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Hachinan tte, Sore wa Nai Deshou! Chapter 87 Part2

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“Ei! Tou!”

When I left the house together with Elise and the others after dressing ourselves in the early morning, Erw swung a katana enthusiastically in a s.p.a.ce that is equivalent to a garden.
Having obtained Mizuho clothes before anyone noticed, his appearance now looks like that of a foreign swordsman.
In my eyes his movements of swinging the katana started to look quite good.
Though that’s as far as it goes, as for the judgment of an amateur.
Even Haruka, who’s coaching him, didn’t say anything in particular and gazed at his form.
However, as expected of a beautiful samurai girl, she looks good by just standing there.
It’s also good that Erw’s expression doesn’t break into a foppish grin.

“Oyy~~, Erw.” (Wendelin)

“Wend? So, how’s my katana apt.i.tude?” (Erwin)

“So-so?” (Wendelin)

I’d like him to pardon me from giving an accurate comment as amateur.
I don’t have any talent in using a katana. I have already given up on the path of swordsmans.h.i.+p a long time ago and don’t practise it either.
If I had such time, I would rather spend it on training my magic or archery as that would be more efficient, I think.

“Even though things may appear this way, it gives off quite the good vibe.” (Haruka)

“Is that so?” (Wendelin)

Once I ask Haruka, who’s at his side, she begins to explain while revealing an attractive smile.

“Erw-san became already strong enough that it’s at least possible for him to be enlisted in the Battou Unit. He reached the point where he’s able to fight quite evenly against my elder brother.” (Haruka)

“That’s amazing, isn’t it?” (Wendelin)

According to Haruka, Erw has more talent in using the katana than the sword.
The reason why he didn’t know about that until now is probably because katana don’t exist in Helmut Kingdom.
It seems there are very few people that possess one, but it’s at the level of being secretly collected by some maniacs.
However I think he did well to get this far in such a short time.
When I thought that, Erw got happy by Haruka handing him something like towel to wipe away the sweat.
Since Erw’s original facial features are decent, it gives the impression of a beautiful manager handing a towel to the ace after finis.h.i.+ng club activity.
As he has talent in using the katana to begin with, he’s probably eager to show his good points to Haruka.
His motive was evil, but I don’t think it’s a problem since he actually got strong by seriously training.

“(Riajuus do exist…) Katana, huh? Is that the one you bought first?” (Wendelin)

“Yea. Though it’s a crude, ma.s.s-produced item, I suppose.” (Erwin)

Erw shows me the katana he has been swinging.
Once I examine the quality of the material with the 『a.n.a.lyse』 spell since I don’t have any accurate knowledge about j.a.panese swords at all, it was steel with quite the high purity.

“It was created by a campaign expert blacksmith of the national army of Earl Mizuho Country. The material was the one you gave me before, Wend.” (Erwin)

“Aah, the one I prepared, you say?” (Wendelin)

“Don’t be so forgetful.” (Erwin)

I remember that because Erw told me about making a katana, I gathered an appropriate amount of iron sand from the ground, removed the surplus components, formed it into a clump of iron and gave it to him.

“Do you possess talent in smithing as well, Earl Baumeister-sama?” (Haruka)

“No, I simply collected it with magic.” (Wendelin)

I’m not proud of it, but I didn’t receive anything better than average scores in practical subjects such as art, crafting and physical education in my previous life.
It’s unthinkable for me to have talent in the making of j.a.panese swords or similar.
I simply extracted the metal from the ground by using magic.
I answered Haruka’s question in such manner.

“I’m good at gathering metal from abandoned mines and mine polluted ponds, but processing it is impossible for me.” (Wendelin)

It’s regrettable since I could have flourished as magic tool craftsman if I was able to do so.
The reason for me thinking that is because I selfishly consider the appearance of craftsmen as cool.

“However, it was praised by the swordsmith to be magnificent raw material.” (Haruka)

Mizuho katana become high-quality products if they are smithed by using raw materials with an iron purity that is as high as possible.
Even so, if you create iron with the technology of this world from iron ore originating from a mine, it ends up becoming an alloy-like metal with t.i.tan and such mixed in.
In that case it apparently tends towards becoming a hard weapon, but as flexibility is very essential for a katana as well, the expensive katana seem to be produced by expressly gathering iron sand with a high purity from rivers and similar.
I heard that they did the same in old j.a.pan as well.
My superior’s hobby at my workplace were j.a.panese swords. That’s why I heard about it at the year-end party.

“Originally it’s high-quality iron that’s not used for crude katanas.”

