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KENS Chapter 49

Chapter 49 Team Battles (3)

As we finally reached the spectator seats meant for nobles and royalty, Utano-san, Kudou and Yui-chan were already there sitting on a sofa waiting for us.

The first thing that came to my mind was that this place was bigger than I thought. It was big enough to comfortably seat at least 20 people and there were 4 round shaped tables surrounded by the comfy sofas. On the top of the table, pretty flowers were kept as decoration over a high quality and expensive looking tablecloth. I am guessing the table itself should be super expensive as well.

All of this gave off such an elegant aura that it was impossible to believe that we were still inside the Coliseum. That said it wasn’t overdone that could make someone feel almost nervous around it. You could relax and spectate the matches. Though it might vary from how you looked at it, but I felt that you could really feel the consideration put in the construction of this room.

“You look pretty good in the armour.”(utano)

“Why, thank you. Utano-san as well, the dress really suits you.”(renji)

“Thanks. I’ll take that as flattery.”

“No, I really meant it though.”

As I gave a shrug, Utano-san gave a small laugh. She seemed a bit nervous as her actions felt slightly stiff. Well, if she could still laugh from just some light talk like that, she should be fine.

Utano-san was currently in a black ‘long torso’ type of dress. I don’t remember the origin behind that name but I recall being told that that was what such dresses were called.

Putting prominence on her tall height and beautiful neck, the design gave her a dignified look and atmosphere. Because she has such a slender body, the dress is able to make her look so beautiful.

Black, was also a colour that suited her perfectly. That’s just my opinion though.

“Ara, you really are looking pretty good actually.”(kudou)

“Thanks. You’re not looking bad either Kudou.”(renji)

“Is that so?”

Kudou who said that was wearing a mermaid line dress. I’m not sure if I recalled the dress name correctly though. The upper part of the dress emphasized her bountiful chest and her surprisingly thin neck line, and the lower portion was hidden with a long skirt that touched the floor. The skirt part looked like the tail of a mermaid which is where the name of the dress comes from I think. The name’s probably different in this world though. After all, mermaids are enemies to the human race after all. They charm people with their beautiful singing and then drown them by leading them to the sea. And after that, they devour on the flesh of their prey. Even their appearance isn’t anywhere as beautiful as what we see in stories. On their upper body, at the nape of their neck and abdomen, they have gills and their faces were a grotesque mixture of the face of a fish and a human. In the end, fantasy will always be fantasy. Reality was harsh. How many times have I cried at such a reality………

It’s a pity that Kudou’s beautiful legs were hidden but it still really suits her. And also, maybe because she’s wearing a dress, her face showed a much more lively expression than usual. All said and done, she was a woman as well. She must be feeling nice while wearing a good dress as well, I guess.

“u, um……..”

As if being hidden behind Utano-san and Kudou, the girl in the white dress raised her small voice as well.

Her normal tied hair had been undone and were hanging behind her back in a proper combed and arranged manner. Normally she had a more childish look but by doing just that much, she looked a lot more mature.

Her dress, as suitable for her age, was perfectly fitting her slight chest and short neck. The skirt portion was, unlike Utano-san and Kudou’s, had a bold slit that showed her beautiful  leg line. Her outfit truly showed both her cuteness and maturity well.

Honestly, it really suits her. White hair matching her white dress and ruby-like red eyes. And with an expression that held shyness and slight lack of confidence in herself. Truly, that ‘gap’ between her looks and personality was very Yui-chan like.

“Yui-chan as well, you’re looking good.”(renji)

“Ah, re…..really?”

“yeah.”

What is this? Rather than feeling charmed or being attracted, I feel so deeply moved inside my heart.

Is this what being a parent feels like? Or was this something different?

By the way, behind her, as if it was normal, a knight in black armour—KNIGHT was standing guard. He truly looks like a knight but alongside a beauty in a dress, somehow the scene looked bizarre, or rather, way too prominent. He has such overwhelming presence.

While we were looking at these three, the maid that led us here had quietly  moved to the inner portion of the room.

