Rune Soldier Louie Book 1 Chapter 5 – All for Love

Chapter 5 – All for Love

1 – Contrived Knight
It was a knight on a white horse, he gracefully swaggered down the street. On his silver armour was a unicorn crest of the kingdom of Ramliearth, it was the early summer and the sun was shining brightly. 
He had blonde hair, blue eyes, skin was white as snow, and lips as red as red lipstick.
People were walking down the street, all of them were attracted by the knight’s appearance, he seemed like something straight out of a painting, flawless, they even wondered what gender he was.
However, the knight simply ignored the people’s presence, he just held the horse’s reins, his eyes looked straight ahead.
At last, the knight stopped in front of a bar. He carefully jumped from his horse, he then lovingly put his horse in the bar’s stables, giving it some animal feed and water. Then, he went into the bar.
The time was exactly noon, there was a lot of people in the bar, most of them having some food, or something special to drink.
The knight observed his surroundings, he finally found a vacancy in the corner, he moved through the crowd until he reached the table.
“Can I sit down here?”
This table had two people sitting at it, the knight wanted to politely seek permission before sitting down.
The two people was a man and woman, both of them were dressed in robes, next to the table stood a wand. From just looking at the wand, you could smell the scent of wood in the air.
These two people were magicians. The knight noticed this, in the Kingdom of Ohfun, there was a sizeable Magician’s Guild. 
“Of course you can, knight of Ramliearth!”
The female magician wearing glasses said, sitting next to her was a burly male magician. 
The two of them were Louie and Ila, both of them went to the bar to get food and drink after a long night of non-stop studying, orders from Master Foltess.
“I’m sorry, but I’m a free knight.”
When Ila mentioned that he was from Ramliearth, it reminded him of something.
“If I cannot complete my oath, I can’t go back to my country.”
(What’s that got to do with us?)
Ila said inside herself.
(He’s also a bit too self-conscious, or he’s simply a megalomaniac.)
Right now, Ila didn’t want to know any more about this knight. However, something that he was wearing peaked her interest.
“……Your sword and armour are impressive.”
“You think so?”
The knight said with a proud look on his face.
“In fact, my armour was crafted by elves, and my sword is from the ancient kingdom, it has special magical properties……”
Ila stared at the knights armour and sword, the fact that his sword was tied to the ancient kingdom intrigued her even more.
“……That’s admirable.”
The knight was surprised by this, it usually took a little longer for a woman to become obsessed with him.
However, he saw that Louie was grinning at him. If he started laughing at him, it might provoke a duel.
(There is no reason for us to fight.)
Although Louie and Ila stayed up all night, their senses weren’t dulled one bit.
Right now, Louie was observing the knight physique and appearance, he didn’t think he was that strong of an opponent.
Regardless of how luxurious someone’s sword or armour, your ability to a sword is what counts.
(Anyway……)
Then an employee of the bar came over and asked the knight if he wanted anything.
“Give me something to eat, and some wine, please.”
The knight said.
The employee brought his food and drink over a moment later, the knight ate quietly, finishing his meal before Louie. After he called an employee, he paid with coin.
Then he slowly stood up, and bowed to Louie and Ila.
“Excuse me, sorry for bothering you.”
“No, that’s alright, it was nice seeing your cool outfit.”
Ila said, staring at the knights armour and sword.
“I’m sorry, but do you know where the temple of Mylee is?”
“The temple of Mylee?”
“Why are you so surprised?”
Seeing such a reaction from Ila, the knight was overwhelmed.
“……Oh, I’m sorry.”
Although the knight didn’t care, Ila still apologized. In fact, there was a reason she was so surprised.
Louie and Ila were heading to the temple of Mylee anyway, naturally Louie asked if the knight would like to accompany them. The knight was pleased to accept his kindness, and express his gratitude to the two. 
2 – A Failure of a missionary
“……Life is a battle.”
The followers of the church had gathered, all the faithful were now listening to Melissa.
She spoke in an intellectual tone, they repeated her, Melissa’s popularity among the believers was very high.
Most of them were young men. Though Melissa didn’t notice this, she just liked that lots of people had come to listen to her sermons.
In order to make sure that the temple runs smoothly, the believers are required to help out around the temple. Activities range from preaching, martial arts training, and healing injured or sick people with magic.
All of the followers of Mylee do this type of work once per month.
