After the birthday banquet, the noisy mansion was silent again.
Of course, not everyone left. Some close friends had stayed for a day or two and chatted. As for the high-ranking nobles, they secretly shared the information of the devils.
Of course, Airn Pareira and his party too were remaining with the guests.
Kirill and Lulu had a peaceful time with Elisa Lindsay touring the entire mansion, whereas Airn…
… from the day after the ball was over, he continued having a fierce battle with Ilya Lindsay.
‘…has she gotten stronger?’
Phew, Airn took a step back and exhaled.
Over the past few months, he had grown a lot.
The experience and skills he had accumulated while meeting Lord Lindsay, Ian and Khun, and the enlightenment he had achieved through the advice of Lord Lloyd.
Although he hadn’t fully digested all the advice, Airn was having a hard time finding rivals who were at least close to him in age… and maybe even Ilya too would have been considered a bit weak.
Surprisingly, she too had grown up.
In fact, it wasn’t just growing up. Looking at the swordsmanship alone, it was as if it was a completely different person.
Did she get a boost in the meantime?
Or was she hiding her skills?
It was neither actually.
‘It wasn’t strange for these things to happen.’
Unlike the past, these days, people praised her talent.
The three best talents of the continent, who were publicly acclaimed; Airn, Ilya and Ignet.
The reason Ilya couldn’t grow was because of her psychological stagnation.
But not anymore.
‘Probably after the party split up in Rabat, she completely got rid of the doubts!’
Thinking that, he smiled.
He was glad.
However, it didn’t simply end there.
With a much deeper heart that had other emotions in it apart from the feeling of joy at the end of his friend’s aimless wandering, Airn rushed towards Ilya at a terrifying speed
And swung his sword.
A powerful burst that seemed to destroy the opponent, poured out from all directions.
A pure strong sword appeared in the Lindsay mansion.
However, that didn’t discourage Ilya. Just like her opponent, she gently rotated her body with a bright smile.
Having taken an advantageous position with just a few steps, she encountered Airn’s attack with a movement as natural as the wind.
It was the Sky Sword.
Not the inexperienced Sky Sword from before, but rather, the attack right now was like the wind which unfolded from the sword of a hero from a long time ago, and it swept around him.
It wasn’t just the level of imitating her ancestor.
While fully demonstrating the power of the swordsmanship that had been passed down from ancient times, she used the experience that she had accumulated till then.
Airn knew that it wasn’t just an imitation because he experienced what she was seeing and feeling.
A genius who crossed the wall.
A true genius who broke the limits.
Airn, who felt goosebumps rising on his skin, swung the sword stronger.
“… should we end here for today?”
“Uh? Why? Are you tired already? Hm… I don’t think that is the reason?”
After a big collision, Airn stepped back and asked, to which Ilya puzzledly replied.
She was curious as well, but first, she had to counter this situation.
After hearing ‘that word’ in the garden, she was excited about sparring with Airn.
“Um. Sorry. I have something to think about.”
“Well… okay. Then we can do it again tomorrow. Rest for today.”
Of course, Airn didn’t know his partner’s heart. Ilya was waving her hand and her eyes were full of worry and regret.
He too waved his hand towards her. He stopped walking several times and looked back, and then hid out of sight.
An old friend who continued to practice the sword even after the battle was over.
Watching the person Airn wanted to be closer with, than just remain as friends, he thought.
‘What should I do?’
After a few days of thoughts, a few things were clear.
He liked Ilya Lindsay as a woman.
And that such feelings can never be erased.
It was great to share swords with her. But that wasn’t the only thing he wanted to share with her.
He wanted to do a lot more things with her, and share a different kind of relationship with each other.
‘Then, what am I to do next?’
The fact that he was aware of his feelings meant nothing.
He had to try. He had to go a step further.
It was necessary to convey his feelings so the other party could know it.
So that the other person could clearly know what he felt about her.
A word which never betrayed him.
From his trainee days when he had no strength, he had risen to the Sword Master level.
The fact that there were so many precious people around him, who didn’t have a single friend before then.
I was able to achieve what I have today because I kept trying without giving up.
However, things are a little different now.
No matter how many times he failed he would get back up and try again. The way Airn was going right now was great, but what he had to do now still scared him.
‘… what should I do if I get rejected after saying something?’
