Bratt Lloyd looked puzzled.
He couldn’t say he knew everything about Airn Pareira, but he did know what kind of a personality he possessed.
Apart from being good-natured, he wasn’t an extrovert, so he probably hadn’t dated many people in his life.
So, he wondered who the person he wanted to meet was.
‘It is amazing that there is a lot more to learn here even now.’
Of course, if they continued their training with the help of Tarakan, Khalifa, and Karakum, the best warriors of Durkali, they would gain a lot, but Krono was a better place for them.
In the same way that Ian had given them enlightenment with his sword dance in the past, if they went back to Krono now, they were sure that Ian could give them additional advice after hearing of each of the achievements concerning their travels.
And Bratt was looking forward to that moment.
But, were there more important things than that?
This question was soon resolved.
“Hm, I see.”
To feel, hear and see. That was what they had been up to lately.
And Airn thought about it seriously, and further came to understand clearly what direction it was important to take.
And his current choice resulted from that. After hearing the full story, Bratt had no choice but to nod.
Of course, the conversations didn’t end there.
Looking at Airn, who was looking at him intensely, Bratt shared his story.
“Well, you might know, but my goal is to become a good Lord. From the first day, I entered the Swordsmanship school till now.”
What kind of Lord is a good Lord?
What kind of image was truly noble?
What more did he need to work on?
Bratt let out his thoughts which he had kept in his heart without hesitation, and Airn, who listened, gave his opinions even if he lacked the right knowledge.
And the topics they discussed were not limited to each other’s goals and dreams.
Stories from the trip, memories from when they were prospective trainees, Ilya’s story, Judith’s story, and the stories of others who were precious to them…
And aside from these things, there were a lot of other talks as well.
They had wandered around for about a year together, but this was the first time the two were having such a long conversation.
And the reason was.
‘Is this a goodbye?’
As he was about to get that thought out, Bratt paused for a moment as he thought about it.
It didn’t seem right to say that.
After thinking for a while, Bratt looked at Airn and said.
“Then… it’s goodbye for a while.”
Airn nodded his head.
Even if they part their ways now, they would meet again.
The two, who had come to become inseparable from each other, continued to talk a little more.
Five days after the long conversation between the two men.
Judith and Bratt Lloyd were gearing up to leave Durkali.
There weren’t many people who came to see them.
Airn, Ilya Lindsay, Lulu and Kuvar along with Karakum, Tarakan and even Gurgar as well.
“Are you sure that you are dead? Isn’t it more like you are alive?”
“Huhu. I feel sad when you say that… because of those words, my time in the world has been shortened by three days!”
“Don’t joke about such things. Now I will feel bad.”
Judith frowned. But that was all.
Unlike the others who will stay in Durkali for a longer period, today would be the last time for Judith and Bratt to see Gurgar.
She reached out her hand, and Gurgar too reached out his hand. No one knew what he did, but despite being a spirit, his hand could be touched.
And she said,
“Thank you. And stay well.”
“If possible, let’s meet again.”
Till the very end, Gurgar continued to speak in a confusing manner.
Judith, who looked at him, smiled and then approached Lulu.
And she comforted the regret of parting with an expression that was deeper than a handshake or hug.
Tuk! Tuk! Tuk!
Judith’s hands and Lulu’s paw and tail were busily touching each other.
Everyone laughed as they looked at this pair showing off their gorgeous handshake.
It was quite pleasing to see how smoothly the hands were connected.
But Bratt went and spoiled it.
At some point, Bratt was unable to hide his feelings for Judith, and no one thought badly of him.
Rather, everyone in here supported them sincerely.
However, when he would occasionally spit out such words, they felt like their stomach was bloated.
Even Judith felt the same.
At first, she was reluctant to say anything to Bratt, who was uttering those words, but after a month or two, she developed a tolerance to it.
In the past, Bratt used to be someone who never spoke affectionate words; he would always think of gags or other similar stuff to tease her.
Judith frowned more than when she looked at Gurgar, and then looked at Ilya.
The silver-haired swordsman caught her gaze and took a step forward before saying to Bratt.
It was hard to believe that the prodigy of the Lindsay family was abusive.
But no one was surprised anymore.
Because everyone there knew that Ilya had been taking lessons on such matters from Judith over the past months.
And this wasn’t the first time either. For a month or so, Judith had Ilya curse Bratt on her behalf.
Of course, Ilya had a very difficult time, but after a short period of time, she began to enjoy cursing Bratt.
‘How did she change like that?’
Airn was curious, but he had no way of knowing.
What the hell happened between the two girls?
He didn’t think it was bad. On the contrary, Ilya, who couldn’t get closer to Judith, was now closer to her because of these lessons.
“What did you think about that?”
Thoughtful, Judith approached him.
Airn smiled and stretched out his hand; she too smiled and stretched out her hand and lightly clasped it.
However, their eyes weren’t light.
After a moment’s pause, Judith said.
“Don’t turn lazy and keep practicing hard. The next time I see you, I will surely defeat you.”
“And to make sure that doesn’t happen, I need to meet you sooner.”
“… right. So do well and stay healthy.”
“Shut up, Bratt. You have nothing else to say?”
“Not exactly. Well, it won’t be that long before we see each other.”
Hearing Bratt’s words, Airn and the party, nodded their heads at the same time.
