"I lost?" Harrison asked with puzzlement, "I wasn't hurt at all. Why did I lose?"
Leguna didn't say a word and merely pointed at his throat with a smirk.
He touched his throat and saw his finger stained by something red.
It was then when he noticed that everyone was looking at him as they would a fool. His lips shuddered as he shot Leguna a venomous glance before darting towards One with greatsword in hand.
One's gaze cooled immediately. She calmly estimated the distance between the sword and herself. When there was less than half a meter between the two, she took a step back to barely step out of Harrison's reach.
She then kicked herself forward with rapid speed and attacked when Harrison was off balance. She kicked at his knees. While she didn't use too much force, the accurate strike caused Harrison to feel his right leg soften and stumble. The heavy sword was hard enough to control already, so the high-order warrior ended up half-kneeling in front of Leguna.
But that wasn't the end. One leaned in on Harrison's body and flipped to the other side.
She then used her left hand to block his two hands holding the sword and stretched out with her right to grip onto his wrists.
He didn't feel much pain at all, but he unconsciously relaxed his grip after being guided by the force. By the time he snapped out of it, the sword was already in One's hand.
Given how even Harrison had trouble wielding the sword freely, One could definitely not lift it with her strength. So she threw the sword away after disarming him and stomped it to the ground.
"It's the first time I've met a swordsman who can't even grip his sword properly," she said mockingly, "Do all captains of the city guard use ill-fitting weapons like that?"
"Die!" Harrison couldn't bear the humiliation and his impetus burst out. The powerless nobles were blown into a frenzy.
He stood up and assumed a stance which would allow him to exert the most force and let the muscles of his legs contract. He burst towards One with rapid speed.
She narrowed her eyes, but didn't need to move. A large figure blocked in front of her.
"Buzz off!" Harrison ignored the person blocking him. He had no thought in his mind but wanting to kill the man that tried to stop him. He used swung his impetus-infused first towards that man.
The man merely looked at Harrison and raised his left hand, intent on grabbing the fist.
Then the hands collided, Harrison felt like when he was a young child stupid enough to punch a wall. The man's left hand didn't move in the slightest as Harrison's rapid punch was stopped.
He flared angrily, but froze when he saw who the person was.
"Your Highness, Alissanda?"
He had only seen the second prince a couple times.
While he looked quite similar to Geoffrey, it wasn't hard to tell the two apart. Alissanda was larger and better built than Geoffrey and looked distinctly more masculine. The mere sight of him reminded most people of bright, firm muscles and the sweat flowing down them.
Geoffrey looked more like a cold snake, a rather stupid one that was discovered before it got to bite anyone at that.
Regardless, Harrison couldn't afford to offend either of those princes. He knew that he got into serious trouble.
"Cease this charade!" Alissanda said as he glared at Harrison and Geoffrey. "Today is rare. I don't want anything unfortunate to happen today."
"Charade? The man behind you humiliated Harrison. He's just a peasant! Peasants who humiliate nobles deserve to be put to death!"
"Wasn't Harrison the one who asked for the duel? He got outmatched and defeated and is now trying to take revenge for his shame? Our imperial father had thought us that nobles should conduct themselves with decorum. I don't recall being taught to use our status to bully the weak or unprivileged!"
"He's not alone," Leguna said as he stood beside One, smiling, "This person here is a bureau agent. Any punishment should be dealt with by us. Not to mention, I don't believe he did any wrong today. You did well, Klud!"
Klud? You're Klud! Keep that disgusting name to yourself! one thought when he patted her shoulder like he was the big boss. She wanted to swat his hand away, but thought better against it.
Geoffrey eyed One coldly as if he was trying to remember her face. After a while, he said, "This isn't the end! You better watch out!"
"Wait!" Leguna lazily said, "I believe Your Highness hasn't forgotten our bet just now, right?"
"Leguna…" Alissanda stretched his hand out to stop him.
Letting a prince get slapped in public was not appropriate. No one but Larwin and Annelotte dared to do it. Larwin because he was their father, and the emperor, and Annelotte because she was the empire's only swordsaint's daughter, and because she was Annelotte.
"I know my limits," Leguna whispered before he approached Geoffrey without waiting for Alissanda to react.
"You're really going to hit me?"
Geoffrey shot a seething glare at Leguna. The flames of anger were almost shooting out of his eyes.
"You're an imperial prince. I wouldn't dare."
"Good." He breathed a sigh of relief.
If Leguna did slap him, he would get off without much trouble because of the bet, but Geoffrey would lose face big time.
"But, I dare to slap him in front of you!"
Harrison thought something was off, but the rage-filled slaps collided with his cheeks before he could react. Leguna struck with lightning speed. Even he, a warrior, couldn't stop them.
When he came to himself again, his cheeks were swollen in the shape of two palms. Nobles could see the shiny blisters forming on his cheeks from the other side of the room!
Ignoring Harrison, he approached Geoffrey and whispered, "If you test my patience again, I'll cut your hands off. One more time and off goes your neck."
He didn't wait for a response and left. Alissanda looked at his brother, green with rage, and turned towards Leguna.
"We haven't met for so long. Fancy a chat?"
Though he had slapped Harrison publicly, he hadn't vented all his frustrations, so he wasn't in the mood to talk.
"Come on… let's leave together."
Alissanda put his hand around Leguna's shoulders and the two left together.
"Umm… I'll go to Sis Annie," Eirinn said.
She knew there were some things she shouldn't hear.
"Okay--" Leguna nodded and turned to One. "--Come along, Klud!"
It wasn't that he wanted her to listen their conversation. He just couldn't leave her alone. Who knew what she was planning? However, he knew he couldn't get her to return to the millennium capital obediently, so the next best thing was to keep her under his nose.
He didn't think this was exactly what she wanted. She knew from the get-go he would keep her around to stop her from doing anything. And this would let her interact with him in public. Given that she had the bureau heads' cover, she didn't have to worry about other agents not recognizing her.
There was one exception, however. The exception used to be a part of the same agency as her in Stoke. He had also been an assassin for the empire.Previous Chapter Next Chapter