“Viscount Zeavert, are you not proud to be a nobleman?”
The situation turned into a verbal battle, before the start of the duel of participants. And this battle also gathered the attention of everyone in the venue. I wondered if that comment was considered an objection from their side, or if there was simply a rule that gave priority to the accuser’s side. In any case, I should remain silent for now.
I made sure to get information on my opponent. He was the brother of Count Gramlich, the uncle of the young man who was made an illegitimate child because of me and Mazell. He was currently working as the head of the House of Count Gramlich’s knighthood. He had a sturdy physique, which I could understand.
However, the original leader was killed in the battle in which demons were running amok. In that sense, he was number two in terms of ability. This old man was also wearing solid armor and had the appearance of a knight. It was a world ruled mostly by muscle-brained people, and of course, the representative was a very capable man when it came to strength.
I did not know what he thought about the fact that I did not say anything, but the other party shouted loudly as if to assert his righteousness.
“In the first place, the viscount has too many problems with his usual attitude. It seems like you are a blue blood as rumored, viscount, so aren’t we just wasting our time here?”
I guess he must have thought that the winds in the hall were blowing in his way, but it was actually not the case. Not to mention, why did he switch to attacking me personally instead of Mazell and Laura? Well, I guess, that decision itself was not wrong.
This was another complicated comment, because in this world, blue blood was considered a slur.
In my previous life, it was used to refer to nobles with pure white skin who did not need to work, and to describe noble bloodlines, but in this world, it was common for some nobles to participate in demon slaying and to wield swords. It was not a boast to be white-skinned without exercise.
Besides, there were demonic beasts and monsters with blue or purple blood that attacked humans and caused human casualties. Therefore, in this world, to say “you have blue blood” means “you are cruel like a demon” or “you are a savage like a demon”.
In the case of demons, the different color of their blood may be caused by their magical power, but I did not know the details of this.
At first, I was puzzled by the difference in meaning of the expression blue blood, but here in this world, this was normal.
So, if I were to translate the earlier line, it means, “You can’t even fight. You’re no better than a demon. You just know how to spend money” or something like that. The wording here was really complicated.
But it was an aspect of the world of brains that “less than a demon” became an expression of contempt rather than fear of the other person. I would not mind if it was a slander against me, but it would be bad for me to keep being told what to do. It was time for me to hit back.
Since I said it suddenly, he didn’t understand what I meant, so I continued.
“Your mouth stinks. Stay away from me.”
He was absolutely mortified with my words. Well, of course. Normally, this would be the time for us to assert our righteousness. He probably didn’t expect to be told such a thing.
However, I had already given them enough chances. This time, it was my turn to hit them hard.
“Don’t open your mouth, don’t come near me. At least take a bath and come back.”
I flapped one of my hands in front of my face. A giggle began to escape from the audience. The audience couldn’t tell if the smell was real or not.
“You must be rotten in your eyes and head that you can’t even see that there is nothing wrong with the hero Mazell-sama and the saint Laura-sama, but I can’t stand the fact that even your mouth smells bad.”
I looked at my opponent’s angry, reddened face and shrugged my shoulders, this time in an exaggerated manner.
“Don’t be flushed just because I pointed out a fact in front of an audience. I know it’s embarrassing.”
“You shameless little bastard, I’m going to kill you!”
Oh, that’s very direct. The audience could hear you. It seemed that only the noblemen and knights, who valued their pride, were completely riled up.
My opponent waddled off to his horse, leaving Count Gramlich discouraged in the accuser’s seat. If someone had been watching from a distance, they would have realized that I was purposely trying to provoke them.
Sometimes, gestures and glances conveyed emotions better than words. So, the person in front of me was furious because he felt that I was making fun of him, and the person far away from me, Count Gramlich, was mortified because his brother fell for the provocation.
And the same went for the audience. Because they could not see my eyes and facial expressions, they were thinking that my opponent was a fool for completely falling for my simple provocation. In this case, though, it would be more like I was leading the audience into thinking so.
I bowed to Lily, who was looking at me and at the judges’ table, and went to my horse to receive the reins from Neurath. Grand Duke Seyfart was shaking his head in exasperation earlier, and I guess he wanted to ask me if there was a better way to provoke my opponent.
I could not argue with him if he said it was ungraceful, so I didn’t think about the Grand Duke’s expression for the time being.
In this world, the rule was that if both sides agreed, they could decide whether to use their shields in the duel. In the current match, both sides did not have shields.
In both fights and duels, aiming at the head was permitted, but even if that was the case, it would take a skilled fighter to be able to aim at a small moving target like the head on a rocking horse. Usually, opponents aimed at the torso. I had no intention of aiming at the head, at all.
On horseback, I straddled the saddle and picked up my spear. Riders put their feet in the stirrups, but usually should not put them in too deep when doing so. If a rider fell off his horse, his feet would be stuck in the stirrups, and that would cause him serious troubles.
On the other hand, if the rider did not step firmly into the stirrups, the weapon would not exert as much power as expected. Adjusting the height of the stirrups and the position of the feet was a product of experience.
The rider sat in the saddle in a deep-seated posture with the upper body up, chest out, and knees just below the ground. If the rider was not sitting firmly in the saddle, he would slam his buttocks against the saddle every time his body bounced as the horse galloped, causing the horse’s back to be repeatedly impacted by the weight of the rider’s body, which would cause the horse to slow down on its own.
I confess that when I was a student, I was terrible at keeping my upper body upright. However, I have improved a lot by now.
With this thought in mind, I slowly moved to the end of the venue. Even from a distance, I could see that the other side was already fully motivated, and while I tried not to show it, it was understandable that I was also filled with motivation. Above all, I couldn’t afford to lose.
A strange sound, like something coming from a wooden trumpet, echoed through the venue. It was the sound of a musical instrument made from the horns of the Big Goat, a giant goat that lived in this world and whose back was big enough to carry about six people.
For a moment, I thought about that, and then returned my attention to my opponent who was running on his horse while creating a cloud of dust.
Seeing this, I immediately made my horse run to intercept. The first strike was for my own confirmation. I wanted to time it so that I could put my speed on the spear when I strike my opponent.
But that was not all, I also had to please everyone in the audience.
The first interaction. As soon as a heavy, crashing vibration was felt in the hands, loud cheers echoed from the surroundings as if pointing toward the sky.
The metal and metal collided so vigorously that sparks were scattered, and a peculiar smell was detected in the nose for a moment, but the horse soon moved away from the scene, partly due to its own momentum. The skills of the opponent were indeed as expected of the head of the House of the Count’s Knights. Some numbness started to creep into my hands.
But my opponent had lost his cool, and because it was a blow made in anger, even though it was strong, it was poor in terms of accuracy to hit the target. He aimed at my head as expected because of the provocation, so I was able to deflect it by placing the hilt of my spear against his hilt.
Without losing my stance, I made my way to the edge of the arena, where I turned my horse around and faced the center again. I lightly patted the horse to calm it down. Disbelt (Brave) was a good horse, as expected.
“Okay, next time, take care of him, will you?”
I lightly tapped the horse’s neck, called out to him, and then swung my spear in a large circle. I kicked the horse lightly in the belly as well, just as the other guy sent his horse running with another angry yell that echoed throughout the hall.