The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin chapter 5

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The Regressed Son of a Duke is an Assassin Chapter 5

Chapter 5. The Incompetent Son of the Duke (4)

After their talk, the Duke returned to the front lines immediately.

Though it was tough to convince him to the very end, I managed to leave some room for possibilities.

When I first expressed my desire to go to the front lines, the Duke treated me like a lunatic.

It wasn’t exactly an unreasonable reaction.

A young man, still wet behind the ears, wishing to go where grotesque monsters roamed freely.

It was rather a stroke of luck that he only regarded me as a madman.

The Western territory of the Empire, Belias.

This place is currently the only area on the continent known as ‘the front lines.’

It is not bordered by the regions of other human kingdoms or tribes.

This is rather the dwelling of various non-human races, widely known as the Demon Realm.

Devoted from birth to destruction and slaughter, the demonic race inhabits the continent, with Belias being the territory closest to that treacherous land.

Among them, the ‘Limia Valley’ could be considered the most advanced front, where battles against the demons had been ongoing for hundreds of years, and fierce bloody fights continued to happen daily.

Why they cross over, or what lies beyond them, remains a mysterious world to everyone.

At the present time, nobody would know anything about it.

Except for me.

“Youuuuuung maaaaster!”

Out of breath, Emily rushed in and flung the door open.

She was drenched in sweat, having apparently run all the way from somewhere.

Unconcerned, I continued my strength training exercises.

“Is it true?!”

“What’s true?”

“What do you mean, what’s true! They said you asked the Duke to go to the front lines?!”

Word travels fast.

Who could have started this rumor with no one to spread it?

“Yeah, I mentioned it. I haven’t fully received permission yet though…”

Emily, looking pale, suddenly screamed.

“Have you lost your mind, my lord? Do you even know what that place is? It’s infested with terrifying demons!”

Precisely speaking, it’s not ‘demons’ but rather ‘demon beasts’ that are swarming the area.

There is a common misconception that among the creatures inhabiting Limia Valley, there are no intelligent beings — meaning, only beasts dwell there, not people.

Although not a significant difference, it’s an incredibly important fact.

I mean, would we be happy being considered the same as beasts by those other races?

The same logic applies.

The reason I aim for the front lines is specifically to target these demon beasts, not the demons themselves.

“So what happened in the end? If you haven’t got full permission, did the Duke set some sort of condition?”

Emily sure catches on fast.

As she presumed, my father did set one condition for me.

One month.

In the given month, I must earn the qualifications to go to Limia Valley.

If I meet the criteria, he agreed to allow me to accompany him to the front lines.

He has yet to specify what those qualifications are…

“Phew…”

The moment I completed my target number of reps, I collapsed.

Even though it was my own body, I was reminded once more just how frail I had been at the time.

Just how did I manage to survive with such a weak physique?

Emily brought me water as I was sprawled on the floor.

“It really doesn’t suit you to be exercising like this.”

I wish she hadn’t mentioned that…

I was already deeply troubled about how to rapidly enhance this feeble body.

Given the Duke’s temperament, I suspect he’ll arrange another sparring session.

Perhaps he wants to see if I would survive an encounter with demon beasts on the front lines.

Likely he would have a high-ranking knight like Yulken take me on with some handicaps…

Is that even possible?

If it was not just empty talk, I could handle not just one, but ten senior knights.

I was, after all, a member of the continent’s top assassin organization.

I remember all the techniques and secrets I learned back then and can still use them effectively.

The problem is that my strength is limited.

I still have many things to verify, but using the previous life’s powers in this decrepit body might be too risky.

Even using one secret technique could shatter my body entirely.

Nor can I rely on magic.

At an age barely beginning to produce mana, wielding magic powerful enough to subdue senior knights seems ridiculous.

Last night, I confirmed through mana sensitivity that the mana and magic power I refined in my previous life still reside within me.

Of course, right now, I keep it hidden so no one can detect it.

In fact, not everyone can do this…

Anyway, until I enter the Academy and discover my attribute affinity, I can’t reveal it to others.

In the end, all I can demonstrate is my swordsmanship.

With muscles too weak to lift a vase, I’m expected to defeat a higher-ranked knight.

Honestly, it’s not impossible, but…

Regardless, to increase my chances, I must use the time I have to enhance my strength as much as possible.

I resumed my push-ups, preparing to continue my workout.

-Murmurs-

“It’s noisy outside. Has someone come?”

Maybe the estate soldiers are changing shifts; it’s not something I need to concern myself with right now.

Ignoring it, I carried on with my exercises.

Unable to resist her curiosity, Emily went outside to check.

Now I can finally exercise in peace.

“…”

Five minutes may have passed when suddenly, hurried footsteps echoed from the end of the hallway.

Though I was exercising, my ears instinctively focused on the sound.

Not heavy enough to be a knight’s, the steps seemed light and thin, probably a woman’s, but not graceful.

With this much pace, it’s not from a noblewoman like the Duchess, so it must be Emily… but why is she rushing back like this?

About 170 cm tall, and around 55 kg…

These steps don’t match a maid’s either.

Emily is significantly shorter; she can’t make such strides.

Then who could it be?

It almost feels like an assertive woman warrior’s…

“Sian!”

My body faltered as the door burst open.

The stranger strode in, a woman unknown to me.