“……When I say battle, I don’t mean a battle on the battlefield. Ever since someone is born, they go through all sorts of trials, they can only move forward with their fight. And so, we request God Mylee give us power, to help those who are feeble and give them courage to face their fate……”
Melissa preached the teachings of Mylee, the God of war.
But today, she had a helpless expression, even her voice was low.
Since she came back from the “Forest of Strife”, she’s been slightly depressed.
(My shoulder is sore……)
Ten days ago she was forced to catch Louie, she gained a slight bruise on her shoulder doing this. Although the traces of the bruising had faded, she could still feel pain once in a while.
Also, whenever she would feel pain, Louie would appear in front of her, his excited face, and happy expression.
But this time, she seemed to be able to forget the pain. However, there was a lingering feeling, she wasn’t happy. Was it that Louie was the only one that could make her happy?
(Why, why do I feel this way?)
Melissa had no idea, she had been fine walking down the street, but now she couldn’t calm down.
Now it was time for martial arts training, Melissa had been unable to concentrate, she tried not to harm her opponent with her Warhammer.
(Life is a battle……)
Melissa thought that if she could follow the teachings, maybe she could free herself of this feeling.
Right now, she was facing a problem.
A trail was right in front of her, she must confront it. It was a trial given to her by God.
(Oh, God. I don’t think the magician is a hero.)
Louie had a burly stature, he was had big muscles and was strong, he was a lowly and savage person, truly a brute. 
(How can such a man be a hero?)
Melissa can’t remember how many times she’s asked god this question. However, she failed to get an answer, she can only accept that this is her mission.
There is still some time before he becomes a true hero, but can Melissa really discover the essence of what it means to be a hero?
Honestly, Melissa is lacking some self-confidence right now.
If she can’t stand him, then the only thing she can do is remodel him into something else.
Melissa hoped so. If Louie doesn’t change, then she might not continue to follow him.
So, she just didn’t want to look at him, or have contact with his body. If left unchanged, Louie will continue to prove nerve-racking to Melissa, but she was prepared to endure it for the time being.
Is she fated to both love and hate him? Melissa was confused, so very confused.
“A real hero is……”
Melissa was still preaching, turning now to talk about the sacred story of heroes.
When she was about to say the next part, however, she couldn’t find it within herself to continue.
“A real hero is……”
Melissa repeated the sentence.
All those gathered in the church stared at her, eagerly waiting for her to continue.
“A real hero is……”
She repeated the sentence for a third time.
Melissa was unable to continue, she put her head down, her forehead was constantly sweating.
The believers sensed that something was wrong with her, and thus they started making some noise.
“A real hero is……what?”
Then, Melissa finally responded to the believers after a moment of silence.
“What?”
Melissa said, her voice trembling.
Then she realized what she had said, she wanted to leave.
“……We’ll stop here for today.”
Melissa then left before the crowd, leaving most of them dumbfounded.
3 – Duel
The thief girl Merrill and the warrior woman Genie went to the temple of Mylee, they happened to run into a group of believers outside the temple.
“Today Melissa was a bit of strange.”
Merrill’s ears were very sensitive, so naturally she heard the passing believers say this.
“……So, Melissa’s mood hasn’t changed?”
Little Merrill said to the burly woman beside her, with a sigh.
After coming back from the forest of strife, Melissa always looked like she was preoccupied with something else, or that her mind is someplace else. 
“That guy is harmful.”
Genie said coldly.
She was referring to the magician Louie.
“He’s unbelievable too.”
Merrill nodded and said.
“Although that elf girl betrayed us, we did end up getting freed……”
“In the end, I don’t know if he is an idiot or smart.”
“Does Melissa intend to endure this forever?”
Merrill said, with a worried look on her face.
“She has no choice, this is a task given to her by God.”
“I hope things haven’t’ been too hard on her……”
Merrill was really worried.
She thought that if Melissa endured this any longer, she would probably have a nervous breakdown.
Though if they could get rid of Louie, perhaps Melissa wouldn’t be so sad.
Merrill did received some assassination training at the thieves’ guild, although she had never used it before, however, she can’t forget how to kill a man.
But, taking things into account, she didn’t want things to escalate to that.
If Melissa’s chosen hero were to die, she would not be able to complete the trails given to her by god, and maybe she would commit suicide knowing this.
Since it was a mission given by god, Merrill and Genie would have to accept it.
