Sir Neumann was troubled by my words, which was unexpected.
So, I eagerly helped Sir Neumann to make his decision.
“Now, even the senior knight is looking like this.
You aren’t afraid to duel with me, are you?”
“If Sir had been confident, he would’ve certainly accepted the duel.”
“But Lloyd-nim is the heir of the territory and the eldest son of the Lord.
Lloyd-nim and I can’t fight with a sword under the guise of a duel…”
“Is that your excuse?”
“That was too pathetic for an excuse.
If you are confident in your skills, you should’ve been able to defeat me safely and lightly whilst fighting in a duel.
Don’t you even have the confidence to do that?”
This is why I have to question your qualifications.”
Say, are you done?”
“No, I’m not done yet.”
“I feel like a man such as Sir is the most pathetic.
A senior knight? You who don’t prove your strength yourself, have no courage to do so, and have no confidence in yourself.
You only rely on your title and act like you’re powerful.
Don’t you feel embarrassed for yourself?”
“What do all of you think?”
Sir Neumann kept his mouth shut.
I turned my gaze away from him and openly asked the soldiers who still kept their ears open to this side.
At that moment, I heard Sir Neumann gritted his teeth.
Lloyd laughed internally.
An insult to one’s face would be even more disgraceful if the people around heard it too.
That’s how human psychology works.
This is also the case if someone is scolding you.
If you get scolded in a quiet place, you’ll think you just got scolded.
However, what if you’re getting scolded publicly in front of everyone who has lower status than you? Cue a broken mental.
And now, the effect came out properly.
I accept it.”
Sir Neumann replied.
A smile bloomed at Lloyd’s mouth, as if he had been waiting for this answer.
“Will you do it? A duel?”
If there’s any conflict, you have to solve it like a man.
So, when would be a good date?”
“That’s up to Lloyd-nim’s decision.”
“A month later, in the mansion’s training ground.
How about that?”
Sir Neumann nodded with a stiff face.
“Then, is there anything you want to ask based on the outcome that day?”
“Of course there is.”
Lloyd brought up the answer he had thought beforehand.
“If I win the duel that day, I’ll banish Sir.”
“I’ll demote you out of your position and kick you out of the territory.”
“Do you have any complaints?”
“Lloyd-nim has to bet something equivalent to that too.”
“Okay, I’ll bet on my seat too.”
“What do you mean by your seat?”
“The inheritance right as the eldest son of this territory’s Lord.
I’m going to give it up.”
“Are you serious?”
Lloyd nodded cheerfully.
“It’s not a lie, don’t worry.
The soldiers here will be the witnesses.
Practice hard so you won’t get stepped on like Sir Ulrich.”
“That being said, I hope you won’t have any regrets.”
In conclusion, this resulted in a duel.
Naturally, I have no regrets.
The secret plan to achieve victory had been drawn already.
I’m telling you for sure, I’m going to take this chance to beat these jerks without mercy.
“So, are you confident that you can win?”
This was two hours after that incident.
Javier then nodded.
This was Javier, who was unusually absent from Lloyd’s side all day long today.
I couldn’t help it though.
It was because of Baron Frontera’s order, the lord of this territory.
‘He suddenly summoned me this morning.
And for today, he ordered me to stop escorting Lloyd-nim.’
The exact reason was unknown.
I could only take a guess.
Coincidentally, the only day I was away from Lloyd was the same day when he committed some crimes, as I’d heard from here and there.
‘He made a suitable excuse to assault Sir Ulrich and he asked for a duel with Sir Neumann, who came to inquire about it.’
Perhaps that’s why Lloyd intentionally separated himself from me today.
That was what I speculated.
This made me feel puzzled.
‘Why the hell?’
It didn’t make any sense.
Why did he touch the knights that were doing well? For what reason did he assault Sir Ulrich and ask for a duel with Sir Neumann?
‘Are you just messing around again?’
If you look at it at a glance, you might think so.
Although Lloyd’s words and actions have changed recently, a person’s nature doesn’t change easily.
Considering that, it could be seen as him having a fuss or a bad temper.
However, Javier didn’t think so.
‘Because it was too deliberate to dismiss it as just being naughty.’
Separating me with himself aside, what about the assault on Sir Ulrich’s aftermath? Sir Bayern was called in and entrusted with the site.
When Sir Neumann came, he asked for a duel as if he had been waiting for it.
Then what about Lloyd’s attitude now? He is shamelessly calm.
That was an attitude which could never be seen unless it had been intentionally and deliberately done.
‘Besides, given his recent performance, there must be some purpose…’
However, that was all Javier could think about.
Lloyd’s voice then shattered his thoughts.
Is that the end of your reaction? ‘I see’, just that?”
“It is the end of what? What do you mean?”
I meant your reaction.”
Lloyd, who was having dinner, looked up my way and tilted his head.
“You asked, didn’t you? You asked if I am confident I can win the duel with Sir Neumann? So, what did I answer?”
“You said you weren’t confident.”
“And then, you only said ‘I see’ to that.
“Aren’t you going to nag me because you’re worried or ask me why I did it?”
“Why did I have to react like that?”
“You’re my escort.”
“That’s true, however.”
“I know the duel was suggested by Lloyd-nim.”
“Hmm, does that mean your work on the day of the duel is not included in the escort service?
It’s a matter of course.
That’s what a duel is.
“The fairest and most direct way to resolve conflicts is to fight out of status and positions between the conflicting parties with equal terms.
This is what duels are for.
Therefore, I have neither the authority nor obligation to interfere in the duel between Lloyd-nim and Sir Neumann.”
“Hmm, that’s the way it is, right?”
“Well then, how about you teach me swordsmanship for a month until the day of the duel?”
“Me teaching you?”
“I don’t want to.”
“Because personally, I’m unwilling to do it.”
It was an honest answer.
He was nothing but an escort.
There was no such thing as obligation to teach an unsympathetic fool his swordsmanship.
‘I might needlessly teach you swordsmanship but then you might do something even worse.’
That was why I felt like I shouldn’t teach him.
But, why? The young master, who heard his straightforward refusal, laughed rather maliciously.
It felt uncomfortable.
Somehow, Javier felt an ominous feeling that was creeping out from him.
The look on Lloyd’s face was unusual.
A look that felt like he knew something about me.
A smile that seemed so certain I would bend over and do as he intended.
Soon, my ominous premonition became reality.
“If you teach me swordsmanship–”
Lloyd’s eyes sparkled.
“I’ll fix your insomnia.”
Lloyd then grinned.
“How about that?”
Secretly, Javier swallowed his saliva dryly.
A chronic insomnia.
That was his secret weakness which had plagued him for years.
1Voice Phishing: is a fraudulent practice of extracting sensitive information over the phone.
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