A low-born commoner.
This was what most people would judge Judith to be.
Of course, a few people did care about it. Perhaps in ancient times, when the system of status and class was compulsory, this was important. But in the current society, being a Sword Master in her early 20s was huge, so who would dare talk down to her?
‘There is nothing wrong with her ability.’
So, Lord Lloyd, a high-ranking noble of the Gerbera Kingdom, didn’t care about her background. But that wasn’t all. If he was given the option to pick the two most important things about being someone’s wife, it would be the partner being a human and the other, for them to be in love. He had invited Judith so that he could find out about this.
‘My son is quite good, but as a parent, I need to check it personally.’
Of course, it was difficult to immediately realize it. No matter how sharp his eyes were, how could he understand the true nature of a person with just one meal or short conversation? In addition, if the other person was making every effort to look good, his judgment would just become duller.
Judith was like that now.
An awkward smile.
Awkward expressions and attitude, along with a stiff movement. All of them indicated that Judith was being extra conscious of them. Even after 2 hours passed, the child wasn’t comfortable and constantly feared that she would do something wrong to the nobles.
She had a different personality.
And this was Lord Lloyd’s thought.
But aside from that, he liked her…
‘Still, I can feel just how much she loves my son.’
Because there was no doubt that Judith spoke very sincerely when it came to Bratt. Lord Lloyd glanced at his wife. She, too, had a similar expression as him. She grinned and looked at Judith.
Clumsy and stiff but still cute.
She wanted to see her more, know her more.
So, she felt a little embarrassed when her son came. It was because she wanted to bring up various topics without her son being present.
However, that didn’t happen.
“Let’s get married.”
After hearing Bratt’s sudden words, Lord Lloyd’s mouth widened.
Of course, it wasn’t just him. The Llyod couple and even Gerard had shocked expressions. It was surprising and so sudden.
But no matter how shocked they were, they couldn’t be compared to Judith. As though she was a statue, she didn’t move or even breathe and just looked at Bratt.
Time seemed to have stopped.
The silence continued.
Of course, it didn’t last forever. Bratt Lloyd, who seemed the most excited of the five, calmly approached his lover.
He couldn’t think of any romantic words or actions. There were no words to express his sincerity…
“…brother, you scared her.”
“Shut up, younger one.”
After hitting his younger brother on the forehead, Bratt looked at where Judith had disappeared to.
She was close. The thought of approaching her a little faster entered his mind.
‘It will be difficult to get an answer until we subdue the Demon King.’
He had confessed, and although Judith was bold, she was surprisingly girly when it came to such things.
Of course, he wasn’t too worried.
He liked her. And Judith liked him too. They liked each other enough for them to spend their life together. This was an unchanging fact. When his lover’s excitement died down, and her mind calmed down… if he proposed with more preparation, he was sure that he would have a sure win. Bratt was confident.
‘We must come back safely.’
It was amazing. He was ready to die a second ago, but now he wanted to live more than anyone else. It was because of Judith. In a way, it felt like she was making him hold onto his life.
‘I am on the verge of attacking the great Judith, so I don’t even seem worried about the Demon King or the Clown Devil.’
He really did feel that way.
He nodded and laughed out loud.
“Haha, hahaha, hahaha….”
Gerard Lloyd watched his son with a worried expression.
“I think he has had the biggest shock…”
Judith, who fled from the Lloyd family, went to train. No, it was actually an escape disguised in the name of training. She did it to get away from troubles that were difficult to handle… to get away from the moment that came much sooner than she expected.
Of course, she couldn’t do it, though. The more she swung, the more aura she used and the more her heart pounded. Bratt’s face, his voice… they were all going around in her mind, and she couldn’t calm down.
It wasn’t as if she hadn’t liked it.
To be precise, she was indeed delighted, but she was confused as well. There was a bit of resentment within her.
In ten days, they were going to fight the Demon King. It was largely to save the world and personally for the revenge of her teacher. Of course, Judith placed a little bit more importance on the second one. She was convinced that she would be the one to burn away the darkness that had taken away the only family she had left. That was more important to her than the world.
‘And of course, Bratt… he knows it.’
He was a person she could never hate. He didn’t even do anything bad. It was just a little… a little disappointing because of the timing. Maybe she hadn’t realized that she just wanted to blame someone else because she lacked the courage to make a move first.
She drew her sword and raised her energy. Her aura moved like a flame. She felt like she had to release some aura from her sword to get rid of this mood. It was a quiet evening, and it was when the training halls in the Palace had just been opened.
“…go. I am not feeling too good right now.”
Without even looking at Ilya, Judith bluntly responded to her call.
She originally didn’t mean to compare her to Airn. What was more apparent was that in this twisted situation, Judith didn’t want to speak to Ilya at all.