“Melissa can’t say what’s in her heart, she doesn’t know what to do with that guy……”
Even though Louie wasn’t a bad person, he is still a man, and once something is set in stone, it can affect a woman dearly.
Speaking of men, many just want a woman for pleasure, if this weren’t the case, the thieves guild wouldn’t run a brothel.
The natural relationship with men is what made the three women seek out another female companion, they didn’t want anything to be awkward between members of the opposite sex.
However, fate can sometimes be cruel. Not only has Louie joined their adventuring group, but he has caused a number of events that have upset the group. Luck seems to have abandoned them at this point.
“That guy is Melissa’s problem, all we got to do is keep him in line.”
Listening to Genie’s words, Merrill could only nod in agreement.
They had made an appointment with Louie to meet here, he said that the female magician would also be coming.
Louie tried to explain it to them, apparently the branches from the ancient trees could also be used to create artificial organisms or magical dolls.
Merrill found this a little hard to understand, however, she summarized that they could be valuable.
She seemed to want to use these items are some sort of commission fee, but the girls were happy as long as they could make some money.
That appointed time for the meeting was drawing near.
“That guy?”
Merrill said, as she spotted Louie in the distance. Melissa then came forward and greeted them.
“Let’s go into the atrium……”
Melissa said, trying to show some enthusiasm, but truly, she was exhausted.
(Today’s sermon was so bad……)
Melissa said inside herself, knowing that others were probably criticizing her somewhere. 
They then came to the atrium, the three of them chatted, while awaiting for Louie to arrive.
A while later, Louie arrived. Along with two other people, one was Ila, and the other was……
“Conrad!”
She was very surprised by the appearance of the knight, she didn’t know how he found out she was here.
“Hey, Melissa!”
The knight said, after he saw Melissa.
“You know him?”
Louie asked Melissa.
“I met this guy at the bar, he was heading here anyway so we let him tag along.”
Louie said, hoping that Melissa would thank him for bringing him.
However, she didn’t say anything, but he could tell that she wasn’t happy.
“Who is that guy?”
Genie said, as she stood closer to Melissa.
She looked at the girly knight, his physique wasn’t impressive. If he turned out to be a real knight, Genie would find that hard to believe.
“He is my fiancé!”
Melissa’s voice wavered as she spoke.
“Fiancé!?”
Merrill said in surprise, she stared at Melissa, then looked at the knight.
“Yes.”
Conrad was now visibly moved as he spoke:
“Me and Melissa have already agreed to be married.”
“Really?”
Merrill asked, Melissa nodded as she blushed.
“Really? I never would have thought.”
Louie understood the relationship between them, now he started laughing.
“So, you’re fiancé is quite handsome.”
Louie joked, but this only made Melissa’s face redder.
“Come with me, let’s go back together! Back to the kingdom of Ramliearth!”
Conrad slowly moved towards Melissa, his voice like an opera singer.
(This isn’t good.)
If she was to leave with this strange guy, then Louie’s life as an adventurer would end. Louie started thinking, if might be a good thing for her to get away for a while, but he couldn’t stand by idly and let a companion leave the adventuring group.
Louie could almost hear a devil whispering into his ear: “Let her go, then maybe our days will be better.”
“That is already a thing of the past.”
Melissa said to Conrad, her expression was very serious.
“I abandoned my house, so I’m not obligated to comply with the marriage agreement set by my father.”
“This isn’t about the arranged marriage. I really love you!”
Conrad looked at Melissa as he spoke.
“This is like watching a drama……”
Merrill said as she sat on the floor, her hands propped on her cheeks, she had the idea of guarding Melissa from the knight.
Genie had a ferocious look, as she stroked her face.
However, Ila was the only one who had a pleasant look on her face.
“But I don’t love you!”
Melissa made that very clear.
“No, you will fall in love with me. I’ve become a knight, I believe now that I am absolutely qualified to be your hero.”
“That’s not what I want.”
Melissa looked at her fiancé from head to toe, she sighed. She couldn’t see what exactly changed since she last met Conrad, the only thing different was that he was holding a sword and wearing armour.
“And……”
Melissa said, as she looked over towards Louie.
“And what?”
“I’ve found my hero.”
Melissa said as she bit her lips, she wanted to forget that even happened.
“But I am willing to die for you.”
“I have to help me, guide him, my mind and body are his.”
She never actually did any of those things for Louie, let alone give him the time of day.