“Hee, really?” (Wendelin)

No matter how much Earl Mizuho Country excels at technology, they seem to be unable to obtain high-quality iron as katana material that easily.
The work of removing the impurities from the iron and processing it into steel is surely something that relies heavily on magic, I guess.
What is handed out as sword that can be used by a low-ranking soldier in the kingdom and empire is an item that gets forged with just st.u.r.diness as its main attribute.
A sword that is forged by a blacksmith himself actually swinging his hammer is something that will be bought by low-ranking n.o.bles after saving up money.

“This katana is amazing, but once I get much better, I want to create a katana out of orichalc.u.m.” (Erwin)

“Out of orichalc.u.m? Can you make that?”

If Mizuho katana and j.a.panese katana are identical, I wonder whether it’s possible to recreate a katana that is made by combining hard and soft iron with just orichalc.u.m?
I felt slightly doubtful about that.

“I have been told that the top cla.s.s Mizuho katana are an combination of soft secret steel, where pure orichalc.u.m is processed in a special way, and hard secret steel, which is a mixture of mithril and orichalc.u.m with a fixed ratio, following the secret formula of Earl Mizuho Country.” (Haruka)

As expected of the beautiful samurai girl.
Having the necessary knowledge, coupled with her appearance, Haruka was the most suitable to explain the Mizuho katana.

“Isn’t it wrong to tell people of a foreign country too much about such secrets?”

“If it’s this degree of knowledge, all of the empire’s blacksmiths know about it. The precise mixing ratio and the unique method of processing are tightly kept hidden. Even I’m not fully aware of those.” (Haruka)

“I see…”

There are too many secret techniques in Earl Mizuho Country anyway.
Putting aside the magic katana, I was surprised by those magic rifles.
From the standpoint of Duke Nürnberg who is a firm ultranationalist, they were likely seen as threat that should be either dominated or destroyed.
Though, in my case it wasn’t a serious issue as I want to be on good terms with them since it’s a distant, semi-independent nation that reminds me of j.a.pan.

“Orichalc.u.m katana possess offensive abilities comparable to magic katana after being charged with mana, even if they are not regularly maintained in a sophisticated process by craftsmen. Therefore there are many among the Mizuho people who desire one.” (Haruka)

The orichalc.u.m sword that Erw obtained, cut through many golems in Herthania Valley like tofu.
If it’s an orichalc.u.m katana, its sharpness is even better, Haruka says.

“Erw, have them make small and big orichalc.u.m katana.” (Wendelin)

“No, that’s probably unreasonable.” (Erwin)

“Yes. Leaving the costs aside, the material is lacking.” (Haruka)

According to what Haruka says, there’s apparently no orichalc.u.m on stock.
If there was, it would have been made into katana for the Mizuho household and the chief retainer households. As of yet there’s almost nothing on stock, Haruka explained.
A new orichalc.u.m mine hasn’t currently been discovered in Earl Mizuho Country, it seems.

“I have the material!” (Wendelin)

All the orichalc.u.m that was mined in the Savage Lands and Herthania Valley was delivered to me. I also gathered it in my childhood by using mana wastefully if there was even the slightest response to my search spells.
Orichalc.u.m can’t be collected in quant.i.ty anyway.
Discovering promising large-scale ore deposits, I finally gathered around 200 kilogram after mining for several years.
Lately, the iron deposits were big hits, I guess.
To a degree that such conversations are held between the mining staff.
Rather, there have been many orichalc.u.m products that had been excavated from ancient ruins.

“I will provide the material for two katana and give them Erw’s orichalc.u.m sword to make up for their effort.” (Wendelin)

“That’s fine with you?” (Erwin)

Even though it’s only material, one sword has an amount of orichalc.u.m that allows for two Mizuho katana with different sizes to be made.
Taking into account the processing fee, Erw apparently realizes that my side will incur a loss.

“You know, even if I possess a katana…” (Wendelin)

If it’s a sword, I might be able to at least kill a single soldier.
However, even if I unreasonably owned a katana, the current me would definitely be unable to handle it.
I longed for one as I’m a j.a.panese, but there’s no meaning if I can’t use it.
That means letting Erw keep it is the most efficient solution.

“Besides, my last defense line are you after all, Erw.” (Wendelin)

“Certainly, that’s my job.” (Erwin)

“Then, accept it.” (Wendelin)

I pa.s.s a clump of orichalc.u.m to Erw.
It was around half of my stock, but it should be possible to forge the necessary number of katana with this.

“Isn’t that too much?” (Erwin)

“Can you forge around three katana with this? For the time being, please try to create only what is possible.” (Wendelin)

I asked Erw to order the creation of the j.a.panese swords.

“Won’t you come to the expert blacksmith’s place as well, Wend?” (Erwin)

“Studying by observation? That’s a great idea.” (Wendelin)

Following Haruka, Erw and I moved to the the field workshop that’s adjacent to the headquarters of Earl Mizuho Country’s national army.
The campaign’s master smiths and magic tools craftsmen repair and produce weapons and armours here.
Several dozens master smiths and magic tool craftsmen forged katana and maintained magic rifles.

