleanora! Do you even understand what position you are in?!」
His Majesty began shouting at Eleanora-san, clearly mad that he had to deal with the trouble we caused him.
「What would you have done if Yuna lost?!」
「Well, I would have kept my promise and just gone home to Cliff.」
「You only think about yourself. What about everyone else who you would leave behind?!」
「He was trying to poach my daughters for marriage, so I just…」
「Then pick someone for them already! This only happened because you haven’t made a decision yet. Thanks to a certain someone next to you, Crimonia has gained access to the ocean, and because of that, the town has gained enormous benefits, which in turn makes your family more tempting. Your daughters are going to get even more proposals from now on.」
So, this had all been due to me making the tunnel?
And now, because of me, Shia and Noa would be getting even more marriage proposals?
Well, the two of them were cute, so I was sure they had people chasing after them all the time anyway.
「Cliff and I can prevent that from happening, so we’re not worried about that. We will protect our daughters’ happiness.」
「In that case, you should have dealt with your situation without making that kind of wager.」
The king said and sighed again.
「You as well, Yuna.」
Why was he getting mad at me, too?
I was the protagonist trying to protect the heroines from evil. I hadn’t done anything I should get scolded for. I had done my best even without my Bear Suit, so he should praise me instead. Well, I had enjoyed the sword match, but that wasn’t really the point.
「Don’t pick a fight like that. It’s dangerous.」
「But, that old guy was really annoying.」
「He tried to make Shia marry his son and even drag Noa into it as well. He also plotted with his knights to hurt the girl doing her best to join their ranks. I have no regrets about my actions.」
「If you had just left the marriage talks to Eleanora, things would have been fine. Marriage won’t happen unless both families consent to it, and regarding the female knights, what Rutum said was troubling but not completely wrong. Even though his method of going about it wasn’t good, there was no actual reason for you to fight him.」
Well, if I hadn’t done anything I would have exploded from stress.
「Moreover, you really should consider your actions more so as not to make others worry about you so much.」
「Could it be that you were worried about me, Your Majesty?」
「Would there be something wrong with that?」
I asked him as a joke, but he answered seriously.
I suddenly got a bit embarrassed.
「The girls who were with you also all looked very anxious as they watched you fight. They were clearly worried you might get hurt.」
I hadn’t paid attention to their expressions during my match. If I had really made them worry, I needed to apologize later.
「Even Tilia seemed to be worried about you. Good thing I didn’t bring Flora with me today.」
It seemed that, with my actions, I had made many people worry about me. Even the king, who should know how strong I was, most likely couldn’t help but worry, having never actually seen me fight before. Perhaps it really was a good thing that Flora-sama hadn’t been there to witness it. She might have cried. The king was right; I had to consider the people around me before I acted so recklessly next time.
「Still, all in all, I do have to thank you.」
「You’ve proven to everybody present that women can be strong as well. There are many people working in the castle who, like Rutum, also believe that only men should be knights. This turn of events should help to challenge that belief.」
「So, you’re saying there are a lot of people who think the same way as Rutum?」
「Yes. Even if things get a bit better because of your actions, noble families who produce knights every generation will most likely still disagree with the idea of female knights.」
Getting women to enter a male-centric society really was difficult…
「Okay, but are you sure you want to let Rutum train the students to become knights then?」
I was still afraid he would act harshly towards the girls.
「I will send an assistant to watch over him. If Rutum starts to support the female knights’ faction, then the opposing factions may learn to accept it as well. Even though he has lost to you, he still wields the power of a knight commander, and it isn’t easy to trample on that noble status.」
In that case, it should be fine.
I couldn’t really object anyway, so I had to trust the king here.
「Eleanora, I have to warn you that, depending on Rutum’s attitude, I might reinstate him as a knight later on down the line.」
「I don’t really care about that.」
「Well, it largely depends on how he does at the academy, so this will be a conversation for the future.」
Then what was even the point of me fighting him? Any meaning behind the match was slowly disappearing into thin air.
Well, Eleanora-san was fine with it, so there wasn’t much I could say to change it.
The king finally finished his scolding, and not a moment later, the carriage came to a stop at the castle grounds.
「Umm, so what am I to do now?」
「I have said everything I needed to. Just come in and chat with Flora for a bit. In your usual outfit if possible.」
In my Bear Suit, he meant?
Well, that was fine with me.
「Well then, I guess I will join you in visiting Flora-sama.」
「I’m not done talking to you, Eleanora. Once Yuna is done changing, come find me immediately!」
Eleanora-san tried to escape with me but was immediately caught by the king.
「Whose fault do you think it is that we had to return to the castle, huh? We aren’t even close to done, so hurry up and get Yuna changed before coming back to me.」
With that, we finally got off the carriage, and Eleanora-san brought me to an empty room.
「I want to thank you once again, Yuna-chan.」
As I began taking off the uniform, Eleanora-san suddenly bowed and thanked me in a serious tone.
「I’m the one who got involved in your affairs after losing my cool, though.」
「Yes, but that was all for my daughters’ sake, right? So I must thank you.」
I was starting to get embarrassed, receiving such serious gratitude.
「Still, Rutum seemed to be getting quite interested in you, Yuna-chan.」
「Can you stop that, please.」
Just remembering it gave me the chills.
「If you marry his son, you’ll become a noble, you know?」
「I must politely decline.」
「Okay, how about I adopt you as my daughter? I’m sure Cliff would be okay with that.」
Me becoming Cliff’s daughter?
I could only imagine Cliff being completely perplexed by that situation.
Yup, that was a big no go as well.
The king scolded them for their reckless actions. lol
With this, the end of the school festival is finally in sight.
On a side note, the publication work has started to calm down.
I just have to write the bonus short story for it now, and then I’m done.
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