“What!?”
Conrad acted as if a tragedy had befallen him, he staggered back a few steps.
“A hero, who exactly is this man?”
“It’s him.”
Melissa’s face was angry, as he pointed at Louie. 
“You are Melissa’s hero……”
Conrad stared blankly at Louie.
“I guess so.”
“But he’s a magician? You never wanted me to use magic……”
“That’s the way things are.”
She could only think of annoying memories, Melissa looked depressed.
In the Kingdom of Ramliearth, magicians were the thing that annoyed her the most. Because Ramliearth was a “magical kingdom”, all the knights learned to use magic.
However, due to these knights excessively relying on magic, martial arts became to be despised.
“I got a revelation from God. This man is my hero……”
“Unbelievable, just unbelievable——”
Conrad moaned.
(I don’t believe this either.)
Louie sent the knight a compassionate look.
Melissa herself was unwilling to accept this, however, she can take advantage of this to make her fiancé back off.
(She usually isn’t this nasty.)
Although Louie wanted to comfort Conrad, he didn’t know what to say.
“……Now you know, so please go back.”
Melissa said coldly.
Conrad looked like a large hammer hit him, he just stood there motionless.
“Don’t you have anything to say?”
Melissa said to Louie, he could only stand still.
She then ran over and tugged on his right arm, he could feel her large breasts pushing against him, little Merrill couldn’t bear to see her do this.
Louie didn’t hate her for doing this, but that’s not to say he didn’t enjoy it. Melissa’s intention was clear, though she wasn’t doing it to make Louie happy.
“Then we’ll fight! We’ll fight……”
Conrad shouted, looking directly at Louie.
“A duel?”
This happened all of a sudden, Louie didn’t fully understand what he meant.
Conrad pulled a glove off and threw it at Louie, it hit his chest and then fell to the ground.
“I want to fight you! We’ll find out who the real hero is, we don’t give a revelation from God!”
Louie looked at the glove at his feet, he felt a tingling feeling in his head.
“Who do I have to fight you?”
“Why do you have to ask? It’s for love!”
“Love……”
Conrad may have felt that way about Melissa, but Louie didn’t feel like he did.
“You will accept this challenge!”
Melissa said, clinging to Louie’s arm.
“W-What?”
Louie shouted, not even getting to decide for himself. However, when he looked at Melissa, she gave him a cold look, he didn’t want to imagine what would happen if he said no.
“Conrad, if you win, I’ll go back to Ramliearth with you. But if this guy beats you, you’ll never come near me again.”
Melissa said to her fiancé, then she looked at Louie.
“Isn’t that right, my hero?”
How is this right at all! Melissa is strong-arming Louie into this, and he is so shocked he can’t speak for himself. 
“Alright, the duel will take place seven days from now at noon, here will be the venue.”
Conrad decided, he then turned and left the temple’s atrium.
(Wait a minute! Wait!)
Louie screamed internally, of course, the knight couldn’t hear his cries.
“You’re going to fight, Louie.”
Genie said wickedly.
“It’s a duel.”
Merrill said, tapping Louie on the shoulder.
“Yes, a duel.”
Melissa stated. From the look on her face one thing was certain, she was determined. Then, she suddenly let go of Louie’s arm.
“You’re going to fight a knight.”
Ila said, then she moved besides Louie and whispered in his ear.
“I’m sorry……”
Louie lifted his head, he looked distressed. No matter what they thought, he didn’t think he could win against the knight.
Although he might not look very strong, the knight from Ramliearth has received considerable training in fencing, and much more. While Louie hasn’t been using a sword for long, he didn’t stand much of a chance.
(Maybe I will be killed.)
A dark wave came over Louie.
4 – A slow man
The room wasn’t that big, numerous magical treasures were scattered about the place, you could literally smell the ancient magic coming from them.
They were in the sorceress Ila’s room, only Louie and her were in it.
Both of them had just come back from the Temple of Mylee, they had something to eat, then went to Ila’s room.
“How are you going to do it?”
Ila said, while she has cleaning and moving stuff around the room. Meanwhile, Louie was just sitting down on a nearby chair.
“I’ll do what I can.”
Louie had to accept this challenge, he was obviously frustrated.
He had to duel a knight called Conrad from Ramliearth, a neighbouring kingdom.
Louie didn’t really want to fight Melissa’s fiancé, but he couldn’t back out at this point, he had to prevent Melissa from going back and marrying someone she doesn’t love.