“Erwin-dono? How’s the katana I forged for you?”

The one who called out to Erw was an elderly person with an appearance that immediately told one that he’s a very skilled katana smith.
Wearing clothes that resembled a monk’s working clothes, he walks over to us while wiping his sweat off with a towel.

“I have grown accustomed to it.” (Erwin)

“That’s great. So, he’s Earl Baumeister-sama, right?”

“Yes. As a matter of fact, my lord appears to have a request…” (Erwin)

“Is it a katana creation request? Aah, sorry for forgetting to mention it. I’m called Kanesada the 87th, a master smith employed by the Mizuho household.” (Kanesada)

Going by his name, he seems to be a person who forges great katana.
It appears there are people who make j.a.panese swords as family occupation for generations in Earl Mizuho Country, too.

“I’m Wendelin von Benno Baumeister. I’d like you to actually forge katana out of orichalc.u.m.”

Once I say so, Erw gives the clump of orichalc.u.m to Kanesada.

“You did well to obtain such a big amount. I guess it will result in two sets of of large and small katana, and one dagger.” (Kanesada)

I guess as should be expected of a renown artisan.
Seeing the clump of orichalc.u.m, he can immediately estimate the number of katana that can be created from it.

“Then, please forge katana for Erw.” (Wendelin)

“I will gladly receive your order.” (Kanesada)

“Kanesadsan, will that be really alright?” (Erwin)

Erw apparently holds Kanesada in high esteem.
He addressed him in a polite tone.

“It’s because you have improved at a magnificent pace, Erwin-san. I believe it will become necessary very soon. Besides, even if it’s me, I want to be able to temper orichalc.u.m. Looking at it like this, I’m a greedy master smith.” (Kanesada)

Because orichalc.u.m itself is rare, it looks like people can also forge it seldomly.
In the eyes of a master smith it must be a material they long for.

“I might be conceited, but I’m a master smith said to be equal to Kanesada the 1st. Please trust in me as I will certainly forge famous katana.” (Kanesada)

“That’s very rea.s.suring. Then, here’s a big service.” (Wendelin)

I take out the other half of the orichalc.u.m from my magic bag.

“Then it will become five sets of small and big katana, and one dagger.” (Kanesada)

“I won’t specify a time for delivery. Please forge them until you can agree with them.” (Wendelin)

“Thank you.” (Kanesada)

As he demanded a clump of iron, that had its composition adjusted by me, as payment, and a bit of mithril to be used as component, I have given those to him as well.

“Earl Baumeister-sama, you can refine high-grade iron with magic, right? If it’s this iron, everyone will be delighted.” (Kanesada)

“Then, I leave it to you.” (Wendelin)

When the three of us returned to our hose since we finished requesting the production of the j.a.panese swords, several Mizuho people awaited us in front of the entrance.
Going by their attires, the appear to be quite high-ranking chief retainers.

“Earl Baumeister-sama, please sell me the Mizuho katana you requested by providing the materials.”

“I’d like you to sell them to me!”

“If it’s money, I will pay! How about 300.000 ryo?”

“I will pay 400.000 ryou!”

It seems they swiftly got hold of the information about me having carried in a large amount of orichalc.u.m to the field workshop. They approached with a very strong intensity asking me to sell the completed katana to them.

◆◇◆◇◆

“Hee, something like that happened?”

On that day, Burkhart-san listens very interested to the details during the chat at the dinner location.

“The Mizuho katana is a swordsman’s pride, their soul.” (Haruka)

“I do understand that they cherish them, but…” (Ina)

Haruka explains the frantic emotions of wanting to obtain an orichalc.u.m-made katana harboured by her countrymen as if it’s easy to understand.
Ina was able to understand that they treasure the weapons which save their own lives, but being told about pride, soul or such, she seems uncertain of the meaning.
One more person tilted their head to the side.

“Elise, do you understand?”

What I know is just the knowledge that the samurai in the old j.a.pan cherished their katana.
As this is just knowledge to the bitter end, I myself don’t harbour such sentiments towards katana.
I think it’s only at the level of having some yearning and thinking 『I have to take care of it』.

“It’s like cheris.h.i.+ng the scriptures and the priestess' garb, for example?”

“Yes. Though these are important, G.o.d states that 『Don’t cling to possessions』…”

It’s probably a proverb for the sake of restraining materialistic desires, but I can understand them being unable to cooperate religiously with Earl Mizuho Country due to this point.
Actually there are many priests who like money and expensive items though.