Many other maids were standing in wait there as well, probably the ones who led Utano-san and others here. Beside them, there was also teacups and a pot kept. Probably meant to serve it to us while we watch the tournament.

“Ooh.”(toudou)

“Oh? All three of you look pretty today.”(kuuki)

Toudou and Kuuki who came after me spoke as if surprised. Especially Toudou had lost his words looking at them and had gone stiff. I poked him with my elbow as my gauntlet and armour made a dull sound.

“Thanks for the flattery, Kuuki-kun.”

“No no, it really does suit you, Kudou-san.”(kuuki)

“I see. You look great in the armour as well.”(kudou)

“Thank you very much.”

“You as well, Toudou-kun.”

“Th, thanks…..”(toudou)

“……What are you getting all flustered for after all this time?”(kudou)

Saying that, Kudou pulled her chest portion of her dress slightly. It almost made the upper portion of her chest almost visible. Kuuki, very casually and Toudou in a panic, quickly averted their gazes.

Their reactions must have been amusing to her as while grinning, Kudou quickly moved towards Touodu and began teasing him.

Utano-san who was sitting beside her made a fed up face at that. The fact that she didn’t get angry shows how used she has become to Kudou’s antics as well. Back then though she didn’t say it out loud, it clearly showed on her expression how angry she got with her.

As usual, Kudou really enjoys teasing men.

Kuuki, who was used to her as well, gave a wry smile while making sure that his gaze doesn’t go to her chest. Well I guess he can’t help it. If the princess saw him at that, he’ll have a hard time getting the princess back in good mood. Right now, there were even maids standing behind us. Who knows what info might leak?

Beside him, Toudou, who had no immunity to women was getting embarrassed while getting red faced. That reaction is exactly what Kudou enjoys you know……..Well, I’m enjoying this as well so whatever.

The blue dress was tightly stuck to her body making her attractive curves further stand out. With all the portions that exposed her skin well, it was truly an outfit that brought the best out of Kudou Rin’s charm.

And that top class dress was currently getting spoiled just to make fun of Toudou. What a waste. She really is such a free bird. Just how costly was that dress I wonder? By the time she’s done pulling and stretching it around, I feel like its value will drop greatly though.

While I was thinking of such things, my gaze met with Yui-chan who was sitting beside Utano-san. She seemed like she wanted to say something but stopped herself from doing so.

“You’ve got the eyes of a lecher.”(ana)

Instead the one who spoke was the foul mouthed queen who had not been here till now.

I was just wondering how she’s not by Yui-chan’s side. She must have been floating above looking at the Coliseum from the sky I guess. She came in from the window space meant for us to see the arena from. She was in her usual pure white one piece dress. Since right now every woman was in a dress, she seemed to fit along with each other normally.

“That’s not true.”(renji)

“I wonder. It looked to me like that considering your expression though.”(ana)

Being told that, instinctively my hand went to touch my face. The gauntlet felt really cold.

“Really?”(renji)

“Seriously. Even though there’s such a cute girl in front of you, how can you be looking somewhere else, right Yui?”(ana)

“eh, m, me!?!”

“What do you think Renji, she’s cute right?”(ana)

“Well I definitely agree to that.”(renji)

When I said that, Yui-chan bent down her head with a shy red face. Her reaction as well, looked really cute.

As a normal man, it’s only normal to feel like teasing her a bit.

“Yui-chan is definitely cute.”(renji)

I said it purposefully in a way that put importance on ‘Yui-chan being the ONLY cute one’. Of course while looking at Anastasia.

Anasatsia must have instantly caught on to what I was thinking as her smile looked like it cramped. Ignoring her, I turned towards utano-san.

“Where’s King Joshua and others?”(renji)

“Still preparing. They need to pay attention to their appearances far more than even us after all.”

“I see.”

Saying that, I sat down in front of Utano-san, opposite the table.

When I did, without even saying anything, a maid came and poured tea for me.

“Oh, is it fine to sit in front of me?”(utano)

“hm?”

“You seemed quite interested in looking at Rin’s chest though?”(utano)

What the hell?