“All for love, I have to fight him for the woman he loves. There’s no way getting around this.”
“Well, you could always kill Melissa.”
“Ila……”
A chill went down Louie’s spine, he didn’t know if Ila was joking or being serious.
“I could always run away from the fight.”
“That priestess was the one who decided for you, she only wants to take advantage of you.”
“Yes, she forced me into this.”
Both of them looked at each other, the feeling was mutual.
“But running’s not your style, surely you don’t want to give her to that knight?”
Ila coughed, to arouse the attention of Louie. 
“Of course not.”
Louie immediately said.
“Well, you are a man, so you should defend your woman.”
Ila smiled gently.
“Whatever the reason, I’ve got to fight that guy.”
“How will you win?”
“Sometimes you’ve got to rely on luck. Also, that knight looks kind of weak, I really don’t know what he was thinking……”
“That knight……”
Ila murmured, something was troubling her.
She wanted to tell Louie what it was, but she reckoned he had enough things to deal with.
“If you’ve got luck on your side, then you might win.”
She then stared at Louie.
“Though, if the opposite happens, do you have any last words?”
Ila joked. But she wasn’t joking, she knew this was the likely outcome.
“There’s no need for that sort of thing.”
“You’re so boring, want to help me gather these magical treasures?”
Louie thought about this, was he boring? However, he didn’t want to ask that question to Ila.
“Well, I think I should practice some fencing first.”
“Fine, you do that while I do this.”
“What?”
“Do you have to ask, collecting magical treasures obviously.”
Ila had a serious look on her face.
Louie suddenly felt a moment of regret, he felt that he shouldn’t have asked that question.
Then, Louie left Ila’s room. He didn’t want to talk anymore.
Because he stayed up studying with Ila last night, he was tired, and went to sleep early. He wanted to deal with all his troubles tomorrow, not today.
He went fast asleep. Regardless of whatever studies he had the next day, he only concentrating on training.
After five days, Louie heard some rumours.
Five robbers broke into a hotel in Ohfun, and apparently a knight beat the whole lot of them.
The entire town was talking about this guy.
Louie and Conrad’s duel was tomorrow.
5 – A Powerful Sword
“Have you heard?”
It was the warrior woman Genie’s voice, she appeared in front of Louie.
Behind her was the thief Merrill and the priestess Melissa.
“Yes, I heard……”
Louie sighed.
He was resting in the Magicians’ Guild main hall, if others saw him doing this, he wouldn’t know what they’d say.
His bare upper body, his impressive physique, his entire body was covered in sweat.
Summer is coming.
“I heard that the knight struck down five robbers.”
When Louie heard about it, it was almost noon. He had heard it from Daryl, a magician from the Magician’s guild. 
Louie was obviously very concerned about this rumour.
“Yeah, it’s true.”
Merrill stepped forward.
“I went to the thieves guild, they confirmed it. Conrad really did defeat those robbers, I also heard that he was summoned by the King himself.”
Louie was not amused.
He felt like a prisoner on death row, and tomorrow was his execution day.
“Some thieves tried to kill him.”
Merrill obtained this information at the thieves’ guild.
“He killed them all.”
“……That guy seems pretty cold-blooded.”
It seemed strength alone wouldn’t win Louie this fight.
While Louie accepted the knight’s challenge, he doesn’t intend to kill his opponent, but he didn’t know if that applied to the knight.
However, after listening to Merrill, Louie gave up on that idea.
“I can’t believe it.”
Melissa said.
“I wonder how he became so powerful……”
Louie said, obviously bewildered.
(This guy is pathetic.)
Melissa thought, she was disgusted with him.
“It may be a bit late, but do you want me to train you?”
Genie said to Louie.
This proposal was the best thing Louie had heard in a while.
“Well, do you want my help or not?”
“Hey……”
Merrill said to Louie.
Louie had a sad look on his face.
“There’s a chance I could die in this fight, isn’t there?”
“Obviously.”

Merrill had a serious look on her face.
“Don’t worry. If you die, I will accompany you……as part of the wild rejoice.”
Melissa had thought about this a lot.
“Wild Rejoice” refers to visiting deceased heroes in the underworld, it’s part of the teachings of Mylee.
(That’s reassuring!)
Louie screamed internally. He decided that if he died, he would like to become a star in the sky.
