Type and scale of the demon beasts that appeared, what the prominent students and faculty members can and cannot do, which areas of the school grounds are assumed to be combat zones, facilities and equipment available at the school, and other miscellaneous topics, followed by a bit of small talk.
As we guided the group towards Prince Fortunato, who was standing at the rear of the group, Rudy-sama mostly asked questions and we talked about various topics.
The more I looked at Rudy-sama, the cooler he seemed, and since I was allowed to call him “Rudy-sama,” I think I was in a good mood throughout.
I may have been grinning the whole time due to my determination as the Duke’s daughter, but I’m not very confident.
Well, that was until I saw the face of Prince Fortunato, who is my fiancé.
. . .Delina-chan, I wonder if you could just go for the Prince Fortunato route.
For now, the two of us are maintaining a distance as close friends. However, as the presumed villainess who is secretly attracted to him, I keenly feel the barrier between us.
If the Prince would just break off our engagement, I could wholeheartedly pursue Rudy-sama.
As I was being brought back to reality, Rudy-sama and the Prince seemed to have reached an agreement.
With Rudy-sama and others who are accustomed to fighting demon beasts and excel in close combat at the front, and us students who can unleash powerful magic if given enough time but are still inexperienced, positioned at the rear, we roughly determined our battle formation and started moving.
Thanks to the high abilities of those at the front, we were successful in steadily reducing the number of demon beasts.
However, due to being the daughter of a high-ranking noble and having abundant magical power, I was positioned quite far back.
To be honest, I couldn’t see very well.
I wanted to see it.
I really wanted to see Rudy-sama’s achievements with my own eyes.
Since not many demon beasts were coming from the rear, I think I let my guard down a bit.
As the battle progressed, the formation began to break, and students who were running out of magic power or exhausted started falling back. In the midst of that, I gradually realized that I had been pushing too far forward. It was a painful realization.
Most demon beasts resemble beasts running on the ground, but occasionally, there are creatures that break that norm.
For example, during the outbreak of demon beasts, there are times when wyverns that soar through the sky appear.
Using my abundant magical power, I was constantly unleashing high-level magic, which I think was very disruptive from the perspective of the horde of demon beasts.
Were they trying to crush their enemy’s main artillery―me―or were they trying to at least retaliate against me, who had killed many of their comrades?
The students, including me, were foolishly casting magic, as if to bypass the group of demon beasts rather than facing them head on, the wyverns, though small, had the power of the strongest species and whirled through the air, dancing in mid-air.
A flying wyvern, with its impressive power despite being smaller tha a dragon, raced through the sky and stared straight at me, flying in from the side.
This is. . .
“Miss Emmanuella. . .!”
Delina-chan and the Prince shouted at the same time, but it sounded distant.
As I felt the impending sense of death, my knees weakened, and I collapsed to the ground, tightly closing my eyes.
In an instant, a loud, hard sound echoed.
It doesn’t hurt.
I’m not dead yet?
“Miss Emmanuella, are you alright?!”
As I slowly opened my eyes, Rudy-sama, who was out of breath, said that while using his sword to intercept the sharp claws of the flying wyvern that was coming straight towards me, protecting me on its back.
Confirming that I was okay, he forcefully pushed back the flying wyvern that was evenly matched with him using his sword.
“. . .You damn lizard, don’t get carried away!!”
Rudy-sama shouted at the wyvern, which had become unsteady in mid-air, and swiftly sliced its abdomen with a decisive sword strike.
Oh, how unexpectedly wild.
I thought that, but seeing this seemingly innocent person who had been visibly flustered by my smile earlier, I couldn’t help but feel a flutter in my heart at this unexpected side of him.
Rudy-sama, who seemed to have confirmed the wyvern’s demise as it fell to the ground, sheathed his sword and turned to me.
“Are you injured. . .?”
His gently sweet voice as he softly inquired conveyed his genuine concern for me. The contrast between this and his rough and dependable appearance from earlier once again made my heart race.
“Thanks to Rudy-sama, I’m not injured at all. I apologize. I went too far earlier.”
Apologizing, I lowered my head deeply.
“No, thanks to you being in that position, I was able to make it in time. Please raise your head.”
As I looked up in response to his words, Rudy-sama had a smile that seemed genuinely relieved.
