RHXS Vol. 2 Chapter 3 Part 4


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Chapter 3 Part 4

At first, Elria seemed tense, but as time passed, her nervousness gradually eased. By the latter part of the ‘mission’, she seemed relaxed as usual.

She still clutched the leash tightly and showed no signs of straying from Reid’s side, but perhaps it was also the presence of Shehri that provided some sense of security.

“――Haa, time really flies, doesn’t it?”

Sitting on a park bench, Reid looked up at the sky.

The once-clear blue was now tinged with a soft crimson, a clear indicator that much time had passed.

“Yeah. It felt quicker than I thought.”

Sipping on the milk tea that she had bought from a street vendor, Elria nodded in agreement.

They had gone out to buy some tea and snacks as per Millis’s request, browsed various products in the shopping district, and eaten at the marketplace stalls. Time had flown by before they knew it.

“It was refreshing to stroll through the royal capital so leisurely today.”

“Yeah, revisiting places gives you a new perspective. It was interesting.”

Reid had memorized the locations of key stores during their walks, but he hadn’t particularly noticed the other shops. However, today he found it enjoyable to discover various shops and novelty stores that Elria showed interest in.

It was a fun experience he probably wouldn’t have had on his own.

And there was one more thing that made Reid happy.

“It seems Shehri has also started to get used to me.”

“Yeah, that’s really good.”

In response to their words, Shehri, who was at their feet, let out a cheerful bark.

Initially, Shehri had been cautious and stayed close to Elria, but after the long walk, it even started barking occasionally to call Reid over.

“It would have been perfect if it let me touch it though…!”

“…That might take a little more time.”

When Reid looked down at Shehri, it barked once as if to say, “We can get to that after we get along a little better,” then leaped onto Elria’s lap.

There were times when Reid reached out to touch Shehri, but each time, it scampered back to Elria. It seemed that they still had a way to go to deepen their relationship.

“If you’re up for it, I’d like you to accompany Shehri on its walks again, Reid.”

“I’d be happy to walk it anytime. Morning or night, whenever you like.”

“…I can see you’re really committed.”

“I never really had a chance to interact with animals before… So, considering that, this situation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to befriend one…!!”

As Reid passionately elaborated, Elria wore a wry smile.


Suddenly, Elria looked up, focusing her gaze on one point.

“What’s the matter? Spot something?”

“Yes… Rufus is standing over there.”

Following her gaze, Reid saw a red-haired girl standing on the other side of the fountain.

Sitting on the bench, she seemed slightly restless as she looked around, likely waiting for someone.

And then… perhaps finding the person she was waiting for, Rufus’s face brightened as she shouted.


A distinguished noblewoman, donned in Serios’s traditional ethnic attire, stood in the distance, flanked by what appeared to be two guards.

Upon seeing her mother, Rufus eagerly ran towards her.

“Thank you for coming all this way! Are you okay? Are you not tired?”

Rufus greeted her mother, who had come from far away, with a smile and words of concern. However, her mother’s expression remained unchanged.

Without uttering a word, Rufus silently stared at her mother.

“So, why did you suddenly decide to visit? Oh, don’t worry about me at the academy. I’m doing fine! Sure, it has less nature compared to Serios, but in exchange, there are tons of magic tools I’ve never seen before! Plus, the food is different but just as delicious!”

With an innocent smile, Rufus enthusiastically talked about her life at the academy to her mother.

“And also, you know――”

Just as Rufus was about to reflect on her recent experiences at the academy――

SLAP! Her cheek was sharply struck.


Holding her slapped cheek, Rufus timidly turned her gaze towards her mother. Her mother looked down at Rufus with a completely expressionless face.

“Rufus, I’ve heard that you haven’t been using your Guardian Dragons at the academy,” she said in a flat and cold tone.

At her words, Rufus visibly flinched.

“T-That’s because… well…”

“So, you thought just your Flying Steel Dragon was enough when facing students?”

“Y-Yes! Because Rafika is strong――”

“Because of that, you lost to Vegalta’s ‘Reincarnation of the Sage’.”

Hearing her mother’s words, Rufus’s eyes widened.


“I’ve been fully informed about your activities and performance at the academy. This includes your recent defeat in the mock battle against Elria Caldwen.”

“T-That’s not true! I didn’t lose! It was a draw――”

“She was only authorized to use up to fifth tier magic by the headmistress. Yet, you could not even get the upper hand against her. After the fight was over, all you could do was a pathetic sneak attack. Are you saying that was a ‘draw’ in terms of abilities?”

“Because… Because, if I didn’t do that…”

Each time her mother’s cold words hit her, Rufus’s responses became increasingly feeble.