“Anyway, have you seen that college you travel around with today?”
Genie suddenly changed the subject.
“Ila doesn’t always come with me.”
Louie said impatiently.
He thought she wanted to see her because she’s a magician too, and a female. The three female adventures originally wanted a female magician to join their group, but they had to settle for Louie since Melissa received a revelation from God.
(I guess it won’t be too bad if I lose my life in this silly duel.)
Louie thought.
“She’s away for a few days, I think she was going to buy some magical treasures. She’s not at the guild.”
Ila’s home was the largest merchant building in Ohfun, her father had collected numerous magical treasures as a hobby. This definitely influenced Ila, you could say she was just like her father.
Perhaps after tomorrow, he’ll never see her again. This is what Louie thought.
He recalled numerous past memories, she was always kindly helping Louie.
Unfortunately, there is no way he can say goodbye to her now.
“Even if my opponent is more powerful, I won’t run away. I will make every effort to fight him. But if I lose, I might be killed. So, you better forget about me.”
Louie didn’t have any hatred towards the three women, he just didn’t want them worshipping him after he died with food and drink.
(If that sword sends me to heaven, it wouldn’t be that bad.)
He didn’t want to die in pain. But then again, maybe this “knight” wasn’t merciful, for all Louie knows he could have some special torture technique.
5 – Battle of the magical treasures
Then, the day of the duel had come.
Louie arrived early at the Mylee temple.
People didn’t know if he was afraid of being late, they could only speculate.
Although Louie had come to fight, he was unarmed, his last chance to buy a sword was outside, he wasn’t even wearing armour, he just wore the clothes he usually wears around Joy Street.
However, Louie didn’t intend to give up, he was going to try his best to win. If you measured his physical strength and ability, Louie wouldn’t lose this upcoming duel with the knight. Though, he would need to see how his opponent fights first, that would give him an advantage.
The day before the event, the followers of Mylee spread the news of the duel to the townspeople. They didn’t know what kind of arena would be setup, but they were sure it would be better than any street brawl.
Lots of people came to watch the duel, but they only knew that Conrad from Ramliearth was fighting. They didn’t know who his opponent was, now why they were fighting.
Louie really didn’t want to say “it was for love”.  When he became an adventurer, it was to have fun and find treasure, not to battle for love.
“……Looks like I finally caught up with you.”
Louie was sitting on the floor thinking about things, when suddenly he heard a female voice behind him.
“Ila?”
Louie didn’t think she would appear, thus he had an astonished expression.
“I thought you weren’t coming.”
“Of course I was coming, I’ve got to see you fight.”
Louie was surprised by her appearance, naturally Ila was angry, she then handed him an elongated object.
“This is a gift for you.”
“Is this a……sword?”
“Yes, but this sword is from the ancient kingdom.”
Ila smiled, Louie then started to unwrap the wrapping paper, and stared at the sword in amazement.
Under the early summer sunshine, the sword shined, contained within the sword was over five hundred years of protective magic, this is why it was so bright.
What Ila gave him, was certainly a magic sword.
Louie looked at the sword, the language of the ancients was carved into it.
(I can’t believe it.)
“If you say the phrase dancing in the darkness, it should prove more effective……”
After Ila finished talking, she sat down beside Louie.
“This is amazing, Ila, but is it really magical?”
Louie was sceptical, he didn’t expect to get something like this before the fight.
“Of course it is. I checked it myself, you can be rest assured.”
“But, that knight also has a magical sword……”
“I know, but you can do it. Believe in yourself, Louie.”
Ila said, then Louie was ready for the fight.
His opponent had a luxurious armour and a magnificent sword, if it wasn’t for Ila and that magical sword, Louie probably wouldn’t stand a chance.
Finally, the time of the duel was near.
Ila actually fell asleep on the shoulders of Louie, she looked very tired.
At the same time, Louie saw Merrill and Genie pass through the crowd of onlookers, and come towards him.
Merrill happily waved at Louie. He didn’t know whether it was to cheer for him or to say goodbye, Louie was confused. Although Merrill seemed like a child, naïve and innocent, she was actually more complex than that.
Genie didn’t greet Louie, she just took a bunch of snacks and ate them.
Then, Melissa and an old woman appeared before Louie. He knew that old woman, he lifted his head to look at her.
It was the highest ranking person in the Mylee temple, known as the “Sword Princess”, it was Jenny, one of the founding heroes of Ohfun.