“It’s not like Earl Mizuho Country is particularly adhering to items. Rather, I think it has the meaning that they will cherish a katana they had forged once as much as possible.”

“If it’s that way of thinking, I can understand.”

I don’t comprehend talks about philosophy or religion at all.
I just said it non-committally, but Ina and the others are puzzled as they apparently can’t understand after all.
As for Dous.h.i.+, he concentrated on the food.
I guess he has absolutely no interest.
What Dous.h.i.+ cherishes is probably his own body.

“It might be easier to understand if you call a katana a partner to whom you entrust your own life.” (Erwin)

“That’s it, Erw-san.” (Haruka)

Haruka is usually a quiet woman.
She owns the two aspects of showing no openings as first-cla.s.s swordsgirl and her feminine virtues of old j.a.pan.
However, after getting involved with Erw, she talks about various things while looking happy.

“(There’s hope for Erw?)” (Wendelin)

It’s desirable as Erw’s best friend and at the same time it’s related to having a link to Earl Mizuho Country.
After all that country has many of the dearly-missed, j.a.panese-like items I desire.

◆◇◆◇◆

“So, how is it going? With Haruka?” (Wendelin)

“I think my conquest is close at hand.” (Erwin)

After dinner I called Erw and tried to ask him when it was just the two of us. As expected, it seems that there’s hope.

“However, there’s a single problem…”

It seems that Haruka’s elder brother makes a fuss with 『You can forget it if you are not at least an even match with me!』.
I end up thinking that he’s a stubborn old man from someplace.

“That’s from the viewpoint as next family head of a retainer household?” (Wendelin)

It’s a fact that he was the next family head of an outrageous retainer household, but originally, Haruka’s home is a retainer household with a low social position. Them being currently treated well is because the elder brother and the younger sister are excellent with katana to a degree of being chosen for the Battou Unit.
Even without the guarantee that his own children will be skilled enough to enter the Battou Unit, he isn’t that obsessed with marrying his little sister away first since they are a small household to begin with.

“Haruka is complicated as marriage partner, isn’t she?”

Since her pedigree is low, she can’t marry into a distinguished retainer household as first wife. She’s more excelling with the katana than a husband that might accept her.
In Earl Mizuho Country, that puts importance on katana skill, a wife, who surpa.s.ses her husband in ability by miles, seems to be an existence that gets treated as something troublesome.

“That’s why all the other women affiliated with the Battou Unit are single as well.”

In addition, there’s her elder brother, too.
He loves his younger sister and seems to constantly voice his opinion of 『Rather than being troubled by getting married into some strange place, stay at home forever』.
In short, he is what’s commonly referred as sis-con.
Given that his younger sister can’t help being lovely, he probably doesn’t want her to become a wife if possible at all.

“Haruka’s elder brother, I met him in the past as well, didn’t I?” (Wendelin)

“Yeah.” (Erwin)

As he possesses top-cla.s.s ability for a young man, he was previously introduced to me by High Earl Mizuho.
I remember that he looked like a very serious youth, but having a sister complex certainly isn’t something that you can deduct from a person’s appearance.

“Shall I ask Haruka’s elder brother…?” (Wendelin)

“Please. Going by my current ability, it will take several years until I can compete against Haruka’s elder brother.” (Erwin)

Erw seems to be confident that he will be able to catch up with the katana to Haruka’s elder brother’s.
Since he’s actually got talent as well, that’s probably no conceited bragging either.

“If we waited until then, Haruka will be a woman who missed her chance of getting married, I guess.”

“Wai-! You!”

If Therese hears about this, it will turn into a scandal for Erw.
I blocked Erw’s mouth in panic.

“Anyway, it will be fine if I try asking Haruka’s elder brother personally.” (Wendelin)

“I leave it to you, Wend.” (Erwin)

The next morning I head to the encampment of Earl Mizuho Country’s national army together with Erw and Haruka.
Once we go towards the station of the Battou Unit within that encampment, Haruka’s elder brother was practising with his katana there.

“Oh, Earl Baumeister-sama? I’m grateful for you taking care of Haruka.”

“h.e.l.lo.” (Wendelin)

Haruka’s elder brother, who doesn’t look like a sis-con but a diligent and fluent youth, stopped his training and greeted me with a cheerful voice.

“Has Haruka been helpful to you?”

“She has good skills after all. I won’t ever be able to win against her with my swordsmans.h.i.+p.” (Wendelin)

When I praised Haruka’s katana skills, his mood improved.
Moreover, he seems to be relieved after confirming that his younger sister looks just as usual.

“As a matter of fact, there’s something I’d like to speak about with you…” (Wendelin)

“It’s not allowed! No matter what, no!”

Once I try speaking about it, he suddenly refuses me before I can even really start.
He apparently partially sensed with his instinct what I was going to ask him.

