The Deeds of Arrogant Noble Volume 2 chapter 3 part 1

Chapter 3 – Unavoidable Pain
 

 
1
 

 
I run a small shop in the royal capital. Business is so-so.
 
Today, I’ll leave the shop in the afternoon to my wife and head to the Aslan Magic Academy.
 
There’s a battle I absolutely can’t miss. I shouldn’t be back too late, but I’ll buy something on the way home to keep my wife happy.
 
I’ve been eagerly awaiting today’s ranking battle between the top first-year students: [Luke-Wizaria-Gilbert]. As someone who’s been watching Aslan’s ranking battles for a long time, I know this year’s first-years are no joke.
 
The first match I saw was the battle between the [Azure Beast] and the [Ice Empress]. Honestly, I didn’t have that high of expectations, since I’m used to seeing the flashy magic battles of the upperclassmen.
 
But when it actually started, it was shocking.
 
I can still vividly remember how that pure, overwhelming flame transformed into the heat of the arena.
 
And then the [Ice Empress] froze everything, including that flame.
 
I was trembling. Words can’t even begin to describe how incredible it was.
 
So then, what about the top first-year?
 
A little later, there was a ranking battle that excited the audience – the debut victory of the [Little Thunder God] and the birth of the [Hero]. I ended up hoarsely cheering for both of them.
 
But that’s precisely why I had to see this.
 
I’m so curious about what kind of person the top of these amazing individuals is. I want to see, I want to see as soon as possible.
 
My anticipation just kept growing day by day. But it still wasn’t being held for the longest time.
 
Why was no one challenging him? With a group of such incredible abilities, why-
 
That answer will become clear today.
 
I entered the arena through the spectator entrance and climbed the stairs, and even though I came quite early, most of the seats were already filled. I looked around and found the best available spot to sit down.
 
“Oh, so you came to watch too. Of course you wouldn’t want to miss this!”
 
I was called out to from beside me.
 
It was a familiar face
 
“It’s Mr. Butcho, isn’t it? “
 

Butcho, the owner of a small bar in town. We’ve become good friends through our shared love of ranking battles.
 
We chatted for a bit to pass the time. It’s only natural that fans of ranking battles like us would have plenty to talk about.
 
And then-
 

 
“Alright, we will now begin the ranking battle between 72nd rank [Polpon-Levi-Deene-Milestia] and 81st rank [Luke-Wizaria-Gilbert].”
 

 
The lackluster announcement echoed through.
 
While I felt the announcer was lackluster, my own excitement had reached its peak. The other spectators seemed the same, as the arena was filled with thunderous cheers.
 
“It’s finally happening!”
 
“Yeah, finally!”
 
The two entered the arena, and seeing them, the audience’s anticipation and energy only continued to rise.
 
“So that’s…”
 
That’s when I first saw the boy named Luke.
 
Suddenly, for some reason, I was overcome by a conviction-like feeling. That he is [evil].
 
I had an astonishingly clear sense that he is absolutely not [good].
 
“Begin!”
 
But once the match started, such thoughts became instantly irrelevant.
 
Faced with that absurdly irrational magic, I was left speechless.
 

 
What on earth is that…what the hell is that…!
 

 
When I was a child, I once encountered a dragon. Later, I learned it was just a newly born hatchling, but the primal fear that made my entire body feel like my blood was flowing backwards is still vividly etched in my memory.
 
I was forcibly made to understand that there was an unbridgeable gap in our levels as living beings, and that I could only wait for death. It took years for me to recover from that nightmare.
 
If a passing adventurer hadn’t saved my life, I wouldn’t be here now.
 
I don’t know why, but I was filled with an extremely intense emotion, akin to that experience, but it wasn’t fear – it was a feverish exhilaration.
 
To the point that I even forgot to breathe, this battle was so incredible.
 
“Ahahahahaha!”
 
Hearing that wicked laughter, I thought – he’s the [Demon King].
 
The embodiment of evil from the bards’ tales, the king who rules the demons and plunges the world into terror with his immense power.
 
I don’t know if such a being really exists.
 
But if it does… I’m convinced this is exactly what it would be like.
 
Ah, I don’t care about supporting anyone anymore! I just want to see what happens to this boy! I can’t help but want to see it!
 
Before I knew it, everyone in the arena had stood up, giving thunderous applause.
 

 
§

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Occasionally I receive terrifyingly thick letters from my parents, or remittances that are more than enough for a month’s expenses. After a couple months, various problems start to surface.
 
But you get used to it, one way or another.
 
In my case, most problems are not even considered problems. Things that would trouble a normal person are trivial to me. ……Or so it should be, but my stomach is still in knots.
 