It’s not like she actually took Anastasia’s words seriously but still I ended up giving a wry smile at that.

“Not really. Not in Kudou’s at least..”(renji)

“Oh really? She’s quite the beauty even from my perspective. Also, she’s got pretty big boobs as well.”(ana)

Anastasia, once again, entered mine and Utano-san’s conversation. It’s because this idiot said something weird that Utano-san might misunderstand something. Well, rather than saying she’s misunderstanding, she’s more like teasing me though. While thinking of that, I looked at Anastasia, sitting at her usual place—-Yui-chan’s shoulder. That aside, is it okay for a queen to be speaking things like ‘boobs’ so loudly? Am I still fantasizing to hope that a queen would have atleast a bit more decency ?

Even though she has the looks of a beautiful western doll, her mouth completely ruins all the dignity, or rather, her appearance as a queen.

“Mou, Ana you..”(yui)

“You just have small ones, that’s all.”(renji)

“shaddup!”(ana)

When I said that, she showed her teeth as if trying to threaten me……….wasn’t scary at all though.

It might be weird to expect that from a small creature like a fairy though. Well, worst case, she’d make her look bigger with magic. It’d be such a waste of magical energy though.

[That aside, how long till the tournament starts?”]

“The king isn’t even here yet.”(renji)

[Muu.]

Surprisingly, Ermenhilde, who had kept quiet till now spoke up sounding bored.

“Oh, you were there as well? You were so quiet I thought you weren’t here.”(ana)

[I’m not noisy and irritating unlike certain someone.]

“What’s wrong with being lively? It’s more fun that way.”(ana)

[There’s a difference between being lively and being a nuisance. Isn’t that so, Renji?]

“Really, Renji?”(ana)

Why bring that talk to me? While giving a sigh, I took a sip from the tea poured by the maid. Aah, how tasty.

“Well then,”

These two………Ignoring what they were asking completely, I stood up.

The spectator seat we were in were created higher than the normal ones so one could look down on all other seats along with the arena.

It was a full house in the coliseum. Men and women of all ages, were excitedly waiting for the tournament to begin.

I’m sure somewhere in there, Feirona, Mururu and maybe even Solnea were sitting as well. I tried to make an oblique search but as expected, I couldn’t find them among such a big crowd.

I wonder what they were thinking as Ermenhilde and Anastasia both remained silent. It felt kind of awkward.

“Are you looking for someone?”

“Hmm, not really.”

Maybe she found it amusing or was just curious, Utano-san asked me while I looked down towards the audience.

Turning back at her question, I shook my head saying it was nothing.

“Was just thinking about how big the crowd was.”(renji)

“Well, obviously. The heroes that defeated the Demon God are supposed to have taken part in the tournament after all.”(utano)

“It’s not like we’re any different than normal people deep inside though.”

“But still, they wish for us. To act as Heroes.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Yes, indeed.”

We’re just normal humans. We have received the divine protection of Astraera but deep inside we’re not any different from others.

But still, the fact that we subjugated the Demon God makes us into the hope for all the people of this world.

That’s why, they will wish of us. To stand and act as Heroes.

As their hope, as absolute existences, as the light that would never fade…….to remain invincible, as the perfect idol.

“Well, if they get this fired up, I can’t show them a disappointing loss now can I?”(renji)

“Exactly. Be sure to work hard, okay?”(utano)

“I’ll try my best at least.”

When I said that, just slightly……..for a second only, her right arm touched mine.

“To entertain them, I got Souichi and the others to give their best. You’ll work hard tomorrow as well right?”(utano)

“Yeah, yeah.”

“No need to say it twice. You’re not a kid.”

As I sat down on the sofa together with Utano-san, this time Yui-chan came and sat beside me. Even though there’s so many more seats, why here? Curious, I looked at her as she looked up towards me with her ruby red eyes. It was the so called ‘upturned eyes/ puppy eyes’.

She feels like a little sister or rather, like a daughter. It felt a bit embarrassing to be looked at by her like that.