“Nii-sama? What’s not allowed?” (Haruka)

“It’s nothing you need to know, Haruka!”

“???” (Haruka)

“(Huh?)”

At this moment I realize a certain fact.
As Haruka is far too serious, she doesn’t seem to have much of knowledge in that direction.
No, I guess she simply hasn’t noticed it?
It looks like she hasn’t realized until now that she might be married to Erw.
It was possible that her being friendly to Erw was just because her happiness about the improvement speed of Erw’s skills influenced by her, as simple swordsmans.h.i.+p idiot.

“Let’s have a chat for the time being.”

“No! It’s in vain. Something like sending my cute younger sister to a foreign country!”

I suppose as elder brother he doesn’t want his lovely younger sister to be send as wife to a foreign country.
In such case it will be fine if I rely on High Earl Mizuho, but even if he’s ordered from above, it would leave a bad aftertaste on the emotional side.
It would likely be the best if we could receive his consent.

“What’s wrong about Erw?” (Wendelin)

“He has talent, but he’s still inexperienced.”

“Be that as it may, how many years do you want to make him wait?”

“That is…”

He wishes to keep his adorable younger sister at his side, but having said that, she will think badly of him as elder brother if he obstructs a marriage for his own reasons.
Haruka’s brother seems to continue being conflicted in his mind.

“… If Haruka lives in a foreign country, there will also be a different culture there…”

“I don’t think that it’s something you have to worry about this much though…”

There isn’t that much of a difference in the language. The food culture is close to Mizuho as well, thanks to me.
Besides, I have placed the condition to enter trade with Earl Mizuho Country as reward for cooperating towards an end of the civil war in the empire.
I will go shopping there regularly. At that time Haruka should be able to serve as good guide.
As long as 『Teleportation』 exists, she will be able to visit her home right away.

“But…”

“Even if you throw a tantrum like a child, it’s inevitable, isn’t it?”

As for me, I won’t force Haruka, if she dislikes it.
There’s plenty of other candidates. Erw doesn’t wish for that either.
However, I had no intention to pull back with her elder brother’s refusal as reason.

“The man, to whom I entrust Haruka, has to be strong.”

“However…”

Defeat me if you want my younger sister.
Putting aside something like that as story, in reality it’s established as being nothing more than bothersome.
I don’t think that there’s a household that has any merit in inviting Haruka as wife or that there’s man, who’s stronger than her elder brother, loving Haruka at present.
In that case, I don’t consider it to be that bad as first connection between the Earl Baumeister household and Earl Mizuho Country.
If I told High Earl Mizuho about it, he should give me an okay right away.

“It’s no good unless it’s a man who can win against me.”

In the next few years Erw will probably have skills at the level of being at least even to Haruka’s elder brother.
Although there’s such judgment, I have a problem with waiting for several years just like that.
I think I at least want him to value the future prospects.

“Won’t Erw be good enough in several years?”

“It’s no good if it’s not now! Anyway, it’s pointless!”

Haruka’s elder brother was obstinate.
The emotional aspect is big, but he might also not follow the concept of enlarging the household with forced political marriages since they are a low-ranking retainer household.
Well then, how should I get the person himself to agree?

“How about if you fight with a sword and not a katana, Erw?” (Wendelin)

“No, the current me can’t win, even if it’s with a sword.” (Erwin)

From my point of view, Erw’s swordsmans.h.i.+p looks to be considerably developed, but Haruka’s elder brother is even further above that. And in the Earl Mizuho Country there are several masters who exceed even Haruka’s elder brother.

“(How about having a try and going for it for the time being? After all it might be possible.)”

“(If Í lose with that, the talks will reset to the starting point again.) (Erwin)

“(That’s right isn’t it…?)” (Wendelin)

Since he’s saying that he won’t hand over Haruka as wife if he can’t win, it’s necessary to somehow defeat Haruka’s brother.

“It’s fine even if it’s you, Earl Baumeister-sama.”

“Eh? Me?” (Wendelin)

I’m bewildered by Haruka’s brother’s sudden proposal.

“Aren’t you Erwin-dono’s lord, Earl Baumeister-sama? If you are strong, I will be able to let her go with a peace of mind.”

I don’t understand why it’s alright even if it’s me.
I don’t have any particular intention to take Haruka as wife. There’s not a splinter of a chance that my swordsmans.h.i.+p is better than Erw’s.

“Are you aware of my swordsmans.h.i.+p skills?” (Wendelin)

“No, I want to fight against your magic, Earl Baumeister-sama. That’s your strongest weapon, isn’t it?”

“Magic, you say?” (Wendelin)

I end up wondering whether Haruka’s elder brother isn’t an outrageous battle junkie.
He will oppose magic with a katana.
I wondered whether it might be some different kind of hand-to-hand compet.i.tion, but never did I consider that he would challenge me to such contest.