After watching Ilya for a long time, he turned and thought.
The reason he couldn’t convey his feelings was because he was afraid that the other person had feelings different than his.
The reason he was afraid was because he was unsure if the other person’s mind would be different from his own and that would cause his current relationship to go sour leading to an awkward situation between them.
And when all these fears came together…
Airn lacked confidence.
Was he attractive to the other person?
What was this attraction exactly? And how could he make Ilya more attracted to him?
Questions he never thought of started bombarding his mind.
Nothing can be done.
He couldn’t rush into it.
Time passed in the midst of such anguish, and 10 days had passed since Airn and his party had arrived here.
It was quite a bit of time.
However, the time was too short to solve the problem.
It was the night before Airn’s party left the family mansion of the Lindsay family, when Airn made a decision.
He asked his younger sister to create a bunch of sorcery flowers, and said to Ilya who was still trying to keep a smile.
“This…is a gift.”
Ilya was flustered.
She was happy each day she spent with Airn.
It was a pity that he was leaving tomorrow, but it was nice that they were closer than before. And as she stood there thinking that, this man brings in gold and silver flowers and hands them over to her.
Her face turned red when she saw this unexpected gift.
But Airn didn’t notice it. Because he too was nervous.
It wasn’t a confession.
He didn’t have the courage to take that leap, yet his heart beat wildly as he took a step closer to her.
The words he prepared to say were forgotten, but it was fine.
He said he was sorry that he couldn’t give a gift to her on the day that he came here.
He also said that a constant sorcery power was required for the bouquet to maintain its form.
So, he asked her to not let the light go out of the flowers… and wondered if he could come by often to help the flowers maintain their form.
He definitely tried to convey his intentions.
‘This is driving me crazy.’
Airn was sweating like a waterfall when he was done talking.
It was a weird talk. And he kind of regretted what he had done too. He wondered whether he should have just said that he’d come by more often.
At the same time, he thought that Ilya must have felt burdened by his words.
Airn waited for her to speak, but a couple seconds which felt like minutes to him passed, and Ilya just stood still for quite some time.
And then she reacted.
A few seconds later.
She hugged him.
However, he couldn’t feel it for long as Ilya was already running away in shyness, but she turned to Airn who was dumbfounded and said,
“I will be very angry.”
“If you make me wait for long.”
With that, Ilya left.
Airn just stared at where she left.
The silver and golden flower bouquet was happily taken by her..
Her touch, scent and warmth.
The 23-year-old boy stood in the middle of the summer night for a long time, feeling the traces of the woman he liked, on his body.
And after a while.
“… next time, it will be much better than now.”
The one who grew from a boy to a young man mumbled his promise.
At the end of the June month, a time in the morning when the summer heat was in full swing.
Airn Pareira and his party left the Lindsay mansion.
There were many people who came to bid them goodbye. The Count and his wife, along with Emma Garcia and a few other knights.
Of course, just because they didn’t have much staff, that didn’t mean the Lindsay family wasn’t treating them right.
Rather, it could be said that the core members of the family had gathered, and that Airn was receiving more respect than anyone who visited this mansion.
‘Well, he is a young man with a high chance of becoming the son-in-law of our Lord…’
‘We should definitely come.’
A few old knights who had devoted their lives to this family looked at Ilya and smiled happily then looked at Joshua Lindsay with a puzzled look.
“Uh… then, we will get going, Lord.”
The Lord, who stared at the knights as if asking them to go, clicked his tongue when they disappeared.
It wasn’t because of them.
It was because of Airn.
Before leaving, he said something to Joshua which hadn’t left his mind even now.
‘Next time I come I will come back with a stronger image.’
‘What? You seem fine?’
‘I will do my best to not worry you.’
‘No, what are…’
Airn said those words and flew away on the griffin.
He didn’t have much to say.
Not worry me?
Joshua felt flustered and a little angry at those remarks and he felt as if his daughter was suddenly on the line!
‘This jerk! You have a long way to go to be acknowledged by me!’
Of course, that was his own opinion.
Elisa Lindsay was already looking excited thinking about her happy daughter and son-in-law.
And Ilya Lindsay…
‘But, do I actually have to wait here? Instead…’
She was having thoughts which could make her father cough out blood, and looked at the place where Airn vanished.
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