“Can I….sit, beside you?”(yui)

“Hm, sure but my armour will feel really cold you know?”(renji)

“Eh, really, that’s what you ask?”(ana)

“No, but, it really is very cold. My armour, that is.”(renji)

Hearing Anastasia’s tsukkomi, I ended up replying like that.

Even if it is a resistant to magic, mithril armour, it’s still armour. Metal is metal. It’s surface will always feel cold.

I thought that way but Yui-chan didn’t seem to mind it as she simply shook her head.

“As usual, you two get along well.”(utano)

“Oh, jealous?”(renji)

“Yup.”(utano)

Utano-san sitting in front said that and I felt like Yui-chan’s porcelain white skin turned a bit red.

Utano-san as well, wasn’t making her stern expression as usual and was giving a smile so the atmosphere felt really strange.

Both me and Anastasia didn’t know how to react to them.

Well…………

“What happened Yui-chan, your face looks red.”(renji)

“Ah, no………”

I should just have fun and tease her as usual.

But when I did, I knew it. The pressure from the phantom knight standing behind us increased. He’s overprotective as usual. Anastasia was just snickering while on Yui-chan’s shoulder. If possible, it’d be great if you could make him stop with that pressure though. Though a comrade, KNIGHT was a phantom. And when a phantom increases his pressure, the chill you feel is harsher than even coldest days of winter. The fact that he doesn’t talk at all only adds to the effect.

Well, that’s fun in its own way. Or rather, the correct way should be to say that it feels nostalgic. As expected, it’s fun to fool around like this with your comrades.

“aah, that sucked.”(toudou)

“Isn’t that rude, Toudou-kun?”(kudou)

“Nope, not at all.”

While I was talking with Utano-san and Yui-chan. Toudou, with a tired sounding voice, came here.

They must have thought they’d overcrowd the table as the three of them, Kudou, Kuuki and Toudou, sat down by another table.

Just then, King Joshua in an extravagant dress while being escorted by Warren-san and O’brien-san came into the room as well.

It’d be rude to act in a panic so we quietly stood up and were about to kneel when King Joshua stopped us with a wave of his hand.

“You don’t need to. That aside, it’s nice to see you all gathered like this again.”(king)

“No, our livelihoods are also supported by the country. It’s only normal to answer to the King’s calls.”(utano)

When Utano-san said that, King Joshua gave a wide smile.

“I see. For you to say that, it makes me happy as well.”(king)

Saying that, he sat down on the most luxurious looking sofa.

Just like KNIGHT stood behind Yui-chan, O’brien-san stood behind the king. Warren-san sat down in one of the side sofas adjoining the table in front of the King.

And having sat down, King Joshua gave a meaningful look towards me. He must be asking me to come to his table.

Seeing the maid prepare a very different liquid kept in a glass bottle other than tea inside made my face cramp a bit.

“Utano-san?”(renji)

“You’re the one being called, have fun.”(utano)

How cold. Over there, I saw Kudou shake her shoulder in laughter. I am definitely going to make them pay for this. That said, I feel like she’d end up trapping me instead though. Well, that might be fun as well. Probably.

Thinking that, I headed towards king Joshua and sat down on the sofa in front of him.

It feels quite luxurious to sit on such a sofa alone.

“That armour suits you well.”(king)

“You were the ones who prepared it for me though?”(renji)

“fu, I suppose so. I am glad that your body hasn’t changed much since it had been made from your earlier measurements.”

As King Joshua gave a laugh, o’brien-san behind him also nodded and smiled. Just like Utano-san, seeing him with such an expression was also rare.

Well, it’s normal that my body didn’t change much. It’s not like I had been eating some high calorie delicious food everyday or something and I did move around my body almost everyday. I doubt I’d get fat….probably.

“My lord as well, your attire suits you well.”(renji)

“I wonder. I have spent the last whole year doing nothing but sit on a chair you know?”

Saying that, he lightly patted his stomach. He must be implying that he has gained excess fat I guess.

He gave a *kaka* laugh. His laugh sounded really energetic making me feel pleasant as well.

