Mightiest Melee Magician Chapter 86

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Mightiest Melee Magician

All-Force Mage Episode 086

From the day I returned from Eight-Lake, changes began to take hold in Ardel. The first noticeable shift was the atmosphere—what was once a peaceful and tranquil village started to come alive with vigor.

“Did you hear? A subjugation decree’s been issued! They’re planning to reclaim the jinheng plains overtaken by those Mudmen.”

“What? You’re only hearing about this now? You really are out of the loop.”

“Those damned Mudmen… Been waiting for the day when I can drive a spear through their skulls… And finally, that day seems to be upon us.”

“You? Oh dear. You can’t even catch a fly, and you’re worried about their stone axes smashing your head in? Good luck with that.”

“What did you say?!”

War. It’s certainly a terrifying word, but… if it’s about protecting something precious or longing for someone, it can also be a powerful motivator to charge forward with all one’s might. The people of Ardel, who still remembered the ‘nightmare’ from ten years prior, were ready to move forward.

As Cecilia Waltraze had done, ready to face their trauma head-on, but now was not the time.

“So, if no one wants to die, gather every night in the lord’s manor backyard. We’ve decided to train in spear skills together.”

Ardel. Being small in scale, it didn’t have enough troops of its own to participate in the subjugation.

Therefore, it was necessary to train the commoners, who were farmers and fishermen. I also needed to graduate, and it would take months for weapons from Eight-Lake to arrive, so I was starting the preliminary work bit by bit.

Of course, even with just that, the ambiance in the territory was electric.

“Spear skills? Then does that mean the captain will be instructing us personally?”

“Of course. Who else is there to train us in Ardel?”

“Aha, the Knight of Lightnings! It’s been a while since we’ve seen that prowess in action. But lately, hasn’t he only been holding fishing rods instead of a spear… Is it really okay?”

“Ha! Does a tiger become a cat just because it plays with a ball of string? His sparkling talents will surely remain intact.”

Subjugation preparation. There was a tectonic shift in the peaceful territory of Ardel.

And this news was undoubtedly a story that could bring the sleeping tiger out of its cave.

Yes. There was indeed a ‘tiger’ in Ardel. Though merely a small contingent of about 15 members, a knightly order resided within the territory, led by a knight captain.

Sir Bolvar, the Knight of Lightnings. Although he was now over 50 years of age and considered a veteran among the knights, he was known for his dazzling spear skills and was once a member of the Goldencloak Knights, protecting the king on the front line, wielding his shining spear.

Of course, this story is from before I was born. The Bolvar I know is more of a genial neighborhood uncle, often seen with a fishing rod rather than a spear. His main job was accompanying me and carrying Ruina on his shoulders for picnics around the territory so frequently.

But deep-rooted was the trust in Sir Bolvar, who had protected the territory from greater harm when the Mudmen invaded ten years ago. The scene of him slicing through the necks of five Mudmen remained etched in my mind even now.

He was the highest knight revered in Ardel.

Then, listening quietly to the townsfolk’s conversation, was Irene, who asked:

“Lord Ruin, who is ‘Ardel’s tiger’?”

“Ah, that’s our captain of the knightly order, Sir Bolvar Fenton.”

“…Who?”

“Sir Bolvar Fenton.”

“Why?”

There was a change in Irene’s gaze.

Her face bore the look one has when hearing a familiar name.

“I seem to have heard that name before. Bolvar of the Spear… It might be a name I heard during a lesson, but not clearly remembered.”

“A lesson? They teach that in the imperial magic schools?”

“No, but the ‘Eleven Children’ learn about the Knight’s Trials. Since knights are commonly encountered on battlefields, we need to know about them.”

Hmm, so they learn about that too.

The Eleven Children.

It seems quite impressive in many ways.

But Sir Bolvar’s name in a Knight’s Trial?

No way.

Knight’s Trials are for the kingdom’s greatest knights.

Waving my hand dismissively, I said, “I might not know much about swordsmanship, but… it’s probably not him. Sir Bolvar is strong, but a Knight’s Trial? This is the first I’ve heard of such a story.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes. And his title isn’t ‘Bolvar of the Spear,’ it’s ‘the Knight of Lightnings.’ You must be mistaken for someone else.”

Of course, I was also speaking without full certainty.

I was under the impression that names listed in Knight’s Trials were those of individuals with extraordinary achievements or unique accomplishments.

With such a prestigious knight residing in ‘Ardel’—it was a bias thinking it was unlikely.

Yeah.

Such prejudices can always be frightening.

“It does seem to be the case, though?”

“…Pardon?”

“I’m sure about the crescent spear and rapid spear techniques. Spear Knight Bolvar Fenton. Radiant Kingdom’s sole spear knight. Retired at the age of 30 and vanished…”

With a sparkle in her eyes, she confidently asserted:

“A legend.”

A legend?

Sir Bolvar as a legend?

“Ha! That will be all for today. Age is catching up to me; even wielding a spear feels strenuous now. Back in my day, I’d swing it around like it was nothing more than a spoon.”

With a carefree smile, he wrapped up the first ‘spear training’ for the local people and wiped off his sweat.

Is that… truly certain?

