Disguising Myself as a Man to Become a Knight! - Chapter 31
Translated by: ShinigamiTori
The Earth and Spirits
Early morning on a holiday, Seiryuu woke up at the same time as on a weekday and went through his morning workout.
First, he walked 10 laps around the training hall, then did 200 sit-ups and 200 back stands each. Then, he did 100 push-ups with only one arm each and then started swinging. The feeling of the imitation sword cutting through the air was pleasant, and his nerves became sharp.
Perhaps it was because his senses were heightened that he picked up sounds other than the rustling of leaves in the trees. The footsteps were approaching, though still distant.
He lowered his sword and stared into the shadows of the school building. What suddenly appeared was rose-colored hair more vivid than the morning sun.
“Oh, it’s Seiryuu. Good morning.”
Sheila with her wide eyes rushed over to him. Seiryuu put his imitation sword aside and wiped the sweat off his face with a towel.
“Good morning, Sheila. You’re looking a little formal, aren’t you?”
He wondered what happened to her so early in the morning, but the first thing that caught his attention was her outfit.
Sheila was clad in a breastplate, glove and simple armor. On a leather belt at her waist was a knife, a sword, and several pockets. She had a quiver on her back and a bow in her left hand. On her head was a folded towel with colorful feathers tucked into it, which made her appearance somewhat strange. Should he ask what was going on?
Sheila smiled, despite Seiryuu’s extremely complicated feelings. She seemed to be more lively than usual.
“I’m going to the mountains for a bit. I’m going to go hunting and pick some medicinal herbs if there are any.”
Apparently, she was planning to go into the rugged mountains next to the academy.
“You’re going alone? Are you going to be okay?”
“I’ll be fine. Do you know how steep the mountain I grew up in? Of course, I’m not going to be careless, but this level of mountain is no problem at all.”
No matter how experienced she was in the mountains, he couldn’t shake off his worries, but if hiking was the reason she was so energetic, it would be tactless to stop her.
“Right. Please be careful when you go.”
“Yes. So, I’m thinking of cooking when I get off the mountain. I don’t know if it will taste good, but I wanted Seiryuu, who has been kind to me, to try it. But I was in a hurry before, so I’m really glad I met you today. Do you have any plans for today?”
“Your home-cooked food….. That’s something to look forward to. I have no plans today except to work out and read, so I’ll go.”
When he nodded in response, Sheila’s eyes lit up.
“Reading military tactics books again? Seiryuu is such a hardworking and cool guy! You train in the morning and read military books in your free time. I want to follow your example.”
Her unreserved praise made his cheeks slowly heat up. This wasn’t good. Maybe he hadn’t had enough training. He was flustered when he met her at the bathhouse, but Sheila was just one of his cute underclassmen. Any insolent thoughts he might’ve had was just a figment of his imagination.
Seiryuu averted his eyes from Sheila.
“….. I simply don’t have the confidence. I’m desperate to make up the difference for the lack of magic power this way. I can’t win if I don’t work hard.”
There was no small amount of jealousy towards Sheila who was able to enter the special course even though she didn’t have magic power. No matter how hard he tried, she easily jumped over the gap that he thought could never be closed.
Still, he congratulated her on the surface because he was genuinely rooting for her and because he didn’t want her to know that he was jealous of her. He wanted to be seen as a reliable upperclassman.
It was embarrassing to think about the fact that she could see he was making such an effort. Seiryuu became increasingly unable to make eye contact.
“――Is it wrong to make an effort?”
Suddenly, a dignified voice struck his ears.
“Somehow, the way you just said it, it sounded like you were disgusted with yourself for making an effort…. Don’t be ashamed of your effort. Rather, I think trying to push past your limits is something to be proud of.”
If the tone had been one of admonishment, he was sure he would have been painted in a miserable mood.
However, Sheila seemed to be just stating the facts in the same casual tone as usual, so he could easily accept it. It was at times like this that he found something special in her.
Sheila smiled softly as usual. Why did that smile make his heart flutter so strangely?
“Seiryuu is amazing. No matter what anyone says, I will continue to respect Seiryuu.”
“…. Then, in order to continue to be a man worthy of your respect, I must continue to work hard.”
Seiryuu smiled back, feeling calm.
He didn’t know the name of this feeling he was experiencing for the first time.
He pushed away both the urge to hug her and the tingling sensation in his chest, and waved Sheila off as she left.
◇ ◆ ◇
The soft black soil made a crunching sound every time Sheila stepped on it.
It was a small but nice mountain, rich in nutrients. Sheila inhaled the smell of wet soil. The fact that she felt unbearably calm was probably because the countryside suited her.
“I’m glad I was able to invite Seiryuu too, even though it was last minute. I invited the dorm leader and Bert too, so I’m sure I didn’t miss anyone, right?”