Unmoved by her daughter’s expression, Rufus’s mother remained stone-faced.


“――I should have disposed of the Flying Steel Dragon before you entered the academy.”

Upon hearing those words, Rufus violently lifted her face.

“W-Why!? You said if I went to Vegalta’s magic academy, Rafika could be with me――”

“That was to maintain your emotional stability. Despite that, you’re not using your Guardian Dragons, clinging instead to your clearly inferior Flying Steel Dragon. On top of that, you failed to properly gauge your opponent’s capabilities and were defeated.”

“But… Rafika is also strong, as strong as any offspring of the Guardian Dragons, and understands what I want to do because we’re always together――”

“However, she’s powerless in front of a Guardian Dragon’s overwhelming strength.”

With an unyielding demeanor, her mother spoke plainly.

“I understand you’re not yet fully capable of controlling a Guardian Dragon, even though you’ve made a pact. But only summoning your Flying Steel Dragon because you can control it easily is nothing but indulgence. Perhaps it’s time to cut off such indulgence.”

“But that’s not what we agreed! You said if I keep winning at the academy and become a mage, I could stay with Rafika!!”

“Yes, but――you lost, didn’t you?”

There was no emotion in her eyes. However, her words seemed to suggest that she would not hesitate to dispose of a dragon if it threatened to tarnish the reputation of their nation, Serios.

“Your role is to uphold the honor of Serios, not to prove how strong your beloved dragon is. And――those who are defeated have no value.”

Her words were remorseless.

From her demeanor, Rufus probably realized the gravity of it all.

“I-I swear, I won’t lose next time! I’ll definitely win in the exams――”

Rufus pleaded desperately to her mother, shedding tears as she begged for her understanding in order to protect her dear friend.

Witnessing this――

“――What you’re saying is wrong,” Elria interjected calmly.

For the first time, Rufus’s mother changed her expression.

“You are――”

“Elria Caldwen. I sparred with her before,” Elria declared, a tinge of anger in her tone.

“She and Rafika were strong enough. Summoning a magical beast that couldn’t be properly controlled in a mock battle could lead to an accident. Therefore, Rufus’s decision to bring out the Flying Steel Dragon was correct.”

Turning her gaze towards Rufus, Elria continued,

“Besides, the mock battle wasn’t a draw. Rufus won.”

“…So, you’re saying you let her win out of pity?”

“Not at all. The teacher in charge declared it a draw, but I can affirm that Rufus was clearly winning.”

Without hesitation, Elria continued with conviction,

“During that mock battle, I stopped attacking, assuming I had won. However, Rufus pressed the attack. Clearly, I was the one who was arrogant. In a real battle, Rufus would have been the victor.”

“That may be true in a real battle, but regarding this――”

“It doesn’t change the fact. A mock battle should simulate actual combat, and it was my mistake for not doing so. In a life-and-death situation, Rufus took the best action to survive. There was nothing careless about her decisions.”

Staring directly at Rufus’s mother, Elria stated her words emphatically.

At that moment of silent tension between them――

“――Excuse me, may I interject?” Reid stepped in, bowing courteously.

“……And you are?”

“Forgive my late introduction. I am Reid Frieden, Elria’s fiancé. First, allow me to apologize for her intrusion into your conversation.”

Reid bowed again and surveyed the surroundings.

“I advise changing the venue for your discussion. This is a public space, and your conversation is attracting attention. It would be better to avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings.”

Indeed, as Reid had pointed out, the people in the park were turning their attention towards them.

Rufus’s mother, clearly aware of those gazes, quietly looked down.

“…Very well. Thank you for the advice, Frieden-sama.”

She lowered her head slightly to Reid, then turned to her downcast daughter.

“That’s all I have to say. Your future will be determined after we consider the results of the upcoming conditional exam.”


To her daughter, who replied with a voice barely audible, Rufus’s mother and her guards left without another word.

As they walked away, Reid gently patted Elria on the head.

“Don’t just jump in like that. Rufus’s mother is a dignitary from another country. If you cause trouble, it’ll create a headache for Alicia.”

“………I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. I was planning to step in anyway. I’m more accustomed to handling these situations.”

Smiling wryly, Reid patted Elria’s head again.

At that moment, Rufus began to walk away listlessly.


“Sorry for causing you trouble.”

She offered an awkward smile to Elria, who tried to call out to her.

“But this is our problem! Don’t worry about it, Elria-chan. I won’t lose to you in the conditional exam, that’s for sure!”

Putting on a brave face, she turned and ran off.

On her small back, she carried a burden far too heavy, filled with responsibility and purpose.

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