“Wend, I leave it to you.” (Erwin)

“Uuh… Got it…” (Wendelin)

It’s the request of Erw who’s my retainer and dear friend.
I acknowledged the duel with Haruka’s elder brother.

◆◇◆◇◆

“Don’t use any exceedingly big magic.”

“Also, killing is forbidden.”

“I know.”

“Tentatively I have to warn you. Your magic is sometimes no joke, Earl-sama.” (Burkhart)

“Indeed. It has power at the level of calamity cla.s.s.” (Armstrong)

“As what kind of destroyer do you two see me?” (Wendelin)

“”…””

“Please answer normally that it’s a joke at this point.” (Wendelin)

Even though I met with Haruka’s elder brother to have him approve of Erw’s and Haruka’s marriage, it ended up with me dueling him on the gra.s.sland located on the parade ground of Earl Mizuho Country’s national army for some reason.
From where did they hear about it?
In addition to Therese, Alfons and High Earl Mizuho, many spectators have gathered at the gra.s.sland.
Burkhart-san and Dous.h.i.+ became my seconds before I noticed.
It seems everyone is starving for entertainment in this protracted war while they are expanding the field encampment and colonization.
A subtle blood-thirst welled up in me due to to everyone observing while eating and drinking as they please.

“Don’t be careless.”

“That’s only natural.” (Wendelin)

I can’t use too strong magic. And Haruka’s brother possesses a magic katana.
Since I have never been actually attacked by one of those yet, it was difficult for me to predict to what degree it can destroy a 『Magic Barrier』.

“Seeing the nature of magic katana, an elementary magician will be killed if they are careless.” (Armstrong)

“Is it a magician killer?”

“I don’t know since there’s likely no opportunity to kill a precious magician if there’s no war, but the probability is high.” (Armstrong)

It’s just as Dous.h.i.+ says, but that might mean that Haruka’s elder brother wants to get a hang of this with a real combat format duel against me.
It seems that I’m used as a guinea pig here.

“Dear, please be careful of injuries.” (Elise)

“We will stop at injuries that are in the range of your healing capability, Elise.” (Wendelin)

Elise called out to me while looking worried.

“Wend, I think that Haruka’s onii-san is a different case than Erw.” (Ina)

“I see. I don’t know anything but him being somehow amazing.” (Wendelin)

There’s a difference between katana and spear, but Ina was surprised by Haruka’s brother’s high ability.
I don’t comprehend anything but him being quite good more or less.
Although I could roughly measure the capacity of a magician, I was an outsider in regards to katana techniques.

“You practiced swordsmans.h.i.+p in the past as well, Wend, didn’t you?” (Luise)

“Seeing that I have no talent, it can’t be helped.” (Wendelin)

“I don’t think that you will lose easily if it’s magic, but it’s best if you are not stingy with the mana for your 『Magic Barrier』, Wend.” (Luise)

Luise also revealed her wariness towards Haruka’s brother who is confronting me with around 20 meters between us.

“Don’t allow him to close in on you.” (Wilma)

“Anyway, don’t give your opponent the initiative by rapidly firing small spells.” (Katharina)

After receiving advice from Wilma and Katharina as well, I will fight against Haruka’s elder brother.

“I don’t understand the reason completely, but… Normally it’s probably a setting where Erw fights, causes a miracle and Haruka’s brother brings it to an end with 『You are quite the guy, aren’t you?』.”

And yet I’m stuck competing against him with the reasoning that I’m Erw’s lord.
I don’t get it at all.

“Is that guy a battle junkie or something like that?” (Wendelin)

“It’s certain that he’s a person who has large targets. He might wish for power that enables him to fight against magicians to some extent.” (Erwin)

“I’m the guinea pig for that, huh…?” (Wendelin)

“Sorry. Nii-sama has…” (Haruka)

I end up complaining to Erw unintentionally, but once I see Haruka apologizing next to him, there’s no way for me to throw the match.
If I win, we will at least gain Haruka’s brother’s approval for a marriage between Erw and Haruka.

“Oh well, don’t mind. It will be fine if I win.” (Wendelin)

While cracking a joke for the sake of Haruka, I’m actually convinced of my victory in my mind.
Seeing that I have a 『Magic Barrier』, the other side’s attacks won’t get through, not matter how I think about it.

“Then, let’s start?”

“Earl Baumeister-sama, let’s have a fair fight.”

