Go, Durandal! Go, Puppers! When I was in the army, I always dreamed about having a weapon spirit. Now I have two, and the feeling is just as I suspected. It’s amazing! I don’t even have to lift a finger; all I have to do is give Durandal and Puppers some qi, and they can do all the fighting for me. Ah, you’ve really come far, Lucia. Good things really do happen to good people. The world is just.
“Durandal!” The red-haired weapon spirit seemed to know Durandal. Well, it makes sense considering the princes are royalty and royalty tends to have access to the best stuff. But why is he so weak? “This is impossible! Ninety years ago, we were evenly matched. You, how!?”
Durandal didn’t answer, stabbing repeatedly with his spear. His movements were so graceful, so refined, every thrust aimed with precision. …So why the heck couldn’t he teach me to fight like that!? I want to be refined and graceful too! Ah, I broke my cup from squeezing it too hard. It’s a good thing only the handle shattered or else I would’ve wasted precious hot chocolate.
Anyway, how’s Puppers doing against the fifth prince? Despite Puppers being a side character totally eclipsed by my brilliance, he’s actually not that bad of a fighter. He fights almost exactly like Durandal does, but he shouts and grunts a lot more. Occasionally, he also attacks with his tail and teeth—benefits of being a wolfkin spirit. His attacks, even though they follow the same movements, are a lot fiercer too. But there’s still some elegance in his savagery. How come I’m the only one who fights like a brute? Mm, well, if Durandal fights like a girl and I fight like a guy, then it works out in the end.
“You, coward!” the fifth prince said while gritting his teeth. “Stop hiding behind your weapon spirits and fight me like a warrior!”
“Why would I do that?” Seriously? What’s the point of a weapon spirit if they don’t fight for you? I worked hard to be this lazy! “Besides, you have one too. Ah, watch out.”
The fifth prince screamed as Puppers’ spear entered his shoulder. I tried warning him, but he didn’t listen. Oh wells.
Puppers body tensed as he roared. “Path of the…!” But the next instant, his voice lowered and I had to strain my ears to hear him. “…Sock. Explosion!”
The fifth prince screamed again as his arm was blown off of his body, leaving a gaping wound where his shoulder used to be. The prince’s weapon spirit shouted, “Zeig!” and disengaged from Durandal. I thought Durandal was going to take advantage of that moment of weakness, but he didn’t. Well, that’s Durandal for you; he only likes beating people who have all their attention focused on him.
“How dare you, Gae Bulg!” The prince’s weapon spirit rushed over to the prince’s side. He took one look at the prince’s injury before raising his head towards the sky and shouting, “We surrender! Someone, please, heal the prince!”
The prince’s weapon spirit glared at me like I had stabbed a helpless puppy. A portal opened in the sky and a human dropped next to the prince. The human cast a spell that stopped the bleeding, but it didn’t look like the prince’s arm would regrow anytime soon. That should be enough for Algar, right? I almost feel like a bad person now, but I’m just abiding by the rules of the world. For someone to gain something, other people have to lose something. It’s harsh, but it’s true. Resources like land and food and gold are limited; there’s only so much that can go around. To achieve my dream, I’ll crush any opposition!
“I challenge the fourth prince! Come, avenge your brother and win back the royal family’s honor. Unless you’re too scared!” If I don’t provoke the princes enough, they’re definitely not going to fight me. Which is why I’m acting uncharacteristically arrogant. It’s actually really fun to be this free without worrying about any consequences. When I was a slave in the army, even looking at the lowliest soldier the wrong way could get me beaten. If I insulted the princes back then like I’m doing now, I’d be lashed over a thousand times until I died.
The competition ground fell silent as a few of the competitors turned to stare at a man dressed in a white robe. He was sitting on the cushion with the number 200 on it. Was he the prince? And didn’t the man in the sky say ten battles could be fought at the same time? Why’s everyone just watching? Mm, well, that doesn’t matter to me. After Durandal and Puppers beat all the princes, I’ll claim first place and take a nap.
“I accept your challenge,” the man in white said. It looks like he was the fourth prince, but he doesn’t look like Algar or Lan or even Bryant. How can siblings look so different from each other? I mean, look at Snow and Reena. They’re practically the same person. And Snow didn’t show up to the competition unless he’s in a disguise. I suspect he’s the scrawny man with the beard that scored 1,140 on the leaderboards since I couldn’t see anyone else with a layer of mana covering their body.
“Why are you helping Lan’s killer, Gae Bulg?” the fourth prince asked. “Regardless, I will teach you the difference between a warrior and a mage. Pay for the lesson with your life.” He held out his hand, and a staff appeared on his palm. He held his other hand out, and a shield covered his whole arm. “Ancile, come on out.”
A bulky weapon spirit, holding two tower shields that looked more like a pair of massive doors, materialized in front of the fourth prince. The prince retreated to the edge of the platform and chanted while his weapon spirit glared at Durandal and Puppers. Durandal and Puppers exchanged glances. Could they communicate with each other through their minds? If they could, then they’ve definitely been gossiping about me behind my back!
Without saying anything, Puppers charged at the shield spirit while Durandal circled around to approach the prince. I did the very important job of lighting a bonfire to warm up some of my chocolate since magic tools weren’t allowed. A heating spell would’ve been nice.