Chapter 20:


Second Chance At Life

This is the first time I ever tasted food this great.

He may be Tsubasa, but I like to think this is also Rin’s cooking.

His stir-fried rice dish helped me forget about yesterday.

“Juliana, what were you going to say before we were interrupted?” Eunice recalls.

“Oh, that’s right! The princess is getting exiled.”

Reality returns to me like a splash of cold water.

Jennifer can’t seem to keep her mouth shut.

An awkward silence seeps in the room.

I wish to keep this between the three of us, but with Rin’s company around, it brings an uncomfortable atmosphere.

In fact, Rin is the last person I wanted to be hearing about this news.

He slams his hand on the table, his face distorted in disbelief.

“What?! What did you do that’s causing you to be exiled, Cassiopeia?!”

“It’s none of your business, Tsubasa!”

Jennifer tries to defend me, but she fails to keep him calm.

“What happened, Cassiopeia?”

I sigh, knowing it’s useless to keep it quiet.

The damage has already been done.

“I lost to the Royal Captain.”

It certainly hurts.

Everyone has passed but me.

“Let me go see her!”

“Tsubasa, that’s not going to solve anything!” Jennifer argues.

She stands up and stops his tracks.

He slaps away her arm placed on his shoulders, and he approaches me with ferocity in his eyes.

“Where’s your Royal Captain?”

“Tsubasa, it’s alright. This doesn’t concern you,” Anthony chimes in.

Not even Anthony is able to reach Rin.

“Oh? What’s this? Are you guys here to say your last words to the princess?”

Akimitsu rests on one of the tables, cross-legged.

“Captain Akimitsu, did you hear—”

“Yes, yes, Mira exiled Cassiopeia and her fellow comrades.”

“So then—”

“If you’re thinking of talking to her, it’s no use… Mira is someone who doesn’t like being told what to do.”

He growls, discontent by his captain’s words.

Akimitsu merely grins.

“Do you want to talk to her right now?”

The two stare at each other.

“Alright, let’s all go to her right now.”

One finger snap sends all of us to Mira’s realm.

She floats mid-air while remaining in her meditative state.

“What brings you here to my quarters, Akimitsu?”

“Milady, I bring you one of my knights. He wishes to speak to you!”

Tsubasa approaches her.

“Hey?! What’s your deal exiling the princess and her allies?”

“This is one of your knights? You bring me a vermin? Are you insulting me?”

Words get the better of him, his brows narrow, and his arms sway furiously.

“Why you?!”

Anthony restrains Tsubasa.

“All of you are training to be knights! The battlefield is not a playground, and we knights do not come home with smiles on our faces.”

She ends her meditation, and she points at the boisterous boy.

“And you?! Of all people, you are an easy target to be eliminated on the battlefield. Low reserves of magick will be the end of you.”

Tsubasa frees himself from Anthony’s restraint, and he draws closer to her presence.

“Let’s fight, then! If words can’t get through to you, I’ll let my fists do it!”

“Oh? And why should I accept this request?”

Akimitsu claps loudly.

Silence is put to a halt by his meticulous presence, and all eyes have been placed on him.

“How about a bargain, Mira?”

“A bargain?”

“Yes…I calculate that within the next three days, my fellow knight, Tsubasa, will be able to defeat you.”

“You’re saying he can keep fighting me until those three days have passed.”

He smiles.

“Bingo! And if my calculations are incorrect, not only will my fellow knight be exiled. You can also take my head as an additional bonus!”

Everyone remains silent.

Tsubasa looks affected by this the most.

The strict captain ponders briefly before she comes to a conclusion.

“Very well then! How long I’ve waited for this day to kill you, Akimitsu. If he wins, I’ll gladly accept my knights with open arms.”

I cannot take this any longer.

“Tsubasa, you don’t have to do this! Everything is just fine…”

“Sorry, Cassiopeia!”

An assuring smile carves into his face.

“I will take care of this!”

“Looks like Rin will accept the term!”

Akimitsu snaps his finger again.

This time, he sends some place where we can watch them fight.

The storm engulfs the battlefield in an electric terrain.

Rin dashes towards her, jumps in the air and prepares for a kick.

She evades it.

The moment he lands on his feet, he wastes no time to throw his fists.

The first, then the second, and a third.

Mira avoids the first two before grabbing the third punch.

His body is carried into the air, and she throws him like a ragdoll.

Suddenly, a lightning bolt strikes him.

The battle should be over by now, but Rin recovers the attack through sheer will.

Knowing Rin, his determination is never to be taken lightly.

Once he sets his mind into something, he simply refuses to give up.

Another bolt strikes him, but he remains standing.

"Why isn't he moving?"

"Lightning moves fast. Because Tsubasa lacks the magick to detect it, it's difficult to naturally dodge lightning," Eunice explains.

She's right.

Rin's specialty is hand-to-hand combat.

Anyone else with better prowess (Kaito, for an example) would decimate Rin.

This is a completely one-sided match.

He has no counter to her abilities.

Regardless of the odds, his unrelenting will forces him to find an answer to this match.

He charges towards Mira, but the captain has already taken account of his next course of action.

She grabs hold of his arms, and she delivers several blows to the chest—the chin—and finishes it with his nose.

Fresh crimson streams from his nostrils.

He doesn’t learn from his lesson, so Akimitsu is forced to intervene.

And the match has been decided.

“What are you doing, Captain Akimitsu? I can still fight!”

“No, you cannot. Go to the infirmary and heal your wounds.”

Growling briefly, he quickly gives up.

Akimitsu snaps his finger, sending Eunice to accompany him.

“You look more serious than before, Mira…”

She merely scoffs in response, her arms crossed.

“He’ll be back to fight.”

Her tremendous magick is vastly increasing every second.

It’s not the same she had when I fought her with my allies.

Was she actually planning to kill him?

Akimitsu sensed that killing intent, so he stopped her.

A finger snap sends us back to our original area.

“Jeez, that fight. Can’t believe that Tsubasa would still fight despite their gap.”

“Juliana, shut up. Unlike you, he works hard to fight for his friends.”

I’m still mad at her.

Hoping to calm myself, I decide to search for Rin and Eunice.

Though he may be reckless, Rin is caring and kind.

I pray he recovers fast.

Secretly, I am rooting for his victory.