Elise and the others leave me vicinity and the match begins at the same time as Burkhart-san launches a fireball into the sky as signal.
Seeing that my opponent uses a katana, there’s no point unless he gets close to me.
That means that it would be best for my side to make him acc.u.mulate damage with magic that out-ranges him. First I create a large amount of pellets with magic and then I release them towards Haruka’s brother with different timing.
He should become incapable of fighting if he’s. .h.i.t by several of them.
As expected, it would be wrong of me to kill him in front of his younger sister.
There’s also the side of High Earl Mizuho who is his lord.

“Naive!”

However, Haruka’s brother draws his katana at lightning speed and repels the pellets by cutting them one after the other.
His movements were just like the user of a sword that cuts iron that appears in a certain 3rd generation series. (T/N: Goemon Is.h.i.+kawa XIII from Lupin 3rd, I think. At least he fits the bill here)

“No way!” (Wendelin)

I, who ended up having all my pellets cut apart, fire small fireb.a.l.l.s in succession at Haruka’s brother next.
Once I do so, he drew his third sword, the magic katana which is his trump card.
When Haruka’s brother swings the katana blade that’s clad in a faint bluish-white light, the fireb.a.l.l.s vanish one after the other while giving off a 『poof』 sound.

“Water attribute, eh?!”

“It’s possible to regulate the mana quant.i.ty and attribute used by a magic katana!”

Next I release small wind cutters in succession.
Those have killed and wounded many soldiers in the capital and during our escape, but they are also extinguished by the yellow-glowing blade in succession.
My wind cutters ended up getting erased by him cladding the blade in earth-attribute mana.

“(Mizuho magic katana; aren’t those dangerous?)”

If one’s at the level of an unskilled elementary magician, they will get easily killed by a master magic katana user.
This is what Duke Nürnberg should be wary of.

“(This means I can’t afford to let him get close.)”

The magic katana’s flaw is that it will turn into a simple katana once the magic gem inside runs out of mana.
In that case it will be fine if I make him waste it as much as possible while not letting him draw closer.
Since he will approach even while cutting fireb.a.l.l.s or such, I next take out the sword without blade I received from master in the past.
I immediately produce a fire blade and after stabbing that into the ground, I release 『Fire Snakes』 that run towards Haruka’s brother in rapid succession.

“Tsk!”

Of course they shouldn’t hit him, but Haruka’s brother had to stop his advance in order to evade.
During that time I gradually fell back to the rear.

“『Ice Snake』, 『Earth Drive』 and 『Whirlwind Cutter』, I wonder which of them is good?” (Wendelin)

Since I don’t expect Haruka’s brother to answer, I fire in rapid succession while adding feints into it.
Anyway, it’s in order to not allow him getting close, as I was told by Wilma and Katharina.
If I’m late in deploying the 『Magic Barrier』 in worst case, it will spell my defeat.

“There’s nothing that’s impossible for a magic katana.”

Haruka’s brother continued to dodge my magic, but after moving widely to the side, he stabs the magic katana into the ground.
The blade s.h.i.+nes red for an instant and a flame as if a fuse was lit heads my way.


It seems that he’s copying my magic.

“(Even though he isn’t a magician, magic katana are frightening items, I guess. But…)”

I had waited for this.
I think that it’s amazing, but such attack will exhaust the precious remaining mana in the magic katana.
If Haruka’s elder brother, who’s not a magician, loses the mana of the magic katana, he will return to being a simple excellent swordsman.
Actually, when the magic katana erased several 『Ice Snake』 spells, light vanished from that katana.

“Fufu. There’s no mana left in the magic katana!”

Suddenly Haruka’s brother opens the hilt of the magic katana, removes the the empty magic gem and replaces it with a spare magic gem he took out from his pocket.
It was a shocking reality.
The magic gem inside a magic katana was exchangeable like a battery once it used up its mana.

“However, this way things will never end. Let me oppose you with my entire power from now on.”

No sooner than saying that, Haruka’s brother charges in a straight line towards me.
I try to hinder his approach with a series of fireb.a.l.l.s in a hurry, but all of them are erased with a large swing of the magic katana.

“Wh-!”

He attempted to get close to me in one go without economizing on his mana.
As there’s a difference in physical ability to begin with, my retreat won’t be in time.
Since Haruka’s brother approached very close, I defend with a big fireball having a diameter of 1 meter next, but it ends up being cut in two by the magic katana that was clad in water attribute.

“『Magic Barrier』!”

There’s almost no distance between me and Haruka’s elder brother anymore.
If he gets this close, I have no other choice but to continue defending against his attacks with a 『Magic Barrier』.
Therefore I cast a 『Magic Barrier』, but I had somehow a bad premonition for an instant.
It was a kind of 6th sense, but I have a hunch that I will go through a bitter experience most of the times if I ignore these things.
Accordingly I made the 『Magic Barrier』 thicker than usual and it seems my intuition was correct.