“Ha! Oh my, Lord. You’ve really caused quite a stir this time. I saw the greed in your eyes since you were young and knew you would accomplish whatever you tried. To win the grand competition and now a subjugation? You have truly grown up. Aged as I am, I’d still have liked to toss you over my shoulders and join the fray, but you’re all grown up now, aren’t you?”

Certainly, this humane and playful appearance wasn’t all there was to Sir Bolvar.

I’m well aware that behind this mischievous facade lies a terrifying ‘ability’.

Yes.

Suppose Irene is right, and Sir Bolvar Fenton is indeed a knight famous enough to be in a Knight’s Trial.

But why is he here?

Why live in Ardel, forsaking a noble life as the kingdom’s greatest spear knight, fishing rod in hand?

Then Irene, who seemed to quench my curiosity, bowed to Sir Bolvar and spoke.

“I am Irene Prius. It’s an honor to meet Spear Knight Bolvar here.”

Not merely the Knight of Lightnings the common people in our territory knew—but Irene Prius, bearing the title ‘Spear Knight.’

As she finished speaking, Sir Bolvar slightly raised his eyebrows in a look that seemed to say, “Is there someone who still remembers ‘that name’?”

Irene answered with the utmost politeness.

“I read about Sir Bolvar in the Knight’s Trial. At first, I wasn’t sure, but after seeing that crescent spear and your rapid techniques, I was convinced. The story of how you defeated about ten high mages of Perna is still a legendary tale among the empire. It’s an honor to meet you.”

High mages defeated by our Sir Bolvar?

I looked at Sir Bolvar with a stunned expression.

“Heh…”

But Sir Bolvar just awkwardly scratched his head with a shy face.

“You’re a perceptive one. Remembering even the small detail of my story posted in a corner of the Knight’s Trial. But, it’s all in the past now. I’m just an old man who struggles to lift even a single spear.”

Really?

All of it was true?

I asked:

“Sir Bolvar, why did you hide this from us?”

“Hide what?”

“That you were such a renowned figure. I had no idea.”

“I haven’t concealed anything. My lord, you’ve never asked.”

Hmm, if you put it that way, there’s nothing I can say.

But somehow…

A sense of betrayal?

No.

What should I call this feeling?

That’s it.

“I feel let down. I thought I knew Sir Bolvar well.”

Let down.

The disappointment of hearing about the grand past of the knight captain, whom I had been close to since childhood, from someone else.

Yet Sir Bolvar nonchalantly responded:

“Don’t you know me better than anyone else?”

“I just heard from someone else that you were the Spear Knight. And I, who have been close by, had no idea.”

“But isn’t that only part of who I am?”

“What?”

“That’s just a part of me. I like fishing, live in the house below the hill, enjoy grilling fish for breakfast, think of Ardel and my lord as my hometown and brother, and find joy in seeing how you and the young lady have grown… Bolvar Fenton. Isn’t that enough?”

It’s like I’ve been smacked on the back of the head.

Yes.

Sir Bolvar is right.

Being recorded in the Knight’s Trial, achieving great feats, being called a ‘Spear Knight’—that’s all just part of him.

Does that make the Bolvar I knew disappear? Surely not.

Since when have I been so fixated on names and titles?

“You’ve chosen to stay in Ardel after winning the grand competition, so why not me? Isn’t that right? Ha!”

Right.

There’s no law saying only those with Ardel’s blood should love this land.

Circumstances might have made Sir Bolvar an outsider at first, but isn’t he just like our family now?

Nothing is strange about it.

Nothing has changed.

“Sir Bolvar, you are right. I know you better than anyone.”

“I appreciate your understanding, my lord.”

Sir Bolvar glanced at the time and, with a flustered expression, he said:

“Oh dear, I’m late. I was supposed to assist the young miss with her swordsmanship today.”

“Ruina? You mean Sir Bolvar will personally supervise her sword fighting?”

“Normally, my lord supervises, but when it comes to ‘wooden sword sparring,’ I lend a hand.”

Sparring?

An epic matchup between the kingdom’s legendary spear knight Bolvar Fenton and the 12-year-old Ruina Ardel, whose specialty is back-slapping with wooden swords? That’s something to look forward to.

As Irene and I showed interest, Sir Bolvar Fenton asked:

“Would you also like to join, my lord?”

“Observed? Sounds good to me.”

“No, not observation. I meant ‘sparring.’”

“Sparring? You don’t mean with me, right?”

“Do you not remember? When you were about nine years old, I occasionally assisted with wooden sword sparring.”

I remember.

How could I not?

Rolling on the dirt, laughing happily with Sir Bolvar—I treasure those memories of wooden sword sparring from my childhood.

“How about trying it out after such a long time?”

Ardel’s Knight Captain, Bolvar Fenton.

No.

When else will I have the chance to face-off against a legendary Spear Knight?

Prompted by Sir Bolvar’s challenging smile, I clenched my fist and said firmly:

“That little boy you remember, that’s not me.”

In response, Sir Bolvar jokingly retorted:

“Yes, I understand. It’s not the same knight you remember. I’m old now and can barely lift a spear.”

A lie.

He still looks capable of active service, doesn’t he?

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