When I saw her face, I was taken aback without realizing it.

“El, Ellis sis?”

My astonishment was brief as she suddenly grasped my shoulders and shook them.

“Have you lost your mind? You asked Father to go to the front lines? Do you even know what that place is?”

“Si, sister, please let go first…”

The sudden reunion had put me at a loss for words.

“What exactly are you thinking, Sian! You want to go there thinking it was some kind of achievement?”

I couldn’t properly respond, being violently shaken with no chance of explanation.

What’s this situation?

Why is Ellis here?

Her eyes, filled with various emotions, looked at me intently.

This warm touch was definitely not an illusion.

To think the day I’d meet my sister again would come…

Despite being reprimanded, my face brimmed with a smile.

Noticing my expression, she tilted her head in confusion.

“Sian, are you feeling unwell?”

She shook her head as she spoke.

“Not really, I’m just happy to see you…”

She paused for a moment, then smiled and patted my head.

“Yes, it makes sense to be happy. I’ve been too busy with graduation preparations to visit. But it’s a relief to see you looking healthy.”

A year it might have been for her, yet for me, it was a reunion after decades.

The Duke’s second child, and beside her older brother Ashel, she was considered the next head of the family.

The only member of the family in whom I, the incompetent, could confide.

The woman I truly wanted to protect in my past life.

“When did you arrive at the mansion?”

“Just now. It will be even harder to come home after graduation, so I came before that happened.”

She was now seventeen.

At the point of completing her six years at the Academy and approaching graduation.

Within the family, or rather in society, people referred to her in this way: The Child of God.

She was the unprecedented recipient of all S grades in all subjects at the Royal Academy, where the genius gathered from across the continent.

Unlike me, the incompetent, she was an exceptionally talented and capable person, excelling in swordsmanship, magic, and academics.

Additionally, her beauty was so enchanting that she was revered as a goddess, earning her the title of the Child of God.

Though she was two years younger than her brother Ashel, within the family, she was also considered a candidate for the next head of the family.

However, she herself showed no interest.

“But more importantly, what about your request to go to the front lines? Did you really ask Father that?”

“Yes, that’s what I did… but where did you hear about it?”

“Oh, that’s not what’s important!

She avoided answering, and at that moment, I noticed Emily peeking through the door.

From her expression, I could immediately tell she was the culprit.

Damn it, that thoughtless maid…

“I wanted to gain various experiences before joining the Academy. And of all places most accessible and where I could sense much, I thought the front lines were it.”

Our estate in the Vert family is located in the most eastern part of the territory.

The furthest point from Limia Valley, the very front lines.

This location choice had undoubtedly been determined by the Duke.

The goal was to keep the family within the territory while ensuring that if an emergency occurred and the front lines broke, they could immediately retreat.

For now, I had given the most appropriate answer I could, just as the Duke had.

However, my sister wore a strange expression after hearing it.

“Sian, are you, by any chance, thinking of carrying on the family’s legacy?”

***

The sun had set, and the moon had risen high in the dark night.

A chilling cold hovered over the training ground as the night fog thickened.

“Must we really go this far?”

“Don’t complain, Sian! All of this is to test you!”

What is this we’re doing, training at night, not even for a jog, but with a sword in hand?

It has been less than half a day since my duel with Kranz, and here I am, in the same kind of situation again.

“Carrying on the family’s legacy. I see your intention as commendable. However, not everything can be resolved with just intent. This is my trial for you to overcome Father’s ordeal.”

The family’s legacy, meaning protecting the peace of the continent from demons.

I’ve said it multiple times already, but I have no intention at all to get involved in such pointless deeds again.

My wanting to go to the front lines has nothing to do with that.

But since I can’t tell the truth, I just said ‘yes’.

I didn’t expect I would be openly challenged to a duel like this.

“The trial is simple. Starting now, for three minutes, either withstand my sword or aim your own at my throat. If you accomplish either, I will let you go to the front lines.”

‘Simple’ what? That sounds more like he’ll never let me go.

I came here on a whim, but I had no clue what to do.

Withstand a sword duel against the Child of God who achieved S grades in all subjects at the Royal Academy?

For someone who has just started strength training…

That would be incredibly easy, actually.

Honestly, I could end it as soon as it starts.

Not only are her movements clearly visible, but my body has also become smaller and lighter, making me more agile.

But what would happen if I did?

Kranz is of a similar age, so there’s no problem winning or losing there, but she’s a grown adult seven years older than me.

Defeating her, who has completed every specialized course at the Royal Academy, all in one go?

That’s an utterly impossible scenario.

There’s no need to mention the possibility to anyone; it’s an outright loss situation.

If I won without thinking, I could no longer justify it as a fluke of talent.

“Draw your sword now! The moment you draw, we begin! Come on, Sian!”

Well then, Ellis sis probably doesn’t intend to seriously attack, thinking it’s really serious.

She’ll likely take it easy, watching my abilities and letting things slide.

If I respond reasonably well and stretch out the time, I should be able to scrape through.

Thinking I could manage somehow, I drew my sword, when…

“!”

Her sword thrust like an arrow, aiming for my neck in a flash.

-Clang!

Although I parried it without issue, I realized something from the first clash.

This sister… she was dead serious, with no intention of going easy at all.

(To be continued in the next episode)

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