“Thank goodness you’re safe, but your complexion doesn’t look very good. It would be better for you to step back and rest for a while. It seems that there are no more enemies that can fly. Can you stand up?”
I wanted to follow Rudy-sama’s words.
Actually, I’ve been trying to stand up many times since earlier, but I don’t seem to be able to stand up at all.
“Um. . .my hip. . .dislocated.”
When I honestly confessed this pitiful fact, Rudy-sama showed a thoughtful gesture for a moment.
“. . .Is there anyone else, ah, never mind. . .I know it’s unpleasant, but it’s an emergency, so I would appreciate your understanding. I apologize.”
After glancing around to check the situation, he said that and gently, effortlessly slipped his hands under the back of my knees and behind my back, lifting me up. . .Me! I’m being carried like a princess by Rudy-sama!!
With my field of vision suddenly lifted, the handsome face of a dashing type approaching me, and the sturdy physique of the person I admire being in such close proximity――I was on the verge of panicking.
“Ru-Rudy-sama! I’m, heavy, I’m heavy!”
Although I panicked and made a fuss, Rudy-sama continued to walk with a firm step as if he didn’t feel any weight, and he smiled gently.
“Duke Baytree’s daughter is as light as a feather.”
Well, even feathers can become the weight of a full-grown adult woman if you gather enough of them!
No, that’s not it!
“You called me ‘Miss Emmanuella’ earlier, and it’s lonely! If you want, you can call me Emma!”
Ah, that’s not it either!
In a state of panic, or rather, having fallen into a full-blown panic, I found myself shouting without thinking.
“. . .! I was prepared to be insulted with ‘You’re disgusting, let me go’, but when you blush so much and say such adorable things. . .”
Rudy-sama said that with a troubled expression, and his cheeks turned red as if reflecting mine.
“No, it’s not disgusting at all. Just a little embarrassing. In fact, I’m captivated by Rudy-sama’s strength. . .”
Although my voice gradually became quieter due to embarrassment, I firmly conveyed that to him.
I didn’t want to give him such a sad reaction for his kindness.
Upon hearing my words, Rudy-sama trembled as if suppressing something, looked at me in his arms, and spoke.
“Please don’t tease me too much. . .Miss Emmanuella.”
His handsome blushing face, so precious!
And just being called by him makes my name seem wonderful!
I wanted to shout that out, and at that moment, my field of vision seemed to be dyed pink. It was because at that moment, I had already fallen deeply in love with Rudy-sama, to the point where there was no turning back. . .
No, not really.
In reality, Delina-chan, who was behind Rudy-sama, was shining pink.
At the moment when Delina-chan thought I was going to die, she strongly wished to ‘save me’ at the same time as Prince Fortunato.
Delina-chan awakened as the ‘beloved child of the goddess’, heard the voice of the goddess, and was blessed together with the Crown Prince.
Yes, it was at this moment that Delina-chan awakened as the beloved child.
Thanks to Delina-chan’s actions after awakening, the outbreak of demon beasts at that time was brought under control without a single injury.
During the following six months, Delina-chan flourished and grew, performing brilliantly in various places alongside the Crown Prince.
From ‘Could it be the beloved child?’ to ‘Indeed, she is the beloved child!’ to the complete revival of the guardian dragon, she was widely recognized as ‘You are the beloved child!’ in a grand manner.
“. . .So, that’s what happened during the first active role of the beloved child.”
After listening to my story, where I somehow managed to hide my compliments about Rudy-sama’s appearance, my mother nodded in admiration and said, “I see, I see.”
“In other words, the trigger was when he saved your life. I suppose you were drawn to Margrave’s strength and simplicity, his dual nature. . .?”
Summing it up like that, my mother still seemed somewhat unconvinced, tilting her head.
Well, since I can’t talk about how I fell for his appearance at first, there are some unnatural aspects to my words and actions.
“Well, it’s fine. I may not fully understand why or how you came to like him, but I can tell that Emma-chan really loves him.”
Saying that, my mother smiled refreshingly, a smile that seemed relieved and relieved of tension.
Could it be that even my mother was worried, thinking that I was behaving like ‘I’m actually enduring it, but trying to act cheerfully and failing miserably’?