13. Older Brother, Worthy Rival
I felt uncomfortable, watching the action of Gasper after that last blow. I thought it was a creative way of attack at first, but as it continued I tried to figure out how I should handle this situation. From the way he attacked, I understood that he had taken this seriously.
Which made it all the more strange that his movement were so poor, it was as if he only learned how to how hold and swing around his sword.
“From what my sister told me, you had been sword training since last year right……?”
I asked in a daze.
“……That’s right! I began with cleaning the training grounds and polishing armor!”
Gasper says so, while glaring at me.
“Day after day I kept the grounds and armor in good condition for the knights. For my efforts I was finally able to use a wooden sword, since this autumn. As I began to run a set distance with it.”
I remember the students of traditional arts from my past life. If I’m not mistaken, the senior students would often time have the new disciples to do medial task like that. In a way, actions like this can cause one to take 20 years to master what could have been studied in 10.
The marquis house is military family.
The Red Lion Lambert.
I didn’t know you had to take up such an old-fashioned training style, simply because you’re the eldest son.
“I was glad to hear that I could do sword training at the start. Because it is my aim to become a knight like my father. But, I only did trivial duties for the knights and cleaning……”
Wanting to be like his father, seems to have only made the gap between the ideal and reality more painful.
In the case of my family, there is no warrior family background, and my father is only obligated to carry out the duties of a duke. So in my case, it isn’t expected or necessary for me to become a knight. My training was completely left to Lloyd, who taught my the the skills steadily.
It was want some would call, a difference in educational policy.
For me , the minimum degree of ability is normal for a duke family, so Lloyd was happy to oblige when a requested more in-depth training. If I hadn’t insisted to father that I needed training with Lloyd, I might not have even achieved the bare minimum of skill. Since Lloyd is so excellent, I’m taking the training step by step, and am trained a an individual.
In Gasper’s case, his training method has been pasted down throughout the Lambert house’s history. It was the education system of a family that has always produced knights.
I’m the better in swordsmanship now, but there is no guaranty that it will last.
If the honed training method of the Lambert family is competed, I would plainly lose.
As the saying goes, if given the same amount of sand, I would make a mound, while Gasper would build a foundation.
Temporality I have the upper hand, but in the future I can be over come.
“I did exactly as I was told, yet my ability with a sword only amounts to this. Yet, I was worrying if I could become an excellent knight or not.”
Gasper speaks with a dark expression.
I can understand his feelings. I mean, it was something he had spent a year on.
If I was still the fat pig, I probably would have been kicked out the first day. In fact, I would have been tossed out in half a day. Well, that is an extreme example, but it’s as you’d expect from a military household. There are bound to be lessons piled up by the previous generations.
“Still, I believed father when he said there was a propose to what I was doing. But……”
His was beaten 3 years ago, lost a race , and defeated in a dual all at my hands. His state of mind must be on the edge of collapsing. Thus he called out the word “Liar”.
Your father is not a liar.
His was cultivating a foundation, so that an even greater mountain can be made.
Don’t mind that I am at the slightly high position now.
Because you walk the royal road.
I thought so wholeheartedly.
But I can’t form the words. You mustn’t fall here.
The reason being that you have yet to realize it yourself, Gasper.
“I lost, to Marcel Alderton…… To even be under the one famed in my generation , for being underwhelming at best.”
Word of my uselessness seems to already be widespread.
Where did it leak out from?
I wonder what I really did 3 years ago.
Or has a former servant or baron, driven out by father, spoken of our heartlessness in other places.
Both are possible.
However, it would be shocking either way.
“Even with all my training, I am still inferior to Marcel Alderton!”
I strongly try to hold back my feelings. It was not right to interfere with the educational policy of other noble houses. Besides, it was the traditional method of the marquis warrior family. Outsiders should mot interfere.
However, 3 years ago Gasper was a boy filled with a sense of justice, but now…… He has lost sight of his path, because of the shape change in the personality of someone from the same generation.
Is this alright?
For the sake of this person, rather the the marquis household.
With today’s defeat, I feel that Gasper’s distortion has been accelerated.
“…… I’m done with the sword”
“Don’t stop me Sid! I don’t have talent. Nothing was gained in that one year at all.”
It is frustrating when results aren’t gained.
If my speed and stamina had not increased little by little as I ran, I would have found it had to continue with it.It would be ascetic training in which you cannot observe one’s growth. It is really hard to maintain the course, when the your goals seem untouchable.
With Gasper about to fall from his path, I could not pretend to not see it.
“You are wrong! Everyone believes that Gasper-sama can become a great knight!”
“I’m already done!”
Sid tries desperately to sooth the shaken Gasper.
What should I do?
This is not part of the original game. If I was still the fat pig, I would have not come to an open space to run when I visited the capital.The original Gasper, should have overcome the stagnation period himself, and completed the training method.This situation has caused a large shift in Gasper’s future.
The original me had to be changed, in order for Micheline and I to survive. But that did not mean I intended for my actions to negatively affect other people.Now because of a dual, Gasper is losing the chance to overcome his own stagnation. If I leave him alone, it could lead to unpredictable consequences.