‘I will ignore her if she speaks. Or I will move away.’
Thinking that, Judith took her stance. However, it wasn’t possible.
The moment she heard Ilya’s next words, she turned stiff.
“I was watching.”
“Bratt is courageous.”
“There, I am a bit scared… so put down your sword? I am not here to train, but to talk so…”
“Here, I brought some alcohol to drink with you as well.”
“Are you unable to think? Just let it go.”
Judith shook her head and sighed as she commanded her aura. Her blazing sword was silently pushed into its sheath, and then her hands touched the bottle. She slumped to the ground and sat next to Ilya. And Ilya drank along with her.
The cold night air.
The quiet Palace…
The small tipsiness of the alcohol.
All of this combined, served to calm Judith. It made her feel like herself again. Laying her pride aside, she looked forward and confided in Ilya about what she was thinking about.
She was surprised at some parts, and some other parts were good. Some were annoying, and some made her feel frustrated.
After speaking out about all kinds of things that she felt, shame followed. In the past few days, she thought that she wasn’t being herself, and her expression changed.
‘If you think of making fun of me…’
‘The next spar will be a tough one.’
As Judith thought that, Ilya replied.
“It is definitely something worth worrying about.”
“It can be that way sometimes. To be honest, you and Bratt are in different situations. You are a person who just lost someone close to you, and you don’t like the fact that you are intoxicated with your own feelings about another person. Honestly, it must have been embarrassing, right?”
“Uh, Um. No…”
Judith was shocked.
What Ilya said was right. Still hearing her own thoughts come from another person who wasn’t Bratt made her feel strangely ashamed, but she wasn’t angry.
At that moment, Ilya smiled. It was an adult-like smile.
Seeing Judith’s blank expression, Ilya spoke with a warm voice.
“But people cannot always be perfect right?”
“Uh? Uhuh, right….”
“You know that too. Bratt is always bluffing, he is stupid and tries to rub his words on others, and when he feels something, he goes ahead and makes up his own theories too. And even now, he didn’t think of chasing after you… but none of Bratt’s actions that can make you sad or annoyed were done intentionally. You know that, right? You know how much Bratt values you.”
“If you don’t forget that, wouldn’t you be able to accept to accept it a little differently than before?”
…Judith, who thought about it for a moment, nodded.
Ilya was right.
She loved Bratt.
And Bratt loved her.
It was an undeniable fact, and there was no way that Bratt had conveyed something like that to her just to mess with her. Maybe the love between them had grown too much before they themselves had realized it.
Maybe she was the one being too anxious. Maybe it was because she was young, or maybe it was because she was someone destined to shoulder the fate of the continent.
Right. The situation regarding the world was crucial at the moment. But more than that, she needed this person. And she had belief in this relationship. Judith understood what Ilya was hinting at, and she looked at Ilya in a different light.
She was different. Although at Krono and in the Land of Proof, this woman was a genius with the sword, she was clumsy when it came to dealing with people. But not now…
Judith looked at Ilya.
Ilya had definitely changed. It was more than just her comprehension of the Sky Sword. Compared to when she overpowered Julius Hul, she felt more influential…
“Does a light spar sound alright to you? We don’t have to overdo it.”
“I like it!”
Ilya Lindsay got up with a completely different look from before.
Judith nodded, seeing that. Unlike others, Airn had been a bit too silent. It was natural for her to rejoice as her lover approached her first.
But not Judith.
She couldn’t be happy in a situation where she was supposed to be happy.
The anger about the small things that bothered her was growing inside her.
This was the difference between her and Ilya.
While her vision was limited only to the sword, Ilya worked for other values. Judith realized that her friend had become much more mature than herself.
‘Still, I am not too upset.’
Judith got up with a smile and looked to the side. Suddenly, she saw Bratt Lloyd approaching her.
Her smile grew stronger.
“…why are you doing that? It’s so scary.”
“Enough. Should we spar too?”
“Um, are you sure you are fine…”
While looking at her, Bratt took his stance.
And the spar between the two pairs began.
The match that started with Airn and Ilya, along with Judith and Bratt, continued without any of them having a specific opponent. Without end, it became a sword dance that brilliantly shone in the hall.
Ian, along with Julius Hul, watched it in delight.
No one was afraid.
No one felt down.
Even when they were trainees, there was a subtle tension among them when they were preparing for their final evaluation. But now, the atmosphere was so comfortable that it was hard to believe that they were preparing to fight the Demon King. It was because they knew that there were more important days, and that valuable time will continue to come.
And so, the day passed.
And then another few days went by.
And on the 10th day, the darkness receded, and morning dawned.
“…should we go then?”
The day of the showdown had finally come.
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