And right now──
 
“……What? The prince?”
 
“Yes, that’s right. The one you defeated yesterday was the second prince of this country. ……You should have met him many times at the royal parties, but you really have no interest in other people, do you?”
 
“………..”
 
──Another source of worry has appeared.
 
I can’t talk back to Alice, who walks beside me as if it’s the most natural thing. ……It’s a fact that I simply can’t remember people I didn’t care about.
 
But still……that [shota] being the second prince, when he looks like he’s older than me. Well, it’s not surprising if he’s enrolled here. As a member of the royal family, he’s bound to be skilled in magic.
 
……Come to think of it, I think his name had “Milestia” in it.
 
“Sigh……”
 
I have a bad feeling about this.
 
Part of me hopes nothing will happen, but another part of me has already resigned myself to the fact that some troublesome thing will inevitably occur.
 
“I-It’s okay……Luke.”
 
“……Yeah.”
 
Why am I the one giving up?
 
It’s because the presence of Mia, who also walks beside me, is tremendously significant.
 
In the past two months, Mia has completed the [Armor of Lightning Healing]. Its proficiency is still low, but it’s impressive for such a short period.
 
And she defeated a female student named Lily, who is always clinging to Abel, in a ranking battle. Now she’s burning with the desire for revenge against Lloyd.
 
Mia is my [pawn]. This is a pleasing thing.
 
However, I thought. ──Right now, I don’t need something like a pawn.
 
The trigger was Alice’s brother, the unpleasant man named Yorland.
 
In reality, I’ll probably need such loyal followers in the future, but not right now. There are too many other things I should be spending my time on.
 
Because of my direct guidance, Mia has gained great power and victories. It’s safe to say that she has distanced herself from the fear of defeat. Therefore, I told Mia that she no longer needs to be a [pawn].
 
The result? ──A huge cry. Even Alice, who is usually so composed, was at a loss for words.
 
When I told her in the school building, all the teachers and students who were there gathered, causing a small panic. ……I really don’t understand the meaning of this.
 
It’s true that I exploited her weakened heart. But I didn’t particularly treat her kindly, in fact, I was quite rough. And the time period wasn’t that significant.
 
Yet……why did this happen?
 
This has me……completely at a loss for the cause…….
 
“………..”
 
I glance sideways at Mia.
 
Somehow, her eyes seem to be darkly clouded, but is that just my imagination?
 
Alice, who initially confronted me, has now become silent. It’s terrifying how the three of us being together has become the norm. ……But it’s not all bad.
 
This is something I learned from a letter from my father, but apparently, there is a big event called the [Sword Saint Festival] happening in the neighboring Empire this summer. Skilled warriors from various countries will gather to determine the ultimate champion.
 
It was probably Alfred who told my father about this, but it’s truly wonderful. I definitely want to participate. I’ll somehow get it confirmed with my homeroom teacher, Freya.
 
……However, Freya’s strange behavior that day still won’t leave my mind. Given her usually strict personality, it’s deeply engraved in my memory.
 
Why did she need to hide in the locker? It’s just completely nonsensical.
 
While I was pondering this, the student cafeteria came into view. I entered, took some random food, and sat at a random seat. Despite this being such a simple action, the surrounding gazes are annoying.
 
It would be a lie to say it wasn’t like this before. My dark attribute manifestation was known even before I enrolled. But perhaps due to yesterday’s ranking battle, the gazes feel even stronger today.
 
Well, the insignificant masses don’t matter to me at all.
 
“Oh, Luke! Let’s eat together!”
 
“………..”
 
As I was about to start my meal, a voice spoke. ──It was Abel and Lily.
 
As if it’s the most natural thing, Abel and Lily sat across from me. This is another thing I don’t understand.
 
Truly for no apparent reason, but……just like a stray dog that I carelessly fed, Abel has been getting increasingly attached to me. To the point where he now casually wants to share a meal with me.
 
I’m just too tired to reject him anymore.
 
Why……what on earth did I do to make him this way…….
 
“I saw the ranking battle yesterday!”
 
“……Is that so.”
 
“Yeah, it was really amazing……I’ll have to work hard too.”
 
“Mia, I’ll definitely get my revenge, so just watch!”
 
“……Anytime.”
 
“Hmph! Acting so arrogant!”
 
“This unsightly squabble between the bottom-feeders.”
 
“Wh-What did you say!?”
 
……Noisy. My surroundings are gradually becoming more and more chaotic.
 
Damn, is there really something even I can’t handle? Don’t mess with me, that’s bullshit.
 
No. There’s no way… I’m just tired, so I’ll graciously accept it.
 


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