What can I do?
I grit my teeth and think.
He has to advance with his own power, so I have to push him to do so. But it can’t be done with a simple lie. I seem to really like this honest guy, even if he is a little foolish.
There is also hesitation on whether or not holding out my hand would be enough.
I watch Gasper to find a advantage I could use.
All while being troubled by the quarreling of the Lambert master and servant.
“I’m sorry Gasper! I don’t know what to do!”
I apologized for my own cowardliness.
“……Why are you apologizing to me! Do you intend to show sympathy? Or is it pity!?”
Gasper flies into a fit of rage.
“That is not it!!”
I surprising lashed out.
“I can’t find a way to lead you. That is a regrettable fact!”
Gasper has an expressionless face.
“Gasper you are great. You simply don’t know the meaning behind the training you’ve undergone for a year, a normal person wouldn’t have been able to do it. It would be absolutely impossible for me. Because it is you, I surely thought you’d have noticed by now. But I appear to have blinded you to it!”
I talked in a single breath. I don’t care even if I’m looked at strangely because of this.
“The ascetic training that you’ve undergone has a great purpose. It is premature of you to say that it has none…… It should go without saying, that nothing would be carried on if it had no meaning. I know that there is a meaning, after only hearing about it. Therefore, the year you spent training was not a waste!”
While my chest burned, I spoke vehemently.
“I should not have to say it! I’m sorry, for nearly taking away your chance to find the meaning yourself.”
Oh, I seem to have let it out after all. The perspective I gained from old man Wolfram.
That there are things one can only gain by experiencing it with one’s own flesh and blood.
My crime of spoiling that is truly heavy.
“I’m sure that in the future you will be able to find the hidden meaning in many things. However, I will lend you a hand for this one, since I have realized my mistake. It is for this reason I’m sorry.”
I noticed I was crying.
I regret that I almost removed the future possibilities of Gasper, someone that had so much hidden potential. It was not just about the original character settings. We had recognized the person before us, and had shamefully exposed our heart to each other.
“《The king pulls the carriage》?……”
Gasper quoted a piece of the ancient world history.
“It’s so. I will reveal the meaning from the very beginning. I had no intention to let you pull to carriage yourself……”
I am depressed.
This saying was also in my previous world, The king is ordered to pull the carriage by a fisherman around his kingdomThe king tried to pull the carriage by himself, but stopped after 200 steps. When a subordinate lends a had, they make 600 steps before stopping, The fisherman then revealed the task’s meaning. The 200 step one can make on your own would mean it would take 200 year to finish. But it can be reduced to a faction with the 600 steps one can take with the help of others. It was such a divination.
“…… This way the take that would take you alone 2000 steps to complete, can be achieved with 1000 steps from each of us.
Gasper said so in a quiet tone.
I looked up.
Gasper had an expression of as if the venom from before had been drained away.
“It is a nasty world, that needs to be overturned when you consider the span of countries.”
“It is foul”
Gasper showed a natural smile.
“Why are you so desperate to stop me?”
A difficult question popped up.
Well that’s expected.
We just met yesterday, and the events of 3 years ago weren’t something I wanted to remember.
“Well……, It’s how it is?”
There are multiple reasons why, yet the word can’t seem to form.
“Hahahaha! It’s what it is! Such a strange guy……”
Gasper roars with laughter.
The outer corner of his eyes shine a little.
“Yeah, I may be strange. Hahaha.”
The two of us ended up laughing for a while.
Then, with the bamboo swords in hand, I gave a model lesson. It was a strange feeling. I was always on the receiving end of the lesson when I practiced with Lloyd, and always struggled to create openings. Yet Gasper, who didn’t know the style, was following with ease.
As he evades with determination, I stop my swings just before they hit Gasper’s head.
I am surprised myself, that I could stop when on the verge of winning.
Gasper stood firm, as I stopped the sword, totally different from his actions before.
In this way, we kept training. Even when we blocked each others sword, we continued without any sense of discomfort.
It felt weird, but l don’t dislike it.
Before I realized it, we were ready to face off.
“Let’s do one last match.”
“If you want to.”
We say so, with the memory of what happen before still clear in are minds.
However, I face off against Gasper, our breathing matching each others.
Unlike the earlier, he now uses a mix of offense and defense.
He really will be something great.
I feel that with my mind and body.
Until now, I had the advantage.
I am convinced that my strike will land first.
At the same moment, we striked the others head.
“It was good match–”
With a deeply satisfied smile, Gasper boost.
“I am proud of this draw. And your defeat tomorrow.”
I’m also happy and I start to laugh.
My worries seems to have only been imaginary fears. This guy was not some narrow-minded person that couldn’t learn from others.
“I will become a knight who’s only loss belongs to Marcel Alderton.”
I almost said to stop overestimating himself, but I remained silent.
It was a pledge. An oath to never loss again.
Who am I to deny that?
“Oh, look forward to it ”
In that way we said good-bye and walked to the opposite direction across the park.
The end of the year brought about a new beginning for me.