“Mizuho s.h.i.+nkage-Ryu Secret Technique 『Wolf Fang』!”

Haruka’s brother didn’t slash but unleashed a thrusting attack that focused on one point.
He plots to break through at one point by charging just the magic katana’s point with mana.
This judgment is correct. It was a situation where his attack pierced almost completely through the skin of the 『Magic Barrier』 that was thicker than usual.
If I didn’t follow my intuition, I would have probably lost after getting stabbed in a vital spot.
Since we aren’t allowed to kill each other, I have lowered the mana output as handicap, but even so, it’s true that I would have lost.

“It’s my loss.”

At the moment his full power attack didn’t reach, Haruka’s brother put the magic katana back into its sheath and accepted his defeat.

“I would have lost if I didn’t make the 『Magic Barrier』 thicker after getting some bad premonition, you know?” (Wendelin)

“That intuition is something you obtained by diligently devoting yourself to your studies, Earl Baumeister-sama.”

“You are strong.”

“No, not at all. I’m still too much of a novice. By the way, it’s about Haruka’s matter. Seeing that I lost the match I believe that I want to approve of it. If Haruka goes to Earl Baumeister-sama’s place, she will probably be relieved as well. Erwin will become strong before long, too.”

“That’s great.”

There was worth in going as far as having a duel.
With this the obstacle to Erw’s and Haruka’s marriage vanished at last.

“Haruksan.”

“Erw-san.”

And then Erw and Haruka, the two concerned parties, stared at each other.
The rest depends on Erw showing his ability, I guess.

“Though it’s after this war ends, but would you come to Baumeister Earldom with me, Haruksan?”

“Yes, gladly.” (Haruka)

Haruka agrees to Erw’s proposal without any hesitation.

“Finally Erw-boy will marry as well, won’t he?” (Burkhart)

“That’s nice, isn’t it?” (Armstrong)

“Can’t thou make such a proposal to me as well, Wendelin?” (Therese)

“No, that’s impossible, I think.” (Alfons)

“Alfons, there’s no need for thee to respond calmly only at such times.” (Therese)

A part of the gallery was noisy, but above all it’s great that things came safely to an end.
Once Erw succeeded in proposing, the surrounding looks turned at the receiver Haruka…
That should be so, but for some reason it created an unexpected accident in this place.
Next Haruka said something unthinkable.

“Yes. I will be Erw-san’s swordsmans.h.i.+p instructor. I gratefully accept!” (Haruka)

“Yes?” (Erwin)

Erw apparently intended to propose to her, but Haruka seems to have perceived it as having obtained the permission to go to Baumeister Earldom as Erw’s swordsmans.h.i.+p instructor.
Meaning her own elder brother only opposed his younger sister going to a foreign country.
Due to Haruka’s unforeseen reply, Erw’s eyes turned into dots.

“Which reminds me, did anyone talk to Haruka about marrying Erw?”

Once I try considering it from another angle, I feel like we never directly talked to her about a marriage.
At least I have attached such condition though.

“So, how about you, onii-san?” (Haruka)

“Sorry… My words were only in opposition to you going to Baumeister Earldom…”

There was also the issue of swordsmans.h.i.+p ability, but as Haruka’s brother, who’s basically a sis-con, couldn’t permit the fact of his younger sister marrying, he apparently didn’t try to use this move of education at all.
With her being a beauty, having talent in swordsmans.h.i.+p and being skilled with things such as cooking and sewing, she’s a woman with the image of displaying the female virtues of old j.a.pan, but it seems that the knowledge about romance or marriage mostly hasn’t entered her mind.

“Imouto-san, have you been hit on by your comrades in the Battou Unit?”

“I made such bad people understand with training.”

Since both, younger sister and elder brother, belong to the Battou Unit, he apparently fought hard so that no strange bugs attached themselves to Haruka.
He’s truly a man appropriate to be called the mirror image of a sis-con.

“Since we will get the permission from High Earl Mizuho, make sure to properly explain it to your younger sister as the next family head and as elder brother.”

“Please excuse me from that.”

“(As expected of a sis-con…) Not allowed. Do it!”

I won.
If he can’t yield that much, I have to strengthen my tone and order Haruka’s elder brother.

“I will comply…”

Seizing both shoulders of Haruka’s brother with both hands, I succeed in persuading him.
However, something like refusing the demand of an Earl, albeit from another country, this man is a frightening sis-con.
Since he’s an old-styled swordsman going by his appearance and as he usually conducts himself in such manner as well, there’s probably few people who have realized the instinct of a sis-con flowing inside the heart of this man.

“The rest is just getting the permission from High Earl Mizuho, I guess.”

With the hindrance to Erw’s and Haruka’s marriage finally having vanished, I sighed in relief from the bottom of my heart.

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