I forgot to mention last time, but Chapter 150 marked a full year since I started translating Grimoire Master. Just wanted to mark the occasion and congratulate all of us for making it through the year.
Section 1: On My Own
It was still early in the morning, yet a large crowd had gathered on the school grounds that day.
There were even adults I’ve never seen before who were obviously not students mixed in.
I heard from Lou-chan that graduates and parents of current students heard word about my duel with Earl Montifi and decided to stop by.
The fact that Grides-san is dueling someone who has had rumors abound inside the capital seems to have piqued their curiosity.
[Lou]: “……Airi-chan…..um…..hold on. I…..after all…..”
Lou-chan alone stood by me on the sports field.
Her eyes were red and puffy. She probably cried by herself all last night, and now here she was, trying to figure out what she should say.
[Iris]: “The duel has already been accepted. There’s no way to stop it now.”
She feels responsible for everything that’s happening, but there’s no need for her to beat herself up about it.
Rather, she got angry for my sake, so all I have for her is gratitude.
[Lou]: “But, But……Airi-chan could get hurt…….and……I don’t want to see……..”
Lou-chan used her cuffs to try and wipe away the newly shed tears leaking down her cheeks. It got to the point she was completely messing up her beautifully trimmed hair.
[Iris]: “It’s okay. I meant what I said yesterday. I won’t lose.”
I pulled out my handkerchief and used it to wipe away the tears staining her cheeks.
[Iris]: “That’s why………right? Be at ease.”
I wonder if I should be thinking about this right now, but it feels like I’m cradling a younger sister.
[Lou]: “But, But…….”
[Rose]: “There is nothing to worry about Konfiks-san.”
Lou-chan wouldn’t stop crying, and I was doing my best to comfort her when Rose-san came over and began patting Lou-chan’s back.
[Rose]: “Iris-san will not lose.”
Rose-san was looking towards Grides-san who was standing a little ways away from us as she spoke.
[Rose]: “She is unmistakably a hero. The one who ran towards a rampaging dragon, who refused to back down, and who kept thinking up new solutions until the battle was won.”
Rose-san’s usual warmth was nowhere to be found in her voice or expression.
She was speaking plainly, as if she were simply stating facts, before calling out to my duel partner Grides-san.
[Grides]: “What can I do for you Auroll-sama?”
[Rose]: “You are a high minded lady. The picture of what the noble world expects. With that being said, perhaps you are a tad too strong.”
[Grides]: “…….I am not sure I understand.”
[Rose]: “Then you should take this opportunity to learn. The world of nobles is but one of the many worlds that exist. If you wish to become a truly wonderful lady, you will have to learn this fact and broaden your horizons.”
[Grides]: “…….I will take your advice to heart.”
Grides-san pinched the ends of her skirt and bowed. Graceful and composed as ever.
[Rose]: “Then, let us join the crowd Konfiks-san.”
Although reluctantly, Lou-chan eventually did join Rose-san and began moving away from me.
[Lou]: “Airi-chan….. W-Win….. You must definitely win!! I’m rooting for you!!”
[Iris]: “I will. Thank you Lou-chan.”
I waved my hand and saw her off. I made my smile as reassuring as possible to try and calm her nerves if only a little.
[Grides]: “You’re being quite calm are you not? Even though you will be soon crawling through the dirt after I am finished with you.”
[Iris]: “Panicking gets me nothing.”
That’s what my experiences in actual battle taught me.
[Odette]: “Calvafon-san. I wish to confirm one more time, is this truly okay?”
Playing the role of witness once again, Odette-sensei asked me with a clearly worried face.
[Grides]: “If you wish to give up, now’s the time. Surrender now, and you will have lost nothing.”
[Iris]: “But then Lou-chan would still have to leave the school wouldn’t she?”
[Grides]: “Yes, but if all she can ever do is speak about friendship, she would not have lasted long in the noble world anyway. With that being the case, would she not live a happier life returning to her own territory now?”
[Iris]: “That’s not for you to decide.”
[Grides]: “Actually, it is. The strong rule and the weak obey. That is the world she……and you, have stepped into.”
Grides-san’s tone dropped several steps.
Her glare sharpened to a razor point and stabbed through me.
[Iris]: “I see. I understand what you’re trying to say.”
[Grides]: “Then quietly……”
[Iris]: “I won’t withdraw. Rather, I feel like losing even less after hearing what you have to say. Lou-chan courageously stood up to you. She took the first step to joining the outside world, and I…….want to help push her forward. Because that’s a feeling I understand all too well.”
Grides-san’s face turned a bright vermillion. Her beautiful eyebrows scrunched together, and her glare finally reached the point where I thought she might be trying to kill me with her mind.
[Grides]: “My apologies if you get hurt.”
[Iris]: “Thank you for your concern. But as I said before, it’s unnecessary. There’s no way I’m going to lose to you.”
[Grides]: “……Odette-sensei. As promised, I did my best to peacefully end this. I believe it to be a waste of my time to discuss this any further.”
[Odette]: “…….I have seen her resolve. Thank you Grides-san. That will be enough.”
I guess Odette-sensei asked Grides-san to try and get me to give up.
I’m sure as a teacher there are all kinds of things running through her mind as she stands to the side and watches all of this unfold. When it’s all over, I will have to remember to apologize for the extra worries I’ve caused her.
Odette-sensei stood between us and slowly raised her hand.
[Odette]: “From here on, we shall commence with the duel between Grides Montifi and Iris Calvafon!!”
The gathered crowd which at this point had to number of at least a thousand people all fell silent as Odette-sensei’s voice rang out to explain the duel. The whole field felt eerily quiet after all those people stopped talking at the exact same time.
[Odette]: “Should Montifi win, Calvafon will be banned from any further involvement with Rosalith Auroll-sama of the Auroll margraves. Do you accept these conditions?”
After confirming my agreement, Odette-sensei turned her eyes towards Grides-san.
[Odette]: “Conversely, should Calvafon win, Lu Voux Konfiks will no longer be expected to drop out of school. Additionally, Montifi will withdraw her earlier remarks and apologize.”
[Grides]: “I agree”
After Grides-san acknowledged her part in the duel as well, the tension around us hit its peak.
Grides-san picked up her spellbook and prepared herself. As for me, I didn’t have anything in my hands, so all I could do to prepare was take a half step forward with my left foot.
There was around 20 meters between me and Grides-san. Close enough that I would be able to clearly make out her expression even if I weren’t wearing glasses.
[Odette]: “……this duel is not to the death. If one of you surrenders, the other will immediately stop. Also, as the duel’s witness, I will reserve the right to decide when it becomes meaningless to continue further. In that case, you will both immediately stop fighting as well.”
Odette-sensei took a step back, and then another.
[Odette]: “……fight on with no regrets, putting your sense of justice and pride on the line.”
After sensei had backed far enough away, she finally swung her hand down.
And so began the duel between Grides-san and me.