“Renji-dono.”

“What is it, Warren-dono.”(renji)

“To have taken part in the tournament this time, I truly thank you for the bottom of my heart.”

“No, well……..”

The reason I did was because of my debt to Utano-san. But I should keep my mouth shut about that. The reason is too embarrassing after all.

“Seriously. Why are you two so formal. At least relax a bit at times like these, will you?”(king)

“Even if say that milord,”(warren)

“It’s not like we’re completely in private either.”

When both me and Warren-san spoke together, King Joshua gave a sigh while giving a shrug.

His reaction was amusing so even O’brien-san gave a small laugh.

Seriously, this king is too casual I think.

“Sorry for the wait.”

“oh…….”

Inside the calm atmosphere, a dignified voice resounded.

From the door the king had come, the owner of this voice also entered.

With long silver hair and a petite body and slightly short height; even her usual cute appearance looked dignified when coupled with the makeup, attire and her calm and gentle gaze.

Hou, I breathed out.

Beautiful. Her jewel like beauty from one year ago was still there and it has only become greater as she grew up it seems.

I did see her a efw days back at the cathedral as well but seeing her closely like this, it’s much easier to tell.

How should I say this………certainly, she could charm anyone.

[Renji?]

“No, it’s nothing.”

“kuku, what, Renji, did you get charmed by Amalda?”(king)

“As if. It’s nothing like that.”

Let’s not talk about it shall we, King.

The princess’s calm expression changed and gave a smile instantly on hearing her father’s chatter. That expression was definitely one of the princess from an year ago. I guess a person’s core won’t change that easily.

And, somewhere, she has become more like her mother—-the queen. That person also had a warm and gentle face of a mother who cared and loved her family and country underneath her dignified expression.

That made me feel happy as well as I gave a slight smile.

“What do you think, want to marry my—–“(king)

“No thanks.”(renji)

“Father?”(amalda)

My rejection and the princess’s voice came at the same time.

Though the offer was very attractive, I’ll get killed by Kuuki as removal of competition. Without fail.

And above all, I don’t plan on being a obstacle in a comrade’s romance.

——–I always want my comrades to be happy.

And the title of a Hero is alone is heavy enough, marrying her and becoming the next king is something I cannot handle. There’s no chance.

Even the princess’s gaze came at me only for a second and was now fixed towards Kuuki, who was talking with Utano-san and others. Unlike her dignified expression from before, it held warmth. Truly like that of a girl in love. Something like that. Why am I not looked at like that by anyone, Goddamnit. Seeing her expression, even the King gave a sigh. I totally feel you.

The fact that she hadn’t walked towards him already shows that at least she understands her position as royalty. Or maybe she’s just embarrassed to flirt in front of so many people.

If Yui-chan gave that kind of look to someone, I will join up with KNIGHT and Fafnir and make that man undergo the most stressful interview of his life.

“Now then, it looks like everyone has gathered.”(renji)

“umu, so it seems.”(king)

With his words, before the King rose, I stood up and stood in line with O’brien-san. With the king in the centre, O’brien-san was to his right and I at his left.

As the mithril sword on my waist made a *kacha* sound as I moved, O’brien-san made a clear smile.

“Looks like the expression on your face has become better again.”(ob)

“Is that so?”

Without a mirror, I can’t really tell that though. But if he says so, it must be true.

Behind me was Utano-san and beside her was Kudou and the others. Beside O’brien-san stood Kuuki and Warren-san, Yui-chan and KNIGHT.

“Well then, we shouldn’t make the people wait any longer.”(king)

“And the participants either, father.”(amalda)

At the very front stood the King and the princess. Normally, the queen should stand by the King’s side but that person lost her life in the war one year ago.

………..it’s amazing how these two have overcome that sadness.

Both the king and the princess.

Even though, even after one year,  I am still getting pulled down by it.

As the King and the princess reached to the edge of the balcony, the whole Coliseum slowly went silent.

“Everyone—–“(king)

And thus, the voice amplified by magic resounded in all of the Coliseum

And the festival began.

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