Louie’s adoptive father——Carwes, it was him and Jenny who accompanied Rijarl when he founded Ohfun.
Of course, Louie had met Jenny several times, he even grew up learning some things from her.
When Melissa saw Ila slumped against Louie’s shoulders, she just looked at them coldly, then she turned to face the High Priestess.
On the surface, the duel was a fight for Melissa’s love, and if Louie was seeing another woman, this wouldn’t sit well with her.
Jenny then smiled at Louie.
(This is troublesome……)
Louie felt embarrassed, he pretend to close his eyes, to escape the invisible pressure from Jenny’s smile.
Finally, Conrad the Knight from Ramliearth made his appearance. The entire crowd clapped to welcome him.
(Why are the clapping for him? I’m the local here.)
This made Louie a little sad.
To the crowd, it was just a battle between a knight and an evil villain.
“……What’s happening?”
The clapping of the crowd had awoken Ila.
“The time of the duel is near.”
Louie said, he then took the sword, stood up, and made his way towards the arena.
“Huh?”
High priestess Jenny uttered, she was surprised by something.
“He’s your hero, right?”
Jenny said sternly.
“Yes.”
Melissa replied.
“He looks good. Do your best, hero……”
(I wonder if he’ll lose.)
Melissa said insider herself, she wouldn’t dare to say it out aloud.
“Let’s get started!”
The High priestess said, she was responsible for starting the duel. 
Louie had his sword in hand, Conrad too.
“Come on, attack!”
Louie shouted.
“Alright! Dance, my sword!”
Conrad shouted, it was the ancient language……
Then, he resorted to an unstoppable strike.
Louie didn’t expect this move, Conrad’s strike cut his shoulder a little. At this point, the crowd was cheering even more than usual.
Louie then tried to keep his distance, he didn’t want to get hit again.
(This is it!)
Louie charged at Conrad, swinging his sword with all his might, but his attack was easily blocked.
It seemed that his defence was impenetrable.
Then, Louie remembered something.
(At the start of the duel he shouted “Dance, my sword.”)
Louie understood that his sword was somehow similar to his. At the start of the match he shouted a magical incantation, thus instantly giving Conrad the advantage.
“Dancing in the darkness suits you very well.”
Louie then shouted “Dancing in the darkness”, the ancient language phrase given to him by Ila.
A weird tingling sensation went through Louie’s entire arm, it was like the sword was shaking in his hands.
Then, the sword suddenly flew out of his hands. It flew towards Conrad, and violently attacked him.
 “Damn you!”
The crowd then began shouting louder.
(Victory will be mine!)
Louie showed a confident smile, and quickly moved to the back of his opponent.
Conrad was clearly at a disadvantage.
“Well, looks like this duel was only the beginning.”
Louie said standing behind Conrad, in a mocking tone.
“W-What?”
Now Conrad’s sword flew from his hands, and the two swords battled each other in mid-air.
Conrad then tried to pull a knife out, Louie saw this, and swung his right fist right at Conrad.

Smack!
Louie was quite accustomed to using his fists.
Conrad was beaten to the ground, he painfully rolled away, unable to get up.
Louie raised his arms in victory, the crowd cheered. However, those who wanted to see him lose, sighed and left the arena.
However, there was still people clapping. It was Ila and the “Sword Princess” Jenny.
Merrill and Genie were still eating, they looked bored, but Melissa was blushing.
“……This is the way of fighting.”
Melissa couldn’t help but state her true feelings, her body was trembling.
“This is simply against my will!”
She said her usual phrase, and turned away.
However, something was different this time.
Previously she had been unable to recognize him as a hero, or that he could even become one.
However, she might be wrong.
Louie didn’t have to accept this duel, Louie and Conrad both fought for different reasons, and not for their personal gain.
He wasn’t fighting for love, there was no motivation he used for the duel, Melissa didn’t even really encourage him, and yet he still came out on top.
“Maybe it’s not against my will……”
Melissa looked back at Louie.
(If he continues like this, he could one day become a hero.)
Louie was now staring directly at Melissa, his smile shining brightly, their eyes locked, Melissa smiled back at him.
(In the end, maybe he will become a hero.)
Behind Louie, the two swords continued to dance.
End of Rune Soldier Louie Book 1
Translated by Ciaran Hillock aka Dirk Diggler
Do not replicate or copy this work without permission.
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