She also invited Regress, with whom she had little contact, because she had heard that he was a member of Leidyrune’s fan club. For Sheila, it was a thoughtful gesture, as she was sure he would be happy to have a chance to meet him.
‘But what is a fan club, really? The other day, Cody’s story seemed to make it more confusing…..’
It seemed that it was possible for two men to be in love. If so, was Regress’ feeling not of admiration but love? And what about the other students belonging to the fan club?
‘….. No. I still don’t understand it. Anyway, it means that he likes him, yes.’
Sheila wasn’t good at delicate subtleties of the heart. Due to her simple way of thinking, she was unable to delve deeply into the feelings of others. Especially since she had never had any feelings of love.
She proceeded along a fresh, clear path with a vivid density of sprouting greenery. She felt her mind was being liberated with each step she took.
“Oh, that flower is honeysuckle. If you pick the buds and dry them in the shade, you’ll get antibacterial and anti-inflammatory honeysuckle. The leaves and stems can be picked again in late fall. I wonder if the flowers on that tree are five-leaf akebia. Are those yellow flowers forsythia? It’s a tree that doesn’t grow in the wild, so maybe someone planted it?”
Sheila was surprised to see plants that could be used for medicinal purposes blooming here and there. Was there a student among the academy’s graduates who were well versed in pharmacology as she was? Unless they were cultivating the plants, it would be impossible to find such an abundance of vegetation.
She carefully collected a few buds and roots and tucked them into the pocket of her leather belt. On the way, Sheila looked up at the aroma that fluttered through her nose.
A long, thin, green plant that grew in great profusion. When she put her face close to it, she could smell a strong fragrance.
“I didn’t know basil could grow in the mountains.”
Perhaps someone was still tending to it. If so, Sheila couldn’t afford to tear it up too much.
“But I wonder if I could have some of the basil leaves?”
It wasn’t a substitute for the basil, but she left some of the medicinal herbs she found on the way here next to it. They were dogtooth violets.
Sheila got up and stepped further into the mountains. As she got closer to the summit, the presence of living things became stronger. Sheila took a deep breath and hid herself in a bush.
She blended her presence into her surroundings, as if becoming one with the mountain. The sound of birds chirping in the distance. As she sharpened her awareness, she could even sense the presence of insects crawling on the ground.
Sheila slowly opened her eyes. Her usual innocence was gone, and her eyes were still and sharp like a honed blade.
The people of Denan Village, who used the spiritual arts, knew this sense of oneness with nature. That was why they never forget to thank the gods, the spirits, and the mountains.
‘Don’t the people of the city know this feeling?’
If the people in the city prayed in their daily lives, would they be able to use the spirit arts? If that were to happen, would the barrier between commoners and aristocrats be lowered?
‘…. I should not.’
Sheila chased away her miscellaneous thoughts. If she didn’t clear her head, the wild beast would detect her presence. Now she must concentrate on the hunt.
While she was quietly passing the time, a beast caught her attention. It was pretty big. And it moved very quickly. From the way it was walking, she guessed it was a big boar.
Boars were especially fast. It was impossible to catch unless you killed it in an instant. Sheila reached for her bow and arrow, which she was quite good at. It was dangerous if you didn’t attack from a certain distance.
A large boar emerged from the bushes ahead. The distance was closer than she expected.
“――O Spirit of Light!”
The arrow that Sheila released flew at the speed of light with the help of the spirit. It pierced between its eyebrows.
The boar writhed in pain, but the wound wasn’t fatal. The boar’s huge body went berserk as if it were making a last-ditch effort. A large hoof came right in front of Sheila’s face.
“――O Spirit of the Wind!”
Sheila remained calm. She immediately borrowed the spirit’s power and dodged. As she passed by it, she threw a hemp rope with a loop at the end at his nose.
The sharp tusks caught it perfectly, and the loop tightened every time the boar went on a rampage. Sheila jumped over a thick tree branch. Using the branch as a fulcrum, she hung on to the hemp rope. She put all her weight on it to stop the boar’s rampage.
The boar’s huge body collapsed with a thud, as if it had run out of strength. She quickly stabbed the boar with a knife to finish it off.
Sheila stood up and smiled wryly.
She ended up killing three more mountain birds after that.
“How do I bring them back home…..?”
Sheila, realizing that she couldn’t conveniently take it back home with her spirit arts, was puzzled over how to get down the mountain.
Hi, I’m Tori, the translator of this novel! ʕ￫ᴥ￩ʔ If you like the novel and would like to support me, feel free to click the button below to go to my ko-fi! (ﾉ∀`♥) Even if you don’t buy me a coffee, I really appreciate your support for rating the novels I translated or just reading them! Have a good day everyone! ❤️
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