Chapter 51 – Lizbell’s memories
“Hum, so does that mean one of you is out”
Said Chrom, and Lizbell came back to her senses.
She tried to speak, but her mouth flapped without forming words.
She didn’t understand what was done to her.
She couldn’t follow this situation.
The invocation item she used, that broom staff, had been broken.
That did mean she was out, but… Her mind couldn’t process it.
Chrom then placed his hand on this confused head.
“It’s dangerous, so how about you fall back”
Chrom smiled kindly, before turning his back to Lizbell.
It was like he was implying she was not his enemy anymore.
Lizbell completely forgot about her ‘good girl’ act, and screamed.
He was totally treating her like a child.
He didn’t even see her as an enemy.
It wasn’t even like he was thinking about strategy, and targeting the commander first.
He simply targeted Lizbell first because it would be dangerous for her to be involved in the battle.
Even though all that happened was that she was careless.
She hadn’t shown her all yet.
If she actually fought, there was no way she would fall behind that boy.
And yet… It wasn’t fair.
“…! Vanguard, encircle! Crush his mobility first!”
The maids also soon came to their senses, and encircled Chrom with perfectly coordinated movements.
If speed was his strength… They would just have to change their formation so he couldn’t use it.
“““Triple Boost! (Physical Strengthening Ⅲ)”””
Maids slashed at Chrom from every direction.
The same maids who normally used their combat spells to do housework.
Most of them could use level three magic, and their well organized movements were exactly those of an army.
With things like halberds and kitchen knives in hand, they unleashed slashes with no room to escape.
Lizbell doubted her eyes.
Chrom was attacked from every direction, and blocked every attack with one sword in his hands.
No, he was not just blocking them.
He was being attacked from every direction… And winning.
The maids were slowly being pushed back, as metal violently clashed against metal, until…
The weapons the maids were holding all broke at the same time.
Iron scraps flew into the air as though they exploded, and glinted as they fell to the ground.
Chrom Chronogate stood completely unharmed.
“…What is going on…”
Their opponent was just one person.
No matter how strong he was, he shouldn’t have the stamina and magic energy.
Even his sword should eventually break if strengthening magic wasn’t continuously being cast on it.
“Nine… Eleven… Fifteen… Twenty…”
The maids’ weapons kept being destroyed, and Lizbell’s numbers were dwindling.
At this rate, she would lose.
“…I-it can’t be.”
All Lizbell could do was stand in awe.
Her head twisted to understand the situation in front of her.
That boy should be a failure… Just like her.
Why was he so strong
How did he… Leave Lizbell behind like everyone else
『I can’t play with big sister Labrys again today』
It seemed like Lizbell had to see her sister run off to Almana every day.
She was a prodigy.
Especially after their mother’s death, it was said there weren’t many who could teach her how to use a sword.
The only person nearby who could take her as a pupil was holy sword in the neighboring town.
She started being home less.
Lizbell wondered if she never even liked being there in the first place.
Even when she was home, she only thought about the sword, by herself.
If Lizbell wanted to be with Labrys, she would have to become strong enough to be holy sword’s pupil too.
It was with this goal in mind that she did her best, but…
『…You do have talent Miss Lizbell, but you are not on the same level as Miss Labrys.』
『Are you really a young lady of the Scarlet family Did your older sister suck your talent from you』
『Although, you are a ‘good girl’ at least.』
No matter how hard she worked and how much she schemed, Lizbell could never reach her sister.
She couldn’t fill the gap that separated their innate talents.
And if she didn’t have talent, if she was weak… She couldn’t be with her sister.
In order to fill the loneliness, all she could do was put on the ‘good girl’ act loved by everyone.
That was how it should have been, but one day, Lizbell saw it.
A boy that was an even bigger failure than her, but was admired by her sister.
He was weak, but he could be with Labrys by just speaking carelessly, and Labrys would show him faces she had never shown Lizbell.
He wasn’t putting on an act, but was loved by everyone.
Despite being a failure just like Lizbell, he had everything she wanted.
Even though she worked harder, and even though she was stronger.
(Not fair, not fair, not fair, not fair, not fair…!)
Her past feelings were being vividly brought back, and Lizbell began to grind her teeth.
(…This has to be a deception.
Some sort of unfair trick.)
It was impossible to get over the talent one was born with.
Lizbell knew that very well.
She knew there wasn’t much room to grow with just effort.
Unless someone trained like hell for a hundred years, it was impossible to suddenly become that strong…
(…! I see!)
Lizbell noticed something.
The cut end of her broken broom staff was rotten.
(…! This is dark magic!)
Dark magic ruled over darkness, vanishing, degradation, erosion, among other things.
The way he appeared to have no magic energy, the way he managed to get near Lizbell, it was all thanks to dark magic concealment techniques.
(…Dark magic is tricky, but once it’s exposed, it’s over.)
This would not be hard to deal with once she knew what it was.
But the maids didn’t notice it.
Their weapons were being destroyed one after the other, and Lizbell’s irritation exploded.
“What are you doing you dolts! Give me that!”
A maid was bewildered, as Lizbell was acting completely different than usual.
But that didn’t bother Lizbell.
(…I absolutely can’t lose to him.)
Lizbell snatched away the broom staff of a maid next to her, and got on top of it.
Flames of magic energy fired backwards from both sides of the broom staff, and Lizbell was propelled up.
She kept going, drawing a trajectory reminiscent of a shooting star straight towards Chrom.
She charged at Chrom from a blind spot, from above.
And also, dark magic was weaker when used against a source of light.
Chrom couldn’t dodge or guard.
Lizbell was sure of it, but the next moment…
The boom staff stopped completely.
It wasn’t because it ran out of magic energy or anything.
The charge of the broom staff was stopped by Chrom’s palm.
It couldn’t be.
There was no way he could stop that momentum with one hand.
But no matter how much magic energy she put into it, the broom staff wouldn’t budge.
“‘Time, turn back’.”
Chrom chanted quietly.
The broom staff in her hands flew back.
It followed the exact same trajectory from when she was attacking.
(It’s mirroring the attack!)
The broom staff stopped suddenly, but Lizbell was thrown into the air.
She let go of the invocation item that was the broom staff.
She couldn’t use magic, and if she fell from there, she would be lucky to only get seriously hurt.
Lizbell panicked and screamed.
She kept falling, and just before she crashed to the ground, she closed her eyes tightly.
But the impact she was expecting never came.
She just felt like she was being gently held by someone.
“Are you all right Did you get hurt”
She fearfully opened her eyes, and saw Chrom’s face close to hers.
That was when she noticed she was in Chrom’s arms.
(…Did he… Save me)
She couldn’t understand it.
Why, of all people did he…
He was her enemy.
He should resent her, and be happy if she got seriously hurt.
(…Why did he save me)
She couldn’t understand.
It was so confusing.
All she knew was that the position she was in was colloquially known as ‘princess carry’.
As she understood the situation she was in, her face became increasingly hotter.
“…L-let go! I decided my first princess carry would go to someone I like!”
“D-did you Sorry…”
Chrom quickly put her down, and smiled awkwardly.
“So… Can we consider this trial cleared”
Lizbell looked around, and saw the maids had given up.
All their weapons had been broken.
Labrys, the judge, was stunned for a moment, but quickly raised her hand when she came to her senses.
“The winner is, Mister Chrom Chronogate!”