That was right. They had become much closer than before and were presently better people fundamentally when compared to their past selves.
The physical distance between them didn’t matter. They could meet each other whenever they wanted.
Even then, they couldn’t help but feel a little upset at breaking away…
“Then, I will go. Kuvar, let’s meet later.”
“Thank you for the many lessons. Karakum, Tarakan and Gurgar. And Kuvar, next time, bring some family whiskey.”
“Sounds good. I’ll save some for you.”
Bratt Lloyd had a stylish goodbye like the nobles.
Judith, who was next to him, did it a bit awkwardly, but her practice had still paid off.
Everyone, including Airn, watched them as they left for a long time.
“Bye! Judith! Bratt!”
The goodbye took a longer time because of Lulu, who shouted bye every 10 seconds, unable to let go of them.
And the two disappeared after a while, and the empty space they left could already be felt.
“… they are gone.”
However, there was no time to feel regret.
Karakum turned and left, and soon, the rest of the orcs followed him.
Ilya held Lulu, who was still looking at Judith and Bratt, and with Airn, she returned to Durkali.
In that way, the farewell, which was in a way, even more regrettable than the one 6 years ago, was over.
[Bratt Lloyd story]
A time when Airn Pareira hadn’t arrived back at Krono and was still stuck in the sorcery world.
Ahmed, a senior of their school, came to Bratt Lloyd, who was practicing swordsmanship.
“You are a hard worker.”
“Ah, senior. Would you like to spar with me?”
Seeing the young one asking for a spar with a confident face, Ahmed burst into laughter.
And it wasn’t a derogatory laugh, but rather, he knew very well.
What an incredible talent the kid in front of him had. And not just that, the kid had patience as well as wit.
‘Ignet Crescentia and Ilya Lindsay are surely great, but his one isn’t much behind them.’
Maybe he would one day grow up to be a swordsman who would go down in history.
But of course, Ahmed didn’t say these thoughts out loud.
He was a person who knew how unpredictable the world was, so he couldn’t say that out.
It was better to cherish these compliments and praises and give them to Judith or Lance Peterson.
After organizing his thoughts, he said.
“No, let’s spar later. There is something more important than that.”
“The school master has called for you.”
“… I see. I will go right away.”
Bratt Lloyd nodded. As he headed to the shower room, his face was plastered with the expression ‘My time has come!’.
‘Oh yeah! Graduation exam! I am the first! Did you see, Bratt? This sister is first! Hahaha!’
He remembered the provocation of Judith yesterday.
She had been making fun of him all day, saying that school master Ian had told her to ‘go and experience the world’.
At first glance, it might sound like a trivial statement, but in fact, it was the last gateway to graduation.
After traveling around the wide world, finding and making up for their shortcomings by themselves, they could return to Krono and receive the approval from Ian and become official graduates.
Of course, it was still important how early or late they would graduate, but…
‘Still, it makes me angry when I hear things like that from her.’
And that anger was even more amplified if Judith was his opponent.
Bratt went and washed himself up and moved to the headmaster’s room,
His mind was already full of thoughts about the journey.
Where should he go to achieve his growth? Whom should he meet? Wouldn’t it be better to go with Judith if possible?
However, those questions disappeared as soon as he heard Ian.
“Congratulations on your graduation.”
“…is there no exam?”
“To experience the world…”
“That is something that only those who lack something need to do. I think you are qualified to pass. There is no exam or test. From now on, Bratt Lloyd isn’t a trainee but a graduate of Krono Swordsmanship school.”
Saying that, Ian looked at Keira Finn, who had brought out a metal card.
A symbol engraved with a sophisticated pattern of magic which was different from the trainees one.
And above it was written ‘Bratt Lloyd’ in a stylish manner.
“Reach out your hand. I need your blood for the inscription into it.”
Bratt Lloyd stood still for a moment.
The school master and deputy looked at him with smiles on their faces.
They understood it.
He was now 19 years old. Graduating from Krono before reaching 20 was an honor not many had received.
And most unexpected was that Bratt himself had never even thought of it, and he was now probably filled with various emotions.
They both gave Bratt plenty of time to think.
However, after a while, the words which came out weren’t what they expected.
“I am sorry, but can we postpone the receiving of the graduation card until a later time?”
“Later… I will take it after I return with Judith from her adventure and pass her exam. No, I will take mine along with hers.”
Ian and Keira looked at each other.
It was quite confusing. No one in history had rejected their graduation cards.
Strictly speaking, it was postponement and not rejection. Who would dare push away the recognition the graduation card of the Krono Swordsmanship School would give them?
‘I think I know.’
The two smiled.
Bratt wasn’t sure yet. Why did he make that choice? What was he feeling when he decided to go on a trip together?
But it was clearly visible for the two people who accumulated years of experience.
And Ian said,
“You have changed a lot. You are a very different person from when you first became a trainee here. Of course, I mean these words as a good thing.”
“Fine. The awarding of cards has been postponed till a later date. Stay by Judith’s side and help her.”
“Well, you still need to find answers. Think about what you will do next.”
Well, it was more like nagging, but…
Seeing Bratt Lloyd all blank and thoughtless, Ian and Keira Finn smiled.
It was a secret which Judith didn’t know, but only the three of them knew.
That is a swear word. ↩️
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